Survivor Cambodia Episode 6 Liveblog – “Bunking With The Devil”

It’s our sixth week of live coverage of Survivor Cambodia.  Follow us on Twitter and Storify!

Wrap Thoughts and Three Up and Three Down:
First off, all the feels for Terry.  What they must have felt like, I cannot even imagine.  Our best wishes go out to him and his son.  Ok but onto the episode.  Two big threads here are Stephen trying to make something happen and not having the collateral to do so and Kass and Spencer reunited and it feels so good.  Also somehow Keith and Joe have yet to go to tribal!  That is amazing.  I think Kass’ decision is a bad one not for purely strategic reasons, but because I think Kass’ biggest job in the pre-merge phase is to reassure people that she isn’t prone to flipping, and her first tribal, she does precisely that.  This won’t just piss Savage off, but the signal it sends to everyone else is not a good one.  I think Kass might have trouble finding people to work with next week.
Three Up:
Spencer (his new nickname should be the cockroach.  He will not die), Ciera (the episode framed the vote as being Ciera’s idea, even if I think it was Abi’s.  But that framing tells us something about Ciera who has been invisible thus far.  Namely don’t piss her off, she means business), Jeremy (every week I think he can’t do better, and he does.  His edit is amazing guys.), Abi’s power of revenge.
Three Down:
Stephen (he is trying so damn hard and I just don’t think he has the social capital to control this game, but on the other hand his edit suggests he is a player, but probably not a winner), original Ta Keo (Monica is the only original Bayon we have lost.  Of original Ta Keo we are left with Abi, Kelly, Spencer, and Kelley), Savage’s confidence.
Savage Corner: Savage betrayed!  Rouse the guard!  Savage is in serious trouble!  On the other hand, the challenge I think showed that his bond with Jeremy is alive and well.  So maybe the impending merge saves him and gets him back to the people he can actually trust.
Matt
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Matt

Matt has an irrational dislike for all contestants named Michel(l)e. Also if he ever takes a strong stance about why everyone else is wrong, it is he that is inevitably wrong.

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
Matt
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258 thoughts on “Survivor Cambodia Episode 6 Liveblog – “Bunking With The Devil”

    1. Tape delay in the house!!!

      [Has actually been in the neighborhood for hours but was waiting for everyone to leave so he could bust open a window to get in.]

  1. Woop Woop, clocks went back in the UK so it’s only midnight, I can stay up and watch live for once!

      1. yeah last Sunday, makes the times difference manageable for watching Survivor live until you guys do yours, when is that again? Although this was way fun so maybe I’ll just always go to bed at 2am on Wednesdays from now on.

          1. I remember when I used to love setting the clock back for an “extra hour of sleep”. Then I had kids. F%@# daylight savings time!!!

          2. Anyone else awake at 5AM trying to do hostage negotiations with a toddler? I was desperate and threatened to not let her have any Halloween Candy…

    1. Ha, I watched at about 3am once I’d finally finished blogging last week. Is it normally 1am to watch live then?

        1. I’m sure I used to know this stuff (probably round about the time I used to take a break in the middle of my essay all-nighters at Uni to download and watch the new episode of Lost in the middle of the night).

  2. The Spurs opening game is pre-empting Survivor tonight. I won’t see it until tomorrow. I worry about Jeremy but I rest assured knowing that Keith will win this season. At eight-o-clock tonight I will go out in my backyard and spit in honor of the unseen game that he has played tonight. Go Spurs!

    Also I will finish Toncantins. Tyson is the best.

      1. There are other sports besides football, you know. Damn Britons and your single-minded footy focus!

          1. If I’m honest Jeremy was a better specimen. He’s built really nicely. Kudos also to Wentworth, Wigles (keeping it tight) and Woo.

          2. I could add one more name to that list, but I would be burned at the stake (rightly), so I’ll just hint at it and allow myself plausible deniability.

          3. Is it Kimmi? I gotta be honest the worst body out there is Keith and for a man of his age he ain’t too shabby…

          1. I find it harder to be so grossed out by the balut having seen the Amazing Race challenge where they had to eat like 6 of them or something. Now I’m all “ONE measly balut? Toughen up!”

          2. Wikipedia says four rounds, each increasing the numbers of balut, but there were only two competitors from each tribe. So I guess 2+4+5 (tiebreaker) balut means Tom and Bobby Jon had to down 11.

        1. At least the insects were probably crunchy? And the frog definitely was. I mean, at least that thing was fried.

          1. Right, but I’m of a similar mind about texture being a big issue. So at least if there was crunch to the bugs, I could focus on that over the gooey insides. With pig snout and brains, I probably couldn’t get past the rubbery thing.

