Aug 17, 2021
Survivor: Switcheroo Cluster-Expletive
On Survivor: The tribes drop their buffs once again, Fishbach finds a challenge he can win, and two players go home.
The episode begins ominously, with host Jeff Probst rowing out to Camp Ta Keo in the middle of the night.
Once there, he wakes Terry and tells him about a family emergency. Terry’s son is in the hospital, and his wife wants him home. Terry packs his bags and leaves immediately.
The next morning, the tribes gather for a reward challenge, and everyone is surprised to see Terry gone. Probst explains the situation and then grills all the players who are parents about how they would feel if their child had to be hospitalized. It goes on for an uncomfortably long time, and several of the players are moved to tears. Kass says you would have to be a parent to understand how devastating it would be.
Next, Probst announces another twist: “Drop your buffs – again!” he yells. Tribe Angkor will be dissolved, and everyone will be reassigned to either Ta Keo or Bayon.
“It’s a switcheroo cluster-expletive,” declares Spencer. (That’s actually what he says. He doesn’t say the expletive; he just says “expletive.”)
The die is cast, and here are the new tribes:
New, New Ta Keo
New, New Bayon
- Kelley Wentworth
Everyone sizes up their new tribes. Kass is particularly unhappy to be on the same team as Spencer, with whom she feuded on Survivor: Cagayan, but there’s little time to process, since it’s time for a reward challenge.
This one is a slip ‘n slide/ring toss combo.
This challenge has many fun moments, like:
- Andrew losing to Jeremy and then shooting the post where the rings are tossed a look as if it’s the post’s fault.
- Jeremy helpfully yelling, “Throw it at the post, Stephen!” when Fishbach misses a toss. (Despite this great advice, Fishbach loses to Kass.)
- Abi starting to walk away after she thinks Kimmi made a shot she missed and having to be called back to toss again and win the point.
- Survivor going into sexy mode when Joe oils up for the slip ‘n slide. (Naturally, he beats Woo and takes the point.)
- Kelly going head-to-head against Kelley and (presumably unburdened by the extra “e”) winning the final round for Ta Keo.
Ultimately, Ta Keo takes the game and earns the reward of a picnic lunch delivered to their camp. Munching on fried chicken, Spencer and Kass continue to feel uncomfortable around each other.
Andrew more or less appoints himself tribe leader of New New Ta Keo. He’s tight with Abi and Woo from their Angkor days and still loyal to Ciera and Kass because they’re all original Bayon. He probably hasn’t even noticed K-Wigles, who is really good at fading into the background. That leaves Spencer to be voted out tonight if Ta Keo loses immunity. This should be good for Kass.
Meanwhile, at New New Bayon, Joe worries that he’ll be next to go since he is so darn good at everything and might be perceived as a threat. He wants to flip the script and get Kimmi out instead. He suggests this idea to Fishbach, explaining that Kimmi should go because “she’s not very good at challenges.” This does not go over well.
Fishbach thinks Joe should be the one to go, precisely because he’ll be a huge threat after the merge, when all the immunity contests are individual rather than team-based. He floats this idea around, but the others reject it. They all seem to want to continue using Joe to guarantee team immunity wins and keep them safe for now. Fishbach is distraught.
Remember how Kass said you’d have to be a parent to understand how devastating it would be to have a child in the hospital while you were halfway around the world? Well, she may be onto something. Let’s compare the look on Terry’s face when he hears that his son is seriously ill to the look on Fishbach’s face when he realizes that his tribe members may not go along with his plan.
And here’s Fishbach:
Next, it’s time for the immunity challenge. The game is eating gross food fast.
Challenge highlights include:
- Fishbach finishing first in an early round featuring pig snouts. (Finally, a challenge he excels at!)
- Kimmi refusing to eat pig brain for vegetarian-ish reasons, essentially giving her round to Woo. (Woo, for his part, swallows the whole brain in less than five seconds, which has to be some kind of record.)
- The final duck-embryo round, which has Kass struggling and Tasha dancing her way to victory for Bayon.
With the challenge done, Jeremy snatches Kass’ uneaten embryo off the table and downs it. Hey, protein is protein, and a man’s gotta eat.
Now, it’s back to Camp Ta Keo for the real game – the game of deciding who goes home. Presumably, it’s still Spencer, but no one wants Spencer to know that, so per Andrew’s instructions, they tell him it’s Ciera.
Despite many reassurances that she is totally safe, Ciera isn’t so happy with her name being thrown around and now she’s mad at Andrew and maybe looking to subvert his plans. Why not vote out someone other than Spencer, someone like… Woo. This is music to Abi’s ears. Abi remembers that she doesn’t have anything against Spencer. She likes the idea of voting out Woo. After all, he did vote against her. Twice.
For whatever nebulous reason (she says something about “maybe there are better uses for Spencer right now”), Kass decides to get on board with this. She goes to Spencer and tells him about how Andrew is planning to blindside him. Because it will save his butt, Spencer gets on the “vote out Woo” train. “I guess I’m bunking with the devil tonight,” he says.
They duly go to Tribal Council and to Woo’s great surprise (and Andrew’s), they vote Woo out.
Should make for an interesting discussion back at camp.
Oh, and if you’ve been worrying about Terry’s son all this time, don’t. They showed a clip of him at the end of the episode, and while he did have to have a heart transplant, he made a full recovery and is doing fine.
Can’t wait for episode 7 on Wednesday!