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Survivor: Week 3 "“ Bring Da Noise Bring Da Funk

This was one of those great weeks where A LOT happens, strategy starts to co come into play, challenges are cool, and a lot of people get involved. I have more pages of notes than I've had in weeks, so let's get to it:

The episode sets the theme right away, showing Jean-Robert snoring loudly and keeping the women of the tribe up. Apparently, he also has a thing where he tries to cuddle for warmth, and they aren't having any of it. This is night 6, so they must be getting a bit tired of it. Also, he's a poker player, so he's probably just faking the warmth thing for a little human contact.

On Day 7, James makes me have a revelation--He is a COOL Dreamz. Just as socially awkward, but physically stacked and with a much friendlier demeanor overall without the "crazy beneath the surface" feel that Dreamz sometimes gave off when he went too far. James is quickly becoming my favorite player and he only solidifies that when he discusses his tribe. He says that his team has a slow learning curve and that he can't believe he was the only one to who "Went to Barnes and Noble and read a Survival Guide!" He's never eaten outside, not with paper cups or anything, but after, "Four hours in Barnes & Noble and I feel like Crocodile Dundee out here!" Finally, somebody recognizes how shockingly unprepared people are for the game, when all it takes is a trip to Blockbuster or a visit to to watch an episode and realize what you have to learn.

Meanwhile, over at Zhan Hu, Dave is continuing to be a pain in the ass. And of course he is! Ashley bickered with him because they are both strong personalities--BUT--she bickered with him because HE was instigating it and building her up to a fight. Maybe it looked like a good move at the time, but you can't eliminate the effect and not expect the cause to rise up again. This time Dave is over-working himself. Last time he overworked he crashed during the immunity challenge and nobody wants to see that again. He won't let people help him and he's pretty much a control freak--BUT he GETS STUFF DONE. So it's kind of a win-lose situation. He knows what needs to get done and takes it upon himself to do it. At the same time, he doesn't show any faith in the rest of his tribe-mates and gets noticeably annoyed when they can't figure something out. It's making him look like a really bad guy, but ultimately, he's just a really bad leader who is taking a lot of responsibility onto himself and not being able to hide his disdain for the rest of the tribe who haven't shown they can do what he's done. This doesn't mean he shouldn't be voted out--team morale is suffering, but it does mean he deserves credit for his efforts.

The REWARD CHALLENGE comes early in the show, which means there's gonna be a lot of talking later on. The challenge is set up on a small raft with two beams connecting two platforms. In groups of 3, men v men and women v women, players will attempt to push the other competitors off the raft. When they get all 3 off, they score a point (didn't Cinemax used to have a show like that late at night?). Todd and Courtney sit this one out as they are tiny people. REWARD will be COMFORTS, i.e. blankets, kerosene lamp, pillows, and a much needed tarp.

The women kick it off and Fei Long falls fast. Three and out and it's 1-0 Zhan Hu. Next up are the men. Dave decides to strip down and get completely naked. This has happened a few times over the years and it's arguably a decent strategy. You're essentially betting against yourself in life in that NOBODY will want to touch you, and in this case, I'm betting he was hoping for a little homophobia along with having less to grab on to (fingers crossed for Dave on that one). Unfortunately for him, that didn't seem to be case, and he and Aaron got right into it. They both fall in. Jean-Robert and James use their ridiculous strength to throw the other two over. 1-1. The women are back and the result is the same. Amanda pulls a nice move to lock onto Sherea as she falls, thus taking them both out. Denise is out and it's 2-1 Zhan Hu. The men return and a huge melee ensues. Dave charges James still naked and James stands him up like a defensive lineman. The rest of the group hits at the same time and after a struggle, it is again Fei Long that gets the point. 2-2. Women vs. Women for the final point to determine the winner. Amanda and Leslie go in quickly, leaving Denise to fend for herself against the 3. She is rolled over and Zhan Hu wins their first challenge!

Leslie is picked to get "kidnapped" by Zhan Hu, and she gets another clue like Jaime received. She will learn (and Jaime will learn) that the immunity idol is in an obvious place towards the heavens! so like! up! .While on her visit, Leslie sees a side of Zhan Hu that doesn't really exist. They are happy, celebratory, and united. Leslie goes on to tell them EVERYTHING they want to know about Fei Long with very little prompting. She makes reference to who the Christians are on both tribes, which might be a bonding point later on (especially if Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is right).

