Survivor San Juan Del Sur

Survivor: The Thing

Hi, Happy Thanksgiving Eve. Truth be told, I like the idea of Thanksgiving, being able to lie around all day, eating food, watching football and blacking out, but I actually am not a big fan of the food served on Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s just “my family issue”, as my mom and dad are divorced, but I primarily have lived with my mom although I inherited every part of my father to the point that it’s creepy. We have the weirdest similarities from needing to sleep with a fan on, to wiggling our toes exactly the same ways, to drooling Monet’s into our pillows every night, and sharing the same taste in food.

Basically, my theory is that  I think my mom is passive-aggressively getting back at my dad by serving Thanksgiving food that she knows I don’t like, knowing it’s probably food that my dad wouldn’t like; therefore, she gets the upper hand in the Kramer vs Kramer battle…granted it’s a theory in progress.

This year it’s actually weird because my three siblings are all going to their spouses for Thanksgiving and I volunteered to go into work (I work at non-profit youth treatment center) to hang out with the clients, so this will be the first year in my entire life that I can make my Thanksgiving dinner be whatever I want it to be. Yes, I will be alone for it, but I also have the power to create my own heavenly dinner. If I had the capability, I would do an In N Out Burger with fries animal style, which would then lead into lobster and garlic mashed potatoes. For desert it would be Cold Stone’s coffee ice cream with peanut butter cups. Since I don’t have that capability, I will probably just get Chinese food, but I’m okay with that.

Somehow this all leads us to tonight for Survivor. I guess the loose connection I can make with the game and my previous paragraph is that sometimes you have to do something drastic to break tradition. If you’re anybody but Missy left in the game, then you need to do something drastic at this point to change the game’s current destiny.

Like I wrote a few episodes ago, somebody needs to steal the Survivor sports almanac and create an alternate 1985 if they want to change the game’s current course. I need to ask this though: Do we really want anybody other than Missy at this point to win this game, or to better put it, does anybody else deserve to win this game? I know that everybody– technically anybody– who plays “deserves” to win, almost like a Hunger Games scenario, but what I really mean is who other than Missy has had the social game to justify winning?

What I personally look for in a great social game player is a combination of being able to talk people into making moves you want them to do AND having a clear understanding of what the other players are really thinking and doing around them. I think that awareness piece is huge. Missy clearly has demonstrated that she has those two tools in her belt and I think someone like Alec/Jon/Jackie clearly does not. Again, this is just my opinion and you could be seeing exactly what I’m seeing but have completely different views, which is what makes Survivor great.

I have been kissing up to Missy for the past four weeks, and who knows, maybe tonight she gets voted out by some power move from Alec and Jackie and then I will look very stupid. I’m okay with that. Four weeks ago, I was texting three girls at the same time and got them mixed up, and so I was texting girl one something that only girl three would have known and I carried on for like thirteen texts like that…so looking stupid is right in my wheelhouse. The point I want to make is that you have to create chaos if you’re in a minority alliance. One of my favorite underrated movies is The Thing with Kurt Russell.

In that movie all the characters are afraid of each other because they don’t know who’s been infected by the alien that enters the movie. (For 1982 it’s actually a movie that is still fun to watch and Kurt Russell is right in the middle of his three greatest performances: Escape from New York, The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China) Nobody trusts anybody and chaos ensues. Somebody like Keith or maybe Reed needs to somehow cause chaos tonight if they want to make some noise.

Anyways, it’s just about 8 pm Portland, Oregon time so let’s see how tonight plays out…..

8 pm

Previously on Survivor: Last episode really was crazy. I think for Jeremy’s health it was good that he got the ax because he looked like he had aged fifteen years.


Black-and-white vision: Keith summarizes how confused he was by the votes. Alec and Reed immediately start planning…not exactly Churchill and Roosevelt, but hey, they’re still in the game.

Natalie is feeling lost and not knowing how to trust. Jon tells Natalie that he had the idol, and Natalie states that she wants to get him back. This should be a good episode.

Natalie starts searching for the idol that is allegedly by the camp. This leads us into our first commercial.

8:04 pm

Commercial: Every episode, these commercials are starting earlier and earlier. So one of the perks for tomorrow is the NFL games, particularly my pride and joy San Francisco 49ers, who are playing their rival and the douchiest team in the league, the Seattle Seahawks. I implore you, even if you’re not a football fan too, keep the 49ers in your heart tomorrow. It’s what the Pilgrims and Indians would have wanted.

Seattle fans are really awful humans. Basically in my thirty-four years of life, they have been a good team for maybe six of those years with fans during that time having more passion for their Starbucks barista than their football team. Since the past four years, their team hasn’t been a compete dumpster fire. For the first time in a decade, they carry themselves like those parents at a basketball game whose kid is tripping other players to make a lay-up. Trust me, God is on the 49ers’ side and he will punish the wicked.

8:06 pm

Back from commercial and it’s reward challenge time. It looks like they have to swim and do a puzzle…There, I summarized this challenge. Oh this is the reward where they get to “give back”. This is always fun because there is always an unofficial competition among the players to see who can pretend to be the most humble on camera when Jeff tells them about this reward. Looks like Missy is our winner this year with the “ I’m pretending to be so overcome with joy to give back that I’m going to close my eyes and lean back passionately” face.

8:10 pm

Gun to your head, life depending on this: Who would you choose to complete a puzzle first: Paris Hilton or Alec?

8:12 pm

Jon, Jackie, Alec, and Reed win the competition, but Reed volunteers to swap with Missy since she unofficially won the overacting comp I talked about earlier.

Jon picks Wes to get exiled. Wes gives us a constipated reaction as he goes off.

Reed explains that his transparent move to give Missy his spot will give him opportunity to mobilize the troops at camp. We will see if all my pro-Missy talk has finally jinxed her.

8:15 pm


Is it bad that I constantly get mad at girls trying to be profound in selfie pics on Instagram or Facebook? I know I’ve talked about this before, but I feel that the problem is getting worse and worse. It’s spreading like the alien infecting people in The Thing:

I guess to boil it down, it’s the selfie where the girl is holding the camera in one hand and then she’s looking away, maybe kissing her kid on the cheek, or looking “afar” into a sunset and then there’s some over-the-top Oscar Wilde life quote that was never meant to be used for a cell-phone selfie underneath the picture. If you want to take a picture with your kid great, but don’t try to shoe-horn some fake profound moment from the reality of being bored while your kid is shitting his pants, looking to grab something to stick in his mouth. One day I will write a book about this and it will be grand. I will go on The View with fake glasses and a tobacco pipe to discuss it.

8:17 pm

Back from commercial and we get the highly staged and choreographed “giving back” reward. Granted, it’s cool on the level that these kids are getting cool stuff… no doubt about it. It just always feels somewhat condescending that here are the Survivor “heroes” here to give back, when in reality they just swam and solved a puzzle and were herded there by the producers.  Am I a bad person for thinking this?…Let’s just move on.

8:20 pm

Back at camp with the losers, Reed’s plan is to try to recruit Keith. Glad to see Reed playing the game. Maybe he got a bad edit the first half of this season as we never really saw him strategizing, but now he is talking about blindsiding Jon, which I think will be epic and just what I predicted a few weeks ago: Jon would go down in an epic blindside due to the path he chose.

8:22 pm

Natalie and Baylor start searching for an idol. I like Natalie, so I’m a little disappointed that she’s rolling with Baylor right now. I mean, even if she wants to play with her, why does she want Baylor to know about the idol? Regardless, she has an idol now and she talks about wanting to get Reed out….I’m kind of disappointed to be honest.

