Survivor recap: The Dirt on Tarzan
The tribe creates a stink over a questionable stain on Tarzan’s undies
Before we get to this week’s Survivor recap, I’d just like to set the record straight on something. There have been some nasty rumors going around and I want to put a stop to them right here and right now. That Baby Ruth candy bar sitting on my coffee table? Not poop. I swear! Look, this is a common problem — one which the members of Bushwood Country Club themselves made during Caddy Day at their pool — but I promise, not poop. While we’re at it — my naturally brunette hair? Not poop. The mulch in our front garden? Totally not poop. The Cleveland Browns football team? Well, their play could certainly be described as stinky, but again, last time I checked, not poop.
Now, you have no reason to challenge anything I just told you. But what if I handed you a pair of underwear with a big brown stain and claimed it was merely “dirt?” You’d no doubt be a tad bit skeptical. So what to make of Tarzan’s claim that “it is not poop. It is dirt”? Well, I’ve examined the evidence (meaning the show, not the actual…you know, “evidence”) and it’s tough to say. Working in Tarzan’s favor: He is out in the wild, so when pressed by Sabrina as to “Why is there dirt just concentrated in one area, and not around everywhere else?,” his defense that “It’s near my butt where I sit on the ground,” is, indeed, plausible. People get dirty on Survivor. That’s a fact. Working against Tarzan: The fact that the underwear in question belongs to a man named Tarzan who doesn’t seem particularly concerned with personal hygiene. Had it been Jay or Christina or…well, pretty much anyone else, I would have bought the dirt excuse.
Truth be told, I was ready to even buy it for Tarzan. And then he threw his possibly poopy underwear right on top of Chelsea’s shorts. That turned the tide for me. The way he cavalierly tossed it in the pot right as Chelsea was busy washing her clothes — completely oblivious and uncaring about anyone or anything but himself — told me everything I needed to know. It’s poop. Straight up poop. Don’t get me wrong, he may think it’s dirt. But it’s poop. Hell, this guy can’t even remember anyone’s name or what rewards he is responsible for winning. You think he really knows what is going on down in his underwear? Hell to the no. It’s settled then: Tarzan is Mr. Poopy Pants. So hard feelings to you, Mr. Poopy Pants!
Now that a verdict has been reached in the case of The People of Tikiano Vs. Greg “Tarzan” Smith’s Fecal Matter, let’s take it from the top of the episode. The newly merged tribe returns from Tribal Council to find champagne and cheese waiting for them. Michael celebrates by almost knocking Christina’s eye out with the champagne cork. Amazingly, Alicia does not go and retrieve said cork and jam it into Christina’s eye socket repeatedly. I guess she’s too busy doubling up on her allotted alcohol intake thanks to straight edge Jonas. In Alicia’s defense — and this may be the only time I ever defend Alicia — listening to the slooooooooow speaking Jonas take 312 hours to complete a single sentence would no doubt drive me to drink as well. In fact, now that…
Wait, what the hell is happening? We actually have a full Survivor opening credits theme and montage! Well, not completely full as it only shows the players still remaining, but still, when’s the last time we saw one of these? Probst always says how they’ve gotten rid of the opening theme because there is simply too much good stuff to cram into an episode. Not this week, it seems! (Hey if Tarzan didn’t crap his pants who knows what they would have done to fill time — start showing opening credits from previous seasons too just for the hell of it?)
NEXT: Leif impersonates a turtleAfter the break we learn that the new tribe has decided against naming themselves after a Mariano stuffed animal and instead dub themselves Tikianio, which translates to the very awkward —and yet very appropriate when considering Survivor’s recent leanings towards religious contestants — Godyear. The big question is whether the players will revert back to a battle of the sexes (which would mean an even six-against-six split) or stick with their recent tribes (which would give the new Salani a seven-to-five edge). Obviously, the Salani folk would be big dummies to voluntarily give up their numbers advantage for now, which becomes clear when Jay refuses to share his coffee with a clearly confused Tarzan, who thought he had won the coffee. Jay and Michael are content to enjoy their new coed alliance, even (as we will see later) if it means voting off a man and giving the ladies the majority.
Off to the reward challenge we go. The fact that the challenge forces the players to divide up into two teams tells me that this was originally drawn up as a pre-merge contest, but Colton’s early exit forced the producers to move the merge up to the previous Tribal Council so at least something happened there. The challenge forces the orange team (Alicia, Jay, Sabrina, Chelsea, Troyzan, and Christina) and the blue team (Mike, Jonas, Kim, Kat, Leif, and Tarzan) to dig and crawl under obstacles to retrieve puzzle pieces which must then be used to solve a puzzle.
In what has to be one of the most moronic strategies in Survivor history, the blue team sends their smallest player, Leif, out first to dig a hole under the first obstacle. This is moronic for the simple reason that a hole Leif digs for himself will not be big enough for anyone else to get through. You send your biggest guy out first because whatever he digs will be big enough for everyone else. Not only is Leif’s hole not big enough for anyone else on his tribe, it’s not even big enough for Leif! The poor guy not only doesn’t dig a large enough opening, but he then makes the fatal flaw of gong face first, belly down. “Leif is like a turtle birthing out of the sand,” yells Probst. Honestly, it looks even worse than that as the little man flails about helplessly.
