There is something just rather wonderful about volcanoes.
They’re basically mountains, with smoke and fire coming out of them.
If I believed in God and I were he/she/it, I like to flatter myself that I would have thought to invent them in a moment of unbridled coolness.
I would have even allowed myself a “ta daaaaaa”.
Sadly, I cannot discuss the merits of volcanoes and have to write a recap, of a show I currently cannot stand.
Previously on Survivor:
The contestants were split into gender-based tribes.
The young women sunned themselves, the older women worked, the men lost the first challenge and voted out a youngster.
Basically, previously on Survivor, Survivor Amazon happened.
We begin the episode at the Lopevi camp, where the tribe is gathered around a circular arrangement of stones.
Considering they have yet to build a fire, the addition of a patio to their living quarters seems unnecessarily decorative.
It doesn’t take long for the men to begin complaining about the conditions, lead by Bubba who likens his experience to that of being a baby.
Bubba “Aye work urp ev’ry three or four minuts and crayed”.
The women of the Yasur tribe, now watching safely in the comfort of their own homes, are no doubt very happy they weren’t around him during feeding time.
The men decide to chow down on some worms, while Chris confesses that, so far, this Survivor business has been harder than he thought it would be.
Had he expected it to be this difficult I’ll charitably conclude a red sleeveless “t’ with armholes that extend to the bottom hem would not have been his main choice of upper body attire.
They turn their attention to a bout of concentrated fire lighting.
Spurred along by repeated shouts of “go dude” from Chris they do manage to create a small glow on a piece of that fuzzy coconut husk stuff.
Sarge is called over, as if his very presence will ensure combustive success.
He instantly bellows out the order to “respect the island”, while the others insist that only Chris be allowed to blow on the tiny orange ember they’ve managed to create.
I’m all for giving the island it’s due respect, but I do believe it can be done quietly.
I also think you should respect your elders and you don’t do that by shouting square in your grannies face. My point successfully made, I believe.
Over at Yasur, the women have found themselves a plantain tree and inexplicably decide to hoist the heavily siliconed Lisa up to harvest a couple of bunches.
Not since we were subjected to close-up shots of Sarah Jones puckered cleavage have I seen such a boob job filmed at such an unflattering angle.
The sac bulges up and out as she presses her body against the tree and threatens to escape and suffocate us all.
They cook up the plantains, only to discover they’re riddled with maggots.
So casual about the pig death last week, the site of a few maggots and a couple of sleepless nights has left shepherdess Dolly teary eyed.
She descends into a hormonal mass, crying, hugging and generally feeling quietly sorry for herself.
Sadly, Eliza isn’t able to articulate her feelings via the medium of a single tear and a warm hug like Dolly, she needs to vocalize.
Eliza – It’s like totally like being in prison or something.
Admittedly, the imminent threat of a lesbian pass is looming, but I don’t think most correctional facilities offer the opportunity to make $1m at the culmination of your stretch.
Twila has little sympathy for the more delicate of the women.
Her advice, shut up, eat the maggots and go back to the Holiday Inn if you don’t like it here.
The fact that she thinks the Holiday Inn is the pinnacle of luxury makes me wonder how often she manages to escape the confines of her doublewide.
Over at Lopevi, John P has decided to take Bubba aside to discuss his position within the tribal hierarchy.
Bubba confirms that yes, John’s name was bought up as a possible boot before the last TC. While Bubba concedes that everyone in the game is a threat, John’s combination of good looks, physical strength and lack of progeny makes him particularly formidable.
John locks him in an angry icy stare, like myself, unable to figure out why he’d be any less of a threat if he had children.
Yasur file into the challenge area first.
As they crane their necks to see which Lopevi was booted, Jeff makes it easy for them by declaring that Brook has been sent to loser lodge.
Ami seems pleased as the booting of any guy increases her changes of pulling, while Twila seems perplexed at the guy’s decision to vote off their water source.
The tribe mates will be numbered one to eight and lined up on a girder width balance beam.
