The current season of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur continues as we get closer to its final weeks! After an especially entertaining episode, it’s time to recap it! Joining us, we have our new resident recap expert, Clifton, plus Ben and the Ozlets chime in with their thoughts as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to some of the real experts in our good friends Rita Verreos from Fiji and Billy Garcia from Cook Islands!
(If you haven’t watched this weeks episode yet, clicking the link below will spoil the hell out of it, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click the link!)
PREVIOUSLY ON… SURVIVOR
After 24 days, seven had been voted out, and no idols had yet been played. Three idols are still in the game: Jon’s idol – which he shared with only Jaclyn and Missy, Keith’s idol – which Reed told everyone about, and a third idol – which Natalie and Baylor received a clue to, but no one had found. Facing Tribal Council, Reed was the target of the majority alliance, but after Jeremy became suspicious that his ally Jon had found an ally everything changed. At Tribal Council, Jon convinced enough of the tribe to take out Jeremy, sparing Reed and blindsiding Natalie – Jeremy’s closest ally. Nine are left.
After Tribal Council, Keith tells the rest od the tribe that it was a smart vote. In his confessional he reveals that he was told Reed was going home. He voted for Reed. Reed tells Keith, Alec, and Wes that they need to stick together and not turn on each other. They might still make it to the end. Reed confesses that he is trying to evaluate which alliance is the best for him to join with moving forward. He observes Jon as being the alpha male. Natalie tells her alliance that she feels blindsided and betrayed after not being told about their move against Jeremy. They attempt to reassure her that nothing has changed and that they are still solid. Jon tells her about his idol, telling her that doing so shows that he trusts her still. Natalie confesses that she wants to give Jon a taste of his own medicine for Jeremy. “It’s just figuring out the right plan at the right moment.” As the rest of the tribe sleeps, Natalie gets up and begins looking for an idol ten “something” from the flag. She digs.
Natalie explains to her alliance the betrayal that she feels (Image credit: CBS)
For the Reward Challenge, the tribe is once again divided into two teams by means of an unseen schoolyard pick. One at a time, the contestants much dive into the water, climb up a platform, dive off the platform and grab a key, collect puzzle pieces in the water, and swim them to a final platform. Once all the puzzle pieces are collected, the team will use them to assemble a puzzle statue. The first team to do so will win the opportunity to be ambassadors of goodwill for Survivor, providing baseball equipment (the most populate sport of Nicaragua) to children in need. The winning team will also take part in a “baseball food” feast of hot dogs, hamburgers, and caramel corn. The yellow team consists of Reed, Alec, Jaclyn, and Jon. The blue team consists of Natalie, Baylor, Missy, and Wes. Keith was not selected and has no at reward.
The tribe is divided into two teams for the Reward Challenge (Image credit: CBS)
The challenge begins with Jon and Wes in the water. Wes takes a bit of a lead on Jon leading up to the puzzle pieces, but by the time they get to the final platform they are even. Jaclyn and Missy take off next with Missy maintaining a slight lead for the blue team. After collecting the puzzle pieces, Wes and Jon use the buoy to pull Jaclyn and Missy in. The teams remain tied. Baylor and Reed are up next and the teams remain tied for the duration. Natalie and Alec are the last two in the water. Alec takes a bit of a lead on Natalie but she follows behind closely. Jon pulls Alec in and the yellow team begins unlocking their puzzle pieces. The blue team has trouble finding the correct key to unlock their puzzle pieces, causing yellow to extend their lead. By the time the blue team has their pieces unlocked and begin working on the puzzle, it is too late. Yellow completes the puzzle and wins reward.
The full course for the Reward Challenge as seen from above. (Image credit: CBS)
After the challenge, Jeff comments that it is a big win, but that the bigger story seems to be from the losing team. He points out that Baylor immediately broke into tears upon losing the challenge. She says that her mother, Missy, hasn’t been able to take part in a reward yet and she wanted to win for her. Reed takes the opportunity to address Jeff, offering to give up his place on the reward to Missy “because Missy really wants to go… It’s about doing good for other people.” They switch places and hug. Reed tells her to go eat something. Jeff then tells them that they need to pick someone to go to Exile Island. Jon says that he is sorry and he knows that he is not going to like it, but it’s Wes. Wes shakes his head in disgust but doesn’t protest. Jeff gives Wes a map to Exile Island. They all depart. Reed confesses that while they are gone he can get the ball rolling on taking out Jon.
