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‘Survivor’ Review: “What’s the Beef?”

Lucy Philips-Roberts ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor

Welcome Back to Survivor: Abi-Maria Gomez

This week opens with Angkor feeding grapes to the lounging Abi-Maria—okay that’s a lie, but it might as well have been happening because somehow they are still clamoring at her indecisive feet. For whatever reason, Tasha Fox tolerates Abi-Maria’s insanity and votes for whoever Abi-Maria wants her to in order to avoid her throwing a temper tantrum. Granted, Tasha could be seen as a threat since she is an all-around great player, but can America really handle much more of the Abi-Maria show?

Photo Credits: CBS
“The Abi-Maria Show”
Photo Credits: CBS

Over at Bayon, Jeremy Collins finally gets to look at his beloved idol. An odd side-effect to the idol being hidden at the challenges is that players can’t look at their savior until they are back at camp. While Jeremy has a lot of potential, hiding idols can be tricky. He goes on to talk about his strategy to tell Stephen Fishbach to keep looking for the idol and to convince his alliance that he doesn’t have it so he can keep it to himself. Sure, that idol could be a huge target on his back, but it is also a great way to solidify an alliance. And Jeremy even likened himself to J.T. Thomas, Stephen’s partner in crime from his original season, which implies that Jeremy will win and “let Stephen have second place.”

The starving Angkor was thrilled to hear that there’s a reward challenge this episode. The tree mail even used the word “feast,” so they know it’s a good one. Yet another rad twist, the challenge was what Jeff Probst called a “Hero’s Challenge” meaning the tribe must select one member to run the whole thing. Surprisingly, each tribe chose their older men: Andrew Savage, Terry Deitz, and Jeremy Collins. Though this challenge seemed simple for one person to complete, it was quite draining. It involved a classic run into the water, bring it back, and fling it into a net. And despite a slow start, Savage brings it home for Angkor! Let the feasting, singing, and refueling begin.

Kass McQuillen, formerly “Chaos Kass,” has been the biggest transformation this season, and it’s kind of dumbfounding to watch. It’s hard to tell whether she’s going to flip the switch soon or whether she’s genuinely trying to play clean. But making Kelley Wentworth a birthday gift sure does seem innocent enough. If this an act, she’s really committing. To summarize her reason for this change Kass states, “Pretty much everyone thought I was going to come out here and be a little turd and cause problems.” Good for you, Kass! On the opposite side of the coin, Spencer Bledsoe, who last week was determined to connect with people, is now prepared to throw Kelly Wiglesworth under the bus, and Monica Padilla, who got her first screen time and confessional this week, was not having any of it. She’s holding out for a women’s alliance which is always a great time.

Photo credits: GlobalTV
Photo credits: GlobalTV

The immunity challenge came with great expectations for Angkor who, with full bellies, came in with the intent to win. Unfortunately, this challenge was extremely grueling. Not only did the survivors have to drag giant puzzle pieces across a field, but they were blindfolded and effectively made deaf. The teams’ “callers,” who are forced to holler at their tribe, guided their tribes to each piece, making for a horribly unpleasant and cringe- worthy scene. There were quite a few painful moments: dropping pieces, slamming pieces, and experiencing pain was felt during this challenge. By the end, the well-fed Angkor was pathetically resting on their puzzle pieces, practically giving the win to the other two tribes.

Once again, this leaves viewers with Angkor for the latter half of the episode. Wow, this tribe is no longer interesting. The vote was between Woo Hwang, a great asset in the challenges, and Jeff Varner, a loyal Abi-Maria-bot who was also injured in the challenge. It seems obvious to get rid of Jeff. Not only is he not great at challenges, but he’s also got loads of alliances on the other tribes to worry about. Woo is great at challenges and very likable, but he cannot strategize. But of course, Abi-Maria is running the show, and she is mad that Woo has written her name down twice. From what can be discerned, it seems like Woo wrote her name down twice because she’s a loose cannon, and nobody would tell him what was actually going on. He’s basically a perfect, shiny, dumb lackey. In the end, Abi-Maria chose to vote out her truest ally, Jeff, to which he replied with a kiss on her cheek and a “You little bitch.”

Jeff Varner eliminated Photo Credits: CBS
Jeff Varner eliminated
Photo Credits: CBS

‘Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.

Episode Grade: C+

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