Fumbling around for grammar in the dark is hard!
This week, on Survivor: Terribly Designed Challenges! Ineptitude! The Ranking of People According to General Worth!
After the Paloma-booting, Kelly is a little bit worried that she’s the next to go. She tells us that her strategy from this point forward is to focus on getting rid of Ace. Forget about trying to get along with people, or attempting to make alliances to protect yourself. Just take out the annoying dude! That’ll solve all your problems. Ace, meanwhile, says that Tribal Council was one of the most “unpleasurable things” he’s done in recent history. (Countless women around the world: “Well, that’s because you don’t know what it’s like to have sex with yourself.”)
Having that Ambiguous Accent Implant Surgery must not hurt very much.
He tells us it was worse than getting his wisdom teeth pulled out. I don’t know what he’s talking about; being so drugged up and pathetic that I had to have my mom tie my shoes for me was the best part about getting my wisdom teeth taken out. He talks to the rest of the tribe (except Kelly, who’s off wandering the Gabonian countryside by herself in the darkness, which seems unwise unless you want to end up a flattened cartoon version of yourself on the underside of some elephant’s foot) and points out that the second vote for him was obviously from Kelly, and he had no idea she hated him that much. So the part where she brought up how condescending you are without any context didn’t give you a clue?
Credits. The price of Elephant Stock Footage is down thirty points.
After the commercials, Fang is almost out of food. Randy again brings up the fact that he would like not to be starving in a few weeks, because a distended belly is nota good look when paired with a head bandage. He calls for a vote on again reducing their rice intake, to only one meal a day. “That’s why it’s called Survivor,” he says directly to GC, whose sour look says exactly what he’s thinking: that the box of rice should be made the leader of the tribe. Box of Rice-Block of Wood ’08!
Randy heads off into the forest to “collect wood” with Matt, Susie and Dan, who have become his primary alliance. GC, Ken and Crystal wise up to this immediately, not because they’re smart but because their collective paranoia is so significant that I’m considering building a Panic Room in my basement. In the forest, Randy sells the idea of ousting GC next to the others on the grounds that he’s both lazy and a giant turd, as opposed to Ken and Crystal, who are merely one of those two things, respectively. There’s also a significant amount of bitching about how difficult it is to get along with Crystal, and between last week and this week I’m kind of starting to see their point. Randy also calls Ken the “mini-me” to GC, meaning that he’s going to start in two moderately successful movies and then get drunk and piss himself on VH1 in a few years.
Random Twist Challenge! Jeff calls the tribes into a clearing, wherein two rows of pillars are arranged. Jeff tells the contestants that since the tribes have been together for ten days, everyone should know each other pretty well by now. And you know what happens when you get to know people well: you rank them numerically from first to last. That’s how it always works in life. My mom was mad pissed off when I ranked her after my second cousin at Thanksgiving last year.
“Hmm…I seem to have forgotten how to write.”
Everyone gets a little tablet with their name on it which they must use to rank the tribe members (not including themselves) from first to last. After everyone gets the opportunity to fill out the forms in private, Probst reveals the tallied rankings. For Fang, Matty is deemed the most valuable member, followed by Dan, Randy, Crystal, Ken, GC and Susie. Marcus is the best Kota member, but probably only because Charlie threatened to murder the other tribe members if they didn’t rank him first. In second for Kota is Ace, then Bob, Charlie, Jacquie, Corinne, Sugar and Kelly. Reactions: Marcus is glad to be viewed as valuable, but also worried that he might be targeted as a result yadda yadda, bland and boring. Crystal bitches some more, this time about the fact that Randy was ranked in front of her. GC can’t believe that Ken is ranked in front of him, telling us that “it’s not looking too good for a pimp out here.” Well, a pimp who quits the leadership position like a wimp will quickly find his that his hos do not make dat money. You know, on the grind and whatnot.
“I resign from being a pimp! You all forced me into this life of fur coats and gold teeth, and I resent it.”
Kelly (after Probst prompts her) says that she has no idea what it feels like to be last, because this is the first time in her life it’s ever happened. I’m willing to wager that she stayed far away from the grammar rodeo circuit during her childhood. Ace is indignant in confessional, telling us that Kelly really shouldn’t be surprised, since she’s a “whiny little cow who doesn’t do anything”. I’m willing to buy that she maybe chews cud, but other than that, I’m not sure that’s an appropriate thing to say about a woman in front of a camera.
Probst then drops the very predictable bomb: the Survivors will be using the ranking information to pick new tribes. Since Marcus and Matty were chosen as the most valuable tribe members, they will stay on their respective tribes and start the new tribe selection. People who are chosen must pick a new member from the opposite tribe, so Marcus takes Dan, who was ranked in the second spot. Matt does the same thing and takes Ace. Dan picks Charlie, who tells us that his greatest fear is to be separated from Marcus. (Kathy Bates from Misery: “Word. I like his feet.”)
