Hello, good people, and thanks for coming back after a break to finish off this crazy season of Survivor. When last we hung out, Kimmi Kappenberg was sent to Ponderosa after the craziest Tribal Council in the history of the show. There are only five players left - three from Season 29 Blood vs Water 2 and two from season 28 Cagayan. Hell, they all were on the same tribe to begin their respective seasons. Kelley, Jeremy and Keith on Hunahpu and Tasha and Spencer on the Brains tribe in Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty. More important, three of them were part of my preseason Final 3 - Jeremy, Tasha and Kelley. So to set up this final column, we have five Survivors left, two Immunity challenges coming up and three fantastic Tribal Councils to go, after which one person will be crowned the Sole Survivor and win a sweet million bucks in the process.
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance
Episode 14 - Lie, Cheat and Steal - Part 2
By Jim Van Nest
December 30, 2015
While I took my break, the episode itself went straight from Kimmi's ouster to the camp as the Survivors return after the crazy Tribal. Talk is all about the crazy Tribal they just witnessed. Keith tells us that after all the crazy stuff, Kimmi went home, but somehow he was on the block. He tells us that he and Kelly are still on the bottom. Kelley tells us that Tribal was wild, but didn't go the way she wanted it to, and now she's right back where she was and without the security of an idol. Before we head to break, we get another segment from the live finale. Jeff has a picture from Tribal and does his best John Madden explaining what went down. I mean, we all already got it, but why not waste a couple more minutes of show time at the live finale. UGH!
And we come back from break to another amazing aerial shot of a massive challenge. Oh yeah, we do get another Probst sighting, but they aren't too rare tonight. Anyway, today's immunity challenge is very involved. They'll race through a crazy obstacle course comprised of six obstacles. At the end of each one is a bag of puzzle pieces. Once you're back with all six bags, you'll need to solve a puzzle to win immunity.
Kelley heads to the toughest obstacle first. We'll have to see if that strategy pays off. As it turns out, Kelley doesn't fall too far behind the group. Jeremy has jumped out to a lead as he comes back with his fourth bag. Keith also has four bags and Kelley has caught up to bring her fourth bag back. Jeremy and Keith move on to number five while Kelley and Tasha lag a little behind. Spencer is falling out of this. Kelley is first back with all six bags. Jeremy and Keith are pretty close behind, while Spencer and Tasha are still a full bag behind.
They finally catch up to the rest and everyone is working on their puzzle. Kelley and Jeremy are leading the way on the puzzle, with Keith surprisingly right behind. This is one of those puzzles where the more pieces you get placed, the easier it becomes. Kelley jumps ahead of the guys and never looks back. Kelley Wentworth wins immunity and a one in four shot at a million dollars. As we head to commercial, Keith tells us that the wrong person won immunity tonight and that it looks like most of the nails are in his coffin. But, this is Survivor, so you never know.
And we're back to play "it's anyone but Keith." As they arrive at camp, we're reminded that this is Day 37. Wow, almost there, right? Spencer tells us that Kelley winning was the worst thing that could have happened. He tells us that he's worried about an idol at this point. Kelley and Keith convene to talk about options. She tells him she does not have an idol, but she thinks they should make a fake one. So, she grabs a medallion from an old tree mail, plus some string and beads she's been hoarding and puts them together like a necklace, wraps them up in the "congrats you found an idol" clue from her last idol and voila, instant immunity idol. She points out, as she's making it, that since all the idols look different this season, this could actually work to fool someone. Once back at camp and when it was clear, she hands the package over to Keith. She tells us that if the other three get wind of Keith possibly having an idol, the paranoia might be great enough for something crazy to happen at Tribal.
So, Keith heads off with his new "idol" and starts planning how to play this. As he walks away, Tasha asks Jeremy how he's feeling. He says it feels funny. Feels like they're up to something. He thinks they're acting funny. Which is exactly what they're hoping for. Meanwhile, Keith is away from camp and takes a second to look at the idol Kelley made. He's pretty impressed with the quality. He wraps it back up and heads back to camp, via the beach. While in eyeshot of the shelter, he can be seen tucking something into his shorts. I can't tell for sure if Jeremy sees this, but they make it look like he does.
