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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor Blood vs. Water “One Man Wrecking Ball” S27 E6

I am loving this season.   Even though I hate Redemption Island, it doesn’t bother me as much because I think the impact it has on the strategy of the game with other loved ones left behind (if they still have them) is great. And that point was magnified this week with Laura M going to RI.  Last week, they were going to vote out Laura B.   But to Aras’ credit, he realized that the better play would be Laura M because she is better at puzzle challenges and would be the best person to eliminate Brad so that Monica would be more loyal to them.  This is why Aras is a former winner (and my pick to win this year) because he’s thinking a few steps ahead without being too over the top.   And that’s exactly what happened.  Laura smokes the puzzle, John comes in second and Brad is gone.  Strategy worked.  And think about it…Aras would have never voted out Laura (I don’t think) if this wasn’t a Blood vs. Water scenario.  Laura was obviously someone Aras could have in his back pocket should he need her later on.   She was completely loyal to him.  I think in a regular setting, she would still be on her tribe.   She could have been Aras’ eyes and ears if someone was planning coup.  She was another loyal vote.  But this season, she was someone to take out the loved one of someone in his alliance to make that alliance member more loyal to Aras and crew.  Seriously, Laura cannot catch a break!  First she’s stuck with God awful Shambo then she’s collateral damage because of one specific move another player wants to make.  Probst, if you’re reading this, and I know you are, have Laura Morett come back again!

I think Brad’s problem is he went balls to the walls massive of the strategy out of the gate.  He didn’t need to be that bold that soon.  I love the fact that he was playing hard (I’ll take that over people like Natalie and Ashley from the original RI season that just did whatever Rob told them to do and didn’t actually play the game.)   But Brad played too hard, too early and that was his downfall.  Aras is the opposite where he’s leading but he’s very self-aware and wants to make sure that he’s not “leading” too much or else it will get him voted out.   And that’s exactly what Judas, I mean Tyson, is looking to do.

The coconut bandits (Tyson and Gervase…the alliance within the alliance) are already taking about taking out “King Aras.”  They think he’ll be dangerous come merge time with Vytas still in the game.  He’s too popular, too strong, too likable, and too smart to keep around.  So Tyson thinks it’s time for him to go.   And he isn’t wrong.  Gervase doesn’t want to be looked at as someone not playing the game, so he’s willing to go along with it.  Dumb and dumber.  I like how Tyson later calls the newbies stupid when every time Tyson has been on this show, he’s made historically stupid moves.  Pot meet kettle.  I could never understand why people want to break up their alliance so early in the game.  You have your alliance, trust it…for now.  Just ask Kat how smart it is to panic and turn on your alliance early.  I can see why Tyson and Gervase would panic because Rachel and Marissa are gone.  Now so is Brad at Aras’ hands.  But Katie and Vytas are still around and make Tina and Aras very dangerous.  I get that.   But I still think it’s too soon.  I think even at the merge, you have enough people nervous about Aras that you can get him out right at the merge.   Let’s look at who’s left:

  • Tina
  • Katie
  • Monica
  • Gervase
  • Tyson
  • Aras
  • Vytas
  • Caleb
  • Ciera
  • Hayden
  • Kat
  • Laura B

I think Tina and Monica are pretty tight and Tina will pull Katie in.  Tina seems to be tight with Aras and then by extension Vytas.  So there’s five.  Kat, Laura B, and Ciera would just be happy it’s not them.  Hayden and Caleb would be on board with getting such a big threat out.  So you have Kat, Laura, Ciera, Hayden, Caleb, Gervase, and Tyson all willing to vote Aras.  That’s 7 vs. 5.   You have the numbers.   Now it’s soooooo easy for me to sit here and think this without really knowing the relationships on the island.   But I think with that scenario, you could get Aras after the merge.  Now with Kat gone, you would have to make sure one of your other “vote Aras out” people wouldn’t go with the best scenario being the Vytas is the next to go.   Again, very easy for me to say…I know that.   But I think Tyson is jumping the gun just a bit and putting a huge target on his back.  And what he doesn’t realize is that Monica and Tina don’t like flip floppers.  Based on what happened at their camp, they’ve made it perfectly clear that if they can’t trust you, you’re gone.  If Tyson flips on Aras, he’s sealed his fate with them.   And even though Caleb, Hayden, and Ciera might stick with him for now, they already know he’s a turn coat and know they can’t trust him so he’ll have to go.  So while it’s a bold move, as usual for Tyson, it’s a stupid one.   Not to mention, now with this tribe shake up, he is on a team with Gervase, Aras, Hayden, Caleb, and Ciera.  I have a feeling Hayden, Caleb, and Ciera will stick together.  So if Tyson gets Aras out and a merge doesn’t happen, he’s put himself and Gervase is a VERY weak position with being down in numbers in his new tribe.  I’ll say it again…dumb.   It’s why a guy like Tyson will never win Survivor.  He’s too tunnel visioned.   He doesn’t see the big picture or a few moves ahead.  He gets an idea and there is no changing it.   That’s why I would NEVER have an alliance with that man if I played with him.

