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Survivor 39 - Episode 3 - Omega Mu Forever!

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Last week it was high school cliques. This week it is college sororities. Can the Survivors please just be adults already?

Vokai High, post tribal. Jamal and Jack realize they were on the outs, but they take two different tacks when their tribemates pull them aside to discuss the Molly Blindside. Jack gets it and actually smiles at the audacity of the move, acknowledging to us that yeah, he totally missed any signs of impending doom. He tells the others he would appreciate some honesty from now on. Jamal, on the other hand, is pulling an Aaron from Lairo: he is gonna burn the mother DOWN! Well, he is slightly more controlled than that implies. Jamal is going to anaconda his rage and humiliation and wait in stealth mode before he turns on these traitors who dared to play their own game.

Lairo beach. Out over the ocean is a YOOGE waterspout, swirling far out to sea. Sadly, it does not come close to shore where the girls of Lairo are cavorting in the surf, while the guys sit around camp and bitch about how much they hate mornings. Amateurs. If I were out there sleeping on bamboo with bugs, smelly strangers, and no coffee you would see some professional level bitchery happening.  The women seem to be having a nice time with each other, which is always nice to see and gives me hope the girls’ alliance might actually stick together. Well, everyone except Karishma, who feels the need to tell us that Indians are very modest and she is very uncomfortable out there in her underwear. Also she is faking liking the other girls. Yeah, just drop that bomb and walk away. It’s okay to say you have nothing in common with the other women. Elaine and Missy have very little that they can relate to with each other, at least on the surface, but they are managing to have a good time with Chelsea and Elizabeth. It’s called sisterhood, Karishma. And as a, as you put it, thirty-seven year old married woman, you should be a little more secure in yourself and not worry so much what the wider community thinks of you being on a TV show that showcased a “fat, naked” gay man in its first season.

The men are the ones who are really uncomfortable with the women being so close. The three men, Aaron, Tom, and Vince discuss sticking together against the women. Vince goes along with that on the surface but has no use for the big strong guys now wanting to work with him. First, points for agreeing to whatever alliance is thrown your way and thinking about it later. That is basic strategy for surviving. However, why is Tom being punished for Aaron and Ronnie’s votes against Vince when Tom was the one who was bonding with Vince and Elaine in the first few days and helped prevent Vince being the first person evicted? I want to like Vince – I really do – but he is making it super difficult by acting like a entitled brat.

Vokai makes fire. This is not exciting, but it does lead into a “Let’s all hate on Noura again” segment. She is Dan’s target for the next vote as an easy target and he is certain Jack and Jamal are on board, and he is just as certain he can, as he puts it, “lead people to a decision that is good for them…and me.” He is so oily and so very Hollywood smarm. Jamal is totally not buying what Dan is selling, and in fact likens Dan to a used car salesman, calling him “icky.” Yeah, okay, pointy moob guy. I agree with you on this but show me some better game play beyond napping and then pouting. Then we’ll talk. Jamal tries to recruit Janet, aka Tiny Tank, who listens but declares she will have to go talk to Tommy as well. Tommy seems to be the node everyone goes to on this tribe, which is a great position for him at this early stage. He comes across as measured and thoughtful and concerned. It seems a safe bet that he is a beloved teacher at his school.

Back to Lairo. Karishma is cutting a coconut on her lap, which seems like a recipe for….DISASTER! She cut her palm from what I can see and immediately proclaims that she can see her bone, which…no. Those are pieces of coconut floating in the blood, you flake. She kneels then bends over in order to keep from fainting…or is that feinting? In the meantime, her tribemates eat their rice and chat amiably in the background. This causes Karishma all kinds of trauma as not one person came over to see if she was okay. At some point medical came in to clean her wound and bandage it, and since we didn’t get to see Cute British Doctor, the wound wasn’t nearly as life-threatening as she would have liked. She declares the rest of her tribemates as dead to her and I declare her Drama Queen of the Season.

Also, sorry for thinking it was Chelsea who cuts herself. I blame Tsylyst. Easy scapegoat.

