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Survivor: Season 31, the Merge, 11/4/15

November 6th, 2015 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Last Time on Survivor

Long-time host Jeff Probst visited Takeo in the middle of the night, bringing Terry Dietz news of an emergency back home. Dietz’ son was hospitalized and the father was needed to participate in healthcare decisions. (A blurb at the end of the episode told us the son obtained a heart transplant, making him a true “Second Chance Survivor.”)

So Terry says good-bye to the rest of Takeo, gets on Probst’s boat and leaves the competition. That leaves Takeo with the five members who had already shut Dietz out of their alliance.

When Jeff calls the three tribes together the next day, the news of Terry leaving Takeo upstages the news of Monica being voted out of Bayon. Yet another surprise awaits: the three tribes are being merged into two tribes of seven. Angkor is dissolved and players draw new buffs to find out who’s in Bayon and who’s in Takeo.

New Takeo:  Kass, Woo, Ciera, Spencer, Andrew Savage, Abi, and Kelly Wiglesworth (Season One Kelly).

New Bayon:  Jeremy, Keith, Tasha, Kelley Wentworth (Blood. vs. Water II Kelley), Stephen Fishbach, Joe, and Kimmi.

The Takeo alliance of five is now divided between two camps. Andrew Savage and Woo became close at the Angkor camp. In the realigned Takeo tribe, Savage schemes to keep Woo and get rid of Spencer. He calls Kass, Ciera, Abi, and Season One Kelly together and tells them that if Takeo loses immunity, everybody is to tell Spencer they’re voting out Ciera and blindside Spencer. There are two problems with this scheme. One is that Ciera doesn’t like being named as the decoy and the other is that Kass doesn’t like keeping Woo. Unlike the other five tribe members, neither Woo nor Spencer are members of the original Bayon tribe that started the game, and Kass wants to keep the original Bayon members around.

Takeo loses immunity. Kass–of all people–pulls Spencer aside and warns him he’s being targeted. If he wants to stay in the game, she tells him, he can vote with her, Ciera, and Abi to blindside Woo.

At tribal council that’s what happens. It’s Woo, not Spencer, who gets blindsided and cut from the game.

This Time on Survivor

Never before has the merge happened so early but this season it does. Thirteen contestants are now playing as individuals instead of as teams or tribes:  Kass, Ciera, Spencer, Andrew, Abi, Jeremy, Keith, Tash, Joe, Kim, Stephen, and the two women whose initials are K. W.

The new tribe’s name is Orkun. How this name was chosen is not explained. At the merge, old tribe-mates Andrew and Jeremy have a friendly reunion, young bucks Spencer and Joe start to work together, but Tash and Kass have an argument, each accusing the other of lying and betraying the old Bayon tribe. They yell at each other about not trusting each other, in the middle of the camp while everyone else hears and sees.

At about the same time Ciera wants to drive apart Andrew and Jeremy. Like the queen bee of a high school clique, she gleefully spreads a rumor that Andrew wants to vote out Jeremy. What she accomplishes is to wake up Savage the raging bull. He’s outraged and wants nothing to do with her.

The immunity challenge is revived from the Brain-Brawn-Beauty season. People have to balance a ball on top of a dish on top of a stick while balancing on a balance beam. The field comes down to four known challenge beasts–Joe, Spencer, Tash, and Savage–plus Jeremy. Finally it’s down to young bucks Spencer and Joe, and Joe is who wins immunity.

Back at camp a new majority forms around whether to vote out Ciera–who Andrew wants out in the worst way–or Kass, who didn’t do herself any favors when she fought with Tash. At first the majority agrees to vote for Kass, then someone floats a suggestion to split the vote, 5 for Kass, 4 for Ciera.

Kass and Ciera see their old Takeo alliance of five slip away. They court Spencer’s vote, suggesting they can get five people to vote out Tash as a counter-move. Spencer notes he’s never been in this position in the game before–to be the deciding vote.

At tribal council the concensus is that the vote will be for Tash, Kass, or Ciera but nobody’s really sure, there could be another strategy that only a few people are aware of. When the votes are read, the tally is two for Tash, four for Sierra, and six for Kass. There was also one lone vote for Andrew Savage, from one of the women–Wiglesworth? This may indicate there was one other half-baked strategy that didn’t get airtime. Regardless, Kass and her chaos are voted out.

Next time on Survivor

One big move is coming for one major player—but in this season, just about everyone is a major player.



Tags: Survivor