Millennials vs Gen X

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Any Given Survivor

Each week, Scott Gallagher breaks down the show minute by minute in Survivor Pop Culture Recap. It’s live blogging complete with commercial breaks.

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Any Given Survivor

Welcome back everybody. Last week was the craziest night of Survivor we have had this week by far. I honestly didn’t even know heading into the night that it was a two-hour episode. I was completely caught off guard and then to have the two-hour episode be those specific two episodes with so much happening made it a lot to digest. I mean, we lost Chris and Jessica.

Chris was starting to shape up like a real threat to potentially win the game by some people and Jessica lost by the rarely seen “rock draw”. It was high intensity, stressful Survivor at his finest. Basically, all the players in the best positions heading into that night either were voted out or had their games completely blown up. I don’t know where to begin with trying to pick up the pieces of where everybody stands heading into tonight. So once again, let’s evaluate from my completely biased and unscientific opinion of where each player stands heading into tonight.

Bret: Okay, Bret had a crazy two hours within that episode. For once he came out to Zeke, he once again continued to show us that he knows how to drink, and then at that last tribal council, the random outburst he had during certain moments was really startling. He looked like he was about to blow a gasket a couple times during that last tribal council. If Jeff would have pressed him a little more on David, I feel we may have gotten close to this:

That aside, where does that leave Bret now? With Chris’departure, it seems like Bret is the de facto leader now of one side of the camp. Can Bret be someone that you should buy stock in as a potential winner in this game? I say on paper, yes, you could make that argument, but personally, I don’t think Bret is going to make it. There is something lacking in his Survivor game that I think will be his undoing. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels like his instincts aren’t good: He lies when he doesn’t need to, or he listens or believes things he shouldn’t. I’m not sure exactly, but I’m not ready to buy in yet on Bret.

Sunday: Now that Sunday’s arch-nemesis Jessica has been evicted, what is next for Sunday? Sunday appears to be in a decent place moving forward. I mean, at this late stage in the game anybody could go, but relatively speaking, I would think that Sunday wouldn’t really be on the top of anybody’s list to be targeted tonight. Sunday would probably be well-served to lay low and not make any waves tonight and let the cold war between Zeke and David play out against each other tonight. Sunday could be one of the players sitting there at the end, brought by someone who doesn’t think Sunday could make a really compelling argument to a jury that she deserves to win.

Zeke: Zeke fully is lucky to be here, mostly because Adam gave David bad advice on whom to play the idol for. Now Zeke and his “I’m running the game” face will have to pick up the shattered pieces. The question becomes: Is Zeke, or David for that matter, smart enough to reshape his game? Or are they going to go at one another and may the best man win? Zeke, I think is smart enough to adapt his game, so tonight will be very interesting. Zeke could very well go tonight, or he could shift his game and get himself back in the driver’s seat. It just depends on the circumstances and luck. Are the Survivor gods with Zeke or against him? My gut tells me that Zeke isn’t going to win this game. I think Zeke will be gone very soon.

Will: Will had a somewhat quiet episode last week. He was aligned with the Zeke/Bret side of things, but Will doesn’t seem like he will be that concrete about whom he plays with. I think Will can and will switch sides, so although I think he can stay safe tonight, I don’t think he has any prayer of winning the game. At some point you have to think that everybody is going to get together and be like: “Wait, let’s all stop what we’re doing and vote out the kid. We can’t have a high schooler win the god damn game”. If that doesn’t happen, though, I still think Will will be targeted for different reasons. I think Will could be a dark horse candidate to be voted out tonight.

Adam: Adam, Adam….Adam, I really want to be on your side, but your mouth keeps mucking up the game in bad ways. Your Survivoring needs some work. If you would have not said anything to David about playing the idol for Ken, maybe, maybe he would have played it for Hannah…Maybe not, but it was just a bad look regardless. The good part if you’re Adam, there is the cold war between Zeke and David. It appears to have taken the heat off of Adam. Adam needs to stick to team David and Ken and not try to overthink things or get to cute with the game. Stay strong, Adam. There’s a chance Adam could be targeted tonight, but I think he will be safe. I still think he may have a backdoor chance to win this game, If the jury isn’t too hostile (which I think it will be). I say Adam survives past tonight.

