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S36.E12: A Giant Game of Bumper Cars

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A visit from loved ones hits the spot for castaways at the reward challenge, and castaways must bond together to break up a power couple.

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Reminder: there is NO preview talk in episode threads.  Any mention of the previews in your posts will cause the posts to be removed.  Previews can be discussed in the Preview & Speculation thread.

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Well, that was a disappointing episode.  And this coming from someone who likes Dom and Wendell, but this season is sure going to get even more boring.  Donathan sure is cocky for someone that has no chance of winning.  I wonder if he knows that yet.  I wasn’t sure if he was giving Wendell a signal or that was a Keith Nale “stick to the plan” blunder.  Maybe he’s just trying to audition for a return appearance.  I’m starting to see why ousted castaways aren’t fond of him.  I really liked Chelsea, and I wish she got more screentime, especially for being such a challenge beast.  Damn you editors for toying with me about Kellyn again.  I thought for sure she was getting blindsided.

Holy shit, they’ve really given up on Ghost Island, haven’t they?  Just putting advantages in plain sight now?  I didn’t even think the concept sucked as much as I thought it would.  They should re-name this season “We should have voted out Dom and Wendell when we had the chance.” 

That black part of my heart hates the family visit (though I was dying to see Sebastian’s loved one).  I liked during Cook Islands when the loved one was the one who picked who went on reward with them, not the contestant.  I don’t think Angela looks old enough to have a daughter that old. 

Yeah Kellyn, Dom and Wendell were so worried they left you 4 girls back at camp-the 3 of you plus Laurel.  Little did you know.  If I liked Kellyn any, I would have agreed with her point about the family visit.  Since I don’t like her, that same black part of my heart just smiled at her misery.  Glad Laurel at least recognizes she can’t beat the guys.    

Edited by LadyChatts
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As soon as Donathan starting talking at TC I knew he was pretending to be with the girls. No surprise there at all. But... once again it was a great opportunity to get rid of instigator Kellyn and they blew it!

Plus Chelsea finally got to say something on camera. Sure sign she was a goner.

Edited by Haleth
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7 hours ago, ElleryAnne said:

Wendell must have nerves of steel, not to play his idol tonight.  

I think I'd like to go gambling with him.  He's definitely a betting man because there's been two TC where it looked like he might actually go.  I was shocked tonight that he didn't play his idol.

Forgot to add, the best part of the episode was the Malcolm flashback.  I will forever curse JT's name for ruining his chances during GC.

Edited by LadyChatts
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12 hours ago, LadyChatts said:

I wasn’t sure if he was giving Wendell a signal or that was a Keith Nale “stick to the plan” blunder. 

That thought actually did cross my mind. I thought he may have been trying to put enough paranoia so Wendell would play the idol, thereby flushing it out, while for the time being, still sticking with his alliance with Wendell and Domenick. Will be interesting to see where things go from here. My biggest takeaway from this episode is why is no one talking about getting rid of Sebastian? Then I realized that they probably, like me, forget he's even still there and figure he'd be easy to beat if they go to the end with him. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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Well they set up for a woman to go with Kellyn at camp.  Ugh.

The dreaded "loved ones" episode.

Weepy Wendell.  Weepy Donathan.  Weepy Angela.  Her daughter is cool. 

Not too weepy Chelsea.  Her sister is cool.

Weepy Laurel.  Big bro is really BIG.

Little Sea Bass sis is cute.  Less weepy.

Mrs. Long Island Dom.  Totally what I expected.

Nice the loved ones don't have to compete or make decisions.  I hate when they do that.

Challenge is good.  No phony "teams" and Sea Bass gets to establish the "pecking order" and maybe sets up an all girl's alliance.  Wendell puts a target on his back leaping for the guaranteed advantage.

Don not buying Dom's lovefest.

Tough challenge.  The Malcomb curse lives on.  And so does the curse of Dominic while Ghost Island fizzles again.

