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Wow, so I guess I spoke too soon when I called last week’s Survivor boring, because for the second week in a row we got a bunch of filler and not too much action. We did get a new twist to the game, but overall it was actually a slower episode than last week. I was really hoping that the merge was going to do something for the overall excitement of the game, but it looks like we are going to have to sit through a numbers game as the former Yaxha members are picked off. Unless something drastic happened to convince some people in Nakum to vote against their tribe, the only suspense was going to be how long Yaxha could postpone the inevitable. But hey, if watching even the most boring of Survivors keeps me distracted from all of the stupid referendum phone calls, then bring it on.After voting out Amy, Yaxha made their way back to the Nakum tribe. They were sent in the middle of the night so they didn’t get to bring any of their stuff with them right away, and them other tribe was sleeping when they got there. They all knew they were outnumbered, so they decided on a strategy. Gary was the one who said “just play stupid and work hard for them,” but I think that was short sighted. You can probably do well playing stupid because you have Bobby Jon, but not even he can bring the stupid that Judd deals with on a daily level, and when you add in Jamie, playing stupid is probably the last thing you could do and beat Nakum.
Tensions have been high between the two teams, and the physical nature of the challenges has really turned some people against each other. Afther the teams were shuffled, Yaxha seemed to be ready to coast along to victories and with the way they were beating people, decided they didn’t need their most athletic person, Blake. Now, I have never been a fan of Blake, and there was no way to tell if he would have been the difference over the last few weeks, but if the rest of his teammates could have just ignored him while he talked about all of the big-titted chicks that he slept with, maybe things would be different.
Anyway, words have been said about many tribe members, but it was basically all about how much Bobby Jon disliked Jamie and Steph and vice versa. As soon as Yaxha came in and told them what was up, Jamie was ready to show who was boss, saying that there wasn’t enough room under the shelter and he hopes that they don’t mind having to sleep outside. This really pissed off Bobby Jon, and I was reaching for my drawl translator to try and figure out what “I’m going to knock every one of your team slam out yo head” was supposed to mean. I think it loosely translastes to “I am going to kick your sorry ass and pound your face in.”
Knowing that they were outnumbered, the only thing Yaxha decided that they could do to make themselves wanted was to do a lot of work and hope people noticed how helpful they are. Therefore, the next day, all of Yaxha decided that they would look for wood. It’s kind of sad to see that as soon as a weaker team comes into the picture, the team with more members lets the minority break their backs. It would become a theme for the entire episode. And even though Yaxha was collecting wood, it soon became a big joke among some of Nakum, who at first laughed at Yaxha for how much wood they were collecting and then got almost upset because they wouldn’t stop collecting wood when they were told.
Rafe and Lydia got some new treemail, and inside there were paints and a flag for the new tribe. They had to come up with a new name, and so they called it Yhaxkum, which is actually not a bad matchup when you think about it. It’s not the pure lyrical brilliance of Brangelina or TomKat, but it will work. This gave Lydia a chance to wind herself up and do some more dancing, but the pancake didn’t make a reappearance.
More important than the new tribe name came a twist in the game. There was an immunity idol hidden in the woods, or as I like to call it, the Guatemalan jungle – woods is so Deerhunter and Deliverance, but jungle is Survivor. The immunity idol was only six inches long, enough to make Jamie jealous for sure, but easily concealed in the jungle. This immunity idol would be separate from the idol won in the competitions.
As soon as people heard the news, everybody started fanning out into the jungle, looking for the immunity idol. For the people of the old Yaxha, it was a chance to keep themselves in the game, and for the people of Nakum, it was a good way to ensure that their numbers wouldn’t be in jeopardy any time soon. We got a shot of what the immunity idol looked like, but I was really hoping for one of those Amazing Race shots where they show a team passing right by the thing they were looking for. Also, I was wondering how they kept the monkeys from stealing the idol and moving it, or eating it for that matter. The only person who gave up was Rafe, who instead of finding the immunity idol, found a nest of hornets. He placed his hand directly on the hive and was a stung a few times in the process. He took this as a sign of the gods that he shouldn’t look anymore. He did say he was the worst at finding anything, but that’s because he usually limits his search to a closet of some type.
There were other things besides the old Nakum being sort of domineering with their attitude towards their new members that pissed the old Yaxha off. One thing they couldn’t stand was the overwhelming negativity that seemed to surround the Nakum camp. It had to really bother them because the Brandon, Gary, Danni and Bobby Jon decided to just leave and go fishing together, leaving the rest of the people to plot their demise. Judd called it a slap in the face. After all, he was using all of the time he saved by not having to collect firewood by sitting around and complaining. Why should they go out and get food too?
