December 4, 2016

Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: Crotch Idol

12/04/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11

Get out your tissues - it's family visit time! Everyone ugly cries at the big reveal of their families coming out to Fiji. Addressing the elephant in the room (or on the island), Adam announces to everyone that he will not use his advantage to steal a family visit. Jay wins the rope wrangling obstacle course Reward Challenge and gets to hang out with his sister at BBQ and chooses Will, Sunday, and Adam to join him. Now that's good karma! Adam continues the pay-it-forward lovefest and gives the reward steal advantage to Jay. It's all very bittersweet because Adam also hears from his brother that they stopped their mother's cancer treatment. I feel like everyone watching this episode used half a box of tissues during the first half hour.

Zeke is feeling pretty great about having the numbers on his side to finally vote out David. Except Will becomes concerned that he won't get any credit for the moves he's made throughout the game if he makes it to the finale. Will decides getting rid of Zeke can be his defining resume item and begins to get others on board with his plan. Dude, you had such the perfect chance 3 days ago. Will tells new Legacy Advantage holder Ken that he's the target, and after Ken's ramblings of honor and integrity, he totally blows up Will's spot. All of Will's scheming is outed to the entire tribe. But no one is that mad at Will! Instead it's a fight to get Will on their side to regain controlling numbers.

Tribal Council time! It's quickly discussed that there are two sides in this game and Will is smack dab in the middle as the swing vote. Will wants to be respected as an 18 year old man, but spend a large portion of Tribal Council cringing whenever there's a mention of his age or the "big boys". Zeke, Sunday, Bret, and Jay try to keep Will on their side, but there's some patronizing in their comments. David, Adam, and Hannah do a better job in pointing out how Will is being used and this is a great time to make a move. The begins to vote and Hannah seems to get the vibe again that it's her name on the parchment (question: is this a right instinct or something she says weekly?) Concerned about a possible spit again, individual immunity holder Adam surprises everyone and busts his Hidden Immunity Idol right out of his crotch region. He plays the idol for Hannah voiding all 4 votes cast against her. Turns out, Will did make his big move; Zeke is voted out of the game with 5 votes.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 27, 2016

Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: Million Dollar Rock Draw

11/27/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 10

A floating pizza party is the reward up for grabs, which is probably straight from my dream journal. David tries to volunteer to sit out since he's terrible at water challenges but everyone encourages him to try because they believe in him. David is teary-eyed over everyone's support of him, realizing how much he's changed as a person. That said, David's team does lose per his prophecy and Zeke, Adam, Bret, Sunday, and Hannah win the slices on the sea. But that's not all! There are letters from home which brings Adam to tears because his mom has cancer and no one else knows.

Completing the "David is a new man" arc, he wins Individual Immunity after holding up a tiki the longest with a bamboo pole, outlasting muscle fatigue and all the ants crawling on his stomach. He's also really stepping up as a strategic force in the game, rallying his side to vote out Chris this week. But he's not the only Gen X breaking through their kumbaya facade: Chris is targeting Jessica. After word gets out via a wacky game of Survivor Telephone that Jay has an idol, a plan comes together to try and flush Jay's idol and blindside Jess. It's Zeke in the middle because he's created bonds with both sides and has set himself up as the ally to everyone. Where will he vote?

Tribal Council time! Jay plays up his outsider status and David explains that tonight could be the predictable vote or a blindside. Zeke talks about the votes being a mix of a voting block and alliance, which Hannah eventually dubs a "trust cluster." Everyone uses the word trust over and over because this vote is being dictated by who they don't trust. Each person expresses they're 100% confident in their vote which means one side is going to be pretty disappointed. That disappointment lies with Chris, who is voted out of the game. And I'm out a winner pick yet again.

HOUR TWO! That's right, two hours!

Where the first hour was a battle between Gen X, the second hour is a battle of the two strongest players in the game: Zeke and David. Zeke succeeds in recruiting Chris' former allies, bonding with Bret on an even stronger level after winning a snake-crawl, butt-crack bearing Reward Challenge. Winners Bret, Zeke, Sunday, and David are whisked away on a helicopter (Sunday's Survivor goal) and land to dine on a delicious lunch. Once isolated from David and Sunday, Bret comes out to Zeke. It's a truly wonderful moment of Survivor and the first time this generational theme organically plays out.

