Thursday, April 7, 2011

Survivor Recap: "Everybody Grab Your Balls, You're Safe."

This week’s recap will cover the last two episodes of Survivor, which I wasn’t able to watch when they aired since I was away in Las Vegas. I have now seen both episodes back-to-back, so let’s get to it.

My Random Thoughts:
(Episode 7)

- The whole theme of this episode was the David vs. Sarita dynamic, and that is so incredibly boring that I don’t even want to pay any lip service to it. Based on the opening segment, it was obvious that this episode was going to come down to that decision at Tribal Council.

- Phillip is now quoting Japanese philosophers and comparing Matt to a samurai warrior. I know that I, and others, have made the comparison before, but never were the Coach Wade and Special Agent Phillip similarities more present than tonight. And even though Rob astutely described Phillip as “probably the most unaware person I’ve ever met in my entire life”, I’m going to make a suggestion.

Phillip and Coach as a team on The Amazing Race.

Come on, can’t you just see it? These two could be the most entertaining team to watch in the history of that show. And since The Amazing Race is performance-based, and not a contest where you can be voted out for being annoying, their bravado and storytelling would be a non-issue since they still have to run the Race well. No ass-eating pygmies, or Special Agent anecdotes, just pure competition. Wouldn’t it make great television? It’s not like CBS is opposed to cross-promotion with their reality contestants, considering both Rob and Amber, and Jeff and Jordan (Big Brother) were Amazing Race contestants. (Check out Coach Wade’s take on Phillip.)

- The Redemption Island duel was essentially a big game of concentration, featuring giant tiles of course. Matt opened up with a “God loves me” match on his first attempt, but Stephanie answered with a “not so fast, Altar Boy” match of her own. Rob watched thinking “I hope Matt loses”, Phillip watched thinking “Matt is a samurai”, David watched thinking “Dammit! Another puzzle that Stephanie gets to do, and not me!”, and Ralph watched thinking “Look at all them purty pictures.”

Matt won again, and Stephanie did her best impersonation of Russell, crying and then going out in a blaze of glory, criticizing Zapatera and telling Rob to look out for them. Personally, I find the members of Zapatera about as intimidating as a fly heading at my windshield, so I don’t think Rob is sweating it just yet.

And I just loved Matt’s comment to Jeff as he was leaving: “you know where to find me.” Give this guy credit, he’s been a monster at Redemption Island, but if this stupid twist continues for future seasons (and please GOD let’s hope it doesn’t), then he is already altering how future tribes will play the game.

- What was the funnier Rob moment in this episode, when he talked about voting out Phillip, saying “I’ll frontside him”, or when he chucked the Idol clue into the volcano? Tough one. Tell me you didn’t laugh out loud at both.

- The infighting at Zapatera is painful to watch: David wants to fish, and the other 5 makes excuses on why not to fish, then Julie complains that “he’s bugging me” and Sarita is making faces. This bunch of oldsters is actually turning out to be the most juvenile group of the season. I told you they were headed for disaster.

- Phillip just wants “one scoop of the crispy”, but Rob’s harem insists on saving the rice for their leader. Then Phillip went on and on about the three girls sleeping in Rob’s underwear and in his bed. Is this Survivor or Big Love? He then went on to mis-speak in his oh-so-Phillip way, saying that the rest of the Tribe was making “ a mountain out of a mocha”, and later explaining that he was “on top of the earth.” Man I love Phillip.

- Nothing to really cover in the Reward/Immunity challenge, other than to say it looked cold and miserable out there, and the second I saw it, I said to my girlfriend, “Grant will single-handedly win this for Ometepe.” She fist-bumped me after he sunk all 6 balls to win.

- Zapatera was back at camp after the challenge, complaining about how they lost, especially because it was the third consecutive food reward that they’ve lost, and they’re all so hungry. Hey, here’s an idea…if you’re so damn hungry, then why not go fishing, like David suggested, instead of lazing around and complaining. Last time I checked, complaining never worked as well as actual food to satiate hunger.

- Tribal Council summary: Ralph doesn’t know what cohesive means, which isn’t surprising since he said he would rather have a team that didn’t get along and got the job done; a scorpion replaced the giant hairy spider (thank God), and Sarita got the boot, despite not packing her stuff.

- Another weak episode (the third in a row) chronicling the slow demise of the least interesting team in recent Survivor memory.

- On to the April 6th episode…

My Random Thoughts:
(Episode 8)

- Sarita went to Redemption Island, but was still fiercely loyal to Zapatera, doing her best to sell Matt on the Zapatera tribe, hoping that her sales pitch would help to convince Matt to join them in the event that he won his way back into the game.

- The Redemption Island Duel had a lot on the line, with Jeff declaring that the winner would re-enter the game, and both tribes suspecting a merge. First of all, if the clue is telling both tribes to attend, then OF COURSE the merge is coming…that’s a no-brainer. Second, I think that the winner re-entering the game would have been more dramatic had it not been revealed in the previous episode’s teaser, and the commercials all through the week.

Regardless of the injury to Matt’s foot, I still thought this duel was 100% Matt, and I fully expected him to win it. And yes, I saw the bandage on Matt’s foot, and no, I don’t think that gave him an unfair advantage in the challenge. I loved how Jeff specified that “women have done very well in this challenge historically”, but only because I seem to recall Coach winning it. Am I wrong? I’m either too jet-lagged or too lazy to look that up to see if I’m right.

- So the teams merged and were greeted back at their new camp with a feast for all. I have a problem with this, because Zapatera hasn’t won SHIT for this last three episodes, and now they fall ass-backwards into a feast. So it’s lose, lose, lose, eat? Seems ridiculous. The only fair thing would have been to give Matt all the food for winning 6 Redemption Island Duels, and having him decide who got what food. Wouldn’t that have created an interesting social dynamic? On a side note, as a proud Italian, I’m offended that Steve pronounced prosciutto “pru-shetto.”

