Reward Challenge – The best part of the episode was the return of the stand-alone Reward Challenge. And even better…it was one of my favorites. This one rocked when it appeared in Cook Islands. They tribes have to carry two members on platforms through a water course. The end of the course featured a platform – all of the tribe has to climb up on top and spend at least five seconds where all of them had both feet on top. The winner gets a little guy named Tata.
Oh, and about Tata. Malcolm calls him a little Filipino Gollum. And, never before has a nickname been more awesome and accurate. The little man falls into the long Survivor tradition of local island bushmen who come by to help the tribes learn the special tricks of living in this environment. Now, Tata is a bit different than the others from past seasons. Basically, all Tata is able to do is cook rice in a giant bamboo rod and hit on the women. Tata is trying to get himself his Precious. Sadly, it is also the most attention Brenda has gotten all season.
During the challenge, in which the Faves sat out Cochran, the two sides were mostly even. We learn that Erik hates effin’ knots. Just hopefully not Knots Landing. Because that would be crazy. Brenda and Julia are the first smaller women to be carried – with each understanding the need to keep their balance and remain steady as the rest of the tribe moved the platforms. Andrea and Laura were next, with Laura struggling a bit. At the big platform we see both tribes in microcosm and the actual benefit of Phillip’s bizarre team building madness. The Faves work well together. The Fans do not. Hulka chooses to lay across the bottom to account for his bulk, but it also makes it harder for them keep their balance. The better move would have had him in the center, and the other seven hold onto him and let his weight and strength balance them. Instead, Corinne gets on before ZZ Top and the Faves win.
The best part – because he was at the bottom, Hulka had no idea what was going on. He shouts, “THAT”S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!” He thinks they won. Phillip has to give him a dose of reality. Phillip. Let that sink in a bit.
And we are done. The Faves are in control of things, at least until Brandon goes crazy next week. I don’t think we have an editing trick. I think he really goes off. It is possible he may become the first person kicked off of Survivor if he goes too far.
Tribal Council – The young guys were bitching about being in the bottom of the tribe. At least we aren’t talking much about Hulka anymore. We are instead forced to listen to the tired old Survivor debate of targeting the weak. Laura doesn’t love being called weak, but remember, she couldn’t open locks. And I love how Eddie thinks the women are weak – perfect. And in character completely. The tribe goes all in against Laura and she’s gone. It’s a shame. She had some real game strategically.
Treemail Top 10
• The previouslies also give us “The Alliance of the Weak.” Come on, Probst and Show! Your man crushes on the fit guys just has no end in sight, do they?
• Eddie’s thoughts on why Hope was voted out – “She was the prettiest one here.” This man is as deep as bird bath.
• The new Stealth nicknames from The Specialist – Brandon = The Conqueror. Erik = The Silent One. Brenda = Serenity. First, Brenda’s been found. And apparently she may be Mal’s new pilot. (For those scoring at home, that’s two Firefly references in this column) Second, Erik’s complete boredom related to his nickname was classic. Third, Brandon wants it known that he’s not really in Stealth. Because he’s about to blow. And last, now Phillip is quoting Napoleon. I think it’s fun having him back – even if the Show is spending way too much time with him – but how they blew the chance of having Phil and Coach on the same season is beyond me.
• “Hope was voted out at the last Tribal Council.” What do we have to live for now – there is no hope?!? I think there is always hope. And that’s two Lord of the Rings references. I am earning big time geek points this week.
• Loved Cougar’s reaction to Hulka’s demand to have rice brought to him once a day – “I don’t even wait on my husband.” I absolutely believe that. And it shows just how far she will go to hold her alliance that she delivered the rice.
• When Medical told Probst that Hulka had to see a “specialist,” I really wanted to see Phillip wander in and start quoting Napoleon again.
• I give them crap – and I don’t know if they were really proactive on this – but good for Eddie/Reynold for making their only real play work – joining with the guys. They now have a path to the tribe majority…albeit in the minority overall.
• Did Rey actually quote Annie Hall? La Di Da.
• Why did Julia want to split the vote? Just vote for Eddie. Rey HAS to play the idol to survive. There is no reason to split the vote.
• Eddie – “If I’m here in 20 minutes, I’ll feel different about this tribe.” Um, obviously. It’s the difference of being in the game, or out of the game. Bird bath.
Votes – Laura 6 (Eddie, Reynold, Cougar, Julia, ZZ Top, Michael), Reynold 1 (Laura) – Reynold played the idol, and the vote against him did not count.
Next week – Brandon loses his ever-lovin’ mind.