This week on Survivor, I get the recap up before the Third World War. No, seriously. Look!
BTW, you can check out last week’s recap by going into the Survivor section of the site.
Let’s get to it! The episode begins at Zhan Hu, where the three old members of the tribe are busy trying to make nice with James after last night’s double cross. James tells us that he’s going to try to make himself as useful as possible so that he becomes indispensable to these people. Hopefully, as a result, they’ll try to keep him around. Peih-Gee tells us that they haven’t really decided yet what they’re planning on doing, but if they throw the challenge they can get rid of James before the merge. James pours some water into a jug as he tells us that he’s “pretty much at their mercy”. Bow before Jaime!
After the credits, we’re over at Fei Long where Todd is sharing his information regarding the idol with Amanda, who does not get it on the first run-through. It’s cool, Amanda, Dave didn’t get it either. He tells her that he didn’t want to say anything until after he had found it, but that he’s sort of been unable to figure it out so far, so maybe she can offer some insight. Really, you haven’t figured it out yet? That’s sort of terrifying. What other prop around camp could possibly contain the idol, Sherea’s inert form?
Amanda and Todd agree to try and win the reward so that they can kidnap James and get him to give them the clue, because they think they’ll have it after one more. And then we’re at the reward! That was quick. Today’s challenge takes place outside of what looks to be a set of authentic Chinese huts, so either good job with the set building or good job with the location scouting, Survivor people. Awesomely, Jaime comes out of the woods wearing Aarons old suit jacket, which is kind of like killing a wolf and then returning to camp with his dead carcass draped across your shoulders.
His severed head wouldn’t fit in my producer-supplied napsack.
So, the challenge today involves severeal puzzle pieces tied up inside the huts, and teams will go in one at a time to retrive the pieces which are tied to the walls. Once all eight pieces have been brought back out, the tribe can begin to solve the puzzle, which will net you a trip to a Chinese tea room where you can enjoy some light snacks, as well as all of the wonderfully authentic Proctor and Gamble products you can eat (wait, don’t eat them! MSG!)
The challenge begins, and there is much bursting through doors and frantic untying of things. Fei Long gets off to a slight lead (of course) and at one point, Peih-Gee and Sherea end up right next to each other working on some puzzle pieces. Interestingly, Sherea goes for the yellow piece first, which should have given Peih-Gee some indication of her mindset in advance. Peih-Gee ends up making several attempts to tell Sherea that they threw the challenge and were still on board with the old tribemates. Sherea greets this with her typical bitchy aloof attitude, which is not encouraging to Peih-Gee.
Fei Long ends up with all of their pieces first, and since it’s less of a “puzzle” and more of a “match these symbols with these other symbols” it means that the whole thing is over fairly quickly and Fei Long wins the challenge. They will be kidnapping James. Jean-Robert gets quite overly excited about this, as people who are making desperate attempts to fit in with the group usually are. And then, we’re at the reward. Man, this ep is moving quick, mostly because there is lots of awesome to get to later. Requisite geeking out over the quality of stuff there commences. There’s lots of name brand toilet paper lying around, which officially makes it nicer than my house. After everyone enjoys a snack, they adjourn to an area with four big brass bathtubs. Jean-Robert claims one immediately, making an uncomfortable comment about the bathtub which now contains both Amanda and Courtney, which literally makes me feel bad for the water in his tub. Wow, I’ve never felt bad for water before. Courtney tells us how creeped out she is by Jean-Robert’s mere proximity to her. That’s funny, because that’s exactly how I feel about Carlos Mencia whenever he ends up on my television.
Is there a larger tub in which we can place this one?
James, randomly, decides to get naked and shower at this point, which earns him hoots and hollers from Denise and Amanda. I know you’re all waiting for a screencap, but no. Butt: no, rather.
After James is finished exposing himself, Todd approaches him about the clue, promising him that if he gives Todd the clue, he’ll make sure that James is safe. I sort of thought Todd was full of shit here, given that he knows he probably has one or two more consequence-free boots before the jury, but I was wrong. Like he said, who in the hell would want James around come merge time?
Quick cut back to Zhan Hu, where they bitch about how tired they are of losing. You sort of forfeit the opportunity to bitch when you choose to suck on purpose. They also decide (due to the body language of Frosti and Sherea at the challenge) to actually attempt to win the next challenge. Once you’ve crossed the line, I feel like you sort of have to follow through. Changing horses mid-stream like this is really never a good idea. Because then: Dreamz happens.
