Survivor San Juan Del Sur: Episode 11 & 12 Recap Featuring Jonathan Penner & Benjamin "Coach" Wade


The current season of Survivor: San Juan Del Sur continues as we get ever closer to the finale! After an entertaining pair of episodes, it’s time to recap them! 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 real experts in our good friends Jonathan Penner from Cook Islands, Micronesia and Philippines as well as Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade from Tocantins, Heroes vs Villains and South Pacific!

(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!)


Jeremy was the eighth person voted out of the game and became the second member of the jury due to a blindside from his alliance-mates Jon & Missy. Reed and his alliance of Wes, Keith, Alec were on the bottom. He convinced the majority alliance to split the votes between Keith, who had an idol, and his son, Wes. In actuality, Reed planned to use the split to his advantage to take out Jon. At Tribal Council, Keith spoke candidly about “sticking to the plan”, causing Jon to play his idol after a prod by Natalie. Keith also played his idol. Wes received two votes, the only two which counted, and was sent to Ponderosa. Eight are left.



After Tribal Council, the majority alliance rejoice in their victory. Jon thanks God that he played his idol. Reed’s alliance calls out Keith for giving away that they were trying to pull off a secret blindside. Alec feels alone. Reed knows that the other alliance will be plotting their revenge. Natalie and Jaclyn both take credit for convincing Jon to play his idol, but Jon claims that he was going to play it regardless. Natalie confesses that he needs to look like the mastermind. This turns out to be true, as Jon quickly takes Jaclyn aside and tells her not to give away his credit to other players. Jaclyn takes offense at his comment, indicating that she feels like he is disregarding her value as a player and her chances to win the game.


Jon tells Jaclyn not to give his credit away. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 27


At the challenge, the contestants will answer trivia questions about their fellow contestants (post-merge contestants only). Each correct answer wins a chop on the rope of an opponent of their choice. Once a contestant accrues three chops against them, a skull representing them is smashed, pours fake blood, and they are out. Winner of the challenge wins a horseback ride through the countryside of San Juan Del Sur, a huge meal including brownies and barbequed meats. This meal will take place at a luxury resort where they will stay the night. Baylor, Natalie, and Jaclyn have a huge reaction to hearing about the reward.


The girls react to hearing the reward. (Image credit: CBS)

The challenge begins with a question about which person besides Natalie has an twin sibling. The answer is Jeremy. Everybody answers correctly except for Keith, who answers Jaclyn. Natalie is first up to make a chop, but before she does she asks Jon what she should do. Jon indicates that they should go for Reed. Natalie chops Reed’s rope. Jon is next and does the same. Jeff comments that Reed’s chances of going on the horseback ride do not look good. Reed replies that his family has twelve horses and that it doesn’t matter. Alec chops Natalie’s rope. Missy chops Reed’s rope and eliminates him from the challenge. Jeff comments that Reed has “no shot in this game”. Jaclyn chops Alec’s rope. Baylor does the same. Reed gets a hit as well even though he was eliminated. He chooses Missy.


The tribe answers the first question of the challenge. (Image credit: CBS)

The next question is about who owns and operates their own tanning business. The answer is Julie. Everybody answers correctly. Jon eliminates Alec. On his way out, Alec strikes back at Jon, chopping his rope. Missy chops Keith’s rope. Jaclyn follows suit. Keith gives Missy her second hit. As Baylor walks up, Keith starts to walk to the loser’s bench. Baylor eliminates him. As Keith sits down he comments to Reed that it shows where they stand. At this point, only the five members of the majority alliance remain, and it is Natalie’s turn to strike. Natalie again turns to her alliance, asking what they should do. They begin discussing who has had the most awards and they determine that it is Jon and Jaclyn. Jeff, clearly a little irritated, calls the challenge off. He says that there is no reason for them to go through the motions if they are all going to agree on somebody to win. Who is the winner going to be? They say that it will be Missy. Jon volunteers to go to Exile Island.


