Welcome back! Last week we sadly said goodbye and “dayum!” to Chicken, who, while he had the potential to be a colorful character, apparently lacked the people skills to stop pouting and use his own expertise. Right before the vote, though, Jeff Probst prodded Dave and Peih Gee into both declaring themselves leaders of Zhan Hu. How will that play out? Answer: loudly and with much yelling.
And The Dave Said, Ye Shall Obey Unquestioningly
Dave’s version of leadership appears to be something of a dictatorship. The next day he decrees that they must build a fire pit, and they must do it right the first time, and they must apparently do it before they eat anything. He tells us he didn’t want to be the leader, but it has been put upon him and it’s better to embrace the role.
Peih Gee, whose volunteering to be leader has apparently been laughed at and ignored by everyone, tries arguing with Dave over the placement of the fire pit, as she doesn’t really want to sit near a bunch of brush because of bugs. But nay, Dave hath said the fire pit SHALL be near the buggy brush, and so it shall be. “I don’t want to start belaboring this kind of stuff,” he says, adding that it’s a waste of time.
Peih Gee, surprisingly, isn’t that miffed. She tells us that she and Dave are not in competition here, and that they can work together, and she tells him that his fire pit decision is fine. She just wants to sort out who’s doing what.
Erik, who apparently gets a small speaking role this week, tells us that Dave does what Dave wants to do, regardless of others’ ideas.
Outwit, Outplay, Outlast and Outsleep?
Over at Fei Long, there’s also a problem. While various people are cutting bamboo and generally tending to camp duties, Jean Robert is still snoring away in their little hut. Courtney gives an impression of him that resembles a warthog, and says Jean Robert won’t work at all.
We’ll come back to this, but first Amanda has decided she needs to ally herself with Todd. Todd’s the small, smart gay Mormon flight attendant whom Jean Robert thought was devious. Amanda is someone whose name I didn’t remember until it flashed on screen. Amanda also thinks Todd is devious, which is why she wants him on her side. She says they both act like they’re doing what they’re told and make sure they’re seen working hard around camp. They agree to work together, and Todd explains to her how he maneuvered Aaron into being the tribe leader, and how if they can be the ones whispering in Aaron’s ear, then what they want to happen happens and Aaron gets the blame. He IS devious.
Accordingly, Todd and Amanda go talk to Aaron and form an alliance, all promising to be the final three, and with Todd swearing on his life not to betray them. Privately, Todd says he and Amanda have the game in their hands, by which you just know he means “I, TODD, have the game in my hands, and will one day totally screw over that silly, trusting girl.” Also, I always hate it when a reality contestant boldly declares his or her supremacy, as that always seems to call down the gods of payback on them and they get thrown off the show shortly after. And I kind of like Todd.
Now, getting back to Jean Robert. There’s some sort of tribe meeting about what they need to do around camp, and Jean Robert suggests that they all rest. Aaron informs Jean Robert that he needs to start pulling his weight. Jean Robert launches into a rambling defense about how he’d like to work more, and that he can contribute valuable stuff with his mind (that’s my notes, but I’m pretty sure he said it very similarly to that). Unless he can mentally erect a damn shelter, I don’t think his mind is going to be as useful as his getting off his ass.
Privately, Jean Robert claims that this is all a show, that it’s part of his strategy to appear lazy now, so that when he steps it up and works hard later, everyone will be impressed. Uh, ok. There are several flaws in this strategy, as I see it. For one thing, being lazy now greatly lowers his chances of even making it long enough to work hard later. Also, it has been my experience that you work hard FIRST, and then once everyone (i.e. the boss) is convinced that you’re a hard worker, then you can slack and no one notices. I predict that Jean Robert’s idiotic strategies are going to backfire. Even Leslie says she thinks he’s on the chopping block for his laziness.
“I can only go up from here,” Jean Robert says. No, sir, you can also go home.
Back at Zhan Hu, Dave is still on the fire pit plan, and has people gathering mud bricks to construct it. He wants to build a fire place, he wants to keep goals achievable, he blathers a little bit more about his leadership plans.