Reed and Missy hug after he gives her his place on the reward. (Image credit: CBS)
Jon, Jaclyn, Missy, and Alec arrive at a baseball field where they are swarmed by a hoard of young children. They begin to hand out hats, helmets, gloves, bats, balls, and more. Missy confesses that it has been great for her to spent time with the kids. She is devoted to her kids, and being around these kids gave her a much needed recharge. The four enjoy their food and sodas while sitting on small bleachers and watching the kids play baseball. Afterwards, while enjoying ice cream, Jon and Jaclyn notice a small boy eyeing their dessert. They offer him some and he takes it happily. Jon reveals in a confessional that, while children are very important to them, Jaclyn is unable to bear children. There is nothing Jon would love more than being able to bring a child into the world, but Jaclyn is unable to do that with him because of a syndrome she has. Jaclyn is one of the most incredible people he’s ever met, though, and he would be a fool to give up everything he has with her just because they can’t have kids. There’s no reason that they can’t adopt children. The love they have to give to a kid is “just crazy so… it’s gonna be okay”. We then see Jon and Jaclyn playing baseball with the kids.
The winning team hands out sports equipment to Nicaraguan children. (Image credit: CBS)
Baylor, Natalie, Keith, and Reed return to camp. Reed confesses that he needs to have a heart-to-heart with Keith to figure out where he stands in the game. Reed and Keith purportedly go off to collect the fish net, while Natalie and Baylor purportedly go to get water. Reed explains to Keith that everyone else is convinced that he and his son have an idol. They are going to split the vote between the two of them, sending three to one and four to the other. Reed tells him that the majority alliance is including Reed and Alec in those seven votes, but that they’ll actually be voting with Keith and Wes. This way, they can put four votes on Jon and it will be enough to send him home. Reed asks Keith what his thoughts are. Keith says, “Yup. I’m cool with that.” In his confessional, Keith reveals that he thinks that it is a good plan. He doesn’t care much for Jon and he won’t have to play the idol. So, it’s a win.
Reed explains to Keith their plan for the next Tribal Council. (Image credit: CBS)
Meanwhile, Natalie tells Baylor that they are going to look for the idol. Natalie takes ten large steps from the flag and begins digging under a tree that has been lying on the beach since they arrived. In seemingly no time, Natalie finds it in the sand. They run away quickly in excitement and towards the water well. Natalie confesses that her idol is her new “twinnie”. At the well, they begin talking about their strategy for the game. Natalie confesses that they seem to be on the same page with each other and that Baylor is now her “#1”. They both think that Reed is a huge threat that they need to be looking out for. They also need to make sure Jon stays comfortable for at least one more vote.
Baylor and Natalie talk strategy at the well after finding the Hidden Immunity Idol. (Image credit: CBS)
Two days later, before the Immunity Challenge begins, Wes returns to the tribe from Exile Island in seemingly high spirits. His father seems glad to see him doing well. Baylor returns the Immunity Necklace. For the challenge, the contestants will stand on a perch and with their hands holding onto a bar by their heads. Each perch will be adjusted to the height of the contestant to that it is fair and even. This is a pure endurance challenge, so the last person to remain wins the Immunity Necklace. The challenge begins, and Jon immediately begins to struggle, stretching way off his perch. Jon jokes that he is just showing off. Jeff then comes out with a covered dish, suggesting that he may be able to tempt someone off their perch. He revels a plate of candy. He walks it by the contestants so they can get a better look. Alec says that Jeff will have to do better than that. Jeff says that he doesn’t have to do anything, and he begins eating a candy bar on the plate. He talks about the texture. Jon gives in and jumps off his perch, taking the sugar. Jon yells with delight, saying that it was his favorite candy bar. He would have stayed if he thinks he would have lasted. He managed to last only seven minutes. Keith begins picking fun at Jon, saying that Jon must have felt pretty safe. “How old are you Jon? I’m fifty-three!”
