Monday, October 12, 2009

1x08: Pick Off

NoMind turns out to be such a good liar that she wins a computer and a night with Craig out of it. But then Craig turns out to be better at holding a pole in the air, and she’s predictably voted out.

Previously on The Legend Of Haggard Lance: The tribes merged. A communal shower "broke the ice", but only in the sense that it proved Hatie wasn't the Ice Queen the show has been making her out to be. On the other hand, it did prove that Knob is a self-righteous, egotistical prick. With a serious case of penis envy. This season's Hidden Immunity Idol was to be found in Long Pole Joel's pants, but unfortunately the stupid censors wouldn't show us. Link believes that Craig is Kadina's only chance to stay in the game, even though there are still two former Kadinas in the tribe, and even though he repeatedly told us last week that Kadina and Tipara "are no more". Link wonders if Tipara's alliance is cracking apart at the seams, but considering we saw no sign of that either last week or in the previouslies, I think it's safe to say it isn't. Of course, he might be counting Lance in the alliance, in which case he's dumber than any of the Kadina members. However he considers Lance, it doesn't mean anything for Caren, who got the boot. Now, nine people are left. Who will be voted out... TONIGHT?

Credits! In the credits of my mind, several of these people aren't there.

Commercials! In the Nein Newsroom tonight, the sports guy and the weather girl are fucking on the news desk. It turns out it's hard to talk about the fiscal shortcomings when other shortcomings are more interesting to watch and are right in front of your face.

It also turns out there are trees and plants in the Great Australian Bight. It's Day 22 at Aurora and Knob stands in front of the fire looking like he's about to begin another self-defeatist rant. Right on cue, he confessionals that he got a vote last night, but he doesn't know who it was from. He hopes it came from one of the Kadinas. Of course it did, you idiot. He says he thinks he hasn't "pissed them off yet", given that "it's only been a couple of days". Seriously? He's the most annoying person out here, is in serious contention for the Most Annoying Person To Ever Appear On Survivor, and still thinks he's tolerable to be around? ...I can't believe ANYBODY could be that ignorant of what's going on. Especially considering you don't exactly have a lot of stuff out there you could use to distract yourself.

Craig confessionals that he tries to change his handwriting every time he votes, so that people don't realise it's him voting. But, stupidly (and hilariously), he says he winds up doing the same thing every time -- name, underline, and exclamation mark. He doesn't even know why he does it. He says he'll have to practice so it's harder to tell who he voted for.

Sciona is trying to comfort Whiny Knob by saying they always knew the Tiparas were going to get three votes from the Kadinas. But Whiny Knob is busy whining about how whoever voted for him put an exclamation mark after his name. As I said last week, he's glad it was only one. Knob asks Lance if he got an exclamation mark. Lance says he didn't, but that he got two votes. Which, you'll note, is even more reason to complain than a stupid piddly exclamation mark. Not that the exclamation mark wasn't more than richly deserved.

Craig confessionals again about how Knob got a vote and bitched about it, because Knob was apparently under the misguided impression that he was invincible. Craig tells him in the confessional to quit being such a baby about it, and that nobody hates him, but he does it with this hilarious smirk on his face that makes it seem like he's thinking the exact opposite.

Knob confessionals that Craig is a huge threat, because he is strong and young and charming and able to talk to people without making them want to detach their own retinas. Except for that last part. Knob says that Craig's getting booted as soon as he loses Immunity. Which makes sense from a gameplay perspective, but pisses me off none the less.

In a different confessional than his others so far this episode, Craig says that his plan is to win Immunity and give them something to think about. I would think that getting people to realise that Hatie is playing them all like a bunch of out-of-tune fiddles would be a nice place to begin.

Sciona confessionals that another thing which "drives [her] nuts" is people taking forever to get dressed. Apparently, she has no interest in seeing naked Long Pole Joel's long pole. In a completely unrelated conversation, she bitches to Knob and Lance that Princess Jane doesn't carry her weight "when it comes to fishing". Strangely, she makes a point of not mentioning all the other stuff around camp, where Princess Jane presumably does her fair share. She says that Jane can catch fish, but isn't "a fisherman". Well, no. See, Sciona, there are these things called boobies, and they’re sort of a giveaway that she’s not going to be a man no matter how hard she tries. Also, nobody here is an actual fisher, not even you. Shut up, Sciona. Hatie confessionals that Princess Jane is only there to sit and look pretty. In that case, she's doing a much better job than you are, Hatie. Hatie says she's not very useful in a rugged environment.

