Wow, can you believe it, this is a second week in a row when I can watch Survivor live! I think that hadn’t happened in… probably in 10 years, since I last lived in the US. However, my streak may end there as my parents are visiting next week, so I’m quite unlikely to watch it live then (as it’s on Thursday mornings Japan time, next week, I’ll most likely be on a ferry to a wonderful Setouchi island during that time). But enough of me, let’s jump right in another great episode. I know it comes as a surprise to no one, but I have the feeling that every episode will be great this season.
Before going any further, one word about the splitting in three tribes. I love it, however, I think it’s a bit unfair that Angkor got screwed in terms of having to start a new camp from scratch and all that. I mean, every season, somebody is screwed by tribe reshufflings, but usually, it’s because of former tribal loyalties and such. This season, even though was talking about those loyalties, I think they mean nothing, and people will flip on each other as soon as needed, as we saw with today’s vote. However, Angkor got screwed in the sense that having to build that new shelter and all, they went into the immunity challenge more tired than the other tribes, and them losing is not exactly a surprise. I thought production had learned its lesson from the Haves and Have nots fiasco.
OK, let’s talk about what happened at Angkor:
Abi-Maria Gomes: Now, I think it’s official, Abi-Maria can’t change, wherever she goes, drama ensues. Well, it’s not completely true that she hasn’t changed. She was also known for being loyal, this time she went to three tribals and changed allegiances in between each one of them. It’s saving her for now, but not for long. Not sure what her long term strategy is, but honestly, not sure she has any. She’s gotta be careful. If people used to put up with her, it’s because she was loyal. If that’s out the window, she may follow soon after. Honestly, I don’t understand how she’s survived those three votes, she’s just too toxic for the well-being of any tribe.
Andrew Savage: He’s still very old school in his way of playing. In an All-Star season, tribal allegiances don’t matter as much, and yet, he still thinks in terms of tribe. Sure, many people do, but with him, I don’t know. I really think that when merge comes, if he’s still around, he’ll try to recreate his alliance with Jeremy, Keith, Joe, except that they will most likely have moved on by now. Apart from that he’s still the same. Even Woo can’t stand his way, and you can’t say that Woo is someone with no value or courage.
Jeff Varner: He dodged a huge bullet this week. I wish we had seen the meltdown completely and even more so how he recovered from it. After the rat incident, I thought that there was no way he was going to survive the vote. Sure Abi-Maria and Peih-Gee relationship helped, but he must also have scrambled like hell to pull his head off the chopping block. Mmm… Editors, this is what we want to see, not half an episode about Abi-Maria being difficult to handle. In any case, he’s seriously in trouble now. I’m not sure how he can recover from this. If Angkor goes to tribal again (and it will), he’ll have to work some serious magic to survive the vote (find an idol, make Abi-Maria even more annoying to everyone, etc). I believe he can, but it’ll be a difficult task.
Peih-Gee Law voted out: Poor Peih-Gee, very early on in the game she was marked with the Abi-Maria curse. Sometimes when you start bickering with someone, even if it’s totally their fault, even if they started it, and they’re kinda harrassing you in a certain way, it doesn’t matter, you’re screwed. People around you are going to start rejecting the both of you, they’ll unconsciously blame both of you for the drama. Abi-Maria is exactly the kind of person that will drag you in that sort of unpleasant situation. At this point, there was nothing Peih-Gee could do. If there hadn’t been a tribe swap, I think Abi-Maria would have been voted out, but there, Tasha and Savage needed anyone to come to them to start doing something, and as it’s Abi-Maria that came, Peih-Gee was screwed. No, not sure how she could have saved herself.
Tasha Fox: She played superbly this week. For the first time she’s been playing Survivor Tasha is in a position of power, and even more kudos to her: she made it happen. Sure, she had a lot of help from Abi-Maria, Peih-Gee and Varner, but still she seized those opportunities and turned them to her advantage, which is not small. For that, she wins this week’s “What bit my ass” award. Congrats Tasha! Where does she go from there. Well, she can keep control of Angkor pretty easily now, but here is the thing. Either they keep on losing and their numbers will quickly be depleted (until a pre-merge tribe swap, going back from three tribes to two?) and she’ll lack allies when merge comes. Or Angkor manages to stay away from tribal, but this tribe is not united at all, and when merge comes, it will implode. Now, I also believe that she has what it takes to find new (or old) allies, people like Jeremy and Spencer.
Woo Hwang: I like to mock his constant cluelessness, but I kinda feel bad for him. I’m sure he’s having a good time on the island, but he never has any idea of what’s going on strategically. Every tribal council, if there is a blindside, the blindsided person is Woo, as he never sees coming whatever happens. This week again, what was he expecting? Did he really believe that Jeff Varner was going to let a tied vote happen?
