This week, on Survivor: CHOCOLATE IS THE ENEMY.After the Cirie boot took everyone by surprise, JT knows it’s time to do some damage control. “I just want to let you all know that everything I did was for the team, and everyone would have known if I had made up my mind before Tribal Council.” I can’t believe he actually expects them to believe that, you know? It’s a bit condescending. If there’s one weakness in JT’s game, it’s that he tends to think a little too highly of himself; he thinks everyone will believe whatever he says, because everyone in Tocantins got busy crawling all over his sack everytime he glanced at any of them.
The next morning, JT tries to placate Amanda, apologizing and telling her that he would never turn on her. “I see right through him,” Amanda says. This will not be a good episode for Amanda, by the way. “Game on!” she says, which is rapidly becoming the “I’m not here to make friends” of this particular show. Also, I don’t believe her at all.
That same morning at the Villains camp, Coach leads a session of what he calls “Dragon Slayer Chi”. Creative! Not since Snakes On A Plane has something been so succinctly titled.
Wait, is Parvati a Power Ranger? Because that would explain a lot.
Everyone in the tribe participates in this Coach Fu, and many of them are unable to keep a straight face. Everyone, that is, except for Russell, who spends this time down the beach digging for the idol. And of course, he finds it. “ROB is not in control of this game, I am!” Russell says. You think he has insecurities about his height and being taken seriously, you guys?
Reward Challenge. Hey, let’s do another challenge from last season, which was filmed like three weeks before this one, then no one will have to do any work! This week: the challenge that Racist Ben got kicked out of, where three members of each tribe wrestle to retrieve balls and toss them to their teammates, who have to shoot them into a basket across the field. The reward is something called a “chocolate feast” at a waterfall, which seems like an unwise thing to binge on for someone who hasn’t eaten in weeks. Probst and the producers know how lame the reward is, so they have little bits of chocolate for everyone to try. The Heroes, however, are not interested in eating any, because they are an even bigger group of humorless assholes than we originally thought.
Probst asks why no one is eating any chocolate, and Colby’s all “Let’s do it, game on,” completely seriously, and Probst tells him they’ll start when he’s ready, so Colby can just hold his damn horses. Keep in mind that the Heroes are trying to convey their toughness by refusing to eat free samples of chocolate for a Reward Challenge. Not immunity, but reward. And to drive their idiotic point home even further, Rupert tells Probst they’re hoping it conveys “a message of focus”. Yes, abstaining from sampling chocolate will cause the Villains to think you’re so badass that they’ll forfeit the challenge. Idiots.
I bet when they go into Costco, the employees just cower in fear because of their refusal to sample anything.
Wow, that may have been the dumbest exchange I’ve ever seen on this show.
Anyway, the first round begins and James takes a pretty hard hit, damaging his knee. Probst stops the challenge and calls the medics to take a look. James’ knee is popping out of the socket, so the medics make him sit out the challenge to look at it later. The Heroes, as a result, have to play 2 on 3 whenever this set of people is in the round. They manage to score anyway when Amanda makes a nice shot. During the next round, JT and Tyson aren’t even near the ball when they get into a scrap; JT just spears the shit out of him. Then Rupert runs at Jerri from behind and throws her into the barrier as hard as he can. “I did NOT mean to do that!” he says. Apparently, he was planning on lightly tapping her on the shoulder and asking her politely for the ball? I mean, it’s all part of the challenge, but still: don’t pretend you weren’t trying to take her out, Rupert. Also, to Rob’s credit, he runs over and body checks Rupert, just to show him who’s boss.
“I wasn’t trying to hurt you, I was just trying to knock you unconscious for the remainder of the competition!”
The Villains score again, so Candace and Tom have to face off two on three one last time. Jerri scores in a pretty short round and the Villains win. The Heroes are probably sorry they didn’t take those free samples, right? Rupert spikes the ball on the ground like a child, because he hasn’t make himself look quite stupid enough yet.
Probst makes James stay back to have medical look at his knee. Medical decides to let James stay in the game, but only if he can walk on his knee. We go to commercial at this. Apparently, we’re supposed to be concerned about him. Hmm.
