Sadly, not every episode of Survivor can be as much fun as last week's dynamite combination of Voldepussy's crying jag and James dripping baby oil, but at least we had a fast-moving episode this week, with injury, betrayal, and Voldepussy's unique combination of weird ego and utter stupidity. All that, and chocolate too. The only things missing were Oompa-Loompas, and frankly, I'm not convinced Russell isn't an Oompa-Loompa, except that the Oompa-Loompas sang moral lessons, and Russell has no morals.
Once back at camp, after betraying his word to most of the team and voting out Cirie at Tribal Council, (thereby earning my gratitude and Colby's, but few others), JT was doing damage control by saying it was a last minute decision made at Council, and that it was "for the good of the team," making it sound like he was sorry he'd made them all eat broccoli. Some of the tribe were of different opinions.
JT swore repeatedly to Amanda that he'd never turn on "you guys" (I'm almost 85% certain that Amanda is not a "guy"), yet oddly, she didn't believe him, and Amanda's been known to sell cows for magic beans. She told us that she thought he'd made "twenty alliances already." This would mean he had an alliance with everyone on both tribes, including the players who have already been sent home, and with himself. I do not believe he's made an alliance with himself, as he knows better than to trust himself. But then maybe Amanda just can't count. (maybe?)
For the opening credits roll, the producers were now using images of James all oiled up in last week's challenge, bless them. They also used shots of Rupert and of Rob covered in mud, making them look like Martin Sheen in the final reel of Apocalypse Now. Creepy. Now if only they would use shots of Voldepussy (Coach Wade for the uninitiated) weeping in her self-pity party, everything would be perfect.
Speaking of Voldepussy, last week Tyson the Nude Mormon gave her some good advice: "Do your Tai Chi in private, where nobody can see you." Voldepussy, "thinking" for herself, took the opposite approach, and instead made the whole tribe come out to the beach with her for a "class" in what she called "Dragonslayer Chi," because just claiming it was Tai Chi would be insufficiently pretentious for the self-worshiping nutball. We heard her give them this instruction: "The key is making your mind tell your body to flex every muscle." Isn't there an extraneous step there? Aren't you your mind? Shouldn't she just say, "Flex every muscle"? Does Voldepussy have to send her mind instructions? Does she write herself letters? I suppose one does have a harder time communicating with one's mind, when one has lost it years ago.
What made this delicious though was her "chanting" while so deeply into her self-delusion that she didn't see her tribemates looking at each other, rolling their eyes, and giggling. They may be "villains," but they know a total idiot when she's preening in right front of them, teaching them "Dragonslayer Chi." Watching her team mock her behind her back, and in front of her back, when she's too self-involved to notice it, made me laugh out loud.
More wisdom from "The Master" (No insult intended to Doctor Who's arch-enemy, who, though a mass-murdering, megalomaniacal, would-be ruler of the universe, is still a more pleasant, and saner, companion than Voldepussy): "It just basically tells your mind and your body to get on the same page." So does her mind and body often head off in different directions, like now, her body is in Samoa, and her mind is in Narnia? You know, the English have a wonderful word for girls like Voldepussy: "Wanker."
But of course there was one person who skipped class: Sore-Loser Russell. He had his own classy way of putting it: "Everybody this morning walks out on the beach, starts doing a little Coach-Chi in a circle. You know, all that meditating crap." I'll grant that "Dragonslayer Chi" is crap, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of meditation. On the other hand, perhaps Russell is wise to avoid self-knowledge. If he ever got to know himself, just look at whom he would be meeting. (I must add that Russell has visibly lost weight, something he didn't do during the previous season.)
He was, of course, looking for the Hidden Immunity Idol: "It's a very important tool, so I'm a get it; I'm a find it." That makes some sense. After all, Russell is a very important tool himself. Okay, he's not actually important; but he is a tool. And if he thinks his tribe doesn't know what he's up to, he's a very stupid tool as well. For Heaven's sake, he was in full view of the tribe when he finally found the idol. He's going to need it.
