Metallic and salty. Thick and warm. Dripping, gushing, clotting... splat! Blood is the life force coursing through our veins. It scurries hither and thither reddening up our vital innards... white to pink to red. Red! Crimson, scarlet, vermilion... the colors of life and sometimes strife. But when left unattended without a host, that red turns to crust. Rust. A Cabernet to a brick. Alone without a home... curdle, clabber, congeal. Platelets and plasma plug the pang hardening up into a protective shell like that street urchin orphan without a relative, without a home. Toughen up, Oliver. Consider yourself out of the family. Off you go to join the rest of the wretched Dickensian waifs wandering the Île Rachat until that day of Judgment arrives. Upon check-in, help yourself to a bowl of sand soup and a pashmina of tree bark. This season they are available in Fawn, Doody, Umber and Drab. Here's hoping you like earth tones. Let's recap, shall we?
Our story begins at dusk without a chicka to be heard. Instead, tiny motors slosh and gurgle through the azure sea as our fearless Cruise Director, Dimples (Jeff Probst), stands atop a grassy knoll. I can only assume he will be backflipping off said knoll into a ring of fire all the while juggling knives and wearing pointe shoes, right? I have come to expect danger and amazing displays of death-defying feats of courage over the years from my Dimples. Whether he is tiptoeing along the landing skids of a helicopter or being blown off the top of a rocky cliff, Dimples always gives me the goods... those three lines I wait for every premiere night. Give it to me, baby!
*looks around the room* That's it? That's all I get? I invest 85 years of my life writing about this nonsense and THAT'S ALL I GET?!? Womp, womp, womp. We've seen the hands on the hips move before, Dimples. You did it last season. Only, last season you were standing on a pointy cliff with razor sharp rocks and crashing waves surrounding you on all sides. This little hip dance of yours doesn't deliver the same punch when you're standing in a fluffy dewy meadow of perennials. Tell me you at least got bit by a mosquito or a pelican pooped on your head. I realize spending your days tirelessly calling veterans and convincing them to play again has exhausted your phone finger, but let's try to put some effort forth for crying out loud.
With Dimples safely nestled back in his tent getting a "massage" from a local, our ten teams are told to spend the night in the jungle with only their wits to guide them. Unfortunately, for the witless HayDouche (Hayden), this is an impossible task. He looks around himself and asks no one in particular, "Drrrrr... a night in the jungle by ourselves? Drrrr..." And then he tried to crack open a rock and drink its juice. When that didn't work he went to the Diary Room (a tree stump) and shouted, "THIS IS LIKE BIG BROTHER WITH NO HOUSE!"
The next morning at sunrise, the weary and tousled Survivors shuffle to a beach where Dimples awaits. "Welcome to the 27th season of Survivor," he announces. The group cheers and whoops in response. But that sassy Dimples is wearing not only a fetching navy blouse on this early morn, but a smirk and a glint in his eyes. He then continues, "You will experience this game with your loved one, but you will not be playing with them. You will be playing against your loved one." Hearing this, Fancy Pants (Colton) clutches his pearls and gasps as Rachel (Tyson's girlfriend) stares off in the distance through tearful eyes. Laura B. (Rupert's wife) fidgets from side to side as KitKat (Kat) nervously looks over her shoulder to HayDouche who is standing there wondering what time Julie Chen gets there.
Dimples smiles very pleased with himself and continues to poke and prod until the most drama-worthy moment leaks out of someone. He fails with Tina who delivers a ho hum speech about how competition is good for the soul, but he hits pay dirt when he turns to Brad Culpepper. Brad replies that on the surface he'd like to beat his wife, Monica's, ass in every competition. But deep down, down in the ooey gooey mushy parts of his soul, he could totally see himself throwing a Challenge in order for his wife to win a tarp. Oh no he di'in't! Oh yes he did! Hearing this, Marissa (Gervase's niece) stares open-mouthed shaking her head and declares, "Not if you're on MY team! You better not be on my team saying that." A tight-lipped Monica slyly stabs the heel of her stiletto into her hubby's foot with all the force she can muster. Brad quietly winces to himself as a single teardrop falls into the sand. Five minutes into the game and already he's in the doghouse.
