Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance Episode Recap
Episode 12 - Tiny Little Shanks to the Heart
By Jim Van Nest
December 3, 2015

Never pass out.

Hello, good people! Last week, we really hit our stride in this Second Chance Survivor season as two really good episodes saw Ciera idol'd out of the game and saw Stephen taken out despite playing his "game changing" advantage. To save his buddy Stephen, Jeremy used one of Val's two idols in the first episode and Ciera was sent out of the game, finally breaking up Kimmi's "witches coven." Stephen had the votes to go home the first time and was given a couple extra days courtesy of Jeremy's idol play. Unfortunately for Stephen, Spencer was too worried about the advantage, and he engineered Stephen's ouster. Stephen's odd choice to split votes between Abi and Joe ended up costing him, as Spencer, Abi, Kelley and Keith cast the four deciding votes to send Stephen to Ponderosa.

Previews for tonight tell us there's a family visit and also a medical emergency. No word on whether someone is med-evac'd or not, but you do see the scene of a hand with an oxygen sensor on the index finger. I could be wrong, but that doesn't seem good. What we know is that it's a guy and it's not Jeremy. That leaves Spencer, Joe and Keith. I can't imagine it's one of the younger guys, so it looks like Keith could have a bit of a scare tonight. Let's just hope he's able to stay in the game. Either way, only eight are left and Spencer seems to have a leg up on everybody right now. But this is where the game gets interesting. Now that Joe lost a challenge, is he set up to just win out? If he loses, will the players smarten up and realize that he HAS to be dealt with? Or will Spencer just grab Joe and ride him all the way to the end and hope to out-talk him at the Final Tribal? We're getting down to the nitty gritty starting tonight and the way this season's been so far, I fully expect a wild finish!

We begin the show the next morning and Spencer and Jeremy are talking on the beach. Jeremy is worried about the numbers now, but Spencer tells him he thinks the game is more open now. Spencer tells us that he had to make the move, but he has to try to reestablish trust with Jeremy. Jeremy tells us that he's very worried now and he's not so fond of the voting blocs and how they keep changing. Okay, were my pick to win and I really dig ya...but you were just fine with the moving voting blocs when it helped you take out Wigles and Ciera. This one went against you. Your best bet is to make good with Spencer and take out whoever is next on his list.

Next, we're treated to a rare Kimmi scene where she is talking with Kelley about Joe. She says that if they can take out Joe next, that would leave four women in a seven-person tribe, and then they could take over the game. The thought of finally being off the bottom is music to Kelley's ears, and she is in. Kimmi tells us that she's been in the wings long enough, and it's time for her to make her move. After Joe, Spencer, Keith and Jeremy will be next to go. Considering this is the third vote in a row Kimmi has been out of the loop and Stephen was her closest ally, she sees the writing on the wall and has decided to take her fate in her own hands. Good for her. I just don't think she's a good enough player to pull it off. Guess we'll see.

We come back from break to a Probst sighting!! We were promised a family visit and I'm sure this is it. Jeff asks them how it feels to be out there for 30 days. Tasha says it feels great, while Jeremy gets teary eyed talking about home. Jeff has a little fun with the players, acting like he doesn't have their loved ones there. Of course he has their loved ones there! First out is Val and Jeremy runs out to her for a big hug and she whispers to him that it's a boy. Lots of tears ensue. Next up is Tasha's cousin Cristina. Then, we meet Spencer's girlfriend, Marcella. And right off the bat, he tells her he loves her. Awwww...and Jeremy looks on with pride.

Abi's mom Vera makes her second appearance on Survivor. Next up is Dana Nale to see Keith. Keith let's everyone know that she's "Big D". Making his second appearance on Survivor is FarmGuy69 himself, Dale Wentworth to see Kelley. Joe didn't last long enough last time for his dad to come out, but this time he made it. Through tears, Joe thanks everyone for letting him have this moment on the show. Finally, we meet Kimmi's dad and she is VERY excited to see him.

Oh yeah, we have a challenge to play. Today's challenge will have the players dig up a rope with three bags of letter blocks. They'll then have to spin around in circles twisting a bar to release a fourth bag. All dizzy-like, they'll now have to cross a balance beam to get the fifth and final bag. Once then have all their bags, they'll need to solve the puzzle. The word, by the way, is Nourishment. The prize? A good ole fashioned 'Merican barbeque, with their loved one, of course. Worth playing for? Um, yeah, I think so.

This is gonna be a crazy challenge. On sheer will alone, you'd think Jeremy would kill this. But Spencer and Joe are simply better at challenges and equally motivated. And let's not forget Keith and Tasha with like seven individual challenge wins between them. This should be good. Through the rope stage, Kimmi, of all people, is in the lead. Keith, Tasha and Joe are right behind. Keith and Kimmi are the first ones done spinning with their fourth bag. Joe has now almost caught up to Keith. Keith gets his fifth bag, followed by Jeremy, Wentworth and Joe. Spencer gets his fifth bag and gets in the challenge.

