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Blindfolds and War Paint – Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 3


by Carrie

Last week, Morgan was unanimously voted out for apparently being lazy around camp. This week, we join Yaxha as Lydia is gathering wood and working her tail off while the others are still sleeping. She says that, even though it was Morgan who left, she feels certain that her head was on the chopping block. Well yeah, Gary pretty much told you it was. She feels now that Brianna should be the next to go because she is weak and lazy.

Cut to Brianna and Lydia sitting together, facing the same way, and looking at anything but each other. Brianna mentions it might rain, and Lydia agrees. This is the extent of their conversation, as neither of them feels comfortable with the other.

Brian says privately that he orchestrated Morgan’s boot, but if he can’t save Lydia in the future he won’t throw a fit about it. He says that he needs to do whatever it takes to fit in here and stay longer.

At Nakum, the tribe is having difficulty sleeping due to a very vocal howler monkey clinging to a nearby tree. Judd is going crazy, saying that he’s only had a few hours’ sleep over the past few days because of the monkey. Cindy explains that the monkey must be looking for his family, and wonders how anyone could complain about their surroundings when others would pay to be woken up by howler monkeys in Guatemala. Judd is unimpressed with Cindy’s ramblings about animals and nature, however.

It’s time for the reward challenge, and it’s one of those “everyone is blindfolded except one person who directs everyone else to find items to build something with” things. In this case, they’re building a archaeologist’s tent (which is a fancy term for a bunch of sticks fitted together and covered with a tarp, then tied down with rope). Brooke will be hollering directions for Nakum, and Gary is calling the plays for Yaxha. (Get it? Heehee.)

The prize for the winner is a bunch of blankets and pillows, a lantern and fuel, and a tarp. Worth playing for? Apparently!

The tribes are blindfolded and sent out to find their stuff. Judd picks up a couple of posts, turns around, and nails Danni right in the skull. After Danni hollers in pain, Brooke tells her to watch her head. Heh. Margaret gets nailed with some posts as well, and Danni gets hit again. Fun stuff, this blindfold thing is.

Nakum gets their nine items and starts building the tent. Steph calls out that the men build, the women untie. This doesn’t really catch, as Steph herself starts helping the men. I guess she should have specified, “men and me build, weak women untie”. Yaxha is catching up, having retrieved all of their items, and they quickly pull ahead of the disorganized and befuddled Nakum.

Both tribes struggle with the ropes, which are different lengths and will only fit in certain places. Yaxha gets them figured out first, however, and win reward. Bobby Jon jumps around like there are fire ants in his shoes – poor guy just isn’t used to winning yet. Stephenie calls it a “cluster mess”; not what I would have called it, but at least her version made it past the CBS sensors.

Back at camp, the Yaxha women discuss how much they wanted to win. Amy starts talking about how gross they all are – only one pair of underwear, no soap, brushing their teeth with dirt, and going to the bathroom in the jungle. They have a good laugh and spirits are raised somewhat. Amy says in a confessional that she’s there for the long haul – they’d have to poke needles in her eyes and drag her out, and even then she wouldn’t want to leave.

Nakum is feeling the heat, literally. It’s a billion degrees in Guatemala, and they’re all feeling that the nearby water is a big tease, since it’s full of crocodiles and therefore a touch on the dangerous side for swimming and cooling off. A bunch of them decide to risk it anyway, however. Cindy, the zookeeper, says that the crocs will likely be in the deeper part of the water to keep cool, and that’s exactly where most of the rest of her tribe heads out for a dip. Maybe she’s hoping that the crocs will help thin out her tribe or something. Brandon comments that “the brave may not live long, but the cautious don’t live at all”. I dunno – it’s a nice sentiment, but I’d be sticking with Cindy on this one.

At Yaxha, Brianna is trying to make herself useful by making corn mush for everyone. As someone who gags at the sight of cream corn, this stuff looks absolutely revolting. The alternative that Rafe comes up with, however, is even worse. He finds a rotting log full of termites, and he and Gary dig in. Steph threatens not to be their friend anymore if they keep eating the bugs, because somehow she’s reverted back to fourth grade. Must be the heat.

Meanwhile, Nakum is trying to figure out what to do with the tarp that they won. Judd and Bobby Jon are trying to tie it to some trees to make a roof for their shelter, and Margaret comes along with some advice. She wants it tilted slightly, which makes sense with the amount of rain they get. But the boys don’t want to hear someone older or wiser pipe in, they just want to be manly men and get something put together, even if they have to redo it the next day. Bobby Jon complains that Margaret is ruining his fun, and Judd points out that they’re grown adults and don’t need a boss out there.