Jay: Jay, I believe, is someone who would be an obvious target tonight. He has shown he can win Immunity comps and he is likeable, especially since every day that passes, Taylor’s Survivor death scent becomes less and less stuck to Jay. It appears that Jay is with Bret/Zeke , but Jay has also shown this season that he will jump ship and backstab as needed to better his game. I think, though, that Jay will be one of the names that is getting thrown around tonight to get out of the game.

Hannah: Hannah’s screen team has increased dramatically from the first half of the season where her only camera time was saved for weird, bizarre facial expressions at Tribal and random panic attacks, to more of an important character who is having some influence in the game. Is she going to win the game? No, but at least she has picked a side and is playing a social game. I mean, I wasn’t a big fan of her asking Sunday what the plan was at Tribal and taking her word at face value, but I do like the effort she has shown. I think Hannah, once again, could be a target tonight. It will be interesting to see who the swing voters are going to be and where Hannah falls in that situation. Will Hannah stay strong with David or will she get skittish and look to switch sides?

David: David had his game royally screwed last week. If he would have played the idol for Hannah, David could be in control of the game now and pretty much, you could have penciled him into the finals. Now, though, it’s back to the drawing board for David. Without the idol, will David’s anxiety skyrocket again and make him more and more unstable? I hope not. We don’t need David devolving into Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys.

I would like to see David win this game (if Ken can’t), and so I hope he can dig deep and find a way to swing the vote to a Bret or Zeke. Obviously, Zeke and or Bret are going to be targeting David, so he needs to do something–maybe win an Immunity necklace or something drastic. David needs to do something big tonight to preserve his game.

Ken: Ken has emerged. Ken is our king in this game…even if he carries himself like he’s Viggo Mortenson from Lord of the Rings

Like literally he continues to deliver every line in Survivor like the survival of Middle Earth depends on it. With that said, I’m pulling for the guy still and every week he has gotten stronger and stronger gamewise. Ken could win this game and even typing that would have seemed crazy six weeks ago. I really don’t want to jinx the guy, so I’m trying to carefully choose my words, because in case you didn’t know my words can affect and alter the outcome of  the game that was played and filmed over six months ago. I think Ken needs to win Immunity tonight. I think if he survives tonight, he will be on track to make it to the end. Tonight is the key to me. Survive, Ken…Survive.

Once again, the above is my view of where everybody stands heading into tonight. We are officially in the backstretch of this game now. Everybody for himself. Will the two sides we saw at the end of the last episode stick to those sides or are we going to shift to different voting blocs for the next two or three episodes? Whoever is destined to win this game, I think is going to separate himself/herself in this episode and make a move that is going to tilt the scales into his/her favor. I’m hoping unapologetically that it will be Ken and David that prevail. I think tonight that Jay will be going home. That is my bold claim.

With that said, let’s get into the show and see how idiotically wrong all my predictions and analysis turn out to be! It’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time. Let’s get into the action.

8 pm

Previously on Survivor

Jeff tries to recap all the craziness that happened in twenty seconds. This was literally the shortest “Previously on Survivor” we have ever had, so I’m guessing they have a lot of content they wanted to squeeze in tonight.


We join everybody post rock-draw last episode. Everybody is decompressing. Hannah is crying and freaking out talking to Sunday and David…kind of a random three to process with.


David laments the fact that he burned an idol and got nothing out of it and now the numbers are down and he knows he has to do something to shift the balance of power…Yeah, for the fifth time already in this blog, playing that goddamn idol could come back and really mess up the ending of this game.


Zeke, Bret and Jay all convene to shake hands and talk about how tight they are. Zeke privately shares that he is feeling himself. When Will joins them, they say that they have a solid five. It can’t be this easy, right? Like this has to be some jinx.

Commercial break

Since this is the time of the year that Xmas movies are on 24/7, I’m making an executive ruling saying Die Hard 2 is and will be considered an Xmas movie.

Next to Christmas Vacation and Home Alone, and for some reason, because I think it’s wired into my brain from my childhood, It’s a Wonderful Life, Die Hard 2 is one of my favorite Xmas movies. It has to be considered a Xmas movie. It, for one, takes place during Xmas (a must for a Xmas movie)and  it has Xmas music throughout the movie. It just has to be considered one. Die Hard 2 is severely underrated. I strongly suggest you watch it this Xmas season. Trust me.


