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Everything posted by MrsGryn

  1. I do agree with Tsy's reasoning as to why Lauren used the idol, but it was still a panicked move. I had thought when she first stood up, she was going to use it on Tommy.
  2. Thanks! Figured if I didn't get it done right away, it wouldn't happen until at least Saturday night. Luckily this was a straightforward episode.
  3. As you remember from last week, the tribe was split into two groups. The first group makes it back to camp and they await the return of the second group to find out who got voted out. Lauren is fearful that her main alliance partner, Tommy or Big Red as Elaine calls him, will be the target, so she is overjoyed when he sees him emerging from the jungle like a ghost of Survivor Past. As relieved as she is, the girl is still in game mode and they regroup to plan the next step. I really like Lauren and Tommy as partners in this game. Neither one panics, they think things out, and seem to be pretty solid in their alliance. I would probably lean more toward Lauren as a stronger player but a case could be made for both. Apparently there is a Goat Army alliance, or at least the name of a pretend alliance. Dean calls it mustering the Goat Army to get rid of the bigger threats. It is hard to figure out who was recruited into this Bovidae Army, but we see Dean talking to Tommy and Elizabeth about it. For a few minutes, I was actually thinking Dean is not the complete nunchuck he seems to be, but then he goes and confirms he is still an idiot by deciding the fake advantage that Jamal crayoned while at Island of the Idols is actually real and dude. Seriously? If I stuck a box of Crayollas up my butt, I would poop something more believable than that sloppy parchment. Dean gets the bright idea to use some of the paint leftover from the new tribe flag and make up a fake legacy parchment in order to keep what he thinks is a real legacy advantage in his pocket. Oh Dean. It’s a good thing you’re pretty. Sound of a motor boat wafts over the beach. Finally! Back to Island of the Idols! The tribe has to choose one person to go to the island unanimously, otherwise a name will be drawn from the bag. I have a question: are the names only those who have not been yet or of everyone left in the game? Like, could Janet or Elizabeth conceivable be picked to go again? Just some idol (ha) curiosity. Lauren immediately pipes up that she wants to go, and the votes trickle in for her. Naturally, this causes Weekend at Karishma’s to find something to whine about. I swear, this woman. She just gets worse as the season drags on. I mean, we all knew from the outset that Reem Daly was an annoying loudmouth, but Weekend at Karishma’s has taken a downward track since landing on the beach. She is bitter that other people are running the tribe. I guarantee that if she were part of the majority alliance or in the decision making circle, she would be singing the “Too bad so sad” tune to those on the outs. Because Weekend at Karishma’s is kind of a rude bitch. Sorry to insult bitches everywhere. So Lauren hops in the boat. On the way over, we are treated to a funny scene where Rob and Sandra are eating freshly sliced papayas with lovely hand-carved wooden forks that cost several dollars apiece at Crate and Barrel, when a chicken sneaks up on Sandra and pecks the papaya in order to knock it out of her hands and start munching on it. Rob laughs that Sandra has been very loyal to the chicken this whole time and that is how she is rewarded. Something tells me this chicken is going to become Pollo Saltado by the next episode. Lauren makes her way up the beach and sees the giant heads of Miles Standish and Priscilla Mullins (Happy Thanksgiving!), and then when Rob and Sandra emerge from the jungle, she gets completely giddy. They take her back to their secret villain lair to play their mind games. For once, Sandra is allowed to speak and she says they want to know what is going on with her in the game. Turns out their Survivor lesson is one on “situational awareness” to see how well she knows the people on her tribe and if she can predict how they will choose to play on the next challenge. If she’s right, she gets an idol good for two councils, if she’s wrong she loses her vote. Boston Rob tells her what the challenge will be (hold a bar until a ball falls), but the twist is that those who choose to sit out will get breakfast foods. This is an easy choice as I love breakfast foods. Bring on the bacon! Lauren has to choose someone who will play the challenge. She equivocates a bit, noting that Noura is vegan so she might not be tempted and Elizabeth is without allies and is a competitor, so she thinks they will for sure play in the challenge. The Idols sweeten the deal by giving her two choices and if one of them plays the challenge, she wins the idol. Boston Rob claims he doubled her odds and two out of ten doesn’t seem like an actual doubling. But hey, it’s math so I will defer to the millionaires on TV. After giving it some thought, she picks Noura and Elizabeth. Sandra explains that if she gets it right, the idol will be hidden by tree mail. Lauren gets back to camp and tells a much better story and Noura. She tells them she knows what the challenge is and explains it. She adds that the twist was that she got to choose if it was a sit out and eat challenge and what they would eat. The tribe loves it, especially when she mentions bacon. She has them all fooled, it seems, so that was successful. A little later, Lauren pulls Tommy aside and clues him in to the real thing and they decide to work on everyone to they want to sit out to do just that. Weekend at Karishma’s whines that a mimosa is her favorite drink in all the world and she would order it in bars if she could! I wonder if Applebee’s will put a new mimosa based drink on their menu? I also wonder if Weekend at Karishma’s has no idea how to order a glass of orange juice and a champagne split and an empty glass? It looks like Lauren and Tommy are doing a great job convincing the people they want to convince, and I’m getting more and more impressed with them. Immunity challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Gray Hearth shirt, for those keeping score at home. Elaine has to give back the immunity necklace but she makes it as difficult as possible while getting a little handsy with Probst. Did she not pay attention in #MeToo discussion the producers JUST had with you people? Jeffy explains the challenge, lift the bar, out when the ball drops. He then does his big reveal to show the array of breakfast goodies and…..he is shocked. None of the Survivors react at all. It was so silent that we could hear the wind whistling in the space between Dean’s ears. Lauren explains they all had a heads up, like Probst didn’t know about that ahead of time, and he pretends to be relieved as to why no one started drooling immediately. He gives everyone a red rock and a yellow rock. They will display red if they want to play, yellow if they want delicious pancakes, bacon, hash browns. When the reveal comes, it is only Weekend at Karishma’s, Elizabeth, and Noura who are playing. Well done, Lauren! Probst makes it clear that when the challenge is over, the food goes away. Survivors ready? GO! And the people eating barely have enough time to shove some bacon in their mouths before Weekend at Karishma’s ball drops. Probst tells her she can sit down but she cannot eat and she mutters, “I can handle it.” Jeffy is confused and asks concernedly what she can handle. Weekend at Karishma’s explains that she can handle smelling the food and not being able to eat and also feeling like a failure. You’d think she would be used to that by now. Probst stares at her for a moment and asks why choosing to do the challenge would make her feel like a failure. Naturally she starts whine-crying about something stupid and I just can’t with this broad. Neither can Probst who says something generic and runs away back to the challenge, leaving Weekend at Karishma’s to weep alone on the sit-out bench. I can hear Lauren crunching bacon in the background and it sounds delicious! Okay, back to the challenge. Eventually, Elizabeth’s ball drops so Noura wins the challenge, but Noura does not move a muscle. She says she is staying there as long as she can for her tribe to keep eating, but Probst gently explains to her that the challenge is over so the eaters have to shove in their last bites. Elaine: “We’re tryin’ Jeff!” Post challenge. Lauren and Tommy find their idol that she won. The talk post-challenge has to do with voting between Weekend at Karishma’s and Elizabeth. Tommy feels that they can vote out the weak one any time and my LORD how many times do these people say that and yet she still survives? Noura and Elizabeth fret that Weekend at Karishma’s might have an idol. The two girls approach her to see how she is doing okay after the challenge, but it is a subterfuge as Noura grabs Weekend at Karishma’s bag to go through it. She and Elizabeth rifle through and find a crumpled up note, which OMG DID YOU EVEN READ IT? and some shells so they assume that means she does not have an idol. They forgot to check her armpit. Meanwhile, Dan talks to Weekend at Karishma’s and says they are splitting the vote between Elizabeth and Janet, even though in truth it is split between Elizabeth and Weekend at Karishmas. Immediatelyl after finishing the conversation, Weekend at Karishma’s goes over to Elizabeth in FULL VIEW of Dan to talk to her about what just happened. Lauren joins Dan and it turns out that another one of Lauren’s talents is reading lips. I love it. Dan confronts them but Weekend at Karishma’s just says they were talking about JAN-et. Mmmhmm. Tribal council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Bali Hai Teal shirt, for those keeping score at home. Rob and Sandra are in their little grass shack. They love that Noura got immunity and know that means Lauren got the idol. The jury comes in and Jack’s hair has been washed and fluffed. It’s very curly. Probst goes into the challenge and what happened and Missy looks fairly disgusted that six of the nine chose to sit out the challenge. A-a-ron just looks like he wants to punch a nerd. Elizabeth laments not winning immunity. Weekend at Karishma’s claims she chose not to eat because she wanted to challenge herself. I hope she remembers the lesson she learned is that she sucks. To quote Homer Simpson, “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” Dan says something, but he is gesturing with his hands and that is just distracting now, so I ignore him. Dean reminds Probst that he has a legacy advantage and Boston Rob grins from the confines of his grass spy shack. Probst goes on to ask about people agreeing on what to do and Tommy makes a great analogy about asking his girlfriend where she wants to eat, and even though it’s one person they still can’t figure it out. Tommy missed a great opportunity here to pick up a sponsor in Applebee’s by claiming they can always agree on that! I hear they have mimosas now. There is more talk about loyalty and core alliances and I don’t care because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have to get up and drive four hours in the morning. So let’s get to the vote. Probst tallies the votes. He asks if anyone has an immunity idol they would like to play. Dean stands up and gives Probst his legacy advantage and Jeffy takes great delight in denying its authenticity. Rob and Sandra LOVE it. Then suddenly Weekend at Karishma’s stands up and reaches into her armpit. She pulls out her hidden immunity idol and hands it to Probst. There are some shocked looks on just about everyone’s face, except of course for our Idols, who are wriggling with glee. I’m surprised no one asked if there was a snake in that grass hut overlooking the tribal council area, as Rob and Sandra were moving around so much. Probst confirms that it is a hidden immunity idol and thus any votes for Weekend at Karishma’s will not count. And yet before he goes on, Lauren interrupts him to play her own idol. Sigh. So unnecessary. She should have known she was safe! Did you not learn anything from your lesson with Boston Rob? Read the tribe! Probst starts to read the votes. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Weekend at Karishma’s. Does not count. Janet. (NOOOOOOOOOOO!) Elizabeth. It is officially a tie. The Survivors will have to revote. No one can vote for Weekend at Karishma’s, they can only vote for Elizabeth or TinyTank. I swear if this is how Janet goes out I’m gonna riot. The Survivors revote and Probst goes to tally the votes again. Jeff reads the new votes. Elizabeth. Elizabeth. Elizabeth Elizabeth. That’s enough. The Olympian is voted out and she takes it in good humor, smiling at everyone and wishing them luck. So that’s it this week. Good luck, travel safe, and enjoy your Thanksgiving, whatever it looks like. I’m thankful for all you people who come back every week and read these recaps. I salute you with a forkful of mashed potatoes. (Recap title from a suggestion by Tsylyst)
  4. Aaron's interview with Parade magazine. As noted on Missy's thread, Aaron and Missy are both not responding to EW.com's request for interviews, which is unprecedented for the writer, Dalton Ross.
