Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X - Episode Recap
Episode 13 - I'm Going for a Million Bucks, Part 1
By Jim Van Nest, Gen X'er
January 12, 2017

Totally not bitter.

Hello good people!! Thanks for joining me for the thrilling conclusion of Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X. We've had a fantastic season thus far and I expect it will continue through the finale tonight. We have one of the better, more likable final 6's in the history of the show. There is no one out there that I actively dislike and I could make a case for any one of the 6 to win the game. Granted, some of those cases might be thin...but a case can be made. So, I'm gonna take a few seconds, while Jeff is recapping the season to state a case for all 6 players.

1) David: He has been one of the main narrators of the season. He's seen as the mastermind and the most dangerous player in the game. Yet, no one ever comes for him. It's really quite odd. He's made legit bonds with enough people that despite knowing he has the line to win the game, they continue to vote with him and protect him. David also has the "growth narrative" as he came into the game scared of everything and now he's been running the show for weeks. If he makes it to the end, I think our next guy might be the only one who can beat him.

2) Jay: Jay is not your typical Survivor "Bro". He's whip smart, great in the challenges and has a social game that has kept him alive, despite being a HUGE target for several votes now. He definitely lands closer to Malcolm on the "Bro" list than he does Taylor - who I'd put at the very end of the other side of that spectrum. Looking at the jury - with Michelle, Taylor, Chris and Will - he is getting very close to having the votes to win the game. He also has a strong enough challenge resume that he could very well win out, which would lock in the victory. The only reason I list David first is that I think he'll have to make that immunity run if he even wants a sniff of the final 3. But honestly, if he can make the final 3 with David - that will be quite amazing and should set us up for one of the best Final Tribals ever.

3) Adam: Adam has really skyrocketed over the course of the last few episodes. When Taylor blew up his reward stealer and accused him of eating food on the sly, Adam looked like a dead man walking. But, he's come back REAL strong and now seems to be sitting in a major power player's chair. He is helping to control the votes right now and he seems to have Hannah and Jay ready to work with him. He also has the huge ace in the hole - the story about his mom. It is so sincere and heartfelt that if he brings it out at Final Tribal, I could see several votes being swayed to him. Even more so if it is brought up by someone else, like Jay. Actually, though, if the Survivor Gods were to really smile on us, we'd get the David/Jay/Adam final 3 that we so justly deserve. That would be one of the best final Tribals as well as one of the closest votes we've ever seen. Hell, if those 3 make it, we might even see our first tie in the history of Final Tribal Council. I think it would be that hotly contested.

4) Ken: I think there's a slight drop off here as we get to Ken. A couple episodes ago and I would have had Ken at the top of the winner list. But the way he handled Will, with his "test" and some of the subsequent exit interviews suggest to me that Ken wasn't that well liked out there. I think he's the opposite of Jay. I think Ken has a fantastic shot to make the final, especially sporting the Legacy Advantage, but I don't think he has a strong shot to get the needed votes to win this thing. I have a feeling he'll have a rough time with the jurors who seem to feel that Ken thinks he is much better than them. If that's the case, he has a shot to be a 0 vote finalist.

5) Hannah: Hannah has a tougher road to hoe here and I think she has to be very careful of who she wants to sit with at the end. I think Hannah's dream final 3 is herself, Ken and Bret. She has a clear cut path to victory among those 3. However, I think she might stand an outside chance against some of the others as well. Hear me out on this. She made the comment last week that those who can influence people to vote the way THEY want, can win the game. And she 100% made Adam and Ken vote against their best interests last week when they took out Sunday. Sunday was someone who could be taken to the end and then likely beaten easily. I think Hannah was right in thinking that Sunday was potentially taking HER spot in the final 3 and then wisely targeted her. The fact that she got the boys to go along with her on it could be a major selling point for her in the end. And, if she can make the move that takes out David or Jay - she could very easily steal this game right in front of our eyes.

6) Bret: I think Bret is the hardest to sell as a possible winner this season, but I don't think it's impossible. Bret would most likely be the one to benefit the most from a bitter jury. He didn't do anything to piss anyone off. In fact, he always found himself on the wrong side of the vote, so he can claim that he did not have a hand in voting off most of the jury. He, like Hannah, will have to have the perfect final 3 in order to win. But he'll also need that perfect jury. If people are pissed at the way David played and don't like Ken - I could see Bret emerging as a surprise winner in a David/Ken/Bret final 3. It's a tall order and not likely to happen, but I don't think you can count Bret out just yet. I do think he'll be the next to go - so then, we'll count him out.

