April 26, 2015

Survivor Worlds Apart: Shizz Gets Real at the Survivor Auction

4/26/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 9

This week on Survivor features one of my favorite parts of every season: the Survivor auction! Everyone is given $500 to bid on food and other simple pleasures, or as the latest seasons have escalated: hold all your money to bid on an advantage. But this auction shows it means boss immediately after Will bids on a covered item, which ends up immediately kicking him out of the auction and sends him back to camp alone. I laughed so hard. But when he returns to camp alone he gets the easiest clue ever that says "Dig" with an X marking the spot (not to mention a flagged stick in the ground). He ended up winning a personal stash of rations to last the game which he can share or keep secret. Will decides to share it to win favor and show no hard feelings... until later, but I'll get to that.

But back to the auction. When I see a plate of chicken and waffles I begin to drool and know my response to that would be, "$500, Jeff!" Shirin walks away with the food for $300, while Jenn wins a big cocktail, Sierra a plate of kebabs, and Rodney has a glass of red wine along with a steak. Carolyn, Mike, and Dan avoid all the delicious temptation, hoarding their $500 for the advantage that will likely be up for bid. But when letters from home are offered up, Shirin explains that Probst usually lets everyone buy the letter for whatever the offer is. Sierra buys for $20 a pop, so everyone else agrees to the letters including Mike, Dan, and Carolyn. But when the time comes to pick up his letter, Mike lingers in the back of the pack, turns around,and keeps all his money. SLICK MOVE! Well Carolyn is not having it returns her letter for a refund. Realizing this is the worst social move (if not totally baller), Mike pays the $20 so it's all even and fair and bleckh. The advantage is in a wooden box and Dan, Carolyn, and Mike are all in for $480. They draw rocks to see who wins it and Dan wins it. It's anti-climactic to watch, especially moreso when a doofus like Dan gets it.

The reason Mike was going all-out for the advantage is that he earlier overhead Rodney tell his sub-alliance of three that he is gunning for Mike. Instead of letting this fester, Mike confronts Rodney at camp at the moment everyone is preparing to read their letters from home. A lot of people on the tribe consider this a violation of the sacred moment of family time, so Mike is now the camp pariah. Rodney immediately uses this to his advantage and begins buttering up Dan for his vote. Or votes. You see, Dan's advantage is he has earned a second vote at any future Tribal Council he wants. All he has to do is announce it before Probst says, "I'll go tally the votes." I'd love a loophole where Dan can never use it because Probst never says the word "tally" again. Anyways, this gives Dan a fair amount of voting power as he could double up votes on one person, or cast votes for two different people. But the biggest camp disaster of all is Will going OFF on Shirin in the most horrendous way possible, after it's relayed to Will that Jenn, Mike, and Shirin thought he didn't share all his food. Will's outburst is really personal saying no one at home loves Shirin. Shirin survived a home life of domestic violence, so hearing this is beyond repulsive and so personal. This motivates Jenn to want to stick around to really screw over the people she hates, the turds being horrible to Shirin.

At the Immunity Challenge, Will asks Probst if he can sit out of this week's Immunity Challenge in order to receive his letter from home. New-school Probst is apparently always open to negotiations now and will allow it, but everyone on the tribe must agree to it. "Doesn't anybody reject?" Shirin raises her hand LIKE A BOSS. Revenge is sweet for our new Ice Queen Shirin. So Will has no letter and still has to participate in the challenge, which he'd lose anyways because he's horrible at challenges. The challenge is to carry a ball with big tongs across teeter totters, setting the balls into some candelabra looking thing. Mike and Tyler are the two frontrunners but a dropped ball crushes Tyler's chances, allowing Mike to take his time and secure immunity.

While Will would like to eliminate Shirin because he can't stand her, Jenn is a bigger competitor and therefore the better target. Mike, Jenn, and Shirin have become a trio all of a sudden and agree to go after Carolyn AKA Mama C. The swing vote concern lies with Sierra and Dan, so Mike talks to Dan about that other foursome being tight. "Flippers never win" Dan doesn't buy for a second that the alliance of seven is imploding, because he has no common sense and/or this overwhelming desire to believing in loyalty. Mike reminds Dan that the two of them have been tight since day one while everyone else is using him to their advantage. Tyler brings up the group questioning Dan, he gets red-faced and flustered, insisting he makes his own destiny. Everyone wants Dan on their side and everyone is terrified of which side he'll chose.

