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Tag Archives: Survivor

Mid Season Premiere Dates – UPDATED

Make sure you check out the main page for an update on the 2014 Mid Season Premiere Dates.  Game of Thrones, Mad Men, About A Boy, Believe, Survivor, the Amazing Race, and more have all been added.

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in AMC, CBS, HBO, Mid Season, NBC, Premiere Dates

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor “Rustle Feathers” S27 E12

I’ve missed you guys.  But they haven’t invented a word for how busy I’ve been so I haven’t been watching TV let alone writing about it.    But I finally got to catch up and wow did I pick a week to get caught up….especially on Survivor!!!!

Luckily for me with not being able to watch too much TV lately, is that I completely missed the alleged spoilery preview CBS had out there this week.   And people were PISSED.   I don’t blame them.   I don’t know what CBS was thinking by previewing that rocks would be drawn this week (and the minor spoiler of showing Caleb on the jury confirming that he lost to Tina and Laura on RI.)   What is the point of that?   If they wanted to talk about how something major happens or something we haven’t seen in a long time happens, that’s fine.  But from what I hear they say that this only happened once before and they show Jeff Probst asking for people to open their hands.   Easy conclusion…rocks are drawn so someone flipped.   Can you say epic FAIL CBS?   Having watched last night’s episode I can say right now that I would have been LIVID if I knew what was coming.   The tension and back and forth with Ciera was incredible.  You Hayden really pushing her to understand her place in the 4 person alliance and Gervase and Tyson trying to convince her that she’s fine and not to listen to “liars.”   She kept turning her head back to listen to them and every time she faced front she looked more and more distraught.   I really had no idea what she was going to do.   And if I had seen that preview, it would have been ruined because I would have known rocks were coming.  I feel awful for the people who couldn’t experience that situation raw last night because let me tell you….it was fabulous!!!

So while I enjoyed that moment so much last night, it also pissed me off at the same time.   You know why?   Because Ciera did this a week too late.  Remember when Hayden was pitching her to blindside Tyson (again) on the hammock and she said she wouldn’t do it because it’s not the majority and she wants to be with majority?   Well dumb ass, if you did it last week, you would have been in the majority with a much stronger chance to win!   If you aligned with Hayden, Caleb, and Katie, you could have taken out Tyson, Monica, or Gervase and run the table.  And the way Laura and Tina are working together on RI, one of them is coming back in the game.  Which means if you align with Katie (since Hayden and Caleb were tight), either her mom or yours hops on your alliance and BOOM, final 3.   I applaud that Ciera is working hard to keep herself in this game and get far but that’s the problem…she playing to get further in the game but not to win the game.   And it’s probably lack of experience that’s hurting her right now because she can’t see the forest through the trees.   And when she finally did, it was too late (at least I think it is.)    Next week should be really interesting because they took a big gamble and it partially paid off because Hayden got Ciera to switch.   But then Katie pulled a white rock (she can’t even do that right) and they still have 2 people vs. the 3 man alliance.  Their only hope (not knowing when the RI person is coming back in) is to get Monica to flip.