            I can’t even imagine the texture of balut. Crunchy on the outside, semi-solid on the inside? I really shouldn’t spend too much more time thinking about this. It’s unpleasant.

    1. I started playing candy-crush during the immunity challenge and listened to my husband’s reactions. He referred to Kelly Wigglesworth as “K-Wiggles”, btw.

        1. My wife insisted that I turn the volume down, because she didn’t want to hear any gagging or the crunching of bugs.

      1. Wow. That’s lower than what I thought, but I guess Bayon going to tribal last week helped cut that number down.

      2. I was doing some Survivor wiki research and if this next cycle is a three day cycle, Joe and Keith will join the original Tandangs for longest time to avoid Tribal Council.

          1. Thank you. But, we all know the less Keith attends Tribal, the better for everybody else. #sticktotheplan

  3. That shot of Wigglesworth sitting off by herself was like a pictorial metaphor for how she is playing the game this season.

        1. It’s a shame Sue Hawk doesn’t get a second chance at burning Kelly. I’m pretty sure they have more animosity than Kass and Spencer.

  4. You guys the was crazy in all the best ways.

    Favorite mini-moment: as Jeff is talking about tribe unity, Joe starts grinning and sliding his buff down his arm.

    1. Joe has proven to be a superfan. Although it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why Probst would be asking about tribe unity before a challenge.

    2. Great pre-merge episode, didn’t telegraph the winning tribe so the immunity challenge was genuinely tense. Kass was amazing, I want her to win so badly, she won’t now but I’ll be cheering every move she makes. I think undermining Savage’s numbers wasn’t bad, Spencer remains a free agent post merge and he’s got some level of trust in her compared to before. Plus good on Ciera for saying “hell no Savage, I won’t just so as you say”.

          1. Maybe they prioritized people who had done gross food before, regardless of how they actually fared when they did it?

          2. I mean honestly why would they send back Ciera to do a second eat, when others were there. She and Kass struggled more than anyone

          3. I was wanting them to do a sudden death old-school where they were send the “weakest eaters” to eat the last thing-ie Kass/Ciera vs. Kimmi.

          4. Although I like that theory, Savage had done gross food and only had to go up once (that I remember).

          5. Yeah…It just felt weird that Bayon only had Kimmi while Ta Keo had Savage, Ciera, and Wigles with that challenge experience. For a challenge that has been run 14 times, that shows how many of these contestants have never experienced it (aka: it was done mainly in the old school era and these contestants are mostly new schoolers).

        1. I dunno, Kass though? It’s super close and I’m not surprised at all. Ciera has some stuff more stuff than WIglesworth or Woo.

        2. Suck it, John! (Although I agree with Matt that Abi was probably a much bigger influence on the vote than the episode is willing to show us)

          1. I am trying to decide why the show wouldn’t show us Abi tonight, and there might be a very positive reason for Ciera. She is the one that doesn’t get burned by Abi

          2. I wasn’t being aggressive ( i think)
            My sentiment is that Elsa having no chill is precisly what makes her so entertaining.

          3. I realize it was a typo, but I can’t resist making the joke that if anyone has chill, it’s Elsa. (Ok, I’ll let it go now.)

          4. So Ciera is going to be the one who plays with fire and doesn’t get burned? Is she the mother of dragons?

          5. The show probably correctly assumes the viewers are getting a bit of Abi fatigue, and this episode wouldn’t have been nearly as well received if it was framed as Abi burning Woo.

      1. I think this move is really bad for Kass honestly (probably good for everyone else there though). In my eyes, Kass has the one job pre-merge of pitching herself as loyal and predictable and she betrays that on her first vote. It is going to be hard for her to get people to work with her

        1. I’m not sure, if you aren’t expecting a merge weakening Savage’s numbers isn’t bad. Remember she has her Ta Keo 5 to get back to and they won’t mind this move at all. I think if she’d got rid of Savage then she’s undermined herself with original Bayon but Woo was original Ta Keo and not one of her core alliance.

          1. It is like a mafia hit though, you have to kill all witnesses and if you don’t what happened is still out there. If they don’t get rid of Savage pre-merge I think she has a reputation

          2. If she can take Spencer and Abi (god such a bad idea she doesn’t know is a terrible idea yet) to the Ta Keo 5 that’s 7, fuck knows what Wigles is doing, but if they can be 7 strong and take out Jeremy or Savage or Tasha then that’s a good move.

