Survivor Cook Islands, Episode 6: Back on the Island again.by Ken Kelham III -- 10/23/2006
Before I go forward with episode six, there are a few loose ends to tie up. I had already started working on last week’s article, and was about half-through, but then, shall we say, personal issues came up, and I realized that by the time I finished, it would be rather late, and I didn’t feel it was fair to do that to the editors. Plus, my computer went haywire and lost the article, and I decided to just give it a rest for one week.
After the episode a few weeks ago in which Jonathan found the baby, someone in my workplace, who wasn’t talking about Survivor, used the phrase, “Are you my mother?” I thought about how funny it would’ve been to hear the baby chick say that to everyone on the island. Okay, funny and sad at the same time. And how good it was that Jan from Thailand wasn’t on this tribe? No telling what her reaction would’ve been.
I recently heard from a reader in the journalism field, who said it was all right to identify him as “Some editor dude from the Land of Lincoln.” He suggested that the producers leave fake copies of the immunity idol on Exile Island. That way, when they got voted out, and presented the idol, Probst could say, “I don thin so Lucy.” Okay, he didn’t exactly put it that way, but you get the idea. Just think of how that would change the game, especially if the players didn’t know beforehand there were fake idols lying around.
Okay, onward and upward to Episode 6. Let’s start with the opening scene. On the way back from tribal council, one of the players commented, “It was a rough tribal council.” Isn’t that like saying “It was a wet rainstorm?” Have you ever heard anyone say “Boy, what a neat tribal council that was?”
The problem here was, after Adam made his comments about Cristina in tribal council, she was still in the tribe. Usually, when that type of conflict takes place in tribal council, it means one of the parties involved is going home. But thanks to Stephannie, that wasn’t the case.
While it’s true Adam was prompted by questions from Jeff Probst to say what he said about Cristina, it probably wasn’t the greatest idea. After all, for all Adam knew, a merge could be around the corner, and Cristina could jump ship.
Having said that, Cristina should’ve taken the hint from her tribe, been thankful she got a three-day reprieve, and made the most of it. However, she couldn’t leave well enough alone, and got into an argument with Adam. She eventually tried to redeem herself by asking her tribemates for another chance, but there was one flaw in her plan: somebody had to go.
This wasn’t like The Real World when Puck’s tribe, er, roommates couldn’t stand him anymore and, shall we say, “voted him out.” For Cristina to stay, someone else had to go, and unfortunately, in Survivor, arguing your case means arguing against someone else, and I’m not sure how well Cristina did that.
While watching the episode, it occurred to me that Jonathan’s voice sounds like somebody famous. I couldn’t figure out who, then it hit me: His voice sounds like that of sportscaster Al Michaels. But when I pitched this idea to some other fans of the show, they seemed to think he sounded more like Alan Alda, a.k.a Hawkeye on M*A*S*H., and now that I think about it, they’re absolutely right. Oh, how great it would be to have someone with Hawkeye’s wit on this season’s cast.
When Cao Boi (not Cowboy, as some of his teammates apparently didn’t realize when voting him out) started talking about taking the immunity idol everywhere they went, several thoughts came to mind. One was, how interesting would it have been to see him in the same tribe as JoAnna from the Amazon season? To refresh your memory, she was the one who saw the idol as a type of “graven image,” and thus thought to have it around was sinful. Oh Boi, talk about drama. I can just see the previews for that episode “Next time on Survivor, Cao Boi and JoAnna clash over the immunity idol.”)
In the long run, these two, while having polar opposite stances, actually had one thing in common: They both had strong opinions on something they considered to be a spiritual issue, felt obligated to impose this stance on their tribemates, and were voted out shortly thereafter.
Don’t get me wrong: Each is entitled to his/her views, and I respect those views. But there are some subjects that are very touchy in discussion, (i.e. religion, politics, morality), and taking a firm stance either way can spell your doom in a game like Survivor. It’s similar to when Kimmi was voted out of Kucha after her vegetarian stance. Contrary to what Judd Nelson said during an awards show, Kimmi was NOT voted out for being a vegetarian, but rather, because she couldn’t quit reminding everyone she was a vegetarian.