So the picking of new tribe members continues in formulaic fashion as people take the best available candidate according to the rankings. When it’s Ken’s turn, however, he has three options: Bob, Sugar, or Kelly. He kind of waffles back and forth over his pick, consulting with the other tribe members. Most of them are telling him to take Bob or Sugar, especially Ace, who is pushing hard for the latter. Ken talks to his old Fang members, telling them that he’s worried about picking Bob and then getting picked off by an old school Kota alliance. When Probst presses him for a decision, he makes an extremely wise choice: having read Kota’s tribal interaction accurately, he completely ignores everything people have said and chooses Kelly, knowing that she’s completely unlikely to band with the people he currently has on his team. Good for him. That move alone makes him a better player than everyone but Cirie and Parvati last season.
“Wait, so I can’t choose Pikachu?”
Corinne now has a choice between GC and Susie. When Randy speaks up and tells her not to take GC because he’s an asshole, she listens and drafts Susie, leaving GC as the last remaining Fang member and placing him automatically on the other tribe.
The end result of the new draft is that Randy, Dan and Susie have switched to Kota, and Ace, Jacquie and Kelly have switched to Fang. Because Sugar is the last picked, she is headed off to Exile Island until after the next immunity challenge, and she will join the tribe that loses the next Immunity Challenge. She bitches a lot about this, but it’s actually a pretty good deal for her: she gets immunity, and she’s going to get to sleep in a hammock since she already has the idol.
Kota returns to camp with its new members in tow. Randy worries about the fact that there are now 3 old Fang members to the 4 old Kota members on his new tribe. He thinks that if they lose, one of his old tribemates will be getting the boot. “If it’s not me, I’ll just go with it, but if it is, I will burn this camp down.” For those of you keeping score at home, this brings the total number of things that Randy has in common with Left Eye to one.
Don’t go chasing waterfalls, especially when you have a brain injury.
Over at Exile Island, Sugar readily chooses the key to the hut since she already has the idol. She lounges on some pillows and helps herself to a giant bowl of fruit, reveling in the fact that she gets to sit out the game for awhile. In her ideal world, Fang loses so that she can be with Ace, and then choose to vote out Kelly so that she can replace her. “That’s what’ll happen. They’re not idiots,” she portends into the camera, because the person who was chosen last should always deride the usefulness of others.
Back at Fang, GC tells us how happy he is to have a majority and to enjoy safety for the time being. It is at this point that I realize that there are absolutely no likable people on the new Fang tribe. I mean, Jacquie seems nice but she’s kind of a blank space in my brain, and so is Matty. Everyone else can go eat it. And yes, Ken is guilty by association. Anyone who chooses to hang out with GC and Crystal over Randy and Dan is suspect, in my opinion. So…Kota FTW!
Crystal attempts to size up the new tribe members, asking Kelly and Jacquie whether they got along well with their old tribe members, since it always appeared to Fang that Kota was a big lovefest. Kelly tells her that it was always her and Paloma by themselves, and everyone else excluded them. Jacquie tries to correct her in a very politically correct way, but Kelly has none of it. The second Jacquie steps away, Kelly immediately starts calling them fake in her terrible, grammatically ambiguous way. She ultimately outright tells them that she’s willing to switch sides without hesititation. Ken is overjoyed that he made the right decision, mostly because “Kelly is hot”. I wonder if he has an HD TV?
Over at Kota, they receive a treemail that comes with a lacross stick. Marcus tells us that Randy’s future pretty much depends on his success in this immunity challenge: if he does badly, he’ll get voted out before Susie, but if he does well, he can stick around for awhile. Marcus shows Randy and Susie how to work the lacrosse stick while dressed like a member of Coldplay.
Immunity Challenge! A rectangular playing field roped off in the water, and each contestant will get a little raft and a lacrosse stick which will double as a paddle. There are goals at each end of the course, and the first player to use their sticks to score three goals on their opponent wins. Once the contest begins, it becomes apparent that this challenge is horribly designed. Most of the contestants can’t even move their rafts (including many of the strong ones) and just sort of float in one place, unable to go anywhere. Jeff throws the ball into the center of the court and the players have to start at the ends of the field, so it takes ten minutes for them to get to the center and control the ball. People are unable to catch the ball with their sticks because it takes a level of skill possessed only by actual lacrosse players, so people are mostly flailing about trying in vain to get the ball to balance on their paddles. It’s just an ugly mess, and frankly a poor showing by the challenge designers.
