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Survivor China: Week 5 - "I Am Not What I Am..."

Survivor: Week 5 "“ "I am not what I am! "

Survivor hit a season high level of scheming and plotting this week, with major conspirators emerging and the tribes getting completely shaken up. By the end of the episode, tribes were in ruins, tempers were flaring, and one of the more engrossing yet saddening plotlines unfolded. Here's how it happened:

The episode kicks off with a bang--which is to say, a shot a panda lounging. Let me say right now that no matter what came next, this week was a success--NOTHING BEATS A PANDA. The panda, of course, was used as a visual hint to the attitude and work ethic of Zhan Hu now that Dave is gone. They show a lazy, sleeping tribe followed by Sherea's comment that she had the, "best sleep ever." Of course, she chooses to follow the best sleep ever with total lack of movement. Her happy-go-lazy attitude is counteracted by Frosti who is sitting around moping. He's upset over losing so much and says that they need to win. He needs something to give him a morale boost. Peih-Gee says they all need to work together at camp and in challenges, so they have the same amount of energy available at both. Sherea is not impressed.

Meanwhile, Erika and Jaime start flirting. It's a shocking caught on tape discovery that ONE attractive individual is attracted to ANOTHER attractive individual. Well played, Survivor. Erik comes out and tells Jaime that he likes her and that (buh, buh, buuuuh) he's a virgin. She reacts like of surprised/put off! and immediately decides she can trust him. So Jaime tells Erik about the Immunity Idol at the camp, which may or may not come back to haunt her. Just because he's not having sex doesn't mean he won't eff her over.

At Fei Long, James acknowledges that he does most of the work in camp and at challenges. He compliments Denise as another hard worker, and someone who gives credit where credit is due. He finds that attractive in a person, which leads to this fantastic quote, "If she was younger or I was older! damn, she'd be in trouble!" James is a complex dude.

What would Survivor be without a twist? They decide to throw one in here, as the struggles Zhan Hu is now without their strongest player and leader, and down two players. Fei Long gets a message delivered to them that they get to pick two players from the other tribe to join them. They immediately assume the other tribe gets to do the same, and the tribes are going to be shaken up. They select Frosti and Sherea because they are both tough and strong according to them. This could save Sherea's ass! or make it an even larger target.

Over at Zhan Hu, the same message arrives, but they don't understand that the other tribe will get to take two of them. They bubble over the power switch and what it will mean for their success, and select James and Aaron as their new members. When they find out that Frosti and Sherea will be leaving them, they are blindsided and downtrodden. I think this illustrates the essential difference between the tribes, especially the remaining Zhan Hu members--they don't anticipate, prepare, or strategize as effectively as Fei Long. In turn, they struggle in the challenges and as a tribe. As Frosti leaves, he shows that he is one of the smarter players, reminding Zhan Hu that they now have control of the two best players in the game (Aaron and James). Great call.

At Fei Long, Jean-Robert is rocked by the trade because of his strong alliance with James. He knows he could be in trouble as always, so he asks the group to plan to get rid of Sherea and Frosti, so the plan is in place before they arrive. He notes that he might be on the block, and, as usual, takes some crap for thinking ahead and stating truths. It's very clear that he has crossed the line into the No Return Zone. People don't like him and assume they will continue to dislike him, no matter what he says or does. That can be very frustrating, and I don't see it playing out well.

Let me just say now, that I would be SHOCKED if all 4 traded players got voted out as quickly as they are able to be (4 votes minimum if each tribe splits immunity victories). Plans like that NEVER work, and there's always one person able to sway things in a different direction. If I were Jean-Robert, I might consider bringing those two in with him.

When the Zhan Hu members arrive, Todd acts waaay too friendly and fake to make friends and have them seem welcome. He's psyched about new people and possible alliances they can provide. The next morning, Jean-Robert steps up and starts doing things around camp for everyone. He boils water, cooks rice, and asks for a little help from some people. They all react negatively and note that he's just trying to save his butt. Denise gives him shit for allegedly ordering people around, even though she's totally ok helping out. Everyone else talks behind his back about how unbearable he's going to be now, and Sherea and Frosti see an opening where they might survive. See. Never works. What's stupid is that it doesn't matter what his motivations are--Jean-Robert is working harder and contributing. Just because his motivations are obvious doesn't mean it's a negative. Continuing the pattern of picking on him and getting on him at every change is only going to hurt the tribe. I would rather know a guy was working hard because he wanted to save his ass then see someone working hard, but not knowing if it was natural or because they wanted to bond with someone to vote me out.

Back at Zhan Hu, the plotting begins. Everyone sees that Aaron is smart, attractive, and strong. Peih-Gee is wary. She pulls Jaime aside and says that it would make a lot of sense to throw the next two challenges and vote out Aaron and James. That way, if they merge at 10, the tribes will be 5 and 5. It's a really good idea, although exceedingly devious and risky. If the tribes don't merge at 10, then you're left with a weak tribe with no morale and a losing mentality from the last two competitions. It also might be tough to throw the challenges with the best two competitors on your team. We'll see, as it's time for the!

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE:

In this challenge, two team members must dive down to a cage which contains 12 discs each. The discs are held in by bamboo poles. When the poles are removed, the discs pop to the surface. Think of it as reverse "Kerplunk!" one of the most underrated games of the last twenty years. Once the discs get to the top, the two must haul them in a dingy back to shore, where the other three team members will be waiting to solve the disc puzzle. Each one fits into a grid. First to finish wins immunity.

