We join the Balboa’s early on day 22 in the company of Lill.
This should be no surprise as the show has recently begun an unhealthy metamorphosis from The Rupert Show to The Lill Show.
Fittingly, Rupert is next to rise and he and Lill meet and discuss how she has blossomed in the game.
Rupert informs her that she is “the last Morgan in it because you’re a Drake”, and if she can win that immunity he’ll put a Drake out before her.
Of course, supposing Rupert himself is still in the game at that point, he would have no option but to vote out a Drake if Lill won immunity when she was the only Morgan left.
This does not appear to have occurred to Lill, who is hugely complimented, but plays it down with a “what this old thing?” style reaction.
Ryno is not quite as pleased as Lill with the way things occurred at the last TC. Realizing his name is firmly in the frame for the next elimination, he sensibly approaches Burton in the hope he is as disgruntled with his old tribe as Lill was with hers.
He proposes the solid plan of himself, Burton and Lill teaming up with Darrah and Tijuana to vote out the remainder of the tribe.
Burton promises to consider the proposal before going off to try and catch some fish.
The mission proves successful as he soon bags a rather large stingray.
He brings it back to the beach, where he touches it repeatedly, allowing it to shock him over and over again yet acts surprised each time.
He calls Rupert over, urging him to “put your fingers in those holes”.
Rupert takes his advice on finger placement, but removes his digits after a split-second as he has no real desire to be shocked.
Burton closes in again on the ray, touching it a few more times, giggling and backing away each time it zaps him.
If we were able to talk to him, I think the poem guy would tell us he’s pretty upset that yet again his tree mail creation did not get read on air.
He might even write a poem about it…
The Survivor’s file into the challenge area, with Rupert at the head of their “crocodile”.
Jiff explains that they will be playing for individual reward with slingshots and marbles. The camera helpfully pans over the apparatus and the small glass balls, just for those of us who thought Jiff meant big slabs of marble.
The object of the game is to sling the ammo at a plate bearing your name, a full on hit will release the lever system the plate is attached to, ignite a rope and you move onto the next target. Once you have hit three targets, in order, you will ignite your “crow’s nest” atop your personalized structure of targets.
Three people will go at a time, the winners of each round meeting in the final.
Any guesses on how long this whole shebang takes to rig up between rounds?
Jiff tells then they are playing for breakfast and asks them if they’d like a little tease.
Just when I’m hoping he’ll whip off his pants to reveal frilly underwear and a garter and give Rupert a lap dance, he produces a small iced bun from under a stray piece of fabric at his side.
He hands it to Burton who is charged with dividing it among his tribe mates.
“Pancakes, bacon, jam, orange juice”, cries Jiff “worth playing for?”
Jiff’s questions normally garner nothing more than muffled “uh huh’s” and smiles, but on this occasion someone, my guess is Sandra, decides to shout out “hell yeah”.
Jiff ignores the response and tells them to wait for his “Go”.
First up, after more random number drawing that yet again we were not privy to, the contestants for the first heat, Sandra, Ryno and Darrah step up to their marks.
Sandra hits her first plate with her very first shot, drawing an admiring “Oooh” from the spectators. Ryno hits his first plate with his second shot, Sandra hits her second plate with her third.
Darrah’s off-target shooting ensures she will not receive her first close up of the night, or the series for that matter, by virtue of her performance here.
Sandra lets fly with another shot. Even though the cameraman doesn’t bother to follow it, the direction of Sandra’s eyes in pursuit of her marble betrays the fact she skied it.
Ryan hits his third target and silently pumps his fist in a display of defiance to the crowd of silent, unsupportive tribe mates.
Rupert, Burton and Jonny Fairplay prepare to take their turn.
JFP’s yellow locks peer farcically from both hems of his buff headwear, his socks are once again pulled up to full height. Rupert has harnessed his own free-flowing locks with the assistance of a strip of bright blue reward challenge fabric.
Rupert hits his first target with his first shot and his second with his second.