The group is then told to say their goodbyes and divide up into their designated tribes. For the purpose of this little bloggy blog, the Returning Players will henceforth be known as WangChung (Galang) and the Loved Ones will be known as Benihana (Tadhana). If you are new here, don't worry. By the time I'm done with you, these nicknames will become second nature. The WangChung tribe is as follows: KitKat, Tina, Grizzly (Rupert), Aras, Monica, Medusa (Laura), Fancy Pants, Gervase, Candice and Tyson. The Benihana's are: HayDouche, Katie, Laura B., Vytas, Brad, Ciera, Caleb, Marissa, John and Rachel. More nicknames will emerge over time quite organically. Players who already have nicknames acquired them on previous seasons.
Now that the tribes have been formed, it is time for each one to vote someone out. Say what? Why?! That seems not only weird, but incredibly unfair. One twist is ok. Two twists is pushing it. Three twists is just plain overkill. Cool it with the twists, CBS. Just let the players play the damn game!
OK so Fancy Pants, hated by everyone and everything, quietly freaks out as Brad lowers his baseball cap as far as it will go hoping no one will remember how he just said he'd throw Challenges in order to let his wife win. Meanwhile, Grizzly looks around himself puzzled as Tyson tears the lid of his marker off with his teeth and happily scrawls down a name.
The Benihana's reveal their votes first and, strangely, almost everyone has voted for Laura B. I say "strangely" because nothing about this woman looks the least bit threatening. She's not a hulking meathead nor is she young and spry. Watching the votes reveal themselves, I couldn't help but wonder what background information we're not privy to.
Next it is the WangChung's turn to vote. The WangChung's have more history together and therefore more scores to settle so their votes aren't as unanimous as the Loved Ones. The votes end up almost split between Medusa and Candice with Candice being the one voted out. The ladies will now be sent to Rhode Island (Redemption Island) where they will compete in a duel to stay in the game.
But wait, there's more! Now that Laura B. and Candice have been voted out, their respective husbands are given the opportunity to take their places on Rhode Island. If they choose to play for them on Rhode Island then their loved one will return and compete on the opposing team. I know, I know, it's a lot to take in and so unnecessarily confusing. At home I was hoping that the person voted out would simply be sent to join the other tribe not be shipped off to Rhode Island so early in the game. Since when do I ever get what I want?
Grizzly, playing the noble and selfless card, hastily runs over to Dimples, shoves Laura B. out of the way and takes her spot. Dimples panics and immediately radios to Burnett back at HQ, "Mayday! Mayday! We have a situation! Our lovable season clown could be sent home early! Mayday!" Defeated and forlorn, Dimples then presents the same offer to Wifey (John gets the first new nickname of the season!). Wifey doesn't exactly react like Grizzly did. Instead, he stands in the sand and cries all over his apron. The apple pie he's holding in his hands gets soggy as his wife, Candice, stands with her arms crossed glaring at him. Wifey and his stupid pies. He's always baking pies! Apple, peach, key lime, rhubarb.
After more tears and more goodbyes we finally end up at WangChung where the returnees fall into a group hug and dive into their chest of supplies. They have a hammer, a machete, but no flint. Look, you pampered peasants. You should have nothing. NOTHING! You would be constructing your shelter with twigs and spit if I had anything to say about it. Hoity toity Aras sneers down his nose and sighs, "I can't believe we don't have any flint." Tyson replies, "On Heroes v. Villains I watched and helped Rob start a fire with bamboo. We can do it." Aras quietly buffs his nails against his shirt and thinks to himself, "No way I'm ruining my manicure!"
