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Tonight, on Survivor: Sierra gets awesome all over Debbie and Coach. KICKED IN THE FACE!Back at camp after the Tyson boot, Debbie’s Tour Of Crazy 2009 begins from minute one. “You have rocks, Sierra. Big ones,” she says, thinking that Sierra somehow orchestrated the Tyson boot. Yes, because Sierra is so popular that she was able to make a move of that caliber. That’s why her name is carved in all the trees around camp.
Meanwhile, JT begins the damage control immediately, apologizing to Coach for keeping him out of loop, telling him that it was because he didn’t want Coach to have to break his word. That, right there? Is masterful. Take advantage of Coach’s morality complex? Check. Appeal to his sense of loyalty? Check. Capitalize on his ego? Check. I mean, think about it: what he is essentially saying is, “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I was going to vote out your biggest ally, because then you obviously would have done that with me, since we have an unbreakable alliance that I just broke, but is unbreakable nonetheless.” Coach has no choice but to agree with him.
“Let me tell you, I’ve got really good intuition, and I didn’t see it coming.” Coach says. Yes, if it’s one thing that Coach has in spades, it’s a great gut feeling about how people are feeling.
“I actually appreciate you guys not telling me,” Coach says. I love that JT, with one sentence, created, like, this ERROR 404 in Coach’s brain that turned all of the qualities that Coach thinks he has against him. Cognitive dissonance FTW!
After the credits, it’s the morning of Day 28 at Forza. “We need to know what our next couple of moves are,” Debbie asks JT and Stephen. They tell her that it’s going to be Sierra next, then Erinn. Debbie is smart enough to feel dubious about this, so she goes to talk to Coach about it. Debbie points out that they were, in fact, blindsided last night. She suggests getting the old Timbira tribe back together, pulling in Sierra and Erinn and creating a majority. She also makes use of the word “supposebly” when she explains this to us in confessional, making her instantly dead to me.
“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”
Reward Challenge! It’s survey time, so everyone will be answering questions individually and then guessing what the consensus answer is. When a question is answered correctly, it earns one chop on someone else’s rope. Once the ropes have been chopped three times, that person’s little statue is smashed and they are out. Last remaining person wins reward, which is a trip to a natural spring and a home cooked meal with a local family.
Question 1: who has not lived up to their potential? The consensus answer is Coach, of course. People go to chops Sierra almost immediately, and she has two of her ropes gone by the end of the first round. Whoever does the props had a little fun with this challenge, because the little statues are painted just like their clothes, which is pretty great:
Who would squander the million the quickest? Everyone thinks it’s Sierra, because apparently hair ties and shitty faux-religious tattoos are a great use of one’s cash. Sierra is the first one knocked out here. Who would never survive on their own? Debbie. “I would have no one to talk to, Jeff,” she laughs. Yes, but also no one would have to listen to you. This is a win-win scenario, where I’m coming from. Coach and Debbie get knocked out here.
Who would you trust with your life? Everybody picks JT, of course. “I don’t know why everyone trusts me so much. In this game, I’m not so trustworthy,” he says with a big mischievous smile on his face. “It seems like people would catch onto that. It may be the accent, I don’t know.” My friend Mandy has put forth the theory that JT is a vampire, and I cannot say that I disagree with her. Don’t look him in the eyes, he’ll glamour you!
So now only Taj and Stephen are left, but Stephen has all three of his ropes and Taj only has two, so he just needs to get these questions right to win. Who is most likely to stab you in the back? Everyone said Sierra, for some reason. I can see why she’s annoying and all, but this is a bit harsh. Who would you least like to see win the game? Stephen says Sierra and Taj says Coach (which is the audience’s answer, I’m sure), and Stephen gets it right and wins. Sierra has to be much, much worse than we’re seeing if people would rather see Coach win the game than her.
Stephen chooses to send sends Erinn to Exile, citing the need to keep any possible idol within his alliance. He gets to pick two people to go with him, and he picks Taj and JT. This leaves the Timbiras together at camp, which seems sort of unwise, but if you think about it, does it matter? Stephen, Taj and JT are as safe as they could possibly be, because Erinn and Sierra hate Coach and Debbie quite a lot, and they still have the idol.
