What the? The latest episode of Survivor: Cook Islands was amazingly predictable, and yet, despite that, we were still left scratching our heads and asking, “What the hell just happened?” Yes, it was a Tribal Council possibly like none other as a secret, bizarre love was revealed, leaving castaways giggling and Jeff Probst agog. You never know what nature will do to these reality stars — Shane and his Blackberry from last season are a perfect example of that — but this was just ridiculous. At least we now have one thing to look forward to on the reunion show…This week’s episode began at the Hiki tribe (a.k.a. the black folk) where the remaining four members in Sekou’s absence attempted to start a fire. Unfortunately, they were unable to build a towering inferno of kinder, despite having a flint and a machete. That’s right. A flint and a machete. (At this point, black leaders across the country and hanging their heads in shame.) Luckily, after some time, love, and tenderness, the Hikis were able to catch a flame, and at last, their luck seemed to change. They had fire, and no one was more excited than Nathan, who let out an actor-ly laugh (you know the kind) and danced around triumphantly, his ass falling out of his shorts.
Over at the Latino tribe, Aitu, everyone was doing a bang up job fishing in the waters. Everyone seemed to be catching hundreds of fish (okay, maybe about seven apiece), and JP reminded us that it’s because the Latinos have it in their blood. He then turned to someone and asked, “You guys got crabs?” TVgasm snickering ensued.
After Fish-A-Thon 2006 was over, we then learned that Cristina was a lot tougher than people may have thought. She was a police officer, and she’d been shot in the arm. In fact, she almost lost the limb, but she persevered and managed to pull through sans amputation. “That’s huge,” said a bored Ozzy, clearly unimpressed with Cristina’s arm woes. Turns out that Ozzy and Cristina weren’t necessarily the best of buds. They each kind of pissed each other off. She felt like he was subtly bossy and controlling. He thought, well, I don’t remember what he thought. But I’m sure it was disparaging.
Hey, and remember all those chickens that everyone fretting about last week? Well, it turns out that chickens roam wild on these islands; so there’s no need to freak out about losing one or two (I’m looking at you, white tribe). With all this free poultry to be had, the Latinos went about devising a plan to trap a bird. Cristina had one idea of how to implement Operation Chicken Trap, but Ozzy unsurprisingly had a different strategy. Ultimately, they went with his plan, and sure enough, they were able to capture a sole chicken in a net. Hooray!
Afterwards, a cocky Ozzy noted, “I feel like I’ve shown what I offer to the tribe; so I feel comfortable with my standing within the rest of the group.” He’s such a goner.
Over at Puka, the Asian tribe, similar efforts to ensnare chickens were underway. Unlike the Latinos, who used a net, the Puka-ites were implementing the old box-propped-up-with-a-stick trap, and guess what? They managed to trap two chickens, thus asserting Asian dominance once again. After the birds had been caught and roasted, we then finally saw this episode’s metaphorical hermit crab which was moving at quite the slothful pace, I might add. Normally, the crabs are scampering about like cocaine-addicted crustaceans, but not this time. This bad boy was taking his time, like he’d just eaten a huge meal at some soul food shack.
Anyway, we then saw Yul and Becky bonding on the beach. Since they were both Korean, they had a special connection, and plus Becky worked with non-profits; so Yul had to trust her now. Besides, I’m sure their last names were both Park or Cho; so that’s like a bond right off the back.
We then saw more listless crabs, and then Becky told us that in Korean, “Opa” means “Big Brother.” And hence, Yul was sort of like her Opa. Awww. Just wait until Opa stabs you in the back…
Last and kind of least, the white tribe (Raro) was busy this fine day greeting Jonathan after his arduous stay on Exile Island. It was a warm homecoming, but it soon turned sour as Jonathan expressed frustration that no one had worked on anything while he was gone. Specifically, Jonathan was pissed that the shelter floor hadn’t even been started. As he reiterated over and over again, HE WANTED A GOOD FLOOR!
