Survivor Worlds Apart - Episode 10
Bring the Popcorn
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
April 23, 2015

Both she and the chicken are no longer on the island.

Hello, good people. Have you gotten over it yet? Did you get enough time to mourn? Alas, it's sad to come back to the recap and not have Amazing Joe to talk about or root for anymore. Hopefully, in the last week, we've all come to grips with Joe's ouster and probably even realized that, lovable as he is, he's not a very good Survivor player. Also happening last week, Jenn wanted to quit, talked about quitting, dreamt about quitting and even tried to win immunity to orchestrate her own quit. And yet, when Jeff offered her the opportunity to quit, she refused. So did Shirin. She needs someone to work with and looks like Jenn is that person whether she wants to be or not.

Also, Shirin and Mike entered into a tentative alliance to counteract the threat of the Rodney alliance with Will, Tyler and Carolyn. Shirin has shown herself worthy by voting how Mike asked her to. Now let's see if anything comes from that conversation or if it was (like communism) just a red herring. And finally, it is Survivor auction night, with a brand new twist built into the "advantage" that Jeff will be offering. Can't wait to see how THAT plays out!

We begin tonight's episode the morning after Tribal. I guess there was no drama or mourning of Joe on the island. I'm just glad that they didn't subject us to more whining about quitting from Jenn. Anyway, so we begin with Rodney talking to his foursome about how they need to get rid of Mike right now. Mike's the big threat; they need to get him next. Tyler tells us that it could be a good idea, but they need to think about it. As they're talking, Mike is around the bend and hears the entire conversation. He tells us that they're coming for him and he needs to get to work starting right now. And just like that, it's a...

Probst sighting! And it's Auction time already. Same rules as always: bidding in increments of $20, no sharing money or winnings, auction can end ANYtime. First item will remain covered. Jenn bids $20 and Shirin goes to $40 almost immediately. Will jumps in at $60; Jenn ups him to $80. Obviously, they've seen this show before...the first item up for bids is never a zonk. Might not be the best item, but it's always good. Anyway, Will goes to $100 and that's enough to drop everyone else out of the running. First item sold to Will!

And it's not's a scroll. Whoa! NO way! So Will opens it up and reads it on the bleachers. "You just bought yourself out of this auction. Pick up your personal items and head back to camp." Um..WOW!! Never seen anything like that. And just like that, Will leaves and we're back. Shirin bids $300 for fried chicken and waffles. She says that she had no plans to wait for an advantage; she wanted to get some good food. Sierra agrees that there will be people who will only bid on an advantage. Jeff comes out and asks who is waiting for an advantage. Dan, Carolyn and Mike raise their hands. Mike tells us that he came into the game knowing he would hold out for an advantage in the auction.

Jeff pulls out some huge fruity drink thing that Jenn buys for $100. Sierra buys some food, Rodney gets a huge steak. As all this is happening, Mike is telling us how much more important the advantage is and how much he needs it. Jeff stops here and says they'll just get to the advantage. But about some love from home? And he raises the cover on a bunch of letters from home. Before anyone can bid, Shirin speaks up and tells them that in past auctions, whoever wins the letters...whatever they bid; Jeff ends up selling everyone else's letters at the same price. So, Sierra bids $20 and no one challenges her. Sierra gets letters from home. So, Jeff does just like Shirin suggested, he opens it up for everyone. Everyone starts to get up, but there's hesitation from Mike, Dan and Carolyn.

Carolyn says they should all pay the $20 for their letters and then go head to head for the advantage. Dan is already in tears asking Mike, "Please?" Mike never actually agrees. He just sort of nods his head a everyone runs up to get letters. As they get there, Mike ushers Dan ahead of him so he can be last in line.

As Dan gets his letters, he's already crying so Jeff has to ask him about it. He talks about how much he loves his wife and as he's doing this, you can tell Mike is trying to figure out what to do here. He REALLY wants the advantage, but he doesn't want to lose the trust. As Dan heads back to the bench, Mike does as well. WITHOUT his letters. WHOA!!! That is so awesome. Dan says, "He didn't do it." And as Mike sits down, Probst says, "WOW!" and we cue the credits.

