As has become customary, we begin the day in the company of the tribe that last visited Tribal Council.
The Morgan’s are minus the aptly named “Skinny” Ryan, and Andrew is surveying the carnage of his tribe.
He notes there are now only six people in his tribe, he keeps looking round for two more, at which point the editing team decide to cut to a shot of the somewhat busty Tijuana – nice. The rest of your tribe has gone Andrew, you voted them out. Focus dammit.
If their morale gets any lower Jiff will have to provide them with a treasure map to find it.
Constantly true to her profession, Darrah is laying on her back in the shelter, her arms folded across her chest in the classic coffin pose. I can recall the little corn pone having a single line on camera so far, the stunningly succinct “thass traybes sawl beeches” following Sandra’s raid on their tarp last week, and really fear a Sarah Jones patented “I’m saving my energy for the challenges” strategy.
Lill offers up an audible prayer for her husband and her troop, all of who are safely back home and her new buddy Ryan who is currently at loser lodge trying to persuade Nicole to sleep with him. “Come on Nicole, when are you ever going to have another chance with a guy that has less muscle definition that you?”
Can’t fault you on the gesture Lill, but as you’re likely next for the boot you might want to start praying for yourself… or for Andrew to get a clue…or for Osten to not eff up.
Lill confesses that her main aim is to try to prove that she is more worthy of remaining in the game then Darrah, who she explains is sitting under the shelter. We cut to Darrah who has now shuffled into the recovery position, what she has to recover from, other than a nap isn’t clear.
Now, I would think that one of the “jobs” of a leader would be to bolster the self-esteem of the tribe. Andrew proves why his leadership has borne no challenge fruit by effectively challenging Lill to come up with reasons why he shouldn’t think of her as more crap than Darrah. She has stamina and endurance Lill. She’s just resting up after scaling the floor of the shelter, abandoning Tenzing Norgay somewhere in the foothills.
The subject moves to Osten, with Lill expressing her displeasure that he quit last episode. Andrew explains that there is a difference between pulling the trigger and quitting and actually quitting. I see what you mean Andrew. There is a trigger, and there is the word actually. Obviously the two things are oceans apart.
I imagine it wasn’t all that difficult for you to get time off work was it Andrew?
We join Osten, fresh from a bout of sitting on his arse on the beach, in time to hear his observation that the tribe has not won any challenges. I am impressed that he does appreciate the idea is to try and win and not just to see how many of the opposition you can lasso with your tackle.
He mentions wishing he was elsewhere eating fast food, the equivalent of game suicide, and we have final confirmation, if it were needed, that Osten will not be this season’s sole Survivor.
Mercifully we head over to the Drake tribe. The Morgan losers were trampling my high.
The Drakes's are a clear force to be reckoned with this season.
Like S4's Rotu "Love Tribe", but without the inappropriate touching.
Finishing up what looked to be another hearty breakfast, the discussion turns to finding the treasure. They set off in their boat with the third of the map they won last week.
Even though their digging seems random, they are locating large landmarks so even with very few directions they do at least have a decent plan for finding the treasure.
Trish decides to dig in the dry sand with a hunk of rock. This might not be the very smartest idea, I’ll give you that, but at least she’s enthusiastic, if obviously highly mistaken if she thinks the treasure would be so close to the surface you could find it with such a crude tool. Speaking of which, we have yet to see any prolonged shots of Jon, so A+ for editing.
The search proves ultimately fruitless, but it did provide a diversion from the game.
Why you need a diversion from a game you’re kicking the arse of I don’t know.
Back with the Morgan’s, tree mail has been discovered.
Blah, blah, sinking, blah, blah sleeping.
Ryan O decides that the reward is “sleeping materials”, which he interprets to mean blankets and pillows. Very perceptive Ryan, there I was thinking it’d be a bottle of Nytol and a Thai whore.
After a brief visit with the Morgan’s, we head back to the Drake island.