Missy is determined to be the winner of the challenge. (Image credit: CBS)

Jeff then tells Missy that she can choose two people to come with her. Missy first chooses her daughter, Baylor. Jeff then points out that the obvious choices for her are Natalie and Jaclyn, but she can only pick one. The one she doesn’t choose will be condemned to a night alone with Alec, Reed, and Keith. Missy chooses Natalie, which clearly upsets Jaclyn. Jeff calls them out, saying that it is interesting how happy they all were just a moment ago, but now Missy has chosen her tight two, and Jaclyn and Jon are left on the outs, with Jon on Exile Island. Jaclyn seems to agree with this view of the situation. Jeff reminds her that she will be going back to camp with three people who probably don’t like her very much. Reed says that he likes Jaclyn a lot. Missy smirks and says that she is sure that he does. Baylor snarks that Reed likes everyone. Reed responds that he does like everyone because he is a people person and then calls Baylor a brat. Missy is clearly upset by this. Reed reiterates that Baylor is a brat, saying that even though Missy is her mom, she is twenty and he is going to call out her childish behavior. Missy tells him to shut his mouth and listen. He talks over her and she stops talking, telling Jeff that Reed doesn’t know how to listen. The reward trio depart. Jeff asks the remaining contestants “what just happened”. Jaclyn says that she got the butt end of the situation for her alliance while the top three people went off horseback riding. The minority alliance reassure her that this is indeed the case. They depart. Jaclyn confesses that the situation made her second guess everything.


Jaclyn reacts to not being chosen to go on the Reward. (Image credit: CBS)


Jon arrives on Exile Island and find the clue to the new idol in the urn. The clue tells him to take a stroll along the coast, looking for a sideways tree. In a less than a Survivor minute Jon is easily able to find the idol in a large hole, behind a rock in a rock wall. Jon is overjoyed with his discovery, calling the idol beautiful.


Jon reads the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. (Image credit: CBS)


Natalie, Baylor, and Missy enjoy their horseback ride across the countryside. They say that it is a perfect day. At the resort, the three immediately run to a table full of food. They dig in, with Natalie and Baylor thanking Missy for choosing them. They toast to “the girls”. Missy confesses that she couldn’t have had the same experience with anyone else. The three discuss that Jaclyn is angry and that she might want to flip to the other side. Reed will certainly be working on her. Natalie and Baylor then reveal to Missy that they found a Hidden Immunity Idol two days ago. Missy confesses that she is proud of her daughter for playing the game. The three agree that they would be an ideal Final 3. Natalie confesses that she thinks that she would be a sure-fire winner with those two.


Missy, Baylor, and Natalie enjoy their reward. (Image credit: CBS)


Back at camp, the tribe reiterates their shock at what just happened at the challenge. Reed expresses disappointment for letting Baylor get a rise out of him. Jaclyn tells them that Missy’s move wasn’t smart. Alec mentions that the challenge went the best that it could have gone. Reed mentions that they should make sure that Jaclyn enjoys her meal. Alec fills a coconut shell to capacity, laughing that that should be a good start. Upon receiving the rice, Jaclyn is shocked, saying that she can’t eat it all. In her confessional, she explains that she is well aware that they are being fake, but it’s interesting. Reed tells her that she and Jon need to make the first move against Missy. Missy is ruthless and they don’t want to see her get steam-rolled.


Jaclyn’s coconut shell of rice, as prepared by Alec. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 28


The next morning, the reward trio return to camp. Missy confesses that she needs to keep nurturing Jaclyn, because who knows what Reed and Alec said. Jaclyn and Alec have a discussion about him and Baylor, “are they brother/sister, or would he take her on a date”. Alec says that he wouldn’t take anyone from Survivor on a date, unless Jaclyn herself were to go on a date with him. Alec confesses that treating Jaclyn well is like cream cheese. You can’t hurt many things by putting cream cheese on it. Natalie confesses that she is bewildered by Alec and Jaclyn flirting. It’s inappropriate. Baylor worries about the flirting between Alec and Jaclyn because of what it could mean for their alliance


Alec shamelessly flirts with Jaclyn. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 29


The next day, before the immunity challenge, Jon returns to the tribe with a face covered in dirt. For the challenge, the contestants each must stand on a perch and balance a large paddle on a stand. The paddle contains six indentation, which the contestants must fill by rolling six balls down the paddle and into the indentations. The winner will have all six balls on the paddle at once. As the challenge begins, Alec has trouble even maintaining his paddle on the stand. Jon lands the first ball, slow and steady. Reed follows, but immediately drops his. Jon gets his second. Natalie gets her first. Alec continues to struggle. Missy gets one. Reed continues to struggle. Jon gets his third. Natalie gets her second. Keith gets two. Missy gets her second. Natalie drops her paddle. Jon drops his fourth. Keith makes his third. Baylor has made no progress. Keith gets his fourth before Jon. It has come down to the two of them. Keith gets his fifth and needs only one more. He drops it, and Jon gets his fourth. He almost gets his fifth but it rolls off. Keith gets his sixth and wins Individual Immunity. He high fives every contestant while walking over to Jeff. With a little help from Jeff, Keith expresses that it is good to have the immunity considering how things have been going. Reed confesses that he might be a dead man walking. His whole plan hinges on Jon and Jaclyn being willing to take out Missy.