Well, Jonathan and “Flicka” got to work, but they should have never underestimated the power of young, lazy, white people (especially if they’re wannabe actors). Parvati, Adam, and Candice turned their noses up at this extra work, refusing to participate and instead chilling out under the sun. A cranky Adam then whine about the entire project, saying, “I think it’s the dumbest thing… Why do you think it’ll be better when it’s raised than when it’s on the ground?” He then added, “I personally like being on the ground where all the bugs can bit me easily and the surf can flood up under my body!”
But I guess there’s no swaying a man with a giant jaw and a dimple chin. He scoffed at the entire endeavor and continued his previously scheduled activity of sitting around and being a crab.
Speaking of crabs, when we returned from commercial, we finally saw the traditional scampering crab, which finally put an end to the reign of slow, fatigued crabs crawling around the screen. The big news was that Aitu was still catching fish, but uh oh! Not everyone was participating. Hefty castaway Billy (famous for chopping wood by banging it against a tree) was spending all his free time lying on his (quite large) ass. While everyone was doing chores, Billy was taking a nap. Yay lazy Hispanic stereotype!
At one point, Ozzy told Billy, “We have to do the floor today,” and Billy merely said, “All right,” and walked away to sleep. Somewhere in America, Adam was cheering Billy on, yelling, “DOWN WITH FLOORS! DOWN WITH FLOORS!” Point was that Billy was not pulling his weight (of which there was a lot), but don’t start raggin’ on him yet. He was a man with complex identity issues, and as a result, he was feeling excluded from the group. “Metal is my culture, instead of Hispanic being my culture,” he said. In response, the Metal Culture said, “Um, yeah, we don’t know him.”
Over at Puka, our old friend Cao Boi was up to his old antics of pulling the wind out of people. This time, he attacked Becky (I think. It could have been the other girl), and as he rubbed a horrific red mark into forehead, he noted, “Most people I know in my life, sooner or later, they play with me long enough, they experience a red mark.” Red mark or red rash? Either way, it couldn’t be good.
That night, as the Puka tribe tried to go to sleep, Cao Boi once again let loose a stream of Asian jokes, causing all his teammates to grow furious. They all agreed that it was important to laugh at yourself, but there was also a line, especially on a venue like this. That didn’t stop Cao Boi though, who said, “What do you call a Vietnamese with three dogs?” At this point, the tribe then interrupted him and explained again why he was being uncool. That was all well and good, but what about the rest of the joke?? You can’t keep America hanging like that!
I will say that the next day on the radio, someone called into KROQ in Los Angeles and said the answer was “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner,” but that didn’t really make sense because why would you call a guy breakfast, lunch, and dinner? You’d call the dogs that maybe. sg-dub then filled me in with the actual answer (his wife is Vietnamese, so he got it straight from the source). Apparently it’s a two pronged joke: What do you call a Vietnamese guy with one dog? A vegetarian. What do you call a Vietnamese guy with three dogs? A rancher. Hopefully, your curiosity is sated!
Back at Aitu, Billy continued to plague the tribe, even after all the chores of the day were done. He was now sleeping in the shelter, snoring loudly and pissing everyone off. Ozzy suggested throwing the immunity challenge to get rid of Billy, and amazingly, people seemed to be all for it. The only one not totally on board was Cristina (and possibly that pesky rat eating the coconut). Of course, there could not be any more ridiculous of a plan. If the entire concern is that Billy will cause the tribe to lose immunity, why not just wait until that happens and then get rid of him, rather than ensure it? After all, Survivor is a numbers game, and when each tribe starts off with just five people each, that’s not a lot of numbers. Let’s not also forget that throwing an immunity challenge in Survivor is also one of the dumbest things you could ever do. I believe it was Pearl Islands when one tribe threw a challenge because they thought they had the wiggle room to do so, and then after that, they just lost over and over and over again until they were all voted out. Not a smart move, OZZY (pronounced Sharon Osbourne-ish).
