Survivor 29 — Who Doesn’t Love A Little Tribal Council Chaos?

Hi, everyone!

With everyone (including) me busy getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, this is going to be a shorter post than usual.  And, to be honest, I kind of regret that because tonight’s episode of Survivor was one of the best of the season.  It’s just unfortunate that it had to air right before one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year.

Anyway, if you’re anything like me, you’ve gotten frustrated with countless tribal councils where everything seems to follow an exact script.  The editors, of course, always try to make it look like anyone could get voted out but, far too often, it’s a case where exactly who you think is going to get voted out ends up getting voted out.

Well, tonight, we finally got the type of tribal council that we’ve all been waiting for.  Tonight, we got a tribal council where the cunning plan fell apart, largely because this season’s survivors aren’t really cunning enough to pull off a cunning plan.

Up until tribal council began, I thought that Reed was going to be successful in his plan to blindside Jon.  And, to be honest, I was fine with that.  Jon may be a nice guy but his survival has more to do with luck than any brilliant gameplay on his part.  If Jon was voted out, that would mean Jaclyn would be free to play her own game and, from what I’ve seen, I think that Jaclyn would actually be a stronger player on her own.

Plus, I’ve really started to like Reed.  Much as how Jaclyn would benefit from playing her own game, Reed has benefited from being freed from Josh’s shadow.

So, the plan was for Reed and Alec to join with Keith and Wes in voting for Jon, while fooling the rest of the tribe into splitting their votes between Keith and Wes.

It was a good plan but Keith pretty much ruined it.  At Tribal Council, when Reed said that he wondered if Keith had the idol, Keith did not understand that Reed was just trying to fool the rest of the tribe into thinking that he wasn’t in an alliance with Keith. Instead, Keith told Reed to “stick to the plan.”

And yet, even with Keith basically announcing that Reed was planning a blindside, Jon still couldn’t figure out that he was about to be voted out.  Natalie had to tell him to play his idol.

“Really?” Jon replied, “you think I should?”

The easiest way to get Jon to do something is to tell him that you think he should.

Jon played his idol.  Keith then played his idol.  Jon got 4 votes.  Keith got 3 votes.  Wes got 2 votes.  Wes went to the jury.

However, despite the fact that 2 idols were played tonight, there’s still one out there and guess who has it?  Natalie!  She found it earlier in the episode.  Unfortunately, Baylor was with her when she found it so now, Natalie is in a position where she has to trust Baylor.  People have to trust Baylor tend to end up getting voted out.

The next episode of Survivor will be a two hour episode!  Judging from the previews, it appears that Jon and Jaclyn are going to have an argument and Reed is going to call Baylor a brat.  I can’t wait!

Anyway, that’s it!  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Love ya!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 29 — Wow

Well, that was surprising.

Now, I’ll be honest.  As much as I liked Jeremy and as much as I wanted him to win and felt that he deserved to win, I knew that he probably wouldn’t make it to the end.  He was simply too obvious of a threat.  Nobody would want to be in a final three (or two) with him.  Add to that, Jeremy was definitely a bit too cocky for his own good and, as smart as he was, he often times struggled to control his emotions.

So, I knew that Jeremy would probably be voted out eventually but I certainly did not expect him to be voted out tonight!

How exactly did Jeremy end up getting blindsided?  Well, it certainly wasn’t due to any brilliant gameplay on the part of the players.  Instead, Jon got paranoid and decided to turn on his strongest ally.  It was a dumb move on Jon’s part but that’s pretty much the way that Jon’s been playing this game from the beginning.

Who would have guessed that immediately after the merge, the two leaders — Josh and Jeremy — would both be off the beach and on the jury?  Up until tonight, everyone else had either taken their orders from Jeremy or from Josh.

Now, they’re both gone.

Who is going to step up to be the leader now?

A few random thoughts and observations:

  • I am not a fan of people searching through other people’s possessions.  First, it was everyone going through Julie’s bag.  Than Reed went through Keith’s bag.  Seriously, if I was on that beach and somebody went through my stuff, somebody would end up getting their eyes scratched out.
  • What do y’all think about Jeremy and Natalie giving up their reward and letting Jon and Jaclyn go in their place?  When that happened, I thought that would probably backfire on them and it certainly did.  If Jeremy hadn’t given up the reward, he would never have gone to Exile.  He would never had discovered that Jon had the idol.  Jon would never have tried to lie about having the idol.  Jon would never have gotten paranoid.  Jeremy would still be on the beach.
  • Keith and Wes are getting more and more isolated.  I was honestly expecting to see Keith voted out tonight but he survived.  And he still has his idol.
  • Missy’s number one concern in the game continues to be Baylor.  Challenge after challenge, Missy looks at Baylor and starts to cry.  Baylor usually responds by shoving her mom into either the ocean or a pit of mud.
  • The immunity challenge, I thought, was pretty good.  And, giving credit where credit is due, Baylor did for once win immunity on her own, as opposed to having it handed to her.
  • Here’s how the blindside happened: Jeremy and Natalie voted for Keith.  Keith, Wes, and Alec voted for Reed.  Reed, Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, and Baylor voted for Jeremy, which led to Jeremy being evicted by a vote of 5 to 3 to 2.
  • It looks like Natalie is going to go on a rampage next week!  Good for her.

