April 24, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: Super Idol, Super Blindside

4/24/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 10

Hope your leg muscles are toned for this week's Reward Challenge to hold up clay pots with your legs on a balance beam. There are three different prizes on the line, but in a fun twist each person selects one item to play for and is only competing against who else chose the same prize. Julia easily beats Joe to win a letter from home, which she later reads and gets weepy. Michele outlasts Scot and Jason to win a bacon cheeseburger, fries, beer, and cookies AKA Mel's weekend dinner plans. The toughest fight is between Tai, Cydney, and Aubry to win an advantage in the game. Tai's endurance wins him his secret advantage: an extra vote at a future Tribal Council. Let's hope it's not as cursed as the last two times it was won.

Tai's advantage is a good secret to have, since his Hidden Immunity Idol is hardly a secret after the last Tribal Council. Julia suggests to Michele and Aubry voting for Tai this week to either eliminate the thread, or at the very least flush the idol. Tai is back to possessing just one idol after handing Jason's half back after Tribal Council. Hoping to bring peace back and make amends, Tai suggests the end of the camp sabotage, which Scot tries to use with Aubry as a bargaining chip to control the game. Hard pass. Aubry appeals to Tai's emotional side and an alliance begins to form. However Tai totally misunderstands this strategy talk and tells the guys Aubry wants to align with their trio. Scot has different plans: vote out Aubry. Aw sad Tai doesn't feel heard with the bros.

A brutal endurance challenge for Immunity has the castaways spreading their arms to their maximum wingspan, then using their fingertips to hold us discs connected to pots. Trying to explain this challenge in writing is almost as hard as this probably was physically. The survivors all drop one by one, until after an hour it's just Jason and Aubry in a literal spitting contest. Aubry's fingers eventually give out, making Jason safe at the next vote. Aubry's kickass performance in the challenge is the ammunition to guys need to support blindsiding her from the game. With an immunity necklace to wear, a Super Idol to play after the votes are read, and Julia's double agent status, the guys are feeling invincible. But no one is invincible on Survivor. Aubry and Cydney agree that Jason/Scot must be split up, but they need one more vote to have the majority: Tai. With a friendship already formed, Aubry tells Tai how the women want to vote for him but she would rather vote out Scot. Tai's heart wants to align with Aubry, but brain says stick with the ahole guys who you could beat at the end. Aubry promises Tai that if he wants to make the big move, she has three votes to back him up. What's a Tai to do?

Tribal Council time! The arrogance is running high again with the men confident they are safe since they have the force of the Super Idol behind them. It's basically Jason and Scot repeating over and over that their Idol trio will decide the entire vote. Tai lays low this time, which is a good thing since maybe he'll blab too much. Aubry talks about the challenge and how being dubbed Brain, Brawn, or Beauty is just scratching the surface of their personalities. Jason and Scot give her props for being a competitor, before returning to their theme of "We control it all." But all control is lost when the votes stack up to eliminate Scot. Scot turns to Tai to get the other half of the Hidden Immunity Idol, to make those Super Idol powers activate. Eyes are wide. Eyebrows raised. Awkward silence. But Tai shakes his head, "No." Wow, indeed. And that, my friends, is proof that you can't control it all.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 18, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: Debbie Downer

4/18/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9

Scot, Jason, and Tai's reaction to the women's blindside is to act like brats and sabotage camp. They hide the machete and ax, then pour water over the fire. Those dumb Super Idol necklaces are acting like the One Ring, turning its possessors into demons. Even Tai joins in on the mean shenanigans, putting out the fire a second time while everyone sleeps (and he totally gets away with it). Anger definitely results from the sabotage, but the women plus Joe still have a saw and find other ways to feed themselves. Nice try, aholes!

Karma doesn't care about Reward Challenges though, as Scot, Jason, Tai, and Julia win Chinese takeout after unraveling ropes and tossing beanbags like a carnival game. The best salt in the wound: even Mark the Chicken gets to eat the reward. Julia uses her time on the reward to bond herself to the dark side which could help her advance in the game. Debbie is adamant that Julia can be trusted and Scot or Jason have to go. Aubry and Cydney can see that Julia is playing both sides and plan to target her in this week's vote, which Aubry believes could potentially flush all the idols. So of course with a cool plan like this in the works, the targets wins immunity. Julia's slow and steady approach to the dominoes-esque challenge secures her safety and forces a switch in plans again.

