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Survivor recap: Man in the Middle

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Matthew Sash Survivor
Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Survivor

type:
TV Show
genre:
Reality TV
run date:
05/31/00
performer:
Jeff Probst
broadcaster:
CBS
seasons:
34
Current Status:
In Season

This latest episode of Survivor was like one big game of chicken. And I’m not referring to the actual chicken that was devoured this evening for dinner (we’ll get to her in a minute), but rather the game of chicken. You know the deal, right? First person who loses their courage loses the game. My favorite game of chicken took place in the 1984 hit Footloose. Dancing fool Kevin Bacon was challenged to a game of chicken on tractors — possibly the stupidest version of chicken I have ever seen in my life. The things were moving slower than Dan in a challenge, yet the bad guy blinked and jumped off like a fraidy cat. He lost.

Tonight’s episode was just like that — minus the awesome Kenny Loggins soundtrack. On one side you had an alliance of Fabio, Benry, and Dan. On the other you had Holly, Jane, and Chase. In the middle you had the suddenly powerful swing vote of Sash. Both sides made plays for his allegiance, but neither was entirely sure they had it. Who would blink? The answer was Benry, who immediately sold out Fabio in an effort to stay in the game. By so willingly agreeing to slit his best buddy’s throat, Benry made Sash’s choice easy for which side to align with, and once he did so, they all voted off Benry instead. You blink, you lose. Chicken.

Speaking of chicken, let’s take it from the top of the episode, as the contestants — upset about being forced to go sit in the rain at Tribal all night just so Silent Kelly and NaOnka could quit and get all the food they wanted — decide to dub their chicken KellyNae. Personally, I think PurpleOnka has a better ring to it, but whatever.

The next day, Sash gathers the boys and tells them that he’s playing his hidden immunity idol so that he won’t have a target on his back. And they should believe that about as much as Sash should believe Chase telling him that he’s next in line to go on a reward challenge victory trip along with Holly. This, of course, provides a perfect segue to…the reward challenge! The contest is actually a collection of previous challenges, forcing contestants to trek through mud, retrieve keys, and throw lots of various objects at other various objects. It’s one of those challenges that involves specific rounds where certain people get knocked out at different times. I always disliked that. Whenever I watch one of these I feel like one of the dudes in the Astrodome during the Bad News Bears in Breaking Training: “LET THEM PLAY! LET THEM PLAY! LET THEM PLAY!” Seriously, the start and stop motion of these events never allows you to get in a groove and also doesn’t give anyone far behind in one portion the chance to post a dramatic comeback. True, you could run this challenge for weeks on end and Dan isn’t going to catch anything (certainly not his breath), but with Sash and Fabio, you never know. Oh well, no biggie. It’s not like they would ever subject us to two such stop-and-go challenges in a single episode or anything.

NEXT: Probst turns the challenge into a hug-free zone

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