Friday, December 16, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

originally aired September 21, 2016 to December 14, 2016

The order players left the game and the impact they left behind:
  • Rachel (Takali/Gen X) Apparently hadn't watched thirty-two previous seasons to know bossiness at camp is a game killer.
  • Mari (Vanua/Millennials) A victim of the Triforce's early dominance.
  • Paul (Takali/Gen X) The fatal blow to the patriarchs of Gen X, leading to the eventual downfalls of Chris and Bret, who never again had a secure base.
  • Lucy (Takali/Gen X) Her elimination was David's first big play of the season, using a hidden immunity idol to save Jessica.
  • CeCe (Takali/Gen X) A classic challenge albatross and overall mostly pointless competitor.
  • Figgy (Vanua/Millennials) Her romance with Taylor solidified the Triforce and also guaranteed a big fat target on her back, and she never really figured out how to disentangle herself from either of them.
  • Michaela (Vanua/Millennials) Decided to start playing way too late; her elimination was probably the point the season turned from not really having a direction to becoming one of the all-time greats.  Her second shot in Survivor: Game Changers will determine if Michaela really is better than she first seemed.
  • Michelle (Vanua/Millennials) The "Triforce" consisted of four people, and Michelle was the fourth wheel, and easily one of the worst victims of tribe-swapping in Survivor history.  This girl would've been a force to be reckoned with had the Triforce stayed intact.  She would've outlasted it, as she was really the only member to be able to adapt.  But she was basically forced into a late-game situation early in the game, and that's an impossible riddle for even the best players to solve.
  • Taylor (Vanua/Millennials) His love-hate relationship with Adam propelled Adam to victory, but left himself running in circles.
  • Chris (Takali/Gen X) A far better juror than he was player, adequately making the case for Adam's victory without the need for that slam-dunk emotional appeal. 
  • Jessica (Takali/Gen X) A necessary ally for advancing forward, but also a necessary victim, which makes her elimination by rock all the more ironic.
  • Zeke (Vanua/Millennials) His epic showdown with David painted a hugely false impression of where this season was headed, but it was undeniably a highlight not just of the season but Survivor in general.
  • Will (Vanua/Millennials) Somehow this guy's the youngest player to ever play the game, but that deep voice of his is great camouflage.  His gameplay, however, betrays him.  Like Michaela chose way too late to begin taking the game seriously, and like her was quickly and easily eliminated because of it.
  • Sunday (Takali/Gen X) A classic coattail rider just filling space.
  • Jay (Vanua/Millennials) The Triforce (excluding Michelle) was redeemed by this guy, who learned from Taylor's mistakes and made a game run to the end of the season.  Became very easy to root for.
  • Bret (Takali/Gen X) The last of the patriarchs somewhat ironically turned out to be gay, in a moment made him relevant, because his gameplay otherwise relegated him to the last of the extraneous players in the game.
  • David (Takali/Gen X) One of the most remarkable transformations in Survivor history, a would-be Tai who became a true mastermind and legitimate force, who bested all the obvious threats to his game, until finally everyone left realized he would win if he made it to the finals.  Because he really would have.
  • Ken (Takali/Gen X) One of the best allies anyone could find in this game, whose reliability made David possible, who ultimately did what most players never do, which is turn on that ally at the very last minute.  And they didn't end up hating each other!
  • Hannah (Vanua/Millennials) The David of the Millennials had a nearly comparable experience, except she had to scramble the whole time.  I would've been happy with any of the finalists winning, which happens, basically, never in this game.
  • Adam (Vanua/Millennials) A feel-good winner all-around (and got all the votes, which has happened, what, three other times?), Adam's epic showdown with the Triforce defined the season that wasn't dominated by Zeke and David, and like the best players found and used cleverly all available advantages.  But when everyone found out why he was so driven, his mom's battle with cancer (which she lost an hour after he got home), is the kind of narrative the longevity of Survivor is geared around (they'd applied together to compete on Blood vs. Water, six seasons back).  Some will argue he manipulated jurors with that revelation, but I think it was beyond clear at that point he'd done plenty with his gameplay alone to justify a victory this season. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X 1x13/1x14 "I'm Going for a Million Bucks"/"Reunion" live blogging thoughts

Starts with Jeff hyping the finale from the studio where the live reunion will begin two hours hence...He calls it a great season of gameplay, which is absolutely true (after a slow start).  He talks about hashtags, and no, I will never tweet Survivor, thank you very much.  I just don't see the appeal of trying to express my life in soundbytes (but yes, I have a Twitter account, and yes I tweet on occasion).

Recap of the season.  It's really, really hard for me to root for anyone besides Adam, but other than Bret I really could be happy with anyone still in the game winning.  I would even be rooting for Bret if he hadn't given up except to latch onto voting blocks he never really controlled.  Anyway...

Jay frets about having lost his hidden immunity idol.  "Time to fight to the death, baby."  I've always liked his spunk.  Bret somehow compares eliminating David to bin Laden.  Crazy much?  He thinks Jay or David will win.  He clearly doesn't know that literally everyone but him has a good argument.  If he makes it the finals the jury will love him.  But he won't.  Bitter jurist, party of one!  David makes a fake hidden immunity idol!  Yes!  Wasn't I just talking about that? 

Jay goes looking for another hidden immunity idol.  Ken derails the plan by calling for him.  But then he sees a pink blotch on a coconut.  But it's David's fake idol!  Classic!  But, poor Jay!  It's still weird that hidden immunity idols are still valid this late in the game...