Speaking of dumb, let’s talk about Kat!  Kat’s annoyed at Monica.   Why?   Because she talks and strategizes too much.   It’s all too much for Kat.  So because of that, she has to go.  The problem for Kat is, she on the outside looking in on an alliance and she has no idea.  Please like Kat annoy me.  Meaning, people who think they are so good at playing Survivor but really aren’t very good at all.   She seems like a very nice person but the arrogance combined with cluelessness bug me.  So she wants Monica gone and she goes right to Tina…her alliance member.  Tina promptly tells Monica because she doesn’t like having wishy-washy alliance members around.  They are dangerous and if she’s turning on Monica because she talks too much, what other reasons could she concoct to vote some one out later?  So for Monica, Kat had to go.   What I didn’t understand was Monica confronting her about this.  What point does that serve other than to dime out Tina?  Kat’s not going to tell you the truth.  So why bother?   I guess it would make sense if you didn’t believe the person who told you in the first place.  But it came from Tina and they’re tight so in my opinion there was no need for her to go to Kat.  I thought Kat was going to be the smoke screen  until they got to tribal when it was pretty clear it was going to be her.   Vytas had infiltrated their hearts and in a very short time proved more trustworthy than Kat.  He’s also the only muscle they have so they should really keep him around for challenges.  But it’s still dangerous.  Aras is a very powerful player.  I think Vytas was the best from his tribe.   When they get together, I don’t think there is any way Aras or Vytas don’t win this game.  And I think if it’s between Aras and Vytas, Vytas wins.  One because he’s not a prior winner and two, there has been quite a bit of foreshadowing with Vytas making lots of claims of being inferior to Aras.  What better way to beat him than on Survivor?   That is not a spoiler (I LOATHE Survivor spoilers) it’s just a gut feeling.   So while I understand them being pissed at Kat and wanting her gone it still doesn’t make sense because she was never really in your alliance to begin with.  Granted she didn’t know that but you did.  And Vytas is still a wild card with a very powerful ally on the other side.   If you have read many of the recaps out there that talk about Tina, Aras, and Gervase having a pre-show alliance, then it would make sense for Vytas to stay and Tina to protect him.  I think luckily for Tina, Kat made a very easy scapegoat and way to protect Vytas without showing her hand…if that’s indeed what’s going on.    See this is why I love Survivor!!!  I have no idea who’s really aligned with whom and I love it!!!!

One last thing before I go, Holy Major Faux Pas on the challenge!   From what I understand, after Probst does the TV explanation of the challenge, the cameras then have to move into position to film the challenge.  While that’s happening, Probst and the Challenge Manager go over the challenge in detail with each tribe again.  He answers questions and reviews all the steps and even in some cases will show pictures of certain stages so they know what to look for.   So it’s pretty clear what they have to do.  For Tina and Laura to not come back with the cage, is unacceptable.   It was unacceptable before I knew that bit of intel (thank you Dalton Ross from!) and now it’s even MORE preposterous after hearing that!!!   The only way you could miss that is if you aren’t paying attention and that’s just wrong on so many levels.   And they went out as a twosome.  So not only did one person not pay attention, but BOTH didn’t!    I would have kicked them off the tribe just for that.   You have a 1 in 12 shot of winning a million dollars (not counting the yuck butts on RI.)  How do you not pay attention to a challenge?  It’s one thing when it’s individual immunity but it’s even worse when it’s a team challenge.   No excuse at all.

In my first post I picked Aras as my winner with an honorable mention to brother Vytas.  I would have picked Vytas outright but since a newbie has never won Survivor when there are veterans out there, I couldn’t pick Vytas.  But so far, so good in my early prediction.   Sorry guys if I just Jim Nantzed you.

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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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SEASON PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW Survivor Blood vs. Water: “Blood Is Thicker Than Anything” S27 E1

Here we are….season 27 of Survivor!   Wow.  So when I read the scenario for Blood vs. Water there were things I liked and things I didn’t.  First, I love the idea of playing against your loved one and seeing what kind of dynamics unfold as a result of that.   Especially when you’re on one team and your loved one is on another….what if the alliance you form doesn’t line up with your loved one?  Then what?  Then, I love that they’re voting someone out on the spot AND the vote isn’t hidden.   I know people don’t like that because it isn’t fair and there is no rhyme or reason to the vote at this point and if I were the person who was voted out, I wouldn’t like it either.  But since I’m not, I LOVE IT!!!!   I like the idea of being given the opportunity to swap places with a loved one if they are in danger.  I think that could put a huge twist into the alliances and direction of the game that could be very interesting to watch.   What I hate…Redemption Island is back.   Ugh.  I HATE Redemption Island.  I’m sorry but I’m a purist.  When someone is voted out, they should be out of the game…period.   No second chances, no additional opportunity to get back in the game.   So I’m disappointed to hear that this is back.

As for the cast itself, there are some people I’m very happy to see…Tina, Aras, Gervase, Laura, and Tyson.   There are some people I am so over seeing….Rupert and Candice.   There are people I couldn’t remember…Kat and Monica.   And there is one person I was disgusted to see…Colton.   Seeing as how One World was arguably the worst season in Survivor history, I’m shocked to see three people return from that season.   Especially Colton.  It’s one thing to have controversial players in terms of their game play and decisions they make for making a very compelling season and great TV.  It’s another to bring someone like Colton back who actually detracts from my viewing pleasure and is the reason the only season I never finished watching was One World.   He’s a horrible human being and he’s a bad Survivor player.  Why do I want to watch that again?  I’m praying to God he gets voted out soon and doesn’t ruin the season…again.

The first twist right off the bat was the fact that this season is actually 39 1/2 days since the loved ones are dropped off to spend the night together before the game begins.   The next morning everyone meets on the beach and the tribes are divided into loved ones and returning players.  Awesome.   Even more awesome, they each have to vote someone out right away and it’s not a hidden vote.  The first two voted out are Candice (returning players) and Laura (Rupert’s wife – Loved Ones.)   Once Probst offered the opportunity to switch positions, Rupert didn’t hesitate and took Laura’s spot and Laura joined the Returning Players tribe.   BIG mistake Rupert.  Like Tina said you just put your tribe in a weaker position and as a result, you’re on everyone’s shit list.  I think Rupert regretted it the minute he did it.   John, while very upset his wife was voted out, made the smart move and staying right where he was at.

Since the premiere is 90 minutes, we have a chance to get to know the Survivors a little better.  First on the Loved Ones tribe, we learn Laura’s daughter Ciera was a teen mom and has a second little one with her new husband and how supportive her mom was with her but how difficult it was.   We learn Aras’ brother Vytas was a teen heroin addict and went to jail for stealing from people to maintain his habit.   And we learn that Brad Culpepper has trouble counting on two hands.  The first two stories were much more compelling.    We also learn from Brad that he doesn’t think a gay man equals a real man.   When he talks about his 5 man alliance, he clarifies by saying they’re actually 4 guys and a gay guy.   Seriously?   I’m already looking forward to when he’s voted out.   And don’t think that’s too far away because I don’t think they “guy” alliance is as tight as he thinks it is.   If I have to go out and pick a Loved One this early that I really like, it’s Vytas.  I love his story and I think you can tell right off the bat that he’s pretty smart and already playing a strong game.  Many of the other Loved Ones seem to still be figuring out what the hell is going on while Vytas is already in “game on” mode.   But I think he’s soft-spoken enough that he will be stealth and fly under the radar but making good decisions and reading and watching everyone.   So he is definitely one to watch.

