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“We got nothing for you either.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath November 14 2018 recap

14 Nov

Not just a good episode, this one was positively great. Let’s get right to it.

On Night 20, Angelina admits to us that she “got caught red-handed” at attempting some jury management in her conversation with Elizabeth. She makes up a different version of the Elizabeth conversation, but you can tell by their expressions that Kara and Dan aren’t buying it. As for Alec, his comment to the camera is “Angelina, you slimeball.” Nor does anyone else buy her story. Dan tells us he will get her out the first chance he gets.

Mike and Christian discuss the “strike force,” the secret alliance of those two with Gabby, Nick, Alison, and Alec. Mike feels that Gabby isn’t fully on board based on her comments at the last Tribal Council.

Nick and Davie go looking for an idol. They find a clue and unfurl the piece of paper to see a symbol that looks like something on a surfer’s T-shirt, in fact it’s the same symbol that was on the sign at the merge feast last episode (now it makes sense that the sign got some camera time without any apparent payoff). Carl joins the two of them and they go looking for a tree that looks like the one on the symbol, and they find it. However, some other people are on that same beach, so Davie creates a diversion, heading for the shoreline to do some goofy tai chi-type moves. The others are amused by his ridiculous routine, so much so that no one sees Nick and Carl heading for the base of the tree. They find an advantage that turns out to be a vote-stealer! They roll around hugging on the ground, and Carl also tells Nick about his idol nullifier.

The reward challenge is for two randomly chosen groups. The players need to hold a bunch of 10-pound sandbags above their heads, all of which are attached to a long trough of water overhead. If anyone lets a sandbag drop, the group gets dowsed with water and loses. It’s a group version of the memorable “Shii Ann” challenge that I coincidentally mentioned in my last post. To round out the rules, each player must hold up at least one sandbag, though there are more sandbags than people, and every 15 minutes one person must leave each group, handing his bag or bags to the others.

After 30 minutes, four people on each tribe are holding up a total of 80 pounds per tribe. They switch off continuously for brief rests, and sometimes one person has two bags on top of each other. Dan holds up three bags in a stack and taunts the other team about none of them taking on three. You can probably guess what happens next: amid the showboating, one of Dan’s bags falls, and his team loses. His tribemates are clearly furious. The winning team gets to eat two whole pizzas each, and as for Dan’s group, Probst as always says “I got nothin’ for ya.” To which Mike White replies, “We got nothin for you either.” Probst says he’s been waiting a long time for someone to finally make that joke.

Mike is doing more than joking today. He goes off by himself to ponder his strategy. He worries about the “strike force” because he thinks Christian is the most dangerous threat to win the game.  He talks it over with Alec, who is loath to go the route of breaking up the strike force because that would leave him with only one alliance, the Goliaths.

Mike makes his anti-Christian pitch to the assembled Goliaths. Of course Angelina is miffed because in her mind she has the sole copyright on the “Christian is the biggest threat” theory, patent pending. The Goliaths want to move forward with the plan, but what cover story will they give Christian as to whom they’re supposedly voting for? The answer is Angelina, to her chagrin, though she admits it’s the most plausible story.

Somewhat surprisingly, the immunity challenge is the second endurance challenge in a row: players have to hold up a ball with holes in either side (Probst calls it a buoy) using two short poles. Probst advises us that this challenge was done once before, in Survivor: Game Changers, and won by Brad Culpepper. It’s certainly not easy, as seven of the twelve players are out almost immediately. It comes down to Angelina versus Dan, and Dan wins.

Back at camp, John and Dan tell Christian the lie that the vote will be Angelina. “Hashtag brochacho blindside,” John tells us about his former Green-tribe mate. Angelina is still freaking out about being the “fake” target but Dan tells her that if Christian unexpectedly has an idol, Dan will play his idol on her. But then he tells other Goliaths that he has no such intention.

Christian seems to be totally unsuspecting. But Alec worries that if the Goliaths pull off this move he will lose the trust of fellow “strike force” member Nick. So he alerts Nick to what’s going on. Uh-oh, is Alex making the exact same mistake that Angelina did?

