Survivor Psyche, Episode 7: Evictedby Melinda Smith and Suzanne Tromblay -- 04/02/2003
The Jaburu Tribe is missing the adorable Shawna, especially a despondent Alex. "Alex is a little bit depressed that Shawna's not here anymore," Rob says sympathetically. "But maybe he'll get his head out of his ass and start thinking about the game again like he should be."
Rob sets about getting his game pieces - oops, we mean players - in order as soon as they get back from Tribal Council. His strategy is to have the male Jaburu members pose as false allies of the male Tambaquis at the merger, and use Deena and Jenna to turn Heidi and Christy. Or, as Rob sees it, "make sure the knuckleheads understand the plan." It all sounds very logical until you realize that Rob's primary mission is to take down Roger. "Once we have that majority…," Rob wrings his hands as his inner Snidely Whiplash emerges. "Ooooh - Shut up, Roger! Finally - the shoe will be on the other foot! Bwaaa Haaaa Haaaa!!!"
Object of My Affection
When the two tribes open their mail, they discover something that sets all their hearts a flutter. The girls shriek, the men shout, and everyone takes off running. Is it a "get out of Tribal Council Free" card? No! It's the key to the lock-box! After 18 long days, our curiosity is satisfied. The boxes are opened to reveal parchment scrolls that bear the captivating message, "Time To Live As One." "Boy, isn't that great," Dave sighs.
The Jaburus ooh and aah over the prospect of living together as one tribe - except for the resident teenager with the bad attitude. "Oh, we've got to build a new shelter - that sucks," gripes Rob. (Rob's negative attitude sounds eerily reminiscent of good old irascible Roger's grousing here. Remember, Rob, we resent people who subconsciously remind us of a quality in ourselves we detest.)
Lest we wonder about the authenticity of this merge, the editors include a remark of Deena's emphasizing that the note "clearly says that we should become one." Everyone packs up and takes their leave of their old campsites. "Goodbye, camp!" Heidi calls out in her squeaky Care Bear voice. Tambaquis and Jaburus row down the river, with a tender touching of the bows in midstream. Even the prospect of lurking piranhas waiting to strip the flesh off an errant finger or toe doesn't dampen their ardor.
Awaiting the arrival of the happy co-eds is a big boat as red as a tropical sunset, new buffs the color of a Valentine heart, and a feast fit for an intimate honeymoon supper, at Coney Island that is. "Wow, is there chocolate?" Jenna immediately blurts out. (Foreshadowing alert! We hear she'll do anything for even the slightest prospect of chocolate.) Laid out on a picinic blanket (thank you Yogi Bear) are burgers, chicken, beer on ice, slaw, chips, corn on the cob, and lots of flying wieners. "It's a flurry of excitement. Nobody's thinking of who's going off next, at that point," Dave the Happy Camper assures us. Deena proposes the new name for their tribe - Jacaré, which is Portuguese for he who will make a midnight snack of clueless white man. Everyone is relaxed and simply enjoying each other's company and the contents of the picinic basket until Ranger Smith breaks up the party. Antsy Roger starts poking, prodding, and provoking everyone into action. He's not happy with everyone sitting around. "We're burning daylight, dammit!" Roger tries to micro-manage even the ice down to the very last cube. Butch plays peacemaker and reminds Roger that their precious beer stash needs ice, too. That's when the fireworks start. "So it's warm, so it's warm!" Roger shouts. Christy looks upset, Butch makes soothing noises, and everybody else pretends they're a rock. It's the familiar hair-trigger Dad at the dinner table. The guy whose temper snaps when everyone fails to immediately grasp his superior wisdom and leap into action. (Think Ralphie's Dad in A Christmas Story when he's working on the furnace.) Even easygoing Alex is aggravated enough to vent. "The problem with Roger is he's an ass. He's loud, he's obnoxious, he's bossy, he thinks he knows everything and he's always yelling at everybody."
What should be a fun barn raising among experienced adults working together towards a common purpose turns into a sexist debacle, like something out of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers where the he-men put the womenfolk in their place.
Deena tries to give Roger the benefit of the training she underwent before coming to the Amazon. Roger wants to locate the new camp in a level area close to the riverbank. So close that Deena and some of the others are worried about caymans coming into camp at night. Roger gives Deena's advice his full consideration for about a microsecond before casually dismissing it.
Rob assumes his usual position in the background of the sparring couple. "Deena is a very strong woman who I have a lot of respect for. She's a lawyer, she can argue her way out of anything, and Roger loves to hear himself talk." Rob smirks happily. "So you get these two together. Roger thinks women are stupid, Deena thinks women are better than men and you have a millions ways the conversation can go." Meanwhile, Roger is gassing on about things like "differential" while everyone fumes. Deena makes a mocking, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, face behind his back while Roger drones on and on. Roger doesn't dismiss just Deena. Even Christy, his old tribemate, gets the patronizing, "there, there, honey, just go make us some coffee," treatment. When Christy the Trail Guide approaches Commandant Roger to help construct the fortifications, he sends her back to the Mess Tent to weave pretty rattan mats. Good-natured Christy gives the camera a knowing smile as Roger leads her to a pile of palm fronds. "Helping Rob split the fronds would be really great," Roger tells her dismissively. (Roger sounds exactly like the smarmy office manager in Office Space, as he's telling Christy this. "M-kay, that'd be greaaat.") Both Christy and Deena comically let off some steam and inform the camera as to just what an obsessive, wind-bag of a Neanderthal Roger truly is.
