Monday, October 12, 2009

1x09: I Just Feel So Bad

Which is worst: The fact that the reward challenge is made meaningless by everyone getting to share in the pizza; the appearance of the eating challenge; or the fact that Craig is voted out?

Previously on NoMind? No Money!: People bitched about how cold and wet it was. Other people were idiots and didn't think Craig was telling the truth about the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning. There appeared to be a challenge involving fire for some reason, but Link doesn't mention when or why. NoMind was the next victim of the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning, and the first to get the right to make the finalists' last night absolute torture. Now, we're halfway to a winner. Who will be voted out... TONIGHT?

Credits. I hardly remember anything about some of these people. The problem is that most of the people I don't remember much about are still in the game.

Commercials. Dear the AFL: Tasmania wants, needs, and deserves a team. Neither Western Sydney nor the Gold Coast are interested. Give it up already.

On Day 25, a hat confuses me and makes me think it's a bird. Well played, hat. In other news, kangaroos remind us once again that Hey Australia, We Didn't Ship These People To New Caledonia Overnight! Knob and Hatie stand around the fire, and Hatie whines in a confessional about how she feels "really shabby", and has for a few days now. She doesn't want to be around anybody, and doesn't even want people to look at her. See how fun it is when people you don’t like get this beat down? Hatie also bitches about how Princess Jane is pissing her off, because she is actually injured and is unable to walk to the Water Windmill, as opposed to Hatie's simple not wanting to go. She says that Sophie wants to keep Princess Jane around for as long as possible, but that she "doesn't fit the image of this game". Well, at this point, you don't quite fit the image of a woman, so I don't think you should complain, Hatie. Shut up.

Princess Jane says she woke up and thought everyone else had gone to the toilet. Or something.

Sciona walks and talks to Craig. She says she doesn't want to have to watch Craig keep winning without feeling like she can cheer for him. Even if she's boring as all hell, I think I'm beginning to like Sciona. Not much, but more than Knob and Hatie and Sophie, definitely.

Long Pole Joel confessionals completely unnecessarily about how he doesn't like the way that Craig has lied in order to try and not be voted out. Of course, Craig actually hasn't lied yet, he's just told you what's going on behind your back, and you were stupid enough to go and ask people to tell you their secret plan to last longer than you, which of COURSE they're not going to do. So shut up, Long Pole Joel.

Back with Craig and Sciona, he says it's stupid for people to try and deny there are alliances forming. And for Joel it's especially stupid, considering he was manipulated by the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning into voting for Jeff all those episodes ago. And that every single Tipara has voted for the exact same person in each of the past two Tribal Councils.

Hatie confessionals that Craig is being a "conspirator" and a "weasel". Well, it takes one to know one. Though I have to admit I'm surprised she didn't choose Ferret as her animal insult of choice. She continues that she doesn't want to see her friends manipulated, and then points out that people might think she's doing that same thing herself, but she's a revisionist and doesn't think she is.

Hatie tells Lance that she's annoyed that Craig is "deliberately going out of his way" to be nice to people and to try and succeed in this game. WHICH IS THE ENTIRE FUCKING POINT OF THE GAME, YOU EVIL HARPY SHREW. She calls him an arsehole and explains how she can't wait for him to walk off that ship. Yeah, the feeling's mutual. I will be unable to contain my joy if you get booted either.

Sciona tells Knob she's not going to be voting against Craig because he deserves her respect. Yes he does. It's not his fault he got shoved on the tribe with all the nice people who sucked, unlike, say, St. Stephenie from Palau, who got on Ulong in one of those "Choose Who You Want" starts I absolutely despise. Knob confessionals about how close she is with Craig. Sciona says she needs to be able to support him with a clear conscience. So, basically, she wants out of the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning. Knob confessionals about how Craig managed to charm her, except he goes all annoying and calls Craig and Sciona "warriors". Shut up, Knob. I think he may even be dead to Satan at this point.

Sciona wonders how they can make Craig feel like part of the tribe, and Knob suggests friendship bracelets made out of driftwood. No, really. How has this guy not been put in an insane asylum yet? Knob confessionals about how whatever they do to make Craig feel welcome won't matter because he'll be voted off as soon as possible anyway. And he laughs like it's the most ingenious plan anybody has ever invented. And it probably is the most ingenious plan anybody here (aside from Craig) has come up with, given that it doesn't require three notepads worth of paper just to write down all the machinations of or anything.

Sciona tells Knob about why she respects Craig, for not giving up when the rest of the tribe did (and, really, the only people who gave up were Sylvain and Bald Spice, given that even Lucindork seems to still want to be there when she was telling everyone to vote for her), and how he only really had one strong relationship with another person when he joined the merged tribe, and how he was literally in tears when NoMind was snuffed. Knob confessionals that he believes that Craig's crying was a complete act designed to get Sciona to feel sorry for him. Does this guy not even realise that people might actually start (shock! horror!) liking each other out here? Of course not, given that the only decent relationship he has with another person out here is Imaginary and all. Knob calls Craig "a clever dude". Well, at least I can agree with the statement, even if I can't agree with the tone of it, why it was said, or whom it was said by. After he winds up his conversation with Sciona, Knob rolls his eyes. Fuck off, Knob.