Back from break, we join Ken as he receives the “Legacy Advantage” from Jessica in his bag. Ken, if he makes to day 36 (God willing), will get to see what this advantage is. He tells us it pays to be “authentic”…Okay, settle down, Ken.


We head to the reward challenge. Jeff right away gets into it’s the perfect time for “love” and jumps into introducing some family members.

First up is Sunday whose crying voice may have been the most hard on the ears sound since:

Next up is Bret and his dad, who looks like a dead ringer for Victor Kiriakis from Days of Our Lives.

Jay is up next and it’s sister Melanie that got the call. Jay starts getting emotional and we get a string of clichés…(Yes, I’m just going to sound like a prick going through these…sorry not sorry).

Hannah is up next with her mom. I expected Hannah to have a panic attack, but she holds it together and doesn’t even cry.

Adam is up next and it’s his brother Evan, who needs to work on his running form…I’ll just leave it at that. Adam talks about his advantage in the game…and then dramatically tells everybody that he can’t use it as he’s sobbing. Was this a game move? Good acting if so.

Next up is David and his dad Doug. His dad on an island is dressed like he’s going to a Garth Brooks concert minus the cowboy hat.

Ken is up next, join by his brother. Ken and his bro have a short moment… nothing to memorable to report here…surprisingly.

Zeke is up next with his dad. Nothing too crazy here either.

Will is up next with his mom. Crazy that Will is just a kid…like literally just a kid still.


Jeff shares the prize tonight is for a barbecue with the family. The competition is running through some obstacles–lots of ropes to get through and digging.


Everybody is pretty close. Jay has a lead, though, and looks like the player the beat here.

Adam is literally stuck in the sand, screaming. “Like a turtle that has fallen on his shell”, Jeff coldly yells, “Adam’s shot at love is falling away”…Okay, maybe a tad dramatic there, Jeff….Let’s dial it back a notch.


Jay wins the challenge and does the sign of the cross. Apparently Jay is a die-hard Catholic now even though he hasn’t done the cross thing once this season.

Jay gets to choose somebody to go along. He chooses Will.

Jay gets to choose one more person and he chooses Sunday.

Jeff allows Jay to choose one more person. Adam literally, hysterically crying gets on his knees as Jay decides to take Adam. Ken was begging too but Jay chooses Adam since he didn’t use the “Steal the Reward” advantage he had.

Commercial Break

CBS previews the I Love Lucy Xmas special that is coming on Friday. I’m guessing that is going to get CBS some real good ratings that night. I mean that 90 years old to 105 demographic is ripe for the picking. I know as a thirty-six year old man, I can’t wait to DVR that andget my peers together with me to watch the I Love Lucy special….In color! Maybe after that they can show a silent movie with that good up and coming actor I’ve heard some buzz about– Charlie Chaplin.


Back from break, we join the victors at the barbecue. Jay awkwardly puts Adam on blast in front of everybody telling him not to “play any games”.


Adam and brother have a conversation about his mom and her treatment for cancer, which is really sad. I get why they are showing this, but it is really tough to watch.


Adam gives Jay the “advantage”. It will be very interesting in Jay’s hands, as I’m sure he doesn’t care about how it looks to steal a reward from someone. It should make for a great moment if he does use it.

Commercial Break

Speaking of soap operas, does anybody still watch them? When I was a kid I used to watch Days of Our Lives with my mom daily (summer time). My favorite characters in case you were wondering were Shane Donavon and …..Patch? Shane, the secret spy that also had a heart of gold, and Patch…Patch was a tough guy…with a heart of gold.

I miss those days….


Back from break, we join Will, who tells us that he needs to start “playing the game”. He feels like he doesn’t get credit for the moves he has made this season. He tells David that he wants to work with him. David, who feels like a pariah right now, happily is down to work him. Zeke appears to be the target that Will is eyeing. Wouldn’t that be quite the move if the kid could orchestrate a Zeke demise?


Whoa…hold everything….Will just gave us his Emmy quote of the season. He looks at the camera, and while using his left hand to point at the camera, says passionately, “I didn’t come out here to be dragged around like a goat…I came to play!!!!”…It was intense. I don’t think I’ve been this fired up by a speech since Pacino in Any Given Sunday.

David tells us that Zeke is going home tonight…which this early in the episode… still usually means that Zeke is not going home tonight.