Ken looks at the legacy advantage at last.  It gives him immunity at the next tribal council!  Has anyone ever worn cowboy boots in this game before?  Colby? 

Immunity challenge!  The first place finisher also gets a big fat steak!  Obstacle/puzzle challenge, anyway.  Jay inadvertently allows everyone to cheat off of him...I just realized (this will sound stupid) that there's only one woman (Hannah) left in the game...David wins!  So Jay gets screwed twice over by the neurotic little dude...Jay then uses the stolen reward thingy he got from Adam, but then chooses David, and Adam, to enjoy the steak with him anyway...

David!  Adam!  Agree with Jay to vote Bret!  David at least sees the wisdom in it.  He has been by far the most surprising strategist I've watched in Survivor, in thirty-three seasons...Bret thinks it's Jay going home, of course.  Adam is not as convinced that Bret has to go.  Bret calls everyone else "crazy people."  But it would be crazy to let him reach final three.  He should see that, right?  Jay decides to keep at Adam.  He makes a hard sell.  Adam seems to take it seriously this time.  He wonders if he can beat Jay.  You can beat Jay, Adam.

Tribal council!  The reward eaters talk about a "working lunch."  Bret realizes he's going if Jay isn't going.  Hannah talks about reading the jury.  No, not John Grisham!  Ken's advantage is pretty worthless, all considered.  That kind of sucks.  Jay, don't play it!  He plays it.  It's not real.  Jay's shocked!  Ken uses his advantage anyway.  Actually did get a vote.  But Jay's voted out.  Hannah tries to go for a hug.  Jay wants nothing to do with that.  He calls Jeff "Jeffrey."  Has that ever happened?

Immunity challenge!  David fears he's out next if he doesn't win.  Maneuvering a buoy around obstacles, balancing puzzle pieces over a balance beam, and then a puzzle.  Ken wins!

Adam fixates on the need to eliminate David.  Time will tell if that's a huge mistake for him.  Maybe it's just because I think Bret doesn't at all deserve to have a shot at making the finals, because the edit for him just doesn't justify it and it would suck to have someone who shouldn't be taken seriously to win in a pool of worthy contenders.  But, I'm not playing, only watching.  David, meanwhile, says it has to be Adam.  But, Adam finds a hidden immunity idol!  Bret's told Adam is the target.  Screwed, buddy.  Adam finally becomes a target, and he's home scot free.  But he tells Hannah about it.  What's going to happen???   Swing the vote to Bret, Hannah!

Tribal council!  Hannah brings up hunting for hidden immunity idols.  Jeff asks Adam about it.  Adam admits he was the first one out looking for one.  No one sees how important this is.  David and Bret both think they're the biggest threats to win.  Or go home tonight...Adam talks about what a huge threat David is.  Bret remarks that Adam always cries.  He doesn't know why.  Big secrets this season.  I love that literally no one has talked about Millennials or Gen X.  These are all the players who looked beyond that.  That's how it should be.  Adam uses his hidden immunity idol.  Jay laughs about it!  David and Bret garner votes.  Bret's gone!  He complains about flipping voters.  He declares that David has just won the game. 

They talk about the surprising vote.  Adam and Hannah talk about if it was a mistake to keep David in.  Hannah explains why she voted out Bret, as something she needed to keep Ken's trust.  Bret never understood that you need to have broad alliances.  That's what kept everyone who's still here in the game.  But bitter jurists will be bitter jurists.

Immunity challenge!   A stacking/balance challenge, which is what these final challenges should be.  The wind plays a key role in this one, as Ken and Adam learn, much to their chagrin.  Ends in a tie between Hannah and Ken.  Then becomes a showdown between them.  Ken wins literally with seconds to spare!

Everyone gets nervous.  Hannah talks with Ken.  Ken talks loyalty to David first.  He's basically telling her that she shouldn't count on anything.  She says he isn't a smart player, for his own interests.  Adam talks to David.  He says David needs to go in order for him to win.  This is where Ken and Hannah's game really lies.  And it kind of comes down to Ken.  Everyone's expecting a tie and fire challenge...

Tribal council!  Bret is still bitter toward Hannah.  Her chances of winning probably died voting him out.  Too bad.  Jeff talks about how long it took Hannah to vote the first time.  He insists on continuing his depiction of her journey, interrupting Hannah herself!  Everyone scrambles.  David makes a hard sell for Ken to remain loyal.  I've been rooting for Adam for so long it only now occurs to me that he really might have pulled a Hannah about a million times.  So that basically leaves Ken or David, depending on whether David makes it past this tribal...Wow!  David is voted out!  Will make for some very compelling arguments for sure, and very interesting bitter jury comments... 

Ken complains that Hannah and Adam can't just soak up their cushy spot.  So there's the season's theme coming up again...They're been talking up his daughter a lot, but that's not really much compared to Hannah's journey or Adam's mom.  Hannah thinks she's played the best game, but in terms of dynamic playing, it's hard to argue against Adam, or Ken's assistance to David's journey, as the only one who really had a strong ally all season, out of the finalists. 

Final tribal!

Taylor asks finalists to pitch themselves.  Hannah says she put every member of the jury there.  Ken talks about the human side.  Adam talks about putting himself into the position of not going home.

