Hello, good people! It is week two of Survivor Kaoh Rong, and I am pumped for tonight's episode. Aside from being forever creeped out by Ear Bug, I found the premiere to be pretty good and the cast to have a lot of potential.
Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Episode 2 - Kindergarten Camp
By Jim Van Nest
March 1, 2016
Previously on Survivor, 18 Americans began the adventure of a lifetime. They were divided into three tribes we're all familiar with - Brains, Beauty and Brawn. Each tribe has some solid players and each tribe has some characters. The Brawn tribe had a bad day and was sent to the first Tribal Council, where they inexplicably voted out one of their stronger, more loyal members in favor of a schemer who does nothing in camp and even less in challenges. All because Darnell lost the diving mask. Also, I promised to be more economical with my words and then churned out a 3,000 word column to prove it. So, not all of us are able to keep our promises right out of the gate.
Tonight's episode promises a bro-mance of the weird kind and Debbie will continue to channel her inner Coach and completely alienate herself from everyone on the island. With all that being said, let's get started with Episode 2.
We begin tonight's episode at Brawn camp after Tribal. Alecia is happy to still be there, but doesn't care for how badly people talked to her at Tribal. Also, they've come back to camp with flint, so the attempts to start a fire have begun. As Alecia works on fire, the guys decide that if the worst happens, she is next.
Over at Beauty, everyone is out in the water, leaving Tai alone at camp. The call of the idol is strong in this one, so he steals away to search for it a little more. It doesn't take long before he finds a note in a tree. This note directs him to a dig spot, where he finds another note that points to a place high up in a tree where a key can be found. He's also given some materials to make a long pole to try to knock the container out of the tree. But he's a nature man and starts climbing the tree instead. He gets most of the way to the key, but in reality, all he really gets here is some abrasions on his chest and legs, as well as huge bleeding cuts on his feet. After a few minutes of the search, he decides that he needs to get back to camp to not appear as though he's looking for an idol. So he scurries back with visions of idols dancing through his head, and we cue the credits.
We come back from break to check in with the Brains tribe for the first time this episode. They use kerosene and matches to start their fire. Which is great for boiling water, but they don't really even need to do that, as Debbie explains. She's an expert on water and horses and cattle and well, everything. We're treated to another montage of all the things that Debbie is good at and both Liz and Peter begin to openly mock her. Peter tells us that she is so out there that she's the perfect person for him to keep around for as long as humanly possible.
Back at Beauty, Tai is worried that he is the odd man out on his tribe, so it's time to start working the charm. And the object of his charm is country boy Caleb. Caleb tells us that despite being complete opposites, they are really getting along great. We're treated to a montage of the bro-mance blossoming. The rest of the tribe seems blown away by this odd couple. I actually kind of like it. Can't wait to see how far these two can go together.
After the break, we check back in with the Brains on Day 5 and they are almost out of kerosene, matches and fire. Neal and Liz are a bit upset by this and blame it on Joe. Joe and Debbie are now officially the "get off my lawn" old people of the tribe. They really don't care for Liz and her concern over the boiling of the water. Liz is getting concerned over the lack of water and the fact that Joe doesn't take her seriously. She's just trying to hold on until she can get some water in her system.
Over at Brawn, there's still no fire. Everything is going wrong on this tribe. Kyle is severely sunburned but sucks it up, saying that it's no worse than his time in Iraq. At some point, Alecia is determined to get a fire started. Five hours later, she finally gets the first flame on the tribe. And finally, Brawn has fire. And with it, they have some chicken and some spirit put back in them. Jenny is impressed by Alecia's refusal to give up.
We come back from commercial to an overhead view of a massive challenge obstacle course and, of course, a Probst Sighting! Despite its epic scope, today's challenge is actually pretty simple. Each tribe will race through the water/mud to get to a huge log. They'll untie the log and then carry it through a series of obstacles on a long course. Once they get to the end of the course, they'll have to untie a ball and then slingshot that ball at two targets. First tribe to knock down both targets wins immunity and a super duper fishing kit (with boat). Second team wins immunity and a small fishing kit. Last place - a date with Jeff and Tribal Council.
