December 15th, 2017 | 2 Comments | Posted in Survivor 35 - H vs. H vs H

But it’s Immunity Challenge time so let’s see if this’ll produce some of the drama I thought we’d experience tonight. And based on the flyover it looks to be a challenging, um, challenge: ladders, sawdust, obstacles, baskets, towers, and a cog puzzle…the whole nine yards. Jeff calls everyone in. First things first, he needs the Immunity Necklace back from Ashley, and she teases him with,

“You gotta take it from me.”

Ashley’s so dirty. I like that. But she’s also SO DIRTY, so I don’t think Jeff appreciates the sexual innuendo of her demand.

“Just throw it over here, Ashley. I’ll have a PA sanitize it…”

Jeff describes this amazing challenge – way to re-establish your prowess, Kirhoffer! – and gets things under way. He calls “go!” May I summarize?

-Ben (the Marine, I should remind you) is through the first few obstacles in the lead.
-Devon is hot on his heels.
-Chrissy is in last.
-Ashley lands her sandbag in her basket first, but everyone hits theirs a moment later, except Devon. Game on!
-Devon hits his.
-Ben unties the next bag releasing his “monkey fist” ball. And on his 1st throw, he releases his ladder!
-Followed by Chrissy, Mike, and Ryan…
-With Ashley and Devon bringing up the rear.

Everyone is now working on their cog puzzle which – we all know – will take some repositioning. Everyone is working the pieces, and it’s not clear who’s in the lead. Jeff takes a moment to point out this is the same tower Chrissy was puking on, and I think Ben is standing in that mess right now as he maneuvers pieces around.

Chrissy and Ben seem to be making the most progress (natch!) and the pace of Jeff’s commentary tells me someone’s getting close. Using that big brain of hers, it looks like Chrissy is almost done, and as she places a couple more pieces and starts to spin her puzzle, it all makes mathematical sense as her flag is raised and she wins Immunity. And I pray that Ben found – or will find – a Hidden Immunity Idol, else his butt is going home.

Standing in a pile of her own dried out puke, Chrissy has the Immunity Necklace fastened around her neck and she realizes this is one of the two greatest days in her life. And I’m sure the first is when she woke up from her boob job procedure…

And as we head to break, Chrissy confesses it’s her time to control this game, and the decision to take out Ashley or Ben is up to her. I’m wondering if this is all a big misdirect because she’d be foolish to NOT take out Ben right now, but let’s see how this crew finds a way to f**k things up.

As we see the tribe head back to camp, there’s a group of five walking together, and Ben by himself, which may portend more than it does. Once they all get back to camp Ben makes it clear he wants to go get water, and when no one offers to go with him, I’m left wondering if these other five are the dumbest Alliance of Five in Survivor history. Wouldn’t you have a couple people go with him? I don’t know…to keep an eye on him?

But no. These morons are comfortable staying together, and hoping the friggin’ Marine doesn’t find an idol. Let’s see what he finds…

But first, let’s head out to a pee break, where Chrissy, Ashley, Devon and Ryan are sitting in the warm, yellow, Fijian surf, and ruminating on what they should do in case Ben finds an idol. Ashley suggests they split the vote between Ben and Mike, and everyone seems down with that. However, Chrissy confesses she’d rather take out Ashley because she trusts her the least, and hopes there’s a way to make this happen. She proposes her plan to Ryan, Mike and Devon, but the guys are a bit leery about not taking out Ben now. Mike thinks Ben has mystical powers that transcend this game, and to not take him out would be foolhardy. Ryan agrees, and since Devon likes Ashley, he’s really against anyone but Ben going home first.

Let’s see what Ben is doing, who’s still out on recon.

Sure enough, Ben’s military training helps him find a clue to an idol hidden by a Survivor PA – who was probably never in the Vietcong – because there’s a big purple mark on a tree with an arrow pointing down. Ben quickly retrieves the clue, which tells him there’s an idol tied to the underside of their shelter (a la Kelley Wentworth again!) and all he’s gotta do is find a way to untie that bi*ch without alerting the others or being bitten by rats. Let’s see how he pulls this one off.

