Welcome back to the not-as-bad-as-it-first-was season of Survivor. Ali is fighting with Ryan at camp post-tribal. Ali was #blindsided by Ryan’s vote to get rid of Roark. They’re fighting in front of everyone, which doesn’t seem very strategic. Chrissy interviews that this simply proves Ryan feels he can get further in this game with her than he can get with Ali. I don’t like Chrissy very much, but I appreciate her self-awareness that she ain’t special.
Look, tattooed eyebrows can be very persuasive.
Ali keeps arguing with Ryan, super hurt that he didn’t tell her anything. Ryan is trying to convince Ali he didn’t tell her because he was worried because she was “too close” to Roark. Ali isn’t buying his pathetic excuse, and no one else is either. Ryan, just man up and tell her you chose to align with Chrissy. Pitting two smart women against each other, and then lying about it, isn’t the best Survivor strategy, dude.
No wonder he doesn’t have a girlfriend.
Ryan frames the break-up in his interview the way most men do: Ali cried and complained and that doesn’t look good on her.
Eff you, emaciated Hobbit.
Ali realizes she’s truly on her own now and won’t trust Ryan again.
Day late and a dollar short, sweetheart. Mayhap you can cry on Jess’s shoulder.
At the Red tribe, Mike caught a tiny fish with a spear gun and feels really good about it. Props to you, kind urologist.
I love our little underdog. Jess asks Mike if he feels like a man as he self-deprecatingly shows off his catch. I don’t think she meant to be condescending, but she has been hanging out with Cole a lot, so maybe that’s just Jess’s natural state of being now. When he drops the fish in the fire while cooking it, he provides some comic relief for Jess and Ben.
aka Country Galifianakis
Ben interviews that Mike shared that fish with the tribe, while Cole has caught a few bigger fish and ate them all without sharing. What? I didn’t know that was allowed! Cole’s not just dumb, he’s a douche.
The neck work on this season is amazeballs.
This is a great segue into Cole asking to cook rice ’cause he’s hungry. Everyone else wants to wait, but no one’s smacking Cole down except Lauren. Go Mama Bear! No one’s backing her up and Cole’s getting snippy.
Shut your rice hole, Mom!
Cole does snidely agree that he’ll wait to eat since that’s what everyone wants. He interviews that he deserves more food because he guarantees their wins in challenges.
Someone else ate all the humble pie.
Cole and Jess leave to lay on the beach and Lauren and Ben gripe with Mike about how annoying Cole is and that he’s delusional if he thinks that Jess is going to be
Living in a van down by the river
with him. Lauren interviews that she hopes she and Ben can convince Mike to vote out Cole if they go to tribal.
Day 15 REWARD CHALLENGE! Here’s the quick and dirty description: race on beach through wooden frames (high-step it like NFL players), tag team a buoy carry with wooden poles over a balance beam, drop buoy into hole which opens ring holding a rope tied to your tribe’s boat, get in boat and use rope to pull team boat over to floating dock, where one tribe member uses giant slingshot to hit two targets. First place gets ten of the most disgusting pizzas I’ve ever seen
And I went to a state school.
Second place gets one pizza to share. Third place gets high fives for no food poisoning. Red tribe sits out Mike because the other two tribes have four players. JP and Ali for Yellow get their buoy to the mat first, while Cole and Ben for Red and Ashley and Desi for Blue both drop their buoys and have to start that stage again. Cole and Ben make it on their second try while the Yellow tribe has already made it to the boat, untying the knots in the rope that keep the boat stationary. Desi and Ashley drop their buoy two more times, so Blue’s toast. Red gets in their boat and starts untying knots while Yellow’s pulling away … except their boat isn’t moving. They forgot to untie one knot, so Red has a chance to catch up.
Of course, the final obstacle, the slingshot, is the great equalizer.
You mean it “has a learning curve”, ApplePie.
Blue has time to catch up before either of the other teams knocks down even one of the two targets. Yellow wins easily.
Ben pulls through for Red and they come in second. On their victorious post-challenge walk back to Yellow camp, JP interviews that he doesn’t like to stand out but in this case, it’s good, because there’s no way Yellow would win challenges without him.
Somehow, it doesn’t bother me when he says it. Maybe that’s ’cause he’s proven it to be true.
Yellow’s enjoying their pizza, and Chrissy is excited to find all the tooth jewelry in the balogna pizza.
Ryan interviews, over JP’s monologue that his perfect first date is a tri-tip salad at a beach bonfire (Sidenote: I can’t decide if that sounds amazing or if JP is a complete tool and this is just what he imagines dates are like while he’s crying himself to sleep on his firehouse bunk), that JP is a physical threat and has no strategy so they should get rid of him before the merge.
At Blue, Joe and Desi go to get water while Ashley interviews that she and Devon are a tight alliance and hoping to convince Desi to vote against Joe so the vote won’t go to rocks at tribal. Also,
Damn, girl! I wish I had your abs
*thinks about doing 100 situps*
*takes another bite of muffin instead*
Devon and Joe look for crabs and other delicious bites (and Idols!) while Ashley chats with Desi about possibly voting Joe out. Desi is non-committal in person with Ashley and in her interview. Joe finds this clue on his and Devon’s walk. These aren’t really “clues” to the idol location, though, are they? “Clue” implies that these pictures don’t tell you exactly where the idols are. They’re more like first-grader maps.
I wonder if the cameramen threw a rock at the tree to get Joe to look there.