‘Til then,

Lisa Marie

Survivor 29 — What a Difference A Week Makes….

Hi y’all,

So, remember how last week, I said that I really liked Keith and that I thought that both he and Wes were really likeable?  As you may remember, after I said all that, I also said that I hoped Keith would end up winning the entire season.

Well, forget I said all that.

After tonight’s episode, I have totally changed my mind on Keith.  He’s a self-righteous and judgmental jerk and his son is gross.  As this episode made clear, Keith, Wes, Reed, Josh, and Alec basically had an alliance based on their ability to act like a bunch of disgusting, sexist pigs.

As Missy put it, Jeremy and Jon are the only two gentleman on the beach.

And speaking of Missy and Baylor — remember how last week, I was totally over them and I was eagerly hoping to see both of them sent to the jury?

Well, forget I said that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a huge fan of either Missy or Baylor’s but — after the type of behavior they had to put up with tonight — I think that both of them deserves to at least last longer than any of the rude boys.  I felt bad for Baylor when Keith was complaining that she doesn’t do any work around the camp.  If I was on Survivor, I probably wouldn’t help around the camp either.  I’m not a camper so what help would I be?  And what was Keith expecting Baylor to do?  Build a house?

Seriously, Keith’s a jerk.

Remember how last week, I thought that Jon and Jaclyn were basically vapid and way too into each other to be interesting players?

Well, forget I said that.

On account of having found the hidden immunity idol on Exile Island, Jon is now going to be an interesting player.  Jaclyn, once she was forced to actually spend some time outside of Jon’s shadow, also revealed herself to be a lot smarter than I originally thought.

As for Jeremy — well, my opinion of him remains the same.  Jeremy’s great and I hope he wins the whole thing!

One thing is for sure.  Josh is not going to win.  Instead, Josh — who was the early front runner to win this season — ended up becoming the first member of the jury.  His mistake, as he pointed out in his post-tribal interview, was that he formed an alliance with some of the least mentally sharp people on the beach.

(And it’s hard to imagine that Reed, Alec, or Wes will be able to do much without his leadership.)

Josh’s other mistake was to assume that Jon and Jaclyn would vote out Baylor.  At the start of the episode, that seemed like a good assumption but the members of Josh’s alliance managed to so disgust Jaclyn that Jaclyn and Jon eventually ended up switching sides.

So, after this week’s episode, forget anything that I ever said about wanting to see Keith win.  Though I still think he’s going to have a hard time making it to the end (because, eventually, everyone’s going to view him as too big of a threat to allow him to reach the end), I am hoping that Jeremy will be victorious.

As for next week, it looks like Keith’s idol is going to be exposed and that Reed might be go a little bit crazy without Josh around.  I’m hoping Keith goes because I am so totally over both him and his son.

Bleh.  After watching Wes in tonight’s episode, I may never eat another taco again…

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 29 — Shaking my head…

Hi everyone!

Well, tonight, I had to watch a 3 and a half hour film called Nicholas and Alexandra for one of the other sites that I write for.  So, I didn’t get to see tonight’s episode of Survivor when it first aired.  Instead, I DVRed and now, I’m about to watch it.

I have to admit that thanks to twitter, I already know what happened on tonight’s episode.  The two tribes merged.  Apparently, it’s becoming a Jeremy vs. Josh game.  Keith won immunity.  Something happened with trail mix.

And then Julie decided that she was tired of the game and she left.

That’s my understanding from what I could find on twitter.

Okay, the movie has ended so now I’m going to watch the show.  And I’ll just write this review as I watch.

Okay, things open with Missy explaining to Keith why they didn’t let him in one the plan to vote out Dale and basically trying to get him to understand that they weren’t planning on voting him out.  Keith is not impressed and he’s calling them out on lying to him.  Good for him!  Jon, Jaclyn, Baylor, and Missy continue to astound me with just how stupid they are as players.

