One of these days Jeff Probst’s unnatural desire to “one up” his fool self will be the death of him.
After last seasons helicopter, Jiff now adds a volcano to his resume of things he is willing to balance precariously on the edge of.
A huge plume of smoke threatens to engulf him, yet he remains in position without so much as a flinch.
Very impressive, if you like that sort of thing.
I don’t. I’m just not enthused about this season at all, which we all already know will draw constant parallels to the Survivor Amazon season.
I’m sure we all know the drill.
Sixteen Americans, 39 days, 1 Survivor.
Except it’s eighteen Americans and the addition of an extra two has done nothing to snap me out of the “so what” attitude that I am determined to display all season, but the funky new take on the theme music might.
Curse me and my dancing feet.
Day 1 .
After the opening credits we join our 18 on board some type of sailboat.
Blank expressions make way for slight concern as a local crewman drops anchor some distance from the shore.
You wouldn’t think it possible for multiple tribal dress attired natives to miraculously emerge in a fleet of canoes, yet the Survivor’s seem surprised and baffled by their apparent sudden presence.
The natives rush them as fast as you can possibly rush anyone or anything when you’re in a hand carved watercraft.
Just as the Survivor’s look to be on the brink of expelling any stored bodily fluids, Jiff appears to save them and an audible sigh of relief washes across the entire group.
Jiff – Welcome to Survivor Vanuatu Island of Fire.
Jiff’s explanation of their need to be granted access to the Island and take part in a tribal rite of passage is met by repeated nods of comprehension from this season’s granola granny.
The ceremony, which the locals take it very seriously, will be at once beautiful, repulsive and frightening. Although he doesn’t verbalize the warning his partially knitted eyebrows finish his sentence with “so don’t laugh”.
They will be party to the full and authentic ceremony, not the cheap-arse one they do for the tourists where they eat fire and do magic and stuff.
As the Survivor’s start to give confessionals, I feel now would be a good time to introduce them all to you, even though they weren’t formally introduced on the show.
I trust you will find my research impeccable.
Scout Cloud Lee
Scout, a.k.a. Enid Patterson, the oldest of the females will no doubt try to deflect her early boot fodder potential by drawing on her varied life experiences to provide valuable counsel to her tribe mates.
She spends her spare time building indigenous lodges and turned to lesbianism after Tony Danza spurned her continued advances.
Brook is a Project Manager, which could mean pretty much anything. He suffered the memory loss that lead to him listing Britney Spears as his favourite actress following a crack to the back of the head from a Newton’s cradle his exasperated manager had made airborne.
Describing herself as “far too inquisitive”, Mia has earned herself the nickname “that nosy b1tch” among friends and family.
She has a pierced nose and proudly boasts the world’s largest bandana collection.
Surprisingly Rory did not draw the short straw name–wise among his siblings with this out of place Irish moniker, that honour goes to sister, Dahomey.
Rory looks skinny in his headshot, but is sporting quite the belly.
Sorority, cheerleader, pharmaceutical scales, annoying.
Frat boy with a wide mouthed smile that makes my own jaw ache to look at.
John hunts deer and lists among his favourites the movie Deer Hunter and the computer game Deer Hunter III. He once wrote a fan letter to his favourite Survivor 4 contestant , which started, “Dear Hunter”. Ba domp bomp.
Tired of the constant jibes, Lea changed his name post season to the less provocative
A longtime practitioner of expressing his love of geometric figures through hairstyles, his “special occasion only” dodecahedron draws admiring gasps from the experienced and uninitiated alike.
Twila mistakenly believes that she invented the Stetson.
She works tirelessly to ensure the roads of America are maintained at the crucial mix of cracked and bumpy.
A part-time mushroom hunter, she is yet to be discouraged by the fact her prey rarely puts up much of a fight.
Citing herself as JLo’s biggest fan, Dolly decided to become a wedding planner, after her plan to grow a gigantic arse stalled twelve cheeseburgers in. The standard breakdown over the slackness of mushroom vol au vent filling came all too soon, forcing her to make the natural leap to the world of professional sheep herding. Her name isn’t even Dolly.
The latest in a long and winding line of “something/model” reality show contestants, Ami seems bereft of an upper lip. My overactive imagination leads me to conclude she lost in a freak mountaineering accident.
Travis “Bubba” Sampson.
Travis has skillfully tracked down the only WalMart career opportunity that allows him to utilize the skills he honed as a professional wrestler, loss prevention.
If you drop a jar of fruity preserve in aisle 3, he’ll dive to stop it smashing in the floor, then “clothes line” you for your clumsiness.
Keeping prices down one article at a time.