Having expended most of his energy heaving his socks into their “business” position, beads of perspiration play of JFP’s forehead as he strains to stretch his sling shot elastic to maximum extension. He releases his grip and scores a direct hit on the target. . . the second target, so is eliminated from the competition. He freezes momentarily in a closed finger “Fairplay’ stance for the crowd, the meaning of which is unclear to me, no one is watching anyway so I’ll gloss over it. Jon saunters back to the group, Jiff’s taunt of “another challenge Jon can’t finish” still ringing in his ears. A moment of obvious and warranted self-loathing pushes him into the arms of the only person willing to offer him a consoling embrace, Lillian.
Jiff summarizes the state of play, reminding us that Rupert has struck two targets while Burton has yet to hit the mark. Rupert completes his hat trick, scoring three hits with three shots.
Christa lumbers into position with her usual ungainly lollop, while Lill and Tijuana also take their mark.
After Jiff’s “ready, aim, fire”, Christa pulls the most unattractive of faces, releases the marble and watches it clatter against her name plate on the target structure, taking out the A and the vertical portion of the T.
The crowd bursts into spontaneous laughter, a mix of amusement and genuine fear that one of them is about to lose an eye. Christa, adopts her resting position of hunched at the waist, her own laughter causing the upper part of her body to bounce up and down on the definite “C” shape that her spine seems to permanently form.
T hits her first target with her second shot and Lill’s celebrates her own successful hit by reaching skyward and thanking the Lord. Lill, if you hadn’t realized, is a drama queen.
Jiff calls fire again and T and Lill both strike their second targets but neither with sufficient force to operate the lever system.
In reaction to this, T quietly prepares for her next shot. Not so Lill, who leaps into the air, yelps, raises her arm, aims two kicks in the direction of the target and cheers as the bastard thing falls and she moves on to target three.
Jiff instructs them to fire again and T hits the same plate, but again not with sufficient force to trip the lever. Christa could really use some motivation to hit the target as she fires and scores another glancing blow off her nameplate. Imagine the target is James Earl Jones and he’s making off with your stash, Christa.
The women follow Jiff’s instruction to fire their next shots. T scores a direct hit on the second plate rather than her previous rim clunkers and the score is Lill 2 T 2, Christa 0.
Ok, Christa, imagine the target is James Earl Jones and he’s making off with your stash so he can share it with Alan Iverson and Wesley Snipes. Don’t let him get away.
Too late, Lill scores a hit with her next shot and is in the final along with Ryno and Rupert.
There is no doubt much sitting around while the crew set the targets up again, which we are mercifully spared.
Lill scores a hit with her first shot and lets out a celebratory squeal.
Round two sees success for Lill once again and she literally jumps on the chance to take her celebration to a previously uncharted level where a leg kick and an “oh baby” meet the previous squeal.
Lill misses with her third shot (yay), but Rupert scores a direct hit and follows it up with another with his next shot.
When Rupert hits his final target immediately, there is no OTT celebrating.
He simply clenches his fist and offers and almost inaudible “yes!”
Lill hugs him and he stretches back to his full height mid hug, causing her feet to rise slightly off the ground. Sensing the opportunity is ripe for some more amateur dramatics, she arches her back and curls her legs up at the knee as if in the early stages of a bizarre ice-skating lift.
Rupert places her back on the ground and shares a non-sexually threatening man-hug with Ryno.
Jiff approaches and informs Rupert that he can take someone with him on the reward or give his reward away if he wishes.
A split second into his contemplation Lill pipes up, urging him to go. Jon advises him to give it away and Burton follows up with “you’ve got to give it away”.
When Rupert takes his advice and gives the reward to Burton, Burton responds with a wholly unconvincing “no dude, I was kidding”.
Burton steps forward, Jiff tells him to select someone to take. In a voice that is soft and lilting, yet demands to be obeyed, Rupert tells him to “pick Lill”. Just as we are with our own Admin, Burton is but a sheep to Rupert’s all-powerful shepherd. He instantly obeys the voice at his back and selects Lill to accompany him for breakfast away from the island the following day.
