There’s nothing quite like watching a blindside on “Survivor.” It’s glorious, especially those few seconds when someone realizes that they are going home. For Monica Padilla, we feel like she had to realize that there was blood in the water the moment she saw one vote. Her facial expression said it all.
The funny thing here is that when you think about what Monica did wrong, it really wasn’t that much. She just clashed hard with Kimmi Kappenberg, someone who is trying to keep her temper under wraps. In getting her out, she can stay cool a while longer. Kimmi really took issue with Monica wanting to keep female numbers up for the sake of a future women’s alliance, especially when they already had a strong alliance. If Monica was making this pitch to a different player, it may have meant nothing. However, Kimmi is very old-school and is about numbers and having strong people around. You have to know the people you are playing with if you want to do well in this game.
Ultimately, we feel very much for Monica. She fought really hard to get out there and we think she’s a dangerous player, especially after the merge. This is the part of the game she’s vulnerable thanks to her being a weaker challenge player, and unfortunately she fell victim to trying to think too much about the future in the present.
As for whether or not it’s the right move for Bayon at this point, we have to argue yes because we already have video proof that Monica was not going to be a loyal number. It may not have been the right move for Kimmi since Monica still wanted to stick with her, but we feel like Jeremy and Stephen did what they had to in the situation. Kelly Wiglesworth is easy to read, and Spencer may feel a debt to them over keeping him safe.
Yes, we really should blame Stephen Fishbach extensively for giving Angkor a point on accident during the last immunity challenge, but was that not one of the funniest immunity moments you’ve ever seen?
Elsewhere, it was strange seeing Angkor remain safe for another week! Tasha is still running the show over there, but we did get our first real sign that she may consider keeping Woo over Abi-Maria in the long-term, largely because Abi is so hard to manage and Woo may be just as loyal to them. We’re not going to get angry at Abi, though, for questioning Woo’s emotional story as a sympathy ploy; she explained herself well in a confessional, and while we feel for Woo as much as anyone, this is a valid strategy to endear yourselves to others. Remember when Savage claimed Stephen had “no dignity” for not getting choked up over his story?
Finally, let’s turn to Ta Keo, who are mostly boring at the moment other than the fact that Terry is completely delusional about how safe he is as a member of his tribe. The other five people have a secure alliance now, and it’s one we could really see carrying them all the way to the end. Given that this group consists of Kass, Ciera, Joe, Kelley, and Keith, we’re not going to complain if that is what happens.
The only criticism we’ll offer up for this episode is that the end result may have been a tad bit telegraphed. Wiglesworth didn’t have the edit of someone going home tonight, so once Spencer wasn’t talked about as a target, we figured Monica was the only alternative. Still, a great ending to an overall satisfying hour. Episode Grade: A-.
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