Princess Jane herself confessionals. Interestingly, the graphics, which were all different colours last week, are now orange. At least they're not gr*y. In her confessional, she says that her game plan was to fly under the radar and watch what other people were doing. She really has seemed more omnipresent around camp than the same types of people in the American version (Becky and Sundra, anyone?), so I'm not sure her strategy is working particularly well. And it doesn't make that much sense, either. When this was filmed, after Survivor Africa, the people who kept making it to the end were the people who made themselves huge personalities. Richard Hatch. Rudy. Sue. Colby. Keith. Bitsy Hasselbeck. Ethan. Lex. Tom. Sure, now the strategy make sense given some of the past contestants who've gotten to the Final Four, but back then? No.

A goanna watches the tribe walking. Sciona voices over that she can't help but love Craig. She knows he's a huge threat to the tribe, but she says she already told him she's not going to vote for him. Honestly, I don't believe that for a second. The first chance she gets, she'll vote for him. Especially since she's got that thing going on with Hatie.

Speaking of Hatie, she's trying to convince Knob to stick with her Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning. She voices over that the two of them, as well as Sophie and Sciona, are the members of said Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning. Which unlike all the other exposition we get on this show is actually necessary, given we don't see Sophie or Sciona doing much of anything, gameplay-wise, and given that everybody seems to have different ideas of who's in the alliance. So it's nice to finally get it straight from the horse's mouth. Or... ferret's mouth. Whatev. She continues ranting, saying that because she and Knob are the closest (and she is having his Imaginary Baby, don't forget), that they've planned to vote Sophie off first, because she is a challenge threat and has a sixpack which makes Knob jealous (another of Rob's recurring themes seems to be Body Part Envy), as the camera guys get a nice close up of her chest. Then she mentions, and I quote, "[Knob] and I have made a pact to vote the other off, whoever's remaining, so it's [Knob] and I at the end." But if they vote the other off, then it won't be those two at the end, will it, because one of them's getting snuffed? I think Hatie's losing it. Well, starting to lose it, anyway. It's amazing what being called out repeatedly by three Kadina will do to your understanding of the game.

Knob says that he and Hatie both want Sciona to finish third (presumably behind the pair of them), and Sophie to finish fourth. Once Sophie gets booted and the alliance starts to cannibalise itself, he will then suck up to Sciona, not because she is meatier than Hatie (though that is undoubtedly at least part of his reasoning), but because he thinks he has a better chance of winning. Uh... how? Anybody competing against Hatie at the Final Tribal Council will be virtually guaranteed of two votes from NoMind and Craig, assuming neither of them makes it (which, given Rob's talking about making it there himself, is almost certain at this point). Why would you pass that chance up?

Lance is talking to Long Pole Joel about how they're both surprised that there aren't any alliances being formed. Long Pole Joel confessionals about that exact same thing. So does Lance, who also mentions that he's going to try and stay out her for as long as possible.

Jane and Craig are fishing and see some seals.

Knob confessionals that Lance is a nice person, but that he better hurry up and fall on his sword so Knob has a clear path to his money. Self-entitled, much?

Helicopter sweeping shot of trees, cutting to a sweeping shot of the Bucket Mail. Lance and Craig retrieve the piece of bark with the clue on it. Why did the messages start getting so lame? We had spears and rocks in the first two episodes, and we've had a never-ending stream of bark and scrolls ever since. Anyway, Lance reads it:

Think of your life, the good and the bad

And make up stories about the times that you've had

True or false, it doesn't matter

In one statement, tell your patter

The tribe what's wrong and right

Trick the most and win a luxury night

Lance reminds us of the final three words in case we tuned out for a second, this time with a deliciously evil smirk for some reason. The message appears to be pretty straightforward, even giving away pretty much the entire concept of the challenge. But Knob probably still guessed it involved a gigantic game of Mouse Trap. (I move that Knob can either be the shoe, which kicks the bucket, or the bucket itself. And Craig can be trapped in the cage at the end. And Long Pole Joel can be the little plastic diver doing somersaults in a Speedo. I have wayyy too much time on my hands.)

The quick shots of the challenges are unusually slow this week, and show a whole bunch of wood. There's a tree with giant "T" and "F" woodcarvings, a board with everyone's name on it, and another board with a question mark on it.

Commercials. Dear Channel Teen: Please repeat different episodes of Letterman. I think I've seen the one where John McCain finally bothers to shows up seven or eight times now.

