Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stay Close To Me

Oscar Wilde once said, "I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." Clearly, Mr. Wilde watches a lot of Survivor. Bernhardt, Olivier, Barrymore, Dench... Lusth. Legends of stage and screen. Roses flying through the air, audiences erupting into applause, theatre lights warming the skin, accolades, accolades, Bravo, Brava. The work of an actor requires discipline, integrity, perseverance, and self reflection. When the great actor, Lusth, hones his craft, the curls are bouncy and the skin is glistening. Hours of preparation (masturbating) and moustache twirling (masturbating) are devoted to pulling off the greatest ruse of all time. To lie on stage or to lie in life: is there really any difference? Little tiny thimble fulls of dishonesty designed to cloak dark secrets are merely a means to an end. Hopefully, it's an end where the audience is on their feet demanding "More, more, more!" and not an end where the viewer at home snorts into her tumbler of gin and violently throws empty pill bottles at the screen. Well, beggars can't be choosers. Let's recap, shall we?

We continue our tale of deceit in the thick of night next to a crackling fire. Young Cochran couldn't be more pleased by the turn of events at Tribal Council and is eager to share his neurotic glee with his tribemates. He tells the stars to shine brighter, the breeze to blow cooler, and the earth to spin faster. "Spin, spin, spin, we're making Survivor history, spin!" However, the grumpy grump master, Energizer Bunny (Keith), isn't feeling quite as merry as the young sweater-vested one is. He'd much rather sit and stab sticks in the fire while hurling thinly veiled insults into the night sky . You see, Energizer Bunny doesn't live his life letting other people fight his battles. He's much more manly that that. Really? *scratches head* Then why did you vote out Ozzy, dumb ass? Ozzy didn't go to Rhode Island (Redemption Island) to save Cochran. He went to Rhode Island to save the tribe. A tribe that includes you, Mr. Sourpuss.

Out of either annoyance or embarrassment, Cochran ignores the barbs being hurled in his direction and chooses instead to focus on Phase 2 of the D.U.M.B. plan: Secret Agent Man. Cochran is apparently supposed to become a double agent and report all of the Impala's (Upolu) intel to the Savannahs (Savai'i). As an audience, we weren't entirely privy to the creation of phase 2 of the D.U.M.B. plan, but something tells me that it might have been designed for the sole purpose of keeping Cochran busy and out of everybody's hair. Nevertheless, Cochran is ready for his close up Mr. Demille. After all, he has pretended to like the loathsome creatures on his tribe for the past 18 days. Surely he can play the duplicitous villain when the time is appropriate. Just please don't ask him to do "Hoo-ah!" from Scent Of A Woman. His Al Pacino still needs a little work.

Over on Rhode Island, the frightful play continues. We're approaching Act 2 now and Ozzy is about to lay out the exposition for Christine Clearwater Revival. A play can't move forward without two things: Exposition and Conflict. Once Christine City Rollers actually believes that Cochran played the Idol at Tribal Council and was responsible for ousting Ozzy, then Ozzy can begin the slow tragic fall of a hero. After experiencing some agony and all around piss-assness, our protagonist must enter gingerly into his conflict/obstacle. It is the facing and overcoming of this obstacle that will propel our story forward into Act 3 where, if all goes according to plan, we reach our denouement and a peaceful state of calm is once again achieved.

The stage lights dim and we see Sir Ozzy enter from Stage Right. Christine Inch Nails stirs from her slumber as the curtains part...
"Who is it?"
"Sorry to wake you up. I am Ozzy of the Savannahs. Oh man, can you believe it? I was sent here by an Idol!" *waves hands around nervously and kicks the sand*
"Yes! Really! A devilish man-child in glasses pulled the wools over my eyes and here I stand. Oh the humanity!"
"You mean Cochran?"
"Don't speaketh his name woman! Vile creature of the underworld that lad is." *shakes fist in air* "Weasel! LAWYER!!! Are you kidding me?!?"

Annnd scene! *dabs tears with a lace handkerchief* Well, I was moved, were you?