The mere hint that the forthcoming challenge could have a physical element , sees Jon offering to take one for the team and sit it out. His suggestion that any requirement to swim should also see Sandra viewing this one from the sidelines is met with the most volatile reaction since Alicia shook a finger in the Outback.
In defense of her swimming ability, Sandra points out she was far ahead of Jon when Jiff ordered them off the Rembrandt Van Thing on day one. Jon points out he had Michelle’s glasses in his sock so couldn’t kick his legs. Sandra takes a swipe at his doggy paddle style of swimming, obviously pooh-poohing his “is that a pair of glasses in you sock or are you just pleased to see me” explanation. Jon bites back, demanding an official adjudication of how far ahead Sandra was, considering she was able to use her entire body. Unable to provide cast iron stats, Sandra resorts to getting loud.
Jon informs her that his dad is bigger than her dad and in response, Sandra reminds him that she is rubber and he is in fact, glue.
Jon then confesses that he has a mill that says Sandra won’t be the sole Survivor… so I believe Sandra to be the winner of S7.
Hmmm, this actually looks like fun.
Jiff explains the challenge to the Survivor’s.
Each tribe will be divided into two boats, in short, the object of the game is to sink your opponents boats before they sink yours.
Each boat has eight holes, plugged by corks. Each tribe will have a large hook attached to a pole that they can use to pull out the corks, drag the opposing boats closer to them, lean down on to flood the boats, or crochet a giant rug. They also have a bucket to either bale their boat or out water on to their opponents boat. The prize, a piece of the treasure map and a $50 gift certificate to Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Although unable to persuade Sandra to sit out the challenge earlier on, Jon has clearly decided he is having no part of it and soon gets to his feet when Jiff asks who is sitting this one out. In the absence of any other volunteer, Michelle decides to join him on the sidelines.
On Jiff’s Go, the four boats head toward one another. Buckets of water are thrown in all directions. Osten decides his best plan of attack is to get to his feet. No, I don’t understand that either. He personally lists to the right, causing the boat to do the same and take on a lot of water. Trish proves handiest with the hook as she removes the first Morgan cork. Osten redeems himself by pulling a cork from Rupert’s boat, while Darrah uses the bucket to throw water directly at Rupert’s face. His giant beard soaks up bucket load after bucket load, which he proceeds to shrug off with one swish of his large hirsute head. Jiff updates the state of play by shouting out that “all boats are taking on water”. How he can tell for sure amidst the melee is questionable, but it’s a safe enough bet as each Survivor is frantically swishing in the general direction of the opposition.
At this point, the boat crewed by Osten, Lill and Tijuana, breaks away from the group.
Tijuana and Lill try to steer their way back into the thick of the action, even before Andrew orders them back over, while Osten literally just sits there performing interpretive theatre. “Tonight ladies and Gentlemen, I am ballast”.
Suddenly snapping into action, Osten hooks Burton, Sandra and Christa’s boat closer to him and pushes down on the pole with his full force, trying to make them take on water.
As this is Osten we’re talking about, he doesn’t think to ensure his weight is evenly distributed across the boat. The front, left side, what is that? Port? dips below the water line, taking the crew with it. I have to wonder whether Osten has been working the ‘roids. You have to work out to get muscles like that, yet Osten has the stamina of an five year old boy on a Saturday afternoon shopping trip, and the athletic prowess of a baby taking it’s first steps.
The final Morgan boat is left to battle it out against the two Drake boats. Despite having Andrew, and Ryan O on board, the Morgan boat is no match for the force that is Rupert, as he leans down on the hook and forces them under water and out of the game.
Trish throws her arms up in celebration and I note a distinct lack of armpit hair. They’ve been there a week and I cannot detect even the merest hint of stubble. Could it be after six full seasons it has finally occurred to one of the women to wax her pits before leaving home?
Jiff reminds them that in addition to their bedding and map, one Drake will get to visit the Morgan camp in order to loot and item the following day.
