Tonight, on Survivor: James manages to ruin his entire reputation in the span of twenty minutes, and Rob gets the flu, and/or crybaby-itis. I have a feeling he caught it from James.Night three at the Villains tribe, and it is raining like a bitch. Randy is complaining loudly, telling everyone that “the luckiest person just got voted out”, which is maybe something you’d want to think twice about saying. Rob, of course, hates that everyone is bitching on night three. “I can’t believe I’m on the buffoon tribe AGAIN,” he says, laughing. Clearly, he hasn’t seen what does on over at the Heroes camp.
The next day, the Villains decide that it might be time to build a shelter, given that they’ve now been homeless long enough to be considered hobos. They put together and dismantle the shelter several times. I’m seeing them using a lot of bamboo, but I’m not seeing any bamboo growing in the background. Are building materials provided to them? Lame. Anyway, Randy is unsurprisingly unsatisfied, because Randy is always unsatisfied, telling us that each new incarnation is worse than the one before it. Hey, just like this show. ZING!
Meanwhile, the Heroes are accomplishing their daily chores thanks to some triumphant music. “I love a working tribe,” Rupert says while he stands around supervising everybody, because that’s what Rupert does. He eyes Stephenie suspiciously. “STEPHENIE,” he grunts. He says her name like she’s a Disney Villain.
“It’s very important to my game to get rid of her, because she’d side with anyone who got her one day further.” Isn’t that what anyone would do? Wait, isn’t that the concept of this show? I don’t understand why everyone is finding Stephenie so threatening when Cirie is right there.
Stephenie, meanwhile, is currently being dangerously threatening by making dinner for everyone. Watch out, it’s poisoned! Of course, Rupert stands over her shoulder the whole time, offering “helpful” suggestions while she rolls her eyes. This is the real reason why Rupert wants to get rid of her, because she doesn’t enjoy sitting there and taking his shit quietly. “He’s so annoying, he has an opinion about everything,” Stephenie complains. Word.
“…and that’s why I think nationalized health care is a bad idea.”
Back at the Villains camp, arguments over the shelter persist. Boston Rob’s having a particularly difficult time trying not to take over. In fact, trying so hard to be a team player is literally taking a physical toll on Boston Rob, which is half hilarious and….well, half hilarious.
“I wanted to be the diplomat this time, but I just can’t do it,” he says. Rob kind of stumbles around and mumbles to himself, and you can tell that something’s kind of off. All of a sudden, he abruptly passes out. We don’t see it, for some reason, as the editors opt for some creative first person camera work instead. Luckily, Jerri’s right near him as it happens, so she goes off to get the medical team for him. You know, if I’m ever in the midst of a medical emergency, the person I’d want nearest me is totally Jerri.
The medical team wanders out of the woods, with Probst tagging along behind them for some reason. Medical tries to get Boston Rob to speak, but he’s unconscious and unresponsive, and it looks pretty grim. When they check Rob’s eyes, he has the creepy, glassed over look of Purple Russell from last season. And then: commercial. Classy, CBS!
The medics give Rob water and get him to sit up. After Rob’s been thoroughly checked out, medical tells Probst (who’s there for live narration, I guess) that Rob’s condition looks worse than it actually is, which is the first time in history that the medics have shown up and let someone actually remain in the game. But mostly: Yay, Boston Rob’s not leaving!
Then Boston Rob starts crying, apologizing to Probst and talking about how he feels like this whole thing is “getting the best of him”. Then Rob realizes that he probably looks ridiculous and starts telling Probst that he’s going to win, making Probst crack up. Only Boston Rob would emerge from a brief coma and immediately tell the camera that he’s going to win.
“I don’t know what happened, I guess I came down with the flu, or crybaby-it is,” Rob says, picking on himself because he knows he just went on a crying jag on national television. Wow, am I glad he is not leaving. Even haters have to be enjoying this particular incarnation of Rob, right?
Immunity Challenge! We’re repeating a challenge from Tocantins today: two members from each tribe will run out to collect six giant cubes, which will then stack to form a puzzle. The first team to finish the puzzle and climb to the top of the staircase it forms will win immunity and reward, which is a tarp.
The Heroes talk strategy before the challenge and decide to put JT in charge, under the assumption that he’s the best option since he’s done this one before. The idea is that Heroes can reduce the Too Many Chiefs problem they’ve been having by designating a leader. Of course, when you’re dealing with the egos on the Heroes tribe, you know how it do: while the Heroes get a nice lead on the physical portion, once the puzzle segment begins the magic of Boston Rob kicks into high gear and he gives the Villains the lead. At one point he lifts an entire block by himself, and these things are probably six feet wide.
promptly passes out again
The Heroes, meanwhile, start to disintegrate almost immediately once they reach the puzzle portion. Once JT makes his first error, and the egos on the Heroes team take over and they start shouting over each other. It’s important to note for later that almost everyone on the team is offering input, yelling over each other and generally ruining everything. James then decides to be even less helpful by adding to the noise without contributing anything, scolding everyone and looking disgusted, because he can never pass up an opportunity to judge others, even if it means contributing to the loss.
