Survivor: China
I Lost Two Hands and Possibly a Shoulder
By Jim Van Nest
October 10, 2007

Let's just say that Leslie didn't mind being voted off and leave it at that.

Hello, good people, and welcome to Week 3 of Survivor: China. Last time on Survivor, Dave built a really boss bar-be-que, Jean-Robert snored, Brad set up an alliance, Leslie got a clue to find a hidden immunity idol, and Ashley and Dave scrapped, which resulted in Ashley being counted out. The previews for this week suggest that Dave still isn't happy and that Courtney and Brad overhear plans to boot her first. Should be interesting, so let's get to it.

We begin with Fei Long and Jean-Robert is snoring like crazy, while snuggling up to the women of the tribe. The girls are all pretty grossed out. He claims that he's cold, so he needs to snuggle to be warm. Courtney tells us that she and Amanda do their best to get away from him. "Like I'm gonna keep anyone warm, I weigh seven pounds, I can't even keep myself warm." We see more shots of him being obnoxious at night. Leslie tells us that the good thing about JR acting like he does is that it'll be a no-brainer who will go home when they finally have to go to Tribal. Cue the theme...

We come back to Fei Long and James has caught a crab. One crab. They chop it up and then try to decide what to do with it. Courtney suggests cutting it up and cooking it with the rice for some flavor. James is with that. Aaron thinks it's a dumb idea. After his objections, Courtney comes back saying if that's the case, James should get it since he caught it. Aaron seems to think he should get to eat a good portion of the crab. James pretty much lays down the law that the crab will be mixed with the rice to flavor some stew. He goes on to say that's amazed that he seems to be the only one who found his way to Barnes and Noble to read up on some survivor skills before the trip.

We finally get to Zhan Hu and Dave is working, working, working. PG suggests that he stop, eat and rest. She tells us that he doesn't seem to get that they need him to be strong for challenges. PG tries to tell him she's concerned about his strength and of course, he blows her off. He then tells us that in order to have energy, he has to expend energy and that camp needs to be sorted out. Or something. I have to be honest...he's speaking English, but I don't understand a word he's saying. He finally comes over and rests and lays there for about 30 seconds before he finds something else he HAS to do. Of course, along with doing it comes the condescending lecture to everyone else about how he had to do it. Frosti tells us that it was between Dave and Ashley the night before and you'd think he would just be happy to still be there. PG signals the coming of a challenge by telling us that she's just very concerned about making sure everyone is ready for the challenge.

Probst sighting!!! We have another physical challenge. The tribes will square off in three on three rounds. Men against men, women against women. They will start on opposite sides of a boat. On his go, they'll engage in battle and the first tribe to get all three of the other members in the water wins a point. First tribe to three points wins reward. Today, they're playing for pillows, blankets, a big ole tarp, rope, kerosene and a lantern. Fei Long will sit out Courtney and Todd.

First up are Sherea, PG and Jamie against Amanda, Leslie and Denise. They take a little while to go at it and Denise makes the first move. PG and Jamie take her out. Sherea and Jamie dump Amanda with no problem and then Sherea and PG take out Leslie for the first point. The guys are up next and as they line up, Dave decides to do the challenge naked. *Ok, time out. I guess I understand what he was trying to do here. I guess his thought process is that the other guys won't want to grab a naked man. But come on dude. Do you suppose ANYone on that boat wanted to see that? I'm by no means a prude, but this is just unnecessary over-the-top look at me bullshit. Frankly, I hope James grabs him by his little winky and throws him in the water by it.***

