Survivor 31: Two Hours For Which To Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Well, I’ve been hanging out with my sisters, my cousins, my niece, my nephew, my aunts, and my uncles tonight and I have been thinking about for what I am thankful.  And I’m thankful for many things.

Such as, I’m thankful that tonight’s two hour episode of Survivors (actually it was two episodes edited into one epic) were both wonderful and featured everything that I love about this show.  If only one of the episodes had been shown tonight, it would have been great but, thankfully, CBS gave us two wonderful hours to enjoy!

At the end of the first hour, Ciera was blind-sided.  Despite managing to get almost everyone on board with voting out Stephen Fischbach, Ciera was still sent to the jury.  What happened?  Jeremy realized that Stephen was more trustworthy than Ciera and he played his idol for Stephen.  As a result, all of the votes for Fischbach were thrown out.  Ciera received three votes — from Jeremy, Kimmi, and Fischbach — and that was enough to send her to the jury.

What’s funny is that, right before tribal council started, I was thinking that maybe I had been a bit unfair to Ciera over the past few weeks.  It’s not secret that I don’t like Ciera and I found her eye-rolling to be annoying.  But, as I watched tonight’s episode, I started to feel that Ciera actually was a better player than I had given her credit for.  And, just as I resolved to set my dislike of Ciera aside and try to judge her game fairly, she was voted out.

As for the rest of the first hour, the highlights were definitely Stephen nearly dying in the rain and the immunity challenge.  Anyone who gives Joe a hard time for playing for immunity is insane.  Joe knew that, if he didn’t have immunity, he would have been voted out.  Joe did what he had to do and more power to him.  As for Stephen, I was actually really worried about him.  You could tell he was really suffering and Abi-Maria’s comments about his condition only served to remind me why nobody has ever liked Abi-Maria.

Stephen Fischbach nearly got voted out at the end of the first hour and it was only Jeremy’s idol that saved him.  He started the second hour looking a lot healthier and feeling a lot more confident.  So, of course, he ended up getting voted out at the end of the episode.

And, to be honest, I really had no idea who was going to be voted out at the end of that second tribal council.  I was hoping that it would be Abi-Maria but the tribe decided that Stephen was the biggest threat.  Were they right?  Maybe.  Stephen is definitely a better player than Abi-Maria but Abi-Maria is so erratic that I wouldn’t feel comfortable having her around.

What’s truly amazing is that, after all the time that everyone spent talking about how Joe had to go, he only received two votes at tribal council.  Since I like Joe, I was happy about that.

For the record, here’s who voted for who.  I have to admit that I had a hard time keeping track of all the strategizing and who was lying to who.  I don’t know if the episode was just confusing or if it was just because I was hanging out with family.  But, according to Wikipedia, here is how everyone voted:

Abi Maria voted for Stephen.

Jeremy voted for Joe.

Stephen voted for Abi-Maria.  Then he used his secret power to take Joe’s vote and, rather spitefully, he cast that vote for Joe.

Keith voted for Stephen.

Wentworth voted for Stephen.

Kimmi voted for Abi-Maria.

Spencer voted for Stephen.

Tasha for voted for Abi-Maria.

The final vote was 4 for Stephen, 3 for Abi-Maria, and 2 for Joe.  If Stephen had cast both of his votes for Joe, it would have been a three-way tie.  But, because Stephen had to get cutesy and make things complicated, he ended up going to the jury.  Spencer deserves the majority of the credit for Stephen’s eviction though, in many ways, Stephen was his own worst enemy.

The other big development: Wentworth found the immunity idol.  If I liked Wentworth, I’d be more excited about it.

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 27: Bye bye to my favorites

Hi, everyone.

Well, what a sad night.

One of the unfortunate things about reality TV is that sometimes, your favorites don’t win.  Sometimes, they get blind-sided a tribal council.  Sometimes, they get involved with the wrong alliance and they end up getting voted out of the house.  Sometimes, the dress doesn’t look as good on the model as they thought it would and Heidi Klum says, “You’re auf.”

And sometimes, no matter how you personally like a team of racers, they end up as the last ones to arrive at the pit stop and Phil tells them that they have been eliminated from the race.

