Hello, good people, and welcome back to Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance. So far, much to my chagrin, this season has centered on a very small group of people. At the center of this group is the uber-annoying Abi-Maria. She has wreaked havoc over this island and this game and has been rewarded for her terrible play by going to every single Tribal Council so far this season. In fact, by my count, eight people (out of the original cast of 20) have yet to have their torches lit at Tribal. That's how much this season has been centered on the same frickin' people.
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance Recap
Episode 5: A Snake in the Grass
By Jim Van Nest
October 26, 2015
Last week, Abi flipped on her biggest ally, Jeff Varner and made him the fourth person voted out of the game. However, if you look past the headline, you'd see that Tasha is the one running the show at the inept Angkor tribe. We have little to no knowledge of what's going on at the other tribes, because their screen time is limited to challenges and a couple minutes of screen time to break the monotony of Angkor.
At Bayon, Spencer is trying to make friends and has latched on to Jeremy. Jeremy is willing to take all comers as long as they can get him farther in the game. At Ta Keo, Kass' off-season read of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" seems to be paying off, as she is making birthday presents for Kelley Wentworth and flirting with Joey Amazing.
The previews this week did very little to tell us what's happening, but it did show that the episode title (A Snake in the Grass) comes from a comment Kimmi makes about another woman on the show. So, unless there's a tribe shake up - she's talking about either Monica or Wiglesworth. Hmmmm...if this week plays out like all the others, we should get the answer to that question rather soon when we get our two minutes of Bayon time before focusing all the time on Angkor and whether or not they'll finally cut the anchor of the Angkor. And with that, let's get to it!
As you would expect, we begin the show at Angkor after Tribal. Woo is thanking everyone for keeping him over Varner. He tells us that he's really stoked to still be there but he's tired of going to Tribal every time and they have to win some challenges. Tasha and Savage get some alone time to pat themselves on the back a little for turning the 4-2 deficit into a 2-2 tie with both of the other people vying to be their #3.
Day 12 dawns over at Bayon and the girls are out in the water catching some food. Apparently, they do this all the time. They get crabs and clams and bring them back for meals. Monica feels it's a girls' bonding thing. Kimmi just wants to eat. On cue, Kimmi finds a group of giant clams and an argument ensues. Monica feels that they're depleting the ocean of all the clams and Kimmi feels like she wants to have breakfast.
This is really kind of odd, considering Kimmi's big blow-up in Australia was over the tribe eating the chickens. So, it's good to see she has a different view on the food supply. She also seems to have a better view on conflict as she does a really good job of not flying off the handle. She tells us in confessional that she had to really work on not blowing up as she doesn't care for being told what to do. She does go on to say, though, that if Monica is the worst she has to deal with, then she's doing pretty darn good out here. And - cue opening theme!
And we come back from break to our first Probst sighting! Everyone gets a look at the new Angkor tribe, with Varner voted out at the last Tribal Council. No one on the other tribes really seems too shocked about that. Today's challenge is a replay of a Blood vs Water challenge that Ciera's tribe lost the last time around. One person will get into a barrel and be rolled through a course, stopping three times. At each stop, the person will get out of the barrel, jump on top of it and untie a bag of balls, then get back in the barrel. Once the tribe has all three bags of balls, they will go to the end, where one person will skee-ball six balls into six holes. First tribe to get all six balls in the six holes wins a big reward of comfort items, including chairs, pillows, blankets and a new tarp, as well as an assortment of "refreshments" when they get back to camp. Second tribe wins a little reward of a new tarp. Third tribe gets nothing.
Sitting out for Bayon will be Stephen and Wiglesworth. For Ta Keo, it's Terry and Kass. In the barrels are Woo for Angkor, Monica for Bayon and Wentworth for Ta Keo. Watching the challenge, it becomes obvious that Woo and Kelley's height is an advantage here. Monica is shorter than them and is really having to stretch to untie the ropes on the ball bags. Woo and Kelley have their third bags about the same time Monica gets bag number two. As Monica finally gets the third bag, the other tribes have begun the skee-ball portion of the challenge, with Woo and Keith taking point. If you'll recall, Keith was a stud with balls in his season, winning several challenges with his carnival game prowess.
