Survivor: China - Today, We Spell Redemption B-E-L-L-A-N-D-E
CBS, Mark Burnett and everyone involved with Survivor: China has really stepped it up in the challenge department this year.  I don't know what got into the production team, but every single challenge this season has been, in a word, awesome.  Last night's Survivor featured a chopsticks/fireworks challenge and a full Chinese body armor challenge.  Those are two things I want in my reality shows and CBS gave them to me.  In other incredibly good news, the insufferable Dave “Derek Zoolander” Cruser was ejected from the Survivor proceedings, assuring much less overall audience annoyance in the coming weeks.  James proved again his physical dominance, and Jean-Robert Bellande redeemed himself in more ways than one.

If you still dislike Bellande after last night's Survivor, I don't know what to tell you.  I had faith that his plan to act lazy early was a legitimate one, and that certainly looks to be the case.  After Leslie was sent home, Bellande started working hard around camp, and everyone noticed.  Courtney seems to be the only tribe member left that actively dislikes him, but she'll be the next one gone anyway, so he shouldn't have to worry.  The most impressive Bellande moment of the night was the stunning realization that he spoke Mandarin.  Who the hell speaks Mandarin?  His translation skills with the local fishermen turned out to be invaluable.  Jean-Robert has surged back to the top of my rooting interests list. 

Denise spoke!  For the first time this season, we got to hear the lunch lady say a few words.  They were plain and expository words, yes, but at least we know that Denise has a voice box. 

Sherea v. Dave was the hot-button issue of the night.  When it came time for tribal council, I actually thought that they were going to vote Sherea out.  Her attitude during the episode was terrible.  Perhaps it was editing that made Sherea look lazier than she actually was.  Say what you want about Dave, but the dude worked harder than anyone else in camp, though his challenge abilities suffered, and I was kind of shocked that the tribe chose Sherea's lack of annoyance over Dave's hard work.  I think it was the wrong decision in a strategic sense, but I probably would have done the same thing.  If someone is constantly on your nerves, putting everyone on edge, that's hard to live with. 

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