The women have an opportunity to take out a legitimate threat to win in Chelsea, but go for the panty-wearing weirdo instead

Credit: CBS
S24 E13

Johnny Weissmuller made 12 different Tarzan films between the years 1932-1948, including ones with incredible titles like Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, Tarzan’s New York Adventure, and — my personal favorite — Tarzan and the Mermaids. You never knew what kind of crazy hijinks Tarzan was going to get into back then. Whether hitting on some broad named Jane, hanging out with his chimpanzee BFF Cheeta, or adopting a son which he then thought would be hilarious to simply call “Boy,” Tarzan was the undisputed party animal of the jungle. The one thing I don’t remember him ever doing, however, was putting women’s panties on his head. Especially women’s panties WITH DRIED BLOOD ON THEM!!! (To be fair, Cheeta may have. That sassy little chimp was downright incorrigible!)

It’s weird. For a few minutes there during last night’s episode of Survivor: One World I was actually thinking to myself, Maybe this 21st century Tarzan, Gregory Smith, knows what he’s doing after all. Maybe he’s just savvy and strategic enough to get to the end and offer a convincing argument as to why he should be rewarded with a million dollars. And then he put Kat’s bloody bikini bottoms on his head. That, coupled with him calling Alicia a bitch for beating him in the immunity challenge, and bragging at Tribal Council to the jury of men about getting rid of them (while also criticizing them for possibly not agreeing that the right people went out at the right time) made me realize that nope, Tarzan in fact had no idea what he was doing. Never did.

I said earlier that he pulled a Cochran — playing short term to stay a bit longer at the expense of having any chance of winning — but I realize that’s not an entirely accurate comparison, because the truth is that Tarzan stood no chance of winning no matter what he did nor whom he ended up with in the finals. He’s the dude who throws his poopy underwear around and puts bloody bikini bottoms on his face. The only jury that would award this guy a million dollars is a jury of microbes. But instead of parsing the ins and out of microbial biology, let’s zip through the Survivor: One World penultimate episode recap, for then we have some other business to attend to — namely, my updated Survivor season by season rankings. Where will One World fall? Well, the key word in that sentence is the very last one. Read on to find out!

The episode begins with the ladies reveling in the irony of Kat saying how much she loves blindsides…right before getting blindsided. Tarzan, meanwhile, says that the smart move would have been to get rid of him instead. He’s wrong, of course, because Kat actually could have pulled a few votes had she made the finals. Because she acts just like a dude — farting, belching, talking incessantly about wanting to get wasted — she may have gotten some dude votes.

Tarzan then gets to work to keep himself alive for even longer, telling Kim to take him to the final four and then vote him off so he can tell the jury to vote for her. Then Alicia comes up and he tells her the exact same thing. Just one problem: As we will see later, these ladies keep nothing to themselves. Anything you tell one of them immediately becomes public knowledge. Anyhow, Tarzan says if he doesn’t win, he won’t be able to buy shocks for his car. Sorry, but why does this guy keep bringing up his shocks? Last I looked shocks were, like, $40. Isn’t he a plastic surgeon? How bad a doctor is this guy anyway? Give me an address and I’ll send you some freakin’ shocks.

NEXT: Chelsea offers up her own definition of “fair”

The next day, Chelsea tries to work on Christina to make sure that Tarzan is the next to go. She talks all about the big bond that Christina and Alicia have, which I do not understand for the life of me. As far as I could tell, Alicia and Colton were about as horrible as horrible human beings can be to Christina when she was on the outs — openly mocking her to her face. So why would Christina have a bond with her former tormentor? To be fair, Christina could ask, “Why do you spend all your free time watching and writing about her each and every week?” and she would have a point. At this juncture, we viewers are just as infected with Stockholm Syndrome as she is.

Chelsea also tells Christina that she will bring her on the next reward challenge if she wins, which obviously means that Chelsea will win and not take Christina. And why won’t she take her? Because Christina is already blabbing to Alicia, Tarzan, and Kim all about their secret conversation. And then Kim goes back and tells Chelsea all about that secret conversation, proving for once and for all that no conversation with any woman on this island ends up being secret. Of course, had the men communicated as much as the women, maybe they would have realized they were being played and not voted each other out.

All this talk is making me dizzy. Speaking of dizzy, let’s head to the reward challenge. If you’ve ever been to a minor league baseball game, you’ve no doubt seen three things.1) Subpar pitching, hitting, and fielding. 2) Mascot outfits that look like they have not been washed since 1985. And 3) A between-inning competition where paying customers put a baseball bat on the ground, put their head on the bat, spin around a bunch of times, and then attempt to run in a straight line to the delight of drunken, easily entertained fans. The reward challenge is essentially that third thing, but with discs instead of a bat. Discs that will be used to form a decoder that will then reveal three numbers to solve a combo box.

