Survivor: Micronesia - Fans Vs Favorites
I'm Gonna Fix Her!
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
May 7, 2008

Survivor: Micronesia

Hello, good people, and welcome back. Or better yet, welcome me back as I seem to have figured out my DVR issues and was able to catch this week's show in its entirety. Let's see, what did I miss last week? Well, girl-power was confirmed, while Jason was sent to Exile Island and found the hidden immunity idol. The scumbags searched through his bag and found the idol, and Natalie proved to be the worst of the worst. James cut his finger. And like his idol before him, Jason was sent packing with an immunity idol in his pocket. Ya know, I think I figured it out. I think my DVR just couldn't handle this kind of stupidity and after watching a Survivor make a completely asinine decision once again, I think it just decided to shut down and take a nap. Anyway, the previews promised us further girl power and tearful reunions. Hopefully Amanda's hot sister will be out there again. Let's check it out.

We begin the game directly after Tribal Council as James is having his finger looked at. They clean him up and rewrap it with the assurance they will come in and check it in the morning. The concern is an infection which could lead to losing his hand. He tells us that since he works with his hand, he can't let it go on too long. The medical person tells him that if it doesn't look any better in the morning, he'll need surgery. Cue the credits...

We come back from break and it's still night time. Everyone is all over James about what's going on. He tells them that medical will be back in the morning to check him out. As they freak out a bit, James tells them everything will be all right. The next morning, James is doing his best to carry on with only one hand. And we focus in on the messed up knee of Alexis. Apparently, she had a fall and busted up her left knee. Cirie tells us that she knows it's bad to say, but she's thinking that with the two of them banged up, that's two less people for her to have to mess with. I can't blame her, as I'd be thinking the same thing.

Probst sighting!! Today we have one of my favorite challenges every season. This is the "players fill out a questionnaire about the other players, then they try to predict what the majority of the group said" challenge. If you get the right answer, you get to cut a rope of one of the other players. Each person has three ropes and when the third one is cut, it will trigger the horrible destruction of their tiki idol look-a-likes. I love this challenge because it lets everyone know what the tribe REALLY thinks of them. Plus, the cutting of the ropes always helps define the pecking order around camp. The only thing this challenge could possibly need is the loved ones of the players. Huh? What's that? This challenge HAS loved ones of the players? Just stop that, stop it right now. As we marvel at the perfect challenge, we get to meet Parvati's mom, Gayle. Then Erik's brother Kurt comes out followed by Natalie's mom, Rocky. Is it wrong that by association I automatically hate Rocky too? Next up is Alexis' brother, Nathan. As they hug, we can see Parvati trying to figure out how she can score with Nathan before this challenge is over. Next up is Amanda's sister, Katrina. Fine...I'll say it, them's some good genes in the Kimmel family. Up next is James Sr., who doesn't look old enough to be James' dad. Last, but not least is HB, Cirie's husband. And once again, everyone in the viewing audience remarks how HB and Cirie do not look right together. With everyone out there, Jeff explains that the winner of this challenge will get to go to Jellyfish Lake and swim with the jellyfish. Exile Island is now back in play as the idol has been rehidden. Let's go ahead and start the challenge.

The first question is: Who does the most for the tribe? Everyone says James, except James. James is the correct answer. Cirie takes out one of Amanda's ropes. Natalie takes out Erik and he returns the favor. Alexis and Parvati both take out James. Amanda then takes a shot at Parvati,

Next question: Who never shuts up? Parvati is the correct answer. Erik takes out Alexis who then returns the favor. James hits Alexis too and Amanda takes out one of Cirie's ropes.

Watch for our How Well Do You Know: Survivor - Fans vs. Favorites quiz at the end of the season!

Next question (and my personal favorite): Who mistakenly thinks they're in control of this game? Once again, the answer is Parvati. James takes another shot at Parvati and Amanda hits Natalie. Erik takes a shot of Cirie and Natalie pays back Amanda. Cirie heads out to cut Parvati's last rope and the tiki idol Parvati is smashed to bits.

Next question: Who is the most honest? The answer is Alexis. Cirie gets the only shot this time around and she sends Erik out of the challenge.

Next question: Who are you least likely to invite to a family dinner? James is the correct answer. Alexis takes James out of the challenge and then James takes Cirie out. Amanda knocks out Natalie and Cirie takes out Amanda which gives the victory to Alexis. Jeff tells Alexis that she can take two people with her and she chose Cirie and Natalie to accompany them. She then has to send someone to Exile. Amanda offers to go, so Alexis sends her. After being refused a hug from her sister, Amanda heads to Exile. And on the way out, Jeff sends James over to medical one more time.