Landscape shots. Also shots of bees. Craig, Princess Jane, Sciona, and Sophie walk down to the beach, while Craig tells a story. As they see a group of emus, Sophie loudly impersonates one, and they fall for it. She does it again, and says she thinks she was an emu in a past life. Sciona wonders if what she said was "come here, I've got food", and Sophie the cunning linguist tells Sciona she's actually saying "come here, I want to eat you". Cute scene. And it also gives me a reason to remember Sophie.

Commercials. In the Nein Newsroom tonight, Raceguy apologises for not making a single Underwater Survivor joke during the recap of the last episode.

Right on cue, a helicopter flies over the water and all around the shore. I think the Underwater Survivors might be a bit further away. The tribe fishes, and Sciona catches a big one. Princess Jane has one of her own, and Sciona asks her if she's gutted a fish before. She hasn't but she did bring the equipment so that she could. Sciona has to show her where to begin, and she confessionals that Princess Jane doesn't do anything around camp, basically only because she doesn't have the skills. Well, if you would teach her how to do something instead of doing it for her every goddamn time, you wouldn't have this problem, now, would you? Long Pole Joel says the same thing, but adds that she doesn't even appear to compete at any challenges at all. Did he not notice that she outlasted Hatie with the poles last week, or that she solved that square puzzle quicker than half the tribe did (she beat Lance and Long Pole Joel himself, and Sciona, Caren, and NoMind never finished)? And she seemed to be actually trying with the shovels. And her story for that True/False challenge was a very believable lie, given her personality. So shut up, Long Pole Joel. Princess Jane uses a knife to pick up a fish from the ground. She confessionals that she thinks the rest of the tribe respects her for trying her hardest. Her level of trying definitely influences how the tribe sees her, sure, but it's not in the way you think, honey. She says that many of them have told her how much more confident she's become with her survival skills. As evidenced by her little display with that fish back there, apparently. Before, she would have made someone else pick it up. Now, she's doing it all on her own! She also says that she has much more self-esteem, and I can see that that is definitely true. She really has become much more independent than she looked during those first few days. Craig provides his own confessional about Princess Jane's worthlessness, and mentions that she always talks about food. But he does acknowledge that it might be a complete hoax, because people seem to want her votes. Even when he's being a bitch about someone, he's still willing to complement them. That's the first sign I've seen that it would never work between Craig and me. I mean, aside from the age thing (damn you WhoreBoy for pointing that out).

Kangaroos hop all around the walking tribe. A lizard stretches its tongue.

Sophie gets the Bucket Mail, flanked by Princess Jane, Sciona, and Craig. You know, if Lance were here, this would be the Group Of People Left Who I At Least Try To Like. It's a plank of wood. The message this time?

Isolated and alone, you must plan your attack

Choose your steps carefully, you can't go back

Pick off the others one by one

'Til alone you stand and your reward is won

The four of them are flummoxed and interested. A helicopter flies to the challenge site, where a giant grid has been marked out with rope and turf. The tribe walks in, and Link welcomes them. They're playing for pizza, in a return to the Car-Pepper reward format. There's also a product-placement can of Pepsi on the table with the pizza box, so that must also be a part of the reward, though Link doesn't mention it. Then again, I assume they don't get to eat the vase of flowers that's also there. The game is simple, and yet requires the camera to zoom up, up and away as Link explains it. There's a nine-by-nine square grid on the ground. Everybody can start on any square they wish. One at a time, you choose another square, and Link will put an "elimination disc" (basically a cardboard circle like in that ridiculous Boxes Immunity Challenge from the Outback season of the American version, except they're all yellow and unmarked) in that square. Then, you move one square in any direction, including backwards and diagonally. You put another disc in the square you vacated. If you can't move, you're out. The last person left on the board wins the pizza.

It's been bugging me since I first rewatched this episode (just after the 2008 Olympics) why this challenge looked so familiar, and aside from the elimination disc part of it, it's exactly the same as that Immunity Challenge Rudy won way back in the first season of the American version, which I absolutely loved as a concept. And, weirdly enough, the concept was also recycled with an additional twist on Survivor Marquesas too. I kind of think this challenge is here to spell out the pecking order to the clueless Tiparas. Maybe. But the problem is that everyone already knows Craig is at the bottom, and that it's setup to be slightly ambiguous about the fact, if that's why it's here. I still like the challenge, though.

In other news, just like I did with that square puzzle back in the merge episode, this one's going to be easier to describe with pictures. And you would be amazed at how hard it is to draw straight lines in Paint. So, here's how they start off:

There are three interesting things about which squares people chose. Firstly, Princess Jane has chosen the exact same square as Craig, but on the opposite side of the board. And Knob and Sophie have done the same thing. Secondly, for all his self-entitled bitching about "warriors", Knob is a knight's move away from three separate people. And finally, Hatie just has to be the centre of everything.

