Last week, I was annoyed at Terry on Survivor. Now I’m positively livid. Okay, maybe I’m not livid, but seriously, this guy has the worst gameplan of all. Who knows. Maybe he will go all the way and prove me wrong, but as of right now, I have a hard time thinking that his cocky attitude won’t get him anywhere except a cushy seat on the jury. Serves him right. He’s had so many chances to turn this game around, and each time, he drops the ball. I don’t know why I’m so angry. At this point, I pretty much hate Terry — so why should I care that he’s totally screwed up his chances? I guess it’s because my desire to see the smug Casaya alliance upended overpowers any disdain I have for Terry and his lame scheming. What a strange thing Survivor is. It forces you to hate someone and root for them all at the same time.Last night’s episode started with the heartwarming image of monkeys in the trees. Yay monkeys! And speaking of simian creatures, we then found Terry babbling about his Navy training to the tribe. I think it was his way of intimidating the others, making them feel that if they couldn’t beat him, they might as well join him. Of course, this wasn’t a particularly smart strategy because it only underscored how powerful he could be. I’m sure this dissuaded anyone who had been thinking about flopping and heading to the final four with Terry. What’s the point of joining someone’s alliance if they’d only beat you in an endurance challenge anyway? On top of that, all this Navy bragging just reiterated how important it was to get rid of Terry as soon as possible, thus strengthening the Casaya bond in the face of a common enemy.
Meanwhile, under the so-called shelter, Courtney, Danielle, and Cirie could care less about Terry’s military training. Cirie even suggested that they break his arm. I’m not sure if I advocate such brutal violence, but… I’m not sure if I’d stop her either. At the very least, she could burn Terry’s dumb yellow shirt.
Moments later, Terry then tried to see where he fit into the big picture after the final six. Uh… you don’t fit into the big picture after the final six. Exactly what part of “dwindling alliance” do you not understand? Nevertheless, this only fanned the flames of Terry’s competitive drive even more. “I am totally motivated to kick their butts at everything that comes down the road,” he said. And if the next challenge calls for terrible scheming, he’ll totally win. Casaya, on the other hand, was ready to keep pushing Terry. There’s no way he could keep winning immunities. “He’s not an American Gladiator,” Aras said. We then cut to Terry swinging from rings in the treetops and tackling one of those monkeys. Oh Aras. How wrong you were!
Later, the girls talked about getting rid of Terry’s idol, if indeed he actually had one. You see, even though Danielle had seen the idol, she wasn’t actually sure that it was the idol. It could have just been a furry thing in the woods. Yes. Because there are always ornate, idol-like objects scattered in the wilderness.
At the reward challenge, Probst announced that the winners would receive messages from home. I figured this would be happening, thanks to all the bawling in the promos for the episode. Sure enough, within seconds, Shane was already crying, his paternal guilt kicking in. “Well, it would be great if they were here in the flesh. They’re not,” Probst said. I didn’t believe him though. Jeff can never resist that joyful surprise when relatives pop out from behind the bushes. But alas, he was telling the truth. All we saw were snippets from videos. First was Terry’s family, which featured a tantastic wife (Terry is pretty tantastic himself) and a teary-eyed daughter saying, “I really miss you.” Way to neglect your child, TERRY!
Danielle’s family was what I expected: very Boston-ish, eating dinner, semi-bored. Bruce’s family seemed consumed on making its dog “Choco” bark for the camera. Seriously, the entire video seemed to consist of them saying, “Say hi, Choco. Say hi!” We then moved on to Courtney’s mom, Barbara, and I expected a total Earth mother, surrounded by pottery and dream catchers. Instead, we found a relatively prim woman who may or may not have just finished watching “The Hour of Power.” Nevertheless, once she began talking, it was easy to see where Courtney had gotten her crazy from. “We’ve got the candles going, we’ve got the fountain going, we’ve got the love signs going,” her mom said. Candles? Love signs? A fountain? Exactly what sort of household is this? Do they have an altar too?
