'Survivor: Cambodia' recap: 'Play to Win'

For The Baltimore Sun
The merge and Kass add extra drama to 'Survivor Cambodia' this week.

We’re treated to a little recap of the season at the beginning of this episode, probably because they’ve switched tribes eleventy-billion times this season and it’s hard to remember who’s been in which tribe. And it ended on the worst note ever: my favorite, Woo, being sent home.

At Ta Keo the morning after Tribal Council, it’s raining because even Mother Nature is sad that Woo went home. Savage is reeling because he had no idea what was going on for the vote, and he’s realizing that he doesn’t have the power in his new tribe. 

He goes to Ciera, Spencer, Abi and Kass about keeping him around until the merge and promises Spencer that he will never write his name down. Spencer and Kass seem to have come to terms about needing to work together. It’s working for them right now, and sticking around is more important than getting along. 

But I guess Savage doesn’t have to snivel too much to his Ta Keo tribemates, because the merge is happening right now. And he is, indeed, thankful for it. Might not be too great for those people who just blindsided him. 

The tribes meet up at the Bayon beach and get some food and alcohol. Wentworth is super happy she made it to the merge this time, and she’s even got an Immunity Idol. Everyone is a little surprised that Woo is gone and really surprised about who voted for him.

But the food has barely hit their stomachs before Savage takes Jeremy aside to talk strategy. They need seven to carry the vote, so they need to lock their numbers down. 

Kass and Wentworth are having the exact same discussion, and they think that they have the numbers as well. It seems like Joe and Spencer are going to be crucial votes. I suspect the entire episode will be variations on the same thing -- everyone figuring out who is working with whom without actually giving anything away (more than usual, anyway).

And Joe, indeed, seems to be a swing vote, as he’s got alliances with both the old Bayons and Ta Keos. Wentworth is sussing out Spencer and trying to convince him to trust Abi over Tasha.

Spencer uses football metaphors to convey the strength of their positions to Joe. He’s a little insulting in his confessional about it -- I’ve never gotten the impression that Joe has a problem comprehending this stuff. 

And then Stephen is reciting poetry. Everyone else, like me, is not sure why this is happening. It is a nice poem, though. But enough culture -- back to more and more talking about voting and alliances. Just what we needed! Can we have a challenge already? 

Kass tries to reel Tasha in a bit, but Tasha’s having none of it because Kass is the reason Tasha went home last time. Kass senses that Tasha is less than sincere, and all of a sudden Kass is offended and going to ‘release beast.' Oh yay, just what was missing from this season -- Kass talking about herself in the third person and giving herself much more credit than she’s due.

It’s a new day and Kass just can’t let this thing with Tasha go and I. Just. Cannot. with Kass tonight. Now she’s going to the other Bayon players and claiming Tasha went to her and said that Bayon was no more. No one looks especially upset about it. But then Ciera gets into it and adds to the fire, claimimg Savage wants to go after Joe and Jeremy. 

These people just can’t help themselves, can they? This has to be the biggest group of navel-gazers we’ve had in a long time.

And finally, we have a challenge! It’s the first Individual Immunity Challenge of the season, and as tradition holds, it’s an endurance challenge. It involves balancing on a beam while holding a ball on a platform, and both parts get progressively harder. 

Stephen is almost immediately out, and Keith is next but he at least made it nine minutes. Ciera and Kimmi follow shortly after, and the rest make it to the next round, where the beam is narrower and the pole shorter.

Abi only last seconds into the second round, followed by Kass and Wigglesworth, and then Wentworth (one of them needs to go so I can just call the one who stays “Kelley”). Savage is faltering. He makes it to the end of the round but is almost instantly out in the third round. Jeremy and Tasha both falter and are out. 

It’s down to Joe and Spencer, and while Spencer is good at challenges, he’s not the Golden Boy. Of course Joe wins the first individual Immunity. (I tease him, but he’s actually earned the title of Golden Boy -- he’s awfully good at a lot of things.)

We, of course, have time for a little more strategy and shenanigans before Tribal Council, and Kass and Ciera just help themselves. Savage has noticed Ciera totally threw him under the bus, but the rest of his alliance would rather get rid of Kass first. 

Oh, and the new tribe is apparently called Okrun. Kass, Abi, Ciera and Wentworth have realized that the entire rest of the tribe are off talking in a group and that they probably don’t have the numbers. They also rightly realize that they are planning on splitting the vote, which means they only need one more person to flip things. And that person is Spencer.

This whole thing is going to come down to Spencer choosing to get rid of Ciera, Kass or Tasha. 

Tribal Council time! It’s the biggest one they’ve had, with 13 people. Maybe that’s why there were so many shenanigans. Kass is acting like she’s not being all chaos-y and tries to pin that title onto Tasha, and Tasha’s head nearly spins off her neck.  Ciera has to get her two cents in as well, but then claims she doesn’t know why she’s being lumped in with Kass. Uh, because you can’t shut up. 

Probst says the game is moving fast, and he’s right. I don’t know if it’s because these people have all played before, but the pace these people are flying through their schemes is downright frenetic. Everyone is paranoid about not doing enough and ending up blindsided because of it (except Keith -- he’s as low-key as ever).

But who is going home? Kass, Ciera and Tasha each get two votes, and then Savage gets one. Ciera and Kass get to four each, but it’s Kass who will be going home. Yay! What was that random vote for Savage about? 

Next week: Everyone is worried about someone making a big move. 

Note: It was Ciera who voted for Savage. Was she trying to get rid of Kass?

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