Finally, after two weeks, Survivor is back! And how average it was! Granted — there were some surprises. The immunity challenge kept me guessing way more than I expected, and for about most of the episode, I wasn’t really sure who would be going home (although, as we approached Tribal Council, it seemed fairly apparent to me). Nevertheless, shocking twists or no, I was definitely thrilled to have the old reality stalwart back on TV. Where else could I find the most convoluted challenges of all time? Yeah, they’ve been getting pretty crazy lately. I think it’s time the producers went back to the think tank and came up with some novel ideas. A few years ago, a random girl came up with one challenge. Maybe Mark Burnett would like to outsource a challenge to us here at TVgasm. Heck, we’ll throw in a free t-shirt for him if he let’s us come up with one. What do you say, Mark? Please? Pretty please?Anyway, I’ve been told that my recaps have been running a bit long lately, and since there’s no “All Pages” feature anymore, I can see how that can be annoying to rifle through. Besides, comedy is brevity, is it not? So in an attempt to keep things leaner and meaner and to appease the anti-length peeps, I’m gonna try to not fixate on every last detail (let alone ramble about things, much as I already have since beginning this post). Nevertheless, this week’s show opened up with Nate visiting the Aitu camp. Those of you may remember that on the last episode (the one that aired before the clip show), Aitu won the ability to steal someone over from Raro. Well, they had picked Nate, and now the shoe salesman was hanging out, sizing up the rival camp. He noted that while yeah, Aitu may have had more space and yeah, Aitu may have had a better shelter, Raro on the other hand had waaay more hibiscus. Does somebody have an extra cap? Because I think Nate’s got a feather to stick in it. A feather called HIBISCUS. Word up! High(biscus) five!
“Wow. The lack of hibiscus here is astonishing!“
Later on, Jessica (a.ka. Flicka) made the cardinal sin of talking about family business in front of company. Yes, she aired her grievances about the previous night’s Tribal Council right in front of Nate, which allowed him to glean all sorts of information about the tribe. Jessica was pissed because she thought everyone was voting out Jonathan when in fact, everyone ousted Cao Boi, Jessica’s big ally. “I just don’t want it to be me next,” she told everyone. WELL! In that case, everyone should just change their voting patterns! Jessica doesn’t want to be next! Hey, let’s just give her the million dollars now!
After all this Jessica babbling, Candice, Becky, and Yul gathered ’round to figure out what their best options would be. Originally, they were going to vote off some combination of Ozzy, Sundra, and Jessica, but now maybe they might keep Jessica around and vote Jonathan off instead. Didn’t really make sense, but I had a feeling it was misdirection anyway; so I didn’t think too much of it.
We then saw the opening credits, and afterwards, the tribes received their tree mail for the Reward Challenge. Along with a cryptic clue, each team received a Survivor Catalogue, from which the teams could select two items they were going to try to win. Over at Raro, Brad really wanted potatoes and peanut butter, reasoning that the carbs would be important for challenges and that potatoes would last a whole lot longer than bread. Unfortunately, his teammates all wanted bread, despite the fact that it would probably go moldy in about half a day. Brad was ultimately out voted, and Adam was none too shy about pointing this out. It should be noted also that Adam seems like a giant asshole. We here at the TVgasm offices agree that we’ve only seen flashes of his inner dick (wait, that sounds wrong), but we’re sure he’ll be unleashing his whiny wrath very soon.
We then headed off to the challenge, which had to be one of the most convoluted ever. Each team would have three swimmers and two puzzle makers. The first swimmer would grab a club, swim out to a platform, climb the platform, and the jump off the platform. While in midair, the swimmer would have to smash a plaster box that would then release a key into the water. The swimmer would have to then dive down, retrieve the key, and swim back to shore where the next swimmer would go out. This cycle would repeat over and over again until the team had compiled six keys. Oh, and each simmer had to swim out at least once, and each person could only return with one key at a time.