We cut to the break with the Drakes celebrating while Morgan heads are hung in shame and disappointment.
Back from the break, we find ourselves at Morgan camp on Night 7.
Of course, they’re all mopey, cursing their bad luck and wondering what the Drake person will pirate from them.
Andrew informs us that they are even more depressed to lose the bedding, as all they ever complain about is the “sleeping facility”. Right Andrew…and people not pulling their weight… and Osten wanting to quit…and the entire Drake tribe being “beeches”.
Andrew confesses that the Morgan tribe is doubting itself. Osten doesn’t have the confidence he did in day three. Great, we shouldn’t see him going “commando” in future challenges then.
Lill decides to take positive reinforcement to the next level by telling the rest of the Morgan’s that she thinks they’re “doing fine”. That kind of pep talk may work wonders on disillusioned boy scouts Lill, but out here it’s not the taking part that counts.
Once again, we are with the Morgan tribe, as day 8 breaks.
Last night’s twangy “we are so crap” background music has been replaced with a jaunty pirate tune. Apparently the editors feel we should be aware that the Morgan is about to become a force in this game.
I’m not convinced.
We see Lill striding purposefully along the beach while the remainder of her team huddle under the shelter, no doubt bitching about their sleeping facility.
Ryan O is unimpressed with Lill’s unilateral decision to go fishing. He believes they should be working more as a team, like during challenges perhaps.
Lill has decided however, that they need food. She is tired of sand in her rice and in the absence of help she goes fishing alone…and loses another of their hooks.
She breaks the bad news to the rest of the tribe and Andrew instantly decides that even though he didn’t accompany her on the trip, the loss was the result of a substandard “fisherman’s knot”.
I hate to do this to you Lill, but the slightest suggestion that your knot work might not be all that it should be means I have to ask for another badge back. Imagine the carnage should you mistakenly decide you’re competent enough to fashion macramé plant pot holders to sell at your next troop fundraiser.
The Drake’s are so far ahead of the game that they study their latest part of the treasure map and contemplate a second assault on the hidden loot. It is decided that Christa will visit Morgan and loot their water pot. Even though two of the Morgan’s are black, Christa does show some genuine concern that she could be taking their sole water-boiling vessel. There is something highly amusing about the idea of Christa going to Morgan to steal pot.
The boat comes to take her to the Morgan camp, where Ryan O is trying to fashion a drag net for fishing. Even though he is making the net out of uh, netting, he has the nerve to try and establish himself as the tribe’s MacGyver.
Christa arrives at the camp. Obviously uncomfortable at being there, she wants to quickly take the loot and leave. Andrew makes a haphazard attempt at cross-examination but she gives no details of the Drake tribe away.
Christa confesses…”It was overwhelming, it was overwhelming. I just wanted to get out of there, I just wanted to get out of there”.
Either she has a short-term memory problem or her dad was a budgie.
Christa can’t get away from the camp quick enough and as her boat bobs along on the waves, Osten declares her to not be as dumb as she’s making out and Andrew says that the Morgan’s are probably mentally stronger because they’ve faced defeat.
He manages to maintain a straight face when he says it too.
Back from the break and Lill of the Morgan’s has discovered the latest tree mail.
It consists of a miniature pyramid made of twigs and two flags on a pole, one in the tribe’s colours and one pirate flag.
Choose smallest, choose strongest, and easy this will be.
You get to stay home, the others get TC.
A day without that trip is like cake with lots of frostin’.
It could be yours, just don’t put your faith in Osten.
Andrew decides the best way to repair Osten’s fractured psychological state is by pointing out that the fate of the entire tribe rests with him.
When you get home Andrew, you might want to see if HSN will give you a refund on those Tony Robbins tapes.
Darrah wastes her one line this episode pointing out that Drake has eight tribe mates to Morgan’s six and we head off to the IC.
The tribes rendezvous on Shark Beach.
Thirty feet versions of their mini-pyramids are nestled in the water.
