Articles for Survivor Season 12

Originally aired on Sunday, 05/14/2006Written By BuddyTV Staff ColumnistEpisode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: It’s the final episode of the season! Cirie is sent home after the tie-breaker challenge, and Danielle, Aras and Terry are the final three. After a Reward Challenge, Immunity Challenge, and two Tribal Councils, everyone heads to New York City to learn who will be the ultimate Survivor.Episode Highlights: Danielle beats Cirie in the tie-breaker challenge to head into the final three.Aras and Terry continue their rivalry in the final Reward and Immunity Challenge, but Danielle isn’t bowing out quite yet.The final three return to Exile Island for some highly-staged “closure.â€?Jeff Probst delivers the results of the jury’s vote in a totally anti-climactic fashion (no jet-skis this year!).All of the Survivors return for the reunion.Recap:The final episode of the twelfth season of “Survivorâ€? picks up where last episode’s cliff-hanger left off. Cirie Fields and Danielle DiLorenzo, who each received two votes at Tribal Council, compete in the fire-making challenge to determine who will be in the final three. At first, underdog supporters rejoice! At Jeff Probst’s start, Cirie is first to get a flame, and it’s initially of decent height. However, this first attempt goes out, and after a bit of back and forth between each player’s fire, Danielle finally gets a flame to catch and stay. She burns through the rope, raising her flag and sending Cirie home. On Cirie’s way out, she whispers an apology to Aras Baskauskas; without her in the game, his row to hoe just got a little rockier.Back at camp, Danielle knows she’s in a tricky position, in the middle of the tense, testosterone-fueled rivalry between young buck, Aras, and older/wiser/usually stronger Terry Deitz. The relationship between the two men will be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched a nature show where the male animals are competing for females, leadership position in the pack, prime hunting ground, or whatever. Despite the fact that Terry seems like a grounded guy, and Aras is trying to be a more enlightened person, the biological imperative to dominate is usually too strong for each.So, with the competition between the two pumping them up, they and Danielle head to the next Survivor challenge. Jeff informs them that this is not an immunity challenge. Rather, it’s a Reward Challenge. The reward – a solid, healthy meal, and a sleeping cot – could possibly put them in the condition to have a leg up at the next Immunity Challenge. The challenge involves two puzzles, and then a climb up a wall using four removable pegs that must be brought up the wall with them. Aras gets a quick start, and is in a clear lead for most of the challenge. However he slips on the climbing wall, only narrowly missing a total slide down as his shirt catches on a peg, and fumbles with the final insertion of the pegs. This gives Terry a chance to catch up, and, ultimately overtake him. Aras is utterly frustrated by the loss.Terry heads off to eat his healthy meal of chicken breasts and veggies, while Aras and Danielle eat the fish they’ve caught back at camp. The next day, with Terry well-rested from his night on the cot, they take the usual end-of-Survivor trip down memory lane, collecting the other player’s torches on Exile Island, and burning down the skull structure. Terry comments that it’s appropriate that they’re there, as they are the three players who have spent the most time on the island. And now to the final Immunity Challenge! It’s an endurance challenge, like they usually are for the final three, but this time, there is an added element of balance. Each player balances on a pad on the water. After 15 minutes, each graduates to a smaller pad. All three make it through the first two pads. Upon the switch to the third pad, Terry can barely climb on in the first place, and Aras looks shaky. Terry can’t maintain his tenuous stance, and crashes into the water. Aras looks like he’s about to head that way. He gives Danielle a look, and she gives him a small nod, and he seems to give up.Danielle has immunity, and the difficult task of deciding who she will take to the final two. Back at camp, Terry reminds her of their agreement, but Danielle isn’t convinced he’s her best bet. She tells him it’s not so certain anymore since he didn’t give her the Immunity Idol. Aras plays hardball, saying he expects her to bring him since he jumped off the pad in response to her nod, and if she doesn’t, she loses his and Cirie’s vote.Either Aras’s hardball was the game to play with Danielle, or she thinks she has a better shot with him in the final two, as that night, she sends Terry home.Danielle and Aras spend their last night at camp. The next morning, they enjoy a proper breakfast, courtesy of Survivor, but the early morning mimosa must have thrown off Aras. He slips on the rocks, and lands on a shattered glass. The medics are brought in, but he’s just given some stitches and the OK to continue.They return the next night to Tribal Council to face the jury. Some of the jury, like Courtney, Shane and Terry, are pissed, and can barely contain their bitterness. Shane is so disgusted with the two of them, that all he can do is ask them to guess a number between one and one million, and say the one who guesses the closest to the number in his head will get his vote. After the usual question and answer period – other than Shane’s number-guessing, there were no stand-out “rats and snakesâ€? confrontations – Jeff grabs the votes and……strolls into the Reunion show? Has Jeff decided he doesn’t want anymore of the silly, gimmicky Survivor bits where he jet-skis from wherever into Manhattan? Now that I didn’t get the silly bits – which I always mocked loudly in prior seasons – I miss them. Strap a hang-glider to that man and make him do it again!Well, it’s not to be. He gets right down to business and…Yoga Hottie wins! Aras is the million dollar winner! They move immediately into the reunion show. Some highlights from the show include a recount to see what would have happened if Danielle would have taken Terry (she still would have lost); a general love fest for couch-potato underdog Cirie (including viewer awarding her a car, and Shane expressing his admiration for her tenacity); a chance to see if Shane was really going bonkers or just hamming it up (actually bonkers, induced by severe nicotine withdrawal); and some general checking-in with all the other Survivors.Jeff also takes a moment to let us know that the next Survivor will be in the Cook Islands, and the show will be debuting this fall. If you want the chance to be on the show (and make yourself vulnerable to the merciless ridicule of reality-television commentators!), send them your video!Thanks for reading this season’s recaps of Survivor: Exile Island! Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, May 4, 2006Written By BuddyTV Staff ColumnistEpisode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The Reward Challenge this week allows some of the Survivors to reconnect with their loved ones. Terry continues his physical dominance, while Cirie‘s strength is her strategic behind-the-scenes maneuvering, which results in a surprise ouster.Episode Highlights: The Reward Challenge brings to the island the Survivors‘ loved ones, and the winner gets to decide how each pairing will spend their time together.Terry continues to be the most physically-dominating player, winning both Reward and Immunity Challenges again this week.Cirie works overtime behind the scenes to position the voting to her benefit.Recap: Last week‘s Tribal Council was a total success for Lady Macbeth, aka Cirie Fields. She managed, in her quiet way, to control the vote, ensuring the ouster of fire-dancer Courtney Marit. Cirie has no time to rest on her laurels, however. She has to quickly make nice with Shane in order to keep him in her pocket. He was shocked that the vote didn‘t go for Danielle DiLorenzo as he thought he‘d worked out with Cirie. She and Aras Baskauskas get their stories straight: It was a last minute decision that they couldn‘t coordinate with Shane Powers because he was away from camp. Whether it‘s laziness, stupidity or just a general total misunderstanding of how the game works, Shane decides to buy this. He make a little fuss that Danielle has to go next, but otherwise seems happy to accept Cirie‘s published version of things. He then sets about loudly proclaiming his happiness that the "loop[y] broad" Courtney is gone. Right, like he was in on it all along.Terry Deitz is chagrinned that yet again, he was unable to pull off at tribal council the plan he‘d put into place. Danielle is on his s*** list now for lying to him, and so he‘s also determined that she is next to go.No more time for machinations, it‘s off to the Reward Challenge they go. The Reward this time will be some lovin‘ from home - and the right to decide how that lovin‘ is distributed. The challenge is a typical Survivor physical challenge with multiple stages. Shane falls out first, followed by Cirie and then Danielle. Aras and Terry battle to the finish, but Aras makes a key error and so Terry wins.Jeff brings out the lovin‘: The Survivor‘s family members are brought onto the beach to stand 20 feet away. They include: Trish Deitz, Terry‘s wife; Aras‘ mom; Danielle‘s mom; Cirie‘s husband, H.B.; and Shane‘s beloved son, Boston, who looks exactly, precisely, like he was just unthawed from a Tatum O‘Neal movie circa the mid-1970‘s.Terry gets to decide how each Survivor will spend their time with their loved one. Two Survivors will get to take their loved ones to an evening at a nice home. One will get to take their loved one back to camp. One will get a hug and have to say goodbye after that. The last Survivor will get nothing more than the view of their loved one and two lonely days on Exile Island.Terry picks himself and Shane to spend the night away from camp with their loved ones. H.B. will join Cirie back at Gitanos‘ beach. Aras gets a hug from his mom, and Danielle gets no lovin‘ and a trip to Exile Island (Terry‘s little payback for her turning on him at Tribal Council).Terry, his wife, Shane and Boston are all taken to a nice home well-stocked with pizza, beer, and wine. They catch up with their loved ones. Trish, Terry‘s wife, after seeing Terry‘s hidden Immunity Idol, gets into the game and tries to get into Shane‘s head. Boston, in interview, says he‘s missed his dad because Shane is more like a friend or a brother than a dad. And we all foresee years of therapy and/or poor impulse control for Boston.Back at camp, Cirie is proud to show her hubby how she‘s been living. He‘s not a camper or outdoorsy type, so he is both horrified by how he‘ll be living for the next day and filled with awe for his wife. With admirable efficiency, she decides that she and Aras need to conserve their energy, and so puts H.B. to work around the camp. He grumbles but follows her sweetly-delivered orders. After H.B. leaves, and Terry and Shane return, Aras and Terry have a brief squabble over Terry‘s rationale for how the lovin‘ was apportioned. Terry says he didn‘t give anything to Danielle because it was "just" her mom. This offends Aras, who says his mom is his "rock" and every bit as important to him as Terry‘s wife is to him. Terry says in interview that he‘s glad to see Aras lose it a little bit like this, and Aras later says that Terry‘s arrogance just fuels him to work harder.Not hard enough, however, as Terry wins the next Immunity Challenge, a task involving balance and patience (two things, I would add, that yoga dude Aras should have excelled at!). This is the fifth time he‘s won; he is undefeated in the Immunity Challenges. Before the Tribal Council, wheeling and dealing is in full effect. Both Terry and Shane are convinced that Danielle is next to go, and Terry is now looking to put Shane beside him in the final two. Cirie, meanwhile, is telling Shane she‘s voting for Danielle while simultaneously setting Shane up for the vote with Aras and Danielle. The editing, per usual, leaves some doubt as to where she‘s going to ultimately end up.At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst pointedly asks Shane if his performance that day at the Immunity Challenge was a little lackluster (he didn‘t follow directions and spent time joking around) because he felt assured of his safety. Shane responds that he feels like he‘ll be carried along because people think they can beat him in the final two. Oh, folly! You know what hubris results in, right? Of course, although Shane votes for Danielle, his is the only vote for her we see, and the three other first votes read are for Shane. He is stunned, absolutely stunned.Cirie is sitting in the catbird seat right now... but will she be able to remain in quiet control? And if so, how will she fair with the jury if she makes it to the final two? We will have to tune in to find out! Read more »
Originally Aired Thursday, April 20, 2006Epsiode Rating: ***(Three Stars out of Five)Episode Overview: Terry continues his dominance in the challenges, while Cirie works behind the scenes to alter the course off the game. Read more »

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