SCWL 2 episode 2

Challenge II: Digital Roots

Date: February 1st – February 5th

Inspired By: Playing 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (Junnnpeiiiiiii)

Winners: Ooc

Voted Out: Kevin (8-0)


In December I ordered 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors. This was a game I played during the first semester’s exam period and found the one ending on Christmas Eve. As I was playing the game I found there was a couple aspects of the game that I could incorporate into this season. I fell in love with the concept of digital roots. For anyone that knows me, I hate math and sciences but I adore number systems and statistics.

What appeared as a clever challenge in its current form started out as something that was extremely complicated. I thought I would just put numbers out there and let people assign themselves a number. There was even a point where season 2 would be 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Door themed all season long, but there was something that didn’t quite feel right to me. A whole season of 9/9/9? Wouldn’t the players get sick of digital roots by then? I eventually dropped it as a concept and focused on how to make it play smoothly as a single immunity challenge. Incidentally I learned from the failed maze challenge from last season and dumbed down every facet to the challenge. Guess what? It worked brilliantly.

In its present form, I figured at least one person from each tribe would be keen enough to research. Hooker solved it in five minutes and set up a structure for all of Apus to follow. On Ooc, I expected some eagerness to start posting s— because they’re newbies but I also thought the less eager newbies would be truly open-minded and look up what digital roots mean. From there, Ooc’s active nature benefited them enough (the challenge hasn’t ended yet but it’s a foregone conclusion).


Out of seventeen remaining players, Kevin is the only one to not post during a challenge. Is this an ORG first? Is he mad because he was the only one who voted Eamon? Did he give up? Did a family emergency come up? I’ll be asking him this in his exit interview.


Two people from both tribes attempted to take the penalty idol. Considering it has not changed the outcome in any of the eight total tribal immunity challenges in my series, I am curious to see if requesting the penalty idol will occur on a more liberal basis. It’s funny that both were taken in the first round but from now on everyone will be told “at least one other person took it,” and thus think if it wasn’t claimed in round two then it must still be in existence. Heck, I could see this pattern continuing through to the merge or the tribe will agree on one person to claim it despite it being a fake idol.


I have a feeling people will think it’s the real deal. Last season and the season before saw one fake idol be played at a TC. In this season, I see the potential for several being played.


They figured it out much earlier than Ooc but Kevin’s inactivity cost them immunity. However, Apus wouldn’t be too heart-broken as they would get rid of Kevin in an 8-0 vote. I highly doubt they will copy Supa from last season. Both challenges have been really close. Yes, I know it was 16-3, but Apus wins if Kevin showed up to the challenge. The fact the blog ends this quickly for the round means Apus had a very straight-forward vote. That’s a good thing for their sake.


Last game Jenn goes home in the second round after she won immunity from the first TC and got to pick her own tribe. This game Kevin goes home in the second round after he won immunity from the first TC and got to pick his own tribe. Advice if you’re playing next season—if you are a captain, pick your tribe members more wisely.

16th: Jamie

15th: Marcelo

14th: Brian W.

13th: Eamon

12th: Fede

11th: Shyam

10th: Noah

9th: Michael

8th: Hooker

7th: Leif

6th: Carl

5th: Kristine

4th: Lister

3rd: Francisco

2nd: David

1st: Dave





At the top of this post each of you will see your name. As you know, as long as your name is listed on your tribe’s roster, you are still in this game. Once your name is removed and thrown to the bottom of the post, you’re voted out which will be the case for one of you this round.

You MUST answer your assigned questions in THIS TOPIC for your vote to count.


1. Compare how it feels to lose this round compared to last round.

It sucks to lose for a second time, especially after figuring out the challenge so quickly. I don’t feel as responsible as I did last time though, because there’s no way that I could have done anything different personally.

2. What will be your criteria for who to vote this round?

I feel we need to keep a strong team around, so we can begin to go on an immunity run of our own.


1. You received a rogue vote this round. Does that worry you at all or do you put that aside and focus on doing what’s best for the tribe moving forward?

No worry at all. In fact I know who is that person , and I understand why.
2. What’s the level of trust amongst the eight of you considering you nearly came to a unanimous conclusion last round?
We just need to make this tribe strong, and everyone agree with that. They say our tribe is cursed, well, we’re here to change that.

1. You guys have been a very quiet tribe at camp. Do you think a lack of interaction at camp is why these two challenges haven’t quite clicked for Apus?

