You know, I really did approach this recap with every intention of being far more positive this week.
I once had a dream I was being propositioned by Courtney Love.
This has nothing to do with the recap as such; I just wanted to give you a little insight into why there is often no room to think positively. Let your guard down and Courtney is all over you. Far better to maintain the toxic cocktail of sarcasm and cynicism. It makes it much easier to get through this show and, according to my dream, Courtney don’t like the bolshy ones.
Following the departure of Dolly at the latest TC, the Yasur tribe makes it’s collective way back to camp to begin the essential early round of finger pointing.
Mia, who I have taken and instant and unshakeable dislike to, of course leads the call for Eliza to explain her decision. She would, she’s horrible I tell you.
I don’t dislike lightly.
Mia, along with her confrontational nature and hideous nose piercing, displays a lack of understanding of the game of Dolly-sized proportions when she insists that Eliza could at least have told them what she planned to do.
I could go with a different style of play this season. Everyone has to be completely open and honest at all times. A softer-gentler version of the game might just be what the series needs. I could accept such a suggestion if it didn’t come from Mia and fly in the face of her obviously openly hostile persona.
But, enough of her…for now.
We begin the day at the Lopevi camp, where, despite being on the island for a week, the men are still launching themselves into shelter building with full gusto.
One particularly sturdy looking piece of bamboo falls casualty to the inadequacies of the “about this long” system, coming up too short to bridge the intended gap.
Four different Lopevi’s voice their own confirmation that the bamboo is indeed too short, clearly all too Type A to simply take each other’s word for it.
Meanwhile, Rory has gone A.W.O.L. and Sarge, naturally, is the first to notice and apparently, according to the complete lack of response to his “Where’s Rory?” question, the only one to care.
We cut to Rory, who has on his latest expeditions, has happened upon a citrus tree.
He scrumps a fruit and after peeling and tasting his bounty, sings praise to vitamin C.
Sarge, dissatisfied with the cleansing rush of merely confessing his main beefs with Rory, decides to go for the full colonic and confront him with his accusations of not working hard enough and not being enough of a team player… ed-ness.
Sarge immediately takes Rory aside when he trundles back to the campsite.
Sarge – I’m used to being in charge of 40 people, I see what everyone is doing.
Clearly already aware that his repeated walks might cause him to fall victim to accusations that he’s a work-shy fop, Rory immediately asks if Sarge is saying he isn’t pulling his weight.
Sarge, appears somewhat taken aback that Rory was able to instantly decipher his code and meekly counters with, “well you do go on a lot of walks”.
“This is why I go on walks”, responds Rory, suddenly producing one of the oranges in a perfect silent counter to Sarge’s lazy ass accusation.
“Uh, you found that?” fumbles Sarge.
I know I’ve taken some flack for being cynical about this season, but how much better would it have been if Rory could have honestly said, “No, I didn’t find it. I’m entirely powered by citrus juices and whenever I have too much pulp on deck I have no option but to walk it off”?
I know you’re all nodding your approval.
Rory is unimpressed by Sarge’s attitude, confessing that he doesn’t need to have orders dictated to him because he’s a grown ass man.
Why he singles out his ass for special consideration here is beyond me, but I am intrigued by his choice of phrase and temporarily amused by my own mental vision of a fully-grown man with a baby-sized backside.
John P, who thinks the obvious rift in the alliance of five, might cause them to look to him to replace Rory, views the exchange from close quarters.
He insists that Sarge is the decision maker in the alliance.
It’s insightful observations like this that will serve him well throughout his stay in the game.
We head to Yasur, where Mia decides today would be the perfect day to go hunting for food. Much as I have come to dislike her, I cannot find reason to fault her suggestion. Damn.
In pursuit of tribal harmony, Julie decides that she should inform Mia of possible rumblings concerning the output of some of the tribe members, while reclining in the hammock they won last week
She has used her own power to create a nice swing on her mesh relaxation device, so it’s not all just lazing around for Julie
Mia instantly adopts a stance in reaction to this news that is at once aggressive and defensive and causes Twila to suspend her rhythmic machete sharpening at once.
