Hi TVgasm readers! I was supposed to be the other finalist in the Survivor recap contest, but last week I fell victim to the email problem you may have read about on Newsgasm. I had Boo and James over here all weekend, but no matter how many rocks we threw at B-Side’s inbox, we just couldn’t get it to open. So last week you had Schoonie, this week you’ve got me, and don’t forget at the end to let us know which one you would like to see more of in the future! This week Sylvia rejoins Ravu as they try to check back into the Moto Lodge, while Boo gives us his best Tim Allen impression, courtesy of Binford Tools. As you click to keep reading, be sure to make that strange “huwhoooop” sound from the Home Improvement opening credits!
Hopefully nobody got a turbocharged, gas powered, 125 horsepower wireless mousesaw stuck in their monitor making that jump. But we’ll get to Tool Time in a little bit…first let’s check back in with our regular segment of “Previously on Survivor!” 19 players started the game on one beach and participated in a Habitat for Humanity project. While everyone else tried to sleep, Dre and James (a.k.a. Dreamz and Rocky) got into a vigorous “I can make myself a target faster than you can” shouting match. Architect Sylvia took the lead in the building project, then was singled out to divide the tribes, and finally got banished to Exile Island. The new Ravu tribe lost the challenge and were forced to move to a new island with minimal supplies. There, Earl gave us an awesome poker face speech and Jessica became the 718th attractive young girl to get voted out of Survivor early.
This week we start where we left off with the Ravu tribe, as they suffer in their new surroundings. You may remember, at the last challenge when Probst tossed Ravu a map of their new beach, he said “not much waiting for you…pot and a machete.” So if Reefer Madness taught me anything, that means things are going to get pretty bloody this week. But instead of hacking each other to pieces the Ravu tribe just gets silly, as the men all decide to start licking plants. Well, I don’t know about the machete, but I guess they’ve already made good use of the pot! Still, it would have been nice to see a little carnage. Wait, does this mean that movie was lying to us? But in all seriousness, the motivation here is actually dehydration. The Ravu men walk around camp slurping every drop of moisture they can find off of leaves and palm fronds. We see Anthony bent over one frond looking like he’s not too far removed from licking dirt off the ground. Someone tell these guys its only day 4! One can only hope they have enough sense to remember where people go #1 near camp, and make sure to avoid that area. It appears none of the girls are desperate enough to suck leaves…at least not yet.
At this point I’d like to welcome back the Survivor opening sequence, which was non-existent last week. This year’s theme song is a particularly percussive affair. After a commercial break we catch up with Moto on a segment of MTV Cribs. Lisi gives us the rundown of all the completely unnecessary luxuries they have, like fine china for example. She tells us that the game “is so vicious, it’s delicious.” Hopefully in the future she’ll leave the one-liners to Earl. We didn’t see much of Lisi in the first episode. Back home she’s an electropunk musician, among other things. Which means this album cover should give us a pretty good idea of how she’ll look after 39 days on the island.
Lisi has a little freak out moment where she laughs hysterically after discovering that in the ancient game of Lunatic-Hammer-Ant, both lunatic and hammer can combine to crush ant. This is now the second time someone in this episode has reminded me of Beavis & Butthead. First it was Mookie with this comment: “Water. Uh huh huh. Huh huh. Huh huh.” And now we’ve got Lisi taking her aggression out on a bunch of ants. Breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law! Still, Lisi’s antics are no match for Boo, who finally gets some camera time this episode – and boy does he make the most of it! In Boo’s biography, he lists his favorite scent as “food.” He quickly lives up to this reputation, first by stuffing himself full and offering to eat everyone else’s leftovers, then by farting loudly as he lay collapsed on the shelter floor. I don’t know if it was something Boo ate, or if he was just trying to talk strategy. But unlike James, in this case there was no doubt as to whether or not the other tribemates smelled him.