The object of the challenge is three fold –
1) To make your way past your tribe mates, in order, until you are all on the platform at the end of your beam.
2) To provide endless girl-on-girl rubbing action shots.
3) To give the men very little chance of winning.
Now, I’m not exactly a raging feminist and I have no intention of going “Garofalo” on your collective behinds, but I am somewhat offended that for the second week running there is a balancing element to the challenge.
That, coupled with the obvious advantage smaller body size provides, favours the women and I would like to think they can win a challenge that wasn’t clearly designed to do that.
We’re a short hop away from, “this weeks immunity will go to whichever tribe collectively has the greater number of legs”.
We’re on a slippery slope my friends. A pig lard smeared greasy pole if you will.
As usual, yes Jeff, they do want to know what they’re playing for, and the sight of the fabric covered pile of goodies triggers squeals in the traditionally more squealy of the females. One even lets out a “da da da da da da da da da”, that I feel certain is supposed to be a simulation of a drum roll, but sounds more like the lamest machine gun you could possibly imagine. It’s designed more to hurt your feelings than kill you.
Jeff swishes away the fabric and reveals, one hammock, two pillows and three blankets.
The women squeal. The men know they won’t have to calculate how eight of them can best share three blankets and two pillows without having to look at, touch, or be in uncomfortably close proximity to each other, because due to fact they won’t be able to do it during the challenge, they won’t be winning this anyway.
Jeff gives the “GO’ and Eliza for the ladies and Brady for the men begin to make their way along the beams and it’s immediately evident how awkward the whole experience is making some of the men feel. Suddenly that yearly physical doesn’t seem quite so torturous. If they can get through this challenge I feel a few corners might have been turned and at least one or two of the guys might look their doctor square in the eye when he latches onto their plums and implores them to cough.
Eliza and Brady make their way to the platform for their respective teams and send Julie and John K on their way.
As the women make their way across, it becomes evident to me that Bubba is the major stumbling block to the progress of the men.
John makes his way past John P, Lea and Chad more than once, but each time he tries to circumnavigate Bubba, he pushes him gently into the water, displaying the kind of “in touch with my feminine side” tenderness that flies in the face of his apparent desire to ensure John doesn’t touch him. Bubba is a seething mass of contradictions, which the very fact that nothing about him screams “complex” is testament to alone.
The challenge continues to the point where only Mia is left to make her way to the platform for the women. She decides to dance her way over, in a kind of point, step, point, step move that Jeff incorrectly labels a moonwalk.
The ladies whoop and holler, but thankfully the flint they won last week has ensured constant fire in camp and resulted in more sound sleeps, giving them very little time to expand their repertoire of organized chants.
Standard “whoo hoos” have to suffice.
After the break we join the after challenge post mortem at the Lopevi camp.
John K identifies and laughs off the logistical nightmare that would have been Lea trying to pass by Travis. The unfairness of the challenge does not appear to be a major concern to the men, but for Rory, the manner in which the women celebrated their victory is.
He incorrectly identifies Twila as the dancer, barking out a stern “whatever” when Lea tells him it was Mia. He spins his left index finger in multiple tiny circles with an accompaniment of “uuuuuhhhhhhhh” to illustrate the offending dance move. Now, it was no moonwalk I’ll grant you, but Mia busted a more cohesive move than Rory is giving her credit for.
Sarge has no problem with the celebration and his reasonable “they were happy” and “we’d have done the same” comments are met with steely defiance from Rory.
Apparently celebrating a win via the medium of dance is classless to Rory and he doesn’t accept that the men would have done it.
He’s probably right. Since they could barely bring themselves to touch each other during the challenge I highly doubt they have it in them to go “interpretive”.
Rory is in no mood to let the matter lie. He demands to know whether Sarge would accept celebratory dancing from a victorious man and answers with a “No” before Sarge has time to process the question.
I wonder what Rory would do if a man did dance at him.
I think it could descend into fisticuffs.
“He cabbage-patched right in my face officer”, or perhaps a dance off would ensue.
West Side Story made real.
