Chelsea wins immunity.


S36 E11
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May 02, 2018 at 09:01 PM EDT

C’mon in, guys! We’ll now welcome my can of Pabst Blue Ribbon returning from Ghost Island…also known as my refrigerator. First things first, Chelsea, I have to take it back, and when I say “it” I am referring to yet another can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Yes, I am now double fisting — which indeed is difficult considering I also need both hands to type, but never you worry about that.

Okay, a new Survivor recap is up for grabs. For today’s Survivor recap, you must scroll endlessly through repetitive nonsense, where you will come across four pages filled with half-baked strategic theories. Open your eyes up to those and then use those theories to solve a puzzle of obscure pop-culture references, unintentional typos, and intermittent obsessions over the color of host-related headgear. First person to finish wins immunity and a 1 in 10 shot of wanting to blow their own brains out.

Ah, but if it were only that simple. Because you know this show’s motto: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!!!! Wait, no, that’s another show’s motto. What I meant to say was…DROP YOUR BUFFS!!!! No, that’s not right either. We’ve already done that too many times this season. What I really meant was…look, I don’t have a snappy catchphrase that comes to mind right now, but suffice it to say that we’re throwing in yet another twist to shake things up! That’s because we will be splitting this recap up into two temporary recaps this week: the Purple Recap and the Orange Recap. And because orange is clearly the mightiest color in the Survivor universe, it gets to go last and see what happened in the Purple Recap before it makes its decision as to whether to embed any more terrible white-people-rapping videos.

Okay, immunity from doing any actual work or socializing with other human beings is on the line. Survivor fans ready…GO!

Look, I’m just going to tell you right now: the Purple Recap is going to most likely be a hell of a lot shorter than the Orange Recap. Because when Probst split the tribe up into two temporary tribes and told them they would each compete in immunity against each other and go to separate Tribal Councils to vote someone out, pretty much all the best gamers and biggest personalities ended up on Orange.

Purple was left with Donathan, two people whose storylines almost exclusively center around their challenge performances, someone best known for her self-proclaimed Resting Bitch Face, and Stoner McGee. All genuinely nice people, but not exactly a tribe chock full o’ powerhouses. To that point, Sea Bass’ biggest contribution to this episode was professing his desire for a fruity rice batch of papaya (while Wendell and Dom were over talking game, incidentally). You know what? That’s not fair. Sea Bass’ biggest contribution to this episode was actually the following:


The good news for all of the players after the division into two temporary tribes was that everybody now doubled their chance of winning immunity to 20 percent. The bad news was they doubled their chance of being voted out to 20 percent as well. The challenge itself had the players pulling down on a bar that clamped a ball between a set of jaws. If you released the pressure from the bar, the ball would drop and you were out. The Purple folks actually equated themselves pretty well in this one. Three of the first four folks out were Orange (although we’ll get more into that in the Orange Recap).

Eventually it came down to Chelsea vs. Angela. After 15 minutes, Chelsea had two slips, moving her ball to the edge of elimination, while Angela — not unlike Ashford & Simpson — looked solid as a rock. Yet out of nowhere, Angela’s ball rolled all the way out on her first slip. For Chelsea, it was her second straight immunity challenge win — although two people from Purple lasted longer, so do we give her the credit for a full win? Is this an asterisk situation? Is it now one-and-a-half immunity wins in a row for her?

The problem with Chelsea winning immunity, however, is that it left a humungous “What If?” unanswered. What if Chelsea had not been safe? She was out of the loop last week on the Desiree vote so does that mean the vote would not have gone down tribal lines (with three Naviti and two Malolo)? We’ll never know, but with her safe, that’s the way things looked to shake out.

However, Donathan had an ace up his sleeve — which is to say an idol down his pants. (I actually don’t know where Donathan hides his idol, but that has proven to be a pretty popular hiding spot over the years. Some people go front of the pants. Some go back. At some point when I have way too much time on my hands I will do a statistical analysis of front vs. back pants idol hiding and how that also breaks down along gender lines.)

And Donathan’s idol was the topic of conversation during my favorite scene of the episode between Donathan and — in a crossover episode of epic proportions — Michael from the Purple Recap. It went a little something like this:

MICHEAL: “Would you let me borrow it just for like the next hour to show one of them…” DONATHAN: “No.”
MICHAEL: “…so they think I have one?”
MICHAEL: “You wouldn’t?”
MICHAEL: “Why not?”
DONATHAN: “Because I don’t want it to link back to me and my plans blow up.”

I love the zero hesitation on Donathan’s part. No need to pause for the cause or hem and haw or awkwardly pretend that he would think about it. Now, yes, he could have been a bit nicer about it and explained that he had to have it with him in case he felt like he was in danger at the last minute and maybe apologized once or twice and thrown up a fake frowny face or something to show how sorry he was for screwing over his former Malolo mate, but to see Donathan be so ruthless is kinda legit. I liked him a lot when we spoke before the game, but I also had him pegged as very naïve and someone that might get taken advantage of early in the game. I could not have been more wrong. Donathan is not there just to get out of Kentucky for the first time in his entire life and meet people from different places and different races (“James is so exotic!”). He’s there to win. And I like it. (Recap continues on next page)

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