Tonight, when Tanner and Josh were the last ones to the mat, there was a part of me that was so hoping Phil would say that they were doing two non-elimination legs in a row.  Tanner and Josh have been my favorites from the start and I’ll admit right now that a lot of that has to do with the fact that they’re not only from my home state but my home city as well.

But it was not to be.  Tanner and Josh were eliminated and, as sad as I was to see them go, I can’t complain.  That’s the way the game is played.  If you’re the last one to arrive, you’re eliminated.  Sometimes, your favorite team gets eliminated and its upsetting.  But that’s the way it goes.

And really, that’s one reason why I love the Amazing Race.  On Big Brother, you’re never quite sure if the game is actually fair.  You know that the producers have their favorites and you’re always wondering whether the game’s been fixed to keep those favorites around for as long as possible.  The same could be said of Project Runway, in which the judges always seem to have their favorite designers who they allow to get away with things that would get other designers eliminated.

But on the Amazing Race, it’s all pretty simple.  The challenges are the same for everyone.  The non-elimination legs are determined before the race even begins.  If you’re the last person to check in, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to be eliminated.

So, I’m sad to see Tanner and Josh go but I am glad that they got to experience the Race and I’m glad that they had a few good legs.  Unfortunately, they got hit by some bad luck but they never gave up and, even when they were in the back of the pack, they were still a strong team.

Tonight, we saw the racers go to India.  The India episodes are always my favorites of the season because racing in India almost always seems to either bring out the best or the worst of the two teams.  Here’s how everyone did tonight:

Coming in first, Justin and Diana.  Justin and Diana are starting to look unbeatable but then again, Brendan and Rachel often looked unbeatable during their two seasons as well.  Over the past few episodes, I’ve been pretty critical of Justin but I’m starting to change my mind.  Yes, he’s obnoxious and there are times when he needs to calm down.  But he and Diana are a strong team and they’ve earned their first place finishes.  As well, I respect them for choosing not to use the U-turn.  Justin may be loud and he may be cocky but he’s not a bully.

Coming in second, Joey and Kelsey.  Whatever respect that I once had for Kelsey and Joey, I lost tonight.  At that point, Joey and Kelsey were far enough ahead that there was no reason to U-turn anyone.  U-turning Tanner and Josh felt petty and vindictive.  Joey’s excuse was that they had to make sure Tanner and Josh wouldn’t get ahead of them but, seeing as how Joey and Kelsey were already heading to the pit stop, his reasoning doesn’t stand up to logic.  If he was determined to make sure that he and Kelsey were the second ones to reach the pit stop, it would have been smarter to U-turn Logan and Chris.  U-turning Tanner and Josh was just adding insult to injury.  So, anyway, I now have zero respect for either Joey or Kelsey and here’s hoping they get eliminated next.

Coming in third, Logan and Chris.  BLEH!  WHY IS THIS USELESS TEAM STILL IN THE RACE!?  Apparently, next week, they will have another meltdown.  Oh joy.

Coming in fourth, Tiffany and Krista.  With Josh and Tanner gone, Tiffany and Krista are now my favorite team.  I’m a little bit worried because Tiffany and Krista always seem to have the worst luck so here’s hoping they come on strong for the last few legs.

Coming in fifth, Denise and James Earl.  James Earl finally said something nice to his mom during tonight’s episode.  That’s progress.

Coming in sixth and getting eliminated, Tanner and Josh.  Hopefully, they’ll be back for the next All-Stars edition.

Here’s hoping,

Lisa Marie

Survivor 31: New Alliances Emerge

Hi everyone!

Forgive me but this is going to be a short update.  I sprained my foot last weekend and I’m supposed to be resting.  However, even a sprain couldn’t keep me from posting the latest details about who got voted out on Survivor!

After last week’s episode, I was really hoping that tonight’s episode would see the remaining Survivors bonding together and voting out Wentworth, Ciera, and Abi-Maria.  To be honest, I mostly just wanted to see Ciera voted out because she just annoys me to death.  Wentworth is a decent enough player and Abi-Maria is good because every season needs a buffoonish villain but Ciera is just … bleh!  Obviously, somebody once told her that it was cute to end every sentence with a question mark and she’s been doing it ever since.

