Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
September 27, 2010
Remember how we said that Shannon would talk his way out of the game just a paragraph or two ago? We were speaking in theoreticals then. Now, there is tangible evidence.
Probst’s first question seems innocuous enough. He asks Shannon whether the difficulty of Survivor has surprised him. This has the same effect as lighting 100,000 bottle rockets at once. He discusses camping, and his fellow competitors, especially the ones who like girls more than boys. He makes a thinly disguised attack on Chase, who immediately recognizes and says, “He’s talking about me.” This is the closest thing we have to levity in the whole episode.
Shannon rants some more, at which point Fabio raises his hand and asks for the floor. He tries to settle Shannon down, giving him some surprisingly good advice about playing the social game better. Shannon’s not having any of it, though. He’s pissed at Chase and wants everyone to pick sides, preferably his.
Sash sagely tells Shannon, “You’re digging your own grave.” What is Shannon’s reply?
“I’m just going to get this out of the way right now. Are you gay?”
This might be the most uncomfortable moment in Survivor history. Sash scoffs dismissively. Benry wishes he could crawl into a hole. Fabio says, “Fuck.” Even NaOnka thinks Shannon has gone too far. That’s right. NaOnka.
An argument ensues about which one of them has slept with more women (since Shannon is only 30, his wife of 11 years probably should be concerned by this). Shannon’s counter is, effectively, that Sash’s hometown New York City is full of “teh gay.” Even if we understood the point of this, we still don’t understand why he’d be bringing it up. After all, his entire Survivor strategy seems to be built on allying with men who choose men over women. If Sash is gay (and he has said many times that he is a ladies man), he’s a perfect compatriot.
The rest of Tribal Council is a foregone conclusion. Whereas Wendy had waited until after Probst had called for a vote to make the speech that slit her own throat, Shannon has already gotten it out of the way right at the start. The only aspect of the vote that intrigues us is whether his assumed allies, Alina, Benry and Fabio (Jud), still vote as previously planned. Or, will they punish Shannon for his John Rocker impersonation?
Poor Jud doesn’t know what to do and is very funny about it. “I guess this is still our game plan? I don’t really know.” He’s not really voting with Shannon so much as sticking with his other allies.
Benry, on the other hand, can’t wait to vote Shannon out. He doesn’t even hesitate.
The only disappointment is that Alina remains so riddled with insecurity about Brenda that she cannot do the right thing. For all our criticism of NaOnka, she recognized that targeting a player simply because she dislikes them is a zero sum game. That’s right, Alina. NaOnka has more Survivor savvy than you thus far. It sucks that you didn’t always get invited to the spring formal by that cute boy you liked, but you’re a grownup now and it’s time to let it go. Brenda’s not getting uglier any time soon…unlike Shannon, who gets uglier every time he opens his mouth.