Friends, I apologize for the late posting, but I say blame it on CBS. Why, oh why, would you air a new episode the day before Thanksgiving and expect well-intentioned bloggers to be able to watch, take notes, write and post an entry while traveling to see family. I mean, it is almost inhuman!
Speaking of inhuman…let’s talk about Abinormal. I’m sorry – that’s pretty mean. But it is ok – she probably can’t notice it. This week’s episode was interesting in the way therapist’s notes and analysis are interesting – it was all a glimpse into the troubled mind of Abinormal. A world where everything you do and say is perfect and where your actions and words have no consequences. A world, which solely revolves around you and where all of the other people living within that world, should expect to cater to your needs and have no feelings of their own. Is it a cultural divide, as Probst suspects? I don’t think so. I think she is just a clueless narcissist. Is it only show behavior? Possible. Survivor can often bring out the worst qualities hidden in people and bring them to the forefront – hunger, pain, discomfort, loneliness and paranoia all make for a dangerous cocktail.
Abinormal imploded at Tribal. It was like watching the real life embodiment of the end of The Sixth Sense, or The Usual Suspects, where all of the events from the past two hours whoosh by and you realize what had been staring you in the face the whole time but you were too blind to see. As she was mocked by group after claiming that she just failed to be able to be gentile, and how her friends back home love her passion, the whole remaining seven all smiled and sighed. She AGAIN called out Blair for not being trustworthy and said she was fighting back tears about being misunderstood. Then it happened.
Probst asked Denise about taking someone like Abinormal to the end. Denise said in past seasons players would bring the dead weight and unlikable to the end. She was beginning to explain how this applies here when Abinormal incredulously fought back against being called unlikable. Probst was amazed and wondered how she didn’t see how the group really felt about her. It all seemed to rush into her – the realization.
What followed was a microcosm of Abinormal’s time on the show – Denise tried to explain what she meant – and Abinormal interrupted and claimed to never have such hatred focused at her. Denise tried to explain there was no hate, just frustration. And she got interrupted. Denise began to talk about how Abinormal came back from this week’s Reward and seemed to be rubbing their noses in it. And Abinormal interrupted her. It kept happening. Abinormal needs to be the center of attention and have the other people fall in line. This time, it didn’t happen and she didn’t know what to do.
Is she the worst player on Show history? Not worst as in villainous – she’s not even close there. I mean worst player. It is not fair to lump in the early boots – many never really had a chance to play. I mean of those who made the jury – but who was so bad at this game that it was sad to watch. Or awesome to watch. You pick. Abinormal was in the perfect situation – a dominant tribe and numbers at the merge. All she had to do was trust in her alliance and not be rude to people. And she couldn’t do either one.
I was racking my brain to thing of other examples. Borneo’s Sean had that cockamamie alphabet voting system – a system that actually managed to affect the outcome when his vote for Jenna forced her out, and allowed Hatch to remain. Colby was horrible in HvV and made a terrible F3 decision in Australia – but he did make that finals and physically dominated that season. Africa’s Frank had no social skills and made the F7. Marquesas Sean had the same shortcomings. Amazon Christy continually made the wrong choices. Pearl Islands’ Lill made the Finals despite continually breaking down at every chance she had. Palau Janu actually quit the game. Guatemala Judd was the most annoying Survivor ever, and Lydia was the first who really just lingered very deep into the game. Candice made terrible choices in TWO seasons. China Denise failed time and again to make a move to avoid the inevitable F4 exit. FvF Jason found a stick and thought it was an idol. His cohort Erik gave up F5 immunity. Coach was bad in his first go around, but Coach 3.0 redeemed him. Shambo was used badly by Russell in Samoa, while Brett quietly almost won the whole season. JT’s win seems to be all Stephen after he got played by Russell in HvV. Let’s not forget the performance art that was RI Philip, crusader Brandon in SP, and Tarzan in One World.
I think of all of them – I put Candice, Sean, Shambo, Judd and Denise ahead of Abinormal on my list of worst successfully players. I actually felt badly for PBP who had his boot episode dominated by her. It was rather anticlimactic for him as the staggered immunity challenge (top 5 make the first cut, then top 3) left him and Abinormal out in the first round and no drama as to who was going home. PBP and Abi tried to scramble up with a pretty good plan – take out Malcolm and in the process a good player and two idols (Abi plays hers, and Malcolm eats his). It is essentially the Hantz/Tyson strategy – but no one was as dumb as Tyson here. They had no capital to use to get the plan to work. No one wanted to hear it. Plus – should someone like Scoopin’ go for it, he would be on the outs in the next TC as Penner/Denise/Carter would be linked up and he would have to talk Blair into re-joining Abinormal. A very tough sell.
A couple of other things that came to mind this week – Blair saying she has a hard time with breakups. No kidding. No wonder Facts of Life went on for so long! Remember those horrible boutique episodes at the end? Plus, she just ended her marriage before the season began – so that claim had real double meaning.
Also, Penner. I love you man, but when someone comes to you with a F4 plan for when you are a F6, you say yes. Even if you don’t mean it. All of a sudden with this inexplicable strategy choice, Penner went from an real chance at making the end, to the likely F5 boot (Carter going sixth). If that holds, imagine at the first episodes of the season if you were told Blair and Scoopin’ would be the last Tandang, that Matsing would have two in the end, and Kalabaw would be no more. By the way, this F4 is bad for Scoopin’ – there is no matchup for him with those three where he wins the vote at the end. None.
Anyway, I’ll add that if I am ever on Survivor and I win a reward I will come back with a) a very short summary of the trip that uses few adjectives, and b) table scraps for those who didn’t go. With that, I will go right into the Treemail as I write in the dark while sharing a bed in a hotel room with my kid who is continually kicking me in the shin under the covers.