Vrrrrroom! A skiff pulls up to Lairo beach and everyone ignores it. Hey, it’s not like the boat cut its hand or anything. Eventually the skipper has to call out, “Hello? Helllllooooooo?” before the indolent Lairo stir themselves to see what the heck is going on. They finally get excited when they realize it is a message for them (side note: Dean stubs his toe pretty badly on sand). Reading the parchment aloud, it turns out Vince is the one chosen to head to Idol Island. He immediately whines, “How did I get picked?” and just shut up, dude. He is probably hell to live with, though at this point he is only third worst after Noura and Karishma. Just get in the damn boat. After Vince leaves, the rest of the tribe is standing on the beach and there is some idle chat about the possibility of him picking up an idol and Dean brightly says, “We should just split the vote!” which is immediately followed by an uncomfortable silence. Dean, Dean, Dean. This is not a good episode for you to finally be featured. You stub your toe on sand and then then blurt out a plot to split the vote in front of EVERYONE, including Karishma. She knew immediately that she would be the one being the other vote. I guess she didn’t lose enough blood to cause brain malfunction.

On the Island of the Idols, Vince approaches the giant wooden heads of JWoww and The Situation, and then is surprised when Sandra and Rob come out of the jungle to greet him. They take him back to their camp, sit him down and after Rob asks him where he is from, he is at a loss for words. Channeling all of us, Rob asks, “You don’t know where you’re from?” but Vince stutters out some words and keeps weeping. Rob and Sandra are very kind to him, and even in an aside to the camera later, Vince shows some self-awareness of how ridiculous it is for a grown man to be crying like that. Hey, a game like this causes emotions to float to the surface much more easily than in real life, so I will cut him some slack there. Moving on, Rob cuts to the heart of the matter: Vince’s lesson is keeping calm under pressure. His task will be to sneak into the Vokai camp with a torch, steal fire, and sneak back out without being caught. If he can accomplish that, he will get an idol good for the next two tribals, otherwise he loses his vote. If there is no fire, he has to bring them proof that he accomplished the test. Vince agrees.

Rob and Sandra show Vince a map of the Vokai camp and suggest ways to sneak in, along with Sandra imparting the wisdom of her “five years of military training” by teaching him how to crawl in the sand. I mean…okay, but isn’t that information that is basic to humans who have learned to walk? Rob gets a kick out of Sandra’s methods and gives her a hard time after Vince is being whisked by motorboat over to the enemy camp. She wishes she could go with him, and Rob tells her she is too loud. Sandra snorts and declares she is stealth mode and he laughs at her. They seem to be having a really good time , together as Island Idols.

Vokai camp at night has everyone sleeping. No one, not even Noura is away and tending to the fire. In fact, there is no fire at all. As Vince stumbles his way through the jungle, he spies their shelter and makes his way closer. His timing is pretty bad as apparently Tommy is plagued with night terrors and starts screaming in his sleep. Jack, who is next to Tommy, holds him down as he wakes Tommy up out of his bad dream, and everyone rolls over and goes back to sleep. Vince is able to get closer and finds their fire is dead. He decides to collect as much ash from the cold hearth as he can to prove he was there. Using his water bottle to collect it, he runs out of camp and promptly slips in the mud. Back with Sandra and Rob, they decide he completed the task and hand him the idol. Vince is thrilled and recognizes that he will need to use the idol correctly. Pretty sure every Survivor who has won an idol has used that exact same wordage.

Immunity Challenge time! Probst is wearing a Glidden paint Bright Prelude Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. This is another partial water challenge, which is great because if you have an Olympic swimmer and a lifelong lifeguard, why wouldn’t you have as many water challenges as possible? On this one, the Survivors will start off on a platform where one tribe member will swim to a cargo net attached to another platform, dive down to untie a key and climb up the net to give the key to two waiting puzzle solvers. Once that key is done, the rest of the tribe will swim to a wooden teeter-totter where they will have to use their bodies to balance their weight in order for the last one up to untie a bag with puzzle pieces. They will then have to move to the other side of the teeter totter to get the second bag of puzzles pieces, then swim the bags to the second platform and let the puzzle solvers work. First tribe to finish the really neat hanging puzzle wins immunity and reward in the form of luxury (tarp, pillows, blankets, chairs, hammock). Survivors ready? GO!