There then follows a screaming match between Twila and Mia that even the most highly skilled transcriber would have had no option but to report as…
Mia – Playing that card, fire, food, muuuuuhhh yahhhhhhh, yahhhhhh, maarrrrrrrr
Twila – Some do more than others, damn liar arrrrrrrrhhhhhh aaahhhhrrrr
Mia confesses that she hates Twila, Twila confesses that’s he doesn’t like Mia and just when we’re no doubt all hoping that the confessionals will mark the end of this ridiculousness, the argument starts up afresh, but on exactly the same subject
Twila thinks Mia spends all day swimming, while Mia’s version of events appears to be that she single-handedly built the shelter.
The argument comes to an uneasy close with Twila confessing that she “ain’t here to make no friends”.
When you allow for the double negative you will see that her plan is progressing rather nicely.
After the break, we’re still on day 7 and we’re still at Yasur, with Julie and Eliza as they make their way to the tree mail drop off spot
Of course, Julie takes the opportunity to grill Eliza about her voting decision of last night.
After allowing Eliza to power talk her way through an explanation, I have to congratulate Julie on her deduction that there was no promise made to form a lasting alliance.
Despite my best efforts, when it comes to Eliza’s ramblings I’m only catching about one word in every three, so Julie managing to glean anything over and above the basic gist is most impressive.
The tree mail comes in the form of a small wooden gate, which Eliza generously decides to carry at bosom level affording the cameraman the opportunity to film a legitimate boob shot, possibly for the first time in his Survivor career
On their way back to the camp they are met by Mia, who displays her own special brand of persuasion by imploring Eliza to vote with them in future with the simple, yet threatening “Dude, don’t switch” and Lisa, who appears to be there solely to allow the boobs shots to go right back to being gratuitous
Eliza reads the poem, which warns them of friendships being put on the line and informs them that the challenge will be for immunity.
Leann, who’s near booting last week was an excellent aid to reminding the recapper she is still there, is understandably nervous about another possible TC date with Jeff.
The Lopevi tribe arrive at their mat first, lead by Chad, whom the bastard cameraman does not give us a close up of, and survey the approaching Yasur’s to see who got booted.
Jeff tells them it was Dolly and thus puts a name to their conclusion that it was the “blond hot chick”.
“Why?” exclaims John P, in the most animated display of disapproval following an opposing team boot ever.
Dolly’s departure, it would seem, has caused something of a stir.
Jeff informs them that they are playing for reward and immunity, a declaration that Julie thinks worthy of applause. Julie thought knee high socks in a particularly non-fetching shade of mustard were a solid fashion choice too, so make of her applause what you will.
As the show was filmed during the summer, the producers are unaware of the shambles that was BB5, thanks to the pretzel style game plan, and throw in the first S9 twist, both tribes will be voting someone off
The news produces a “Nooooooooo” from Eliza who seemingly feels compelled to vocalize all her emotions.
The tribes will compete against each other for reward, with the winning tribe members competing against each other for individual immunity
The producers never really need any special reason to throw in a multi-part challenge, so as we would probably expect, the reward challenge will be another one.
Those who were focusing on the tree mail and not the boob, will remember that Eliza was carrying a small gate
The challenge, in brief, involves three gates or as Jeff calls them, caged walls
Wall 1 - Untie a series of planks until you can open a gate with the wall
Wall 2 – Throw grappling hooks on the end of ropes to retrieve three rings with keys in the sand Undo the locks, go through the gate
Wall 3 – Untie more knots to release poles, slide up the centre section and climb through the wall.
First tribe to get all teammates on their mat wins.
The reward is not as I originally though, a pole with a piece of burlap on top, but actually fishing gear, which will no doubt bring about the usual race to become provider should the men win.
Jeff gives them the Go and they all race to the first wall.