          3. I still think the best thing to do pre-merge is to keep as many possible alliances alive as possible. I think going against Ciera and Abi here preserves more potential alliances in the future

          4. When did we learn Ciera is her ‘key” ally? Genuinely curious here. And frankly part of drawing the lines is either convincing Ciera not to do her plan, or who will be more likely to work with you in the future (and Savage is the unforgiving sort which is a major flaw in the game)

          5. She talked twice about having played with Ciera since day one and being at Ta Keo with her really strengthening that bond.

          6. That’s ok. I’m going to bed now as it’s 1.30am. I’ll be back in about 8 hours when I get bored at work and wanna respond to all of you even though you are all asleep.

          7. I think you are neglecting the reputational game. “Chaos Kass” gets you screen time, but it’s not something people are going to want to keep around. Kass could have quietly voted with the Ciera/Abi group- but at least based on what we saw, she was playing up the drama of it- in tribal as well as confessionals. Kass likes being perceived as a swing vote and that’s not someone you can rely on.

            I think Kass went from very plausible winner to long shot in this episode. But on the other hand…this guarantees she will burn out spectacularly.

          8. I agree with you on Kass as plausible winner but she’s at the bottom of the original Bayon alliance (8th or 9th) and Savage wanted at least Woo to jump her in that pecking order. I can see the logic behind this move, the only person she has spurned is Savage and I’m not sure Savage has as much power over the original Bayon alliance as he thinks. The only Bayon except Savage who should care about this is Tasha. Now do I think this move should automatically put the target on Kass? No. Do I think Kass can play this off in a way that doesn’t put the target on her? Not at all and that’s the problem.

          9. In her favour, the storyline this season has been all about personal growth and fixing your mistakes from your first time playing. If Kass and Spencer’s feud can be said to be a mistake from their past game then they’re both still right on-message.

          10. I think she might have been playing up the drama of it so she could shoot it down with her vote as a way to prove she can look past her personal vendettas and stick with her alliance.

          11. But this wasn’t a “will I stick with my alliance?” choice. She had two possible alliances, both targeting outsiders. Playing it this way rubs salt in Savage’s wound unnecesarily (and by extension alienates Savage’s allies on the other side, certainly Tasha, possibly others like Jeremy and Kimmy who want to work with an Savage-Shaped Alpha shield).

            Which confirms that Kass still loves salt and doing the unexpected, which is bad for her bank account but good for us.

          12. There are nine Bayons still in the game. Adding Woo into the mix makes ten. That’s too many for an effective alliance. If you’re not pretty sure you’re at the top of Bayon, it makes sense to be looking for other options as well, and that means keeping around enough people on the outs who are willing to work with you.

          13. I think Woo knocked Kass and Ciera down to 9 and 10 in that alliance so it wasn’t worth them keeping him.

          14. But have we ever had any suggestion that Kass is aligned with Savage outside of the “Bayon love tribe?” Her important alliance right now is Ciera, Joe, Keith, Kelley and her, and burning Ciera and really, that whole potential alliance, so she can get on the bottom of a Savage alliance makes no sense to me.

            Savage’s only real ally right now is Tasha. Everyone else is in a tighter alliance formed by the 3 tribe system. Kass is burning far more people by turning on Ciera who she had a tight alliance with, than turning on Savage who she did not.

          15. The Bayon Love Tribe is an alliance- we’ve seen that from how the Kimmy/Stephen/Jeremy group talk. Playing up the drama of flipping on an alliance- any alliance- is a foolish move if you have Kass’ reputation for disruption.

          16. I disagree that it’s a real alliance, and even if it is it’s not one that Kass would be in the top 7 or 8 in compared to her top 5 group. We’ll see in the coming weeks I guess.

          17. I don’t think it matters real or not: real: then she’s probably 9 or 10 as Woo has leapfrogged her. Not real: well it doesn’t exist so going against Savage isn’t the end of the world to a not real alliance.

          1. That preview felt like Kass was taking on the Sarah role during the Cagayan merge which she can be the swing boot between all of these different entities and they team up and take her out.

          2. I know they (Tasha?) said that, but that confessional of her saying no one can stand in the way of my second chance is so flipping glaring.

          3. Again because it’s Kass, a character who just had a big episode and is known for the drama it might not be. Let me hold on to this hope.

          1. Uh I love Kass more than almost anyone in this cast. This is a bad move for Kass. But thanks for assuming my bias colors my commentary!

          2. Sorry dude, I can’t not think your commentary is biased when it comes to Savage, and you should know that. I thought you would take the poking in jest, but I guess not.