Meanwhile, Gervase is throwing pebbles at Laura B.'s head. Each time she turns around to catch the culprit, Gervase puts his hands in his pockets and whistles to himself. He didn't want to play with Laura B.. He wanted to play with Grizzly! Aras agrees and tells Laura B. to her face, "I so wish your husband was here instead of you. Ugh! I mean, you're great. You're fine and all that, but your husband would be SO much better." And then he helped Gervase collect even bigger rocks to throw at Laura B's head.
As the day continues, the WangChung's work well together and manage to not only construct a shelter, but make fire. Their canteens are full, they're eating rice... and even Fancy Pants is helping! Monica isn't fooled by his "good little helper" act though. She played with him back on One World and knows firsthand what a sneaky backstabber he can be. Now, I don't know what sort of Assertiveness Training Seminar the Culpepper's took before arriving in The Philippines, but it's doing their game in left and right. First, we had Brad and his verbal diarrhea and now we get Monica trying to convince Fancy Pants that they should squash all that nonsense that happened back in One World.
Assertiveness Training Tip #1: Be forthright about your wants and needs.
Speaking of Brad, don't look now, but he's holding a group meeting over at Benihana. He tells his tribe that if any of them ever see him not giving 100% in the Challenges, then they are more than welcome to vote him out.
Assertiveness Training Tip #2: Accept responsibility for your own mistakes.
Assertiveness Training Tip #3: Gather up the dudes, including the gay, and take a bath.
While sudsing up and scrubbing one another's hard to reach places, Brad tells Wifey that they should make one big Dude Alliance. They'll gather up all the guys - and the gay one, Caleb - and that should give them like 67 votes or something. Hearing the plan, the men all grunt and scratch themselves. It's a go! It's almost too easy!
Brad then run downs to the beach to double check the figures on his abacus.
"One gay plus one douche minus my wife plus two grams of heroin. Wait, are there one douche or two douches? Let me start over."
"Two douches plus no John Cochran's and one gay... maybe I should make it two gays. Wifey does cook a lot of pies. OK and two gays... daggumit, I lost my place!"
"I hear the gays like fisting"
Assertiveness Training Tip #4: Math is for suckers!
With the Dude Alliance firmly in place, the Benihana's continue working on their shelter and trying to make fire. But staring into the unlit bamboo, the visions start to dance in a few of the Benihana's heads. Ciera's eyes glaze over as she watches Brad huff and puff trying to get a flame. It reminds her of when she huffed and puffed and pooped out a baby at the age of 16. Shuddering at the memories and the image of Medusa locking her in the closet yelling something about dirty pillows, Ciera collects herself and thinks, "I'll get her back. I'll get my revenge!" Similarly, Vytas stares at the frustration Brad is feeling and remembers his own frustration back in college when he used to scour the back alleys in search of a fix. He recalls his parents' disappointment when he went to jail for that year. That was the year Aras won All-American for something or other, Prom King and Most Likely To Succeed. Vytas inhales deeply and thinks to himself, "It's MY turn now, little brother!" The rage and resentment in these families are totally making my nipples hard, how about you?
Meanwhile on Rhode Island, Candice is training to be a serial killer. She lines up coconut after coconut and assigns each of them a name. Raising her machete high in the air she shouts, "This one is for Fancy Pants!" Thwack! The tiny leaf sweater Candice tied around the shoulders of the Fancy Pants coconut tears in half as his coconut water brains leak out onto the sand. "And this is for Tina!" Thwack! "I'm going to kill you Medusa!" Thwack! Coconut brains and guts litter the Rhode Island shore as Grizzly shakes his head disapprovingly and curls up for a nap. As he snoozes, Candice stands over him watching his chest go up and down... up and down... With an eerie calmness she raises her machete and holds it over high over the sleeping giant's head...
And this brings us to the big Immunity Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's Challenge, Survivors will have to race over a series of obstacles, perform a belly flop, abandon their tribe mates, complete a puzzle and raise their flag. The first tribe to gloat obnoxiously wins Immunity. Survivors ready, go!