I am always surprised to see Survivors complain about parts of the game that don’t go as they went before. Sure, we bloggers do the same thing to some extent, but I think we have come to realize that there are going to be a number of twists, and this time, it looked like the producers weren’t going to treat everybody to a big feast just because they all made it to the merge. All of this complaining really started to get to Rafe. When the new people came on, he wasn’t expecting all of this “them vs. us” type of talk, and he started thinking that perhaps he was on the wrong side. He wondered if he was on the Axis of Evil and perhaps he was contributing to global warming just being in their presence. How bad was the complaining on Nakum? Not even the presence of the Yaxha pool was enough to stop them from complaining.
In a season of firsts on Survivor, the immunity challenge was going to be a contest to see who was the best pot head. No, they weren’t going to make people smoke the jungle ganja and see who was the last to fall over, but they were going to all put ceramic pots on their heads and see which pot was the last to fall over. Balancing the pots on their head was made easier by a bag of padding, and each person who participated in the challenge had to stand still on a piece of wood until there was nobody left. Anybody still in the game after an hour would go on to a tiebreaker.
There was a further twist to all of this as Jeff told them that any person who decided that they didn’t need immunity could step off to the side and enjoy a feast. Jamie, Steph, Rafe, and Lydia all took this option, meaning Judd and Cindy were up against all of the old Yaxha for the immunity. Even during the challenge, things were not peaceful. Jamie started to rub it in to Bobby Jon and Bobby Jon started talking back. Jamie’s trash talk eventually upset everybody around him, including his teammates who were still in the running for immunity and even his teammates that were sitting down and enjoying the feast. Rafe was so bothered, Stephenie had to calm him down. It seems that Margaret wasn’t so crazy when she talked about the poor sports that were on her team.
We are led to believe that the new tribe is a single tribe, but the fact remains that they are still two tribes sort of forced together. There is no way to really battle this happening other than switching the tribes each week a la Tommy Hilfiger and The Cut. Anyway, Jamie revealed the obvious when he said that Judd was up there protecting their lead which finally put it all out there as to what the true nature of the game was going to be.
Danni, who earlier complained that her head was too round, was the first to be eliminated. If I were her, I would worry that her hip bones are going to stab somebody in the eye. Maybe Lydia, or perhaps Judd, can breast feed her or something because things are getting desperate here. After her elimination was the tie breaker, which was also a balancing act and involved climbing a set of pyramid steps. The first person to get to the top or the person who got the farthest without their pot breaking won immunity. Gary won the game without much fanfare, but at least it gave him a reason to show us something other than that stupid Edward Munch face he keeps on giving us. Have you ever watched Gary when he’s in the background? I swear he has dentures and he’s playing with them in his mouth or something. Why else would he constantly have his mouth in the shape of an “O” at all times? Did he break his jaw? Can somebody break his jaw to make him stop?
Back at camp, we quickly learned how they were going to try and play tribal council. Brandon, being the most physically fit of the other team, was set to go first. I know Brandon is an athlete, but other than chopping ropes with stone, is there really a reason to be so scared of him? Apparently there was, or maybe Bobby Jon and his pleading with people how much he wanted to be on the jury finally had some effect. On the other side, there was Jamie. His words pissed off many members of his camp, including Judd. We were hearing words like Rafe saying he couldn’t respect himself if he went far with Jamie and Cindy saying that Jamie didn’t deserve to be there any more than Brandon.
At tribal council, there was actually a little question as to how the votes would go. Jeff once again tried to stir up the voting by asking questions that were critical of Jamie. Jamie did his best by getting into yet another fight with Bobby Jon, this time about class and self-respect. He really had no argument, however, as even his teammates were telling him to stop after a while, and it prompted Jeff to sit there and shake his head over the whole thing as well.
Did Brandon have any chance? This was one of the more exciting tribal councils, because there was really a ton of negative feelings towards Jamie, but all of his tribe members stuck with him and Brandon was voted out 6-4. It looks like Cindy’s last words meant more than a bad seed. “The game is not about who you care about,” and she was there to win.
If there were any schemers at all, this game would have been a lot of fun. I think that Jamie should have been a sitting duck, but nobody on the old Yaxha was campaigning besides Bobby Jon, and even that was an accident. The sentiment was so high against Jamie that they should have been mentioning that the old Nakum could stay in power even if they voted out Jamie because it would still be 5-4. Unfortunately, Brandon seemed resigned to the fact he was going home early on when Jamie was telling him point blank that he was on the chopping block. Gary rarely sticks his neck out for anybody, and Danni was wondering how she could take a picture of herself now that she was in the best shape of her life. Point being, it should have been easy to flp Nakum. Still, I think that there is an off chance that Rafe or Cindy might switch allegiance, at least once. I hope something happens, because we need a coup of that nature to turn the game around for us forced to watch it at home.
What did you think of the episode? Is the second immunity idol a good idea or not?