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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Survivor: One World - Bum-puzzled

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Survivors ready? Let’s recap last week…

A massive storm of freezing rain comes in and the women’s hatches are anything but battened down. (Apparently “fire is life” and “you have GOT to keep your fire going!” are things the ladies have yet to learn or take to heart.) They tough it out the first night, but are all about some men’s camp the next day. Matt J Esquire finds the women in the camp – HIS camp – and says this shall not stand! Women win their first reward challenge – a memory challenge where I’m not sure what is more shocking; that the women swept the men 5-0 or that Kat actually won her challenge. The reward includes a boat and some fishing gear. The rain continues and the women continue migrating to the men’s camp/fire. The men figure they’ll barter some fire and comfort for some boat use but ladies want to just be friends and take this relationship slowly and keep the boat to themselves. Queen Colton – who declares that he’s a Republican and doesn’t believe in handouts – unless, of course, those handouts are in the shape of Immunity Idols being freely handed to him – declares that they should give the women nothing. The weather clears, the women go spearfishing and catch some fish, Monica Culpepper shows that she’s awesome an the women with buoyed spirits stage a massive comeback and win the immunity challenge. (Pretty much massively cheating off Bill’s puzzle at the end, but, hey, that’s Survivor!) Colton becomes the leader of the Misfits tribe and decides that Bill – who has now adopted a serious So Cal Valley Boy “S’up, Bra?” patois – is Ghetto Trash and must be gotten rid of. Troy argues for Matt, the head of the Muscle Alliance, who he feels is more dangerous.  Matt has a total alpha male “We’re roosters!” talk with Troy trying to stay ahead of the game and flip this thing on its head and remote synergy. Jeff hits Colton with the awesome, “It actually is a REVERSE duh, double-dare on you!” The votes are in and Matt J Quinlan, attorney at law is disbarred….I mean, is the first man voted off. 15 remain.

And on to the new ep…

The men return to camp from Tribal and banker Michael declares that the men don’t know what they’re doing and that they’re weak and essentially boils it down to being run by the old guy – Tarzan – the little guy – Leif-prochaun – and the gay guy – Queen Colton who doesn’t want to work. Tarzan and Troy powwow over what needs to be done – Michael can stay for a while, Bill needs to go, he’s dangerous and he talks funny sometimes with his charming and beguiling character – and make a plan to solidify their plan tomorrow. If you don’t plan to plan you plan to fail. Something. Tarzan and Troy are on it. Then it shows people getting ready for bed and Leif crawl into….a box?

The next morning we see Monica Culpepper mashing the crap out of some snails. And by “some snails” I mean like a giant frying pan at a French restaurant filled with snails. She’s frying them up with a little garlic and white wine and some shallots and says that between coconut, snails and rice the women are doing awesome and can easily survivor for 31 more days. Life has never been better. Well, at least she can. Because she’s Monica Awesomepepper and it’s mind over matter.

Sushi chef Jonas cruises over to the women’s camp and sees them macerating the snails and thinks, “Sumi masen! No! This is no way to prepare sushi-grade snail meat! There’s no mochigome! There’s no shoyu! There’s no matsutake!” He declares that he is from Hawaii and that he is a master net fisherman; in fact, he was born in a net at sea and has been fishing with nets ever since! He knows where to lay it, when to lay it, how long to lay it, when to buy it dinner, how many days to wait to call it after a date. Jonas OWNS nets.

And that he can help them fish using their net. He has a pretty decent offer, actually. The men could use the women’s net, catch literally thousands of tons of fish and then the men would split the bounty 50-50. “We’ll do all the work, you get half the food.” Never once is the boat mentioned. Which is good, because clearly any agreements vis-à-vis men and boat were fully dissolved the second that Matt J Esquire was voted out. Null and void, ipso-facto.

The women, who were so quick to borrow stuff – like, say fire, the ember of LIFE! -- from the men just days before, think that it would be a real tactical error to help the men with food. Chelsea – freezing “I’ll give anything for some fire!” Chelsea – says we can’t be feeding our enemies. Kim says, “Jonas says he doesn’t really care if we do this or not, so I KNOW he TOTALLY wants to do it!”

Reward challenge. Jeff is back and explains the rules of the slingshot challenge. It’s kind of a Connect Five challenge; using a slingshot you’ve got to shoot coconuts and knock out 5 squares in a row, vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Plus it’s a choose your own adventure reward.