Lill’s jaw drops in mock amazement, her hand flies to her chest to stave off the accompanying cardiac arrest. She steps forward, telling Burton she has no money to give him. The others laugh, which will frankly only provide encouragement for future low-caliber joke telling efforts from Lill.
Jiff tells everyone to head back to camp and we go to break with the exchange of slow motion hugs among the Balboan’s.
We begin the day in the company of Burton, who erroneously tells us he was voted out and then back into the same tribe. He was not voted back into Drake.
Yep, I’m hair-splitting, but I’ve just sat through Lill’s RC antics and I’m not in the most charitable of moods.
Burton assures us that even though he appears to be aligned with the former Drake’s, his real aim is to win this for the Outcast’s. As we’ve had a full minute of Lill-free show time, we have to cut to a quick shot of her standing aimlessly, but thankfully silently, on the beach, ankle deep in water.
Burton continues his confessional, claiming that Rupert, Sandra and Christa would all stab him in the back given the chance, knowledge that spurs him to discuss tactics with Jon in the very next shot.
They decide that, not only can they not beat Rupert, Sandra and Christa, they can’t even separate them. Hmmm, this is radical guys, but voting one of them out might be an excellent solution to your current dilemma.
When they do decide this is the way to go, they agree the splitting of Sandra, Christa and Rupert can only be achieved if Rupert is voted out. Of course they will trip on the track and meet a hurdle chin first if Rupert wins the next immunity challenge. This does not appear to have occurred to them as they press on with putting the finer points of their plan in place, i.e. do they tell Rupert they’re voting him out or not?
Burton thinks it would be best not to tell him in case he “loses it”. With the verbal barrage still in his mind and fish still lodged in his perm from the last time he voted against Rupert, Jon agrees they might want to keep quiet about their decision.
The boat comes to take Lill and Burton to the mystery location where they will enjoy the reward Rupert won yesterday. They walk along the beach to the boat, already talking tactics, with Burton clueing Lill in to the potential threat the Rupert, Sandra, Christa alliance poses to their own advancement in the game. Lill displays her lack of awareness of the goings on around her by having to have Burton repeat the names of the so obviously aligned trio. She suggests they need to get rid of one of them, he suggests they need to get rid of all of them, which sounds like a plan. Clearly some progress has been made.
They climb aboard the boat and are soon speeding off to their location.
Once they arrive, Lill is of course hugely enthusiastic about the sight that greets them.
A patio table and chairs sits in front of a gazebo where the buffet is stored, once again on top of the table just in case you were wondering Savage.
Lill decides its never too soon for a show of affection and uses both arms to give Burton a side on hug, which he reluctantly accepts, returning a simple single armed version.
Time to inspect the eats. They toast Rupert with crispy bacon rashers and survey the table, Lill emitting an “aaaaahhhhhh” as her eyes take in each new culinary offering.
Burton decides to have fun with the champagne, by shaking the bottle in the hope the cork will explode from it. Lill plans to stick with apple juice, but is an interested spectator at the bottle pumping.
Burton eases the cork from the neck of the bottle and the champagne escapes in a torrent of bubbles.
“How cool is that?” asks Lill.
Uh, not very.
Lill suggests a toast to the Drake tribe, but Burton over rules her with a shout out to the Outcasts.
The chat soon turns to tactics over the meal. Burton finally realizes that immunity for Rupert would scupper the burgeoning plan to oust him, so proposes Christa for the boot in that scenario. Decent plan, can’t really fault it. He goes in to further detail, telling Lill she needs to befriend Christa and convince her that she is willing to vote whatever way Christa wants. Then follows a simple statement from Lill, which confirms her complete unsuitability to play this game in a proactive manner, if she is an success she will likely just skate on through, Burton is asking her to lie and that she “will have a problem with”.
