What is up with Survivor? Every week it keeps getting better and better. I tell you, that mutiny has to rank as one of the best twists ever for this franchise because ever since Probst & Co. employed it, the show has been totally engrossing, culminating in last week’s triumphant coup of strategizing. All week long, I couldn’t understand why CBS had aired the best episode of the season on Thanksgiving, a night when most people were probably busy with their families. Why not air the clip show instead? Of course, the big assumption there was that last week’s show was the best episode of the season. Little did I realize that Thursday’s episode would so swiftly take the “OMG! Did you see that?” watercooler throne. Yes, Cook Islands is white hot right now, and if we’re lucky, it won’t implode under the weight of the do-gooder Aitus and their lovey-dovey alliance. But as long as Jeff Probst continues with the zingers (like his brutal torch-snuffing dis this week), we know we’ll be in for good times…Before this week’s show even began, I was excited. There was gonna be some crazy fallout for Jonathan. For those of you who missed last week’s merge episode, Yul revealed to Jonathan that he had the immunity idol and that if Jonathan didn’t join their ranks to vote off Nate, Yul would use the idol and send Jonathan packing. Placed between a rock and a hard place, Jonathan flipped on his new tribe and joined the former Aitu members in voting off Nate. This led to many a stunned face at Tribal Council, and while I felt badly for Nate, it was his own damn fault for not campaigning harder to get rid of Jonathan. Nate, dawg (heh), couldn’t you tell the whites were all tight? You should have been the swing vote, not the victim! Fight the power!
Anyway, with Nate bitterly ejected to the jury, we knew the whiteys would not be happy with Jonathan. At all. Hence, my excitement entering this episode. Sure enough, Jonathan began his damage control immediately, telling Candice that he had to vote against Nate or else he might have been going home. “Okay, I know,” Candice said, just barely containing the urge to grab Jonathan’s head and tear it off.
Parvati was less reserved with her rage. She snapped at Jonathan, “You pissed everyone’s game off; so hope you’re happy with second place!” Yes, shame on Jonathan for ruining Parvati’s game! Surely he realized he was playing this to help her win. Selfish bastard!
Well, Parvati continued to rant to us, saying, “It’s vile to me. It makes me, I feel sick to my stomach.” Never mind that she surely would have stabbed Jonathan in the back first to get him off the island. Clearly only she’s allowed to make such bold moves, not Jonathan. Of course, we all knew the only reason why Parvati felt sick was not because Jonathan was disloyal but because he’d played her like a fiddle. And no one plays Parvati! Except, you know, everyone.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t begrudge Parv her bulimia-inspired fantasy as she complained, “All I wanted to do is take Jonathan’s face and throw up all over it!” Quite honestly, I would have loved to have seen that. It would have been a new frontier for reality TV.
The best part of all this, however, was that when Jonathan tried to explain his actions to Raro, they refused to believe him. Parvati even balked, “Yul doesn’t have the idol!” Hahaha. IDIOT. She’s so the type in comedies who holds up a gun and laughs, “This thing ain’t loaded!” as she then shoots a hole in the ceiling. Silly Poverty!
After the opening credits, we then found Sundra making her mark in the episode by routinely gutting a fish. Never having partaken in such a lovely activity, Parvati decided now might be a good time to take some notes, you know, just in case she was ever called upon to employ some sort of survivor skills — as crazy as that might sound. Well, Jonathan was nothing but dismayed that Parvati had lasted so long without the slightest hint as to how to gut open a fish. “She’s a lazy, selfish girl,” he sneered, and for good reason! Like duh! Everyone knows how to gut a fish!!! I just gutted one three minutes ago. Tasty!
Meanwhile, Adam let out his inner-slackjawed yokel as he chewed on a root and complained, “This game’s not as fun in this position.” He just wants to soar with the eagles, people! Must he always be surrounded by turkeys and their so-called “work ethic,” whatever that is?
“I sure wish I could whittle sumthin’.”
Anyway, after watching Jonathan try to ingratiate himself back into Aitu by calling the whiteys a “clown house,” we then headed off to the reward challenge, which was none other than that most glorious of events: the Survivor auction! Huzzah! First item up for bid was covered in a little basket dome, and off the getgo, Jonathan bid $20. This shocked Parvati who exclaimed, “Oh, we don’t know what it is!” Yes, sweetheart. That’s the point.
Well, Jonathan won this mystery item, which turned out to be a hot dog, fries, and a cold beer — the latter of which Jonathan promptly spilled all over his tribemates by accident. As Parvati said, “Party foul!” (Of course, if it were Parvati who had spilled the beer, I would have gone the more pun-tacular route of “Parvati foul!” Sorry. Lame, I know.)