Anyway, he tells us that he's super worried that one of them will pull out an idol at Tribal and end his game. Tasha keeps telling him to relax, but as he tells us, she won't be the one they're coming for. They're either coming at him or Spencer and he figures it will be him. What follows is one of the damn funniest things I've ever seen on Survivor. To set the stage: Tasha is lying down in the shelter with her back to Jeremy. Jeremy is sitting on the shelter looking out over the fire. Keith is sitting in one of the reward chairs overlooking the fire and he's sitting perpendicular to Jeremy. So, not directly facing him, but definitely within range of peripheral vision.
Well, Jeremy decides he wants to get Keith's attention without alerting Tasha. The scene we see is about 30 solid seconds of Jeremy trying to quietly get Keith's attention. He's waving at him, quietly snapping his fingers, everything but throwing stuff at him. It's absolutely hilarious watching the frustration grow on Jeremy's face while we can also see Keith just oblivious to anything else going on around him. It's a great moment caught on film, to be sure. He finally gets Keith's attention and tells him they need to vote Spencer tonight. Keith tells us about this "conversation" and is thinking that maybe Jeremy is gonna try to bring Keith into the fold now.
He tells Kelley about it, and she doesn't get too excited as she tells him to keep that idol handy and that he might have to bring it out to try to change things at Tribal. He tells us that he might have to pull the idol out at Tribal and announce that he ain't going home. Although, I can't imagine anyone would buy that, at this stage of the game.
Jeff starts out Tribal by resetting the alliances. It's Tasha, Jeremy and Spencer vs Keith and Kelley. Tasha confirms this as does Kelley. Keith also confirms that unless something changes, he'll be going home tonight. Spencer says that it seems pretty cut and dry and that in this crazy season of blindside and flips, maybe a group actually staying together and voting accordingly will be the new "big move." Jeff asks Jeremy about idol paranoia. He says there is plenty of concern about idols. Spencer agrees. He says that if either Keith or Kelley has an idol, they'll decide who goes home tonight.
Jeff asks Kelley if she's ready to vote, and she makes a comment about her vote not mattering, which is weird considering that Spencer just said her vote could be controlling who goes home, but whatever. Tasha doesn't agree that her vote doesn't matter, especially since Kelley is the "idol whisperer," apparently. Jeff asks Keith what he does all afternoon, since the outcome seems to be predetermined. He says that there are some tricks out there that are yet to be seen. This gets everyone's attention, but will it be enough to make them switch their vote? We'll find out because it is time to vote.
No one plays an idol and it's time to read the votes. Spencer, Keith, Spencer, Keith. 15th person voted out and the ninth member of our jury, Keith. I've heard some grumblings that Keith should have at least played the fake idol, but I'm not sure I understand the point of that. It was fake. He knew it was fake. His only chance with it was to bluff someone into switching their vote. Would pulling it out during Tribal have done anything? I doubt it. With the alliance as tight as it is, I'm not sure there was a way to leverage that idol at all. I think Kelley and Keith did the best they could with what they had and they just came up against a tight three that has no plans on turning on one another.
And with very little ado, we're back to another Probst sighting. We are gathering for the final immunity challenge. Winner of this challenge has a guaranteed spot in the final Tribal and will have a huge part in determining who will sit next to them. Today's challenge will really test the Survivor's ability to concentrate and focus - something that has to be ridiculously hard to do at this stage of the game. Each one has a rig in front of them designed for a ball to travel down. It will twist, turn and spiral until eventually reaching the bottom where it will fall out of the rig.
The whole point of the challenge is to not let that ball hit the ground. They have to follow it along and catch it when it comes out. The hard part is that at regular intervals, Jeff will have them add another ball. With the addition of each new ball, it will be harder and harder to keep track of them all and it will also be difficult for the hands to keep up with the eyes. Oh yeah, did I mention that they'll have one hand tied behind their back for this challenge? Last person that hasn't dropped a ball wins immunity and a guaranteed spot at the final Tribal.
Everyone handles the first round of this pretty easily. Jeff then gives them 30 seconds to drop the second ball onto the track. It's up to them to drop it to give them a nice separation of balls. Everything goes pretty smoothly through the first few rounds of this challenge. It isn't until they're adding the fourth ball that Kelley has a brain fart and lets a ball hit the ground. She is out of this challenge. Only a couple minutes later, Tasha drops out of the challenge.
