Day 25

We begin at a strange hour.
Too late for the repeated full moon image, too early for the repeated blazing “sun as a six pointed star” image and no need to use the eye glazing night cam.
This time is an unhappy limbo.

Rob – Hey Matt, come over here and listen to me.

As usual, Rob makes Matt sit while he towers above him in intimidating fashion.

Rob – Right Matt, Heidi and Jenna aren’t happy with Deena being the leader.
Matt – Oh right.
Rob – Uh Matthew, I hadn’t finished talking.
Matt – Oh, sorry.
Rob – Ok, you just interrupted me again.

Rob proceeds, having first made Matt sit cross-legged with his index finger across his lips.
We are treated to the first of many Rob confessionals.
Rob – Matt just does what I tell him to do. I run him ragged. Sent him off for a tin of elbow grease yesterday. He’s still trying to make me a left-handed screwdriver too, the kicker for him being, I’m right-handed.

Rob has taken to wearing his buff on his head with the knot at the front.
This is quite a departure from the well traveled routes of buff accessorizing and
marks Rob as at once, a fashion maverick and disaster.

He informs Matt that the guys will be voting off the girls and tells him to clue in Butch on a “need to know basis”.
They decide to head back to camp via the patented “Scooby Doo” method “you go this way, I’ll go this way”. No one will suspect anything guys.

To the backbeat of a James Bond/Mission Impossible track, Matt takes time while out fishing to explain the concept of “The Chain” to a skeptical Butch.

Matt - The first rule of “The Chain” is you don't talk about “The Chain”. The second rule of “The Chain” is you don't talk about “The Chain”.

Realizing he’s on the verge of becoming a link in “The Chain”, Butch nods to indicate his compliance with the rules laid forth.

Matt confesses…
Matt – I’m Butch’s link to what’s happening. I’m his lifeline.

Obviously cognizant of the “repetition as an effective aid to learning” theory, he proceeds to reword then repeat everything Matt tells him.

Matt – It’s a chain.
Butch – Chain.
Matt – Our conversations don’t exist.
Butch – They don’t exist.
Matt – I’ll initiate all communications.
Butch – you’ll initiate all communications.
Matt – No more talking.
Butch zips lips, turns “key” and throws it over his shoulder.

It’s subterfuge of the highest order. If I weren’t so anal as to have done it already, their chat would have given me the urge to synchronize every timepiece in the house.

Butch:confessional – See it’s all a big chain really, you know, links and stuff.
I’m hoping to make link seven, which makes me far more ambitious than Christy.
If you can jump in and grab a higher link, well that’s your daily defining moment right there.

He clasps his hands forcefully to illustrate the “chain” metaphor, pinching his skin in the process. Safety first, kids.

Back at camp, Rob is holding court with his tales of crazy Matt and his newly invented game, “Rob Says”.

Rob – I tell him what to do and he runs off to do it. It’s really funny.

The others barely manage a grin between them and we’re left with the always-embarrassing sight of the anecdote teller being the only one laughing.

Rob – Uh, huh huh huh, uh, huh huh huh…

It’s a “Butthead” laugh too, which simply compounds the cringe-worthiness.

Only five minutes in and the show is in danger of turning into “Rob TV – All Rob, All The Time”, as he confesses yet again. He’s clearly decreed his alliance is the official arbiters of sanity.

Rob – We think Matt’s mentally unstable so we want to vote him off.

Imagine a world where it’s considered normal to “flip ‘em out” for some Skippy, take orders from Mike Boogie and spend lonely Saturday nights singing along to “Oops I did it Again” in your basement. Cart me off Nurse Ratchett, I’d feel safer with you.

Deena, Christy and, of course Rob, go off to collect the tree mail.

A range of Amazonian weaponry accompanies the poem.

Deena, having decided that Alex, uh no, definitely Matt, will win the challenge, leads them back to camp.
Their return arouses minimal interest back at camp. Heidi pulls one of her ugly, “tongue searching for lip crust” faces, while Alex makes an inquiry about their loot.
We then view a montage of the players, who, according to Matt’s confessional, take the weapons “out for a spin”.
I accept that archery might not be on the gym program at Heidi’s school, but I would have though javelin probably was. Even so, you would think a gym teacher would have some noticeable athletic ability and a skill level at least equal to the other females.
Heidi is hopeless with the bow and arrow and the spear and you really have to wonder what she’s teaching the kids…
Heidi – Ok class, grab the bottom of your t-shirt in both hands. One, two three, lift…

Matt is shown to be accurate and proficient with all three of the weapons, before we cut back to Heidi having trouble with blowpipe. I won’t make the obvious comment, but will once again pass judgment on the very visible lack of anything remotely approaching skill.