Reward Challenge: The reward for this challenge was Chocolate! Lots and lots of chocolate! I want to play! My interests in life are, in order of importance: Vodka, sex, and chocolate. Why do you think I'm so in love with James? He's two-out-of-three! Chocolate: it's not just for breakfast any more.
The challenge involved moshing about in a muddy pit for footballs to toss to elevated teammates who then use them to shoot baskets. Yes it's Like Mud for Chocolate!
Jeff, the perfect host (he has an Emmy to prove it), passed plates of sample chocolate around before the challenge. The Insufferables wolfed it down, but the Likeables ignored it. "We'll take theirs," Jerri selflessly offered. Turning down free chocolate? Has the Samoan sun addled their senses? Did they stuff themselves full of James before they came? (I would have!)
Jeff found this bewildering (and rude), as any sane person would. He asked them about it. Said Colby, making no sense: "I'm not annoyed with you. I'm ready to get to the challenge." He doesn't think a bit of chocolate might just deliver a teensy bit of extra, sugar-rush, energy? Because need I point out what a second-rate job Colby's been doing on challenges up to now? "Don't eat it. Let's go." Colby snapped.
Jeff, now a bit annoyed himself, replied, "I got the message, brother. We'll go when I'm ready." They're letting Jeff Probst's brother compete? Doesn't that violate some FCC law?
Rupert's explanation was even more sanity-challenged: "We don't care about the reward. We just want to win the challenge." Rupert, you're not playing for immunity. The challenge is for the reward. If you don't care about the reward, why play at all? You're not making sense. I guess he's saying that the Likeables just play for the glory of the loss.
But it's for chocolate! That's better than immunity! Chocolate will get you through times of no immunity better than immunity will get you through times of no chocolate.
And then, when the Likeables were told they had to sit out a man, Colby sat out. Now it truly makes no sense for him to have gotten all huffy about being offered chocolate. "Don't eat it. Let's get to me sitting out."
But the God of Chocolate (King Hershey of Heaven, Lord of the Hershey Highway, the most-pleasurable drive in the Universe) did not take this insult from the Likeables lightly. "If thou dost refuseth my Chocolate before this challenge, then thou shalt not have any chocolate during this challenge!" and verily, he smote Chocolate James, injuring him in the knee 30 seconds into the game, forcing him out, as his left kneecap kept popping in and out of where it belongs. (I've had this particular injury myself once, in a vodka-and-stairway related incident, and it hurts like heck!) My tears fell like The Rains of Raunchy-Pour, at the thought of no chocolate and no James.
JT showed the compassion which is second nature to him: "If James is pulled from this game, you know, a lot of my strategy is changed." What a selfless man. A lot of James's strategy will change too.
And did they get to put Colby in to substitute for James? Nope. Learn from this. Offend not the God of Chocolate.
Amanda scored the first point. At one point in the pit JT picked up one of the balls. Unable to take it from him, Rob just picked up JT, like he was a leaf, and carried him over to his own side of the field, slamming him against the Insufferable's platform. Don't get between Rob and chocolate.
Tyson score the next point, but the scoring was being upstaged by the unnecessary-but-enjoyable roughness in the pit. Although neither was anywhere near a ball, JT attacked Voldepussy, and gratuitously slammed her around, and then Rupert picked up Jerri and smashed her face-first into a pole. Good times.
"I did not mean to do that," said Rupert, whose foul occurred after the point was scored, so technically during a timeout. And if he hadn't meant to do it, why did he do it? It wasn't an accident by any meaning of the term I know. For someone who doesn't care about the chocolate, Rupert was a beast.
Jerri scored the winning shot. The Likeables looked awfully depressed for a team that didn't want the chocolate.
As medical wrapped up James's leg (which was what I did when I had that injury. I had a show to do that night, and existing video of that performance shows me limping about the stage even worse than usual.), the Insufferables were turned loose into Willy Wonka's Samoan franchise. Thank Dog I had some chocolate in the house. I could not have watched this chocolate orgy without eating any myself. It would be like my trying to watch The Thin Man or The Days of Wine and Roses without a drink or ten.
