iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Tallulah Morehead

Tallulah Morehead

Posted: December 16, 2010 07:10 AM

Holly: "What the [fatita] is wrong with Chase?"

Well aesthetically, nothing. The entire top-of-the-show recap centered on the many betrayals by Chase, focusing solely on him. I wonder who will be at the center of this penultimate episode's action?

Sash believes he's running the show again. Last week he was the swing vote competed for by two three-player alliances. This week it's all even again, and no one is running things. Sash used his advantage, but that was so three hours ago.

Fabio told us he was on "High Alert," although I don't think he means the same thing by "high" that the air force does. Frankly, he doesn't look all that alert, but I'll grant him the high. I'm a bit high myself, and aiming higher still.

"We've got [Product Placement]!" hollered Chase as a product showed up in treemail. Now these people may have paid Palin's pimp a small fortune for the endless plugs this device received, but they haven't paid me, or the Huffington Post, or me -- did I mention me? -- so I'll just call this product the Dash Heffalump Disorienter, which can disorient a fully-grown heffalump at 50 yards with one hurl of a coconut.

Chase gave a deeply-moving commercial-spokesman-audition when he said: "We're playing a game for a million dollars, and something as simple as a [Dash Heffalump Disorienter] can bring you to tears." And there is nothing simpler than Chase.

It was seeing a moving-cave painting of his sister on the Dash Heffalump Disorienter that had so shaken Chase, for it was the Reward of The Loved Ones Week, where the reward at Reward Challenge will be time with a Loved One, while the other loved ones all go back to America, scorned and mocked. They've wisely waited this time until the next-to-last episode, so they don't have to fly too many Loved Ones out. I'm almost sorry Beelzebimbo -- NaOnka for new readers -- is out of the game. I'd love to see whom they managed to dredge up to pretend to be a Loved One of Beelzebimbo, who's only real Loved One is Beelzebimbo.

Beelzebimbo's Alleged Loved One: "Hi Jeff. I'm Kurt. I stood in line behind Beelzebimbo at the movies once, about 15 years ago, I think. Anyway, it looked like her, from the back I mean."

Beelzebimbo: "Who are you, fool?"

Proud Black Man Sash's mother is the most-Caucasian woman on earth who is not actually an albino.

Seeing that the players all have families was a shock to Chase, whom I guess thought they were all audio-animatronic robots, like him.

The Loved One for Madame DeFarge, also known as Jane, was her great-great-great-granddaughter posing as her daughter, and also pretending she was missing Madame Defarge, while behind her a lot of dogs sincerely wanted dinner.

Useless Dan's adorable matching sons left me asking why he was on the show instead of them. But this just returns one to The Central Mystery of the Season: what the Hell is Dan doing there at all?

I'm hoping that the crowd of people on Holly's Dash Heffalump Disorienter moving-cave painting were her family, and not some weird Mormon group marriage. People who actually want Holly back are capable of anything!

Now we know why Fabio wears his hair like that. He expresses his love for his mother by wearing the exact same hairstyle she does.

Chase and Fabio decided between themselves that if either of them won the next Reward, they'd just take the Three Guys, Fabio, Chase, and Sash. (Dan is so useless, he's an Honorary Old Lady.) Off without the girls, hopefully overnight, they can finally, definitively find out if Sash is gay or not.

Reward challenge: Business first, as Jeff told us how the Dash Heffalump Disorienter is "the first 4-G [Heffalump Disorienter]." Wow. The people in Apartment 4-G are really going to be pleased, and their heffalump is in for some fun too. I guess 3-D wasn't good enough for the fine folks at Dash.

When Jeff told everyone that the winners of the challenge would go on a cruise and picnic with their loved ones, everyone acted as if it was a total shock. Why did they think we saw all the moving-cave-paintings of their Loved Ones on the First 4-G Dash Heffalump Disorienter?

Jeff: "Fabio, who'd you like to see?" I half-expected him to answer "the real Fabio," or "Michael Jackson," or "the Green Power Ranger." In any event, did they really think there would be different Loved Ones than the ones they'd just seen on the First 4-G Dash Heffalump Disorienter? Sure enough, out came Fabio's never-before-mentioned identical twin brother in drag, claiming to be their mom.

On being told "Jud" is now known as Fabio, Fabio's mom said: "That's a good nickname. They used to call him Jud the Stud." Used to? I'd like to hear more about the incident that called a halt to his ever being called a stud again.

