December 20, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: Jeremy is the Sole Survivor

12/20/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 13 - Finale and Reunion

The end of Survivor is near, but first you have to get there. Spencer wins immunity in a stair-building/puzzle making challenge, so he ends up immune to a secret plan Kimmi machinated by Kimmi. Instead of being on the bottom of a foursome, Kimmi wants to team up with Keith and Wentworth and blindside Jeremy out of the game. While Kimmi reassures the rest of the foursome (Spencer, Tasha, Jeremy) that she is game with splitting the votes between Keith and Kelley, she's obviously lying. Spencer and Tasha sense something in awry and plead with Jeremy not to trust Kimmi and instead all vote as a solid trio. Put all the votes on Wentworth because she definitely doesn't have an idol, Spencer says. TEE HEE HEE, viewers laugh at home. So the two targets of the evening are people holding secret idols? This should be fun!

Tribal Council time! Finally it's admitted there are alliances at this point in the game and not only voting blocs of convenience. The assumption is Keith or Kelley Wentworth will go home tonight and either will do anything to last another three days. Spencer totally outs the entire evening's plan to vote three strong and not split votes, leaving Kimmi out to dry which only confirms her suspicions she is the odd gal out of her supposed alliance. Spencer whispers to Wentworth that she's fine, but she reminds the group last time she was "fine" she had to play an idol to save herself. Guys, it's gonna be a Rock Off. The votes are cast and then magic happens. Kelley Wentworth plays her second idol. THEN Jeremy gets up and plays his second idol. Basically everyone is crapping themselves because something unheard of happens: every single vote is null and void.

This is when the pure chaos and scattered nature begins, not to mention the paranoia when Jeremy realizes Kimmi of all people betrayed him (and he gets pretty fiesty). First there's a revote where no one can vote for Spencer (immunity holder) or Kelley/Jeremy (idol players), and that leads to a 3/3 split between Tasha and Kimmi. Now here's where it gets to be a real confusing mess, like so confusing Probst has to do a play-by-play from the live reunion: Jeremy, Kelley, Spencer, and Keith need to come to a unanimous decision of who to eliminate between Kimmi and Tasha. If the four cannot make a decision, Tasha and Kimmi become immune and then by default as the odd-man-out without immunity, Keith would be eliminated. In case you're wondering, yes I just gave myself a migraine trying to make sense of it all again. Of course Jeremy and Spencer aren't budging about losing Tasha, so it's basically do they agree to eliminate Kimmi or sacrifice Keith. Keith almost falls on the sword for Kimmi, but his ally Wentworth helps talk him out of it and keeps Keith. After some great attempts to scheme and change the game, it's Kimmi who loses out on it all and joins the jury. For real, I need an Excedrin.

With imminent game death approaching, the Immunity Challenges are crucial for Kelley Wentworth and Keith. The Immunity Challenge is to race through a giant obstacle course that looked like the way you drew sunsets as a kid with long sunrays beaming into the sky. Anyways, Wentworth pulls out the victory to secure her spot in the final four. But Kelley isn't planning to move along without her tightest ally, so she constructs one of the best fake immunity idols I've seen and has Keith make a few obvious shows of the idol wrapped in cloth with the note. Jeremy gives the package the total side-eye and worries that this could spell his doom, so after several attempts to catch Keith's eye, he suggests/agrees to vote off Spencer. Anything to save his butt! Sadly at Tribal Council, the fake idol doesn't detract from the obvious plan. In a vote of 3-2, Keith Nale is voted out of the game and American weeps.

The final Immunity Challenge of the season is a test of reflexes and speed, as the survivors use only one hand to drop and catch balls through a spiraling chute. If the ball drops, you'reeeee out. Jeremy ends up winning immunity, guaranteeing him a spot in the final three which leads him to an emotional breakdown about doing this all for his family. Wentworth also breaks down because she knows the ball drop basically ended her game. But she doesn't go out without a fight. Jeremy's decision now is about who he could beat in the final three, so Wentworth tries to get Jeremy to dump Spencer instead of her with some valid arguments of the moves his made and great speaking skills. Jeremy knows Kelley and Spencer are both strong adversaries, so who would he have a better chance to beat? Jeremy even teases viewers with the idea of forcing a tie to send to a fire making battle, which is so cruel to tease us with because we fans love fire. At Tribal Council, Kelley pleads her case and explains why Spencer is a threat to win. Spencer in turn explains why Kelley is the bigger threat, but doesn't stop. He gets a little too defensive, saying that should Jeremy vote him off he'd spend all his energy turning the jury against Jeremy. Eaaaaasy Spencer. I'm all about passion to stay, play, and win, but at times Spencer's big argument comes off as petulant - a total turnoff for the jury. Ultimately, Jeremy chooses to stay loyal to his alliance and Kelley Wentworth is eliminated. Ah, so close on my winner's pick yet again!

