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Well, it’s week two of Survivor: Model Island and Tyra Banks still hasn’t arrived to hand out headshots to the castaways. Maybe she and Janice Dickinson got marooned on a different archipelago. Nevertheless, the assembled clan of beautiful genes excised another of its own, leaving the makeshift island nation that much closer to Hitler’s dreams of a pure, radiant society. You know you’re amongst the Beautiful People when the resident Piggy has only 9% body fat.
Amazingly, for all my trash talk, I sort of like this cast. Usually I tire of vapid models and aspiring actors. Maybe I just need to take a conch to the head to snap me out of this mindset, but so far, I’m feeling good about this season. It’s too bad. Now it looks like I won’t get to use my much rehearsed line, “Survivor: Palau? How about Survivor: Puh-leese.” Actually, that just makes me sound like a Fran Drescher impersonator in Vegas. So just forget I even said it in the first place.At the outset of this week’s show, things were not going so well for the Koror tribe. They were cold, wet, and surrounded by rats. The next morning, they realized they had wandered into a crack den in Brooklyn. Janu had a particularly difficult time with the rats, and not even her oversized Edna Mode glasses could help scare them away. “I know it’s mind over matter, but I mind and it matters!” she said. Oooh, I love the Janu-ization of a cliché! Let’s do another: “A stitch in time saves nine, but I stitch and I don’t have time” or “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but I’m an apple and I need a doctor!” Hmmm… I’ll leave the bon mots to Janu, a.k.a. the Mae West of Palau.
Particularly upset about the beach was Caryn, who without looking at her bio is clearly a lawyer from Manhattan (looked at the bio: raised in New York, but is a lawyer in Ohio now). I hope Caryn wrangles in a huge class action case, if only so we can give Annie Potts some work during the inevitable Lifetime Television dramatization.
Meanwhile, over at Ulong, the team was still reeling (read: elated) from the loss of Jolanda at Tribal Council. Now everyone could do what they wanted without someone yelling in their ears, reasoned James. “We’re gonna do democracy!” he then added proudly. So apparently Jolanda was imposing some sort of totalitarian regime on the island? Or maybe she’d espoused a feudal rule. EIther way, doesn’t matter. She was gone, and now James, newly emancipated from brutal serfdom, was ready to get down with the U. S. of A. in Palau. Yeehaw! First order of the new democracy: uh… um… gather pebbles?
Both tribes convened at the Reward Challenge which was an assortment of balance beams leading to flags that had to be collected and yada yada yada – just don’t fall in the water and try to avoid the flying sandbags. Man, these challenges have really become elaborate. Jeff as usual asked if the survivors wanted to know what they were playing for. Before James could even take a straw vote for yay or nay (this IS a democracy, after all), Jeff told them anyway. “If you can’t get food with this, you don’t deserve to be out here,” he said, revealing a set of fishing equipment. Okay Jeff. If you’re so freakin’ amazing with the fishing, why don’t you go out there and haul in a seafood buffet for us, mmmkay? After all, it IS Lobsterfest. And yes, Jeff, we WILL be expecting those nice cheddar rolls too.
Anyway, the reward challenge went just about as expected. Lots of falling off the beams, lots of blurred out nip slips, and lots of slapping the water in frustration (by the way, this just in: slapping the water does NOT improve physical performance). We discovered that Bobby Jon might be this season’s resident psycho as he aggressively freaked out over any mistakes made. Even after he slipped off an oil drum, he grabbed on and futilely attempted to climb back on. Ultimately, he relented with such dramatic furor that I wondered if letting go somehow caused his baby brother to die.
Katie meanwhile had issues with the simplest of tasks. She had to grab onto a rope and swing across a dusty pit. Sadly, Katie was no Tarzan as she careened into the pit wall time and time again. This is what we like to call “sad.” Seriously, this girl had all the coordination of a winter squash. By the time she triumphed over the dirt pit from hell, the other team had already gained a sizable lead. Katie labored across the various structures, but her resolve soon ended as she voluntarily jumped into the water, finally succumbing to the limits of her cardio-vascular system. I’m sure Katie is very nice, but she also reminds me of every annoying high school girl who thought joining chorus gave them free reign to sing Les Miserables tunes all day long. YOU ARE NOT COSETTE!
Nevertheless, the challenge continued after Katie’s splash-tastic tour of duty. Caryn bounced along the course with the spry determination of a housewife running to JC Penney, but unfortunately she went down with a major splat. Coby tried to achieve a zen-like state before attempting to cross the course, but after honing his inner Alan Watts, he took one step and promptly cascaded into a watery demise. The good news though was that Bobby Jon finally traversed the balance beams and oil drums successfully, a wondrous feat that caused him to savagely beat his head. Control the anger Bobby Jon. Control the anger. By the way, I’d like to nominate Bobby Jon as Most Likely To Have Lived Out At Close Range. If you haven’t seen the movie, rent it. You’ll know what I’m talking about.
Surprisingly enough, the one who dominated this challenge the most was none other than skimpy bra aficionado Angie, who came through with flying colors for Ulong. Sure enough, the spry young team won, and back at the beach, everyone praised the tattooed representative of Deviant Lifestyles. With fire and water under control, Bobby Jon and Jeff went fishing with their new gear. Soon, the guys yielded results. Jeff raised high his marvelous bounty — an oversized minnow of some sort — and then explained for the umpteenth time how wonderful it was to get protein. Okay okay okay. You’re a physical trainer. You love protein. WE GET IT.
