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Guest Post: Survivor – Ep 5 – Yes Denise, You Are Cursed!

Another great recap from JStar on this week’s Survivor episode – over to you JStar:

Episode 5:  Yes Denise, You Are Cursed!

Previously on Survivor: Breaking Dawn Part II, Bella-Latina decided to become a truly obnoxious person on the Tandang Yellow Tribe so she could get more airtime – [hey, it worked for Snooki on Jersey Shore!].  Bella-Latina teamed up with Team Jacob to hatch a plan to take down Cotton Wool and RC at the next opportunity.  Over at the Kalabaw Red Tribe, One World rears its unwelcome head in the game again.  Penner, Jeff, and Team Edward made a pact to get rid of the cooties-infected girls on the tribe.  However little did they know that the new Spice Girls are not going to go down quietly.  And it was business as usual at the sucky Matsing Blue Tribe as they lost their fourth consecutive immunity challenge.  Despite Denise and Malcolm being tempted by the off-camera producers with an incredible bribe – (the location of where the late former President Ferdinand Marcos stashed the billions he stole from the Philippines) – the two of them held firm and voted out the first returning player from the game, Russell, on Night 10.

Night 10 and Malcolm and Denise make their way back to their pitiful shelter after Tribal Council.  They have not won any tarp and it is pouring with rain.  Denise spies a shivering Malcolm giving a confessional.  Despite being a sex therapist in real life, she flat out refuses to engage in any cougar-like behaviour and spoon with Malcolm overnight.  [Denise, do you really hope to see an increase for your business after this show ends if you are only able to give theoretical advice rather than any practical pointers?]  That leaves Malcolm having to shiver himself to sleep with the regrets of having voted out his perky pillow/hot water bottle at the third Tribal Council.  Both Denise and Malcolm are praying that there is a merge soon because the patheticness of Matsing cannot continue.  Can it?  Cut to quick intro.

Day 11 and it is still raining and miserable.  We are still with the Matsing tribe.  However, it appears that the next challenge is a separate Reward Challenge.  Denise and Malcolm are hopeful that this perhaps signals a tribal switch-up.  But right now, there are more important things to do such as read the new treemail message composed by an obnoxious former contestant who spent the last season’s finale flogging her new single on iTunes.

Dear Matsing.  You suck.  You suck more than Christina did in forming alliances last season.  I just want to come over and smash you in the face.  No!  You STFU now and don’t talk back to me.  You two suck more than Tarzan’s attempts to convince the viewers he was really a woman when he appeared in drag.  You two suck more than Colton’s attempts at coordination in throwing a ball overarm.  Your only hope is to find the location of the hidden immunity idol.  Here’s a clue.  Think…..Moe Man Spice.  Now start looking bitches!  XOXO!  Bully Spice.

Moe Man Spice?  What does that mean?  Such a deliberately vague clue.  Denise talks outloud to Malcolm, trying to systematically work out the clue in a logical fashion.  Hmm….Moe Man had a hairy lip and she found the hidden immunity idol and promptly shoved it out of sight next to her lady parts.  “Eureka!” Denise shouts out.  “The idol must be in the bushes….I mean, in the forest!”  [Once a sex therapist, always a sex therapist].  So a fruitless search is done digging around trees but Malcolm isn’t convinced that the idol would be hidden so far from camp.  He says it has to have been at the camp all along waiting for the tribe when everyone first landed on the beach.  So Denise and Malcolm walk over to the rice basket, toss the lid on the ground and begin to forensically examine the rice basket and the contents inside.  Nothing.  They are completely baffled.  Whilst he was staring at the ground at the coconuts lying next to the rice lid, Malcolm suddenly gets a light-bulb moment.  Perhaps it was the ghost of Angie sending him a message from beyond the grave but Malcolm picks up the machete and chisels the handle off the rice lid.  He has found the hidden immunity idol.  Both he and Denise cheer.  Finally a “win” for Matsing.  They celebrate by dancing and tickling each other’s palms.  Malcolm knows that he will be able to use the idol as leverage going forth in the game.  Denise says in her confessional that if there is an upcoming tribal switch and she ends up on the same team as Malcolm, the idol will be very important.  However, if they end up on opposite tribes or there is no merge and they lose the next immunity challenge, she is toast.  Commercial break time!

We return to an open clearing and it is Reward Challenge time.  Cotton Wool is shocked to see that the sucky Matsing Tribe clearly do not hold returning players in the same high regard as he sees himself when it is revealed that Russell was voted out last night.  Meanwhile Jeff is ecstatic that a veteran has been voted out.  Because this is a family show and he cannot pull out a cigar and smoke it to celebrate, he instead whips out a bamboo toothpick and chews on it triumphantly.

Dimples asks Blair to do some non-Christian smack-talking about whether or not she would characterise Matsing as still a tribe or just two separate individuals competing, but Blair doesn’t take the bait.  Dimples has turned up to the challenge in his white cargo shorts and a black cargo shirt (with the top-two buttons naturally undone).  It is cold and wet and he is not prepared to put up with the elements any longer than he has to.  He turns to Malcolm and Denise tells them to drop his/her buff as Matsing is no more.  One of them will be joining Kalabaw, the other Tandang.  Malcolm spits into his buff before he throws it on the ground and Denise has to practically stop him for peeing all over it as well.  Yes, sucky Matsing has been consigned to the trash heap.  Dimples tosses Malcolm a bag holding two buffs wrapped in a brown cloth.  Everyone from Kalabaw and Tandang are looking on nervously, praying that Malcolm chooses the right colour.  Jeff Kent in particular is chewing furiously on that toothpick.  Malcolm offers to trade his choice with Denise’s but she says she is happy with her choice.  The cloths are unravelled and it is revealed that Malcolm had chosen the yellow buff.  Cheers of jubilation from Tandang as Malcolm gets hugs from everyone when he scoots over to the tribe.  Denise whoops and cheers it up when she reveals her red buff.  Kalabaw politely applauds through gritted teeth.  She gets a big welcome hug from Penner until he is reminded that girls have cooties.  Naturally, Dawson, Dana, and Katie all are excited to have a potential new Spice Girl member to help rule this tribe.