It's now a battle between Spencer and Jeremy, and they both just added the fifth ball to their track. And after only a minute or so, Spencer has two balls come out at the same time and only one hand to grab them. Jeremy wins immunity! Upon hearing Jeff call out his name, Jeremy breaks down a little bit. He talks a little bit about family and about how he's thought about this moment for so long. Meanwhile, Kelley Wentworth is shedding her own tears, but not for the same reason. Jeff asks her about it. She says that she knew she had to win today because the other three are so tight. Jeff gives Jeremy the necklace and sends them all back to camp.
We come back from break to a fun game of "It's anyone but Kelley Wentworth." Jeremy tells us how happy he is to be immune at this last vote. He has his alliance of Tasha and Spencer, but he really needs to think about who are the best people to sit with. Tasha breaks it down the same way. She thinks the relationship is strong enough for Jeremy to take her to the end, but ultimately, he could change his mind and end her game. Once left alone, the trio of Jeremy, Spencer and Tasha slap high fives and congratulate themselves on making it to the end.
Spencer confirms with Jeremy that they're locked in. He tells us, though, that he hates not having his fate in his own hands. He does, however, consider this a test. Did he make strong enough relationships to have someone else decide to bring him to the end? If so, it'll be redemption of sorts for him. Spencer finally gets alone time with Kelley and asks her if she knows who she'll be voting for. She's pretty dejected and asks if it even matters. He tells her that he won't hold it against her if she decides to throw her vote on him. The whole conversation is weird because you can tell it's heavily edited. At one point, Spencer says he thinks he has a shot to win the game. He also tells Kelley that he's voting for her only because he thinks she would kick his ass in the final Tribal - which, she would.
Anyway, Kelley seems to have latched onto Spencer saying that he thinks he can win and decides that she'll try to use that as a way to get Jeremy to change his mind and dump Spencer instead of her. I'll give her this - in an absolutely unwinnable spot in the game, she isn't going down without a fight. So she takes this new info to Jeremy. She tells him that Spencer is well spoken and that he's played both sides and that maybe the jury would appreciate that. He asks her if she would be down for making fire. Of course she would. That means she still has a chance to make it to the end. He tells us that it really boils down to who he thinks would be easier to beat. Spencer or Kelley. He does tell us that he might go ahead and force the tie and let them build fire to earn their place. I'm gonna go ahead and point out that if he forces them to make fire and Kelley wins - then my final three will be THE final three. Just sayin'. Let's go to Tribal.
Jeff starts Tribal by talking about Jeremy's breakdown after winning the challenge. He says that he had so much emotion built up making it to the end that it had to come out. Spencer talks about hoping that his bonds are strong enough to get him to the end. Kelley talks about how you want to take the people you think you can beat to the end. Right off the bat they're starting to make their cases. Kelley says that she'll be voting for Spencer because he's a big threat and he could sway the jury. Spencer chimes in that Kelley has played the best game overall, and that if they let her get to the end, he would vote for her. On top of that, he'd spend all his energy making sure that the rest of the jury was on board with voting for Kelley.
Jeff points out that no one has even mentioned Tasha in all of this. She says that she'll just sit there and shut up - which she pretty much does. Of course, I think everyone in the room knows that Tasha has no chance of winning this game. She's a non-factor and taking her out at this point would be pointless, so welcome to the final three, Tasha!
Kelley tries to make an argument that Spencer could win the game and says that Spencer thinks he can win. Spencer says he thinks he has a chance to win, but Kelley wins 100%, without question. Jeff asks Jeremy if his decision tonight is about who he thinks he can beat. He pauses and slowly says, "Yes." Jeff asks him if it could be a million dollar mistake. "Yes." And are you ready to vote? "Yes." But before they can vote, Spencer has to chime in one more time and tell Jeremy that if he keeps Kelley, he loses the game. He'll consider it a terrible move and make sure the jury knows how bad a move it was.
You know, even if he stays in the game now, I think Spencer just shot himself in the foot. You mention that Kelley is the biggest threat and that you would vote for her to win. Then you let it drop. Continuing on in that vein starts to seem like bullying and threatening. The jury won't like it and they'll remember it. Anyway, it IS time to vote.
