Survivor: One World, Episode 8 – When the Going Gets Tough, ‘Just Annihilate Them’
Twenty-one days in and it’s time for an episode about strategy and breast implants. The women, once begging for fire and looking all sad, now have a numbers advantage over the men, and Jay is spooked. He should have been spooked before he sent fun-loving Jonas home, but such is the nature of this game. The reward challenge is announced with a message in a 7-Up bottle. I still haven’t forgiven 7-Up for playing that Cee-Lo commercial sixty thousand times a day, so I was feeling salty toward this week’s sponsor, but as I’ve mentioned before, sugar is like crack cocaine to island dwellers, so everyone’s showing up to the challenge with guns blazing. Jeff offers the castaways a bottle of the uncola to whet their appetites while he explains that the winners will be sent to a soda pop oasis with burgers and lots of pie. How soon we forget the halcyon days of beer! Soda is for babies! Beer is for real people!
Tikiano is halved: Leif, Kim, Sabrina, Christina, and Mike versus Alicia, Kat, Chelsea, Jay, and Troyzan (Tarzan gets benched, of course, left to sit in his soggy drawers and look confused on the sidelines). The teams are to race down a water slide in pairs and then sent to retrieve some crates and bring them back to shore to form a puzzle. (I should pause here to say that I hate water slides, other than the dinky kind that don’t give you any velocity on the way down, because I slammed my face against the side of one in Austria when I was a kid and then had to go to a museum where there were baby animals preserved in jars like Meyer lemons right after with Kleenex in my nostril.) I spent some time divorcing my gaze from my thoughts until everyone was bouncing on the sand and running into the water. I’m sorry. It was a close one, too. Oh well. Christina jogs to shore before her team has finished carrying the crate, but her team still wins — Leif hoots inconsiderately about BBQ! BBQ! BBQ! because he’s never been on the victorious end of a reward challenge before. He hit his butt pretty hard on the sand coming off the slide, so I don’t blame him too much.
The 7-Up oasis features a pool and some deconstructed potato salad. There is a lot of soda to go around, maybe even too much soda because it looks like some goes un-popped, and while Mike is on burger number 25 Kim calls Sabrina over to her corner of the oasis and hatches a plan to send Mike home: They’ll convince Troyzan that Mike is planning to vote him out, then pick off the rest of the guys until they’re on a planet of women. Kim, who’s still in possession of a hidden immunity idol, has started to appear so smart you wonder if she knew how to light a fire all along and was just playing dumb. Speaking of fire, as soon as the castaways return to camp it begins to rain. Tarzan, the human paradox, starts disassembling the shelter for firewood (despite the stack of actual firewood nearby), incurring considerable frustration from Chelsea, who one imagines is still kind of sore about the laundry thing from last week. Tarzan confronts Chelsea about the aggression he perceives from her, and ruminates on the notion that this is because Chelsea is dissatisfied with the plastic surgeon who worked on her breast implants and harbors some kind of smoldering resentment against anyone in that profession. At what point did Chelsea tell Tarzan about her implants? They are so subtle! Either we’re missing a scene or Tarzan’s eyes are sharper than his mind. Chelsea just wants to disengage from the crazy man in the dingy underpants, so she just nods and looks horrified.
Kim tells Troyzan her little tale about Mike wanting him gone, and Troyzan falls for it because his brain has not been fortified by burgers and steak. Mike’s only hope is to win the immunity challenge, during which the castaways are sent over a rope bridge to retrieve bags of puzzle pieces, with the first four to finish going on to the puzzle-assembly stage. (So many puzzles this season, so little shark-wrestling and holding heavy water buckets over their heads. What a shame.) Kat, sadly, didn’t make it to the first finish line, expressing her gladness because the puzzle is a beast and, steak or no steak, Kat’s brain isn’t up for that kind of thing. Jay, also not a puzzle person, lags behind until the eleventh hour when he slams the last piece into place and gains immunity. Following the challenge, Chelsea runs the risky move of airing their Mike-extermination plan in front of former Mananos Alicia and Christina, tipping Jay off to the fact that the women have something brewing. Maybe she was subconsciously trying to sabotage everything and send Tarzan home because of the boob thing, and who can blame her? Mike is naively confident about the vote going to Christina, and makes some smug remarks about how much he loves a blindside. Mike, you idiot. You’re waking up the island spirit that turns your words into a curse that sends you home, just like Colton and the MediVac.
At tribal council, Jeff has some fun by asking everyone over and over if they feel confident that they’re not going home (nobody thinks they’re going home). He probsts them relentlessly until Tarzan delivers one of his weird “game is afoot” sermons, this one relating to how the castaways are playing Jeff, remaining vague about their solid alliances that they’ve had since day one. The term “getting Tarzaned” is introduced into the discussion, conjuring a series of images of Tarzan loafing around, gnawing on bamboo like a bored house cat and generally running his mouth. Perhaps Tarzan actually believes that the game is a foot. Tarzan himself kind of seems like a foot. Mike is ceremonially executed from the game (Troyzan scrawls MIKE! because he’s been hypnotized so well by Kim), with two votes thrown to Tarzan to protect against an idol and two votes for long-suffering Christina. The women now lead by two, and if they don’t go after Tarzan next I will eat my hat while jetting down a water slide next week. Not really. No water slide. It’s in my contract. But I’ll eat a hat, especially a hat filled with delicious 7-Up, while I wear my Vibram shoes. I might see if there’s something I can do with that.
Next week: The men realize that they’re dumb asses for letting the women outnumber them. Again. But maybe this time they’ll do something about it. On Twitter, Jeff saves a fan from committing suicide by reassuring them that they “are impt. World needs u” and offers his thoughts on the effects of weather on human psychology. If they don’t have an auction this season, I will die. Auctions are impt. The world needs them.