Surviving the Amazon, Episode 2: (Un)Holy Granoley!by David Bloomberg -- 02/21/2003
We return to the Amazon, where it's day four. At the women's camp (Jaburu, but I'll more often than not just call it "the women's camp"), Janet says they've been sleeping in the elements. Their shelter isn't really a shelter. Heidi says there are always so many other priorities, like fire and water. Deena tries to take charge by asking one person to do fire and water while others do other tasks. Jeanne says they really need a leader. For her part, Shawna says they don't have the necessary stuff to survive - she's sure the guys are way ahead of them.
And, well, they are. Back at the men's camp (Tambaqui), Alex tells us how they have built the shelter, are dealing with the food situation, figured out how to use the manioc flour better, etc. It's not great, but they'll survive.
As a group, they all go fish with the net. They don't appear to catch anything, but, hey, they're trying. Roger says it's a little embarrassing that they lost the first challenge, but they've established a good team (I have to wonder which "team" he's talking about - those who voted with him or the tribe as a whole?). Dave says they've settled into a schedule.
As they are out fishing, they notice the sky get dark and decide it's best to head back. They make it to camp with minutes to spare before it begins raining buckets. Alex says it's mostly dry in the shelter and Dave notes that it would suck to be outside right now.
Indeed it is. Just ask the women! In the pouring rain, they are working to shelter the fire. Shawna says, I think, that they managed to lose their flint and can't start a new fire, so they have to make sure the old one sticks around. How did they manage that?!
It's time for the first reward challenge. It will test how well they communicate, listen to each other, and take direction. OK, I can immediately tell you two things: 1) Christy will sit out for the women. 2) The men are dead because, well, we don't listen so well. Just ask our wives.
There are 30 pieces of a big puzzle scattered around the area. One person is designated as the guide while the others are paired up and blindfolded. The guide tells the others where to go to get the pieces. The reward is bait for fishing. Frankly, it doesn't sound like the greatest reward in the world, but, hey, if they can catch fish with itů
Christy does indeed sit out for the women. JoAnna and Butch are the guides. And they're off! The women take the lead as Butch repeatedly shouts out the wrong name and confuses the guys. Plus guys are wandering around, banging into each other to the point that host Jeff Probst and Christy are laughing. The women have 27 pieces gathered, the guys only 18. The women get the last few pieces, rip off their blindfolds, and get to work on putting the puzzle together. Guys are still wandering around without any real direction. Finally they get all the pieces and make a valiant effort to get the puzzle together, but the women just have too big a lead. Jaburu wins. JoAnna thanks God. Oy.
That night, over by the men, Roger says he is not accustomed to losing to women. Not that he's a chauvinist or anything, ya know. Noooo. Never crossed our minds, Roger. Never. Really.
Dave says the mood is one of frustration - everybody wants to win, especially seven guys against a bunch of girls. Alex says they are feeling the pressure. Dave suggests they all take a deep breath and they'll be okay for the immunity challenge.
The next day in Jaburu brings complaining. It seems the women aren't as good at cooking the manioc as the men. How's that for breaking another stereotype? I guess it doesn't help that it's full of maggots. Janet isn't pleased at this revelation after she has been eating it. Yum, protein!
They have been trying to use their bait, but just getting nibbles, mostly. They finally catch one, but since they don't set the hook, it flips around and back into the stream. They need some basic fishing lessons here. Right now, all they're doing with that bait is feeding the fish.
At the guys' camp, Roger has gone from
Rob confesses privately that he'd been looking for somebody to vote against Roger, and he thinks he may have found that person in Alex due to their little tiff. He flat-out classifies Roger as a bigot.
It's nighttime for the women, and we find out the reason that JoAnna made a face at Probst last week when he was passing around the immunity idol before their first challenge. JoAnna doesn't like the idol because, well, it's an idol. And God has forbidden idols. So she doesn't want it in camp. She says other people may worship Buddha and whoever else, but she worships Jehovah (she throws out some other names for Him, but I didn't catch 'em all, and if they're all the same what's the difference anyway?) and he despises idol worship. In fact, she says the idol is why they all got rained on. Um. Yeah. 'Cus normally it wouldn't rain in the rain forest. Other women point out that the idol is the reason all eight of them were still there. Doesn't matter to JoAnna. She says she's going to keep talking about this all night. One of the others asks if she can whisper. She says no. Ah, the way to make friends and influence people.
