Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Gotta Hustle If You Wanna Make A Dolla

Wartorn and desolate, Rhode Island is not an island you want to find yourself on. Wildlife is scarce, water is whatever you can squeeze out of a leaf and the shelter... well, let's just say that a roof made of spider webs and guano doesn't exactly protect one from the elements. It's a harsh and unforgiving world in this New England wasteland. Days are spent baking in the sun while nights are filled with the cacophanous litany of the insect opera. Nerves are rattled, sanity is fleeting and you try to hold onto any semblance of hope until that fateful hour when you're marched into the arena humiliated and outcast, forced to fight to live another day. The Pretty Pony seems to have a neverending cache of rainbows on his side. Will he be stopped? Can he be stopped? Let's recap, shall we?

We continue our Nicaraguan frolic in the thick of night surrounded by rain and realizations. Federal Agent Sanitation Sergeant Phillip Sheppard wasn't the least bit surprised by what he saw go down at Tribal Council. Not only did Langley implant a chip in the back of his head where messages can be transmitted, but Rob also told Phillip exactly what was going to happen prior to the Council meeting. Pulling a fast one over Phillip T. Sheppard is an impossibility. If anyone anywhere even attempts to lie to him, they'll find themselves hanging from their thumbs with electrodes (read: tiny crabs) attached to their nipples and questioned mercilessly until either secrets are spilled or the crabs die and fall off. But, until Phillip can catch enough crabs and build his interrogation room, he's decided to employ the C.S.W.R. method instead. As I'm sure most of you are not part of the intel community and don't have access to such privileged information, allow me to break it down. C.S.W.R. stands for Cuddle & Snuggle With Rob. It's highly effective and is used in POW camps all over the globe. You simply snuggle your intended target into submission. Either he'll give up all his secrets or you'll have a Brokeback moment. It's a win-win situation for all parties involved. Never underestimate the power of a hug.

On the surface one might think this particular C.S.W.R. was unsuccessful. Rob was grumpy the next morning, he complained of Phillip lodging various appendages into his back and the girls were so traumatized by the tighty pinkies that they couldn't even bear to look in his direction anymore. A novice might consider this mission a failure, but look again dear readers. After only one night of C.S.W.R., Rob has decided that maybe keeping Phillip around for the long haul isn't a bad idea after all. He's annoying, he's inappropriate, he likes the limelight... he's the perfect person to keep around and take the heat off of Boston Rob. After all, if the attention isn't on you then you're as good as safe 'til the Merge. Congratulations Phillip Sheppard, mission complete! Now, please report to HQ for debriefing.

Over at Zappa (Zapatera) the mood is very different. There's hugging and kissing, potato sack races in the sand, fishing contests, tilt a whirls, bumper cars, buy 3 churros get a 4th free. It's just what you want in a Survivor camp - peace, love and happiness. Steve, The Cuddler, is very pleased with the Lucifer-free atmosphere. It's one big happy family now and there's plenty of room for Stephanie and Krista to join in. The Brady Bunch had Oliver. The Cosby's had Cousin Pam. Hell, even Who's The Boss had Billy. Surely, there's enough joy and room in the shelter to bring Stephanie and Krista into the fold. They'll never be as loved as an original alliance member, but they're welcome to hang out and contribute. First things first though, two people need to go to Rhode Island (Redemption Island) and serve as witnesses for the duel. After a random choose with tiles, Stephanie and Krista are the chosen two. Julie is happy for them. Let them go to Rhode Island. Seriously, what harm can they do the tribe way far away on a deserted island?

This brings us to the barren wilderness known as Rhode Island. The starved and exhausted gladiators are marched in before the crowd of four in the stands. Rob and Grant are representing Omarion (Ometepe) with the doublemint twins representing Zappa. The Pretty Pony (Matt) is a little thinner yet his mane still shines and the yellow of his shirt still sparkles. Kristina, on the other hand, stares blank-faced straight ahead and I can't figure out if she's spent from her night with Pretty Pony or dying to get home and have a bubble bath and a glass of wine. Bitch better get her game face on cuz it's time to rumble. Players have to race to collect puzzle pieces. Once all the pieces are collected, they will use those pieces to assemble a cube. First person to get it right stays alive. Survivors ready, go.