Let’s dive into this more.   Where does Monica fit in all this?  She’s probably one of the nicest Survivor players ever, I mean the woman doesn’t have a mean bone in her incredibly fit body.   But it appears as though she has annoyed some people around camp…but maybe not the jury members.   She has been a challenge fiend lately winning a bunch of individual immunity challenges (and almost winning last night’s and had she thrown her bags a bit faster she might have won again.)  I think if Monica gets to the end, she has a real chance to win this thing.  The question is, who does she have the best chance to beat?   If she stays with Tyson and Gervase, I think she beats Gervase.   Unfortunately for my Philly guy, he’s been a little too cocky and really has no self-awareness, at all, to understand where he truly falls in the game.  So I don’t think he has a chance to win this game.  Can she beat Tyson?  I don’t know.  She might.  Monica hasn’t lied or really pissed anyone off.  She’s been very loyal and like I said, has been incredibly strong in challenges.   I know people really like to reward the strategy part of the game over everything else, but people think that always has to be big moves to be rewarded.  Sometimes it’s not always the big move, but the smart move.  Monica hasn’t made a big move but she’s made a dumb one either.  Socially she’s strong, physically she’s strong.  And there is something to be said for letting someone else, be the bad guy.  I personally don’t think that’s a bad way to go…I just wish more people owned up to it and celebrated it at the final tribal.    Will Tyson and his arrogance have rubbed enough people the wrong way that Monica would beat him?   It’s possible.   If we look at Hayden and Ciera, I think she definitely beats Ciera.  Hayden, I don’t know.  He’s a very likable guy as well.  He’s been trying to make some moves and make things happen (last night was a HUGE move) he just hasn’t had the people on his side to make it happen.  But he got Ciera to flip.  If he can get Monica, that’s two massive moves that would be really hard to overlook.  He hasn’t been as good in the challenges as I would have thought he’d be and that could be a bit of a knock on him.  But if he gets to the end, he would be tough to beat.  The one thing he has that could hurt him unfairly is that he won Big Brother.  So the jury could look at him and say he’s won before, he doesn’t need to win again.  I would hope that wouldn’t happen but you never know.  Also by Monica flipping to Hayden and Ciera, she would lose Tyson and Gervase votes.  I think Caleb would vote for Hayden.  So the question is, can she get the votes from Tina, Laura, Katie, Aras, and Vytas to win the game?  The big wild card for Monica is who re-enters from RI.  If it’s Tina, she beats Tina.  If it’s Laura, I don’t think she beats Laura.  I think anyone would have a tough time beating Laura.  She would have been voted out….twice…and still get to the final 3 by being a challenge beast.  That would be majorly impressive.   So maybe in the end, Monica is better staying with Gervase and Tyson and taking her chances.

What did you all think of last night’s episode?   And who do you think is the front-runner to win it all?  I think it’s still Tyson’s game to lose at this point but watch out for Laura if she gets back in this game.   And Monica could be someone who surprises a lot of people.  She can still win this thing if she plays it right and Tyson is, well, Tyson.  I can’t wait for the last three episodes!!!

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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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 ew.com!) 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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RECAP & REVIEW: Survivor “One Armed Dude and Three Moms” S27 E4

I’m really enjoying this season of Survivor…even more now that Colton is gone.   And if you’ll permit me, I’m going to talk about last week’s quitter for a moment since I didn’t get a chance to yet.   Everyone knows I never wanted to see Colton on Survivor again.  Unfortunately, the casting department thought it would be a great idea to bring him back.  Thankfully, he’s gone after episode 3 because he quit yet again.

I have to be honest, I didn’t realize he quit the first time until Probst said it on air last week that the first time, when Colton was medivaced out, that it was all a lie and he faked his injury to get out of the game.   I’m not sure why he would do that when he seemed to be in a strong position in the game but when asked about it, Colton didn’t really deny it so maybe it was true.   But there is NO DOUBT he quit this time.   And why did he quit?   Because the game wasn’t going his way.  He’s a spoiled, bratty, narcissist and when things do go his way, he throws a temper tantrum and quits like a 3-year-old.    This is why Colton is not only a nasty player but an awful player.  He has no idea how to adapt, how to play the game, and how to bide his time until he can play the game he wants.  It was the same way on One World.  He didn’t want to be on the guy tribe, he wanted to be on the girl tribe.  So he created chaos and fortunately for him, the players (if you can call them that) that he played with, weren’t strong enough to combat or smart enough to see through his bullshit.  So he was able to get far in the game.   This time around, he’s on a tribe of veteran players or aren’t going to put up with his crap. Aras, Tina, Gervase, and Kat all called him out on his blatant and poor attempts at manipulation and basically told him to shut it down because they don’t believe him and aren’t going to play that way.  So what does Colton do when things don’t go his way?  He quits.