Over at Koror, the plucky group attempted to reclaim their box of flint. I have a hard time believing they found the box without the assistance of Burnett & Co. (dehydration can be a pesky legal problem), but nevertheless, the group eventually hauled in their box, causing Caryn to burst out in an excited, First-Row-At-Streisand dance. Amazingly, this is the same dance she does whenever she wins in court.
With the afternoon’s maritime activities complete, we then returned to Ulong to see how Jeff and Bobby Jon’s seafood platter had turned out. The reviews seemed pretty favorable, with one person noting “I haven’t had giant clam before!” It’s not very common. Chances are it’s probably poisonous or filled with toxins anyway. Bon appetit! Ashlee meanwhile shunned the food, thus irking Jeff: “Someone forsaking protein? HEATHEN!” Later, while everyone sat around the campfire, Ashlee secluded herself in the shelter and went to sleep. Bobby Jon scoffed at her independence, saying that everyone should have hung out at the campfire. We then cut to footage of said campfire and watched the emotionally intense scene unfold as Stephenie yawned “I’m passing out.” To which someone else said, “Me too.” Oh Ashlee. The memories you have missed.
The next morning, teams returned to the altar of Probst for the next immunity challenge. Their mission: swim out to a pontoon (Probst’s new favorite word this season) and then dive down and pull a box fifty feet to shore. Then the teams would open the box and unhitch several canteens, each of which represented a letter in Morse code. Teams would take the canteens back to a board and try to spell “Immunity”. Just a tad bit convoluted.
At Jeff Probst’s signal, the teams jumped into the water and swam towards their pontoons. Ulong arrived first and began tugging at their underwater footlocker. Koror meanwhile waited patiently while Willard swam as fast as he could out to them. Hey Willard. Maybe you should spend more time learning to swim and less time pretending to be Ed Bradley.
Even though Koror arrived at the pontoon later, they managed to catch up and surpass Ulong with the pulling. Tom became He-Man underwater and hauled the box almost entirely by himself. The key was that he actually braced against an underwater drum and used his legs. Once again, those older folk and their crazy wisdom. So basically, Tom was either a machine… or he had a basic knowledge of physics. Either/Or.
Ultimately, Koror won the immunity challenge for the second time in a row, causing Stephenie to, you guessed it, slap the water. Slapping water is the new black. Ashlee, meanwhile, emerged from the surf even more breasty than before. I think her bosom actually grew. Somehow her boobies can retain water. Either that or Ashlee’s nursing. That would explain the random baby she’s always carrying around.
Back at camp, people singled out Kim for not participating much in the immunity challenge. Others chastised Ashlee for showing outcast tendencies. Who would go?? James definitively stated, “Kim is gone.” Okay, so I guess Kim will be staying. Yes, Mark Burnett. We’re onto your tricks of misdirection. James approached Jeff, who incidentally was Kim’s “bedmate”, and said “Psychologically, sociologically — I’m seeing Kim as a threat.” Jeff gave him a blank stare and replied “You lost me after the third syllable.” I thought it was interesting that James viewed Kim as a sociological threat. Apparently she puts various studies of human social behavior in grave risk. Beware social scientists! Kim has imperiled your analysis of a societal segment as a self-contained entity! Save your data to a floppy disk and retreat. Retreat, I tell you!
Abs of steel Stephenie meanwhile recognized the threat that burgeoning lovebirds Jeff and Kim posed. She told Bobby Jon that they needed to be broken up, but he didn’t see the threat and completely dismissed Stephenie’s (correct) logic. Listen Bobby Jon. I know you really want to be like Sawyer on “Lost”, but you’re not. So just go with the flow and listen to Stephenie. And yes, her name is really spelled that way.
Kim meanwhile learned that she might be going home and therefore pulled the classic Survivor bullshit card of “I just want to know if you’re voting for me. I’ll respect you more if you tell me.” Seriously, don’t patronize us.
At Tribal Council, Probst drilled Jeff about his relationship with his new lovebug. “Kim and I have gotten to know each other more than I have with the other girls,” Jeff replied politely. So does this mean he’ll soon be making out with Angie and her armpit hair when he gets to know her better too? Just wondering. Meanwhile, as everyone babbled about nothing too interesting, Ibrehem, who has said literally nothing this entire episode, sat hunched over, his eyes zoning off into space. Okay, somebody stimulate this poor guy. He hasn’t done anything except lurk around other people’s shots and look bored. Does anyone even know he’s there?
We finally heard a few quiet, slurred words from Ibrehem as he cast a vote against Kim. Jeff meanwhile was quite vocal about his voting. “I’m a man of my word,” he said proudly. And what word is that, Jeff? “Um… lilac.” Very good.
In the end, Ashlee predictably went home. She didn’t really contribute much to the team beyond providing a pair of funbags to ogle at, but I guess that won’t really win immunities, unless there’s some sort of flotation challenge. With only seven members on their tribe, we’ll soon find out if Ulong can finally stanch the bloodletting next week.