Oil's well that ends...well-bodied. But apart from the eye-candy, ''Survivor: Fiji'' still hasn't found its footing

By Dalton Ross
Updated February 23, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Survivor Fiji: Monty Brinton
  • TV Show

”Survivor: Fiji”: Slip slidin’ away

I’ve been bitching the past two weeks that Survivor: Fiji was low on excitement and devoid of drama. Of course, in retrospect, the answer to all the show’s problems was simple — bring on the Slip & Slide!

Okay, this season still is coming dangerously close to Thai…Thai… I can’t even say it — okay, Thailand levels, but it’s amazing what a few oiled-up people swimming, paddling, and falling on their asses will do. And I’m not kidding about the oiled-up part, either. Did you catch all those glistening bodies before the reward challenge had even started? Not that I’m complaining. I ran Rita through slow-motion two times. Okay, three. (Happy, now?) But it wasn’t all about seeing hotties splashing around willy-nilly. I can honestly say that Sylvia falling right on her keister and then swimming in place without moving an inch was one of the funniest things I have ever seen on this series.

Of course, it’s not so funny when people genuinely get hurt, as was the case with Gary, who then had the Survivor medics come and check him out. ”I didn’t even know my name,” he told the doctor, which really wasn’t all that much of a surprise considering everyone keeps calling him Papa Smurf. This remains the only drama we have seen this season at the Moto camp, unless you count Stacy painting the floor so ants couldn’t get in, which I don’t because until that moment, I didn’t even know who Stacy was! Seriously! And while we’re at it, who the hell is Cassandra? Anyway, watching contestants live this large, including Boo informing us that ”We’re just having a party out here, really?” is not, for me, what Survivor is all about. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy seeing one tribe completely dominate the other: Palau was a total blast. But those teams were operating on a level playing field, and the dominators then were still out killing sharks and…you know, doing stuff.

But honestly, it’s not like what’s happening over at Ravu is much better. Okay, making fire with the glasses was pretty impressive. And granted, it was bizarre seeing Sylvia being forced to dig for the hidden immunity idol right in front of everybody. And yes, watching Mookie and Rocky bully everyone into their preferred voting pattern is intriguing in a ”will these people ever think for themselves?” kind of way. Then again, if Rita is any indication, maybe thinking for yourself is not such a hot idea. Voting against a pack can be fantastic — as long as you get others to join you, Throwing one random vote Earl’s way was just stupid. (Granted, not as stupid as watching someone bounce around on a Slip & Slide in slow-motion multiple times, but still…)

At least the challenges were great. Notice I used the plural. Yes, it was nice to see a good ol’ fashioned food challenge in there. Personally, I prefer it when the contestants have to eat actual live, creeping and crawling beings (by the way, if you wanna see someone chow down on a real live octopus, check out the genius Korean revenge film Oldboy) but this was still a nice old-school touch. And those hairy pig snouts were pretty gnarly. I don’t blame Anthony for blowing that. I’m just impressed he didn’t blow chunks. Even with a Milwaukee’s Best handy I don’t think I could have put (or kept) that down. Had Sylvia been able to beat Dreamz on the octopus, maybe she’d still be around, but really, how far was she gonna get? She annoyed people and sucked in the challenges — not a good combination. Plus, her departure means Anthony gets to stick around and we can see him start crying next week. Who knows? I may have to run that through the slo-mo as well.

What do you think? Are the challenges getting better? Is Moto living a little too large? And will Papa Smurf be able to recover? Post your thoughts below.

Survivor: Fiji

  • TV Show
  • In Season