The men decide to fan out and attack different sections of the knot mass, the women decide it better to cluster round a small section and jostle for position on the prime knots
The men’s strategy was always going to prove superior and they duly exit the first wall in the lead.
While the women still struggle with the rope, I have to inject how utterly wonderful I think this challenge is, due to my own unnatural love of untying knots.
Give me a piece of heavily knotted string and I’ll be amused for hours.
I never claimed to be complex.
The men grab the grappling hooks and begin to throw them out in search of rings with keys.
Had I been asked to describe a grappling hook before watching this challenge I don’t think the little spiky objects they’re throwing would have sprung to my mind.
For those who are equally bemused, they are the hooks that super heroes without the power of flight always seem to use to climb buildings.
I wouldn’t have thought saving the universe required quite so many buildings to be climbed, but apparently it does and every time the hook is thrown it immediately latches onto something sturdy enough to support the hero’s body weight as he shimmies up the rope.
These hooks are very small though, so if saving the universe ever becomes the responsibility of a small field mouse or vole, we know exactly where they can find the hooks they’ll need to climb all necessary buildings
Bubba and JP take responsibility for retrieving the hooks for the men and JP soon snags two, before the complicated process of both throwing the hook and maintaining a grip on the end of the rope proves too much for him as the hook, rope and all flies over the wall.
The Lopevi manage to retrieve the hook and the final key and move onto wall three.
They soon have the gate cleared and, to the accompaniment of Sarge barking orders, make their way to the mat before the women have made any inroads on the third wall.
The women take a seat, while Jeff explains the second part of the challenge
Each tribe mate has seven ladder rungs buried in sand in their own individual lane.
The object is to find the seven rungs and place them into uprights to form a ladder
First person to do this and climb the ladder wins immunity.
Jeff gives the Go again and the men begin burrowing in the sand
Cad, Sarge and John find pieces quickly, while Rory, who has decided to use his feet, is still rung free despite being knee-deep in sand.
Chad finds all his rungs moments before John K, but cleverly decides to allow John to win immunity.
Ok, Ok, he stuffed up and John K beat him. I admit it.
The John K win is met a tiny round of applause, so polite it makes Emily Post look like she wipes her nose on her sleeve.
Jeff drops the next bombshell, John will be going to the Yasur camp.
The women begin to whoop, perhaps suspecting they have another permanent team mate, perhaps finally giving in to their inner Shawna and reveling in the idea that there will finally be some testosterone in the camp, other than Twila’s.
John will spend the day with the Yasur’s and meet back up with his Lopevi tribe at TC.
After their TC he will then stay behind and gift immunity to one of the females
Eliza’s reaction, I’m sure there was one and I’m sure it was big, did not make the final edit. Thank you MB.
Yasur Pre-TC Scramble.
As the Yasur’s and John walk back to camp, we are subject to a John confessional where he reiterates the course of events for the afternoon and two TC’s that will be held that evening
He successfully manages to articulate the rules, his responsibility and identifies that the twist could have possibly far reaching ramifications for both tribes.
I’m almost left to conclude that he is smarter than I gave him credit for until he illustrates just how much of an impact the twist could have via the use of the phrase, “big time”.
John splits the females into those who did and didn’t vote for Dolly and orders those who did to follow him to another part of the beach.
I am disappointed to report that instead of telling him to “shove it” the Dolly voters obediently follow along and calmly sit down so their grilling can commence
John’s Dolly-based strategy and questioning seems to speak more of someone looking to discover how likely he is to score if he gets sent to loser lodge than someone trying to decide who to bestow immunity upon.
Eliza, of course, decides to answer for the group and opens by accusing the other four women of planning to vote her off
Ami immediately insists that she take the comment back, which she does, by replacing it with 75 other comments.
She confesses that her main aim is to ensure that John is not left with the impression that those five Dolly voters are an alliance.
She further goes on to explain that she felt threatened that Dolly would vote for her, which John interprets to mean she was playing both sides, special John-speak for easy.
Essential information in hand, he goes to speak to the other group to see if Dolly had even mentioned him at all. You know, just causally.
