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I have a problem with Survivors who get blindsided and instantly say in their exit interview, “I have no regrets.” That is a lie. You must regret not making a move that could have saved your life. I know many blindsided former contestants who replay the crime for years afterward. They spin epic tales of how they might have altered their fate in just one or two moves. When I ask if they regret anything, the protective barriers return and their expressions shift to a blank, half smile. “I’m not the kind of person who lives with regrets.” Liars.
When you sign up to play Survivor, you are embarking on a journey full of danger, drama, insanity, and uncertainty. Sometimes, big risks pay off in huge dividends. Sometimes you risk it all and fall flat on your face, trudging back to ponderosa with your head hung low. Tony is one of the only people who seems to understand the rules of the arena he’s stepped into. He’s playing for no regrets and the Survivor gods are pleased with his efforts.
Tony understands the shifting sands of Survivor so he always keeps his head in the game. When Woo surprises everyone at camp with wallets of cash for a food auction, Tony insists he will buy the advantage, not the food. This is what a leader looks like, my friends. Tony plays his role of team captain with complete sincerity. While everyone else in his alliance is busy getting down with their food porn, Tony stoically takes one for the team, waiting for Jeff to bring out “the advantage.” In all its years of food auctions, this is Survivor’s first in which two contestants bid all their money on one coveted, non-food item. Spencer desperate to protect himself and Tony obsessed with retaining control, both bid $500 for the “advantage in the challenge.” When Tony wins, I can almost hear America’s forlorn sigh, wishing the gods could have thrown underdog, Spencer the bone this time.
After the auction, Tony realizes he purchased a clue to another hidden immunity idol. While Tasha works on creating the semblance of a girl’s alliance in the water, Tony searches for his treasure. Boom. He finds it. With this newfound power, Tony is double backed and absolutely unstoppable.
Winning immunity is the only chance someone outside of Tony’s alliance, Tasha or Spencer, has to stay in the game. I like Tasha. She’s foxy, fierce, and an immunity challenge dominatrix. I know she’s got what it takes to win this one again. Jeff Probst mirrors my enthusiasm, encouraging Tasha to “just win it again” as he removes her immunity necklace and puts it back up for grabs.
The challenge is brutal; digging up sandbags takes strength and cardiovascular fitness, something these people do not have much of 29 days into the game. Not surprisingly, the boys make quick work of digging up their sandbags, but Tasha is hot on their tails. She quickly passes the guys and begins lining up the balls for the maze. One, two, three balls drop into place. At this point, Woo is the only person with a fighting chance against Tasha. He drops in one, two, three, four balls. It’s down to the final ball. The pressure is mounting, and Tasha remains calm as a statue. She lands her final ball, winning immunity for the third time in a row and saving herself once more.
I’m obsessed with Tasha. There I said it. She’s cute, socially aware, and strong— the Survivor trifecta. I also love that she refuses to abandon Spencer, although he’s the obvious target for tonight’s vote and basically unsavable. She’s been working her plan to make it look like she’s formed an all female alliance in order to make Tony feel threatened. Tag team! While Tasha works the ladies, Spencer plants seeds in Tony’s mind about Jefra’s instability and disloyalty. That’s all Tony needs to freak out. He quickly grabs Woo and cements a plan to blindside Jefra. Then he tells Spencer about the plan, enlisting him to sway Tasha. Anything to save her friend, Spence, Tasha’s game for. Wow! What an incredible turn of events for the two bottom dwellers.
As we enter tribal council, the women of Tony’s alliance know nothing of his new plans to blindside Jefra. After witnessing no chaos at camp, Kass is sure everything is smooth sailing. And, once again, Kass has no clue what’s going on.
Right away, Tony jumps on Jefra, calling her a traitor and placing his new idol around his neck. He refuses to be blindsided tonight. Jefra begins defending herself, blaming her emotionality on LJ’s blindside. No clue Kass jumps in to defend her. Tasha looks gleeful as Spencer presents a logical, articulate argument for not making mistakes. Plainly, Jefra does not see what’s coming.
All but Kass and Trish were in on Jefra’s blindside. This omission is going to put Tony in hot water moving forward, but he has so much power and safety, he’ll stick around through the backlash. Survivor: Cagayan is in the home stretch and it’s getting better and badder.
If you need more, check out my interview with Jefra Bland on Friday on Survivor Live on CBS.com at 1PM PDT/ 4PM EDT.
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