Surviving One World, Episode 7: New Tribes/Old Tribesby David Bloomberg -- 03/29/2011
Last week, Chris Harris covered the recap for me in one of the most game-changing episodes of Survivor ever. Heck of a week for me to have a conflict! But big thanks to Chris!
A couple weeks ago, I discussed how Colton had tweeted a sort-of apology for the things he’d said about Bill (and then I followed up by asking Colton about those statements and others in my interview with him). This week, I’d like to address some other tweets related to the show. Specifically, last week we saw Alicia treating Christina just horribly. After the show, Alicia tweeted, “I am ashamed of myself. I was a bully. No one deserves to be bullied. [Christina] I am truly sorry.” Christina replied, “Girl, you are totally forgiven. I don't support the harsh response by others. I'm very protective over my Survivor Family. Xo.”
I don’t know much about the “harsh response,” other than people calling Alicia out for her behavior (there of course may have been some who went too far), but this sort of immediate post-episode interaction continues to be of interest to me. We see one thing on TV and then the contestants try to make up for it almost right away. It’s a new twist on a situation that’s been around for some 12 years now.
But enough of that – now it’s time to move forward with the next phase of our game! We pick up immediately after Tribal Council as the newly-merged tribe arrives at camp to find food and drink. Troyzan tells us this really seems like Survivor to him now – him against 11 people. “Bring it on.”
Wine starts being gulped straight out of bottles – except that Jonas doesn’t drink, so he passes (even if he really does drink, it’s always a good idea to pass on the wine when you’re on Survivor, because nothing good can ever come out of being drunk while trying to plan strategy). Alicia tells us Christina probably now thinks she’ll be around for a while and that Alicia is now screwed over a bit because Colton left. This reminds me of the bombshell dropped by Colton in our interview, when he claimed that he intended to vote out Alicia, not Christina, when they went to Tribal Council. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out from here in that regard. As for Alicia, her plan is to go back to her “homegirls” and take out the guys. “The backstabbing’s gonna begin.”
The following morning, the issue of a new tribe name is raised and they quickly agree on Tikiano – “tiki” means god and “ano” means year. So godyear? Sounds like a tire company.
Jonas cooks up some coconut for breakfast, but he describes how he’s trying to turn it into something that tastes like a potato chip. This is the first we’ve seen of his cooking skills. Then again, we haven’t really seen much of Jonas at all!
Jay scoops out some coffee and Tarzan tells him he only wants one scoop. Jay says it’s only for the people who won it, but with his accent, it sounds like he says people who want it, so Tarzan says he wants it. Jay repeats himself more clearly and notes that Tarzan wasn’t among the tribe that won it. Tarzan somewhat-dejectedly says he thought everything was up for grabs among all of the 12.
This leads to Jay telling us they’re all one big happy family now – read that with heavy sarcasm. Indeed, he’s back with people he didn’t want to live with anymore, like Tarzan (and we’re led to believe Leif as well, but he doesn’t specifically say that). Jay says Salani is looking at this as a chance to vote out the “old Manono tribe” because they have the numbers. I believe he means the new Manono, not the old (which was of course all men).
Tarzan has picked up on this situation as well, as he tells us he was hoping the guys would be solid but that seems not to be the case. So he tries his luck by talking to Mike – which is an amusing scene since Mike is over a head taller than Tarzan. Tarzan believes Alicia will jump to the guys’ side and break the tie (obviously not having heard her talking to us earlier!). Mike claims to be okay with the idea but he tells us quite the opposite: He neither trusts nor likes Tarzan and his allies.
Enough of that for now, it’s time for a reward challenge! Host Jeff Probst welcomes them and explains what they’ll have to do. For today’s challenge only, they will be divided back into two tribes. In other words, the whole Colton thing took them by such a surprise that they had planned for one more team challenge – whoops! Anyway, a member of each “tribe” will race through a series of obstacles – the usual thing of digging through sand under a log, crawling under branches, etc. They’ll dig up a bag of puzzle pieces, race back, and tag off to the next person. Once they get all four bags, the two remaining tribe members will use those pieces to solve a sea turtle puzzle.
What does the winning “tribe” win? An afternoon of pizza and cold beer – plus a secret note. So they randomly divide into “tribes” as follows: Alicia, Jay, Sabrina, Chelsea, Christina, and Troyzan against Leif, Jonas, Mike, Kat, Kim, and Tarzan.