From now on assume that despite what the show says, all directions mentioned are as shown on that picture.

Knob goes first, and places his disc above Lance's square on the map. He moves downwards, so that he's closer to Hatie. Craig is next, and his disc separates Sciona and Hatie. Good idea. Hatie really won't be able to stand all that cheering if Craig wins this. He also moves towards Hatie, which is really the stupidest possible decision he could have made, given that his old square is now out of play, Knob and Hatie are diagonally adjacent and theirs will also be before his next turn, and Long Pole Joel is also two squares away. Lance dumps his disc to the right of Craig and moves diagonally towards the gridlock. Sciona's disc goes between Knob and Hatie, proving she too has some level of decency. And she also moves away from the bunch and towards Princess Jane. Sophie splits up Long Pole Joel and Craig (no more accidental fucking, you two), and moves upwards. Princess Jane almost-but-not-quite tries to cut Rob out of the game by putting her disc to the left of his starting position. She moves downwards, so that she's now standing next to Sophie. Unsurprisingly, Hatie puts hers beneath Craig, and he is now completely surrounded. Hatie moves towards Sophie. Long Pole Joel sticks his disc (relax, Joel's girlfriend, I said DISC, with an S) between all the ladies. Which is a smart move. He moves down, next to Craig's original start. So, after one round, here's how it looks:

As you can see, Craig is waiting for his next turn and he's gone. No pizza for you. Hatie has at most one move left. Depending on where other people get Link to run around to (which is a greatly understated visual gag, because Running Hosts Are Funny, as everyone who watched that TAR 11 episode in Mozambique can testify), Knob and Lance could also have only one more turn. They're both safe this time because of the order they move in (Knob is first, Lance is third), but next time they could be screwed. At this point, the only people who seem to be playing smart are Long Pole Joel and Sciona.

And it's onto the second round. Knob fills in the gap beneath Hatie (insert your own joke) and moves left. Craig is out. Lance's next move is "just over there, thanks", by which he means next to Sophie's original square. Here's where it gets hard to tell who's moving where, but thanks to the frequent aerial shots, I can tell you that Lance moves downwards. Sciona sticks her own disc behind Sophie and moves backwards. Sophie tells Link where to stick it (between Joel and Lance, even though that describes about four different squares). She moves up and to the right, the only way she can. Princess Jane also moves that way, after placing a disc left of her previous choice, and the first disc right on the edge of the board. Knob calls her nasty, as though it's inconceivable that someone could be so horrible as to try and stop him from winning a fucking PIZZA. Princess Jane laughs at his stupidity. I like Princess Jane more and more every week. Hatie is out. Woo! Long Pole Joel goes behind Sophie and moves down. After Round 2:

Sciona's doing well, having practically the entire top left quarter of the board to herself. Knob's pretty much screwed, and Sophie has to take that square to the right of Hatie's last square, otherwise she probably will be too. And even then, someone could block her and she'll be out anyway. This is quite a fun little challenge, as opposed to all the crappy other ones we had during the tribal stage.

To start Round 3, Knob puts his disc left of Sciona, and moves left himself. Lance chooses on the diagonal behind Sophie, and moves down and to the right. Sciona chooses above Princess Jane, then moves up and to the left. Sophie puts one in the bottom left corner, which makes no sense. Wait until someone stands there, and then box them off. It's not rocket surgery (though, I suppose, it may qualify as brain science). She takes the only move available to her. Princess Jane outwits ME by moving to the left rather than out to the edge, right after she takes the remaining square above Lance. She really is much smarter than people give her credit for. Joel takes the square above Sophie and stupidly moves down and to the right, not only cutting off one of his moves but also giving Knob an extra one. That's three rounds completed, so here's the grid, now looking like a deformed piece of purple frog roadkill:

Sophie will be out. Long Pole Joel has three moves left at the most. Knob and Princess Jane have four, but any of them could be booted sooner with the help of the elimination discs, which were a brilliant idea. Without them, we'd just be watching people move around. Assuming they move right and left respectively, Lance and Sciona have nine and thirteen squares left. It seems as though these two are the only ones left with a real chance.

But Sciona's chances take a dive when Knob and Lance block the two squares on her left on their next turn. Knob moves down (as he has to), and Lance moves right (as he should). Unless they gang up on him, Lance is winning this challenge. Sciona tries to get revenge on the wrong person (surprisingly, in this case) by putting her disc next to Knob. Heh. Unsurprisingly, he whines. Link apologises for having to eliminate Sophie. Princess Jane again makes a smart move, and takes the square diagonally in from the bottom right corner. It's right about now I think I should have numbered the squares. And put little images of their heads in the squares, complete with sad faces on the squares when they got booted. Except then I would have had to find something other than a bitchface for Hatie, and that would have been impossible. Anyway, Princess Jane moves straight up. But Long Pole Joel puts his disc to the right of her anyway, dooming her to beat only five people in this challenge. Completely worthless, that girl. After four rounds:

Lance is guaranteed to win, because, as much as I like this challenge idea, it's always anticlimactic whenever it gets used. From here, there is no point making more graphics. Besides, as fun as this challenge was to recap, it took me five freaking hours to do. For something which only ultimately made two and a half minutes of TV footage. Sigh. I think that took longer to do than the entirety of Episode 2, if I recall correctly. There’s every chance I’m not, though.