Speaking of Parvati, she nearly came in her pants when she saw the next item: a hot bubble bath to be enjoyed with a huge piece of chocolate cake. I particularly enjoyed Adam’s reaction to the item as he commented something along the lines of “You just slip right into that tub.” Yes, that’s usually the way baths work. Nevertheless, Parv-Parv immediately began throwing down the cash, but Jonathan wouldn’t let her win this without a fight. He repeatedly one-upped her, causing an instigative Probst to ask, “Does Jonathan really want it? Or does Jonathan want you to spend all your money?” Simmer down, Jeff. It’s a bubble bath with chocolate cake. Even I want that, and I’m in normal society.
Ultimately, Poverty won the award, and as she lathered up in the tub, Jeff revealed the next lot: a teensy-tiny envelope with a darling bow tied around it. Awwww. A love letter from Mark Burnett? Not quite. Jeff explained: “This will give you power in this game.” Well, the bidding came fast and furious, with Candice putting all her money on the table — $500 — for the envelope. With the help of Yul, Becky was able to outbid her at $600, but then Adam chipped in for the Help Candice Fund, raising the blonde’s bid up to $620. It was a nice effort, but Yul and Becky responded with $640, and with that, Adam and Candice dropped out of the running, and Becky won the envelope. So what new power did Becky receive? She had to send someone to Exile Island immediately and take the rest of that person’s money for herself. Oh damn! Would Becky be so cruel as to send Candice back to Exile Island for the thirtieth consecutive time?
YES. Without any hint of reservation or trepidation, Becky matter-of-factly sent Candice packing for Exile Island yet again. Normally, I’d feel badly for Candice — it does suck to be picked on over and over again. Buuuut then I remember how she screwed everyone over and how she reminds me of so many superficial pretty girls from college, and then I don’t feel so bad anymore. Smell ya later, Candy Corn!
Before leaving for her island getaway, Probst asked Candice if she knew where the hidden immunity idol was. Candice said she had a pretty good idea, and then suddenly, Yul did something that could prove to be so stupid, I don’t even know what to say. He revealed the immunity idol. Why? Why? Didn’t he realize that no one believed that he had it? Hubris! Hubris!
Of course, Parvati still looked like she doubted the idol’s legitimacy, and it wasn’t until Yul dangled it in front of her face that she finally admitted, “It looks authentic.” You heard it here first! That idol’s got the Parvati Seal of Approval! It’s PARV-AUTHENTIC!
Well, once the shock of Yul’s divulgence wore off, it was time for more bidding. Next up: a never-ending ice cream maker! Ozzy happily bet $420 — or as Jeff knowingly called it, “The magic number.” (Something tells me there’s a lot of “magic number” going on after Tribal Council for Jeffy.) Anyway, Ozzy won the ice cream machine, which instantly squirted him in the groin like some sadistic Candid Camera prank.
Insert Nelson Muntz “Ha ha” here.
The next prize was again a Mystery Item (try not to freak out, Parvati), and for whatever reason, no one really bet on it. No one but Jonathan, that is. He won the item easily, which sucked for everyone else because on top of his hot dog, fries, and beer, he now could add an entire pepperoni pizza. This understandably made Adam all pissy (then again, when isn’t he pissy?), and after seeing Jonathan walk off with two scrumptious meals, everyone knew they weren’t going to hold back any longer. The next covered item drew many bids, but Sundra was the victor, and for her efforts she received… a sea cucumber. Waa waa waaaaa.
Jeff then brought out a plate of mouth wash and tooth paste and various other oral hygiene products. Again, everyone held back — probably holding out for food instead — and once again, Jonathan walked away with the prize, tipping Probst a few dollars in the process. And just like that, the auction ended, leaving pretty much everyone empty-handed and still hungry (except Jonathan, who seemed to be halfway through eating the craft service table for the camera crew).
We then went to commercial, and when we returned, we saw the unpleasant image of a moray eel barfing. That’s right. You heard me correctly. An eel booted on camera. I guess when you talk about nature, you refer to it as “regurgitating,” but whatevs, yo. That was a full-scale boot and rally by the eel! Maybe it was inspired by Parvati’s desire to throw up all over Jonathan. The eel totally threw up on its rival — some infernal clam that’s been double crossing all the coral reef creatures.
Excuse you, EEL!
Okay, crazy tangent. Back to the show.
Just to show us that vomiting eels aren’t the new craze, Mark Burnett then cut to our favorite Survivor critter: the scampering crab. Scamper away, young crab! You leave a thousand visual metaphors in your wake!
