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Emmys 2017
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''Survivor'': Ulong's historic losing streak

On ”Survivor,” Ulong continues its historic losing streak, getting dumped on in both the bathroom-building contest and the immunity pillow fight

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Kim Mullen, Survivor: Palau
Kimberly Mullen: Monty Brinton/CBS

”Survivor”: Ulong’s historic losing streak

”It feels terrible having my butt whupped by a homosexual, you know? But a lot of gay folks are strong, man — they all working out at the gym and all.”

That’s James. Such an enlightened fellow. He’s talking about Coby, a man who (also according to James) ”got some ass behind him” and used said ass to destroy the self-proclaimed redneck in the immunity challenge. But, truth be told, James, you had your ass kicked all episode long. You — a steelworker, I might add — allowed a team led by a dolphin trainer to beat you in constructing a beachfront bathroom. (Last time I checked, dolphin trainers didn’t have much use for hammers, unless they were dolphin trainers . . . from hell!!!)

Then Coby publicly humiliated you — twice! It got so bad the women even considered voting you off instead of worthless Kim. Remember when you promised at the start of the episode to stomp on anyone who was lagging? Well, dude — you’re lagging.

Like most of this season so far, this last episode was all about the challenges. I’ve never made secret my displeasure with subjective challenges like the build-a-bathroom one. The only two good things I can say about it are that at least it was only for reward and at least it was better than the deathly boring build-an-SOS-message one that recurred in early Survivor seasons. Still, these challenges rarely provide any sort of drama (although am I the only one who got a bit nervous watching Bobby Jon swing an ax?). I also could have sworn that was Mark McGrath posing as Survivor production designer ”Jesse,” but maybe that was just me. I must confess I sorta think Ulong should have won that challenge, if for no other reason than scribbling ”For a good time, call Jeff Probst” on their toilet seat. Splendid attention to detail on that one.

Thankfully, the immunity challenge was a tad more lively. A tad? Who the hell am I kidding? I swear, if this season of Survivor has taught me anything, it is that John Kirhoffer, the challenges producer, will not be entirely satisfied until someone dies on this show. What the hell is going on here? This season has been brutal — and I like brutal. I figured the younger and stronger Ulong would take this one pretty easily, and even the individual matchups seemed to favor them. I mean, Tom is the man, but I didn’t think he stood a chance against the psycho man-beast that is Bobby Jon, but he took him down twice! Gregg managed a split against the towering Ibrehem, and even Janu won her match against Kim. (Did we mention Kim was worthless?)

And then there was Coby. Now, Mark Burnett is no dummy (insert your own Commando Nanny joke here). Of course he was gonna pit the redneck against the flamboyant homosexual. I know there have been a lot of Coby haters posting on these message boards, especially from homosexuals worried that he’s coming off as a caricature, but respect is now due. (Especially after he flashed the heavy-metal sign after winning.) He manhandled (no, not in that way) James not once but twice, sending Ulong to their fourth straight immunity defeat — which I believe is a new Survivor record. As a result, there is no way Burnett won’t mix up the tribes again on Wednesday (yes, Wednesday) night’s episode. As good as this season has been (call it the anti-Vanuatu), it will all come crashing down if we get stuck with a month-long string of predictable vote-offs, which will certainly happen if things stay as is and Koror picks off Ulong post-merge.

I haven’t said much about Kim, but honestly, what is there to say? She came, she cuddled, she got voted off. Much like Ashlee and Jeff, she didn’t even seem bothered to go, which has been the season’s one glaring weakness. Maybe if she had joined some of the so-called gay folks working out at the gym before the show, she might have been more physically ready to handle the rigors of Survivor. But probably not.

What do you think? Did James use those Home Depot tools to dig his own grave? Has your opinion of Coby changed? And do you think there will be a tribe shake-up next week?