Entertainment, Survivor

Survivor: Cambodia – Thoughts After Episode 7

Thoughts on Episode 7:

  • We got a merge this week, and it was quite an exciting prospect for this Second Chance season. The show has never merged with thirteen players left in the game, and hasn’t had a tribe this big at any point either, so it had all the makings of chaos. With all the tribe swaps these players have gone through, most of the contestants would have to be faced with the reality that they’ve made alliances and promises to multiple people and groups along the way, so chaos was going to be paramount. Immediately after the feast, we started getting an idea of who the winners and losers of the early tribe swap were. This worked out great for Savage, who was on the outs and outnumbered in his Ta Keo tribe, and it worked out just as well for Kelly Wiglesworth who is unfortunately down to her last ally in the game, with the successive vote-outs or withdrawals of Varner, Dietz, and Woo. On the other side of the fence, this merge took a lot of power away from Ciera and Kass, who decided to play their cards a bit early in the game, and force an unnecessary vote against their old alliance. It was a tough call for Ciera and Kass to turn on Savage the way they did, no one could’ve expected the merge coming so soon, and without Savage in the game, the “bro-down” that Kass discussed would have never come to fruition, and the likelihood of Joe and Spencer going with the Bayon numbers would have dropped significantly. But, alas, Survivor dealt some bad cards to the leaders of the second Ta Keo alliance, and they realized pretty quickly that they would have to scramble to survive.
  • The first individual immunity challenge of the season was another Second Chance challenge, this one going back to Cagayan. The challenge, originally won by Tasha, had the thirteen Survivors balance a ball on a platform held by a pole. While balancing the ball, they had to stand on a narrow platform broken into three sections. As the challenge went on, they would have to let up some slack on the pole they were balancing and would have to move to any increasingly narrow segment of the beam. Within seconds of the start of the challenge Fishbach dropped out, indicating once again that he’s not all that interested in the physical side of this game. By the time they got to the second portion of the challenge only a handful of players were left, and by the time the third and final segment got underway, the final few were determined. Spencer and Joe were the last two remaining in the end, but just like last season, Joey Amazing was not to be denied. The definitive challenge beast was back in prime form, winning the first individual immunity necklace. In a confessional after the challenge, Joe opened up about the internal debates he had going into the challenge. A part of him didn’t want to show too much too early, like he did a year prior on his first try, but in the end, Joe folded to his competitive side, and gave the challenge everything he had. This is the Joe we all love to see, the competitive guy who gives it all, plays hard, and makes it all look effortless. He said his hopes are to win all ten challenges on the way to the final three, and realistically he might have to in order to ensure himself a spot in the finals. Still, it’s great to see Joe being Joe again, and his position in the game between alliances is going to make him an interesting character to watch going forward.
  • It became clear after the challenge that the bro-down was successful, and the original Bayon alliance was running the game. Despite Ciera’s attempts at blowing the game to bits, Jeremy, Savage, Joe and their respective allies had pooled a supermajority to target Kass and Ciera, who turned their backs on Bayon at Ta Keo. The plan was to force a 5-4-4 split to eliminate Chaos Kass or Ciera if Kass had an immunity idol. Of course, the minority four had an idea to swing Spencer around and vote Tasha out instead, someone who they saw as a troublemaker and agitator. It was a nice idea by the Ta Keo alliance, since Spencer seemed to be with them as of last week, but at the end of the day, when given the choice between trusting Kass or trusting Tasha, it was a no brainer for Spencer. By the time Tribal Council came around, Wentworth fled toward the numbers, and Ciera decided to send a revenge vote Andrew’s way, as Kass became the first jury member, voted out in a 6-4-2-1 decision. Kass never really had much of a chance in this season, her reputation preceded her in a very bad way, and the only saving grace she had was being on extremely successful tribes. She provided a fair amount of entertainment on the show, but she was always going to be voted out before she could stir up any real trouble, so in the end nothing was gained and nothing was lost by this vote; it was just standard operating procedure for this cast. I think the real game begins next week when it truly becomes an individual game for the remaining twelve. Fishbach mentioned this at Tribal Council and I think it was very prophetic; the game has seemingly entered into a post-modern era where the idea of alliances has almost completely been eradicated. Every vote seems fluid as alliances are being formed and broken down for every single vote based on individual needs. I think we might see the most unpredictable end game to Survivor that we’ve ever seen in thirty one seasons because everyone is open to whatever move can take them to the end, regardless of promises and regardless of alliances. Buckle up folks, this season’s going to get really good!

