On ''Survivor,'' the beatings continue: Koror maintains the most one-sided domination in the show's history; plus, macho Tom kills a shark

By Dalton Ross
March 31, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Ibrehem Rahman: Robert Voets/CBS
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”Survivor”: The beatings continue

I remember a few things about playing ice hockey as a kid. The first thing I remember is that . . . I sucked. The second thing is that it is never a good idea to leave your protective cup at home. Lastly, I remember that if you were ever losing by 10 goals, they would stop the game. The Sympathy Rule, we called it. Well, it might be time to invoke said Sympathy Rule for the folks — all two of them — left at Ulong. Just when they thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did! And once again in comical fashion.

It started with the reward challenge. . . . Okay, let’s amend that: It started with the dreaded-unbearable-boring-as-hell-please-put-me-out-of-my-misery-with-the-Sympathy-Rule reward challenge. Why so feisty on my part? My hatred of the SOS reward challenge has been well documented over the years. First off, it’s subjective. But even more so, it’s snooze inducing. Every season they do this challenge, it’s the same damn thing — get a few palm trees together, spell something out, light it on fire, and then dance around like a lunatic. As I said, I’ve made this point before, so I’ll stop it right there. . . . But no! I can’t! That’s how much I hate it! I can’t stop writing about it! Okay, let me go grab my medication real quick. . . .

There, I’m back now. Much better. Much calmer. In fact, I can even point out one thing I actually liked about the challenge — the fact that Ulong lost again. Now, look, I have nothing against these people, but let’s be honest — watching them get pummeled on a weekly basis has made for great drama. Personally, I didn’t see much of a difference in the two camps’ dumb beach messages, but I did get a kick out of watching Ibrehem gingerly waving the flag back and forth while the helicopter flew overhead. Dude, I know you’re mellow as a cello, but at least put a little something into it. How right on the money was Bobby Jon when he said, ”We worked hard. I guess they worked harder. Or I’m sure they worked smarter, knowing them.” (Hold that thought for the immunity challenge, B.J.)

So they lose the reward, and then show up at the immunity challenge and have to hear all about how Tom at Koror caught a freakin’ shark! Their faces were priceless upon being informed how the rich just got richer. Every genius reaction was the equivalent of a Survivor money shot. Now, about Tom and that shark. I thought Richard Hatch was a badass when he caught and killed that baby shark in All-Stars (although he didn’t really catch it so much as have the shark get its teeth caught in his skin). But that was nothing compared to this. Tom used a machete to cut this sucker in half! And did you see that madman casually take stock of the blood on his shoulder and go, ”Oh, is that mine?” like it was no big deal. Like I said — madman.

Then, of course, came the actual immunity challenge. Once again, I don’t understand for the life of me Koror’s strategy of sitting out their best players in immunity challenges. It’s like they feel so sorry for Ulong that they decide to spot them a few points by putting in their B team. Don’t get me wrong, Coby was a great choice as the spotter, but why the hell was broken-down Janu in there instead of Tom? Of course, it doesn’t matter when playing Ulong. Bobby Jon looked absolutely clueless up there trying to figure out the puzzle. Over half an hour later, Probst (can someone get this guy a lozenge?) was telling him, ”I’m not sure you’ve made any progress since we started.” Whether he meant the entire season or just that challenge is open to debate, but I’m pretty sure he was referring to the latter.

Bobby Jon eventually gave up and switched places with Stephenie, but by then it was way too little and way too late. You had to figure at that point Ibrehem was a goner, although for a while B.J. did his best wishy-washy Christy-Dolly impersonation in refusing to publicly take a side. It almost got his ass voted off, and truthfully, it probably should have. He’s lucky Ibrehem didn’t join up with Stephenie to send him packing.

Not like it matters. The last remnants of Ulong are toast once they merge with Koror, which I figure has to be next week. After all, there are only 10 players left, and that is the usual merge number. Plus, there’s no way to do a tribal council with only two players, unless they came up with some wacky 1-1 tiebreaker, and then what are they gonna do, show the last remaining member just hanging out by him or herself? You know, sort of like Cast Away, but without the stupid volleyball. Either way, Ulong, rest easy — you are sure to be out put of your misery soon enough.

What do you think? Do the two remaining Ulongers have a prayer? Are the Koror people’s scheming and backstabbing skills going to be too rusty to function? And what is your least favorite type of Survivor challenge?