Survivor 30: Mike Makes A Move

You know what?

Ever since this season started, people have been underestimating Mike.  It’s easy to do.  He’s not as arrogant as Rodney.  He’s not as well-spoken as Tyler.  From the minute the season began, his fellow tribemates have mocked his accent, his religion, and his tendency to get overexcited.

However, over the course of the last few episodes, Mike has slowly emerged as the only true power player in the game.  What he lacks in education, he makes up for in life experience.  He’s a strong competitor in challenges, as he proved tonight when he won immunity for a second time.  Finally, unlike just about everyone else left in the game, Mike understand human nature.  He understand how paranoid everyone else in the game is and he also knows how to trick the final six into revealing that they’re not as unified as they pretend to be.

Unfortunately, for all of Mike’s strengths, he’s a man without an alliance.  He is literally two immunity challenge losses away from being sent to the jury.  Fortunately, Mike has the immunity idol so he can survive one loss.  But after that, he has to either keep winning immunity or hope that the Alliance of 6 falls apart.

After tonight’s tribal council, that Alliance is probably more fragile than it’s ever been.  After winning immunity, Mike was safe so he announced that he would be giving his immunity idol to his only ally, Shirin.  Mike announced that Shirin would be voting for Tyler while his vote would go to one of the other four players.

In the end, Mike did not play his idol and most of the Alliance of 6 stuck with the plan and voted for Shirin.  Shirin went to the jury.  However, both Tyler and Will voted for Dan.  Which means that, just as Mike hoped, Dan now knows that he’s on the bottom of his alliance.

It was a smart move on Mike’s part.  Not only does he still have his idol but he also introduced some dissension into the Alliance of 6.  Now, we’ll just have to see what, if anything, this leads to.

As for the rest of the episode, it was pretty much a typical episode of Survivor 30, a collection of people behaving badly.  Will, even when given a chance to partially redeem himself at tribal council, refused to apologize to Shirin because he wasn’t sorry.  At this point, it’s hard to believe that I once really liked Will.  It turns out that he’s as much of a jerk as everyone else.

Also, Tyler finally did something.  He looked in Dan’s bag and discovered that Dan has an extra vote.  Judging by how angry Dan looked in the previews for next week’s episode, I get the feeling that he might be using the extra vote sooner than later.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 30: I Used To Like Will

Survivor 30: The Search For Someone Likeable.

As I watched tonight’s episode of Survivor, I found myself wondering if there was anybody on the beach who was, at this point, remotely likable.  At this point, I find myself liking Tyler and Sierra almost be default.  Neither one of them says much and that makes them a nice change for everyone else in the Merica Tribe.

Before tonight’s episode, I would have said that I liked Will but tonight, we saw a new side of Will.  I understand why Will was mad.  As a result of being the first to bid at the annual Survivor auction, Will was given the location of a secret stash of food.  He could have kept it all for himself but instead, he decided to share with everyone else.

So, of course, everyone decided that Will must have been holding out on them and the only reason he gave them the food was to distract them from whatever else it was that he had been given.

Interestingly enough, even though Mike was the one who started the rumors, Will blamed Shirin.  He went off Shirin and soon, he went from insulting her as a player to insulting her as an individual.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t like Shirin but even I started to feel sorry for her.

At the immunity challenge, Will requested to get a letter from home.  (The letters were offered up as a prize at the Survivor auction.  Since Will was back at the camp digging up his food stash at the time, Will was the only one who didn’t get a chance to even bid on his letter.)  Will offered to sit out the immunity challenge in return for the letter.

Jeff asked if anyone had any objections.

Shirin raised her hand.  I understand that Shirin was mad but I still think that was a stupid move on her part.  If someone’s willing to give up immunity, you let him do it.

But no matter!  Neither Will nor Shirin won immunity.  Instead, it was won by Mike.  And Mike was lucky to win because if he hadn’t, he probably would have had to sacrifice his immunity idol in order to not be sent to the jury.  As we saw at the start of tonight’s program, Rodney is plotting to get rid of Mike.  Of course, Rodney decided to talk to everyone about his plan while Mike was apparently standing two feet away.