Sick and tired of Dawson and Bella-Latina constantly sitting out of challenges, today’s Reward Challenge will involve contestants competing one-on-one in a mud wrestling ring.  Immediately Katie is nominated as the most likely champion because as a former Miss Delaware, she loves to do mud-wrestling on the side in her hot red bikini.  But unfortunately there is no mud-wrestling involved in this challenge which disappoints all the male viewers.  However, Dimples promises to make sexually suggestive comments that will hopefully make it past the censors for this challenge.  Holding a paddle with an idol sitting on top, the contestants have to knock over their opponent’s idol to the ground first to score a point.  First to five wins the reward.  And what is the reward?  Instant coffee, muffins, and cookies (from somewhere in Losers Lodge watching a live feed of this show, Angie can be heard crying).  It is worth noting that there is a shot of Dana’s reaction after the food is revealed.  She looks as pale as a ghost and about to collapse – [more on that later].  Time to strategise on match-ups.

First match-up is Malcolm and Toothpick Jeff.  Chalk a win up to Toothpick Jeff.  The next match-up is clearly unfair.  Silent Artis vs Dana.  Artis has the clear reach advantage and it shows as he just reaches around Dana’s shoulder to knock off her idol.  Scores are tied.  Dana goes back to her tribe and is shown keeling over.  Next match-up is Blair vs Katie.  There is a lot of psyching each other going.  But once again Katie’s experience in mud wrestling in her hot red bikini prevails as she reaches in and knocks Lisa’s idol to the ground.  Kalabaw leads 2-1.  The next match up is the battle of the remaining veterans: Cotton Wool vs Penner.  Cotton Wool has the height advantage and he walks right up to Penner tosses his idol high up in the air and lunges at Penner’s idol.  Penner’s idol hits the ground first.  Scores are tied.  Great strategy from Cotton Wool.  [Off camera, we spy Mark Burnett firing the idiot who came up with this challenge and not have foreseen how the contestants could exploit a loophole in the rules.]  Next match-up is GC and her leopard-print bikini vs Denise.  GC has the clear height advantage but Denise was studying pointers from Cotton Wool.  As the two women approach each other, Denise throws her idol high up in the air and dives for RC’s idol.  RC’s idol hits the ground first and Kalabaw now leads 3-2.  RC is sent to the naughty corner as no hot chick on Survivor should be losing in a challenge featured in a mud-wrestling ring.

To welcome the new Twilight movie to cinemas, we have the obligatory match-up between Team Jacob and Team Edward in shirtless glory.  [It is in the Survivor contract that stipulates that any challenges involving mud must be performed shirtless by the men and in full-revealing bikinis by the hot younger women].  There’s a lot of sizing each other up by the two studs but in the end, Team Jacob flexes his pecs, which distracts skinny Team Edward long enough for Jacob to knock off his idol.  Scores are even again.  So far, Dimples has been unusually “clean” in his statements and analogies as there have been zero, I repeat, zero sexually-suggestive statements thus far.  Thank god for Penner and his motormouth.  Next match-up is the battle between the two sitter-out-of-challenges: Bella-Latina vs Dawson in her hot-pink glory.  Penner yells out for Dawson to send Bella-Latina “up Dawson’s creek.”  Got to love Penner!  Dawson, being the taller contestant, reaches in and pulls Bella-Latina’s hair (which raises cheers from GC).  Unfortunately she gets distracted and Bella-Latina someone manages to knock off Dawson’s idol first.  Tandang leads 4-3.  However, Bella-Latina is not in a happy mood (is she ever happy?)  She bitches to Dimples that Dawson pulled her hair.  Dawson apologises for her gameplay.  Bella-Latina graciously accepts the apology by telling Dawson to “play like a man, don’t play like a bitch.”  Everyone is a bit lost for words after hearing that barb.  We revert back to the first match-up between Malcolm and Toothpick Jeff.  There is a lot of fake-outs and sussing of each other’s moves.  In the end, Malcolm throws his idol in the air and dives and knocks Jeff’s idol to the ground first.  Tandang wins the reward and Malcolm is feted as a hero.  Tandang celebrate loudly and the camera spies Dana doing her best to not vomit in front of everyone.  Malcolm tells Dimples that he is so excited to be on a much better tribe and he gets to have sugar today.  Dimples points out that Denise has now lost five straight challenges and she does her best NOT to tell Dimples to F-off.  She diplomatically says it is still a win for her as she has a new family.  We head off to the commercial break where we hear from Penner saying that whilst he likes Denise, he would prefer to have had Malcolm due to the physical advantage he brings.