Sunday talks about the theme of the season.  She says she was adaptable/flexible.  Maybe she was?  She asks if they were that.  Ken kind of throws the other two under the bus.  Adam kind of throws the other two under the bus, but mostly Hannah.  So Hannah goes on the defensive.  They're making a mistake tying themselves up with each other.  Leaves Ken wide open to collect votes.

Jessica is shocked about Ken's choices, such as voting out David.  Ken gets emotional.

Will talks about respecting Ken for voting out David.  He talks about being confused about Adam's game.  Adam again pits himself against Hannah.  Hannah responds. 

Zeke gives "hardiest congratulations."  He says evolution is key.  He says Ken did nothing to evolve the game.  He gives the ball to Adam to explain how that goes.  Then throws it to Hannah.  Zeke is reviving their chances, changing the narrative.  Hannah throws Adam under the bus.  Now she's saying "most" of the jury.

Michelle is actually bitter toward Hannah.  She's also bitter toward Adam.  Triforce to the end, alas.  Adam and Hannah quickly lose their momentum. 

Bret asks when they felt they really started playing.  Ken talks Jessica and David.  He asks Adam a more pointed question.  Adam tries to pander to Bret.  Adam doesn't understand the mistake.  Bret doesn't address Hannah. 

Jay wonders why Adam betrayed him.  Adam tries to salvage that.  He declines to talk about what they both know about his mother.  Jay is probably still his brother.

Chris reveals he's a trial lawyer.  He points out Adam's got the strongest case.  Ken tries to dispute the fact.  Tries.

David talks about himself.  Asks them how the experience changed them.  Hannah really is not going to win.  It's a two-horse game.  We know Hannah's argument here.  Ken doesn't really have a story.  Adam talks about his mother, how they originally applied to Blood vs. Water, and the diagnosis.  So now it's all laid out.  You really, really can't top that.  Actually gets comfort from another finalist (Ken). 

Voting is done.  Live portion begins!  Even though we've literally seen Jeff in the studio the whole night they still did the mock transition they've done far too much, when they used to do it so cool in the early seasons! 

Votes: Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam.  Winner: Adam!  I totally saw that coming, with or without the hard sell at the very end.  Got every vote!  I think he got the rest of the votes after the hard sell, but he was gonna win anyway, right?

Jeff congratulates Adam.  Adam talks about how huge this is.  Jeff talks about Adam making it onto the season before his mom's diagnosis, and they talk about his decision to play regardless.  They talk about how Adam chose to tell Jay of all people.  Jay explains it hilariously.  Jeff and Adam continue talking about his mom.  She was still alive when he finished playing and got home.  She died an hour after he got home.  He talks about how this seems like a story, but it's his life.  He says it doesn't matter whether or not she knew he won.  He says she knew he did.  Survivor puts together a lung cancer research fund (linked with Stand Up 2 Cancer).  Adam puts up a hundred grand, which will be matched. 

Then David gets to talk.  Then Zeke. 

Bret/Zeke is talked about, the "gay guy" moment. 

Hannah/Kent is brought up, their possible romance.  Ken actually talks about his anxieties, too. 

Michaela speaks.  Honestly had completely forgotten about her.  I don't really know why they chose to speak to her.

Jessica speaks.  Talks about picking rocks.  She admits she would've lost no matter the rock thing.

Will speaks.  Finally has a not-stupid hairdo. 

Sunday speaks.  About being a mom.  Somehow the connection is not made to Adam. 

Taylor and Figgy!  They no longer have a relationship.  Apparently Taylor is a father.

Chris is asked about how twists affect gameplay.  He admits the players who lasted longest were able to adapt best.

Apparently returning players next season!

Season 34 - Survivor: Game Changers.  Michaela (that's why she was talked to) is among the returning players, as are Tony (winner), Sandra (two-time winner, but I doubt very much she can make it three), Ozzie...!  Clearly going for the true players this time, rather than mere fan favorites, so that will be a good way to distinguish this one.

That's all for the season except the summary!

One last segment!  Michelle talks about how this was not a bitter finale.  Jeff says that's the way it should be!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X 1x12 "Slayed the Survivor Dragon" live blogging thoughts

Will basks in the glow of his big move.  Time will tell...Bret is less positive about Will's actions.  He calls Will a high school kid checking off boxes.  Bret talks to Adam and Sunday about David, Jay, and Will as the biggest remaining threats.  Hello!  Adam!  Blindspot, Bret...

Immunity challenge.!  Discs, balance beam, playing shuffle board...Will is terrible at this challenge, does not appreciate Jeff pointing it out...Comes down to Jay, David, and Bret...Jay just kills it, wins immunity.  He's still relatively under the radar, somehow.  Definitely a dark horse contender to win the season.

Ken talks about Jay being a target.  So there's that.  Jay and Will talk the need to eliminate Ken before David.  Or Will wants David gone, because he thinks David is an automatic winner if he reaches the finals.  David talks about scrambling, claims the most insecure he's ever felt is "right now."  Chatter continues to work against him.  But then Adam talks about Will's emerging threat.  Talks to Bret about it, targeting Will.  Bret sees this as a good idea.  Sunday, of course, agrees.  Adam next talks to Hannah, who is more hesitant about it.  "I'm torn up, as I always am, emotionally."  That's Hannah.  She talks about owing "more than one person."  Such as David.  Adam and Hannah are in fact the most dangerous people this season. 