Tree Mail arrives, telling the two tribes that they’re going to merge.  If I was on Survivor, I’d probably always go, “Tyra mail!” whenever the tree mail arrived.

The two tribes merge and have a big picnic.  Before the merge, Jon said that he and Jaclyn would have had to break up if they didn’t make it to the merge.  I don’t think he was kidding.

The merge is celebrated with a big picnic feast.  Julie tells us that seeing all of the couples together is making her miss John Rocker.  Since I already know that Julie is leaving tonight, I am totally rolling my eyes.  Seriously, you’re going to give up a million dollars because you miss John Rocker?

Jeremy is already plotting to get rid of Josh.  In his alliance, he has Natalie and Julie.  He wants to get two more couple on his side so he approaches Jon.  He thinks he’s getting a good vibe off of Jon but little does he realize that Jon will agree to anything.

Jeremy then brings Missy and Baylor into his alliance.

The new tribe is named Huyopa, which is kind of an obvious name.  What’s sad is that, judging from this episode, it apparently took them a while to come up with that name.

Keith forgot about Wes’s birthday.  Uh-oh.  I still like Keith and Wes, though.  The more I watch the show, the more convinced I am that Keith is going to make it to the end.  He’s a strong player and yet, somehow, he’s managed to fly under the radar.

Josh explains that his alliance is Reed, Keith, Wes, and Alec.  He wants to bring Baylor and Missy into his alliance.  Josh approaches Baylor and mentions that he helped keep her in the game before the tribal shakeups.  Baylor is torn about who to align with.  Missy tells her that they have to stick with Jeremy.

(Prediction: In another few episodes, Baylor will vote out her mom.)

Seeing that Baylor and Missy are aligned with Jeremy, Josh approaches Jon and Jaclyn and talks to them.  Jon and Jaclyn listen with their trademark blank faces.

Apparently, Julie took some trail mix at the picnic and she’s been hiding it in her bag.  Now, she’s sleeping on the beach while the rest of the tribe invades her privacy by going into her bag and taking the trail mix.  OMG, no freaking way!  I hate these people!

Jon tells us that he can’t have someone in his alliance who would hoard trail mix.  Shut up, Jon, you moron.

If I was on Survivor and somebody went through my bag without my permission — OMG, you don’t even want to know what I would do.   So Julie was smart and took some food for herself.  So what!?  It’s hardly the “most selfish move in Survivor history!” as Wes put it.

Anyway, the Immunity Challenge is one of those things where the Survivors have to balance a ball on a piece of wood.  Jeremy is the first to be eliminated, followed by Missy, Julie, Reed, Baylor, Alec, Jaclyn, Natalie, Josh, and Jon.  Jeremy smirks when Josh is eliminated.  Anyway, it all comes down to father and son Keith and Wes and, in the end, Keith wins.

(What’s interesting is that, despite their relationship, neither Keith and Wes relaxed when it was just the two of them competing for immunity.  They’re both obviously very competitive.)

Back at camp, Jeremy is confident that he has the numbers to get rid of Josh but Alec makes a snarky comment about “loving the trail mix” and now, Julie is freaking out.  (By the way, Alec is the only person on the beach dumber than Jon.)

Julie is thinking of leaving the game.  Missy talks her into staying, mostly because her alliance needs Julie’s vote.  Julie, for the moment, says she’ll stay.  (Of course, I already know that Julie is going to change her mind before this episode ends…)

Josh wants to vote out Jeremy.  Jeremy wants to vote out Josh.  Again, it all looks like it’s going to be about who manages to recruit Jon and Jaclyn.  And, after talking to Keith, it looks like Jon and Jaclyn are ready to vote out Jeremy.

“We are a couple,” Jon explains, with a his trademark blank expression.

At camp, Alec proudly tells everyone that he called out Julie.  “Someone had to say it!”  Alec says.  Alec is an idiot.

Meanwhile, Julie goes off on her own.  Jeff Probst meets her on the beach and suddenly, Survivor turns into an episode of Jeff Probst’s daytime talk show.  Jeff asks Julie how she is feeling.  Julie says she’s depressed, she misses John Rocker, and she wants to leave the game.

And that’s what she does.

SERIOUSLY, JULIE!?

Seriously, I really liked Julie when the show first started.  I related to her.  I felt that the rest of the contestants were underestimating her and making assumptions about her based solely on her physical appearance.  That’s something that I can relate to.  I shared Julie’s struggle.  I wanted Julie to win.

And, much like Julie, I’m not exactly great with being a member of a group.  I like to do my own thing.  When I’m not feeling social, I also tend to go off on my own and I don’t really worry about whether or not anyone else consider that to be rude.  And dammit, I would have hoarded that trail mix too.

