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Survivor recap: Tears, Beers, and Fears

There’s lots of crying, and drinking, and people worried about what their next move should be

Posted on

Greg Gayne/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

So…did I miss anything last week while I was out on vacation? No? Nothing big happened on Survivor, right? I assumed not, because it’s not like people were TWEETING, EMAILING, TEXTING, AND CALLING LIKE CRAZY ATTEMPTING TO SPOIL THE EPISODE BEFORE I HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH IT! Nice try, people! I was hanging down at Monticello and Colonial Williamsburg with my homies Peyton Randolph and Thomas Jefferson and the joke is on you because they didn’t have smart phones back in the 18th century so I was in a spoil-free zone. DOUBLE BURN!

But, of course, I knew something dramatic would happen because every single time I miss an episode it ends up being a crazy one. I was on location for Survivor: All-Stars when the Outcasts twist happened in Pearl Islands, was away on vacation when Coach got ousted in Tocantins, was on location for Survivor: Philippines when Colton was medically evacuated on One World, and now this. (And those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.) So as surprising as it was to see three immunities get played, I wasn’t surprised it happened while I was away.

I don’t want to dwell on last week too much and my uncanny knack for avoiding the best episode of the season, but everyone keeps asking about my take on Malcolm’s big move, so here it is in a nutshell: super entertaining, super dramatic, and not very good strategy. Handing an idol over to an ally is a great move if it helps shift the numbers and balance of power in the game (see: Parvati Shallow handing out not one but two idols in Heroes vs. Villains). My take on the situation was that this would not alter the basic dynamics of the game and that unless Malcolm won immunity or found another idol, he had just cheated himself out of three extra days in the game. Unfortunately for him, that turned out to be the case. He said if he wanted to go out, he wanted to go out big, and he certainly did. And as a viewer I love players that make big moves, so I appreciated it. But in terms of whether it was a smart play, my take right after it happened was that it was not. Dramatic, Awesome. Incredible. But probably not wise.

But it wasn’t downright dumb or anything. No, downright dumb was every single player at this week’s Survivor food auction. I swear I have written the paragraphs about to follow five million times before but have to keep rewriting them over and over because PEOPLE DON’T LISTEN! And what I don’t get is that it is so simple. It’s just one rule. And the rule is this: At a Survivor food auction, do not spend a single cent on a single morsel of food until Jeff Probst offers any sort of advantage in the game, and then immediately bid all $500 on it to get said advantage.

That’s not complicated, right? And every season almost every single person screws it up. This season may have been worst of all, because nobody saved their money and then bid all $500 for either the challenge advantage or the hidden immunity idol clue. Instead they spent it on beer and pizza, which I suppose makes sense if you want to Bro Down fraternity-style, but not if you are clearly on the outs of the tribe majority and needing any help to stay in the game.

NEXT: Apparently every Survivor alliance now needs a goofy nickname