Survivor Pearl Island: Monty Brinton/CBS
October 23, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Drake loses — again!

I have to be honest. I didn’t like this last episode of ”Survivor: Pearl Islands”?I LOVED IT!!!

Everything about it! I loved the fact they let the contestants shoot off real cannons. I loved watching useless Osten run away from a pelican. I loved the bug bite explosion on Christa’s face. I even loved watching Johnny Fairplay talk smack to the Morgan tribe about allowing them to win their first immunity challenge? and I HATE Johnny Fairplay! (You have to admit, as much as a jerk as that guy is, it probably WAS a good strategic maneuver to try and sap the opponents of their winning spirit before a crucial challenge. It didn’t work, but it was still worth a shot.)

Of course, Jon’s days seem numbered now that his coup to get rid of Rupert fell apart, with Trish being voted out of the tribe. From a strategic standpoint, was Trish correct in trying to get rid of the strongest/hardest-working/most likable member of the tribe? Yes. But her timing STUNK! Who knows if there’s even a merge next week, plus, you never make a move like that unless you KNOW you have the numbers to pull it off. Her miscalculation reminded me of when Deena tried the exact same thing with Alex in ”Survivor: The Amazon.” Not to insinuate Alex is anywhere close to Rupert in terms of ANYTHING, but you can see the parallel. Oh, another thing I loved? Jon’s facial reaction upon seeing Trish voted out. If that reaction could talk, it would say, ”Holy crap. I am so screwed?.I need some more booze — NOW!”

Of course, it was somewhat of a shock Drake was even at Tribal Council. They were rested, they were nourished (courtesy of all those steak and lobsters) and got Morgan’s supposedly strongest member out of the contest first. Ah, yes, Osten. Has there ever been a lamer ”Survivor” contestant? He is a freakin’ bodybuilder, yet fails at every single challenge involving strength. He once again got outlasted by Rupert even though my man Hagrid was carrying 40 to 60 pounds more on his back! Hell, he got outlasted by unbuff Andrew. And even Christa!!! Wait, that deserves even a few more exclamation points. (!!!!!) There. He’s already quit in the game once (and needed to be rescued during one water challenge), and judging by the preview for next week, it looks like he’s about ready to pack it in again. I don’t blame him. Making an idiot of yourself is extremely hard work. No wonder he’s so worn down.

As great as watching Osten fold like a chair in the immunity challenge was, the reward challenge was pretty excellent as well. Of course, it would have been a bit better if they had actually been shooting the cannons at each other, but it was still pretty good. The only thing that confused me was why Probst feels the need to refer to all the Morgan members by anything other than their first name. Instead of Tijuana, Ryan, and Andrew we had T, Rhino, and Savage. You think with clever word play like that he could’ve come up with something other than ”surf & turf” to repeat ad nauseam. Dude, try ”reef & beef” on for size. Or maybe mix it up with a little ”splash & meadow.” Variety is the spice of life, and since you were LITERALLY handing out spices, why not give it a shot?

Speaking of variety, it seems as if Mark Burnett has a big new twist to unveil next week. He told me before the show started there was a big one at the midway point and well, this one they teased must be it (especially since now is the traditional time for the merge). With Probst promising that ”Your past has come back to haunt you,” the obvious guess would be that voted off contestants are somehow involved, but then again, that would be SO ”Big Brother,” so perhaps it’s something else all together.

This whole season, in fact has been something else. I thought there was no way Burnett could duplicate the magic of ”The Amazon,” but this one is coming pretty damn close. How do YOU think this season stacks up to past ones? That’s not a rhetorical question either. You can post your thoughts below. Then other people can read them, disagree, and call you all sorts of mean names. It’s an Internet thing. And I love that too! Now, I must go, because not unlike the 1980s pop phenoms Air Supply, I’m simply all out of love.

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In Season
Rupert Boneham,
Tijuana Bradley,
Shawn Cohen,
Jon Dalton,
Nicole Delma,
Sandra Diaz-Twine,
Trish Dunn,
Christa Hastie,
Darrah Johnson,
Lillian Morris,
Ryan Opray,
Burton Roberts,
Andrew Savage,
Ryan Shoulders,
Osten Taylor,
Michelle Tesauro
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