Lillian, that is a very admirable philosophy to guide you through your real life, but in Survivor, not so much.
Back at Balboa beach, Sandra is washing Christa’s hair.
While Christa vocally mulls over a plan to oust Burton then Rupert, Sandra is preoccupied with the wait time the conditioner must be left before rinsing, to ensure Christa’s hair receives maximum benefit.
Sandra manages to focus on the game long enough to suggest that perhaps it’s better to keep the girls in the game instead of the guys. By suggesting the elimination of Burton then Rupert, a “keep the girls” strategy is pretty much where Christa was herself heading.
Sandra confesses to being concerned about the food situation should Burton and Rupert be ousted, so she leads the remaining females on a hunting expedition. Darrah and Tijuana stand rhythmically chopping their machetes into the same fallen tree trunk, dulling the blade with each clunk, waiting for Sandra and Christa to join them for the hunt.
The plan is to try and survive on the island without men. It’s not as easy as it sounds; it was almost the death of Shawna last season.
T is finding out that all is not as it first seemed with the ex-Drakes. She thought the Drake tribe were “like this”, she crosses her fingers to symbolize their closeness, rather like the way Jon would signify a major leg injury to alter ego ‘Jonny Fairplay’, “After that body slam I was all twisted up like that , dude”.
Back at the reward breakfast, Burton confirms his allegiance to Lill, declaring that he wishes the top three to be the two of them plus Jon.
She is willing to go along with he plan, but claims she will need “hand-feeding”, no doubt she means “spoon-feeding”.
They make their way to the boat that will take them back to Balboa beach, Burton claiming he will just tell the others she babbled on about boy scouts and he fell asleep.
Lill is fine with this plan, preferring him to make her out to be a dumb broad than a bitch.
So, that’s a) you have a problem with lying and b) you don’t want people to think you’re a bitch? Got it, Lill.
Lill and the ex-Drake’s are up early and working hard around camp, while Darrah and Tijuana take it easy inside the shelter.
Christa confesses that she thinks the Morgan’s are lazy, while Tijuana tells us in her next confessional that she thinks the Drake’s work much harder than necessary.
Lill drags a humungous wooden pole through the shot, claiming to now know how Jesus felt. Jesus? You could have multiplied the fish to last for the rest of the game, turned the water into wine, healed Osten even, but no, you get the wood dragging element of Jesus, Lill.
Suddenly we’re at the Immunity Challenge, looking at a close up of coconuts, each Survivor as been assigned a colour and the coconuts have been painted to match.
Is the poem guy ill?
Rupert reluctantly gives the cutlass back to Jiff and as always Jiff declares it “up for grabs again”.
Jiff explains that today’s challenge will establish the position of each Survivor within the tribal hierarchy. It’s your garden variety Q&A, the opportunity to contribute to the elimination of an opponent being the reward for a correct answer. Place your painted coconut in the divided holder of a tribe mate. Once they have five coconuts they’re out of the game.
T/F – Pieces of eight is a small island of Panamanian coast?
Even if you didn’t know the answer to this incredibly easy question, it would be pretty easy to guess, yet only five of the Survivor’s get the right answer, which Jiff explains is Spanish gold coins.
Tijuana is designated as Orange, she places her coconut in Ryno’s holder.
Lill – green, too places her coconut in Ryno’s holder and pretends to feel bad about it. Rupert, light blue, goes to Rhino.
Christa – mid-blue, also goes to Ryno.
Jiff gives pretty much the same definition of keel hauling as her did when explaining last weeks immunity challenge and asks them to correctly name the punishment.
He gives them the options a) plank dive b) keel hauling and c) bottom scratch.
Incredibly, Lill and Christa get it wrong, both opting for c).
Bottom scratch? Scratching the bottom?
I guess Christa really is obsessed with any kind of crack.
T gives another coconut to Ryno and he is out of the competition and likely out of the game tonight at TC.