As for the Returning Players, we’re already treated to a Colton meltdown and telling everyone how he’s misunderstood and he’s a good person.   In one of his confessionals, he talks about how he plans to show everyone a different side to Colton.  A Colton 2.0 if you will.   Well that was very short-lived because in the immunity challenge Kat is yelling at him to paddle (as is everyone else) and he turns to her and threatens to hit her with the paddle if she doesn’t shut up.   And he’s back.   Colton 2.0 lasted all of one day and from the previews for next week, he looks to be back with a vengeance.  Great (she says with sarcasm.)

At the immunity challenge the Loved Ones are off to a HUGE lead.  Mainly because Gervase is so out of shape Aras has to push and drag him through the water to get him through the challenge.  Once they actually get Gervase in the boat, the can’t seem to figure out how paddle the boat straight back to the beach.  And when Kat is the one trying to fix the situation, you know you’re in trouble.   The thing I love most about puzzle challenges is that whenever someone steps up and says “I’m really good at puzzles” and CBS shows it, you know that person is going to get crushed in the puzzle challenge.  In this season Laura and Tina say how good they are at puzzles and that they wouldn’t be surprised to see their daughters doing the puzzle part and how they are going to crush them.   I love to see these two moms wanting to destroy their own daughters…LOL.  And they were right because Katie and Ciera stepped up and said their moms are good at puzzles and so are they so they want to beat their moms.  And while Katie and Ciera may be good at puzzles, they aren’t as good as their moms because even with that huge lead, Tina and Laura (and someone else) come roaring back and destroy them and win immunity.  Talk about a beat down!   But the funniest part had to be seeing Gervase jump up and down and get in the Loved Ones face about the victory.  Dude, you were worse than useless in the challenge, you almost lost the challenge for your team!  And you’re going to be the one to smack talk?   Come on man.  From one Philly person to another, act like you’ve been there, especially when you suck.

Before heading to tribal council, the Loved Ones are talking about who to vote out and they narrow it down to Marissa and Katie.   Katie because they don’t think she’s strong and Marissa because her uncle acted like a jackass so it would send a message and they don’t think she brings much to the table.    After some back and forth, Marissa gets voted out, stares down her tribe and heads to Redemption Island.  Now I have heard and read some reports that people think the vote against Marissa was racist.  I don’t like such heavy topics on a TV blog but since it was brought up I’m going to respond with my opinion.  In no way do I think that vote was racist.   If Tyson was the one being obnoxious and jumping around, maybe Rachel would be gone.   I don’t think it had anything to do with the color of her skin and I think it’s really unfair to the contestants to make that huge assumption.    I also heard a very popular podcast (that I love) where one of the pundits discussed how he thinks there is a problem with America because black women keep getting voted off Survivor early.  Is he serious with that comment?   How is it America’s fault?   And I think to say that the reason some people are voted out are because the contestants are racist is way out of line.  Over the course of 27 seasons have there been racist people on the show, I’m sure that there have been.  But to make that kind of blanket statement about the Survivor contestants I think is very irresponsible and unfair to them.    If you want to take issue with the idea that they are penalizing her for her uncle’s action, I would have no problem with that because I think that’s a bogus reason to vote her out.   But I wish we would not jump to very serious conclusions about the reasons why someone was voted out unless there is concrete evidence that was the case and the people in question would have the chance to respond.   And just to be VERY clear, if it turns out that someone on Survivor is voted out because of the color of their skin, I would be appalled by that.  But enough about that.  I’m upset Marissa is gone because I thought she could be a real player this season and very strong competitor so I’m hoping she does well at Redemption Island and finds a way to get back in the game.   Although, it wouldn’t surprise me if Gervase took her place at RI because I have a feeling the reason she was voted out will be brought up.

So now I have to go out on a limb and pick my winner for the season.   This is so hard.  There are so many people with a chance to win.  Since rookies seem to struggle against returning players, I’m not going with one of them.  I have it down to two people….Laura and Aras.   They are both strong, smart, and determined to win.   But I think Laura has the personality that could potentially rub people the wrong way at some point and Aras seems to be someone everyone just likes and responds positively to that I’m going to go with Aras as the winner of Survivor Blood vs. Water.   But if a rookie were to win, I would put my money on his brother Vytas.  But I think Aras becomes the second repeat winner.

So what did you think of the premiere and all the twist and turns this season?   And who do you think will win this season?


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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor Philippines…Season So Far.

I have been really bad with keeping up with Survivor this season.  Partly because of work but mostly because the last two seasons were so bad because they were so poorly cast, I haven’t been that excited to watch this new season.  I mean I still have 6-7 episodes of One World still on my DVR that I will watch at some point.  And don’t tell me who won because I don’t know!

But this season has been worth watching the dreck of the last two seasons combined.   This season is awesome!!!    My husband and I plowed through all 10 episodes yesterday and I can’t wait for Wednesday’s to come around.

The reason this season is so good…the cast.  You have lots of people to like and root for and you have good villains that root against but don’t vehemently despise to the point the show is unwatchable (cough, cough Colton, cough, cough.)  But the most important reason this season is so good, you have people who actually want to play the game.  Yes you have some idiots…like Angie.  But you can have 1 or 2 Angies and it’s ok.  It’s actually enjoyable because it’s funny to watch them try to compete when they are completely outmatched on all facets of the game.   But when 12 out of the 18 people are Angies…it sucks.   Luckily we have all people going with a “game on” mentality.    The other thing I am THRILLED about….no more redemption island.  I can appreciate the creators and producers trying to come up with different ways to breathe life into the game.   But the redemption island angle was a bad one.  Once someone is gone, they should be gone.  No second or third chances.  Once you’re out, you’re out.  And having that back this season is much more enjoyable.   Because in my opinion, the game of Survivor is perfection.  The only thing you need for a really good season, is a good cast  That’s the key. You don’t need gimmicks and stunts…just a good group of people willing to play the game with a range of interesting personalities.   And that’s what you have this season.

