As Fang and Kota members mingle, alliances are reexamined and Fang returns to its losing ways

By Dalton Ross
February 28, 2015 at 03:37 AM EST
Monty Brinton/CBS
S17 E3
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Let me tell you what I remember about my interview with Jacquie right before Survivor. Nothing! Seriously, I was talking to Probst to get his thoughts on all the contestants a few weeks ago, going down the list of names, and when Jacquie came up, I honestly couldn’t remember who the hell she was. Probst started to describe her, and I still couldn’t place her. (And this is after spending a week around her.) Finally, I had to go back and watch the interview I did. She was nice, attractive, totally pleasant. And totally forgettable. At least in terms of making a mark in a cutthroat game like Survivor. For that reason, I was happy to see her go. Kelly is sure to inspire more drama with her do-nothing philosophy and insult-everyone attitude. That’s just good TV, folks. Plus, as Ken the gamer pointed out approximately 152 times, she’s H-O-T! (Again, good TV.)

Of course, when the episode began, it appeared Kelly’s days were indeed numbered, with Ace describing her as the “next lamb to the slaughter.” But any tribe dissention at Kota was nothing compared to what was going on at Fang, where Ken and Randy were arguing about how much rice they should be eating. Speaking of Ken and feasting, the bugs are simply chowing down on him. Did you check out his arms in glorious high definition? Those bugs certainly aren’t adhering to Randy’s one-meal-a-day mantra. Out of this argument emerged a tribe clearly divided: Ken, G.C., and Crystal on one side; Randy, Matty, Dan, and Susie on the other. Sweet! Now we can see how these two not-so-fierce factions will do battle with each other. Which side will prevail? Who will determine the fate of Fang? It will be a battle royale!!!! Only now they’re mixing up the tribes and it doesn’t matter.

But why just mix the tribes up when you can throw some bruised egos into the mix as well? At first, I wasn’t really into the whole rank-your-tribemates-from-most-to-least-important thing because it seemed like a cheap ploy to just incite some drama by getting people upset at each other (you know, low-rent Big Brother style). And it kinda was. But there was also a strategic element to it that I liked, and one which Ken clearly figured out when he selected last-place-ranked outcast Kelly over Bob and Sugar, figuring the other two would easily align with Ace. (Smart play, Ken! Let’s all go celebrate by eating the rest of the rice! PS: Don’t invite Randy.) I’m not sure why Probst called Ken’s choice the most surprising decision so far in the game (unless he was being sarcastic). I mean, he’s a gamer who hasn’t kissed a girl in 5 years, and she’s a stunning beauty in need of companionship. Was there ever any doubt?

NEXT: The great pimp-off

When all was said and done, Sugar was left unpicked and sent off to Exile (non) Island where she ate fruit in her “Sugar Shack,” waded in leech-infested waters, and proclaimed that her new tribemates were “not idiots.” Although I may dispute that assessment in a few cases, you have to give credit to Crystal, G.C., and Ken for identifying a weak link they could exploit and turn to their side. Although not too much credit, seeing as how Kelly has “weak link” basically tattooed across her forehead and also went out of her way to trash all her fellow Kotamates. Absorbing this information, Crystal dubbed Ace a pimp, leading me to dream of some great, big, wonderful SurvivorPimp-Off between Ace and G.C., who also enjoys referring to himself as a purveyor of fine cross-continental ho’s.

Over at the new Kota, the old Kota members were deciding who was first on their hit list should they lose: Susie or Randy. “If it’s not me, I’ll go along with it,” said Randy. “If it is me, I’ll burn the camp down.” That would have been a pretty funny comment if I were altogether sure that Randy was kidding. His fate would lie in how he performed in the challenge, although he promised the others that “I will do my best despite hating each and every one of you.” Now, there’s a pep talk for you. From “Win one for the Gipper” all the way to “Hey, you guys kind of suck, but what the hell, I guess I’ll try to do okay. And stop eating all the damn rice!

Randy did better than okay. Homeboy scored a hat trick, clocking all three goals, with Marcus playing playmaker as the assist man. They were a two-man wrecking crew, although let’s be honest: They weren’t exactly facing the stiffest competition. Here is a sampling of comments Jeff Probst made about Kelly during the course of the challenge: “Kelly not doing anything.” “Kelly not doing much.” “Kelly just hanging back.” But it was Ken who received the biggest slam of all, when Probst described him as “virtually useless.” In fact, everyone in Fang was pretty much useless except for the Ace of Base, who did everything he could (including swimming with his hands) to stop the onslaught. “Without question, one of the worst performances I have seen at a challenge,” announced Jeff of the Fang tribe. That’s really saying something because the man has seen some pretty awful performances. In fact, he could probably compile an entire G.C. lowlight reel should he choose (title: It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp). Ironically enough, it was G.C. who decided to play the role of pot in telling kettle Kenny that he “sucked out there” at the challenge. (Then again, if anyone knows about sucking at challenges…)

NEXT: Ace’s lack of grace

So the question at Fang now became whether to ditch challenge-challenged Kelly or keep her around and get rid of one of the stronger former Kota members. Kelly seemed to be making the choice easy for them by taking the curious approach of dissing the very people she needed to vote for her to stay, calling out Ken and Crystal at tribal council for being weaker than her at the challenge. This led to my favorite quote of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the EW.com Survivor TV Watch is proud to present for one column and one column only — the one, the only Crystal Cox explaining why she was not weak in the challenge. Crystal, take it away! “I was in the game. I just wasn’t participating as much as I normally do.” Wait…no. Crystal, you’re supposed to be defending yourself against charges of sucking. I see you shifting your head back and forth in a very sassy manner, so I know you have a passionate defense just ready to roll, so let’s try again. Crystal, take it away! “I was in the game. I just wasn’t participating as much as I normally do.” No…but, see, that’s not a defense. Let me explain this really quickly: Kelly said you stunk. You’re trying to tell her that you didn’t, but then basically saying that you did. I’m not sure you really have the hang of this. You see, not participating is stinking. Whatever.

After all that drama, I figured Kelly was a goner, so I was (pleasantly) surprised when it was whatshername with the wacky spelling that I keep thinking is a typo that was cut loose. Again, I am not suggesting by any means that Kelly deserves to stay in this game any longer, but this season needs all the sparks it can get — especially coming after the genius that was Micronesia — and the fact remains that while Kelly might not be the better competitor, she is the more interesting one. Or at least her actions lead to more interesting reactions.

Speaking of interesting, if you were curious to know how Ace feels about his new tribemates, check out the exclusive Survivor: Gabon deleted scene below, where he goes off — and I mean goes off — on the clueless contestants. It’s pretty damn funny and worth one minute of your time. Trust me. Another thing you need to check out before posting is Jeff Probst’s weekly blog entry. Once again, it is ridiculously candid, and, once again, he proves he is not out to make friends, but instead to call it as he sees it. Truly a must read, and you must read it right now. Okay, now it’s post time. Did Fang make the right move keeping Kelly over Jacquie? Did everyone make the wrong move by not picking Bob earlier? And who’s the bigger pimp, Ace or G.C? It’s all about you now, my friends. Post away! See ya next week when I’m significantly less jet-lagged.

[Sorry, video not available]

Jeff Probst leads adventures in the ultimate (and original) reality series.
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