“All the fools out there who think I’m dumb and ‘oh, he talks like an idiot’—wait till you see what I have planned for this game.” —Rodney
Well, Rodney, I don’t know what to tell you on this one. I did what you asked. I waited. I tried not to judge the fact that you chose Joaquin over Mike as an alliance partner because “[Mike] goes to church every Sunday; we’re having Sunday fun day ripping shots. He doesn’t have sex. He’s celibate. He hasn’t had sex in, like, eight years. So what do we have in common? You don’t drink? You don’t party?”
I did not cast aspersions when you told us how Joaquin was the perfect alliance partner for you because “We’re both about girls. We’re both about having fun, you know, partying, not settling down.” And I have to be honest here, it was very difficult not to cast aspersions because that is quite possibly the stupidest reason for picking an alliance partner I have ever heard in my life. But you told us you had something big and bold planned! You warned us! Just wait! So I waited. And then your big move amounted to throwing a challenge. And now I hate you and hate myself for waiting. Rodney, throwing a challenge is ALWAYS a bad idea. Even if it ends up not hurting you—and Mike certainly dodged a bullet by agreeing to participate—it has all the potential in the world to screw your game up.
Repeat after me: You NEVER want to go to Tribal Council. Tribal Council is where people get voted out (when not receiving a dissertation from Jeff Probst on the pros and cons of Botox, that is). And, well, that person could be you. Just ask Max, who only three days prior was downright giddy after losing the immunity challenge so he could vote somebody out—only that somebody ended up being him. Or, if you don’t get voted out, your new bromance partner does. Rodney had all these secret plans to go to the end with Joaquin, and now those plans are dead and gone because he insisted on telling people to lose the challenge. And how bad is Rodney’s social game? So bad that Sierra would rather partner up with Dan—DAN! He of the terrible, no good, awful non-apology—than the tribe newbies she actually kind of liked and Rodney. That’s pretty damn bad.
Throwing a challenge is the height of arrogance in this game, and when you get arrogant, you get shipped out. You ALWAYS need to assume that your neck could be on the line. How many people have gotten eliminated after they said they got too comfortable? No, seriously, I’m asking that as a question because I’m too lazy to look it up myself. Well…um…rest assured it’s a lot! So never get comfortable, and that means never ever trying to go to Tribal Council on purpose. You know how you want women to hold themselves to a higher standard, Rodney? Well, I expect Survivor players to hold themselves to a higher standard—a standard you certainly did not meet here, my friend. (P.S. We’re not friends. I know this because I have never “ripped shots” and a “Sunday fun day” for me basically consists of driving my kids around like a chauffeur to various activities while they bitch at me en route because they are sick of hearing Dexy’s Midnight Runners every damn time I drive them anywhere.)
So Rodney, you got what you deserved. Simple as that. And Mike, don’t you think for one second you’re off my s— list either, mister. I expected more out of you, dude. As punishment for your Survivor crimes, I now sentence you to eating three more scorpions. Bon appétit!
Okay, to quote Marty DiBergi, enough of my yappin’—let’s get into it and recap this sonofabitch. We start off at the Nagarote camp as Shirin is coming to terms with being on the outs after Max’s ouster. “Is anyone in this game willing to play with me?” she asks. “I don’t think so.” This leads into Shirin talking about how she grew up in an Orange County suburb surrounded by beautiful skinny people while soaring, swelling music plays in the background. Now, a story about growing up in super wealthy Orange County and not being as hot as the Heathers over at Westerberg High is simply not going to register on the same emotional level as some other things to viewers, but that’s not to completely dismiss Shirin’s story either. Everyone has their own personal issues and adolescent problems that can’t be graded solely on a zip code. Being tormented by peers knows no geographic limits. Of course, this is all coming from a guy whose formative years happened in a neighborhood called “Spring Valley.” Not exactly Compton, if you catch my drift. So take anything I say with about two gallons of salt. (In any event, check at the end of this here recap for a special exclusive extended version of this scene and more of Hali and Shirin’s chat by the water well. Enlightening stuff.)
NEXT: Why don’t contestants ever get drunk anymore?