Night 19 . . . still
Could you imagine if they had left Osten’s laid down torch on the dirt floor of the Tribal Council?
Jiff’s steps on the end of it as the Outcasts file in, sending it flying into the air, javelin style, where it pierces each tribe member right through the lungs.
Osten had to be right about something, why not the fact that he was constantly cautioning against the threat of lung injury? Ok, maybe not.
The torch has been moved, so the Outcasts file in without incident.
Jiff, usually confronted by solemn TC expressions, comments on how happy everyone looks. Ryan S executes a “middle fingers down, end fingers up” signal with one of his hands, accompanied by a single clap. This being the secret sign that starts all campfire sing-a-longs, Lill joins in, until she realizes no one else has picked up on the signal and morphs her own clap into an overly zealous celebration of Outcast success with the addition of a whoop.
Michelle beams hugely as she gleefully tells Jiff that she nearly wet her pants when she heard she might be able to get back into the game. So classy.
One again she mentions revenge as the driving factor in the Outcasts challenge victory.
Even though there is only one Ryan in attendance, Jiff decides to stick with the distinguishing pre-fix “Skinny”. Ryan continues the revenge theme set in motion by Michelle, going a step or two further by bemoaning the fact he never fit in at the Morgan tribe, no one ever gave him a chance.
After Burton gives a quick shout out to, “determination”, “pulling together” and “internal drive”, Jiff reminds them of the magnitude of the second chance they’ve been given in the game.
Skinny Ryan confirms his understanding of that line of thought by holding apart his hands in an “I caught a fish this big” stance.
They have come to TC for an unprecedented reason though, to vote people back into the game, so Jiff steers the proceedings in that direction.
The plan is straightforward enough. Each Outcast will state their case as to why they should be allowed back into the game, after which there will be a vote in.
Nicole begins the round with her plea.
Apparently she was seen as the “Bad Apple” at the Morgan tribe. In the immortal words of the Osmond’s, one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch. Not that apples really grow in bunches, that’s banana’s isn’t it? If the Osmond’s had sung “One Bad Banana”, no one would have taken them seriously.
I have to create these little diversions for myself or else I would actually be sitting, watching the TV, listening to what Nicole has to say, like I’m interested or something.
She rounds off her pitch with an empty threat to kick ass.
Jiff now calls on Lill to state her case. She cocks her head to one side at the sound of her own name. Apparently, she gave her all in the game and her aim is to prove to those “sonsofbitches” that she is tough.
She just cussed while wearing her scout uniform. Is that even allowed? Is there a badge for that?
Trish is next and makes the ridiculous promise that she will make sure an Outcast wins if she gets back in the game.
How exactly she plans to do that is a mystery.
The last big play she made managed to attract only the support of Jon and resulted in her own expulsion. Stubborn opponent of the UTR way of playing I may be, but when you seem to have as little mastery of the game as Trish does it is a plan you might wasn’t to take out for a test drive.
Michelle is up next and displays her stunning lack of self-awareness by deeming herself a “sweet little girl”. Yes, Michelle, a sweet little girl who has no qualms about what she puts in her mouth, belches like a navvy and has minimal bladder control when excited.
She intends to return the “kick in the face” that “those assholes” dished out to the Outcasts.
Hmmm, so, out for revenge then?
Ryan is up next and cites his love of the game as the main reason he should be allowed to rejoin it. Again he claims his inclusion will ensure an Outcast victory.
Finally we have Burton’s words to endure. He’s the most competitive person he knows. The rest nod as though that is a good thing, but as they don’t know the people he knows, how they can determine that is unsure.
He promises that, should he be returned to the game, he will never lie to the other Outcast. The very fact that the others seem impressed by this promise underlines why they were voted out in the first place. He didn’t promise to never vote the other Outcast out, plot against them, eat their share of the food, crap in their sleeping space, nuthin’. Yet there they sit, nodding, grinning and looking on admiringly.
I would have just guilted them into voting me back in if I were him by pointing out that none of them had bothered to paint the tribes name onto their bandana’s, so clearly I must be the most committed to the Outcast’s cause.
It’s time to vote and after Jiff explains that they have to write down two names on two separate pieces of parchment, no, they cannot vote for themselves, Ryan is first up to the polling station.
He approaches the parchment with caution, his hands held in fists at waist level.
We see the second of his two votes, cast in favour of Lillian.
Next up is Trish. Fast on the heels of her vote for “Rubert”, we see that she originally decided to throw her support behind Burdon, but a scribbled correction sees her voting for Burton with an unattractive mix of upper and lower case letters.