While Rory wanders off aimlessly along the beach, Sarge rallies the remainder of his alliance and a sundry John to discuss Rory being booted next.
He’s been grumbling about the celebrating for hours and Sarge thinks it’s divisive to the team to have someone so vocal in his opposition to dance in the tribe, particularly since Sarge has a dazzling pair of “jazz hands” to unleash when the men do come up with a victory.
The Yasur tribe indulge in an early morning group grooming session.
Scout braids Lisa’s hair while Lisa sings a ridiculous little morning song.
“Good morning, good morning. Hello Mrs. Sparrow, hello Mr. Sun. Hello gigantic fake boobs”.
At this point, spurred on by his unnatural blood lust, MB releases a chicken into the camp and Lisa, Twila and Dolly give chase.
Lisa spots the bird and marvels that “he’s laying an egg”.
Perhaps this is some chicken/sea horse hybrid.
Twila stands over the chicken and encouraged by Julie to give it a “good stab”, makes her lunge, misses, but does manage to raid the nest and swipe the bird’s five eggs.
The eggs are put into a pot of boiling water over the fire.
The log supporting the pot breaks, sending the pot and contents into the fire.
That, my friends, is what we call Karma Electra.
After Ami gives one of the longest confessionals in Survivor history, in which she lays out the specifics of the very obvious age divide at the Yasur camp, we see Twila and Dolly aligning to boot out the younger women first.
They seal the deal via the execution of the much overused and completely legally insignificant pinky swear.
So, either Dolly will vote for Twila or Twila will vote for Dolly if the women lose the IC this episode, mark my words.
Chad and Rory collect the tree mail, which directly references their failure to utilize the spirit stone Brady shimmied to retrieve during the opening ceremony.
They decide to strap the stone to a pole and plant the pole in a hole on the beach.
Not sure what they’re hoping to achieve, but it does start to rain, which in and of itself would make me think the stone has enough power that I wouldn’t want to toss it idly in a corner of my shelter again.
Showing a distinct and disturbing lack of originality, the producers are about to subject us to yet another blindfold challenge.
The one gem that could be gleaned from All-Stars is that we were witness to the definitive blindfold challenge and a stumbling performance from Big Tom that shall never be rivaled.
The tribe mates will be tied together in three groups this time, which in my opinion is not sufficient a variation to make the holding of this challenge acceptable yet again.
Sarge will be the eyes for Lopevi, which I consider a decent choice considering the extensive shouting experience he has as a sarge.
The women make a fatal error though in sitting out Dolly and leaving the direction to Scout. Dolly if nothing else, has experience in herding sheep, which involves at least some shouting, would surely be more beneficial to the tribe than Scout’s who strikes me as the type who prefers to sit down and discuss things rather than raise her voice.
Jeff goes on to explain that the tribes have to retrieve 12 pairs of puzzle pieces and complete three puzzles, in order. First tribe to do this wins immunity.
The men are once again also playing for their flint.
Jeff gets the challenge underway and we soon see that Bubba will be directing using the standard 12 hour clock method, with Scout preferring the combination of “go this way” and hand signals.
Bubba and Brady walk into one of the female pairings, causing one of the women to let out an unnecessarily loud “owwwww”.
Two of the women’s groups walk into each other head on and Scout tries to untangle them with the helpful direction to “come on, come over here”.
JP and JK walk into a tree. Sarge tries to get them back on course by shouting for them to go to 9o’clock.
They fall over and he instructs them to go to 6 o’clock, which would require the kind of break dancing move that it’s virtually impossible to execute on a softly yielding, sandy surface.
Confident that as she’d tied to Lisa buoy-boobs the water is a very safe place for her to be, Eliza follows Scout’s instructions and ventures in until she is past waist deep.
Fearing she has forgotten them, they then call out to Scout to provide further directions, who is furiously signaling for them to go thatta way.
The men soon begin working well together and go into a strong lead.
Eliza asks Scout if they need to go back into the water to get any other pieces.
