The creator and executive producer of Survivor is Mark Burnett. He is also to blame for Donald Trump's hideous, unwatchable reality series The Apprentice, which recently scraped below the bottom of the barrel, by having Illinois's felonious ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, the only man on earth with worse hair than Trump, compete on the show, and use it as a platform for continuing his efforts to fake his innocence.
Well apparently putting Blagojevich on TV wasn't sinking low enough for Burnett, as this week we learned that he has been trying to sell a reality series built around one of the worst human beings in America, a woman who almost makes Karl Rove seem like a decent human being, and George W. Bush almost seem like a genius: the vile, disgusting, and massively ignorant Sarah Palin. It seems Burnett will work with any scum if there's a buck to be made. Fortunately, so far four networks have turned this revolting show down, but he remains determined to pimp this walking horror onto TV.
So henceforth in my Survivor columns, Mark Burnett shall be renamed "Palin's Pimp." Mark, you should be deeply ashamed of yourself, but I suspect that shame is outside your range.
Now on to the show. We opened this week with Voldetool (Ex-Coach Wade for any new readers), going into a ridiculous emotional tailspin because Sandra had dared to point out that he was a lazy, mouth-running, idiot, though she put it more gently than that. As a man who lives in a fantasy world, Voldetool was utterly unable to handle someone speaking the truth about him. Telling the truth: what a cheap, low tactic, and something Voldetool has never stooped to.
Out poured a gorgeous mass of self-aggrandizing delusions, in a world-class self-pity party, partly confessed to us, partly told to Tyson. Tyson was a good choice for Voldetool's blather. Clearly a man capable of accepting Joseph Smith's insane lies about golden tablets only he saw, and an Angel named for morons, should have no trouble swallowing Voldetool's nonsense.
"I'm human," Voldetool lied, "I'm sensitive. I'm far more sensitive than most people [Well, he's far more sensitive than most dead people.], I just hide it behind a lot of things that I've done and accomplished [all of them imaginary], and behind a lot of machismo." I think what Voldetool is referring to should more honestly be spelt "macheesemo.
To Tyson the Nude Mormon, he continued, "Never been someone like me out here [Does he mean there's never been a full-of-himself windbag out there before? Because actually, Richard Hatch was on the first season, not to mention his current tribemate Russell.] and there's never going to be going to be anybody like me again. [Promise? Because I'm going to hold Palin's Pimp to that.] I did noble things out here [What "noble things"? Name one!] and I look ignoble." He also sounds and smells ignoble. Tyson was watching this incredible speech in slack-jawed amazement. When you're saying things that are too idiotic for a Mormon to swallow, you have passed Shirley MacLaine on the off-the-deep-end lunacy scale.
Voldetool continued, of course: "I don't need it. I'm The Man, and I don't need anybody to tell me to validate that." Then why is he melting down just because one woman invalidated that? "I'm the only person out here that will not ****ing compromise." Oh really? Because earlier that same day he said, referring to Randy, and I quote: "While I still have a breath or a brain cell in my brain, I will fight for him," and then, a couple hours later at Tribal Council, he voted to oust Randy. That was compromising, and doing so out of ignoble cowardice. Well, maybe that was just compromising, and not ****ing compromising. To me, however, it sounds like hypocrisy and lying.
"I understand where you're coming from, Dude," said Tyson in a let-me-mollify-this-insane-person-so-he-doesn't-kill-me tone of voice.
But it then got more delicious. "The Man" who requires no one's validation began weeping like a fat 13 year old girl who didn't get asked to the sock hop, as he continued babbling. "Why doesn't anybody ever say anything good about me?" Oh please, can I answer that one? Because there's nothing good to be said! And because you never stop saying how awesome you are, so there's no need for anyone else to praise you. You have that covered all by yourself!
Now openly bawling, and with more tears rolling down her, I mean his, face than Mo'Nique will blubber out when she wins her Oscar on Sunday, Voldetool and Tyson embraced (and my dinner suddenly reappeared), and Voldetool sobbed out more self-pity: "Am I that bad of a person, Man?" Yes. "But Dude, this might all be for nothing because of that one sentence that Sandra said tonight, and it's not even true, man." He Who Needs No Validation might be completely destroyed because of one sentence (Actually, it was more like three sentences), which, incidentally, were true? "I'm working harder than anybody." Now there's a sentence that is not true.