The Jalapaos arrive at the Brazilian farm for the reward, where they go into the kitchen with an entire Brazilian family. While they eat, a little girl falls in love with JT’s vampire ass. Then, an entirely different kid falls off the table, and Taj goes to comfort her. Taj said she saw her son in him, and she was like “This is by baby, this is my baby.” She said she imagined the girls as her own son, which is equal parts endearing and creepy.
After the meal, the Jalapaos go down to this spring that has, like, a wet sand bottom or something, so you just sort of float there, and it’s one of those neat things that always end up on this show that are sort of underappreciated. Talk turns to the game. JT thinks their next move is Sierra, and Stephen agrees because their next move would be Coach, but he is “the weakest in every aspect” and “very predictable”, which means that he’s easy to keep around. I love how they’ve all just completely dismissed him as viable. Coach is the concept of irony, given human form.
Stephen wants to play with people whose motivations he can guess, so he floats the idea of getting rid of Debbie since she’s apparently smart and strategic. I guess “Do whatever Coach wants” is a strategy of sorts.
Meanwhile, Erinn is over on Exile Island and there’s still no new idol. She tries to get a fire started, but it begins to rain before she can, and so she has to just lie on the ground wrapped in a burlap sack, getting rained on. When I say it looks miserable, I understate it. She just lays there on the hard, cold ground, shivering in the fetal position. Hey, that’s exactly what I do in my living room every time Coach says more than two words!
Back at camp, Coach and Debbie talk to Sierra about getting the band back together. “Sierra, you’d go with whatever Coach decided, right?” Debbie says, just outwardly being gross. “I don’t know,” Sierra says in response. Coach is all “But I thought you said you were loyal?” because Coach’s strict definition of loyal is to be loyal to Coach and help Coach win the game. Do whatever he decides! Be a zombie!
“Yeah, but then you wrote my name down last week and you didn’t save me like I asked you to, and they did,” she says in response, which is pretty perfect. See how she’s being loyal, just not to you, Coach? Eat shit.
“That’s how it’s gonna be?” he says. “You’re next then, baby.” What happened to falling on your own sword like a big, brave samurai, Coach? Where are your empty pretentious references to bygone civilizations now?
Sierra points out that she might not be going next, since the two of them are clearly in big trouble, since all they have is each other at this point. She lays it out on the table for them. “The Jalapaos are all together, and that’s not breaking up. Erinn voted for Tyson last night without telling you. Who does that leave?”
In response to having been owned by Sierra, Debbie freaks the hell out: “You don’t know who we have!” she says all contemptuously, like there is some super secret extra person in the game that Sierra doesn’t know about or something. In fact, Debbie, Sierra knows exactly who you have, because if they had anything else, they obviously wouldn’t be trying to talk Sierra into aligning with them, would they? Idiots.
Debbie continues to hyperventilate all over camp: “Quit putting threats in my head, Sierra!” she says, because logic can be scary sometimes.
“I’m not giving you threats, I’m giving you the facts,” Sierra says matter of factly, keeping her head and not getting upset.
“Yeah, the facts in your brain,” Debbie says in response. Oh, Debbie. What are the facts in your brain, then? Are they somehow different? In the wise words of Homer Simpson: “Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true! Facts, schmacts.”
Debbie starts crying and storms off, because Sierra has not only completely owned her, but made her realize that she is completely and totally fucked, and the only way to get herself out of this mess is to have the person that she’s treated like shit for twenty nine days pull her out of the mud. Poetic Justice: it’s not just for Janet Jackson movies anymore.
Coach and Debbie, now out of options, know that they have to work JT and Stephen to stay in the game. When they get back from the reward, Coach takes JT down to the water. He asks whether JT is cool with getting rid of Sierra, then Erinn, then Taj, and JT is like “Yeah, whatever,” and can’t look Coach in the face, because JT is good at this game, but not a very good liar.
Coach then tells JT that Sierra tried to get the old Timbira back together, just telling a straight up lie to him. “She’s going to do whatever it takes to get farther in the game without any honor,” he says. I don’t need to point out all the things wrong with Coach, here, right?
