• Poverty gets sliced. • Survivors get a slice of home life. • Sundra, Adam, Povety and her father get a slice of “paid native extra” life. • The tribe bonds and slices Jonathan away from the game, and his hat. Viewers everywhere loose yet another slice of their sanity.
The time has come for us to review just how “revolutionary” game 13 of survivor has really been. To compare and contrast certain elements that have become so commonplace that viewers can almost guess what is going to happen before the episode has been aired, without the help of the spoilers board:
Element #1. The really, really, really annoying people (ie. The type A’s, the over 40’s, and the hard workers) are voted out in order to leave the viewer with the obtuse, the coat-tailor, the contestant everyone says “there’s a _________ in this game?! Who knew? The eye-candy, and those that find the “hidden” immunity idol, or keep winning the horrible, spiked, spiny evil fish hook weapon thingy the producers pass off as a “necklace.”
Enter Poverty and Adumb, who are again sitting in the shelter alone while the rest of the tribe (read, Ozzy) builds a fire. Adam gloats how he hated Jonathan for catching all those fish and making him look bad to the others, and how now that he has gotten rid of him, can now turn his attention to “cracking the armor of those four out there.” Poverty simpers and feigns interest until such time as she can get her private interview and declare that “our position of power is very limited.” Limited? I’d say 2-4 is no position at all, but then, I’m just a bunny.
So, in regards to element #1, I’d say that for all the “new game, new twist” commercials we have been handed for the last 13 weeks, the producers are pretty much right on schedule with the same old stuff.
Element #2. We are treated to inane tree mail, that is so obvious to the viewer what the “challenge” will be that we want to toss a brick at our TV’s, while the tribe looks around dull eyed wondering what the heck is going to happen to them next. And, by episode 13, most are focusing on a free vehicle that will curse one poor schmuck right out of the finals.
Enter Yul and Ozzy, who skip and clap all the way to the fire. Interestingly, we are treated to a back view of Yul, whose tee shirt has various slash marks from where the remaining tribe members keep trying to stab him in the back, but keep missing the mark. Yul and Ozzy stand in front of the tribe, and recite the instructions of the next challenge.
Again you’ll burst out of your swimwear Titillation’s the name of this game MB’s getting bored with the plotting So you’d better show skin with no shame.
You could be naked and flirting in hot tubs While others just shiver and gasp And you’d better make sure that Parvati Is there to extend her firm grasp.
Now, we as viewers immediately say “mud wrestling with Poverty: soft porn moment” and male viewers everywhere position themselves closer to their screens. To drive this point home, Ra kissed me and thanked me profusely for the monster flat screen, HDTV we bought this year.
The tribe sort of gets it, saying things like “naked mud wrestling” but for the most part the only thing that the dumb duo understands is that Adumb has to win, or he will get sent to Exile Island.
At the reward challenge, the tribe walks in to see a big mud pit behind a fence. Mr. Probst tells them that the have to dive into said pit, roll around, and race back to where they will scrape from their honed, well defined bodies all the mud into a bucket. They can’t carry the mud, mind you -- it has to be taken off of their bodies. How they accumulate the most mud is entirely up to them, they have to figure it out for themselves. (remember that, it’s important) They only have 10 minutes to do this, and they better make it as titillating as possible. The top three winners of this challenge get a reward of an overnight resort stay, with showers, laundry service, massages, a soft bed, warm food, and beer, wine, and champagne.
Poverty strikes a pose, smiles, twiddles her hair and says “You’re killing me Jeff!”
Jeff’s expression says “Oh, if only that were true.”
After Jeff says “GO!!” it surprises no one that Ozzy hurdles the fence and dives into the pit first, with Yul right behind him. Jeff’s voice over says “what strategy will you use?” and we are treated to a shot of Poverty rubbing her breasts, (I assume it’s because she thinks hard nipples will provide a good shelf for mud) while Jeff says in exasperation “you can put mud on you HEAD you know.” So much for figuring it out for herself, eh?
Adumb is the first back to his bucket and scrapes off half a cup at best, followed by Yul who has carried a load on his back, and Ozzy who fills a fourth of his bucket on the first pass. Becky and Sundra are next, wringing out their hair, followed by Poverty who has given up on her nipples, and is useing her hair as well. As they each fill their buckets, Jeff proclaims it “bad performance art” but keeps detailing the scrapings and rollings. Ten minutes are over far to soon for most male viewers, and the weighing in commences.