Ok, are y'all ready to get to the episode and see who won this thing? 6 People. 4 Tribal Councils. 2 Hours. 1 - Survivor!!

We begin tonight's episode on night 35 after Tribal. Jay laments playing his idol when he didn't need to. Knowing that he's next to go, his plan is to go find another idol. Bret starts telling us about how this was the chance to take David out, but no one would do it. Hannah tried to explain that she felt it was a bad time to get rid of David. Bret tells us that either Jay or David will win this thing; they have to be the next to go. David tells us that he can't believe he made it through another vote. He also says that he knows they're coming for him so he's going to try to stir up some chaos. He grabs some embers from the fire and heads out to make his own little side fire. It is here that he pulls out all the beads, shells, string and everything else he's been stashing throughout the game. His plan is to make a fake idol. So he strings up a really nice looking, believable idol. Wraps it up in an idol note from one of his idols and places it inside a coconut, which he them uses some paint (I guess from the tribe flag) to put a symbol on the coconut. It's probably now that I should note that the first time they came to Fiji (20 seasons ago) this was the site of the very first fake immunity idol, created by Yau Man. So, this is a really sweet callback to that time. Also, this is easily the best fake idol ever done. Especially when you put the note and the painted coconut into play.

The sun rises on day 36 and Jay is out looking for an idol. As he searches, Ken and David start heading his way, so he grabs some coconuts and they all head back toward camp. On the way back, Jay is scanning everywhere for an idol and he finally spots a coconut with a pink symbol on it. Of course, he's with Dave and Ken, so he can't grab it. As they continue back, Dave is pretty sure Jay noticed the coconut which is exactly what he wanted to happen. With a few spare minutes, Jay heads back to the fake idol and opens it. As we head to break, Jay tells us all about how dumb they are not to be looking and how he just got the break he needed to stay in this game. Oh Jay - the end is not going to be pretty.

We come back from break and Ken is finally getting to open the Legacy Advantage. Turns out this advantage is immunity at the next Tribal. So, he's guaranteed final 5. Now, if he could go out and win immunity today, tonight's Tribal could be pretty amazing. Speaking of immunity...

Probst sighting!! Today's challenge is a rough one. They have to handle an obstacle course and then untie some number tiles. Crawl through a rope trap and then use those numbers as a combination to open a lock. Once open, they'll get a key that they have to take under a rope netting. They'll use that key to open pieces to a bat puzzle. First person to finish the puzzle wins immunity and reward. Today's reward will be a massive steak dinner tonight to help them prepare for the final 5 immunity challenge. Worth playing for? Yeah, I think so.

The challenge takes off as you would expect, with Ken and Jay in the lead. Jay is the first one to figure out the combination, so he takes his key and runs off. But he forgot to use the cover to cover up his numbers, so everyone just looks at his numbers and copies them to get their combination. In fairness, Ken actually figured it out on his own, but everyone else - they copied Jay's numbers to move on. Jay thinks about going back, but it's too late now. So, he heads up to start on his puzzle. The puzzle is not easy and it takes long enough for Jay to figure it out that everyone has pretty much caught up to him. At this point, it's down to Jay and David on the puzzle. Adam, Hannah and Bret are now looking at Jay and David's puzzles trying to catch up. David has now caught Jay and passed him. Jay has something wrong and the whole puzzle falls apart. David wins immunity and reward.

As you would expect, Jeff gives David the chance to take 2 people with him. "Um, Jeff." It's Jay. Now that he's in possession of the Reward Stealer, he's decided to use it. He tells Jeff that he'll be eating with David, since David beat him, but he's taking control of the reward. Which means Jay gets to choose the 3rd person to have steak. And he chooses the guy who gave him the reward stealer in the first place, Adam. And THAT, my friends, is how you manage to use that advantage and not piss anyone off. I mean, sure; Bret, Hannah and Ken probably aren't happy. But the person that won reward still gets it and he had a perfect reason to bring Adam. I'm not sure there was any better way to play that thing. Well done, Jay. I hope your dinner affords you some time to save your ass tonight.

We come back to camp and the guys are blown away by the spread laid out in front of them. Jay takes this time to make his pitch, and it's a good one. He lays it out that the 3 of them are the biggest threats in the game. If they take him out, David is next. And when they're both gone, they'll come for Adam. Adam asks about Jay winning everything and Jay's response is great. "What do you want me to say? I'll take you both? Cause, I'll do it. I'll take you both to the 3. And if Bret wins tomorrow, I guarantee he won't take you to the 3." David tells us that Jay makes some good points. He's promised to take Dave to the 3 and serves as a huge shield for David.