Christa starts to salivate at the thought of a good old southern style lynching.
Jiff retrieves the immunity idol from Shawn and launches into an explanation of the challenge.
Michelle and Darrah are each suspended by a harness at the apex of their teams pyramid. The job of the rest of the tribe is to grab hold of the rope attached to the harness and ensure they hold up their tribe mate the longest. Every five minutes, someone will drop out until eventually, only the strength of Rupert and Osten will be preventing their tribe mate from plunging into the water, and the tribe as a whole from a date at TC.
I have to say the production crew has rolled out some imaginative challenges this episode.
As this is a strength based challenge, the Drakes might have come to regret sitting out Burton, were if not for the fact that Andrew confessed losing another challenge would mean the Morgan tribe was “finished”. Foreshadowing at it’s finest.
Knowing that the person first in line will get to bail the quickest, Jon obviously takes up position there.
A tribe mate lets go of the rope every five minutes as instructed until just Rupert and Osten remain. Jiff the bastard, tries to skeeve them out by talking about bugs crawling over them. Such petty torments obviously have no effect on Rupert and we saw in episode one that Osten will only react if brushed by a plant that he thinks is a snake.
The Survivor’s shout encouragement to their dangling team mates, who can no longer feel their lower limbs.
After 90 minutes, Jiff tells the reclining duo that they must now get to their feet.
Rupert comes up with an awkward looking squat and wrap combo, but it works well for him until the two hour mark when Jiff tells the guys they now have to stand on their feet and bare the full weight of their team mate. No more wrapping the rope round themselves or the hitching post in front of them and no leaning on the hitching post.
Jiff warns Osten repeatedly to stop leaning on his post, but the warnings are soon no longer required, as Osten lets the rope slide out of his grasp.
The Drakes swarm Rupert in celebration and Andrew approaches Osten to offer a few words of support like only he can. Something along the lines of “you suck ass”.
On Morgan beach the challenge post mortem begins.
There really wasn’t a whole lot more they could have done to win the challenge according to Andrew. He’s probably right, Rupert takes a lot of beating.
Alliances are clearly beginning to form within the tribe as evidenced by Andrew’s decision to give his team nicknames. He discusses who to boot with Rhino, OT and T, and when they decide that “D” is capable of doing everything Scoutmaster Mrs. Lillian Morris does, it seems clear which way the vote will go.
Andrew takes Lill aside so she can listen to his pearls of wisdom while they inexplicably separate a length of rope into two thinner, weaker lengths of rope.
Andrew informs her that the person who is voted out is the weakest and they shouldn’t mind as they should put the needs of the group first. Yes they should, if you happen to be living in some underground, post nuclear holocaust biosphere. If you’ve just been denied the chance to win $1,000,000 you should be allowed to be pissed right off.
Forever the King of subtlety, Andrew asks Lill how she would feel about leaving tonight.. T takes a leaf out of his book by posing pretty much the same question to Darrah, who shrugs some and says they should all try to win the next challenge. Stunning.
Jiff informs the Morgan’s that he’s about to call Guinness because this is the crappiest tribe ever.
He questions them intently, trying to find any indication that they give a shit about their current predicament. They appear not to, as each question is met with a peppy, “we’re strong, we’ll win the next challenge” style replies.
Darrah knows she’s not much use around the camp, but thinks she’s great in the challenges. Told you that was her strategy.
Jiff continues to raise his eyebrows with each mindlessly political answer.
Even if Guinness isn’t interested in the losing streak, Dean Cain might be willing to do a feature on their banal responses.
Jiff goes off to tally the votes and informs us that Lill is outta there.
Her flame will not extinguish first try, which actually could genuinely be foreshadowing according to spoilers.
Jiff tells the rest of the tribe to get their torches and get out of his sight.
Next Week On Survivor:
The Drake’s consider throwing a challenge.
Rupert continues to blur the line between “troubled teens mentor” and pirate.
Osten rediscovers his lack of swimming talent.