Tribal council!  Jeff talks to Will about his big move.  Will attempts to deflect it by mentioning what Adam did.  David talks about "deep concerns."  Big change for a guy whose every moment was fraught with deep concerns at the start of the season!  Hannah and Adam both talk ambiguously about what's in their best interest moving forward.  Talk has turned against Will rather quickly.  Big moves are dangerous moves.  David talks about how significant they are.  Jay claims everyone there is a player.  Nope.  Not Sunday.  And until last episode, not Will.  Which is what they were all just talking about.  David and Will receive votes.  Will's big move costs him big, and he's voted out.  Waited way, way too long, Will, and tried to go way, way too big. 

Jay compares himself to the Black Plague; anytime someone plots with him they leave the game.  Adam apologies to him for lying about the vote.  Jay talks about their weird relationship.  He asks what Adam's end-game is, and Adam claims he won't go to the end with David.  They talk about Jay's hidden immunity idol.  He may also suggest that Jay will have to go.  Strange, strange relations this season...

Immunity challenge!  Solving a block puzzle, with a time limit via a pinball table...Which basically means not letting a ball drop while solving a puzzle.  It's also worth noting that the two stations cannot be seen at the same time, so you literally have to turn around to keep working at this one...Diabolical!  Ken thinks he's got it but's wrong...Adam actually starts helping Ken...Jay is not happy about that...Ken wins!  "That was fun but that was crazy."  Bret.  It's weird, but Ken is starting to look like Terry Deitz. 

Adam explains that he just didn't want David or Jay to win.  David explains how Hannah, Ken, and Adam are his key allies.  Hannah targets Sunday, who is valuable as a voter who can be convinced to vote.  I realize I just made that sound stupid, but she's absolutely right.  Adam talks to Ken about Jay's future.  He says he needs to vote for Jay tonight.  He suggests that if Jay plays his hidden immunity idol, David could theoretically go home.  Hannah continues to fixate on Sunday, making her the only person other than Sunday's family and acquaintances to do so.  Jay explains that Adam tries to strong-arm him into using his idol.  It's a dangerous game, Adam.  So far it's worked in your favor.  He then tells Jay about his mom's cancer.  Will this strategy work?  That's the ultimate sympathy card.  It seems to work.  They shed tears.  Jay says Adam is no longer a weasel.  Hannah talks about how this vote is crucial.

Tribal council!  Will looks ridiculously young when he comes out with the jury.  Did he look that young at the start of the season?  Jay talks about whether or not he feels vulnerable.  Bret tries to interpret what he said.  David talks about Jay as a free agent.  Jeff asks David as a big threat.  Adam talks about David's journey being jury bait.  Hannah talks about threats to win.  Jeff asks Sunday about her chances.  She thinks she can get votes.  She can't get votes.  Adam talks about the perception of the jury.  Jay uses his hidden immunity idol.  I really, really miss fake hidden immunity idols.  Where's the creativity, people???  ("It's a stick!")  David and Sunday garner votes.  Did Adam trick Jay?  Sunday is voted...out.  She mutters "dang it" on the way out.  Did she really think she had a chance to win?  The edit sure didn't!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X 1x11 "About to Have a Rumble" live blogging thoughts

Hannah is feeling overwhelmed by the tribal council that just happened (for her).  She feels guilty about what happened to Jessica.  David is feeling vulnerable, too, having wasted a hidden immunity idol.  Zeke declares the tribal council "amazing."  He then uses questionable emphasis in syllables.  (Trying desperately to express his glee further.)

Ken receives the legacy advantage bequeathed to him by Jessica.  He considers it a great boost to his game.  I think he, David, or Adam have the best shot at winning this season.

Reward challenge!  Loved Ones Visit!  Sunday says hello to her husband.  Bret says hello to his dad.  Jay says hello to his sister.  Hannah says hello to her mom.  Adam says hello to his brother.  (Quick update on their mom battling cancer: she's "okay.")  He talks about his advantage, saying he won't use it this reward.  David says hello to his dad.  Ken says hello to his brother.  Zeke says hello to his dad.  Will says hello to his mom.  Always interesting to see who comes out for these things.

The challenge itself involves being attached to a rope and having to maneuver around an obstacle.  The reward, besides the loved one, is a barbecue.  Somehow it's more fun when the loved ones are competing...Sunday is probably not going to win.  Behind most of the challenge.  Adam somewhat hilariously gets stuck.  Jay wins!  He picks Will to join him on the reward.  He then picks Sunday to join them.  He surprisingly chooses Adam to round out the collection.  This Triforcer really did let bygones be bygones.  It figures that he's gotten the best edit of them, and has obviously lasted the longest.  He's probably the real wild card this season.

During the barbecue, Adam and his brother discuss their mom's treatments.  My mom had cancer, and passed away after a five-year battle last year.  So this was tough to listen to for me.  I know that they're not really battling for a win but for time.  It sucks.

Then he gives the advantage to Jay. 

Will talks about needing credibility.  Says he's "tired of using people, I want to work with people."  He really has turned his game around.  Says he wants to side with David now.  David thinks this means Zeke can go home soon.

Immunity challenge!  A keeping-a-thing-from-falling challenge, the traditional variation on balance, or should I say concentration, challenge.  David somewhat quickly drops out.  Hannah drops.  Will drops.  Bret drops.  Sunday drops.  Zeke drops.  Ken drops.  Jay drops.  Adam wins!  Darn good episode for him.  Pretty consistent edit for him this season.  I would be very surprised to see him go before the final tribal.