Pretty Pony and Kristina begin to transport their puzzle pieces one by one and it's unclear exactly how heavy the pieces are. Both seem to be moving with ease until Kristina suddenly starts grunting. It was Monica Seles on the tennis court in that moment. Pretty Pony, on the other hand, had pieces balancing on his eyelashes and pinky toes. I wonder what the hell those blocks were made out of. It wasn't foam but it wasn't stone. I'll bet Phillip would know what it was. He knows everything.

Pretty Pony thinks he's making some headway, but has problems placing his final pieces and chooses to start over. Meanwhile, Kristina is flailing on the ground trying to suck some water out of the very stones she's trying to place. Poor gal is dehydrated and I think her muscles have begun to feed off of one another. So while Kristina is raising two fingers to the lanista and pantomiming "Need. Water. Now.", Pretty Pony decides this is the perfect time for chitchat with Mr. Boston Rob. He lifts a chunk of the puzzle with his thumbnail, glares at Rob and announces, "You rascal!" Ohhh it's on now! It's so on, it's awwwn. Pretty Pony is furious! Glitter is shooting out everywhere, stars aren't twinkling anymore, I think I saw a rainbow get smooshed. The boy wants answers dammit. His halo hung limply to the side as he said, "I still don't understand why you voted me out." Kristina continued to mimic rain falling into her mouth and Rob just looked on and laughed. It's hard to take a platinum haired beauty with sparkly nailpolish on his hooves seriously. Since the Pony wasn't getting the answers he's seeked, he decided to finish his puzzle instead. Kristina begins to dig herself a shallow grave in the sand and PRETTY PONY STAYS ALIVE!!!

One would think Dimples would be in awe of Pretty Pony's gladiatorial prowess, but instead he's more interested in what's going on in the stands amongst the looky loo's. The conversation turns to Rob and Grant and their former relationship with Pretty Pony when out of nowhere Stephanie pipes up and says she wishes she had a tribe she could be loyal to. In fact, she thinks yellow (Omarion's color) might look good on her. Krista nods and mumbles, "Me too." Oh shut up Krista. Your job is to sit and look sour faced when you don't get your way. Leave the idea making and negotiations to Stephanie please. Stephanie's the girl who's been turning tricks forever. She knows the ins and outs of how to make a dollar whereas Krista is the tweaked out newbie who's just along for the ride. Rob likes what the girls have to say, but naturally he's skeptical. Meanwhile, Dimples pries Kristina's buff from her cold dead hands and hurls into the fire. Later Kristina. We hardly knew ye.

Back at Omarion, Ashley and Natalie are hard at work discussing microwavable rice pouches. Mascaroni (Andrea), on the other hand, is busy gathering wood, chopping vegetables, dusting the shelter and cleaning out the chamber pots. She's a hard little worker and just because Rob is away for the day doesn't mean the camp stops running it's day to day operations. Phillip, hiding in a bush covered in fatigues, watches the girls interacting and takes detailed notes in his coloring book. He writes, "Natlee - crab. Ashlee - crab. Mascarpone cheese - yummy, possible alliance member." He puts his coloring book back in his pants and waits for the perfect moment to strike.

Little does Phillip know that Mascaroni is also less than thrilled with Natalie and Ashley. She doesn't see them as crabs per se. She sees them more like useless lumps of flesh who do nothing but braid each other's hair, bathe luxuriously in waterfalls, inspect one another's skin and hold hands while they navigate slippery rocks together. Meanwhile poor little Mascaroni is hauling lumber, skinning wild boars and installing electricity in the shelter. She doesn't need Rob or Grant to tell her what to do. She can upgrade the pipes to copper all by herself thank you very much. Phillip sees all of this and begins to make his move. He tells Mascaroni that he likes her and considers her the best female worker in the camp. He drags her into the woods for a short but dignified ceremony where he pins a medal made of crab claws on her bikini top. "I hereby declare that you are the best girl worker in Omarion!", he shouted. Then he got a message in his earpiece and ran off to help wave a submarine into shore. This twosome may not be as iconic as cheese and macaroni, but it's definitely "Phillip and Mascaroni" - has a nice ring to it, don't ya think? With Phillip's contacts at SD-6 and Mascaroni's hard working farm girl ways, this could be a formidable pair. We'll just have to wait and see.

