So, I was out of town for a few days and began working a new job this week. It was also my first week living as a single dad, without my kid, so it was a bit weird. That’s my really, really good excuse for a late and short Survivor column this week. You guys ok with that? It’s not as if you really have a choice after all.
Anyway, this week showed two things about Survivor that we should always remember – first, contestants should never give up because the downtrodden can quickly become the powerful. The second is that sometimes on this show, we really don’t see everything that’s going on.
I’m going to go with that second part initially. Having watched these few episodes, I am unclear as to what was really going on with the Brawns, other than Pitbull’s scheming, that would translate into the clear desire to eliminate Cliff. Trish kept calling him shady – and I just don’t get it. Cliff was not really a compelling Survivor – he didn’t say very much, but he seemed amiable enough. So, either we saw a LOT of shadiness edited out, or this was all Trish and Pitbull. Either way, it was completely worth it for the stunned reaction shots we got from Lindsay and Woooooooooo!!
Pitbull clearly wanted the big man out for some time because he was both threatened by him physically, and he initially started in the minority of that tribe’s power structure. He worked hard on Sarah and Trish to influence them to go with him and clearly it worked. Trish was not only at the bottom of that same power structure, but the show seemed to indicate that she wanted to link up – strategically and socially – with LJ after the tribal shuffle. The tribe’s loss and LJ’s potential ouster at the vote seemed to seriously motivate her to make a move against Cliff. And just like that, we have a new power alliance in one tribe – Pitbull, Trish, LJ and Jefra.
Meanwhile, on the other new tribe, we had all three refugees from the BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIINNSSSS tribe (sorry – my last time getting to do that – and I want to link to Urban Dictionary here…and well, Google it to know what I am talking about.) magically picking the same new buff and forming a formidable voting bloc on the new Aparri Tribe – the actual name of the former Brawn tribe. Officer Sarah was the only one left from the Brawns, so it made sense for her to link up with the Brains against the transferring Beauties. However, that’s not what appears to have happened. Granted, we won’t know for certain since they didn’t go to Tribal Council, but interestingly enough it was Alexis who finally showed up this season.
I thought at the time that Morganna’s lie about the idol or rice moment at the beginning was being shown to us for a reason – and, granted, as lies go, it was pretty solid lie. But we saw it for this reason – Sarah innocently outed her. As Cop Rock welcomed the Brains and Beauties to her camp, she mentioned the extra rice that Trish elected to collect. Genius Garrett was gone, so his idol search didn’t amount to anything – and even if he got the extra rice, the Vulcan just would have dumped it. However, Morganna’s decision came back to bite her here – Alexis was not happy and, seemingly, instantly went over to the Brains. Interestingly, we got to see the Brain Block get a complete information download from all three Beauties who came over. With the Beauties fractured and Sarah an apparent swing vote, the Brains have gone from an endangered species to being the power brokers in the Aparri Tribe.
I’ll go a step further – the editing of this season seems to be leading to a merge clash between the Brains and Pitbull. Let’s speculate. There are 13 left – and with a Final Three and potentially a nine-person jury, we have a merge in two weeks. Maybe three weeks. If Aparri wins again, they go in up 7-5 in numbers, with Sarah likely defecting. That leaves it at a 6-6 tie and the likely swing vote of Wooooooo!! or Lindsay becoming huge. If Salana wins, I can see Sarah go, and a 6-6 tie at the merge being completely crazy – will Woo/Lindsay bolt? Will the Beauties re-form? That could be fun.
Treemail Top 10
1 – Did I imagine it, or did the cameraman trip over the shelter just a bit after the Vulcan vote out? Perhaps he wasn’t watching his night vision.
2 – Someone must have made a Crap For Brains Tribe t-shirt by now, right?
3 – Reward Challenge – I love this type of challenge. It is very physical – one person essentially clings to a pole while the other tribe tries to remove them and drag them across the finish line. They competed for the right to take gigantic sugar craps in the woods…er…a pile of donuts and cookies. No word on if there were any cronuts. The best battle was Morganna/Sarah battling Lindsay and beating Trish/Jefra against Tasha. Spencer/Jeremiah had to, twice, remove Cliff from the pole. That’s a rough task. Alexis was removed so quickly they went back in time. And Officer Sarah battled, but Lindsay/Pitbull took her out too. Even though she lost her shoes. I did appreciate Lindsay wrapping Morganna in a scissors lock.
4 – Spencer – It was nice to upgrade from the moms to the hot girls. I’m sure it was. Although sometimes they can be both. I’m just saying.
5 – So, was Trish drawn to LJ because of Boston? Or because he was hot? Hmm…I’ve been to Boston. It’s nice. But I wouldn’t base my Survivor strategy on the randomness of birthplace. Even if the chowder is good. But at least she put “Mrs. Robinson” in my head.
6 – This episode of Survivor had way too many references to twerking with no footage of actual twerking.
7 – Immunity Challenge – Carry a big, long pole (shut up you guys) and bash your way through a wooden wall. The pole then becomes a table maze. At the end – get it on. Bang a gong. Get it on. The Brawn-led tribe dominated early, but a nice move by Spencer to restructure the Brain-led tribe’s set up permitted them to say close. They squeaked their way to the win on the maze.
8 – I am not sure if I love or despise Lindsay for her bluntness and candor. I ride the fence on that one. She does have great hair. And introduced me to the phrase – “I’ll swear on anything I love.”
9 – LJ must have gotten one heck of a reassurance from his new alliance for him to choose to keep his idol. Because, boy, that’s a risk.
10 – Tribal – Only highlight…Cliff gets to make one NBA reference before getting the snuff.
Vote – Cliff 4 (LJ, Jefra, Pitbull, Trish), LJ 3 (Cliff, Lindsay, Woooooooooo!!)
Next Week – Lindsay vs. Trish. And Probst has to make a camp appearance.