Sunday, October 18, 2009

2x02: Episode 2

In which Hornebags is both a witch and a bitch, in which Dicko treats his job as both hoasting and roasting, and in which ManNan is both out of the loop and a key part of Ben's unanimous boot. Sigh.


Previously on Missing Link? Me Too: Eleven people who count as celebrities in some upside-down parallel universe were "marooned on two islands, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few personal items". Except they're actually on different sides of the same island, despite what the map in the credits says. Remember when both of the American tribes had to walk to their camps that season? These are the same beaches. But whatever. Nine of them were divided into the men's tribe, Cockula, and the women's tribe, Mofo, at least until producers decided that there weren't quite enough boobs on the men's team and that the women needed help from a man. Nicolle and the Peroxidevil seemed unable to grasp the concept that you can actually use logs and stuff to sleep on in the absence of things like tents and commonsense. Imogen sucked at pretty much everything, but only the Reward Challenge fuck-up is dwelled on. When Cockula won the reward, Hornebags impaled a puzzle piece out of anger. Dicko talks in the present tense as we are reminded that the reward was not basic camping equipment. Gab mud-wrestled in her bikini, and it helped lure Ben over to Cockula. Gab confessionaled that he could save their lives, while he chose to focus on how much of a prize he is (and he really is). Imogen and Hornebags apparently had a non-important argument at Tribal Council, but the Peroxidevil clicked her heels three times and said "there's no place like the hotel", so she got to quit instead. Now, eleven people remain. Which of them will get a second chance to reclaim their fame... TONIGHT?

Credits! Fear the knife-wielding conservative politician! Fear the CGI flames! Fear the straw hat! (Incidentally, editors, thanks for the spoilery sight of ManNan in a Mofo buff.)

Mofo. Day 4. The tribe has apparently been given a blanket of some sort at some time, and they're sleeping under it. Just in case you thought they were using it to catch fish or something. Which sadly wouldn't be out of the question with this particular group of twits in charge. Imogen wakes up. She confessionals about how she's finding the game to be taking a toll on her both "physically and emotionally". She's perfectly fine mentally, apparently. Her body is telling her to quit, but her head wants her to keep going. I must have missed the memo where it was confirmed that your head is no longer considered part of your body. Did it come around at about the same time as Pluto was demoted? Back at the Mofo hut, Hornebags (busy tending to the fire, as all witches do) asks her if she's "about to vomit". Only at the sight of Hornebags still trying to make nice around camp. Nicolle confessionals that Imogen is "having a tough time", and thinks Imogen "needs some food" because she wasn't able to effectively throw up. Someone should tell these women that the anorexia sort of takes care of itself when you don't eat the food to begin with. Imogen is scared that the game is going to ruin their physical health. Starvation will do that, I've heard. Justin tells us that he's also "extremely weak", and we know. Thus why he wasn’t put on the tribe with all the professional sportspeople, even in spite of his man bits. Oh, he means because he hasn't eaten in a few days. Well, there's that too, I suppose. Amber whines about wanting food, and asks what she has "to do around here to eat", and yet the crew manage to avoid telling her that perhaps searching for food might help. Can you believe it's been four days now and they still haven't managed to find the secret all-you-can-eat buffet right behind the bushes? She wants to "smash a couple of bloody coconuts", and I can suggest a couple of blood-filled shells they can start with if she wants. Kyle Sandilands, for one, though I suspect his body has successfully managed to turn gravy into a passable facsimile for blood.

Imogen lies down and resumes not dry-heaving.

A speedy flight over Vanuatu's blue, blue water takes us to Cockula, where Gab is busy completing the postcard image by getting a tan on the beach. Meanwhile, the men (and by "men", I mean "the Leech") do something resembling actual work. ManNan confessionals (I KNOW!) that Cockula is probably much more successful than Mofo at the moment, because he doesn't think Mofo have managed to get any food. I get a kick out of his official claim to fame being "Former Wallaby". He must have gone to the same plastic surgeon as Michael Jackson, for that much of a change. (Too soon?) ManNan also says that Ben has "a wealth of experience on the land", which apparently amounts to "getting coconuts out of a tree by using a giant piece of bamboo to whack them out like pinatas". The Leech compares Ben's arrival at Cockula to going back to school and learning about something you never thought existed. Except I'm fairly certain maths and geography always were subjects.

Ben opens a coconut with a machete, and the boys eat, drink, and are merry. Wayne points out that having Ben around to treat like a slave is much nicer than when they were struggling to provide for themselves with only Gab to order around. Obviously not in so many words, given Ben's around and they're trying to court his friendship, but the basic point is the same. Gab is busy trying to make toothbrushes out of reeds, and decides in a confessional that "life has improved for our tribe... a-hundred-fold". Well, yes, every group of people stranded on an island needs its own Professor, Ginger.

