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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Survivor: One World - Just Annihilate Them

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM

This episode also known as: “Survivor One World - Brought to you by 7-UP”

Previously on Survivor…(Beauty in a Merge)

Following The Queen’s (Colton) unceremonious departure, Probst informs the tribes that they are merged back into one, and it is now a game of individual immunity. The group gets the traditional bread, cheese, grapes and champagne nighttime “we’ve merged!” platter. The status of Hotel Leif Carlton is unsure, but Alicia is still sure of her not liking Christina. The new tribe is named Tikiano (Year of the God). We get the first glimpse of Chef Jonas in action as he burns up some coconut and sea water in a pan. A little coffee rift between Jay and Tarzan reveals that it’s not back to just men and women. Reward challenge has teams randomly divided, and the standout performers are Jay, Kat and Michael. Standouts for lame are Sabrina, Leif and Tarzan. Orange team wins the challenge and gets pizza and beer lunch and a secret note revealing another hidden immunity idol is in play. Back at camp, Jonas and Tarzan have a little meltdown. Jonas feels like Tarzan is off doing stuff on his own and not keeping Jonas in the loop. Tarzan feels like…umm, something. He does a lot of yelling and swearing and basically says he’s over it and done with Jonas. Troyzan gets up early and plunders trees on the island till he finds the idol. Immunity challenge is a balance exercise involving balls, giving Probst an opportunity to work in several sweet ball comments. “Everybody now balancing two balls on their disc…”“Michael with balls hanging on both sides of his disc…” “Chelsea’s balls drop!” “Troyzan’s balls haven’t moved in a long time!” We get down to Kat and Troyzan and Kat looks immobile, unmovable, focused and un…yeah, she loses. Troyzan wins immunity! It looks like Kim is in charge with the voting around camp and they decide that Jonas has to go. Then it’s time for laundry and Tarzan gets swept up in Poop-gate.  “This is not poop, OK. It’s dirt. I swear to God, this is not poop. It’s dirt.” (Note: If you even *think* you have to explain that it’s NOT poop, assume it IS poop and go clean your drawers!) “It’s NOT poop! OK! It’s dirt. I swear! And, hypothetically, let’s just say it WAS poop. Which is isn’t. But, if it WAS poop, or diarrhea or hemorrhoidal remnants or other anal leakage – all of which it most definitely is NOT -- the water would kill the bacteria. I know all about microbes and poop organisms.” We get to tribal and Jonas announces he’s going to vote for Michael. This rubs Tarzan all manner of the wrong way and they start going back and forth. Jonas then announces that the plan was to vote Kat, but they don’t have the votes. Tarzan says, “Whatevs” and tells the group he’s voting for Jonas. So does almost everyone else, and Jonas is the first member of the jury. Jonas then walks up to Tarzan and says, “Sorry, man. No hard feelings, brother.” Tarzan, ever the social, quick to forgive, strategical player who is thinking about getting Jonas’ jury vote later on says, “Hard feelings to you.” Eleven remain….

(Also, before we start, if you didn't read about the awesome gift that Survivor Monica Culpepper sent me, click this link. It is reality TV meets reality Sciacca! Thanks again, Monica! You rock!)

Day 21

Jay and Troyzan take a walk and powwow agreeing that Jonas kinda got screwed by the (un)luckiness of the merge; he ended up on the other tribe, he fell out of the alliance, and that was it. Had it been Michael on the other side, they would have been tight with Jonas and it would have been Michael that was out. But, well, that’s the way the eggs break. Comme ci, comme ca. But now the next vote is obvious: it has to be a girl. 100%. Fair is fair. We voted a guy, now they vote a girl. Jay is scared about the girls being together;” they could hook-up and do damage, and honestly, I don’t want to be overpowered by these girls.” (Bum, bum, BUM!!!)