Elizabeth the Olympic swimmer and Janet the lifeguard swim against each other. They are pretty well matched, but Elizabeth is both younger and faster and thus is able to get to her key quickly. Janet, whose swimming skills center on strength as opposed to just speed, has a harder time getting her key, so much so that Lairo is already on the teeter totter. Missy gets the first bag of pieces while Vokai is still getting on the teeter totter and working Kellee into position to get their bags. Eventually Lairo gets both bags and they are able to have Karishma and Dean working on the puzzle with a big lead. Finally Vokai gets to the last platform and Jamal and Lauren start working on their puzzle. Vokai flies through their puzzle as Karishma and Dean completely flake out. Probst exhorts them to get it together and then says Lairo is dead in the water. Vokai wins the Tiki Torch immunity idol and some Pier One pillows.

Post challenge, the talk on Lairo is splitting the votes between Vince, in case he has an idol, and Karishma. Dean talks to Missy that the girls will vote Karishma and the guys will vote for Vince. She is not sure that is how she wants it to go and talks to Vince, who suggests Tom because he is older and might “wither out.” Elizabeth is not so sure, because she likes Tom and is sure Elaine feels the same way. Vince and Karishma talk but they are both whiny bitches and all I hear is Charlie Brown Teacher Talk. Also, Vince does a lot of smelling of his hands and that is just grossing me out. He is aware that he may need to play his idol tonight. You know, the idol that is ONLY good for two tribals. I mean there is every reason to hold on to it, right?

Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Glidden paint Everclear Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. Rob and Sandra sneak into their duckblind to watch the proceedings unfold once again. Probst starts the talk with Aaron, who notes that screwing up puzzles is what brought them both losses and he knows exactly who is responsible for it. Karishma huffs and rolls her eyes and Probst asks what she would like to say. She goes into a speech about being different from everyone else there and how it is harder for her to relate to them and then mentions that Missy, Elizabeth, and Chelsea are all younger than her and she isn’t part of their “sorority.” Well, that’s just stupid. Other than ignoring her dramatics over the cut on her hand, the other women have not shown signs of excluding her. And even more pointedly, Karishma did not include Elaine in that sorority comment. Does she really think it is harder for her to fit in than it is for Elaine? Hardly. Elaine is worlds away different from the rest of the tribe in life and experience, but her personality is warm and comfortable and puts others at ease. Karishma might need to learn a lesson here on how not to alienate people and then blame it on them. Anyway, Elizabeth outright assures Karishma that they in no way intended to make her feel that way, and I believe her. Probst turns to Tom, who basically says I want to win. Shocking words coming from a former professional athlete. Vince counsels keeping faith with the people you are connected with and don’t let the paranoia set it. You know, Vince, a little paranoia right now might do you some good, especially when Karishma gets up to whisper to Elizabeth, Missy, and Chelsea. Tom is having none of that, saying “Come on, this is all an act. Come on. Are you guys buying this?” It is hilarious. Probst thinks so, too, but he is paid to take this stuff seriously so he asks Tom to elaborate. The former hockey player grunts that Karishma is just trying to change the plan and that’s just rubbish. And with that, it’s time to vote.

Probst goes to tally the votes. Tom. Karishma, Karishma, Karishma. Vince. Vince. Vince. Vince. Vince. Sandra is SHOCKED at this. And with that, Vince is voted off with an idol in his pocket. Probst leaves them laughing with a joke: “You may suck at puzzles, but you are really good at blindsides.”

The votes broke down this way: Vince voted for Tom. The votes for Karishma came from Dean, Aaron, and Tom. The girls all voted for Vince. The takeaway for me is this: not one of the girls felt enough of an alliance with him to warn him to use an idol if he had it. That speaks to either the stronger girls alliance or that Vince was much less well-liked than we saw from the editing. At any rate, I’m glad he is gone because I am not sure I could take any more scenes of him smelling his fingers.

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