(And, of course, this led to Mike having a meltdown after the Survivor auction and confronting Rodney on his scheming.  Mike is a surprisingly strong player but sometimes, he still does incredibly stupid things.)

With Mike winning immunity, the tribe voted out Jenn instead.  It wasn’t a particularly surprising situation.  Personally, I would have preferred to have seen Jenn voted out last week.  Joe probably could have won immunity this week and forced the rest of the tribe to choose between Rodney and Mike.

At tribal, Shirin talked about her abusive childhood.  Will said that it didn’t matter.  And it was, at this point, that I pretty much lost whatever respect that I once had for Will.  Ever since the season began, I assumed that Will was a likable guy who would probably be one of the last people sent to the jury.  But after tonight’s episode, Will showed himself to be no better than Rodney or Dan.

Speaking of Dan, he won an advantage at the Survivor Auction and I’m not happy about it.  He has an extra vote.  Which is to say that, if he chooses to, he can cast not one but two votes at some future tribal council.  I think that’s an unnecessary complication.

Plus, I can’t stand Dan.

So, to sum up, Jenn is now on the jury with Joe and Hali, Rodney and Mike are enemies, Will and Dan are jerks, Shirin is still annoying but I do have a little more sympathy for her than I did earlier, Carolyn is content to go along with the majority, and Sierra and Tyler are — well, they’re there.

And I have to admit that there’s a part of me that really thinks that Tyler might end up sneaking into the final three?  Why?  Because for someone who never does anything, he certainly gets a lot of closeups.  It’s as if the editors are trying to make sure that we don’t forget that Tyler is there.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 30: Sometimes, Life Is Not Fair

I’ve been sitting here thinking about tonight’s episode of Survivor.

The more I think about it, the more upset I become.  Joe was definitely my favorite this season.  He may not have had a huge personality but he was cute, he was occasionally funny, and he was great in challenges.  He seemed like a nice guy and, as opposed to a lot of people this season, he was capable of thinking strategically.  Unfortunately, the numbers were against him, he was too big a threat to win the game if he made it to the end, and I knew that his days on the beach were probably numbered.

Still, I wasn’t quite prepared for him to leave.  We all knew that as soon as he didn’t win immunity, the majority was planning on getting rid of him.  But, as I watched tonight’s episode, I kept hoping that Joe would somehow pull off a miracle.  And it seemed like he came close but, in the end, he was voted into the jury by one vote.

Making Joe’s loss even more frustrating is the fact that Jenn has suddenly decided that — now that Hali has been voted out — she no longer wants to play the game.  Jenn hates all of the other survivors, she’s angry because one of her chickens was killed for dinner, and … well, you know what?  I’m not going to make any excuses to Jenn.  I imagine that if I was a part of Survivor 30, I would have been put in the No Collar tribe, along with with Jenn and Joe.  I’m supposed to sympathize with them and their worldview but seriously, I now have absolutely zero respect for Jenn.

After all, nobody said that Survivor was an easy game.  The great thing about Survivor is that it’s not easy.  Things haven’t been going Jenn’s way so, instead of thinking and fighting like Joe has had to do since the merge, Jenn basically gave up and said “Poor me,” and that got even more upset when people failed to feel sorry for her.

Sorry, Jenn — somehow, I just can’t feel that sorry for you.

Originally, Jenn promised that if she won immunity, she would give it to Joe and allow Joe to stay.  And Jenn came really close to winning that immunity but, in the end, she slipped off her perch and Tyler won his very first individual immunity.

Here’s the thing though — Jenn didn’t have to win immunity in order for Joe to stay.  Jenn could have voluntarily removed herself from the game, which would have meant that there was no need to even go to tribal council.  Jenn also could have given Joe the immunity idol that she found a few episodes ago.

But, she didn’t do any of that and, as a result, Joe was sent to the jury and Jenn gets to spend another week whining about how she doesn’t want to play anymore.

Sometimes, life just isn’t fair.

Lisa Marie

Survivor 30: Frustration

I really want thought it was going to happen!

Seriously, as I watched tonight’s tribal council, I really believed that the girls were going to be able to convince Tyler to come over to their side and that they would be able to blindside Dan.

