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Survivor: Standing in the Shadows, Week 11
This week saw Clay realizing that, having been 230 years too late to invade Russia with his grand army, and 53 years too late to become an infamous Munchkin, he would have to win the million purely on the basis of illusions of grandeur. After Jake told the tribal council that Clay did absolutely nothing (okay, he didn't say it, but that's what Clay heard), Clay decided he "had to" go postal on him.
The next day, Clay saw the finest racehorse he'd ever seen, embodied in Brian's wife CC. Perhaps his wife thought he was drooling over her, but we may never know. Helen's husband Joe summed things up perfectly by pretending that Clay was speaking a foreign language made up of hoots and grunts.
Before the next tribal council, Helen had "the talk" with Brian regarding Clay's laziness, which of course meant that he would be safe this week. That was proven once again when Clay told everyone at tribal council that "there's some tension in the camp that won't be there tonight." Being so bold usually comes back to haunt you, Clay, so watch out. You don't represent the Lollipop Guild on this island, and it would pay to remember that.
I keep waiting for that big moment when Ted's super-secret winning strategy is finally revealed, that spine-tingling occasion when he'll throw aside his mask of jolly good humor and reveal himself as the Puppet Master of Thailand. But, you know, as each episode unfolds and Ted retreats further into the strategic background, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe, just maaaybe, he's on Chuay Control with everybody left on the island whose name isn't Brian. So instead of dazzling us with his brilliant strategic mind, we get a good selection of booming Ted sound bites, some pretty detailed footage of all thirty-two of his teeth as he smiled and laughed with his brother, and the weekly shot of Mount Ted staring stoically down at all the little people at Tribal Council.
Can't blame Ted alone for this one, but he appears to be shuffling mindlessly along the parade route for Brian's Victory March. It would be nice if anyone would pull their head out and break free from Brian's evil spell. Perhaps our clear-headed computer programmer will be the one.
Big Ted won his first individual Immunity Challenge, with the able help of his enthusiastic brother Alwan. Brother Alwan sported the latest in Egyptian Golden Sarcophagus Beards, a startling choice which actually worked quite well for him. Ted and Alwan communicated in the traditional unintelligible, encoded squawking shared by all brothers the world over, which was a joy to see. They celebrated their Challenge victory with a heartwarming "From Here To Eternity" moment, just the emotional medicine Ted needs before things turn ugly next week when the Chuays start feasting on each other.
This week on "The Helen Show", we have the rare problem of having too much footage to boil down. Let's start by mentioning that she hates Clay, she's hopelessly devoted to Brian, and her husband has a strong stomach and a good sense of humor.
Helen's hubby won the Reward Challenge, and was punished for doing so by having to spend 24 hours with that awful "sand in your undies" feeling. Helen took the opportunity to rehash her situation, and get some opinions. Of course, she ignored those opinions and went running back to Brian again. This will ultimately be her downfall, I believe.
Helen's bright spot was being extremely aware of the fact that no one else had their loved ones with them, and kept things as low-key as possible with her husband. Spending a lot of time away from the camp, and continuing to do things like cook, get water, and look for food really helped the rest of the tribe, I feel.
Either Helen and Brian have a bond stronger than we've seen hints of, and it will carry her through to the end, or Brian is playing her like the rest of the tribe, and she's high up on the list for the next bootee-call. Speaking of bootee-calls, does anyone think that Helen and hubby did anything but talk? I mean really, she hasn't showered or brushed her teeth in 31 days, and hubby just ate a roach! Ewww!
In the shadow of a madwoman, or is Jan really an evil genius? We've been watching Jan's descent into madness for weeks now, thinking that every episode could be her last as she's obviously lost her grip on reality, even in a reality tv context, but there is a group of internet devotees who think that the silly songs and bizarre animal graveyard antics are all part of Jan's sinister master plan MUHAHAHAHAHA.
Case in point, last night Jan sprinted up the beach with co-hort Helen to retrieve the treemail for the reward challenge, but having already established herself as resident treemail lunatic in prior episodes Jan didn't waste her precious energy by composing yet another silly song-and-dance number for treemail delivery. Instead she left her competitors wondering if indeed Jan is so far gone that she's too exhausted to even come up with a new batch of craziness by which to deliver the mail. Ah, poor Jan, she's no threat at all, especially not to the entertainment industry.
By establishing herself as the ultimate non-threatening player who couldn't win any challenge ever, has Jan positioned herself to be everyone's number three finisher? Someone that everyone else feels could be easily taken out by the winner of the final immunity challenge (endurance, please, this woman can't remain lucid for five consecutive minutes) so that a 2 person alliance would be smart to retain Jan to the end. Does Jan have it in her to make herself appear completely untalented in both the physical and mental aspects of the game while still holding up her sleeve the ability to "turn it on" and turn the tables on her competition? Perhaps she does, after all, this is the woman who outwitted Jake by picking all of the remaining survivors in the game at this point for her tribe on the first day. The whole time that Jan was picking old people and crying like a fool she looked like a blooming idiot while slyly insuring a final five pact that wiped out the other tribe without breaking a sweat and without so much as a hint of remorse. Crazy like a jay bird or crazy like a fox? Loony as a bat (a dayed baybee bayt) or wise as an owl (a living, not buried in the ground under a little wooden cross owl)? Nuttier than a fruitcake or shrewd as a, um, shrew? You decide.
