Way back in episode one of Survivor: Tocantins, it looked like Jalapeno was going to be this season's designated lame-o tribe, but Timbira was not to be out-lamed, and by now should be proudly chanting "We're number two! We're number two!"
And if anyone on Timbira is truly a big steaming pile of Number 2, it's Coach Full-of-Himself, who by this episode, has become Coach Extremely-Full-of-Himself. I've gone from disliking him, to really, really hating him. To the point that I find myself wishing that one of those deadly alligators we keep seeing in cutaway shots would slither out of the B-roll footage, and into the Timbira camp long enough to eat Coach. I imagine the 'gator later on, coughing up Coach's horrible hair in a big, brown furrball.
Coach Snake-in-the-Grass set his target on Erinn Hairstylist this week, for the crime of having talked to Candace last week in a friendly manner. Mind you, Erinn lied to Candace, voted against her, thus enabling Coach's blindside of Candace, but that doesn't matter to Coach. After all, Erinn isn't him, and Coach is one of those people who doesn't really give a damn about anyone who isn't him.
Plus, Erinn is a woman, and Coach apparently has a real problem with women. He numbered out his hit list to Tyson the Nude Mormon, and it was all the women. No men. Tyson, Master of the Man Tiara, thinks Coach is warm for his form. Don't get your hopes up, Tyson. Only straight men hate women as much as Coach does. And world-class narcissists like Coach really only love themselves anyway. You'd think Tyson would know this, as he's no slacker in the narcissism department himself.
Jerry Army Guy, the veteran of a year serving in Afghanistan, was sick. He was lethargically dragging his butt around camp, and had no appetite for the steady diet of beans that they are living on. I would not want to share a camp with a group of people who have eaten nothing for days but beans. This is the tribe who tried to vote out Sierra Slacker for having a strep throat. If they get wind of Jerry's bean illness, it could be toot, toot, Tootsie, goodbye.
Over at Jalapeno, they were mastering fishing. Easily five or six minutes of airtime was devoted to the tribe learning to fish, catching fish, cooking them, and eating them. This was not riveting TV. The only thing more boring than fishing is watching fishing. Oh there was some fine dialogue, such as Stephen City Nerd, looking at a freshly caught fish and saying, "That is a fish." Yes, Stephen, that is a fish. And this is my remote control. And this is the button that changes the channel, so try to think of something more interesting to say or do, or I'll be watching Smallville.
Reward Challenge: Clearly Mark Burnett read my complaint last week about how they were only doing one challenge a week, and switched back to doing two a week. (Yes, I know the show was shot a couple months ago, but I'm assuming Survivor locations are like the island on Lost, surrounded by a time warp, so that the past is the future and the future is the past, and there is no present at all. Or maybe it's just the vodka talking.)
Anyway, it was a dandy reward challenge, if not the equal of last week's tackle basketball in a pond during a monsoon. This one involved the teams wearing blindfolds and having instructions screamed at them. I love these, because blindfolded contestants moving through mazes, retrieving stuff, and taking showers, means lots of collisions, smashing into each other, and smacking crotches on unseen obstacles, and that's much more fun to watch than fishing, even if, for some reason, the men were all wearing shirts. (It was done in triple-digit heat. Why are the men dressed? It's still not too late for me to switch over to Smallville, you know.)
The reward was what old game shows used to call "a lovely lounge suite," that is to say, furniture, cushions, blankets, a tarp, and I think a flat-screen, hi-def TV for their camp. The losers got shame.
Joe Stud was calling out instructions for Jalapeno, while Debbie Bad Nose Job was screaming random words at Timbira.
Doing his Proposition-8-supporters impression, Joe Stud hollered: "Spencer, keep coming straight." I think Spencer can decide his gender preference without Joe's help, but when Joe's admonition to "Keep coming straight" led to Spencer smashing into JT, I had to laugh. Watching JT spill a shower of corn right in his own blindfolded face was also good for a much-needed giggle.