But I would have never quit the game.  I would never give up.

I would say, “You guys don’t like me?  Then have the guts to vote me out so I can tell you exactly what I think of you!”

*SIGH*

What a disappointment!

Anyway, Julie is gone.  I’m rooting for Keith, Jeremy, and Natalie — in that order.  If Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, Baylor, or Alec make it anywhere near the final two, I will throw a fit.

Lisa Marie

 

Survivor 29 — The Curse of Coyopa

Well, after watching the latest episode of Survivor, I have come to the following conclusion:

Coyopa is cursed.

It doesn’t matter who is on the tribe, Coyopa is cursed.  When Coyopa was first formed, it was cursed.  And after the big reshuffle in last week’s episode, Coyopa is still cursed.  Hunahpu has dominated this game but not because they’re a particularly good tribe.

Nope, Coyopa is just cursed.  Physically, it has the weakest players, with Dale, Keith, Missy, and Baylor consistently proving that they can sink any challenge.  Mentally, they’re not much better.  Jon and Jaclyn belong in a toothpaste commercial but they don’t belong in a game about strategy.  Missy is too obsessed with protecting her daughter to truly play Survivor.  Baylor doesn’t seem to realize that her survival in the game has mostly been a matter of luck.

Coyopa lost again tonight.  To say that they lost the reward challenge would be an understatement.  Baylor was so weak in the competition that she made Reed look like a genius.  Coyopa actually come close to winning the immunity challenge but, when it came time to solve the puzzle, they fell apart, largely because they decided to have Jon and Missy — neither of whom is exactly a mental giant — work on the puzzle.

At Tribal, Dale was voted off the island.  This wasn’t a shock but I was really hoping that Dale would be able to pull off his scheme of pretending to have an immunity idol.  However, Jon and Jaclyn decided to stick with Missy and Baylor.  As Dale walked away from tribal, Jon whispered to Jaclyn, “You’re so beautiful.”

And you’re so stupid, Jon.

As for Hunahpu, they got their rice but they had to trade all of their comfort items.  They gave up their tarp.  Jeff said, “I hope it doesn’t rain tonight.”  So, of course, it rained.  But, despite all of that, Hunahpu continued to dominate.

Well, next week, we will merge and it will finally become an individual game.  I always tend to enjoy Survivor more after the merge because it’s after the merge that you really start to get to know the players as individuals.

Here are my thoughts on the remaining players.  Let’s see if I change my mind on any of them after the merge.

Jon — “I guess I’m Big Jon now!”  No, Jon, you’re just stupid Jon.

Jaclyn — Jon’s girlfriend still has not made a huge impression beyond the fact that she is Jon’s girlfriend.

Baylor — I used to really like Baylor, mostly because I related to her relationship with her mother.  But I’m over her and her entitled attitude now.

Missy — Missy’s downfall will be her daughter.

Keith — Keith is a bit of a darkhorse.  He hasn’t done much but, at the same time, nobody seems to be eager to vote him out.  He’s flying under the radar and, as of right now, he’s the only player to have an idol.  If Keith can patch up the bad blood between him and Jeremy, Keith might go far in the game.

Reed — Reed has shown himself to be a good competitor but I don’t see him as a potential winner.  He needs to escape from Josh’s shadow if he wants to have a shot at winning.

Josh — Josh was looking like a probable winner but I have a feeling that the merge will be his downfall.  If he makes it to the end, he’ll probably have a good chance to winning it all but he is not as good of a strategist as he thinks he is.  His overconfidence could be his downfall.

Jeremy — Jeremy is smart and I loved listening to him vent his frustrations tonight.  But he needs to control his emotions.  I do think that he and Natalie could be strong allies but they may need to find a stronger ally than Julie.

Julie — Up until tonight’s episode, I really liked Julie.  But, after the way she reacted to the rain, I have doubts about whether she is emotionally, physically, or mentally strong enough for this game.  If she’s in a good alliance, she has a chance to go far but I can’t imagine her actually winning the game.

Natalie — Well, I’ve definitely learned one thing from watching this season of Survivor,  Nadiya was definitely the evil twin.  Natalie has been playing a good game so far and I’m shocked to say that I actually would not mind if she won.

Wes — Nice guy but he doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong player.  It’ll be interesting to see if his gameplay improves after he’s reunited with his Dad.

Alec — As long as Alec is around, Jon won’t have to worry about being the stupidest player on the beach.

That’s it for now!  What did y’all think of the last pre-merge episode of Survivor: Blood Vs. Water?

