Dalton Ross
September 22, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Survivor”: Love is all around

”I think it’s kinda cool that the heavy-metal guy’s getting eliminated by a guy named Ozzy.” —Billy Garcia

I think it’s kinda cool that Billy could say something so funny after being voted out by his peers. I think it’s kinda cool the way Cristina took the misfit under her wing and tried to protect him. One thing I never, ever find cool? When a team throws a challenge — especially when said team has only five members to begin with. It’s a cocky move that always backfires in the long run. Of course, I said the same thing last season about persuading people to stay after they asked to be voted off, and Aras went and blew that theory to bits by going on to win the whole thing, so what the hell do I know.

I know this much. That was one of the most uncomfortable tribal councils I have ever seen in my life. I actually had my hands over my eyes at one point. And I know you did too. ”My prize isn’t even a million dollars,” Billy told Jeff Probst. ”My prize was that I fell in love in this game — love at first sight. Her name is Candice.” I’m not sure whose jaw dropped more, mine or Probst’s. (My guess is his eyes bugged out farther, though.) ”I’ve never heard anything that has surprised me more than what you just said,” replied Probst, which as far as I can tell is code for ”Are you completely insane?

I kid, but I also cry, because Billy clearly misunderstood Candice’s attempt at a little post-challenge nicety when she told him, ”We love you.” We, Billy, we! For a second there, I thought I was watching that other stranded-on-an-island TV show. Hurley and Libby — together again! But as much as I love Billy (dude, please don’t take that the wrong way, too), it’s probably for the best that he go now. I mean, just imagine the insane awkwardness that would have gone down had those two tribes merged. I know I have, and it goes a little something like this:

Billy: Hey.

Candice: Hey.

Billy: Wanna suck face?

Candice: Excuse me?

Billy: I ain’t talkin’ about guitar licks, baby!

Candice: Ewwwww.

You know what? It might not have even gone that well. Cuddly puppy Adam might have beaten Billy to a bloody pulp for making time with his lady (especially if Billy also suggested making any bamboo floors). Speaking of hotheads, I gotta say J.P. really came off like a pretty big jerk at tribal council — although I do have to give the volleyball coach props for giving us the most unintentionally hilarious line of the evening, when he asked Cecilia and Ozzy, ”You guys got crabs?” Ozzy didn’t come off much better. You know how I feel about throwing challenges. It’s bad. What’s worse is joking around while you’re doing it, even knocking the guy you are about to kick out off the rope and into the mud water. And that’s after forcing him to partake in the thing when he asked to be left out at the beginning. Classy stuff.

My pregame pick to win it all, Yul, certainly made me look good when he found the hidden immunity idol (and trust me, making me look good is not easy). Yul is the man. Smart, strong, social — the only thing going against him is that others seem to have targeted him as a threat. Of course, should the Asians lose, Cao Boi seems like the obvious one to go. One thing I learned while on location was that Cao Boi is a seriously interesting person with some incredible stories. He also can not shut up. Even for a minute. I know this because he was having serious issues with the pregame ”no talking” rule. And I know this because I was sequestered with the contestants for the week before the game began. Why? Because — here comes the synergy, people! — I wrote a story about it for Entertainment Weekly, which just so happens to hit the stands…today! Look, I very rarely pimp out stories from the magazine, and I’m sure after sitting through this nonsense the last thing you want to do is read more inane ramblings, but if you’re a true Survivor geek, there’s some pretty interesting behind-the-scenes stuff in there you may want to check out.

Now, not unlike Billy, I’m out of here. Until next time, what do you think? Should Cristina and Cecilia have turned on arrogant Ozzy? Are Cao Boi’s Asian jokes funny? And are Billy and Candice the new Hurley and Libby?

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