Dumbest move in Survivor history? Probably still with James. But dumbest Survivor contestant ever? Yeah, probably Jason.We begin the day after the totally rad Ozzy tribal council instead of getting the normal night vision fallout, which I find kind of odd. Amanda and James talk about how surprised they were to see that Ozzy was voted out and that they weren’t told. Amanda declares herself suddenly ready to play the game, all “Bring it on!” I sincerely hope that Amanda wants to play now, but to be honest? I kind of don’t believe her. It seems disingenuous. Also, it would have been nice to do something a little earlier than this. Remember when she ruled? That needs to happen again. How lazy do you have to be to allow Parvati to wrest control from you?
Yeah, she’s looking a little rough.
After the credits, Cirie (who is a nurse, remember) is scolding James about taking care of a cut that he has on his finger. I guess it must have gotten pretty gross, because Cirie is all squicked out at it, and the previews showed a big nasty swelled up mess. Meanwhile, Parvati is getting the cold shoulder from her old alliance mates for the Ozzy affair. She tells us that she needs to “do some serious damage control”. She takes James off for a discussion, making the very valid point that she had no shot at beating Ozzy in the end when he asks her why she did it. James looks at her all judgmentally, asking her who she’s planning on taking to the end with her. She shrugs her shoulders like “Well, fuck it, I guess” and just tells James that she’s going with “girls”. That’s both a dumb answer (because you don’t want to make an unnecessary adversary) and a smart answer (because it doesn’t necessarily exclude Amanda). James tells her that she’s rubbing his victory in her face (which she is not, right now), and then starts preaching, saying “It’s just funny, there’s always one that’s gotta eat the apple.” And now I hate James forever. Again, why is making a move that benefits Parvati directly somehow “eating the apple” just because it doesn’t help James? Everyone’s here to win, and to fault her for that is idiotic. Also, remember last time, James? Learn a fucking lesson and don’t get complacent in your alliance. Asshole.
So, now that James has preached at Parvati for rubbing it in, Parvati is like “What the hell? Might as well rub it in now.” So she starts telling James that he wouldn’t have believed her or given her credit anyway, and then he calls her selfish. Given that it is not possible to be selfish in Survivor anymore than it is possible to be selfish playing checkers, James is now an even larger asshole. Then, in confessional, he tells us that Parvati is “pulling the wool over his eyes with self-pity” which is again, completely ridiculous and hypocritical. Think about it: who’s the one really feeling sorry for themselves in this conversation and trying to make the other party feel guilty because he was too dumb to play the game for the second straight time? Again, I say: ASSHOLE.
Parvati then goes and tracks down Amanda, who has a somewhat easier time with the whole thing because she realizes that it was for the best. Amanda asks Parvati what the plan is for the end, and Parvati tells her that she’s “thinking final five girls”, which is again a very smart answer because she makes Amanda no promise that she can’t keep. This would be an obvious clue for Amanda, but given how Amanda’s been operating this season, I really don’t see her doing anything with it. Amanda tells us that it would be “stupid” for her to buy what Parvati is selling right now, and while I agree, I’m not sure anything’s going to change at this point. It’s possible, but it will take Cirie too. And if Parvati went down in a spectacular ball of flame in that manner, it would be interesting.
Siding with Parvati gives me vertigo.
Reward Challenge! It’s time for the auction. Everyone gets $500 American this year, and there is no sharing of money. I wish they had to play with those giant money stones that they keep using in challenges. That would have ruled. The first item is bought by Cirie for $120, and she gets a hot dog and fries. Erik wins the bidding on the next thing for $80, and Probst gives him the opportunity to switch for another item, which he does. He ends up with a giant tray of nachos instead of a bottle of octopus. Natalie wins the next item for a whopping $240, and it ends up being some of those bats that James likes so much. James is like “I’ll take it” and then he goes up and eats the bats. I thought there was no sharing! I call shenanigans! Not that Probst wouldn’t change the rules for James, since he totally wants to make out with him.
Now Jeff throws down a PB&J sandwich and a glass of milk, and Amanda comes away with it for $280. Another mystery item goes to Natalie for another $240, which turns out to be a bottle with a message in it. The message says that she can send any of the other castaways to Exile Island and keep all of their money. Natalie, who I guess is not dumb now that we know she has a personality, asks Jeff what the status of the idol is. He looks at her, impressed that she would think of that, and gives up the info that a new idol has been hidden in a new location. Jason immediately starts lobbying not to go, which doesn’t make any sense, and then Natalie continues the trend by making the dumbest decision possible and sending him anyway. She’s obviously thinking that she wants his $500 and not about any idol.