Jay slaughters everyone in a maze puzzle and slide puzzle Immunity Challenge, but honestly he probably wouldn't have been targeted. David realizes his attempts to woo Bret and Sunday were a total waste and Zeke knows all of his plans. He implores his allies to put Zeke's name down tonight because they're going after each other. Hannah is ready to turn on Zeke, but she can't form a proper lie in front of Zeke which makes him realize she's not on his side and sharing intel. Since David has an idol, Zeke changes his target to Hannah and rallies his numbers. Hannah is uneasy after her dreadful conversation with Zeke and hopes David will keep his word to use his Hidden Immunity Idol on her because a tie vote is likely coming.

Tribal Council time! The only person who feels safe is Jay since he's rocking the Immunity necklace. Bret gets really annoyed about the "trust clusters" and gets sassy at Ken. There's lots of whispering happening with Adam and Hannah trying to get a sense of where the vote is going, with Sunday telling them the plan is Ken. After the votes are cast, David gets up to play his Idol and Adam interjects to let David know the whispers were about voting for Ken. David plays his Immunity Idol for Ken and all votes against Ken are null. Except there are no votes for Ken. It's a 5-5 split between Hannah and Zeke. A re-vote occurs but nothing changes, which means the group must come to a unanimous decision about who should be eliminated or else it goes to rocks. No one wants to go to rocks, but no one budges. And so it goes to rocks!! Four people don't have to face this dreaded rock pull: Jay who has the Immunity necklace, Ken who had the Immunity Idol played on him, and Hannah and Zeke are immune due to the lack of a decision. The remaining six survivors put their hands into the bag and pull a rock, terrified of the outcome. Probst asks everyone to reveal their rocks and the black rock is in the hand of Jessica. She is eliminated from the game while the group cries over this disastrous Tribal Council. Let us not forget that Jess holds the Legacy Advantage and now that she's eliminated, the advantage must be passed along so she chooses to give it to Ken. GUYS- this episode was insane and everything I love about Survivor.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 20, 2016

Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: Food Fight

11/20/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9

Despite trying to vote out Adam last week, Taylor agrees to keep Adam's reward steal advantage a secret as long as Adam doesn't tell everyone about his mason jar stash of stolen snacks. Taylor continues to mainline the calories when he wins the Reward Challenge to dine poolside at a resort along with Chris, Ken, Sunday, David, and Bret (whose feast indulgence of choice bottomless cocktails). While the Gen X group seems to have put aside their differences, it's actually far from the truth. Sunday finally speaks up that she wants to make a move against Jessica, who Sunday believes is gunning for her. Sunday's plan: use Jay to make a move.

Jay's in a real bad mood this episode, what with losing one of his tightest allies and being told by Adam that he's obviously on the bottom along with Taylor and Will. The remaining duo of the once Triforce try to win the ball balancing balance beam Immunity Challenge, but fail to beat Ken. Meanwhile, Will and Zeke are so comfortable with their status (or knew they'd lose) that they chose to sit out of the challenge to chow down on ham and cheese. Well I'd hop out if I could guzzle that whole ice cold pitcher of Coke. The dominant alliance decide to split their votes between Taylor and Jay just in case an Idol is played, which bums out Sunday who is still hellbent on getting rid of Jessica. Jay and Taylor are pretty aware their fates are sealed, so they share secrets together: Taylor reveals his food stash and Adam's advantage, and Jay tells him about his Hidden Immunity Idol. With such huge game knowledge in their hands they decide to blow up Adam's spot at Tribal Council because why use it to try and make a move?