The Leech tells us that he thinks, "Ben's a threat" because Ben actually knows what he's supposed to be doing out here, and so the guys need to weigh up the pros and cons of him staying or going. And, frankly, I can't see a single reason to get rid of him. He's strong enough to help you win challenges, he's resourceful enough to help you survive, and he's hot enough that you may not even need to know how to make fire. Ben tells us he sees himself as a threat to everyone else, but thinks they're not going to get rid of him at the first available chance. He is all cute and shirtless throughout this episode, and I wholeheartedly approve.

A moaning voice means it's time to go back to Mofo, even though it doesn't belong to a contestant. Justin and Amber sunbake, and Amber takes the chance to whine some more about being hungry. Now get to it, slave boy, and grab her some food! Justin promises he will go and look for food eventually. It's not like he'll have anything else to do over the next 22 days.

Aside from the challenges, that is. Nicolle has the treemail, and confessionals that she read it and doesn't think the challenge is going to be physical, because the women are so outskilled at anything requiring muscles. Well, yes, just like they deliberately avoided physical challenges last week. The message reads:

To improve the slumber of your little society
Comes a challenge with a lot of variety
Winning this will be quite a thrill
But it's important how little you spill
If you're really careful when you tread
You'll have sweet dreams tucked up in bed

Worst. Treemail. Ever. And I recapped every single one last season.

As the news that they're not going to play for any food settles in, Amber and Imogen whine about it. They try and figure out what the challenge is going to entail, but pretty much only reiterate that they'll be playing for a bed of some kind and will need to be careful about not spilling something. Justin confessionals that Mofo "don't stand a hope", if the challenge is going to be physical, because Cockula "are well-fed, strong, and physical, and the girls just can't do it". Imogen also says that Mofo will "be in serious trouble" if they keep losing. It occurs to me that what they really need to do here is come up with some twist to replace Justin and Hornebags with NoMind and Craig, who would totally have still been famous enough to qualify as a "celebrity". You know it'd work.

Volcano go boom-boom.

Challenge beach, where an painstakingly built and therefore ridiculously stupid obstacle course it waiting. The tribes walk in, and we see two matching cage-like things, as well as two piles of coconuts, and two empty glass milk bottles. Dicko welcomes the tribes, and makes the Leech do the bit where he would normally tell the tribe that the Peroxidevil got voted out last week if he was Probst. Dicko asks Hornebags whether it's "daunting" to have to go up against Cockula, and she thinks it isn't, if only for the reason that Mofo have "a bigger heart". Oldfart, visible for the first time in this entire episode, looks at her with the sort of glare you'd give to someone deciding to jump over a barbed wire fence with no clothes on.

Dicko decides to remind us that this challenge, which he calls "the Coconut Juice Challenge", is for reward. Just in case you thought they were going to get to the Immunity Challenge eight minutes and 21 seconds into the episode. He also points out that Mofo "really need[s] to win this", because otherwise Kadina will lose its place as Worst Performing Tribe On An Australian Version Of Survivor. Anyway, one person at a time will crack open a tribe-coloured coconut, and pour the juice into another coconut shell. Then, they will take that shell and walk over a "shaky plank", through a "box maze" (the same thing the American version usually call a "toughnut"), and across a see-saw. When you've done that, you pour whatever juice you have left into the bottle on your table at the end of the course, and run back so the next person can go. The first tribe to fill their bottle up to the marked line and bring it back wins. Simple. Dicko reveals the reward, which this week is in two parts. There's a "fabulous" bundle of fruits, which Dicko thinks Mofo will like, plus the outdoor bed mentioned in the treemail, which really looks to just be a couple of bolts of fabric stretched out over a wooden frame. Dicko really gets his Price Is Right on when explaining the bed, but I'm not going to bother recapping it because his appearing on this show is already embarrassing enough for him. Which is probably a good thing, because I don't remember any game on that show involving coconuts.

Commercials. Because this is such a logical place to put them.