John then goes to speak with the three other ladies whose only request is he not give immunity to either Eliza or Twila
He’s beyond caring at this point and zones out as Eliza approaches and talk turns to who should be voted off.
As the women squabble, he stands on the sidelines waiting for the opportunity to ask whether Dolly said she liked dark-haired guys.
Lopevi Pre-TC Scramble.
Over at Lopevi, John P has correctly identified his TC vulnerability, but incorrectly thinks Sarge is the man to approach to try and turn the tide in favour of the younger guys.
So, if Sarge is a good man to approach because there is conflict between him and Rory, one would assume that Rory was a good person to approach for the same reason.
John apparently makes no such assumption and it’s left to Brady to approach the military man with the new plan.
Sarge approaches Chris who shoots the fledgling plan down in flames.
No doubt TC will illustrate which of them is really in control.
The men set off for TC, minus their torches.
Lopevi Tribal Council.
When the men arrive at TC, their torches are lit and waiting for them. Curious.
The men arrive for TC and are reunited with their lit torches.
John K bounces in giving them a two fingered “howdy” style salute, which no one returns.
Jeff opens the question by firing a tame one at the lovely Chad.
He responds by mentioning the friendships in the tribe.
That’s it, nice and safe, no need to make yourself a target.
Brady singles out Sarge as someone who people might have an incorrect impression of, describing him as personable.
Sarge seems content with this assessment.
Friendly, but not too friendly.
Don’t ask don’t tell.
John K launches into an explanation of his “Dolly/Non Dolly” tactic at the female camp, which Brady seems far too impressed by.
Jeff asks the group rhetorically, to identify themselves if they knew John was this bright. John is flattered by the backhanded compliment.
JP gives a corporate training day explanation of his voting strategy, skill sets, strength, meshing, moving forward etc.
Sarge describes the person being voted off as a casualty of war further instilling in my mind the impression he’s going a little too far with the whole military thing.
I can only recoil in horror at the planning that would go into a simple family game night in Casa De Sarge. Watch synchronization can likely zap the fun out of even the most competitive game of Snakes and Ladders.
Once the men have all cast their ballots, Jeff reveals the votes.
One for Rory, one for JP, another for JP and another for Rory.
This is followed by another for the mysterious Royry and two more for JP
With the votes at two for Rory, four for JP and one for Royry, Jeff completely blows any element of surprise before reading the final vote when he tells us that the recipient will be the third person voted off, the only person it then could be is JP.
JP is sent on his way and goes graciously with a wave.
In his final words he claims that he was not Outwitted, Outplayed or Outlasted, but as the votes reveal he cast the vote for ROYRY, he was outspelled.
Yasur Tribal Council.
The women file into the TC area, and store their lit torches in the appropriate area. Curiouser
Jeff wastes mo time in asking John K to reveal who will be the immunity recipient.
He takes a direct route to Ami and bestows the necklace on her because he’s seen her Playboy pictures, but makes up some feeble reasoning about her being safe anyway and his decision allowing the tribe to realty work out who they want to boot off
Always eager to exploit any tribal conflict, Jeff forces us all to relive the argument between Mia and Twila, allowing Mia to speak then giving Twila the chance to respond.
Julie then digs the knife in a little deeper into Twila by describing her lack of people skills as so frustrating they left her frustrated.
Ami steps in to try and smooth the waters between Mia and Twila by suggesting Twila try to enjoy more girly stuff with the youngsters.
Get your hair braided, let yourself go. Girls are fun, lots of fun.
After much eye rolling and lack of self-awareness from Mia, the vote gets underway.
Jeff excuses himself so tallying can take place and when he returns to read the votes, Mia is on the wrong end of a 5-3 score.
Eliza finally manages to express herself no verbally, with a wide mouth gasp, which clearly screamed “Ohhhhhh sh1t”.
Next time on Survivor:
Brady catches a tiny fish.
Eliza finds the kettle and calls it black.