The full tribe competes in the beginning of the Immunity Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff tells them to settle in. At the thirty minute mark, the contestants seem to be in a lot of pain. Alec compares the challenge to being like Jesus on the cross. Missy says that she is out and steps down. As she walks slowly to the bench, she tells her tribemates that they should come down off their perches. The sand is so nice! Baylor tells her to stop. Missy says that she’s not talking to Baylor. Baylor says that she hears her anyway. Missy tells her to “simmer down”. Jeff then reveals another covered plate. Before he can show them what it is, Wes asks for clarification about the rules. If two people step down at the same time, do they have to share it? Jeff says that it was an appropriate question because he brought enough for two. He reveals a plate of cookies and two glasses of milk. Baylor and Jaclyn immediately charge off of their perches and towards the plate. Wes curses. A wasp buzzes uncomfortably close to Keith’s leg.
Baylor flies off her perch and runs full-speed-ahead for a plate of cookies. (Image credit: CBS)
At the forty-five minute mark, Jeff brings yet another plate. Before revealing it’s contents he reminds the tribe of the necklace that they are fighting for, asking them to consider it value in comparison to… He reveals a large plate of hot wings at a couple bottles of beer. Wes charges off of his perch and takes the plate for his own. Only Natalie, Keith, Alec, and Reed remain in the challenge. Keith takes the opportunity to point out to Natalie that her entire supposed “team” is over on the bench relaxing. They’re letting her fight for all of them while the other three fight for their lives. Jeff asks what it is about his son that brought Wes off the perch if they are fighting for their lives. Keith says that he might need to have a talk with Wes after the challenge. Wes decides it’s a good time to reveal that he won an eating contest once, wherein he devoured fifty-eight chicken nuggets in five minutes. “What WHAT!” Jeff, perplexed, slowly reiterates the facts presented to him, including that it was called the “Eatin’ Nugget Competition”. Jeff jokingly asks if it is an annual event.
Wes engages a chicken wing while Jeff engages Wes’ father. (Image credit: CBS)
At the one hour, twenty minute mark, Jon is intensely licking the plate that his candy came on. Jeff notes that Keith’s feet are turning purple. Alec begins squirming a lot. Keith tries to find a position that doesn’t hurt but is unable to. He slowly and carefully steps down from the perch. Only a minute or so later, Alec also solemnly comes down from his perch. Only Natalie and Reed remain. At the three hour mark, they both are holding strong. Reed spits. Natalie spits as well but the split just lands on her own shirt. Jeff says that it was unfortunate. Natalie laughs, saying that she can’t spit. Wes then brings up the episode of Two and a Half Men where Jeff was “naked cooking pancakes, or something…” Jeff nods, smiling and corrects him, saying that it was bacon. He remarks that it was fun. Wes says that it’s awesome and that he “loves that show”.
Wes brings up Jeff’s cameo on Two and a Half Men. (Image credit: CBS)
Natalie then asks Jeff if there is any more food coming out. Jeff is shocked that she would consider stepping down for food at this point in the challenge. Natalie says that Reed doesn’t look like he is going to come down, and if she is going to come down it’s only going to be for food. “Pizza, some wings, one cookie – I’m good – and just a glass of water.” Missy remarks that Natalie is hilarious. Jeff returns with everything she asked for, revealing pizza, chicken wings, cookie water, beer. He then reminds her of the Immunity Necklace. Just because she asked for these things, doesn’t mean that she has to take them. Reed gives her a wink, implying that he is not going anywhere. She caves, saying that she is going to take the food. She comes off her perch and immediately collapses to the ground, unable to move. Jeff declared Reed to winner and he slowly removes himself to the perch. Unable to steady himself, Reed does a split and remains on the ground with his legs widespread in opposite directions. Natalie comments, “Do you see this fool?” Jeff puts the necklace on the Reed while he is still on the ground in his split. “Get up when you can”. Jeff walks off. The tribe departs.
Jeff puts the Immunity Necklace on Reed while he is still on the ground. (Image credit: CBS)
Returning to camp, Missy congratulates Natalie and Reed. Natalie asks Reed how much he had left in him. He says that he could have gone for a while. Reed approaches Keith and quietly reminds him to vote for Jon. In his confessional, he reiterates to us his plan to send Jon home with their four votes. Reed then approaches Alec and reminds him of the plan. Alec says that he is down. Reed then brings Alec with him when he approaches Missy and suggests that Missy, Baylor, Alec, and Natalie vote for Keith, while Jon, Jaclyn, and himself vote for Wes. They say that they all feel comfortable with that.
