Monday, December 16, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Finale + Reunion

And the winner is...
This is it! I can't believe it's over... but this season of Survivor has come to a close, and for the second time in a row, my favorite and clear pick from the beginning has won with a landslide. I'm so excited!!!

I have a TON to say about what went down tonight, from Redemption Island returns to emotional manipulation, and of course Final Tribal council, the crowned winner and Reunion episode ridiculousness. I encourage you to watch my video below, but in a nutshell, here are my main points:

  • Redemption Island returnee was not my pick.... but I don't think it really affected the outcome
  • Tyson just continued to play a flawless game towards the end, from challenges to his Final Tribal performance
  • I was very surprised to see how people continued to give Monica such a hard time at Final Tribal. To me, she was an open book (hence the thumbnail in my last blog post!)
  • Who disappointed me with their Final Tribal questions and attitude
  • How Final arguments either lacked in delivery or didn't
  • Who stood out the most at the Reunion
  • Next season
That's all for this season, folks! Thanks for following, and be sure to let me know how excited you are (or not) for the winner, and how you feel about next season! Brawn vs. Brain vs. Beauty

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Thirteen

Monica, such an open book!
Another solid episode in a very solid season. Ultimately, now that we're so close to the end, I can say this hasn't been my favorite season, but I've still very much enjoyed it. Even if Tyson, who was my pick to win from the beginning, takes the title and the money, it'll still be pretty straightforward and predictable because no one made moves early enough to really shake things up.

Sure, Hayden's ruckus that lead to drawing rocks last week, and his fight to the very end this week were great to watch and very valiant efforts, but at the end of the day, it was just too late, and that's what's a shame. I suppose that tends to happen when you put experienced players who don't need to warm up as much against new players who have many more things to adjust to before they start thinking as big. Nevertheless, this season has certainly been entertaining, and I didn't hate Redemption Island nearly as much as the first time!!!

The main point of conversation for me in this episode is Monica. She got pulled so far on all sides and attacked so vehemently that I really felt bad. I mean, she's a beast, and I totally respect her, don't get me wrong, but she is emotionally vulnerable and Hayden, Ciera, Tyson and Gervase ALL took advantage of that. Granted, it was the best move for all of them, but still.

Now, we're just a few days away from knowing who comes back from Redemption Island and who wins... What do you think? Is there still a chance things will get shaken up, or is it a straight shot from here?

All that and more in my latest video, which you can watch below!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Twelve

Best challenge I've seen in a long time!
Just finished watching the episode and OMG-WOWZA-WOOHOO! Some Tribal Councils just make me want to jump up and down and hug the screen and share to whoever will listen how amazing Survivor is. Tonight was one of them. Not only was it hilarious (rustle/ruffle feathers, anyone?), it was also high in adrenaline, surprises and sitting-on-the-edge-of-my-seatness.


But because my videos go over more than just Tribal Council, what you can expect to see in this one includes my thoughts on Caleb, Hayden's last ditch attempts to shake up the game, Ciera's risky and ballsy decision, and drawing rocks at Tribal Council for the second time in 13.5 years. 

At this point... the two possible Final Threes seem pretty clear: it'll either be Tyson, Gervase and Monica or Hayden, Ciera and whoever comes back from Redemption Island. I'm still rooting for Tyson whole-heartedly, but I think everyone left has played a commendable game and contributed to making this season very, very good! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Eleven

Could've been a very different season if Aras and Vytas
had played a little differently...
Remember when Survivor used to air a season recap / previously unaired scenes episode on Thanksgiving week? I never liked those, and am certainly happy that they're not not making us wait an extra week for new action during a crucial part of the season... But unfortunately this week that meant I was unable to watch the episode or record my vlog right on Wednesday... I hope you'll forgive the lateness!

So, we're coming really close to the end now... and of course that means moves must be made -- or players must forever hold their peace. I was happy to see Hayden and Caleb attempt to make such a move, and have to commend their effort.

Other comments you'll find in this latest video relate to what happened on Redemption Island, how Ciera impacted Hayden and Caleb's "big" move, and how awesome Monica is playing.

I also wish I had more time to listen to all the podcasts and after-show episodes out there each week. I listened to Rob Cesternino's interview with Aras as well as Dalton Ross' one. Lots of insightful stuff, and a great place to keep the conversation going. I also discovered the music video for one of Aras' songs -- or rather Odd Us' songs -- "Sword In The Stone," which is really amazing. Both the song and the video. I highly recommend watching it. 

And now... here's this week's vlog on Episode Eleven of Survivor!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Ten

Impressed at how long Tyson lasted
despite an injured shoulder!
I admit, I got a little teary-eyed at the very end, and was a lot upset at the very beginning, which coated this episode with a tinge of sadness for me. That said, I was happy to see some action happen between the pairs, and even though there were no high-production-value fireworks, I was really impressed with how Ciera and Laura M. handled the idea of not being able to work together.

In my video this week, I go over what went down at Redemption Island, how Ciera made a big mistake despite great intentions and some craft moves, and how Monica has earned her keeps in the tribe, and major Survivor respect points. Then of course, what was teased at the end of the episode, though I still have my doubts about Tyson being dethroned. Oftentimes, the trailers are very misleading, and though I'd like to think moves will be made, I'll wait until next week to go into more detail.

What do you think? Are you still as excited about the season now that the past few episodes have been more predictable? Who are you supporting to re-enter the game? Let me know!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Nine

I want me one of those...
but I wouldn't eat grubs for it.

