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SURVIVOR: The Camp is Cursed

October 17, 2008 by  

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this season of Survivor is beginning to sound like a broken record. After a timely redrafting of tribes provided fresh tension last week, viewers were led back to the path of predictability. Ironically, this unscripted reality show has begun to suffer from the repetition common in traditional sitcoms that have outlived their welcome.Since I would like to see Survivor shake things up, I will do the same with a new format for this recap. On the heels of last night’s Red Sox victory [GMMR: Woo to the Hoo!!], I am choosing to liberally borrow from The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, and pass along the real time notes I was taking as the episode unfolded.

Segment One:

  • The Fang tribe is struggling after last week’s Tribal Council, and Ace is feeling compromised after Jacquie’s elimination. Is it possible that no one but Ace has a strategy to win this season? Everyone else appears either fatigued or uninterested. Of course, this means Ace is a villain.
  • Sugar returned to Fang from her second stay at the Sugar Shack, and promptly told her colleagues that she had chosen the “comfort” option on Exile Island. Does anyone with an IQ above 45 think she doesn’t have the Immunity Idol?

Segment Two:

  • The Kota team appears for thirty seconds in order to show off an electrified catfish that weigh three ounces and to demonstrate how well they are eating. Done and done.
  • An elephant appears close to the Fang camp, and I spend the entire segment hoping it will charge the kayak containing Ace and Matty. It feels like a stampede would be good for ratings.
  • The Reward Challenge consisted of a glorified egg toss using jungle fruit of all shapes and sizes. What is Kota’s prize for winning this exciting event? An herb garden. Really? They bust their butt for great prize, and all they win is the ability to grow parsley or thyme? Oh, and Kota also gets to keep the broken pieces of fruit that have been sullied with West African dirt. Save me a piece of the rabid watermelon, please.
  • Kota chooses to send Sugar back to Exile Island for a third time. I am sure this was a great strategic move, but since Fang has absolutely zero compelling human beings outside of the pinup girl, this was a disappointing development. Should this happen again, I am calling George Mitchell to investigate.

Segment 3:

  • Another token appearance by the Kota group, with Charlie expressing some sympathy for Fang’s lack of food and Marcus looking concerned over Dan’s positive attitude. This is the definition of being poor winners.
  • Sugar is eating and sleeping. Despite her smile, could you blame her for getting a complex about being sent to isolation for all this time? I feel like she will return from West Africa with a legitimate need for therapy.
  • G.C. and Crystal argue about eating rice, and Ace begins celebrating the inevitable implosion of the original Fang alliance. At this point, I would not be surprised if Ace were given the last name Luthor to go along with his bald and devious ways.

Segment 4:

  • Day 15 at Fang, and the mood is grim. G.C. takes the kayak out for a spiritual journey, and his teammates worry that he has disappeared. The American viewing audience is not that lucky. If this show were scripted, G.C. would have been capsized by a hippo.
  • The Immunity Challenge is inspired by PLINKO from the Price is Right! Kota wins Immunity. Surprisingly, the victory comes at Ace’s expense, as he is duped by Randy into allowing the winning goal to pass by. Since Ace is a bigger villain than Dick Cheney or Darth Vader, he blames Sugar for the loss.

Segment 5:

  • G.C. informs the Fang Gang that he is ready to go home, leaving the remainder of this episode absolutely meaningless for people who hate spoiler alerts.
  • Ace and Sugar talk strategy in the hippo lake, while the rest of the tribe invades Sugar’s privacy to locate her Immunity Idol. Shouldn’t there be a rule against this?
  • The pointless Tribal Council discussion centers around G.C.’s disinterest in the game and Sugar’s Immunity strategy. Meanwhile, I have never looked forward to a new episode of The Office this much since Casino Night.
  • G.C. goes home, and I am left wondering if this will continue to be the Ace and Sugar show until the finale.
  • It just occurred to me that the tribe has already spoken for five Survivors, and there are still people on the Kota team whose names I have to look up online. If I never get to know someone enough to root for them, what am I looking forward to?

Am I the only one who wants to know more about the contestants? What did you think of the challenges this week? Will the strategic quality improve with G.C. out of the game? Will Charlie ever wash his shoulder after Marcus ate a piece of fruit off of it? Who is your pick to win this season?

— posted by Erik

How does Erik stay grounded from his luxurious life as a substitute teacher? He keeps it real with ALF DVDs & Fantasy Football. On weekends, the GMMR HOUSE & SURVIVOR guru spends quiet time imploring the TV gods to bring back Sports Night & Ed. Erik resides in South Florida and spends his summers following Dave Matthews Band.


2 Responses to “SURVIVOR: The Camp is Cursed”

  1. Andy on October 17th, 2008 12:10 pm

    This season is kind of turning into Palau where we won’t ever really get to know one tribe, like Koror back then. I don’t feel like we really know who anybody, besides Randy, is on Kota.

  2. Erik on October 19th, 2008 2:18 am

    Andy: I really do feel strongly that viewers are being denied the emotional attachment needed to come back week after week. If Survivor was eligible for Emmys for acting, Ace & Sugar are the only characters prominent enough to be considered leads, with Randy & G.C. (prior to elimination) as the only supporting characters. The rest would literally only be seen as guest stars, since no one else gets any screen time.

    Prior to the Gabon premiere, a major article written by either EW or MSNBC revealed that only 1 of the 18 cast members for this season came from traditional applications. The rest were recruited by casting agents and other talent services. At the risk of criticizing complete strangers, is there any evidence that they knew what they were doing? At this point, I would start picking names out of a hat for the next season. It could not turn out more bland than this bunch.