"I have never eaten so much chocolate in one sitting in my entire life," said Jerri, showing she has no idea how to live.
They also got to swim in a lovely salt water lagoon in a natural pit. Rob described it: "I mean it's like something I've never seen before," although it looked nothing like a table napkin to me.
Parvati was pleased Russell had the idol, and said how everyone thought of her as an "evil mastermind." Actually, she's more of an evil mini-mind. Just her being pleased that Russell has an immunity idol shows she's not very bright. (Oh, and they had a pitcher of milk and glasses, but Russell, Mr. Class and Couth, was seen drinking directly from the pitcher.)
Russell decided to try to enlist Voldepussy as an ally, so they can blindside Rob. Russell understands that his Jedi Mind games only work on weak minds, and there's no mind weaker than Voldepussy's. In fact Vodle's mind is AWOL, and can only be communicated with by Owl-Mail. Mind you, their team needs Rob at least until the merge, but Russell can not bear that Rob is perceived as the leader instead of him, even though Russell has done no leading, and indeed, is not a leader of any sort.
In any event, this sort of strategizing and power move is what you do after losing an immunity challenge, and they haven't even had the immunity challenge yet. Lining up Voldepussy and then winning immunity would mean trying to hold a weak alliance together for several days, while other alliances and powers shift. It's premature, unless they're planning to throw the immunity challenge.
Of course, the deal Russell is offering Voldepussy involves lying and the betrayal of a friend, the sort of "dishonorable" and "ignoble" tactics Voldepussy constantly claims is not how she plays. But then, Voldepussy's mouth and reality have never met.
Vodlepussy told us how she wants to play with Rob, but Russell, playing into her ego, wins her instantly, and she was up for betraying her loyalty, even as she explained to us that she's all about loyalty. Meanwhile, she's blithely unaware that Russell is only using her because he knows she's an idiot. She even falls for the old, "I'd give the idol to you if you needed it" ploy, which is right up there with "I did not have sex with that woman."
But being Voldepussy, she can not merely be mundanely stupid; she has to be elaborately and pretentiously stupid. "I feel like I need to do something monumental now, like the knights of the round table," she said, as she knelt before Russell and had Russell "knight" her. What is she, 12? Russell, knew to humor the big dope, and went along with it, while the words "What a wanker" never left his eyes. Somehow, fortunately, Russell resisted the urge to whip it out, and merely used his hand to "knight" Voldy, and not his - ah - "sword." (Looks more like a shiv to me anyway.) I'll give Voldepussy this, it was monumental, monumentally childish and ridiculous.
"The king and the dragonslayer," was how Russell described his silly new alliance. A queen and her fool was how it played to me, a couple of wily wankers.
Back at Camp Likeable, Amanda was in tears over the possibility of losing James. Me too, kid. Tom, on the other hand, was okay with it, though he feigned happiness when James came hobbling home. Meanwhile, Candice was licking her lips at the idea of sending James home, calling him "dead weight." Mind you, James went along with her get-Tom-or-Colby plan last week, while JT betrayed her, and is out to get her. But Candice has the true instincts of a buzzard, and was circling over James, while ignoring her true enemy.
Immunity Challenge: "I'm glad for one [James] is still in the game, because you never want to see a worthy competitor fall out like that," said Voldepussy, even as she was joined into the plot against her own worthy competitor and "ally" Rob. One of the differences between Voldepussy and the rest of the Insufferables is that the rest of them aren't so hypocritical. They're openly glad to see a competitor fall.
This one is another challenge involving blindfolded players and one player calling out instructions, this time for collecting large pieces of a huge friggin' jigsaw puzzle cube. Oh please, Palin's Pimp, aren't you listening when I tell you, week-after -week that watching jigsaw puzzles being assembled isn't good viewing? No. You're too busy trying to get a TV deal for that walking piece of excrement Sarah Palin.
(Palin's Pimp has already put Donald Trump and Rod Blagojevich on TV. What's next? Tickle Me, Congressman Massa? Rush Limbaugh's Find the Hidden Prescription Meds?)