Treemail arrives and comes with pots of paint, pieces of fabric, and feathers. The poem speaks of the Mayan people who used to compete, with the losers having to sacrifice someone. They will be doing the same. The props are there so they can get themselves gussied up for the challenge. I’m liking this Mayan theme more and more, and really like that they’re playing it up so much. Remember Pearl Islands? Totally missed the boat on the pirate theme after the first few episodes. But I digress.

Lydia says privately that she wants to be a star in this challenge, and she’s going to give it her all. She still feels vulnerable and she’s not ready to go home yet.

Both tribes meet for the immunity challenge, and Jeff is pleased that they’ve taken the war paint thing to heart. They will be playing a form of Mayan basketball. The playing field is made up of netting that is suspended on posts, making it difficult to run. They will be playing three-on-three, with the object of the game to get the rather heavy-looking ball through their tribes’ hoop. Once someone has the ball, they must shoot or pass – there is no traveling whatsoever.

Yaxha takes the first point, and as she’s stepping onto the net-court for the second round, Amy twists her ankle. She’s clearly in pain, and Nakum takes advantage to tie up the score. The third round is all women, and Steph has the ball. She’s looking around for someone to pass it to, but Brianna is just standing there doing nothing. Way to make yourself useful, Brianna. Lydia takes the pass and runs with the ball – a clear violation of the rules. Nakum gets the ball and goes ahead 2-1.

The score keeps moving back and forth until Nakum is leading 4-3. They need one more point to win this thing. The teams are Steph, Brianna, and Lydia for Yaxha, and Cindy, Margaret, and Danni for Nakum. Steph tries to explain to Brianna and Lydia what a “pick” is in basketball, but they have no clue. And frankly, neither do I.

Stephenie gets to the ball first, and tries to find someone open. Brianna is, you guessed it, just standing there. Lydia is trying to get to Steph, but she’s short and not the most athletic person on the planet, so she’s having a hard time getting past the opposition. The Yaxha folks on the sidelines start yelling at Brianna to move, but she ignores them and continues to stand there doing abso-freaking-lutely nothing. Someone should have yelled “if you don’t get your ass in there, it’s going to be voted out”, but I’m not sure even that would have worked.

Danni is all over Steph trying to get the ball, which she eventually does and Nakum gets their point. So Yaxha is headed to tribal council once again.

Back at camp again, Stephenie is upset. Once again she finds herself on a tribe that can’t seem to pull off a win. Amy is injured, Lydia just isn’t athletic, and Brianna has her head up her butt. Amy makes sure that everyone knows that, even though she’s injured, she’s still up and about and will be fine. She’s still in it to win with them.

Jamie and Lydia discuss their vote, and Jamie is extremely adamant that Brianna be the one to go. He’s very upset at how useless she was in the challenge. Jamie says that he likes women “crazy and pretty”, and that Brianna is neither. You go Jamie.

Brianna tells Steph that she’s voting for Lydia because Lydia doesn’t like her anyway. She does admit though that she was “probably” the weak link in the challenge. Probably? You mean because you did nothing? Then yeah, probably. Gary says privately that they need to keep the athletic people and get rid of the weak ones. They’re putting so much emphasis on this that there’s got to be something coming up that will make it look like a dumb move, although I can’t imagine what that will be.

It’s tribal council time, and Jeff asks Stephenie if this is starting to feel a bit familiar for her. She admits that she’s having flashbacks, and when asked about the challenge she says she was frustrated. She points out that Brianna and Lydia didn’t know what a pick was, but they both tried hard and she can’t fault them for that. That’s right, Brianna tried hard … um, no, no she didn’t. Be honest Steph.

Brianna and Lydia are both asked about their lackluster performances in the challenge, and they think they tried their best. Lydia points out that she never gave up. Brian says that the other team is more athletic, but Yaxha is more determined. Amy says that her ankle isn’t broken, so she’s okay. She emphasizes again that she wants to stay.

And now it’s voting time. Brianna predictably votes for Lydia, saying that Lydia has never looked her in the eye or tried to get to know her. Jamie votes for Brianna, calling her a girly-girl and telling her it’s time to go back to the mall. Stephenie votes and says that it’s not personal – she’s doing what’s best for the tribe.

Jeff goes to tally the votes. It’s unanimous – bye bye Brianna. On her way out, Brianna tells the remaining members to kick some butt. Jeff says that their voting strategy is obvious – take out the weak and keep the strong – but says that this could be risky for them. Is this foreshadowing? I wonder.

Brianna’s final words are basically a bunch of fluff to the effect of not being as athletic as the others, but still having the time of her life in Guatemala.

Next week, Yaxha gets up close and personal with a croc, Nakum gets cranky, and it looks like there’s some sort of twist about to be introduced as we see Steph with her mouth hanging open.

Comments or questions? Drop me a line at carrie@realityshack.com.


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