Next was Aras’s dad who spent the video circling around his backyard on a bike before stepping into a giant, uh, teepee. How very Aras. Then it was time for the total waterworks as we moved onto Shane’s ragamuffin son. The kid said something forgettable, and Shane totally lost it. I mean, he was a few sobs away from literally saying, “Boo hoo.” Eventually, he said that he’d grown up with his son, who he’d only had when he was twenty-one. “He is my brother. He is my other half. He is my son.” And he is going to be so screwed up you don’t even know.
Sally’s family was fairly blah; although, I was oddly amused with how happy they were to reveal their new apartment to the world. And last but not least was Cirie’s family. Probst pretended to skip her, but then he smiled bashfully and said, “Aww, I couldn’t forget you.” Oh Jeffy! Such a prankster!
Anyway, after these clips were complete, Jeff said that the winners would get to see the rest of the videos and dine on some PB&J sandwiches with milk. Kind of ghetto with the food there, but I’m sure at this point, any sort of nutrition was wonderful for the survivors. As for the challenge, well, let me just say that I thought it was hilarious. Basically, the tribe would be randomly split into two teams of four. On each team, one person had to lie down on this cradle that was suspended by three ropes. The other three people had to hold those ropes and tug on them as appropriate so that the person in the cradle could grab flags off poles and then insert them in designated slots. Winner of the challenge would get all the stuff mentioned above AND choose someone to go to Exile Island.
Well, the event began, and almost immediately, I was laughing. The sight of Courtney and Danielle — the two girls in the cradles — getting whipped around this course was hilarious. I don’t really know why. It just was. At first, the teams were neck and neck, with Danielle’s group having a slight lead. But with the score tied at 6 all (the teams had to place fifteen flags each), Aras knocked a flag out of its hole by accident, causing his team to lose valuable time as they went back and fetched the flag. Courtney’s team then took a solid lead that was eventually made even larger when Danielle’s team knocked yet another flag out of its slot. Well, we all knew how this would end: Courtney, Terry, Sally and Bruce all won reward. I was hoping they’d send Shane to Exile Island, just because he’d be a total mess, but sadly, they sent Aras — who actually wanted to go.
Now, if Sally and Terry were smart, they’d take the opportunity to scheme with their fellow victors Courtney and Bruce — two of the more disgruntled Casaya members — but Sally and Terry weren’t smart, and so they just gulped down their milk and smiled.
Back at camp, Cirie had her own special reward: getting to look at Shane’s penis. In a moment that made me ever so thankful for the CBS blur, Shane dropped trou and had nurse Cirie look at his pee-pee.
“I have an issue with my penis,” he said. “I need you to look at it.”
“I don’t want to look at it,” Cirie said, dreading this entire Survivor experience more and more.
“I can’t even touch it. It hurts,” Shane said, later questioning, “Why is it all red?” Okay, Shane, you have to shut up now. Cirie, meanwhile, was hysterically laughing. “YAY!” she sarcastically said to us, explaining her enthusiasm over the entire situation. Eventually, she did inspect Shane’s sore penis, and her official diagnosis was diaper rash, chafing. Shane chafes? Why, I thought that was a given.
Nevertheless, Cirie then told us, “I tried to be as professional as I could be under the circumstances.” Apparently Cirie’s level of professionalism includes doubling over with intense laughter and mockery. “Shane is like a cartoon character,” she then told us. “And now he’s like a nude cartoon character.” Man, we just can’t get enough of the disturbing images, can we?
Over on Exile Island, Aras was having a fantabulous time. He was alone, with nature, free to masturbate (okay, I inferred on that last one). The only problem he had was finding that damned immunity idol, which, sorry to say, wasn’t even there anymore.
“I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around these clues,” Aras said. To be fair, he can’t quite wrap his mind around a lot of things — starting with the concept of bubbles. Anyway, he then wrote off his incompetency, saying, “I’m sure a lot of it has to do with mental fatigue.” Yeah, either that or the fact that you’re a MORON. Okay, Aras really isn’t that bad, but I still can’t get over his silly hand-hovering technique from the first episode.
