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Mergin' of Error

The two ''Survivor'' tribes become one, and the men, perhaps distracted by the naked Twila, get played

FEMALE TROUBLE Rory was the women's first victim
Image credit: Survivor Vanuatu: Monty Brinton
FEMALE TROUBLE Rory was the women's first victim

''Survivor'': The merge submerges the men

There are plenty of things in life I don't understand. Like fondue. Or baseball's infield-fly rule. Or why Martika never made it as big as Madonna. (C'mon, have you ever heard ''Toy Soldiers''? That song is tight!) But now topping all these mysteries is the following quote: ''No one has enjoyed the experience of being on this land more than I have.'' Not a particularly outrageous comment. Pretty damn tame actually. But then consider who said it — Rory! Yes, Rory! The same dude who started his island adventure by refusing to walk the same way as everybody else, proceeded to threaten to burn down his own camp, and then complained endlessly about being stuck with a bunch of hot-looking women in bikinis. What a perfect ending to his schizophrenic stay that was, coming right on the heels of his declaration that ''stupid people irritate the living hell out of me.'' To be fair, however, I'm actually bummed Rory got voted out. Just one more week and he would've made the jury, and you just know he would've pulled something wacky out of his ass for that.

Speaking of asses, who wants to see Sarge's?! Lost in the confusion of that disgusting display was the fact that Twila was simultaneously going topless . . . and bottomless! I know Mark Burnett likes his contestants to show a little skin, but even he had to be shaken up by that a bit.

And this episode was all about shaking things up with the merge. We finally had some good ol' fashioned tension as we waited to see which camp Twila and Julie would fall into. As Queen Bee Ami herself pointed out, ''Right now we're at a very critical point. This is a huge turning point in the game, and the first vote is gonna be everything.'' So true, and now that the women have all realigned, how much do you think Sarge and the boys are kicking themselves for kicking John K. to the curb instead of Julie? D'oh!

The first clue should have come at the reward challenge when Scout practically threw a ticker-tape parade upon seeing Twila. (Scout later kindly told us, ''I just missed Twila deep down in places I can't talk about.'' Kindly in the sense that she declined to elaborate further on the subject.) Maybe Chris was simply too busy to notice — what with him making one-on-one alliances with everyone on the damn island! Boy, that was especially savvy gamesmanship, telling the resident amputee, ''I think both of you got a leg up on me.'' Reeeeaaaaaaaal smooth. And Sarge was most likely too wrapped up in showcasing his impressive endowment of homophobia, convincing Twila that Ami was going to try to seduce her.

In fact, the only dude who seemed on his game was our boy Probst. Big, big week for the baseball-hat-sporting host. First he called out Scout in front of everybody for her Twila-sighting celebration, then he full-on cackled with delight at watching players getting doused in the reward challenge, and finally he wrapped up a fine showing by pointedly asking Ami at Tribal Council, ''What skills do you bring to this game?'' (Perhaps a not so subtle way of waking up the other players so they don't let her run all over them à la Boston Rob in All-Stars.) Maybe that's why he has hot, young female contestants painting hearts with his name on their bodies. Lucky bastard.

So yeah, it looks like the guys are now in trouble. The question is, did Twila and Julie make the right move? Tough to say at this point. With Lopevi, they were numbers 4 and 5 in a five-person alliance. But back with the Yasur ladies, they could be downgraded to numbers 5 and 6. Of course, it shouldn't be too hard for them to weasel their way back in front of Eliza, especially considering she drives everyone completely insane!!! Seriously, I'd like to get her and Jenna Lewis in a winner-take-all talk-off. On second thought, let me just shoot myself.

Of course, I can't do that until after next Thursday, seeing as the big shots over at CBS have invited me to appear on their ''Survivor Live'' Internet show. You can check it out at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday somewhere at www.cbs.com. (If you get lost, just start sending them lots of nasty e-mails asking them why they canceled Dr. Vegas. Actually, send them lots of nasty e-mails asking them why they even put a show named Dr. Vegas on the air. I mean, c'mon, Dr. Vegas? That's right up there with Shasta McNasty in the show-title hall of shame.)

In the meantime you can leave posts here about whether you think Twila and Julie made the right move, if Sarge is screwed, and if Chad's mouth is still stretched open from the shock at Tribal Council. Oh, also make sure to call yourself ''Joe'' and tell us who is getting voted off next week. The more the merrier!

Originally posted Nov 05, 2004