Back at Ravu everyone takes turns trying to start a fire, but to no avail. Yau Man swoops in hoping to be the savior again, as he starts chopping coconuts again. Of course, Yau Man has to turn it into a math problem, saying that with a dull blade it takes 3-4 minutes to open a coconut, but with a sharp blade it takes only 1 minute. But math doesn’t account for the Earl factor. He makes short work of a coconut, hands it back to Yau Man, and says “what’s that, 30 seconds?” Oh snap! Old man forgot to carry the one! Mookie then opens a coconut that yields only a few drops of milk, and he tosses it back into the woods in disgust. Michelle, sitting on a stump watching all this unfold, gives a look that says “I wish these guys would do a better job of pulling my weight for me.” Poor girl seems to be stuck with the wrong set of coattails to hang onto. Things have gotten so bad around camp that Rocky only has enough energy to shut his eyelids halfway while he sleeps.
“Cut me Mick, my eyes are askew!”
When Rocky is awake, however, he’s far less interesting than he was last week. Instead of providing comic relief, this week Rocky just whines about the conditions. He says nobody has any energy to chop coconuts, people are walking into trees, and nobody can stand up for more than an hour and a half. Wah! This guy wouldn’t make it past the 15th step of the Philadelphia Art Museum. You compare yourself to a man that took multiple beatings from the likes of Mr. T? Sheesh…I hereby demote you back to “James” until you grow a pair. Look at you, you’re complaining about eating clams off the ground! Back in the day, Dreamz was eating ‘em out of trash cans, yo!
But at least he wasn’t exaggerating about people having trouble standing up. We see one clip where a standing Michelle suddenly collapse out of view as though she had just fallen through a trap door. The Ravu men may not be helping to pull Michelle’s weight, but at least gravity is. For a brief moment, this would be the most entertaining fall taken by a player during this episode. Michelle would not hold that title for long, though.
Now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for…It’s Tool Time, with your host, Kenward “The Boo Man” Bernis! Sure, the building portion of the show may have been last week, but there’s still plenty of time for a trip to the emergency room or two this week! And since he was grunting and farting earlier in the episode, Boo will fit nicely into the Tim Allen role. First he stabs himself in the eye, or as Boo so eloquently put it, “I jabbed it on the thing.” But that’s only the beginning. Just moments after Alex helps Boo rinse out his eye, he then sets out to see what other injuries he can inflict on himself. He tries to chop wood, but fails to acknowledge the golden rule of lumberjacking: Keep at least one hand on the axe at all times. This results in a near miss as Boo uses both hands to split a 2×4 that the axe was wedged in, thus dropping the blade just inches from his foot. Still not learning his lesson, Boo gets the axe stuck in another 2×4 and eventually manages to slice through both a finger and a knee at the same time while trying to remove it. So he hobbles back to camp asking for medical attention, and the Home Improvement analogy is almost complete. Now if only we could get Gary to wear a flannel shirt and say “I don’t think so Ken…”
Adding insult to injury, Dreamz tells Boo, “for real dude, you got one leg, one hand, and one eye. You really ain’t no good to us now.” This is actually a pretty valid point, so Boo retires to the hammock where hopefully he can do no more damage. But he still manages to channel his inner clutz, as the hammock gives way and Boo plummets to the ground in hilarious fashion. Michelle, you may now hand over that title…this fall was much better. Just make sure that trophy doesn’t have any sharp edges on it.
“So Boo…about that waiver…”
Now if you saw the preshow interviews, you know that Boo said he would definitely use romance as a strategy in the game. In fact, he said there are a grand total of 2 women on the island hot enough for him to “at least pretend” he’s attracted to them. So perhaps now is the appropriate time to size up how well Boo has stuck to his gameplan: Thus far this episode we’ve seen him fart, bleed, and get pink eye. Hmm…Perhaps he should pretend to flirt a little harder. I’m pretty sure this is NOT how I won over my wife. Not positive, mind you, but pretty sure at least.
