The thirty-second season of Survivor, Kaôh Rōng, barrels forward as we bring the pre-merge to a close. After an entertaining sixth 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 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 a surprise switch, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng went from three tribes to two tribes. Julia was forced to go to Brawn beach alone to fend for herself until she could join the tribe that lost Immunity. Over at the new Chan Loh tribe, it was an even split. Debbie didn’t waste any time forming relationships. At the new Gondol tribe, the switch left the Brains with the numbers and the Beauty with good reason to worry. At the last Immunity Challenge, the new Gondol tribe lost. Back at camp, the fate of the Beauties was left in the Brains’ hands. Sensing trouble, Tai considered playing his idol. At Tribal Council, Tai kept his idol, and the Brains tribe found Anna to be their biggest threat. Twelve are left. Who will be voted out tonight?” ~ Jeff Probst
Back at camp, Tai thanks his tribe for keeping him over Anna. They tell him that he is a good guy who contributes a lot. The tribe agrees to not go back to Tribal Council. Peter confesses that everything is up in the air now. He is thinking about his next step, and he might be willing to make a move against his Brains tribe mates. He approaches Tai and tells him that Brains betrayed him by voting out Liz. He tells Tai that he plans to target Joe.
Peter tells Tai that he is willing to make a move. (Image credit: CBS)
The next morning, Nick confesses that he has a nervous energy that keeps him constantly thinking. We see him spending some time and apparently bonding with Debbie. He confesses that Debbie needs to be heard and listened to. She wants people to step up to the plate. He needs to be whoever she admires, which is herself. Debbie confesses that Nick looks like a Greek god due to his angular features. She reveals that she can say this with authority because she has been a model for years and years. Nick and Debbie bring tree mail back to the tribe, which reveals that the challenge has a basketball-shooting component. While they are nervous about the other team having a professional NBA player, Scot Pollard, their secret weapon is high school veteran point guard, Nick.
Debbie and Nick return with tree mail. (Image credit: CBS)
For the challenge, each tribe must send someone out to untie and release a net of buoys. The rest of the tribe must then get the buoys out of the water and back up onto the beach. Then one person from each tribe must shoot buoys into a basket target. First person to shoot ten buoys into the basket wins a Survivor picnic for their tribe. Before the challenge, Julia returns and joins the Gondol tribe. Michele begins the challenge for Chan Loh, while Aubrey begins the challenge for Gondol. Michele has significant trouble releasing her buoys, which sets the Chan Loh tribe behind. Gondol keeps this earned lead for the duration of the challenge, thus allowing Scot to begin shooting baskets first. He struggles initially and allows Nick to come back and overtake him. It looks like Nick will easily win the challenge but soon he begins missing shots and allows Scot to retake the lead and claim victory for Gondol. As they leave, Scot congratulates Nick on putting the pressure on him.
Scot wins reward for Gondol. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, the Gondol tribe enjoys their picnic feast. Julia confesses that it was good to enter the tribe on good vibes. She also confesses that she knows she is probably next to go and made it her mission to quickly assess the tribe dynamics. Peter confesses that he doesn’t perceive Julia as conniving, which is someone he wants to work him. He approaches her and tells her that he is trying to figure out when he can get rid of Joe and Aubrey, with Aubrey as the bigger target. Meanwhile, Peter and Aubrey look on. They are incredulous that Peter would be so obvious in trying to make connections with people from other original tribes. Aubrey calls Peter a dope and confesses that she needs to consider getting rid of him before he becomes dangerous.
Aubrey and Joe watch Peter befriend Julia. (Image credit: CBS)
At Chan Loh, Debbie and Neil console Nick, telling him that he did a stellar job at the challenge. Michele confesses that it has been a bad day for her game. Her number one alliance, Anna, went home, and she lost the challenge for Chan Loh. She feels that she has to start over and will use her social skills to build herself up. She approaches Debbie in an attempt to make a stronger connection with her. Debbie tells her that she wants a women to win the game and doesn’t like how lazy Jason has been around camp. Michele tells this to Nick but he is non receptive and patronizing. In a very belittling way, he explains to Michele that she is the target and they cannot trust Debbie or Neil. Nick confesses that he has to coach Michele to think about the game in an intelligent way. Michele confesses that she would never let a man talk to her like that in the real world but for now he will let him think that he is in control.