The Villains, meanwhile, are enjoying their reward. They shove their mouths full of chocolate, and then they go swimming in a giant sinkhole, which is a lot prettier than it sounds. Rob, Sandra and some others discuss how Russell obviously has the idol, having chosen to disobey the group consensus because he has no friends.
Up at the picnic, Russell and Parvati are still eating, and he tells her that he found the idol. She laughs, elated, because it’s pretty much her and Russell against everyone else at this point. “Just grab onto my coattails girl,” Russell says to Parvati. Yes, he just asked Parvati to ride his coattails. Sometimes, Russell plays so poorly that I wonder if he’s ever even seen this show before.
“Grab onto my coattails, player who is vastly superior to me!”
Russell’s plan is to use the idol to blindside Rob, which absolutely delights Parvati. The fact that Russell has the idol probably means Boston Rob is fucked, by the way, so we should all go on and get prepared for him to go home soon. I mean, it’s obviously beneficial to get rid of Rob, and that might work for you in the short term, but what about after that? You’re still down, by my count, six people to two. The best strategic move Russell could make at this point is, you know, not to be a dick, but he’s never going to do that, so he’ll have to take this one step at a time.
Russell believes that showing Coach the idol will garner him another ally. “Coach is a scared little boy,” says the scared little boy. When he exposes his idol to Coach (That’s what…never mind), Coach is wowed that Russell would trust him, telling Russell that he’s now obligated to be loyal, and then he gets on one knee so Russell can, I shit you not, knight him. Coach is just being a dumbass here, but I love how he’s unwittingly playing the shit out of Russell by obliging his megalomania. Coach is so amazingly nutty.
“You are now my Royal Servant. Your first task: find me Natalie’s PIN number!”
“It’s personal with me and Rob,” Russell says. As I previously stated, the idol means that Russell is probably going to take out Rob here pretty soon, and that will suck, but we can all take solace in the fact that the best Russell’s ever going to do is second place. I almost want him to get to the end so he can cry like a girl again. I mean, it’s not my first choice or anything, but if he got all the way to the end again, and then got denied for playing what is, in truth, a terrible game? I would drink in his sorrow like a glass of warm milk and then curl up in front of the TV like a housecat.
Tangent: If Russell did get that far again, do you think people would finally acknowledge his general shittiness, overreliance on idols and inability to forge relationships, or do you think America would still think he was the best player ever? I’m hoping it’s the first one, but then again, America’s now given James a total of two hundred grand for being a huge douchebag, so I’m doubtful. But still, I hold out hope! Man, America is the husband who gives me a black eye and then tells me he’s sorry, and then I forgive him and always have to spend the off-season recapping Big Brother and pretending I ran into a doorknob.
Over at the Heroes tribe, they worry that James won’t be coming back at all. What will they do then, finally work as a team because the person causing literally every problem they have will, at long last, be gone? No? They’ll just cry a lot because he was big and strong and they think that actually matters? Never mind, then.
Amanda, in particular, is really upset at the prospect of no James. “This’ll be the second time he’s taken out due to injury,” Amanda says as if she wasn’t going to vote him out anyway last time he got hurt. I mean, I’m sure they’re friends and all, but she’s probably crying because she knows JT will go with Tom and Colby if James doesn’t come back.
Tom has a different view on the matter. “I never want anyone to get hurt, but if James doesn’t come back, that’s nothing but good news for me.” Yeah, that’s kind of how I feel, too. Is that wrong?
Either way, James comes back anyway. The show seems to think that this is some sort of victorious return from battle because they give him the Noble Trumpets Of Triumph Over Adversity, and I find it pretty revolting, frankly. Also, he’s hobbling pretty significantly, so maybe we’re a little premature on the Horns Of Conquest, editors.
“Whew. I was worried I wouldn’t have anyone to screw over later in the game!”
Immunity Challenge! Today, the entire team will be blindfolded and grouped into pairs, and one person from each team will shout directions and get them to collect puzzle pieces. Once all the puzzle pieces are brought back, the first team to solve the puzzle wins immunity. You may remember this challenge from the first All-Stars season.
And because there’s a puzzle involved, we all know how this is going to end, right? The Heroes build up a nice lead during the physical portion of the challenge, in no small part thanks to the fact that James does a pretty good job with the directions. I mean, I hate the guy, but I’m willing to acknowledge that he does a pretty good job here. Either way, it’s all irrelevant because: puzzle.