When we come back from break, James is having his finger looked at. Lots of talk about infections and joints and amputation. Also, that cut is pretty nasty. He's pretty non-chalant about it, but it's a really bad cut. When Jeff comes to ask what's up, the doctor tells him that he needs treatment. Jeff lets James know that it's his call whether or not to leave, unless medical forces him out of the game. After asking the doc one more time, she says that he needs to be hospitalized ASAP to get it fixed. And like that, the big guy is taken out of the game. He gets to say goodbye to Parvati and Erik. Parvati tells us how unfair this all is. I can only assume she's saying that because she didn't get the chance to devour him whole yet. As James is taken away, we flip to the reward winners.

They all have quite a hike to Jellyfish Lake, but when they get there is so worth the walk. The next shots are quite amazing as they are literally swimming with thousands of stingless jellyfish. Even Cirie enjoys it. She tells us that she might have had a breakthrough and that she doesn't need to be afraid of everything.

Next up is a trip to Exile Island as Amanda begins her search for the new hidden immunity idol. She figures out the first couple clues and then one leads her out into the water. The clue is hooked to something under the water. With the water moving around quite a bit, Amanda FINALLY finds the clue under the water. It sends her back to her original island where she has to dig for the next clue. She digs for quite sometime and finally finds the clue that tells her the idol is hidden back at her camp, right under the tribe flag. After all that work, there's one more leg to go, it seems.

Flash forward to night and the rewarders come back to camp to learn that James has been med-evac'd from the game. Alexis is very worried about this because her knee is hurting her pretty bad. Cirie tells us that with James leaving, it puts the all-girl alliance in a weird spot because they now have to beat Erik in the immunity challenge, or they'll be forced to eat one of their own. The girls talk about how they have to beat Erik as we head to break.

We come back from break and Alexis is having a rough time walking. Parvati asks her is she really thinks she can do this for seven more days. And then asks if she wants them to vote her off. Alexis basically tells her no way and goes about her business. Parvati and Natalie are talking about what to do if Erik wins. Natalie says she can't beat Amanda so she needs to go. Parvati tells her that she will not vote for Amanda because they've had a deal from day one. Of course, she may as well have said, "I can't vote for Amanda, but I'm not gonna stop you guys from voting for her." Every week I'm more blown away by the stupidity and assholishness of these people. I'm literally to the point of hating them all and wishing for all of them to be med-evac'd out of the game.

Watch for our How Well Do You Know: Survivor - Fans vs. Favorites quiz at the end of the season!

And we have another Probst sighting. As Amanda comes back from Exile, the first thing she notices is that James is gone. And with that, immunity is back up for grabs. For this challenge, each person will fire a high powered gun at some colored sake bottles. First person to break all three of their own bottles wins immunity. First up is Natalie and she hits. Parvati also gets her first shot. Erik also scores a hit on his first shot. After one round, Natalie, Parvati and Erik are tied with one. In the second round, Erik is the only one to score in round two. Natalie gets a hit in round three. Amanda finally hits one. Erik steps up for his third shot and like clockwork, drills his third bottle, wins immunity and totally screws up the girls' plans. Looks like they'll have to dump one of their own.

Coming back from break, it's time to play, "It's anyone but Amanda." As they get back to camp, the first thing Amanda does is empty her bag in front of everyone to show them that she does not have the idol. They ask her how far she got and she told them that she couldn't find the clue in the water. She said the current was too strong and just couldn't find it. As she picks up her stuff, still talking about it being harder than she thought, everyone is totally buying her act.

Which leads us to the big reveal. Amanda takes Parvati aside and tells her that she knows where the idol is and that they need to decide who to vote out. They're going back and forth between Alexis and Natalie. Parvati thinks Alexis could win jury votes. Amanda is thinking more along the lines of making the final three, not winning it. She thinks the Alexis injury pretty much takes her out of any challenge. The girls decide Amanda should approach Erik and play the, "I took care of you, now you take care of me" card. Next we join Alexis and Erik deciding that Amanda is the best bet to win so she has to go. Amanda approaches Erik and he tells her that he is deciding between her and Parvati. As she pleads with him, telling him how she helped him out, I can only assume that Erik has never had a girl that hot talk to him like that. But, he keeps his composure and tells her that he will likely vote for her. Cirie tells us she's on board with the Amanda vote, even though she would prefer to vote Alexis. As Cirie talks to Amanda, she tells her she will not force the tie, because she doesn't want to pick the rock. Cirie admits to her that everyone is voting for her.

As everyone sits around the fire, the talk turns to Amanda and where she is. Parvati tells them that she went to wash 'cause she told her she stinks. Of course, that's a cover for her to dig for the idol. And as she digs, she tells us that if she doesn't find the idol, she's toast.

