Before we begin this summary, I need to let you know that answers to several persistent Internet rumors will be addressed in this episode. In particular, many “Internet fans” have noticed that Vegas showgirl Janu has basically said and done nothing on this show since about episode 2. This has led many of these fans to pour over “screen caps” and develop “conspiracy theories,” raising the following serious questions.
• Does Janu have anything remotely interesting to do or say? Are they concealing her for a “shocking, surprise win”?
• Are we sure Janu is still on the show and they aren’t just showing the latest version of the immunity idol lying in Koror’s hammock all day?
• Who are these “Internet fans”? Don’t they have anything better to do with their lives?
Anyway, through careful scrutinizing of said “screen caps” it appears quite clear that Mark Burnett was using recycled footage of Janu from about Day 7 on. There have been only two colorable theories as to why this is so. First, there was a major Wayne Newton performance in Vegas at the time of filming, so it is possible Janu was emergency airlifted out to do the show. Second, many have speculated that Katie, the only castaway in the history of Survivor to actually gain weight on the show, may have eaten Janu on one of the few days Tom and Ian didn’t catch her a four-course meal.
I am happy to report that last episode it was made clear that, with Wayne’s shows over, Janu could return to the cast, although she still did nothing even remotely interesting. And don’t worry, that won’t change too much this time around, although I’ll try to spice her up a little bit through this summary. Also, for those of you who missed last week’s episode “And You Thought Gas Prices Were High,” I refer you to the following link. A quick recap though.
• Even Stephenie proved to be a dull contestant when she had nobody to talk to but herself. Despite Jiffy’s hyping of how exciting her “scary night alone” would be, nothing even remotely interesting happened to her.
• To try to spice up the show again, the producers let Stephenie join Koror on their beach as a ninth member.
• Tom got totally drunk and passed out in celebration of Steph’s arrival.
• Coby let Steph know that Jen was her main enemy and whined when he didn’t get to make fish hooks with Ian.
• That horribly boring pole-standing challenge got used again. Tom won immunity and the tribe booted Coby.
• Katie ate chocolate chip cookies at the challenge and gained even more weight.
As this week’s show opens, we get treated to a great scene of all the flies and maggots surrounding the Koror camp. And this time I’m actually not talking about Katie. Janu is depressed that the tribe voted Coby out without telling her. Katie announces both to Jenn and in confessional that she could care less what Janu thinks because Janu always has this crazy look on her face. And because Janu is thin.
Naturally, the producers make sure Janu will overhear this little snitfit so that she can then start lecturing Katie. Janu tells Katie that if she has something to say to her, she should say it to her face. Janu doesn’t appreciate backbiting. Katie considers Janu’s position to be “completely irrational” because if Katie said all of the nasty things she’s been saying behind everybody’s backs to their faces she would get booted out of Koror just like that. And then Tom and Ian wouldn’t be able to feed her and do her bidding. Personally Katie, if you want to see wigged-out and irrational, I suggest you wait until Survivor:Thailand comes out on DVD so you can watch Jan bury a bat. And yes when the Survivor summaries start representing a previous rendition as bad and boring as Thailand, you know things have gotten pretty stale in Palau.
Greg tries to play peacemaker and finally gets Katie to apologize. He agrees that the Janu/Katie spat is kind of a buzzkill but at the end of the day he wants to keep Janu around to help him win the game and the cash. To him, Steph is the threat.
Just as a programming note, Janu has now spoken more words in the show’s first nine minutes than she did in the first nine episodes combined. I think she just tripled her confessional total.
So we’re off to a reward challenge. It involves building a water tower of scaffolding to retrieve a flag and a map. The tribes get divided in half and the winner will get a Palauan tribal feast. Obviously, the tribe with Tom on it is going to win. The random flotsilla that gets to work the challenge with him consists of Greg, Caryn, and Janu. While building the scaffolding, Caryn and Janu pretty much sit things out but Captain America of course still manage to take an early lead. To be fair, because the teammates do have to work together, it basically becomes a race between which team has the most useless member. In a pretty close contest, Katie manages to edge out Janu in this department. In fact, Janu manages to scale her body (all 78 pounds of it) up the scaffolding at the end and swim back with the flag to victory.
Off-camera during the commercial I’m assuming Jenn does something noteworthy. Otherwise, I can’t figure out how she got picked for the show.
The four victors are excited for their feast. They arrive in a Palauan village. Tom, not realizing that the villagers will not be on the jury, immediately starts shaking hands and politicking. Caryn is given a crown and some flowers, which moves her to tears of happiness. Greg is excited to “experience what life in Palau is really like.” Based on the camera footage, life in Palau is like a bunch of half-naked women surrounding Greg and dancing in unison. Sigh. Four hours away from Jen and he’s already upgraded.
We are briefly treated to a few scenes of mostly naked women and some incomprehensible guttural sounds. And since Angie and James were booted weeks ago we know it must be part of a tribal ritual.The happy foursome then revels in a food feast. Janu eats her bodyweight and then proceeds to bring it all back up again. Greg points out what a waste this is with four others starving back home. Well, three others since we can’t really count Katie.
Of course, it doesn’t really matter since there are plenty of left-overs which the four bring back for the others, who seem to really enjoy it. Janu, proving herself even less adept at tribal politics than I thought, actually decides to sample some of the food they brought back. At least this time she doesn’t puke. Caryn apparently eats a little more as well, but since everybody’s pretty much ignoring Caryn these days that raises little note. Naturally, Janu’s actions cause Katie to go ballistic. How dare Janu eat “her” food. Next she orders her minions back in the water to get her more fish.