December 10, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Core Four No More

12/10/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11

It's time for the much anticipated (by the castaways, not me) loved one visit and clearly someone forgot to do their homework assignment and scrambled to make a challenge last minute. Calling this a "challenge" is an overstatement: the loved ones and survivors randomly draw rocks from a bag and hope they match to get time together. Chrissy "wins" a visit from her husband and also picks Ryan, Dr. Mike, and Ashley to get family visits. This is Chrissy's middle finger moment to Ben as she's furious at her former ally for jumping ship to the other side, leaving her in the dark on the Joe vote-off. While on the reward, Chrissy attempts to bring Ashley to her side to get Ben out. Meanwhile, Ben crafts a fake immunity to hopefully distract Chrissy and Ryan from finding the real idol. Lauren ends up noticing a marked log and calls over Ben and Devon. The clue is half of a Hidden Immunity Idol and in order to complete the idol, Lauren must pick up its counterpart at the Immunity Challenge.

Ashley wins the latest endurance Immunity Challenge after Devon gives it to her in exchange for a backrub, which is a solid deal. Lauren comes out the secret winner here as she's able to snag her Immunity-Idol-finishing-shell off the ground. Looking towards the finish line and pondering that infamous Survivor resume, Ashley begins to ponder Chrissy's idea of voting off Ben as her big move. Ashley's idea is nixed by Devon and Lauren, but they do agree Ben needs to go soon... which Ben overhears and then get's awkward silence from his allies. Worried about his status, Ben turns the target onto Lauren, spilling all the tea about Lauren's newfound Immunity Idol and her extra vote. Dr. Mike and Ryan are onboard with the plan, but Chrissy is extremely resistant to trust Ben again. Dr. Mike sees Chrissy's need for revenge (Ben-geance?) and puts Plan B in motion: let everyone know Ben is throwing Lauren under the bus. Suddenly the Core Four alliance is in shambles. As a move to show her trust in Dr. Mike, Lauren gives half of her new Immunity Idol to Dr. Mike. Is this move brilliant or horrible? TBD.

Tribal Council time! Devon explains giving Ashley immunity in exchange for a backrub was a display of trust, which he'd do for both Ashley or Lauren. Ben pipes in that he thought he was part of the alliance which begins a Tribal Council shitstorm. Lauren is mad that Ben spilled the beans about her Idol, citing his paranoia and lack of trust. Lauren lets everyone know that Ben made a fake Idol to try and dupe Chrissy. Chrissy thinks Lauren should destroy her extra vote advantage to remove her target and Lauren insists she's not playing it and would give it away. Well the extra vote isn't destroyed, but the new Immunity Idol is when Dr. Mike tosses his half into the fire. Dr. Mike explains advantages are blessings and curses and it's agreed by everyone that maybe you shouldn't keep telling people about your game-changing secrets. Everyone begins whispering and scrambling to figure out what the heck to do with this vote. The only person who knows who they're voting for is Ben, who openly tells the group he's voting for Lauren. The night gets even more shocking when the one advantage that was actually kept a secret comes out: Ben plays his real Immunity Idol. All votes cast for Ben are null, which is every vote except for one: Lauren. My soul is crushed.


[All images credited to CBS]


December 3, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: The End of the Seven

12/03/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 10

After Mike's extremely poor attempt to get votes sent his way and play an idol, him and Joe appear to be sitting ducks for the seven to knock off over the next two votes. But the seven aren't as strong as assumed. Chrissy and Ryan already have plans to target Ben once they reach "the seven". Meanwhile, Lauren wins the Reward Challenge and chooses Devon, Ben, and Ashley to join her for burgers but also to create a new majority alliance to take control of the game. In the midst of all the scheming, there's a bit of a surprise: letters from home under a burger bun. That's where I usually leave my mail as well. When Ben returns to camp to read his letter alone by himself, he stumbles upon a clue for a new Hidden Immunity Idol in a clay pot which he successfully finds. Time to shake up the seven.

