Welcome back to the one-sided obliteration hitherto known as Survivor. Last week, the Koror tribe continued to steamroll Ulong in the challenge department, but both teams had to attend Tribal Council and vote out one member. Ulong lost their spunky, tattooed, challenge-berserker, Angie, but . . . um, Koror also lost their Immunity Idol-carrier/lookalike, Willard! Will this staggering blow to Koror give Ulong the opening they need to turn the tide? *feeble hope*
You Better Wake Up and Pay Attention
Cold, angry, and still suffering from beef stew envy, Ulong shuffles back into camp following their Tribal Council. James is hopping mad, as he was planning on voting out Ibrehem, whom he feels single-handedly blew the challenge and lost the beef-stew reward. However, in a twist, Koror was able to grant immunity to one member of Ulong in between downing mouthfuls of stew, and Koror chose . . . you guessed it, Ibrehem. Unable to change the circumstances, James decides to look ahead to the next challenges. “What we’ve got to do,” he says, “is start payin’ attention! Keep yer ears open and listen to yer tribe-mates! Focus!” While James tosses out enough buzz-words to make managers everywhere stand up and take notice, Bobby Jon thinks that it’s unfair to call Ibrehem out like that, acting as though beef stew was the be-all and end-all of the game. Heck, it probably wasn’t even home-made. Now, had it been steak and lobster, Ibrehem would have mysteriously vanished by now.
The next morning, Ibrehem finds time to rise early and perform his morning prayer, saying that he thinks “God may have had a hand” in his sticking around last night. Thank goodness he can’t hear the obnoxious “chanting” music that’s been edited into the scene. Regardless, he feels that the closer you get to having something taken away, the more you appreciate it.
Idle Hands are the Devil’s Sock Puppet
At Koror’s camp, things are going smoothly. Is this a surprise? Tom says that the beef stew was a great re-energizer, and everyone has awoken refreshed and ready to go. It seems that the tribe is living by the old adage, “Idle hands are the devil’s plaything,” for everyone seems to be busily at work with some project that will make life easier down the road. Gathering firewood, building a screen to protect the fire, making necklaces. . . . What!?
That’s right. Katie, while everyone else is doing “real work,” has occupied herself with making braided necklaces/headbands. Um, that’s cute and all, but many are not impressed—in fact, I’m not sure that she’s even sharing her arts & crafts wealth with the rest of the tribe. Coby and Caryn certainly don’t feel that Katie’s macramé creations are enough of a contribution to camp life.
However, Katie is careful to not let her hands become too idle and is soon seen proving her value to the tribe by presenting a puppet show depicting Ulong’s Tribal Council. Angie was played brilliantly by a blue sock, but I must say that Bobby Jon, played by used-to-be-white sock, was a bit of a letdown. Apparently Bobby Jon loves everyone and looks like Jesus? ‘Twas news to me.
Blow ‘Em Away
Without much further ado, it is tree-mail time, and Katie is thrilled to announce that there’s a yummy snack attached to today’s poem. And guess what it is? “It starts with a ‘p’ and ends in ‘ull!’” says Katie, as if anyone is going to get that. Maybe . . . pick-ull? Pop-sic . . . ull?
No, Pringles! That’s right. The whole tribe splits the one attached chip and reads the following description of the upcoming challenge, provided by the Survivor poet:
Ready, aim, fire,
You’ll each get a shot,
Make sure it’s a good one,
You’ll be bummed if it’s not.
No strength required,
A steady hand to compete.
See the wonders of these islands
and give your taste buds a treat.
“It sounds like it will be a shooting challenge,” says Jenn, and she ponders if it will be held with a bow & arrow or slingshot. Ah, young Jenn. Have you not noticed this season’s theme? It’s time to prepare for war!