Ta Keo Tribe
Ciera Eastin: Purple Ciera?
Joe Anglim: Super Joe is managing the camp single handedly, Super Joe is winning challenges for his tribe, super Joe is just a super hero. Even Kass has a crush on him. Is he aware that he’s painting a huge target on his back, or does he think that making himself indispensable will save him? Hard to tell.
Kass McQuillen: It’s a pretty unreal image seeing Kass getting along with people, even saying good things about people. However, wait til she has to go to tribal council. Interesting how right now, she possibly could be solid with Joe and Ciera, even though, I base myself only on the life at camp bits to make that assumption. I can’t wait to see her having to go to tribal. It’s killing me!!!
Keith Nale: Purple Keith this week?
Kelley Wentworth: Not a lot about Kelley this week, but just enough for us to see that she’s still really playing an All-Star game. What do you do after a tribe swap when you’re in the minority and you don’t have Varner, Abi-Maria and Peih-Gee creating chaos? Well, you make good friends with everyone, while creating little, tiny, subtle chaos yourself, that is undermining the other guy that’s from your original tribe, without anyone realizing you’re doing it. Now, she’s not safe yet, and even if Terry was voted out next, she’d still be on the chopping block for the following vote. That would suck if she had to use her idol for that. However, this tribe is clearly the strongest, and even if it goes to two tribal councils before the merge, I can’t see it going to three of them. So, Kelley seem safe until the merge. During that time, she really has to turn the people in this new Ta Keo into allies, as Varner will probably be gone by then, and Spencer… well, we don’t know.
Terry Deitz: His optimism at the beginning of the game “look at me, I’m not socially inept anymore” was kinda cute, but he was also a bit silly. No Terry, you’re not a social player yet and you will never be. His reaction after the swap was even more telling as he was still so pumped, despite being in the minority, just because he thinks his new tribe will stay tight and it has a lot of muscle. No, Terry really hasn’t learned much about how to play the game.
Jeremy Collins: He was the hero of the episode (I mean, after Joe of course), as he kinda took control of the new Bayon tribe, as well as found the idol. Now, there is something they haven’t shown. Apparently, the idol, when they were looking for it, was for the team. Will he tell anyone he’s found it? Or not?
Kelly Wiglesworth: Purple Kelly? Oh wait…
Kimmi Kappenberg: Purple Kimmi?
Monica Padilla: Purple Monica?
Spencer Bledsoe: The whole scene with Spencer trying to be “emotional” was both hilarious and a little painful to watch, as I love the guy, but yes, he seems to be emotionally challenged. What surprised me though is that he seemed to have bonded with Jeremy quite well. Spencer seems to have bought himself a new lease in the game. Good for him.
Stephen Fishbach: I was surprised that Spencer and Stephen didn’t get instantly close. Maybe they didn’t show it, or maybe they are keeping their distances from each other not to be ostracized from the tribe, as if the two Survivor geeks appear too close, they will instantly freak people out. Interesting how Jeremy seems to be willing to work with Stephen though. That could save him. The fact that they still portray him quite negatively keeps on worrying me though.
Next time on Survivor:
Thing will get worse at Angkor.
Next person voted out:
Hard to tell at this point.
If Angkor goes to tribal, Varner is in deep trouble, unless Abi-Maria has become too insufferable (which is a possibility seeing how living conditions will get very bad and tempers will follow).
If Ta Keo goes to tribal, could Terry be voted out?
If Bayon goes, honestly I have no idea who will be voted out.
And the winner is:
I’m still keeping Kelley Wentworth as my winner.
However, Spencer seems to be having a winner edit more and more.
Jeremy’s edit could be it too.
However, in recent seasons, I feel that the editors have changed their winner’s edit recipe a little. In San Juan Del Sur, Natalie was almost invisible for a the first episodes. Even in World’s Apart, I wouldn’t say that Mike’s edit was a winner edit until late in the game, he was even somewhat portrayed negatively in the beginning. So who knows, our winner could emerge only in a few weeks.
Do you want to know more?
In that case, may I suggest that you read those sites, blogs and posts:
- Dalton Ross at EW
- Rob Has a Podcast, a website and much more.
- Stephen Fishbach is doing something unique this season: blogging about his own experience in his People Survivor Blog (but as he’s traveling this week, I don’t know if he’ll post).
- Of course, I hope that my blog becomes the best Survivor blog, but I know it will never happen… And I also think I’ve found the best blog around, with Redmond’s Inside Survivor
- Jeff Pitman’s True Dork Times is a must read each week.
- Andy Denhart’s Reality Blurred is too.
- I’m sure I’m forgetting a few…