April 24, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Merges and Moves

4/24/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

The tribes convene and Probst announces it's time to merge, but explains in order for the group to get their merge feast two people will have to sit out. Tai and Brad self-sacrifice stuffing their faces with food and use the isolated time together to catch-up. Meanwhile, everyone else is gorging themselves and Debbie pretends to be drunk because... well she's Debbie. Donning yellow buffs, the merge tribe dubs themselves Maku Maku and get to work talking, strategizing, and recapping the Sandra/Varner votes. Who shall be the first target?

Brad's recommend first target is Michaela who is good at challenges, not trusted, and overall annoys her tribemates. Everyone seems pretty on-board with the plan except for Hali and Cirie. Cirie pulls Michaela aside for a heart-to-heart, telling her to relax and hide her real emotions in this game. Michaela points out she's never seen a two black women sitting together at the end of this game. It seems the trust has been built and Cirie makes it her mission to save Michaela this week. After Andrea wins Individual Immunity, the majority of Maku Maku plan to put the majority of votes on Michaela and some on Hali in case an idol is played. Cirie doesn't want Michaela gone and begins a plan to save her, explaining that this could all possibly be a move to get Hali on Brad/Sierra's side. Cirie tells Michaela that she's the target but to trust her, vote for Zeke (the fake decoy vote), and never speak a word that this machination to save Michaela is a Cirie original plan.

Tribal Council time! Discussion begins withtalk of the merge dynamic and the alliances that will dictate the game. Hali vocalizes her fear of the night with no idea what is going to happen, with Michaela agreeing with this sentiment. Idols come up and that unknown element that could totally throw off plans and you always hope to flush an idol. Probst then asks if there are any people that would be willing to strip down to their birthday suit to say, "Hey guys, no idol here!" I can't decide if this is a question or a request from Jeff Probst, but his eyes light up when Hali offers to do such a thing to save herself. Hali says a target should be eliminated from the game, not a free agent. The tribe votes and Hali is eliminated from the game, not Michaela.

But wait, there's more! It's a two hour episode.

After the vote that ultimately saved Michaela, the tribe seems to be divided into two separate alliances. Cirie and Andrea both vocalize it would be smart to target leaders of the other side, Sierra and Brad. But Zeke isn't sure if this is the move he wants to make and after winning the Marshall's Lounge reward, he tries to recruit Debbie and Tai to his bigger plans to go after Cirie and Andrea. But there's bad news ahead for Zeke because the other side thinks he's a double agent and his actual alliance gets word of his betrayal. The war Zeke hoped to start ends up backfiring and suddenly he's the top target. But alas, there's more moves in play. When Ozzy fails to win Immunity in the hold-the-pole challenge he previously won two times, Debbie recommends they make a big move and blindside the challenge king. Plus she's secretly got the advantage with an extra vote in case they need another number.

Tribal Council time! There's talk about how the game has gotten much more cutthroat since the merge occurred with true alliances being blurred. Ozzy explains it's about trust and value, and his value is catching fish, which is similar to the Ozzy motto we've known since the first time he played. He is basically a merman. Zeke talks about the jury and how to convince others they could beat him so they could go to the end while putting people on the jury that will vote for him. Cirie explains her vote for the night will be based on trust. After the tribe initially votes, Debbie stands up and declares she'd like to use her Exile Island advantage to cast an extra vote. Then the votes are unveiled: Zeke's alliance turns on him, but it's Ozzy who is ultimately voted out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 17, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Metamorphosis Moment

4/17/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

After ousting Sandra at last week's Tribal Council, Nuku wins at the Reward Challenge which allows the tribe to bond over the most disgusting looking pizza. But when you're hungry, you're hungry. Varner's hungriest to stay in the game, trying to throw the target on Ozzy. Mana bonds in a different way, with emotional outpourings from Sierra, Aubry, and Brad about how the game of Survivor changes you. Being vulnerable helps bring Brad closer to Aubry and Cirie, which means Brad has a group of five he can roll with.

