Hi again! Welcome back to Survivor: Micronesia, where last week we met a group of show fans and watched them kick the asses of a group of “favorites” from previous seasons, although all anyone is going to remember is that Jonny Fairplay engineered his own ouster so he could go out on his own terms and screw with other people’s heads.
This week we’ll see if the Fans’ victory was a one-off or if they actually possess any Survivor skills. A hint, a teaser if you will: some of them possess different survival skills than others.
I’ve Only Been Watching Survivor For 10 Years, How’s This Fire Thingy Work?
We kick off with the Favorites back at camp the night of Fairplay’s exit. Eliza was afraid something would change and she’d be going home. Jonathan speculates that there was too much going on for Fairplay. He’s privately not pleased, as it screws up his own plans, but says the Faves should be able to win, because everyone there has done this before.
Over at the Fans camp, they talk about getting organized. They need shelter, they need to find water, and someone complains that something smells funky. They’ve got flint now, so Alexis tries to start a fire, confident it will work immediately. And she does get a flame. Which quickly sputters out. What ensues is a lengthy montage of the men of the tribe, primarily Joel, trying and failing to get another flame off that flint. Apparently it’s not as easy to use as it looks. This surprises me of so-called “Fans.” What were they fans OF, the bits where women’s bathing suits came off in challenges? Did they not practice using a flint at home? I would. It’s just like how I get irritated when people go on The Amazing Race without learning to drive a stick-shift. It’s not all about being able to manipulate your team, people! Learn. To use. The tools. You expect to be provided. Yeesh.
While the fire debacle is going on, Kathy’s off bitching that they really need to be building a shelter, and Tracy says the men are wasting all the flint. Joel mutters about how people aren’t doing any work, they’re just yapping, and eventually he and Kathy come to a head when he yells at her to stop running her mouth and just build the damn shelter already if it’s that important to her, he’s busy trying to start a fire. Mikey says there’s drama already.
Kathy and Tracy decide well, they’ll go clear out a nearby cave and sleep there. But Jason’s already there, he tells us they didn’t accomplish anything all day, and he tells them no, it’s his “habitat” and they can’t have it. I’d have expected either woman to laugh in his face and tell him, “You can’t tell me where I can and can’t sleep, you don’t own the cave, little boy,” but instead Kathy goes off and cries. Tracy says she’s not going to fight with these kids, that they hate her and Kathy and Chet. Kathy feels shunned. “It just makes you relive things in your life, high school or whatever, when you didn’t fit in,” she sobs.
Finally those three decide they’ll build their own little shelter by making a lean-to on a tree. Tracy has construction experience, I believe. So they go do that, and about that time Jason starts looking for the machete and realizes the three outcasts have it. “Tell me we’re not divided,” Joel says.
The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name
Over at the Favorites camp, people are fishing. Jonathan says they were disorganized in the last challenge. He hopes the Fans slept poorly and are behind on the food curve, because they’re doing great on the food over at the Favorites camp. Ozzy has found some sort of big spiny animal and is prying slimy meat out of it.
Ozzy also tells us he’s started to become “really attracted to Amanda.” She’s cute, she’s beautiful, and he wants to stay away from that because if the group picks up on it, he’ll have a target on his back.
Speaking of the camp’s flirtations, Parvati is directing James in the art of knocking down coconuts. She says it’s so easy to flirt with him because “he’s just so cute.”
Jonathan points to James and Parvati and asks Amanda if it’s love. Amanda tells us she thinks Ozzy is cute, and yeah it’s a couple-y alliance, but that they have to be careful because she doesn’t want it to screw up her game.
Back at the Fans camp, the Outcasts have built a lean-to, and someone asks how they did it in no time at all. The others seem impressed and talk about burying the hatchet and building a shelter for the others. Tracy thinks she’s earned a little bit of respect. But she also wants fire and some water. “If I don’t get some water in me, I’m going to die,” she says.
Mikey finally gets a spark off the flint, and it seems to catch. Everyone’s excited. They boil water and someone hoists the biggest clam thing I’ve ever seen. They eat, they’re happy. They say the dynamic of the tribe seems to have been turned around.
Player School: From 101 to Graduate Level in Two Short Lessons
It appears that Mikey has a tattoo of a ticket stub on his back. He tells Mary it’s because he goes to a lot of ballgames. What the hell? You’re putting something IN YOUR SKIN FOREVER that’s supposed to represent your life in some way, and it’s a ticket stub? It basically says, “I spend my life watching others play games.” I’m not terribly impressed. Mikey tells us he’s definitely flirting with Mary, she’s cute and friendly and funny, and he wants her to trust him. “If I can use my flirtatious ability to get her in my back pocket, I’m going to use it,” he says. There’s an interesting image.
