Survivor Season 25 Review “Down and Dirty”

Survivor started tonight’s episode “Down and Dirty” as it always does, by showing the losing tribe returning from tribal. Katie is feeling understandably insecure in her tribe, considering she cost them the immunity challenge last week. Thankfully she had Dawson to run her mouth and get her out of the hot seat, so she conspires with Denise to set their sights on Jonathan Penner! We’ll see how that goes!

We quickly get to a very muddy and very weird reward challenge. Oh sorry, I mean “#RewardChallenge”. Ugh. Anyway, this challenge was very strange. After shoving a giant wooden ball towards each other’s goals for over an hour, Skupin and Penner come up with an unprecedented agreement. Kalabaw would automatically win the challenge, and Tandang would receive all of their rice. Not only did Jeff agree to this arrangement, but he actually facilitated it by sending them the rice! I’m really hoping this stays as a one-off thing, and that this doesn’t become the norm in Survivor. I want to see people play these challenges to the end, dang it!

I was a little irritated at first that Jeff even let this go down, but I was even more irritated by Aby, Pete, Artis and Carter’s reaction. You all said during the challenge that you don’t care what decision your tribe members make, so you aren’t allowed to complain when it goes down! Carter even said during the challenge that he wanted to do it!

This trade would have been a stroke of genius for Kalabaw if Penner was able to make good on his promise to catch some fish, but he only caught a couple little guppies. His tribe is obviously upset, but they would have all been singing his praises if he had caught enough fish. Again, while I enjoyed the novelty of this trade and the interesting twist on the game that was provided for this episode, I really hope this doesn’t become a norm for reward challenges.

After Kalabaw loses another immunity challenge due to Malcolm’s spectacular performance, Jeff tries to orchestrate “The Penner Punch” with Carter in an effort to vote out the returning player Jonathan Penner. I did think it was funny that Carter had somewhat of a Freudian slip when he asked Penner “Katie or Penner?–I mean Katie or Denise?”, and I was surprised that Jonathan didn’t pick up on it.

I’m really surprised that Jonathan didn’t seem to feel any danger of getting eliminated. You’re a returning player, you gave away your rice and didn’t catch any fish, AND you have an immunity idol! Not only that, but Jeff asked you not one, not two, but THREE questions about being blindsided at tribal. Through some crazy twist, he actually stayed safe for another week and Katie went home instead. Katie was already on borrowed time after last week, so I guess it was just her time to go. Penner is really going to have to start catching some fish if he wants to stick around, so we’ll see what happens next week when a big twist is supposedly introduced! See you all then!

Random Thoughts:

– Artis has stayed largely under the radar until this episode, so having him in the limelight so much this week kept reminding me of just how strange of a name “Artis” is.

– RC wearing a suit jacket gets stranger and stranger the longer the game goes on. It was a cute professional look on day one, but on day 16 it just looks weird.

– I love Jeff’s commentary during the immunity challenge. “Katie is completely ineffectual in this challenge!” “Malcolm is eating Carter’s lunch right now!” CBS needs to get this guy commentating for March Madness, ASAP!