Back at reward, James opens his idol clue, telling us that since Todd is the cornerstone of all of the alliances on Fei Long, he’s just going to have to take the chance and trust him to execute. The next day at camp, James does just that, handing the clue to a greedy-looking Todd and letting him know that James really, really needs him to come through on this one. Todd reads the clue and figures it out immediately, hustling off to grab Amanda and go for it right there. They head over to the archway to rip the seal off of the awning, and Amanda messes with some shingles to block the tribe’s view of Todd. This ends up not working very well when Frosti comes running over to give them a hand. At this point, they should have stopped what they were doing, waited until the tribe was asleep, and taken care of it then. But, as Amanda tells us, Todd is impatient, so he rips the seal off of the awning right there. Frosti, no dummy, immediately notices the lettering on the back and jumps from his perch atop the arch, demanding to see what’s on the other side of the thing that Amanda is currently stepping on. She gets the Awkward Look of the Busted on her face and tells us that this is “probably the worst way to find the idol ever”. Amanda, meet Alex and Edgardo.
Don’t mind us, we’ll just be over here poking this thing with a stick.
Back from commercial, Amanda refuses to move her foot as Frosti grows increasingly suspicious. Eventually, Todd is like “Shit, we have to show him now, I guess, huh? We have no choice” and thus let him in on the fact that they just found the hidden idol. Frosti freaks out and gets all excited over it; it never occurs to him that the primary strategist on the tribe might not want it to get out or anything, thus increasing his potential to be voted out. Instead, he tells us how pleased he is to have worked his way into Fei Long. This, here, could get bad.
Now, Todd goes and grabs James to tell him what the plan is: Todd is going to give the idol to James, let him take it back to the Zhan Hu camp, and then when Zhan Hu throws the challenge, James can play the idol and vote for Jaime, thereby causing Zhan Hu to splinter. I must say, I find this plan to be insanely overcomplicated. There’s no need to do this, and it’s nothing that can’t be accomplished by having Fei Long themselves throw a challenge and ditch Sherea, thereby keeping James safe and decreasing the total amount of Zhan Hu still in the game. Better yet, they could throw the challenge and then eliminate Frosti, keeping the secret of the idol between Amanda and Todd so that they can stash it for surprise later use. This whole plan, it’s too much when there’s a much simpler way to achieve the same end. It’s like Todd is Rube Goldberg and the immunity idol is an egg that needs to be fried, but it must involve a bicycle, a set of circus midgets, and two electric lightbulbs. Plus, watching the two tribes possibly try to throw the same challenge would have been hilarious and awesome to watch, especially as Probst got more and more frustrated.
But, that’s not it! Todd also asks James to throw the challenge to ensure that Zhan Hu goes to tribal. This, he readily agrees to. So, wait, it’s not okay for someone else to throw a challenge and not try their hardest, as James said last week, but it’s okay when it’s a situation that benefits James himself? I’m sorry, I know he’s popular, but: whatever. I’m not going to try to make sense of this. The best part, however, is that this whole retarded plan is getting, like, double retard blocked by the other tribe, who is actually planning on trying to win this time. This show, it is magic sometimes.
So, now the part that really confuses me. Todd proceeds not only to tell Denise about the existence of the idol and the whole plan, but also Courtney, making it a grand total of six people (out of a possible eight) who now know not only about the existence of the idol and that Todd has found it, but that it is going to get used tonight, thus making Todd vulnerable whenever. Someone explain this to me. Todd tells us that he’s telling everyone to make sure that everyone tries their hardest to win the Immunity Challenge, and this is where he begins to strike me less as someone who is intelligent and more as someone who wants to make sure that everyone else knows he’s intelligent, thus negating some of the intelligence that he possesses. This whole thing is the strategic equivalent of watching a Roshambo contest. And just as awesome to watch.
Immunity Challenge! Today is Everyone Eats Gross Stuff day. The teams will be looking to get to four points first. This part is great, because as Probst explains the rules, pretty much everyone is all smirky like they know exactly what’s about to go down, only …none of them do. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, the double retard-block.
The first round is Peih-Gee versus Frosti, and they will be eating some chicken hearts. That seems kind of lame, I think I might have accidentally gotten one of those in my lunch one time. Anything from a chicken that is not a beak or a foot is pretty much okay to be eaten. Frosti ends up burying his hearts pretty quickly, awarding the point to Fei Long. It’s not clear whether he is party to Operation Screw Jaime Over, because they didn’t show him participating in those discussions, but I’d sure like to know.