          3. I guess I didn’t see the joke in what you said. Sorry for overreacting. I think I’ve been pretty good about the Savage joking here.

          4. I will never disparage your rampant bias. It’s the most enjoyable way to watch Survivor.

            Although I do think it’s funny that because of our over-the-top love of certain players, people think we can’t be objective even when we are.

          5. All the commenters have bias we just don’t write about it on a blog. As you know I tend to be defensive about female players because they get such a bad rub with editing and the fandom often dismisses them if there is a man they can fawn over. I dislike Spencer A LOT, which makes it funny I thought keeping him was better than keeping Woo. I am the anti-Matt in that I really really dislike Savage.

          6. I tend to embrace nerds, women, and minorities on this show- just like in real life! And even though I like Savage, I can totally understand what people don’t like about him (similarly, I can see why Shirin rubs people the wrong way even though I love her).

          7. With Savage it’s something I’ve become more intolerant to as I’ve become grown into being a grown ass woman and that is the paternalistic, big alpha man knows best routine. As I told you after your interview with him I found the way he spoke about how he would have dealt with Shirin’s treatment by Will really rubbed me the wrong way, not how he’s have dealt with it but why it wasn’t ok. Seemed very sexist to me.

          8. Yeah it’s also something that’s bothered me more as I’ve gotten older, and talked to women about how much of a problem it is in real life. I’m a nerd but I can navigate that paternalistic world if I need to, so it’s rarely been turned against me. I think it’s one of those things though that you don’t realize is such an issue until you experience it yourself. It’s the secret sexism that’s rampant in society.

          9. the funny thing about paternalistic Savage is that he hasn’t actively targeted a woman yet this game has he? Peih Gee would be the closest, but that vote was driven by Tasha right? Everybody he has had a problem with this season have been the men (and generally the show has depicted him saying that they are a threat like Stephen and Spencer). Now it is the traditionally weaker men (even though I don’t think that applies to Spencer), but I think the interesting thing about Savage (as compared to say Terry) is that both are definitely interested in the whole alpha alliance stuff, but Terry tends to equate femininity with weakness, and Savage has targeted men for being weak. In other words, Savage’s definition of weak is not the traditional Survivor Alpha definition of weak, which has been women. And that is interesting! You might find it equally demeaning, but I think that difference says more than you give it credit for, because while I may agree that Savage is alpha strong, and condescending, I will strongly disagree on the sexist thing.

          10. Well not really Savage’s paternalism does look at women as being weaker. He likes Tasha because she’s an alpha. He talked about wanting to play with Tasha then Keith, Joe and Jeremy. He only kept women because he didn’t have the opportunity to go at the bottom of the Bayon tribe and he and Tasha needed Abi to survive. His brain went straight to Ciera as his decoy as well, not Kelly who isn’t in his alliance.

          11. let look at how two alphas treat women they are allied with closely:
            Savage regards Tasha and he (last episode) as being super close, and she being like a sister. He is admiring of her strength and her savvy.
            Terry says this about Wigles “Wigles is good at challenges for a female”

            Moreover, listen to how Savage talked about Kass (someone most would perceive as “weaker” than Ciera) tonight at tribal. I have seen no evidence of that kass, i trust kass, etc. And the core alliance of Savage’s being Joe, Jeremy, Tasha (remember Keith wasn’t in that initial group), that was Jeremy’s alliance. Savage obviously bought into it no question, but that was an alliance of Jeremy’s creation and yet I don’t hear you calling out Jeremy for this. And I think the important thing to note when saying who created the alliance is we don’t know that that alliance is Savage’s full pecking order, because he sure as hell seemed to consider Abi (again traditionally considered “weak”) as part of his core alliance. I just think you are applying a broad brush that doesn’t manifest itself broadly. People who I think are actually sexist (like Terry) manifest this behavior with all the women they come into contact with.

            Basically I think you are as complicit of letting your bias against him color your thinking as I am in letting my bias for him color mine.

          12. Oh dude, I don’t like Dietz more, way more, than I don’t like Savage; I dislike that Savage’s issues are part of what they use to frame him as a good guy but Dietz’ stuff is sort of just the bad side of “challenge beast Terry”. I don’t think Savage is sexist but I think he comes from a place of extreme privilege that has completely coloured his view of the game (probably the world) and himself.

