'Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance's Angkor tribe votes off Jeff Varner
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/15/2015
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance's Angkor tribe snuffed Jeff Varner's torch during Season 31's fourth episode Wednesday night on CBS.
Varner, who previously competed on Survivor: The Australian Outback, became the fourth castaway voted out of the game. His Angkor tribe ousted him via a 4-1 vote instead of Yung "Woo" Hwang at their second Tribal Council session on Night 11 of the game.
"I have a passion that's been cooking for 15 years and all of a sudden this opportunity pops up and it came flying out in all directions. But in terms of the life adventure, in terms of the charge to move forward with the second half of my life, I absolutely got what I needed and I am very grateful," Varner said in his final words.
Survivor's broadcast began on Night 9 with Varner admitting he had dodged a bullet at the previous Tribal because he thought he was a goner. Despite Varner's mistake of yelling to another player on a different tribe at the Immunity Challenge, he didn't receive one vote and Peih-Gee Law got eliminated.
But Varner's life in the game meant he was indebted to his tribe going forward, which he hated.
Meanwhile, Tasha Fox told Woo it should've been Varner to go home instead of Peih-Gee because "he's a snake" and the "source of all contention and drama" in their tribe. As a result, Tasha promised Woo he wasn't going anywhere.
Abi-Maria Gomes overheard Tasha's conversation and didn't like it one bit because Woo had written her name down twice already. Abi had a big problem with Tasha having a side conversation with Woo since she wanted him gone. Andrew Savage became worried about being aligned with Abi since she was "insecure, paranoid and unpredictable."
On Day 10, over at the Bayon tribe, Jeremy Collins talked to the cameras about how thrilled he was to have found a hidden Immunity Idol. Jeremy decided not to tell anyone about the idol, rather, he lied to Stephen Fishbach by insisting it was vital for them to continue looking for an idol -- to use for their alliance's safety.
Back at Angkor's camp, the castaways were miserable without resources or shelter. Andrew said they were in hell and they were all weak and falling apart.
Angkor, Bayon and Ta Keo then gathered to meet Survivor host Jeff Probst for a Reward Challenge.
Probst explained each tribe had to race out into the water, retrieve a sandbag, race back, and then use a plank to launch that sandbag into a net above them. The first two tribes to repeat that process and get all three of their sandbags into a net would win a massive barbecue set complete with sausages, vegetables, etc. The second-place tribe would receive a smaller kit.
However, Probst quickly revealed there was a twist. Dubbed "A Hero Challenge," Probst required only one castaway from each tribe compete and run the entire challenge.
Andrew stepped up for Angkor, Jeremy volunteered for Bayon, and Terry took on the task for Ta Keo.
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The challenge proved brutal and exhausting, but in the end, Andrew won first place and Terry claimed second. Andrew worried for a while he hadn't put everything into his first time playing Survivor, so this time around, a challenge like that gave him the vindication of knowing he put his all into it.
On Day 11, at Ta Keo's camp, Kass McQuillen said in a confessional she had read the book of "how to win friends and influence people." She tried to act sincere with everyone and sympathize. Kass then went off and tried putting something together with what appeared to be beads.
Kelley Wentworth admitted she didn't trust Kass and an idol was probably being constructed, but it turned out Kass was making her a little birthday present.
Meanwhile, Spencer Bledsoe and Kelly Wiglesworth were at the bottom of Bayon. Stephen and Jeremy asked Spencer if he'd be open to getting rid of Kelly, and he said yes. Spencer explained Terry, Woo and Varner "own her vote" in the future. Once Monica heard the news, she was wary and found Spencer to be a little sneaky.
Monica thought of creating an all-female alliance and targeting Spencer first.
The three tribes then participated in their next Immunity Challenge.
One member from each tribe served as the "caller" while the rest of the tribe was blindfolded and had to collect a series of giant, heavy puzzle pieces going by the callers' verbal commands and directions. Once a tribe collected all 16 pieces, everyone could work together to solve a puzzle.
Bayon sat out Monica and Ciera Eastin sat out for Ta Keo. The callers were Varner for Angkor, Kimmi Kappenberg for Bayon, and Kass for Ta Keo.
During the challenge, a lot of players got hurt, especially Spencer, Tasha and Varner. Joe Anglim, however, was a star. He carried puzzle pieces back and forth without even needing his caller's instruction.
It became a race between Ta Keo and Bayon, with Angkor so behind they were barely even able to work and pick up the puzzle pieces from exhaustion and fragility. Bayon won the challenge with Ta Keo finishing second.
Andrew almost cried to Probst about how his Angkor tribe gave the challenge everything they had but he could barely even think. Probst wished something positive awaited Angkor back at camp, but that wasn't the case. Andrew found it to be one of the most trying times of his life.
Once Angkor returned to camp, the tribemates had to figure out whom to vote out. Varner immediately spoke of his pinky-toe injury, suggesting he wasn't a physical threat to anyone. But Tasha viewed that as a big issue because she thought they desperately needed strong people at this point to win Immunity Challenges.
Tasha hoped Andrew wouldn't work his magic on Abi because they were close and she could change her mind in an instant. Tasha wanted Varner gone. Varner and Woo knew they were at the bottom because Abi wanted Woo out. Varner, however, had a good rapport with Abi since he saved her twice in the game and never voted for her.
Varner saw Abi as his lifeline in the game, but Abi felt very comfortable in the majority. Woo argued to Abi her alliance was only making her feel secure because they needed her for the numbers. Abi didn't really care.
Abi was going to serve as the swing vote at Tribal Council. Abi wanted to vote out Woo because she enjoyed working with people who "valued her personality" and had a grudge against Woo. But Tasha tried to convince Abi they needed Woo in challenges. The decision came down to loyalty vs strength.
At Tribal Council on Night 11, Abi confessed to Probst her mind wasn't made up yet. Varner and Woo fought hard to stay. Varner argued he was extremely loyal and no one would want to go up against Woo come the merge, but Woo insisted the merge wasn't any time soon.
Woo also promised his tribe repeatedly that he'd stick by them and truly be loyal to them going forward. In addition, he pressed the fact Varner had relationships with the old Ta Keo tribe on the other side. Varner told everyone he cut ties everyone outside of his current tribe.
In a last-ditch effort, Varner tried to bond with Andrew again over being "old school players" and told Abi he adored her. Varner asked Abi to repay him for all he had done for her so far in the game.
Probst then revealed the votes. Three castaways voted to oust Varner from Survivor, while one player voted for Woo.
Varner jokingly called Abi "a little b-tch" in her ear on his way out, and she apologized for betraying him. Woo then said "thanks" twice to Abi, showing his appreciation. Probst suggested a Tribal such as this might unify the tribe going forward and make them stronger.
The episode's closing credits showed that Varner voted to get rid of Woo, while everyone else voted to keep Woo.