The current season of Survivor: Worlds Apart continues at a rapid pace as we approach the final ten days of the game! After an entertaining episode, it’s time to recap it! Joining us, we have our recap expert, Clifton, plus Ben and the Ozlets chime in with their thoughts as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to a real expert in our good friend Leslie Nease from China!
(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
Mike knew that he was being targeted by his former alliance mates Rodney, Carolyn, Will, and Tyler. He attempted to weasel his way into getting an advantage in the auction by tricking his fellow contestants, but they called him out for his actions and Dan, Carolyn, and Mike ended up drawing rocks for the advantage. Dan received the advantage which turned out to be an extra vote. Back at camp, Mike had no intention of going down without a fight and called out the alliance of four. With the Hidden Immunity Idol already in his pocket, Mike won Individual Immunity. Mike tried to warn Dan and Sierra that they were on the bottom, while Will made personal verbal attacks against Shirin. At Tribal Council, Shirin revealed that she was the victim of verbal abuse in her childhood and that explained that Will’s behaviour went outside of the game for her. Jenn was voted out. Eight are left.
The next morning, Dan and Sierra agree that they feel bad for Mike but that he has gone over the edge. Dan confesses that he has schemes brewing. He approaches Shirin and gives her what seems to be a moment of heartfelt sympathy for the things that she revealed at Tribal Council. In his confessional, he reveals that he feels very badly for her but declares that Shirin is a drama queen, a two-faced liar, and that she loves to play the victim. He says that Shirin is being hypocritical and that she is just as bad as Will is.
Dan consoles Shirin after the events of the last Tribal Council. (Image credit: CBS)
For the Reward Challenge, the contestants were split into two teams of four. The teams must use two wooden planks, a rope and four barrels to get from one side of a sand arena to the other. The arena is segmented into thirds and if anyone touches the ground or either of the wooden planks touch the ground, the team must return to the beginning of the section and start over. The winning team will be taken to a catamaran that will sail along the Nicaraguan coast while the winners enjoy bacon cheeseburgers and pie. The teams were selected via a schoolyard pick. The “Blue Team” is Mike, Shirin, Sierra, and Rodney. The “Red Team” is Will, Dan, Tyler, and Carolyn. The “Red Team” quickly decide to leave one of their barrels behind. They choose a slow and methodical method, keeping their barrels vertical and using the planks to walk across. The “Blue Team” land on a strategy that involves Mike squirming on top of three barrels on their side while the rest of the tribe sits on one barrel and lets him do almost all of the work. Mike quickly becomes tired and the strategy becomes less and less feasible. The “Red Team” takes the lead. Clearly seeing that they are going to lose, the “Blue Team” shocks Jeff with a last ditch effort to walk on the sideways barrels to the end. Quickly, Sierra and Mike tumble into one another and the “Red Team” wins. After the challenge, Dan explains that he feels bad for Rodney not winning a single reward. Jeff tells him that he can give his spot to Rodney. Rodney let’s Dan off the hook. They depart. Carolyn confesses that they need to get Dan to be comfortable with their alliance so he doesn’t realign with Mike.
Mike’s awesome strategy for the Reward Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, the losers decide to kill their chicken Rosie. Mike confesses that their strategy was the losing one. He’s already public enemy number one, so he’s got nothing to lose. Rodney confesses that he is miserable and pissed. Everybody has had a break except for him and he needs some Rodney time. Sierra tells Rodney that Tyler is going to win this game. Everyone on the jury will vote for him. Rodney says that they will get him out at the sixth because he doesn’t trust Shirin. Sierra confesses that they can use Shrin’s vote. They need to strike while they have the chance. She tells Rodney that no one would vote for Shirin to win. Rodney confesses that he has the numbers and that he is running the show. Mike and Shirin are going next. Then he will work his magic.
Mike prepares to kill Rosie the chicken. (Image credit: CBS)
On the catamaran, Dan tells his fellow winners that they won because there is “No Mike in Team”. Tyler says that there is no one with them that they need to worry about so they can talk game if they want to. They all agree that Mike needs to go. They get their huge bacon cheeseburgers and joyfully dive in. Tyler and Carolyn continue to make Dan feel comfortable and to vilify Mike. Dan tells them that the boat they are on is fitting and that they need to stay the course. Tyler confesses that it is amazing for him that Dan cannot seem to see beyond the Final 6.
