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Reality High Test Results, Survivor: The Amazon, Episode 7: Hate to Say I Told You Soby Brian James -- 04/02/2003
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You may have noticed that there was no Reality High Test Results column last week. This is because as a devout Italian-Irish Catholic, I gave the class and myself the week off to properly observe St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day.
Yeah, right. I may be Italian-Irish, but I'm about as good of a Catholic as Fox's background checkers are at investigation. The truth is, I forgot to change the timer on my digital cable box so I wound up taping the first half of Survivor and the last half of American Idol. Rather than leaving you scratching your head saying, "Funny... I don't remember any yodeling goats on Survivor," I decided to call the week a wash and concentrate on quitting smoking... nine days and counting as of this writing. I will say this for the patch – it's one of the best deterrents against lighting up ever made. While I'm on the patch, I could wind up in the hospital or dead from a nicotine overdose from just one cigarette – oops! Will you excuse me for a second? There's a messenger at the classroom door.
Oh, how sweet! Several of my students past and present just sent me a carton of cigarettes each! They're nothing if not thoughtful.
Ah, well. Nothing was going to dampen my mood this week. It was a fun week both for me and most of my students: they got to kick out someone who'd been a huge thorn in their sides since Day One, and I had the satisfaction of knowing that maybe, just maybe, sometimes I know what I'm talking about after all.
Therefore, there won't be any new questions this week – almost everything that happened was addressed in my previous columns, and had certain students, oh, I don't know – actually LISTENED TO ME, perhaps things would have turned out differently. Besides, this isn't the kind of thing that needs to be bogged down with a lot of analysis; this is the kind of thing where you just sit back, munch on popcorn, and enjoy!
Tambaqui and Jaburu merged this week into the new tribe of Jacaré. It's worth noting that Jeff Probst spelled out every detail of the merge in no uncertain terms so we could be assured it was for real this time. A new shelter had to be built, and Roger, once again, stepped up and took charge. Once again, he ruffled feathers in doing so. From my column on Episodes 1 and 2:
"One of the biggest parts of this game is getting allies, so why alienate people unnecessarily? Especially in Roger's case, where he just narrowly escaped being the first person voted out. Sure, he was instrumental in building the shelter, but it's built now. He's expendable."
Can I call it or can I call it? The exact same thing happened here. He alienated Deena right off the bat by making her feel belittled and insulted. In no time flat she was mocking Roger silently behind his back as he spoke. I might have predicted Deena and Roger would clash, but his hamfisted approach to building the shelter alienated even Christy, who complained in confessional that she was pissed at not being "allowed" to help with the shelter frame, instead being relegated to secondary palm frond duty.
Now, Roger might have been able to get away with these antics in the original Tambaqui because despite his grating ways, he was a pretty strong player and hard worker, but guess what? It's postmerge! There is no more team! It's all individual and that sort of thing doesn't matter anymore! As Rob noted, some people were building a shelter, while other people (such as himself) were building alliances – would the people building the shelter even be there to use it in six to nine days?
In Roger's case, the answer was an emphatic "no."
Because now, who was left to vote with him besides Butch and Dave? Alex may have remarked, "Seems like old times," while the guys were building the shelter, but it clearly wasn't. From my phone call to Jim in the Episode 4 column:
"Me: Roger grumbled something about the guy who started the singalong being a loser. But he grumbles about everything.
Jim: HE sounds like a barrel of laughs.
Me: OH yeah... if you had a choice between being stranded with a humorless martinet and... well, anyone...
Jim: Ah. The sanity vote. This Roger's that bad?
Me: Like Archie Bunker without the 'Awwwww, geez, Edith' redeeming charm. Most of the guys have already admitted he's a pain in the ass."
And continued to do so in confessional after confessional this week. Rob was positively giddy at the thought of being able to say, "Shut up, Roger! Stop talking, Roger!" Then Alex further clarified the issue:
"The problem with Roger is that he's an ass. He's loud, he's obnoxious, he's bossy, he thinks he knows everything and he wants to be the dictator, he wants to be the leader – and what he thought was important took precedence and he's yelling at everybody!"
Yet more evidence of Rob's further observation, which hit the nail right on the head as far as I'm concerned:
"Roger has no idea how much of a jerk he is. He has no self-awareness that people don't like him. Nobody likes him!"
Actually, Deena probably summed it up best: "Screw him!" As I predicted, Alex, Rob, and Matthew weren't about to put up with Roger's drill sergeant routine any longer – ESPECIALLY after having almost an entire week's vacation from it. So they decided to go back and tell the other three they were still part of their alliance and that's why Shawna was gone. Rob, who clearly watched Jason and Danielle on Big Brother 3 last summer, even told New Jaburu not to let the others see them talking together, which is smart thinking. Roger, Butch, and Dave fell for it hook, line, and sinker.1 2 3 Next-->
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