Reed suggests to Missy that they split the vote between Keith and Wes. (Image credit: CBS)
Missy approaches Jon and tells him what Reed approached her with. Jon is skeptical, saying that he doesn’t think that Reed is going to vote with them. Missy reassures him that Reed and Alec are trying to get in good with them and that this is the time they need to flush the idol. Alec then approaches them in the middle of the conversation. Jon asks him if he is solid. Alec reassures him that he is 100% down. Missy says that they’ve got this. Jon says that this is where the build trust. Alec says “let’s do it”. Jon confesses that this is the first time that he has not been in control of the move that is being made at Tribal Council. He is at the mercy of his alliance. He is saving the idol for either himself or Jaclyn down the line. It would be selfish to use it on himself so early. The one reassurance that he has for tonight is the conversation that he had with Alec. He believes that tonight will go as planned, but tonight is the most important Tribal Council so far.
Alec reassures Jon that he will be voting with them at Tribal Council. (Image credit: CBS)
To start Tribal Council, Jeff welcome in the jury, Josh and Jeremy, introducing them as they enter. He begins session by asking Jaclyn about the last two Tribal Councils, wherein huge contenders to win the game were ousted back-to-back. She says that she thinks that she is in the five strong, but “who knows”. Baylor says that trust is hard in this game. Jeremy and Josh both trusted. They’re on the jury. Jeff reminds them that not a single idol has been played. Keith says that someone feels comfortable. “I don’t know.” Jeff points out that it’s a role of the dice not to play the idol when you have it. Natalie says if she had an idol the pressure would be to play it at the perfect time. You don’t want it to be a souvenir. Reed says that it is interesting that Wes stepped down from the challenge when the only others to do so were those who were safe in the alliance of five. Such confidence may imply that Wes feels safe. He may have an idol. Jeff says that it doesn’t get more direct that than. Keith agrees, saying that paranoia is manifested that easily. He recommends that everyone just “stick to the plan”.
The tenth Tribal Council of San Juan Del Sur commences. (Image credit: CBS)
Reed suddenly looks very uncomfortable. The rest of the tribe is shocked by this comment, looking around bewildered. Jeff doesn’t let the comment go, asking Jon for his perspective. He says that it is the most confusing thing. While he responds, Natalie gives Reed a cold stare. He quickly tells her, “No. Stick to the plan. We can’t let paranoia set in.” Natalie asks Jon and Jaclyn if they trust Reed. Jaclyn mouths “No”. She tells Natalie that they should do what they were already doing and that Jon and Jaclyn will vote with them. Reed is distraught. Someone else says “No” and suddenly the issue is up for debate again. While Missy tells Jeff that it is not ideal to be a contestant in a situation this messy, the tribe continues to deliberate around her, Reed silently pleading with Jaclyn. Baylor says that it is like being at a fair attraction with the various mirrors and that she feels really tall, really fat, and “like this” (indicating a squiggly mirror with her hand). Until the moment she gets to the voting booth, she won’t know what she’s going to do. This has never happened before and they might not be as close and organized as they thought.
Jaclyn quietly tells Natalie that she doesn’t trust Reed. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff says that it is time to vote. Reed is still talking as he stands up. Jon verifies, “We still going this?” Reed says “Yes”. They vote, but we see none of the votes as they are cast. Jeff retrieves the votes. As he does so, Natalie turns to Jon and says, “Dude, play your idol.” She repeats herself. He asks, “Really? You sure?”, and she replies, “Up to you”. Reed watches on anxiously. Jeff reveals that now is the time to play any Hidden Immunity Idols. Jon stands up, revealing his idol and redeeming it on himself. Reed is not happy. Keith and Wes pull out their idol. Keith tells Wes that if he want to play it, he should. Wes refuses, telling his father to play it on himself. Jeremy is excited on the jury bench that both idols have played. Jeff takes a while to untie the idol, which Keith had never opened. He asks, “How did you know it was real?” Keith says that he took the chance. Jeff reveals the votes: Jon – does not count, Jon – does not count, Jon – does not count, Keith – does not count, Keith – does not count, Jon – does not count. Jon laughs, saying that he is so happy he played the idol. With no votes counting so far, Jeff continues to reveal the votes: Keith – does not count, Wes, Wes. This time, two is enough. Wes collects his torch, sending his father “much love”. Jon turns to Reed, calling him a “sly dog”. Reed tells him “good job”. Wes’ torch is extinguished. He departs, “Damn. Damn. Damn.” Baylor confirms with Natalie that Alec and Reed voted for Jon. She scoffs. Jeff says that it is clear that they are playing the game in the moment. It’s aggressive and it’s risky, and, now that it’s started, they can never go back.