Survivor 29 — Starving On The Beach

After last week’s exciting elimination of Kingpin Drew, this week’s episode was not quite as interesting.  Perhaps if Jon and Jaclyn had decided to ally themselves with Kelly and Dale instead of Missy and Baylor, things would have been a bit more surprising.  But instead, Jon and Jaclyn decided to do the predictable thing and go with the more personable allies and voted out Kelly.

And personally, I think they made a mistake.  Missy is not interested in playing the game.  At this point, her only reason for being on Survivor is to protect her daughter.  And while that’s admirable, it’s not exactly a good strategy for Survivor.  Judging from Kelly’s remarks after she was voted out, she was capable of separating her role of being a daughter from her role in playing Survivor.  Missy does not have that ability and, ultimately, I’m guessing that her loyalty to Baylor will be her downfall.

Say what you will about Baylor, she’s playing to win.  And it’s easy for me to imagine her betraying her mom (and anyone else) to make it to the final two.

Anyway, as for what happened this season — we had a tribal shakeup.  Jeff called the tribes together and had them all drew new buffs and we ended up with two new tribes!

The Coyopa tribe is now made up of:

1) Jon

2) Jaclyn, Jon’s girlfriend

3) Kelly

4) Dale, Kelly’s father

5) Baylor

6) Missy, Baylor’s mom

7) Keith

Keith, being the only member of the tribe to not have a partner, was the obvious odd man out.  However, nobody seemed to be interested in targeting him.  Instead, it was pretty much Missy & Baylor vs. Dale & Kelly, with Jon & Jaclyn ultimately deciding the balance of power.

As for the new Hanahpu tribe:

1) Reed

2) Josh

3) Jeremy

4) Julie

5) Natalie

6) Wes

7) Alec

Reed and Josh are the only couple in this tribe and Jeremy is looking to target both of them.  Jeremy is also trying to recruit Alec into an alliance.  Alec, meanwhile, is shocked — just shocked! — that his brother Drew was voted out.

However, Hanahpu has a problem.  Even though they easily won the immunity challenge, they are nearly out of rice and facing the possibility of starving on the beach.  Apparently, the old Hanahpu Tribe did bother to ration the rice.

After Reed told Jeff about the situation, Jeff — who didn’t appear to be particularly sympathetic — said that he would bring them more rice but that there would be a price to be.

And what is that price?

We’ll find out next week!

My guess?  Hanahpu will have to agree to go to Tribal to get it.

What do y’all think?

‘Til then,

Lisa Marie

Survivor 29 — Fall of the Kingpin

Hi y’all!

Well, on tonight’s episode, we finally got to see what’s been happening over on the Hunahpu Tribe.  The past three episodes have been so dominated by the struggles of Coyopa that we hadn’t really gotten a chance to really see the group dynamic is working over on Hunahpu.

However, tonight, we finally got a chance.  Because Drew decided to throw the immunity challenge (and don’t even get me started on how mind-blowingly stupid an idea that was), Hunahpu finally had to go to tribal and we finally got to see how the members of the tribe work together as a group.

And how do they work together?

Well, they don’t.

As Natalie put it, the Hunahpu Tribe is a hot mess.

Here’s what we saw and what we learned tonight as we watched Hunahpu:

First off, Keith went looking for the hidden immunity idol and, when he didn’t find it right away, he decided that Jeremy must have it.  Instead of asking Jeremy or trying to start an alliance with Jeremy, Keith immediately told everyone else in the tribe that Jeremy had the idol.  Hilariously, right after he sold out Jeremy, Keith found the idol.  So now, if Keith does ever use the idol, he’s going to look like a huge liar.

Of course, everyone else in the tribe automatically tracked down Jeremy and told him what Keith was saying.  Jeremy got angry.  Now, I still like Jeremy but, for two episodes in a row now, he’s been playing the game emotionally instead of logically.  He takes things personally which you really can’t do in a game like Survivor.  Jeremy’s emotions are going to be his downfall.  While it’s understandable that Jeremy now wants to get rid of Keith, Jeremy needs to understand that he needs to come up with a better argument than, “I’m mad at him.”

Julie reacted well to John Rocker being voted off.  She actually seemed to be somewhat relieved.  However, it appears that Jon and some of the other male tribe members don’t feel that she’s helping out enough around camp.

Jon and Drew both seemed to believe that they are in charge of the tribe.  As far as the women are concerned, Natalie seems to be stepping up into a leadership role but it’s yet to be seen if that’s due to her being a good leader and just because she talks a lot.

