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]

October 29, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: What the Roark?!

10/29/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 5

Before getting into the game of it all, Survivor has an excellent emotional moment to share after Ben is startled by the bamboo popping in the campfire. The former Marine explains how in war you see and experience things others won't and it's hard to go back to a normal life after. He hopes by succeeding on Survivor he can inspire other veterans and it's a beautiful human moment in a reality game show.

Commencing game-bot mode. The Reward Challenge has iced coffee and pastry on the line and all it takes is doing the worm through the sand and shooting some baskets. Levu is able to come together after voting off Alan and win that beautiful platter of breakfast treats. Ashley and Devon give Joe credit for his surprising idol play, but begin putting their heads together for a way to sway Desi to oust Joe once and for all. Wary of Cole's blabbermouth tendencies and the tribe's growing irritation with him as a whole, Jessica and Mike begin to grow closer as allies when they successfully find the Hidden Immunity Idol at the Yawa well. Eventhough Ryan completely blows the challenge for Soku, but his social game is enough for no one to care about losing a vat of coffee and still wanting him as an ally. 

Ryan's position as the turtleneck-in-the-middle becomes crucial after Soku loses the Immunity Challenge. Chrissy and Roark talk strategy for the first time and Chrissy poses the idea of an all girl's alliance, which is all BS. Chrissy wants to vote out Roark and lies to JP that Roark is the one who suggested a girl's alliance. Ali, Ryan's ally from the Hustler tribe, wants to vote with Roark to eliminate Chrissy, who is weak in challenges. Ryan's in the middle of two pretty tight allies, neither of which wants to work with the other, and both think he's on their side. What's a guy with a smelly red turtleneck to do?

Tribal Council time! Ali brings up that Chrissy didn't tag out of the challenge, but she insists she asked and everyone told her to keep doing that weird Swiss cheese puzzle. Chrissy admits today was the first time she talked strategy with Roark, who points out Chrissy waited to talk to her until she needed her, since Chrissy did talk game to everyone else. JP, poor bland JP, brings up the women talking together and fear of them aligning against the men. Roark thinks she's made enough bonds to trust at the vote and is the swing. Ali brings up a good point that this is Roark's first Tribal Council and voting is what really builds trust. Roark's first Tribal Council ends up being her only one as Ryan picks a side and votes with Chrissy and JP to eliminate Roark from the game.

[All images credited to CBS]

October 22, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: That Is Not An Advantage

10/22/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 4

The time has come to drop those buffs and shuffle the tribes! With 15 survivors remaining, the Heroes, Healers, and Hustlers randomly draw buffs to be placed into their new tribe. The three revamped tribes have to test their new and pretty much non-existent bonds immediately with a Reward Challenge for a "peanut butter and jelly bonanza." Yawa AKA red tribe wins PB&J and bags of chips, the most budget conscious reward you can have as a group.

Yawa divvies up their sandwiches and individual brown bags of chips and if you're getting bagged snacks and it's not product placement, a secret advantage is ahead. Jessica discovers the secret advantage in her bag, which allows her to block one person from voting at the next Tribal Council. She shares her secret with fellow Healers Cole and Mike, which Cole proceeds to divulge to Ben and Lauren as a way to gain trust. Jessica is baffled and upset to learn the whole tribe knows her advantage because of her flirting buddy Cole, concerned she picked the wrong guy to trust. Speaking of secret advantages, Ryan reveals to new tribemate Chrissy that he gave her the secret advantage at the first Tribal Council to make sure she was safe. Chrissy smile radiates happiness and potentially a new partnership is formed. New Levu is also divided into two pairs of unlikely partners: former rivals Ashley and Alan and Healers Joe and Desi. Hustler Devon sits in the clutch position of swing vote and easily picks the Heroes side after catching Joe in a super easy to fact-check lie.

At the Immunity Challenge, Yawa and and Soko's puzzle smarts secure them immunity and dooms Levu to Tribal Council. Since Yawa won immunity, Jessica plans to use her anonymous vote block to help her fellow Healers. The Healers need the help they can get after Joe's plan to get the target put on himself (and shock everyone with his idol) ends up creating more of a target on Desi. Desi request that as an extension of trust, Joe should play his idol on her. Right before heading to Tribal Council, Devon find a surprise in his bag: the secret advantage! Devon hopes this could be something amazing to grab the power... oopsies.

Tribal Council time! The conversation kicks off with talk about the heated afternoon discussion incited by Joe. Ashley is not pleased at being call the weakest link and Desi fears she's in trouble due to Joe's actions. Devon says he'll be voting with who he feels more comfortable moving in the game with. Alan points out the Healers are undefeated and if they are left together, they head into a future merge potentially six strong and ready to pick off the rest. Probst announces it's time to vote and Devon reveals his secret advantage but the joy fades from his face when he reads that he's been blocked from voting. "That is not an advantage," he says glumly. The remaining four vote and when Probst prepares to read the votes, Joe gets up and plays his Hidden Immunity Idol on himself. The two votes against Joe are null and Alan is voted out of the game with the two remaining votes. Twists galore!

[All images credited to CBS]

October 14, 2017

Survivor Heroes Vs Healers Vs Hustlers: Banishing the Wild Banshee

10/14/2017 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 3

In a group of young'ns, Lauren feels vulnerable about her place on the tribe. Her best bet for staying alive is if the tribe turns on Patrick and his fail at a social game is definitely helping Lauren's odds. Over on at boring Heroes beach, Ashley is still denying she's in a power couple with JP but doing her hardest to campaign to keep eye-candy-provider JP over can't-open-coconut-wildcard Alan. Healer Cole confides to Jessica that Joe found the Hidden Immunity Idol, which is Cole's form of whispering sweet nothings to his crush. Jessica rewards Cole with a kiss on the cheek, but later gets annoyed when Cole continues to reveal the powerful Idol secret to Desi and Roark as part of a master plan to blindside Joe at a future Tribal Council.

The Hustlers lose the Immunity Challenge largely to due Patrick's poor performance to accurately throw sandbags at blocks, allowing the Heroes and Healers to get to the stacking portion (and victory) sooner. Veteran outfielder Lauren is particularly annoyed she didn't get to throw and have her A League of Their Own star moment. Always the Kit, never the Dottie. Devon, Ryan, and Ali are at a crossroads of who to keep because alleged challenge strength Patrick lost for them and Lauren's a bit of an outsider. Talk turns to the merge but maybe they should be thinking about an obvious swap first.

Tribal Council time! Lauren isn't being coy about her feelings about Patrick, laying into him for being out for himself and not the team. Patrick brings up his conversation with Lauren on the beach and she turns that around on him too, talking about him smirking and fake comforting her. But then Lauren talks about not believing a redhead in her life and that seems a biiiiit extreme. The tribe seems to be in agreement that the vote will be about creating the best chemistry for the tribe but how they'll fit into the merge. Patrick thinks he'll be valuable at a merge because he's good at making friends, but Ali points out he hasn't made friends with Lauren so it might not be his best asset. Patrick hopes he can grow but unfortunately he'll be growing on some really cool pre-merge boot trip as the Hustlers vote Patrick out of the tribe.

[All images credited to CBS]