Burton himself steps up, but we see neither of his votes. We see Lill vote for what looks like Piyan but is obviously Ryan. She reverses his voting comment claiming that if she can’t get back into the game she hopes he can. We see neither of Nicole’s votes, but when Michelle casts for Nicole she claims it’s because she’s knows she’s a “bad bitch who will go an get ‘em”.
I’m sure none of us really expected Michelle to get through an entire sentence without busting out at least one minor cuss word.
Jiff goes off to tally and quickly returns with the ballot box.
He correctly assumes a certain level of stupidity among the Outcasts, they were voted out early after all, and explains that they were voting people in, that’s in, IN, geddit?
He removes the first vote from the box, score one for Burton. Lill receives the next vote, her eyebrow raise immediately tells me she will be an over-reactor should she get poll sufficient votes to re-enter the fray.
One for Lill follows another vote for Burton. Cranking her reaction up a notch, she responds to the sight of her name with a disbelieving semi-sneer.
Some fool actually votes for Michelle. I shall consider this a tactical vote or possibly even an error just to make seeing her name more palatable.
There follows a vote for Nicole, which garners no reaction from her.
Votes for Ryan and Trish receive a nod and smile from the respective recipients. Jiff summarizes, Burton 2 votes, Lill 2 votes, everyone else one.
After revealing a mere two more votes, Jiff obviously reads the lack of comprehension on the faces of the outcasts so reads out the new tally.
The next vote is cast in favour of Burton, who becomes the first person ever to find their way back into the game. There is a short round of applause for him from everyone other than Lill, who obviously has to fling her arms round him and screech her congratulations.
Jiff has one vote left to read. With the parchment in hand, he says, “the next person voted back in is…” At this point, I surely cannot have been the only person thinking “not Lill, not Lill”. Of course, as Michelle and Nicole have a single vote each the vote could have been for either of them and created a four way tie. Jiff gives the game away that this is the vote that puts someone back in the game before even unfolding it, and yes, as my very bad luck would have it, the vote is for Lill.
She of course goes into full Oscar mode, throwing her hand to her mouth and exclaiming the now standard “Oh my God”. To complete the physical portion of the theatrics she falls back in her seat in a mock faint. She returns to the upright position and claims, “I am a nice person”.
How she feels that is confirmed by the three votes she received is beyond me, but then nothing about Lill makes any sense to me anymore. I don’t think she even is a scoutmaster.
Jiff tells Burton and Lill to grab a torch and get fire. The losers then file out of the TC area and off our screens until the finale, hopefully. On his way out, Ryan decides to embrace Lill and whisper his congratulations cementing their strange Michael Jackson/Liz Taylor style friendship.
All that remains to be decided is who will join which tribe. Jiff steps forward with a pot, holding a buff in each tribal colour. He asks who would like to select their buff first and without even offering Burton the option, Lill says she will. She reaches into the pot and pulls out the Morgan buff, much to her disgust.
Jiff advises them both to make the most of their second chance in the game and sends them both on their way back to their respective camps.
Back from the break, we find ourselves in the company of the Drake tribe, a storm is raging and we have on screen confirmation that it is indeed night 19.
The topic of conversation is understandably speculation about who will be joining their camp. Sandra is pinning her hopes on either Lill or Skinny Ryan and threatens to “fall out” if Burton comes back. Fall out of what? I guess we will see once Burton gets to the campsite.
He approaches the huddled Drake’s waking them up as he asks “are you guys asleep?”
I have to give Burton credit though. He walks back into the camp in a good mood, pleased to be back in the game and passing off his previous elimination as water under the bridge when the Drake’s start apologizing to him.
Sandra doesn’t appear to “fall out’, or if she did, I didn’t see it.
While Burton is integrating back into the Drake tribe, sour faced Lill is simultaneously landing on Morgan beach. The Morgan’s claims that they are pleased to see her seem genuine, but she expresses her feelings as “whatever” in confessional. Obviously she once again feels the need to mention that Andrew didn’t tell her she was being voted off. No doubt if he’d told her she would have accused him of mental cruelty.
I’m starting to really dislike Lill.
Rupert and Burton are up early, so Rupert thinks it would be a good time to take Burton aside and discuss events passed.
Rupert gives a touching speech explaining how Burton’s comments and actions before he was voted out regressed him back to the frightened little boy that was bullied as a child.
Of course, this could have been majorly embarrassing to view, but it was really rather touching imo. Christa’s overhears Rupert mention his “plumber’s crack” and asks for his plumber’s phone number.
Burton apologizes for upsetting Rupert and handshakes appear to draw a veil over those incidents.