The second round is a plate full of eels, which Jaime dismisses, defeating Courtney to bring the score to 1-1. Courtney, after losing, spits a huge, gross ball of eel parts out of her mouth and onto the plate. Yummy! Amanda and Erik are next, and they are eating actual, physical baby turtles, shells and all. That right there is nasty. What’s next week’s immunity challenge, baby seal clubbing?
Amanda and Erik start popping turtles into their mouths completely whole, and I have never really been grossed out by these challenges in the past, but now I am done. Erik gets the score and we’re at 2-1, Zhan Hu. Next round is James vs. Denise, and they will be eating balutes (which made an appearance during the Palau season’s version of this challenge too, you’ll recall). Denise decides to employ the strategy in which you scream a bunch and then shove all the food in your mouth at the same time, which does not seem to work, apparently. James eats about half of his food and then pretends to get sick, which would be the correct way to try to throw a challenge. Denise, however, is unable to live up to her end of the deal for some reason (the hair says “I have eaten raccoon” but the behavior does not) and she literally cannot swallow the remainder of her food. James, who can no longer fake it, sucks it up and finishes the balute to put Denise out of her misery. So, that didn’t work out as one would have hoped.
Now you know how all those kids feel.
The next round is Frosti and Erik, and they’ll be eating something called ‘Thousand Year Old Egg’ which I think is pulled from the back of the fridge or something. It looks pretty nasty. It’s not “consume an entire baby turtle” nasty, but it is gross. Erik gets the win for Zhan Hu (yeah, I know) and Fei Long will be headed to TC. Thwarted!
Back at camp, Todd is unhappy with the proceedings. “My plan was perfect, and it’s shot!” he tells us. Well if by “perfect” you mean that it was ridiculously complicated, and by “shot” you mean that you’re going to end up doing what you could have just done in the first place, then yes, you are correct.
Todd, Amanda and Denise agree to boot Sherea, because they think they need Frosti (presumably to make it 6-4 at the merge, even without JR). Besides, now that so many people know about the idol that Perez Hilton is drawing balls in its mouth, it’s sort of a moot point that I made.
Courtney initially agrees with the plan to boot Sherea, but then she thinks about it and decides that it would benefit her personally more to see Jean-Robert leave. Courtney tells us that she likes Sherea and they get along well. I am shocked that Courtney’s do-nothing brand of bitchiness jibes well with Sherea’s…do nothing brand of bitchiness. She goes to try and tell the other tribemates about getting rid of JR, but she doesn’t really think it out, so she’s stuck telling them that she just sort of wants to, which is not enough for these people. Amanda tells Courtney that they need to keep as many of the people “in their group” around, which somehow includes Jean-Robert. If I’m Frosti, in front of whom this entire conversation occurs, this gives me pause.
Tribal Council! After Jean-Robert calls himself a “bad boy” during one of his answers, Courtney cannot help but laugh. Probst calls her out, and she rightfully takes a piece out of JR for referring to himself as a “bad boy”. No person should ever do that, ever. “Do you have a Harley I don’t know about?” she asks him, writing my joke for me. JR quietly sits there looking hurt while Courtney continues to berate him, telling Jeff that he’s a bad person and repulses her and whatnot. JR moves to respond to this, but Sherea cuts him off with one of her bitchy ramblings. I’m confused, because Sherea hates all of the appropriate people (like Dave and JR) but she snaps at such random times and with such ferociousness that it becomes difficult for me to like her. Courtney continues to unload all over the place, telling Jeff that the tribe is very cliquish and she feels like she’s not a part of it. Todd takes offense to thing, as he should, because it seems like Courtney might be the most cliquish person on the tribe. He tells her that he’s hurt by these statements, and he would like his friendship bracelet back. He has to give it to Jean-Robert.
Seconds later, Sherea yelled at Jeff for eight hours straight.
Time to vote! We see Sherea vote for Jean-Robert, and JR vote for “Cherya”. When the votes are counted, Sherea is booted, and not a minute too soon. Again, Sherea on the jury would have been a nightmare. In her final words, Sherea tells us that she was “just too big a threat” so she doesn’t blame them for kicking her off. Really? REALLY?