Reality High Test Results, Survivor: The Amazon Episode 3 Happiness Is A Warm Magic 8-Ballby Brian James -- 03/05/2003
Since the first session of class this semester was so tumultuous, I decided to take a different approach this week one that I thought might be more relaxing for all of us and offer me some additional insight into each student's thought process. "Instead of a traditional test," I told the class, "I'm going to give you a list of common sayings, quotes, titles, and other items. All you have to do is check 'Agree' or 'Disagree.'"
"HALLELUJAH!!! OH, GLORY!!!" shouted JoAnna.
I cringed, popped an Excedrin, and passed out the questionnaires. Rob pulled out his Magic 8-Ball. "Will I get the first question right?" he asked as he shook it.
"Cannot predict now," I told him as I confiscated it. "Come on. All you have to do is give your honest opinion. It's not rocket science "
Dave raised his hand politely.
"Er brain surgery," I continued. Dave put his hand down. "I guarantee it's the easiest thing you'll ever have to do in this class." Rob grumbled a bit but settled into answering along with everyone else. While they were occupied, I fed the rabbits.
"HALLELUJAH!!! OH, GLORY!!!" shouted JoAnna as she finished.
Have you ever dropped an almost full bag of rabbit pellets all over the floor? Cleanup is not fun.
Soon everyone was finished and class was dismissed. I took a look at the results:
1. What a difference a day makes.
The members of Jaburu all agreed. It's remarkable how much their tribe transformed seemingly overnight. Under Deena's delegation, the shelter got completed, the site got cleaned up, and the women finally managed to catch some sizable fish. Even JoAnna and Christy seemed to be getting along. They hadn't completely morphed into the Get-Along Gang just yet, however...
2. Let someone else take the fall.
Jeanne agreed. She and Pot er, JoAnna thought that Deena might prove to be a bit of a hothead, so when it came time to select a leader, Jeanne "initiated" Deena, which might have made more sense had Jaburu been a cult or sorority and Deena would have had to, say, eat twenty tarantulas and sign her name in blood. In any event, while it was refreshing to see that Jeanne's griping about needing a leader actually led somewhere, Jeanne's plan seemed to backfire somewhat. Deena wisely agreed only to delegate chores, and people seemed to like her and respect her ability plus, she got the job done quite well. All those things could actually work in Deena's favor. However, next week's previews promise a clash in the tribe over chores, so Jeanne may have the last laugh after all. Whatever happens, Jeanne's definitely proven she's playing the game and is someone to watch.
3. "Just because we're pretty, everybody's jealous!" (Concetta, Female Trouble)
Heidi: The cuter girls me and Jenna and Shawna went off from the older women because we're younger, we're cuter, we've got better bodies, and for some reason that's a huge issue for older people!
Oh my God so now the bathing schedule is according to AESTHETICS?! And how can she call the three of them the "younger" ones when she and Christy are the same age? Oh yeah there's that pesky "communication" thing. Whatever. In any event, Heidi's stock plummeted this week both on the message boards and in the CBS.com popularity poll, where she plunged from the low 70's to the high 40's. And quite frankly, I think Jenna's more attractive.
4. "How Can I Keep From Singing?" (Enya)
JoAnna agreed. In retrospect, I should have given her this one as an essay question. You know it's bad when not only is it getting on the nerves of people on the other tribe, but it's even invading their thought balloons! Remember that part when the guys talked about the girls and the girls appeared in cheesy wedding portrait ovals straight out of ABBA's "Knowing Me, Knowing You" video? Jenna, Shawna, and Heidi were all smiling and silent. Then poor Rob gets saddled with JoAnna's thought balloon. "HALLELUJAH!!! OH, GLORY!!!" it bellowed. Even her THOUGHT BALLOON won't shut up! If they ever remake The Electric Company, I think we've found our "HEY, YOU GUYS!!!!!!" person.
Speaking of Rob:
5. Quit while you're ahead.
Rob: I didn't know Jesus had a vested interest in Survivor.
Rob: (continuing) ...because Jesus is a guy, I would think he'd want the guys to win!
America: (pelts things at screen)
6. Be prepared.
Considering this is the Boy Scouts' motto, it's pretty ironic that Jaburu agreed and Tambaqui disagreed. Nevertheless, Jaburu was very focused this week, preparing for the challenges as if they were preparing for battle complete with appropriate accompanying music. Machetes were sharpened! Team chants were chanted! Heidi and Jenna... brushed their hair. But that probably was the best preparation given the state of the Tambaqui men, where focus and preparation amounted to shaking the Magic 8-Ball and saying things like, "Hmmmm... gee... will Jenna notice me at the challenge?" I swear, it's like Survivor: The Catholic School Years. Result: Jaburu 2, Tambaqui 0.