Keith is stumped by the puzzle. Abi and Tasha finally get their bags and Kimmi has trouble on the beam. As everyone struggles with the puzzle, Kelley Wentworth finally starts putting something together. Abi does as well, but she is not right. Kelley, however, is right and Kelley wins reward. Jeff tells her to pick three people to share the reward. Kelley picks Keith, Abi and Kimmi. Huh, Kimmi? So, she would take it away from Jeremy and give it to Kimmi? I guess we see the new alliance shaping up, eh? But wait, Jeff tells her to pick one last person. Naturally, she picks Jere...wait a minute...Joe. Jeremy, Spencer and Tasha will not get a loved one visit. Their loved ones head out as we head to break and I have to wonder what this is going to do to the all-girl alliance idea. I can't imagine that Tasha is going to be too excited to work with Kelley and Abi at this point.

We come back from break as everyone returns to camp. As all the loved ones head to their barbeque, the other three head back to camp and don't even bother to stop and talk to everyone. We'll get to them later. The barbeque is happening and everyone is excited. Keith is thrilled to have Big D there. Joe shows his dad the flag and tells him he painted the whole thing. His dad shares with him that Joe is really the best friend he's ever had. It's a very touching moment and when you consider that the two of them have really bonded over this show, I'm sure it's something they'll never forget.

As promised, we check in with the lonely three and Jeremy asks what they think of the selections. Spencer says it's pretty much what he expected. He tells us that every choice was like a tiny little shank to the heart. He also tells us that he has to put that aside right now and get back in the game. He tells Tasha that the move he made was a move against Stephen, not against them. She asks him what the next move is. He says he would like to see them be the final three. Jeremy and Tasha agree to well they should. Tasha tells us that she really likes her place in the game right now. She has the final three with Jeremy and Spencer and then she also has the all-girl thing. She figures she'll decide when the time comes. Right now, though, everyone has set their sights on Joe. Tasha says that he now has a social game to go with the physical and Spencer tells us that he let Joe stay once because he needed him for the big move. He can't do it again. He has to take Joe out the next time he loses.

We come back from the commercials to our second Probst sighting! Today's challenge is another balancing challenge. They'll have to balance a wooden statue on a pole. At regular intervals, they'll add extensions to the pole, making it taller and harder to balance. Last one with their statue still standing wins immunity and a one in seven chance to win this game. But wait, there's a will be last man and last woman standing wins immunity.

Everyone makes it through the first round and they all have to add the extension while not dropping their statue. And everyone does it nicely. They will add sections every five minutes. When the poles reach 10 feet, Kimmi loses hers and becomes the first person out of the challenge. Abi is right behind her, leaving Kelley and Tasha to battle it out. As they add the next transition, Tasha can't hold on and Kelley wins immunity for the women.

Right after that, Spencer and Jeremy both drop out. Keith and Joe will battle it out again with their 14 foot poles. As they make the transition to the last section of pole, making it 16 foot. Both poles are bending pretty badly. The bench is actively rooting for Keith at this point. Joe has a ton of movement, as always, but saves it, as always. Keith's pole bends to the point where you'd think it would break, but he manages to save it. We're now 1 hour and 20 minutes into the challenge and both of their necks are starting to hurt from the look up. As they continue to hold it, Joe's eyes glaze over and he collapses in a heap. The bench cheers, Probst pronounces Keith the winner and then they all finally realize that Joe isn't getting up. Jeff calls medical over and everyone races to his side as we head to a commercial. Um, color me shocked. All signs pointed to Keith being the one to go down tonight. I never would have imagined it would be Joey Amazing.

We come back as everyone is rushing to Joe's side. Medical is on the scene. For several minutes, Joe lies motionless on the platform. They're calling his name, but he doesn't respond. The doctor basically says that he basically used everything he had and his blood pressure dropped to the point that his body just gave out. Finally Joe comes to and says that his legs just went numb. He immediately gets upset and the doc explains that his body shut down basically to get him horizontal to supply more blood to his brain. As he lies there, you can see the color come back into his face and the doc confirms that he does not need to come out of the game. Joe tells us that he went in thinking he would win immunity, and next thing he knew he was on his back not knowing what happened. He knows, now, though that he has a rough battle ahead of him. Back to the challenge, as Jeff says, the game just keeps on going and he presents the necklaces to Keith and Kelley. Jeff sends them back to camp with the afternoon to decide who goes home.

So, I guess it's now time to play "It's Anyone But Joe." Insert ignorant Abi comment here. Kelley tells Abi that Kimmi wants an all-girl alliance and that Tasha is in. Kelley confirms to Abi and us that Joe has to go, and they can take control of the game. Joe tells us that it sucks that he doesn't have immunity and that he's completely exhausted. Joe and Jeremy take to the beach, and Joe makes a plea to take out Abi. He says that with every vote, Abi becomes more and more of the goat to take to the end because no one will vote for her.