The winning team can take comfort in the form of some blankets and pillows or protection from the elements in the form of a tarp. (Colton is quick to shay-no-no that, “Mmmm, we already have that!") And if you don’t need either of those, you can get luxury in the form of donuts and coffee and sugar and creamer. The donuts get all kinds of excitement with ooh-ing ah-ing, showing that after just 9 days, a little fat and sugar and caffeine can overwhelm reasoning and common sense. The camera cuts to Leif who just kind of bounces back and forth muttering, “Donuts, donuts, donuts, donuts, donuts…” It’s both endearing and creepy, as if donuts are four-leaf clovers and pots of gold, and Leif is ready to grab them up.

Shoot, score. Shoot, score. The teams are going back and forth pretty closely and Farty Cat knocks out a square and then says, “Like that?! Smell that?!” Based on her previous emissions of bodily functions, this could either be a taunt or a warning to her teammates.

The women slowly build a lead and then Monica Awesomepepper takes aim…pulls way back…fires and….the Women win reward! Tarzan, ever the good sport, proclaims that it is “Luck. Pure luck.” The women defy previous decision making and actually make the smart choice, picking the tarp.

The women, so fractured a couple of days ago, are now a “Let’s bring it in, girls….get your hands in here! Give me a big Salani on three…one-two-three…SA-LAN-I!” well-oiled machine.  

The men have a mindset that the women winning was a fluke. “We didn’t have enough time to learn the game.” Oh, man. Really? Guys, that is your excuse? Seriously, that might actually be lamer than the girls saying they lost because of boobs. Jonas says that the women can win all of the donuts they want – in fact all of the donuts IN THE WORLD -- (donuts meaning “tarp” to keep them dry from the elements, apparently) because the guys are up in numbers and it’s winning immunity that matters. This is true, people. Rewards are nice for a little comfort, but it’s immunity that keeps your tribe together.

Leif, in his longest speaking role in the history of time, goes and sits next to Bill. Bill says how he’d like to find an idol and how that would make him feel so much better. Leif then proceeds to drop some information bombs on Bill by telling him about the misfits and how Colton wanted to vote Bill out but that Leif wasn’t really for that. Bill, who seemed like he was jacked up on like 2 cases of Mountain Dew at last week’s Tribal – “This is SO intense!” -- is totally flummoxed. Leif says, “Don’t tell Colton I told you, OK? Just keep everything between us, you know?”

Banker Michael, meanwhile, is in the grass hut discussing FDIC insurance and long-term compounded interest rates with Colton while he subtly fans Colton with a palm frond and rubs coconut lotion deep into his nether thigh regions trying to do *anything* to ingratiate himself with the Boy Queen-King notices Bill and Leif talking and says, “Hmmm, isn’t that interesting. Leif is in a really chummy-chummy, chatty-chatty conversation with Bill. I bet he’s telling him the secrets to toxic loan negotiation and advising that 110%, 45-year mortgages are a good deal. Plus I bet he’s blowing all of the details of your Misfit alliance. You should totally do something.”

Colton, ever the tactful, politically correct one then says, “That little munchkin is about to get knocked back to Oz!” He then summons Leif to his chambers. “Leif, I’m going to give you one chance. Did you tell Bill that he was on the chopping block next? Don’t lie to me! Don’t…you…do IT!”

“What? No. Wait? Bill? Chopping block? I didn’t straight-up. I mean…”

“Don’t you lie to me! Don’t you do it! This is your last chance. Tell me!”

“No. I’d never. Maybe. I mean, OK, yes. I did. Sorry. Wait. What?” Leif is totally caught, totally confounded, clearly not remembering his Oompa Loompa Vermicious Knid interrogation training. Colton says, “You blew it. No one here trusts you. You’re digging your own grave. I told you to pick a side and you crossed me. And there is no coming back from THAT! When you find a giant, bloody horsehead in your bed, I don’t want you to be surprised. Oh, no. In fact, I want you to expect it. I want you to wrap your arms around the head and nestle up with that trailing neck gristle and…. remember… this…. moment! Now, tra-la-la away from here. I’m through with you. Be gone! Shoo.”

Tree mail comes in the form of a puzzle which the ladies find and assemble. After Monica reads it and explains that she thinks it means that it will be a puzzle challenge that will be solved in pairs – she so smart! -- Kat says, “Umm, hey y’all, I want to be partners with someone that’s good at puzzles! ’Cause, I’m not so good at solving puzzles. Or math. Or books. Or computer. Or brain. Or things that are like other mind things and stuff.”

“I’m good at puzzles,” Alicia says.

