Surviving the Amazon, Episode 10: Pride Comes Before the Fallby David Bloomberg -- 04/25/2003
It's only been two weeks, but it seems like such a long time ago that we last visited our Amazonian friends. During that time, we have debated Rob's vote against Deena through two articles filled with viewer e-mail (and I've gotten even more than I couldn't put into articles). Now we may finally get a hint as to whether he was smart or not so much.
We begin with a discussion between Jenna and Heidi about wearing their buffs as tube tops and/or skirts. Um. This is what we waiting two weeks for? Oh, wait, it's a lead-in to discussion of how cool it is that the four of them (Alex, Heidi, Jenna, Rob) are having a blast. Heidi says if they control immunity, they are in the final four.
Rob jokes (well, sort of a joke, but not really) with the other three about how the others - Matthew, Butch, and Christy - have fallen behind in getting wood and fish. He says he's booked all day thinking up funny things to say. Jenna says she has to think about what to wear to the challenge.
Alex privately says that he never thought he'd meet such cool people who would be his friends like this. Jenna says they are not only her best friends here, but would be at home too. All she does normally is hang out with her parents. And her mom isn't well - she has cancer.
Hmmm. Family discussion. That must mean something family-related is about to happen. (Well, that and the fact that we already knew that from previews and commercials.)
But first there is some more to the whole foursome story. As the three "outsiders" are getting wood, etc., the foursome are lying around tanning. Talk about flaunting your power. Alex admits it's like high school. They do a little less work because they have the majority vote. Um. What high school did he go to where you could vote off the other students? Just wonderin'.
Christy says she's a hard worker and doesn't mind, but sometimes she wants them to get off their butts. Nothing, though. Matt finds their behavior incomprehensible. Maybe they will be in the finals but by acting like this, they are guaranteeing that Butch, Christy, and himself will vote against them in the final two. (Of course, they plan to be against one of their own in the final two, so that wouldn't really matter.)
Treemail arrives - it's $500! And a hint that there will be an auction. Indeed, that's what it is. A food auction where each of them has $500. Host Jeff Probst says there is a limited number of items and the same item might come up more than once. But the auction will end without warning.
First up, cheese cake. Probst starts bidding at $120. Heidi bids. Nobody else. She wins! And she didn't even need to take off her clothes for it! Next is a covered dish. Alex pays $240 for it. Probst offers to trade for a different covered dish. Alex sticks with his first pick. The other dish is lasagna. Uh oh. The one Alex bought is manioc flour. Woohoo! He takes it well, saying he got screwed but, whatever.
Another covered dish follows. Matthew buys it for a whopping $400! Rob notes that it's a winner for Matt because even if it's gross he'll eat it (referring back to Matt's win in the bug-eating challenge last episode. But it's not gross at all - it's a big cheeseburger with fries and mayo. Well, okay, the mayo part is gross at least in terms of eating it with a cheeseburger. Blech. I'll never understand that particular combination. But I digress.
Following that is peanut butter and chocolate. Aha! Probst says it's "very familiar to Jenna and Heidi - it got their clothes off" a couple weeks earlier. Jenna buys it for $320 and doesn't have to give him the shirt off her back.
Next is scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and a mystery surprise. Butch pays $400 for it and is going to enjoy it! Probst asks if he often gets to have breakfast in bed. Not often, no. Well now he does, as he gives Butch a rolled-up mattress and pillow for one. Nice.
A few items scroll by quickly: 32 gram protein bar to Rob, protein shake to Matt, chocolate cake to Heidi (yes, that's two pieces of cake for her). And then another covered dish. Alex goes for it again, paying $240. This time he gets something good - steak and baked potato.
Now the food is over. However, using the same money there is a second part to the auction - letters from home. The bidding begins and Christy, who had bought nothing food-wise, easily outbids the others at $340 as she is holding back tears. She picks up the letters as Jenna cries and Heidi cries for her. They hug.
Probst says he doesn't want this to be a sad occasion. So if it's okay with Christy, he'll put the letters up for auction again. Jenna bids. Then, strangely, Heidi bids against her. Jenna bids $120 and says that's all she's got left. Nobody bids against her and she gets the letter. The auction is closed.
After they get back to camp, Jenna pouts that she was surprised that Christy would bid against her - but maybe not really. Yeah, how dare the deaf girl who's not in the "in" crowd bid against you, Queen Jenna? Give me a break. I notice that she doesn't mention anything about Heidi bidding against her the second time. Perhaps neither of them understood quite how auctions work…
Matt says his feeling is that Christy deserved the letter. She's had a bumpy ride so far and it would raise her spirits. He thought Jenna was being selfish. Yes, that comes as a shock to all readers, I know.