Jenna and Heidi approach Deena about voting off Roger before Dave. Deena is swayed by the realization that Roger would never vote for one of them if he were on the jury. "Screw him!" Deena shouts as comprehension dawns. Everyone has done a bang up job of keeping Dad indulged and oblivious. But, crusty old Roger smells a rat. "Six guys against the girls and we just pick em off - it just seems too easy …," Roger muses.
Alex and Matthew chime in with their thoughts. "This is a tough game and you have to identify people you can trust and stick with them. We're very comfortable with our alliance - we think it's gonna hold true to the end," Matthew says airily. Poor guileless Matthew has lost the most weight of any of the men and is starting to resemble one of those papier maché skulls from a Mexican Day of the Dead festival.
While Daddy-bear Roger's snores shake the jungle canopy, the naughty children put their heads together in a provocative session of "I never." They swap stories of their sexual escapades, and goody two-shoes Christy floors everyone when she mentions doing the nasty on the mall in front of the Washington Monument on the fourth of July. (Suzanne likens this epiphany to finding out that the Brady Bunch's Eve Plumb starred in pornos.) Rob mourns the fact that none of the girls have gotten drunk enough to find him appealing. (Coors Light isn't powerful enough for your purposes, Rob, may I recommend Everclear? How 'bout some Rohypnol? Maybe some chloroform and a van with blacked out windows?) Rob is glaring holes into Dave, as he basks in the adulation of the chicks. Dave has his audience riveted with tales of studly adventure, starring not one, but two buxom wenches. Rob simmers in the shadows, then goes off on a long-winded rant about how special Dave thinks he is. So smart. So handsome. So charming. (Well, Rob, he is! At least compared to you! Rob is Grimma Wormtongue, lusting after Eowyn, while Aragorn basks in her adoration.) Then the bimbo-contingent, throw Rob a bone. "I'm sure if you just came out and asked all the skanky loser girls you knew, at least two of them would be willing to sleep with you!" Jenna and Heidi chorus. (Sing along to the tune of "Young at Heart." Even dreams can come true, to Dweebs just like you, if you ask a tart….)
Immunity Challenge: The Naked and the Dead
Portentous thunder rumbles in the background as the new Jacaré tribe rows to the challenge grounds. Probst shows off the new Immunity Necklace that looks like the remains of an Armadillo that's been turned inside out. It's the old standby pole balancing challenge. Probst starts the countdown and Roger is already in deep water. He flails his arms in a desperate attempt to keep his balance. Just as Probst hits "1," Roger gains his equilibrium at last. Butch is also having trouble, and moans about his "old bones." For the women - it's a cakewalk. Deena looks she's been born for this challenge.
Probst has barely begun to introduce the subject of food rewards, when skeezer Jenna pounces. "I'd take my clothes off for chocolate and peanut butter," she announces.
What other rewards would prompt Jenna to take off her clothes, we wonder?
A crackerjack prize.
Announcement of a Poison reunion.
Lint encrusted Skittles.
Free car wash with every fill-up.
Anything bright and shiny.
Heidi is a player too. "If you add cola, I'm in." (Once again may we remind you, Probst didn't instigate any of this - Heidi and Jenna came up with this brilliant stratagem.) When Probst brings out the dessert tray, Heidi and Jenna get down to business. The bimbos make a big production of it, stripping like pros. Off come the tops, with much gratuitous posing and posturing. Then the wenches peel their bikini bottoms down their withered shanks and knobby knees.
The frat boys holler encouragement while Principal Butch hangs his head in a desperate attempt to save his vision. "Why me?" he wonders mournfully. The skivvies come off and are proudly held high. Probst taunts the men that no one is looking and Dave bravely turns his head to catch a glimpse. Heidi and Jenna make sure that everyone has had a chance to eye their goods, and don't bother to suit up again before jumping off their perches. (We kept hoping that their shorts would act as a hobble and make them easy prey for a lurking Cayman. But then again, a Cayman would have to be pretty desperate to settle for desiccated fodder like Heidi and Jenna.)
Roger seems to be oblivious to the goings on around him. This sitting duck needs to maintain his perch for as long as possible. Instead, devil-may-care Roger blithely launches himself into a watery grave, shrugging off his chance at immunity or even the prospect of a cocktail weenie! (Dead Meat in the Water and Fire in the Sky, by Deep Purple) Jenna and Deena share a celebratory thumbs up.
