I don't really know what more I can say about this season of Survivor that I haven't already said. Fang continues to fail miserably, Kota continues to represent Survivor paradise (despite Dan hoarding the food), and the challenges are still blowouts. I must say though, I enjoyed the return of one of my favorite Survivor challenges, the racetrack with weights, which we last saw in season 10 (except that track was through deep water carrying heavy bags).
Despite that, it seemed this episode was much like the last episode: same crap, different day.
When it came to the Reward Challenge, again, there was no contest. The contest involved a 200 pound snake (fake, although a real one would have made for much better television -- that would have been hilarious, I can't believe the creative team didn't think of that one!) that the entire tribe had to carry around a dirt track. Each tribe started at different ends chasing each other, and whichever tribe caught the other first won reward, which happened to be eclairs and snacks. The challenge started out good, but soon Fang began to fade. Matty (who I am starting to like more and more as the show has gone on) pretty much took up the lead and told everyone who was slacking to get the hell out of the way. Kota followed suit shortly after, leaving only a few strong men on each team carrying their snakes, and Kota ran down Ace and Matty for the win (FTW).
As always, Sugar is sent to Exile to enjoy her comfort food; however, she laments for her tragic tribe. While they're all starving she feels terrible that she is pretty much living the high life. It's not like you chose this twist of fate! I would be loving it on Exile.
In the Immunity Challenge, pairs of two were tied together and wriggled through a wooden beam obstacle course in search of flag pole puzzle pieces. After each team got their pieces they had to assemble them into a tribal flag and raise it, thus winning Immunity. Fang started with a lead, lost it, and then Matty and Kenny regained it, and lost it. Anyway, from my own experience I wouldn't say the physical portion of a joint challenge (by joint I am referring to a challenge divided into physical portion and puzzle portion) really matters; most of the puzzles devised by the Survivor team are so difficult they easily ruin any team's lead. Anyway, Kota won easily, and we're left seeing Ace struggle tirelessly to jam the puzzle together by himself while the rest of Fang caught their breathe.
There wasn't too much strategy leading into Tribal Council, just a lot of bad vibes and rude people. Crystal is turning into an extremely strange character. She's pegged as an Olympic Athlete and has yet to really show any of the qualities that would be associated with that position. She gave up in quite a few challenges and yet still talks up her game. What game? I have no doubt she has a lot of passion, but it seems extremely misdirected (from what we've been shown). Ace as well is turning out to be stranger and stranger the more we see of him. You can't just write him off as an arrogant bastard anymore; he occasionally falls out of accent and exaggerates when he gets mildly injured in the challenges. Is someone putting on a show for the cameras?
Anyway, these two driving forces converged on Kelly and decided it was her time to go. Kelly didn't really have a good social game and pissed a few people off in the tribe, so I don't think Crystal and Ace simply picked her out at random. She was annoying them, and they are the loudest in the tribe (loud in terms of opinion and aggressiveness). Even though there were plots made by Kenny to possibly blindside Ace, the numbers didn't hold up and Kelly was booted.
The preview for the next episode was almost more entertaining than this episode! Jeff announces that both tribes are going to have to vote somebody off. Immediately after, we hear almost every castaway's name mentioned in the scrambling and plotting from both tribes as they scramble to not be part of the double boot. I love how, as it came to a close, Susie responds, "I was gonna vote for you actually!" Susie just made me laugh.
Let's all hope for some chaos next episode!
I think you're right on the money about Crystal and her misdirected passion. She also has a totally overblown opinion of herself. So far we haven't seen her really rock any challenges, and at every challenge it's only Matty who's totally throwing himself into it heart and soul. I hope if/when there is a merge, the strong Kota alliance adopts Matty instead of kicking him off right away. He deserves to go far for sticking it out on such a sad team with very little complaining. Although swearing on your girlfriend's life... not the brightest idea ever. I would be pretty irate if I was his girlfriend. How hard do you think she punched him when they watched this episode together? :D
Paul Little says...
It's probably just the editing, but something tells me Sugar and Kenny have some sort of alliance going on that hasn't been shown on camera yet. The way Sugar basically trusted Kenny's words/opinion enough to take back the Immunity Idol from Ace without giving him a chance to convince her otherwise was great.
Kenny's proving to be a smarter player than I gave him credit for early on. And notice during his stupid "swear on my girlfriend" promise with Ace, Matty made sure to stick up for Kenny. I think those 2 are tight, and with Sugar those 3 could have a chance in an underdog position post-merge (assuming they merge at 7-3, which I'm thinking is a good possibility).
Despite my anger towards him, having Ace around is entertaining, mostly BECAUSE I can't stand him at all. Who would want a season full of only Yau-Mans or Ruperts (or Eriks :P)?
Don't get me wrong; Ace is an interesting character weather you like him or not.