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Survivor: Palau Episode One, Part Two

This Has Never Happened Before!

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

February 24, 2005

In hindsight, maybe we should have only gone for the flint.

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The second half of tonight’s feature is all about the new cast members trying to grow accustomed to one another as well as acclimated to their new surroundings. The Suicide Girl wannabe, Angie, quickly reveals herself to be far too sensitive to have a chance of survival on the show. During a tearful monologue confessional, she describes that she “feels horrible to be picked last”. Gee, Angie the bartender, it could be worse. You could be the guy who was just voted off the show for no good reason and forced to ride on a boat with a nutjob with a karaoke fetish. I know you feel betrayed by Coby, but at least he didn’t decide you were the Clark Kent to his Lex Luthor.

A fun game develops with Angie during her monologues. So riddled is her body by tattoos ( how’s your self-esteem, Angie?) that the marks on her skin become a kind of Rorschach Inkblot Test. Watching her during a paused moment, I see a pony, an albatross, a tea pot, and the cast of Fame. The other note about Angie is that her lovely Angels collection pink brassiere, while surprisingly tasteful relative to her body artwork, fails to fully cover her prominent...umm…nipular region. CBS is going to be hearing from the FCC yet again about wardrobe malfunctions. Mad props about the bra, though. It makes us want to register the domain of ScuzzyWomenInTastefulLingerie.com.

Ian the dolphin trainer (who is no Dolly the sheep farmer) discusses his strategy in picking his team as a clever montage of fake hugs is displayed. It seems Ian specifically targeted an older group of contestants in order to get wiser prospects. Ian, you only picked one person out of eight in your tribe. How exactly are you the master strategist here? If the Patriots let me select one of their picks in the upcoming draft, that doesn’t make me the architect of their dynasty.

I hope Jeff Probst is getting paid by the second today, because he has been all over the place. He arrives to describe today’s immunity challenge. The concept has a clever twist. It’s a basic obstacle course, but in the middle of it, a decision must be made. Once the stronghold is reached, the Survivors must carry a batch of paddles for the duration of the challenge. They have the choice of carrying other items including flint, water cans, a tarp for shelter, and food. If they choose to carry the items, they will be dramatically slowed down, but they will have a much easier time of it on the island if successful. The catch is that only the winning tribe will be allowed to keep the items they carry to the end. This will particularly intriguing in that the challengers live together, so jealousy is likely to rear its ugly head if one group has rice and a tarp while the other does not.

Ulong and Koror take entirely different strategies into the competition. One proves to be superlative while the other is a boondoggle. The tribes are relatively even when they reach the decision phase of the contest. At this point, Koror determines that the only requisite item is the flint. They presume that with fire, they will be able to cook food and purify water, the only essentials needed in the short term. Ulong, slightly behind already, decides that they need everything but flint. While Stephenie screams that they need to leave the items behind in order to catch up, team leader Jolanda shouts that they must get the core items needed for survival. The fact that this is everything but fire stuns us. How exactly do they expect to cook that food? While Ulong struggles to acquire their booty, Koror laps them. Their dominance in this contest is so dramatic that their opposition is reduced to hissy fits and Probst cat-calling (“Ulong is looking for another island.”) while paddling toward the finish line.

Koror’s victory leads to another surprise announcement. The winning tribe is given the option of returning to the beach they know or seeking new adventures at an unknown location. The obvious choice is to pick the place where there is already some shelter in place, but Koror does the unexpected and moves on to the new beach along with their flint. Ulong returns to camp demoralized by one of the most emphatic immunity challenge losses in Survivor history.

The news is not all good with Koror. It seems that the journey to their new promised land is fraught with misfortune. A perfect storm of a wave capsizes their boat, splashing all the contestants into the water. But that is not the worst part. The hard-earned flint they just won is knocked overboard in the exchange, causing their hopes of fire to (literally) sink to the bottom of the sea. The looks on the Koror tribe’s faces say it all. These people do not feel like winners at the moment. Sure, they don’t have to vote anybody out at Tribal Council tonight, but they certainly will not be having any purified water or friend meat in the short term. That’s just horrendous bad luck.

The losers, unaware of their competitors’ struggles, barely wait until they get off the boat to turn on one another. Angie is certain that as the last one picked, she is likely to be the first one gone. Alas, she has not allowed for just how abrasive Jolanda’s personality happens to be. That’s right, the woman who won the immunity idol necklace at the start of the show has already become the most unbearable person since the singer was booted 15 minutes ago. Several of her tribemates blame Jolanda for her struggles during the challenge. Others are put off by her bossy nature and presumptive leadership behavior. The rest simply don’t like how loud she is. X chromosome deficiencies notwithstanding, Jolanda has somehow become the alpha male of the tribe. And they hate her for it. Stephenie wastes no time in plotting against the attorney. James can’t stop his jaw from clenching any time she is within twenty feet of him. Ashlee’s bloodlust rivals anything Lestat could ever muster. Jolanda has gone from biggest fish in the pond to co-favorite for elimination in a single commercial break.

Hey, look. Angela doesn’t shave her pits. Classy! What a lovely musk scent she will have as she extends her stay on the island.

At Tribal Council, Probst wastes no time in pointing out the failures of the group. “Let me be clear. You didn’t even bring fire?” It seems our man Jeff has determined who he feels screwed them. When the subject of leadership comes up, Ashlee says the tribe is lacking one. Jolanda falls over herself attempting to say that she wants to be the leader. Two minutes later, she has been eliminated from the competition, the first Survivor voted off the island(*). Jolanda had one of the strangest single episode runs in the show’s history. She somehow won immunity, become a group leader, cost her team immunity, alienated her peers and was eliminated in 43 minutes of footage. Generally, you have to make it to day 20 or so to have such a showing.

* = not counting that cheap Kickball team captain stuff


     


 
 

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