Surviving One World, Episode 6: The Gamechangersby Chris Harris -- 03/22/2011
Greetings, readers. Your regular recapper David Bloomberg is off on Exile Island this week (okay, not really), so your friendly neighborhood Missing Intelligence Award columnist is stepping in for what looks to be a critical episode, given the hints from the previews that someone gets terribly injured. Let’s find out who it is!
Previously on Survivor, the tribes swapped members and gender lines faded as the teams moved to different beaches … but some things never change, because Colton continued to be a Machiavellian meanie and organized his Coltonettes to vote out Monica. You know, Monica? Who was the only person to score for Manono in the last immunity challenge? Yeah … I don’t get it either. Salani, meanwhile, became a team of Greek gods. Not literally. Though that would make for an awesome season.
As Manono arrives back at camp in the dead at night, Alicia proclaims the just-concluded Tribal Council to be the funniest one she’s attended. Oh, she should have been to the one where Bill got voted off! That one was way wackier. Alicia tells us that things couldn’t have gone any better, and that she originally had an alliance with the girls but decided that wouldn’t stick post-merge, so she turned to the guys’ side instead.
Christina doesn’t seem so happy about things, saying she didn’t expect Monica to be voted out. Colton cattily responds, “That’s called a blindside.” As Colton rests his head on Alicia’s shoulder, he also informs Christina that no one is going to go off with her alone, and so, “Good luck. You might could make an alliance with a hermit crab at this point.” Oh, that Colton. Ever the strong, sensitive type.
Colton tells us that nothing can save Christina at this point. She doesn’t have an idol, yet she has five people gunning for her. “The more defeated she is, the easier she’ll be to get rid of,” says Colton, who proclaims that he’ll run this game all the way to the final three. You know, unless he’s the one who gets injured and has to leave … and I have my suspicions that this might be the case, given the way the medical emergency has been hyped.
Colton goes on to call Christina a cockroach – to her face – because she’s survived this long, and tells her that if by some miracle she does make it to the merge, she’ll be the first one to go. So Christina is a cockroach in an alliance with a hermit crab. Got it. “It’s already done,” says Colton in the snottiest possible way. Christina wonders aloud if she really is an idiot (no, you aren’t), and then has to deal with crap from Alicia, who won’t even scoot over to make room for Christina to sleep because who cares? Christina is going home anyway. Good grief, these people are jerks.
Christina tells Alicia that it’s very hard working with her, and Christina has been trying hard to do so, but Alicia is a very difficult person to work with. As Christina crawls in to try to make room to sleep, Alicia warns her, “If you ever put your hands on my body, I’m gonna whack the (bleep) out of you. Don’t ever touch me.” Hey, Alicia: In case we ever meet, the same goes for me. Don’t ever touch me. “Do it, whack me,” responds Christina, obviously fed up with the nonsense. She tells us that Alicia is not a good person, lacks integrity, and that Colton’s a jerk. Um … is she just now figuring this out? However, Christina says the gloves are off and she’s ready to fight. Good for her!
It’s Day 15 at Salani – a.k.a. Beach of the Gods – and our challenge deities remark on how rough the previous night was. If they think they had it rough, they should try being Christina! Kat remarks that she died last night. Umm … Wait. She explains that Alicia killed her in a dream. At the mall. So it’s half nightmare, half Robin Sparkles video. Nice. Kat wonders if it was a sign, and proclaims the dream death to be “very scary.” If Alicia does kill her in real life, that will make for excellent TV.
Tree mail! “If you were still a kid, you’d play this in your backyard, and if you’re starving for something sweet, I bet you would play real hard.” Why the person who writes these tree mailings has never been named poet laureate, I’ll never know. The Salanians wonder if the challenge will be a variation on tag, hopscotch, or dodgeball, and get all googly-eyed about the prospect of a sweet reward. Troy calls the other tribe a “goofy, goonie clan,” and predicts that Salani will romp. We shall see.
Our first challenge entrance of the season where the elimination is a surprise to the other tribe! Salani arrives first, and is predictably shocked to see that Monica is gone from Manono. Sabrina says that just goes to show that the ladies are in trouble on the other tribe, and will be in the minority by the merge.
Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge: One at a time, the castaways will race to the top of a stack of crates. Then they’ll bounce coconuts off a trampoline attempting to hit a target. [Editor’s Note: Er… does anybody have a game like this in their backyard?] First tribe to knock out all five of their targets wins the reward … ice cream! The winning tribe will be taken to a Survivor-style ice cream parlor, with plenty of flavors to choose from. Leif does a happy dance. The girls are all about to go nuts. Colton begs his Coltonettes to win this one. Salani sits out Sabrina, and here we go!
