Survivor: China
My Mom Is Going To Kill Me
By Jim Van Nest
September 30, 2007

America will miss

Hello, good people, and welcome back to the BOP Survivor recap. Last week, we joined 16 Americans going out on the adventure of a lifetime. This time around, they're invading China. Set in a tropical paradise mere hours away from four million people, the Survivors have to deal with some of the harshest weather ever and according to the previews, they might be dealing with some of the bigger egos ever. Previously on Survivor, Courtney rolled her eyes, Leslie said something spiritual, Ashley laid around a lot, PG got on everyone's nerves and Chicken's goose got cooked.

We begin this week's episode with the three Hu tribe discussing how to build a fire pit. Dave is taking charge and he's telling the group they need to do the fire pit one time the right way. He tells us that he's not thrilled about being in the leadership role, but he's embracing it. PG tries to chime in with some help, but Dave shoots her down pretty quick. She feels that they work well together. From what I see, she suggests something, he shoots it down and then she backs whatever he says. Erik tells us that Dave isn't very receptive to other people's ideas. As they're talking about the fire pit, Jamie suggests that they try to get the pit done quickly so that maybe they can cook something before today's challenge. Dave tells her she's wishing really hard...whatever that means. Maybe we should roll the credits now...

As the sun rises over the Fei Long tribe, things are much happier. Or are they? We're treated to a montage of shots of people working around camp, mixed in with clips of Jean-Robert sleeping and snoring. Courtney calls him the D-student of the tribe and tells us how he's constantly laying around. We then join Brad (flight attendant) and Amanda (beauty queen) discussing an alliance. They decide that they're gonna stick together through the end. Brad, displaying a strategy that no one else can match, suggests pulling Aaron into their group. His reasoning is that he and Amanda can call the shots, while getting Aaron to actually pull it off, thus making him a target for their dirty work. See? THAT'S how you play Survivor. So, they approach Aaron telling him they need three to make it all the way to the end. As they shake on it, Brad is feeling very happy about having his alliance in place.

The tribe then calls a quick meeting and Aaron suggests that they get into a routine. Jean-Robert suggests they all rest, which opens the floodgates. Aaron tells him he needs to do more. JR tries to tell them that he's still working in his mind and that he can be of use in that manner. He goes on to tell them that he can't believe how weak and tired he is. He tells US that this is part of his strategy. He's purposely giving off the lazy vibe, so that later on when he starts working harder, everyone will be impressed with the way he's doing so much more. You know, this might be a decent strategy. The only problem with it is he won't last long enough to start doing some work. He's on the block right now and unless someone does something real stupid here soon, he'll be the first Fei Long to go.

Back at Zhan Hu, they're carrying big rocks around and building a fire pit with them. They're still not starting a fire, they're still not eating. Instead, they're running around carrying 20-50 pound boulders around to make Super Dave's bar-be-que pit. Jamie once again suggests starting a small fire to cook some rice over. Dave shoots her down. He'd rather keep building. Cut to Dave dropping one of his boulders into the mud, covering Jamie in muddy water. I mean, have we really gotten to this already? We're only on Day 4 and we've already got someone juvenile enough to splash mud on someone who dared oppose him? I'm pretty sure I hate Dave.

We join Jamie and Sherea talking about eating. Sherea says she literally can't do anything until she gets some food in her. I mean, they've been there three full days without eating. And they have a frickin' pot of rice just waiting to be cooked. All they need is for chucklenut to agree to start a fire. Or they need someone with balls to just start the fire despite what Dave says. In walks Ashley. They tell her about the mud bath and complain more about not eating. We skip to Ashley making a comment about the amount of work being done on the pit. Dave overhears her and proceeds to lecture her about how he's done most of the work himself. As she suggests starting the fire before the rain, he talks to her as if she's three. "How many fires have you built, sweetheart?" Okay, douchebag, it's not a contest to see who's started more fires. It's not a contest to see who can build the coolest fire pit. It's about six people who are starving and want to eat something. At the very least, it's about you not being a jackass and denying everyone in the tribe food so that you can play Bob Vila in the rainforest. I don't care what happens the rest of the show; this dude gets my vote tonight. He'd be gone faster than you can imagine. The argument continues as Ashley refuses to drop it. Dave just wants to condescend and talk to her like dirt. Speaking of dirt...

Probst sighting!!! The challenge is a simple one. It's a three on three challenge. Jeff is going to release two balls onto a mud court. The first team to push either ball over the goal line gets a point. First tribe to get two points wins reward. As has become the tradition over the last several seasons, this is the "win the fishing gear" challenge. Jeff does give us a little tease that there's a twist he'll reveal at the end of the challenge. Fei Long has to sit out a guy, and they choose Todd. As the rain pours, the first round is Aaron, Amanda and Denise against Sherea, Eric and Jamie. While the challenge has a lot of potential (and if it were on HBO, it would have been outstanding), not a lot happens for several minutes as the tribes jockey for position. Oops, there's a blurry spot. Appears Amanda's drawers are coming down. Whoa, another blurry spot...this time on Jamie's chest. And there's more, Amanda is completely topless at this time. While everyone is struggling over one ball, the topless Amanda gets the other ball and takes it across the goal line. She didn't even realize her top was down. When told, her response named our episode, "My mom is going to kill me." Next round: Leslie, James and JR against Ashley, Dave and Frosti. Lots more blurs as Ashley is pretty much all out there. This one is less of a struggle as the hungry Zhan Hu tribe is no match for the strength of James as he drags ball #2 over the goal line for the victory.