The tribe walks up and is welcomed by Link. He says that today's challenge "gets to the essence of what Australian Survivor is all about". And that certainly appears to be true, considering it's about to pass the giant cans as the Worst Planned Challenge Ever. It's very simple. One at a time, each person tells the tribe something about themselves. Then, everyone else has to guess whether it's true or false. If they think it's true, they stand on one side of the tree with those woodcarvings attached, and if they think it's false, they stand on the other. Every person you trick is worth one point. Most points wins. The reward? They get to spend the night at a nearby "settlers' cottage" which was built in the 1840's, complete with food, wine, chocolate (not sure how that qualifies as different from food), and a bed. Oh, and they get to use a computer for the night, because nothing says "Visit To A Historic Cottage" quite like the Internet.

Okay, here's why it sucks. Firstly, the challenge is biased. Given that they only merged three days ago, Tipara people are more likely to know whether the stuff the other Tipara people say is true, and the same with NoMind and Craig. And because there are nine people left, this was always going to be to the advantage of one tribe or the other. Secondly, each person only tells one story. So it's conceivable that there will be a tie. Thirdly, excluding the person telling the story, there are eight people playing this game. So it doesn't matter whether your story is true or false if four people guess each, because then you get four points either way. Fourthly, everybody can see what the others are guessing, so if you know who's closest to the person telling the story, you could just guess the same as them and minimise the number of points they get. Fifthly, we're back to the Bad Reward Selection thing that I hate. This week, food, booze, and a bed. Next week, kidney beans or something. Watch. There's no way in hell they will top this reward next week. I wouldn't have minded the reward itself later on in the game, but here it's ridiculous.

But anyway, who's first?

Knob is, and his story is about pissing over Albury. He would. And it turns out he did, except that he tries to justify it by saying he had a copilot, which makes it false. It's impossible to tell who picked what for that one given the way this is edited (and given that half of them are wearing the exact same style of beanie), but Long Pole Joel clearly went straight for True. Heh. But like I mentioned before, it doesn't matter whether it's true or not, because he gets four points either way. (Dear Albury: We love you, and are sorry you had to put up with Knob's urine. But not as much as we love Wodonga and are happy they apparently didn't.)

NoMind's name, next reading down the scoreboard, is skipped for some reason, and Long Pole Joel is the next player shown. He wants us to believe he was part of a training squad for an NRL team. Yeah, I can't see it, given that the league players I know (and a relative of mine has played for Penrith within the past decade, so despite living in Melbourne, I'm not a complete idiot about this, unlike Sylvain and Lucindork were with NoMind's football back in the first episode) are usually much bulkier. And it is a lie, but only three people can spot bullshit when they see it, so Joel gets five points. Ironically, I think the three people who guess that it's a lie -- and don't quote me on this -- are Sciona (from Western Australia), and NoMind and Craig (both from Victoria). Funny. And, of course, the two professional athletes -- including a former AFL footballer -- fuck it up.

Sciona says she's flown in an Apollo space shuttle simulator, at a NASA base outside of San Francisco. You will not be surprised to learn that Sciona makes pretending to be an astronaut sound completely boring. On another note, she does not mention which Apollo mission it's a simulation of, so presumably it was Apollo 11 until Knob and Hatie visited on an Imaginary date, in which case the simulator tried to reconfigure itself into Apollo 13. She fools five people, though again it's damn near impossible to tell who. Couldn't they have at least given us a shot of the people actually standing where they're supposed to, rather than walking over? It looks like Lance, Craig, and Hatie are the ones who get it right, though.

Craig met Princess Diana overseas. I'm going to say that's a lie, because I don't think any one place could stand that much pure awesomeness without some nasty side effects. Indeed it is (Raceguy gives the royal wave), and he gets four points. So there goes Rob's theory that Craig was going to win everything. It doesn't matter either way who guessed what, but yes, I did check one specific person, and Princess Jane appears to have thought it was true.

Princess Jane is next, and she once had a piece of walnut stuck so far up her nose her servants couldn't even pick it out, so she had to go the doctors. It's certainly very inventive if it is a lie. Which it is. Four points.

Lance gives the Proud Dad story of his daughter's birth. There's no way in hell that's a lie, unless he's fucking up her birthday on purpose, in which case she will never ever EVER forgive him. It's another even split, and the story is our first true one. In other news, Knob appears to veer over from the very left (the True side) to the very right (the False side) as soon as he sees what other people are guessing.

Hatie has never gotten shitfaced before. HahahahahahahaNO. Even split, and another false. Yawn.

We return all the way to the top of the board, to NoMind, who is a former ballerina (and she does look a little like Christina from the first season of Big Brother, now that I think about it), and fucked up a move so badly in rehearsal once that her eye needed nine stitches. Only Lance is smart enough to guess that nobody would lie about being THAT much of a klutz, and so NoMind gets seven points.