As we get to Tribal, the jury is brought in, including James (complete with IV drip.) Jeff tells the jury what's up with James. He then asks James about the IV Bag. He says that he had to have his finger taken care of and as long as he has the IV, he's good. On to the real Tribal. Jeff starts with Amanda by asking if she searched for the idol or not. She says that she did, but because of the current being so strong she wasn't able to find it. For real, folks, she looks like someone just ran over her dog. Either she's really bummed about being voted out, or she's really playing it up big time in hopes that she can blindside someone with the idol. On to Cirie, Jeff asks her who the physical threats are in the game. She says Erik and Amanda. She can't vote for Erik, which points him toward Amanda. Amanda tells him that she has been told that she's going home. Everyone but Parvati plans to vote for her. Parvati says that she just can't cast a vote against her "little sister." (I'm sure those words won't come back to haunt her at all.) As Amanda continues on, she talks about how she felt like it was her and Erik for the last little bit. And that Erik is all friendly when he needs your help, but when you need his, he can't be bothered to help you. Apparently this revelation is a new one for the jury as they look stunned. Erik speaks up to say that he thinks Amanda is blaming him for her being voted out. She goes on to say that she helped keep him through the merge and when she needs his help, he refuses to give it, so she's pretty pissed off. On to Natalie...Jeff wants to know who scares her the most. She says Amanda because she has done nothing to hurt anyone on the jury. Alexis chimes in that they adore Amanda and she respects her so there was no way she would vote for her without her knowing it was coming. and with all of that, it's time to vote.

Watch for our How Well Do You Know: Survivor - Fans vs. Favorites quiz at the end of the season!

We see Natalie's vote for Amanda saying that if she didn't make that vote, she'd be handing Amanda $1 million. We also see Alexis' vote as she says again that she adores her. Let's go tally the votes. Oh yeah, if anyone has a hidden idol and would like to play it, now's the time. "About that, Jeff..." Are you frickin' kidding me?!?!? She has the idol!!! And instantly the realization sinks in with Alexis and Natalie that their plan is totally screwed. As she takes the idol to Jeff she tells everyone that when she told them she didn't have the idol that she really didn't have it. But she has it now. And the jury goes crazy! What an acting job! She played the poor pitiful me role perfectly and suckerd everyone into voting for her, which allowed her and Parvati to decide who to dump. So, Jeff reads the votes and the first four come up Amanda. Twelfth person voted out of Survivor: Micronesia: Alexis. BOOM!

With a smile to the jury, Amanda lives to see another day. And if you ask me, she just won Survivor 16. There will be seven members on the jury and she already has Ozzy, Eliza, James and Jason in her pocket. Ladies and gentlemen, they may as well sign the check over to her now. Only some horrible game play will stop her from winning this game now. As horribly as she screwed up the final Tribal Council in China, she did the complete opposite during this Tribal. For real, after that performance, I want to go back and give her the check from China. I could be wrong, but I think we're in the middle of the best stretch of episodes in the show's history. The last three episodes have been so stellar; they almost make up for the amazing amount of stupidity we've seen this season.

And speaking of stupidity. Word around the campfire is that the stupid moves aren't done yet. Come on, folks...let's end the insanity. Let's get some decent players on this show. I'd suggest we start with a guy you all know and love. He's a student of the game and he's strikingly handsome. That's right; I'm talking about myself again. Help me continue my quest to force my way onto the show for an upcoming season by forwarding a link to this column to the CBS Feedback Forum at Feedback. Thanks so much to those of you who've actually done this. And thanks to anyone who plans to. Further, to the CBS people in charge of casting this show, hit me at vannestjc (at) gmail (dot) com. Let's talk. Let me show you why I think I can win your game and keep the home crowds interested. We're tired of seeing bonehead after bonehead make the same boneheaded mistakes. We want to see someone who understands the game and isn't afraid to play it the way it was intended.

And finally, next time on Survivor: All the girls make a play for Erik, Cirie and Amanda want him. Natalie and Parvati want him and Natalie says she wants to smack him like his mother. Good God this woman is vile. I'm sorry I wasn't able to put my opinions of her into my last column, but David and Kim did a pretty good job mentioning just how disgusting and awful she is.

***Quickie program reminder: Thursday is the second to last episode of the season. Which means we're set up for yet another Mother's Day spent watching the Survivor Finale and Reunion. So, Sunday May 11th from 8pm-11pm on the east coast, 7-10 central, CBS will air the finale of Survivor: Micronesia, followed immediately by the reunion special.***** Until Thursday, ya'll take care!

Watch for our How Well Do You Know: Survivor - Fans vs. Favorites quiz at the end of the season!