Nick doesn’t reveal everything about the Alec conversation to Christian (or we don’t see him do so at any rate) but he does tell Christian he thinks the Goliaths are lying to him. Then Nick goes to Davie and wonders if they should use the advantage they just found to help Christian. Davie tells us he knows that his idol would be more effective than the advantage, but of course Nick doesn’t know that Davie has the idol. Since he, Davie, is not in danger, is he better off lying low?

And Nick is conflicted too. He’s totally under the radar now, does he want to put himself back on it by pulling out an advantage? This episode really does a great job of showing us everyone’s personal deliberations about what to do.

At Tribal Council, one thing I wrote down was that we see John talking about the game much more than usual, and he sounds good doing it — he certainly pulled off his lie nicely earlier.

During the whole discussion and the votes, we see Davie nervously chomping on a toothpick. After votes are cast, Probst says this would be the time to play an idol, and Davie clears his throat. He walks up to Probst and asks if he can say a few words. He apologizes to his alliance for not mentioning the idol, then he announces he’s playing it on Christian. No sooner does he do so than Angelina urgently looks at Dan and says he needs to play his idol on her. He has sort of a deer-in-the-headlights look but does nothing. She repeats it … and finally he does get up and tell Probst he’s playing itr for her. Of course, the ever-micromanaging Angelina asks “Did you say who it was for?”

Editorial comment: Why Dan, why Dan, why?

Anyway, Probst starts reading votes, and the votes for Christian seem neverending, and none of them count. Then Probst starts reading the votes for Angelina. So we are heading for a re-vote with numbers favoring the Goliaths unless someone had the idea to cast a stray vote for whatever reason, and then that vote would rule the day! Angelina’s name is read twice, and then we hear a vote for … John! And then another, and John is out! “That’s off the top rope, brother,” someone says to someone … I think it was John the wrestler saying it to Christian.

So we lose a great character and can only hope we see him on Survivor again some future season. The Davids were foiled by Dan’s idol play, but oddly enough this result is actually better for them, as John was a much bigger threat to win the game than Angelina, and though he was not great in challenges he was certainly better than Angelina.

Also, when we see the votes, we learn that there were actually three John votes: Christian, Davie, and Nick, while Carl and Gabby voted Angelina. So it was a planned vote split, but if the others didn’t know about Davie’s idol it’s not clear what they hoped to accomplish by doing this. It certainly worked out, however.

Contenders:  1. Kara, 2. Alison, 3. Nick, 4. Davie, 5. Alec, 6. Christian, 7. Carl, 8. Angelina

No chance: Mike, Dan, Gabby

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick), John (Dan)

Idol and advantage count: Dan has an immunity idol, Carl has an idol nullifier, and Nick has a vote stealer.


“She was already starting to manage the jury.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath November 7 2018 recap

7 Nov

On Day 18, we go right to the merge without any preamble. There is a merge feast set up, with a sign that says “Everything you need for a perfect merge is right here.” Gabby speculates that this sign could hide an idol clue, but apparently there isn’t one there or anywhere else at the picnic.

Some of the Goliaths find out about Alec’s vote against Natalia for the first time and are amazed. Alec is getting lots of camera time in these first few minutes, which is a bad sign for him especially in the merge episode! And we hear a couple of different times that Carl is annoyed by Elizabeth.

Alliances are reunited. The “Mason-Dixon alliance” meets, and Nick gives Christian the information that Dan has an idol. And Dan wastes no time getting in some hugs with Kara,  and he blurts out to her at the first opportunity that he has a second idol. You can see why Dan is on my list below of people who have no chance to win the game.

And then we see Alec declaring to us that it’s his time to shine! Things are looking really bad for Alec.

Soon thereafter Mike, Alison, and Alec decide to form a trio, and Mike wants to bring in Nick, Christian, and Gabby. The six form a sort of stealth alliance, they don’t want to show their hand until later in the game. There are thirteen people left, so six is obviously not a majority yet, but would be after two more people leave.