Deep in the weeds of Act 2 we arrive at Rhode Island for the big duel. Typically, on the stage, this is where we'd see men in powdered wigs and frilly shirts slapping each other across the face with leather gloves. The orchestra booms from the pit, the lights pulse in accompaniment, and it's an exciting time to be a theatre goer. Please to enjoy Act 2:

"Ozzy, are you surprised to find yourself here?"
"Egads! Ugh!" *grumble grumble* "You know, I gave everything to my tribe and this is how they treat me!" *dramatic twirl* "Damn ye Idol Of Whores! Whyyyy!!!" *collapses into a pile of tears*

From the Mezzanine, Albie leans over to Coach and whispers, "I don't buy it. I thought Pirates of Penzance was so much better than this." Coach nods and replies, "It's certainly no Starlight Express."

For today's duel, we're going to once again play the Brady Bunch game. Players must create a pole out of sticks and twine in order to retrieve 3 key rings. Unlock the locks of your jail before the old crotchety prospector returns and you'll not only stay alive, but you'll rejoin the game. That's right bitches, we're merging - just like the CBS promo said we were.

Survivors ready, go. Quickly, our actors begin to assemble their poles. A little saliva here, a little elbow grease there, and Christine Atomic Dustbin makes her first attempt. The pole is long enough, but alas, it's not strong enough! Ozzy also makes an attempt, but drops his keys into the sand. After some repairs and alterations, he hooks his keys and before Christine For Pyros knows what the hell is going on... the audience erupts into applause and OZZY STAYS ALIVE!!!

With a jaunty click of his heels and a tapping of his cane, the little tramp beams with pride which means that we've successfully reached our conflict resolution. A sense of catharsis falls over our hero and the evil witch, Christine Lee Simmons, no longer has a part to play in this here drama. Fare thee well lady with 3 names. I won't say I'll miss you all that much. Not only was it exhausting thinking of names for you, but you proved to be a woman with no sense of humor. I was rooting for you and my readers were rooting for you yet week after week after week you kept deleting my blogs from your FB Wall. That's not very nice. I could've spent the time it took thinking up all your cockamamie names stirring my bathtub gin or online ordering pharmaceuticals from Canada. Please never return to Survivor. Go get "Legitimate Force" tattooed on your ankle or something. Buh bye.

The as yet unnamed Merged Tribe descends on their new camp to find a cornucopia of delights: crackers, cheese, beer, fruit, nuts, pretzels. The fare was more "Saturday Afternoon Pub" than "Picnic on Cythera", but everyone was joyous and the merrymaking introductions quickly got underway. Mormon Dawn (I knew it!) refuses a beer while wispy Edna daintily nibbles on a cracker crumb. That should last her through to February.

Amidst the "howdy doo's", Cochran sits alone and is soon approached by Coach who asks him how everything is going in light of the drama at the Savannah's last Tribal Council. Cochran takes a deep breath and reveals how today is his rebirth. Through on camera interviews, Cochran would like us to believe that this was all part of his grand master flash secret agent man plan, but, in reality, I think it really was a rebirth for him. Stanislavsky said that "the actor must believe in everything that takes place on the stage." Well, I think Cochran believes in his rebirth because it was his rebirth.

That honesty and straightforwardness of the gifted performer wouldn't last long though. Cochran continues his meeting with Coach while swinging in a hammock and begins to lay on thick the "Oh, the way my tribe kicks sand in my face. Woe is me! Maybe I should switch sides???" and instantly Coach's bullshit bell begins to ding. Cochran may think he was born to play a double agent, but his performance reeked hauntingly of Ozzy back on Rhode Island. Had he not started throwing handkerchiefs around and breaking out into song at inappropriate times, Coach would be none the wiser. But, as a rabid fan of Cats, Coach knew instantly that this "confession" was simply the posturing of a poorly trained understudy. In no uncertain terms, Coach tells Cochran that he thinks the Savannahs are putting on a poorly produced play for the Impalas in an effort to dupe and sabotage them. It's almost creepy how accurately Coach outlines the Savannah's plan from sending Ozzy to Rhode Island all the way up to sending Cochran in as a double agent. He may pray a lot and juggle fake balls of sun more than any one man should, but his instincts were right on and both myself and Cochran were impressed.