Debbie is still pissed that the men's sabotage is trying to ruin their way of living, so she tells the alliance to split the votes between Tai and Scot. This would all be fine and dandy if the plan wasn't told in front of Julia, who quickly relays it back to the men. The men hope that Julia will switch sides and vote with them so instead of 3-3-3, they'll have a majority of four to boot Cydney. Aubry and Cydney have a deep strategic talk about Debbie's gameplay being too emotional and lacking logic, deciding maybe it's time to get rid of Debbie instead. Cydney is able to pull in Michele, but Joe refuses to vote for Debbie. Julia becomes the swing vote and gets that power position of choosing who is eliminated.

Tribal Council time! Debbie talks about their "literal lives" being on the line when they don't have a machete to hunt or start fire with. Aubry compares Scot putting out the fire to fajitas at a Mexican restaurant, which has to be one of the best Survivor analogies ever. Debbie defends Julia joining up with the men for the reward, while Michele points out that since Julia is immune it's a good time to show where her loyalties lie. Tai dances around the Idol talk because he royally screwed it up last time, but Scot and Jason finish it up for him. Scot outs Tai's idol, which Tai reveals to the group. Jason then stands up and reveals his Idol. Jason explains after the votes are cast, the guys will play a round of Rochambeau and winners gets to keep the Idol. Everyone begins to whisper their plans to get back on track. The votes are cast, Scot and Jason give their Idol to Tai, and Debbie is blindsided out of the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

April 10, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: In the Nick of Time

4/10/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

The Brains lament the loss of Neal, which is even more salt in the wound when the reward challenge is for ice cream. RIP ice cream pants. After the team Aubry selected loses the stepping pole reward challenge, she feels like Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (worse than the day two panic?) after losing her tightest ally and clearly on the outside of the majority alliance. But at least she gets the amazing Probst mid-challenge soundbite of "Aubry takes a dump!" Back to the majority alliance thing. The Brawns and Beauty agree to split the votes going forward in case there is an idol to eradicate the Brains. Also, the Brawn men get their humanizing backstories briefly fleshed out with Jason having a daughter with autism and Scot takes care of his family who struggle with money.

The Brawn/Beauty alliance appear to be a tight seven on the surface, but it's far from true. Scot, Jason, and Nick worry an all girl alliance could be forming. When the girls (and Tai) return from fishing, Nick pulls Julia aside to question her if there was any game talk. Cydney sees this all play out from her view on the hammock and calls out the men. Hoping to avoid an even bigger fallout, Jason pulls Cydney aside to talk her down. Cydney isn't looking for anyone to tell her who she can socialize with on the island. Is this the crack in the alliance Aubry and Debbie need to stick around?

The Immunity Challenge has the survivors awkwardly balancing and holding themselves up in a crucifixion looking position as long as they can. Probst is able to success tempt Jason, Scot, Michele, and Joe off the poles - or they at least had the will to hold on long enough to get the food (sorry Julia). If you show me pizza and brownies, I'd so just about anything too. Debbie and Aubry hold on for dear life, but fall as well. With his arrogance out in nearly full force, Nick steps down on his own since the Brains already lost. This leaves the challenge as a battle of sheer will between bodybuilder Cydney and mind-over-body Tai. Tai surprises all and wins immunity, showing his sheer will power and perseverance.

The evening's voting plan remains in tact to have the four Beauties vote for Debbie and three Brawn for Aubry. Nick tips off Aubry, who he assumes is pretty desperate, about the vote split and encourages her to vote for Debbie to solidify her spot. Nick is self-admittedly arrogant and belives he has Aubry is his pocket now. Not so fast dude. Cydney in her fabulous rattan lid hat pulls Aubry and Debbie aside and suggests the girls team up to blindside Nick while still keeping the females in the majority. Getting Michele and Julia on her side is slightly trickier since the Beauty girls are sorta closer to Nick. So where will the vote go?

Tribal Council time! Michele and Nick arrive for the first time and light their torches on day 22, immediately questioned by Probst about this monumental occasion. Aubry lists out who is aligned together, which is everyone except her, Debbie, and Joe, which only confirms Nick says the Brains are going to get picked off. Jason talks about staying seven strong and then battling it out from there. And then Tai royally puts his foot in his mouth. Tai starts babbling about the super idol... but most people in the game had no idea about the power. Looks of shock, confusion, and mild terror begin appearing around the campfire. Aubry and Debbie awesomely exploit the moment to point out that if you're not in the know about that idol, you're on the bottom of the alliance. Tai tries to play off his horrendous blunder but it's too late. Two votes for Aubry, one for Debbie, and one random one for Jason don't really matter when the other votes pour out to blindside Nick. 

