‘Survivor: Cambodia’ Review: ‘Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil’ and ‘My Wheels Are Spinning’
Recap and review of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance – Episodes 10 and 11 – Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil / My Wheels Are Spinning:
Welcome to the recap and review for Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance! It’s a two-hour show tonight, so, in the interest of having this out in a timely fashion, I’m doing this review in a stream-of-consciousness, live blog style! “Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil” and “My Wheels Are Spinning” look to be a lot of fun, with tons of scheming as we go from Top 10 to Top 9, and then down to Top 8. Let’s get this show on the road!
AFTER TRIBAL COUNCIL
So Jeremy takes Tasha aside to explain why she was left out of the vote, although he never really gives an adequate reason for why she couldn’t know. I mean, realistically, she should have been included. And Tasha is right to immediately be suspicious of Jeremy, noting that the only reason to leave her out is because he already has the numbers he needs with the Witches’ Coven. She declares that this is the last time Jeremy will be allowed to get one over on her, and I’m wondering now if getting rid of Wiglesworth was really worth potentially losing Tasha as an ally. Granted, for Jeremy to win, she’d have to go eventually. But I think having her as an ally is more valuable than having her as opposition. For his part, Joe is furious about Wiglesworth’s ouster, noting that he now needs to win immunity more than ever, since his closest ally in the game just got blindsided.
The next morning, it’s absolutely hell on Earth, as the rain is OUT OF CONTROL. Everyone is miserable, especially since they’re still two weeks out from the end of the game. Yet Keith isn’t fazed. “I’d stay out here fifty days! How many people get a second chance at a million dollars?” Keith says, paraphrasing. Dude definitely has the right attitude here, which is probably why he’s such a fan favorite.
REWARD OUT OF THE RAIN
We’ll be doing the basketball-type challenge from Survivor: Tocantins, in which the finalists are split into two tribes and must try to sink a ball into the opposing team’s net. The challenge is run in rounds, with each tribe putting forth their best athletes, and then switching out after each point is scored. In his season, Stephen scored the winning basket for his tem, so he’s familiar with this challenge. The winning team gets to have a banquet at a special, Cambodian-style picnic with performers and everything. But best of all, it’s away from all the rain.
It’s a pretty fun challenge, as most contact challenges are. Although it gets pretty heated — again, as most contact challenges tend to get. While the green team takes an early lead, the Purple team rallies and wins the challenge pretty handily, due in large part to having fighters like Joe and Tasha on their team. Although Jeremy, Stephen and Wentworth definitely give it their all. But it just wasn’t their day, unfortunately.
JOE, TASHA, ABI-MARIA, SPENCER AND CIERA WIN REWARD!
Naturally, Ciera is stoked about the opportunity this represents, since she now can strategize with new people and potentially flip this game on its head. Part of me feels like she should just stick with Jeremy, Stephen and Spencer for now, since aligning with Tasha or Joe is a no-win proposition, should she get to the end with either two. Then again, I’m not sure how good Ciera’s chances of winning are against Jeremy or Stephen. I could imagine the jury might be a bit bitter at Jeremy and Stephen, so maybe she’ll try to leverage that bitterness to her own benefit? I’m genuinely uncertain what Ciera’s path to victory could be.
On the reward, Ciera breaks down during the performance, since many of the Cambodian villagers are in attendance, many of them kids. These kids remind her of her children back home, and also her husband, whom she misses a lot. But she sets aside her emotions in order to talk strategy. In particular, her desire to get out Stephen, noting that he’s too smart a player to be allowed to remain in the game. Joe is happy to get on-board with this plan, since he considers Stephen to be the most dangerous player in this game. However, he’s a bit on the nervous side, since he isn’t entirely sure if he can trust Ciera and her Witches Coven just yet.
Back at camp, the remaining group is absolutely miserable from all this rain. But Kimmi notes that if her son can endure kidney disease, then she can endure the harsher elements of this game (FINALLY, a Kimmi confessional! I’ve been missing her this season). However, the group ignores the rain for a moment to talk strategy, as Keith wants Joe gone. And Wentworth happily agrees, since this means she isn’t on the bottom for once. She notes that you just can’t keep winning immunities like that and expect people won’t view you as a threat. For his part, Stephen feels that he’s in a great position in this game thanks to his advantage, and thanks to the amount of options he has for maneuvers going forward. Of course, he makes a note that you never want to say you’re in a good position in this game, since that’s when you end up going home. So the inclusion of that confessional by the editors makes me think this might be Stephen’s farewell episode.