Jay and Colton go first to their respective platforms. Neither hits a target. Probst blames the learning curve. Kat … breaks her coconut on the side of the trampoline. Oh Kat. It’s a good thing you’re pretty. Alicia “throws it like a little kid,” as Probst puts it. Still no score.
Troy and Christina get closer, but still no contact. Chelsea and Jonas can’t do it either. Kim … hits! Salani is on the board. Tarzan struggles just to get on the crates. He does connect though! We’re tied 1-1. Leif connects! Manono is up 2-1. Colton’s next try bounces back at himself. Hee hee. Kat misses. Alicia misses. “My nephew could throw it further than that!” yells Probst. Ha! It sure sounds like he doesn’t like Alicia any more than the rest of us do!
Chelsea scores! It’s a 2-2 tie. Christina misses and then doesn’t run back fast enough, so Colton yells at her and calls her a “stupid idiot.” Well, at least he didn’t say “poor.” Kim misses. Jonas misses. Jay … connects! 3-2 Salani. Tarzan scores again! We’re tied again at 3 apiece. Leif is off by an inch. Kat scores for Salani. 4-3. Colton misses. Chelsea misses. Probst gives Alicia a pep talk on her next try … and it’s still pathetic. And Probst uses that word too, “pathetic.” Hee hee.
Kim’s off the mark. Jonas is short. The intensity is building. The score stays on 4-3 a bit longer … until Troy connects! Salani wins! To the Greek gods go the spoils… and the ice cream.
Colton bitches to us about how Christina was “gradually going through the challenge” and that it ticked him off. Oh yeah. It was all Christina’s fault. How many did you hit, dude? Also, your ally Alicia was the one Probst kept mocking, not Christina. Sheesh. As Colton tells us, Christina’s options are to quit, wait to be voted out, or jump in the fire. Wouldn’t that last one technically be quitting also? “I hate her voice, I hate her face, I hate everything about her.” Which is funny, because she looks and sounds nothing like Bill.
Waiting at the ice cream parlor is an old-fashioned scooper guy … and no, it’s not Erik from Micronesia. There are menus of scoops and floats, and now I’m getting hungry. Thanks, Survivor. Jay predicts that his tribe will turn into “gluttons,” though he clearly plans to be one of them. Kim calls the whole thing “surreal.” Mike talks about how Salani is gaining in morale while Manono is dropping, and Sabrina wonders if Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out and announce that she’s being punked. Heh. Sabrina is happy to get away from camp and the monotony of it all and get reenergized. And someone burps. Loudly. Heh. [Editor’s Note: On Twitter, Jay said it was him.]
We cut to Manono with a shot of hermit crabs on the beach. Hey Christina! Quick, go make an alliance! Colton is still stupidly blaming Christina, this time to the Coltonettes. And in front of Christina apparently, as he then starts loudly telling her that she has only two days left in the game. Naturally, Alicia joins in as Mean Girl no. 2. Colton repeats the quitting/jumping in the fire line to Christina directly. If I were her, I’d probably coldcock the guy, so she’s a better person than me for restraining herself.
Christina reminds us that no one likes her and that she’s the “cockroach of Survivor,” but her parents didn’t raise her to be a quitter, so she won’t. Colton pulls away his Coltonettes for an “update.” Jonas tells us that Colton and Alicia are “interesting” – is that the word? – because they “have to get personal” and tell Christina that nobody likes her. “It’s not enough that they have the power to vote them off, they kind of want to get one last twist of the knife in.” At least Jonas sees it, but he’s done nothing to stop it.
Christina makes an appeal to Leif as he works at camp, telling him that Alicia already had an alliance with the girls. Christina wasn’t in that alliance, so her argument is that she’s safer to take to the merge. It’s a good argument, and probably true. But will it work? She reminds Leif (and apparently Jonas too) that it’s a numbers game, and at the merge, it will be Alicia with the four women of Salani.
Jonas tells us that Christina might be telling the truth, and he doesn’t have many details on Alicia’s status with the other women, “which is a huge red flag.” Christina tells the guys that she has nothing to lose, and it’s either her or Alicia … but Little Ms. Attitude is standing right behind Christina as she says this. Then Alicia starts clapping to mock-congratulate Christina on her performance, and tells her, “Game over, girl.” She adds, “You cannot play this game. You suck at it.” Hmm. Well, considering it’s day 15 and Alicia has already killed any chances she has of actually winning due to her poor social game …
Alicia also tells Christina to “be a woman about it” and say what she has to say in front of Alicia instead of whispering it. Umm … she’s talking to people about a possible alliance-shift. Would Alicia … Forget it. I’m not even going to bother trying to untangle this hot mess of hypocrisy.
