How in the hell does one extricate themselves from the kind of predicament we see that Chad and Chris, the last men remaining, have found themselves on Survivor? The way to go about it is surely not the moronic way these two and the Lopevi that have went before them have tried. As antagonistic as Rory was for some, he at least had the ability to think things through ahead of time. Unfortunately for him, Chad, Chris, and at the time Sarge, were unable to secure votes that had been promised to them. Sarge left unceremoniously and almost without a fight. This week, it looks like the guys got lucky. Scout is starting to get testy about Eliza’s presence, and annoyed at Ami’s power, a combination that could buy these guys another shot in the game. At least as long as everybody was able to execute part of the plan.My first doubts about the guy’s chances came about two minutes into the episode. Chris made it a point that everybody knew that he voted for Sarge to leave. For his part, Chris was not a liar, as he actually did vote for Sarge. He thought that by announcing his vote for Sarge, he would get in closer with the women. It’s largely a losing proposition, but at least he was thinking outside of the box, correct? Well, I would say yes, except that Chris didn’t actually have to vote for Sarge just so he could tell people that he voted for him later. He could have lied about voting for Sarge, which would have beneficial to him. Secondly, he’s acting as if the women are all stupid and would all buy into his ruse without any second thoughts about his true intentions. With his delusions of grandeur, you think he would be next in line to become leader of North Korea.
So, Chris is an idiot, but it takes two to make a thing go right. He still doesn’t have numbers, and so he needs to reach out and convince some women that they have an incentive to go against their original plans of an all woman alliance. It would be much easier for them if somebody from the woman’s alliance broke ranks and tried to pull them into an alternate plan. Luckily for Chad and Chris, Scout was quite unhappy with how things had transpired since the merge. With Julie back in the fold, Scout’s place in the tribe has been taken down a few notches. Plus, Scout can’t stand Eliza, probably because Eliza is young, hot, and her nipples still point up. Scout’s plan was to convince the women that Eliza is worthless and they should get of her first before worrying about the men. After Eliza was gone, she, Twila, Chad and Chris would become the new majority voting bloc and take out Ami, Leann, and Julie as they saw fit.
With all of that to chew on, Alinta went to the reward challenge. Two teams were randomly selected with Chad, Chris, Ami, and Eliza on one team, and Scout, Twila, Julie, and Leann on the other. One person from each team was connected to a rope by a ring, and the other team members had to pull this “sacrificial lamb”, as Jeff called them, through a series of obstacles. Basically, the rope was wrapped around a bunch of posts about twenty feet apart, each requiring a different method to get the lamb through the course. The person attached to the rope had their hands bound, adding a little bit more difficulty to the challenge. I’m sure it will surprise nobody to learn that Scout’s team lost, considering she has been on the losing end of more challenges than anybody else in the game. Considering the strength differences between the teams, I was surprised at how close it actually was.
The reward, as has been the theme this year, had a lot to do with Vanuatu itself. I am not sure if Burnett or Les Moonves has bought some shares in Vanuatu hotels, but a lot of the rewards seem like subsidies for the tourism board. The winning team was to take part in a ceremonial feast on a remote part of the islands, ensuring them a once in a lifetime experience. Ami saud “I don’t think we could have gone any further to get away from civilization.” To tell you the truth, they probably could have been farther away from civilization, since wherever they went had a paved runway for their airplane nearby. Sure they had to drive out into the bush, but if you can get somewhere using only vehicles that run on gasoline you aren’t THAT remote.
We finally found out that the pig was supposed to be an offering of sorts, a kind of gift for hospitality. When Chad gave the villagers the pig, the villagers gave them a pig back. Even at the remote reaches of the earth, societies have learned the art of re-gifting, except our Survivors didn’t want the pig back. I would not have liked to be the person to have told Twila they let a pig go without a fight. Everybody first witnessed a ceremonial dance and chant, and everybody seemed to enjoy it very much. The dancing was only a precursor to the main part of the evening, which was the kava ceremony. This kava was a little more potent than the last time the guys had a chance to do some kava. If Chad was ever in a fraternity, he must have had a hard time. He was unable to stand on his own after the Kava, and had to pass out right away. I wonder if any of the young prankster village kids thought of writing “douchebag” (or tha vanuatu equivalent) on his forehead with a Sharpie. Not, that I am encouraging that sort of behavior when your friends pass out from drinking too much. And apparently, this particular Vanuatu tribe has no problem letting the women drink the kava, unlike the chauvinistic tribe involved in the opening ceremony. Maybe they received sensitivity training since that first day (which probably went along with the modesty training, since all the women had shirts on, even the adolescents. I’m not saying this village wasn’t legit, or even staged, but if these people were so far from civilization, they wouldn’t be so western with those attitudes. I’m just saying.
