This week on Survivor, Jean-Robert gets his sexism on, James pushes some trees down with his bare hands and then gets a good dig on Courtney, and Dave gets more annoying. And the chick with the mullet has apparently been rendered mute.Night 6 at Fei Long. Jean-Robert is snoring his face off and grossing everyone out, including Leslie. “Maybe it’s the silk shirt and the no underwear,” she says, providing me with adequate visual stimuli so that I won’t have to think about baseball for a really long time. Courtney tells us that JR is quite creepy as we get a montage of him getting all hands-y with all of the young women. This is where you begin to hypothesize that maybe some of JR’s winnings maybe end up in the hands of some high class prostitutes. Leslie tells us that if they go to tribal council, at least they won’t have to worry about who to vote out first, because it will be him. Then a raven inexplicably lands on her shoulder. Ravens are not indigenous to China, except in cases of ominous portent.
After the credits on Day 7, James and Amanda go to check the crab trap that they won at the last reward challenge and discover a single crab inside. A veritable feast! Fei Long tries to decide what to do with one crab for eight people, and Courtney comes up with the valid idea of boiling it and making stock, so that they can all have “crabby rice”, which is the title of my first album. Aaron wants to do…something else, but doesn’t offer any suggestions. He just doesn’t want crabby rice. Seems like he’s already eaten his fair share of crabby, as has everyone else, because they bitch and bitch and bitch for eight years like Dave is hiding somewhere in the bushes, and I would have loved it if the crab had just been like, “Fuck this. Peace out!” and scuttled off into the forest.
James tells us how hard it is to be around all of these people. Dude, you’ve got it good: do you see Rocky or Lisi anywhere? Thought not. He gets in a good line when he’s like, “Am I the only one who went to Barnes & Noble before we got here?” He means that he thinks he’s the only one that’s done any survival research, but the way it comes out, he sounds more like he’s pissed that no one’s read the newest Chuck Klosterman collection. “I mean, his work is so prescient! How can you not appreciate his fondness for pop culture references and the occasional obscure band reference? It is so frustrating to live around these philistines!”
Now we head to Zhan Hu, where a random water mammal of some sort emerges from the water. It is seriously random. Also random: Dave appears to be cleaning the steps. This is undoubtedly one of the many things they all have to do before anyone can eat. The rest of the tribe lounges in the shelter, and Peih-Gee gets in a subtle dig when she is like, “Why don’t you sit down and eat with us, because I don’t want to lose another challenge.” Dave, of course, does not understand that his ass almost got booted when he blew it for them last week, because he is Captain Oblivious, and everyone should bow down before him. The dialogue between Peih-Gee and Dave goes as you would expect: it becomes condescending and passive-aggressive from both sides until it devolves into a series of kissing noises. Dave tells us how dumb everyone is for not knowing that, “In order to have energy for the challege, you must efficiently expend some.” Doing essential things like…cleaning the steps?
The rest of the tribe tries to sort out a design flaw in Dave’s fire pit which keeps it from, you know, actually cooking things, while he gradually grows more pissed lying in the shelter by himself and flopping around all dramatically. While the group has a democratic discussion about how to fix this small thing, Dave gets all infuriated because he thinks that they are talking in circles instead of doing something. Trust me, Dave, I have been in many of those staff meetings, and this is not one of them. Instead of letting them sort it out themselves in the five minutes it would take, he stomps over to camp and grabs a brick and tells them how they should stop talking and “just get it done” and I was really hoping that Sherea would just form tackle him here. Sadly, she does not.
Reward Challenge! Today, it’s just straight-up, three on three wrestling on these two platforms with bridges between them, and it will be girls v. girls and guys v. guys. First team to three wins reward, which is blankets and pillows and whatnot. The girls will be going first, so it’s Denise, Leslie, and Amanda against Jaime, Sherea and Peih-Gee. The round starts, and Sherea steps up onto the platform, all “bring it”, which causes Denise to ninja across the other side and head straight for Jaime. Peih-Gee comes out of nowhere and flings her into the water, and then runs across and helps Sherea throw in Amanda. Leslie goes in pretty quickly, and Zhan Hu has their first point.
