TV Article

Going Overboard

On ''Survivor,'' two castaways take Jeff's offer to ''mutiny'' and switch tribes, but they both may be headed for the plank

THE ARCANE MUTINY Jonathan jumped ship for no conceivable reason
THE ARCANE MUTINY Jonathan jumped ship for no conceivable reason

''Survivor'': Mutiny on the island

I had just finished watching Survivor and was about to start writing this when a call came in from EW.com head honcho Jay Woodruff. ''You have 10 seconds to decide whether you want to mutiny and start writing a different TV Watch,'' he said. Crap! The pressure! I'm not good under pressure. Should I do it? 10...9...But I have been opining on Survivor for years. We just go together — like peanut butter and jelly. Like Ashford and Simpson. Like my right hand and a can of Milwaukee's Best. I could never leave it. 8...7...But, then again, this season hasn't been so great. Sure, this past episode was exciting and all, but it doesn't make up for the yawn-inducing past month. 6...5...Hmmmm, I suppose I could switch to Ugly Betty, but I know nothing about fashion, so writing about a show about a fashion magazine probably doesn't make too much sense. 4...3...I do love Battlestar Galactica, but it's pretty hard to outgeek Marc Bernardin, who already handles that column. Plus, he's bigger than me. 2...1...Oh, wait, I know — Lost! Yeah, I'll do Lost, which is perfect because it just went off the air until February, so I wouldn't have to even do anything for the next three months. Sweet!

You know what? I take it back — I'm sticking with Survivor, because while I may be a lot of things (impatient, scatterbrained, malnourished), a traitor is not one of them. Which brings us to Candice and Jonathan. They took Jeff Probst up on his offer to switch tribes. Why, you may ask? Well, we all know why in the instance of Candice: because she thought the Raro tribe had ''more fun.'' That's right — more fun! What, are they rockin' a secret Chuck E. Cheese somewhere that I don't know about? Who cares about fun? You know how much ''fun'' you can have with a million dollars? It's not like Candice was an outsider in Aitutaki. I think her defection proves for once and for all that Cindy Lauper was right: Girls do just wanna have fun. (And blondes get to have even more of it!)

Now as for Jonathan — wow, that is just a bonehead move. At least Candice has her pseudo boyfriend, Adam, as an excuse for jumping, but what the hell does Jonathan have? Maybe Candice will parlay her romance into something, but Penner is definitely now on the outs with both tribes. (As well as Jeff Probst, it would seem, after Jonathan mouthed off to the host with the most.) Seriously, though — you think anyone is going to trust him at all after this? Granted, no one really trusted him before, but then it was just a vibe. Now they all have concrete proof. Usually people come off as obnoxious when they talk smack after winning a challenge (hi, Jamie from Guatemala!), but I was 100 percent with Ozzy when he yelled, ''Mutineers are the first people to die!'' after winning reward. (Even if it wasn't exactly technically accurate, with Brad being voted out first, but whatever.)

Speaking of which, is anyone out there actually rooting for Rarotonga? Aitutaki has always had the more colorful characters (except for Raro's Nate, who is awesome), but now they even have the unwanted underdog angle going for them. What's not to like about them right now? Hell, I've even forgiven Ozzy for throwing that challenge back in week 2! Well, almost forgiven. I found myself actively cheering for them in both challenges, at least when I wasn't scratching my head in disbelief that Mark Burnett and company would allow women to be stuffed in barrels and rolled across a huge obstacle course. What the hell is this, Jackass? (I actually remember Burnett wearing a Jackass T-shirt on location during All-Stars, so maybe this was an homage of sorts.) The whole thing was kinda bizarre, but kinda cool, too. I also dug the cannonball-dropping immunity challenge, especially because it once again showcased why Yul is the freakin' man. The Asian Sensation realized that he could line up his targets by peering down the hole where the cannonball dropped. (By the way, he may want to drop a cannonball on that picture of him with the funky specs in the reward basket. Geek Yul was in the house!)

Anyway, it's clear who I am rooting for in this game. As for Raro, I was kind of hoping Brad would last a bit longer. Anyone who listens to Depeche Mode on a Superman iPod — as he was before the game started — is all right by me. Brad was done in by his (totally accurate) remark that after the merge it would be ''every man for himself'' — a comment picked up on by Nathan, because Nathan picks up on any comment even slightly out of the ordinary. Now, let me see if I have this right: Nate wanted Stephannie out of the game because she said something that indicated she wasn't playing hard enough, and then he wanted Brad out because he said something that indicated he was playing too hard.

But Brad's exit led to the most confusing part of the evening — yes, even more confusing than the women stuffed in the barrels. Brad was told he was the first member of the jury, which is odd because that would seem to make it a 10-person jury instead of the usual 7, but even odder because 10 is an even number. Will there be some tiebreaker involved if the votes go down 5-5? Or will not everyone kicked out from here on make the jury? And just how is someone like Brad supposed to vote for a winner if it ends up being between, say, Ozzy and Sundra — two players with whom he did not spend a single day (not counting that wacky Ozzy-Flica-Cao Boi visit to Raro a few weeks back). The whole thing just poses more questions than answers, which I suppose is kind of why it feels like watching Lost. Hmmm, maybe I should make that TV Watch mutiny switcheroo after all.

What do you think? Did Candice and Jonathan just make the dumbest move of the game? Is Ozzy back in our good graces? And which tribe are you rooting for?

Originally posted Nov 10, 2006
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