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Wanda's Words of Wisdom – Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 9


by Wanda Shirk

SO — Judd proves once again that he’s the man to watch out for. His physical prowess wins him immunity, he banquets and gets drunk with celebrities at his side, he pukes in the shelter, he lies about the location of the immunity idol …

AND HE GETS NO VOTES AT TRIBAL COUNCIL! Nobody says, “Hey, we need to take Judd out as soon as he doesn’t have immunity, or this belligerent monster is going to win some beautiful new vehicle and start claiming more immunities so that we can never get rid of him.” Nobody! NOBODY! WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

Gary continues to do what a good, competitive Survivor player should do. When there’s a hint of what to practice for an immunity challenge, Gary practices — he’s out there balancing on rock ledges and preparing to give it his best, just as he did in the head-balancing feat previously. Gary tries to negotiate for himself and for others. He doesn’t like and doesn’t trust the lying Judd, he keeps an eye on him and gets his own clue about where to look for the immunity idol, and he wins it to save himself from being in the first spot on the jury. And then he votes for sweet Cindy, who has a conscience and goodness in her, and he doesn’t vote for Judd? I repeat, WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? Is this the Gary who said we can’t let the wrong kind of people get to the Final Four? HELLO?

Jamie is a source of confusion. He almost redeemed himself with his “We’re one tribe now” attitude and his willingness to sacrifice his spot in line for the burger for last place. I’d heard a bit about this story earlier, but with no names attached, just that somebody got a cup of nuts and a cup of lake water because he was last place in line at a feast, and that this person had had tears in his eyes when he told the story to someone else after the game. It was painful for him. I pitied him. Until this week’s episode, I didn’t know to whom the story applied, and I didn’t know that the guy had taken last place voluntarily. Some may take it as a self-serving, neck-saving gesture, but I honestly believe that Jamie made the sacrifice as evidence of true penitance. I also read that Jamie doesn’t come from a background of much money and that his big goal for Survivor was to win enough money to buy his mom a house. I believe there’s a goodness inside Jamie. But then comes the confusion again: Why did he tell his tribemates a flat-out lie, that Gary was planning to vote for him at TC, when Gary clearly said he was going to vote with him? I’d almost like to believe that Jamie himself could possibly have misunderstood, but that’s just because I always try to find the best in someone else. It certainly appears that Jamie was deliberately lying to gain personal sympathy while making Gary look like a liar, a must-delete Yaxha enemy. Jamie thus negated his “one tribe” speech.

Bobby Jon’s a good guy. He’s a hard worker and he’s a tough physical competitor. Sure, he looks a little crazy sometimes when the heat of competition gets to him, but Bobby Jon is heart and soul the Southern Gentleman he idealizes in his talk. He went out of his way to apologize to Jamie for saying that Jamie had no class, when it was Jamie who needed to be doing the apologizing, and it was Bobby Jon who extended his hand to Jamie to seal the making of amends. When he was invited to Judd’s table, Bobby Jon consciously refrained from excessive eating and drinking in front of the less fortunate. I know Bobby Jon, and I love Bobby Jon. He got screwed (there’s no better way to say it) in S-10 and S-11 by being on the weaker tribe both times. Gary and Jamie, the number one and number two targets for this week’s TC, both won immunity, so number three turned out to be Bobby Jon. But we repeat: WHY WAS IT NOT JUDD INSTEAD? Strange, the Khadafi-like power of a stupid, drunken leader who can do whatever he wants, just as he said, and still come out ahead of a truly better man like BJ.

Lydia deserves a mention again this week. She keeps smiling and is unpretentiously, genuinely grateful even for a small fish because she felt she didn’t deserve anything more than a couple of dry crackers. Let’s face it: the challenge was biased in favor of strong arms. Even a child could have predicted with 100% accuracy that Lydia had the least chance to get a decent meal in that competition. (I must say, I was amazed that Cindy, Danni, and Steph all out-threw our star quarterback!) Lydia could have complained that the challenge was unfair to an older woman, and we would all have sympathized and agreed. She could have said that it was time for puzzle-challenges or something that involved mind more than muscle. But you never hear Lydia whine. Nope! She’s thankful for her fish! GO LYDIA! (But cast a vote for Judd soon, will ya please????)

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