April. It’s the month of fools (my wife lamely tried to convince me on April 1 that we had mice in the house), showers (those May flowers better be damn worth it!), and the return of Survivor. I didn’t know what the hell to do with myself the past few weeks without it. So what did I do? Well, we launched a new weekly show here on EW.com called Must List Live!, in which I embarrass myself more than ever before. (Don’t believe me? Watch the humiliation for yourself. Just be gentle on the message boards — I beg you.) What else did I do? Mostly just shuffled around aimlessly like a reality-TV zombie waiting for my favorite show to come back on the air. Not even 6 hours of Dennis Rodman in a drunken stupor on Celebrity Apprentice could quench my thirst. (Although it did come close. Rodman in the chauffeur’s outfit? Gold.)
Before we get to this week’s return, however, I want to say a little something about last week’s recap episode. What I am about to say may be construed by some as shocking and a little bit scandalous. Back in the day, no one railed against the clip shows more than me. Then, a few years ago, they finally got rid of them and Probst promised me that the clip shows — like the hilariously cheesy trunk full of cash that used to sit at Tribal Council during season 1 — were a thing of the past. Gone! Done! And life was good. But now they’re back, so what gives? One would be tempted to call Probst a big fat liar, but he is neither particularly big nor fat, so that doesn’t really stick. But here’s the thing: I forgive him. You know why? Because the dreaded clip show is no longer a clip show. I mean, yes, it is a compilation of clips, but at least they are clips we have never seen before, and some of these actually shed some light on strategic elements of the game. So while I certainly don’t look forward to these episodes, they are not completely useless either, and I applaud the Survivor producers for taking the time and effort to make them at least marginally worthwhile.
Did somebody say marginally worthwhile? Why, look — here comes Sydney! The blonde stunner wasted no time after Spencer’s exit trying to start flirting again with go-go Joe to help assure that she would stick around past the next Tribal Council. She didn’t have to work very hard for it either with the smitten, drooling male proclaiming, ”I got a little thing for Syd. I mean, she gorgeous.” Yes, it’s that easy, folks. But let’s face it: No matter how much hotness Sydney radiates, and no matter how cute the City Slickers bromance between Stephen and J.T gets, Jalapao will never be as entertaining as Timbira. It’s just not possible as long as fun-loving nudist Tyson and crazy cancer-obsessed Coach are around. Coach’s latest genius blunder once again centered around his need to control every aspect of the bean cooking. This time he held the beans hostage from the rest of the tribe, deeming them unready for consumption. His solution? To add some dirty river water to the pot, thereby slowing the process to a grinding halt and allowing the rain to come and the overcooked beans to stick to the pot. Mmm, yummy.
The thing that is so amazing about Coach is that most people, when they don’t know something about a particular subject, they simply shut the hell up and let others who do know take charge. Not Coach. His strategy with topics on which he clearly has no knowledge whatsoever is to simply fake it, because apparently being the guy who is wrong 80 percent of the time is more desirable than being the guy who only speaks up 20 percent of the time but is always right when he does. But you know what my favorite part of this whole affair was? It wasn’t Coach saying that there was no reason to blame anyone and that ”it was just a bad combination of me wanting the beans cooked longer and it raining.” (Actually, Coach, there’s totally a reason to blame someone, and that someone is you!) No, my favorite part was when Brendan — while standing right next to Coach — started imitating Mr. Looney Toons by waving his arms and clapping his hands back and forth. Never have I been so proud to have made Brendan my episode 1 pick to win it all.
NEXT: Stephen lies. Badly.