Survivor Season One: Long Hard Days

By David Mumpower

August 11, 2005

Her Internet ad says, 'Must Love Dogs'.

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Previously on Survivor, evil triumphed. Again. That pinhead Sean refused to guarantee himself a spot in the final four by forming an alliance with Colleen, Gervaise and Wigglesworth. Fifth place is just fine for this motard. This left Gervaise and Colleen referring to themselves as Bulls-Eye and Sitting Duck, respectively. The only remaining members of what had once been the Pagong tribe found themselves flipping a coin to see who would be eliminated. Gervaise was the lucky one in that he was voted off the island, freeing himself from any further encounters with naked Richard. Colleen appears to be a certain victim this week. So, barring something unforeseen, this should prove to be a dull episode. What this show needs is more immunity challenges involving piranha. If nothing else, the thought of those teeth aiming to bite something would damn sure keep Richard's clothes on.

This is day 31 at Rattana, which is not a Ratt fan festival despite what the name might have you believe. Ratt would have to have fans in order for that to happen. Anyway, Rich is trying to figure out exactly what day it is when the show begins. Unfortunately, he does not have enough fingers and toes to calculate the mathematics. As a result, he cheats a bit and declares this to be the ninth day to the end. How in God's name is this guy still alive in this game? He's obnoxious, arrogant, and prone to extended bouts of nudity. Exactly what does a person have to do to get voted off of the island? I suspect he could take a swing at America's sweetheart, Colleen, and the show's producers would still give him a pass.

"Rich has gotten really, really weak and really crabby and really hungry." – Wigglesworth.

Question: how does she distinguish this from his normal behavior?

Sean takes a moment to declare that while he is no mama's boy, he does miss his family. The scary thought here is imaging what Sean's family must be like. Just the process of deciding what's for dinner would take forever. "Gee, I hate to choose. You pick." "No, I picked last time. It would be a lot easier if you picked." "How about the deli at the bowling alley?" "Do we have a bowling alley here?" "No, but we can always make one." I re-iterate that this guy passed the MCAT. I think I will adopt the apple-a-day strategy from here on in to avoid future visits to the doctor.

Yikes. A camera close-up shows that Colleen's legs look like they have been used as an ant farm for the past couple of weeks. She has enough scabs to make Pamela Anderson uncomfortable. Worse yet, she confides to the camera that some of her bites have become inhabited. If you had Colleen on your laminated list, the smart move would be to swap her out for, well, someone who isn't riddled with disease. Maybe after she gets off the island, Sean can treat her wounds. Although by the time he's done, she might wind up with Lupus.

Colleen is melancholy about more than just her new leg tenants. "I miss my old team." The young woman grows reflective about the fact that she is all that stands between Tagi and their goal of the complete extermination of Pagong. As she states, she is the "last sole survivor". The viewing audience wishes that the sentence ended there but of course she whispers "of the Pagong tribe". Rather than continue to wallow in self-pity, Colleen offers some rather insightful game analysis. She points out that with the first goal of Pagong's execution completed, the remaining members of Tagi are a bit uncertain about the next step. Evil turns upon itself as the old proverb goes, and Colleen is amused to note that she is there to witness the start of this implosion.

As if on queue, the editing shows Richard offering up his concerns about where his alliances stand. Sue, who once declared Wigglesworth to be her best friend in 20 years, has let the money cloud her judgment. Suddenly, any conversation the youthful river guide has with Colleen is seen as an attempt to secure the votes of the Pagong members of the jury. This delightful bout of paranoia indicates that maybe, just maybe this episode won't be as mundane as earlier predicted.

Captain Doofus Sean has even deduced that he has a one in six chance at a million dollars. More shocking is the comment that he is going to play to win from here on in. Now, it would have behooved him to maybe try that from the beginning but hey, progress is progress. Alas, Sean's strategy seems to involve being Rich's bitch boy, so even when he tries, he does not seem to have a clue what to do.

Rudy takes this opportunity to make reality television history. During a conversation with Rich about making an alliance to the end, he offers this nugget. "You know, if I got (CBS bleeped) along the way, like if someone had gave me their word, I'd do something to them." Rich is too self-involved to notice it, but the old man has just threatened to whack him. Isn't that like a felony or something? Wow, that totally beats Puck sticking his finger in the peanut butter.

"I don't wanna be any part of it. It's not a fun game now." – Colleen, accepting her fate.

The reward challenge for the episode is something worth winning. Probst (awkwardly) reveals a Visa card and explains the corporate tie-in. The winner will use the Visa card to pay for a night on a yacht including first class amenities and a meal. I mentally cringe at the thought of some masseuse having to touch Colleen's legs. The contest itself is a trivia challenge, and it's so dull that many of the questions go un-televised. In the end, Rich chokes. He has an opportunity to win, but fails to identify a king cobra. This allows Sean to tie him, creating a sudden death question. Sean nails it, and the night on the yacht is his. Vegas odds makers place 3:2 odds on him causing a Titanic situation on the vessel.

Sean is given a night of anticipation along with the news that he gets to bring one of his fellow contestants on board for breakfast. This leads to a segment where he tells the camera he will take Wigglesworth. Then, we cut to her talking about how much she likes Sean. If this were a horror movie, we would be shouting at Wigglesworth to not go into the basement. Sure enough, when decision time rolls around, he has come to remember that Rich is his meal ticket. So, he finally makes a decision and it's the wrong one. Wigglesworth does nothing to hide her displeasure. If they were a couple, he might not see her naked for the next three months.

A clever bit of editing intersperses bitter comments from the other contestants with magical moments from Sean's night on the yacht. When the discussion turns to the good doctor receiving a massage, Rich states that the guy has never had one in his life. Cut to Sean, who is not just getting the treatment from a masseuse but might have made a love connection as well. She playfully tugs down his towel and gives him a bare-ass spanking right there on camera. If this goes much further, the video is going to wind up for sale on eBay. Mayhap Wigglesworth did not offer him what he really wanted from this boat trip: a happy ending.

A strange moment occurs toward the end of the evening. Probst insists that the captain wants to meet Sean. Bumbling doofus that he is, Sean readily agrees. He approaches the man in the sailor's hat and tries to introduce himself. Since the man is his father, no introduction is needed. As if the evening on the yacht were not enough, the winner also gets to spend the evening with a loved one. This is better than all of the other reward challenges thus far combined. Also, father and son appear to have a special relationship. Each of them confirms that this night on a luxury boat in Borneo is better than wining the million dollars would be.

The following morning, Probst arrives at the beach to pick up Rich. A hysterical moment ensues when Kelly stands up and says, "Tell Sean he's in big trouble. Tell Sean he's got to deal with Wigglesworth when he gets back." She was mad enough the prior day but a night of obsessing on what she missed has her seeing red. It would be worse if she could have had a closed circuit feed of the boat. Rich eats a buffet that would be the envy of every place in Vegas. Back at the island, Wigglesworth is reduced to fantasizing about various foods she cannot eat right now. Stay on the boat, Sean.

No, wait, stay on the boat, Sean's dad. The older man joins his son on the island, or at least he attempts to do so. He stumbles dismounting the boat and winds up falling flat on his face. The fun is not over there, either. Sue and Wigglesworth have determined to give Sean the cold shoulder, and wholly dismiss him when he approaches. When he explains that the man with him is his father, their righteous indignation turns to embarrassment as they now look like total bitches to a complete stranger.

Remember earlier when I speculated about what meeting a member of Sean's family would be like? It's a bit worse than I predicted. Sean's dad has apparently not seen a newspaper since the end of WWII. When asked about matters as far reaching as the stock market, the war in Chechnya, and the NCAA basketball tournament, he offers one of the worst Trivial Pursuit performances ever. You know the Saturday Night Live Jeopardy skits with Sean Connery? It's like that but worse. He spends a good 30 seconds beating his forehead trying to remember the name of the winning basketball team. He vaguely recalls that it's not Duke or Kentucky or that other team that wins a lot. (It was Michigan State if you're curious.) To Sue, Sean's dad delivering news is the equivalent of watching CNN but with Sammy Jankis at the anchor desk. "In news today, something big happened...I forget what."

Sue's opinion of Sean's dad changes slightly right before he leaves. The man has a bag containing care packages for everyone from their loved ones back home. Suddenly, he's a mensch...the true salt of the earth. So, Sue is easily bribed. That information might prove useful down the road.

Probst sighting! The immunity challenge today seems at first blush to be a must-win scenario for Colleen. At least it is if she wants to stay on the island, something she indicated earlier was not a preferred solution. If she has changed her mind, though, this is a perfect competition for America's sweetheart. The contestants are asked to balance on a shrinking number of planks until they are left on a single wobbly piece of wood.

The challenge is deadly dull. Almost 90 minutes pass before the first survivor, Rudy, is eliminated. Even the contestants are bored out of their brains. Several of them (obnoxiously) sing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. In an unexpected turn of events, Rich's showmanship in singing this ditty proves his undoing. His boisterous shouting causes him to fall right off the plank with a good 64 bottles of beer still untouched on the wall. Sue instantly calls dibs.

Speaking of shocking developments, Rich confides to Rudy and the camera that it is NOT Colleen going home tonight. Instead, the plan is to eliminate Kelly as punishment for her perceived treachery. At this very moment, Sean tumbles off the balance beam and the shockwaves of this ripple down to eliminate Sue. That leaves Kelly and Colleen dueling for immunity. Kelly has no idea how important it is that she wins. Oddly, the discussion at the beach indicates that even if Colleen does not win immunity, she will not go him. Instead, Sean is named the next target. A breakfast buffet does not mean as much as the doctor expected. This is good news for Colleen since she stumbles, allowing Kelly to win immunity.

It's time to play it's anyone but Colleen. Or is it anyone but Sean?

Oddly, the segment after the challenge involves a discussion about Kelly. Since she's got immunity, I don't understand the timing on this. The theme is that Pagong's members felt she was a double agent, pretending to be their friend in order to find out information for Tagi. It has absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming vote, though. So, this tells us that the Sean thing was a swerve. They are already setting up next week's vote. Sure enough, America's sweetheart, Colleen, becomes the latest and last member of Pagong voted off the show. Don't feel too glum for the girl, though. I've got a feeling she might have a future in movies. Well, movie.

"Be nice to each other, okay?" -- Colleen

Good luck with that.



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