“You’re good at puzzles? Really? You? You’re not that good.”

“What? I just threw that bitch together! You’re stupid you big stupid head!”

“Well, I’m not talking about ages 4-6 jigsaws or tic-tac-toes or connect the dots. I mean *real* puzzles. Serious puzzles. Like a soduko. Or a crossword. Or maybe a word jumble. Those things are un-frickin-possible!”

Sabrina steps in to break up the Kat vs Alicia mental-off. “Kat was just saying I’m not the brightest stay in the universe when it comes to puzzles. Or, you know, anything. But we don’t need that drama right now!”

Immunity challenge and it is a run over teeter-totter, solve-a-puzzle team relay race thingy that is done in pairs. Two people are tied together and have to run/work together to race and solve three different puzzle and then race back and unlock three locks. Colton and Tarzan go first and Colton can barely contain his contempt for Tarzan. If eye rolls and subtle headshakes and sighs were lasers, then Tarzan would look like he’d been run through a wood-chipper. Twice.

Meanwhile the girl team of Alicia “I am a Mensa-level puzzle solver!” and Chelsea “Hey, don’t blame me! I catch chickens!” can NOT solve their first puzzle. Which, as Jeff is quick to point out, is the EASIEST one. Even when their team shouts, “JUST CHEAT! LOOK AT THE MEN’S PUZZLE! IT’S RIGHT THERE! JUST LOOK!”

With Tarzan shouting, “Cheaters! Cheating! Cheat-tastic! CHEEEEEEEEEEEAT-IIIINNNNG!” Even so, this one’s not even close and the men smoke the women.

Except that’s not good enough for Jeff. He has to take a moment to recognize the terrible performance of the women. “That was a blow-out! That barely even qualified a challenge. I’ve had bowel movements that put up a better fight than that. Really. You ladies all suck. If I were Colton, I’d be embarrassed to even call myself a woman right now.” He then turns the focus of his full Jeff-power laser vision onto Alicia. “You couldn’t put together the easiest puzzle. Even after cheating off the men. Seriously!” Alicia has a real moment of self-examination and…starts laughing. Christina thinks Alicia’s attitude was repulsive but sees it as an opening for her because now the other girls will see what a weak and lame link Alicia is.

Back at the camp, the women are in a somber mood. There’s no cheering and rousing hand-holding-sessions with shouts of “Salani!” This loss is like salt in Sabrina’s wound. And that is sting-ey! “Alicia is just dead weight with a mouth.” Sabrina starts campaigning for an Alicia vote, but Alicia is part of the “young and pretty” alliance though she is notably neither young. Nor pretty. And the girls showed themselves unwilling to turn on Kat earlier, instead booting off the much more experienced, albeit hit-in-face-by-bag-of-bees, Nena.  

Bill is feeling like the immunity win saved his butt because he’s on the outs with his tribe. So he does what any normal person would do when there is an altercation; he approaches Queen Colton on his divan and tries to clear the air. “Person to person, human to human, man to man. Or man to woman. Or man to whatever you are. I just want to talk to you.” Colton is disinterested. “I don’t want to hear that crap. I don’t want to talk to you right now. Shoo, fly, shoo.”

“No. Let’s talk this out. Like two men. Or, you know. Two humans. Why don’t you like me? Let’s work this out.”

“Oh, my God, whatever, you’re going home next so it doesn’t matter.” Colton just puts his arm over his eyes in a dismissive sigh. “No. We’re not talking. I don’t like you. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to be around you and that’s it. Buh-bye.”

Bill is having none of it. “Listen you stuck-up little brat!” He gets right in Colton’s face with some quality finger-to-chest jabbing. Shockingly, this doesn’t win Colton over to Bill’s cause. Instead, Colton thinks that Bill being a stand-up comedian that is NOT funny is disgusting and now he wants Bill’s head on a platter, John the Baptist style.

In fact, so great is Colton’s hatred of Bill that he can’t even wait for the next Tribal Council. Instead he proposes the unthinkable.

“Hey. Bill is a crazy person. I hate him. Let’s tell the ladies that we have way more issues than they do and tell them that we want to give up our immunity and that WE want to go to Tribal Council tonight.”




Hang on. Let me just take a drink of my Manhattan and get this straight. OK. You won immunity, but now you want to GIVE UP that immunity and VOLUNTARILY ELECT to GO to Tribal Council?!?! To vote one of your own players off? Yeah. That makes sense.

