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Survivor recap: Sheep Shot

Denise is too meek for her own good, following orders that hurt her chances, so Erik — yawn — gets whacked

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Denise
Monty Brinton

Survivor

type:
TV Show
genre:
Reality TV
run date:
05/31/00
performer:
Jeff Probst
broadcaster:
CBS
seasons:
34
Current Status:
In Season

”I feel like I have to fight, but I don’t know what to do.” — Erik

I’ve enjoyed this season of Survivor. Of course, how could one not enjoy it after the Season That Shall Not Be Named? But it’s been pretty good. Not out of this world unbelievable, but pretty good. What has kept it from the upper echelon of Survivor seasons? The challenges have been decent (especially this last episode’s), and the chicanery with the hidden immunity idols was borderline riotous, so what’s been the problem?

Erik! I blame Erik, the most boring Survivorcontestant ever. It didn’t have to be this way. With his little white-boy ‘fro and facial scruff, he’s a dead ringer for Ethan Zohn. Plus, he’s a virgin! Everybody loves a virgin, right? (Well, not loves, per se, but really, really likes, if you catch my drift.) It’s a bit sad that an inanimate object — Jamie’s fake hidden immunity idol — actually showed more personality than our man Erik. His quote at the top of this article pretty much sums him up — but he’s gone! Survivor: China is no doubt going to be the best season ever from here on out, now that we’ve dropped the dead weight. Let’s recap how his glorious ouster came to pass.

The episode began with the tribe members celebrating the success of their plan to oust James. Had it not succeeded, ”we would all be dead,” noted Denise. (Dammit! That definitely would have made for the best season ever.) The contestants could not have been more chipper, but that’s nothing a little commercial break could not take care of. When we returned, they were all huddled in the cave talking about how miserable they were with the rain. Todd went on to inform us that ”if they turn on me, it would be a very smart move on their part to get rid of me now. Of course, I’m not gonna tell them that.” You better not, mister! You were my episode 1 pick to win the whole thing. You win, and I have a three-season-straight streak going of picking the winner from the outset — a streak that will finally erase the painful memory of my pitiful early-season Survivor prognosticating.

Next, we were off to the reward challenge. Wait, I feel some cheesy orchestral music coming on. Must be time for the loved ones! Oh, look, here comes Erik’s mom, Denise! She appears to be just as boring as he is. There’s Amanda’s significantly less hot sister! Oh, snap! Peih-Gee’s dad just told her she looks too skinny. And here’s Todd’s sister, who is running way too fast and if she doesn’t watch out she is going to…Bam! Whoops, she did it. No, she almost knocked him over. Hold it….What’s going on here? She’s telling Todd how their other sister miscarried.

Okay, this makes me a bad person, but if you’re reading this, then you’re a big Survivor fan as well, and if you are a big Survivor fan, then you know your Survivor history, and if you know Survivor history, then I am willing to bet that the first thing that went through your mind was the same thing that went through mine. And it wasn’t Oh, no. Todd’s poor sister. I hope she’s okay. What a terrible thing to go through. No, it was Is this guy seriously trying to pull a Jonny Fairplay? Admit it! You wondered if he was on the level. Even the boring virgin was skeptical! Unfortunately, for all parties involved, it turns out that Todd’s sister did, in fact, miscarry, and we’re all horrible people who are going straight to hell. (Of course, at least none of us broadcast that most personal of information on national television. There’s a separate circle of hell just for those people.)

After Probst worked in a most unstable product placement (”Sprint, also known for speed and communication, is making this all possible,” he remarked rather painfully while holding up a phone), it was time for the challenge. The contestants and their loved ones would start blindfolded on opposite sides of a large maze, locate each other, and then climb up a platform to win. Courtney’s dad did not seem so psyched to participate. I’m not really sure why. He could have made like Denise’s hubby, who copped a feel on Erik’s mom. (Hey, when the blindfold’s on, it’s all fair game, baby!) Meanwhile, Amanda and her sister made the odd decision to transform into birds for the competition, chirping at each other incessantly. Courtney, obviously smarting over her father’s lack of enthusiasm, started yelling at Probst. Probst laughed, because, really, what else could he do (except maybe blowing gently to knock her off balance)?

NEXT: Finger-lickin’ good