Best Moment: Cheering on her son who ate all sorts of nasty vermin for the "pleasure" of getting to spend time with her at Survivor Island. He ate a roach for you, Mom, so you'd better get "My Baby Boy" something nice for the holidays this year. What wasn't shown on camera is that shortly after swallowing all of those nasty critters, off camera Jan slugged her son in the gut, causing him to puke up all the dead baby bugs and spiders so she could take their carcasses to her creepy pet cemetary.
Worst Moment: Flouncing around on the beach with her saggy wrinkled arse hanging out of her swimsuit. Sorry, it is the same "worst moment" as prior weeks, but it made me wonder if the very early departures of Sonya (S1), Debb & Mad Dog (S2), Diane (S3) & Patricia (S4) in all prior versions of this show were a concidence, or if it was an attempt to limit the "bad looking swimwear shots" exposure on the show, and only Jan has been shrewd enough to survive despite this strong preference by the editing crew.
Brian, were you even on the show tonight? I sort of felt like I had stumbled on to the all Helen, all the time channel. We actually probably saw more of your wife than of you (and I mean that literally)!
Your best move was that you have Helen snowed...I'm REALLY not exactly sure when that happened (not in this episode), but it's definitely your best move somewhere along the line.
You are a brilliant mastermind and you deserve to be in the final 2 for sure. You have managed to convince Clay, Helen and Ted that you are their best bud since their dog Skip they had in second grade.
Cece's best move (I think she deserves a small part in this write up given she was on air just as much as Brian this week). Giving up before attempting round 2 at the reward feast. Gotta give her credit, she knew her limits, and wasn't afraid to admit them. Also really good call on not showing up in designer clothes with 24k barrettes in your hair, and a purse with $100 bills falling out (Brian is still trying to recover from your last appearance).
Can't say that your speech at tribal council was your best move. I saw no benefit in explaining your vote...especially when it didn't make any sense. And I think all you did was just anger the first 4 members of the jury (included Jake in that count).
I do see a fault in your plan, though, and I'm not sure how you are going to address it down the road. You have 3 people that all think you are the greatest thing in Thailand. Now, maybe it's unfair to call this your worst move, but I'm not sure how you are going to turn on 2 of them and not lose their vote in the end.
So the story of the Texas Cowboy's quest for a million dollars comes to an end. I was saddened to see Jake get the boot, but his fate was pretty much sealed when he became the last of the Soup Jais. Alone in a hostile territory, Jake had to deal with the wild CG posse. That was nothing compared to facing day in and day out the evil-little-tumbleweed-man, known as Claaaaaay. Jake got him good at the last TC with his comment about voting out the lazy members. Knowing that he was described to a T, that evil-little-man Claaaay was as ready as a rattlesnake to strike at anything that moved, and he was spewing loads of venom towards Jake. It was amusing to see that little guy get so riled up. I felt bad for Jake since he didn't have anyone that he could really talk to. Even Magilla had turned his back on him. He only had his trusted little journal, where he probably wrote how he wanted so badly to round up the CG posse and rope them like cattle. I'm pretty sure he wrote something about cooking rattlesnakes, too.
During the reward challenge, Jake's best move was being so supportive of his wife. He encouraged her, cheered her on, and lovingly told her that it was okay if she couldn't eat those nasty,nasty bugs. He didn't make his wife feel bad, like that meanie, Helen, who ordered her husband to eat the critters or he'd be sorry. I have to hand it to Jake's wife, though. She went further that I thought she would at the bug-fest challenge. I didn't think she would go past the disgusting water roach. Eeeek! Jake's wife wanted so bad to spend the day with him that she was willing to eat anything for her cowboy.
Jake's only hope of survival at the TC showdown was to win the IC. Lady Luck wasn't on his side. He and his wife put forth a great effort, but they were beaten by Ted and his funky-looking-goatee brudder. Knowing that his time was up, Jake still had nothing but nice things to say about the CG posse, even though, he was not treated very nicely by some of them. That was another classy good move on his part. I had high hopes for Jake, but there were some crucial mistakes, like not telling Ted that Clay was the instigator of SJ's vote against him, that cost him in the end. If there was a bad move, I would have to say that Jake gave up too fast. He stirred the pot, but he didn't finish the job. He should've kept stirring and stirring til the water was boiling hot, but he was too much of a nice guy to do that. Tough break, but that's how the sad cowboy song goes. Happy Trails, my friend!
Thanks to everyone for contributing to this collaborative article!
You can e-mail your comments to John at firstname.lastname@example.org - even though John didn't write the large majority of it.
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