Survivor Guatemala: Recap
Price for Immunity
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
December 2, 2005
Previously on Survivor, the last interesting player, Gary Hogeboom, lost an Immunity Challenge to the type of kid whose lunch money he stole growing up. Ten minutes later, he was eliminated. Score one for the 98 pound weakling! Dr. Frankenfurter would be so happy. Of course, we're not, because that means that there are three more episodes left and absolutely no one to root for save sports radio skeleton Danni, who has the same chance of going all the way that her beloved Chiefs do. This is not going to be pretty.
Survivor has not been entertaining this year. Since our goal is to entertain you, the reader, we have performed extensive market research to determine how to improve the quality of this recap. The results are in and we have discovered that what would make this discussion more fun for you would be the addition of clowns. For the purposes of our discussion, we will ignore the fact that Judd got a head start on everyone else. So, in Survivor Clown World, Judd would be the scary clown from It. Danni would be the clown who does kinky clown porn. Cindy would be the clown who does every goofy trick in the book but the kids still ignore her and play their Gameboys. Rafe would be the first-day-on-the job clown who can't even make balloon animals. Lydia would be the clown whose size explains why you can fit 20 clowns into the back of a car. And Steph would be the clown who seems nice and sweet but then when your kid honks her nose, she spits in your kid's juicy juice and tells him Santa Clause isn't real.
How does the episode begin? With a fart joke. That's right, Survivor has gotten so low, they have to stoop to scatological humor in a lame attempt to keep the attention of the audience. We are quickly losing our will to recap. Next up, it's time for clown acrobatics! Wake us up when it's time for the pie-throwing competition. We're envisioning the entire camera crew going through whiskey like there's no tomorrow. "Today, I swear I saw that bitch Stephenie spit in a kid's Juicy Juice."
It's time for a Probst sighting! And we have never been happier to see the pretty boy arrive on the scene. This Reward Challenge is the traditional auction competition where the contestants are provided with $500 and given the opportunity to snipe each other out of food. We've always wondered why there isn't a tie-in with eBay, but this season, we're just assuming that the corporate monolith won't return their calls. On a sidenote, Judd smells the money. Why? This season is like the Cops edition of Survivor. We're just glad all the guys still have their shirts on.
Danni wastes no time in demonstrating how much smarter she is than all the remaining contestants. Her paltry bid of $20, 4% of each player's stash, is too rich for the rest of the group, and she wins a plate of beef jerky. Less sniffing, more bidding, Judd! Next, Cindy wins a plate of chocolate chip cookies, which she takes back to her seat. Danni leans over, looks directly at the zookeeper's breasts, and says, "Those are nice cookies!" Cindy replies, "Thanks, I just had them baked."
When Lydia wins a mosquito net for $140, we're a little surprised that Steph doesn't come in over the top to steal it out of pure spite. Next up, we see Judd and Steph get in a bidding war over a mystery dish with Rafe and Danni. In the end, Danni and Rafe are victorious and walk away with a Philly cheese steak sandwich. The skinny DJ becomes an even bigger winner as she is top bidder on an important clue that could give her a huge advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. It's a little ridiculous that the other players don't make a stronger run at taking it from her, though. After all, Danni is almost surely the next person on the chopping block and they are seriously endangering their alliance by giving her any sort of an opening.
Probst brings out the next "item", and it's a doozy. A family member for each Survivor walks into the auction area, and the contestants will be given the opportunity to bid to spend an evening with them. The biggest revelations here are that Lydia hasn't seen her brother in two years and that Cindy has a twin sister named Mindy. They should totally form a crime-fighting team. They could call themselves the Indys. The bidding war comes down to Judd and Steph. The two-time Survivor somehow talks Lydia into "loaning" her some extra cash, while Judd takes advantage of Cindy's remaining stack. Judd winds up with the most money, and wins an evening with his wife, who is surprisingly hot. Seriously, lady. What are you thinking?
Probst allows Judd to choose two players who will also be able to bring their family member back to camp. He does the right thing by choosing Cindy, the person who helped him win, but he then does wrong by selecting evil clown Stephenie over Lydia, who, as we mentioned, hasn't seen her brother in two years. On the plus side, it looks to be an awkward night, what with Judd having his wife around and Steph hanging with her boyfriend. What will happen to the blossoming romance between the doorman and the professional reality show contestant?
The Survivors and their guests arrive back at the camp (Rafe, Lydia and Danni are forced to spend the evening elsewhere). It's the usual display of Survivors proudly showing their friends what they have done, and those people reacting incredulous at their self-glorification. Unsurprisingly, Steph neglects to tell her boyfriend about the time she spit in the kid's Juicy Juice.
As the group sits by the campfire, the trio of Judd, Steph and Cindy spend a significant amount of time explaining to their loved ones exactly how great they are. To hear them tell it, not only are they dominating this game, but they also made a number one single, snowboarded across Bolivia (in the summer!) and achieved peace in the Middle East through a combination of diplomacy and Wedding Crashers screenings. Moshe Katsav thinks that Vince Vaughn is just so funny! Oddly, the group fails to note their graduation from Clown College. Krusty never gets the love. All joking aside, the fireside bragging session is one of the most arrogant displays of hubris in the show's history. Tom Cruise would take a step back and say, "Man, that's crazy."
Before the Immunity Challenge begins, we see that the other contestants have learned something from watching Judd interact with his wife. Lydia and Danni realize that he is prone to manipulation by women and immediately start exploiting this weakness. The duo has determined that everyone will gang up on Judd if only they can get him to acknowledge plans to violate terms of his alliance treaty. Judd rolls over on his friends in record time, offering the possibility that tonight's episode could offer a happy ending at last. Please please please please please.
Probst arrives for the Immunity Challenge, which has the contestants moving around on a human game board with a limited number of spaces. They can move one space, at which point they must turn that game piece over so that no one can step on it again. The person who lasts the longest is the winner. Danni's advantage purchased at Tribal Council is revealed – at any point during the game, she can trade places with one of the other players. And she uses it wisely, too, swapping with Stephenie, who has carved out a nice little pattern for herself. Steph appears to mutter something under her breath, which we assume is "I'm so going to spit in your Juicy Juice later." The final two players wind up being Steph and Danni, and it turns out that Danni has indeed used her advantage wisely. She emerges from the challenge victorious, which ought to knock a little humility into the arrogant jerks who previously had been describing her to their families as incompetent. Way to go, Steph. It's this kind of excellent strategy that got you so far on the last season of Survivor.
Tribal Council arrives, and Judd takes an aggressive posture. He has deduced that Lydia's elimination is not a sure thing, and the potential betrayal has the always-kinda-angry doorman inches away from a homicidal crime spree. He seems to have realized that Stephenie's body language before Tribal Council was revealing a lot. Danni and Lydia's clever machinations have proven to cause a rift in the once steady alliance of Judd, Steph, Rafe and Cindy. Even though we really thought that the editing in the segment before the vote was just set up to give us false hope, we are delirious with pleasure to realize that at long last, Judd is out of the picture.
He's oh so classy as he goes, too. We think his comments as he leaves the Tribal Council area stand for themselves:
"Thanks, guys. I hope you guys all get bit by a freaking crocodile. Scumbags. Scumbags."
Now, we're off to enjoy Judd's closing comments, followed by a post-coital smoke. Scumbag.