The tribes burst off the start and into the water. The WangChung's gain a slight lead as Merman Tyson swims ahead of everyone. The Benihana's, however, are using a different tactic. It's this new thing called helping and apparently it's the latest rage. The beefier bunch assist and lift the womenfolk over each and every obstacle. Perhaps there is something to this "helping" thing after all because the Benihana's pull ahead and gain a huge lead. They successfully untie their boat and begin to paddle back to shore.
But back in WangChung's lane, helping each other hasn't caught on yet as Aras lays splayed on the rolling pin and Gervase sinks to the bottom of the sea. Eventually, Aras manages to dislodge his leg from the spokes of the rolling pin and dives down to retrieve Gervase's bloated body. He hurls Gervase into the boat and the WangChung's attempt to paddle back to shore with KitKat calling the shots, "Go this way! No, that way! I mean, this way!" Naturally, the WangChung's end up paddling in circles creating a drain-like effect and getting sucked into the darkest depths of the ocean.
Miraculously, the WangChung's reappear just in time to battle it out with the Benihana's at the puzzle. We have Caleb, Ciera and Katie against Monica, Medusa and Tina. It's young v. old, daughter v. mother, rage v. resentment. In the end, in this case at least, with age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes focus and speed. WANGCHUNG WINS IMMUNITY!!!
And like all the great reality moments through history and time, a song is born. We've had unforgettable hits like 'Pants On The Ground' and 'Gone With The Wind Fabulous', but none compares with the new chart topper... 'Don't Let That Fool You, Baby!' Sung by Gervase Peterson with passion and zeal, 'Don't Let That Fool You, Baby!' is an anthem for all ages. The lyrics are simple, but full of meaning... "Don't let that fool you, baby! Don't let that fool you! Don't let that fool you! Don't let that fool you!"
Back at Benihana, the mood is dank and depressing. Brad tries to lift everyone's spirits by telling his tribe that everyone gave 100% today in the Challenge. Katie listens to the speech and clenches her lips tight. She choked today trying to finish the puzzle and she's worried that the tribe will hold it against her. Not only that, but her mother beat her! Katie grimaces and thinks to herself, "I'm not going to play with her anymore, ever!"
Marissa is also a little nervous about her place in the game. Her uncle's chart topping hit, 'Don't Let That Fool You, Baby!' may have pissed off the members of her tribe. The problem is that Marissa isn't distancing herself from the Gold Record. In fact, she's making a spectacle and mocking her Uncle Gervase for bad sportsmanship. Watching it all, Katie smiles to herself and shields her body with a bush. The less attention she draws to herself, the better!
So the big question now is who will the Dude Alliance choose to get rid of? Wifey and Caleb aren't too happy about Gervase's showboating after the Challenge. Brad then scratches his chin and wonders out loud if they should get rid of Marissa and send the WangChung's a message. His ideal message would be, "Let's win with grace from now on." In reality, the real message would be, "Suck it, Gervase!"
And this brings us to Tribal Council. Dimples is fetching in cornflower blue and begins the evening posing a question to HayDouche, "What's the toughest part of these few days for you?" HayDouche replies, "Drrr hehe I vote to evict... no, wait... umm fire! It's fire. Fire good. Fire warm."
Dimples then turns to Ciera and asks how her experience has been so far. Ciera replies that all the stories the mother drilled into her head over the years is nothing like being out there and living it for yourself. The hunger is unbearable and she feels like
We then turn our focus to Wifey. "Wifey, you let your wife go live in a rickety shelter with a hirsute fellow and no food. Don't you feel guilty about that? Oooh is that Banana Cream? My favorite!" Wifey sniffles through the tears and nods. He hands Dimples the pie and manages to give a timid smile in response. His wife may be living in misery right now, but pie always makes everything better.
Alright, let's get to the vote. With an almost unanimous decision, Marissa is the first person voted out of Survivor: Blood v. Water. It turns out that sending a message and twisting a knife is more important than keeping a tribe strong. On the upside, 'Don't Let That Fool You!' will be out on iTunes soon!
So, what did you guys think of last night's episode? Did the right person go home? Will Gervase care that Marissa is gone? What does Brad think 4+5 adds up to? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!