As a student of the game, Cochran expected Coach to come out wearing a cape, riding an imaginary horse, and waving a wand around turning trees into castles. Instead, he found a smart guy who saw right through the poorly applied make-up, right through the improvs, and right through the moth eaten clothes of a second rate cast. Who knew Coach was such a theatre nut?! Furthermore, Coach and Cochran aren't as dissimilar as one might think. In one of my favorite moments last night, Coach confides that he knows how it is to go through life superior to others intellectually yet at the same time attacked for being inferior in other ways. It was a crystal clear moment of truth that resonated loudly with Young Cochran. Sure, Coach may have been trying to woo Cochran, but like that Stanislavsky thing - Coach believed it which made Cochran believe it. So while these two couldn't look more different on the outside, on the inside they might as well be Doublemint Twins.

So now Cochran has a decision to make. Will he side with the Savannahs like he promised and push the next vote to the drawing of rocks or will he jump ship and stick it to the assholes who have treated him poorly for the past 18 days? He's not sure how he'll swing, but until he figures it out he'll just go ahead and tell the Impalas all of the Savannah's secrets. *smacks self in head* There goes that ego thing I was talking about last week. Cochran gets one teeny tiny taste of a captive audience and he's off and running. Brandon now knows Ozzy's ATM code, Albie now knows what Whitney wears to bed, and Sophie now knows every grade Energizer Bunny has ever gotten since kindergarten. Cochran's mouth is like one of those fountains of a cherub peeing. Only, this cherub shits a lot too. If anyone from the CIA or FBI is reading this here little blog (I naturally assume the world of espionage is like Three Days Of The Condor and Robert Redford is sitting behind a desk with large lapels reading everything I put out into the universe), do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever hire Young Johnny Cochran from the Commonwealth Of Virginia to work for you and protect our national secrets and borders. You're better off hiring Phillip Sheppard. He wears a feather in his cap and talks to nuts and berries, but at least he can keep a secret for longer than 2 minutes.

Amidst the verbal diarrhea of state secrets, Cochran pauses to wonder if maybe these new Impalas will look at him as a disloyal and shady kind of a guy. *stifles giggles* Oh no, never! Albie assures Cochran that he's not being disloyal. It only counts as "disloyal" if the Savannahs treated him well and then he went and told their secrets. I'm not sure what rule book that's written in - maybe it's in The Skulls handbook - but it works for Cochran and puts him at ease. Neurotic fit averted. In fact he's so calm and relaxed that he slithers on over to Lil Hantz and tells him how he's supposed to be gathering information for his tribe right now. Brandon may not have his head screwed on tight, but he knows a thing or two about bullying and retribution. Those are what brought him to God after all. Brandon asks Cochran who he's most afraid of on Savannah and the two make up a hit list together with Mary Jane (Jim) at the top followed by the Energizer Bunny. Brandon puts the list in his back pocket, straps on a nine, and assures Cochran that he has nothing to worry about. I wonder if Brandon runs a cartel back at home... Let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if Mary Jane and the Bunny's heads end up on slow moving turtles moving across the New Mexican desert.

The self proclaimed double agent, this "mastermind", decides to go ahead and give the Idol back to Ozzy. That was no masterminding. That was fear, my friends. Visions of being hung upside down by a curly haired handjob master and being shaken until an Idol falls out aren't all that appealing to Cochran I guess. So after "masterminding" the Idol back into Ozzy's hands, Cochran steals away with Mormon Dawn and the two discuss just how loyal they plan on being to their own tribe. Cochran says he'll vote with the Savannahs in round one for sure, but after that it's up in the air. With her hands close to her chest and her giant prairie skirt sticking to her legs, Dawn breaks down into a jumble of tears for her bespectacled freckly friend. After 20 harrowing days of watching him endure the wrath and disrespect of her fellow Savannahs, it has finally dawned on Dawn (ha! dawned on Dawn) that maybe those bullies were not so nice and his feelings might have been hurting all along. Oh puh-lease! Too little too late, sister. For 3 weeks you've watched your tribe hurl rocks at his head and make him the camp slave, but now you suddenly feel bad about it? Do it with me folks *makes a 'W' with fingers* Whatever! That wasn't sympathy. That was a hormonal imbalance.

