We started right out this week with Twice-Shoeless Dan telling Crazy Holly he wanted to quit. You know, there are thousands of people out there who want to be on Survivor, and only 36 to 40 who actually get to do it each year. So to take the opportunity and then decide to quit is not only lame beyond belief, but a slap in the face to all the people who tried for that place on the show, and lost out to the quitters.
No one goes on the show not having watched it, and not knowing how horrifically grueling an ordeal it always is, so what possible excuse can you have to take the position, and then say: "Oh, this is hard. I wanna go home. Bye."? Are we now a nation of Sarah "I'm leaving my office as Governor because I got other stuff to do" Palins?
(None of that applies to NaOnka. NaOnka is welcome to quit. Na, please quit.)
And Crazy Holly, the nutball who stole his shoes and threw them into a lagoon (I hope they fit The Creature), was trying to get him to stay. Why? Each player is someone standing between you and a million dollars. I would be so: "You wanna quit. Don't just say it. Do it," to any would-be quitter. One less person to blindside.
Yve and Crazy Holly had a talk as each held a big bundle of firewood, looking like they were ready to do the Robin Hood-battles-Little John-on-the-log fight. Yve wanted to know why she was left out of the tribe's decision to blindside Tyrone, Crazy Holly said it was because Yve and Tyrone were in an alliance. This alliance, like the wisdom of shoe-theft, existed only in what passes for Holly's mind. Turns out this if-I-think-someone-is-in-an-alliance-then-they-are way of "thinking" Holly uses isn't effective. Unlike the protagonist of The Lathe of Heaven, what Holly dreams up inside her head does not automatically, magically, become real. Turns out Crazy Holly did not know all about Yve.
Over in The Floor Tribe, Jill, the conservative Christian ER doctor (Would she vote to cut her own funding?) said to Marty of the younger members of their new tribe: "I think they are starting to appreciate us." I hope her medical diagnoses are more accurate than that.
"This patient has bronchitis."
"Ah doctor, this patient has been beheaded."
"Yes, but she had a cold when they decapitated her."
Because Brenda, the Hispanic-Asian beauty queen, is gunning for both Jill and Marty, though she has embraced Jane, who has what some call "a youthful spirit," and others would call "pleasantly weird." (And still others would call being a "crazy old coot.")
Marty likened joining this youthful tribe to being dropped into Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. You know what the rest of The Floor Tribe would call Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure? An old movie.
Immunity and Reward Challenge: Not another one-challenge episode. Having only one challenge kills the pace, and these people are just too damn dull to sustain 45 minutes of conspiring and blather.
Marty, on learning that Tyrone was voted out: "Awesome - for us." Marty, Tyrone got voted out by the kids on his tribe for being bossy, you know, like you. Take heed, Marty. You have one ally, and five tribe mates who want to vote you out. The only thing awesome about your current situation is that you're on the tribe that keeps winning Immunity.
Oops. Twist time. It's a double-elimination night. There will be blood, and believe me, Survivor Nicaragua is no country for old men. They're playing for individual immunity. One member of each tribe will win immunity, and both tribes will go to Tribal Council. This means they aren't playing with their tribemates, but against them. Suddenly Marty's tribes winning ways now work against him, not for him. He better either win, or wake up to the fact that his tribe wants him out.
This challenge involved digging up rings of rope, three for each player, to win immunity. This has an extra twist to make it harder. They have to use their digging "paddle" (In other words, shovel) to fling each ring over their shoulder into a basket they wear behind them, on their - well - behind, where they can't see it to aim at, before bringing it back. I can guarantee that if I were playing this, I'd be flipping rings over my shoulders all day long. My speciality has always been flinging "baskets" into my "ring," so this seems very backward to me.
Once individual immunity has been won, the winners then compete against each other in a pretty standard ring toss game, to win their tribe a feast. Couldn't they have added some portion of the challenge with blindfolds? I like watching them crash into each other. Well, at least there's no puzzle-solving.
But there's another layer to the reward: the tribe that wins the feast gets to eat it while watching the other tribe's Tribal Council. This is good for them for three reasons:
1. They get to see how the other tribe is shaping up with regards to internal power struggles and conflicts.
2. They get some real entertainment, which is in short supply back in camp. (And on this terrifically dull episode.)
3. They get to eat their feast in front of starving people who get not a bite. This was a Sadistic pleasure usually reserved for pre-revolutionary French aristocrats and Victorian upper class English twits in Dickens novels.