In this stealthy vein, Elizabeth pitches Alec on voting out Dan, but Alec soon tells Dan and Kara about it (anything to distract from his true alliance.) Dan immediately freaks out, but Kara points out that a guy with two idols who’s in the majority group can feel fairly comfortable.

The challenge is a brand new one. The players have to use one hand to guide a pendulum on a circular path that passes through a gap in a metal contraption that’s supporting a statue. They lose if either the statue falls over or the pendulum loses its momentum from bumping into the metal. It’s nice to have something new, but I have to say Probst proclaiming “your pendulum lost momentum!” is not particularly dramatic and not a great visual. Something like the challenge Shii Ann won in Survivor: All-Stars, where if you drop your hand a bucket of water falls on you, certainly has more impact!

One odd moment of the challenge is Dan talking to himself, and his exact words to himself are “Keep telling yourself how awesome you are.” The challenge comes down to Alison vs. Elizabeth, and Alison wins the first individual immunity.

The Goliaths meet and seem to be in agreement that Elizabeth should be voted out, but Angelina firmly declares that Christian needs to go as he’s the biggest threat. The others say they’ll go along with it. And afterward Angelina crows to us viewers about what a great job she did talking them into it. But when Alec and Alison talk, they agree they don’t like it. And when John and Dan talk they agree they don’t like it.

So John takes Angelina for a walk after telling her they all decided to vote for Elizabeth after all. Angelina is very pissy and complains about them making a decision and forcing her to go along with it, though of course she just did the same thing to them, and bragged about it!

Soon we see Angelina waiting along a path for Elizabeth to pass by. Angelina tells Elizabeth that the vote is going to be for her … sorry, there’s nothing Angelina can do but since Elizabeth is so great she thought it was the right thing to tell her in advance. At that point I write in my notes, “jury management is transparent.”

Elizabeth was obviously cast to be this season’s version of Lauren from Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, and she has essentially delivered on that, but with less entertaining results.

Elizabeth reports the conversation to Gabby who is once again outraged at being in the minority. Gabby thinks they should tell the other Goliaths to try and move the target onto Angelina. Good idea, but they want to do it at Tribal Council which seems like it would be too late.

Elizabeth does in fact bring it up the Angelina conversation at Tribal Council, her theme being “There’s a fracture in your group.” And Alison immediately comments, “I think she [Angelina] was already starting to manage the jury for her final tribal council.” John immediately says “I agree” and Mike grins to Alec and says “That’s totally it.” Meanwhile an outraged Dan demands an explanation from Angelina. And Jeff Probst confirms that the person voted out today will be the first jury member. As Angelina’s move is discussed, John whispers to Christian and Alec walks over to whisper to Dan. Will this be a unanimous Angelina vote?

It’s unanimous all right, but the one voted out is Elizabeth! I did not see that coming at all.

Getting to see everyone interact made me shake up my rankings this week. John and Davie haven’t shown enough lately to keep them at the top spots where I had them. And I also moved Gabby onto the no-chance list — we never see her doing anything but whining about how unfair everything is, and I can’t see the other players respecting that at a final tribal council. I stopped short of putting Angelina on the no-chance list, since she did somehow survive this week, after all.

Also, after six years of doing this blog I finally realized it would be a good idea to keep a count of the idols that are in play, so that tote board makes its first appearance this week.

Contenders:  1. Kara, 2. Alison, 3. Nick, 4. John, 5. Christian, 6. Davie, 7. Alec, 8. Carl, 9. Angelina

No chance: Mike, Dan, Gabby

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Elizabeth (Nick)

Idol and advantage count: Dan has two, Davie has one, Carl has an idol nullifier.

“I know she’s a sketchball now.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 31 2018 recap

5 Nov

It’s day 16, and everyone is discussing Angelina’s attempted “jacket” move — by the way, she is seen here wearing a sweater that looks quite warm. “Last night really exposed how just completely batsh*t crazy she is,” says Mike about Angelina, and Nick’s take is, “I know she’s a sketchball now.”

