TV Article

Gender Blender

On ''Survivor," it's boys meet girls as the two tribes mix it up: The earth moves, but Bubba is still odd man out

BUBBA CHUMP Travis' plans went South
Image credit: Survivor Vanuatu: Monty Brinton
BUBBA CHUMP Travis' plans went South

''Survivor'': Boys meet girls

There was a lot of Survivor stupidity going on in Thailand. Helen and Jan simply refused to wake up and smell the Sanka and get rid of Brian. Similarly, many of the alleged All-Stars proved to be All-Star dumbasses, letting Boston Rob walk all over them week after week. But those clowns look downright brilliant now compared to Travis/Bubba. You know what? Let's just make it easy and call him Tubba.

''Chris, think about the merge,'' Tubba said to his former tribemate when they met up at the immunity challenge. Think what? That the merge is swell? That the merge is merry? That the merge is a fickle beast that can chew a player up and spit him out with no remorse? Think what? Well, I think something. I think Tubba is an idiot. And I think at this point even Bob Barker would agree with me. Let me break it down for you, Tubmeister. You're on a tribe with only one other guy and five women. You're on seriously shaky ground as it is (and I'm not referring to the earthquake). The last thing you want to do is be seen sleeping with the enemy. Unless it's Julie. She is hot!!! Sorry, I got a bit carried away there, but you catch my drift. Keep a low profile and don't let your teammates see you working against them. Personally, I'm a little upset this whole blunder didn't take home the coveted Pontiac Game Changing Moment award. C'mon, Pontiac, what show are you watching?!?

So after his big faux pas, Tubba was a goner, and as if getting the boot weren't bad enough, he also was mocked mercilessly by Jeff Probst for ''some of the worst paddling I've ever seen.'' Which makes you wonder: How much time does Probst spend watching other people paddle? I guess he's seen enough water-based challenges in his day to make such a call, but I still thought it was funny, especially after he called Yasur out for having ''a terrible push-off.''

Of course, Tubba's lame attempt at strategizing wasn't the most curious thing about this episode. That would be what happened to the product placement on the reward-challenge beer? What, you're telling me you couldn't get Budweiser or Miller to cough up a few bucks to show off their label? Burnett, you're the master of this kind of stuff! You've even turned The Apprentice into hour-long commercials for Mattel and Crest. (By the way, vanilla-flavored toothpaste? Yuck!) But you couldn't seal the deal on a beer promo? Give me a call next time, my man. I'll hook you up with the fine folks at Milwaukee's Best, who I'm sure would be more than happy to get this party started. (Do the words Milwaukee's Best and party just go together or what? Sorta like Milwaukee's Best and vomit.)

Speaking of rumbling, I guess I'm supposed to talk about the earthquake, but truth be told I pretty much figured it would be one of those things that look cooler in the promos than in the actual episode. Don't get me wrong, it was fine, but it wasn't like anyone . . . I don't know, died or anything. (Sorry, I think I'm just on natural-disaster overload after having to watch The Day After Tomorrow last week for the magazine.)

My thoughts on the new tribes? I'm glad there was a shake-up, but unfortunately, as of now, it seems we may get stuck with another predictable voting pattern, with the guys — or guy, seeing as Rory is the only one left — being booted out of Yasur while the outnumbered women get tossed over on Lopevi. I'm hoping schizophrenic Eliza will do one of her trademark flip-flops and shake things up, but I'm not counting on it. And judging by the tease showing Rory refusing to do any work next week, it doesn't look like he should be counting on it either. Not a very smart move, Rory. But, then again, I guess you and pal Tubba have some experience in that department.

What do you think? Do you like the tribe switcheroo? Does Rory have a chance? Are you suddenly craving Pringles?

Originally posted Oct 15, 2004