Laurel is in a crucial spot.  Lots of idols in play and she seems to be keeping the secrets.

Laurel's dilemma.  Go with the people I can't beat in the end or go with the people I can't trust to get me to the end. I hope it works for her.  I hope she made the right decision for her.

"shooken" Dom?  No.

As usual, the "girls alliance" crashes and burns.

Now what?

No idol hunting tonight.

Sea Bass for the goat?  (Stoned Pony?)

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That was a pretty boring episode. I usually feel that way about the family visits. They drag on.

I sorta like Wendell, but I wanted to see him go to shake things up.

And then I wonder WTF Donathan was trying to pull. I almost thought he might talk himself into being evicted. Loose lips sink ships buddy.

But of course they went with the most boring option. Chelsea whatever.

Edited by vb68
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My biggest disappointment with the episode was that I was expecting a big Kellyn blow up and melt down, and all we got was a couple of seconds of petulance. I wanted to see her deal with the guys once they got back from their reward.

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8 minutes ago, ElleryAnne said:

Wendell must have nerves of steel, not to play his idol tonight.  

He had to of known Donathan and Laurel were going to vote for Chelsea, don't you think?  

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7 minutes ago, ElleryAnne said:

Wendell must have nerves of steel, not to play his idol tonight.  

Kabuki theater.  Laurel/Don told him about the plot and he was safe.

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3 minutes ago, LanceM said:

So are Donathon and Laurel actively trying to lose the game? 

They are both kind of enigmas to me, especially Laurel because she really does seem intelligent. I think they both know they have to make some type of move to really be in this, but then they cave at the last second.

 

8 minutes ago, LadyChatts said:

Forgot to add, the best part of the episode was the Malcolm flashback.

Truth.

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Just now, Ms Blue Jay said:

His expression

seabass.jpg

 

I am shocked that he actually spelled her name right.

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Just now, enchantingmonkey said:

He had to of known Donathan and Laurel were going to vote for Chelsea, don't you think?  

 

Just now, PaperTree said:

Kabuki theater.  Laurel/Don told him about the plot and he was safe.

No doubt about it.

Did you all hear Jeff get choked up when he was talking about Angela's sacrifice?  I don't remember him ever being emotional like that. 

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The loved ones visit. Jeff is so sentimental - it's all about LUV!!! Wendell's dad is cute. Kellyn and Klay are ho-hum. Aunt Patty looks like Donathan. Paige and Angela were really sweet. But I couldn't help wondering - maybe those pre-show pictures of Angela where she looks so young and beautiful were really pictures of Paige. Aunt Patty looked like Donathan. Sebastian seemed kind of creepy about his history. Yes, he luvs her, but still...

I did notice Angela's stoic face when they parted from their loved ones, while Kellyn and Chelsea were crying. But Angela's used to partings.

Then later Kellyn says, "There's too much power to the three boys." Which boy is she leaving out?? Or doesn't Donathan count as a man with her?

I was in suspense over who would be eliminated. I thought for sure he would play his idol.

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Laurel may realize she's in a no win situation at this point.  Go with the Naviti girls and be on the bottom of numbers once the men are picked off.  Go with them tonight knowing Donathan won't flip and risk a tie, and then have Dom/Wendell after her next week.  Or stick with Dom/Wendell who've protected her since they made an alliance, even though she knows she can't beat them.  If she manages to make the final 3, I'll be curious how she'll spin being something other than a number in an alliance who did what Dom/Wendell said.

Unlike Donathan, I don't know if she's happy about her situation.  But then again, Donathan may actually believe he can win or take out Dom/Wendell later.

Edited by LadyChatts
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2 minutes ago, vb68 said:

They are both kind of enigmas to me, especially Laurel because she really does seem intelligent. I think they both know they have to make some type of move to really be in this, but then they cave at the last second.

