|Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:25 AM|
Before I start in on what I believe is the first ever Leap Day episode of Survivor, I need to mention two things.
Thing 1: My DVR appears that it may be up to its old shenanigans again. Back in 2008 I wrote about how many people across the country were running into issues recording Survivor. So, last night at 8:14 my Spidey sense started tingling and I decided I’d just get up and check to make extra double sure that it was recording. And, what do you know, but it WASN’T! So I flipped on the guide and indeed Survivor was highlighted to record, and it said it was recording, but the DVR, she no was recording… (Could this be backlash from Time Warner over my blog post yesterday?! Don’t mess with my Survivor, Time Warner, or I will bring unimaginable pain upon your house!) Fortunately, the ep is posted online so I was able to watch it there, albeit on a much smaller screen in way worse quality. But, hey, it’s Survivor and obsessive fans can’t be choosers.
Thing 2: I’ve traded a couple of tweets with Survivor Monica Culpepper (@MonicaCulpepper) and if I thought she was tough and cool and Shania Twayne before, I think so EVEN more now. (When I mentioned that Dana was totally impressed with her amazing abs and wanted to do the Culpepper work out, she invited us to come down to Tampa to work us over in some kickboxing.) So, I *might* be biased towards Monica going forward. You’ve been advised…
Survivors ready? Let’s recap last week!
Jeff reminds us that One World is anything but so far, as the men are totally dominating the women, having won every challenge so far. The men have formed a muscle alliance of four (Matt, Mike, Bill and Jay) leaving a majority of five misfit outsiders. Queen Colton, after a bitchy, whiny “no one loves me!” pout session. where even the girls kick him out of their cam, has a sudden change of heart and makes a surprising power play; showing he holds a not-so-hidden immunity idol to the other outcasts and starting a misfit alliance where he is their leader and Queen. Despite the fact that Kat was one of the major reasons why the women lost the challenge, her alliance of the young-and-pretties stuck together and Nena of the bee-stung face was the second player voted out. On to this week…
After Tribal, we cut back to the women’s camp and there is the usual “we need to be tough” and “all eyes are on the weaker players” and “we just need a little bit of confidence” talk. The women have a fire going, but Colton comes over and asks if they want to hang by the men’s better shelter. (Remember they won a giant tarp last week.)
“There is a massive ass storm coming in.”
The wind is blowing like crazy and you can tell that they are in for a brutalizing night of freezing, rain that would include every kind of rain there is. “Little bitty stingin` rain... and big ol` fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath.” Yup. All kinds of rain and none of it good.
The girls survive the night in their camp but seem wrecked for it. Plus it put out their fire, soaked all their tinder and now they haven’t eaten. So, Chelsea peaks out and asks if they can go and stand by the boy’s fire and dry out. The entire women’s tribe soon ends up in the men’s camp hanging out around the fire. Lots of shots of gross, WWI-era trench rotted hands and feet.
Matt J Esquire, attorney at law, comes back to find the women in HIS camp and he is not happy. No sir! There’s barely room enough for all nine of the guys and Matt's extensive legal library and team of paralegals and researchers, let alone 7 women. Those days are done, friends and neighbors. Matt files a lengthy brief and prepares an injunction where he counter-sues for immediate damages and reparations. This is NOT the last you shall her from Matt on this case of Women vs State of Matt re: stealing fire and shelter space!
We segue to the first reward challenge and apparently room service was closed at the Ritz and all of the Johnnie Blue was gone because Jeff has decided to show up. The challenge is a memory test, where players have to memorize a series of 6 objects, one on one, first to correctly get the order gets a point for their team, first team to 5 points wins fishing gear including a canoe.
First up for the men is Matt and he’s against Sabrina. Matt walks up to the line and his jaunty stride says, “I eat memory challenges like I eat L-SAT and Bar Exams! Let’s do this thing!” Except, he immediately loses to Sabrina. Perhaps Sabrina is a memory/puzzle challenge solving savant…
Next up is Colton vs Monica. Of course, I’m rooting for Monica, because A) see my intro and B) I can’t really stand Colton. Colton prances back first but he has the order wrong. Monica is a step behind and she has it right and she wins! Brains and beauty!