Jeremy is now rolling balls as well and all three tribes land their first ball about the same time, so the challenge is tied. Keith and Woo both land balls two and three as Bayon starts to fall behind. Woo and Keith land ball four and Spencer tags in for Bayon and he lands three in a row to tie the challenge up at four for every tribe. And just like this, Keith reclaims his title as ball-master of Survivor as he lands five and six and Ta Keo wins big reward! So, it's down to Woo and Spencer and the young lad just can't handle the ninja stealth mode. Woo wins a tarp for Angkor. Bayon - got nothin' for ya.
We come back from commercial to the celebration at Ta Keo. Terry tells us about how amazing life is at Ta Keo now with some wins under their belt. They have plenty to eat and drink. They have a plentiful ocean to catch more food and now they have all the comfort items. He says it's more like a tropical camping trip than Survivor. They decide to go catch some fish to be cooked with some of the juice they now have, so Terry heads out to the water. While he fishes, the rest of the tribe starts talking about the rest of the game. Ciera suggests that what is really needed is a solid five and they can run the game to the end. Everyone agrees, but Joe is still a little worried. He tells them that everyone targeted him last time he played and he's worried about it happening again.
They insist that they have no intentions of doing that to him (yeah. right) and that this five could take it all the way to the end. Kelley Wentworth is thrilled to be part of the five and figures her work to throw Terry under the bus must be working. Keith is also stoked to be part of a five. He says he didn't have anything like that last time around. He had like two and two ain't gonna get you nowhere. Can I just mention, really quickly, they have really changed Keith's edit from last time? Last time he was spitting and had no idea what was going on ever. This season, it's a much better edit for him. They're really giving him a solid redemption edit so far. Dare I say we're starting to see the beginning of a winner's edit for Keith? I dare.
Time to check in on Bayon as they've now lost two reward challenges in a row and that can't possibly be sitting well. Oddly enough, there's no talk about the challenge, the reward or any of that. Just some more bonding time for Jeremy and Spencer. They take the little round basket boat out to do some fishing. Spencer continues with his making personal bonds narrative while suggesting that he and Jeremy could make a pretty tough force moving forward through the game. But right now, he's just excited to be actually living and enjoying Survivor rather than being so much in his own head. He catches a fish with the spear, and it's like a Survivor dream come true.
And, I guess we have to do it eventually...we're back over at Angkor now. Woo is pumped about the moral victory in the challenge today. He says that the tribe really needed it. He goes on to tell us that he's using his mom as an inspiration for his second chance. And then we join a conversation where he's telling the tribe about how his mother had a massive heart attack but got a last minute second chance of her own when a donor heart was found and transplanted to save her life. It's a very touching story (with a happy ending, thankfully) and Woo goes on to tell us how he watched his mom never give up and he doesn't plan on giving up, either.
And right on effing cue, the Anchor of Angkor has to start competing with Woo, telling Savage and Tasha about her grandmother that died and her aunt. Are you frickin' kidding me? Nutshelling the rest of this, she's pissed because Woo's mom had a heart transplant, therefore giving him a story to tell that could possibly touch other people, making them want to keep him in the game over her. Again, are you frickin' kidding me? I've tried to be nice and give her the benefit of the doubt, but now I'm just convinced she's a horrible person who cares about nothing but herself.
Abi even tries to get Tasha on board by bending her ear about Woo trying to get points with his sad story. Tasha tells us that Woo is so much easier to play with as he'll just do whatever you tell him, but that Anchor takes all of her strength and all of her energy to deal with her every day. She's not sure what the best move will be once the tribes come together.
And we're back from commercial to another Probst sighting! It's time for immunity already! Today's challenge should look familiar to everyone, as it was last played on Survivor Worlds Apart - last season. Joe's tribe lost this challenge, so there's a chance for some redemption for Joe today. In today's challenge, each person will climb up and over a small obstacle course as they work their way up to the top of a platform. Once there, they'll take a sandbag and slingshot it out onto the beach in an attempt to hit one of five targets. Each player will have to shoot and once you hit a target, you have to sub out.