  5. Missy has an interview with Parade magazine about her time on the island and the controversial stuff. Survivor Missy Byrd Eliminated In other news, Dalton Ross of EW.com tweeted that neither Missy nor Aaron have responded to exit interview requests, which is the first time since he has started covering Survivor.
  6. I went with Elaine, Janet/TT, and Noura as well. These are the three I like the best, and there are reasons for each of them to be there. Bottom went to Weekend at Karishma's because she is freaking useless or worse, Grabby Dan for being Grabby, and Dean because he is a sad sack who has forgotten how to smile and he turned on Queen Kellee, for which he will never be forgiven. Ever. And he should be forced to live with Reem Daly for a period of not less than one year.
  7. Time to pick which Survivor you want to have a chance to win and which you would like to see join Reem Daly on Exile Island....FOREVER!
  8. So let me explain: had a friend in town and we did an overnight trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to explore a new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad trail and go see the wild horses on Assateague Island. We stayed the night at a brand name hotel and when “Survivor” started, I plopped down on the room’s couch to watch. As soon as I sat my fundament down, the couch cushions went WHOOOMP! and I got sucked down into the sleeper-sofa like I was a bug and this was a Venus fly trap. I mentioned this dilemma to my fellow HT admins and their reaction was what you would expect: no sympathy, much laughter, and a comparison to Karishma’s ineptness. Jerks. I wouldn’t want to be in any other alliance. Now back to this week’s episode. Post-worst-tribal-council-ever, Janet is feeling very sad and defeated. She expresses that she is still not sure if she wants to stay there but by the next morning she has worked through the doubts and disappointment at having been played, and she double downs on being determined to stay in the game as an example to her daughters, her granddaughter, and her husband, and her beach (lifeguarding) family. I honestly could not love TinyTank more than I already do. She is not a great Survivor player by modern standards of the game itself, but as a person? Spectacular. And by comparison, Weekend at Karishma’s looks even worse. The night is one of those brutally rainy, stormy nights Fiji seems to get at least once a season. At some point, a mouse makes its way into camp and jumps into Weekend at Karishma’s mouth. She screams and wakes everyone up, which okay if a mouse jumped into my mouth in the middle of the night I would do the same thing, no lie. Lauren, TinyTank, and Noura all make reassuring noises at her, but of course that is not good enough and the next morning there is talk about how Weekend at Karishma’s complained all night long. Everyone is unhappy, there is water and sand over everything. Elizabeth looks absolutely miserable and her hands are waterlogged. Boo hoo. She gets some comfort from others and manages to rally herself back to island normal in the light of the morning. Weekend at Karishma’s, on the other hand, mopes around and pretends to be sleeping upright while sitting in the hammock when Dan asks if she would help in chopping up some wood for the fire. This leads to a great talking head from Noura who compares her to an eighty-five year old woman who expects everyone to do everything for her. Hey, I’ve been around quite a few older women and most of them are more TinyTank than Weekend at Karishma’s. My husband’s grandmother, who lived to be 100, would have had that entire camp up at dawn, cleaned up and organized, and getting Dan to light her Camels for her. Don’t disrespect the old broads, Noura. In any case, Noura asks Weekend at Karishma’s to walk along the path and gather coconuts and despite acting like it is a mighty struggle, the resident PitA manages to get up off the hammock and wander around, aimlessly picking up stray coconuts and shaking them. Weekend at Karishma’s gives us a bit of an insight into what went wrong: she had a vision of herself on Survivor being Queen of the Jungle and bonding with everyone out there, making friends, earning respect, and though she doesn’t say it, winning the game AND America’s Favorite Player in a unanimous vote. Then she goes on to say she has realized her husband, in choosing to love her and be in a marriage for the rest of their lives, is the real hero to her. And I’m sorry, wasn’t just a couple of weeks ago where she was talking about how her husband and she are basically cordial roommates who pass each other in the hall and nod politely? I am hoping beyond all hope that Weekend at Karishma’s makes it to the fabled family visit. The question remains if I want her husband to be there or for someone else to show up instead and let that marinate in her pathetic paranoia for a while. And, thanks to Noura suggesting she look for coconuts that might just happen. Weekend at Karishma’s does what no one else thought she could: find an idol. Bah. As she makes her way back to camp, she passes the water well, where Noura, Tommy, and Lauren are talking about the next vote (decided: Weekend at Karishma’s, then Janet). They see that she has been gone for an hour and has only two coconuts to show for it. Some concern for her well-being is expressed by Lauren mostly about calling the doctor for her since she seems out of it and loopy. Yeah, no. Weekend at Karishma’s was playing up not feeling well to cover for her lost time and it backfired on her. She likely figured that would get them to leave her alone, but instead they acted concerned for her health. What a bunch of jerks who obviously hate her and want to get her removed from the game because they feel threatened by her power! HAHAHAHAHA! Oh, my. Delusion. It’s what’s for dinner. Also coconuts. Immunity challenge time! Damn, this is early. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Bright Sailing Sky blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. Unlike Noura and certain HT admins, I am going to pay attention to the rules of this challenge. Survivors will be standing on a narrow beam as they roll a BALL around the inside of a hoop. They have to keep the BALL continually spinning as they move down to narrower portions of the beam during timed intervals. Now for the game twist: the tribe will be divided into two groups. One person from each group will win immunity. Both groups go to tribal council separately and vote out one person from that group. Division comes by luck of the draw, and the groups end up as such: Orange with Missy, Tommy, Elaine, Elizabeth, Weekend at Karishma’s, and Purple with Noura, A-a-ron, Dan, Dean, Lauren, TinyTank. Survivors ready? GO! Everyone gets their BALLS going, with TinyTank employing a bouncing method that looks like it will wear her out quickly. The challenge barely gets going before Weekend at Karishma’s has dropped her ball and is out of the running. Probst apparently finds this the right time to mention that the last person with their ball still turning from either group will win peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for that same group. Also, that group will go to Tribal Council last so they have the advantage of seeing how the first group voted. Very quickly Orange is left to Elaine and Missy, while Purple has Noura, Dean, and TinyTank bouncing along. As Probst calls for the ones still swirling to move down to the next portion of the beam, TinyTank drops her ball. It’s just as well because that bounce was bound to break at some point. Soon after Dean drops his ball which gives Noura immunity. We can hear A-a-ron tell her to keep going but Noura gives no fucks and tosses her hoop in the air while screaming WOOOOO!!!! Either Dan, or Dean (my guess) calls her stupid. Maybe they were referring to her action of giving up the PB&J stupid but nah, probably meant CrazyNoura. And yeah, she does not care, which I find hilarious and very Noura-ish. Orange is pretty stoked about getting the treat, and soon thereafter, Missy’s ball goes flying. Elaine wins the second immunity tiki torch necklace. Both Noura and Elaine ask Probst for hugs, which he gladly gives, and Elaine even steals a kiss on his cheek. ELAINE! Did you learn NOTHING from the last tribal council? Orange is dismissed from the challenge arena and Purple is send to the old Lairo camp with some basic supplies. The Lairo camp looks much like the old Lairo tribe: broken, uncomfortable, useless except for a couple of bamboo poles still standing. Aaron hates it there as it reminds him of how his game got screwed up at the very first vote. He believes the vote is an easy one to get rid of Janet and he confirms this with Noura. Not so fast there, buddy. Noura sees an opportunity to take out Big Physical Threat A-a-ron and she works the others to come to this conclusion. The only one unhappy with this idea is Dean, as he enjoys the meatshield to his game that is Aaron. What is it with Dean, anyway? He always looks so unhappy, like he is sucking on a lemon that has been doused in kerosene. Just look at his expression next time. His mouth is turned down, his brows are knitted together and I think he needs a goosing from Grabby Dan to shake up his malaise. Speaking of which, Dan and Janet reconnect and agree to bury the past and work together again, and Dean and Dan agree that TinyTank will win this game if she gets to the end. Well, duh. She is kind of awesome and you guys kind of suck. Aaron is pretty sure Janet is going home and he is safe. Over on the Orange group, PB&J is being enjoyed but the tribe, however I cannot abide the jelly leaking through the bread. It is an abomination, much like Weekend at Karishma’s still being in the game. Missy decides she is going to go ahead and flip on voting out Weekend at Karishma’s. She pulls Elizabeth aside and suggests voting out Tommy to separate him from Lauren and thus ensure that Lauren is completely on