I went through several emotional stages while watching Leif’s struggle take place. Stage 1: Laughter. Stage 2: Shame over laughing at the sight of a dwarf stuck in the sand. Stage 3: Relief over the knowledge that I would laugh at anyone of any height if they were stuck in the sand. Stage 4: Depression over the realization that I am a horrible person for taking joy in the misery of others. Stage 5: Acceptance that I am a horrible person, which leads me right back to Stage 1: Laughter.
NEXT: Probst unleashes an instant classicThe blue team somehow makes up a huge disadvantage when Sabrina takes forever to get back with her pieces, but they have put Tarzan on the puzzle. On the positive side, Tarzan does not go to the bathroom on the puzzle. On the negative side, he doesn’t do anything else with it either, other than complain that Probst is not giving him enough credit. Needless to say, the orange team wins.
And what do they win? Pizza, unsponsored beer, and a “secret note.” (I used to poke fun at all the product placement beer back in the early days of Survivor. Now I worry about the fact that the show can no longer get a beer company to shell out a few bucks to put their logo on some suds.) But what’s this secret note all about? A love letter from Probst? A hate letter from Colton? Nope, just a message that there is a new hidden immunity idol back at camp. This one will be super hard to find, however, because it is hidden in a place so secret that…Whoops! Never mind. Troyzan already found it.
Elsewhere back at camp, Tarzan is asking Leif if he’ll be pooping sand for the next few days, continuing Tarzan’s defecation theme of the week, and then he starts mixing it up with Jonas. After being confronted by Jonas about discussing strategy with Michael, the mustached maniac says he wants to drop out of the tribe. “I will fall on the sword,” he says. “I can only play this game so long before it’s irritating.” For the record, while Tarzan may be mildly amusing at times on camera, I can only imagine what a nightmare he would be to live with. Especially when he says stuff like, “I can’t look at that face anymore.” Hey, who does he think he is spouting off such hateful remarks — Colton?
All you need to know about the immunity challenge is this quote from Jeff Probst: “Michael, with balls hanging on both sides of his disc.” (That remark is even better if you mishear the word “disc” for something else.) Of course, the fact that I am taking Probst’s play by play out of context and giggling about it proves I have the maturity of a 5th grader, but that’s okay. (For the record, I also burst out laughing when he mentioned that, “Troyzan’s balls haven’t moved in a long time.” Sorry! I’m an idiot! What else do you want me to say?!?) The reason Probst keeps insisting on referring to men’s balls is that the challenge involves contestants standing on a perch while balancing balls on a wooden disc for as long as possible. In the end, Troyzan wins and then can’t wait to start telling everyone how excited he is to be fondled by Probst.
NEXT: Jonas and Tarzan make up and then break upBack at camp, Jay does an odd thing and tells Chelsea he wants Jonas or Leif gone. If he wants to stick with the new Salani alliance, fine. But the fact that he not only agrees to but suggests that a guy go first is unfathomable. What if the women are planning to realign? Getting a back-up plan in place with numbers is just as important, but Jay can’t see that. This leads to a series of events in which Troyzan tells Jonas he’s in trouble, Jonas apologizes to Tarzan, Tarzan experiences “mild tears,” and they discuss voting for Kat, which doesn’t really matter because they have no numbers anyway. Eventually the action turns toward more important matters, like Tarzan’s poop-stained underwear.
With Jonas pretty much a goner, the Tribal Council drama consists of Jonas abandoning the Kat plan and telling everyone he is voting for Mike. This upsets Tarzan — whom I can’t blame for being grumpy considering he is sitting in soiled undergarments — and Mr. Mustache immediately tells everyone he’s turning on Jonas…again. This not only serves as the final nail in Jonas’ Survivor coffin, but proves for once and for all that Tarzan has no idea whatsoever how to play this game. (I can’t help but imagine what a tribe consisting of Tarzan and Phillip Sheppard would be like. The underwear alone would be epic!)
Jonas tries to make amends with Tarzan on his way out, but the T-man is not having it. “Hey, good luck with that food situation,” Jonas laughs as he vacates the premises. The truth is, contestants don’t starve on this show like they used to, so they’ll be fine. And the finest of all remains Kim, who appears to be in total control of the game — sitting at the top of two potential alliances and with a hidden immunity idol snuggled up all cozy next to her crotch. It seems at this point the only question is whether it will be Salani domination or female domination. I guess I’ll root for Salani, if for no other reason than to see Alicia voted off sooner.
As Marty DiBergi would say, enough of my yappin’! But make sure to check out my weekly Q&A with Jeff Probst as well as an exclusive deleted scene in the video player below. And for even more Survivor scoop you can follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. Now it’s your turn. Impressed by Troyzan’s balls? Think Kim has this game in the bag? And what say you: Poop or dirt? Hit the message boards to let us know, and I’ll be back next week with another scoop of the crispy.