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Survivor Psyche, Episode 5: I’m Melting… Meltingby Melinda Smith and Suzanne Tromblay -- 03/18/2003
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The Alpha and the Omitted
Deena is relishing the feeling of being “alpha female-top dog” of the Jaburu tribe now that the powerful JoAnna has been cast out. But not everyone shares Deena’s bliss. Jeanne’s fury smolders under a none-too-tranquil surface, and Shawna’s fragile spirit struggles to escape its earthly cage. Shawna spends her days imitating a bundle of rags on the shelter floor. No wait – she is a bundle of rags! It’s been so long since Shawna got up to do anything like bathe, that she has dirt ingrained in her hair, clothing, and even the pores of her skin. “The people I set up an alliance with are now trapping me inside the game,” Shawna mumbles to the camera, on a rare occasion where she manages to remain upright for more than 30 seconds. Jeanne makes a hilarious gagging face while Shawna is at her pity party.
Instead of spending her time building relationships with the other women, Jeanne indulges in a fit of “you’ve been mean and you know it!” In a classic female moment, a fuming Jeanne calls another of her “meetings,” to contest a remark she supposedly overheard during the night. Jeanne and Deena face-off, with Jeanne making the first mock-pleasantry, “you said I’m not part of the team.” Deena immediately responds with a magisterial move she learned at the bench, the ominous rigid-arm point. “I was talking to HER,” Deena intones, pointing to Christy. Christy gives Jeanne a friendly wave, enjoying her role of innocent spectator. “It didn’t sound like that,” Jeanne mutters with a tongue she’s bitten almost in two. Jenna then tries to get Jeanne to admit to what’s really bugging her. But Jeanne plays nonchalant and denies the agitation she feels at being alone in the tribe. When Jenna soothes Jeanne’s ego with a tribute to her industriousness, Jeanne tears up. Everyone admits to “personality differences” and “paranoia” in a gush of female feeling. Everyone but Heidi, sitting goggle-eyed, her head swaddled in a bandanna and wearing a pair of dorky eyeglasses. The head cheerleader has morphed into a female Urkel.
Machete, good. Blow to head, bad.
Alex is determinedly hacking away with a machete at a Lantana vine as thick as his sinewy arm. Why, we ask, is he exerting so much effort in chopping at this particular target? Well, because, as any guy will tell you, hacking at trees/plants/ bushes with big, sharp knives is fun! Just give little boys some long sticks, and watch them whack away at your mother’s prize lilac bushes, if you don’t believe me. But I digress. The branch finally gives and recoils, bashing him with brutal force, dangerously close to his dreamy eyes. Alex is quickly surrounded by his Tambaqui tribemates. Roger uses his field medic skills to expertly apply some gauze and a butterfly bandage, while Matthew hovers solicitously nearby with a medicinal can of Coke. Suddenly, in a burst of clarity, Alex discovers the silver lining to this cloud. “Chicks dig scars” he announces cheerfully.
Send your youngest, for wine and laughter. Lucky Dave, at 24, gets to be the Tambaqui emissary. Seeing another youngster get the prize and accolades puts Rob’s beaky nose out of joint. “I was very upset, because I wanted to go for wine and laughter. I was very angry because the golden boy Dave falls face first into good luck,” he whines. (Yeah, Rob, the same kind of “luck” you get from striving all your young life to get to N.A.S.A. Dave’s good fortune isn’t so much luck, as the universe rewarding those who think smart and work hard.)
Jenna, the junior Jaburu is in a panic. “I’m gonna have to do something by myself!” Jeanne snipes, “Don’t assume youngest means age.” But Deena retorts, with a pointed, “What do you think – we age differently, like cheese?” And it’s off into the unknown for Jenna, armed with several over-stuffed plastic bags, a canteen, and enough extra shoes hanging from her neck to outfit all the poor babies Melissa from Joe Millionaire wanted to wash.
Probst greets them with a speech saluting their youth (yadda yadda yadda) and shows off their luxurious accommodations, complete with wine, outdoor shower, robes & slippers, and a “very soft bed.” They throw on the pristine white bathrobes over their grungy bodies (What! No shower first?) We viewers get a good shot of Jenna’s jungle-themed underwear.
Sly Dave is the cat who ate the cream, lounging on the mat while Jenna sings like a canary. “We don’t do a lot of talking and I like tell the girls every day …” It doesn’t take Dave long to crack Jenna’s code: Heidi – strong; Deena – strong; Jeanne – vulnerable; Shawna – dead meat. After Jenna has blabbed all the girly secrets of the Jaburu tribe, Dave throws her a bone by divulging her ranking in the Amazonian version of Are You Hot?. “We talk about your ass!” Dave professes. “Mine!” Jenna titters, fondling her hair coquettishly. After a hard day of Truth or Dare, it’s off to the showers. Being the precise aeronautical engineer that he is, Dave must give a technical description of the shower. “The walls were semi-translucent,” he informs us. “Hey! You’re gonna be able to see my, like, boobs!” Jenna squeals, just in case he’s not looking. “There’s a naked girl in my shower. This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me!” Dave enthuses. (Yeah, and there’s a rocket in your pants, too.)1 2 3 Next-->
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