Drew (who described himself as being the tribe’s “kingpin”) pretty much dominated tonight’s episode, from the moment that he found the lost flint to when he unsuccessfully attempted to convince Jeff to trade the tribe some fishing gear for that “barely used” flint (Jeff’s reaction was priceless) to tribal council where Drew was finally voted off the island.

And what a crazy tribal council that was!  Both Keith and Kelley got one vote.  Kelley’s one vote came from Drew who was so convinced that Kelley was planning on starting an all-girl’s alliance that he intentionally threw the immunity comp so he could vote her out.  However, it was Natalie that rallied all the girls and, with the boys dividing their votes between three separate people (Keith, Kelley, and Julie), it only took their four votes to get Drew out of the game.

What a crazy episode!

I can’t wait until next week.  Judging from the previews, Jon is going to go crazy.  I know that the preview featured Jeff saying, “Drop your buffs!” but it’s way too early for a merge.  So, I’m guessing that their going to do a random draw and the two tribes are going to be reshuffled.

‘Til then,

Lisa Marie

Survivor 29 — Is Everyone Happy Now?

Hi y’all!

So, is everyone happy now?

I know I am, even though tonight’s vote at tribal council means that one of my early predictions has failed to come true.  Three weeks ago, when I took a look at the first episode of this latest season of Survivor, I predicted that John Rocker would get on everyone’s nerves but he’d end up surviving for a while just because he’s such a physical threat.

Well, it turns out that I was half right.  John Rocker got on everyone’s nerves.  However, the fact that he was the biggest guy on the Coyopa Tribe did not work out to his advantage.  In fact, it may have hurt him.  The only thing scarier than a jerk with a bad temper is a jerk with a bad temper who also happens to be 7 feet tall!

We no longer have to worry about Mr. Rocker going crazy and attacking everyone around him because, in the season’s first true blindside, John Rocker was voted off the island tonight.

As to why he was voted out, well, there were a lot of reasons.  Nobody on the Coyopa Tribe liked him.  Nobody felt that they could trust him.  John Rocker proved to have little social game.  From the minute he announced that he had tried to protect Val, I know that he’d probably be going home.  He pretty much sealed his fate the minute that he threatened to punch out Natalie’s teeth.  One could tell by the tone of his voice that he meant what he was saying.  At that point, everyone could see just how emotional and unpredictable scary old John Rocker could be.

And so, the season’s first villain has left the island.  And making it ever nicer is the fact that he left with an idol in his pocket!

A few random observations:

  • As much as I don’t like John Rocker, Natalie’s trash talk got on my nerves as well.  If Rocker had ignored her, imagine how much respect everyone would have had for him.
  • The challenge between Wes and Keith was pretty exciting.  I’m glad that Wes won but Keith’s reaction was so human and so real that, for me, it justified the whole Blood vs. Water format.
  • I wonder how Julie will react to seeing that John Rocker has been voted out.  At first, I thought she would voluntarily leave the island but, the more I think about, the more I think that she might be somewhat relieved that she can finally have a chance to play her own game.  I doubt that she’ll be that surprised.
  • I can’t wait to see what Drew tries to pull on Jeff Probst next week!

That it for now.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 29 — Just because I’m on vacation…

I’m currently on vacation but just because I’m up here at beautiful Lake Texoma, that doesn’t mean that I would dare let myself miss the latest episode of Survivor!  On Wednesday night, I made sure that I was sitting in front of a TV with a pen, a notebook, and an unending enthusiasm for seeing what would be the latest drama to break out on the beaches of Nicaragua.

Looking over my notes and I write this recap, the main things that jumps out at me is what I wrote, in all capital letters, in the middle of the page.

SO MUCH EMOTION!!!!!!!!!!!!

(That’s a verbatim quote, by the way.)

Seriously, this was such an emotional episode of Survivor!

First off, you had Natalie discovering that her twinnie had been voted off of Coyopa Tribe and crying for the first time in ten years.  That brought tears to my eyes and I don’t even like the twinnies!  I was happy to see Nadiya voted off and, to be honest, I’m still happy that she was voted off.  But Natalie’s response still moved me.  It made me think about how I would react if I was on this season and I found out that my sister had been voted off the island without me even getting a chance to say goodbye.

And then you had John Rocker and his girlfriend, Julie, competing against each other during the luxury competition.  I have to say that I really like Julie.  I know that a lot of people are going to dismiss her as just being a trophy girlfriend (and it certainly doesn’t help that her boyfriend is a HUGE jerk) but, during this competition, she proved herself to be a lot stronger than anyone realized.  I was so happy when Julie won, mostly because I know nobody expected her to but also because it meant that John Rocker lost.