There are many things I loved about this.   One, that his team called him out and two, that Jeff Probst lit him up!   Probst has been very vocal saying that he was against Colton coming back this season but that he was outnumbered and Colton returned.  So none of this surprised Probst at all and he ripped Colton a new one in front of everyone and on national TV.  It was awesome!!   What’s so fascinating about this is that Colton’s boyfriend Caleb seems like a lovely person.   What the hell does he see in that big hot mess that is Colton Cumbie?  I’m dying to know!!   In the end I don’t really care because I don’t care enough about Colton to really want to know.  I’m just glad he’s gone.

I hope the casting department at CBS/Survivor really start to think long and hard about these returning players. This is the second season in a row the casting department brought back a mentally unstable person and down right disgusting human being back on this show…..Colton Cumbie and Brandon Hantz.   I guess the casting department feels these people bring ratings and good TV.  The ratings part, I can’t tell if these people increase ratings or not.   But as for making good TV, I can assure you, they don’t.  Look at websites, listen to podcasts, read the comments sections…fans of the show don’t like these players.   They don’t bring value, they don’t bring entertainment.   They detract from the enjoyment of the show.   STOP BRINGING PLAYERS LIKE THIS BACK!!!  They add nothing.  It’s one thing to have a horrible person who plays the game well (Russell Hantz) but those two weren’t even good game players.   They sucked.  So I really don’t understand.   But I hope after yet another incident in back to back season wakes this casting department up and they realize that people like that, aren’t worth.  Not to mention, you’re taking a spot away from someone who really wants to be on the show and can possibly be the next Colby, Stephanie, Ozzy, or Parvati.   And can we not have Rupert back anymore either?    Please?    I would appreciate it.

As for this episode, I’m shaking my head at the loved ones tribe.  Talk about making bad mistake, after bad mistake.  First they vote our Marissa because they didn’t like the Gervase behaved after the immunity challenge to “show him he can’t act like a moron.”  Dumb,  you kept Katie and Ciera who are much weaker and voted out a strong player.   Then you vote our Rachel thinking Tyson would switch with her.   Fail.   And now you’ve voted out another player stronger than Ciera and Katie.  Next, you vote out John because you’re worried about what will happen if Candace should get back in the game.  Stupid.   So you vote yet another strong physical player.   This week, it seems pretty clear it’s going to be Ciera but Brad has finally pissed enough people off that Brad is voted out….another strong player.   I just don’t understand.   You need to win challenges at this point.  Yet the loved ones tribe continues to vote out strong players for dumb reasons.   Well, then you’re going to keep losing every week.   Great job guys.

From a strategic standpoint, they’ve also been brain-dead.  The Marissa decision was stupid.  Ok, I can give you that one.  Everyone can make a bad call and that was a bad one.  I’m not totally against the Rachel decision because on paper, it’s not a bad idea…if it works…which is didn’t.  But the John and Brad moves completely baffle me.   First let’s discuss John.  This was bad for a many reasons.  One, he’s strong.  Two, he’s a solid alliance member.  Three, he’s getting clues to the hidden immunity idol that he was willing to share with the man responsible for voting him out.  Four, you look bad to your other alliance members by turning on a member of your alliance so early.  Five, you blatantly tell everyone else that they need to vote for John and you’ll vote for Ciera so he’s not pissed at you.  Finally, six, your reason for voting him out was you were worried about him aligning with Candace.   Wouldn’t that be a good thing?   She has no allegiance to anyone on the returning tribe because they voted her out immediately and she’s been on RI the whole time.  It’s actually one more alliance member you can add to your team.  Once you got the numbers, then you could pick John and Candace off.   So I’m still not sure why that was bad.  John was an epically bad call.   That was when Vytas, Hayden, and Caleb should have turned the tables on Brad and voted him out instead of John.   Then John would still be there and you’d still be a strong alliance of four.   Instead, they vote for John and the next week, Brad is voted out and their strong alliance of five is now down to a weak alliance of three.