Under Debbie Bad Nose Job's inept screaming, Timbira came in a distant second. Coach Full-of-Himself let fly with cries of rage at losing. He's a coach. He lives in the world of sports, and he's still a bad, bad loser. I've seen two-year-olds who are more emotionally mature than Coach.
When Jalapeno was asked to choose a Timbirian to head to Exile Dune (Jeff Probst can call it "Exile Island" from now until the end of the Bush Depression, and it will still be a sand dune hundreds of miles from the ocean), Taj piped up with "Brendan," and when Brendan was asked to choose a Jalapenian to join him, he called out Taj. This is their secret plan, to go to Exile Dune together as often as possible (For Brendan, it does get him away from Coach. but Brendan, Taj's husband has that trophy they give to murderers. Maybe you two should cool it off, before we end up watching another televised trial.), and amass the clues to the Hidden Immunity Idol. This doesn't seem to be making their tribe mates suspicious. Coach is too busy handing out black spots to all the women on his tribe, and Jalapeno clearly hasn't considered the possibility that the rich wife of a professional athlete might be playing to win. Jeff Probst tried pointing out to Jalapeno that this might be cause for concern, but Spencer Boy Genius just shrugged it off.
Coach informed us, in the sort of meaningless prattle that coaches the world over favor, that "Winners find a way to win. Losers find a way to lose." Coach, keep finding ways to lose.
Coach began reeling off his Intended Roster of Death to Tyson the Nude Mormon, whom he's taken under his wing as assistant coach, or towel boy, or tiara wrangler or something. Tyson is actually fully aware of what a tool Coach is, but is more than content to let the fool run his mouth to him, as it keeps his name off the Death List, where all the names are women anyway.
Debbie Bad Nose Job tried analyzing what they did wrong, admitting that she had been just screaming stuff rather than doing a decent job of directing the players, but Coach cut off all attempts to figure out where they erred and how to do better, saying, "that would be the worst thing we could do." This man coaches? He's actively preventing them from "Finding a way to win." Of course, he had no reticence about bad mouthing them behind their backs to Tyson, as he commanded Tyson to vote Erinn off next.
Over at Jalapeno, smug celebrating was the order of the day. Joe, looking gorgeous with no shirt, told us "I think we put it to 'em pretty good today." Joe baby, you could put it to me "pretty good" anytime. (Joe, call me.)
Coach made this insane, "I don't need no stinkin' reward prize," sour loser speech: "Let me bury myself in the sand, get eaten by tarantulas, and bitten by snakes. I don't care about comfort any more. I don't care about anything else except winning this game." I'm 100% in favor of his being eaten by tarantulas, although I would pity the poor tarantulas, but that doesn't really sound like a winning strategy to me. If you are on a soccer team Coach Full-of-Himself coaches, go join another team right away! Talk about "finding a way to lose."
Over on Exile Dune, Taj got the clue this time. She kept it to herself for about two seconds, before telling Brendan that the Hidden Immunity Idol is "surrounded by wood," which probably doesn't mean it's in the middle of a gang bang. To lay off suspicion at their always going to Exile Dune together, they decided to recruit Sierra Whiner and Stephen City Nerd into a Double Secret Alliance. Wow. Finally someone is actually strategizing, and it's a cross-tribe alliance, which means it could survive a merge. That's actually smart.
Okay, every edition of Survivor contains some shots intended to turn the stomach, but seeing over-50-year-old Sandy The Loon waking up spooning with, cuddling against, and caressing 19-year-old Spencer Jail Bait was a new low. My skin crawled so far, I had to chase it down. Sandy said, "I know I'm a sex kitten this morning. There's no doubt in my mind." Sandy is not any kind of kitten. At her age, she's not even a cougar. This ancient pussy is more like a saber-tooth tiger: extinct.
Immunity challenge: The immunity challenge involved rolling giant blocks and then assembling them into a giant puzzle staircase. This lacked even the appeal of the blindfolded contestants walking into people, and again, the men were all wearing shirts. Burnett, I can still slip in a porn DVD anytime. How about some entertainment? This time it was JT yelling, "Keep it straight." What is this, propaganda?