Tyson had to say something to this wussy little girl in Voldetool's visage, so he said, "If you want to stick it out, I'll help you through it." What the heck kind of ribald proposition was that? Voldetool, please do not "stick it out." I definitely do not want to see yours. And besides, Tyson, you're trying to win, aren't you? Therefore, helping Voldetool hang around merely weakens your chances.
Tyson then offered to coach Ex-Coach, saying he might have to tell him things he didn't want to hear. Since Voldetool couldn't imagine he needed to hear anything he wouldn't like, he asked, incredulously, "Like what?"
So Tyson gave him the good, sound, game-clinching advice: "Don't wear feathers in your hair at Tribal." This from the guy who used to dance around camp wearing a tiny loincloth and face paint. I had to play the next two minutes over again, because I couldn't hear it over my own roars of laughter.
And it was worth playing back, because the next tidbit was even better advice: "Don't tell your stories. People don't believe your stories. They mock you. There's no reason to tell 'em." Hey Tyson, mocking Voldetool is my gig. Lay off.
Tyson continued giving remarkably sound advice for a Mormon, "Do your Tai Chi in private, where nobody can see you." But the whole point of his doing the Tai Chi at all is so people can see how awesome he thinks he looks doing it.
It all boiled down to: don't be pretentious, don't be so full-of-yourself, and shut the heck up. Could Voldetool take this good advice?
"I can't do it, man. My heart's not in it. I might just leave tonight." The exit is right over there. May I help you with your bags? Right this way off the show and out of my life. Still crying, he said, "I don't care what anyone says [given that he's having a snit that would shame a 12 year old over one small criticism from one woman at Tribal Council, he obviously does care what people say. Liar!], I'm done." Please be telling the truth for once in your life. And if you're not, then please read this column wherever you are today, and cry more. After this childish display, I'm changing her name, I mean his name, screw it, her name, from Voldetool to Voldepussy.
"That's not much of a coach, if you ask me," Boston Rob said sensibly. But then, insensibly, he also began trying to pep-talk Voldepussy into staying in the game. Let her go!
Rob added this sound advice, "Act like a man." I don't think Voldepussy is that good an actor. "Man" is outside her range.
Unfortunately, Tyson didn't tell Voldepussy not to heap her bull on us: "I'm different from most people [well, that's true, but not in the way she means it.]; one of a kind. Last of the Mohicans ["No he's not!!!!" hollered the spirits of every Mohican that ever lived.] King Arthur. A legend. No one out here has got what I have. Confucius says: the greatest glory a man can have is not in never falling [Confucius employed double negatives?], but in rising again every time he falls. And I fell hard last night. You gotta be weak to be strong. There's power in weakness. Today's challenge, you'll see an even fiercer warrior from me." So her promise to go home was yet another lie. What a tease.
Anyway, I think I have her philosophy now: Weakness is Strength. Lying is Honesty. Stupidity is Intelligence. Being pathetic is being awesome. Up is Down. Wrong is Right. Being a pussy is being a man. Got it.
Finally we got away from Voldepussy and over to the Likeables Tribe, Where James was shirtless, and also, they received the Samoan Sears & Roebuck Catalogue (Palin's Pimp never met a product he couldn't place), and got to choose from it two items to play for in the Reward Challenge. Since there was no porn in the catalogue, not even a lingerie section, they had to settle for fishing gear and a cooking set.
Reward Challenge: This involved sliding down a Samoan Slip 'n' Slide to retrieve balls (the story of my life), and then throwing them into tiny baskets. First team to four points wins. Oddly, they did not then have to assemble a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of Alaska, with Palin's Pimp's New Best Friend, Sarah's, face on it.
We now learned that the Insufferables had chosen for their reward, a tool kit, although their team is already full of tools, and a tarp, twine, and yet another tool. You'd think they'd have opted for a lifetime supply of tissue paper, for crybaby Voldepussy's weeping jags.
Since they didn't have garden hoses, the teams had to oil themselves head to foot for this challenge. The sight of near-naked James covered in oil gave me a sudden hot flash so intense, it stared a bush fire. If these challenges are going to be this hot, I may need to trim my hedge. And poor Little Dougie just plain passed out cold right on the keyboard.
First match-up was Tom and Voldepussy. It was close, but Voldepussy managed a lucky shot and she won the first point.
Second match-up was Russell vs Cirie. Cirie was pathetic. She didn't run nearly fast enough to slide, so she was crawling on her hands and knees while Russell sailed through and scored.