The other thing that makes me think it’s the end of the line for Stephen is the scene we see that night, as Stephen is scared that his body is breaking down. He hasn’t eaten in days, and the rain is preventing him from being able to sleep. He’s trying his hardest to fight through his issues, but his stomach pains have him getting up out of the shelter and into the rain to relieve himself constantly. It gets so bad that even the people who want him out of the game, like Joe, are feeling sorry for him. But Stephen resolves not to quit. Good for him. The dude is my favorite player this season. Granted, I think the odds are pretty low for a Stephen victory, but I really want to see him get to the end again, as unlikely as that might seem right now.
Jeremy is worried about Stephen. If he has to be medically evacuated, that’s one more ally gone from this game, and he needs loyalty around him. So he’s hoping Stephen is okay. But more than that, he’s hoping for some sort of relief from this nightmare weather.
JOEMUNNITY IS BACK UP FOR GRABS!
Before the challenge starts, Jeff Probst offers each castaway a choice of rocks, but doesn’t say what they’re for. He explains that this challenge is the balance challenge from Keith’s season, as each castaway must stand on a peg while balancing a ball between a roller and a plank. So yeah, a third balance challenge in a row, which seems to indicate that SOMEBODY wants Joe to stay in this game (well, that or it’s just a big coincidence. Probably the latter, honestly, although this is getting kind of absurd).
Probst then explains what the black and white rocks are for: a construction crew is back at the camp, ready to fortify and improve their shelter to protect from the harsh elements. However, they’ll only build a new shelter for the castaways if FIVE of them willingly give up their shot at immunity. Black rock means you want to compete, white rock means you’re giving up your shot. It’s an interesting twist, but the biggest shock is how the choices are divided: EVERYONE except Joe and Keith give up their shot at immunity. Obviously, Joe needs the immunity, but Keith is participating mostly because he’s a competitor, and he figured Joe would be competing too. So Joe only has to beat one person to win immunity today (although it’d be interesting if Joe had been the only one to compete, since he would have automatically won immunity).
This is the shortest challenge so far, as Joe hardly wobbles his ball once, whereas Keith is uncertain through most of the challenge. Before long, Keith loses his balance, and that’s it for his shot at immunity.
JOE WINS IMMUNITY FOR THE FOURTH TIME!
Joe remains the only person in this game to win individual immunity. He also is the new record holder for longest time in this game without ever being at risk for elimination, since he’s now been immune for over half the game. Stephen, who’s looking a lot better now that the rain has stopped, states that while Joe won immunity, being dry allows him to think. Basically, the game is back on, and Ciera is the target, since she’s too aggressive a player. I’m starting to think this is all going to backfire on Stephen, considering he had the chance to get rid of her last week and didn’t take it. It’d be almost poetic that by working with her last week, he’d basically ensure his own ouster this week. I’m hoping that’s not the case, but those ironic moments are part and parcel of a game like this.
BEST SHELTER EVER!
The group comes back to find an awesome shelter: an extended roof a roaring fire, and cookies, coffee and tea! Keith and Joe can’t partake of the treats though, since they competed in the immunity challenge. But talk of the shelter falls by the wayside pretty quickly, as everyone begins strategizing. Ciera wants her allies to stick to the plan to blindside Stephen. Joe and Abi are still on-board, and Spencer wants to go with it too, even after Tasha starts wavering. Tasha makes a great point about Ciera needing to go home, since she’s a big schemer. She even makes the argument to Joe, Spencer and Jeremy that it needs to be Ciera. Joe starts to rethink things, saying that he wants both Ciera and Stephen gone. But he’d rather vote Stephen, since Ciera is the devil you know. Jeremy agrees, since Ciera is a floater, whereas Stephen is loyal. Spencer argues that Stephen will use his advantage to screw them over, and this devolves into a big argument, with Spencer stating that Stephen is closer with Kimmi than anyone else in this game, which is something he can use to swing the vote in his favor when it’s time for him to make a big move. There’s genuine uncertainty about who’s going home tonight.