Over at camp, Jonathan was complaining about being super thirsty after the reward challenge. “I don’t know if it’s the amount of food or the kind of food,” he said. I had to admit that I was stumped too. I mean, he had eaten a hot dog, french fries, a whole pepperoni pizza, and even a beer! Why the heck was he so thirsty? Some things make no sense!
Well, as delicious as that pepperoni pizza may have been, it certainly wasn’t earning any fans when it resurfaced as a nasty belch. Yes, Jonathan let out a stinker of a burp, causing the Aitu girls to question whether or not they wanted to stay allied with him. He was simply too obnoxious to be tolerated. Burpgate 2006!
Sensing that something was rotten in the state of Aitu, Parvati told Adam that their best bet would be to turn everyone against Jonathan. And so the two whiteys set about a campaign of smiling wider than usual (and we all know Adam and Parvati know how to smile wide). Yul, Sundra, and Becky simply didn’t know what to do (and as for Ozzy — I have no idea where he was). The threesome agreed that Jonathan was nothing short of detestable, but before any further bashing could go on, Jonathan suddenly appeared and sat down with the gang. Awwwkward. The Aitus did a good job of covering their asses, making it seem like they were scheming against the whiteys, but Jonathan knew something was up. He could tell that Parvati and Adam had been whispering not-so-sweet nothings into everyone’s ears, and so it was now his duty to growl the sense back into everyone.
Meanwhile, over at Exile Island, Candice found herself alone and cold and bored once again. Just like last time, she spent the majority of the time crying to herself, at one point weeping, “It would be really nice to just get a hug.” Aww. But you have gotten a hug: from the bitter embrace of COSMIC JUSTICE!
After the commercial break, Aitutonga received some tree mail, which Jonathan happily read in long, dramatic fashion. Basically, the parchment instructed them to remember their dates and facts and figures. That’s right, people. We had a brainiac challenge coming up. Don’t get too excited, Yul. (Meanwhile, visions of Math Olympiad probably flooded his brain.)
At the Immunity Challenge, everyone lined up and greeted a smiling Candice back from Exile Island, or as I like to call it, Candice’s Sandbar of Solitude. Jeff then removed the immunity necklace from Ozzy, who bid adieu to this trinket with a loving goodbye wave. Theirs was a great romance. After this season is over, I plan to write a Harlequin titled His Immunity, His Lover: Ozzy and the Necklace.
Anyway, time for the rules of this challenge. Each player would receive four questions whose answers were all numerical values. Everyone then had to either add, subtract, or divide the answers to arrive at a final number. Players then had to untie a box that corresponded to that number, and if they picked the right box, they’d find a key hidden inside (bundled in cloth that was tightly bound with twine, natch). Anyhoo, the players then had to use the key to open a lock, which would then cause a flag to raise up. First three people to raise their flags would move onto the final round. That’s right, this bad boy wasn’t over. But more on that second round later.
Well, Jeff flapped his arm and all the players got to work trying to answer the questions. I naturally assumed that Becky and Yul would make short work of this competition, but then I remembered that oh yeah, stereotypes aren’t always, you know, correct. In a shocking turn of events, Parvati, Adam, and Jonathan raised their flags first (with Candice just seconds behind). That’s got to hurt for Aitu — being beaten out by Poverty.
For the final round, Adam, Poverty, and Jonathan would have to answer more questions and again use the numerical results to find a key. This time, the key would unlock a timber tunnel (kind of sounds like something that should be on a playground — right next to the jungle gym and the BigToy). Once through the timber tunnel, players would then have to traverse a series of floating pontoons (of course) and raise one final flag. First person to raise the flag would win immunity.
Well, I’m not going to drag this out. Adam somehow managed to find his key first, which meant he was suddenly in the famed timber tunnel of torpor before anyone else had even made any headway. Parvati did manage to retrieve her key as well, but by the time she began unlocking/untying the hallowed gate to her timber tunnel, Adam had already slithered across the pontoons and “casually” unfurled his flag. That’s right — the chin’d one finally soared like an eagle and won himself immunity. Who knew he’d have any math and memory skills?
After the challenge, Candice fretted that her number was finally up. She was going home, she said confidently, but if we know our Mark Burnett editing tricks, I’d have to say this was some Grade A misdirection. Or was it? Maybe it was misdirection on the misdirection.
With their backs up against the wall, Adam, Candice, and Parvati made a push to get Jonathan out of the game; although, if they were smart (and there’s no indication that this is the case), they probably should have courted Jonathan back to their side and used him to maybe get rid of a power player like, I don’t know, OZZY. After all, it’s highly likely that he’ll be wearing that immunity necklace more often than not. The Raro kids should have quit their bitching and talked strategy.
