December 21, 2014

Survivor San Juan Del Sur: Twinnie Natalie Wins Survivor!

12/21/2014 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments

Baylor gets all emotional about getting to the end with her mom, but you can tell Missy is kinda like ehhh. She's worried about challenges, since she's on island-made crutches still. The challenge is quite physical, navigating through obstacles while attached to a giant rope to ultimately retrieve sandbags and toss 'em. Keith knocks off his blocks first, winning reward in the form of an advantage at the next Immunity Challenge. Bet he would've liked a snack, but whatever. Keith pardons crippled Missy from Exile Island and instead sends Jaclyn, who uses the time to get re-motivated and do it for Jon. And maybe avoid being the loose cannon who snaps like she did earlier at Natalie saying Jon isn't a loyal person in the game.

Keith and Jaclyn are the obvious targets, though Natalie is having some consideration about making a different final three happen than her/Missy/Baylor. Keith's advantage is getting a version of the challenge table in advance so he could practice moving the balls around the spoons of this version of Survivor Mouse Trap. This challenge requires little leg action, so Missy can actually participate in the Mouse Trap-esque challenge. It's just Probst's way to wrap up a season saying "balls" a lot. The practice advantage pays off and Keith wins immunity again. Since the plan was to eliminate Keith, this is a problem but Jaclyn would be the default after Keith. Jaclyn offers her vote to Natalie to eliminate Missy, while Baylor requests Natalie give her mother the immunity idol. I mean, surely Natalie will keep obvious no-votes-ever Missy and Baylor right? It seems crazy to chance it, we're all screaming.

Tribal Council time! Jaclyn gives the pros and cons of having her loved on gone. Keith meows like a cat to demonstrate a catfight. Missy expresses confidence in the idol because she knows who has it, and obviously Jaclyn has no clue. Jaclyn explains that she tried to campaign to Natalie, knowing that Keith rocking the immunity necklace makes her vulnerable. Missy is a wee overconfident in essentially saying "BYE GURL." After the votes are cast, Natalie plays the idol but not on herself: on Jaclyn. "I'm going home," Missy realizes. But it's not Missy, it's Baylor.

Natalie explains that she couldn't risk putting her trust in a pair that could turn on her and now I'm A-OK with her initially alarming decision. For what it's worth, Missy is pretty level-headed about it and glad she didn't have to vote her kid out. No one wants to take Keith to the final three so the challenge goal is Keith has to lose. Missy, of course, can't compete in this super physical challenge of racing down a tower, maneuvering through obstacles, and wrapping it all with a Survivor logo puzzle and a combination lock. And too bad for her because she's a firepole, slides, and lots of fun stuff. Jaclyn takes a huge fall on the fire pole but that doesn't stop her from running her ass of and winning the final immunity of the season. Jaclyn is so excited to have immunity and to be guaranteed a spot in the finals. But it's also a big decision. Keith thinks Missy will get a lot of votes, including sympathy votes her her ankle. Jaclyn and Natalie seem like they're on the same page, until Jaclyn approaches Missy to vote out Natalie. Natalie is the strongest player there and Jaclyn's gut says it's time for her to go. OH NO.

Tribal Council time! Jaclyn is yet again in the middle and in a tough spot, killing someone's dream right before the end. Natalie doesn't expect the kind gesture of safety to be reciprocated, but would appreciate it. Probst wonders why Natalie's name isn't brought up to go home, to which Missy gives a brush-off answer. Natalie voices that she does think she can win the game and played a risky game. It's the kind of answer that's a kick in the gut, thinking Natalie has sealed her fate. But alas, it is not the worst answer ever and the women stay strong to vote Keith out.

The final three women get their last day breakfast feast and then head into the final Tribal Council of the season. The opening statements have Missy saying she played with loyalty, Jaclyn compares the game to the ups and downs of her real life and her struggles of not having a uterus, and Natalie says she outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted better than the others. The jury interogation itself is mostly dull, which isn't surprising given the players this sister. It's Natalie who clearly articulates her solid game plan, from playing without a loved one to voting out Alec to use Keith as a weapon against Jon. Jaclyn tries to argue her game and has a couple OK points, and Missy is the usual punching bag. It's Reed who brings the drama to final Tribal, giving a speech about Missy being the Wicked Stepmother of the tribe who spoiled her children, took things she didn't earn, performed the worst, and abused the help of the minority alliances that could have helped her. The speech wraps up, "This is why I love fairy tales because they always have a happy ending and the Wicked Stepmother never wins." And THAT'S how you read a chick. Baylor's in tears. Everyone votes, time skips ahead...