We got a double challenge + elimination episode tonight! Made things seem to go so much faster, but it also got me in the mood for a Survivor marathon. Man, I remember when I watched old seasons in the space of a few days just back-to-back-to-back... But I digress.

Nothing too unexpected happened this week, except for the turn Vytas took that showed a less than charming side to him. I'm still a fan, but I wish he'd stayed as strategic and with his head screwed on straight rather than lose it completely. His best move instead of verbally attacking everyone would have been to try and get an all loved ones alliance going... but he didn't see it, and if he didn't see it, I doubt anyone else would have, and so that means that game is pretty much over for any of the loved ones as far as I'm concerned.

I'm definitely rooting for Aras on Redemption Island and would be more than happy for Aras to win if it's not Tyson. Gervase is also playing an excellent game, and I'm so happy to keep witnessing how much better of a game he's playing this season vs. 13 years ago. I also talk about Monica and Tina in this video, particularly how awesome Tina is. Such grace that woman has!

Video is below, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

PS. Small shoutout to Hellogoodbye, Metric and Paramore, who I saw tonight at Madison Square Garden and who KILLED it! Definitely recommend checking these guys live if they're in your area. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Eight

My favorite brothers of Survivor.
You might hear me say the word "excited" once or five times in this video... but hey, I'm allowed, right? It's the MERGE, after all! I'm not excited that Redemption Island is still in play, and that could mess up a lot of things for Tyson and Gervase, but at the end of the day, maybe that's a good thing too and will prove exciting. I think Aras making it back from Redemption is almost as good of a story as Ozzy making it back.

I've pretty much laid out all my cards when it comes to voting predictions, but it's true that I haven't taken into account a rock-the-boat-return from Redemption Island... and I also still need to think about Jury votes, because I'm taking it for granted right now that they'll vote my way, so still lots to ponder!

Other things you'll find in my video are: the Redemption Island challenge and the big return, Tyson's brilliant moves that led to this crucial blindside, and how what-who-said-when made the chips fall as they did for the votes and the expulsion (temporarily) of King -- I mean, Sir -- Aras.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Seven

Does a player coming back from
stand a chance at winning the game?

Wow, we're already halfway through the season! And here we are with another key episode that in and of itself isn't exceptional but continues to reinforce how incredible this season is overall.

I have to give all the props of this episode to Vytas. He showed incredible self-control, intelligence, intuition and strategy in order to survive not one but two Tribal Councils and as we saw in the preview, make it to the merge as one of the two sole remaining pairs in the game. It's safe to say, though I think it will be very difficult for either one of them to win, that Aras and Vytas are the most epic pair of the season.

In this video, I talk about Kat (briefly), Tyson and his new alliance on Tadhana, Vytas Vytas Vytas, who might have just earned a spot in my favorite players of Survivor ever, Monica/Tina/Katie's move to vote off Laura B., and how I see alliances falling post-merge next episode.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Six

Isn't it weird that all of a sudden Gervase was swimming...
I have so much to say in the latest episode of Survivor that I hope I was able to articulate it all clearly in my video... I thought this was a good episode, and a good setup for even more exciting things to come later. Overall, I have to say, this season is really delivering so far.

To try and make things easier to follow in the video below, here are the big chunks/ideas to take away from this episode:

- better managing Laura M. before and at Redemption Island
- tribe swaps: who's in a good place and who isn't... and how they handle it from there
- how the dice falls on Galang and optimal strategies/alliances vs. what actually went down
- a series of stupid moves from Kat, Monica, Kat again, and maybe Tyson
- Hayden vs. Tyson vs. Aras next week... and personal moves of choice

Check out the video for yourself and let me know what you would've done!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Five

Way to go, Candice! 
How exciting that things finally turned around a bit in this episode! As much as I always root for the returning players to win, I was dying to see some more Galang action, and this was just what the doctor ordered.

I'm continually impressed with Aras, though I think people in his tribe and his alliance are equally impressed and will ensure he doesn't make it the final three... Poor Laura M. though didn't see through him, and that's what got her on Redemption. At least she'll take comfort in knowing she was only sent there to beat Brad so that Monica would become a stronger asset in the alliance of 5. 3 out 5 without loved ones? That's definitely a solid alliance, and those three aren't innocent spring chickens -- they know what they're doing.

I was definitely bummed about who left Redemption Island, but so it goes... Nothing that changed the game tremendously in any way. Nothing like a tribe mixup that looks like it will go down next week!

All this and more in my latest video...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Four

Yeah, think hard, Brad!
This was a decent episode, but definitely a "middle of the pack one." I don't agree with Jeff that it was one of the biggest shifts of power during a Tribal Council ever, but that's because I'm very wary about these "ever" kind of statements. It was certainly exciting, and I'm surprised it didn't come to a tie -- particularly that Vytas was the one who ended up switching votes -- but on the other hand, when things are out of your hands, you're almost worst off and now Vytas can align with Caleb, Ciera and Katie if he needs too.

That said, I'm still a bit frustrated at the Tadhana tribe... They're either playing with their head too far in the game, or they're being rash and emotional and their tribe ends up being weaker as a result -- and that's what I think happened here.

For more on that, as well as my thoughts on what went down at Redemption Island and the challenge of the week, check out the video below!

Tyson still for the win!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Three

Love this guy.
I have to say, I'm loving this season -- which is surprising because I was not a supporter of the theme when it was first announced. I feel like I'm getting a special Survivor treat for superfans only every week.

That is, aside from Colton, who I talk about in my video, but who I do not want to dwell on much either. Honestly, it kind of serves the producers right for casting him again, even if it sucks for viewers. I really hate when contestants quit.... but it also pisses me off that they're making such bad decisions in bringing back "controversial" players. Brandon Hantz, anyone?! I mean, bring back villains like Abi-Maria, not crazies like Colton. I don't feel bad for him. Jeff is right -- he should have just stayed on the couch. How immature.

