John Rocker found a hidden immunity idol. Let’s all hear it for John Rocker! I point that out here and now because that was pretty much the only thing John Rocker did right this episode of Survivor. I mean, other than that, this entire installment was one blown save after blown save for the former relief pitcher. (Check me out flaunting a little baseball terminology. Hey, who’s on first?) First off, Rocker volunteered for a reward challenge he had no business competing in because his huge frame would make it super difficult to crouch under poles while balancing the ball on the disc. (I know because I not only took part in this challenge rehearsal but spent an hour after helping producers fine-tune it for the contestants—more on that later.) What possibly made him think he was the best person to take that challenge on? As if this was not demoralizing enough for him, he also lost in the immunity challenge 1-on-1 battle to Jon without an H.
So the professional athlete went 0-2 in physical challenges. But his strategic game was even worse. Stuck at Exile (non) Island, Rocker agreed to help protect Jeremy’s wife, Val. So what does he do when he gets back to camp? He squeals to Josh about Val having two idols (and don’t worry, we’ll get into Val’s asinine decision to tell people that later). And then what does he do? He tells Val they are voting for her and to use one of her idols. WHAT THE HELL IS JOHN ROCKER DOING?!? This is some of the most schizophrenic game play I’ve ever seen. It’s as if he is doing research for his upcoming strategy manual: How To Make Sure Nobody in the Entire World Trusts You. Now the people in his own tribe (who saw him go off and chat with Val) don’t trust him. And people on the other tribe (who are about to get an earful from Jeremy judging from the preview for next week) won’t trust him either.
It’s not surprising, actually. Rocker has freely stated that he was not a fan of the show and was recruited to appear. So should he really be expected to understand how this game operates? Actually, now that I think about it… YES! YES HE SHOULD! Because this is basic logic and personal skills we’re talking about. You don’t need to be Boston Rob and on your fourth time playing to understand simple concepts of tribe dynamics. Anyway, John Rocker found a hidden immunity idol. So good for him.
Okay, let’s get to what else went down in episode 2 of Survivor: San Juan del Sur, and once again I can offer a little insight in places from having been there. We start off with Josh doing some damage control for his mysterious Baylor vote at Tribal Council. I mentioned last week that I was at that TC and Josh said while voting that he had changed his vote while at Tribal (which rarely happens). The question was… why? He tells Baylor here that it is because people were noticing how close they were so he wanted to put some public distance between them. Will she buy it? “That was a smart move in a way, but it was also sketchy and scary that he didn’t tell me beforehand.” (Yep, she bought it.)
NEXT: Behind-the-scenes tidbits on the reward challenge