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Survivor China: Week 10 -- Eden Was A Nice Idea

It's week 10, there are five of one team left and 2 of the other. They are all together in one camp, and somehow, Peih-Gee and Erik are still around. Anyone who's seen Survivor before will tell you that not everything is business as usual. SOMEONE is going to make a move.

After THREE WEEKS of making us all wait at damn Tribal Council to see what's up, we come to find out that it's only an additional Reward Challenge. It's a big one though-- a plane flight to a Shaolin Temple that very few people in the entire world have been able to see. For reasons beyond anything I can think of, they apparently decided to let CBS's SURVIVOR GAME SHOW take a sneak peak! Whatever.

The Reward Challenge is to answer 5 questions about China. Pretty basic. The first question, Todd, James, Peih-Gee, and Denise all get the first question right about whether or not the abacus was invented in China (it was). Next, everybody gets the question right. The next one everybody gets right except for Denise. On the fourth question, everyone except for Amanda gets it right, meaning that Peih-Gee, James and Todd all have four. The next question is about what a red letter in China means, and the answer is money. Peih-Gee looked like she knew it and DID, so she FINALLY wins a reward challenge. I don't like Peih-Gee, but I'm totally for her finally getting to do something interesting and cultural during her time there, which is what she was so excited about. Plus, she chooses Denise and Erik to go with her, so thankfully Courtney doesn't get to go enjoy any once-in-a-lifetime cultural opportunities that she scorned the very first day she was there and acted snotty at the temple.

Denise is excited about getting to go, especially because she has a near black belt in karate after taking classes for eight years, but she's also nervous about leaving camp and wisely so. She knows that sometimes you leave camp and don't ever really get back. After they leave, James, Todd, Amanda, and Courtney are talking about how much they being alone at camp together, and realize that it's a preview of 9 days from now (Todd's words). Everyone kinda smiles, but it's clear that Amanda and Courtney aren't really as psyched about it. James keeps professing that everybody just has to keep things straight and not eat that apple. Eve ate the apple and they all got kicked out of Eden, now they all need to just not eat the damn apple. Easier said than done.

Peih-Gee tries to talk Denise to flip, and she's not buyin' it. They get to the temple after a small plane flight with nuts and champagne, and it's incredible. They watch an amazing Kung Fu demonstration and Denise gets to break out her moves for the children's group. She's on cloud nine. They all get to sleep on nice cots.

Meanwhile, the four back at camp are huddled in a small cave while it pours outside. They aren't feeling it and Todd's losing it a little with all the rain and 29 days on the island. The others return and Peih-Gee starts talking about all the things they did and ate, prompting Courtney to aside to us that, "The cave is my happy place right now. No TALKING in the cave!" The next morning, Courtney wakes up and announces, "I'm over the bamboo," in regards to her bed. I'm totally lovin' Courtney now-- she's gone into that 28 Days Later space where people start saying more hilarious stuff and eventually try and eat their opponents. Before they go to Immunity Challenge, Amanda brings up the idea of blindsiding James to Courtney and she's for it (of course she is, she hasn't made one decision all game and there's no reason for her to still be playing other than to lose in the final two). Todd isn't psyched about it, but he and Denise also agree they could be down for it. Peih-Gee tries to sway Amanda into something, but Amanda tells her to just not say anything and it'll work out for her. James has two immunity idols, but what good are they hidden away?


Throwing stars. Targets with points on them. 3 Stars each, top three point getters move onto next round. They will then throw one star each and whoever gets the most wins.

Peih-Gee goes first and misses all three throws. Todd follows and hits his third throw for 3 pts. Erik quickly puts him in second by hitting his first and third throws for a total of 6 pts. Courtney follows up with a surprising 3 hits (3, 2, 1) and ends up with 6 pts as well. James hits two three's for 6pts, tying a lot of other people. Amanda scores 6 as well and Denise only can manage 2. The final FOUR go to the next round: Erik, Courtney, James, Amanda-- one throw each. With the target ten feet back, Erik hits for 3 pts. Courtney misses, and Amanda hits for 2. James has to hit 3 or it's up to his Spidey sense to use an immunity idol of his own. And. He. Misses. Dammit.

WIth everyone voting for James except Peih-Gee who's voting for Todd in case James uses his idol, it's up to James to save himself. James is wary which is a good sign for him (and for me, who's obviously into James' game), and he's gonna bring the idols to tribal just in case. He listens at tribal council and his face registers a little concern. Denise even says that you can't trust anyone because all of a sudden four of your teammates might bring up voting you out. Since James didn't hear anything about that in the last day or two, he might want to assume that it happened about HIM. And the votes are cast.

Jeff asks whether or not anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. James waits. And waits. And-- DOESN'T play one of his two idols. The votes come out and Peih-Gee gets one (from James), and Todd gets one (from Peih-Gee), but it's all James from that point out. He hangs his head, shocked, furious with himself, and possibly on the verge of breaking down. He spent so much time worrying about keeping the group together that he didn't act as if maybe they wouldn't. His eye was so much on the ball that he didn't see them switching goals (yeah, I'm bringin' in the soccer metaphor). Without saying anything, he got up, lost his flame, and left.

Afterwards, James confides to the camera that he, "Caught a feeling, but didn't do anything about it." Which brings up the old a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush proverb. Only James had two in the hand. So is that four in the bush? Regardless, he left em in the bush is what I'm trying to say, and if he had just gone with his instincts he would have been safe and the whole game would have been shaken up. But he didn't, and the tribe he spent so much effort trying to keep together from eating the apple, ate it, and threw James out of Eden. "I can't be mad at them, it's a game," James says, proving that he really is a great guy, a great player, and one of the few people who is able to understand the social situation in perspective with life. We'll see this guy again on All-Stars 2. Until then, we can watch him dominate the jury and see what he says at the final two. Goodbye James.

Until Next Time, Keep Your Fire Burnin',

Posted by jon on November 30, 2007 4:16 PM
Permalink |

1) I'm not so sure James is all that great a guy. He's made some pretty sexist statements and acted churlish (especially toward Peih-Gee) at times lately. He found NO immunity idols, rather was handed them by Todd-the-stupid, and apparently never considered giving one of them back to Todd out of gratitude.

2) Nobody covered themselves with glory in this episode. Todd/Amanda, engineering the James coup, apparently gave no thought to "What happens if James DOES play the HII?" Had Erik cooperated wityh Peih Gee (as he should have, Eric-the-stupid) then a HII play by James would have sent Todd home. Or, as in the event, there would have been some kind of tie-breaker between Todd and Peih Gee. How's your fire-making skillz, Todd?

3) Peih Gee was at least smart enough to take a hint and shut up to allow the power play to play out, and crafted a correct strategy to take advantage of it, if Erik-the-stupid had gone along.

4) With only three more opportunities to use the HII and two idols in hand, James should have used it this week, hoping to win individual immunity in one of the two remaining weeks, which would have meant a guaranteed cruise into final 5 and a very strong chance of final 4. Instead he (the biggest threat to everybody else) depends, Blanche DuBois-like, on the kindness of strangers, each of whom is also trying to win a million bucks.

Interesting times. (Which is *not*, whatever you may have heard, an old Chinese curse.)

1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at November 30, 2007 5:41 PM

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