Fei Long sits Courtney, proving that she is absolutely no use to the tribe--I can't believe she's gonna make it to the merge, but she's going to. Nobody has even mentioned voting her out seriously.

Erik, Aaron, Jean-Robert, and Frosti are swimming. The rest of the team members are putting the puzzle together--this means James, Jaime, and Peih-Gee for Zhan Hu.

The disc gathering is pretty even all the way through. Both teams start fast and have to slow down as time goes on so they can catch their breath. Jaime shouts to the team to take it easy, no big deal, catch their breath, and James reacts poorly to this suggestion, wondering where her head's at. They both finish around the same time, and although Jean-Robert ALMOST knocks all the discs out of the boat, he doesn't, but it gives Fei Long the opportunity to huff over him again. The guy can't catch a break. Or can he? As the pieces arrive for the puzzle, Todd, Sherea, and Denise get moving, while Jaime, Peih-Gee, and James get started for Zhan Hu. James hauls all the pieces up the beach, letting the two girls work on the puzzle. They work slowly, and with smiles on their faces--exuding the giggling apathetic idiot persona. James can't understand what's happening, and starts yelling at them to focus. This only makes them laugh more and look more smug. Peih-Gee is asked if she's good at puzzles and she replies, "I'm good at Sudoku!" brightly, infuriating James who responds with, "F*%k Sudoku, focus!" He frantically tries to help the team out and get Jaime out of the way, but the girls keep losing it and James can't make up for two teammates who are trying to lose. He does his best, but there's not enough time. Fei Long wins immunity and James is shattered--just as I am.

It breaks my heart to see James completely effed over by his new tribe. He is a hardworking, quiet individual, who works hard, puts in 100%, and always tries to win. Seeing him double-crossed by Peih-Gee and Jaime might be acceptable, if they weren't giggling the whole time and making it so blatant. There's a way to play the game smart and be RESPECTFUL at the same time, and their non-chalant attitude took respect out of the equation. Aaron and James don't even see what happened because they are such hard competitors--they would never be able to throw a fight like that. Back at camp, James gets worked up about the loss, trying to understand what happened. The two girls can't keep straight faces, and this, rightfully, infuriates him more. He swears them off, and says he can't play for a team like this. More giggles. Remember when Rob stabbed Lars in the back that one season? He did it, but he explained it away and kept it serious to the end. It was horrible, but it was respectful. Peih-Gee and Jaime stabbed Aaron and James in the back, but their smugness and lack of respect makes it even worse. They are Iago to James and Aaron's Othello, and as James keeps getting angrier and confused, it is clear he is heading for an epic fall.

Jaime, however, suddenly taking charge in lieu of Peih-Gee, says that Aaron should be the first to go. Erik wants to know what the hell happened during the challenge and they tell him that they threw the challenge, gloating, "you really couldn't tell?" Erik is dumbstruck, but also just dumb, and he likes Jaime. He doesn't know if he can trust them, but he still wants to trust them. This brings the virgin thing full-circle. If he had a little more experience and wasn't crushing on Jaime, he might think more about his future, and how making allies with James and Aaron could be HUGE when the merge arrives.

Peih-Gee asks James if he wants to stay--because she can make that happen--just give her the word. And here is where James proves he is the tragic hero of the story. He responds that "Aaron deserves to stay longer than I do. Send me home." Not very intelligent game-wise, but as a human being, he is tremendous, and as he sees the two of them going into the fire, he doesn't sell out Aaron, but asks to go first. Aaron, meanwhile, keeps cool and says that he's voting for James, if only to not have to vote for one of the people he'll be forced to deal with in the next few days.

Zhan Hu goes to tribal, James and Aaron still in the dark about what happened. Jeff calls the girls out on it, as they are giggling even during tribal. They admit what they did and James nearly has an aneurysm. He can't believe anyone would be willing to do that. He says he hopes he's going home. Aaron thinks James is going home, but packed his bag anyway. It's time to vote. The votes come out and it's between Aaron, James, and Peih-Gee (James' vote). It's 1-1-1, but then Aaron gets two more votes and it's AARON who is going home this week. James hangs his head and can't believe he has to last another week with this tribe. It's time for him to start strategizing. He has two ways to survive, pending any twist--he has to either find a way for his team to win the immunity challenge (which, incidentally, his teammates should just NOT compete in, instead of half-assing it now that everyone knows what's up), which would be tough, but epic, or he needs to find the immunity idol on the beach. He can either somehow find his own idol, or he can get kidnapped after the reward challenge, explain his plight to his former team members, and try to find the idol on the other beach (if that's legal, or is it just that you get clues on the other beach to tell someone?). If that gets him to the merge, he can survive. Either way, it's going to be an uphill battle, but now that Othello has fallen and is still alive, it's time he picked himself back up and kicked each and every Iago's ass all the way back to the States.

Until Next Week, Keep Your Fire Burnin',
Witz


Posted by jon on October 19, 2007 6:17 PM
Permalink |






Why, oh why, didn't James and Aaron try to flip Erik? The only possible strategy for them at that point. And if James was the vote for PeeGee, that means Aaron voted for James. Way to stab in the back, brother, and maybe it was right that you were voted off.

1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at October 22, 2007 10:40 AM

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