But make no mistake, the entire point of the challenge is just to have people look as drunk as Kat on margaritas by being unable to walk straight. Unfortunately, however, other than a few sideways steps, there is nowhere near as much stumbling and bumbling as one would hope. Oh well. Chelsea wins, meaning she gets to go on a yacht overnight, complete with a bed, feast, and champagne. And she can pick two people to go with her. She makes a big speech how she’s going to base her decision 100% on fairness and picks Sabrina, who hasn’t had much food lately. And for her second choice? Only the person that has eaten more than anyone else and will now be attending her third straight reward feast — Kim! Why, that’s about as fair and well reasoned a selection as your typical Celebrity Apprentice firing.

NEXT: Do you smell what Tarzan is cookin’?

I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m unhappy Chelsea won the reward. After all, it means we get to be super-creepy and watch her in the privacy of her own shower. (I have to assume she didn’t invite Tarzan out of fear he would steal her bikini bottoms while she was washing — a legitimate concern.) Back at camp, Alicia and Christina are both livid about Chelsea’s decision to bring bestie Kim, enabling Tarzan to plant the seed of them doing better in a final three against him. However, any progress he may have made in this regard is completely undone when it comes time for Tarzan to make a bowl of his world famous Coconut Crotch Stew. (Shhhhh, the secret ingredient is penis!)

Alicia sees what is happening and hopes to eliminate said secret ingredient by offering to help with the preparation. “No, I’m going to cook it this morning the way I want to, okay?” responds Tarzan. “So don’t bother me about it.” This does nothing to calm Alicia’s fears. “You’re not using your buff to drain that, or puree it, whatever you want to call it, because that was wrapped around your you know what?” Personally, I think that is exactly why Tarzan wanted to use his buff to drain it. All those special herbs and spices he’s accumulated down there — yummmmmmm. Delicious!

Later, Alicia, Kim, and Christina all compare notes and somehow between the three of them attempt to paint Tarzan as a master manipulator. Alicia is outraged that Tarzan is trying to run social game, because, as she tells us, “I am the queen of the social game!” Well, if that’s true, it makes Alicia quite possibly one of the worst queens in the history of queens, a list that includes the following:

Queen Mary I: Also known as Bloody Mary, she burned hundreds of people at the stake and foolishly married her second cousin, Prince Phillip of Spain — which in turn made him King of England. Whoops!

The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Anyone that spends that much time talking to a damn mirror must have a few screws loose.

Queen Sophie-Ann from True Blood: The Former Vampire Queen of Louisiana sucked…in more ways than one.

Queen — Flash Gordon Soundtrack: Even the most hardcore Freddie Mercury fan is unlikely to put this clunker on heavy rotation.

Queen Alicia can’t stop stammering on about Tarzan and Chelsea and how dead they are. As she’s doing this, something odd is happening. All of a sudden, Alicia’s head is bobbing from side to side as she speaks. “That’s the ghetto Puerto Rican coming on,” she informs us. “Oh well. I don’t care.” The ghetto Puerto Rican coming on? Is that kind of like the Hulk coming on with Bruce Banner when he gets angry? You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. I guess the big difference is that America doesn’t like Alicia either way — angry or not. “I’m the most powerful player,” she then says, “and I’m going to remain the most powerful player” Ha! Well, at least the woman still has a sense of humor and all. I mean, she is kidding, right?

NEXT: Tarzan — a writer, a poet, a genius, he knows it

So will Chelsea or Tarzan win immunity to save their skins? The short answer is no. The long answer is that they compete in a challenge in which the players have to use fish hooks to pick up bags of puzzle pieces which must then be used to form a fish skeleton, all with one hand tied behind their back. Alicia just beats out Kim, sending a nation into immediate mourning and leading Tarzan to call her a bitch. Smart move, Tarzan. I’ve also found the best way to curry favor with a woman who controls your fate is to yell “bitch” as loud as possible in her face. Chicks love that.

Other than Tarzan putting on the creepiest headgear in history, the other noteworthy event back at camp is a conversation between Chelsea and Kim in which Kim tells Chelsea she’s in trouble but then essentially refuses to give her the hidden immunity idol should she need it (which is what “It depends on how I’m feeling” means). Nor should Kim give her the idol. In fact, getting rid of Chelsea could be the best move for Kim. Chelsea’s probably the one person left with the best chance to be beat Kim in the finals, and she’s also a good challenge competitor, meaning she could win her way to the finals should she make it past this next vote. Kim’s already pointed to wanting to be in the finals with weaker payers like Alicia. Why not jettison Chelsea right now?