their side. In addition, Missy knows Tommy can win and there is no way ANY of these people are voting for Weekend at Karishma’s. I’m certain her own mother isn’t voting for Weekend at Karishma’s at this point. Missy does what Missy does and pulls everyone’s favorite anchor/goat aside to give her marching orders on how to vote. First thing Weekend at Karishma’s does is start to whine about not wanting to go home, but Missy isn’t having any of that conversation. She cuts her off and tells her, “Vote Tommy.” Missy tries to keep explaining to Weekend at Karishma’s how to act and what to do and the older woman is having NONE of it. Missy keeps talking at her and Karishma keeps walking away, with Missy actually putting her hand on Karishma’s arm and pulling her back, demanding two minutes. First, yeah, don’t pull at someone like that. Second, read the body language that is going on. Even as she informs Missy that she has been mean to Weekend at Karishma’s, Missy is simply not listening or reading between the lines. Hilariously, she walks away and Missy’s mouth is left hanging open. I’m kind of dying of laughter here, first at Missy being struck speechless, second that it was Weekend at Karishma’s who did it. Now, I think Missy is great fun in this game and has been a blast to watch as she maneuvers and manipulates the rest of the players, from A-a-ron after that first vote to forming a girls’ alliance without actually calling it a girls’ alliance. Also, Missy’s personal life story really says something about her ability to overcome a really tough break, which is not something I have ever sensed from Weekend at Karishma’s. But Missy does tend to talk like a no-nonsense sports coach who is parsing out the plan and expects total obedience from her players/tribemates. I hate that I side with sad sack Karishma on this one but every time she shuts Missy down for the rest of the scene, around the campfire or in front of Elizabeth, it just cracks me up even more. If Missy had working with Elaine first and then gotten Elaine or even Elizabeth to bring up the Tommy vote to Weekend at Karishma’s, the tribal council might have gone very differently in the end. However, this approach just gave Weekend at Karishma’s a chance to get to Elaine and Tommy first. Elaine plays this exactly right, seeing that Missy is the real threat with her connection to Aaron. She and Tommy talk, but they agree that Weekend at Karishma’s has been so wishy-washy it might be dangerous to hinge the vote on her. Eventually, Missy and Elizabeth talk to Weekend at Karishma’s one on one and convince her that they want to work with her. Missy has a rather unkind camera talk where she basically “Ugh, Karishma, amirite?” We hear you, girl. We understand. But you should have worked on Weekend at Karishma’s a whole lot earlier in the game. Tribal Council. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Niagara Reef Jade shirt, for those keeping score at home. Boston Rob and Sandra and settled in their little grass shack with some snacks and win for all we know. The purple group comes in, consisting of Noura, Aaron, Janet, Grabby Dan, Dean, and Lauren. Then the jury comes in, while Dean rolls up his shirt. Boston Rob finds this hilarious and whispers to Sandra that Dean is showing off his muscles again. They giggle like little kids at a fart joke. Dan responds to Jeff’s question that the two groups were divided up in a good way since the people who were likely targets were on different groups. Janet acknowledges she knows she was on the bottom. Noura talks about how things happen like underestimating Dean which resulted in Jack going home. Aaron calls this tribal an opportunity to write his name down and dude, you probably should not have said that. Rob tells Sandra he thinks Aaron is going, Sandra is sticking with TinyTank. Time to vote. Probst declares it time to tally the votes. Janet. Aaron. Aaron. Aaron. Aaron. Boston Rob triumphantly whispers to Sandra that he was right in his guess and Sandra gives him her patented, “yeah okay” look. Janet smiles at the jury members and Jack especially smiles back. Bringing his torch for snuffing, Aaron starts to walk down the path but Probst stops him and directs him to go sit on the jury bench. Ha! From game to lame in thirty seconds flat. Jeff sends them out to bring in the second group while we hear Aaron’s endgame comments. He knew it would happen sooner or later without immunity and he is actually pretty matter of fact about being voted out. Better than I expected him to be, actually. Now on to the next tribal council. They are surprised to see Aaron sitting there, but none more so than Missy and Elizabeth, both of whom look sick to their stomachs. Missy declares that this is now how the jury should be looking. Well, sure, not according to her vision of the game and how it is going to get her to ONE MEELLION DOLLARS. It is really terrible when people do not roll over and play dead just because you want them to, Missy. But you won’t have to worry about it for very long. Elaine commends Probst for separating the groups and forcing some game play. Elizabeth tells Jeff that there was chaos back at camp. Missy outs Weekend at Karishma’s as causing chaos for her personally. Karishma claims she and Missy have been butting heads since day one – true – and she would rather just say her piece and walk away until things calm down. Uh…calm down? Do they need to calm down because YOU started a shitstorm or is your definition of calm down more along the lines of “Until I can figure out a snappy comeback”? I’m guessing the latter. Missy calls for a time out and claims that Weekend at Karishma’s has gone above the game by calling Missy a bully for yelling at her and being aggressive. She is not happy at being labeled those things and refuses to consider that those names apply to her. Color me not thrilled about defending the very useless Weekend at Karishma’s again here, but to her and compared to her, Missy IS those things. Just because Missy doesn’t want to be called those names doesn’t mean that it isn’t Weekend at Karishma’s truth. And while I do not think Missy is a bully at ALL, I do think she is aggressive in her game play. This is not a knock on her, though. This is how she has been shaped by being an athlete in a team sport and by being in the military and by being a leader. Missy’s “aggression” is not a bad thing, it is not evil or mean or even necessarily overbearing to most people. Understanding how you come across to all sorts of personalities is something we learn along the way rather than when we are as young as Missy. She will figure it out. Sandra whispers to Boston Rob that there isn’t room in the tribe for the two of them. Elaine resists Jeff’s attempts to draw her into the controversy by claiming the beef is between Missy and Weekend at Karishma’s, so she is staying out of it. So then Missy tells Probst that they are ready to vote but first! She wants to call him out on something. She tells him, “I love you….” And there is a long pause left in by the editors which is slightly awkward. Finally Missy goes on, “But the other day two African Americans wore the necklace at the same time and there was no mention of it at all. It doesn’t happen very often. Women are typically the first voted out, minorities are the second. So to have two minorities on the same day win the challenge and wear the necklace, that is just something that I feel like representation matter and I feel like my future nieces and nephews and future other family members need to see that because we are here too.” Okay. Quite a speech. Of course Probst loves it because he loves anything he senses is going to get traction on social media and perhaps erase the taint of the previous tribal council. His response is classic Probst: “I gotta say I love that you brought it up. I’m not sure I would have highlighted it. It actually never occurred to me but I think I would have been a little reluctant to for fear of saying, Wow like it’s something that you wouldn’t expect to happen.” Personally, I was a little too drawn up in all the Grabby Dan drama to even take notice, though I would point out to Missy that she seems to have forgotten that this week also has something unusual: two minority women with necklaces. (Noura is of Lebanese heritage.) Time to get work, Probst. Also, time to vote. Probst goes to tally the votes. No one (Weekend at Karishma’s) uses an immunity necklace so here we go. Missy. Tommy. Tommy. Missy. (here Elizabeth’s eyes get HUGE and I start to laugh) Missy. Missy is shocked! She says, “Yo…who did it?” Tommy looks her dead in the eye and says, “You came after me” and Missy responds with an incredulous, “I didn’t come after you!” HAHAHAHAH! I think the votes that came from you and your lackey Elizabeth CLEARLY show you came after Tommy. Why in the world are you trying to deny it now? Oh but Missy is not done yet ignoring the rule to immediately bring your torch to Probst and get snuffed. She first picks up the wrong torch. Then she hugs Elaine, who says she had to do what she had to do, which surprises Missy (which…why? Five votes, two of which are you and Elizabeth so….where the hell did you think the other two votes came from?). Then Weekend at Karishma’s stands up and tells her no hard feelngs and Missy says I was keeping you for the end. Boston Rob whispers to Sandra that they are all keeping Weekend at Karishma’s for the end and the two Idols are back to giggling again. Then she hugs Elizabeth and whispers to her that it is time to kill Elaine, slowly and methodically. WTF? She keeps talking to the jury and Probst is just letting her get away with it? That is foul. She gathered information and gave instructions to her minion before finally walking out. Not cool, Probst. Not. Cool. I am, however, comforted that Elizabeth is pretty useless out of the water. Kind of like me trying to get out of that hotel room couch. Next week a chicken attacks Sandra. Nice knowing you, Billina.
