Let’s just be honest here. It’s hard finding someone to root for on this season of Survivor. La Flor has a bunch of mean kids and every time I look at Espada I think I’m seeing a bunch of refugees Angelina Jolie’s drug home from one of her UN trips.
Picking up right where we last saw our stranded sojourners, Espada has returned from tribal, after voting out the horse-faced chatter-box goat-farmer, Wendy Jo. Holly, whose head is wrapped as if she just got out of brain surgery, raises her right elbow and sniffs under her armpit–maybe trying to find out if she smelled like the rat she was.
Next morning, Tyrone calls a town meeting. Jimmy J tries to rally the team to get their shelter done. Jimmy T is so jealous he’s practically turning green and popping out of his clothes like the Incredidble Hulk. Much as I love Coach JJ, I’m sort of hoping he gets voted out soon before JimmyT has a chance to murder him in his sleep. Camera on: extremely lazy sloth, lying in tree.
Over at the young ’uns, Sash and Na’Onka are flirting. She seems less than impressed with him, even as he pitches that he’s just like her because his father is Jamaican and that his over-whelming desire in the game is to “bring as many minorities along as possible.” Among his chosen few is Brenda; he calls her the “Asian sensation.” Remembering that Brenda listed her claim to fame in her show biography as “winning a Hispanic beauty pageant,” I’m just a tad concerned about her inclination to be inclusive.
Also during this conversation, Na’Onka reveals her antipathy for KellyB (who, owing to a birth defect, has a prosthetic leg), “I’ve already told myself if there’s a race and that leg falls off, she’s outta here. She’s just a charity case.” Note to parents of schoolchildren in greater Los Angeles: if your child comes home and reports that her gym teacher is really really mean and has a name that sounds like Willie Wonka, sell your house and move to a different school district ASAP.
HOLLY LOSES HER MIND AND DAN LOSES SOMETHING OF FAR GREATER VALUE
Back to Espada. Jill (I can remember her because she has hair like Annie) has gathered snails and is cooking them in the pot. Touting their value as a source of protein, she offers some to Holly. Acting as if Jill is about to poison the entire tribe, Holly grabs the cooking pot, snails and all, and runs away. Who knows: maybe Holly has confused escargot with guillotine? Dan observes, “She’s crazy as bleep.”
Apparently Holly must have heard Dan’s cutting remark, because we next find her on the beach holding his alligator shoes sneering, “The New York City boy; I’m not gonna sit back any more and let them rub things in my face.” She then proceeds to fill the shoes with sand, wade into the ocean and, Sopranos-style, send the footwear to sleep with the fishes. I’m just happy for the alligator’s family; at least they’ll be getting their relative’s body back for a decent burial.
At camp, Dan is searching everywhere, “My alligator shoes are missing.”
Jill inquires, “Expensive?”
Dan, “Sixteen hundred dollars.”
Personally, I’m of the opinion that if you’re idiotic enough to spend $1600 on a pair of shoes, you ought to at least get those red Christian Louboutin soles, so everyone knows you have money to throw around. And what kind of idiot brings $1600 shoes to wear with your skivvies and buffs on a desert island?
What happens next probably has Russell Hantz’s head spinning around backwards. Holly decides to announce to the entire tribe what she’s done, “I took your shoes out of your bag, filled them with sand, and put them in the water.” Dan’s reaction is surprisingly restrained, but he tells the camera, “If she were a guy I woulda knocked her right out.”
Tyrone is concerned about Holly’s mental state, “Every time she speaks it’s more obvious she’s crazy. I’m gonna keep one eye on her and one on my shoes.”
Holly now has a mini-breakdown, sobbing to Coach JJ that she doesn’t know if she can “take it” any more and that perhaps she should leave. For everyone else’s sake, I think that might be a good idea. Coach, calm in the huddle as ever, talks her down from the ledge. He quotes Vince Lombardi, “the game makes cowards of us all.”
IF IT’S NOT SHOES, IT’S SOCKS
Over at the LaFlor beach, Na’Onka is strutting around wearing a three-foot-tall headdress that makes me think she’s watched waaay too many Erykah Badu videos. Everyone’s clothes have been laid out and hung up to dry. Na’Onka looks in her shoes, and announces that her socks are missing. She concludes they’ve been stolen, “pretty funny those socks grew feet and walked away.” So, instead of asking for help finding the missing hosiery, she grabs Jud’s (aka Fabio) spare socks and puts them on. He’s astounded by her gall. She could care less, “I don’t want anybody to think I’m a B-I-T-C-H, but that boy is stupid.” Don’t worry, Na’Onka: no one is going to think you’re a bitch; they’re going to know it.
THE MEDALLION WIELDS ITS POWER
Criminal activity for the day now over, the tribes gather for a combination immunity/reward challenge. The course is set up with a rope barricade which will force the tribe members to crawl through a mud pit, then find four balls hidden in piles of hay. The remaining tribe members must then bounce those balls from one wooden shield to another and into a barrel. Na’Onka takes one look at the mud and loudly announces she’ll be sitting this one out. She later claims she only withdrew to try to force KellyB to prove she could cut it with her artificial leg. Personally, I’d bet big bucks that a team of wild horses couldn’t have drug Na’Onka into that mud pit.
