I know that normally I try to get my weekly Survivor recaps posted immediately following the episode, but this week I had a prior commitment on Thursday night, so my apologies to those of you waiting for this post. This week’s episode was the first one since J.T. orchestrated the first blindside of this season, as Cirie was booted last week. At the time, I maintained that it was a smart move for J.T. to get rid of her and align with Tom, as he and Tom had both identified that they needed each other as two former winners. Turns out that J.T. was only concerned with Cirie as the moment he got back to camp, he did an about face and insisted that Tom was next. That logic didn’t make much sense to me, and he seemed to be talking in circles, which Amanda immediately identified. Her response…”Game On.”
Ok, I’ve talked about this in some of my recaps before for this show and others (Amazing Race, Big Brother), but anybody who uses reality TV show clichés like “Game On” needs to be forcibly removed from the game. It is by far, the most idiotic thing that a contestant can say…as if the game wasn’t already ‘on’ the second they arrived. Take someone like Coach, who in his season, was telepathically communicating with his teammates with ONLY HIS EYES before they ever even spoke to each other. Other comments that would result in a mandatory disqualification would include (but not be limited to) “It is what it is”, “Throw them under the bus”, “It’s just a game”, and “Let’s do this!”
Coach led the Villains in his own creation, Dragon Slayer Chi, which looked like normal Tai Chi to me. Other than the fact that it involved Courtney actually participating in something (she sat out yet ANOTHER challenge tonight), what was the difference? I kept waiting for Coach to explain, “And this is the motion you would use to raise your shield to protect yourself from the Dragon’s fiery breath…and then slowly bring your other hand over the top to plunge your sword into the armoured beast’s head.”
But while the Villains were focusing (snickering) at Coach’s lesson, Russell was ostracizing himself even further from the group as he continued to look for the hidden immunity idol. I guess if you have to isolate yourself like that, it’s a pretty good thing to actually find the idol, as Russell did (for the fourth time!). Jeff Probst made a great point in his weekly blog after last week’s episode when he said “let’s be clear – we put the idol in the show because we want it to be found…and we would like it to be played. Preferably many times.”
Credit to Russell for finding it again, but he continued his confusing strategy of TELLING anyone he can that he has it! First he told Parvati, and then he told Coach. Now, say what you will about Coach, as he is one of the most delusional douchebags to ever play the game, but I will point out that he is extremely faithful and loyal to those who he makes an alliance with, so it’s a good strategy to align with him. And when things invariably turn sour later in the game, Coach will have gotten on everyone’s nerves, so as long as he’s around, theoretically you would be option #2 to vote out after Coach.
What was with Colby being all pissy at the reward challenge? Didn’t make much sense to me to refuse the chocolate and then insist that it was because it was time to focus…and then he ended up sitting out of the challenge! Way to show how hard you can focus…from the bench. And with all the fantastic rewards they get in this show, I personally don’t think a chocolate feast is that great of a prize…can you say gut rot? Remember in Survivor Africa when Ethan and Lex won a challenge and ate a giant plate of fries, and paid the price with a significant amount of…ahem… gastrointestinal discomfort? Can you imagine what happened after a chocolate buffet? Although I have to say, the swimming hole was pretty cool.
The challenge itself was a repeat from last season when we saw Ben get kicked out of the challenge, and Mike Borassi removed by the medical team at the end. And now we see James go down in the same challenge? This thing is kryptonite for the contestants! I have to say, I was really disappointed with the way the whole James injury played out. Last week on the preview, we saw Jeff calling for the medics, but we didn’t see who was injured. Then, all week, CBS showed us on every commercial that it was James, which can only ensure that he is not removed…they would never show it on the commercial if he was actually removed due to the injury. It was a very weak strategy by CBS, and if they wouldn’t have shown us that it was James in the commercials, then there actually would have been some drama.
There was almost a 4th incident, as Rupert slammed Jerri face first into the wall. I have a bone to pick with the way that this was edited. Yes, it seemed a little out of line for Rupert to be SO aggressive with Jerri, but they made it look like Rupert tossed her after a point was scored. If you go back and look at the footage, there was still balls flying all over the place, so it obviously happened mid-point, and was edited to look like Rupert acted late and threw her after the point. Rupert didn’t need to act so aggressively, but they also didn’t need to edit it to look worse. I knew Jerri was going to score the winning basket as soon as I saw that. And did you notice J.T.’s full-on body slam on Coach? Ouch!
Getting back to the scene where Russell told Coach about the idol, I had to laugh at the scene where Russell the King “knighted” Coach and welcomed him into the group. Not because of the utter dorkiness of the knighting ceremony, but because Russell was wearing a ridiculous orange and yellow neon striped towel wrapped around his waist. Seriously…it looked like a Right Said Fred video.
Did Russell just say "Let's do this"? Disqualified! (see above)
In the immunity challenge (which Courtney participated in!), James’ injury meant that he was relegated to being the caller for the Heroes, which seemed appropriate since he’s a big proponent of the “One Voice” strategy. James did his part getting his team in a position to win the challenge, but the Heroes fell apart at the puzzle phase of the challenge yet again, and Boston Rob punctuated a Villains win by stomping the final piece in place.
So this led to the big decision for the Heroes tribe: Tom, the master strategist and former million-dollar winner, or James, the roid-raging muscle monster who can’t even walk.
I thought for sure that J.T. and Candace were going to see the light and align with Tom and Colby, which would have resulted in a) James being sent home, and b) creating a numbers advantage of 4 to 2 over Rupert and Amanda. I just don’t see the point of keeping James around, strictly due to the fact that this team can’t win challenges…and now you’re going to keep a guy with only ONE LEG and insist he is stronger than Tom, and will help you more than Tom?
And James even taunted them to vote him out if they honestly thought they were stronger with Tom. This only proves my assessment that James (while lovable) is the dumbest contestant in Survivor history…and that stupidity has rubbed off on his tribe, who decided they were stronger with his one leg, than with Tom’s two legs. I’m sure this will come back on them. Let’s also remember that James was voted out of the game on his first season while holding not one…but TWO hidden immunity idols!
Next week (but not really next week): The confrontation of the two Alpha Males that everyone has been waiting for…Rob vs. Russell.
Note: Survivor will not be on next week due to the first round of the NCAA Tournament (Go Blue Devils!), and the following week it will be shown on Wednesday night, March 24th. Keep in mind that traditionally during this two-week hiatus for basketball, the Wednesday night episode is usually a recap show that shows new scenes and recaps, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for a new episode until April 1st.
Ratings News - 26th April 2017
1 hour ago