It’s crazy because there are SOOO many people I’m rooting for.  And all for different reasons.  I’m rooting for Malcolm, Denise, Lisa, and Skupin.  And if Carter or Penner were to win, I wouldn’t hate it.  The only person that would bug me at this point is annoying-but-I-have-no-idea-just-how-utterly-annoying-I-am Abi.  But I can’t see how that could possibly happen.  Gun to my head, if I had to pick one person…it would be hard to choose between Malcolm and Denise but I’d have to go with Denise.  She has played a phenomenal game.  She’s strong in challenges, she works around camp, she’s incredibly likable, she’s loyal, and she’s a very good strategist.  She is the complete package.

The thing I’m already happy about is seeing how several people have made comments about not taking what happens in the game personally.  It’s one of the things about Survivor, from the cast standpoint, that has always bothered me….when people hold grudges outside the game for decisions people make in the game.  Or when people question your character because of bold moves you make.  Now don’t get me wrong, there have been people who have played this game, like Russell Hantz, NaOnka, and Colton, who are low-class people with no integrity whatsoever and they bring their vile natures to the game of Survivor.  Because those people would be just as awful outside the game as they were inside the game.   But for the most part, people don’t act on Survivor the way they would act in the real world.  It’s a game.  For a $1,000,000!!!   So people do things they would NEVER do outside of Survivor because of the nature of the game.  Therefore, I’ve never understood why people get so personal when it comes to moves made.  I know it’s easy to say that watching from home.  I’m not out there making the types of promises and friendships these guys are making.  And I’m sure getting blindsided from someone you trusted, sucks and stabs you in the gut.  But it’s not personal!!!!  And therefore, there have been juries that have made emotional decisions (Natalie vs. Russell) versus the right decision on who really deserves to win because they can’t get past the hatred.   But there have been several moments this season where one competitor has said to another, hey don’t worry about it, you were making a move, it’s a game it’s no big deal, don’t worry nothing personal.  I love it!!!!

Random Thoughts on the Season:

  1. Jeff Kent made a HUGE mistake not sticking with the 6-7 alliance.  He was so tunnel visioned on getting rid of the returning players, he couldn’t see the forest through the trees.  And as a result, instead of having Carter, Denise, Malcolm, Penner, RC, Skupin, and himself as a solid group (with still plenty of numbers to get Penner and Skupin out later) he flipped and voted with Pete, Abi, Artis, and Lisa and got someone out of the game who would have been loyal to him in RC.  It was the one bad mistake he made in a pretty flawless game up until that point.  And as a result, he was axed the very next week.
  2. A person like Abi is exactly why you don’t make alliances too early in the game…because then you’re stuck with them.  RC got screwed because she aligned herself with a fruit loop.  Pete and Artis got screwed because they aligned themselves with a loud mouthed bitch who was stupid to boot.  But to be fair, when someone comes to you and says, let’s make an alliance, you can shoot yourself in the foot if you say no.  So you have to cross your fingers that you’re Malcolm and you end up with someone like Denise instead of RC who ended up with someone like Abi.
  3. What was Penner thinking?   Lisa and Skupin came to him wanting to make a final four alliance (I wonder who the 4th would have been…Carter maybe) and Penner said “Nah, I think I’ll wait this out a bit before I commit.”   WHAT!!!  Now this becomes a different strategy from the early in the game alliance where you need to be more careful because you don’t know these people yet.  At this point in the game, you know these people a lot better.  So you can make a better, more informed decision for your end game.  I can appreciate that Penner wants to get jury votes because that’s important.  But don’t you think, at this point, you’re better aligning yourself with people you know you can trust and can most likely beat than saying you’ll wait it out?  I agree with Lisa, opportunity missed.  It’s a big risk on his part, so I wonder how that will play out.
  4. Lisa Whelchel has a been a fantastic surprise.  The first two episodes I was worried she was on the early chopping block…which she was.  Luckily for her, she was on a team that kept winning and never had to go to tribal council or she would have been gone.   And it always surprises me when I see self-proclaimed Survivor ultra fans play the game like they’ve never watched the show before.  And in the first few episodes, Lisa would go off by herself and isolate herself from her tribe because she didn’t fit in.   Hello?  If you’re such a fan, you have to know that’s a HORRIBLE strategy.  Again, she was soooo lucky she was on a team where they won all the time.   But then Lisa came out of her shell, saw some signs of life, and starting playing like a person who has watched this show before.  She tried to make some bold moves to better her position and there were times it appears she was being manipulated that she was able to read very easily and not get snowed by someone’s kind gestures.  She was cautiously trusting which is very smart on her part.  And now, she maybe in a position to win this game!!!  You go Blair Warner!!!
  5. I want Malcolm or Denise to win this thing.  They are my favorite hot guy, strong woman tandem since Colby and Tina in Season 2.  I love that with all they went through, they have been loyal to each other since day one and have been able to survive a horrible tribe, being split up, and making new alliances.  They are both in fantastic positions to win this thing.  If the final two were between Malcolm and Denise, I would have no idea who I would vote for.  Because while Denise has played the perfect game, Malcolm has been doing it with a target on his back the whole game and has still managed to survive.

So what do you think of this season of Survivor?  I think this is the best season we’ve seen since Heroes vs Villains.  And I can only hope, the producers are reading all the reviews, and the blogs, and the chat rooms to see how much people are enjoying this season and leave the redemption island gone for good and start casting better in the future.  Because what a difference a good cast makes!!


Posted by on November 25, 2012 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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The Season So Far….Survivor One World Review

I had 4 episodes on tape and because I hated the cast so much, I was in no rush to watch.  But after Kansas beat UNC last night (Go Jayhawks!!!)  I decided to pop in a few episodes and see if it’s gotten any better.  Well, the good news is….unfortunately, there is none.  Not only is the cast still as annoying as before, but it’s actually gotten worse.  WORSE!  I didn’t think that was possible, but it has.

