9:00pm PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Breaks Down 'Survivor: Worlds Apart': The Season of Mike
Parvati Shallow is a Survivor champ and three-time competitor on the show. The OG Miss Survivor and Survivor Hall of Famer now covers health and wellness for CBS News in New York City. Find her on Twitter @parvatishallow.
From now on, I deem Survivor: Worlds Apart the season of Mike. What a guy that oil driller from Texas is turning out to be! Who would have thought that the man who started out the season by eating a scorpion and vomiting it up for the rest of the day would now be the favorite to win the game?
Certainly not me.
But, I can admit when I’m wrong, and this is one of those times.
Mike’s a hero! Just watch how he lays his entire body down on the barrels so that his tribe can use his back as a platform to move from one barrel to the next. Then, when his tribe looks like they’re falling behind, Mike nearly does a full split in order to save them. This move is impressive, I admit— it’s just not enough to win. When his tribe ends up losing, Mike’s shenanigans make him look a bit more like a martyr and a lot less like a hero.
Here’s what I observe to be happening with Mike. He’s the biggest threat left in the game, and he feels a lot of pressure to live up to the team’s expectations. He doesn't like letting people down, and therefore, he exerts himself so completely until he’s totally spent and has nothing else to give. This deep into the game, a person’s body starts to give out due to lack of nutrients and dehydration, and Mike doesn't have the stamina to perform at 100 percent for the entire challenge. This must be a new sensation for the big guy. Mike’s an athlete, and for an athlete, not being able to trust your body to carry you is a very strange sensation.
All that aside, if he continues trying to do it all alone, Mike will keep losing team challenges.
On the flip side, Mike’s strategy of will powering his way through the pain will be a life saver during individual immunity challenges. And, maybe that’s all that matters right now.
Now, let’s transition to the reward and check in with someone who has the chutzpah of a can of tuna: Dan. This guy is driving me completely batty. Dan is the person who infamously said, “Flippers never win,” yet he’s completely turned on his number one guy. For what? Dan’s been seduced by Mama C and Tyler. These two are so sneaky and so good at quiet manipulation that no one is outing them as threats. If you ask me, these two are THE biggest threats to win this game. They have each other’s unfailing loyalty and an immunity idol between them. They also have these buffoons Dan, Rodney and Will trailing around after them doing whatever they say.
I’m baffled by the lack of forethought or strategy going on with Dan. It appears to me that all he does is make puppy dog faces when he pretends to listen and then completely destroys any semblance of his own humanity with the words that pour out of his mouth. “There’s no Mike in team?!” Come on dude.
And, now that I’ve spoken my piece about Dan, let’s check in on the other blue collar that didn’t make it on the reward. Where the heck is Sierra?
On the surface, Sierra looks like she could rock Survivor. She’s a tough as nails barrel racer who hangs with the blue collar boys for a living. We got to see a glimmer of Sierra’s power when she took over a barrel in the reward challenge and started shimmying it toward the finish line. Everyone else crashed and burned, but Sierra would have made it all the way if she’d had the chance. I want to see what this girl can do! Why is she blending in so much and following the crowd? Is she afraid to make moves, or is she simply waiting for the right moment to come out as a force of nature? Tonight, my questions may be answered.
Sierra tries to get Rodney to realize that Tyler is a big threat and should be the next person to go home. So, she is smart, and she is aware. She’s just dealing with a big dufus who thinks he’s in control of everything. If Sierra’s really smart, she’ll find a way to shift things up and get Tyler out tonight.
Heading into the immunity challenge, Tyler, Mike and Shirin are all in the hot seat. When Jeff reveals that the immunity necklace will go to one man and one woman, it looks like Shirin may have a fighting chance! Of course, I want Shirin to stay in the game, because I’m really enjoying her character development. If she gets a bit farther in the game, she and Mike have a real chance to make things interesting.
Of course, Shirin doesn’t win.
Since Mike wins for the guys, I’m sure this means Shirin is going home tonight. Waaaambulance for one please.
But, then again, maybe Sierra will find a way to get Tyler voted out.
Let’s watch the fireworks at tribal council, or as I call it, tribal group therapy.
True to form, Jeff comes out of the gates with a question about Shirin and Will’s blow up last tribal. Even after seeing how badly his words hurt Shirin, Will holds his ground and refuses to apologize. Then, the worst happens. Dan opens his mouth and tells everyone that he’s dealt with hardship like Shirin’s because he was adopted. Say what?? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that being adopted is not remotely the same thing as enduring domestic violence.
I cannot believe none of his tribe members call him out.
At least Probst doesn't let Dan get away with his creepy nonsense. He puts Dan in his place and then moves on.
Let’s get to the vote.
But, wait, before that, does Mike have any last words?
Well, yes Jeff, he does.
Mike whips out his immunity idol and says he is giving it to Shirin. They are voting for Tyler. Boom. Bam. Bing.
This is so fun!
Everyone looks big time scared and gets up to vote. One by one the votes are read. Tyler gets two votes, Dan gets two votes, and Shirin is sent packing.
Bummer. Mike’s plan didn’t save his girl, but he did expose cracks in the alliance.
Let’s hope Mike can work some magic again next week to keep this game alive!
Tweet me @parvatishallow.