Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers episode 12 review: Lauren’s blunder

Lauren RimmerFor all of the grief that we gave Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers for the first two months of the game, the past three episodes have marked a pretty big turnaround for the CBS series. This season’s suddenly gone from an afterthought to a noteworthy game again, all thanks to some notable Tribal Councils and also a disastrous move tonight with Lauren.

What in the world was she doing? She hadn’t been jeopardy in a long time and that showed when she gave half of her hidden immunity idol (which she found at the challenge) to Mike in a show of trust. This is why it’s smart for the producers to occasionally do things like make idols into halves, just like it’s also smart for them to have more than one idol in the game until a certain point. Lauren opting to split up her idol left her vulnerable; meanwhile, Ben opting to play his secret idol ended up sealing her fate. She was confident because she didn’t anticipate that.

What would’ve happened in the event she played her idol is far for fascinating, given that both her and Ben would’ve been safe and the rest of the game would’ve descended into chaos. At that point, we’d probably start to think that Chrissy would’ve been the one in danger given the way some people were talking.

By the way, is Chrissy the most-likely winner at this point? We’re starting to think that it’s possible. She’s far too smart a player to be kept around for this long, and she has a loyal ally in Ryan plus someone in Mike who thinks about the game a similar way to her. With Lauren gone and with Devon and Ashley in a final two, it’s very easy for her to make a case to Ben to join her and get rid of those two, paving the way for them to make the final four.

Good on Ben tonight in finding a way to save his own hide, but if he was a doctor, we’d say that his bedside manner is terrible. Ben doesn’t know how to communicate with other people out there in the game — he’s brash, he’s harsh, and he just doesn’t use the right tone. He spared himself for maybe a week or two, but it’s hard to imagine him making it all the way to final three.

Another odd decision

This one is for the producers and that super-weird family visit challenge that probably cost them about eight dollars to make. How is picking colored marbles out of a bag a challenge at all? How is that anything? Jeff Probst claimed that this was a way for the loved ones and the Survivors to show they were on the same page when really it was just about luck. We like to think that there was some other challenge they had planned out that went sideways — otherwise, this was lame.

CarterMatt Verdict

After a really tough start to the season Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers continues its hot streak with another great vote-out and some interesting strategy. What’s so great about it is slowly watching people like Mike and Chrissy find ways to stick around while also seeing the game slowly slipping away from people like Ashley and Devon, who had this in the bag had they just made Ben feel a little more comfortable. If they hadn’t targeted him, odds are Chrissy would’ve gone tonight  and they would have even more of a numbers majority.


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