Third match-up was someone called Candice for the Likeables, against Courtney's skeleton. Together, these two women had a combined weight of one pound, and fifty percent of that was the oil. Jeff yelled: "Both women get to their balls quickly," which is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that. Candice won this point for the Likeables, since the balls weighed a back-breaking one ounce each, so Courtney couldn't even lift hers, let alone throw it into a basket.
Next match-up Jerri vs Amanda. Amanda's shot went wild, and Jerri scored for the Insufferables. The score now stood at Likeables 1, Insufferables 3. The Insufferables only needed one more point to win all those tools. Oh that's right. They're not playing for Immunity, so it doesn't matter who wins.
Next match-up Sandra vs James. Oh my stars and garters, James gleaming in that all that shiny oil! He looks so -- Oh my! This is seriously erotic! I may be replaying this round for the next week, regardless of who wins it. But it was a ridiculously lopsided match-up. James scored for the Likeables before Sandra even got to her ball. Sandra was even lamer at this challenge than Cirie was.
Next, someone Jeff called "Danielle" vs Rupert. Although Danielle, who trust me, will never die by drowning, got to her ball way ahead of Rupert, and though Rupert was Mr. Butterfingers with his ball-handling, and was hobbling lamely up to the shoot line, nonetheless, Danielle was such a lousy shot, that Rupert was able to come from behind and score, leaving the game tied, 3-3. The next round would decide it.
Colby vs Tyson. Wait a minute, They were playing to four. They were tied, which meant this was as many rounds as it was possible to play. There could never have been another round no matter how the scoring went, yet neither Rob nor JT had played. Both Rob and JT were oiled up, apparently for no reason other than to look good. And it was Parvati who had sat out. There could only be seven rounds, yet each team had eight players. What kind of challenge is designed so that it's impossible for all the players to play no matter how it goes? I smell a rat, a rat who pimps for Palin.
Colby is no basketball player. He missed shot after shot. It took Tyson at least three shots (Maybe more. You never know how it's edited.) but he won the tools for the Insufferables.
So what? Who won mattered not at all. All that mattered was that James looked incredible oiled up. I hope he doesn't wash it off.
Voldepussy is never more insufferable than when she's played a small part in a win. "The dragonslayer is feeling top notch." "Dragonslayer." Imagine her fighting a real dragon. The dragon would breathe fire on her, and she'd start crying, and whine out, "Why did you do that? I was only trying to slay you. Why do all the dragons hate me?"
She went on, of course, "Will I change? No. Will I be the dragonslayer and slay everybody? Yes. Will I wear my heart on my sleeve every day? Absolutely." Well in order to do that, she'll need to put on a shirt, which I wish she would, and I wish she'd keep her word and quit. "Dragonlayer." She couldn't slay a drag queen, let alone a dragon.
Russell, opening a knife (and probably wondering where he could bury all these tools as he had buried the machete last week), of course found the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. Did he open it surreptitiously, so no one saw it, and only he would even know there was one? No. He yanked it out so it fell out and everyone on the tribe saw it. Oops. So much for his shot at an advantage.
Sandra made an intelligent suggestion. (How did she get on this team?) She said they should all go find it together and throw it into the sea, since only in finding it in secret was it of any use. If everyone knows you have it, they'll have to vote for you to make you use it. So did they all troupe off and find it? No. Was Russell now hungering to find it while they worked? Of course.
So as the others worked on building the shelter they've needed for weeks, Russell announced he was going for a walk. Did he actually think they were all so stupid they wouldn't know why he was "going for a walk"? Yes. Were they? No. Sandra was dispatched to keep an eye on him.
Seeing him digging around for the idol, she asked, "Is that him over there?" No Sandra. It's President Obama looking for a workable healthcare compromise. Honestly woman, who the hell else could it be? Santa Clause? (And the crotch of Russell's filthy shorts are now so soaked with oil that you could tell his religion.)
Rather than continuing to watch him though, she went back to camp and told on him. It was instantly decided that, whether he has it or not, he must go next. I'm okay with that.
Rob then demonstrated more intelligence than anyone at all from last season's Survivor: Samoa, by saying: "Russell's a bonehead, He's like the hobbit on crack. And you know what? I don't trust Russell's ass at all. And the safest thing to do with someone like that is to just get rid of him right away." Russell is not a bonehead, of course, but thinking he could wander off and hunt for the idol like that and not draw a target on himself was certainly stupid. His ass is actually more trustworthy than his head, but the safest thing to do is certainly to vote him out. However, to do that, they have to lose the next challenge.
