And other naked surprises on last night's episode
Dr. Sean’s alphabetical ”Survivor” strategy backfires on Jenna
You know how four out of five doctors are always recommending some prudent, sensible course of action? Well, now we know the identity of that clueless fifth doctor: Sean. The Long Island neurologist’s dunderheaded, too-well publicized voting strategy resulted in the ejection of Jenna, the New Hampshire student/ single mom. For the second straight week, the scheming Tagi trio (Richard, Susan, and Rudy) exploited Sean’s plan to vote off his fellow castaways in alphabetical order. Though the Tagi alliance lost one of its members — the increasingly conflicted Kelly — the chief schemer, Richard, still managed to save himself by one vote from a much deserved ouster.
Here are just a few of the new revelations from last night’s stunning episode.
Colleen is no bimbo. Freed from her status as Greg’s ”play kitten,” Colleen came into her own. The Miami advertising student finally recognized the need for a rival alliance and won the week’s reward challenge by nimbly racing through a ropes course. She also graciously invited Jenna to share her prize: a massive barbecue dinner and a chance to read letters from home. It was heartening to see Colleen ask if the entire tribe could enjoy the much needed protein meal together. But host Jeff Probst, with his typical smirking sadism, told them No, Colleen could choose only one. What is this, ”Sophie’s Choice”?
Sean is a man who loves too much. No matter whom he votes for, Sean has announced, week after week, that he ”loves, loves, loves” the castaway in question, and that ”it’s nothing personal.” When other survivors cringed and hid their eyes at the sight of Richard in the nude, Sean shrugged and said, ”I love Richard. He’s been a great asset to the tribe.” Sean also shared this fascinating insight into his emotional makeup: ”I love getting the mail.” Truck driver Susan’s diagnosis: Sean ”just doesn’t have enough balls to make a decision.”
The color for summer is: chartreuse. The producers helpfully supplied the Barbecue Babe Alliance (Colleen and Jenna) and Kelly with identical and very fetching chartreuse bandeau tops — the better for the trio of athletic young women to frolic in. Their giggly antics led Rudy to grumble about ”lesbianism” on the island. And he accuses Richard of having sex on the brain.
Nude is rude. Richard, whose Machiavellian plots have made him the most fascinating TV schemer since J.R. Ewing, is riding for a fall. The corporate trainer celebrated his 39th birthday by bragging about all the fish he’d caught and walking around in the nude, much to the horror of his fellow island castaways. (And probably to the dismay of the visual effects crew at CBS too, who must have put in some serious overtime to blur out all the shots of Richard’s untanned areas). Still, Richard has the support of Susan, who seems to hang on his every word, and Rudy, who says, ”I was starting to like him even before I knew he was queer.”
Mystery guests are a bore. Wow, big deal, the Tribal Council had a surprise guest. According to Probst, the final nine survivors will be the jury that decides the winner. But after a week of CBS’ promotion of the ”mystery guest,” the visit from Greg was a big letdown. Last week’s castoff just sat there silently and watched.
Gervase is not lazy — and not crazy, either. The smartest strategy of all seems to belong to Gervase, who said that he’s been enduring the lack of nourishment on the island but going all out to win the immunity challenges. (He also got the happy news last night that his fourth child, a son, was born while he was on the island.) Though the YMCA basketball coach has been criticized as a charmless layabout, he may, like the similarly self interested William Holden character in ”Bridge on the River Kwai,” emerge as the hero in the end. Quoting his grandfather, Gervase said, ”If you want to be seen, stand up. If you want to be heard, speak up. If you want to be appreciated, shut up.” Good advice. I’ll take it.