Survivor: Cook Islands – Missing Intelligence and Insider Clips: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Togetherby Heathyr Fields Ford -- 09/19/2006
Mike: Your MIA is in my Insider!
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup flashbacks, anyone? If someone flashed back to odd porn, I don’t want to know, okay? Thanks. So, Mike had to slack off on the first episode, which leaves me covering his sorry behind this week. No worries, next week, your MIA and your Insider will be separate and fabulous as always. This week though, let’s mix it up and see what we get, eh?
From the time it was announced tribes would be divided along ethnic lines, some groups have been clamoring for Survivor’s cancellation. Props to CBS for having the stones to not cave, because this is no different than dividing tribes along gender lines or age lines. Matter of fact, if you ask me, gender or age divisions are even more telling methods than culture, simply because men and women really are from different planets. Plus, the men have the strength advantage. The women have the multi-tasking, puzzle-solving advantage, etc.
Dividing along ethnicity lines only means you have men and women with some physical similarities on a team. Sundra was dead on with her observation that the division didn’t matter. It’s still Survivor.
The first runner-up for this week’s Missing Intelligence Award therefore goes to all the hypocritical protestors. You weren’t there when it was gender or age (or gender AND age), so you shouldn’t be there now.
On to our clips!
Castaways Jump Overboard: First up, we have “Castaways Jump Overboard.” In keeping with past seasons, CBS has put up a clip that is entirely a repeat from the show. Apparently, they don’t read my articles slamming them for not giving good clips like we get for The Amazing Race. I’m miffed.
Immunity Challenge: Oh, and any surprise that the next clip is a repeat too? Yep, it’s the entire immunity challenge. Forgive me if I don’t spend another 10 minutes of my life rewatching this. We do have a new lead-in commercial. It’s a Mazda in the woods. This infinitely improves upon the bear pooing in the woods from the last few seasons, even if “zoom zoom zoom” is a tagline from the depths of Hades. We do have some hotties this season, don’t we? Yul should go shirtless. That sums up my opinions about this repeat of a clip.
Interview with Jonathan: Finally, something new! Jonathan gets interviewed while on Exile Island. He explains he tweaked something in his leg during the challenge. He expresses confusion for being sent here, since the two guys who made the decision weren’t even affected by it. He notes that the men made the decision on that team, not the three women. Trust me, the women noted that too. He justifies stealing the chicken as within the rules, so he’s confused. He then tells us they had THREE chickens, but someone lost the first one upon arrival, and then of course, Flica lost the other two. Sheesh. Idiots.
Jonathan muses on the karma inherent in stealing chickens and losing chickens and Exile Island. Then he babbles about wanting to try raw sea slug (oh yes, totally on my list) and building a fire and how he didn’t get it done because darkness came too quickly. He had to shift camp in the middle of the night, he says, because of winds. Ah, so he’s talking specifically about Exile Island apparently. CBS cuts around so much, it’s quite hard to tell at times.
His other goal is (obviously!) to find the idol. He thinks he has a good idea where it is, but he hasn’t been successful yet. He hopes his teammates miss him. He thinks they do because it’s a small team, and he worked a lot. You’d THINK that would be beneficial, but you know how logical the Survivor lot can be sometimes.
Jonathan likes the twist of the losing team being able to choose who goes to Exile Island. It gives them some satisfaction and helps level the playing field. Jonathan explains the clues and his rationale for making an “A” with his body and a mast, and then digging. So far, it’s not working out too well, this theory.
Interview with Yul: Yul, one of “those who should not wear shirts,” has a five minute interview clip, so I hit pay dirt again with new material. I do a happy dance. He exclaims that he has a whole new meaning for sucks! (So do I, but I don’t talk about it on national TV). Oh, wait, he means that the rain and cold and night sucked miserably. Silly me. He informs us that Cao Boi gives him the most issues, but he does qualify that by telling us he does respect him and what he’s gone through. Good, because in your privileged little Stanford life, some people wouldn’t be able to admit that or even see it. He whines some that Cao Boi either was talking while they were trying to sleep, or Cao Boi was talking in his sleep. Yeah, no matter how spiritual and swell you were, either of those would irritate me, so I’m okay with Yul still.
He touches briefly on Brad’s “hickey” from the headache removal, then launches into a mini-bio. Stanford, law school, lawyer, consultant, Google, consultant, blah blah blah. Heh. Actually, sounds like he’s had a fairly impressive life thus far, career-wise. He says he is blessed in some respects, and is good at puzzles and strategies. He frets that others might find out about his background and decide he’s a threat.
