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MrsGryn

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About MrsGryn

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    Green Frog Hollow
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    Hamsters! Survivors! Chair dancing to the TAR theme music!

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  1. I'm thinking not Hannah...or Hannah Ann. Looks like that idiot Kelsey goes far enough to tell him she loves him. Why? Whyyyyy does he keep her around? She wore a strapless jumpsuit with NO! NECKLACE! Awful! On the other hand, that face full of champagne was classic. And I totally think production manipulated Champagne-gate from the get-go. Well done, soulless TV minions. Hannah Ann has no idea what the term "bullying" means. It does NOT mean someone telling you they don't like you. That's not being a bully. Natasha is very forthright. I liked that.
  2. cops, I gasped at Tyler's comment, too. I'd been kind of pulling for him, but that was just so rude! His outfit was pedestrian, so his attitude was not backed up by his work. The shots they had of clothes he made outside of the show looked really beautiful, but I'm glad he was booted. Sergio...oh my. What an ass. I hope his humiliation is clear and completed. Definitely liking Christian as mentor. Like knewb, I miss Tim Gunn, but Christian has brought a lot of sass to the mentor role. Don't miss Heidi. I rather like Karlie. I wish Michael Kors would come back, though. Haven't really gotten a handle on the designers so far, as in no one person is really standing out as far as their clothes go.
  3. Thanks, Mags, and thank you to everyone who stuck with the season to the slightly bland winner end.
  4. Please note: this recap will be brought to you with zero politically motivated interruptions. Although I think whoever is dyeing Jeff’s hair should be impeached. Speaking of which… Why is Probst dressed like a German spy, circa 1968? I realize I am used to seeing him in various shades of blue with the occasional foray into black, but this all-black, slim pants, tight mock turtleneck thing is simply not working for me. Just because the reunion is pre-taped doesn’t mean you don’t have to make an effort. The live pre-taped show starts off with a display of the final five. All look good, except for Lauren who does herself no favors with an ill-fitting royal blue dress and a straight haired wig sporting severe bangs. Oh, Lauren, no. Just no. Tiny Tank looks dynamic in a red spaghetti strap jumpsuit, but the real story is that Noura is nearly Tommy height. I had no idea she was so tall! It was easy to tell that Tommy was vertically blessed, but we never really got that sense about Noura. Interesting. Dean and Tommy look neat and clean. They wave then Probst moves on to bringing out the big guns: Boston Rob and Queen Sandra, who is sporting a diamond tiara and gorgeous diamond necklace that I would like sent to me immediately. She claims that she wanted to be a mentor with Rob because she wanted to study HIS game and learn from him. Oh, that Sandra. Always playing Survivor. It’s total bullshit because she knows exactly how to play, better even than Rob, since she won twice. That’s why she’s the Queen and that’s why I will always love her. Probst shows the audience clapping and I see in the lower left corner Les Moonves in a tuxedo. Did he get lost on the way to a “Support For Grabby Dan” rally? (I may have made that up) Switching to the actual show, it is the morning of Day 36 out of 39. Rob and Sandra compare their stories. Rob found happiness with Amber and his daughters because of Survivor. Queen Sandra found happiness with the money she won. They toast each other. Meanwhile, the skiff is racing to Lame-wacko beach. The note delivered tells them to get their personal items and get in the boat. They assume they are going to the Island of the Idols and they are excited. Apparently one of Noura’s personal items includes a small palm tree. Oh, you crazy Noura. Never change. As the boat pulls up, Tommy reminds us that he is the only one who has not been to the Island of the Giant Heads, but he must have been told what awaits him as he is not surprised at all to see Rob and Sandra. Warm greetings are exchanged by all with lots of hugs and welcomes. Yeah, yeah, you are all just great, can we get on with it? Rob and Sandra give the final five new “Island of the Idols” buffs and tell them they get to move into the superstructure Rob has “built” during their time on Giant Head Island. Then the masters head off with the skiff skipper to parts unknown, or as we like to call it, Survivor 40: All Winners, No Untoward Touching. The ragtag final five settle in to the new mansion. Tiny Tank is thrilled with her situation. She has it all figured out: guaranteed final four with that hidden immunity idol she showed to Tommy, then she can make fire like nobody’s business and thus guaranteed to be in the final three. Oh, Janet. You are surrounded by chickens. Remember that old fable about counting them before they are hatched? DOOMED! Noura is running around being Noura, Lauren is enjoying the comforts. It is Tommy who really starts thinking about what it means for them to be there as opposed to back on their own beach. He looks at the new buffs, suspicious that they were given new ones and notes there is a machete on the design, which strikes him as unusual. This leads him to find a machete half buried in a coconut, which is painted pink on the inside. Or possibly red. Apparently Tommy is red-color blind so he cannot tell different shades apart. This challenge was rigged for people with normal color vision! And small feet! Foolishly, or not, considering how the show turned out, Tommy turns to Dean for help. Dean is “D.K. Chillin’” as he assures Tommy he will take him to the end, because otherwise his choices are lose to Lauren or lose to Tiny Tank, and Tommy spills the clue-beans. There is a pink bamboo in the pathway to the mansion/shelter which apparently looks normal to everyone else who walks past it. Underneath is a symbol that looks a bit like a cattywampus H. The two men confer and Dean says he has to go poop before looking for something else. Who knew all that Cologuard poop box commercials would finally pay off in the finale? Anyway, Dean is the one who figures out the symbol is for the random swing attached to the rafters and he finds a hidden immunity idol. And because Dean is not a total fucking idiot, he does not tell Tommy about it. Immunity and Reward challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Sweet Baby Boy shirt, for those keeping score at home. We’ve got a multipart challenge here. The Survivors will retrieve a series of rope rungs, build a ladder up to the first part of a platform. They will then maneuver a bag of BALLS up a ladder, by sliding the metal rungs back and forth as they climb higher to the second part of the platform. Once there, they will use the balls on a large table maze to land both BALLS in their respective holes. Or as some people like to call it, dating. First Survivor to finish wins immunity and a reward. What’s the reward? Food that is not from Applebee’s. Survivors ready? GO! Unsurprisingly, the young, athletic