Apparently, though, leadership means never having to feed your worker bees. Jaime seems to think she’s starving, and she asks Dave if she can go ahead and build a fire, and then they can just move it when the fire pit is done. He says no. Then Sherea – who desperately needs a shirt. Please, God. – says she can’t do any more work without food. Ashley, who appears to be wearing a handkerchief as a shirt, thus demonstrating that her own boobs (or not her own, as the case may be, haha) levitate at mid-chest level with no help from a bra. Interesting. Anyway, she, too, claims to be starving, and says she’s losing faith in Dave’s leadership. What strikes me about all this is, if they’re so hungry, why don’t they just build a fire and cook the rice anyway, no matter what Dave says? Are they sheep? Oh, now I’m envisioning a sheep with fake boobs. That’s kind of scary.
Ashley confronts Dave, and tells him she doesn’t think things are being done properly. He says he built most of the fire pit himself (way to make the others feel their work is appreciated, Mr. Leader) and after some arguing, Ashley finally says, “You’re the leader and I’ll let you do what you want.”
“How many fires have you started, sweetheart?” Dave asks in retort. Oh, zing! Whatever. Dave tells us he doesn’t want to fight, but will if Ashley makes him. They continue to bicker, he tells her to stop bitching, she says she’s talking calmly and that she just wants to eat sometime today. I do think Dave might get more cooperation if he fed the sheep.
Naked = Slower?
It’s time for the reward challenge. Jeff explains that teams of three will face off in a mud pit. (Aside: the whole region in which they’re shooting the entire show seems to be a mud pit.) Two large, heavy wooden balls will be dropped into the pit, and they’ll have to struggle to get a ball across the other tribe’s finish line. First tribe to score two points wins. The reward is fishing gear and a fishing boat. Fei Long sits out Todd, the smallest one, and it starts to rain. Again.
The ensuing challenge is pretty much just slow-motion mud wrestling. Various people slam other people into the mud, or drag them down, or use some other maneuver until everyone’s so muddy it’s hard to tell who’s who. Sherea does pull down Amanda’s top, invoking the first fuzzy blob sighting. In fact, there’s a lot of clothes-pulling, until nearly everyone has some part of their body covered with a fuzzy blob. Amanda, however, goes on to push the ball across the line while everyone else flails in the mud, thus scoring a point. She then realizes she’s topless. “My mom’s going to kill me!” she says, yanking it back up.
In the next round, Ashley takes down Leslie, Jean Robert throws Ashley into the mud, and so on. James finally gets the ball free and scores another point, and Fei Long wins the challenge. “We’re going fishing tonight, baby!” someone yells.
But not quite yet. Jeff explains the new twist: the winning tribe gets to kidnap someone from the losing tribe. The kidnapee will stay with the new tribe until the immunity challenge. Fei Long chooses Jaime, and Jeff hands her a scroll, telling her she’s to open it in private.
Like Exile Island, Only With Company
Zhan Hu limps back to camp empty handed, only to find the camp is flooded. Why DID they build on low ground, anyway? There’s even a dead, bloated frog floating around. However, Dave’s fire pit is still there and still dry, a fact he gloats over.
Fei Long returns to their camp to find their new fishing boat. Aaron says they chose to kidnap Jaime because she’s “a spot of sunshine.” Hm, might he have a crush? The others don’t trust her and say they’re going to keep an eye on her and their stuff.
Leslie has some comments about how she thinks she and Todd work well together, and she wants to ally with him. This will be relevant in a moment. Jaime goes off to a private spot and opens her scroll, which contains a sealed tube that itself contains a clue to a hidden immunity idol. She must give the tube to a member of Fei Long before she leaves.
Jean Robert, naturally, wants to rest now. Aaron points out that he has been resting for two hours. There’s some bickering and Aaron says to Jean Robert that he just doesn’t like him. Way to put it out there, guys. See, this is what I mean. If Jean Robert had stepped up to start with, he might have an ally in Aaron. (or anyone). Now he has enemies. Stupid. You know what else is stupid? Fighting like that in front of a spy, says Courtney. She and some of the others are appalled that Aaron and Jean Robert would show a tribe weakness to Jaime, who they’re sure will report it back to Zhan Hu. And Jaime didn’t miss it, she says her tribe should totally be winning, with all of Fei Long’s strife.
Survivor Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Give Up An Awesome Advantage To An Untrustworthy Opponent, Ye Dummy
Speaking of strife, let’s go back to Zhan Hu, where Dave is telling people to cut wood and otherwise issuing orders, and Ashley says he’s mean to her. He says he’s just telling her where to find the resources to do whatever it is he told her to do. I could describe their fight in more detail, but it doesn’t really matter – the point is, they’re fighting, and it’s irritating to everyone else. Dave finally walks off in frustration.
