Survivor recap: Who's Laughing Now?
Figuring he's got an easy target in the foolish Jason, overconfident Ozzy fails to protect his own back, and Tribal Council ends with a jaw-dropper
I honestly don’t know what to say. Seriously, I am at a loss for words. Just think about that for a second, because I can pretty much ramble on incessantly about any topic that strikes my fancy. But right now, I got nothin’. Then again, it’s hard to talk when your mouth is as agape as Eliza’s at Tribal Council. What in the Nickelodeon is going on around here?!? Is it just me, or was this one of the best Survivor episodes ever? It had it all: overconfident leaders, blindsides, throwups, staredowns, Probst verbal smackdowns, shady deals, topless Micronesian grandmothers, mad dashes to the bathroom, and, finally, a new power player.
And credit the ousted Eliza for getting it all started thanks to her revelation at last week’s Tribal Council (for anyone who hadn’t yet figured it out) that Ozzy did, in fact, hold the hidden immunity idol. It got Cirie’s wheels in motion, and as we’ve seen this season, when Cirie wants someone gone — they’re gone. As soon as she got back from sending Eliza packing, Cirie mentioned that it ”might not have been such a bad thing” had Eliza’s idol been real and Ozzy been sent home. Jason, however, was feeling a bit down. ”Ozzy fooled me. I felt kinda silly,” he informed us before making himself feel better by reminding us for the zillionth time how he beat Ozzy in an individual immunity challenge. Apparently still not quite feeling up to snuff, Jason then went on to refer to himself as a ”godlike competitor.” Personally, I would have chosen ”insanely modest,” but maybe that’s just me.
Unfortunately, Jason was not humbled at the rope-tunnel memory reward challenge when he and Ozzy, Erik, and Amanda beat Natalie, James, Parvati, and Alexis. Cirie wasn’t picked and had to go to Exile Island and get rained on, and hell hath no fury like a lonely, wet Cirie, who immediately began plotting Ozzy’s demise.
Ozzy, however, was en route to Yap with Jason, Erik and Amanda, where they no doubt all fought over who could sit next to him on the plane. (Jason eventually settled on the co-pilot’s chair, with editors thankfully cutting out any comparisons he surely made to controlling the aircraft the same way he was controlling the challenges.) Once they arrived, Erik was chased down by a giant Tyrannosaurus rex! The ferocious beast was all ready to devour the Leif Garrett clone, but then found itself hypnotized by his neon green shorts, ultimately dropping the contestant to instead start performing entire dance sequences from Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Oh, I’m sorry. That was actually Erik’s betel nut-induced hallucination. Let me tell you a little something about the betel nut. Everyone in Micronesia chews that stuff. Not only does it make you high, but it rots your teeth and leaves a nasty red paste all over your gums. Some guys who took me to Jellyfish Lake and the Milky Way over there were chewing that stuff, and their mouths looked like something straight out of the Evil Dead trilogy. Seriously, crystal meth has nothing on betel nut when it comes to decaying dental hygiene. In any event, Erik’s body ultimately rejected the beer-and-betel combination and puked it all up, but I’m guessing that still didn’t stop him from having nightmares about being chased by elderly topless Micronesian women (”That’s the most boobs than I’ve probably seen in my whole life!”).
Meanwhile, back at camp, James morphed into my 5-year-old daughter, who will do anything within her power to wake me up for no good reason whatsoever other than the fact that it is fun to torture Daddy. James saw three sleeping beauties, and instead of just appreciating their slumbering perfection, he decided to start hammering. Apparently deciding that wasn’t quite loud enough, he switched over to stripping wood. Still not satisfied with the decibel level, he took to sharpening his blade over and over, creating a SCREEEEECH, SCREEEEECH noise. Hell, he would have probably plugged a guitar into a stack of Marshall amps and cranked out Hendrix’s version of ”The Star Spangled Banner” if he could have. Eventually Parvati clued him in that people were trying to sleep and that he was maybe being just a tad obnoxious. James responded by going and pouting out in the rain. He finally came back just in time to hear Ozzy talk about all the amazing food they ate in Yap! Look, it has been established (and will be again in the next few paragraphs) that Ozzy is not the best strategist, but the Survivor Gameplay 101 manual clearly states, ”Thou shalt not come back and brag about awesomeness of reward challenges lest your tribemates get jealous and vote your gloating ass home.” Of course, this was far from Ozzy’s biggest blunder of the episode, which brings us to…
NEXT: …the immunity challenge!