The wild card at play here is Tarzan. Could he still win votes from male jury members just for being a guy? Not if his performance at this Tribal Council is any indication. He begins by telling the other men how he worked as the women’s pawn to get rid of them, moves on to undercutting himself by stating how people would never vote to give money to a millionaire, and then basically criticizes the men for not agreeing that they deserved to go when they did. It is a flat out horrible performance, which is exactly why Mike gives him the finger as Tarzan is voted off and walks off into the darkness. (You ladies really wanted to lose him over likeable and athletic Chelsea?)

There is some good news about Tarzan being ousted, however. For one thing, we are treated to some bizarre Survivor poetry as well as one final primal scream as his parting words. For another, perhaps once Tarzan arrives at Ponderosa he can score some new (which is to say, used) panties from Kat to put on his head. Microbetastic!

And that leaves us with one episode to go. Kim is already guaranteed final four thanks to her immunity idol, and you’d still have to consider her the heavy favorite, followed by Chelsea (who was my episode 1 pick to win it all), and Sabrina. But there is a more immediate question that needs to be answered. Where does Survivor: One World fall in my freshly updated Survivor season rankings chart? (I don’t think it’s a big spoiler to say that it won’t be particularly high.) Also, some other seasons have moved up and down upon further reflection. Where will your favorite fall? Let’s get to it, starting on the very next page!

NEXT: Every Survivor season ranked from first to worst


1. (Tie) Survivor: Borneo (Winner: Richard Hatch) and Survivor: Micronesia — Fans Vs. Favorites (Winner: Parvati Shallow)

I’ve gone back and forth with these two over the years. After Micronesia aired, I named it the best Survivor season ever. Upon reflection, while I still considered it the most enjoyable, I also worried I was understating the impact of the first season, which became a national phenomenon. (Yes, Borneo now seems dated and tame by comparison, but it’s the biggest game changer in the past 20 years of television.) So then I returned that to the #1 spot. If I wanted to watch one season again, it would be Micronesia. If you ask me which is the most important season, well, obviously it’s Borneo. So instead of constantly flipping them, they can simply share the top spot…until I change my mind again.

3. Survivor: Heroes vs Villains (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)

The Russell vs. Boston Rob feud made for the best pre-merge run of episodes ever. And the greatness just kept on coming. Filled with huge memorable moments like Tyson voting himself off, J.T. giving Russell his immunity idol, and Parvati handing out two immunity idols at one Tribal Council. Loses a few points for having so many three-timers, though, including a few (Amanda, James) that we simply didn’t need to see again. I know many people would consider this #1, but it’s all returnees. For me, the fresh blood of Micronesia keeps that season higher.

4. Survivor: Amazon (Winner: Jenna Morasca)

Probably the most unpredictable season ever from week to week. Some people hate on Morasca as a winner, but she won challenges and played a great social game.

5. Survivor: Pearl Islands (Winner: Sandra Diaz-Twine)

Rupert stealing shoes. Fairplay getting drunk at Tribal Council. Osten sucking at everything. It was all delicious. Loses points, though, for the awful Outcasts twist, which also led to a disappointing final two (Lil? Seriously?).

6. Survivor: Palau (Winner: Tom Westman)

I loved watching one tribe decimate the other, culminating with Stephenie becoming a tribe of one. And the challenges may have been Survivor‘s best ever. What’s interesting about Palau is that we basically all knew Tom would win from episode 1, but it was still gripping nonetheless.

7. Survivor: Samoa (Winner: Natalie White)

Russell’s controlling of the game (especially post-merge when his side was down 8-4) was truly a work of art. Evil genius art. He was robbed in the end, though, in the most controversial jury decision ever.

8. Survivor: Marquesas (Winner: Vecepia Towery)

An underrated season that saw the first totem pole shake-up: where people on the bottom got together to overthrow those on the top. Yes, it was a weak final two, but it also had a woman peeing on a guy’s hand. Plus: Purple rock!!!

9. Survivor: Cook Islands (Winner: Yul Kwon)

What a difference a mutiny makes. It was listless until that fateful moment when Candice and Penner stepped off the mat. Then we finally had underdogs to root for. The Tribal Council fire-making tiebreaker between Sundra and Becky may be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

NEXT: The next 10 best Survivor seasons

10. Survivor: China (Winner: Todd Herzog)

Really good cast. Really bad location. It did move it up a slot from last time, though. Todd completely owned that final Tribal Council.

11. Survivor: Australian Outback (Winner: Tina Wesson)

An overrated season, and one that seems to keep moving down my list. Probst loves it. I didn’t. Solid but unspectacular. Pretty predictable boot order as well. Dude did burn his hands off, though.