After Jason leaves, Jeff sets another item on the table. Natalie ends up taking this one too for $340, and it turns out to be a giant chocolate cake. The twist is that Natalie can pick three other people, and they have sixty seconds to eat as much cake as they possibly can. Natalie immediately picks Alexis and Parvati, and she hesitates before also choosing Cirie. Man, this episode is filled with small hints to Amanda that she should come up with a new battle plan. Before they start eating, Natalie makes the proclamation that the other three shouldn’t “hog the cake” because she hasn’t had anything to eat since they’ve gotten there. That seems bitter, and also there’s like a metric ton of cake there, so maybe you shouldn’t bitch, Cakey McBoob. The three women immediately start shoveling chocolate cake down their gullets, and it’s like a dessert fetishist’s porno movie for a solid minute as they get cake all over the place. Erik, looking on with jealousy, offers Cirie $40 to lick the cake off her fingers at the end, and no, that is not a euphemism. Cirie accepts the offer, and Erik gets all porn-y all over her fingers while everyone looks on and laughs, Cirie most of all because Erik is pretty much a twelve-year-old at all times, and this could not possibly be any less sexy, although it is mighty weird.
“You know, for some reason, I really miss Ozzy right now.”
After the commercial, the Dabu tribe stands around talking about how lucky Jason is to have all the breaks he’s gotten, as if they haven’t made the conscious choices to give them to him as a side effect of trying to get themselves to the end. In the first of many unflattering interviews, Natalie tells us that “Jason’s on Exile. We all want him gone. The little bitch now has two days of sunshine with the Immunity Idol. Guaranteed hands down: bitch will find it.” And then she’s like “That bitch being Jason.” Thanks! We needed clarification on that, because there are so many bitches around this season.
Cut to Jason on Exile Island, finding the immunity idol. Because he is Jason, he is even oblivious in victory, telling us that he feels as if he’s in his first true alliance with Natalie. Yeah, we can all tell she really likes you.
Meanwhile back at camp, the girls concoct a plan to get rid of Jason, even when he finds the idol. Since he thinks he’s aligned with Natalie, she’ll find out whether he’s even found it or not, and then they’ll make him feel secure enough not to use it, after which they will immediately vote him out. Natalie tells us all this in confessional several times, congratulating herself over and over again. I think I liked it better when she didn’t talk.
Treemail comes, and tells them that they’re already doing the challenge where they mash things together from previous challenges. Already with this? This season seems really poorly planned, like they were never able to recover from all of the mandatory evacuations and whatnot. It’s also Erik’s birthday; since the girls don’t want to send him home on his birthday, they decide that James is going to be the backup plan if Jason ends up playing his idol. Natalie tells us this, too, and by this point I want her off of my television forever. Also, why are they making Natalie out to be the mastermind of this plan? It has very plainly come from Cirie and Parvati, just like everything else of interest this season. Go back to not speaking!
Next on the agenda: Going down to Whoville and stealing Christmas.
Immunity Challenge! Basically it’s a bunch of stuff we’ve seen before, so I’ll be explaining as we go along. Before the challenge, Natalie manages to get a second with Jason, telling him to make sure that anyone but James wins. The captions tell us that Jason says something to affirm his loyalty to Natalie about being sent to the island, but if you watch his mouth, you can tell that he says something totally different. This show does not usually stoop to that level, so I am a bit surprised that they just did that. So sad.
The first part of the challenge is to use a rock to break a tile and release some puzzle pieces, with four people going on. Predictably, the three guys and Amanda move onto the second part, which is to dig a key out of the sand and then put the puzzle pieces together to create a winch and lower a set of planks. Amanda and Jason get caught up with the digging and Erik and James end up in the final part of the challenge, which is to use the planks to get across a gap. Erik gets out to a solid lead which causes James to get psyched out and fall, and then he has to swim underneath Erik to grab one of his planks and nearly knocks Erik off, which seems ridiculous and probably should have disqualified him, but Erik ends up pulling off the win anyway on his birthday. The women on the bench let out a collective sigh of relief that part one of their plan is proceeding accordingly.