To start the next round, Knob tries to lie his way into an extra turn. Just like the Kadinas with his Imaginary booty call, Link isn't falling for it, and Knob is out. Buh-bye. Lance takes the square to the right of Long Pole Joel. Sciona is out, and so is Princess Jane. Weirdly, Link walks over to Sciona as she puts her last disc down, and then walks back to the middle of the right edge of the board, and then walks BACK to Princess Jane to collect her discs. Heh. Long Pole Joel gets Link to put his last disc in the square above the corner, and then moves up. Also weirdly, Lance does not realise he's won, complaining about being boxed in. Idiot. Five rounds in.

Lance moves over to the right, and Long Pole Joel is out. Lance wins. Long Pole Joel and Link both shake Lance’s hand. Link reminds Lance that he did all that just to win pizza, and then peer-pressures that he can do with that what he wants. Obviously as a consequence of this, Lance wants to know whether he can split it eight ways. Link passive-aggressives that it’s his decision, and he says he’ll split it eight ways. The tribe cheers. Link stifles a tear inside, because he always seems to miss his chance to be part of the popular crowd. I complain once again that sharing like this defeats the purpose of having the challenges in the first place. Give everyone left $62,500 or whatever it works out to and call the competition off already. Conveniently, there are eight slices. The girls kiss his cheeks European-style, and he has to practically a reluctant Long Pole Joel to do the same. Heh. He also asks Craig expectantly, and Craig just shakes his hand instead. The way Lance asked Craig makes me think that he thinks (or knows) that Craig is gay. It’s probably just my imagination. But what’s not is noticing that Knob and Hatie do not take any part in the celebratory kissing. Granted, Sciona doesn’t either, but then again it’s more fun to ignore her. The tribe eats, and Sciona says she’s saving hers for a rainy day. Sure. Whatever you say. Sophie in particular seems to enjoy her pizza.

The tribe walks back to camp. Craig confessionals about how Lance was generous. He says that the people in the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning may have found the pizza “a little hard to swallow”. Now, there’s some sad foreshadowing for you. Also, the editors snarkily cut to Knob and Hatie walking arm-in-arm, like the Imaginary lovers they are. HA!

We see that the Water Windmill has “Southern Cross” written on it. Just another sign that You Are In Australia, And If You Ever Start To Forget, Remind Us So We Can Add In Some Kangaroos!

Sciona confessionals that she gave her pizza slice to Craig. Aw. Awww! But she put it in his bag without telling him, so he’s going to get a nasty surprise going through customs on the flight home. Or he would, if… you know, they actually left the country. She says she did it so that Craig realises that he’s not alone. Speaking of alone, here he is, walking past a sleeping Hatie. She does know she’s supposed to remove some clothing if she wants a tan, right?

Commercials. Tonight’s winning Tattslotto number is pi.

The tribe walks to the Water Windmill, past some more kangaroos, if that is at all possible. Joel and Sophie sing a song I definitely should recognize but don’t. The kangaroos appear to be enjoying the performance.

The windmill goes into time-lapse spasms. Craig goes off to talk to Sciona, and we get yet another Knob discussion explaining the warrior thing. This time, Hatie is listening, and she thinks he’s a manipulative dickweed (or “duckweed”) for trying to get along with people, even though they’re supposedly sick of doing it, because they are so much better than po’ widdle Craig wif his pafetic pwans to ovuhfwow dem. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Craig tells Sciona he’s going fishing, presumably in case his boyfriend calls to find out why he’s 25 days late coming home from work.

As the sun supposedly sets* and the annoying moany music plays, some of the tribe goes down to the beach. Knob whines about how the lobster trap doesn’t close. Of course it doesn’t. How do you expect the fucking lobster to get into the fucking trap so you can fucking eat it, you fucking prick?

[I think the shot was played in reverse, or is from some other time entirely, given that it’s much brighter when they’re actually down at the water.]

Craig confessionals that he seems to get tougher as the game continues, and that he doesn’t know how far he can go before he breaks. Wow. Two insightful and non-ridiculous Journey! confessionals in one episode. What are the odds?