The rest of the evening didn’t really blow anybody away. The feast wasn’t really a huge spread, but more of a bunch of not so pulled beef, which turned out to be far from tender, and not much else. Ami was really excited to see all of the children, and reminded us about it quite often. Things back at the other tribe were not quite peachy keen. There was a torrential downpour, which must have come as a surprise for these people living in a RAINFOREST. Scout was pissed, and Leann nearly went crazy. They were all simply trying to keep the fire going, and their miserable night translated into an opportunity for Scout to work on her plan. She started saying it would be easier for them to keep the fire going and collect wood if the guys were around for a while longer. Now everybody knows that I don’t think very highly of Scout as a player, and her attempts at implementing her new plan showed what I meant. She said she didn’t think Julie and Leann being in the final four was right, because they haven’t done anything. That is a grievance that Twila might have had, but Scout has not distinguished herself in this game at all. She started talking about evicting Eliza like it was a done deal. Julie and Twila nodded their heads as if they approved, but were non-committal. Leann heard about it, and you could tell that she was not pleased with this change. She was going to report back to Ami, and we all know what Ami does with dissidents – she’s stamps them out like the Khmer Rouge.
When everybody came back, the people who had to stay at the Alinta camp were almost pissed to see the others return. Ami sensed something right away when Julie wouldn’t look her in the eye. Scout went to report her success of recruiting others into her plan to get rid of Eliza to Chad and Chris, and the guys were pleased with how things were going, but it was all predicated on Scout and her standing with the rest of the women. Basically, it meant that Scout was somehow going to outplay Ami to secure the votes of the women. That’s not a bet I would be willing to risk my status in the game. Again, Chris was pleased at what he thought was some awesome reverse psychology that got the women to switch their thinking. “You open up your heart to a woman, show her you’re vulnerable, she’ll start thinking with her heart. And that’s when they’ll open up that back door”. I guess Chris has experience with getting at that back door. Here I was thinking it required a nice dinner and some KY.
The immunity challenge was an endurance challenge that required everybody to hold on to a wooden post as well long as they could. The post had grooves about every two feet, and every other groove had rope in it, giving each tribe member a chance to get a different kind of grip on it. Julie, Chris, and Scout were the first to go. I was surprised that Chris let go so soon, considering the best way to stick in the game is still to win immunity, and not depending on the voting habits of others. It came down to battle of will between Chad and Twila. Twila looked like she was having trouble early, but managed to hold on, and actually climb up farther onto the pole. Chad eventually relented, with Twila egging him on. If you can say one thing about Twila, it is that she has a will to win, like no other person in the game right now, although Ami is close. She seems to get stumped at some of the mental challenges, but I am not sure who is going to beat her in an endurance challenge from here on out.
With immunity taken care of, the discussion was free to get back to who was leaving. Were they going to stay with Ami’s all estrogen all the time plan, or would they go with Scout’s new Eliza free plan? I am certain that Ami saw through Scout’s veiled attempt at keeping the guy’s to do work around the camp. The way she tried to convince people that the original plan was the one they should stick with was actually quite masterful. As much as a I think Ami has been a little cocky in the game, she has a good sense of when things aren’t going her way, and when she has to nip things in the bud. The guys really left too much of the work up to Scout. They did try and reassure Twila and some of the others, but what they should have done was stick next to Ami and prevent her from getting to the other women, because she is very persuasive.
At tribal council, there were a few interesting comments, but none was more revealing than when Scout looked at Chad and Christ and said she has discussed many ways of getting to the end of the game, and then said “I think the guys have talked to everybody.” This statement brought a chorus of denials from the rest of the women. After Twila did the old “you can’t trust anybody speech”, Ami countered saying it was bullshit and “there are people I can trust, and I can be trusted”. She can say this with confidence, knowing all of the people who trust her with their nonfat half-caff vanilla lattes each morning. As the votes were read, Chad was sent home, once again bringing home the point that Scout is not the person to pin your hopes upon. How do I know this? In the end, even Scout did not have the guts to stick with her plan and vote for Eliza. If you can’t stick with your own plan, even if it is the losing one, you are not going to be able to take control of the game.
A lot of people are going to be upset with the outcome because once again, Ami showed that everybody else is powerless to stop her. Still, I don’t think things are such a slam dunk for her to win the entire game, although I give her huge props for being able to play the mental game the way she does. The immunity challenges are going to be a big factor, and if the women are successful and vote off Chris in one of the next two weeks, the remaining players will all have about the same chance at winning immunity, although Scout is going to be handicapped at anything physical, and Leann seems to get tired with a lot of swimming. So there is hope everybody. I’m not sure if she can make it through, but at this point, I am hoping that Twila can pull it off and make it to the end.