It was double the fun this week on Survivor, where we got to see not one but two Tribal Councils over the course of the two-hour episode. There was some great drama, some “epic” blindsides and now we are just left with seven players left this season, with just two more episodes leading up to the two-hour Finale Episode on December 20th.
Caution, as spoilers from this week’s episodes are to follow! Turn back now! If you want to get caught up, be sure to check out the Episode 10 and 11 Recap here.
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR MORE, AND THIS IS YOUR LAST *SPOILER* WARNING!
First out the door this week was the hero John “JP” Hilsabeck, a 28-year-old firefighter from Los Angeles. He definitely lived up to the label of “hero,” but his was a quiet edit. We knew that he was a stand-up guy and that he was closely aligned with Chrissy, but other than that, JP didn’t really get much air-time even all the way through his final episode. He was the first casualty of the “majority seven” alliance cracking and became the third member of the jury. A Note on JP: CBS notified press members that JP had very limited availability so instead of the normal podcast interview with him, we all were able to just submit three questions to him via email. Because of this, JP will obviously not appear on the podcast, and although I have sent in my three questions for him, I haven’t yet received a response…once I do, I will definitely include in an upcoming post.
With JP gone and the majority seven alliance officially fractured, season-long villain and thorn in the side of pretty much every other player, Joe Mena, finally had his ticket punched last night as well. Joe was immediately one of the “players to watch” this season and drew early comparisons to Survivor legends Russell Hantz and Tony Vlachos. Joe was not shy about the fact that he was there to play the game aggressively, and it was this assertiveness that led him to find two hidden Idols along the way. The first he used brilliantly, but the second Idol went to waste when his opponents targeted an unsuspecting Jessica, who was in Joe’s Healer alliance. From there, Joe really was able to slide by Tribal after Tribal, until his torch was finally snuffed. He almost made it through again when Ashley and others contemplated blindsiding Ben, but they must have figured it was in their best interest to get Joe out now.
Oh yeah, please let me know you are following the Ponderosa Videos! Here are quick links from this week in case you have trouble finding them on CBS‘s site:
Unlike JP, I had the chance to speak to Joe – one half of the “Coconuts” alliance – on the FilmSurvivor Podcast (the full audio of which you can find and download at the bottom of this article), and as you could imagine, it was a spirited and colorful conversation. Here were some highlights:
JOE INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:
On surviving so many Tribal Councils and his feelings on last night’s Tribal:
Joe Mena: Every Tribal I felt like I was going home. I think the only Tribal that I felt secure at was the first vote-out and Cole’s vote-out. I knew Cole was going home, I knew I wasn’t going home that night of the merge vote. This one was no different, I felt like it was 80/20, 80 me going home and 20 if I stay. And I felt like if I stayed I would have won the game. The package deal that they presented was an amazing package deal, and if I didn’t know what it included I may have done something else. I didn’t know that Ben was a spy, I didn’t know that the three would allow him to be a spy. I mean that’s probably the dumbest move I’ve seen. But then again it kind of goes into the theme of the season, which is like, who is going to make the dumbest move this season? And I think that this was probably at the top of the list. But kudos to them, they definitely had Ben playing both sides, they gave me the package deal of the advantage being used, the Idol being flushed and Ben going home. I couldn’t give that up. They definitely sold me and I went for it.
On his relationship with Dr. Mike:
Joe: I knew pre-game that [Mike] was a strategic player. Once we got to the island, he was looking for the Idol. So I don’t want to have anyone around me who is working just as hard as me, or even harder. So I identified him as a player and I just wanted to put a target on his back. And then as the game continued, I started realizing that Mike was a flip-flopper and I’m like, eh, do I really want to work with a flip-flopper? But I do like Mike. He’s genuinely an amazing individual, we’re still friends to this day.
For much more from Joe Mena, including my full interview, please listen to the latest episode of the FilmSurvivor Podcast below or by clicking here.
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT JP AND JOE’S ELIMINATION?
Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira