Survivor: San Juan Del Sur

Survivor: Choose Your Own Adventure

Welcome back, everybody. I’m sitting here in The Pearl District in Portland, Oregon. It’s that time of the year where it’s gray out and rainy which will last for the next eight months. It’s basically like living in a real life ad for one of those randomly named depression drugs that they advertise on television all the time, the drugs that have side effects that will cause: bleeding organs, slow painful death, your first born child to have a miserable life. But hey, the summers are really nice here so we got that going for us. It’s almost Survivor time and tonight should be a good one as I guess the merge is coming.

The comments I got last week after posting my column (or whatever the hell we call this) were interesting. Every viewer has a different idea of who is playing well. While I think Baylor and Missy haven’t really played well, there are people who see their play in a completely different way than I do and think they have a chance to win the game. I guess that’s what makes watching Survivor fun. To me, it’s obvious that Josh and Jeremy, as of now, are in the best place, but I could also be completely wrong and it could turn out that Missy and Baylor are the powerhouses this season and I’m just oblivious to them because I’m sexist or something.

Speaking of that topic, it’s really weird to have been born in 1980 (which I was) because it was basically the last few years of that blatant, egregious sexism in mainstream society (obviously, it still goes on today, I’m sure). It’s kind of funny to watch old movies and TV shows from that time when women were seen as complete dummies that couldn’t do anything but be a stay-at-home mom or be a sexually harassed secretary. It’s one of those things that seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.

Anyways, my thesis on sexism aside, I wonder what this merge is going to produce tonight. This game is based on circumstance and luck a lot of the time. Even the best players in Survivor history have to win at the right time or need somebody to implode at the right moment. There are so many things that can happen in a given episode that could spit out many different choose-your-own-adventure outcomes. If person A wins this comp then person B does this which causes person C to get person D voted out. Any alteration to that previous statement could throw the whole game into a completely different outcome where person C wins the comp which causes B to work with D to get A out…Did that make sense or is everybody reading this thinking:

Let’s just move on. I don’t take criticism well….

8 pm

Recapping the previous week’s disharmony within the two tribes, I wouldn’t say that they’re the Blood vs Crips, but there really has been a lack of cohesion within the two tribes this season. I’m not a Survivor historian or anything, but it seems like there is at least one tribe normally that has the Kumbaya thing going on, but not this season. Things are all over the place.

8:01 pm

Black and white vision starts us off with the aftermath of the blue team’s vote. Jon is acting like a hostage victim that just got rescued and doesn’t know what really happened. The only thing missing is a paramedic putting one of those brown blankets on him and telling him everything is going to be okay as Jon smokes a cigarette shaking.

Everybody on the blue team bonds over kicking dirt on Drew’s grave. Jon tries to join in with his own anti-Drew story, but it goes over awkwardly.

8:03 pm

We join the orange team who all clearly have a hop in their step post their first victory.

Typical clueless Alec predicts that there is no way that his brother Drew could have been the first one voted off. I’m guessing Alec didn’t take a leave of absence from his job as a brain surgeon to come play Survivor…Was that too snarky?…That felt snarky…All right, I take it back, but come on, you were thinking that too.

8:04 pm

Off to the reward challenge.

Drew gets his first view that his brother is gone. He looks like he just saw Renee Zellweger’s new face that made her look like an average middle- aged woman. Seriously, how bizarre is that BTW? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google Renee Zellweger and be prepared to be perplexed.

Everybody processes Drew’s getting voted out. Jeff searches for the one player he sees with a brain in Josh, who shares Jeff’s disgust that the other members of the orange team are shocked when they don’t know the dynamics of the blue team.

8:06 pm


“The final season of Two and a Half Men begins”. How long has that show been on for? I guess it has an audience, but my lord, standard sitcoms need to go away. There is no way in twenty years people are going to be like “ Do you remember that one time on Two and a Half Men when John Cryer looked at Charlie Sheen in that funny way after Charlie made a veiled sex joke to the little kid on the show who is now forty- two years old”. I just don’t think standard sitcoms can truly make people laugh these days; they’re too forced and contrived. I feel very opinionated tonight, probably because the Giants just lost game two of the World Series and I feel like lashing out.

8:08 pm

Back from commercial and it’s competition time. So instead of a merge, we get a good old tribe swap. It’s like a 70’s spouse swap, swingers’ club.

8:10 pm

Keith was asked to comment on not being with Wes and still decides to speak in his native, foreign Southerner language, so I’m not sure what he said, but I think the gist of it was that he wishes he were with his son.

So it looks like Jon, Josh, Missy, Keith, Alec and Wes all swapped to the other side. This seems like a random unneeded thing to do. I mean, why did the producers do this? Did they think that one tribe was going to dominate or were they just completely unhappy with the dynamics of both tribes?

8:12 pm

Jeremy calls this swap the worst thing that could have happened. He thinks this is going to make him the biggest target now that Josh and Reed are together. I kind of agree with him; he could be screwed.

Josh and Reed share a nice walk on the beach.  I’m thinking this swap is going to help Josh more than anybody else, but that’s just my initial thought. It could change. Josh also shares that they’re waiting until they’re married before having sex. Seems like a risky game to play in life… I mean, if it sucks then you get to share that thought in bed right after you’re saying “I just made a horrible mistake” as you play it off with a smile to your partner. How do people who make that choice do that?!

8:15 pm

Jon rejoices that he is on the same tribe with Jaclyn (the random blonde girl that hasn’t said or done anything this season). I think she just had her first Survivor confessional. We will see if this galvanizes her game….I’m guessing no.

Baylor and her mom, Missy, look at Jon and Jaclyn with that womanly “I’m looking at you with a smile, but deep down I hate your f**king guts” face.