By the time we got back to the Likeables' camp, it was the next day, and James had washed off all the oil. Drat! To make up for that, we were given a shot of him waking up, yawning and stretching, that was so erotic, I had to move over to my chaise lounge, from the sofa I'd been watching on, as it was suddenly sodden.
Doling out coffee beans, the Likeables discovered a Hidden Immunity Idol clue which had just been sitting there undiscovered for three days. Not what you'd call inquiring minds. Once again, the clue was discovered in front of everyone, so it couldn't do anyone any good.
Boom! Everyone was off and idol hunting. The Wisdom of Sandra occurred to no one.
Tom managed to find the idol and hide it on his person even though James and Amanda were directly beside him also looking for it. This is not an observant group. All Tom had to do now was keep looking for it even though he had it. But no. He stopped looking, and then rearranged where he had it hidden on himself, so Amanda figured out he had it.
Tom went and told Colby he had it, so that their two-person alliance felt stronger. Meanwhile, Amanda told Candice and JT, and JT went off blabbing to his alliance members, and you may recall that JT is in a secret, one-on-one alliance with everyone! Colby and Tom think they have an advantage now, when what they have are freshly repainted targets on themselves.
Immunity Challenge: Like the players themselves, all the challenges this season are recycled from previous seasons, and this was the challenge that never got finished last season, because Black Russell dropped almost dead right in the middle of it. It's the one where someone is strapped inside a giant ball, and must guide blindfolded players into rolling them through a maze, even though they are being rolled about and are upside down, sideways, facing the wrong way, and getting disoriented and probably nauseous. Then at the end of the big maze, the now-severely dizzy ball occupant must talk other blindfolded players through tilting a table maze to get a ball through it. It's such a classic sick-maker, it nearly killed bull-like Black Russell. And still no puzzle-solving. Is it possible that Palin's Pimp has finally taken my advice? If so, take more. Stop helping Sarah Palin ruin America.
Sandra, Cirie, and Courtney's skeleton sat it out, though watching Cirie's gigantic boobs loll about as she was rolled around in the ball would have been amusing, and she's certainly enough of a control-freak to have gotten off on telling everyone else what to do through the whole challenge.
The designated strong stomachs strapped into the balls were Rob (A good idea. His health seems recovered from the scare two episodes back, and he's the only decent leader on the Insufferable team.), and Tom for the Likeables. Tom is a fireman, so he's good under pressure, and can command well, but he's also the oldest member of the team, and not in the great shape he was the last time he played Survivor. Would we have winners this time, or would another one bite the dust?
The Insufferables got through the big maze first, though Rob took a hard shot when they slammed his ball (He only has one, but it's huge!) into a tree. As James and Rupert were setting Tom up at the little maze, Tom yelled, "Get me straight." That's up to you, Tom.
Watching them talk their teammates through the table maze was surprisingly good viewing. Both Tom and Rob did excellent jobs at guiding their players. It was very close, with the Insufferables winning by only milliseconds.
In the previews last week, we saw Rob saying they needed to send Russell home. I wrote then that when we see someone is doomed in the previews of next week, that invariably means that player will be safe. Sure enough, I was right once more. It will be a Likeable going home.
"Colby and I are low man on the totem pole now." said Tom, unable to work out that two guys requires a plural: low men on the totem pole.
Knowing that Tom has the idol, Candice worked out a brilliant strategy: deliberately vote a tie for Colby and Tom. If Tom plays the idol, Colby goes. If Tom doesn't play the idol:
1. He's an idiot, and
2. Then in the tie-breaker, they vote one of them out. This could work.
But they need everyone on board with it, and JT wants Candice out, because she "scares" him. (That's really all the reason he has. I suspect automobiles spook him too. And radio.)
Tom began working JT and Amanda, campaigning against Candice and Cirie. (I'm always up for voting out Cirie.) He played his "I'm honest" card, and then offered to give them the idol. Sure. I've heard that one before.
When James joined the confab, apparently willing to forget Tom attacking him at Council the last time they were up, Amanda accused Candice of being scatterbrained, although she did just come up with a perfectly good, original strategy to break up the Tom-Colby alliance and send one home, and possibly neutralize the idol. Hardly a scatterbrained piece of strategy.