And now we arrive at the first Individual Immunity Challenge. Only, it's not individual! It's dual. It's sexist. It's one for you and one for me. Come on in guys! Before we get to today's challenge - Keanu, I mean Keith, what pray tell is the new tribe name? "It's Tuna Tartare (Tetuna). It's based on the story of how the coconut came to be. *Beavis & Butthead laugh*" I really hope that was your pacemaker sputtering and not your real laugh. Oy vey.

For today's challenge, Survivors will balance on a small perch while holding a coconut on two ropes. At regular intervals, the ropes will get longer thus making it more difficult to hold onto. The last female standing wins Immunity and the last male standing wins Immunity. Survivors ready, go!

The breeze that left Dimples mouth when he said "Go!" was strong enough to knock over Edna so she's out. Pleased as punch that he didn't go out first, Cochran's freckles start to dance and - boom! - he's out too. End of Round 1.

For round two the ropes are a smidge longer and it's all too much for Whitney and Sophie. What the hell? DAWN WINS IMMUNITY!!! That seemed way too easy, but what the hell do I know? I can balance a martini, a gin fizzy, a feather boa, my cell phone, a fetching clutch, a bottle of pills with someone else's name on it, and a bowl of glitter all in one hand while wearing 6 inch heels and no pants. I am in no way a fair judge.

We're down to just the men and their nuts now. Coach shoots his wad, Rancher Rick's giant hat topples him over, Mary Jane's dead eyes stuns his nut to death, and the Energizer Bunny must have giggled or something because all 4 of those dudes are done. With only Albie, Brandon, and Ozzy left in the game, they'll battle it out in round 3 until a winner is decided. Ozzy begins to wobble as the sun beats down. Albie's pecs do peccy things and the sweat begins to drip. Men v. Nuts. It should have been clear to us from the very beginning because who is the nut master of Survivor? OZZY WINS IMMUNITY!!! Ugh.

Back at Tuna Tartare with ill-placed harmonica hill music playing in the background, the Savannahs are busy congratulating themselves and having a meeting about how the vote will go. Sophie is their number one choice, but Mary Jane thinks there's no way the Impalas would ever think to use their Idol to save Rancher Rick. Ozzy flips his hair this way and that while Mary Jane hacks a coconut to death. The two want to know for sure that everyone is voting for Rancher Rick tonight. Cochran asks, "Why? Do you want me to flip? Should I flip?" *smacks self in head again* Why even say something like that?!? And the Worst Double Agent Of The Year award goes to...

For some reason, all of these dumb ass people who probably spent years trying to get on this show are just fine and dandy with letting the vote go to a tie and then to the draw of a colored rock - especially Mary Jane. "You gonna let it go to rocks? You're comfortable going to rocks, right? Just making sure you're going to rocks. Rocks, rocks, rocks!" I'm sure he has some sort of poker algorithm about odds and statistics in that giant dead-eyed cranium of his that assures his safety, but it's a little unnerving how pushy he is to let the vote go to rocks. Next they have to decide if they want to use the Idol and who they want to use it on. Enter motormouth Mary Jane again. "Whitney, Whitney, we have to give it to Whitney. They'll never think we'll give it to Whitney. Play the Idol for Whitney. Rocks, rocks, Whitney, rocks!" Did meth just become legal in Colorado? He's got to be peddling something with a little more oomph, something other than weed. Mary Jane with all of his plans and schemes... it's like a meth head disassembling the tv and telephone out of boredom.

Meanwhile, Cochran is busy taking notes on a giant legal pad "Rick, Idol, Whitney, rocks." He folds up the paper, puts in his pocket, and makes his way over to the Savannahs. As someone who loves the game, Cochran is extremely uncomfortable letting the vote go to rocks. While that may be true, I do think the rock scenario gives him a little more of a push to cross over to the other side. He can spout all he wants about being a true lover of the game, but, in reality, he's just really scared. His chances of staying tonight are far better if he flips. The rock scenario lingering in the distance gives Cochran the justification he's been looking for all along. Now that he has it, will he use it?