Joel, watching all this, is troubled. Not only by Mikey’s obvious style – he calls it “right out of Player School 101” – but by its implications for Mikey’s alliances. He plans to keep his eye on that. How do you get into Player School, anyway? Is there are minimum SAT score? GPA? Are there essays? Recommendation letters? The imagination boggles. “Dear Dean Playa: I highly recommend Mikey for Player School, as he has excelled at Basics of Flirting, Advanced Pick-Up Lines, and Not Calling Girls Back Immediately If At All 202. Additionally, he has gone beyond the classroom requirements through his thesis, Winning Allies By Picking Insects Out of Girls’ Hair On Islands.”
Anyway, Mikey’s advances towards Mary look positively grade-school-playground compared to Player Grad School over at the Faves camp. Because despite all those earlier protestations about keeping their attraction hidden from the group, and also despite all the lessons they should know by now about “sleeping in a shelter with 10 people” and “CBS cameras are equipped with night vision,” Ozzy and Amanda are literally, physically making out right bloody there in the shelter while others sleep, or try to, around them. Dumbasses. We’re not just talking a little “I’m cold, spoon me,” no – there are tongues involved.
It awakens Cirie, who tells us she heard “the sounds of jungle love.” She goes and talks to Jonathan, who is also frustrated by the stupidity of hooking up in a nest of people like that. “Go get a hotel room” he says, and then slowly intones his lesson for the stupids: “There might be somebody awake. We are sleeping together in a cave.”
He tells Cirie he’s afraid of the Flirty Four. Cirie says two couples separately isn’t the problem, it’s all four together. She thinks that alliance needs to be dismantled. Jonathan takes the chance to tell her she should think about working together with him. She says she’ll think about it. So now Jonathan feels good, because his group of four needed a fifth, and he hopes Cirie is it. I don’t know, actually, why no one approached her before.
Oh, You Mean I Have to SWIM In a Swimming Challenge?
At the challenge, the Fans are very appreciative when told Fairplay was voted out. Jeff also explains the challenge: people will swim out, climb a scaffold, smash a plate to release a key, dive down and get it, bring it back to the beach. When they have four or five of them, they open a chest, take out puzzle pieces, and assemble a puzzle map of Micronesia. Winners get immunity, fishing gear, and a fishing boat. They’ll also send a loser to Exile Island. Jeff also says there’s another twist, but he’ll tell them after the challenge.
The fans choose to sit out Kathy, who doesn’t seem thrilled about it. The favorites pull ahead immediately, with Ozzy making quick work of all the swimming/smashing/diving. But the fans aren’t that far behind, until Chet’s turn. He slogs out, manages to climb the scaffold and break his plate, but he can’t find the key in the water. He barely seems to be diving down, he just sort of floats there while the others yell at him, and then finally they tell him to get his ass back to shore and let someone else go. He comes in slowly, slowly, with no hustle at all, as Joel yells for him to hurry up.
The rest is pretty predictable. While someone else finally gets Chet’s key, the Faves have pulled far ahead, and they win the challenge. They decide to send Kathy to Exile – why, I don’t know. But then, Jeff tells them the twist – they must also send one of their own with her. They look shocked, but finally Cirie volunteers to go (which I think is stupid for someone with no set alliances).
They head off to Exile on a boat, and Kathy tells Cirie she’s so glad Cirie is the one to go. She thinks Cirie is sweet and loved her on her own Survivor season. Cirie says thanks, but they need to move quick before it gets dark, because remember – there’s one immunity idol up for grabs out here. There’s two of them. They work together and find a clue that sends them swimming across a lagoon, where they find another clue, and so on. This all goes on for at least four clues, and Cirie says she’s exhausted. “I’ve never worked so hard and walked so far in my life,” she says. We leave them still swimming and searching for, like, the fifth clue and/or idol.
The King is Dead. Long Live the King
Back at the Fans camp, Alexis says they came together as a team. Joel says it wasn’t an easy challenge, and Chet certainly agrees. Erik thinks Chet will go home, since he did very poorly. Mikey says if Chet’s strength is what he showed today, there’s no discussion, he’s out. But there are a lot of variables – namely, Kathy and her immunity idol(s). Remember, she still has one from last week, and they don’t know if she’ll find another, and she could give it away to someone. So Mikey has an elaborate plan, in which the men will vote for Chet, and the women for Tracy, in case Kathy found another idol or gives one to either Chet or Tracy. His plan just has his alliance confused.