Singer/model/actress/research assistant Leann manages to enjoy swimming, hiking, horseback riding, tubing, fishing propelled by a single kidney having donated her other to her father. Leann spends her spare time dreaming up new bagel flavours.
Growing increasingly annoyed that the profession of mechanical bull operator is woefully under-represented on television, John decided to apply for Survivor.
Another _/model, John will likely delve repeatedly into his arsenal of poses and disinterested facial expressions for assistance in propelling him to the latter stages of the game.
Brady holds the dubious honour of being this seasons “fangirlies choice”.
Currently an FBI agent, Brady joined the Marines having graduated college on a military scholarship and was assigned his first platoon in Hawaii as part of the “lucky bastard” program.
Eliza never let being a natural brunette halt her rise up the ranks of her sorority.
Now in charge of recruitment, her rigorous “can you file your nails and recite the full range of colours included in Prada’s latest fall collection while making a cell phone call” policy has led to her sorority snapping up all the top notch talent.
In a sad attempt to appeal to men, Julie lists minor skin rags Stuff and Maxim among her favourite publications.
A fan of both Josh Groban and “trendy hiphop”, she is clearly suffering from massive confusion and should probably be medicated for her own safety.
She is rather attractive, which is relevant merely to establish her as the front runner for this seasons “sweetheart’ status.
NASCAR fan Chris has aspirations to be come a teacher and should spitting and crotch scratching ever become an accredited course he will surely flourish in the field.
Chad had the lower half of his leg amputated after having been diagnosed with a rare from of cancer, less than two years ago.
He has since competed in a triathlon and has every “O” magazine ever published.
Jiff has them pile by threes into canoes with the same natives that looked as though they might cut them alive for sport a mere two minutes ago.
Bubba skillfully manages to combine this seasons red neck and this seasons person who only just leaned how to swim in one package, all tied up neatly in a vintage Bob Barker t-shirt. Neuter your pets folks.
So as he can’t swim, Travis would be the one person to tip up the canoe and have to cling on to the rope ladder on the side of the boat to stave off a sure drowning.
[sarcasm]Oh how we laughed.[/sarcasm]
Once on land, the tribesmen again swarm the Survivor’s, jabbing spears at them and shouting out a menacing chant which I shall translate to as warning to play smart and avoid another Romber style outcome. A spiritual ceremony can indeed be a vehicle through which to dispense sage tactical advice.
The jabbing and chanting continues until one by one the women have been separated from the men and dispatched to the side where they will be mere onlookers in the remainder of the ceremony.
Eliza- “They slapped us on the butt with their spears.
Sorority gal Eliza’s indignity probably stems from the fact there was no dinner and movie before the guys moved straight to the feeling-up portion of the evening.
The ceremony continues with the women watching from the sidelines, kneeling en masse on one hap-hazardly strewn Ikea rough jute area rug, while the men each get to rest on luxury stumps. The men are served a local brew, which Lea mistakes for the little finger wash bowl thing they have in some Asian restaurants. The same little washbowl that, any time you dine in a restaurant that offers them, some loud mouth at another table will claim to know someone who once tried to drink, then will laugh heartily while his party all cringe because he told that same story last time they ate there and they think the waiter remembers them because they’re “the group with the loud guy”
The washbowl is the stuff of urban legend.
It’s only hot water and lemon slices anyway, what is the worse that could happen if all these supposed friend of a friend of the loud-mouthed guy actually did drink it? Mass scalding?
The brew caused a couple of the men to gag like the steaming great Charlie’s they so obviously are.
The ceremony continues with the men ring side in the eye of the ceremonial storm while the women grow increasingly indignant from there spot in the cheap seats.
Of course no ceremony of this type is without it’s animal slaughter, so let me just say, they bought out a pig and killed it.
I assume this is what happened because, as I found out, if you turn your head 90 degrees to the television, squint with your closest eye and mute the sound, it is almost entirely possible to get through any televisual experience in a state of near oblivion.
You may well wish to try this next time Growing Up Gotti airs.
I assume even those watching full on to the screen were spared the poor pig’s death throes.
Note to self, make donation to PETA.
The men then get their faces smeared with pigs blood, the women don’t, which is ironic considering the women look ready to go “Carrie” on some native arse.
The festivities culminate with one of the men being selected by the chief to climb a pole greased in pig fat to retrieve a ceremonial stone, which may or may not ward off evil spirits.
So even if you climb up the greasy pole the rock might be no more than a rock and you’ll stink of pig fat. Lea, or Sarge as he insists on referring to himself after a successful stint on Hong Kong Phooey, perfects the old, “I think he means you” trick by turning around and staring at someone else when it looks dangerously like the chief might select him to do the climbing.
Brady manfully steps up to complete the climb.