In the beginning, it was very rare to see vile human beings on Survivor (other than Richard Hatch.)  There may have been characters you didn’t like, but no one so disgusting that it took away from the enjoyment of the show.  Bare in mind, there is a difference between loving to hate someone and all out hating someone because they are a horrible human being.  To me, someone like Parvati was someone people loved to hate.  Maybe some people liked her, but for the most part, she was not well liked.   And it had nothing to do with her being a horrible human being.  It was just she was devious and manipulative but all within the spirit of the game.  She is arguably one of the best players Survivor has ever seen.  You also had polarizing people like Coach, Jeri, Courtney, Randy, Sandra, Boston Rob.  Some nasty people in the group, some devious people, and some strange people.  But none of which who were vile, awful people.  Now I was not a fan of Courtney or Sandra…I really hated their characters because I thought they were pretty rude.  But from things I’ve read, they are very different in the real world than on the show.  So I can chalk it up to that.   Plus, their actions always seemed to be within the framework and spirit of the game.  But then everything changed with one show….Survivor Samoa.

Samoa introduced us to the most polarizing player ever to grace our Survivor nation….Russell Hantz.  Russell took playing dirty to a whole new level.  Russell’s arrogance was also like nothing we have ever seen before.  Sure there were people who had confidence in themselves and their game but nothing like Russell.  He was ripping the intelligence of the women around him, he would get in someone’s face, threaten them and then follow through with the threat (by voting them out.)  He was ruthless.   But even though Russell was mostly a hated player, there were still plenty of people out there that loved him and there were plenty of people who loved to hate him.   My husband and I didn’t like Russell but we loved having him on Survivor because he made for riveting TV.   We couldn’t wait to see what he would do next.  I still think he was robbed on Samoa because he deserved to win.   But after that, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, I can’t feel bad for you.

But after Samoa, we have now seen at least three people (at least 3 for me) that I don’t see any redeemable qualities in the type of person they are….Na’Onka, Colton, and Alicia.  And the scariest part, is that two of these people are EDUCATORS!!!!!!  I don’t mind if Survivor wants to bring controversial people on the screen who will shake things up a bit.   But there is a difference between finding a strong personality that will probably clash with other people and finding complete psychopaths who ruin the show.  In fairness to the casting department, they probably don’t know to the extent someone will behave on the island until they get out there.  But wow have they made some bad choices.   People like Na’Onka, Colton, and Alicia aren’t fun to watch.  They aren’t interesting or intriguing.  They are just horrendous.  Na’Onka didn’t totally ruin Nicaragua for me (although she came close) but I hated watching any scene she was in and was so relieved when she was finally voted out.  Talk about a horrible person.  But at least it was just one person.  And once they were gone, it was much better.  This season doesn’t have that luxury.

I have tried to start this paragraph several different ways because there are just no words to describe a repulsive person like Colton.  I’ve never in my life seen anyone behave or act like he did on Survivor.   And the scary thing is, I believe that’s exactly how he behaves in the real world.  He is a bigoted, racist, elitist, asshole.  And that’s being kind.   I understand in your confessionals or even to your closest confidants that you may poke fun or celebrate someone’s ultimate demise on the show.  But to be so blatantly rude and condescending to a fellow teammate by telling them “they couldn’t make an alliance with a hermit crab” or “you can be medivaced out or jump in the fire, it’s up to you.”   Who the hell do you think you are?   And what’s worse….EVERYONE IS ALLOWING HIM TO ACT THIS WAY!!!!   Why is this prick dictating what is going on?   Why did Mike, Jay, Bill, Troyzan, Leif allow this to go on?  Tarzan and Jonah have no spines so it’s not surprising that they have done nothing.   But what about the other guys?   How did Leif and Cristina allow Colton, and eventually Alicia, to talk to them the way that they did?  Grow a set and put him in his place!!!  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I wish Matt was still on the show because he seems like the kind of guy who would have nipped this in the bud and gotten rid of Colton a long time ago.  Between Colton’s behavior and the fact that NO ONE will call him on it or punish him for it (like vote him off) is what is ruining this season for me.  I can’t stand people who don’t play the game.  It’s one thing to be smart about not pissing off people and making your move at the right time.  But it’s an entirely other thing to be so afraid of getting voted off that you allow this Mussolini to take control of everything….including spearheading the decision to give up immunity and go to tribal council instead of the girls tribe!!!!   I couldn’t believe what I was watching!!!!!  And all because, he didn’t like Bill.  Not because he was a threat, not because he was dangerous, but because he didn’t like his voice and career choice.  WHAT!!!!!!!  And SEVEN OTHER PEOPLE agreed to this.   Man I thought the girls’ tribe was stupid.  The men took it to a whole new level.

So on top of the whole, Colton is an asshole fiasco, you have his partner in crime, Alicia, who is just as much of an abomination as he is.  She is foul-mouthed, nasty, rude, arrogant, and is not above threatening to beat you up and slap you around if God forbid you need about an inch of room to sleep in the shelter.  And this is someone who teaches special needs children.  Like I said during Na’Onka’s season, if I had my kid in her class, I would yank them out so fast.  I wouldn’t want that woman anywhere near my kids.

I’m so frustrated because I really love this show.  But I am starting to get tired of not only the nasty people, but the stupid people.  It’s another problem Survivor is facing because you have people getting cast on this show who don’t play the game.  Either they’re too dumb to play or too lazy to play.  Between the dreck from Redemption Island to this One World cast, the casting has been horrible.  Out of the 18-22 people (depending on the season you get) who are cast, removing the returning players from the mix, you are only getting about 5-6 people who truly seem to want to play the game.   And unfortunately, they are usually deemed the “threatening people” are therefore voted out of the game early by the idiots.  Or, in the case of RI and South Pacific, just do whatever the returning player wants them to do and don’t bother developing their own game plan.   Where are the Rob Cestraninos?   The Ceries?  The Parvatis?  The Boston Robs?  While we all bitch about seeing the same people come back time and time again, at least these people play the game to win.  I’d rather watch that than people like Natalie and Ashley from Redemption Island or take your pick from this season.