Keith pulls off another stellar performance in the Day 29 Immunity Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)


Back at camp, everyone congratulates Keith on his victory. Reed calls him the “ball-master”. Jaclyn tells Jon that they need to go talk. She tells her that he’s missed her so much. She begins telling him about everything that happened after he left for Exile Island. Jon is exasperated. All he wanted to do was just relax and spend some time with her. He confesses that she was throwing all this paranoia back at him and he wanted it to be done. She snaps at her, saying that everyone is obviously going to be lying and that he knew everything that she told him. She gets offended by him snapping at her and begins to storm off. He quickly begins to apologize, pulling her back over. They seem to partially make amends, but Jaclyn says that they shouldn’t talk right now. They sit down and Jon says that they should talk for a little bit. She says that there is no point. He strongly tells her to chill and reiterates his request. Jaclyn confesses that he made her feel like his perspective is that he’s got it all figured out on his own and that he doesn’t need her.


Jaclyn reacts to Jon snapping at her. (Image credit: CBS)

Reed takes the opportunity to come over and talk to them about the situation. Reed begins to make his case but Jon says that it is “BS” to say that any of those three guys would be willing to go to the Final 3 with Jon. Reed says that it’s not about blindsiding Jon, it’s about working getting one step closer to the end. He could conspire with Missy against Jon, but he would prefer to work with Jon and Jaclyn. Jon says that he believes Reed’s word more than anyone else’s at this point. As he begins getting clarification from Reed about Reed’s plan, Natalie comes over and sits down. Jon winks at Reed and immediately shifts the conversation into Jon telling Reed that he can’t trust him. Reed confesses that this shift in conversation gives his hope that Jon might actually be willing to work with them.


Jon shifts the conversation with Reed when Natalie comes over. (Image credit: CBS)

Reed talks with Keith and explains the situation. Keith says that he will do whatever Reed says but that he is pretty sure Jon is conspiring with Missy. He points out Jon sitting with Missy on the beach. Jon reveals to Missy that he found another idol. Jaclyn confesses that Missy is the only person that Jon is willing to have the real strategic conversations with. She thinks that this has something to do with Jon’s relationship with his mother, and that Jon is using Missy to fill that role in his Survivor life. It makes her more mad than she already was to see Jon so willing to talk to Missy when he wasn’t willing to respectfully talk to her. Natalie confesses that she wants for Jon and Jaclyn to patch things up because she can’t take any more surprises. Jon tries to come over and talk to Jaclyn and apologize, but Jaclyn won’t talk to him. She walks away form him and goes to lie in the shelter. Jon tells the tribe that he feels terrible. He didn’t think he had exploded on her when he got back. Five hours pass and Jaclyn is still lying in the shelter. Tribal Council is quickly approaching. Jon goes over to the shelter and tries to talk to get again. She says that she is not ready to talk yet. She proceeds to get up and go flirt with Alec, which Jon notices. He takes her spot, brooding in the shelter. Jaclyn comes over to him and tells him that she felt disrespected. Now Jon turns the table and tells her that he doesn’t want to talk. Reed confesses that his life hinges on the two of them talking. He approaches Jaclyn and explains this. She tells him that “he won’t talk to me now. I tried!”


