Am I the only one who thought this wasn’t really going to happen?
Okay, so this season is now officially awesome.
Back from the Eliza Tribal Council, the people who still had no idea that Ozzy had the idol (Natalie, Alexis, Cirie) are all talking about how they were pretty terrified that something awful was going to happen once Eliza got up. Cirie tells us about how Eliza got up with a big smirk on her face, all proud of herself and sure she had the idol, which is TOTAL revisionist history and not at all what happened, obviously. Cirie then tells us that Eliza outing Ozzy as the idol holder sort of made her think about how nice it would be to have both Ozzy and the idol out of the game. So, that decision to craft a fake idol, how’s that working out for you, Ozzy?
After the credits (and after Jason makes in incredibly dumb statement in which he refers to himself as “godlike”, because he is an idiot), we’re planted directly into the reward challenge. The contestants will be divided into two teams of four (meaning that the last person picked will be heading to Exile Island), and those teams will have to swim out into the ocean and through a ropes course to a puzzle on the other end. The players will have to memorize the symbols on the puzzle and duplicate it back at the beginning. The team that gets the puzzle completed first will be taken to the island of Yap (which is a real community in the fictional country of Micronesia), where they will be treated to a feast and get to spend the night with the locals, and also (I’m hoping) be able to refer to some of the regional food as “Dabu” and receive several quizzical looks from the villagers.
After the teams are chosen (Natalie, Alexis, James and Parvati against Ozzy, Erik, Jason and Amanda, with Cirie headed to Exile Island), the challenge begins. Parvati does an excellent job memorizing like five symbols on her first go-round, but her team loses ground when James takes his sweet time staring at the board and then returns to place…one symbol on the board. Wow, what a juggernaut that guy is in challenges. FEEL HIS POWER! I got into a drunk discussion at the bar this weekend with one of my friends who was like, “James is the coolest person ever, and he completely dominates everyone” and was like “Actually, that is completely false. Watch closely and you will see that he is mediocre, at best.” I mean, it came out a lot more slurred and there was more cussing, and I spilled PBR all over the place while I was gesturing wildly, but my point was made.
Behold me, I am godlike.
James and Parvati’s team calls Jeff over first to check their puzzle, but they get one small detail wrong and the rules stipulate that you have to send someone back out before you can submit your answers again. The other team takes a look at their board and compares it to their own (which seems lame in a challenge all about memory, but whatever), corrects some things, and Ozzy and his Fan Club win the reward. Maybe they will all be able teach the locals the ways of Ozzy when they visit, and possibly to erect some sort of shrine to him, kind of like that episode of The Simpsons where Homer becomes a missionary. I wonder if Ozzy believes in Jeebus?
Back from commercial, the winners load into the helicopter to be taken on their reward. Predictably, Jason makes an asinine comment from the front seat of the aircraft, where the others have placed him to keep him as far away from them as possible, and also so that they can use his body as a human shield in the event of a head-on collision. As they arrive at the village, Erik makes all sorts of predictably wide-eyed comments of the variety that make you want to punch him in the head. And then, of course, wise and benevolent Ozzy has to be all “It is wonderful to watch Erik experience all of these things for the first time just as I did so long ago, before I became all-knowing and omniscient.” They get to feast and enjoy some of the local culture, which includes shirtless women. “That’s probably the most boobs I’ve ever seen in my life.” Erik tells us. What, does scooping ice cream for a living not come with a lot of groupies? Someone needs to give out a lot more free Rocky Road.
Oh, you say you want to meet Ozzy? This is just like a Def Leppard show, and it’s 1980, honey. You want to bang the lead singer, you gotta bang the roadie first.
While Erik tries to learn some of that fancy dance he just saw, he asks one of the villagers what he’s chewing on. It looks like some sort of nut, but seems to be the equivalent of chewing tobacco. He takes one from the teenage villager (who you can tell is kind of like ‘Is this over yet? I’d like to go play Xbox now’ the whole time), and it is yet another example of Erik’s wondrous desire to experience life to the fullest. That night, Erik, having had too much betel nut and Micronesian beer, stumbles out of the hut and tosses his cookies all over the floor. To his credit, he has a sense of humor about it, joking while he yaks all over the place. “I partied a little too hard, Micronesian-style.” he says. He is a lot like a freshman sorority pledge, if you think about it. I mean, other than the fact that Ozzy stalks them both.
Meanwhile, over at Exile, Cirie looks miserable huddled under a makeshift shelter while rain pours from the sky. She tells us that now that she knows that Ozzy has the idol, there’s really no point to being on Exile Island at all. She does not mention the fact that she has Eliza to thank for the fact that she gets to stay dry all night. She tells us that she’s had time to think, and she’s pretty sure that setting her sights on Ozzy is going to be a priority from this point onward. Because before, he was merely annoying and not a threat at all? I do not understand.