So Sophie, right at the very bottom of the board again, has to get all eight points in order to win. Her story is about getting caught in the nude by a car salesman at her house. Princess Jane, NoMind, and Sciona guess True, meaning that there is no way in hell she can win. But she still has to admit that she left her door open for some reason, and she gets five points.

So, to recap: NoMind got seven points; Long Pole Joel, Sciona, and Sophie got five; and everybody else got four. Link tells NoMind the good news, and NoMind smiles as though she wasn't immediately aware as soon as the tribe split their answers. Link reminds her that Beds Come With Sheets And Pillows, and NoMind provides Link his Segue Of The Week by saying that she wishes everyone could be there. Woo! Orgy at NoMind's! Link looks sheepish in saying that one person can. NoMind picks Craig for the obvious reason of not wanting to leave him outside, rather than anyone else for the more obvious reason of being able to work them over for information and alliances. Link tells them they've got a date (seriously, his exact words are "you got a date"), and that they'll be picked up later. Noticeably, we do not get a Craig reaction shot of Link calling it a date. Everybody goes back to camp.

Clouds fly by fast, from many angles.

At camp, water boils in the rain, and Joel eats fish.

Hilariously, Craig and NoMind have to actually knock on the door of Mickera Station, the reward cottage, and Link opens it as though he actually lives there. Hee. Link welcomes them like the doormat he is, and he says that the cottage hasn't changed much since it was built. I assume he means "aside from the giant satellite dish on the roof we're using to give you your reward", unless those settlers were time travellers. And if they were, wouldn't they have chosen something a little less obvious? I mean, I would have to assume someone would ask why there was a slanty bowl on the roof after 160 years, wouldn't you? Anyway. He reminds them of the bed and sheets, and we get a candlelit product placement shampoo shot for no reason. Ugh. He actually walks them over to the flat-screen computer (nice move, time-travelling settlers!), even though it's a grand total of five feet away. But while NoMind is marvelling over how good the night is going to be, we get some product placement chocolate shots. Oh, and NoMind gets to keep the computer, courtesy of the show's sponsors. Link tries to pretend they're "our friends", but we all know that isn't the case.

Link comments that they picked a good night for the reward, what with it being so damn cold and rainy outside. Link, PUT A JUMPER ON OR QUIT COMPLAINING.

Right on cue, Knob is bitching about the weather, and about how Long Pole Joel shoved some rice in his pockets, "for a rainy day". Which it is, so eat it, Long Pole Joel. He says that if he doesn't save it, then they won't have any for tomorrow morning. Weren't they given a big bucket of the stuff just a few days ago? Have they gone through it all already? You know, sometimes these people deserve to starve. Interestingly, you'll note that we never really saw any Kadina bitching about the lack of food (aside from Sylvain, who bitched about anything and everything), it was always Tipara who couldn't fish or ration properly. And now the same thing's happening, as soon as the Tipara are left alone. Huh.

Back at the cottage, a product-placement car sits outside. Craig takes some steak and says he remembers why he missed food now. Hee. NoMind points out that the others are probably cold and wet, and Craig guesses they're trying to fix the holes in the boat.

It turns out they actually aren't, but they are in bed looking miserable. Although that is Knob's default setting, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Speaking of bed, NoMind and Craig find theirs. They get comfortable but seemingly do not realise that (1) pillows aren't there for decoration, and (2) neither is the part of the bed designed to rest your legs. But they do notice the product-placement chocolates again. Go figure. Interestingly, you can assume they didn't use the product-placement computer at all, because otherwise we would get some product-placement shots of them doing it. So I'm thinking Intel got a bad deal, given they hardly got shown, and had to share their time with everything else under the sun.

Commercials. Dear Mr. T.: Despite what some fools might say, you are not George Foreman. So go pity people somewhere away from fat-reducing grill infomercials.

The next morning, Rob whines about the weather. Of course he does. He hasn't been shown incorrectly predicting a challenge for two whole weeks now. He says that the bad times are the times you'll look back on and enjoy, which I'm thinking is Knob for "the times without Kadina around to spoil my fun". Hatie is whining to Sophie and Princess Jane about the same thing. Princess Jane, whose blue Tipara buff has apparently been magically enlarged by the rain, and is now a gigantic silk scarf, says she couldn't stretch out because her legs would get wet. Hatie and Sophie take turns guessing what under the boat smells like, and what word accurately describes it the best. Since we don't see buzzers and flashing lights or anything like that, I'm going to assume it doesn't smell like anything they say.

