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Another thrown Survivor challenge backfires beautifully

Another thrown Survivor challenge backfires beautifully
Survivor Worlds Apart bros Joaquin and Rodney. (Photo by CBS)

I love when plans go awry on Survivor. That may explain why, during Tribal Council, when Jeff Probst asked Sierra, “Why not stick together for a couple more votes?”, I wanted someone to scream back, Why not shut up right now k thx?

In terms of thrown challenges backfiring, Joaquin’s exit is nothing at all like last season’s spectacular downfall. In fact, neither of those who threw the challenge were directly impacted. Rodney said, “wait ’til you see what I got planned for this game,” and in a perfect world, he would have left the same episode that he said that. Instead, it was his “homie to chill with” that took the fall. They’d bonded intensely over such rich and dynamic parts of their lives that an entire season wouldn’t have been enough to explore them: “we’re both about girls, we’re both havin’ fun.”

Rodney wanted to throw the challenge to get rid of Joe, who I sometimes think is two different people depending upon whether or not his hair is up, but I thought Mike’s rationale for throwing the challenge was much more interesting. He wanted to protect his alliance with Kelly, and protect her by making himself and his tribe vulnerable. Even though Kelly seemed quite safe on the other tribe, it’s interesting that he’s thinking so far ahead and/or missing how that could possibly backfire. Ahem.

This was also one of the few times when throwing a challenge probably made the challenge more interesting. I appreciate the non-physical, non-endurance challenges, but there’s only so much drama and tension that can come from a memory challenge. Mike was trying so hard to help Kelly, who just couldn’t help herself. “Listen to me. I’m giving it to you,” he stage whispered. “Look at mine and switch the bottles!”

Also fascinating was Sierra’s Sophie’s choice. She either could stick with the guys who’d been such dicks with her, or align with a nicer person who also happened to be BFFs with a guy who’d been a dick to her. Once again, there was some really crap-ass social game going on with the guys from the blue collar tribe, who tried to apologize to her by failing to apologize to her. Sierra’s decision to align with Mike, at least, was probably a wise one, though again, if I were her, I might have embedded the machete in my forearm and asked for a medevac to avoid such a painful decision.

Merge ahead

The merge is ahead, which is disappointing because I would like to see what would happen with Rodney and Shirin in their respective tribes. The merge may keep them as outsiders, or it might save them.

I was also into the red tribe, whatever it’s name is, suddenly getting their act together and winning. Even though blue threw the immunity challenge, they did pretty well, never mind winning reward on a physical and impressive challenge.

That reward was getting to watch sea turtles lay their eggs after they feasted–though not on sea turtle, which would have been amusing. Their excursion resulted in the tribe intruding on one sea turtle trying to lay her eggs with a camera in her face and a bunch of twits shining flashlights in her eyes.

Their guide told them, “We have the turtle here. She comes from the water.” That was narration so Probstian I half-expected the guide to tear off his face and reveal he was Jeff Probst before telling them all how to vote at the next Tribal Council.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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