And now, because James alternates between extremely cool and extremely douchebaggy and he was cool last week, it is now time for James to be an asshole. James is the only one up for the morning at Dabu, and everyone else is either gone or sleeping. He stares over at Natalie, Alexis and Parvati with disdain while they slumber together under a blanket. He then starts sharpening his sword with a rock and making noise and dumbing things everywhere, which is extremely passive aggressive and a dick move. If there are four people on the island, and three of them are sleeping, I don’t give a pants whether it’s three o’clock in the afternoon; you have a little common decency and let them sleep.
Wait, so I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…word, Parvati?
Parvati, a little tired of James acting like an asshole, tells him to quiet down, since there are fairly obviously three people that are trying to sleep. This is the first and only time that I have been on Team Parvati, and it feels odd. James goes off into the forest to bitch about other people, which is one of his favorite things to do. “How dare somebody have the gall to get up and tell somebody something and then lay your ass back down. That’s some nerve!” he says. Wow, what an asshole. I love how in James’ head, Parvati is the one with nerve. I realize that she’s probably kind of lazy and this has been building, but you could, I don’t know, confront her about it instead of whining like a little bitch and passive-agressively making noise. King James has decided that it’s time to get up! How dare they sleep while he…stares off into the distance aimlessly, doing nothing! You get up when James tells you, not when you feel like it!
I love how I am taking sides in a Parvati/James argument. I’m going to go commit hara-kiri now.
After everyone wakes up, the winners of the Reward Challenge return from Yap. Ozzy proceeds to describe in specific detail the many varieties of chicken of which he partook, which is a total asshole move. He has to know that people don’t just want to listen to him talk all the time, right? I mean, I know he thinks everyone thinks he’s awesome (and, sadly, some of these people do) but that just strikes me as a rookie mistake. Yet more evidence that Ozzy would not have gotten anywhere without Yul guiding his every move last time he was on. James, meanwhile, pulls Amanda aside and tells her about how Parvati is getting suspiciously close to Alexis and Natalie. Amanda stands there, pretending not to know anything about it so that she can keep her options open, because she is not dumb, despite the fact that she’s trying real hard to be dumb this season. While we are on the subject, I really hope that the ultimate outcome of this episode causes Amanda to wake up and play the game a little bit more, because this season needs awesome people pretty badly.
Immunity Challenge! They’re doing that endurance challenge they did in All-Stars (and in Africa, I think) where people have to raise their arms, which are attached to giant buckets of water over their heads, and the minute they move their arms the water falls and drenches them. The last dry person wins immunity. Everyone gets all strapped in. It looks mighty uncomfortable. Jeff eventually brings out a bowl of candy, and it’s not even good candy; it looks like it’s just come from the bottom of your aunt’s purse. Cirie and Erik decide to quit and share the candy.
And then, everything gets real awesome, real quick. Jeff comes out with something undisclosed behind his back, and Alexis gets all excited and moves her hand, drenching herself. Jeff calls shenanigans, saying that you have to very specifically state that you’re quitting for the food, or you don’t get it. So, he puts Alexis to bed without her dinner. Harsh, Jeff! Alexis doesn’t say a word, probably because this was not a stipulation until Jeff made it one, but she knows he makes the rules so she mopes over to the bench and takes a seat. Jeff, because he is kind of an asshole, rubs it in a little even though Alexis is doing nothing but looking a little unhappy at this new, as yet undisclosed rule. Jeff pulls a plate of cookies out from behind his back, and Natalie gets all excited too, and pretty soon her bucket is tipped over too, and it’s no cookies for Natalie, because she did not state that she was quitting either.
James then starts laughing and rubbing it in, all “Ha! That would suck!” and before he can get the exclamation point out of his mouth, his bucket starts to tip over too and he says, and I am serious: “Oh, BITCH!” and the water is on his head and he is sitting down without cookies. It is possibly the most poetic thing I have ever seen on this show. It is also hilarious, and kudos to James for having some humor about getting owned in such an ironic manner. One asshole thing, and then one cool thing. It is the James way!
So just Ozzy, Amanda, Parvati and Jason are left. Jeff brings out some glazed donuts, and Ozzy is like “Peace!” which I found a little alarming. Isn’t he supposed to be the embodiment of competitive spirit? Were the Ozzy fans not a little disappointed? I think he might have been getting a little too comfortable in his surroundings, there. Amanda is the next out, telling Jeff that she has to go to the bathroom after five hours. This is gross, and I’m sorry that I thought of this, but she could probably have peed herself without anyone noticing, and I’m guessing that when you starve for twenty days and then enjoy a Micronesian feast, and your body tells you that it’s time to take the slow train to Deucetown, there is no delaying the departure at that point, if you know what I’m saying.