          13. Also it is weird, because I don’t know why I feel like I have to keep engaging this point with you when I think we agree about 95% of things, and generally have similar outlooks on who Survivor serves well and who it underserves. We disagree on Savage pretty wildly, but I also think we have comes to terms with that disagreement. And I love talking about Survivor with you! I just hate talking about Savage with you because I feel like we are looking at a pane of glass from two sides only my side is white and your side is black, but we talk about it as if it is the same pane of glass. And that is my introspective Stephen moment

          14. This is an amazing explanation. Bias is bias, my first real thoughts on Savage came after your interview with him then when I rewatched Pearl Islands. So my bias is a negative one, your bias is positive, probably formed on the first watch of Pearl Islands when you were a much younger man. Had I watched Savage 10 years ago I think I’d have been more inclined to like him too.

          15. actually I watched Pearl Islands when I got back into Survivor just a few years ago, but it was one of the seasons I first went back and watched, so I had only seen maybe 5 seasons before it. That said, I think my Savage love is formed on two bases: 1) I think the Outcasts twist was unfair and I think the way he went out sucked. Also everyone he didn’t like on Pearl Islands… I also didn’t like. I didn’t like Skinny Ryan, I didn’t like Lil, I didn’t like Fairplay. 2) I think I like seeing when different styles of gameplay do well, rather than only one type of gameplay succeed. So I like when a nerdy strategist like Cochran can harness that and win, but I also like when a challenge alpha like Tom can win. When I watched Pearl islands, I had only seen the challenge alphas fail, and the ones I saw that did go farther (like Ozzy) were total douches. Savage was basically my proto Tom Westman, and had I watched Palau before Pearl Islands, I will be the first to admit that I probably would have seen Savage as simply being not as good as Tom. But watching Pearl first, i saw Tom as the much better at Survivor Savage. Which of course colors things.

            Oh and honestly, I think he is a good guy in real life and I would get along with him. Which might be something we actually do disagree about. But well an articulate lawyer is something that I do have a little experience with in my daily life.

          16. I agree with you on not liking Lil or Fairplay. I think Savage is worse than Tom Westman but also he’s in a bad situation, I’m not sure either had it in them to be able to turn that sort of situation around but I’m not sure Savage could have dominated Ian like Tom did.
            My issue with a guy like Savage is that I’ve met plenty of them, they are basically good guys but they have a view of women and those weaker than them as needing their help and trust me when I say professionally as a young woman you don’t need someone who looks at you through the lens of needing them to protect you. What I see in him is a societal attitude I dislike and it’s like the dude who says “I’m a feminist because I have daughters”, like they didn’t really believe women were equal until they had a female child and realised they didn’t want people treating them the way they’ve seen people treat women. It’s really hard to explain if you’ve not experienced it.

            I also think Savage is probably a decent guy but he’s also not great at Survivor.

          17. In my current job I talk to my female coworkers a lot about all the little things they deal with (as well as the big ones). And the behaviors I see, where people are not acting out of malice say, but a general assumption that women are less, I’m not sure if I would assign them to him, but maybe! I mean i don’t know is my point and i don’t think survivor is an accurate place to judge that, but my impression watching is that he is genuine where many like him are not.

            And i have never argued he is great at Survivor, haha. I think I have been pretty clear about that.

          18. I mean even your profile on this very page says you’re the president of the Savage fanclub! Embrace your bias!

        2. This is only a bad move if everyone was playing like Savage. But people who play like Savage are in the minority this season. Yay!

          1. Great point, also I just don’t see how Spencer is a great move for Kass anyway; it’s a status quo move, she’d still be bottom of the Bayon alliance, possibly knocked down a spot by Woo, she’d still have her Ta Kao 5 but that’s not ok against Bayon + Woo, Abi and Wigles. This way her Ta Kao 5 has a better chance at Abi (for taking out Woo) and Spencer is more likely to play ball with them than Woo would have (Spencer had some relationship with Wentworth at original Ta Kao).

          2. But it does work to Kass’ advantage to not have any large groups that are too tight. If you want to play the swing vote/free agent game, you’ve got to make sure that the tight alliances stay as small as possible so they’ll always need your vote.

          3. I agree but I’m not positive she was playing the swing vote for more than that one vote. She spoke about being strong with Ciera, if her plan is the Ta Kao 5 of her, Ciera, Wentworth, Keith and Joe then Savage, Tasha and Woo rejoining Stephen, Jeremy and Kimmi (and you’ve got to think Wiglesworth) is too dangerous.

          4. This is a fair case for bouncing Woo. I don’t think Bayon is stable and tight enough to make this matter- Stephen’s jumpy, Kimmy wants to stir shit, the Alpha half of the alliance is inherently unstable.

            But the Angkor three of Savage-Tasha-Woo could have easily operated as a solid block for the rest of the game. Breaking that up is good for Kass.

