Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Survivor: San Juan del Sur - LEGO - Bro Down. WE HAVE A BRO DOWN.

Coyopa returns to camp after writing John Rocker's name down.  Paper really does cover rock.

Dale is concerned that he didn't see this coming, & vows to amp up his social game.  Otherwise,


Over at Hunahpu, Natalie finds the flint that Jon lost.  Drew is aggravated that they traded fishing gear for a new flint at the last Reward Challenge.


Drew decides he's going to try to trade the flint for fishing gear from Probst.  Basically, he decides:


At the Reward Challenge/Exile Banishment, Drew is *not* ready to get to their next Reward Challenge.  He suggests a trade with Probst.


The Reward Challenge involves a grappling hook, 3 bags of balls, & a catapult to launch the balls into 5 baskets.  First person to land all 5 balls wins a choice of comfort items or campfire food.  Jon competes against Jaclyn, & beats her.  He chooses Drew to go to Exile Island with her, & Hunahpu chooses comfort as their reward.

At Exile, Drew can appreciate that Jaclyn is attractive, but Jon need not worry.


Drew's really out there to strategize and manipulate minds.  Yes.  He tells Jaclyn that he's going to throw the Immunity Challenge because there are snakes on his tribe that have to go.

Back at Hunahpu, alongside A LOT OF SNAKE FOOTAGE, Keith looksssss for the idol that hisssss Exsssssile Island clue wassss for.  He can't find it & assssssumesssss that Jeremy mussssst have it.  He tellsssss everyone elsssssse to keep that in mind.  Reed tellssss Jeremy what Keith ssssssaid.


Keith goes back for one more look, finds the idol, & decides he'll keep it to himself.

Over at Coyopa, Baylor takes the Tree Mail to read it & Alec accuses her of snatching it.


Ugh, not a woman.  They're the worst type of human.

Drew projects his feelings of inadequacy onto Baylor & they have a twisted Boone/Shannon relationship & it's kind of weird.

Time for the Immunity Challenge & Kai's mind is blown.

"Jeff is wearing a black shirt!  We have to change the minifigure!"



The Immunity Challenge is a race through water & obstacles to retrieve 3 rings, which must then be hooked onto a post.  Drew throws the challenge, & Coyopa wins their first Immunity.  Probst asks "Who wants it?" & nobody does because it's fucking creepy.

Over the weekend, Kai & I went to a really terrible wax museum in Niagara Falls with Haley Strong.  We went strictly because it looked horrible.  Boy, were we right.  Anyway, while we were there, we saw the Immunity Idol.


Drew says, "If I don't want to win, we're not going to win. And that's what makes me the Kingpin of my tribe."



Back at camp, Drew apologizes to his tribe.  Usually I'm the best thrower.  Uh, of rings, of course.  And balls, yes, also balls.  Not challenges, that's crazy why would you even say that is that a Howler monkey come here buddy hey guys watch this I bet I can get him to sit on my shoulder what were we talking about again?



Drew decides that Kelley is the biggest threat on Hunahpu because "she has not missed one episode of Survivor."  Imagine that?  Someone watching the show they're competing on? AND she's a woman?  Gross, get her out.  Drew continues his asinine behaviour all the way up to Tribal Council.

At Tribal, Jeremy confronts Keith about his lie.  Keith doesn't seem to understand that they could have been a tight alliance of 2 within their larger alliance.


Everyone is confused, & 4 different names are written down.  Drew is voted out.

"If Jeff ever says 'The tribe has spoken' to me, I'll say: 'Yes they have, Jeff.  Yes they have.'"

Drew can't blame his tribe, really, what with him being a physical powerhouse, strategic mastermind, AND he's kind of known in some parts of Europe for his modeling?  I mean, yeah, get that threat out of there.

You probably noticed that Kai didn't have a lot to say this episode.  Honestly, he mostly just sat beside me, shaking his head.

I will try to live-tweet as much as possible, but I won't be recapping the next few episodes of Survivor, as I'll be on a work trip this weekend, & after that I'll be in Hell Week & the 2-week run of a production of Cabaret, in which I'm playing prostitute Fräulein Kost.  If you're in the Toronto area, come see (a lot of) me!  Tickets at curtaincallplayers.com.


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Survivor: San Juan del Sur - LEGO - Grow Some Balls

Coyopa returns to camp from Tribal Council, where Val has just been voted out.  Baylor is shaken from an almost-blindside, & Rocker is wondering who flipped.