Lance’s silhouette stands against the sunset, down on the beach. Lance confessionals about how hungry he is, but how he was willing to cope with it, given that “millions of people around the world are doing it miles tougher”. Now THAT is the sort of thing you never expect to hear on a reality show. Well, maybe on one of The Amazing Race’s too-frequent visits to India, but aside from that, you’d never hear about poor people, because We Are Trying To Win A Game! Lance looks very weary staring off into the sunset. Craig confessionals that he hopes Lance can figure out a way to survive once “the game gets nasty”. After that last comment from him, me too.

Someone dumps the lobster trap into the water, and the sun sets. The Underwater Survivors appreciate the food.

The next day, Day 26, birds awaken the tribe. Lance asks how Craig slept, and Craig says he had a good night. Sciona tells us how great that is, like she’s an emo cheerleader. Lance and Craig go to the cliffs together. But Knob is already there, carving the word Aurora into a rock or a piece of wood or something. (In addition to my not doing Phys Ed last week, I also don’t do Art. Is anyone surprised at this point?)

In a hilarious shot, Craig is standing with his arms folded in front of some brush. Then, Lance pops up from behind, in the middle of his morning yoga. Whichever camera guy got that deserves a raise. Craig confessionals that he’s proven to himself that he’s not quite as incompetent as Hatie thinks, and now he wants to win another Immunity to really fuck up the Complicated Plan of Eternal Overplanning. Craig continues to watch Lance stretch.

Knob confessionals that Craig “guessed” which alliance had formed, and then told Lance to try and get him to realise that people are (gasp!) actually playing the game. Lance shows Craig his favourite yoga position, and Knob continues annoying me, by calling Craig or Lance, it’s not entirely which, Mohammed. Even if that wasn’t highly offensive to Muslims, there would be a time and a place, and I don’t think that was it. Shut up, Knob.

Lance and Craig get the Bucket Mail, which is made up of two big shells.

Wakey wakey, It’s time to eat

You’ve got 30 minutes to get on your feet

A taste sensation is what you desire

But there’ll be no cooking around the campfire

Come and see what your tasty treats will be

And one will go home with Immunity

On the one hand, that is possibly the absolute worst poem I have heard for any challenge in any version of this show. On the other, it does finally answer the burning question of how long teams get between the mail and the challenge. So… meh.

Everybody realises instantly that it’s time for them to face the Fear Factor Food Feast. Hatie looks pissed. Jane looks oddly excited. Sophie confessionals about how she had a dream about decent food, and then she woke up to find out about the gross food challenge. Heh. Sciona and Craig have a little fun about how it’ll be vegetarian food. Because spinach slice really is the grossest food of all, apparently.

We get shots of shells sitting on giant material spools, and one of an Exposition Hand lifting a shell to reveal some squid. Mmmm.

Commercials. If anyone can tell me how to change the blog so I can get previews of posts rather than having to deal with around seventy thousand words worth of recaps, it would be much appreciated.

Cliffs. More spools, disguised as actual tables by rocks. More shells. The tribes nervously walks in. Link takes the necklace from Craig. Link apologises for the challenge starting so early, and wonders aloud if it stopped the tribe from having breakfast. It did, and Link therefore assumes the tribe is hungry. And not in the Budapest kind of way. Link assures them it’s good they’re hungry, because they’ll need appetites to lose with the Immunity Challenge. He says that they’ll be facing “a selection of unusual seafood delicacies”, once again adding unnecessary words seemingly as though to make a point of knowing them. Link reminds the tribe that they were told to pick a partner for the challenge. However, they are going to be working against them rather than with them. Nobody cares. I’m not sure that was quite the big revelation they were probably expecting it to be. Lance literally licks his lips. Heh. The rules are simple. One pair at a time eats, and you have to eat everything you are given. The first to finish moves on to the next round, and so on until only one person is left. The first course is fish food. No, really. It’s a pilchard, and Link makes a point of saying that the local tuna eat them.

Waves. The Underwater Survivors have finished their lobster trap fish chunks, and want more.

The first pair is Sciona and Sophie. Sciona’s is a bit chewy, but Sophie manages to get hers down easily. Sophie wins. Next: Lance and Hatie. Hatie shoves it all in and then chews, Lance takes bites. Hatie wins. Knob versus Jane. Jane bites a little tiny bit of tail and spits it back out almost immediately. Knob eats his in two bites, complaining the entire way, as he does. The final pairing in this round is Craig and Long Pole Joel. It seems as though they were expecting that little twist to happen, because there is no way otherwise they would have allowed Long Pole Joel and Craig to team up. Anyway, they both shove it in, and Craig blocks his nose. He’s already been smelling the fish while everyone else was eating, so I’m not sure that did anything except restrict his breathing. Sadly, Long Pole Joel wins. Hatie cheers like a banshee. They don’t show it, but you can tell it’s her. Shut up, Hatie. Craig congratulates Joel.

The second round of this challenge is baby squid, and it looks like each person has three or so to get through. The pairs are Long Pole Joel and Sophie, and Knob and Hatie. As much as I like watching those two fight with each other, I think it’s more than a little unfair that Sophie, who went first, is against Long Pole Joel, who ate last. But there’s nothing I can do. These two are first, and unsurprisingly, Sophie wins. Even Link sounds bored with this when he announces that Hatie wins her matchup.