Meanwhile, Sierra is up at camp telling Stephen the actual truth, which is that Debbie and Coach were working her to get an alliance together. Stephen goes off to find JT and tell him about this, and discovers him down by the water with Coach. Stephen asks Coach about the whole mess, and he again says that Sierra and Debbie brought it up to him, and he thought about it briefly, but that it made him sick to his stomach. You know what? I cannot wait to meet Coach’s family member. I need to meet his mom, or friends or something. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MAN?
“I’m freaking out,” Stephen tells JT after Coach leaves. They compare stories, deciding that it’s much more likely that Coach is lying to them than Sierra, since Sierra doesn’t really have any other options and also Coach is a psychopath. They decide that they have no problem sending Coach home sooner than later, since he’s now lying to them. Sooner! Sooner!
Immunity Challenge. Erinn comes back from Exile, and Stephen has a sweater waiting for her, which is a small but impressive move. In the first stage of the challenge, the
Survivors will use a grappling hook to retrieve bags, and the first three to get them all move on to the final round. The bags have nothing in them and serve no purpose, they’re just there, making this challenge even more phoned in that all the other already phoned in challenges this season. The first three people to get the bags go onto the final stage, which is one of those tilting mazes with the holes in it. The first person to navigate their ball through the maze wins immunity. Man, this season’s challenges are just larger versions of shitty parlor games. Next week: that peg jumping thing that you do while waiting for your table at Cracker Barrel!
So Coach, Debbie, and JT get their bags first and move onto the final round. The only reason the second part of the challenge is even remotely suspenseful is because JT and Coach end up going head to head when Debbie falls behind, and I end up watching the rest of it through my fingers, because, like the rest of the world’s population, I really, really want Coach to get off my television as soon as possible. Of course, JT’s ball falls into a hole (NO!), and stupid Coach wins, all “Dragon Slayer!” as he clinches the victory. Blast! Bring me the head of the person responsible for this.
Back at camp, Coach recounts the entire challenge, which just happened like a second ago, for JT, all “And did you hear me say Dragon Slayer at the end?” while JT rolls his eyes and pretends to pay attention. Coach tells us that his meditation and ability to focus helped him win today. Your ability to meditate and focus didn’t help you hang onto the pole a few episodes ago, or solve any of the numerous puzzles you’ve been tasked with. Your magic powers are awesome indeed.
Sierra tells JT about how Coach and Debbie tried to get her to align with them. JT tells her he doesn’t know whether she’s telling the truth or not, and Sierra swears on the Holy Bible before telling JT that she has no problem confronting the two of them in front of everyone. “Okay, let’s hear it!” he says, excited.
So Sierra waits until everyone’s sitting together around the fire and begins to call Coach out. Coach continues to deny her story over and over again, telling his version of the story in which Sierra is the instigator. Coach says that Debbie brought up the subject of an alliance, which is true, and then Sierra got in her face, which is not true, since they definitely got in Sierra’s face, especially once she owned their respective asses. The best part of Coach’s version of the story is the ending: “And I said, ‘Sierra, I do not want a Timbira alliance, and that’s it!” Omigod, it’s like he’s got a photographic memory!
Sierra calls them both liars, since, you know, they’re both liars and all. “I didn’t talk about a Timbira alliance; you guys both came to me and asked. You said ‘Do you think Erinn will be mad enough from Exile to get the numbers back?’ I will walk out of this game right now if you look me in the eye and tell me you didn’t say that.”
At this, Coach looks at her and waves like a jackass, all “Buh-bye!” which causes Sierra to erupt and call them all liars, which they are. And all of a sudden, Debbie starts yelling for no reason, all “EVERYONE ELSE IS YELLING! I’M PART OF THE GROUP!”
And then Debbie starts crying again and storms off, because she just got owned by Sierra yet again. Logic and indisputable evidence got you down? Why, just run away from your problems! “I’m too old for this,” she says. “I’m a forty-six year old professional woman, and I can’t believe I’m in a verbal combat (sic) with a twenty-three year old over what I said.” I think it’s the part about losing that bothers you. KICKED IN THE FACE!
“Honestly, I don’t remember what I said,” Debbie says, going with the last refuge of those who end up caught in a lie.
