‘Survivor: Cambodia’ Recap: Top Dogs Find Themselves on the Bottom
It only took one week of Survivor: Cambodia to realize that our second chancers are really here to play. Who saw Vytas going home first? As an alliance push against old school players? Certainly not me. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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Kelly Wiglesworth is devastated to be on the bottom. She did not expect Jeff Varner to flip. She knows that their alliance has to start defending itself or they’ll find themselves voted out.
Kelley Wentworth, on the other hand, is pumped that she found the hidden immunity idol at the challenge. She finally finds a moment to sneak away and look at the idol. She’s obviously happy to have the security in the game. She buries it instead of keeping it on her person.
Varner tells Shirin, Kelley and Spencer that he blindsided his original alliance for them, so he hopes that shows them some loyalty. But in his confessional, he says that he really wants to use the last vote as a wake-up call to his old alliance and then shift the target to either Spencer or Shirin. As Kelley Wentworth would say, “Sneaky, sneaky!”
He tells Terry about his plan and that re-energizes him. Now Terry plans on steeping up his strategy (particularly his social game) or he knows he’ll be next to go.
Right now the biggest thing that Spencer is worried about is working with Abi-Maria. He says that dealing with her might be the hardest thing he has to do in this game, but he needs her vote, even though she is what he calls a “cancer in the tribe.”
Speaking of Abi, she continues to butt heads with Peih-Gee. At night, Shirin and Peih-Gee (two people allegedly in Abi’s alliance) talk some mad smack about Abi. She’s standing nearby and hears the entire thing. Abi and Peih-Gee start to bicker and there’s no real resolution, except that Peih-Gee goes back to the shelter to laugh about Abi with everyone and Abi’s left to go to the beach by herself.
Although she’s irritated with Peih-Gee, she’s really hurt by Shirin. She says the whole reason she wanted to work with her is because on her season, no one had her back. Abi is left alone on the beach to cry while hearing everyone else laugh at her. And who is going to take advantage of that? Mr. Social Player himself, Terry Deitz!
Terry says he couldn’t just leave her there all alone. When he goes over there to comfort her, the two make a personal connection, as well as a possible alliance. She says she doesn’t like that none of the people she’s working with have got her back, so she’s willing to change her votes to go with someone who does.
The next day, Jeff tells Abi that he wants her to stick around. He says he talked to Terry and they’re ready to either vote out Spencer or Shirin. Abi says she’s on board and they shake on it. In her confessional, Abi repeats her old line, “If you f***with me, you’re dead.”
Things are a lot less tumultuous on Bayon. Joe is having fun and creating a hammock and other things to make life on the island a little bit easier for his new friends. Kass says he’s certainly good at Bayon life, but Stephen thinks he’s a little too perfect. He says Joe is the perfect person to keep around until the merge when you slit his throat. (Easy there, Stephen! You’ll be lucky if you make it that far!)
Andrew Savage tells the tribe the story of how he met his wife. While it’s clearly genuine (he even gets choked up talking about how much he loves her) it’s soooooooo cheesy. But his tribe mates completely eat it up. Even Kass gets teary-eyed. Ice Queen Kass! That is literally the most emotion I have ever seen out of her! She says in her confessional that playing the game with people she actually likes changes things. It’s harder to compartmentalize the game this way.
Jeremy is so touched by Andrew’s story that he has to take a private moment to himself. He tells us that it made him think of his pregnant wife (Val, who was also on San Juan del Sur) and how much he misses her.
When the rest of the tribe notices that Jeremy is gone, Stephen wonders aloud if he’s looking for an idol. Andrew Savage knows that Jeremy is just an emotional guy and probably needed a minute and he resents Stephen for trying to stir up trouble. He says he wants to play with people who have loyalty, dignity and courage, and that’s not Stephen.
As soon as Te Keo walks up, Bayon is shocked to see Vytas is gone. (That was our reaction too, guys!)