men have large leads on gathering the rope rungs. They also finish their rope ladders first. At one point, Tiny Tank is shaking on the ropes as she tries to stabilize herself. It reminded me of those old exercise machines that wrapped a wide band around your backside and jiggled your flesh like a Jello tower. Noura, Dean, and Tommy are all working on the a-maze-BALLS part of the challenge and Dean uses the strategy of getting the more difficult ball, the one furthest away, in the hole first. This proves to be the winning choice because in the end, it is Dean who wins immunity and the reward of a feast. So now he gets to choose which of the other four go with him. Tiny Tank pleads her case, to which Dean shuts her down immediately. His choice? The strange one of Crazy Noura. Lauren is of the opinion that Dean is just doing jury management. I would like to point out to Lauren that is not the case since all of you want Noura sitting next to you at the final tribal, but I feel that might fall on deaf ears. The less said about the feast between Dean and Noura the better. Suffice it to say she suddenly decides that pretty Dean might actually be into her and thus a long segment of Noura trying to flirt and Dean pretending it likes it goes on waaaaay too long. But hey, there was no touching so it’s all good. Tiny Tank is so certain she will be in the final three with Tommy, she is already planning what she is going to say to the jury. Tommy, on the other hand, feels more loyal to Lauren since they have been bonded since Day One. Once Tommy lets Lauren know, a plot is hatched. Tommy clues Pretty Evil Dean in on Janet’s idol so he can use his nullifier on her. For his part, Dean isn’t sure who he wants to get out tonight: Lauren or Janet. Pretty Evil Dean gloats to the camera that he has all “the toys.” Sure, if you consider a tiki necklace, a couple of shells strung on a thong, and a carved up hockey puck “toys” then sure. So that is the set up for Tribal Council. Speaking of which… Tribal Council. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Lime Foam shirt, for those keeping score at home. We get a long shot of a spider climbing up a pole, and I guess that is the substitute for Boston Rob and Queen Sandra sneaking into their grass spy shack. Sadly, they seem to be gone permanently from the game at this point. As the jury walks in, we see Elaine looks like she still hasn’t taken a shower. The talk is pretty average, with the only real issue when Tiny Tank waxes poetic about the new digs on Giant Head Island, particularly the stone fire pit when she started the fire in one second flat. You are not doing yourself any favors here, Tiny Tank! Although it’s not like they don’t know how awesome she is at starting fire. I mean, she did it without flint the first night, which seems like a billion years ago. So let’s just get to the vote. Probst goes to tally the votes. He invites anyone with a hidden immunity idol to play it. Tiny Tank stands up and plays it. The jury LOVES it, particularly Missy and Elizabeth. Probst confirms that it is a hidden immunity idol…and that the hockey puck he pulls out of the voting urn is an idol nullifier. He explains that if it is used with the correct name. He flips the puck over and there is Tiny Tank’s name, clear as day. She turns around to look at Tommy immediately and then Dean, who attempts a neutral expression. As soon as Tiny Tank is facing forward, Pretty Evil Dean grins at the jury and Missy stage whispers to Elizabeth, “It was DEAN!” Probst reads the votes. Loren. Janet. Janet. Janet. And with that, Tiny Tank is voted out of the game. I am sad to see her go because she represented Women of a Certain Age very well, she was always kind and protective and capable and non-judgmental. Is it too late to get her to run for President? At the pre-taped Live Reunion, Tiny Tank in her hot red number is brought out to a standing ovation. Probst calls her out on showing Tommy the idol and she admits as soon as she did it, she knew it was a mistake. She talks about the kind of response she has received out of the game and how emotional it makes her that people are being inspired by her. Aww! Let’s cut the sentimental crap and get back to some backstabbing and Pretty Evil Dean being pretty evil. The morning of Day 38 on Lumpa-wumpa beach, Dean tries making fire and admits that he has not made fire ONCE this entire season. Dude, did you think you would get by on just your pretty looks and charming smile? Oh, right, it has worked so far. Tommy, on the other hand, pretends he has no idea how to make fire and claims this to Noura, trying to convince her that he is the best choice to take to the final three. Noura is sucking all the attention up like a sponge cake sitting in a pool of rum. She is speaking to the camera and gets distracted by Pretty Evil Dean doing yoga on the beach. I mean…Dean’s okay, but he’s no Colby. Or Joe if you want a more recent reference. Immunity challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Onyx Black shirt, for those keeping score at home. The challenge is simple and difficult. The Survivors will have to stack blocks on a wobbly table and spell out “Island of the Idols.” There is a hinge at the bottom linked to a foot pedal in order to lock in the table and keep it steady while more blocks are collected. Survivors ready? GO! There is a bit of a learning curve to handling the table, but this is a tortoise challenge. The slow and steady wins this one. Also it helps having longer arms in order to place the blocks. The game is really between Noura and Dean, and in the end it is Crazy Noura who manages to complete the task first. It is her third immunity, which okay. Funny enough, she is the one person who really didn’t need immunity tonight and here she is, squealing and doing a cartwheel. The other three half-heartedly cheer her win but it seems obvious they are only going through the motions since she pretty much holds their fates in her flailing hands. Post-challenge, the final four sit in the shelter….well, let me rephrase that. Three of them sit and Noura stands up and tells them excitedly that this is how it is going to go: she is going to take a dip in the ocean and chill and then have a pineapple and then they can have some fun and then she will explain her logic and psychology behind her choice of who is going to sit next to her and who is going to make fire and…Tommy begs her to just tell them what she is going to do and not torture them, but dude...have you even MET Noura? That simplistic wish is not going to happen. Not ever. Certainly not when she is in the cat-bird seat and has an audience eating out of her hands. When we finally get to the pay off, she starts in on her explanation without actually articulating who is going to sit next to her and Crazy Noura drags it out as long as possible. She calls Lauren her number one, she tells Pretty Crazy Dean he is “the man” and Tommy is loyal and on and on and on and there are a few edits that suggest she was standing up there for a week with non-stop chatter. That may be close to the truth. FINALLY she gets to the point where Lauren is told she is going to be making fire. Of course it takes another six hours before she says Pretty Evil Dean will be the other person and once he hears that, Dean gets up, gives Crazy Noura a high five and wanders off. Lauren scurries out of there soon after, overcome with emotion. Now, I like Lauren and I think she has played a pretty good game socially, but she kind of lost me when she cried about how she has never made fire since they have been out there. Excuse me, you had Tiny Tank – the mistress of making fire – for 38 days and never once had her walk you through it? Never once asked her to show you what to do? That’s on you, girl. Totally and completely on you. So too bad, so sad, enjoy being on the jury. Tribal Council. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Prairie Kitchen Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. Noura talks and who cares? Well, Lauren cares because as Noura is talking, she suddenly pivots to calling Lauren out on her expressions and being combative. Lauren is totally unapologetic. Good for you! You are still going to fail at fire! Noura tells Probst that Pretty Evil Dean is the second person making fire. Let’s get to the fun stuff. Okay, it’s not really all that fun. Dean makes a wood base and then adds his coconut husk. He gets a flame first, though Lauren does get hers going, but she keeps putting tiny sticks on the flame and it is spreading out rather than going higher. BIGGER STICKS!! GAH! Even Probst is telling her what to do by saying to the general audience, “You’ve got to build it” and “You have got to go higher.” Pretty Evil Dean’s flame finally reaches the rope and it snaps, raising the flag and giving Dean the win. In an attempt to be folksy, Dean casually says to the jury, “this morning was the first time I made fire so I don’t know what Noura was talking about. Tommy played you, Noura.” Jack on the jury snickers and whispers, “Tommy played YOU.” Yes. Exactly. Dean thought he was smarter but Tommy really did play him like a fiddle. Lauren is sad and angry at getting her torch snuffed. Shoulda learned how to make fire. That is all. Day 39. Giant Head Island. Time for reflection among the three finalists. And by reflection I mean a champagne brunch. Hey, it’s a tradition. Pretty Evil Dean considers it a final two as Noura is unlikely to get any votes. He is not wrong, but we all knew that from the very beginning. At least Tommy, while saying the same thing as P.E.D. about it being a final two, gives Crazy Noura some credit for lasting, winning immunities, and possibly being able to turn it all around to her. HAHAHA! That won’t happen. Dean thinks all the stuff he won and the resume he built – a term I still really, really hate with this game – is enough to earn him the win. He has forgotten that likability plays a huge role these days. Final Tribal Council. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Pearl Violet shirt, for those keeping score at home. It’s not actually violet, which would have been an awesome switcheroo, but a dusky blue. The jury files in, sporting poker faces, except for Jack, who always looks somewhat bemused. The format is still the same as recent years: questions are divided into three portions: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. Probst defines Outwit as alliances, emotional intelligence, social game. Jack makes a statement that they, the jury, are tremendously undecided about who should win. Kellee wants to hear about their strategies and how they evolved. Pretty Evil Dean’s was to not be the loudest guy in the room. Noura (“outwit = halfwit” per Magpie) babbles on about pneumonic devices. I am not paying attention. Elaine accuses her of not playing with any strategy, just emotions. Noura tries to answer but the entire jury breaks out with “TIME OUT!” to get her to stop. It’s hilarious. They debate amongst themselves if Noura had strategy or not. Finally, Tommy talks about making connections with everyone, making them comfortable. He wanted to play from the middle the whole time, which I think he was successful at doing. Lauren asks Tommy who was he most loyal to and his answer was Lauren. Then Noura outs Tommy for helping Dean make and build fire that he did not do for Lauren. Ooooo! Burn! Janet wants to know when he planned to betray her and he answers at boot eight. Jamal’s question has to do with lines that he was not willing to cross, so he wants to know what lines they had that they were unwilling to cross. Noura didn’t want to look back at anything she did and be unhappy with the person who made the move. Tommy claims he told the kids he teaches that he would be acting a bit different by lying and cheating and stealing if he needed to while he was out there, but it was bullying that he would not cross. Pretty Evil Dean has no answer other than promising a final three if he didn’t mean it. Probst moves on to Outplay. He defines it as physical challenges, idols, and twists. Jamal asks Noura to explain her logic as to why she brought Tommy and made Lauren and Dean build fires. Noura pretty much wins Tommy the million dollars by talking about how Tommy convinced her he is awful at making fire. Jamal asks Tommy to clarify that he is the goat, the sacrificial kid brought along to win the game for someone else. Tommy agrees. Then Jamal says, “But doesn’t Dean have a better story?” and I’m suddenly having horrifying flashbacks to Season 8 of Game of Thrones. AAUUGH! I was already traumatized once from that, don’t make me relive it again! Although Pretty Evil Dean would make a ruthless Three Eyed Raven. Aaron asked about challenges. Noura was happy to be at the individual challenges since she didn’t have to be roped to Weekend at Karishma’s. Pretty Evil Dean likens it to a horserace where you stay in the middle of the pack. Sort of like speeding down a highway. If you are in the middle of a pack, you are much less likely to get pulled over for a ticket than if you are leading the pack or lagging only slightly behind. Safety in numbers, people! Tommy talks about how he knew about nearly everyone’s idols and advantages. Dean pulls out his legacy from Jamal, who confirms it is not real. Dean’s face is great as it falls, but Jamal compliments him on not needing to use it. Then Pretty Evil Dean whips out his Giant Head Island immunity idol and gloats out the story of how he found it while Tommy was looking for it, too. Tommy’s response is to say sure you had all that “bling” but you didn’t actually use any of that to your advantage (well, I’d say except for the nullifier, although that was actually Tommy’s hand stirring the pot on that). A-a-ron tells Tommy he should basically just shut up and several of the women tell Aaron that no, they want to hear what Tommy has to say. In your smug face, Gym Rat. Suddenly a very LOUD crack of thunder opens up overhead and rain starts pouring down on everyone. It’s a deluge, everyone is soaked, including Probst, and just as suddenly it stops. Noura feels refreshed and claims all the negative energy has been washed away, and Missy looks she swallowed a sour lemon. Finally Probst gets to Outlast. He claims it’s back to the final three and that if there is someone on the jury they are unsure about, now is the time to address that. Tommy claims he built relationships with all of them and then he posits a question to them: who do they