There was a lot of action last week on Survivor, and I am sure they weren’t going to be able to repeat the amount of excitement that was in an episode that had two double tribal councils, but quite honestly, I was expecting a little more than what we received this past week. I haven’t seen Survivor lay an egg like this one in a long time, but with a merge imminent and with it an emphasis on an entirely different type of physical challenge and politicking, we won’t have to sit through something like that for a long time.From the first shot of the episode, I knew that we were in trouble It’s more of those marching ants in NightVision. Do you ever wonder that there hasn’t been any new ant shots since the first season of Survivor? I bet the footage could have even been an accident. One lazy cameraman left his rig in the jungle, pointed at a tree, and it ran for a while. The producers noticed it, used it, and now it’s a staple of “we’re back from commercial intros”. But do you think anybody is paying attention at what kind of ants they have been using? No, of course not. I demand proof that the ant footage is not recycled. The people demand justice!
Well, if you are wondering why I wasted a paragraph on ants before anything else, well, you have an idea of what kind of episode we are dealing with. Nakum has had some good momentum, and although they were forced to go to tribal council, it seemed like everybody wasn’t that upset because they had a chance to get rid of Margaret, and she seemed to be the biggest cause of problems in the tribe. It wasn’t because she was actually that huge of a bitch, but she was enough of a bitch to piss of Judd, and if Judd is pissed off in even a small way, he has no problem mixing it up and causing a lot of problems.
I think Judd is pretty stupid, but even he was able to realize that he might have shown a little bit too much of his temper with Margaret at tribal council, and he tried to assure everybody that his bark is worse than his bite. The main problem, he said, was that Margaret “pushed his button”. Now, personally, I don’t get mad at a person unless they push my buttons, if they only push one button, I can usually live with that. If Judd gets upset when only one button is pressed, I guess his fuse is shorter than we thought. Then again, maybe he just doesn’t have multiple buttons like most people. After all, it seems like he has been working fine with less of a brain than your average person, so maybe he is working with fewer buttons than a normal person, and pushing that one button really pisses him off.
Judd went on an on about how Margaret was bringing everybody down because she was upset that she wasn’t seen as the mom in the new Nakum and she was upset. He admitted he was a loose cannon and he did blow up, but insisted that he was a big teddy bear around camp, and there was nothing for people to be afraid of. Jamie put it another way. He admitted that Judd was a big guy, has a big voice, scares other people (and probably likes that he does), but Jamie was happy that Judd was all of those things. He knew that Judd would be a good ally after the merge, and if he took Judd to the final two, there was no way that people would vote for Judd because of how much he was pissing everybody off.
Yaxha had an entirely different problem. Yes, they also had to vote off a member of their tribe, and although Bryan was not hated around camp, it didn’t look like they were crying that he was gone. What they were crying about was the marks on their body from the big balls they were pushing around in the reward challenge from day before. I am not sure why they suffered so much more than Nakum, or maybe the producers simply left Nakum out because they had were bitching about Margaret enough to fill a segment. Whatever the reason was, every single member of Yaxha had these huge blister-like things on their shoulders and faces, and they had scabbed over and were turning into open, festering sores. Not even the pharaohs had seen things this bad, and none had it worse than Bobby Jon. When I first looked at one of his shoulders, I thought that he had placed it in a deli slicer.
The two teams came together for the reward challenge, and we figured that it would be some sort of feast, but we weren’t sure. Well, in honor of the Mayans, who discovered chocolate, the winners would win a lot of the sweet stuff as well as a zip line canopy tour of the rainforest. In order to win, the teams completed in a challenge that looked a lot like one that we saw in the Real World/ Road Rules challenge with Veronica and Jodi wrapping themselves in toilet paper. The twist on this was that there would be four people who wrapped themselves up in succession. That means that the first person would wrap themselves in fabric, would unhook themselves from a post, run to the next survivor, and then at that post, the fabric had to be wrapped around two people. The third post, it would wrap around three people, and the fourth post, four tribe members would have to work in synch with each other to wrap themselves up. The players would then unwrap themselves in succession, and the first team to have all four players unwrapped at past the finish line would win.
It sounds pretty complicated, but was fairly easy. In fact, other than waiting for somebody to get sick and vomit from all of the spinning, I wasn’t sure what the hell to say about this thing. I mean it was kind of funny to see everybody strapped in together. Brandon and Bobby Jon were tied together in such a way that I thought they were going to use a ball gag next. I guess I could say they were strapped in tighter than an Indigo Girls slumber party with Melissa Etheridge. Ba-dum ching! Seriously, it was more of an interesting concept than it was an interesting something to watch. Why can’t they come up with Mayan curling?
After a bunch of spinning and no hurling (or curling), Yaxha won the reward and got to enjoy the benefits. The first part was a zip line tour of the rainforest. It must have been a great feeling flying through the air like that. Amy was scared, but given the chance of a lifetime, she wasn’t going to miss anything. I really liked Bobby Jon last year, but this season, he has seemed more like a horse’s ass than anything else. When talking about his experience zipping down through the canopy. His words are more humble than lofty, and he comes across as very humble and appreciative. I guess when he’s not losing, he gets a little bit better of an attitude.
When they go to the reward, there was a ton of chocolate and plenty of milk to wash it down. It was true that the people of ancient Meso and Central America discovered cocoa, it was actually the Europeans that perfected sweetening the cocoa powder and making it into the candy that fattens us, gives us cavities, and makes us break out all over the place. But we all still love it anyway. My favorite candy bars are Butterfinger, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and Symphony bars with Toffee and Almonds. Actually, I still have part of a Symphony in the fridge. Just a minute, I think I’ll have a bite. Mmmm. That was good.