It’s time for Tree Mail and Troyzan and Jay it’s a bottle of 7-UP. Jay and Troyzan hit all of  their sponsor lines perfect, “It’s 7-up, baby!” “Someone’s having a party!” “You know how good that would taste right now?” “The uncola, Seven up!” After they have sufficiently pleased this week’s sponsor, they return to camp with the bottle and message.

They manage to cram in multiple product plugs and catchphrases in an incredibly short amount of time. You could almost picture the producers going around saying, “OK, it would be just super awesome if you would say, ‘I probably couldn’t breathe if I could have a 7-up’ and then YOU could say, ‘This is gonna be delicious’ and then maybe someone else would chime in with ‘We’re definitely drinkin’ some of this!’ Think we can do that? Yes? Good. And….action!”

“Come on in, guys! Now *that’s* a slide!”

“That looks like it’s gonna be a big wedgie!” Oh, Alicia! With your booty shorts, everything this season has been a big wedgie…

Climb up this giant vertical slide, slide down, come up off the bottom and run out to the ocean, get a crate, carry it back; more team members you have at the bottom, easier it is to carry back the crates. When you get all seven (get it? Seven crates? 7-UP? Seven-Up Crate Challenge? Bueller...) crates and assemble a puzzle your team wins reward: a 7-UP themed oasis, where you’ll enjoy an afternoon barbecue of steaks, burgers, key lime pie, and all the 7-Up you can drink! And then 7-Up to bring back to camp. Where you can wash each other’s hair in seven up and give each other 7-up enemas and colonics and then shake up the bottles and have lengthy 7-up spray fight montage sequences.

Then Troyzan asks, “Do we get a taste?” And Probst is like, “Yeah. I think you do. One bottle. To share. Who wants it first?” Kat says, “Me, me, me!” Leif gets the foamy spittle remains. Whatever, 7-up really gets there money worth.

It’s a schoolyard pick two determine the two teams, but unfortunately we don’t get to see it or the order. This is actually a great way of seeing your standing in the world; who gets picked because they’re friends? Who gets picked because they are viewed as strong? Who gets picked last or not at all? Ends up being Green Team of Jay, Troyzan, Kat, Alicia and Chelsea. That makes the Yellow Team Michael, Kim, Sabrina, Christina and Leif. It’s no real surprise that Tarzan is NOT picked and sits on the sidelines for this challenge.

First up is Jay on Michael and Jay pwns Michael, racing out to the crate, grabbing it up like he models for “Crate Holding Monthly” muscle-ing the thing back and building a bit of a lead. Kim comes down the slide like a rocket and bolts off the edge straight into a running spring like an Airborne Ranger coming out of HALO jump coming up and ready for action. She’s continues to be super impressive every week in every challenge.

Finally it’s Christina’s turn. These slides, they have a powerful way of dislocating clothes; tops can get blown off, shorts can go flying. Could this be the Internet’s dream come true? Could this be the Survivor pay-off to what everyone Googling “Survivor Christina Naked” or “Christina Cha Nude” has been waiting for?!

No. (Sorry. That was a shameless analytics plug.)

Alicia and Leif, on the other hand, come down like a ton of bricks. Alicia flies of the ends and goes bouncing down the beach. Leif shoots of the end, hits and somehow bounces into a front flying Superman position.

Imagine the grace, beauty, style and elegance that a brick would have being hurled against a wall, where it then smashes to pieces and falls to the floor in a jangled heap of other discarded bricks and you have just pictured a choreographed movement by the Imperial Russian Ballet in comparison to how those two crumpled off the end of the slide.

As each new player comes down the slide, they can all work together to carry the crate back. So, crates get easier to carry as more people reach the bottom. Everyone seems to grasp this teamwork concept except for Christina who oddly chooses not to help her tribe at all in carrying the crates back, but rather just runs back through the ocean empty handed and jumps on top of the puzzle pieces and waits for her team to arrive with the final crate. This doesn’t go unnoticed, but fortunately Colton is somewhere in Alabama being chummy with all of his many, MANY black friends – his housekeeper, the maid, the doorman, the driver, the pool attendant, his manservant, the lawn crew, Cook -- and Alicia is on the other team so we’re spared any real anti-Christina vitriol.