At the reward challenge, Jeff Probst makes the incredibly bold move of departing from his usual stock question, saying instead “Let me show you what you’re playin’ for.” Green wins, and behind the ring-tossing of Nick, who has the same smile when tossing rings as when doing just about anything else, Purple finishes second. We then hear Mike wonder if he should try to keep Angelina in the game after all, so the fellow Goliaths don’t blame him for ousting two Goliaths — he thinks he got some funny looks at the start of the challenge. Since this observation has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on at the time, we now know beyond any reasonable doubt that Purple will be going to tribal council this episode. Not very smooth, producers!

But that’s not to say we don’t get subplots from the two other tribes. On Green, Gabby is still whining, but not to Christian this time but to Alison. Alison suggests a blindside of Dan, and it’s fair to assume she’s just leading Gabby on, but then Alison tells us that the blindside is not “if” but “when.” We also learn that she knows Dan has an idol (though of course he actually has two now).

On the Orange tribe, Elizabeth gets into a ridiculous spat with Carl and Davie about whether she should be splitting bamboo and when she should be splitting it. And the fact that time is spent on this is a sign that this is the slowest episode of the season to date.

The challenge has a cool visual: tribes have to fill up an enormous saucer with water, then carry the heavy object over balance beams and to a well. Green gets to the end of the path with enough water to fill their well on the first try, letting puzzle beast Christian start on the puzzle along with Alison — they win easily. Orange is easily second, while Purple is so far behind that Probst notes “Sometimes there is just nowhere to hide on Survivor.” After a while he converts his criticism to a “press on against adversity” theme, but then Purple drops their last saucer and can’t even finish. They are so pathetic that surely there will be a tribe swap next episode to liven things back up.

Mike considers this vote critical as David and Goliath are tied 7-7, and the Purple tribe is 2-2. We see a scene of Lyrsa trying to pitch Mike on voting Angelina, while at the other end of the beach Angelina simultaneously tries to sell Nick on voting Lyrsa out.

Nothing interesting happens at Tribal Council, which ends with Lyrsa being voted out 3-1. But I love Lyrsa’s final words: she says the worst part of all of this is that she’ll have to spend time with Natalie at Ponderosa and sit next to her at the reunion!

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Davie, 3. Kara, 4. Christian, 5. Alison, 6. Nick, 7. Angelina, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Elizabeth, Mike, Dan

“I’m the only member that’s gonna use this jacket.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 24 2018 recap

24 Oct

It’s day 12, and there’s heavy rain and wind. So much rain that now there’s a river running through the bottom of the Green shelter. At the Orange camp, Carl (who joined them after Tribal Council) comes carrying a note: there is a massive storm coming and the tribes will be evacuated. We can tell this is no joke by the guy who helps them onto the boat, he’s wearing a head-to-toe raincoat! This is only the second time Survivor players have been evacuated, it happened previously on Millennials vs. Gen-X.

After we viewers see a commercial, everyone’s back, and it’s Day 14 — apparently game time is not interrupted for these evacuations. All three of the shelters were destroyed by the storm.

The reward challenge is won by the Orange tribe who gets some chickens, while Purple gets a dozen eggs. Green, on paper the best challenge team, finishes third.

The Purple team debates about whether they need to eat the eggs right away if they boil them. It turns out Lyrsa is a culinary school graduate but that doesn’t mean Natalie accepts what she says about food as fact!

On the Green tribe, Dan already has an idol but he figures since they’re on a new beach there must be a new idol as well, and he figures he has an advantage because he knows how the idols are marked. There’s a great shot of Christian’s face peeking out in the far background as Dan goes searching. Dan actually does find a clue that tells him an idol is hidden at the next immunity challenge. This is welcome news to me, since the first time this happened it was one of the most exciting moments in the history of the game when Kelley Wentworth had the clue in Second Chance, and was also pretty darn exciting when it happened to Troyzan in Game Changers.

As with the prior two instances, the spot where the idol is hidden is right before the final phase of the challenge. This gives the person a chance since presumably everyone’s attention will be riveted on the final phase … or will it?