I'd recap the challenge, but Debbie's obnoxious cheerleading from the sideline made me fast forward a bit. As it turns out, Beauty pretty well owns this challenge and easily knocks down both targets to win immunity and the huge fishing kit. Brawn and Brains are right together, and each has one target knocked down. Scot loads and fires for Brawn and misses. Dr. Peter fires for Brains. It's a hit, and Brains win immunity and a small fishing kit. For the second week in a row, the Brawn tribe will head to Tribal Council. And somewhere, Uncle Cliff, Woo and #TeamTV Tony are shaking their heads in embarrassment for their brawny brethren. As we head to commercial, Kyle tells us that he's afraid they're turning out to be one of the worst tribes in Survivor history.
We're back and it's time to play (for the second time) "It's Anyone but Alecia!" Scot is feeling really down for missing the final shot. He tells us that the main four are so tight that Alecia has to be the one to go. Kyle goes off on a rant about how dumb and useless she is. Frankly, this is the kind of stuff I can't stand on Survivor. Especially from the guy I picked as my winner. She's on the bottom and everyone wants her out. To sit there and keep rubbing it in and ripping her apart is just bad form. Jenny has also noticed this and she is starting to turn on him a little. They lock it in for Alecia to be the vote, but you can tell Jenny's heart isn't in it.
Next, we see Jenny talking to Alecia and suggesting that maybe they should make a move on Kyle. They bring in Cydney, and yet another all-girl alliance is born. They're excited about making a big move and trying to set themselves up for a longer game. I'm not exactly sure what game that is where their tribe loses every single challenge until there's a swap or a merge. But that's the game they're playing.
Seeing Jenny and Alecia talking more has Kyle a little spooked, but Scot calms him down and tells him he has nothing to worry about with Jenny. To cement it, he talks to Jenny himself and confirms that Alecia is still the vote. She tells us that maybe she was too quick to join the girls and she doesn't want to blindside Scot in the process. She grabs Cydney and goes through everything. Cydney doesn't really know what's going on as they head to Tribal, and she's a little concerned about that.
Jeff starts Tribal by mentioning that Alecia was on the bottom last time. He asks Jenny about all of the possible dynamics of the game. The first thing she says is that it was definitely up in the air today. Kyle, Scot and Cydney are all blown away. Jenny tries to explain it away as though everyone knows that there were all kinds of talks back at camp. The guys are completely blown away by this as they thought they were locked and loaded for tonight. We get a huge back and forth where Jenny claims Alecia started the all-girl talk and Alecia says she's lying. As we all saw, Jenny did start the conversation, so she's caught completely red-handed and there's really not a damn thing she can do about it.
Honestly, I don't recall ever watching the tide turn at a Tribal like this. If things continue as they seem, Jenny's Tribal tonight will be the single worst Tribal performance in the history of ever. I mean, she has completely self-destructed. There's some more back and forth, but let's just get to the vote, shall we?
We see no votes cast tonight and Jeff heads over to tally the votes. First four votes and we're tied 2-2 Alecia vs. Jenny. And the second person voted out of Survivor Kaoh Rong is... Jenny. Just like that, Jenny joins the short list of players who've essentially voted themselves off. If her plan all along was to stick with the guys, all she needed to do was shut the hell up and agree with everything they said and then join them in voting Alecia. This is one of the most epic meltdowns in Tribal Council history, and I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say that. It was that bad.
And like that, the Brawn tribe is set up to have a mega-underdog comeback except, I don't think they have what it takes to win anything. I wouldn't be shocked to see them end up at Tribal again next week where we'll be playing "It's anyone but Alecia" for a third straight week. For the record, the two votes that went against Alecia this time were Jenny and Scot. He stuck with her anyway. Kyle and Cydney had their minds changed at Tribal and joined Alecia in sending Jenny home.
Next time on Survivor, Debbie tries to make a move and she enlists Joe to help her. It makes me wonder if she, as a Brain and all, has considered that making a move when you're down in numbers two to four doesn't really do a whole lot for her. Anyway, also next time, the Brawn tribe seems to have a clue to an idol and it's every person for himself!
Thanks for reading and we'll see you next week. 'Til then, if you have anything to say about the show or the column, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @vannestjc or as Jim Van Nest on the Facebook. Until next week, take care kids!