Wes’ torch is snuffed, and he becomes the third member of the jury. (Image credit: CBS)
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
On a special two-hour episode of Survivor, tensions are high. At a challenge, Reed calls Baylor a brat. Missy tells him to shut his mouth for a second and listen. Before Tribal Council, a fight between Jon and Jaclyn may change the game for good. In a confessional, Jon says that Jaclyn won’t listen to him. We see a clip of her angrily walking away from him. He says it’s not a good time to do that. She says “screw him”.
On the next episode: Jon and Jaclyn get into a fight before Tribal Council. (Image credit: CBS)
SURVIVOR OZ SWEEP!
Oh man this season keeps getting better and better. I have no idea how people can’t like this season. In the words of Amber Mariano IT IS SOOOOOO GOOD! Seriously approaching top 10 standards right now. This episode had everything! Heartfelt moments with kids, epic drama and loads and loads of comedy! That challenge was boring but how funny was it?! And a fairly predictable/unexciting boot of Wes was so compelling to watch with all the drama that came with TC! I’m hooked! So hooked!
It’s such a difficult game right now to predict as well, because so many people are all over the shop in terms of editing and who is saying what and alliances are changing. This has to be one of the most unpredictable seasons of Survivor ever. Could go down as THE most unpredictable. It’s just epic to watch these people do things each week and as a viewer have no clue as to what might happen. This is why new people are great to watch, because you just never know what you’re going to get. Not taking away from returning player seasons, but you get an element of predictability about how things will play out when you have returning players going for the win. You just don’t know what you’re going to get in these seasons and that is what is making this season so good.
Two stand out points? Baylor and her “shut your mouth homie g” comment to her mum (new song right there for Baylor) and of course everything to do with Wes and the shameless plugging for Two And A Half men. Gold. Pure gold.
Double episode next week. Jonclyn look like they have a domestic. You know what I’m going to say don’t you?! BRING IT ON!
What an episode. So many memorable moments.
Let’s start with the loved up couple Jon and Jaclyn. Is anyone else puking at the sight of them being all lovey-dovey? This is the first episode Jon has felt threatened, and it was finally time he saw the light! It has been amazing how well he (and Jaclyn) have done in this game thus far, but it looks like some other players are ready to step up.
Which brings me to Reed. His Broadway boyfriend Josh did all the ground work in the first half of the series, and finally it is Reed’s turn to step up to the plate! Planning to get Jon out is something that needs to happen, and Reed had a semi-full proof plan. Unfortunately there are some people on this season, namely Keith, who don’t know how to play the game…
Great reward challenge this episode. It was so good to see a water challenge after so many weeks! I reckon Alec could give Ozzy a run for his money in the water, what a speed demon. It was such a shame Baylor’s team couldn’t get the damn lock open, but it was sweet to see Reed give up his reward to Missy (what a suck). The reward was pretty cool, and I hope Jon didn’t eat from that spoon after giving that kid his ice-cream.
Back to Wes at Exile Island. Oh wait, there was no pan to Exile. Zero airtime for Quasimodo this time. Poor guy. But he definitely made up for it at the Immunity challenge! Wes jumping off immediately after seeing the chicken wings, not even thinking that his ass was on the line that night. What a nut! Bringing up Jeff’s bacon stint on Two & A Half Men was gold though. Pure gold. I applaud you Wesley. Jeff seemed a tad embarrassed! And then it was down to Natalie and Reed. I cannot believe, though I understand, that Natalie requested food so she could step down. She definitely could have won that Immunity, but in the back of her mind I guess she knew she was safe that night. So why not have a good feed! So happy Reed won and showed off his flexibility – Woah!
