‘Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance’ episode 3 review: A tribe swap changes the game

Varner -At the end of last week’s installment of “Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance,” Jeff Varner looked like he was on top of the world. He had a great alliance, and managed to swing almost the entire Ta Keo tribe to vote out Shirin.

Here is just how crazy this game is: In the span of one episode, he went from the top to almost the very bottom thanks to making one huge mistake: Whispering to Kelly Wiglesworth after the immunity challenge. Let’s be clear that we still question the move on Tasha’s part publicly, mostly because you do make yourself suddenly a known target when you were so under radar; yet, don’t you have to consider her night’s MVP? On the all-new Angkor tribe she managed to, alongside Savage, sway some people over to her side so that they didn’t get voted out … or they at least swayed Abi-Maria, who proved yet again to be the wild card of the season.

Thanks to her decision, what else could Varner really do but to side against Woo and Peih-Gee and vote out the latter? He doesn’t want to force a tie, and while he claimed that Tasha and Savage had the power at tribal council, the reality is that he is the one who decided to not bring this whole thing to rocks. We’re bummed for Peih-Gee, mostly because it seemed like the only thing she did wrong was get screwed on a tribe swap that brought us from two to three … and also not get along with Abi, who Tasha and Savage are at least relying on for now.

This entire Angkor tribe is a complete mess, and therefore somewhat fun to watch. Meanwhile, the former Ta Keo is screwed almost no matter where you look. You’ve got Terry and Kelley Wentworth surrounded by Joe, Kass, Ciera, and Keith, while Stephen, Jeremy, Monica, and Kimmi are on the new Bayon with Spencer and Wiglesworth. Spencer did a decent job trying to improve his lot over there, but those four still seem close. Plus, Jeremy’s got an immunity idol that (somehow) he was able to snatch right out of the immunity challenge. That makes two idols that nobody knows about.

The tribe swap was a brilliant play, since it forces these people to re-strategize, and also helps to further cast aside the dreaded pre-game alliances we’ve heard so much about. At the moment our assessment of the other tribes is simply that Bayon seems great for a while, and Terry seems set up for a great fall by talking about how wonderful and awesome his new tribe is.

In the end, how do you not love this episode? You had an underdog story, a twist, an idol find, and a blindside all rolled into one. With this much gameplay, this is almost “Survivor” at its best. Grade: A-.

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