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.