Keith, you idiot, why would you yell out something like that, in front of everyone?! Just spoil the plan to get Jon out. I also didn’t agree with Natalie telling Jon to play his idol. Ultimately you wanted him gone, but I guess his idol is flushed out now. The stirring between castaways was great entertainment; always fun to see their last minute scrambles out in the open. Jon listened to Natalie and used his idol. Keith offered his idol to Wes, but knowing him he would never take it to save himself. In the end it was so long Wes! Thanks for being a funny guy this episode, I was jealous watching you demolish those chicken wings!! Bring on next week; looks like some couple trouble between Jon and Jaclyn!
Ten episodes into this season and I finally enjoyed an episode. Finally! First, my favorite reward of any season is when the players get to interact with locals. It was super cute getting to see four of them give out the baseball gear. Additionally, Reed giving up reward allowed him to talk some strategy without Jon and Jaclyn around. That didn’t play out as well as Reed had hoped, but it was still a good idea.
The immunity challenge is one that could’ve been incredibly boring; Survivor is very hit or miss with making endurance challenges good viewing. This one was hilarious—definitely one of the best we’ve seen in recent history. Between Wes’ mention of chicken nugget-eating contests and Jeff’s stint on Two and a Half Men, Natalie spitting all over herself, and Reed’s immunity winning split, I really loved this segment. Tribal council was beyond entertaining. It gave me flashbacks to Caramoan when Phillip was voted out due to the triple idol play. It’s always interesting when everyone starts freaking out last minute and the whispers are out of control. Reed tried so hard to make Jon and Jaclyn think he was still with them but Keith kind of ruined his plan. I’m not really sure how much longer Reed can hold on in this game while trying to play both sides. In the end, getting to see two idols used and Wes being voted out with only two votes made for a great tribal council. It was particularly interesting because, after tipping Jon off about the voting, Keith offered Wes the idol, he didn’t take it, and was idol’d out by his own father. I can’t imagine Keith is going to be feeling too good about himself when he gets back to camp after that tribal!
Lastly, I just need to mention my love for Natalie. This girl is tough. I’ve always loved me some Twinnies on The Amazing Race, but Natalie has impressed me so much on Survivor. She’s been strong in many of the challenges, handling emotional situations with grace, playing hard without overplaying, being observant (as we saw when she told Jon that he really needed to play his idol), and getting a great edit to boot. Keeping my fingers crossed that she can keep it up, go far, and maybe even pull out an unlikely win
This episode was absolutely brilliant! Definitely my favourite of the season, and possibly one of the funniest in many seasons.
Now that screen-time hoggers Jeremy and Josh are gone other characters finally gets the chance to shine. This episode mostly focused on Reed and Natalie, two characters we haven’t seen too much of, and man did they deliver! They both proved to be strategic and entertaining contestants. Missy, Jaclyn and Jon had some sweet and positive character development as well. Wes and Keith did what they did best and gave us some great entertaining moments as well as messing up in a spectacular way.
What made this episode so brilliant for me was all the little funny segments including:
Natalie digging for the “bloody idol” at night
“No water for Baylor” – Natalie strictly telling Baylor to help her search for the idol.
Missy chasing terrified kid “HERE’S YOUR HAT!!” (Missy looked gorgeous during the reward!)
Jon and Jaclyn playing on my heart strings during the reward. (although I wish we got to hear Jaclyn’s story from Jaclyn..)
“I am really fat, really skinny, and really bluuuurh right now” -Baylor
Funniest Immunity Challenge in ages!
– “CANDY!” – Natalie
– “Eat that chocolate!” – Jaclyn
– “SUGAR!” -Jon
– “holy schnikies” – Baylor
– “Feels so good down her on the saaaaand” “I ain’t talking to you smarty-poo” – Missy
– “I ate 58 chicken nuggets in 5 minutes” – Wes
– “That was unfortunate” – Jeff
– “Is there more food coming out or no?!” – Natalie
-”Pizza, some wings, a cookie, and a glass of water” – Natalie
-”Natalie can taste the food, but she can’t get to it” – Jeff
“Jeeeeeeff” “Reeeeeed” – While doing splits
And then Jeff actually gives Natalie everything she asks for ?! Love it!