As the tribes walk in, they are greeted by both Jeff and a replica 50-caliber cannon. Set up in the distance are sixteen tribe-colored tiles; eight for each tribe. Using the cannon, the tribes will take aim at their own-colored tiles, and the first to shoot out all eight wins reward. The winning tribe will get to board a “one-of-a-kind Japanese boat” and be taken away to a destination known as Jellyfish Lake. After enjoying Mai Tais and everyone’s favorite not-quite-a-potato-chip™ on the way, the survivors will get to go snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake, which, as the name suggests, is home to millions of jellyfish. The best part? After living in fresh water for so long, these jellyfish have lost their ability to sting, so it’s perfectly safe. Supposedly.
Is that even worth playing for? The poor fools . . . Pringles, Mai Tais, and jellyfish? Worst. Reward. Ever.
Katie, Janu, Jenn, and Ian sit out for Koror. Ulong starts round one as Bobby Jon takes the gun and fires, missing. Gregg follows for Koror with another miss. James, when he steps up next, is asked by Jeff if he shoots a lot of guns. “Yeh,” James replies, before promptly missing. Coby and Ibrehem both add nothing to the scoreboard, when finally Tom puts Koror up 1-0 with a hit. Stephenie, whom we all know is getting tired of losing, answers back for Ulong with a hit, and Caryn follows with a miss. The score is tied at one.
In round two, Bobby Jon and Gregg both score hits, keeping the score even, and Ibrehem and Stephenie push Ulong ahead by both sniping their targets. Caryn adds one hit for Koror, but Ulong remains ahead 4-3.
Bobby Jon and Gregg both continue hitting paydirt in round three, as do Stephenie and Caryn, so Ulong remains at a 6-5 lead. James, clearly not using his usual brand of firepower, still has yet to hit anything and just hits dirt. I hear the possums of the world have begun supporting 50-caliber cannon usage for future hunting seasons.
In the final round, Bobby Jon and Gregg continue their individuals hitting streaks, pushing the score to 7-6. James fails to take it home for Ulong, and when Coby scores a very zen-like hit in the midst of all the pressure, the score is tied at seven. Ibrehem and Tom both miss, but Steph lands another shot, hitting the last of Ulong’s targets. Caryn is the last up to shoot, and if she can hit Koror’s final target, she forces a tiebreaker. Can she do it? Not with Stephenie’s tremendous mental energy pushing away her bullets. Stop the presses; Ulong wins 8-7!
High Time for a Peripetia
Ulong is overjoyed as they head off to enjoy their reward, and Stephenie, in particular, is elated to finally snap the losing streak. As she and her tribe-mates board the boat and begin chowing down on the Pringles and Mai Tais, they feel that this is just the boost that the tribe needed to begin a whole new chapter. Bobby Jon proposes a toast, deemed “From here on out.” From here on out, they are going to start winning, they’re going to remain buddies, and they’re turning their game around. With a resounding clinky, the tribe-mates drink to their future successes and dive into the jellyfish lake.
Meanwhile, things aren’t so rosy at Koror’s camp. A huge storm has blown into the picture, accompanied by what Tom approximates as 40-mph winds. Everyone cowers under the blanket for safety, but Ian the Brave dares the storm gods to do their worst. The god of Thunder is Thor. Thor needs some athprin. Thus, Koror’s shelter is assaulted by the fury of Thor. Will they survive?
The next morning the shelter is still standing and everyone is still alive, but several of the Survivors describe the night as “torture,” and Janu has clearly been shaken by the storm. As she lies in the hammock sullenly, Tom tries to boost her spirits a bit with a pep talk, but to no avail. The esteemed puppetress, Katie, is not amused by Janu’s drama—wanting the sole title of drama queen for herself—and says that Janu “gets too caught up in her head.” Too caught up in her hair, too, from the looks of it.
Ouch, It Pokes!
At Ulong’s camp, Ibrehem is hauling in a huge foot locker that they received via tree-mail. “Rice?” asks James, hope gleaming in his eyes. Unfortunately, not . . . it’s just the details for the upcoming challenge. Inside the box are the opposing team’s flag and a length of rope. Using the rope, the tribes must make the box as impenetrable as possible.
I’m not impressed. The challenge itself is fine, but the message is written telegraph-style, so the Survivor poet didn’t even have to work on this one. How difficult is it to rhyme “stop” and “stop?”