He gets back to camp, and the guys are all hanging out by the campfire. He doesn’t want to start looking in front of them, but he realizes the sun is going down, and now Chrissy has returned to camp, and soon, it’ll be too dark to look. It’s almost time to leave for Tribal and people are beginning to pack their bags, meaning it’s time for Ben to make his move.

The next thing we know we’re heading into Final Tribal and can the situation I’ve been praying for for 7 seasons finally come true? Can someone play an idol that was never shown being found to us? Did someone finally take my notes and say, “Hey, why do we need to show everyone finding an idol? Can’t they just play it?” So, let’s hope that’s the case, and that Ben is not going home tonight, because I’m beginning to wonder if we’re watching Special Survivor. Kinda like there’s a Special Olympics…

Jeff waits for everyone to take their seats and calls in the Jury…

Desi, by Johnson & Johnson (that’s a reference to Cole and J.P., not baby oil)
Cole…showing us the tongue he used on Desi
J.P. Bitter there are no rinks in Fiji
Joe…just glad he doesn’t have to deal with crazy parolees for another few weeks
Lauren…who can’t make eye contact with anyone since she knows they have no respect for her anymore.

Jeff opens the line of questioning.

Ben: You played an idol last time. What’s up?

Jeff, I’m still a target. Look at me, I’m a target. Hey, did I mention I’m a target? And here are all the dynamics of Solewa. But look, Mike is not aligned with anyone.

Ashley: You’re obviously tight with Devon, but you didn’t go on the Reward, and you were PISSED. What say you?

Jeff, I was…disappointed. But Devon wasn’t the only one who made that decision.

(Chrissy interjects) Jeff, I think Ashley’s a poor sport. Period.

(Ashley responds) I didn’t mean it like that, bitch…

Mike: Do you have anything to say that will add any drama?

Jeff, Ben’s a threat, but there are other threats. And you gotta think beyond this vote. Like, who’s gonna be at the next vote, and the next, and who can you beat at the end…

(Ryan chimes in) And the opportunity to be at Final Three offers so much, but that used car salesman negotiation is such a bitch…

(Chrissy adds) And those Final Three pacts are a bitch because they’re made by people who think, “I can beat these other two.”

(Ryan says cryptically) Chris Isley…

I have no idea what that means but then again, I don’t get a lot of the references East Coasters make. If someone said something about Phish, I’d be like, “WTF does that mean?” Clearly, East Coasters, at least the ones in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area speak a language that most of us do not, and none us care to. I guess it’s “New York values” or …
something like that…

Devon: You got a Final Three?


Chrissy: Yup.

Mike: Yup.

Ashley: Yup

Ryan: Does the pope shit in the woods?

Ben: I’m not Catholic, so I can’t answer Ryan’s philosophical question, but no, I do not. But I am a whore, so the Johns can line up…

Mike: Is Ben a player or an idiot?

Jeff, Ben is a…player.

Ashley: You just reacted. Why?

Jeff, if there’s a plan that I don’t know about, I’m not aware of it. And that’s not cool.

Ben: That’s what you want, right?

Jeff, it’s tough playing the game with pussies. And now, you gotta think about your resumes.

(Devon chimes in) Hasn’t every vote been a blindside?

(Ben responds) But what the f**k did you do?

There’s a bit of back and forth about who did what, and when, and what will be revealed, but things are clearly getting testy. And no, I did not say “testes.” Ben and Devon are certainly at odds, and when Chrissy speaks up and says, “not everyone is playing their game on their sleeve,” we know something’s about to happen.

Devon: When you hear what Ben has to say, are you rattled?

Jeff, I’m not, and I think Ben’s going home tonight.

(Ben interjects) Jeff, should we just church this up? (TBH, I have no idea what that means),

“(be)cause I’m not going home tonight…”

Ben pulls an idol out of his boot and puts it around his neck. And instantly, everyone knows they need to re-invent their own game.

Chrissy takes umbrage to Ben’s claim he just “blew up the game,” but that’ll be Chrissy’s downfall. You gotta appreciate good TV when it’s delivered. Ben just delivered good TV. Chrissy’s a boring actuary. Suck it, math bitch…

Ryan: What does this mean?

Jeff, Ben just blew up the game…again. Praise to Lord baby Ben.

(Devon reminds everyone) Just because it’s around his neck, doesn’t mean he’s going to play it.