Dan takes a step or two to get next to the spot, then drops to one knee in a “pensive” pose. When no one is looking he grabs the idol and stuffs it in his pants. I have no idea how it’s not obvious to everyone in those tights, but let’s not go there.

It’s not surprising nobody else takes their eyes off the last part of the challenge, as a ball has to be maneuvered in very tricky fashion and the conclusion is very exciting. John with his comic-book musculature is going against Alec and Nick, and Nick has a lead. Christian replaces John, and he and Alec both gain on Nick quickly. Alec gets the win for Orange, with Christian second and Nick third. So Purple has to go to Tribal Council.

Lyrsa soon tells us she’s voting for Natalie, but if the three former Goliaths (Natalie, Angelina, and Mike) stick together, either Lyrsa or Nick will be going home.

Then comes a plotline unlike any other we’ve seen on this show. Angelina tells Natalie, “I want Lyrsa’s jacket,” and she somehow thinks Natalie can get it for her. Natalie indicates to Nick that he would be well-served to get Lyrsa’s jacket for them, and Nick immediately says “I’m not stealin’ anybody’s stuff or anything like that.” Natalie replies, “So the jacket is worth a million?” to which Nick answers “Are you trying to bully me or something?” And he soon tells Lyrsa about the outrageous request. For the two of them it’s clear that their only chance is to get Mike’s vote. Mike is hoping Nick can get Angelina on board with the idea of voting Natalie, that way if Mike made the move he could save face to some extent with the Goliaths.

Lyrsa tells us about her Members Only jacket, “I’m the only member that’s gonna use this jacket.”

Most of Tribal Council is about Natalie, who claims she is never the center of drama in her personal life. After there is a fair bit of talk about her bullying behavior in the jacket affair, Natalie asks Angelina to jump in. Of course Angelina was the mastermind of the whole thing, and would be loath to have that come to light. But she has had time to think of a way to spin it, and she says Natalie took pity on her being cold and she did what she did “out of love for me.” There is more talk from Natalie and finally Probst says “Natalie, I think I just figured you out. You need the last word.”

The votes are read and we see two for Lyrsa (obviously Natalie and Angelina) and two for Natalie (clearly Lyrsa and Nick). So now it all hinges on Mike’s vote which is for …. Natalie.

Oddly, Angelina jumps up and gives Natalie a big hug and says she’s so sorry. And then, as Natalie grabs her torch and heads toward Probst, Angelina says , “Natalie, is there any way I could have your jacket?” Natalie pretends not to hear. Angelina says “Natalie?” two more times with the same result as Natalie leaves the game.

Well, it’s not like Natalie had a chance to win the game, I could have seen a scenario where she got taken all the way to the finals as an obvious goat though.

As for Angelina, she told us earlier in the season that she finds a way to manipulate people to get what she wants in most any situation. But that manipulative quality became a bit too obvious here, particularly with the insincere hug. And when the rest of the players hear what happened tonight they might decide Angelina is a threat who needs to go sooner rather than later.

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Davie, 3. Kara, 4. Christian, 5. Angelina, 6. Alison, 7. Nick, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan

“The entire tribe system has been gerrymandered.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 17 2018 recap

17 Oct

No Tribal Council reaction today, the episode starts with both tribes arriving at the beach as the very first scene.

Jeff Probst asks Bi how her knee is, and she says “I have to make a really sad announcement.” She has injured her MCL and since she’s a professional athlete (mixed martial arts fighter) she has to withdraw from the game to tend to her knee. Everyone tells her how bad they feel for her. Though it appears the host doesn’t feel the same way. Probst asks the David tribe what it’s like to have one person medically evacuated and one person quit. And in case there’s any ambiguity about he feels, he refers to it as quitting one more time.

It’s time for a tribe swap from two tribes to three, and as soon as the buffs are drawn (presumably randomly, though we’re not shown that), Probst notes that Goliaths have the numbers advantage in every new tribe. The tribes are:

New green tribe: John, Christian, Gabby, Dan, Alison

Orange tribe: Natalia, Davie, Elizabeth, Kara, Alec

Purple tribe: Natalie, Mike, Lyrsa, Nick, and Angelina (you can see at a glance that this is the least athletic group of the three)

So it’s 3-2 for Goliath on all three tribes, or as Christian later notes, “the entire tribe system has been gerrymandered.” Meanwhile, Carl didn’t get a buff in his package, and he is sent to …. Exile Island!