When the Villains complete the puzzle and secure the win, James looks at the rest of his team like they’re insects. “One voice, I was telling you!” he says repeatedly, because this is how James operates. He does nothing to actually solve the problem while it is occurring, he only complains about the problem after it’s too late to actually do anything about it. What a turd.
“Why help when I could just bitch all the time instead?”
James continues to bitch in confessional, trying to pin the blame on Stephenie. “She’s the ONLY person in the history of this game to lose every single person on her tribe. How can she not be the problem?” he says, as if those two things correlate. Did he even WATCH that season? The fact that Stephenie stuck around should be testament to the fact that she’s a good team player, not to mention that she showed up the very next season and formed a solid majority alliance which got her to the final two. When the fuck have YOU ever been a team player, James? All you’ve done for three seasons now is bitch about people and spout home spun, country bullshit without actually doing anything constructive. That’s why your ass gets voted out, because no one sees you as a worthwhile teammate. And don’t give me that “he went out because of injury the second time” bullshit: Parvati was going to own his ass that episode either way and we all know it, so that injury was pretty irrelevant. What a useless person.
Back at camp, James continues his tirade, bitching at the entire team about how shitty they all are and saying “one voice” over and over again like he’s a member of Amnesty International, ending by storming off like a baby. “I’ve never lost this much in my life!” he says. Yes folks, losing twice in a row is just too much for James to take.
Tom, to his credit, looks disgusted with James. “I’d like to show him who’s a winner and who’s a loser, and how he fits into that equation.” Jesus, I would love it if someone took James down a peg.
If you vote him out, Tom, I’ll send you money in the mail. Not kidding about that.
Meanwhile, the Villains sling their new tarp over top of their shelter, happy to have their main issue resolved. The team sings the praises of Boston Rob, happy to have him back at full strength and appreciative of his value. At one point, he’s even randomly holding a mollusk all “Touch my giant clam!” at Jerri.
I doubt this is the first time Jerri’s been at this particular crossroads.
Russell, meanwhile, is feeling a little bit of Rob envy, as we all do from time to time. “I’m starting to think this ain’t working out,” he says. “I’m going to have to show these people who’s in charge.” Showing people he’s in charge apparently involves hunting for wild chicken, which means waddling through the woods with a spear on his tiny legs. I wish I were making that up.
I bet Coach is having flashbacks to those pygmys in the Amazon.
Back at Heroes camp, James continues to campaign for the removal of Stephenie from the team. When James goes to Rupert to complain about Stephenie, Rupert’s response is comical. “I shouldn’t have sat that challenge out,” he says. Yes, because adding Rupert’s ego to the team dynamic certainly would have resulted in One Voice. They would have magically become The Mighty Ducks. Flying V!
Tom, meanwhile, recognizes that Stephenie’s probably in a bad spot and has come up with a plan. Tom’s become aligned with Stephenie and Colby, and they’ve decided that they want to get rid of Amanda. Why aren’t they just targeting James, and why is Amanda being targeted so fiercely this season? She must be really disliked or something. I feel like there’s a piece of the story they aren’t showing us. I need context!
Tom has no illusion that his alliance with JT is probably not solid, so he wants to grab Cirie and Candace and form a five person block to take out Amanda. As I said, if they were smart they would just get rid of James himself, because he’s clearly the one causing dissonance on the team. Everyone thinks he’s so strong and large and essential, but truth is that he’s absolutely worthless. He’s never even won individual immunity, and he’s had plenty of opportunities. Seriously, go look it up right now. He can’t even succeed when he’s on a team of one.
Steph, Tom and Colby put their plan into action immediately; Stephenie approaches Cirie to pitch getting rid of Amanda, which seems like a bad idea. Don’t you think that on the off chance that Cirie and Amanda are working together, she should maybe try getting rid of James? I don’t know, maybe I just really, really want them to get rid of James, but it seems like the right thing to do to eliminate that potential variable.
Screw it, I’ll send you ALL money in the mail if you get rid of James. Even you, Gangster Oprah.
Stephenie tells Cirie that she’s going to be next if Steph herself goes tonight, which might not be an incorrect assumption. If I’m Cirie, teaming with Steph, Tom and Colby at least means going with reputable people who won’t turn on you. Amanda and JT will smoke your ass the first chance they get.