So it’s Hatie and Sophie facing off in the final, even though Hatie’s probably not going to try now that Craig is already out. At a green spool near the edge of the cliff, Link reveals the final course. Fish eyes. Delicious. By my count, there are sixteen for each person, so this isn’t the sort of meal where you can just shove them down, either. And it’s about time they had something difficult to eat, given that baby squid isn’t really that disgusting, and neither are pilchards. Link reminds them of the empty-mouth-empty-bowl rule, and also reminds them that This Is For Immunity. Ready? Wait… go! They start shoveling, and Link calls Hatie out twice for dropping her eyes on the ground. Hatie seems to do them as dry shots, putting one in her mouth and tilting back to swallow, while Sophie just hunkers down and eats. In either case, the music playing over this cannot possibly be good for their digestion. Sophie shows Link an empty mouth to win, and looks like she’s going to be sick. Link asks her not to throw up while he places the Immunity Frozen Giant Squid on her. Hee hee. Link is really very likable when he’s not reading from a script or inciting Mother Nature. He’s sort of like the 2002-era version of Ajay Rochester.

As Sophie hugs Hatie, someone calls her disgusting. Knob laughs. There is a shot of Hatie’s unfinished shell, showing that it wasn’t even close. That’s really the problem I have with eating challenges on this show – you can never tell how well people are doing until they actually finish eating, unless they are literally gagging. But at least the producers were willing to try something different and make this an Individual Challenge rather than a Tribal thing – remember, in the first three seasons of the American version (and Marquesas as well), the eating challenge was always the Episode 2 Immunity Challenge. So they do deserve some credit, even though the challenge was as dull as listening to Sciona.

Lance eats one of Hatie’s leftover eyes. Everyone laughs at him, except for Long Pole Joel, who both points and laughs. Knob says they’re full of protein. In fact, they’re so full of protein, he’s not even going to try eating them.

Waves, and not the fun Mexican kind.

The tribe walks back home, and unsurprisingly, Knob whines to Long Pole Joel like the spoiled little baby he is, complaining about how he likes real food. Shut up and fuck off, Knob.

Lance congratulates Sophie, and calls her a gun. Craig confessionals that he knew the food challenge would be his undoing. His Waterloo, if you will. Which I think is really sad, considering we all know Knob and Hatie are the ones with Napoleon complexes. Logically, I can’t really fault that Craig didn’t do well in that challenge at all, but at the same time it annoys me that we had two challenges in the same episode in which the Tipara were able to screw him over right from the beginning of the game. He calls the loss “hard to swallow”, and: exactly. For you, because you’re almost guaranteed to get the boot; and also for me, because I’m stuck recapping five boring, annoying, or downright nasty people (as well as Lance and Princess Jane) for the next five episodes. Ugh.

Hatie and Sophie discuss how hard it was to finish the fish eyes. Not that Hatie would know. Sophie confessionals that she would have performed the eating task quicker if she swallowed faster. See? She really is the NoMind of the Tipara tribe. Knob confessionals that “she was very, very good” (read: “Craig didn’t win”) and thinks the reason she was so good at eating fish eyes is because she feeds her kids. Uh… huh. Sciona says she can eat anything she likes after that, including another human being. Firstly, I think that that was Knob’s domain, and secondly, she patted Sophie herself as an example, because self-cannibalism is always fun. Knob confessionals that she’s a strong girl and that people don’t give her credit, because they’re all too busy primping his and Hatie’s egos. Except for that last part. Knob calls her “a real threat”. I was under the impression that anybody who made it through the casting process and then got to the final eight was a real threat to winning, but apparently Knob fails to understand how the game works. I feel like I shouldn’t be surprised at his idiocy at this point, but I still am, somehow. Shut up, Knob.

Everybody dries and burns their clothes over the fire. Knob asks about Hatie’s “movement”, and Hatie shares the fact that she took a crap. And that joins the ever-growing List Of Reasons Why Casting These Two People Was A Mistake. Princess Jane and Sciona discuss the fact that they all know each other too well to keep stuff like this secret, and I disagree. Frankly, when you drop the kids off at the pool is not important, unless they are actual kids and you are talking to whoever is going to pick them up.

Long Pole Joel and Craig take a walk. Long Pole Joel starts mumbling and Craig tells him to “spit it out”. He wants to confirm whether Hatie really approached him. Craig says she did, and that he already told him and Lance about her scheming bitchery. Craig mentions that Lance chose not to believe. Long Pole Joel looks confused that he wasn’t the only one who got told, and that he can believe Hatie’s doing it, but not Knob. Of course, that’s because Knob is staying back because he’s so socially incompetent.

Commercials. Australians, don’t forget: The Doctor Who Christmas episode airs on January 25th at 7:30pm, a whole five or so months earlier than usual. (Is this sort of stuff where the “Christmas in July” saying came from?)