want to represent Season 39. Noura says she just wanted to be transparent, and launches into her “I’m wild and crazy” and she never takes a breath when she talks or uses a period at any time. Dean acknowledges they are all Survivor fans, and reminds them how much fun it is to watch the game and see the person with their back against the wall and how they survive and move forward, and they should vote for him because it will be AWESOME to watch him on TV. He also implores them to “make history” with him by voting for him. Goddammit, I said NO POLITICS! Screw you, Pretty Evil Dean. And with that, it’s time to vote. One by one, the jurors make their way up to the voting booth. We see Aaron vote for Dean and Lauren vote for Tommy. Long time viewers know this means no one voted for Noura, because if they had, we would have seen it. Probst collect the urn and takes off into the night, for his rendezvous with Skiff Skipper. See, now that would have been the perfect transitional segment: Probst getting on that little motor boat and chugging off into the night, pretending that is how he crossed the Pacific Ocean rather than a first class seat on Air New Zealand. We are back to the pre-recorded live show. Tommy looks dapper in a navy blue shirt, pink shirt and neatly trimmed hair and beard. Dean looks smugly handsome in a shiny gray suit and black shirt. Noura looks lovely in a peacock inspired strapless gown. Points off for no necklace, but I’m totally envious of her gorgeous hair. Time to read the votes. Tommy. Dean. Tommy. Dean. Tommy. Tommy. Tommy. Tommy. That wins it. Tommy the fourth grade schoolteacher wins Survivor and gets mugged by his family. The Dean votes were from Aaron and Elizabeth. All the rest were for Tommy. Ah well. Another season put to bed. It started off great, with a really interesting and diverse cast, an interesting twist with Giant Head Island and the lessons in Survivor from a couple of original Survivor champions. Sadly, it all went to Hell and deflated a lot of my enthusiasm for the season. But I still love Survivor and at least when February rolls around and we have nothing but former winners, we can all be assured they at least know how the sausage is made and won’t screw it all up. Oh, who am I kidding? Someone is going to fuck it up. My money is on Tyson. See you in February!
  5. Pick one of the Final Three as your choice for winner.
  6. A tad late but at least they corrected the course.
  7. Apparently Dean sent out a picture of the finale set:
  8. One degree in art, second one in history. Hamster Caretaker for life. *FIST!*
  9. This season started off with so much promise, like a straight A student beginning freshman year at her dream college. Then someone introduces her to Kahlua and vodka, and suddenly she’s flunking out of English 101 and the dream of a perfect season ends. Thus goes Survivor 39: Island of #TimesUpForGrabbyDan. Post-tribal finds Noura continuing her No Really I Was Gonna Tell Tommy tour. She fails miserably and what appears to be a locked up final four in TinyTank, Lauren, GrabbyDan and Tommy shoo her away so they don’t have to listen to her idiocy anymore. Noura blames Dean for both her failure to create a coup and the Lindenburgh baby kidnapping, so for revenge she…steals his kicks. Apparently he keeps his tennis shoes pristine and she decides to hide them high up on the Lumuwaku flag pole that also contains trophies (in the form of forgotten clothing) from the previously deceased tribe members. Fun fact: Elaine wore A-a-ron’s pants to the next tribal council following his ouster and he was so pissed off about it, he held on to it until she got to Ponderosa so he could yell at her. What a baby. The next morning, everyone wanders off to look for the newly rehidden immunity idol that Elaine wasted the night before. After a great deal of wandering around like Moses in the desert, TinyTank finally looks where the cameraman has been pointing his lens for ten minutes straight and finds a blue wrapper. It is not a discarded old Rice Krispie Treat foil packaging, but indeed the immunity idol. She calls Tommy over and they celebrate by READING THE PARCHMENT OUT IN THE OPEN. Oh, sure, they looked around surreptitiously but failed to notice Dean and Elaine standing twenty feet away from them. Idiots. Dean is quite pleased that he knows what they know while they don’t know what he knows. Elaine is having trouble extrapolating that sentence. So am I, but I’ve got a Kahlua and cream to get me through. Later on what I assume is the same morning, Elaine tries working on Lauren to understand that the boys have an alliance that does not include her and that even if they bring her to the final four, they will make her build a fire for her life. Elaine, as it turns out, is exactly right but Lauren trusts Tommy, who looks, feels, and sounds trustworthy. Spoiler alert: he is not. While Big Red assures Lauren that all is well, he goes back to the Boys Alliance and tells them to make sure Lauren feels safe and tell her they want to get rid of Janet. In truth, Tommy knows he cannot win against Lauren, that none of them can. I would argue that everyone can win against both GrabbyDan and Crazy Noura. Dean is a wild card at the moment. But we are at the point in the game where everyone smells the finale close at hand, so scenarios are being spun in their heads like sugar cookies. (Not a fan of plums.) Whirrrrrrrrrrrrr! The sound you hear is the boat for Island of the Giant Heads. The bag is handed over by the skipper of the skiff. The Survivors must draw one name to go to the island. Now, let’s see. Out of everyone left, who has not been to see the secret of the season? TinyTank has been, Elaine, Crazy Noura. Tommy, Dean, and Dan have not, which is a good thing for GrabbyDan because he would have lost his fingers had he tried to touch Sandra in an untoward way. I don’t remember if Lauren when and I’m honestly too tired to look it up, but I do not think she has been (she did go in Episode 10, so yeah, I’m losing it. Thank you, Wikipedia). So a name is drawn and who gets to go? Dean. He assumes it will be the last trip of the game and it means his good luck is kicking in at the right time. The camera focuses on a flaccid, pale harbor seal in red shorts…oh, I’m sorry. That’s Boston Rob out spearfishing. He manages to get a large Orange Roughy that looks like it came directly from the fishmonger’s ice tray and takes it back to Idol camp, where he cooks perfectly cut filets for himself and Sandra (and soon Dean). Boston Rob LOVES being out there on Survivor Island and claims it feels like home. I’m sure Amber and your daughters love hearing you say that, you big lunk. Dean gets dropped off on the lovely beach and does the whole quizzical “Why are there giant heads of Linda Ronstadt and George Lucas circa 1983 on a beach in Fiji?” thing. Rob and Sandra greet him and give him some food, and talk ensues. Dean shares his legacy given to him by Jamal and asks them to confirm that it is real. Sandra immediately says no can do, Frat boy. Only Probst is able to confirm that. Dean goes on to detail how he made a fake of the (fake) legacy and the Idols are impressed by his ingenuity. They are less impressed when he blathers on about getting everyone