[All images credited to CBS]

April 3, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: The Eruption of Mount St. Neal

4/03/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

After the last vote and the last minute cross-out vote, the Brains begin to accept their fate on the new Gondol is dire. Good thing it's time for the MERGE! Chan Loh gets five minutes to pack up (and hide the Immunity Idol bulge in their undies) and head over to their new home. Everyone is ecstatic to make the merge, indulging in a feast with all the fixins. It's also the perfect time to let inhibitions down briefly, which is of course Debbie literally purring about how hot Nick is and Jason shouting enthusiastically about a lot of things. The merge tribe is Dara and with their new flag painted and hung, it's time for the game to begin.

The Brains are back to four strong, with Debbie using lots of zany pairings to assure their tightness (Ebony and ivory? Toilet and toilet paper? OK, sure). Nick wisely assesses that the Brains and Brawns aren't going to want to work together and becomes a hot commodity between the sides. After being courted by the Brains, Scot and Jason really let Nick into the mix. Like REALLY into the mix by revealing Tai has an idol. Arrogance is a key part of this merge, but only by Jason/Scot but Debbie too. In a Godfather-esque manner, Debbie tells Tai he's a part of their alliance eventhough dude is clearly not interested. C'mon Debbie, buy a guy dinner before you try to seduce him. Debbie isn't picking up the social cues that she's driving everyone bonkers and is becoming a liability. No one wants to create an alliance with the most annoying person on the beach, which is detrimental to the Brains' survival. Neal reveals to Aubry he has the Hidden Immunity Idol and to avoid their Debbie crisis, maybe that idol could help save them.

Before kicking off the first individual Immunity Challenge of the season, Probst has everyone show off their battle wounds. After a quick gross rehash, the castaways set their eyes on the three-headed individual immunity necklace they all shall covet for the foreseeable future. The challenge is to stand on a log while balancing balls on a wooden disc. It's the ideal challenge for Probst to make comments like "balls dancing all over the place"to make someone smirk enough that you worry they'll lose focus. Getting up to three balls on the disc, Nick wins the first individual Immunity of the season. Truly the belle of the ball, or episode, this week.

Despite the Brains efforts to court Nick and Michele to their Brawn boot effort, they ultimately decide to align with the Brawns who'd be easier to beat in the end. Uhh, you've got a long way until the end, friends. The vote will be directed towards Aubry, as it's less expected and best case scenario is Neal flushes his idol in the process. But all plans are thrown off when Probst arrives to the Dara beach with medical by his side. It's like the scene in A League of Their Own where a war telegram arrives before the big game and someone is going to be told their husband died. In this scenario, Dr. Rupert is checking out the nasty wounds of Tai, Scot, Aubry, and Neal to determine their fate in the game. Cue vomit-inducing close-ups of pus-filled wounds. Tai and Scot are given a clean bill of health. Aubry is given anti-biotics for her inner-thigh lump. But it's Neal who gets the worst news of all: he's being pull from the game. "Mount St. Neal" on his knee has erupted into a major infection near the joint, not to mention a heinous infection developing on his back. A teary Neal has to accept his fate and says his goodbyes... but keeps his prized Immunity Idol in his possession. The episode ends with an Oregon Trail declaration of Aubry having to "pave a new way" which hopefully is a sign of an exciting game to come.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 27, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: The Cross-Out Seen Around the World

3/27/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

It's time for the annual shooting hoops reward challenge which every season sparks discussion that it's rigged in former of an NBA player. Before the shooting, the teams need to release a bag of buoys from underwater, then push them all to shore before it becomes a freethrow competition. For what it's worth, Scot doesn't have this reward in the bag as Nick really gives him a run for his money. Ultimately though the NBA skills apparenly pay off and Gondol wins the Survivor picnic. Bread, meats, cheese, and tuna salad... because there is nothing quite as tasty as a hot tuna salad sitting under the 100 degree sun.

Gondol rejoices over their hot tuna salad, hot mayo, and sandwiches while bonding with new arrival Julia, who joined Gondol as a replacement for Anna. Peter is quick to chat up Julia and throw his former Brans tribemates under the bus. Peter might've stuck with the Brains for the first vote but he's ready to get back at them for voting out Liz. Wondering where Peter stands, Joe uses his former FBI skills to confront and get a read on Peter. The read: Peter's a total liar and has to go.

Over on Chan Loh, Nick actually gets screentime again to the shock of all viewers. Nick strokes Debbie's ego by allowing her to be in charge, and she's not complaining because she finds Nick extremely attractive. But that's because they are both models - cue Debbie's on-screen tag to change to "Part-Time Model." Debbie Wanner - a Jackie of all Trades. Debbie also has a good conversation with Michele, the tribe's weakest link, but Nick warns Michele that everyone will be nice to your face to get ahead. Michele doesn't appreciate Nick's tone when speaking to her and makes her independent woman declaration that makes the internet swoon.