Christina says, “Facts are facts,” and repeats the “numbers game” line, and Alicia responds by asking what these facts are and accusing Christina of doing nothing but lying. Um … Leif and Jonas look dumbstruck as they’re stuck in the middle of this stupid explosion with Christina and Alicia bickering back and forth, and Alicia continuing to tell Christina that she doesn’t know how to play the game.
Alicia tells us that what Christina is saying is a partial truth, since she does have an alliance with the other women, “which Jonas doesn’t need to know, so yeah, I’m gonna give her a hard time.” Methinks the batpoo crazy lady doth protest too much – and I kinda hope Jonas and Leif realize it as well. “It’s just too much paranoia for me, and I can’t handle that,” continues Alicia. “I need to be in control.” Or in that Hannibal Lecter straightjacket/muzzle combo. Either way.
Despite all of the crap she’s been put through, we next see Christina holding Colton’s head around the campfire at night while he lies his head in her lap. She says he’s claiming that his brain hurts. Kinda like in the Monty Python skit? Others suggest that he needs to drink water, or it might be a tension headache. Colton keeps mumbling something about his brain, but I’d need subtitles to understand him.
Colton tells us in confessional that he woke up from sleeping and it felt like his brain had attached to his skull. I have no idea what that would feel like, but okay. He thought that maybe his brain was swollen, then felt a knife-like pain around his torso area. Shockingly, Christina continues to comfort him, not just through her physical presence but verbal reassurance. This woman really gets the whole “turn the other cheek” idea. No way I could be this nice to Colton after everything he said.
Christina tells us that if someone is sick and needs help, she’s gonna be there for them. Ah, that’s my girl: She also sees this as a strategic advantage, because it might make Colton realize she’s a good person and not the bad one that Alicia has portrayed. Behind every good deed is a selfish motive. I love it. Colton tells us that Christina stepped in to take a “motherly role” and was trying to massage out the pain from Colton’s head. Of course, Colton realizes that Christina is doing this because she’s trying to save herself … but I bet that at this specific time, he doesn’t care a bit.
And now for the comic relief: Jonas sitting on Tarzan’s shoulders in order to knock fruit from a tree. Colton doesn’t look impressed when Jonas returns to camp with the conquered fruit. Tarzan has Colton stick out his tongue and diagnoses Colton’s problem as dehydration. Tarzan then goes on to list all the things that will happen to Colton next, up to and including kidney failure. And he did all this without Dr. Greg House and his team. Impressive.
Tarzan tells us that the problem is potentially early appendicitis, or something totally benign like gas. Colton shares with us (thanks) that his pee is brown. Plus, he’s dizzy, and he doesn’t know if he’s to the point of no return or not. He wanders off in the woods, and after a bit of editing to denote the passage of time, we find him lying shirtless on the ground. He tells us that he can’t hold anything down, is suffering intense pain, and doesn’t know what’s wrong.
Christina walks up on Colton. He tells her that he’s literally about to die. Well, hey, you could always just quit or jump in the fire … you know, like you suggested to Christina. However, Christina – being a nicer person than myself, again – takes off running for help. She says it’s worse than she thought it was, and didn’t realize how much pain he was really in. She determines that he needs immediate medical attention.
Probst arrives with the medical team in tow. Colton describes his pain over recent days, which he thought at first was just needing to go to the bathroom, but it kept getting worse and worse. Ramona the medic says that her task now is to determine what in Colton’s stomach is causing the pain and find out if it’s something really serious. The other medic tries presses in on his side and letting go, and his heart rate is high enough to indicate severe pain. In fact, Colton’s heart rate doubled once the medic presses on his side. Eek! And it was a light touch!
The medic echoes Tarzan in suggesting appendicitis, and Probst notices that this mention draws an emotional reaction from Colton. He says he just doesn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, the medic says it’s too risky not to take Colton out and investigate the problem. Probst informs Colton that going to a hospital would mean leaving the game, and Colton begs him not to make him leave. “I just wanted to prove that I can do this. I guess I’ve done my best. I just wish I could have done more.”