to vote for him then pulling out his (fake) legacy advantage. Rob may have called him a dunce. The lesson must go on, however, and it is about jury management. They talk to him about storytelling to the jury, to “differentiate” himself and I’m impressed that Sandra made that word choice, because she usually likes the short and to the point vocabulary. Now comes the test: if Dean wins, he gets to choose because an extra vote, an idol nullifier, or an idol that has to be played for someone else. All he has to do is win a coin flip. He does, and he chooses the idol nullifier as he knows Janet has an idol. Boo. Don’t you dare be mean to TinyTank! Lumuwaku, Day 34. I said it before and I’ll say it again. This is the second worse merge tribe name, after Nobag (Gabon, Africa). Dean comes back from Idol Island. His story is a simple version of the truth, a lesson Noura could have used a few weeks back. He claims it was a coin flip to lose his vote and win either an extra vote or an idol that could be used for someone else, and he lost so he does not have a vote for the next Tribal council. As soon as he is alone with Dan, Tommy and Lauren, he tells them the truth, which puts Tommy on edge a bit. Tommy had been cruising along thinking Dean was just Pretty Dean with the Good Shoes, but this show of sneaky snake underhandedness proves Dean has at least something of a story to sell the jury. I think it is a mistake on Dean’s part as well to say he has an idol nullifier, because Dean KNOWS that Tommy and TinyTank have an idol! Didn’t think that part through, did you, Pretty Boy? Day 35, Immunity Challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Rich Navy shirt, for those keeping score at home. This is going to be a physical challenge, big time. Survivors will have to spin to uncoil a rope, then make their way through a series of obstacles – my most-oft used phrase this season, right after “Glidden Paint” and “Stop Touching Me, Dan.” A single puzzle piece will be collected along the way, which seems cheap. Then the Survivors will have to make a word puzzle that spells out “This game will mess with your mind” and reputation, but who’s counting? Survivors ready? GO! Watching dizzy people try to navigate a rope net and a balance beam is pretty damn funny. A dizzy challenge is a must-have from now on. The puzzle round has everyone pretty even. Elaine, though, is pretty close but unfortunately it is Dean who beats her to the punch. On my first watch, I thought he might have looked at what she was doing, but seeing it again, I don’t believe that happened, at least not right at the end enough to matter. Elaine is very upset and knocks her pieces over. Her frustration is mostly at herself, for both being so close to finishing and not being able to get there, and then at wasting her immunity idol at the last tribal council. Of course, WE know that even if she still had it, she would have been nullified by Dean’s new toy. Elaine knows she is on the chopping block and that her only play, really, is to try and convince people to vote out Crazy Noura. Yeah, I think that ship has sailed. She’s too tempting as someone to drag to the end. Post challenge the decision is that everyone except Dan will vote Elaine, and Dan will vote for Noura just in case an idol is played. Elaine tries to talk Lauren into switching to Noura, and for her part Lauren listens. It’s an idea that would probably help Lauren more than just going along with the crowd and voting out the easy choice in Elaine. Lauren and TinyTank discuss it and while TT thinks this might work, she also knows Elaine is a real threat to win at the end, to make fire as fast as TinyTank can make it, just in case it comes down to that choice at the final four. Another note: we have barely seen Noura this episode, so it seems painfully obvious who is going home. Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Windswept Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. Twenty minutes for tribal seems like a long time, especially when we know pretty much who is going. Let’s get on with it. Rob and Sandra are in their grass shack and Rob is…shocked? overjoyed? flabbergasted? that Dean won immunity. It’s hard to tell, but then when he starts making fun of Dean “stretching before flexing” it means he just likes to poke at pretty boys and their pristine shoes. The jury comes in and Weekend at Karishma’s’ is looking like a hot mama. An inept, whiny hot mama, but still pretty hot. I mean, if you like a hot mess, that is. Elaine complains about Dean winning, and Dean pivots to playing up to the jury, making Boston Rob proud that someone actually listened to him. GrabbyDan likens the last tribal council to an earthquake and that the foundation was rebuilt to be stronger. He then says, “Unless it’s the big one tonight…” Oh GrabbyDan. You have no idea. Also, don’t say, “the big one” while gesturing at your pants, even accidentally. Elaine points out she has been called a target from day one and she completely owns that she will be voting out Noura. Rob loves it. Elaine lays her case against Noura to get out the one the boys want to drag to the end. Elaine really opens up about why she is there (money and adventure) and how rough her life has been recently. Her mother passed away three months before leaving. Everyone is pretty much in tears, even Boston Rob. TinyTank once again captures my heart by being so amazing to another person that I wish she would adopt me (even though we are about the same age). She hugs Elaine (I hope she asked permission first!) and speaks to her directly, telling her that in times of darkness she has always known there is light on the other side and that Elaine will get there, in her head and in her heart. It is so lovely and kind and so very, very Janet. Elaine says dreams are still alive, until Probst snuffs her torch. So Jeff says, “That is true. And with that…” and he gestures to her. Elaine finishes the sentence,”…it is time to vote.” Time to tally the votes. Elaine. Noura. Elaine. Nora. Elaine. Elaine. That’s enough. Hugs and love from Janet and Lauren, who is red-eyed with tears. Elaine asks Probst for a hug after her snuffs her torch and Sandra declares her love for Elaine as well, which Sandra is not always quick to do. That says something right there. She wanders off down the path to food and clean clothes and Survivor stardom. However, the show is not quite over yet. On Day 36, Probst makes his way down the beach to the camp, shocking everyone just by showing up. Jeff says he needs to share some news, causing TinyTank to look around and ask, where is Dan? Probst barrels on with his mission: a decision was made, Dan won’t be coming back to camp, won’t be on jury, he is gone, gone, gone. TinyTank realizes that “real world” things have come into the game, while Tommy is scrambling to figure out how to reshuffle his playing cards. An informational slide is thrown up at the end, and all it says is that Dan was removed from the game for another “incident” that happened off-camera and did not involve a player. So, more taint to mar what started out as a fantastic season and leave a bitter taste in our mouths as viewers and as fans. I am as disappointed in Season 39 as my mother was when I majored in art.