They transition awkwardly into a discussion as to who would be voted out if the Drake’s were to go to TC next. Burton asks for confirmation that it really will be Jon that is voted out and not himself, clearly doing a “Savage” by forgetting that he has immunity.
Rupert confirms Christa and Sandra’s votes against Jon could be counted on.
Over at the Morgan tribe, Lill is up collecting wood and boiling water to help out her tribe who she quickly realizes are out of energy.
Savage joins Lill by the fire, but she shows no interest in anything he is saying.
She confesses that she feels a certain resentment from the rest of the tribe because she has immunity. She describes her situation as “somewhat of a second chance”.
You were voted back in last night Lill, to a game you had spent more time out of than in. You have immunity at the next TC and you only consider that “somewhat” of a second chance?
Having stretched day 19 across one and a half shows, we enjoyed only a very brief day 20 before finding ourselves here, at day 21.
The Drake’s have apparently discovered a tree bearing small, round orange fruit. After a quick taste session, the general consensus is that the fruits are lemons.
Rupert, Burton and Christa decide to use a lemon finding mission as an excuse to get away from camp to discuss Jon. Christa has decided to go with a policy of truth from now on and she simply doesn’t see Jon fitting into those plans. The fact that he might defect to the Drake tribe is seen as an obvious threat so once again they confirm they will be voting him off at the next TC.
We quickly head over to the Morgan camp in time to see them pouring the last of their rice rations into their cooking pot.
Tijuana cleverly confesses that the fact they now have no food might just hurt them in the challenges.
Challenge Time – I think.
No tree mail and no indication of where we are going or why, we are subject to a camera swoop across the island to what I believe to be Challenge Beach.
Jiff calls the Survivor’s in, Savage is holding the immunity idol so either it’s an IC or he bought it with him “just in case”.
Jonny Fairplay saunters in doing a scaled down version of his vote dance.
He casually throws an opened armed “Fairplay” into the mix, which Jiff quite rightly chooses to ignore.
With Trish gone for good, Sandra decides to try out for the role of least diplomatic person on the Drake tribe by pointing out they had corn, rice, a quick trip to the all you can eat buffet at Red Lobster, washed it all down with some beans, slept soundly and dreamed pleasantly.
Savage confirms Jiff’s suspicion that things aren’t going so well food wise over at Morgan, by stating that they have nothing other than muscles and coconut.
Jiff teases them with thoughts of a merge.
Savage responds that he was not expecting a merge or a big buffet under some table.
Who would expect a buffet under a table?
Jiff instructs them to drop their buffs because the merge is, in fact, about to occur.
He lobs new buffs to each of the Survivor’s. JFP catches sight of the merge colour and shouts out the obvious, “they’re black baby”.
As usual, the merged tribe will have to make up a name and paint their new flag.
After explaining that all future challenges will be individual, Jiff takes the idol back from Savage, and swishes aside the burlap covering the individual immunity prize.
Ever faithful to this season’s pirate theme, the usual necklace has been replaced by a cutlass on a leather strap. The sight draws an “arrrggghhh” from Rupert.
The payoff for watching the show until the merge point is that you are guaranteed the opportunity to laugh at the tacky immunity necklace. This season could have been a really good laugh too; arms akimbo back arched a hearty, deep throaty laugh. You could even add a thigh slap and simply claim to be in keeping with the pirate theme.
The cutlass is pretty cool though . . . dammit!
The season bursts into pirate overload when Jiff delivers the news that the challenge will be based on the old pirate punishment of keelhauling.
Once again a pirate reference produces an ear-to-ear grin from Rupert while Jiff explains the instructions in full.
There will be two heats, in which five Survivors will start on the end of a platform, jump into the water, drag themselves along to the other end via the use of an underwater rope, climb back onto the other end of the platform, run along it jump back in and repeat the procedure. The first two people to complete two laps will go into the final.
We are given a close up of the platforms. Each has a large square section removed from the middle, which serves the dual function of allowing a struggling participant to come up for breath half way through the underwater stage and of making the soaking wet run back across the platform much more precarious. If we’re lucky, hilarity will ensue.
Five feet high wooden crosses stand at the both ends of each platform.
No doubt Jiff will clue is in to their purpose just as soon as we need to know.
Jiff instructs the Survivor’s to swim out to the platforms and wait for his “Go”.
The alleged random drawing of numbers produces a first heat line up of Tijuana, Christa, Rupert, Jon and Sandra.
They stand on the edge of their platforms, poised for the “Go” that soon follows.