Speaking of Brad, while I’m happy he’s gone, this was not the time for him to go, for many reasons.  I applaud Caleb for trying to make a bold move.  I do.  But I think it was a big mistake on his part.  Again, for all his faults, Brad was good in challenges.  So instead of getting rid of Ciera or Katie, you’re getting rid of a strong player and weaken yourself in challenges.   Also, you’re getting rid of someone, no one likes.  I don’t know about you, but if I got to the end, I would want to be sitting next to someone no one likes or respects.  Finally, Caleb made that decision on the fly at tribal council without talking to any of his tribe mates.  I think that’s a huge strategic mistake because now your alliance thinks they can’t trust you and that you can fly off the handle and make wacky decisions without really talking them through.   Most people don’t like having wild cards like that around.   Maybe it will pay off and not hurt him very much but I think it puts a HUGE target on his back and in Survivor, that’s the last thing you want to do.   Having said that, it was soooo awesome to watch because that NEVER happens…ever!!!!  But time will tell if it was the smartest move he could make or the dumbest.

So Brad is out and now heading to RI with John and Candace.  Wow…I can’t wait to see THAT dynamic!!  Because the Codys just LOVE Mr. Culpepper.   You know I don’t think Brad is a bad guy.  I really don’t.  I think he’s amazingly clueless and has no self-awareness and yes, I do think he can be a royal douchebag.   But do I think he’s Colton Cumbie awful?   God no.  I think Brad was trying to play the game, which I always love to see, but I think he went a little over the top and I think he made some really bad decisions that left him with too many enemies.  I don’t know because I wasn’t on the island with him…maybe he is a narcissistic, misogynistic, asshole.   Who knows.  I’ll be curious to see him at the recap show and how people react to him.

What are you thinking of Survivor so far this season?  And what are your thoughts on the casting of certain players and the way the loved ones are playing the game?

 
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Posted by on October 12, 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….The Season So Far

Wow.  Survivor really decided to bring the crazy this season didn’t they?   Between Phillip, Shamar, and Brandon there is plenty of insanity to go around.   But is it really making for an enjoyable season?   When does the exploitation of someone’s mental state cross the line from good old fashion entertainment to down right cruelty and absurdity?  Can the producers, casting department, and psychologists really detect someone who is truly mentally unstable or just being aloof for TV purposes?   Is it fair of us to expect them to forecast expectations of behavior?   I know, I know, it’s a TV show.   Furthermore, it’s a REALITY TV show.   But since this is the hot topic this week after Wednesday night’s disaster that was Survivor Caramoan, I’m curious to hear what people think.

I wasn’t excited when Phillip and Brandon were cast this season.  I thought it was stunt casting to be quite honest with you.  Phillip I thought was just a bad player.  The only reason to bring him back is because he is nuts and to watch his insanity rankle the other players in the game.  The whole Stealth R Us thing, while mildly entertaining for the viewers, I can imagine it wearing really thin out there.  So I was dead set against Phillip this season.  However, I have to say, as annoying as he can be, I give him props for many things.  The first being that he’s been great in the challenges.  Of course everyone expected Malcolm and Brenda to do well because they’re great athletes.   But I don’t think people expected much from Phillip and he’s held his own and actually has been a pretty integral part of them willing several challenges…including this week’s coconut tossing competition.  The second would be him really trying to take charge of the game.  Many people, myself included, really gave Phillip grief for riding the Boston Rob train the last time he was on.   He was Boston Rob’s stooge willing to do whatever his master told him to do.  And Rob rode Phillip to $1 million.  This time, it seems, Phillip is taking charge of the game and not riding anyone’s coat tails.  Now he may be rubbing people the wrong way in the process and I’m not saying he’s doing a masterful job at running the show.   But he’s at least not waiting for his fate to befall him.  He is going out and taking charge and charting his own course to what he thinks will be the million dollar prize.  Will he succeed?   Who knows at this point.  His biggest problem is that he doesn’t know how to take charge of the game subtly.  He needs to let everyone know he’s in charge and that may be his downfall.   Is it because of how poorly he was painted in his last showing?  Perhaps.  But Phillip Shepard needs to let everyone know that he’s in control and that you’re either with him or against him.   The final reason I’m giving Phillip props is for how he handled the Brandon situation.  Unfortunately, because of what I just outlined in point #2, Phillip really rubbed, inadvertently, in Brandon’s face how he will dictate Brandon’s fate in the game.  Not the smartest move on Phil’s part.  But does that mean he deserved what Brandon did to him (and everyone else on the tribe for that matter?)   No.   I’ll get more into the Brandon thing in a minute but I really applaud Phillip for walking away from him at camp when he was really getting to a boiling point and I respect the way he held his composure when Brandon was coming after him before the immunity challenge that was never going to take place.   The only thing he did wrong, was talk about Brandon’s family.  In my opinion, leave everyone’s personal life out of it.  Just stick to what’s happening on the island because you don’t know these people, you don’t know their home life, so you can’t judge or throw that in their face.  Just leave it alone.  Other than that, Phillip kept his calm in handling Brandon.  Honestly the whole tribe did, which floored me, but again, more on that later.  Was I happy with the Phillip casting this season?   No.  Is working my nerves as much as before?   Not yet.  Do I respect his game play more this time than last?   Yes I do.