We see Spencer's vote for Kelley, with him saying that he's so nervous he doesn't know what to do. We also see Kelley's vote for Spencer, with her saying that it is the last time she'll write his name down. She seems to have taken this really personally - which I find odd considering that he's doing what he has to do to stay in the game, just like she is. I don't know, sounds like the beginnings of a bitter juror to me. Jeremy takes a while but finally votes and Jeff heads over to tally.
First vote: Spencer. Wentworth. Wentworth. 16th person voted out and the 10th member of the jury - Kelley Wentworth. Regardless of what you thought of Spencer's play in this Tribal, he was right. Kelley Wentworth in the final three wins the game. Period. I don't think it would even be close. As it is now, Jeremy and Spencer have played a lot of this game together and could have similar cases for winning the game. Jeremy seems more well liked while Spencer seems more to blame, though. Tasha doesn't seem to have much of a shot.
The bummer for Tasha is that most of her best work came prior to the merge. The fact that she survived on Angkor is nothing short of amazing. But only Savage and Abi know about it. She was a huge force in the early going, but she dropped off the map as the game wore on. It will take one helluva final tribal for Tasha to stand a chance in this game.
Day 39 dawns and brings with it the Final 3 Feast. But not only do they get the feast, they also get a throwback to Season 1 - a mirror to see the toll the game has taken on them. As they check themselves out, Tasha tells us that she relied on her social game to get where she is. She didn't win challenges or anything. She's super proud of herself for making the end of the game after everything they went through this season.
As they begin to cook and eat, Spencer tells us that the game ain't over yet. He didn't come here to make the final three, he came here to win. He tells us that his goal coming into this game was to connect with people and use that as a way to get further in the game. Tonight is the ultimate test for him and what everything has been building up to. Jeremy tells us that this trip and this game have been all about his family. He just wants to take care of them. He plans to show the jury that he has been in control of the game. He has the idols and an immunity win in his pocket and that he surrounded himself with the right people to make it to the end and win the game. And with that, we head to the final Tribal Council of Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance.
As we do every season, Jeff lets everyone know that this is where the power in the game shifts. It moves over to the jury. There will be no opening statements this time around; we'll just go straight to the questions. And the jury will start with Andrew Savage - this should be good.
Andrew congratulates them for making the final three in one of the toughest seasons of Survivor. He reminds them that most of the votes are up for grabs tonight so answers need to be full and honest. He is going to focus on Jeremy and Spencer. He tells Spencer that he was blown away by the arrogance he displayed and that he threatened to bury Jeremy if he didn't take him to the finals and did it all in front of the jury.
He wants to know if Spencer has any regrets about the arrogance he displayed. Spencer says that when he came into this game the first time, he was very arrogant and that he worked hard to not be that way this time around. He admits that at the last Tribal, he started to lean back toward who he was. But no, he doesn't regret the move, but he does regret the way he presented it. Andrew then asks Jeremy about the Kimmi Tribal. He says the whole jury watched him skip to the voting urn and give Kimmi a hard time when she was just trying to stay in the game. He basically wants to know what the deal was with all of HIS arrogance at that moment.
Jeremy says that he didn't view that as arrogant at all. He was upset. He said that all day long, Tasha and Spencer were trying to convince him that Kimmi flipped. And he told them she wouldn't do that to them and he stuck up for her. So when she used that against him and voted for him at Tribal, he was angry and yes, he skipped up to write her name down, but it was because she hurt his feelings and he was pissed about it. That's an amazing answer to a question that a lot of the jury was wondering about. After one juror, Jeremy is winning the game.
Next up is Stephen. Stephen starts off by congratulating them all. He tells Jeremy that he commends him for bringing integrity, trust and honor to a season where it didn't exist. He moves to Tasha and tells her that he sees her as a strategic force in the game, but it may have come off to others as if she simply did Jeremy's dirty work. He wants to give her a chance to dispel that myth. She says that she is a strong woman and no one dictated anything to her during this game. She goes on to say that if she didn't agree with something, she dug in her heels and always got what she wanted.
Stephen moves to Spencer, telling him that he always expected strong strategic play from him and he's wondering why Spencer got so caught up in the voting blocs at the cost of relationships. Spencer says that he didn't start with very strong relationships, so he flipped around to get himself to a better place in the game. He said this came at the expense of some of the relationships, including the one with Stephen. Eh - this is a vote for Spencer and I'm not sure it was ever in doubt.