But, Ciera, Wentworth, and Abi-Maria survived.  And, in fact, it’s now debatable whether or not they’re even at the bottom of the tribe even more.  (But don’t tell Ciera becuse she sure does love to do that whole, “We’re at the bottom and I just want people to start plaaaaaaayingggggg….” routine.)  Tonight, after Joe won immunity for the third time in a row, two new alliances emerged.  Stephen Fishbach, realizing that it was time to make a big move, teamed up with Wentworth, Ciera, and Abi-Maria.  (“The witches,” Stephen calls them.  That rhymes with what I call them.)  He then managed to bring Jeremy and Spencer into his new alliance.  The 6 of them teamed up and voted out Kelly Wigglesworth.  And I have to say that Wigglesworth looked even angrier than Andrew Savage did last week.

So, the new alliances break down as follows:

The Stephen Fishbach Experience: Stephen, Spencer, Jeremy, and the three witches (Ciera, Wentworth, and Abi-Maria)

The Old Regulars: Joe, Tasha, Kimmi, Keith

That’s 6-4, in favor of Stephen and the Witches.  Hopefully, Joe will continue to win immunity because, right now, he seems to be everyone’s target.  However, I am confident that either Abi-Maria is going to go crazy or Ciera is going to do something stupid and  the power will again shift.

Two other big things happened this episode:

First off, since Wentworth used her immunity idol, another one was hidden out in the jungle.  And Jeremy found it!  Jeremy now has both immunity idols and, assuming he stays in the majority alliance, he should be able to hold onto them for a while.

Secondly, during the immunity challenge, Stephen won an advantage.  At a future tribal council, he will not only get to cast two votes but he will be able to cancel out another person’s vote as well.

And that’s it for now!

Lisa Marie


The Amazing Race 27: There Is Still Good In The World

There’s no way that I can write about tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race without talking about the terrible and tragic events that happened in Paris earlier on November 13th.  As I sit here typing this, over 140 people have been confirmed dead in a series of terrorist attacks.  France is in a state of emergency and I think that we are all in a state of shock.

Myself, I’ve always loved France.  When I visited France the summer after graduating high school, I was struck by the beauty of both the countryside and the cities.  And, despite what we are constantly told, the majority of French citizens that I met were very friendly and very polite.

As I watched the latest episode of The Amazing Race, I could not help but think about that post-graduation trip to Europe.  One of the wonderful things about the Amazing Race is that it truly spans the globe.  Yes, the ultimate goal is to win and not be eliminated and yes, there have been more than a few racers who have acted like stereotypical ignorant tourists but, for me, the best parts of the Race are the moments racers stop obsessing over the money and instead, just appreciate the world around them.  The Amazing Race reminds us that the world can be a beautiful place and that was something about which we needed to be reminded tonight.

Tonight’s leg of The Amazing Race saw the racers traveling from The Netherlands to Poland.  From the start of this leg to the end, it was pretty obvious that Tanner and Josh were going to come in last.  They simply had no luck during this leg of the race.  From the minute they couldn’t find a taxi, I was dreading the thought of them being eliminated.

Fortunately, they were not.  When they reached the pit stop, they were informed that this was a non-elimination leg of the race.  I was so happy that Tanner and Josh were not eliminated but you know what?  If they had been eliminated, they could have left with their heads held high.  So far, they have run an honorable race and that continued tonight.  Even knowing that it could lead to them being eliminated, they worked with the cheerleaders at the final road block.  And when it came time to show off that tray of food and get the final clue that would lead them to go to the roadblock, they allowed the cheerleaders to go first.


Because the cheerleaders were there first and they felt it was the right thing to do.

Along with Tanner and Josh potentially sacrificing their race for the cheerleaders, the other big moment of Friday’s episode was when each team visited the offices of Oskar Schindler and reflected on his legacy.  Some of these racers I like more than others but still, it was touching to see how moved all of them were by the experience.  And it served to remind us that, in ways both large and small, there is still kindness in this world.  There are still good people.