Jeff replied: "Only a mom could say that and get away with it." Now I don't know what Jeff Probst's relationship with Ma Probst is, but unless your mother's name is Jocasta, most people would find a remark like that from their mom creepy. Reign it in, Ma Fabio, and Jeff, talk like that can start up a tragic trilogy. I doubt even Milton Berle's mother went around telling strangers: "Have you seen my Milty's schvance? Like a rye bread!"

One look at Dan's son Matt and I realized that Dan wasn't completely useless. He's sired some fine looking young men. Matt must have gotten his looks from his mother. On the other hand, I could have done without watching Matt repeatedly kissing Dan. I felt like I was watching a Vogelchek's sketch on SNL, only without any laughs, or Paul Rudd tongue-wrestling another man. However Matt, if you miss him that much, feel free to take him home with you. Here's a clue: Dan's going to lose the challenge, and I don't even know what the challenge is yet. But unless it's a sit-around-and-kvetch competition, Dan is going to lose it.

Madame DeFarge's remote descendant came out, still pretending to be her daughter. You know how I know she's not actually her daughter, other than their 50-year age difference? The "daughter" acted happy and excited to see her mother. A real teenage daughter would have slumped out, rolled her eyes at her mother's effusive greeting, and then whined out: "Mo-om! Must you humiliate me even in Nicaragua? Guy! Gimme 20 bucks and let me go-oo."

Madame DeFarge said she'd left her daughter "in charge" back at the farm. Then why wasn't she alarmed to see her in Nicaragua, and not holding down the fort and guarding the still? Them dang-blasted Revenueers might come sniffin' 'roun' agin.

Holly's poor husband looks like "Tom", aka "Mr. Friendly," the burly "Other" on Lost who stole Walt, and later was shot for it by Sawyer. Careful Holly; I know you already have too many kids, but Mr. Friendly on Lost was gay. And trust me. Speaking from experience, gay men make poor husbands, although Little Dougie claims to have made some fine husbands over the years.

The Loved Ones had to play too. Maybe it was good Beelzebimbo was out, because I can imagine a sister or mother of hers getting halfway through the challenge and then just quitting.

The players would jump in a pool to rescue bags of lettered tiles that their Loved Ones would have to use to spell out a "familiar phrase," although the phrase "Family Comes First" is new to me, and makes no sense at all. How can you even have a family without coming first?

Obviously, the players were jumping into the pool rather than the guests because Fabio was playing, and not in rubber pants. In fact, while we have Ma Fabio there: Mother Fabs, about Fabio's toilet training: did he ever have any?

"You got it" yelled Max to Useless Dan, who was just reaching the pool around the time the winners left on their cruise.

Although Madame DeFarge actually told her "daughter" what the phrase was (I imagine she thinks the phrase "Family Comes First" is usually preceded by the phrase: "When on a murder spree..."), and still the "daughter" was behind everyone else. Maybe she is Madame DeFarge's actual child. If I know anything at all about daughters, it's that they never listen! (My daughter claimed I know nothing about raising a daughter in her horrible book about me. What did my daughter know about my parenting skills? She only came home from boarding school two weeks a year. She barely ever met me.)

Chase and his mom won. He was allowed to choose one other player to come along. He chose Sash, still determined to find out for sure if Sash is gay or not, although it will mean finding something to keep their moms occupied for a while. I wonder if, on the boat, they will have DVDs of Matlock?

But then Chase was offered another selection to take also. Having just promised Fabio to his face to take him, Chase naturally took Holly. It wasn't enough just to have his real mom along; he needed his surrogate jungle-mom as well. This guy has more mommy issues than Norman Bates.

We got a glimpse of Useless Dan's real relationship with his son, as he said to Matt under his breath about Chase: "He's a scumbag." In my entire life, I never heard my dad tell me someone was a scumbag, even if he clearly thought they were. Anyway Dan, you got it wrong. Chase is an idiot, not a scumbag. You're a scumbag, and Beelzebimbo, and long-gone Shannon. "Don't worry about it," replied Matt as he massaged his father's sagging pecs. This family is creepier than The Vogelcheks.

Chase: "What happens to the rest of them?"

Jeff: "They will be taken and executed. " Oh Jeff, you big tease. Don't get my hopes up. And why did this clip air on The Soup a full five days before this episode aired? If I watch The Soup this week, will I see who wins the whole season on the live show two days before they do it?