This, of course, does not stop Jeff from completely ragging on the people he perceives as weak. When Kota scores their second point (both of which were scored by Randy), Jeff calls out Kelly and Ken (who, you will remember, singlehandedly won the immunity challenge last week), despite the fact that everyone but Marcus, Ace, Jacquie, Randy and sometimes Dan are completely unable to go anywhere and are not contributing at all. “How does that happen?” he says to the two of them, as if GC, Crystal, and various others have been playing with cat-like efficiency. Quit trying to look cool by picking on the little people, Jeff. I know you think James is probably watching at home and you want to make him like you, but being an asshole isn’t going to make that happen.
Wait, maybe it will.
You will note that this is Kelly doing something.
Anyway, Kota completely dominates Fang thanks to Randy and Marcus, so they will be attending tribal council this evening. Back at camp, Ace calls his tribe “a bunch of legless chickens racing against a bunch of sleek weasels.” I had no idea weasels were so sleek. “Aerodynamic” is not an adjective I normally attribute to members of the rodent family. GC does what he does best, which is to stand in the middle of camp doing nothing but being an asshole. “You were terrible, Ken,” he laughs, despite the fact that he was about as effective as a Kenley Collins networking event.
He tells us hypocritically that he would like to get rid of Kelly because she was so lame at the immunity challenge. That would be really dumb, even though you have a majority with Matty. Thinking long term, keeping her around can have real benefits, and then you can dump her when she is no longer needed after you have taken everyone else out (including Matty, whom you know to have an alliance with the people on the other tribe). Not that I expect GC to think strategically. He resigned from thinking altogether when he was twelve, I’m guessing.
“I didn’t ASK to think about anything, and you all forced me to. I quit, brain!”
Of course, in classic lucky fashion, GC puts together the fact that he should keep Kelly. Get this: he’s worried about the fact that Sugar might have the idol, and that if she does, she’ll share it with Jacque and Ace, instead of just Ace. So, so dumb. All that gets you is an extra tribal council, douchebag. One: you are seriously running on the assumption that you’ll continue to lose, which is retarded. Two: if you vote out Jacquie on this basis now, you’re actually more likely to get fucked, because there are fewer people, meaning that you have a greater chance of choosing to vote out the person with the idol. Three: Keeping Kelly doesn’t hurt you, because they’ll probably target her when they actually do use it, since none of the rest of you (besides maybe Matty) are worth a sneak attack.
Of course, GC takes his paranoid delusions to Crystal and Ken, who immediately drink the Kool-Aid. They’re doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. It’s actually infuriating, because they deserve to do the wrong thing. I’m hoping they get voted out so Ken comes to his senses. He’s the brains of this bunch, but clearly easily influenced.
Once Matty (who’s the only one who benefits from getting rid of Kelly, since it destroys the idiot majority and he won’t have to deal with it at the merge, meaning he just has to sit tight and hope they keep losing so he can reunite with his old homies) hears about the plan to get rid of Kelly, he approaches Jacquie and urges her to start trying to find a way to stay around. Jacquie immediately goes to Crystal, outright begging to replace Kelly in their alliance. She’s seriously close to tears, I sort of feel bad for her. She continues to argue that she’ll be worth more in challenges and will be just as loyal as Kelly, so why not just get rid of Kelly instead? Jacquie is making several mistakes here: she underestimates Crystal’s paranoia, but more importantly she should really be trying to shift the focus to Ace. Crystal actually feels bad for Jacquie. Not bad enough not to vote her out, but still. And isn’t a hug the greatest consolation prize of all?
Tribal Council. Jeff frames many of the questions as if Kota is this powerful, strong tribe and Fang is the Goofus to its Gallant, despite the fact that close to half of its members have been switched and Fang’s only, like, two challenges down. It makes no sense: he’s written this narrative in his head that one tribe is totally awesome and one tribe sucks, which has been done so many times before without his help that this whole thing is old before it even starts. It has no real basis in logic, and I just wish he would come up with something original to say, you know?
Jeff again calls Kelly out for sucking at the challenge, and she responds by correctly pointing out that Crystal the supposed strong player wasn’t doing a damn thing either. Crystal gets all sassy in response, telling Kelly that it was just the one challenge and being all bitchy, as she does. I’m getting kind of tired of her. Worst Gold Medalist since Charles Barkley.
No she did not!
Time to vote! We see Ace vote for Kelly, Kelly vote for Jacquie, and Jacquie vote for Kelly. We also hear GC’s commentary but don’t see his vote, which is “it would have been smarter to keep you”. The suspense: CAN YOU FEEL IT?
When the votes are tallied, Kelly gets two and Jacquie gets all the rest, so she is out. The Swimfan Alliance will be crushed. Also, my spell check thanks you, Fang members.
BTW, sorry this is so late this week. I started a new job, and my parents came to visit, and you know how that can be. Until Thursday!
Contact Schoonie at schoonie_45[at]yahoo[dot]com.