After the commercial break, tree mail arrived, and we learned that the people from each tribe would be chained together. I’m sure that’ll go over real well on the black tribe. Over at Aitu, Ozzy was still pushing to throw the challenge, and once again, Cristina still wasn’t sure about it, something she alerted us to about thirty-five times. WE GET IT, CRISTINA.
Anyway, for this week’s immunity/reward challenge, the producers thought up something equally as convoluted as last week’s puzzle-boat bonanza. This time, Probst was going to tell a story about Captain Cook’s three historic expeditions (I love when Jeff tells stories! It’s like being back in Elementary School and having “Library Class”). Well, after story time, the members of each team would be tied together, and then they’d have to crawl through an obstacle course, untie and gather seven plaques, cross ropes over a water pit, and then use the plaques to successfully answer questions about the story. First three teams to finish would win immunity (with first place earning a reward of two tarps).
Well, since Hiki was down one person, the Latinos, Asians, and Whites had to each sit out a person. Billy desperately wanted to sit out this challenge (shocker!), but JP, easily the most athletic man on Aitu, insisted that he take the bench instead. Looks like they were gonna throw it! Yay stupidity! Probst then flapped his arms and the competition began. Here’s something that’ll blow your mind: the Asians took the lead! Who would have thunk it? Ozzy, meanwhile, took his sweet-ass time untying the plaques (which were all hanging high up on posts.
There’s not much to really say about this challenge. It just involved lots of untying, scampering, and cutaway shots of Ozzy smiling mischievously as he sabotaged his own team. The Asians and the whites seemed to be neck and neck, but when it came time for the big puzzle, the Asians finished first. The Puka tribe raised their arms triumphantly, but wait! They had forgotten one, slight detail.
“YOU GOTTA BE ON YOUR MAT!!!” Probst yelled in his typical gym teacher way. These few precious seconds gave the whites enough time to catch up, and both teams managed to hop on their mat at the same time. Probst granted the Asians first place, followed by the whites, but later on, he said the tapes revealed that it was a tie. Tarps for all!
Meanwhile, back on the course, the blacks and the Latinos were still slogging along. I felt bad for Hiki because they were really trying, and the only reason they hadn’t already lost pathetically was because Ozzy and the gang were throwing it for their tribe. I think Jeff sensed what was up because he suddenly barked, “Aitu is having a HOLIDAY!” Wow, I never knew Probst to be the type to use British terminology. He HATES holidays on the telly!
Well, Hiki pulled off third place, causing Nathan to jump up and down and kick the air (did this count as affirmative action?). This meant that Aitu would be going to Tribal Council, but if it was any consolation, they could pick someone to go to Exile Island. That lucky bastard: Yul. Bold move. Needless to say, YUL BE SORRY!
Before we went to commercial, we then saw Billy mutter under his breath to the white girls who happened to be standing next to him, “I’m next.”
“We love you,” said an empathetic Candice in consolation.
“I love you too,” Billy replied back. Little did we know that this would be the next great love affair of the twenty-first century…
The Aitu tribe then returned back to camp, and on the way, Cristina sighed, “Well, that sucked.” Um, yeah, except you did it on purpose. CBS tried to do a little misdirection on us by showing an increasingly disgruntled Cristina rebuking Ozzy (or Oscar, as she calls him) behind his back. She felt that she had seen his true colors, and she didn’t like them at all.
Meanwhile, over on Exile Island, Yul looked miserable by himself. Luckily, he could pass the time by searching for the immunity idol, and not to perpetuate stereotypes, but Asians + word problems = success. Okay, I perpetuated. I apologize. My Asian friend said it was okay for me to say that though. Nevertheless, the clue this time around was significantly less abstract than last week’s. “Use the mast and an island to form a letter, block out the south island, and you’re doing better.” Of course, Yul was able to figure everything out in like two seconds, next thing we knew, he was digging up a storm, eventually coming upon the immunity idol. We still don’t know the rules of it this time around (if it’s used, will the person with the second highest number of votes go home — like last season?), but I was happy to see Yul brandishing this reward. He seems like a smart and likable guy, and I’m confident it’ll be put to better use than it was under Terry’s reign of power last season.