Nick condescends to Michele. (Image credit: CBS)
Two days later, Peter tells Scot that he wants to get Aubrey out. He also mentions that Joe is bossy and eating all their food. He calls himself a free agent. Joe once again sees Peter doing this and he tells Aubrey that he plans to broach Peter. He confronts Peter and asks him if Peter has been targeting Joe, “yes or no”. Peter dances around the subject, deflects, and then ultimately says no. Joe walks away looking disgusted, and he confesses that they have to get Peter out if they lose the next challenge.
Joe “broaches” Peter. (Image credit: CBS)
For the challenge, the tribes must navigate a series of obstacles. Then two tribe members must use poles to knock blocks out of an overhead net. Then the tribes must stack all the blocks on on top of the other. The Gondol tribe is aided significantly in the obstacle course by Scot’s height. Peter and Scot extend the lead for Gondol by quickly knocking down the blocks while Jason and Nick struggle for Chan Loh. Peter suggests that Gondol build the stack of smaller blocks first and then lift them, placing the bigger blocks underneath. Chan Loh stacks the big blocks first and then stands on one anothers’ shoulders to place the higher small blocks. During the process, both stacks fall and both tribes are set back significantly. As the blocks fall, one block hits Joe’s head and he begins bleeding. The challenge continues, however, and Joe reports that he is fine. Chan Loh is the first to successfully build their stack, making up for all their lost time in the first two-thirds of the challenge.
The immunity challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, Tai laments that they did nothing wrong. They were only a second behind. Aubrey confesses that it is not the right time to get rid of Peter because it will give the numbers to Tai, Scott, and Julia. She explains this to Joe and he understands and agrees, but this means that Joe will have to mend allegiances with Peter. He approaches Peter and tells him that they need to stick together. Peter agrees. Scot approaches Peter to see if Peter is still willing to make a move, but Peter says that because his spot was blown up he can’t do it anymore. Julia tells Scot and Tai that Aubrey and Joe would be crazy to keep Peter. She knows that she has to do something to keep herself from going home. She tells them that Joe is loyal so they will have to try and convince Aubrey. Tai and Aubrey approach her and tell her that Peter was specifically trying to target her. This makes Aubrey nervous and she asks Joe if they should vote for Peter after all. Peter refuses, suggesting that Aubrey is being neurotic. They have the plan set, he is not budging. Aubrey confesses that she is in a lose-lose situation.
Joe shuts down Aubrey. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff begins Tribal Council by asking Julia about the vibe of her new tribe. She explains that the tribe is split, but controlled by three Brain members. Aubrey says that the dynamics in the tribe are very complex. Jeff then asks Peter about the challenge strategy, and Peter takes full responsibility for the decision. Jeff ask Aubrey if this is a reason to vote Peter out. She says “sure” but there are other things to consider about Peter given his behavior in the last few days. Julia asserts that Peter was the first to approach her with game talk. Scot says that there are people in the tribe who cannot seem to make up their minds, which creates distrust. Aubrey says that she tries to be as logical as possible, but the numbers are shaded by gut-feelings about what people are saying to her. Aubrey turns to Scot and quietly asks him “Her or Peter?”. Scott replies, “Peter”. Jeff asks Peter if he is aware that people are talking. He says that he is but he cannot hear them. He says that they look like piranhas, and Tribal Council is alive and full of energy. Scot then loudly addresses Julia, saying “Original plan.”. She says, “okay”. Aubrey turns to Joe to see if he is still voting for Julia. He is.They vote. Peter votes for Julia, saying that he is cool as long as his name is not written down. We see Aubrey write down Julia and put the cap back on the pen before pondering her parchment. Jeff retrieves the votes. No idols are played. Jeff reveals two votes for Julia and four votes for Peter, including Aubrey’s – with Julia’s name scratched out and Peter written in its place. Peter’s torch is snuffed and he departs without a word. Jeff says that there was clearly a lot of uncertainty with the vote. He assures them that more uncertainty is on the way.
Peter is the sixth person voted out of Kaôh Rōng. (Image credit: CBS)
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
“The merge has everyone scrambling for power, but who will rise to the top?” ~ Jeff Probst. (Image credit: CBS)
SURVIVOR OZ SWEEP!
