Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor': Idol Swaps, a Betrayal and Chaos at Tribal Council
The three-time competitor and winner of "Survivor: Micronesia" shares her insights into the CBS show every week on THR.com.
A merge, an uprising, an idol with super powers and a group pilates class… just another typical day on Survivor: Cagayan.
As the Aparri crew returns to their beach, they all huddle around one another exclaiming ‘top six!’ They clearly have the advantage going into the merge with one extra player. They have every reason to celebrate, right? As we know, in Survivor, things change quicker than you can say "merge" and, knowing the Brains tribe’s propensity toward self-sabatoge, I have a feeling we are in for some chaos before this episode is over. Not to mention, Sarah, the girl cop, has been tooting her own horn for at least two solid episodes. This simply cannot go on.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too long for the drama. Hark! I spy an outrigger canoe, paddled by the opposing Solana tribe. Much like our traditional American Thanksgiving, a merge is a time for togetherness, and for celebrating the fact that you’ve made it to the halfway mark in the game. Relax, mingle with your new tribemates, drink a little vino and make merry. Or, if you’re Sarah, you can run around like a turkey with your head cut off to every cameraman you see making proclamations of your complete and total, unsupurable power. All us Survivor fans know by this point, that anyone who claims to be ‘running the game’ is in danger of a major beheading. Sarah may be in the swing postion, but she isn’t invincible, unless she wins immunity. Or, unless she manages to find this "secret idol" with "special powers." Oooh, special powers? Now, you’ve got my attention. My excitement stops short, however, when I realize no one is making any attempts to look for this super, top-secret idol.
Once an ally of Sarah’s from earlier days, Tony tries to work out a deal with our latest dictator. He needs her. If he can bully Sarah into being back on his side, he won’t have to play his idol and he will secure himself in the top five. Tony begs, he pleads, he threatens, he talks really, really fast. Sarah doesn’t fall for it this time. She’s either had a revelation about Tony’s devious demeanor or she’s drunk off of her own power and feeling mighty comfortable in her postion in her tribe of six.
Since Sarah is feeling so secure, she clearly doesn’t need to listen to Kass. Kass doesn’t like this new, power crazed, Sarah. Kass wants her friends and all the power to herself. Ladies, we’ve got a regular cat fight on our hands. If these two don’t shape up, Tosha’s going to have to bring it with the jungle therapy. I’m sure Sarah is wishing she had that rum from the merge right now. Kass doesn’t like Tosha being nice to Sarah. Tosha is Kass’s friend. So this must mean that Kass has been replaced by Sarah. This alliance is toast, burnt toast.
Sarah doesn’t know it, but she needs to win the immunity necklace at the floating, doghouse, balancing, water challenge. We’ve seen this challenge before. Andrea and Brenda went head to head in this one a couple seasons ago. It lasted hours, maybe even days. This time, it’s down to Woo and Tony pretty quickly. I want Woo to win, because he is just so cute. Thankfully, his martial arts training serves him well. Tony puts up a good fight, but falls in the water just in time to give Woo the win.
Good. Now we can get back to the high school girls running the camp and making big moves. It’s time for a blindside. I can smell blood in the water right through my TV set. Kass hates Sarah getting so much attention and Sarah is incapable of stepping off her throne and making a group decision. Finally, Kass nicknames herself “Chaos Kass,” and we all know we’re in for a treat at tribal.
As we head into tribal council, it looks like the tribe of six may be able to pull this vote together and send Tony home, but Tony has some chaotic plans of his own. He whips out his immunity idol and puts it around his neck; Jefra nearly passes out. Now, everyone is in a tizzy. Tosha turns to her tribe and mouths “the other one.” The opposing tribe now has some mind reading to do. If they can accurately guess the vote, this will swing the game in their favor. If not, one of their own is going home and progressing in the game will be extremely difficult from here on out. What a nail biter folks. Jeff, let’s just get to this vote already.
If you didn’t know, Jeff Probst can read minds and that’s why he gets on with the vote so quickly. Votes are in, decisions are final, anyone who has an idol should play it now. Tony pops up. “Check the authenticity of this thing, Jeff,” he says before bestowing the protection of said idol onto his good friend, LJ. LJ, in a fit of insanity, grabs his own idol and hands it over to Tony, protecting him. These boys are friends for life, everyone knows, an idol swap is an unbreakable bond. The whole group is in chaos and it’s not because of Kass.
Jeff begins to read the votes. “Sarah.” “Jefra.” Uh-oh. The boys chose the wrong people to protect. Jefra begins to cry. As more votes are read, we are tied, Sarah and Jefra, one vote left. In a major upset, Sarah gets the final vote and is sent to Ponderosa to go crazy about why, how and what she could have done differently to change her fate. Jefra is overjoyed. Spencer is mad, which prompts him to whisper to Kass, “Kass has zero chance of winning this game.”
I agree. I don’t see how this move benefits Kass at all. She was in a solid alliance of three and now she’s in an alliance of no one. She’s branded herself a traitor and now has a lot of work to do to get back into the good graces of her tribe. I just don’t think she has the social aptitude to pull that off.
One thing is certain, this game is getting good.
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