Time for a sidebar comment here. Has JoAnna ever watched Survivor? I mean, it's not like this whole "immunity idol" thing is brand new. They have it every freaking season. As fellow RNO writers Mike DeGeorge said to me, "if your religion despises 'idols' of any sort, WHY THE HELL did you go on Survivor? It would be kind of like me going to Bible Camp and complaining about all the 'God talk!'" Well said, Mike. I'd also like to add that preaching, in general, is a bad idea. Preaching in the middle of the night when people have asked you to be quiet so they can sleep is a really bad idea. It's also incredibly rude. But as we'll soon see, that barely scratches the surface of JoAnna's rudeness. Oh, and incidentally, I'm pretty sure the Bible says you shouldn't worship false idols. I don't think it says anything about just having pretend ones sitting nearby.
The next morning, we see Christy talking to Jeanne. Christy's concern is that as soon as it gets dark, she's effectively cut off from everybody. So she asked Jeanne to fill her in on what happens at night.
The two of them are walking along and Jeanne tells her about JoAnna's idol discussion. Christy blurts out that it's stupid. Unfortunately, JoAnna happens to be in earshot and storms over to put Christy in her place. She pretty much jumps on her and every time Christy tries to say something, JoAnna talks over her. Real nice. Then she says that if she doesn't like what Christy says, she'll shut her down - and holds up a hand in a "talk to the hand" type gesture. Now this is rude under normal circumstances. But when you're dealing with a deaf person who can only understand you by reading your lips and you put up a hand to block her face, that just goes beyond any standard of rude behavior. As Christy says, JoAnna flipped out, put her hand in her face, etc. At this point, Christy has a great observation, telling the cameras that if you are a vessel of Christ, shouldn't you be a little nicer? Indeed, one does have to wonder how somebody can go from praising God to being such a roaring bitch. One other part of the "discussion" that needs mention is that JoAnna yelled at Christy for supposedly getting in her face. Two things: 1) Christy has to maintain eye contact with a person's face at all times. So even in a situation when others might have backed down and looked away, she has to keep looking at them. 2) More importantly, JoAnna was the one who came in and barged in on somebody else's conversation! Sure, Christy said something about her that she overheard, but for her to charge over and then tell Christy to get out of her face is completely unbelievable and illogical. Also, let's face it, the whole idol thing is stupid!
OK, so we've already had two fairly big issues come out at the women's camp. First was the whole idol thing. Second was the fight that followed. Now what? Well, as they are getting their stuff out of the crate where they had stored it to keep it dry, they find a granola bar at the bottom. Nobody claims it - everybody denies it belongs to them. After all, smuggling in a granola bar would be cheating. It's unfair! They should find a scapegoat and search their bag for beef jerky!
Whoa. Sorry. Time warp there back to Survivor 2.
So, whose is it? Nobody cops to it. They agree to throw it in the fire so nobody should have it. Deena (the D.A.) jokes that she should cross-examine everybody to get to the bottom of it.
But wait, JoAnna says that Jeanne says that she saw the granola bar in Janet's bag. So JoAnna says they should all gather around and give Janet a chance to admit her guilt. Jeanne privately says they all came to play fair and they don't like cheaters!
OK, let's look at this situation. Unlike with the accusations leveled against Kel back in Survivor 2, at least there is evidence of a transgression here. But there is no evidence as to who brought it. I also have to wonder how the hell they did it, as these folks are practically strip searched! Heck, maybe it belonged to a cameraman who accidentally dropped it. Alright, seriously, to blame Janet without any evidence other than one other woman's claim (a woman who, of course, is her competitor) is ridiculous. Deena the lawyer should know enough to tell the women not to convict without evidence.
Leaving the camp of many issues, we find ourselves with the men, who get treemail about the immunity challenge. So off we go!
Probst begins by saying that retention of information is crucial in survival situations, and this challenge will test observation and retention. They all have two minutes to explore the mock-up Amazonian Indian village and then he will ask them each questions - the player whose turn it is must answer by him/herself, with no help from the other tribe members. Whichever team has the most after 10 will win. Shawna sits out for the women.
First up are Jeanne and Dave. What colors are the feathers on the treemail announcing the challenge? Oh, that's hardly fair - that wasn't part of the village! Anyway, Jeanne says red and yellow while Dave says yellow. Nope. Red, yellow, and green. No points.
Deena vs. Rob: How many rungs are on the ladder? Deena says eight, Rob six. Rob is right. Guys take the lead.
Christy vs. Butch: How many pigs in the pen? Christy: 12, Butch: 9. Butch is right. Guys up two.
Jenna vs. Alex: One of the small bowls had something in it. What? Both answer, "Nuts." Both are right.
Janet vs. Daniel (who has otherwise been pretty much invisible this episode): What items are in the finished canoe? Janet says an axe, Daniel says a spear. Daniel is close, but he left out the rope as well. No points.
Heidi vs. Matthew: How many hammocks are there? Both say two. Two it is.
JoAnna vs. Roger: How many manioc cakes are in the pan? Both say nine. Both are right. It's five to three, guys.
Jeanne vs. Dave again: What two types of fruit are in the camp? Pineapple and banana, say both. Both are right.
