Samoa's war between the Likeables and the Insufferables continues. It may not have the international attention the games in sunny Vancouver are getting (where, if their weather gets any nicer, they'll soon be skiing on dirt.), but at least in Samoa, the hot, athletic men are stripped down (though be warned: so are the un-athletic men), and the anorexic women are all in bikinis and buffs (as opposed, slightly, to being in the buff.), if that's what you like.
Boston Rob agrees with me; he's on the wrong tribe. It's interesting that the Insufferable Tribe is also the Slacker Tribe, a bunch of idiots who would rather sit in the freezing rain night after night than get off their duffs and build a shelter. Gee, it would be awful if they all made themselves too ill to compete well. You don't need shelter, Insufferables. Just sit there and freeze, babies, freeze.
Our Young Lovers, Jerri Mantaray and Voldetool, stood in a romantic torrential downpour, not so much because they lack the sense to come in out of the rain, though they do, as that they lack the sense to build an indoors to be able to come out of the rain into. Voldetool said of the others who didn't build a shelter, as though he wasn't one of them, "It's all going to come down to what they've got upstairs," as he tapped his temple with his finger, and we listened to the echoing clang of his empty skull. Voldetool, in order to even have an upstairs, you first need to build a downstairs, and none of you morons have bothered to do that yet.
So come the morning, they tried. The problem is, the Insufferable Tribe consists of a lot of know-it-alls who know nothing. You had girls built like Olive Oyl, only not as muscular, trying to move bamboo logs bigger than they are, oil company egotists arguing with waitresses about construction choices, and Randy and Tyson the Nude Mormon making snide observations to each other while they avoided work as much as possible. Boston Rob just tried to get on with it, and I was hoping they'd keep themselves as miserable and unsheltered as possible for as long as possible. (Oh and Boston Rob, next time you're going to do Survivor, hit a gym for a few weeks first. You took your shirt off, and I thought, "What happened?" There are now officially no sexy men on the Insufferable Tribe at all. Not one.)
Over at the Likeable Tribe, they were busy building the club house to go with their beach condo. Given a little more time, they'd build a whole suburban Samoan housing tract. I think James was making a backhoe out of wicker, and would soon be making them a hot tub and a Hefner-esque "Grotto.".
While at Tribe Insufferable, Boston Rob, weakened by four days of living in the rain without shelter, and spending days trying to make them all a simple lean-to virtually alone, as Randy and Tyson dodged work and Voldetool preened on the sand for Jerri, threw in the cocoanut and gave up shelter-building. Parvati and the other Insufferable girls bitched about how they were stuck with all the lame-o men, while the hard-workers like James, Colby, Tom, and Rupert were over on the other tribe. "How did they get every awesome guy, and we got like Randy?" asked Courtney, whom Olive Oyl was now concerned looked severely undernourished. And the answer is so simple. Those guys are good, and are on the good tribe. These girls are insufferable, and got put where they belong. And if they don't like whom they're stuck with now, imagine what their eternity in Hell with Randy, Russell, and Tyson is going to be like. (Tyson, of course, is going to Mormon Heaven, which is a restricted subdivision of Hell. Anywhere Little Dougie's Aunt Evelyn is spending Eternity is Hell.)
Rob went out and collapsed in the jungle. The Survivor camera crew calmly filmed him lying there unconscious, until finally found by Jerri (when your angel of mercy is Jerry Mantaray, you are in big trouble.), to whom he barely managed to squeak out, "Get help." The cameras rolled. I now suspect the camera crew would just have filmed him die rather than actually summon medical themselves.
The camera sat and watched Rob lie there, as Jerri hustled off to find Jeff Probst. You can't have medical without an emcee as well. Jerri told us how, if Rob died, she would be very upset, because her team would be in big trouble. She was not concerned for Rob for his sake, but because he's the only man on the tribe trying to keep them alive.
