Meanwhile, Ken Tucker wonders if there's an alliance brewing in Samburu tribe
Jessie Camacho
Credit: Jessie Camacho: Monty Brinton/CBS

Bloodthirsty ”Survivors” oust sheriff Jessie

OK, this is more like it: The second week of ”Survivor: Africa” threw into high relief the best aspects of this third season of the show. The glowing beauty of the East African sky and earth; the glowering competition within the so-far-victorious Samburu Tribe; and the endurance-challenging extremes of the weather, with complaints equally split about the heat of the day and the chill of the night. (The only thing the sun doesn’t bleach is Jeff Probst’s hair; quite the opposite, in fact: Is the knock-kneed Jeffster applying Grecian Formula to his modified coif in what one imagines is the air-conditioned cool of his star-host trailer?)

The immunity challenge consisted of drinking blood from cattle, the liquid obtained by having an African local shoot an arrow into a cow’s neck and placing a bottle beneath the resulting spurt (”Thank you, Charles,” said Probst, centuries of colonial condescension kicking in like a gag-reflex). The competition was accompanied by Probst’s assurance that we were witnessing an indigenous everyday occurrence, that non-”Survivor”-invented African tribes exist on ”milk and blood.”

Boran tribe lost when research-analyst Kelly didn’t gulp her glass down faster than Samburu tribe’s Linda. ”I couldn’t chug beer in college, and I couldn’t chug blood here,” said an anguished Kelly. We felt for her, truly a woman who now will have traveled the world without knowing the pleasure of a triumphant chug. Not long after, dull, chapped-lipped deputy-sheriff Jessie was voted out for… well, for being dull and chapped-lipped, as far as the ”Survivor” videotape editors had shown us.

The real action, of course, was in the budding alliance-building, with Samburu initiating what will doubtlessly prove to be an entertaining squabble between the listless twentysomethings in their tribe and the huffy, over-achieving older members. The latter provided the night’s most touching moment when, while reading one of the show’s parchment-poems that explained a challenge, burly dentist Carl helped possibly-psychotic phone technician Frank pronounce the word ”sublime.”

Talk about picking up a teammate when he stumbles.

Survivor: Africa
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