Episode Twelve: Stupid People: Stupid, Stupid People
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
April 22, 2004
The title of tonight’s episode is “Stupid People: Stupid, Stupid People.” Can we get a witness?
Cue the Supertramp, because It’s Raining Again. Mark Spitz didn’t deal with this much water.
Shii Ann, still bemoaning the loss of her “buddy” Kathy, proceeds to boldly offer gameplay advice to Rob. It’s the equivalent of the San Diego Chargers telling Bill Belichick how to make the New England Patriots a winning football team. How bad is Shii Ann at this game? We hate to belabor the point, but there are several species of semi-evolved apes that possess a more intrinsic understanding of Survivor gameplay than Neck-Eater. What amuses us the most, though, is how completely oblivious she is to her own incompetence. This is a woman who would be self-congratulatory about her Chess play at the exact moment her opponent (probably the afore-referenced ape) shouts out Checkmate. Shii Ann, we’re going to make this very easy for you. Survivor is not the reality game show equivalent of friendster.com. Anyone you think is your buddy (hi Kathy!) would stab you in the gullet, stick you on the spit, pop an apple in your mouth and feed you to the remaining contestants if it offered the opportunity of saving their hide at the next vote. Yosemite Sam has more common sense about repetitive behavior than you.
Appropriately, Rob goes back to the other members of his alliance and laughs at her, joining the rest of America.
Lightning strikes and birds scurry off, signifying the arrival of tree mail. We need only the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s angelic tones to make the whole experience more hyperbolic. Tom puts on the evil totem pole mask that accompanies the challenge information. At this point, we wait for the Scooby gang to show up and unmask him as Richard Hatch, the iniquitous operator of an island amusement park. Ruh-roh.
In order to win tonight’s Scooby Snack, the Survivors have to play the most enjoyable of games – Smash Your Opponents’ Face In. This is a standard challenge that has been historically used to rig votes so that certain Survivors couldn’t gain immunity. Three machete chops to your rope means you’re gone.
The contest itself is indicative of the producers’ awareness of how lackluster the show has been lately. It serves no other purpose than to instigate. Even Sam Adams wasn’t this much of a rabble-rouser.
The questions are as follows:
1. Who would you trust with your life?
Almost unconscionably, Rob wins the vote. Somewhere on a different part of the island, you can hear Lex scream.
2. Who does not deserve to be an All-Star?
If this were done American Idol style and the answer was open to public voting, the answer would be all of them, but the seven remaining players pick Shii Ann and Alicia. Shii Ann does her usual exaggerated theatrics/hysterics combo, including the now-patented eye roll. Alicia describes her feelings about the announcement as “a shot in the heart.” We had no idea she was such a big Bon Jovi fan.
3. Who uses their sex appeal as a weapon in the game?
The pens come out of the holster as everyone scribbles down Amber’s name before Probst can finish asking the question. This is the first unanimous answer, so at least Amber is aware she’s a tramp.
4. Who is under the false assumption that they are smart?
To our absolute amazement, Shii Ann is not the correct answer, as Alicia’s name is called out again. We smell some roid rage coming on.
5. Who is the most honest?
Rob writes his own name down, but surprisingly, lightning does not strike him down where he stands. The correct answer is obviously Rupert.
6. Who never shuts up?
The contest ends here, as Rupert, the non-threatening teddy bear of the group, finishes off Amber, his last remaining foe. Impressively, Rupert never even receives a single machete chop.
Back at camp, Alicia pouts. Jenna, sociologist that she is, senses her companion’s discomfort and tries to point out the sunny side of being the least deserving dumbass out of the remaining players. Alicia rails against this and badmouths Jenna to the camera, rubbing more oil into her stomach the entire time. Where does she keep getting all these body lotions? Is there an outlet mall in the middle of the Caribbean?
Burnett is not done meddling with the display of solidarity from the remaining members of Chapera. To further destroy team chemistry, he acquires Corey Dillon as the newest member of the team. Rupert, the winner of the reward challenge, is forced to choose the quality of meal for each of the remaining six contestants, while he chows down on steak. Speaking of Sam Adams, he also gets some beer.
Rupert is only allowed to punish Shii Ann once, which we consider a great disservice to one and all. She gets stuck with the cold rice and camp water and handles the experience so poorly that we actually feel like going back and apologizing to Alicia, who was a model of decorum by comparison.
What surprises us is the person who got screwed over the second most – Rupert’s fishing buddy, Big Tom. As Rob later puts it, Rupert effectively outs the would-be final four alliance of Jenna, Amber, Rupert and Rob simply by way of his selection of who gets to eat what. While Tom’s mighty heart is breaking, Rob scarfs down a burger and fries. Rob only needs a crown to complete the metaphor that he’s king of the tribe.
“We’re gonna kick Shii Ann’s ass off. We won’t have to listen to her anymore.” Rob, you are finally speaking our language.
Sensing her vulnerability (mayhap it was the burning in effigy of the Shii Ann doll), Neck-Eater sets off to negotiate a replacement sacrifice. It goes so well that Alicia won’t even let her speak. She doesn’t do the neck bob, but she certainly gets in the “talk to the hand” before telling Shii Ann to save it. They give the remaining member of Mogo Mogo the same odds of winning a challenge that a cheeseburger has of surviving Marlon Brando’s dinner intact.
The immunity challenge is a basic gut check determined by pride and strength of will. The contestants are tethered to a large drum full of water, and the one who holds his or her arm up in the air the longest without being drenched wins immunity. There is virtually no give for the handcuffed contestants, as demonstrated by Amber’s near-instantaneous elimination. A simple flick of the wrist ends her stand. Jenna suffers a similar misfortune, with Tom falling right after. The comic highlight of the episode (and arguably the season) is when Alicia lowers her wrist, thereby dousing Probst. It’s been such a dull season that we played this sequence in slow motion just to savor it a little bit more.
At the two hour mark, Boston Rob gets eliminated in Looney Tunes fashion, as some type of large, buzzing bug lands on his arm. He attempts to eat the bug, which is particularly amusing considering his notoriously weak stomach. In the process, he dumps a big bunch of water on his head. We’ll score this round to the bug. With Rob eliminated, an indomitable Shii Ann finishes off Rupert. Hell has officially frozen over. Grab your parkas.
Shii Ann proceeds to celebrate in the fashion you might expect for someone who has never won anything before in her life and probably never will again. Her over-the-top histrionics rub Alicia the wrong way. Lotion Girl brusquely reminds Shii Ann, “Don’t forget you’ve gotta go home with us; be very careful sweetheart.” How dare she win when the group was planning to vote her off!
The final ten minutes involve frenzied negotiations, as the people who recently treated Shii Ann like something stuck on the bottom of their shoes suddenly realize that her one vote does matter. For her part, the anti-Kasparov tries to put a dagger in Rob. She is the only one willing to et tu his Brute, though. At this point, it appears to be down to Rupert and Alicia.
At Tribal Council, Lex does the dance of joy when he sees that Shii Ann has immunity. Alicia’s reaction is somewhat more muted as she becomes the third member of the jury. In order to save a bit of face, she vaguely threatens everyone else there as she stands up. Her ominous parting shot is that she knows someone turned on her and she’d better not find out who it is. Gee, Sherlock, if only there were some televised or online archive of the proceedings so that you could suss out the perpetrators of the crime.
On the plus side, Balco Labs is happy to have one of its biggest customers back in commission. They’ve been losing a lot of business this year.