The storm rolls in and the players hunker down. Probst's offer of a "piping hot pizza" lures Butch, Alex, and Rob off their perches. The storm blows over, leaving Deena unfazed. When Probst asks her how long she can last, Deena replies, "I outlasted Roger and that's all that matters." It's a shot heard round the world - straight across Roger's bow. He blinks in startled surprise and grooms his beard uneasily.
It's two hours and counting when Probst brings out the buffalo wings. Matthew and Dave are the next to go. It's between Christy and Deena, now. The next offer is a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. "No garlic bread?" Christy asks plaintively. She and Deena make a pact to share the spoils, and settle the immunity question with a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Unlike Clarence from Survivor: Africa, Christy and Deena have a clue as to how it's played. Deena wins the game and the butt-ugly necklace, as well as half an order of spaghetti. "You negotiated like only an attorney could. You come out with food and the immunity," Probst praises her.
Alienation of Affection
Oedipus Rob instigates Roger's downfall. First, he gets in a few digs at the old man. "The only way Roger would win immunity is if it's a 'name that Perry Como song' or perhaps, 'what type of prune is this,' " the little whippersnapper quips. "Some sort of thing that only an old man like Roger would be able to determine."
Rebellious wife Deena mocks, "Poor Roger is planning all these interesting activities for later on this evening and Roger's going home!" Confidently, Deena announces her intention to leave her stuff at camp as everyone else packs.
Clueless cuckold Roger crosses the women out of his will. "The women are gone - it's that simple." But something is still the nagging the old man. "It looks like everything's falling into place and I'm thinking it's too good to be true." Faithful son Dave shores up Dad's confidence. "I think that all four of the females realize that they are going to be quickly eliminated because the six males are starting to stick together. I don't think that they're surprised. Four girls and six guys," he shrugs, "they're looking to go packing pretty quick."
Tribal Council: Divorce Court
Probst provokes Rob into making a comment about the parts everyone plays, and his own role in particular. "I like being subservient to the people who decide what to do," Rob admits. (Insert butt-kissing audio here.) Deena makes a sarcastic analogy about the "four corners of the structure" that they built, and how it was more important for her to build relationships. Roger's smug persona remains intact. "You can't have too many Indians in this case. It was gonna be done that way regardless," he says imperturbably. Even when Probst pokes him with the question again of why he didn't stay on his roost longer, Roger doesn't flinch. "If I knew I really needed it - I'd give it my all."
So, after weeks of being the meanest old man on the block, the kids stage an uprising and give Roger the boot. After spending the last two weeks building Christy up and validating her worth to her new tribe, Roger, Butch, and Dave turn and cast all their votes for her! It's only when the fourth vote is cast for Roger that reality starts to set in. The next two go his way as well, and in a blaze of torchlight, the king is evicted from his newly built castle, and stumbles blindly into the darkness.
Next week: Dave and Heidi play Romeo and Juliet under Rob's suspicious glare. "I don't like the fact that a member of my alliance is sleeping with the enemy," he snipes.
Let's look at the players.
Butch: Your go-along-to-get-along strategy has failed you miserably. You'll be the sitting duck after Dave is eliminated.
Dave: You've gone back to being Star Man again, unable to think of any alternatives to your "status quo" strategy. Use your earthly charms to bring the "females" back under your spell.
Christy: Those two-faced S.O.B.s almost got you. You've got a good enough sense of humor to survive this blow. The ball's in your court, you need to quickly figure out who to ally with.
Roger: Your dominion over the vassals in your new stronghold stood secure, but only in your own deluded egomaniacal head. The kids are free to play any damn way they please. You're not the boss of them, now.
Heidi: You've fallen off your pedestal in the eyes of your students. Let's hope the School Board is more lenient with you than we've been. If anyone was going to go wild, it was your mother watching you strip in front of millions of viewers.
Alex: Shawna's exit left you vulnerable to ouster from the other members of the Jaburu tribe. Don't get too comfortable with Rob's propositions; use the merge to create your own core alliance.
Deena: You rule as Queen of the Amazons. You knew when to shut up, when to play, and had the confidence to speak your mind when you had the field.
Matthew: Still the naïve optimist who can't see beyond the smoke screen of lies being told around you. You're standing alone in the middle of a storm of duplicity, exclaiming, "I caught a fish!"
Rob: Even though you're an obnoxious slimeball, we must give credit where credit is due. You're smart and you know how to play the game. You drool after the hotties, but have never taken a cheap shot at Deena. You've given her your support and praise, even when others can't overhear you.
Jenna: Your mother and Heidi's need to form a support group. Mothers United Fight Freaky Sluts, or M*U*F*F*S. You got lucky when Deena chose you for her alliance. Maybe the "older" women are good for something?
Melinda Smith is a technical illustrator and writer with a background in graphic arts. She and her family live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her sister, Suzanne Tromblay, is a licensed social worker with the State of Ohio. Melinda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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