Cambodia – Second Chance – Episode 7: Play to Win


I don’t know about you, but while it was a very good episode (this season is full of them), I found it a bit tame for a merge episode. And honestly, I blame the edit, because reading the contestants on Twitter and seeing who voted for who (and not for Woo, he’s already gone) at tribal council, it was actually as crazy, if not more, than any other merge.

Actually, today – in my constant attempt to be able to deliver those posts in a timely fashion, I’m going to talk about everyone through their vote. Because, despite what it seems, I think what Spencer and Stephen said at tribal, it seems that we are indeed entering a new phase of Survivor strategy, one where normal threats become non-threatening, because usually non-threatening players become threatening by their non-threat aspect, and vice-versa.

Also, this season, it seems that the traditional alliance seems to be dying and be replaced by one time alliances, for one or two votes. I guess the frequent reshuffling of the tribes plays a part in that… And also, maybe it’s a logical evolution of the game, not sure.


Merging tribes

Did you notice that Kimmi managed to sneak in my weekly pictures three weeks in a row?


Orkun Tribe

Abi-Maria Gomes: She voted for Tasha. Mmmm… Just when we thought she had become tight with Tasha and Savage (and that the Woo vote was just revenge… you know, because he voted for her twice). Well, it’s not like Abi-Maria hasn’t flipped on an alliance before. That vote also means that she was out of the loop (the only one along Kass herself), which doesn’t bode well for her. Now, because she’s not a threat to win, and she’s the biggest goat this season, she still may go far, unless she annoys everyone too much (a little bit like in her first season).

Andrew Savage: First of all, in case you’re not aware, please follow the hashtag #fuas you’ll thank me later. Despite what I said earlier about alliances being more fluid than ever, funny how he still thinks in terms of “Bayon strong” and all that. He’s pretty much as much out of the loop than Abi-Maria in a sense, he just happens to be in the majority… And because he deludes himself into that leader role, everyone let him do it, you know, this way he’ll be targeted before “everyone”.

Ciera Eastin: Interesting how Ciera voted for Savage. Sure she threw this vote away (well, it could be useful in the sense that Savage will be upset about it – even if he pretends otherwise), but more important – and that would explain her “Sorry Kass.” – she knew that Kass was being voted out, but didn’t say anything. Which means that she knew that Spencer and Wentworth were not going to vote against Tasha. Yet, she didn’t say anything to Kass. I guess this underlines this fluidity of alliances. Ciera needed Kass to vote Woo out, but then she didn’t really need her anymore. Ciera was also targeted because of Savage’s ego, not because she really was Kass’ buddy. So, I’m pretty sure that it means that Ciera and Kelley have a secret alliance… But as Spencer voted against Ciera, that also means that she may not have one with him, or a very loose one (once again, fluid alliances).

Jeremy Collins: He voted against Ciera as planned. He’s sitting well in the Bayon alliance right now, and he’s safe. He must just not become complacent, I just hope he learned that from his season. Sure Savage and Joe may be target before him, but you never now, and he must make the right moves before they’re gone if he doesn’t want to be voted out after them. Still, I think that he’s very tight with Stephen and Kimmi at this point. It could protect him, but it also could target them, as if everyone else only has moving alliances, they’ll obviously because a big threat.

Joe Anglim: Mmmm… Joe… He is really with Bayon, with a side alliance with Spencer? Has he become tight with Spencer? Is the Takeo 2.0 alliance still exist hidden within the Bayon alliance? Has Joe voted against Ciera because he stuck to the plan? Or were Spencer and him actually trying to get her out? Questions, questions, and not enough answers…

Kass McQuillen voted out: We talked about it since as soon as she was selected to play: she would be voted out as soon as possible because of her past reputation. She really did try to change her game, she really did. And at first it seemed it worked. But she messed up big time with Tasha, for a minute the infamous ChaosKass resurfaced in front of everyone at the very worst moment (merge) and while it would have made more sense for more people to vote Tasha out (bigger threat), nobody wants to play alongside ChaosKass, and it’s understandable. She really messed that one up.

Keith Nale: Same questions about Keith than about Joe in a sense. Sure, he voted against Kass, but is it because of Bayon or is it because there still is a Keith, Kelley, Joe alliance (with Spencer around)? Hard to tell.

