Hello. Welcome back for another week of Survivor. Rob Has A Website bloggers are still reeling from the demise of Max last week, but luckily you’re reading the guy that picked Joaquin to win the game, so you know you’re in good hands ;).
I feel like I always talk about this on here, but I find it so fascinating to look back at certain “fork in the road” choices that certain players are presented with and explore how different the game would look (both short-term and long term) if they had made the other choice. One move, one choice, one “Hey did you know so and so said this?” and the game can be completely altered. One of the forgotten, slightly average movies of the early 90’s, Mr. Destiny covered this:
Ever since I saw that movie, I’ve been obsessed with thinking about “what if’s”. The moment that sticks out from this season was early on when Nina decided to tell Will that Vince had questioned Will’s health or ability to stay in the game. It had seemed, prior to that conversation, that Will was going to vote with Vince and Nina. If he had that would have meant that Joe or Jenn would have been gone and Vince could potentially have been in a power position.
Now, instead of Vince being gone, we can play along and say that Jenn was going to be voted out and that means she wouldn’t be sitting pretty with an idol as well as being in a power position with Carolyn. With Jenn gone, maybe Carolyn can’t get anybody to play ball with her treacherous ways and Max is still in the game? The whole game dynamic would be completely different.
Survivor, like I have said, is a real life “Choose Your Own Adventure”; if player X does plan A then that leads to Player Z winning the game through a series of events that all were created by player X’s making that one choice on day four. If Player X decides to go with plan B, then instead of player Z winning the game, now Z doesn’t make the merge and player Y wins the game…..I’m so confused.
I know you can apply this logic (or lack thereof) to anything, but in my opinion you can really sense these moments in a Survivor season where a 50/50 vote could have two completely different long-term outcomes depending on how that vote goes. If Nina doesn’t have that conversation with Will about Vince, how different is this game right now? One seemingly small five minute conversation completely deciding which “Choose Your Own Adventure” story we get for this season.
It’s completely out of our hands as viewers. We don’t get to choose which Survivor adventure we want, as we’re at the mercy of the players to choose the most exciting, compelling and entertaining route. Sometimes the destiny chosen sucks and sometimes, in one of the good seasons, it leads to three or four other fork-in-the-road choices. This season it seems so wide open. Literally I could see 4-8 different players winning the game as there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut favorite at all.
When Boston Rob won his season, it seemed destined early on, right? I mean, once his path was laid out by the third or fourth week, it seemed automatic that he was winning that season. There didn’t seem to be that many real fork-in-the-road moments.
I think this season we are getting multiple moments such that whichever way a certain player chooses will have completely different long-term outcomes and these types of seasons seem the most exciting to watch. There are so many potential parallel universes this season that I feel like we need a “constant” like on Lost to help us from getting nose bleeds.
I guess Jeff is and always is our “constant”….And with that, I shoe-horned in my yearly goal of using at least one Lost clip a season…This is where you all slow-clap at home like we’re in Can’t Buy Me Love:
Its 8 pm Portland, Oregon time, so let’s get this Survivor party started:
We get the recap of the carnage from last week. I can’t believe Jeff isn’t recapping my Joaquin pick to win the game in this opening. I mean, has there been a more dramatic comeback story this season than my Joaquin pick? I feel like Jeff is intentionally ignoring this angle.
Shirin immediately goes to Carolyn to try to mend a bridge or see if she can work with her, but Carolyn is feeling like she really doesn’t need Shirin.
Shirin next goes to Hali and then explains to us that she knows she has to adapt, maybe change her personality a little bit. Maybe Shirin should just go full-on Sybil:
Maybe she can start switching into completely different people and scare everybody on her tribe from voting her out? I mean, at this point, she really has nothing to lose, right?
Commercial: So this past week I went to California to spend a few days with my Nana and Papa…just the three of us. It’s always weird when you spend time with your grandparents as their daily schedule is basically set three hours ahead of your regularly daily schedule. It’s like being on East Coast time while being on the West Coast. Everything you normally do, you still do only it’s three hours earlier than you’re used to. Being back home now, I feel like my body is still adjusting to not eating dinner at 4:10 in the afternoon.
Back from commercial, Joe is passionately defending the thong that he wore early this season. I guess it’s safer than discussing religion.
Rodney, looking for a friend, decides to approach my golden pick Joaquin. I feel like I want to jump in the TV, grab Joaquin, and physically walk him away from Rodney. Nothing good can possibly come from this.
Before I could even finish typing that last sentence Rodney and Joaquin are already bro-ing out way too hard, saying absurd, nonsensical things like “ I want to make sure the money stays on the East Coast this season”…I mean, what? Is there a West Coast/East Coast rivalry that I don’t know about in Survivor? Joaquin, dude, you were doing good lying low…Don’t get sucked into Rodney’s Titanic-like gameplay, please.
We go to the reward challenge. The reward is getting to watch turtles walk around the beach at night. Every player gets ordered off-camera to react like they’re so blown away at this “prize”. Guaranteed if they were offered stew and watching turtles walk on a beach or twenty soft tacos from Taco Bell, they would choose the Taco Bell.
Shocking upset– the red team wins the challenge. They had to be 10-1 underdogs going into that challenge.
Commercial: I literally “Lol” every week when I see CBS trotting out its weekly CSI:Cyber preview, promoting “Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette”. Seeing her mail-in scenes with the likes of Bow Wow, the former kid-rapper turned CBS cop procedural supporting actor, is just too much. She must be thinking of ways every week to get fired from that show, only CBS could never fire her at this point. She should go the 1990 Kelsey Grammar Cheers route and start doing copious amounts of cocaine with hookers just to see if CBS will take the bait and let her out of her contract.
