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: Strenuously Objecting
Welcome back to me and Survivor this week. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue as I missed Sierra being whacked.
We really are entering the backstretch of Survivor for this season and I’ll tell you, I have no clue who will win, or who is favored to win or what the hell will happen. There are so many different universes where most of the remaining players have a path to win the game…except for Michaela…In her universe, hotdogs walk around, talk and mug people. It’s a horrible universe and we should avoid that one. Seriously, though, usually at this point in the game, it becomes somewhat obvious who the one or two favorites are to win the game, but this season it’s not clear at all.
With all that said, let’s see where everybody stands heading into tonight.
Aubry: If you subscribe to the theory that someone who wins Survivor gets tons of camera time, tons of confessionals, then it’s tough to see Aubry winning the game because she hasn’t been in the forefront for any serious amount of time this season. I think she has done a great job not making any waves, making different players feel like she is “with them” and has continued lying in the weeds. At some point, she is going to have to make a move that she can put on her resume. Can she and will she make that move is the question.
Michaela: Michaela has stayed alive and one thing about her that you have to respect is that she tries 100 percent at all times and there is something to be said for that. I think, though, that the issue with Michaela is that no matter what, she just can’t keep that poker face that is so needed in Survivor. The lack of that one skill is what holds her back from being a dominant Survivor player. It feels like there isn’t a player in the game now who truly views her as a threat to win this game and they don’t really give her the respect of making her a part of well-layered plans…It seems like her days are numbered…
Troyzan: Is Troyzan content not winning the game? Is his goal just to go “the distance”?
Troyzan has an idol, he hasn’t made any enemies, but his game is lacking “pop”. It feels like for any big move in the game, he has to have his hand held to make it. I want to see Troyzan take a big swing in this game and try to make a move that he can say is his own. I just don’t think he has it in him to do it, though. I think Troyzan starting tonight needs to do something other than nervously go around from person to person asking: “I’m ok, right?”…(laughs nervously)… I’m good, right?”
Andrea: Andrea has had lady luck on her side the past couple of weeks, winning the immunity challenge and getting Sierra ousted last week. But lady luck in Survivor can be vindictive and it will come back for your heart and rip it out while looking right at you.
I think Andrea’s head gets wayyyyyyy too big and so I think the Survivor grim reaper will be coming for Andrea very soon. Credit to Andrea, though, for always being willing to make “big” moves. I just think it’s not healthy for your Survivor life to always be throwing haymaker after haymaker…People are going to avoid that haymaker eventually and then counterpunch you back and I think Andrea is going to get that punch very soon.
Brad: Brad has survived far longer than I thought was possible for him. He adapted his style from the first time he played the game and deserves credit for turning himself into a real formidable player. I wouldn’t have any issue with Brad winning the game. I just think the other players see him as swarmy and I think they will try to take him out before he would get the opportunity to compete in the final three. Plus, it had to be a slap in the face that Sierra bequeathed her advantage to Sarah (who voted her out) rather than Brad who appeared to be Sierra’s big ally in the game (unless I missed something that disproves that, in which case why are you trusting what my A.D.D mind says anyways?). If you buy stock in Brad, then I think you are really hoping he wins the Immunity Challenge tonight because that would be a huge win for him at this point, that could potentially clear a little more space in the road of him getting to the finals…
Cirie: Cirie has been a little quiet the past couple of weeks, as far as being a lead character, so although I would never count her out, I’m starting to get the feeling that the show is telling us that she isn’t going to win this season. I hope I’m wrong, but it’s just the sense I get. I mean, she seems incapable of winning an immunity challenge, and unlike previous seasons that she has played in, that hasn’t been a factor because she really wasn’t seen as a threat. I find it hard to believe that the other players would let her waltz into the finals again…I could be wrong, but it’s just a sense I get. Tonight is big for Cirie. Look to see if she is shown more, given more camera time. Can she orchestrate another big take-down?
Sarah: Sarah, unlike Aubry, has been getting the camera time, has been shown almost more than anybody else the past four weeks and maybe she has put herself in the driver’s seat in this game. She has an advantage that she got in the challenge. She now has the advantage that Sierra has left for her. She also seems to be the point-person for everybody in the game right now. Whoever wants to make a big move seems to go to Sarah first for her blessing, or at the very least, to clue her in on the plan. Sarah has earned my respect because heading into this season, I didn’t think she had the tools in her toolkit to be a viable threat in this game, but she has proven me wrong. Sarah, right now, is probably the number one threat to win this season now that I think about it. (Fast forward to an hour from now when Sarah is unanimously voted out).
Tai: Is it me or has Tai been really quiet the past four weeks? He’s strapped with more C-4 (idols) to blow this game up completely, but he hasn’t had to use any of them yet and that makes Tai very dangerous. I just hope we get to see these idols really come into play and not a case where Tai gets lulled into thinking he is safe and the idols never get played because Tai gets blindsided. I want to see Tai alter this timeline of Survivor like the forgettable plot point in Lost when they detonated the nuclear bomb and we Lost Juliet.