Back at the Gitanos camp, the reward winners returned, which meant we had been thankfully spared the sight of them watching all their dumb videos. In addition to everything they had already won, the foursome also was given their luxury items. Courtney had her fire dancing thingies, Bruce had a sketch pad, Sally had a journal, and Terry, well, of course he had an American flag. I thought it was going to be a book about ugly striped shirts, but I was wrong. Anyway, this wasn’t just any American flag. It was the flag that had adorned the casket of his father, a Korean War vet. I appreciated the symbolic meaning for Terry, but was it really a tribute to anything to bring it out here in the wilderness where it could be sullied and destroyed by Mother Nature — or Shane’s infectious penis?
Later, Sally told Terry that she didn’t want to go home yet (then SCHEME, bitch!). Terry replied that it was up to her to get the girls to come on over to their side. That was kind of his way of saying, “Whatever. I already have the immunity idol. You’re on your own, sistah.” Terry then told us that we thinking about sharing the immunity idol because it could shake up the game. Uh, it would have shaken up the game had you used it three weeks ago, but that’s okay. Anyway, I wasn’t going to get into a whole tizzy because if there’s anything we know about Terry, it’s that he’ll never let anyone else use his idol. So don’t get your hopes up Sally. It’s all over for you.
At the immunity challenge, Jeff handed each of the players a nut and a shell. Each person then had to put each item in each hand. How very cryptic. Jeff then revealed this week’s challenge. Players had to swim out into the ocean and memorize a bunch of symbols (and their order) from an underwater display. They then had to run back to the beach and replicate the pattern in a little work station. First person to correctly complete the task would win immunity. A rather simple challenge, BUT there was a twist. People could opt out of the challenge and instead dine on cheeseburgers. This, of course, got Shane all excited as he gestured frantically for Probst to bring him a burger right then and there. Not so fast, Shaney. The way this worked was that on the count of three, the Survivors had to hold out their hands. If they showed the shell, they’d be competing. If they showed the nut, they’d be eating. Well, everyone revealed their hands, and in a not so smart move, nearly all of Casaya opted to eat cheeseburgers. The only one who decided to compete was Aras. Sally and Terry obviously eschewed the burgers too, which meant that they’d have a 66% chance of winning immunity. Not such a smart thing for Casaya. If Sally were to win, one of them would be guaranteed going home. If Terry were to win, then there was a chance he’d give Sally his immunity idol. Very risky overall.
Anyway, the challenge began, and since there wasn’t an awful lot that Probst could do a play-by-play of, he focused his energy on the people eating, giving us unnecessary narration like “Cirie’s got a bite!” and “Bruce’s getting in there!” At one point, while Terry, Sally, and Aras were underwater, Probst even said, “A lot of french fries. A lot of cheeseburgers.” Okay, Jeff. We really don’t need to know every detail about this culinary experience.
First to head back from the ocean was Terry, followed by Aras, and eventually Sally. We then eagerly sat and watched as the trio toiled with their puzzle pieces. Suddenly Aras called Jeff over. Did he have it? Did he have it? NO! Ha! Excellent. But now Terry thought he had it. I was hoping that he was wrong, desperately wishing that Sally would pull this one out, but no such luck. Terry got it right and won immunity again. Sadly for the Casaya crew, they had to stop eating immediately, which was tough for Shane who had about two hamburgers stuffed in his mouth. Seriously, I’ve seen orangutans that have better eating mannerisms than Shane.
Well, this was all bad news for Sally because now that Terry had immunity, there was no way that he’d hand over his hidden idol. That didn’t stop him from bragging about it as he quietly showed it to Bruce. I think this was his way of trying to curry Bruce’s favor again, but we as usual, Terry’s biggest downfall was “guaranteeing” something instead of planting seeds of doubt and paranoia. He later tried this strategy on Courtney, who also didn’t seem all that excited about it.
Sally meanwhile tried to work the girls by saying that at sometime or another, they’d have to break up. It was a nice try, but too late. Oddly enough, during this process, I somehow came to believe that Terry might just play the idol after all, especially once Aras began freaking out. You see, Aras feared that if the idol were played, he’d have the second highest number of votes and would be heading home. I didn’t understand why Terry and Sally didn’t then approach Aras and threaten to play the idol unless he joined their side. Aras would be completely stuck. He’d have to join up, otherwise he’d go home. On top of that, it would be in his best interest to dissuade the others from voting against Sally. It would only be a matter of simple pressuring to bring someone else like Shane on board to vote against a mutually hated tribemate like Courtney. THEN, if they wanted to be really devious, Terry and Sally could then tell Courtney that Aras and Shane were voting against her and start a whole war. Suddenly Terry and Sally become swing votes instead of victims. ARGH! I need to be a consultant for these people.