Jeremy takes this to Spencer and Tasha, suggesting that maybe Abi is the vote. Tasha tells them that there's talk of an all-girl alliance, but that ain't happening. You could have knocked Jeremy over with a feather. She says that she has been with them since the beginning and that hasn't changed. Jeremy tells us about the all-girl thing and he's not happy about that possibility. Tasha tells us that she told the guys about the all-girl thing because she didn't want to risk them finding out about it from someone else.

As the girls all hang on the beach, Jeremy and Spencer talk about what to do. Spencer is scared either way. He doesn't want to leave Joe in the game, but he's not sure that Tasha is really down for their final three. They figure the guys will all vote together, but they need a fifth, so he tries to get Tasha with him. But she really wants Joe out. She tells Jeremy that Joe could win out and that she really wants him gone. And she could be telling Jeremy the 100% truth here, but with the threat of an all-girl alliance, Jeremy knows his game could be over if this happens. Tasha tells us that she is very concerned about not knowing how this is going to go. One thing's for sure. The girls are voting Joe and the guys are voting Abi. Tasha is the only vote in the air right now. Can't wait to see how this goes down.

As the jury comes in, I have to mention...I absolutely hate Savage's beanie. Dude, you're in your 50s. Take off the beanie and act like it.

Okay, first question is about Joe's collapse. He says he's okay, but that he pushed himself farther than he ever has before, and he has a breaking point as well. Kimmi says the battle was epic and watching him drop was frightening. Kelley admits that she has to think about the game. He stood there until he passed out, and that is the dedication he has to winning the challenge. Jeremy admits that once they learned Joe was okay, you had to start thinking about Joe not having immunity. He says, though, that you can't just have blinders on and let that take you off your game. The next couple of votes are going to be crucial. Kelley, Tasha and Joe all echo him by saying, "Crucial." I don't think they're all saying it for the same reason, though.

Jeff asks about the voting bloc thing and Jeremy says that the voting blocs are cool, but at this stage of the game, you have to start thinking about alliances or you could end up on the bottom of the next voting bloc. He says that everyone knows who is on the chopping block. Joe says he always feels like he's on the block. Abi also says she feels like she's on the bottom. Joe jumps in to say that Abi is in a great place, as everyone wants to take her to the end. She just gets by each vote. She argues that's not the case and he points out that despite that, she's sitting up tall with a smile on her face. Kelley is rolling her eyes at this and I have to wonder if it's because she's worried he might get through to someone.

Jeff goes to Spencer and asks about whom you might take to the end and how that person could be taking your spot. He says that when the person you want to sit next to doesn't help you to get to the end, you have to do something about it. Abi says that there is a mold in the tribe that they have to get rid of. Joe says that he hopes everyone sticks to the plan and that if they don't they will see themselves go out eight, seven, and six instead of being the top four. And with that, it's time to vote.

We see Abi's vote for Joe, saying that he's moldy and has to go and he has to get a haircut. Classy, as always. We see Joe's vote for Abi. We don't see Spencer's vote, and he says that he has a feeling that this is either a winning or losing vote. Dammit, he voted for Joe. All right. Jeff's gonna read the votes.
Joe. Abi. Tasha. And the rest all come up...12th person voted out, sixth member of our jury, Joe. Aw dammit! If there really is an all-girl alliance and it lasts to the end of this game, this season just took a terrible turn to suckitude. At the very least, you have to force the tie here. See what happens after, but don't just throw in the towel like that. This should have been a 4-4 vote tonight. Not a 6-1-1. That makes no sense. What that means is that the guys decided it was best to take out Joe at the risk of losing to the girls' alliance. They’d better hope that Tasha meant what she said. Otherwise, it's good night to Jeremy, Spencer and Keith. And hello to an Abi-filled end-game...and frankly, I don't even want to watch if that happens.

Next time on Survivor: Jeremy and Spencer are concerned about their place in the game. Really? REALLY?? You might not BE in that place if you had voted right last night. Anyway, they're concerned about their place, but the backstabbing isn't the only pain they'll be feeling. Then we get some shots of the "run on the wet wood and boat" challenge that always results in some huge falls and potential injury. We see Kimmi and Keith wipe out. We see what looks like Spencer bust his face on the dock and we see Tasha in the middle of the water calling for help. Well, we can only hope that everyone comes out of this challenge uninjured. We can also hope that what has been a fantastic season so far doesn't come crashing down around us under the weight of one of the worst people/players to ever be on the show. Cross your fingers and I'll cross mine.

*Programming note: There are only two episodes of Survivor remaining this season. We'll have the penultimate episode next Wednesday, Dec 9th. The finale will air the following Wednesday, December 16th. That's right - no Sunday finale. Three full hours in the middle of your week. So rest up, kiddies...this is shaping up to be a wild ride.**

‘Til next week, take care.