Last season, the torrential rains and freezing cold at this camp took out Black Russell, the best man on the Galu tribe. Now the same conditions seem to be flooring Boston Rob, the only man in the Insufferable Tribe worth the effort to save. (If it had been Tyson or Voldetool who had collapsed, I'd have sat down with the camera crew myself, or maybe try to send buttinski Jerri off on a false trail.)
Medical decided that Rob, who was unresponsive, and later, had no memory of what had happened, was fine. Are these people working for an HMO? "Your head has fallen off, and you have a slight case of Death. You're fine. Shake it off." Rob told us the diagnosis was the flu and "Crybabyitis." Passing out cold isn't being a crybaby. Frankly, if I had to hang out with that tribe, they'd make me sick too. Just watching them on TV was making me a bit queasy.
Rob decided that he had gotten ill from trying to be a good guy, and now he needed to be a villain. I've never been someone who subscribes to the idea that personal morality affects your health. I've known too many good people who died young, and too many evil people who lived to be very old. (The name "Reagan" springs to mind.), but generally when one does subscribe to that idea, it's usually felt that you should be a better person, not a worse one.
On arriving back in camp, Rob first hugged Sore-Loser Russell and then Voldetool. Jeeze Rob, you're just recovering from blacking out. Why take such chances? Even if you can stand the touch of their revolting flesh, either of those two vipers might still stab you in the back. On the other hand, maybe hugging Rob could give Voldy and Russell the flu also. I'd like that, though it does seem a gratuitously mean thing to do to an inoffensive flu virus.
Reward & Immunity Challenge: Two challenges in one. Along with immunity, they were playing for a tarp and rope, to make a nice, comfortable waterproof shelter. The Insufferables need this in order not to die. I hope they lose.
This challenge involved pairs of contestants rolling huge heavy cubes down a course and onto a platform, and then using them to build a stairway the tribe can then ascend to the winning platform. But it's also a puzzle, as the cubes must be assembled as they're stacked to spell out the tribe name.
Since it had to be played with even-numbered tribes, three players sat out. Rupert of the broken toe wisely sat out for the Likeables, and I thought Randy might break something himself in his haste to do what he does best, sit and watch others work.
Likeables took an early lead. A great moment of slapstick came when a wonky cube roll by Russell resulted in Parvati getting slugged in the face by a cube. These cubes were very big and very heavy. I reran Parvati's accident a couple times for the sheer joy of watching the insufferable little trollop get smacked good and hard. That's entertainment. (I have neither forgotten nor forgiven her showmance with my James the last time they were on Survivor.)
James was playing with a handicap: a shirt.
I couldn't identify which of the insufferable men yelled out to the players to try and roll the giant cube over Rupert's broken toe, but I suspect it was that waste of human flesh Randy. Whoever it was, I now really, really hope they lose that tarp. And it looks good. The Likeables have a large lead.
But a bigger, heaver jigsaw puzzle only magnified the Likeables' inexplicable inability to do puzzles. The Insufferables came from behind once again, and smoked them in the puzzle portion. They won immunity, but worse, they won the tarp, which will lessen their physical misery. I wanted to go up and slap each Likeable. Get it together, "Heroes." Your name even had fewer letters to spell out. How could you blow this puzzle and your lead? Thanks to you, once again, I will have to sit through yet another episode with Voldetool. He can't go home again this week. Thanks a bunch, "Heroes."
James was balling out Stephanie for running her mouth while JT, who had played this challenge before, was trying to direct the puzzle solving, as Rob successfully did for the other team. Steph was annoyed now at James. Steph, don't even think about scheming against my James.
Besides, like it or not, the obvious one to send home is Rupert, who, with his broken toe, is no damn use at challenges. But I retain hope that wisdom will prevail, and we can at least get rid of Cirie the viper.
But James, already annoyed with Stephanie, recalled that when Stephanie last played, she was the sole survivor of her tribe. ("What became of your tribemates, Stephanie?" asked the rescuers. "I dunno," replied Stephanie, looking skyward.) James doesn't want that history repeated. He wants her out. Well, I can live with that, though I'd rather lose Cirie.