When Laurel was reasoning out which side she should vote with just before they went to tribal, I got the impression that she's afraid to get her hands dirty and really play the game.  

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3 minutes ago, Lamb18 said:

Then later Kellyn says, "There's too much power to the three boys." Which boy is she leaving out?? Or doesn't Donathan count as a man with her?

She has always seen him as "one of the girls".  He seems to know exactly what she's doing and just rolls with it.

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1 hour ago, mojoween said:

Every year the loved ones episode often inspires the same “what the fuck you’ve only been separated for a month why are you acting like they are terminal” reaction and every year I 1000% know I would be exactly like Kristin when I laid eyes on my husband, whether I were a Survivor or the loved one.  I am weak and I own it.

Who is Kristin?   Oh - by process of elimination is that Dom's wife?

I think I would be too.

I was legitimately worried that Kristin was yet another player I wasn't aware of.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Chelsea has ... "the most supportive little sister in the history of Survivor?" Really?

Okay, Ghost Island -- Malcolm's advantage was cursed? Because he ... played it, it didn't work out and he went home? And what was that ridiculousness about how after this cursed advantage, "he's never made it to the Final Four since." (had to get that "since" in there, didn't you, Survivor? After all, he's "only" played three times.)

As Jeff Probst is fond of saying, "you've got to dig deep" .... for these items to have relevance to an actual curse on Survivor.

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21 hours ago, LanceM said:

I am shocked that he actually spelled her name right.

I wonder how pissed players like "Chelsa" get when their name is misspelled. I mean at this point after being trapped with these people for what 30 odd days? Such salt in the wound as you head off.

Edited by vb68
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25 minutes ago, Rachel RSL said:

OMG I was screaming at the tv for Wendell to use his idol.  Thank God it wasn't his time to go.  

Once again I'm cursing the editors. After Sebastian won the family visit, the first person he picked without hesitation was...Dom? Are those two close? Have we ever even seen them have a conversation? That was so out of the blue. But, hey, it pissed off Miss Kellyn (eye roll) so I'm all for it. How annoying was she, throwing a fit because Wendell chose to go for an advantage instead of spending a few hours with his dad. Girl, did you come to win a million dollars or have a tea party with your family member? Can't wait until she's gone.

I was yelling at Wendell to use his idol, too. Couldn't believe he didn't, though of course it's possible that Donathan/Laurel told him about the plan. I really had no idea which way the vote was going to go, so I guess the editors got me.

Kellyn is so whiny. So Wendell's not supposed to play the game and try for an advantage simply because you want it? Shut up.

Dom's wife really was over the top. I was telling her to Chill!

24 minutes ago, truthaboutluv said:

That thought actually did cross my mind. I thought he may have been trying to put enough paranoia so Wendell would play the idol, thereby flushing out the idol, while for the time being, still sticking with his alliance with Wendell and Domenick. 

That's totally what I thought was going on. If you're going to try to make a move later, it's better if idols are off the table.

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Tonight on the SURVIVOR: The boot of a complete non-entity.

Chelsea was invisible for about the first 3 episodes and only qualifies as notable for her ability to mimic an inanimate object  like a tree and stand still in challenges and have even fewer lines of dialogue than "I am Groot"

Every year I am still amazed that these people just saw their loved ones like 3 weeks ago and yet dissolve into a mass of quaking jelly as if they had just been liberated from Auschwitz. The only time I actually felt anything was years ago when a contestant named Katie apparently had such a sad life that the only person they could muster up for her to come out was her sister's boyfriend. I felt sorry for her.

Oh, Laurel thank you so much for realizing you cant trust that pack of women...Kellyn and Angela would backstab her in a heartbeat!

Wow, just wow at Dom's wife...she was a walking, talking stereotype. Also Aunt Patty will be so dismayed once she finds out Dom's word eventually won't be worth a red cent. Wendell's Dad looked like he was bored out of his mind and only there out of obligation. I bet that plane ride is a bitch as CBS probably didn't pop for first class.

