‘Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance’: When Playing Too Hard Becomes A Thing


Buddyboy Spence won’t be smiling for much longer…

SPOILERS AHEAD, MY FELLOW SURVIVOR FANS! (But who are you kidding? You watched it the second it aired…)

Just two episodes in and this season is on fiyah! All bets are off for these second chancers! Castaways are either playing too hard or not hard enough, and every single thing they do – or in Shirin’s case, don’t do – can be contorted into a reason to vote them off. It happened for Vytas last week, and it is with a lowly hung head that I mention my homegirl Shirin, our second Second Chancer whose torch was snuffed last night.

I love the high-stakes feel of this season. Everyone on this cast has something to prove, not only to themselves, but to those who voted them in. These stakes make every single minute of each episode that much more dramatic and important. This isn’t true of every season, but I wish every Second Chance episode could be 90 or 120 minutes. I’d watch every last second with a stupid giddy grin plastered all over my money maker.

Dammit, we need to talk about Abi again. This is exactly why I despise her. Or maybe LOATHE is a better word. She sucks up screen time, she is socially stunted, and she gets in the way of everyone’s games. She’s literally a large boulder laying across the Survivor highway and it’s unbearable. Jeff (Varner – who I will now call by last name, because that’s what Probst does!) is right on wanting to take her to the very end. She’s a waste of space who will never have an original idea in her head. But he needs to learn how to tame that beast ASAP because Hurricane Abi will eventually blow him away – and it’ll probably be accidental, largely in part to her big mouth.

Speaking of Abi’s big mouth – what did she do after linking up to an alliance that actually gave a damn about her? She ratted everyone out to Shirin and Spencer, telling the two targets that their heads were on the chopping block. DEAR EVERYONE: THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE IN FOR FOR THE REST OF THE GAME. Me? If I were out there, I’d think she was too much of a liability and I’d cut her. As soon as humanly possible. Not like – throw a challenge to cut her – but that little “joy” would be spending a lot of time at Ponderosa. Hopefully for Terry and Varner, this doesn’t backfire.

No idols were found and that is sad. Hurry up, Bayon! I want another repeat moment of tension like Kelley’s idol find last week!

Fan-favorite homeboy Spencer almost got AXED! If Spencer had gone down second, I think Survivor fans would’ve had Russell Swan-level heart problems. Ratings would’ve faltered! Bombs would have been dropped! HOW CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT SPENCER! Jokes aside, I do like the kid – and I do think he’ll learn from this and slow his roll a bit. It’s great to play hard when no one’s looking, but when everyone IS looking…you’ve got to conform to the tribe’s pace, homie. It’ll be interesting to see how he can position himself better to hopefully make it past the merge. If not, he’s toast.

JOEGA is perfect and you are not. Just remember that the next time you accomplish something worthwhile. Joe can do it better, and he will look better doing it. Even when he is covered in dirt and unshowered. Because Joe is a beautiful man. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT JOE? Nothing. But he needs to dirty up his image or he is gone the millisecond the merge hits. Actually, he’s probably fucked either way…right!? If he sticks close to his allies, Andrew (Savage) and Jeremy, he has a fighting chance, but that’s if and only if they don’t turn on him. It’s an uphill battle for everyone’s favorite Worlds Apart yoga master.

Savage really, really loves his wife. But did anyone else think that story was going to end with, “…and then she died.” Because I sure did.

shirinOh, Shirin, Shirin…I totally get it. Shirin is a polarizing character. She can be perceived as annoying, a know-it-all, and an over-achiever – but by the end of last season, I was a fan. She means well, she plays hard, and she’s a superfan. It’s a trifecta of do-good-ery, if you ask me. I’m SUPER sad to see her leave, especially at the indirect (direct?) hands of Abi-Maria. (UGH) Still, I don’t feel that Shirin’s only downfall was not going to see if Abi was OK. Sure, it was a dire oversight – but everyone on that tribe knew that Spencer and Shirin were playing hard. And there we have it, kids. There is something as playing too hard in the game of Survivor. You have to be cunning, but you have to keep it reeeeal R. Kelly style – on the down low (nobody has to knoooooow). I was rooting for you, Shirin! Sorry to see you go so soon!

Next week – THE TRIBES GO FROM TWO TO THREE, WHAT!?!? Crazy awesome twist. We’ve never seen tribe number increase before! And though she hasn’t been on-screen too much – can Kimmi go home yet? That’d be just swell.

What do you think of Shirin’s ousting? On a scale of 100 percent to a 1,000,000, how much do you love Joe? Tell me more things about your love for Survivor in the comments!