By Schoonie|Tuesday, April 3, 2007 | 2:40 am | 25 Comments
Last week on Survivor, the tribes were scuffled in order to create some tension in a season that’s been criticized for a variety of reasons. The rich versus poor twist was poorly planned, and the result was a whole bunch of lopsided challenges and lots of footage of people who are unable to move, and it sort of sucked the drama out of the show, if you can believe it. After last year’s stellar season, the fans have come to expect a little bit more than Fiji has been providing for us. Until tonight. Because tonight, there is foosball. And blindfolded club swinging. And machetes. And comeuppance.
We begin at Day 17 on Ravu, the morning after Anthony’s boot. The five remaining boys are huddled around the fire eating, awaiting the return of Lisi from Exile Island. They seem to think that Lisi will be a lot cooler now that she’s separated from Stacy. I can see how they might think that, since Stacy and Lisi sucked so much that I kept waiting for them to morph together all Voltron-like into some sort of giant bitchy robot and terrorize the countryside with its screechy laser beams. Lisi runs up to camp and hugs her old Moto-mates, telling us how she went batshit insane and switched brains with Jeff Probst last week. She feeds us something about how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and if this is true, I would like to hear what falling on her face a few weeks ago taught her about the kindness of strangers.
Lisi talks about how being by herself for so long caused her to begin hallucinating, like she’s some sort of Indian chief. If she is? I’m betting her Indian name is Walks With Face. I’m thinking she has a concussion from the fall and no one’s noticed. She talks about how she was “totally trippin” on Exile Island, and I would probably begin avoiding her immediately if I were them, because she might look at one of her other tribemates and see a giant turkey leg or something. Dreamz tells us how he really, really doesn’t like Lisi (and makes me like him yet more, thanks to a little mathematical theorem I like to call the Transitive Property of Disliking the Same People I Do), and that she should watch her ass. Oh, how sweet that would be, if Dreamz were the cause of Lisi’s downfall.
The snakes, they were like, talking to me, man! I talked to one about Lost for like three hours. That show is crazy.
Credits! The sky is purple, you guys. I think I’m hallucinating!
It’s Day 17 on Moto, and Earl tells us about how the new Moto tribe is composed of 3 old Moto and 3 old Ravu, so he’s going to need to do something to change the power dynamic on his tribe if he doesn’t want to get stuck in a deadlocked vote. Hey, Earl? Cassandra over there, she might be willing to give you a hand with that. But, Earl has another plan. Earl and Yau have decided that they know where the idol is at the Moto camp, so Earl is going to take the rest of lead the rest of the tribe away from camp to fetch the big boat that carried all 19 of them to the nice camp on the first day, which has become grounded on some rocks out in the middle of a lagoon. While Earl’s leading the rest of the tribe on a wild boat chase, Yau-man is going to dig for the idol, sort of like they both did a couple of weeks ago. Except this time, Earl has a better excuse than “Let’s all go check, um…over here for…some shiny things.”
Earl leads the peanut gallery away, and the second the rest of the tribe is out of sight, Yau scurries over and grabs the pickaxe, heading over to dig. You can see that he’s already marked where he thinks the idol is by placing a giant rock there. We cut over to the rest of the tribe, who look to be wandering aimlessly along the beach, and when we cut back, Yau is now using a shovel to create a larger hole. Since he’s gone from a pickaxe to a shovel, how awesome would it be if every time we cut back and forth from the rest of the tribe to Yau-man, he was using a more destructive tool to create a larger hole, like he was Wile E. Coyote all of a sudden? Let’s pretend that’s the case. Earl and the Gang (anybody want to start a band?) peer over the lagoon at the stranded boat as Yau uses a jackhammer to chip away at some exposed rock, still searching for the idol. Man, how are they not hearing that? It’s pretty loud. They must be far away. Earl asks how the boat got left that far out, and Stacy basically says “Well, we got sort of tired and just left it there” which should tell you a little bit about how living in a camp with a Starbucks around the corner has affected the old Moto members. Back at camp, Yau-man comes around the corner with a backhoe and begins moving great piles of earth in search of the Idol. When did Caterpillar start sponsoring this show? Boo tries to figure out how to get the boat back into the water as Yau lays down a complicated system of C4 explosives and wires up a triggering mechanism.