Back at camp, Bret, Hannah and Ken have decided that Jay has to go. As the steak eaters come back to camp, David and Jay are talking with Hannah and David brings up voting out Bret. He has no problem getting rid of Bret, since Bret has been after him since day 1. Adam, however, isn't too thrilled with that idea. Bret has not won a challenge and probably won't, so why take him out when you have a huge threat in Jay still in the game. Sure, Jay has promised Adam final 3, but Adam knows he can't beat Jay in the final 3. They do have a longer discussion about Bret saying that he's so likable; he's a danger to take to the end. Right now, Adam seems to have them convinced it's Jay, but David doesn't like it. Back at camp, Jay and Bret are talking about how it's gonna go tonight and they compare pitches. Basically, both of them have called the other a bigger threat and I guess we'll see how that goes. Bret is telling us how obvious this vote should be and as he's doing this, we see Hannah come up and tell Jay that she and David want to talk to him. Bret looks at Ken and asks what the hell that could be about.

They sit Jay down and lay out where everything is. David is with him to take out Bret. Hannah is on the fence, but they tell him Adam is out. Hannah confirms that if Jay can get Adam, she'll vote with them, so at least Jay knows where to focus his efforts. So, he grabs Adam and asks for a chance. Jay explains that he's flipped David and that he just wants 1 shot. And even if he wins out, he's taking Adam to the end. He actually plays a little dirty by saying, "C'mon, we're brothers." Adam tells us that he could save Jay tonight and that they have this weird relationship where they do have a brotherly thing going. But he finishes by asking the big question, "Can I beat him?" Let's find out how it goes.

They all arrive at Tribal and Jeff starts with David and asks about the reward steal. Dave, Jay and Adam all agree that it was a working lunch with Jay making his final pitch to stay in the game. We have a little back and forth between Bret and Jay talking about who has more friends on the jury ('s Jay). Jeff has to ask Jay about the challenge to which Jay acknowledges that if he had just covered his numbers, he'd probably have the necklace on right now. Ken backs him up a little, though, saying that on Day 6, you remember to cover it up. On Day 36, maybe not. There's a little talk of idols and such, but nothing meaningful, let's just get to the vote!

They show us no votes, so Jeff will just go tally them. He asks about a hidden immunity and Jay perks up, "Jeff...". And as he digs in his bag, he kinda ribs the group telling them they have to be faster than that. He's VERY excited right now. Bret is shaking his head, "Unbelievable." Will is jumping out of his skin on the jury. Only David knows what is about to happen. Jeff, "This is (dramatic pause)" Jay, "Wooo!" Jeff, "NOT a hidden immunity idol." He throws it in the fire and Jay is blown away. "You guys got me." So, all votes for Jay will count. "Um, Jeff." This time it's Ken and everyone is like, "Whaaaaat?" He pulls out the Legacy Advantage and let's everyone know that it gives him immunity tonight. Poor Gen X Jessica is torn up on the jury, thinking that it was so close to being her advantage. So, to recap: all votes for Jay will count. Any voted for Ken, will not. Got it? Good. First vote is for Ken and everything else comes up Jay. For getting taken out like this, with a fake idol and all that, Jay is an incredible sport about it. He tells them he hates them all and then calls them all warriors. All in fun - he's a good dude. He tells Jeff to snuff his torch, Jeff obliges and he heads down the path exclaiming, "A million dollar lock combination."

So we leave Tribal Council with Jeff and get a live update with Jeff only to come back from commercial to a Probst Sighting! It's all Jeff all the time! It's also Day 37 and time for another Immunity Challenge. Today's challenge starts in the water and is the "moving a buoy on a rope" challenge. Once you get through the buoy course, you'll have to untie some letter puzzle pieces. Then you'll have to use a couple handles to carry the tiles over a teeter totter. This is one of those challenges where you decide how many tiles to carry. Drop them and go back to the start. So, it might be better to make several trips with fewer tiles, than to take a bunch of tiles on one trip. Then, first person to spell out the secret phrase wins immunity and a spot in the Final 4.

