Survivor: Joe and Hali arrive at Ponderosa (separate videos)

By Joanna Mendoza

"This feels weird, not going back to camp." - Joe

“This feels weird, not even going back to camp, because it’s like home now.” – Joe

I liked Joe in the beginning, so I thought it’d be interesting to see his arrival at Ponderosa. But then I remembered that the fun of seeing Ponderosa arrivals rests on how warm or cold your welcome is. Since Hali was the only one who’d gone there before Joe this season, I figured it’d be boring.

It was and it wasn’t. See for yourself.

How’d you do? I got a bit teary-eyed. “I just wanted to see my dad,” said Joe, his voice breaking. Joe crying was heartbreaking. He really, really wanted that family reunion. But he was right. “Strategically, I was terrible,” he said. “Strategically, I was not in the right state of mind going into the merge.” His social game was really bad. He was a threat to everyone, yes, but I didn’t see him trying to work around that, trying to turn the tide or something like that. I don’t know what he could’ve done, but he should’ve done something more than just winning individual immunity challenges or simply relying on Jenn. Tony from Cagayan was a threat, but by the time everyone realized it, there was nothing anyone could do about it anymore. Besides reading people very well, Tony’s hold on his Brawn group was really strong. Joe never had that with No Collar. One of the first things he should’ve done post-merge was to make sure Will was his. And he should’ve played Tyler and Carolyn. But except in individual immunity challenges, Mike outwitted Joe, simple as that. Even Tyler’s social game was better than Joe’s. Tyler is playing it a little too safe for my taste, but, like Joe, I have a feeling Tyler will win.

[Correction: In the video above, Joe said something about talking to a lot of people. Maybe that we didn’t see him trying to keep Will was just a case of unfortunate editing. Still, I think it was his social game that did him in. If he’d been really good, he would’ve won Will. But even Rodney beat him in that respect!] 

Because it took me two days to write this blog post, I saw the video below a day after I’d written the paragraph above. Joe’s insights post-vote off are amazing (and they kind of tally with mine above!). He really knew that his gameplay was bad. Watch Joe talk about all the things he should’ve done differently. I can’t wait to see him in another season of Survivor. He’ll be amazing for sure.

Enough about Joe for now, because it’s… bikini time with Hali! Girl looks great. And it seems like she’s a really fun person to be around. Watch her arrival at Ponderosa below:

And here is Hali the day after she was voted off.

Who do you think will get voted off next week? I hope it’s not, but I’m afraid it’s Mike or someone from his alliance. Huhuhu!!! Times like these, I wish I were as cool, calm, and COLLECTIVE as Rodney.


Survivor: Worlds Apart airs live via satellite Thursdays on Studio 23. 


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