Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Survivor Recap: "The First Duel, And Russell Is-A-Sweatin' "

I was re-watching a couple of scenes from last week’s episode a few days ago, and I noticed something that really bothered me. In the repetition of the opening scene on the beach when Jeff was giving the instructions to the new contestants, when he delivered his dramatic line ‘…you will NOT…(dramatic pause)…go home,” it was followed by Bible-Thumper Matt grasping his head and exclaiming “Whaaaaaaat?”

Now, this is my pet peeve. Matt obviously heard what he said, but I find that Reality TV contestants always have to sell their utter disbelief at what they’re hearing. It’s driving me nuts. It drives me nuts in real life too. When it happens to me, and someone says “What?!”, I now tend to respond with “Well, I’m pretty sure you heard me, but I can repeat myself if you like."

How awesome would it have been if Probst had dropped that on Blondie?

But I digress, on to this week’s episode…a nice mid-week break from the constant television barrage of “Who’s Crazier? Moammar Qaddafi or Charlie Sheen?”

My Random Thoughts:

- Night vision recap: Fran-squeeze-toy is woken up by Matt, and the two of them proceed to say the word “blindside” approximately 73 times in 90 seconds. Rob tells Phillip, “You’re fifth” in the alliance, and Phillip happily accepts it like a seal gulping a dead fish at Sea World. Only Boston Rob can be that smooth, to tell you “Thanks, but you’re not very important to us”, and have the other person be thrilled.

- Are you guys getting used to that yellow snake yet?

- Initially, I really liked that two Tribe Members got to go to Redemption Island as observers, but then I was thinking how interesting it would be to have the rest of the Survivors have no idea who is coming back. I'm wondering if each duel will have the observers, or just the first one. I also loved that they recycled an old challenge for the duel, and then I saw that Jeff Probst tweeted during the episode that Redemption Island duels will ALL be old challenges “because we know they work and we know they are fair."

Fran-squeamish jumped out to an early lead in her duel with Matt, but the Altar Boy made a big comeback to win. Sort of anti-climactic, because we all expected him to win. I liked how the eliminated contestant has to leave, as Jeff tells them, "Toss your buff in the fire on the way out." Sort of the Survivor version of "Don’t let the door hit you in the ass."
- Steve and Dave came back to camp and decided to lie to Russell and his "concubines" about who went home during the duel, but to tell everyone else the truth. Not a bad strategy, because even if/when the truth comes out, the battle lines are already drawn on this tribe, so what does it really matter?

The real thing that stood out in this scene, is just how bad Steve is with names. He kept referring to Matt and Fran-squeaky as “the blond guy” and “the black girl”. This guy used to be an NFL quarterback…do you know the playbooks these guys have to learn?? Now, I’m thinking he was just standing there on the field thinking, “I have to throw the ball to the fast wiry white guy before the gigantic black man flattens me like a pancake."

– I'm not sure how I felt about Stephanie and Russell's plan to make a fake Immunity Idol. What would have been a FANTASTIC idea (which I read somewhere last week), would be for Ralph to have made a fake idol, and place it where he found his, so that when Russell (or whoever) found it from the clues, they would logically think it was the real thing.
- Rob ran some damage control with Andrea, explaining to her why Matt got voted out and how she is still part of the alliance. She may have bought it, but she's justifiably wary of Rob now. But if Andrea is crying after only 6 days over her "good friend that they took away", then maybe Survivor isn't the game for her.

- Is it just me, or does Russell always sound like he has a cold this season? And why on earth would you shave your armpits before heading off to Survivor? Were those sores really described as 'pus-filled'? Disgusting!

- Steve suggested to the rest of his team that throwing the challenge would be a good idea. Now, I'm never a fan of throwing challenges on Survivor, but when it means getting out one of the most dangerous and villainous players in the history of the game, I think I understand it, and could logically get behind it. During the discussion, some woman started talking about keeping the team strong, and I was like "who the hell are you?"
Oh...YOU'RE Julie? were given the Purple Kelly treatment for the first two episodes, so it's nice to hear something from her finally. Now...who is Sarita? The one who looks like a Kristen Wiig character from SNL?

- The Immunity/Reward Challenge was the same water-spitting-wheel one as last season. I loved it then, and I love it now. Zapatera was blatant in their disinterest in winning, and Russell sniffed it out in about a nanosecond, declaring, “I’m dealing with a bunch of bitches.”

Rob was the puzzle solver for his tribe (as he should be every time there is a puzzle), and won easily. But what made me laugh out loud was Probst's tweet right after the challenge:“What is funny is that Rob is watching right now at home and this is the first he has learned of the challenge being thrown. You know that Amber is giving him a hard time right now! "You didn't win baby, they threw it!" " I highly recommed you follow Jeff Probst on Twitter. Very entertaining (although he didn't answer my question about how many blue shirts he owns.)