Jeremy, Tasha, and Spencer celebrate their final three status with their breakfast feast and a look in the mirror at their emaciated bodies. But who cares, it's FINAL TRIBAL COUNCIL TIME! There's no opening remarks and instead it jumps right into the jury questioning. Turns out, the jury doesn't care for Spencer, with Kimmi hoping her kids wouldn't be like Spencer and Savage disliking Spencer's arrogance and idea to turn the jury against Jeremy if he was eliminated. Spencer is also questioned on his constant flipping and betrayals in the game, which Kass points out is the same stuff she did their first time around and he lambasted her for such gameplay. Karma by Kass - it's real. Jeremy's basically only in trouble for showboating and being rude after Kimmi betrayed him, which he apologizes for because he was upset. Tasha gets a few scraps of questions, which is in no way surprising. For a girl who called everyone else a goat, the self-fulfilling prophecy is amusing. Also, apparently Spencer and Tasha were aligned the whole time, tighter than her and Jeremy. Ugh the bonds of Cagayan live on. And of course season 31 is not complete without beating us to death with the term "voting blocs" one last time, which Tasha attributes to the constant tribe swaps, but also all cite that it was necessary this time to flip more than usual. What I know is I cannot wait for season 32 so I don't have to hear the phrase "voting blocs" on TV until AT LEAST fall of 2016. Wiglesworth uses her final question to retread the "Pick a number" question she received her first time around, which surely someone told her to do. But Jeremy brings the house down in his final question, revealing the epic truth bomb that Val is home pregnant and he couldn't talk about it as it would make him a target and he was playing for his family the whole time. The jury is in tears and it's the moment that Tasha and Spencer realize they are not winning this game.

At the big live reunion, Probst reveals the votes and it's a unanimous vote: Jeremy is the winner of Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance. Jeremy played an excellent social game and deserves such a victory (and his 10 votes helped me win my Survivor pool, so I'll take it!). As you regular readers will know, I hate recapping reunions so here's a quick rundown. Jeremy knew he'd be a sympathetic target if people knew he was a firefighter with a baby on the way so he kept his secret locked up for 39 days. Everyone felt pressure to please the fans that voted them on and make big moves. Wentworth was underestimated out there and Keith can't seem to talk on the reunions without looking teary-eyed. America is obsessed with Joe enough to give him a full segment, therefore making Joe the new school Rupert. Spencer temporarily stopped watching the show and still loves his girlfriend. Terry's son Danny got a heart transplant and is OK now. And next season on Survivor Kaoh Rong, everyone is getting injured which makes me think perhaps there are 18 corporeal ghosts walking the Earth, waiting to crossover until after their season airs. Can't wait until February 17th!

And the moment you've all been waiting for: the Pre-Show Winner Prediction Winners. Congratulations to the four people below who picked Jeremy to win. If only I left my San Juan Del Sur prediction more open-ended to say Jeremy would win Survivor in general and not his specific season because then I could brag more. But congratulations to my four winners!

[All images credited to CBS]

December 13, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: Which We Will You Be?

12/13/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 11

Now that Joe's gone, everyone is excited at the prospect of actually having a chance to win a challenge. But it's the perpetual challenge runner-up Keith who wins the carnie-inspired challenge of throwing beanbags at blocks after crossing a shaky stick bridge. A bumbling Keith chooses Kelley and Spencer to join him on an outstanding reward of visiting and sleeping at a temple (along with Cambodian delicacies like wine, spaghetti, and garlic bread). Tasha continues to be irked by Keith who voted for her at Tribal Council and couldn't even remember her name at the Reward Challenge. You are an angel, Keith - never change. While on reward, Kelley, Keith, and Spencer agree they could be a pretty awesome final three and would simply need one more vote to have the majority and vote off Tasha. It's Abi-Maria.

Abi-Maria is aware that people think she's a goat to take to the end, but she doesn't feel that way. Abi's current target is Keith now that he's inherited the challenge master title from Joe and others agree. Jeremy and Spencer are both paranoid at the idea of the women's alliance booting them, fearing that if Keith goes they are next. Both long for the days with their shield Joe around camp. But viewers may recall the way to Abi-Maria's heart and loyalty is to be nice to her. Her former ally Tasha is failing on that angel. Seems Tasha is far past her babysitting days and asks Abi to leave so she can talk to Jeremy alone. Abi thinks it's beneficial she sticks around to talk, but is willing to leave, then Tasha is like nah I don't want to be rushed. Eventually Tasha and Jeremy talk and think it's OK to keep Keith and dump Abi instead.

This week's Immunity Challenge has the survivors running across obstacles in the ocean then dive to into the ocean to retrieve puzzle pieces, which they will solve back on the beach. This challenge could unofficially be titled "Wipeout: Cambodia" because everyone is slipping, falling, hitting their junk, and cracking themselves in the face on wooden platforms. Spencer wins immunity after completely slaughtering the puzzle, a retread of the five piece puzzle no one picked in Survivor Worlds Apart. Looks like someone took some advice before heading out there. But the victory is interruped when Tasha loses all energy in the water and needs to be rescued. You'd think if anyone would nearly die in this challenge it'd be a cracked skull on a platform, not the swimming part but Tasha was winded. She's thankfully saved and maybe a little more full of salt water than intended.

