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Survivor Psyche, Episode 3: Chinese Take-Outby Melinda Smith and Suzanne Tromblay -- 03/04/2003
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The following article is our tribute to the late, great Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose work, The Little Prince we have shamelessly plundered in the pursuit of low humor and high counter hits.
"Children," I say plainly, "watch out for the baobabs!"
Some of the players we've seen in the past two episodes have now graduated from watching and waiting to more active plotting. Jeanne and JoAnna start designing the target for Deena's back, Rob continues his campaign of insidious manipulation, and Roger takes dead aim for Daniel's soft, white underbelly. Or, as Roger puts it, "a kung-fu chop!"
Roger goose-steps up to his minion Daniel, in his usual subtle fashion, "asking" Daniel to fetch some water. Why let your underlings use their own judgment when you can dictate every little step of your order? Roger actually instructs Daniel how to carry the water back! Like he couldn't figure out how to put the container on his shoulder himself! When Daniel doesn't immediately click his heels together and dash to the water hole, Roger cops an attitude and stalks off with the water jug. Roger's opinion is that Daniel is lazy. Daniel's opinion is that Roger "barks orders" and smells like rotten vinegar. (And not even a nice rice vinegar, either.)
Daniel seeks out his only ally, Matthew, the cosmopolitan restaurateur, for solace. It turns out that Matthew was born in Hong Kong and speaks Mandarin. In one of the coolest moments in Survivor, Matthew slips easily into their shared language, and offers his advice. Daniel's eye-blinking anxiety is soothed for the moment and they go on about their business.
Way back yonder at the trailer park, it looks lahk the tornada already done hit. Reeking undies hang from the branches, critters have invaded the cookpots, and trash litters the campground. Camp elder Jeanne is determined to have things done her way, and has called a meeting. Shawna, who is a little done in by the whole Amazon experience, is dead out on the shelter platform. "We all have to call this meeting in order - now!" barks Jeanne. When everyone is assembled, Jeanne begins to unveil her scheme for camp domination. In their first sortie, Jeanne and JoAnna snuck over under cover of darkness and tried to paint a target on Deena's back. Now, Jeanne presents a motion to "initiate a leader," which seems straightforward and practical. However, in a soliloquy to the camera, Jeanne reveals that she and JoAnna have cooked up the "initiation" in an attempt to bring Deena down. Deena is a "little hot-headed," Jeanne asserts, and they believe that offering her a leadership position will create friction among the women. (If you perceive Deena as "hot-headed" what does that make JoAnna? A serene, saintly Christian font of compassion like we saw in last week's episode?) Jeanne and JoAnna hope that Deena's patience will blow, as well as her chances at surviving the game.
Slytherin teammates JoAnna and Jeanne watch stony-faced to see how their plot unfolds. But valiant prosecutor Deena deftly evades the trap and steals the golden snitch. Deena is wise to the risk of assuming a leadership role, but accepts the position anyway. "Nobody wants to be leader, because that puts a big target on your body." She presents her ideas matter-of-factly to the group, which are accepted enthusiastically by the younger women. Group Leader Deena is swept forward in a wave of clapping and high fives, and even JoAnna and Jeanne join in. Now that the women have a bona-fide leader, the trailer park is soon transformed into a respectable domestic habitat. All they need are a few chintz curtains, a wall-to-wall twig berber, and a set of tarantula-proof Tupperware.
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey.
The Reward Challenge takes place on a beautiful sunny beach. The women have cleaned up amazingly well, and look very fetching. And the reward this week …ding, dong, it's Avon calling! The winners will get the top-end Survivor Spa line of beauty products - including soap, shampoo, conditioner, and tweezers for those errant eyebrow hairs that can be oh-so annoying in the rainforest. It doesn't take long for the women to captivate the men with their feminine charms. In the game of Concentration the men are so enraptured by the females that they've forgotten all thoughts of strategy. Charlie Brown asks the little-red-headed-girl if she got his valentine - oh wait wrong show. Daniel succumbs first, when he inquires of the "really-cute girl with the curly hair" whether she has soap. The challenge quickly becomes a mixer, with the women taking every advantage to work their seductive mojo. There's simpering, hair flipping, flashing eyes, and the captivating sway of hips as the women mince forward to collect their booty. The slack-jawed, glassy eyed men are smitten, and quickly reduced to monosyllabic hormone heaps. ("Duh… girls!") All except Rob, who is trying to work the "I'm a witty nerd … wanna sleep with me?" angle, which Rob says sometimes works. (Or, as Saint-Exupéry would say, "When one wishes to play the wit, he sometimes wanders a little from the truth.") Deena deftly delivers a deadly blow, in a deadpan delivery when she asks Rob, "You got any soap there, buddy?" Christy is equally cool in thwarting the men's advances. To no one's surprise, the women clean up.
Even when the men get back to camp that night, they're still so twitter-pated all they can talk about are "twinkles," "cute butts," and "eye-contact." Another hilarious scene emerges as the young guys rhapsodize about the fillies. Daniel says Shawna, "digged him." Alex says he and Jenna had "eye contact!" Dave says of Jenna, "You are innocent and true, and you come from a star..." (Realspeak: "Her butt is so sexy!")
Rob likes Heidi, but in true resentful geek fashion, finds it necessary to trash her, by claiming she's gone from a 9 1/2 to a 6, and "needs the conditioner." (Even if this were true, she's still way out of your league, Melvin.) Rob gets in a few licks at JoAnna, as well. Even in limited doses, JoAnna still manages to annoy the hell out of anyone around her, with her incessant Jesus-screeching, and sermonizing. "I didn't know Jesus had a vested interest in Survivor," Rob muses. Principal Butch rolls his eyes at their all-too-familiar sophomoric humor.1 2 3 Next-->
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