No, this challenge didnt click because Kevin dropped the ball
2. Does the fact you guys lose two in a row change the way how you would vote as opposed to losing two immunity challenges later on in the pre-merge phase?
Not really, we just want to come on top!

1. You led the charge in getting everyone on board with the digital roots solution. Does that hinder your motivation to help this tribe in the future or does it fuel you to perhaps make an extra effort down the road?

It Definitely fuels me to try even harder. We’re down 2 now and that’s not good!! I think we have what it takes to win, and I will surely try my ass off to be a part of that!!! This challenge, well number codes are just kind of my thing (I sucked in the word scrammble), I am glad I was able to contrubute my particular strength to the tribe even though it didn’t turn out to help us.

2. Do you believe there will be as much unity in this vote as much as the previous vote?

Hard to say for sure, but I think probably yes.


1. You were the winner out of eighteen people in the opening challenge. Yet here we are in the second round and you are the only one who didn’t post. What happened there?

I did post. I am having trouble with knowing bout what is happening with this game, hope it gets better….
2. What do you think is the best plan for the tribe moving forward?
Best plan is to win.


1. How much of this vote will be motivated by individual interests as opposed to group interests?

I think it is mostly a group interest but you can never be too sure in survivor. some people will always have their own motives as to why the vote is such and only time will tell what it is.
2. What do you think needs to change for this tribe to have success in the future?
eliminate the inactives and non-contributors


1. What’s the level of paranoia at camp? Has there been enough paranoia around camp in the first two rounds to make you uneasy?

There is some paranoia around camp and that’s to be expected, however I wouldn’t say it’s an overwhelming amount. As far as me being uneasy. I’m always uneasy at Tribal Council. I know how it feels to be blindsided and ever since I’ve developed a level of paranoia that just loves to taunt me and tries to make me think I’m about to go home.

2. Any theories on where the penalty idol could be? Has it been claimed? Is it hidden?

Personally, I think it’s still floating around waiting to be taken. It’s so early in this game that I’m not so sure that anyone would even try for the penalty idol. There has been talk about maybe this person or that person has it but as for me I don’t think it’s made it’s appearance yet.

1. Tell this tribe why they should keep you another round.

Have to tell you that this question cracked me up. I mean come on, I did everything in my part to help my tribe in the challenge and I never schemed on going against people in my tribe. I did my part and I do get along well with everyone. So I feel this question is just a last minute desperate “I-can’t- come-up-with-a-sensible-question-so-I-am-gonna-post-a-random-question”

2. Anything else you’d like to say to the tribe before we vote?

I’d like say that Apus tribe got strong and super committed players who are ready to take the future challenge by storm and right now we need to focus on smoothening out the rough edges, that is to get rid of player (s) who can’t contribute in the tribe challenge.
When you vote, please do so in the following format:

– Send a private message to me on this Facebook account.

– Your message should start with the name of the person you’re voting for within the brackets like this:


REASON: Your questions this round weren’t terribly original. We need a new flavour to conduct our Tribal Councils you bland and uninteresting bloke!

Whatever you write in the brackets is exactly how your vote will appear when I reveal the votes unless it’s extremely inappropriate.

Alright, between now and 12:30pm eastern Saturday, it is time to vote. Apus tribe, you’re up.





Reason: I can’t figure out whether you are lazy, apathetic, or evil, but I can certainly figure out who needs to go.
Vote [KEVIN]

This is obvious! He totally cost us the challenge and really hasn’t done anything since the 1st comp!!!

You’re such a pain in the ass. First you forced me to be in this lame tribe, then you MIA during the challenge. Thanks for the memories.



Really, throwing your own tribe and not take the Penalty idol? You are so stupid.



Reason: Because he throws challenges



F*** you and f*** every other inactive that ever signs up in a f***ing game.


(K.E.V.I.N. No idea why you keep doing this to yourself)

If anybody played a hidden immunity idol this round now would be the time I’d reveal it.
Once the votes are read the decision is final and the person voted out will be removed from the group almost immediately. I’ll read the votes.
First vote:

Self vote: (KEVIN)

Second vote: (KEVIN)
That’s two votes Kevin.
Third vote: (MENZEL)
Next vote: (K.E.V.I.N. No idea why you are doing this to yourself)
Four votes Kevin. Four votes left.
Next vote:
The second person voted out of this game:
Kevin, the tribe has spoken.
It’s time for you to go.

Not much point in waiting. Even Wesley sent in a vote last round despite not answering his TC question.

