Survivor Gabon: “Nothing Tastes Better Than $500” - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Survivor Gabon: “Nothing Tastes Better Than $500”

November 22, 2008 by  


Summer Camp is a strange and awkward place for a kid. No matter the structure of the camp or the rationale used to determine who would attend, there is something necessarily cruel about subjecting adolescents to the devious and often crushing influence of their peers 24 hours a day. I was lucky enough to avoid the overnight camp experience, but my time at Western Communities Summer Day Camp produced a trail of tears that would haunt my nightmares and feed my therapist’s bank account for years to come. Had it not been for my kickball acumen, I may not have escaped intact. To my parents’ credit, I was extracted from the camp cycle before permanent damage was inflicted. Little did I know that a small gathering of Summer Camp alumni would gather in West Africa this year, and bring back a slew of old tricks to punish one another.

This week, the eight remaining Survivors traded jabs and pranks in a flurry of outlandish behavior that has become the backbone of reality television. Depending on your perspective, this episode was either the high point or low point of the Gabon saga.

Let’s take a quick peek at some of the more incomprehensible moments this week:

* Bob’s confession to Sugar that he was unable to locate the Immunity Idol at Exile Island, despite following every clue to its logical destination. Bob has been presented as the wise elder all season, yet he never considered that Sugar may have found the Idol after being banished five separate times.

* Corinne and Randy discuss strategy for building alliances while using empowering phrases like, “I hate these people.” Really? Can you really hate people who are on a game show with you? Do contestants on The Price is Right think to themselves, “If this bitch next to me gets to play Plinko, it’s on?”

* Sugar manipulates Randy in order to prevent him from enjoying his own chocolate chip cookie. This was a masterful strategic move, but it conjured up some unpleasant memories of eight year olds playing “Keepaway”

* Randy entered this episode as the most abrasive contender, but his consistent pattern of scornful comments and off-putting body language makes him the kid who throws a temper tantrum when he does not get his way. Poor form!

* Sugar’s parting speech to Randy: “You are a disgusting, old, hot-headed, chauvinistic, alcoholic bigot, and you need to grow up before you die alone….LOSER!”

* The practical joke for the ages at Tribal Council, as Randy was caught holding Bob’s imaginary Immunity Idol. The anticipation on Sugar’s face prior to Jeff Probst’s reveal was a piece of comedy for the ages.

Beyond the hijinks, the Survivor production staff put together two amazing highlights in this episode. First, Bob’s hike to a hilltop, in order to take in more of the beautiful landscapes of West Africa, was absolutely breathtaking. Though it was edited down to the size of a car commercial, the journey was a nice change of pace during an emotionally charged hour of television. Second, the immunity challenge layout, including a falling string of balance beams and an intricate domino design, was a testament to the first class team of professionals who package and produce this show.

I feel extremely guilty for saying this, especially considering my admonitions about the horrors of being subjected to destructive social behavior. This was BY FAR my favorite episode of the Gabon season. I have become the world’s biggest Sugar fan, despite the fact that she is the kind of person who would have been merciless to me as a child. Good riddance to Randy, who was given the sendoff that was necessary, considering the heavy dose of politically incorrect and borderline racist propaganda he spewed all season.

If you will excuse me, I have to go watch The Hills and Celebrity Rehab. This stuff is addictive, you know…

Let me know what you think, GMMR Tribe. Would you like to see Charlie & Marcus get their own segment after watching them during Tribal Council? Did Randy deserve to suffer that embarrassing exit? Is there someone left who you think is the dark horse favorite to win? Am I a bad person for rooting for Sugar? I will not put down my torch until you have spoken!

— 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.

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4 Responses to “Survivor Gabon: “Nothing Tastes Better Than $500””

  1. Caro B. on November 23rd, 2008 11:14 pm

    The tribal council in this episode was the BEST EVER!! I was laughing so hard when Chrystal was yelling during her vote so loud that everyone else at tribal council could hear her; and of course that Randy had set himself up for a big blindside, when he was in fact the victim. How he did not realize something was up just shows you how obtuse the boy really was. King of Gabon? I don’t think so ! 🙂

  2. Erik on November 23rd, 2008 11:42 pm

    Caro B: It was a fitting end for Randy the Racist, don’t you think? I completely forgot to include Crystal’s boisterous speech while submitting her vote. That was another spontaneous moment of comedic absurdity that propelled this episode to the top shelf of Survivor lore.

  3. Caro B. on November 27th, 2008 10:54 pm

    Erik: Absolutely ! I am so happy to see that boy gone. It was too bad that he had to show up again on the highlights episode this week. Now it’s time to see who plays it smart to the end game. The highlights and “never before seen footage” episode is always the beginning of the roller coaster ride to the finale. 🙂

  4. Erik on November 30th, 2008 1:48 am

    Caro B: I thought the highlights episode was a fantastic summary of the season to date. The extra scenes around camp fit under the “deleted scenes” heading that you normally see on film DVDs. I can see why they weren’t included in the original episodes, for purposes of time, but they helped develop the character arcs of the remaining Survivors.

    I am looking forward to the final run of episodes. If you had asked me after the first three weeks, I could not have said that with any enthusiasm. Is there always that dramatic lull as they narrow the numbers down to a more manageable cast? I am curious how that portion of the game could be enhanced in future seasons…