  10. Dan and Classy aren't even in the same area code. He is the kind of guy who is a total crybaby when he is on the losing end of the stick, and a total asshole while he is winning. His kid seemed like a nice boy, at least. Must take after mom. I suspect that Tommy wanted to get rid of Noura but was talked out of it by Grabby Dan, and it is going to turn out to be a mistake.
  11. Here we are again, post-Thanksgiving bloat and all. Hope everyone had a good holiday and… ENOUGH CHITCHAT! CHALLENGE TIME! Seriously. Day 30, the show opens with a swooping shot over Challenge Beach with a course set up partially in the water. Probst is there, wearing a Glidden Paint Deep Onyx shirt, for those keeping score at home. The spot where I paused the screen gives me a good look at Probst’s legs and by the shape of his calves, I’m guessing he has a Peleton at home. Here’s hoping no one is forcing him to document his progress on his equally expensive iPhone. Also I really don’t like these lack of transition type of openings. It feels like we miss something when we don’t get night-vision “what just happened” conversations back at camp after the previous tribal council. Wouldn’t it be fun to hear Weekend at Karishma’s doing a “nanny nanny boo boo” at everyone after using her immunity idol and thwarting their desire to FINALLY oust her useless ass? Don’t answer that. The less we see of Weekend at Karishma’s, the better. Probst goes into his speech mentioning some of the milestones along the Survivor journey: merge, finals, and the family visit. Even before he gets to the loved one reveal, the Survivors are beside themselves in varying degrees of emotion. I’m sure they did the math and knew this was coming today. So let’s meet the loved ones. Lauren’s husband, Matt, comes out and they hug. Lauren is an emotional wreck. Matt is cute and looks an awful lot like Jason from earlier in the season. Probst asks, “Why Matt?” which…really Jeff? What do you think she is going to say, that it’s because he has a big pecker? Of course Lauren lauds his qualities of love and support while he sheepishly smiles next to her. They seem like a sweet couple. Tommy’s girlfriend, Nicole, is next. She is tall and thin and, as Tiny Tank says, she is beautiful. Tommy is shaking like a leaf with emotion. He can’t speak so Nicole does it for him, talking about how wonderful he is and how he is emotionally supportive. Then she whispers to him, “Just get it done” which could be taken as a threat. However, I am feeling magnanimous today so we will just call that a competitive nature coming out. Ugh. Weekend at Karishma’s husband, Drew, is next. He jogs out and cheerfully says, “Good morning, Karishma!” in a jovial tone. Weekend at Karishma’s pleasantly responds, “Hi Roomie!” I may have made that part up. What she does is what we all expect: completely embarrasses herself with an emotional reaction and tears that would make Tammy Faye Bakker cringe. Her husband is very, very sweet. As she sobs about how not good she is, he tells her he’s got her; he is there for her. Aw, Drew, you are a good guy. I’m so sorry. As Weekend at Karishma’s goes through how misunderstood she is, how she has had to endure hunger and deprivation, she doesn’t once mention how she cut her hand nearly in two. Noura’s sister, Lana, is next. She is obviously quite a bit younger than Noura but their faces are nearly identical. Alana tells her she is proud of her for still being there, and Jeff asks what that was about. Noura launches into a tearful explanation of how much she admires and wants to be like her sister – who seems grounded and dare I say normal? – and that Lana calls Noura crazy but affectionately has named it “Nourable” as in adorable. It is very sweet and sisterly and I develop some mad love for Lana when Probst tells her to give Noura a last hug and Lana sasses him with a, “This won’t be the last hug, sir.” Probst loves it, too. Janet’s husband, John, is announced and TinyTank is charging up the beach even before John appears from the jungle. He runs around and all we see is a hot pink t-shirt. Turns out that color is a signal to the new grandchild on the way. Cute idea! John is florid, freckled and blond, looking sort of like a blown up Jon Gruden. Probst asks what it is about Janet and John talks about how amazing his wife is, how there is no challenge she won’t take. He talks lovingly about how she broke barriers for women all the time, as one of the first female ocean front lifeguards, and that every time something comes up, it doesn’t matter that she’s a woman, she will handle it. I love how he speaks about her. Laura, Dean’s mom, is next. She is wearing a leopard print dress and he picks her up when they hug. It’s not the most uncomfortable reunion between a parent and child we have ever had on this show (Hello, Joe and Joe’s dad). She really looks more like his older sister. They talk a little bit about some of his emotional struggles in high school and how supportive she was with him. There is a whole lot not being said here about Dean’s life so I guess we will just leave that aside for now. The Redemption of Grabby Dan begins. His thirteen year old son, Ryan, comes out. Sweet looking young kid, overjoyed to see his dad, who falls to his knees and cries and asks if everything is okay at home. It is, as they apparently haven’t gotten word yet that Dan likes touching younger women. Probst asks Ryan how it was coming over to Fiji by himself and I find it VERY hard to believe that production let a child fly internationally by himself without a family member as an escort. The kid makes me laugh by telling Probst he is surprised his dad has lasted this long. Oh, Ryan. You sweet summer child. Stay off the internet for the next year, please. Finally, there is Elaine. Her girlfriend, Tanya, comes out and is a dead ringer for Big Tom from Africa (Season 3). Elaine asks how everything is at home and then tells Probst a bit about their relationship, how scared she was that Tanya’s children would accept them together. She says the oldest child is in college and the youngest is Elaine’s best friend. At first I was a little confused, thinking Elaine was friends with Tanya’s child and THEN they got together, a sort of L-word Stacey’s Mom situation, but on rewatch that is not what she said, so whew! They have a few mild PDAs like the rest of the couples and then the last hug. Probst then pivots to the challenge. Survivors will be tethered in pairs then to a rope, and I’m so sorry for whomever is partnered with Weekend at Karishma’s because they have already lost. I kind of hope it is Noura so we can see her dragging Weekend at Karishma’s through the course like we enjoyed on the worm-in-the-sand challenge. The pairs will make their way through a series of obstacles, involved the tangled rope, over and