But wait! He has hit something! Yau uncovers a small, wrapped package buried where he’s been digging and promptly begins celebrating, and it is the coolest thing ever. It’s always nice to have the likeable people do well in a game where the people who are the best so often do not end up winning. It’s why last season was so awesome (because the best players were left at the end) and that’s why this right here is so awesome too. Yau-man waves the wrapped package containing the idol right in the face of the camera and freaking rocks out, right there on the beach.
I really hope that I have not accidentally stumbled upon where Boo has buried his provisions for the winter!
You can tell Yau-man is extremely excited, because he is practically vibrating right there on the beach. He goes to unwrap the package and is so psyched to have the idol that he can’t even concentrate enough to untie the knots. How awesome is he, seriously? Yau unties the package and unwraps the immunity idol, which is a little statue of a turtle attached to some heavy-duty rope. He takes a moment to explain to the camera about how he’s probably the only one with an idol right now, and that he knows that there’s another one on the other island, but for now, he’s the only one with the power. Then he smiles the largest, most genuine smile ever shown on CBS, or on TV, ever, and pumps his fists into the air, making kissy faces at the little turtle statue.
Yau-man, having had his moment of celebration, comes back down to Earth so that the other contestants won’t know what the deal is. He stashes the idol in his pocket, fills in the large hole that he has dug, and returns to his menial task, sitting in the exact same spot that he was before, pretending to have been working the entire time. He tells us about how he’s agreed to share the idol with Earl, and that they are planning on using it to further their game together and that either one of them can use it at anytime. Basically, he’s not considering it only his to use, but as a tool to protect his larger alliance, which is the smarter way to play the idol. He wants to use it like Yul and not like Terry.
When the rest of the tribe returns, it looks like nothing has even happened. So clever, and so freaking great. Yau immediately shifts the focus away from himself by asking whether they found the boat or not, which is smart, if a little heavy-handed. Earl and Yau walk along the beach, and Yau shares the good news with Earl. You can tell that they don’t want to celebrate too much in front of the others and are really, really trying hard not to jump up and down screaming. Earl asks if he can see it, and Yau pulls it just out of his pocket, using his body to shield the others from its view. Earl tells us how his plan is working out quite well, and that he’s happy to be allied with Yau-man.
Reward challenge! Today’s challenge is simple, and also involves arson. There are three targets out in a field, and the teams will be using “flamethrowers”, which look like Jai Alai sticks, not the flamethrowers of which you are thinking, which cause destruction over a widespread area. Come to think of it, the only way Yau-man and Earl could be more awesome is if they actually had a flamethrower. Then Yau-man and Earl could destroy an oncoming Viking hoard, just the two of them, igniting everything in their path and laying waste to the land, leaving a lake of fire in their wake. And we could get Jessica Biel to play Yau-man’s love interest. I would totally go see that movie. Anyway, so the Survivors launch fireballs at the targets, and the first team to hit all three targets wins reward, which is a trip to an arcade, complete with bowling and foosball and whatnot, and also a meal of hotdogs and beer while you’re there.
Earl and Dreamz go first for their respective teams. Dreamz connects and scores one for Ravu and Earl narrowly misses, but you can tell that he is really, really excited to be playing with fire.
I wonder if Probst is flammable?