Taj and Erinn tell Sierra that she definitely caught them in a lie, and then they promise that they won’t be writing Sierra’s name down. Meanwhile, JT and Stephen seem to be in agreement that Sierra is likely telling the truth. Stephen thinks getting rid of Debbie would be a great idea, since Sierra did them a favor and caught them in a lie. “However, sending Sierra home eliminates one big nutty variable,” Stephen says. Oh, nutty variables. What would reality television be without you?
Tribal Council. Brendan and a clean shaven Tyson enter. Probst asks people about whether the game is changing now that there are so few people remaining. JT says that he used to chit chat and now he’s scared to leave camp. Who does he have to be scared of? He has this shit locked up right now. Debbie’s all “Our happy little family isn’t so happy any more!” because she is the type of person who refers to groups of unrelated people as “her family”, like all her cubicle buddies and shit. Ugh.
Coach says that there’s been a catalyst for all of the ridiculousness, and Sierra rolls her eyes because he means her, but Coach himself is the catalyst, of course. Probst catches her and asks her what he deal is, and she says that Coach’s “claim to be extremely honest got burned” when they were asking her about a new alliance. She tells Probst that they’re angry that they’re not only caught in a lie, but “stuck up shit creek”, and she sure as hell will not be helping them. Then Sierra is all, “I’m just glad that I proved the guy wrong who was going to (finger quotes) “change the game in an honest way.” Can I tell you how much I love Sierra With Nothing To Lose? Owned! Sierra three, Coach and Debbie zero.
Coach response is that he thinks “in Sierra’s warped mind, she thinks that she is telling the truth,” and everyone laughs, because: projecting, of course.
He continues: “She’s trying to make accusations of (sic) two things that I hold most precious,” Coach says. And those two things are? “Honesty-integrity”, which has now become one concept joined by some sort of hyphen, and “Courage”. Sierra, you are insulting his courage by standing up for yourself! How dare you…be sort of courageous! Your courage is an attack on courage!
He then proceeds to publicly forgive Sierra, because he is such a benevolent leader: “You know what? I forgive Sierra. I really felt that verse come to me where Stephen says in the temple, when he’s being stoned to death, and his last words are ‘God forgive them, for the know not what they do’.” First of all, instead of “Stephen” I think you mean “Jesus”, and instead of “stoned to death”, you means “crucified”. Other than those two very trivial details, your parable is completely accurate.
I have to stop here, because I have an admission to make: I have run out of things to say about Coach. I think he might be a sociopath, not even kidding. I mean, have you ever seen someone embarrass themselves like this? I would rather be Lisi, no shit. I would take one hundred faceplants on national television than be this out of touch with humanity.
Anyway, Coach continues to say that he was planning on apologizing to Sierra, (which he says as “I was going to come here tonight and say ‘Sierra, I’d like to ask your apology’, because he is just one giant sic sometimes), and then tells us that he doesn’t understand why she makes enemies of her “two best friends out here” by calling them out. How dare she tell a completely factual account of what occurred? Who does she think she is?
Once Coach finishes, Sierra just laughs, because there is entirely too much there to even touch. And really, laughing is pretty much the best response you can have to Coach. I mean, why even argue with him? Coach is kind of always his own best response to his own argument, if you will.
Time to vote. Debbie votes for Sierra: “We’ve said it all there’s nothing left to say.” Yes, because you have been owned. When Coach walks by the jury bench to vote, Brendan can’t even look him in the face because just looking at Coach makes him break out in laughter.
When the votes are read, Sierra, Debbie and Stephen (whose vote says “Never again. Swear” on the bottom) each get one. Debbie gets another, and then the rest are for Sierra and that’s it for her, sadly. Way to go out with a bang, though! Respect.
When Sierra has her torch snuffed, Debbie kisses her necklace like an idiot, because she is slowly becoming more and more like Amber from Big Brother 8 with each passing second. America’s Next Top Model, here I come!
For those of you wondering, the Stephen vote came from Erinn, I guess because she promised Sierra that she wouldn’t write her name down earlier.
See you guys next week. Unless they get rid of Coach soon, I’m going to lose my shit, no kidding.