''Survivor'': Let the game-playing begin!
Memo to Gary Hogeboom: You're busted. Soooooo busted. Kinda like that time in the 1983 NFC championship game when Dexter Manley came barreling through the line and tipped your pass into the waiting arms of Darryl Grant, who proceeded to rumble into the end zone for the clinching score, sending the Redskins to the Super Bowl. Yeah, kinda like that. You thought you could waltz into Survivor without anyone realizing that you're a former NFL quarterback.
Well, Gary, let me introduce you to Mark Burnett. You see, he's a cagey bastard. He loves to set people up. Seriously, this is how he gets his kicks that and by watching Touched by an Angel repeats with Roma Downey. Did you really think he would let you get off so easy? Of course not. That's why he threw Danni, the sports radio talk-show host into the mix. She recognized you and blabbed about it, and now what do you do?
I actually got into an argument with Jenna Morasca about this on the set of Survivor Live last week. She thought the best thing to do was to come clean. I told her she was an idiot. No way should Gary come clean. Now he has to lie, lie, and lie some more. It will probably hold up within his own tribe, but if Danni and Gary both make it past the merge, things could get very interesting.
We now interrupt this Survivor TV Watch to bring you the following news flash: Rafe has still not climbed up the ladder in the reward challenge. He's holding on for dear life, yet denies rumors that he is, in fact, Arnold Poindexter from the Revenge of the Nerds franchise. We now return you to your regularly scheduled column....
I've got to give it to challenge producer John Kirhoffer for that tug-of-war immunity battle. It had people wrestling in the mud. It had women's clothes falling off. It had Bobby Jon impersonating a howler monkey. (All hail the return of the Manimal!) But the hand that giveth also taketh away, Mr. Kirhoffer, because there is one thing I did not like about the challenge the fact that it was deemed a tie after only 15 minutes and switched from a team to an individual battle. Why? One of the best challenges from Palau was that one where the teams were chasing each other around a circle while carrying 20-pound bags on their backs. It took forever and it was riveting. I would have loved to see this one play out for longer.
You know what? I lied! Just like Hogeboom! There are actually two things I didn't like about the challenge the other being the fact that they did only three head-to-head individual matchups and allowed competitors like Judd and Jamie to do it twice. I would have liked to see all the contestants mix it up instead of just four of them. (Speaking of which, am I the only one shocked that Jed Clampett uh...I mean Brandon beat Jerry O'Connell uh...I mean Jamie so easily?) All these miscues turned a potentially great challenge into a merely good one.
So after getting shut out 3-0 in the fight for the ugly immunity statue, Yaxhá had to figure out who to vote off. (By the way, I hear Bobby Jon was so confused by winning that he just went to tribal council anyway sort of like a homing pigeon.) All that early talk about ousting Stephenie drove me a little bonkers not because I'm such a huge fan, but rather because voting off your strongest female member first thing is moronic. (Remember what happened to Ulong when they got rid of Jolanda? If not, you can ask Stephenie all about how that worked out for them.) Calmer heads prevailed, and it came down to Morgan versus Lydia. Hmmm...the magician's assistant versus the fishmonger that's a tough call. But apparently a magician is not the only person able to make his assistant disappear, as Morgan went away in a puff of smoke (or, more accurately, Mark Burnett's blue lights of death).
Although I thought Morgan was hot, I have to sort of agree that Lydia didn't deserve to go. I didn't particularly see her hurting the team in challenges, and I thought her little minnow trap was cute. Personally, I would have thought that a wilderness guide like Rafe would be the one to come up with such inventive ways to catch food, but he must have still been trying to climb up that stupid ladder. Oh, that's right he was busy eating ants. By my calculations, even if he had eaten all 200 of those things, that would still add up to approximately .000000000000001 grams of protein. I think he actually expanded more energy chewing them than they gave him in his stomach. Now let's see how the rest of the tribe stomachs losing. My man Hogeboom certainly has a lot of experience in that department.
What do you think? Was Morgan a better choice to vote out than Lydia? And should Gary keep on lying?