Survivor Micronesia: I'm Gonna Fix Her!
(S16E12) Okay, I officially declare Survivor Micronesia to be one of the best, if not the best, season ever in the series. You see, the show really isn't all about surviving the elements of nature. The survival skills needed don't necessarily have to do with who might forage best in the woods or who can build a sturdy shelter. Nope, it's "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast." And, chances are ... if you outwit and outplay, you're going to outlast. Tonight's backsided blindside will make for Survivor history.
Read on past the jump for my full review of tonight's episode.
For me, it's boring when one player happens to rule the game just because he's brawny and wins challenges. That's not happening this season. It's more exciting when we have the blindsided ousters we've seen this season. Of course, I'm not always too thrilled with their choices to blindside. But, in the end, I'm in this for the entertainment value. Even though I might see it coming, the looks on their faces show they didn't see it coming. And that makes the show all that much more fun. Well, fun for me, perhaps not for them.
This season is also wracked with injuries. Tonight James was still dealing with what he called a little clamshell cut, but the medic deemed it to be a very deep wound and infected. Alas, even though the guy has the best lines of any Survivor ever on the show, he was sent home after the rewards challenge. I was hoping he'd do well this time around, but it wasn't in the cards. Alexis banged her knee falling in the dark. That's all swollen and scraped. It looks nasty and it's obviously bothering her, but she doesn't want to be sent home due to it. I give her credit for spunk. Otherwise, I'm ambivalent about her. After all, I just started distinguishing between her and Natalie a few weeks back.
I'm always amazed at the rewards challenge with the loved ones. You would think they've been kept away from each other for years. We're talking 30 days here, folks. It's not an eternity. That said, Erik made me guffaw. Yeah, I really guffawed when Erik pointed at Jeff Probst and told his brother, "It's Jeff Probst! He's right there!" Jeff's answer was perfect -- "Erik, you're a freak." Heck, I'm smiling as I typed it.
The rewards challenge was also the one which should give the castaways clues about where they stand in the tribe. It's the popular opinion that:
- James does the most for the tribe.
- Parvati never shuts up.
- Parvati mistakenly thinks she's in control of the game.
- Alexis is the most honest.
- James is the least likely to be invited to dinner. (Why? I don't know. Maybe because he likes to eat bats.)
It's also revealing who they knock out first when given chances to knock out fellow castaways. Hmm ... Parvati was out of it first. Then it went down as Cirie, James, Natalie out. Cirie seemed to draw clear lines (something she doesn't do much in public) when she chose to eliminate Amanda and allow Alexis to win. Amanda knows where she stands with her now, eh? On a side note, those non-stinging jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake were way cool. Why can't the ones around here be non-stinging?
The scheming is more important than physical prowess this season. I think that levels the playing field so much more. The girls still all want Erik out because he's the last male. It's a Gal Thing. But they need a contingency plan in case Erik wins immunity. They're right in thinking if Amanda makes it to the final two, not a one of them would win against her in the vote. She's played a good social game and she's a physical threat in competitions.
But I don't want her to go. I really didn't like or dislike her all that much in her own season, but she's grown on me throughout this season. Tonight, she played an extraordinary game. She's up another notch in my book. When Alexis sent her to Exile Island, she knew that she has a huge target on her back. She decided she had to find each clue to the newly hidden idol and find it. Did you see the depth and length of that trench she dug by hand? Ow! It makes my fingers hurt to think about it!
Then came their worst fears -- you could see it on their faces. Erik won immunity again. Heh. I'm still liking the kid, so I was happy when he got it. I personally want Parvati out before Erik. What to do? Amanda played it sneaky smart, telling them she didn't find the idol and emptying her bags brought directly back from Exile to prove it. But since the last clue led her back to camp to find it, she didn't have it as of then.
So they schemed behind her back. Both Cirie and Erik even admitted they planned on voting her out when Amanda asked them. Meanwhile, she schemed with Parvati. I should mention that Parvati, for once, is showing some loyalty. She told Nalalie that she couldn't be a part of voting out Amanda and told Amanda they were gunning for her. Now, Amanda told her about the final clue for the idol, so she was in on blindsiding either Natalie or Alexis as long as everyone else voted Amanda.
The reactions of the castaways and the jury were priceless when Amanda played the idol. The curse of the idol, unlike the curse of the car, is broken! As I said before, it was a backsided blindside. I almost jumped out of my chair yelling, "YES!" when she pulled the idol out. Played to perfection, I'm lovin' that girl's game play tonight!
One thing I'm just not getting is why Amanda and Parvati chose to vote out Alexis instead of Natalie. True, Alexis played a more social game and might do better with the jury. But her knee is so bad. She wouldn't have been winning challenges and I think it would have been a wiser move to get rid of Natalie -- she's more influential on the existing tribe members, plays a better physical game, and is more sneaky than Alexis.