Matt seeks advice from Rob regarding his plan to throw the challenge. Rob congratulates him on “finally” understanding the game, pats him on the head and shoots an arrow directly into his own hand.
Rob – Ouch.

Reward Challenge

Jiff – This challenge is to test how good you are at using cool Amazon weapons.
Jenna – We don’t have to try and kill a monkey do we?
Jiff – Can we just get over the monkey thing? They seriously do eat them out here.

He goes on to explain that the challenge will consist of three rounds, a different weapon will be used in each.

The “do you want to know what you’re playing for?” question receives its now customary mixed response, but Jiff ploughs on regardless.

Jiff – What’s Brazil famous for?
Jenna – I know, I know, waxing.
Jiff – No, coffee.
Jenna – Coffee comes from Brazil? Yeah right Jeff, you’ll be telling me they grow it next and put it into jars in a big building which is called something unbelievable like, oh I don’t know, a rectory or something.
Jiff – its factory.
Jenna – What is?

Sensing this could go on all night, Jiff unveils a cup of coffee and a small piece of croissant for the eight to sip and nibble. He hands it to Heidi.

Jiff – Here Heidi, you figure out what to do with it.

For most people this would be a simple task. They’d take a bite and pass it on.
Heidi looks genuinely confused when confronted by the calorie packing pastry.

Round one

As usual, Jiff makes a bold statement about the random drawing of lots to determine the order the Survivor’s will compete in. We never get to see this, so I am going to assume the draw is as bogus as his claim that he’s off the “tally” the vote at the final three stage.

Christy goes first in this, the blowpipe section of the competition and scores a three.
Next up is Matt who hits the target dead center, leading Rob to raise his eyes and hold up his hands in a gesture internationally and ambiguously known to mean either “whoa, don’t look at me” or “calm down, it’s not my fault”. Incorrect gesturing there Rob.
Butch scores a 5, Rob a 3, Alex a 7, Jenna a 3 and Deena a 5.
Now comes Heidi’s turn.
Jiff – You need at least a five to stay alive.

If only that were true, she doesn’t even get her dart in the region the target is in, let alone actually anywhere on the target. As the dart floats to the ground Jiff cannot help himself,
Jiff – Uh, that’s not a five.
No kidding Jiff, as you didn’t specify she needed the five to stay alive “in the competition” does this mean we can kill her?
Of course if you’d set the pipe up on a stand with a dart in the “chamber” and allowed her to suck it through from the other side of the target, she’d have smoked the opposition.

The top four earn their way into round two, the spear throwing section.
Again Matthew scores a bull.
Deena steps up to take her turn and misses the target.
Jenna – That’s ok, you made it this far.

It’s not about the “taking part”, Jenna.
Deena walks back to the bleachers. She slaps Matt’s hand, but leaves Alex “hanging” with a “you snubbed me”, look on his face.
Alex scores closer to the centre of the target that Butch, so moves on to meet Matt in the final round, “the bow and little forky arrow” section.

Matt goes first and deliberately shoots it into the green section.

Rob – The guys a “nincompoop”.

There’s your answer Rob. You’ve been wondering why the girls don’t want to “get with you”. Just read the look on Jenna’s face. You can see the last hope you had of hooking up drain away following your usage of a word that even 5 year-old girls would consider lame.

Alex hits closer to the centre and is declared the winner.
He’s steals Dave’s celebratory “Booyah” to mark his victory.

It’s always a tense moment when Jiff asks you who you would like to accompany you to your reward. The diplomatic thing to do is select whoever came second in the challenge. That’s an unwritten Survivor law, that when correctly observed can cause no hard feelings against either you or the person you chose. It’s also just basic garden-variety politeness.
Of course Alex picks Jenna who didn’t even make it past the first round.
Matt hangs his head and Christy gives him a sympathetic and shocked “he should have chosen you” look. Yes he should have Christy.
Nice choice Alex. Shawna is sooooooo seven days ago.

We’re back from the break in time to see Jiff lead Alex and Jenna to the newly constructed “Amazon Café”. Plate after plate of muffins, pastries, cookies and several jars of coffee beans are at their “disposal”. Jiff calls a toast to their 25 days in the Amazon and they clink together glasses of creamy iced coffee.
With a sweep of his arm, Jiff explains that “everything here is yours”, before leaving them to pile their plates high.

