October 08, 2015 7:59pm PT by Parvati Shallow
The cast of ‘Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance’ AP Images
Season 31 of the CBS reality show features returning castmembers who were chosen by viewers.
Parvati Shallow is a ‘Survivor’ champ and three-time competitor on the show. Find her on Twitter @parvatishallow.
Our latest episode of Survivor Cambodia featured a couple of deep human themes: resilience and acceptance. As fans of Survivor know, it takes a strong ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances as the game evolves. Players who are able to quickly accept these changes and adjust their gameplay are rewarded. Those who cannot bounce back typically get snuffed.
With this new tribe swap, we now have three tribes of six. And as with any Survivor shakeup, there are winners and there are losers. Let’s get into it.
Read more ‘Survivor: Second Chance’: Parvati Shallow Picks the Top 3 Contenders
Andrew Savage was burned in a twist on his last season of Survivor: Pearl Islands. He admits to being completely overwhelmed and unhappy about this new tribe. OK, Andrew, it’s fine to be upset for a few moments, but don’t tell everyone about it! You don’t want to give your new tribemates any reason to single you out as a bad seed right now. Because Andrew is on the losing side of the numbers, he needs to man up and be cool about this swap, even though he’s having Survivor PTSD flashbacks. Stay calm, and you will be rewarded.
The other person who gets the short end of the stick with this swap: Tasha Fox. Unlike Andrew, Tasha instantly accepts her new place in Angkor. She wastes no time or energy resisting her new position. Because she has her mind fixed on the end goal of winning the game, she hits the ground running and makes moves to secure an alliance with Abi right away. Tasha blows my mind in this episode! With her gigantic smile, quick wit, resilience and total composure, she is able to keep herself in the game despite being massively outnumbered by the original Ta Keo.
I have a new favorite, and her name is Tasha Fox.
Another guy who is quickly moving up the ranks in the Survivor power books is firefighter Jeremy Collins. Collins remained at Bayon in the switch-up. With his new tribe, he keeps a significant amount of people from his original Bayon and thus maintains his dominant position. Not only does Collins score with numbers, he also snoops around hard enough to find an idol clue hidden at camp. The clue leads to a hidden immunity idol at the challenge, which Collins handles like a champ. As he snatches the idol mid-challenge, his tribe is none the wiser. They even manage to take home the second immunity idol, saving them from a date with Probst at Tribal Council. Well played, my friends. Well played.
Now, for the person who really blew it: Jeff Varner. When Jeff mouths something to Kelly Wigglesworth on the other tribe, he gets intercepted and outed by Tasha. Then, when Tasha explains to Probst what all the fuss is about, Varner really loses it. He instantly starts blowing everyone’s cover and airing the tribe’s dirty laundry. Not cool, Varner. I really thought he was better than that. I’m disappointed, but I also understand that Survivor takes a lot of physical and mental stamina. If you don’t have the energy to control your emotional outbursts, you’re going to say some things you wish you hadn’t. And your big, reactive mouth is going to get you in trouble. Will Varner be able to get himself out of this mess?
I like Varner a lot, so I hope he can fix this.
I didn’t expect his strategy to save himself would involve a long afternoon nap in the shelter while the rest of his tribe scrambles. This looks really bad for Varner.
Tasha wants to win this game, and she’s out for Varner now. She approaches Abi and almost immediately secures her loyalty and her vote. But when Abi takes this offer to Peih Gee and Woo, they don’t bite. It’s no secret that Abi and Peih Gee don’t see eye to eye, and when Abi backs Peih Gee into a corner, saying she will not vote for Tasha or Savage, Peih Gee is p.o.’d. Abi’s power move sends Peih Gee into a tailspin in which Varner is the greatest beneficiary. Peih Gee feels bullied by Abi and wants her gone, but Tasha and Savage want to keep her, so it’s curtains for Peih Gee.
And, just like that, the Peih Gee versus Abi grudge match is finished.
I can’t say I won’t miss those two little firecrackers going at it, but I’m glad we’ve still got one wild woman still left in the game.
For a more in-depth analysis of this season of Survivor, check out this video I made just for fans like you!