We return with Gab walking her way over to the sidelines, because she's sitting out. Dicko gives us the Catchphrase Of Oh My God, Are You Seriously Still Trying To Get That To Take Off, Because That Stupid Catchphrase Is Even Worse Than "Fetch"? and they're off. Justin and "Big Ben" are the first people to play. Justin gets his coconut open quickly, and manages to steal some of the juice for himself while he's at it. As you do. The shaky plank, as it turns out, is nothing more than a balance beam that's swinging from a couple of ropes like a bridge rather than being anchored to the ground. Neither guy has any trouble with it, but then Ben's bulky frame has trouble getting through the tiny box maze, and he falls behind. Justin has no issues at all with the see-saw, and neither does Ben. Dicko reminds us that Justin is "getting all his juice in the bottle", as though it's some surprise that he'd try to win the challenge. Ben only has a few drops left, apparently, but it still goes in his bottle. Hornebags and ManNan are next. ManNan smashes his coconut open so much that not only does he not get any juice in his shell, but he also manages to get the shell he just broke open to fly halfway across the beach. It might have been the same reason Ben hardly had any juice. These two both fail to even make it to the shaky plank before spilling. In fact, ManNan spills so much that it's even visible for me to see on the little, middle-finger-sized video I'm watching. We get a shot of ManNan entering the box maze, and it's here I realise that they've literally just spray painted part of the bamboo to look the right colour. They didn't even bother to colour the whole bamboo thing, though, which makes it look even more low-budget than Australian Survivor ever did. Surprisingly, he manages to get more juice in the bottle than Hornebags does.

Randomly awesome music plays as Hornebags runs back so Imogen can start smashing. Imogen's up against the Leech, and somehow she manages to both lose the lead and be "gaining on [the Leech]" at the same time. The Leech runs like a girl. So does Imogen. Only one of them is to be expected. Wayne also manages to lose a lot of juice when he cracks open the coconut, which really seems to be the big issue here, because they haven't been losing much juice on the actual course. Nicolle, on the other hand, does not appear to lose any at all, and this may just be her first contribution to the game. Wayne doesn't get much, but Nicolle appears to get a whole lot. Ben's playing again for Cockula, even though Oldfart is yet to have a turn, and once again spills a lot of his juice early on. Justin gets a fair bit of juice into the bottle. Ben... does not. The Leech is in the box maze as Imogen smashes her coconut open. As Oldfart finally gets onto the course, Dicko tells us that even with Mofo consistently managing to get to the end with a fair bit of juice left in their shells, Cockula is ahead, and we're definitely missing a huge chunk of this challenge here, because only, like, one of the members of Cockula have appeared to make any significant contribution. Justin and ManNan are back again, and ManNan fills the bottle up. Cockula wins. How, I have no idea. They celebrate, complete with ManNan aiming the juice bottle at everyone like they just won a Grand Prix, and with the Leech impersonating Jesus or something. Blasphemy! Crucify him!

Dicko reminds Mofo that they're going home empty-handed again, and Hornebags feels the need to give a motivatory speech about how they can find their own food and hold each other's hands and whatnot. Because, you know, they've done such a good job of finding their own food up until this point. Shut up, Hornebags. Dicko asks Cockula if, since they're so good at not sucking at challenges, they'd like to share their food with Mofo.


This is EXACTLY why Australian Survivor didn't take off. There's no fun if everybody shares in everything. I want to see people engaged in gladiatorial combat just to win a grape, not this Montessori school crap. Anyway, moving on past the bit where they act like communists and make me want to take my little TARDIS to mid-2006 Vanuatu so I can get them to write their own names on The List, and the bit where Hornebags is noticeably not cheering at the concept of free food, and the bit where ManNan goes to kiss Imogen, shall we? Good. Dicko tells the "love-fest-ing" to end, and... It’s your own goddamn fault, Dicko, so don't try to put the blame on them. Twit. Everyone is sent back to their camps.

Cockula. A bird flies off of a tree branch, trying to desert the communist undertones of this show. Someone has apparently already delivered the bed to their camp by the time they arrive, which I find somewhat hard to believe. The Leech provides some motivational claptrap, then confessionals that he "felt sorry for" Mofo, but that he didn't want to win as a result of everybody dying. Because, you know, hoping for people to die is my little niche, and if wants to hope for people to die, he can take his spot right at the top of my List.

Oldfart decides that it's a good idea to whine that Hornebags is trying to play the game all the time, just because she wasn't immediately forthcoming with the hugs and smooches when Cockula gave up some of their reward. ManNan, the Leech, and Wayne all agree that she's Not Very Nice. And... I didn't see Craig kissing Joel when Tipara gave Kadina those phone calls, and you'd think I'd remember that if it happened, so... shut up, Oldfart. The mystery isn't why Hornebags didn't act like you were the saviours of all mankind, it's why everyone else DID.