          5. I couldn’t agree more, I think Jeremy/Stephen/Kimmi can split if Jeremy is unmoveable on taking out Joe or Savage. But Savage/Woo/Tasha would have locked in no matter what because Woo and Savage can’t do their own thinking. Savage only wants to take out Spencer because Kass did his thinking for him.

        3. There are two sides to this one: On the one hand, she reinforces her reputation as someone who isn’t a predictable and reliable ally. On the other, she might have been at the bottom of Bayon and known it, so she’s trying to move her way up by picking up people who will have to vote with her to stay in the game.

          But most importantly, if she had voted out Spencer we wouldn’t have gotten more of the Kass-Spencer dynamic that I wanted from this season.

          1. I’m so over the Spencer-Kass stuff, but I love that their Survivor story now includes teaming up to get the guy who voted them both out.

          2. I think seeing that Monica went over Kelly and Spencer told her that “Bayon strong” is nonsense and that the women aren’t high up that pecking order.

        4. It’s tough, because we don’t entirely know what the tribe dynamics were on old Bayon. If it was clear to Kass and Ciera that they weren’t in Savage’s endgame plans, then there’s not all that much to lose in going against him – /assuming/ that they feel assured in their alliance with Joe, Keith and Kelley. Kass is better off preserving her strong alliance with Ciera than going against her just to stay in Savage’s good graces.

          In a 13-person merge, there are going to be enough moving parts that SOMEONE will needs Kass’s vote.

        5. I don’t think Kass cares about the original Savage Bayon alliance though. I think she cares about the middle Ta Keo alliance. And being loyal to Ciera is way more important to her than being loyal to Savage.

          I think that’s why she framed it as “Chaos Kass votes out Spencer, Calm Kass sticks with Woo.”

  5. Andrew Savage’s idea of playing Survivor hard involves lying to precisely one person.

    Edit: Although I did love Spencer’s ‘wait, you mean Savage was lying? To me?!?

      1. Savage tried to pull the same thing he pulled on Lil to Spencer. Never change, Savage! He builds his own downfalls.

      2. I mean, this is always a good guess with Savage but… ego? He said it was going to be one of the “most devastating, unexpeced blidndsides in the history of Survivor,” which is kind of hyperbolic for describing clipping the one guy you have no ties to and who another member of your alliance happens to hate.

        Like, I think this may have been him thinking he was gonna prove not only that he could play modern Survivor but that he could do it better than these young punks. And it blew up in his face.

        1. I think he fundamentally misunderstands “modern survivor” although I think he fundamentally misunderstood Pearl Islands Survivor too. Clipping Spencer wouldn’t have been a even medium blindside, even had Spencer not known. Clipping Kass by going to getting Abi, Woo, Spencer and Wigles on board with him would have been a huge blindside.
          I think in his mind he always thinks he’s better than these young punks, fullstop, I think Survivor is the one thing in his life that hasn’t gone exactly how he wanted it to.

        1. I mean sure, but 1.) don’t go into idol panic because you think there might be idols and 2.) if you think there are idols, don’t do half measures; vote split. If you really think Spencer might have an idol, you can’t just tell him to vote for Ciera, you have to actually follow through and put just-in-case votes on Ciera. What Savage did had all the downsides of any plan that involves announcing to a player that they’re expendable without actually bringing into play the uses of an expendable player.

    1. “I get to keep my old alliance, and bring in my new sub-alliance that no one will challenge, and no one will mind and I get to do whatever I want”

    2. To be fair, the fact that Savage has a reputation for not being a great liar is probably why Spencer was so convinced Savage was on board.

      1. Maybe Spencer’s OS doesn’t allow for multitasking, and so he can’t run his Empathy software at the same time as his Critical Thinking programs?

  6. Congratulations Matt, you must be so relieved. It felt pretty obvious if Ta Kao went Savage wasn’t getting his way. Why in all things holy didn’t he say “guys, tell Spencer it’s Wiglesworth tonight” instead of one of his own?

    1. Because he’s unbelievably arrogant regarding his ability to tell people what to do and have them do it?

        1. No I disliked that too and noted it. But I also don’t believe that that vote was driven by Ciera

          1. yup exactly. But I think the real error Savage made wasn’t naming Ciera, but probably neglecting Abi and assuming he had her.

          2. of course naming Ciera was also quite stupid because Kelly was right there and wouldn’t get mad because she doesn’t notice anything at all

          3. Disagree. The move for it to not be Spencer was Ciera’s. The target being Woo instead of Savage was Abi’s.

          4. That’s what I meant. Ciera was pissed about being the fake out target (rightly, tells her where Savage thinks she is on the pecking order) and when she went to Kass and Abi, Abi said it has to be Woo. That’s what I imagine happened.

