Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Episode Recap

Episode 11 - It's a Me Game, Not a We Game

By Jim Van Nest

May 4, 2016

We're sure we'll see her again on All-Stars.

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Hello, good people, and thanks so much for coming back for another thrilling Survivor: Kaoh Rong episode recap. So far, despite no fanfare at all, this 32nd season of Survivor has turned out to be pretty damn good. Everything we've seen until now culminated last week with Tai's epic blindside of Scot Pollard. Despite having all the pieces in play to make the first Super Idol and continue their hold on the game - Tai decided to go against his alliance, hold onto HIS idol, vote for Scot and send the season 32 villain home - with Kyle's idol in his pocket! An awesome move for TV. An awesome move for Aubry and Cydney. A horrible move for Tai - and we're seeing it in the previews. Kyle wants revenge and everyone else wants the idol AND the advantage gone. We can start this episode playing, "It's Anybody But Tai."

What I really like about this season right now is that we have seven people left and I think there's a scenario where six of the seven can win. I don't think Joe has done enough to warrant a victory, even if he was sitting with Russell and Brandon Hantz at the end. Again, tonight's episode seems to be very Tai-centric as everyone is looking at the little man with the huge play. Will this be his week, or will he be able to rekindle things with Kyle and keep on trucking? I don't know, but if the first 10 episodes have shown us anything, it's that you just can't predict this season. Let's get to it.


I've been looking forward to this all week - the episode begins as everyone gets back to camp after Tribal. Tai breaks down the Tribal vote and tells us that Scot and Kyle always talked over him and he was tired of it. He wanted to take control of his own game. Aubry and Joe are thrilled at how it turned out. And with one sentence, Aubry sums up why I think she's playing the best game out there. She looks at Tai and says, "I'm so happy for you." Tai comes back with, "I'm happy for us." And right there is the nuanced social game that most players don't have. Tai saved her ass tonight. He kept her in the game AND gave her the power of the numbers. And she comes back to camp, looks at Tai and tells him she's so happy for him. She knows what Tai needs to hear and keeps giving it to him. That's how she got him to make the move and that's how she'll keep him in lock step for as long as she wants. Really, really nice play.

We check in with the rest, still after Tribal, and Jason says, "You'll never get rid of him now." He tells them that there's almost no way to get rid of Tai now. He loves the play from a fan perspective. He tells us that the only thing that could possibly go wrong at Tribal went wrong. He tells us that without his partner and his idol, he's got nothing left to do but scramble. He tells Cydney that he's an island out there and if she wants to do something nuts, he's very nutty. She says that she'll keep it in mind. We join the "alliance" of five around the fire and Joe is asking Julia if she's okay. She tells them that she and Michele would have liked to have been told about the plan. Julia is pissed about how things went. Tai wants to explain why he voted Scot and she doesn't want to hear it. I actually find her anger a bit annoying. YOU VOTED FOR TAI!!! Why should he owe YOU anything? Julia and Michele end up in the shelter with Kyle as they lament being on the wrong side of the numbers moving forward.

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