Ashley: Do you think Ben’s gonna play it?

Jeff, If I were him, I’d play it.

There’s a bit of negotiation between Ben and Ashley, and then Devon, but it’s clear Ben is voting for Mike, and when Devon reminds everyone – again – that Ben may not play the idol, Ben gets up and heads over to Jeff. He hands him the idol and informs everyone,

“I’m in the Final Five, compadre.”

Jeff is clearly confused because NO ONE has EVER played an idol before Jeff asks for it, so all Jeff can say is,

“This…is…a…Hidden Immunity Idol. So, you guys figure it out.”

Ryan: What’s happening?

Jeff, everyone’s plans are changing tonight. But who’s plans are going to change incorrectly?

At this point, everyone’s chatting amongst themselves, but it’s clear Ben dropped a bomb on me, baby, he dropped a bomb on me…

Jeff asks Ben why he’s smiling and all he can say is he turned the Final Five on themselves. And it’s awesome…

Jeff tells them it’s time to vote and I guess it’s clear Mike is going home. Right? The only other person mentioned – who’s unsafe – is Ashley but Devon doesn’t want her to go home and she knows she’s on the chopping block, so she’d vote Mike and others will be voting Mike too.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know anymore. If Survivor is going to withhold scenes that’ll help us figure out each episode than I can’t presume to know what’s going to happen. Let’s just see what transpires.

Jeff collects the votes and asks if anyone (else) has a Hidden Immunity Idol to play. None are played. Jeff reads the votes.


Boom goes the Sex Wax as Ashley just got dumped off her board. I didn’t expect this, and neither did she apparently. Ben offers her a hug, which she accepts, but when Devon asks for the same, she gives him a cold,


And, ouch, someone’s not spending any quality time with Ashley at Ponderosa… Looks like Ben just earned Ashley’s vote at Final Tribal, and if Devon is there, not so much. As Jeff snuffs her torch, I’m thinking about if anyone’s been this pissed in an episode for a while.

She’s good enough to wish everyone “good luck,” but we know she’s not talking to Devon. And he knows it. The Jury knows is. We know it. She heads down the “Path of Shame,” and Jeff informs the remaining Solewas,

“Getting to the Final Three will be tough…”

I hope so. Isn’t that the point? Who wants an easy path to a million bucks!?

Next time on…Survivor!

The Season 35 Finale is up and it’s anyone’s game…

Seriously, there’s no other clues given. I guess we’ll just have to find out.

So, once again, I’ve applied for tickets to the Finale. Let’s see if that comes to fruition this season, because I’ve been denied – what? – the last 3 seasons? Hopefully they’ll pick me, and I’ll have a story or two to tell. Fingers crossed for that.

And I hope you all enjoy the final episode too. Maybe someday I’ll be able to watch an episode of Survivor with you, my loyal readers, who enjoy the show as much as I do. Fingers crossed… Drinks poured. Pants off…

Okay, it’s time to reveal my big announcement.

No, I’m not gay.

No, I’m not going to rehab.

No, I’m not gonna be on next season of Survivor…

But, after a lot of consideration – some of it sober – I’ve decided to step down from writing this column. I know, boo-hoo, but there are a lot of reasons for this. Let me name but a few:

-They take a long time to write and edit, which is cutting into my “real job” time. And I can’t afford to compromise my job any more than I already have. I actually have a great deal of responsibility in my position, and I’m starting to feel like I’m taking advantage of the people who’ve helped me tremendously the last couple years.

-I’m not finding the humor as much as I used to. True, when I had more time on my hands, I had the ability to research more, start writing earlier in the week, and pay more attention to things I saw online. Now, I’m kinda limiting myself to writing Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday. To be honest, I’m not happy with the amount of comedy in the recaps anymore, and that’s not fair to those of you who expect laughs when you read me.

-I’m still dealing with things at home that are more important than Survivor (I’ll go into more detail next week).

-And to be perfectly frank, the responses I’ve received from some readers kinda bugged me. It’s like I was being told to write a certain way that satisfied what THEY expected from me. I don’t wanna open a huge can of worms here, but I’ve been saying for years that I write these with a snarky, sassy, overtly sexual tone. That’s what I’ve always done. And just because I decided to write a section of my recaps in a different “voice,” I was somehow chastised for doing so. As I’ve mentioned, just because I write in a “Mad Magazine” style most of the time, that doesn’t mean the adult in me doesn’t float to the top sometimes too. Sorry if some of you couldn’t understand that.

