Survivor Vanuatu: Episode Six
By David Mumpower
October 22, 2004
Last Thursday at this time, the tribes made a deal just before the trading deadline, Bubba had got himself voted off due to sheer stupidity, and the Yankees and Cardinals had taken seemingly insurmountable 2-0 leads in their respective series. Needless to say, things have changed in the interim.
Tonight’s festivities begin with the ladies of Yasur discovering what the men of Lopevi already knew. Rory is one whiny bitch. The man spends the first couple of moments after the immunity challenge going out of his way to let the women know how unhappy he is with their decision to vote off Bubba. Even though Rory says in his camera confessional that he knows it was either the redneck or him who was going to be voted off, it is apparently lost on the man that he should be grateful it was the other guy that the ladies picked off.
Rory explains that his strategy is to push the women just hard enough that he becomes “the brother who is welcomed back into the fold”. Judging from the rolling of eyes of Eliza, Ami and Co. as he madly rants, this prodigal son is not going to be welcomed home for a party any time soon.
At Lopevi, Lea continues to prove wildly quotable even if his logic does not resemble our Earth logic. “It’s a blessing to have women around.” At this point, he has a pregnant pause as the wheels turn in his slow-operating, phallocentric head. “Not that we need them. I’m not saying it would be different one way or the other, but it’s good to have them.” I’m taking this to mean that Sarge would have just hooked up with fellow He-Man Woman-Hater Chris if Julie had not shown up when she did.
For her part, recent Lopevi Julie is beginning to overly identify with Christina Applegate’s character in Anchorman. The sexual overtures are so over-the-top that a caveman who had just clubbed his mate over the head and dragged her to his cave would shake his head in disgust. The low point here is when Sarge is asked to provide the details of his “improved dream”. If Janet Jackson can’t show a nipple on live television, this freak of nature better not be allowed to go into any further detail. The fact that he’s having erotic dreams is more than I ever wanted to know. I wouldn’t blame Julie if she never stopped slapping him. Or do you think he’s more of a Twila man? Boy, those would be some handsome offspring.
Driving home the point of how skilled Sarge is at the game, he is given the opportunity to name who was eliminated at the Tribal Council. His lone piece of game analysis is, “Bubba is safe. Everybody loves Bubba.” If there were some sort of Anti-Las Vegas, he would be the guy to break the bank.
The strategy sessions occur in private between Twila and Julie. Their bold course of action is to “keep winning challenges”. I take that as Julie’s way of saying, “I’m hot, so if we lose, it’s your ass in the cooker, not mine.” I half expect her to walk over to Sarge, bite her lower lip, and coyly ask him to tell her more about his dream.
The announcement of the reward challenge causes Rory to take a different tactic. He begs forgiveness for his prior behavior. His impassioned plea is that he is a man without a country since his ex-tribemates at Lopevi are likely to see him as a traitor. The women take the entire shtick for what it is and rightly so. I’ve seen more sincere apologies at parole board hearings.
At this point, the reward challenge arrives as Survivor takes a turn for the Green Acres. The contestants are required to jump into a mud pit and try to catch piglets. Where’s Big Tom when you need him? Needless to say, this type of challenge plays more to the strengths of the hunters instead of the gatherers. The men folk prove dominant in the arena of Moshing for Piggies. Lea in particular finally looks at home as there is finally a competition that plays to his skill set. It helps that he has something to play for. The reward itself is a steak dinner. This marks the first time in several years that Survivors had been offered something I would actually eat…though I’m told that as nasty as it is, plantain still beats Thai food.
Survivor low point of the season thus far: When Lea lifts his arms and says, “Raise the doggone roof.”
Both tribes are convinced about one subject after the event. Eliza did not try at all. Going back to the Green Acres analogy for a moment, Eva Gabor would have done just as well…and she’s been dead for ten years. The Lopevis giggle at her ineptitude. The Yasurs seethe as she offers up useless apologies about why she struggled with the task of picking up a ten pound piglet and carrying it a few feet. Ami dresses her down for her bad attitude and quitter nature. Elsewhere, Rory gleefully enjoys the failure. Her weakness offers him hope if they do lose the next immunity challenge.
Survivor high point of the season thus far: When shameless flirter Julie walks across the beach shouting, “I’d like to tan my ass.” All that she needs is a knife tucked in the bikini to complete the Ursula Andress/Halle Berry Bond Girl impersonation.
Remember how I jokingly said that maybe Sarge was into Twila instead? Well, that might be closer to reality than I thought. Let’s let Sarge explain: “I could pal around with Twila. I could drink a beer with Twila. I could go to a race with Twila. I also would put a dress on Twila and go out to dinner with her, because she is a lady.” Conan O’Brien needs to do a “What If They Mated” stat!
How much does Sarge like Twila? Well, he’s talking about taking her to the final four with Chris, Chad and him. His explanation is that the trio needs someone who is a little more mature and will keep their word. He does not, however, get down on one knee and propose on the spot. If he had been without women for another week, though, I am pretty sure he would have moved faster.
Probst Time Part Deux! Our host arrives to tell the challengers about the requirements of their competition. The challenge involves Tiki idols, canoes, bridges, an underwater hitching post, and a trough. Well, you can’t say that the show’s producers lack imagination.
The competition begins with Ami and Chris, both of whom perform admirably. Probst had warned going in that this would be a brutal physical challenge, and he was not exaggerating. Chris literally collapses in exhaustion once his turn has ended. Ami finishes soon afterward and performs a similar blanket dive. Rory and Lea face off in a spirited heat, finishing up nearly equal. This leads to a third leg duel of Julie vs. Leann. And that’s where the game turns south for the latter contestant. Leann is overcome by rough waters, rendering her wholly unable to complete her portion of the contest. She wades helplessly as the members of Lopevi easily pass her by. Needless to say, Lopevi wins and Leann is the goat. Her stay on the island appears precarious if the vote is done based on performance in the challenge.
Irony is the name of the game as we return from the break. Reward Challenge choker Eliza consoles Immunity Challenge choker Leann about her performance. “Trust me, I know how you feel. And everybody knows it.” Leann confides that she feels she should go home. Presuming that’s how the voting works in ten minutes, I bet she changes her tune fast in the end segment.
Rory punctuates a segment of strategy and back-biting. He giddily notes that two players find their necks on the line that evening and he has somehow managed to not be one of them. Instead, a rift has developed between Lisa and Ami, with the sticking point being Lisa’s loyalties. The presumption Rory makes is that one of them plus Leann will be in trouble when the votes are written down. Like Lea before him, Rory proves to be lacking in the prophecy department. He is in fact the runner-up in the elimination vote today, but Ami eventually weighs down on his side against the woman she deems untrustworthy, Lisa. The former Mardi Gras Queen (that must require a lot of bead acquisition) becomes the latest Survivor voted off the island.
More importantly to Kim, Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen do some damage. The St. Louis Cardinals are World Series bound.