We return back to the Tandang beach where a yellow snake slithers away past our screen.  [Animal rights activist should be complaining because everytime there is an animal shown on the Tandang tribe, it is always yellow.  Do the producers dip the animals in paint before setting them back loose in the wild?]  Malcolm is so excited as the shelter at Tandang is so much better than at sucky Matsing.  Everyone is gorging on muffins and cookies and feeding poor Malcolm as he hasn’t eaten anything but rice and a pair of coconuts.  Blair is excited to have Malcolm because he is so positive and doesn’t bring the negative vibes to the camp – [cough, cough, Bella-Latina].  Unfortunately for RC and Michael, they aren’t seated near Malcolm in the shelter.  Team Jacob is sitting next to Malcolm and they immediately commence what may be a long-lasting bromance in this game.

Because Angie was so unceremoniously dumped in the third episode, RC has agreed to step-up to the plate and give all her confessionals in her hot leopard-print bikini to fill out the sexy-shots quota necessary for each episode.  But now with only two tribes, it is not enough for RC to sit and pose in her bikini.  Her confessionals must be overlayed to a montage of her frolicking and swimming around (for no particular reason) in the beach whilst the cameras zoom in on her impressive bikini figure.  She explains that ever since Bella-Latina’s blow-up last episode using her “inside voice,” RC and Michael have been ostracised by the other four members.  They know they are on the chopping block.  She was hoping to get to Malcolm first but was disheartened to see that Team Jacob had bonded so quickly with Malcolm over their common interest in abdominal muscle workouts.  She feels like Tandang is like school where she was bullied.  But she didn’t come all the way to the Philippines to starve and not put up a fight.  She vows to sway Malcolm over to her side using the tried and tested method that all hot chicks on Survivor (and probably in real life) use.  The “T & A” attack.  That’s “Tits and Arse” attack – Parvati and Amanda perfected that strategy.  So for RC that involves her sauntering about Malcolm in her bikini and hugging him at every opportunity.  Who knows?  This might work as we all know Malcolm needs a comfortable pillow to sleep on at night.

Everyone is impressed that Malcolm can start a fire so easily.  He confesses that he feels like the superstar athlete going to a new school where everyone wants to be his best friend.  Particularly Team Jacob it seems.  Team Jacob courts Malcolm with his dance of the Survivor Bromance.  He pulls Malcolm aside and tells him that he really wants to team up with him.  He warns him about siding with RC and Cotton Wool.  He says that he wants to get rid of Michael first because he is so stupid and constantly injures himself and also that he bores everyone on the tribe (except for Blair) with his bible-bashing stories.  Now that Malcolm is on the tribe, it makes it easier for Pete to get rid of Cotton Wool as Malcolm is Cotton’s wool equal (at least) in challenges.  Yes Team Jacob is arrogant but he showed us in the last episode that he is smart to orchestrate the division between Bella-Latina and RC so as to control the votes in a new majority alliance.  But all that intelligence must have been fleeting as Team Jacob tells Malcolm that he has the idol.  Why would you tell someone you don’t know that you have the idol?  Malcolm is just loving receiving this information as he has an idol himself and he hopes Team Jacob will use his idol (actually Bella-Latina’s idol) to save him in the future.

We go across to the other tribe only to be welcomed by sombre music and shots of dark clouds approaching.  It is pouring with rain so everyone has to stay under the shelter today.  Denise is given the best welcome she could possibly hope for short of instant coffee, muffins, and cookies.  She knows immediately that she is marked for elimination and she has to try and prove her worth quickly in this tribe.  Because Katie has agreed to fill in for the sexy-shots quota by wearing her hot red bikini during confessionals whenever Kalabaw is featured, she explains that whilst everyone else wanted Malcolm, she wanted Denise to pull the red buff.  She knows that having a woman on the tribe would be easier to convince to join the new Spice Girls alliance and take out the men.

Thanks to GC’s and Katie’s starring role in having confessionals in bikinis, the sexy-shots quota for Day 11 has been filled and no other content for the rest of the day was worth showing.  It is now Day 12 and it is raining heavily and everyone is sitting bored in the shelter.  The cello music starts in the background which signals someone is about to die – figuratively that is.  The camera zooms in on Dana who looks very unwell.  We get to see her confessional where she explains she woke up this morning and felt extremely dizzy, nauseous, and dehydrated and starting feeling sharp pains in her stomach.  We then see Dana leap out of the shelter and run to the nearby cave awning to puke her guts out.  She dissolves into tears as the rain pours down around her.  [One thing that struck me watching Dana’s confessional is that her hair is standing up, all pointy, with product in it.  She also looks better in her confessional.  Clearly the confessional was shot some time after the events that we are currently viewing.]  Penner notes that the constant rain has taken its told.  He is a big fat guy so he has extra lard to spare to get him to Day 39, but Dana is no bigger than his little finger.  Dana returns back to camp soaking and miserable.  She looks terrible.  Because Penner has form in this episode with making comments that sound really sexual when taken out of context, he tells her to get naked and out of those wet clothes whilst under the blanket.  The rest of the tribe will help warm her up.  And later, he tells her to put her face on his lap.

Dawson notes that Dana is extremely feverish.  Penner comments that her body is shutting down and she needs medical attention.  Because we have not heard a word from Team Edward this episode (like every other episode), I can only assume that he went and dialled Triple 0 on the mobile to be patched through to a doctor.  As Survivor fans know, when medical is called upon, the assessment is made by “qualified” professionals who have spent years studying for a medical degree.  The boat arrives and who gets out of the boat?  The one person who is capable of making medical diagnoses for Survivor contestants – Dr Dimples.  He is too cool to wear a white coat because it is pouring down with rain.  He attends camp in his grey raincoat but still wearing his white baseball cap with this year’s logo emblazoned on the front – [available at all good Survivor gift shops].  Dawson admits later that she was so excited to see Dimples that if it wasn’t for Dana’s illness, she would have jumped on him and rode him like a pony express to Nashville.  Dr Dimples encourages Dana to appear from under the blanket and she looks deathly pale.  She is crying and the cello music in the background gradually grows louder.