This has been odd so far. Last season, it was the Sore-Loser Russell Show. He had only a little screen time last week, and even less this week. Isn't he up to evil? This is the guy who never stopped playing, who played the game 24 hours a day. No canteen or unguarded socks were safe. Is he really not doing anything? And Voldetool. Did he so exhaust his limited bag of tricks (which mostly consisted of telling us how awesome he thinks he is, in pseudo-mystical terms) that he has nothing new to show us? Tyson the Nude Mormon, two seasons back, was busily clowning about nearly naked. We have barely glimpsed him so far. (I'm not complaining.) It's all been the Boston Rob show. Come on Insufferables, show us the insufferablility.
Back at the Likeables camp, the recriminations began. JT took responsibility for the loss, though he wasn't the one who wouldn't listen to him as he tried to guide his "team" though the puzzle. Actually the problem was that word "team." A "team" was just what they weren't. James read a riot act to the tribe for not listening to JT.
Although immunity has been won, and the show should now be concentrating on the losers and their plotting and maneuvering, the camera went back to the Insufferable camp. Sore-Loser Russell was finally showing a bit of his personality. Everyone was thanking Rob for guiding them through the puzzle to the win. Russell can't stand someone being held in higher esteem than he holds himself, though there has been no indication that he's impressed anyone on his team at all so far. Remember, his team hasn't seen his season, so they don't know what a bragging egotist he is yet.
Sore-Loser Russell: "Boston Rob thinks that he's in charge. I'm starting to think this just ain't working out. [Yes, I can see where Rob's leading his tribe to repeated victories constitutes failure.] I didn't know his personality was that strong. But you know what? This is what: I'm in charge. I'm King Russell from Samoa." Russell hasn't taken a leadership role in anything. He's trying to fly under the radar while building up alliances with a few of the girls. He's not in charge of anything. He's completely delusional. It's like he's on an entirely different TV show, one that only plays in his head. But to give him credit: he managed to kill a chicken. He's King of the Chickens. He's Chicken ala King, which isn't easy when you're a turkey.
Back in Likeableland, James is campaigning against Stephanie with a zest that reminds one of Sarah Palin on her book tour, signing a book she'd "written" but hadn't read, as it wasn't printed out on her hands. (If she became president, her staff would have to come in each morning and write the news and her agenda on her palms. She's a reader, but only a palm reader.)
Now suddenly Tom, Colby, and Stephanie are allied. When did that happen? While we were watching Russell spear a chicken? Tom, who last week sensibly wanted to send home Cirie, decided that if Stephanie goes, then it's him next, and then Colby, although this has no observable basis. So his plan becomes to convince Cirie and Candice that they're the next targets, and get them to save Stephanie to save themselves. Huh? I have a better solution to saving whoever is next in line: win the challenges! (Too radical?) This in part sprang from their seeing Rupert talking to JT. Rupert and JT were each taking responsibility for losing the challenge, which neither of them were responsible for. But paranoia has arrived. If you see two people talking, they must be plotting against you!
So now Stephanie is trying to convince Cirie to vote out Amanda. What is the Amanda threat? What has she done? What hasn't she done? Usually I can follow the logic, but it's escaping me here.
Stephanie told Cirie that if she, Stephanie, is voted out, "I can guarantee that you're next." Can Cirie have that guarantee in writing? Can I? Because I'd love it if Cirie went next, or now. What I don't get is how Stephanie can make guarantees about what will happen after she's gone. All I can guarantee is that, within three weeks, I'll have forgotten she was ever on the show at all.
Tom was working this same doubletalk on Candice. Candice felt she was on the outs with everyone. What has been going on with this tribe while we were watching the Insufferables not build stuff? Why does this up-till-now united tribe suddenly seem like the McCain-Palin ticket the day after the election, with all these allies-the-day before bitterly plotting each other's ruination?