Holy crap, people: This is when everything went completely bonkers. The contestants each held up an arm, which was tethered to a bucket that would dump colored water all over them (hence James’ Nickelodeon comment) as soon as they moved it out of position. We’ve seen variations of this classic endurance challenge before, but how were we to know how haywire it would get, with seemingly the entire tribe undergoing lobotomies? The whole thing became one bizarre case of stupidity one-upmanship. (”Oh, you think you’re an idiot? Well, check this out!”) After just 20 minutes — 20 minutes! — Probst brought out a bowl of candy for whoever was willing to call it quits. Erik and Cirie immediately drenched themselves. Now, Cirie I can actually kind of understand. No way was she was winning this challenge, because, as we all know, Cirie is incapable of winning anything. But Erik? What the hell? Was he still under the influence of the betel nut? Was he concerned he hadn’t done enough damage to his teeth with the betel, so wanted to shove a mouthful of sugar in there as well? Dude, if Jason wins immunity, guess who could be next on the chopping block? You! And all you got in you is 20 freakin’ minutes?
But Erik’s blunder was nothing compared to Alexis and Natalie’s. I mean, at least Erik got the damn candy! At 45 minutes in, Probst walked out with something behind his back. Alexis immediately blurted out ”I want it!” and dropped her arm before Jeff even mentioned what the heck it was. Probst, clearly reveling in the moment and the fact that he had yet to offer her anything, simply shook his head and told her to sit down. ”No chance,” he informed Alexis about getting the mystery food. ”You can mope and be mad,” he told her. And mope she did. But the comedy of errors was far from over. Then, as Probst finally revealed the chocolate-chip cookie and milk, Natalie got so excited that she lost her concentration, and she too was out. James thought this was hilarious, commenting how ”That would suck.” In a split second, however, he learned what it’s like to go from being laughed with to laughed at as he then moved his arm ever so slightly, ending with a yellow paint bath of his own. The best part of this entire exchange? After all that, no one got the cookie and milk. Genius. Positively genius.
Fifteen minutes after that, Probst brought out three chocolate glazed doughnuts, enough to tempt the Challenge Wizard of Oz to quit. I find this curious for a few reasons. For one thing, Ozzy had to understand after Eliza outed his hidden immunity idol at the previous Tribal Council that people might come gunning for him. For another, didn’t he just have an enormous feast that he couldn’t stop bragging about to his fellow tribemates?!? Doughnuts, dude? Really? Who are you, Homer Simpson? Actually, judging by the wisdom of some of your actions this week, you just may be.
That left only three contestants: Amanda, Paravti, and Jason, who appeared to be in it for the long haul. At least until Amanda’s bladder got the better of her. She gave up after five hours, and then ran into the jungle to pee. Now, I’m not one to advocate urinating on oneself, but a precedent has clearly been established. I saw Eliza squat down and pee through her bathing suit right in front of everyone at the marooning. Granted, there were no cameras on her at the time, but then again, there wasn’t a million dollars on the line, either. And back in Big Brother 2, I seem to recall either Will or Monica peeing all over themselves during an endurance challenge on a waterbed. The downside to this sort of activity: You’ll forever be known as the person that pissed herself on national television. The upside: a million dollars! I’m just gonna come right out and say it: I think I would have done my business right then and there. Go ahead, call me Sir Pissalot. I can take it. Besides, I’ve heard worse. What I could not take, however, is if I quit to take a leak and then got voted out because of it.