But then he starts getting cocky.  Please don't do that, bro.  So people start talking about what happens next.  David makes a brilliant analogy about Will just getting his drivers license.  Zeke starts getting paranoid.  He figures David is too well protected, so he starts looking for another target.  Ken gets to know Will, wondering if he's really onboard the Get Zeke crew.  Will says working with Ken is excruciating.  Will says Ken is the next target.  Ken talks with Jay trying to confirm.  So this becomes a problem.  Will may have made a huge mistake.  Adam calls what just happened a betrayal.  So now it's turning on Ken.  Hannah calls Zeke a mobster!  Will's youth is finally really showing.  Basically pretty immature...

Tribal council!  David explains that there's a single swing vote (Will).  Will explains that Ken is the problem.  This puts Will in such a terrible situation.  I have no idea how he couldn't figure that out.  I think perception of him is warped by that voice.  He just called himself a serious contender.  He is serious: seriously deluded.  Jay tries to give Will credibility.  But kind of loses some of his in the process.  David makes a case for Will flipping, as originally planned.  The quality of players is such that no one is apparently considering changing targets.  There should always be alternative targets.  Such as, oh, Will.  Who sucks up to Jay.  I could easily see Jay, and Adam, in the finals.  Hannah is convinced she's going home, after votes have been cast.  Adam uses a hidden immunity idol for Hannah.  Big, big twist.  I don't think so many hidden immunity idols have been used, much less for people other than who found them, in the history of this game.  Hannah garners votes, nullified, Zeke goes home as a result!  The witch is dead!  Big, big tribal council!  The game is on!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X 1x10 "Million Dollar Gamble" live blogging thoughts

Following tribal council, Adam tries to explain why he didn't rat Taylor out.  He explains that he wants Jay to follow Taylor out.  That's also two votes against him should he make it to the finals.  Jay digs up the remaining food and gives it back, and reflects on his hidden immunity idol.  Chris talks about Jessica needing to go, as payback, basically, for the Paul blindside (long memory!).  That's why it's dangerous to do stuff like that, Jessica, because if you don't eliminate the rest of that group you betrayed, it will come back to haunt you.  So there are people in some bad places right now if they make it to the end...

Ken and Hannah bond.  She talks about flirting with him.  Can we talk about Team Kennah?  Will, whose main distinguishing factor is his deep voice (and young age) bonds with Zeke.  He talks about dumping Jay as an ally, because he was always a loose member of what is now a Triforce of One (sob!).  He's an ideal player to go further than he should in a season like this, where no one is really good enough a player to even considering dominating.  Zeke once again looks like he's in a good place because of this.  He talks about hidden immunity idols.  He mistakenly talks strategy with Chris, who is of course fixated on Jessica.  He's convinced he's in a pretty good place. 

Reward challenge!  Basically collecting keys and stacking blocks.  Floating pizza restaurant reward!  Jeff mocks the losers in advance!  David attempts to talk himself out of the challenge.  Apparently he's still insecure, the edit just stopped commenting on it every episode.  He starts to cry about the support he's been receiving.  Sympathy!  With nary a fake dead grandma needed!  Jay is the one who doesn't get to compete after teams are chosen randomly.  Kind of figures.  Zeke, Adam, Hannah, Sunday, and Bret win.

They start to eat. And eat. And talk.  With food in their mouth.  They get letters from home!  Adam gets emotional.  He talks about his mother's ongoing battle with cancer, and constantly worrying about how she's doing. 

People not eating and eating talk about...well, the game.  David appreciates Ken.  These two still look to be in some of the best long-term positions.  They're not entangled with too much drama.  David is back strong in the edit!  Yay!  He talks about getting to the final three with Ken.  He suggests Chris, Bret, and Sunday as being the biggest threat.  He's probably right.  He talks to Jessica about getting rid of Chris.  So there's some good symmetry there! 

Immunity challenge!  Balancing challenge.  David wins!  The editing this hour continues to go his way!  He boldly predicts Chris will go home.

David is congratulated.  Jay is mad at himself for blowing the challenge.  Sunday, whose main distinguishing factor is that she has no chance at winning but keeps finding her way into the edit anyway, comments on other people talking strategy.  David talks with Zeke.  Jessica talks about being targeted.  Adam talks about his alliance being "a hundred percent."  Things are never that clearcut in this game, unless you're talking about Ulong getting Ulonged.  Zeke talks about the great position he's in, being a swing vote, thinking he has all the power because of it.  Historically this is a bad position, Zeke. 

Tribal council!  Jay talks about being in a bad position.  David talks about voting blocks, and how blindsides are possible and Jay probably isn't a target because of it (by implication).  Hannah coins the term "trustcluster."  (That's another word for alliance, Hannah.)  (By any other name.)  Bret talks about trust.  Chris talks about trust.  Basically they're previewing how they'll act as jurors?  Jay still feels vulnerable.  Sunday, whose main distinguishing factor is that she keeps talking without really meaning anything to the game, talks.  Jessica talks about the Gen X blindside, and Chris says she has nothing to worry about.  David feels pretty safe (immunity idol and all).  Jay says he's pretty sure he's gone.  Zeke talks about sticking to the plan, and how appearances can be deceiving.  Jessica's vote against Chris is shown.  Chris's vote against Jessica is shown.  That's...the opposite of a blindside, Chris, claiming she's safe but everyone knowing she isn't.  Kind of idiotic move for someone who has previously been somewhat smart.  Chris and Jessica (Sunday is blindsided) trade votes, Chris is voted out.  That's a blindside, Chris...