Jenna speaks, Alex responds. I think Alex thought Jenna said “I couldn’t have picked a better person to spend an afternoon in the Amazon with”, to which Alex replied, “you’re too kind”. I listened to the conversation a number of times and I’m convinced Jenna said, “You couldn’t have picked a better person to spend an afternoon in the Amazon with”. Doesn’t that sound more like something she’d say?

Back at camp, Rob has decided to try his hand at fishing. He stands on shore, throws the net unenthusiastically into the water and snags it on the only tree in a 20-metre radius.
Although Deena feels like doing “absolutely friggin’ ass nothing” and implores Rob to catch a fish, she has a more important matter on her mind, i.e. Alex is athletic and strong.
She confesses that this frightens her. I assume she means she’s frightened that he’s strong, I feel she should be more alarmed that she only just realized it.

Deena – Hey, do you guys want to get far in this competition?
Heidi – Yes I do, I still have a couple more pounds to lose.

Deena valiantly tries to explain to Heidi that Matt and Alex still being there gives her less of a chance to make it far.

Heidi – Yeah, but we’re gonna vote Matt out anyway. He can’t win.
Deena – What is he gets immunity?
Heidi – Yeah, what if?
Deena – Well , we won’t be able to vote him out.
Heidi – Uh- huh, there’s more of us than there is of him.

Rob sighs enormously, he knows where Deena’s train of thought is heading.

Deena – Heidi, who do you have the best shot against, Alex or Butch?
Heidi – Butch.

Be sure to check the recrap show out next Thursday night. In amongst the “never before seen footage” could be the first fifteen takes where she kept saying Alex.

Deena declares that if Matt wins immunity, Alex has to go.

It’s time to head back to the café for more shots of coffee drinking and more talk of how cool the reward is.

Alex – It’s great. We can have a conversation without worrying that people can over hear us.
Jenna – Yeah, annnnnnnnnd we can talk without anyone listening.

The conversation inevitably switches from how cool the reward is, to how cool some of their tribe mates are.

Alex – You, me, Rob and Heidi are such fun,
Jenna – Yah, rush us!!

They discuss the location of Deena’s head and decide that neither of them knows where it’s at.
Jenna – It’s like she’s always thinking of different angles or another plot.

It’s called playing the game Jenna.

Back to camp yet again, where we find Deena still trying to impress upon Christy, Rob and Heidi the wisdom of booting Alex.

Deena – We have a chance against each other, but we have no chance against Alex.

With a “yeah”, Christy is, unsurprisingly, instantly onboard. Rob “confesses about his secret “to the end” alliance with Deena, then we cut back to the group where he asks her if she thinks Jenna would agree to boot Alex.
Showing a touching, yet horrendously misplaced trust in Jenna, she instantly answers with a yes, but she would need to “finesse” it.

Heidi meets this statement with a stroppy shrug and thinks…
Heidi Oh, what makes her think she knows Jenna so well? She’s my friend not hers. How’s she going to sort things out if she can’t even pronounce finish?

Experiencing yet another estrogen high, Deena tells us that she and Rob are in control, but she’s in ultimate control and has back up plan after back up plan after back up plan.

In “panty” terms, (for Deena’s benefit) she has the support of a girdle and the confidence to wear a thong.

One final trip back to the café, in time to see Alex and Jenna winding up their stay.

Alex – I’m full.
Jenna – Me too.
Alex – I’m not worried about eating manioc when we get back.
Jenna – Only a fat pig would be.

They prepare to leave, even though there are some muffins still on the plate.

They arrive back at camp just as the manioc preparation is about to begin.

While you may want to talk about your reward, your tribe mates might not necessarily want to hear about it. Alex declaring to the group that their combined nine cups of coffee might keep them awake for a while, got the “yada yada yada” response from Rob that it fully deserved.
Alex lines them up so and reveals the treat he’s bought back for them, cookies.
Not just any old cookies, the type of cookies that always get eaten last from a variety pack.

“We bought back cookies because they travel well”, claims Alex, dumping a few small heaps on crumbs onto their tribal chopping board.
Hmmm, there were still some muffins left on the plate when you were preparing to leave the café. The only way they could travel worse that the cookies is if they scream, “we’re all going to die” and grab for the oxygen mask each time they hit a pocket of turbulence.
Also, Jiff did say, “everything here is yours”, why not bring back a handful of coffee beans too so you could try to crush them and make a brew?
The others did eat the cookie crumbs though, so the award for “Worst Reward Challenge Loot Haul” does not need to be ripped from the arms of the previous winner just yet.