They all drop into the water at the same time. Underwater shots let us see Jon, Christa and Rupert all showing good form. The three of them, plus Tijuana, soon emerge from the water and climb back onto the platform to begin the run across. JFP manages to execute a stutter step run while pulling his boxer shorts up and the lead four plunge back into the water just as Sandra is emerging at the opposite end of the platform.
We are given another underwater shot of Rupert favouring the face up technique, while a shot of Tijuana shows her to be making good with the opposite, face down, option.
Sandra slowly makes her way across the platform to begin her second lap. In possibly the worst “dive” in recorded history, Sandra bends in the middle and falls forward. Her feet barely leave the platform before her head touches the water.
Meanwhile, Rupert tippy-toes across the platform and into the water to finish in first place. He is closely followed by Jon, who smashes into the cross on the end of the platform before tumbling into the water. He breaks the surface, pumping the air with a clenched fist and yelling “yeah”, which is likely more of a reaction to finally settling the “who can swim better” contretemps with Sandra than of qualifying for the final.
The Survivors are in place for the second heat.
Lill, ever prepared, has removed her pants for the challenge and will be competing in her large white cotton panties of the type that become see through when wet and cause serious V.P.L. when dry.
Jiff gives his Go and they all jump into the water.
As the final shred of protein drains from his body, Savage runs into difficulty and has to scramble back up to the surface to get some air. From that point on he is never a contender in this challenge.
The race is on between Rhino and Burton, with Rhino taking an early lead out of the water. Burton over takes him on the trip across the platform but Rhino and Darrah are hot on heels, they all jump into the water for their second lap within seconds of each other.
For everyone else the plunge into the water is a simple, understated jump. Little more than a step off the platform really. Not so for Lill the theatrical, who jumps into the air, clearing the platform by several inches. She emerges in the cut out section in the centre of the platform. The extra effort extended in her dramatic entry into the water obviously taking its toll.
Burton completes the second lap, going all “Lill” on us by diving into the water when a simple jump would have done. He breaks the surface right in Rhino’s dive path, causing him to do a hybrid dive/cartwheel, in order to avoid smashing into him. They finish first and second and take the last two spots in the final.
Jiff calls out the participants, Jon, Rupert, Rhino and Burton, for those unable to follow the action for themselves. He goes on to explain that, as if the two heats weren’t tedious enough viewing, we will now be subjected to a five-lap finale.
In addition to the “jump, swim, run, jump” cycle, they will now have to remove a medallion from the cross at the back of the platform and place it on the cross at the front on each lap.
Jiff explains that the medallions are on pegs on the crosses, a close up of one follows by way of confirmation.
Jiff gets the final under way with his “Go” and it’s not long before Rupert shoots into an early lead. He remains in first place through two laps with Burton running him a close second. Jiff very charitably comments that Jon and Rhino are battling it out for third, rather than saying they are fighting not to be last. Jiff’s glass is half full apparently.
The challenge continues with Rupert soon on the third lap.
JFP, decides to bow out of the competition after completing only two.
Andrew offers up a half-hearted “come on Rhino “ from within the losers boat, but other than that and a couple of “you can do it Rupert” s from Christa the losers are disinterest in this boring challenge.
Let’s just breeze ahead to the final lap. Rupert emerges from under the water just in front of Burton. He retains his lead across the platform, but Burton mounts a last ditch effort, placing the medallion while in the process of making his final dive into the water. Rupert places his medallion, but stands arms aloft on the platform instead of jumping in. Victory to Burton.
Jiff calls him to swim over and hands him the cutlass. Burton slings the leather strap over his head and under one arm. He should go the whole hog and develop a swagger.
Jiff tells them to row back to camp in their new black tribal boat. Smiles, hugs and whooping erupt as Jiff informs them the feast Savage mentioned is waiting fir them back at camp.
After the break, we join the newly merged tribe back at the Drake camp.
Rupert tells us in confessional that they have settled on the new name of “Balboa”.
They pull the boat onto shore and commence celebratory hugging. Jon finally gets his hands on Darrah, but she maintains a lose enough grip so she can edge a well-placed knee to the groin should he get a little too fresh for her liking.
A quick Tijuana confessional follows where she questions whether everyone will come together or if it will be like two tribes living on the same beach a.k.a. “The Shii Ann”.
The group approaches the banquet. While there doesn’t appear to be as much as there was at the S6 banquet, it looks to be good quality stuff plus it is on top of the table, so they quickly begin to tuck in.
Sandra runs down the components of the banquet in confessional, the camera closing in on each food item that she lists.
The pirate theme should have been extended to the food in my opinion. Biscuits with weevils in them perhaps, instead we have ye olde uh Swiss cheese.