Speaking of the Mofo tribe as an annoying collective unit, they arrive back at camp, with Justin lugging their bag of fruity goodness. Nicolle confessionals at sunset that "the gorgeous boys gave [Mofo] half their fruit anyway, so [Mofo] won!" Okay, firstly, you didn't win. You still lost the challenge. It's just that Cockula aren't thinking with their heads at the moment. Either of them. Secondly, Gab's gorgeous, yes, but it'd be pushing it to call her a boy. Thirdly, has she even seen the boys over on Cockula? Ben's gorgeous, ManNan is sort of passable, I suppose, but the rest of them make Pauline Hanson look like a beauty queen. When the tribe wants to see what fruit they were given, Hornebags decides to tell the others that she's fully sated but everyone can eat some of it if they want, as though somebody cares what she thinks. Imogen confessionals that the fruit was "better than... God". Heh. Someone tries to share the fruit with Hornebags, who says she's "fine on the stuff [she] found on the beach", and that she doesn't "care if [she's coming] across hardcore", and that the tribe doesn't "need favours". The only thing that's hardcore at the moment is how much I want this season to be over already. And it's only the second episode. And I took a six-month sabbatical in between recapping these two episodes. Hornebags rants that the guys sharing came off as patronising -- and she's right, it sort of did, the way Dicko handled it -- but that it's better for them to make Cockula think they're really struggling. Right. And saying you're doing perfectly fine as you pass up free food given because they think you guys are struggling helps you communciate this... how? Shut up, Hornebags.

Nicolle decides to shut her up by saying the food "tastes fan-damn-tastic". Hornebags claims that they should remember that they can still do it on their own, "with style, grace, and good humour". Well, she's 0 for 3 at the moment, then. Drums play slowly as Hornebags walks off, having successfully ruined the moment. Nicolle confessionals that Hornebags has "very strong views" about the ability of the girls to do this themselves. Really? I hadn't noticed. Amber confessionals that it's probably a good idea to "enjoy a nice gesture by someone else, and tone down the 'girl power' at times." I have no idea who she is or why she's here, but damn it, I like her. So, in other words, she's exactly like the other Amber who's been on this show, except I like her.

A snake slithers through some leaves. Imogen reminds Amber that she now has proof Hornebags is an obnoxious little turd. Imogen confessionals that she "is trying to convince everybody to vote for [Hornebags]", mostly because she thinks that Hornebags will try and get everyone to vote for her. Of course, there's also the reason that she sucks at challenges and will probably get booted if they keep losing anyway, but she doesn't seem to think this is worthy of reminding us about.

Commercials. Musical Rhetorical Question Of The Week: Is it wrong for anyone to say they like I Hate The Music?

Still Mofo. Still Day 4. Jungle-y music accompanies a flying bird. Hornebags shakes some limes or something out of a tree, and Nicolle squeals in delight. Hornebags confessionals that the tribe doesn't need Ben to win them food. Hornebags confessionals that the only problem they have with getting food is that nothing edible in the surrounding area is ripe yet. Well, she could always perform some magic on it to make it ripen up. (...What's that? It's not working? Guess she's not a very good witch, then.) She tells us that because of this, they're going to look a bit further afield. Which is where they find a few paw-paws. Mmmm, paw-paw. They also find some taro root or something. Nicolle confessionals that they "won't be starving or anything".

A spider hangs from its web, made invisible by the camera. As we and Imogen both knew would happen, Hornebags is trying to work Nicolle over, saying that the key to success in this game is a positive attitude. Which is exactly why Hornebags is on the tribe that's won every challenge so far, I guess. Hornebags asks Nicolle if she knows who she's going to get rid of if they lose, and Nicolle automatically goes into a long, possibly-rehearsed spiel, ticking off all the reasons why Imogen needs to go home. Essentially: Imogen is sick. That is all.

Cockula. The boys are busy chopping up the bed. Gab provides a confessional telling us that the guys were chopping up the bed. It sounds as if she doesn't exactly want to lose the one item of luxury she didn't help the tribe earn. The Leech tries to claim that they're doing it to "extend [their] condominium", and anyone who actually uses the full word 'condominium' automatically makes it on the list for sounding like an obsequious twatwaffle. Wayne wonders if they can use the tent-y covering around the bed as mosquito netting on their original shelter. The Leech confessionals that Cockula were "rapt" with the reward, but soon realised that having six people on a massive oversized bed is a little gay or something, and so decided to get rid of it so they could sleep in their even smaller shelter. Because that's not the least bit gay. ManNan confessionals (TWICE IN ONE EPISODE!) that "it's just boys and our toys", and that the machetes they have ae better toys than the bed would be. Gab tries to find something to do, and Wayne tells her to empty the bedding out of their existing shelter. Lesson: Women are only good at doing things inside the house, no matter how shabbily constructed it is. Thanks, Wayne. Oh, and: Shut up.