Back from the commercial, we join the red team as they enjoy their reward. Everybody bonds over the food and the turtle watching. We get a tour guide who looks horrified to be on camera as he shows the players around the beach.
We next join the blue team as Joaquin and Sierra have a talk to feel each other out. Can’t say I’m thrilled about a Joaquin-Rodney-Sierra alliance. Luckily, I guess Tyler is a part of this as well. So it looks like we have an alliance of four on the blue team.
Rodney’s talking is making this alliance seem less and less appealing with every word that comes out of his mouth. He’s definitely the “Ringo in The Beatles” in the alliance of four. Just for the record: Joaquin-Paul, Tyler-John, Sierra-George…Yeah, I just compared an alliance that isn’t even official yet to the Beatles…I’m sorry.
Commercial: Do the Country Music Awards really need to be televised on network TV? Do we really need to celebrate three hours of music that all sounds the same? How many songs do we need to hear about a sad cowboy mourning the loss of the love of his life? What’s the over/under on the amount of not-sure-if-they’re-fat-or-in-shape-because-they-all-dress-business-casual, white forty-something males that will be performing that night…12…15? Will this be the whitest night of the year for CBS?
Back from commercial, we join Rodney telling Mike how he is controlling everybody. He tells Mike he wants to throw the next immunity challenge to get Joe out. It’s really a sad state of affairs if Mike is looking like Dick Cheney to Rodney’s George W. Bush…..
Mike tells us that his only true alliance is with Kelly. Does Kelly know this? Is it really smart to hitch your wagon to one other person who is on a different tribe and probably forming new connections and alliances with people? I guess if you’re Mike it makes perfect sense.
Time for the immunity challenge… Is the blue team going to throw this? The challenge this week is basically the memory game, so I don’t think Rodney will really have to try that hard to throw the comp. It should come naturally.
It comes down to Mike against Kelly. Watching Mike trying sell that he is trying really hard in this competition was perhaps the best display of acting since Keanu Reeves told us that he was an “FBI Agent!”
Sadly, Kelly can’t solve the puzzle herself , which leads to Mike literally telling Kelly that he is giving her the comp and then he goes on to say the order out loud to Kelly, who then for some inexplicable reason still can’t remember the order, and I guess we’re going to try this again…What is going on? Did I miss the scene where Kelly told us she was throwing the competition as well? How is Jeff tolerating this?
Okay…round three. Mike slowly explains the order of the objects to Kelly, then when Mike puts the wrong order of objects on his table. He then rewards us with more acting, pretending to be shocked that he screwed up the order. Kelly wins for the red team. How did we get basically no reaction shots from the other players? What was Joe’s reaction while watching this monstrosity happen? I’m guessing Joe’s reaction was this:
Commercial: One thing about this season that really stands out is the amount of players who are completely delusional about their standing in the game. It’s easier to count the players who aren’t delusional (Kelly and Tyler). Everybody else is acting like the Regulators on Peyote in Young Guns:
Back from commercial and we join Mike giving everybody an encore performance with how “upset” he is about losing the competition. Now Mike is saying that he doesn’t trust Rodney, but I’m confused because wasn’t his talk with Rodney what led to him throwing the comp? Now Mike is talking about wanting to split up Rodney and Joaquin? I don’t like where this is headed…
Mike, Dan and Joe talk about their mistrust about the white collars. Mike then spills the beans about the plan to get Joe out. These three are targeting Joaquin…I knew this would happen! My Joaquin pick is at Defcon 2!
Joe and Mike approach Sierra who is still skeptical about her old tribemates. She is clearly the swing vote and it’s looking like she will cast the deciding vote for either Joaquin or Joe…another big “Choose Your Own Adventure” moment for this season!
Tribal Council time: Joe is looking more and more like a 1944 Scottish golf caddy. It’s a good look for him.
Have we heard Tyler speak this episode? I can’t get a feel for where he stands in this game.
I really can’t tell which way Sierra is going to go tonight. I have a bad feeling about my boy Joaquin…My hubris of last week is going to cost me…the Survivor gods don’t stand for that…
We go to the votes:
Joe…..Joaquin…Joe…Joaquin…Joe….Joaquin…Joaquin!!!!!!No…No!!!!!! I feel like Dylan watching his dad get blown up in a car…helpless:
I’m wearing all black as I type this…Last week I was flying high, thinking that my pick was safe. The Survivor gods don’t like hubris and I paid the price tonight. Sierra was the one who was given the fork-in-the-road choice and that choice will now give us a completely different game than had she chosen to vote out Joe. Somehow Mike is in a power position in this game now moving forward.
We get the merge next week, so the dynamics will be completely different. It seems like almost every player in the game wants to break away from their original collar tribes. I think because of this, we will get some very interesting alliances trying to be formed. Usually at this stage of the game we have an idea of who the two-three main threats are to win this season, but this season I throw my hands up. I have no idea who is going to win this season.
Carolyn and Jenn seem to be in the best places right now, but both seem volatile, so who the hell really knows what is going to happen? The girls have the numbers and I could see a girl power alliance being formed. I do want to say that there is no way in hell that Mike wins this season. There’s no way in hell Joe wins this season. There’s no way in hell Shirin wins this season. There’s no way in hell Rodney wins this season. Anybody else winning, I could probably be talked into. Sierra, with her vote tonight, made the choice for all of us on where this season is now headed…Hopefully for us, her choice will lead to continued surprise and entertainment.
Thanks for reading. Please, because I have no clue, let me know who your top three players are in the game in this moment. I’m really curious about how other people are seeing the game.