At least, that’s what the Fans Tribe is saying about Sgt. Hulka, just one week into the game. But unlike the sweet singing of Olivia Newton-John and her dreamy young love for John Travolta , we are talking about the group’s decision to throw in with someone who just seems to like to yell at them a lot.
That’s right – we have yet another episode where the Fans’ tribe dynamic is shaped through the prism of Sgt. Hulka. That’s three for three. Once again, Sgt. Hulka did lots of yelling. We see them return from Tribal Council – after the tribe voted to KEEP him – and got another earful of his patented repeat yell. “DID I SAY YOU!?! DID I SAY YOU!?!”
Hulka yells at Reynold – which is ok. He kind of has it coming. Especially after he essentially throws his alliance under the bus by telling the others they have to keep him because he is good in challenges. But then Hulka yells at Matt for no apparent reason at all, except that ZZ Top has dared to speak during the diatribe. He turns on Julia – and I can’t understand why, since she hasn’t spoken in the first two episodes.
Hulka was making no sense whatsoever, and I can’t figure out what he was yelling about. The sensation of watching this man randomly yell in the dark was just strange. It was like walking into a room and witnessing the middle of a heated argument – “I SAID I DON’T WANT GRAPE JELLY, HOW DARE YOU?!?!” Not only is it uncomfortable to watch two people fight when you are not involved, but you walk away puzzled by what could have been so wrong with grape jelly that would have prompted such an outburst. That’s how I felt watching this scene – Hulka screaming about proverbial grape jelly.
By the way, I call “Proverbial Grape Jelly” for my new band name.
Later on, the Sgt. Hulka show continued. Let’s be honest – when you are on the same cast as The Specialist and Brandon Hantz and YOU are the crazy one…you know you’ve had a bad couple of episodes. Hulka seemed to come down from his rage the next day, and judging by the sad piano on the soundtrack, we are about to see the quiet, sensitive Hulka. He claims he is done and does not want to be “the angry black man on Survivor.” Sigh. Too late. You’re already filling way too many unfortunate Survivor minority stereotypes and it’s only the third episode. Bottom line – he wants to quit. He alludes to the horrors of war in his past, his alcoholism and anger issues, and that he doesn’t like the lying nature of the game. Amazingly, he says from the get go he wanted to be uplifting to everyone in the tribe. We have video evidence from the first day as he and ZZ Top clashed over the shelter construction.
The next thing we know, he is ready to quit. And I agree with Reynold (that just feels wrong), there are too many people who want to be on this show to have those who made it threaten to quit. Just let him go. Cougar Sherri, however, doesn’t want to quit him. Selfishly, she wants him to be her attention buffer and loyal vote. Very smartly though, she reminds him that if he gives up now and they lose the challenge, they are two players down, a la Kalabaw last season.
Interestingly, seated underneath the Kat-Issued Orange Hoodie is Eddie, listening in to the Hulka therapy session. Odd that he would be a part of this, but there he was. But Hulka decides to stay and, I don’t know about you, but I know can’t look at Hulka/Cougar scenes without expecting to see him suit up in a Ravens jersey.
You want more Hulka? We got more. After he and Eddie got into it over their failure in the challenge, we got the Fans’ plan for the vote. Split between Eddie and Hope to account for Reynold’s idol, while the remaining pretty people vote for Hulka. Then, if no idol, send all remaining votes to Hope in order to keep Eddie for challenges. Of course, Eddie’s failure to win his part of the challenge is puzzling for this plan, but there you go. Essentially, this is the Redemption Island boot Russell plan.
Hulka decides to turn it into a Tyson voting himself out of the game moment. He chats with Hope and tries to spread out some break crumbs for her leading her to the realization that a vote for Eddie is in her best interest. Of course, Hope doesn’t understand it and blabs to Laura that Hulka is revealing the plan. The ladies freak out and consider turning on Hulka, who must be working with the other side. My reaction was…what?!? If Hulka was working with the pretty people, it would be the greatest con in the history of Survivor cons. And even if he was, to what end? That’s four votes out of nine.
As it turns out, Sgt. Hulka was safe and Hope went away after the re-vote. That means we have had three votes and three women booted from the game. Let’s see if that trend continues.