The winners do have to have their Council first, so whoever is voted out also loses out on the feast. But then, he or she can eat as much as they like of whatever they want as soon as they get back to the hotel, which is what? 10 yards away?
The positioning of the baskets, right on the Gluteus Maximus (Gluteus Maximus was my favorite character on that Spartacus TV series, though he was always the butt of jokes.), meant that people accustomed to sticking their butts out and wriggling them around have an advantage.
It helped in the hilarity that the baskets bore an unmissable resemblance to a toilet seat.
Crazy Holly won Immunity for The Ceiling Tribe. Jill won it for The Floor. The women were clearly better at shaking their money-makers, and the older women were more experienced at it. Jill's win meant that Marty was now the dead center of The Floor's elimination target.
Frankly, watching Crazy Holly and right-wing Jill play ring toss was every bit as much nail-biting excitement as any time spent watching old people play ring toss would be. Next challenge: Canasta! Anyway, Jill won the feast for The Floor.
The good part is, NaOnka can be voted out tonight. But will she be, especially with Twice-Shoeless Dan ever more obviously useless, and himself making "I wanna quit" noises? Really, Twice-Shoeless Dan; it has been clear all along that you went on the show so your elderly cronies back in Brooklyn would all say "You de man!" But I'm afraid you're going home to a chorus of "You de pussy." And he needed that million dollars, to buy three or maybe even four more pairs of obscenely expensive shoes.
Back at camp, Jill thanked Brenda for picking her to be on this tribe. Yes, thank you, Brenda, for putting me on a tribe where I'd have one ally and five enemies. Now for Christmas, could you give me a hideous tropical disease? I've always wanted one. I have my heart set on Beri-Beri. After all, it sounds like a type of brightly-colored kids' breakfast cereal: "Eat Yogi Beri-Beries. Guaranteed: no nasty old Thiamine."
Brenda feels stuck. Jill has Immunity, and Marty has the Not-Hidden Immunity Idol. Brenda, it's easy. Convince Marty he's totally safe. It will be easy to do, as he's massively overconfident, and then blindside him. If he thinks everyone is voting out whoever he recommends, he won't play the idol.
Mastermind Sash (believe me, that "mastermind" was ironic) didn't come up with that plan though. Rather, his inner-NaOnka came up with splitting the vote into a tie between Kelly One-Leg and Marty, to "flush out the idol." My plan above, pretty much foolproof, will also "flush out the idol," since Marty won't have it anymore if he's out.
Brenda is all for voting out Kelly, since Kelly's "never been part of our alliance." Yup, when forming the Alliance of Minorities, being disabled was not considered a qualifying minority. "Plus she has a fake leg." And just how real is your "beauty," Miss Beauty Queen? No surgical enhancements or corrections at all? Is the real reason that at challenges, Kelly kicks your butt? (Which is very hard to do with a prosthetic leg. Do you stand on the real leg, and kick with the metal one, and hope it doesn't dislodge, or stand on the artificial one while kicking with the organic one, and hope you don't fall over?) Poor Kelly. She needed to be on a tribe with Long John Silver and Captain Hook.
(I know Brenda says she wants Kelly out so she can't win the whole shebang with a jury sympathy vote. Given that everyone there wants Kelly out for the same reason, depraved NaOnka would like to club her with her "fake leg," and no one, I repeat, no one stood up to NaOnka to tell her to stop assaulting the disabled woman, I'd say Kelly's sympathy card among these people is non-existent. Brenda is a too-pretty girl. You know she's spent her life being in the cliques of snotty, spoiled, "popular" girls, an elitist grouping that never includes the physically-challenged, only the morally-challenged. Ever notice that the "popular" kids are really only popular with their own? Don't the majority of young people hate the "popular" kids?)
Brenda told Kelly that they were splitting the vote between Marty and Jane, and Kelly, pardon the expression, fell for it. She admits that she's on the outs with her own tribe, and she knows they like Jane, yet she bought this lie. If she doesn't catch on soon, she could end up legging it out of there tonight.