Nuku loses their second consecutive Immunity Challenge with Mana able to solve the "Metamorphosis" word puzzle first. Varner knows he's likely going home and requests one-on-one time with everyone. However the tribe is conflicted because Ozzy is a threat and they're not sure he'll be loyal to their group. Zeke in particular likes Varner, but has worked closely with Ozzy and considers him a good shield. Zeke is very candid with Varner that there's a 50% chance Varner is leaving and says he'll try to save him. Realizing that Ozzy and Zeke might be working together, Varner tells this to Sarah and Andrea. Varner goes on about not going quietly and unfortunately, he's correct.

Tribal Council time. Varner acknowledges he's going home and pleads one last time for the divided tribe to vote off Ozzy. After ranting about "deception," Varner turns to Zeke and asks, "Why haven't you told everyone you're transgender?" The tribe is shocked and appalled at Varner's behavior, quickly defending Zeke. I could go on explaining as Varner tries to defend his actions and apologize, but you've seen it and can understand the magnitude of Varner's remarks. After Zeke has time to think and compose himself, he's able to speak about his life and wanting to be known as Zeke, and not defined as the transgender Survivor player. But Zeke has changed because of Survivor and become a better man, acknowledging his own personal "metamorphosis." Sarah gives an emotional speech condemning Varner's actions and talks about being glad to know Zeke for who he is, given her own conservative background. The tribe does not have to vote and each agree to eliminate Jeff Varner from the game. Zeke and Varner shake hands and hug, and Varner's torch is snuffed. This Tribal Council was so hard to watch but at the end of it all, we can all see that Zeke Smith is a class act and an amazing man.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 10, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Long Live the Queen

4/10/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 5

The tribes enter what seems like a typical Reward Challenge but this season is called "Game Changers" so they have to switch it up again. The castaways draw buffs to divide into two tribes and Debbie is the odd-woman-out, heading to Exile Island. But Exile Island is actually heaven: it's a boat picnic with former Survivor champion, John Cochran! There are no roses to be handed out on this date, but instead some advice which Debbie sort of heeds. She also gets to choose between an immunity challenge advantage for her tribe or double votes, so she takes the cursed double votes. But Debbie is very confident in her game so it's not surprising.

On newer Mana, Brad and Troyzan feel outnumbered by the women which must give some major One World flashbacks for ol' Troyzan. The two men quickly rally, hoping to keep working with Sierra, while searching out a fourth. On newer Nuku beach, Sandra and Varner are totally outnumbered and feeling a little threatened. Sandra is clearly the #1 target on the beach so the majority concocts a plan that they're targeting Tai because he can find idols. And they're not wrong because that dude is has two idols now. Yup, he solved his Mana beach clue and find that idol, then re-used the well location clue to unearth the Nuku beach idol. Man, Tai's idol crotch bulge is going to be insane. Nuku loses the Immunity Challenge, so the group keeps up the ruse that they're voting for Tai which Varner buys and Sandra's hesitant about. Surprise, surprise though: Tai blabs the wrong plans in front of Varner which tips off Sandra. Sandra, the two-time winner, isn't giving up and tries to calmly persuade the tribe to save her and vote off Tai, warning that the Kaoh Rong three could reunite. It's a masterful argument that Sarah, Ozzy, Zeke, and Andrea can see through but respect it.