Here’s what you can take away from this vote: In back-to-back rounds you eliminated the one person who self-voted. In fact, an 8-0 vote was your best case scenario and that’s exactly what you got. That means with no inactives left in your tribe you also have no excuses left for not winning immunity. You have an established core of seven, and judging by the vote distribution of the past two rounds, there isn’t anything to indicate you guys aren’t capable of working together in challenges. I highly doubt you’ll go on to copy Supa from last season. You guys can head back to camp. . .BUT FIRST!

For the next challenge I need you guys to divide yourselves into a group of four and a group of three. Please come up with your groups ASAP.



CHRIS: ·  ok that is what I thought – so if I think we are going to lose anyway and I take it then it is possibel no one will know
·  I DO think we are going to lose – so I am going to go for it….
·  at the least maybe I can stop someone else from getting it (You said if more than 1 person trys that no one gets it right?)

(F***ing Kevin!! I figure out the code right away… and I know the other tribe screwed up but have now figured it out and re-started… if it wasn;t for him pulling a no show we could totally have taken this one)

DAVE: Round 2:
Ooc nearly loses the challenge before David points out that the challenge is called DIGITAL ROOTS. We all smack our foreheads and set to work, David continues to dominate this challenge, leading to certain people starting to view him as a post-merge threat. We pull out another victory and celebrate once again! Our alliance begins to pull in Jamie, who I genuinely really like, and we start to feel a bit more confident that we can take the first vote when/if it gets to that. Shyam continues to feed me information from his tribe, I’m starting to have an idea of what the Apus tribal dynamic might be like.

JAMIE: I want to penalize my tribe.

LISTER: I am going for the penalty idol
*prays this doesn’t screw him over*

So I’ve officially decided that Kevin Menzel is an idiot. No, seriously. He was tagged in comments multiple times during the challenge. He was online during the challenge and had posted in another group so he clearly saw what was going on. He can post from his phone all he wants to but we aren’t stupid. The guy knew he needed to post for the challenge and even if he didn’t know he should have f***ing checked in with someone or *gasp* the group itself! But no he’s an idiot.

The deadline for the challenge wasn’t even halfway over before everyone started talking that we were going to vote him out when we lose. Not IF we lose mind you, WHEN we lose because we all knew he wasn’t going to freaking post. Some of us began to wonder if he was going for the penalty idol so in order to stop that from being a possibility I went for it myself. Why not? We had a 0% chance of winning and if he wasn’t going for the idol then maybe I’d be the only one and I could use it later in the game for myself! Too bad someone else went for it as well.

Chris Hook later approached me saying he got the best vibes from me. Whatever the f*** that means. All I know is he is proposing we watch each others backs. Yeah, I’ve been promised that by people before. It means jackshit. “Oh hi there Amos, you watch my back I”ll watch yours?” “Sure!” Fast-forward three rounds later and I get backstabbed.

Of course I’m not stupid enough to say anything remotely like that to Chris so I just say “Yeah sure I’ll watch your back and I’m open to working more closely as well.” Hopefully to actually get some protection for my backside. We’ll see how long that armor lasts.

My only real alliance in this game is with Leif. The rest of these people? I don’t trust a damn one of them and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But enough of the ramblings of a crazy man. Let’s get to the vote.