Yau-man and Edgardo go up after a couple of rounds of misses, and as Yau-man is preparing his fireball (the players have to ignite them over a flame before throwing them) Mookie takes the opportunity to mock Yau-man to the other members of Ravu for being frail. Good thing Yau-man wasn’t looking, or Mookie would be ablaze right now. However, Yau-man gets the last laugh when he connects and ties the game at one each. Mookie connects on the next round, making it 2-1, Ravu. Dreamz and Earl are back up, and Jeff asks Dreamz whether he’s more excited for the beer or the hot dogs. Dreamz tells Jeff that he doesn’t drink, so the hot dogs. He doesn’t drink? There goes my explanation of how his nickname was born.
Earl takes another shot and narrowly misses, and Dreamz scores his second point for Ravu, handing them the win. Ravu wins a challenge! It’s a celebration, bitches. Lisi gives Dreamz a big hug, and she is rocking some extremely unfortunate armpit hair. I’d screencap it, but I’d like you guys to read again next week. Ravu will be enjoying their first reward, and also they will be sending Earl to Exile Island.
After the commercials, it’s Day 18 and Ravu is on a charter flight on the way to their reward. Mookie talks about how now that Ravu is “over the hump” there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to win every challenge from now until the end of time. Of course! Hot dogs and bowling are also the reason why the Indianapolis Colts win the first thirteen games of the season every year. Ravu arrives at the arcade, which is an actual arcade and not some shifty setup that Mark Burnett’s team of interns put together three hours before everyone arrived, which surprises me. I wonder how much business that place gets? Maybe the Fijian National Foosball Team is a number one seed every year at the global tournament or something, I have no idea. Ravu gets a tour of the place, but they’re only interested in the food.
Ravu then proceeds to completely demolish so many hot dogs they put a dent the world supply of the chicken beaks and feet from which they are made. You can see the price of hot dogs going up around the world as they eat, that’s how much is consumed. It’s like Ravu is the OPEC of hot dogs. Remember that when you go to a baseball game this year and wonder who sets the extravagant prices. A montage of people eating their weight in processed beef soon follows, and it is pretty gross, especially if you’re full. Seriously, even that little Japanese guy who destroys everyone in those competitive hot dog eating contests every year is like, “Holy crap.”
Ravu, full of hot dogs, now begins to play the various games that are scattered around the arcade. Dreamz and Mookie play pool together. Rocky and Lisi are bowling together, which makes me swear off bowling for the next twenty-four years. My question is: how much more fun would this reward have been to watch if Moto had won? We could have watched Boo attempt to bowl and figure out what to do with “those holes in that giant heavy marble over there” while Yau-man and Earl played pool and hustled Fijian locals. Can we get a do over on this reward challenge?
However, we are treated to watching each member of Moto attempt to tee-off a ball on the golf simulator, and we are treated to Rocky’s golf swing. Ironically, he swings like a girl. I imagine him being beat soundly by three lesbian LPGA pros, and the hissy fit which would inevitably follow, right before they club him with their 3 Irons.
We temporarily leave the reward to check out how Earl’s doing on Exile Island. Since the immunity idol’s already been found, Earl doesn’t really care about climbing the tower to get another clue, so he’s just hanging out on the beach. Earl tells us how freaking bored he is with being on Exile Island, since it’s his third trip, so he’s changing the name to Earl Island. You know how you can tell that he’s really, really bored? Because he has designed an intricate postcard in the sand that pays homage to “Earl Island”. There are expansive letters, and shading, and an illustration of the sun beating down. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of Da Vinci Code in it, too. He’s even drawn a little miniature Exile Island on the right, replete with mini-tower on top. That’s pretty impressive! Next week: Earl populates the island with a colorful cast of characters and ABC pays for a 13 episode order. You know what’s in the hatch on Earl Island? A whole bunch of awesome. Also probably a copy of The Art of War.
Does this say “Earl Is Lana in Fiji?”
So I guess we are all supposed to call him Lana from now on.