The tribe toasts to their future with the clinking of ribs while Andrew confesses that the food made him feel human. Steady on there, Savage, you are still a lawyer you know.
The tribe breaks off into smaller groups, each carrying on separate discussions. Sandra informs Tijuana and Darrah that she relies on Rupert to provide food, which is exactly what the old Morgan tribe held did when he was with them.
Although enjoying the food immensely, the talk obviously soon turns to the night’s forthcoming TC. Andrew and Tijuana discuss their best move and feel it would be wise to get rid of JFP.
Annoying though he undoubtedly is, JFP has identified Lill as the one Morgan who’s vote he might e able to sway and homes in on her to start the schmoozing process.
Wouldn’t it make sense for the Morgan’s to approach Burton for the same reason Jon is approaching Lill?
Find the tribe mate who feels they have a reason to be disgruntled with the rest of their tribe and try to court their vote. This doesn’t appear to have occurred to the Morgan’s.
Having spoken to Lill, Jon now approaches Rupert with the news that she hates her old tribe and her vote might well be up for grabs. Despite the whole tribe having just eaten heartily, Rupert has already donned the goggles and is clearly about to go fishing.
After Jon clues Christa in to the possibility of gaining Lill’s support at TC, Burton approaches Lill to butter her up a little more.
Finally, Andrew approaches Lill to see which way she intends to vote. She claims to have not decided yet, but her constant “just sucked on a lemon” face betrays the fact that she is not in the Morgan camp as far as the voting is concerned this evening.
She refuses to tell Andrew if the Drakes are targeting him, because he didn’t tell her when she was going to be voted out of Morgan.
You’re back in the game Lill, get the hell over it.
Desperate to belong, Lill soon falls for the flattery and faux friendship suddenly being offered by the Drake’s.
There is just time for a final Tijuana confessional before they head off to TC.
She informs us that Lill is the swing vote, she might vote with one tribe, she might vote with the other, which is pretty much the text book definition of a swing vote.
Jiff welcomes them in, directing his first question to Tijuana, “what was your reaction when you heard there was a merge?”
Tijuana claims to have been shocked. Shocked? You were crying at the thought of getting some food. She continues in her “catch-all” answering fashion that “if could have been a merge that’s of benefit, or could hurt us all”.
Bases pretty much covered there then T.
JFP smirks through her reply.
Jiff asks Lill how she’s doing. She cracks her perma-frown long enough to tell him she is “thrilled”. Smile then you effin’ misery.
Jon continues to smirk through the remainder of the Q&A portion of the TC.
Jiff decides to move the proceedings on, repeating once again that both Burton and Lill have immunity tonight, but Burton can pass on the immunity he has as result of winning the challenge.
Burton decides to pass the immunity to Rupert, who accepts it, letting out a little giggle.
He could care less about the immunity, but can’t wait to get his hands on the cool cutlass, another piece of his “Complete Pirate” kit.
The group applauds Burton’s decision.
Time to vote. Savage is up first, casting his vote for Jon, whom he claims talks too much smack.
Jon votes for Savage and does some ridiculous wrestling voice, which deserves no further comment.
Christa votes for Savage. As usual she does a little spiral in one of the letters on her parchment. Perhaps everything really does have a little spiral on it to her post crack eyes.
Lill strides up to the booth. She walks like she’s either just got off a horse or she’s had an unfortunate Michelle type incident in her white drawers.
The voting complete, the camera pans between Jon and Savage, the two recipient’s of all the votes we have seen cast.
Jiff approaches the group, the voting urn in hand and delivers his usual “once the votes are read, the decision is final” spiel. Not sure if I believe you in light of the fact two people that were voted out are now back I the game Jiff.
Jiff reads the votes.
An initial vote for Jon is followed by five votes for Andrew. When the fifth is read, Jon uncoils from his crossed armed “Fairplay” position into an open armed version, clearly thinking Andrew has enough votes to be on his way out of the game. The “Fairplay” thing renders Jon’s fingers unusable for the purposes of counting. He reels the open armed stance back in, his face dropping as he notices Jiff continues to read out votes.
Three further votes for Jon follow before Jiff reads the deciding vote and declares Andrew the 7th person voted out of the game.
Andrew steps up for the torch snuffing, telling Rhino, D and T to hang in there by way of parting words once his flame is put out.
Jiff dismisses the tribe, after telling them they have at the very least secured a spot on the jury, news that Jon greets with a smug expression, naturally.
Next time on Survivor:
A stingray shocks a Balboan (Lill? :fingerscrossed)
The air is heavy with the scent of a possible Pagonging.