On ''Survivor,'' the tribes get surprise rewards, then have to exchange players, but Stephenie's side keeps losing
Brooke Struck, Survivor: Guatemala
Credit: Brooke Struck: Monty Brinton/CBS

”Survivor”: The tribes get all shook up

Okay, I think I finally got it. So now the Nakum tribe consists of Margaret, Stephenie, Cindy, Jamie, Rupert, Hunter, and Sarge, right? And the Yaxha tribe I think now has Gary, Amy, Bobby Jon, Vecepia, Savage, Ryno, Paschal, and Kimmi. Okay, maybe that’s not quite right, but you can forgive me for being confused. After all, some tribe members stayed, others switched, and others went camping on top of a temple.

First off, what’s up with doing a tribe shake-up this early in the game? Was Mark Burnett simply frothing at the mouth at the prospect of getting Danni and Hogeboom on the same tribe to see what would happen with his NFL denials? Or was he just as sick as we were of seeing people lying around doing nothing and figured he had to do something. I don’t know — it was definitely odd, but it’s hard to argue against it, considering the lack of hardcore drama so far.

After the first few weeks, I was rooting for the Nakum tribe. Now, I have no idea what’s going on. But I do know this — Judd is not too familiar with the concept of long-term strategy. (But then again, I’m not sure what I expected from a dude wearing a sweatshirt in 114 degree heat. A sweatshirt!) By my calculations it took Stephenie and Jamie approximately 2.3 seconds to flip Judd against his former Nakum teammates. I think the heat is getting to the poor man. Why else would he celebrate losing all of the strength off his team in the three B’s of Blake, Bobby Jon, and Brandon?

I think my favorite scene of the entire season so far occurred when Margaret was trying to explain to the doorman how if he went with the former Yaxha foursome, he would be on the outs in a matter of weeks himself once they got down to five. Shots of Judd taking it all in and trying to figure it all out alternated with ones of a howler monkey scratching itself. Priceless. Of course, Judd did not figure it out, and the man who beat his own chest while comparing himself to King Kong flipped and voted off Brooke so he could hang out with people he liked more. Liked? Liked? Who cares about like? You know what I’d like, Judd? A million bucks! And now you probably have as much of a chance as I do of winning it — which is to say, none.

And what to make of the new Yaxha? Well, Gary’s worst nightmare — besides getting picked off in the 1983 NFC championship game, that is — came true as Danni joined his tribe and immediately called him out on his NFL past. He proved he’s as good at lying as he is at getting intercepted, and we’ll see now whether Danni decides to push harder on the issue. (Push, Danni, push!) Meanwhile, Blake and Bobby Jon had a disturbing little strategy chat while urinating. Disturbing in the fact that they immediately shook hands after peeing. (I understand hygiene takes something of a backseat on Survivor, but still — ewwwwwwwww!)

Of course, their strategy session was kind of unnecessary seeing as they have a numerical advantage on their new tribe and they would go out and win immunity anyway. Props to challenge producer John Kirhoffer on this one. I loved this challenge. I loved the fact that the two boats rammed into each other. I loved the fact that they had to chuck paddles like tomahawks to break tiles 50 yards away. And I loved the fact that the new Nakum basically lost because Judd couldn’t break his tile. (How you feeling now, Kong?)

So his tribe had to go to tribal council, and we got to see Jeff Probst take particular delight in informing Stephenie what a perpetual loser she is. (He said she’s won 1 out of 7 challenges this season, 4 out of 21 overall.) It doesn’t matter, because her record at tribal councils is a hell of a lot better, and she survived again.

Brooke? Not so lucky. I really have nothing else to say about Brooke because until she was selected as the caller in last week’s reward challenge, I didn’t even know who the hell she was. Seriously, I think I saw more of her family on the damn Febreze Family Moment than I did of her on this entire season.

Nice move, Judd, moving from being a member of a four-person alliance to the fifth member in a five-person one. Keep beating your chest — while you get beat right out of this game.

What do you think? Did you like the tribal shake-up? Did Judd blow it? And will Danni force Gary to crack?

Survivor: Guatemala
  • TV Show