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Rage, Spotlights And Grand Plans Gone Awry On This Week's 'Survivor'

By Lord Castleton | TV | November 4, 2016 |

By Lord Castleton | TV | November 4, 2016 |

Last week, the mighty Figgy was voted off by her own kind. We always open with the fallout from the previous week’s tribal, and this was as delicious as you’d think.

Post Tribal Fallout Schadenfreude

With Figgy gone, and his abject overt power couple foolishness laid out for all to see, Taylor was understandable piiiiiiiiisssssssed off.

“I can’t trust these people.”

Yep. Welcome to Survivor, Tay Tay. Everyone else has been here for like six weeks. You poor witto bebe.

Adam, of course, tries to mollify the flailing toddler. He asks to talk to Tays one on one.

“Oh yeah, I can’t wait to hear your GRAND PLAN…” Says Taybey.

Ahhhhhh. Grand Plans and Survivor! How rarely the twain shall meet without a knife in your back!

So Adam and Tay talk, and Adam — who made the ABSOLUTE right decision — and Adam apologizes. Taylor settles down and pretends to accept it, but in his talking heads segment he says that he’s pissed at Adam and when the time is right…


Cue the music! We have our episode title!

ay ay oh ee oh ee oh ee ah ah ay ay oh ee oh ee

ah ah ay ah oh ah ay ah oh ay ah ah ee

la la bah bah bah la sah oh bah day ya

ah ah ay ah oh ah ay ah oh ay ah ah ee

buh buh buh buh buh buh buh

buh buh buh buh buh!!!!

Goddamn that’s a fun song. I missed you, Survivor.

(did anyone start singing along just now?)

Camp Visits

Now we see that David is in love with Zeke. What in the? I mean, I like Zeke too, hoss. And so does Chris. But to tell him you have an idol on like say two of being buds? That’s some rookie shit right there.

Zeke is the fulcrum right now, people. He’s hot Chris and David just rocking on his personal seesaw.

A word about trust: so yeah, for those of you who didn’t read last weeks Survivor I owned that I had seen the first five or six or seven and then I just kind of stopped watching. A lot seems to have transpired in the interim, notable that people seem to come in with much more awareness of the gameplay, having researched like every Survivor for all thirty-two previous seasons.




So when people are like “I trust you, okay?” I mean, that’s basically parceltongue. I think the people who would seem more trustworthy are the ones who didn’t say that. But what do I know?

Anyway, David wants to go to the final two with Zeke. Charming. That’s like saying: YOU’RE THE ONE I’M GONNA BEAT, BECAUSE I THINK I CAN.

Reward Challenge

I love this part of the show, because when the other tribes see who’s been voted off we get the BEST of Jeff Probst.

And the BEST of Jeff Probst is the most innocuous, ultra-well-meaning, all-terrain-hiking-boot friendly friend who happens to masterfully:


Case in point: If you’re at tribal and sweet ol’ Jeffery Van Probst is saying shit like “whoa! seems like you guys are a great team and everything is going to plan!”


Anyway, the tribes walk in and Jeff announces:

Figgy voted out at last tribal council.

And there’s this palpable whiff of exhileration and fear that actually comes through the TV. Because the queen is dead!

Hoooooooly shit. The Millennials are so distraught they actually consider moving our of their parent’s basement. (wink wink, love you whippersnappers).

But one person is happy.


And I’m like oh no! Don’t be visibly happy Michaela! You don’t want them to feature you too much on the show because then you’re getting your ass punted. Just lay low, fucking reincarnated Artemis! LAY LOW GIRL!

But no. She’s glowing. Of course Jeff calls her out.

“It’s been time for Figgy to go home for a while, so.”


I mean, yes, we know that Michaela, reincarnated Warrior Queen Zenobia of the Palmyrian Empire, but DON’T SAY THAT OUT LOUD.

Jeff doesn’t miss a beat: “Taylor, what do you think of that?” Just a casual question from Jeff, his not a shit-stirrer! he’s genuinely interested!

Heh heh ehehehehehe No comment. Says Tays. Oh Figtales! How I miss thee! I haven’t even had time to create a sonnet in your honor! Whither thou goest, I shall heckle! Wherefore are thou, Figtales?

(Pro tip: wherefore means why, not where. Wherefore art thou Romeo, means “why are you Romeo?” not “where you at, homes?” Now go impress your husband or wife.)

So we’re off to the challenge.

Now maybe it’s been because I took time off, but this felt cruel to me. In the best, most TV appropriate, this-is-so-awful-I-can’t-look-away kind of way.

It’s your basic Survivor set up. Three teams. Two of them win rewards. One team goes away empty.

So brutal.

“You wanna know what’chure playin’ for?” Asks Jeff Probst, the nicest person in the known universe, only trying to help. They all nod yes. Mouths watering. Stick figures subsisting on rice and shit for eighteen days. YES. YES WE DO. UNH HUH.

First reward: basically a thirty-course custom barbecue at your camp with a chef.
Runner up: some kebabs from the local supermarche.