Speaking of scatterbrained: Amanda then went and blabbed that whole confab, including her plan to oust Candice, to Cirie, Candice's ally. Cirie immediately pointed out the obvious flaw when Amanda told how Tom offered to give her the idol: "Did he give it to you?"
Then Cirie began pointing out that Tom had been trying to get her, Amanda, out just a few days before, and that none of the women stood a chance against the men when it came to individual challenges later on. None of this had crossed Amanda's slow mind. James, still looking very shiny, joined in, assuring Cirie that no decision had been made yet. Cirie went to work on selling them Tom as the victim. JT, lurking nearby, could see that his anti-Candice plan was teetering on the verge of catastrophe, though he probably was thinking this with simpler, shorter words. "My plan - good. Their plan - bad. Me like grits."
JT scurried off to tell Tom that Amanda had jumped ship. The trick to get Amanda to vote how you want is to make sure you're the last person to talk to her before council, because she can be swayed by anyone. If she stopped en route to voting to watch a fly struggling in a spider's web, she'd vote to oust the spider on the advice of the fly.
So now JT abandoned his get-rid-of-Candice plan in favor of "Cirie should be the one going home tonight." Well duh! But they can count on three, count 'em, three votes. But Tom now has a good idea. The three of them vote for Cirie, while encouraging votes against Tom. Then Tom plays the idol, and Cirie is sent packing. Also a good plan, as long as Candice's split-votes-for-Tom-and-Colby plan isn't put into effect. Also, Colby looks like he's having trouble grasping the plan. JT now feels he's the flip vote. Having a one-on-one alliance with everyone, it pretty much doesn't matter who he votes for; he'll still be betraying someone.
Tribal Council: In answer to a question from Jeff about how he bases who he votes for, JT said: "It's pretty simple. [Well obviously! JT's reasons for anything would have to be pretty simple!] You gotta to have people that's are not gonna get scared; that are gonna stick to what they promised you to begin with." Note that he's made conflicting promises to several different people, and he gets scared by Candice, Cirie, monsters, dark shapes at night, long words, his Aunt Evelyn, and cheese.
Asked how worried she was that she might be going home, Cirie said that she's always worried, though clearly she has no clue that she might be a target tonight. When asked, Tom said what was obvious, that Cirie is not at all worried. Colby said he was worried he was going home. Rupert admitted that although he thinks they should vote to keep the tribe strong, he was basing his vote on keeping his word. James said his vote was all about keeping the tribe strong so they could win stuff. "The social game is a distraction. James don't do that stuff." James is now referring to himself in the third person. Let's hope he doesn't start using The Royal "We." Of course, not paying attention to the social game got him sent home with his pockets full of immunity idols last time he played.
JT honestly admitted he wasn't worried about going home tonight. Of course not. He's in an alliance with every player.
So which master plan played out?
(In a sneaky teaser, we saw JT write one letter on his ballot: "C". Was he writing "Cirie," "Candice," "Colby," or "Com"?)
Tom played the Immunity Idol. Candice grinned, this was still in line with her plan. If JT wrote "Com," he wasted his vote.
Tom hadn't wasted the idol though. The first three votes were for Tom. Then two votes for Colby. Cirie and Candice were looking smug. But then two votes for Cirie wiped that smug look right off Cirie's face. And then the final vote put a smile on my face, as it sent Cirie home. The puppet mistress got played. Miss Not-Really-Worried Cirie got blindsided as she, on her last time playing Survivor, had blindsided so many others. Her own plan to force Tom to use the idol had backfired on her. Without his playing it, it would have been a tie between her and Tom, not Colby and Tom, and she might have won the tie-breaker. In the end, the tribe did vote to stay strong, and to remove someone they knew was a strong schemer and plotter, but useless on challenges.
In her final confessional, Cirie said: "I couldn't just sit back and play JT's game. I'm playing this game for myself." And how did that work out for you, dear? She didn't seem to get that it was Tom who actually orchestrated her ouster.
Interestingly, particularly given tribal tensions now, the two votes for Colby arranged for by Candice were from James and Rupert, so clearly neither of them, for all of James's comments to the contrary, were not for "keeping the strongest players." Cirie was voted out by Tom, Colby, and JT.
In the previews for next week, we were promised another injured player. Oh goodie. Something to look forward to.
Something else to look forward to: on Monday I'll be back with my annual Oscarcast review. Until then, Cheers darlings.