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Survivor: Guatamela’s Episode 3: Something’s Missingby Ken Kellam III -- 10/04/2005
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Now that the season is in full swing, we can draw some definite impressions and see some recurring themes and personality traits. Some of them are even endearing. But unfortunately, endearing doesn’t always make for good or memorable television. Naturally, there’s enough of the other kind to go around.
Let’s start with Judd’s complaining about the howling monkey. Whose howling is more annoying, the monkey’s or Judd’s? The monkey obviously doesn’t know any better, but Judd should, lest he alienate his teammates. To be fair, maybe his hearing is simply more sensitive than others, in which case he could’ve benefited from a good pair of ear plugs.
That brings us to the something missing alluded to in the title: Whatever happened to luxury items? They seemed to tell us more about a player’s personality than we might know otherwise, i.e. Robb’s skateboard in Thailand. Too bad Judd couldn’t bring ear plugs as his luxury item, but then again, he had no way of knowing he’d need them. For the monkey’s part, he seems to be getting the most screen time of any Survivor monkey since Thailand’s Magilla. Maybe he’ll be interviewed and we can find out what he was howling about.
Cindy the zookeeper seems to have it in perspective, noting that many people pay for the “privilege” of being kept up by the monkeys. But should she have said something to Judd? I wouldn’t have, because he’s already cranky from a lack of sleep and her cheery demeanor, while good for her own mental well-being, may not sit well with Judd. She probably would’ve been better off confining her comments to the camera.
Judd continued to whine later, accusing Margaret of barking orders while he and Bobby Jon were trying to build the shelter. In a way, I can see his point: One of my pet peeves is people who tell you what you’re doing wrong, but don’t lift a finger to help you. Maybe he could’ve invited the nurse to show him how it was done.
Should Margaret have kept her mouth shut? Well, let’s just say in retrospect she could’ve handled it somewhat differently. What if she had simply said to the guys, “Can I show you a different way of doing that?” That way, if they said no, at least she tried, and if they said yes, it gave her a chance to shine in a way that had nothing to do with her nursing skills. Yet I have a feeling these two macho guys weren’t about to let a woman tell them how to build anything.
Here’s a question regarding Brandon: What do we make of his comment that the cautious don’t live at all in reference to going into the croc-infested waters? He claimed he never felt more alive, but would he have felt alive if he’d come back to the states missing a limb? Was the risk-to-reward ratio really worth it? Yes, they were hot, but would you rather be hot and alive, or cool and dead, or dismembered? Brandon and the others should note that sometimes it’s better to be cautious. Hey, I might have even agreed with his “don’t live at all” statement a few weeks ago, but several days of missed work and a trip to the emergency room later, not to mention pain that still isn’t completely gone after a month, let’s just say that’s the last time I try to bench press my “max” without a spotter.
Now it’s time for a look at the beleaguered Yaxha tribe. Let’s start by asking the obvious: Did Brianna deserve the boot? If you’re going by athletic ability, yes. Her team already seemed to have it in for her, and her performance in the immunity challenge did nothing to change this perception. The irony is, her bio describes her as “a lover of physical activity” and says her favorite spectator sport is basketball. Maybe if it’d been her favorite participation sport she’d still be in the game; then again, since when do you expect to play hoops on Survivor?
Does Stephenie seem a bit whiny this time around? Yes, she’s been on two straight tribes that weren’t exactly strong, but hey, at least she got a second chance. Sometimes in sports, you get traded from one bad team to another, but that’s how it goes. To be fair, she did the best she could to win the immunity challenge without much help from Lydia or Brianna. In fact, the producers may as well have played “I get by with a little help from my friends” while she was playing.
Nonetheless, this time her attitude has come across as a bit sour, especially the way she registered her disgusts over her teammates’ unusual culinary choices. Maybe it’s because she was on the last Survivor, but her act is wearing awfully thin.
Was the tribe smart to keep Amy? The answer here is yes. It’s easy to believe her when she says no matter how hard it gets, she won’t give up. Most likely, being a policewoman has made her mentally tough and less likely to throw in the towel.
Has Gary’s alleged (to the players, at least) NFL past become a non-issue? He may have thrown the best fake of his life last week when he denied being a former quarterback, and his teammates seemed to believe him. But how funny would it have been if, while calling out directions during the reward challenge, he’d slipped and said, “Lydia, slant right,” or, “46, 35, 29, hut hut?” And is it just me, or does the 6’3” Hawkins, er, Hogeboom, with his still-lean frame, look more like a retired basketball player? Well, not enough to keep his tribe from losing a hoops-type challenge.
Finally, what will the upcoming “switch” in the next episode entail? Mark Burnett seems to keep coming up with new twists and new ways to implement tribal switches, so as always, it will be interesting to see what he delivers on Thursday… See you then!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Survivor: Guatemala Episode 7 articles:
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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