As far as I can tell, Tom, Colby, and Stephanie have decided that they are on one side of a conflict, and that James, Rupert, and JT are all against them, although I have seen no evidence of anything other than that James wants Stephanie out.
Cirie, it turns out, doesn't care. She has one target, Amanda, whom she feels cost her a million dollars the last time she played. She's holding a grudge. I'd say Amanda should be rewarded for that, except that then that million ended up going to Parvati, which is definitely overtipping your waitress.
Tribal Council: JT thinks their loss was his fault for not yelling "Shut up!" at his team mates. I was yelling "Shut up!" at my TV, and that didn't help. Maybe it's my fault. Maybe it's San Andreas's fault.
And then James and Stephanie got into it. Open acrimony, that always makes for a lively Tribal Council.
Stephanie: "You looked at me and you said, 'Hey y'all'."
James: "Darling, your name is not 'Y'all.' I'll be damned if anybody be named Ya'll in here."
Once James brought up Stephanie's previous season, where he basically made it sound like she'd eaten her entire tribe (All they found when rescue arrived was a pile of human bones stripped of all meat, and Stephanie, twenty pounds overweight, saying, "Uh. They all died - accidentally. When's lunch?"), Colby began defending her. Colby, she'll eat y'all too! Once she'd tasted that rooster last week, y'all were doomed. She has the taste of chicken in her mouth, and knows who around her also tastes of chicken. (Everyone.) If she were on the other tribe, where she belonged, she could have eaten Russell, King of the Chickens.
"The two of y'all, how 'bout that? Is that good enough?" said James, finally ceding the name Y'all to tribemates.
Tom then felt it necessary to pitch in: "Make it three of Y'all?" Does now everyone want to be "Y'all"?
But Tom wasn't done delineating his paranoid divisions into reality. "Alliances have been made. Divisions have been cast in the tribe." Why didn't we see the casting sessions? James on a casting couch would be far more entertaining than watching this team reveal how much not-a-team they are. Then Tom dropped the real bombshell to James: "Maybe in your world, James. I don't know. I don't live in your world."
He doesn't? Then how can they be talking to each other? What world does Tom live in? Is this one of those alternate-timeline situations, like the one currently confusing all viewers of Lost? Is James on The Island with "The Y'alls," while Tom landed safely at LA X, and is working for Hurley? Did Jacob touch James? Can I touch James?
Then Stephanie revealed an even more alarming puzzle: "I played against [Tom], and merged with him [!], and he cut my throat in the end." She's dead? Is Stephanie now The Smoke Monster? First she dined on human flesh, devouring her tribemates, then Tom killed her, and now here she is, seemingly alive and spreading dissension on The Island, while Tom and James are in mutually-exclusive alternate-timelines. Is Tribal Council being held in The Temple? Should Stephanie lay a circle of Jacob's ashes around herself? All I want to know now is, will Walt come back, and if so, how will they CGI puberty out of him?
This is the weirdest Winter Olympics I've ever seen. Whose stupid idea was it to hold winter games in Samoa anyway?
Time to vote. The Tom-Colby-Stephanie alliance might be strong in Tom's World, but the vote was held on The Island, and Stephanie was voted out.
But the fun wasn't over yet. When Stephanie's torch got snuffed, instead of a classy "Bye guys. Good luck," or some other polite salutation, Stephanie decided to try for the last word. She turned before exiting, and said: "Some advice. [Why would they take advice from someone voted out in the second episode? You take advice from winners, not losers.] Next time Y'all lose a challenge, a little less cursing off your tribe might help." Help what? You got voted out, not James. The other three votes were for Amanda.
James, who studied repartee under Sir Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde, wittily replied: "Keep your mouth shut."
"Come on," said Tom, who apparently heard James over in his separate world, I assume through a dimensional wormhole. ("Tommy can you hear me?")
In the preview of next week, James's temper appears to rage further out-of-control after a challenge that looks like a butch version of a pillow fight. What is it about James angry and covered in mud and little else that turns me on so? Why am I asking you?
Cheers darlings. Y'all come back now, hear?