• Yaxha blew two challenges thanks to crappy building skills and a force of women ranging from idle to incompetent.
• And "fan favorite" BJ, who'd be right up there with Debb and Stacey Stillman if he looked like Lurch, had his manhood threatened by the Good Nurse Maggie (still not to be confused with Nurse Ratched, the winner of BB6).
For details, visit the lovely Coconut's picture perfect review. Meanwhile, you're stuck with me this week, kiddies. I've crawled out of the sewers of Big Brother, the Real World and *gasp* Battle of the Network Reality Stars, and now I've hit the big time! I'm gonna make it after all! *tosses hat into the air*
We open with daylight at Nakum, where even the howler monkeys are too hot and tired to do anything. Cindy tells us that it gets hotter each day. It started in triple digits, and each day, it seems like there's a few digits more. A few more digits? Holy crap! That means they're in the quadruple or quintuple digits! It's Survivor: Venus! Or Survivor: Sun! And as Good Nurse Maggie points out, when you get next to the fire, the heat gets even worse. Everyone nods in agreement, except BJ, who's completely confused by such scientific phenomena.
Yes, Nakum is scorching (yet Judd is wearing a blue version of the Morton Salt girl's rain slicker).
And the bugs. It's time for Judd to explain his scientific knowledge. The bugs are, like, the movie about killer bees. You know. "From Here to Eternity." But don't let Judd fool you. He grasps this situation better than any of us ever could. After all, he explains to us that the swatting strategy toward mosquitoes only works for a "millimeter of a second." Holy crap again! This dude has figured out how to measure time with a yardstick! Yeah, I know millimeter is metric. We don't buy into that Canadian commie crap. This is America, after all.
Colleen Haskell makes a cameo -- no wait. It's just someone's nappy legs. OK. We get it. The bugs are bad. At least they're not having to dig the Panama Canal. Let one of them get malaria, then I'll be impressed.
But even big manly Brandon's feeling the pain, opting to lie around and do nothing. But at least Nakum's winning, he says. He can't imagine how utterly defeated, dejected and depressed they must feel over at Yaxha. OK, freeze. Pop quiz, Survivor fans. The next scene is going to be:
A) Dejected, depressed, debilitated, deflated Yaxha members, living up to Brandon's quote B) Happy, upbeat, chipper Yaxha members, defying Brandon's quote. C) The eagerly awaited Jeff/Julie sex tape.
If you picked A, congratulations! If you picked B, turn off your TV and switch on one of those VH1 "celebreality" shows. They're probably more your style. If you picked C, get away from me, you sick SOB!
Brandon's predictions of woe be damned, Yaxha is happily collecting their meal of minnows today. The first Survivor made headlines when the castaways ate rats. Hard to believe it was a big deal, but this was pre-Fear Factor. Yaxha, meanwhile, has eaten minnows, termites, ants -- basically, the diet of a cannibalistic frog or freaking huge spider -- and no one even pays attention. But using cornmeal as bait, Yaxha manages to lure some minnows into their pot. Frankly, if the minnows are so thick, I don't see why scooping an empty pot in the water wouldn't catch minnows equally as well, but hey. Rafe's the wilderness guy. I think Best Westerns are roughing it. So who am I to question the fine-tuned fishing machine of Gary and Rafe?
Steph, meanwhile, notices a crocodile out in the water. The tribe is awed as the ravenous reptile snatches a fish in its mouth. And a fish bites Jamie's toes as he bathes. Yet another dumb event overhyped by a CBS promo. I've had worse things happen to me on New Jersey beaches without ever setting foot in the water.
Time for the non-reward reward challenge -- a break in the action, Jiffy promises. And any player who bought that must think this is Endurance: Hawaii. Man, those teens were bratty.
Anyway, it's time for Survivor Slam Books, as the tribes reveal what they think about each other. Tee hee. Danni has cooties.
First category: The Kim Powers Award. What tribe member is most in need of a meal? Jamie and Danni win two apples. Rafe is disappointed that Jamie's didn't come with some sort of worm in it.
Next up: The Ian award. Who reeks the worst? Mild-mannered Gary ekes out a victory (if you can call being told you smell the worst of a bunch of people who've been sitting in quadruple digit weather with no shower for more than a week "winning") from Yaxha, and BJ is not surprisingly Yaxha's choice.
BJ probably hasn't showered since setting foot on Palau. So BJ and Gary shower together. They start to shower and I enjoy the brief homoerotic moment of watching two men shower side-by-side, but Tom Westman unfortunately makes his cameo to demand that the tribes conserve the water for another use. Then he swims out, wrestles an alligator to the death and hops on the net and score 26 points in that Mayan basketball game while carrying all the supplies of both teams. A man's man indeed. Nobody, wisely, sniffs BJ.
Actually, I wish that had happened, as we're treated to a very unerotic, extra-long shower scene in which the other tribe members shout out such nonsense as "use that soap." Come to think of it, BJ probably needed the showering tips. Brian tells Gary: "We're going to be smelling you all night," and true to his word, he and the rest of the tribe lean in for a whiff of Gary when he sits down. Disturbing, yes -- but not as much as those Febreze commercials where people sniff carpets, car upholstry and their father's boxers.
Next question: The Katie award. Which man and woman deserve to turn their Survivor experience into a tourist excursion, eating an elaborate picnic lunch atop a Mayan pyramid? Gary and Amy win for Yaxha, and Good Nurse Maggie and Judd win for Nakum.
Amy timidly asks Jiffy if the picnic will be a tarantula. He assures her it's not, and Rafe snaps his fingers in disappointment. No, it's fried chicken, potato salad, chocolate chip cookies and iced tea. I'm particularly shocked that it wasn't Church's fried chicken, Wal-Mart brand potato salad, Mrs. Field's cookies and Lipton iced tea, but the product placements stay thankfully hidden yet again. A pleasant change from the Pringles-themed challenges of the past, I must say.
The final question: The Batty Jan award. Which member has the most tribe pride? Exuberant Brian and Cindy win, and their prize? They get to stay on their tribe. Brian wuz robbed.
The remaining Yaxha's -- Rafe, Stephenie, Lydia and Jamie -- join Cindy on Nakum. The other Nakum's draw to see where they go. Brooke stays with Nakum, and Brandon, BJ and Blake join Yaxha. And EPMB succeeds in his plan to protect Steph from another Ulonging.
The picnicking four toast to Guatamala, as mild-mannered Gary dodges questions from Good Nurse Maggie about his football-playing alter ego. Gary's about as good at lying as one of the kids on Full House. Amy's as good at seeing through the lies as Inspector Gadget. RIP, Don Adams. Another overhyped CBS promo.