Well, once all six keys were back on shore, the two puzzle makers would then use them to unlock a treasure chest, inside of which were puzzle pieces. The players would then have to assemble a map of the world from these pieces, and the first to complete this would win reward. Shockingly, the challenge did not include any last minute climbing, torch-lighting, flag raising, or human maze navigating.
By the way, in an amusing turn of events, we saw that Aitu’s picks for reward were potatoes and peanut butter. Brad had to be so jealous. Anyway, Aitu had to sit some people out, and so they chose Nate, causing Jeff to comment, “So you take Nate to keep him from competing with Raro, but you don’t trust him to compete with your tribe.” That would be negatory, Jeff. Stop trying to stir shit up!
Well, the teams then all decided who would be swimmers and who would be puzzle makers. Brad curiously volunteered to be a puzzle maker for Raro, saying he could do them like the back of his hand. Do people “do” backs of their hands? No matter. This all spelled doom for Brad. First the potato incident, and now puzzle bravado? This could not turn out well…
With stormy weather rolling in, the survivors then took their marks on the beach, ready to start swimming. Adam took this opportunity to puff out his chest and flex his pecs. I’m sure it had to do with the cold wind, but I couldn’t help feeling like he’d be preening regardless of the temperature.
“Me Adam. Me tough!”
“But sometimes I think my life is empty…”
“GRRRR! Me still tough!!!”
“But me lonely too…”
“But mostly, me tough!!!”
Anyway, Jeff flapped his arms, and the competition began. Right out of the gate, the big story was Rebecca, whose breasteses went thumping and flopping about, like two giant maracas during a samba. Seriously, it was out of control. If only she could have harnessed her boobies’ kinetic energy into her swimming because she quickly fell behind as she labored in the waves.
This image does not do the scene justice AT ALL.
But this one sort of does…
Jungle Boy Ozzy, on the other hand, took a quick lead, causing Jonathan to chant, “Go Ozzy! Go Ozzy!” Dear Jonathan: please shut up. Signed: America.
Anyway, time for brevity! Because of Rebecca’s ineffectualness in the water, Raro fell significantly behind, causing Nate to ponder why Brad wasn’t swimming. Duh! Because he’s great at puzzles! (By the way, this all meant even worse news for Brad, I tell you). By the time poor Rebecca made it to land, she was utterly exhausted, not to mention totally hanging out of her top. Yes, her bathing suit had risen up, causing her boobs to just flop around in front of everyone. “Pull your top down, baby!” people said, but I don’t think Rebecca cared. Next thing we knew, she was splayed out on the ground like a starfish, ready to nap the rest of the day away.
“They destroyed everything, Candice! They burned it all to the ground!”
“Not our barn, Yul! Not our barn!”
Well, the challenge continued without too much craziness. At one point, Ozzy had to retrieve a key from a plaster box, but he no longer had a club, so he had to bash it with his bare arm. It was kind of cool. Personally, my favorite part came about midway through the challenge as one person swam around underwater and looked for a key. This random fish wandered into view with a look on its face like “Oops! Sorry! My bad!” It was like a home movie with a camera-shy cousin meets Little Nemo.
Get out of the shot, FISH!
Anyway, Raro managed to close the gap between the teams somewhat, but Aitu soon had all its keys and was working on the next stage. There was no way Raro could catch up, especially with Becky tinkering with that puzzle. Sure enough, Aitu won the reward, once again reiterating the stereotypes that Asians are wonderful with puzzles (thanks Becky!). With that, a pissed off Nate rejoined his loser tribe, and then Aitu picked Adam to go back to Exile Island. Hahaha. SUCKER! He looked like he wanted to punch someone in the face. Anyone. (Except Aaron Eckhart, natch).
After the commercial break, we caught up with the victors enjoying their peanut butter. All was well in Aitu, and Candice and Flicka even shared a passing kiss on the lips. “Things just change constantly in this game. You never really know what’s going to happen,” Flicka said happily (which probably meant some bad shit was going to happen to her).