By the same token, there was absolutely nothing wrong with Cao Boi broaching the idea of taking the immunity idol everywhere they went, but when no one in his tribe rushed to take his side, he should’ve just dropped it. Instead he pouted, and said “Hell with it,” an ironic statement given the topic was a spiritual one.
Personally, I sided with Jonathan, who felt that showing up with it all the time would be rubbing it in the other tribes’ faces, but at least Jonathan did say he respected Cao Boi’s views, even though he obviously didn’t agree with them. Jonathan was in no way ridiculing Cao Boi’s spiritual beliefs, but rather, was looking at the issue from a game standpoint.
Now it was time for the reward challenge. At the risk of intruding on the territory of RNO’s “MVP” articles, what kind of performance was that by Candice? Yes, she eventually got dragged across the line by Parvati and Rebecca, but it took them forever to pry her off the pole, and once they did, she went right back to it, eating up even more valuable time, and of course, energy for the other tribe. Back in the Vanuatu season, eventual winner Chris told Twila she was “one tough chick.” After this last episode, I think the same could be said of Candice.
Do any of us realize how much stamina it took to fight off two people like that for as long as she did? And not only was she physically tough, she played a good mental game, smartly placing herself on top of Rebecca and making Parvati try to drag them both.
One amusing aspect was when Parvati said to Candice, “Dang, lady, let go!” Just what was Parvati expecting her to do? It brings back images of baseballer Pete Rose complaining about the kind of pitches he was seeing during his run at Joe DiMaggio’s record for most consecutive games with a hit. Any time you expect help from your adversaries, something’s wrong with your line of reasoning.
What also stood about this challenge were Cristina’s attempts to fight off Jessica and Becky. After Jeff Probst warned Jessica, “no choking,” we next saw Cristina warning Jessica to steer clear of her neck. My first thought was, “Boy, Cristina is bossy even to people on the other tribe.” But unlike Parvati telling Candice to let go, this was a safety issue, and the host had already admonished Jessica/Flica, so I can see where Cristina was coming from.
However, there’s one small problem: While Cristina was telling Jessica to “Get away from my neck,” she had her own forearm on Jessica’s neck, and found herself admonished as well. In the heat of battle, it probably didn’t occur to Cristina she was guilty of a similar infraction she was warning Jessica about, and by the same token, it didn’t occur to her how she’d been coming across to her tribemates. If this lack of awareness didn’t directly lead to her eviction from the tribe, it certainly didn’t help her cause.F
inally, kudos to Mark Burnett and company for yet another awesome challenge. It never ceases to amaze me how season after season, the producers keep coming up with things we haven’t seen before. And in this case, they chose a challenge that made for great television, unlike the endurance challenges that take several hours, and are most notable for the bargaining and bantering that goes on while they’re in progress.
But one thought came to mind: While the challenge was a fun one to watch, I couldn’t help but wonder about the potential for injury. Yes, the entire game is inherently risky, but in a challenge where limbs are tangled up and twisting every which way, it seems like someone is more likely to end up with a muscle pull, sprain, or other potential game-ending injury. At the very least, I can’t bet the participants weren’t sore for a couple of days after this one. And I won’t even get into the possibility of sand burn.
Here’s another question: If Rupert from Pearl Islands were in this challenge, would he be more useful as the guy pulling people off the poll, or the guy hugging the poll? Just how much energy would it have taken the other team to drag his hefty frame across the line? Or, suppose Rich Hatch were a poll hugger? Would he have done this challenge in the nude, just to freak out the other team? And how uncomfortable would that have been for the ones who had to drag him off?
Or, from the same season as Rupert, how about Jonny Fairplay? Even though he’s not the biggest guy, he’s obviously learned a few moves from his wrestling training. Would any of them have come in handy as either a puller or pullee? Actually, what I’d really like to see Rupert pull on Jonny Fairplay. At the very least, Rupert would’ve roughed him up a bit, and it may have ranked as everyone’s favorite piece of footage of all time.
I’ll just stop right here while we all wait to see how Nate handles being a “kidnap” victim. See you soon!
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com .