Jaclyn explains to Reed that Jon is now mirroring her childish behavior. (Image credit: CBS)


The Jury, Josh, Jeremy, and Wes, enter and take their places. Jeff asks Jon if he was filled in on what happened after he left for Exile Island. He explains the argument that he had with Jaclyn. She says that he didn’t want to hear what she was saying. It made her mad and she started crying. Jon comments that he didn’t know that. Jeff asks if it was public. Reed confirms it was, saying that they saw the aftermath. It made everything more complicated for those trying to play the game. Jon says that Reed had a chance to pitch a case to them. Jeff points out that they are in the middle again. Jon says that it’s true. They are the couple people are approaching. Reed explains his angle, pointing out the closeness between Missy, Natalie, and Baylor. Missy says that it is ridiculous for them to assume that she is on the top of some powerful alliance of three. A few days ago, the people trying to get Jon’s help tried to blindside him. Today, Alec has been flirting his way back in Jaclyn’s good favour. Alec seems to think that this is a stretch but all the women in the tribe confirm his behavior. He turns to Jaclyn, asking her if she thought they were flirting. She confirms that they were. Missy asks Jon if Alec flirts with her. Jon says that there are times it gets a little weird, but it might just be friendly gibber-gabber. Alec says that maybe he is just a nice person. Jaclyn says that Alec has been nicer to her than ever. Jaclyn says that she was buying part of Reed’s pitch. There’s a lot of paranoia. Baylor says that they are lucky that they can pick which alliance they want to be with. No one else has that flexibility. They vote. Missy votes for Reed, saying that he is a rabble-rouser and that Baylor is not a brat. Reed votes for Missy, saying it will be the only time he writes her name down. Jeff goes to tally the votes. He returns. No idols are played. The votes are revealed: Reed, Missy, Reed, Reed, Reed, Reed. Five is enough. Reed takes his torch over to Jeff, and Jeff snuffs it out while Reed smiles broadly. Jon and Jaclyn tell each other “I love you”. Jeff reminds them that Blood vs Water is difficult because of the real live relationships you bring to the game. With four loves ones left in the game, that difficulty is not over.



The remaining members of Huyopa return to camp that night after Tribal Council. Natalie comments that Tribal Council was couples counselling. Keith mentions that, for once, Jeff barely spoke to him. Missy’s input is relief that for once their alliance was all on the same page for a vote. Jon tells Jaclyn that he’s sorry for undermining her and that he appreciates her. Jaclyn confesses that they worked out their problems at Tribal Council. It’s been draining, but it’s over. Alec confesses that it is a sick joke that he was accused of flirting. If we wanted to flirt, he would flirt. Alec also realizes that now he has no one to confide in. It sucks being alone.


Alec feels alone after Tribal Council. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 30


The next morning, Alec conveys the loneliness he’s been feeling to Jon. Jon confesses that he doesn’t think Alec or Keith have any moves left to make. Alec asks Jon if he’s going to vote him out at the next Tribal Council. Jon says that he is going to be straightforward with Alec, explaining that trusts the people he is aligned with. Jon confesses that he feels that he is the one primarily steering the game.


Jon tells Alec that he will be straight with him. (Image credit: CBS)


For the Reward Challenge, the contestants will stand on a small block while stabilizing a ball against an overhanging piece of wood. “Lose your concentration or your balance: Ball will drop… You’re out of the challenge.” Last person left standing wins a king-sized canopy bed delivered to camp that they will sleep in for the night. In that bed, the winner will also enjoy wine, spaghetti, chicken parmesan, garlic bread, and dessert. Jon proclaims, “It’s over. I’m winning this.” The challenge begins. Mere seconds into the challenge, Alec drops his ball. Jeff notes that “30 days of frustration” is setting in. Six remain. After twenty minutes everyone is still holding strong, though Jon is meticulously trying to save his ball from falling off to the side. Missy drops her ball. Keith drops out shortly after. Four remain, Jon still trying to save his precariously placed ball. Out of no where, Baylor’s ball slides up, and she is eliminated. After nearly falling out of the challenge, Jon is able to re-center is ball, putting him back in good standing. Before no time, however, the ball starts sliding to the side again. Jon cannot recover a second time, and he is eliminated. Jaclyn and Natalie remain. They both hold strong until Jaclyn’s ball suddenly pops up. Natalie wins reward.


Natalie and Jaclyn square off in the Day 30 Reward Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)

Jeff first asks her who will be going to Exile Island. She quickly chooses Alec, who is not surprised with the decision. The tribe tells him to “hang in there”. Jeff then tells Natalie that he can invite one person to enjoy the reward with her. She chooses Jaclyn, saying that she had been talking about spaghetti the most. Jeff then comments that the bed is king-sized, and he tells her to pick one more person. She chooses Jon, telling them that they cannot get “freaky” tonight. Missy is clearly upset by this selection. Jeff calls this out, reminding her that Missy was given the winning position at the last reward. Missy and Baylor both input that the difference is, because the reward will be experienced at camp, it is being rubbed in their face in a way that was not experienced by the others. Keith shrugs, saying he’s used to it. Jeff laughs. Everyone heads back to camp. Natalie confesses that she wants Jaclyn and Jon to trust her implicitly so that, when she gets her revenge on them for Jeremy, they won’t see it coming.