As a result of Julie winning the luxury comp, Hunahpu won fishing gear but they traded the fishing gear for a new flint because football player Jon lost their old one.  During the first episode, I thought Jon came across as being nice but bland.  During this second episode, however, Jon was revealed to be something of an airhead.  Not only did Jon lose the flint but his attempts to negotiate with Jeff Probst were hilariously inept.  Jon wanted the fishing gear and a new flint and he was willing to give up half a bag of beans in exchange.  Needless to say, Jeff wasn’t having any of that.

John Rocker and Jeremy ended up on Exile Island together.  Jeremy asked Rocker to keep Val safe and promised to keep Julie safe in return.  Rocker agreed.  I have a feeling this agreement is going to come back to haunt Rocker.

Things got emotional again at the Immunity Challenge.  Basically, Immunity was one of those comps were two people from each tribe would try to knock each other in the water.  Things turned viscous pretty quickly.  For me, the most difficult of the duels to watch was the one between Baylor and her mother, Missy.  Missy pushed Baylor too hard, Baylor ended up with a split lip, and a guilt-ridden Missy reacted by literally allowing Baylor to push her into the water.

In the end, Hanahpu again won immunity and Coyopa went to Tribal for a 2nd time.  Val knew that, after failing to form an all-girl’s alliance at the last council, she was the target and that her only hope was to convince her tribe that she had two immunity idols, one for her and one for her ally, Jaclyn.

Unfortunately, for her, Rocker believed that Val had an idol.  Therefore, when he happened to come across an immunity idol, he kept it for himself and told Val to make sure to play her idol at tribal.  Did Rocker really think that Val had an idol? It’s hard to say with him but the bad news is that Rocker definitely has an idol.

Tribal Council was actually a little bit exciting, even though it was pretty obvious that Val was going to go home.  Rocker, assuming that Val had the idol, had earlier suggested to Josh that everyone should split their votes between Baylor and Val and then told Val to be sure to play her idol at tribal.  This led to a tribal council where everyone did just that.  The vote 4 for Val and 4 for Baylor.  However, since Val didn’t play an idol, everyone (with the exception of Jaclyn) went ahead and voted for Val in the revote.

And so, Val is the 2nd person voted off the island.

And judging from next week’s previews, Jeremy’s not going to be happy about that.

Anyway, this was a pretty good episode.  One thing I did like is that we got to know a little bit more about the various survivors.  We discovered that Rocker is even more of a jerk than we originally assumed.  Josh is showing himself to be an observant player but I also think that he might be overthinking the game a bit.  (His explanation for why he voted for Baylor — i.e., that he didn’t want anyone to know that he has a side alliance with her — was a perfect example of the type of overthinking that has led to the downfall of many otherwise good players.)  After having to deal with her over the course of two seasons of the Amazing Race, it was nice to get some evidence that Natalie is actually human.  And, of course, we discovered that Jon is not that smart.

Another thing that I noticed during tonight’s episode is that they’re obviously trying to play up the sibling rivalry between brothers Alec and Drew.  I think they’re trying to make them into this seasons Aras and Vytas.  Unfortunately, neither Alec nor Drew appears to be as interesting as either Aras or Vytas.

As for who I’m hoping wins right now — I’m either on Team Julie or Team Baylor, largely because I’ve found reasons to relate to both of them over the course of the past two episodes.  I also like Dale and Josh.

Really, right now, I’m pretty much Team Anyone But Rocker.

Survivor 29 — We’re Back!

Hi, everyone!

When Bill asked me if I would write about Survivor this season, there was no way that I was going to turn him down.  I can still remember watching the first season of Survivor back when I was 14 years old and having the biggest crush on Greg Buis.  Though I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Amazing Race (mostly because I think my sister Erin and I could so totally win that one if we ever got on the show), Survivor is my favorite reality show.

Last Wednesday, the latest season of Big Brother ended and the newest season of Survivor began!  Since Blood vs. Water was such a success the first time around, Survivor is doing it a second time.  18 castaways must survive in the jungles of Nicaragua, first as members of two separate tribes and then, finally, as members of one merged tribe.

Just as before, each castaway came to the island with a loved one.  As the show opened, Jeff Probst was seen flying in a helicopter while below him, 9 different couples tried to learn how to make fire.  The next morning, everyone gathered at one of those patended Survivor arenas and they were divided into two separate tribes.

Again, just like two seasons ago.  In fact, there’s really only 2 differences between the two version of Blood Vs. Water.  In this current version, there are no returning players.  Everyone is a newbie and I’m all for that.  All-star seasons can be fun but I’m actually looking forward to getting to meet a whole new group of people.

