Survivor:... Episodes

2008, TV Show

Survivor: Gabon---Earth's Last Eden Episode: "It Was Like Christmas Morning!"

Season 17, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: The tribes rank their team members in order of importance and then, based on the information, new teams are selected school-yard style. For immunity, the castaways play a water-based game that is a combination of water polo and lacrosse. At tribal council, another person is voted out of the game.
Original Air Date: Oct 9, 2008

Survivor: Gabon Episode Recap: It Was Like Christmas Morning! Season 17, Episode 3

Only three weeks into Survivor: Gabon and there's already a new playing field. This week, host, Jeff Probst mixed things up just as opposing alliances were settling into place. Now everyone is scrambling for position and watching their backs because there’s nothing worse on Survivor than losing the support of those you (sort of) trust- except, of course, getting voted off.

First off thanks to Paul Wolfe for stepping in last week and doing such a great job covering this blog while I was away. I hope you all enjoyed reading his take on our favorite show as much as I did.

One of the things I love about this show is what I call the Survivor Moments — those transitional nature shots that kick off each segment. Sometimes their subject matter is a not-so subtle character reference to a player (remember all the shots of rats that preceded nearly all of Jonathan Penner's footage during his first go 'round?). Mostly, these shots just give us armchair survivors a taste of the location. But there is so much eye candy on this Gabon edition that I may have to declare the whole show to be just one big Survivor Moment. Matty, Dan, Marcus et al…I can watch this show all night. And am I the only person who thinks Matty has got a little James Dean thing going on?

Visuals aside, tonight was quite the entertaining episode. First off, it's ten days in and we have Jeff calling for everyone to drop their buffs. With the way things were going I heartily welcomed the tribe switcheroo. Frankly, I think they ought to switch it up every ten days. Sure it sucks as a player to be ripped from your alliances, but from where I'm sitting these moves just keep it interesting. This time around The Powers That Be added a little spice to the mix-up by first making the tribes rank themselves — as if the schoolyard picks weren't bad enough.

Not surprisingly, Marcus and Matty topped the leader board (yes, I have watched Dancing with the Stars and that term has worked itself into my consciousness) of each tribe. Followed closely by Ace and Dan. Next came the older guys, Bob and Randy. Then Charlie and Crystal in fourth place (an unwelcome position in Crystal's eyes). Jacque and Ken, Corrine and GC, Sugar and Susie followed. And due to the unevenness of the tribes poor Kelly was the absolute last ranked person in Kota's eighth spot.

After this humiliating self-evaluation, Jeff declared the top dogs, Marcus and Matty, to be the tribe captains who were to start off the new tribe selection. After all was said and done, Kota became a very manly tribe with Marcus, Dan, Charlie (who was "thrilled" to still be on Marcus' team), Randy, Corinne, Susie and Bob. Fang, remained for the most part, original Fang members with Matty, Crystal, Ken, GC joining forces with Ace, Jacque, and Kelly. Sugar would eventually join their tribe after circumstances — namely Tribal Council — would take a member off of heir hands.

In the mean time, Sugar was sent off to spend four days in Exile Island. Talk about lucking out. Having found the Hidden Immunity Idol on her last visit, Sugar now got to take advantage of the Comfort portion of exile. While everybody else was choking down their daily bowl of poorly cooked rice, Sugar was dining on fresh fruit, going for dips in the lake and sunning on the deck, secure in the knowledge that the immunity idol was safely in her possession. Couldn't have happened to a nicer player.

The tribe ranking served as the first challenge, though it was more like an exercise, but the second lacrosse/water polo challenge made up for whatever the ranking lacked. Challenge No. 2 was the new Kota and Fang's first opportunity to work together. I like how Jeff put it of the losing tribe. It was "one of the worst performances" he'd seen. It's hard to argue against that when Kota (again) trounced Fang 3-0. Is it the name? Does Fang mean "cursed" in Gabonese?

One the other hand, Marcus and Randy were the standout players in this game with Randy scoring all three goals out of four shots with two assists from Marcus. Ace put up a strong defense for Fang for part of the game as goalie, then he abandoned his post to paddle into the middle of the course with his hands and leave the goal wide open. Part of me questions whether Ace was trying to lose the challenge to ensure that his muse would be assigned to his new tribe. My other half thinks, no, he's too competitive to do that. Towards the end Matty put up a fight and blocked a shot, but it wasn’t enough. Kelly did not do much at all in this challenge. Crystal could not control her boat and so was no help unlike Jacque who got the ball first for Fang.

I chuckle at the fact that master-manipulator Ace ended up on this tribe that couldn't find its way out of a box with a box cutter. Back at camp Ace accurately described their battle as that of "legless chickens against sleek weasels". Watching the new Fang strategize before tribal council was just as bad. I was at a loss as to Crystal, GC and Ken's reasoning. Let's see, you set it up so that you've swayed Kelly, a former Kota member, over to your side giving you a 4-3 controlling position against the stronger members. Then you turn around and want to vote her off because she was admittedly bad in the challenge? Who cares? You have the numbers! Protect her, don't jettison her. I feel Matty's frustration in being stuck in new tribe with original tribe members that make decisions based on the lamest turn of events. I wholeheartedly agree with Marcus, who shortly after the new tribes were formed said of Kota, "If Matty were here, it would be the perfect tribe."

Still, this is the beauty of Survivor. It will be interesting to see how Matty and Ace work the new Fang to their advantage and whether or not Kelly will continue to dig her way out of her low woman on the totem pole standings. In perhaps, a lucky break, Kelly managed to delay her ouster at Jacque's expense. Jacque, who contributed positively during the challenge. Jacque who ranked 5th on her tribe. Jacque, who like former two-time Survivor alum Stephanie, busted out the tears in declaring how much she wanted to be in this game. That Jacque was voted out of Fang. There's always one person who gets a raw deal with these tribe changes.

What concerns me now is:
• That even with the new tribes, we may still have a lopsided show.
• That Marcus' dominance in the immunity challenge may work against him later if he's seen as being too strong.
• That Ace may be threatened by and try to get rid of Matty.

What's your take on this week's show? Did Fang make a mistake in voting out Jacque? Was it too early to realign the tribes? Is Kota going to run away with this game? Can those Legless Chickens make a comeback? And lastly, how will Sugar fit into her new tribe?

Next week: Elephants approach the camp and GC goes missing.

Be sure to check out our Online Video Guide if you've missed any part of Survivor: Gabon – Earth's Last Eden.

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Only three weeks into Survivor: Gabon and there's already a new playing field. This week, host, Jeff Probst mixed things up just as opposing alliances were settling into place. Now everyone is scrambling for position and watching their backs because there’s nothing worse on Survivor than losing the support of those you (sort of) trust- except, of course, getting voted off.

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Survivor: Gabon---Earth's Last Eden

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Premiered: September 25, 2008, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The 17th edition of the reality series strands 18 castaways in Gabon, Africa, to vie for the $1 million first-place prize.

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