On the other side of the jungle, we have another twosome - Stephanie and Krista. They've committed the ultimate act of betrayal by pledging their loyalty to Rob and now they're wondering how they should spin this for the rest of the members of Zappa. If they had it their way they'd hop a plane back to the States and move in with Lucifer for good. They're like so like over this like tribe now. But, since they can't just up and leave they'll tell the Zappa's everything that happened except for that little part where they promised all their future votes to Rob. Somehow these two chuckleheads actually think they'll make it to the Merge intact. Unless they start making some friends or looking for scapegoats, I tend to think all their highfalutin talk is all for naught.

A new day dawns at Zappa and The Cuddler (Steve) is in rare form. "There's no 'I' in team.", "The team is above everything else.", "With a team there is only success.", he says. Either Steve has smuggled in a slew of Stephen Covey books or we may have a Phillip 2.0 on our hands. Steve is an odd duck and I've had my eye on him since the first five minutes of episode 1 when he kept rubbing Lucifer up and down his back. Since then, I've seen him rub Rooster, Mike and David. I don't think it's homoerotic at all. I just think he's one of those people who has no concept of the phrase "personal space". He's the Close Talker from Seinfeld. He's the guy who invites himself to your parties and considers himself part of your group. He's nice enough but you know deep down inside that given too much rejection he'll snap and hold you captive in his basement. He's that guy.

Then there's Useless Krista. Krista likes to talk a big game, but her problem is that she doesn't do anything about it. She's mad everyone is so happy in her camp. It drives her bananas that there's no strategizing going on. Well, pumpkin, why not get off your ass and try to reel in someone from the big alliance over to your side? Sitting around bitching about it is just as annoying as The Cuddler giving motivational speeches. Why not try to buddy buddy up with David? Or perhaps pitch to Julie what a threat Rooster could be? Do something! Anything! Don't just sit there and bitch about how boring everyone is. Have you ever thought of maybe doing some strategizing yourself or do you need a big strong man to do it for you? At least Stephanie is contributing and making meals for the troops. Lumpy Krista just sits and sneers about how no one is as cool as she is. It's no wonder her last name is Klumpp. Lumpy Klumpp. Perfect.

And now we arrive at the big challenge. I'm really sick today you guys so I'm going to kind of cruise through this. One person on each tribe will the The Caller while the rest of tribe is blindfolded. Using only verbal commands, The Caller will guide the tribe to collect bags of puzzle pieces. Once all the bags are collected, The Caller will then unscramble the puzzle pieces to spell a phrase. First tribe to complete the phrase that pays wins Immunity and a Reward of coffee with muffins and danishes and doughnuts and whatnot. As Zappa has extra players, they sit out Steve and Julie. Because Stephanie is bossy (according to Sarita), she'll be calling for Zappa while Rob will be calling for Omarion. Survivors ready, go!

The Callers begin their commands and the teams make their way to their first bags. For the most part both tribes remain neck in neck until Rooster starts complaining that no one is directing him anywhere. Stephanie tells him to shut up because it's not his turn yet. Rooster yells some more. Eventually, he gets his turn and then turns right when he's supposed to go left. Somehow all the bags get back to The Callers and they begin to work on their puzzles. Rob knocks one of his pieces on the ground and Stephanie starts spelling out phrases that clearly make no sense. After not too long, Rob realizes he's missing one of his pieces and locates it in time. Unscramble, unscramble, unscramble OMARION WINS IMMUNITY!!!!

Immediately Zappa blames their loss on Stephanie and wonders why David wasn't the one solving the puzzle. Apparently, because he's a law student he's also a master puzzle solver. Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but the only time I've seen David try to solve a puzzle was when he threw the competition and failed. Before that I think it was Lucifer who solved all the puzzles, right? If David really wanted to solve the puzzle, he should have spoken up louder and told Sarita to step off. Was Lucifer right when he said that Sarita running the show? All I see is a hippy trying to keep the peace. That's hardly a leader in the making.

