TV Review: <i>Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance</i> (31X09) “Witches Coven”

Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance is creating a first for the history of Survivor. Never has one season changed the foundation of what it means to stay in an alliance post-merge. Naturally, alliances come and go as the game changes, but for the most part players tend to stick in a comfortable situation for a majority of the game until they MUST turn against each other. This season, the castaways are willing to drop their friends, plans and comfort to do something more beneficial that hurts someone else. It’s a risky move, but an advantageous one that could pay off in the end.

If “Witches Coven” featured anything symbolic to represent the mood, it was its torrential rain in Cambodia. The rainfall washed away the players’ spirits and set the stage for the blindside to come. The players were feeling the brunt of the harsh environment and experiencing the rough living conditions that can take a toll on their bodies. This is the downside of being on Survivor that most viewers tend to forget when watching a season. Not every day on the beach is sitting out in the hot sun next to a crystal blue ocean – sometimes the wind is rushing and the rain is pouring down. These are the moments where the players are truly surviving.

As the rain continued to pour down, the remaining castaways were still reeling from the recent blindside of Andrew Savage. The former power player was ousted after Kelley Wentworth played her hidden immunity idol and nullified any votes cast against her. Nine votes instantly went up in smoke as the only three remaining votes (Kelley, Ciara and Abi-Maria) sent Savage packing. It was a strong (and lucky) move that hit the other side. The “Witches” alliances gained newfound respect but a bigger target on their backs. However, a silver lining had emerged.

Within the larger majority alliance, smaller factions and cliques started to emerge. The likes of Stephen, Spencer and Joe had been thinking about making separate big moves for a while now, and after the shocking events from the last tribal council, an opportunity presented itself. A voting block of three who would be willing to do anything to stay around became the most valuable commodity. But would anyone take the group up on their offer?

An idea was formed to strike a big threat in the game. Spencer, Jeremy and Stephen considered voting out someone from their bigger alliance and removing a well-connected player before it was too late. Kelly Wigglesworth played mostly in the background of Survivor: Cambodia, but she was well-liked and had great connections, especially with players like Joe and Kimmi. Everyone who was a fan of Survivor (whether new or legacy) rooted for Kelly since her unfortunate win in the first season of the game. Her second chance could be a long overdue redemption story and something the boys weren’t sure they wanted to face. They debated whether to turn against one of their own or vote out Ciera, Kelley or Abi.

After a series of events that lead back to tribal council (Joe winning immunity! Jeremy finding ANOTHER hidden immunity idol), the majority alliance looked to be in a strong shape. They were on the same page that someone from the Witches alliances needed to go and join the jury after the last failed attempt. The group planned to split their votes between Ciera and Kelley Wentworth, with Kelley being the main target for the vote off – they weren’t going to make the same mistake twice. However, Stephen couldn’t deny the connection he saw between Joe and Kelly Wigglesworth. He spotted the potential threat and understood the pair needed to be broken up sooner rather than later. All he needed to do was get a few more votes on their side to send the season one favourite home since Joe had individual immunity.


The remaining members of the majority alliance were unaware of these plans. Stephen and the Witches kept their discussions under wraps as the minutes ticked by. It would take a miracle for the round to flip and someone from the minority three to stay in the game. Everyone at Tribal Council stuck to their talking points, but did the plan work?

Kelly Wigglesworth was blindsided! In fact, everyone was shocked to see that the tables had flipped. Stephen, Spencer and Jeremy joined the Witches in breaking up a powerful pair and sending someone to jury. The move worked beautifully to the point Kelly didn’t even suspect this was going to be her final round in the game.

Kelly’s blindside is the perfect example of Old School thinking vs. New School tactics. Kelly hadn’t played a season since 2000 (she is an original, after all) and stuck to the old way of thinking, which meant friendships and camp skills were what kept someone around longer in the game. The New School style of playing is more focused about changing alliances, backstabbing and being flexible to the point of changing week-to-week. Kelly couldn’t (and didn’t) adapt to her new surroundings. She found her friendships, but she didn’t take a stand to make big bold moves that would keep her around. Kelly was more focused on the experience than really playing the game. The New School players outmaneuvered her before she even had a chance.


What did you think about this episode of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance? Share your comments below.

Rating: 9/10


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