Survivor: Cook Islands – Not Feeling the Hateby Ken Kellam III -- 10/03/2006
Those who have read me for a while know that occasionally I like to break out in song in this space. But this time, there’s really no one who inspires me for better or worse, except maybe Yul, and that itself is a reason to “get musical.” I was going to rewrite the words to Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” to complain about the lack of someone to root for. But then I remembered Yul, and frankly, he comes as close as anyone in this cast to being some to root for.
Still, the same complaint can be made on the other end of the spectrum. Has anyone really stood out yet as truly unlikable? Let’s go ahead and give Bonnie some new lyrics:
“Where have all the bad men gone? / Is treachery so dead?
Or maybe we could rewrite the old Jefferson Airplane tune, “Somebody to Love.”
“Don’t you want somebody to hate?
Let’s look at the current cast and check out the loathe-ometer on each one. First of all, there’s the now-departed Cecilia. There was never any behavior on her part to indicate a sinister side. In fact, how must she feel after she welcomed the new tribe members to her tribal home, only to have them throw her out? But what’s done is done. It should be pointed out that at Tribal Council, the former members of the Hispanic and African-American tribes voted Becky, while the former members of the Asian-American and Caucasian tribes voted Cecilia. Make of that what you will.
Then there’s Jessica/Flica. Yes, she’s a bit eccentric, but there’s a place in the world for eccentrics, and despite the comparisons, she’s not nearly as annoying as Courtney. Even her indecisiveness on the vote can’t be counted as treachery because it was actually easy to feel for her and the dilemma she was facing. By the way, how ironic was it that Cecilia told Jessica to follow her gut, and Jessica apparently did, and voted Cecilia? D’oh!
Then there’s Sundra. After three episodes, it’s hard to have strong feelings about her either way so far. You can question her and Rebecca for excluding Stephannie when the game started, but so far, I can’t really remember her dissing anyone.
What about her tribemate Becky, who was the subject of an attempted ouster? She may be weak, or at least some teammates perceive her that way, but that doesn’t make her a villain. However, if she sells Yul out in the name of the immunity idol, that may well change in the eyes of some viewers.
As far as Candice goes, her behavior towards Billy, in my opinion, doesn’t make her a villain, and neither does her explanation of her actions when asked about it. You can’t even call her a villain for being lazy last week. After all, Gervase was lazy in Palau Tiga, and he never came across as a villain, even after comparing women to cows.
What about the men in the new Aitu? Jonathon did his share of plotting and scheming, and even got somewhat irritated with Jessica/Flica, but it’s understandable as to why. Even when he took charge and started working on a new floor after returning from Exile Island, he didn’t berate those who didn’t help. Not even his allegedly thievery of another tribe’s chicken can be considered true villainy because, as he noted, it was so wild when everyone was trying to gather supplies, it wasn’t clear what belonged to whom.
Cao Boi accused Jonathon of being rather manipulative, but what did he expect? During an online version of the game, a friend and I were accused of being manipulative as well, to which he answered, “Well, duh! It’s Survivor!”
Yul? As discussed before, Yul may be the player in this game to beat, and root for, not against. Once he found the immunity idol, he established himself as possibly this season’s Terry from the previous season.
Ozzy? Well, he did bite the head off a bat, pee on the Alamo, and use the “F word” more times than… oh, wait, wrong Ozzy. Cristina became irritated with him and called him a “know-it-all,” but the fact was, he DID know it all, and was trying his best to be nice about it. It will be interesting, however, to see how he fares in the new tribe, since it includes fellow Alpha male Yul, and since Ozzy was on the wrong end of the vote at Tribal Council.
Then, of course, there’s Cao Boi. Frankly, I don’t seem him as a villain so much as an eccentric. True, he doesn’t shut up, and tells jokes even when others express their displeasure, but while he may be annoying, that isn’t exactly a synonymous with evil. Yes, he did call Becky a princess when talking to Yul about the vote, but that was most likely just game play.
What about the new Raro tribe? Let’s start with Parvati. Some may see her evil for using her sexuality to attempt to charm the guys, but if the guys fall for it (and it’s not clear they will), they’re getting what they deserve. By the way, how ironic is it that in next week’s previews, she complains about the men not working, when that’s what she, Candice, and Adam were guilty of when Jonathon and Flica were building the floor?
Jenny? I still have no feelings about her, good or bad. That tells me she may get more camera time as the series continues, and hence stick around awhile.
As far as Cristina goes, the way she stomped off when Ozzy came up with an idea that worked didn’t do much for her in the PR department. However, she did vote with Ozzy at the last Tribal Council, albeit unsuccessfully. Hopefully she won’t behave in the new tribe the way she did in episode two. Nevertheless, her behavior can be filed under “annoying,” but not necessarily villainous.
Then there’s Rebecca. Her exclusion of Stephannie in episode one was questionable, as was the decision to oust Sekou. But it’s hard to classify someone as a villain after she’s the last female left in an immunity challenge as physical as the last one. If she and her former tribemates do feel pressure to carry the mantle of the African-American community, she should feel proud of the way she “represented.”
What about Stephannie? So far, she helped vote out Sekou, and was on the bubble when the game started, but she did help get fire in episode two, and so far, there’s not much to mark her as a villainess.
Brad proved his mettle during the immunity challenge, and so far has yet to rock the boat, so there’s really no reason to root against him. Nathan probably benefited most from the tribal switch, as he was most likely out if his old tribe lost another challenge. His battle against the octopus doesn’t mark him as a bad guy because he was simply trying to obey the rule about providing food.
It does, however, remind me of an All in the Family episode where a friend offers Meathead some octopus, and he declines, making the excuse that he had some for breakfast. When his friend asks him where, he stammers and says, “Uh, uh, McDonalds… yeah, Octopus McMuffin.” Although he wasn’t about to eat the eight-armed creature, something tells me Nate’s tribemates will dig right in.
Has J.P. engaged in villainous behavior? He did help throw the challenge and lead the charge against Billy, but while that may have not been the smartest move strategically, it doesn’t make him a villain. And let’s not forget he was the one who pulled down Cao Boi to secure the challenge win for his new tribe.
Finally, there’s Adam. So far, he’s been very obviously close to Candice, and was lazy when Jonathon was working on the floor. Indeed, Adam even made a spectacle of complaining about the floor, not understanding its necessity. But this week, he was rather quiet, so any “villain” labels will have to wait another week, at least.
Before we wrap things up, I’d like to present the Line of the Week. That comes from longtime RNO reader Scott, who made the following observation about the Candice/Billy non-affair: “Poor Billy. Candice’s ‘we love you’ had all the emotional intensity of a diner waitress calling you ‘Hun.’” Whenever a reader comes up with a line I wish I’d thought of, I just have to acknowledge it.
Speaking of which, did anyone else notice that Cao Boi said to new tribemate Flica, “You’re not Asian. I love you. I think you’re awesome”? First of all, how does he know she’s awesome when he’s known her all of, what, two, three days? Second, if and when she gets the boot, will she talk about “love at first sight” between her and Cao Boi, and how he told her she was awesome? Remember, he said “I,” not “we,” unlike Candice. No, I don’t think he meant THAT kind of love, but it would be rather ironic, and even humorous.
Okay, see you all Thursday!
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Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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