James is all over this challenge since he was in the Navy and knows a thing or two about knots—being a “nautical” kind of guy and all. He proposes the tying of one “superknot” that, the harder you tug at it, will only pull tighter. Well, it sounds great on paper, so the others jump in and begin tying.
Both tribes enter the challenge area, tied-up-boxes in tow, and Jeff explains the rest of the challenge. The tribes will each have twenty minutes to swim into the ocean and bring back three bundles of lumber, which they will use to construct a fortress around their foot lockers. After twenty minutes, the tribes will stop working, switch sides, and try to free their flag from the disaster pile created by the other team.
Since Katie, Janu, Jenn, and Ian sat out the previous challenge, they are competing for Koror. At Jeff’s go, everyone is in the water, racing towards the lumber. Well, Ulong’s Stephenie and Bobby Jon are, anyway. Ibrehem half-heartedly wades into the water, while James sets to work immediately . . . on tying his skirt so he won’t be seen nekkid! Once everyone returns to the shore, they begin piling the lumber atop the chests as awkwardly as possible, with sharp-pointy ends out for added irritation.
After the twenty-minute time limit is up, the teams switch and set to the deconstruction of the other team’s fortresses, which look not unlike sea urchins on steroids. Both teams remain neck-and-neck until they arrive at the actual knots around the boxes. Will this be Ulong’s great moment? Knot a chance. Koror sails ahead, frees their flag, and claims immunity . . . which they have yet to lose.
Listen to Your Brain, Not Your Gut
So much for James’ immense knowledge of knots, or perhaps he meant an entirely different type of knot. Regardless, James feels good because he can finally boot off that ne’er do well, Ibrehem, and the beef stew will finally be avenged. The other Ulongites, however, have different ideas. Bobby Jon would like to vote off James and continue on with Stephenie, but Stephenie has already pledged her loyalties to James. Ibrehem? Well, he just wants to stick around. That’s all we know about him.
While Bobby Jon is attempting to not decapitate himself with the Hawaiian sling, he tries to strike a deal with Stephenie, unaware that Steph voted for him in the last Tribal Council and not James. Ah, the joys of bad handwriting! Steph is willing to listen, however, and lies that she did not vote for Bobby Jon, knowing that if she had revealed the truth, the ‘Bama boys would have flung her from the island quicker than you can say “penmanship.”
As the sun sets and Ulong arrives to the tribal council war bunker, Jeff thoughtfully lambastes them that they “have . . . not . . . won.” Gee, thanks, Jeff! James reveals his deeper thinking skills, theorizing that whenever they hear the word “immunity,” they begin subconsciously sabotaging themselves. How very Freudian.
Jeff also points out that the three remaining guys on Ulong all hail from the same part of the country. Does that make Stephenie a bit nervous? She says it does make her a little paranoid, yet also says that she trusts all of the guys on the tribe. Hmmph. Clearly, she knows that she’s still the most attractive member of the tribe and, thus, has nothing to worry about. With that, it’s time to vote.
Ibrehem and James, as expected, vote for each other, canceling out one another. Will Bobby Jon and Steph continue with their plan? One more vote comes in for James, and one more for Ibrehem, resulting in a tie. As a tiebreaker, Ibrehem and James will not vote, so it’s up to Steph and Bobby Jon to vote again and decide. Unanimously, the pair proceeds according to plan and votes out James.
James is, in keeping with the war theme, shell-shocked. Haw haw! He feels very disappointed with the vote, saying that he didn’t feel it was his time to go yet. He listened to his gut, and his gut misled him. What does your gut tell you after a meal of fake potato and Mai Tais? Well, there goes Ulong’s new “From here on out” approach, as well as James’ plan to be the first redneck to win a million dollars. Of course, his plan was sort of thwarted from the very beginning since Chris won last year. Come to think of it, listening to your gut doesn’t have the best track record on this show, either.
Next week on Survivor: Will Ulong be able to win a single immunity challenge? Will they turn into a tribe of two or even one? And, finally . . . man bites shark! MAN BITES SHARK!
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