Sunday, October 01, 2006

Survivor Cook Islands - Episode 3 Flirting and Frustration

Act 1 – Aitu

We begin tonight’s episode with the Aitu tribe as they return from the Tribal Council that they inflicted on themselves out of their desire to get rid of untrustworthy Billy. Though, if you think about it, the tribe was untrustworthy first, by throwing the competition. Thus, Billy never had a chance to be untrustworthy so the accusation is unfair and untrue. As the tribe discusses Billy’s strange and unsettling announcement of love, I note that Cristina is one of those people who seems congenitally unable to resist making excuses for other people. She’s one of those “other side” personalities. She always has to give you the “other side”. I say “Wow, that Billy’s one slice short of a full loaf! What’s he talkin’ about ‘love at first sight’?” Cristina says “Oh, but maybe he did fall in love with Candice; he did see her for 2.8 seconds. They exchanged words - 2 or 3 at least. I hope she’s not playing him.”. See? The Other Side. I went through this same syndrome when I was an adolescent and frankly, looking back, I don’t know how my family restrained themselves from leaving me on the side of the road during a car trip. I was INSUFFERABLE. Cristina is no less insufferable than I, but she’s a great deal older than I was at the time-- so it’s a lot less forgivable.

Act 2 – Puka

Next morning, we visit Puka and watch them fish and listen to Cao Boi telling stories. I notice he’s very opinionated but not always in a good way. Hmm… I’m getting a little concerned. I tell a lot of stories also. Many days, it’s the entry fee for my office. Is it possible that Survivor has had me under surveillance and all of the people chosen for Cook Island have different aspects of my personality? That’s sounds a little egotistical when I read it back, so probably not, but Cao Boi does tell a lot of stories.

Act 3 – Raro

Abruptly, the moment we arrive at Raro, they are reading tree mail. Tree mail? We haven’t even had our first visit of the day to every tribe and already we have a challenge? As I listen, it even sounds like an immunity challenge, not a reward challenge.

Act 4 – Merge

Yul returns to his tribe from Exile Island and Jeff announces that Billy has departed. Strangely, oblivious siren Candice does not break into sobs of sorrow. Jeff then wastes no time. “Drop your buffs, you’re integrating.” I was disappointed and immediately thought of my friend, Mike. (I wasn’t disappointed because I thought of MIKE, I thought of Mike because of WHY I was disappointed. Try not to think the worst, dear reader.) Before the second episode, Mike had made a joke that he thought the tribes would integrate because it seems like every time Survivor does a 4 tribe split at the beginning, they only wait a week before dividing into 2. I didn’t want to believe that after the big deal they made about the ethnic divisions that Survivor would do that again, but I was fooled by my naiveté. So here we are in week 3 and the four little tribes are reduced to two: Raro and Aitu. They divide by a variation of the school yard pick. First; tiles determine 2 female and 2 male captains; then each captain picks a same sex person not from their original tribe until all the people have been picked. (Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, I LOVE to alliterate!) With four teams, 2 male and 2 female, the captains squeezed eggs filled with paint and the male and female teams with the matching red paint became Aitu and the blue paint teams became Raro.

The new Aitu tribe is Jonathan, Yul, Ozzy, Cao Boi, Cecelia, Jessica, Sundra, Becky and Candice.
Aitu has: 3 former Raro members: Jonathan, Jessica and Candice.
3 former Puka members: Yul, Cao Boi, and Becky.
1 former Hiki member: Sundra.
2 former Aitu members: Cecelia and Ozzy.
There are 4 men and 5 women.

The new Raro tribe is Brad, JP, Nate, Adam, Parvati, Jenny, Cristina, Rebecca and Stephannie.
Raro has: 2 former Raro members: Adam, Parvati
3 former Hiki members: Nate, Rebecca and Stephannie
2 former Aitu members: JP and Cristina
2 former Puka members: Brad and Jenny
There are 4 men and 5 women.

Before I did my analysis, I was ready to say “You see, you see! Never throw a challenge! Look what an advantage the teams that never lost have!” But they don’t. The former tribe that fares the worst is Hiki because they ended up split 1-3. Aitu came out pretty well split 2-2. Raro and Puka were both split 3-2. What’s interesting is that the 3 split for both Raro and Puka all ended up on the new Aitu. If everyone sticks to their former alliances it’s a 3-3 division with 3 floaters. On Raro, it’s much more even, 2-2-2-3. What’s interesting is that the tribe with the 3 split is weak Hiki. Raro’s really going to have cross former tribe lines to get a majority for the next eviction. I’m also interested to note that the men are outnumbered on both tribes but I guess that’s because only men have been evicted so far. It doesn’t really matter. The women are rarely smart enough to ally with each other in order to remove strong men at this point in the game.

Act 5 – Raro

We follow the tribes back to their beach. Nate from Hiki says the change in location is like moving from the ghetto to Bel Air. I’m guessing that the Hiki tribe hadn’t made a lot of improvements to their situation. It wasn’t that obvious on TV.

Act 6 –Aitu

At the new Aitu, Cecelia and Ozzie showed everybody around their camp. Everyone was very positive about the shakeup. I think anything that breaks the boredom of no books or tv and the same people 24/7 would be viewed positively. Cecelia has a moment of what I thought was bitchiness. She couldn’t resist letting Candice know that Billy had fallen in love with her. I got the feeling she was testing her to make sure Candice hadn’t lured poor Billy deliberately. How whack is that? Billy was crazy. Acting like she had some part in his craziness is like blaming Jodi Foster for that Hinckley nut.