Green built a little lead going into the puzzle solving portion of the challenge as they get all their crates back first and start flipping and twisting and trying to go about solving. Troyzan takes over the puzzle building for his team and starts marching them towards completion. On the other side Christina is well rested and using her Asian Jedi Puzzle master skills.

Green looks close; Yellow looks close. Kat starts trying to look at the other team and Troyzan is all, “Just worry about what we’re doing, you!” and then…YELLOW TRIBE WINS REWARD! Wow. That ended in a hurry. Leif then goes off on a “Barbecue-barbecue-barbecue!” jumping up and down celebration thing that kinda made me think of…

The winning team heads off tothe 7-UP oasis and there is a nice little pool, a ton of steaks and hamburgers and bread, chips, pretzels, potato salads, hot dogs, and 7-up bottles a-frickin’-plenty. We have a slight lull in the 7-up plugs so Christina says, “Guys! Spray a little 7-up on the steaks!” (Really. She said it. Which, I don’t know, after 21 days of eating coconut, maybe sounds pretty good. Who am I to judge?)

Sabrina approaches Kim, the obvious Kasparov of this Survivor, and says, “How far ahead are you thinking?”

Kim answers, “Far.”

Christina keeps on blissfully eating with Mike and Leif while Kim and Sabrina have a power powwow. “We’ve got to keep the girls numbers strong. We’ve got to get the men out of here. We get rid of Mike and we’ve got the men 6 to 4 and then we just…take…them…out!” Christina…get over there girl! Your fate is being decided while you guzzle down the crisp and clean, no caffeine, uncola taste of 7-up with lime-on!  (Damn you, Survivor! I’ve been product placed!)

Back at camp around a fireplace, Troyzan tells them that it’s actually GOOD they didn’t win because meat would be the hardest thing possible to digest right now. Know what might be harder to digest than meat? Maybe gnawing on a big o’le chunk of wood.

Kat and Troyzan and Chelsea and Jay are talking votes and Kat actually steps up a bit with some strategery. Between them they somewhat kinda come up with the consensus that Christina is next though Kat is all about getting rid of threats and Mike is the bigger threat. “We take out Mike and we take out a threat and we need to do that ASAP!” Jay realizes that voting off the men is a bad thing---for him.

Then the winners return and bring back a crate of…ice cold 7-UP! (I'm starting to feel thirsty. Something crisp. And clean. And...)

Sometime during the two-minute commercial break, a massive tropical storm came up in Samoa and decided to blow into camp. The wind is whipping, the palms are fronding and it looks like a massive rainstorm is coming to bear. We watch Tarzan cutting up a piece of bamboo for the fire and he then informs the group that he hasn’t “taken any intrinsic parts of this wall off.” Now, what we learned from last week is that when you have to TELL people that something – poop in your underwear – ISN’T really something – like poop in your underwear – but is really something ELSE – like dirt or chocolate or anything that ISN’T poop in your underwear – then people are gonna assume it is EXACTLY what you’re saying it isn’t. So, of course everyone thinks that the part of the wall that Tarzan chopped down was indeed a main structural beam of the shelter.

Chelsea is the most vocal in the “You idiot! There is wood all over this beach! Why did you cut down a wall of OUR SHELTER?! The SHELTER that is going to keep us safe, dry and alive during Tropical Storm Tarzania!” If there’s one thing that Tarzan can’t stand, it’s being accused wrongly of something that he didn’t’ do. Like having dirty o’le poop pants. Sure, if he did something, then ragging on him is fair game, bring it. But when he DIDN’T do something, then that just can’t stand. “If I believe I’ve been unfairly maligned, then I can’t just take it, I have to say something. And I think I know why she’s been unhappy with me.”