We come back from break and Carolyn and Dan are pissed! Carolyn walks back up to Jeff and gives her letters back. Dan makes some comment about Mike losing the trust. I mean, I get it, I guess. But Did Dan or Carolyn actually hear a four-person alliance say that they're the next to go? Mike did. I'm sorry, but what Mike did was brilliant. And let's face it, Carolyn was out to get him anyway, so does he lose anything there? And Dan? He's only still in the game because Mike's kept him in it. Once he hears that Rodney's a "flipper," you know he'll side with Mike. Because you know Dan HATES a flipper. Am I right?

So, Mike sits there for a couple seconds and then lowers his head and goes back over to Jeff. "I can't do it...that goes against who I am as a person." Aw Mike...dammit! You just made THE move of Survivor Worlds Apart and you threw it away! Mike's been playing SUCH a good game and he just made his first huge blunder. By even thinking about doing that, he lost trust with his alliance. And if you're going to lose trust with your alliance, you might as well get an advantage out of it. As it is now, he has nothing. No trust, no alliance and no advantage. Yet.

Jeff brings out the advantage, and all three put up all their money for a chance to draw rocks. Whoever pulls the white rock wins. Everyone pulls a rock, and Dan has the white rock. Are you kidding me? This is going from bad to worse. I mean, he paid his money and took his chance and it came through for him, so super-duper. I just hate that he essentially guilted Mike into giving up the advantage and now he has a major advantage in the game to help him advance, despite not being a good player.

I remember when I used to like most of the people out there. I think the percentages have flipped in the last few weeks. And with that, the auction is over and everyone can head back to camp. As they do, Dan tells us that Mike broke his heart and he might not be able to trust him anymore. Drama much? Come on man, he's carried you this far, doesn't he deserve the benefit of the doubt?

So, we check in back at camp with Will. He's totally bummed and upset about how the Auction went for him. But as he reaches the flag, he sees that there is a rolled up note attached to it. Could this be a clue to yet another idol? If it is, we're getting dangerously close to my dream Tribal where every vote is disqualified by a hidden idol.

Will reads the note and it's actually a little treasure map. He follows the map to a stick in the ground. He starts digging and unearths a pretty good-sized box full of food. There's a note that tells him that these rations are his and should last him until the end of the game. It's up to him whether or not to share. So, he pulls everything out of the box and brings it over to camp.

When everyone gets back, he has them close their eyes and Jenn reads his note. Everyone is pretty stoked. It is three big jars of food. I think one of them was jerky and one of them was electrolyte powder. So, it's a nice little stash. Anyway, as everyone eats a little, Will asks what happened at the auction. Mike tells Sierra that Rodney's flipped on them and that's the only reason he almost passed on the letter for the advantage. Mike tells us that he screwed up big today, but he knows this other alliance is coming for him. He plans to call them all out and blow everything up.

Mike announces to the entire tribe that the reason he almost didn't buy the letters is because he knows there's a four-person alliance of Will, Tyler, Carolyn and Rodney making plans to take him out. He calls them all out and rehashes Dan's "Flippers never win" credo and then tells everyone that Rodney flipped. Naturally, this pisses Rodney off. He goes on the offensive, and I guess I have to give him credit because what he says has nothing to do with anything. He tells Mike to relax. They all just got their letters from home and he's ruining it by accusing him here. So, he says absolutely nothing about whether the accusations are true. He just plays on everyone's emotions with their letters from home and makes Mike look like an ass for ruining their moment. Mike doesn't really care because he knows what he heard.

What's interesting here is how Rodney and Carolyn look genuinely shocked and pissed to be accused of collusion. What I find interesting about it is that Mike is (as Mona Lisa Vito would say) dead on balls accurate.

We come back from break with Mike telling Rodney not to be mad because he got busted. Again, Rodney and Carolyn are appalled that he would suggest such things. Sierra tells us that Mike thinks Rodney has flipped and that he has the worst timing ever as everyone just wants to read their letters. So, they all finally start reading and it's very touching and yadda yadda yadda. Mike gets up and apologizes to the group, saying that it wasn't the time for him say something like he did and he's sorry. Mike's worried about the way that all went as everyone seems to be mad at him. He's hoping that when everyone gets back into game mode, they'll see that this is all out in the open now.

