Survivor recap: Reverse Duh Double Dare
Colton gets a lesson in game-play from Jeff Probst, and could use a lesson in racial sensitivity as well
I’m a jerk. That’s the conclusion I came to after watching this latest episode of Survivor: One World. Because I’m pretty sure the world can be pretty much divided into two types of people: the type that would offer aid and assistance to shivering and suffering women in the form of shelter and fire, and the type that would say “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” in order to make them suffer as much as possible before the next challenge. Guess which group I fall into. But here’s the thing. I wouldn’t take pleasure in their pain (like I do in watching them on television, for instance). It would strictly be for the competitive advantage. And don’t feed me this nonsense about being nice so that they’ll vote for you to win the money 33 days later. If you make this dastardly decision as a tribe, then they hate your entire tribe equally and the thing is a wash. (Similarly, if you decide to give them fire and shelter, your tribe is loved equally and you have gained nothing in the least in terms of favor.)
It’s clear what I’m trying to do here — I’m trying to rationalize my jerkiness away. Not really working, is it? I mean, it’s difficult when you also have the mountain of evidence that is 10 years of Survivor recaps working against you. But contrary to all the horrible things I have written about perfectly fine people in these here posts, I actually can be a semi-decent guy. I mean, I feel kinda bad when I watch nature documentaries and see some lonely polar bear looking sad about all his ice melting away. I once didn’t wait till the very last second to cut in front of all these cars sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic waiting to exit the highway, even though I totally could have! And, above all, I have never, ever, ever referred to a black person as “ghetto trash.”
COLTON! What are you doing? You’re sitting there talking about how you dislike so many people on your tribe and I’m like, yeah, I can see that. Some of them are a bit on the douchey side. Then you zeroed in on Bill and his insistence on repeating the word “bro” ad nauseam and I said to myself, okay, that’s mildly funny. I understand how that could be a bit annoying, Then you told Bill to “go kill yourself,” and I was like, hmmmm, that’s a tad on the extreme side. And then you went there. “You’re ghetto trash. Like, that’s all you are.” Annnnnnnnnd, you lost me.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a white person has called a black person “ghetto trash” on this show. You may recall Ben in Survivor: Samoa addressing Yasmin with the very same term, which was especially unfortunate because Yasmin was clearly out of her mind and there were so many inoffensive words Ben had at his disposal to play with, yet he still managed to go for the one that made him look like a complete ass. And amazingly, Colton comes off even worse, because Bill did absolutely nothing to irritate him. I mean, sure, he says “bro” a lot, but what do you expect from a comedian known for performing as a zany character named Broey Broinstien? And, for the record, I’m pretty sure Broey Broinstien doesn’t hang out in the ghetto. The point of all of this is that while I may be a jerk for not allowing the women in my shelter, I can take comfort in the fact that I am not a racist jerk. So to quote the wise Carl Spackler, at least I got that going for me…which is nice. And with that, let’s take it from the top of the episode.
NEXT: The women don’t need the men’s charity…or do they?
The episode begins with the ladies arriving back from Tribal Council. There’s a storm a brewing, only this time I don’t mean a fight between two contestants, but an actual storm. Like with rain and stuff. Colton — that shining beacon of love and harmony — and Jonas invite the women over to their shelter to take refuge, but no! The ladies are tough! They don’t need shelter! They’ll show those boys that these sisters are doing it for themselves! Well, for a few hours at least. Cut to the next morning and girl power has gone the way of Baby Spice’s career. Instead, Chelsea is miserable and Sabrina says she’s so out of it she wants to punch herself in the face to knock herself out. (I’m sure Alicia would be happy to assist you in in that. She loves punching people.) Eventually the women go and thaw out by the men’s fire, but the real drama over this heat usurping will not truly ignite until after the reward challenge. Hey, I have an idea: Let’s go to the reward challenge!
I don’t mean to sound like Ian Astbury or Eddie Rabbit when I talk about how much I love the rain, but there is something magically delicious about watching a Survivor challenge in a downpour. Especially when that challenge is a physical one. Unfortunately, this contest is a memory test where the players have to…. Whoa! What happened? Troyzan just pulled the curtain down before I could even finish my sentence. Calm down, stallion. You need to learn to pace yourself, bro. (Sorry, don’t hate me, Colton!) As I was trying to say, the contestants look at a row of items, then run to a station to put identical items in the same order. Winners take home a fishing supply kit as well as a canoe and some paddles.
