Gina is voted off. In an episode almost ruined by shameless product placement, there are still some rockin' moments that remind us why we watch this show in the first place, says Dalton Ross
Gina Crews, Sarah Jones, ...
Credit: Survivor Marquesas: David M. Russell/CBS

Gina is voted off

So, I’m supposed to start writing my weekly ”Survivor” column now, but I can’t concentrate because I’m so gosh darn parched all of a sudden. And not thirsty for just any old drink, mind you, but suddenly I have this insatiable craving for Sierra Mist. This is particularly odd considering I have no idea what in God’s name Sierra Mist is or what the hell it tastes like, but it just goes to show you the value of good product placement. Seriously though, do Mark Burnett and CBS really still need to pimp out their program to cheesy corporate sponsors? Aren’t they making enough money already without resorting to lame close-ups of carbonated beverage bottles? Jeez.

But needless distractions aside, the latest edition of ”Survivor” flat out rocked! The only disappointment was watching Gina get the ol’ heave-ho, because I was partial to her ever since I found out one of her favorite movies is ”The Goonies.” Well, Gina, let it be said, you did Sloth proud. Everything else in the episode was right on, especially that nail-biter of a reward challenge. Maraamu survived a serious strategical error (why have slow-as-molasses Paschal run both portions of the first leg, when he could’ve just done the second half?) to come back and win on a disqualification when Rotu failed to put its boat down properly and both get to the winner’s circle in time. But forget about the DQ — did you see Gina and Kathy absolutely DESTROY those two dudes in the paddling portion of the race? Just smoked them. It was sweet redemption and a long time coming after river raft guide Kelly Wiglesworth got outpaddled by a guy who couldn’t even swim (Gervase) in ”Survivor I.” (Girl power suffered a serious setback that day.)

I don’t even know what John and Robert were doing out there, going backward, forward, and basically blowing a HUGE lead, but I do know this, John’s comment that ”I avoided apologizing because I’m in a leadership position,” made me realize something. This guy’s a jerk. And not just any regular ol’ jerk. He’s a big-time jerk. But that’s good too. Part of ”Survivor”’s appeal is having villains (like fellow naked gay man Richard and chocolate-obsessed Jeri) you love to hate. John fills this role to a T. He’s a jerk (which I believe I’ve clearly established) and seemingly has no problems with it. How great was that moment when he and Rob debated whether either of them had ”stupid” written across their forehead? Tell me I wasn’t the only one screaming ”YES!” at my television set.

But credit Rob for making the game interesting. Forcing Zoe to lie to his face and on camera at a point-blank question about whether she was in an alliance was entertainment value at its best. (Calling her out in front of the more honestly ruthless John was gravy.) Even bizarre Sean brings something occasionally to the broadcast, this week his revelation that he apparently has no problem crapping in his pants. Go, Sean! Not that we want either of these bozos (or John) to get anywhere near the million dollar prize, but having them along for the ride is what makes getting there so much fun. Speaking of fun, anyone know where I can get my hands on a Sierra Mist?

Survivor: Marquesas
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