Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X
Episode 12 - Slayed the Survivor Dragon
By Jim Van Nest, Gen X-er
December 12, 2016

Welcome to the jury.

Hello, good people, and welcome to the penultimate episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. That's right. With eight people still in play, we only have three hours of Survivor to get rid of five of them and have a final Tribal Council. I think it's safe to say we can expect a fast and furious ride to the finish.

Tonight's episode is already being hyped as one of the best as we can expect to see two Immunity challenges, two Tribals and two people voted out right before the finale. Setting the table for tonight, Will made a big move last week to flip on his alliance and vote out Zeke. Unfortunately, no one really knows about it because Adam made a flashier, yet ultimately not necessary, move by playing his idol correctly for Hannah. In an episode that was all about Will not getting credit for his moves, he fittingly lost credit for his biggest move. Will's pendulum is set to swing back to the other side tonight to target David, so we'll see if he can salvage anything this week by making that happen. Sadly, it seems more likely that he'll be the next to go.

As we sit, the only idol left in the game is Jay's and everyone knows about it. Jay also has Adam's Reward Stealer, though I don't expect he'll even consider using it. Ken is in possession of the Legacy Advantage, but he'll have to last four more days and at least through both votes tonight. And after his idiotic play last week of inviting Will in, then blowing up his game and having EVERYone look at him like he's frickin' insane - that might be tougher than we would have thought prior to last week's episode.

Adam is now sitting in a pretty nice spot having righted the ship. He let everyone have their loved one visit, he got rid of the cursed reward stealer AND he correctly picked out the vote and "saved" Hannah with his idol. He had a banner episode. Hannah keeps trying to play the game, but it continues to be played around her more than with her. And Bret and Sunday - as nice as they seem to be - just can't get any traction right now. If either of them makes it to the end, they're set up to be the zero vote finalists who didn't really play the game. One thing's for sure, there are plenty of twists and turns left in this game, so let's get to tonight's craziness!

We begin the game back at camp after Tribal Council. As everyone gets back to camp, Will is getting congrats for the big move. Well, color me surprised. I thought Adam would get the credit, but I guess Will does get his credit. Bret is pissed about the flip. I don't think Bret really gets how to play the game. Sure, he's still in it, but he's been on the wrong side of more votes than the Green Party.

The next morning, Bret and Sunday corner Adam and tell him that Jay, Dave and Will need to go. As they talk, they pretty much pledge their votes to Adam. And he's thrilled to hear it. If the final 5 came down to the 3 of them and Hannah and Ken - he'd have a lock on the Final 3, so of course this sounds great to him. And if you were ever interested in watching someone go from untrustworthy weasel a major player in the game, Adam is putting on a clinic right now.

We come back from break to a Probst Sighting! Today's Immunity challenge is a major obstacle course. The players will race to a pole with 10 discs. They have to stack the discs on the pole and then cross a balance beam without dropping them. It is up to them how many discs to stack at a time. Once they get all 10 across, they'll have a new challenge to carry all 10 discs on a two-sided pole that they will need to maneuver through a rope maze on the ground and a metal maze on the top. Once all 10 discs are through that, they will take the discs and roll them on end down a table into a slot. First one to score all 10 discs wins immunity.

The challenge starts and out of nowhere, David is amazing at the balance beam. He takes a decent sized lead with Ken and Jay right behind. They all take on the second obstacle and Bret has snuck up with the rest and Bret, Jay, Ken and David are all about even at this point. Jay is the first one to the end with all 10 discs and he starts throwing discs. Bret and David are now the only other ones throwing the discs. Jay is killing it. David and Bret each get two by the time Jay hits the 10th and final disc. Jay. Wins. Immunity! As we head to break, Jay is thrilled with the victory and knows that he still has his idol to use at the right time later.

Back on the beach on Day 34, Jay gets his congrats for winning the challenge. Ken tells us that with Jay winning, he has no idea what's going on tonight. Will and Jay discuss who to vote for and while Jay is worried about Ken's challenge prowess, Will is worried more about David winning the game. So, they agree that David is the guy. He pulls in Sunday, Bret and Hannah to take David out. And he tells us that he wants everyone to feel like an equal contributor, but HE'S the one calling the shots. Famous last words?

David is noticing all the conversations going on and knows that he is considered the biggest threat left in the game. We join a conversation where Will and Jay tell Adam that David is the vote tonight and that everyone is on board. Adam confirms he's with them, but tells us that he thinks he'd rather get Will out of the game. Will thinks he's running the show and Adam doesn't want Will having any control over his game. So, he goes to Bret and lays out the reasons to vote Will and tells Bret that he is definitely voting Will tonight.

Bret tells us that Adam has been playing a really smart game and that their interests are aligned on this one. So he and Sunday are on board to vote with Adam tonight. Adam goes to Hannah to get her on board for the Will vote. She is worried about the vote because Will just saved them. They go back and forth on it but we never get a resolution. Adam just tells us that he and Hannah are basically in the middle of taking out Will with Bret and Sunday or taking out David with everyone else.

