Survivor recap: 'Parvati Is Like a Virus'
Yes, I want to talk about Randy’s fatal flaw that sent him home. Naturally, I want to relive every single second of the brutal, porntastic challenge. And sure, I want to debate the merits of going and burying your own tribe’s machete. But let’s get our priorities straight and start with what really matters. I’m speaking, of course, about Coach rocking a feather earring at Tribal Council. Dude, are you auditioning to be the new Felipe Rose and become the Village People’s new Indian? (Yes, I know the names of all the Village People, including replacement members such as Ray Simpson — brother of Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson fame, incidentally. And yes, shockingly, I am straight.) The feather was a bold call. Perhaps not quite as bold as draping your jacket over your shoulder as you go up to cast your vote, but bold nonetheless. I’m sure there is a story behind the feather that somehow involves pygmies, the Amazon, ritual sacrifice, and military choppers. I’m also sure that 99.9% of it is absolute fiction. Which is what makes the human cartoon character that is Coach so completely fascinating.
You know what else is fascinating? When an entire tribe talks about how dangerous a particular individual is, and then does nothing to get rid of said individual. It seems this entire episode centered around people delivering slight variations on the same ”Parvati is a huge flirt and is super dangerous because she has lots of friends on the other tribe and other people may be fooled by her act but I’m not because I know she needs to go now” speech. Jerri even went so far as to proclaim, ”Parvati is like a virus,” which made me happy because it means that, unlike Micronesia, this season I will not be the first person to compare Parvati to a sexually transmitted disease. (For those of you who missed out, I kidded during that season about a reward in which Parvati’s tribe welcomed two locals who showed off some keen fishing tips. I believe my offending line was, ”Surprisingly, however, it was the natives who showed Parvati and company how to catch crabs and not the other way around.” I thought it was kinda funny. Parvati and her mom — who gave me the stink eye at the 10th anniversary party — on the other hand? Not so much.) But after all that tough talk from the tribe, not a single person even voted for Parvati. Not even Jerri, who also revealed that, ”I’m at the point right now where every time I am around here, I just want to punch her in the face. That’s all I can think about, is taking her down.” (Parvati responded by referring to Jerri as a ”bitter old cougar,” because that’s what hot young women call older women when they get mad.)
Randy was right on the money when he opined that, ”This is Micronesia 2.0. And if you guys don’t see that, I don’t want to play the game with you anymore. I really don’t.” And the rest of the tribe generously took him up on that offer, voting his ass out. Randy may have been right, but he had two things going against him. First off, he wasn’t helping in the challenges at all. But his ultimate downfall was his inability to socially integrate himself into the rest of the tribe. Make no mistake, Randy is a very smart guy and a student of the game. But that doesn’t matter if you can’t make people want to keep you around. I’m not saying people hated him, but they certainly didn’t like him enough to overlook his physical shortcomings.
NEXT: A Courtney controversy?
Okay, some other things I’d like to hit on about this episode:
* Love Boston Rob’s observation that you can tell who people are aligned with by whom they sleep next to. So true. And my, oh my, Russell sure did look cozy with his arms wrapped around Danielle and Parvati. Of course, the greatest sleeping footage was from the following night when we finally got our first Coach survival story. ”So I’m three days out basically from Bahia Kino, 95 degrees, hot as Hell, start throwing up…” Coach began. ”Is this the same story from last night?” Rob interrupted. I’d actually love to know if Coach preps all these stories in advance — jotting them down on 3 by 5 index cards and then committing them to memory — or if he just goes with the flow and makes them up on the spot. I’m kind of assuming the latter. Which, frankly, I think is the way to go. Sometimes you just need to fly by the seat of your pants. Speaking of pants, did I ever tell you about the time I used my trousers as a whip to fend off a pack of dwarf cannibal headhunters…?
* Ever see a movie where they do an incredibly outrageous gag that makes you laugh so hard that you wish you had worn Depend undergarments because you just peed your pants? But then you go to see the sequel, and they do a slight variation on the same gag and you can barely bother to chuckle? That’s kind of how I felt watching Russell bury the machete. The burning socks and pouring out canteen water in Samoa was hilarious, and I was hoping to see more of it this time around. But then when he finally went and did it, it just felt like a watered-down version of Russell’s Greatest Hits. I don’t see a lost machete turning people against each other. Probably just kinda bums them out for a few minutes and then they move on.
* Wow, J.T. really threw Candice under the bus by telling Cirie that she didn’t trust her. I’m all for making up fibs to turn people against each other when it will get you direct results (like Kenny lying to Sugar in Gabon about Ace using her), but this seemed a bit unnecessary, not to mention risky. Especially with Candice accosting everyone as to whom had said it. This could end up being lose-lose for both of them.
* Okay, lots to get into with the reward/immunity challenge. First off, how about the fact that this was the second straight week with only one challenge? With all these big personalities, you only need one. I don’t miss the reward challenges at all. It will be interesting to see if this starts to become the norm, instead of the exception to the rule.
* Because I am a complete and utter nerd who was bred on a nerd farm, has watched all four Revenge of the Nerds films (including the third one where some random fat dude with a ponytail replaced Anthony Edwards as Gilbert), and was once addicted to watermelon-flavored Nerds candy, I can’t help but obsess over tiny details, and one detail of this challenge protocol confused me. Why was Courtney allowed to sit out? For one thing, denying us the hilarity of watching Courtney partake in a strength competition is just plain rude. That is comedy gold right there that you are passing up, producers! But, more importantly, what happened to the rule of not being allowed to sit out the same people in back-to-back challenges? And I know that she sat out the last one because I did a frame-by-frame analysis of her over-enthusiastic hug of fellow non-participant Randy. So what gives? Why was she allowed to sit again? Is there some obscure article in the Survivor competition bylaws that I am overlooking?