Unfortunately, Terry and Sally were incapable of actually formulating a logical plan like this, and instead they still maintained that maybe they could win over some people with their “guarantees.” Terry then told us that maybe he’d play this idol and get some numbers on his side because then he wouldn’t have to worry about immunity until the final three. Yeah, that’s something you should have thought about A FEW WEEKS AGO.
That night at Tribal Council, I had to admit I was a bit excited. I sincerely didn’t know if Terry was going to play his idol or not. My brain said no, but my heart said yes. Or maybe it was the other way around. Whatever. Anyway, as the first member of the jury, a clean and shaven Austin entered the council. This made all the girls go ga-ga (and Shane too, who let out a little “Wow”). Probst then questioned Sally about how she felt about things. She said she was annoyed that she couldn’t be confident about her place in the game. I thought she’d be more annoyed that she was completely inept at scheming. You know, if Misty were still around, she’d have turned this game on its head by now.
Later, Aras talked about how annoyed he was that he had to shoulder the burden of winning the immunity challenge all by himself. After all, if everyone had participated, Terry might not have won again. Amidst all this, we kept cutting to the ex-Navy Officer who sat smugly in his seat, a haughty smile plastered on his face. Did anyone else want to punch him? He has to be the first underdog that I’ve actually hated.
And just in case we couldn’t tell how annoying Terry had become, he then said, “I’m going to continue winning immunities whether they like it or not.” Oh shut up. This was all bad news for Sally, by the way, because the cockier Terry acted, the more likely everyone would gun for him. And the more people gunned for Terry, the less chance he’d have to break apart Casaya. And the less chance he had of that, the more he needed his idol as a backup. And the more he needed the idol, well, let’s just say, Sally should enjoy these final moments.
Nevertheless, Danielle balked at Terry’s attitude, calling him cocky, but lo! Jeff Probst wasn’t going to let that sneak by him. “I think it’s an interesting comment coming from you, seeing how confident and how cocky YOU were,” he said. Oh SLAM! You got surrrrved!! (Christina Aguilera inflection intended).
Well, there was some minor discussion about the idol, and some people seemed to be daring Terry to play it (smell the roses Aras! They don’t care about you! Switch sides!). Aras then pleaded for Terry not to use the idol until he had immunity, and yes, I’m sure Terry was going to wait until his biggest competitor was safe before he wasted his idol. Then again, knowing TerryLogic, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what he did.
Anyway, it was time to hit the parchment. Sally and Terry voted against Aras, of course, and Cirie voted against Sally. We didn’t get to see who Courtney voted for, but we heard her say, “You’re a great player in this game and too much of a threat.” Hmmm… Surely she couldn’t be referring to Sally. Calling her a threat is like calling Terry a strategist — just doesn’t fit. The rest of the gang then scrawled down whatever names they scrawled down, and then it was time to learn the results. First vote: Sally. Second vote: Sally. Third vote: Aras. Fourth vote: Aras.
So it was tied two votes Sally, two votes Aras. The next two names were Sally’s, which meant that Courtney and Bruce hadn’t switched sides. Sure enough, Sally was voted off the island. But wait! What about the immunity idol? Did Terry play it? A few thumping heartbeats later, Sally stood up and handed over her torch. Nope. No idol for her. Terry: what a dick. I mean, I understand why he didn’t give it up — he had to look out for himself. But the only reason why he had to be so careful was because he’d totally painted himself into a corner. Now he needs that idol more than ever before. He’s taking a huge gamble going up against an entire tribe, and if there’s an immunity challenge where the survivors can take out each other’s porcelain tiles or whatever, he’s a total goner. Then again, he’s guaranteed a spot in the final six now, and a lot can happen between now and then.
What did you think about this episode? Did Terry do the right thing? And has he made his uphill battle that much harder?