QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings with Gabby Pascuzzi, occasional interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
Last Week: When it comes to deception, Victoria proved she has a knack, Aubry was voted out with two advantages in her sack, and the chickens lasted longer than the woman who had their back…
39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…
The Kama Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aurora, 32 – Divorce Lawyer
Joe, 29 – Multimedia Artist, also appeared on “Survivor: Worlds Apart” and “Survivor: Second Chance”
Julia, 24 – Medical Assistant
Julie, 46 – Toymaker
Ron, 46 – Teacher
The Lesu Tribe (wearing green)
David, 44 – Television Writer, also appeared on “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X”
Kelley, 31 – Marketing Manager, also appeared on “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” and “Survivor: Second Chance”
Lauren, 21 – Student
Wardog, 38 – Law Student
The Manu Tribe (wearing blue)
Eric, 34 – Firefighter
Gavin, 23 – YMCA Program Director
Victoria, 23 – Waitress
Whoa…no “previously on” footage. We’re not wasting any time.
JPro brings out the three tribes in front of an impressive challenge set-up, be he tells them that they’re all on their way to Mergeville.
Buuuut…after the red buffs are passed out, he informs them that they’re about to witness a classic “Survivor” moment that will be talked about until the end of recorded history.
(OK, he didn’t go that far, but he was definitely selling it.)
And with that he brings out the six Edge of Extinctioners and introduces…
The Edge of Extinction Returnee Challenge: The players will race through an obstacle course, then create a pole using pieces of wood. They’ll use the pole to retrieve a key that will let them through a gate. From there, the first person to complete a sliding ball puzzle will return to the game.
Advantage: Keith assigned his advantage to Chris, so Chris will have to untie knots at a certain portion of the challenge.
Result: It was sooper tight, with a few players coming very close to winning. But, Rick was able to pull it off. Oh yeah!
Quick Aside: Wendy’s Tourette tics seemed to really be acting up during the challenge. I hope it didn’t affect her too much.
Another Quick Aside: Probst made it a point to say that the returnees were roughing it at the Edge of Extinction. I’m sure this was to avoid the Outcasts situation in “Pearl Islands” where the returning players had been chilling at Ponderosa the whole time.
Before they head out Jeff tells the tribe that the Edge of Extinction will still be in play going forward. However, it’s unclear if the five people who lost the challenge are out of the game or not.
Jeff touches base with all five of them individually, with Keith in particular pointing out how proud he is that he never quit. It gets very emotional.
Then, Probst lets them know that they have another decision to make…and they all freak out. Sure enough, he gives them the chance to head back to the Edge of Extinction. They all emphatically take him up on it.
Aubry, of course, wins the day by saying “Let’s (expletive deleted) do it!”
Fast Forward Ten Minutes: Wendy and Keith are raising the flag to leave the Edge of Extinction. Keith! You just said how important it was that you didn’t quit!
At Vata Beach
The thirteen Vatians are greeted by the traditional merge feast. The Kama folks are super psyched that they’re eight strong, while Kelley is not pleased that the guy she sent packing is now back in the game.
Rick is rightfully worried that he could get the Matt Elrod treatment. So, he’s doing everything he can to get in with someone quickly. Julie, in particular, is very sympathetic about this concern. So much so that it annoys her when Kelley and Lauren pitch Rick as an easy vote.
The “Survivor” gods, also realizing that a return from Extinction could be troublesome, gifts Rick with a very unique immunity idol. It’s broken it two halves. He has to give one half to someone and keep the other for himself. If both of them survive the next Tribal Council, it’ll then have full powers going forward. However, it is unclear which of the two technically has the power to use it.
Predictably, he shares the other half with David. I get it…I love me some of that duo. But, maybe that half could have been used to forge a relationship with someone on the bottom of the Kama six?
In other news, Joe admits to Kelley that he and Aurora don’t trust the other members of Kama. Kelley tells Joe that she thinks David and Rick will likely flip on them.
Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stand on a beam and hold a pole boom-mic style. They’ll balance a statue on the end of that pole. As time goes on, they’ll have to maneuver onto a thinner portion of the beam. The last person standing on the beam with their statue in place will win immunity.
Result: It came down to Lauren, Joe, and Julie with Julie outlasting everyone to earn the immunity necklace.
Quick Aside: Julie is so tiny. She makes Probst look like Manute Bol. She could seriously use that immunity necklace as a hula hoop.
Right off the bat, Julie tells Rick that Lesu is going to be targeting him, but she’s going to keep him and David safe. However, they’re not going to tell him who to vote for until right before Tribal. That’s actually very smart. People can pick up on cues when their name is out there.
Meanwhile, Ron is very offended when Joe won’t tell him who they’re going to be targeting. And it’s not so much that Joe is keeping information from him outright, Joe just claims that things change so much.
Ron goes to his true alliance; Julie, Julia, Veronica, Eric, and Gavin, and tells them that it’s time to get Joe. Which is a problem, because they had all been thinking about getting rid of Kelley.
Before things get underway, Probst calls in Aubry, Reem, and Chris as members of the jury. Whoa…that raises all kinds of concerns…
Say I get voted out, then I spend the next few weeks being besties with the jury and then get back into the game? Seems troublesome. The whole point of this show is to eliminate people in a way that eventually makes them want to award you.
Also, there’s this whole thing…
Anywho, Ron basically swears allegiance to the Kama alumni and says that the game is more comfortable when you have the numbers. Kelley doesn’t love this attitude, but she appreciates how the game works.
Victoria thinks it would be cruel to send Rick back to the Edge of Extinction, especially with bigger threats around.
Joe takes offense to the “bigger threats” comment. But, Victoria assures him that all threats aren’t physical.
Voting Time: No votes are shown.
JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does…
Alright, we’ve got one vote for Rick, one vote for Kelley, one vote for David, one vote for Rick, one vote for David, one vote for Kelley, one vote for David, four votes for Joe, and the seventh person voted out of “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” is…Joe.
On the way out, Joe assures us that classic Kama made a mistake and he’ll be back.
OK, so the Kama six pulled the trigger on Joe, while David and Rick were told to go for Kelley. Kelley, Wardog, and Lauren voted for David. And, Aurora and Joe voted for Rick.
Verdict: Wow, so much to unpack. I’m not even annoyed that my winner pick is out because if the path back into the game is a challenge, Joey is amazing.
But like I said above, I hate the idea that Joe will spend a few weeks at the Edge of Extinction catching fish for people he didn’t vote out and then possibly getting back into a game that allows you to make fire at final four to get to the end.
This all just feels like a recipe for a very unsatisfying winner.
I dunno, I like that “Survivor” is willing to take risks. But the Edge of Extinction has me worried.
|Victoria, Julia, Julie, Gavin, and Eric: The Kama six came in there with a plan and they executed it perfectly. The question is; who will rock the boat first?|
|Ron: Ron definitely deserves credit for making things happen, my only slight concern was he changed the direction of the vote and sometimes that can ruffle feathers.|
|David: The Kama Six knows you can follow orders and they’re clearly more concerned with Kelley and Lauren. You’ll have a chance to make some moves.|
|Rick: Surviving that first vote was key and you made it happen. The only thing I would have done differently was see if the half idol could be better used to bring someone on board with you and David.|
|Kelley and Lauren: I feel like you two are really lucky that Joe was around. That vote could have easily been for either one of you. But, now you know what to look out for.|
|Aurora and Wardog: I can’t give you full credit if you don’t show your work.|
Power Ranking Results: Gabby Pascuzzi had Joe in spot ten, I had Joe in spot twelve. Neither of us guessed the correct Edge of Extinction returnee. So, the current score is Team Gabby 57, Team Gordon 55.