12. Survivor: South Pacific (Winner: Sophie Clarke)

Even I’m surprised by how high I’m putting this, especially considering how much it has in common with the season that aired directly before it, which I didn’t like: the same twist of two returning players, Redemption Island, the predictable vote-offs, no real water challenges, etc…. But there is one thing I really did dig about this season, and that is the cast. I was invested in the players and their fates — the ones I wanted to do well, and not so well. Plus, this season gave us three signature moments: Ozzy volunteering to go to Redemption, Cochran flipping, and Brandon giving away his immunity.

13. Survivor: Tocantins (Winner: J.T. Thomas)

Okay, you may roll your eyes at Coach 1.0. But imagine for a second this season without him. Bo-ring! His unintentional comedy single-handedly lifted this into the middle of the pack. Seriously, other than Tyson getting blindsided, were there any memorable moments that didn’t involve the Steven Seagal wannabe?

14. Survivor: All-Stars (Winner: Amber Brkich)

Overall, a bit of a letdown, but man, were there some hate-fueled fireworks at those final few Tribal Councils. Plus: Best. Reunion Show. Ever. (Remember Jerri getting literally booed off the stage?)

15. Survivor: Panama (Winner: Aras Baskauskas)

Ah, just writing the word Panama gets me daydreaming about Survivor Sally and her intoxicating knee socks. Terry was robbed on a final challenge that may or may not have been completely fair. Another unmemorable final two. Shane Powers should have been brought back for Heroes vs. Villains.

16. Survivor: Gabon (Winner: Bob Crowley)

It got better near the end, but it was still a case of too little, too late. The fact that so many unworthy players went so far is simply too damning.

17. Survivor: Redemption Island (Winner: Boston Rob Mariano)

The first three episodes were dynamite, but then the fuse blew out. It certainly was entertaining at times watching Rob strategize (the most dominant showing ever) and Phillip philosophize (the craziest showing ever), just not very dramatic. Most of the vote-offs were clearly telegraphed and the Redemption Island twist sucked the life out of Survivor’s signature moment — the vote-off.

18. Survivor: Africa (Winner: Ethan Zohn)

Some great challenges. Not that much else was great.

19. Survivor: Guatemala (Winner: Danni Boatwright)

One of the more unlikable casts so far. (Remember Judd? Jamie? Stephenie’s evil twin?) Rafe was good for a few laughs, though. Especially on rope obstacles.

NEXT: The bottom of the barrel

20. Survivor: Vanuatu (Winner: Chris Daugherty)

I don’t blame producers: The battle of the sexes worked well the first time around.

21. Survivor: One World (Winner: ???)

And here we are. Look, I have total respect for Kim’s game. Like Tom in Palau and Rob in Redemption Island, she has excelled strategically, socially, and physically. Unfortunately, that is really the only good thing I can say about this season. And that’s too bad, because I do think the “One World” concept is a solid one. But, man, what a thoroughly uninspiring cast. Colton was more a horrible human being than a classic villain, and the rest of the players were mostly either completely forgettable or people you wish you could forget. As always, this could move a spot or two up or down depending on what happens in Sunday’s finale, but I don’t see how it makes it out of the bottom five. I worry I am being generous by putting it here.

22. Survivor: Thailand (Winner: Brian Heidik)

The fake merge and brutal last challenge — where the final three had to hold coins between their fingers in a crazy painful pose — keep this dud out of the bottom spot. Barely.

23. Survivor: Fiji (Winner: Earl Cole)

With the exception of Yau-Man and Earl, a true bummer of a cast, and the ”Haves Vs. Have-Nots” twist was one of the worst creative decisions in Survivor history. Speaking of awful creative decisions…

24. Survivor: Nicaragua (Winner: Jud “Fabio” Birza)

It’s at the bottom for a few reasons. 1) Splitting the tribes up by age and the Medallion of Power were both enormous flops. 2.) Like One World, Thailand and Fiji, just too many unlikable players. 3) Two people quitting with only 11 days left. 4) No big memorable moments. Even Thailand had the fake merge and Fiji had the big Yau-Man/Dreamz free car deal gone bad, but what was Nicaragua‘s signature moment? Unfortunately, it was people quitting, and that was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Okay, now it’s your turn to call me an idiot for my rankings and tell everyone how they really should be slotted. But before you do that, make sure to check out my weekly Q&A with Jeff Probst. We also have an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode in the video player below, and for more Survivor scoop, you can follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. Who do you think should win and will win Survivor: One World? And where would you rank this installment when compared to other seasons? The message boards are open for business, and I’ll be back Monday morning with another scoop of the crispy. Finale crispy!

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols


Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst looks at his feet while telling them to "COME ON IN, GUYS!"

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