Survivor 31: Cambodia: Second Chance Blog Recap Episode 1: Second Chance

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Welcome to another season of my Survivor blogs, everyone! Before I get started on the first episode of Cambodia, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who reads my blogs. I love writing them and it is nice knowing that people like to read them. So… Thanks, readers! You’re all awesome and I love you. Also… WTF are we supposed to call this season? Survivor: Cambodia? Survivor: Second Chance? Survivor: Second Chances? I’ve seen and heard it be called all three of those, but I think a better title would have been Survivor: Old School vs. New School because it’s THE big issue of the season so far. We’ll get to that in a bit, but first…

1_thanksjeffWe’re going to fast forward through the whole “here’s who’s playing, what they are thinking, and what their game plans are” sequence and get to the good stuff. After traveling by truck through a Cambodian village, the Survivors walk through the Angkor Wat temple complex and the jungle until they reach four boats. In the boats, they travel down a river until they reach the ocean and our favorite reality TV show host, Jeff Probst. From a barge fully loaded with supplies, Jeff first probes the players about their previous performances then officially announces the tribes. The first tribe is named Ta Keo and is comprised of Borneo Kelly, Woo, Shirin, Peih-Gee, Vytas, Abi, Terry, Jeff, Spencer, and the other Kelley… Really, Survivor? You had to put both Kellies on the same tribe? They can’t even use “Kelly W” to discern one from the other! I may call them “Went” and “Wigles”, but I haven’t decided yet. Anyway… In the other boats, Savage, Ceira, Jeremy, Joe, Kass, Keith, Kimmi, Tasha, Monica, and Stephen Fishbach make up the other tribe, Bayon.

2_justfishSo… I said Jeff was on a barge loaded with supplies so you know what that means! It’s scramble for supplies time! Each tribe will disembark their boats, climb onto the barge and load up a raft of supplies to take to their respective camps, BUT… On another boat, 100 yards away from the barge, is a large bag of rice, (an actual large bag of rice, unlike the “large” bag the offered at the beginning of last season…), and the first tribe to reach it, gets to keep it. So… While there is no time limit on supply gathering, there is a countdown – which tribe is going to leave the supply barge first? As soon as Jeff says it’s time to find out who will win this game of chicken, people are jumping ship faster than Hillary Clinton supporters after that whole email scandal thing… Chaos ensues on the barge. People are everywhere, chickens are being collected, and ignored, baskets are being dropped to the rafts and amid all this madness, Jeff is nearly beheaded by a batch of lumber being tossed down to a raft then bumps into Vytas when he’s reminding everyone to be mindful of things flying through the air. Aaand… Ta Keo is the first tribe to release their raft and the race to the rice is underway. Borneo Kelly, Wigles, dives into the water to swim ahead of Ta-Keo’s raft to give her tribe even more of a lead while Bayon can barely keep their raft above water. Talk with Bayon turns to who on their tribe thinks they can swim the distance. After a few moments of consideration, Joe says he can do it, but he wants to be a little bit closer and as soon as he feels good, Joe dives into the water. Then Woo dives into the water, passes tribe mate Kelly, and quickly boards the boat to win the rice for Ta Keo.

3_thanksterryskidsAnd it’s all lovey-dovey when Ta Keo lands on their beach. Hugs all around, everyone is smiling, and everyone is excited to be there. Talk quickly turns to building camp and mostly everyone gets to work. Then talk of “old school” players and “new school” players comes up – the old schoolers are all about building camp and being a tribe, the new schoolers are immediately immersed in the strategy of the game. Terry notes that his wife warned him to not let people go off in the jungle alone, and then with Spencer, out in the jungle alone, he tells him that his kids did all kinds of research – they advised him to align with Spencer and Spencer loves this. He doesn’t trust anyone, kid-approved alliance or not, and he intends to have more one-on-one conversations in the first three days than he did all season in Cagayan – He’s a new school player, but an all school fan. Which brings us to the Case of the Missing Bag; Abi can’t find hers and it contains her bracelet, which must have some secret, super powers because she’s really freaking out about it being missing. She says she’s not going to play like she did last time, but…

