There was definitely a lot to chew on during Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Cambodia.” So let’s jump right into it.
Tragic News. Tonight’s episode started off on a somber note, when a boat carrying Jeff Probst was shown coming into the Ta Keo beach late at night, the same night that Monica was voted out over at the other camp. Probst being at a camp during the game is never a good thing, and we have rarely – if ever – seen him show up in the middle of the night. “Terry, it’s Probst,” he said, waking Terry from a deep sleep. He pulls him aside and tells him the absolute last thing any parent would ever want to hear: Terry’s son is in the hospital and both the doctor and Terry’s wife thought it was serious enough where he should go home and be involved. “No question,” Terry responded. With that Terry unexpectedly was leaving the game, but before he left he would say his goodbyes to his bewildered tribemates, all of whom just were shaken right to their cores. “You have helped me follow through another dream,” Terry tells them. Kass about sums it up when she tells the camera, “It’s worse than a med-evac, it’s worse than anything you can imagine on Survivor…It’s just a reminder of how quickly things can change.” “Let’s bring this thing home for Terry,” Keith says through tears of his own. With that, Terry rode off with Probst, officially out of the game and on his way back to be with his son and family. By the end of the episode, we would get word on what exactly occurred (keep reading), but be sure to check in for my exclusive interview with Terry tomorrow for a lot more insight as to what went on and how his son is doing today.
Moving Forward. Well where do you go after a scene like that? The next morning the tribes are called in for the reward challenge, and they all see that Monica was voted out…but jaws drop when they can’t eyeball Terry either. Probst breaks the news to them all that Terry left due to a “family emergency.” “We all love this game to our core,” says Savage. “But that’s family. That’s bigger than all of this.” Many contestants, like Ciera and Kelly Wiglesworth are also moms and the entire beach became emotional just thinking of what Terry must have and/or is going through. “It took the wind out of our sails,” Joe said. “But it’s still a game. We’re going to do him proud.” With that, the episode shifted gears, with Probst telling us, “That’s the great thing about Survivor, it just keeps moving forward.” And with that? “It’s a perfect day for a switch. Drop your buffs…again.” Probst announces that the cursed Angkor beach is no longer, and the 14 remaining players would be split back into two tribes of seven.
New Ta Keo. The third incarnation of the Ta Keo tribe consisted of Kass, Woo, Ciera, Abi, Savage, Kelly and Spencer. Kass publicly assesses her new tribe and points out she feels a bit sketchy about Spencer, who she has history with back in their original season. Spencer ponders to the camera, “How I can get along with my arch-nemesis, will determine how this game goes.”
New Bayon. New Bayon was made up of Jeremy, Kimmi, Keith, Kelley, Joe, Tasha and Fishbach. Kelley saw immediately that she was the odd-woman out, but Fishbach worries once again about too many alpha males being on his tribe.
Reward Challenge. After the new tribes were announced, things segued into the Reward Challenge, a Slip N’ Slide ring toss challenge that would score the winning tribe a feast of fried chicken, mac n’ cheese and brownies back at camp. It was one of the closest, more entertaining challenges of the season. One player from each tribe would compete at a time, with first to score three winning Reward. It came down to Kelly vs. Kelley, with old-schooler Wiglesworth winning for her Ta Keo tribe. As the segment closed out, we were given Savage telling us that he “couldn’t be happier” with his new tribe and that “I’m not going anywhere.” Why do you include segments like this Survivor??? It’s becoming too easy to predict when things are about to go upside-down for certain players, and saying they “couldn’t be happier” is like basically saying that said person is about to have their game completely blown up…
Feast. The Spencer/Kass relationship is still a bit awkward even though both try to be cordial. Secretly, they still do not like one another. With Spencer away, Savage talks with Kass and they decide that they are five strong: Kass is tight with Ciera, while Savage has Woo and Abi with him. That leaves Kelly and Spencer on the outs and Savage looks to target Spencer. Making a big mistake however, Savage pulls these five together and tells them that they will plan to blindside Spencer, but that they will tell him that the target is Ciera. Savage may have just made a fatal game flaw in not having this fake target be decided on by the group. Ciera takes exception to having her name thrown out, even if it isn’t true. “I want to be a team player and there are certain times I’ll take one for the team,” Ciera tells us. “This is not one of those times.”