But you know what they say….karma’s a bitch.  Colton was thankfully carted off the island this past week with an appendicitis.  I shouldn’t say thankfully because that sounds cruel.  Hopefully, medically, he’s ok.  I’m thankful because he won’t be on my TV screen anymore.  But I hope his health is just fine.   Unfortunately, Alicia is still there but hopefully won’t be for much longer.  I’m still rooting for Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea (although not as much with her) Troyzan and Jay.  I was hoping this season would turn around but I’m afraid it’s too far gone.  If we can get Alicia, Tarzan, and Kat off the show soon, it may have a chance because the rest of the people, I believe, want to play the game.  Except for Christina but because of how she was treated, I’m really hoping Alicia and Tarzan go before she does.

What do you think of Survivor One World?  And what are your thoughts on some of the recent casting decisions over the last few seasons?   Does it bug you as much as me or am I reading too much into it?   Comment away!!!


Posted by on March 26, 2012 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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REVIEW: Survivor One World “Total Dysfunction” S24 E2

It’s official.  I hate these people.  Between the cocky Mike, Matt, and Jay to the most annoying Survivor ever in Colton.  And don’t get me started on the idiots that is the women’s tribe.  This reminds me of Season 3 Africa where everyone (except Ethan) was so grating and agitating that I hated the season.  Unfortunately, this may be another one of those seasons.

This has to be the dumbest group of Survivors I have ever watched.  Wait, I think I still have to give the nod to the crew from Redemption Island.  I am still steaming that Ashley and Natalie and the like allowed Boston Rob to walk all over them like the Godfather and his minions.  Not that I am upset at the way Boston Rob played because it was genius.  It’s because I hate people who go into Survivor but don’t want to PLAY Survivor.  If you aren’t going to play the game, stay the hell home.  I digress.  But this group is a close second.

First you have Matt pounding his chest about having the “strong man, cool clique” alliance that makes him completely comfortable in his position.  Hey asshole.  You only have four people in your alliance.  You know how many people are on your tribe?  Nine.  If the other 5 team up, which they will, you’re screwed dumb ass. Then you have Kat.  “What does ambiance mean?”   Really?  I know it’s not polite to pick on people’s vocabulary (especially when mine isn’t the greatest either) but come one.  Kat also has problems following the rules of a challenge.  It’s simple..get around the other people on the beam but you can only touch one person at a time, otherwise you have to start all over again.  In fairness to Kat, Cristina was also brain-dead during this challenge as well.  Between Cristina constantly touching other people and Kat jumping in the water wasting time when she didn’t need to, they were dead from the start with their challenge.  Finally Monica said, move away, I’m doing this.   Again, in fairness to Kat, if the other girls were so annoyed at her stupidity (like Nina) then why didn’t some one tell her to get at the end of the line and let someone else go through all eight people? After 3 failed attempts, that’s what should have happened.  Then you have foul-mouthed Alicia who likes to pick fights with everyone.   I would love to know where Survivor finds all these educators who are completely psycho.  Remember NaOnka everyone?   If I were the parents of the kids she teaches, I would move them to another school.

Finally, there’s Colton.  OMFG!!!!!  Easily the most annoying Survivor to date.  All he does is bitch that he doesn’t fit in with the men.  Then he annoys the only people who liked him by constantly begging to live in their camp.  In the course of 3-5 days he has managed to alienate everyone.  How about this Colton?   If you want to fit in, TRY!!  Don’t lounge around camp doing nothing pissing your tribe mates off even more.  Don’t always run to the girls complaining about the guys and how you are more a girl than a guy anyway.  Try to find a way to get along.   I know it’s hard but you had to know going on Survivor that at SOME point you would have to try to work with men on your tribe.  Are you kidding me?

The only people I like right now are Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea, Leif, and Bill.  So in no particular order, I am rooting for them.  Here’s the biggest problem with Survivor these days…people make alliances WAAAAAY too fast.   Idiot Alicia took a look around and saw 4 other girls who “looked” young, strong, and athletic so she created her alliance with them on the walk to the beach.  You haven’t known these people for an hour and you’ve already decided who’s in your alliance?  I give her credit for one thing….at least she can do math.  Maybe she could teach that to Matt.  I have to imagine that Sab, Chelsea, and Kim are kicking themselves aligning with Alicia and Kat.  They even said it at TC last night when they said they would make different alliances at this point in the game.  But what are you going to do?  If someone comes up to you wanting you to be part of the power alliance, what are you going to say?  No?  Let me get to know you first?  You would screw yourself.  What I would do if I were Sab, Kim, and Chelsea?  I would regroup with Monica and Cristina and vote of Kat and Alicia next.  It’s early in the game so they won’t be part of the jury and you won’t have to worry about that coming back to bite you.  It was a mistake to vote off Nina.  Kat should have gone.  And I think changing your alliance at this point, doesn’t make you a liar or fraud.  In this case, it would make them smart.  But I have a bad feeling that won’t happen.

What do you guys think of One World so far?  I think the two biggest things I like are no redemption island and returning castmates.  Other than that, two thumbs down….so far.  We still have 16-17 episodes more to go.  Plenty of time to turn the season around.


Posted by on February 23, 2012 in CBS, Mid Season, Recaps and Reviews


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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island S22 E12

After the craziness of the last couple of weeks, this week’s episode was a little boring.  And unfortunately, because Rob’s tribe is playing like a bunch of zombies, it’s very predictable.   But now that all the obvious votes are gone, it should start to get interesting again.  Although I think it’s going to be Grant then Ashley with Rob taking Natalie and Philip to the final 3.  Again, this is assuming who ever comes back in the game from RI and they don’t win an immunity challenge, is going right to the jury.