  9. Yes, Vecepia vs. Neleh, who was not well-liked. Vecepia was more of a default vote than anything else.
  10. Like many of us *cough*Mags*cough* she did not pay attention to the rules.
  11. I hate the way her mouth forms when she speaks. It's so weirdly affected.
  12. Okay but they will have to be on tiny tank tops.
  13. Twenty four hours after the episode has aired and I still don’t know how I feel about it. Well, I know how I feel about some things. Dan probably needs another visit from human resources. Young women who had no problem with using a real life serious problem to gain a game show advantage have set back the struggles of women who have been harassed and threatened if they “tell.” And finally, Janet, aka TinyTank is the boss/mom we should all have been privileged to have at some point in life. But we have a recap to do here. It’s supposed to be lighthearted, contain bad jokes, and a little outrage when Probst keeps wearing the same color shirt and I have to shuffle through a bunch of paint chips to find a new name for the same goddam sky blue. So onward we go, but please forgive your friendly neighborhood recapper if she meanders on tangents once in a while. Also, I had too much Indian food for dinner and am now slightly uncomfortable wearing pants. I promise to keep them on, though. Don’t call HR. The show opens with a warning: mature themes, parental discretion advised. Wait…what? This is Survivor. This is a show that families can watch together, that pixelates clingy underwear so as to suggest every man on the show has Ken doll parts. Ohhh, this can’t be good. We segue into post Tribal Lairo with Dean apologizing for saving himself. Janet is not happy but acts like an adult (which becomes a theme for the rest of the double episode). Jamal pouts, but we have come to expect that from him, haven’t we? I find Jamal may be my biggest disappointment for the season. He has had a few moments of likability, including one stand out at the end of the show, but the fellow has proven to be a clunker of a game-player, making all the wrong decisions along the way. Noura starts babbling about something and Dean pointedly asks who was the second vote for Jack? I suspect he was trying to out Kellee to stir up some trouble for her, but instead Noura owns up to it immediately. Something I’ve grown to kind of love about Noura: she just says it. Not a lot of artifice there, she is who she is and is fine with that. And in typical Noura fashion, she answers Jamal’s direct questions and throws Kellee completely under the bus, telling the entire tribe that Kellee was the one who told her to vote for Jack. This information is not taken well by Jack’s allies, Janet and Jamal. Jamal is sickened and Janet is nauseated. Aw, that is like the appetizer for the gross stuff that is to come later on. Kellee does damage control with the two and Janet is okay with her explanation, while Jamal is less-so. He laughs, as we all do, that Kellee thought involving Crazy Noura in her plans was a good idea. The next morning, everyone is out looking for idols. Cutting to the chase, Kellee is the one who finds it, so yay! I’m on Team Kellee all the way, or at least for the next hour. Once that is over, the magic words, “Gather your belongings” happens and the two tribes come together for the merge. We have to suffer through Weekend at Karishma waxing rhapsodic over the merge feast because she has never had any reward or any food for the last twenty days. Because, you know, she cut her hand off and no one on her tribe will feed her rice because they are bullies. New buffs are handed out, this time in Probst blue, and the Survivors feast on a spread of watermelon, deli meats and chips. Dan’s toast contains the words, and I quote, “Let’s get LIT! What WHAAAAAAAAT!” He is certainly a poet, and he is all excited about hooking back up with Janet and Kellee, because those are the people he felt closest to on the old Vokai. Um…Kellee? Are you sure about that, Danny boy? The new tribe’s name is Lumuwaku, but I’m sticking with the Fijian words for poop box: “Da Kato.” Significantly, Janet, Kellee and Tommy meet up to discuss how they want to go forward. Kellee is adamant about getting rid of the old Lairo people, Elaine, Missy, Aaron, Elizabeth. When asked why, she notes that they are all smart, charming players who have survived so far. I notice Weekend at Karishma’s is not included in the Old Lairo people, but then everyone knows she is a nonentity by now. Tommy is frustrated that everything he suggests is batted down by the two women and that just makes him want to make his own decisions rather than play along tribal lines. While I agree with that in principle, sometimes having the larger numbers of your old tribal alliance makes sense. Tommy isn’t a complete idiot, mostly, but watching his sort of whiny “I want to play, too!” attitude makes me think it is less about making his own decisions than it is he doesn’t want to do what a far superior player, Kellee, says. And of course Kellee’s idea is that why should she go with a new alliance that protects old Lairo people when she has such great relationships with Old Vokai? Mmmhmm. I think that is Kellee’s mistake for this episode, the assumption that the rest of her old tribemates will fall in line behind her. Tommy is a clear indication that this is NOT going to happen. The next sequence is the set up. Oh, I don’t mean the set up as in to catch a serial grabby hands. It is to set up the whole rest of the two hours: Dan likes touching women. I’ve been watching this a lot, the footage the editors give us that show Dan being touchy-feely, the various conversations about Grabby Dan and how different women react to it. Kellee and Missy go off to chat and compare their stories. Missy seems very sincere in her dislike of Grabby Dan’s actions but much less bothered by it than Kellee overall. Elizabeth is even less bothered by Dan and seems to find him amusing. We never hear how Noura, Lauren, Elaine, or Weekend at Karishma feel about it. Janet goes into protective mother hen mode. As presented to us by editing, Kellee gets very upset talking to a producer, who offers to intervene. She declines as she does not want to blow up hers or anyone else’s game, but mostly her own. Lauren and Tommy decide that Missy and Kellee together is way too dangerous for the rest of them – and they are right – so Lauren pulls Missy aside and warns her that Kellee is going after Missy as the vote tonight, and Lauren is not wrong with that information. Missy can’t believe Kellee was playing her, and my suspicion is that Missy assumed Kellee’s talk about Grabby Dan was a way of working Missy into her confidence. Thus when Missy goes to Elizabeth and lays out the plan of playing up the Grabby Dan story to Kellee in order to throw the target on Dan, she appears to be doing it solely as a game move, without a thought to any fall out or consequences. Janet is the one who takes this as a real life issue, who takes it out of the game and sees the younger women as needing someone like her to put a stop to the shenanigans. She is sincere and earnest and fair. She wants to be cautious on the chance, as she put it, that Dan is innocent. I love Tiny Tank for it. Another disclaimer card is thrown up that the producers met with all the players as a group and individually, and “cautioned” them about personal boundaries, including a specific meeting with Dan in which a warning was given to him. Throwing in my own experiences in life, very often these meetings never actually get through to the person whose behavior you are trying to change. Those people inevitably think that discussion is pointed at someone else. It is like the talk we had last time about the patronizing way Jamal has of speaking to and about women. He isn’t being malicious. He thinks he is being helpful and uplifting. This doesn’t make him a bad person at all. It just makes him someone I’m going to roll my eyes at when he tries mansplaining. With Dan….I don’t honestly know. It is hard to say he is malicious in his intent. His power is nebulous in this setting, unlike an actual work situation where he is the boss and has the power to burn an accuser. He could be a touchy-feely person, though as Tsylyst pointed out to me he only touching the attractive women. It seems like the real issue is that he can’t stop himself, even after being told to cut it out. Therein lies the problem. Immunity challenge time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Afternoon Siesta Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. No more craptastic tiki torch immunity statue, now it is the tiki torch immunity necklace, complete with what I assume are meant to be wild boar tusks, or possibly the canines of Shere Khan. This challenge is a play on the “hold ball(s) in one position on a wobbly platform until it falls” game. This time there are three balls sit in a shallow pit on a large table. The Survivors will have to bend over and hold up the table and every time they lower it, there is a toothed torture device that locks it into that lower position. Last person with at least one ball – SEXIST! – wins immunity. Survivors ready? GO! Aaaaaand I’m out. No, seriously, as soon as I saw the Survivors bending over to hold the table, with all the pressure on their lower back, that was enough for me. And I don’t have back issues! But it looks like one of the most uncomfortable ways to stand for any length of time. Hell, even just filling my water bottle at work makes me bend over in the same approximate position and I’m practically screaming, “WHEN WILL THIS TORTURE END?” after fifteen seconds. So thus whomever wins this challenge will get some respect and….oh look, it’s Aaron. One of the fittest people on the season, and also one who likes to pick things up and put them down. Sharks in the water, sharks on the land. Missy is pissed she lost immunity, but she channels that energy into working on getting Kellee out. She puts her eggs in the basket of Tommy and Lauren, who then go to, of all people, Dean to get him to vote out Kellee. Of course no one knows she saved his bacon the previous week, so he is going to have to pay that back by warning her of the impending vote, right? HAHAHAHA! Have you even SEEN this season? A new alliance is formed, consisting of Tommy, Lauren, Dean, Aaron, Missy, Elaine, Dan, and Weekend at Karishma’s. What I like about this alliance is that it crosses old tribal lines. What I don’t like about it is that it gives a couple of weak players a chance to be in the finale. Can you imagine a final three consisting of Dan and Weekend at Karishma’s as two of the three choices? Kill me now. Or just let Dan touch my feet and I’ll kill myself instead. In Strange Bedfellows news, Jamal and Noura come to an agreement to work together and get rid of Dan. Jamal for personal revenge – Dan has had the temerity to refuse to molest him, er, I mean Dan has put Jamal’s name out there to vote out, and Noura because of the subject of the day: Dan makes the other women uncomfortable and she is not okay with that. Noura actually makes a salient point by saying it’s not a good thing to wait until Dan is at the end and THEN address it. The time is now to kick him to the curb. Jamal goes to Janet and says “Vote Dan.” TinyTank is all…YES! She asks for reassurance that it is set and Moobs assures her it’s done. Yeah, every time Jamal thinks something is a done deal, we all know that is not how things are going to happen. But for Janet, she expresses relief that this particular problem on the beach will be dealt with and they can all move on to finding other reasons to nitpick their choice of evictee. Janet has actual tears in her eyes and that is a clue how heavily this has been weighing on her. It speaks volumes to her caretaker personality. She talks to Elizabeth and whispers to her about voting Dan out tonight. They hush-talk about the meeting that was had that day (see earlier disclaimer about the visit from Survivor HR) and how it is especially important to remove Dan. And then as SOON as TinyTank’s back is turned, Elizabeth tells us about how she knows for sure that Janet is lying because Missy is the target. How horrible Elizabeth must have felt after having seen things playing out on the screen along with the rest of us. The Olympian is getting a lot of flak out there for her role in playing up the inappropriate behavior and pretending it bothered her, but in watching the show back a second….third…time, I can see how someone who is slightly naïve as I find Elizabeth to be, she was fooled by stronger players. This is not excusing her role in any of it, because lying about a person’s actions to emphasize the wrongness of them when you do not believe them to be of consequence, is just gross. And out of everyone there, I have yet to see Janet lie about a single thing, other than not spilling the beans about Island of the Idols. Even then it was the same sin of omission like the rest of them. So yes, Elizabeth was playing the game of Survivor there and no, she doesn’t get a full pardon. That is up to both TinyTank and Dan. Elizabeth then lets Elaine in on the plan, and she goes and tells Dan, who cannot understand what is going on. Jamal, in the meantime, informs Kellee and Weekend at Karishma’s that the vote is Dan. Kellee, good player that she is (mostly), observes that Dan is preternaturally calm and that makes her nervous. Tommy and Lauren talk and are unsure what to do. Meanwhile, Kellee goes out idol hunting and what happens? She finds the second idol. Now she has two idols in her pocket, so she’s golden, right? She even says to us that the way things are going she might have to play one of the idols tonight. For a smart girl, she’s kind of a dumbass. Always listen to your instincts! Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Seawall shirt, for those keeping score at home. The Survivors troop in and Sandra and Rob make their way into their little grass shack. Jack comes strolling in like the laid back dude-bro he seems to be. Talk is all about trust, who do you trust and how to do figure out if people trust you or are playing you. Let’s just get to the vote. Probst goes to tally the votes. After he gets back, he invites anyone who wants to use their hidden immunity idol and OMFG KELLEE JUST PLAY THE DAMN IDOL PLAY IT PLAY IT! Nope, she chooses to go out like a bitch, to quote Missy earlier in the show. Let’s read the stupid votes already: Dan, Kelly. Dan. Kellee. Dan. Kelly. Dan. Kellee. Dan. Kellee. Kellee. In the duck blind, Boston Rob whispers to Sandra that this was the smart move, which is true since Kellee is really really smart, if you discount that whole leaving with two idols in her pocket thing. As she plunks her torch in front of Probst, Dan viciously whispers, “Yeah, put that torch down” and if you didn’t already have a suspicion that Dan is a creeper, the way he said that would have bought you a big old clue. Eww! Kellee wishes them luck and heads down the path. Her camera confessional mostly consists of her laughing at herself for leaving with two idols and being her own worst enemy in the game. She is not wrong. Also, she will be back in an all-star season for sure. Lumuwaku (Da Kato, which is what this season is suddenly becoming) beach, Night 22. The nightvision camera reveals a very quiet tribe making their way into camp. TinyTank is a bit shell shocked from Kellee’s sudden ouster. Janet explains that to her, this was a moral vote, not a game vote, from everything the younger women told her, and that fits in exactly square with her character. Also? She wants to talk about the vote back in camp and there is general silence. Only Tommy speaks up and says he will talk to her. The rest of them suck right now. Both Tommy and Lauren explain their stance to Janet. For Lauren’s part, she claims she was uncomfortable with how things were coming to light. The implication is that she is talking about Grabby Dan here, but fails to take into account that voting out Kellee was good for her game. Janet clearly states that taking out Dan was not her intent, but that she was only doing it because of the younger women expressing their discomfort. Both Tommy and Lauren acknowledge her position. To us, Lauren pretty clearly says she never had an issue with Dan, she never saw an issue with Dan, and she can only speak to her experience. There is a question in my mind as to whether she said something to TinyTank about Grabby Dan, since Janet seemed to group all the younger women in the grope-ee category. Lauren strikes me as a good game player, but I am not sure she stooped to Missy and Elizabeth’s levels of deceit when it comes to ginning up Grabby Dan. I’m slowing coming around to the sense that Kellee was, of course, the one with the most negative reaction and perhaps Molly was in the same boat, as Kellee mentioned her name in a camera talk as being uncomfortable. The rest of the women either were not manhandled or tolerated it to different degrees and personal reactions to his handsiness. Janet, God Bless Her, speaks to Dan on the beach directly and tells him Missy, Elizabeth, and Lauren (there goes my theory about Lauren not overplaying it) all came to her crying about how glad they were she was back and complaining about Grabby Dan. They speak to each other as adults, comparing their experiences as employers when employees have come to them with accusations and how important it is to handle it. Dan is completely nonplussed by the accusations and Janet says, sadly, that she was played. And then we have the scene that just pisses me off. Dan, in trying to sort out where he went wrong, talks to Missy and Elizabeth on the beach. He apologizes profusely and the two of them reassure him in strong terms that they had zero issue with him, that if they did they would have told him or, as Missy puts it, vote him out that night, and that Janet and Kellee were lying about it and HOW DARE THEY USE THAT IN THIS GAME! Oh…I’m sorry. Did these two broads not have a conversation earlier about how to play up the Dan-is-Grabby angle to Janet and Kellee? There is a YOOGE difference between saying, “Dan I personally do not have a problem with you and I voted the way I did for my game” versus “She’s a lying, conniving bitch who lied and played you!” I know it is just a TV game show. I know the idea it to outwit, outplay, outlast. But these two young women need to understand that Janet cleared the path for them. That Janet has been out there for years making her way in a “manly” job and making it easier for younger women to have choices. Do they think for a moment that Janet has never experienced this kind of harassment and abuse in the workplace? And what is worse, in my mind, is do they not understand that by playing this sort of make an accusation then retract it does SO much damage out in the real world, that women actually being harassed and targeted and debased in a tangible way, will seem less believable. I honestly hope they both understand now the harm they have wrought. “Believe all women? Oh Hell no, remember those girls on Survivor who lied?” And just when you think it can’t get any worse, Janet and Dan talk briefly that night with Janet clearly stating to him what was said to her and Dan telling Janet what Missy and Elizabeth said to him. The stories do not line up, no surprise, but TinyTank is not going to let it go. She marches over to the hut where Elizabeth and Missy are huddled with Aaron, and she calls them out to talk. Elizabeth tries to dissemble but she pretty sucks at that and finally has to admit that she did tell Janet that she was glad she was back. She also reassures Dan that they are fine and everything is fine. This is fine. Janet has made her point that what she said to Dan about the girls was true, and she goes off down the beach to sleep alone, away from camp. She talks, with tears in her eyes, about how accusations are a serious thing and they ruin lives. They ruin the lives of the accuser, they ruin the lives of the accused, and there is all sorts of collateral damage. It is, she says, bigger than the game of Survivor. She speaks the truth. Team TinyTank forever! The next morning, Missy and Aaron pass Janet’s spot on their way to hunt for an idol. She follows them but loses them, but she decides to look on her own. And what happens? She finds an idol on her own! If anyone deserved this victory, TinyTank did. Later in the morning, Weekend at Karishma’s and Jamal are wandering around to talk, and suddenly they spot a paper hanging from a tree, and Jamal grabs it first. It says, “Hey you found me, I’m yours!” Turns out whoever finds the note has to head to the Island of the Idols. He tells Weekend at Karishma’s that if it’s something good, then it is for both of them and nice job there Kamal considering she saw it first. At this point, I was hoping it would suck. Jamal makes his way up the beach and comes around a corner to see the giant heads of Les Moonves and Julie Chen Moonves, so naturally he is surprised when Boston Rob and Sandra wander out of the jungle. Rob, who is contractually obligated to do all the talking, asks how Jamal came to the Island of the Idols. They make him read the note aloud and it turns out, as soon as he picked up the note he lost his vote at tribal council. Rob explains that this lesson is about the art of sabotage. He says Jamal has a chance to get back at someone else. Sandra hands him a blank parchment and a pencil. Rob calls it “opportunity.” The idea is that Jamal can use the paper and pencil to basically fake someone out and sabotage their game. Oh, I’m sure he won’t blow this. Back at camp, Jamal tells the story that he played a game to risk his vote. He won but what he won was an advantage that he had to give away. And because Jamal kind of sucks at this, he makes a big production out of giving the (fake) advantage to Dean because it’s his birthday. Dude. Come on. Tell the tribe you have to give it to someone but you have to do it privately. Or, better yet, tell them you lost the game and lost your vote (direct method) then work the sabotage with someone on the opposite side. Doing it publically sets you up for ridicule and that’s my job. Don’t horn in on my action, Pointy Moobs. Unsurprisingly, Dean is not fooled. Even Noura is not fooled. But Dan thinks it is too detailed to be faked. The glance at the parchment showed smudges and unprofessional lettering. Jamal has to own up that it is his own writing and he had to write it down himself. Just keep digging that hole, Jamal. You are almost all the way to China. Immunity challenge time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Deepest Earth shirt, for those keeping score at home. This challenge has immunity for one man and one woman, which I assume is because of the upper body strength required. The Survivors will have to hold on to a bar and lean out over the water. Probst will then, whenever the whim takes him, turn a crank and the ropes holding the bar will stretch out so that the contestants will be leaning further out over the water with each crank. Last woman hanging on and the last man hanging on win immunity. Survivors ready? GO! Lauren is out quickly, followed by Dan, followed not long after by Jamal. Elaine has some trouble and the fact that she did not last as long as Weekend at Karishma’s is very disappointing. Karishma goes, then Janet, then Dean out of nowhere. We are left with Noura, Missy, and Elizabeth for the women, and Tommy and Aaron for the men. Noura drops and Probst says “out of nowhere” which….dude, twenty minutes into it means she earned your respect. Finally Tommy drops and Aaron wins men’s immunity. Between the two female athletes, Missy outlasts Elizabeth for her first immunity win. So you’re telling me Old Lairo people can win immunity when it counts? Post challenge finds Janet and Jamal lamenting the fact that Noura and Weekend at Karishma’s might still be there after the two of them – obviously the more deserving players – get voted out. Which, despite my undying love for TinyTank, should happen because you idiots had chance after chance to vote out Noura and Karishma. Now it is coming back to bite you in the ass. Janet thinks it will be a split vote and she probably isn’t wrong. Of course the editors take us right to the new alliance of eight discussing splitting the vote. Tommy talks to Janet and tells her to vote for Jamal, and that just makes her question whether she should use her idol or not, but she is bringing it for sure. Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Blue Note shirt, for those keeping score at home. The jury, consisting of Jack and Kellee, meanders in, and though we do not see Rob and Sandra make their way into their grass shack, we can assume they are there. Okay. So in watching the worst tribal council ever over again a couple of times, I’m just going to go with my impressions rather than what people said. Kellee, sitting on the jury bench, looked like she was three seconds away from tossing the rules out the window and speaking up for herself. Can’t blame her there. Dan, who clearly wants this subject to stop being front and center, voiced an apology that was both sincere and two degrees removed from reality at the same time. Also, I really thought he was gay so the whole “I’ve been married for 21 years and have two boys” threw me for a bit of a loop. Noura, Dean, Tommy, Elizabeth, Elaine, and Missy were not shown saying anything. Aaron was full of righteous shit, mansplaining how if something was going on, he and the other men would have known about it, because they are men or something, and he is totally dismissive of Janet’s concerns and Janet’s truth. Jamal – finally FINALLY the Jamal I’ve been waiting for rose to the occasion. He put Aaron in his place by beautifully and eloquently explaining that just because they are men doesn’t mean they have a right to know what is going on, and just because this was a discussion among the women doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or isn’t true. And as for Janet, well…she just broke my heart as she confessed to Probst that she isn’t sure she should continue in the game. All she wanted to do was play Survivor and now she feels hated and disbelieved. Kind of like women who finally find the courage to bring forth their harassment stories, only to find assholes like Aaron standing in the door, denying the veracity of their truth. Probst summarizes what has happened. He details Kellee sharing her story with Janet, who wanted to do the right thing, and somewhere along the way it segued way into a different thing and became part of the game. And with that, it’s time to vote. Probst goes to tally the votes. As he invites anyone who wants to play an immunity idol to come up, Janet stands up and brings hers to Probst for verification. It is legitimate. He reads the votes. Janet. Does not count. Janet. Does not count. Karishma. Karishma. Karishma. Jamal. Jamal. Jamal. Jamal. Jamal. So after he finally wins me over, he’s gone. Sounds about par for the course. But then, once his torch is snuffed, he turns on his heel and strides out of the tribal council area with nary a backward glance. Rude. The votes broke down as such: Janet votes came from Missy and Weekend at Karishma’s. Karishma votes came from Elizabeth, Elaine, and Lauren. Jamal votes came from Aaron, Tommy, Dean, Noura, Janet. Jamal had no vote. So...if TinyTank had voted for Karishma, that would have forced a tie, and if Jamal had let Weekend at Karishma's pick up that parchment, he would have had his vote available. Mistakes that are clear only in hindsight are the worst kind.
  14. Recap is coming tomorrow because I had to work and this is a complicated show. Plus...two hours of it. Gah!
  15. I don't think anyone has one. Vince and Chelsea were voted out with theirs in their pockets. Jamal found one and used it. Kellee won one and gave it to Dean. Noura didn't get an advantage, Janet declined it. No one else has been shown looking for an idol, much less finding one.