So over at Omarion everyone is enjoying the Reward and the mood is one of merriment. Ashley is orgasming into the muffins while Phillip breaks into a jaunty side to side shuffle dance. We got to see his beautiful whites (that's code for his teeth) and all that little boy angst he was holding onto has apparently slipped away... for the time being. As a matter of fact, Phillip is feeling so good, he wants to get his massage on. He asks the ladies if anyone would care to rub him down. In a flash every half eaten muffin hit the ground and all the womenfolk ran into the jungle in search of safety. Ashley climbed up a tree, Natalie scurried into a cave and Mascaroni fled to the nuclear fall out shelter she had built herself earlier in the day when she had some extra time on her hands. Phillip looked around, shrugged his shoulders and then helped himself to the feast left on the ground. No biggie. Maybe Rob is in the mood for some more C.S.W.R.

While Phillip was busy dancing and getting powdered sugar all over his face, Grant decided to stick his nose in the coffee can only to discover a scroll inside. He instantly takes the can over to Rob and sticks it in his face. Winking he says, "Smell this. You got to smell this. Smell *wink wink* this amazing coffee." Rob sees the scroll and together the two dance their way out of the camp passing the coffee can between them making sure no one else is the wiser. "It was like a well choreographed football play", says Rob. Once they're far enough away from camp, Rob takes the scroll out, stuffs it in his pocket and instructs Grant to take the coffee can back to camp. Under the guise of hiding the scroll, Rob actually goes into the woods, digs up his old nonsensical scroll and trades it with the new one. This way Grant trusts him, the Idol is still a secret and the easier-to-solve-newer scroll is all but a memory. Very clever Mr. Rob. Very clever indeed.

Back at Zappa, the mood is very different. There's no dancing, there's no massaging (even The Cuddler is sad) and there's definitely no searching for Idols. Instead, everyone is all upset that David "The Puzzle Guy" didn't get to solve the puzzle. Again, I ask, how is the David "The Puzzle Guy? Did I miss the episode where he delighted us all with his Crostic and Cryptogram solving skills? Was there a jumbled Rubik's Cube on the island that David solved in a matter of seconds? Are there Sudoku puzzles tattooed on his back in honor of his great puzzle solving skills? Maybe I've had too much NyQuil over the past 5 days - after all, I am seeing trails - but I'm still very confused as to where David got this mysterious puzzle solving reputation. He's a nice enough guy I guess, but I haven't seen him so much as play a game of Boggle since he's been in Nicaragua. The only time I remember David solving a puzzle was in the water wheel challenge where he purposely did not solve the puzzle. If I'm wrong about this, let me know in the comments. I can't think straight right now.

The Cuddler isn't really mad at Stephanie for losing. He's mad at the team for not acting like a team. Huh? Mike agrees and says it's a personnel problem. In the morning they'll go to HQ and make a formal complaint. They'll tell Michael who'll tell Toby who'll take it up with Jan and then a meeting will probably be held in the conference room. Maybe Angela can plan a party. Jim and Pam will flirt and, in a few weeks, after wading through all the bureaucratic tape, there will be a solution. In the meantime though, Sarita doesn't want to give up on Stephanie just yet. She tells Julie that between Stephanie and Krista, Krista is probably the better choice to go home. At least Stephanie contributes and tries in challenges. Lumpy Klumpy Krista is just furniture.

Now we arrive at Tribal Council. Lumpy Klumpy wastes no time bitching about how there's no strategizing in the tribe now. Again, what's holding you back buttercup? You don't need a man to tell you what to do you know? Make some moves on your own! She compares the tribe to the Brady Bunch, but I'll have you know that it wasn't all peaches and cream on the Brady Bunch. Greg smoked cigarettes, Jan had the wig incident, Marcia broke her nose and don't even get me started on Peter's "pork chops with apple sauce" phase. It's easy to sit and point fingers at what you think everyone else isn't doing, but take a look at yourself Krista. What have you done for Zappa lately? You didn't scramble, you didn't defend yourself, you didn't try to create new alliances. All you did was sit and bitch which is why you, Lumpy Klumpy Krista, are the 5th person voted out of Survivor: Redemption Island.

So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? Are you glad Krista is gone? Will some suballiances begin to emerge on Zappa? Do you like the taste of Phil and Mascaroni? Comment it out bitches and have a great day! Sorry this was so short and kinda blah today, but an evil vicious disease I caught from a seemingly cute baby is ravaging my body right now and I have to go dunk my head into a vat of acid. I'm convinced that's the only way I'll feel better. I should be back to my old self next week.