          5. I think the deciding factor was probably that it was what Abi wanted, but one wrinkle that just occurred to me – Ciera’s close enough with Wentworth that it wouldn’t shock me if she knew that Woo was a burned bridge for Spencer in a way that Savage wasn’t.

          6. Ciera drove the uprising, but it was Abi’s desire to take out Woo that made it an easy choice of who to target.

      1. He’s still playing his Pearl Islands game on a tribe that had three modern publicly recognized strategic threats in Spencer, Kass, and Ciera. That vote was not going to end well for him.
        NOTE: I am calling Kass a strategic threat because of the way she can turn over votes.

      1. I fully agree. If next week we get a confessional where he says “I have no idea whey they did that” or something similar then he’s not “not very good” at Survivor he is actively bad at it.

  7. Stephen notched a couple of achievements tonight. He wasn’t the first runner-up booted and he’s the last “middle-school” era player left. Good job!

  8. Hurrah, I don’t have a rehearsal tonight so I can actually comment in pseudo real-time! (Sorry, @purplerockemma:disqus )

    So many awesome little moments:
    1) Joe taking off his buff before Probst even told them to drop it. With that grin on his face.
    2) Jeremy going back for that one extra bite of protein…
    3) Kass talking about Spencer’s 0% chance of winning the game
    4) Savage’s “don’t look at me!” shrug.

    Solid episode!

    I loved that Ciera actually recognized that being the “decoy” vote is not a good thing. Not sure if this decision will bite Kass in the ass (hahaha, I rhymed), but I love that they are setting her up to be all double-agent-y with him. Might not be a winning strategy, but I love it!

    P.S. Not only is Danny Strong Jonathan from Buffy, he’s also Doyle from Gilmore Girls. And for what it’s worth, those are two of my favorite TV shows for VERY different reasons.

    1. And Danny Strong is a two time emmy winning writer!

      Savage’s shrug was awesome. that is why I love Savage if people were wondering

        1. not gonna lie, at first I read this as “everything you want to be and never will,” and I was like, wow, really not holding anything back there..

          1. probably accurate though. I know my limitations. model wife and perfect life are not things i ever really foresee for myself (and I’m totally cool with that)

    2. I’ll still never get over the fact that Jonathan from Buffy is a creator of Empire. What a world we live in.

  9. I’m glad that you pointed the Savage/Jeremy high five during the challenge. That should have been a major red flag to both of their tribes.

  10. Is anyone else hoping for some kind of crazy Borneo level plurality vote after the merge? Like 5v4v3v1. It’d be quite exciting!

      1. I’d love like too many “tell them the fake plan” plans out there that loads of people vote for the wrong fake plan!

        1. That’d be awesome for the sole reason that Keith could yell out “STICK TO THE PLAN” and nobody would know what he’s talking about 🙂

    1. You do have three people from SJDS that were involved in the Drew Christy crazy tribal. Anything is possible.

          1. Indeed. Imagine how different that game would be if Wentworth hadn’t swapped to Coyopa with Jon and Missy.

        1. I love SJDS, because I love Natalie’s game. I think I’ve watched the last sequence of episodes (Alec’s boot onwards) three times just to glory in it all over again.

          1. No but he’s a loyal voter, could easily be given a fake plan and stick with it without thinking.

  11. I’ll admit I’m a little confused by Stephen’s edit. We here are predisposed to sympathize with him over the nerd-trying-his-best thing, but I also feel like the producers don’t see it the same way. That we’re supposed to feel that he’s overstepping his bounds trying to take out the cool jocks. They’ve made him look like a doofus this whole time, yet they give him emotional confessionals. Really interested to see how the rest of his story plays out.

    1. I think he’s received a lot of investment from the editors. It’s probably not pointing to a win, but I do think we’re meant to root for him.

    2. My guess is that he’s going to do well without winning, and so the editors are presenting him as someone to watch for anyone who loved Cochran or who would love to play the game but knows, deep in their heart of hearts, that they just aren’t cut out for life on the island.

  12. That was like the platonic ideal pre-merge episode of Survivor. So many funny lines, awesome challenges, Stephen had a moment, the vote went exactly as it should have and nothing of value was lost.

      1. The first five episodes were like the Costco of clueless Woo expressions. I stocked up on a trunk full of economy size, should be enough to last through the winter.