Keith is used to having things rubbed in his face. (Image credit: CBS)


When the tribe arrives back at camp, the bed is already waiting. The tribe huddles around to get a peek. Keith mentions that he’d like a bed like that for his house. Suddenly, Baylor, Missy, and Keith take off to go get water. The reward recipients notice the behavior of the others immediately. Jon and Jaclyn are very uncomfortable, but Natalie reassures them that everything is fine. They receive their food, and Jaclyn comments that it’s what she’s been dreaming about. Natalie confesses that Keith’s standing with the jury is “scary”, but she wants to find a way to move forward without Jon. Jon baby talks that he is almost out of wine. Natalie quickly gives him hers. Jon confesses that he loves wine because it reminds him of his father’s affinity for wine. Natalie is not impressed by Jon’s wine-talk, confessing that he always acts like he knows so much about everything. Jon then reveals to Natalie that he found the idol.


Jon takes a break from talking about wine to finish off his glass. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 31


The next morning, Jon and Jaclyn remain in the bed while Natalie hangs out with the rest of the tribe. Natalie tells Baylor that it was the worst experience of her life. “He’s so fake… He’s already banking on what he’s going to do with the million dollars… It’s not about the game for them. It’s just about them and their perfect life they want as a couple. Natalie confesses that Jon is super comfortable because he has Jaclyn wrapped around his finger, Missy wrapped around his finger, he thinks that Baylor won’t mess up her mom’s plans, and he thinks Natalie will do whatever he says. She further confesses that Jon has played a decent game, and it might be too much of a risk to go to the Final 3 with him. She tells Baylor that they should vote him out next, but that they can’t tell her mom, Missy, because she is blinded by Jon. Baylor adds that her mom is blinded by trying to help men. They agree to the plan that they will secretly vote Jon out. Baylor confesses that she and Natalie are “Survivor Sisters”. Jon reminds her too much of previous men in her mom’s life who have ended up hurting her. Natalie and Baylor laugh at Natalie having “slept in bed with the enemy”.


Baylor and Natalie discuss Jon. (Image credit: CBS)

Keith comments that Jon and Jaclyn haven’t been awake for more than two hours the entire day. He doesn’t know why they keep him around. He confesses that he is just hoping someone will “bolt my way” before too long. Jon wakes up and notices that the rest of the tribe got a lot of firewood while they were sleeping. Jon and Jaclyn note the weird vibe but worry that they are being paranoid. Jaclyn confesses that she is worried that Jon is too confident and that people may be scheming behind his back. He is often confident and positive in their real life, but he takes it very hard when that confidence isn’t met with results. She is worried that that may be his fate in this game as well, and she doesn’t want to see that happen.


Jaclyn fears Jon may not have things as perfect as he think. (Image credit: CBS)

DAY 32


Before the Immunity Challenge, Alec returns to the tribe from Exile Island. Baylor and Missy give him a big hug. Jeff asks Baylor what the emotional state is in the game. Missy immediately begins to tear up. Baylor says that there is emotional fatigue, and that the emotional fatigue of those you care about has a big effect on you. Jeff then addresses Missy, who says that she is fine. She is so depleted on sleep. “It’s purely physical”. Baylor says that she wishes she could give her mother some of her energy and strength. Jeff takes back the Individual Immunity Necklace from Keith. For the challenge, the contestants will pull on a rope to balance a wobbly table. They will race out to collect a series of wooden blocks and placing them on the table. If the table wobbles too much and the blocks fall, they will have to restack the blocks before continuing. First person to get all ten blocks standing on the wooden platform wins Immunity.