Rodney admits to us that what Mike said was true, but he's trying to turn it to his advantage, so he goes after Dan's vote. He tells Dan that he can't believe that Mike almost didn't let him have his letters. It was so disrespectful and all this nonsense. Dan tells us that Mike ruined what was supposed to be a really nice moment. He says that Mike is just convinced that Rodney has flipped and the three of them (Mike, Dan and Sierra) are now on the bottom. Nah, that can't be right.

Dan brushes all that stategery away and opens his "advantage." As rumored, the advantage is a second vote at an upcoming tribal. After Jeff says he'll tally the votes, you have to say that you want to use your advantage and you get a second vote at that Tribal. You can vote for whoever you want. You can double down on your other vote? Or do your own mini-split vote. Dan is super stoked, as he should be. However, if he plays the second vote the way he's played the rest of the game...I'm not sure how much of an advantage it will be.

We come back from break and Mike is hanging out with Jenn. They're talking about Will's story about the food stash he got. They don't seem to think that he actually gave them all the food and that he has other food stashed somewhere. Jenn wants to find it. She's talking about it with others around and is suggesting that he just gave them the stuff he doesn't like. Only Jenn and Mike have said anything about this that we know of. I only mention that because it might mean something in a little bit.

But I digress. Next up is Tyler telling Will that some people don't think he gave them everything he found. Tyler tells him that Shirin, Jenn and Mike are the ones saying it. And Will is pissed. He's already upset because he didn't get a letter from home like everyone else and now they're questioning his integrity? Oh, it's on. As I mentioned above, we've only actually seen/heard Mike and Jenn talk about this. So naturally, Will decides that the best thing to do is attack Shirin.

He brings the chest back to show that nothing else could fit in it, and he goes on the offensive. He's totally yelling at her and she asks him, "Do you have to speak to me that way?" Of course he does, Shirin. Of course he does. Because you talk a lot and you bug people. So, of course, he has to yell at you. But wait, there's more. Now, Rodney has to get involved and tell her to be quiet and ride with them. As this happens, Mike shows up and basically escorts her out of camp telling her she doesn't have to sit and be attacked like that.

As she leaves, Will starts talking about how no one likes her and how there is no one back home in the United States that is missing her. They all have loved ones and she has nothing. "You have no family. You have nothing." Mike tells him to lay off the personal attacks. But Will will do whatever he wants. And he tells her to go on with her little bitch Mike and get out of there. "Do what now?" Shirin tells us that what hurts even more is that other than Mike, everyone just sat there and let him attack her like that.

What's amazing to me is that while he's hitting WAY below the belt, she never once mentions the fact that according to the show Will's profession is "YouTube Sensation." She never once mentions the fact that he's tried to ride that Jay Leno shit into a career. Dude, Jay Leno's gone...and with him went your ever fleeting 15 minutes. And oh, by the way, I'd kick your ass in a Bon Jovi sing-off, so get the hell over yourself.

Seriously, this is the type of situation that would make me a Survivor first. First person kicked off for beating the living shit out of someone on national television. Attack her game play. Give her hell for questioning your integrity - which I'll mention again, we never actually saw her do. But when you start digging at her personal life. Her family was broken up through domestic violence and you're really gonna poke her by saying she has no family? I mean what kind of low down piece of shit are you to do that to someone? What I thought was a really great season has turned into one of the most disgusting displays of human behavior I've ever seen. The trio of Will, Dan and Rodney may well be the worst example of human behavior this show has ever seen. So congrats've made MY final three of the biggest douches in the 15 year history of the show.

We join Mike, Shirin and Jenn as Shirin tells Jenn what happened. Jenn then tells us that she hasn't wanted to be here, but these people suck so bad she wants to stick around now just to mess up their game. Mike tells us that it's the three of them against the world, but he's going to keep fighting until he breaks through or he goes home.