under beams challenge, then digging and squeezing underneath a log in the sand. After that, they will have to land a single sandbag on a disc platform while still tethered together. First to land on the platform wins reward, which is of course time to spend with loved ones along with a feast. Pairs end up thus: TinyTank and Tommy, Dan and Noura, Dean and Elaine, Lauren and Weekend at Karishma’s. Sorry, Lauren. Survivors ready? OH! Wait! Before they go, Probst talks to Noura’s sister and confirms that she is visually impaired. He asks the rest of the loved ones if they mind him taking Lana out with him to watch the action and of course none of them say they mind. There is no reason to object and to do so would be churlish and mean spirited. Seeing her sister with Jeff, Noura asks what is happening and immediately starts crying when Probst explains it, thanking him every which way. Yeah, yeah, let’s GO! Everyone splashes through the water, but Dan is so far ahead of Noura that she falls and then she just starts swimming in the shallows like a sand shark looking for an ankle to bite. Probst snarks that “Noura is swimming when she could just walk through it.” But whatever, Dan and Noura are up on the beach first and start threading their way through the obstacle-rope maze. Up, over, under. This is harder on the shorter women and both Noura and TinyTank take some hard falls. Elaine and Dean are finished first and soon everyone is digging in the sand except for Lauren and Weekend at Karishma’s. Poor Lauren is sobbing as they finally run up the beach to start digging but Jeff screams that they are not out of it yet, as Dan is still struggling to get under the log. Both Dean and Tommy are brutally thin compared to Grabby Dan and his middle aged spread, so that is understandable. Finally everyone is tossing the sandbag and Dan nearly lands his on the first try. In the end, the pair of TinyTank and Tommy win reward. YOU FOOLS! You forgot one of the cardinal rules of Survivor! Do NOT win the loved ones reward! Take a lesson from Dadbod Rick last season: talk to your loved one before heading out to Survivor and make a deal that you will not try to win, and hope you will be chosen to join the winner. Because now Probst makes Tommy and TinyTank choose another….then one more person to join them. I watched this and thought about it and I am a little pissed. Probst should have made them choose ONE of the tethered teams to join them. That way, if Lauren is chosen, then Weekend at Karishma’s gets the reward as well for no good reason. If Dan is chosen, Crazy Noura gets reward and Lauren falls to pieces. We know neither of winners would choose Elaine or Dean, so they are out no matter what. They pick Dan, which is actually a good choice because that is his thirteen year old son there and how can you say no to that? I couldn’t be that cruel. I mean in real life. As a keyboard warrior, it is all about the bitchiness. Their other choice, no surprise, is Lauren. The rest of the reactions are expected: Dean and Elaine already knew, Noura is pissed/disappointed, and Weekend at Karishma’s is sulking. Probst asks her how she feels. She claims to have clarity about being on the bottom and all I can say is that it sure took her long enough to realize she is on the bottom. Weekend at Karishma’s is mad! She wants to band the losers together and, as she puts it, put a wrecking ball in someone else’s head. Someone else? Was there a wrecking ball on this season smacking into someone that I missed? Pretty sure I would have recapped that event. Or maybe the police in Weekend at Karishma’s hometown should be investigating unsolved murders involving wrecking balls. Just saying. Probst give it a big WOW! He sends them back to camp with nothing. The reward feast is as you would expect, with some strategy talk. TinyTank suggests Elaine is the first to go since she has a chance at winning immunity, with the implication that Weekend at Karishma’s has a less than zero chance. They decide to tell Noura to vote Elaine. Then the talk pivots to splitting the vote between Elaine and Weekend at Karishma’s to be on the safe side. All reasonable conclusions. Lauren talks to the camera, suggesting that she doesn’t think it likely that the ones left back at camp, aka the Group of Losers (Thanks Grabby Dan and also fuck right off) will manage to come up with any sort of strategic plan. And so we immediately go to the Group of Losers deciding to try and figure out how to get the Group of Winners out. Hilariously, Crazy Noura starts babbling about how she now knows she is on the bottom of that foursome. She says…out loud mind you…that she is the Karishma of that group, except she is enjoyable to be around and I Cannot. Stop. Laughing. First of all, Noura, yes you are more “enjoyable” to be around that Weekend at Karishma’s but that is like saying would you prefer to put your hand in the box with the scorpion or the tarantula? It’s not really a great choice either way, it’s just that one is a bit more painful than the other. Noura keeps blathering and who likes it the most? Dean. He just can’t stop grinning to himself and Noura goes on and on and on. Hilarious. Crazy Noura swears her loyalty to them. They decide Lauren is their target on the vote. They take advantage of their time alone at camp to go out idol hunting on Dean’s suggestion. There is a lot of searching but Elaine is the one who is victorious in the end as she finds the idol. Immunity Challenge time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Sausalito Sky shirt, for those keeping score at home. Simple challenge: stand one foot on top of the other on a narrow beam. Hold a BALL! against a vertical wooden bar with an oval shaped small buoy threaded with a dowel up over their head. Last player standing with a BALL! still in place wins immunity. Survivors ready? GO! Dean is out almost immediately after the challenge starts, followed closely by Tommy. Surprisingly Noura is out nextI. I thought she would last longer in this one with her mad yoga skills. TinyTank falls hard off her beam and seems to have scraped a good part of her skin off her foot, causing it to bleed everywhere. In Weekend at Karishma’s terminology, Janet has cut her foot off. Probst is concerned and runs over to help her up but Janet shrugs it off like it was a fleabite and limps over to the bench. We never see Dr. Joe but I assume someone came over from Medical, cleaned the wound and bandaged it. Or, you know, sewed her foot back on. Weekend at Karishma’s is next and she certainly lasted longer than expected. Let’s give her a round of applause for lasting more than thirty seconds, shall we? Grabby Dan loses concentration and drops, so I am guessing a pretty young medic was over taking care of TinyTank. So we are down to Elaine and Lauren and can someone