After everyone consoles Tasha after her frightful water experience, everyone is back to the game. The show must go on - Joe will tell you that firsthand. Spencer, Kelley, Keith, and Abi agree as a four they will vote off Tasha and Abi's fine with anything that saves her and helps build her final Tribal Council resume. On the other side, Tasha is pushing hard to get rid of Abi, saying that Kelley, Keith, or Abi getting to the end would be an "abomination" to this season and a letdown to the fans. Not this fan, Tasha. She might see Wentworth as a goat, but fans definitely don't. But OK, Keith and Abi you're right. At the same time, do you want to win? Then take a goat. Spencer in the middle with his final three deals on both sides. What's a guy to do?

Tribal Council time! Juror Savage's beanie is completely upstaged this week by Juror Fishbach's loud Hawaiian shirt. It's so bold I am craving a glass of Hawaiian Punch right now. Keith and Spencer discuss the magical reward they experienced, but also the weirdness of being out-of-the-loop while others are back at camp. Probst checks in with Tasha after her near-drowning incident and she's better, but thrown off. Having the numbers is a big discussion point and using the term "we" over and over so that the inner child in us all snickered at hearing "we we." C'mon children, maybe it's more like saying "yes yes" in French. Ok, nope - pee is funnier. The "we" talk about all this broad, vague talk going nowhere so the tribe votes. Spencer picks a "we" and opts to vote with Jeremy, Tasha, and Kimmi to vote off Abi, the dream goat who didn't even vote with her own "we." And with that the fire of the Brazilian dragon is extinguised.

[All images credited to CBS]

December 6, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: Time to Go, Joe

12/06/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 11

It's that sentimental time of the season: family visits. Some familiar faces return from the Blood vs. Water seasons, Joe's dad gives him a mouth kiss, and we finally see Spencer take steps forward in the becoming an emotional human being quest and tell his girlfriend he loves her. Oh and Val is having a baby boy, but that's still a secret! To win time with loved ones, the survivors have to balance and retrieve letters which spell out "NOURISHMENT." Kelley Wentworth slaughters the competition swiftly and gets time with her dad Dale AKA farmguy69 over some barbeque. Allowed to choose three others, Wentworth picks Abi/her mom, Keith/his wife (Big D!), Kimmi/her dad, and Joe/his dad. Joe's dad does not have a manbun, but a low ponytail to prove that the Joey Amazing family lineage all value their hair. Joe's ultimate Survivor dream since childhood was fulfilling the moment of having his dad come see him out there in the game so check there.

With no loved ones around to cuddle with, Spencer, Jeremy, and Tasha commiserate and then strategize. The trio make a final three agreement after Spencer essentially apologizes for the move he made blindsiding their ally Stephen. But Tasha actually has more options brewing. Kimmi of all people wants to start a girls alliance, and you may recall Kimmi helped get Monica booted for having such impure thoughts of girls aligning. Either way, both alliances right now are very aware that Joe can't stay in the game much longer or he'll be carrying home a giant check at the finale.

The Immunity Challenge this week has the survivors balancing statues on top of ever growing, wavering poles for as long as they can. I truly thought someone's statue would fall and give a concussion to another player. Thankfully all craniums were in tact, so they were luckier than Kelly from Worlds Apart. As a little twist of the episode, there is immunity for the last man and woman standing. Or I guess holding. Kelley Wentworth is the last woman in the competition, giving her immunity. The drop-offs quickly happen so that it's yet again a battle of Keith and Joey Amazing. After over an hour of balancing Joe drops... literally. Everyone briefly celebrates until they realize something is off. Medical is brought it and Dr. Joe explains that Joe's blood sugar has come down after exerting all his energy and his body collapsed. Thankfully Joe doesn't have to be med-evaced, but needs some shade, water, and rest and he'll be better.

The bad news is that Joe is vulnerable without immunity and while everyone emphasizes with his medical issues, it's still a game for a million bucks. Wentworth informs Abi about Kimmi's girls alliance and that Tasha is in too, so the four girls plan to vote off Joe. Fully aware that he's screwed, Joe tries to find a new target and approaches Jeremy about voting off Abi-Maria. Abi is a total goat this season and literally every single person would take her to the end to guarantee a win, but Joe wants players to get to the end not the easy win. Double agent Tasha is a bit torn after the she quickly outs the girls alliance to Jeremy and Spencer. The idea of the girls aligning is a terrifying idea to Jeremy and Spencer, who then wonder if a totally different move should happen to keep the testosterone rolling strong. Tasha returns to talk some sense into the overly paranoid men about what could happen if Joe is left in the game. But c'mon, women are so scary!!

Tribal Council time! Probst jumps right into the dramatic day with Joe dropping in the challenge and everyone's feelings seeing it happen. But of course seeing a man give literally every fiber of his being to win a challenge and stay in the game is a pretty terrifying notion to the others who want to win too. Sure there's empathy but the game mode button has been pushed again and everyone is playing hard. And back to scheduled redundant phrasing, the group talks about voting blocs and that their time may finally be over and alliances are set in stone. Good because I'm tired of hearing about the alleged blocs. Joe brings up why he considers Abi a thread since she's the #1 losing candidate in the bunch. Abi suggests they take out the bad apple, though like Joe seems like the nicest most beautifully haired apple of the bunch. The tribe votes and despite his best pleas and nearly dying while holding a pole, Joe AKA Joey Amazing is eliminated.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 29, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: A Second Helping of Blindsides

11/29/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 10

Leave it to Survivor to schedule two of their best episodes the night before Thanksgiving where less people are watching because, DUH, holiday. Anyways, let's get to recapping. 