TRIBAL COUNCIL: STEPHEN OR CIERA?
At tribal council, Probst asks how the castaways endured the rain. Stephen talks about his gastrointestinal distress, and how he nearly folded. Conversation then transitions to the big choice at the immunity challenge, with Ciera noting that she instantly wanted to show that she was willing to give up her safety for the rest of the team. But she wasn’t sure who else would join her. Tasha adds that it’s about making the unselfish choice, prompting Joe to speak up and say that if he’d put out the white rock, he’d be going home tonight. Keith states that Joe is the golden boy, and that he wanted to compete with him. Probst asks if Keith is safe, and Spencer feels he is, which means one of the eight who gave up their shot at immunity WILL be going home. Conversation turns to Stephen’s advantage, as he admits that it’s a target on his back since, unlike an idol, everyone knows he has it. He says it’s more like a disadvantage than anything else. Ciera says that voting alliances are in flux, and that it’s likely to be a blindside tonight, and it could even be her, meaning that giving up immunity could prove to be a million dollar mistake. I suppose we’ll see soon enough.
Everyone votes, and Probst collects the jar. However, right as Probst is about to read the votes, he asks if anyone wants to use a hidden immunity idol, at which point, Jeremy speaks up. Stephen is asolutely stunned when Jeremy declares that this is about who you can trust most in this game, before playing the idol for Fishbach!
JEREMY PLAYS A HIDDEN IMMUNITY IDOL FOR STEPHEN!
CIERA IS VOTED OUT OF SURVIVOR: CAMBODIA – SECOND CHANCE!
WOW! It really came down to the wire there, as Kimmi really thought this was it for her. Hopefully, this doesn’t come back to bite Jeremy. Strangely enough, Ciera didn’t even target Stephen, as she and Wentworth were the two Kimmi votes whereas Tasha, Joe, Keith, Abi and Spencer were the five Stephen votes, leaving Stephen, Jeremy and Kimmi’s votes for Ciera as enough to send her home.
In her farewell, Ciera states that she guesses this was just her time to go. If nothing else, she seems relatively cool with her exit, as she understands how the game is played. However, Spencer is far less cool about it. Even though Jeremy says he would have happily done the same thing for him, Spencer doesn’t buy it. He feels he needs to start considering getting out of this alliance, since Jeremy just pulled a fast one on everybody. Of course, Stephen is thrilled to still be around, as this further bonds him to Jeremy. He had no idea about the idol, but he’s eternally grateful for Jeremy saving his life in this game. While I think it’s a gross miscalculation for Spencer to turn on Jeremy over this move, I do agree with his assessment that the nature of the game seemingly changes with each tribal council. Seriously, who’s even in a solid alliance anymore, outside of Stephen and Jeremy? It feels like every other alliance is fair game. And I LOVE that. This has been the most unpredictable season in Survivor history, in my opinion. Easily.
While Stephen is thankful to still be around, he’s still blindsided by the vote, since this is the first time he’s ever been out of the loop on a vote. Even in Tocantins, he knew exactly what was going on in each vote. He sees this as a failure to properly read how he was perceived in the game, and it’s changing his outlook on the game a bit. It certainly doesn’t help that his feet have swollen to cartoonish sizes. Basically, Stephen is at an all-time low, and he’s struggling to gut it out (no pun intended, given his stomach problems. Trust me, I know that struggle).
REWARD CHALLENGE: SURVIVOR FOLKLORE
It’s a classic Survivor challenge, as Stephen tells the castaways a story, and they each have to answer trivia questions about that story by finding rings with the correct answer to each question at the different stations, and placing it on a hanger. The first person to get all five questions right wins. The winner will get to go on a helicopter tour of Cambodia, which gets Keith super excited, and I can’t fault any man for having a love of helicopters, honestly. The child in me would be losing his mind.