Finally, here’s a few thoughts on how each team did tonight, in order of when they reached the pit stop:

Coming in first, Justin and Diana.  Justin and Diana are starting to look like they might be unstoppable.  There’s a U-turn in the next leg of the race and Justin and Diana better hope they reach it before everyone else.

Coming in second, Kelsey and Joey.  8 legs into the race and Kelsey and Joey remain both as strong and as boring as they were when the race began.

Coming in third, Denise and James Earl.  *Sigh*  You know what?  Every episode, I predict that Denise and James Earl are going to be eliminated.  Every episode, I’m wrong.  So, this episode I am going to predict that Denise and James Earl are going to win the Amazing Race.  Maybe that’ll get rid of them…

Coming in fourth, Logan and Chris.  Yep, the battling paparazzi are still there.  I’m as shock as anyone.

Coming in fifth, Tiffany and Krista.  I love the cheerleaders but they got a little bit whiny during this episode.  (Then again, it’s easy to judge when you’re just sitting at home and watching.  If I had been in the same situation — having to beg for money and then having to carry around a heavy tray — I probably would have been crying up a storm.)  Hopefully, they will recover and be a lot stronger during the next leg.

Coming in sixth, Tanner and Josh!  Thank God it wasn’t a double eviction.  After being one of the early front runners, Tanner and Josh have really been struggling lately.  They’re a strong team but they have the worst luck.  Here’s hoping that things look up for them during the next leg!

Next episode, it’s U-turn time!  Who will be make it and who will be eliminated?

Lisa Marie

Survivor 31: Give ‘Em The Finger, Savage!

Hi everyone!

Well, as I watched Andrew Savage’s torch get snuffed out at the end of Tribal Council and as I saw Ciera grinning as if she had something to do with it and then Kelly Wentworth bragging about how loyal she is while Abi-Maria smirked and Kass sneered from her perch in the jury, I thought to myself, “Give them the finger, Savage.  Give them the finger.”

And he did!

And you know what?  Some people will probably say that wasn’t a classy way to go out or that he was being a sore loser but I don’t care.  Unfortunately, one of the realities of Survivor is that a good player can often be taken out by a total and complete moron.  It’s one of the things that keeps the show interesting but it’s never easy to watch.

Tonight, three of the stupidest people on the beach voted for Savage.  One of those stupid people had an idol.  It’s interesting to note that Wentworth didn’t both to tell Abi-Maria or Ciera about her idol.  (That was probably Wentworth’s smartest move of the entire game.  If either Abi or Ciera was smart, they would want to know why Wentworth didn’t trust them with that info but Ciera and Abi aren’t smart so Wentworth has nothing to worry about.)  As a result, Andrew Savage — who was playing a good game — was voted out.  Sadly, that’s the way it happens sometimes on Survivor.  If the rest of the tribe had voted for Ciera instead of Wentworth, the night would have gone much differently.

What suck is that Ciera is going to see that as being a great strategic move on her part.  Actually, it’s not.  Ciera got lucky.  Call it dumb luck.  You can call a lot of things about Ciera dumb.

Ciera, Abi, and Wentworth are still outnumbered but I have a feeling that Stephen might be willing to come over to their side.  The person who I really feel bad for is Joe.  Joe has to know that the minute he loses an immunity, he’s going to be a target.

Sorry, I can’t be too positive about this episode.  It was a good episode, don’t get me wrong.  In many ways, this is the type of episode that caused many of us to fall in love with Survivor.   And if you’re a Ciera fan, there is no hope for you you probably enjoyed this episode.

But, since Ciera reminds me of this girl that I couldn’t stand in High School and since I find her to be one of the most annoying Survivors ever, this episode left me feeling pretty frustrated.  Perhaps the best thing about this episode is that it’ll make it even more satisfying once Ciera is sent to the jury.

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 27: I’m not shocked but…

Hi, everyone!

Well, I was out for most of tonight (my sister and I went to see The Peanuts Movie, which was adorable, by the way) but I did set the DVR to record the latest episode of The Amazing Race.  I just watched it and my reaction …

Well, it’s hard to describe.