For the immunity challenge, each tribe will have to climb over three pyramids. Then they’ll have to use a rope to pull a heavy crate to the finish and then use the pieces in the crate to solve a puzzle. The winners will also get a Survivor tool kit and more supplies to make a better shelter.
The tribes are pretty evenly matched in the first portion of the challenge. Everyone is skidding down the wooden pyramids though which seems pretty painful.
Te Keo loses steam when their muscle is unable to move their crate as fast as the muscle on Bayon. But things are back to even at the puzzle.
Everyone is trying to solve the puzzle on both sides, but Joe is the one who gets things going for Bayon. Spencer and Shirin are trying to solve the puzzle for Te Keo, but when they think they’ve got it, it’s wrong. Bayon wins their second immunity challenge in a row.
Spencer apologizes to the camp, but he doesn’t feel too worried because he knows he and Shirin have control of the game. He says he likes playing with Shirin, and having a solid person to play with was something he was missing his first time around.
Jeff Varner approaches Peih-Gee and Kelly Wiglesworth about the vote. He says he wants to get rid of the threats, so Shirin or Spencer will have to go. Kelly is just glad to not be on the bottom and Peih-Gee says she’ll vote with the numbers. She also agrees that Shirin and Spencer are huge threats.
Then Jeff goes to work on Kelley Wentworth, who should be a hard sell since she’s in an alliance with Spencer and Shirin. But it isn’t! Kelley says that she’ll vote with the numbers, even though it will be hard to go against her friends. She says that the game has changed a lot in 24 hours, but she needs to go with it.
Shirin pulls Abi aside to make sure they’re still “okay.” She starts off by apologizing about what happened the night before; she says she should have stood up for Abi. Abi tells her that she wishes that she had, because when she’s in an alliance, she’s a very loyal person, but Shirin did not show that loyalty back. She says that it was Terry who came to sit with her, and now it’s Shirin and Spencer on the chopping block. Shirin asks if they’re still in this together and Abi gives her a straight up, “Nope, that’s not my style.” (I know Abi can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, but that was straight up bad ass. Shirin played that situation all wrong socially, and now she’s going to pay for it.)
Shirin tells Spencer about the conversation, and they’re both visibly shaken. Spencer gets emotional in his confessional, even considering voting for Shirin tonight, but now it may be his only option.
They try to work on Woo, but he sits there with a comical dead face as they pitch him. He tells them that neither one of them have spoken to him before today, and he’s not going to abandon his alliance or the majority to help them. Good on you, Woo. Even if they did manage to swing him, they’d still be several votes short.
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Jeff Varner talks about the trials of being back on Survivor again. It’s hard for them to remember when they’re removed from the game how hard the game actually is.
Shirin says that she doesn’t remember the game being so awesome the first time around, and it’s not going awesome now, either. Abi tells the story of what happened on the beach and Jeff Probst can’t help but relate that story with Shirin’s first experience on Worlds Apart, where she was berated by a tribe member. And like Abi, Shirin had a savior then, only it was Mike Holloway and not Terry Deitz. He’s surprised that Shirin didn’t learn from her first time out that those kinds of things matter.
Shirin knows that she didn’t fix things with Abi and now her game has shifted 180 degrees. She says that she knows if she goes home tonight, that it’s on her and no one else.
But she’s not the only one on the chopping block. Spencer pleads his case to his tribe. He says that he knows he played strategically too hard and now he’s going to make more of an effort to be a better tribe member and get to know everyone.
Jeff Probst then points out how Spencer had gotten himself into a similar situation in Cagayan. The only difference between Spencer and Shirin at this point is that Spencer can still be a physical asset in challenges. That, and he’s not technically dead to Abi-Maria.
So the tribe splits their votes, but the majority of them go to Shirin. She’s the second one out of Second Chances.
Next week: Drop your buffs! It’s not only a tribe swap, but they’re splitting them into three separate tribes. This is gonna be good!
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8:00pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)