Craig and NoMind have been teleported back to camp, and they are welcomed. Everyone asks how they were, and NoMind kisses Long Pole Joel on the cheek, and Princess Jane too. She certainly has great taste, that woman, given the alternatives of two completely irredeemable arseholes, one person who is so droning she really should become a hypnotist, and two people who are still yet to develop much of an actual personality, eight episodes into the series. As he is wont to do, Knob turns the conversation into another round of Look How Much MY Experience Sucks The Bag by asking whether they heard the thunderstorms that kept HIM awake all night.

The waves are big.

Joel confessionals that he was surprised to hear what Hatie did to the Kadinas, by forcing them to vote for Lance. Not that Craig actually did vote for Lance or anything, but if it makes people realise Hatie is an incompetent scheming bitch, them I'm all for it. Knob tells Long Pole Joel that all Craig's doing is making trouble. Long Pole Joel thinks it's possible, but that Craig doesn't seem like that kind of bloke. Which he almost isn't. Knob tries to use the fact that they've only known for three days as proof that Long Pole Joel doesn't know Craig at all. Which is complete bullshit, because EVERY SINGLE PERSON from Tipara has confessionaled about the same thing now. Including Knob. So he can fuck off. Knob confessionals about What Craig Told Joel. I can't see any logical reason for Knob to be the one making this confessional, but whatever. Long Pole Joel once again tells Knob that he believes Craig more than he believes the crap coming from Knob's mouth, and Knob, if he's smart (HA! HAHAHA!), should take as a warning that Joel doesn't believe him OR Hatie.

Knob condescendingly calls Craig "very clever" in another, separate confessional, and says he's so charming to the other people outside the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning that he's fucking up the Overplanned Plan. Shut up, Knob.

Craig is explaining to Lance how and why he got those two votes last week, and is very clearly placing the blame on Hatie rather than the people who actually followed her stupid plan. Lance goes all Scully to Craig's Mulder and refuses to believe that Hatie and Knob have already formed an alliance. Dude, they've had more than three weeks now. What do you think they're waiting for, the official invitations to come back from the printers? Craig hilariously tells Lance he'll realise Craig is telling the truth when he watches this on TV. Bwah! Lance confessionals that he thinks Craig is just trying to stir up trouble, and that he doesn't think Hatie and Rob have an alliance.

Lance goes to Rob and tries to confirm. Why in the world would Knob tell you that you're not in the alliance and are screwed, when there are enough people outside the alliance who could unite and change this game for the worse, from his point-of-view? (Especially deliberately. At this same point in Survivor Marquesas, the infamous Coconut Chop challenge appeared for the first time, and the situation I just described actually ended up happening accidentally, because the Rotu alliance were idiots who spelled out their boot order.)

To recap Craig's attempts to screw up Tipara, he's already got four people who are in the alliance and know what's going on, and both Lance and Long Pole Joel went straight to Knob to confirm whether he's lying. God help us, it looks like the hopes of the Kadina tribe rest on... Princess Jane. [Insert screechy horror-movie sting here.]

Knob provides us this week's Reality Cliché, telling us he's not here to make friends. That's good, because I'm not sure anybody aside from Hatie really truly likes you as a person anyway.

In front of everyone except Kadina, Knob and Hatie discuss what they have to do to stop Craig from spoiling their little secret. Long Pole Joel tells Hatie he believed it. Hatie tells them she didn't at first, but then admits to talking to them about the game in some way. God, they're not even trying to bring her unstuck and she's doing it on her own. It's like watching Paula Abdul.

Hatie confessionals that the only way out of a lie is to lie even more, or to tell the truth and be screwed. Given that everyone's trying so hard to make her fall apart, I'd say she's screwed either way at this point. But that's just me.

Long Pole Joel says he can't respect Craig for lying, even though he actually hasn't, and even though the people who are continually lying are right in front of him. Hatie says she can see Craig "sitting up there, just delighted in himself", before laughing like it's the funniest thing she could ever have said. Which: NO, thanks to a wonderfully snarky shot from the editors of Craig standing around and looking nervous.

Commercials. Luckily, Jeff has stopped selling water.

Speaking of, another sweeping helicopter shot of the water welcomes us back. At the Bucket Mail, now placed much higher on its tree than it was before, the bucket contains a pole with a ribbon. Craig and Sciona are on Bucket Mail duty today, apparently having the job delegated to them by that committee Sciona loves so much. She calls the pole interesting (though does not compare it to Long Pole Joel's long pole, either because her mind is not as dirty as mine or because she could not see over the shower divider). Craig reads it:

Fire of life can quickly turn

Relax for a minute and your hopes will burn

Stand tall and straight, don't let your arm fall

Strength and patience will win Immunity's call

Nice to see Immunity finally got a mobile phone. I call Immunity and tell it not to open the door for anybody except Craig. And maybe NoMind.

