This week marked the return of two of my favorite girls, Courtney and Sandra. When most contestants get angry and start screaming I feel very uncomfortable, but when Sandra throws a fit it's the best thing on TV.
Except for Courtney. Courtney has been edited as a silent bathing suit beauty this season, which is ironic. After meeting her, I don't believe Danielle is quiet and withdrawn. I can't imagine Courtney hasn't been nailing one soundbyte after another all season that ends up on the cutting room floor. (That one's aimed at you, Jeffrey. Editing Courtney out of the story isn't going to bring Rob back!)
As long as I'm ranting about the editing: Poor Amanda. The cameramen seem to follow behind her taking low angle shots all day long. After Jeff Probst, their leader is apparently named Gluteus Maximus.
Yes, Amanda put the word fun in fundament. But nothing happened on last night's episode that didn't call for a reaction shot from Amanda's rear end. It gets more screentime than Danielle, and Danielle's a person. It's a tuckus.
Poor Amanda also gets painfully bad editing, even when the camera man looks her in the eye. Amanda busted J.T. when he was trying to burgle the Hidden Immunity Idol. She earned a quick confessional saying, "You think you're gonna fool me? I'm Amanda Kimmell! I own this island!"
Does she get it? No! Instead we see Candace explain in depth why she's afraid to go against J.T. Then Amanda nods at her with a far off expression and says, "Yeah." Did she mean to sound disingenous? Was she really being thoughtful?
Amanda's like the Mona Lisa with that stuff. You can only freeze frame that shot and guess what's on her mind.
Somebody explain this to me: Why are the Villains so convinced that there's going to be a merge at 12? In 19 seasons the tribes have only merged that early once. That's 5% of the time.
Do the Villains think the producers are going to hold a challenge just to bail them out because they voted out Boston Rob and wrecked their tribe? That's like a kid thinking their dad is going to buy them a new video game because they broke the one he gave them for Christmas.
The Heroes didn't think there was going to be a merge. Maybe it's because they didn't break their toys!
To me that's far crazier than the Heroes' assumption that there's an All Girls Alliance. Parvati employed just such an alliance in Micronesia, and she is doing it again. For all of Russell's bluster, do you really doubt that Parvati is whispering in his ear who he should send home each week? For someone who professes to love the fellas Parvati sure doesn't seem to have much love for them!
Russell, despite just about driving me wild with his bragging, was at least smart to catch up on this misconception of the other tribe and realize exactly how to capitalize on it. Russell has set expectations so high that he needs to come up with a develish new strategum every week, and he knows it.
Unfortunately, he's knocking off all of my favorite characters. First Boston Rob, now Coach. When I interviewed the samurai warrior earlier today I found him to be the same smart, earnest and oddball guy he appears to be. His relationship with Jerri has been one of this season's most pleasant surprises, and personally it would do my heart good to see them get together. I hope they make angst ridden, globally conscious bohemian rug rats!
Thanks for the Martin Luther King speech, Coach! You have redeemed yourself admirably. I was sorry to see you go.
Next week sounds like a hilarious misadventure. Will J.T. give Russell the Hidden Immunity Idol? Or is there more to it than we've seen? What do you think will happen?
-Henry Jenkins, BuddyTV Columnist