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Survivor China: Week 2 -- Stuck In the Mud

This week had a little of everything: bickering, scheming, wrestling, and the blurred nudity we've come to know and expect by now. Here's how it went down:

We kick it off with Zhan Hu who is coming off a tough few days and loss in last week's challenge. They have flint now, but for some reason they don't have fire, and this is the main point of contention amongst tribe-members. The women are starving and want to make a small fire for rice, but Dave is insistent on building a fire pit, which requires a lot of work. It doesn't make much sense to me why he wouldn't want people to have a little bit of food before working hard (I mean, c'mon, breakfast is the most important meal-- where was he during health class? Oh-- probably modeling. This week, Dave is looking more than ever the FORMER model he is, and we get to see his gut swinging to and fro with his work), but at the same time, Dave is doing a ton of work himself. Strategically, he must know it's a bad move to take charge and piss people off with the food issue, and in fact, Ashley, Sherea, et al, express their discontent and mention that maybe Dave isn't the best leader anymore. He's also condescending and makes faces like Jim Carey, while acting a bit like a douchey Vince Vaughn. He and Ashley get into it as the episode progresses, and eventually it's clear that the two are squaring off at every possible chance-- Ashley bickering and aggressive (because she's hungry and confused by the plan) and Dave overly-defensive and patronizing.

Meanwhile, over at Fei Long camp, there appears to be a vast overabundance of boxer briefs. Todd and Aaron wander around in them and therefore, they form a pseudo alliance along with Amanda. In actuality, Todd and Amanda are the real alliance, and Aaron is the third wheel that will be the first to go and take the hits for being a leader. Back at camp, Jean-Robert is acting extremely lazy and this turns out to be part of his plan. When asked what we should do, he replies, "Why don't we just rest?" and gets rolled eyes from the rest of the group. His plan is to come off lazy at the beginning so that as time goes on, he'll step up and do more work and look much better in everyone's eyes. It's an interesting plan, but it presupposes that he doesn't get voted out first for his laziness, which is typically how the early votes go. On the other hand, he's a huge man, and his strength might win a number of challenges.

Like the Reward Challenge, this week, which definitely requires strength. They play for fishing gear, and the winner will get to go out on a fishing boat. The challenge is in a big muddy pit and basically two giant wicker balls are rolled into the pit and each group of competitors has to push the ball through their goal to win. It's a cool challenge, and requires a little intelligence and strategy on top of brute strength. Let me also say that with super sticky mud, physical challenge, and small bikinis, the producer definitely KNEW that people were gonna get naked and at least a few boobs would be exposed. Clearly the ratings needed a boost this season. For you Survivor Fantasy owners, get ready for some nudity points.

After some scrambling and grasping, Amanda pushes the ball through the goal topless. 1-0 Fei Long and 40 pts for some lucky fantasy owner. The next round starts and immediately the action is furious. Ashley is body slamming people, Dave is semi-molesting, sorta choking people, Jean-Robert's ass hangs out as Ashley tries to hold onto his pants, someone else's boob pops out, and after the chaos James hauls the ball through for a Fei Long victory. The man is a beast. Zhan Hu's troubles continue. There is also a twist, and that is that one member of Zhan Hu goes back WITH Fei Long and gets a scroll to open in private. Jaime goes.

Back at Fei Long camp, Todd (who was clearly given instructions by the producers to constantly reference the Art of War) stays with Jaime so she doesn't steal anything. She opens the scroll and finds out that there is an immunity idol buried on the Fei Long beach and that the clue says it is obvious. She tries to look around without being obvious. She also has to share the info with one person and she chooses Leslie who has been a little down lately with some sickness and in need of some time with her Bible. Jaime shows Leslie the clue and Leslie perks up, announcing that God has clearly helped her. This is fine, but I have to ask-- Why is God rooting for anyone on Survivor? I mean, football is bad enough, but really? Survivor? FIFTEEN?? Regardless, Leslie passes word on to Todd who can't believe someone would share that news. He's devious like Jean-Robert said, but hey, it works for him. Jean-Robert and Aaron bicker some, and it suddenly occurs to me that Ashley is dressed like she's on the show Pirate Master. Was she supposed to be a contestant on that and then got switched over to Survivor? She has the bandana, the buff-bra, and the long, scraggly hair, not to mention the two lip rings. She's badass and probably stumbled into the wrong interview room.

The immunity challenge is also a physical challenge. It requires 6 members of each tribe (why would they knowingly make a challenge for 6 people when they knew it would be an 8-7 team split?) to use a battering ram to break down some walls and get to a puzzle segment. They strap in the log (so to speak) which has grooves in it, and they work the log through the puzzle which is actually very creative. Jaime, Leslie, and Courtney sit out.

Fei Long, led by James and The Giant Biceps tear through both walls first, but Zhan Hu catch up at the puzzle maze. They start to pull ahead, but hit a snag, and after a few tense seconds, Fei Long figures it out and wins the challenge. STILL TOUGH TIMES for Zhan Hu.

Back at camp, it's clear that Ashley and Dave are on the block. This is annoying in that, YES, they are the two who have been arguing, but they are also both strong players. Sherea hasn't done anything as far as I can tell, and some of the other women are similarly situated. I'm really hoping players like Sherea aren't brough along AGAIN so that they can lose in the final 3 or whatever. It just means that Zhan Hu is gonna lose a lot more challenges. So they go to tribal council knowing that either Ashley the bickering aggressor or Dave the condescending problematic leader is going home. It's Ashley's second time on the block in two weeks.

Nothing new is revealed at tribal and the votes come out. Ashey loses 4 votes to 1 and has to go home. It's frustrating for two reasons from my perspective: 1) she's a strong competitor and easily the strongest woman. She's getting voted out because the two were paired instead of considering the possibility of a third option. 2) I feel like we didn't get to see enough of Ashley's abilities. I bet she had a lot more cool stuff to offer. Anyway, I was sorry to see her go, and don't see how Dave was much of a keeper, but we'll find out next week what's up.

Until Next Week, Keep Your Fires Burnin',

Posted by jon on September 28, 2007 8:16 PM
Permalink |

>Let me also say that with super sticky mud, physical challenge, and small bikinis, the producer definitely KNEW that people were gonna get naked and at least a few boobs would be exposed. Clearly the ratings needed a boost this season. For you Survivor Fantasy owners, get ready for some nudity points.

But if they blur our all the nudity, where's all the ratings advantage? Personally, I've never gotten turned on watching blurs.

1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at September 29, 2007 10:17 PM

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