That night, a whole bunch of fires are burning brightly. I see the producers have fixed the problems from the very first challenge.

Link welcomes the tribe, wearing a wannabe Drizabone over a shirt that actually looks respectable for once. Figures. He says that it's "a nice night to gather around the campfire", as though this challenge was his very own idea. He says that the night is looking a little dangerous like people who always hang out at train stations and outside shopping centres. So they're having an Immunity Challenge, because as we all know, druggies hate fire. (Somewhere, Sylvain is probably stoned and crying.) But before he explains what the fires are here for, he has to grab the Immunity Broken Glockenspiel from Craig. He asks Craig how it was winning the Immunity Clip-On Tie. Craig says it was good.

Link makes a decent segue into the challenge description (which is one of the things he's much better than Probst at doing). He ties the challenge into the hokey Fire Is Life symbolism of Tribal Council, but still does not explain it.

The fires are STILL burning, which means they've officially lasted longer than the ones from the first episode.

As Link hands out poles just like the Bucket Mail message mode, he says that each person has to hold their pole in one arm and hold it above the fire, standing a couple of feet back so that they're basically giving a half-arsed version of the Hitler salute. I'm thinking Joel's mirror image has this in the bag. ["Grabbing onto a big long pole with one hand? Joel's winning this even without the mirror." -- WhoreBoy] If you lower your rod into the fire, take it away from the fire, grab it with your other hand, or let go if it completely, you are out. The last person left wins. This is actually a pretty decent challenge idea, aside from the Nazi thing.

Survivors ready? GO! A couple of seconds after they start, Link makes them switch hands. That is sadistically brilliant. And now most people are using their left arms, which makes it slightly less uncomfortable to watch. Link appears to be giving the players advice, telling NoMind to try harder. Hatie drops hers after three minutes, beaten by even Princess Jane. Ouch. Princess Jane herself is out ninety seconds later.

People stand around and wait. Link congratulates them for competing for the World's Shortest Ten Minutes. Soon after, NoMind has trouble and drops hers, lasting a total of thirteen-and-a-half minutes.

Lance looks paranoid. Long Pole Joel just looks at other people.

Three minutes after NoMind, Sciona is out. Sixty seconds later (what are the odds that all these people are finishing exactly on multiples of 30 seconds?), Sophie takes her stick away. Left in the game? The four men. Huh. But Lance drops his at 19 minutes. Link reminds us that there are only three people left.

Everybody looks tired, and Long Pole Joel looks like a constipated raver. Thirty minutes.

Long Pole Joel falls asleep for a second, literally, and drops his at 36 minutes and 30 seconds. WhoreBoy is shocked.

Just like last week, Knob and Craig have outlasted everyone. Link asks who wants it the most, and reminds them that they just have to give up to get away from the challenge. But this is warm and their camp isn't, so I don't think they'll be doing that any time soon.

What on earth have they done to keep these fires burning for so long? Knob looks homicidal, and Craig looks like he's having fun.

At 45 minutes, creepy Irish-influences music starts. Music guy, if you love Ireland so much, why don't you just go and marry it?

Craig fights the pain while Knob looks trouble free. Fight it, Craig, or don't bother coming to the reunion show!

At one hour, Craig starts making monkey faces. Apparently he thinks Knob will quit if you make him laugh.

Both people look like they're trying not to collapse. Knob eventually does, after one hour, three minutes, and fifteen seconds. So Craig wins Immunity.


WhoreBoy (who unlike me doesn't know who wins and who gets voted out when) on Craig: "Holy crap, he's going to do it. He's going to win every single one of these."

The Violin Music Of Triumph plays as Link forks over the Immunity Pole Dancing Costume. Link says he earned it. Yes, he did. Just to see how much it hurt, I tried holding one arm up while writing the challenge portion of the recap, and it is exhausting. And I didn't have a pole at the end to hold on to. My arm muscles (yeah, I don't do Phys Ed. You're lucky I knew they were muscles) are so tense and so much bigger than usual right now, I was seriously considering using that as experience to start a career in personal training. Hey, it's more training than those idiots over on The Biggest Loser have.

Commercials. I move that Affirmation by Savage Garden replace Shaddup Ya Face as Australia's unofficial national anthem. Anybody opposed to dumping Joe Dolce? Didn't think so.

