For the first two installments of "Survivor: One World" (Wed., 8 p.m. EST on CBS), which encompassed the first six days of the competition, the women absolutely could not get it together. The men dominated them in every challenge, in building a shelter and even in creating and maintaining their fire. Living on the same beach with the guys seemed the only way the girls were even eating or staying remotely warm.
Would they have found a way to be more self-reliant were the men not so close? In the opening scenes of this episode, they were back among the boys begging for warmth and embers to restart their fire. It was definitely not a great image to be sending out about the fairer gender.
Luckily, they stepped up their game this week and really proved that they could compete head to head with the big boys. Especially when it came to challenges of the mind. Both of this week's challenges relied on smarts -- one had them memorizing random series of objects in a row while the other hinged on a 3-D tree puzzle -- and in both challenges, the women showed a humiliating dominance.
On the reward challenge, which earned them a boat they still didn't want to share after all the men have done for them at camp, the men never got a single row recreated correctly. Five women went up and five women came back with the win, taking the men down 5-0. Only Kat, who last week jumped off a platform in the middle of a challenge for no reason other than general confusion, took many tries to get it right. And even then, her opponent couldn't beat her.
At the Immunity Challenge, the men took control with their caller steering blindfolded pairs of contestants to gather puzzle pieces in a maze. The women were a good 5-7 minutes behind when they finally got back and got started on their puzzle. Sabrina may have been a terrible caller to the blindfolded women, but she was great at that puzzle, which she had to work on alone. That, or Bill was simply terrible. She finished first and sent Manono to their first Tribal Council.
There, the alliance of big, strong men learned that it may not be so smart to be compeltely transparent about an alliance of four on a tribe of five. It was nothing for the five other men to unite and eliminate one of the "roosters." Once again, a lack of mental game on full display. Matt was so certain he was running the show that he essentially insulted Troyzan at the same time he tried to lure him into being the swing vote for the meathead alliance.
It didn't work, and Matt was the first to go. Now there are three "roosters" to five "chickens," so that math should be pretty easy to figure out. If the men keep losing, though, they may decide they need to keep some of that muscle around, though they might be better served doing mental exercises to sharpen their faculties.
Find out who goes next on "Survivor: One World," Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
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