Joel says privately that he wants Chet out, but Mikey thinks he’s got it all figured out. That rankles Joel, he doesn’t like that, Mikey has teamed up with Mary and now thinks he has whole tribe doing what he wants. That’s a little too much confidence and control for Joel’s liking, and Joel plans to make it “abundantly clear that that’s not the case.”
Joel goes and talks to Erik and Alexis, and tells him how Mikey thinks he’s running the show. Joel’s theory is that either Mikey or Mary have to go. Mary’s not a threat in herself, but booting her would send a clear message to Mikey that he doesn’t have the control he thinks he does. Joel also thinks they need to keep Mikey around to help win challenges. Erik says it’s a smart plan.
Joel goes to Chet and Tracy to clue them into the plan. They look surprised to be in the know. Kathy returns around this time, talking all about how Cirie is so nice. Joel gets her alone and tells her that Mary’s out. She says, “who?” Exactly. If Mary weren’t pretty and the object of a power-player’s attention, we wouldn’t be seeing her at all. “Who” pretty much sums up Mary in this game.
Kathy was worried they were all going to pick Chet. “Where did Mary come from?” she asks. But Chet tells her just to hush and go with it. He says it’s like he tells his pageant girls: “Answer the question and shut up. Don’t ramble. Get off the stage.” Awesome. I would love to hear more pageant lessons applied to Survivor. I’m thinking “boob tape” would be a useful lesson here. Amanda, I’m looking at you and that nip-slip during the challenge.
Tracy doesn’t know if she can trust Joel, because she thinks he wants the million more than anyone. Joel tells Natalie the plan too. Mary and Mikey notice by this point that Joel’s talking to people and they’re not sure what’s going on. But Mary feels she can trust Alexis, Mikey and Natalie, so she doesn’t feel she’s going to be voted off anytime soon. Aww, such naivete. That’s cute.
Joel also proves why no one SHOULD trust him. Once Mikey’s power is punctured, Joel says, “It’ll be me running the show over here.” Wow, what an altruistic motive. But, he adds, he knows he’s been talking to a lot of people, he’s been very visible, and he’s afraid they’ll think he’s too powerful and manipulative.
Mary, We Hardly Knew Ye
At tribal council, Jeff tells Kathy her original idol is only good tonight, she can use it or give it away. Then he asks Chet about how hard the challenge was, and how exhausted he was. Chet claims he wasn’t exhausted, he just thought it would be better for someone else to go. Pffft. Jeff calls him out, saying he’s giving himself too much credit. He also asks about the pressure of languishing in the water while everyone else screams. Chet agrees there was pressure, but says “it was what it was.” Oh, I hate that phrase. What WAS it, Chet? Was it you completely unable to step up? I think that’s what it was.
Mikey admits it made him mad. He thinks Chet should have owned up to being a bad swimmer to start with. “If you’re not that good of a swimmer, why are you not making a team move and step down? I was really irked by it, to be honest with you,” he says.
Jeff asks Tracy about camp life, and she says it’s divided by age groups. Natalie says some people just get along better. They have two shelters, so clearly some get along and some don’t. Alexis agrees there was a certain division. “There’s definitely some conflict there.”
Jeff seems taken aback by the separate shelters. Chet agrees that it looks bad, but says it’s out of his control. Apart, I guess, from the bit where he helped build the three-person shelter and made no effort to befriend the other seven people. Erik says he’d be very concerned if he were Chet, between the isolationist shelter and the poor challenge performance.
Mary says you can see people forming alliances, but that she feels pretty secure. Famous last words.
Joel says he doesn’t know anyone well enough to miss them if they get voted out, and he doesn’t put it past anyone to vote him out, so he just keeps in mind that it’s a game of loyalty and deception. Also, Kathy keeps her idol for herself.
So it’s vote time, and it appears that Joel is a better strategist than Mikey, because the end vote is two for Chet, two for Tracy (one of those is Joel’s himself) and five for Mary. As the Mary votes mount up, she and Mikey look increasingly confused and scared, while Joel looks smug. She’s out, and tells us afterwards that she has “no idea what happened. I was totally blindsided, not even a clue what was going on.” She thinks maybe they saw her getting too close to Mikey, and that she thinks a fan will win in the end.
Jeff says that based on what he heard, Mary never saw that coming. “Congratulations,” he tells the tribe. “First tribal council, first blindside.”
Cirie takes some control of her tribe, while the Fans suffer in a storm, there’s face-painting and an all-out melee in a challenge.