Tyler shows off his silver tongue on reward. (Image credit: CBS)
For the Immunity Challenge, each contestant must hold onto a rope handle attached to 25% of their starting game body weight. As the challenge progresses, the weight will become too much to bear, unspooling the rope, dropping the the weight, and tipping a bucket of water. The last man and the last women standing will win Individual Immunity. Two people will be safe at Tribal Council. Fifteen minutes, Sierra once again falls victim to her own sweat and goes out first. Tyler loses his grip and goes out shortly after. True to form, Will drops out immediately after he sees Tyler drop out. Dan is the next one to drop out, apologizing to his alliance as he does. It is now Rodney vs. Mike and Shirin vs. Carolyn. Shirin tries to fight against Carolyn but Carolyn doesn’t budge. Shirin loses her rope and Carolyn wins the women’s Individual Immunity. Similarly, Rodney tries to fight against Mike but Mike doesn’t budge. Rodney eventual loses her rope and Mike wins the men’s Individual Immunity. Shirin confesses that it would have been epic if she and Mike had both won. She is going to have to scramble.
Rodney gives his all in the Immunity Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, Carolyn, Will, and Rodney agree that tonight they don’t need to freak out. They still have an easy vote in Shirin. Shirin and Dan talk off their own, and Shirin tells him that they are idiots to vote her out. She is not going to win anything or get any votes at the end. Dan tells her that he agrees with her. She says that they should vote out Tyler and that if he had any power in the game he could make it happen. She approaches Sierra and they have the same conversation. The argument seems to resonate more with Sierra than it does with Dan. She confesses that it does make more sense to vote out Tyler than Shirin but she doesn’t have two people to back her. Meanwhile, Tyler takes Dan’s bag and sees the advantage that Dan has. He reveals to Carolyn that Dan has a second vote. Tyler confesses that they are nervous about Sierra and Dan flipping and using Dan’s advantage to vote out Tyler. Mike approaches Dan and makes another plea to get Dan back on his side. Dan is worried that Mike will pull out an idol and get Dan out. Mike tells him that’s a possibility. He suggests that this might be their last chance to get out Tyler. Mike confesses that Dan was once his closest ally but that now that Dan won’t give him a chance he sees who Dan really is. He explains that there are still moves he can make with the idol and he hopes that the chips will fall in his direction.
Mike tries to mend bridges with Dan. (Image credit: CBS)
The jury, Hali, Joe, and Jenn, enter and take their seats. Jeff begins by bringing the conversation back to the previous Tribal Council and the statements she made about her lack of family. She explains that trust is hard to come by in her life. She will share the experience with her boyfriend and her close friends, but that’s fundamentally different than what other people have. Dan chimes in that he doesn’t think it does. He explains that he is adopted and tries to imply that anyone can be your “family”. Your true friends are your family. The other people there find this remark to be highly insensitive and even Jeff calls him out for suggesting that being adopted and having a history of domestic violence are equivalent. Dan tries to explain that that’s not what he meant but makes no ground. Shirin reiterates that people are not sympathetic to her situation and reiterates that Will was truly awful to her. No one is willing to say that what Will said was wrong and that he crossed a line. Wills says that he has no intention of apologizing unless it is sincere.