Christy goes off to be alone and opens the letter while crying. It's from a good friend of hers - an amazing person. The friend says that she hopes she's doing alright with the hearing people. Christy says she knows that people back home love her and even if she can't trust people here in the Amazon, she can at home.
Jenna's letter says that her mother's brain tumor shrunk 50%. She cries. Heidi cries with her. Hugs all around. Jenna says it's better than anything she could have asked for. For a change, I certainly can't disagree with her.
Getting back to the game at hand, Matt and Butch are out fishing. Matt says they have a great shot if they can work on Rob and get him over to their side. I'm thinking, "Yeah, right. If he turned on Deena to be with the other three, you haven't got a chance." But Matt says if Rob thinks he's expendable in his group of four, it might work. Matt says he'll approach Christy too. If Rob joins them, they're okay. If not, Matt says he knows he will be going in the next three Tribal Councils.
OK, hold the phone here. When the hell did this revelation take place?! One episode he's being led by the nose, the next he suddenly has seen the light?! And if he saw the light before the last Tribal Council, why did he go along with getting rid of Deena? What the hell happened here?! Dammit, we want answers!
Okay, okay, I'm over it. But really…
The next morning, Alex pulls Rob aside and says that since Jenna and Heidi have sworn to each other that they would never vote against one another, if he wins immunity when they get down to the final four, he plans to vote off Rob. And he expects Rob to do the same if the situation is reversed. At this point I'm yelling at my TV set: I told you so, Rob!! I knew if he joined with this alliance, he would be #4 rather than #2, where he likely could have ended up by staying with Deena.
Anyway, Rob privately says he finds Alex's decision to tell him this rather odd. It's like they're best friends and so even if he's fourth, he should feel that it's okay 'cus he's losing to three worthy players. He says he realizes he's been coming off as very sensitive, saying he loves them, etc. But he's never stopped playing the game. Over his dead body will he be left in the dust like that.
Treemail comes a bit early, and its big test booklets. They are to answer all the questions but not discuss it with anyone else. They are promised that the answers are confidential and will never be told to the others.
Christy says some questions are easy, like who is the biggest drama king or queen. But then it moves on to who needs therapy the most. It made her more aware of what's going on as she had to think about things. Rob says it also got him thinking.
Later, Rob and Matt go for a walk. Rob says this may be the most important conversation of the game. He lays out what happened previously, coming clean about how he was leading him, on, etc. He admits that he'd been telling Matt that the guys would stick together, but it was never true. Rob says he's telling him this now because he knows Matt trusts him and he doesn't want to lie anymore. A lot of times, Rob says, Matt has been in danger and people he thought were on his side were actually lined up against him - Rob admits he was among those people. Matt says Rob can be underhanded but he appreciates the honesty now.
Rob says Alex is a power player and he wants Matt out. He tells Matt about what Alex said that morning regarding voting Rob out. Matt is shocked that he would say that. Rob says this is what happens when people get arrogant. I would add, "and stupid." Matt can't believe the audacity that they would act like the final four is all wrapped up. I don't know why he can't believe it. Roger and Dave thought they had everything in the bag. Deena thought she was in control. This is only the most recent time that somebody in this particular series thought they were in charge. Hell, the others ought to be used to it by now!
Rob says he wants to join with Matt, Butch, and Christy to vote out Alex this time. He adds that he doesn't know what they'll do if Alex wins immunity. (Hello? You vote against Jenna or Heidi, that's what!). Matt says he is giving him his word that this is the way it will go down. He privately adds that he has survival skills but is ignorant of the game while Rob knows the game but is ignorant of survival skills, so they're a good match.
They agree that it will be easy to get Christy to vote for them because she hates Jenna and Heidi, and probably Alex too.
Rob says he is aware of the arrogance of his allies. Christy is a sweet girl who doesn't fit in with this group. He figures a lot of girls like Jenna and Heidi have been mean to her in her life. Very good observation, Rob.
So Rob talks to Christy and tells her he doesn't trust Alex and he should be voted off. Christy can easily go along with that. She privately notes that she couldn't care less about him - he's always drooling over Jenna and Heidi. But the question is if she can trust Rob.
Actually, that's only one of many questions - because the immunity challenge is all about questions. It's a test to see who is most aware of what is going on in the tribe. They took their answers from earlier and compiled all of them. The players have to guess what the tribe said as a whole. First person to five correct answers wins.
1. Who would you trust with your life? The correct answer is Butch, but only Butch, Rob, and Jenna get it right. Probst asks Butch how he feels about that and Butch responds that he'd do his best in such a situation.
