‘Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance’ preview: Jeff Varner relishes in all things Abi-Maria

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While we write this article, we wonder if someone in “Survivor” casting is kicking themselves for not asking Jeff Varner back on the show before now. Yes, we know that he barely made the merge on “Survivor: Australia,” but given that you’ve practically given half the cast at this point a chance to return (yes, we’re exaggerating slightly, but you know Elisabeth Hasselbeck would be out there if CBS had their way), this guy had to be handed a golden ticket or at least a list of required immunizations. He’s gold. Seriously, and not some of that TV gold you see sprinkled on one of the show’s props.

There’s just something compelling about the way Varner talks about the game, and he does it brilliantly in the sneak peek below as he starts to list off reasons precisely why he loves having Abi-Maria around in the game. He knows that she is an irritant, but he loves her instant entertainment and probably the fact that everyone likely wants to get rid of her. In his head, she’s the perfect person to bring to the end.

The thing is we have utterly no clue whatsoever if anything Jeff is saying here is truth, especially since if we were out there we’d probably be more of Spencer mindset and constantly worried about whether she is saying something to jeopardize our game, but aware that she is technically an ally. There’s just something about the way Jeff says it that makes it so much fun; maybe that’s because he’s enjoying being out there just as much as we’re enjoying watching him.

Another reason why this scene in particular plasters such a huge smile on our face is that Abi seems to be completely in on the joke. She’s well aware that she is annoying people, and when it comes to Terry and Woo, she seems to be outright trolling them in a way we rarely seen on this show. (For those of you wondering how much Terry’s social game has improved since “Exile Island,” calling Abi “young lady” in the most condescending way possible is probably your answer.)

Let’s be real: Ta Keo’s in a terrible spot as a tribe. They’ve lost an immunity challenge already, a physical player in Vytas, Abi is annoying people, and the other tribe has Survivor God and Man-bun Trendsetter Joe Anglim. We just hope that they somehow eke out a win since this is one of the most delightfully dysfunctional groups of returning players. To reference “Exile Island” one more time, it’s like the ghost of Casaya is haunting them. Now imagine if Shane Powers of Casaya had been cast and put out there…

Want more of our coverage leading up to Wednesday’s episode? If you head over here, you can see our contestant rankings for BOTH tribes and so much more! Also, sign up here to get some more TV scoop on everything we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)


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