Kara has a really good social game, which we see on display as she bonds with Elizabeth over childhood horseback riding. She’s just being polite really, but it doesn’t take long for this to make Natalia jealous!

At Exile Island Carl finds a cryptic clue that indicates he should check the coconuts floating near the pounding surf. There are lots of them, and the camera shows us one that has blue paint on it. Carl does find it, and inside is an advantage, the “idol nullifier!” This is to be played in secret, you write down the name of the person you want to block and if an idol is played for that person this nullifies it. I assume it only works for the next tribal council after it’s used, not for the rest of the game? My first impression is that this would be very difficult to use correctly at the right time.

Mike White, meanwhile, has made the same conclusion about the athletic ability of the Purple tribe as I did above. Or as he puts it, they are “the Davids of the Davids of the Davids.” He says if there were a schoolyard pick the five of them would be the last five ones chosen!

To make things worse, Natalie is on that Purple tribe and she starts right in with giving orders and micromanaging. Nick asks if she is always like this and Angelina says, “This is the mellow version.” Nick sees this as an opportunity. He takes a walk with Mike, suggests an alliance, and suggest naming the alliance. Mike thinks the naming idea is awesome, as do I. Nick dubs them “the Rock Stars,” a nod to Mike White having written and acted in the movie “School of Rock.” Nick will need this alliance to survive, since the tribe swap split up The Thoroughbreds (Elizabeth and Nick) and The Mason-Dixon Line (Christian and Nick). Mike is comfortable enough with Nick to tell him about Dan’s idol.

The Green tribe has to make a shelter since they’re a new group, and Christian chats with John. John tells us that he has a confident public persona but feels awkward in small groups. And Gabby worries about Christian bonding with the guys.

The immunity challenge is for two idols, with the third-place finisher going to Tribal Council. It’s a blindfold challenge with the caller riding on a one-wheeled wheelbarrow pushed by two blindfolded tribemates, then guiding two other blindfolded tribemates through a table maze. Gabby proves to be the best caller and Angelina the worst, though perhaps the latter is because Angelina has to deal with Natalie.

Gabby’s Orange team wins, then Green and Purple battle for second place. This is quite exciting for a table maze!

Purple wins, which I’m fine with since Orange is the least interesting of the three groups. It looks like either Davie or Elizabeth is going home.

Elizabeth has an idea where the idol might be, and Davie plays along while reminding us viewers that he already has the idol! And Davie tells Kara and Natalia that Elizabeth is campaigning to get Natalia out. That’s all Natalia needs to hear as she is paranoid to begin with. Davie is trying to not only stay in the game but do so without having to use his idol… is he going to be able to pull it off? Meanwhile Elizabeth makes her pitch to Alec.

Later, in the shelter, Natalia asks if Davie swears he’s voting for them and implies he’s dead in this game if he’s lying. Then Natalia says “Go back to sleep, and you two shut up,” meaning Kara and Alec. None of them care for that, and ominous background music starts playing.

Later in the hammock Davie says to Alec “You totally trust these girls, right?” Alec: “No.” Davie says, if you get a funny feeling at Tribal Council, make eye contact!

We go to Tribal Council where Carl gets to listen in, since he’ll be replacing whoever is voted out. It’s pretty standard fare until Alec gets up and whispers into Elizabeth’s ear! And for a long time! Then Alec whispers to Kara, then Kara and Natalia whisper. Natalia asks Kara if she’s voting her out, Kara says no way.

Wow, I just said this is the least interesting fivesome in the game, and yet even they have given us an exciting final ten minutes!

Davie doesn’t play his idol. The first votes read are for three different people on a five-person tribe (Davie, Elizabeth, and Natalia! And then the last two votes are read: both Natalia. She’s out of the game.