Segue into the start of the second hour as they return to camp.  Jay is pretty happy he survived without a single vote.  But Jessica talks about him as necessarily the next vote.  Bret is pretty sure Chris would have won if he'd made it to the end.  Well, probably not, Chris.  Zeke is gunning for David.  You're far less sympathetic, Zeke, not to mention scrambling a lot more than he is.  Bret is surprisingly cool about all this, and Copgate has officially been forgotten.  David talks about targeting Zeke, too.  Bret talks about being part of Team Zeke, and how David doesn't realize this.  Bret spills the beans on David's plans against Zeke.  Zeke talks about being the "doughy little gay guy."  He perpetuates the myth that surviving day to day at camp has anything to do with surviving the game itself.  He then says David is probably a more immediate target now.  This will probably be the theme of the episode, and the biggest move either will have in this game, if one of them succeeds.

David calls himself and Zeke chess players.  That's what makes David so interesting, because starting out you never would have expected this from him, but he set about making alliances so brilliantly.  Can you say the same about Zeke?  Zeke keeps talking about David's latest hidden immunity idol.  Hannah talks about having to choose between them.  That's the problem right there for her, being incapable of that very decision.

Reward challenge!  Three teams of three, snake-themed.  No dignity.  Classic.  Helicopter tour, Survivor picnic.  "Away...from all the losers."  Way to be subtle, Jeff.  Someone will draw a lucky rock that will give them a free ride to the reward, which David wins (at this point...of course!).  Remember when I talked about lack of dignity?  Will and Hannah prove that quickly..."Zeke looks like a Survivor mime."  Without really knowing it, Jeff nails Zeke right there.  He's doing everything someone like him thinks is the same as actually doing he should be doing, or in other words looking like a winner while not necessarily making a rock solid case to be a winner.  But only time will tell...Bret, Zeke, and Sunday win.  That will be an awkward little picnic, with David and Zeke...On the other hand, it'll give Ken and David's other allies a chance to hash out the advantages of not going full Team Zeke...Adam talks about whether he should have used his advantage to go on that one...

Wait, didn't Zeke talk about not drinking beer the last time he went on a reward?  And drinking anyway for the same reasons?  He and Bret bond.  Apparently Bret is also gay.  So that kind of explains why they bond.  So to be clear, when I say I don't see either of them winning this game, it's not because they're gay.  But this is a nice moment for them.  For all the gay players this game has had over the years, this is probably the best moment any of them have had.

Then they talk with Sunday, whose main distinguishing factor is that she is willing to vote when there's a vote.  They target David.  Zeke is convinced he's in control.

Totally no David in that edit, for whatever reason, which I just realized.  Hannah admits Zeke is a flip-flopper.  Says the girl who just flip-flopped to David.  David says his hidden immunity idol doesn't have to be used by him, that it's his as well as hers.  The two most neurotic people this season are finally bonding!  Glorious.  David suggests targeting Zeke next vote, David playing his hidden immunity idol...Hannah says she wants to see what happens next.  Honestly, Adam just might win this season because everyone else sabotaged themselves...

Immunity challenge!  Maze board challenge; they can't see the board, which is interesting.  Jeff brags that he can see everything...He admits it'd be wrong to say who's ahead or behind.  He keeps chattering anyway.  Clearly he knows this strategy from general sports commentary.  Jay is the first one to move onto a slide puzzle.  Jay wins!  He keeps, ah, surviving, but has no shot at winning the season (probably).  It's just interesting that someone from the Triforce is still around.  It almost feels like destiny...

Jay celebrates his victory.  Says he won't play his hidden immunity idol tonight.  I mean, no one in the history of this game has been stupid enough to go home with one of those, right? 

Jessica talks about supporting David.  Ken talks about supporting David.  Oprah talks about supporting David.  Everyone talks about supporting David!  (Woop, got a little ahead of myself...)

Hannah and Zeke have friction.  Hannah should not apply to a spy agency.  Stay away from the Spy Shack!  Zeke talks his short-term strategy.  Jay talks about voting against Hannah.  Zeke talks about the opposing "armies."  Apparently "trustcluster" is already a dead term.  Adam talks about Hannah being neurotic.  She feels David should play his idol for her.  Well, of course!  David talks out what might happen.  He wonders who might flip.  He's not sure what will happen!

Tribal council!  Jeff wonders if anyone feels secure about what will happen.  No one raises their hand.  He then wonders if anyone feels safe, and Jay raises his hand.  This whole episode has crystalized the insane development of the season where David and Zeke have wound up in control.  Bret freaks out about the "trustcluster" term.  Zeke mocks David.  Looks bad for you, Zeke.  This whole season is Election 2016 all over again!  Ken seems to be the target.  Bret talks about smoke and mirrors.  (Cody Rhodes, somewhere, perks up his head.)  Considering how much time is left, this will not be a simple vote...A bug attacks Taylor.  Figures!  Even the jury isn't safe this season!  David decides to play his hidden immunity idol.  Adam reveals that the other guys wanted to vote for Ken.  David uses his idol for Ken. Zeke and Hannah, alas, garner votes.  Tied.  Will, whose main distinguishing factor is that he's got long hair but was not an actual member of the Triforce, is given the urn.  People whisper new strategies...Second tie.  Deadlock.  Jeff breaks out the verbal marker board explaining what happens next.  Will tries to bring reason.  Wow!  Distinguishing factor!  Basically no consensus is going to happen.  So Zeke and Hannah can no longer be voted for.  Jay is safe.  Ken is safe.  Everyone else is fair game...and picking rocks.  Not a purple rock!!!  Will says he will probably cry...Jessica is thusly eliminated.  Sucks.  Hopefully David's alliance can rally.  I'm sure a lot of people gained some new perspective this council.  Jessica leaves the legacy advantage to Ken.  "The rest of this game is going to be...insane."  One last sage comment from Jeff...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X 1x9 "Still Throwin' Punches" live blogging updates