Rocker reinforces that he's good with the Five Guys Alliance.  Dude, you don't have to have a Five Guys Alliance just because they had a Five Guys Alliance in the first Blood vs Water season.  Brad Culpepper pops by quickly to remind Rocker what their Five Guy Alliances actually are:


At Hunahpu, Drew is remembering that he was warned about tropical storms.  Has our conscience shown?  Has the sweet breeze blown?  They haven't experienced one yet, so Drew calls his tribe to action, preparing the shelter for a storm.  The only thing is, weaving palm fronds can be tedious work, bro.


Keith is appalled at Drew's laziness & let's us know exactly what he would do to this grown man if he were his own son.


Natalie annoys Drew while he's sleeping & snoring & calls him out on it, & I really, really like Natalie.  Jeremy tells her Drew's moronic behaviour is good for their game, but doesn't know if he'll last as long as he needs to for Jeremy to drag him to the end.

At the Reward Challenge/Exile Banishing, Jeremy sees that Val has been voted out.  Rocker publicly apologizes to Jeremy, & now both tribes know that they had struck a deal on Exile Island to look out for each other's loved one.

The Reward Challenge involves balancing on a wobbly beam, using giant spatulas to transfer tiles from one end to the other.  First to stack six wins a choice of a tarp, pillows, blankets, etc... or fishing gear.

Julie & Jaclyn do the Rock Paper Scissors, & again, playing against someone connected to Rocker, the challenger plays Rock.  Rocker never shared this info with Julie, & instead of playing Paper, she plays Scissors & loses.  Both Julie & Jaclyn just stand there for a minute trying to figure out who won because doesn't rock sharpen scissors?




Wes decides to compete as he says his Dad wouldn't be good at this at all & it sounds like he's angling for a whoopin'.  Probst keeps calling Wes "West" as if he's the Dread Pirate Roberts & not a Fireman from Louisiana.  Wes wins the first challenge for Coyopa, & Keith gets emotional instead of corporal punishment-al.

Wes chooses Josh to go to Exile with his Dad, & Coyopa chooses the fishing gear over the comfort.
Rocker leaves with one last "I did everything I could, I swear to you" to Jeremy, but Jeremy is now out to get Rocker.  Looks like this bromance was short-lived.



Intent on stirring up hate for John Rocker, Jeremy tells all of Hunahpu who he is.  "He said a bunch of racist and homosexual stuff".  Where is that article, because that one I'd like to read.  Julie isn't around for any of this, as she is crying in the woods because...I actually don't know.  She thinks Jeremy will vote her out next in retaliation?  She enjoys a good bromance & just really thought those two would hit it off?   She's upset.

On Exile Island, Keith & Josh are bonding.  If Keith wouldn't know how to act in Massachusetts, how is he going to know how to act on Broadway & 42nd?  He shares the Urn's clue with Josh, & they deduce that Rocker & Jeremy may have the idols.  They eat snails & figure out sleeping arrangements.  Keith declares "There won't be no spoonin'".  Yeah, I don't know if Keith has paid attention to what Josh is used to spooning with.  How ever will he resist the temptation of Keith?

LEGO just wouldn't do this body justice, & you know it, too.

At Coyopa, Baylor's trying to convince the boys to work with her & Jaclyn instead of Rocker.  Alec says She asks many questions, like children often do.

The Immunity Challenge involves an obstacle course for pairs, searching for balls to be shot into a basket.  First tribe to sink 3 wins Immunity.  Hunahpu wins, & Natalie starts yelling at Coyopa, urging them to vote out Rocker.




"I was hoping for a real fight."

Back at camp, Rocker says "Natalie called me a homophobe today.  Really?  My closest ally & closest friend on this tribe is a gay man."  And then my Twitter feed looked like:



Rocker attempts to get everyone on board for Dale while really getting them on board to vote for Baylor, but everyone seems to still want Rocker gone.  At Tribal Council, Jacyln has one piece of advice for the men on Coyopa:



Rocker does not play his Immunity Idol, & is voted out.

"Do you get to keep your Idol if you don't play it?  You do?  Then I would never play my Idol.  I would keep it as a souvenir."


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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Survivor: San Juan del Mar - LEGO - Own It

Coyopa returns from Tribal Council after voting Nadiya out.  Josh immediately takes Baylor aside to explain his vote for her.


Baylor thinks it's sketchy, but recognizes it as "a game move".  My 10 year old son is confused.