So he takes Chelsea aside and has a gentle, compassionate, heart-to-heart with Chelsea in the way that only Tarzan can.

“I’m not sure if you’re angry at me because I’m a plastic surgeon and maybe you had a bad experience with your surgeon. Some people just hate their surgeon and I’m talking about a deep-seated anger because of your boob job.” Oh, Tarzan! You're such a charmer with the ladies!

A hard rain is a fallin’ around camp! Fortunately for Tarrzan, his craziness and non-physical-ness are his saving grace. Regardless of his antics and how horrible a persona he is around camp, he is viewed totally a non-threat and someone that can be kept around to be discarded later. Like that half-a-Twinkie that you keep in the back of the fridge.

Kim then takes Troyzan aside for the Tree Mail walk and tells him that Mike has been floating his name around. That Mike sees Troyzan as the big threat and wants him out. That Kim! She is a player! Of course, this infuriates Troyzan and he’s now on the Mike should have been gone from Day 1 bandwagon.

“Come on in guys! You ready to get to today’s immunity challenge?” Race across a ladder bridge while maneuvering a bag of puzzle pieces along a twisting, winding rope. Fall off, you have to go back and start over. First four through this part advance to round two: a puzzle assembly round. First person to complete their puzzle wins immunity.

This is the first real individual challenge that challenges on multiple facets (unlike the balance challenge from last week) where you can’t hide behind anyone. Slow, fast, smart, dumb, strong, weak…you’ve got the spotlight solely on you! Power through it too hard and you can be viewed as a threat. Suck and, well, you just suck.

Jay continues to shine in anything physical, showing he’s a solid all-around competitor and he leads the entire way and completes the first section first. Kim – also a total athletic rock star – comes in second. Michael looked like he was just steps behind Jay but he got hung up calculating a long-term amortization table and he just stayed in the same spot. Troyzan grabs the third spot. Chelsea looks like it’s gonna be her but she falls off at the very end and has to go back! Alicia and her boobs somehow stumble off at the end and make it in fourth.

We get to the puzzle round which looks like a crazy Tetris, Jenga, space and time 3-dimensional mind trap from hell. There are just a TON of pieces. Jeff tells us, “There are SIXTY PIECES to this puzzle! Sixty blocks of wood you have to find the right home for!”

It looks like Alicia springs out to an early big lead. (You can almost hear her thinking, “See! I told you stupid women I was a master puzzler!") Probst keeps saying how hard this is. Lots of angles to work with. A lot of pieces. “You will know if the piece is right because it will line-up flat. If it’s not flat, it’s not right!” Kim is making headway, Alicia is booking along. Jeff announces, “Jay is dead last at this point. He is working very methodically.”

Jay admits, “I hate puzzles.”

Then Probst drops some a bit of foreshadowing curse on the group. “You could be right to the VERY LAST PIECE, and then find out that something’s wrong. So…KEEP…WORKING ON THIS! No matter how close the person next to you seems to be!”

“Yeah, whatever, Probst. Shut your puzzle hole!” Alicia thinks as she gets to the VERY LAST PIECE twice…and it won’t fit. Kim gets down to her last piece and it won’t fit. It looks like a race at the end as people are trying and changing their last pieces and… JAY WINS IMMUNITY! Wow! I’m not gonna say I didn’t think Jay was smart enough to solve this puzzle, but, well, I didn’t think he was gonna win a puzzle challenge where he was playing against someone that wasn’t named Kat. Who was simultaneously fighting against a vengeful appendix.

“You were dead last for most of that puzzle challenge, came from behind and won!”

 “Slow and steady wins the race, baby!” Damn straight, Jay! Slow and steady also makes the fire at camp from scratch on day 1. He’s a player, folks, and could sweep a lot of challenges from here to the end. Get used to seeing this image because I don’t think it will be the last time.

