These are cruel times for Survivor fans. First a week with no episode at all, and then, when it finally returns, it's a recap show, mulling over what has already happened, with "unused footage."
A recap show is like a DVD extra; deleted scenes that leave you understanding all too well why they were cut in the first place. Since the game does not advance at all in this outing, there is no excitement, no competitions, no challenges, just old plotting.
As there is no point to running unused footage from competitions where we already know who wins what, all they can really do is explore the contestants' characters more. In other words: blather and plotting. But we did get a little more insight, if that's a remotely reasonable word to use in the context of Survivor, into some of this season's goofier survivors.
We learned Sierra is pure class all the way down, from her pithy statement about the first impression she had made on the other players when she had a raging fever: "I didn't even give a flying f#@k what they thought about me." The woman is conversing in uppercase symbols.
We learned that Stephen is intimidated by Ex-Coach's haircut. At the mere sight of Ex-Coach's faux-Stephen Seagal coif, Stephen was ready to surrender. Stephen, all that hairstyle says about Ex-Coach is that his taste in movies is as bad as his taste in grooming.
We learned that no one on Jalapeno knows how to read a map. In fact, there's some doubt as to whether JT or Sydney can read at all.
We learned that Taj's first strategy was "Kill 'em with kindness. I'll be so nice to them they're not going to want to kick me off." She must have abandoned that ploy about 2 seconds after announcing it, unless her charm offensive statement last week, "Everybody can kiss my ass," was her idea of kindness. There's certainly room for everybody to kiss her ass, without coming in contact with, or even in sight of, one another.
I've had a complaint that I make too many snide references to Taj's - ah - excess of Taj. Taj herself cleared it all up with this eye-opening statement: "I look fat. But I'm not really fat. I'm muscular." I stand corrected. Taj is not fat. She merely appears fat to the untrained eye.
Later in the show, we got to see Taj have a crying jag because living outside in the Brazilian wilds makes her grimy. At that time we got a good look at her rolls of muscles hanging in their doughy, muscular way from her bikini as she whined about being filthy. We were forced to admire the large muscle deposits on her thighs, and the rich spread of jiggling muscle on which she sits. "I got a little emotional because I just looked at myself." she blubbered. Now she knows how we feel, watching her abdominal muscles bulging out in limp folds as she sits and wallows in self-pity.
Stephen scientifically proved that he is not hot when he found himself utterly unable to start a fire. Then Sydney waltzed in and started a fire by little more than glancing at the twigs, proving that she is not just pretty; she's pretty hot.
We heard Tyson the Nude Mormon admit his inability to devour the tiny fish his tribe was trying to live on by saying: "I'm having a hard time sticking this in my mouth." Why do I suspect that he's said that before?
"I smell like a man today. My parents would be so proud." said Tyson, as he took a dip with Jerry, "I think I just always smell like flowers and exotic fruits." No matter how he smells, he'll always smell like an exotic fruit. In any event, I doubt his Mormon parents' faint flicker of desperate pride lasted long though, since this was followed by a montage of Tyson's nude cavorting, butt-wriggling, loincloth thrusting, and sexual assaulting of Debbie. Apparently proper Mormon Survivor behavior would get you arrested for public indecency and lewd conduct anyplace civilized. The captions keep labelling Tyson as a "Professional Cyclist." I think they meant "Professional Psycho."
Ex-Coach said: "Tyson, he's always cracking a joke. I think that's what attracts me to him. Not in a sexual way." If that remark didn't put the Fear of God into Tyson, Brigham Young will never manage it.
Tyson to Debbie Bad Nose Job: "I don't know what you were doing. I was bent over looking at the ground and you jumped on." Again, I'll bet he's said this before.
Tyson said, "I'm not the stereotypical Mormon," undoubtedly at the request of the church itself, although we all could see that for ourselves. He wasn't wearing a tie, for one thing, or anything else. Tyson added that, when the game is over, "I'll probably have to move somewhere else; somewhere less Mormony." That's the first intelligent thing I've ever heard him say. Maybe he doesn't smell of exotic fruits. Maybe he's just Mormony Fresh.
We got to enjoy a montage of Ex-Coach browbeating Sierra as he ordered her to cook everyone dinner, and forbade her to have anyone help her or keep her company. "I was not being condescending." Ex-Coach said. No, he was being patronizing.
He explained he just wanted to "wean her from the tit, so to speak." Some people are cruel only to be kind. Ex-Coach is condescending only to be a douchebag.
Brendan and Ex-Coach had a bench-off, that is, a bench-building competition that turned out to be a tie. Mark Burnett, do not adapt this into a challenge. It was only watchable because Brendan Hot Pecs worked shirtless.
No cameras were rolling when Ex-Coach woke up in the night, screaming "Snake!", much as I would have loved to see that, but the next morning they did film Ex-Coach layering on bull about how it was a "dream-flashback to when I was on the Amazon and a snake wrapped around my neck." Puh-leaze. Prior to shooting this TV show, the only Amazon he's ever been on was Amazon.com. Then they found a freshly-shed snake skin where Ex-Coach sleeps. Either he can't tell the difference between reality and his dreams, or that was Ex-Coach's own skin he'd shed. I favor the latter theory, but either way, no one wants Ex-Coach's snake in the night.
We watched JT and Joe batting rocks around, and I was impressed! It was just as boring as actual major league baseball.
We saw Ex-Coach air-conducting some Tchaikovsky. Hasn't dear, sweet Illyich suffered enough? First Ken Russell's The Music Lovers, and now Ex-Coach. "Who is this jackass?" asked Erinn for The Ages, adding "Coach is the biggest joke in existence." Perhaps, but sadly, not the funniest.
A scene of Ex-Coach and Tyson plotting evil against the others was intercut with footage of crocodiles, which was very insulting to the crocodiles.
We were treated to an enlargement on the romantic triangle brewing in Brazil. First we had more of JT and Stephen's developing mancrush. But then we had a lengthy sequence of Stephen and gorgeous Brendan bonding out on Exile Dune, featuring an erotic Night Vision shot of them "spooning" together. Brendan babbled everything he knew about his tribe to Stephen, though apparently not including how to make fire.
As a romantic token, Brendan took an old snakeskin (One of Ex-Coach's?), and wrapped it around Stephen's neck, a boa made out of a real boa. "I feel pretty," said Stephen quoting Sondheim, as he started falling for Brendan, who is vastly more attractive than JT anyway. "I have never been so close to another man," said Stephen, who must live in an unusually roomy part of Manhattan, "He and I spooned for all we were worth. Oh my God! ... Nothing could prepare me for lying huddled against a, you know, a hunk of man." Brendan is indeed a hunk of man, but just in case we didn't read between the sheets, the producers included a shot of two frogs copulating.
Brendan's take the next morning, surprisingly, was not Gosh, I was so drunk last night, I can't remember a thing that happened, and neither can you! Instead it was: "We huddled up, and spooned all night, and had a great bonding experience." Is that what they're calling it nowadays? I see heartbreak looming for JT, if he stops drooling over Sydney long enough to notice.
This romantic interlude ended on this cliffhanger:
Stephen (sadly): "No more cuddling once we get back to the merge tribe."
Brendan (Flirtatiously): "Much as I would love to."
And that was it. Nothing happened. No progress in the game. Only the spooning and cuddling of new lovers Brendan and Stephen. The previews of next week, which will be back on Thursdays again, hinted that Ex-Coach and Taj are likely eviction targets. Don't tease me with a good time. And we also heard Tyson brag: "I can go all night." Unfortunately, I think he meant to the bathroom.
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