Neleh – Phew!!

Rob’s infantile suggestion they should eat Matt and Butch’s share of the cookies because they’re out trying to catch food for everyone, gives Alex the chance to turn the tables and deliver his own appropriate response to Rob. He places his fingers in his ears and la la la la la la la la’s it until Rob stops talking.

Butch and Matt are fishing silently because Rob hasn’t told Matt he can tell Butch to talk.
After a number of hours Butch finally lands a piranha, which he stabs twice in the head and slices up the middle.
There’s a little bit of fight left in the fish though as it bites Butch’s finger.
Butch cries out, shakes the fish from his finger, assess the damage and asks for a copy of the footage for his next instructional safety precautions video for the school.

They return to camp with their miniscule haul and inhale the crumbs bought back by Alex and Jenna.
Alex apologizes for not sharing the reward with Matt and tells some convoluted tale about promising to take Jenna. To their credit, no one makes a comment about Matt killing them all as a way of dealing with his disappointment.

In true, “skanks in a nightclub” style, Jenna and Heidi decide to take a joint trip to the “bathroom”.

Rob – confessional: I heard Deena tell Heidi not to tell Jenna about getting rid of Alex.

Interesting Rob, you’ve got one more step to link it to Kevin Bacon.

Of course we then cut to Heidi telling Jenna everything.
A quick snip with the editing blade finds us at a Heidi confessional where she explains how she won’t be turning her back on Alex because he and Jenna were her original alliance.
Huh? What happened to the “cute girls” thing you had going?
Sorry Shawna, you really do appear to be just a fuzzy orange blur to your tribe mates now.
Of course, Jenna has to immediately run to Alex and tell him the news.

Alex – When I heard the news, I went to Rob and asked him “dude, what gives?”. He was, “how do you know?” and I was like “dude, because I’m good”.

Yes Alex, I have to congratulate you on your amazingly skillful extraction of the information from Heidi and Jenna. It takes a master game player to stand there while they come up to you and volunteer information.

I would like to point out that Alex says dude just as much as Robb “two b’s , dude” did last season.
Alex tells Jenna of his counter plan to oust Deena if Matt wins immunity.
As both plans hinge on Matt winning immunity we know he surely will.

We finally get that full moon shot MB loves as much. It highlights a montage of silvery spider shots set to a voice over from Heidi stating how she feels “retarded” because of a spider bite.
I don’t think spiders secrete “stupid” Heidi. There are plenty of your own words and deeds to feel “retarded” about.

Day 26

Alex and Matt collect tree mail.
A very straightforward poem tells the Survivor’s they will need to choose between immunity and food.

Jenna – Uh, I don’t get that. I’m confused, maybe I’m just an idiot.

Clearly not Jenna. “Maybe I’m just an idiot” is the most sensible thing you’ve said in 26 days, thus proving you aren’t… confused.
In a valiant bid to further Jenna’s understanding, Alex runs his finger along the “immunity or food” line again, slowly reading the choices.
Jenna still looks blank. Kudos to you for making the effort though Alex.

Deena : confessional – The plan is Matt first, Matt first, Matt first, Matt first.

Hmmmm, I hate to criticize, but that doesn’t sound like much of a plan to me. Saying it four times doesn’t make it any less one dimensional.

Deena – If Matt wins immunity, Alex goes.

There you go, now that is a plan.

Isn’t the immunity challenge usually on the same day as the Tribal council, i.e. the third day in each group of three? I thought so.
There has still been no on screen notification that we’re on day 27, but the Survivor’s have made their way to Challenge “beach”.
Heidi enters via a piggyback from Alex, thus making the least contribution to her own arrival since Sarah Jones “Cleopatra’ed” into Maraamu.
Jiff instantly clocks her now bandaged knee.

Jiff – What happened?
Heidi – We believe… a spider.

What a ridiculous answer. You believe a spider what?
Jiff is so bored with Heidi already he doesn’t even bother to ask her to clarify.

Jiff – You’ve been here 27 days.

Huh, they have not told us it’s day 27 on the screen. Just as a side note, I’d like to point out that they don’t appear to be telling us which day is which correctly on the screen. This doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, but it does matter to me, I have synchronized time pieces don’t forget.

