Survivor recap: Dumbest. Move. Ever.
Dalton reels from watching one of the biggest blunders in Survivor history unfold. Plus: a special Survivor Talk with Jeff Probst's take on the whole jaw-dropping thing
”You’re crazy. You’ll officially go down as the dumbest Survivor ever. In the history of Survivor. Ever.” — Parvati
She’s right, you know. He will. Erik will go down as the dumbest Survivor ever. In the history of Survivor. Ever. Step aside, Ian. Move over, James. Bow down at the altar of idiocy, Ozzy and Jason. Because Erik is your new lord and master of the moronic. He now, like Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles, is the undisputed King of the Dips—s. Who would have thunk that a collection of past players and hardcore fans would produce such a glorious collection of complete dingbats?
I think you should sit down now because I’m about to say something that may shock you. Are you sitting? I have to assume so, because it would be very awkward if you were reading a computer screen standing up. Okay, here goes. This is the best season of Survivor since the very first one. There, I said it. And there’s no taking it back, either. This is the Internet — crap statements like that live on forever. Not only is it the best season of Survivor since Richard Hatch took home the loot, but these past four episodes constitute the most amazing month-long run in the history of the show. Four straight blindsides done in the most dramatic fashion possible (Ozzy not using his hidden immunity idol, Jason not using his hidden immunity idol, Amanda shocking everyone with her hidden immunity idol, and then Erik — and I still can’t even believe it as I’m typing it — giving away immunity for absolutely no reason whatsoever). That’s right — no reason. How could he possibly think he was in trouble with that jury? He hadn’t backstabbed or offended anyone? Parvati, Cirie, and Natalie all had more enemies over there than he did. But the women convinced him otherwise. Let’s break down the master plan and how it came to pass.
Erik got himself in trouble by telling different stories to different players — something basically every Survivor player ever has done. Still, this made the women angry because they’re the ones who are supposed to be double-dealing in this game, not the brain-dead strategy-less men. But you know what? Who cares? Because Erik won immunity. (At a challenge that only really excited me when they went to an overhead shot and all the crisscrossing ropes made the course look like a giant, evil pentagram. By the way, Satan would so kick ass at Survivor. I ever play this game, I’m totally aligning myself with thatguy).
So Erik’s safe — again. No worries, right? But then Cirie, wonderfully wicked Cirie — who has played a tremendous strategic game thus far — has an idea. An idea just so crazy that it might work. Get Erik to give his immunity necklace to Natalie, telling him he needed to do it to redeem himself. (As if Survivor and redemption make any sense in the same sentence.) ”Why would he fall for that?” asked Natalie. ”Ozzy, Jason, and Erik,” announced Parvati. ”He belongs in that threesome.” And if anyone knows the ins and outs (and ins and outs and ins and outs) of a threesome, I daresay it’s Parvati. But how the hell would they sell this insanity to Erik? My memory is a little hazy, but I’m pretty sure the conversation went a little something like this:
NEXT PAGE: How the conversation went
Natalie: Hey, I’ve got an idea. It’s crazy, but brilliant.
Erik: Okay, sure. You know, once at my ice cream shop, we combined our pistachio and bubble gum flavors to make pistachio gum. That was pretty crazy, too. Were you thinking something like that?
Natalie: Yeah, shut up. Here’s my plan, and I think you’ll really be into it.
Erik: I love it already.
Natalie: You give me a million dollars.
Erik: I’m listening…
Natalie: And — here’s the best part — I kick you out of the game.
Erik: Hmmmm, so let me see if I have this right: I give you a million dollars and you kick me out of the game?
Natalie: Oh, and I also call, e-mail, and text message you every hour on the hour for the rest of your life telling you you’re a complete moron.
Erik: I’m not sure. Would you be willing to punch me in the face as well?
Natalie: Let me check with Cirie on that. [Goes to find Cirie. Comes back five minutes later.] Okay, we’re willing to punch you in the face if we can also kick you in the groin thee times.
