Welcome back, Survivor fans, to what’s becoming Blindsidefest 2008. The last two weeks were things of beauty, watching first Ozzy and then, incredibly, Jason get blindsided while both were in possession of the hidden immunity idol – and too convinced they were safe to use it. Obviously that can’t go on a third week in a row – unless these people are stupider than I thought – but trust me, this week’s conclusion is gorgeous.
What's A Little Blood Poisoning Among Friends?
At the end of last week’s tribal council, James was sent to let Medical look at his infected finger. He thinks it’s not a big deal, but admits his finger is swelling. He hopes medical can give him “antibacterial” and send him on his happy way. But a doctor tells him the danger is that the infection could get into the joint, permanently damaging it. This is a bit of a scare for James, who works with his hands and says it’s important to get this fixed. The doctor daubs medicine on his swelling finger and says if it doesn’t look good in the morning, he’s going to have to have surgery. At this point, I’m starting to wonder, why can’t they just give these folks a tube of Neosporin at the start? Seems like that could have prevented a lot of these “infected cut” problems with James, Chet and Jonathan.
When James gets back to camp, he explains the prognosis. Amanda is pretty upset, and hopes he can finish out the game.
The next day, Alexis has a hurt knee from falling down in the dark. For heaven’s sake, these people are dropping like flies. Cirie says this is bad because she’s a nurse, but “that’s two less people I have to fight against for a million dollars.” I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume her nurse skills are useless in the jungle with no medicine, because if she could help and didn’t …. Well, I’ll let y’all form your own conclusions. I do think at this point if I were going on Survivor, I’d try to bone up on herbal remedies or something.
We move on to the reward challenge. The Survivors find little caricature-style statues of themselves, complete with wigs and tiny (tinier even than those on their namesakes) bikinis. Jeff explains that they’ll each answer a series of questions about each other privately, then he’ll tally the results and they’ll answer the questions again, this time trying to guess which name came up most in answer from the group. If they get it right, they get to chop a rope holding a heavy coconut-thing over the heads of their little statues. Three chops, the coconut-thing drops and their statue gets smashed, and they’re out of the game.
And hark, guess what else! It’s family time! Everyone has a relative there, although this season the relatives won’t help compete. Parvati’s mom comes out first, telling her she looks awesome and smells fabulous (wonder where the lying gene came from?). Then it’s Erik’s brother, who tells Erik he looks funny with his beard. Erik is more excited to show his brother something else. “That’s Jeff Probst! Jeff Probst! He’s just standing there!” Erik says, all fanboy.
Natalie’s mom is there, and Natalie shows off her armpit hair. Alexis’ brother is there. Damn, he’s cute. Parvati clearly notices. Amanda’s sister Katrina is back. “You smell better than last time,” Katrina says. For James, it’s his dad. Awww. His dad says he’s been on a diet so his stomach will look like James’. I think it’s going to take a bit more work than just diet alone, sir. No offense. Please don’t hurt me.
Cirie’s husband H.B. comes out last. He brought her a flower. They kiss. Aww again.
Jeff says the winner and their loved one will go to a lake to swim with thousands of non-stinging jellyfish. Uh. Wow. I’m sure that’s cool and all, but I have a mortal fear of anything touching me when I’m in a body of water, especially after having once been stung by a jellyfish. You never know what’s carnivorous in strange waters!
Oh, and also, there’s a new hidden immunity idol and someone’s going to Exile. Game on!
The first question is, who does the most for the tribe? Everyone says James, except James, and James is the right answer so James actually is the one who got it wrong. What irony. Cirie chops Amanda, Natalie whacks Erik, Erik gets Natalie, Alexis hits James, Parvati hits James too, and Amanda whacks Parvati.
Second question: Who never shuts up? It’s between Alexis and Parvati, and the correct answer is Parvati. Haha. Erik whacks Alexis, she hits him back, James goes for Alexis, Amanda hits Cirie.
Third question: Who mistakenly thinks they’re in control of the game? Everyone said Parvati, except Parv herself and Alexis, who said Cirie. Correct answer is Parvati, who doesn’t look too happy about it. Cirie makes the hit that knocks Parvati out, of the game, and it smashes the hell out of her statue. The girls shudder at the violence.
Fourth question: Who is the most honest? Answers are all over the board, but the right answer is Alexis. Cirie is the only one who gets it right. She knocks Erik out, and his statue’s hair flies off.
Fifth question: Who are you least likely to invite to a family dinner? James is the correct answer, everyone gets it but Natalie. Alexis takes James out of the game. “Wait till we get back home, we’re gonna talk about her,” his dad mutters. James whacks Cirie. Amanda says the destruction of the statues is “too violent, I can’t get over it. “
Amanda takes out Natalie. Cirie is out but has one hit left so she decides who wins the challenge. She takes out Amanda, so Alexis wins.
Alexis can choose two people to come with her on the reward. She chooses Cirie (wisely, as Cirie handed her the victory) and Natalie. She also gets to send someone to Exile. Amanda waves her hand and Alexis chooses her. Amanda asks if she can hug her sister goodbye, but gets shut down by Probst, the hard-hearted thing. The other family members are sent away, and James is told to go back to Medical.
James is hoping the doctor will say it’s not that bad. He tells her has no pain in the rest of his hand or fingers. She tells him to be honest, and he admits to some pain further down his finger. She reiterates that it’s a danger of the infection going into the joint, that it’s not just a superficial cut, it’s deep. Jeff tells him it’s his call unless doctors pull him from the game. The doctor says it’s too big a risk. Awww! James is out! Damn!
“I’d much rather have been voted out,” James says. But he wants to just get the finger fixed, and says he sees no point in drama or regrets. He goes to say goodbye to the others. Parvati cries, saying she has so much respect for him, it’s not fair for him to go out like that. I find that amusing since last week he said he had no such respect for her. Erik tells him to drink some beers, to which James says he can’t, he’ll be on antibiotics. Erik notes that he’s the only man left.
And with that, James is on a boat and gone. That was quick, there was a lot more drama for Jonathan’s departure, wasn’t there? Perhaps it’s just that Jonathan was sobbing the whole time, which probably slowed down the process. Or maybe by now it’s just getting to be old hat.
One of the More Boring Rewards, Drama-Wise
Oblivious to James’ departure, the rewardees are tramping through the woods to this jellyfish lake, Natalie holding her mother’s hand to help her. They get in the lake and start yelling to each other about the OMG THOUSANDS OF JELLYFISH. They’re pink and they’re floating everywhere. It’s cool, yeah, but there are just so many, what would happen if you tried to swim and kicked one? Doesn’t having people in the lake hurt the jellyfish? And why the hell are there stingless jellyfish in a (presumably freshwater) lake in the first place? I did google it, and it seems very popular with snorkelers and photographers.
Anyway, Cirie says it’s way cool and it might have been a breakthrough for her to realize that not everything is a threat.
On Exile, Amanda heads straight for the first clue. “My only priority while I’m here is getting the idol,” she says. She gets as far as the third clue, and starts digging in the sand, finally finding the fourth clue. It tells her the idol is buried back at camp. Well, that sucks.
Bring In The Gimp
At night, the rewardees come back to camp, and Parvati explains about James’ medical departure. This makes gimpy Alexis nervous. “It’s very terrifying, the idea that I would be sent home because my knee is injured,” Alexis says. By the way, I don’t know where the family members went.
Cirie says they wanted to have an all-girls alliance, and with James leaving, it means they absolutely have to beat Erik. Otherwise they’re going to have to start eating each other. Figuratively.
The next morning, Alexis says her knee is bad and she has no stability. They ask if she can do this for seven more days. Alexis says of course she can. Parvati seems surprised. “So you don’t want us to vote you out?” she asks. Alexis is taken aback. Hell no, she doesn’t want to be voted out, she says. She thinks Parvati’s question was a little threatening.
Parvati changes the subject, telling Alexis and Natalie that of course Erik should go next, but it’ll depend on who wins immunity. Natalie says that in the final three, she couldn’t win against Amanda. She says Amanda has played a good social game and therefore doesn’t have enemies on the jury (unlike “flossing my teeth with his jugular” Natalie, I suppose). But Parvati says she can’t vote against Amanda. She says it right to Natalie and Alexis, who give each other a look. Well, well. That’s interesting. My respect for Parvati, while still rather low, did go up a notch there if she’s really going to be loyal to Amanda. I guess we shall see.
Great Strategy, Ladies
At the immunity challenge, Amanda comes back and hugs the girls, and is told James was take out. Jeff says losing three people to medical problems is a Survivor first. He then explains the challenge. They’ll take turns firing a high powered rifle, attempting to break colored saki bottles. First one to break their own three bottles wins.
Natalie, not surprisingly, breaks her first bottle. Amanda aims too far right and misses. Parvati makes hers. Cirie misses. Erik gets his. Alexis misses.
On the next round, Natalie misses. Amanda misses. Parv misses, Cirie misses, Erik gets it. Alexis misses. The girls are getting nervous, since their plan to target Erik all hinges on one of them being a better shot than he is.
In the third round, Natalie hits hers. Amanda hits. Parv misses. Cirie misses. If Erik hits, he wins. The girls roll their eyes. Erik takes aim, shoots, and …. hits. He wins. So the girls are screwed, then.
As You Can See, There Is No Rabbit In My Hat
Back at camp, Amanda says she wants the others to know she doesn’t have the hidden idol, so she’s going to empty her bag. She tells them she couldn’t find it, that the clue was in the water and the current was too strong. She empties her bag to show them all.