After another commercial Sylvia is escorted back to the new Ravu beach. Only Anthony walks out to greet her, which is not a good sign for her longevity in the game. Yau Man at least acts excited to see her, but he has alterior motives. In a confessional he tells us “When I’m hugging her I’m going to feel her up and see if the Idol is there.” And he does just that, peeking in her bag several times during a long, awkward embrace. Its sort of like Paula Abdul during the audition process for her own show – If I’m not mistaken, she too likes to feel up male contestants and “see if the Idol is there,” before deciding whether or not they deserve a chance in Hollywood.
Before the greetings are even finished, Sylvia already starts barking orders again. Let’s get fire, let’s get water, let’s get coconut milk, let’s get oysters! How about let’s get a clue instead? Sylvia recognizes that she’s trying to break into a group that has already bonded without her around. But for whatever reason that doesn’t stop her from acting like the self-appointed leader. Nobody seems excited to have her on the Ravu tribe. Michelle expresses her disappointment, while James, Mookie, and Anthony begin targeting her for the next vote. Mookie makes a comment about how they just need to learn everything Sylvia knows before cutting her loose. James responds by calling Mookie a “little cutthroat bastard,” while Anthony just sits back smiling. You see, he’s the one that started this conversation, but now Mookie comes off looking like the jerk. Nicely played!
I’m glad we’re starting to see more of Anthony this episode, because he was one of my preseason favorites. I read his bio, and he seems like someone I would hang out with – he plays roller hockey, performs in sketch comedy shows, and makes his own movies. But Anthony has a dark side too…Remember, this is the guy who’s comin’ Straight Outta Compton! Speaking of which, I still haven’t figured out what it means to be an expert witness locator…but if NWA’s lyrics are any indication, that must suck for the witnesses. I just hope orange isn’t a gang color, because if it is, he better not take that buff home with him.
Once again, we head back to Moto, this time to learn more about Dre’s backstory. What gives? We’re about halfway through the episode already, and nothing has happened in the game yet! At least we’re getting some good character development, though. Dre’s background is enough to give you Nightmarez. His mom was a crackhead so he and his siblings struggled on their own to find food. In fact, they actually did go digging through garbage cans for food! Wow, I thought I was kidding with that clam joke earlier. Dre points out that compared to being homeless, Survivor doesn’t seem like much of a struggle to him. He tells us that his tribemates don’t know what its like to struggle, while we see a shot of Alex combing his hair neatly with a fork, ala The Little Mermaid. So now we have a nickname for Alex too…Ariel.
“Pick up a Dinglehopper just like so, give it a little yank and there you go!”
Dre’s little monologue certainly has me suspicious that he might be going home this week, although it does seem like he’s toned down the ego a bit. I still don’t think I want him to win, but I would like to have him around longer than two episodes.
Speaking of guys I want to see stay in the game for awhile, we again cut back to Ravu as Earl explores the island with Erica and James, hoping to find some kind of food. They hike all over, finding nothing of value. But during this search we do see a panoramic shot of Earl standing at the highest point on the island, which is a little something to remember for later on. Earl is a stand out player right now, and I think we’ll see that continue. He’s my favorite so far, and a lot of it has to do with that awesome poker face stare down last week. But I also noticed that before the first tribal council, everyone on Ravu came to Earl to talk about the vote…and each time they did, he was already talking with someone else when they showed up. He’s playing the game hard, and he makes for a great soundbite a couple times each episode too.
Earl, Erica, and James return to camp dejected, but soon Erica discovers a whole stash of pineapples that have been hiding right under their noses. I’m not sure exactly how, but I’m just going to come right out and say Ozzy is responsible for this. I mean, I knew that guy was serious about hiding food last season, but I didn’t know he was fast enough to swim from the Cook Islands to Fiji and back every night while the other players slept. Earl is so excited, he announces that because Erica has saved his life, they will now have to get married. Come to think of it, isn’t that how the movie Speed ends too?
“Yeah, now who’s smelling who?”
