And the Great John Rocker Experiment comes to an end. Interestingly enough, the former ball player gets the boot at the exact same point in the game that former coach Jimmy Johnson got tossed. There were completely different reasons, of course, but I am sure celebrity played a fairly large and undercover end part in the Rocker elimination.
Yes, Rocker had tons of baggage and his mouth got him in a lot of trouble in this episode. He also played a rather strange game of Survivor. He played like a guy who never watched the show before. And he hasn’t so that made sense. I will also say that his days were going to be numbered anyway. The rich, athletic guy who has the reputation of Rocker had little chance of lasting too long. Most of the recognizable stars to appear not the show – especially the athletes – don’t seem to do very well. Jeff Kent made the jury, but really didn’t play a very good game. He got kind of lucky that his tribe didn’t lose for a while. Cliff Robinson went out early. Brad Culpepper was a pariah on his tribe. Only Gary Hogeboom did fairly well, and even he was identified be someone on the tribe.
This is the antithesis of the former Survivor returnee factor – they usually do insanely well. Perhaps the Celebrity Survivor will take place someday – and if so, I think an athlete version may be interesting. Perhaps even with returning athletes – Kent, Rocker, Gary, Culpy, Cliff, even Crystal Cox and Jimmy Johnson can come back. What do you say, friends?
Well, in this case, Rocker was his own worst enemy. The worst move of all? Not the dust up with Namesake and The Last Twinnie. It was saying, out loud for his whole tribe to hear, that he was secretly trying to help Val in the previous Tribal Council. That was the worst move and the one that put him in Josh’s sights. He knew he couldn’t trust him. The madness at the Immunity Challenge where Rocker’s past caught up with him was the icing on the cake.
Rocker may have had a chance to save himself by proving to his tribe – many of whom seemed willing to defend him – that he was a changed man from the hotheaded creep who splashed the tabloid pages in the late 1990s. When The Last Twinnie baited him with his past, he could have shrugged and said something like – “You’re right, I was young, dumb and on steroids. But that was a long time ago. I’m not that guy. Ask Julie, she wouldn’t be in love with that guy. I’m now a different dude.”
Instead he said that if she were a man he would hit her in the face. Sigh. And then he added that the producers should clear away the challenge so they could all fight. Oh dear. He may be a giant person among these folks, but they chose not to have this guy around them anymore.
And anyway, it’s not as if they were lighting it up with him. They had one challenge win – by Wes in a duel – and Rocker was defeated by Other Jon and his own girlfriend in challenges. If they kept losing with him, it’s not as if they could do much worse without him.
Regardless, they need to get things changed right away. Will a Rocker-less tribe have more positive energy and enable them to turn things around? They had better hope so because barring a tribal shift (likely to take place in a BvW season), these remaining folks are doomed.
The previews could indicate that next week may end the one-sidedness of the season as Drew’s arrogance/laziness got teased a bit. Because we all know how reliable the teasers are regarding what will happen next.
Honestly, I had trouble with this column this week because…well…not much is happening. It’s been the Rocker Drama that’s been dominating this season so far, but now that is over. I am hoping it’s going to be like a couple of seasons ago when Shamar got all that attention and left after four episodes. After that, the season finally picked up and the real narrative began.
Maybe that will happen for this season on Wednesday. Many past seasons of Survivor have started out slowly with false narratives only to progress in outstanding ways. Others even did the reverse. Let’s see what happens this time around.
Our current situation – on Hunaphu, Namesake seems to have things under control. Drew is annoying them by not weaving palm fronds and taking naps. Namesake is predicting that Drew will quit the game. Oftentimes, the editors leave in lines like that for foreshadowing purposes…is this one of those times?
Meanwhile, on the tribe that can’t win, Josh is the man in control. What was interesting was that he not only stayed with Baylor and brought in Jaclyn, but that the young guys voted with him. Only Dale was left out of the plan. Does this mean that Josh, the dudes and the ladies are linked up? Welcome to a brand new alliance. Dale may be in a lot of trouble.
Anyway, I am ready for Season 29 to really start, guys. Let’s make it happen.
Treemail Top 10
1 – I know that Survivors get things like lip balm, tampons and sunscreen, but it seems that Dale didn’t get the message. No, it’s not his time of the month, did you see the top of his head? You can fry and egg on that.
2 – More interesting BvW dynamics – Wes didn’t think his dad could perform the Duel well. It involved balance and precision. He was wrong, as Keith did rather well, but he was right enough because he was able to defeat his dad and win his tribe some badly-needed fishing gear. And then these two men, who probably have never had a teary moment before in their lives, had one. And it was great to watch.
3 – Inappropriate Probstism Alert – “He’s gotta get that pole out!”
4 – More Survivor Magic – Is it Rudy/Hatch again? Let’s watch the Keith/Josh dynamic unfold over time. I think this season would be rather interesting if the boyfriends and the Bayou teamed up to go the distance.
5 – And if Keith has never seen any gay men in Louisiana…well, I don’t think he’s actually been to ALL of Louisiana.
6 – Namesake. Umm. I don’t think Rocker said “homosexual” stuff. He didn’t review “Guys and Dolls.” He said “homophobic” stuff. I’ll let out get away with this and assume it was just dehydration talking.
7 – Other Jon is goofy, but he’s been killing it in the challenges.
8 – Rocker said he regretted the comments he made in 1999. It’s hard to believe him if you’ve ever read his right-wing blogging or his Twitter feed.
9 – Jaclyn ain’t just hot – she’s got some one-liner talent – “Grow some balls and stop picking on me and Baylor.” Snerk.
10 – I completely, totally thought Rocker was playing that idol. I find it even more fulfilling that Rocker left this game with an idol in his pocket.
Votes – Rocker 5 (Wes, Alec, Josh, Jaclyn, Baylor), Baylor 2 (Rocker, Dale)
Next Week – Is Drew a badass or a moron? Let’s find out.
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