4_powerbraceletOver at Bayon it’s the same story as Ta Keo – everyone is feeling all lovey dovey Kumbaya, but everyone is working to build camp. The dudes are focused on the structure of the shelter, the ladies are weaving palm fronds, and there are smiles on every face. Everyone is so happy to have a second chance; they can’t believe they are doing this again, and blah blah blah… We all know that this happy camper vibe won’t last long for either tribe because the wheels are already turning inside those heads. Keith, for instance, isn’t going to change much of his strategy – he’s just going to tweak it, but no fumbling! Alone together in the jungle, Jeremy has a chat with Keith to let him know that the past is the past, this is a new game, and Jeremy just wants to butter up Keith a bit so if someone mentions Jeremy, Jeremy will know about it. He also puts in some face time with Tasha, Savage, and Joe – Joe is a good shield. But what really happens here is the solidification of the Alpha Male Alliance between Joe, Jeremy, and Savage. As Joe points out, the alphas either go after each other or stick together and the fact that they are sticking together spells trouble for Mr. Stephen Fishbach. It’s just like last time – he’s a Fishbach out of water again… Then Savage pulls down a tree, well, I mean, he chopped at it a bit first and he more pushed it down, but the man still took a tree down all by himself and the ladies are super impressed. Stephen? Not so much… He’s not feeling too great about his second chance right now.

5_fml_editBack at Ta Keo, Vytas is working on the ladies to put himself in their good graces, but Shirin isn’t buying what he’s selling – he’s smarmy. Out in the jungle, Shirin has a chat with Jeff and Spencer about how Vytas and Terry are close and she’s feels that’s a very threatening duo. Shirin knows that Vytas has connections on the other tribe too, which also makes Vytas a threatening player. Jeff is overwhelmed at this point. Back in the day, Survivor was all about the adventure, but the game has changed and it’s all about strategy, strategy, strategy. He’s glad that Shirin and Spencer have sort of teamed up with him – he’s happy to be on that train and he’ll ride it as long as he can. Back at camp, Abi has found her bag and her precious bracelet – it was in Peih-Gee’s bag and she doesn’t know what to think about that. She doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, buuut… She isn’t shy about telling everyone she can that she found her bracelet and where it was. She’s not sure if this was a strategy move by Peih-Gee to awaken the “Brazilian Dragon” or what, but Abi knows she can’t let that happen. She has to play smart. Meanwhile, Peih-Gee has heard that Abi’s bracelet was in her bag and she wants to get this straightened out right now with her – she just saw a bag with no name on it so she picked it up and put it in her bag. Peih-Gee knows she needs to build up better relationships with people this time and she wants to keep her friends close and her enemies closer so she’ll do what she has to do stay off Abi’s radar.

6_stupidplayersOver at Bayon, Joe is working hard to get a fire going and Stephen is out and about looking for wood, but his jaunt somehow turns into an Idol hunt. If he doesn’t find it, someone else will and he wants to find it – for Stephen, it’s either find the idol or do his best to build up good relationships so people don’t see him as the nerd on the tribe. Back at camp, Joe is still working hard to make fire and his attempt is successful. Savage is just in awe over this, as if it’s really difficult to learn how to make fire without flint before going on Survivor as any smart future or former player would do… Savage looks at this victory as a sign of good things to come for his tribe. The next day, at Ta Keo, Jeff wakes up feeling gross and it’s only day two… Jeff feels like he’s never played Survivor, but he’s playing hard while trying not to look like he’s playing hard. To cool off, Jeff decides to go for a swim and Peih-Gee joins him. He uses this opportunity to see where her head is at and what groups she sees forming within the tribe. They both agree that there are shelter people and beach people and they don’t really know where fit, they are both kind of in a weird place. Jeff mingles with both groups and he doesn’t want to abandon his old school, shelter people. Then Peih-Gee poses the question – who would he throw a first vote towards? Well, Shirin really wants to take out Vytas, but Peih-Gee thinks someone like Abi should go first…

7_backandforthFast forwarding to Day Three, we’re back at Ta Keo and the other Kelley definitely doesn’t want to squander her second chance by not taking risks. She knows there’s usually a hidden immunity Idol somewhere around camp already and thinks that because this is a second chance season, there is definitely one out there just waiting to be found. With the excuse that she’s gathering palm fronds and coconuts, and a strategy of leaving these items in the pathway in case someone wanders her way, Kelley is on a sneaky mission to find said Idol and her mission is somewhat successful. Instead of the Idol, she finds a clue that explains how, when, and where she can get her hands on some personal safety. Unfortunately, obtaining this Idol will require making a very risky move. The Idol will be hidden on one of the four wood tripods that will be used to hold her tribe’s raft near the end of the first Immunity challenge. How great is this? You wanted to take some risks, Kelley, and now you have your chance! She says that she is going to grab it if she can, but only if a good opportunity to do so arises.