FINALLY, after our third commerical of the episode, we get treemail. The Ravu tribe receives their mail first, and they start getting pumped for the challenge. Sylvia confesses that although she is the most vulnerable player, she hasn’t looked for the hidden immunity idol yet. She’s probably waiting for a few more people to receive clues so she can just order them to go find it for her. That’s how she likes to roll. Meanwhile Moto gets ready for the challenge too. Boo, who’s dressed like he’s about to rob a bank, reminds us of all the advantages Moto holds going into the challenge.
Jeff calls everybody onto the challenge beach, where Sylvia is finally given a buff. Both Boo and Edgardo look disappointed to see Jessica is gone. So much for one of Boo’s two hotties, I guess. It’s a shame too, because Jessica would have made a good Heidi for Tool Time. Jeff explains the challenge, which consists of each team paddling out to a series of floating crates, attaching a rope to each one. When they get back to the beach they’ll have to pull all the crates in, open them, and assemble a “puzzle pole” with a flag on top. The winning tribe will get a ton of fishing gear and send someone to Exile Island. For the second week in a row, reward and immunity will be bunched together. The tribal immunity idol, by the way, is probably the coolest one yet in 14 seasons. It looks like a weapon straight out of He-Man or Thundercats.
The challenge begins and both tribes are even as they make the turn toward the crates. The two canoes slam into each other, and Ravu comes out of the collision in front. Moto runs into a few problems attaching their crates, so Ravu hits the beach with a decent lead. In the midst of all the chaos, I notice Yau Man is wearing a sock on one hand. He’s the poor man’s Michael Jackson. Ravu begins assembling their puzzle pole first, and Erica starts geeking out over which pieces go where. This allows the Moto tribe to catch up and pass Ravu. They assemble their pole with no problems, and go on to win the challenge.
“I’ve pinpointed the exact moment where things went wrong for Ravu.”
So now we can add fishing gear to the inventory at camp Moto. Next week they will be playing for a refrigerator and flat screen TV. And of course this means Moto gets to send someone to Exile Island, so they promptly choose Candice. Jeff reminds everyone this is no longer an option, so Earl is selected instead. This means he is safe from Tribal Council, and that he’ll get the next clue for the hidden immunity idol(s). For those two reasons it doesn’t make much sense why Moto would pick Earl, unless he was working it with several people long before the tribes were split. I’m telling you, this guy knows what he is doing! If somebody wasn’t trying to save Earl for strategy reasons, then Sylvia would have been the obvious choice, since she’s the most likely target.
Out on Exile Island Earl reads his two immunity idol clues. We already know there’s one idol at each beach, based on last week’s clue. That has to be the case, because if someone from Moto had gone to Exile Island, the first clue still would have implied that there was an idol back at their beach, too. The second clue, however, is that the idol can be found by centering oneself on the “highest point through which you have entered.” Remember earlier in this episode we already saw Earl standing at the highest point on his island, while they were searching for food. So something tells me he may find this thing when he gets back to Ravu next week, and here’s hoping he does. Earl’s not concerned about Sylvia having a clue already, because he seems pretty confident she won’t be there when he gets back.
We were told about Exile Island’s “thousands of deadly sea snakes” last week, and they showed us at least, like, 3 of them. But this week one gets a little too close for comfort, popping out of the brush not far from Earl. Not wanting to take a chance that the same snake could get him later, Earl kills it with his machete. He then gets all profound on us, comparing the situation to Saving Private Ryan and saying, “I really don’t like killing animals. Snakes are misunderstood…but we have an understanding now.” Everytime this guy speaks, it turns to gold. I immediately run outside and destroy my neighbor’s car with a baseball bat, not wanting to take the chance that the same car could crash into mine during the next ice storm. The whole time I scream “do you see what happens Larry!? Do you see what happens!?” Its cool though, my wife paid the bail.