Day 27. Sophie’s Immunity Gargoyle Poo hangs from a tree. Quick, Craig, steal it!

Sciona checks out Long Pole Joel’s fingers, one of which has a swollen joint. She confessionals about he she doesn’t want to go home, because she feels so much fitter and stronger and healthier out there. Staying out there for eternity without any food or a decent shelter? Fine by me. Just take Knob and Hatie with you. Sciona continues to help Long Pole Joel, as Knob confessionals that Sciona’s capable of doing all the work around camp by herself. That must explain why he’s never seen doing anything helpful. Even Princess Jane at least tries to do work.

Shots of the sand dunes and some brush, cutting to the tribe walking down to the coast through the scrub. See what they almost did there? They almost managed to make the establishing shots relevant for once. They failed, but it was a nice effort.

Sciona confessionals that she’s not as fit as she was 25 years ago, but that the “drive to win” never goes away. As long as she doesn’t say “the bloodthirst is unquenchable”, I’m fine with that sentiment. Sophie confessionals about how smart and trustworthy Sciona is. And we all remember how Sciona’s done trustworthy stuff throughout the game, like befriending Craig behind the backs of the rest of the Complicated Alliance Of Eternal Overplanning and promising not to vote for him. Just, you know, for future reference.

Hatie walks along the rocks to Knob, and blathers once more about how irritating Sciona is. You’ll notice that even Knob doesn’t have a problem with her. Hatie says it’s because Sciona’s always correcting her and telling her the best way to do things. Which makes sense, of course, because surprisingly enough, these sixteen people did not start out with exactly the same amount of experience surviving off of the land like this. Shut up, Hatie. Knob reminds her that they need either Sciona or Princess Jane in “the four”, and Hatie instantly backs down.

Sciona carries a fish to Craig, passing time by the fire before his inevitable boot, and tells him that she got her fishing line snagged on the rocks. Hatie bitches to Knob about how poor she is compared to Sophie, and I don’t care. On cue, Sophie confessionals that nobody here is worth trusting.

Rocks and waves.

Sophie tells Knob that she knows Hatie has made final-two deals with both him and Sciona. Knob says he knew, and confessionals that three people have already said they want to take him to the final Tribal Council. I assume he thinks it’s because he’s so perfect and wonderful, when in reality I think that it’s because they think he’ll be easy to beat. Of course, they could just be idiots like Hatie is. Sophie confessionals that she was one of the people who wanted to get to the end with Knob. Knob tells Sophie that he’s “always been wary” of Hatie, and that he “feels more solid” with Sophie. Knob confessionals that he thinks Sophie is playing the game as hard as anybody else left. If she is, we haven’t seen it. Then again, we haven’t really seen anybody except for Hatie, Craig, and whoever’s trying not to get voted out all season, so that’s hardly surprising. Sophie says she trusts Knob, but that she’s still going to watch her back. Aaaand I’m back to thinking about that thing I said about Knob misreading anal sex instructions. Thanks a lot, Sophie. Blecch.

Sciona finally executes her driftwood-and-pet-rock plan, making a big deal about it. Whatever.

The windmill continues to need some Ritalin.

Craig tells Sciona while walking to the Water Windmill that he’s not about to give up. Sciona confessionals that Craig is still fighting to win. Apparently, Craig said that if she told Lance and Long Pole Joel about the alliance, they could form a four-person alliance and maybe make it to the end. Hatie bitches about Craig’s attempt to not lose. AGAIN. If only I could recycle ‘86’ for Hatie. Sciona confessionals about how much Hatie was pissed that she was talking with Craig. We see Hatie saying it’s “killing” her to see the pair of them talking. Sciona says she really respects Craig, refraining from calling him a warrior. Hatie says she does too, which is how you can tell she’s reached that point where she’s just saying whatever it takes to get rid of him.

Craig confessionals that he got dealt a bad hand, but that he’s still got an ace up his sleeve. He actually says it’s the Joker, but that makes no sense. He tells Knob that it was him who gave him that exclamation-marked vote that caused me such recapping “joy” last week. Knob says he knew, and Knob is told that it’s part of a plan, and that everyone knew except him. You know, I love watching Craig and all, but telling him that made no sense at all strategically. Craig clarifies, saying that he and the others made a deal with someone (presumably Hatie) to split up the six Kadina votes between him and Lance. In a confessional, Craig tells us that this is just a lie to get Knob to watch his back, as we already knew from his confessionals last week.

Rob has apparently also deduced it was Hatie who made the non-existent deal, as she confessionals that Knob confronted her. She considers it “quite offensive” that Craig could even try and accuse her of making deals like she’s actually doing, and calls Craig “a manipulative little snake”. She does remember the whole rats-and-snakes speech Sue Hawk made in the first season, doesn’t she? And how snakes eat rats? And how she’s annoying little rodent? Just checking.

Commercials. Yeah, I’m not in the mood. Let’s just get this episode over and done with, shall we?