And they’re off! Leif and Jay are the first for their “tribes” as Probst notes that one tribe sent their biggest and strongest guy while the other sent their smallest. Jay squeezes under first, but Leif gets stuck partway through. Jay gets the first bag of puzzle pieces and returns. Leif finally wiggles his way out but Chelsea is already grabbing the second bag for her team. As he returns, his tribe encourages him to go under the log on his back rather than his stomach, and it’s much easier.
Kim and Alicia head out. Kim gets stuck as well because the hole really isn’t all that big (that’s what happens when you send your smallest person first). Alicia returns with the third bag before Kim gets her team’s second.
Sabrina goes out for her group, but gets stuck in the sand (remember, she’s not on the same team as Leif, so this is new for them). Kat, however, slides right through her team’s hole in the ground and tries to make up some time. Sabrina gets free before Kat can get too much of their time back.
Kat does return before Sabrina gets her team’s puzzle pieces. Mike – who I noted before is rather big – has to head out, and he starts digging a bigger hole. He gets through and gets to the puzzle dig portion, where Sabrina is still searching. Yep, they’ve essentially tied it up. But Sabrina does find the fourth bag before Mike. She gets through the crawl first but is once again stuck going under the log. They both pull themselves through at essentially the same time.
Puzzle time! It’s Troyzan & Christina vs. Tarzan & Jonas. Things don’t start off well for the latter when Jonas tells Tarzan to feel free to start working any time. It looks to me like Troyzan & Christina are doing better, but then Tarzan & Jonas (really, it’s almost all Jonas) seem to pull ahead.
Probst comments that Tarzan put a piece in and Tarzan retorts that he put a few pieces in! Jonas tells him to quit talking and focus on the puzzle. Anyway, it’s down to just a few pieces left for each tribe. And… the… winner… is… Troyzan & Christina’s tribe! Everybody on their team jumps for joy – and Alicia almost jumps right out of her top.
Tarzan says, “Oh well” – not a sentiment you really want to hear if you’re on the team that just lost, but it’s not like this is a “tribe” that can vote him out because of it. Trozan pounds his fists on the puzzle table and declares, “This is my island!”
The winners head out to enjoy pizza and beer on the beach. It’s so sad to see no name brands attached to either – doesn’t Survivor have the drawing power to attract advertisers anymore? Anyway, Sabrina tells us she knows good pizza because she’s been living in New York for 10 years. Uh, Sabrina – talk to me after you’ve gotten real pizza in Chicago.
Alicia opens the secret note and reads it to the others. It says that as part of winning reward, only these six will know that there is another immunity idol hidden at camp. Yeah, like it will stay to only these six for more than a few minutes once they get back. Chelsea, however, seems to have that fantasy as she tells the others that the fewer people who know about it means it’s more likely for one of them to find it.
Chelsea tells us her biggest fear is somebody from Manono finding the idol and messing up the plan – she doesn’t want a Salani going home. I find myself scratching my head because I truly don’t know which version of “Manono” and “Salani” she’s talking about! I’m guessing it’s the second versions, but I’m really just not sure.
Back at camp, Jonas talks to Mike about their plan, but is apparently unaware of Tarzan’s grand scheme, which Mike finds rather odd. Jonas tells us Tarzan is a loose cannon who does “whatever the hell he wants.”
So Jonas confronts Tarzan and asks why he told “the least reliable guy” about the plan. Tarzan says they need all six guys, but Jonas points out that they should tell him right before the vote, not two days ahead of time. “If he’s playing both sides, what is he gonna do? He’s gonna tell the women.” Jonas explains that they need to consult with each other as an alliance rather than just blabbing.
Jonas also wants to know when things changed and why he’s the last to know. Tarzan gets upset and angrily insists he told Jonas the plan two days ago. He then tells Jonas that he’s a “confused @$$#ole.” Wow. Pot. Kettle.
They gripe at each other as Jonas tells Tarzan to stop interrupting and Tarzan says Jonas is accusing him of things. After a few more profanities are exchanged, Tarzan calms down and simply says there is so much confusion that he’s going to “drop out of the tribe” and they can go on without him. He drops his allegiance, he says, because the others contradict him and don’t remember what he says. Wow. Tarzan really is so far gone that he thinks other people don’t remember what he says!