Tribal Council time! Debbie gets a front-row seat to her future tribe's first elimination, which is definitely a messy disaster. Since everyone is a "big threat" there's discussion about what is considered a target. Sandra is very aware tonight is likely her last since no one talks strategy her. Tai thinks he's in trouble because he made a big move taking out Malcolm, but then he keeps rambling too much and then says the only name he heard for the night is Sandra. Then Tai says he's going to vote out Ozzy and the majority is so confused if Tai is blowing all their plans, wondering if they can even trust Tai and maybe he needs to go. Despite this blunder, the majority sticks together and for the first time ever Sandra is eliminated from Survivor. The group gives the queen a round of applause as Sandra experiences her first torch snuff.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 4, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: The Sugar Situation

4/04/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 4

This week's Reward Challenge is the impetus for the majority of the episode's drama. But who wouldn't get overly emotional for the world's largest jars of peanut butter and jelly? The drama itself surrounds new Mana, who lose the challenge after Debbie blows their lead on the balance beam.But then it all pops off when Debbie says Brad dictates everything and made her do the beam, except at the challenge she said she was good at balancing and Brad agreed she should do it. Debbie thinks she's on the outs of the tribe and being replaced by Hali, who she says messed up the balance beam first. Debbie does some push-ups to workout her rage and then passively aggressively comments about her balance skills and challenge talent throughout the Immunity Challenge. Oh and Tai finds another idol clue because he's an idol magnet.

The Vanua tribe is smooth sailing as they continue to dominate challenges and indulge in PB&J. But the game is always happening and Sarah is bored by obvious alliances, approaching Troyzan to work together. Nuku is reeling over the loss of Malcolm because of JT's epic Tribal Council blunder. JT's ecstatic when he finds a Hidden Immunity Idol, but returns to a pissed off status when Michaela requests an insane coffee order that's basically a spoonful of sugar. Seeing an opportunity to create chaos between JT and Michaela, Sandra downs all the rest of the sugar and I can't believe she didn't pass out face down in the sand from the sugar. This rivalry is perfectly setup and when Mana loses the Immunity Challenge, the tribe is split. Sugarnapping is a serious offense on Survivor, but revenge for Malcolm is on the top of Sandra's mind. It's Varner in the middle deciding between a more peaceful camp or taking out a threat.

Tribal Council time! Sandra explains the tribe felt JT betrayed the tribe or someone snitched in order for Tai to play the idol properly. Michaela calls out JT straight up saying he thinks he runs the tribe and he's says they're tired of babysitting. And so then a bunch of grown adults have to explain to Jeff Probst that there's major tension over a empty, licked jar of sugar. Michaela insists she helps around camp, then tells JT to STFU. Aubry explains it's a quality of life issue happening but is abundantly clear how she has to vote. The tribe votes and Michaela pours herself a cup of water, sipping it as the votes are read. Sandra, Varner, and Michaela vote out JT, leaving Aubry stunned by the gameplay that just happened. Then the tribe has a laugh like a sitcom when Sandra admits she ate the sugar.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 26, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Two Tribes Enter, One Man Leaves

3/26/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 3

A Reward Challenge kicks off this week's episode where only two member of each tribe get to compete for the prize of iced coffee with all the fixins (including some unnamed Milano Cookies but we all know a Milano when we see it). The twist is only two members from each tribe compete, and after Nuku wins first, Brad Culpepper smokes Troyzan in tossing beanbags at pins. It's bad for Troyzan because it only heightens his placement at the bottom of the tribe, but in good news Tavua has human/fish hybrid Ozzy who catches a stingray for dinner. Nuku celebrates their victory together, savoring each bite of the Milano cookies, but the scheming quickly picks back up. JT and Malcolm bro out together and wonder if they could amass the numbers to get out the two-time queen Sandra. 

But things all change at the Immunity Challenge when Probst announces only one tribe will have immunity and the other two tribes will go to Tribal Council. Nuku has a major lead but Jeff Varner can't finish the balancing puzzle, allowing Tavua to sneak in and win immunity.. Mana and Nuku will be attending Tribal Council tonight but another twist: they're attending together and only one person will be voted out. It's a Thunderdome Tribal Council: two tribes enter, one man will leave. Both tribes return to their respective camps to begin pondering their strategy. Sandra wants Nuky to vote six-strong for Sierra Dawn Thomas who is Mana's strongest female (and maybe because they share the same "SDT" initials). While Malcolm wonders if he could be the target, him and JT assume that Brad will target Sandra. That's correct, but Mana has only five members and would require one current Nuku member to flip. Then Tai finds a Hidden Immunity Idol, and everything changes as long as Mana can play the Idol right.

