Survivor: Millennials vs Gen X - Episode Recap

Episode 13 - I'm Going for a Million Bucks, Part 2

By Jim Van Nest, Gen X'er

January 16, 2016

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And here comes Jay. He has 1 question and it's only for Adam. He tells Adam that he considers him a brother and he was with him to the very end. Why didn't he use Jay to take out David when he had the chance? Adam says that they had such a crazy relationship in the game. Bitter rivals but shared a brother's love. He tells Jay that he knows why Adam's there and why this is so important. He breaks down into tears here and tells Jay, "You were in the way." Jay completely understands and doesn't ask Adam to elaborate. He just has a seat.

And Chris is next. He tells them that what they don't know about him is that he is not a coach, like he claimed. He's a trial lawyer from Oklahoma and this is the first experience he's ever had being on an actual jury. However, he can't just take off the lawyer hat, he has to advocate for one finalist. He says the story has to being with the little skinny guy luring around planning all of their demises in this game. And that's David. But one of the 3 finalists went up against Dave and finally took him out. Ken is nodding at this. And then he looks to Adam and says that he is impressed that Adam was finally able to use his social game to convince Ken to finally turn on his ally, Dave, after no one else on the jury was able to do it. He offers his congratulations and tells the jury that he hopes they will join him in writing Adam's name down tonight. Ken is about to come up off the stool at all this. He lets everyone know that Adam had nothing to do with his decision to vote out David. That was 100% his choice. And in actuality, Hannah was really the one to convince Ken to make the move. Adam was just the beneficiary of that move. However, and this cannot be stressed enough, perception is reality in the game of Survivor. The jury has sat there for Tribal after Tribal listening to Adam rail about how they have to get rid of David. He's gonna win the game. He has to go. And no one would go along with it. For Tribal after Tribal, they've watched Adam's frustration mirroring their own frustration with why David was still in the game. And then finally, at the final 4, David goes home. Regardless of who said what, or who decided what - what the just saw was Adam FINALLY got them to vote out David. And perception is reality in the game of Survivor.

To close us out tonight, is David. He tells them about how transformative this experience was for him and he wants to know how this game has changed them over these 39 days. Hannah starts by talking about how weak and scared she was at the beginning of the game, she has grown so much stronger and more confident over these 39 days. That's something she plans to take with her as she leaves Survivor. Ken talks about his social awkwardness and how he forced himself to engage with these strangers every day. He put himself in social positions that he would never normally do. He did this because of the one driving force behind his game, his daughter. He did what he had to do for her. Adam is up next and he starts by telling them that he had applied 2 years ago to be on the Blood vs Water season with his mom. And that this lifelong dream of his had then become their dream. They almost made it, but just missed the cut. So, he's not out there for a transformation. He's out there to bring some joy to his family. At this point, he starts to break down. He tells them that 7 months ago, his mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and that every time he found an idol, or won immunity or when he had the family visit, he felt like she was there winning with him. So whether he wins or not, he feels this journey will bring him closer to his family and will bring some happiness to some people who really need it. David tells him that his Mom is thinking about him right now and that he'll see her soon. Not many dry eyes on the jury right now, I can tell you that.


And while I'm sure some people will bitch and complain about Adam "playing the cancer card" here. I think that's crap. If super model Ken can talk about how he has a hard time making friends and Hannah can talk about how scared she is of everything and how she has panic attacks, it's 100% inbounds, in my opinion, for Adam to talk about what's going on back home. It explains a lot about his character and about his motivations while he's on that island. It explains a lot about how he played the game and why he deserves their vote for Sole Survivor. Now, having watched the whole Tribal, I don't think he needed to share this with them to win. I think he's got this game won, and handily, without the mom story. The mom story just cemented it. The question, for me anyway, is who will win second? Who will get that throwaway vote to take 2nd place, Ken or Hannah?

Jeff tells them all that the only thing left to do is vote. So, 1 by 1 they file to the voting urn and 1 by 1 they cast their votes. None of their votes are shown to the camera...which would usually indicate a sweep, but they've hardly shown any votes this season, so I'm not sure that it's a sign of anything. The only thing we even hear during the voting is Jay saying, "Love ya buddy". Once all the votes are cast, we come back to the live audience as Jeff comes back onstage, this time carrying the voting urn. All of the finalists are there and the jury is in place as well. Now, the only thing left to do is read the votes. First vote: Adam. Adam. Adam. Adam. Adam. Aw, hell with it - it's a 10-0-0 sweep for Adam. Nary a vote for Ken, nary a vote for Hannah. As the audience erupts, Adam heads out to hug his family. One notable absence, Adam's mom is not there. While I generally don't go too much into the reunion, I will go into it enough to say that after getting the 10 votes to win Survivor, Adam flew home immediately and saw his mom one last time. He arrived home and whispered in her ear that he had just won Survivor. And less than an hour later, she was gone. She held on long enough for him to come home and for him to give her the good news. Talk about an amazing sense of will...I would say that Adam's mom Susie had it.

So, congrats to Adam on a well-deserved victory. Congrats to the cast for an incredible season. It was nice to have a cast that didn't have any seriously despicable people in it, for a change. If the worst your cast has to offer was Fig-tayls. I'd say it was a successful casting season. At the end of the reunion, Jeff teased season 34 - which has been dubbed "Game Changers" and he brought out some of the cast of that season. For a complete breakdown of the entire Season 34 cast, please check out my casting spoilers article and its supplemental piece where I break down the 2 Millennials that are part of the Season 34 case.

Season 34 of Survivor will premiere on Wednesday March 8 with a 2 hour premiere and I'll be back to tell you all about it. I may even write a column in llama for my boy #teamTV. Til then, take care Survivor fans!

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