But of course they didn’t. They instead opted to bash Jonathan ad nauseam, which was fun and all, especially when he’d occasionally walk by and everyone would fall silent. Smooth. Very smooth. Next time, why not light up a big, red neon sign that says “CURRENTLY TALKING ABOUT JONATHAN.”
Anyway, once Jonathan was far enough away for general bashing to continue, Yul explained to the Raro kids why voting him off was not in his best interest. You see, according to Yul, Jonathan was selfish and rational, which allegedly made him predictable. Sadly, Yul seemed to forget that time when Jonathan shocked everyone by, you know, abandoning Aitu. Oh yeah, and there was that time when he screwed over Raro too. Yup. Totally predictable.
The best part of all this, however, was that midway through Yul’s explanation, that utterly predictable Jonathan unpredictably popped up behind Yul. Oops! Looks like Yulie didn’t see that coming! This led to more awkwardness as Yul had to trail off his conversation as if it were no big deal (but you know that inside he was thinking “Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.”). Luckily, attention was diverted away from Yul when Jonathan accidentally stole Adam’s coconut. WELL. Nobody steals Adam’s coconut! He’s an eagle! And he can’t soar without his own proprietary coconut! Adam immediately snipped at Jonathan, who offered to return the coconut, but at that point, he had already gotten his old man cooties all over the coconut, therefore rendering it useless and turkey-like for poor Adam. Oh, to have one’s own coconut. Will the trials never cease for Adam?
After the coconut fiasco passed, Adam, Candice, and Parvati all snuggled up in the shelter and spent the afternoon cuddling. Well, it was more like Adam was kissing Candice, and Parvati was lying right there, feeling awkward and unloved. Meanwhile, outside the shelter, Jonathan was getting pissed at the kids. In his mind, they’d all been working up a storm, and those lazy sumbitches had been doing nothing but cuddlin’! As a result, he decided that they simply didn’t deserve the fish he had caught, and with Ozzy firmly agreeing that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the Aitu gang and Jonathan decided to chow down on the catch of the day without alerting the Raro kids. Ah, yes. Nothing quite as satisfying as a passive-aggressive meal.
Well, as soon as the Raro kids caught onto this mess, they were livid. “That’s coming out at Tribal!” one of the girls said, as if a firm lashing from Jeff Probst might suddenly lead to a returned Raro dominance in the game. Candice decided that it was highly unfair to be excluded, and so she marched up to her feasting tribe mates and ranted at them for being rude and unthoughtful. This basically turned into a Jonathan vs. Candice melee, but Yul got dragged into the mess too when Candice revealed to Jonathan all the crap he’d been saying about him behind his back. Painted to be an asshole for the first time ever, Yul BLEW HIS LID — and by that, I mean he politely told Candice to not speak for him.
Anyway, Jonathan didn’t particularly care about anything Yul may or may not have said. What he did not like was how Candice had called him a dirty rat. Name calling was inappropriate in his book — even though a) he really was a rat, and b) he’s called many people many names. Amusingly enough, when Candice accused him of trying to weasel his way into Aitu, he barked back, “How dare you!!!” But he wasn’t angry over the insinuation. He was angry that she associated him with weasels. Luckily, linguistics expert Candice explained, “Weasel is a verb in that situation!” Petty arguments over semantics — does it get any better than this? Truth be told, I think Candice was actually right on all counts — it was rude to shun them from dinner, Jonathan was a rat, and she did use “weasel” in a non-perjorative way. But as is always the case with Candice, it’s always hilarious to watch her suffer.
After this whole brouhaha, Yul then pulled Becky aside and told her that it might make sense to get rid of Jonathan after all. You see, earlier on, the Raro kids told Yul that if he didn’t get rid of Jonathan now, they might not vote for him on the jury. Faced with this dilemma, he explained to Becky that he really didn’t want them hating him — otherwise, he might lose three “victory votes.” I didn’t really know why he was telling Becky this. Last time I checked, they were competing for the same prize. I think we can chalk this up to bonehead move #2 for Yul this week. One more, and I’m officially switching over to Camp Ozzy.
At long last, we headed up to Tribal Council where I sincerely did not know who was going home. Candice seemed like the obvious choice, but Jonathan could’ve been a goner too. Mark Burnett — your misdirection was quite excellent this week. I was completely stumped. The only thing I knew for sure was that Nate looked ridiculous in his little hat.
Anyway, the first question Probst asked was why Becky sent Candice to Exile Island yet again. “To see her strength, her endurance,” Becky replied, in one of the more distinctly bullshit-filled moments of the season. C’mon Becky. Just say you wanted cold, hard vengeance.
