Survivor: Amazon

Episode Twelve: The Amazon Heats Up

By Dan Krovich

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It's something of an odd phenomenon that as we come to the end of each season, when it should be getting more suspenseful and exciting, I find that it becomes less interesting to do this recap. Basically, there's not much more to say about anyone. We all know the characters by now, so how many more times can you say that Rob is conniving and Heidi is an airhead? To add to that, we begin with Rob flat out explaining the end game to Heidi and Jenna. The plan is to vote out Heidi, while Jenna remains with Matt, Butch, and Rob in the final four. Rob brings up the slight possibility that he might be willing to flip flop again, but then decides that maybe he would like to leave at least one person without a knife in their back this game.

Meanwhile, Butch has apparently replaced Matt as the resident crazy person as he has developed an unnatural obsession with his wood. Though there is already more than enough firewood to last the rest of the game, Butch seems to want to gather more dry wood. It basically seems to be a matter finding something to do, but Butch is probably single-handedly responsible for 25% of the rainforest deforestation this past year. (To help counteract Butch's actions, you may want to visit the Karma Page and click on one of the rainforest links.) Any question of Butch's insanity is put to rest when he decides to do his wood dance. Words can not describe the spastic convulsions that Butch goes through and calls "dancing."

The tribe heads off to the reward challenge, leaving all their firewood behind at the camp. The reward challenge is a recap of several of the previous challenges, and the prize is a new Saturn Ion and a tailgate party. The three guys jump out to the lead and leave the two girls in their dust (in fact Heidi never makes it out of the first station). Matt ultimately wins the car and chooses Rob to be his guest for the tailgate party. Rob also convinces Matt to agree to let Rob borrow the car to cruise for chicks, because you know there's nothing a chick digs more than a shiny new, uh, Saturn?

Matt and Rob begin their private barbecue, and through the magic of editing, at the exact same time, the Jacare camp has its own barbecue. It seems that they left the fire burning a bit too high at camp when they left for the challenge, and with all that wood around, you can guess what happened next. Smokey the Bear says, "Only you can prevent forest fires." It's also very convenient that there is a cameraperson around to catch even the initial stages of the fire, just like in past seasons when there conveniently was a cameraperson around as the canoe floated away and the fishing net vanished. Not that I mean to imply anything. I'm just saying. It does also bring up the question about at what stage does the Survivor crew stop being impartial observers and start taking steps to insure that they don't burn down the entire Amazonian rainforest.

They return to camp to witness the aftermath. Everybody's stuff was burned except for Heidi's pack, which was apparently flame retardant. Maybe it was made of the same material as her breasts. Jenna has lost some items that apparently are irreplaceable and carry sentimental value. Lesson learned - it's probably not a good idea to bring valuables with you into the middle of the Amazon. The tribe doesn't point fingers publicly, but a quick vote behind the scenes lays the blame squarely on Butch.

The guys begin on rebuilding a shelter to replace the burned down one, while Jenna and Heidi just sit back and watch. Their thought is that they don't see why they should bother doing work when they know they are going to be voted out next. That makes sense, and it nicely rounds out the Heidi and Jenna logic from throughout the season. If you know you're going to get voted out, don't contribute any work to the tribe. If you are in the alliance that appears to have control, don't contribute any work to the tribe. If it's day one and things are still up in the air, don't contribute any work to the tribe. You have to admit that there at least is a nice consistency to it all.

The immunity challenge turns out to be a ropes course with five different obstacles. It very quickly becomes obvious that Matthew was successful in making sure he is far and away the most physically fit of the remaining players. He will easily win any physical challenge at this point, and he wins this immunity challenge in a walk.

Heidi was told in the first few minutes of the show that she would be voted out next, but after the immunity challenge, Jenna falls apart. She's not feeling well, and she's whiney - a complete change from when she felt she was in control of the game. Heidi uses this as an opportunity to lobby the guys to vote Jenna out as a pity elimination next instead of her. During tribal council, Jeff asks Heidi if she feels like she deserves to be in the final two. Heidi's answer is completely full of ridiculously overstated self praise about how she alone has personally engineered the game so far and how she is obviously the best Survivor player ever. This response produces some of the best reactions ever from the other players. Even jury member Dave can't do anything but shake his head and bury his face in his hands. While it may have looked like she put the final nail in her coffin with that answer, it's more likely she was absolutely certain that she was being voted out anyway and was using one last opportunity to self-aggrandize. Heidi is in fact voted out by a vote of three to two.



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Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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