Back at the Fiji Arcade (remember Nick Arcade? It was awesome. I’m going to go play my Turbo Grafx-16 now), everyone is complaining because they ate too much. Except Rocky, who is busy complaining about everybody complaining about eating too much. He goes on and on, and bitches for about eighteen years about how everyone shouldn’t have eaten so much and now they’re ruined their dinners and how they’ll never fit into the prom dress they bought in February at this rate and how mom’s probably going to make subtle underhanded comments about your weight next time you go home for the holidays and you have no one to blame but yourself, Bridget Jones? I’m glad you left some room when you ate, because now you have plenty of space in your stomach and I can tell you to eat shit. Rocky talks about how everyone was running their mouths on the way to the reward, saying that they were going to eat seventeen hot dogs and eighty brownies, and if people can’t talk shit and then back it up, then they deserve to be made fun of. First of all, you’ve never heard of hyperbole? And second, I’m totally mad at the editing staff for not showing all of the parts where Rocky backed up his shit talking. Like when Rocky called a do-over at the sumo wrestling challenge and totally destroyed Dreamz? Or when there were only four boards remaining at the Concentration challenge a couple of weeks ago, and Rocky made the final match and won it all, and was then hoisted on the shoulders of his fellow tribemates and returned to camp a hero? I’m going to be super pissed when I buy the DVD and get to watch all this with the correct perspective.
Turns out “You make me want to puke” is sort of a literal saying. Who knew?
We check in on the other Moto members as Boo tells us that they lost the reward challenge and are going to have to redouble their efforts to ensure that they don’t also botch immunity as well. He tells us, and this is so awesome that I have to quote verbatim, that “to some of us, keeping immunity is more important than they really understand” and he is talking plainly talking about Yau-man. The sweet part is that whatever hierarchy is set up in his head, where he is at the top and Cassandra and Yau-man are at the bottom? It’s completely, utterly ass backwards, because I guarantee you that the person at the top of the actual boot list? Is Boo. It’s just like the Rocky “You need to back up your shit if you talk it” concept, but better. Ignorance and irony are the fruit from which good reality shows like this one receive their nourishment. And it tastes quite nice from where I’m sitting.
And now, the coolest thing ever. Yau-man tells us that he was sitting around thinking about what a good position he’s in, and about the immunity idol, and he got the idea to create a fake immunity idol and place it in the exact spot where the real one was buried, so that if anyone else ends up following the clues and attempting to locate it, they’ll come up with a fake and be totally screwed. And then he proceeds to make a fake immunity idol out of a coconut shell, even painting the letters “II” on it so that the idiot that finds it isn’t confused. As Stacy and Boo snooze in the background, he wraps it in the cloth from which the original came and ties it off, he deadpans the camera and says with a giant, evil smile: “There are so many immunity idols running around here” and then he buries that sucker. I really hope someone finds that thing, because I might pass out from awesomeness if I get to watch Jeff going all WTF on the person at TC.
“Shut the f*ck up camera man. Jesus! Im trying to win a million god damn dollars! Why you gotta step on my game yo!??”
Immunity Challenge! The immunity challenge this week is really cool again. It’s a variation on the “guide the blindfolded tribe members” challenges that we’ve seen before, where there are five skulls hanging on strings from the rafters. Once the blindfolded person has smashed a skull, a set of letter tiles will fall. Once the tribe has collected all five sets of letter tiles, they can head over to a puzzle area and unscramble the letters on the tiles to form a word. First tribe to unscramble the puzzle correctly wins immunity. So, Michelle will be the guide for Moto and Lisi (?) will be the guide for Moto. Stacy and Alex are the first ones out to smash the skulls, and thanks to Michelle’s guidance, Stacy cracks the first skull (it is, sadly, not a metaphor). Michelle uses excellent guiding language to put Moto out in front while Lisi continues to botch another challenge. Alex, after finally cracking his skull open (metaphor, again), returns and takes Lisi off of guide duty. Alex himself takes the helm and begins barking commands at a pretty brisk and direct pace, almost like an Army drill sergeant, which turns out to be pretty effective.
Stacy thinks everyone else looks totally dumb all blindfolded like that. She’s totally going to tell Regina George later.
