Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Survivor recap: Game Off

One challenge set off skyrockets, but the competition cooled, despite Jeff Probst’s jabbing

Posted on

Monty Brinton


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

There were fireworks in this most recent episode of Survivor. I mean literal fireworks. Like, rockets-red-glare type of stuff. And there were certainly some fireworks between Dave and Sherea when she tried to toss out some shells that he wanted to bring back to mommy. But if you were looking for some good ol’ fashioned strategy and backstabbing, then this was not the Survivor episode for you. And you know what? I’m okay with that. The past few weeks have proved that Survivor: China is already head and shoulders better than The Season That Shall Not Be Named. (Granted, it’s not that difficult.) I’m not a greedy man. Not every episode has to be a jaw-dropper.

I will say I had higher hopes for the challenges. Anything involving people carrying around balls of flames can’t be too bad, I figured. Unfortunately, said balls were being carried around one inch at a time with giant chopsticks. Not exactly riveting. And how badass did the contestants look with that Chinese armor on, swinging around ”meteor hammers”? Unfortunately, the challenge ended up consisting of some weird kung fu camera work (this makes two weeks in a row they’ve gone with funky editing) and people basically throwing their rocks-on-ropes into the ground.

And I’m okay with that, too, because there are enough entertaining people in this cast to make even an ordinary episode interesting. In addition to Shellgate, we had Jean-Robert busting out some Mandarin, Dave going on some sort of Fei Long hugging spree (my personal favorite was James rebuffing Dave’s advances while saying, ”I told you about the hugging”), and some birds regurgitating fish. Plus, when a season starts strong, I’m willing to cut it a little slack. (If it continues sucking for the next month, however, there’ll be hell to pay!)

One thing that would have guaranteed less suckage in the future was Dave sticking around past last night. The dude may have considered himself Hatch 2.0, but he definitely was both engaging and enraging. In other words, he made good TV. I’d honestly rather have him around than someone who claims she’s ”gonna ride the workhorse till the tail falls off cause I’m not doing anything till I have to.” Nice attitude, Sherea. Not only are you too lazy to work around camp, you’re too damn lazy to even put a shirt on. Cover those girls up, for crying out loud!

One nice thing about this episode was hearing from some previously silent survivors. Denise finally spoke, yet still had no explanation for her mullet. Erik managed to say the word ”bro” about 512 times in a 30-second span, yet still had no explanation for how he did in the recent Ethan Zohn look-alike contest.

It appears there’s some sort of big twist going on next week. What could it be? Is there a tribal shake-up? Is Probst going to go all old school and bust out his sunglasses again? The message boards are now officially open for your guesses. Post away!