Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty – Episode 12 Review – “With A Lot Of Mud”

Muddy. That’s how I’d describe this season of Survivor. Click through for a recap of the penultimate episode.


Is anyone really playing well? Like, really really well? I admire Tasha and Spencer for winning Immunity Challenges and making it far against terrible odds. When Tasha was eliminated, I thought the person most deserving of a million bucks had left. Now I’m rooting for Spencer, both because it would mean I win the office pool, and because I like an underdog. But let’s be honest – it’s not as though Spencer has been controlling the game or making major moves.

No, Tony has been controlling the game. But that’s not the same as playing well. He’s had the aid of playing with morons and finding lots of Hidden Immunity Idols. If Tony played with a smarter group, I don’t think he’d do well. His game is completely manic, making and breaking promises left and right. There’s no finesse, no skill. Watching Tony play Survivor is like watching a baby knock over a bucket of paint and accidentally recreate a Jackson Pollock.

Then, don’t even get me started on Kass. She might be playing the worst game of anyone who’s ever made it this far. Trish was right – it would behoove Kass to learn a little something about self-awareness. How can she think she’ll beat these people? She’s betrayed people, yes. But worse, she’s entirely unlikable. Giving Trish the finger as she exited was the perfect example of why she’ll never win this game, no matter who she sits next to. You won! You’re still in and your enemy is out! Don’t rub salt in the wound.

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Spencer may have the best shot at winning, if he can make the finals. But the others would be crazy to let him get there. Without Spencer sitting there, Tony and Woo are most likely to receive votes – Tony for running the game, Woo for being an all-around cool dude. If the jury is bitter, they’ll vote for Woo.

Kass’s best shot at winning (laughable as that whole concept is) was sitting next to Tony and Trish. She should have been angling to vote out Woo tonight.

If I were Tony, I also would want to sit next to Kass and Trish. The logical choice would have been to try and convince the others to vote out Woo – I think at least Spencer and Trish would have gone along with it. But Tony is playing an emotional game.

Instead, the result was baffling. Tony did not play either of his Idols. He handed the normal Idol to Probst, but did not use it. He didn’t play the other one, because he’s trying to pretend that it can be used at the final four. Sure, that’s smart – if the others are fooled and don’t try to vote him out next week, I’ll be pissed. But why didn’t Tony use his Idol to save Trish? It doesn’t make any sense. Tony turned on Kass because he thinks she’s an insult to the game. If he wanted to sit next to people he can beat (like Kass), he should have been voting out Woo. If he was voting based on emotion and anger, why not use the Idol to keep Trish in and get Kass out? His strategy landed somewhere in the middle, eliminating someone that was both a handy vote and a person he’d likely beat in the end. I think it was senseless, but I’m interested to hear how you guys interpreted the vote.


Stray thoughts:

  • Kass loves to say “Chaos Kass”, but how is any of this helping her get to the end? Or helping her win the game? Going around repeating conversations and festering paranoia is simply pissing people off. She’s making people like Tony want to vote her out, and she’s ensuring that no one will want to give her a million bucks.
  • Kudos to my guy Spencer for pulling off that Immunity win! Wow. Tony had such a massive lead, but could not pull off the sliding puzzle. (I have a hard time with that kind of puzzle. I just tested myself by doing one online, and I wouldn’t describe myself as “fast”.) Spencer needed the win, and he solved the puzzle to grab it. Very well done – if he can pull it off once more, he’s got this thing in the bag.
  • Watching Tony try to convince Woo that Kass was out and he was now, finally, part of a final three deal was like watching an addict try to score drugs. The guy will swear anything on anyone, and the lies tumble out of his mouth a mile a minute.
  • People are constantly overhearing everyone else talk strategy. DOESN’T ANYONE ON THIS SHOW KNOW HOW TO WHISPER?

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