So let’s get into Brandon.  I seriously think that kid’s unstable.  I’m not saying that to be funny or rude.  I seriously think there is something wrong with him.  He was crazy the first time he played and he was just as crazy this time.   The first time around, he got rid of Mikalya because she filled him with impure thoughts of lust.   Well I can’t see a better reason to get rid of someone!  Plus his mood was all over the place…completely bi-polar.  One day he was up, the next he was down, then he was kind, then he was rude.   He didn’t know who or what he wanted to be.   He wanted to be filled with God but then he would curse and threaten people.  It was bizarre.  So why would we expect anything less this time around?   Because, according to Jeff Probst and other producers, they thought he had changed.   Let’s talk about this.  Probst and the producers/casting department have been getting a lot of heat for bringing back Brandon.   The thought out there is that even though they knew he was unstable, they put him out there anyway because they thought he would bring in ratings.   If this is true (and I’m not saying it is) it would be dumb on so many levels.  Number one because this kid doesn’t bring ratings, he actually stops them.  I know people who didn’t watch this season because he was on there.  They couldn’t deal with another Hantz love fest, especially with “the crazy kid” as one of my friend’s put it.  Number two, you can’t risk putting a mentally unstable young man in an environment that will test his sanity everyday.  Number three, you can’t do that to the other contestants (making them live with a crazy person) it’s unfair to them.   I could go on and on.   So I honestly believe that while they may have been nervous about Brandon, they saw enough in him to warrant giving him a second chance on the show.   Where I will give up on Survivor, is if they decide to bring him back a third time.   I can forgive a mistake now.   But after two disastrously mercurial seasons with Brandon, bringing him back again would be down right abhorrent. He has proven to be a truly hot mess.  The fact that he has kids and another one on the way is down right scary.   And I know I just yelled at Phillip for judging someone’s personal life without knowing them so I am being the ultimate hypocrite, but I can’t help it.  I’ve seen and heard interviews with this kid outside of Survivor and to say it was bizarre is an understatement.  He’s usually incoherent and flighty, to be kind.  It’s frightening to hear his complete lack of self-awareness.  He really has no clue.  I heard Probst say that they immediately had a psychologist on set to talk to Brandon after the whole debacle and that it is standard for the show to appoint a psychologist or psychiatrist to help Survivors after the show or help them find a doctor in their area for support.   That’s actually nice to hear.  And I hope Brandon takes them up on it, but I doubt he will.  In an interview with Dalton Ross (who is the best Survivor recapper ever) on his podcast, Brandon talked about how great life is and he’s great and he’s not crazy and that he’s so proud of the way he played the game.  What?????   You’re proud that you took food and dumped it all over the island so that no one in your tribe would have food.  That makes you proud?  Whatever bro (as he likes to call everyone.)   Speaking of the food dump, is that not the most insane thing you have seen on this show?   I’ve obviously never been on Survivor but even I know that food is like gold out there.  All you have is rice and now they give you beans.  But that’s it.  You’re weak and tired and the only sustenance you have is rice and beans.   And that asshole, to prove some sort of point (I’m still not sure what) dumps it all over the ground.  What I found interesting is that Malcolm or Erik didn’t pile drive him to the ground during the rice part.  I know when he grabbed the bean container Erik made a half ass attempt to retrieve it from Brandon but he backed down pretty fast.   I have to wonder if it’s because they were seriously afraid of what he might do.   At this point they’ve all been living together for what 11-13 days?   Maybe everyone was really terrified of him because he was so unstable.  I’m not trying to make this more dramatic than it was, but it does make sense.  I mean come on….when they got back from tribal council, he was talking about how he thought about burning the shelter down!!!  If I was Corrine, my first question would have been “with us in it?”   Yeah he was talking about peeing in the rice and beans, but HE TALKED ABOUT BURNING THE SHELTER TO THE GROUND!   What is the matter with him?  That is why I sincerely hope the rumors about Brandon failing his psych test for the show are wrong.  Because that would be beyond egregious.