Now for an interesting twist: Probst asks if Colton still has the idol, and what he will do with it. Colton asks through the pain if he can give it to someone (keep in mind that Colton is beyond agony right now). Probst makes the executive decision to bring the tribe over to say goodbye to Colton.
Colton tells everyone that he probably has appendicitis and it just keeps getting worse. Alicia tells us that she and Colton always strategized together, and if he’s out of the game, that puts her in a really bad spot. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. “Call me a bad person, but all I kept thinking was strategy the whole time.” Don’t worry, that’s not why I would call you a bad person.
Colton apologizes to the others for having to leave, and of course they tell him to not be sorry and that he’s done a great job. As Jonas talks about how big a fan of the show Colton is, Probst notes that he’s really upset. Jonas doesn’t deny it, saying that he’d be heartbroken if he were in Colton’s position.
Any last words in the game from Colton? “Go get ‘em,” he tells his tribe. “Y’all know what y’all are up against.” Then he makes it clear that he’s taking the idol out of the game with him and isn’t giving it to anybody, telling them to pass along a thanks to Sabrina for the souvenir. Hahahaha! One last classic Colton move. I can’t help but love it.
“Colton is a spoiled brat,” says his buddy Alicia. “He’s going to keep the immunity idol for a souvenir even though he knows he’s screwed me the biggest.” She realizes that if she hadn’t helped vote off Monica, the girls would have had the numbers and she wouldn’t be in such a bad position. Cue the world’s tiniest violin …
And away goes Colton on a stretcher, out of the game after knocking off two of my predicted finalists and killing my preseason prediction roundtable chances. In all seriousness, I wouldn’t wish that kind of physical ordeal on anybody and I’m glad he’s alive to tweet about the show today. Hopefully it gave him a new perspective on life.
Jonas tells us that while the original plan was to get rid of Christina first, now that he has some additional power, it might be a better idea to vote out Alicia. Good boy! Jonas realizes that Alicia has more ties with the Salani ladies and is more dangerous to keep around. “Colton leaving was a huge gamechanger.” He adds, “If there was a Karma, Colton got some Karma right back at him.” Amen!
It’s treemail time at Salani, and the message declares that they haven’t won or lost, but will be going to Tribal Council (albeit in more lyrical fashion than I just put it). Kat tells us that she has no fingernails right now and that all the dirt is in her mouth. I think she means that she’s been chewing on her fingernails out of nervousness, though that’s a very Kat-like way to put it. “It was nutritious, but it was disgusting.” Heh.
Salani debates whether or not there will actually be a challenge and what the message means. Mike ponders a possible “one world” elimination, where everyone casts a vote for someone they want to go home. Interesting thought … Kim says everyone is speculating wildly, but she’s keeping her idol in her back pocket, just in case. Good girl!
Manono gets the message, and of course they realize why there’s no immunity challenge. They’re all excited – Leif is jumping up and down – except for Alicia. She tells us she thinks that they’re just going to talk about Colton at Tribal Council, but realizes that if there is in fact a vote, she might be the first one to go.
Some time later, the tribe is awkwardly sitting around the camp when Alicia asks Tazan out of the blue if she’ll be his friend. He gives the creepiest possible answer, saying that he’ll be her dad and his wife will be her mama.
Then Christina asks if Tarzan likes her. He says no. She asks why, and if it’s because she voted for him. He says that she’s a “wonderful girl who will be very successful,” but she wouldn’t be his friend. WTF?! What has Christina done to piss anyone off? Ever the bigger person, she responds, “Understandable.” Tarzan names everyone else as potentially being his friend, then adds, “But I do respect you, Katrina.” She corrects him on her name, and he says, “Right.” Well. That may be the weirdest exchange ever on this show.
However, despite all this, Christina reaffirms to Jonas and Leif that she’s 100 percent with them and she’s sticking to the plan to vote out Alicia. Jonas explains to us that it’s the three of them voting out Alicia; he does not include Tarzan in this alliance, because he’s not on board with the plan. Jonas, however, does not care. “I’m ready to take the bull by the horns and make myself the ringleader.” Good! I love seeing this from Jonas.
Christina tells Jonas that she has a better chance with the guys, and if they ever find her a threat, they should vote her off. “I appreciate that,” responds Jonas. However, Tarzan takes a walk with Leif and calls Christina “sycophonic,” whatever that means. Apparently, it means “sycophantic,” in that she tries to suck up and say the right things to get people to go with her. Well, sure. Wouldn’t everyone? Leif says that’s how he feels about Alicia, and Tarzan says no, that’s not so. Actually I agree with Tarzan for once; Alicia doesn’t say the right things at all. She always says the wrong things.
