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At Least They Got A Rock – Survivor: Vanuatu, Episode 1

[i]by atarus[/i]

It’s that time again! It’s time for….SURVIVOR: VANUATU! AKA SURVIVOR: GENERIC SOUTH PACIFIC ISLAND WITH A BIT OF A TWIST ‘CAUSE THERE ARE CANNIBALS.

Anyway.

Jiffy Pop Probst is standing on Mt. Yasur. He introduced Vanuatu, a land of cannibalism, black magic, etc. etc. Shots of the Survivors on the boat, you know the drill. And then there’s a really cool camera shot of Probst with a bunch of smoke behind him that’s really really spiffy. And then the natives start yelling and screaming and come out to the boat in little boats. Chad looks shocked, JP had this smirk on his face like “Cool.” And Leann was all O_o

Probst climbs aboard the ship and says that to be granted access to the land, the Survivors have to take part in a tribal ritual, and it’s an authentic Vanuatu tribal tradition. Mia gets the first confessional of the show, saying she’s “really nervous about the ritual.” Travis is up next, and he says he’s glad that there were boats, because he just learned to swim 6 weeks before the show. He then proceeds to tip the boat over and hangs onto the ladder on the boat for dear life. (I love this guy already.)

Leann is overwhelmed, moved to tears from the ceremony and the boats. The castaways get onto land, and then the natives charge at them and poke at them with their spears. *pokey pokey pokey* JP is befuddled. Are we supposed to be defending ourselves or what? This brings a funny image to mind. I see one of the Survivors grabbing a spear and karate chopping a native, and all 18 Survivors + Probst getting slaughtered and eaten alive. Now THAT would have been a killer first 10 minutes!

Sadly, no, that doesn’t happen. Instead, more befuddled and scared looks from the castaways. Rory comments on the fact that nobody jabbed a spear at him, like it was okay for the black guy to visit the island. Then the natives start to slap the girls with sticks to try and move them away. Eliza states that they had no idea what was going on when the natives started slapping us on the butt with sticks. (Funny, she’s a sorority girl, you’d think she’d be used to being slapped on the butt by strangers.) The women realize that they are being seperated from the men, and aren’t too happy about it, because the guys are in the middle of the action, and the girls are off to the side.

Lea is pointed to a bowl, and he thinks he’s supposed to wash his fingers. As it turns out, they have to drink the nasty lookin’ water. Rory says that you drank it, and your lips went numb, your throat went numb, all your body goes numb. Travis has a hard time with the drink and pukes and spits. JP is all happy that the men are getting special treatment, while Ami is PO’d she didn’t get anything. “I’m not used to being second to a man!” You go girl!

Lisa says that the Vanuatu honor pigs. She sees the pig strung up on a pole, and thinks it’s dead…but nope! It’s not! Eliza is all “EWWWWW.” It was cool watching the native smack the pig with the hammer though. Dolly was like, yup, I do that to sheep alllll the time. Nothing strange there. Then the blood of the pig is put on the men’s face, Lea says they’re warriors of Vanuatu!

Finally, Jiffy Pop introduces the immunity rock. Er, no wait. It’s just a rock that keeps spirits away. It’s a reward challenge! The reward: A ROCK. The men think it’s pretty sweet. Travis says “It’s not what I believe, but I just wanted the rock so the women didn’t have it.” The men have to climb up a greased pole and grab the rock. A native does it as demonstration, then the chief picks a man out to do it. The chief points in Lea’s direction, but he doesn’t want to do it. Brady is the chosen one, and hey look, Brady’s smart. He watched the native dude, and gets up the pole like a monkey. The men have a rock. Sah-weet. Travis says it was eerie that as soon as Brady grabbed the rock, it started raining like pee outta something. Man, I love Travis. He’s so Big Tom V.2.0.

