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Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor': 'Tony's Baloney'

The three-time competitor and winner of "Survivor: Micronesia" shares her insights into the CBS show every week on THR.com.

LJ McKanas
LJ McKanas

Why won’t anyone call Tony out on his baloney?! Tony’s baloney is so smelly that anyone with a nose could sense it miles away, yet none of his tribe mates are saying anything about it. It’s like when someone’s house stinks and they’ve lived in it for so long that they’ve adjusted to the stench. They have no idea it stinks something awful, bless their hearts. In this instance, Tony’s the smelly house and all the other contestants are just living inside, oblivious. 

Tony’s paranoia has been building throughout the season, and in this episode, it is running wild. The man comes out like a charging bull, yelling at Tasha, Spencer and Jeremiah about writing his name down at the previous tribal council. His ego needs to know that they wrote his name down because he’s so good at the game. “Tell me it’s a compliment,” he shouts at the underdogs. Now is the time for these three to rally together and make a plan to squash Tony. He’s clearly cracking under the pressure.

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Tony’s bullying reminds me of a certain villain in Season 20. Tony is taking more than a few of his plays from the Russell Hantz book of Survivor. He works to keep everyone separated from one another as much as possible, making sure the lines are clearly drawn in the sand. If one of the members of Tony’s alliance talks to a member outside the alliance, that person is out. As of now, Tony’s manipulative tactics have worked well for him. He’s in a solid alliance and has the numbers on his side, but if he keeps up the madness, it’s only a matter of time until one of these bozos smartens up. 

Tony has plenty of number ones— LJ, Trish and Woo all consider Tony to be their closest ally. Giving LJ the idol at tribal council served to solidify Tony in LJ’s heart. It was a great move. LJ trusts him completely and isn’t one to turn on a friend, even if that friend (Tony) is losing his mind and turning on another friend (Woo). Tony doesn’t need all of these number ones. He’s fine turning on LJ and getting rid of the other alpha male that may dominate the challenges and give him some competion for the million at the end. LJ’s plan relies on patience. He thinks he’s in a tight alliance to the final six, so he doesn’t notice that Tony’s impending betrayal. Sometimes when someone gets really crazy on Survivor, another person’s reaction is to become the calm in the storm. LJ will stay calm even when the tornado comes right down on top of him and sucks him up into the sky.

At the reward challenge, Jeff touts a spa day complete with showers, massages, and food. Spa days are my favorite days. When you’ve been sleeping in dirt and clawing at coconuts for almost a month, spa days re-humanize you. The challenge is a fantastic island carnival game that I think everyone enjoys simply playing, reward or no reward. It just looks fun. Tony is dead set on winning this challenge so he can bond with Spencer and Jeremiah at the spa, and he does. 

At the spa, Tony wastes no time telling Spencer that he’s on his side. Jeremiah chimes in from his outdoor shower, “you comfortable where you’re at?” Tony assures him he’s not into sharing showers with men. Just kidding! I wanted to see if you were still keeping up with me. 

Continuing on to the foot rubs, Tony is still working over Spencer and Jeremiah. These guys are so far down the totem pole that they have no choice but to take Tony at his word and jump on board. They’re thrilled, if not a bit disbelieving. 

Meanwhile at camp, Tasha tries to talk strategy with LJ. She arranges a secret rendez-vous and he stands her up. How rude! This girl just can’t catch a break. First, she tried to strategize with J’tia. No dice. Then she takes Kass into her final three alliance. We all know how that turned out. And now, she gets stood up by LJ. What gives? In my opinion, Tasha is one of the most sane, personable, and likable people on the island. I would love to see her work some magic.

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At least Tasha has a chance to take her fate into her own hands at the immunity challenge. It’s a memory game with colors: perfect for someone with a high IQ from the Brains tribe. I have a feeling Spencer, Kass or Tasha will take the win. And, I’m right! It comes down to LJ and Tasha at the end. Both of them need the win, but I’m not sure LJ realizes that. Tasha takes the necklace and is safe from the vote for tonight. Thank God!

Returning to camp, Tony’s madness continues. He grabs our favorite karate kid, Woo, and tells him that LJ is ready to blindside him. Without thinking twice, Woo takes the bait and turns on LJ. Then Tony talks to his other number one, Trish. He tells her that LJ is sneaky and they can’t trust him. Trish looks a bit skeptical and refuses to break up the alliance of six. She wants to wait it out. 

Kass has no clue what’s going on and still has no chance at winning the game. 

Heading into tribal council, we know there’s going to be a blindside. But, why isn’t the group turning on Tony? He’s lied to all of them and no one has bothered to corroborate stories. Mid-tribal, Jeff asks Tony what his profession is. Tony responds, “I’m in construction.” Whaaaaat?? Hasn’t he already told everyone the truth about being a cop? Why maintain the lie now? Is Tony just so sold on his own lies that he doesn’t know what’s true now? In any case, no one else speaks up and they all let him get away with it, once again. As Tony’s former right hand, LJ’s torch is snuffed and he walks away blindsided.  One can only hope this will serve as the wake up call needed for Jefra to join forces with Spencer, Jeremiah, and Tasha to finally call Tony on his baloney. 

Is it Jefra’s time to shine?? Tweet me @parvatishallow and let me know what you think!