Shirin accuses her tribe mates of not taking action against Will’s behaviour. (Image credit: CBS)
Shirin explains that we will see the dumbest thing happen tonight as they vote her out. Tyler is a huge threat that they are ignoring. Everyone is going to lose a million dollars because they are not willing to take a risk. Tyler doesn’t look pleased. He says that without his alliance he has no chance of winning. He calls Mike’s loyalty into question and explains that some times the best players in the history of the game have just had to stick to the plan and stay the course. You have to be patient and wait. Jeff says that it makes no sense for people to stick to the six if they know they are on the bottom. Rodney and Dan state that Mike was a part of the alliance but now they are living the consequences of their actions. They are desperate and will say anything to stay in the game. Mike pulls out his Hidden Immunity Idol and tells them that he is playing it for Shirin. The jury cheers. Mike says that Shirin is voting for Tyler and Mike is voting for a random other person. Jeff calls this Survivor Russian Roulette. If they don’t vote Tyler, it could be them going home. They vote. Shirin votes for Tyler, saying “Just sit there and look pretty”. Tyler votes for someone unseen, saying that he hopes this works. Jeff retrieved the votes. No idols or other advantages are played. The votes are revealed: Tyler, Shirin, Dan, Tyler, Shirin, Dan, Shirin, Shirin. Shirin smiles broadly as she becomes the eleventh person voted out and the fourth member of the Survivor Worlds Apart jury. The majority alliance applauds. Jeff says that the votes are not indicative of a tight six and that he is confused by what just happened.
Shirin is sent to Ponderosa. (Image credit: CBS)
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
Dan is not pleased that he was almost voted out. Tyler scrambles to explain his actions at the last Tribal Council. Rodney reveals that he wants to be voted out.
Tyler attempts to justify his vote to Dan. (Image credit: CBS)
SURVIVOR OZ SWEEP!
Another decent episode! Fair bit of stuff happening as always and interesting with the idol play. Think Mike was a bit silly not to play it as he would’ve needed to sway less people over at 7 than he will now, but if he wants to hinge his whole game on winning challenges then I guess that will be his strategy. Shirin was great at the start but not too sad to see her go as she has waned a lot over the last few weeks. Still holding out for a Rodney win although I think those chances aren’t looking as likely! But you never know!
Finally. Its taken until episode 11 but we now have some strategically interesting issues to discuss on Survivor: Worlds Apart. This was easily the best tribal council and probably the best episode of the season so far.
I find it really hard to assess Mike’s move at tribal council. Of course Jeff would love it as its a “big move” and I think on balance he probably did the best he could with the ammunition he had. I haven’t really bought into the story of Mike being this good player and someone I should like, as the editors have done their best to portray, but I think the timing of his move at tribal council did the best job possible to form a rift with the dominant alliance. Based on editing, Mike has to be the favourite to win now – I just don’t see who else has any kind of consistent story throughout the season, and Shirin’s redemption arc was cut weirdly short last night, so I have to guess Mike is the winner. And how will I feel about that? I’m not sure what Mike’s game is. He makes some pretty solid moves but seems to just be generally annoying to a lot of people and not much fun to be around. To me, he’s the new Terry Dietz. Everyone wants him gone, but a combination of an Idol and immunity wins is keeping him around. This time though, I think the Deitz figure will win. So much of the story is told through his eyes, and the sudden anti-Mike switch amongst the players didn’t just happen overnight. This is a result of on-going issues, which editors have largely swept under the rug. Why? Because they don’t want the eventual winner to look unlikeable or unable to play the game well. Mike’s move last night was made to look hugely significant – If the result is a short fight between the dominant alliance, then calm, then Mike’s win seems almost assured. Why else would you blow up this idol play and the predictable departure of Shirin if not to make your eventual winner look better and more influential. Also don’t forget that Mike’s biggest cheerleader is now on the jury and will do everything she can to turn current and future jurors into votes for Mike. Shirin is not a person whose game ends when she is voted out, she will still be playing from the jury box right up until the end.
And of course remember that Mike is making it through the next episode one way or another – he either wins immunity or plays his idol. So can you really see Mike’s story being built up all this time, for him to go at the final 6, or 5? No, he’s either winning (95% sure) or he loses the final immunity and is voted out in tragic circumstances, in the style of South Pacific Ozzy. And you have to ask yourself, if Mike isn’t the winner, who else has a good enough story to be that person?
Of the other 6 people left, I really struggle to make a legitimate case for any of them. Dan and Will are too disliked to win; Sierra is unseen for large sections of the show. Let’s count all 3 out of the running.