So that left Parvati and Jason, and finally at hour number 6, Probst brought out the promise of a feast including, but not limited to, cookies, doughnuts, candy, peanut butter, milk, beer, pizza, the entire contents of my refrigerator, Lik-m-Aid Fun Dip, and a lifetime supply of McRibs. But the feast wouldn’t just be for whoever gave up — it would also be for all the other losers on log row. Natalie then tossed out the offer to spare Jason at Tribal Council if he would ”take one for the team.” ”I’d need a guarantee,” replied Jason. And one by one, everyone promised not to vote him out, many with fingers crossed behind their backs. So Jason quit.
A few things I’d like to point out here. Jason’s move ended up not costing him, but that does not change this simple fact: It was idiotic. Is there a stronger word than idiotic I can use here? Because I would use it. Foolish? No. Moronic? No. I guess idiotic will have to do. Isn’t this guy supposed to be a ”fan”? Have we not all learned from Yau Man’s deal gone bad with Dreamz that guarantees mean absolutely nothing in this game? ”Somebody just made a deal that is going to cost them their spot in this game,” said Probst when it was all done, and Jason should thank his lucky stars that it wasn’t him.
NEXT: Bugging out at Tribal Council
The other thing I’d like to do before moving on is give serious props to Parvati. She’s taken some good-natured flak in this column, and even more from you posters, but I have to say, I tried holding my arm up and didn’t even last 60 seconds, much less 6 hours. Granted, I am a pathetic weakling, but still, it’s pretty damn impressive. And then once everyone got back to camp, Parvati had a choice to make: Stick with her kissy-kissy alliance, or flip by joining Cirie and the fans in voting off Ozzy. She had all the power.
The Tribal Council was a feast of drama, comedy, and long, drawn-out doughnut analogies. ”I thought Iwas the dumbest Survivor ever,” said James as he cast his vote for Jason. (Don’t give up that title so easily, my friend!) And then came the big question: Would Ozzy use the hidden immunity idol? He had to, right? After all, he knew what happened to James last season when he didn’t use his two idols! Or did he? That episode where James was blindsided by Amanda actually didn’t air until this season began filming, so Ozzy had not, in fact, seen it. Still, I have a hard time believing that James or Amanda didn’t clue him in as to what went down in China. Ozzy didn’t use it, proving all this talk of his finally becoming a strategic player (after showing no strategy whatsoever in the Cook Islands) was pure nonsense.
All that was left to find out was which way the votes played out. The producers did an excellent job of revealing them, faking the contestants out with a 4-1 lead for Ozzy that gradually disappeared. At 4-3, Eliza, sitting on the jury, opened her mouth so wide you could have stuffed 10 pounds of betel nut in there. At 4-4, Eliza had a heart attack. And finally, when the decisive vote was read, Ozzy looked like he’d seen a ghost. Whether it was the Ghost of Idiots Past, Present, or Future remains unclear. Perhaps all three, for this truly historic occasion of idiocy. He finally stood, had his torch snuffed, and turned to give his tribe a staredown of Big Tom proportions. He then used his final words to eloquently share his state of mind. ”I’m an idiot,” said the former favorite (yeah, we kinda figured that out). ”I should have seen it coming, but I got too comfortable…. Whoever it was in my alliance that voted the other way, I pretty much hate you. So screw you, basically.”
Seeing as how he’s talking about Parvati, I could make a crack about him not being the first one to do that (oh, snap!), but I’ll refrain. Instead, I will finally stop writing and go watch this entire episode again, because it was simply that good.
Who gets your vote for stupidest Survivor: Jason or Ozzy? Post your thoughts, and be sure to check back on Monday for our exclusive Survivor Talk video interview with Ozzy. Should be a doozy, and I don’t use the word doozy lightly.
[Sorry, video not available]