That’s the punch in the cock right there. Jack shit. You take your gnawing hunger and jealous spite and you WALK YOUR ASS BACK TO CAMP.


So those are the stakes, and the best part is when one team jumps out to a big lead and then loses. That’s exactly what happened here. The big hero of the day is Michaela, from the Ikabula tribe. In the last part of the challenge, you need to lay a ball up between two boards. It requires a soft touch, and Michaela has one. Michaela, so far, as everything anyone needs. Because she’s the reincarnation of Queen Boudica of the Iceni.

Each of the three tribes basically has one go-to clutch athlete.

Vanua has Chris. He wins the challenge. Boy’s got touch! They get the chef.

Ika Bula has Michaela who is way behind when she finally gets her chance to do layups.

Takali has Ken, who has the finger-roll ability of Allen Iverson in a straight jacket.

Michaela comes in second! Whooooo hoooooo! Huge comeback!

So Vanua is dismissed. The chef is waiting at your camp!

Ika Bula is invited to come take the kebabs. “We got skewers, y’all.” Says Michaela. Never heard them called skewers before. I feel like that’s a Fallout 3 word for rats on a stick.

Then Takali is just standing there, shirtless and idiotic. They have to leave last.

Jeff Probst looks at them with fatherly disgust. Like, I love you, but you’re a huge fucking disappointment to me. You know what you did. Fucking THINK about what you did.

“Alright, Takali” you bunch of assholes who failed says Dr. Probst, “I got nothin’ for ya’. Get your stuff and head back to camp.”

Dad’s angry you guys. Dad’s angry.

So Takali, the always-up never-down group that just shitcanned Figgy? They get squat. Man, that group looks FUN, YO!

Now we get a talking head of Micheala again. She’s like “yeah I like to help the team win, but I don’t want people thinkin’ that I’m the one to beat.”

Uh oh. There’s a lot of Michaela so far.

Camp Visits

David says the barbecue is L.A. worthy. Way to alienate flyover country, dummy. Zeke says he was a fat kid. Then there’s this burping and farting session.

We get a talking head thing from Michelle saying it was “gross and annoying.”

Oh Michelle, your plain-ish kind of countryside loveliness appeals to my blue collar sensibilities. But as you speak, somehow as if you’re hiding a marshmallow in each cheek, I like you less and less. You’re not going to change who you are for the game! I love your priciples, girl! You hold those farts in. Mama taught you right!

Over at Takali, Ken is doing a government 101 for Tay Tay, who is about as bright as a midnight yawn. This is what policy is, says Ken.

I’m just like not into politics, SAYS AN IDIOT WHO IS WHY TRUMP THINGS HAPPEN.


I really like Ken. Lady Castleton, who pretends to hate this show, and won’t actually sit with me to watch it, and who always manages to be just peeking at the TV from the other room, (and who has to learn to be honest with herself) thinks Ken has the weirdest speaking voice she’s ever heard. And she’s right. I can’t place his accent. She thinks he’s a Spaniard who learned English in Ottowa pretending to be an American.

I can’t refute that, but we made up a game for it at Casa Caslteton. It’s called Re-Kenning. Whenever Ken says something, you repeat it exactly like he said it. And I promise it’ll sound insane coming out of your mouth. Re-Kenning is the new Kaepernicking. In my house anyway.

Finally, we get to see some intelligence from Red-eye Jessica. Actually, hmmm. That’s kind of an unfortunate nickname.

Eh, I’m gonna stay with it. So ol’ Red-Eye says that Taylor is honest. Fucking stupid as a ham sandwich, but honest. I’ve been looking to find a reason to like Jessica, but she was so shockingly, mindbogglingly WRONG when she couldn’t read people that it’s given me so much pause.

Because she’s an assistant district attorney. And in that position, judgement calls happen all the time. AND SHE WAS SO EASILY FOOLED. Obviously, in a legal framework, she can lean on precedent and the law and investigations and what have you. But to think of someone so fucking tone-deaf to deceit acting as a legal ambassador/hangman? Chilling.

And then she starts to take Taylor’s word over ADAM’S! The dude who saved her ass like six and a half seconds ago. Jesus!

Ken and Jessica both said to Adam, if you save us, we’ll never write down your name. Period. And one week later, it’s a ‘decision.’

Get fucked.

Now we’re in Ika Bula’s camp where Michaela is again being featured. After trying to seem easy going, which was kind of painful to watch and felt insincere, she compares herself to Steve Jobs. And Michael Jordan.

Now, Michaela is a fierce competitor. But to casually compare yourself to two legends? Well, sheeeeeeiiiiiiiit! Girl, you gone keeeeeeerazy!

Am I correct about that? Who knows? As a writer I’m basically only about as good as if Jesus made a baby with Ernest Hemingway, but maybe I’m wrong.

Michaela Bradshaw is pretty intense, she says, talking in the third person like a fucking lunatic. “If you can’t take my heat get out of the kitchen.”


Now we get some action about Bret. Hannah thinks Bret is a cop. Huh? That feels like a producorial nudge to me. In the seasons I’ve missed, apparently cops haven’t fared well, so Bret claims to be a funeral director.