    1. I saw a version with Kass and Spencer’s faces preseason but coudn’t find it when I needed something quick. it is hard to find gifs quick when liveblogging!

  13. I am of course crushed that Woo went down so early (AND YOU WILL ALL BURN FOR FOLLOWING ABI! ALL OF YOU! Except Spencer is totally going to win the game)…but I’m glad that before we went we got Woo and Joe slip-and-sliding REALLY WELL together.

    1. Spencer is totally winning this thing, hisn’t it ?

      That boooooring

      Someone needs to make a gif of Woo sliding, his face was, once again, hilarious

      1. I’ve now spent like 5 episodes blogging about how Spencer has the best winner’s narrative, so I’m now spending every episode simultaneously convinced he isn’t going home, and waiting for the universe to trip me up.

        1. You are not the only one saying that, Several of us have complained about how prevalent the “Spencer 2.0 now with improved OS for a better user experience” narrative has been. And many people have speculate that given the theme /tone of the season the winner will be someone who changed his/her style of playing from last time because understanding your mistakes makes you better, yada yada…

          So that makes Spencer a contender, as well as Jeremy.
          Also Wentworth (?) and Tasha (?)

          Not winning ? Kimmi, Savages, Fishbach, and now Kass.

          1. I’d argue that Kass’s feud with Spencer last time was a mistake, so showing the ability to rise above it this episode actually increases her chances, rather than decreasing them.

            Not many people have actually articulated what their mistakes were all that clearly. Stephen actually came very close this episode by explaining that his mistake was not getting rid of JT soon enough, which puts a lot of weight now in whether or not he’s able to take out Joe (I think probably not).

            Kimmi also talked about being older and wiser, and trying to be more patient. I’m not to sure that Tasha has actually fixed her mistakes – she seems in danger of recreating her Kass problems with Abi instead.

          2. But did Kass reallllyyyy rise above her feud with Spencer? We got multiple confessionals where Spencer talked about doing his best to be civil with Kass, and just as many confessionals where Kass slavered at the thought of voting him out.

          3. The impression I’ve consistently gotten from listening to the two of them post-Cagayan is that Kass is way more interested in continuing the feud than Spencer is, to the point it gets tedious to hear about. It’s all very junior high school in an incredibly offputting way.

          4. It’s strange, too, because she does seem to have actually improved her social game with respect to every other castaway. She’s been kind, interested, and helpful–but as soon as Spencer shows up on her beach she’s just incapable of extending that newfound attitude towards him. Kass also seems smart enough that you’d expect her to be one of the players who treats Survivor as just a game and nothing personal, but when it comes to Spencer all bets are off.

    2. I would be pretty shocked if Spencer won in a jury of anything but complete goats. He’s yet to get in any sort of alliance and keeps getting saved by people having other alliances to fry. He’s basically been a glorified Kelly Wiglesworth so far.

      1. We’ve gotten large swathes of the cast giving speeches about how they LOVE Spencer. I think he has lots of votes in play.

        More generally, nobody is winning this season based on their pre-merge gameplay. The winner will either be someone who makes good moves going forward, or someone sitting next to an entirely unpalatable (Abi) winner.

          1. He’s done just enough to give people reasons to vote off someone else over him the last three times he’s been to tribal council. When you’re on the bottom, sometimes that’s enough for now.

          2. That’s the key. He doesn’t have to be in pole position right now. The only time he needs to be in that spot is in a final tribal council.

  14. I completely agree with Matt that this was a bad move for Kass, not because she did not vote out a bigger threat in Spencer, but because she seemed to be playing up her as being the swing vote. She clearly relishes that role in survivor and if she really wanted to change her play this time, she needed to be a loyal number. Only then she would get the benefit of being overlooked after a merge and could then make it to the end game and then make her move. As it is, even if she wanted to stay loyal with Ciera, I think she should have told her to shut this plan down and kept Bayon members strong on that tribe

    1. What if changing up her play meant reconciling with Spencer rather than allowing herself to be blinded by old feuds?

  15. I know I said the season could tank after Varner exit but this episode gave me hope. It was pretty fun and overall good episode. Kass regardless if the vote was good for her or not, was pretty good in her confessionals and general disdain for all things Spencer. Merge with 13 is going to be interesting, some players/characters will get lost in the crowd, so let’s see which arcs start, persist or finish.

  16. As shameless pandering to production goes, Jeremy’s bite of balut was top tier. I love his sense of showmanship.

  17. Did anyone else think Kimmi intentionally dropped the chicken into the fire? It’s not like she has to worry about Alicia waving her finger in her face.

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