In summary, if you’re a man you have to drink a foul liquid, get smeared with fresh pig’s blood and possibly shimmy up a pole liberally smeared with pig lard, if you’re a woman you don’t.
Gawd bless my ovaries.
The ceremony over, Jiff informs the Survivor’s that they will stay in their gender groups with the men’s tribe being called Lopevi, which I will have to read on the screen three times because I keep thinking it says Lovepi, and the women called Yassur, which sounds somewhat like “Yes sir”, in the spirit of the second-class citizen theme of the evening.
With a simple wave of the hand and a “go that way”, they are dispatched to find their respective beaches.
After the break, we rejoin the Survivor’s trying to make their way to their camps.
Of course the women get lost.
Oh haha, those crazy chicks have no sense of direction, how gloriously stereotypical of them.
After an undisclosed period of fruitless wandering, Scout decides that all this mooching round in the dark and wet is getting them nowhere and their best bet is to just sit down in the wet and dark until daylight.
The others respectfully disagree and decide to press on to camp.
Over on the men’s trail they are having similar difficulties.
Well, they don’t have an aging hippie lady with a fake patella trying to get them all to stop for the night, but they aren’t proving any more successful in finding their camps.
I think we all know how this one will end.
They’ll both find their camps, celebrate with whoops and hollers and we’ll go to break.
Within the very next minute, both teams find their camps, celebrate with whoops and hollers and we go to break.
I hope I am successfully illustrating why I’m so bored with this franchise.
In another Amazon redux moment, the female’s camp instantly splits into those that do and those that don’t and think they look hot.
Twila deems the non-worker women “bow heads”, a term I am completely unfamiliar with, but which I have heard is a saying left over from the 80’s.
Obviously not one I ever used, but I was far too busy being “in love” with Adam Ant and “Bobby Hill” to invent my own sayings.
To illustrate the gulf between the groups, we are shown the older women working and the younger women, plus Lisa who is desperately and embarrassingly trying to socialize out of her age group sunning themselves on the beach.
I have taken an instant dislike to Lisa and while this next criticism says nothing of her character or personality, if she is going to insist on sporting such a weighty rack she really needs to get a bikini top with separate cups, or at the very least a higher lycra/cotton ratio to prevent her chest morphing into one giant superboob.
As always, talk soon moves to fire, the getting and maintaining of.
Eliza, who frankly reeks of Morascability, points out that she fails to see how they will again fire by rubbing two “quasi dry sticks together”.
Although she would never use those exact words, that is so the type of thing Morasca would say, except, “like, what does some freak with a hump have to do with building a fire anyway?”
Over at the men’s camp, repeated attempts to gain fire have resulted in failure so Chad decides it’s the perfect time to unzip his pants and show the guys his appendage.
After reminding them that he kept up with their pace easily on the meandering schlep to camp, he unveils his bionic leg and the combination of that and his bald head leaves me curiously attracted to him.
Brady confesses that Chad’s lack of lower limbage is an advantage, because no one will vote out a guy with a stump, and Brook confesses that he’ll send Stumpy packing soon as look at him.
Eliza leads the females in a military style chant as they go to collect the tree mail.
I would normally try to make up some terribly clever version of the tree mail poem at this point, but since Twila only manages to get about one word in three right when she reads it to the group, she has unintentionally trumped me anyway.
I literally felt my thunder being stolen.
The winners of the challenge will receive immunity and fire, a fact which causes the women chirrup excitedly.
After a battle-cry confessional from Leann about women being under-estimated, the tribes leave their camps and make for challenge beach.
Chad leads in the men’s team and like children who cannot help but be scared and intrigued by the neighbour boy who would never hurt you but is just a bit s-l-o-w, the women are transfixed by his bionic limb.
I help all of the women who stared were watching the premier with their mothers and received a quick clip round the lug accompanied by a far too audible “don’t stare”.
Dolly informs us their first two nights on the island have been cold and wet, but that does not stop Eliza deeming it “awesome”.
I can see Eliza and me coming to metaphorical blows if she keeps up the perpetually perky act every time there is a whiff of testosterone in the air.
As usual, the first challenge will be a multi-parter.
All the tribes mates must crawl under a bamboo structure, placed over a mud pit.
Three of them then have to work a ball through a large wooden maze, before all move across a very thin wooden beam before three people make a fire which burns through a rope which drops a torch which you must then light and cross the finish line.
Jiff – Want to know what you’re playing for.
Bubba – Yeahhhhhhhh!
Jiff- a flint.
Bubba – Allllrrriiiightttt!!
Apparently Bubba cannot allow a question to go unanswered.
Jiff executes his customary switch-armed “Go” and the race begins.
Everyone races to the mud pit and begins to snake their way under.
