Episode 2 – ‘Where There’s a Will There’s a Way’ OR ‘Getting Figgy With It’

SPOILER ALERT: The following discussion contains spoilers for episode two

If you’re yet to read my analysis of episode 1, you can do so here. 

Our slightly odd couple. Watching their relationship develop is beautiful and heartwarming. A true Survivor love story.

Episode two is in the bag and much like a specially marked coconut, it was chock full of gameplay. But the headline everyone’s talking about is Taylor and Figgy sitting in a tree.

Love Goggles

Jeepers creepers, where’d you get those peepers?


It’s been a while since we’ve had a survivor ‘showmance’, (ugh, let’s make that the last time I use that portmanteau). Fig-Tay outing themselves as a thing brought total drama island to Vanua camp. Whether it was the “mackin’ in the shack” that for some reason turned Michaela against Figs or something else we don’t know. Their altercation seemed to come out of nowhere. Someone who certainly wasn’t happy that his boy was bailing on him on bowling night was Jay. Though again, I’m not sure how much of this was personal and how much was strategy, give me your thoughts in the comments. Regardless, it was clear there was a lot of uncertainty in the camp. The cool kids aware that they only had four, and it seemed that any animosity, disrespect or mistrust directed toward Figs was enough to put her head on the chopping block. A quick aside. I am a little confused that any fallout from the tainted kiss was not directed toward Tay. Millennials or not it seems to me that the patriarchy still has life left in it. Anyhow, for mine it appeared that Mackfest 2016 certainly precipitated the strategy that was to come.

Casual Hook-ups

I’m like totally serious dude, like Mari’s totally gonna vote you out man. Bummer. If only there were a way we could stop her from doing that. 

So Adam and Zeke don’t realise that Jay is in on the cool kids? That doesn’t seem right. Or are they just so naïve that they don’t realise just how tight he is and that he will talk to his Triforce (which incidentally has now been renamed a ‘trifecta’ yet still seems to have four people in it. Let’s stick to the one moniker please Jay, you’re making me do extra work here). So Jay talks to Michelle, who points out to Jay that this will flip the numbers (d’doy) and seemingly gives him the job of getting *cough cough* Michaela and Figs to kiss and make up (Figs’ lips be working overtime this episode). img_0793And props to him for making that happen, coming up with a story that Mari was going to vote Michaela next after Figs. Michaela being Michaela she does zero fact checking on this (I’m already confident enough to make my first prediction of the season, Michaela won’t win). All of this results in Michaela voting with Figs, yet there’s clearly still animosity between them at tribal. Had Michaela done any fact-checking then I think things would have shaken down a little differently. Not that I’m saying Michaela’s vote would have necessarily changed, she could assume that Mari was lying to her if she checked with Mari. But had she checked with Mari, Zeke, Adam or Hannah, there’s no doubt that one of those guys would have talked to Mari, and Jay (and/or Michelle) would have been outed as a snake and the not-cool kids (everyone outside of the triforce and Will) would have galvanized. Meanwhile, Michelle is working on Will as he seems to be a floater, and of course we learn later that he votes against Mari. Whether it was by design or accident, Hannah is asked to flip while in Council. If this was by design then this was very clever. Had they approached Hannah earlier then there’s a big risk that she would have informed the rest of the not-cool kids. By doing it at tribal, Hannah doesn’t have that opportunity. It also means she doesn’t have time to think about it. It turned out that both Will and Michaela voted Mari and so the cool kids didn’t need Hannah’s vote. So Mari goes and Figgy stays (7 votes to 3).

Walking in with The Bunny


I know this isn’t Figs. But if you’re anything like me you much prefer to be reminded of David’s antics than look at Figgy.

So I’ve heard it said and read it written over the past week that Figgy is the second coming of Parvati. I for one was all set to give her the nickname ‘Parvatwo’, unfortunately, we didn’t actually see any gameplay from her tonight, so I have to reserve that handle until I see that she has really earned it. Or is it that she’s got things locked in so tight that she doesn’t even need to play hard, she can have her minion do it for her? I suspect it’s somewhere in between, that she actually did have some strategic conversations of her own to try and save herself, we just didn’t see them, as it was more fun to watch Michelle and Jay (JayChelle?) do it instead. Where to for Figs from here? Well, it’s pretty clear that she has a really strong four, and with the other five seemingly fractured things are looking pretty tidy for her. I imagine that there will be some fallout directed toward Hannah from the not-cools, and we don’t know exactly where Will fits into all this, but as long as she can keep her four tight and bring in just one other, she should survive at least a couple more tribals.