Kelley Wentworth: OK, this is getting annoying. Since day one it seems obvious that Kelley is playing a hell of a game, and she has totally mastered the art of fluid alliances, and she’s doing it while alienating no one. Yet, she remains under-edited. Sure we get a confessionnal from her almost every week, but we don’t see her much talking strategy with other people, while it’s obvious she does it a lot. And it’s definitely clear there. Last time we hear from her in the episode, she’s going to help Kass voting Tasha out, and blam, she actually helps voting Kass out. I’m under the impression that Kelley and Ciera have remained tight, that she’s also tight with Keith and Joe… And I can’t believe a single second that Jeremy and her haven’t talked and come to some sort of agreement about something. Let’s not forget (everyone on the island seems to have) that they both were allied in San Juan del Sur, and that they were allied until Kelley was voted out. There must be something left from this. In any case, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon, but she must start pulling some strings and making some big moves sooner or later if she wants to win.

Kelly Wiglesworth: Now she’s with Savage, she’ll do what he says for the vote, in the meantime she’ll do yoga.

Kimmi Kappenberg: She’s part of the Bayon alliance, she’s safe for the moment, but she’d better start having some back-up plans.

Spencer Bledsoe: Mmmm… So apparently, he has buried the hatchet with Savage. He’s become pretty tight to Joe (which is interesting as they never were in the same tribe premerge), he took part of “Kass’s betrayal”, but yet did vote against Ciera, not Kass. Why is that? Because he felt that he couldn’t vote against Kass after she saved him (and he wants her potential vote at the end)? Or because he is (or pretends to be) with the Bayon alliance, through Savage or Joe? No idea. But for once (in his two seasons?), he wasn’t targeted in any way. Must feel good.

Stephen Fishbach: He was part of the people who engineered the plan to vote Kass out, so that’s a good sign, he’s not on the outs anymore, and he doesn’t seem to be. Yet, his edit barely makes anything. After starting very negative, it suddenly became more positive, and suddenly it became very WTF, with the poem thing. It almost made me think of a coach moment. I thought it was going to be part of the “Stephen Fishbach is a fool” thing, but most other contestants seemed to react positively to it. Which makes sense, they get so bored all day, that any entertainment is good entertainment at some point. The strange thing is that we almost never see those “boring moments” from life at camp. Why show this one? We do see Stephen a lot, but there is no narrative attached to him, just random moments, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes in between. I don’t know what to make of that.

Tasha Fox: Managed to get rid of Kass. Well played Tasha… Am I the only one that finds himself to like Kass more than Tasha this season (as in Kass strangely has a much more positive edit than Tasha).


Oh by the way, concerning the “What bit my ass” award of the week, it is shared once again between several players: Kass herself, because she really shoot herself in the foot with trying to bring ChaosKass out at the worst possible moment, Tasha to manage to have Kass let ChaosKass slip out at the worst moment and manage to capitalize on it, but also the people who didn’t stick to the plan, those who could have saved Kass and blindside Tasha, not exactly sure who they are, but it seems that Wentworth and Spencer are on top of the list.


Now, because those alliances are so fluid and blurry (and secret) let’s try to sort them out.

  • Abi seems quite alone right now.
  • Savage – Wiglesworth – Tasha
  • Jeremy – Kimmi – Fishbach (they’re allied with the Savage alliance for the moment)
  • Ciera – Wentworth – Keith – Joe
  • Joe – Spencer
  • Wentworth – Jeremy (maybe)

What do you think?


Next time on Survivor:


Everyone talks about making a big move… That’s not a lot of info to try to guess anything from the preview.


Next person voted out:

Ciera is in trouble, Abi-Maris, possibly too. However, truth is I have no idea who’s going to be voted out next.


And the winner is:

Spencer’s edit is the strongest winner edit right now, but either he cochrans his way to the million, or he’s not a finalist and another winner edit will emerge after his eviction.

Kelley Wentworth is too under the radar, but interesting that we only see positive things about her, as well as the fact that she has at least one confessionnal per episode.

Do you want to know more?

In that case, may I suggest that you read those sites, blogs and posts:


3 Responses

  1. Grant Mattos says:

    I still mantain my initial view Kass made a big mistake voting out Woo over Spencer. Regardless of Savage, it wasnt the time or place to make a move like that against him, Savage was probably going to be turned on eventually anyway. She no longer had the numbers, as I am sure Woo would have been happy to side with her alliance for safety. Than the unneccessary fight with Tasha who she now needed on her side, and it was curtains for her. Even if she not gone Ciera would have, and that would have meant curtains to Kass sooner than later anyway.