Act 7 – Raro

Back at Raro, Parvati has gone to a place no woman should go. Her giggly, flirting manner with the men gave me a giant ICK. I mean it, I was feeling totally grossed out. I’m embarrassed for her and angry as a woman, particularly because she seemed to really believe that playing the men is a winning strategy and that she would sink so low. Oh yeah, and because she was so darn obvious. Also, to let loose my inner beyotch here, she ain’t that good looking to start. Now throw in days without bathing or grooming. Ain’t no man gonna fall for that. Well, except for Rob Marinaro with Amber but he’s the only one.

Act 8 – Aitu

Jonathan, meantime, has been setting up his own little alliance. Well, technically Candice did all the work. She and Becky set up an alliance and then the girls each brought in their ally, Jonathan and Yul. Jonathan then proposed Flicka (aka Jessica) as the fifth they needed to get a majority. I see where Jonathan’s head was at because Flick was his 3rd former tribemate. More on that later.

Yul tells Becky he found the immunity idol while at Exile Island and that he will use it to save her if he needs to. Riiight.


This week’s immunity challenge was a rerun from the last couple of years. I’m not sure which season it was used the last time because it was one of the few episodes of Survivor I’ve missed in my Tivo filled life. But Robin says it was used before and I trust Robin.

This is how it worked: The two teams were clipped together in a line, each member carrying a sack of sand weighing 15 pounds. The teams were placed opposite each other on a circular racecourse in knee high water. The first team to catch up to the other team and tackle one of the members wins. Anyone could drop out at any time but someone else had to take on their weight.
Aitu really moves to begin with and they end the first lap slightly ahead. Immediately after the first lap, all of the women on the Aitu team drop out. Robin is completely disgusted by this lame tactic on the part of the women. But I caution her to reserve judgment because I think it’s a deliberate tactic so that Aitu can throw on the speed, catch up and tackle Raro quickly. Well, if it was a tactic, it was not well-played. They didn’t throw on the speed, partly because all of the women seem to have thrown their weight on Jonathan and partly because, if you are going to have the weaklings drop out then you shouldn’t limit it to the women. Cao Boi should have dropped too. He’s no bigger than some of the women. Whatever the case, within half a lap, all the women of Raro except Rebecca had dropped out also and with another ½ lap, Raro was close enough that Aitu was considering stopping to wait for them in order to attempt a tackle first. For that strategy, they should have told Cao Boi to hide because Raro steamrolled right to him and he was down in a heartbeat. So the whole thing lasted less than 3 laps.

After the challenge Jeff says the winning team gets to pick someone to go to Exile Island. The weird part is he announces it from a letter like this was a new thing. Raro picks Candice to go.

Act 10 –Aitu

Aitu’s back at camp and first thing they discuss is, no, not why their strategy failed, or what they can do better next time. They’re curious about why Candice was sent to Exile Island since she won’t be available to go to Tribal Council so, in essence, Raro gave her immunity. Duh, hello, she’s a woman! Raro clearly wants to make sure that all the strong men are at risk because the fewer the men, the harder it is to win the physical tribal challenges.

As you can imagine, since Candice is part of an alliance, they are understandably upset she is at Exile Island, because in a 9 member tribe, she gave them the majority. Well, not quite. Flicka picks this moment to share with Jonathan that she’s not sure if she’s going to vote with him.
Because, unfortunately, Flicka’s a moron. She doesn’t want to play the game, she wants to experience it. And if she does have to play, she wants to play with people she has a connection with like Cao Boi. Cao Boi is playing the game and he’s building an alliance of Ozzy, Cecelia, Sundra and Flicka. Ozzy promises never to vote for Cao Boi and they decide to target Becky because she’s weak. Jonathan’s alliance, which we’ll call Alliance #1, is targeting Cecelia. Cao Boi’s alliance, will now be known as Alliance #2, is targeting the aforementioned Becky. Reflecting upon Cao Boi and Flicka, all I can think is “How dumb are they?” I know you can’t always trust former tribemates but day one of a new tribe is not the day to turn your back on your old tribemates, especially if you’re an odd duck like these two. They need numbers to hide behind if they’re going to survive. They’re both too much like Billy, easy to vote off.

Very fairly and idiotically, Flicka betrays the members of her new alliance and their pick for eviction to Jonathan. This gives Jonathan and Yul the opportunity to campaign to Cao Boi and Flicka about why it’s better to get rid of Cecelia. What I don’t get is why Alliance #1 worked Flicka and Cao Boi so hard instead of approaching Alliance #2 about getting rid of Floater Flicka. Never give an idiot power is my motto, it’s why I didn’t vote for Kerry in 2004.

Act 10 –Tribal Council

The discussion before the vote was uninteresting except for Ozzie’s comment of the obvious. “I’ll know where people stand after the vote.” I think this was related to trust. Hmm…trust…that’s a new topic on Survivor. So the vote went like this:
Candice Exile Island
Yul Cecelia
Becky Cecelia
Jonathan Cecelia
Ozzie Becky
Sundra Becky
Flicka Cecelia
Cecelia Becky
Cao Boi Cecelia

Ozzie was a jerk, he made his vote personal by criticizing Becky for not trying to get to know him. Jonathan was classy, his reason was strategy.

Jeff’s final comment was a masterful statement of nothingness; “This tribe is not unified”. All I could think was “Is that a requirement?”

So Cecelia is out, the tribe has spoken.

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