I can’t really say that I’m shocked to see Cindy and Rick eliminated from the race.  I don’t think anyone was expecting them to be one of the final three teams.  The high point of their race came when they finished third during the first leg.  Otherwise, they’ve generally been an inept team and have been stuck in the back of the pack.

I knew they would be eliminated eventually but I wasn’t expecting it to happen tonight.  Before I watched tonight’s episode, I was expecting that either Logan and Chris or Denise and James Earl would be the next to go.  However, as the race moved from France to the Netherlands, Logan and Chris managed to hold on.  Denise and James Earl came close to coming in last.  But, ultimately, it was Cindy and Rick who came in last and were eliminated.  Six teams are left and, by my calculations, there should be two more “non-elimination, you’re still racing” legs left.

Here’s how everyone did tonight, in order of arrival at the pit stop:

Coming in first, yet again — Justin and Diana!  They have now won 4 legs of the race and, despite the fact that they’ve been arguing, they’re starting to look almost unbeatable.  Then again, Rachel and Brendon occasionally looked unbeatable when they ran the race and both times, they came in third.

Coming in second (and coming very close to coming in first) — Kelsey and Joey!  Over these past few episodes, Kelsey and Joey have really emerged as a strong — if not a necessarily very interesting — team.  (They are, of course, both news anchors and you can always tell that they’re being very careful not to say or do anything that could harm their career.)  Though things can always change, it appears that Kelsey and Joey have replaced Tanner and Josh as Justin and Diana’s main competition.

Coming in third — Tiffany and Krista!  Back when Tiffany and Krista were regularly finishing in the back of the pack, I kept insisting that they were a lot stronger than they seemed.  And, every time I said that, a part of me was scared that they would get eliminated in the next episode and make me look totally foolish.  So, needless to say, I am thrilled to see them doing so well.  These past two episode have been vindication for both me and them.

Coming in fourth — Tanner and Josh!  I still believe in my Texas boys but, during the next leg, they need to do something to break out of being in the middle of the pack.  During this episode, they won my heart by sight-seeing around Paris.  True, that did put them behind some of the other teams but I would have done the exact same thing!

Coming in fifth — Logan and Chris!  Logan and Chris actually worked together fairly well during this leg but, according to the preview for next week’s episode, they will soon be back to behaving like the dysfunctional team that we all know and love.

Coming in sixth — Denise and James Earl!  I was so sure they would be eliminated tonight.  But, no, they survived to run another leg of the race.  As I mentioned last week, I’m over dealing with the nonstop dysfunction of their relationship.

And finally, coming in seventh — Rick and Cindy.  Peace be with you, eliminated team, because we hardly knew you.

And that was the 7th leg of the Amazing Race!  5 more legs to go!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 31: Finally!


I really was starting to get worried that Kass was going to be around for the rest of the season.  As I think I’ve made clear in the past, I am not a huge fan of Kass.  To be honest, everything about her annoys me.  Her smug manner, her half-smirk, her constant bragging on herself: all of it made her unbearable.  Even worse, she insisted on calling herself Chaos Kass and there’s nothing more pathetic than referring to yourself by a nickname that you came up with.

During tonight’s episode, the two tribes merged.  This is perhaps the earlier this tribes have ever merged.  It’s certainly the earliest that they’ve ever started to add players to the jury.  (This jury is either going to be huge or else the show is going to have a Final 4, instead of a Final 3.  Either way, it’s going to be different.)  But, regardless, the two tribes are one.  Tribal immunity is done with.  Now, it’s all about individual immunity.

Who made it to the merge?  Here’s a membership list of the new Orkun Tribe:











Andrew Savage

Kelley Wentworth

Kelly Wigglesworth

Someone from that list is going to be winner of Survivor 31.  However, it definitely will not be Kass.  After spending most of tonight’s episode bragging about how she was in the perfect position and getting cocky, Kass ended up getting sent to the jury tonight.  And I could not be happier!