Sherea thinks Dave talks down to Ashley (although I didn’t see her telling Dave that) and Ashley says he’s a bad leader, that he’s patronizing and irritating.
By now it’s day 6, and at Fei Long Leslie feels sick and is tired of being dirty. She misses her Bible, and thinks having it would help her. I’m surprised she hasn’t got it memorized. I mean, shouldn’t it be a comfort to at least remember parts of the Bible? At any rate, Jaime comes along and, after checking that they’re alone and unwatched, gives Leslie the immunity idol clue, warning her to keep it a secret. I don’t know why she chose Leslie, but whatever.
Leslie opens it, and the clue basically says that the idol is visible. She thinks it’s a medallion over the gateway to their campsite, but she isn’t sure. She decides the best thing to do with her information is to use it for leverage, so she decides to tell Todd about it, to win his trust. Todd is in shock. “I would never tell anybody!” he tells us privately. He hopes now that Leslie becomes too sick to remain and leaves him as the only one who knows about the idol.
Wave The Immunity Idol If You Bothered to Eat Today
At the immunity challenge, Jaime is returned to Zhan Hu. Again, everything is muddy. Jeff says they’re to each use a large Chinese “puzzle log” to batter down two wooden walls. Then they must get the puzzle log through a maze and ring a gong to win. Jaime, Courtney and Leslie sit out.
Fei Long gets through its first wall, and Zhan Hu is behind. Dave is quickly wearing out, and in fact the whole tribe looks tired – hmmm, could it possibly be a lack of food? If it is, I swear Dave needs to either be deposed or sent home. At one point, Jeff even has to tell Zhan Hu to keep moving, and little Frosti pops up front to replace Dave at the head of the log.
But all for naught; Fei Long wins, again.
And, again, Zhan Hu goes back to camp to figure out who’s going home. Dave says he feels bad and that he let the tribe down, and apologizes. He also claims he lost his footing, and rhythm, and power, and thanks Frosti for stepping in. He says privately that it’s all still about contributions in camp, and he’s confident that he’s not going home.
Ashley knows Dave is working against her. She says her options are to talk to the others about it now and look, she says, like a crazy woman, or wait till tribal council. She seems to decide to wait.
Erik and Sherea and Jaime all agree there’s too much conflict in camp and that one or the other of them – Dave or Ashley – needs to go home. Jaime says if they remove one, they remove the conflict. She considers Ashley a friend, but says Dave is a hard worker.
Those Boobs Couldn’t Survive in the Wild. It’s Breast Darwinism.
Apparently that’s all the strategizing going on, because we move on to tribal council. Jeff asks how that leadership thing is working out, and Frosti says Dave has stepped up, but possibly too much. Ashley rolls her eyes and Jeff pounces, getting her to say that she and Dave butt heads. She asks questions, she says, and Dave doesn’t like that. Dave says he has no problem with questions, but Ashley perseveres. “He goes off on these rants and patronizes and talks down to you,” she says. Dave talks in circles, she says, and she says others agree with her and that Dave is intolerable.
Jaime says that Dave has gone a bit over the top in trying to prove himself. Most of them get along, but Dave and Ashley clash. She also says Dave’s phrasing intimidates people. Dave says he wants people to tell him when he goes too far, but I assume he means “people other than Ashley.”
Sherea says it’s just tense at camp and she’s not having fun. She goes on, and Dave tries to interrupt over something, and Sherea is suddenly all “Did you not hear what came out of my mouth?” Whoa. Looks like quiet, shirtless Sherea has an inner bitch waiting to come out. Awesome! She says she wants them to talk as a tribe.
Ashley flat-out says she’s voting for Dave, and Dave says there will be far fewer eggshells to walk on at camp if Ashley goes home.
When it comes to the vote, though, Ashley’s the one who’s out. Jeff read four votes to Dave’s one, although I don’t think that’s everyone. But anyway, big-fake-boob WWE chick, out. So much for celebrity casting, Survivor producers! Ashley turns to Dave and says “I’ll see [i]you/i] soon.”
In her parting words, Ashley adds that Dave is eventually going to show the tribe “the reason he shouldn’t be in power” and she really believes he’ll be booted soon. She calls him a tool.
Dave loses patience, again. Todd and Courtney eavesdrop on someone and hear more than they expected, which suggests to me that they hear someone talking about them. And the game gets brutal. I assume Jean Robert will continue to sleep through it all.