Jay says it’s time for Christina to go home as it keeps the men/women numbers even and keeps the old Salani (well, the old NEW Salani) strong. Meanwhile, Kim is off Jedi-mind tricking Troyzan that Mike has to go. She is straddling two alliances and doing it brilliantly. She is using Troyzan to send Mike home, keeping her hands totally clean in the process. That's how you play Survivor, kids.

Sitting back in the shelter, Chelsea then floats a, “Jay, what do you think of getting rid of Mike tonight?” balloon. Stupidly she floats it right in front of Christina and Alicia, members of the supposed other tribe and not in the alliance. Jay is like, “Umm, no. To be honest. I’m afraid of you girls. So if we vote Mike tonight then you guys might send me home next time.”

Chelsea then replies with the ultimate Tony Robbins, “Be all you can be!” confidence builder statement. “That’s not necessarily true…”

Jay is not necessarily convinced by Chelsea’s unconvincing answer. So Chelsea goes and tells Kim and Sabrina about her little convo. Kim realizes that damage control is needed and so she continues running a brilliant plan, cruises over and steps in between Jay and Mike and says, “Hey. Let’s vote off Christina. We need to keep our Salani strong.” Kim is definitely masterminding things, and they head off to tribal with half the folks thinking it’s going to be Mike and the other half thinking Christina.

We get to Tribal and see Jonas, who rolls out all fresh faced and smiles.

Jeff starts things off by getting to the heart of it: “Let’s have a truthful response: who here tonight is genuinely worried that it is them going home TONIGHT.” Nobody raises their hand. None. No one. Nada. Everyone feels totally safe and solid.  

Jeff breaks it down. “This means that there are a lot of alliances and all of them feel really solid and really loyal.” Jeff reminds them that SOMEONE IS going home tonight and he goes around the group. “Would it completely blow you away if you were blindsided tonight?”

Everyone says, “Yes. Completely blown away.”

Probst, recognizes who the brain trust is, asks, “Kim where is the confidence coming from that nobody here tonight thinks it’s them?”

Kim again gives Probst a brilliant politician’s half-truth, all-truth no-truth, no-new-taxes answer. “There are people here that think they’re part of an alliance that they’re not actually a part of. That’s where the confusion is setting in. You know, we all did have our first alliances, but then we had time to develop new relationships. So I think you always have to know when to keep your options open and when to stick with the plan.”

More chatty-chat, how does everyone feel. Blah-blah and then Tarzan raises his hand and informs Jeff that they are all just playing him, Probst. “The allegiances that were formed prior to coming here one would THINK would be relatively firm and not so wishy-washy and if we reveal too much and it will ruin the whole thing and therefore the game is once again afoot and we need to remain ambiguous. And you’re being played. I’m sure you sense that.”

Then we get our awesome Kat-ism of the week: rantic. “It’s just because his rantics are so, you know, Tarzan’d. You know, if it’s a rantic that’s what we call it. It’s like a BOOM! What just happened? Should I be upset? Should I be mad? Should I be laughing? Is that my appendix? You just got Tarzan’d!”

Then Probst asks, “Did I just get Tarzan’d?” Oh, yeah, baby! That weird tingling feeling and uncertain smell that may or may NOT be poop in the pants? That's right! That’s what being Tarzan’d feels like!

“Tarzan even though you think I’m being played, I’m pretty sure that it’s one of YOU that is being played! With that, it’s time to vote!”

First vote…Christina. Two votes Christina. Tarzan. Tarzan. Mike. Mike. Two votes Mike, two votes Christina, two votes Tarzan. Mike. Mike. Four votes Mike. And the eighth person voted out and the second member of the jury is Mike.

“You came in here tonight completely confident that it wasn’t you, yet three of you received votes. If that doesn’t shake the confidence of this group, nothing will.”

Probst also dropped us this little tease on Twitter last night...

Categories: April 2012, TV, Reviews

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