The guys size each other up a bit and Dave and Aaron square off. They both go in. James throws Frosti in as if he were a rag doll. He then goes after Erik. JR takes himself and Erik in and James wins the point for Fei Long. It's the ladies again. Leslie and Sherea square off and Amanda and PG hook up. Sherea and Jamie dump Leslie. They also take out Amanda, but she takes Sherea with her. Jamie and PG finally push Denise in and Zhan Hu takes a 2-1 lead. And it's the guys again. Dave decides he's gonna go take on James. James slams him to the deck and then basically throws Dave, Frosti and JR in. Finally James peels Erik off the post and dumps him and Aaron leaving James the sole survivor again. We're tied 2-2 and the women will decide it. Sherea dumps Amanda And then Leslie. Denise is alone against all three Zhan Hu's. Finally Sherea gets a hold of her and rolls the two of them off into the water and Zhan Hu wins their first challenge. And while I don't normally do this, I have to say that Jamie and Sherea proved to be HUGE in this challenge. The last thing to do is to steal someone and Zhan Hu decides to take Leslie. Leslie gets her clue and the tribes head back to camp.

We join the victorious Zhan Hu tribe as they get back to camp with their luxuries. Jamie is pumped to have kidnapped Leslie. Leslie hits it off real well with this tribe. She tells us that she's amazed by how excited this tribe is and how well they get along. It takes no time at all to get info out of Leslie. She tells them how close she is to Todd and how Aaron is the leader. Then talk turns to whether or not people are Christians. There are three Christians on the Zhan Hu tribe and she feels much more comfortable because of that. She feels like her tribe is more cynical.

Speaking of the cynical Fei Long tribe, we join James and Jean-Robert having a talk. James mentions that Leslie isn't gonna last too long. JR has coined her "Sister Christian." James goes on to say that he can't believe they're buying the praying thing. He says the people that pray the most sin the most. As they're talking, we're treated to a shot of Courtney and Todd overhearing the entire conversation. Then they start talking strategy. James says that JR and Denise need to stay. JR says he's not sure about Todd and that Courtney is the first person to go. They go on to discuss whether Leslie or Courtney should go first. James says at least Courtney does some work. JR starts giving him a hard time that he just likes Courtney (if you know what I mean and I think you do) and that's why he wants her to stay over Leslie. Courtney's getting a big kick out of the whole thing and Todd's completely annoyed with it all. JR is just going and going, but James seems a little bothered by the whole thing. Todd has determined that James and JR are the trash and they need to be taken out.

We come back to Zhan Hu and we learn why Jamie is so excited to have Leslie at camp. Leslie takes Jamie aside and gives her the immunity idol clue. Tit for tat, so to speak. Jamie's clue has two parts to it. The second clue suggests that the idol is in the air. Unlike Leslie, Jamie decides to keep the info to herself while she searches.

Probst sighting!! Leslie says goodbye to Zhan Hu and Jeff takes back the immunity idol. For today's challenge the tribes will need to designate four choppers and two puzzle people. The four choppers will need to hack through some wood to cut ropes to release some puzzle discs. Once all four people have their discs, the other two people will take those discs and place them on a puzzle pole. First team to get all the discs on the puzzle pole in order wins immunity.

Jamie and Courtney start out for their tribes. Jeff says there are seven ropes to cut through. Jamie gets hers done pretty quickly and PG heads out. Courtney is wearing down and not anywhere near getting her discs. PG gets her bundle of pieces and Courtney is still having a hard time. Frosti goes out and gets his pieces in seconds and Erik heads out for the final bundle. Meanwhile, Courtney still doesn't have hers. Erik gets the final group of pieces and they begin solving the puzzle. Courtney finally gets through the ropes and gets the pieces back. Amanda heads out and wastes no time getting at it. Dave and Sherea are almost nowhere on the puzzle and Amanda gets her bundle. Aaron heads out and has his pieces pretty quickly; meanwhile Zhan Hu is still making no progress. James hits the course and I'm pretty sure he swung eight times to get through his ropes. Both tribes are on the puzzle now. Todd and JR are trying to catch up, while Dave and Sherea are calmly finishing the puzzle. They drag the completed puzzle across the finish line and Zhan Hu wins its second challenge in a row and first immunity challenge.