I didn’t really follow Probst’s story because I was typing while he was telling it, which shows how well I’d do in a challenge like this (i.e., disastrously). But it looks like everyone has far better attention spans than I, since this remains pretty close throughout. What’s cool about this challenge isn’t just that it’s a classic trivia race, it’s that it’s taking place at night! I love the torch light visual as everyone races to the different urns to try and find the right answers,a nd then racing back as the challenge gets more and more difficult.
In a lucky break, Wentworth picks one of the rings and finds that it has a clue to the hidden immunity idol! She quickly pockets the clue, noting in a confessional just how fortunate she is to have found it, since anyone could have found that clue. For his part, Stephen is engineering his own luck: he gets to one of the answer stations at the same time as Abi-Maria, so, in an absolutely brilliant move, Stephen lifts one of the jar lids as if he’s going to pick that answer, and allows Abi to take one of the rings first. He then lets her run off, while he picks from the jar with the RIGHT answer, mouthing “sorry, Abi”. This allows Stephen to take the lead, bringing us down to a photo finish with Spencer, as Stephen hangs his ring just seconds before Spencer.
STEPHEN WINS REWARD!
When choosing whom to take along, Stephen says he has damage control to do, so he picks Tasha. Jeremy looks PISSED, but Probst lets Stephen know he can pick someone else, so he chooses the man who’s responsible for keeping him in this game: Jeremy. And like that, the trio is off on their reward while Spencer, in a confessional, notes that Stephen made a massive mistake in picking his two solid allies to take with him, since it lets everyone in the game know that they’re the alliance to beat. Spencer states that he needs to do something to break up that alliance, and he’s right about needing to divide that alliance, although I don’t think Stephen made a mistake. Tasha was gunning for him, and this is a chance to turn her back to his favor. And he was basically honor bound to take Jeremy, so I get why he picked the people he did, even if there was a chance Jeremy would understand if he picked someone else (he’s a student of the game, after all). Better not to risk losing an ally as solid as Jeremy.
A CLUE FOR KELLEY
Back at camp, Stephen is relishing his victory, despite how painful it was to run on his huge “monster feet”. Meanwhile, Wentworth reads her idol clue, which reveals that the hidden immunity idol is tied beneath their shelter. Since the idol isn’t hidden until someone finds the clue, that reduces the likelihood that someone would accidentally stumble onto it. However, Wentworth needs to find a time to search when no one else is watching. She thinks the next day will be the perfect opportunity, since three of the castaways will be on a reward.
On the reward, Stephen notes that he NEEDS to repair his relationship with Tasha, since she wrote his name down. As a display of his trust in Jeremy and Tasha, he reveals that his advantage in the game is a vote steal. Tasha calls it a gamechanger, and Jeremy looks like he’s already mulling over the possibilities that this advantage presents. Back at camp, the planning begins for a blindside on Stephen’s alliance. Spencer wants Stephen gone, and suggests that if Stephen doesn’t win immunity, they vote him. If he does, they vote Tasha. Abi-Maria tries to get Joe to let her win immunity, and he doesn’t even consider it, in a hilarious moment. In an even funnier moment, forces align for Wentworth, as everyone leaves to go fishing or do other things…except for Abi, who hangs around “like an annoying little sister.” The ONE TIME she won’t leave is the one time Wentworth really needs her to. However, Abi eventually declares she’s going to go lay in the hammock, which presents Wentworth with a small window of opportunity to untie the idol. Unfortunately, the minute she goes under to get the idol, everyone starts to come back. So it’s a race against time for Wentworth to get the idol before everyone returns. Luckily for her, she manages to get it just in the nick of time, although I feel as though, if she were caught, she could argue she spotted a chicken or something and wanted to catch it for the tribe. Would it have been suspicious as hell? Sure. But it would have at least been a semi-plausible excuse, presuming wild chickens or other type of edible wild animals aren’t impossibly rare in that part of Cambodia.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: AGONY OF DA FEET
It’s immunity time! This round, it’s the challenge from San Juan Del Sur in which you must build a tower and plant a flag at its center using only your feet. It’s a challenge Jeremy lost, and Probst painfully reminds him that he was voted out at that tribal council. Either way, this is going to be a crucial challenge for somebody. But mostly for Joe, who could enter historic company if he wins this challenge, since only five other people in thirty seasons have ever won five individual immunities (and Joe would be the first to win them all consecutively).