At the Immunity Challenge, Devon, Ben, and Lauren opt to sit out of the Immunity Challenge to chomp on some chocolate and peanut butter. The rest of the group balance on pyramids for their guaranteed safety, eventually won by Ashley. The seven gather to decide which of the Coco-nuts (Joe is Coco, and urologist Mike is the nuts) to vote off, with Chrissy saying to take out Mike first. But there's a different plan in motion by the new foursome to seize control. The plan: Ben will act as a double agent and vote for Mike with Chrissy, Ryan, and JP, but Lauren, Ashley, and Devon will bring in Joe and Mike to gain the majority and blindside the others. Oooh this is getting fun.

Tribal Council time! Mike explains his idol play and rantings at last Tribal Council were not crazy and had a point. The newly formed comedy duo of Mike and Joe are two votes that can be used to anyone's advantage, should anyone take up their offer. But of course, Ryan says their pitch doesn't fit into the seven. The "perfect storm" is coming per Lauren because the game ends with three, not seven, and they're not seven best friends sitting around a campfire together. It's all about being in the know on the plans and playing Survivor at all times. This conversations pans out beautifully when the big blindside happens and JP is voted out of the game, shocking Ryan and Chrissy who thought they had their checks signed, sealed, and delivered. So much for lucky number seven.

But guess what, everyone? This recap isn't over because this is a TWO HOUR EPISODE! Shall we continue?

The tribe celebrates/gloats to a dumbfounded Chrissy and Ryan about their move. Devon is ecstatic that he's running the game, which is either the confessional of a future winner or a guy who eventually gets screwed big time. Ben plays his role as infiltrator masterfully, pretending to be on the outs so Chrissy and Ryan think he's still a part of their alliance and making Joe and Mike believe he wasn't part of the plan either. It makes for an amusing reward of keeping up the ruse with Devon and Ashley fake-disliking Ben and Joe loving every moment of Ben being on the bottom. Desperate to re-gain the upper hand in the game, Ryan tries to talk game with Dr. Mike but gives him a hard pass since Ryan rejected his outreach before. Chrissy tries to tell Lauren her and Ryan have talked about taking her to final three and Lauren isn't buying it since Chrissy never once tried to align with her before. Oh how the mighty have fallen and it's so entertaining.

Chrissy hates the feeling of having no control over her fate in the game, but turns that fate frown upside down by winning the wheelbarrow and puzzle solving Immunity Challenge. Ryan and Chrissy assume the votes will go towards Ben or Ryan, so Ryan plans to use the Hidden Immunity Idol he doesn't stop talking about to buy him three more days. They're totally unaware of the four's actual plan to finally vote out Joe under the guise that the votes are being split between Ryan and Ben, then utilizing Lauren's extra vote to get rid of Ben. As Ben continues to ride high on both sides, Lauren and Ashley realize Ben's in the best position to win this game and considers that it might be advantageous to blindside Ben now. The idea is floated to Devon whose face lights up at the idea but is also torn which is a better move for their future game. Betrayal all around, this is getting good.

Tribal Council time (again)! Chrissy's dream for sixteen years was to be on Survivor and winning immunity while at her lowest is a great feeling. Dr. Mike and Joe are all smiles too, finally feeling a part of the alliance. Ben says he feels he's going home and Ryan agrees, pointing out that the other side utilized Dr. Mike and Joe's middleman votes. Joe says there was never a seven and puts that all on "King Ben." Ben says Joe and Dr. Mike are the bottom of the five, but Dr. Mike explains there's equal sharing of information. Probst's analogy of the night is wiping a whiteboard clean with a new plan each time and Devon agrees. Not willing to let a Tribal Council pass by without one of his own heavy-handed analogies, Ryan compares Tribal Council to going to prom with one person and leaving with another. Nope, doesn't work. A smiling Joe admits this is the first time at Tribal Council he's felt comfortable, but the smile fades into a baffled grin when his "alliance" votes him out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]


November 24, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: King Arthur and the Statue of Liberty

11/24/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9

Chrissy, JP, Cole, Joe, and Dr. Mike win the Reward Challenge and spend an afternoon chowing down on carbs on a luxury yacht. Other than Joe hacking up a chocolate cake to look for a clue, game talk on the reward is minimal. But there's game talk back at camp as Ryan decides it's a good time to share his Hidden Immunity Idol news with Ben to build up his relationship Rolodex. Ben has the exact same idea and uses Ryan's idol secret as a way to get closer to Devon, but Devon thought Ryan only shared this secret with him. Ut-oh. Building relationships is key in the game, but Joe decides his strategy is to destroy all of his relationships for the sake of being kept around as a constant annoying target that would be an easy person to beat in the end.