Back at camp, all the girls congratulate Erik (but mostly themselves) for his immunity win, as if they had anything to do with it. They talk about how easy it will be to implement the final step of their plan now, like it’s super complicated and isn’t just “get rid of Jason”. It’s not like you need to create a super-secret plan involving the extraction of Navy SEALS to get rid of Jason; he’s already pretty dumb.
So dumb, in fact, that he leaves immediately for some chore or other, with his bag just sort of sitting out. Just when you think he has hit bottom, he keeps getting dumber. Natalie jumps on the opportunity, rifling through his bag while James looks on judgmentally, as he is wont to do. I mean, in this instance it’s justified, because now Natalie’s just being a skank, since it doesn’t matter whether he has the idol or not and they’re going to vote him out either way. Of course, she finds it and starts talking a bunch of trash about how they’re going to screw him over. She goes to find him on the beach and make him feel more comfortable before cutting him off at the knees. “I sent you there for a reason” she tells him, although she probably couldn’t name a reason if one slapped her in the face, because it was actually the dumbest thing she could have done. But because he is Jason, he swallows her bullshit whole, of course. He tells her that he knows that she sent him for this unspecified reason, and he also discloses that he has the idol. When are people going to figure out that you should keep the idol on the low until it becomes absolutely necessary? It’s dumb to let people know you have it, now that the rules have changed and you have to play it before the votes are read. But again: it’s Jason.
He tells us that Natalie kept her word to him last time, when Ozzy was voted out, so “he’s just going to have to trust her again.” Yeah, don’t worry about reading the situation, grabbing Amanda, James, Erik and Cirie and blindsiding Parvati or anything. That’s for idiots! Natalie tells us in yet another confessional that she’s planning on flossing her teeth “with his jugular”. She is very proud of herself, and she should not be. These “fans” have all been so underwhelming and disappointing, I cannot tell you. Between Erik’s wide-eyed wonder at everything, Natalie’s annoying self-congratulating, and Jason’s general idiocy, I think they really biffed this casting. Imagine if they had gotten people who are actual students of the game, who know what they’re doing. People who could have gone toe-to-toe with Cirie and Jonathan Penner, instead of this legion of Ozzy fanboys and boring breast implants.
Tribal Council! Eliza and Ozzy enter, and Ozzy gives the remaining players the middle finger on his way in. So, you know, in case you were wondering whether he was bitter or not, there’s your answer. Gee, I can hardly wait for his jury question.
Either he’s flipping them off, or Eliza has a really unfortunate anatomical anomaly we didn’t know about.
Jeff asks the remaining contestants whether losing Ozzy was difficult for them, since in Jeff’s world they should all totally be starving right now without his boyfriend around. Everyone’s sort of like “Um, actually? We’re just fine, thanks. Lick the proverbial cake off of Ozzy’s fingers on your own time, Jeff.” Jeff then asks James how he would feel if he were to be voted out after having provided the tribe with so much hard work. First of all, WE GET IT. You love James. Second of all, why are any of us still laboring under the delusion that how hard you work matters at all this late in the game? Jeff, Parvati is in control right now, and I haven’t seen her carrying a load of wood yoked to her back like an oxen.
James, of course, launches into his stupid apple metaphor again, in which people are always eating apples made of the desire to win instead of letting James coast to the end. Dead to me, again! I tried to like him, people. He got two chances.
Probst also asks Jason if his social status has improved. Because he is an imbecile, he says yes while everyone else tries not to laugh in his face. Natalie unnecessarily backs him up, ostensibly to keep him from using the idol, must more likely just to make herself look good. Quit being so proud of yourself, Natalie. All you did was fool Jason. That’s like playing fetch with a dog and then laughing at his confusion when you eventually hide the stick behind your back.
Time to vote! James votes for Parvati, talking more about the damn apple. Why can’t we all just frolic naked, in a world in which James is permitted to reach the end without resistance? What is wrong with you people? HOW DARE YOU? Jason votes for James, hoping it works. Jeff goes to grab the votes, and then asks if anyone would like to use the immunity idol. Jason, like an idiot, does not play it. Then Jeff reads the votes. The votes go back and forth between James and Jason (with one for Parvati, cast by James), and it ends up tied 3-3 with one vote left. Damn, those girls are smart to split the vote like that to keep Jason from having any power whatsoever, even if he did play the idol. Cirie and Parvati, dislike them all you want (and I do, sort of), and they have gotten extremely lucky with the medical evacuations, but that is some serious gameplay right there.
Anyway, the last vote is for Jason and he is snuffed, and it could not be more richly deserved. What a dullard that guy was.