With that, it’s now time for the Immunity Challenge. The challenge tonight is holding a metal bar-type thingy. If it drops, you lose. I’m saying Ken is winning this one…Come on, Ken!


David drops first.

Hannah out next.

Will out next.

Bret out next.

Sunday out next.

Zeke out next.

It comes down to Jay, Ken and Adam.

Ken drops.

Down to Jay and Adam.

Jay Drops. Adam wins Immunity.

That was a really quick competition. I’m not sure what we’re looking at here. Is Zeke really the target or is that just a red herring?

Commercial Break

I know they just did a “Running Man” reality show that was only shown on the intranet, but I think they really should do a real Running Man reality show like the movie–convicted prisoners running for their lives and freedom, while gladiators dressed up in sweet costumes chase them to kill them, with epic one-liners… “Here’s Sub-Zero…Now plain zero!”

I feel, if there is one good thing about Trump, it would be making this happen. I think this is on the table during the Trump Presidency.


Back from break, we join a very happy Adam. Adam has an idol and he knows the plan to vote out Zeke. Could it really be this easy???


Jay notices that David is too calm. Zeke also notices it. They think David might have an idol…so they are changing the vote from David to Ken….(No!!!!!!)


Ken and Will have a heart-to-heart. If a Ken talk can’t win Will over, then nothing would work. Ken gives Will an over-the-top  talk. I guess it would be hard to expect anything else from Ken. Will is not feeling what Ken is saying, but he seems willing to work with him. Will tells Ken that the others  are planning to vote out him out. Ken has a weird a look on his face and I’m guessing whatever is about to happen is not going to be good.


Right on cue (Jesus, Ken…really?), Ken asks Jay to come and help him lift a pick piece of driftwood…I’m guessing, and call me cynical, that this is not “authentic”.

Yep…Ken confronts Jay, who looks like he just got caught with the murder weapon in hand.


Now we have Ken with Jay, Bret, Zeke, Jay and Will….Wow. So now, Will is getting put on blast. Ken walks away as Will is making a halfhearted plea about why he wanted to make “one big move”…that he wanted the credit for once…Everybody is looking at him like, “Really dude?”… “You’re really going to pull a stunt like this now?”


Next is Ken explaining his logic for absolutely submarining their plans to blindside Zeke to David and Adam…which leads to them looking at Ken like, “Really dude…You’re really going to pull this stunt now?” Seriously, I might have to jump right off the moving train that is the Ken Fan Club…What a moronic move….My lord.

Zeke and that crew debate voting out Hannah since they won’t expect it.

We get a shot of the David crew, and Hannah says that she thinks it’s going to be her. Adam asks, “Are you sure?” which is him saying that because he might be willing to give her the idol????? That would be pretty cool.


We head to Tribal. David sums up the two sides vying for one swing vote.

Will sums up why he should be taken seriously.

Everybody making their pitch to Will. Bret again is randomly hostile. They should bring Bret back every season just to come to Tribal and be hostile. It would add something to the game I think.


Whoa, without a lot of talk we go to the votes. Hannah says she thinks she is going home, Adam looks perplexed.


We go to the votes. Adam decides to play the idol and is going to play it for Hannah!!! Please work!









12th person voted out– Zeke!!!!

Zeke says something classy on his way out. Good game, Zeke.


Like a lot of times this season, we get one episode with one extreme situation and then the following week we get the exact opposite of that extreme. Last week, Adam guessed wrong and the idol was played for the wrong person and it caused everybody to draw rocks. This week Adam guessed right and it completely shifted the power once again. Great ballsy play, Adam!

Remember like six weeks ago when I was saying Adam was the person to beat in this game? Well, I want to pretend that I’ve never wavered with that prediction. Not because he played the idol, but because I think he has recalibrated his game and is starting to rise from the scrap heap that he had created by himself.

I want to root for Ken, but nobody who does what Ken did tonight, should win the game…I mean, that was an awful move. I really do think the right people, though, overall are still in this game. David or Adam are the two guys I would place all my money on to win this game (with a fair jury I’ll add). This was a big episode for Will, but he’s not winning the game and I don’t think Bret or Sunday are getting the “edit” of somebody that would win the game. It’s coming down to David or Adam. That is my final “bold claim” of the evening.

Thanks for reading. See you next week! (Let me know, though, if you think I am leaving someone out).

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