He does not, confessionaling that Gab's gotta do more work, or she's going to get voted out. He asks Gab what she thinks, apparently about the shelter, but then responds to her passive-agressive rebuttal by telling her he thinks she should be voted off, because Ben is more important to the tribe. This is said while she's still emptying out the bedding, and he's basically sitting in a tree doing fuckall. Gab confessionals that it was the Leech's idea regarding voting Ben out first, simply because he's the new member of the team, but that "there's different ways to look at it", now that Wayne's come out and said that he will probably vote for Gab over Ben, everybody's fair game. Sounds like fun.

The sun sets over the singular island, and the moon also rises over the same singular island. Convenient, that.

Dolphins swim in the sea the following morning. Yes, dolphins. Turns out they really did Free Willy. Amber asks Hornebags what dolphins eat, and she replies, "fish," like it's the stupidest question she's ever been asked. Amber wants to know what the dolphins are doing, and soon realises they're playing when one of them decides to jump up and say "Help me! I'm being gay-bashed by sharks!" Hornebags says she saw the pod of dolphins and knew it was going to be a good day. Apparently, her tarot cards told her today was going to be the Apocalypse or something.

Hornebags and Amber return to camp, where Justin is cooking. We have to endure hearing Hornebags blabber on about how delicious it looks and how good it's going to taste before we find out that he's pretty much boiling some coconut and some taro.

Hornebags takes the chance, with Imogen and Justin suddenly out of earshot (even though it appears to be the same scene as the previous one), to try and convince Amber and Nicolle that if they can win today's challenge, they can get the four of them to the merge, even though (1) she has no idea when the merge will be, (2) she isn't taking into account whether they will lose any more challenges before the merge, and (3) Imogen is still a part of their tribe. Amber tries to point out Imogen's existence, and Hornebags tells her that Imogen is both "more divisive than integrative", and banned from whining about how she's weak solely because she's ten years younger than anyone else on the tribe. Hornebags claims that she doesn't "want to be horrible or hardcore, [she's] just being honest". Yeah, well, I'm just being honest when I say that you've made The List and are steadily climbing up it like the Human Fly. Also, it's only taken us two episodes to get to someone using the "I'm not being an arsehole, this is how I really am!" excuse. Feh. Justin listens in from behind a bush or something, as she makes her final case that they've played this game too hard to not get to the merge and at least have a chance of winning. Tell that to the members of Kadina, most of whom also played hard enough to justify getting past the merge and doing well in the game, and still didn't. Because these people? Have done less than jack shit to deserve to win at the moment. Craig? Deserved to win. NoMind? Deserved to win. Caren? Deserved to win. Deb? Deserved to win. Tim? Boring, but deserved to win. Lucindork? Deserved to not get voted out unanimously in the first episode. Hornebags? Shook limes out of a tree. Amber correctly confessionals that most of the tension in their tribe -- oh, okay, all of it -- is between Imogen and Hornebags. Justin tells us that Hornebags "is on a mission", and that his mother is a much wiser woman than he is.

Commercials. I almost don't want to know why I just heard my sister yelling the words, "Get your toenails out of my nose!"

Challenge clearing, where a bunch of baskets or something are positioned randomly. Cockula marches in. Mofo marches in. I sit in front of my computer, happy that I don't have to recap another horrendous treemail message. Dicko does his little welcoming bit, reminding everyone that this is an Immunity Challenge. He asks Mofo if they were happy with the "handout" they got from Cockula. Everyone else says the fruit was "gratefully received", but Hornebags brags that they were able to find more food on their own. Way to make your tribe look weak! Dicko asks if they felt like they "were accepting charity", and Hornebags complains some more. As soon as she finishes ranting, Amber graciously thanks Cockula for the fruit. Gab immediately says that they're welcome,

Dicko reminds everyone that it's still an Immunity Challenge, in case they'd forgotten at some point in the past twenty-three seconds, and takes the Immunity Whatsit back from Cockula. Dicko asks Cockula if they're confident, and Oldfart tries to claim his tribe is "never overconfident". Has he even been watching the same show? Dicko snarks on him for how boring and irrelevant what he says is, and the girls laugh.

Amazing Fact For The Day: Dicko is entirely ill-suited for hosting this show, and is the latest in a long line of hosting decisions made because Seven just wanted to find someone who they erroneously thought was popular and stick them into any vacancy they have, regardless of whether it makes sense. (See also: Tom Williams, Kochie, Dan MacPherson, Grant Denyer)

Oh, fine. Dicko's Amazing Fact For The Day is that there are 105 different languages spoken in Vanuatu. However, there's one language, Bislama, which makes it possible to communicate anywhere in the country. Dicko calls it a "highly amusing and at times downright absurd corruption of the English language". So I guess we know what his opinion about Bislama is. Maybe it's because he's British that he thinks fucking with the English language is stupid. And moving on. He provides the example "NUMBA WAN PIKININI BLONG IM QUEEN", and asks the players whether they can work out who it's referring to. Oldfart, royalist as he undoubtedly is, is the first person to realise it's supposed to mean Prince Charles. I note that he doesn't tell us what the Bislama for "Princess Di" is. Probably "NUMBA WAN ZOMBI BLONG IM TUNIL" or something. (Oh, yes. You heard me. Di was unfathomably awesome in a way that only a few people ever have been, but it was twelve years ago, people. It's time to move on.)

