Okay, I know I’ve been gone for a while (we’ll go ahead and throw that in with the bad), but I hope to make it up to you this week with a TRIPLE DOSE of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. That means you’ll get a wide variety of things to rejoice or complain about. James even makes all three categories. Let’s begin:
New challenge edits. What is up with that awesomeness? I’m watching a regular challenge, and then all of a sudden it turns anime. As each Survivor swings the machete to cut the rope or throws the meteor hammer (sweet name for a weapon, by the way), it suddenly shows a close-up stylized view reminiscent of a Dragonball Z episode. Silly? Hmmm, maybe. But I think it’s nice to see them change up the editing on the challenges somewhat after 14 seasons.
King Xerxes… I mean James at challenges. This guy could give King Leonidas a run for his money. Unbelievable. Of course, as the challenges become more mental, I expect his skills to diminish.
Sherea laying into Dave. Forget The Art of War. This girl took a page right out of Leon Trotsky’s writings. Let the workers revolt! When Sherea laid into their tribal Stalin (Dave), I couldn’t help but cheer.
The nifty fireworks reward challenge. I love it when Survivor integrates its challenges into the local custom of the season’s culture. In this case, we got to see some wonderful Chinese fireworks (though the giant chopsticks were admittedly a little ridiculous). And afterward we even got a further integration of the local culture, as the winners got to learn how to fish with birds. Excellent!
Whatever Todd’s doing to get people to trust him. I don’t know what it is, but apart from Jean-Robert, everyone seems to think that he’s just a friendly little boy. The more he can do to disarm everyone now, the easier time he’ll have double-crossing everyone later. If Todd can work his mystique on Frosti and Sherea, he’s set.
Peih-Gee showing some intellect by challenge-throwing. I know some of my fellow writers are dead set against challenge-throwing, but I’ve always felt that it could be used effectively (particularly during a tribal swap). It does require a degree of trust in one’s distant previous tribemates, but (as our esteemed Professor Sadow has pointed out) getting rid of the post-merge challenge threats of Aaron and James was definitely the right move, especially given that they were an integral part of alliances on their original tribe. Way to go, Peih-Gee. Oh, and don’t count Jaime in on it. It was definitely Peih-Gee’s idea. Jaime’s just a tool for Peih-Gee’s wit.
Frosti’s still in it! What more can I say? My favorite little ball of kinetic energy (now that Marvel’s Speedball is no more) is alive to play another day. Now come on already, CBS, and give us some more parkour challenges obstacles!
Fei Long sitting out Courtney for the reward challenge. It ended up not hurting them, but you can imagine what might have happened if the immunity challenge had been another one about physical strength. When it comes to sitting out weak players, one should always opt for the immunity challenge, not the reward!
Jaime telling Erik about the hidden immunity idol. Ugh! Why can’t these people keep their mouths shut? First Leslie and now Jaime. You’re the only one on your tribe with hidden immunity knowledge? SIT ON IT! What’s come over these idiots?! Did they eat the genetically engineered chicken or something…? (ß this obscure sci-fi reference brought to you courtesy of Eureka!)
Zhan Hu thinking they’re the only ones to switch tribe members. Yep, they definitely ate the chicken.
James giving in and telling them to vote him off. All that exterior strength can’t hide the weakness of a feeble mind. Perhaps he’ll recover his senses a little in the next episode, but I wouldn’t put a wager on it (I see you eyeing me, Jean-Robert. I’m not falling for it).
Creepy Jean-Robert at night and later talking with James about “getting some ass.” Never have I felt sorrier for Courtney than when I saw that little display of infantile behavior. Grow a sense of decency, Jean-Robert.
Everything Dave. From his attempt at Hatching some former challenge scheme by stripping to the buff to his condescending social skills at the camp, Dave’s behavior was simply bizarre and unnerving. He will not be missed.
The image that came to mind when Todd said he’d “strangle [Jean-Robert’s] ass.” Sorry, people. I just have a very literal mind sometimes.
Peih-Gee and Jaime’s game faces. I may not like Jean-Robert, but at least he has a poker face. Jaime’s poker face was downright embarrassing. The only thing that could be more embarrassing than that perpetual smirk-smile would be if somebody was actually dimwitted enough not to figure out something was up upon seeing that smirk on her face. Fortunately, nobody—oh wait. Oh yes, that’s right. James, you poor big dumb oaf, you get an Ugly mention just for falling prey to the obvious.
The Uglys and Bads outweigh the Goods nine to seven! But the Goods are still pulling their weight on the head-to-head battle. I’d just better not see Erik and Jaime outlast Frosti, Todd, and Amanda, or I might have to flail somebody. Yes, you heard me, flail!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Wesley is an English teacher and writer from Wichita, KS. He realizes that Marvel’s Speedball was reinvented as the character Penance, but it’s just not the same. He can be reached with questions, comments, or snide remarks at Musnud@gmail.com.