Aaaaaand this is when the strategizing begins. Jean-Robert and James are hanging out in the water by themselves, talking VERY loudly and obviously a little drunk with the joy of victory. Todd and Courtney, however, are cutting kindling only twenty feet away and are listening in. Apparently, they have become the "Small Gay Guy/Skinny Attractive Girl Duo." J.R. and James mention how Courtney and Todd need to go. J.R. mentions how he and Todd kind of bonded, but not so much lately and how Courtney is weeeeeak. James, however, seems to really like Courtney, and J.R. calls him out on it. James responds with, "A million dollars and some ass!" which appears to gross out Courtney who tells Todd she will never sleep near them again, but c'mon, seriously?? James is BUILT and seemingly NICE and his only crime is that he has the smelly, snoring guy as his buddy. I'm sure there's more they haven't shown me, but James (much like Dreamz) seems to be getting less credit than he is due. Todd refers to J.R. and James as "the trash" and when the trash starts to smell, "the trash has gotta go."


Big immunity challenge this week as clearly there is a lot of dissent in the ranks. Denise and Leslie sit out for this one and Courtney and Todd have to compete since they sat out last time. This will come back to haunt them as the challenge is another physical one. You have to chop through some wood beams to cut through ropes. This lowers a rope with large wooden discs/puzzle pieces attached. Chop the rope. Repeat four times. Then, the discs-puzzle pieces must be assembled on a large pole and the pole must then be dragged back over the finish line (it's heavy). A lot of work to do.

It's gonna be very easy to describe this challenge. It goes like this. Zhan Hu (Jaime, Peih-Gee, Frosti, Erik in that order) chop through and get all their pieces. For Fei Long, Courtney struggles and can't get the ropes cut. She swings and hits with her sword to no effect. She's tired and weak and ineffective. She doesn't give up, however, and with some coaching from J.R., she saws through the ropes and gets he pieces (being the only person to swing at the rope and NOT cut through it on the first try). Zhan Hu struggles with the puzzle pieces and the rest of Fei Long makes quick work of the ropes, and before long, the two tribes are nearly neck and neck. Fei Long hits a snag on the puzzle, however, and Zhan Hu finishes and pulls out their second victory and first immunity challenge victory.

Back at camp, Todd says it's good that Courtney never gave up, but she's down on herself, and has two chaffed hands and a bad shoulder to show for it. Nobody is happy with Leslie's visit to the other tribe and all the information she gave away. J.R., Todd, Courtney, and Leslie are all on the chopping block. Todd, Courtney, and Leslie want to vote out Jean-Robert, and might have convinced Amanda to do the same. Aaron, on the other hand isn't having any of it, and says that Leslie has to go. She seemed to have bonded with Zhan Hu and he's worried about the Christian thing because people look for things to bond over and that's an obvious one that Leslie talks a lot about. Todd tries to counter by saying that "Courtney won't win anything," down the road, showing us all how loyal he is (or smart if it's a strategy move--either way, it's true). Back at camp, with Amanda, Courtney, and Leslie missing, Jean-Robert drops some knowledge on them all, and "gets real." He says that clearly there are two weaker women who have to go--Courtney and Leslie. He says that he's known anorexic women with more weight on them than Courtney. It's harsh all around, but completely true. He is one of the Bad Boys of Poker. Time for Tribal Council.

At tribal, Leslie talks about how the other tribe is friendly and bonded and playful and fun and they all get along--in other words, she got the COMPLETELY WRONG IDEA of Zhan Hu from her visit. J.R knows he's on the chopping block, and he calls out Courtney and Leslie, and tries to explain that they aren't "weak", they are simply "weaker" in the tribe. That doesn't go over well! .

They vote and it's now between Leslie and Jean-Robert, although a Courtney vote could throw things off as the numbers are at eight.


Two votes for Jean-Robert and FIVE votes for LESLIE. Leslie is going home. Not too surprising, but a little surprising, and Courtney basically cries when she finds out Jean-Robert is sticking around. Some notables from the vote. Courtney's buddy, Todd, voted for Leslie too, so it's very clear he is strategizing for the later rounds and not throwing in dividing votes early or trying to eliminate the strongest competitors physically. Aaron says to the camera, "Mother Hen: All your chicks in China are grown up," which is either a very inside joke we never heard about, or a very unusual and cryptic fortune cookie thing to say on camera. Either way, Aaron doesn't look any cooler for it. Finally, Jeff declares that it's getting interesting and they'll have to find each person's unique strength within the tribe. The problem is, seriously, what is Courtney good at? Being shockingly thin? She doesn't seem especially bright, she's physically weak, and her one on-air contribution seemed to be arguing for the crab broth when James caught the crab. Speaking of which, Courtney was backing up James in that conversation and seemed to be very friendly towards him. Is Todd bringing out the gossipy brat in her? Does she actually dig James? If she wins, will she get the tattoo "A million dollars & Some ass!" across her back? Will she be able to fit anything more than "A mil"? Only time will tell.

Until Next Time, Keep Your Fires Burnin',

Posted by jon on October 5, 2007 4:54 PM
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Did you notice on the immunity challenge that they froze the camera every time a competitor swung at the rope just at the point where the sword contacted the rope - never actually showing it cut through? Made me wonder - "What don't they want us to see?"

1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at October 7, 2007 9:07 AM

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