Jeff then reveals that the men are going to be competing against the women. Chris is glad, because he can outsmart men better than he can outsmart women. Women stick together and help each other, the men are conniving and backstabbing, and he can manipulate them. Twila is annoyed, the young, prissy ones are going to get to her, what did she get herself into? Mia says that the women got a bum deal in the ceremony, and they’ll be out for the blood of the men. The tribes are Lopevi for the men, and Yasur for the women. (My friend pointed out that Yasur sounds like Yes, Sir. Kinda funny.)

The girls are cautious of going through the dark. Scout wants to hunker down and wait out the night, so it’ll be easier to find the camp. Dolly and Scout and Ami sit together and want to talk with each other and do slumber-party get-to-know-you games. Eliza gets annoyed, she didn’t want to be the odd person out yelling at Scout and such, but she does anyway. Luckily, people agree with her, and the girls get trudging along again. On the guys side, Rory starts telling people that they should split up and it’ll be easier to find the campsite that way. (Hasn’t Rory ever watched a scary movie? If they split up, one of the groups is going to get slaughtered by the Ghost of Vanuatu.) Anyway, Brook says “Who does Rory think he is? Ordering people around!” Rory says that there’s no independent thought among the bunch, they’re all young and headstrong. Finally, back to the girls, they find their flag, and they get all huggy.

It’s the next day, and it’s Amazon all over again. The older women are complaining about the younger women. Scout says that where she comes from they call the sorority girls “bowheads” and they’re like cattle. They’re favorite topics to talk about are themselves. She mentions that Eliza talks non-stop, and would love to vote her out to get her mouth out of her face. Eliza is yapping, but I can’t remember what she’s saying because her cleavage is amazing and out there for everyone to see. Then she gets up and has a “Zuh?” moment. “Are they working on the shelter?” She asks, as Twila, Leann, and Scout go *facepalm*. I hope Eliza sticks around in the show, I really do. It’ll be muchos easios to make fun of her, I think. Eliza, for the camera, says that Twila is working on the shelter non-stop, being a workhorse. Twila, on the other hand, complains that their mouths are moving while their hands ain’t. Just as long as they don’t bitch about things when they freeze their butts off. (You go Twila!)

We then switch to Lopevi. The men have their water, but they still need to boil it to drink. JP is trying to make fire, and Chris comments, saying that “he thinks he’s bad, he’s buff, and he’s young, he’s got the frame, but he doesn’t got the brain.” The guys get all happy about a spark, but they don’t get the fire. Chad then decides that he’s done enough physical exertion to show off his talents as THE BIONIC MAN. *bum bum BUM* John K remarks he had no idea that Chad had a bionic leg, and he’s impressed. Brook says he’ll still vote him off if he has to. And Brady quips that “he’s nice, he’s smart, and he’s the underdog. We’re screwed!” I feel for ya Brady, I do I do.

It’s treemail and immunity challenge time! Leann gives the remark that we all heard in Amazon about how women are assumed weaker, so they’re going to show up the men and kick butt in the challenges. Both tribes need the fire reward. As the women gather, they eye Chad’s prosthetic leg. (Yeah ladies, you know what they say about a man with a prosthetic leg.) Jiffy Pop Probst introduces the challenge. All nine have to go under a mud crawl. Then 3 of the tribe have to navigate a ball through a mini-maze. Then all 9 have to cross a balance beam. Then 3 have to light a fire to grab a torch, light the torch, and then the tribe runs to the finish line and lights the wok. Sounds simple! If they win, they get flint and a pointed stick. Personally, I would have preferred the immunity rock.