And now it's time to play "It's anyone but Courtney." Her failure in this challenge was so huge; I just don't see any way that she doesn't take the walk. She's sat out a few challenges already and you feel bad for her on that, but her performance in swinging a machete was so piss-poor you see why they kept sitting her out. We get a close up of her hands and they are torn up. Todd tries to console her but it is not working much. JR confirms that either Courtney or Leslie has to go. Probably Courtney. They ask Leslie how Zhan Hi was and she said they weren't too bad. That there are Christians over there and that's probably why they chose her. She then tells them that she told the other tribe that Aaron is the leader. Aaron is really taken aback by that and tells us that he's now concerned about what happens when the tribes merge. He thinks Leslie will be the one to jump to the other side. And there we have it out for Courtney. Problem is, Courtney and Leslie are close and I can't see Courtney voting for her. I can't see Todd voting Leslie either, for that matter.

Leslie, Todd and Courtney decide that JR needs to go. If he's gone, the tribe will be much better and they could bust up JR and James. Todd goes to Amanda to discuss strategy. Amanda says they have to think about later in the game. Amanda is leaning toward JR and Todd strengthens that by suggesting that Courtney won't be a threat later on. They take their decision to Aaron and he doesn't want to dump JR, he wants Leslie gone. He thinks she'll turn on them and he doesn't want that to happen. Todd tells us that, inexplicably, the vote will come down to either Jean-Robert or Leslie tonight. How Courtney got off the schneid, I have no idea. Todd tells us that he doesn't really like keeping JR because he doesn't want all the bigger stronger guys to stay around because later on they'll beat him.

Jean-Robert tells most of the tribe that they need to either dump Leslie or Courtney. They're too weak and they'll cause the tribe to lose challenges. Todd tells us that he's also nervous about how well Leslie got on with the other tribe. But he still thinks JR is the way to go. As they head to Tribal Council, Courtney appears to be safe, amazingly.

The tribe gets to Tribal and lights their torches. Fire represents life and all that. Jeff asks JR if he's concerned about the losses. He says that he is and while they have the strongest guys they also have the two weakest girls and he points out Courtney and Leslie. He feels that they need to be sure that who they get rid of will leave them with the strongest team. Courtney points out that she's tired of the tribe doing whatever it can to not let her, Todd and Leslie play. She acknowledges that so far all the challenges are incredibly physical, but she's tired of being put "where I can do the least damage." JR goes on to say that while feelings may get hurt, he's telling it like it is and that after Denise and Amanda, their ladies can't compete. Leslie chimes in about how well Zhan Hu got along. She says they're united and they have fun. This is hilarious to me and has to be for Probst too, since the last two Tribals have been dubbed Tribal Therapy. She says Zhan Hu won the challenge because of their heart not the muscles. Jeff asks JR is he feels safe. He says definitely not. He felt he performed well in the challenges, but he thinks he is one of two or three people on the block tonight. And with that, it's time to vote.

We see Aaron vote for Leslie, telling her that her kids in China are all grown up. We then see Courtney's vote for Jean-Robert saying that his snoring sounds like someone is choking a walrus. We then see Leslie's vote for Jean-Robert as well. After that, we see nothing. Let's go tally the votes. First vote: Jean-Robert. Second vote: Leslie. Third vote: Jean-Robert. And the third person voted out of Survivor: China is Leslie with the remaining four votes. An interesting thing to think about with this vote: Leslie told Todd that there was a hidden idol. She told no one else. Jamie knows there's an idol over at Zhan Hu. So that leaves Todd and Jamie as the only ones to know about the idol. And ONLY Todd knows that he knows. Jamie has no clue. This could get real interesting as Todd is privy to info that no one else on the tribe knows. As much of a gamer as he seems to be, this could be lots of fun.

Next time on Survivor: Courtney and Jean-Robert get into it even more. And at Zhan Hu, Sherea has had enough of Dave and you have to think she's wishing she had that Ashley vote back. And both tribes will get a lesson on the art of war. The quick clip suggests that they'll learn this lesson from some locals in full-on battle gear. This looks like it will be awesome. My apologies for the lateness of this article, but on the positive, by the time you've finished reading this, the next episode should be starting. I'll try to be more timely with the next episode...til then, take care.