Mike walks over and asks what’s going on. Tarzan says it’s a misunderstanding and then turns to Jonas, saying they should just admit that Tarzan doesn’t like Jonas, so he shouldn’t talk to Tarzan anymore. He reiterates that feeling to us and says he can only play the game so much before he gets irritated.
The next day, Troyzan is up before the crack of dawn while everybody else sleeps in, so he decides to go idol-hunting. He starts searching through the usual hiding spots – the hollows of trees, etc. Lo and behold, he finds it in a tree trunk! “The early bird gets the idol and gets the power.” He continues, “This could be a million dollars.”
Indeed it could, which is emphasized by Jeff Probst live-tweeting during this part of the show and noting how crazy it is that nobody else is searching for the idol. What the heck are they thinking?!
But there is another type of immunity to be earned – it’s challenge time. Probst shows them the new immunity necklace and then explains the challenge: They will be perched on a small horizontal log, balancing a ball on a wooden disc (it looks like the disc has a small rim on it). At regular intervals, they will add more balls to make it more difficult. If a ball drops or a person falls off the perch, they’re out. I’m thinking Leif actually has an advantage in this challenge, since he has a lower center of gravity. We’ll find out if I’m right.
And they’re… on! Just as they begin, the wind picks up. Tarzan is out quickly as he loses his balance. The rest make it through to the next round, where they add a second ball. Christina loses it. She’s out. Mike has “balls hanging on both sides of his disc” – sounds like a personal problem – and he’s out as well. Chelsea soon joins them, as does Kim.
The other seven make it to the next round as Probst tells them, “Grab your balls, everybody is safe.” C’mon, Jeff, did you not know better than to say something like that?! I so want to make that the subtitle of this article. (In answer to my question, it looks like Probst absolutely knew what he was saying, because he’s live-tweeting some self-congratulations on his own wit.)
Anyway, now it’s time for the third and final ball. They begin again and will continue until they have a winner. But it won’t be Alicia, because she’s out quickly. Jay follows a little while later.
Probst says, “Troyzan’s balls haven’t moved in a long time.” Jeez, man, do you have to dig into his personal life like that? Troyzan has to suppress a chuckle of his own. But Jonas is the one who is out next.
Leif is barely moving. Sabrina is staying steady by looking straight ahead. Another gust of wind hits and Sabrina is out. Leif blows my prediction as his balls roll in opposite directions (well, I guess he didn’t really have balance problems, per se).
So it’s Kat vs. Troyzan for the win. Kat looks rock-steady while Troyzan’s balls are rolling around a bit. He keeps saving himself, but he still seems more likely to fall. Indeed, even his foot is wobbling. But just as I’m ready to declare Kat the winner, she suddenly just steps backwards and is out! What the heck happened?! Whatever it was, Troyzan wins immunity! (For the second time today!)
Troyzan, an obvious fan of the game, calls the situation crazy – he’s waited so long to be in this situation and now he has Jeff Probst putting an immunity necklace on him!
The tribe arrives back at camp. Leif congratulates Troyzan and says they’ll need to talk. Troyzan predicts there will be a lot of scrambling coming up. Troyzan tells us he feels he has a good group with his “old Salani” tribe and he’ll go along with them. Again I’ll say it: They’re new Salani, not old! Sigh.
Chelsea and Jay talk, with Chelsea saying they should stick to the seven on (new) Salani. Knock out the other five from strongest to weakest. Jay suggests Jonas as the first choice, with Leif as a possibility instead. They decide to talk to others, but I have to wonder if this doesn’t work to Chelsea’s advantage no matter what. If they take out a guy on new Manono, that means the women will have a numbers advantage as well, in case they decide to go back to those teams later.
Jay checks with Kim and Sabrina, both of whom agree on Jonas. Chelsea says she hates to see it because he’s a great cook and has a positive attitude, but he’s the strongest among the new Manono, so he has to go next.
Alicia checks in with Kim to see what’s up, since nobody has talked to her. Kim is completely honest with her about Jonas and Alicia seems okay with it. Kim is obviously very intelligent because she tells us the same thing I just said – they want to keep Alicia and Christina around in case they decide to revert back to an alliance of women. Kim says if they get out a guy who is also a member of “new Manono” (finally somebody who understands “new” and “old”!), that puts them in a great position.
