One of the most epic meltdown/disaster/nightmare performances at Tribal Council has come to an explosive ending. On Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” we witnessed a player snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, culminating in a bizarre moment – a Survivor first – leaving a wide-eyed Jeff Probst nearly speechless. Elsewhere, we were given a heavy, unboiled dose of fore-shadowing for what could be a major story-line later in the season, while Beast-Mode Cowboy wastes no time in nearly getting his first kiss of the season.
Don’t read this if you haven’t yet seen the most recent episode, as spoilers are to follow. Get caught up on Episode 2 here.
In breaking down this episode, we have to start with Jen. Wow! What a head-scratching, somewhat frustrating turn of events at Tribal! So basically, Jen decided to upset the apple-cart in approaching Alecia and Cydney to form an all-girl alliance and vote out bounty hunter Jason. It seems like she ultimately decided stick with her original alliance though as she sat at Tribal Council. What strikes me as weird about this whole mess, is that this is Survivor…it is very common that everybody is talking to everybody, and that things that are said at Tribal aren’t always the truth (duh, right?). In other words, if you are in a tight alliance, you might talk before Tribal and say, OK, I’m really going to lay it on you pretty thick, just for show, so be ready for that. So when that player gets to Tribal and starts spouting at the mouth, the others in the alliance secretly know that this is all for show. I mean, right? We’ve seen this done countless, countless times on the show.
The problem is, you always have to adhere and adapt to the players you are playing with. It clearly and obviously didn’t seem like Jen had any pre-Tribal talks with Scot or Jason. If she had, I highly doubt they would have taken exception to her “up in the air” comment. It is a very old-school way of thinking, to let a person know for sure they are going home, especially pre-merge when the person is not going to be sitting on the jury. Blindsides are common-place, and coming off of last season, they are more than common…they are standard. So why not let Alecia feel safe and then blindside her, if the plan was indeed to take her out? And why let Jen’s comment derail the entire tribe and send things into chaos?
The whole thing seems a bit strange to me, but the worst part of it all is how Jen was unable to rebound from her disastrous Tribal Council performance. Every next thing that she said was more damning than the last, that by the time she stood up on her pulpit, you just couldn’t help but feel bad for her. And what a fall too. After the first episode, Jen seemed to be in an awesome position, and showed a great deal of toughness with that nasty worm in her ear. She was aligned with two massive dudes who would surely be lightning rods if they could have reached the merge. Who would have gone after Jen with Jason and Scot still in the game? Even heading into Tribal this week, she was in power – along with Cydney – and should have had the power to make the game go in any direction she wanted.
Speaking of Cydney, I loved her mostly mute performance during tonight’s ep. Sometimes it is way better to just sit there and let the others do themselves in. I wonder if there wasn’t more to Cydney’s role in all of this that wasn’t shown. For example, maybe Cyd outed Jen to the guys, and Jen had actually planned to vote out Jason? If Cyd ultimately wasn’t on board with that, Jen and Alecia would suddenly be in the minority. That isn’t the way the show made it look, but I just sense that Cydney had more to do with what went on.
Shifting gears, watching this episode I still couldn’t get it out of my head the looming medical evacuations that have promised to plague the season. I do believe that every segment and scene is important, so the whole “boiled water” scene with Deb and the Brain camp should not be discarded as trivial filler. Could the show be fore-shadowing a Deb illness due to the unboiled drinking water she’s consuming? And could Jason’s sunburn be more serious as the season wears on?
Finally this week let’s discuss Tai a bit. Good for him, that he went back and looked for the Idol. A great rule on Survivor is, that if you get caught looking for an Idol, you better damned well at least find one. I find it very interesting that there is now a twist making the Idol much more difficult to actual possess, and my first thought after seeing that key so high up in that tree, was that maybe it isn’t intended to be retrieved by just one person? Maybe Tai will realize that he will need to recruit another person in order to help? I’m sure he would have no problem piggy-backing on Caleb as the two get sweaty reaching for the Idol. And why is it that the Beauty Tribe always wins, just like the last B vs B vs B season? Isn’t it enough that they are better looking than everyone else, must they always win everything?
It will be interesting to see Tai’s strategy as to how he will get that key. And further, what will happen now at the Brawn camp? Alecia has got to be the next to go now, right?
Please check back (or subscribe at the top of this article), because you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one exit interview with Jennifer Lanzetti tomorrow (up by Thursday afternoon). So join me tomorrow and be back next week for another Episode Preview on Wednesday morning followed by another full Episode Recap and Analysis Wednesday night!
Be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites as well, SurvivorFever.net.