"Wait - how is that a gay move?"

Over at Hunahpu, Reed stretches his leg above his head, so move over, Vytas.  There's a new flexible Survivor.


I hope producers at least considered taking inspiration from the 2:00 mark of this video for a Season 29 challenge.

Drew & Jon decide to work out before the challenge.


Kelley realizes her tribe has lost the flint, & Jon takes full responsibility & compares himself to J'Tia, who did a little more than accidentally lose a flint.


At the Reward Challenge/Exile Island Banishment thing - does this have an actual name yet?  Is it just a Reward Challenge & this is how it's going to be every week?  Because I thought that was just a first-episode thing, tbh.  Anyway, at the thing, Natalie sees that Nadiya has been voted out & Probst is on the hunt for tears.  And tears he gets, along with a confession/exaggeration?


Probst pumps in the Full House music before telling her the game moves on.  The Reward Challenge will have one person from each tribe balancing a ball on a disk while moving through obstacles.  First person to make it to the end & win Skee-ball brings back fishing equipment for their tribe.  Loser goes to Exile.

Rock Paper Scissors will determine who puts up their tribe member first, & Reed & John Rocker play.  Reed plays rock, the same move he won with at the last Reward Challenge, & Rocker plays Paper, winning.  Which makes me wonder if he usually wins with Paper because his name subconsciously urges others to play Rock.  Once again, a #PocketPitman would be handy in a situation like this, because he would surely have those stats.

Rocker volunteers himself & competes against Julie.  Probst loves this challenge.


Julie wins & Rocker is mad that he not only lost, but he lost to a girl.



Julie chooses Jeremy to go to Exile with Rocker, & they set off.  Hunahpu tries to barter a bag of beans for a new flint, & Probst enjoys it a little too much.  Pulls out a couch & urges Hunahpu to Just Say Yes to the only deal he's giving them today, which is a new flint for the entire reward they just won.  They eventually agree to take that deal, angering Probst that he won't get to raise the stakes to a new flint for Hunahpu's first-born Survivor Baby.

Over at Coyopa, everyone's starting to recognize Rocker.  Dale says "I'm not sure, but..." & goes on to list every offensive thing John Rocker has ever said or done.  He sounds pretty sure to me.  Now that we've been reminded of Rocker's racism again, we can cut to Exile Island, where he is currently vacationing with Jeremy.  Jeremy knows who Rocker is, and what he has said, yet seems willing to give him a chance.  "You can say stuff like that and it will follow you for the rest of your life.  You can change."  Jeremy is a much more forgiving human being than I.  I've forever cut ties with people for just joking about Kick a Ginger Day (seriously, how is that a thing?  What is wrong with people?).  Jeremy wants to work with Rocker to protect Val & Julie, but says "If [Val]'s voted out, Julie's gone right after."

Immunity Challenge time, which gives us a Vine by Kai:




It's the fight-until-someone-hits-the-water challenge, & Probst is practically drooling.  The first round is Kelley vs Jaclyn & it's almost a repeat of Caramoan.



Drew & Alec are up next & they just stand there singing Dishwalla & Collective Soul songs to each other while playing with their hair.  "And I walk up on high, and step to the edge, & see my world below."  "Tell me all your thoughts on God, because I'd really like to meet Her."  Collective Soul wins because after Counting Blue Cars, I don't know any other Dishwalla songs, & neither do you - I've discovered that the odds point to you having no idea what I'm referring to at all, but I don't care because I think it's funny.

More people fight & it's John vs Jon, & heads crash, & eventually Jon wins.

"Wow, if he was mad about a girl beating him..."

Missy takes on her daughter Baylor, who, like her Mom, says she's visualizing "One of the exes".  She splits her lip & cries & her Mom totally isn't in it anymore & basically dives.

Reed vs Josh is next & unfortunately, a dance-off doesn't happen.  But this does:



Reed wins.  Next up is Keith vs Dale.


Dale ties it up 4-4.  Jaclyn takes on Kelley again, & Dale can't look.  "It's her birthday today".  Kelley gets her birthday wish & wins Immunity for Hunahpu.  And now, for something I could watch over & over again:




Back at Coyopa, Rocker tells Val that he enjoyed spending time with Jeremy on Exile, but that he hasn't found an Idol from the clue Jeremy shared with him.  Val says she found one on Exile, & also found one back at camp.


