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Look, I don’t want to embarrass my kids. But since I have spent well over a decade embarrassing myself in these here recaps, it’s time they took some of the heat as well. So let’s talk about potty training, shall we?
Potty training is goofy as hell. Anytime your kid does not soil him or herself and instead goes to the bathroom in some sort of miniature plastic toilet contraption you have to act like it is the best thing to happen since Pauly Shore stopped making movies. Parades are thrown. Grandparents are alerted. Single tears roll down cheeks in absolute joy. It’s all ridiculous. We even had something called the Royal Potty in our house that was shaped like a throne (the “Magic Throne,” if you will) with a whole book that came with it telling a story about how some dumb-ass kingdom was saved because a kid decided to drop a deuce in the proper place. Even more absurdly, the Royal Potty had some sort of creepy motion sensor that played a royal jingle every time some “material” passed from human body to the plastic cup underneath.
And you know what? As parents, we loved it! We loved the Royal Potty! Because cleaning out a plastic cup with human waste was a hell of a lot better than cleaning human waste off of a human. But our celebrations paled in comparison to the pride and joy at which Simone from Survivor announced her first ever aqua dump.
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Ah, the aqua dump. That old standby method of human waste disposal for Survivor contestants (and, perhaps, reporters — I ain’t saying I have, and I ain’t saying I haven’t). It’s not exactly something one looks forward to — just ask Darnell — especially having to make sure the ejected matter does not get caught in a tide and follow you around relentlessly while the theme from Jaws plays ominously in your head. Yes, aqua dumps can be scary. But I have never in my life seen someone as excited as Simone to take part in this Survivor ritual. After cheering for herself (always awkward, by the way) for completing her mission, Simone informed us that “the fact that I was reliving myself in the water was the biggest milestone.… I feel like a superhero!”
Really? What superhero? Well, let’s see here; the Brown Trout is already taken. Deuces Wild? The Dumpster Diver? Simone the Super Soiler? Whatever, we clearly need to workshop a bit on the name, but we’ll figure it out. Unfortunately for Simone, the water was not the only thing that was crappy. Her game stank just as bad. Memo to all future Survivor contestants: You might want to think twice before telling a tribemate, “I hate the outside.”
If someone is constantly telling me how much they hate the outdoors — at one point Simone complained, “There’s no air conditioning” — they are in essence also telling me they cannot be counted on to stay strong when the going gets tough. If they can’t handle being on a so-far sunny beach in Fiji, how are they going to handle the next physical immunity challenge? How are they going to handle it once a huge storm comes through? How are they going to handle it two more weeks in when they are practically starving?
I don’t blame Simone for having a tough time out there. It’s a hell of an adjustment. I even wondered if Cirie would be able to handle it when I met her on location before her first time playing and she was freaked out about all the bugs. (She clearly adjusted and handled them just fine.) But you don’t advertise your difficulty handling the elements; you hide it! That’s why Simone’s celebration over taking an aqua dump — and drawing more attention to how difficult it was for her to do — just reinforced the idea that she was not fit to be out there. Even the scrawny New Jersey bellhop called her “weird”…think about that for a second. (BTW, as a scrawny New Jerseyan, I am total Team Bellhop.) But don’t cry for Simone. She was sent back to Ponderosa with a roof over her head, and maybe even air conditioning in her room. Probably right where she belongs. Okay, let’s recap the rest of this S.O.B from the very top!
We start at the Heroes camp, where Chrissy is excited because she feels after all the Naked Idol Hopping between JP, Ashley, and Alan that she may no longer be on the bottom of the tribe. Not only that, but by not using her secret advantage idol, she can now produce — with apologies to Bob Crowley — the most bitchin’ fake idol in Survivor history. As for Alan and Ashley, they both think the intra-alliance tiff did them a favor. Alan tells us how his plan worked and that people now see JP and Ashley as a power couple, while Ashley talks about how Alan’s antics show “how off-the-hinges he really is.” Neither of them appears capable of understanding the nuances of a lose-lose scenario, a scenario painted by Ben as he compares his alliance to “old paint. It’s cracked and fractured everywhere.” (Recap continues on next page)