Next up is Alicia vs Jay. Firestarter Jay looks like he is totally confounded and just randomly picks items and kind of skulks back to the mat, but it doesn’t matter because Alicia is right and women go 3-0.
Next up is Kat vs Troyzan. Kat, blonde, simple, sweet, farts-on-her-teammates, Kat. To try and make Kat’s poor little head explode, the item count now goes from 6 to 8. I fear this may be too much for Kat’s poor little Pentium 1 brain. She needs an immediate RAM dump and perhaps a quick control-alt-delete reboot.
This brain trust goes back and forth like 5 million times (it’s actually 7) and Kat finally gets it right! (I fear that all of the thinking might have put her in serious risk for an aneurysm, but time will tell.) I would have seriously bet A LOT of money that Kat wouldn’t win a challenge that had anything to do with brain or mind, but, well, I guess that tells us something about Troyzan…
Women are 4-0 and now it is Bill vs. Christina. Now, call it profiling if you will, but when there is a memory/mental challenge and an Asian woman is involved, I am betting on them EVERY TIME. Look, I went to school in the Bay Area, and I've seen how smart these girls are. And….Christina wins and the women win reward! Screams and hugs ensue. Jeff says that the canoe will be back at their camp and that “you DO NOT need to share it; it is YOUR canoe.” Oh, Jeff. Drop his name, push it in and twist the knife again!
Back at camp, it is still raining. The girls are all “Yay! We won! Girl power!” Except they can’t get a fire started because all of their stuff is wet. And even though Kat is the Keeper of the Flame, they don’t have Jay, MAKER of the flame. Also, is it me, or is Kat just totally all 8-Mile every time you see her with that hood pulled up?
So the women do the only thing they can do. They totally just suck it up, and work together to make life more… Ah, who am I kidding? They go over and beg the men for fire. They send Monica over who calmly explains the situation.
“We can’t make fire because all of the coconuts are wet and we can’t use the magnesium bar. Can we have an ember?” Kat looks at the ground and says, “Umm, yeah! The calcium bar and the fiber bar don’t work either!” This sounds like the time for a negotiation. And when a negotiation is on the line, you need People’s Lawyer, Matt J Esquire. Except it is model Jay that speaks up. Or rather squeaks up in his unnaturally high voice. (Hey, my man made fire from scratch and is KEEPING the fire going so I still give him respect.)
“OK. If we give you an ember, will you let us take the canoe out sometime?” Monica says that she can’t make that decision on her own, and that she needs to consult the other women.
“But, come on guys; I’m soaking wet. And just look at me, I’m Monica Hotpepper! I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.” Jay thinks about this for like .5 seconds and then hands over an ember. So I guess you could say that Monica actually made fire.
Matt then speaks up. “Look. I’ve dealt with this MANY times before. Negotiation is war, and in war, they’ve got to give us something or all this is gonna stop. Ipso facto, e pluribus unum, I rest my case, your honor!”
Then Queen Colton, who has had the biggest change of about-face ever says, “I basically love a lot of the girls, but I do agree that we’ve got to stop giving them stuff without getting something in return. I am a Republican, I am NOT a Democrat, and I do not believe in handouts.” Excuse me? EXCUSE ME? No handouts? The idol that he BEGGED the girls to GIVE him in the first episode actually jumped out of his pocket and said, “Excuse me? Did I just hear that correctly? You? Don’t believe in handouts?” Then it might have exploded.
The women obviously couldn’t keep the fire going because Chelsea and Alicia soon go back. “We aren’t here to ask you for anything, we just want to totally use your camp and shelter and fire and get warm for a bit. But, you know, we aren’t asking you for anything so it’s cool.”
But now that Jay has a taste of power he just says, “We plan on taking [the canoe] out one day when y’all aren’t using it. Soon.”
Alicia responds with a stupid smirky smile and a dismissive, “I don’t know.”
This riles up the man blood. Testosterone bubbles and gurgles and boils. Veins pulse and muscles throb. “Didn’t we just give you fire a while ago?!” “Aren’t you standing BY OUR FIRE RIGHT NOW?!”
Alicia says, “Straight up, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t think your deals are fair. And, please, you’re totally killing my nice warm fire buzz with all this canoe talk. And can one of you make me a snack or something?” The men kick the girls back to their camp to get a ruling in the case of Men want Canoe for fire.
Then a great line. Colton says, “I don’t understand, like, what they’re thinking.” Troyzan says, “Well maybe that’s the thing; we’re men, they’re women. Maybe we think different.” Then Colton says, “No. Even *I* don’t understand.” Oh, Colton. You’re such a wise lady!
The girls go back to the camp and say, “Y’all! Those mean old boys! They said that since they gave us that ember – that AMBER – that we need to discuss it cause they’re gonna take the boat out. Seriously, y’all. I just needed to use their camp and their fire and their stuff for like FIVE SECONDS and they just bitched at me the whole time, wanting something in exchange. I mean, come on, right? They should just give us stuff! Boys are mean!”
Maybe it’s the boy in me, but I’m totally with the men on this one. It’s a game. Quid pro quo, Starling. Yes or no, Clarice? Poor little Catherine is waiting. And you will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won’t you?
Chelsea is willing to give them all the fishing gear and the frickin’ boat and everything else just to have one nice night of sleep. “We’re girls, we’re not meant to be beaten down this way!” Last week the women blamed boobs on losing and this week its just being a girl that is too tough. Congratulations, women Survivor team! In just two short weeks you have set Girl Power back a hundred years.
The next morning the sun comes up and it’s a whole new outlook for the women. They go out and spearfish and Monica immediately rocks it by spearing a fish. (Despite how easy Ozzy makes it look, spearfishing is tough. And, yes, I've tried it.) The other two girls spear fish as well and we see the women eating fish and all is well again in camp Women. After some “We need to win!” foreshadowing, we jump to the Immunity Challenge.
It’s a blindfold obstacle course where you have to lead a pair of people to a tower where they pull down a bag filled with puzzle pieces. After five bags are retrieved, the caller then assembles the puzzle. First team to complete the puzzle wins. Ready, GO!
Jeff doesn’t even finish saying, “Who’s gonna sit out for the me…” before Colton’s hand shoots up. I imagine they decided this ahead of time, but it was clear that Miss Colton was thrilled with his bye on today’s round and he's lucky he didn't dislocate his shoulder by jamming his hand into the air so quickly. I was totally expecting Matt J Esquire to be the caller for the men. He could yell orders and direct people and file summation briefs AND I’m sure he fancies himself a master puzzle solver. But, instead the men chose Bill. Bill, who up to this point we’ve only really seen talking in a bizarre faux-British, royal court high speech accent. So, yeah. Bill.
Since this is primarily a communication challenge – and since Chelsea previously said at Tribal that “communicating” was like her primary skill (which, let’s be honest, we all know that catching chickens bare-handed in the wild is really where Chelsea rocks it) – I expected them to go with her, but instead the women choose Sabrina to lead their team.
The men get off to an early lead. The women look like a bad episode of Keystone Cops, smashing into stuff and Christina and Monica are just wandering around yelling, “SABRINA! DIRECT US! LEAD US! SABRINA?!?”
The men get all of their bags back with like a 5-7 minute lead on the women and Bill starts assembling the puzzle. Now, I’m not gonna say that the women totally cheated on the puzzle part, but the women TOTALLY cheated on the puzzle part. They just watched Bill assembling his puzzle and started assembling the same pieces. I mean, Bill would put in a piece and then the women would IMMEDIATELY put in the exact same piece in the same spot. Payback for Day 1 when the men stole their stuff? Maybe. You know what they say about payback… But in the end, either the women cheated, or Sabrina is a Rain Man with puzzles or maybe Bill was just the wrong guy for the job because he can’t figure out where to place the last piece and WOMEN WIN IMMUNITY! Also, I think that Jeff’s constant, “The men had a huge lead and they are TOTALLY BLOWING IT. Come on, men, you’ve got to move!” would totally frazzle my last ever-loving nerve.
Matt is surprised and mildly disappointed that they lost, but hey, he’s spent eight days out here and it hasn’t been for his health or to work on his tan or to research off-shore drilling rights. No. He’s been kind of creating and developing some power, and now he’s excited to exercise and use it. So, yeah, you might say that battle station Matt is now fully operational and looking for a weak male system to test its power.