Okay, so that is where we stand in my eyes heading into tonight. Tonight should be illuminating, in that maybe whatever or whoever’s destiny it is this season will start to reveal itself. I think the game is still up for grabs, so someone is going to have to seize it. Sarah is probably the favorite heading into tonight, like I have said but that, as we know, can change immediately. Just about everybody holds their fate in their own hands. Winning the immunity challenge is going to be enormous for somebody.
It’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time. Let’s start the show:
Previously on Survivor
Basically, this recap of last week was a Sarah highlight video…Her playing Sierra was beautiful.
We join everybody post-vote, sitting around the campfire, talking about how utterly blindsided Sierra was.
Andrea and Cirie talk about keeping their eyes on Sarah, and right in this moment around the campfire, Sarah doesn’t even look human. She looks like a robot….Or like the T1000 Terminator.
Cirie also points out that Sarah has really worked it well with each player at camp and is playing a good game.
The next morning, we join Sarah as she recaps her two advantages that she has…and also shares that Andrea is her target…This should be good if those two are gunning for one another….
Are we done with Will Smith ever being the most automatic bankable star in Hollywood…or I guess has that era been over now for around ten years? What happened to the Fresh Prince? If you don’t want to feel bad for him, I have the perfect video for you:
It’s almost Tom Cruise jumping on a couch cringeworthy with how full of themselves they are…Listening to Will Smith lecture about parenting is really awful. Let’s just be honest. Anytime a celebrity pontificates about anything serious, though, it always comes off as douchey. If you want to point to the exact movie that ended the Will Smith empire, look no further then:
Never been the same after that….
Immunity Challenge time? Are we doing two evictions tonight? Jesus, please tell me this isn’t a two-hour episode tonight. I really don’t have the energy…
The competition is where they have to pull things and building blocks that they have to build and balance without falling…or something damn close to that.
So far it’s Aubry in a huge lead…She finds out that Cochran has the world record for this comp and tells Probst that she likes him…That couple might rival Pitt and Jolie one day…
Nobody is close to Aubry…..This is a runaway.
Yep, there it is…Aubry breaks the record for this comp by over ten minutes. Put that right up there with the guy that ran the first four-minute mile.
Andrea sends us to commercial telling us now is the time to blindside Sarah…I don’t think that plan is going to work…as behind Andrea talking to us you can see the shadow of the Survivor Grim Reaper pointing creepily at Andrea….
Speaking of Will Smith, which made-for-movie song and video is more cringeworthy now in hindsight twenty years later?: We got the Men in Black video and the Wild Wild West video both just hugely transparent money grabs…
First Men in Black:
Huge hit movie-wise at the time. This video now is highlighted by an incredibly dated looking CGI Alien getting “jiggy with it” with Will Smith in the video, and yeah, it’s tough to remember that this was actually taken as somewhat “cool” back in 1997….
Next up, the Wild Wild West music video, which Wild Wild West was a monumental bomb, even at that time so I feel safe saying that this video hasn’t aged well either:
I mean, both songs are just Will Smith rapping about the plots of both movies…only in this one, Will is dressed in cowboy gear, so it makes it at least three times harder to get through.
I guess, let’s just call this competition a tie.
Back from break, we join everybody at camp.
Aubry is feeling herself for winning that competition. Aubry shares that she is looking at Brad to go….
Michaela volunteers to go talk to Brad to get him to go fish for everybody…She then carries out this plan…but in the most threatening way possible that immediately raises every red flag available to Brad.
Andrea and Cirie talk…Andrea wants to get Sarah out, but Cirie isn’t fully ready to pull that trigger yet….
This leads to Cirie and Sarah talking. Cirie throws out Andrea’s name to Sarah…Sarah, so far, seems okay with that plan.
I guess we are going to Tribal. Seems like its either going to be Brad or Sarah.
Troyzan speaks and I think this is the first time I’ve seen him this episode.
We get a talk about jury membership, which is good and all, but we all know juries get bitter and can ruin the outcome no matter what you do, so I say just play your game and hope for the best with the jury.
Everybody goes to vote….Seems like it’s setting up for Brad to go, which maybe means it will be Andrea who goes……Not sure….but where the hell has Tai been and will he play his idols this season!!?????
This weekend, my buddy Marc was giving me crap for the lack of likes my Facebook posts have gotten. You know, normal middle-aged men topics of conversation. In my defense, though, to get likes on Facebook apparently what it takes is posting a picture of your kid and then telling us what they like and don’t like to eat. Or posting the transcript of a conversation that you had with your kid, only you add words and clean up the sentence to make it sound more humorous and put together than it actually was. Like sometimes these moms coerce and walk their kids into saying the “darndest things” like they were lead investigator in the Brendan Dassey: Making a Muderer, walking him into a confession just so they can post it on social media to let everybody know how smart their kid is…Look, we all get it…..My charming, witty, Facebook posts get ignored because your kid got ice cream all over their face….but I’m not bitter.