Back at Ravu, James points out that for the second week in a row, their tribe lost a lead during the final puzzle. Ok James, so you’re saying we should vote out the stupid people? Better start packing your own bags then! Anthony tells us how frustrated everyone is, lamenting that its only day 6. He then loses it right before our eyes, as that last little bit sinks in. He rolls his eyes, repeating “its only day 6!” then turns away from the camera in a hissyfit. But he quickly turns back and gives this look that says, “wait, you’re not still filming are you?” Um…yes Anthony, that’s sort of what we do here on reality television. You don’t get out much, do you? I’m actually surprised that Anthony made it on the show, because he seems so well grounded. And no, I’m not talking about being down-to-earth…I’m talking about being straight up grounded. At age 32, he still lives with his mom and grandmother.
James and Mookie start discussing the possibilty of voting out Erica instead of Sylvia. Their reasoning is that she panicked during the challenge, and James goes right along with Mookie’s idea. So much for that alliance you made 3 DAYS AGO! Now James thinks he has an alliance with Mookie, and he plans on sticking with that for, you know, at least another couple of hours. Anthony is not too thrilled about the idea, and he starts arguing with James about it while they stand with Rita and Sylvia. James says “alright fine, do you want to keep losing? Don’t get mad at me, bro.” I think he even mumbles something about fighting Anthony. But then James make a pretty good move, unintentional though it may have been. He asks Anthony “who would you rather it be?” But of course Sylvia is standing right there so Anthony can’t say anything.
Instead he runs off to plead his case, first to Michelle, then to Rita. This makes no sense, because in his pregame interview one of the first points Anthony makes is that you should never align with an attractive young woman, because they will always beat you in the final 2. Yet it appears Anthony is trying to align with at least three of them, if you include Erica. They must have something going on if he’s trying so hard to save her. Come on Anthony, stop thinking with your puzzle pole, this is Survivor!
He and Michelle both recognize that there are already enough votes to take out Erica, but they agree to throw away their votes to Sylvia anyway. Rita seems to be on their side as well, implying she and Anthony already have a tight group of men and women to go to the end of the game with. Anthony says if there is a split 4-4 vote tonight, a couple people’s heads will explode. Oh ok, NOW I get the Saving Private Ryan reference.
At Tribal Council, Jeff calls out Erica for freaking out during the challenge, and Sylvia admits she feels like an outsider. Anthony tells her she take control too often, and Sylvia replies by…well…trying to take control. She suggests that while she can’t personally declare herself the leader, everyone else should get together the next morning and do just that. She doesn’t specifically say the new leader should be her, but I think its obvious that’s what she wants. Poor Erica has clearly done a better job of defending her shortcomings at this Tribal Council, but I’m not sure its going to matter. Before the vote Probst explains that this season the hidden immunity idol(s) must be played after the votes are cast, but before they are tallied. And its only good through the final 5 this time, a move that should have been made last season.
In the voting booth we see James and Mookie vote for Erica, while Anthony still throws his vote to Sylvia. After a nearly unanimous vote, Erica becomes the 2nd player voted out of Survivor Fiji. I guess that makes 719 young attractive girls now. Sorry Erica, you looked like Macy Gray but you let your mouth get the best of you — Thats the trouble with being yourself. The vote isn’t too surprising, although before the episode I never would have seen it coming. I just hope this doesn’t leave Anthony and Earl on the outside at camp Ravu. Even Michelle and Rita leave Anthony hanging, as they join the Erica voting bloc too.
So episode two is in the books! In the preview for next week, we see that Ravu gets fire and someone on Moto has trouble breathing. Oh no! My first thought is that maybe Gary has some sort of medical problem, but I hope not because I like the guy. Maybe it will be something else, like Boo falling out of tree into a venomous snake den. Its still too early to know where most of the players stand in the game, and there’s so many of them that we haven’t even met yet. Did you know there was a player named Stacey on Moto? I know I didn’t. So I’ll hold off on making any predictions this week. For now, let’s just wish Erica well, as she returns back to where she came fro’. Don’t forget to let us know which recap you liked better, and maybe I’ll see you again next week!