Other things I cover in this week's video are the challenge, where I thoroughly enjoyed watching loved ones battle each other, Tadhana's voting strategy, which I don't agree with, and my favorites, which haven't evolved all that much since the beginning. I'm still rooting for Tyson to take it all -- and even more so after this episode. I also love Aras and Vytas.

Check out my latest video here:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode Two

Redemption Island challenges always
have me holding my breath... 
Let me start this post by venting a little bit.

Some guy wrote a comment on my video from episode one that supposedly revealed, according to a "reliable source," who was in the final three. Now, if you know anything about me, you know I hate spoilers -- especially Survivor spoilers. In fact, one of my close friends who watches the show loves spoilers, but still hates them when it comes to Survivor. I mean, why even bother watching a show like Survivor if you're just going to look up who gets voted out / gets to the end. So, I obviously deleted to the comment and told the guy to never do that again so I wouldn't ruin it for anyone else, but I also can't unsee it and I'm worried my commentary and predictions are now going to get skewed by what I've not read. I'm going to do my best to ignore it, but as I work on that, I ask that please, no one post any spoilers anywhere on my blog or YouTube channel or anywhere around me, really. Please.

Ok, rant over, and episode commentary a-go: I thought this was a solid episode, and I love how all the twists are coming into play. What I love even more is that the players are working the system and using those twists. Tonight's vote was all about that.

So in my video this week, I talk about the outcome at Redemption Island, Colton on Galang, Tadhana's strategy in voting and the new alliances / contestants that excite me.

Since last week, I've kind of lost some hope for John, but I'm still pumped about Vytas and Hayden. And Ciera really impressed me, so I hope she can turn the tides and play the Tadhana guys. For Galang, I'm still excited about Tyson and confident he'll make the right decision at Redemption Island, and my respect for Aras has substantially increased. I'm still excited about Tina too, and I hope Monica can live up to the potential I saw in her when she played in One World.

Check out my video below and comment away!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Episode One

Blood vs. Water: Will this cast sink or swim?
We're baaack! I had my doubts about this season when they announced the premise, but my deep-rooted fandom took over quickly and my excitement at the return of Survivor was unsinkable.

I have SO MANY thoughts about the season, the twists, the premiere, it was hard to contain them all in one video, but I did. In about ten minutes, I go over how I feel about the first twists: Day Zero, voting someone off right off the bat and Redemption Island; as well as my views on the tribes and their strengths and weaknesses.

Before the season even started, I had high hopes for Tyson. I adore him and can't wait to enjoy his sense of humor and wit on the show, which I hope will be given some more attention in later episodes. Other than that, my early favorites are more on the loved ones tribe... which seems to go in line with Jeff Probst's thoughts too.

So ultimately, my picks for the loved ones tribe are Vytas, Hayden and John, with some hopes for Ciera and Rachel, who we haven't seen much of yet.

For the returning players tribe, I'm putting 80% of my chips on Tyson, with big hopes for Tina and Laura M.

What about you? How do you feel about the new season's twists? Who are your early favorites?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - FINALE

It is bittersweet to be writing this post tonight... Excited at the amazing finale, but sad say goodbye to Survivor for a few months once again... At least I know Jeff Probst has his bags packed and is still going to host the show for the next year! I was almost afraid that with Boston Rob's appearance, they were going to announce him taking over for Jeff as host. Not yet, people, please!

But let's talk about the season, shall we? It has definitely been a roller coaster, with some awful moments and some really standout/epic ones, but ultimately I'm SUPER happy with the outcome, both on the Sole Survivor front (called it!) and on the Player of the Season front (Malcolm, I love you.).

In my final video of the season, I go over my thoughts on the Reward Challenge advantage, the Eddie vs. Dawn in Final Three dilemma, the Final Tribal speeches and questions, and some thoughts on next season's Blood vs. Water theme...

Can't wait to hear your thoughts, and look out for my upcoming Best Survivor Players of All Time post to complement my Favorite Survivor Players of All Time, and my soon-to-be updated (yet again) Hottest Guys and Girls of Survivor!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Thirteen

All smiles... for now.
Just when I thought the season was out of surprising twists and blindsides... here we are.

Let's recap a little here: for the past twelve episodes, I've been pretty frustrated with Brenda's gameplay, aside from her impressive physical strength and hotness. She was playing the 'lay-low' card, hoping that'd bring her the million dollars. While that's a possible outcome, I like to think that Jury members in general value taking risks and making moves and showing strength more than just liking a person, and luckily, it seems like this Jury is going to take its job seriously -- at least I hope. [That means that if Eddie makes it to the end somehow, I hope Malcolm won't necessarily just vote for him because he was his amigo... Reynold, let's not even go there.]

Then, we find ourselves in an episode where all of a sudden, the unthreatening, non-strategic Brenda becomes this huge threat to win, by continuously showing strength in challenges and then pulling the sympathy card by giving up her time with her Dad to offer up extra special time to 4 out of the 6 remaining contestants -- a twist which I found totally excessive by the way. Taking two additional people with you is huge already, and I think she should have done that. No one could have said she did the wrong thing. I mean come on, her reunion with her Dad made Jeff cry! Not to mention that she did peg Cochran as a threat and was planning to eliminate him after voting out Eddie. Which DAWN ESSENTIALLY TOLD COCHRAN.