The one great part about this episode though, which is always my favorite of the season, it’s the message/visit from the loved one from home.  I always love seeing the Survivors getting all choked up from the messages.  Unless you’re in the military or have a wicked travel schedule for work, most people aren’t away from family or friends for over a month.  I’ve been with my husband for 14 years (almost 11 married) and the longest consecutive stretch I’ve been away from him was 2 weeks.  So I could imagine not seeing him for 31 straight days and getting pretty emotional.   Depending on the season and depending on the time of the game when the loved ones arrive, it’s always amazing to see.  But for ease of discussion, let’s say it’s around day 30.  So for 30 days, you see some people in this game and they are nasty people.  You see some tough ass people.  You see some devious, manipulative people.   You see some very spiritual people.  No matter who you see, their reaction is always the same…genuine joy at seeing someone they love to the point where most burst into tears.   It goes to show you how much and family and friends mean to you, especially when you haven’t seen or talked to them in over a month.  Like Mike said, even though he was in Iraq fighting for our country, he could at least communicate and talk to his family.   Just like my 14 consecutive days away from my husband, I could still talk to him every day.  But on Survivor, there is no communication.  You haven’t seen or talked to anyone you care about in over a month.   Think about that.   That’s crazy!!!

We head to RI and there is a four person showdown to not only stay alive but to win the right to see your loved one.  The final 6 Ometepe are also there to watch the challenge.  There are 4 tiles for each man to break and the first one to break all 4, wins the challenge and the right to see their loved one.   With 4 throws, Mike wins the challenge.  He made it look easy.  Then Matt and Ralph soon follow and Steve is sent home.  I have to say, and this was brought up on the live Twitter chat with Jeff Probst but I also thought it myself, did Steve even look like he was even trying?  I didn’t think so.  This is now a few challenges in a row where Steve looked like he just gave up.  Which really surprises me from a former NFL athlete.  Probst says it all the time that you really can’t put your self in the mindset of these Survivors because it’s almost impossible to.  Day after day after day with little food, water, weather. and horrible living conditions.  It takes a mental and physical toll on you.  Maybe that’s what happened with Steve.  But it seems like his heart hasn’t been in this game for several weeks now.

So Mike wins the challenge and here comes his mom!!!  Yeah!!!  But it wouldn’t be Survivor without the dreaded twist….and Mike has 3 to choose from…he can keep his winning and hang with his mom or he can give up his right and give it to Matt and Ralph or he can give up his right and give it to the 6 Ometepe.   This is friggin’ brutal.  This would be the challenge I would NEVER want to win.  It’s a lose/lose for the winner.  I don’t think you can win a million dollars with this decision, but you can certainly lose it.  On one hand, you are fighting to stay in this game.  So from a social standpoint, if you give the chance for other people to see their families, you could win some jury votes and stay in people’s good graces a little bit longer.  On the other hand, you won the challenge so you should be able to see your loved one.  You’ve earned it!!  And why give people I’m competing against the chance to see their family members and get a second wind when mentally they may have been on a breaking point?  It could be a risky move.  I also don’t believe you could win a million dollars by giving that to people.  You think because Mike let Boston Rob see his sister that he will somehow take him to the final 3?   Hell no!!!  If anything, he has become more likable and more of a threat.  Therefore as soon as he gets the chance (especially with all the Zapatera already on the jury) Mike will be booted off again.  On the flip side, you could lose a million dollars with your decision.  If you decide to keep the reward for yourself, there may be many upset jury members that remember that and use that as the reason to not vote for you!

On that topic, I need to vent about something that has bothered me for YEARS on Survivor.  Obviously the person who is in this position of having to choose whether he/she gets to keep a reward or give it to someone else or they win and have to choose 2-3 people to come with them, is going to struggle with what to do because they know they can’t take everyone and they know someone is going to be pissed.   And that’s what bothers me.  Why would you be pissed at that person?  There was only one time I can remember a Survivor being perfectly within their right to be pissed off.   Fabio.  Last season, Chase promised to take Fabio and Sash on the very next challenge he won.  He took Sash, but then he took Holly.  So not only did he tell Fabio he would take him and then not, it was also worse because apparently Fabio doesn’t get to see his mother very much.  That is one time I can see being justified that you are pissed.   I would be pissed if I was out there and Chase did that to Fabio.  But in all other circumstances, I don’t get it.  Like Ralph.  Ralph was mad at Mike for picking the Ometepe 6 to get to see their loved ones instead of him and Matt.  You know what Ralph, if you really wanted to see your friend that badly, then you should have won the challenge!  You didn’t so really you deserve nothing.  I don’t understand that at all.  This was not Mike’s decision.  Mike was told either hang out with your mom, let Matt and Ralph hang out with their people, or let the Ometepe 6 hang with their people.  Someone has to get let down.  And Mike, who won the challenge, was one of those people.  So shut up Ralph!!!!   And for anyone else who goes on Survivor, don’t whine if someone doesn’t pick you.  If you want to win a reward then win it your damn self!!!!

There was a pretty grueling immunity challenge that involved carrying heavy planks of wood to make stairs (lots of stairs) and running up and down and up and down and up and down those stairs several times in over 100 degree heat.  I was exhausted watching them.  Eventually, Rob wins the immunity and almost collapses afterwards.  He was really struggling after that challenge and it isn’t the first time the heat got to him.  It happened in Heroes vs. Villains as well.  He was fine though and they are off to another TC where there is no shock as to who was going home, except for the person going home…Andrea.  I have to say though with this RI twist, blindsides aren’t what they used to be.  They just don’t have the same impact.  I’m not feeling it this season.  I always LOVED the blindside but not this year.

So Andrea, Matt, and Ralph are all on RI and now the final 5 on the main island should get REALLY interesting.  I think Rob is tightest with Grant and Natalie.  But he isn’t taking Grant because he’s too dangerous.  And I honestly believe that between Natalie, Ashley, and Philip, any combination of a twosome with Rob, Rob will win.  So who cares.  What I want to know is when the RI person comes back into play.  It can’t be that person is in the final 3.  I would HATE that.  It wouldn’t be fair.  I would think within the next episode or two, the RI person comes back in.  They have to right?

Who is your ultimate Survivor for RI?  Is it Rob?   Grant?  Matt?  Mike?  Andrea?  Philip?  We’ll know soon enough!!!!