Will has Grace 

There’s something fishy about your proposition. Nope, you just need a shower woman.

The young Will it seemed had plans other than voting out Mari until he was approached by Michelle. Whether these plans were because of an alliance with Mari and/or the other not-cools or just borne of voting Figs as it seemed where the numbers were going is unknown to us. Either way I thought he showed great openness and honesty and dependability in saying to Michelle that he had to think about it as flipping his vote so close to tribal could mess the flow of his game. It seems he is in a pretty good position now then. Voting with the cools but having not necessarily given his alliance to them, he could easily flip back to the not-cools if it suits him. He’ll have to play this position smartly though lest he come off as wishy-washy and bad for both groups’ games. His deliberateness and patience will only get him so far before it is seen as volatile. He might soon have to choose an alliance and tell them he’s with them, or more entertainingly, tell both the cools and the not-cools he is with them and choose one at tribal. Which would be the best for him. Hard to say without knowing the fallout from Hannah’s and Michaela’s decisions to vote Mari. He’ll need to keep a close eye on where those numbers go, and follow them. Perhaps forming a duo with Hannah is a good move, a solid two is a more attractive recruitment proposition than an indecisive one. Also gives the two of you more power within that alliance of four or five.

Best Version of Myself

I just met you, and this seems wiggy, but here’s some sugar cane, please vote out Figgy.

Based on the “next time on…Survivor” scene, it looks like Zeke and Adam are pissed that Hannah flipped her vote and left them in the lurch. Zeke this is not the “best version of yourself” anymore! Damn I hope they don’t go too far with this. That could be just enough to nudge Hannah into the cools, and if the cools are smart they’ll scoop that up that number pronto. Zeke and Adam really are in a tight spot now, I can see that they’ll have to scramble if they wanna stay alive in Vanua. That means, first of all, staying tight with Hannah. I don’t think this is outside the realms of their capability, but they’ll have to play softer than telling her how pissed they are at her. And unless they can get Hannah, Will, AND Michaela voting with them, they are in a lot of trouble. This is a pretty tall order. The only other option I see for them is to get Jay on board and I see that as a much longer shot. I guess it’s possible that they could convince Jay that Figgy is a threat to TayJay and that Jay could use them to break up Fig-Tay. I can’t see it happening though. Good luck not-cools. Speaking of not-cools…

Put de Idol in de Coconut, Seal it on up.

Our hero keeps his head above water for another episode.

Tonight was another great episode for David. From finding the hidden immunity idol (nice one production, that was kinda cool), to his unlikely alliance with Ken, to starting fire, everyone’s favourite skinny white bald man got plenty of airtime. We saw him come up with a great cover story for his idol expedition, ok maybe it wasn’t that great, but he’s trying, and it worked and that’s what counts. A really genuine piece to camera about how Paul’s health issues are good for his game. Other than David there really wasn’t anything happening over on Takali, and I’m just fine with that I’m really growing to love The David Show.

Until next week, I got nothing else for you. Head back to camp.

Episode 1 – ‘Gen X-Wings vs Millennial Falcons’ OR ‘It’s a TARP!’

SPOILER ALERT! The discussion below contains spoilers of season 33 episode 1.

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Welcome to the 33rd seasons of Survivor US, also known simply as Survivor. We have two tribes Vanua (Millennials) and Takuli (Gen – X). Though I think production may be playing a little fast and loose with their tribe definitions (I’d love to know the age gap between the oldest millennial and the youngest gen -x’er (someone can google that for me)) they are certainly playing any perceived differences between these arbitrary definitions for all they can. Regardless of real, imagined, or manufactured differences between these tribes, so far it looks like we’ve got some cool characters this season and at least one interesting twist ahead.


“Um excuse me Jeff, can we get our personal items before we evacuate, I’d hate to leave a legacy behind”

So the legacy advantage is an unknown advantage for the holder on day 31? Did I get that right? The finder of the legacy advantage must ‘will’ it to another player should they leave the game. I couldn’t begin to speculate on what that advantage may be, the possibilities are endless. And I would argue that the fun of this particular twist is not in the revealing of the advantage, but in following its travels from person to person and seeing how they use it. It looks like we may have already seen it trying to be leveraged by Jessica (good work spotting and hiding that by the way Jessica!). Did anyone else think that when David approached her and told her that he didn’t have a hidden immunity idol that she was going to suggest pooling of advantages? Is that where we were supposed to think she was going with that? Can’t wait to see how this advantage is going to be leveraged throughout the game and if people are going to try and find sneaky ways of getting their hands on it once they know about it. The other question we have is how does the ‘willing’ work? Is that done openly so everyone now knows about the advantage and who has it? Or is it done behind the scenes? The answer to that my friends, is blowing in the wind…

