First come the big balls and then come the big poles, as the tribes play in the mud, barely keeping their clothes on?.Is Jeff Probst blushing?

By Dalton Ross
Updated September 28, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Monty Brinton

Survivor: China

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”Survivor: China”: Nude (almost) mud wrestling

Dammit! Why am I so stupid! The perfect excuse was right there all along. All those times when people caught me stumbling around the college campus drunk as a skunk, I should have just said, ”Oh, no, no. I?m not drunk at all. I just tried to break down two walls with a Chinese battering ram, that?s all.” Because I?m sorry, no matter what you tell me, Dave was drunk. Don?t know where he got the booze. Don?t care. Did you see him after Frosti — and I still have difficulty typing the name ”Frosti” without bursting into hysterics — pulled him away from the front of the barricade-bashing contraption? Dude couldn?t even walk a straight line! Classic stuff that sent me into a collegiate-flashback frenzy.

It?s because of shenanigans like this that I am happy the conceited blowhard didn?t get the boot this episode. And honestly, Ashley and her clown boobs kinda freaked me out. She was hard to look at (although her comment at tribal council that ”I?m voting for Derek Zoolander?.Oh, I mean Dave” was pretty choice). Plus, the woman is a professional wrestler and got positively smoked in what basically amounted to a mud-wrestling challenge. The fact that she got used and abused by an out-of-shape poker player reminds me of the time river guide Kelly Wigglesworth got embarrassed in a rowing challenge by Gervase Peterson, who barely even knew how to swim. Ah, memories.

The whole reward competition was stupendous. Basically, any challenge that features Jeff Probst announcing, ”Everybody pulling everybody?s clothes off now!” is gonna be a keeper. First we had Sherea, Jaime, and Aaron in some sort of three-way, then later Sherea started yanking Amanda?s top off. The combination of mud, wrestling, nudity, Jeff Probst pulling a big crank, and two huge balls rolling down a hill à la Raiders of the Lost Ark was pure magic.

NEXT: Is Jean-Robert bluffing?

The immunity challenge was cool, too — a nice mix of brains (the puzzle), brawn (bashing through the walls), and drunk former models. When Zhan Hu lost, Dave revealed what is usually a fatal flaw, apologizing to the tribe for a bad performance. But really, what else could he do? Especially after he had acted like such a pompous jerk for six days. But here?s the deal — pompous jerks are fun to watch on Survivor. (Remember Richard Hatch? Boston Rob?)

Meanwhile, over at Fei Long, we got to see lots of dudes in underwear. My episode 1 pick, Todd, still seems like a pretty solid choice to me — making early alliances yet staying somewhat out of the spotlight. He also stumbled upon some insane luck when Leslie got the hidden-immunity-idol clue from the kidnapped Jaime and shared it for no particular reason other than her being an idiot. Letting people know you have the hidden immunity idol is bad enough. Giving other people the clue as to where it might be is downright ridiculous. I blame this all on Fiji, mostly because at this point I like to blame anything Survivor-related that is bad on that horrible season, but also because those knuckleheads kept telling each other about there being an idol hidden at camp, which they then found and used together to even more idiotic affect.

I also don?t know what?s going on with Jean-Robert. He?s using some sort of poker technique, which I gather is to make everyone hate you as much as possible so that when you don?t act like such a jerk, they?ll think you?re even more swell than you actually are. Interesting strategy, but I don?t know how well it works if you?ve already had your ass voted off before you even have a chance to show everyone the other side. But as long as his tribe keeps winning challenges, I suppose that?s not really an issue.

One quick note before I turn this over to you guys and your posts with the mosts: A lot of you wrote in last week bummed about the end of Survivor Live. Thanks for that, and rest assured I?m bummed as well. Because you know — you just know — I would?ve challenged Ashley to an on-set wrestling match. True, there?s the overwhelming possibility that she would suffocate me with her massive floatation devices, but still, I like my chances in that battle.

Okay, your turn: Is Todd the player to beat on Fei Long? Is Jean-Robert living dangerously? And what was up with that dead floating frog? Post on?uh, posters.

Survivor: China

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