And it would have been so satisfying to watch because, seriously, Dan has to be the second most annoying Survivor contestant of all time!  The most annoying, of course, would be Rodney.  (The third most annoying is Shirin.)  Dan spent most of this episode reminding us that he’s a misogynistic jerk and it was going to be so wonderful to see his face when he ended up getting blindsided.

But, unfortunately, it didn’t happen.  Tyler, Sierra, Will, Carolyn, Dan, Mike, and Rodney all voted for Hali.  Jenn, Joe, Shirin, and Hali all voted for Dan.  Hali became the very first member of the jury.  The fact that I don’t really like Hali softened the blow but seriously, it would have been great to see Dan voted out.

On the plus side, Dan is being edited to look like such an overconfident jerk that it’s extremely likely that he’s going to be blindsided sooner or later.  And I can’t wait to see the look on his face when Jeff snuffs his torch.  Until then, I’ll just comfort myself with the memory of Dan totally blowing tonight’s immunity challenge.  “Dan is wrong!”  Those are three sweetest words in the English language tonight.

As for the rest of the episode, the biggest development was that Mike managed to both find the idol and to convince everyone else that Joe had found it.  And that was actually a surprisingly good move on Mike’s part.  Mike may not be the smartest guy on the island but strategically, he’s playing a good game.

Joe — oh how I love Joe.  He reminds me of Malcolm.  And, much like Malcolm, I fear that he’s doomed as soon as he doesn’t win immunity.  He’s proven himself to be such a challenge threat that he now has a huge target on his back.  And, thanks to Mike, everyone’s convinced that he has an idol now.

And, of course, Rodney continued to act like a jerk tonight.  If you look at my twitter timeline, I spent the entire episode telling Rodney to shut up and guess what?  Rodney actually favorited some of my most viscous tweets.  If you go over to his twitter account, you’ll discover several tweets in which he attacks his “haters” and tells us that he’s actually a lot smarter than any of us are giving him credit for.

My main fear, however, is that Rodney and Dan have made themselves so obnoxious that they’ll get taken to the end on the theory that there’s no way that anybody on the jury would vote for them.

Seriously, I’m loving this season but if I don’t get to see a Dan and Rodney blindside, it’ll never be as a perfect as it could be!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 30: Merica!


Well, what can you say about that?

Tonight, on Survivor 30, the two tribes merged.  Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar — they’re all on the same tribe now.  And while I’m always happy to see a merge, I had to shake my head when Mike came up with the new tribe name.

What did they tend up naming the tribe?  Check this out:


Not America.  No, instead, they called it “Merica.”  Hali was particularly excited about this.  According to her, she’s all about the constitution because she’s currently studying to become a defense attorney.  Shirin, meanwhile, felt that the tribe name was “redneck” and complained about Mike being from Texas.  Shirin came across like an elitist and, as a Texan, I really didn’t appreciate the tone of her comments but, on the other hand, I agree with her.  I’m not sure that I would have preferred “America” as a tribe name but I certainly would have preferred it to Mercia.

(Whenever I’ve seen anyone online refer to this country as being “Merica,” they’re usually being sarcastic and, more often than not, saying something negative about American society and culture.  That irony seemed to be totally lost on Mike and Dan.)

Once the two tribes merged, it quickly became apparent that the Blue Collars (Rodney, Dan, Mike, Kelly, Sierra) were united against the No Collars (Hali, Jenn, and Joe) with former No Collar Will moving over to the Blue Collar Tribe for reasons that I still don’t quite understand.  (Will is an odd player and I wish that the show would devote more time to him.  He seems to have a strategy but it’s a strategy that he apparently doesn’t share with anyone, including the film crew.)  The White Collar Tribe was in the middle.  Shirin was firmly on the side of the No Collar Tribe while Tyler and Carolyn were both free agents.

The first post-merge immunity challenge was an endurance comp where our Survivors had to hang onto a pole.  As Jeff pointed out, this challenge was one that was a lot easier for the “lighter” survivors than for the heavier ones.  Proving his point, Dan, Will, and Tyler all fell off their poles early.  They were quickly followed by Sierra, Shirin, Kelly, Mike and Rodney.