Biggest Twist(er) in Survivor History


So, unless there’s something I’ve completely missed this is the first time we’ve had the game put on hold and all participants evacuated due to safety concerns. I guess it was pretty serious. I personally would have loved to have seen just where they spent the night and how that could affect the game. I’m imagining there was much debate among production about whether or not they would show that as showing it could pull the viewer out of that Survivor experience. It’s just something that happens so rarely that I’d imagine all Survivor nerds would love to see that. I do wonder if it means that the game will be a day or so longer.

Short Cut Short Cut Short Cut

Tonight we heard the phrase ‘short cut’ used more times in the space of 5 minutes than it is used in a year at the military barber. Not that I’m saying I didn’t like this facet of the challenge. In fact I really dug it. Any time that they can give the players more choices in a challenge, it instantly makes it more interesting, unless everyone makes the same choices. Thankfully in this case the tribes chose slightly different strategies, and it just gave us one more thing to talk about around the water-cooler. I’m very happy with the first immunity challenge. Takali is sent to tribal and thus continues The David Show.

Power, Wisdom, Courage, and….. OK Scrap the Wisdom

“Kill the dorks. Bash their butts. Kick their shins

Before we return to The David Show, here’s a message from Nintendo. Since when can you add a fourth to your Triforce and still have a Triforce? And just how useful is a Triforce of four in a tribe of 10? Especially when you have a couple of people as sharp as Hannah (this season’s Aubry?) and Mari who can instantly recognise when they’re being left out, and who also know that this is a numbers game. And though Figgy is in with the cool kids, from what we’ve seen so far, she seems to have the nous to know when to flip out. I can’t wait to see how this particular battle plays out. Regardless, unlike the current series of Australian Survivor that I feel like has been going on for a year, our US participants hit the ground running and start trying to form alliances and voting blocks early. Millennial particularly, who have grown up with the show.

Oh Crap!

David. Never lied about being The Outdoor Type

Regular readers of my Australian Survivor analysis will know that this is where I like to talk through the moves that a number of players have made and what they can and should do to move ahead in the game and get to the end. As we’re only in episode one and haven’t really seen much of the tribe dynamics it’s too early to enter that discussion with any confidence. I can say, and I’m sure many of you will agree with me, that David is and will be (if he sticks around) fun to watch. I wasn’t sure what to make of his comments at tribal when he realised that people didn’t trust him and speculated on whether he had an idol, he said something like ‘this is a test’. I’m wondering if he was referring to anything specific that perhaps Bret, Jessica and Chris had said to him. I do wonder if one or more of them set some sort of trustworthiness test, and had him vote a particular way. As skittish as the guy is, he still seemed to me to be a likeable guy, and one that could be fun to have around camp, certainly more so than Rachel (crazy eyes personified). We did get a snippet of a discussion from, I think it was Bret, Chris and Ken(?), saying that they would not tell David, CeCe, or Rachel which way they were voting. Given how paranoid he is, and without any sort of security in knowledge of where the votes might land, I’ve no doubt that if David had an idol he would have played it. Perhaps this was the aforementioned test to which David referred. By not playing an idol, those guys know that he was telling the truth when he said he didn’t have an idol, and perhaps now feel that they can trust him. That logic is a little screwy, but maybe he will pay back their trust with some loyalty and they all can live happily ever after in their rebel alliance (I know that doesn’t really work but I was already committed to the Star Wars puns so it stays). As much as I and clearly the tribe found Rachel annoying, I’m not convinced that I would have voted her over David. If David is that skittish and flighty and volatile days 1-4, are you sure you’re going to be able to reign him in over the coming 35 days so that you can solidly depend on him? He also does not seem like he’s going to be an asset in the physical challenges that is for sure. I guess it’s a credit to his self-awareness to recognise that he was coming off as paranoid and unreliable, and then have the social chops to still be able to connect with those guys enough that they at least have some degree of faith in him.

“D’ya see that Wilson, I made fire”

I couldn’t end this post without mentioning Zeke. What a rad dude! It was such a great moment for him when he created fire. We don’t yet know what he is going to be like gameplay wise, but certainly as far as watchability, he’s going to be very entertaining. Until next week, I got nothing else fo you, head back to camp.