Now, for the twist. The Fei Long tribe gets to kidnap one member of the other tribe. Fei Long selects Jamie. Huh? I'm not sure about the strategy there, but okay. Before they go, though, Jeff hands a scroll to Jamie to open in private. She has to find a private spot and read the scroll. Jamie will stay with Fei Long until the immunity challenge.

From the "when it rains it pours" file, literally, when Zhan Hu gets back to camp, their entire camp site is flooded. It's close to a foot deep everywhere. All this really does, though, is give Dave a chance to talk about how brilliant he was for building up the fire pit so much and not starting the fire. And on the surface, he seems right. But when you think about it, they just got their asses kicked for the second straight time in a challenge. This time it could be seen as a lack of strength, strength they may have had if they had some nourishment in their bellies. I mean, it's great that you don't have to find another place for the fire...but at the rate you're going, the fire won't matter much cause you're all gonna be gone soon.

At Fei Long, they're checking out their new fishing boat. Aaron tells us that Jamie was taken because she's like a ray of sunshine on that tribe and that taking her totally demoralized the other tribe. Todd, thinking smart, tells some folks to make sure to watch the flint and everything else. He says in the Art of War it talks about stealing things from your opponent. We join Jamie in private reading her scroll. Inside her tube is a smaller tube that holds a clue to the whereabouts of a hidden immunity idol at the Fei Long camp. Before she leaves, she is to give the clue to one member of the Fei Long tribe. She's decided to see who the weakest link is and give it to them, to make the tribe have to get rid of a stronger member.

When we get back to camp life, JR is talking about taking a nap. Aaron jumps all over him and an argument ensues. Courtney, who's growing on me more and more in this episode, tells us, "JR and Aaron got into a ridiculous bitch fight. We were all just like, *sigh*, in front of the spy? Really? Are you just gonna give her a map of who doesn't like who?" The argument actually continues for quite some time. Jamie tells us that she doesn't understand how her tribe isn't winning.

Speaking of a complete joke, we're back at Zhan Hu and Ashley asks Dave what she can do. He says she can break up wood. As he points out all the different places where the wood is, she asks him to stop as she can only do one thing at a time. Which gets Dave going again. Ashley asks why he always has to be mean to her and again he's talking like she's three. Sherea tells us that she doesn't like the way he talks down to Ashley. It's just getting out of hand, and Dave decides to take a walk. Ashley tells us that she thinks he's gonna talk his way into trouble.

Back at Fei Long, Leslie is telling us how sick she is. As the tears start to fall, she tells us she'd be much better if she just had her Bible. She knows that if she could read it and spend some time with God, she'd be all right. Now, I don't want to hammer her too much, so I'll just say this, since when do you have to have the Bible to spend time with God? Take a few minutes to yourself, sit down and do what you have to do. On the heels of her tears is Jamie talking about giving the clue to the weakest link. So she takes Leslie aside and gives her the clue. "The Lord really gave me a gift." Um, no. He didn't. Jamie did...and you could have at least said thank you. So she checks out the clue and it suggests that the idol is in plain sight. As we go to break, the camera zooms in on the archway leading into camp and stuck on the beam is what appears to be a hidden immunity idol.

We come back to Leslie still looking around. She's all around it, but never looks up. And even if she did, I don't know that she'd recognize it. It's doesn't resemble other immunity idols. It just looks like an ornate decoration on the wood of the archway. In a very odd move, Leslie decides she'll need some help with this. She decides to go to Todd to see if he'll help her find it and then they can share it. Even Todd says, "I can't believe she told me. I'm in shock, I would never tell anybody. What was she thinking?" He then tells us he's hoping to find the idol soon and then when Leslie goes home, he'll be the only one to know about it.

Probst sighting! Jamie rejoins her tribe and then promptly sits out the challenge. Only six people can participate, Courtney and Leslie sit out for Fei Long. The challenge is one of strength. The teams will have to carry a very long Chinese puzzle log. They'll have to use it as a battering ram and bust down to wood walls set up in their path. Once through both walls, they'll have to rig the log onto a table, where they'll work a peg through a maze carved into the outside of the log. First tribe to get through the maze and ring the gong wins immunity.

Survivors ready? Dave and Eric break through first for Zhan Hu. But the strength of James and JR power Fei Long through the first wall. As both tribes work on their second walls, Dave is slowly becoming useless. He can hardly move the log anymore. As Fei Long busts through the second wall, Frosti switches out with Dave and helps bust Zhan Hu through the second wall. Amazingly enough, Fei Long doesn't have that much finished on the maze part of the challenge and Zhan Hu is able to catch up. As Fei Long hits a dead end, Zhan Hu takes the lead. Calmly and with no panic whatsoever, Fei Long keeps going and starts to pull away. As they get the log through the maze, James basically carries the log by himself to ring the gong and Fei Long wins immunity.

As we come back, it's time to play, "It's Anyone But Ashley". Wait a minute, didn't we play that last week? We get back to camp and Dave is feeling bad for letting the team down. He gathers everyone and apologizes for losing the challenge. He also thanks Frosti for stepping up and taking over for him. He then goes on to tell us that this hasn't been about one challenge though, it's about day in and day out over the first six days. Um, Dave. In case you weren't aware, this game actually IS about challenges. The team that wins them generally does better than the team that loses them. Your refusal to let your tribe eat has contributed to them being tired and weak in the challenges and your complete breakdown in the last challenge directly cost you a victory and earned you a trip to Tribal Council. But you keep talking the talk big guy...eventually, Frosti will cover your ass long enough to win a challenge. Dave tells us he's pretty sure that he's not going home. Ashley tells us that she knows Dave is voting for her. She breaks down her options to us. She can go to everyone and act like a crazy lady or she can save it for Tribal Council and try to calmly tell everyone what a mess Dave is. Um, Ashley. There's actually a third option. You can go around to people at camp and plead your case and try to sway them to your side. The way he talks to people and the way he killed you in the challenge is plenty of info to sway some folks to your side of the fence. You don't confront the whole tribe; you do it a piece at a time. Start with people you think are sympathetic...I'd suggest Sherea and Jamie. Or you could say nothing and wait 'til Tribal Council where you'll almost definitely seal your fate.

We join a conversation with Eric, Sherea and Jamie. They smartly determine that the conflict has to be removed. One way or another, they have to get rid of one of the people in the conflict. Jamie is torn on this one as Ashley is her friend, but Dave is such a hard worker. All I can say is Ashley better bring her A-game to Tribal; otherwise, she's done as dinner.

They enter what Jeff calls "Tribe Therapy" and he asks how the leadership thing is working. Frosti says he might be doing too much, which Dave says is a "hard habit to kick." At this Ashley rolls her eyes. As we all know, Jeff never misses a good eye roll, so he hits her next. Here it is, girl; it's your time to shine. Whatcha got? She says that she and Dave don't mesh well and that she respects him as a leader and will ask questions, even if she's not supposed to. Which brings Jeff to Dave and does it rub him the wrong way. He says not at all and he just wants to get camp life squared away. Ashley says she doesn't expect him to admit any of that. She says that what he does is patronizes people and talks down to them like they're children. Jeff asks if it's just her or with everyone else too. She says that other people feel it too (cut to Sherea nodding her head...uh oh Dave, is she swaying them?) and that he talks in circles and likes to play the martyr. "The way he handles that leadership it's just, for me, it's intolerable." Dave answers that the whole leadership thing is new for him, blah blah. He asks Jamie what the tribe needs to do. Jamie says the conflict is a problem and that Dave sometimes phrases his demands in a poor way. He chimes in that he's asked people to tell him when he gets out of line. Um, yeah, Dave. Cause that's worked SO well for Ashley. Sherea finally chimes in that she hasn't enjoyed one moment since she's been there. She hardly knows anyone on this tribe. Dave says it's because they're working so hard, which is exactly the point Sherea is making. She feels like the tribe should sit down and discuss what's going on and what the goals are. She goes on to mention that Dave slams Ashley every time she says something. So Jeff asks Ashley what the criteria for her vote is tonight. "Uh, I'm voting for Dave." Dave says there will be a lot less eggshells to walk on if Ashley goes home. With that, it's time to vote and I honestly have to say, Ashley may have made a dent in some people. As they vote, we see Dave's vote for Ashley. We then see Ashley's vote with the quote of the week, "I'm voting for Derek Zoolander...oh, I mean Dave." Classic!

As Jeff tallies the votes, everyone is looking pretty tense around the fire. He pulls the first vote and it's Dave's vote for Ashley. The second vote is for Dave. And with the rest of the votes, the second person voted out of Survivor: China is...Ashley. Rarely will you hear me say that keeping the stronger guy early on is a big mistake, but keeping Dave was a HUGE mistake. He's the cancer in the tribe, not Ashley. He's on a power trip and without her; he'll just find another victim. Ashley did get in one more jab on Dave on her way out the door, "I'll see you soon." Niiice!

Next time on Survivor: as we see people chopping what looks like swords or axes, the voiceover says Dave is losing patience with Zhan Hu. Wait a minute, I thought all they needed to do was dump Ashley and everything would be peachy keen? Todd and Courtney overhear Jean-Robert telling James how Courtney will be the first to go. The last shot is of a challenge that looks to be another pretty brutal physical mano y mano challenge. Until next week, take care!