Well, I guess she didn’t have Alec wrapped around her finger after all as was implied a couple of episodes ago. And Alec has shown us he has a bit more to him than the standard-issue Survivor hunk. When we see the votes, it turns out Kara voted for Davie and Natalia voted for Elizabeth, which is curious, not that it affected the final outcome.

This has been a hugely enjoyable season so far thanks to the wonderful cast.

Contenders: 1. John, 2. Angelina, 3. Davie, 4. Kara, 5. Christian, 6. Alison, 7. Nick, 8. Alec, 9. Carl, 10. Gabby

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan, Natalie

“I’m gonna tell you my truth.” Survivor: David vs. Goliath October 10, 2018 recap

10 Oct

Let me start by mentioning something I forgot to mention in my last recap: Davie found an idol in the last episode. And at the moment that idol is his one consolation, because he was not in the loop on the last vote, and Christian and Nick, who he thought were his tight allies, were the deciding votes to get Jessica out.

Speaking of Christian and Nick aka the Mason-Dixon Line, they are a very entertaining duo. And they think they’re in a very good position now as they appear to be the swing votes for whatever might transpire.

Meanwhile Bi says she doesn’t feel betrayed by anyone except Gabby, and that’s the third time in the first few minutes that someone has said they are wary of Gabby.

Over on the Goliath tribe, John still wants to work with Natalie despite her behavior over the past few days. And than we see Jeremy and Mike White pal around some more. However, Mike tells us viewers that Jeremy will be his own worst enemy down the line and he, Mike, doesn’t want to go down with him when he goes down. What are the producers foreshadowing here?

Back at David, a decision has been made to vote Gabby out by Bi, Nick, Carl, and Davie. But they would need Christian’s vote too, would they have it?

Next, Jeremy tells us he’s seen as the biggest threat in the game because everyone knows he’s always thinking about the game. Then he tells the rest of the tribe that he doesn’t think there should be so many side conversations. Uh-oh. The last person I remember doing that is Garrett on Survivor: Cagayan, just click this link to find out how that worked out for him! Multiple players point out later that in expressing that he’s worried about others scheming, Jeremy calls attention to the fact that he himself is scheming.

Jeremy is just playing too hard, but he’s not done. He tells Alex and Alison about Dan’s idol, then he tells John too. This seems to hurt Jeremy more than it helps him.

The challenge takes place in a downpour stronger than any I ever remember seeing on the show. If this were in a movie people would say the special effects people overdid it! We see Goliath discuss who will sit the challenge out and find out Natalie is determined to do the puzzle. Of course, they only ever show these huddles if whoever volunteers for something is about to fail at that thing.

The tribes are dead-even going into the puzzle mostly thanks to Bi, who unfortunately hurts her knee during her segment. The puzzle features the only time the words “it’s a hypothesis” have ever been spoken in the middle of a challenge (and you guessed it, Christian is the one who says it). Christian and Gabby get the puzzle right, giving the David tribe its first immunity win of the year.

This has been a great season so far, with interesting and mostly likable characters, plus the camera time is divided up fairly evenly unlike last season which was very focused on Domenick and Chris, at least early on.

The last thing we hear from the David tribe in this episode is Bi announcing she has an MCL sprain. It’s not clear if that diagnosis comes from a doctor or from herself.

The Goliath tribe hasn’t even left the challenge site yet when we hear Natalia say Angelina should have been in on the puzzle, the unmistakable implication being that Natalie should not have been.

Back at camp, Natalie asks Jeremy while she’s not getting his support … of course, as noted in prior recaps, when he offered some friendly advice earlier, she didn’t listen. Jeremy simply replies “This is interesting Natalie. Let me tell you my truth.” And he goes on to tell her she lacks self-awareness, which he tried to tell her before.

Angelina decides to propose that Jeremy be voted out. She seems to win some converts to that cause, though Natalia dislikes Natalie so much she won’t commit. But throughout Jeremy acts very paranoid. He and Natalie squabble through the rest of the episode, including at Tribal Council.