The women basically use and abuse the men (who can’t seem to keep their hands off their own sticks, pulling down the curtain on the items often before even having a chance to see what the items are). The only real drama is whether Troyzan and Kat will ever get the correct answer on their items. I feel like an auctioneer watching these two lamebrains try to piece it together. Going once! Going twice! Going thrice! Going…jeez will something figure this out already? Finally, on the eighth try, the Farting Bandit comes up with the right answer. And then Christina closes it out for a 5-0 sweep.
Yay! The women now have fishing gear. Boo! The women still can’t keep a fire. Therefore, even after their big victory, they still need to use their feminine wiles to get help from the men. Monica and Kat begin the parade by heading over to obtain an ember. Jay asks for use of the canoe in exchange (which seems like a fair request). The ladies don’t commit and yet he gives it to them anyway. Colton’s not happy about it: “I’m a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I do not believe in handouts.” What does Colton believe in? Calling black people “ghetto trash,” apparently.
Now here come Chelsea and Alicia to stand under the men’s tarp and warm their chilly hands by the fire. Jay tells Alicia they plan on taking the boat out, but she won’t agree to it. “I’m jut going to be honest,” she replies. “I don’t think your deals are fair.” (Hey, be glad she didn’t hit you, Jay-Bird!) Chelsea eventually starts crying and saying how she’s losing it, but things perk up the next day as the girls have some fun in the sun on their new canoe, catching some fish for lunch. But will they be able to catch…victory?
NEXT: Bring on the blindfolds
As far as I’m concerned, every Survivor challenge should be blindfolded. There’s just something about people running into things and stepping over fences so that they are completely off the course that keeps me in stitches every single time. So while I will admit to being initially thrown by the abnormally darkened hue of Jeff Probst’s collared shirt when we first arrived at the immunity challenge, that trepidation fell by the wayside once I realized that serious bodily harm was about to ensue. The competition involves six tribe members for each team blindfolded and in pairs. They are to be led by a caller through an obstacle course to a water tower, where they will pull a rope to release both colored water and puzzle pieces. The caller must then use all five retrieved bags of pieces to build a tree puzzle. That’s a lot of explanation just to see Monica bash her head in.
The men sit out Colton and Jay and make Bill their caller, while the women have Sabrina be their yeller/puzzle solver. The first stages of the challenge give you both the expected (people running into things and expressing frustration at the lack of direction given) and unexpected (Bill repeatedly yelling the vaguely-creepy-when-taken-out-of-context “reach around!” at the top of his lungs to Tarzan and Troyzan). The men get a huge lead of five bags back to two as Monica literally leaves the course and starts walking over to what I can only assume is Tribal Council because she figures the ladies are en route to yet another embarrassing immunity defeat.
But there is one always-underestimated advantage to starting a puzzle late. You can simply look over at what the other team has already done and copy it. Go back and watch and you will see that is exactly what the women’s team does here. Christina and the others are staring right at Bill’s tree and then telling Sabrina what to put where. (At one point you can even see Christina leave the mat and go over for a closer view.) Never mind that the teams have different colored pieces. The shapes are identical. Had there been a partition between the two puzzles so the teams couldn’t cheat off each other, I wonder if the result would have been the same. Of course, there is no way in hell the producers would ever do that because they want the drama of the big comeback. So if you’re allowed to copy, you’d be foolish not to do it.
Indeed, the women storm back to a victory. I’m happy for them. But I’m even happier for myself because now we get to see how things are going to shake out over on the men’s side. It seems as if the men can’t wait either to see how things are going to go down. “I’m so excited to vote someone out,” says Colton. “I dislike so many of these people.” (Don’t worry, Colton. So many people dislike you. So, so many people.) And Matt goes all alpha male on us once again. “Now that we’ve lost this challenge, I’m looking forward to doing this,” he tells us. “I’ve spent eight days out here kind of creating some power and I want to use it. I want to execute some of it, and tonight that’s going to happen.”
I’m glad to see Matt knows how to count to eight. I wasn’t quite sure since he didn’t seem to know how to count to five. I called it out from day one that building an alliance of four on a nine person tribe made absolutely zero sense. Five is the magic number, people! Five! But I guess there was nobody else whose muscular tone warranted them being added to Team Fab Abs.