Not terribly surprisingly, James was chosen to sit and call out instructions for the Likeables. It was perfect. He didn't have to move, and telling his tribe what to do at the top of his lungs is what he does best anyway.
Barrels were scattered about as obstacles, so we had some bashing into them, but at slow speed. We had players from opposite teams trying to pick up pieces together, not realizing they weren't with the right people. The nice thing is that, if the caller isn't watching everyone, someone is bound to bash into something. Also, the pieces were very big and very heavy, plus James was getting very hoarse.
The Likeables got all their pieces first, which gave them the illusion of a lead. But we've seen this a couple times before. The Insufferables have a history of coming from behind in puzzle assembling. Would it happen yet again?
Russell will have to try to keep Voldepussy's loyalty intact, and mouth closed for three more days. Meanwhile, James would have to try to deflect the send-the-injured-player-home logic into somehow sinking Tom. Good luck with that, Gimpy.
The two plans were immediately lining up. Tom and Colby were firmly for sending home James, never mind that his guiding the blind players had been the successful part of the challenge. It's not his fault that his team can't do puzzles to save their lives.
Rupert and JT were just as quick to say Tom should go, though what JT says is pretty much irrelevant. Whom JT votes for matters, but that we now know is unrelated to whom he says he will vote for.
Candice was campaigning against James, Excuse me? You're talking to your enemy JT. Why aren't you going for him?
Amanda is solidly for keeping James, just as I am solidly for keeping James solid. Rupert now is up for voting out Tom or Candice. I'm up for losing Candice. The problem is of course, JT is going around agreeing with everyone. Everybody's strategy depends on lining up his vote, and he's already clearly demonstrated that his word is meaningless. Frankly, a player whom you can trust to betray anyone is really the player you should be getting rid of. They should be going after JT. He can't be trusted, can't be used in a strategy, and he has already won the game once. So who is trying to get JT out?
Going into Tribal, the only suspense is, which will JT betray? He's told Tom, Candice, and Colby that he'll vote for James. He's told James, Rupert, and Amanda he'll vote for Tom. He's told Nancy Pelosi he'll vote for healthcare. He's told Glen Beck, he'll vote to deny healthcare to anyone who's sick. He told James Cameron, he was voting for Avatar for Best Picture. He told Kathryn Bigelow he was voting for The Foot Locker. My guess? He'll vote to evict Voldepussy.
Tribal Council: "My niece could beat James in a race right now," said Jeff.
"No she couldn't," said James, unaware that Jeff's niece is the The Female Flash.
James and Amanda vs Tom and Candice was a conflict that quickly emerged under Probst's probing, or "Probsting" as it should be called, while JT quietly kept trying to play both sides. Tom was careful to refer to James having a "busted knee" when in fact, it was merely dislocated. Time to vote. Whom would JT betray this week?
The promos for Survivor all week made James look doomed so, sure enough, Tom's gamble failed. The tribe voted to keep an injured player (as they have been keeping Rupert and his broken toe), and Tom was voted out. When the previews or the promos point a finger of doom at a player, that player is always safe!
The irony is, Tom is a strong player. He got himself evicted ahead of the girls by relentlessly moving against James. JT or Candice would have been smarter players to remove, but Tom just insisted on making himself a target. Colby better get himself some new allies fast.
The shocker came when we saw who had voted for whom at the end. Candice, who had been lobbying to get rid of James, saw where the wind was blowing, and betrayed Tom and Colby, by voting for Tom just as JT did.
No Survivor next week (and after reviewing The Wolfman for my own blog, covering last week's Survivor and doing my Oscar write up, The Our Gang Oscars, frankly, I can use the week off. When it returns, it will be a Wednesday episode, so look for my next column here on Thursday, March 25th (The same day Dame Edna Everage will co-host The View, a program not to be missed, the first-ever episode of The View worth watching.). The previews show Rob and Russell gunning for each other, which can only mean one thing: The Insufferables will win immunity again, because Russell and Rob must both be safe. Until then Cheers darlings.
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