Fabio wasn't happy with Chase. He hadn't sobbed like that since the time he'd told Santa he wanted a Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back lunch box, and Santa brought him a Star Wars: The Phantom Menace lunchbox instead. Fabio hasn't spoken to that bastard Santa ever since, and it's been three years now! (Fabio kind of has a point; I mean The Phantom Menace? Come on. That's lame, Santa.)

So just what did Dan, Fabio and Madame DeFarge chat about whilst Chase, Sash, and Holly were off "capturing their memories" on the First 4-G Dash Heffalump Disorienter? Why, how much they felt betrayed by Chase of course, much like all the other people he's betrayed this season do. Although I do have a hard time understanding why Fabio would think that his not getting to spend more time with his mom was somehow worse than Dan not getting to spend more time with his son, or Madame DeFarge not getting to spend more time with her remote descendant, or why he thought Dan and Madame DeFarge would also think so. After all, by the end of the ceremony, Dan and Matt were almost to second base.

Of course, Holly did give up her last reward so everyone would have food, so she was kind of owed one by the tribe, but these three members of the tribe seem to have forgotten that.

Madame DeFarge was also mad about not getting picked to go. The young woman she kept claiming was her daughter she also claimed was going off to college that fall. Okay which is it? Is she going to college, or is she Madame DeFarge's offspring, as the chances of being both seem remote, though it's nice to see that some book-larnin' is catching on in Dogpatch.

Madame DeFarge said her bikini was falling off during the challenge. Ew. I'd rather see Matt making out with Dan some more, a feeling apparently shared by whomever edited this episode.

Out on the boat, as they gorged themselves, Chase, Sash, and Holly swore Final Three Allegiance. It's beginning to look like an immunity idol will figure in the next Tribal Council. The Loved Ones quickly learned not to get between the starving players and the meal. You could lose an arm.

Chase has decided he wants Fabio out next. He has some pathological need to keep Holly around him, though why I can not fathom. Maybe he has a deep psychological fear of overpriced alligator shoes, and counts on Holly to keep him safe. Or maybe it's just his unending Mommy issues. At least they're not talking keeping Dan to Final Three or Two, just because he's a sure-fire vote-loser. On his CBS online bio, Useless Dan, worried that not enough people dislike him, called Ronald Reagan his "personal hero." Given what a guaranteed vote-loser Dan is, why oh why wasn't he out campaigning for teabagger candidates this fall? We'd be able to pass medical aid for 9-11 first responders without first extending tax breaks to the super-wealthy so they can spend Christmas in Hawaii as God intended them to.

What's the one really stupid thing they've all been doing all season that's been driving me nuts, and that I praised Chase last week for not doing? Announcing you have a Hidden Immunity Idol instead of keeping it secret. Well Chase returned to form, by announcing over the lunch that he has the other idol. So he's undone the only smart thing he's done all season, if not in his whole life. He's back to being 100% stupid. He's like Michaelangelo's statue of David: gorgeous, but as dumb as a slab of marble.

Holly explained to the Loved Ones how Madame DeFarge was also in the alliance that just decided to leave her out and be a Final Three without her. Back at the camp, Madame DeFarge was practicing how to write "Chase" on a ballot.

We watched Holly's farewell to the poor schmuck she's married to. "I'm so glad you came," she said to him, although I didn't see where or when they had that level of privacy.

Chase did not return to a warm welcome in camp, and not just because it was pouring rain.

Fabio: "How was it, Buddy?"

Chase: "It was great, man."

Fabio: "That was a rhetorical question."

Chase: "What do you mean?" I may wonder for years: was Chase thrown by Fabio using "rhetorical" in a sentence, or does Chase not know what rhetorical means?

Fabio: "'Cause I knew it was great." Fabio was very upset by Chase's breaking his promise. And he still didn't know if Sash was gay or not yet.

Fabio: "You can't hold grudges out here." Oh sure you can. But you need to hide from Chase the growing dissatisfaction with Chase. If those three vote Chase, and Chase plays his idol, whoever the other three vote for, most likely Fabio, will be joining Beelzebimbo on the jury. "So I think the best thing I can do is try to win immunity." Well, winning immunity would be the best thing you could do. We've seen you merely try. You know, if you'd won the Reward Challenge, you'd have gone on the reward.

Immunity Challenge: This challenge was performed blindfolded. I always love when they're blindfolded. We can count on collisions and barked shins. Gold.

Blindfolded, they had to maneuver over and under obstacles while tethered to ropes, involving such a level of physical clambering about that it was a totally safe bet that Dan would never get as far as the key shield.

