Though Casaya seemed to be one of the weakest ''Survivor'' tribes ever, it has now won three challenges in a row; meanwhile, on La Mina, the first alliance breaks down
Credit: Ruth Marie Milliman: Monty Brinton

”Survivor”: The loser tribe keeps winning

I’m a fraud. A phony. A fake. A good-for-nothing know-nothing. Just to recap, let’s go back to what I wrote about the two tribes in week 2 after they were split into La Mina and Casaya: ”This could be Palau all over again….Everyone on La Mina…seems pretty physical. And with both [an] astronaut and a rocket scientist on their team, they figure to do well in puzzle challenges as well. Casaya, on the other hand, got stuck with Melinda and Cirie as well as quitter boy [Shane]….They’re in a heap of trouble.” Pretty bad. But I wasn’t done. Last week, even after Casaya won immunity, I boldly proclaimed, ”I still think La Mina is going to dominate Casaya….Casaya is just a mess.”

Let’s just pause now to let the embarrassment sink in. And pause…keep pausing…almost done now…there, that’s enough. That’s right, the members of that ”mess” Casaya, who are ”in a heap of trouble,” just won their third straight challenge. The funniest part about it is, they are a mess! So if they’re a mess, what does that make La Mina, a hot mess? And what does that make me for predicting La Mina dominance, a…uh, messy mess? (And what does that make me for using the term ”messy mess,” an idiot?) I have no idea about any of this, but I will say one thing in my defense — looking at the makeup of the tribes, Casaya should have not only won that immunity challenge but full-on dominated it, considering it was 100 percent balance oriented, and they had a yogi, a gymnast, and a martial artist running the course. Yes, I’m making excuses, but that’s what all the great ones do when they get publicly humiliated.

Speaking of being publicly humiliated, I was almost shot down on a second front when my girl Sally looked like a surefire goner. The Sally Alert appeared to be ready for its final edition until she turned into Carl Lewis on the balance beam. Homegirl was smokin’! And not in the way that she’s usually smokin’, although she was certainly still smokin’ in that way as well. You know what? Let’s just consider her double smoked for this episode, shall we? Of course, this posed a problem for the men, who had promised Ruth Marie she could be fifth on their totem pole. This actually proved to be an interesting dilemma. Austin and Terry were right in assessing that Sally gives them a better chance to win challenges than Ruth Marie, but Dan-O (who for some reason insists on competing in swimming-based reward challenges with his shirt on) was also correct in pointing out that Sally is a lot more likely to flip should they make it to the merge. Still, it will be game over by the merge if they don’t start winning some damn challenges, so I think they did the right thing in ousting Ruth Marie…even if I am just a tad biased.

I suppose this is the space where I’m supposed to give Terry big-time props for finding the hidden immunity idol. I’m sure Austin would: Does he have a major-league crush on the fighter pilot or what? But let’s put it this way: If I find a note saying that there is a hidden six-pack of Milwaukee’s Best sitting under the couch, you know what? I’m gonna find it. And then I’m gonna drink it. And then I’m gonna have an animated conversation with my limited-edition Star Wars tauntaun action figure, but that’s beside the point. The point is, all those clues basically pointed out exactly where the idol was. (Putting the word ”why” in quotes twice wasn’t exactly the subtlest of moves.)

But while Terry was enjoying his home for the night, Casaya was enjoying its new shack, the Casa de Charmin. (What happened to the good ol’ days when Survivor pimped classy stuff like beer and crappy sodas like Sierra Mist? Now it’s down to toilet paper?) The best thing about it all was that we finally began to see the self-proclaimed Bob Dawg unleashed. While Aras and company were discussing turning the outhouse into a storage space for blankies, Bob Dawg took matters into his own hands — or, rather, other body parts. ”Anyone mind if I break in the dumpster?” he inquired. ”I’ve got a deuce to drop.” By all means, drop away, Mr. Dawg. And while you’re at it, get your tribe to start dropping a few challenges so I don’t look so bad.

What do you think? Will Casaya continue to dominate or fall apart? Will Sally survive? And will Dan ever get a tan?