They’re off! The women and the men are even through the mud crawl. Scout gets kinda stuck at the end, and the men take a lead going into the ball maze. The men finish the maze first, and they’re off to the balance beam. Now, once again, we all remember Amazon. Personally, I think they put the beam into the challenge just so the women could win, ’cause men suck at balancing. Travis and Chad start off by falling off. John K and Brady make it across alright. By this time the women have started on the beam. And for the men, they all start humping the beam! Travis looked like he was getting splinters up his chest as he shimmied across. One by one, they all get across, until it’s Chris vs. Scout. They’re neck and neck, and neck and neck, and….Chris falls off. Scout topples off into the net, and the girls start to work on the fire. Chris tries and tries and tries, but no matter what he does he just can’t make it across the beam. Women light the fire, grab the torch, and claim the pointy stick for their own. They then go into a chant, laughing at the men. It kind of reminds me of 2nd grade, ya know, when girls and boys have cooties, and all the girls gather together on the schoolyard and chant at the boys and giggle.

So Lopevi is headed to TC. Brady says that losing to women is tough, and Chris just couldn’t make it across the balance beam. Chris states he wanted to make it across, he just couldn’t. The point of the game though, is to outlast people, not outbalance. JP, JK, Brady, and Brook are all in a huddle and decide that Chris is the weakest link, and he needs to say goodbye. They bring in the Sarge, aka Lea, and schmooze him into their way of thinking. He says he’ll go along with it, but then says “they were assuming that I thought that Chris was the weakst link.” Lea then talks to Chris, and Chris tells Lea that everything’s under control. They talk about JP, but he’s strong and he wants to build a fire, so they say, maybe Brook? Yeah, he’s kinda useless and has only been shown in like two confessionals. He’s a good choice. Chris then solidifies that he doesn’t think he’s vulnerable at all, he’s got a plan. Brook is worried that he’s a strong, younger guy, and he’s going to be a target for it. And then Brady says that he’s thinking about voting for Rory. For the heck of it. Ya know, ’cause he doesn’t fit in. “He’s on his own sheet of music.” Thanks Brady, I’m actually going to use that quote from now on to describe weird people. Really, I am.

We go to TC. Everyone raises their hand when asked if they were annoyed at Chris. Lea says “all he had to do was bring his tail across the beam, all they had to do then was start a fire.” Chris remarks that he “doesn’t think he’s dead…everyone will benefit the team somehow in the future.” Rory thinks he fits in, and a few of the other guys snicker. JP says the team’s on red alert for having no water. Travis, apparently the only guy to have watched the Amazon season, says he knew the women would be tough competition. Brook says there’s some nice tail on the other team. (I’m so glad most of the men and women are married or somehow attached to someone else in this battle of the sexes. Much less Bachelorish now. Except for Brook, but he’s being voted out in a few seconds anyway.)

We then go to voting. We see Brook vote for Chris and mumble something I don’t understand, Brady vote for Rory and say “it’s all about the team, sorry to see you go” like Rory’s going to get more than just his vote, and Chris votes for Brook saying “Just playing the game, man.” The votes are tallied, and in a 5-3-1 vote, Brook takes the walk of shame. Bye bye Brook!

Columnist’s Note: I am putting my hat in the ring. I am rooting for Chris, Travis, Lea, Brady, Chad, Twila, Leann, and Scout. Chris and Travis are my #1 and #2, with Twila at #3. I hope to see one of those three win. I’m long overdue for a favorite of mine to win Survivor. So let’s go team!

On the next episode, lines are drawn at Lopevi as Travis tells JP that he’s a threat. Yasur pulls a Jaburu and gets miserable. And Rory yells at Lea while Lea mumbles incoherently. (And I bet all of you thought that Lea was going to be the one yelling this season. I’m glad he proved you all wrong and was a smart guy instead of stupid.)

Brooks’ Final Words: Something about not wanting to be the first person off, and that he got schooled in Survivor, and peace out to all those in Survivorland.

My e-mail is atarus33@yahoo.com. I’m long overdue to actually get to talk to or e-mail a reality contestant, so if you’re a Survivor and you like my writing, please e-mail me or something once your silence clause is up. Oh, and if you aren’t a Survivor, I guess I can take your e-mails too. Until next time!

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