And why is Dicko taking the time to tell us this, I hear you ask? Because it's part of the challenge. Essentially, they're playing Memory. Out in the clearing, there are twenty-four covered tables. On twelve are common items, on the other twelve are plaques showing the Bislama words for the twelve items, written by hand because this show's budget got all used up cancelling the celebrities' appearances at toilet cubicle openings. One person uncovers two of the tables. If they match, they score a point, and both items are out of play. If not, they both get covered up again. Either way, the other tribe gets to send someone out for their turn. The first tribe to five points wins. Which is kind of stupid, given there are twelve pairs, but whatever. Couldn't they have gotten rid of a pair and made it first to six? Or added a pair and made it first to seven? The way they're doing it, you could get a winner with over half of the items still unmatched. Cockula has to sit someone out (except Dicko says they'll have to "stand someone down", which doesn't sound nearly as intriguing or fun), and since it can't be Gab, they choose ManNan. Or, rather, the Leech chooses ManNan.

Survivors ready? ...Go? I'm really not sure how to answer that when they're not actually, you know, going anywhere. The good thing about this challenge is that Dicko doesn't give us the COOMG,AYSSTTGTTTO,BTSCIEWT"F"?, but he does tell us that Mofo can't even win a coin toss. Even Kadina won one of them!

Gab goes first for Cockula. She finds a mirror and a saucepan. Amber grabs some boardies, and the right translation - "CLOS BLONG SWIM". One point for Mofo. The Leech has fishing line and a towel. Dicko reminds us that these two don't exactly match. Justin has a mug and the words "BASKET BLONG TITI", and if you haven't figured out what's hiding under one of these covers and the hilarity the producers expect if and when it's found, I can't help you. Ben finds a toy helicopter, that most common of household items, and Dicko asks if he was in Black Hawk Down. Heh. His other selection is a saw, which he can use to decapitate his kidnappers when his helicopter is shot down over Baghdad. (Also, doesn't he get a point for finding two choppers?) Imogen finds "GLASS BLONG LOOK LOOK", and Nicolle is the first person to work out that it's supposed to go with the mirror. She finds it again, and they get another point. Oldfart has "STRING BLONG FISH", by far the least amusing translation out there, which seems oddly apt. He finds the fishing line, and Cockula finally has a point. Nicolle has "STICK BLONG FAIA", and your guess is as good as mine. Amber thinks it might be the toy helicopter. It's not. Wayne has some matches, and now that "STICK BLONG FAIA" makes sense, which is good, because it's right. We're tired up, two each. Hornebags has the bra, and I'm sure the producers really wanted one of the guys to find. She finds the matching label, gesturing to her own boobs as she reads the "TITI" bit, and goes to find the bra so she can burn it in a show of feminism later. Gab finds a sign reading "GRASS BLONG PIGIN", and Dicko has to correct her pronunciation, because otherwise the pigeon part of the name isn't funny. Or something. She also finds the non-subtitled name for the saucepan. Amber has said saucepan, and finds the sign again. We still do not get it subtitled. The Leech finds some feathers, but tries to match it with an empty basket. Because that sometimes works. Justin goes right up the back for the "GRASS BLONG PIGIN" slate, and the feathers as well. So Mofo wins what will undoubtedly be called a "tight contest" in next week's previews. Dicko claims that the idol has "been a long time coming". Yes, because five days is an eternity and a fortnight. He reminds Cockula that they're going to go to a weenie roast tonight. (Unless Mofo would like to share their Immunity, of course.)

Mofo, Day 5. Somehow, despite bringing their tribe flag with them to the challenge, it is missing when the tribe returns home with the Immunity Whatsit. Nicolle confessionals that it was "such a buzz" to know what it feels like to not lose. Imogen seems to think that winning the challenge proves the importance of "mind over matter" somehow, and damned if I can figure out what it is, because they weren't dealing with advanced Descartes-level philosophy, they were making pairs out of tangible items. Hmmm. Amber wonders "whether [Cockula] actually thought we had a chance of winning". I think as soon as they realised it was a thinking challenge they were done for. Because really? Wayne, ManNan, the Leech? Don't seem big on the brains-y-ness. Imogen confessionals that she wants to go to Tribal Council tonight, just so she can get rid of Hornebags, and thinks that both Amber and Nicolle agree.