So now Leif is in the middle because Tarzan is saying that he and Alicia will be voting Christina and they need Leif to go with them. Geez, these alliance shifts are making for strange bedfellows. Leif tells us that he’s “stuck in between two hard places.” Yes, but consider Leif: You were dead meat at Manono before the swap. Now you’re a key swing vote. Boy, has your stock gone up! This is a nice dilemma to be in. Alicia is still pissed that Colton didn’t give her the idol. She knows she needs it.
Everyone arrives at Tribal Council, and Salani gets there first. They watch Manono enter and slowly realize that Colton is not among them. Probst explains to everyone about Colton’s medical evacuation. The gravity of the news about Colton’s acute appendicitis is nicely tempered by Kat’s question, “What is that?” Oh Kat. God bless you, sweetie. Even Jay and Tarzan can’t help but crack smiles. Alicia shows Kat where on her body she would have appendicitis. This is a fantastic moment. Leif says he’s had his appendix taken out, and it’s a world of pain.
A question to Troy: How does this change the game? He feels sad for Colton because he knows how much the game meant to the kid. Still, Kim notes (with some prompting from Probst), it’s another person gone from the game … which increases everyone else’s odds of winning, of course. Kim has also had her appendix removed and can attest to the pain (Kat looks terrified, as if the appendix boogeyman might come to claim her next … maybe in a mall), and also hates it for Colton since he was such a fan.
Alicia asks to speak on Colton’s behalf, and tells Sabrina that Colton told her, “Thank you for the souvenir,” because he did not give anyone the immunity idol. Everybody laughs about this. Probst digs deeper, asking if Sabrina believes this or does it raise suspicion. Yeah, she believes it in her gut. She knows how excited Colton was to get it, and wouldn’t have wanted anyone to play it but himself. Chelsea plays along though, saying that even if Colton didn’t give it away, Manono would want to keep it a secret. She doesn’t buy Alicia’s remarks.
Was it a tribal decision to come in and reveal these things? Jonas coyly says he can’t reveal that information. Heh. Jay admits he isn’t sure who to believe, and Tarzan points out how Alicia is laughing about all this. It’s nervous laughter, people. We’ve been through this before. Tarzan says that Colton told Alicia to inform Sabrina of all this, so she’s just doing what Colton requested. “Maybe,” responds Probst.
Probst then prods Kat to agree that this isn’t the first time someone has lied in this game. Her response is once again typically Kat: “Touché.” Not sure that was the most appropriate word choice for the prompt, but whatever. It does get big smiles out of the others though. Kat admits she’s less worried about the idol and more worried about how she can keep from getting her appendix hurt. Ha! I knew she was obsessing over this!
Probst says leave it to Colton to leave an imprint on that game even after being medically evacuated. Then he says the game is about to get complicated one more time: It’s a merge. Everyone drops their buffs and Probst throws them new black ones. (Incidentally, the new black buffs are now available, with some other cool new stuff, at the official CBS Survivor store.)
Troy is told that first he finds out Colton is gone, then that there may be an idol, and finally that it’s an individual game. Troy admits that he’s already trying to figure out the numbers, who’s with whom and who isn’t, and notes that everyone has their own agenda. Probst remarks on all the eyeballs darting back and forth, and Kim says that everyone’s trying to feel out the people they were previously with on their original tribes. “This is gonna be really interesting.” She admits that she’s nervous, but in an excited way. Tarzan simply repeats his catch phrase: “The game is afoot.”
The merged tribe will go back to the original “one world” beach and Manono’s items will be waiting for them. Probst advises them to take time to celebrate, then get their heads back in the game.
Next time: Alliances are shattered (Jonas and Tarzan get into it). Tarzan leaves the men’s allegiance. Kim is still hot.
In his final words, Colton says the hard thing about leaving is that he’s so used to getting his way, and this has not gone his way at all. He had a plan from the beginning to Day 39, and the injury has thrown a wrench into it all. He promises that he could run this game.
Wow. Doozy of an episode, huh? I had a feeling Colton would be the unlucky evacuee, and from an entertainment standpoint, I’m almost sad to see him go. Almost. There will be plenty more articles and analysis in the week leading up to the next episode, and David will be back next time to recap the first post-merge episode of the season. It’s been a pleasure!
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Chris Harris is a newspaper journalist from Somerset, Kentucky, and wishes Colton good health in the future, no joke. Appendicitis is a very serious deal. You can email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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