Meanwhile, Tom takes Candace aside, telling her that she’s also next if Steph goes. Candace tells Tom she’s kind of screwed, because she’ll be on the bottom of either alliance no matter what happens. Tom’s pretty up front with her, promising her that at a minimum, everyone on the other side will go home before Candace does, which would give her three more losses. Maybe teaming with reliable people is also a drawback; Candace and Cirie are also more likely to convince someone from the Amanda/JT side to flip to them, too, so I could see why they would go in that direction. Decisions!
Cirie and Candace go off in the woods together to debate their options. When Candace asks Cirie about her relationship with Amanda, Cirie makes the very good point that Amanda chose to go to the end with Parvati, so she has no reason to believe that Amanda would be a good ally this time. “Honestly, I don’t care who goes, as long as it’s not me,” Cirie says, channeling Sandra. Next on Cirie’s list: going to the final two with a pantsless Boy Scout troop leader.
Tribal Council. Oh lord, I am not looking forward to talking about this.
Probst asks James why he was so frustrated at the challenge, which sends James off on another diatribe about how there should have been “one voice”, which makes me want to punch him in the larynx. “There was a certain individual who voiced her opinion,” James says, too cowardly to come right out and name Stephenie. Probst finally has to ask him specifically for Steph’s name, and when Stephenie tries to stand up for herself by pointing out that she wasn’t the only one talking, James starts absolutely screaming at her, just making no sense at all and refusing to let her speak, just “I know you are, but what am I” over and over again.
James’ argument is that since Stephenie is so adamant about the fact that she wasn’t the only one talking, the strength of her denial somehow creates indisputable evidence that she was the only one. Essentially, James’ argument is the equivalent of “He who smelt it, dealt it.”
“And also: he who creates it, debates it. LAWYERED.”
“James, you just said ‘y’all’, which means more than one person,” Steph says. This sets James off even more, and he just unleashes on Stephenie, telling her that he meant her specifically when he said “y’all”. These two are screaming at each other over the plurality of the word “y’all”, you guys. This is how much they hate each other. Bask in that shit for a minute.
Finally, Colby has had enough of James screaming at Stephenie and tells him to STFU. “You can’t expect her to sit there and not defend herself, man!” he says. Tom pipes up too, telling him that “repeating things over and over again and bullying her” is not an appropriate way to act, and Tom is totally correct on that front. “You don’t mean ‘y’all’, James, you mean her,” Tom finally points out, calling him out on his bullshit.
And because Tom and Colby are people who could feasibly give James a fight, and also they are men, James decides to give them the time of day and speak to them like actual humans. God, he is terrible. “That’s how it goes, man, if someone says they’re not doing something, than they’re doing it,” James argues. Infallible logic, ladies and gentlemen.
That truth is that James has run out of catchphrases to spout (since he’s already been told to stop shouting “one voice” by Colby and Tom and there are no apple-related metaphors that are appropriate in this scenario), so when he is challenged to make an actual argument using logic and reasoning, the “your denial clearly means you are guilty” route is the best James can come up with. As a reminder: the bullying asshole who just spent a solid ten minutes mercilessly berating Stephenie (for doing something that he himself is currently doing, mind you) has been voted viewer favorite and given one hundred thousand dollars not once, but twice. Just wanted to point that out. USA! USA!
Side note: My absolute favorite thing about this season thus far is that the Heroes versus Villains concept is really bringing out all of the reasons why I’ve always hated the so-called “popular” contestants. I’ve been saying James is a jerk and a bully for a long time now, and this kind of disgusting behavior has always been lurking around the fringes of his actions on this show, so I’m happy that everyone else is finally getting to see his douchebaggery in all its glory.
“….and something about apples. LAWYERED AGAIN.”
Time to vote, thank god. We see Stephenie vote for Amanda and Amanda vote for Stephenie. When the votes are read, Stephenie and Amanda get three each, and then the rest are for Stephenie and she is out. It’s unfortunate that James’ bullshit has now been legitimized, but hey, at least now everyone knows he’s a worthless dick.
When Stephenie’s torch is snuffed she just can’t keep quiet any longer, so she turns around and faces James: “The next time that ‘y’all’ lose a challenge? A little less cursing out might help.”
His response? “Keep your mouth shut.” Jesus. Okay, here’s the thing: You can’t tell me that’s something that he would have said to a man in this same scenario. That’s the type of thing that you say to your wife when she talks back to you. In 1950. You know, right before you hit her.
I’m not saying James is a woman beater or anything, but the evidence that he doesn’t respect women is right in front of us and always has been. Think about it: He was condescending to Parvati a couple of years ago, even after she smoked his ass, and he’s doing it again here to Stephenie because he can’t believe someone with lady parts is talking back to him. He doesn’t have any regard for someone smaller than him, especially when those people have the gall to stand up for themselves. He uses his size to scare people by shouting and acting like a jerk, and that? Is super, super gross. Ugh.
And it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better next week, when it appears that he goes completely off the rails. Can someone vote him out, please?