Despite the fact that Bill was the PRIMARY reason why they lost – he blew a huge lead and couldn’t solve the puzzle – the men inexplicably all high-five and bro-hug him and tell him what a great job he did. Really? That sounds like loser talk smothered in loser sauce to be washed down with a big glass of loser juice. By losers. Colton on the other hand is *very* excited for tribal. He hates all these people and can’t wait to start getting rid of them. In fact, if he could get rid of five people right now, it would be heaven. Bill then slips into like So Cal, 80’s valley dude speak, peppering things with phrases like “bro” and “bra” and whatnot. Honestly, I actually prefer it to his High British though.
Colton gathers his misfit minions together for a little powwow and it is clear that Colton is in charge. And, despite the fact that I don’t like him – at all – he is now playing the game and is becoming the game maker of the men’s tribe. Colton decides that Bill must go. But Greg/Tarzan wants it to be Matt. While they are hashing it out, Jay walks up and they basically say, “Hey, we’re five and we’re in charge. So join us or die! We all like ya, so that’s why you’re not on the block…tonight.” Jay decides to join. Matt doesn’t like and caucus sessions where he isn’t involved and you seriously and have a quorum unless Matt is present so he walks up and there is this awkward moment where Greg tells him that “we’re obviously talking strategy and your presence is destroying our strategy talk.” So, Matt pulls Troyzan aside and give him this Rooster speech.
Matt is still in charge, people. He’s a rooster and chickens can’t break up roosters. And if you don’t believe it, he will file an appeal so fast that your head will spin. The average Joe’s are not calling the shots. Things have changed and Matt is still in front of it. You’ll see. They hug it out to the new reality, except Troyzan isn’t buying it. “I’ll never be with him. It ain’t Survivor unless you’re lyin’!” Troyzan immediately goes back to Colton and Jay and explains the rooster group concept. Matt is dangerous and has to go. On the other hand, Bill is annoying and Colton can’t stand his voice or listen to him talk. Either way, Colton hates them both, so whoever goes will be fine with him.
We cut to Tribal and if there was anyone who didn’t know, Colton announces that he’s no James -- oh, James. Carved from a solid block of gleaming obsidian, James! -- and that he has an idol he got from the ladies and that he’s definitely not gonna be the one going home tonight. Tarzan, who’s strategy is telling everyone everything announces that there is an alliance of five and that his alliance is sticking together. Jeff questions Colton spending so much time – including eating AND sleeping – at the girl’s camp and Colton says, “Duh, Jeff! I’m a girl! I like hanging with other girls!” And then Probst hits him with a, “Oh no you din’t!”
Reminding Colton that he might love the girls but he’s on the boy’s team; he doesn’t compete with the girls, he doesn’t vote with the girls and that being such a part of their team puts a big target on his glitter and sparkle covered back. Then Tarzan makes a statement where he is trying to defend Colton by saying how Colton is already such a part of the girls team and that he’s already making valuable alliances over there. But in reality it’s really a bunch of reasons on WHY you should get rid of Colton. He is going to be setting HIMSELF up for when the merge happens, not you men. Warning sign! Matt immediately objects, saying he doesn’t like it when Tarzan uses big terms when it’s time to talk rooster, I mean turkey. Bill meanwhile is totally amped. He’s bouncing up and down. “Dude! Probst! Brah! I love this, man! Seriously, broheim! This is intense, bro! I’m so jacked up! I could go tonight, I don’t know, but It’s awesome! It’s intense. Hacky sack, incense stick and Rasta dread! Brah!”
The men vote and…Matt J Esquire is the third person voted out. Then, right after Jeff dismisses the men to return to their camp, Tarzan speaks up. “Uh, Jeff. Scuse me. Can we see those two final votes?” I can see why he would ask. How did everyone vote? Who is with us and who is agin’ us? And while I don’t’ think there is any *OFFICIAL* Survivor rule on this, Probst -- showing why he is such an awesome host and just makes this game – just makes an executive decision on the spot. “Uh, no.” Then super fan Colton swishes over, “Honey. Please. Save those kinds of game questions for me!”
Things are shaken up in the men’s camp; the women have got a taste of victory, and now we’ve got us a game!