Alright, I admit yesterday’s blog about episodes 7-11 was too much summary and not enough analysis.  That’s on me.  I’ll be better and get back to my bread and butter.  I think the way I will now break these blogs down are as follows:

Reward Challenges: If something came out of it, I’ll break down the Reward Challenge.  If it’s kind of boring, then whatever we’ll just move on.

Immunity Challenges: Similarly, I will break down the immunity challenges and also give my two cents on how I would do on them.

Social Stories and Tribal Council: Basically the big stories leading into Tribal Council.

MVPs and LVP: Self-explanatory.

Alright let’s start with the episode 12’s reward challenge. comeonin

First up, they were split into two teams of three.  They first had to unspool ribbon from a giant pole releasing a key.Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 11.40.12 AMOnce the key is released, they had to build a ladder to a bag of balls and use the key to release the balls.Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 11.40.36 AMWhen they got the balls, they had to race through a net tunnel thing.  Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 11.40.51 AMFinally, they had to shoot the balls off a foot-catapult and shoot them into five targets.

IMG_2978The winners got to be Survivor Ambassadors and give supplies to the needy children of San Juan del Sur while of course enjoying a picnic barbecue.  The teams were Mike, Sierra, and Carolyn vs Dan, Rodney, and Tyler with Will not getting picked and having to sit out with NO CHANCE for reward.

On paper, this looked like a pretty even matchup.  Dan, despite his size is much better than challenges than you would expect and Tyler has proven to be competent.  Rodney hadn’t won a reward yet and it was his birthday so you knew he was hungry for a dub.  On the other side, Mike and Carolyn have also shown that they are very strong in a variety of challenges and Sierra, while certainly has some weaknesses when it comes to strength and endurance, probably wouldn’t need to use either strength or endurance in this challenge.

What paper said proved true as it came down to Mike and Dan were going back and forth shot for shot at the end, but it was Mike that was able to seal the deal and Mike, Carolyn, and Sierra won reward.Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 12.01.36 PM0-Everything Rodney tried to get one of them to give up their spot on the reward for him because it was his birthday.

But nobody gave up their spot despite Carolyn hinting that she might have done it before the challenge started had she won and Rodney lost.  So Rodney, Dan, Tyler, and Will left with nothing.Got-Nothin-For-Ya

Immunity Challenges:onceagainIn this challenge, they basically just had to hold themselves up with a rope while leaning back on the edge of a dock while standing on a round base.  At 10 minute increments, they had to move back notches on the ropeScreen Shot 2020-05-13 at 12.07.23 PMIt ended up being Carolyn who won immunity.  Other than that, pretty uneventful.

Hardo Ketch’s Take on This Challenge: What’s tough about this one is that you’d want to pull yourself up, but you can’t so you’d have to quickly train your brain to trust your arms and your body which I think would initially be the toughest part of this challenge.  Once you get 10-15 minutes in, I think the burn would definitely set in and I think the person who was the smallest would have the biggest advantage which is no surprise seeing that Carolyn won.  I don’t know if I could have beaten Carolyn.  She didn’t even look like she broke a sweat.

Tribal and Social:

While Mike, Carolyn, and Sierra were on the reward, Rodney had a plan to convince Mike that he wanted to go home so that Mike would think that everyone would vote for Rodney and not play his hidden immunity idol so that they could vote him out.  Mike saw right through that ruse because Rodney was an absolute moron about it so that plan was snuffed.

When the alliance of six saw that Mike wasn’t buying it, a mini-alliance of Dan, Rodney, Sierra, and Will decided Carolyn would be the next best target.  However, Carolyn won immunity.  They were holding hope that Mike would not use his so they all agreed that four people would vote for Mike, but they were debating on whether or not to vote Dan or Tyler out.  Mike, smartly got in Carolyn’s ear saying that Tyler was the biggest threat and convinced her to vote Tyler, her biggest ally from day 3, she did, Mike did use his idol, and Tyler went home.

Episode 13’s Reward:

This was your typical two teams of three race through an obstacle course to collect puzzle pieces to complete a word puzzle:Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 12.26.35 PMThe teams were Carolyn, Mike, and Will vs Dan, Rodney, and Sierra.  There wasn’t too much that happened with this challenge other than Rodney bitching because nobody would take him on a challenge, to which Mike replied “Dude you just gotta win” and both teams being stumped on the puzzle for over an hour despite just minutes into trying to solve the puzzle Sierra suggesting the word “Fixin'” but then retracting that suggestion because it “didn’t fit.”  Mike, Carolyn, and Will won, dropping Rodney’s record to 0-forever.  At the reward (a surf and turf meal), Mike, Will, and Carolyn agreed to go to the Final 3 together.