The challenge starts off and everyone is pretty even. Over time, Hannah starts to fall out of contention, leaving a 4 person race. Ken is the first one to his pieces, followed by Bret. Adam and David are next. Ken has all the pieces and heads to the teeter totter. He took a lot and as he walks, they all fall out. Back to the platform, Ken! Bret takes a much smaller group of tiles and he makes it to the end. Ken takes a smaller amount drops them again. By now, David and Adam are also moving tiles. As Hannah begins carrying (and dropping) tiles, Bret gets the last of his tiles to the platform and begins working on it. Ken, Adam and David are behind him and now everyone but Hannah is working on the puzzle. Ken and Adam start making some progress and Hannah finally gets all her tiles over to the platform. Bret and David are starting to fall out of this as both Ken and Adam now have "Not A Participation..." spelled out on their board. For whatever reason, Adam can't connect it, but Ken can. "Not A Participation Trophy," Ken screams. And Ken. Wins. Immunity! Adam is distraught that he was right there and couldn't see it. As we head to break, Bret tells us that he is very nervous tonight, but he's happy that David didn't win, so they might finally be able to take out the biggest threat.

We rejoin the show as everyone comes back from the challenge. Adam tells us that he's very excited that David lost the challenge today because they have to get rid of him tonight. He decides that he is going to go out looking for a hidden idol, just to make sure Dave doesn't have one. If he can get rid of that question mark, they'll have a better shot at taking David out. He feels like he has Bret and Hannah on his side and in fact, he has Bret setup to cover for him while he searches. While he frantically searches, David makes his move. He has Ken and Hannah alone and asks them what they think about voting out Adam. Ken and Hannah don't really put up much of a fight and agree that they can get behind an Adam vote. David tells us that he's pretty sure there are no more idols in the game and he feels like Adam is a bigger threat to win immunity than Bret. We go back to Adam and his idol search and what do we have here? Adam has found his second idol in this game. As he celebrates, Ken and David take Bret aside and ask if he was down for voting Adam. Bret says that he'll do whatever it takes to get to the final 4.

Bret tells us, however, that he still wants David gone, so he goes straight to Adam and tells him of the plan to vote him out. Adam shows Bret the idol and essentially says they can bring it. If they all vote Adam, he'll play his idol and David goes home. We catch up with Adam and Hannah as she tells him that they're coming for him. He verifies with her that it's definitely him and not Bret and then...ermehgerd...tells Hannah that he has an idol. Dumb, dumb, dumb! Sure, you'll be safe tonight, but you may have just killed Bret. Hannah tells us how much she likes being in the middle and feels like she has all the control tonight. As they head to Tribal, we see Hannah talking to a lot of people and narrating to us how she can go either way and how each way may or may not help her. Her choice is essentially between trying to set up whom to be at the end against versus actually getting to the end. Should be interesting!

We get to Tribal and Jeff starts by mentioning Ken and his 3rd immunity win. He asks Hannah about people running off for conversations. She says they were running off for conversations and to look for idols. Adam confirms he was the first one out looking for an idol. David talks about how people are starting to plan out final 3 scenarios and that sometimes you don't have to be the best player, just the best of what's left. Bret, on the other hand, is just worried about getting to tomorrow. David admits to thinking he could be going home tonight but he knows all he can do at this point is trust in the people he trusts and hope that loyalty means something to them. He also says that even if it is him tonight, he feels like he has learned so much about himself that even going out 5th, he'll be a winner overall. Adam chimes in that this is exactly what makes him a threat to win the game. His story - going from a guy who was scared of everything to the main power player in the game. Bret echoes Adam's thoughts and also mentions that he'd be devastated to go home tonight. And with that, it's time to vote.

We see no votes cast, so Jeff will have to tally them all in secrecy. He comes back and asks about hidden idols. And here's Adam. He says that he really wants to make the final 4 and he's afraid some votes are coming his way. Jeff, "This is..." dramatic pause "a hidden immunity idol". And of course, they flash to Jay laughing on the jury. Adam will move on. Jeff reads the votes. David, Bret, David, Bret. Final vote and the 16th member voted out of Survivor: Bret. "The flipper flips again." And after Jeff snuffs his torch, "Congratulations David.” The rest of you just lost a million dollars." You can see that Adam is in shock. He definitely thought he had Hannah with him on this vote and honestly, why in the hell wouldn't you take out David right now? He's a threat to win immunity and if he gets to the 3, he wins the game. And further, you're now in a final 4 scenario with David and Ken. Ken, who holds loyalty and honesty above everything else. Dude will never flip on David. So, if you're Hannah you have 2 choices now. Try to get David out and hope Adam can beat him in a fire building challenge. Or, get to the end and get no votes while David sweeps and wins the game and the money. What a colossal blunder for Hannah. Just huge!

And we've reached the halfway point of the 2 hour finale and as we head to break, I'm going to sign off for now and get this posted up. I'll probably be back tomorrow with Part 2 of the finale and then in a few days, I'll be back with a follow up to my Season 34 cast spoiler from a couple months ago, so stay tuned for that. Til tomorrow, take care!