Back at Aitu, Billy sensed a possible ally in Cristina and began to work on her, saying that she was the next to go as soon as he was out. Not sure what to do, Cristina approached Cecilia and spoke to her about the situation… in Spanish! Who would have thought it would take this long to hear some Spanish on the Latino tribe?
WELL. Ozzy soon found out that Billy was trying to save his ass, and he was pissed! He did not like at all that Billy was trying to scheme his way out of this situation. Apparently it was okay for Ozzy to scheme Billy off the island, but not the other way around. Nobody dares threaten The Ozzy!
We then saw Cristina making some sort of palm front origami, but then I realized it was just a makeshift cup; so I stopped paying attention. The gang trekked up to Tribal Council where saw what may have been the seventy-fifth rat of the episode crawling about. I fully expected Probst to yell at the tribe for throwing the competition (he hates when people sully the integrity of the game), but instead he started off on a rather friendly note, saying, “So let’s talk about the first six days.” Oddly, he then added, “ESSE!”
Okay Probst didn’t say that, but he did ask Ozzy if he was the leader. “No, I don’t think I’m the leader,” he replied, even though he’s clearly led everything. Billy then told Probst that JP and Ozzy threw the challenge, saying, “I fell into a classic trap, and now I’m on the chopping block.”
“N-n-n-n-no! I hate the way he’s trying to sound like he’s a victim right now!” JP said, clearly overlooking how Billy was kind of, you know, a victim to the tribe’s scheming. I empathized with JP though. I mean, Billy did suck around the camp, and I totally get why they all hated him, but they couldn’t act like he wasn’t a victim. The whole tribe had ganged up against him, going to extraordinary lengths to ensure his ouster!
Anyway, JP and Billy bickered for a little bit, and then things became truly bizarre. Billy suddenly announced it was okay if he didn’t win the million dollars. He had won something else: “My prize was that I fell in love in this game,” he said. “Love at first sight. Her name is candice.” And with that, Probst did probably the biggest double-take he’s ever done on Survivor. Yes, Billy was referring to Candice from the white team, the same girl who had casually said to him earlier, “We love you.”
“Candice from the Roro tribe?” Jeff asked incredulously.
“At the last challenge, we sort of mouthed the words ‘I love you’ to one another,” Billy explained. Sadly, he probably didn’t remember that Candice had said “we” not “I” and that when Billy had said “I love you,” in response, she simply stared off into space, thinking about gumdrops or kittens.
Well, whatever chances Billy had to stay were clearly gone at that point. A tribe likes nothing more than when someone reveals a deep love for someone on an opposing team. Plus, it just proved that he was un pollo loco. There was more back-and-forth at Tribal Council, but honestly, there’s no use rehashing it. The votes were pretty much as you’d expect. Billy voted against Ozzy, and then everyone else voted against Billy. And so, our Metal Man was separated from his true love. Star-crossed lovers indeed! Must Survivor always be so tragic?
Afterwards, Billy left us with some inane comments about metal, still trying to prove to us that he was “hardcore.”
“I think it’s kind of cool the heavy metal guy got eliminated by a guy named Ozzy,” he said, referring to some “heavy metal guy,” whoever that was. Oh wait, I keep forgetting. That’s supposed to be Billy. He then added, “Too bad there’s no heavy metal tribe. I think I would have fit in better there.” He then added, “I mean, I have a skull on my t-shirt! That proves how metal I am! Rock ‘n’ roll!”
What did you think about this episode? And what about Billy’s declaration of love?