explain why after thirty days Elaine has zero armpit hair? And also why I am checking to see how much armpit hair the women are sporting? Poor Lauren’s arms are shaking badly while Elaine looks as solid as a rock. Suddenly Elaine’s arms move a bit and her BALL! drops. There was a question about whether this was a deliberate move on Elaine’s part, so in looking at the moment over a couple of times, I have concluded that it is possible but unlikely. Elaine is too much of a competitor to just give up when there is no reason for her to sacrifice to the other person still in the challenge. Better for Elaine if she had immunity AND the idol. So Lauren wins immunity and thwarts, unknowingly, the plans of the Group of Losers to vote her out. Post challenge, the idea is to split votes between Elaine and Weekend at Karishma’s. Grabby Dan, TinyTank, and Noura vote Elaine. The rest vote for Weekend at Karishma’s, assuming other than her voting for herself, though I wouldn’t put it past her. TinyTank and Dan clue Noura in on the plan and she turns around and tells the Group of Losers. This excites Weekend at Karishma’s because now they can just vote for whichever of the others they want, which seems to be Tommy as the biggest threat. Elaine is concerned about Noura being a Fruit Loop, and her fear is not unfounded. Crazy Noura corners Dean and starts talking complications. She goes through all the perambulations of every possible scenario and drives the usually somnambulant Dean to distraction. He tells her they cannot worry about every scenario and should just make a decision and stick with it, then finally has to level with her that he worries most about her. Dean tells us that putting his faith in Noura’s hands is scary. This then makes more sense later during tribal council, at least to explaining Dean’s actions. It does get noticed that Dean and Noura are missing for a while and that makes Lauren, Dan and Tommy nervous. Also, Dean and Elaine talk and share their concern for trusting Noura. They feel certain they can trust Weekend at Karishma’s to vote how she says she will vote, so she’s got that going for her, which is nice. Not that Weekend at Karishma’s will ever appreciate it. Elaine recalls her lesson from the Island of the Idols, of which you may have a vague memory, to not hesitate. I’m not sure that the entire lesson was just to go “balls out” but more along the lines of look for an opening then take it, not barrel through like a bull in a china shop. But you do you, Elaine. Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Blue Phlox shirt, for those keeping score at home. I have watched this Tribal Council through a few times and the highlights are Missy in the jury box pretending to eat popcorn while the Survivors run around in chaos, and Boston Rob snarking from the grass spy shack above the proceedings. His utter disgust at the voting result by the end is palpable and also highly amusing. What happens is that Tribal Council starts off normally enough: jury troops in, and it was recently pointed out to me that Probst does not give their names as they come in to the council area anymore. Chitchat ensues about the loved ones visit and Prosbt asks Elaine to extrapolate on something. Elaine asks him what extrapolate means, but she has a sly little smile on her face which screams to me that she is playing Probst like a fiddle. Suddenly Dean leans over to whisper to Tommy that the rest of the Group of Losers is voting for him but Dean is not doing it. Tommy is surprised that Noura is in on that, which Dean confirms. Tommy then whispers to Dan, who talks to Noura who has suddenly been caught out and all her pre-Tribal council planning starts blowing up in her face. Lauren wants to know if Noura was voting Tommy, Janet is just stunned, Elaine comes over to where Noura and Tommy and talking and sticks her face right in there, which seriously made me lose it. Her expression is halfway between inquisitive and smug. It is great. Dean is simply bemused by all he started, and I suspect this has been his actual strategy this entire season, or at least since Chelsea left. It’s all a long con for revenge on getting his main squeeze out of the game. Finally Noura declares she is just going to talk out loud and bypass all the whispering. She calls out Dean on being untrustworthy and she outs Elaine’s idol as well. Noura claims to Tommy she was going to tell him but Dean got to him first, which is such a lie! Weekend at Karishma’s butts in and tells Tommy that ten minutes before tribal, Noura was with them. Noura keeps talking and talking. Janet asks Weekend at Karishma’s if she is willing to write down Noura’s name and of course she is! Boston Rob is ranting quietly to Sandra in their spy shack about how getting caught in a lie is Noura’s mistake and getting caught should be reason enough to be voted out. Sandra concurs. Elaine swears on her grandfather’s grave to Tommy that she is not writing his name down. Tommy wants Noura to go next and Dan is clarifying whether he means tonight or next tribal council. We don’t get our answer. Everyone settles down and Probst tries to take control again. He asks Noura how she feels about what she instigated and she is immediately launches into top ten reasons why everything is Dean’s fault. Dean is laughing and that just pisses her off more as she gets angrier and angrier that anyone should trust him. Probst asks if they are ready to vote and it is time. Probst goes to tally the votes. Anyone want to use an idol, ELAINE? Yes, yes she does. She hands her idol to Probst, apologizes in case it smells like feet and it may very well at that as Probst holds it pretty far away from his face. Time to read the votes. Weekend at Karishma’s. Noura. Nora At this point, Sandra says, “Damn Noura, they screwed you.” Boston Rob snorts and says, “She screwed herself.” Word, Rob. Noura. Weekend at Karishma’s. Weekend at Karishma’s. Weekend at Karishma’s. Weekend at Karishma’s. Boston Rob cannot believe it. “All of that talk just to vote out Karishma.” That’s pretty much the motto of this season, Rob. All of this talk, just to vote out Weekend at Karishma’s. But on the bright side, she won’t be anywhere near the million dollar prize, so we’ve got that going for us. Also, her hand seems to have regained full function. Probst to the Survivors: "I got nothing for you. Good night." Good luck to the members of jury, who now get the honor of listening to Weekend at Karishma’s list of grievances. Happy Festivus!
  12. What the hell did I just watch in that Tribal Council??
  13. No, I can see how she would have been very well liked. Other than that awful decision to gin up the Grabby Dan stuff, which was directed by Missy, she has been pretty mellow and seems fun to be around.
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