And that is the story of how Rob led the Villains to another puzzle-related victory. Keep an eye out for the sequel!
Rob stomps the puzzle piece, much like he stomps the other team.
Back at camp, the Heroes are hilariously like “Well, it has been established that we are not good at puzzles.” Wow, way to get that memo last. Courtney Love is watching this all “Man, these people are totally detached from reality.”
Colby (I think) is pretty hilarious with the comeback, helpful to add “Or basketball, or pretty much anything except sumo wrestling, really,” to the proceedings. Man, when did Colby get this awesome? I don’t remember him being so cool the last couple of times.
Anyway, Colby and Tom obviously want to get rid of James, especially now that Bambi’s Mom is a more capable teammate than he is. Yeah, you could argue that James just added to the team a second ago at the challenge, but that was an anomaly and you know it, Person Currently Disagreeing With Me While Reading This Article In Your Cubicle Adorned With Photos Of Your Cat. By the way, I see you eating that candy you have stashed in your desk drawer, fatty!
Of course, idiot Rupert thinks getting rid of Tom is the better option. That’s right, the guy who’s been doing nothing but talking about creating a strong team for the last five episodes would like to keep the guy with one leg and get rid of the athletically capable fireman. When Candace argues that keeping James around is stupid because he can’t run, Rupert’s response is “Well, if that’s the criteria, than you should put me out.” If only, dude.
“Let’s have a self-pity off! You go first.”
It turns out that JT and Candace are the swing votes in this scenario, because Amanda/Rupert/James are voting for Tom and Tom/Colby are voting for James. What follows is yet another montage of JT telling both sides what they want to hear; he tells Rupert he’s voting for Tom, and he tells Tom he’s voting for James. The catch this time is that everyone seems to know exactly what he’s doing, which can’t bode well for JT. This kind of think can only be done so many times before everyone figures out that things would be a lot easier without you around.
Tribal Council. Probst gets right to the point, asking why anyone would keep James around. “My niece could beat him in a foot race!” Probst says. “NO SHE COULDN’T,” James says hilariously. Anyone think it’s funny that James has a vendetta against Probst’s niece all of a sudden?
“You best not bring that niece of yours around, Probst. I will HUNT HER DOWN.”
“YOU couldn’t beat me in a foot race,” James continues, “Real talk.” Five points for the R. Kelly reference, James. Soooo, let’s see here (does mental math) that brings your point total to negative 25,173. Roughly five thousand more mildly humorous references and you and I can start fresh. It’s never too late!
James says that Tom and Candace were bringing the tribe down at the immunity challenge, apparently by working on the puzzle together. I’m not sure exactly what his argument is, frankly. Candace correctly points out that James is mad because they want to get rid of him. “All this pretense isn’t about the team,” Tom says. “He’s not being kept for his physical ability; he’s being kept for a vote.”
Amanda says that their argument is hypocritical, because they cast votes for her and she’s valuable to the team. True, but they also didn’t talk and talk at length about how their votes were being cast to keep the team strong; they voted for you for strategic reasons and owned it. Argument not valid. Try again.
“If anyone thinks that James with a busted knee is better for the team and I am, they’re lying,” Tom says. He really has nothing to lose at this point, and it’s pretty clear that he’s going home, so I’m glad he’s pointing out what dicks these people are on his way out.
“If people really agree with that, they can FEEL FREE to get rid of me,” James says. If you’re wondering why James is being so standoffish about this, it’s because being strong is his only asset. He defines himself by it. When you take that away, what are you left with? Definitely not someone who’s fun to have at parties. Just saying.
“Yeah, I might be weak, but what I lack in mobility I more than make up for in apple metaphors.”
Time to vote. We see James and Tom vote for each other. Tom looks at the camera, casts his vote for James, and says “All mass, no class.” When the votes are read, Tom gets two, James gets two, then Tom gets the rest, and he’s gone.
Man, the Heroes deserve to be eradicated entirely for that. Once Colby’s gone, who is there to root for? Amanda sucks now, JT is rapidly overplaying his hand, Candice still hasn’t made up for being terrible last time, and James and Rupert are James and Rupert. I sincerely hope they get crushed at this point, even though that’s going to make the show boring for awhile.