-Lastly, the show seems to have evolved, and I’m not as big a fan as I used to be. I could attribute some of that to me “growing up” a little, but I believe that’s not wholly accurate. The show – mostly those cast on it – are people I don’t like anymore. And with next season being a bunch of Millennials, I don’t think I’m the best person to recap it. I’d probably end up sounding like a bitter old man yelling “get off my beach!” every week, because those idiots will probably do a lot of things I don’t agree with. Unless it’s Angela Perkins taking off her clothes…

Maybe I’m just pissed Jeff Probst never hired me as a producer on the show (not really) or maybe I just expected more from all this writing. Downing bottles of wine at the Algonquin Round Table with other Survivor bloggers or fans did enter my mind four years ago… But while I’ve improved my writing skills in a variety of ways – and my Twitter followers – the interaction with readers on the site are a tad…disappointing. I’ll just leave it at that.

I think it’s time to let someone else step in and create their own platform, and I wish whoever does it my support. It’s a great gig, if you have the time for it. Perhaps I’ll still write about Survivor on Twitter, and I’ll continue to update my Rankings of Every Survivor Player, but I just can’t afford to spend 10 hours every week doing this… My son needs me more than you do.

I’ll do a proper send-off next week with the Finale/Reunion Show column, and I do hope I’m at the show to witness it live. That would be a great exit…

As always, I owe a great deal to Reality Steve for the opportunity to contribute to his website, and I hope I brought something to the table for him. So, thank you, Steve, for everything you’ve done.

I’ll be back next week for a super long recap, and I hope you’ll understand why I’m walking away. Love to all of you…

Foster Brooks (aka Fish)

Twitter: @BF_TheFish
AIM: or Bryan Fischer


  1. First of all, I’m so sad to hear that you’re stepping down next season. I understand, but I do look forward to your recaps each week. I’m really going to miss you. I looked at the cast list for next season and am not overly impressed. Maybe they’ll surprise us. I’m just outside the millennial cut-off, so I can’t make too much fun of them; but recently the younger players haven’t done such a hot job of things.

    As for this season, I’m just kind of apathetic towards everyone left. I don’t despise anyone, but I also don’t love anybody. I’d be okay if either Devon or Ben wins. The hubs thinks Ben doesn’t stand a chance in hell because he’s pissed off too many jury members. I agree, I suppose. His social game has been hit and miss. At least he’s actually been trying to play. I feel like everyone else just sort of coasted along. As a person, I like Ryan but I’ll be upset if he wins since he really hasn’t done anything. Mike’s in a similar boat. He’s tried, but hasn’t made any big game changing moves. I did laugh at the idol in the fire play, though. But really, he was mostly just a minion for whichever group was in charge. He strictly voted the way people told him to. Devon’s played a fairly solid game and I think is smarter than he comes across. Plus, he has pretty eyes 🙂

    I hope those finale tickets come through! Man, I’d love to get to one of those someday.

  2. Hey Jen! Thanks for your comment. And sorry to be stepping down. I’m going to miss the opportunity to make a few of you laugh. I do hope I can maintain some connection to the show/my readers, either through Twitter or this site in some way, or YouTube, or something else, it’s just the writing that’s gotten to be too much. I’ll figure something out.

    I’m hoping a young(er) cast will prompt more drama between players. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of these Power Couples hooking up for some snogging and cuddling in the shelter. It may not be a smart strategy, but it’ll make for some good tv (and that’s what we really want, right?).

    I see only Ben or Chrissy winning at this point. At one point, they were ruling the game, and with his idol finding and her alliance prowess, I don’t see any other potential. Devon could have had a chance, but I think he pissed off a few voting out Lauren so early. We’ll see. Ryan and Mike are goats…

    No luck on the finale tickets. Didn’t pick me again, 3rd season in a row… Ho-hum. Would have been nice to have “ended” things with that, but there’s always next season. Alrighty then, one more to go. Let’s hope things finish strong. I keep hearing how tomorrow’s episode has a big twist to it. We’ll see…

    Thanks for all the love…

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