The sun sets on another day, and almost certainly on Kadina as everyone heads into Tribal Council. Link smartly notices the wind. When the tribe sits down, he reminds them that the Jury’s in session. NoMind comes in, looking clean and happy and is easily the most well-dressed person at Tribal Council. Sophie comments on her cleanliness and freshness, which must be a shock, considering the merge shower and the shower she got on her reward. She really hasn’t been dirty for about a week or so. Craig shows off his gigantic sexy smile, and Link explains yet again about how the jury works. But now onto things NoMind might actually be able to use.

Sophie, is the tribe feeding you all the crappy parts of the fish they catch now? Sophie says that nothing’s changes. Spoilsport. How did it feel to ruin the recapper’s enjoyment of this show? She felt really good, and she is now on the List. She also says that she never expected to win the food challenge. Lance, would the other people be as generous and stupid with their food as you were? Lance says they would have. Just another sign Lance does not know these people. Princess Jane, does everyone deserve to be here. Unsurprisingly, given that he asked the one person most people seem to think doesn’t, she says that everyone does because of how well they contribute and play the game. Long Pole Joel looks surprised. Knob, the Money Scarecrow is struggling to escape from that bungy harness Link tied around it after the challenge that got Sylvain booted. Do you want to yank the cord? Knob correctly surmises that this isn’t a picnic, and blathers on about stuff about goals and whatnot, which really doesn’t answer the question. Hatie, how self-aware are you? Not at all, to the point of virtually congratulating herself for being an arsehole. Craig, why do you think the Tipara might turn on themselves while they can still vote you off instead? He says he kept fighting, and does not try to convince the Tipara to do anything.

Long Pole Joel and Sciona are ignored again, meaning that Long Pole Joel has not spoken at Tribal Council since he got asked the very first question at Tipara’s only Tribal Council five weeks ago. It’s time to vote. Sciona votes. Jane votes with the feather quill they have and which I am only noticing now. It’s official; I am the least observant recapper ever. Long Pole Joel votes. Craig votes for Rob, claiming that since Kadina couldn’t shake the game up physically, they at least fucked with Tipara’s minds. I would have liked to see him vote for Hatie, since we all know how Knob reacts by now. Hatie votes for Craig and his trying to win. Sophie votes. Lance votes. Knob votes.

Link goes to count the votes. Once again, the tribe looks they could use a clown to entertain them. Also once again, Link returns with the votes. He’s a clown, but he’s not a laughing-at sort of clown. Anyway. Craig. Knob. Craig. Craig, with what Link generously calls a shark. Craig. Craig. Craig looks happy to be rid of these fools, and NoMind looks a little sad, just like she has throughout this Tribal Council. For some reason, they kept cutting to NoMind for Craig’s reaction shots throughout, which freaks me out a little. Craig is snuffed. As he walks off, most people wave. Notably, Knob doesn’t. But Hatie does, possibly because she thinks it’ll come off as a little less unbearably bitchy than she has over the past three weeks. It’s not working, especially when you can see something approaching genuine affection coming from the other people who gestured. Sophie and Lance and Princess Jane never had a bad word to say about him, and the only time Long Pole Joel got pissed was when he realised that people were actually forming alliances around him. She’s not even talking, but: Shut up, Hatie.

Link reminds them that they’ve beaten all of Kadina, as though they couldn’t tell from the blue buffs they’re all still wearing. Even if it is Kadina in this case, I am surprised and sad they’ve never invented a ritual in which they burn the loser tribe’s flag once everyone from the tribe gets voted off. Link helpfully points out that they will have to sacrifice one of their own next time (Knob should be well prepared). He sends them back to camp. As they leave, there’s a wonderful shot of NoMind trying not to cry.

Next week: Craig’s gameplay finally has an impact, with Hatie saying it could have ruined her whole Complicated Plan. Yay! Sadly, it only seems to affect Hatie’s game, which means it probably won’t have much of an impact other than her bitching in even more confessionals, but a win is a win. In other news, everybody hates Joel, and Princess Jane reclines in a field. Surprisingly, one of the most interesting things from next week is not previewed, which is a little sad. Even if Link chooses not to mention it, the tribe is in for a whale of a time at the reward challenge.

Craig. Looks a little uncomfortable during his final confessional. Enjoyed it. Would do it again. Is happy with himself. Pissed about being on the loser tribe. Cottage reward was fun. Making me cry. I might not normally have much of a soul, but I’m only human, people.

By the way, Craig got all the Tipara votes. Including that one from Sciona, who is on camera several times saying she would never vote for him. Bitch is dead to me.

1 comment:

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

    "Thanks for another fun recap. I find we're agreeing on people for the most part. Love Craig, like Lance and Jane, I also like Joel, but he is a bit annoying, Sophie and Sciona are nice, but dull and boring, and Katie and Rob are horrible.

    The Sophie/Joel sing a long was to INXS - Never Tear Us Apart."