Monday, October 09, 2006

Survivor: Cook Island Episode 4

As is the usual in our household, I was happily occupying myself in the living room when Robin "suggested" that I need to blog something to keep our loyal readers happy. Since our Dead Like Me marathon has severely impacted our dvr viewing, we only watched the Survivor on Sunday and I didn't keep any notes. Happily, CBS now provides innertube so I can watch the highlights and remind myself of all the wonderful Survivor moments.

Act 1 Aitu

Aitu returns from tribal council with the obligatory rats eating in the dark shots. But one of my favorite things every week is to see how the people who were on the wrong side of the vote always sulk when the tribe returns to camp. Ozzie was quite upset that Cecelia, his former tribemate was evicted. Too bad, Ozzie, S(ucks) T(o) B(e) Y(ou)!

I also find in humorous that the women of the tribes can be so nasty about each other. It's always based on looks. Candice is returning from Exile Island and because she's blonde and cute, the women make witchy comments about her wave of all things. Hey, you do know you're on tv, right? Do you really want to be that immature?

Then to top it all off, the girls ask Candice why the other tribe sent her to Exile Island. Ok-- first, we already had this conversation without Candice before Tribal Council, remember? What makes you think Candice-- stuck on Exile Island for 2 days, is going to know the answer? Again, it's just an opportunity to be witchy because Candice got immunity.

Act 2 Raro

So here's a new one: the men are lazy and the women are workers. Has the world turned upside down? FORESHADOW COMING: The men brag about how strong they are compared to the Aitu tribe men. The men brag about how the women need them. There's a challenge coming. Hmm, I wonder what will happen?

Act 3 Challenge

The challenge is a race. Two tribemembers are clipped to a rope that snakes through an obstacle course. The rest of the tribe will help them navigate this until they get to a puzzle table. Then another tribe member will swim out to a buoy and retrieve a decoder wheel. The tribe that decodes the message first wins 2 pillows, 3 blankets and a hammock, and the right to send someone to Exile Island.
Raro has an extra member : Stephannie sits this one out.
Raro clips Jenni and Cristina, Aitu clips Becky and Candice.
The race begins, teamwork is critical and Aitu has that totally sewn up. They also really don't care if they hurt the women while they're pushing and pulling them so that's a big plus too. Raro's men do NOt listen to their women, so eventually they get really tangled up and lag behind. Ozzie swims to the buoy for Aitu and Brad swims for Raro. Ozzie kicks butt! He runs like mad and swims like a fish. He has the decoder back and Aitu is solving the puzzle while Raro is still going through the obstacle course. Aitu wins and sends Adam to Exile Island.

Act 4 Aitu

Congratulations all around. Everybody feels great beating the brawn team. We then get to watch Ozzie become the provider. He catches a ton of fish (9 out of 11 fish) and hopes the team will keep him for his ability to feed them. It's a tried and true tactic which has been more effective than less. We'll see how it works for him.

Act 5 Raro

Raro discusses their humbling by the other team. JP then begins to give one instruction after another to everyone every one else while he reclines like a pasha drinking coconut juice. Unfortunately, the rest of the tribe is not stupid and everyone notices that he's bossy and lazy which is only slightly better than bossy and hardworking-- but still bad.

Now we have our ick moment. Parvati, who is NOT 'all that', is flirting with Nate, who says he has her back while she pumps him like a soap dispenser for information about the alliances among the men. Nate doesn't want to find himself thinking like a 'dumb-dumb' but well Nate, TOO LATE! He advises Parvati to 'let the King sit pretty'. They can wait for their moment to take him out.

Act 6 aka Cruelty to Animals

Cao Boi loses his tiny mind and harasses a mother bird with it's nest until the nest is knocked down with a new born baby bird in it. Jonathan is very upset (he appears to CRY) and picks up the little bird. After alot of touchy feely moments, Cao Boi tries to make up for his stupidity by putting the bird and nest back. The bird allows this. So now we know two things: 1. Jonathan sounds just like Hawkeye from MASH and, 2. Birds don't refuse to take care of their chicks just because a human has touched them. I'm thinking that the adult that told me that, just didn't WANT to put that egg back in the nest and made up the stuff about the "human smell".

