Survivor All-Star: Monty Brinton/CBS
Dalton Ross
February 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Rob C. was backstabbed by (Boston) Rob M.

Well, it seems the ”smartest player to never win ‘Survivor”’ (according to Jeff Probst) STILL hasn’t won it. Not only that, but Mr. Smarty Pants was the very first one booted out of his tribe. In truth, Rob Cesternino was toast the minute he ended up on a tribe with no previous winners. Before the game started, almost every single contestant listed Rob C. as one of the biggest threats in there.

His only hope, really, was to end up on a team with someone like Richard Hatch, Ethan, or (shoulda been a winner) Colby who players were targeting even more. Once he was left with a bunch of also-rans, his fate was pretty much sealed. People simply feared his wheeling and dealing too much. Boston Rob was also dissing him pretty hard before the game, calling him a copycat, so he obviously had issues with the attention Rob C. got from ”The Amazon” and wanted to put him in his place.

But Cesternino wasn’t the only one having a tough time this episode. In fact, it was a veritable festival of misery. First up: the storm. ”Digging into the sand is the dumbest idea I’ve ever had in my life,” said Rupert of his crapola shelter, ”and we paid dearly tonight for it.” No one paid more dearly than Jerri. The girl was a mess — shaking, crying, staring off into space. It was almost hard to remember that this was the same cocky broad who went rummaging for beef jerky in other people’s packs a few scant seasons ago.

Mogo Mogo didn’t seem to get hit quite as hard, but Shii Ann did provide the classic quote of the evening, commenting that ”Last night was one of those moments when you realize Mother Nature can be one forceful bitch.” True dat!!! (Sorry, I don’t really know what ”true dat!” means, but I’ve heard it around and figured I would try it out. Now that I have, and seen what a miserable failure its inclusion was, I promise to never do dat? I mean THAT again.)

Then we had to sit through a boring mix-and-match reward challenge only made interesting by Boston Rob addressing Ethan as ”pretty boy.” Anyone who bothered to read our cover story or these past columns knows that B.R. has MAJOR beef with Ethan. (Granted, Rob has beef with everybody, but especially Ethan.) Anyway, this was the first time it really manifested itself in the game, and hopefully, it’s not the last.

So, Chapera won (again!) and we were treated to the curious sight of Big Tom with his head in a toilet. But as boring as that reward challenge was, it was more than compensated for by a great, knock-down (literally!) drag-em-out immunity contest. (Note: This was the one they were actually going to compete in last week before Jenna bailed.) Now, everyone is gonna talk about how obliterated Big Tom was getting, being whacked by contestants and oversized puzzle pieces seemingly every few seconds, and rightfully so. After all, it was hilarious.

But far more funny to me was watching tattooed bad boy Lex stumble around like a blind Frankenstein monster. Watching his seemingly drunken baby steps accompanied by hands stretched out in front of his body was one of the more amusing scenes in recent ”Survivor” memory.

Competitively, this was a fantastic challenge as well, as Chapera went from first to worst (they found all their puzzle pieces before anyone else but couldn’t figure out how to assemble them), and Mogo Mogo continued to act as masters of the silver (they’ve taken home second place in almost every challenge to date). And best of all, we finally got to hear Rupert scream. And it was one damn good scream, people. No doubt, Cesternino was soon doing a little screaming of his own after the Tribal Council vote. Now he knows what being backstabbed by a player named Rob feels like. Bad for him, good for us.

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