Troyzan is brought in on the plan but isn’t very happy about it. Why would you get rid of a provider like Jonas? So Troyzan tells Jonas about it and Jonas is both concerned and confused. Why target him? He’s “the least threatening guy here.” Why not target Mike? Uh, maybe because he’s (at least for now) aligned with them? (As this scene airs, Albert from last season tweets that Troyzan is in jury management mode – he’s telling Jonas about the threat and appearing to be his pal, which could work in his favor if Troyzan makes it to the final three. Good point!)
So Jonas goes into Survivor survival mode – to the point that he apologizes to Tarzan. Tarzan takes it well and they shake hands – and Tarzan actually gets teary-eyed about it. He tells us that they are a strange duo but they respect each other.
The two of them plus Leif and Troyzan decide to vote Kat because she doesn’t really do much. Jonas admits it’s a “last-minute scramble” and I’m unclear as to how they’re going to get the voting numbers on their side. I just don’t see it.
I’m not sure why we have to watch the next scene, but it’s laundry time and Tarzan wants his underwear cleaned. He explains to Sabrina that what he has on them is “not poop” but dirt. He knows what it looks like but assures her he’s right. Mike chimes in that it’s chocolate and I immediately think of the great candy bar/pool scene in Caddyshack.
OK, now I see why we had to watch that scene. Chelsea tells us after making plans, she just wanted to have some clean clothes. So she scrubs her stuff in the ocean and with sand, then puts it in the hot water. Tarzan walks up and throws his underwear in the pot, once again with the reassurance that it’s dirt, not poop. Chelsea doesn’t care – she wants his clothes clean before it’s boiled and he claims he did that already. She doesn’t buy it and pulls it out of the pot.
Tarzan says she should trust him because he knows all about microbiology. I’m sure she feels better now. Or not. She asks him to just wait ‘til she’s done and he agrees. But he keeps talking about how the microbes die in boiling water and then he jokes (I think) that “it’s not that contagious.” Chelsea throws down the stirring stick and walks away, saying she’s going to go puke. Kat just sits there, shaking her head and smiling. She’s probably wondering, “What’s a microbe? I wonder if it can hurt my appendix…”
Tarzan walks away as well and mutters how everybody is so offended by his shorts and they don’t want to share the pot. Dude, can you really blame them?
Chelsea tells us that if it were up to her, Tarzan would be voted out next. She’s all about who deserves to be there and who is a good person to be around. Jonas works hard, so she begs her alliance to save him for a few more days and substitute Tarzan instead.
Jay says he sees her point – he hates seeing the dead weight of Tarzan, Christina, Alicia, and Leif sitting around and doing nothing. But if you set a plan in place and then break it, “all hell can break loose and come back to bite you in the butt.”
So what will actually happen? I’m guessing Jonas is still going and the rest has all been a series of red herrings. We’ll find out soon enough because it’s Tribal Council time!
Probst begins the questioning with Sabrina, asking the single biggest difference now that they’re merged. She says it’s very chaotic as everybody tries to figure out where they stand, who’s in what alliance, etc.
Is it inevitable to already be thinking about who they want to sit next to at the end and how they make sure they’re there? Jonas says it is, but that could be thinking way too far ahead. He had people say today that he’s a threat because he’s a provider and he cooks. He continues, “Yeah, but you don’t vote that guy out first!”
Plus, Jonas wonders, why would anybody want to fight for individual immunity against Mike? “That’s not good strategy.” Mike counters that he doesn’t necessarily do well, as they saw today. Jonas could be great at puzzles and Mike might suck – and he can’t balance balls on a board.
Jonas proposes to “those that know what I’m talking about” that he is voting Mike tonight. So much for the Kat plan – though I still don’t see how he has anywhere near the numbers that are necessary.
Probst is about to ask what Mike thinks of this when Tarzan speaks up to say he disrespects what Jonas just did – giving up his principles, throwing Mike under the bus. Tarzan claims Jonas doesn’t have to fight for his life now (which earns some questioning looks, such as from Chelsea), but won’t explain further.
Probst tells Jonas that Tarzan just told him to relax because he’s not going home, but Tarzan jumps in to say he can’t say that now because Jonas might have just “thrown himself over the bus” with his statements.
Jonas replies that despite Tarzan’s “brilliant plan,” they don’t “have the votes to vote out… Kat.” Kat is immediately amused and surprised, and asks Tarzan what she did. Tarzan claims Jonas is lying – Jonas “is getting worse and worse.” I sit at home and chuckle.
Tarzan asks Jonas if he wants to attack everybody while he’s at it and Jonas says he’s just stating the facts. Tarzan now suggests they vote out Jonas. “I’m sick of this.”
Why did Tarzan have such a big reaction? He says Jonas has been “on my back” since the beginning. They’ve spatted back and forth and Jonas is “always undermining me.” So he’s going to write down Jonas’s name. Jonas says he’s just trying to play the game.
Chelsea speaks up, saying she thinks more people have had issues and arguments with Tarzan than Jonas. Several people nod in agreement and Probst picks out Sabrina as one of them. She says she’s had some run-ins with Tarzan “like everyone else, I’m sure, has,” but has never had a problem with Jonas.
Tarzan retorts that while he’s admittedly note as likeable as Jonas, he’s just awkward “outside my environment.” What is his environment? A hospital and operating room, where he does great. “You’re the captain of the ship in an operating room or somebody dies.” Probst points out there is no captain here and Tarzan says he has ideas to help people, and when they don’t see it, it irritates him.
Probst summarizes that you have the likeable Jonas and the crotchety Tarzan who admits he doesn’t like the social part of the game. Tarzan corrects Probst that he never said that – he said he’s awkward at it. Kim says, “That’s the beauty of a merge. All of a sudden, people like Jonas become a threat and people like Tarzan become an asset.” I think she accidentally added “et” to that last word.
Where does Chelsea weigh in? She says there are people you want to keep around because they’re positive and providers – and “then there’s dead weight.” Tarzan asks, “Did you mean me?” Chelsea: “Maybe” (with a grin that says she definitely did).
Is Tarzan concerned? He says he wondered whether allegiances would be maintained and now senses everything has fallen apart. That makes the whole thing “mercurial” at this point (Kat grins at another word she doesn’t know) – he doesn’t know what will happen. If they want to vote him off, that’s fine, but he’s voting Jonas.
Let’s find out. It’s time to vote! I still say it will be Jonas because enough people just won’t change their vote at the last minute. We see Jonas vote for Mike, keeping to what he said earlier even though Tarzan stepped forward as perhaps a better target. Tarzan of course votes Jonas. And that’s all we see for now.
Probst tallies the votes and, when no immunity idol is played, reads them: Jonas (Tarzan’s vote), Mike (Jonas’s vote), Mike, Jonas, Jonas, Jonas, Jonas (he knows he’s gone), Jonas, Jonas. As I figured, Jonas is gone.
Jonas steps up to get his torch and tells Tarzan, “No hard feelings.” Tarzan shows what kind of man he is by replying, “Hard feelings to you.” What a guy. (And he obviously isn’t nearly as concerned about jury management as Troyzan is!) Probst snuffs Jonas’s torch and Jonas turns back with a laugh and tells the tribe, “Good luck with that food situation.” Ha! At least he took it all in good humor – at least as good as he could at that point.
Probst notes that they just voted out somebody who almost everyone agrees was likeable, a provider, and loyal. “That means nobody is safe.” Or it could mean that they know being likeable also makes somebody a big threat!
In his last words, Jonas says he came there to go big or go home – he went big and now he’s going home. Heh. He gave it all he had and the fact that he was voted out sucks, but at least the others said he was a good provider and cook. Incidentally, Leif was the second vote for Mike (which I kind of figured).
Next week, there is a discussion about who should go next, with somebody saying a guy is a big threat who needs to be taken out, and we’re told Jay and Troyzan “have the jitters,” as Jay seems to realize that the women now have a majority and could start knocking out the guys. Kim, Sabrina, and Kat (at least) talk about whether they should indeed make their move, and Kim tells us she’s not sure how it will all go down. That’s all we get for this one, but if the women do take over, well, then Jay and Mike and Troyzan should have considered doing a little math before allowing that to happen. But we’ll address that more if and when it happens.
In the meantime, be sure to check back here at Reality News Online frequently between now and the next episode so you can read all of our columns, including my interview with Jonas tomorrow. See you then!
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