It's the reunion set which we've seen way too much of already from various awkward Survivor interstitials throughout the finale. The votes are read and Natalie is the winner of San Juan Del Sur! From her twinnie going out first, to the other twinnie winning - it's a dream story. The twinnies used to drive me nuts on The Amazing Race, but wow this show has made me love the kickass sisters.

At the reunion, Natalie looks like perfection while talking about the big moves she had to take to win and playing alone in a game filled with couples. If Natalie was voted out over Keith, Keith would've won. Keith was happy with lasting longer and longer, gets teary, and now lives life teased for the infamous "stick to the plan" botched blindside. Jeremy tries softly to say that people who don't know how to play the game make it very hard for others to play the game since they're wildcards AKA why this season was often a mess. Josh and Reed the Christian gay couple are getting lots of nice messages and Reed doesn't apologize for his dramatic Wicked Stepmother speech. Jon and Jaclyn are engaged, which the show kept teasing like they're over with and everybody knows they're fine and dandy. Missy has dropped the shame of her three divorces and Missy/Baylor are basically just the same as always (not the TV answer). It's nothing to write home about, but I have to write home about it because I'm a recapper. The reunion ends with the Survivor 30 teaser. Next season: Worlds Apart. Three tribes split by white collar, blue collar, and no collar.

Most importantly, who are the Pre-Show Winner Prediction Champions this season? Well a lot of us fell off come merge with our picks of Jeremy and Josh. But two remained strong and two now hold the [picture of a] trophy. Congratulations @ChannonSarah and @gy64!

December 14, 2014

Survivor San Juan Del Sur: Blood vs. Water vs. Teeter Totters

12/14/2014 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 12

Split into two teams, the survivors get belted together to race through an obstacle course that includes traversing through hay, carrying water across a teeter totter, and of course.. a puzzle! Turns out this challenge was designed by a Make A Wish kid and that's a pretty awesome wish to make - and a job well done. Mid-way through their first run of the course, Missy whispers to her teammates Jon and Keith that she twisted her ankle which slows them down as she hobbles through. But the other team is inept at puzzles, so they win the spa day reward compete with food, massages, and a shower to wash the stank off. After another dumb lover's tiff, Jon gives up his reward to Baylor so it can be a mother/daughter spa day... plus Keith. And there's endless amount of clueless-come-to-Jesus moments for Keith as her experiences his first spa day. Jon and Jaclyn get a day alone at camp together for their neverending PDA-fest and to ponder Natalie's "mistake" that she didn't understand who to vote for (a brilliant lie by Natalie). And Natalie spends a lonely 48 hours at Exile Island.

Before the Immunity Challenge begins, the Baylor nourishes exiled Natalie with some rice and Missy cries over her icky looking ankle. Seeing her pain, medical insists on checking Missy before attempting to compete and the diagnosis is a serious sprain, possibly even broken and that means being pulled from the game for an X-ray. Missy's in tears over the possibility of leaving the game, but since they are near the end they'll embolize the ankle and let her stay. Missy sits on the sidelines while the other survivors look like marionettes on a teeter totter while balancing a vase. Natalie wins immunity, which Jon says makes up for her "messing up" the last vote. Oh clueless Jon.

Jon and Jaclyn believe Keith's going home, but since there's an idol Natalie wants to split the votes between the couple. Natalie tells Keith that he needs to act depressed, not crazy which really means don't ruin this like you did the last attempted blindside. Jon and Jaclyn talk because she's concerned maybe he'll get blindsided, but he's confident it's not happening. The only problem with the plan is Missy, who treats Jon like a son and made a deal with him. Baylor tries to talk sense into her mom, reminding her the goal is to get to the end together. Missy's not budging yet, but also really torn since it's clear Jon's gotta go.

Tribal Council time! Keith jumps in right away to pretend he's a goner, explaining that he's a good vote to keep around. Jon says that they don't not trust Keith, he's just not part of their trustworthy group of five. "I don't think Jon and I are going anywhere," Jaclyn says after reiterating her trust in the alliance. But Jon really puts his foot in his mouth when he talks about already thinking about his final jury speech to win him the game. And Missy's still talking about not wavering from the deals she's made. The votes are cast and no immunity idol is played, which is awesome. This forces a 3-way tie between Keith, Jaclyn, and Jon so there's a re-vote. Natalie, Baylor, and Missy vote again and at long last we bid adieu to Jon. Jon's blindside had everybody like:

Credit: Basically everyone on Twitter

December 7, 2014

Survivor San Juan Del Sur: Blood vs. Water vs. 2 Hours of Stupidity

12/07/2014 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 11

The first Reward Challenge of the night is classic elimination trivia. The survivors answer questions about their fellow castaways and if you get a question right, you cut a person's rope. 3 chops and you're out! I love these because it's revealing about the tribe and loyalties. Reed's trivia skull is crushed first, fake blood splattering and it's no surprise because he's the obvious target. When only the alliance of five remain, trying to figure out what to do, Jeff is like um let's just call it over with and you pick a winner because you're wasting my time. The consensus is to just give it to Missy. Missy picks Baylor and Natalie along for her horseback riding reward, and Jaclyn realizes they sacrificed a win for their alliance and she's got the shaft. Also in fun stuff, Reed calls Baylor a brat, and this starts a tiff between Missy and Reed. It's wonderful because it's true.