And with that, it's time for a Probst sighting! Jeff asks them how they're doing and Will says not too good. He saw the rest of the tribe come back with their letters and he offers Jeff a deal. He offers to sit out of the challenge if he can have his letters. Probst does what Probst does and says he's fine with it if every other person is fine with it. To protect the integrity of the game, if everyone else is okay with that arrangement, he'll have the letters waiting back at camp. So he asks everyone to raise their hand if they object. Everyone looks back and forth at each other and BOOM...Shirin raises her hand. And the Van Nest house cheers!

I know it's childish, but that's what you get. Why in the blue hell should she be forced to listen to you say all those horrible things about her and then be expected to give you ANYthing other than a swift kick in your ass? Good on ya, Shirin. Sure, someone will tell you that by doing that you've sunk to his level and he has won. But it's gotta feel good to know he'll be in the winner's circle with no letters from home.

Oh yeah, we still have a challenge to play. Today's challenge has the players using big giant tongs to carry balls over a couple teeter totters and placing them on a candelabra. First person to place all six balls wins immunity. Drop a ball or fall off the teeter totter and you have to go back to the beginning. The challenge starts and everyone is having trouble with it, except Tyler. He gets his first ball across pretty quick. Mike is the second person to place a ball. Tyler drops his ball and Mike passes him up and places his second ball. Rodney, Dan and Sierra finally get a ball placed.

Mike is across with his third ball as Tyler places number two and Carolyn gets her first. Mike finishes placing his fourth ball and Tyler has three. No one else is even in this challenge. If Mike can go the rest of the way without dropping a ball, he's got it in the bag. Tyler is keeping pace, but he's one ball behind. And here comes Mike with ball six. And...Mike...Wins...Individual Immunity! Jenn yells, "Yeah, one else get too excited." She loves to poke the bee hive and I love that about her. As they head back to camp, Rodney tells us that his game has taken a huge hit with Mike winning, and Tribal will not be able to go the way he wants it to.

And we come back from break to play, "It's anyone but Shirin or Jenn." Mike does the happy dance for us and that's disturbing. He knows he was going home if he hadn't won. Rodney and Will are talking about who to vote out. Will says not Shirin; he wants to make her life miserable. And Jenn is more of a threat so she should be the one to go. The group gets together to bask in their final six glory and decide to split the vote. As Carolyn goes on about how they can't win, Tyler seems to be not thrilled with the conversation. Will tells us how Shirin is has no soul and is useless. Real classy, there. I just hope that watching the show tonight, he realizes how horrible he was and makes some sort of personal vow to never treat another human being like that because it's reprehensible.

Mike, Jenn and Shirin decide to vote for Carolyn. Jenn is determined to see that none of those people win. Mike tells them that he's pretty sure that Sierra is no longer with him, but he thinks he can get Dan back. Jenn tells us that she's back in the game but for her to stay in the game; she has to rely on Dan. "My game is in Dumb-ass's hands." Yep, pretty much. And can I just say something about Sierra really quick. Has she forgotten how horribly Rodney and especially Dan have treated her? And how Mike was the only one to stand up for her and make them back off. Why in hell would she stay with those guys? WHY?!?!?

So, Mike pulls Dan aside to talk about the four that branched off from the alliance. Dan tries to tell Mike he's not sure they'll make a move now. Mike goes on to mention that Sierra and Dan are the only people he's promised to go to the final three and that he's Blue to the end. Carolyn is worried about Dan, as he hasn't shown himself to be very smart. But she does have an idol if it looks bad tonight.

Mike goes on to ask Dan if he really trusts Rodney over him. And how horrible was it the way the Will insulted Shirin like that. He says that they made this camp with their bare hands and they made that alliance together. He says that he's had his back from the beginning and the others do not. He ends by asking Dan, "Who do you trust?" Dan tells us that Mike might be right and the four might send him home next. Um, yeah! That's what he's been trying to tell you for two days now. When Dan gets back to camp, the others huddle around him as Tyler tells him that everyone is questioning him and whether or not he'll be with them. As Tyler goes on, Dan stops him. He tells him that's enough and he will make his decision the way he wants to. And whoever he goes with, it's his choice and not theirs. He tells us that he could be making a million dollar decision tonight. Or a million dollar mistake.

