One minute you’re king, the next you find your head is chopped off. Or rather, someone else finds it. You get what I mean. But the game of Survivor is a delicate dance, a high-wire act where one misstep could send you tumbling to meet your demise. The big difference is, that in the game of Survivor, you should always look down, because its the people at the bottom that will be responsible for your glory, or for your failure. On Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Cambodia,” Spencer and Shirin found this out the hard way, when they went from King and Queen of the island, to desperate paupers by episode’s end.
Don’t read this if you haven’t yet seen the most recent episode, as spoilers are to follow. Get caught up on Episode 2 here.
The most surprising part of Episode 2 was not what happened, but who it happened to. Shirin and Spencer seemed destined to control their tribe’s power alliance after the premiere episode, but all too quickly saw their games washed away in Abi’s tears. But what hurts the most is that these are two super-fans, arguably the two most excited contestants to ever get to play this game a second time, let alone have gotten that first chance. Surely they both watched how Boston Rob dominated his winning season, where he worked, meticulously and minute-by-minute, to make sure he was keeping tabs on everyone around him, specifically those (like Phillip) who needed special attention. How Shirin and Spencer could have over-looked putting time in with Abi is beyond all of us watching. Did they just get too caught up in the game? Don’t they both know that feeling comfortable in the game of Survivor is akin to having a noose lightly chafe up against your neck?
Let’s all give Varner some serious credit for what has gone on thus far this season. Labeled an “old schooler” since he originally appeared back in Season 2, Varner seems equally excited about his second chance opportunity and ambitious. He was the one that ultimately “flipped” last week on his pre-game alliance, voting out Vytas. A move that, after last week, left many wondering if Varner would be targeted soon for playing the game too hard, too fast. But his reasoning resonated: He voted out Vytas as a sort of kick-in-the-butt to guys like Terry and Woo, which in turn filled Shirin and Spencer with the confidence they had that ended up blinding their game sensors. His pep talk to Terry seemed to pay off, because if Terry doesn’t befriend Abi on the beach after her blow-out with Peih-Gee, who knows who would have been voted out next? Varner also was responsible for name-dropping Shirin and Spencer to Terry, planting that seed with Terry that he would eventually grow in Abi. Varner is now surrounded by Woo, Abi and Terry, perhaps the three most loyal, honest Survivor players ever. Sure Abi is a wild card, but she is also a player that if nurtured properly, can possibly be a very important ally.
The main problem with getting Shirin out, is that Spencer is still in the game. The “two-headed snake,” now with one head chopped off, is still a snake. Spencer couldn’t ask for a better time for a tribe shake-up, and it seems like the Survivor Gods may be rooting for him. But Spencer fans, let’s just hope that his lesson in humility allows for him to regroup and refocus, without getting overly cocky.
While we’ve been given two solid episodes packed with some good drama, it is always a drag to watch one tribe go on a winning streak. We never got to see the tribe dynamic at Bayon, and now that tribe will no longer exist after next week’s tribe shake-up. That’s a real shame. But speaking of the tribe shake-up next week – where they will drop their buffs and re-assemble as three tribes of six – it is obvious that Spencer and Fishbach look to have the most to gain from it. Both are in precarious positions, but if they end up on the same tribe together, look out. On the flip side, Varner’s game is going to presumably take a big hit, breaking up most of the work that he has done thus far, and we will have to wait and see how the switch affects the “alpha male” alliance of Joe, Savage and Jeremy.
One thing is for sure: Whoever sits upon the throne after next episode better not get too comfortable.
What are your thoughts? Did Varner and company make the right call in getting Shirin out instead of Spencer? Did Savage’s story make you cry and have to leave camp? How will next week’s shake-up affect your favorite or least favorite players? Sound off in the comment section below!
Please check back (or subscribe at the top of this article), because you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one exit interview with Shirin tomorrow (up by Thursday afternoon). So join me tomorrow and be back next week for another Episode Preview on Wednesday morning followed by another full Episode Recap and Analysis Wednesday night!
Be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites as well, SurvivorFever.net.