You know who really is going to have to vote someone out? Cockula. They arrive back on their beach, and Oldfart points out that the Leech in all his motivational pseudo-glory told the rest of the tribe that they're "3 for 1", which manages to be both impressive and impossible at the same time. The Leech confessionals that just yesterday, "there was no paranoia, no concern," and now that they're going to have to do the bit with the voting people out, everyone's out for the jugular. The Leech and Wayne agree that they were going to lose at some point, but didn't know when. And now we know. And it sucks, because it means that not only do we not rid ourselves of Hornebags, but it also means that the boys club is almost certainly going to gang up on either Ben or Gab, and they're the only two people on this tribe I can really tolerate at the moment. The Leech confessionals once more, because nobody else can have a moment to shine on this tribe, this time about how it's "not a good feeling" to have to try and improve your chances of winning money.

Commercials. Oooh, Murder, She Wrote's back on afternoon TV! A whole new generation of old people can be bored out of their minds!

We are still at Cockula when we return. Gab wades out into the water, where three of the boys are frolicking in an entirely non-homoerotic manner. Or so they'd like you to think. Wayne confessionals that "the game has started", now that they've lost a challenge. Apparently, he thought the five days they've spent with no food until today were just part of the audition phase. Ben is out in a deeper patch of water (read: more than three metres away from the shore), alone. Wayne tells us while scratching his neck that even though Ben is strong and smart and helpful, the tribe has a pact to get rid of him because he's the new guy. Which reminds me: Have we ever actually seen Ben be included in anything the tribe has done, except tell them how to find food? Over with the main group, the Leech tries to enforce the pact they've made, because he totally wants to ogle Gab some more, but winds up wondering aloud whether "it's the morally right decision" to vote Ben out. For the love of criminy. This is SURVIVOR. Throw whatever morals you're pretending to have at the door, so we can move on with the fun bit of the game. Morals ruined Australian Survivor. I do NOT want them ruining another season. Gah. Wayne tells everyone that they all come into the game with different skills. These include such things as Ben's survival expertise, ManNan's brawn, Gab's flirtatiousness, Oldfart's and the Leech's shared ability to be a grandstanding fool, Wayne's... Wayne's... huh. I can't think of a single skill Wayne has that would help them in this situation, or that we've seen. It sounds as though Wayne wants to back out of the pact, and I'd totally be with him on that if he wasn't so damn annoying. Still, if it's going to keep Ben around for another episode, then I'm all for it, even if it keeps Wayne around. I'd really much rather get rid of the Leech anyway.

Wayne is now trying to see if the Leech is okay with getting rid of Gab, and he's very non-committal about it. Wayne points out that those two are pretty much "the only considerations" that make sense, even though Wayne has done absolutely nothing of any value in the past five days and, as any Survivor fan knows, the first people to get booted are usually the old people -- which would mean either he or Oldfart would be the likely candidates. So, probably, the only people who should really feel safe tonight, if indeed there is anyone who should, are ManNan and the Leech. They sort of work out that they're going to keep Gab around mainly for the eye-candy. I think. Then the Leech does the whole butt-spank-y thing that all professional athletes do at some point. Because that's not gay at all. The Leech confessionals that booting Ben will "weaken [the] team", while struggling to come up with the right words to say that it'd be worth voting out Gab just to keep the tribe "at its strongest". See, "she's probably can't do the most amount of work around the place". Because SHE'S A GIRL. She uses a "BASKET BLONG TITI", therefore she is useless. Fuck off, Leech. You've just made The List.

The music cuts out entirely. While Ben is cooking, ManNan comes up to the shelter, where Gab is, and she asks him if "everyone" is voting for Ben. Right on cue, Ben walks past all shirtless and delicious and muscular and I'll be in my bunk. ManNan shakes his head to signal that Ben probably isn't going to get all the votes -- which'll be true, because Ben's not Lucindork or the Peroxidevil -- unless "someone is lying" to him. The impression I get from this whole thing is that, even though they have both realised there's a clear misogynistic thing going on here, neither he nor Gab seem to think he's a part of it, at least not to the extent that the Leech and Wayne are. I think I like him. He's certainly in the top half of this tribe, as far as likability goes. Gab presses ManNan, wanting to know whether he thinks Ben is more necessary in this game than she is, and... asking if you're really, truly more important than someone isn't exactly the smartest way to win this game, Gab. It's just lucky she's asking this question to a guy whose picture would be next to "meathead" in the dictionary, if dictionaries actually had pictures. (I would like to see what picture they would come up with for "dignity". I bet it wouldn't be any of these people.) Gab confessionals that she's getting paranoid because the boys' club is so tight-lipped about what they're going to be doing.

Very pretty, very slow sunset, and we are on our way into Tribal Council. Fires burn all around the place, as we cut rather unfortunately from a skull looking like it's being burned to Gab looking like she's being burned. The tribe finally sits down, after about eight or nine seconds more of this pointless filler time, again with their lit torches and without the stupid ritual. Thanks, show! Dicko welcomes them, and gets straight into Question Time. Wayne, is Survivor harder than you and your boob-admiring brain thought it would be? Wayne argues that, basically, they were so arrogant going into the challenge that they didn't think they were going to lose, and were running around like headless chooks trying to figure out who to get rid of, because they'd all gotten so close. Dicko interrupts to get a jab in at his non-answer, pointing out that the question was about whether the survival aspect of Survivor was hard, not the politics. Gab, is Cockula "a boys' club", or are they giving her all the stuff that the whole Women's Liberation Movement earned her entire gender. Gab very wisely lies and says she's feeling perfectly welcome and equal as part of Cockula, and even proclaims herself to be "a boy". So, she's gone to the same gender-tester as Caster Semenya, then. Dicko asks the Leech who "the leader" is. The Leech thinks that since everyone is in charge of a different aspect of camp life, such as Gab's "making toothbrushes" (important, manly role, that), there is no clear leader, and that nobody is talking over each other trying to assert their point. The implied "except for me, because I am the Supreme And Benevolent Overlord of Cockula, and what I say goes" is omitted. Oldfart, does everyone else avoiding the question make you proud to be a politician? Oldfart claims to have "passed on what little knowledge [he has] of numbers and politics and democracy", and it really must have been little to have worked with Pauline for all those years. Dicko asks him to "shatter a preconceived idea about politicians", by answering the question "Who is the weakest link?" with a simple answer. He can not and does not, causing Dicko to raise his arms in the air in mock surprise.

It's time to vote. Oldfart is first to "exercise [his] democratic right". A skull is almost burned to a crisp. Oldfart begins writing a name down, and we cut to a pensive-looking Gab. The Leech is next, and for some reason, Dicko feels the need to call everyone out individually to vote. The Leech votes. ManNan votes. Ben votes. Gab votes, pulling her short shorts down low enough to actually make a decent attempt at covering her arse, because Wayne had been surreptitiously trying to pull them up during Question Time. Gab votes for Ben, solely because he is the newest member of the tribe. Logical reasoning. Get rid of the strongest player on the tribe and make yourselves even more likely to come back here, all because he hasn't been on the tribe since the moment they left the Yacht Of You're Screwed. Ben looks sad. Wayne votes.

Dicko goes to "count the votes". Or, as is more likely to be the case, "rearrange the votes for maximum dramatic impact". Gab and Ben are both stony-faced.

Commercials. I find it ironic that pretty much the only commercials they have after midnight are those for phone sex lines and those for erectile dysfunction treatments.

There are so many skulls in this Tribal Council, it's ridiculous. Dicko returns with the votes, and reminds Cockula that their decision is final, just in case someone thought they could veto their own boot with "Wait! That was a practice!" He begins reading the votes. Benny. Wayne. Ben. Big Ben. Ben. And so Ben is gone, but at least he got to vote for someone who deserved it while he was still here. And after all that, Gab didn't get a single vote! Ben and his giant eyebrows are somewhat surprised to get voted off, but he manages to show enough restraint to not throttle the tribe for their stupidity. With the same Pan Pipe Tiki Orgasm music from last week playing, he is snuffed. Damn. Dicko feels the need to point out that Mofo have a clear leader (which: WHO?!), and that "the good times may be coming to an end", before sending them off.

Next week: Amber tells Hornebags that she's a social disgrace, earning her Immunity from ever appearing on The List. Hornebags wipes her nose with the palm of her hand in response. Amber tells someone to "shut it down, or there will be trouble". Possibly whoever designed Windows Vista. Hornebags bathes naked in a stagnant puddle, and later dons war paint to celebrate being "clean". Dicko claims that switching the tribes up will be "the biggest shock yet". Wayne once again claims another false start. ManNan also baths in what appears to be a similar stagnant puddle, but remembers to keep his board shorts on. Shame. Amber does not like something. Oh, and someone gets voted out.

Ben enjoyed working with Cockula and passing on his knowledge and skills. Well, that's nice. He could not possibly sound more bored or stilted while providing his interview if he was an actual sock puppet. His charity is non-existent. Is it possible he was playing for himself, rather than for a charity? If so, I hope he enjoys his money. (What? I can totally be a nice person. Really. WHY ARE YOU GIVING ME THAT LOOK?)

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