After telling Sophie the Savannah's plan - "Rick, Idol, Whitney, rocks." - Cochran wonders if maybe the Impalas will just go ahead and use the Idol on Rancher Rick. That way Cochran won't have to flip and the bullies won't bury him in the sand head first. Sophie thinks for a second and decides that even though she trusts Cochran, she can't commit to that. Besides, this is the Impalas way to test Cochran's loyalty. Trust is earned, not given Freckle Face. The conversation ends with Cochran gripping the hem of Sophie's dress and making her promise that she won't let the bad guys beat him up. Sophie agrees and Cochran finally lets go of her dress. Next he scurries off to Coach and asks, "They're going to eat me alive! Where am I going to sleep?!" Coach tells him he can spoon with him and Edna. This makes Cochran feel better and now he has only one person left to check in with... Dawn.

After visiting the medic and getting doped up with whatever hormones ladies that age take, Dawn seems much calmer now. She asks Cochran which way he's thinking of voting and swears she won't tell anyone. She'll just let him play his little game only... he's about to start a war!!! War is never the solution. It's always the problem. The war on dirt, the war on grime, the war on rising grocery prices, the war on carpool lanes... Dawn is no stranger to war and the last thing she wants now is a war in her own tribe. Hey lady, what happened to all those icky feelings you had about the assholes on your tribe treating Cochran like scum? Where did those go? Did the fairy "Millicent Progesterone" make them all go away? Are you sure you're not related to Crazy Pants? Before, Cochran was a nice smart boy who reminded Dawn of her son. Now, he's a selfish prick who's not supporting his tribe. I shudder to think which one of her personalities will show up in the morning.

And this brings us to Tribal Council. Tuna Tartare is there in all of it's glory and Coach starts off by saying that the vote will most likely go to 6-6. Dimples wonders if maybe someone can flip sides. He points to Edna who blows over the log and whispers from the ground, "If that one individual didn't feel incorporated or part of that tribe, that could be one reason." Thank you Edna.

Dimples turns the conversation to the Idol and Albie is more than happy to give a theatre critique of Ozzy's Rhode Island performance. Like the great Dorothy Parker said of Katherine Hepburn, "[Ozzy] runs the gamut of emotions from A to B." Sophie jumps in and proclaims that she was actually offended by what happened at Rhode Island. It's a regular Algonquin Round Table here in the South Pacific. Witty intellectuals tearing apart the curly tendrils of bravado. Woe is the vicious circle of reason.

It's a shame that reason can't be taught because out of anger over his poor reviews from the South Pacific Theatre Critics Association (SPTCA for short), Ozzy says, "You guys are right. I do have the Idol!" *smacks Ozzy in the head* Why can't this guy ever let anything go?! Why does he always have to be such a show off? A savvy person would have just smiled and nodded. Instead, Ozzy pulls the Idol out and dances around the campfire with it. Seriously, I can't stand this guy. Nauseating. By the look on Coach's face, he feels pretty much the same way I do. Coach and I just smirk and shake our heads together over what a dumdum that feeble-minded Ozzy is.

It's time to vote. If anyone has the Hidden Immu... "I have it! See! It's right here! Hahaha! Look at me - Idol Man!" After a herky jerky dance of kicks and elbows, Ozzy turns over his Idol and uses it on Whitney. The Impalas laugh to themselves as the vote reveals a tie: 6 for Keith, 6 for Rancher Rick. We vote again...

Survivors can only vote for Keith or Rick now. I'll read the votes... Keith (yes!), Keith (woohoo!), Keith (haha!), Keith (sucker!), Keith (later alligator!), Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick... *drumroll* KEITH IS THE 8th PERSON VOTED OUT OF SURVIVOR SOUTH PACIFIC!!! *glitter falls from the sky as Mary Jane begins to pummel Cochran upside the head with a rock* Lil Hantz reaches in and plucks Cochran out to safety. Mary Jane shouts, "Coward! Coward!" It's mayhem, I tell you, and it's delicious! The Impalas surround Cochran in a cloud of love and God while Brandon leans over and whispers, "Stay close to me." Off into the night, off into the darkness, off into safety? The tides have turned, my friends.

So, what did you think of last night's episode? Will Mary Jane bash Cochran's head in with a coconut? Will Dawn picket the war? Will Cochran never ever ever move about camp alone again? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!