But for Brenda, Fabio is a wild card. "He's clueless," she said. Worse, while far from the brightest person there, he has shown something of a moral center, and a teensy bit of good sense at Tribal Councils. His not being a douchebag, like - well - Brenda, makes him a threat to her.
Marty chatted with Fabio, and by "chatted," I mean bragged. He told Fabio he's a grand master at Chess.
1. Why tell anyone this, especially if it's true? (Which, of course, it's not.) It's like begging to be voted out.
2. Why tell this to Fabio, who may not know what "Chess" even is? He's likely to ask back: "Is that anything like Chutes & Ladders or Candyland?"
3. For that matter, Fabio might not understand what a "Grand Master" is, and just think it's a guy who sits on a golden throne wearing leather straps studded with diamonds, and an ermine-lined silk cape, while telling people stuff like: "Crawl on your belly, slave, and lick my $1600 alligator boots!"
"Have you ever heard of Guillermo Vilas before?" Marty asked Fabio, as though there was a chance in Hell he had. Why not ask him if he's ever heard of Ronald Firbank, or the Empress Livia, or any Vice President of the United States? ("Once there were two brothers: one was elected Vice President, the other ran away to sea; neither was ever heard of again." - Thomas Riley Marshall, two-term Vice President of the United States.)
To Fabio's credit, and my amazement, he had at least heard of Bobby Fisher, the vile swine who was rabidly anti-Semitic (though he was half-Jewish), rabidly anti-America (though he was an American. I wonder why he wasn't anti-chess), and who called the 9-11 attacks "wonderful news." Oh yes, and he played chess quite well. Hey, Hitler liked doggies, though he lost his life-size game of Risk.
Anyway, Marty claimed that Vilas was a Chess Grand Master, and that as a kid, Marty had beat him twice. Yes, and then at the age of 10, Marty explained Quantum Physics to Stephen Hawking, while teaching Freddie Mercury how to sing. Vilas, as Marty then told us (Hey, I had no more clue to who he was than Fabio did), was actually a tennis champion. I bet Marty never beat him at tennis either. But at Competitive Weird Hair, Marty would certainly prevail over everyone this side of Larry Fine or Carrot Top.
Anyway, since it was absurd on the face of it, Fabio totally bought into it. He doesn't like to brag, but Fabio is a Grand Master at both Tic Tac Toe and Slap Jack. But instead of seeing that as a reason to help vote Marty out, Fabio decided to hand Marty his brain (It's detachable, and small enough to fit in a coin purse.), and let Marty think for him. Our puppet master now has a puppet. Only one, but I suppose that's better than none.
Marty assured Fabio that he "bring[s] to the table" himself, Jill, and Jane. Oops. Doesn't he know that Jane hates him, and is already allied with the other kids? I guess not. What I bring to the table are my delusions, my ego, fairly nice pecs for my age, my secret contempt for you, and my wacky hair.
Fabio: "Sign me up!"
(This sequence was - ah - distinguished [?] by a shot aimed right up Marty's and Fabio's pants legs. Is that a Hidden Immunity Idol in your pants, or are you just glad to see me?)
"You can never be too cocky," said Marty. Judging from that glance up his shorts (which I only reran four times to get the quotes right), Marty is not "too cocky," although his overconfidence is well endowed. "But if I can pull this off," Marty continued, "It'll be a whole new ball game." Frankly, "pulling it off" strikes me as the same old ball game, although that shot up his leg made it look like he needs to visit the equipment locker. Some men need a cup. For others, a thimble will do.
Crazy Holly on The Floor Tibe felt that the elimination choices were Twice-Shoeless Dan and Yve. Why kick Yve out of Eden again, when NaOnka is right there, viler than any snake?
Twice-Shoeless Dan is ready to throw himself on his sword though. "It's very odd being here and living here. Food situation's bad, weather situation's bad, everything's bad. And I don't need the money. I got a Range Rover, I got a Ferrari. [Not to mention $1600 shoes] I mean, why in the world am I doing this?"
Yes Dan, why in the world are you doing this? Why did you take a spot that someone younger, fitter, actually in need of money, and not a quitter could have had? Did you think that when you saw previous seasons where tribes were starving, being battered by punishing weather, and competing in challenges that, at the very least, required the ability to walk, they were just pretending it was grueling? Had you bragged about your absurdly overpriced footwear and expensive cars to every single person in New York (the state, not the city), and had to go to Nicaragua to find new people to flaunt your wealth at? You're a jerk, Dan.
