Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Survivor Recap: "The Brady Bunch Goes Camping"

Before I get to this week’s episode, I want to revisit the elimination of Russell last week, because it spawned a lot of conversation over the past 7 days. Many people assumed from my response that week that I’m one of the (many) Russell haters out there. Well, for those of you that are relatively new to my Survivor Recaps, let me set the record straight. I had initially written a LOT on Russell to go in this space, but then I decided that one week later, it wasn’t really worth taking up that much space. I’ll summarize as best I can.

I started off as a HUGE Russell fan. If you don’t believe me, go back and read my old posts from Survivor: Samoa. I wrote at length on how he was the best player to ever play the game, and how he got screwed out of the million by a bitter jury twice. It was the biggest injustice in Survivor History, and Reality TV in general.

But the bottom line is that I just got plain sick of him. Two back-to-back seasons, where he made the finale and lost, then all of his bitterness spewing out of him after he lost. Yes, he was right that he should have won, but he couldn’t have handled it any worse. I was sick of him already before I heard that he was coming back for a 3rd time in 4 seasons, but the news that he was the one who leaked the spoilers for the past three seasons (which I 100% believe), was the nail in coffin.

Russell, you had me…BIG TIME. I was one of your biggest apologists.

But you lost me.

Good riddance.

Now, on to this week's episode...

My Random Thoughts:

- Not much happened in the first few minutes of this episode, other than we saw how hard it was raining, and more of Phillip’s ass than we cared to see. Seriously, how awesome was that moment where Ashley and Natalie were forced to have those saggy pink briefs right in their faces?
It reminded me of being in Las Vegas a few years back, and sitting on the place with my friend Neil. I was sitting in the aisle seat, and Neil was in the window seat. I was facing him as I was talking to him, and as I turned back to the aisle for some reason, I was greeted by the posterior of a very large man...right in my face. There was no contact, but it was close...and as I semi-shouted "Whoa!", Neil said "What's the matter?"

My response: "I've got a bad case of Ass In The Face."

When Neil saw the whole situation, he started laughing so hard that tears were rolling down his face for a good 15-20 minutes. I didn't find it all that funny at the time, and perhaps the medication that Neil was on for the flight played some part in his reaction, but seeing Phillip's backside in the face of the girls, I was reminded of that phrase.

- Off to Redemption Island for tonight's Duel, and I have to point out that I'm happy that the Duels are taking place early in each episode. No drawing it wasting time...let's just get it over with and on to the real part of the show, not this ridiculous twist (which I'm still not a fan of). Matt defeated Kristina to go 3-for-3 at Redemption Island, and I have to say he did it with relative ease.

The reason I say that, is because he did it while conversing with Jeff and Rob about why he was voted out. Talk about muti-tasking! I loved Rob's response to Matt's question about why he was voted out: “ It doesn’t take one person to vote someone out, Jeff. You know that.” He's just so cool and collected. How can you not love him and the game he plays?

The end of the duel saw Stephanie trying to plant seeds in Rob and Grant's head about their value to Ometepe in the event of a merge. Rob and Grant pretty much shrugged it off, because at this point, no merge is coming anytime soon, so what's the point?

But as this all was going on, Kristina was just left hanging, waiting for Probst to kick her out. Here's a question: if you're Kristina watching this all go down, are you somewhat happy because it is delaying your exit, even by a few minutes? Or are you thinking "Hey! Blue Shirt! Let's get on with this!" Personally, I think the latter.

Probst told her to drop her buff in the fire, and she asked if she had to. Jeff told her yes, and in it went, and down the path she exited. What is the insistence that Survivor has with forcing people to burn things on this show? And I'm not just talking about the concept of making fire, I'm talking about plain old arson...setting stuff on fire. Whether it's your camp on the last day, or the staff/plaques of your Fallen Comrades, or now your you think Smokey The Bear approves?

- I asked last week what was going on with all of the colour-coded bathing suits and outfits, and while I didn't find out a definite answer, I think I've convinced myself that there has to be a connection. With this episode being so Stephanie/Krista-centric, I almost expected to see a graphic saying 'Tonight's episode is brought to you by Welch's Concord Grape Juice." And why so much purple on a season AFTER we had a contest (inexplicably) named Purple Kelly?

- The wildlife parade continued in this episode with crabs, fish, stingrays, snakes, frogs, 2 types of monkeys, egrets, buzzards, turtles, some sort of leaf-eating insect, and the return of that damn giant hairy spider. Seriously, this Animal Planet now? The frog and buzzard were both in the episode more than Natalie!
- Philip gave me the laugh of the night: "These girls remind me of crabs." There are so many jokes swimming around my head I find it difficult to pick one, but it made me think back to a great comment by's Dalton Ross about Parvati and crabs. (Google it if you want, you'll laugh).

- Philip's comedic gold was followed up by a gratuitous shower scene (in HD!) of Ashley, Natalie, and Andrea at a waterfall, and then walking along the beach, and then some tanning. Well, it was really just Natalie and Ashley tanning. Andrea was having an extremely confusing conversation with Phillip that I still don't really understand. All I know is that everyone was "under the bus", Phillip was talking about making an alliance with someone who wasn't even in the game anymore, and then Rob was a King and Phillip was a Lord. It was at this point that I realized this was NOT a good episode.