Final Thoughts:

  • My player of the week honors go to Joe this episode. The man took the win in a very tough challenge, flipped back to his old alliance where alpha males Jeremy and Savage could shield him from being targeted, and formed a very savvy bond with golden boy Spencer Bledsoe. For a guy who everyone thought would be doomed going into this game, he’s managed to play a great game while staying low key, so he definitely deserves some praise…My favorite moment of the week has to be Savage’s confessional after Woo’s blindside. For a guy that’s usually well composed, it was hilarious to see him cursing and shouting at the sky in the first few minutes of the show. He’s definitely my favorite Survivor left in the game, so I’m unabashedly rooting for him to pull off a win here, as unlikely as that may seem given the enemies he’s already made…Since it’s merge time in Survivor: Cambodia I thought now would be a great time to unveil my power rankings for the season. This is kind of a fun way for me to rank the contestants from least likely to win to most likely, and talk a little about what they’ve done or what they need to do going forward. So here we go, these are my Power Rankings for Survivor: Cambodia:
    • Kelly Wiglesworth
      • Kelly has played a very anonymous game so far, and it seems like she might be out of step with the rest of the contestants as a whole. I can’t envision any way she’d win this game; she’s made no big moves, has been on the wrong side of most votes, and will likely be voted out late in the game because she is revered as an original contestant. She’s drawing dead this season.
    • Abi-Maria Gomes
      • Abi seems to have lost the numbers in the game, and given her annoyance to everyone, she’s seems like a bad bet to win this game. She may not be the next one out, but I don’t really think people want to live with her too much longer
    • Ciera Eastin
      • I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find Ciera grating. She got on my nerves the first time, she’s gotten on my nerves this time, and I kind of think she’s getting on the rest of the survivors nerves too. She has a target on her back, and I don’t think she can duck that for 8 more votes.
    • Stephen Fishbach
      • Stephen wants to play a strategic game, and that’s wonderful to see. The issue with that is he wants to make a move, and his closest ally, Jeremy, will not be overly interested in losing his human shields, Joe and Savage. Considering the fact that he’s not close with those guys, the moment that he moves and they catch wind of it, Stephen will be crushed like a bug. That’s how I see it going down at least, but hey, I hope he proves me wrong.
    • Kimmi Kappenburg
      • I’m not sure there’s a way for Kimmi to win the game, but unlike Wiglesworth, she’s not drawing dead. If she can get through a few votes with Stephen, and the bro alliances crashes down, she could stumble into the final three with a chance. A Kimmi win would be stunning, but I think this will be a stunning season, so who knows?
    • Tasha Fox
      • Only question here is will anyone vote to give her a million dollars? I’m not convinced she will win, but she has the ability to dominate this game if she plays her cards right. She’s a wild card in this game.
    • Kelley Wentworth
      • Kelley has an immunity idol, and if she plays that right she really could set herself up well in this game. She’s such a savvy player, we saw it the first time until her dad kind of ruined her game, and her game smarts will propel her. I just don’t think anyone plans on sitting in the final three with her. No one. She’s going to have to force matters, but if she does, I think she has a lot of potential jury votes.
    • Keith Nale
      • Keith is playing a Sandra game, and I kind of love it. He’s staying in the loop, he isn’t forcing matters, and he’s not making enemies. This could get him to the end. But will he have done enough to win the game? I don’t know, I wanted a Keith win in SJDS and I would love to see one now, so I hope for his sake he has an overdrive he could kick into.
    • Andrew Savage
      • Savage is in an OK spot right now. I think Jeremy needs him around and vice versa, and his rapport with Joe may keep in his good graces. He’s even going to have the ability to make big moves in this game, but will anyone vote to give him a million dollars. I don’t think so unless he sits with Wiglesworth and Nale and proves him game superior. Still, I think Savage wants to win, and he should be able to get to the end on his game play.
    • Joe Anglim
      • Cool Joe is in a great spot. The bro-lliance looks strong, and that’s going to be his saving grace. Add that to the fact that he has a backup alliance with Spencer and Kelley, and Joe all of the sudden has options. Joe winning this season would be amazing; it would be the kind of thing that could get casual fans really invested in the show again. It’s not as much of a pipedream as I thought it would be going in.
    • Jeremy Collins
      • Jeremy is the front-runner here, I don’t think there’s any question about that. He’s the alpha male, the top dog, the head honcho of Orkun. As he said last time, he’s running the show right now. I’ve felt like Jeremy could really win this season since episode one and it seems like a definite possibility at the moment. The only worry for Jeremy is going to be if his shields fall by the wayside, because then he would be exposed and vulnerable. But, if Jeremy is at Final tribal Council, I think he beats just about anyone in the game right now. Plain and simple.
    • Spencer Bledsoe
      • So if Jeremy is the front-runner than why isn’t he number 1 in my rankings? Because Spencer has managed to stay in this game and has snuck in beneath everyone’s radar. Spencer is a guy who knows the game inside and out, and his ability to play the social game has taken a dramatic turn for the better. I think Spencer is in an unbelievable position, he’s outside the bro-alliance, but in this post-alliance game, I think people will be going to him to work on getting people out. He is the antithesis of a target, people aren’t going to vote him out, they are going to ask him to help them vote people out. And I think Spencer realizes now that he can control the way this game goes without having to be the leader, and he can let Bayon in-fight and slip through the cracks just long enough to the numbers on his side. I said it all season, these guys were foolish to let Spencer get this far into the game, and I think they may all be getting set up for failure. I think Spencer may be the guy who’s winning this season, and none of them will see that until it’s too late.
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