Ta Keo will sit out Ciera and Kelley while Bayon sits out Monica and Jeremy. Huh? Wha? Jeremy? Um, okay. Not what I would have done - especially with Kimmi as an option to sit out. Anyway, first two tribes to hit all five targets win immunity and are safe from the vote. Survivors ready? GO!
Joe, Spencer and Savage are the first ones to try the slingshot. Joe hits on his first shot, of course. Spencer and Savage are right behind. Wiglesworth and Woo are the next to connect, leaving Ta Keo in third place. Stephen takes a shot for Bayon but accidentally hits one of Angkor's targets, so they are now in the lead with three. Keith hits for Ta Keo to get back in the game. Tasha hits target number four for Angkor and Terry hits number three for Ta Keo, leaving Bayon in last place.
Woo takes a couple shots and finally hits number five for Angkor. For the first time this season, Woo and Anchor will not be going to Tribal. Spencer hits number three for Bayon and we're tied. Joe hits number four and sends Keith up to finish it off. And as it turns out, not only is he good with balls, but Keith is also good with sandbags, as he hits target number five which will send Bayon to Tribal Council for the first time this season. Also for the first time this season, I know that the post-challenge scenes won't make me want to punch my TV screen. As we head to break, Spencer tells us that it's between him and Wiglesworth and he hopes that he's created enough bonds to remain in the game.
As we arrive at Bayon after the challenge there's a Baby Monkey Sighting! Seriously, they could replace any one of about eight cast members with this monkey and I'd love the show even more. Jeremy breaks it down for us that it's 4-2 and all they have to do is stick together. The question is now whether or not he trusts Spencer or "Wigles" more. He tells the group that he trusts Wigles more but feels like Spencer needs them more.
Jeremy then asks Stephen and Monica, "Gun to your head..." Despite trusting her a little more, Stephen still feels it's Kelly. Monica says, "Let's do Kelly" but it doesn't look like she really agrees with it. Next up we catch the guys, including Spencer, all heading to the watering hole. Spencer just wants to make sure that Wiglesworth is the vote tonight and Jeremy and Stephen agree that she is. Spencer tells us that it's in his nature to worry about this over and over until Tribal, and to check in over and over just to make sure everything is still good. But he feels like these people are really looking for loyalty, so he's going to do his best to act cool and loyal and not seem like the nervous freaked out kid he really is on the inside.
The next conversation we see is Kimmi and Monica, and Kimmi is confirming that the vote tonight is for Kelly. Monica tells us that it might be better for her game if they keep Kelly, so she suggests to Kimmi that maybe they should keep Kelly so they can keep the girl numbers up over the guys. Kimmi tells us that they have four strong and they have such a good thing going that Monica wanting to do some sort of girls’ alliance scares her a little. She feels like Monica will be a flipper down the road. So the next thing we see is Kimmi gathering Stephen and Jeremy to let them know of this conversation. She is fired up.
And I have to say, I've never seen anything like this out of Kimmi, but she's all about the strategy. She tells them that Monica is gonna screw up this good thing they have going with Bayon. She asks the guys what happens when she goes to Spencer and Kelly and says, "Let's vote out Jeremy, or Steve." She tells them she's a loose cannon and if they take her out now, Spencer would easily come with them and be their fourth. She wants to #blindside Monica tonight. Jeremy is just confused as to why Monica would even do that. Stephen plays devil's advocate by asking what kind of message that will send to the other Bayons on other tribes. She'll be the first original Bayon to go home, so will that cause an issue with the rest of their former tribe?
As the group heads to Tribal, Stephen breaks down the options. With Monica, you have someone who could be actively plotting against you and is a definite risk to flip. But, on the other hand, you have Kelly who we KNOW has ties to the former Ta Keos. So either vote makes sense, and either vote could be a bad decision.
