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Survivor: Amazon

Episode Eight: Sleeping with the Enemy

By Dan Krovich

He is intelligent, good looking and athletic. Rob hates guys like that.

We join the Survivors as they are celebrating the dismissal of grumpy old man Roger. All that remains of him is dirty underwear. Well, most of the tribe is celebrating, but not Dave, who realizes that the previous vote basically means that if he's not long for the Jacaré tribe. After setting up the tribes during the draft to ensure male dominance, it has become apparent that his plan has gone awry, and he's in trouble. By aligning with Roger, he put himself in a bad position and now has to scramble. His first move might not be the wisest one, however, as he and Butch decide to build a dock for the canoe. It's not exactly the best move to go off with the one other guy who has no power. On the plus side, Dave does provide some pleasant visuals for the women and some of the men out there with his shirtless tree-climbing exhibition. Rob's blatant insecurity (or latent homosexuality) rears its head once again while watching this display, and he reaffirms his desire to get rid of Dave next. Meanwhile, Dave and Butch finish the "dock," which is just four logs laid next to each other. It's a good thing they already voted off the people who couldn't walk the balance beam.

Since they've already announced the voting order for the next two people to go (Dave and then Butch), it's time for the producers to desperately try to drum up some sense of suspense. They attempt to create a "Matt has gone all Lord of the Flies on us" storyline. Seems that Matt likes to keep the machete sharp, and will sit there and sharpen it for hours at a time. When you put ominous music behind it and catch him with his dazed look in his eyes, it can come off kind of creepy, or as Christy puts it, "Matt is creepy. He's creepy...he's creepy." But really, when you're there all day with nothing to do, I can see how a repetitive task like that can help pass the time.

It's off to the reward challenge, and it's a mudpit bungee challenge. The Survivors are tied to a bungee cord and must run through the mud pit to gather flags, while the bungee cord makes it more difficult. For round one they break into teams of three. The team of Butch, Christy, and Rob can't stretch the cord enough to get all the flags, taking them out of the running, and then Alex, Dave, and Deena move onto the finals where they compete against each other. I don't think they did a very good job measuring out distances because the finals seem a lot easier than the first round did, and Dave wins the anticlimactic final round and the reward that goes with it. He is allowed to pick someone else to go with him, and he chooses between the runners-up by having Alex and Deena guess numbers, and Deena joins him on the reward.

The reward is a bath and banana split. In one way this is a fortunate turn of events for Dave as Deena is probably the person that it would be most effective to try to get on your side if you needed the help that Dave does. But, unfortunately for Dave, she's also one of the least likely to deviate from her strategy. They eat their ice cream first, and then head off to the bathtubs. After some giggling, Dave brings up the situation. He knows he's next to go, and is trying to give himself three more days. Deena plays coy by saying that she would rather see insano-Matt go, but she doesn't have the power to change the order. Of course, we know she has quite a bit of say about who goes next, and that she's just using this opportunity to butter up the first jury member.

Since they didn't win a bath as a reward, Jenna and Heidi have to clean themselves off the old-fashioned way; by bathing each other in bikinis in the river. This grabs the attention of Rob, who can't take his eyes off them. It's during his monologue, that I finally understand who Rob is. He's that guy who thinks that women never go for him because he's not good looking, and the women are all shallow. He thinks he's all funny with the great personality, and that's what the women should be going for. What he doesn't realize is that he's so insecure and needy that he tries too hard, and every word out of his mouth is part of some bad open mic night stand up comedy routine, so he's really just eventually annoying, and that's why women stay away from him. This makes him a bitter, bitter man who is not nearly as funny as he thinks he is.

Dave and Deena return from their reward, and try to play it down by saying it wasn't all that great, and they are ready for dinner. Other tribe members are annoyed that they want to eat dinner after the reward, but it seems to me that after eating ice cream for lunch, craving a more nutritious and substantial dinner is probably a reasonable response. Next up, it's more of Rob's grating voice as he describes his concern over the relationship between Dave and Heidi. Rob is worried to see someone in his alliance be so close to someone on the other side. Dave and Heidi sleep snuggling together, and it drives Rob crazy. It also provides the producers with some more manufactured suspense. Is Heidi really on Dave's side?

We get a brief time-killing interlude with Rob talking about the gnats that swarm around everyone's heads, and then Rob goes off with Matt. Rob likes to hang out with Matt because he's the one person Rob can be in total control over. They leave their conversation and find that the mail for the immunity challenge contains clay masks for each of them to decorate. The challenge is set up so that the next person to go has absolutely no chance to save himself by winning immunity. It's a quiz challenge where every time you get a question correct you get to cut a rope that's holding up a log. Three cuts, and the log drops and breaks your clay mask, and you are eliminated. It's no surprise that the two most likely candidates for being voted out, Dave and Matt, are the first out of the game. The game plays out so that the women are the last four left, and it brings up the fact that the men were left with a six to four advantage at the merge, but now if they eliminate either Matt or Dave, the genders will be back to equal in numbers.

Dave keeps working on his last-ditch effort to convince people to vote off Matt instead of him. Knowing that he and Butch will vote together, that means that he needs to gather three more people on his side. A few people pay him some lip service, saying he does have a chance to survive the vote. Then at tribal council they try to hint that Dave may be winning some people over, but the result of this vote was destined before the episode began, and the alliance sticks together and votes out Dave.

     


 
 

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Saturday, November 25, 2017
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