NEXT: Cue the porn music for Survivors Gone Wild!
* As for the challenge itself — loved it. C’mon, it involves mud and people beating the crap out of each other — what’s not to love. I eagerly anticipated the first match-up between Tom and Russell, remembering the way they went at it in the very reward challenge. A simple look at Tom tells you he’s not in the same shape he was inPalau. Doesn’t matter. He needed all of about 3 seconds to take out Russell here, which I’m sure all you Russell haters ate up like a pack of watermelon flavored Nerds. Sorry, got it on the brain now. MASSIVE CRAVING!
* I’m trying to think if there is any possible way I can describe the matches between Parvati and Candice or Danielle and Amanda without coming off like a complete pervert. I mean, it’s half-naked sexpots wrestling each other into the mud, for crying out loud! Whatever I say is just going to get me in trouble. Especially with the wife. Luckily, she doesn’t watch the show so she didn’t see me rewind and view again in super slow-motion. Like, 4 times. Okay, 5. See, now I sound like a pervert! I told you it was impossible!
* Of course, for comedic purposes, the match of the day had to be Rupert vs. Coach. There’s nothing better than watching some doofus celebrate something he has not, in fact, won. So seeing Coach flex his muscles repeatedly after pushing Rupert into the mud — illegally with his hand off the bag — was priceless. Probst kept telling him no. Coach kept celebrating. Probst kept telling him no. Coach kept celebrating. Honestly, I could have watched an entire hour of just this, especially with Coach punctuating the proceedings by flipping off the host.
* Colby vs. Boston Rob. This was a big one. As you may remember, Colby got absolutely used by Coach in the first reward challenge. Everyone was shocked. Was the former challenge dominator from Australia over the hill? This was a huge test. And Colby answered it by taking out the scrappy and physical Rob, thereby giving the Heroes a positively insane 7-0 lead. Colby is obviously still in really big trouble on his tribe, but he proved himself here to still have some game.
* The Heroes should have been reveling in their 8-0 sweep of the villains, but it ended on a sour note when James went all roid rage for the second episode in a row. It was obvious to all that he was going to pummel the older, slower, and weaker Randy, and that’s exactly what he did with one push. But that wasn’t enough for the Incredible Bulk. He then had to throw his bag right down on the defeated and dejected Randy. Nice sportsmanship! That’s like me dominating my grandmother in pinochle and then throwing the entire deck of cards in her face. And, not to get all Jonny Fairplay on you, but my grandmother has been dead for 17 years! And, not to get all anyone-under-the-age-of-60 on you, but I have no idea how to even play pinochle! In any event, James responded to criticism about his actions the same way he always does, but yelling back, in this case telling Randy to ”get your f—in’ old ass out of here.” Classy, just like my man Freddie Blassie.
NEXT: Coach channels MLK
* One last challenge note and something to keep in mind: There have been four challenges so far and the Heroes have dominated the physical portion of all four. The first and last challenges were all physical and the Heroes won handily, and even in the two they lost, they built up huge leads in the physical part, only to later lose in the puzzles. In other words, they’re looking like all brawn, no brains.
* I’m sorry, but did Coach just quote Martin Luther King, Jr.? I’m sure that’s exactly what the Reverend had in mind when he set off on the civil rights crusade over 50 years ago: that a Steven Seagal wannabe with a feather earring would be quoting him on a reality TV show when deciding whether to vote out either a flirty Perfect 10 model or a crotchety white guy who prides himself on having no friends. Congrats, Coach: You just transformed King’s dream into a total freakin’ nightmare.
* There are few things more satisfying than a truly bitter reaction upon being voted out. Jenna Morasca and I used to talk about this all the time back when we did Survivor Live. (R.I.P.) Why go gently into that good night when you can have one last moment to shine? Stephenie gave us a wonderful post-snuff exchange with James last week, and now Randy went and threw his buff into the fire. It was a statement that said, they’re through with me, so I’m through with them, too. To be honest, I think the villains were pretty through with Randy from the get-go. He never had a partner in crime to watch his back. The tribe dumped him figuring that would keep them strong, but after all that talk of needing to get rid of Parvati, letting the social butterfly (with all those friends on the other tribe) stick around could end up costing them.
* I’ll give you something that won’t cost you a thing: an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode! You can watch it below along with a special pick-me-up pep talk that Randy recorded for himself before the game started in the event that he got voted out. Check them both out in the video player below. And don’t forget to see what Jeff Probst has cookin’ in his weekly blog, where he hopefully will be touching upon what’s it like to get flipped off by Coach. Also make sure to come back later for my exit interview with Randy. Expect the man to tell it like it is — he always does. But here’s what I want to know fromyou: Did the Villains make the right call in getting rid of Randy, or should they have ousted the always dangerous Parvati instead? Which was your favorite one-on-one battle in the challenge? And has anyone gone from Hero to zero faster than James? Let us know all your thoughts and musings on the message boards, which are now open for business. Plus, for all the Survivor scoop sent directly to you, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss.
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Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"