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Posted by on May 5, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island “You Mangled my Nets” S22 E11

Just when I thought the lack of game play during this season couldn’t get any more frustrating, Ashley made sure it was taken to another level.  I have mentioned several times how disappointed I was in Zapatera’s utter lack of game play.  I have also been stunned at how Boston Rob has been able to manage his “alliance” like a cult.   I had such high hopes for this season when it started out, but it has really turned into a disappointment.  Other than Philip bringing the psycho element to the show, this season is pretty boring because NO ONE, other than Rob, is playing the game.  You could argue that Grant is possibly playing (I’ll get to my thoughts on him later) and to some degree Mike and David we trying to play.   Matt is playing the game from a challenge standpoint but from a strategy standpoint, he’s been awful.   Everyone else is just happy to be there and waiting to see what happens.  You can’t what to see what happens so Survivor.  If you are waiting for something to happen, you know what will happen?   You’re going to get voted out!

So let’s discuss Ashley’s brilliance!  Steve approaches her with a perfectly reasonable strategy…he and Ralph are writing Rob’s name down.  If the girls align with them, they can take Rob out of the game.  Instead of REALLY thinking about how that could benefit them, she just blows it off.  She even says, “you know that could work if we wanted to pull Andrea in.  But we don’t.”  WHY NOT???  If Ashley, Natalie, and Andrea teamed up with Steve and Ralph, they could take out Rob, Grant and Philip and then still have enough of them to take out Steve and Ralph.  Why wouldn’t you do that?  It is mind-boggling to me!!!   These girls aren’t thinking at all.  They are just happy to go through this game completely oblivious to what is happening around them.  They would rather be pawns in Rob’s Survivor than have the balls to make a power play and take control of the game.  But then Ashley takes her brilliance to an even higher level.  We are talking MIT people.  She goes and tells Rob everything Steve just said.    And after Blah Blah Blahing his strategy, she then tells Rob, “of course we didn’t listen to it.”  Of course you didn’t because you are an IDIOT!!!!!  Rob was looking for stooge #2 to take to the finals…well there you go.  It should be Ashley who has proven time and time again, she is just happy to make it as far as she has.

If the Ometepe 6 are the last remaining people (after all the RI people are gone), the only person with a real shot to beat Rob for the million dollars, is Grant.  No one is going to give a million dollars to Philip, because he’s nuts and alienated too many people.  No one is going to give a million dollars to Natalie or Ashley because they haven’t done shit.  And no one is going to give a million dollars to Andrea because she hasn’t really done anything and she may be perceived as being disloyal to her closest ally Matt, one too many times.  Grant is the only one with a chance.  And Rob knows it so he isn’t going to take him.   The interesting thing will be how RI plays in.  I think if Mike or Matt can somehow get back into the game and into the finals, they will win.  Mike for sure because all his former Zapatera are on the jury.  And Matt has a good chance because I think people will give him a lot of credit for lasting as long as he did, basically by himself the whole time.    Who will likely be on the jury?  We know David and Julie for sure and I think it’s a safe bet that Steve and Ralph will be there as well.  That’s 4 former Zapatera.  5 more must join them.  If no power plays are made, let’s say Grant, Andrea, Matt, Mike, and Ashley are on the jury.  Rob would need 5 votes.  If the final 3 is Rob, Philip and Natalie, I think Rob is ok.  Swap Natalie for Ashley or Andrea…Rob is still ok.  If it’s Rob, Philip, & Grant (because of winning immunities) Rob still may be ok but I think Grant could pose a significant threat to steal some votes.  If some how Mike gets in the final 3, Mike would have at least 4 votes and I think could get the fifth vote from Matt.  I don’t think Matt is voting for Rob.  So that would be bad for Rob.  If it’s Matt in the final three with Rob, I’m not sure what would happen.   That would be hardest one to call.  I could see people wanting to give Matt the million for basically surviving and winning by himself and after being voted out TWICE!!  But I could also see people still giving Rob his props for making it to the finals, again!  But I really think the most dangerous person for Rob right now, is Mike.

Let’s get back to Grant for a minute.  I hope he is going to pull a big move.  Because if he can, the game is his.  Grant has been a beast in challenges.  Probably one of the best we have seen.  There is no denying his dominance.  But there have also been clips lately, of him being slightly strategic as well.  I really think he and Rob have formed a solid bond and I think there have been lots of strategic discussions that have gone back and forth between them.  I still think this is Rob’s game not just from the editing but from what Survivors who have been voted out have said in interviews.  I just wonder if there isn’t more of a collaborative effort between Rob and Grant that we aren’t privy to.  I don’t know.  The shame of it is, even though Rob and Grant may have formed a solid bond and friendship, Rob knows that at some point, he will have to betray him because he knows he can’t go against him in the finals.  I hope, and I think I’m right on this, that Grant is much smarter than is being shown and that he is onto Rob and is playing him as much as Rob thinks he is playing Grant.  They only thing is, Grant needs someone on his side to go against Rob.  Andrea would do it.  Ashley and Natalie would just run right to Rob and tell him and I think Philip might do the same thing.  Unfortunately, Grant’s move should have come with Steve and Ralph still in the game.  Now I don’t know how tight Grant is with Ashley, Natalie, Andrea, and Philip.  Maybe he can convince them.  And if he can, look out.

Some side comments:

  • Matt really seems to be mentally having a harder time.  I can believe it with little food, water, and for a while, companionship, I can totally see how you would start to go bat shit crazy.  But the Lord is guiding his way.  We’ll see if he guides him to a million dollars.
  • Philip found his shorts and acted like he solved all of our issues with the Middle East.  Relax dude.
  • I loved the immediate immunity challenge and voting out of someone right after tribal.  It just helps to speed things along!
  • If you are going to quote “A Few Good Men”, get the frigging quote right.  It’s not “you can’t stand the truth.”  It’s “you can’t HANDLE the truth.”  Get it right Phil or don’t quote the movie!
  • What will happen next week on RI and when will those people come back in the game?

Posted by on April 28, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews


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