When tribal starts, we're reminded that four of these people have not been to tribal yet, so they have to dip their torches in the fire. After all, fire represents life in this game. Once your fire is gone, so are you. Probst starts with Stephen and asks if tribal could be a positive for them. He states that a tribal certainly does allow you to see who you can trust. Monica agrees with Jeff that the vote should go down old tribal lines. Wiglesworth agrees and hopes that her strong work ethic will keep her in the game. Jeremy believes that this is an old school mentality (wow, Jeff is really cramming the old school vs new school theme down our throats, isn't he?).
Spencer gets mentioned as the epitome of new school, but he says that for the first time in his Survivor games, he has a tribe that is a good, solid tribe and because of that, he considers this tribe his group, his people. Jeremy says that tonight's vote will be based on trust, loyalty and challenge strength. Jeff interrupts to say that this description does nothing to differentiate Kelly from Spencer. "Well, we'll see then," Jeremy replies with a laugh.
Jeff then looks to Kimmi and mentions that something else about this vote is the message that it will send to everyone else in the game. And here's where everything gets blown. No way Kimmi is gonna be able to handle this question without telegraphing who she's voting for. "Our original Bayon 10 were very cohesive. I think as long as they see it's one of the original Ta Keo, we're still good." Wow - great answer! Now, just leave it at that! And she does! Wow, Kimmi has really stepped up her game from Australia. Nice job! Monica believes that the vote is locked in.
Last question is for Stephen. Jeff asks him if emotion comes into a vote or if strategy is all that matters. And Stephen has a great answer to this question. "I think that strategy is based on emotion. And you've got to be able to build real bonds to build real alliances." Whoa, he's not just some game-bot after all. Nice job, Stephen!
And with that, it's time to vote. We see Monica's vote for Kelly, saying she hates to do it, but she thinks she could do really well in this game. We then see Kelly's vote for Spencer, saying that he's a good guy but she has to go with the numbers. Then we see Spencer's vote for Kelly, saying that she invented the phrase "I didn't come here to make friends," yet she has more friends on the other tribes than he does. The rest of the votes remain a secret and Jeff will go tally them up. Did they have the stones to pull the trigger on the Monica blindside, or was that a bunch of editor tricks to make the obvious Kelly vote seem less so? Let's check it out.
First vote: Kelly. Spencer. Kelly. And here it comes: Monica. Uh oh. Monica's entire face just changed. Spencer is in shock. Kimmi looks away. Monica. Fifth person voted out of Survivor Second Chance: Monica. And boy, is she ever pissed! She says nothing, but you can see it in every step she takes up to Probst and the way she looks back at the tribe. Good thing this happened pre-jury, because that's the kind of move that creates serious fireworks at Final Tribals.
Overall, I think this was a decent move for the Bayons. Sure, they think they have that Bayon thing with all the others, but they don't know that. Further, they don't know when the tribes will get back together. Right now, they have to vote based on what they know. And what they know is that Monica was not 100% with them all (especially Jeremy and Stephen). They know that Spencer is completely down with this new tribe of his. And interestingly enough, what we saw at Ta Keo tonight was a new alliance being formed that did NOT include their former tribe mates. So, even though they don't totally know it yet, the move to dump Monica tonight was absolutely huge for them moving forward. Nice work, Pink. Nice work!
Next time on Survivor: We're talking big moves over at Bayon and it is Stephen who's talking about it. That can only mean he's thinking of joining Wigles and Spencer to dump Jeremy. There's nothing else at that tribe that would constitute a big move, so things should be very interesting.
Also, Jeff voices over that one Survivor's time in the game is about to run out. Kass tells us, "It's worse than you can possibly imagine" and Jeff is checking in on a tribe in the middle of the night. From everything you can see in the promo, someone from Ta Keo is getting med evac'd. This could be devastating and change the game like no other med-evac since Skupin fell in the fire. Whatever it is, it's sure to be exciting...so please be sure you come on back next week and check it out. In the meantime, please do keep up with Ben's Power Rankings and as always, take care, folks!
Have anything you want to say? I love to talk Survivor so I'd love to hear it. Hit me up on the Twitter: @vannestjc or at firstname.lastname@example.org