When Mike White gets to the voting booth he takes a deep breath, that makes it obvious that he’s voting Jeremy even though that’s his best buddy. And indeed the other players unanimously vote Jeremy out.

Contenders: John, Christian, Angelina, Alison, Bi, Kara, Carl

Not sure: Davie, Gabby, Nick, Alec, Natalia

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan , Natalie


“Dan’s in a showmance, Kara’s in a strategy.” Survivor David vs. Goliath October 3, 2018 recap

3 Oct

Weather conditions are miserable for both David and Goliath as we open the episode.

When the storm lets up a bit, Christian runs an errand and Nick accompanies him, so the two are able to talk strategy. Nick tells us the two of them could be like J. T. and Stephen from Survivor: Tocantins, i.e. a country boy and a brainy guy who complement each other. And as noted last week, Nick has decided to name every alliance he makes, so they call this one the Mason-Dixon Line. Nick claims the Mason-Dixon line touches both Maryland and Kentucky. I don’t think the latter is true, but let’s not dwell on that. Also, it’s questionable how solid all of Nick’s alliances are since he was the heavy favorite to be voted out last week!

Over on Goliath, the idol Dan found is, oddly enough, still in his jacket, a risk most Survivor players are much too paranoid to take. And every single other tribe member has noticed the Dan-Kara flirtation, though as Jeremy notes, “Dan’s in a showmance, Kara’s in a strategy.” Kara, Natalia, and Angelina think they each have one of the guys (Dan, John, and Alec) wrapped around their finger so therefore they are controlling the game.

But meanwhile, Jeremy uses Mike as a lookout while he searches Dan’s jacket and finds the idol. They speculate who else knows about it, surely Kara at the very least (we viewers know that Natalia knows too).

As for Natalie, the business owner who boasted last episode that there are people who work for her who would “literally” take a bullet for her, she certainly seems the favorite to be first voted out from this tribe. John likes the idea of aligning with her because nobody would suspect it, but he warns her that she doesn’t have as many friends as she thinks. That leads her to start confronting people asking where they stand, and she tells us she’s about to “drop a little Natalie napalm.” Jeremy, being a lawyer, tells us he’s used to dealing with difficult people. So he takes Natalie aside for a heart-to-heart talk. They’re both black so they should look out for each other, he says. However, “there’s a lack of self-awareness that you have about your personality.” She denies his point and in doing so completely proves his point.

When the tribes arrive at the challenge, Jeff Probst tells them the recent bad weather was officially a cyclone!

The challenge begins with a cool ladder portion – the ladder has removable rungs, but only two, so you have to stand on a rung and remove the one below it to place it above the one you’re standing on, and repeat this several times. Alas, someone with long arms has an advantage so Alec accomplishes this much faster than Bi (whose name, we find out, is pronounced “bee”). Surely the David tribe can catch up on the puzzle? No, they botch that too and Goliath cruises to the win.

Carl thinks Lyrsa should be the one voted out since she’s the weakest challenge competitor. But Elizabeth convinces Gabby that they should vote for Jessica instead, and in turn this is pitched to Christian and Nick. What they have against Jessica is that she is close to both Carl and Bi.

We go to Tribal Council, and the set is a temple that’s absolutely stunning. Thanks to the medical evacuation this is the first council even though it’s day 6, and by a vote of 5-4, Jessica is voted out! It’s a shame, she was a more interesting character than Lysa, methinks.

So the votes were: Carl, Bi, Davie, and Jessica for Lyrsa; Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Gabby, Christian, and Nick for Jessica. It’s obvious why Lyrsa was for this plan, Elizabeth is Lyrsa’s best friend, Gabby figures if “challenge weakness” is the criteria she would be next, and Nick is just happy it’s not him. The only vote I don’t understand is Christian, but perhaps he just felt a slightly stronger connection to Lyrsa than Jessica.

Contenders: Bi, Jeremy, John, Alison, Carl

Not sure: Davie, Gabby, Christian, Nick, Alec, Angelina, Kara, Natalia

No chance: Lyrsa, Elizabeth, Mike, Dan , Natalie