Joe interviews that he’s going to wait until after dark, erase the clue and find the idol. This time, he’ll tell no one. Sure enough, that night, he digs up and finds the IMMUNITY IDOL and interviews later that all his hard work is about his kids. Sure.
Day 16 at the Red tribe. We see Cole get hand tremors, and then turn down a juicy worm that landed on Mike in the shelter. Cole gets up and promptly takes a Ronda Rousey-worthy header straight into the ground. Luckily for Cole, he’s not stuck with a random Aussie doctor that Survivor found drinking cocktails on a Fijian beach vacation. Cole has Dr. Mike and Jess the NP on his tribe.
Unfortunately, Dr. Mike is unable to EXORCISE THE DEMON!
Jess takes control and orders him to lie still, drink fluids, and eat her portion of rice. I guess Cole’s plan worked.
He neeeeeeeeds me.
While Cole and Jess have another romantic beach date later, Ben chats with Mike about Cole’s liability and seems to convince Mike that Cole should be the next to go.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE! This is a cool one (to me). It looks like this:
Each of four tribe members, standing at the end of a spoke, has to hold a rope taut to balance a block at the center of their half-wheel. They take turns stacking letters on the central block, like this:
until they spell “IMMUNITY” vertically. Of course, they have to balance walk on a beam as they walk back and forth from the center with their letter blocks, so the stack can fall down at any time. First two tribes to spell the word in blocks with everyone back at their home circles win immunity. Red tribe makes Lauren sit out again. Boo.
During the challenge, every tribe drops their stack at least once, the Red tribe dropping it as Cole was on his way back to his spoke end after placing the last “I”. Suddenly, the Red tribe figures out the “trick” of the challenge on their second attempt (or maybe a producer whispered in one of their ears): if the other three hold their ropes taut enough, the block mover can completely drop his or her rope and move freely, quickly up and down the beam with the letter block. This info enables them to catch up with other two teams, who haven’t picked up on the trick. At the tense end of the challenge, all three tribes have the block word completed and the “I” block holders are just “racing” back to their respective spoke ends. Jess gets there fastest for Red, and they win immunity, because their tribe is the only one who did not depend at all on the block holder tribe member to balance the stack with his or her rope. As JP is on the way back to his spoke end, the Yellow team’s stack falls. I can’t believe he “lost” it for their team. That’s a first. Blue has Devon making his way back and he uses his height to stretch out his legs so that one toe touches the spoke end, winning JV immunity for Blue. Someone’s got to go on the Yellow tribe.
Please, for the love of Orcs, let it be him.
Ali interviews that she’s in danger, and she knows it. I guess Ali could have been a doormat after she was blindsided, and tried to ally with JP against the other two. She could have allied with Chrissy against Ryan, pointing out that he dropped Ali like a hot potato to get out Roark, Who’s to say he won’t do that with Chrissy? Either Ali doesn’t think on her feet that quickly or was too hurt by Ryan to think a few votes ahead.
JP interviews that Ali is the obvious vote and she’ll be gone. Ryan interviews that he’s considering getting JP out as a physical threat pre-merge, and needs to make up with Ali to make that vote happen. He apologizes to Ali and suggests voting out JP. She agrees and says she’ll talk to Chrissy. Chrissy is open to the idea, but wants to discuss options with Ryan about who should leave tonight, since everyone agrees that the merge is coming soon so they need to get rid of people that will be tough to beat post-merge. Chrissy and Ryan are evilly gleeful about being in total control of the vote.
This probably isn’t going to end well (I hope).
Ryan interviews that both JP and Ali are eager to work with him, and though he doesn’t understand why (he aptly calls himself a weasel), he’s going to use it to his advantage and stab one of them in the back.
TRIBAL! Probst talks to Ryan first, referencing the blindside at the last tribal. The camera not-so-artfully cuts to Ali
Rippin’ off the Band-Aid early
She tells Probst it’s all good in the hood now while JP smirks in the back. Probst brings up the merge and how that impacts tonight’s vote …. blah, blah, blah
This is my “still interested after 35 seasons” face.
JP pretends he’s worried about his fate, saying that this is the time in the season when tribes tend to vote out physical threats so they don’t make it past the merge. I didn’t know he paid attention that much. Probst didn’t either, and calls him out for flying under the radar (at least, he makes Ali say so). Chrissy defends him, saying JP just plays a “quiet game”. Ryan tells Probst that JP’s “not missing much … there’s only a couple pieces left for this guy to become a super player”, so that makes him a threat. Ryan isn’t worried that JP’s going to pick up on the backhanded burn, and he’s either right or JP has a self-disciplined, do-not-Hulk-out mantra.
Tri-tip salad and a beach bonfire …
tri-tip salad and a beach bonfire …
tri-tip salad and a beach bonfire …
I would’ve dotted Ryan’s eye for him if I was JP. Probst calms the impending storm by telling JP that he resembles “the granite [he appears] to be carved from” and everyone laughs.
Except Chrissy, who Marilyn Manson grimaces
Just before the vote, Chrissy makes the good point that each of the other three benefit her game and hurt her game, so the vote is a tough call. VOTE TIME! It’s Ali. Awww man. I liked her. She seems really shocked and sad that Ryan didn’t stick with her. In her post-vote interview, she is disappointed in herself for trusting Ryan and she calls Chrissy a talented liar who just might win.
Is it a Freudian slip or intentional that Ryan misspelled both Ali’s name and “ally” in one written vote?
See you next week!