This week's Immunity Challenge is to traverse and obstacle course, then stack varying size boxes reeeeal high without falling. A very bizarre strategy to stack from the middle backfires on Gondol as they almost complete their tower, which gives Chan Loh the in to finish their tower normally and win. Gondol is heading back to Tribal Council and there's a lot of possible targets. Peter is the one who made up the awful block stacking strategy, but more importantly he's a schemer everyone wants gone. Aubry is torn because the Brains need the numbers, but also Peter sucks. Despite earlier plans to mutiny, Peter changes his mind and makes amends with Joe to stick three strong and vote out Julia. Julia, Scot, and Tai really want Peter gone but need a Brain to flip, so they tell Aubry how Peter wanted to vote her out. Aubry's now torn, Scot and Tai figure they have to vote out Julia to avoid a tie, Joe refuses to change his mind, and Peter is probably just eating mango in a hammock like an arrogant king.

Tribal Council time! Julia gets the first question of the night because it's her first Tribal Council - celebration! The hot topic of discussion is whether they are maintaining old alliances (AKA Brains) or forging new ones. Peter's schemy nature is discussed and the trust issues everyone has with him. Things suddenly start getting twisty. Tai and Scot start whispering and decide to change back to the "original plan" which is to vote out Peter. Aubry turns back to Scot, he tells her Peter. Peter is like, "I can't read lips." And then one last declaration of "original plan" out loud to Julia. Aubry and Joe are whispering unsure of where the vote is going and confused. "Time to vote!" Probst says, capitalizing on the clear confusion. Aubry is the most torn about her vote, standing in the little voting booth with her parchment for a long time in terms of TV time. Probst tallies the votes and reads them out, officially split between Peter and Julia. The final vote: "Pete" with Julia's name crossed out with a single line. Aubry switched last minute! If only they had a Tribal Council eraseable pen.

[All images credited to CBS]

March 20, 2016

Survivor Kaoh Rong: Bye Bye Beauty

3/20/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 5

After Peter makes some in-roads with the Brains tribe and Neal uncerimoniously finds the Hidden Immunity Idol, it's time for a shake-up. Drop your buffs, it's time for a shuffle! Since there's an uneven number of survivors left, the unlucky receiver of the red buff (Julia) has to spend three days fending for herself on To Tang beach which is basically her dehydrated, starving, and sleeping nonstop. But she'll have a real home in a few days, joining whichever tribe loses. The rest of the groups are now officially Chan Loh and Gondol and the game is about ready to begin.

Chan Loh is split exactly evenly in pairs from each of the original three tribes: Debbie/Neal, Michele/Nick, and Cydney/Jason. Given their overall low body count, the Brawn pair are in demand by both sides as a potential way to grab the majority. Debbie shows off her sweet tree pull up moves before schmoozing Cydney, who seems to like Debbie. Jason is a harder read, but loves the butt-kissing coming his way. Gondol was once the beauty powerhouse, but now the majority is the Brains (Aubry, Joe, Peter). Despite their simmering dislike of Peter, the Brains decide to stick together and get rid of a Beauty if they lose so that Beauty can't regain a majority vote when Julia re-joins the game. Anna is quick to throw Tai under the bus about him having an idol, but it's hard to dislike lovable Tai foraging for food and being a hard worker. Even Scot is smitten, an unlikely new friendship founded on the teamwork of grabbing mangos.

At the Immunity Challenge, Scot is a powerhouse of dragging puzzle pieces out of the ocean, but it's no match for the puzzle prowess of Neal and Debbie who kill the 69ing fish puzzle. Gondol loses the challenge and is now tasked with voting someone off, likely Tai or Anna. Tai's name is thrown out first, but ultimately the Brains decide Anna is the bigger strategic threat. Then Peter runs his mouth about the plan in front of the Beauties, which inspires Tai: maybe they should blindside Peter. Tai confides in Anna and Scot that he has the Idol and they could get rid of Peter instead. Scot's super interested in this reveal because he knows the owners of two idols which means he could potentially get the Super Idol powers to activate. After getting some key info from Aubry about the night's vote, Scot encourages Tai to rethink his decision to use the idol.

Tribal Council time! Aubry explains that she's sticking with the Brains because it's the "devils you know" but also helps keep numbers. Anna and Tai both are very open that they are in trouble, especially since Scot is an asset in challenges. Anna tries to save herself, but it's nothing compared to the long ramblings of Tai defending why he should stick around. Joe is convinced there are no idols this season so we all LOL, but Tai keeps up the ruse and says there's no idol. Keeping up his trend of being the worst, Peter uses his Tribal Council time to be overconfident and braggy. But for one more night his ego can rest easy: Tai does not play the idol and Anna is eliminated from the game.

[All images credited to CBS]