8_riskymcriskersonWe’re going to speed things up now… So tree mail arrives and the first second chance Immunity challenge will be a recreation of the very first Survivor Immunity challenge ever from season one. Monica is hoping to be able to hold her own. Joe has assembled a little yoga, or Joega, group, but Tasha is too distracted by Joe’s body to pay attention. Keith isn’t into all that yoga crap, but more power to the rest of them. Vytas is creeping all the girls out at his camp by showing off yoga poses in his weird underwear shorts that do not leave much to the imagination in regards to his “hidden immunity Idol”. Kelley wants him out, but Abi is still a top choice for some people, including Vytas because he’s getting negative vibes from her aaand… It’s time for the Immunity challenge.

9_putonsomerealpantsSo, each tribe will swim out to a raft, light a torch then use it to light a series of fires leading them back to the beach where one person will tie sticks together to enable them to reach a key to unlock the gate to light the final fire signifying the end of the challenge. In addition to Immunity, they are also playing for a massive Survivor fire-making kit. And don’t forget about that Idol! Kelley can’t stop thinking about it. It’s the only thing on her mind. As soon as Jeff says “go”, everyone is in the water making a dash for their tribe rafts and they can’t move forward until every tribe member is at the raft. Ta Keo is the first to advance, but Bayon isn’t far behind them. Our torch bearers for this challenge are Keith and Spencer and after lighting the second fire, Keith’s torch hits the water and he has to relight it while Ta Keo pulls ahead, reaching the beach first. And Kelley totally misses the perfect opportunity to grab that Idol! She walked right past it and no one was paying any attention to her! Not a single person on her tribe would have noticed…

10_idolhandsWhile Borneo Kelly gets to work tying sticks together, the other Kelley knows she missed a good chance to grab that Idol. She can’t stop turning her head back to the raft. Finally, Keith lights the last fire before the gate then Joe jumps on the task of fashioning a rod to retrieve the key they need. Ciera does a little coaching here; he has to get it to the right length the first time. A few moments pass then Borneo Kelly tries out her rod – it’s not long enough yet so she gets back to work. Another few moments pass then Joe makes an attempt to reach the key; Borneo Kelly isn’t far behind him to try again and both have made their rods long enough this time… And the other Kelley is still moving her attention back and forth between the challenge and the raft stand then she goes for it! And no one notices because everyone has their eyes glued on the people reaching for keys. Joe has his first, then Spencer takes over for Borneo Kelly, but it’s too late… Bayon unlocks their gate quickly and before you know it, their final fire has been lit. And Ta Keo is going to Tribal Council right now… Well sorta… It’s dark when they get to Tribal so I’m guessing they did some confessional videos first, but whatever…

11_weirdhugJeff starts out asking Spencer about how disappointing it would be to go home first – Yeah, uh, totally disappointing! But now not only are they letting themselves down, they are disappointing all the fans that voted them into the game. Woo is first to bring up the old school vs. new school vibe and Terry agrees that there is definitely a division between the camp builders and the beach talkers, but eventually even his old school squad got to talking, which is a big part of the game. Uh, yeah! Duh! Talking is actually a HUGE part of the game. Peih-Gee gets the question about accessing mistakes in their previous season, and yeah, it’s a good question. Have people learned from their mistakes? Cut to Abi looking very unhappy. Her game is all about growth and learning from mistakes, controlling her temper, etc. Vytas wants to at least beat Terry if he can’t win because Aras beat Terry and it would just suck so much to not be able to beat him. Woo says something that I don’t find very indicative of who he’s working with, but Jeff interprets it that way, which makes Abi very nervous and she thinks there’s a guy thing happening. Vytas says Nope! He thinks tribe unity is what people are focusing on and blah blah blah! Let’s just get to this vote! Kelley chooses not to play her idol and Jeff starts reading: Vytas. Abi. Vytas. Abi. Vytas. Abi. Vytas. Abi. Vytas. One vote left… Vytas! Whaaat??? Shocker! Where the hell did that come from? Must have been those underwear shorts…

12_byebyeVytasSo… Next time, Abi is back to her old song and dance, being all drama queen and such. Jeff is finally getting his head in the game and apparently there is some kind of instance that gets everyone all on edge. It’s sure to be a great episode! Can’t wait to see what’s got Abi’s panties in a bunch, something with Peih-Gee, apparently, and how surprising is that? Not at all… Can’t wait for Wednesday! Don’t forget to check out all of our awesome reality show content here at Your Reality Recaps. We’ve got lots of post-season Big Brother interviews coming atcha, Amazing Race stuff, Bravo shows… The list goes on and on so get to clicking and we’ll keep you entertained. And.. I’m sooo sorry I’m sooo late in getting this posted. I did my best, but my work schedule doesn’t allow me large blocks of time to work on these right after the show airs – I’ll do better. I promise. Love you all!

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