Now it’s Aaron, James, and Jean Robert against Dave, Frosti, and Erik. Dave tries to get all Hatch-y by trying to do this challenge naked, and like most things that Dave does, he thinks that it is really smart, and everyone else just thinks he’s a douche. It’s kind of his MO, in case you haven’t noticed. The male round commences, the highlight of which is Aaron trying to tackle Dave and getting a face full of dong in the process, which is both gross and hilarious when Jeff is like, “Hm, this is odd!” during his commentary.
Watch out! She’s hiding a prison shiv in her mullet!
Dave and Aaron essentially cancel each other out and pull each other into the water, which leaves James to completely run roughshod over everyone and get the point for Fei Long as the last one standing. The girls go again, and Zhan Hu completely dominates again when they take Leslie and Amanda out early and then get Denise the cafeteria lady on her back, exposing her, um, lunchbox to the viewing audience for roughly twelve minutes. Give the blurring people a raise!
The men go again, and Fei Long predictably wins again, with giant James and giant Jean Robert on their team. Luckily, the girls went first, so the ladies of Zhan Hu pull off the victory for their team. Zhan Hu chooses to kidnap Leslie, which is an excellent strategy for Jaime, since she figures to get the clue as a result.
After the commercial, Zhan Hu is very excited as they bring the spoils of their victory back to camp. Leslie congratulates them on their victory, and Dave tells her that he’ll keep his pants on for her while she’s there. Um, too late? There are some things that you just can’t un-see. Leslie tells us that she thinks that this tribe has a much better attitude, which I don’t really understand, given, you know…Dave. Later in the water, the Zhan Hu members (minus Dave, who is off by himself in an intriguing social arrangement) quiz Leslie about her tribe. She tells them that she thinks that they’re happier overall, and then it turns into a game of “Who’s a Christian?” which is usually something I reserve for particularly long train rides when someone forgets the Scrabble set. Somehow, I think pointing out the pre-existing social grouping that is going on here is not in Leslie’s best interests. Leslie tells us that she’s in China to show people the love of Christ, which…isn’t that what Big Brother is for?
Frosti decides to give himself a concussion rather than deal with Dave
Over at Fei Long, JR and James talk about how “Sister Christian” (they mean Leslie, but that is one badass song) is going to hurt herself eventually. Over in the forest, Courtney and Todd are harvesting some kindling for the fire and overhear their entire conversation. JR asks James who he thinks needs to stay; James names JR, James himself, and Denise (presumably because the absence of a mullet such as hers would be a travesty indeed). JR tells James that he tried to get in good with Todd but he feels like Todd is shutting him out, and that he also doesn’t get along with Courtney, but that he’s not worried because “she’s gonna be the first to go”. Courtney’s face, in the bushes: “Shit.”
JR and James have narrowed the first vote down to Leslie or Courtney. Courtney, of course, still listens in the bushes as James says that Courtney at least does work, including “moving stuff”. Ah moving stuff, often as useful as cleaning the stairs. JR starts to rid James, all “plus, you loooooove her” but he does it in a really skeevy way, all “A million dollars is nice, but if you can get a million dollars and some ass?” and then laughs at how funny he is. Todd hears this, and he looks at Courtney like, “Oh, girl!” and she starts laughing, clearly hurt and pissed off that this is going on. If you go back and listen closely, James’ response to this is the best. Verbatim: “No way, with her nasty ass bush.” Descriptive!
Courtney tries to laugh it off, but you can tell that she’s trying to come off nonchalant about it when she is clearly…chalant. As Courtney rightfully tells Todd that she will not be sleeping anywhere near either of them for the near future, Todd tells us that he wants to “take out the trash” meaning Jean-Robert and James. Then he kills the metaphor by talking about how trash is only stinky after 9 days, and I don’t know what kind of trash he has, but he must eat only non-perishables, is what I’m thinking.
Back at Zhan Hu on Day 9, Leslie decides to give her tube to Jaime, which now contains two clues, the second of which tells Jaime that the idol is not anywhere on the ground. How can you not find it after that? I must say, I do love the absence of Exile Island this season. I never thought it added very much to the game as a concept; the immunity idol is the cool part. This kidnapping thing is way better.
Immunity Challenge! Today’s challenge involves using a sword (yes!) to chop through four poles to release some puzzle pieces, one pole per competitor. Then the remaining two people will put the puzzle together, and then drag the completed, heavy puzzle across the finish line. Wow, I explained that in only two sentences! I love the easy ones.