Why did Kass end up getting voted?  Mostly it’s because she acted like Kass.  She attempted to form her own alliance with Ciera, Wentworth, and Abi-Maria (and it’s telling that Kass automatically made an alliance with the three stupidest people on the beach).  When she realized that the rest of the tribe was planning on splitting their votes between her and Ciera, Kass attempted to recruit Spencer into her alliance.  If Spencer would vote with her, that would be five votes and enough to send home Kass’s target.

Of course, Kass made a huge mistake.  She went after Tasha.  Kass is obsessed with Tasha but nobody else had any reason to want to vote her out.  In the end, Spencer clearly could not bring himself to fully trust Kass and he voted with the majority.  The final vote was 6 votes for Kass, 4 votes for Ciera, 2 votes for Tasha, and 1 vote for Andrew Savage.

That vote for Savage was cast by Kass’s main alley, Ciera.  Why did Ciera vote for Savage instead of Tasha?  I imagine that she realized that Kass was going home and she felt that maybe she could get Savage to lose control by voting for him.  Ciera spent a good deal of tonight’s episode bragging about her ability to create chaos around camp and making Savage paranoid would be a good way to do just that.

Of course, Savage has also announced that Ciera is his number one target.  This was largely because Ciera decided to help out Kass by telling a lot of lies and insinuating that Savage was looking to get rid of Jeremy.  Ciera was trying to be Chaos Ciera and, as I watched her, I couldn’t help but think about the last time Ciera played this game.  In both her seasons, Ciera didn’t really have to seem a strategy.  Instead, she just watched a stronger player and imitated whatever they did.  This season, she watched Kass and imitated her.  That may have been a mistake.

Finally, the first immunity challenge was won by Joe!  There was some brief speculation among the survivors about who has an immunity idol.  Right now, it appears that there are only two idols this season.  Wentworth has one.  Jeremy has the other.

Who knows what we’ll happen next week.  I’m just glad that Kass won’t be winning!

Lisa Marie


The Amazing Race 27: “And you’re still racing…”

Hi, everyone.

So, I guess that the producers of The Amazing Race decided to try to shake things up this season by doing away with the old non-elimination legs.  It used to be that if you came in last during a non-elimination leg, that meant that you would either lose all your money or you would be given an extra task during the next leg.

Now, it appears that, whenever there’s a non-elimination leg, that means that as soon as a team reaches the pit stop, they will be greeted by Phil who will tell them, “You’re the first to arrive but you’re still racing, here’s your next clue.”

And that really doesn’t bother me.  In past seasons, the extra task was never anything difficult and never really seemed to impact whether or not the team actually stayed in the race.  It worries me that none of the teams are going to get a chance to rest at the pit stop but then again, it’s totally possible that, when the teams get to Amsterdam during the next leg, they’ll be told to check into a hotel and get some sleep.  These things have a way of working themselves out.

In tonight’s episode, the racers flew to Paris, France.  I love France so I enjoyed this episode.  I also enjoyed watching the racers struggle to correctly pronounce the French national slogan.  Obviously, none of them took French in high school or college.

No one was eliminated during this leg, though we did see every team but one reach the pit stop before the end of the show.  What was interesting is that two underdog teams actually did rather well tonight.

Here’s my thoughts on the teams, in the order that they reached the pit stop:

Justin and Diana are still running strong and managed to come in first but there are signs of trouble.  They came in first but they also appeared to be fighting a lot.  That could be a case of selective editing (it’s always more dramatic when the teams fight) or it could be a sign of future trouble.  Or maybe they were just having a bad day.

Coming in second, Tiffany and Krista!  After being in the back of the pack for the entire race, my favorite underdog racers came in a strong second tonight.  They’ve been working well together and I think they’re proving why it was a mistake to underestimate them.

Coming in third, Kelsey and Joey.  Kelsey and Joey may not be all that interesting personality-wise but they’re a consistently strong team.

Coming in fourth, Tanner and Josh.  Tanner and Josh are also a strong team, even if they have made a few caress mistakes.  I like Tanner and Josh so I hope they’ll be around until the end.

Coming in fifth, Cindy and Rick.  Though they’re still in the back of the pack, Cindy and Rick actually ran a pretty good leg.  They work well together but it’s still hard to imagine either of them making it to the final leg.