Tribal Council time! Jay, Taylor, and Will acknowledge they were on the wrong side and Chris suggests there are cracks to allow them a chance to continue playing. Taylor decides to slam one more giant crack into the game and reveals he stole and buried two jars of food... with the help of Adam! Now guys, we know Adam was present but didn't partake but no one else knows what to think as Jay and Taylor throw a mortified Adam under the bus, who defends himself as hard as he can. But that's not all! Taylor also reveals Adam has an advantage, which Adam admits to and explains to the group that he can take a reward that someone else won. The tribe is stunned and more aware than ever, but in the end it doesn't change much. Taylor is voted out of the game with a belly full of dried apricots. I've never been so tired of hearing about snacks in my life.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 13, 2016

Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: Merges and Mason Jars

11/13/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

Hey everyone, it's merge time! The tribes move into their new home on the old Vanua beach and dub themselves Vinaka, which I can only hope is someone misunderstanding the mouth spray brand name. Everyone indulges in the merge feast while making introductions, but also keeping close watch on which friendships are a little too happy to see each other. The Millennials plan to stay together, but there are fractures forming that the Gen X group hopes to use to regain control.

The Triforce (Jay, Taylor, and Michelle) are happy to be reunited, but the other castaways are very aware that Jay is a power player after his move to blindside Michaela. But he's able to skate by as a merge boot target once Taylor annoys the Gen X crew by late-night binge eating all their dried bananas and other merge snacks. Listen, he's a self-described Mason Jar pro so I guess that means he knows how to open jars. Adam sees an opportunity to secretly align with the much-maligned Taylor, but he's a man still scorned by Adam ousting his island girlfriend. Adam shows his hand way too easily to Taylor, revealing that he found an advantage to steal a reward AND that he thinks they should target fellow Millennial Will. Taylor quickly spills all these secrets to Jay and suggests blindsiding Adam. Zeke overhears all of this and realizes the mess Adam has created.

The first individual Immunity Challenge is a classic endurance competition to balance on a perch and hold a bar over their heads - let go and you're splashed with tinted water. If you've ever wanted to see the illusion of strawberry milk pouring over someone's head, this is your challenge. Since Taylor couldn't keep his mouth shut, Will is aware of his target status and holds on for dear life to save himself in the game. Jay rounds up the Millennials and tells them they should vote out Adam tonight for turning on the Millennials, which Michelle thinks is a bad move driven solely on personal vengeance instead of game strategy. Zeke and Adam talk to the Gen X about targeting Taylor, but they are worried Jay will share his idol with Taylor so David suggests Michelle instead. Adam gullibly goes back to Taylor again to try and shift the target, and his paranoia frustrates his allies too. Well, at least in the worst case scenario Adam has a Hidden Immunity Idol to save himself.

Tribal Council time! Now as one jumbled group, Jeff Probst has to ask about the age gap differences. Quickly it's about the Millennials being hungrier, specifically Taylor who still doesn't view his actions as a problem. Probst asks if this is something Millennials do, and Chris wisely points out it's just about selfishness which is a politer way of how I'd phrase it (being an asshole). The discussion really seems to land on that it's no longer a battle of Millennial versus Gen X and rather about working with the people you trust. Everyone teases tonight's vote will be a line in the sand between the sides. When the votes are read it's clear that it's no longer the generation war the title of the season foretold. Adam, Hannah, and Zeke vote with the Gen X group and vote off Michelle.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 6, 2016

Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: Things That Make You Go "WHAT?!"

11/06/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

Adam apologizes to Taylor about ruining his game and voting off his showmance, but Michaela is pretty happy to see Figgy got the boot once the tribes meet up at the Reward Challenge. It's another ball-centric challenge to retrieve and shoot balls, which Vanua wins and Michaela comes from behind to win a kebab platter for Ikabula. Vanua wins a meal cooked for them by a chef, eating and farting to their heart's delight (and Michelle's chagrin). Michelle is the outsider on the Vanua tribe, especially with David possibly gaining a new ally by revealing his Hidden Immunity Idol possession to Zeke. Eventhough Ken totally blows the Reward Challenge for Takali, him and Jessica still have the majority in the tribe so Taylor tries to get back into their good graces by talking about grown up things like the electoral college system, and eventually vowing loyalty until the end.