“I think he’s a cop, yo.” Say the Millennials. PFFFFFF. I watched too much of UnReal to think this is something Hannah guessed on her own. I know some of you guys like Hannah, but she seems more vapid than a nitris balloon to me. Like when they opened Pandora’s box, Hannah came out and they didn’t know what she was, so they slapped some knee socks on her and told her that Bret might be a poilceman.

All the millennials are talking about Bret being a cop and I’m like “what the? who cares?” Is there some generational desire to stick it to the Po-Po as a millennial? All of them are talking as if being a cop is a horrible thing. Is it? I’m gonna do a thinkpiece about it.

All I’ve seen of Bret is him be pleasant and amenable and try-hard and patting people on the back. Who gives a shit what his job is? I must be missing something.

“He’s too lively, too funny i feel like, to be a funeral director.” Says Jay.

“Fuck you, Jay.”

- From your friends at the national association of funeral directors

Immunity Challenge

Okay so we’re in the immunity challenge. Again, each tribe tends to lean on its big athletes. Chris, Michaela and Ken. They’re basically doing everything.

Chris gets his team out to a lead and BOOM! Wins immunity. Vanua is safe.

It’s between Ken and Michaela. Michaela isn’t doing well.

“You want me to try?” Jay offers meekly, like a canned ham whispering to a lion

But NO, Michaela will will her way through this! She is all powerful! She will prevail because she has! She cannot be beaten! She barks at Bret in the middle of the challenge, and that’s the point where she lost me. Because WHITE MEN MUST BE PROTECTED AND CHERISHED!

Hahahaha. Actually, no, it was just kind of shitty. I don’t like people who talk down to other people unless they’re in the same fantasy football league. Then all bets are off. If you’re like Michaela, and EVERYONE is dumber than you and you’re better at EVERYTHING than EVERYONE else. That’s a red flag.


And Takali wins the second immunity.

Ika Bula to Tribal.

Pre-Tribal Scheming

The second the worm turned on this show was when the Millennials were standing around sniffing their fingers and Michaela uses a bunch of different colored shells to outline every single step of the game. She’s thought the whole thing through. She’s WAY WAY WAY more intense and thorough than the rest of them.

Jay has a revelation: like, we should vote off Michaela!

There’s a lot of filler here, with Sunday murdering our ears with whatever snoopy harp twanged words that come out of her face hole. Bret comes to terms with his fate. The only question is whether or not Jay and Man Voice, the 18 year old whose name I forget, (Will) are going to vote out one of the Gen-X’ers or take out one of their own. Either way, they’re not telling Hannah, because she’s as strategic as an empty can of tennis balls.

Tribal Council

Jeff is like “is everything alright?”

And everyone is like YEAH JEFFERS

And he’s like are the Gen-X’ers just accepting their fate?


And Jeff is like, in every other tribe the majority voted out one of their own.

And Michaela is like “yeah because they’re sketchy people. We aren’t.”

Man Voice Will answers every question like a FUCKING BAUCE. He doesn’t give shit away. 18 years old! You know what I was doing when I was 18? Decidedly NOT GETTING IT.

Jay has been making the best faces ever during the Q&A, but I can’t get over how his hair is morphing him into the lead singer of Simply Red.

And Jeff is like Sunday, what do you think about anything?

And Sunday is like EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. (Insert worst sound imaginable.)

And Jeff is like, okay let’s vote.

Any immunity idols? No? Okay. Once the votes are read the decision is final. The person voted out will be asked to leave the tribe council area immediately.

Jeff starts reading:

First vote: Bret

Second Vote: Bret

Third vote: Michaela

Michaela does like a huge reaction face, like this is the show 227 instead of Survivor. Queen Bee is like WHAT MORTAL DARES ETCH MY NAME INTO THAT PARCHMENT?

Jeff says: Two votes Bret, one vote Michaela.

Fourth vote: Michaela.

Now she’s not shocked, she’s worried. But okay, the Gen-X’ers picked her. Fine, they had to target someone, and while it shows poor taste to malign the queen, the next vote will surely put this mini-revolution to rest.

Jeff: Two votes Bret, Two votes Michaela.

Fifth vote: MICHAELA

“WHAAAAAAAAT?” Yells Michaela. She spins on Jay and asks him, point blank:


To Jay’s credit, with what I assume was the song “Money’s Too Tight To Mention” playing in his head, he looks right in her eyes and says: “Yeah, I did.”

No one is paying attention to Jeff, who holds the last, flaccid vote in his hand like a pre-bathtub Cialis patient.

“I did not do that.” Says Hannah.


And then Michaela freaks the fuck out. “You fucked up, Jay.” She says. “You’re gonna feel like an asshole.”


Ahhhhhh, Michaela. Turns out she was the reincarnation of Julius Caesar, done in by her own people.

It’s not as satisfying of a Tribal as Figgy, but somehow this episode made me turn on Michaela a little, so that I felt like her hubris was worthy of being stabbed on the senate floor.

Survivor, yo. Wow.

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Lord Castleton is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.