2. Which tribe member uses sex appeal as a weapon? Amusingly, Heidi picks Jenna and Jenna picks Heidi. The correct answer is Jenna. She says she's a little surprised. She doesn't know if that's cool or sleazy. Oooh! Oooh! I know the answer to that one! Anyway, she says it's not done purposely, but by accident. Probst notes that she says it with an adorable smile - just as people said. So now it turns out that everybody who missed the first one got this one right and vice versa, so they're all tied up at one.
3. Who is the most honest? The answer is Matthew. He's the only one who gets a point.
4. Who would never survive on their own? Jenna again. She proclaims that she has no idea why they picked her. Matt now has three; Rob, Christy, and Butch two; Alex, Heidi, and Jenna one.
5. Who most needs therapy? Almost everybody picks Matt. He says they joke about it all the time. They all think he's crazy.
6. Who would they most like to see pose nude in a magazine? Once again, Heidi and Jenna pick each other. The answer, however, is Heidi. Heidi says that Jenna is gorgeous. Jenna replies that Heidi is just as gorgeous. Rob chimes in an "Awwww." Heh. Probst asks Alex why he picked Heidi. Alex says that the last time both got naked, Jenna was right next to him, but he didn't get a good view of Heidi. So now Matt and Rob are at four; Christy, Butch, Alex, and Jenna at three; Heidi at two.
7. Who is the tribe do you have a crush on? All pick Heidi except for Matt, who bizarrely picks himself! Huh? Does he really think people have a crush on him? Whoa. Anyway, Rob wins!! Probst comments and asks who knew Rob would be the most in touch with the tribe. Actually, that's not surprising at all, given the way he has played everybody.
The next day, Alex tells Heidi he breathed a sigh of relief when Rob won. That means Matt is next - he's just too big a physical threat to keep around.
Rob says Tribal Council could signal one of the most important power swings of the game. He can vote with Alex, Jenna, and Heidi and assure himself of a final four position. Or the more intriguing option is to vote with Christy, Matt, and Butch. The downside is that he would lose the trust of those people he has come so far with. There will be three people on the jury who won't vote for him in the final two.
Meanwhile, Jenna makes a comment about how it's possible to play the game without hurting anyone. Yeah, right. Tell it to Christy.
Christy is telling Matt that it's going to be good. Matt says it's going to be a great night. He has a strong agreement with Rob, who is the lynchpin of the plot. But Rob can be devious. He has betrayed a number of people to get to this point.
It's Tribal Council time! Probst asks Matt if he is surprised at how well he's doing after a month. Matt says yes. He had a rough start but came back. He's surprised his health is still intact. What about Heidi? She says the first week was rough but if she could make it through that, she can make it through anything. Alex? He's feeling pretty good. He's also had some rough spots but feels really good. Christy? She can make it through the rest of the time, piece of cake.
Probst makes note of the fact that Jenna and Heidi painted each other's cheek with a heart and a sun. He asks if they are concerned that they are tattooing themselves with a person and showing how tight they are. Jenna isn't because at this point some people bond more closely than others. Butch says it might be a risky move sometimes, but not now as it's pretty well already known.
Rob is asked if it's important to know the whole tribe or just your allies. Rob says the biggest part of the game - and a part that is often overlooked - is interpersonal relationships. Not just with your friends, but everybody.
Probst asks Heidi if she would be surprised to be voted out tonight. Yes. Alex? Sure. Christy? No.
Well, Rob won't be giving away immunity, so it's time to vote!
The only two votes we see are from Matt and Alex, voting against each other (this surprises me a bit - no, not them voting against one another, but that we didn't see all the other votes except Rob's, which is what I figured the producers would do). Matt says Alex crossed him once and he forgave him. Alex crossed him a second time and he offered reconciliation. Now Alex's reign is over. Sounds like something out of The Godfather. Alex just says that Matt is way too much of a threat.
Time to read the votes. It's 3-3. And the final vote is against… Alex! Yes! Rob did it! He smartened up just in the nick of time!
Heidi looks dumbfounded (or you can just leave the "founded" part off). Rob suppresses a smile. Jenna is shocked. Christy grins like she can't believe it.
Probst says that from their reactions, this vote was a surprise to at least a few of them, and then he sends 'em all packing.
In his last words, Alex says… "Wow." They got him. He doesn't know who flipped but probably Rob (considering that Heidi and Jenna are inseparable, yeah, that's a good guess). He played as best he could, but apparently he was the biggest threat right now. So it's time for a shower!
Just one quick comment here - this is addressed more in "Why Alex Lost" but I'm pretty sure that playing the best he could should not have included telling Rob of his plans to make Rob #4 instead of taking him further.
Next week: Things start to get ugly as Jenna yells at Rob about how he doesn't care about personal relationships, just about himself. Brilliant deduction, Watson - or did you forget this is a game and not summer camp? But then a reward challenge changes the mood when they find out the winner will get a visit from a loved one.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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