Various whacking and cracking of skulls ensues. Of note: Earl and Cassandra hold the stick horizontally to cover the most area while smashing, which is smart. Dreamz gets close to his skull and flails about wildly with the stick in concentric circles, which has the added benefit of making him look like a spaz. Also, Boo appears not to know his right from his left; not to ruin the “Boo is kind of dim” party, but you can see where he asks whether it’s Michelle’s left or his left, because he is facing her. Which is dumb. So, moot point! This is also the editors’ cue to crossfade the challenge music right into Flight of the Bumblebees, which is pretty snarky and clever. Rocky runs right into the tile platform at the end of the course. Satisfying! Yau-man heads out to collect the final set of tiles for Moto and Michelle gets really excited about a possible win. So excited, in fact, that she loses her balance and falls completely off of the platform, which is a good six feet off the ground. Falling is always hilarious, but I sort of like Michelle, so it’s not quite as satisfying as the Lisi fall (screencap on vacation this week, sorry) and the Charla/Mirna tumble from a few weeks ago. TB posted it a couple of days ago, but it is pretty funny.
Oh, and also, to compare:
See? The second one is obviously funnier. Apples and oranges, people. Bruised apples and oranges.
As you can see, the cameraman gets a great shot of Yau-man in the foreground and Michelle taking a header in the background, so this week’s propers go to that guy. Luckily, Michelle is alright, and she’s a trooper, so the show, it will go on. She even laughs at herself a little, which: good for her. Because if a cute Asian girl falls in Fiji, and no one hears, does it happen? The answer is yes, especially if 16 million people see it at approximately 8:37 PM EST on a Thursday night. Michelle shakes it off and continues trying to guide Yau, but he’s so far down the course by this point that he can’t hear her voice, so Boo jumps up onto the pedestal to give Yau-man some guidance. This gives Ravu the chance to gain a little bit of ground, but Moto still gets all their tiles on the table before Ravu, so they get a little bit of a head start on the puzzle. Mookie realizes that he’s behind once Yau has the last set of letters, and he’s in such a hurry to catch up that he runs full speed at the tile table and racks himself on the railing. Nicely done, jackass. But, turns out that this word scramble is actually hard, because it ends up being “CANNIBAL ISLES” which has like seven or eight different letters total, so it’s pretty rough. Both teams are working on the puzzle at the same time, but Michelle figures out that the word ‘cannibal’ is in it somehow, and Moto narrowly wins immunity. So Ravu is headed to tribal council again, and I started to celebrate right about here, because it looked a like light it might be Partly Rocky with a Chance of Lisi, and that makes me excited. One less jackhole on one of my favorite shows is never a bad thing.
Back at Camp Ravu Rocky takes a seat and figures out who to scapegoat while Ed and Alex go do some actual strategizing. Ed tells us that what they need at this point is loyalty, not brute strength, and so logically Lisi is a more valuable candidate to remain in the game. And good on you for figuring that out. Ed then tells us that he thinks that one of the reasons why old Ravu never won was because of his attitude, and WORD. I said that like fifty-leven times already. Alex tells Lisi about the plan to boot Rocky next, and the subject of the immunity idol arises. Alex looks completely unsurprised to discover that the immunity idol is at camp and not on Exile Island, which makes me think that maybe we missed something at some point. He’s smart, but he’s not that smart. Also, it’s really dumb to tell people who have no information everything you know about the location of the idol, and especially when you know that, as the only woman, your head is on the chopping block something fierce. She just did it for acceptance, which is either incredibly smart or incredibly pathetic. Or possibly both. Lisi tells us that she is going to go look for the idol with Alex and “Eduardo” and that they’re going to make use of its power together, and you can tell that this is not her idea by how inadequately she explains it. Then she talks about how the Exile Island clues were “very vague”. Is she kidding? The next clue would have to be a GPS beacon for it to be any clearer.