Everyone on Orkun is miserable and that has very little to do with the Wiglesworth blindside. The rain hasn't stopped, leaving everyone huddled in the shelter with nasty pruny feet. A Reward Challenge brings roofed relief with blankets and food while being around a Cambodian Circus. And what better way to fight for a victory than with a physical brawl in the water, shoving each other, yanking tops and shorts, near drowning experiences, and shooting hoops? Joe, Spencer, Ciera, Tasha, and Abi win the Reward Challenge, a fun relief from the stress of the weather, but also emotional for Ciera as the little Cambodian kids remind her of her family back home. Ciera puts her emotions aside and gets back into game mode as she has done each and every reward, using the time to save her ass. Stephen's name gets thrown into the mix since he's a strategic threat and just won the mysterious advantage. There's an air of agreement that the "Know-It-All" has to be blindsided sooner than later. Stephen's currently being blindsided by a disastrous case of the poops ("severe gastrointestinal distress"), hitting a real low point mentally and physically in the game.

Wentworth, Kimmi, Stephen, Jeremy, and Keith win nothing but a day of cramped together in the damp shelter. Everyone laments Joe's status of Challenge King, hoping that their chance comes to boot Joe. And then comes the tribe's chance... but there's a twist. Clearly the rain is ruining the fun of Survivor because everyone is trapped under a shelter and therefore not scheming endlessly all over the beach. Probst has an offer: a construction team will come re-do the tribe's shelter, make them a new fire, and make life much better but five people have to opt out of the immunity challenge by selecting the white rock of immunity surrender. Well a whopping eight people chose the quality of life vote, leaving only Keith and Joey Amazing to compete in the Immunity Challenge. The challenge still happens instead of instantly handing Joe the necklace again, but he does beat Keith in a buoy balancing challenge by holding up his BB-8 ball droid longer.

Orkun arrives back to their newly waterproofed shelter that came complete with cookies - so isn't it all worth it? Maybe not for a person who is going to get booted after giving up immunity for a better shelter. Since Joe is immune for the ballizionth time, the voting blocs have to make alternate plans. Kimmi, Stephen, and Jeremy think Ciera is the easiest vote as she's one of the biggest schemers out there. Unbeknownst to Stephen, the plan to blindside him is very real and very on. Ciera's plan is for her and Kelley to vote Kimmi, everyone else will vote Stephen. Tasha is concerned that allowing this plan to go through means Ciera is calling all the shots and building up an impressive resume to win the game. Then Jeremy catches wind of the Stephen news and reiterates the importance of getting out Ciera, who will flip when needed and upend the game. Stephen's his #1 ally and Jeremy can't afford to lose him just yet.

Tribal Council time! The jury rolls in and Andrew Savage is yet again wearing a slouchy beanie, which I want to snatch off his head and throw into the raging fire. First topic of discussion: the weather. Even in Survivor life, a great go-to conversation starter is bad weather. This crap weather was the breaking point for many, especially for Stephen having to make all those poop runs. Probst brings up the choice between new shelter or safety, which Tasha describes as selfish/not selfish. Joey Amazing is like hey, hey, hey... if I wasn't selfish you would've voted me off and nobody disagrees there. Even Keith cackles that he's a competitor trying to kill the Golden Boy. Oh Keith, you bring such joy to my world. The big question of the night is where the voting blocs will end up this vote, and also what kind of advantage is Stephen holding on to and what a target he's made himself. But the biggest question of them all is, did someone show the wrong million dollar rock? The tribe votes and Probst comes back with the urn, asking if anyone wants to play an idol. It's briefly silent and then Jeremy stands up! He plays one of his super secret Hidden Immunity Idols to save STEPHEN FISHBACH. Now THAT's a ride or die ally. Stephen is flabbergasted, especially when he sees the total blindside Jeremy just saved him from. Ciera's one last big move is her swan song out, as she is voted out of the game.

Everyone commends Jeremy's sneaky idol play, with Stephen and Jeremy tighter than ever with this bonding move. Jeremy assures Spencer he would've played an idol for him too, but Spencer's a little skeptical of his status in the group. Spencer's outsider feelings are only validated after Stephen wins the old-school trivia Reward Challenge and picks Tasha (to re-initiate trust) and Jeremy (his game savior) to join him for grub via a chopper ride. While indulging in steak and chicken, Stephen reveals his big advantage to reassure Jeremy and Tasha that he trusts them both and needs them in this game. Tasha points out the biggest wrinkle in their games has been Joe and that as soon as he loses he has to go, which is a big duh. But with Stephen's ability to steal a vote, this could be their chance to solidify the votes against Joey Amazing. Meanwhile, Spencer is back at camp concocting a plan to blindside Stephen again. Not good.