Tribal Council time! Earlier Will said to bring popcorn because it'll be the best Tribal ever, so he opens up right away about the secret food stash drama that happened at camp. Shirin points out that the food argument lasted a hot second before Will turned super personal, leading her to tear up. As Shirin opens up about her emotional past, Will keeps saying he didn't attack her personally and all I want is for someone to say, "STFU, Will. You are awful." The Blue Collars talk about how they were tight for a long time but the time is coming to turn on each other to win. Mike uses his time to bring up the alliance of four and that they'll walk all the way to the end. Rodney uses the emotional appeal, bringing up that Mike was going to deny people letters for a chance to get ahead. Shirin openly discusses that she expects the votes to be split between herself and Jenn, with Dan and Sierra being the swing. The other side denies that Dan and Sierra are swing votes, insisting it is a strong six. Basically, this Tribal Council is an emotional mess and I have no idea what's going to happen. And then Jenn gets eliminated, meaning all those turds remain in the game. Ugh, are we supposed to like who will end up winning this season because it seems REAL hard right now.

April 20, 2015

Survivor Worlds Apart: Goodbye Glorious Manbun

4/20/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 8

The survivors are split into two teams for the Reward Challenge, crossing obstacles in the ocean and then retrieving rings. The winners get to trip to the Chocolate Cafe AKA Product Placement City. Everyone gets a single M&M as inspiration to fight for a prize of Snickers. One whole M&M! Probst spoils them, though everyone plays into this moment of ecstasy with their most exaggerated looks of delight. The survivors are wet and slippery so of course there's lots of face plants down platforms and squeaky slips. Will's wonderful slip, fall, whatever has become my go-to GIF of the week. In a big comeback, Mike, Dan, Tyler, Shirin, and Sierra win their chocolate fix. Snickers, Twix, Dove, M&Ms, and more - it's like a melted chocolate dream come true.

Back at camp, the losers decide to kill a chicken because it's almost as good as a Twix bar (I'm lying. Chicken won't cue your Twix fix). Rodney uses this time to charm everyone (me included!) with his phenomenal Mike impression, which cracks everyone up and shows that maybe the alliance isn't as tight as assumed. It's definitely true as Rodney has been pondering when the best time to flip on his alliance, explaining that flippers can win, they just have to flip at the right time. Jenn is the Debbie Downer at camp, sad and lonely after the tribe voted off her BFF Hali. She hates who she lives with, doesn't want the chickens slaughtered, and is ready to bid adieu to the game. Set on leaving, Jenn tells Joe that if she wins the immunity challenge she'll give him her necklace.

The Immunity Challenge is for the survivors to balance on their tippy toes with a block on their head, keeping that block steady against the top of the contraption they're standing on. It's a great endurance challenge, requiring some physicality but also a mind-over-matter concentration. Joe's manbun needed to be a little lower, as he loses his first individual immunity challenge. Tyler, Mike, and Jenn are the final three, so Probst reminds us it's fitting to have one of each collar left (not really). Jenn is so close, but Tyler wins individual immunity.

Joe is sure he's going, but a plan masterminded by Shirin would help Jenn get her way to go home. Since the big seven will probably split the votes out of fear of an idol, Shirin will vote to force a tie between Joe and Jenn and get her out of the game. Mike hopes Shirin will vote their way and allow the biggest thread to be eliminated, which Shirin really ponders since she's started to make ins with Mike and Sierra for a new alliance. To hopefully keep the votes away from him, Joe runs out into the woods pretending to search for the idol but instead hand-crafting a fake one - and it's so good looking! Joe's real-life profession of a jewelry designer has never been so handy. Joe haggles with Mike: make the votes go my way and I'll give you the idol. Mike proposes something different: give me the idol beforehand and I will switch. While Mike has the idol from Joe's clue, he considers that it's always possible that Joe possesses one of the billion other hidden idols from pre-merge.