Rocky tells us how nervous he is about tribal council tonight, and about how at every other vote, he’s been the one pulling the strings. Sad, but true. When you are Rocky’s marionette, it is perhaps time to reassess. Right before tribal council time, we see Lisi digging under the awning of the cave, right about where the location of the idol probably is. You know that feeling that you get when you turn around and see a child randomly playing in the street, or there’s a dog wandering along the highway and you become instantly worried about it’s eminent injury or demise? You’re surprised and terrified, and you get this intense feeling right inside your chest, like something drastic is about to happen and you need to do something but are helpless to stop it? That’s exactly how watching Lisi dig right there felt. Needles, in my chest.
Tribal council! Jeff welcomes Ravu to tribal, asking Lisi whether she was worried about how she would be welcomed when she get to Ravu, given that she would be the only female. Her answer is no and that she’s integrated well into the tribe; Jeff is disappointed because he was clearly looking forward to more crazy and she did not provide that. He asks Mookie how much brute strength is considered when it’s time to vote, and Mookie hedges his bets by saying that it’s difficult because Lisi’s cool (really?) and Rocky’s strong (REALLY?) so it’s a difficult decision to make. Jeff asks Lisi whether there are any changes that the tribe needs to make, and after a really, really annoying laugh and a dumb joke, she tells us that the number one thing that they need to change is…that they need to win. Gee, thanks, Dear Crabby, that is some sage advice. We’ll get right on that.
Time to vote! We see Rocky vote for Lisi, and Lisi vote for Rocky. The first vote is for Lisi, and she makes more exaggerated Pay Attention to Me gestures, because she is related to Nicole from this season of The Apprentice, apparently. The next vote is also for Lisi, and then there’s one for Rocky. He doesn’t look too worried, after all, it’s only one, right? And then, the second vote for Rocky, and he immediately shits his pants. It is a thing of beauty. Then there’s the third vote for Rocky, and he gets his dad face on, because he’s not sad, he’s just disappointed, you know? And then, the fourth vote is for Rocky, and he is done.
“Jeff, you hold that snuffer like a girl, bro.”
“Yeah, whatever, get the hell off my show, assface.”
The slow clap begins from my couch, and then I do the wave (which doesn’t really work if you’re by yourself, I’ve found), and then I am Apollo Creed for like a split-second, and then I’m watching him get his torch snuffed, and I have long waited for this moment. The best part is that they’re booting him so that they can keep a stinky old girl around. They kicked him out of their He Man Woman Haters Club treehouse! Now where can he curse without mom hearing? If this season is going to be as irony filled as the last two episodes have been, I am going to be one happy camper once this whole thing is over. To his credit, Rocky is actually sort of gracious as he leaves (yes, I just typed that), but you can tell that he just wants to explode…
Which he waits until his final words to do, and it is a thing of beauty. He stares straight at the camera and emits this loud, angry, frustrated scream, like so many people who have watched this show have done after he has done something boneheaded over the last few weeks. It’s like that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie just pummels the hell out of that bully that’s been terrorizing him, and you’ve been waiting and waiting for it the entire movie, and when it finally comes, you can’t wait for that kid to get the crap beat out of him because he’s been such a little asshole the entire time? This is just as glorious. Oh yeah, and Rocky is on the jury, which ensures that we will have to put up with his over-the-top Nate style faces for the rest of the season. I am, unsurprisingly, not looking forward to that.
Next week: There is some sort of dance competition. Is it wrong that I sort of wish that Rocky had stuck around for that? Also Alex, Ed, and Mookie tear the camp up in search of the idol while Lisi takes a nap. Way to share information there, Scooter Libby.
Like most people in America, Schoonie watches entirely too much reality television. Unlike most people, Schoonie gets to share his opinions with the world, which is pretty rad. Currently living in Chicago, Schoonie's been with Tvgasm since 2006. He spends his free time writing Survivor fan fiction (Letters to Penthouse, all featuring Rupert!) , playing with his cover band, and playing with his other cover band. Also, this one time, Lisi fell.