We enter this review for “Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance” feeling somewhat bittersweet. We’re devastated over the person who went home, but we have to give the show a whole lot of credit for trying to find a way to completely stun us with the result of the vote.
Jeff Varner is out. For the first three weeks, we thought the guy had a good chance to win the game! He was playing the game hard, and had so many allies on just about all sides. It’s so rare that we can say that someone lost just because their tribe didn’t win challenges, but we think that’s the case here. Go back to the Vytas vote. He didn’t want to vote out Abi-Maria since she was working with him, and even if he did, it would’ve only gotten him a tie. For Shirin, he got rid of someone he knew was gunning for him. With Peih-Gee, he was just looking for a reason to keep himself safe after his blunder at the last challenge. We actually don’t think that cost him at all here, since the decision tonight seemed more about who can help the team the most moving forward. Woo will do that in challenges, and there could be another one or two tribal councils left before a swap.
We’ll give some props here to Woo, as well: He’s not the best strategist, but while Varner did clearly give a better pitch to Abi in particular, he at least tried to fight on the basis of new loyalty. Woo will be loyal; we’ve seen the history lesson there.
While Tasha is clearly the star of this tribe, she’s not the only person doing a great job right now. We’re still impressed with Kass on Ta Keo, even if she did temporarily scare Kelley into thinking that she was making a fake idol that was really a gift. She’s trying! Meanwhile, Jeremy on Bayon has an idol, and seems more than happy to make Stephen his #2 just like JT did so many years ago. The difference? This time, Jeremy has the idol. We even had a Monica confessional! What was interesting here was seeing that, yet again, someone wants to get Spencer out of the game. The guy just can’t win.
A few other odds and ends from this installment:
-We hope Varner puts out a line of those sleeveless dress shirts after being voted out.
-The reward challenge involved tribes basically picking a champion to run the whole thing, and Angkor picked Savage over Woo while Ta Keo chose Terry over Joe. Questionable moves, and yet both guys managed to beat Jeremy.
-The more we think about it, the more we also feel bad for Peih-Gee and Savage as a result of the tribe swap. It’s not so much when it comes to strategy as much as it is the fact that they had so few supplies and were really shafted versus the other two camps. We don’t love that; we’re not sure they were winning this immunity in a million years regardless, but who knows what energy they would have had with a more level playing field.
Varner was our favorite person to watch this season, and thanks to that, we’re devastated. However, we love that he went out in such an entertaining, surprising hour. Grade: A-.
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