And since it needs to be said I remember when Angelia Jolie and her brother had kind of this creepy vibe to their relationship but Seabastion and his sister from the way he was talking were ready to  out Lannister the Lannisters.

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1. Family visit. I will not cry. I’ll see you in two weeks.

2. Ghost Island the Island twist sucks. 

3. Nobody is doing anything. Laurel and Wendell had their chance. What are they waiting for? 

4. Overall, this season is kind of sucky.

Edited by ByaNose
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I think Donathan was trying to have his cake and eat it too. It seems he told Wendell they were cool, but wanted to also try to 'shake' him enough to possibly freak out and play his idol. He could go all 'Dude I was soooo talking about our blindside of Chelsea! What did you play your idol for?!?' and kind of not been held responsible as he did vote with him in the end. It was a bit odd though, he really does talk a LOT of shit in tribal.

I do, however, think they choked on not getting Wendell out (assuming that if that were the plan Donathan wouldn't have done all that talking to set him on edge) as they had a reason to bring others along in their voting plan today as people were pissed about being left back at camp. It's a shot they're bound to regret not taking.

And Sebastion you can love your sister, just don't ya know... LOVE your sister. Creepy vibe there, as I thought was the vibe of 'We know we're 2nd place in her life to her serving the country and we're down with that.'

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I was surprised Dom won the IC.  That didn't look like the best way to hold those poles, at the height he had them.  

 

Quote

He had to of known Donathan and Laurel were going to vote for Chelsea, don't you think?

 Very likely.  But it's not as if players can always trust those they consider allies.  I like Wendell, and I also understand why he's seen as a strong player that they should try to take out.  Frankly, I can admire the nerves of steel but I wouldn't want him to join the ranks of the unwitting blindsides who go home with an idol or two in their pockets because they trusted their allies one TC too long.  

 

Quote

Did you all hear Jeff get choked up when he was talking about Angela's sacrifice? 

Yeah, I caught that too.  I thought maybe I'd imagined it because it seemed so unlike him.  

When's the last time someone's visiting loved one was a son/daughter?  

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Also agreed that Dom's wife needs to chill. Enmesh with your hubby much? How DARE he try to win a million dollars if it means leaving you?! I bet when he comes home and the numbers have been worn off their credit cards as she needed some retail therapy to handle it all. Heh.

Edited by Wandering Snark
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27 minutes ago, ElleryAnne said:

When's the last time someone's visiting loved one was a son/daughter?

There may have been others since but the last one I can remember was when Cirie's awesome son came to visit.

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I remember posting that as Cirie's son ran to her, tears ran freely from his eyes and hit his t-shirt.  He wasn't like a young kid either - more like a young man.  Ughhhhh it was touching.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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I found it a little silly that the girls based all of their rage on Wendell and Dom when it was Sebastian who picked the award winners.  I could see being angry with Wendell if he knew he was going to be offered the chance to get the advantage when he accepted Seb's pick.  The show could have very easily allowed Seb to pick one more person, so it's really the show being an asshole in that moment.  I have a feeling if Sebastian was allowed to choose three more people, Kellyn would still have missed out.

I found out I liked Chelsea this episode.  She's so non-dramatic and stoic and a nice contrast to Kellyn.

I would have played the HII if I were Wendell.  He already had a funny feeling, and looked a little shaken at tribal.  I can't figure out if he just trusted Laurel/Donathan that much, or if the vast majority of tribal that's edited out reassured him.

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It would have been a much better move if Wendell and Dom had convinced Sebastian to send Laurel to Ghost Island. It would have cemented their bond with her as she keeps their idol secrets. Might have taken some quick talking to get Sebastian to agree but pretty sure they could sway him. And wouldn't be quite so in your face to the others left behind.

