HOLLYWOOD—I will admit the latest season of “Survivor Cambodia – Second Chances” has renewed my interest in watching the reality series that totally introduced audiences to what we now call ‘reality’ television. For several months, I have been told that “Survivor: Cagayan” is perhaps one of the best seasons of the series that I hadn’t watched, so much to the point that I pulled a binge watch over the Christmas holiday to see what all the fuss was about. Yep, I haven’t done that since “Breaking Bad,” so that tells you how good of a season we’re talking about.
Will the first season of “Survivor” be heralded by many as the best yet, of course, but in my honest opinion, I would rank in the following order: “Survivor Cambodia – Second Chances,” “Survivor: Cagayan,” “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” and “Survivor: Borneo.” I have my reason for my ranking and that column can be reserved for another time. So what makes “Cagayan” such a treat? Well the contestants are grouped based on personality traits: brawns, brains and beauty.
In a game of “Survivor,” we can all argue that having one particular trait will NOT guarantee you a trip to the end, but “Cagayan” delivers a bevy of contestants where NOT A SINGLE ONE can be considered a dud and that rarely happens in such a series. I mean from the first tribal council, blindsides were taking place left and right. The brains crew was terrible when it came to challenges so much to the point they would bicker in public settings and create all sorts of chaos, get it ‘Chaos Kass.’
Anyway, when you have two blindsides back to back in David and Garrett, as a viewer you have no idea what to expect for the rest of the season. Three different tribes doing all in their power to survive, yet every single move made is calculated to some degree and the slightest mistake can end a game. I mean there are indeed those clear underdogs that you root for the entire game like Spencer, Tasha, Sarah, Morgan, Jeremiah, even Kass.
On the other-hand you have those players who are indeed playing the game like Tony, Trish, Cliff, LJ and Alexis. Considering that I watched “Cambodia” before “Cagayan” I was under the impression that that season had more blindsides than I can count, but “Cagayan” really set the stage for the amazingly strategic gameplay that was witnessed in the latest season. Watching Spencer, Tasha, Woo and Kass’ gameplay the first time around helped provide a bigger understanding to their approach in “Cambodia.”
Perhaps the one epic edge of your seat moment was seeing Sarah get booted after Tony and LJ both played their idols and Kass decided to flip. It was epic, and Spencer taunting his nemesis about not having a chance in the world to win the game was icing on the cake. I respect Kass’ move, but she put herself in a position that even if she had gotten to the end I don’t think she would have won as she rubbed so many people the wrong way. That set the stage for the division that had two sides battling to the very end.
I mean watching Tony flip-flop back and forth from his alliance to the other side was amazing. Why in the hell could Jefra, Woo, Trish, Kass and LJ not see how dirty of a player Tony was? I mean after the LJ blindside that should have been enough to convince them that Tony is a sole player.
Preferably, if Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah could have continued to hammer into Jefra’s head that Tony could not be trusted they would have been golden in getting her to flip. Hands down Tony deserved to win the game, but if other players like Spencer, Tasha or even Trish had made it to the end they would have all had convincing cases to present to the jury. I mean Tasha won three, three consecutive immunity challenges when her life was on the line people. Not easy.
Speaking of the jury, this was a bitter bunch, they didn’t hold back on their questions. Sorry Woo, you had no chance of hell in beating Tony and the fact that you didn’t see the writing on the wall when BOTH Kass and Spencer presented to you their cases shows why you didn’t make it far the second time around either. He stumbled so much through those jury questions it was painful to watch.
But wait, Trish delivered a verbal beating to Tony about his betrayal, as did LJ, Jeremiah and Jefra. I mean Trish literally left me speechless when she dug into Tony like that, not to mention Spencer’s vicious depiction of Woo’s gameplay to that of a dog following his or her owner. I hate to say it, but Spencer was dead on. We can’t forget the paranoia of Tony, the manipulative Kass who did all in her power to unnerve her fellow contestants so much to the point that Trish called her a ‘goat.’ Hmm, I don’t think Kass liked that too much.
I mean watching the tribal councils during each episode were pure heaven; I haven’t seen so many shocked faces and controversial moments in the series post watching “Survivor Cambodia.” I mean seriously, how does that happen where current seasons tend to be more fascinating to watch than earlier seasons? I have the slightest idea, but it’s a testament to great casting and players willing to actually play the game before they actually get played.
It’s rare to go back watch an entire season of a series and then a few days go back and watch it again and not feel bored by it. That is seriously how good “Survivor: Cagayan” is. Plain and simple, if you want to watch something that will have you fidgeting with your iPad to purchase or watch the next episode “Survivor Cagayan” delivers just that and so much more. Prepare to have your mind blown!