  16. Good question. I think the previews showed him talking about getting rid of her to his old Lair people.
  17. So I just watched some extra footage about Sandra's forearms being bandaged. Turns out she has some hocking HUGE blisters due to contact dermatitis. They showed a brief glimpse and brrr, they look awful. She and Rob were lamenting not being 25 anymore.
  18. And her acting face at the end with the reveal was awesome! Whaaaa??? I had no idea Dean had an idol! Bwahahaha! I love this girl.
  19. I am just going to put this out there right at the top: I want to like Jamal. I really do. He just makes it So. Damn. Hard. This week, his smug, condescending patrimony was on full display and I really, really disliked it. I’m pulling out an old HT favorite for this one: he needs a punch in the scrum. But by the end of the episode, Jamal has managed to humiliate himself with a boneheaded move, so I am just going to revel in that. Let’s go over the rest of the episode before we get to an epic Tribal Council, though. Post-council Vokai is subdued because the hubris effect is still strong. Lauren cries to Missy about how betrayed she feels, never mentioning that the original Vokai apparently were going to target Aaron that night (which is why there was whispering before the vote, in order to switch it to Elaine). Finding that information out in a post-show interview with Jason explained a lot of the action that night. It also makes me giggle just a little bit more at the absolute anger and devastation Old Vokai feels at being beaten at their own game. It is not that I dislike Lauren, Tommy, or even Handsy Dan, particularly in the case of Lauren. It is just that I love a good come-uppance and this was a prime example. Missy explains to Lauren that her goal is for no women to go home and that Lauren is the key to the women now on Lairo. Honestly, Missy is playing a great game and I love it. Lairo is getting drenched and leave it to Weekend At Karishma’s to state the obvious: “I’m wet.” Thank you for that update, Captain Obvious. The next morning, there is a great shot of exactly how shitty their shelter is – basically a lean-to with bamboo and no woven palm fronds giving them extra protection. How very Lairo of them. Meanwhile, Rob is building a mansion based on some old Frank Lloyd Wright plans he found in a time capsule buried on Idol beach. Since everything is damp, much like Weekend At Karishma’s game play, getting a fire started is a big more difficult. Jamal gives it a try and takes forever with no results. Kellee decides to give it a shot but Jamal hovers over her, mansplaining everything she is doing wrong (in his mind) and just being a bit of a supercilious jerk. Finally having her fill of Jamal’s condescension, Kellee gets up and walks away to deal with her anger alone. Smart move in this kind of social game. Jack gently tries to bring it to Jamal’s attention that the older man was a dick but Jamal blithely explains that, “This (method) is what worked.” Well, no, it didn’t because – speaking of Captain Obvious – there is NO FIRE GOING. Eventually, Kellee wanders back to camp and what do you know? She gets the fire going when Moobs Galore was unable to manage it. HA! Is it just me or do the women on this season rock? The next stop on the “Jamal is a jerk” train involves cooking rice. Of course the women are shown as the ones cooking it, while Dean, Jack, and Jamal lounge in the “shelter” and scoop rice into their faces. Noura and Weekend At Karishma’s examine the pot and realize there isn’t a whole lot of rice left. I assume someone hasn’t received their portion less. Noura asks if they used less water to cook it and Jamal pipes up that they started out with less so there is less rice. Then he snots at Noura that she a heaping portion of rice. In fairness, she has a full clam shell but it is impossible to tell if she had more than anyone else. In any case, she is incensed that Jamal would dare suggest she is eating more than her fair share. Noura is so mad, in fact, she discusses with Kellee and Janet about the women bonding together to vote out Jamal. Tiny Tank aka Janet is not for this idea. She believes voting out Moobs before the merge is dangerous, because she does not trust Dean, and she believes they have Weekend At Karishma locked up on their side since she was “ostracized” by her Old Lairo tribemates. Oh, Tiny Tank. Have you forgotten there are two sides to every story? Or do you need a reminder that it is important to think things through? On that note, the skiff pulls up on the beach with a mail delivery. Janet has to get on the boat and head to Island of the Idols. So what does this obviously tough minded, slightly gruff, no-nonsense gal do? She starts to cry and says she’s scared. What the holy hell just happened? Where did Tiny Tank go? I seriously could not believe that was how she reacted to her name being pulled in the Lottery. Just get in the boat and go get thrown in the volcano already, Janet. Once on the Island of Giant Heads, she makes her way up the white sand beach to the wooden homages of Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth and spots Sandra and Rob emerging from the jungle. Like everyone else, she is taken aback at their appearance because there was no clue she would meet them. They go through the usual introductions and luring her back to their cozy encampment. Janet explains that she is pretty comfortable with her position in her tribe, and she is not wrong about that. No one seems to be targeting her, she is well-liked and competent and Mon Dieu! Her fingernails are FILTHY. Ew. I regret stopping the recording on this particular frame. Bleech. Anyway, we are here for a reason. Rob makes his pitch and can someone please explain to me why Boston Rob gets to do all the talking and also why are Sandra’s wrists wrapped up in ace bandages like she is about to go for carpal tunnel surgery? Rob’s pitch to Janet: sometimes you have to think ahead. Today’s lesson is about calculated risk. He has three disks in his hand, two yellow and one red. If she wins the game – which I am guessing is a version of Three Card Monty – she will have a chance to claim immunity for one tribal council, up until there are seven people left in the game. And if the game is lost, she will lose her vote. Interestingly, she would have to walk away from the Tribal Council site before the vote so that everyone would know she was safe. Janet reasons it through, weighing her position with the tribe versus the desire for a safety net, and ultimately decides not to play the game. Rob has a huge grin on his face when he asks her why and she details her logic in making her decision. He tells her he is happy she understood the decision. Sandra is impressed that Janet was the first person to tell them flat out no on the risk/reward offer. As they watch Tiny Tank motor away in the skiff, Sandra tells Rob she is certain this season’s winner will be a woman and she wants him to bet with her on that outcome. Boston Rob grins and says, basically, no way. I, of course, immediately thought Tiny Tank was going to be voted out that night. Back at New Lairo, the skiff is pulling up to the beach and everyone is screaming at Janet, “SHOW US THE IDOL!” She lifts up her tank top and flashes her boobs at everyone and they all laugh hysterically. Fun moment and really, what is modesty on the island at this point? The funniest moment, though, is when Janet turns to the skiff operator and apologizes to him. He gives zero reaction, which makes it even more amusing. Once on the beach, Tiny Tank gives her story, which is a reasonable facsimile of what actually happened. Are you taking notes on how to lie, Noura? Because this is how it is done. She had a chance to play a game, if she lost there would be a consequence, and she chose not to play. So on New Lairo, Kellee, Noura and now Janet all share the Giant Head Island secret. New Vokai features a segment where a discussion of Handsy Dan bonds the rest of the group as they demonstrate the ways he asks permission to cuddle at night. Hey, at least he is asking permission! Also, am I the only one whose gaydar is pinging with Dan? Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course. Anyway, part of this is a calculated ploy on the part of Tommy and Lauren to paint Dan as the next likely target by the Old Lairo folks. You know who isn’t fooled by their antics? Old Lairo folks. But hey, at least they are trying. It seems like Lauren is leading the charge on this, which is what she needs to do. Missy, however, figures the next vote will be the one to take Tommy out so that Lauren is forced to turn to Missy and her all-girls plan once the merge happens. Immunity Challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Elegant Charcoal shirt, for those keeping score at home. From the non-reaction New Lairo has to the missing Jason on Vokai, I would venture to guess a reward challenge happened prior to the immunity challenge, because otherwise you would figure someone is going to gasp aloud at the revelation. This might be a good moment to point out I write the recaps just based on what I see on the show and read interviews and watch deleted scenes, etc., afterward. The challenge is multipart: three tribe member will have to toss coconuts into a basket hooked to a pulley that will raise once enough coconuts are in the basket. A set of large, square puzzle pieces will drop – seriously, they look like they are three feet by three feet – and the tribe will have to race to put together the puzzle, which is the same “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast” art that is on their doo-ra…uh, buffs. Survivors ready? GO! Jack, Dean, and Janet toss coconuts for New Lairo, and Missy, Tommy, and Elizabeth toss for New Vokai. There is a learning curve and the underhanded method seems to work best, though Vokai is the first one done so they get a start on the puzzle. The tossers have to sit out the puzzle making while everyone else works on the large and heavy pieces. Lairo seems far behind but suddenly they pull up close to Vokai, who has a big error on their puzzle. Elaine shouts and tries to draw Lauren’s attention to the mistake but she is not heard and Lauren calls Jeff over. He declares them WRONG and Elaine finally gets them to play attention to her. Meanwhile, Lairo is almost done and Jack is screaming at Weekend At Karishma’s to get the final piece laid flat when Vokai manages to correct their error and win at the very last second. So New Lairo same as the Old Lairo, headed to Tribal Council. They leave the Challenge Thunderdome with an air of dejection and all I can think is yeah, well, you are the ones who kept the albatross known as Karishma tied to your necks so just wallow in Loserville. Kellee reminds us that she has an idol from her time with Rob and Sandra, and this is the last tribal council where it could be used. She hates to see an idol go to waste. Hmmm, I wonder if anything will come of that random thought. Post challenge moping and planning on New Lairo involves Jamal unilaterally deciding that everyone is voting for Dean. This would make the vote six to one, which is pretty stupid on Jamal’s part. If the tribe were truly unified, a split vote of two on either Noura or Weekend at Karishma’s would only make sense in case Dean has an idol. You must always take that into account! But Jamal is still living off the early victories of Old Vokai and does not seem to be able to fathom that Dean may have something up his sleeve to save himself. He does. Only it’s not Dean. It is Kellee. Jack and Jamal work to make Dean think the vote is Noura, and so earnest are they that he believes that tonight really will be Noura. However in what may be my favorite confessional ever, Kellee mentions that she and Dean have a connection from his old girlfriend, who is currently friends with Kellee, and she would like to work with Dean going forward. As she is talking to the camera, Kellee suddenly stops and her eyes start darting around as she thinks. The drum music in the background slowly halts to a very low, slow beat as Kellee continues to run through possibilities in her head. She tells us she just had a moment of inspiration. She is thinking of giving Dean the idol as long as Dean writes down the name she wants, which is either Jack or Jamal. Kellee’s main goal is to find a creative way to use the idol while still holding on to the secret that the idol was hers to begin with. The trust part of the plan is that it is possible Dean would write down Kellee’s name and she could do nothing about it. The only way out of that is convincing Noura to write down either Jack or Jamal’s name. If she can pull this off, it is going to be an epic use of an idol and also put an epic target on her back in the future game. Also, I am still convinced at this point that it is going to be Tiny Tank going home. Tribal council. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Fresh Hyacinth shirt, for those keeping score at home. Boston Rob and Sandra sneak into their little grass shack and did you see that, gforce? Just making sure you are paying attention. Probst starts off talking about numbers and asks about the chances of an original Vokai leaving that alliance and going against them to pair with an original Lairo member. Noura launches into a long-winded speech about trusting the people you started out with and exclaims that Dean barely looks her in the eye when she is speaking to him, although my guess on that is that it is due to her inability to sit still for a minute more than anything wrong with Dean. She also cackles like a maniac, and Rob shakes his head in the hut. Dean tosses Noura under the bus by saying hey, why keep someone who has brought up voting out one of her own. She then further cements her place as Crazy Noura by explaining that sure, she might hate Jamal sometimes but that is better than the indifference she has toward Dean because sometimes you hate your loved ones and I have to agree with Jack and Kellee who both exhale, “Wow” at that proclamation. I mean, you can be frustrated with loved ones and annoyed by loved ones and pissed off at loved ones but I would never say I hate them. Personally “hate” is one of those words I am trying to eliminate from my vocabulary entirely, unless I am talking about spiders or the latest Big Brother cast members. Jamal is stunned that Noura is actually trying to get him out and he questions her on it. She admits it has gone through her mind, which is entirely fair. Jamal, living in the center of his universe, is appalled someone would vote him out. Jack defends Noura somewhat to Probst by saying they had a couple of weeks to develop trust with Noura and that he certainly trusts her more than he does, say, Dean. She thanks him sincerely. Considering what happens at the end of the vote, I find their shared moment together amusing. Jamal, in response to Probst, says he is not certain he will be there for the merge because he is “fearful of a girls’ alliance.” No, no, let him explain. Jamal works at an all-girls school and he has seen “the collective power” when women get together and understand that they have power together. Kellee rolls her eyes and right there with you sister. Kellee speaks up and says she finds what Jamal said incredibly sexist and YES! EXACTLY! Last week Jamal spoke beautifully to Jack about the racial element in an otherwise innocuous term, and now Kellee is calling Jamal to the carpet on his own bias. He refers to the four women as “girls” which I don’t necessarily have a problem with in general, but his tone is so patriarchal that it is hard to ignore. Kellee goes on in her rant, asking why there is talk of fear of a women’s alliance when there is never talk of fear of a men’s alliance and YES! I am LOVING her right now. She wants to know why it would be a thing if three women are sitting together in the end when it isn’t a thing when three men are sitting together in the end, and Probst is, wisely, keeping silent in this. When she is done, Jamal, again, condescends in his language, both verbal and body, and asks Jeff to ask Noura if she has ever considered an all-girls alliance. Probst complies and Noura cackles and says, “Of course, I would be dumb to not consider that.” Jamal somehow thinks this is a great revelation and dramatically says, “Wowwwww.” Patronizing asshole. So then Probst turns to Janet, an older woman who has made a career in an essentially male-dominated profession. He asks her about her perspective and she gives, quite frankly, one of the best speeches about this subject, on gender, on equality, on humanity, that has ever been seen on a reality show. It is worth preserving: “To assume that women are going to bond based on gender is very negative. That is putting women down. That is saying women don’t have a brain to say maybe Jamal has something to offer me as a human being, you know, not based on their sex or their education or their socio economic background. It is who they are. And to think there have been some wonderful things that have happened with women in the last year and, trust me, that reflects on the men who have been supportive of women because in my experience you can’t be a powerful woman without men AND women backing you. You need to earn your respect, your dignity, your position, who you are as human beings to each other. I know, I’ve lived it…” and with that, Tiny Tank stopped speaking as she choked up. Then Jamal just goes and ruins it. I’m sure he doesn’t see it that way. I am certain he sees himself as being supportive and on their side. But what he says is so patronizing and belittling. He says he is beaming with pride at the women in front of him to be able to speak about their experiences, and yeah. Thanks for the permission to speak and have our own thoughts as women. Ugh. Can we just get on with the vote? Thank you, Probst. Time to tally the votes. We see Weekend At Karishma’s comment as she tries to zing Dean for attempting to vote her out three times while she is nailing him on her first vote for him, and I love the editors for once again making her seem like a drama queen bitch. They can only work with what you give them, lady. Probst brings the voting urn back to his little dais and he offers that if anyone wants to play a hidden immunity idol, now would be the time. Dean says he has a little some-some and brings out Kellee’s idol, confirming that he is playing it for himself. Noura whispers a question to Kellee, asking why Dean didn’t play it last week and she pretends, with an excellent shocked look on her face, that she does not know. Oooo, I know! And now that Noura has watched this at home, she knows too. Probst announces any vote cast for Dean will not count. And then the tribal takes a turn as Jamal stands up and brings his own idol to Probst. He tells Jeff he is playing it for Noura, which….what the hell? Why at this point is he using an idol on her? Even if the plan stuck and Dean was the only vote for Noura, which an idol used on her, none of the votes would count and they would have to revote, without being able to vote out either Noura OR Dean. Jamal just made his chances of going home that much greater. Amateur move. In their grass shack, Rob whispers to Sandra that Jamal’s move was a mistake. Duh. Finally Probst reads the votes. Dean. Does not count. Dean. Will not count Dean. Does not count. Dean. Does not count. Dean. Does not count. Jack. That’s one vote Jack. Jack. That did it. Jack is gone. Sandra LOVES it and whispers, “Dang, they got his ass.” They sure did. And I LOVED it. Next week: merge time! Whatever name the merged tribe comes up with, I am going to pretend it is Fijian for “Poopbox” because sitting through that damn commercial for Cologuard every week is wearing down my sphincter.
  20. Original Survivor badass Rudy passed away. 2002 interview of EW's Dumb Questions
  21. There are reasons why Survivor is the juggernaut of reality TV shows, something we have been over before many times. Editing, exotic locations, physical and mental challenges, one intrepid host, and casting. Always the casting. Cutting across all strata of American society brings people together with very different experiences than their tribemates and from we viewers. Survivor has a way of presenting differences without judgment, without rancor, and with empathy that is often sorely lacking on other reality shows (I’m looking at you, Big Brother). So when Young Jack unwittingly makes a bad joke and Jamal gently schools him on why it was a bad joke, we can see a transformative moment between both men. But in due time. First, we need to talk about Crazy Noura. The morning after tribal council finds Dean morphing into Sad Dean, complete with a slide trombone sound (this might have been generated just in my head). Sad Dean mopes on the Lairo beach alone because Tom was voted off and Weekend at Karishma’s is still alive in the game…metaphorically speaking, of course. Crazy Noura sees this as an opportunity to make a play to ensnare Dean in her alliance, membership of exactly one, by claiming she has all the women of New Lairo on her side. Sad Dean says sure, and then immediately spills the beans to Jamal. For his part, Jamal takes it in stride, reiterating that Noura is, indeed, crazy. Sad Dean agrees. Jamal tells us that it may be time for Crazy Noura to go, and I immediately know that this will not be the case because Jamal is more often wrong than right on these votes. Besides, we aren’t even through the reward challenge, much less immunity. Speaking of which… Reward challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Wild Blue Yonder shirt, for those keeping score at home. Once Vokai gets a load of the Tom-less Lairo, Lauren can barely contain her glee, while Missy shakes her head and tells Lauren, “I told you, I told you!” I’m guessing Lauren thought for sure Lairo would do the smart thing and vote out Weekend at Karishma’s, but Missy, having a good handle on the game and the players, knew that was never going to happen. So let’s get to the challenge which will certainly not require a strong man. Tribes will have to transport one player atop a heavy wooden sled, alternating carrying the sled loaded with sandbags, and sliding it along tracks. The player being carried will have to retrieve a key tied up high. Tribes will have to remove a boatload of large, heavy sandbags and carry the sled to its final cradle. Once that is done, the carried player will be the only one allowed to shoot at three targets with the smaller sandbags and the first to get all three targets knocked down wins the reward. Want to know what they are playing for? Cluck, cluck. Chicken time! Vokai has to sit one person out and they choose Elaine. Probst, though, has a twist: instead of waiting out the game on the bench, Elaine gets to go to Island of the Idols. As she leaves, she makes Jeff laugh by claiming she wanted to play, to which he points out she was sitting out anyway. She protests that she at least wanted to watch and by his reaction it is easy to see how much affection he has for Elaine. She seems to have that effect on a lot of the players. Survivors ready? GO! Aaron is the sled-rider for Vokai, Jack for Lairo. The teams are fairly even along the way, keeping pace for the most part though Vokai has a bit of a lead by the time they get to the target shooting part. The difference here is that Aaron is larger and stronger than Jack, so he is able to really reel back the slingshot and get some real power when he releases the sandbags. Also the script is written that Lairo loses as long as Weekend at Karishma’s is still around. So Vokai wins the chickens and Dan gets to make the winning W sign with his hands. Whatever blows your skirt up, honey. Island of the Giant Generic Statues. We get a load of Rob and Sandra’s shelter, and holy moly is it a contraption. Rob claims that since they have so much extra time out there on the island he is building a Super Shelter. From what we see it is a two storey bamboo structure with a ladder, tarp roof and great view of the ocean. I’ve stayed in beach houses that were not as well built as this monstrosity. Also I am taking bets on whether this gets turned into the Tribal Council platform for the next season. Elaine arrives, making her way along a rocky shore and wow that is new. Usually the exiles get to stroll along the white sand beach and discover the beach busts of Rachel Reilly and Herman. Elaine tells us that she knows why her tribe sat her out for this challenge: she refers to herself as a “five foot two busted can of biscuits,” which okay, you are short but my