For some reason, at this point they decide it’s time to kill the chicken. I didn’t even remember they still had a damn chicken. It has hardly gotten less facetime (beak time?) than Alexis.
Off in the woods, Amanda tells Parvati the idol is at camp. Parvati is excited until Amanda says it’s there, but she doesn’t have it yet. She needs Parvati’s help, presumably to distract the others. They debate whether Alexis or Natalie should go. Parvati wants Alexis out, because she’d be more winsome to the jury, while Amanda wants Natalie out, because she’s a bigger threat in challenges. Parvati tells Amanda that the others want to vote out Amanda. “Find the damn idol, lady.” Parvati says.
Erik and Alexis talk, and agree that Amanda is a big jury threat if she’s in the final three. “Luckily she doesn’t have the idol, so that’s a good thing,” they say.
Amanda thought she might be able to get Erik on her side, because she helped him in the past. But when she goes to talk to him, it’s clear this isn’t the case. He tells her he’s between voting for her and Parvati, that they’re big threats. She tells him she’s kept him in the game and helped him out. He says he thinks she could beat him in a challenge. She says it bothers her that she helped him and he won’t help her. He finally says he feels like he’s going to vote for her.
Secret Idol, Secret Chicken Murder
Someone has killed the chicken and plucked it, and I can’t believe this was not shown. We just see Erik presenting Cirie the dead, plucked chicken. I wonder what happened? Did Erik kill it badly and slowly? More likely Natalie ripped its throat out with her bare teeth. Then tossed the carcass at Erik to pluck while she held up its dripping heart and ate it raw.
Erik also tells Cirie that everyone else is voting for Amanda. Cirie says it’s sad to see Amanda go, but she doesn’t think either she or Parvati could beat Amanda in jury votes. Cirie goes to talk to Amanda, but for some reason won’t agree to vote with Amanda, instead of against her, and let it be a tie vote. I don’t understand why not. I mean, sure, I know Cirie doesn’t know about Amanda’s chances for getting the idol, but still, what would a tie vote hurt? “I’m in between a rock and a hard place,” Cirie tells Amanda. “You know I didn’t want it like this. I thought it was going to be me you and Parvati to the end.”
Everyone else is eating (the poor chicken), and Amanda’s taking the chance to dig. Cirie asks where she is, and Parvati says Amanda’s coming, she just wanted to wash up because Parvati told her she stunk. I guess that’s how Parvati is helping. Amanda says if she can’t find that idol, she’s gone.
Best Blindside So Far? Discuss
We move on to tribal council without knowing whether Amanda found it or not. James comes back as a jury member, entering with a big IV bag hooked to one of those metal stand dealies.
Amanda, doing a very good job of looking sad and defeated, tells Jeff she did spend time looking for the idol, but it was windy and the currents were strong and she couldn’t find it. Ozzy looks disappointed.
Cirie says the physical threats are Erik and Amanda. Jeff says since Erik’s got immunity, that leaves Amanda. She says everyone’s told her they’re voting for her, except Parvati. Parvati says she can’t vote for Amanda. Amanda says when Erik needs someone he acts trustworthy, but when you need Erik he finds greener grasses. Eliza’s eyes are bugging out of her head right now, by the way, and for good reason, as such in-your-face honesty is rare in this game. Erik says she’s blaming him. Amanda says she helped him stay through the merge and now that she needs his help he won’t give it. “Yeah, I’m mad about it, I’m pretty pissed off,” she says.
Natalie says Amanda has done no wrong to anyone on the jury so voting her out is the unfortunate part of the game. Natalie says at least she is being honest about her vote. Alexis says they’re telling Amanda she’s out because they respect her so much. Amanda rolls her eyes.
But the best part, children, is now to come! After all that rather smug “we respect you so much we’re kicking you out” stuff from Natalie and Amanda, they go to vote. Jeff tallies the votes but asks, as always, if anyone has a hidden immunity idol they want to play. And Amanda raises her hand, smiling. She tells the others she didn’t lie, because she didn’t actually have the idol when she told them she didn’t. She did find it, and she hands it over and then turns triumphantly back to the tribe, where Natalie and Alexis look shocked and extremely uncomfortable. On the jury, Ozzy and Eliza look delighted.
And so, while Amanda gets four votes, they don’t count. The two votes against Alexis do, so she’s out of the game. Bwahahaha, sucker! She hugs Natalie and hobbles off, blowing back a kiss. In her final confessional, Alexis says she totally didn’t see it coming. “It’s a game, so I’m not mad at all,” she says. She is, however, rooting for Natalie.
Jeff sends the rest of them back to camp. “You guys are perfecting the art of the blindside. That’s the good news, and that is the bad news,” he says.
Erik says every single girl is trying to talk him into another plan. Cirie says if they make him feel confident he’ll do the right thing. He wants to go to the end with Natalie but she talks about bitch slapping him. I get a feeling Erik is not long for this game.