Backs up against the wall, Joe and Jenn entered into tonight’s episode clearly on the chopping block and in serious danger of going home after their no collar ally, Hali, was voted out last week. But the way they handled the adversity on Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” could not have been more different. Both were looking for a way out: Joe, a way out of being the constant target of the majority, and Jenn, sadly, a way out of the game.
If you’ve seen the episode and want to skip right to my take on tonight’s episode, please click my analysis article here (link will be live when article has been posted). Now on with the full recap:
Super-Fanatics. Dan just can’t quite keep his big yapper shut, and as they return to camp after voting out Hali, Dan continues to school Shirin on the game of Survivor, the game that they both claim to be “super-fans” of. The whole time that Dan was acting shocked that Shirin couldn’t tell the difference between a “flip” and a “blindside,” I couldn’t help but think how most super-fans of the game would know that you can’t keep flappin’ your gums the way that Dan continues to. Shirin may not be his idea of a super-fan, but she very well might be a jury member which means that her vote is just as important as everyone else’s. Shirin jabs back at Dan, but mostly stayed quiet, secretly planning to attempt to make a big move in the game moving forward. Rodney informs the audience that he is actually not a “true blue” (which we knew already), but he put it in a way that only Rodney could. “I don’t need no more friends,” Rodney tells us. “What I need is some more zeros in my bank account.” He plans on getting out Mike at precisely the right time. “I’m waiting for my time, my moment,” he says. Meanwhile, Jenn is super-devastated that her bestie Hali was voted out, and it seems that the game is really starting to take a serious toll on her emotions.
The Floater. The next morning, Shirin tries to get her big move going. She approaches Mike and Sierra and lets them know that it would be in all of their best interest for them to take Shirin to the Final Four. Mike seems to agree. Shirin refers to her plan as sitting back, “in the passenger seat, back-seat driving.” Or in other words, becoming (or maintaining her status as) a floater. Mike told her that he is on board but that he needed to trust her…so when they tell her who to vote for next, she needs to prove herself to them.
Reward Challenge. The previews teased this water obstacle course as being a brutal challenge, and it was…brutally funny. A school-yard pick split the contestants into teams of five, and at one point Will and Dan – not the most graceful of athletes – both took serious flops down a floating wooden slide, leading Jeff to observe: “Two of the most awkward slides in the history of Survivor.” Classic! They continued to bumble through the obstacles, to the point where Jeff just totally busted out laughing. Meanwhile, Shirin slowed her team down, but they were able to recover. Mike, Shirin, Sierra, Dan and Tyler won the reward of a sponsored “Chocolate Cafe” featuring an assortment of candies and goodies from Snickers, Twix, Dove and M&M. Following the challenge, Joe and Jenn were asked questions by Jeff Probst and their answers revealed completely polar opposite game philosophies. On one hand, Jenn felt down and out, mentioning how no one watching understands what they go through. Joe was much more positive and hopeful, telling Jeff that he felt extremely privileged to be out their playing the game he loves.
Good Eats, Chocolate Treats. Not too much went on at the chocolate feast, other than Shirin continuing to go on about her new-found feelings of hope with her new alliance with Mike and Sierra. Back at camp, the losing team decided to cook up one of the chickens, which did not sit well with Jenn, who was not in favor of killing the chicken and who thought of the chickens as her friends in Hali’s place. But things turned light when Rodney started doing some impressions – impressively good ones I might add – of Mike and Dan. His take on them was really spot-on, and even left Jenn cracking up. I like that they showed this light-hearted moment…it’s the sort of thing we hear goes on all the time out there, but rarely these days do these type of scenes make it on the show.
Immunity Challenge. So far there have been three individual challenges, and Joe has won three times. No pressure, right? Prior to the challenge, Jenn tells Joe that she really, truly feels done with the game and wants to go home…her only way out (besides quitting outright), would be for Joe to win Immunity, or if Jenn wins, she will give him her Immunity Necklace. With Joe safe, she believes they will vote her out. The challenge was one of concentration and endurance, where the contestants simply had to stand on their tippy toes, balancing a wooden block on their head up against a beam above their head. A brief lapse and the block would fall, signaling that they were out of the challenge, and no hands could be used. Carolyn was out first followed by Will, but Joe struggled with this challenge right away. Although he fought hard and continued to last, he eventually fell. All of his hopes were then with Jenn, who was the last one standing other than Tyler. But Tyler was locked in, and when Jenn finally fell, Tyler found himself with the Immunity Necklace around his neck.
Shirin’s Plan. Being a “super-fan,” Shirin is always running the numbers, and she debates whether or not she should throw a huge monkey-wrench into the plans of the majority alliance. She figures that the majority seven will split their votes between Jenn and Joe, four for Joe, three for Jenn, in case Joe has an Idol. She tells Joe that if Joe actually votes for Jenn, it would be a four-four tie and then if Shirin switched her vote to Jenn, they could send Jenn home instead of Joe, which would be a shock to everyone and would send Jenn exactly where she wants to be. Mike informs Shirin that this is exactly their plan – to split the votes in that manner – so Shirin’s plan would be on should she choose to go in that direction…not sure why she would, but it’s an option.
Make it or Fake It. Joe knows that he is the number one target and has little hope. But he reveals that he has secretly been collecting small items with the intent of creating a fake Immunity Idol. With all eyes on his every move, he cleverly sneaks away from a conversation with Dan and starts creating his fake Idol. And I’ll be damned if it’s not one of the most impressive fake Idols the show has ever seen. Man, is there anything that Joe can’t do? Add arts and crafts to the list of things he is amazing at. His last ditch effort is to try to give it to Mike, to win him over and to keep him in the game. Mike seems open to honoring this, if Joe will give him the Idol before the vote, and not after. They argue about this, but ultimately Joe ends up giving Mike his fake Idol just as they sit down at Tribal.
Tribal Council. The initial talk surrounds Jenn and her loss of desire to play the game. Probst offers for her to just get up and walk down the walkway out of the game, but Jenn responds, “That’s quitting. I don’t quit.” But Joe tells Jeff, “Jenn has already quit mentally, emotionally, physically, and she’s not going to strategize.” Shirin talks about the benefit of taking out Joe and keeping her closer ally, Jenn, but also that if Jenn wants out maybe she should be out. Just as Tribal is wrapping up and they are about to vote, Mike asks Jeff a question, holding up the fake Idol. “Can you verify that this is real?” A surprised but quickly collected Jeff Probst responded, “I cannot verify that until you decide to play it.”
The Vote. Tyler votes for Jenn but adds, “I have no idea what’s going on.” Hilariously, Rodney gives us the same exact sound bite when he is seen voting for Joe. We also see that Joe has indeed voted for Jenn. Before the votes are read, Mike stands up and plays Joe’s fake Idol, on Will. Probst verifies that it is indeed a fake. He then reads the votes – Jenn – Joe – Jenn – Joe – Dan – Jenn – Joe – Jenn – Joe – Joe. With that, Joe was voted out 5-4-1, becoming the second member of the jury. It looks like Jenn will have to wait at least a few more days before getting her wish to leave the game…then again having all but officially quit, she may have just become a prime candidate to make it all the way to the end.
Analysis. Here’s my full take on tonight’s episode, just click here (link will be live when article has been posted).
Next Time On…Tempers are blazing next week, when Will blows up on Shirin, and Mike and Rodney get in a shouting match as well.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my exclusive interview with Joe, and be sure to follow me, @tomsantilli.
Also, be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, SurvivorFever.net.