Conversation soon moved onto Fishgate 2006 as the Raros complained that the Aitus had hoarded all the food for themselves. This brought a smile to Jenny’s face, and I wasn’t sure if she was happy to see her former tribe suffer or if she simply enjoyed the strife as much as we did. Probably a mixture of both. Nate, meanwhile, responded to every single comment with a dumb hand gesture or smiles or grimace. Hey Nate — we can already tell you’re trying to parlay this gig into an acting career. STOP MUGGING.
But sadly, Nate was unstoppable. At one point, Adam listlessly said, “I don’t really care for Jonathan at this point,” causing Nate to make a huge “YEAH!!” sort of gesture. RELAX. It’s not like that was the greatest put-down in the world. I’m not even sure it qualified as a baby zinger.
Parvati continued the haterade as she bashed Jonathan’s maturity. “I’m half his age,” she said, “and I’m twice as mature as he is.” Sure enough, this was followed by more Nate insanity. Seriously, can we get him a horse tranquilizer? Is it going to be like this every week?
Later on, tempers flared some more as Adam called Jonathan a rat. In response, Jonathan asked, “That’s a fact? That I’m a rat? I don’t even know what that means!” He then added, “You make it sound like there’s some negative connotation with the word ‘rat.’ It’s almost as if you’re implying that my multiple betrayals can be personified by said rodent. Who’s ever heard of that? Rat? I really don’t know what that means.”
Nevertheless, Jonathan quickly ended the conversation with a cocky, arrogant, and dismissive response to Adam: “It’s enough out of you.” Ouch! Asshole! Did I mention this was the best tribal council of the season?
Amidst all this, however, Yul tried to play nice and get everyone to calm down. There was no reason for this except to look good, but even that didn’t work out when Jeff bashed him for being too diplomatic. “You’re the UN! I expect the UN to come in here and make everything nice.” Yul, just be quiet. Let Adam and Jonathan kill themselves. I think Yul’s interference counts as enough of a bonehead move for me to officially change my endorsement to Ozzy. By the way, I’m surprised Yul didn’t respond to Jeff’s “UN” label by saying, “I suspect that classification speaks to my general sense of justice and diligence. However, truth be told, I believe the assessment inspires more animosity and ill-will amongst the feuding parties of this assembled group and its affiliated persons.”
Anyway, the Raro kids appealed to Yul’s morality by saying they’d respect him a whole lot more if they cut Jonathan now. Probst meanwhile asked Jonathan how he felt at that moment, and he responded that he felt fine. However, he didn’t enjoy hearing the name-calling directed towards him, which again seemed hypocritical in the wake of the various slights he’s hurled at the Raro bunch, particularly Parvati.
Finally, after this turbulent discussion period ended, it was time to vote. Unsurprisingly, Jonathan and Candice voted for each other, but those were the only ballots we saw cast. Okay, no more beating around the bush. Time for the results.
First vote: Jonathan.
Second vote: Candice.
Third vote: Jonathan.
Fourth vote: Candice.
At this point, we had a pretty good idea that she was screwed. After all, if Aitu was gonna send Jonathan packing, there would probably only be one Candice vote, and it would have come from Jonathan. Anyhoo…
Jonathan and Candice received the next two votes respectively, which meant we had a 3-3 tie. Who would be going home? No surprise here. The next two votes were for Candice, which meant that at long last, karma had caught up to her. Candice was voted off the island.
Well, in one last romantic display, Candice and Adam shared a long, passionate kiss, in the middle of which we cut to Nate, mugging like crazy for the camera. Something tells me he’s auditioning to be the goofy black neighbor on an ’80s sitcom.
Anyway, it was a sweet moment to end off on, which is why it was so awesome that Jeff Probst completely shattered the moment by saying, “Well, a kiss is nice. Maybe if it were love, he’d have given you the immunity necklace.” OH NO HE DI’NT!!! OH NO HE DI’NT!!! Hot damn, Jeff Probst! That may have been his best Tribal Council dis of all time! I guarantee we’ll see him on the next season of Yo Momma.
Well, Jeff snuffed out her torch, and Candice sauntered off into the darkness. It would have been awesome if the producers kidnapped her and just dropped her on Exile Island again. You know, for old time’s sake.
Afterwards, Candice told us, “What a fabulous time I’ve had out here playing this game.” Yes, it must have been absolutely thrilling — being stuck on a solitary island eating sea cucumbers days after day, knowing all the while that four people absolutely hate your guts and want nothing more than to see you suffer and cry. Delightful!
What did you think about this episode?