Tribal Council time! Jenn does enjoy being there, but also hates it. She admits she would've given individual immunity idol to Joe just to piss the others off. "I want to be here. I want to play." Joe says, pointing out that Jenn wants to quit and could get dragged along just because she's not into it. Jenn insists she's not quitting, nor would she quit because she's not a quitter even if she's asking to be voted off. Before the voting, Mike asks Probst if he can verify an immunity idol. The answer is no, because it could impact the game (and in the best way possible). After the votes are cast, Mike does play the "Hidden Immunity Idol" for Will - except it ain't real. Sadly the plan doesn't pan out and the beautifully coiffed Joe is out of the game.

April 13, 2015

Survivor Worlds Apart: Swing Vote Pizza Party

4/13/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

The Reward Challenge is to collect puzzle pieces while picking up puzzle pieces. Hali, Mike, and Joe are the top finishers and advance to the final round to assemble the rusty anchor puzzle. Joe and his beautiful manbun win the reward, bringing Tyler, Will, Carolyn, and superfan Shirin. Well, well, well - finally someone whose reward picks are strategic. By the way, not going is Rodney who throws some irritating tantrum about wanting the pizza but not wanting it and keeping it real. STFU. ANYHOO, the reward is basically my Bachelor dream date (sans helicopter) of ziplining through the lush rainforest, ending in a pizza party picnic. At the pizza party, Joe notices something weird in Carolyn's soda and is able to get the drink from her. He sips it down and sucks a clue into his mouth, but not without being noticed by Tyler. "That opens up new options," Tyler explains after not totally outing Joe immediately. Notice I said "immediately."

Back at camp, Joe and Tyler pretend to clean dishes but instead hunt for the immunity idol. Mike fakes sleeping, then begins to tail them like a monkey in the trees. Tyler knows he's caught, so he does some damage control and tells Mike what the clue said. It becomes a manhunt with everyone trying to find Joe before he finds the idol. Mikes tells everyone Joe found the idol, but he didn't. Mike spends his entire day trying to find the idol, stopping along the way to a healthy snack of termites. It takes awhile, but sure enough Mike finds that lucky tree hole that she shoves his hand into and finds the hidden immunity idol.

Meanwhile, Shirin seems to find herself in the middle of people being total dicks to her. Rodney doesn't appreciate that the No Collar alliance have become sort of foot rationers. This causes him to fight with Shirin over slicing a salami, which is beyond stupid. Not as stupid though is Rodney's actual gameplay, which is to stay seven strong and eventually turn on ringleader Mike. Back to Shirin stuff though. Dan continues to be an irritating, patronizing, tactless fool telling Shirin she's a stupid fan for not aligning with the numbers. In his interview he also wishes Shirin would get slapped to shut her up, only solidifying my rage. Dan claims he's trying to be nice but he continues his descent into becoming one of my least favorite players ever.

The Immunity Challenge is puzzle-rific this week, navigating one puzzle piece through three slide mazes and one slide puzzle. Slide puzzles are the demon and if I had to do this challenge I'd probably be screwed. Though I wouldn't slide it around real fast and claim to be done like that idiot Dan. Dan shouts that he has the puzzle with a level of confidence that is so strong, yet the puzzle is so wrong. And then a minute later he does it again and it's even more wrong! The manbun dominates and Joe wins individual immunity again.

While Shirin wanted to win the puzzle challenge, she's fine laying low for a few more days. She's not laying low though because Tyler and Carolyn concoct a story that Shirin probably has the White Collar idol. Mike thinks Shirin is easy to beat and recommends take out Joe's tighter ally, Hali. Shirin relays to the other girls the horrible stuff Dan said to her, which begins an airing of the Dan grievances or as I'll call it, Merican Festivus. The girls have a breakthrough: take out Dan. It would just require Sierra, who's down for a girls alliance, and one other to flip. Shirin tries to sway Tyler, explaining it can take out a Blue Collar that is part of a power couple.

Tribal Council time! It's agreed that while last Tribal Council was surprising, it wasn't a line-in-the-sand moment like many assumed. Alliances are open. "Flippers never win," Dan tells the group and Shirin serves him real good, citing Tony's constant flipping. Hali cites that our country was founded on flipping, to which Shirin tags on "Merica!" And then they vote! We got all our hopes up for nothing and Hali is eliminated.