Jiff – What’s been on your mind more than anything?

Still burned from Jiff’s scowl last week, Rob declines the gift of an opportunity to make a sexual reference and instead, along with the others, plumps for the safe option of food.

Even after Jiff confirms to Jenna that yes, they will all get some food, she still doesn’t make the baby step required to realise this is the gross food challenge.

Round 1

They are instructed to remove the lids on the small containers in front of them to reveal the first delicacy – Grasshopper.
Jiff explains what is plain for all to see, this grasshopper is bigger than the traditional variety. Only Matthew is interested that Jiff also personally finds this kind tastier.
On Jiff’s “go” 7 of the Survivor’s take reasonable sized bites from their food , while Jenna nibbles silently on an antennae.
Matt finishes first, followed by Deena. Jenna drops out of the competition, Christy retches and heaves, but continues. Alex, Rob and then Butch finish, leaving a chew off between Heidi and Christy for the final round two spot. Heidi puts in a valiant effort, but loses out to Christy by literally a fraction of a second and takes her seat alongside Jenna on the bleachers of “loser’s row”.

Round 2

Finally the origin of Rob’s nickname “Robasu” is apparent as the contestants remove the lids of their containers to reveal ten “Bobasu” worms each.
Matt, Deena, Alex and Christy all swallow the worms within seconds and claim the four spots in round three.

Round 3

Jiff – Ok people, here are the containers for round three. Right, remove your tops.
Heidi and Jenna – We want to see the peanut butter first.
Jiff I wasn’t talking to you.

Matt and Deena crunch down five crispy beetles each first, to take them into the final round munch-off.

Jiff brings out the containers for the final course. The lids are removed and they see before them, a gigantic beetle larva. The bleacher crowd is completely grossed out, while Matt holds it up to examine it closer.

Jiff – This thing is found in the trunks of dead trees.

Anyone else think he was going to say elephants?

On Jiff’s “go” Matt swallows the bug whole while Deena stands aside, handing him the victory.

Finally, Matt gets the credit he deserves from his tribe mates as they bow to show their lack of worthiness. Alex seems ridiculously impressed by Matt’s performance. Cheering even louder as Matt does a “creepy crawly” finger motion down his chest.

Back at camp, Jenna and Deena go off together apparently “to wash something”. This is very obviously none too secret code for “we’re in an alliance so we’re going to go and talk strategy”. There is no way Jenna would choose to wash exclusively with Deena. You know how fat old people get when confronted by the kind of astonishing beauty Jenna thinks she possesses.
Deena clearly thinks this is the first time Jenna has heard her new revised boot order.
Jenna agrees that Alex is a threat and says she’ll boot him next.
We cut to a Deena confessional…

Deena – Alex should have won immunity, that was his big mistake. Now, he’s getting booted.

With the rather disturbing site of her swaying her head from side to side, singing “bye-bye Alex, bye-bye Alex”, we cut back just in time to see her “pinkie swearing” with Jenna.
Ugh, did I not cover the fact the pinkie swear is not legally binding after Penny and Clay “pinkied out” last season? Deena of all people should know this. I would go even further this season to say, I strongly doubt the pinkie swear is admissible in court.

Jenna has zero intention of keeping her end of the bargain anyway.
Jenna :confessional – Deena stabbed us all in the back. I can’t ever forgive that.

Never, Jenna?
Seems a bit overly dramatic. Oh well.
Now to the part of the show I hate, the “he’s going, she’s going” section.
Thankfully Rob tells us that “the person who least expects to go will be booted”, so we know that has to be Deena.

Tribal Council

The Heidi’s knee subject is broached again by Jiff.
The funny thing about Heidi is, she thinks her best assets are her physical ability and intelligence. You have to wonder why she invested in such a hatchet job of an augmentation if she thought she already had her best assets.

Alex and Deena trade diplomatic comments about how they will deal with the situation if they are the ones to leave. All this is intently observed by Dave, who looks extremely peed off and more than capable of delivering this seasons legendary “stinging” speech at the final TC.

Time to cast the votes. Alex rather cleverly writes his as DeenA.
Nice one Alex.

Jiff returns, post “tally” and reveals the result we all knew was coming.
The "back-stabbed" group has decided to get rid of Deena while they had the chance.
Thankfully he doesn’t take her lead and declare the result by singing, “bye-bye Deena, bye-bye Deena”. Hmmm, actually, that might have been quite amusing.

On the next Survivor

Recrap show. Yuk.