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MrsGryn

Survivor 39 - Episode 6 - Eat, Pray, Busted Biscuits

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MrsGryn   

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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Magpie   

Now we wait and see if gforce notices that you totally called him out here. *packs a lunch*

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tlh9   

yep, "doo-rag"..... it took me a second or two, to make the connection between what was on the screen and what was being said, and I was like, "Oh, look, they misspelled it....."

Another brilliantly witty and enjoyable recap!

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gforce   

Oh, I do watch the show, but I’m often distracted by the witty bon mots of my chat mates!

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