April 6, 2015

Survivor Worlds Apart: Hands Across Merica

4/06/2015 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 6

The two tribes walk into what they assume will be a challenge, but it's actually the merge! This means it's the time of the season for shizz to go off the rails, but first: a feast. While tearing into bread, cheese, and other deliciousness, details are spilled on Joaquin. Carolyn listens to the story and realizes a common theme this season is to eliminate power couples, and her half of the power couple knows she has a hidden immunity idol. With stomachs full of cheese and rum, the tribe heads to their new home on Escameca beach and the shelter is gone. Haha suckers, time to build again! After avoiding the temptation to pee on Dan's jellyfish sting, the team decides on their new name. Normally it's a boring mashup of the two former tribe names. This season they decide to take a step towards truly terrible with Merica. Not an ironic 'Murica, but simple America minus the A. Red, white, and blue and a bunch of diverse people from across the country. Shirin seems to be the only one who feels our pain. Meanwhile, can't get the America's Funniest Videos theme song out of my head.

Usually people are on the sly about making alliances, but it's very forward this time and everyone begins to scatter and scheme. Reunited with again with her old tribe, Kelly and Mike are plan to run the game with the former Blue Collars plus two more for the numbers. Oh hello, Will and the two White Collars. Those same three players are in demand by Jenn and Hali, who never trusted Kelly and would like to wipe out the Blue Collar crew. Rodney starts his loud ways of wheelin' and dealin',  offering Will and Carolyn a final four deal. Meanwhile, Carolyn and Tyler are happy to be in demand, but agreed they have to keep their bond a secret to avoid the fate of the other power couples.
But Rodney's haggling might be too early, because Mike wants to target Will first should they lose.

The first solo Immunity Challenge is a classic foot, arm, and crotch killer: holding on a pole for dear life. In no surprise ever, Dan and Will drop quickly, bellies rubbing up against that pole. Others follow rather quickly because, as Jeff Probst reminds the viewers repeatedly, this is a challenge for small people. The final four up on the pole are Carolyn, Joe, Hali, and Jenn (who got stung by a bug in the lady area). Soon the rain starts pouring down, probably the hardest we've seen this season so far. After a final two hang-on between, Joe and Carolyn, Joe wins the first individual immunity. Rodney shakes his head in repulsion. It's the same face I make when he talks.

Blue Collar (ok, just Mike) lament Joe's victory but quickly turns the target on Joe's allies, Jenn or Hali. The plan is for them to vote off Jenn, but tell Will to vote for Hali to see if he's trustworthy.  To really get the numbers on their side, Kelly works to bring Carolyn over, while Mike tries to work with Tyler. Tyler is hesistant since he was blindsided by the whole Joaquin thing, so either he's fully in on the plans or he's a no go. The other White Collar remaining, Shirin, pledges her loyalty to the No Collars and plan to vote out Kelly. So many targets and alliances, my head hurts. Tyler and Carolyn have a secret chat together about the plans on both sides, discussing their spots as the swing votes that will determine everything. Sensing that they could totally be on the outs, Jenn wonders if tonight's the night to play that idol of hers. Hali asks how Jenn found the idol. "Magic," she says. Jenn plans to bring the hidden immunity idol to Tribal Council and play it if anything shady goes down.

Tribal Council time! Will says that everyone is a target, so much so that even Probst could be voted out (please tell me this happens on a blooper reel). The game is already super cutthroat with everyone playing to win. Tyler and Carolyn agree that this vote will draw a line in the sand and truly create separate sides. Probst brings up that no hidden immunity idols have been played, which is of course a lot foreshadowing action. And with Dan's final metaphor of the line being drawn with a chainsaw, because everything is like stabby horror movie metaphors with this group. After the votes are cast, Jenn decides to make her power move and play her hidden immunity idol like a GD boss. Once the votes role in for Jenn, her and the No Collars snicker and lightly cheer. So it's Kelly who is voted out of the game. She could probably use that doctor's visit now.