Tribal Council time! Strategy is quickly brought up since this is a whole new twist on the game, but also each person has a different agenda. Both tribes thought out all the different scenarios of idols, targets, etc. and it promises to be a messy evening. JT is at the forefront of Tribal Council since he was formerly a Mana man but recently swore himself loyal to Nuku. Hali's in a similar position and at one point says they should target a physical threat, which kicks off a whisper session as everyone tribes to deduce Hali's intent. Suddenly, JT gets off his damn stump and walks over to Brad and tells him Nuku's plan to vote out Sierra. Then Hali gets up and tells Sandra they have to vote for Brad. And then everyone gets up into group huddles like they're pondering taking the Double Dare Physical Challenge. This key piece of information JT shares with Brad is enough to change the game: the immunity idol is played for Sierra, nullifying all votes cast against her. The Sierra null votes come pouring out of the urn, which means after six votes the identity of tonight's boot will be revealed. In a major blindside only hinted at earlier in discussions, Mana successfully targets and eliminates Malcolm from the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 19, 2017

Survivor Game Changers: Drop, Swap, and Roll

3/19/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 2

It's been six days in Fiji, but there's no resting in a returnee season so the tribes swap into three tribes. 

The New Nuku is comprised of JT and 5 original Mana tribemembers, so he's on the outs and needs an idol. Using his classic JT charm, he lures the tribe far out into the ocean for snorkeling, then heads back to camp solo to retrieve pliers but really scavenging for an idol. No such luck, but A+ hi-jinks. Then shizz gets real at Nuku, as the protein-starved tribe captures and considers killing a goat. Since it's a momma goat and she's got a baby, she's set free and a chicken is devoured instead. Over at New Mana, Brad's already making himself at home, decorating the camp with glass orbs and talking about his passion for antiquing and interior design. Watch out Chip and Joanna, the Culpeppers are comign for you! Hali and Caleb are on the outs with the group, but Caleb is reunited with his Kaoh Rong pal Tai and hopes this will ingratiate him into the fold. There's a looming uneasiness of 3 castmembers from Kaoh Rong sticking together, which paints a bigger target on Caleb. But no one is quite as lonely as Troyzan, the only Mana member on the newly establish Tavua tribe. In a pair of underwear that perfectly matches the new tribe colors, Troyzan scours the beach until he successful finds a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol, tucked under a puzzle table at the upcoming Immunity Challenge.

The Immunity Challenge sends half of the tribe through a series of obstacles, ending with the other half of the tribe untying and assembling puzzle pieces. The first tribe to finish is Nuku, winning immunity, as well as an almighty tarp and some comfy pillows. Second place is Tavua who also win immunity and the reward of spices and sauces. While Tavua rallies together for a victory celebration, Troyzan uses the classic "I'm so tired I'm passing out ont he table move" to maneuver around until he successfully retrieves the Idol. Mana wins nothing except a tribe to Tribal Council, which is basically a choice of voting off Hali or Caleb. Caleb is an asset in challenges, but his history with Tai and connection to more Kaoh Rongers concerns the others. Brad and Tai talk, who talks about how keeping Caleb around creates an even bigger for Tai when the merg comes. Tai is torn between the friendship he has and what's the better move for his game.

Tribal Council time! Probst rights away bring up the Kaoh Rong threesome and the assumptions that come with their grouping. Sierra and Hali insist despite being on the season they have no friendship compared to Caleb/Tai. Caleb believes Hali is easier to manipulate and he's more of an asset in terms of strength and loyalty. Hali calmly argues her side, lawyering her way to a victory. History repeats itself for Caleb and he leaves the game of Survivor on day 9. But hey, he's healthy this time!

[All images credited to CBS]