Coming in sixth, Logan and Chris.  They  didn’t fight as much during this leg of the race but it still feels like only a matter of time until they’re eliminated.

And finally, Denise and James Earl.  After starting off in first place, Team Alabama had a TERRIBLE time during this latest leg of the race.  When we last saw them, they were still hung up at the detour, with Denise heroically engaged in a futile attempt to transform herself into a rapper.  I felt bad for her.  If they get eliminated, her son will probably never stop blaming her.

And that’s where things are as we start Leg 7 of The Amazing Race!

Lisa Marie

Survivor 31: So heart-breaking…

Hi, everyone.

Well, tonight’s episode of Survivor was just heart-breaking.  Now, before I go into too much detail, I should admit that I balanced watching Survivor with listening to my boyfriend talk about the Republican debate tonight.  So, bear with me as I attempt to recap what happened and feel free to let me know if I get anything wrong.

So, basically, tonight’s episode started with Jeff Probst visiting the Ta Keo Tribe in the middle of the night and letting Terry Dietz know that his son was in the hospital and that both his wife and his son’s doctor felt that it was serious enough that Terry should come home.  Without hesitating, Terry said goodbye to his tribe and then left the game.  And I have to say that this was Terry at his best.  There was no reluctance on his part.  There was no “Do I really want to give up the game?” drama that we’ve gotten from past contestants who, for whatever reason, had to leave early.  Terry heard that his family needed him and he left.

At the end of the show, we found out what had happened.  Terry’s son needed a heart transplant and, happily, he got one.  Seeing him sitting next to Terry and looking healthy, it brought tears to my eyes.  And so, we say farewell to Terry and wish the best for his son, Danny.

Anyway, Terry leaving did not affect the game as much as you might think because, as soon as the tribes met for the reward challenge, Jeff announced that they were once again doing a tribal shuffle.  The Angkor tribe no longer existed and, through a random draw, the new Bayon and Ta Keo Tribes were selected.

After the shuffle, here’s what the two tribes looked like:

Ta Keo:

Woo (former Ta Keo, former Angkor)

Spencer (Former Ta Keo, Former Bayon)

Ciera (Former Bayon)

Abi-Maria (Former Ta Keo, Former Angkor)

Kass (Former Bayon)

Andrew Savage (Former Bayon, Former Angkor)

Kelly Wigglesworth (Former Ta Keo, Former Bayon)


Joe (former Bayon, former Ta Keo)



Tahsha (former Bayon, Former Angkor)


Keith (Former Bayon, Former Ta Keo)

Kelley Wentworth (Former Ta Keo)

Out of all the remaining castaways, only Jeremy, Stephen, and Kimmi have never had to change tribes.  They have been together on Bayon since this game began.  Meanwhile, Andrew Savage — who never hesitates to voice his displeasure about shaking up the tribes — is the only castaway to have been on all three different tribes.

Actually, I was worried about Savage during this episode.  He was getting the overconfident edit.  Every time I heard him brag about how strong his alliance was, I grew more and more convinced that he was going to be voted out.  Well, Ta Keo did lose immunity and they did go to tribal but Savage was not voted out.  Instead, it was his ally Woo and that’s the other reason I’m heart broken.

I mean, seriously — Ta Keo decided to keep Spencer over Woo?  Woo is awesome!  Spencer’s just come guy who has to remind himself to act like a human being.  Another reason that I’m heartbroken is that Kass, who has almost been normal over the past few episodes, was the deciding vote to get rid of Woo.  And before Kass voted him out, we had to listen to her talk about “Chaos Kass” again and it reminded me of why few of us could stand her in the first place.

So, right now, Kass and Spencer have a fragile alliance over on the Ta Keo Tribe.  They are working with the incredibly annoying Ciera and Abi.  Savage, who made the huge mistake of getting cocky and alienating Ciera (who is so needy that she’ll probably vote with anyone who compliments her), may be in some trouble if he doesn’t repair some bridges next episode.

Meanwhile, over on the Bayon Tribe …. well, not much happened over there.  They won immunity so they had nothing to worry about.  I will say that Stephen is slowly starting to win me over.  Tonight, during his confessional, he talked about what it means to get a second chance and he broke down crying!  I just wanted to give him a big hug.