Yul expresses concerns about dividing by ethnic lines, because it might perpetuate stereotypes. Er, not if you DON’T FALL INTO THEM. And even if you do, most of us are intelligent enough to realize it’s because we’re all individuals, and can individually be stupid or smart or a dumb ass, usually all within the same 10 minute period, and still be ethnic and cultural and “represent” and all that blather. Anyway, Yul goes on to say that if the division shows that they’re all individuals despite ethnicity, he’s okay with being part of that.
This leads into another MIA runner-up, by the way. The Asian-American team for lack of humor. Cao Boi amuses the bejeezus out of me, but he sure fell flat with the younger crew he’s stuck with, didn’t he? Guess what, gang, it’s okay to make jokes! Even jokes about yourself. Especially jokes about yourself! Maybe it’s an age thing, because all the ones who were offended were young, probably overly idealistic, and not mature enough to realize that sometimes, a joke is just a joke. It doesn’t perpetuate stereotypes or make you a bad person. It won’t change the world. It could make you laugh, but only if you let it. I have a whole repertoire of great woman jokes (how many men does it take to open a beer? None, the woman should have it open when she brings it to you), and I heard them first from a man. They were amusing because I knew the guy didn’t think derogatorily towards the female persuasion (indeed, he was desperate to figure out ways to get closer to it).
Context, people. Context. If someone is telling an ethnic joke, and you know they’re the sort to actually believe the drivel and not just take it as an amusing stereotype of a joke, then you’re right, it’s not funny. Serial killer jokes from Jeffrey Dahmer would have been wrong, for example. So would cannibalism jokes. If it’s just a normal Joe like you, who judges people on their own merits, and not on the color of their skin, the size of their gazongas, or other extraneous traits, then loosen up—LAUGH!
Ergo, second runner-up for MIA: Team Puka for lack of humor.
Tribal Council Clip: Here we get to see people whose names I do not know yet voting Sekou off. I do like that name. It’s nifty. Pretty much it’s a love fest filled with clichés, such as “you’re sweet, but the weakest link” aimed at both Sundra and Sekou.
Sekou’s Final Words: I’m honestly not sure I can do this meandering, rambling monstrosity justice. He does seem sweet, but he goes on and on about being a leader and it gets a bit gag worthy. He waxes rhapsodic about how he cares about his Hiki tribe, and that they will win if they stay focused. He hopes they keep his sentiments and remember the struggle they went through to get to the island. He’s a fallen member but he’s still standing. Yes, I know. Don’t ask. I have no idea either.
He’s sure he had a strong effect on his tribe, and he goes on some more about being a leader. This boy REALLY thinks he’s a total leader. He doesn’t have a clue they thought he was lazy too and that they weren’t cohesive and that by getting rid of him, maybe they’d be cohesive. He hopes he didn’t offend anyone in his decision-making. They saw him as a strong influence, he says, and he’s glad he got to share his opinions and strengths. He’s proud to have been their first leader. Again, remember the struggle, he says, talking about their struggle to get to the island.
Sekou, The Day After: He’s disappointed he went as early as he did. He was looking forward to losing more weight and being in the wilderness. He also wanted to be involved in the sports and competition. He claims confidence right up until the final vote was read. He says he didn’t think he was slow, but wanted to see what everyone was made of. I have no idea. Really. More on the first day struggle getting to camp. More on what a motivator and leader he was. More on how they made him the leader.
Nathan warned him, he said, that they needed to get a plan because “the sisters will stick together.” Gee, if only they’d done that from the time they hit the beach. Oh excuse me; they were busy struggling and making him leader. Sorry.
Sekou calls this a million-dollar trip because of the experience. He got to reclaim that kid inside who used to go to camp that you lose when you grow up and work. I like that sentiment. He says the ethnic lines division didn’t bother him. It’s like family: you’re given a tribe, and you don’t get to pick it, so you just deal with it. This isn’t about race, he says, it’s about strategy and competition. Well said.
There we have it, a panoply (not) of clips recapped for your pleasure. Remind me sometime to tell you the hoops I had to jump through to get my browser to start playing the clips again (Norton Internet Security apparently hates CBS.com).
Now to our final, One Winner to Rule Them All, Missing Intelligence Award recipient! My friend Flica. Your eerie resemblance to Courtney aside, being a big enough dumb ass to lose your chickens is unforgivable. Your team depended on those. One of your own was sent to Exile Island for ensuring you got two of them. Good food, protein, a nice advantage on these early days as you adjust to life without an In-and-Out (god, I miss those burgers), and you blew it by being an idiot. Perhaps there is a reason your friends nicknamed you after a horse (horses are sweet, but dang, they’re not too bright).
Congratulations, Flica. This MIA is for you!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Heathyr Fields Ford loves commentary and feedback, and she can be reached at email@example.com when she’s not being a geek in her online roleplaying game.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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 our recaps and other info on this show at the Survivor: Cook Islands page, and take a look at our The Amazing Race 8 page and our Apprentice: Martha Stewart page. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!