Oh and the sight of the defeated men coming home to the "BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!" banner? NEVER gets old. Pure comedy gold.
7. Yes, Virginia, there is plotting and scheming on Survivor.
Dave disagreed. He seemed utterly amazed to realize that people were gasp! talking behind each others' backs and playing the game! I sat Dave down and broke the news gently to him that while we're at it, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy don't really exist. "But... but... I used to get quarters... and the milk and cookies were always gone..." he stammered. I patted him on the head and assured him it would all be OK.
8. A place for everything and everything in its place.
Matthew agreed. He lamented to the men about the lack of proper "service vessels" for his I Can't Believe It's Not Bouillabaisse! Martha Stewart no doubt was nodding in approval as she gave her TV screen the lowdown on how to make authentic Wedgewood china service for 12 from ordinary tree bark in just 153 easy steps, but the rest of us...
Me: Service vessels?!? SERVICE VESSELS?! WHO ON EARTH talks like that?!?
Loyal Reader "Bubbles": HELLO!! It's a BOWL, OK?! It's a BOWL!!!
Somehow I'm thinking that if I were starving in the Amazon, proper soup tureens wouldn't exactly be my highest priority, if nothing else because just the very word "tureen" makes me feel like the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse would be about to join me for high tea.
9. When I say "jump," you say, "how high?"
Roger emphatically agreed. He asked Daniel, who appeared to be working on something, to go for a water run. When Daniel didn't immediately drop everything and go, he stomped off to do it himself. Roger said that Daniel "got him hot," Matthew told Daniel that Roger's "position" wasn't very "firm," and the slash fanfic continued to write itself. Before all was said and done, Roger said he wanted to slap Daniel around and the possibly racist "give him a kung fu chop," Daniel said Roger smelled like spoiled vinegar, Matthew and Daniel yakked bilingually, Daniel continued to audition for Blinky in The Real Live Pac-Man when he wasn't blowing questions in the reward challenge, Alex and Rob went back and forth more times than a ping pong ball on whether to vote out Roger or Daniel, and I was left screaming at the screen, "Can't we vote them BOTH out?!?" Seriously Roger's an obnoxious ass, but Daniel seemed useless and vacuous, and overall I found myself wishing Daniel had gone the first week, Roger this week, and Ryan were still in the game. Not that I thought that Ryan was all that stellar of a player, mind you, but I'd take him any day over those two clowns.
Now, originally I had thought that Daniel's blatantly revealing that he and Matthew had a secret method of communication Mandarin Chinese was one of THE stupidest moves I'd EVER seen in this game, because between that and Rob bristling at being accused of possible racism, it seemed like EVERYONE turned against him, including Matthew. However, Daniel's said in postgame interviews and chats that not only did the others all know about it, but he knew he would be going and told Matthew to vote for him. Whatever might have caused it, though, Matthew's "D'oh!" look at Tribal Council when Daniel seemingly spilled the beans was still priceless.
Even if the others all knew about it, it still wouldn't seem the wisest move in this game for two people to blithely chat away in a foreign language. Even under ordinary circumstances, I think most people would find it quite cliquish and rude for example, I had two acquaintances who would insult other people around them in French, and even though I understood French and knew what they were saying for the most part, I still found it obnoxious. (It was priceless when one day they "secretly" insulted a guy and he immediately tore them a new one right back in perfect French.) Add to this the basic level of paranoia this game instills in people to begin with, and I would think the others would start wondering if they were talking about them and want to vote one of them out to prevent any "secret" alliance.
After I was finished, I noticed I'd forgotten to give Rob back his Magic 8-Ball. Just for the hell of it, I decided to ask it a few questions of my own:
Will I be getting a much-deserved raise?
Will JoAnna stop shrieking "HALLELUJAH!!! OH, GLORY!!!"?
Will Roger reveal his kinder, gentler side?
Would you could you on a boat? Would you could you with a goat?
Why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near?
Will my students provide me with good column material next week by continuing to make stupid errors aplenty?
Brian James is an actor/writer in New York City. An avid reality show, Passions, retro music, and Internet discussion board junkie, he can be found holding up "Will Snark For Food" signs in subway stations as he continues to search for that elusive "day job." Brian would like to stress that this column is based solely on the "TV characters" he witnesses once a week, not on how contestants behave in real life. Comments and cybertomatoes accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of Brians Reality High articles at The Reality High Page. And check out our Survivor: The Amazon page and American Idol 2. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!