Last time on Survivor: Worlds Apart, Jenn refused to sacrifice her spot in the game so her ally Joe could stay in the game. Despite his passion for the game, (and her indifference), Joe was voted out. Let’s hope Jenn’s attitude improves pending her forced survival. If not, at least let’s hope she can muster the courage to just quit.
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It’s day 25 and now that the #1 threat in the game is gone, Rodney decides it’s time for him, Tyler, Carolyn and Will to vote out the #2 threat: Mike. They all agree to pause it for now and revisit it later.
What they don’t know is Mike overheard them. He now knows that Rodney has flipped on him and the former “blue collar” alliance and he needs to hustle to stay in this game.
It’s the Survivor auction! And oh my god they named it “Trader Jeff’s.” How cute is that?
Will spends $100 right off the bat for a covered item. When he uncovers it, it’s a piece of paper that everyone assumes will be an advantage, but it’s not. Instead, it tells him that he bought his way out of the auction, gather his things and go. Dang Survivor! That’s cold!
The rest of the contestants bid on random items. Shirin eats chicken and waffles. Jenn buys a massive cocktail bigger than her head. Rodney gets steak and wine. But Dan, Carolyn and Mike are holding out for the chance to bid on an advantage.
Then Jeff says he has letters from home. Shirin remembers that previously on the show once one person bids on the letter, Jeff opens it up for sale for the same price for everyone else. So Sierra bids $20 and everyone else goes up to buy their own letter for $20.
This presents an issue for the three holding out. Carolyn suggests they all buy the letters and keep it on an even playing field. Everyone agrees, except Mike, but they all go to buy their letters any way. When it gets to be his turn, Mike just turns and walks back to his seat.
Jeff calls him out and Dan is stunned. But not Carolyn. She says if Mike’s not buying it, she’s not buying it and she goes to return her letters to Jeff. This is when Mike’s conscience takes over. He can’t make this move in the game because it’s not the kind of person he is. He buys his letter so everyone else can get theirs too.
When the advantage comes up, Mike, Carolyn and Dan end up having to draw rocks for it. Dan draws the white rock and gets the advantage. Great. The worst one got it. And he made sure to make an unsportsmanlike whoop when he got it because of course.
Before everyone else gets back to camp Will finds a clue on the beach. It’s a map right to what we can only assume is a hidden immunity idol. But we’re wrong again! It’s a map to a trunk full of rations to last him the rest of the game. He decides that since everyone’s been out here starving he’s going to share the food with his tribe mates. It’s definitely a nice gesture.
When everyone else gets back, Mike starts acting strange. He knows he blew it by letting Dan get the advantage, and not only that, making a move that might lead his alliance to not trust him anymore. If he was going to do it, he should have done it all the way. Now by showing he was planning to trick them without really tricking them, he did the damage without even getting the advantage.
Right before everyone’s about to read their letter from home, he decides it’s a good time to call out Rodney for flipping. The timing was terrible and so was his attitude. Rodney of course denies the fact that he’s planning on flipping. The rest of the tribe just kind of looks at him like he’s nuts. He realizes his mistake again and apologizes. But again, the damage has already been done.
Rodney actually realizes he can use Mike’s blow up to his advantage. He tries to use it to turn Dan against Mike, his closest friend in the game. He tells Dan that Mike disrespected him and almost kept him from getting his letter.
Then Dan opens his advantage. And it’s not an advantage in the immunity challenge. It’s an extra vote! Dan can use it at any Tribal Council to cast two votes. That’s very interesting. But I’m not sure if Dan is smart enough to use it responsibly.
Later Mike is talking to Shirin and Jenn and he wonders if Will really shared all the food with him or if he’s still hiding something. The rumor swirls around camp until Tyler tells Will about it.
Well, Will flies off the handle, to put it lightly. And most of his ire is directed at Shirin. He yells at her for questioning his character and then the attacks turn unnecessarily personal. He yells at her, swears at her and tells her that there’s no one on planet earth who loves her. He says that she’s soulless and worthless. Mike is the only person to stick up for Shirin as everyone else just watches silently.
Shirin admits in her confessional that this kind of talk gets to her because she’s a victim of domestic abuse. Jenn and Mike try to comfort her but she’s clearly upset.
I’m upset too. I don’t know why so many people have found a way to make personal attacks on Shirin that were way out of line and had nothing to do with the game. Rodney, Dan and Will are all competing for most boorish people to have played this game. Their language has been ignorant, misogynistic and hateful. I do take a little solace in knowing that there’s no way any of them can win (unless, god forbid, they’re in the final three all together).
Will tells Jeff that he’s not doing well since everyone else got their letters from home and he didn’t. He offers to take himself out of the immunity challenge in exchange for his letters. Jeff says that he can do that only if everyone else agrees that it’s okay. He tells the others if anyone objects to raise their hand.
And bless Shirin’s heart, she has the courage to raise her hand. She says that he bought what he bought and he missed out on the letters because of it, but that’s the way the game works. She didn’t make it about Will’s blow-up, but it was clearly about his blow-up. I’m glad Shirin stood up to a bully. It was a powerful little moment of justice for her that she may not have gotten in real life.
For the challenge, the survivors have to use oversized tongs to carry a ball across teeter-totters and place the ball in a stand. The first to have all six balls in their stand wins immunity.
It’s a steep learning curve, but from the beginning the only two people in the challenge are Mike and Tyler. And Mike is the one fighting for his life. He’s way ahead of Tyler and wins the challenge handedly.
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Mike knows he won at the right time and he does his happy dance. Rodney is upset, of course, but he and Will decide they need to split the votes between Jenn and Shirin and send Jenn home because she’s the bigger threat.
Mike thinks he, Jenn and Shirin should direct their votes at Carolyn. He thinks he can still get Dan on their side.
He appeals to Dan about his strategy but Dan refuses to believe that Rodney, Carolyn, Tyler and Will have their own separate alliance. He still thinks they’re all “Blue Collar strong.” Mike makes as enticing of a pitch as I’ve heard on Survivor, appealing to their blue collar mentality and loyalty. Dan seems to take it all in, but like Carolyn says, he hasn’t proven to be very smart in the game. She’s not sure if she can trust Dan and says she’ll play her idol if she feels like she needs to.
Tyler tries to talk to Dan, telling him that everyone’s questioning his loyalty now that he’s been talking to Mike so much. Dan snaps back that no one dictates his future but him. All right then.
Will talks about the incident with Shirin and he is not backing off. He brings Shirin to tears again. She talks about how she’s a victim of domestic abuse and he’s making light of it. She also calls out everyone (except Mike) who just sat idly by and let him talk to her like that. Will just claims he’s telling the truth and she’s just mad because she got called out. Disgusting.
Mike talks about how he needed immunity today because the people he’s been playing with have decided he’s a big threat. Rodney does the opposite of playing it cool and explodes at Mike. He says that he’s on the chopping block because of his behavior during and after the reward challenge and for no other reason.
Carolyn also denies that there’s a core four player alliance. She says it’s just been their plan all along to pick off Shirin and Jenn.
After the vote, no one plays their idol or advantage. Mike was unable to swing Dan and Jenn is the next member of the jury. At least one person’s getting what she wanted.
(Image courtesy of CBS)