Dr Dimples deemed it medically-wise to drag Dana into a clearing to lie on the filthy ground whilst the rain pours down on her, rather than have her assessed by the “non-qualified” medic under a tarp and out of the rain.  Joe, the “unqualified medic” with a British accent assesses Dana’s stomach as she is feeling stabbing pains in that area.  Dr Dimples explains to her that it sounds like she may have been struck down with the case of “appendix-bad-thingy” that afflicted Colton last season.  Dana is horrified to have been diagnosed by this dreaded “appendix-bad-thingy.”  [From her loungeroom watching at home, Dumb Kat from last season completely freaks out that she may have now caught “appendix-bad-thingy” even from the supposedly safe distance of watching the show on television].  The “unqualified” Joe tells Dana that he is not sure if the pain she is feeling is from an infection.  Dr Dimples then translates this to Dana by telling her that he is not sure if the pain she is feeling in her stomach is from an infection.  Knowing that he has Dana’s best health interests at heart, Dr Dimples asks the “unqualified” Joe if Dana can still continue playing Survivor.  “Unqualified” Joe says that Dana can medically be left unattended for another twelve hours to determine how badly she will deteriorate further before he can make another “unqualified” prognosis on her health.  Because “unqualified” Joe is using such confusing jargon such as “abandonment” and “suck it up princess,” Dr Dimples translates to a crying Dana that his medical diagnosis is that because she is not at risk of “appendix-bad-thingy” she can choose to continue suffering in pain for the next twelve hours whilst drenched by the rain, or she can choose to be medically evacuated now.  It is up to her.  What will Dana choose as she lays crying on the ground and we cut to a commercial break?  Anyone who paid attention to the fact that her earlier confessional showed a spiky-haired Dana with colour back on her skin will know what her choice was.

We come back from the commercial break to find out what Dana chose to do.  With the rain pouring down on her, the strongest female member (pre-Denise’s arrival) says the pain is too much for her.  Dr Dimples asks her to clarify one last time if she wants to quit and seek much needed medical attention in a hospital or not.  Dana cries and tells her she can’t continue with the game.  Because Dr Dimples hates quitters – (as we know the unstated rule on Survivor is that women can only quit whilst men can only be medically evacuated) – he prolongs her distress by asking if she wants to get up and tell her tribemates the news back at the shelter or get them to come over to say goodbye to her.  Because Dana cannot move, Dr Dimples sends the “unqualified” Joe to fetch the rest of the Kalabaw tribe.  Dr Dimples doesn’t want to appear like a heartless prick in front of the tribe so he chooses to now remove his raincoat to cover a shivering Dana who is lying motionless on the ground.  His “chivalrous” act is timed to be witnessed by the concerned Kalabaw tribe who crowd around them.  Everyone is upset that Dana had to make the decision to leave on medical grounds.  She is crying uncontrollably.  Penner empathises with Dana saying he knows how it feels to be medically evacuated and that he is sorry she got sick.  Everyone tries to hug and give her support and tells her that she made the right decision.  They give her a sad goodbye as Dana has to be physically helped by Dr Dimples just to get on to the boat.  With that, Kalabaw is now down to six members.  Katie says in her confessional that game-wise, she knows that she and Dawson are in big trouble now.

Checking the exit interviews on the internet, Dana explains she was diagnosed with dehydration.  It was medically-sound for her to leave the game.  She also explained that she was sick from Day 1 but kept it hidden from Kalabaw by volunteering to do overnight duties in tending to the fire as it afforded her the luxury of vomiting in peace.  Over time, her body gradually became unable to retain any food or fluids.  She spent four days in hospital in recovery.  She also explained that she was shocked to find out later that Toothpick Jeff, whom she bonded closely on Survivor, was a retired professional baseballer who donated money to anti-gay marriage causes.  I guess being a proud lesbian means Dana only followed hockey or cricket, hence her ignorance about Jeff’s former career.  And those out of context, sexually suggestive comments above from Penner was totally wasted on her.  She did confirm that Denise was on board with forming an all-girl alliance and that the first boot would have been Team Edward because everyone knew Penner had the idol.  So with Dana having left the game, let’s see how that plan continues now that is back to 3 guys vs 3 girls on Kalabaw.

Day 13 and it is Immunity Challenge time.  The Tandang tribe immediately notices that Dana is no longer part of the Kalabaw tribe.  Dimples, now wearing his favourite light-blue cargo shirt with the missing top two buttons, explains that Dana quit was medically evacuated yesterday.  As Dimples takes back the two immunity idols, a big black flying insect appears out of nowhere to attack Team Jacob and RC.  Dimples tells them that only one immunity idol is now up for play.  Today’s challenge will involve each team getting through a series of obstacle courses (deep muddy ditch, climbing nets, etc.) to reach a drawbridge.  After releasing the bridge, one person from the tribe has to chop through a block of wood to cut the rope underneath to release bamboo puzzle pieces.  After collecting only the puzzle pieces with letters on them, two members of the tribe will have to solve the word puzzle to win immunity for the team.  Because Tandang has one extra member, one person has to sit out.  Hmm….I wonder who that will be?  The time it took me to type that last sentence was the time it took for Bella-Latina to volunteer yet again to sit out on another challenge.  Gee, Sandra and Courtney’s record of not competing in challenges during Heroes vs Villains is now under serious threat.  Dimples (clearly not happy at being snubbed for an Emmy nomination) takes the chance to highlight to everyone that Bella-Latina has only competed in two out of six challenges thus far.