Darrah gives her coconut to Christa; Sandra decides to telegraph their alliance even further by retaliating against Darrah, claiming, “no one hurts Christa”.
Jon places a coconut in Darrah’s holder, ensuring that when he tells his mates he “gave her one” as long as he doesn’t get specific, it will technically be true.
Darrah is out of the competition after question 3 and the next two questions see some “tit for tat” coconut placement between Tijuana and Burton. Desperate to continue the “we didn’t talk tactics” charade, Lill gives a coconut to Burton as a penalty for making her do all the talking while he just sat there nodding. Right Lill, very smooth.
Question 5 sees the exchange of coconuts between Burton and Tijuana degrade into mild flirting as he delivers the coconut that takes her out of the running for immunity.
Lill steps up, buoyed by the success of her lie about the conversation at the reward meal; she decides to give another coconut to Burton, claiming to “still be pissed about the breakfast”. Hmmm, not having such a very big problem with lying at the moment are yah Lill?
Burton warns her that, “payback is a bitch”, to which she responds, “so am I”.
So, I guess she no longer wants to be portrayed as the dumb broad either, although she is rather at MB’s mercy where that is concerned.
Her coconut takes Burton out of the competition. He sits on the ground in front of his holder and Ryno, Darrah and Tijuana have done before him.
Jiff moves on to question 6, true or false, a barnacle is a small slab or tar found on the bottom of a ship?
Well obviously it’s false, but JFP decides it sounds so perfectly logical that he should answer “true”.
Ok Jon, how the hell did the tar get there and does it really occur with such frequency that it would have a name?
The questions continue, as does the coconut placement by those that answered correctly.
The former early season unpleasantness between Sandra and Jon resurfaces as each identifies the other as the most worthy recipient of coconuts. Sandra places the coffin nail coconut that eliminates Jon, but he does have the satisfaction of being able to place a final coconut to remove Sandra from immunity contention.
Christa and Rupert remove Lillian from the competition and stand before Jiff as the final two Survivor’s eligible to win immunity.
Jiff asks, whether a) Doubloons, b) pieces of 8 or c) dory, would not be found in a pirates treasure chest, Rupert correctly answers Dory, but Christa who has clearly lost too many memory cells to the bong, decides on “pieces of 8”, which Jiff told them after question 1 was treasure. If Christa didn’t look so absolutely confused I would suggest she was deliberately tanking this challenge. Particularly after Jiff gave them three options as the answer for “what was a cat o nine tails used for? Christa chooses “D”.
Rupert wins immunity and gets to play with the cutlass for another three days.
After the break, we rejoin the Survivor’s on their way back to camp.
Once again a challenge involving coconuts have displayed the voting intentions of a tribe.
Ryno, clearly about to be the recipient of the boot at this evening’s TC, is depressed but still has some fight left in him.
He explains his, himself, Burton, Lill, Tijuana and Darrah voting bloc plan to the two former Morgan women, who seem less then impressed with the concept.
Of course, whenever there is an obvious boot about to happen, MB likes to take us on a ride in a different direction. We hear Christa’s contemplate voting out Burton and Jon confessing how important it is to break the Christa/Rupert/Sandra alliance.
We continue the “all about Lill’ theme of the show when Jiff addresses his first question to her. She explains that, since being with the Balboa’s she has ‘come alive”. Although her economy sized perkiness has annoyed me greatly, I must admit that I have noticed a welcoming occasional reversal of her prior perma-frown.
Christa accuses Tijuana and Darrah of not doing enough around camp.
Darrah bites back, telling her in many more words that she needs to ‘chill the Hell out’ and perhaps just try working when there was actual work to be done.
Time to vote.
We see Rupert’s reluctant vote for Ryno and Ryno’s vote for Christa.
Jiff only reads as many votes as necessary to establish Ryno as the eight person voted out of the game and the first person on the jury.
Next time on Survivor:
Rupert takes on a shark.
The ‘pirates’ fittingly plan a mutiny.
Lill moves into her crying phase.