- After two weeks of Phillip-filled episodes, we barely saw him this week, except for Rob telling him to move his fat ass off of the chair and then finding a clue for the Idol. Even though they weren't expressly told that the Idol was back in the game after Kristina played it, looks like it is.

- After Russell got “the old lady” to seemingly switch sides, he told us in an on-camera confessional, "Game ON!" This is probably a good time for me to go over my rules for the phrases that should qualify a Reality TV contestant for immediate disqualification. For those of you unfamiliar with that list, it is as follows: 1) Threw me under the bus, 2) It is what it is, 3) There’s a target on my back, and 4) Game on! (any time after the first episode.) - Stephanie said that their plan to vote out Ralph with Julie's help would be the "Biggest. Blindside. Ever." I'm not sure about that...but it would have been good.

- Oh Ralph, God love ya...but "Ressell?" Seriously? At least you spelled it right on the re-vote...unless you were one of the THREE that spelled it "Russel" (Sorry, the English major in me is coming out.) The 3-way tie was unexpected...I actually thought that Julie had flipped. But only because I now no longer look at the time during Tribal Council...because if you do, the tie is always easy to predict or eliminate.
- So Russell got voted out of Survivor for the very first time. A VERY smart move by his tribe, but I wouldn't want to face him in a duel at Redemption Island. I think we'll be seeing that little sock-burning Hobbit for at least a couple more weeks.

Next Week: Phillip goes spear-chucking and Russell duels Matt.

A special hello to my new friends at TV Clubhouse, which is a great website with great people. I’ve added a permanent link on the sidebar and I highly recommend that you check it out if you’re into Reality TV talk. They’ve been around for a decade…and to think my dad told me this internet thing was “a fad” (true story!)

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.

Thanks for reading.

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


neicee said...

There was much rejoicing in my house when Russell got voted out tonight! But as you said, I fear the angry dwarf will remain on redemption island for some time to come.
For me, I have to add to your list of disqualification phrases, "from day one", drives me nuts!

Anonymous said...

I'm severely depressed over Russell getting the boot, he's been my favorite player ever since the first time I saw him and his great assortment of hats.

Also, I believe that Steve was an offensive lineman in the NFL but I know what you're saying about him being awful at names.

Choirchick22 said...

I was so bummed when "Ressel" got voted out. But, then I remembered, he won't be gone. I have a good feeling we will see Russell play with Boston Rob, at least at Redemption Island, if not back in real game play. I still like Stephanie a lot though. So we will see if she is worthy of being Russell's right hand girl. See if she can get out of her pickle.

Anonymous said...

Your photo captions always crack me up!

Anonymous said...

"But I digress, on to this week’s episode…a nice mid-week break from the constant television barrage of “Who’s Crazier? Moammar Qaddafi or Charlie Sheen?”

TOTALLY Sean!!! You really made me laugh with that comment.

Thanks for a great blog. Looking forward to TAR's on Sunday then Survivor next Wednesday!

Mizinvancouver from TVCH

Joey said...

During the discussion, some woman started talking about keeping the team strong, and I was like "who the hell are you?"

haha my favorite line!

I know Russell is a 'great' player and all, but I'm GLAD he finally got voted out. Hope it stays that way.

Nobody said...

"I'm playing with a bunch of bitches!"

Yes you were, Russell. Yes you were.

Anthony said...

A bit off topic , but when following Jeff on twitter how do you see the questions that are asked ? BTW Im in Samoa this week and hoping to get to see whats left of the camp .. Cheers

sara said...

What did you think about Stephanie's assumption that Russell would be back and that she'd still be there? (I'm no math major but when you act like a jerk at Tribal Council and there's only you and one other person against the majority of 6, it doesn't look good for you.) I'm personally hoping they vote her off next and she gets her ass handed to her by Russell on Redemption Island, but that's just me. ;)

HoH8 said...

Oh Boo Hoo...Boo Hoo...Boo Hoo...Boo Hoo...OMG im running out of little troll baby is gone...i love him so can i live now? long live King Russell !!!

Toragirl said...

From twitter (Jeff Probst):
The decision of when they are coming back is set in stone. But we're keeping it from them as a surprise.

This is good to know. I just assumed that if a character (e.g., Russell) goes on a run, they pull the trigger to send him back in the game. So, when do folks think this will happen? I assume right at the merge, personally.

I hope that the "visitors" to the duel are always picked randomly - knowing who is the winner could become some very powerful information.

Aitutonga said...

This blog is awesome. Found your Survivor recaps through Facebook. Then I find out you're a huge LOST nut, just like me?? That's just fantastic.

Sean said...

Aitutonga...glad you found me!

Email me if you ever want to chat about Lost...lots of Lost content on the Blog here, just click the tab on the Sidebar.