Rocker follows the steps laid out in his clue & finds the idol, which should make it clear that Val was lying about finding one at camp.  But it doesn't seem to.  He tells Val as long as she plays one of her idols, she'll be safe.

At Tribal Council, Probst reminds Coyopa that they haven't won anything.  Josh says that's okay because we're in tech week & we're making changes & we haven't opened for really reallz yet, & when we do our show will be amazing & basically Coyopa will win all the Tonys & I LOVE JOSH.

Val continues her charade of having 2 idols, & tries to put the focus on Baylor, whom she says is playing both sides.  Baylor denies telling her to vote for Dale.



Shockingly, Val does not play one of her imaginary idols, & Rocker looks pissed.  Votes are tied between Val & Baylor.  On the next vote, which can only be for Val or Baylor, Rocker votes for Val, saying "I told you what would happen.  Now you're making me look like a liar to your husband."  Val is voted out, & I miss her already.

"Well, at least I know who Baylor is now."


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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Premiere

San Juan del Sur is the 29th season of Survivor, and the 2nd installment of the Blood vs Water twist - playing with/against a loved one.  It worked well when one of the pairs was a returning player, so this season is trying it with all newbies.  Now, I didn't do a cast assessment this year because as a musical theatre performer/lover who created Hold Up, Bro, & whose theatre group had a fundraising Survivor weekend this summer (Our host was SitzProbst.  SITZPROBST!!!), it's pretty clear that I'm a fan of musical theatre & Survivor colliding.   So I didn't want to go on & on & on about my love for Reed & Josh. *

*I make no promises to restrain myself for future seasons.

Like last season, my 10 year old son Kai will be contributing to these recaps with his thoughts on the episodes (which will display in a red font), & he's decided he'll make Vines with the LEGO throughout the season as well - if you'd like to see what a 10 year old Vines, you can check him out here.

The second Blood vs Water season begins the same way the first did - with the pairs experiencing a "Day Zero" - one night together before the game really starts.

We begin to meet the pairs - Jaclyn, former Miss Michigan, says of her & Jon:  "I don't want people to hate us & think we're this crazy perfect couple."  I don't know, you guys look pretty generic to me.


Already I'm having flashbacks to last season.



Then there's former MLB star & infamous ranter John Rocker, & his girlfriend, Lisa Rinna Julie McGee.


Rocker starts talking, & in the cast videos I was struck by how much Danny McBride actually sounds like him as Kenny Powers, but throughout this whole episode, every single time Rocker said something:
1. I couldn't understand a word, &
2. He sounds exactly like Harold, the bass singer of The Statler Brothers.  I'll be waiting for him to break out into Flowers on the Wall at every moment.


Baylor & Missy are Mother-Daughter cheerleaders.



We meet real bros Drew & Alec, the lead singers for Collective Soul & Dishwalla, respectively.




Father & Daughter Dale & Kelley are hoping to strengthen their sometimes rocky relationship.



The we meet boyfriends & Broadway performers Reed & Josh, and with the new No-Talking-Survivor-on-Social-Media rule the current players have to follow, I'm beyond bummed because can you imagine a Hold Up, Bro remake voiced by these guys?  I'm dying.  DYING.


Maybe my favourite part of the premiere is when Probst tells us in a voiceover that they both perform on Broadway, & then clarifies which Broadway with "In New York".  THANKS, JEFF.  Josh shares that Reed gave him flint for their first Valentine's Day & I'M DONE I LOVE THESE TWO. <3


Jeremy & Val are my other out-of-the-gates favourites, & the fact that Val sounds like a much less-neurotic Mindy Lahiri only has a little bit to do with that.



I never watched The Amazing Race when The Twinnies were on, so all I know is that Nadiya & Natalie were polarizing.  I tend to like people that other people dislike, so we'll see how this works out.  But I adore their style.



Keith & Wes are Father-Son firefighters.


I can't understand them when they speak, either.  Thankfully, I may have help this season.


After their night together, everyone comes together & Probst acts like he doesn't know anyone's names again.  He separates the loved ones into 2 tribes, Coyopa and Hunahpu, & asks each tribe to put up someone for a one-on-one Reward Challenge.  Winner brings flint & beans back to their camp, and the loser goes to Exile Island, which is back this season.  Rock Paper Scissors decides which tribe puts up someone first - Hunahpu wins & Jeremy volunteers.  Probst asks if he wants to know who he's competing against.