Jay laments the loss of Michelle.  He calls the "Millennial flippers" idiots.  Chris is happy about how things turned out, but he's also scared about the future, unsure how much he should trust his new allies.  Taylor thinks he and Jay should attempt to patch things with their enemies.  He also talks with Adam again.  Adam briefly FLAIRS UP THE OLD ALL CAPS.  Taylor thinks he can blackmail Adam, basically.  Really proud about stealing "half the food."  Taylor's someone new in this game, which is incredibly rare.  He's kind of a villain, but he's not a smart villain, even though he's vaguely strategic.  Jay and Hannah try and hash things out, as she attempts to explain herself.  She's been wanting to play since she was fourteen.  Survivor debuted in 2000.  I was nineteen.  So I guess that doesn't make her that much younger than me.  But when she said it I kind of freaked out a little...

Reward challenge!  Two teams, obstacles, keys, boxes, dragging under nets, targets...Playing to visit a resort!  Cheeseburgers!  Cocktails!  Soft drinks!  Schoolyard pick!  Exclamation point!  (Sorry.)  Chris picked the team that won.  He continues to turn out better than I thought early in the season.  Hannah picked the losing team.  ("I picked a horrible team.") 

Team Chris enjoys the resort.  Taylor's food-sneaking pays off when he realizes his body is more "food adapted" and therefore more capable of absorbing the bounty.  Bret is not as smart.  For what it's worth comparing their intelligence.  It's pretty funny that Taylor is so convinced his future in the game still has a shot at looking good.  Sunday talks about a "proactive move."  The most "proactive move" she could make would be to change her name to Monday. 

Meanwhile, Jay and Adam talk.  Adam worries about playing too aggressively.  He realizes he really shouldn't trust Jay and Taylor.  Jay ends up feeling bad about being reminded he's on the bottom.  If Jay and Taylor were anyone else, they would have a shot at getting numbers back on their side.  Jay talks with Will, whose proactive move would be to be to add "Free" to the front of his name.

Folks watch a sunrise.  Sunday continues to talk about her potential.  She has none.  I feel like I'm watching, I don't know, one of those house-hunter shows when she's on.  She talks with Jay.  Well, that about figures, someone like her making Jay and Taylor relevant again.  The way the edit has gone all over the place, it's pretty indicative of no one really in control, which can sometimes make for an interesting backend to a season, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.  Adam's fortunes have been the most consistent element of the season, for what it's worth.

Immunity challenge!  Jeff offers to let anyone feeling safe to eat instead of compete.  Zeke and Will decide to eat.  That about figures.  Zeke's slide to irrelevance has arrived at about Will levels.  He foolishly thinks aligning with Gen X means he improves his fortunes.  Not so much.  Will's not old enough to drink beer.  Anyway, it's a balancing challenge.  Hannah quickly falls out of competition.  Bret's out.  Jessica, Sunday, David, and Chris drop out.  Adam drops out.  Jay is out.  Taylor and Ken remain.  Taylor is wearing those ugly toe shoes.  Figures.  Taylor drops.  Ken wins!  I officially dub Ken, Chris, and Adam as the people to beat this season. 

David talks strategy, decides splitting the vote is a great idea.  Not historically, David...Concludes Taylor and Jay, one of them, will go home.  Sunday really wants Jessica to go home.  Probably fears they cancel each other out at this point.  Gotta give her props for becoming aggressive this late in the game.  She's been working toward this.  Toward...nothing.  Taylor shows Jay the "bunker of food."  But Jay won't tell him about his hidden immunity idol.  He probably should play it tonight.  That would be smart, right?  Taylor explains Adam's advantage.  Then about the blackmail.  Which means nothing.  They both believe telling everyone about Adam's advantage.  He still doesn't see that he has no future unless he really does compromise his Figgy Avenger mode, because Adam is his only venue forward.

