Last week I asked if Stan would ever get to say a word. This week that question was answered with a resounding YES! It also turns out that I tend to agree with a lot more of what Stan says, than some of the rubbish that comes out of Nigel’s mouth.
There are ten remaining contestants. The show opens with the group heading towards the common area to meet with the host Jeff Corwin.
Jeff welcomes them all and reminds them that this show is not about making friends. I like Jeff, I really do, but trying to make this show into some cut throat Big Brother doesn’t work, and when the words come out of his mouth I can’t help but grin and think that part of this show is about making friends.
Jeff introduces Nigel who tells the remaining contestants that today they will be judged on not only their compatibility with animals, but with the camera as well.
Stan then adds that he’s sorry they can’t all win, but to him they are all already winners as they all are already working with animals in some capacity and therefore are contributing to the conservation of animals on this planet.
I didn’t say that Stan said anything exciting, just that I agreed with him.
Jeff reminds them that in this world big fish eat little fish, and if they want to win they will have to be sharks. OK, honey, whatever you say.
But It’s Only A Tad Over Ten Feet Long
The first of the two challenges for the day involve the competitors being randomly put into five teams of two. Each team will have to cross a rope bridge and find a snake. Once they have located the snake a professional camera crew will be waiting to film the pair talking about the animal they have found. Contestants must say “Action” before the crew will start filming.
Up first we have Christine and Jeremy. Christine wants to cross the bridge alone, as she is worried about balance. Once she makes it across she yells back to Jeremy that she has found an anaconda. Before Jeremy is all the way across she realizes her mistake but has not correctly identified what type of snake it is. Christine yells action to the camera, but hasn’t talked it over with Jeremy yet. She goes on to give lots of good facts about the constrictor, then hands it over to Jeremy who correctly identifies it as a Python, “probably Burmese”. He gets in a few facts before Jeff calls time.
Nigel calls Christine stupid and idiotic for thinking it was an anaconda, then for not conferring with Jeremy before filming.
The next pair to cross the bridge are Mike and Jarod. Jeff is impressed with Mike’s agility while crossing the bridge, as he’s a big guy and doesn’t look as graceful as he is. Jarod’s not a bad looking guy, and he films quite nicely, but other than knowing it was a python he didn’t have much to say. The truly sad part is he didn’t know there was a time limit, so he took up the entire TV time saying things like “People are afraid of snakes because they look different than us and have no arms or legs.” Alrighty then.
Nigel is not a happy guy, and I’m beginning to think that he was suffering from the male version of PMS on this particular day. He has nothing good to say about Jarod and is very upset that Jarod said snakes dislocate their jaws, when in fact they don’t, Nigel says they have tendons that always connect the jaws. I on the other hand am pretty certain that I saw on Animal Planet someone, at some point, say that snakes dislocate their jaws. No, that doesn’t mean I’m right, but I do think it’s a common enough misconception for Nigel to cut him some slack. I have a feeling when he hosted his show there was a script that had a fact checker check it.
Finally we have a team cross the bridge together. Ernie and Kelly seem to be having a great time and exhibiting wonderful collaborative skills. They see the snake from the bridge, and after a second of discussion yell “Action”. It was like watching an actual Animal Special. “Hi! I’m Dr. Ernie” then without missing a beat “And I’m Cayman Kelly….” They had fun, they talked to each other, the camera and the snake. They were smiley and personable.
Nigel hated them. Stan told Nigel to give them a break, and said he enjoyed it. Nigel won’t stop and goes on and on about how embarrassed he was by their little act. He said they should be trying to be hosts, not actors. I think about the Crocodile Hunter and his wonderful, highly successful, high grossing mega-hit movie… what was it called? No matter, Stan and I agree that Dr. Ernie and Cayman Kelly were fun to watch.
The second to last team to cross is made up of John and Aletris who also cross the bridge at the same time. As soon as they are over they head to the waters edge in search of the snake. Meanwhile the python, measuring in at at least 10 feet is sunning himself in the freshly mowed grass 5 feet away. They search the tall grass, behind logs, in trees. Nothing. Finally John catches movement in his peripheral vision. They head over to the python and take a minute to situate themselves. Kelly says: “Here we have a very exciting animal” Jeff then yells “TIME”. This upsets Kelly, as she knows everything there is to know about Pythons and feels as though she messed up a wonderful opportunity.
Nigel cannot believe they missed the snake, but Stan thinks it was reasonable that they searched the waters edge, and sympathizes with them. Nigel thinks Stan’s too much of an English Gentleman. I think Nigel is Simon’s dad.
We finally get to Ed and Adam who waste no time crossing the bridge, but they too head strait for the waters edge. They continue on their journey and wind up on the other side of the pond when Jeff finally calls time.
Stan is still sticking up for the “searcher Teams”, but Nigel is louder and gets in the final words. He thinks they’re all idiots.
Must Have Been Filmed Before Roy’s Birthday
Next all ten contestants get to go to Tiger School with Professor Dr. Bhagavan Antle. He’s the resident Tiger Specialist, and like last week I wonder why the specialists they get to come in don’t have their own Animal Planet shows. Maybe in time they will.
Dr. Antle has brought a few tiger cubs into camp. They are all between 4 and 5 months old and weigh about 50-60 pounds. He lets all the contestants play with the tigers as he explains how to hold them, pick them up (By the scruff of the neck, assuming of course that you can lift 50-60 pounds of moving muscle with one hand), and how to talk to them. He gives them an example of the “chuffing” noise they make and encourages them all to become familiar with it.
Next they head off to the pool, where the doc explains how to handle the tigers in the water. Dr. Antle is having too much fun as he plays with the tigers and they play with him. I could have watched this segment for the remainder of the episode.
Of course, that would have left no time for challenge number two.
I’m Ready For My Close Up Mr. DeVille
In the last challenge of the day the contestants will each have 1 minute of personal TV time to talk about and handle if they wish, a Ball Python. Jeff gives them all reading material and tells them they have one hour to study and prepare.
This is where it gets hard for me again, as they show everyone’s clips in a short montage and never with the names under them.
I remember Ernie and Kelly, and personally think they both do a great job. They are relaxed in front of the camera and seem to know what they are talking about.
Kelly is enthusiastic and also seems at ease with the camera. She is spunky and does a great job as well.
Ed did a good job talking, but I had no idea what he was talking about. He seemed to want to talk about the fact that snakes maybe evolved from lizards, but he only had a minute.
Jarod looks cute but seems very uncomfortable.
Mike can’t fill 60 seconds of airtime.
Time To Give Up The Compass
Stan seems to have disappeared and leaves the Compass Snatching to Nigel.
He informs Aletris that she did a superb job with the tigers and he was very impressed.
He walks over to Ernie, lifts his compass, and tells him that he’s staying, but rags on (and on and on and on) about his pitiful performance in the first challenge. He tells Ernie that he shouldn’t try to be an actor and if he was being judged solely on his performance there he would be gone. Ernie stares at the ground and I feel terrible for him. He thought he’d done a great job in challenge one, and I feel as though Ernie thinks Nigel has really insulted his personality. I hope I’m wrong, as Ernie is a great guy and I’d hate for Nigel to make him feel that way.
Nigel then makes his way over to Ed and tells him that the game is over for him. He says he felt that Ed didn’t pay any attention during Tiger School (cut to clip of Ed paying attention in Tiger School) and that his One Minute TV Time was so boring that he (Nigel) almost fell asleep.
Ed takes’ it well, and was prepared to be the one going. He asks that Nigel, Stan and Jeff sign his journal and says he’s had a great time.
I’ll miss ya Ed!