Ozzy: 45 lbs. Clearly the winner. Poverty: 24 lbs. Finally she proves that her head is good for something besides a place to put a scrunchie. Adumb: 22 lbs. wooooooohoooooooo, no exile for him, AND a shower! Sundra and Becky tie at 20 lbs. Now, someone is missing. Oh yes; Yul. Jeff leaves him till last so that he can stick it to Adumb. Jeff finally takes Yul’s bucket, and we find that he’s got 22 ½ lbs.
Winners are Ozzy, Poverty, and Yul. Losers are Becky and Sundra. Idiot on Exile Island? Adumb.
So, in regards to element #2, they remained quite dull eyed, but no one mentioned a car, or even thought about it – so, we finally got one twist away from formula.
Element #3: At the end of the first challenge of episode 13, somebody suddenly has the epiphany that: a) They are in a game, or b) Someone else has been playing the game all along, or c) They have underestimated a player who they thought was not playing the game, or d) They had better start playing the game, or e) All of the above.
Sundra and Becky return to camp and rather than leap into the surf to clean up, run in out of the rain to eat and grouse, and “roll with the punches.” In a burst of realization, Becky complains that Ozzy always wins, always tries to win, and that this is a game he could win. Sundra simply chews and nods in agreement, as she is barely in the game anyway.
On the plane to reward, Poverty complains that her head feels heavy. It’s really not, she simply is feeling what it’s like to actually have a brain in her skull. She murmers something about turning her charms on Ozzy, who is a dirt clod with sparkling white teeth.
Immediately upon landing, the three get leid, and led off to the showers. They drag dirt through their room, drop muddy clothes on the floor, and head off to the showers. We get LOTS of shower shots, as titillation was part of the reward challenge, and the reward. During the massages, each of the players talks about how good it feels, and how they can last 5 more days after this “slice of life outside the game.”
Meanwhile, on Exile Island, Adumb lies on the beach with only the flies for company. It irks him that he is alone with no fire, shelter or cooked food. Now, you would think that after so many days on this stupid island, he would have torn down some planks from the ship for a shelter and firewood, but Adumb was always hoping Ozzy would do it. To bad Ozzy never got sent there, eh? Anyway, he proclaims he will “keep fighting.”
Back at the resort, the winners are all eating, drinking, and making merry when the lights go out. Poverty giggles, and makes plays on Ozzie as the help busts out the candle light. Suddenly, with stealth movements that would impress even the best of ninja’s, an island band and luau floorshow appears out of nowhere. As she watches all these “natives” dance about, Poverty proclaims this is “better than dinner and a movie – but lets get naked in the hot tub.”
They all get in the tub, where Ozzy shows them “the great Cook Islands humpback whale” which consists of his naked tushie diving into the adjoining swimming pool. Poverty giggles and finds this so funny that she “peed her pants, and she’s not even wearing any.” Yul exits the tub quickly, and muses that maybe, just maybe, Poverty has been playing Ozzy to advance herself in the game. He excuses himself by saying “something has come up,” while Poverty coos thinking he means Ozzy.
When everyone returns to camp, Becky summons Yul to the back beach to tell him that Ozzy has been playing the game, and they need to get rid of him. Yul consults Sundra on this idea, and she agrees, also pointing out that Poverty’s flirting as strategy shouldn’t come as a surprise to Yul as that has been her MO all along. The sudden realization that Ozzy’s winning as an alliance of one, and Poverty actually is a strong competitor leaves the Yulfather pondering his next move.
So, in regards to Element #3, this is the same thing we have seen for the past 12 seasons. No twist, or new stuff here either.
At the Immunity challenge, Jeff utters those three little words that send everyone into a panic:
Balance. Puzzle. Ozzy.
Jeff yanks the immunity necklace/weapon from Ozzy’s neck, with the promise that he will give it right back at the end of the challenge.
In this challenge, he explains, players will carry 4 bundles of puzzle pieces across a horribly thin balance beam, leap over a line drawn in the sand, then put the pieces together to create a table maze. After the maze is complete, they will have to take a cannon ball and roll it through the maze and pass it through two side pockets at the end of the table.