Immunity Challenge:onceagain
This was one of those good old multi-faceted challenges.  They first had to use grappling hooks to retrieve three bags.Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 12.34.36 PMIn the bags were balls.  Once they got all three balls, they’d have to use one of the balls to complete a table maze.Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 12.35.26 PMThis one came down to Mike, who now without a hidden immunity idol, was back in “win or go home” mode, and Sierra.  Mike was able to pull it out completing the table maze mere seconds before Sierra.

Hardo Ketch’s Take on This Challenge:  Some of those people (looking at you, Rodney) couldn’t figure out the grapple hook.  Mike was doing it the right way by throwing it as far as he could and when he pulled it back, angled it towards the bags to #hookem.  I would have done the same thing and it would have taken me no more than four tries to get all three bags.  At the maze, I always see people just jump right in without looking at the maze as a whole.  I would have taken a minute or two, found the correct path, and then gone for it.  Yes there were holes in the path to the end, but knowing exactly which path to take the whole time would give me confidence in going through the maze instead of just trying to bulldoze my way through.  I think I could have won this one.

Social and Tribal Council: With Mike having immunity, the target was Carolyn.  Mike and Carolyn, however, wanted to vote out Dan and tried to swing Sierra over.  Dan and Will told Carolyn they were voting Rodney, Rodney told her he was voting for Dan, when in reality they all were planning on voting for Carolyn.  Mike told the girls that they were gunning for either Sierra or Carolyn and Carolyn agreed to vote for Dan while Sierra considered.

At tribal, Dan used his advantage of an extra vote to ensure that Carolyn would get four votes, but Carolyn dropped her bigass nuts on the table and said whipped out her hidden immunity idol that NOBODY knew she had.  Dan (2x), Rodney, Will, and Sierra all voted for Carolyn while Mike and Carolyn voted for Dan.  And down went Dan.

Outplay MVP: This is a two horse race between Mike and Carolyn, but I’m going to give the nod to Mike.  He and Carolyn both won 3/4 challenges, but Carolyn wasn’t in a win-or-go-home situation when she won since she still had her idol and may have not been the target at that point anyways.  Mike won when his back was against the wall, notching his third individual immunity win and really was the driving force in the reward challenges (granted it was Carolyn who finally figured out the puzzle).

Outwit MVP: Again, this is tough, and again it’s between Carolyn and Mike.  However, this time the award will go to Carolyn.  She was buried deep in the Alliance of Six and knew when to cut ties to flip to the other side.  Additionally, she knew that despite Tyler being her closest ally, she had to vote him out not only because he was a threat to win the game, but because he was the ONLY person who knew about her idol.

Overall MVP: At this point, it’s a two horse race.  Nobody has played even close to as well as Mike or Carolyn.  I’m going to give the slight edge to Carolyn over these two episodes because while Mike have have the slightest edge in the Outplay portion, Carolyn’s social and tribal game was just a little bit better since nobody knew she had an idol and sent fucking Dan home.  On top of that, she denied Rodney her spot on the reward not once, but twice which was hilarious.

LVP: It comes down to Rodney and Sierra for me.  Sure, Dan didn’t listen to Mike when Mike was trying to warn him that he was going to be voted out, and sure his secret advantage of a second vote backfired, but he at least did something.  Same goes for Rodney.  He’s done nothing but cry and bitch about not being on a reward when all he needs to do is win.  But at least he’s trying to do SOMETHING.  He was planning on blindsiding Carolyn, he was trying to trick Mike into not using his idol.  None of it worked, but he was trying.  Sierra, again did nothing.  She was carried through the reward challenge she won with Carolyn and Mike, was again given the opportunity to get on the right side of the vote (by voting for Dan with Carolyn and Mike), but was either too stupid or too scared to make that move.  If she aligns with Mike and Carolyn, the three of them now have the power and she can waltz to the final three.  Now though, there’s no shot.  She’s dead in the water.

That’s all for these episodes.  Next up is the finale!  Then I have to figure out which season to watch next…