Even when the outcome seems obvious, this season has made nearly every Tribal Council decision a difficult one. In many seasons the editors kind of go through the motions to create drama out of nothing before a vote goes exactly as planned. But not only does the conflict seem real, the results at Tribal Council back it up. In the first six players voted out we’ve seen at least three who were either preseason favorites or showed promise during their short time in the game. I definitely see this continuing into the merge, especially with 4 Brain 4 Beauty and 3 Brawn remaining. I will say this though that regardless of tonight’s outcome and whether or not Brain merged with 4 or 5 they would be in trouble. It would’ve been worse at 5 because with 5 original Brain members in an 11 player merge, that prompts the other six to have to vote together. With 4, they don’t seem that menacing. And we’re starting to see a new trend, possibly a new evolution in strategy. Instead of letting the Shambo and Lisa’s of the world get far despite being outsiders, you vote out the extra numbers you don’t trust such as Drew, Monica, and Peter so they can’t haunt you later. If it worked for Natalie Anderson and Jeremy Collins, it might work again. But there’s still a long way to go. Signs still point to Brawn and Beauty teaming up because of Scot’s ties with Jason and Tai, but anything can happen in Survivor.
This season just keeps getting better and better. The episodes just seem to continue to add on to each other week by week and well this week was one of the best.
Let me start out by saying that in this episode we really got to know the up to this point minor characters a lot more. Nick, Michele, Joe and Julia all had more or as much screen time in this episode alone as they have had in the previous 5 episodes up to this one. It was great to have the bigger characters like Jason, Scot, Debbie and Tai being more in the back seat to let these before minor characters have a lot of screen time.
Nick I said early in the season was my least favorite character, still is in some ways but this episode he had a lot of good moments. He almost beat the professional basketball player at his own game and was winning for most of it. Michele had a lot of red herring confessionals in this episode. She kept saying stuff like I am not going to give up and she just assumed because she messed up a reward challenge, which most tribes forget by immunity time, and it was not the greatest episode for her on any accord. Her one saving grace is possibly the fact that Debbie said she wants a woman to win. Other than that I would have assumed that if Chan Loh went to tribal that Michele would have been voted out because of her attitude.
On Gondol it wasn’t really anything special before the immunity challenge. Yes we finally saw a lot of Joe because of his fight with Peter. I don’t know why the brains were targeting Julia because she’s the easy target, I mean that is the reason why you shouldn’t target her. I mean the merge is coming soon so why not target a bigger threat like Tai or Scot, which would have made more sense. I think that Joe and Aubry are playing great games but I just feel that targeting Julia wasn’t the greatest move.
The immunity challenge was so good, it was a unique way to have this challenge, it is similar to the one in Samoa but it is not and it is refreshing to get a challenge that requires a lot of teamwork. I thought that Gondol should have had Tai on Scot’s shoulders a long time before they actually did it. They have the tallest guy in the game and if they had just used him earlier then they could have easily won that challenge. Chan Loh did a good job of coming from behind and they easily had the better teamwork.
Post challenge was insane to say the least. I mean Julia and Tai did the best thing they could do and instead of trying to work with Peter, turn to the one brain who thinks about the game more logically and try to get her to flip. That was easily the best move they could have done.
Tribal council was even more insane. I love that they were showing us all of the little conversations that were going on between each tribe mate. I mean when you saw the votes and of course they show Peter and Julia voting for each other but then you saw Aubry vote for Julia I was like, ‘dang, so if anyone flips against Peter it would be Joe’ the votes were read and the second Julia vote that we saw looked a lot like the one Aubry wrote but then Jeff reveals the final vote and I never would have guessed that Aubry had flipped and just crossed Julia’s name out. If you ever want the best example of a viewer blindside that probably isn’t a player blindside, this one would be it. I feel that Peter wasn’t surprised that he got voted out but I was surprised on how he got voted out. I mean I didn’t expect Aubry to switch her vote after already writing Julia’s name down. It was insane. We are finally starting to lose some of these bigger characters and I hope that happens and we have similar to a San Juan Del Sur where someone you would have never guessed to be the winner in the beginning becomes the winner because I don’t want an obvious winner in this season and well I don’t think that we are getting a ton of obvious winners edits at the moment so it is looking good.
SURVIVOR RE-CAPPER: BILLY GARCIA
Each week this season we’ll bring you the viewpoint of at least one former Survivor contestants to hear what they think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season! Our recap for episode 6 features our good friend Billy Garcia from Cook Islands! Billy discusses everything that happened during this episode as well as looking ahead to the rest of the season with his answers to the ‘Kaoh Rong 5!’
Join us again next week as we recap and discuss the seventh episode of Kaôh Rōng!
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