Surprise! It's your wife!  These two are super competitive & it makes me want to play board games with them.  Jeremy wins, and gets emotional about sending his wife to Exile.  Probst tells him to pick one person from Hunahpu to send with Val to Exile, & he picks Keith - my first thought was "Go yourself!", but it's not clear if that was even an option, let alone a choice Jeremy would have made.  Kai has other opinions.

"I would have picked another girl to send with my wife because what if they fall in love?  They're alone...on an island...that's romantic, right?  And I know she's not a lesbian because she married a man."

Hunahpu flocks around Jeremy back at camp.  He won them food & fire, he's a firefighter...he's beloved & trusted right away.

Over at Coyopa, everyone is much younger than Dale, who's already feeling ostracized.  Dale fixes that.



On Exile Island, Val & Keith come across 2 urns for them to open.  Val's has an Idol clue in it, Keith's is empty.  Keith tells Val he hasn't been North of Arkansas.



Silly Keith - if you're in Massachusetts all you have to do is wait for The Rice Fairy to show up & give you guidance.



Keith finds out that Jeremy is a firefighter, and is now optimistic about forming a bond with Jeremy when he gets back to Hunahpu.

The majority of Hunahpu is frolicking in the water & Drew is wondering why nobody is helping him & Jon build the shelter.  Jon says Yeah, where did everyone go?  Drew says Love is in the water, love is in the air.   Show me where to look, tell me will love be there?  Jon scurries under the bamboo because weird.  Drew reveals to us that he's kind of a big deal in Europe, in the modeling world.  But he's not here to be a model.  He's here to play Survivor.  Julie thinks he's arrogant, so holy shit, that dude must be arrogant because she's dating John Rocker.

Rocker, meanwhile, has his cover blown by Wes, who, like his Dad, recognized him immediately.


At Coyopa, Josh's eyes are burning & irritated & somehow everyone decides there's poisonous sap in the greenery they used as roofing sometime in the day prior.  Must have been mid-afternoon, as I could tell by how far the child's shadow stretched out, says Alec, and everyone is like Bro, just help us get rid of these leaves.

Time for the first Immunity Challenge, which involves scurrying around like possessed spider people from a Japanese horror movie, & retrieving bags with pieces to help each tribe scale 3 walls in 3 different ways.  First tribe to reach the top & solve a puzzle wins the creepiest Immunity Idol ever.


"Way to give you nightmares, geez."

Coyopa has an early lead, as Rocker nails the rope ball catch thingy in what appears to be his third attempt, & helps his tribemates out by literally carrying them on his back, which makes for an awkward moment with Val.


"Why can't they just use those stairs on the side?  I would use the stairs."

Spidey has no problem scaling the wall, obvs.



Coyopa begins their puzzle first, but Hunahpu solves it first.  Their excitement is shortlived as it sinks in that their loved ones will go to Tribal Council.  So far, there is no gloating from anyone in this season of Blood vs Water.

Back at Coyopa with a Tribal Council looming, Dale knows he's the only one who can make fire, but he also knows he's the oldest.  He sets his sights on Nadiya as a target, as watching her on The Amazing Race showed she won't hesitate to backstab someone.

Nadiya tries to solidify an alliance with Josh, telling him she thinks the girls should work together - & to Nadiya, that includes Josh.



 I cringe, & Josh reveals:


"Is she calling him a girl just because he likes boys?  That's hashtag stupid, hashtag mean, hashtag sexist...wait - is that sexist or another ist?"

At Tribal Council, Nadiya furthers her ignorance by rationalizing everyone's love of Josh to him being "in-between the girls and the boys".  Throughout this exchange, Rocker is presumably chewing off the inside of his cheeks trying to keep his mouth shut.

Time to vote, & Rocker votes Nadiya, saying to the camera, "I love you sweetheart, great personality" & you know in his head he's just Anyone who calls a gay guy a chick is cool in my books.

Nadiya is the first boot, & the only mystery is why Josh voted for Baylor.



I've said it before, but if you're not following along with the live-tweeters during Survivor, you're missing one of the reasons it's so fun to watch, which makes the new social media ban for the players all the more annoying.  Interacting with the Survivors is one of the things that makes this, & Reality TV in general, uniquely engaging in a way that a lot of television isn't.  Here are a few of my favourite tweets/tweeters from the night, so if you want to get started, start by following these guys:







Share your thoughts below in the comments, on twitter (@MomofKai) or on this blog's Facebook page!