Last week, Espada opted not to use the medallion of power and to save it for this week. This time, it will give them a big advantage in the game—one of the four balls already in their barrel. Said advantage proves decisive and Espada wins immunity and a chest full of fishing gear. Great, now we can watch fisherman JimmyT try to prove he’s manlier than Coach JJ.
Notable aspects of the challenge:
–KellyB, prosthetic leg and all, squirmed through the mud pit as fast or faster than anyone.
–Holly took so long with the relatively simple task of locating a ball in the pile of hay she almost single-handedly cost her team the victory. Not that Dan or anyone else on the tribe would have held that against her……
–Tyrone, the final ball-tosser for Espada, was a machine. He just didn’t miss. Benry, on the other side (yes, we finally got to see him), seemed like a klutz in comparison.
JILL PROVES SHE’S SMART, BUT STUPID
Espada takes its prize back to camp and begins to examine the fishing gear. Out falls a clue to the hidden immunity idol. It consists of hieroglyphic clues. Oh, let’s face it: they were about as hard to figure out as a puzzle in an issue of Highlights Magazine for Children. Dan announces that he knows all about ships and that one of the clues is “a yahhhhd-ahhhm; it’s fifteen feet west of a man and a tree.” Everyone goes into a frenzy, searching. Except Jill, who takes a closer look at the clues and realizes the man and the tree mean “tree-mail.” (Get it? Man=Male?) I’ll bet your thinking, ‘so Jill waits ‘til she can get some time alone and then goes looking for the idol.’ You’d be wrong. Right in front of Marty and Dan, she blurts out, “It’s fifteen feet west of tree-mail.”
Jill more or less observes as Marty and Dan dig frantically. It’s Marty who comes up with the idol. He’s over-the-moon with glee, gushing to the clueless (and idol-less) Jill, “I got the idol baby, I got it!” Then he stops mid-sentence, realizing he’d better play this one a different way, “WE got the idol! Jill this is sooo money….” I’m thinking for Jill it’s going to be more like Monopoly money, but she really has no one to blame but herself. And one more bit of really well-intentioned advice to Jill: I hear Land’s End sells some really terrific tummy-control swimsuits.
Don’t forget, faithful viewers—last week Alina and KellyB found an identical clue to their tribe’s hidden immunity idol and were either bamboozled by the complexity of the clue or too lazy to go looking for the idol. Will it come back to haunt them?
“HE MAKIN’ HIS OWN GRAVE”
Afternoon at LaFlor camp is about as chaotic as a bridal gown sale in Filene’s Basement. Alina and KellyB are targeting Brenda because she has Chase wrapped around her little finger. Jud would like to be rid of Na’Onka. Shannon and Sash make the mistake of trying to talk Chase into voting out Brenda. Na’Onka tells Brenda they need to get rid of Shannon, “Shannon he makin’ his own threats. He makin’ his own grave.”
Brenda works her wiles on the love-sick Chase, “It’s obvious, Shannon’s calling all the shots, why would you keep him?” Jud’s head is spinning, “This sucks man, nothing is as it seems.” Na’Onka clues Brenda into Sash’s plan to keep the minorities. Brenda hasn’t heard anything about it.
“NEW YORK IS FULL OF GAY PEOPLE"
Tribal Council opens with Host Probst questioning the tribe. Shannon immediately threatens Chase, who he suspects is going to try to blindside him, “I’m finding out there’s no loyalty; if he goes with his girlfriend tonight he’s next.” Chase tries to defend his position, “I’m telling the truth; I’ve been between two alliances.”
Jeff is thrilled with the direction of the conversation, “In twenty seasons, I’ve never had an opening question open so much whoop-ass.” He turns to Brenda, “Brenda, you’re in the middle of all this, with Shannon losing his mind behind you.”
Shannon has now turned to attack Sash and they argue angrily. Shannon hisses at Sash, “I’ve been dying to ask: ‘Are you gay?’” Sash is infuriated, “I’ve had a lot more girlfriends than you have.” Shannon crows triumphantly, “New York is full of gay people.” It’s pretty hard to defend Shannon, except to wonder if maybe all those Pest Control chemicals he’s been inhaling over the years haven’t warped his mind.
Jeff tries to steer attention to others. Benry is puzzled at the direction things have taken, “It happened so fast. All of a sudden there were two alliances.”
Shannon asserts that originally the target was Na’Onka.
Jeff tweaks Na’Onka, “Na’Onka you need to get out of the tree Fabio’s in.”
Na’Onka snarls, “I don’t wanna be in that tree.”
Jeff: “So you don’t like him?”
Na’Onka (almost shouting): “NO!!!!!”
Fabio/Jud is weary, “Can we just vote now?”
Vote they do, and Shannon, he of the tiny head and giant nipples, is evicted. As he takes the walk of shame through the fake Hobby Lobby Halloween Store cemetery, we’re shown Sash voting, “You should have known better than to mess with the biggest bachelor in New York. As they say in Nicaragua, hasta la vista.”
Join us right here next week when waywyrd will be bringing you the news from Nicaragua. Will we see a kinder, gentler Na’Onka? Will Jimmy T come to admire Coach JJ? Can Chase escape Brenda’s love noose? Will Sash try to prove he’s Macho-Man? Will Jill regret letting Marty find the immunity idol? Let’s hear your predictions.