However the Reward Challenge wasn't just a big moment for Stephen. The challenge itself was to answer trivia questions about a Cambodian history story Probst told, and the answers were medallions wrapped up in little bundles. Kelley Wentworth snagged one of the pouches and inside she found a clue to another Hidden Immunity Idol. Yup, a second idol for Wentworth! The catch: the idol is tied underneath that snazzy new million dollar shelter so in order to grab her prize, everyone needs to GTFO. Abi-Maria plays the role of that one person who refuses to leave the party, doddling around camp making coffee and stuff. Wentworth is dyiiiing to scooch under that shelter and grab the idol, so once Abi finally leaves, Kelley makes her move and goes under the shelter to get her idol. We have a new member of the Two Idol club this season.
The Immunity Challenges brings the return of the foot fetish dream from San Juan Del Sur of lifting and stacking blocks with feet. A miracle happens at the challenge: Joe loses. Spencer wins his first individual immunity and clearly this is the opening everyone needs to FINALLY vote off Joe. Stephen's dream is coming true and he'll finally get to vote off Joe the golden boy who can't be taken down. The plan is to tell Joe that the group is voting for Abi, then vote him off. Abi is back in crazy mode and therefore paranoid that all of this will backfire and she will go home. She doesn't trust anyone. Besides, the whole plan is to mislead Fishbach and him off again. Abi is all over the place and everyone has to trust her. This could be bad. Worried about the possibility of Joe having an idol, Stephen and Jeremy agree to split the votes between Joe and Abi to be safe. Then Stephen tells Spencer about his advantage and the night's plan. Oh this could be really bad.

Tribal Council Time! Joe laments a first night without immunity and what that could mean for him in the game, but also has to rely on the trust he's built thus far. Abi says that there are in fact alliances in this game, which Tasha sort of confirms by addressing that the voting bloc method might need to come to an end and it's time to pick final allies. Stephen understands why his advantage has made him a target. Spencer thinks the game is sort of in limbo with so many potential twists, and Abi admits lots of names were thrown out. Stephen thinks there's a 33% chance for a blindside, then surprise everyone. Stephen plays his advantage at this week's vote and steals Joe's vote. Stephen uses his own vote to vote for Abi-Maria, then uses Joe's vote to vote out Joe (on special different parchment!). Stephen "marinates" in the moment that has come to vote out Joe but it allllll backfires. The tribe blinsides Stephen and he's eliminated from the game in a grand fashion.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 22, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: The Witches of Orkun

11/22/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 9

Orkun splits into two teams for the Reward Challenge, which is an obstacle course in the midst of another rainy Cambodian day. There's a crapload of tasks in this challenge including a staircase of poles, a maze, a slide (sadly not the Double Dare Sundae Slide), navigating a key around ropes, and of course... a puzzle. The prize on the line is a Spa Day with massages and "spa food" (just say sandwiches Probst, jeez) and there's nothing more I'd like to see than Keith Nale enjoy a Survivor-style massage again. The purple tribe of Joe, Spencer, Stephen, and Tasha win their day of spa food and showers. If your dream is Joe and that manbun of his taking a shower in a public stall, I'm sure this is your favorite episode of the season. Ciera uses it as an opportunity to talk strategy with the group and try to make in-roads with the dominant alliance, pointing out that Jeremy and Kelly Wiglesworth are guaranteed to win the game if they make it to the finals.

Despite being completely blindsided by Wentworth's idol play, the tribe all lauds an awesome moment in Tribal Council history. When you've got two-timers playing, a good move is respected even if it totally screws you over. The "Witches Coven" of Wentworth, Ciera, and Abi-Maria are still on the outs of the tribe, but the trio could be useful for making a big move - something Stephen has on his mind. Speaking of Hidden Immunity Idols, everyone is frantic to find one because it could be the tool to get them to the million dollars. It's Jeremy who finds the lucky tree hole of fate that has a clue to another idol, which is barely a clue and moreso a map leading directly to the idol. Using the ol' poop excuse, Jeremy sneaks off to follow the trail and snag his second Hidden Immunity Idol.

Stephen is scheming and wants his main threats out of the game, which include the top-knot duo of Joe and Kelly Wiglesworth. Knowing he needs to make moves to win this time, Stephen reaches out to a new possible voting bloc: the Three Witches. The girls are willing to vote out whoever Stephen wants if it saves them. Things are really looking up for Stephen after he outswims Spencer in the Immunity Challenge to win himself a huge advantage in the game. The advantage allows Stephen to steal another person's vote at Tribal Council, allowing Stephen to cast two votes and one person gets no vote at all. Last year had a similar flop of an advantage, but in the hands of a gamer like Stephen this could be a crazy, game-changing twist. 

But OF COURSE Joe wins immunity for the third time in a row after balancing the longest on a triangle pedastal, which thwarts the secret plans to dump the golden boy. The big Bayon group plans to split their votes between Wentworth and Ciera to make the obvious move of picking off the Witches AKA boring TV. With Joe immune, Stephen turns the target on Kelly Wiglesworth who, despite having many 11 minutes of airtime total this season (and I'm being generous), is social with everyone and a threat to win. The Witches are on board, but Stephen has to convince a hesistant Jeremy and Spencer to join in on this risky plan.