Back from break, Jeff asks if anybody wants to play an idol….Nobody does…
We go to the votes:
Thirteenth person voted out: Andrea!!
The Survivor gods have come back for their pound of flesh from Andrea..She leaves in pretty good spirits…This all happened so fast since we are getting two episodes in one here, so not to much drama was built for this…
Post-vote and we are jumping right back into things.
Cirie now tells us that Aubry might be the target.
Aubry is in tears for some reason…Tai comforts her, which gets observed by Cirie, who now has Tai on her radar.
Time for the next Immunity Challenge…Feels like this episode was made by a person with ADHD…
This challenge is standing on top a perch in the water, using buckets to raise a key up to the perch and then solving a puzzle.
Michaela gets to her key first, followed right after by Troyzan.
Aubry and Brad are right behind them.
Pretty much everybody is in this comp as everybody is puzzle building.
Sarah has a slight lead, but many people close by…
Brad charges hard and wins the challenge…He defiantly says: “Vote someone else out tonight!”….Aubry looks horrified as Brad is spiking his puzzle in the endzone.
Taking politics out of this, and only looking at this situation from an entertainment standpoint, short of a group photo showing Trump with Yakov Smirnoff, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lee Harvey Oswald and Ivan Drago burning an American flag, what will it take for Fox News to say: “There certainly is a lot of smoke here” with Trump/Russia? …It’s like if Al Cowlings was a legal analyst for Court TV during the OJ murder trial. I guess this can all turn out to be absolutely nothing, but, my lord, there is a lotttttttttttttttt of smoke. I’ve always wanted to be alive during a major presidential cover-up like Watergate, though, so looking at the glass half-full is the way I’m going with this.
Post-break, we join Tai and Aubry talking. Tai tells Aubry that he needs to make a big move to show the jury…Well, this would be interesting if he does it…
Apparently though, Aubry wants to get Tai out….What?
Cirie tells Sarah that Aubry says that Tai wants to get her out…For some reason, this leads to Sarah giving Cirie the advantage in a game to steal a vote.
Cirie also shares, smartly, that she thinks Tai has an idol. She, therefore, wants to trick Tai into flushing out his idol or to get Tai not to play his idol so she can vote him out?
So far it seems like Tai is buying it…Cirie is good at this. Wow.
We go to Tribal…I have not a freaking clue what is happening… I’m so lost…I don’t know who Cirie wants to get out? Tai or Aubry, right? I think Tai.
So far everybody is talking cryptically.
Troyzan says: “If you say too much people hold it against you”…coming from a guy that in two seasons of Survivor hasn’t said one memorable thing…
We are about to vote…but Cirie comes in and tells Jeff she wants to play the advantage. She says that she wants to steal Sarah’s vote…But then Sarah objects and tells everybody to read the fine print, that nobody can play this advantage but her…Then Cirie strenuously objects…
Jeff spells out to us that nobody but Sarah can play the advantage.
Now we have chaos as:
Sarah walks over to whisper something into Tai’s ear.
This leads to Cirie going to Sarah to whisper to her that she was going to play the advantage to get Tai out…
This leads to Troyzan seeing that there is whispering going on, leads him into a full-fledged panic mode, where he tries to listen to what Cirie, Sarah, and Michaela are saying…which leads to Michaela telling Troyzan to “Back up”…..
I’ve got Michaela as a 2:1 favorite over Troyzan in a fist fight.
Now Sarah wants to steal the advantage and she chooses to steal Tai’s vote.
Everybody goes to vote…
We see Michaela’s vote as she votes for Tai and tells us that Tai causes too much drama…..Um, what?????
Wow. Jeff asks if anybody wants to play idol and Tai doesn’t play an idol…
Fourtenth person voted out Michaela……What…In…The…Hell….Just…Happened?????????????
Okay, I have no clue how Michaela ended up getting voted out? Was her name mentioned at all tonight as a target? I guess there must have been something that happened off-camera that made Tai that comfortable not to play his idol….unless I missed something and if I did, please tell me what, because I have no clue what moment that was tonight…
Not sure where we stand now. I guess it looks like Brad, Troyzan and Tai are staying loyal to one another? And Cirie-Sarah are a team???? No/Yes? And Aubry is sort of on her own? Does that look remotely right? I just feel so lost. I have no clue, though. I think Sarah is in the best spot in this game…but Tai has two idols…but I have no faith that he will play these idols correctly.
I’m not sure what to think. Somebody help. Who is going to win this game????????????????
Thanks for reading. It’s been a fun season.