Tribal council!  Michelle is the first jury member.  She will probably be a good juror.  Adam talks about blindsides being a fairly common thing in this game.  Chris talks about being "on the wrong side of the line."  Taylor talks about his bunker food.  Rats out Adam.  Turns out to be the pipebomb he hoped it'd be.  Ken looks like crazy people are talking.  Adam's advantage is revealed.  Taylor basically uses Election 2016 tactics.  Figures.  "Wow."  (Jeff.)  David is "stunned" and "uncomfortable."  He says it's the final nail in the coffin for one of them.  Taylor is basically the idiot version of Russell Hanz.  Jessica, with a little goading from Jeff, basically calls this prototypical Millennial behavior.  Jay tries desperately to distance himself from the Taylor and Adam scandals.  Adam wonders what the hell Jay is trying to say.  This is literally Election 2016 nonsense.  Hannah tries to summarize things.  Bret tries, too.  Hannah's attempt was better.  Figures.  Jay chooses not to use his hidden immunity idol.  He immediately gets a vote against him.  Then Taylor and Adam, then Jay, then Taylor, then Jay, Taylor, Jay, Taylor, Taylor, and the last goes to Taylor, giving him enough votes to leave the game.  He apologizes for stealing food, which must have seemed like a far less smart idea as he was saying so...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X 1x8 "I'm the Kingpin" live blogging updates

Jay thought he'd get punched in the face at tribal council, but Michaela...stopped short of that.  Let the record show!  Hannah considers herself the bottom of the Green Tribe.  She's reverting back to where she began.  That's her problem right there.  But she remains eternally hopeful that things can turn around.  She is Hannah Fierce!

Merge!  Bret is happy.  He was feeling "terrified."  Can he trust Will & Jay?  Adam is happy to make the merge.  He realizes this is the important part of the game...

Merge!  Zeke is happy.  He's feeling "excited."  Michelle is relieved!  She feels pretty confident the remaining members of the Triforce can reunite and go all the way.  (It should be noted there are now actually three members of the Triforce, for those keeping score and wanting to reconcile their concept of math with Millennials logic...)

Will bizarrely introduces himself.  Sunday does, too.  This figures, because this is now their distinguishing moment...

Chris isn't sure what to make of the new tribe.  He's sticking by David and Zeke, and would love to recombine with Bret and Sunday.  Zeke is giddy with all the possible fruitful links.  He calls Jay the "locus of power."  He then proceeds to sort of gush over him.  He also seems to have an exaggerated sense of Jay's importance...No clue what just happened, Zeke?

Feasting on celebratory merge food!  Adam wisely realizes he shouldn't fixate on it.  He quickly finds an advantage instead, the ability to steal a reward after someone's won it.  He realizes this has never happened before.

Taylor thinks he cleverly grabs extra food for himself.  Bret notices.  Adam notices.  He decides to talk strategy with him.  Apparently the events of the great betrayal have been put behind them.  But Taylor doesn't agree (just not to his face).  So I don't know if Adam's just screwed himself or what.  Not a smart move.  I don't really know what he was thinking...

People talk about Taylor's theft.  That's the thing that'll work in Adam's favor, because Taylor has no idea people other than Adam noticed.  So this could be Adam's second blindside of Taylor, if he realizes what's happening...

Jay and Taylor talk about Adam's plan to target Will (who like Sunday is only good for adding up votes).  (To be clear.)  Zeke continues to fixate on Jay.  Taylor talks with Will.  Will realizes he has to win immunity.  Which probably won't happen, Will.

Individual immunity challenge!  Balancing on narrow perches!  Buckets of water perched above them!  Good classic challenge.  The big twist is that both arms are tethered this time.  Sunday first out.  No surprise.  Chris out.  Bret out.  All three out in less than ten minutes.  Jay out.  Zeke out.  Jeff points out David.  Kind of surprising he's still in it, to think about him.  The reason we spend so little time talking about David the last few episodes is that Hannah adequately covers similar territory.  She drops out soon after Ken.  We've reached twenty minutes.  Bye Michelle.  Taylor gone.  David finally out.  Adam surprisingly drops out.  Really expected him to win, actually.  Jessica will probably beat Will.  They reach the hour mark.  Then another thirty minutes.  Damn!  Will pulled it out.  Now I'm kind of worried for Adam..."What a performance."  What a bad move earlier, Adam...Way to pick a moment to do something, Will...Does Adam have it in him to dodge this bullet?

How is Will the youngest person to ever play?  He seems like he's a lot older than some of those blood relatives and other such young'uns...Michelle immediately realizes it's stupid to vote out Adam.  That's why I like her.  Zeke talks to Adam about what's been spilled.  He kind of suspected after Will stayed in the challenge "for three hours."  (Was it three?)  Adam talks with Chris, kind of the arbiter of second chances around here.  David speaks!  You don't even consider targeting Michelle, though!  Adam doesn't think the Gen X crew has enough of a focus.  He turns back to Taylor, of all people.  Taylor concludes this is "a hundred percent about revenge," so it...really looks bad for Adam.  David and Hannah together?!?  She talks with Adam.  "Weirdoes" and "cool kids" blocs this season, apparently, never mind the original premise...So, scrambling continues one way or another.  He considers playing his hidden immunity idol.

Tribal council!  It's brought up that Taylor stole food.  He talked about being hungry.  Someone suggests they're hungry enough to eat Jeff...It occurs to me that this season is kind of turning into another Borneo.  Who's Rich Hatch???  This time, everyone thinks they're being pretty strategic, but are Jay and Taylor still kind of Team Captain America?  David is speaking with ridiculous confidence these days.  What happened to this guy???  Everyone seems pretty sure alliances will emerge in the open tonight.  Adam once again states the obvious, about no one wanting to be the first voted out after the merge...It definitely seems a Millennial is going home one way or another.  Adam chooses not to use his hidden immunity idol.  Adam and Michelle get all the votes.  Michelle loses.  Darn!  But this was a make-or-break moment for both of them.  She chose to stick with the Triforce, which she was kind of maneuvered, after the shakeup, into, unfortunately.  So does Adam have better footing?  Only if he finally embraces it...