If anyone really impressed tonight, it was Jenn.  While hanging onto the pole, a big stung her in a very private place.  As much pain as she was on, Jenn still hung onto her pole, even while Hali and Carolyn both fell.  Despite her best efforts, however, Jenn did eventually fall from her pole and Joe won immunity.

And Joe was lucky that he did because, before winning immunity, he was the number one target of the blue collar tribe.  With him gone, the Blue Collar Tribe set their sights on Jenn.  What they didn’t know was that Jenn had an immunity idol and that Jenn was smart enough to realize that she was the target.  At Tribal, she played her idol.

As a result, the 7 votes that were cast against her (Tyler and Carolyn eventually joined with the Blue Collar Tribe) were not counted.  Instead, it was Blue Collar Kelly who was voted out after receiving 4 votes.

(Will, meanwhile, voted for Hali and I’m not sure what his intention was.  If he was planning on betraying his former tribe, why throw away his vote by casting it for someone who isn’t even being targeted?)

So, tonight was a victory for the No Collar Tribe but it might be a temporary one.  The No Collars are still massively outnumbered and now they no longer have an immunity idol.  Working to their advantage is that the Blue Collar Tribe is so obnoxious that it’s easy to imagine both Tyler and Carolyn switching sides.

We’ll see what happens next week!

Lisa Marie


Survivor 30: The Bromance of Doom

First off, an apology.  As I wrote last week, I was under the impression that Survivor would not be aired this week because of basketball.  It turns out I was wrong and I really don’t know anything about how basketball games are scheduled.  I apologize for any confusion I may have caused for our readers.

Now, on to tonight’s episode:

Wow,  we really dodged a bullet tonight, didn’t we?  For most of tonight’s episode, I was dreading having to spend the rest of the season watching the obnoxious bromance between Rodney and Joaquin but, fortunately, the Escamera Tribe stepped up and put an end to all of that.

Thank you, Escamera!

(And I say that as someone who actually liked Joaquin.  But, seriously, when he and Rodney got together, they were the worst.  They were the Bromance of Doom.)

Ever since this season began, it’s been a competition between Max, Shirin, Dan, and Rodney to claim the title of most annoying survivor ever.

At first, Dan was in the lead with his inability to stop talking.  Then Max and Shirin started to wander around naked and they briefly surged to a tie for most annoying.  However, over the past three episodes, Rodney has proven himself to be the champion.

Seriously, Rodney is the worst.  When the season started, I thought he was just going to be another Boston Rob wannabe but he has since proven himself to be perhaps the most sexist and arrogant jackass in the history of Survivor.

What made Rodney’s presence in the game even worse was that he seemed to be in it for the long run.  It wasn’t that he was a good player or anything.  Instead, it just seemed like everyone else was too stupid to be able to stop him.

That’s what made tonight’s episode so enjoyable, because the entire episode was pretty much devoted to making us hate Rodney and then allowing us to watch as Rodney’s latest scheme blew up in his face.

Rodney, after all, is the one who came up with the plan for Escamera to throw the immunity challenge so that they could vote Joe out at the tribal council.  However, he didn’t take into account just how much Mike, Dan, and Sierra dislike him.  (Sierra so dislikes Rodney that she was apparently even willing to ally herself with Dan, who she really can’t stand…)  When Escamera went to tribal, Sierra voted with Dan, Joe, and Mike.  As a result, Rodney’s number one ally — Joaquin — was voted out of the game.

To be honest, I wish they had just gone after Rodney but I imagine that Dan and Mike probably weren’t comfortable voting out a former member of the Blue Collar Tribe.  As Joaquin left tribal council, Rodney did not look happy.  Next week, the two tribes are going to be merging so it’ll be interesting to see who both Rodney and Sierra team up with.

As far as the upcoming merge goes, the majority of the members of the new tribe will be former Blue Collars followed by No Collar and White Collar.  However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Rodney allied with the remaining White Collars while Sierra went over to the No Collar Tribe.

As of right now, No Collar Jenn and White Collar Carolyn will both be going into the merge with immunity idols.