Ikalbula's Millennial-dominated tribe make Gen X Bret and Sunday the easiest targets to pick off without causing much drama. Bret's under even more scrutiny when his honesty is questioned by Hannah, who 70% believes Bret is lying about being a "funeral directah" and is actually a cop (ding ding ding). When Ikabula loses the Immunity Challenge by failing to launch sandbags at targets accurately, the Millennials agree to split the vote between Bret and Sunday in case there's an Immunity Idol. But as Michaela shows her strategic side by counting out allies with rocks, Jay realizes that he needs to send Michaela home before the merge. Michaela might be loyal to their side, but Jay and Will worry that once the impending merge happens, she'll slaughter them in challenges and take this whole game. Oh and she knows their Hidden Immunity Idol secret which is ammo for a future blindside.

Tribal Council! Michaela discusses that she likes her current group on Ikabula and the Millennials on the other tribes are sketchy people. Sunday thought there would be scrambling, but alas they quietly sat on a log, extremely aware that her and Bret are the outsiders. Will thinks a wild game without tight allies is dangerous, citing Tony, the infamous winner of Cagayan. Will and Jay both agree that this vote will leave the group with trustworthy people with tighter bonds. Michaela doesn't want Bret or Sunday to feel at the bottom, it's just what has to happen because of numbers. Buuuuut the votes are revealed and Michaela is floored to see her allies Jay and Will turned on her. Jay stares Michaela down and takes total ownership for his ballsy move. Michaela is pissed, almost forgetting her shoes in the process.

[All images credited to CBS]

October 30, 2016

Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: The Demise of Figtails

10/30/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

The tribes compete in a classic Survivor blindfold challenge with a caller directing their tribe to retrieve puzzle pieces and help a castaway solve the puzzle blindfolded. Figgy gets a big lead for her tribe as caller but the other tribes are just so much better at puzzle than Figs, so her tribe loses the reward of milk, cookies, cupcakes, and pie. It was probably hot milk anyways. Meanwhile, Hannah has a panic attack on the sidelines for the challenge from all the suppressed stress of this game. Hopefully a cookie will help. A cookie is definitely just another prize of the day for Jay, who finds the Ikabula Hidden Immunity Idol with Will. Too bad Michaela stumbles upon this big moment and knows about it too - whoops!

It's really not going so well for Figgy. She blew the challenge for Takali and made Michelle a target on the Vanua tribe by outing how tight they are. But at least she has Taylor? Because neither can keep a secret in any way, the self-dubbed Figtails decide to reveal their showmance to Ken and Jessica and SURPRISE, they're not surprised. When it comes to the Immunity Challenge, Michaela actually gives advice to a the Vanua tribe to beat Figgy at the balance puzzle (I guess this is the good deed after berating her tribemate Hannah the whole time during the puzzle). Figgy's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day continues with yet another challenge loss due to her blowing a lead. Heading to their first Tribal Council as a shuffled tribe, Adam has to choose a side between Figtails and Gen X. Figtails wants to target Ken who they consider an impending merge threat, while Jessica and Ken want to target Figgy since she's the brains of the showmance. Adam is worried about putting his trust in a future group of allies he's never even spoke to. What's a Millennial to do?

Tribal Council time! Taylor is very confident that the three Millennials will stick together to pick off Gen X. The showmance is called out and everyone laughs about how obvious it has been. Jeff Probst offers his ordained minister services to hopefully get ratings gold, but alas Figtails aren't that serious. Figgy tries to explain away their showmance as two people that will always vote together which isn't any better when this is a game of numbers. Taylor believes if Adam flips to the Gen X side all the Millennials will join forces come merge to boot him. Adam explains he knows his vote will upset someone leaving and someone returning, but he's thinking of the longterm. With a 3-2 vote the tribe has spoken and Figgy is voted out of the game. The fans rejoice at never having to see Taylor whisper flirt with Figgy again.

Sidebar: this week in Survivor, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Rob Has a Podcast's Survivor Know-It-Alls LIVE. It was so much fun to watch the episode with castaways old and new, as well as finally meet in person some of my longtime Twitter friends. Thanks for a fun night everyone, especially Rob Cesternino for hosting one of my favorite weekly Survivor podcasts.

[All images credited to CBS]