- I enjoyed the individual immunity challenge, and thought it was one of the classic Survivor moments that combine skill and balance together. But more important than that, was the humour that it created with all of Jeff Probst’s verbage, with classic lines like “Everybody grab your balls, you’re safe” and “It’s like those balls are glued to his disc.” I was shocked that they didn’t take the obvious joke since Boston Rob was on the blue log with the blue disc and balls: “Rob’s got the blue balls.” Makes sense since Amber is at home, and Rob has 3 pretty young girls on his Tribe.

Natalie surprisingly won the challenge, and I loved the irony that her colour theme for the challenge was purple, since she is the Purple Kelly of this season. Have we learned anything about her? And were Grant’s toenails painted black? Is that some sort of Tribe unity or just an odd discovery?

- Matt came up with a plan to oust Rob, then reconsidered and told Rob? I understand that you’re a good Christian man that works on morals and ethics, but once you reveal that, you then become the obvious choice for Rob to vote out. Once again, unnecessary complications lead to the downfall of a reality contestant. How perfect was it that Rob essentially decided to vote Matt out, then enlisted him to help finish the shelter?

Matt’s decision was simple. As he stated, it was to either keep his word or break his word. Did anyone honestly think he would have broken it?

- Tribal Council was interesting, for the first time in three weeks. Ashley talked about Ometepe using the tarp because they won it in a challenge, and David the Puzzlemaster revealed that they didn’t really “win” it because he didn’t try. That was a total douchebag comment to make, and only made the Zapatera Tribe look even worse, and if I were Ashley, I would have responded, “So you gave it to us, either way it’s ours.”

Phillip went on an another awesome rant that included parasites, an odd stench, and yelling at David for interrupting; Ralph gave away his Idol for no apparent reason, and looked like he could barely walk as he got up to present it to Jeff; Matt did his best Eliza impression looking as pensive as possible as he was voting; and Grant didn’t even flinch when he received the first five votes, showing that the Ometepe 6 were concrete and confident that all 6 were voting for Matt.

- In the end, Matt was sent back to Redemption Island. I think that once Zapatera starts getting picked off, Mike has a shot of beating him in a Duel, but not really anyone else. (UNLESS IT’S DAVID AND IT’S A PUZZLE!)

- Let’s look at what Rob accomplished this episode: after someone he blindsided returned to the game, he convinced that person to rejoin him, learned all about Zapatera’s plan, and then blindsided him again. He also flushed out the Zapatera Idol and got Ralph to needlessly use the Idol on Mike, who received no votes. PLUS, he still has his own Idol, which only Grant knows about, and got the merged tribe named after one of Amber’s stuffed animals.

Could he possibly be in any more control of this game?

Next week: More tile smashing, and Phillip becomes the feather-master.

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Thanks for reading.

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


UnclePeJay said...

Yea, it would be fun to watch Coach and Philip on TAR, but I don't think they would go very far: They would constantly lose time when either Coach or Philip went on one of their diatribes about their life experiences during a challenge.

Choirchick22 said...

Here's what I wrote in the comments on Jeff's blog this morning:
Ok. I love survivor. I really do, but this redemption island thing is not the best. We don't get reward challenges. Those were always the best! I remember the reward challenges in all the past seasons being a BIG influence on the way things happened on the show, now we don't have that opprotunity. We get immunity, and redemption island. Even if you did have redemption island though, why would you do it twice??? So now being voted out twice doesn't matter? Are you going to have a redemption island at the finale show too? With whoever doesn't win moving on to the next season of survivor? Can we please go back to the one shot and your done thing? If you want Matt back so badly, bring him back in an all-stars like the others.

Matt definitely made a mistake telling Rob what was up. If he decided not to switch, he should have just pretended it was never on his mind. I'm surprised he didn't go over to the other team and say "Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I feel wrong flipping so I'm sticking with my tribe. No hard feelings yeah?" This is survivor. Keep your mouth shut unless you have to say something. And don't EVER say you were being wishy washy.

When they almost got grant out, I was so upset. Grant and Rob are my favorites on this season. But I'm glad Andrea stayed with Rob and the team. Matt proved he wasn't 100% about anything in this game, and right now she is safe where she is.

Maybe it's just me, but where did Natalie come from? I know she's been there, but I didn't really notice her till she won today. Definitely a surprise!

Not gonna lie, I loved the ball challenge for the fact that Jeff had to say "Grab your balls". That's immature of me, but I was cracking up the whole time.

:) Now that I read your blogg I'm glad to find out I wasn't the only one laughing at the ball thing.

Anonymous said...

Did Rob tell Grant about the idol?? I don't remember that!

kennedij said...

Just two notes. The RI challenge was dominated by women in the Heroes v. Villains season. They had the tribes rank themselves and then matched up against the other tribe in one on one duels with the footholds. The Heroes got destroyed.

Also, Grant only knows about the clue to the immunity idol, not that Rob has the idol. I do think that Grant is a little more savvy than the producers have shown us yet and has probably figured out that Rob has the idol.

Meredith said...

I think using an endurance challenge for the Redemption Island face-off was a mistake; at least from an audience point of view. The endurance challenges are inherently boring and it seems to me that those challenges should be more interesting than just watching people stand around.

Michelle said...

Grant doesnt know about the idol.

I mentioned Grant's toenails on my blog, too. Weird.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned Nat to be this season's purple Kelly. I'd say Grant is, as well. Or maybe we're just being deprived by the editors for some reason.