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Surviving China, Recap Episode: Thanksgiving Leftoversby David Bloomberg -- 11/26/2007
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Last week, Frosti was eliminated and his romance with Courtney was cut short. We were then left with a cliffhanger as Probst told the assembled contestants that they would not head back to camp because there is more business to attend to.
The previews for this week’s episode coyly did not mention that it was to be a recap episode, and the ads talked about it being a “new episode.” Yes, it is a new episode, but it’s made up of mostly old stuff we’ve seen. Still, that won’t stop us from taking a look at it, as these episodes often contain new information, including 14 scenes of unseen footage. In particular, host Jeff Probst says this week is supposed to focus on how the final seven have made it this far into the game.
Todd says he’s smaller than the rest, but he’s quick and smart. Courtney says her strength is that she’s not a strong player. Huh? Peih-Gee says she’ll come off as a bossy bitch. Yup! Erik says he hasn’t made any enemies. Denise wants to stay in the game as long as she can. Amanda says she is a huge threat in the game. James can’t imagine how people would live without him being there.
We restart 27 days previously, when the 16 players arrived and, in previously unseen footage, had to walk up a loooong staircase to get to the temple, while carrying their bags. While some of the younger players raced ahead, Chicken and Denise hung back, figuring they wouldn’t get any prize for getting to the top quickly. And they’re right.
Eventually, they all make it and the guys and ladies are separated by the monks. The women are all given cover-ups because their clothing is too revealing. But as it relates to the game, this clip is anything but revealing.
We relive Leslie’s moral dilemma and the splitting of the tribes. Probst splits the tribes and gives them their names. We are reminded that Zhan Hu means “fighting tiger.” Note that it doesn’t mean “winning tiger.”
On Fei Long, Todd pushes the leader role on Aaron. At Zhan Hu, Chicken tries to lead but nobody wants to listen to him. In some previously unseen footage, Zhan Hu is starving after three days. They’re wiling to eat anything – Erik grabs a worm, squeezes the poop out of it (I’m not making this up), and eats it. Peih-Gee does likewise. It looks like most of the tribe joins them (though not Ashley).
Fei Long is eating a bit higher up the food chain – frogs. Zhan Hu is also chowing down on leaves, while Fei Long gets their veggies as roots from water plants. But it turns out the worst food is spoiled rice eaten by Jean-Robert.
As Probst says, the Survivors search everywhere “for anything remotely edible.” Jean-Robert appears to be the taste-tester. He’ll eat anything!
Just so you know, I’m going to blow through some of the quickie stuff. You already know that Zhan Hu loses the first challenge and votes out Chicken, for example. So I’ll just hit the high points.
At Fei Long, we saw Aaron lecture Jean-Robert about not pulling his weight. But in a new scene, James turns the tables on Aaron, who is lounging around with Todd and Denise. He goes straight to him and says he’s supposed to be the leader and there is work to be done. Aaron listens and reluctantly goes to help him work.
After a challenge, the Zhan Hu camp is essentially destroyed in a flood. So they devise a plan to fix it. Specifically, they dig channels to drain their plateaus. We hadn’t seen how they cleaned up, so that’s interesting. I could have lived without ever knowing, mind you, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.
In another new scene, Aaron wakes up one morning and decides not to be the leader anymore. He holds a “pow wow” to step down. Then he immediately tells them what to do. Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense to his tribemates either.
Meanwhile, Dave isn’t sleeping well, which might explain his crabbiness somewhat. And he argues with the others about eating before a challenge – he thinks they shouldn’t while the rest think they should. Peih-Gee points out that he hasn’t really eaten – apparently, he thinks he pulls energy out of the air. Then we see him fall apart during the challenge, when Frosti has to replace him as the lead battering ram holder. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
At Fei Long, Leslie decides to clean up while the others are sleeping. But she doesn’t realize the old fish heads are not just garbage, but bait to be used in traps by James. As a peace offering, she offers to help James fish for more, but of course that means him doing the work again.
When Fei Long loses their first immunity challenge, Jean-Robert tells his tribemates that Todd is the one who wasn’t doing well. This would be of interest except for the fact that Jean-Robert is gone, so who cares?
Courtney stirs the pot by telling Todd what Jean-Robert says. Todd publicly confronts Jean-Robert, saying he heard that Jean-Robert said Todd screwed up the puzzle. Jean-Robert asks Aaron and James if that’s what he said, and they both deny that he said it. I’m thinking maybe he didn’t use those words, but the implication was clear. Still, Todd apologizes for overreacting.1 2 Next-->
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