But I'd still rather see NaOnka tossed out, and preferably over a cliff.
Benry wants to lose Yve and keep Dan (again, the name NaOnka never even comes up.), because Yve is smart and wants to play, while Dan is useless and devoid of threat. His reasoning is the opposite of Crazy Holly's, who wants to lose the quitter, and keep the person who wants to be there. Of course, Benry spent all those years getting young, drunken sluts to flash their boobs for his camera when he was working on that monument to the 21st Century's highest levels of culture, Girls Gone Wild, so his decision may be based on his lack of interest in seeing a 41 year old woman whose chest is flatter than his flash her boobies.
Gorgeous Chase, whose ribs are now far more prominent than they were back in episode 1, and whose formerly-meaty pecs are noticeably less fleshy, said that NaOnka is the only person he fully trusts. Maybe he's losing weight in his brain also. That viperette is about as trustworthy as a rabid dog.
Of Twice-Shoeless Dan, after a nasty laugh, NaOnka said: "Sooner or later he's gonna be walking on nubs." She's obsessed with people with incomplete, or potentially incomplete, legs, and hates them, though mocking their infirmities does make her laugh. If Karma is a real thing (and the mere fact that Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon lived into old age, while John Belushi died in his early thirties pretty much proves that Karma is bull), NaOnka will someday wake up screaming "Where is the rest of me?" as she discovers her legs have gone the way of her human decency.
Yve is not a Chess Grand Master. To plea not to be voted out, she told Alina and the Bride of Satan (NaOnka. Fits her, doesn't it?) that she was a strong player, committed to playing hard, unlike wanting-to-bail Dan, and had good relations with Marty, Jane, and Jill, so she'd be able to help Alina and Satan's Bride defeat them.
Dumb move. Alina's reaction, out of Yve's hearing, was that these were all good reasons to dump her. Twice-Shoeless Dan is no physical threat, and her relations to the older members of the other tribe makes her more likely to team back up with them, come the merge. (Though why Alina thinks Marty, Jane, or Jill would still be around come the merge, I don't see. Shaft The Antiques is the motto at both camps, and the fetuses hold a majority on both tribes. Don't look for Survivor 21 to be won by an Antique. They'll be lucky to have two of them even make the jury.)
Yve has been such a stealth player that she's had almost no screen time at all. We've gone a couple weeks since she's spoken even three words on screen. It would be ironic if the only episode where she gets any screen time is her ouster episode. Well, time to go to Tribal Council.
What? There's 35 minutes left to go? We aren't even halfway through the episode? Yikes! They better have something awfully dynamic waiting somewhere in that second half, as this is duller than a marathon of The Event.
"Do not follow your heart; follow your gut," said Satan's Bride. That figures. If she followed her heart, she'd be lost in a second, because she has no heart to follow. She sounds like Stephen Colbert, only he's joking.
Brenda tried to get Jane to vote for Marty. This is not exactly a challenge. It's more like trying to get Christine O'Donnell to say something jaw-droppingly ignorant, or like trying to get a rock to fall to earth by holding it in the air, and just letting go of it. Jane would vote for Marty even if he were on the other tribe. She'd vote to get rid of Marty, even if he'd been voted out last week. She hates him. Marty the Chess master thinks she's in his pocket. Marty, that's just lint.
Sash told Fabio the plan to split the vote, and lose Marty. What Sash doesn't know, and Fabio had sense enough not to blurt out to him, was that Fabio bought into Marty's recruitment pitch. Said Fabio: "I want to Marty to stick around. He's a smart guy. He's let me in on some of his secrets, you know." Ah Fabio, those "secrets," they're what we call "lies."
What Sash should then have done was tell Fabio to vote for Yve, but Sash didn't snap to that. Sash is smart, but not quite smart enough to outwit the halfwit.
We saw Sash and Marty have a chat after a weird shot of NaOnka crawling across a wall, perpendicular to the ground. How does she... What, Dougie? Are you sure? Well if you say so. Little Dougie says that wasn't NaOnka. It was a scorpion. While it is a natural mistake, now I've gone and offended scorpions. Sorry, nasty, stinging arachnids. My bad.