Act 7 Immunity

The immunity challenge is another race, this one three parts. First, 4 members put together a stretcher puzzle and run it to the beach. Then one tribe member swims out to a mast, climbs a rope ladder and releases a tribemember shackled high up on the mast. The two swim back, holding on to a life ring, place the person from the mast on the stretcher, and run back to the start. The three remaining members have to build a fire that releases a tribe flag.
Raro has too many members, they sit out Cristina.

On the mast in shackles : Candice for Aitu and Parvati for Raro.
Raro stretcher builders are: Brad, Nate, Adam, JP with JP to swim.
Aitu stretcher builders are: Ozzie, Jonathan, Jessica, Yul with Ozzie to swim.
Raro fire builders: Stephannie, Jenny, Rebecca
Aitu fire builders: Cao Boi, Sundra, ???.

Raro is the first off with the stretcher. Aitu is right behind. At the water: JP is in first but Ozzie runs for a really long time and he makes up all the lost time and takes the lead. He kicks JP's butt! Ozzie and Candice beat JP and Parvati by a lot. Then it's both teams back to the mat to start the fire. Aitu gets flame first, then lots of smoke but Raro cannot get a flame. Jenny whacks herself with the ax and ends up with a bloody thumb. Aitu wins immunity.

Act 8 Pre-Council Strategy

After the immunity the tribe consoles itself by exclaiming over Cao Boi's firemaking skills. Then Stephannie has the dumbest moment ever and takes responsibility for the tribe's loss, saying she is the weakest link and she should go. She regrets it immediately, but unfortunately time only runs in one direction and there's no taking back stupid.

The girls do not like the idea of giving up their 5/4 majority which they will do if Stephannie is voted off. The girls start talking and they decide to try to get rid of JP. They try to convince Parvati to vote JP off. Now you would have thought that since Parvati is just letting JP think he's in charge until the time is right to strike ('let the king sit pretty') that she would jump at this opportunity. But wait, grasshopper, what is Parvati's tactic: Flirtation. And what does that require: Men. Parvati is lukewarm to the idea perhaps because she thinks she can manipulate men better than women. Since Parvati responded so weakly to this suggestion the women approach Brad. He's shocked but he listens. Which way will he vote?

Act 9 Tribal Council

Lots of blah, blah, blah. Who's the leader? JP. Why should someone be voted off? Not because of challenge performance. In the end Brad and Parvati come through as well as Adam. In fact, the most interesting thing is that Nate who is Stephannie's old tribemate is the only one besides JP to vote for her. I wonder why Parvati and the other guys didn't let him know what was coming down. Whatever the reason--JP is voted off. The tribe has spoken.

JP votes Stephannie
Nate votes Stephannie
Brad votes JP
Jenny votes JP
Rebecca votes JP
Parvati votes JP
Adam votes JP
Stephannie votes JP
Cristina votes JP

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dead Like Me Marathon

Judy and I have been engaged in obsessive behavior again. We stumbled upon a quirky, dark comedy on some channel or other...Sci Fi, maybe? We liked it so well that we put it into the dvr to record whenever it came on...unfortunately, there were too many conflicts with other shows. But wait, we realllly like this show. What to do? Visit and order Season One and Season Two, of course! We just finished watching Season One last night. My big worry now is that I think that this may be it. Two seasons and nada, zip, zilch. Rats and mice, as my mother would have said. I sure hope they wrap up the wierdness in a satisfactory way. Whatever they do, though, we won't be able to stop watching until every episode has been experienced. Then, we may finally be able to watch the shows piling up in our dvr's memory.

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.


So my friend Paul at work, heard about the open casting call that Deal or No Deal was having in Chicago. Being a hardcore fan of the show he and his wife decided to drive the 13+ hours from Pennsylvania where they live to try to get on the show. Everybody at work offered advice and suggestions about the application that he filled out and also how he should approach his interview to best present himself to get on the show. I've seen a few behind the scenes shows that talk about the audition process and I know you have to be interesting or you don't move on to the next round. Paul's got a big, fun personality so I knew it wasn't going to be a stretch for him to be outgoing. Except for my natural pessimism, I thought he had a good chance. He left Friday morning for the Saturday audition. He called me late Saturday afternoon, and he GOT A CALL BACK! Woo-hoo! He was planning to drive home Sunday, but they have asked him to stay until Monday and do a dress rehearsal of the show. It's that awesome??