Survivor: China - Goodbye Ashley Massaro, It Was Nice While It Lasted
The second episode of Survivor: China angered me.  It pleased me too, at times, but I came away angrier than hell.  CBS had just spent an hour making me thoroughly enjoy the Ashley Massaro era of Survivor when she was suddenly and cruelly snatched from us by a heartless tribe, scared to rid themselves of a terrible leader, seemingly only because they would miss that leader's work ethic.  Their laziness trumped any sense of fairness and honor.  Perhaps I'm making too much of this and it was Ashley who instigated the conflict between herself and former male model Dave Cruser, but it sure didn't seem that way.  Dave appeared irrational at camp, forsaking logic in favor of his own misguided stubbornness.  Ashley had the stones to call him out for this, and was sacrificed as a result.  I hope Zhan Hu goes down in flames.

The sad part is, aside from the tribal council, the rest of last night's Survivor episode was great.  The reward challenge was insanely physical, with oodles of female nudity and all-around bad ass performances from James, Frosti and Ms. Massaro.  Everybody, save for Leslie, really went after it.  How can you argue with an American Gladiators worthy cross between mud wrestling and soccer? 

Ashley Massaro is the type of character who can make episodes interesting all on her own.  She was abrasive, sure, but she wasn't an idiot or mean or wrong.  Dave Cruser, who I actually liked after the premiere, has turned into the worst kind of Survivor tribal leader: stubborn, bossy, and vengeful.  After two straight immunity losses, Zhan Hu needed to rid themselves of a weak challenge player.  Massaro was far and away the best female athlete on the show and a definite asset in any challenge.  How can you afford to vote her out?  It's insane. 

She didn't leave us empty-handed though, providing two great tribal council moments.  First, when Probst asked her the criteria for which she will base her vote, she pulled no punches and flat out said she'd be voting for Dave.  I believe that's a first.  And then, while casting her vote, she called Dave “Derek Zoolander”, which made me laugh out loud. 

If any good can come out of this, it's that we now have a tribe we can easily root against.  Fei Long is extremely likable, if only because James the Gravedigger is the physical specimen of all physical specimens.  He looks like a super hero.  I'm even thinking about digging graves in my free time to get in shape. 

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)