All the contestants are at the top of a major wooden incline when the challenge begins.  Due to his embarrassing hurdling performance at the previous immunity challenge, Team Edward redeems himself by racing down the incline then taking a flying leap to clear the muddy ditch.  [Guess this track coach prefers the long jump over the hurdles].  Tandang, being the physically stronger team, clears the ditch and muddy incline first – practically throwing Blair over the muddy incline.  Kalabaw is slowed down by Katie as she didn’t want to get her pretty face all dirty because the producers were not using cosmetic-grade facial mud.  She struggles to get up the incline and needs both Penner and Toothpick Jeff to drag her up and over it.  Tandang has a huge lead and easily climb over the nets to reach the drawbridge where RC and Artis are hoisted up to untie the top-tiered ropes.  Dimples continues to hammer Katie for slowing Kalabaw down as she struggles to climb over the nets.  [It would be interesting to view the earlier seasons of Survivor as I certainly don’t remember Dimples being so vocal at highlighting contestants’ sucky performances during challenges.]  Kalabaw finally reach the drawbridge and it is Team Edward and Denise who are hoisted up to untie the upper-tiered ropes.  RC (rocking in her leopard-print bikini AND knee-high brown socks) and Artis finally untie the upper-levelled ropes and everyone on Tandang work on untying the lower-tiered ropes.  Over at Kalabaw, both Denise and Team Edward make up a lot of ground and soon Kalabaw just have to untie its lower-tiered ropes.  But Tandang manages to untie all its rope first and the drawbridge lowers and Malcolm is chosen to chop through the wood to cut the rope.  Tandang has fallen further behind and once again, Dimples chooses to highlight the fact that Tandang is last because of Katie’s poor performance.  [Seriously Dimples!  You’re a host not a participant.  Lay off her!  If you really want your Emmy nomination so bad, do what the other networks have done and bribe the Academy with strippers and chocolates.]

Finally Tandang manage to untie all the ropes and the drawbridge lowers but Malcolm has chopped like an axe-murderer and soon the rope lowers and releases Tandang’s bamboo puzzle pieces.  Tandang scramble to find the 19 bamboo pieces with letters on them that forms a five-word sentence.  Toothpick Jeff is chosen to chop through the wood but after a promising start, slows down.  Penner takes over and is a maniac with the axe.  Splinters of wood are flying everywhere as Penner quickly cuts through the wood and the rope underneath to release the bamboo pieces.  As Tandang finally gathered all nineteen bamboo pieces to begin solving the puzzle, Dimples yet again mentions that Kalabaw is so far behind due to Katie’s poor performance.  [Give it a rest Dr Dimples!  I think she feels bad enough for her sucky performance without you having to remind everyone about it every three seconds!]  Team Jacob and Blair have been chosen to solve the puzzle for Tandang.  RC, having been hoisted on Cotton Wool’s shoulders, is yelling out suggestions.  Kalabaw quickly gather the nineteen-lettered bamboo pieces and it is Penner who is called upon to solve another puzzle for Kalabaw.  He is assisted in Dawson and both of them work frantically to try and make up a lot of time.  Toothpick Jeff has hoisted Denise on his shoulder and she is shouting out hints from the back line.  There is a lot of tension and to cut through that, Dimples points out that if Tandang win, they will be ahead by two members.  He also makes another back-handed sneer towards Bella-Latina by pointing out that everyone is helping out on the challenge except for Bella-Latina who is yet again choosing to sit-out.  [Dimples must have gotten up on the wrong side of his oxygen-rich, botox-filled chamber today!]

Kalabaw makes up a lot of time with the dynamic duo of Dawson and Penner.  After trying a few combinations, both tribes realised the answer is “Live to play another day” and there is a mad scramble to change all the bamboo pieces to complete the phrase properly.  There is incredible tension but by mere seconds, Team Edward and Blair solve the puzzle just ahead of Dawson and Penner.  Cheers of jubilation from Tandang whilst Penner and Team Edward do the best Russell impersonation by kicking the air furiously.  Denise is crushed.  Another trip to Tribal Council.  Katie is close to tears.  On the flipside, Malcolm is elated to finally be on a winning team.  As we head off to the commercial break, we hear Penner bitching that if Katie was just three seconds faster or if Dawson was more helpful on the puzzle, Kalabaw would have won.  [Um…Penner, are you forgetting that in the very first challenge after falling far behind, it was you and Dawson that stole the win from Tandang with the final puzzle-solving portion of that challenge?  The fact that Penner mentioned Dawson and Katie makes me think that Denise will be safe tonight.  Penner also indicated that to be two people down at this stage of the game, the odds may be so insurmountable that he may not be able to overcome them.  So unfortunately for Penner fans out there, this may be the clue that confirms that Penner will not win this season of Survivor as Kalabaw will enter any future merge with inferior numbers].