8:24 pm


What do we think of the holiday movies? I’m seeing previews for Christmastime movies I’ve never heard of. Do they still show the creepy-as-hell claymation Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer movie? I know when I grew up, it was always that movie, with the depressing Frosty the Snowman cartoon movie (He melts at the end and I always found this really traumatic) and then Mickey’s Christmas Carol where Scrooge McDuck plays Ebenezer Scrooge. I guess life was simpler back then when there were only fifteen total channels to work with.

8:28 pm

Back from commercial and it’s time for the Immunity Challenge. It looks like Jeremy infected Keith with his aging bug because he’s close to looking like The Colonel from Kentucky Fried Chicken without the glasses.

8:32 pm

People start dropping out as Jeff offers food. Wes shares that he won a McDonald’s chicken nugget eating contest once. Nobody seems shocked or even fazed by this revelation.

8:36 pm

It comes down to Reed and Natalie. Natalie names her price to Probst: pizza, wings, and beer, and with the magic of TV, Jeff brings it right out and she jumps off. Reed wins Immunity and sets the stage for a very interesting tribal tonight.

8:39 pm


So as of right now, it looks like the targets are Jon and then Keith? It looks like Jon is kind of a target for Natalie too, maybe? I guess it’s a tribute to Missy that all of Natalie’s anger and focus on the Jeremy vote is going towards Jon. Maybe Baylor deserves some credit here as well for making Natalie feel secure enough to roll with her?

8:43 pm

Reed smartly points out that people who feel the most secure are the ones who quit the competition the first, which in this case Jon did.

Reed tells Missy the decoy plan to vote out Keith and Wes. Missy goes to Jon and tells him the plan, but for the first time this season, he should listen to his instincts as he clearly is not feeling the plan.

Missy so far is falling for this plan of Reed’s. IF this works then Reed is really making a strong push here, and it would be quite impressive.

8:46 pm

Tribal Council Time: Keith starts talking and basically gives up the plan and then chaos ensues. It’s hard to track as everybody starts whispering to one another.

I have no idea what the hell is about to happen. I guess Reed was trying to act by semi-calling out Keith to put on a show to Jon/Missy/Jackie/Baylor/Natalie, but Keith didn’t understand that and ruined it.

8:52 pm

Wow…a very savvy call by Natalie as she tells Jon to play his idol. It looks like he didn’t even think about it until then.

8:53 pm

And with two votes with his name on them, Wes is voted out….OMG Keith why didn’t you play along?


Wow, what another crazy Tribal Council. I really think Natalie telling Jon to play his idol has changed the course of this history. I mean, clearly he wasn’t going to play the idol before she said something, right? Great instincts on her part, and awful instincts on Keith’s part. All he had to do was play along. I guess Reed probably should have told Keith that he was going to overact and make the other alliance feel like he was going to vote out Keith.

I really wanted to make an argument for Keith being a great social player, but if your awareness in that moment is so off, it’s very tough to make that argument. Like the clip of The Thing I put on here earlier, this tribal council turned into paranoia and not knowing who to trust and Wes got stung because of it.

The game could have turned with Reed out of nowhere becoming the king. Instead, maybe destiny is on Missy’s side as she regains the numbers on her side with now a clear enemy that she can see in Reed. Or am I over-hyping Missy here like Sean Hannity trying to sell us on Sarah Palin? Am I Sean Hannity?…Gross.

In my vision of this game, I see Missy as clearly the number one player with Natalie and Reed slightly under her. Natalie seems maybe a tad bit emotional to truly navigate her way to the finals, and Reed is being hampered with bad cards to play with. I think because of those two factors, Missy is still in the driver’s seat. The wildcard is that Natalie has an idol and good instincts to go with that idol. Will she continue to roll with Missy and Baylor who she knows are a pair to the end or will she get bold? I think she has a bold move in her, but I don’t think it will happen next episode…The targets for next week will be Jon and Reed. I think even though Reed has emerged as a huge target, this episode he showed the brain power to cause disharmony. “Can he do that at least one more time to preserve his life?” will be the question.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Happy Turkey Day (or In N Out with Lobster and Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cold Stone Ice-Cream Day)!

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