Lisa is through first for the women and mercifully none of her tribe mates is lost in the dual trenches she gouges with her mighty chest.
As they cannot begin the second phase of the race until everyone is on their mat, a fact that Jiff repeatedly vocalizes throughout the first stage of the race, each team decided to pull their slower members through the obstacle.
The men are all on the mat first and begin phase two, while the women are left to drag the lifeless lump that is Scout. Once free of the structure, she remains motionless and looking four parts dead on her feet until three of her team approach to help her. Once they are supporting her, she executes a series of staccato steps, each one screaming “FAKER”.
The men complete the maze relatively quickly and begin the beam portion of the race.
John makes it across relatively easily, while a shirtless Bubba scrapes his belly across the wood beam. Apparently the navel makes an excellent place to store splinters, should any of you be thinking of striking up a collection.
Eight members from each tribe make their way across and we’re left with a battle between Chris and Scout.
Scout steadfastly makes her way across the beam, while Chris falls off and onto the net in a move that I am calling deliberate.
The guy simply rolled off the side. No side to side trembling, no last ditch bid to correct himself before falling defeated into the net of doom.
He just gently plopped off with so much aplomb I nearly scored him on the move.
While Chris begins his second attempt, Scout has bounced down the net and is on her feet, her swimming costume has shifted tantalizingly to the right leaving her to expose her saggy t1ttedness to the four winds.
She manages a quick realignment before joining her team on the next mat.
Chris takes attempt after attempt and each ends in failure, as the women light their fire and win the challenge.
Of course they have to herald their victory with another cheer, which registers only slightly lower on the embarrassment scale than that “Go Jesse Go” one from the last season of The Bachelor.
Pre TC Scramble.
Back at Lopevi camp, the men indulge in some early season grooming and mud removal before the talk breaking into smaller groups to inevitably discuss the evenings boot victim.
John P – We under-estimated the women.
John K – We just lost dude.
Woah, that’s like, so freakin’ deep dude.
The young guys, the deuce John’s, Brady and Brook decide to vote out Chris and run their plan up Lea’s flag pole to see if he salutes it.
He doesn’t, instead he makes it drop and give him fifty before giving it a dishonourable discharge and … I’ve gone way too far with this analogy.
He basically goes running off to the older dudes who decide instead to take out one of the stronger younger guys.
They identify John P as the strongest, but as they still don’t have fire, he is saved by virtue of the fact that his fire starting efforts have failed the least.
The selection of Brook as the evenings mark appears entirely random.
Lea confesses – “The young guys said Sarge, we need to get rid of the weakest link”.
They did say that, but they didn’t call him Sarge. I believe, in Lea, we have a man determined to invent his own nickname.
Chris’s poor showing in the challenge has done nothing to dent his confidence… unfortunately, because nowhere on any Survivor season crest has “outbalance” ever made an appearance amid the other “outs”.
I hate to concede anything to this semi oaf, but he does have a point.
I’ll just “yada” you through the first section of the TC.
Grab a torch, get fire, yada yada.
Jiff’s opening move is to ask who thought that Chris’s challenge failure was to be the death of his tribe.
In a move that, had it been any more synchronized would have required nose clips, all of Chris’s’ old guy alliance raise their hands probably in a vain attempt to hide their alliance status.
Lea – It was so easy, I yelled get your big tale over there.
He actually didn’t, I rewound to check.
Jiff – So, are you going home Chris?
Chris – No. Has anyone mentioned how annoying Rory is yet?
Jiff – Rory, are you fitting in?
Rory responds by claiming to be “family” with his new tribe mates, making him merely the annoying uncle that you invite to weddings, but seat far away from the important core action.
Jiff then reminds them they are at TC by virtue of being beaten by the females.
John P, who Jiff has instantly begun to refer to as “JP’, a certain pride in his voice each time he mentions those two special initials, points out there are 9 men in this tribe, as though 9 men losing to 9 women have suffered far more severe an indignity than the 8 men of the Amazon did in losing to 8 women.
Brook decides to chip in with a comment that leads me to believe the chief killed the wrong pig during the ceremony, by pointing out some of the women had “nice tails”.
Jiff sends them off to vote and returns minutes later having tallied their scratchings.
In a move containing no shock element for those who either watched the show or, like myself, checked the spoiler sites because they’re done with Survivor, Brook is voted off.
Jiff snuffs Brook’s torch and sends the men back to camp fireless.
“You’ll either have to earn it or uh not”, he warns them, before sending them on their way.
Next time on Survivor –
Definite - Rory repeatedly calls Lea classless.
Probable – Lisa makes more embarrassing attempts to graft herself to the young girls clique.
Possible – The show gets interesting.
Unlikely- The show gets interesting.