BFF isn’t even five feet tall and we put her in front of us when we have to get through a crowd because she will mow anyone over. It is all about the attitude. Rob and Sandra do the usual meet up and Elaine points out something I didn’t even notice: her hat has a Boston Red Sox B on it. Not surprisingly, Rob loves it. Way to pander to the coach, Elaine! As the Idols sit her down in their “snug” as Sandra refers to the firepit area – and I see chickens wandering around them – Rob gets down to business. He tells her that everyone gets a lesson and her lesson is about being daring. When does her lesson start? IMMEDIATEY! Sandra pulls the stopper in a bottle of sand hanging over a pot and the sand starts running out. Rob goes on to tell Busted Biscuits that she has until the sand runs out to make a decision and….Elaine interrupts and says, “Let’s do it!” Rob stops speaking and stares at her or a moment. Oh Elaine! Really? Let the man finish! He points out that she doesn’t even know what she is going to be asked to do and she’s like, nope, great, I’ll do it, don’t care. She tells us this is what she came for, the adventure and the experience. She says she lost her mom three months before coming out to the island and she wanted some of that soul searching, that lifetime journey. (Message from Tsy: What is this, Eat, Pray, Broken Biscuits?) Now we just need to find out what her task will be: there is going to be an advantage hidden under a table in the next immunity challenge. She will need to get the advantage and hide it before any of her tribemates see her, otherwise she will lose her vote. Elaine suddenly realizes the implications as New Vokai is 4-4 and if she loses her vote that guarantees one of the old Lairo will go home. Still, having seen enough of Elaine so far on this season, it is obvious she would have taken the chance no matter what. I bet she would be a blast to go out drinking with, but you’d better bring along a designated driver and maybe a Taser, just in case she decides to jump into the lion enclosure at the zoo. Lairo beach, Afterschool Special edition. Jamal is beating a rhythm on a hollow bamboo and teaching the tribe about West African dancing and music. Cute segment where he teaches Kellee some dance moves and she acquits herself without being totally embarrassing. Mostly. Then Young Jack makes an offhand joke about Jamal moving the pot of rice with his “durag” which takes Jamal aback and he quietly corrects Jack that it is a buff. Jack immediately knows he screwed up in some way, but seems to be unclear as to what exactly that was. It takes some time to sort through but Jack apologizes to Jamal, who accepts but then asks for a little more time to process the insult. Jamal explains to us the connotations of what a “durag” and an adult African-American man in American culture (and seriously am I the only person who thought it was “doo-rag”?). He speaks about dying by a thousand tiny cuts, as it were, by enduring unknowing insults from otherwise well intentioned people and how much he has had to swallow and ignore in order to ensure his own upward mobility in life. Jack listens and understands and appreciates the lesson Jamal is trying to teach him about the differences in privilege between them, so when Jamal later tears up at the swell of emotion he feels thinking about Jack’s very sincere and heartfelt apology, it is truthful and touching. And thank goodness he was wearing a shirt because I would hate to have to make a joke about moobs at this sobering moment. What? Did you think you were at a different website? Vokai and its chickens. Jason and Dan cannot figure out which chicken is a rooster. Dan actually turns one over to look for a rooster penis or something. I don’t know what he thought he was going to find. These aren’t Clydesdale stallions. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Elaine put their heads together and each spills the beans about Generic Head Island. Elaine tells her alliance mate about the hidden advantage and Elizabeth agrees to cover for her during the challenge. They know the former Lairo are screwed if New Vokai loses the challenge and really, would the editors be spending so much time laying the groundwork on Vokai loses if that weren’t exactly what was going to happen? For as much as I watch this show, I am lousy when it comes to predicting the challenge winners ahead of time. I would totally be one of those idiots on this show who never checks the area a cameraman is pointing the camera while out searching for a hidden immunity idol. Immunity Challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Deep Sapphire Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. He takes back the Tiki Torch idol and starts describing the task: tribes will have to dig under a large bamboo cage (I guess the extra bamboo went to Boston Rob so he could build the beach house). Once everyone on the tribe is under, they will have to pick up the cage and carry it to a table where they will have to set the cage around the table and untie a bag holding five BALLS. Note: at Vokai this table is where the hidden advantage is located. Once they have the balls, they will continue to carry the cage to the end of the course. One person will be waiting at the end to retrieve balls (Jack and Missy) and the tribe will have to toss the balls into five baskets located on a very tall angled wall. First tribe to five baskets wins immunity. Lauren sits out for Vokai. Survivors ready? GO! Both tribes quickly get some of their smaller gals under the cage but it is Vokai who gets the cage to the table faster. Lairo is laboring under Weekend at Karishma, who can barely hold on to the bamboo. Elaine, however, is laboring under Elaine and while she manages to get the advantage without anyone noticing, she drops it as she tries to stuff it into her shorts. Good Lord! You had ONE JOB! She picks it up and stuffs the package down the front of her pants. Lairo, meanwhile, can barely figure out how to lift and carry the cage, even to the point where one corner is unmanned and Jamal is left screaming at the rest of the tribe for someone to get in there. For the record, it was Tiny Tank. By the time Lairo gets to the end and is able to start shooting baskets, Aaron already has one sunk. Tommy starts, then Jamal takes over and gets Lairo to four baskets, though Vokai has been there awhile. Unfortunately, Aaron cannot get that final basket, despite some good shots that took a wrong bounce. Dean, the college basketball player, manages to sink the last one for Lairo and for only the second time, Lairo does not have to go to Tribal Council. Vokai. They decide to sacrifice a chicken. Dan holds the victim down, Aaron chops off its head (which we thankfully do not see) while Tommy and Jason cower in horror behind them. Jason looks particularly shaken and on the verge of tears. Hey, all power to him for being there and watching when it happened because I would have been halfway back to Hawaii. Jason recovers quickly enough to liken Elaine to a chicken about to be executed since she will be going home that night. She is doomed. DOOMED! Elaine and Elizabeth read the advantage and discuss how they need to make sure Missy and Aaron in on the advantage. Interspersed with this are scenes with Missy and Aaron assuring the old Vokai people they will vote out Elaine. In fact, Aaron tells us that he is just playing along with Elaine to keep her calm and unsuspecting. Once Missy and Aaron hear of the advantage, they assure the E girls that they are in like Flynn, but Aaron…who knows at this point? Meanwhile, the original Vokai gloat about their soon to be majority, with Lauren making a comment that Elaine is smart enough to have an idol. She goes into detail disparaging Elaine’s inability to be strategic and play the Oh-So-Smart Vokai members, and even if she does have an idol, she’s too dumb to realize she is the target. Oh, Lauren. Once you get home, please look up hubris because you are wallowing in it right now. Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden Paint Sea of Turquoise shirt, for those keeping score at home. Rob and Sandra sneak into their little grass shack, and I would like to point out that it took SIX episodes before gforce noticed that the editors showed that at each tribal council. Do you even WATCH the show, gforce? Probst starts out with some fantasy about being in the living room eating doughnuts watching tribal council and seriously Jeff? Doughnuts at nine p.m.? If you had said ice cream sundaes, I would have been right there with you. There is a lot of talk about the four-four split and what it means if someone from each side splits off. Tommy posits that the old Lairo people would be better off with them in the long run. Boston Rob asides to Sandra that Tommy is selling the Kool-aid and they had better not drink it. Rob has such faith. Jason claims that his group is willing to draw rocks and the rest of old Vokai agrees they would draw rocks. Well, Jason, Tommy, and Lauren do. We never actually see Dan agree to draw a rock which is verrrrrry interesting. Elaine gives a little smirk at their assurances that they will draw rocks and Tommy very seriously says that sometimes in Survivor you have to take extreme risks to set up your game further down the line. I have to laugh because the original Vokai are being so deliberate in what they are saying and there is an air of magnanimity in how they are nodding their heads thoughtfully and how they are projecting an air of careful calm over the proceedings. That comes to a screeching halt as Elaine raises her hand and tells Jeff that she doesn’t like rocks. Probst’s brows are knit together in a look of concern and it is hilarious. He knows exactly what is coming and he is pretending to be surprised, too. She says she has something to read and does so. Now, there was some debate about whether this was the appropriate time for Elaine to reveal the blocked vote or if she was supposed to do it while voting, but as she talks about it, she says it states she has to declare she is blocking a vote and whose vote she is blocking, so I think she was required to do it before voting began. Probst asks whose vote she would like to block, and she elects to block Jason. He looks shocked and the rest of Original Vokai looks sick to their stomachs. Well, sure that is what happens when the bottom drops out of your grand plans. Jason declares he and Elaine could have been such good friends, and she protests that they could still be friends! Judging from the way Jason rolls his eyes, probably not. Suddenly a lot of whispering begins, Aaron to Missy, Tommy to Dan, Tommy to Aaron, Dan and Tommy to Jason. Sandra thinks they are not going for Jason but for someone else. And then comes my favorite moment of the episode. Lauren starts crying. Oh, I’m not taking joy that she is upset. Not really, anyway. I’m enjoying the fact that she was so certain Elaine was just a dumb country gal who could never outmaneuver the clever, clever people of Original Vokai and she was just humiliatingly proven wrong. Eating humble pie is never all that tasty when done on national television. In other words, go ahead and cry, Lauren, because yes, you look like a fool. It is glorious. Okay, my favorite moment is when Sandra sees Lauren crying and cocks and eyebrow and says, “What??” in confusion. You KNOW Sandra wants to shout out from the grass shack what Elaine said earlier: “Suck it up, Buttercup.” And with that, it’s time to vote. Probst goes to tally the votes. Tommy turns to Aaron and whispers, “Are we good?” Aaron nods and says, “We’re good.” Sandra is LOVING it and whispers, “I’m dying!” Probst reads the votes. Elaine. Elaine. Elaine. Jason. Jason. Jason. Jason. And with that, Jason is voted out of the game. As his torch is snuffed, he turns to the tribe and says, “Don’t trust Aaron.” Oh, waaa waaa waaa. I’m going to have to call a foul for poor sportsmanship. Ten yard penalty and I get to sucker punch Probst in the dimples. Next time on Survivor! Crazy Noura tries to make the girls alliance a thing. I’m sure we all know it is not going to happen. Also, original Vokai is still butt hurt. I’ll be in the corner replaying the sad trombone slide sound over and over. *Recap title courtesy of Tsylyst
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