Ciera is up next. She says that in this game, flipping is very rarely rewarded. But this season, because of the voting bloc theory, the jury is all left feeling betrayed and a little confused on how to vote. She wants them all to tell her why on THIS season, flipping should be rewarded. Jeremy says that for starters, this was one of the best casts on one of the best seasons of Survivor, and when Ciera came in challenging people to make big moves, he felt that opened the doors for people to move around a little more.
Tasha suggests that it was because of the multiple tribe swaps. She had deals made and Bayon, but then new deals needed to be made to stay alive at Angkor. Then it's back to Bayon, but a different Bayon where even more deals had to be made. She says that flipping was essential for her to stay in the game. Spencer says that the blocs were so fluid and ever changing that occasionally the lines would blur and he took advantage of that as a way to get himself from the bottom to the top.
Hmmm, everyone gave good answers and while I think Tasha's is definitely the right reason things were so fluid, I think what Jeremy said will resonate with the jury more. He complimented them all and then mentioned Ciera specifically. Jeremy is doing a very good job of giving the question asker the answer that he or she wants, without having to trash anyone else.
Keith is up next. He says that he's pretty simple and that he prefers humbleness. So his question is for Jeremy and Spencer to convince him of why the other should win the game. The one that convinces him the best will be the real winner in his eyes. Jeremy says that Spencer played a real solid game. He was almost voted out two Tribals in a row, but fought his way off the bottom. He won three immunities and is a very intelligent player. Spencer says that early on in the game, Jeremy did a great job of positioning himself on the top of his tribe and he was able to keep that all the way through the game. Hmm, that was kind of weak. Jeremy will probably get Keith's vote.
Next up is Abi. She says that Survivor is a game of big moves, but she wants to know what subtle moves each person made that helped them get to where they are. She starts with Tasha. She says that her subtle move was her relationship with Spencer. She said that while everyone looked at her and Jeremy as the power couple, she was way tighter with Spencer and that's what helped her make it to the end. Spencer says that his subtle move was around the Joe vote. They were both in the middle together and his move was to force the distrust more toward Joe then himself. Jeremy says that his subtle moves were based on always losing the team reward challenges. While camp was less crowded, he went looking for idols and found two of them. He was able to use one for Stephen which pulled them closer together and helped him move his game forward.
Kimmi, you're up. Here's the bitter juror!! She tells Spencer that at last night's Tribal he was an outright bully and she'll use that as an example for her kids of what never to do. She moves on to Jeremy and starts to hammer him because he, Tasha and Kimmi were a tight family and then he allowed Spencer to come in and replace her. He tells her that he never said Spencer replaced her. SHE said Spencer replaced her. He goes on to say that Kimmi was always with him and that's why he asked who wrote his name down, because it couldn't have been Kimmi. He finishes with, "I got duped by Kimmi Kappenberg." She has nothing else to say and heads back to the jury box.
And this was one of the best answers at a Tribal Council since Todd shut down Jean-Robert at the finale of Survivor: China. It's an awesome answer that definitely earned him Kimmi's vote and maybe some of the other jurors. Right now, Jeremy is running away with this thing.
Joey Amazing is up next. He tells them that his vote is completely up for grabs tonight. He starts with Tasha. He tells her that it seems like she was often kept out of the loop not knowing what was going on. He wants to hear from her a time where she didn't have control, but she took it. She talks about being in corporate America and dealing with alpha males all the time. Joe interrupts to ask if she has a specific time. She says that his vote out was one. Jeremy was back and forth about the all-girl alliance and whether or not they should make the move on Joe and she settled everything down and made the move. Other times, she let the game play around her as it was playing to her advantage. She called it the game within the game. He asks nothing of the guys. No idea where he is on this, but her answer was weak. So, I'm gonna put Joe in the Jeremy camp for now.
Kelly Wiglesworth is next. She tells the group that 15 years ago, she sat in the same seat they're in and her fate was decided by one question. Aw shit, it's the pick a number! Damned if she didn't do it. She asks them to pick a number between one and 10. Jeremy picks two, Tasha three and Spencer four. Considering Richard Hatch chose seven and got Greg's vote - someone probably should have gone with that. That being said, Greg has said many times that he was voting for Rich no matter what. So, one can only assume Kelly already knows who she's voting for and didn't feel like wasting any time.