- Steve gave a pep talk to his tribe using strong terms like "victory" and "defeat" and "play hard", and then even pulled out the ultimate cliche, "there's no 'I' in team." Look, Mr. Salt-and-Pepper-Hair-With-Caterpillar eyebrows...I know you are a former NFL player, but Jimmie Johnson was on LAST season. Nobody needs a coach anymore. And the best part of it all, was that Captain Motivation then sat out the challenge!
- The challenge was relatively uninteresting (no tile-smashing...sigh), but I really enjoyed watching how Stephanie managed Ralph in it. She essentially yelled at him to go and sit in the corner and wait until I'm ready for you, which actually ended up being a good strategy because the Furry Hick couldn't understand directions as simple as "left" and "forward." Yes, that's right, Ralph went right when told to go left, and stood still and asked "Forward?" when told to go forward.

Sitting off on the side and yelling at Stephanie to tell him what to do, I was reminded of Jimmy T. from last season, and his whole "give me a shot!" phase. And for those of you keeping count, that's now 3 Survivor Nicaragua references in this recap. Should I try for 4?

I didn't really understand Sarita's logic in choosing Stephanie as the caller/puzzle solver in the Challenge because she was "bossy as all get out." (Easy there, watch the language, Sarita!), but once everyone else accepted that, then there should have been no excuses at the end. But sure enough, 3 of the Tribe insisted that it should have been Dave.

Well, if it should have been Dave...then why didn't you pick Dave? Making excuses at the end does nothing but place blame, and you can't blame Sarita if you all agreed to go with her idea. In a team pow-wow, Silent Dave put his attorney fist down and declared that he would be doing all puzzles for the tribe from this point forward, "Period. Point Blank." Keep in mind that Dave is a lawyer. Do you you think he sums up his closing arguments the same way? Interesting verbage.
I liked how Sarita defended her logic by saying that Dave doesn't respond well under pressure. To which Dave responded to her that he doesn't freak out under pressure. It is key to note that he told her this while freaking out under pressure. Point for Sarita.

- Grant and Rob found the second clue for the Immunity Idol, and ran a complex screen-and-roll to get it out of camp. Hey, it beats knocking a one-legged contestant over for the clue. (That's 4!) Rob then had the presence of mind to swap out the second clue for the first clue, and then share the clue with Grant. What I'd give to be watching tonight's episode with Grant when he saw that for the first time and heard Rob say "I have to entertain myself out here somehow."
I love Rob's game so far this season, but I'm concerned about Grant. This guy is good, but as much as Rob as making him the deputy, he's still keeping him at arm's length. If Grant finds out that Rob has the Idol, and kept it from him, and even went out of his way to deceive him about it...that bond could be broken, and Grant could be the reason Rob goes home. Something to watch for.

- Stephanie and Krista were screwed the moment that Russell was voted out. But I like Stephanie's spunk: she's excited and aggressive, while Krista seemed to just sit off to the side and go "Yeah...what she said." The Stephanie-Krista dynamic reminded me of Russell and Natalie in Samoa.
Then, at Tribal Council, Krista commented that no one in her tribe was "playing the game", like they should be...and I thought "WHAT?", since she's been doing nothing. Then Mike told her she was on the outs because she was abrasive...and I thought "DOUBLE WHAT?", because I find Krista's demeanor about as abrasive as a satin bedsheet.

Tribal Council was boring, and in actuality, with all the talk of Stephanie failing at the challenge, the big winner coming out of all of this...was Dave. He was essentially the saviour of the Tribe, and everyone agreed that they would have won with him...and he really didn't do anything in this episode other than gather firewood and yell at Sarita.

Krista was predictably voted out and sent to Redemption Island, which just became the blondest it could ever be. On a side note, can we please have a list of the contestant's names in the Tribal Council voting booth, just for proper spelling?

Krasta? Really, Ralph?

Next Week: Spa Day at Ometepe sets Phillip off.

I'll be honest. I didn't really enjoy this episode. Not much happened, and what did seemed like manufactured drama to fill the hour. But seeing as this was the first bad episode of the season, I'll look the other way.

For now.

One final note. This week, I will be part of a Survivor podcast at I’ll be on the air with David and Nicole discussing all the happenings from this week’s episode, and the season so far. I hope you’ll check it out when it goes up on Friday morning.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Survivor Redemption Island Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog
Spoiler TV Recap


Anonymous said...

I am now singing Ass in your face to the tune of Pants on the ground.

Great job on the recap.

-Deb tvch

Anne Cheesman said...

Recap as usual was spot on. I agree I felt the Rob thing was forced. They are certainly making him the star of this season for sure.
The truth is I am not rooting for anyone at this point.
Glad Krista is gone. She did nothing for the tribe or the show. Most of the tribe is pretty normal (YAWN)except the very strange federal agent. What a character. lol. Would not want him anywhere near a real police case. Could you just imagine. OMG! Those pink underwear is shocking.
He is playing the game. I would have voted him out immediately.
I am looking forward to next week though.

Anonymous said...

Zapatera seems clueless to me, Stephanie did the best she could with the idiots she was trying to direct. I think she would have won had Rob not been the one doing the puzzle. It seems like those Zapatera folks have never even watched Survivor. Those yahoos aren't playing the game and I hope Stephanie starts making some moves to school them.

marla said...

i'm so glad you mentioned the part where the lawyer FREAKED OUT during his NOT FREAKING OUT speech. what an idiot.

there must've been some editing with krista -- for that other dude to say that she's abrasive...

seems like there are a lot of snotty girls this season.

watching the girls with phillip is just awkward. i almost feel sorry for him.

and ROB IS SO DOMINATING EVERYTHING! is there anything this guy can't do? he's so freaking clever and fun to watch!

thx for the recap. fun to read as always.