The next day, waves and tree branches and junk bring us back to the Crappily-Steered Ship Aurora, where people sleep, and Lance does his yoga. Knob carves off Day 23 from the calendar, apparently thinking the best way to fix the holes in the boat is to carve a whole bunch of lines into it. Idiot.

Mo' waves. Waves are the new kangaroos. As Long Pole Joel and Lance walk to the beach, Craig confessionals that he's here to win, and he'll be more determined to win the next Immunity Challenge given that NoMind is virtually guaranteed of going home tonight and then Tipara will have no choice to vote each other off. I can't wait.

Hatie confessionals how much she wants Craig out of her game, because she's trying to win and she apparently can't do that when other people are competing against her at the same time. SHUT UP, HATIE. You are a fucking professional athlete. You should be used to having competition. Deal with it, fuckhead.

Long Pole Joel and Lance talk about how they also don't like Craig trying to play the game. I wonder if they'd feel the same if it was Princess Jane or Sciona who was doing it, rather than someone who is a huge physical and social threat. Long Pole Joel confessionals how everybody's discussed how they're voting, and that Forming Alliances Is Bad. Idiot. And doesn't discussing your voting make it a tribe-wide alliance?

Craig rubs NoMind's back. He confessionals that he loves NoMind (the implied "as a friend" is left out), and that he trusts her. He's proud of NoMind for fighting to the end. NoMind herself tells him that she's hoping that telling people she doesn't want to go might work. Yeah, not happening.

Princess Jane confessionals that, like, she's really, like, battling with her, like, conscience, like, really, like, badly, because, like, she, like, likes NoMind, like, much more than, like, Long Pole Joel, and, like, Sophie would, like, keep, like, NoMind, like, around. Like.

NoMind tells Long Pole Joel she wants to be there still. Long Pole Joel confessionals that he looks at who contributed least to the tribe's success, and he's thinking it's Princess Jane. There's something about that confessional that seems like they put it in at the wrong place.

NoMind tells Sciona the same deal. NoMind confessionals that the only we she can stay is to convince the Tipara people that she's more worthy of staying around than Princess Jane. Sciona says that there are people from Tipara who have basically gotten a free ride to where they are. I agree. Given that Lance and Princess Jane have both been annoying the others throughout the game for whatever reason, at least one of them should have been snuffed by now. I'd prefer if they went over NoMind or Craig, but at the same time those two are the most likeable of the Tipara, compared to dickweed Knob, ferret skank Hatie, boring Sciona, non-existent Sophie, and Long Pole Joel, who is annoyingly moralising at times. Sciona confessionals that she has so many nefarious plans and schemes going on that she's playing "twenty-five hours a day". Surely the editors would have shown more than the current ONE scene of her doing anything strategic, if that was what was really happening.

Knob talks to Sciona about getting rid of Princess Jane, because she won't help to beat Craig at anything except a Biggest Breasts Challenge. Classy! And necessary! Is there a category beyond "dead to me" that I can sign Knob up for? (And, besides, that would probably be a Reward Challenge anyway.) Sciona, finally actually doing something, boringly says that Princess Jane would be a good idea, solely to stop Lance and Princess Jane from working together to overthrow the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning. So, they've both come up with booting Princess Jane as the right solution right now, in different ways. Interesting. Of course, Sciona seems to be ignoring one key factor, which is NoMind. How will booting one person outside of the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning to fix the numbers advantage be different to booting another person for the same reason, especially considering that NoMind is playing a much better strategic game, and has the advantage I mentioned a couple of weeks ago of being able to give better incentives for switching? I think her plan may have been designed in conjunction with Hatie.

Anyway, Sciona and Knob are trying to figure out whether they can get the numbers to ditch Jane. In a confessional in which his eyes are looking especially glazed-over, Knob tells us that he's trying to get rid of Princess Jane because Lance might have skills that would help to beat Craig in a challenge. Which, again, assumes Princess Jane is completely useless at every single thing the producers could possibly turn into a challenge because she is a girl. Which is completely ridiculous, given that at that point in time, women had won seven Immunity challenges between them, one woman (Kelly Wiglesworth) had a similar frame and ability level as Princess Jane and managed to win four in a row, and seven out of eight individual Immunity Challenges in Marquesas -- filmed just before Australian Survivor, though it hadn't aired yet -- were won by women. So shut up, Knob. He also implies that Lance doesn't have the soulless heart needed to play Survivor.

Lance shows how afraid of causing harm he is by asking for Rob's help, because he has to jump into the water. Knob walks over, and Lance tells him that he needs to find a snagged hook, as well's as Long Pole Joel's. There appears to have been no logical point for that entire scene.

