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Survivor recap: A New Force Rises

While James and Parvati bickered and Jason went idol hunting, Natalie came out of nowhere to take charge of the game

Posted on

Monty Brinton


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

Dalton’s on vacation and I’m covering, but I suppose it’s apropos that a new writer emerges out of nowhere to write this week. After all, this episode of Survivor was dominated by Natalie, who up until now has appeared on this season only slightly more often than I have. But boy, she made up for lost time last night.

Before I get into her, I just have to say Wow, this episode was delightful, in an A-Team ”I love it when a plan comes together” kind of way. It was like watching a good heist film, where an intricate scheme is pulled off thanks to a wily crew after many twists, turns, and close calls. Granted, the usual wily heist crew don’t stop to shove fistfuls of chocolate cake into their cakeholes, but the analogy still stands.

Okay, let’s start at the beginning, as Parvati ”apologized” to James for Ozzy’s surprise snuff. See, this is why they’re Favorites: When they talked, it’s as if their entire conversation had been carefully scripted by expert writers. No random curses, just sly lines like James’ ”No, ‘Sorry”s not what you mean. ‘Ha ha’ is what you mean.” (The man is a pro: He can deliver pithy dialogue while sporting a knuckle that looked like it was about to give birth.) James then came up with his ”always gotta eat the apple” metaphor, which was fine the first time, although he did beat it to death by the end of the episode. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if this repetition was egged on by Mark Burnett, who had struck up a product-placement deal with Apple computers. Well, then I guess we should just be happy James wasn’t saying, ”You always gotta eat the damn Crest Whitestrips.”

One side note here: When a stunned Amanda was reflecting on Ozzy’s ousting, she said that she believed that Parvati had Cirie wrapped around her finger. I’ve even more confident that Cirie is gonna win this damn thing: She is brilliant at hatching all the plans while making sure that someone else takes the blame. She would make one hell of a network president.

Anyway, last night was the Survivor auction, where everybody bids on mystery platters, hoping for tasty snacks. Cirie nabbed a hot dog and French fries for $120. (Seems pricey, but who knows, maybe that’s because they were made by Coolio as one of his Secret Talents of the Stars before it got canceled. They’re expensive because they’re celebri-licious!) Eric paid $80 for a mystery box, which he fortunately swapped for another containing nachos. (The first contained octopus.) Then Natalie paid $240 for what turned out to be a bowl of fruit-bat soup. She rejected it, and James snapped it up. Before digging in, he gave Probst a bat culinary tip, ”You gotta take the skin off first, that’s the secret.” (The other part of the secret? Vomiting in your own mouth provides a tasty sauce!)

The bad taste of rejected bat still fresh in her mouth, Natalie came alive. First she bid another $240 for a bottle that gave her the right to send somebody to Exile Island and take his or her money. See ya, Jason! (After revealing that there was a replacement idol there, Probst told Jason, ”This time maybe you’ll get a real one.” The contempt in his tone was clear. I’m surprised as Jason was leaving, Probst didn’t yell after him, ”And get a haircut, ya bum!”)

NEXT PAGE: Natalie’s dental-floss fantasy