Over at Raro, everyone was cranky at Brad for not swimming during the challenge. “I’m creative/spatial! I do puzzles!” he insisted. Besides, it was clear that Rebecca was athletic/mermaid; so having her swim was perfectly logical! Anyway, Nate then carped to us about Brad, saying he simply did not understand why Brad didn’t step up. He even went so far as to call him a “Nancy Boy.” Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Next season: gay vs. straight!
Moments later, Brad wandered off to do whatever, giving the girls an opportunity to complain about him behind his back. You know, I agree that he should have swam, but nothing stopped the girls from saying, “Hey, you may be good at puzzles, but we need you more in the water.” They must shoulder the blame too! Did you hear me, POVERTY?
Over on Exile Island, a whining Adam expressed doubt in his tribe, unsurprisingly interpreting their shortcomings as a personal affront to him. “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkey,” he said. Last time I checked, eagles weren’t known for being pinned down by turkeys. I mean, if he were an eagle, couldn’t he just take off regardless of what birds were around him? Get your metaphors straight, FAUX-ECKHART!
Well, Adam sure got his comeuppance. A harsh storm barreled through the Cook Islands that night, causing him to curl up in a fetal position under some palm fronds and spend the night dreading life. If there were ever a reason why I would not go on Survivor (besides the lack of food), it would be getting stuck outside in a nasty storm with nothing on but some shorts.
The next morning, the Aitu folk were awakened by the plaintive sounds of a nearby bird. Turns out Ozzy had somehow caught a booby with his hands (looks like it fell into his booby trap! Rimshot! I kill me). But seriously, what the hell? How did Ozzy catch a bird? Was he going to return with a giant slain gorilla the next day? What couldn’t he do? Everyone agreed that it was best to eat the fowl, which meant they had to wake up poor Yul, who was apparently the tribe butcher. We didn’t really see what transpired that morning between Yul and the booby, but we know it didn’t end so well for the bird.
Anyway, this latest feat precipitated a general groundswell of praise for Ozzy and his amazing hunting capabilities. It therefore should have been no surprise when two seconds later the same people who were applauding his talents now wanted him off the tribe. However, Ozzy and Jessica did manage to corner Candice and float the idea of voting off Jonathan. She seemed to entertain the thought, but we could tell she wasn’t going to veer away from her alliance. Ozzy then asked her and Flicka that if the strategy somehow changed and he wound up going home, what would the tribe eat? Translation: you guys are screwed with out me. Or were they? For basically the past four or five weeks, I feel like CBS has been taunting us with Ozzy misdirection. He’s either going out really soon or he’s going all the way to the end.
After the commercial break, we then headed out to the immunity challenge where Adam returned to his tribe, seeking hugs from everyone. Anyway, for this convoluted challenge, teams had to race to arrange a series of logs from shortest to longest, which would essentially make a staircase. Once the “stairs” were built, everyone would climb up them to a platform and then three people would jump off via a zipline, which would take them into the ocean where — you guessed it — puzzle pieces awaited! Once all three people had retrieved the pieces, the remaining three people would then have to put the pieces together. First to solve the puzzle would win immunity. So the answer is yes, this was basically just like the reward challenge.
Well, the challenge began and immediately, Aitu was working together, but Raro was all confusion, capped off by Adam snapping (no surprise) at Brad (no surprise either). At one point, Jeff said that the Raro women were building the staircase while “the guys debate which is the longest log!” I think we can all assume that Nate’s was the longest log, right? High(biscus) five, Nate!
Anyway, Aitu once again took the early lead, and soon its members were zipping down the zip line and swimming back with puzzle pieces. Raro eventually finished their staircase, and they too were going after the puzzle pieces, but it seemed like they had way too much ground to cover. It didn’t help that Parvati was struggling in the water, causing Jeff to yell, “LET’S GO, POVERTY!!!” I love when he turns into Coach Probst! I bet if Coach Probst switched places with Coach Propst from Two-A-Days, no one would realize for like three weeks.