Finally, we get to the good stuff. Chaos Kass, the Queen of Ponderosa is up next. She says she only has one question for one person. So she goes at Spencer. She reminds him of when she flipped in Cagayan and he said that she had a zero percent chance of winning the game. And now, this time out, she says he played like Chaos Kass. So, why should she even consider giving him her vote when he's spent the last two years telling everyone that she's a dumbass?
He tells her that a lot of what he said back then came from a place of anger but that he doesn't feel like it's hypocritical to ask for her vote now as he's changed as a person. She congratulates him on making that change and admits that she needed to change a little too. She wishes him luck and suggests that maybe they can get a beer sometime. Uh oh - did Spencer just get Kass's vote???
Finishing it out is Kelley Wentworth. She says that she came out there this time to play her own game on her own and she accomplished that. She wants to know what their second chance story was about and did they accomplish what they set out to do. She begins with Tasha. She says that her goal was to maintain good relationships so that the people she was aligned with would know that they had a solid alliance with her. That was her second chance story. Eh.
Next up is Spencer. He says that his second chance has been about teetering between who he used to be and who he hopes to become. He came in last time with no people skills at all and did a lot of work to come in and make some relationships this time around. Yes, he may have blood on his hands, but he was still able to make relationships he wouldn't have been able to in Cagayan. I like this answer and I honestly believe it to be true. I don't think the jury is buying it, though. I think several of them still feel like chess pieces in Spencer's game.
Jeremy starts off by once again telling everyone he's there for Val and for Jordyn and Camryn. If he didn't already have it, he now has Savage's vote. But he goes on to tell them that right before he left, Val tells him she's pregnant. So, he's out there missing it and worrying about it. But then she comes for the family visit and she's fine. The baby's fine. And it's a boy. And he can't even tell anyone out there that he's gonna have a son because it could mess up his game. So. his second chance is all about family.
And with that, the only thing left to do is vote. We take a quick break and Probst sends them off to vote. He reminds them that they are voting FOR someone this time. Savage, you're up. We don't see it, but we hear Joe's comments. He says it was a really hard decision for him because "...you guys really battled it out." We don't see the vote, but we hear Kelly Wiglesworth say, "Fate was on your side tonight."
We are actually shown no votes through the whole thing. That can only mean one thing, but I'll wait until we get to Los Angeles for the reading of the votes. As Jeff walks out, Kass whispers, "I hope he gets on a jet ski." But alas, he doesn't. Weak!!! It's just him walking into the live finale, which we've already seen like sic times. Bring back the production values, man!!
Anyway, let's get to the votes. First vote, Jeremy. Second vote, Jeremy. Ah, why put it off. It's a 10-0-0 vote - Jeremy is the winner of Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance. It was really never in question. He had a masterful final Tribal Council to follow up a spectacular game. And when they don't show you ANY of the votes, you know it's a clean sweep for whoever wins. I am, however, surprised that Spencer didn't even get a vote. He played a really good game and actually had a decent final Tribal. I think his humility came off as fake where Jeremy's came off as genuine. Tasha seems to have been seen as the coattail rider and they never get votes. So, huge congrats to Jeremy Collins, the winner of Survivor 31!!
Some after the show stuff. It should be mentioned that five days after winning the million dollars, Jeremy's wife, Val, gave birth to Remi Bodhi Collins, a happy healthy baby boy! Also, Kelly Wiglesworth has revealed that her number was (much like Greg Buis before her) "whatever number Jeremy chose." I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that this is now two winners in a row for me. One more and that's called "a winning streak."
Probst did give us a sneak peak at Season 32, which was actually wrapped before Season 31 even started. It's another Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn season that was shot in Cambodia. From the preview he showed at the finale, it looks like we're gonna get to see a lot of Dr. Joe, as it appears we'll have some serious medical issues and more than a couple med-evacs in what is being called the most dangerous season of Survivor yet. Thanks to Ben for keeping up with the Power Rankings this season and we'll be back in February for Season 32, Survivor Kaoh Rong: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty! 'Til then, take care!