Survivors ready? Ozzy, ready? Go!
Ozzy kicks off his shoes and is across the beam and back at the start before Jeff can even say his name. Adumb gets to the end of the beam, but falls behind the line, has to start over. Yul gets across. Becky gets across. Ozzy has his second across. Poverty falls. Yul gets his second across. Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb. Becky takes a header, has to start over Ozzy has 4, he starts on his table. Poverty gets her second across, Yul gets his third. Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb. Yul gets his forth, starts puzzle, Ozzy already has one ball out. Poverty gets her third; Becky gets her second across. Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb. Poverty gets her fourth, and starts gnawing on the knots. Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb. Ozzy has one ball in, and is working on the second. Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb. Yul can’t get the puzzle to fit correctly. Poverty has her pieces on the ground Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb. Ozzy sinks the hole, walks to Jeff, gets the necklace. Poverty, Yul, and Becky all congratulate him half-heartedly. If they could tell left hand from right they’d give him a compliment. Sundra keeps falling off, as does Adumb.
Element #4: After IC, tribe members who suddenly realize they are in a game get very worried, and start trying to work on the REAL players. They are, of course, “poor players who strut and fret, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, " and will continue to strut and fret right through TC, where they can signify nothing for the jury as well.
Back at the camp, everyone is talking about how Ozzy is a bigger and bigger threat, and they had better cover their bases. Adumb and Poverty sit in the shelter where Ozzy wants to nap and badger him about who he will vote for. Ozzy says he won’t answer, because his situation is so precarious. Adumb and Poverty just stare at him blankly, both deciding that they had better ask Yul what precarious means.
Sundra, Becky, and Yul decide that someone better go in and find out what is going on in the shelter. The Yulfather takes up the gauntlet, and scares the carp out of Adumb by glowering at him.
Now that Adumb has been suitably chastised, Yulfather announces that he wants to give Jonathan back his magic hat, because it is the “right thing to do.” The tribe doesn’t argue with him (remember that, it’s important) and off they go to TC.
At TC, Yul very quietly puts the hat on the jury bench and goes and sits down. The tribe follows him, and say nothing. The Jury comes in, and Jonathan gets his hat, smiles and sits down.
Jeff, who has watched all this while sneaking sips from his hip flask, decides it’s time to “out” Yul. Proclaiming this “the boldest move yet to win a vote in the history of Survivor” he proceeds to chortle with glee as he tells Jonathan that Yul brought his hat back. He badgers Yul to admit that he was not being noble, but was doing damage control. Jeff then asks the tribe members one by one if they knew. All of them say yes, and when questioned as to why they would agree with the move, they all repeat that Yul is the brains, omnipotent, and that they do whatever he says like good minions are supposed to do.
Adumb admits that he doesn’t think anyone is playing the game but Yul. Yul finally admits that the hat trick was both a nice thing to do, and an appeasement for past wrongs. Jonathan looks confused, Jeff looks quite pleased with himself.
Feeling self satisfaction on outing Yul for the scum ball he is, Jeff drops it and moves on to Poverty “bonding” with Ozzy and Yul. Poverty is momentarily speechless as she realizes that yes, Yul was there, but recovers by saying “Me, two guys and a hot tub, the odds were in my favor.” Jeff’s expression once again is one of “why didn’t they drown you when they had the chance?”
Time to vote! Interspersed with shots of Poverty and Adumb holding each other in fear, we hear the votes. Sundra, Poverty, Poverty, Sundra, Poverty, Poverty.
Poverty Porn is over, at least until the finale on Sunday. Jeff sends the tribe on their way with absolutely no words of wisdom.
In regards to element #4, nothing new here, no twist, or turn. Unless you believe that Jeff outing Yul was totally out of line since he dropped the hat BEFORE the jury came in. But then, maybe that could be counted as the host telling the tale of idiots for an hour upon the stage.
Element #5: In an effort to sound like they really did have intelligence and a strategy (or maybe to simply justify their stupidity) the snuffed player will attempt to explain where or how they went wrong.
Poverty strikes a pose for the camera, and blathers on about how much she learned about her inner strength, how she could survive out there on her own, and how she could have “worked” Ozzy more in the hot tub, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.