Survivor: One World Review, Season 24, Episode 12,
“It’s Gonna Be Chaos”
Airs Wednesdays at 8pm (ET) on CBS
One of the most exciting parts of Survivor is the blindside, which gives clever players a chance to flip the game on an unsuspecting opponent. The editors love telegraphing the move and include plenty of quotes from the goat about how they’re “running the game” and “totally safe”. At Tribal Council, Kat even talks about the fun and excitement of the blindside. Her shocked reaction after the 6-1 vote against her is priceless. Her sobbing confessional during the credits is hard to take, even though her exit is welcome. Kat didn’t understand how the game worked. She talks about being embarrassed by leaving before Christina and Tarzan. The game doesn’t reward players who are the most “deserving”. There’s a good chance one of those two will reach the end, and who can say Kat should be there instead. She had the opportunity to flip the game with Troyzan last week, and her reluctance comes back to haunt her. Kat’s chances to win the million were pretty low, but she does have a Fabio-esque quality that could have swayed the jury.
Hooray for Sprint! It’s family challenge time this week, and everyone’s thrilled to see their loved ones. The players lose it when the greatest phone of all time arrives as tree mail with videos from their families. The highlight is seeing Tarzan’s wife, who seems very sweet and the right fit for him. Another interesting appearance is Christina’s dad, who had a kidney transplant and only has 5-10 years to live. She seems like one of the more genuine people in the game, even if she’s a terrible player. Kat’s guest is her cousin, who’s her best friend in the world. The family members all appear at the reward challenge and get the chance to reunite with the emotional players. The silliest meeting comes from Kat and her cousin, who communicate in a goofy language that only a 22-year-old can understand. It’s too easy to make fun of this weird moment, so it’s time to discuss the challenge! The loved ones compete with each player to untie a series of ropes and reach the end of the line first. Watching them participate is fun, though it’s a pretty dull task. It comes down to Kat versus Kim (a theme of this episode), and the youngster pulls out the victory.
When past Survivor contestants discuss their experiences, the most intelligent ones explain how it’s often unwise to win an individual challenge. This is especially true of reward challenges, which require the victor to pick several others to join in the prize. Although it might be exciting to earn food and drink, being in this position could alienate the rest of the tribe. Strategic players have found a way to make the right choice in this situation. Kat is not that type of competitor. The obvious picks are Tarzan and Christina, which would be understandable to everyone. Instead, Kat picks Kim and Alicia because they’re fun companions for getting drunk. Sigh. Always looking to stir the pot, Jeff points out that Kim didn’t take Kat on the reward last week and chose Alicia. Kat fails to sense the danger of this spot. A note to future contestants: Don’t win the family challenge! There will be plenty of time to see them after the game is over.
The immunity challenge offers the striking image of the players standing above the water and holding a handle behind their backs. This looks like an old-school Survivor challenge, but there’s an added element to keep players from lasting very long. This is disappointing. They should make them stand there for hours! Instead, Jeff turns a crank and forces them to experience discomfort by leaning forward. Amazingly, Tarzan is not the first one out; that prize goes to Sabrina. He departs second, and it eventually comes down to Kim and Kat. One of them is in the zone, and the other is a whiner. Predictably, Kim’s sedate approach earns her another immunity win. While it might seem unwise to put herself out there, Kim isn’t taking any chances. She doesn’t appear to be in anyone’s sights, so it’s a solid strategy. It could also help with earning jury votes in the end. Kat responds poorly to the loss and mopes about not winning. She’s only making the ultimate decision easier with this childish behavior.
Heading into Tribal Council, the choice comes down to Sabrina or Kat. It’s interesting that note how easy the alliance is willing to turn on its members. Alicia claims to be running the game, but it’s obvious that Chelsea and Kim are the power players. Tarzan and Christina will follow their lead and deliver the necessary four votes. The editing seems to promise that Sabrina is headed home, and that might have been the best move. She seems like the biggest threat to Kim’s victory and always gives solid answers at Tribal Council. This rarely happens at this point on the show, but it seems like Kat’s poor behavior ultimately dooms her. Chelsea seems more focused on who’s deserving, and Kim probably feels that Sabrina is a lesser challenge threat. At Tribal Council, Jeff focuses on Kat’s errors, and it’s clear she misses the danger. She’s been comfortable for so long and doesn’t realize that others are playing the game. Removing Kat might cause trouble for Kim and Chelsea if they aren’t careful. Sabrina, Alicia, Tarzan, and Christina might consider flipping the game. This prospect is doubtful because of Alicia, who believes so strongly in her abilities that she’ll head to the end with anyone. That type of tunnel vision spells Kat’s end and should raise warning signs for anyone hoping to dethrone the dominant players going forward.