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I’m going to say something nice about Patrick. After all, the guy got voted out. It’s literally the least I could do. It’s certainly not going to be about his social game, which was clearly terrible. His antics and hysterics are not the type of thing you want to deal with when you are sleeping little and eating even less. It’s definitely not going to be about his strategic game, which consisted of openly searching for the idol right in front of everybody. (So much for the second coming of Stealth R Us.) Nor will it be about his performance in the challenges, when he refused to let someone else take a turn at knocking the blocks down. And it’s most assuredly not going to be about his haircut, because I have no idea what is happening there.
But I said that I would say something nice about Patrick and I am a man of my word. So here goes: His final comments were awesome. I mean, not awesome for him. The dude was crushed. But he was honest about it. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever felt,” he said after the vote. “This has been devastating.” God, I love that. To be clear, I don’t love the fact that someone just had all of his hopes and dreams obliterated like Alderaan on national television — I mean, I kind of do, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about is the fact that when we, as viewers, see that, we are reminded of the stakes. Not just the financial stakes of playing for a million dollars, but the emotional stakes. The personal stakes.
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I’m probably the biggest offender when I bitch and complain about bitter juries and talk about how people should be able to separate gameplay from friendships. You don’t cry when someone beats you at poker after bluffing about his or her hand — at least I hope you don’t — so why take it so personally being lied to in another game? ESPECIALLY WHEN LYING IS PART OF THE GAME!!! That’s my admittedly gamebot approach to things. But the truth is, I like seeing the emotion. I like seeing the moral quandaries people put themselves through on this show. And I like the reactions people have when they feel betrayed, even if I don’t agree with them.
“I had total trust with Ryan, Devon, and Ali,” said Patrick after being blindsided. “I hope you guys don’t have a very successful game because you’re liars and it really hurts me that you would not keep your word.” That’s a dumb rationalization because Patrick would have had no problem with them lying to Lauren and telling her she was safe when she wasn’t. Memo to all future Survivor contestants: If you don’t want to be lied to, DO NOT PLAY THE GAME! You will be lied to! It’s going to happen! It is neither dirty play nor against the rules, so get to used to it and don’t get upset if someone ends up being a better liar than you are.
So, yeah, Patrick was demonstrating selective rage here, but I appreciate the rage nonetheless because at least he cared. I want my Survivor contestants to care. Because we need them to care for us to care. So here I am on one hand saying Patrick was being a big baby by complaining, while on the other hand at the exact same time saying how much I enjoyed seeing his emotional meltdown. I guess I appreciate the fact that he was at least honest about how despondent he was. And I also appreciate that this game still has the ability to take contestants, chew them up, and spit them out, because as a viewer, you need the lows as well as the highs. We want the entire emotional spectrum. Patrick gave us a heaping helping on the low side this week. So that’s my nice thing I said about Patrick. But I still don’t get the hair. Sorry.
Okay, let’s run through some other notable moments from the episode.
I know a lot about Survivor. I don’t know a lot about fashion. I actually know nothing about fashion. But I have to imagine those were some pretty expensive boots that Simone left behind after being voted out. Apparently, she left pretty much her entire wardrobe, which I don’t get. She had to know she was in danger of being voted out, yet she still neglected to bring her stuff to Tribal Council. Makes no sense.
Sure, her clothes most likely reeked, but isn’t that what the wash is for? And as for the boots, at least bring them back and sell them on eBay for charity or something. Seems like a waste to leave them. But not in the eyes of Ryan, who turned the Hustlers’ beach into his own private runway, trying on everything to see what fit. “Finally Simone is showing her worth in some capacity,” he says. Ouch. And when I say ouch, I am referring to how he must be feeling trying to squeeze into those thigh-highs.
By far my favorite moment of the episode was when JP walked over in his underwear and Ashley said, “That’s a good size, JP.” (It seems being a successful firefighter is all about the length of your hose, am I right? No, seriously, am I? I have no idea. I could never be a firefighter due to the fact that I am such a weakling I would most likely collapse from the weight of the oxygen tank on my back.)
Hey, I’m not the one with the dirty mind! Just listen to what Ashley told us. “JP is becoming dreamier and dreamier as the days go on. Every time he walks out of the ocean with a different animal on his spear, something happens inside of me.” See! She’s the one talking about size, and spears, and things happening inside of her, not me!
All I can talk about is what is happening outside of her, and what that happens to be is pretty transparent gameplay. Ashley keeps lobbying Ben to keep JP instead of Alan. The problem is her approach. Instead of subtly leading Ben to draw his own conclusions on why JP would be better to bring along, she just tells him her feelings on the matter. And all this does is further solidify to Ben that Ashley and JP are indeed a power couple. The closer she makes herself appear with JP, the less Ben wants to keep her. Then again, Alan can’t even open a coconut, so who knows. (Recap continues on next page)