Even though I'm sure Wendell knew where Don and Laurel's votes were supposed to go the possibility that they flipped and all that double talk would have sent me grabbing my idol. I really didn't want to see Wendell go but would have totally understood if Laurel and Don made that choice. But Laurel aligning with Kellyn after her double vote last tribal and the lack of trust with any of them would be tough. 

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1 hour ago, vb68 said:

I wonder how pissed players like Chelsa get when their name is misspelled. I mean at this point after being trapped with these people for what 30 odd days? Such salt in the wound as you head off.

Yeah, but asking someone how his/her name is spelled is tantamount to saying I'm going to vote you out.  Sounds like a taboo subject to me.

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1 hour ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

His expression

seabass.jpg

Ha ha ha! That reminded me of Wizzo the Clown from my local Bozo TV show.

IMG_4965.PNG

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If this was not a reality series, I would've guessed Probst had written the first act.

Probst: Sebastian!! Wins!!! Reward!!! He's as high as a kite now . . . that he gets to see his loved one! Okay, Sea Bass, you know the deal. I'm going to ask you to bring in three people and their loved ones, one at a-

Sebastian: Dominick, Wendell, Donathan. [note: I can't bothered looking up the exact order. Fucks given: zero]

Probst: That means that the women get shut out! Oh, and Sebastian gets to pick someone to hit Ghost Island. There is an advantage waiting for whomever arrives.

Female Contestants: [getting their hopes up]

Probst: You can pick one of the girls. Or yourself. Or a guy, if he wants it.

Wendell: Fuck it, I'll be seeing my dad in about three weeks after the wrap party.

Probst: Awesome! Wendell! Going to Ghost Island! Guys! Going to spend time with their loved ones! Girls! Get no reward for losing, and none of them are worth taking Wendel's place! Get outta here, bitches!!

[all eight contestants leave]

Probst: I need Medical!!! All the blood's flooded to Lil Jeffy!!! Oooowwwwwww!!!!!

Once again, way past the point of caring. One thing: Dominick's shirt . . . is the design similar to this seasons logo? The skull-not-skull with the palm trees making the eye holes? That's how ambivalent I am . . . that I'm reaching for anything to hold my waning interest.

Edited by Lantern7
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Sebastian and his sister look like Cecily Strong. 

I knew Wendell’s Ghost Island advantage would come to nothing, as they usually do. He should have kicked back and had fun with his dad and a meal. 

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With all the concern about the Wendell/Dom partnership and how it needs to be broken up, it seems Laurel and Donathan should be a little more discreet about their own partnership.  They just painted a big target on their own backs, I think.

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2 hours ago, Lamb18 said:

Then later Kellyn says, "There's too much power to the three boys." Which boy is she leaving out?? Or doesn't Donathan count as a man with her?

Kellyn still sees everything in terms of Naviti vs Malolo. Donathon wasn't original Naviti, so therefore not part of Naviti Strong and not one of the boys that count.

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2 hours ago, LanceM said:

So are Donathon and Laurel actively trying to lose the game?  I seriously do not understand why they would not go with the plan to vote out Wendell. They both know the two of them are threats. I am sad to see Chelsea go.  Yeah she was not featured much confessional wise but she was playing the game hard no doubt about that. 

2 hours ago, enchantingmonkey said:

When Laurel was reasoning out which side she should vote with just before they went to tribal, I got the impression that she's afraid to get her hands dirty and really play the game.  

Yes, Laurel seems pretty risk-averse. She has more than once acknowledged that Domenick and Wendell have too much power in the game, and has had multiple opportunities to get them out (or at least force them to play their idols and advantages) and she has taken none of them. I think she has an out-sized fear of idol bounce-back and of the repercussions of flipping on them. I also think that she likes her allies on a personal level and is struggling to separate what is good for her her day-to-day life on the island with what is good for her game.

I've been under the impression that Donathan has been game for turning on Wendell and Domenick and hasn't because he wants make sure he always votes with Laurel. My guess is that he has more faith in her strategic abilities than in his own.