So, while really hard to watch and borderline cruel, voting out Brenda was the best move for Cochran to win. Getting Dawn on board for that was huge, because I think Dawn would stand a better chance to win against Brenda than Cochran... and not at least letting Eddie know to vote for Brenda for that extra name was a big gamble too. If Dawn hadn't flipped, that would have been the end of Cochran. Brenda's exit interview was certainly the most difficult and heart-wrenching to watch I can remember, but ultimately, she should have played a more strategic game -- while still being humble if that's what she was aiming for.

I talk about all this in greater detail, and a few more things, in my video below... Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Next up.... the finale!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Twelve

From Survivor Top 8 to Survivor Top 6... Families next!
Double elimination this episode, with one predictable (and self-fulfilled) outcome and one "stealthy" blindside. We've got our traditional stupid and short-sighted Eddie/Reynold moves, some Stealth R' Us strategy with Andrea and Cochran, and some good ol' fashioned "I've got the power" talks that don't actually mean anything. Ultimately, a decent episode I'd say, though still up to par with the two-three we saw in past weeks.

Another thing I talk about in this vid is Malcolm's Survivor After-Show episode (thanks for the must-watch tip, Kevin!), which makes me feel a little better about his elimination and less like he dropped the ball by not looking for the Idol further. I'd highly recommend watching if you have a 'mo (even if the intro is a bit corny, haha). It also confirms a lot of things I said about Malcolm's gameplay in the past few weeks, teehee.

In other news, I met Andrea last week! She was at the same yoga class as I was, practicing about 3 mats away from me. We chatted very briefly after the class and it was perfect timing given her stellar balance performance at the challenge that aired just a couple of days later. Can I please meet Malcolm next???!!

Looking forward to your comments... and don't forget to check out the Ponderosa videos too! Here's Andrea's first one, and here's Reynold's.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Eleven

I love this tribe flag!
So... it happened. What I feared, but what I knew was coming. No one can say Malcolm didn't play a great game, and it'd be hard to suggest he could have played any better. He was just up against some very strong players, and one in particular who I believe should take it to the end and win it all, this time: Mr. John Cochran.

In my latest video, I go over why I think Cochran not only deserves the Player of the Week award, but also the title of Sole Survivor; how I feel about Malcolm's exit; whether Erik and Sherri made the right moves for their respective games; and a little bit on what's next.

I fear the most exciting episodes of the season are now behind us, but I hope the season will still end strong. In the meantime, we now have Ponderosa videos to enjoy in between eps, and Malcolm's vids are now up! I love how in this one, he admits to having a slightly too large ego and having learned humility in the game. I do believe winning would have been a walk in the park for him had he been a little luckier. In Philippines, he had a terrible losing streak with his first tribe, forcing to play hard much earlier than he needed to, and this season, he was surrounded by some true greats and his tricks just ran out.

Most underrated best part of this episode: Eddie's blurred out crotch when he's just strolling around unawares. It looked hilarious on TV.

Best one liners still go to Cochran. I think he'll hold that title for all-time:

Jeff: How often does that happen? [referring to Cochran licking peanut butter off of Sherri's fingers]
Cochran: More often than you think.

(You have to see it for full effect.)

Survivor gods bless you, Cochran.

And without further ado:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Ten

You know this challenge was just made to get sexy
people covered in mud.
For a season that really started off slow, this one just popped a second epic Tribal Council in a row! Can't say the rest of the episode was great, though. Dawn's breakdown, which was completely overhyped, didn't really go anywhere, and then absolutely nothing exciting or strategic happened at the Reward...

THEN another Idol came into play, and Malcolm pulled another fast one on just about everyone, which thankfully played out in his favor this time. The question is: how many more tricks can Malcolm pull out? He's running out of resources, and I'm not sure just trying to get people to flip will work out for him...

All that and more in the video below!

PS. And because I forgot to do it in my video: here's a shoutout to all my Survivor friends, fellow fans, and vlog viewers/blog readers everywhere, all the way to the wonderful land of Australia!

PPS. Brenda got her first confessional this episode! For a full 3 seconds! Because I think she deserves some more time, here's another behind-the-scenes one of hers (I suppose that if they were all like that, I wouldn't have used valuable air time for that either... but who can be sure?)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Nine

Classic Fans vs. Favorites challenge! 
OMG WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EPISODE! This seriously makes every boring and stale episode of the first half of the season OK. There's so much to say, it's hard to talk about this step-by-step, but that's what I've tried to do in my video. Maybe I'll be more successful here...

I think this episode showed three big things: skill in strategy, the power of paranoia, and luck.

Malcolm took advantage of the Reward Challenge loss to talk to who he thought was on the bottom. Originally, I thought this was great... until I saw he was approaching Dawn and Sherri. HUGE mistake. It really surprises me that Malcolm was so oblivious to Dawn's role in voting out Corinne. It's a big shame... but great for Dawn and it's nice to see her really play (even if it seems it's not going to last...). I still think Brenda and Erik would have been a better choice

Then, we have Andrea, who is also playing hard and very strategically. I'm not her biggest fan, but I do like how she gives it her all. That said, the minute she heard her name was being thrown around, her game fell apart. Her paranoia led her to make the less smart move in voting for Michael, but ultimately, that was the lucky choice which keeps the Stealth R Us alliance in the majority.

Let's go back to great strategy when Tribal Council continues to go in the same direction we've seen with people yapping away, and Malcolm realizing his move may have been compromised. He was very impressive in his quick thinking and though I still think he's in a terrible position right now, he's also not  yet shown how good he is in challenges, and the Stealth R Us'ers won't see it coming when he starts winning Immunity Challenge after Immunity Challenge. (Well, that's my ideal turn of events, ha.) Now is the time for Malcolm to step. it. up. If he makes it to the end, he will truly be a worthy winner and in for the title of Best Survivor Ever in my book. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, here...

I talk about a lot more in the video below, including Brenda's potential strategy, Eddie and Andrea's "rapport" and if voting for Reynold has a chance in helping Malcolm argue his case in the tribe moving forward... Ultimately though, the only takeaway you should note from this post is: WATCH. (...that stands for both my video below and the episode!) It's possibly the best Tribal Council I've ever seen. Now we're talking, Survivor: Caramoan.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Eight

Hi Mom! I'm on Survivor!
Finally! An exciting episode this season!!! It was definitely a game-changing one and I loved how clearly we could see the two potential directions in which the game could go. Plus, we got a beautiful blindside out of it.

Objectively, I can't say I was leaning towards one side or the other (I have my favorites for the win on each side), so I'm not sad to see Corinne go. But I do salute her efforts to change things up for herself. She tried to make a move, which could have been beautiful, especially with Malcolm on her side, but she made a huge mistake in talking to Dawn, and it cost her big time -- and unfortunately, it cost Malcolm too.

Another big thing that happened this week is we had our first non-physical Immunity Challenge! However excited I was about that, I was NOT excited to have to sit through another Disgusting Food Eating Challenge. I can barely stand watching them, let alone think of having to play one. MAJOR PROPS to Cochran who absolutely KILLED it. I'm so happy he won. Well earned! Now I don't ever want to think about this again.

I'll let you watch the video below for more thoughts on the strategy we saw in this episode and my prognosis for eps to come, but to lay it out black on white here, my current projections is we'll either have (and I think this is the most likely scenario at this point) Cochran, Phillip and Andrew in the Final Three, or Malcolm, Eddie and Reynold, with Cochran and Malcolm winning respectively in each scenario. I'd be more than happy to see Malcolm pull it off, because it'll mean he really earned it, and I feel the same way about anyone else stepping up too, but I think option one is the most likely outcome.

Watch, and please: comment away!

PS. My thoughts definitely go out to Gerald Babin and Thierry Costa's families... The French Survivor who passed away last week on the first day of the season, and the physician from the show who let the pressure of accusations and questioning get to him... No one can blame these people or producers for being negligent. This was clearly a freak accident, and though it's a huge tragedy, I hope people won't just go the "find someone to blame" route and pin it on Survivor.

PPS. My merged tribe's name if I have a say: Enna, or Divad. Sounds pretty cool actually...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Seven

What's behind Cochran's calm stance...?
It's episode two after the tribe swap, and we're already done and moving to the merge next week. But let's not jump the gun! I'm here to talk about this week's episode.

In the video below, you'll find my thoughts of the moment on Phillip, Cochran, Corinne and Malcolm, including how pathetic, subtle, unsubtle and dangerous they all are, respectively.

A bit underwhelming this week overall, so I'll keep this short. But clearly, the hope never dies.... and maybe the merge will inject some strategy into these people! We're already more than halfway through the season now, come on!

Best quote of the episode: "I'm tempted to say that [Julia] has a vanilla personality, but that would be doing a great disservice to the flavor of vanilla. I mean, people actively seek out vanilla-flavored products. [...] Nobody's clamoring for anything Julia-flavored." -- John Cochran

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Six

I'm rooting for Brenda, Malcolm and
Cochran to pick things up.
We made it to the mix... and things are still underwhelming. Now, we've still got two uneven tribes but in a different way -- rather than experience vs. newness, we have extremely strong vs. just not strong enough. I'm not saying strength is everything, but challenges have been very brawn heavy this season, and it's not doing the new Bikal any favors.

The Fans are overall very disappointing and not trying to make big moves at all -- just saving their skin for 3 more days. I love the Favorites obviously, but I didn't want it to be quite this much of a landslide in their favor. There are definitely cracks in the Favorites armor that the Fans could have taken advantage of, but instead everyone just decided to blurt out everything they could think of, which is a clear sign of playing to stay a few extra days rather than playing to win. I'm not saying it's never possible for "3 more days" (as Sandra would put it!) to turn into a million dollars, but in the Fans case and given the game of the remaining ones until now, I think it's very unlikely.

I didn't talk about Phillip in this video, but it's clear to me he also stands no chance of winning. Clearly everyone finds him ridiculous and annoying, but they all know it's in their best interest to humor him, at least for now.

What I do touch on -- and we talk about this too in the podcast I did with a fellow fan (see below) -- is how Tribal Council has turned into a therapy free-for-all where everyone just blurts out everything. Corinne did just that this episode, and I think that really could hurt her. Not to mention, I found her unnecessarily bitchy and just annoying too. Once Favorites start turning on themselves, it's obvious she's on the bottom of the totem pole. I'm surprised she was up for Player of the Week this week!

Anyway, here's my video below! Take a look and let me know what you think about the season so far, how the mix might be a good and/or bad thing, and who you think has it in him or her to win it. Parvati endorsed Cochran in her latest Survivor After-Show, and I'm rooting for either Brenda, Malcolm or... Cochran too.

In other news, as I mention in the video, I did an awesome podcast with a fellow fan on It's a full season recap until last episode, and it's really long. A bit self-indulgent, but it'd be awesome if you joined in on the convo and took a listen! We're looking into doing more of these each week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Five

Do we even want to know what's
going through his head?
Well, we finally saw it: Brandon Hantz's meltdown. What did you think? Was it what you expected? Better? Worse?

I should start by saying I'm relieved it wasn't worse. Yes, losing the beans and the rice in a game where you already have very little food has got to be very scary and difficult. And sure, witnessing someone's mental instability and eventual breakdown when you're isolated on an island with him must be very trying on the nerves and morale. But given some of the shots we saw in the preview last week, and considering the comparison made with Skupin's fire incident, I was actually worried that someone was going to get seriously injured. So I'm relieved that wasn't the case.

As for the meltdown itself -- I was caught between laughing in incredulity and feeling some of the dread these guys were clearly showing. For the most part, I was really impressed with how everyone handled it -- Jeff included. Most of them obviously knew -- and more importantly were able -- to brush their discomfort under the rug for as long as possible in order to calm Brandon down in his outbursts. Corinne's announcement on behalf of the tribe was very put together and controlled, while still saying it like it was, and I appreciated that, though it might bite her in her in the butt if she did that without the whole tribe's actual consent... Phillip on the other hand was absolutely egotistic and borderline idiotic in his reactions. He is the epitome of a tautologist who finds many ways to say nothing at all -- or at least nothing helpful. There is no doubt he contributed to Brandon's downward spiral, and I'm actually quite tired of watching him at this point, pink undies and all. More on that in the video.

Speaking of which, this video is slightly longer than my usual length -- but there was clearly lots to say. In it, I talk a little bit about the Russell vs. Brandon comparisons we've been hearing, the integrity of the game (and Jeff) in handling the situation and how this might affect the Faves moving forward, among other things. I also touch on Reynold finding the Idol -- again -- and whether or not there should be another Idol in play in general, and finally, the tribe mixup next week!

Looking forward to your comments -- below or straight on the YouTube page.

PS. Just saw this tweet by Russell.... Seeing how proud he is, I wonder whether I should even bother defending him! (But #enHantzed is pretty cool, I hate to say it...) (Ok, after some research, found out enHANTZed is actually a thing... View at your own risk.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Four

Did anyone figure out what they were looking at??
OMG guys, great episode, right!?? This is the first episode I've been super excited about so far this season -- especially given all the hype about how awesome this season is, even better than last season, etc. There's lots to talk about in this episode, like Shamar's evacuation, the Stealth R Us expansion, the ultimate elimination and what other scenarios could have gone down, which I always love to go over -- all in the video below.

In other news... Remember when I said we didn't get to see a lot of the Fans after episode one?! Well that's definitely changed! Obviously it all depends on who loses, and the Fans have definitely been losing too much for a balanced season. I'm looking forward to when the tribes mix -- it'll give new life to some of the players [*cough* Eddie and Reynold *cough*] and also mix up this ridiculous Stealth R Us alliance. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely great to see the Favorites coasting -- they are the favorites after all -- but while I've been impressed with some of the Fans, overall their tribe has been wearing to watch (I say this from my comfortable and cozy room...) and I want to see more Faves! (Clearly I will get my wish next episode... Yikes.)

Watch the video and let me know what you thought! I was definitely surprised that the whole tribe voted for Laura... Didn't see that one coming though I guess it's a good thing the remaining alliance stuck together in the vote at least, but I think it was mistake on the long run, even if they win the next challenge.

What about you? Surprised/Disappointed/Glad at the outcome of the vote? Relieved about Shamar's med evac? Thoughts on WTF happened to make Brandon turn psycho next episode? (Let's face it, that teaser almost took all of the attention off of the episode...)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Three

Run for it!
We're getting deeper into this season of Survivor: Caramoan, and getting to know these contestants a little better - particularly the fans, as they lost the Immunity Challenge again this episode.

Before I get into detail, has anyone else noticed how the tribe colors this season are exactly the same as the original tribe colors in Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites?! Malakal - the Favorites tribe - was purple, and Airai - the Fans tribe - was orange, too! Coincidence? I don't think so. Now we just have to see if the merged tribe color will be green...... Bets, anyone?

So, back to the episode! While I'm happy that the Favorites are winning challenges and not getting voted out, I wish we'd see more of them... I wanted to see just how obvious Malcolm and Corinne were being to attract Andrea's eye, because if they were that obvious about it, that's really a shame. It could also just be Andrea's paranoia, and the fact that she clearly feels threatened by Corinne and was just looking for a reason to vote her out. We'll see where that goes, but I for one hope that Malcolm and Corinne take each other far. The other thing I'd like to see is Brenda and Erik making more moves to stay on the ins of the tribe and break up this Stealth R Us alliance... But I suppose I'll see more of that when the time comes for them to actually scramble.

In terms of Gota - the Fan tribe - I'm still quite impressed with Sherri. Her makeup has remained intact for 9 days!! But seriously, I think she's done a great job at claiming control of the game on her tribe without ruffling any feathers - for instance asking Laura last week who she would vote out, rather than saying the name herself. And this week, she basically orchestrated the split vote AND prevented Shamar from quitting so they wouldn't risk being two extra people down. That said, and I go over this in my video, how strong is a tribe that is as dysfunctional as they are?!

Bouncing off of that, if I see a supposed 'Fan' quit the game, I'm going to be so pissed. I don't like Shamar, and would love for him to go, but he needs to go by getting his loud mouth and lazy butt voted out, not by quitting because he claims everyone is sucking him away from his 'happy place.'

Watch the video to find out more on my thoughts, particularly how I could have seen other scenarios go down for the vote, had some contestants been a little bit more strategic, namely Hope and Laura.

Favorite moment of the episode: I don't know if it was the editing or if Phillip really just felt like working out immediately after seeing Brenda doing it further down the beach, but it was hilarious to watch him go on about how pro and physically apt he is against men double his height, as he just repeated the motions Brenda was doing before. Though, to be fair, he has performed quite well in challenges so far.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode Two

How hilarious was it when Bikal's flag dropped?
Good thing it wasn't a bad omen for the challenge!
Another solid episode of this new season of Survivor, which still looks promising. Obviously though, there's still a lot to be learned and much still to be laid out, so I'm glad we got to see more of the Fans tribe this episode. We definitely needed to know them!

I was so glad to see the Favorites/Bikal win again! They're really so impressive when they're on their game. Erik, Brenda and Andrea killed it at that challenge! Such great teamwork! And Cochran placed himself well yet again this episode in the rope pulling section, so as to be helpful without holding the whole challenge on his shoulders. Malcolm -- taking risks yet again with the high-pressure role; SO glad he was able to pull through (with Philip's help, gotta say it like it is!). Brandon and Philip both provided as much entertainment as one could hope for. It's almost over-saturation with both of them on one season, let alone on one tribe!!! I'm game as long as they don't both stay all the way -- which I think is unlikely, so we're good.

As for the Fans/Gota, so many missteps, but also some promising moves from Sherri and Laura! (Note: Laura did get one of my Confidence Stars, just sayin'!) Shamar and Allie both get some talk time in the video below, obviously, along with Reynold, who's not quite living up to my Confidence Star in this case: alliance of four in a tribe of ten, romance on the first night, not properly hiding the Immunity Idol, calling out Shamar so obviously... need I go on?

Check out the video and let me know what stood out to you in the comments!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Episode One

Survivor Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites Gota tribe
Oh how I wish I could have the feeling
they're all feeling right then!
Survivor is BACK! The wait is over and we're finally here. This episode was solid, but the jury is still out on how good this season will be. Well, the season's already done technically, but we haven't had any clear indications yet as to whether or not it will be awesome. I do love the premise of repeating the Fans vs. Favorites experiment, and though the choice of Favorites (or Heroes as Jeff called them in the challenge!) is dubitable, it's something new and I agree with Jeff's statement that there comes a point where you need to make new all-stars.

I'm happy to say so far my predictions have been quite accurate -- though of course it's still early days -- and with Shamar in particular, though not for the better. I'm still waiting to see how Laura and Julia will do as we didn't get to see much of them. Definitely impressed with Cochran and Dawn's swing vote turned controlling move, and excited to see more. I'm SO GLAD that Cochran isn't on the chopping block right off the bat. And I'm also excited to see the former Redemption Island players leading their own games rather than play under Boston Rob. The rest of my thoughts are in the video.

Favorite quote of the episode: "I might be seeing a new Dawn." --Cochran

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan - Cast Breakdown

Oh dear lord, Phillip is wearing his pink undies again!
We're about four weeks away from the premiere of Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favorites (take two) and I couldn't be more excited. I've just watched all the cast interviews, taken notes, made judgements and I have my favorites for the season so far.

Of course, this could all change in a minute after the first episode; after all, it's one thing to see these people talk about themselves before the game and another to see what they'll be like when actually in the game, so I'm taking these predictions for what they are, and that's very preliminary.

Let's break it down, shall we?

The Favorites:

  • Erik Reichenbach [Micronesia]: I'm so excited he's back! He looks older (well, it has been a few years) and hopefully he's a bit wiser. He was a strong contender in Micronesia if not for that massive blunder -- I mean, he was the last remaining male!! AND a fan, a.k.a. first-time player! -- and if he makes the right alliances, I think he could go far. I'm not giving him a big Star endorsement, but I've got hopes. 
  • Corinne Kaplan [Gabon]: Corinne is the only returning player this season that I'm not familiar with. She definitely seems shrewd, and I can tell why she got as far as she did in Gabon, but I'm not confident she's going to do well this season. In her intro video, she says that she wouldn't change anything about how she played (when she clearly didn't win that time around) and she's going to give the audience exactly what they expect, as though she were playing for us rather than for herself in the game. That's not a winning strategy, and I think her self-stated bitchiness and illusions of power will be her demise. 
  • Brenda Lowe [Nicaragua]*: Here's another one I'm pumped to see back, and another really strong contender that was a favorite for me until she lost her footing. I think she knows what she did wrong in Nicaragua and could definitely be a force to be reckoned with this season. She's getting my first Confidence Star
  • Francesca Hogi [Redemption Island]: Franny! You're back! I bet people are wondering why she's back when she was the first voted out in her season, but I don't think it's completely outrageous. I might be biased because I've met her and know how charismatic she is in life, so I do believe she could be an amazing player if given the chance. She definitely needs to play her cards right and do everything she mentioned in her interview. If she stands out too much straight upon arrival or tries to make big moves too soon, she might suffer the same fate she did in her first season, particularly because her tribe might not take her seriously as the most 'inexperienced' returning player, as she put it. 
  • Phillip Sheppard [Redemption Island]: Ha, I can't wait to see Franny's reaction when she sees her favorite Redemption Island co-contestant return this season and on her tribe. I have to say, I am glad he's back -- for entertainment purposes only. I don't think there's a chance in hell that he'll win, though he might make it to the end again because he's such a perfect person to take along.
  • Andrea Boehlke [Redemption Island]: I should start by saying that I really did believe in her potential on Redemption Island. I always said it was a shame she played with the players she did, because she could have done better otherwise. That said, I'm not super confident in her after watching her video. I think she considers herself a big 'Favorite' now, and she's still got to earn her brownie points in my book. I definitely do believe she'll play that flirty card -- and it might work, but she'll have to follow up with some strong moves to get beyond the winks and cuddles.
  • Brandon Hantz [South Pacific]: Ugh. That is all. Ok, fine I'll elaborate a bit more... I have very low hopes for Brandon. He's clearly over-confident (and for no good reason) and I think he'll either stay for the ride because people want to sit next to him at the end to beat him, or he'll get voted out early on because he won't have the same religious support system/bonding crew that he had in South Pacific and will just be unlikeable and stupid. 
  • John Cochran [South Pacific]*: Happy Birthday Cochran! At least, it'll still be your birthday if I post this in the next 55 minutes. I'm really excited to see Cochran back. He's so charismatic, and seriously, what you see on screen is not fabricated. I'm lucky enough to have hung out with him a few times in Boston and New York, and he really is that quick and also self-deprecating. I'm hoping his self-awareness will get him as far as I think he'll go. He does have a fan-base behind him, and I'm really rooting for him. I also think it'd make a GREAT finale to have him there. To prove my confidence, I'm giving him my second Confidence Star.
  • Dawn Meehan [South Pacific]: Aww, Dawn. She's so great, isn't she? I remember being so impressed by her when she knocked it out of the ballpark in challenges and exceeded my expectations all around. Let me say it to you now: you did earn your returning slot, Dawn! Now, I'm excited she's getting another shot and I think she's a good pick for a Favorite, but I don't think she'll win. She might, and she could... I just think there are stronger players right now that have a better chance. 
  • Malcolm Freberg [Philippines]*: Malcolm, oh Malcolm, am I happy you're back. I'll try to keep this professional and will just write my predictions based on what I've seen and know and not how awesome it was when the camera just kept filming your abs during that balancing challenge (which you lost...). I'm giving Malcolm my Confidence Star, because he does have the whole package: strategy, strength and likeability. BUT, I'm worried that he won't make it as far because hey, he just came back. It's hard to have that endurance especially when he had a really hard time on Matsing and even throughout the whole season last season. He does have the advantage of returning immediately so having the experience without the exposure to the other contestants, who don't quite know just how much of a threat he is. I'm hoping it's his game this time around. 