Scout says no. A close up on two more of their pieces in the water confirms Scout’s fatal error.
With a single pair of pieces left to retrieve, Sarge has the Chad, Rory, Chris threesome remain at base camp so as to not complicate and overcrowd the play zone.
It is at this point that Rory decides to class up the proceedings by repeatedly shouting “Lopeeeeevi Lopeeeeevi”.
Much to my amusement and relief, Sarge barks at him to shut the eff up.
With the last pair of pieces retrieved, Jeff tells the guys to remove their blindfolds and begin assembling the puzzles.
The Yasur’s return with their 11th piece and Scout completely bypasses Jeff and tells her tribe to remove their blindfolds.
Disgusted that his authority has been circumvented, Jeff orders the blindfolds to be reapplied, but in the spirit of making these challenges as easy as possible for the women, does point out exactly where their remaining pair of pieces is.
As usual, the men somewhat fumble their way through the puzzle assembly, but thanks to the lead they managed to forge and Scout’s error, they complete the challenge first.
The men of course, celebrate with the Rory approved jumping, hugging and whooping. Classy.
Pre TC Scramble.
As we know, this segment of the show is generally used to establish the identities of at least two at risk persons in a bid to make the tribal council at least somewhat suspenseful.
Lat week, however, we saw Dolly go from young girl alliance mate to older woman alliance mate to swing vote to possibly bootee in the space of about five minutes.
It was “Christy”, with a flourish.
This series is already dragging Amazon and on.
The scramble begins with Eliza in tears, clearly having forgotten she’s in a tribe of all women and the crying jag is unlikely to work.
Julie the self-confessed “Rupert-a-like” joins Dolly by the water’s edge where the she is roughly scrubbing her face with an exfoliating mixture of water and sharp sand.
Julie suggests Twila would be a good boot, Dolly seems unconvinced, so Julie randomly suggest Leann, which Dolly seems to go for.
“Dolly’s a really sweet person”, confesses Julie in the kind of dull, monotonous voice I find impossible to believe is an aid to the mentoring of even the most mildly stroppy teen.
Dolly moves to Ami and inexplicably decides to tell her that Leann is now the young ones main target.
Dolly then moves on to further discuss the boot with Scout.
It occurs to me that never before has anyone been quite so active with their pre TC time.
I’ve hosted parties where I haven’t felt the compulsion to circulate on this scale.
Ami tells Leann and Eliza that Dolly is planning to boot Leann first and save Eliza for next time. Suddenly it all becomes clear to the ladies, why not just vote out Dolly?
Why not indeed?
Jeff gives them the old “fire is life’ spiel and waits while the Survivor’s light their torches and arrange themselves on the waiting stumps.
Scout actually steps up and admits that she was to blame for the challenge loss.
Despite her honesty and the fact that in large part she was to blame and she’s the eldest and she isn’t exactly in peak physical form, she was never once mentioned as a possible boot choice.
I imagine the old witch has placed some bizarre enchantment on the rest of the tribe whereby they feel the no doubt nightly “let’s talk and discuss our feelings” sessions she holds are of some benefit.
Jeff cannot resist asking the usual workload question and selects Twila as the person he would like to answer it as she is bound to be a worker and might be able to really out her foot in her mouth and piss off the younger women.
She negotiates the question reasonably skillfully, naming herself, Scout, Ami and Leann as the workers, but commenting that that everyone does “do stuff in their areas”, which is generally a fairly diplomatic, if not honest or particularly accurate response.
Mia’s massive eye roll marks the most sustained effort she has put into anything all day.
Before sending them off to vote, Jeff offers Dolly the chance to hammer a final nail into her coffin, which she does by identifying herself as the swing vote.
We see Julie vote for Leane and Mia for Leigh Ann, which only serves to confirm Leann will be going nowhere this week..
While Mia shakes her head in disbelief, Jeff reveals the final vote for Dolly and sends her on her way.
Next Time on Survivor:
Mia shouts at Twila.
Lea suggests Rory might not be pulling his full pot-belly worth of chores.
Double TC week.