At the Immunity Challenge, Lauren outlasts everyone in yet another endurance competition and wins Immunity. Cole has been dominating the challenges and this rare moment of Immunity failure seems like the time to strike. Ben tells the tribe to split the votes between Cole and Dr. Mike, but the rest of the alliance of 7 (particular Ashley and Chrissy) are adamant they should get rid of Joe. Ben tells Dr. Mike that he should vote for Cole, which he agrees to but worries they might betray his trust. Dr. Mike decides he's going to play his Idol at Tribal Council to "make their world implode" which seems like a bit of a stretch, but this season could use a shake up.

Tribal Council! As soon as they sit down, Dr. Mike whispers to Joe to trust him and follow his lead. Joe explains he's an outsider in the dominant alliance of Heroes and Hustlers, and Mike tags on that once the all powerful seven get to that point then the Heroes have a numbers advantage. Chrissy brings up the bad vibes at camp because of Joe which then leads Dr. Mike into a speech about Survivor representing society and justifying actions, so not voting out Joe is a display of poor moral character. Dr. Mike says Ben is King Arthur and he's the Statue of Liberty. Lauren basically tells Mike to shut up because he's digging his own grave, which is maybe what Dr. Mike hopes will happen. After the votes are cast, Dr. Mike plays his Immunity Idol on himself which nulls two votes. This all goes according to Ben's earlier plan as an idol is flushed and the  alliance of 7 votes Cole of the the game.

[All images credited to CBS]


November 19, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Spaghetti with a Twist

11/19/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

This week's Survivor episode is like working at a soft-serve ice cream stand: a lot of twists. Lauren notices a piece of parchment in a bag of nails and quickly snags it. She sneaks away and learns that if she doesn't vote in this week's Tribal Council then at any future Tribal Council she'll have an extra vote. But one twist isn't enough so there's a new Hidden Immunity idol clue beneath a big ol' family style spaghetti platter (devoured by the winners one-by-one). Third eater Cole discovers the clue and tries to hide it by placing the spaghetti on a napkin, then putting the napkin over the plate. Chrissy finds it weird that there's no plate, but quickly discovers the plate and clue under the napkin. Ryan reads the clue and dumps the evidence like a murderer in a Lifetime movie by hiding it in the trees. Upon their return to camp, Ryan quickly acquires the idol from below the tribe flag. Chrissy covers the tracks by returning the sand, but Cole returns from an ill-timed pee break and assumes she's digging. It's an all out shoving and digging brawl that ends with everyone suspecting Cole got it but him leaving empty handed with a target on his back.

In true Survivor fashion, top target Cole wins the endurance/balance Immunity Challenge and secures his safety for three more days. The Hustler/Hero alliance decide the girls in the alliance will vote Joe and the men will vote Desi, just in case there's an idol. Since the Healers are lacking an idol (an unaware of Dr. Mike's), Joe tries to flip the Hustlers on Ben and Ben overhears everything. Ben confronts Joe and the argument escalates when Joe claims Ben swore on the Marines. While Ben's allies have no desire to turn on him yet, a split vote combined with Lauren's advantage to note vote could give the Healers the majority to vote out Ben. So the game changes up again with Ben trying to flip Dr. Mike the healer to his side. Could Lauren's advantage accidentally take out her closest ally?

Tribal Council time! Joe says regardless of playing an idol successfully he's always feeling the heat, then ousts Ben as the ringleader. Ben says his alliance makes decisions together and they have each others backs. He also stresses he would never swear on the Marines and apologizes to Joe and the tribe for losing his cool earlier. Dr. Mike mentions feeling betrayed after the Yawa thing fell apart at the last vote, Desi talks about lies and personal moral lines, and Devon gives a rambling speech that I think was about being low energy but honestly, no clue. The tribe votes and when Jeff reveals the votes, no one seems to realize they're short a vote. But there is a tie between Desi and Joe, requiring a re-vote. Being a strong physical competitor, Healer, and probably he ties to Joe gets Desi eliminated and a place as the first member of this season's jury.