MARCELO: can I request the penalty idol? Thanks

MICHAEL: Okay, well I guess I’ll start day 1. It was pretty cool washing up on the beach. Clothes soaked, enemies everywhere, but at the same time potential friends. I suggested we start work on shelter, but no one responded. We slept in the cold all night. I talked with Noah and Dave, I hit it off with both of them. Fran seems really cool too. No interaction with Jamie or Kristine. Marcelo is a cool guy but there’s somethin about him… I’ve seen Carl in the PoS group, he’s funny. To borrow a quote “Carl’s gay but he’s good”. I hope we can work togetherin the future. Before I know it Dave is telling me we have an alliance with Him, Me, Noah, and David. No interaction with David yet but im not gonna refuse an alliance. Then trouble starts happening. We obviously need a 5th, so I throw out the possibility of Carl, we haven’t personally talked but he seems cool, I think I can get him. Before I get a chance to message him I’m being told to add both Marcelo and Fran to our tribe list, causing confusion. Its all up to me… I choose the one who I’ve heard we can add to our 4, Marcelo. I then get informed of Frans dislike of members of the other tribe, my heart gets the better of me, and I switch my vote. I tell him to get Marc, and he picks Carl. Man have I screwed this up. I like Carl, but we needed Marc. Eventually we get Marc anyway, but this complicates things, as our core 4 start talkin strategy, Kristine wants to be in the alliance, so there’s our 5th, but I guess she’ll be #5 on the totem poll. Then Dave gets a message from Fran I think, saying they have an alliance of Fran, Kristine, Carl, and Marc, and asking if he can be their 5th. Of course he agrees, but were now officially screwed. Thankfully they want to get rid of our target, Jamie. It looks like Jamie will be fist out. Then strategy talk starts. Current game plan is 8-1 with Jamie going home, but as I think the more I hate that. What if Dave gets found out? What if Jamies 1 vote is for me? What if we have a tie next round, they’ll vote for me cause I’m the only one with a negative vote, and I’ll go home. Or what if jamie votes for any one of our 4? Its a 50-50 survival rate for me at this point. I have an idea: let Dave vote for Jamie this round, the remaining 3 of the core 4 vote for Marc, making the vote 5-3-1. Jamie goes home, Dave returns next round, and we throw our 4 at Marc, he has the most previous votes and goes home. Unfortunately no one listens. Suddenly! We catch a break! Jamie is messaging me, she says Fran hates her! She doesn’t want to work with him! We finally have a sweet hardcore 5 person alliance! Of course we’ll cut her off first chance we get, but we have our majority. Now all we have to do is lose a challenge!… that isn’t right excactly… so far were 2 challenges in, we’ve won both, we haven’t gotten the chance to vote anyone out yet, but it HAS helped us meet the other people better. Marc doesn’t do much in challenges, Fran is a challenge master, Kristine can be good, but its hit or miss. Carl is the funny guy, he helps uplift the team. Dave is all about OOC. Noah is quiet. David is really smart, I’m glad he’s on our side. I have a final 3 alliance with Dave and Noah, but diddnt get a huge responce from either. I can’t shake the feeling I’m #4 on the totem poll. 4th isn’t bad, but I want to win. I’d be okay with 3 I guess, but only if no backstabbing is involved. I suggested to the other 2 that final 2 be decided by the last 2 in the final immunity challenge, and whoever comes in last is sent home. I’ll be okay if I go home that way. Pissed but okay. But if I’m #4, and get backstabbed. I’ll be sad. I’m considering messaging David and asking him about the pecking order, but its risky, and I kinda get the feeling he doesn’t like me. I’d be honest with him and tell him what’s what if he tells me what’s what. But there’s not really a good outcome I see. #1: I’m just paranoid, he really is #4, and he’s pissed. #2: I’m right, I am #4, and for some reason he joins with me for a final 3 or 2 deal, and he beats me (cause I don’t think I can beat him) #3: I’m wrong and he joins me, and now I HAVE to screw over someone to get to the finals. Or #4: im right and they know I’m onto them and get rid of me at 5 instead of 4. I’d better keep quiet. That’s all for now, I’ll tell ya more next week

SHYAM: Second challenge/tribal: Pretty short story. Kevin did not help the tribe that had major lead in completing the challenge and he is the obvious vote. And Hopefully he takes the boot. The end of second tribal.



KEVIN: 1. Let’s start with the beginning. You solved the encryption in six minutes. Were you wheeling and dealing prior to the challenge or have you had enough experience with cryptograms that you were able to solve it easily?

i am the bomb at cryptograms, i converted the symbols to letters and then solved it….

2. You were the rogue vote for Eamon at the first TC. Did that surprise you given the circumstances or was that you trying to send a message to everyone else on the tribe?

I trusted the wrong person, and they told me to vote that way, the group and game was not very bold as far as letting me know when things were going on.

3. Were there any alliances or relationships that were broken during the first two rounds that could’ve led to your departure?

like i said i trusted the wrong person/people.

4. You were the only one out of all seventeen to be inactive during the second round, yet you have a reputation for being very active. Set the record straight. Did you become disinterested? Did a real life event come up? Were you upset with your tribe’s decision in the previous round that you wanted to throw an immunity as an act of revenge?

i didnt know the challenge was up till to late. i had no notifacations…. plus i have a life and am soon realizing my org days are getting #’d

5. Why do you think Eamon was saved from the first TC?

wes did NOTHING

6. You virtually picked the entire tribe yourself. Any regrets on who you picked? Did it cross your mind that Ooc would go on to be victorious in the first few immunities?

no regrets

7. Who do you think will win? Who do you think will lose? Who do you want to win? Who do you want to lose?

i think i dont care enough about these people…

Production note


To mourn the loss of Kevin Menzel’s active nature in ORGs, I asked my favourite Quebecois to write a song and weigh in on Menzel’s performance in this game.

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