Deena vs. Rob again - women must get it right or they are out. How many manioc roots have been peeled? Both answer "one." Both are wrong, it's four. But it matters not to the guys - they win!
We do not see any shots of JoAnna getting mad at God for giving the win to the men (hey, she thanks Him whenever they win - shouldn't she talk to Him when they lose, too?). But at least it obviously won't rain now that the idol is with the guys.
Ouch! I just sprained my eyes from rolling them so hard!
After the women get back and some amount of time has elapsed, we see Christy working hard to strip down branches for the shelter. The other women are, well, sitting around. It is quite obvious that she is annoyed. In case it's not, she privately tells us that this is the laziest group she's ever been around. Some are really slacking and it's pissing her off!
Deena claims Christy then went off on them for not working. She says it really set her off but rather than argue, she just walked away. Then Deena comes back with a bunch of branches and fronds, tosses them at Christy's feet, and says she should build away. Christy retorts that she's gonna go fishing instead. Ouch.
Again privately with Christy, she says she feels separate from the group. She notes that Jenna hasn't spoken to her in the five days they've been there.
She says she acted the way she did with the shelter because she didn't want to be the only one doing it. So then they decide they want to and she should just go according to their schedule? Like I said above, she's quite annoyed.
Deena tells the camera that if Christy gets voted out, it will be because of her personality, not her disability. Of course, what Deena doesn't seem to understand is that she doesn't feel like part of the group because of that disability and the way the others are treating her, which is why she is acting the way she is.
Janet feels that it will be her or Christy voted out tonight. She calls the group together to say that she knows it's gotten around that she was supposedly the one who brought the granola bar, and she says it wasn't her. She adds that if they want to vote her off, that's fine, but they shouldn't do it for that reason. Well said, Janet. She also adds privately that she will be voting for Jeanne because she knows Jeanne was the one who started pointing the finger at her.
Time for Tribal Council. Probst begins by asking Jan who has emerged as a leader type. Janet says that JoAnna is a strong woman and they really rely on her and Deena for a lot of the labor. Deena is asked about how they accomplish things like building a shelter. Deena responds that they don't really have a shelter - just a mish mash mess. JoAnna says they can't build all day 'cus they need fire and water. Probst basically sums it up by noting that they have no plan.
He turns next to Christy and asks if there are things not being done that she could do better. Yes - the shelter should have been built by now, she says. JoAnna, Christy's biggest fan, chimes in that somebody asked her to help with the shelter earlier and she said she was gonna go fishing. Christy points out that this happened today after an earlier discussion and she was pissed at the time. Indeed, JoAnna is either being a bitch again to bring this up as if it happened exactly the way she claimed, or she is working with incomplete information and doesn't know the whole story.
Probst stays with Christy and asks if she feels excluded. Yes. Because she's deaf? Yes. What signs has she gotten that this is the case? She says when something important is going on in camp, she never knows about it - they never bother to tell her. And when she does come around to find things out, they walk away. She works harder than any of them and yet she feels alone.
Jenna says she finds it insulting to say they exclude her on purpose. They are women living in a jungle so reactions are going to happen.
Umů what? I find it interesting the way Jenna phrased that - about excluding her "on purpose." She made a point of that. But to me what it says is, even if true, they have not made any effort to include her. And maybe they shouldn't - that's a piece of overall strategy and up to them. But then they shouldn't act all offended about it.
As far as Christy goes, I know why she's mad and don't claim to understand what she's going through, but I believe she's not handling it as well as she could. She should have stopped talking before she claimed to be doing more work than any of them. That was just not smart.
It's time to vote.
Heidi votes for Janet, saying she knows Janet wants out, she was sick at first and it's hard to catch up.
JoAnna votes for Christy, saying they need physical strength but her attitude stinks. (Hello, pot? This is kettle.)
Christy votes for Jenna. No explanation given.
Janet votes for Jeanne, saying she's incredibly strong but too aggressive.
The votes are counted. The ones we saw for Christy, Jenna, and Jeanne are the only ones cast for them. Everybody else targets Janet, though whether because she was sick or because they believed the granola bar story, we don't know. All we do know is that there is a lot of fracturing in this tribe.
Probst says he hopes tomorrow morning brings some much-needed change to the tribe. Yeah, well, that depends on if JoAnna preaches all night again.
Janet's last words are that it was amazing, but she is not an Amazon women. She advises other middle aged women who are having a mid-life crisis to get a new hairstyle instead of going on Survivor!
Well, in the first episode we found out how unlikable some of the men could be. In this one, we found out the same about the women (well, and more about Roger). What a fun bunch!
Next week: Jaburu can't get it together, and they have poor hygiene in camp. But then the show apparently turns into one of those sorority movies where everybody gets naked in the pond!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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