This has been brilliant since the merge and I can’t wait til’ next weeks double boot. I am gonna take a wild guess and say it’s Jon and Alec
Tribal Councils with multiple idols played tend to be interesting, and not just because of the idols. Another episode that’s helping a season’s reputation after a slow/frustrating pre-merge and a merge episode marred by a quit. I was hoping the reward challenge at the final 9 would have 3 teams of 3 so no one was left out by default, but the reward itself was a fun one. It’s always great seeing the faces of the kids when they receive school supplies or sports equipment or anything. It’s a reminder to the players and to the audience that the location where this game is taking place is where or near people call home throughout their lives. And you also couldn’t have asked for better people to go on this reward than the mother of two and the couple who want a kid they can’t have in the sense that most people imagine. However, when Reed gave up his spot to Missy I almost immediately thought Reed was going home next because of precedents set by Brenda Lowe and by far most recently Jeremy Collins, but Reed won a timely immunity. All the immunity challenges so far have had contestants stand/sit in one place, but they find ways to keep things interesting. Throughout this season there have been several challenges full of entertaining dialogue and this immunity challenged continued the trend. As for Tribal Council, both Jon and Keith (especially Jon but also Keith because of Jon) needed to play their idols, and I’m glad Keith played his idol on himself because he found it and he’s been more interesting. For someone who’s been written off as a “sub-par player” like Keith, props to him for being in danger in most of the Tribal Councils he’s visited and keeping his idol until he really needed it. That shows that Keith deserves a mention as a somewhat decent player at least this season, especially since a lot of more well known players like Andrea, Ozzy, and James have been voted out with idols. By this logic it would seem like Reed or Keith’s time will finally be up next week but anything can happen. We saw Natalie go from possible next boot to a power player this episode and things can easily shift once more. Depending on how the rest of the season goes I might be content with anyone besides Alec winning this season (yes, even Baylor and Missy, but I also said might).
This seems to have come a week too late, but my nomination for dumbest move in the history of Survivor goes too…… *drum roll*……….. KEITH! What was that man thinking??? There are plenty of vote outs that get cleverly edited to look like more is going on, but no matter how many ways I look at this week’s tribal, I honestly believe it played out just the way we saw it. The newly formed alliance had the Jon blindside in the bag. Reed was doing a good job of playing up the lack of alliance, then Keith said the most disastrous sentence that could be uttered in this situation. “Just stick to the plan”. Again I say, what was he thinking? This “plan” was supposed to be secret, and any player with half a brain (excluding Keith) would have known that. One sentence robbed the game of what could have been a classic blindside. Somehow this stupid move that sealed Keith’s future inclusion in every top ten dumbest moves list makes him even more endearing of a character. Almost equally as dumb is Wes’ decision to not take the idol that was offered twice to him by his Dad. Both had to know that Wes stood a better chance in the long run, and they had to know one of them was going home, as Jon had already played his idol. Wes should have taken the idol and kept himself alive for another day. I feel we are better off for entertainments sake to have Keith though.
Biggest props of the week have to go to Natalie. She was able to keep herself in the loop with Jon and Jaclyn’s power alliance by tipping him off at tribal to play the idol. This gesture will go much further than giving up a reward. She just gained huge gamer points in my mind. Nat is playing as strong of a strategic game as she can, given the circumstances, and her social game just went through the roof.
Not the greatest episode overall, but a lackluster episode with an epic tribal council finish definitely wins.
SURVIVOR RE-CAPPERS: RITA VERREOS & BILLY GARCIA
Each week this season we’ll bring you the viewpoint of a pair of former Survivor contestants to hear what they think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season! Our 10th recap features Rita Verreos from Fiji and Billy Garcia from Cook Islands! Together they discuss everything that happened during this episode as well as looking ahead to the rest of the season with their answers in the ‘San Juan Del Sur Five!’
TIP TO WIN: Keith (Rita) Reed (Billy)
DARK HORSE: Missy (Rita) Jaclyn (Billy)
NEXT TO GO: Keith/Baylor (Rita) Jon/Baylor (Billy)
COUPLE MOST LIKELY TO TURN AGAINST EACH OTHER: Jon/Jaclyn (Rita) Jon/Jaclyn (Billy)
PLAYER MOST SIMILAR TO: Natalie (Rita) Rocker (Billy)
Join us next week as we are joined by Australian Outback winner and All-Stars and Blood vs Water contestant Tina Wesson with her daughter Katie Collins from Blood vs Water to help us recap the eleventh episode of San Juan Del Sur!
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