So Amanda’s hand is down and she scampers off into the jungle for what I’m sure is not going to be a very fun forty-five minutes. So Parvati and Jason are the only ones who remain, and after six hours, Jeff brings out a giant plate of food with everything that’s already been offered sitting on it. Jeff tells the two left that whoever drops their hand will be enjoying this delicious plate of food, and that they can share it with the entire class. People then start harassing Jason to put his hand down so that they can eat, which should have been his first clue. Is Parvati not getting this same deal? Why does it have to be Jason? Jason, because he’s pretty dumb, does not ask himself these questions. He tells them all that he’d have to be promised safety from the entire group if he were to put his hand down. Natalie starts it by guaranteeing Jason’s safety, and slowly, the others follow suit. Some awesome cameraman captures Cirie tapping Alexis on the shoulder and then crossing her fingers before promising to keep Jason safe, and others follow suit. So, here’s my thinking on the finger crossing re: Cirie. She knows that crossing your fingers doesn’t somehow exonerate you from screwing someone. She’s been sort of unbearable with the ego this season, but she will not hesitate to snake you, no crossed fingers needed. She is not twelve, she doesn’t need this little shit. So, I’m thinking, and follow me here, that she sees this as her opportunity to get Ozzy or Jason out, and knowing that some of these people would feel bad about doing that, gets them to cross their fingers so that she can convince them to do as she pleases once she makes the decision. I know that might be giving her too much credit, but there it is. Anyone who crosses their fingers and think that somehow gives them permission to lie in a game about lying is a giant asshole anyway, but whatever.
So Jason, because he is an idiot, lowers his hand and gives Parvati the immunity. He really, really wants some friends, I think. Back at camp, Jason tries to justify his decision in confessional with some asinine reasoning that doesn’t make sense, because he is not smart at all. Ozzy tells a group of people that Jason made “a rookie mistake”, which is awesome and ironic given the outcome of this episode and that Ozzy stepped down from the perch for some donuts. He calls Jason’s move “one of the dumbest decisions in Survivor history” (it’s like he’s talking about himself!) as he, James and Amanda agree to ignore their pledge and vote out Jason. Ozzy specifically mentions that Jason could go on “an immunity tear”, which is so ridiculous, for Ozzy to be mentioning that as a reason to vote another individual out, with a straight face. So, everyone parts ways with the decision to get rid of Jason. But they didn’t even cross their fingers! How can they lie without getting struck by lightning, or felled by a giant boulder?
Meanwhile, Cirie is like “Hmm. Time to suddenly back up all my shit-talking with action” and she pulls Parvati aside. They’re both thinking the same thing, and they mobilize the troops, grabbing Natalie and Alexis to tell them that now is the perfect time to vote out Ozzy, since he will be thinking tonight’s an easy vote and won’t be thinking about the idol. Natalie and Alexis grab Jason and tell him that he needs to vote for Ozzy to make it five, but that he also needs to keep his damn trap shut, which they know will be the hard part. Parvati tells us that she’s having a hard time knowing that she has to betray the people that have been loyal to her since the beginning (namely Amanda, Ozzy and James), but that she wants to win this time. And, seriously? I am no Parvati fan (well, other than the fact that I find her extremely attractive, and yes, I hate myself), but I did not think of Parvati as some sort of master strategist, but she has done an excellent job this season at making the right choices for any given situation and creating a nice strategic position for herself. Reluctant kudos to her.
So, Tribal Council! Jeff asks Jason about his decision to lower his hand, and he comes clean and tells us that he wanted to make friends, since it is unlikely that he’ll be going on an immunity tear. And then, in another awesomely poetic moment, Jason literally says “I guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope that I made the right decision.” Just when this show begins to lose me, it comes out with a phenomenal episode like this one that works on many different levels and just brings me all the way back into the fold. One of the best things about Survivor is that the show is great for pointing out all these little random neat things about life that we sometimes don’t notice but then end up being hilarious or painful or ironic in retrospect. Well done, show.
James (following the asshole-cool-asshole pattern that has been established) tells Jeff that Jason shouldn’t expect to stay around just because he’s given some people donuts. I know, right? That’s almost like bitching about people behind their backs without actually mentioning the problem to them and then complaining some more when nothing changes. Jeff then straight-up brings the fact that Ozzy has the idol out into the open, which is odd because you’d think he’d want some sort of open confirmation first, but Ozzy tells everyone that of course it’s a huge deal to have the idol. Time to vote! James votes for Jason, saying “I thought I was the dumbest Survivor ever.” So, having two immunity idols and three chances left to use them and getting voted out is not as dumb as putting your hand down in a competition? Not quite. Erik votes for Jason, and Jason votes for Ozzy.
Jeff comes back to count the votes. After two votes, there is one for Ozzy and one for Jason. The next three are for Jason, and you can tell that Ozzy’s convinced that everything is going according to plan. And then? There’s another Ozzy vote, which confuses him. And then? Another! And another! And by this point, people all over the stage are freaking out, including Eliza over on the jury. And soon, it’s tied 4-4. And that last vote? Oh, also for Ozzy. And that’s it, he’s done! Eliza celebrates from the sidelines, and I usually hate when jurors do this shit (see also: me bitching about James constantly fucking mugging for the camera during the later half of last season), but because Eliza pretty much had a direct hand in getting this done, she deserves this small thing.
Jeff snuffs Ozzy’s torch as he peers back at the remaining contestants, who all either look mighty satisfied (Cirie, Jason), mighty flabbergasted (James, Amanda), or are completely stone-faced (Parvati, in yet another correct move). Jeff sends Ozzy to the Loser Lodge. Later, jerk! Man, that ruled.
Hmm, how’d that fake idol business work out for you, Ozzy?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.