Jeff starts off his blog with a major spoiler. Head after the jump to read on.
Betsy is gone. Major bummer. One of the most likable people on our show in a long, long time. More on that later.
First, regarding the ongoing conversation that this blog generates…let me say this: I love your comments. It’s one of the best things to emerge in recent years. I thank Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly for giving me the opportunity to chat with you guys. I should also note that people in television whose job it is to deal with unhappy viewers have a tested theory that people who “don’t like” something write in about 90% more than those who do. So a blog full of negative comments is not unusual and while your comments absolutely get my attention, I do take into consideration, there are people who feel differently.
Okay, let’s get to it… another feisty episode for sure, eh?
Jaison is so well spoken. We don’t often have contestants that can state their case with such efficiency. However, I’m not sure his attitude is flexible enough to win this game. He has very strong opinions, which he vocalizes often and he has a hard time letting others be who they want to be. I think Jaison is approaching this game like a courtroom trial. I state my case. You state yours. A judge decides. Only problem, it doesn’t work that way out here.
My wish for Jaison would be for him to laugh a bit more, get a little dirty (actually get dirty), and try to let some of the smaller stuff go, because he is a strong presence and could last a long time.
Russell finds the idol. Oh man you guys hated that, right? But come on. The dude found the idol with no clue. Let me repeat that…he found the idol with no clue. He told them he was looking for it. He dug in front of them. Nobody even questioned it. “Booh-yah.”
Jaison certainly did not like the fact that Russell was in possession of the idol, but Jaison HE found it. He got off his ass and found it. Like him or not, the dude hustles. Also, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I can’t make Russell go home faster or stay longer. “It is what it is. It will be what it will be.”
PERSONAL INSIGHT: As Jaison walked away from Russell (who was holding the idol) he said in reference to the idol, “We’ll discuss it later.” This is what I’m talking about Jaison. There will be no discussing it later. Russell has it, you’re not getting it. This is not a conference room where you two will negotiate a fair and just settlement. He owns it and now he owns you. He does. You better change that and quickly.
SHOW INSIGHT: The Immunity challenge was called Schmergenbrawl. It came to be a Survivor challenge in a rather interesting way. Two seasons ago, our grip department (the guys who move all the heavy stuff) created a game they called Schmergenbrawl. They played it on their off days. It was very basic. There was a collection of different balls: football, rugby ball, soccer ball, basketball, etc. There were two trashcans about 15 feet apart. Each time you tossed a ball into the can you scored a point. It became a phenomenon on location culminating with a full-day (a day off) 15-team tournament that included bleachers, an announcer, lots of beer, and a total downpour. Yes, we do have some fun during our 39-day shoots on location.
It was so popular we started looking at it as a possible challenge. After a few modifications from our challenge department, it became one of the most physical challenges in the history of Survivor. In addition, Ben is thrown out of the challenge making more Survivor history and Mike Borassi is evacuated. Talk about epic. Whoa.
Back to the challenge…let me be really clear. The contestants were playing very aggressively and when I gave them the warning I was really clear. No more cheap shots. Tripping someone by putting your leg a foot in the air is a cheap shot.
SHOW INSIGHT: Ben was mad at me. He felt other people were doing things “just as bad as me.” He felt I was picking on him. I wasn’t. He just happened to do it right in front of me after I warned him. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t lose a moment’s sleep over the decision. It was a punk move. And yes, I am a bit worried that Ben might want to kick my ass, because he could. Of that there is no doubt. Tough dude. In fact, in case Ben is reading this, I should let you know that my house is on the market and the house that is supposed to be mine on the “Stars of Hollywood” map is actually owned by Ryan Seacrest.
I love Borassi. Man, I hated to see him go. The guy gave it his all. He really did. He was out there throwing down with all the other guys, some of them 30 years younger. He’s a good guy and it’s a bummer he had to be evacuated, but he was in trouble. Our medics don’t mess around. They don’t want to take anybody out of the game, but if a contestant’s vital signs are not good, they’re gone. We gave Mike about an hour to get stable and he wasn’t getting any better. Tough way to go, but he went out fighting.
Foa Foa is in trouble. This is probably the fastest that any tribe has been down 3 members in the history of the game. Galu is living the high life. Things are so good that the only thing they have to complain about is Shambo. When Shambo is your biggest pain in the ass, life ain’t too bad.
Shambo cracks me up. She is so sincere and so unaware. I love that she said, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Good news? Shambo, there wasn’t any good news. You came up empty handed with the fishing and you broke the gear. I love her. I know she bugs some viewers, and the entire tribe of Galu, but I still dig her.
Yasmin is her own story. Wow. Never before have I seen a monologue like the one she delivered to the Foa Foa tribe. Like a Mary Kay saleswoman. She had the best of intentions but nobody wanted what she was selling. And with those shoes, all she needed was a pink Cadillac. Anybody?
Yasmin: “And Ben, I’d like to talk to you in private…” I couldn’t wait for that moment. Yasmin and Ben in private. Bring it. Man, I love America. For the record, I am watching their conversation again as I write this blog. It’s sick, twisted, disgusting, disappointing, disturbing, uncomfortable, and completely compelling. Amazing Race should put them together as a pair for next season.
PERSONAL INSIGHT: I know my comments often frustrate you, so let me explain how I look at moments and people like this… I just observe. I’m a human being on this planet living just like you. People like Russell, Ben, Yasmin – they live here too. People fascinate me. We are all doing what we think is best for us at any given moment. It’s easy to judge. Others and ourselves. I do it all the time. When I first met Russell I said to everyone else in the room, “That guy is pure evil.” But he’s on this show, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do - which is play Survivor how he sees fit - and I respect him in that sense. Making up a story about Katrina is downright despicable but so is lying about your dead grandma. “It is what it is.” You can get mad at me or you can join me in taking a step back and just listening and observing and hoping that karma catches up and people get what they deserve. Then again, it is Survivor and sometimes karma takes a vacation.
Ben was looking for attention, at least that’s my take. He likes conflict, likes to challenge the norm. He certainly got it in this episode.
TRIBAL COUNCIL. I know, I know, the high-five between Ben and Russell made most of you scream. I get it.
CASE IN POINT: Regarding just “taking in” what people give you rather than getting all “up in arms” about it…. Ben’s comments to me at Tribal about “I didn’t know we were playing by your sissy rules.” In spite of the deep sigh you saw me give, they really didn’t get to me. What does get to me is not having enough time in tribal council to show everything that goes down. Ben and I went at it quite a bit that night. He may be able to beat me up, but in a game of Q and A, he’s all mine. But alas we only have a few minutes for Tribal so you only get the meat.
Say goodbye to Betsy. Too soon. Betsy was the only one who really understood Ben. She told the tribe everything they needed to know but nobody listened. Betsy’s gone. A nice woman, a true Survivor fan, and already a fan favorite. A lot of people told me they were already rooting for Betsy to win. Have faith, the game is long. Other rootables will emerge.
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT: Ben shooting his imaginary gun at the “bad cop” Betsy. Now that was just wrong.
See you next week to discuss… The Russell seed.