We get to Tribal and of course, Jeff starts with Will. Will says there was an incident yesterday. He says Shirin questioned whether or not he shared all the food. Again - no, she didn't. Shirin chimes in to say that he went off the rails when he attacked her personally, saying she has no family and no soul. And Will's behind her saying, "It's true, though." Dig up, asshole. Dig up.

Shirin goes into the domestic violence in her past and how she has no family and he chose to dig on that. And worse, a whole bunch of people sat around and watched like it was entertainment. Sierra finally gets to speak as Jeff breaks down the collar alignment in the tribe. Um, Jeff, catch up, the collars are gone. Those breakdowns no longer exist. Dan talks about how you plan to come out there with no emotions, but then you bond with these people and share a life style with them. Mike talks about how bad he needed the immunity win. He says that there is a core four alliance: Rodney, Tyler, Carolyn and Will. He says that Dan and Sierra are five and six and they'll be voted out one after the other.

Rodney can't wait to talk now. This should be stunning. He goes off about how Mike's a maniac and how he almost made it so Dan and Carolyn couldn't get their letters. That's the second time he's said that and the second time he's wrong. What are you even talking about here, bro? It makes no sense. But he goes on to talk about how Mike then ruined the moment of the letter reading and about how he wasn't on the chopping block until then. I get it, bro. He called you out and he was absolutely right. And I get that you're gonna try to deflect, bro. But to sit up there and accuse him of all this when he is 100% correct, that ain't cool bro. You want it real, bro? Cause I'M the one that's bringing the actual facts. Bro.

Shirin says that she expects herself and Jenn to get split votes tonight. Jeff asks her if it's six against three then. She says, "It is four plus two against three." Carolyn is shaking her head like crazy, so Jeff calls on her. She says that they're six strong and they're just picking off the other alliance. Oh, but Mama C, you're NOT six strong. You're four strong with two people you're dragging along. Just be careful how far you drag them. It'd really suck for you to watch all the No Collars decide to give Sierra the money just because they don't like you. There's some more talking, but I'm already disgusted enough. Let's get to the vote.

We see Carolyn's vote for Jenn as she says, "You're a firecracker, Jenn." We see Rodney's vote for "Shareen" saying that just because she knows every season, doesn't mean she knows how to play the game. And all of a sudden, Jeff tallying the votes has more meaning. No one uses their advantage from the challenge or their hidden immunity idols.

First vote, Jenn. Shirin. Jenn. Shirin. Jenn. Carolyn. Shirin. 3-3-1. Jenn - that's 4. Tenth person voted out and the third member of the jury, Jenn. And dammit, there goes one of my favorites this season. And in three short weeks, this has gone from one of the most likable casts to one of the more despicable casts. Amazing how that works when three of the good ones get voted out and the others start to get some camera time. I much preferred it when you could have called him Purple Will. His ouster would be addition by subtraction. At this point, so would Dan's.

Next time on Survivor, Mike's out of allies and Dan is telling him how much of a threat he is. Meanwhile, Tyler turns on one of his own, and they show him picking up Dan's bag and later telling Carolyn that Dan has two votes. And...WOW! Probably less than 20 minutes TV time and Mike's prophecy turns out to be true. The four will turn on Dan and Sierra. Oh, and yeah...even though I like Tyler and I like the game he's been playing so far...YOU DON'T GO THROUGH PEOPLE'S STUFF!! Even the people I don't like deserve to not have to worry about the other folks rummaging through their bag. It is bush league and borderline cheating.
I guess we'll have to wait and see if there's an impact.

Quick note, I will be out of town, so either Ben Willoughby or David and Kim will be filling in for me on the recap. I'll be back the following week as we wind down toward the season finale. I KNOW, already!! Until then, y'all take care and be sure to hit me on the Tweet Box: @vannestjc if you wanna talk some Survivor!