On ''Survivor,'' top dog Terry loses his cool and starts bitching at his tribemates; then no one gets eliminated at tribal council
Credit: Terry Deitz: Monty Brinton

”Survivor”: The top dog starts growling

How ’bout that BJ and Tyler, eh? I didn’t think there was any way in hell they would each eat a whole bowl of crickets, but man, I guess when you’re a hippie, you’ll eat just about anything. And those frat boys — aren’t they a little old to be in a fraternity? Are they on the 13-year plan or something? As for Ray and Yolanda, they seem…Sorry, what’s that? Oh, my bad. I just naturally assumed that I must have been watching The Amazing Race. After all, don’t they pretty much have the monopoly on lame non-elimination episodes?

The last time Survivor tried to pull a ”To be continued…” was back when the Outcasts were brought back into the game during Pearl Islands. Not exactly the finest of company to be keeping. If you’re wondering who to blame for this debacle, look no further than the Winter Olympics. Originally, CBS was planning to begin this season in March, after the Olympics were over, but the network worried about starting so late, having to put their first episode up against American Idol, and then having to almost immediately go off Thursday nights because of college basketball. So they started on February 2 instead, gave us a clip show, and took a week off. It still wasn’t enough. Had they sent someone packing on Thursday, they would have headed to the two-hour finale with only three people, which happened only during Australia and, frankly, was a big-time bore.

Still, you can’t tell me that would have been worse than leaving viewers hanging by not sending someone packing. You’re Survivor — that’s what you do! You send people home! Every episode!

The whole thing is a shame, because the rest of the episode was actually pretty damn good. Things started out juicy when Terry went all ballistic on Cirie for dropping her torch in front of him, informing her that she would slap her kids around for such an infraction. Why Terry was trying to pick a fight with someone whose vote he could potentially need is beyond me. Little did I know that he was merely warming up. During the reward challenge, he and Aras went all WWE on us. There was pushing, there was bitching and complaining, there were cries for a ”whambulance.” I haven’t seem that much ridiculous posturing since Rocky Balboa and Thunderlips started going at it in Rocky III. (Although, to be fair, I do watch that movie every other week, so it hasn’t exactly been all that long.)

Aras won the challenge but may have blown the game by inviting his best bud Cirie to go on his Panama Canal getaway. (Embarrassing side note: I went to go check out the canal during my trip to All-Stars. The only problem was, I had popped so many Dramamine for the boat ride from hell over there that I basically fell asleep right in front of it. Oh well.) Knowing his bond with Cirie was so solid, Aras should have taken Danielle instead, keeping her away from Terry, with whom it seem she made an almost immediate alliance.

Of course, if the CBS promos for Sunday night’s episode are any indication, Danielle is a goner anyway. If you watched the promo, you may have noticed that Cirie’s tiebreaker fire was already way up to the rope that needed to be burned through, while Danielle barely had any flame at all. If that ends up being the case, it wouldn’t be the first time the CBS promo department has royally screwed up. Just last season, in a promo also leading up the final-four episode, they showed a shot of the final four at tribal council, with Rafe clearly wearing the immunity necklace, as well as the written-down name of the 15th person voted off, Lydia. Whoops!

Speaking of things being a little off, what the hell was going on with Courtney at tribal council? She started out with some pretty standard-grade eye rolling, but then kicked it up about 20 notches by visually cheering against Danielle every time she was voted against. Shane may have had a chocolate ice cream bar back at the Loser Lounge, but Courtney seems to have ingested something else altogether. (Drugs, I’m talking about drugs.)

Personally, I’m hoping for a Cirie vs. Terry final two. Both of them are deserving in totally different ways: Terry with his physical dominance, Cirie with her social skills and strategizing. If I were on a jury with them at the final two, that would be a difficult vote. I might have to go all Greg Buis and ask them to pick a number between 1 and 10. I’m sort of feeling it may be a Cirie vs. Aras showdown, though. The only thing I know for sure is that I won’t be writing about it here on Sunday. Since I’ll be hanging at the finale in New York, Whitney Pastorek will be handling the TV Watch duties. (But look for some finale, reunion, and after-party tidbits in my Wednesday EW.com column, The Glutton.) In any event, thanks for another season of reading, posting, and tolerating all of this Milwaukee’s Best-fueled nonsense. See you in lucky season 13!

What do you think? Did Terry lose your vote tonight with his whining? Did CBS tip us off to the winner of the tiebreaker? And who will win it all on Sunday?