Tribal Council time! The torrential rain is crushing everyone's moods, soaking wet and hungry. The rainy season is here and really testing the survival aspect of the game (#OldSchool, amirite?) Wentworth talks about playing her idol and how she hopes it inspires others to change up their game and make some moves. Cue up the buzz word of the night, as Jeremy explains voting blocs being more important than one big alliance. Stephen elaborates more on the evolution of the game, but Tasha pipes in that the voting bloc with the strongest alliance will win the game. When Probst asks who is actually worried at this Tribal Council, it's very telling who is feeling comfortable: Keith, Kimmi, Wiglesworth, and Jeremy don't raise their hands. The tribe votes and a soaking wet Probst, just ripe for a romance novel cover, reads the votes. It's Wentworth/Ciera split as predicted, until the Wiglesworth votes come pouring out. Kelly Wiglesworth, the original Survivor runner-up, is totally blindsided and eliminated from the game. Another shake-up towards total tribal chaos. I'm in!

[All images credited to CBS]

November 15, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: One Savage Idol Play

11/15/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 8

For this week's Reward Challenge, there's a schoolyard pick to split into two teams to paddle out to sea and retrieve four massive cubes. Once back to shore, those cubes have to be stacked and rotated so that no colors match. It's like opposite Rubix Cube. If you're wondering what the heavy-handed Second Chance reference for this challenge is, it's that Kelly Wiglesworth lost this challenge to "the guy who can't swim" (Gervase). So this allows for a wonderful wrap up for storyteller Probst when Wiglesworth's team wins and he can call this a successful second chance.

The winners of the reward are treated to iced coffee, bagels with cream cheese, cookies at the
Survivor Cafe. "You're going to OD on caffeine and sugar," Probst jokes, but all I can think of is the upset stomachs that'll come after. Hope there's an outhouse at the Survivor Cafe. With a mixed group of survivors in attendance (Kimmi, Wiglesworth, Wentworth, Joe, Ciera, Keith), Ciera thinks with a full stomach there but open minds that could be willing to talk game. I'd say there's a 30% buy-in to talk, with not as much words but definitely some internal pondering. Life-of-the-party Keith decides to take a tuk tuk (AKA "to-to") on a joy ride, leading to the most delightful moment of this season (and a GIF I can't stop texting and tweeting).

Eventhough the Bayon Bros are rewardless, they're still riding high and confident. Savage is soaking up finally making the jury and looks forward to a few days of cruise control, picking off outsiders like Ciera. But there's a slight worry in the air about Ciera trying to make a big move and turn the tables, and she'd only need a few people to flip. Cue Stephen Fishbach. Stephen's JT flashbacks continue to haunt him and he hopes this can be the time to blindside Joe out of the game, planting seeds with others around camp. Too bad Savage overhears Stephen's scheming to Tasha and is livid, because how dare Stephen scheme and deceive in a game that's basically founded on that principle. Savage reports all this back to Joe and vows to never vote Joe out ever. Joe knows he's a mega-threat and now that he's on Stephen's radar, immunity is important as ever.

So of course Joe wins individual immunity again after he's able to balances balls on a plank the longest. C'mon Keith, you're supposed to be the champion of balls. This means the silky immunity necklace is about to soak of Joe's sweat for another three days and the survivors aren't able to vote out the game's biggest threat. Now that Joey Amazing is protected, Savage and Joe have the ammunition they need to try to corral votes to get out Stephen. The trio of outsiders are gung-ho with Joe's suggestion to blindside Stephen (anything that saves their butts), and Savage lays in the hammock and gets all the others to agree to this plan as well. But Jeremy nixes it all since Stephen is one of his tightest allies. So it's back to the basic, go-with-the-flow plan to vote off someone not in the major alliance. Joe lets the the girls know the plan is off and gives the "I don't know yet" to Wentworth about who is getting voted off. Even if they have to go down with the ship the three have to decide if they should put their votes towards scheming Stephen or ringleader Savage.

Tribal Council time! First juror Kass enters the arena by giving everyone the bird because she's the GD Queen of Ponderosa. But back to people still in the game. Ciera reiterates her feeling that people aren't fighting for a top spot and instead playing for a group. Kelley Wentworth straight-up calls out that four people are running the game and not willing to make a move, so Ciera names the four as Jeremy, Savage, Tasha, and Stephen or Joe. Jeremy's like uhhh that's five, that you don't know anything. Spencer brings up that moves could happen or maybe an idol is out there, or maybe none at all, so Wentworth tries her semi-hardest to keep a straight face. Savage drones on about having people he talks to with mutual respect which causes Ciera to roll her eyes in the most amazing, unnatural way (which of course I've practiced all week in a lot of unsent Snapchat videos). While Stephen Fishbach insists this season's alliance is like none of the past thirty seasons, we know Ciera is in the right: there are definitely people on the top and bottom of that Bayon group. Wentworth drops a big hint that someone earlier in the day wanted to make a big move which only proves that their big loving alliance isn't THAT tight in the end. Kelley doesn't out those possible flippers because they might have to be her allies in 24 hours. 