Jeff takes back the Individual Immunity Necklace from Keith. (Image credit: CBS)

The challenge begins. Each person places the first block easily, but then Alec drops it just as quickly. Jeff notes that the contestants need to find the sweet spot in terms of speed. Just on the line between brazen and reckless. Like in so many challenges before, Keith pulls out to a lead with Jon right behind. When they get to their fifth blocks, Keith knocks his blocks over and has to restack them. Jon pulls to a slight lead. Natalie and Jaclyn both catch up. Jon slows down in order to be extra careful, asking God to be with him. Jaclyn drops her pieces. Keith drops his again, but recovers them quickly. Jon starts moving back with his tenth piece, while Keith places his ninth. Keith grabs his tenth, but then his pieces fall. Jon places the tenth piece and wins the Individual Immunity Necklace. Jon starts crying, but says that he doesn’t know why. The tribe heads back to camp. Natalie confesses that they need to think up a “plan B” fast.


Jon slowly works his way back to his platform with the final piece. (Image credit: CBS)


Jon confesses that winning the immunity challenge was great considering the weird vibe he had been noticing around camp. Jon tells Missy that, because they have the numbers, they should split the vote just in case either Alec or Keith have found another idol. “Three on Keith”. Jon explains in his confessional that Keith needs to go because of the incredible threat that Keith is in the challenges. Missy says that the “Fat 5” is strong. Jon is her “guy”. Natalie confesses that she is depressed that everything she has worked on is down the drain. Alec lies in the shelter and tells Baylor that no one has anything to say to him. The only person he has any closeness with is Baylor, and even she is going to vote him out. This game has done something to him that has made him more emotional. Baylor laughs, commenting that getting true feelings from Alec is new. She confesses that the relationship is weird, up and down, brother/sister, boyfriend/girlfriend. She is glad that Alec doesn’t have to go home tonight. She tells him to be patient.


Alec explains how the game has made him deep and emotional. (Image credit: CBS)

Natalie tells Keith that she thinks that he deserves to be there. She lets him know that he is a threat because of his performance in the challenges. Alec will never win anything. He’s terrible at the challenges. Keith agrees. Natalie tells Keith not to worry about her, she’s smarter than she looks sometimes. She confesses that she wants to flip the script on Jon and get Alec voted out. Jon will be pissed, and Keith will be around to take Jon on in the challenges. Natalie tells Baylor her plan. Baylor confesses that she is conflicted. Natalie confesses that she is not sure if it is worth the risk of riling up her alliance. She has to decide if she “has the balls or not”.


Natalie and Keith sit together before Tribal Council while Natalie schemes internally. (Image credit: CBS)


Josh, Jeremy, Wes, and Reed enter and take their place as the Jury. Jeff begins by pointing out the obvious alliance of five, which leaves Alec and Keith on the outside. Missy explains that the vote comes down to performance in the challenges. Jon agrees. Jeff notes that this means that Keith would be the one likely to be voted out. Keith agrees that he’s won “a couple Immunity deals”. Jeff asks Natalie if it’s gotten to a point where they just don’t want anyone to break the alliance of five. Natalie says that it’s not that simple. Jon looks concerned. Suddenly a rat appears, startling Natalie and Missy. Alec says that he is so hungry from Exile Island that he would eat that rat without hesitation. Baylor smiles. Jon then explains to Jeff the significance of wine being a part of their reward, considering his father’s terminal brain cancer. He says that winning the Immunity Challenge was a big deal for him because it’s a guaranteed moment that his dad will be proud of him, and he doesn’t have a lot of those moments left. Jon says that he didn’t develop a bond with his father until the last two or three years, so he regrets all the years that he was stubborn and wouldn’t let his father in.


Jon talks about his father. (Image credit: CBS)

Jeff then turns to Keith, pointing out that Keith is a dad and that his son is sitting on the Jury. On one hand, this is very person sharing that Jon is doing, but you can’t help but think “Man, can this tragedy work against me in this game… and is that fair?” Keith says that he hopes everyone is “sharper than that to see through some of this stuff”. Keith tells the tribe that they can use his vote. If someone wants to make a move, he’s ready. Natalie says everyone is looking out for themselves. It’s scary, but tonight she is confident that everyone in the alliance is on the same page. No surprises. They vote. Alec votes for Keith, saying that it was either “you or me”. Keith votes for Alec, but says nothing. Jeff goes to tally the votes. He returns. No idols are played. The votes are revealed: Keith, Alec, Keith, Alec, Keith, Alec, Alec. Four is enough. Jon and Missy’s eyes go wide with shock. Keith winks to his son on the Jury. Alec takes his torch to Jeff, who snuffs it out. Jeff notes that, given the shock, this alliance may not be so tight. This might be good news for Keith. He agrees.


