Malolo, Or: Sit Idly By While Idols Are Found
Once everyone arrives back at the beach, Sea Bass tells us he’s as happy as a banana-flavored piece of Laffy Taffy, which, if I’m being completely honest, sounds like one of the most disgusting candy options imaginable. You could get me on board with Nerds, Spree, Zotz, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, Pop Rocks, Smarties, Skittles, and even Andes Chocolate Mints, but Laffy Taffy? Get that junk out of here. And banana Laffy Taffy? That’s just for suckers. NO SALE, SEA BASS!
But the rest of the former Naviti seem considerably less enthused by their new surroundings. Kellyn is shocked by how much the Malolo shelter sucks, dubbing it “one big hot mess” and comparing seeing it to having to compliment a friend’s ugly baby, which I wouldn’t really understand because my two babies were the most perfectly adorable babies in the history of the entire world. But Kellyn’s complaining is nothing compared to Bradley, who acts like he is auditioning for Joe Piscopo’s part in a reboot of “The Whiners” from SNL’s deep catalog of early-’80s nonsense. (Seriously, I went back and watched a bunch of Whiners sketches and I can’t believe that was actually considered a go-to sketch at one point.) It saddens me to no end that Bradley is so young that he most likely has no idea who Joe Piscopo even is. But it does not sadden me as much as the clip below saddens me.
Suffice it to say, Picsopo’s union with Kimberly — who was his son’s former babysitter and was 18 years old when they began dating — did not end well. But I think we can all agree that the song certainly stands the test of time even if their love could not. But anyway, back to Bradley, who provides the second best Survivor juxtaposition ever. The first being this:
While I may have created that particular juxtaposition myself on a now obsolete social media platform (R.I.P. Vine), this one comes courtesy of the brilliant show editors, who give us Stephanie sitting all Zen-like there on a Fijian beach talking about how beautiful the sunrise is and how it could never, ever get old…followed immediately by Bradley complaining about the cold and how dirty it is. “I feel dirty and just…gross,” he whines.
For their part, Stephanie and Brendan are flummoxed by their spoiled tribemates. “Survivor is supposed to be hard,” notes Brendan, echoing something every single former player has said at one point or another on social media when they accuse the show of now being too easy. (Incidentally, to that I would argue that while the show now may be indeed by physically easier for contestants with the amount of food, water, and items they get, coupled with the less oppressive climate of Fiji, it may be mentally more taxing due to the rapid-fire rate of strategy, twists, and backstabbing involved on a daily basis.)
But Bradley’s sin is not complaining about the conditions. Almost everyone does that at some point. No, it is getting comfortable and complacent. “This could not have worked out more perfect,” he tells Desiree. “And they’re fun to talk to, while we vote them out.” Why Bradley would be so confident with a million idols and advantages lying around, or when one of them could easily be sent to Ghost Island — thereby evening the vote — is beyond me.
And Kellyn is doing something very odd as well, telling Jenna and Stephanie straight out that none of the Naviti are going to flip. While I admire her honesty on a personal level, I despise the incentive she is giving them to go idol hunting to save themselves. And that’s exactly what they do. All the Malolos go searching, with Michael finally uncovering one of James’ two unused idols from Survivor.
Now, it is worth pointing out how we, as viewers, can only judge on what we are shown. It is entirely possibly that the Naviti folks were out idol hunting as well, but it simply never made the final edit. However, if they weren’t, then that is a severe miscalculation. While going so hard on idol hunting at the start of the game — as Jacob did — is a social faux pas and can put you immediately in the crosshairs, team searching after a tribe swap is not only acceptable; it should be expected and actively encouraged. It’s all about numbers and control at that point, and you need every weapon at your disposal. If you ain’t looking, then you ain’t trying hard enough. Okay, let’s see what’s what at the other tribe.
Naviti, Or: How to Watch Tribe Pride Self-Destruct in 3 Easy Steps
Remember what I said a few sentences back? Okay, let’s see what’s what at the other tribe? No, before that. All that nonsense about Joe Piscopo? No, after that. By the way, that was my bad on the Piscopo stuff. I get a little carried away sometimes. Then again, you should consider yourself lucky. You have NO IDEA how close I was to doing a 10,000 word treatise on Piscopo’s ill-fated 1980s Miller Lite ad campaign that featured such characters as “Rappin Fats” Piscopo, “Python” Piscopo, and his wildly offensive kung-fu alter-ego “Bruce” Piscopo.
In any event, the sentence I am referring to is the one where I said, “It’s all about the numbers.” Wellllllllll, sometimes it’s not. Because when two people on a tribe are feuding and stay together on a tribe swap, it becomes a case of who can sell the other one out first — even if they are in the majority. Ladies and gentlemen, the store is officially open and Chris is selling. After barking out orders to Angela (her words, not mine), Chris informs Libby and James that Dom has the idol and they all need to unite to get him out. “You live in New York, you get it.” he says to James, although as someone who has lived and/or worked in NYC for 25 years I certainly don’t. (You know who else has lived and/or worked in the NYC area? PISCOPO! The man is an institution!) (Recap continues on next page)