And then they vote! Probst brings out the urn of votes and asks if anyone wants to play their idol. There's a long pause and then Kelley Wentworth like a GD boss busts out her super-secret Hidden Immunity Idol and plays it. The looks of shock on everyone's face is priceless and I need each and every one in GIF form immediately. There are at least two people who look liked they pooped their pants in shock (wouldn't be shocked if they did legit let out a little nervous pee). Nine votes pour out of that bucket for Wentworth, each capped off with Probst's signature "will not count". What does count are the three votes by the outsiders who completely flip this game around when they blindside Andrew Savage. America cries tears of joy as the overconfident leader of the Bayon Bros gets his torched snuffed. "At least you made the jury!" Abi-Maria shouts and Savage leaves with one last classy move: giving the bird. SEE YA SAVAGE.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 8, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: The End of Chaos Kass

11/08/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
Week 7

Savage's latest petulant tantrum about being screwed over has short consequences, as a monumental moment arrives: the merge. For the first time ever, the tribes have merged at 13 which means a total shitstorm is brewing. Everyone moves in together on Bayon beach and throws on their clean and not smelly orange buffs, sharing a celebratory merge feast with giant hunks of cheese, bread, and everything else that makes me hungry as I write a recap. It's all kumbaya when you've got a loaf of bread in your hand, but everyone is itching to end the eating to begin strategizing and saving their butts.

Right away, the Bayon Bro alliance is back. Savage's mind is just so boggled at the "stealth" moves to take out Woo because I guess the guy thinks no one ever schemes behind his back. In order for the Bayon alliance to get their dominant seven, the group needs Joe on their side (who has grown more distant from the group). Well leave that clutch move to Savage, the broiest of them all, who tries to sway a slightly indecisive Joe to their side. Kass, Ciera, and Abi-Maria obviously see they have low numbers, but hope to acquire the power with additional merge friends. Spencer is already possibly on their side after he and Kass mended fences, Kelley Wentworth is still down the the shuffled Ta Keo final five, which means they might have Keith and Joe. Even Spencer talks to Joe to try and become potential allies since Spencer has nothing but his strategic gameplan drawings in the sand. Oh Joe, the center of the universe. Everything orbits around that manbun. 

Kass' senses are all correct when she senses the massive brodown happening on Bayon. Once Savage is praising Stephen for reciting a poem out loud you know something is up. Also Stephen, might I suggest an inappropriate limerick for next time? Anyways, Kass tries to plant seeds of doubt and get info from her former Cagayan castaway Tasha about Bayon, so Tasha lies since she still doesn't trust from their original season. But Tasha, this is about second chances! Haven't you heard Jeff Probst saying it 18 times a day? Tasha and Kass try to talk again, drawing a literal line in the sand to point out they are on opposite sides. They bring their drama back to camp, with Kass outing to the group that Tasha 24 hours ago told her "bye bye Bayon" and lied to her. With Chaos Kass simmering at the surface, Ciera decides to jump in and create a lie that Savage wanted to vote out Jeremy and Joe... while Savage is standing two feet behind her. Ugh girl, if you're going to create a big lie do it in secret not while the man is there to defend himself. But hey, all this chaos is pretty entertaining.

The Orkun tribe arrives for their first individual immunity challenge with lots of beautifully painted balance beams in an array of complementary and ugly colors. When you merge with so many people, you're going to have to include some dud colors. The challenge is to stand on an increasingly narrow beam while balancing on a ball on a platform, with fluctuating hand positions on the platform's pole to make balancing more difficult. It's basically Jeff Probst soundbite galore with lots of talk about balls and grasping poles. The two middle men, Spencer and Joe, become the final two survivors in the competition which only validates theirs competition beast threat level status. Joe is the first to win individual immunity, gifted with the ornate immunity necklace that has red fabric sure to soak up all the stank on these people. 

Given their proclivity to cause chaos, and given that one has used said description in her nickname, the Bayon tribe plans to split their votes between Kass and Ciera (in case Kass plays an idol). No surprise, Savage actually wants them to vote off Ciera because she put him on blast. Kass wonders if she could get the numbers since the Bayon group is splitting their votes. If she can get Kelley Wentworth and Spencer on board, they could vote out Tasha. Spencer is torn because the main majority is anti-Kass/Ciera, but Kass/Ciera helped saved his butt his last vote. What's a swing vote guy to do?

Tribal Council time! Joe and Keith finally light their torches, which means everyone has officially been to Tribal now, which is an impressive run on torch-less nights. Once Kass insists she's not playing the chaos game this time around and name drops Tasha, Tasha gives a classic reaction face and it becomes a battle between the two again. Cut to Keith's amazing attempt at doing cat claws. Never change, Keith Nale. Ciera gives an impassioned speech about coming to win the game and for others to play for themselves, not a group (which is what her downfall was on Blood vs. Water). It's definitely the way Spencer is playing as he has no real allies and explains tonight's vote is tonight's vote and tomorrow will be a whole new day for him. Stephen points out how the whole game has evolved and that the targets at the merge are women, when it is typically a great time for all the alpha men to attack each other for dominance. Probst points out that maybe the game is less about alliances and more about weekly voting blocks. "Let's play," Ciera says. Truth girl, play the game! The votes are cast with only two against Tasha, one for Savage, and four for Ciera. But sadly it is Chaos and/or Calm Kass (AKA Comcast) who is eliminated with six votes. Who knew I'd be so bummed to lose Kass in this game? Guess this is my second chance too. Cut to heavy-handed Jeff Probst smirk and thumbs up.