Alec becomes the fifth member of the Jury. (Image credit: CBS)


Natalie won’t rest until she gets revenge on Jon. She tells Keith that they need to be tight. One moment could change the fate of the game. We see a clip of Missy injuring herself in a challenge. Two clips from the medical advisor, pasted together, are “let’s do an x-ray” and “I’d have to pull Missy from the game”. Missy cries intensely, saying that it is “so frustrating”.


Next time on Survivor, Missy is injured in a challenge. (Image credit: CBS)








A double shot of excitement and two very interesting episodes, interesting strategy and things being setup for an interesting finish!

The first episode seemed like an episode of ‘Jonclyn’ as we saw all their disputes and issues laid bare for us all to see. Disappointing not to see them turn against each other as I think that would’ve been fun to watch, but clearly they are in love and blah blah so yeah that wasn’t going to happen. Sad to see Reed go, I liked him but he was never going to win this game. Second episode was also interesting as it seemingly turned into the ‘what will Natalie do’ episode. We see this lovely little turn about with the ‘Missy/Baylor are pissed’ moment and then it is all revealed like a big twist that Natalie is doing the ‘nice game’ with Jonclyn to get revenge for Jeremy. Whilst that is smart in principle, you had the opportunity to take him out a week ago but told him to play his idol. Really? Wouldn’t it have been smart to take him out then? This week he wins immunity spoiling your plan. Now he is pissed at you after you turn on him to vote Alec out further distancing yourself from him. Not very smart gameplay there. Don’t get me wrong, Natalie isn’t playing the worst game out there, but she isn’t playing the best either.

Which leads me to my next point. It’s so hard right now to define who is playing ‘the best’ because to me it seems like we have 6 people left now who aren’t very good at Survivor. Each has their ‘good moments’ before showing their true ‘bad moments’ which is making it compelling viewing. You never know who is going to make a mistake next and it’s all but impossible to predict the winner right now. Having said that, I’m going to do a massive flip around from a few weeks ago and say that in my honest opinion Keith can win this game now. Strange eh? But look at what he is doing. He is surviving each week, doing great in challenges, is well liked and is getting a strong edit. How does that not make him capable of winning? I honestly think that out of everyone left right now, everyone could possibly win this game. Is that a first in the history of the show? That to me makes this season so great to watch. But I’m not going into that rant again…

Only 2 more episodes. So sad! But as always, bring it on!



Well, as Bender from Futurama would day, “I’m back, baby”, but he would also say “we’re boned” because the season seems to be a frogmarch to Jon’s inevitable win. I think all of Jon’s moments where he has looked goofy or slightly dumb have been done to make him endearing to us. I cant say he will be a satisfying winner for me, only because I feel his story is so one dimensional, and he has been surrounded by players who seem hell bent on screwing up good opportunities (I’m looking at you Keith).

If these were two episodes, I definitely enjoyed the first one better, and not just because of cream cheese references.  Reed has been such a compelling character in these last few weeks since Josh was sent packing – its frustrating we haven’t seen more of him throughout the season. I liked that he rattled some cages, but also showed a pretty understandable level of frustration with Missy and Baylor. I have been pulling for Missy, mainly because she’s my pick in the Survivor Oz sweepstake  (looks like I can kiss another few buck goodbye). But I also think she has been quite a good player, subtly building strong relationships. However, her last couple of episodes haven’t been good, and her defence of Baylor at any cost is a little grating. Having said that, I like Baylor and think if she were a little more self aware, she could really be in with a chance. As it stands, she is disliked by most of the other players, and has no shot to win even if she makes it to the end.  Put her in the group of players that would be dangerous on a second attempt, with a little game experience behind them.

I may be the only one but the giant paddle immunity challenge is a fun one – something I would like to try and inevitably fail at myself. Reed’s departure seemed a certainty to me, regardless of Jon’s irritating winking. Real subtle game play there Jon.