Sash convinced Marty that Jane was the target, and Marty had no problem with voting for his supposed ally. Yes, you're a grand master, Marty. The sequence ended with a shot of a snake slithering along the ground. I knew it wasn't NaOnka this time because it had no legs, and is thus NaOnka's sworn enemy.
Marty noticed that, for a tribe allegedly locked into voting out Jane, there sure was lot of conferring still going on. However, he didn't make that last deductive leap that he was being lied to, and was therefore a target. "My gut is telling me they will vote for Jane." Marty, you have a lot less gut than you had when you arrived, which is why your pants are sagging below your tan line. It's not as smart as it might have been.
Besides, do Chess masters ever say "My gut tells me to move my bishop to King's four"? No. Chess masters become masters not by listening to their guts, nor to their hearts. They listen to their brains, but that is a tactic with which no one in The Ceiling wants to experiment.
Tribal Council 1: The Floor: "This tribe is all about winning," said Marty, oblivious to the fact that this tribe is all about getting him out.
Marty explained his strategy for telling everyone he had the idol, which sounded even dopier spoken aloud, and Jeff and Brenda both went right to the genuine I'm bragging essence under the I'm showing you how honest and trustworthy I am crap Marty was blathering.
Now Marty arrived at Tribal Council brimming with overconfidence, with no intention of playing the idol, but he does have it in his pocket. Moves like Brenda pointing out his bull could set off his inner alarm, and get him to play it, then yes, it's "flushed out," but Marty will remain there, and who's to say he wouldn't find it again, as they seem to put them right back into play once they've been used. Brenda would be smarter to pretend to go along with Marty's nonsense.
Kelly One-leg (Kelly Two-Legs is in this tribe, honest, but she has not been shown speaking even a single word so far this week.) said: "I think, like he said, you have to go with your gut instinct." Does no one here like listening to their brain?
Jeff: "How comfortable are you tonight, in terms of trusting these other people?"
Kelly One-Leg: "I feel pretty comfortable tonight." She's about to get an object lesson in why she should ignore her gut, and try engaging her brain instead, though it will be a lesson learned too late.
Jane had sense enough not to feel safe, even though she is. Brenda stated that Jane was in danger from Marty and Jill. "I don't understand that," said Marty, who was planning to vote for Jane, as he'd been told to.
"Chess master" Marty is not too fast on his mental feet. Brenda, apparently determined to get Marty to play his idol (despite the fact that it would be better for Brenda if he didn't), implied that Marty had told her that afternoon that he was voting for Jane. Marty's reply was "That's not what we're talking about." Smooth move, Marty. Trying to evade the topic rather than flat-out denying it pretty much announced that what Brenda was saying was true.
Marty now cottoned to the fact that Brenda was out to get him. "Vote Brenda" he mouthed silently to Jane, a waste of no-breath, as Jane arrived intending to vote for Marty, and his last idiot evasions had only solidified her resolve, not that she would have voted with him in any event. Marty's never noticed that Jane hates him.
As Marty cast his vote for Brenda, he said: "You're the black widow, king cobra, and black mamba all rolled into one. You may not be going home tonight, but the lines have been drawn." That's a lot of animals to roll together, but if you don't play that idol in your pocket, you might be watching those battle lines play out from home.
But Marty was still sailing along in an oblivious cloud of overconfidence. Although plenty of hostility had been directed his way all Council long, the fool of a Chess master did not play his idol.
The vote was Brenda two votes, Kelly One-Leg three votes, and Marty three votes. Kelly should thank the fool for being too stupid to play his idol.
I can never keep track of how ties are resolved. Do they compete to make fires? Do past votes get figured in? This time it's a re-vote, but with Kelly and Marty not voting. If Marty can play the idol on a re-vote, Kelly is stumped.
Although it was not made clear whether Marty could now play the idol or not, he didn't, and no matter, because it was Kelley One-Leg who was booted out. What a shame Satan's Bride was not there. She'd have been cackling with glee and dancing with joy.
But while the plan had worked up to a point, part of that plan was to "flush out" the idol. They said it again and again, and Marty is still there, and still has the idol, and is now beginning applying his brain to revenge, with Brenda as his target. The numbers don't appear to favor him, but twists and surprises may await. I certainly hope so, because these fairly dull episodes we've been having are hell to write-up.