    I sense Savage will be targetted soon. The others make him think he is controlling the game, and still in his pre merge leadership role. He sort of is, which will just make his blindside that much easier to pull off.

    Unfortunately I predict Stephen will be the next boot. Just a feeling.

    The girls alliance is crumbling badly and I cant see any of them making the end other than maybe Tasha (or in a longer shot Kelly if they decide to take someone who couldnt even beat the unlikeable Richard Hatch and is now doing absolutely nothing to the end). Contrary to what some believe I dont see Kelley making the end despite that she looks in a good place now.

    I do agree Joe and Spencer are somewhat secretly aligned at this point, and this will help both as we go forward. I also think Savage and Jeremy are forming an alliance of some sort, which will create a real conflict as Jeremy is aligned with Stephen who is at odds with Savage bigtime.

    Joe seems in a good place. He is actually managing to be a bit UTR at the moment which surprises me. I didnt even know if he would get this far, let alone not be a target yet.

    • David Billa says:

      I can’t really decide whether it was a mistake or not.
      Reading Kass’ exit interviews, her rationale makes sense though; Savage kinda had been after her since day one (a little bit like he was after Stephen, I guess he doesn’t like smart people much), and nobody was expecting a merge at that moment. Kass was expecting Ta Keo to lose the next immunity too, and Savage would have been voted out for sure. He definitely was saved but the early merge. On the other hand, Spencer being constantly at the bottom since almost the beginning of the season, it’s better to keep him around a little longer as he can only collaborate with you if he wants to survive another day.

      I gotta say that I loved how Kass played up her past history with Spencer both pre-game and even during the game to the camera, but actually she totally was ready to play with him and ally with him if that would help her game. Kass may not be the best Survivor player around, but I really respect her, not only because she’s a fun character to watch, but also because she always stays aware that she is playing a game and she is being portrayed as a character. She’s one of the few contestants that always seems to keep those two things in mind, very few manage to do so (I’m not sure I could if I was on the island).

      I’ve had the feeling that Stephen is going to be next since the beginning of the season, but right now, I don’t see what could happen for him to be targeted and possibly voted out next week.

      Savage and Jeremy have been aligned since day one, but I think that Jeremy is using Savage (and Joe) more than actually being tight with them. On the other hand, Stephen, Kimmi and him really seem to have become very close.

      Yes, I have the same feeling about Joe now… It’s this meta thing that Stephen talks about on his blog and that I mention too. He’s only a threat because people think he’s a threat, and because he’s labelled “a threat” that strangely makes him less threatening, and as such not a target at the moment. I find these phenomenons happening right now very interesting. I wonder if that will be a trend in future seasons, or if it’s a one time thing, because they’re all returning players and most of them are very good players.

      • Grant Mattos says:

        You make a good point about them not expecting a merge so soon. I didnt either. Yeah Savage probably would have been gone next without the merge so that makes sense.

        On the other hand I think Woo would have been more likely to work with her than Spencer would. I do agree Kass was ready to work with Spencer. I just dont think the same was ever really true in reverse and she was hoping after she saved him that he would work with her at that point. He has been at the bottom and is lucky to still be around but he always swings where the power goes so far this game it seems, which wasnt really with Kass’s alliance.

        I do agree on Kass. She plays the game and she plays it to try and make things happen. I know you criticized her alot on Cagayan but had Woo not been a total idiot she would have made the finals against the person she was most likely to possibly win against (still probably loses but her best opportunity, if she killed it at FTC anything was possible). I agree she also keeps in mind she is playing a character, she is there to entertain, and that the fans are the one who make the game possible, all the while still playing the game and trying to make things happen. She makes some mistakes, but she is always trying, and also representing herself to the fans. I do admire that about her even though is a polarizing figure.

        Well I was totally wrong about Stephen. I will come clean my prediction for Stephen wasnt even based on much logic but a boot list which had been totally right until now but this last boot was 100% wrong so that completely goes out the window and I dont have to worry about confessing that now. It is good the rest of the season will be unspoiled now for those of us who read it. That aside though I do sense Stephen is still a target for people, and he was this episode initially. Savage being gone helps him immensely though since Savage has wanted him out a really long time. You were totally right on Jeremy though. He is the one who pulled the plug on Stephen and Joe wanting Stephen gone. Also the fact Savage cowered and backed down to Jeremy shows he wasnt anywhere nearly in control as he thought he was which is kind of funny (amongst other things). That shows Jeremy was tighter with Stephen than he was with Savage.

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