And that’s pretty much it for this episode of Survivor!  What did everyone else think?

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 27: Read Your Clues!

Hi, everyone!

If there’s anything to be learned from the latest episode of The Amazing Race, it’s that you have to always read your clue.  Going into tonight’s leg, Jazmine and Danielle seemed like a strong team.  They were both professional athletes.  They worked well together.  Though the team had yet to come in first (though they did come in 2nd at the end of the beginning leg), they did seem like they were a legitimate threat to move up and come on strong during the latter half of the race.

But tonight, their entire race fell apart.  Despite being ahead of three other teams, when it came time to go on the lion encounter, they failed to properly read their clue.  First, they ran to the pit stop.  Then, once they realized that they still needed to go on the lion encounter, they didn’t read enough of the clue to know that they were looking for a skull.  They wasted a lot of time, three teams got ahead of them, and — when they finally reached the mat — they had been eliminated from the race.

If you want to win the Amazing Race, read your clue and pay attention to the small details.  If you don’t do that, it doesn’t matter how athletic you are or how well you work with your partner.

As for the rest of Friday’s episode, the racers are still in Africa.  During tonight’s leg of the race, the really strong contenders finally started to emerge.  At the same time, we found out a little bit more about the teams that seem to be fated to continually finish at the back of the pack.

Here’s a few thoughts on the teams:

Coming in first were Denise and James Earl.  This was their first time to win a leg of the race but that victory was largely due to Tanner and Josh giving them the express pass.  And, to be honest, both Denise and James Earl still annoy me.  There’s so much bitterness in that relationship that I find it hard to believe that it’s not going to blow up at some point during the race.  So, despite the first place finish, I’m still not prepared to declare them to be one of the front runners to be the first team to cross the finish line.  If they can come in first without using an express pass, I’ll probably change my mind.

Coming in second, Justin and Diana.  Love them or hate them, they are definitely a strong team and I get the feeling that they’re going to be around for a while.  Is it just me or does it seem like, after discovering that everyone wanted to u-turn them, Justin has gotten a little less obnoxious?  I know a lot of people dislike Justin but I’m actually glad he’s there.  He makes for good television and, honestly, it can’t be denied that, with the exception of the first leg (and that was due to circumstances out of their control), Justin and Diana have finished consistently strong since the race started.

Coming in a strong third, Tanner and Josh.  Judging from tonight’s episode, I think Tanner and Josh may have learned a lesson from the fiasco with the express pass.  If nothing else, they do seem to have moved passed obsessing on Justin and Diana and it was nice to see that there’s a sort of mutual respect between the two teams.

Coming in fourth, Kelsey and Joey!  The reporters are still coming on strong.  I have to wonder if they said anything to Tanner and Josh about them giving the express pass to Denise and James Earl.

Coming in fifth, Tiffany and Krista!  For a lot of Friday’s episode, Tiffany and Krista looked like they were in danger of being eliminated but, fortunately, all of the other teams made careless mistakes and Tiffany and Krista were able to move up to fifth place.  I still think Tiffany and Krista are stronger than we’ve seen so far.

Coming in sixth, Logan and Chris.  Logan and Chris are so obviously doomed.  They are not working well together, they are getting on each other’s nerves, and they’re making too many stupid errors.

And speaking of doomed, Cindy and Rick came in 7th.  Right now, probably the only thing that will keep Cindy and Rick from being eliminated will be a major meltdown on the part of Logan and Chris.

And finally, Jazmine and Danielle came in 8th and were eliminated.

As for tonight’s roadblocks and detours, most of them seemed designed to freak people like me out.  Speaking as someone who is both scared of heights and drowning, I would have been totally useless during this leg of the race.  There’s no way I would have fed a crocodile.

However, I do think I would have enjoyed the lion encounter!

That’s it for now!  I have a feeling that next week will be a non-elimination leg.  There’s 7 legs left and 7 teams.  So, in order to get down to a final three by the start of the final leg, there’s going to have to be a few non-elimination legs coming up.

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie