Survivor Season One: Udder Revenge
By Jim Van Nest
July 28, 2005
Hello, good people, and welcome back to Survivor: Borneo. Last week saw the exit of Dirk. Seen as lazy and growing skinnier and weaker every day, Dirk was the obvious boot for the Tagi Alliance. Pagong was riding high with a reward of chickens and immunity. And finally we learned that apparently, chicks dig the crazy, as Greg and Colleen are beginning to spend quite a bit of time together. Will their romance blossom? Will Jenna ever stop talking? Will Sue ever admit she's a really a man, baby?
Day 16 begins with a Probst sighting! Jeff lets us know that in three days the two tribes will merge to form one tribe. At this point, the game will become individual. Challenges will be individual and only one person will have immunity each Tribal Council. Apparently, the tribes are aware of this and the merge seems to be on everyone's mind, as they try to figure out how the change will affect their standing in the game. Jeff also takes this time to point out that right now, Pagong has the numbers advantage at 6-5. A loss at the next immunity challenge could prove disastrous for Tagi, alliance or not.
And just like that, we begin the show at Tagi. They've decided that today will be a day of rest. And while the tribe rests, Rich is constantly working the game over in his mind. He's getting mentally prepared for the merge and preparing a game plan. He seems to think that Pagong isn't taking this as seriously as he is, which of course, works to his advantage. The tribe gets together and decides to set the pecking order for when the tribes merge. Everyone agrees that Greg, as the "leader" of Pagong, has to go first. They target Jenna second and that's pretty much because they think she's annoying. Sue wants Gervase out next because she thinks he's a pervert. Um, ok. It's not like he got naked and rubbed up against someone during a challenge or anything.
We join Pagong as they plan to sacrifice their first chicken. The plan is to have one chicken each day for the next three days, so no chicken has to be shared with Tagi. I love this line of thinking. As they prepare to kill and cook the chicken, Colleen lets us know that she really wants no part of the killing/cooking process. She likes meat and she knows where it comes from, she just doesn't really want to see it. She wants to open her eyes and have some fried chicken just appear on her plate. Normally, I would find this a bit annoying, but she is just so damn cute! Oh, and note to Survivor editors: no one enjoys watching close-ups of people eating. It's gross. Maybe next time you could show some nice close-ups of people puking.
Another note to Survivor editors: no one enjoys seeing hairy nekkid fat men during prime time. Over at Tagi, we get treated to a lot of blurred shots of Richard's naked ass. Apparently, he likes being naked, and who really cares what everyone else likes? On a game note, Rudy informs us that he has officially joined the Tagi alliance. They taught him the handshake and everything. Rich wants to keep Rudy in the game as long as possible. Almost seems like Rich wants him around to be thrown under the bus anytime the heat starts pointing at Rich. Also, Hatch isn't too concerned with what roles anyone in the alliance has. He is deciding who gets voted out and that's really all that matters.
In case you were wondering about the word "Udder" in the episode title, we move to Pagong for the Great Cow Controversy. Apparently, they are having a love and relationship conversation, and Gervase, charmer that he is, suggests that, "Girls are the stupidest thing on the planet, next to cows." And in the oddest of developments, the women actually get offended by this. Gretchen, showing her maturity, laughs it off and jokes about the girls voting for Gervase and looking into the camera and saying, "Mooooo." Jenna is very upset by the comment and Colleen sits back and wonders exactly how it is that Gervase is still in the game. Gervase then lets us in on the secret that he hasn't done one bit of work since he's been there and that his strategy all along has been to survive off his charm. And come on, ladies, admit it. With comments like the cow thing you can see why it's working.
Reward time! The reward challenge is announced by giving both tribes an unlabeled can of food. The note tells them they're playing for a food reward, which gets everyone pretty excited. When they open the can, it turns out to be dog food. Of course, that doesn't stop Rich from getting his fill. And Gretchen and Jenna fry some up for Pagong, but other than Joel, no one really goes for it.
Oooooh, a nighttime challenge. This one should be an easy one. The challenge is to run into an old army barracks armed only with a flashlight. Hidden in the building are three items (an army hat, a pocket knife and a can opener.) The goal is simple: be the first team back with all three items. The only catch is, if you duplicate an item, you're disqualified. The challenge itself is quite uneventful, with Tagi pulling away pretty quickly. Rich heads into the barracks to get their third item, while Pagong is still searching for their second. But when Rich gets back with item number three, it turns out he's brought back the second pocketknife. You know what that means? Pagong gets more food!
With the reward in the bag, Pagong is skipping past immunity and tribal council and going straight to talk of the merge. Their plan, after Tagi loses another person, is to just go in and wipe them out one by one. Joel and Gervase are pretty certain that they'll win and take a 6-4 advantage into the merge. Gretchen, meanwhile, has the idea that alliances are bad. I mean, why would you want to get together as a group and insure yourself a 1 in 6 shot at $1,000,000? That's crazy talk. Colleen seems to think that Joel is getting ahead of himself. And we move to a montage of clips of how Joel talks down to the women and how he acts so much better than them. That finishes up with Joel telling us he's not a chauvinist. Um, yeah, Joel, and Bill Clinton doesn't like young women.
Probst sighting. This time it's an immunity challenge. This one is an official US Army obstacle course. Rudy is a little concerned about this one because the team is only as good as its slowest member and he's worried he'll be that slowest member.
As it turns out, Rudy's speed (or lack thereof) doesn't matter, as he, Colleen and Gervase will be sitting this one out. The challenge is in two parts. The first will see pairs of Joel/Jenna and Sean/Kelly running through a standard US Army course. About midway through, they'll reach the second pairs of Greg/Gretchen and Rich/Sue. They will then navigate a "blown bridge." A rig of platforms that will need one of four boards to get from platform to platform. Once across the bridge, the team of four will have a few more obstacles to get by. First team to the finish line wins. The teams run pretty much neck and neck throughout the competition, with Tagi breaking away on the blown bridge. Pagong's youth helps them catch up, but it turns out to be not enough as Tagi narrowly wins immunity, forcing a 5-5 tie going into next week's merge.
Adding insult to injury, when Pagong comes back to camp to fry up chicken number two, they find a monitor has been in the chicken crate and eaten two thirds of their remaining two chickens. If there was any question that things weren't exactly "right" with Greg, he's running up the beach screaming, "All right...who did it? Who counted those chickens before they hatched? Who counted the chickens?"
Before heading to Tribal, Jenna tells us that she's had enough of Joel and he'll be getting her vote. Colleen, on the other hand, has had her fill of Gervase's "charm" and is ready for him to go. In a precursor to Tribal, a storm seems to be rolling in, but Joel says he doesn't expect it to actually hit.
As the rains pour down, Probst brings up the whole "cow thing" again. Gervase plays it off like he never said it, jokingly of course. Joel catches some heat for egging Gervase on. Amazingly enough, with everything as it is, Gervase tells Jeff that he's still convinced he isn't leaving. Huh? As it turns out, Joel and Gervase vote for Jenna while Greg joins the ladies and dumps Joel. Perhaps Gervase is more charming than I thought. One thing's for certain, next week is looming as a turning point in this young series. I can't wait.