So because of all this mayhem, the Favorites decide to do what I absolutely hate in Survivor…throw the challenge to go to tribal council so they can get rid of Brandon.  I hate when teams do this.  It’s the dumbest thing in the world.   You’re annoyed by someone, you’re up by big numbers, and you think it’s no big deal to throw one little challenge.   WRONG.  It’s absolutely the worst idea ever.  However, this situation was the exception to that.  In this situation, I have no problem with the Favorites doing what they did.  This was beyond someone annoying them.  I really think this was them wanting this ticking time bomb, who could possibly be a danger to himself or someone else (mainly Phillip) off the island because it was safer for all of them.  I really believe that.  Look at the way they all dealt with Brandon.  When he became accusatory towards any of them, they backed down.  Even Corrine, who’s as combative and strong and nasty as they come, wouldn’t touch him with a 50 foot pole.  And I have to say, HUGE props to Jeff Probst for his handling of the situation.  Even though the man rubbing was a little weird, I don’t think Jeff could have handled it any better.   It was obvious this could have escalated into something physical (especially when Phillip when after Brandon’s family.)   Probst did the smart thing by bringing Brandon over to him and away from his tribe.   He was able to calmly talk to Brandon and everyone else so he could get a clear idea of what was happening and how this was all going down.  As a result, he had a tribal council right there where everyone voted him out.  I have to wonder what would happen if something did get physical on the island.  Is there security there?   Do the producers expect the contestants to handle it?   Would someone get kicked off the island or put in time out?   What would happen?  I wonder if they have a protocol in place.  I’m sure that they do.   And if they didn’t, I’m sure that they do now!!

Ultimately, I’m glad Brandon is gone.  I think it was a monstrous mistake to bring him back and all of us fans at home thought the same thing.  I don’t think I read one pre-Caramoan review that said what a brilliant idea it was to bring back Brandon.   But, we’re also looking at it from just the scope of his first run on TV.   These producers are really vetting these contestants to make sure they can do this again.  At least I hope they are.   So they get to see more of Brandon in a different light than what we get to see.  Therefore, they made the decision to go for it and it blew up in their face.   I really hope this is the last time we see any Hantz on Survivor.  And I really hope they think long and hard about who they bring back and who they cast.  I know they want personalities because that brings better ratings.   And there’s nothing wrong with drama on Survivor…it’s part of what makes the show so great.   I get all that.   But I think they really need to draw the line at unstable.   Because if they don’t, the very thing they are trying to get, is the very thing they will push away and be gone to the point they won’t be able to get it back and the show will be dead.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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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!!

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

 

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