8:16 pm

Keith summarizes the new orange tribe for us. He’s shirtless with boots on, which I think is the recipe for success in Survivor. He’s sitting on some random dock that seems like it was built just for Keith to look sad on as he takes us to commercial.

8:18 pm


Can we all agree to boycott the Kardashians until they produce something other than a sex tape and douchie reality show? Seriously, the past ten years will have all been worth it if one of them finds the cure for cancer or discovers life on another planet…Give us something other than “Next on Keeping up with the Kardashians, the family rallies together when Kim loses her new dress that she bought specifically for Courtney Kardashian’s thirty-fourth birthday party.” Wouldn’t that show be better if they had Alice the maid from the Brady Brunch? Could you imagine the high-jinx that would ensue?

8:21 pm

Back from commercial and Alec is adapting well to his new tribe (in his mind at least). He now is joining in on the” kicking dirt on Drew’s grave” game that the rest of that tribe is still engaging in.

Jeremy is focusing on actual game strategy.  He talks about needing Alec on his side and hopes that Alec is smart enough to join him..Don’t hold your breath, buddy.

8:22 pm

Natalie and Jeremy both try to get Alec to join them. They are both using third grade psychology on him, and it appears to be working.

8:24 pm

Dale intervenes as Baylor starts having a hissy fit about the amount of rice she can have with Missy trying to appease her. It’s really not a good look for them.  Do people really think that either of these two are going to win the game? I really don’t see it.

Dale is not happy with this development. Kelley, his daughter, comes in to try and calm him down. I think Dale’s days are already numbered now. It’s either Dale, the soccer mom Missy or Baylor going next…assuming the orange team loses the next comp tonight.

8:29 pm


So now all the local election and new measure ads are coming out in a feverish pace and one of the big ones in Oregon is whether or not to legalize marijuana. Look, I haven’t smoked pot in years, but really, who’s worse to deal with, a drunk person or a stoned person? Wouldn’t millions of newly stoned people boost the food industry in this country so much that it could possibly end our country’s national debt?…Some food for thought here tonight.

8:30 pm

Back from commercial as Rob reads this and is reflecting on whether giving me a weekly thing to write here was such a good idea.

The blue team is reeling from the lack of food on their tribe, probably because Missy was like a Panda Express server on that tribe before switching sides. It’s like the Island of the Dead with the blue team. They’re two days away from clubbing Alec to death and eating his thigh.

8:32 pm

Now, like his brother, Alec wants to barter with Jeff for food. This time people are so hungry they don’t think it’s a horrible idea.

8:33 pm

Time for the immunity challenge. The comp is very confusing. It involves keys, shaking poles, locks, mud crawling, sand bags, and throwing things…Let’s just fast forward to see who wins because it’s really hard to see who is who here with all the mud and bark.

8:37 pm

The Walking Dead blue team wins the competition. They follow the victory with a plea to Jeff for some more rice. At first, he looks at them like a snooty person looks at a homeless person asking for a buck, but unlike the previous time, he seems to have more empathy with this group and tells them they will figure it out later.

If there wasn’t so much diversity within that tribe, I would guess that an Abercrombie ad executive would hire them for one of their anorexic catalogs ASAP.

8:39 pm

Julie takes us to commercial looking really hot, but correct me if I’m wrong, does she have makeup on? It’s not completely unbelievable to think that there is a hair and makeup department off-camera making sure people don’t look like extras from Schindler’s List.

8:40 pm


Another Survivor week, another preview for the show Stalker. I mean, how long can that show really go on for? They would have to keep upping the ante for elaborate stalkers every episode. It looks like this week’s episode involves a stalker that likes to use snakes…I mean, once you’re incorporating the act of stalking with something cartoonish like a snake plot device, you would have to think that a show like that has a life span of maybe half a season. Then again, what do I know? The CSI shows are so popular they have CSI La Jolla coming out next year.

8:42 pm

Back from commercial and the orange team looks demoralized. Dale wants to take a stab at getting Baylor or Missy out.  He is trying to recruit Jon and Jackie.

Jon and Jackie talk to Baylor and Missy to feel them out. Jackie is seeming way more assertive now with Jon there. She actually talked to somebody instead of acting like Nell.

8:46 pm

Jon and Jackie are the swing votes this week. It looks like it’s either going to be Baylor or Dale going home. Keith looks like he is rolling with Missy and Baylor so that could spell doom for Dale.

8:49 pm

Tribal Council time. Jeff puts Jackie on the spot first. She’s communicating very well.

Missy is soccer-momming out pretty hard, as she doesn’t like the idea of anybody coming after her Baylor.

8:52 pm

Tough to tell where this vote is going. My heart says Baylor, my brain says Dale. To the votes we go….

8:54 pm

And both my heart and my brain were wrong as Kelley gets the boot. The show ends with a clear power shift now towards the mother/daughter pair.


So the game has changed; destinies have been altered. Up to now, I thought the two generals squaring off in the Survivor war were going to be Jeremy and Josh. That has changed for now, as Missy looks like she has way more power than I had thought. I think Jeremy will be focused on getting Josh out, and the dynamics of that tribe will come into question soon. That is the big thing to watch for next. Will Jeremy and Josh align to form a pretty daunting power alliance or will they square off? If so, I think Jeremy will vanquish in that battle. Little do both of them know that there could be a major force to be reckoned with if Missy can solidify a power alliance on her end. Like I said earlier tonight, Survivor is such a game of choose-your-own adventure. One little move can have such a domino effect on the Survivor universe. We will never know how differently this season could have played out if Baylor got the boot tonight, but we know now that Missy in this choose-your-own-adventure is someone you want on your side.

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