Episode Four: Wipe Out!
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
Night nine finds Chapera thinking, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” And then some.
Where there once was beach, now there is ocean. Everyone’s hoping, but Noah’ ain’t comin’. To the surprise of all the various tribe members, rainy season in the area is a bit different than rainy season in the U.S. – even Seattle. The underwater shark tank at Sea World doesn’t have as much water as currently surrounds Rob Mariano’s beloved fort.
The good news here for those of you worrying is that Boston Rob slept just fine, for you see, Rob has been spooning with Amber, though we have it on good authority that they didn’t fork. Yet. The two of them have given up any pretense of this flirtation being game strategy. Now they’re owning up to the fact that they are two desperate, horny people trapped in a forest with no better way to kill time. This is the spot in the movie where Jason Voorhees normally arrives, but much to our disappointment, there will be no chainsaw shenanigans tonight.
In case you’re wondering, the Survivor pick-up line du jour is, “You’re so warm.”
Random aside, what is with the booty that Hillbilly Tom is wearing as a cap? Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you need a head condom, big guy.
Saboga is experiencing the aftermath of Rupert’s Folly. The underground cabin he built is – wait for it – now a swimming pool. The result of this Very Bad Idea is that the tribe’s morale has been destroyed, with the most severe example being Jerri, who is an emotional wreck. She looks timid, frail and pale (though of course the night vision camera doesn’t help matters much).
The following morning, her teammates calmly recount their night’s adventure. Ethan refers to it as the second-most difficult night of his life, and humorously notes that some of his less intelligent teammates (read: Jenna) expected Burnett to send in the cavalry. Apparently, after two years, Jenna still doesn’t realize that she’s in a real-life version of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and that she’s getting tortured onscreen for the benefit of CBS ratings and a nation’s entertainment.
For their part, Mogo Mogo doesn’t know how good they’ve got it, as their domicile is the only one to survive the evening. The Big Bad Water Wolf has huffed and puffed and blown down the other two tribe’s houses, and the other little piggies might be forced to come visiting soon as a result. The confessional of Kathy complaining about fire edited together immediately after the “Jerri’s lost the will to live” footage punctuates the tribe’s good fortune.
Ugly Naked Guy is off to fish again and returns with ten feet of eel, causing us to speculate that someone’s compensating.
It’s reward challenge time and a repeat of a recent one at that, because as Lie Cheat, or Steal Rob says, “I’ve played this game before.” A couple of years ago, when the men hadn’t seen the women for an extended period of time (and vice versa), Survival Item Concentration doubled as The Dating Game. This outing proves to be less hormonal but as before, a very entertaining segment. The Survivors try to match the items from their individual boxes with a satisfying counterpart. Rob Cesternino looks around for Heidi, but to his dismay, her implants couldn’t receive medical clearance for a second outing. And now Jenna’s gone, too!
The reward in this outing is genuinely worth winning for a change. A Survivor Bathroom is displayed, which includes various corporate sponsored hair care products, toiletries, solar shower, and a bamboo port-a-potty. Scope and Crest must have paid the most as they are the only brands to receive any on-air recognition.
Today’s race is neck-and-neck between Chapera and Saboga with the score Saboga – 8, Chapera – 7. At this point, the light goes off in the Masshole’s head that a bottle of scope could do wonders for his and Amber’s budding relationship. That extra incentive motivates Chapera to victory.
Again mirroring the Survivor: Amazon season, we have a long, luxurious bathing session between some of the teammates. As politely as we can say this, Big Tom and Rob C. are no Jenna and Shawna. We humorously note that Amber isn’t at all subtle in her flirtations. Comments such as, “Gee, Rob, I wish we could bathe like this every day” exhibit all the subtlety of Mark David Chapman. In fact, every time Amber looks at Rob, we imagine her thinking, “He’s so dreamy…I wonder what our wedding will be like.”
It’s a slow news day on Survivor, so the next few minutes are killed showing useless footage of Chapera trying to find the final key to their rice container. The only item of note here is that if you spot Rob C. the location, he could still get turned around and wind up digging on a beach. That boy ain’t right. While the nerd dreams of becoming the hero, it’s the pretty boy who again comes through in the end. Rob M. successfully campaigns under the “Rice for Everybody” campaign (eat your heart out, Howard Dean). He really is in complete control of this tribe.
Rupert, who correctly surmises that he’s in the doghouse, goes fishing for credibility. He returns with a catch of the day so attractive that Jenna tries to tongue kiss it. She’s a strange girl. Greg was right to dump her.
Driving home how boring this episode is, we almost immediately cut to the immunity challenge. Now this is entertainment. Since it would be illegal to have the Survivors fight each other to the death with Star Trek music playing in the background, what Burnett has come up with is an elaborate blindfolded puzzle assembly using giant Tetris pieces. The solid objects “coincidentally” double as very effective weapons of assault, leading to any number of accidental, Jerry Lewis-esque pratfalls as Survivors get clubbed in the head in a manner generally reserved for cartoon characters. Big Tom must have received more concussions than Troy Aikman and Steve Young combined. Really, no description can adequately do justice to how amusing this challenge is.
Chapera seems to have the mental advantage, as they show up looking like they’re going to the Spring Formal compared to the other contestants. The hours spent cleaning in the river were well spent from a media whore perspective. All the primping must have made them go soft, though, because they finish in a distant third, bringing on their first ever visit to Tribal Council. Poor Tom’s sacrifice was in vain.
As always happens the first time a tribe faces the proposition of voting off a member, discussions ensue about who the most threatening players are. The most perplexing comments come from Big Tom, who might still be feeling the effects of his massive head injury. He states that eliminating Rob C. would make Chapera the strongest tribe, but at the same time, says the reason they lost the challenge was because the brainy Rob sat out. Apparently, preventing him from ever competing again will somehow stop Rob from not helping him win challenges they’ll lose without him. Now our heads hurt, too.
The most amusing discussion occurs when Nixon goes to China. Deceitful Rob #1 approaches Deceitful Rob #2 (aka Amber’s bitch) about an alliance. The two agree that their union would create a three-person block that would be to everyone’s strategic benefit. Rob C. wonders to the camera how good Rob. M’s word is, to which we can only reply, “Probably no better than yours.” Their entire conversation comes across as the cliff notes version of the protracted New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox/Texas Rangers negotiations. Ironically, we don’t think Boston Rob represents the Red Sox in this analogy.
As Tribal Council begins, we are still confused about the potential victims here. Editing has strongly suggested that Alicia and Rob C. are the most likely candidates for elimination. We are a bit incredulous because Harpy Sue, the only person in the world with a lower TV-Q rating than Osama Bin Laden, seems like the clear-cut choice. We can’t help noticing, though, that Rob. C. is showing similar behavior to a turkey on the week before Thanksgiving. As the votes are revealed, we begin to see why. Despite the positive energy created by the crossing of his fingers, Rob C. is eliminated 5-1.