The Kalabaw tribe return quite dejected back at camp.  Katie apologises to everyone for the millionth for her truly spectacularly bad performance today.  In her confessional, Katie shows why she won the Miss Delaware beauty pageant scholarship and affirmation competition by explaining that like OMG, if she was like, the other people, she would be, like saying, like see you later Katie.  But her ally, Dawson tells her that she is being paranoid.  I love Dawson’s spunk and continual one-woman defiance against the producers’ wishes by parading around in head-to-toe hot pink.  She also has no compunctions in telling Katie to her face that she sucked big time in the challenge but that the vote will be for Denise tonight as she is not part of the original Kalabaw tribe.  We see Denise fetching water with Toothpick Jeff and she is fearful that she will be the easy vote tonight as she hasn’t had thirteen days to bond with everyone on the tribe.  She says logically it would be better to keep her as she is now the strongest female but logic doesn’t always play a part when voting.  Lucky for Denise, she is on a tribe with strategic players (unlike Tandang where Team Jacob couldn’t wait to spill the beans to Malcolm about the hidden immunity idol before the afternoon is done).  Toothpick Jeff tells her straight-up that he is in an alliance with the men and that he wants her to join him but she will be the fourth person in that alliance.  Knowing that it would be smarter to side with the men now that Dana is gone, Denise agrees and Jeff seals the deal with a manly handshake.

Toothpick Jeff reports back to Penner and Team Edward that he has brought Denise into the alliance.  The men discuss who the vote should be.  As Penner pointed out, Tandang are physically bigger than Kalabaw so voting Denise out is not an option at all tonight.  Team Edward lobbies to vote out Katie as she appears to have checked out of the game mentally plus she sucked big time today.  Penner agrees that her performance today was pathetic.  Toothpick Jeff however wants Dawson gone as she was always the physically weakest player plus she wasn’t as helpful as she could have been during the puzzle-solving portion of the challenge.  Penner says that Dawson was surprisingly better than Katie during the physical parts of the challenge so voting her out tonight may not be the best option.  The guys aren’t quite sure who they should target.

After tending to the shelter, water, and fire and with a few more hours to kill before heading off to Tribal Council, we find the Kalabaw tribe lying in the shelter to pass the time.  Dawson takes this opportunity to cheekily play mind games with Toothpick Jeff.  She knows that she is the only one who has recognised Jeff as a former professional baseballer.  In the shelter, she randomly announces that she wants to date an athlete.  Jeff takes the bait and asks her what she thinks an athlete is to which Dawson says someone who plays American football or basketball.  And only way down on her list would she grudgingly list someone who plays baseball.  Toothpick Jeff is not happy particularly when Dawson tells her that she doesn’t think people who play baseball are athletes as they just stand around a lot.  He says in his confessional that he is enjoying playing this game with people who treat him as a regular person and not a celebrity.  He is however worried that Dawson is on to his secret and that keeping her around longer may be dangerous as who knows when she will spill the beans to the tribe about him.  We see the men gather together by the beach to make the decision on whether tonight’s vote will be for Katie or Dawson.  We don’t find out who it is because it is now commercial break time.

We return to see it is nightfall and the Tribal Council snake makes its usual cameo appearance.  Everyone but Denise has to grab a torch and light it as this is the first time that the original Kalabaw tribe has had to attend Tribal Council.  Dimples is decked out tonight in his dark navy blue cargo shirt with the missing top two buttons, sandy-coloured cargo pants, and thongs.  The thongs complete the outfit and lends gravitas to Dimples.  Dawson starts off Tribal Council by confirming that Dana leaving the game impacted the tribe immensely.  Penner agrees and chimes in that if Dana was still in the game, they would have won the immunity challenge.  Nods of agreement all round from everyone except for Katie.  Former Miss Delaware knows she is in the hot seat and Dimples takes his tenth opportunity for today to highlight how sucky she was at the challenge.  Katie, to her credit, owns up to her suckiness but pointedly puts out there that she hopes people value how she had competed in past challenges with no issues.  Penner tells Dimples that if the vote today was based on people’s performance at today’s challenge, then Katie would be the easy vote.  Because Dimples is sick and tired to seeing Denise, she gets a pass this Tribal Council from any of his questions.  Dimples directs his next question to Dawson and asks if it is fair to vote Denise out of the game today even though she is a strong competitor.  Dawson is honest in saying it wouldn’t be fair and pretty much shoots herself in the foot by saying the tribe needs all its best competitor to continue competing.  The guys in the tribe all nod in agreement.  Because Team Edward used up his quota of allowable speaking lines for this episode, Dimples has been ordered by the off-camera producer not to ask him any questions during Tribal Council.  So it is back to Dawson where he asks her to put forward her case as to why she is a valuable member of the tribe.  Dawson tells Dimples that she is the tribe’s cheerleader and she thinks it is important to keep the tribe positive and the spirits high after thirteen days of constant rain.  Toothpick Jeff just rolls his eyes and indicates that his vote tonight will be based on a combination of loyalty, helpfulness around camp, and performances at challenges because they need to win the next one and not fall further behind in numbers.  With that, it is time to vote.

We don’t get to see anyone’s vote tonight but it is clear that either Dawson or Katie is going home.  Everyone looks positively depressed and sad voting and it lends weight to what Dana said in one exit interview that everyone at Kalabaw got along really well and genuinely liked one another (unlike what we are seeing at Tandang).  No immunity idol is played so the votes are read out.  First vote is for Mrs Denise (with sorry scribbled on the parchment).  Next vote is for Dawson – (she’s toast).  The next vote is for Dawson and she turns around and looks at Penner who avoids her gaze.  Dawson knows she has been blindsided tonight.  Next vote is for Dawson and the final vote is for Dawson.  She mumbles “Wow” as Dimples tells her to collect her torch.  She approaches him slowly and he proceeds to snuff out her flame.  Dimples tells her that the tribe has spoken but she just stands there staring at Dimples perfect face and piercing eyes.  It looks like she is contemplating whether to turn around and tell her tribemates who Jeff Kent really is.  But no, she just stares into Dimples eyes and then gives the best exit ever of any Survivor contestant.  She moves in and plants a kiss on Dimples’s right cheek and hugs him.  Clearly embarrassed, Dimples can only hug her back and is probably grateful that Dawson didn’t use that awkward opportunity to ride him like a pony.  Happy that she has checked this off her bucket-list, Dawson turns around and gives a breathless wave back to her tribemates who are ecstatic for her for leaving the game in such a memorable fashion.  We hear Dawson expel another “wow” as she takes her walk of shame before breaking out into a skip and trot down the stairs upon the realisation that she felt up Dimples on national television.  Many women have wanted to feel up Dimples before, but Dawson managed to live out her fifty-shades of grey fantasy.  Brilliant!