Finally, judging from how the last few episodes have been edited, I have a feeling that both Tyler and, strangely enough, Shirin will be around for a while.  Though Tyler hasn’t done much so far, the show’s editors always seem to want to make sure that we remember that he’s around.  Meanwhile, tonight’s episode devoted a lot of time to Shirin talking about losing Max at the previous tribal council.  If Shirin was as doomed as I previously assumed, I’m not sure if editors would have devoted as much time to her.

Well, that’s it for now.  I can’t wait to see how the merge plays out!

Survivor 30: Tribal Shakeup!

Tonight’s episode of Survivor was actually two episodes in one.  Because of basketball, there will be no episodes of either Survivor or the Amazing Race next week.  So, tonight, we got two hours of Survivor.

The first hour was pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Survivor 30.  The tribes all spent their time on the beach getting on each other’s nerves.  On the White Collar Tribe, Max and Shirin continued to get on everyone’s nerves.  On the Blue Collar Tribe, Rodney’s nonstop sexism not only got on my nerves but the nerves as Lindsey as well.

Ironically enough, after being forced to go through two tribal councils, the No Collar Tribe was the only tribe to appear to have any unity.  Say what you will about the way that Nina was treated, voting her out certainly brought the No Collars together.  Even Will was willing to forgive them for voting for him at the previous tribal council.

(The only conflict at No Collar beach was over the killing of chicken.  Jenn was so offended that she wandered off by herself and ended up finding an immunity idol.)

And that tribal unity paid off at both the reward and the immunity challenge.  After two straight defeats, the No Collar Tribe finally came together and won both the reward and the immunity challenges.  The White Collar Tribe, meanwhile, came in second twice.  And the Blue Collar Tribe lost twice.

The Blue Collar tribe’s Kelly ended up getting banged in the head during the reward challenge and she ended competing not only blind folded but with a huge bandage wrapped around her head.  You had to really admire Kelly’s determination, even if Blue Collar ultimately lost and Kelly’s reward ultimately amounted to six stitches in her forehead.

(Seriously, if I had been injured in the way that Kelly was and I had all that blood running down my face, I would have totally freaked out.)

As far as Blue Collar’s first trip to tribal was concerned, Lindsey gave a big speech about how someone from Blue Collar is destined to win the game.  And then, despite her efforts to organize a blindside of Rodney, she was promptly voted out.  Her only ally on the tribe, Sierra, also got two votes and realized — apparently for the first time — that nobody on her tribe can be trusted.

(That’s something every Survivor should know before filming even begins!)

The second half of the episode featured what we all knew was coming.  The three tribes are no more!  Everyone was called to the beach and told to drop their buffs.  New buffs were randomly drawn and here’s what we ended up with:

The Escamera Tribe (who wears blue):

Joe (No Collar)

Dan (Blue Collar)

Sierra (Blue Collar)

Mike (Blue Collar)

Rodney (Blue Collar)

Tyler (White Collar)

Joaquin (White Collar)

Now what you might immediately notice about the new Escamera Tribe is that it’s dominated by the former Blue Collar tribe.  However, Sierra no longer considers herself to be a member of the Blue Collar Tribe and, during tonight’s episode, she let Tyler, Joaquin, and Joe know that she was interested in switching sides.  Dan attempted to charm her back to the Blue Collar alliance.  Unfortunately,  Dan’s attempt to be charming was fatally sabotaged by his own lack of charm.

The rest of the Survivors ended up on the Nagarote tribe.  Nagorote is the red tribe and includes the following:

Will (No Collar)

Max (White Collar)

Hali (No Collar)

Jenn (No Collar)

Carolyn (White Collar)

Shirin (White Collar)

Kelly (Blue Collar)

It immediately became obvious that, as far as physical challenges are concerned, Nagarote is at a severe disadvantage.  Nagarote was overwhelmingly defeated at the immunity challenge.

Max, after saying that he was excited that he would finally get to play Survivor, tried to rally Shirin, Carolyn, and Kelly in joining him in voting out Will.  However, Carolyn can’t stand either Max or Shirin and so she joined Kelly in voting with the No Collar Tribe.  Max became the fifth person voted out of Survivor 30.

(In fact, the only suspense was whether it would be Max or Shirin voted out.  “Who is more annoying?” Jenn asked before heading to tribal.  Obviously, the answer was Max.  I have to say that I agree.)