The other difference is that Exile Island is back.  Exile Island is where one member of a tribe that loses a competition must spend his or her time until it’s time for the next immunity comp.  The good thing is that they get clues to help them look for an immunity idol.  The bad thing is that they don’t get to bond with the rest of their tribe.  I’ve never been a big fan of Exile Island, to be honest.  Survivor always tends to make Exile Island sound like a big deal but I can never think of a season where it’s actually been a huge factor as far as determining who wins the game.

Anyway, here are our two tribes:

Wearing oarnge buffs we have the Coyopa Tribe.

1) Baylor, who did not make much of an impression, beyond saying that she’s never heard of anyone using glasses to start a fire.  Obviously, Baylor has never read Lord of the Flies.

2) Val, a police woman from Boston.  Val had to go to Exile and got a clue for a hidden immunity idol.  Val made a good first impression.  She seems to be one of the smarter people on the island.

3) John Rocker, who is a former baseball player.  I had to look this guy up on Wikipedia and I discovered that he apparently had a bit of a reputation for being a jerk while he was playing baseball.  And he pretty much lived up to that reputation on this episode, talking down to people and thinking that he might have to vote out Wes after Wes recongnized him.  The main thing I noticed about John Rocker is that he is huge!  Not surprisingly, his wikipedia page says that he’s been open about using steroids.  I imagine John will be around for a while because he’s a physical force but his personality is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

4) Wes, an aspiring firefighter from Louisiana.  Wes is goofy and likable.

5) Nadiya, one of the infamous twinnies from The Amazing Race.  It’ll be interesting to see if the twins are just as annoying when they’re separated as when they’re together.  Nadiya quickly annoyed a lot of people at camp.

6) Dale, the oldest member of the tribe.  Dale is a farmer and he admits that he’s not used to dealing with people.  That said, Dale also sacrificed his glasss so his tribe could have fire.  I like Dale.  Hopefully, his lack of social skills won’t get him voted off the island.

7) Josh, who took offense to Nadiya constantly calling him “one of the girls” just because he happens to be gay.

8) Alec, who is kinda hot.  But that’s pretty much the only impression that Alec made on me.

9) Jaclyn, who, at this point, mostly just seems to be eye candy for the boys.

As for the other tribe, they were blue buffs and they are called Hunahpu.  They are:

1) Missy, who is Baylor’s mother and is recently divorced.

2) Jeremy, Val’s husband.  Jeremy is a police officer fireman.  Since he beat his wife in their first competition and then sent her to Exile Island, he was the focus of much of last night’s episode.  Jeremy seems like a nice guy.  He’ll probably be a power player for the first few weeks and then he’ll end up getting voted out right after the merge.  That’s what usually seems to happen to nice guys.

3) Julie, John Rocker’s girlfriend.  Julie is worried that the other players will underestimate her because of, as she puts it, “the hair and the boobs.”

4) Keith, Wes’s father.  Keith is also a firefighter.  He’s kind of a country guy and seems nice, though he was awfully hard on his son while they were trying to make fire.

5) Natalie, Nadiya’s sister.  She is the slightly less obnoxious twinnie.

6) Kelley, Wes’s daughter.  She did not get much of a chance to make much of an impression.

7) Reed, Josh’s boyfriend.  Again, Reed really didn’t get much screentime so it’s hard to say anything about him.

8) Drew, Alec’s brother.  Drew is a former model who built the tribe’s shelter and then wouldn’t stop bragging about it.  Drew is going to be in some trouble, I’m predicting.  He’s too much of a blowhard for his own good,

9) Jon, Jaclyn’s boyfriend.  Jon played college football.  He’s athletic but not quite as scary as John Rocker.

Anyway, as far as the immunity challenge was concerned, it was another one of those Survivor challenges where the tribes had to climb to the top of something and then solve a puzzle.  With the help of John Rocker, Coyopa dominated the first part of the challenge (the physical part) but then fell apart when it came time to solve the puzzle.  Hunahpu came from behind to win immunity.

At the first tribal council, the Survivor editors tried to make it look as if all of the girls were going to band together to vote out Dale while all of the guys voted for Nadiya but instead, the vote really wasn’t that close.  Dale got 3 votes, Baylor got one (from Josh, for some unknown reason), and Nadiya got 5.  I’m going to guess that, based on what I saw of her on the Amazing Race, Nadiya probably just got on everyone’s nerves.

So, one twinnie down!

What did y’all think of the first episode?  Any early favorites out there?  Are you happy that Blood Vs. Water is back?

As for me, I’m just happy to see that Survivor has returned!  And I look forward to writing about it each week!

Lisa Marie

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