This is a pretty interesting challenge, as the lead keeps switching around. One moment, Wentworth has the lead, another moment it’s Joe. Later, it’s Spencer. And that’s who it inevitably comes down to in this challenge, as Joe knocks over his blocks and Spencer takes the lead. While Joe manages to rally and nearly get all his blocks lined up, a slip-up results in his blocks being knocked down once again. Regardless, it wouldn’t have mattered since Spencer was moments away from planting his flag. Seconds later, and Joe’s immunity streak comes to an end. For the first time this season, Joe is vulnerable at tribal council.
SPENCER WINS IMMUNITY!
Spencer is safe tonight, and Joe congratulates him. However, in a confessional, he notes how scary it is to be vulnerable for the first time, and to not have the safety of that necklace. I don’t know if there’s anything Joe can do to turn his situation around, but if he manages to stay despite being unprotected, it’ll be a mark of just how formidable he is in this game, not just as a physical threat, but as a strategic one as well.
A FISHBACH OUT OF WATER
Everyone is divided on whom to vote out. Wentworth wants to blindside Stephen, and Joe is on-board. But Abi is unreliable, since she’s getting nervous about the possibility that she’s going home. Basically, it’s either going to be Stephen or Joe going home, with Spencer and Abi caught in the middle. However, nothing is guaranteed right now, as Stephen takes Spencer aside and reveals that he and Jeremy will be splitting the votes with Stephen’s advantage. Once Spencer learns what Stephen’s advantage is, he realizes this will ruin his entire plan, so he starts considering that maybe it would be prudent to get rid of Abi-Maria. But there’s no guarantee, since he could vote Stephen or Joe. It’s another chaotic tribal council!
TRIBAL COUNCIL CHAOS
Joe talks about how strange it is to be vulnerable at tribal council, while Abi talks about trust, and picking the right alliance to work with in this game. However, Probst makes a good point when he says that, for all the talk of trust, each of the people on the jury have been put there as a result of a blindside. Tasha says that the voting bloc strategy might not be working, which is she needs to find the three or four people she can really work with, going forward. Wentworth thinks this is a big indication that alliances are still in play, calling out Stephen for taking Tasha to the reward to mend fences with an alliance member. Stephen feels there’s a 33% chance of a blindside tonight, which doesn’t seem to bode well for him.
However, before we vote, Stephen declares he’ll be using his advantage tonight. He announces that he’ll be stealing someone’s vote tonight, meaning Stephen will vote twice. Of course, this basically telegraphs that Wentworth will likely be using her idol to save him, although I think that’d be unwise on her part. Should make for an interesting tribal regardless, as Stephen declares he’ll be stealing Joe’s vote. Everyone is shocked, but Joe says it’s just part of the game, so he understands it, even though it sucks. Stephen decides to use Joe’s vote to vote for Joe. Cold-blooded.
When Probst asks if anyone wants to use the idol, Wentworth actually decides to keep her idol!
STEPHEN HAS BEEN VOTED OUT OF SURVIVOR: CAMBODIA – SECOND CHANCE!
WOW! I can’t pretend I’m not upset, but Stephen smiles at his elimination, congratulating everyone on a great blindside. I’m really happy with how Stephen handled that, although I have no idea why they’d vote him out and not take advantage of the opportunity to eliminate Joe. I wonder if this is it for the extra vote advantage though, since it’s failed to mean anything either of the times it’s been used in this game. I’m going to miss Stephen a lot though. I didn’t think he’d win, but I’d hoped he’d get to the end. Maybe he’ll get a third playthrough, but this was his best chance at winning, since he’ll be far too notorious now. If nothing else, this result should make future episodes of RHAP’s Survivor Know-It-Alls more interesting.
In his farewell, Stephen figures Spencer must have turned, and the vote recap shows he was right. But he congratulates Spencer on a great move, and states that while he had a lot of high highs and low lows, he’s thankful for both. I’m loving the positive attitudes everyone is having on their eliminations. Best of luck, Stephen!
What did you think of tonight’s votes? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance, watch last week’s deleted scenes complete with footage with the jury from the Ponderosa!