[All images credited to CBS]


November 12, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Ribeyes and Blindsides

11/12/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

The three tribes officially merge into one and celebrate their unity with ribeye steaks, baked potatoes,  and Chocolate Thunder From Down Under cake courtesy of the Outback Steakhouse (who must not have really pondered what that dessert name sounds like). There's tension under the friendly greetings with everyone eyeing up the threats and targets. The new Yawa promises to stay five-strong and hope to bring in remaining Healers Joe and Desi to gain the majority. But there's another alliance brewing between the Heroes and Hustlers to pick off the Healers. Lauren isn't so sure about this plan because she likes Dr. Mike and Yawa, but Ben's her tightest ally and his irritation with Cole is pushing him away from the Yawa pact. With so many meaty targets to choose from, winning immunity is everything.

But it's not the powerhouse men who dominate the first Individual Immunity Challenge, it's the women! A mix of balancing and spinning a ball on what looks like a Hot Wheels toy track, Desi outlasts all to win the Immunity Necklace which looks like it was stole right off King Triton's nightstand. Cole gets wind from Jessica and Dr. Mike that he's being seen a food hog and target for the vote, so he takes Ben aside to apologize and try to keep the alliance together. Joe warns Cole that Ben is going to flip, so Joe is prepared to play his latest Hidden Immunity Idol if needed. The Yawa alliance plans to vote for Chrissy because she's a huge threat and smart. They're not wrong about Chrissy who concocts a plan to act like they're voting for Joe to flush out his idol, but vote for Jessica in case Joe plays his idol on Cole. All solid plans but they're all dependent on a key vote: Ben.

Tribal Council time! There's talk about numbers and while it's easy to go after majorities or minorities, you need to think a few moves ahead of the obvious. Targets change every vote because what's a threat one vote could be different next time. Joe promised Cole he'd come alive at Tribal Council and does he ever, busting out his Hidden Immunity Idol and wearing it proudly to show he's safe. The tribes head up to vote and Joe hesistates, then plays his Immunity Idol for a fresh start. It's a close vote with back-and-forth votes for Chrissy and Jessica, but ultimately the Heroes and Hustlers come together and blindside the other alliance with the Healer they least expected.


[All images credited to CBS]


November 5, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: A Slice of Betrayal

11/05/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

Cracks in the tribes are becoming more apparent, which sets plenty of targets out there for the voting. While a pizza party reward temporarily satiates the Soko tribe, Ali is still seething that Ryan lied to her and left her out of the vote to blindside Roark. But at least Ali is a known entity unlike the human form of an unscented candle, JP, who brings nothing strategically and is just counting down the minutes until challenges. Over on Yawa, Cole continues to annoy the tribe with his incessant eating like a greedy Mogwai after midnight. Turns out Cole's muscular physique is struggling for nutrition and briefly faints, sending healers Dr. Mike and Jessica to the rescue, but also setting off red flags that maybe his body isn't in this game for the longhaul. Ashley and Devon continue trying to turn Desi to their side to vote Joe off of Levu, but he's off successfully finding his second Hidden Immunity Idol (again by the well but this time it's four feet away instead of five feet - what a gamechanger).

Twisting up the format, the stack and spell "IMMUNITY" Immunity Challenge is turned into a tribe challenge which calls for teamwork and a steady hand. All the tribes falter and flub but Soko ultimately loses and is headed to Tribal Council again. Knowing she's on the outs, Ali approaches Chrissy to pledge allegiance and move forward together. JP's challenge prowess and post-merge Immunity threat provides a glimmer of hope for Ali, which she tries to sell to Chrissy and Ryan. Chrissy and Ryan are elated to play the game together and make the decision of who will be easier to beat when they merge.

Tribal Council time! Probst asks for a recap of the last blindside, which Ryan defends as Roark was a threat that would've re-aligned with the Healers at the merge. Ali assures the group she's over being left out and ready to move forward in the game together. JP acknowledges being a physical threat but also doesn't give much valuable info, which is part of the mystery of JP's "game." Ali hopes the relationships were mended but the vote says otherwise. Ali is voted out of the tribe just shy of the merge.


[All images credited to CBS]