Wait! No. It doesn’t! At all! That is jack-tard total idiot thinking! It is syphilitic, years and generations of inbreeding Royal Family madness! You do not VOLUNTEER to GO TO TRIBAL COUNCIL. EVER! But you ESPECIALLY don’t do this ON THE  9th DAY OF SURVIVOR! Oy to the Vey! Colton has elevated himself to a position of other great leaders in history…

The men gather in a circle of shame and a ring of trust and honesty and Tarzan goes on this giant tirade of honor and betrayal and wronged alliance and just lays into Leif. “You stabbed us in the back. You wronged your alliance. You’ll never be trusted again. You are dead to us. We need to get this out in the open and root you out like a cancer. A deep, deep cancer. A colon cancer. This is a breach of faith. And that can’t stand. We have a betrayal. Leif I’m sorry, but what you did is egregious. I’m sorry but that was bad! I want to swat you with a newspaper, you bad pup!”

Jay admits to being completely “bum-puzzled right now. I don’t know what to do.” Colton says that he can always get people to do what he wants – you know, like any great cult leader – and if you can’t see that he’s running the whole show right now, you must be Helen Keller. They call for a vote on whether the men want to keep their immunity like normal, sane human beings or to give up their immunity and voluntarily elect to go to Tribal Council and HOLY CRAP THE MEN DECIDE TO GIVE UP THEIR TRIBAL IMMUNITY AND GO TO TRIBAL COUNCIL!

Jeff sees the men walking up, pretty-much shocked because, you know, the men WON and the women are supposed to be going to Tribal Council. “24 seasons. Some 400 Tribal Councils. Never had a tribe arrive at Tribal Council after winning immunity. W…T…F?!? What happened today? You’re at Tribal Council, the one place you don’t want to be in this game! Someone…Anyone! Help a Probst out here!”

Leif sits in Tribal like he is expecting to just gracefully march up to the executioner’s block to volunteer his head for the chopping. Leif is a guy that plays with his heart and he knows he crossed his alliance and understands that he’s now pretty much going home. He’s a good little soldier and he hopes that falling on his sword will show that he has integrity. Or something. It’s all retarded. This is a GAME! For A MILLION DOLLARS!

Bill admits that this “could be the single dumbest move” in Survivor history. Conversation turns to Colton who immediately continues attacking Bill for seemingly no reason. He just doesn’t like Bill. “If I don’t like you, I won’t talk to you. I don’t like Bill. He’s obnoxious. He’s loud. Plus…he’s a struggling standup comic. [That with some MASSIVE sarcastic air quotes.] Like get a real job.”

Bill actually comes across as incredibly honest and sympathetic and likable. He grew up poor. He’s struggled. He doesn’t make much money and he sleeps on people’s couches going from gig to gig. He’s just a regular, real guy. Colton, on the other hand, admits that he grew up in Alabama and lives in a town of 3000 people and went to a private, all-white school but that he has had African-American people in his life…like his housekeeper growing up.

Colton says it’s not about race; he doesn’t hate Bill cause he’s black; no! Not at all! He hates Bill because he’s poor and pitiful. “I don’t associate with people like that in the real world, and I’m sure as hell not going to associate with people like that out here.” Colton is even more abhorrent and Bill totally calls him out.

“You’ve never worked an honest day in your life or had to actually go out and get a job! You’re going to tell me that pursuing my dream, something I love is wrong? Don’t judge me or look down on me.” If this is Bill’s final hour, he is going out like man with his honor intact.

Tarzan once AGAIN comes to defend Colton. I think that Tarzan might be a little sweet on Colton. Or maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Or maybe at night Colton is giving Tarzan a sweet taste of home if you catch my meaning. Something. Because I can’t think of any other reason why he is always so quick to always jump to Colton’s defense. Also Tarzan brings up that he’s sick of race. “I don’t care what color they are. This country is moving in that direction. We have a black president! That’s what I think.” Ummm. Oh…..kay…..

For as much as they blustered about “Leif betrayed the tribe; Leif must go! Cut him out! Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!'” they don’t talk to or about Leif at all. It is entirely the Colton and Bill show.

Colton takes the opportunity while voting to cast some more aspersions at Bill. “I don’t like you. I’m never gonna like you. So please take your broke-ass home!”

And the 4th person and 2nd man voted out is….Bill!

Oy vey! Colton, I found you mildly amusing and just irritating before. Now I think you’re a disgusting, tyrant/bully of a person. If you wanted to be a villain, congratulations, girlfriend. You made it.

Categories: March 2012, TV, Reviews

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