So, that was tonight’s episode of Survivor!  Survivor will be back in two weeks and we’ll see if things get any better for the new Nagarote Tribe.  But, as of right now, it looks as if they’re going to be completely dominated by the Escamera Tribe.

See you in two weeks!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 30: Anyone Else Sick of the No Collar Tribe?

So, I just watched the third episode of Survivor 30 and I’m just wondering:

Am I the only one who is sick to death of the No Collar Tribe?

Seriously, what a bunch of hypocrites!  Hali and Jenn might spend a lot of time talking about how they’re nonjudgmental free spirits but, so far this season, they have proven themselves to be the mean girls of Survivor.  Will seems like a nice guy but he’s pretty much useless in challenges and I don’t know how much more I can take of having to listen to him go, “That one is on me, guys.”  I liked Joe at first but, as far as strategy goes, he tends to overthink and he’s nowhere close to being as clever as he thinks he is.

Don’t get me wrong.  I agree with the choice that the No Collar Tribe made tonight.  By a vote of 3-2, Nina was voted out of the tribe.  I could make a case that Will should have been voted out but, ultimately, Nina needed to go.  Along with being weak in challenges, she was also proving to be a divisive presence in the camp.  I felt bad for her because I know that she felt like an outsider from the beginning and, judging from her comments after being voted out, Nina probably feels that her deafness was the only reason she was voted out.  But, honestly, Nina was mostly voted out because of her attitude and her age.  She never had a chance of surviving on that tribe and I doubt any of the other tribes would have kept her either.

As for the other two tribes, we didn’t see much of the White Collar Tribe.  Shirin is getting on everyone’s nerves and her delight over seeing monkeys having sex leads me to suspect that perhaps she should have been placed on the No Collar Tribe.  Joaquin needs to work on his social skills but I do think that an alliance between he and Tyler could be a strong one.

Speaking of Tyler, I have a feeling he’s going to be sticking around for a while.  Despite the fact that there hasn’t been much going on over on the White Collar Tribe, he’s still been getting a lot of screen time.

Meanwhile, on the Blue Collar Tribe — what a bunch of entitled babies!  The only thing that’s keeping me from going off on the Blue Collar Tribe is the fact that I somehow dislike the No Collar Tribe even more.  Rodney and Lindsay both spent tonight acting like entitled babies.  Mike was making some valid points tonight but he needs to work on his social skills.  Meanwhile, Dan … well, Dan’s Dan.  So far, the Blue Collar Tribe has been the only tribe not to have to go to tribal council.  When they finally do lose an immunity challenge, it should be explosive.

Next week, we’ve got a special two hour episode of Survivor!  It’ll be interesting to see if No Collar can get its act together.  Even more importantly, we’ll see how much longer this show continues with three tribes.  I suspect that a tribal shake-up is coming.

We’ll find out next week!

Lisa Marie

Survior 30: The No Collar Tribe Gets Flakey

Well, that was a surprise.

Seriously, I just got finished watching the second episode of Survivor 30 (or Survivor: Worlds Apart for those of you who think you’re too good for numbers) and I have to say that I was surprised how things turned out.

First off, I was expecting that the White Collar Tribe would be the ones sent to tribal council.  During the previous episode, they gave off the vibe of the doomed and I fully expected that this would turn out to be yet another season of Survivor where one tribe lost challenge after challenge until, finally, the two remaining members would mercifully be placed in one of the other two tribes.  I fully expected that White Collar would lose again and Joaquin would be voted out.

Instead, White Collar not only won immunity but it was largely Joaquin who won it for them.  I still think that Joaquin may have come on a little bit too strong during the previous episode but, if he can lay low and win back everyone’s trust, he could still be a very strong player.

White Collar came in first in the immunity competition and, along with immunity, they won a lot of fishing gear.  (Which is something that they’ll need, seeing as how Joaquin chose the small bag of beans during the previous episode.)  Blue Collar came in second and won a spear.  No Collar came in dead last and won a trip to tribal council.

I forget what the official name of the No Collar Tribe is but, from now on, I think I’ll just refer to them as being the Flakey Tribe.  Because, seriously, these people couldn’t come up with a consistent strategy if their lives depended upon it.