And Kelly left with no idea why she was voted out. The concept that no one wanted to face a jury with such a sure-fire sympathy-vote lure sitting beside them has apparently never crossed her gut. Next time, try engaging the brain, dear.
But for now, it was on to the feast for The Floor, while for us, it was time for:
Tribal Council 2: The Ceiling: They didn't even have a camera on Satan's Bride when Jeff announced to them the ouster of Kelly One-Leg. Come on. I wanted to see her face light up with obscene delight.
But then, maybe there was no momentary epiphany for Satan's Bride, as her attention was focused solely on the succulent food being served a few feet away. It looked at first like Jeff was going to have to hit her with a stick to get her attention, which I would like to see even more.
Satan's Bride turned away from it though, claiming she couldn't bear to look at it, as though she couldn't smell it.
Jeff: "Dan, you can hear the ice cubes plunking in the glasses."
Twice-Shoeless Dan: "If it's not a martini, it doesn't bother me." He puts ice cubes in his martinis? Barbarian!
Jeff: "What does bother you?"
Twice-Shoeless Dan: "Nothin'. If things bothered me, I wouldn't be here." Liar! The first thing we heard in this episode was Twice-Shoeless Dan whining and complaining about how he couldn't take the weather and the starvation and sleeping outside anymore, and he wanted to quit. And he seemed a bit annoyed when his $1600 shoes were stolen and destroyed also.
Yve, prompted by Jeff, quickly pointed out what a load of bull that was, enumerating Dan's endless whinings and whimperings. Dan looked at her askew, as though her simple recitation of fact was puzzling beyond comprehension.
Jeff: "Benry, is it a fair statement to say that Dan is a liability at challenges?"
Benry: "Yeah. I mean, it's fair to say. There are definitely some of us on this tribe that are a little more physical, and doing well at these challenges." Yes, but only everyone. However, all of the tribe, including Dan, are "physical." There is not one single ethereal, ectoplasmic ghost on the whole tribe.
Jeff: "Dan, is it fair to say, when it comes to challenges, You're a bit of a liability?"
Twice-Shoeless Dan: "I would say certain challenges." Yes, but only the ones that involve moving, or doing something beyond inhaling. When it comes to those sit-stone-still-and-bitch-about-the-weather challenges, Dan is a Grand Master. Dan could wipe up the floor with even Guillermo Vilas at a pretend-you're-a-corpse challenge.
Jeff: "Yve, what's wrong with that logic? I'll give you what I have. Sometimes I can't give you what you need." Why bother to answer him, Yve? His question contained the answer. What you want on your tribe is someone who can give you what you need.
Jeff: "Dan, tell me why they should get rid of Yve?"
Twice-Shoeless Dan: "Well, I guess you can hear it in Yve's voice. She's pretty arrogant." Hello? That's the lightless pit of hell calling the noonday sky black. I've got a pretty strong arrogance detector, and Yve doesn't register on it. Dan's very presence where he had no business being in the first place, as he hobbles about in shoes that cost more than any sane human would ever pay for shoes, bragging about his Ferrari and his "connections," is arrogance personified, however "nice" he seems at camp. The mere act of acquiring $1600 shoes (except by theft) is arrogant. How about this: buy $200 shoes, and donate $1400 to AIDS research.
Yve nailed Dan on this pretty accurately: "Arrogant? What about me is arrogant? I don't talk about my Ferraris, and my six cars, and my three homes."
Twice-Shoeless Dan: "I do." Dan talks about Yve's Ferraris, six cars, and three homes? Oh, he means he brags about his? That's pretty flipping arrogant.
The Floor had to leave before the vote. Ever so classily, they belched in satiation as they exited.
Twice-Shoeless Dan mispelled Yve's name as he voted for her. How arrogant. (Benry misspelled it also.)
But they weren't voting based on arrogance, but rather, on level of threat, and Yve was booted.
The previews of next week had Fabio relieving himself in a pool I assume is being used for a challenge, since Jeff was there. Is this a habit of his? Because he's a surfer, and now no one's going to want to surf near him. That tribe needs to flush out more than just an immunity idol. Cheers darlings.