Sophie confessionals that her conscience is a bitch. Hatie confessionals and orders us to believe that Sophie's happy to be a part of the alliance, even though we just saw that that's not the case. She continues her bitch session, saying that Sophie is picky about who she's going to vote for, and how that "disturbs" her "a lot", and blah blah choose-a-new-alliance-partner-cakes. You know what else disturbs me, Hatie? I mean, aside from the apparent lack of self-aware irony in what you just said? That hat.

Sophie talks to Princess Jane, Lance, and Long Pole Joel, about how she knows that she'll vote for some people and not others. Hatie refuses to end her ranting, this time saying she'll "ask", "discuss" with Knob whether they can vote Sophie out. Back at the cove, Sophie tells the others that she's not going to lie if people ask her whether they are going back to the hotel. Princess Jane checks to confirm if what she heard was correct, and it is.

Commercials. As WhoreBoy pointed out, it's kind of disturbing how I can feel so comfortable lusting after a reality contestant who is now twice as old as I am. Shut up, WhoreBoy.

A horn sounds over the coast, and Aurora marches into Tribal Council. Link does what he always does, and then reminds them of how the game has changed again, even though it really hasn't in terms of the traditional format, which the players had seen three times before they came out here and are thus used to it. You may have noticed that Link has a habit of making a big deal about things that nobody else cares so much about. In this case, it's the jury, which starts with whoever gets booted tonight. In case you've never watched the show before, they hang around at every Tribal Council between now and the last night, sort of like the Ghosts Of Snuffages Past.

Craig, how important to you was that reward that you didn't win? He says it was what made him outlast Knob for that Immunity Challenge. More nights away from camp for Craig, please! Hatie, you're supposedly a professional athlete. Does eating almost nothing affect how you showboat? She says yes, although we haven't actually had any track-and-field based challenges since the first episode for her to prove it with. Sciona, were you pissed you didn't get the reward? Yes, even though she knew she would have to sleep in the dirt when she applied. NoMind, you bothered to bring your football with you, do you think you might possibly be going home given you're the only vulnerable Kadina against seven former Tipara? NoMind happily says she knows what's going to happen and that she's happy Craig won the Immunity Alphorn Repair Kit. Lance, how do you know who isn't lying to your face, what with all that money on the line? Lance says he trusts everyone. Fool. He also says that he doesn't know of any alliances, and the editors snarkily cut to first Knob and then to Hatie. HA!

Once again without talking to half the tribe, it's time to vote. Sciona votes for a NoMind because it was inevitable. By that logic, she could vote for absolutely anyone and not tell us what she really thinks. Princess Jane daintily walks up the gangplank and votes. Hatie votes. Craig votes for Rob, for the hilarious reasoning that he didn't like getting one last week. Sophie votes. NoMind votes for Lance because he is a threat to Craig winning, given she already knows she's getting booted tonight. Knob votes. Long Pole Joel votes. Lance votes.

Link goes to count the least suspenseful set of votes in history. Lance and Long Pole Joel try to hold their hands over the fire for warmth. Knob looks paranoid; NoMind looks resigned to her fate. Yawn. Let's get this over and done with, shall we? NoMind. NoMind. NoMind. Knob. NoMind. An even-less-readable-than-usual vote for Lance. NoMind. Link correctly surmises that he doesn't have to read the last two, given NoMind's already got the majority.

Just like Caren last week, NoMind snubs the Tiparas, and is snuffed. She will be missed. Craig looks determined.

Link reminds them again of the jury situation, and how NoMind will be watching everything they do. He sends them back to camp. Craig grabs his torch and angrily walks out far ahead of the rest of the tribe, still lethargically standing up. Boy, if that doesn't tell you something.

Next week: Craig hugs Sciona, and Hatie calls him a "manipulative little snake" because of it. She does remember Sue Hawk's speech all about rats and snakes, right? Also, since when did she get the right to call people manipulative without it being ironic? Link says the tribe will be tested by Craig, but apparently it's only Hatie who feels anything. Which makes me think like the universe is about to collapse in on itself. Knob rolls his eyes. Craig and Long Pole Joel share a discussion. In more disturbing news: The Gross Food Challenge. Oh, that'll be fun.

NoMind's confessional. She says she didn't get what she wanted out of the game, and that she'll miss Craig. Awww.

1 comment:

  1. From an old version of this blog, Bluezombie:

    "OK, once again a great recap. Best title ever! Sad to see NoMind go, I loved her, almost as much as Craig. I also love Joel, but I do agree about him being a bit too moralising. And the idea of a Hatie/Knob spawn makes me vomit, imaginary or not."