The Survivors left in Gabon have a lot of potential for some great television at this point. Finally the players are starting to lose their inhibitions and start viciously playing the game! Yes! Kenny is stepping into a power position by running the Fang underdogs around while the "Onion Alliance" struggles to keep its head above water. Sugar, although having no direct alliances, is coasting through the game easily as the swing vote but may potentially shoot herself in the foot by siding with the wrong people. After a few weeks of initial boredom this season is still building towards a more powerful end. Here's some of the highlights from this episode.
Bob is pretty ticked that Marcus left last time, and his frustration sets in quickly. He has a feeling he's next to go seeing as the old Fang members have the upper hand. Early on in this episode I was rooting for Bob to find a way out of this mess, I don't want him to leave anytime soon. He's just too cool and too nice of a guy, even though we all know Survivor doesn't reward "being nice".
Both teams arrive at the first challenge, and the looks are priceless from New Fang once they realize Marcus was voted out. Corinne, Sugar, and Charlie are shocked, while Matty grins happily. Awesome! There's a definite rivalry between the two camps heading into the final episodes. This will be good.
The Reward Challenge, which determines who will go on a tribal feast reward and who will be sent to exile, is a slingshot golf course with three holes. Utilizing the gorgeous landscape of Gabon (the entire place looks like a beautiful alien landscape, covered in rock formations and interesting wildlife) we see the tribes compete evenly.
Its tied up and comes down to one final hole, which ends up giving us an awesome look into the tribal dynamics of New Fang. Randy, who is always right begins arguing with Matty as they attempt to launch the ball into the hole that is, literally, an inch away. You could have dropped the ball out of the slingshot and they would have won, but instead they both fought it out for over a minute about how to do it. It was really funny and pointless to watch, and serves as a great example of how much stress the players are out there. Even the simplest tasks under the Survivor conditions (limited food, water, social interaction, etc.) is aggravating.
Fang wins and enjoys their tribal feast (and tribal dance, with Matty and Randy getting it on with the natives) while Kota sends Bob to exile, knowing he's the odd man out. "I'm History,.. even though I teach Science" he says. Poor Bob, he didn't choose comfort and instead decides to look for the idol which all the viewers know isn't there. After searching in vain he decides he can't go away empty handed and decides to pull a Yauman and create his own fake Idol. I have to say, coming from a background of art, Bob creates one of the most convincing idols I have ever seen! Next to the infamous Ozzy "Stick" from Micronesia, Bob's idol is a work of inspired genius. The sap, the colorful beads, everything about it passes as the real deal. If I found Bob's Idol out there I would have used it for sure, and hopefully Jeff Probst would have difficulty telling the difference is it were used at tribal.
Lucky for Bob things played into his favor! At the following challenge for Immunity Jeff Probst announces the teams are finally merged! Everyone is overjoyed and old Fang members and old Onion layers rejoin, feeling overly protected in their reformed alliances. That shouldn't last too long.
Jeff tells everyone to knock it off, there's an Individual Immunity necklace to be won! To make things interesting Probst announces we're getting back to individual basics, and nothing shows that more then being able to make a fire. That's the challenge; make fire and burn through a rope. Everyone gets to work and Susie comes out of seemingly nowhere to win the thing! Sugar makes an attempt, but is nowhere close to catching up with Susie. A lot of people I watched the show with were surprised by this," How the hell did Susie do that? Was this edited?" When looking back on things, this actually makes total sense. Cirie from Survivor Micronesia would have smoked everyone in this challenge too, seeing that the majority of the time she tended to the fire. Susie and Cirie I would imagine had similar camp roles on their respective seasons.
Oh, and the merged tribe is dubbed, "Nobag" which happens to be "Gabon" in reverse. Nobag? C'mon guys, why not get a little creative with the tribe name, it's gonna be on the screen the rest of these episodes, it might as well be something funny or awesome sounding.
Everyone arrives at camp, and before anything can get done the cliques split up and start their chatter. The Kota/Onion Alliance (Charlie, Randy, Corinne, Bob) decide to target Crystal, while the old Fang members (Matty, Kenny, Susie, Crystal) unite and discuss who they're after. Sugar remains on the outside, although she was edited as siding with the Onion members and later being tempted by Kenny on her way to tribal.
Kenny (who there is much to be said about) decides to make a rumor up about entirely based on the way he felt about Charlie to get him out of the game. Kenny lied and explained to his old Fang members that Charlie was the mastermind over at Kota and he needed to be next to go. It turns out that everyone fell for it. For no real reason at all, Charlie was targeted and eventually booted from the game. I like Kenny's strategy, but I don't think I would like Kenny as a person. You never know until you actually meet them in person, so hopefully I will find out soon enough.
At Tribal council it seemed pretty straightforward despite talk that Charlie was also being targeted. The conversations at Tribal were pretty confrontational, Randy and Crystal tearing into one another while most of the rest sat calmly by not saying too much. I don't know if anyone else picked up on this but Randy may have run into some iffy territory with his comments about Crystal's "boy" GC and their "posse". It is National Television but I guess if Randy doesn't care I shouldn't either.
As the votes were finally read the Onion Alliance was shocked to see Charlie go, and Charlie never saw it coming, having a smile on his face all the way until his first vote was revealed. Sugar began tearing up, possibly realizing she had made the wrong decision or just felt physically sad that she had just voted out Charlie. Charlie left, and actually felt pretty good about the whole thing. He got blindsided, which he felt was an honorable Survivor exit, and gets a lot of personal time at Ponderosa with his boy Marcus. Yikes!
I can't wait for next week! I had a feeling this season would end in a lot of bitterness and confrontation, and I feel like that's where its all headed. Randy, who is obviously displeased with the vote, goes insane and starts shaking things up around camp. I can only hope he calls people nasty names and verbally attacks Kenny.
There's something about me that really enjoys the freedom Randy has; his ability to say exactly what he feels and wants to say despite pissing everyone else off is pretty awesome. He's real, and I can't wait to see the damage he does.
Oh God this episode kicked it up a notch!
I agree about Kenny. I really liked him but when Randy said that he's not the same Kenny he saw the first couple of days, and the blantant lying and manipulation is getting pretty nasty.
And that reward was amazing. First time I've ever wished I could compete! Even the pent up mole Corinne managed to show she had a heart and held that child's hand. I wonder if she ended up eating it.
I don't know, I think Nobag is plenty funny. I wondered if Kenny also thought so and somehow managed to trick these people's starving, thirsty brains into calling their team something so ridiculous.
Paul Little says...
I like Kenny... I don't think his lying is being "mean", but rather a young videogamer geek who's coming out of his shell and realizing that he can't just be the "nice guy" to win Survivor. I think it was DUMB to target Charlie rather than Randy (seeing as how everyone hates Randy -- plus Sugar REALLY hates him, and she was the one whose vote they needed). I hope they target Randy next just to please Sugar, because if Kenny et al don't, then Kenny is for sure the next to go.
And why do I see myself pulling for Sugar? I never thought I would when the show began, yet here I am, hoping she somehow makes it to the end.