2 hours ago, Haleth said:

Did you all hear Jeff get choked up when he was talking about Angela's sacrifice?  I don't remember him ever being emotional like that. 

I caught that, too. I don't know anything about Jeff Probst's childhood, but it made me wonder if he had an absent parent (either due to military service or some other reason) and Angela's family situation touched a nerve with him.

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Boring episode. Of course Dom wins immunity, of course Wendell goes to Ghost Island for an advantage, and of course Laurel and Donathan don't flip on Dom/Wendell. I guess Laurel and Donathan are happy about handing the win to Dom or Wendell. I know Chelsea didn't have much screen time, but I enjoyed watching her play. She's more interesting than some players left in the game. At least she was willing to make moves.

The loved ones visit was also boring. I don't understand all of the tears. They've only been gone for about 31 days.  

Please Kellyn, Wendell or Dom leave next week.

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1 hour ago, knitorpurl said:

It would have been a much better move if Wendell and Dom had convinced Sebastian to send Laurel to Ghost Island.

He would have had to have chosen her for the reward, though. If none of the rewardees went, then the four left out would have decided among themselves. 

Has Probst always said "a'aight" instead of "all right"? I was annoyed each time he said it tonight, and it was a lot of times. 

I figured Lauren wouldn't have the guts to try to save the women, after she said they were the ones she could beat at the end. 

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37 minutes ago, Hera said:

Yes, Laurel seems pretty risk-averse. She has more than once acknowledged that Domenick and Wendell have too much power in the game, and has had multiple opportunities to get them out (or at least force them to play their idols and advantages) and she has taken none of them. I think she has an out-sized fear of idol bounce-back and of the repercussions of flipping on them. I also think that she likes her allies on a personal level and is struggling to separate what is good for her her day-to-day life on the island with what is good for her game.

I've been under the impression that Donathan has been game for turning on Wendell and Domenick and hasn't because he wants make sure he always votes with Laurel. My guess is that he has more faith in her strategic abilities than in his own.

I caught that, too. I don't know anything about Jeff Probst's childhood, but it made me wonder if he had an absent parent (either due to military service or some other reason) and Angela's family situation touched a nerve with him.

Jeff deploys himself twice a year.   Maybe he feels a little guilty leaving his stepkids.   

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In defense of the women, they were mad that Wendell wasted a family spot to grab an advantage. Not saying I disagree with his move ( keep the advantage out of potential targets hands) but still.

Onto cast assessment.

Puts on my pig snout: Chelsea's absolutely gorgeous, I can't wait to see her dolled up on the jury. Snout off: Good game just never could get the upperhand. Loved that last  interaction between you and Wendell.

Kellyn, Kellyn, Kellyn: This is what happens when you don't make connections outside your alliance. I don't disagree with your move, but  you didn't have anything to offer.

Sebastian: Stay high dude

Donathon: Nice attempt at flushing out idols. Might want to tone it down at future tribals, your usefulness goes way down after this next one. 

Angela: She's now improved from her knowing looks to parroting other players. If she makes it to the finals, she might become a complete player. Has to be a bit brutal to hear her daughter say that she's used to her mom leaving her.

Domenick: Two immunities, stranglehold on the game, seen as the leader. Be careful, you're almost there sir.

Laurel: Allow me to defend her move. There will be a lot of back seat playing because Laurel's blocking a major power shift, but what the hell is she supposed to do? Boot one of her three major allies and give up the numbers to not one but two immunity threats, just because it would be a major move?  She could brag about that in ponderosa as she'd have been joining Wendel not too long afterwards.

Wendel: balls of steel man. Balls of fucking steel.  Nice job realizing that Donathon was trying to goad you into flushing your idol, also nice job keeping the advantage from your targets. Might need to win a few challenges to help the resume. 

 

In terms of kids visiting their parents on the island, does Jeremy's son in Cambodia count?

Edited by Oscirus
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