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Surviving China, Episode 6: Isn’t It Ironic?by David Bloomberg -- 10/26/2007
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Last week, the original Zhan Hu members decided to throw the immunity challenge and boot off the newbies (well, technically Erik didn’t take part in the throwing, but he went along with the plan once he was told about it). And so, Aaron was sent packing. Will the plan continue with another thrown challenge and James being voted out? Or will he find a way to overcome it? Let’s find out!
We begin on Day 16 at Zhan Hu – the morning after. James is up early and one of the women says good morning to him. Surprisingly, he doesn’t tell her to stick it. Peih-Gee tells us she is confident they made the right decision in throwing the challenge. Aaron was one of the most powerful players and they had full control over him. Now they have that control over James. If they throw another challenge, James will be gone, and the best possible scenario is that they merge right after that and reconnect with Frosti and Sherea.
James tells us that the best thing for him to do is let the others rest so in challenges they don’t have any excuses about being tired. Er. Does he not understand what throwing a challenge is? It has nothing to do with being tired. He adds that doing all this work will make him look good in the long run. Er. Does he not understand that he doesn’t have a long run planned for him? Please tell me James is not as dim as these statements make him appear to be.
The following day, on Fei Long, Jean-Robert is snoring up a storm, which helps cover a secret discussion between Todd and Amanda. He tells her about the secret immunity idol being around camp. Now wait. He knew it was dumb for Leslie to tell him about it, but he turns around and tells Amanda? Oy. He explains that he has all three clues so far. And they plan that if they win reward, they will kidnap either Aaron or James – whoever is left – to give them clue number four.
With that, we jump to the reward challenge. Fei Long sees that Aaron is gone, and Todd does not look happy. Host Jeff Probst jumps right into a description of the challenge: One person from each tribe will run through an abandoned Chinese village to find a tribe-colored puzzle board, which they have to untie and bring back to their mat. Once they collect all eight boards, they use them to decode a message. Basically, they have a checker-board like puzzle with some letters on it already, then they slide the other boards into the rows to line up letters with holes and spell out the message, which is, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Where’s Vanna White when you need her?
What are they playing for? The winners will be taken to a nearby island that is home to a tea house. There they will have access to baths and showers, real toilets and toilet paper, tea, and a snack. Of course, the winners will also get to kidnap somebody. Fei Long sits out Denise, Amanda, and (say it with me) Courtney.
The first runners are James and Jean-Robert. And they’re off! Jean-Robert finds a board first and returns a few seconds before James. Sherea and Peih-Gee head out second. While the two of them are in a building by themselves, untying the pieces, Peih-Gee tells Sherea they’re all still good and want to stick together. She asks Sherea to tell Frosti as well. Sherea makes no response whatsoever.
Sherea lengthens the Fei Long lead (probably because she was focused on untying instead of strategizing), and Todd takes her place. Erik follows Peih-Gee. Then Todd returns and Frosti runs out. Erik returns and Jaime goes out.
Sherea heads back out again, bringing it back quickly. James returns with the fifth Zhan Hu plank. Jean-Robert has Fei Long’s sixth before Peih-Gee does likewise for Zhan Hu. Then Todd brings Fei Long’s seventh, and Erik does as well for Zhan Hu. Frosti brings back the eighth for Fei Long and they can start the puzzle portion. About 30 seconds later, James comes back and begins puzzle-solving.
Fei Long, led by Frosti, thinks they have figured it out. Zhan Hu, as Probst points out, is once again having trouble with the puzzle portion of a challenge. The thing is, this time it’s not on purpose! Fei Long slides a couple more pieces… and they win!
The winners kidnap James, telling him to come on home. Probst gives James the clue and then sends the tribe out to the boat that will take them away.
The boat arrives at the tea house and Jean-Robert is amazed by the view. The tribe members are invited in to use sponsor-supplied toilet paper and toothpaste, as well as tea and snacks. Then they get into their baths and use various soapy products while Jean-Robert comments on how the best bath to be in is the one with Courtney and Amanda in it (they are all in bathing suits, by the way). Courtney tells us Jean-Robert is gross and she made sure she was in the bathtub furthest away from him. She wants him to leave more than anything. “He’s a horrible person.”
James decides to shower, which is right in front of everybody. But that doesn’t stop him from stripping down (facing away from the others) and scrubbing down. Amanda thinks he has a really nice butt, but we can’t tell because of the blurring. We’ll just have to take her word for it.
Back at Camp Pathetic, aka Zhan Hu, Jaime talks about how sick she is of this place. Erik says he’s just tired of losing. Peih-Gee is bummed because Frosti won’t even make eye contact with them. They’re getting freaked out by it, and Peih-Gee relates what happened with Sherea during the challenge. Now they’re not sure about their two wayward Zhan Huers and decide they need to win immunity.
OK, let’s review. They threw the last challenge and booted Aaron. Fine. That’s the strategy they chose. But the only way to even try to make it work is to throw immunity again and boot James. I understand that they don’t know for sure about Sherea and Frosti, but the only real way to find out is to continue with their plan.
They already pissed off James. Do they really think that winning this time is going to win him over? If not, then what is their plan? To keep their solid three intact against the rest of the world? It simply doesn’t make any sense.
Back at the tea house, Todd tells us that sometimes he feels like he’s the only one playing the game. You know, sometimes I think the same thing! So he approaches James and tells him that he knows what’s inside the tube. He won’t say what it is, but if he gives it to Todd, he will use it to help save James.1 2 3 Next-->
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