The Fans:
  • Eddie Fox: I'm not very confident in Eddie. He's a firefighter from Jersey, and that's great, but what ticked me off the most was how he described himself and why he was there. He basically made it sound like he was just there for the adventure and to have fun. I hope he does, but I don't think he'll win. It doesn't seem like he has the strategy, and it just makes me wonder: is he even a Fan?? 
  • Allie Pohevitz: She seems cool and tough, which I like, though it took her about half her interview to get there (which is really no big deal at all). She's among the slew of new contestants who think they're "people persons" and it'll be interesting to see how social and likeable they are when they're hungry and without comfort. I did see a fighter in her, and I liked that she said this was the only opportunity you could get to have one shot in 16 (well, 20 this time) to win a million dollars. That screams logic to me, and I think if she keeps her head on straight, she could do well. 
  • Hope Driskill: This one's the Miss Missouri chick. She's definitely beautiful, which might get her some points with the guys, and she's aiming to play the 'underestimated' card. I'm going to reserve full judgement on her until the first episode, but I can also see her leaving quickly. 
  • Matt Bischoff: The guy with the beard and a tender loving side seems to think he has the complete package, and that "good things just happen" to him. Well that may very well be true, but in order for good things to happen to you on Survivor, you need to make them happen. I have my doubts about Matt, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. 
  • Michael Snow: When I heard his name, I had high hopes -- but that may just be because I'm reading A Game Of Thrones and Jon Snow is an awesome character. Then I listened to him talk and was left unimpressed. He's not very well-spoken and he's probably my least favorite new player with Eddie. He also claims to have a "nice, well-rounded strategy" and newsflash: that never works. You've got to be flexible
  • Laura Alexander*: Laura gets my first Fan Confidence Star because she's clearly smart and has the advantage of being experienced in politics, which I think will be a huge asset. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders too and here's one who knows you need to be flexible. It'll all depend on "the cards [she's] given." That's right! Hope you manage them well, lady! 
  • Julia Landauer*: And there goes my next Confidence Star! This awesome-looking racecar driver looks super cool, and I'd even venture to say she's my early favorite on the Fans tribe. I obviously don't know how well she'll actually play, but hey, I'd like to know that chick. I like her attitude and if she is, in fact, good at turning things on and off (aggression, competition, etc.), then I think there's a great future for her this season! 
  • Sherri Biethman: Is it just me or does Sherri remind you all of Sandra Bullock, too? That might be why I automatically felt warm towards her... I'm not giving her a star, but I do think that if she can pull through the first couple of votes, she could be very successful this season. She also needs to keep it together when it comes to her family, which clearly means a lot to her. I'm rooting for her. 
  • Shamar Thomas: The "army brat" seems like he'll be a strong player -- but by strong I just mean physically. Yes, he'll have the survival part down, but Survivor is so much more than that! He does seem personable, so if he can avoid the 'leader' trap, he could do okay. Though someone should tell him that "destroying everybody" is not the most thought-out strategy... 
  • Reynold Toepfer*: Now here's another one I really like! Between Reynold and Julia, I have high hopes for the Fan tribe. He's another one who gets that you have to be "socially adaptable" and I even wrote in my notes how likeable and strong he seemed before he said it in his interview. I'm confident he will achieve his goals of being fun and easy to connect with. He gets my last Confidence Star.

VoilĂ ! So, who are your favorites so far? You can check out the bios for all cast members on CBS's cast bios page and I've linked each name to their respective interviews on YouTube, so you have no excuse not to comment!