Jeff starts Tribal Council by asking Will what the reaction was back at camp. David admits to being worried tonight, but Jay says that if Will has really flipped he should be okay. Adam says that you have to make the moves to get to the end of the game, but if you make the moves, you get the target on your back. David agrees. He says that if you don't make any moves, you might make the end and get no votes. This was a tough Tribal to recap as almost all of the answers were very vague so as not to give anything away. So, let's just get to the voting, shall we? Jeff tallies the votes and no one wants to play their idol tonight. The votes are: David, David. And then the flurry of Will. And Will is the 13th person voted out and the sixth member of the jury. For someone who was so pissed off all last episode, he really took it well. Will heads off to Ponderosa; we head back to camp and prepare for another challenge, another Tribal and another member of the jury.

As they get back, Jay tells us that anytime someone tries to work with him, they end up going home. He's like the black plague. Jay and Adam go off to talk. Adam apologizes for taking out Will and Jay just shrugs it off. He tells us that they have a weird #yinyang relationship. Adam tells Jay that David has to be the next move but he tells us that they really need to take a shot at Jay because of the immunity idol.

As we get back from commercial, it's time for yet another Probst sighting! Today's immunity challenge is a simple block puzzle. All they have to do is put together a block puzzle of the season's logo. However, there's a twist. They've set up a Survivor Plinko board. You roll a ball up to the top of the Plinko board. If the ball gets all the way to the bottom, you have to stop working on the puzzle until the ball is released. So, you have to work on the puzzle, but constantly keep an eye on that ball so as to not allow it to get to the bottom before you re-roll it.

The challenge starts and we're treated to a montage of everyone missing their ball and then having to wait for it to slowly be released. After a while; David, Hannah, Jay and Ken are making progress. Jeff proclaims David is in the lead, but Ken says, "No he's not" as he solves the puzzle. But it's wrong. At this point, Adam just stops working on his puzzle and decides to help Ken. As Ken works on the puzzle, Adam tells him when to turn to get the ball. After two of these, Ken has fixed the puzzle and Ken. Wins. Immunity!

We come back to camp and Adam tells us that he knew he wasn't going to win the challenge, so he decided to help Ken win it so that Jay and David wouldn't win. As they sit around camp, Jay practically begs them to keep him over David. David and Ken decide that they would like to see Jay go home, but he has his idol, so they need to vote Bret. They call Hannah over and roll the plan by her. She's ok with the plan, but she suggests that Sunday would be the better vote because she is entering "drag her to the end to get no votes" territory. I don't think David really likes the plan, but to his credit, he (and Ken) both tell her they're fine with it and now Sunday seems to be the target. Hannah tells us again how dangerous Sunday is as a potential goat to take to the end.

Adam sits down with Ken and Hannah and throws out the obvious: Jay is two immunity wins away from the final Tribal. He feels that he has to throw votes to Jay to make him get rid of his idol. He also throws out that maybe they should put some votes on David. Adam feels that voting for Sunday leaves two dangerous players (David and Jay) in the game. As Adam continues, he feels almost as strongly that if Jay lives to see another day in the game, he has to come back to camp sans idol.

So, he joins Jay in the hammock and suggests that he'd better play the idol tonight. Jay tells us that Adam told him he'd be getting votes, but that Adam has lied to him before, so he's not sure that he will play the idol. Oddly enough, during this same conversation, Jay suggests that it's the two of them to the end. And then Adam opens up. He tells him that his mom has stage 4 lung cancer. Jay, whose mom also has health issues, covers his face and cries with Adam as he tells him how important this is for his mom and his family.

Jay tells Adam that he's been scared for his mom for the last nine years. He tells us that his mom suffers from brain aneurysms and that he and Adam really bonded over that and that he thinks Adam is a really good dude. The last conversation we see before Tribal is Hannah and Adam trying to hash out the vote. Adam still wants to take out either Jay or Dave and she is even more set that Sunday should be the vote. As they head to Tribal, Hannah tells us how hard the decision is for her, but that the person who can convince others that their decision is right is the person that will end up winning the game.

We get to Tribal, again, and Jeff starts with David. He asks if friendships even matter at this point. David says you have to lean on friendships even more than normal. Jay makes the argument that he's all alone in the game and that people with alliances might be more dangerous than the loner. David admits that he feels vulnerable again. He has relied on a lot of people to help him get here but that could run out. There's a lot of talk about who to sit next to at the end and trying to decipher what might be important to the jury. But ultimately, not a lot is said.

So, let's get to the voting and the tallying. Would anyone like to play their immunity idol? Why, yes, Jeff. Someone would. Jay digs out the idol and saves himself for one more night. And Adam smiles as half his plan has come to fruition. First vote: Jay - does not count. David. David. Then comes the flow of Sunday votes, and Sunday becomes the 14th person voted out and the seventh member of the jury. Jay's so bummed that he wasted his idol, but you can't fault the idol play right there. They've been wanting him out for several votes and they finally had their chance. He even said it himself, better to be safe than sorry.

Next time on Survivor: it's finale time! We have six people left and David is ready to play dirty. Adam looks to be searching for and to be afraid of a possible immunity idol. And Ken has made it to Day 36 - what's the frickin' Legacy Advantage already?? Be sure to tune in next Wednesday for the three-hour season finale and reunion of Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X! 'Til then, take care everyone!