NEXT: Matt and Colton try to out-annoy each other
Matt and Colton then play their own special game of Let’s See Who Can Be More Annoying, which turns into a seesaw battle of epic proportions
Turn #1: Matt talks about how powerful he is. (Advantage: Quinlan)
Turn #2: Colton tells a black person to go kill himself while dubbing him “ghetto trash” (Advantage: Cumbie)
Turn #3: Matt launches into a diatribe about roosters and chickens that appears to be part strategy, part sex ed class, part egotistical blowhard thinking he can bully someone into doing what he is told. And he then insists that he is still calling the shots even though he is clearly outnumbered. (Advantage: Quinlan)
Turn #4: Colton tells his tribe that anyone that has any questions about anything that happened at Tribal Council should talk to him and not Jeff Probst. (Game, set, and match: Cumbie)
Okay, I got ahead of myself with that last one. I skipped the part where the non-Fab Abs crew debated whether to get rid of Matt or Bill, before both Jay and Matt then intruded on their conversation. Awkward! Anyhoo, we head to Tribal Council knowing it will be Matt or Bill who will be going home.
Colton begins by telling everyone all about his immunity idol and how he’s going to use it. (“I’m not going to be James,” he says. Hmmm, I wonder if he’d call James ghetto trash to his face?) Colton also says that it’s obvious that he is more comfortable with the women because “they pet you,” and I really can’t argue with him on this point. I love being pet by women! But Jeff Probst doesn’t like that logic. He doesn’t like it one bit. In fact, if Colton keeps this up Jeff may just…oh, I think Probst is going to do it. Yes! He did it! He’s pulling out the fabled “Reverse Duh Double Dare.” Amazing!
Hardcore Survivor followers know the legend of the Reverse Duh Double Dare. Back in Survivor: Palau, during a heated Tribal Council, some felt that Probst overstepped his bounds and egged Janu on to quit (thereby keeping Stephenie LaGrossa in the game). Quite the controversy exploded. An independent panel comprised of fans, former players, and television personality Billy Bush (not sure why he was involved) was commissioned to investigate the incident. In the end, they not only fully exonerated the host, but granted him the one time use of a special Reverse Duh Double Dare should a contestant ever say anything unbelievably stupid.
Probst has showed amazing restraint over the years, refusing to use up his power on the likes of such notable knuckleheads as Erik Reichenbach, Shambo, Phillip Sheppard, and Brandon Hantz. Rumor has it that just days before this incident Probst sought clarification as to whether the Reverse Duh Double Dare could be used at an immunity challenge for when a particular contestant insisted on repeatedly jumping in the water for no reason, but his request was denied. Clearly, he had finally tired of waiting and was itching to use it. The penalty, of course, of being Reverse Duh Double Dared, is the sheer humiliation at being on the receiving end of a Reverse Duh Double Dare. Colton will now bear that mark forever. He’ll never be able to show his face at a country club again. The shame. The shame.
NEXT: Why is Bill so excited?
But Tribal Council is not just about Colton. How does everyone else feel about being there and having to be potentially voted out? “I am so jacked up!” beams an ecstatic Bill. Bill’s pumped! Bill stoked! Bill apparently has no idea where he is or what the rues of this game are! I’m not trying to be rude, but after witnessing this bizarre display of inappropriate enthusiasm., I honestly assumed Bill was merely rehearsing a new character for his next comedy reel — like, “Tribal Council Ted,” or something.
Matt is considerably less jacked up. “Matt, are you enjoying this game?” inquires Probst. “Because you seem a little agitated.” In Matt’s defense, I’d be agitated too if I was about to be voted out. Matt clearly thought he was a more likable guy that the rest of his tribe did. In fact, my favorite moment of the entire episode is when Matt puts his hand on Jonas while gong up to vote, and Jonas stares at his own shoulder like he has just contracted the dreaded cootie virus.
Matt indeed is voted out (although what’s up with Mike voting for Bill?). Probst looks at the remaining 8 Monomo members and exclaims “First vote. First blindside. Game on!” — although I’m not sure how it is a blindside when a person has ample evidence presented before him that he is about to be the one voted out. Seems kind of like a frontside to me. In any event, Probst attempts to send the tribe on their way, only to be asked by Tarzan if he can hear the last two votes. After Probst’s refusal, Colton (who did not use his idol after all) says to “Save those questions for me.” I’m not sure if Colton convinced Jonas that he’s a mastermind, or if it was the other way around. Either way, they’re both wrong.
And it would be wrong of you to not check out this week’s Q&A with Jeff Probst. Likewise, it would be an absolute crime to not watch the exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode in the video player below. After you do that, hit the message boards to let us know what you thought of last night’s episode. Should the men have denied the women fire and shelter? Happy to see the ladies win for a change? And who was more gag-inducing this episode with their incessant power-tripping: Matt or Colton? Share your thoughts and I’ll be back next week with another scoop of the crispy!
Follow Dalton on Twitter: @DaltonRoss