At the key shield, they had to feel a bunch of symbols on a shield, daggers, crosses, etc., and memorize their arrangement. Then they had to take bags of symbols back through the obstacles to a blank shield, where they had to lay out the symbols on the shield to duplicate the shield they felt up. Their bags of symbols would contain extra symbols similar to, but not quite the same as, the right symbols, just to make things harder. Were she alive, Helen Keller would ace this challenge.

For once, Jeff's constant yelling out of who's ahead, who's behind was necessary, as they couldn't see where they were in relation to anyone else, although saying: "Dan is the last one," was not really needed. Everyone assumed that. Right off we got a viewer's reward: seeing Holly bash her empty head on a wooden support beam. That's entertainment!

Dan got to the shield just as Madame DeFarge started back. Dan is such an old lady, he's being smoked by an old lady, and I speak as an old lady.

Although Madame DeFarge started back first, Fabio got back first, because Madame DeFarge got lost on the way back. Okay, she's blindfolded, but she's tethered to a rope that leads back to the blank shield. It's impossible to get lost, but she did. That's an achievement!

The pieces they needed were in three bags per player, and once she got back, Holly managed to drop one of hers on the ground, where she couldn't find it. I love blindfolded challenges. Not only do they do stupid stuff, not only do they bash into stuff, but they can't see me touch myself as I watch them. You know, I make Little Dougie type up these columns for me blindfolded, which explains my sometimes "eccentric" spelling.

Jeff: "Dan is the last one; 36 days taking its toll." Jeff darling, two points:

1. Why did you bother to expel breath to say that? Even people watching Modern Family repeats on another network knew Dan was last.

2. That's not 36 days taking their toll. Dan was like that on Day One. That's 36 minutes taking their toll.

Well my strategy for Fabio, that he should win Immunity, not merely try to, paid off. For once a player took my advice, and as a result won Immunity. It was entirely my doing!

So, will The Boatload Three now target Madame DeFarge, or is it at long last time to target Useless Dan?

Useless Dan, you know, the one who came in dead last (in fact, he was still playing the Reward Challenge while everyone else was doing the Immunity Challenge), came back to camp, sat down, and the first words out of his mouth were: "I'm just exhausted." Yeah, doing that challenge at one-fourth the speed everyone else was doing it at really takes it out of you. It's not easy being slower than a Howie Mandell fan. And besides, he's not just exhausted. He's also annoying, full of himself, pathetic, dead weight, unattractive... I could go on, you know.

Chase tried steering Fabio towards voting out Dan. He summed Dan's work up well: "His game sucks." I like it. But Fabio, having bonded with Madame DeFarge over resenting Chase, wants to vote her out. She is the bigger threat (She kills at endurance challenges, and one of the finale challenges is almost always an endurance challenge, plus she'd win a jury vote easily), but Dan's still being there is the bigger insult to the game and the good players who fell before. Fabio wants to eliminate Madame DeFarge this show, and Dan at the next. Never count on next week's results.

Sash and Holly also signed on to voting out Madame DeFarge, but Chase is senselessly rooting to keep her. Then Sash basically called for a decision on Madame DeFarge right in front of her face. The vote didn't go well from her point of view, and she was pissed. No mercy from this woman, now furious to find herself in the tumbril heading to the guillotine. Marty is going to love this.

Madame DeFarge: "So they're obviously flippers; they're liars; they're cheats; they're backstabbers." It's always amazing to me how even the best Survivor players get angry as all hell when the tactics they've used to eliminate others are turned on them. Did she think anyone but her was playing for her to win? And they're not "cheats." This is full-out, normal, utterly kosher Survivor play. No cheating involved.

They've even made one risky move which could prove a mistake. They've told her far enough in advance for her to mount a defense. She's knocked down the mighty before, more than once.

Superbowl Guy must have told Madame DeFarge that the best defense was a good offense, because rather than try to rally votes against Chase, Madame DeFarge had a childish tantrum, and poured a bucket of water over their fire. Not the way to win votes to stay; it was a adolescent admission of defeat. I'm beginning to think Fabio is the most emotionally-mature player there.

Over the smokey wet ruins of their fire, Fabio started to grin a big grin. Between the Immunity Challenge and now DeFarge's acting out, things were starting to go his way. Sash is steering this game the way a rider "steers" his car in Disneyland's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. The steering wheel turns all you want it to, but you're on a track, and headed to Hell.