Things Get Fishy. A possible foreshadow? This segment of the episode begins with Keith and Kimmi squabbling over the fire, but nothing comes out of it. The bigger development comes between Joe and Kelley who quietly chat in the hammocks. Kelley knows she is a target, but Joe is on board to try to keep her, having bonded with her at their last camp. So in a conversation with Tasha and Fishbach, Joe throws out Kimmi’s name, and this sets off an internal tornado in the mind of the always-scheming Fishbach. Joe is willing to go against original Bayon? Fishbach was already leery of the alpha males on his tribe, so this new action is all he needed to elevate Joe to his public enemy number one. But when Joe shares the news with Jeremy, Jeremy isn’t pleased with Joe’s actions, but does not want to vote him out…Jeremy – smartly – wants to keep Joe around as long as he can to shield him. Fishbach’s anti-Joe campaign is also rejected by Tasha. This leads to an emotional session with Fishbach as he breaks down crying pretty severely over his inability to convince the others to go along with his big game move…or something like that. He lost last time to pretty boy J.T., and he sees Joe as the same type of player…and getting this second chance is all about not repeating your mistakes of the past. He views his allies’ inability to see Joe as a threat as a big mistake, but you get the feeling that Fishbach is more disappointed in his inability to convince them of this, more than anything else.
Immunity Challenge. It’s the iconic, famous “local delicacy” eating race/challenge, that Probst tells us has occurred 14 times in the show’s history. Kelly, Kimmi, Savage and Ciera all took part in a previous version. This time pairs would compete one round at a time, with the first team to win four eating races winning Immunity. The first match was Kimmi and Tasha vs. Spencer and Woo, eating…Tarantulas! Yep, for reals. Spencer and Woo would gulp them down for the win. Next up was Jeremy and Keith vs. Savage and Ciera eating juicy, giant water beetles. Jeremy and Keith would win. Next up was pig snouts for Fishbach and Kelley vs. Kass and Abi, with Fishbach and Kelley winning. The menu also consisted of deep-fried frog, pigs brain and duck embryo. In the end, Kass couldn’t swallow much of anything, and Bayon won Immunity. On his way out though, Jeremy snuck in a quick bite of the duck embryo, telling a surprised Probst, “I haven’t ate a thing in 16 days, Jeff.”
Bunking With the Devil. How many times will Woo utter the words “If all goes according to plan?” Nothing ever seems to go the poor dude’s way when he is expecting it to. But Woo and Savage feel confident (uh-oh) and good (uh-oh) about their plan to blindside Spencer. But it was time for Ciera to push back. She adamantly tells Kass that she did not appreciate her name being thrown out there by Savage, so they should vote out Woo (huh?). Kass, who is closely allied with Ciera, chooses not to fight this battle, despite wanting Spencer gone herself. So, like Anakin Skywalker slowly turning to the Dark Side, “Chaos Kass” finally reveals herself…yes “Chaos Kass” has been alive and well, hiding within the life-form that has thus far been going by the name “Calm Kass.” She stirs the pot in a big way when she pulls Spencer aside and reveals Savage’s plan to blindside him. Savage had just told Spencer to his face that he is good, so this of course did not sit well with Spencer. “I guess I’m bunking with the devil tonight,” Spencer tells us. “I’m playing the game with Kass.” Kass is in a unique swing-vote position where she can ultimately decide to take out Spencer, or she can target Woo. So who will show up to Tribal: Will it be Chaos or Calm Kass?
Tribal Council. Kass admits to Probst that she doesn’t even know which version of her is present at Tribal tonight. Savage is very confident in what will happen and Woo is at peace with having had to play a more “cutthroat” game this second time around. But if everybody feels confident, Probst points out that someone is still going home. “Somebody’s plan is not going to work out,” Ciera says.
The Vote. Savage is shown voting for Spencer, and Spencer votes for Woo, saying, “My fate lies in the hands of Chaos Kass. God help me.” When the votes were read, they came out like this: Spencer – Woo – Spencer – Spencer – Woo – Woo – Woo. Blindside! In a 4-3 vote, Woo was sent packing, and Savage was left throwing his hands in the air as if to say “wuh happened?” After Woo’s torch is snuffed, Probst reminds them all of the need to be able to adapt in order to make the most out of their second chance in the game.
Terry Update. We were thankfully given a quick video update as the credits rolled, of Terry sitting next to his son Danny. As Terry explains to us, his son actually had to have a heart transplant…and it seems to have been a success. “Here I was thinking I was the second-chance guy,” Terry says. “Our second-chance survivor is right here.” This is amazing news and great to hear. Again, more on this in my interview with Terry tomorrow.
Analysis. As always, I will post a separate article with my personal thoughts on the game, you can find my Episode 6 analysis here (link will be active once analysis is live and online).
Next Time On…Wow, the game-twists are coming fast and furious this season, as on the heels of tonight’s second tribe swap, the merge looks like it is happening next week. Also, Probst announces “Chaos Kass is back.” Oh man!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my exclusive one-on-one, second-chance interviews with both Terry Deitz and Woo Hwang, and be sure to follow me, @tomsantilli.
Also, be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, SurvivorFever.net.