The second episode of the night to me was just an irritating tease – lets build up Jon’s downfall, then he wins immunity. I’m still not entirely sure why Natalie is so intent on keeping Keith, I think whoever is left will do whatever will keep them in the game. Given Keith’s inability to keep his mouth shut and advance his own game, putting your own game in his slippery hands seems a massive mistake. However, I am unashamedly on board the Natalie train now. A win to a twinnie would possibly cause some sort of reality TV avalanche, but it also would show just how smart and competitive these girls are. It would also show just how fickle Survivor is, when a pair of identical twins could win and also be voted out first. I am hoping that Natalie is the winner, and the reason we haven’t seen her is because if she got a traditional winner’s edit, it might just be a bit too much given her high profile already. Its also possible that she has just laid low all season and now is going into high gear at just the right time. I can but dream. But I am trying not to get my hopes up. When Captain Butthead wins, I need to not be too upset. Its happening people – don’t let the previews fool you!

Again, a couple of cool challenges in this episode – one original, one a repeat from the last Blood vs. Water, but they were really enjoyable to watch. I have to hand it to the challenge department this season – the challenges have been pretty unique, or at least the repeated ones have had a new twist or not been overused.

Well, its time for me to cheese it. We are getting down to the business end of things now and are less than a fortnight from having a new Survivor champ. It’s been a weird season, but I am really intrigued to see how it all ends.



This could’ve been a very boring episode. Everyone who’s been watching the season knew going into this episode Reed and Alec and Keith were in a tough spot and likely 2 of those 3 would be out by the end of the night. However luckily for us instead of getting a 2 in 1 episode packed in 1 hour and witnessing another Dave then Monica or Vytas than Tina, we got 2 hours of Survivor this week. There was a lot going on, both from a gameplay standpoint and from a entertainment stand point. The rewards tested the seemingly fragile alliance of the 2 remaining couples plus Natalie, and only for a timely immunity win by Jon did we see all 5 of them keep their torches snuffed at the end of the episode. The alliance of Reed, Alec, and Keith turned into the post merge Zhan Hu who didn’t really band together and vote as a block but tried voting each other off instead, as only 1 vote tonight went against anyone besides those 3, Missy’s sole vote from Reed. I’m glad that Keith was the survivor of this alliance’s downfall, I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if he made an immunity run and if he does win the next immunity then we’ll likely be in for a fantastic Tribal Council on Day 35 or 36. Natalie seems like the favorite to win this season from an objective point of view and from my preference (she and Keith are tied in my book) but I think she could’ve used this opportunity to vote Jaclyn out because now if she wants to go after Jon she’ll either have to convince Missy to turn on Jon or use her idol on whoever Missy/Jaclyn/Jon vote for and hope than Jon doesn’t use his. Interesting stuff!



Each week this season we’ll bring you the viewpoint of former Survivor contestants to hear what they think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season! Our recap for the 11th and 12th episodes features Jonathan Penner from Cook Islands, Micronesia, and Philippines as well as Benjamin ‘Coach’ Wade from Tocantins, Heroes vs Villains and South Pacific! Together they discuss everything that happened during these episodes as well as looking ahead to the rest of the season with their answers in the ‘San Juan Del Sur Five!’

TIP TO WIN: Natalie (Penner) 
DARK HORSE: Keith (Penner)
NEXT TO GO: Jon (Penner)

Join us next week as we are joined by Marty Piombo from Nicaragua and Spencer Bledsoe from Cagayan to help us recap the thirteenth and penultimate episode of San Juan Del Sur!



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5 Comments on Survivor San Juan Del Sur: Episode 11 & 12 Recap Featuring Jonathan Penner & Benjamin "Coach" Wade

  1. I think Natalie’s move was really bad. She kept Keith who I think has an ok social game with people in the jury and could possibly go on an immunity win streak and beat them at the end. I was hoping for a new girl to win this game but it doesn’t seem like so. Oh well, maybe on season 30.

  2. I was hoping when Natalie was talking about changing the game up when she was talking to Keith that it would be that her, Keith and Alec vote Jaclyn out trying to weaken Jon but instead it wasn’t, so it disappointed me with Natalie, I thought she would have pulled off a huge move like that

  3. I agree with ajc1992, I was hoping Nat pull the big one and vote Jaclyn.
    I still have huge hope that she can vote out Jon and Keith and then in all likelihood she, Missy, or Baylor would win! Which would be AWESOME!

  4. So it turns out that Penner is a racist moron. If he hadn’t noticed, the majority of American people are white – has he got a problem with that? Also, the vast majority of people who apply are white – has he also got a problem with that? Now what are the chances given these facts that the pool of talent for those applying outside of the white ethnic group is pretty low.

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