[All images credited to CBS]

November 1, 2015

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance: Woo-rst Case Scenario

11/01/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , , No comments
 Week 6

This week's Survivor begins on a downer note. Jeff Probst arrives in the wee hours of the night at Ta Keo beach to tell Terry that his son has a medical emergency back home. No question Terry grabs his belongings, says goodbye, and gets on the boat so he can travel home to be with family. We find out in the closing credits bumper that Terry's son is OK now, having received a heart transplant in the fall. With a much improved game this time around, it wouldn't surprise me to see Terry Dietz get a third chance. Now back to the snark.

The loss of Terry stuns all and gives everyone a moment to reflect on emotions. But they're in for another shock. With fourteen survivors left, it's time for yet another shuffle back into three tribes. The slums of Angkor beach is no more! Most hilarious is how excited Savage is to switch tribes again when last time he basically threw a tantrum. The new Ta Keo is a shuffle of everyone, while new Bayon is all original Bayons plus Kelley Wentworth. The tribes quickly bond in a reward challenge which is an oiled up Slip N' Slide ending in ring toss. It's like watching March of the Penguins but everyone is really lubed up. Ta Keo wins the final round and earns their tribe a picnic lunch delivered to camp with fried chicken, mac and cheese, and brownies AKA Melissa's daily dream meal.

Ta Keo chows down on their lunch as a drool in both my original watch and re-watch, wishing I had fried chicken. The awkwardness of the tribe is the reunion of Kass and Spencer, mortal enemies from their prior season. Savage is already scheming to use this past to his advantage, hoping to upgrade his alliance of three to five and boot Spencer. But Savage's plan to vote off Spencer includes using Ciera as the decoy vote-off plan and she's not too fond of being even a fake target. Ciera thought the original Bayon bond was still strong, but she quickly reads in Savage's actions that he values Woo over her.

The ol' Bayon gang is back together and Kelley is definitely the easiest target being the lone original Ta Keo. But Ta Keo 2.0 made an alliance that protected Kelley and Joe still would like to remain aligned with Kelley. Kelley does have a secret ace up her sleeve in form of her immunity idol but still, she'd rather not have to play it, Joe begins to subtly throw Kimmi under the bus to Tasha and Stephen, and Stephen's taken aback by the Bayon betrayal (umm you guys made the first Bayon betrayal of the season, just saying). Suddenly Stephen is having flashbacks to his original season and letting the "golden boy" get to the end. Overcome with emotion, like literally as he cries in his interview, Stephen doesn't want to lose this second chance and would like to vote out Joe at the next Tribal Council.

Despite the occasional reward feast here and there, the survivors are starving. So it's the perfect time for a gross food challenge. In the case of heavy-handed history, this is Kimmi's second chance in life to not screw up eating nasty animal delicacies. Such fine treats include scorpion, pig's brain, pig's snout, frog, tarantulas, and the dreaded balut. It's always comical to watch people struggle to each gross stuff, wiggling and dancing to force the food down. Kass chokes in the final round, or rather dry heaves and gags, which allows Bayon to win immunity. Basking in victory, Jeremy sneaks up to snag a Kass' leftover balut for the road. Gotta get protein any way you can, even if it's duck embryo.

Kass is getting excited that she'll get her second chance to write Spencer's name down and boot him from the game. Thing is, Ciera is still not happy she's the decoy and doesn't trust Savage fully. However Ciera doesn't want to target Savage, but instead his right-hand man: Woo. This mean's Ciera won't spill Bayon blood but still takes away a key asset of Savage, who is bossing everyone around. I mean, you know Abi will be thrilled to write down Woo's name because, say it together, he voted for her twice. Spencer wants to work with Savage until Kass of all people tells Spencer of the plans to blindside him, all organized by Andrew Savage. Despite her past personal vendetta, Kass puts it aside to use Spencer to her advantage for now. Even Spencer is like, "Holy crap I'm actually playing with Kass again."

Tribal Council time! Ciera and Kass light their torches for the first time all season, since this is their very first trip to Tribal Council (impressive!) Probst kicks off right away to talk about second chances and changing from their last time playing. Spencer and Savage talk about building relationships with people, while Woo acknowledges that his second chance means becoming a little more cutthroat. Probst wonders if Chaos Kass or new Kass (who she called Calm Kass, which I misheard a Comcast) is at Tribal and she's not totally sure. Savage vouches for new Kass and I'm sure it's taking a lot to hold back smirks. But Savage is a little overconfident and has "no doubts" about the vote which, of course, the most foreshadowy phrase you can utter in this game. "My fate tonight lies in the hands of Chaos Kass... God help me," Spencer says as he casts his vote. Probst returns with the urn of votes and it seems the return of Chaos Kass is here: Woo is voted out of the game with one last blindside face.

[All images credited to CBS]