Survivor – “With a lot of mud”

Muddy. That’s how I’d describe this season of Survivor. Click through for a recap of the penultimate episode.


Is anyone really playing well? Like, really really well? I admire Tasha and Spencer for winning Immunity Challenges and making it far against terrible odds. When Tasha was eliminated, I thought the person most deserving of a million bucks had left. Now I’m rooting for Spencer, both because it would mean I win the office pool, and because I like an underdog. But let’s be honest – it’s not as though Spencer has been controlling the game or making major moves.

No, Tony has been controlling the game. But that’s not the same as playing well. He’s had the aid of playing with morons and finding lots of Hidden Immunity Idols. If Tony played with a smarter group, I don’t think he’d do well. His game is completely manic, making and breaking promises left and right. There’s no finesse, no skill. Watching Tony play Survivor is like watching a baby knock over a bucket of paint and accidentally recreate a Jackson Pollock.

Then, don’t even get me started on Kass. She might be playing the worst game of anyone who’s ever made it this far. Trish was right – it would behoove Kass to learn a little something about self-awareness. How can she think she’ll beat these people? She’s betrayed people, yes. But worse, she’s entirely unlikable. Giving Trish the finger as she exited was the perfect example of why she’ll never win this game, no matter who she sits next to. You won! You’re still in and your enemy is out! Don’t rub salt in the wound.

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Spencer may have the best shot at winning, if he can make the finals. But the others would be crazy to let him get there. Without Spencer sitting there, Tony and Woo are most likely to receive votes – Tony for running the game, Woo for being an all-around cool dude. If the jury is bitter, they’ll vote for Woo.

Kass’s best shot at winning (laughable as that whole concept is) was sitting next to Tony and Trish. She should have been angling to vote out Woo tonight.

If I were Tony, I also would want to sit next to Kass and Trish. The logical choice would have been to try and convince the others to vote out Woo – I think at least Spencer and Trish would have gone along with it. But Tony is playing an emotional game.

Instead, the result was baffling. Tony did not play either of his Idols. He handed the normal Idol to Probst, but did not use it. He didn’t play the other one, because he’s trying to pretend that it can be used at the final four. Sure, that’s smart – if the others are fooled and don’t try to vote him out next week, I’ll be pissed. But why didn’t Tony use his Idol to save Trish? It doesn’t make any sense. Tony turned on Kass because he thinks she’s an insult to the game. If he wanted to sit next to people he can beat (like Kass), he should have been voting out Woo. If he was voting based on emotion and anger, why not use the Idol to keep Trish in and get Kass out? His strategy landed somewhere in the middle, eliminating someone that was both a handy vote and a person he’d likely beat in the end. I think it was senseless, but I’m interested to hear how you guys interpreted the vote.


Stray thoughts:

  • Kass loves to say “Chaos Kass”, but how is any of this helping her get to the end? Or helping her win the game? Going around repeating conversations and festering paranoia is simply pissing people off. She’s making people like Tony want to vote her out, and she’s ensuring that no one will want to give her a million bucks.
  • Kudos to my guy Spencer for pulling off that Immunity win! Wow. Tony had such a massive lead, but could not pull off the sliding puzzle. (I have a hard time with that kind of puzzle. I just tested myself by doing one online, and I wouldn’t describe myself as “fast”.) Spencer needed the win, and he solved the puzzle to grab it. Very well done – if he can pull it off once more, he’s got this thing in the bag.
  • Watching Tony try to convince Woo that Kass was out and he was now, finally, part of a final three deal was like watching an addict try to score drugs. The guy will swear anything on anyone, and the lies tumble out of his mouth a mile a minute.
  • People are constantly overhearing everyone else talk strategy. DOESN’T ANYONE ON THIS SHOW KNOW HOW TO WHISPER?

tony 5


About Jill

Pop culture junkie. Food lover. Feminist. Content marketer. I'm here to win and I'm also here to make friends.
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3 Responses to Survivor – “With a lot of mud”

  1. Scott says:

    I totally disagree Jill, I think Kass is playing the strongest game! I do agree that her social game hasn’t been the best, but she’s clearly the strongest strategist out there in my mind. I agree with her that telling Woo what Tony had told her whilst Tony was in earshot was a great move. It just showed Woo that Kass wasn’t making anything up. She goaded Tony into revealing that he was gunning for Woo, which I’m sure really influenced Woo’s decision to flip. Plus that llama impression made for great TV.

    I think Kass can beat Woo in a final two. Sure Woo’s much more likeable, but as long as the jury isn’t too bitter, Kass will win. Many of the players this season are super fans so they should respect the game that was played. I’m just hoping so much that we’ll have a final two this season seeing as Trish left on day 36, unlike recent seasons where 5th place leaves on day 37.

    Also whilst that mud challenge was fun to watch it was obvious before they started that Tony was going to win purely based on size. It was about time they had a reward where the winner had to choose a friend though, it always makes for fun strategic discussions.

  2. Alex says:

    It certainly looks like we will have a Final Two, though. Which is somewhat disappointing (even though I like a F2 infinitely more than a F3), because it makes it harder for Spencer to get there. If he does, he’ll win and I’ll be happy. He’s intelligent, hot and I’ve always liked him.

    Funnily enough, I’ve made the same points about Boston Rob winning Redemption Island that you’re making about Tony, but back then everyone looked at me like i was crazy. I’d be unimpressed if he wins, just as I was when Rob won. Kass, I’ve stuck with when she flipped, but she was really ugly, mean and stupid in this episode, so I don’t like her anymore. I’ve no opinion on Woo whatsoever.

  3. says:

    Yeah, I also disagree. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Kass is the least likeable person playing, and she does lack self awareness, but I thought she actually made some smart moves. She played Tony to perfection, and convinced his most loyal ally to turn on him. She also got Tony so riled up and emotional, that he completely messed up with the idols.

    And she reunited with Spencer in a way, and is now is the majority alliance (if Woo, Spence and her stay together) and with just Tony left, I see that happening. So I was actually impressed (despite how crude she was about it)

    I was convinced Tony would play his idol to save Trish, because it was the obvious move, especially having both idols, and not having much time left to use it. So that was just a WTF moment for me, and like the Immunity challenge, reveals how easily Tony chokes under pressure….so I predict his entire game will fall apart the closer we get to the end.

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