Courtney will be chopping first for Fei Long, and Jaime for Zhan Hu. Courtney is not good at this, y’all, and she gets tired and can’t bust through her wood. That’s what she said! Sorry, I’m just really glad the office is back. Jaime busts through hers pretty quickly, and we get a cool freeze-frame effect like one of those old Chinese kung-fu movies (it’s one of the things Tarantino uses all the time now), which I thought was a nice touch by the editors. Courtney sucks at this so much, in fact, that all four Zhan Hu choppers get their puzzle pieces down and Sherea and Dave get started on the puzzle before she even finishes. But, because Dave is supposed to do something involving teamwork, Fei Long catches up quite a bit. Despite Dave, however, Courtney cost them too much time, and Zhan Hu wins their first immunity challenge, which rightfully causes them to flip the hell out in celebration.
Swords are SO not city.
Great Wall! Courtney checks out her injuries from the competition today, one of which is a fairly gross looking blister on her palm. Who will want to sleep with her now? JR tells us that he thinks that they’ll be getting rid of one of the two weaker women, either Leslie or Courtney. Leslie makes the mistake of telling the Fei Long-ers about the other tribe, including the fact that three of them are Christians, which is apparently why she thinks she was picked. That’s insane, and also unwise. She then mentions that they asked about Aaron in particular, and he gets all huffy about how Leslie blew his spot re: his leadership. Dude, Jaime was over at your camp for two days while you prissed at Jean-Robert. I think they maybe have figured it out by now. Aaron tells us in his suit jacket that he’s concerned that Leslie will join an alliance with the other side at the merge. Because, you know…Jesus. He’s such a trouble maker sometimes. First the Crusades, and now this.
Courtney, Todd, and Leslie talk about how everyone else kind of sucks, and Courtney and Leslie decide that voting out Jean-Robert would be the best option for the team, by which they mean themselves. Todd goes off with Amanda and sways her to vote out JR, and then the two of them take it to their alliance mate Aaron. Aaron is just like, “Yeah, we’re not doing that” and then offers up Leslie as a possible bootee, which makes me think that Aaron is going to be having some paranoia issues later in the game. Todd makes the excellent point that as much as they don’t trust Leslie, Jean-Robert is a professional poker player, so he’ll pretty much do anything to get himself farther into the game, even one little step. But Aaron will not be swayed because he wants Jean-Robert for the challenges. Also, because he hates Christians. Somebody sic Jameka on him! Just make sure Aaron’s mama is out of the way and in a safe place first.
My tiny blue shorts refuse to vote for Jean-Robert!
Tribal Council. Jeff asks Jean-Robert about the challenges, and he points out that while their men are larger, their women are much weaker than the other side, and he points out Courtney. Courtney, attempting not to cry, tells Jeff that they’re always trying to figure out how they can sit her, Leslie and Todd, and she’s getting really tired of all of the challenges being wrestling and force oriented. With all of this talk about challenges, why has no one pointed out that Courtney can be an asset when you have to squeeze through something or pull someone along a course? Lots of these people are students of the game, you’d think they could point this out. After Courtney finishes, Jean-Robert says, “It’s not like I perceive Leslie or Courtney as weak, but…” and then Probst cuts him off to call bullshit, which I thought was awesome. Probst is really good in this ep, by the way. So then JR goes all “I’m just keeping it real” which is always bullshit anytime any reality contestant says it, because what they’re saying is “I’m an asshole, and I have no excuse for it, and that is somehow your fault” like they don’t have to follow a social code like the rest of us. That is one of my reality pet peeves, for sure.
Then Leslie makes the extremely unwise move of preaching at everybody that Zhan Hu just has more “heart” than their tribe, like they’re scrappy and motivated, when in reality they have Dave and Peih-Gee and several people who are just as annoying. Leslie is not the most perceptive, I think.
Time to vote! We see Aaron vote for Leslie and Courtney vote for Jean-Robert. Jeff grabs the votes. The first one is for Jean-Robert, and the second is for Leslie. The third is for JR, and the fourth is for “Sister Christian” which Jeff clarifies is for Leslie. The rest are for Leslie, and she is snuffed and will be motor-in to Loser Lodge.
What’s the over/under on Todd finding the immunity idol?
Let it be known that I am disturbed by the marked lack of pandas in this episode.