To make a dull story short, Jalapeno again found a way to win, while Coach found a way to lose. Coach contributes nothing to his team, but this loss was clearly helped along by Jerry, who's days of illness and little eating had sapped his stamina. Jerry was well aware that he dragged his team to defeat. Tyson told him, "You gotta stick it in if you can, man." Is Tyson Man Tiara coming on to Jerry now?
Coach's hatred of women, which is approaching Rush Limbaugh proportions now, was so great that, even as everyone (finally shirtless) noted that Jerry had sunk them, it was just more fuel for his unmotivated vendetta against Erinn. He sprang on Erinn's slip of a grin when she realized that Jerry had just replaced her as the head on the chopping block. Coach said, "She turned around and looked at the tribe with the evilest sneer." Coach, there is no such word as "evilest." It's "most evil." Never mind that Coach's face never ceases to look evil. He told Tyson, "I practiced her look." He practiced her look? Hasn't he got something better to do with his time? Like maybe finding a way to win? Admittedly, on Coach's face, the look is evilest!
Coach continued to campaign to evict Erinn, laying on this load of crap with a trowel: "I exist to surround myself with people that have integrity, and I can not exist around people like that. You guys can because you can socialize with them..." (Coach doesn't notice that he is now insulting the very people he is trying to win over.) "...I am so true that existing around people that smile evilly when somebody else is on their knees ..." (Oh the joke I could do here.) "...kills me." If only it would kill him Coach is so full of himself he is overflowing. Sierra wasn't buying it.
Brendan, shirt-free and beautiful, went Immunity Idol hunting at the statue by the Tree Mail slot. Deciding that the statue's twig skirt constituted being "surrounded by wood," Brendan perved out and lifted the idol's skirt. He was rewarded by finding the Hidden Immunity Idol stuffed up what he called "a little hole" in the statue's butt! I'm not making this up. He found the idol stuffed up a statue's butt - ah - cavity (Brendan said "hole" - on CBS during Family Hour!), by looking up its dress. Smart, lovely Brendan, come look up my skirt. You'll find another reward there too.
Tyson demonstrated his True Mormon Compassion by stating: "I love seeing people cry when you crush their dreams." Sometimes I think people on Survivor forget that eventually they will return to the real world, and everyone will have seen them on TV. Who would hire Tyson, or ever want to be anywhere near him, after hearing that? This is a game that rewards treachery and having no character. It's no wonder nor coincidence that the first big Survivor winner is currently rotting in prison.
Tribal Council: Jeff as usual, did his best to stir the pot, and bring up the grudges lurking just below the surface. He asked who should be the "leader" of the tribe. (a sucker position. Being "Leader" will get you voted out fast.) Jerry suggested Brendan, who knows better. Coach of course, knows who should be leader, himself. He poured it on, by telling how on the truck on day one, "I basically told everybody - with my eyes - to get what they needed to get." He told them with his eyes? What is he, one of the alien kids from Village of the Damned? I'm sorry. That was a terrible thing to say about homicidal alien kids. Man, is he full of himself!
Probst suggested to Erinn that Coach is "a little passive-aggressive?" Coach isn't very passive. He's more like aggressive-aggressive. Jeff to Coach, "Because it sounds like what you're struggling with a little bit is ego."
"It's not about ego," Coach lied. Coach is not struggling with his ego at all. He surrendered to his massive ego years ago. Tyson and Brendan were both breaking up silently, listening to Coach's bullcrap pour out.
Jerry was, of course, voted out. Someone wrote "Jerry, we'll miss you." on their ballot voting him out.Now that is passive-aggression - and hypocrisy.
Jerry survived a year Afghanistan, where some of the most evilest people on earth were trying daily to kill him. He lasted 8 days on Survivor.
The previews of episode 4 showed Tyson the Nude Mormon dancing around in only a skimpy loincloth. You have been warned.
To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to
The Morehead the Merrier.