As part of her "win," Missy chooses Jon to go to Exile Island who gets another super easy "clue" that leads him to a new Hidden Immunity Idol. Hey producers- it's a clue, not instructions. This will give Jon yet another chance to make a move, since he earlier balked at the idea that using the idol was another's idea but his own (because it was Natalie's idea, though Jaclyn says it was hers). On the reward, a final three deal is made after Natalie and Baylor tell Missy about the Hidden Immunity Idol they have. Back at camp, Jaclyn seethes about not being picked which Reed tries to use to change the game. Jaclyn's definitely interested because she's mad and has the proclivity to flip in this game when upset. The reward trio returns and notices Alec flirting with Jaclyn and her giving him the time of day, which Natalie finds suspicious. Alec is creepin' and it's gross.

Keith wins immunity after successfully balancing balls on a pizza paddle. If only his social skills were as good as his challenge skills. The question of the night is will Jon and Jaclyn flip again? Jaclyn begins telling Jon the whole shebang and it leads to a disagreement between the pair. Reed tries to talk to Jon, who snaps at Reed that this is all a plan to blindside him. But once Jon starts to actually listen, Natalie interrupts so Jon gives a wink to say shhhh. However Jaclyn is still mad at Jon because instead of talking to her, he consults mother figure Missy. Jaclyn gives Jon the silent treatment, they bicker more, and who knows what's going to happen with their allegiance of the week.

Tribal Council time! Jon admits he and Jaclyn have been fighting all day, which then leads into everyone talking about the couple. Ugh, I'm so over the Jon and Jaclyn show. But Probst brings up how it's interesting to have real-life arguments with a loved one while being stuck in a game. They're in the middle yet again, and even Reed admits he's tried to get them to see the light. Then comes the discussion of Alec's awkward flirtation with Jaclyn, which everyone notices (even Jon). Missy acknowledges that choosing Natalie could cost her, but it was a choice she made. The votes are cast and "rabblerouser" Reed is voted out of the game.

And when the night feels like it should be done, it's time for another hour.

Natalie wins the second Reward Challenge of the night, standing on a little block while keeping a ball stable with what looks like the love child of a rolling pin and buoy. She sends outsider Alec to Exile and wins a night in a king size canopy bed and a spaghetti dinner in said bed. Spaghetti in bed, just like your favorite mother's day tradition! Natalie chooses Jon and Jaclyn to join her, but it's a calculated move: appear to be an ally when you're secretly planning your revenge. I love Natalie. The trio eat spaghetti in bed and drink wine, while Natalie pretends to care while being extremely irritated by Jon's rambling dream of being a sommelier. Jaclyn worries Missy is pissed that Natalie chose them, which is rich coming from the girl who always flipped the whole game 48 hours earlier for not getting picked for a reward. But a key moment is the pair feel trust with Natalie, so Jon confides with her that he has found another idol. With this news in her back pocket, Natalie pitches Baylor with getting rid of overconfident Jon, but they're keeping Missy in the dark because she loves Jon. Jon senses the weird vibe at camp, but Jaclyn worries maybe they can't trust Natalie.

But of course whenever someone is a target they come out and win immunity. Jon saves himself with the balancing and stacking challenge and we all collectively groan. The boring plan is to target Keith, but split the votes between Keith and Alec in case of idols. Talking to Keith leads Natalie to have an epiphany: vote out Alec, save Keith, gain a new loyal ally who could beat Jon at challenges. Baylor would prefer to keep Alec around, but that might be due to his terrible flirting strategy. While Natalie's argument is good, she was also sitting pretty as the third for either side of her alliance, so this isn't necessarily something that'll get her to the end.

Second Tribal Council time! Probst points out that voting now isn't just who you want out but who you want still around. Since Keith is good at challenges, he knows he's in trouble but also knows he's not good at other stuff. And just as Probst begins to make one of his speeches, a rat interrupts the festivites. Some scream (Natalie), others want to eat it (Alec). Jon talks about the wine again, which is that he loves wine because of his dad who has cancer. It's a weird situation of not wanting a personal situation to sway your game, but it could. But as Probst points out, this is a night where someone could make a move that says "I came to play. I came to win." Sadly I think maybe only two or three of them even considered that idea. The votes are tied up until the very last vote sends Alec home and makes Jon's eye pop out of his head. It's glorious.