Tonight’s episode was pretty much dominated by the Flakey Tribe’s dynamic.  For all of the time that they spend bragging about how open-minded they are, Jenn and Hali are pretty much this season’s mean girls.  While they spent most of their time skinny dipping and laying around on the beach with Joe, they also managed to totally alienate Nina.  Not only is Nina older than them but she’s also deaf.  She’s an outsider and, this episode, she let everyone know that she realizes she’s an outsider and she’s not very happy about it.

For most of tonight’s episode, Nina had an outsider’s alliance with Wil and creepy old Vince.   And it looked like they were going to be able to pull off an upset and manage to get Jenn voted out of the tribe.

See, Joe came up with a needlessly complicated plan to get ride of Nina.  His plan was that he, Jenn, Hali, and Will would split their votes between Nina and Vince, just in case one of them had an immunity idol.

However, what Joe didn’t realize was that Wil wasn’t really comfortable being a member of his alliance.  Wil went to Vince and told him about Joe’s plan.  Vince decided that he, Wil, and Nina would vote for Jenn and, as a result, Jenn would be blindsided and Joe would frightened into being loyal to Vince and Nina.

And Vince nearly pulled it off.  The only problem was that Nina told Wil that Vince had earlier thought about voting Wil out, on account of Wil not being a strong challenge player.  Wil was so angry that Vince would even consider voting for him that he basically went rogue and, apparently without letting anyone else in on his plans, he voted for Vince.  The end result was that Vince received 3 votes, Jenn received two, and Nina got one.  Vince’s torch was snuffed and the creepy coconut vendor was sent on his way.

As for the other two tribes, we spent some time watching the White Collar Tribe’s Max and Shirin wander around naked while Tyler stared up at the sky.  And, on the Blue Collar Tribe — well, Dan is still annoying.  He lost his underwear in the ocean and responded by making himself a big diaper that he’ll apparently wear during challenges.

And, uhmmm, yeah.

At this point, Dan cannot be voted out soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

And that was this week’s episode of Survivor!  Though it’s early yet, so far this looks like this could be a pretty good season.  Though I have to admit, I will be happy when the tribes get shaken up and people stop saying stuff like, “Since we’re the no collar tribe…”

Lisa Marie

Survivor 30: Are You Blue Collar, White Collar, Or No Collar?

Hello and welcome to yet another season of Survivor here at the Survivor Blog!

Considering the fact that the last season was something of a disappointment, I know that I’m hoping that Survivor 30: Worlds Apart will provide the show with so much needed redemption. The good news is that this latest season was, once again, filmed on the beautiful beaches and in the jungles of Nicaragua. The even better news is that we finally have a season with no returning players and no relatives.

Instead, we have 18 new players who, until they got dropped off in Nicaragua, were complete strangers to each other.

Still, it wouldn’t be Survivor if there wasn’t a gimmick. This season, we’re starting out with three separate tribes. The Masaya Tribe is white collar. It’s made up of 6 people who, we’re told, are used to “making the rules” and telling other people what to do. The Escemera Tribe is blue collar. They’re the workers. And then there’s the Nagarote Tribe. Nagarote is no collar. Apparently, they neither follow rules nor work. They just exist and do what they want.

Now, here’s the thing. Every season of Survivor has a gimmick and that gimmick usually stops being relevant after the first four episodes. Eventually, the three tribes will be reshuffled into two. And then the two will merge into one. The whole collar thing will eventually be abandoned and it will all come down to who plays the best game or who gets lucky.

But, you wouldn’t necessarily know that from watching the first episode of Season 30. If you took a drink every time somebody specifically said, “I’m blue collar” or “we’re white collar,” you would have been drunk before the show was even half over.

As I watched the show, I found myself wondering which tribe I would have been placed on. On the one hand, I work in an office and I like spending money so that’s a case for white collar. On the other hand, I’m also a writer and I majored in Art History. Ultimately, I have a feeling that I’d be put on the No Collar Tribe. And that’s okay because then I could hang out with Joe.

