Originally aired on Wednesday, 03/21/2007
Episode Rating: ***** (5 stars out of 5)
Episode Overview: Have you had enough of the weekly Ravu beating? So have they, and things are about to change – but it is still not yet time to merge.
- Yes, the commercials didn’t lie: things are switched up this week on Survivor. Buffs are dropped!
- Old alliances crumble as the balance of power shifts.
- But some things stay the same and the Alpha Male domination at Tribal Council continues to steamroll over the less-physical players.
This week, it was time to mix things up on Survivor, and the results left me feeling unsure as to whether I should give Survivor five stars for making me feel strong emotions or one star for making me feel completely depressed. I decided to give it the high rating because it’s not the show’s fault that I found the behavior of some of the individuals repellent. Really, all a television show is supposed to do is keep you watching, which this episode did right up until the last moment, even if I might have regretted afterwards.
But onto what happened.
After a rough, fly-covered morning on Ravu, we head right into the first head-to-head event as the tribes meet with Jeff Probst.
Or so you think, but as promised, it’s time for things to get switched up. Jeff asks one member from each tribe to step forward, and Edgardo Rivera steps forward for Moto, and Earl Cole for Ravu. “Drop your buffs,” directs Jeff. Is it time for a merge? No, not quite.
Instead, each of them will have to pick a one member from the other tribe, who will in turn, pick a member of another tribe and so on.
Edgardo picks Mookie Lee. Earl picks Kenward “Boo” Bernis. Mookie picks Alex Angarita. Boo picks Michelle Yi. Alex picks James “Rocky” Reid. Michelle picks Cassandra Franklin. Rocky seems to decide to go for strength, and puts aside his rivalry with Dre “Dreamz” Herd by picking him next. Cassandra picks Yau-Man Chan. Dreamz is left having to select Anthony Robinson as he is the only one left to pick from Ravu. Yau-Man selects Stacy Kimball.
This leaves Lisi Linares tribe-less and she isn’t too happy about it. When Jeff tells her this doesn’t mean she is out of the game, she’s just going to Exile Island until after the next Tribal Council, she makes the very bad decision to admit she would have been fine being kicked out. Okay, Survivor contestants, how many times do you have to see this before you learn? Never EVER admit to anything less than a burning, unquenchable desire to win Survivor at all costs or risk the Wrath of Probst. The Wrath of Probst makes itself known in the form of withering comments about “getting your head back in the game,” and “are you sure you want to tell all these other people you don’t really care about a million dollars” and so on. It’s not pretty. And Lisi gets it all before she is sent off to Exile Island.
Next, it’s time to find out who is going to Happy Fatty Camp and who is going back to Ravu. Edgardo wins the rock-paper-scissors match to pick a buff from a bag…but unfortunately, he picks the wrong buff. His all-dude crew is headed back to Ravu.
It’s okay, though, as back at camp, the tribe finds food and fishing gear. Meanwhile, the former Ravu members who are now at Moto are besides themselves with glee about the luxury. Boo and Stacy seem a little less than thrilled. In just a few minutes, they went from sitting in the catbird seat with their alliance of five, to being just two of three original Moto on a team of six – and the third Moto member, Cassandra, they have already alienated.
Cassandra wastes no time in making friends with the ex-Ravu. She brings a cup of coffee out to Yau-Man and Earl while they fish. She seems eager to flip, and Earl, who is giddy with a full belly and the possibility for power, is eager to flip her.
Meanwhile, over at Ravu, things start to get completely depressing for me to watch. It doesn’t take long for the all-dude crew to start talking about how thrilled they are to be an all-dude crew. How pleased Rocky and Mookie are that they voted out the women. It all makes me think of this extended bit on Saturday Night Live back in the ‘80’s. Eddie Murphy puts on white face, a business suit, and a “white man’s voice” and goes out in the world for a 60 Minutes style expose on how he thinks white people behave when there are no black people around. Watching tonight’s Survivor like I was watching a new version of that skit, but for women. The way that the men talked about the women, the glee with which they described voting off the women…Who knows? Maybe someone jumped in to point out how hard Michelle has fought in the challenges, or how she brought fire to her tribe, and that was all edited out. But needless to say, it just made me feel a little bummed out to see how they talked about females when there were no females around.
And it’s not just the women being dissed. Anthony – a self-proclaimed “nerd” – knows he is marked as a weak guy. Yes, he is so pathetically weak that Rocky can’t stop comparing him to women, because in Rocky’s world, those two things are synonymous. (I have been on the fence about loving or hating Rocky, but this week, it became clear: I don’t like him anymore, I don’t like anyone who spends so much time insulting half the population of the planet.) When the other guys go out to fish, he is left back at camp tending the fire. He is not thrilled about this but can’t seem to find a way to change his position in the group.
But the team has to come together for the immunity challenge. The challenge is one that focuses on teamwork and communication. Each tribe is belted into a contraption with a central hub and extending poles. The tribes must move as one, yet modify their path individually, working together to wedge the whole team through a series of narrow gates.
The teams take off and for nearly the whole challenge, they are neck and neck. Several times, the two teams paths must cross. Little Michelle valiantly tries to hold them off, but after being overpowered once, Moto cleverly decides to not meet force with force, and the next time Michelle comes up against the he-man crew, she scrambles over top of them, wedging them into place. It gives her team a chance to pull a little ahead. The race continues to be extremely close, right up until the very last moment, when Moto pulls ahead for the win and for immunity. I haven’t been happy to see Moto win a challenge yet, but with the more likable Ravu players like Earl and Yau-Man now over at Happy Fatty Camp…I think I am switching my viewing alliance to Moto.
Back at Ravu, the guillotine seems poised to drop on Anthony. Mookie is approached by the ex-Moto tribe members to form an alliance, and he is willing to switch. He’s also willing to sell out his bro Rocky, but seems to make it clear Anthony is first to go. Anthony tries to save himself by swaying some of the others by pointing out Rocky’s volatility, and for a brief moment, I start to think that he might be able to pull it of.
At tribal council, I start to feel more sure of this. Apropos of nothing that I can see, Rocky lays into Anthony for his perceived weakness, once again calling him “a little girl” or telling him to “take off the skirt,” and again, in Rocky’s world, this is like the worst possible insult he could possibly come up with; he cannot seem to imagine anything worse than womanhood. I had assumed that he was straight based on several of his comments, but who knows? Must be hard for him to date women when he seems to find them so completely despicable.
His tirade seems to display that he is such a loose cannon that I can’t help but wonder if maybe some of the votes might switch. Anthony might be slightly ineffectual, but he doesn’t seem like a loony bird and right now, Rocky does. And Rocky might be physically more dominating, but this has not helped Ravu yet win a challenge, so maybe it’s time to switch it up?
No. It’s Anthony who is out. Other than his own lone vote for Rocky, everyone else falls in lockstep to boot him out. Maybe that’s why Ravu has suddenly become so infested with winged insects; they have flocked to that location because it has now become completely Lord of the Flies.
Next week, Lisi will join Ravu, and of ALL the females of the species to join the girl-haters club, this admittedly “abrasive” and physically-lacking member is probably not going to do anything to improve their opinions of the gender. I am not looking forward to it…but kind of can’t wait to see what happens. Dang you, Survivor! You always reel us back in for more!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images courtesy CBS)