In her Final Words, Dawson admits that she could have blown Toothpick Jeff’s cover but she wanted to give him an opportunity to play this game without the celebrity baggage.  And if he does win, she says he owes her big time.  Dawson that rattles off a list of what she wants Santa Jeff to buy her which includes a motorcycle, a helmet, a sidecar, and a pink gun.  If there is ever a season of Survivor where they bring back early boots for a second chance, Dawson MUST be chosen.  We see a quick preview of next week and it looks like Artis yet again has a grumpy, sour-puss moment.  And the men get to run around shirtless in the mud again.

So who will be voted out next?  Will Katie, like, be able to say anything, like, profound, without using, like, the word “like”, in every, like you know, sentence?  Will Bella-Latina’s “injury” prevent her from competing in yet another challenge?  Will Denise ever win a challenge?  Will Malcolm continue being the object of Team Jacob’s bromance at Tandang?  Will Blair and Cotton Wool make good on their threat to join up with Russell and go on a door-knocking, bible-bashing missionary road trip throughout the Philippines after this game has finished?  Will Jeff find a new toothpick to chew on?  Will the location of the billions of dollars siphoned out of the Philippines by the late former President Ferdinand Marcos ever be revealed?  Find out on the next exciting episode of Survivor: Fifty Shades of Grey (Cargo Shirts).


1 Izobel2 { 11.16.12 at 11:29 am }

Hey JStar well done again! Took ages to read, but just as fun as the episode! My fave line this week….
“Instant coffee, muffins, and cookies (from somewhere in Losers Lodge watching a live feed of this show, Angie can be heard crying).”
Ha ha!

Also enjoyed your whole synopsis of Dana and her non medical evacuation.
Whilst watching I was wondering if the exit kiss was a first, and was waiting on your commentary! I also now look out for every shirt Dimples wears and how many buttons are undone!

Bella-Latina-Wiggle-Hips should stick around for a while for entertainment value, but definitely not to win!

Thanks JStar, you made my morning!

2 Calliegirl { 11.16.12 at 1:28 pm }

You get better each episode. What will your posts be like by the end?

My favourite line was – [Dimples must have gotten up on the wrong side of his oxygen-rich, botox-filled chamber today!]

Thank you so much JStar – thoroughly enjoyed it!! Keep up the good work.

3 A.P { 11.16.12 at 2:17 pm }

Was a great episode and I reckon the guys in Kalabaw are quite happy to see the back of not one but two girls, Dana and Dawson, the two D’s are gone therefore the Spice Girls have lost some of their power and the guys might have a chance this time. They couldn’t possibly have made it any more boring than the last series with the final five all girls!
Dana could have been helped a bit more I feel as it was obvious the girl couldn’t even walk let alone go and say goodbye to everyone. Why wasn’t she immediately wrapped up warm or even someone hold an umbrella over her? What do those camera men do behind the scenes?
Belle Latina is so annoying and rude too! Why does she get to sit out all the challenges? Isn’t there a rule about how many challenges they can sit out JStar?
I hope we hear more soon from Team Edward, Cottonwool and Blair because I’m sick of all the focus on the same few and I want to hear them speak, especially Team Edward!

4 JStar { 11.16.12 at 2:51 pm }

A.P. – Unless you’re a doctor, you cannot argue with the medical diagnosis of Dr Dimples. Clearly it was in Dana’s best medical interest to be laid out onto the muddy ground in the pouring rain with no shelter from the elements. I loved how despite her being in that much distress, Dimples insisted on giving her the option of quitting (because she is a girl). Anyway, more Hot Tamale Train for you on Kalabaw. If that tribe loses again, Katie is toast. Maybe Dawson started a trend of female castaways pashing Dimples once they exit the game? And if you want to hear Team Edward mumble in a monotonous tone for the next couple of hours, probably best to catch the final Twilight movie. Still the same boring speech patterns to put one to sleep!

@Calliegirl – I heard a rumour that Dimples purchased the same oxygen-rich chamber that Michael Jackson slept in. :) Thanks for the feedback. Who knows what my posts will end up like the closer we get to the finale! I’m dreading to think how many more non-intentional sexually-suggestive comments Dimples and Penner can come up with.

Izobel2 – Don’t tell Angie the cookies were chocolate chip. She would be most pissed! As for the kiss, that was definitely a Survivor first. From memory, I believe Jonny Fairplay asked and got a hug from Dimples as he was voted out first on Fans vs Favourites. And Candice and Adam had a major pash with each other after she got voted out on Cook Islands. And there is no way Bella-Latina will win this game but she will be taken far because she is the perfect individual to sit next to at the end. Who would vote for her for the million? No one! I still say Na’Onka was worst (wrestling a girl with one leg, just being a completely nasty piece of work) only because she ended up quitting despite being in the majority alliance.

5 Izobel2 { 11.16.12 at 2:52 pm }

I agree A.P., it was like because Dana was technically still actually alive then they weren’t really worried about her. Then after 10hrs Dimples finally gave her a soaked cold rain coat. Wow how comforting!