Well, Aitu finally gathered up all their puzzle pieces while Raro continued to fly down the zip line (whattup, random closeup of Nate’s crotch), and at one point, as Yul climbed up to the puzzle area, Jonathan yelled out, “Go Yulie!” Wait, did he say Yulie or Uli? Because if Uli from Project Runway was there, that would be awesome. She could blind the other team with an exciting print from Miami!
“Excuse me while I transform into THE HULK.”
Nevertheless, Aitu had smoked the competition last time with the puzzles, but this time around, Beck and the gang had more difficulty. So much so that Raro actually managed to catch up (and no, Brad was not on puzzle duty this time around). Jenny went absolutely nuts with the pieces and made up for lost time… and then some. She full on pieced the entire puzzle together, stealing the victory away from Aitu. That’s right, Raro won immunity! You’re safe for now, Brad…
After the break, we returned to Aitu where Ozzy claimed he wasn’t going home just yet (usually a bad sign). However, in this case, he might have been right. The big question was who to send home: Ozzy, Jessica, or Jonathan. Ozzy was a great player, but he might become a threat after a merge. Jonathan had friends, but no one could really trust him; and Jessica was just paranoid and annoying everyone. Sundra even called her a mosquito that wouldn’t die (this was then followed by a lovely close up image of a crab with many flies all over it. Charming).
Anyway, Flicka campaigned to send Jonathan home, saying he was untrustworthy, but Jonathan, Candice, and Sundra on the other hand were thinking about voting her off the island instead. Honestly, why wouldn’t they? They didn’t want to get rid of Ozzy just yet because he was such an asset, and it didn’t make sense to turn on their own alliance now. Jessica was really the perfect target. She probably could have gotten out of this jam if she tried to scheme a little more, but instead, her whole strategy was to guilt people into being upfront and honest. Oh, be quiet Flicka. No one’s gonna fall for that. Just be silent and accept your fate.
Up at Tribal Council, Jeff’s first question pertained to the tribe and how all four original ethnic groups were still represented. “Surprise you?” Jeff asked Jonathan, who replied, “No. I think it’s the game of Survivor. We’re all here to play.” He then added, “But if we vote Ozzy out, we do take out those damn Latinos.”
Later on, Flicka babbled on and on and on about hanging out with different people on the tribe and how everyone gets along with everyone and blah blah blah. When she finally wrapped up her commentary (thirty five minutes later), Jeff noted that every time he asks her a question, it’s “the most delightful answer with absolutely nothing said about how it would impact the game.” That was his snippy way of saying, “Could you not waste every single minute of my life with your empty drivel???”
Finally, it was time to vote. I was highly amused by Jonathan’s scrawl, which said “FLICKA,” but kind of looked more like FUCKA. Oh, I really hoped she wasn’t voted out now, just because I wanted to use the FUCKA nickname.
So close to perfection…
Ah, much better.
Anyway, we soon saw an absolutely disgusting image of a wet, nappy rat wandering around, and then at long last, it was time for the results. Nothing too shocking here. One vote for Jonathan (courtesy of Fucka), and the rest for Fucka (I’m totally using the name as much as possible now). Just like that, Fucka was sent home, which meant for the first time all season, whitey was voted off the island!
Bye, Friend Flicka.
Before sending the tribe off, Jeff then tried, as usual, to incite some agitation by noting that each tribe had six players left. If there were a merge, it was going to come down to momentum, he reasoned. Did Aitu have enough momentum? Because according to Jeff, Raro for sure thought it had the momentum. Shut up, Probst! Stop trying to make trouble!
Anyway, for all you counting, that brings the whites down to four, tying them with the Asians. Blacks are still holding steady at three, and then of course, there’s Ozzy, the sole Latino. He may be the last man standing for his ethnicity, but it only takes one person to win the whole thing…
What did you think about this episode? Did Aitu make the right choice?