You know what? Maybe I’m being a little harsh on Erik. After all, man, did he play hardball by saying they should vote out Parvati instead of Amanda. Wow, the spine on that guy! Talk about calling the shots! Just to seal the deal, Cirie told Amanda that she and Parvati should bash Erik at Tribal Council (reinforcing the concept that he needed to redeem himself) while Natalie and Cirie stay quiet (reinforcing the belief that they were ready to vote with him). But Erik wouldn’t fall for it, would he? I mean, the guy may be a bit naïve, but no one is that dumb, right? He wasn’t actually about to commit the second biggest blunder at Tribal Council this season? (The first being Ozzy’s huge-ass poncho. Seriously, what the hell was up with that thing? Did Pancho Villa storm the jury house or something?) The whole thing was like a horror movie in which you’re yelling at the screen, ”The killer is right around the corner! He’s about the shove an ice pick through your brain! Run away! Run away now!!!” Only, the killers this time were the fearsome foursome of Cirie, Natalie, Parvati, and Amanda.
If Erik wondered whether he had made the wrong move after handing his ugly-ass necklace over to Natalie, it should have become immediately obvious with a simple look over at the jury. Ozzy rolled his eyes (you’re one to talk, mister), James went into hysterics (ditto), and Eliza did what Eliza always does — opening her mouth so wide you could drive an SUV through it while her eyes exploded off of her face. At this point, producers wisely didn’t even try to hide what was happening, showing us each of the votes and contestant comments, my favorite being Amanda not even knowing what to say, trailing off into disbelieving silence after, ”You know….” This was the point in the horror movie where you’re yelling at the screen, ”Oh no, the killer is stabbing the ice pick through your brain! But you don’t even realize it yet! Trust me, it’s going to really, really hurt! And you’ll look really deformed if you survive! Which you won’t because they are killing you right now as I yell at the screen! And I’m really sorry to tell you this, but I also can’t stop laughing!”
NEXT PAGE: The ax falls and four remain. Plus, a special Survivor Talk video with Jeff Probst
Even before the votes were read, the jury was shaking their heads in disbelief. Erik’s reaction after being told he’d been voted out? ”You guys drive me crazy,” said the most gullible Survivor ever. ”I should have known better.” (Gee, you think?) Happiest of all was James, who proudly proclaimed that, ”I’ve lost my reign as dumbest Survivor ever,” although I personally think Palau‘s Ian previously held that title. (What is it with stupid people doing stupid things in Palau? Maybe they should film every season there.) After having his torch snuffed, Erik sprinted out of there as fast as he could, and you know what? I don’t blame him.
So what are we left with? A very deserving final four, if you ask me. Each of the women has done something strategic or shady along the way to get to this place — not a floater in the bunch (another reason this season has so completely ruled). Of course, I’m rooting for Cirie because she was my episode 1 pick, and should she take home the million dollars I will have correctly predicted four straightSurvivor winners from the very beginning. (Trust me, I needed a run like this after some of my awful early season predictions.) But I think Cirie may have some trouble. For one thing, we know she stands about as much of a chance of winning a challenge as we do from our couch, 25,000 miles away. I’m also not sure which of the remaining people would bring her to the finals with them. As for Parvati and Natalie, they both have baggage and have made enemies on the jury. That’s why you’d have to consider Amanda the frontrunner. She can perform in challenges, is presumably liked well enough on the jury, and should she make it to the end, you have to assume there is no way in hell she could possibly perform as horribly at a final Tribal Council as she did in China, which stands as the worst final T.C. outing I have ever seen. Parvati played a totally solid game. Respect is due. She went beyond mere Cook Islands flirt when she flipped on alliance-mate Ozzy. Natalie certainly has had plenty of Black Widow moments, but she was more often than not acting out plans devised by other people. She became the face — as opposed to the brains — behind the operations, which only won her enemies on the jury.
However it plays out, I’ll be happy. And so should you — with everything about this season (except maybe the challenges, which didn’t capture my imagination the way they usually do — sorry, Kirhoffer). And what better way to look forward to Sunday’s finale and back on such a memorable season than to click on the video below right now to see an excusive Survivor Talk preview/review chat with Jeff Probst. He stopped by the offices to talk not to us, but to you dear EW.com Survivor fan. That’s just how much he cares! The least you can do is see what the guy has to say about Erik’s idiocy, his thoughts on the final four, and the entire season of Survivor: Micronesia. And check back on the homepage Saturday for a chat with that lovable bonehead Erik.
Until then, post early, post often, and I’ll be back with a special finale recap on Monday morning. Oh, one other programming note: We’ll have Survivor Talk clips with the final four running next week. Watch me try to flirt with Amanda without acting like I’m flirting with her. It should be deliciously pathetic! What’s that? You haven’t clicked on the Probst video yet? Now that’s just rude.