Survivor

‘Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance’ Review: Spencer Makes a Bold Choice In ‘Villains Have More Fun’

Recap and review of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance – Episode 13 – Villains Have More Fun:

In last week’s dramatic episode, Spencer speculated that he might have made a million dollar decision in choosing to vote out Joe. But this week’s episode of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance featured what might have been Spencer’s real million dollar decision, depending on how next week’s finale plays out. Because, make no mistake, “Villains Have More Fun” left us short one perfect candidate to take to the end.

Naturally, “Villains Have More Fun” is an ironic title, since the phrase is spoken by Abi-Maria in relation to her desire to play up her villain role, and it’s that very villain role that results in her being voted out tonight. Strangely enough, it was Joe’s argument last week that got the ball rolling in this direction. In attempting to save himself, Joe made the argument that everyone wanting to take Abi to the end meant there was one less spot at final tribal council for a more deserving alliance member. That plea carries over here, as Tasha makes targets Abi not only because she’s a glorified “goat”, but because her advancement to final tribal council would be especially egregious in a season of such strong competitors. And, somehow, it’s an argument that actually works, even though it really shouldn’t. For all intents and purposes, Abi is the PERFECT person to take to the end, since no one in their right mind would ever vote for her to win the million dollars, particularly in a season in which gameplay is valued more than most. And yet, I can see how Spencer would feel like he had no other choice. If this is going to be a jury that values strategic players over goats, then they aren’t likely to respect Spencer for bringing Abi to the end, even though it makes sense from a strategic perspective. And, naturally, there were other considerations to take into account as to why Abi needed to go. Case in point, it’s been argued all season that Abi is such an erratic player that no voting bloc could ever reliably depend on her to stick with the plan. This ends up tying into tonight’s tribal council, as Spencer is caught between two alliances. He can vote with Wentworth, Keith and Abi to vote out Tasha, or stick with Jeremy, Tasha and Kimmi to vote out Abi. Spencer seemed on-board with Keith, particularly after he took him on a Cambodian Temple reward along with Wentworth. But Spencer reflects on how uncertain fate can be for any player who throws his lot in with Abi. So what happens at tribal council tonight? Spencer decides to stick with Jeremy, Tasha and Kimmi…and Abi goes on to prove just how right that choice was.

'Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance' Review Spencer Makes a Bold Choice In 'Villains Have More Fun'

Credit: CBS

Spencer goes into tribal council with immunity, having won an exhausting obstacle course/puzzle challenge that resulted in Tasha nearly drowning from exhaustion, prompting Probst to call in the Survivor Rescue Team for the first time in series history. It’s a harrowing moment, and so genuinely scary that I wouldn’t be surprised if the show stopped having these sorts of challenges so late in the game. Apparently, Tasha became so exhausted that she lost feeling in her legs during the swimming portion of the challenge, and ended up taking in far too much water. These factors all came together to cause a massive panic attack that sent Tasha nearly sinking to the bottom of the ocean. While Spencer won the challenge by solving the puzzle in record time, his victory was largely overshadowed by what happened to Tasha, and it resulted in Tasha becoming a target for the Wentworth alliance afterwards. Which brings us back to Spencer’s choice at tribal council. While it’d make sense to get rid of a savvy strategist like Tasha, it doesn’t make sense to rely on someone as taciturn as Abi-Maria. Thus, Spencer sticks with Jeremy, Tasha and Kimmi, voting to eliminate Abi. And it’s a decision that just might have saved his game, as we learn just how close Spencer came to disaster in the final vote tally during the closing credits of the episode. Spencer, Kimmi, Tasha and Jeremy voted for Abi, and that four-vote majority was enough to send her home; however, has Spencer gone the other way and voted against Tasha, he would have found the vote deadlocked, since Abi didn’t stick with the plan, throwing a random vote against Keith (perhaps due to Keith’s crazy pre-vote speech, in which he made it seem like he had multiple alliances he might jump ship for at any moment). Yes, it would have been great if Spencer could have gone to the end with Keith and Abi, but he deserves a lot of credit for seeing the writing on the wall, and realizing that Abi’s wishy-washy nature would cause more trouble than the alliance was worth. Had Spencer stuck with Wentworth and Keith, and Abi still went rogue, then Tasha and Jeremy would have known Spencer flipped, but without Spencer having the reassurance that at least Tasha would be eliminated. Who knows? Maybe things could have been salvaged on the revote, but it’s better to just play it safe and avoid potentially burning a very valuable bridge, in the Tasha and Jeremy power duo. Besides, it’s not as if Spencer can’t target them later. The only difference is that he now won’t be able to take Abi to the end. But if his game is strong enough, he’ll still win regardless of who’s sitting next to him, so taking a goat to the end shouldn’t be a priority beyond just getting to the final tribal council in the first place.

Abi Maria Gomes voted out of Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance

Credit: CBS

With that said, Spencer still has a complicated path to the end, especially with players like Tasha and Jeremy still in the game. And especially Wentworth, whom I feel a lot of people are overlooking in this game. Granted, none of them know that she has an idol in her pocket, so it’s not as if she’s drawing attention to what a big threat she is. You’d think she’d have been a bigger target after she proved herself a savvy strategic player with that idol play earlier in the season. But she’s skated through nearly every vote since without so much as an arrow launched in her general direction. Then again, Jeremy has an idol in his pocket too, and people are similarly overlooking him as a target. Seriously, why would Jeremy not be the target tonight for the Wentworth alliance? Even when he wasn’t the one organizing the votes, he was arguably the glue holding his alliance together. This has been the case going back to the “voting bloc” days, and yet no one ever seems to target Jeremy. This leaves Spencer with two major targets to eliminate in order to secure his win. Of course, this isn’t to say he couldn’t still win if he were in the final three with Jeremy and Wentworth, as unlikely as that final trio alignment would be. Nor does this mean that one of either Kimmi, Tasha or Keith couldn’t still theoretically win if they were to make it to the end (although I feel those three are essentially drawing dead, at this point). It’s simply that Spencer’s best chance at winning is if Wentworth and Jeremy are both gone from the game before final tribal council. But with both having idols no one knows about, that’s going to be easier said than done. And it could backfire on Spencer if he becomes a secondary target during the vote in which one or both of the idols get played. I love the unpredictability of the endgame, because I can’t think of a season that had this many plausible winners still in the game at such a late point. Seriously, Spencer, Jeremy, Wentworth or Tasha could theoretically win this game, in my opinion. That’s four players out of six left in the game. There’s no single frontrunner right now, and that’s exhilarating. I’m literally on the edge of my seat (and I do mean that literally. My butt is actually killing me from sitting on it through the whole damn episode), and the finale looks like it has the potential to be the most momentous in Survivor history. Bring it on, I say.

Tasha Fox passes out at immunity challenge on Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance

Credit: CBS

But what did you think of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance Episode 13, “Villains Have More Fun”? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance, watch the deleted scenes from last week’s episode, including videos of the jury at the Ponderosa!

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