Tribal Council: Useless Dan was recruited to be on the show because one of the producers met him in a bar, and thought he was interesting and entertaining. At Tribal Council, Jeff asked Dan how the afternoon had been back at camp. Here is his exact reply:

"I mean, there's things - listen - befo - I didn't have my - never mind."

Oh my yes. He's fascinating! It's like listening to Sir Noel Coward banter with Gore Vidal - after they'd both had lobotomies.

When Jeff insisted Dan give an answer (Did Dan think Palin's Pimp flew him to Nicaragua so he could just say "Never mind" when asked a direct question by Jeff on the show?), he brought up the dousing of the fire. DeFarge took proud credit for her deed: "I started it, and I wanted to be the one who put it out."

My Little DeFargie told Jeff the shocking truth: "There's absolutely no loyalty in tonight's vote. It's full-a liars and backstabbers. End of story." Jeff hadn't been so amazed since the last time someone told him that it always seemed to get dark after sunset. Anyway, Beelzebimbo did a huge, delighted, shock take. Clearly she felt left out. Liars and backstabbers? Her kind of kinfolk! Except of course, she wasn't left out; she quit, the quitter.

But you don't say "end of story." Only Jeff says: "end of story." He wanted dish, girl.

Madame DeFarge then announced she was being voted out tonight. Boy, if they blindside Chase, she's going to look like a fool! But she was far from through: "And I'm gonna call some people on some stuff." And with that, she sat down on her dynamite plunger on her own little Bridge on the River Why?, and she began handing out what pieces of her mind she had left. Marty and Brenda were in Heaven.

She basically called Holly a thief, saying that when people stole $1400 worth of stuff where she came from, they went to jail. (Where I come from, they go to the Senate.) She has a strong point there, and Dan was lapping it up, as though his turn wasn't coming. The last tattered shreds of her original image as loveable old Granny Clampett were now gone, and the cackling witch that killed Snow White was fully revealed. (Beelzebimbo found this thief slam especially delicious, apparently forgetting that she is a known thief also.)

"The four of us had always decided to get rid of these two," Grandma Barker said, lobbing a hand towards Fabio and Dan without even bothering to look their way. That jolted the grin off of Dan's face fast.

Jeff was in a joyous space, the other end of the pendulum swing away from when he was Mad Teacher as Beelzebimbo and Kelly Not-Here quit. Cottoning to the fact that Chase was so dumb, he'd actually say what he was thinking without remembering to employ a tidbit of guile, Jeff asked him who he and his alliance would vote out next. Chase said it would be either Dan or Fabio, depending on who would win Immunity, like Dan will ever win anything. He then pressed Holly and Sash to confirm: "Would you guys agree with that?" Holly looked to be trying to find her Happy Place, but only able to reach her Really-Uncomfortable Place, while Sash's eyes were screaming "SHUT UP CHASE!" as close to literally as eyes can scream.

Grandma Barker's recommended course of action was for her, Fabio, and Dan, whom she had just dismissed as mere flotsam between her and her million dollars, to vote out Holly, since Sash and Chase were wearing Not-Hidden Immunity Idols.

Jeff: "Chase, the look on your face is utter confusion."

Chase: "Ummm, I don't know what the hell's going on right now, honestly."

That exchange could be edited in pretty much at random, anywhere at all during the whole of Survivor 21: Infants vs Senior Citizens.

Dan went up to vote first, which gave everyone else an hour's break.

Would there be the original landslide against Granny Kurtz, would there be a tie, or would one of the Boat Lunch Alliance flip?

Since it was the last Council where an idol could be played, Sash and Chase both played theirs.

Madame DeFarge's mind game had been entertaining, but she was voted out. It was a far, far better vote they voted than they had ever voted before. In fact, she didn't even swing her own vote. Everyone but her voted for her, and she voted for Sash, whom she knew would probably play his idol. Huh?

In the previews for Sunday's finale and reunion show, we saw everyone accuse everyone else of "being a threat." This reached a height of insanity when Chase said: "Dan is a bigger threat than Holly." Dan is not even as big a threat as the danger that the earth will one day be swallowed by a giant, galaxy-traveling dragon named "Filmore." I'd worry about Daleks more than I'd worry about Dan. The Useless One is only a threat to my sanity.

I'll be back Monday with the last recap, for the three-hour finale and reunion show. Until then, cheers darlings.

To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to The Morehead, the Merrier, or buy her book, My Lush Life.