The majority of tonight’s episode was devoted to getting to know the players. Some of them made a bigger impression than others. Here’s a quick rundown:

The Masaya (White Collar) Tribe:

So — So had the misfortune to be the first person voted out this season. I liked So and I think that Masaya made a mistake getting rid of her. But really, So was her own worst enemy. If she and Joaquin hadn’t lied about the bag of rice, she probably would have survived.

Joaquin — So far, Joaquin seems to be trying way too hard to be this season’s master villain. Considering that his only ally got voted out, Joaquin’s days seem to be numbered.

Max — At one point, Max is described as being a “hipster academic type,” and that’s going to be his downfall. He obviously thinks that he’s very smart but I don’t think he’s as smart as he thinks he is.

Tyler — Tyler is both a former football player and a former talent agent. Tyler seems likable enough but I think his survival will depend on whether or not his tribe continues to implode.

Shirin — Shirin is an executive at Yahoo. She was responsible for the White Collar Tribe losing the immunity challenge and going to Tribal Council. I’ll be shocked if Shirin makes it to the merge.

Carolyn — And then there’s Carolyn, who is almost as annoying as the infamous Kaos Kass. Sadly, Carolyn has an immunity idol but, after just three days on the beach, she’s already way too paranoid for her own good.

The Escamera (Blue Collar) Tribe

Lindsey — Lindsey seems like a strong player. Though we won’t know for sure until they go to their first tribal, I could definitely see Lindsey emerging as the leader of the tribe.

Dan — Dan is a former postal worker. Dan likes to talk and talk and talk and talk. Dan thinks he’s a leader but he’s so full of himself that he’s getting on everyone’s nerves. Dan won’t make the merge.

Mike — I actually like Mike and I hope his early friendship with Dan doesn’t backfire on him. On the one hand, it’s easy to laugh at Mike because he’s the guy who ate a scorpion for no good reason. On the other hand, Mike was also responsible for Escamera coming from behind to win immunity.

Rodney — Rodney sounds like Boston Rob but I think that’s all they have in common.

Kelly — Beyond the fact that she dislike Dan, Kelly didn’t make much of an impression on me.

Sierra — Seirra is another one who didn’t get a whole lot of screen time. She’s incorrectly convinced that Dan and Mike came back with a small bag of beans so that they could go look for an immunity idol, which would seem to suggest that Sierra is too paranoid for her own good.

The Nagarote Tribe (No Collar):

Joe — Joe is currently my favorite player. Not only is he hot but he seems to be smart as well. In fact, Joe reminded me a lot of Malcolm. Assuming Joe doesn’t screw up in some massive way, he definitely seems like he could go far in the game.

Jenn — I think Jenn and Joe would make a cute couple. But Jenn also seems like the type of player who will try to make a big move at the wrong time and end up getting voted out as a result.

Hali — Hali’s a law student but she wants us to know that she’s “for the people.” Bleh. Leave your politics at home and the play the game, Hali.

Nina — Nina is deaf and, judging from the previews of next week’s episode, it appears that Nina feels that she’s an outsider on the tribe.

Will — Will lists his career as being a “youtube sensation.” It took me a few minutes and then I remembered that I had seen Will’s video. It was cute. Otherwise, Will didn’t make much of an impression.

Vince — OH MY GOD, WHAT A CREEP! So, Vince is a coconut salesman. After knowing her for less than a day, Vince is apparently convinced that Jenn is his soulmate and he’s very jealous Joe. The scene where he asked Jenn to hug him was full of all sorts of ick.

As for the show itself, Masaya was the first tribe to go to tribal council and, on a vote of 4-2, So was voted off. With the exception of Joaquin, the rest of the tribe felt that they could not trust So and, as such, they decided to vote her out and keep the physically weaker Carolyn.

As well, Carolyn has the tribe’s secret immunity idol. (The other two tribes have idols hidden on their beaches as well but no one has yet to find either one of them.)

As for the Blue Collar Tribe, Dan is getting on everyone’s nerves and the tribe is now split 4-2, with Dan and Mike on one side and the rest of the tribe on the other.

And, on the No Collar Tribe, Vince is being obsessive and creepy.

Well, that was the first episode of Survivor 30. What did everyone else think? Which tribe would you be put on? And are you looking forward to the rest of the season?

I know I am!

Lisa Marie