I always though it was a bad idea to have these rewards where the primary component was sugar, because you would think that all of that sugar all of a sudden would make people sick since they weren’t used to it. It was the most chocolate Bobby Jon ever saw in his life, which probably means he’s never seen a Godiva or Ghiardelli store. That wasn’t the case, and after Yaxha pigged out, they took a lot of it back to camp.
Last week, the promos made a big deal about the “FIRST EVER!!!” time one tribe invaded another one. Yaxha made their way over to the Nakum tribe by boat, and it looks like they were going to stop until they heard the lamentations of the women and Stephenie. Or not. The members of Yaxha actually just wanted to invite Nakum over to a pool party in celebration of Danni’s birthday. It was a pretty harmless request, but there were some that didn’t think it was a good idea to be cavorting and canoodling with the enemy. Cindy wondered why anybody would hang out with the people that they wanted to get rid of. Well, part of it is probably the producer sort of want you to, but you can understand why Nakum is content. Margaret is no longer around, and Rafe had managed to collect enough leaves and paint them to make a deck of cards. That Rafe, he’s so resourceful. What are the chances that he knits? And is good at it?
The pool party was not that big of a deal, but there were some highlights. There was Bobby Jon, at one with nature, feeding little pieces of his festering shoulder to the minnows. It takes quite a man to sit there and watch an animal eat a part of your body, and not only not let it bother you, but to enjoy watching it happen. Bobby Jon was using himself as bait, letting the little fish gather and eat his shoulder, and then try and dive in with his mouth and get the minnows. For Nakum, the highlight was the leftover chocolate Yaxha let them have.
Flesh-eating fish? No problem!
There were also some lowlights. I don’t think I will ever get the image of Judd in his boxer briefs. The only thing that came to mind other than “get a garbage bag before you make a mess of the living room” was “at least there wasn’t a bunch of yellow stains on the front”. I wouldn’t put all of you through such on ordeal, but Juddfan would probably never let me live it down if I didn’t share it with you.
Judd’s back is actually much less hairy than I imagined.
Eventually, Nakum went back to their own camp. Jamie was being really pissy, and he even got Steph a little bit upset about his attitude. That left Yaxha to their own business. We once again got another attempt by somebody to pin down Gary’s true background. Was he a football player or just a humble landscaper? Does anybody care? Amy wanted an answer, and said that she would beat Gary down like a stepchild, but she didn’t say if the stepchild was red headed or brunette. Gary seemed so proud of himself because he said that he had lied about his name and his hometown, and so it would be difficult for Amy to look him up, even with her police connections. HA! I am not sure if Gary was trying to be funny, because obviously as soon as she gets home, she’s going to check the internet and see that Gary was a football player on the CBS page for Survivor Guatemala. So I guess that search for the truth would be metaphorical, much like our search for anything worth watching in this episode.
Immunity this week would be decided as the two teams competed to complete a giant Mayan calendar. Three team members would search for puzzle pieces partially or completely buried in the sand and two others would complete the puzzle. Going into this, Yaxha knew that it would be a big day. The merge was happening soon and if they didn’t win, they would surely be at a huge disadvantage with the numbers, meaning Nakum could simply vote them off one by one.
Early on, the game was pretty even. The teams were gathering the pieces pretty evenly, and it looked like it would come down to who could put the pieces together the quickest. Yaxha was having trouble with their 11th and 12th pieces, and gave Nakum a huge time advantage that they wouldn’t give up. Nakum won, and in celebration for putting the pieces together quickly, Rafe grabbed Stephenie from behind. At first it looked like she was going to turn around and slap whoever it was that had copped a feel, but then realized it was Rafe and decided not to do anything.
This was a worst-case scenario for Yaxha in general and Amy in particular. She knew that she had an uphill battle, and she decided that she wouldn’t be able to outlast or outplay the people on her tribe, she decided that the only thing she could do was outwit them. Well, if Brian wasn’t able to outwit Yaxha to save himself, I don’ t think there was going to be much of a chance of Amy doing it. She had a pretty good strategy, however, and that was to try and convince everybody else that she deserves to be there more than Bobby Jon because Bobby Jon was on his second season of survivor.
It seemed like Amy had a chance to use that reasoning, but I was concerned when the person that should have been her biggest ally was entirely noncommittal when it came to the decision. Gary said that he wouldn’t vote for Bobby Jon unless Amy got Danni or Brandon to go along with it. I’m really surprised that Gary didn’t try and help campaign for Amy a little more. It would be advantageous to have her going into the merge with him, but instead he became wishy washy about the whole thing, talking about how he wants to keep loyalty with the other three. I am not sure what Gary’s angle is, but I have to say I was almost upset at how he acted pretty much like a coward when it came to this thing. Where’s that football mentality that you’re supposed to have loyalty to the people who had been through the trenches? And practically speaking, wouldn’t you want to have Amy competing in the immunity challenges on a bum ankle than a strong Bobby Jon?
At tribal council, Jeff asked about how you make the choice of how to send somebody home. When Brandon mentioned that the hardest part is justifying why you voted somebody out and how maybe somebody in your alliance is less deserving, Bobby Jon shot a look at him which made me think he was quite surprised at what he was hearing. I thought that maybe Amy actually had a chance, but when the votes were read, she was the one who was being sent home. It was sad to see to see her go, because she brought tons of personality, but we were happy to see that when she left, she would be able to go back to her family and the Jose Canseco doppelganger that they keep in the basement.
After the vote, Jeff told Yaxha that they were to head back tot he Nakum camp, take new buffs, and come up with a new tribe name together. It’s a whole different ballgame now, of course, and it’s going to be interesting to see if there are any people up to the task of scheming their way to the final two.
What did you think about this episode? Is Judd causing too much trouble in his tribe? Does anybody like Gary? Who has the best shot of winning now that we are at the merge?