Carolyn and Tyler remind me very much of Denise and Malcolm in Philippines. I could see them getting to the final 4 with Will and Dan, with whoever gets through that vote going on to win. I also think that they are the only ones who could potentially beat Mike in a Jury vote, but that’s still unlikely. My main concern with them both is that their edit has been so patchy. They have both said pretty great things and made decent moves, but have also dropped out of the narrative a lot, which is strange if they were to go on and win. Carolyn still has her idol, but given how little it has been mentioned, I kind of think it may just not get used and be irrelevant. Of the two, I would back Tyler as the more likely winner candidate. He has made lots of confessionals about strategy, and shown to be very game aware. He also had his role in the unsuccessful attempt to vote Joe out pre-merge downplayed, with Rodney and Joaquin made out to be the dumb ones there. Tyler’s win is possible, and a couple of strong episodes before the finale could make his overall win more satisfying. I still think he has been too quiet for his win to be considered a great story.
That leaves us with Rodney. This guy is so hard to read from the edit. He has said some really misogynistic things at times, and his demeanour doesn’t really mesh with what producers would show of a potential winner. However, he’s clearly well liked and not viewed as a threat. I think if he can get to the final 3 with Dan and Will, he can win. He could possibly even beat Sierra, as he seems to have better social connections, and is at least viewed as straight up, where Sierra seems to be viewed as a flipper and untrustworthy by others. But I can’t see Rodney beating Tyler, Carolyn or Mike. That’s half the field that can beat him if he sits next to them on day 39, and two of them have idols. I could see Rodney getting to the end but boxing himself in and being stuck next to someone more likeable and much easier to vote for. I think we have been shown that he is socially better than we expected, but strategically perhaps doesn’t see the risk that Tyler and Carolyn pose to his chances of winning. I also think that someone as big and colourful as Rodney would get a much more interesting story if he were the winner – right now he’s very one dimensional, and we get the same type of confessional over and over. There isn’t any growth.
Which all leads me to one thing. Whoever ends up winning, I’m going to be disappointed. Either it’s Mike, which seems so obvious. Or its one of the other six, which would feel unsatisfying. There is an issue with doubt – either not enough to make it interesting (a Mike win) or too much to make it satisfying (anyone else winning). This episode was a definite step in the right direction, and makes me more interested in what’s to come. But the ten episodes before it mean I ultimately don’t care as much as I should.
To be honest, I found this episode lacking. I felt Shirin was the obvious boot and so she went home, continuing the dismantling of the no collars + Shirin in what felt fairly predictable.
The rehashing of the domestic violence issue into another week was uncomfortable to watch for a second week in a row. Dan’s disingenuous ‘comforting’ of her and it becoming a talking point at Tribal once again, just made the issue feel like it defined Shirin, and I would have liked her to go out on a happier note. That’s not Shirin’s fault, and while I think it’s important that shows like Survivor discuss important social issues like this, it’s now defined Shirin’s storyline and there’s obviously so much more to her than that. Because it seemed fairly obvious she was leaving, the episode felt like filler.
On another note, for god’s sake, why won’t Sierra make a move? She’s had so many opportunities, and she’s going to get no respect going to the end riding coat-tails. I have to admit the episode momentum finally picked up at Tribal council, and for a minute did think that perhaps Tyler was going to get blindsided. But again, we have the safe and (probably smart) predictable play. Snore…..
At this point, I’m hoping Tyler, Dan and Carolyn team up to (with the extra vote) to vote Mike out. It just feels to predictable that he will win and I really hope this isn’t the case. I also want Will to go, since he’s just the definition of dead weight in the game, but unfortunately because he has goat potential he’ll probably stay until the end. At this point, now that Shirin has gone, I’d be happy with Rodney, Tyler or Carolyn winning the game.
SURVIVOR RE-CAPPER: LESLIE NEASE
Each week this season we’ll bring you the viewpoint of at least one former Survivor contestant to hear what they think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season! Our recap for the 11th episode features Leslie Nease! She discusses everything that happened during this episode and looks ahead to the rest of the season with her answers to the ‘World’s Apart 5!’
TIP TO WIN: Mike
DARK HORSE: Rodney
NEXT TO GO: Tyler
WHAT TRIBE WOULD YOU BE ON: No Collar
PLAYER MOST SIMILAR TO: Nina
Join us next week as we are joined by another former player to help us recap the twelfth episode of Worlds Apart!
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