6 Sioux Denim { 11.16.12 at 4:18 pm }

Another ripper read JStar – thanks ..

I hope Denise can stay in at least to the merge, hopefully she and Malcolm will go far – but imagine having to pick between those two at the end – yes, i would take Wiggle Hips!

I do recall too AP about having to sit out equally in challenges – this definitely must of changed.

Bring of the hair pulling next week in the mud – sounds like someone steps over the mark – unprecedented no least!!

7 JStar { 11.16.12 at 4:38 pm }

@A.P. – You are right. There used to be a rule where people cannot sit out of two consecutive challenges. That rule made sense when there was always a separate reward and then an immunity challenge. However, it looks like that rule has changed. So Bella-Latina only participates in 2 challenges thus far. What’s the bet that because Kalabaw are now down two people, she does not participate in either of the challenges next week?

@Izobel2 – And don’t forget to rub salt in the wounds, Dr Dimples has to tell Tandang that Dana quit because she was sick rather than say she was medically evacuated. He really has a bee in his bonnet this season. How many times did he have to highlight Katie’s mega-suckiness at the challenge? Once was enough. We just kept on going on and on about it. Well, hopefully if he wins next year’s Emmy he’ll revert back to Good Dimples.

@Sioux Denim – Who wouldn’t want to take Bella-Latina to the end? I’m looking forward to her finally attending Tribal Council and just having a mega-spray of bile at everyone. I don’t think she realises how bad she is coming off on television. Looks like Blair and Denise wrestling in the mud next week. Clearly they don’t want RC and Katie to steal all of the limelight!

And everyone, I am enjoying this season much more than last season. There are a lot of strategic players still left in the game (Denise, Malcolm, Team Jacob, Penner, GC, Toothpick Jeff) and there are the villains you can boo at from home (Team Jacob and Bella-Latina). Plus there were some fantastic characters earlier in the game (Dawson, Melons, Russell’s post-challenge meltdowns). Out of the five people voted out so far, three have been blindsides. And for the Penner fans, he is still in the game.

And we can gradually see how certain hints and clues are now playing out. Denise is definitely someone who will get very far. Blair is lasting longer than I initially gave her credit for. And I’m sure the upcoming blindside of Penner will be swift, brutal, upsetting, but yet strangely compelling TV. Just a question of when (not if) Jeff will stab his toothpick in Penner’s back!

8 A.P { 11.16.12 at 5:32 pm }

JStar, I like Jeff’s nickname of toothpick, its suits him and yes I agree that Dimples was definitely picking on Katie for some reason.
Could it be he is tiring of Survivor, or just certain people who are not deserving of his time?
He also needs to go back to medical school!
I’ll give a miss on the Twilight movies, they don’t interest me and I’ve never watched one but I have heard about Edward and Jacob and their names do suit Peter and Carter, the silent, brooding types!

9 Izobel2 { 11.16.12 at 11:36 pm }

JStar rocks. The End.

10 Georgie { 11.17.12 at 2:18 am }

Lol Izobel2, well summed up!

11 Janenowdaisy { 11.17.12 at 1:53 pm }

It will be interesting to hear and see BL’s reaction after she has seen the episode where she has been duped by her ‘buddy’ into thinking RC has betrayed her. She is so hostile.

12 RecapLover { 11.17.12 at 3:02 pm }

If reading a ‘recap’ takes more time than watching the episode that is being ‘recapped’ it kinda defeats its purpose. And how are we supposed to map the silly nicknames to the original names?

13 Carole { 11.17.12 at 4:10 pm }

Another great re-cap JStar. The American guy who does recaps for Entertainment Weekly has a Q & A with Probst after each episode. He brought up the rule for sitting out challenges. It used to be you couldn’t sit out 2 back to back challenges if they were in the same episode. But with Redemption Island, they scrapped the separate reward and immunity challenges and combined them together. So technically, because they were not the same episode people could sit out 2 challenges. Probst did agree that maybe it’s time to re-think the rules on that one and was glad he brought it up. He also interviews all the contestants at the start of ever season, and in Dawson’s interview she said she wanted to kiss Dimples, amongst other things. I had read somewhere before it started that someone kissed him as they left, but had forgotten about it, then when she stood there staring at him like that, I realised oh she’s the one who kisses him. I agree, he was very harsh on Katie, going on and on about her bad performance.

AP, I don’t think the camera men are allowed to help or intervene in any way, much as they probably would like to.

I thought the same thing about Angie when the cookies came out, she’s probably watching at home thinking, now you bring out cookies!!!! Next weeks looks interesting. But how revolting are these challenges becoming all in the mud. It’s actually Dimple’s fault they are filming in the rainy season. They were supposed to film at a different time, but he was preparing for his talk show so it got put back, so it’s all his fault. But the next season was filmed straight after, which was in the dry season, so it won’t be so bad for them.

14 JStar { 11.18.12 at 6:08 pm }

@Carole – I forgot to mention last time that yes I am familiar with Dalton’s recaps for EW. Love them! But I had to stop reading them when I started doing the recaps here this year because I felt I was unconsciously being influenced by them. He has great insights and wonderful access to Dimples and the set. And Dalton and I do share the same love for contestants that compete in knee-high socks! Thanks for letting me know about the rule change in sitting out contestants – I would expect it to be changed back to the non-consecutive sit-outs rule by the time the 27th season starts filming. I would also hope Dimples learns to pull it back somewhat with his criticisms during challenges of contestants. His constant harping does have the unintentional consequence of affecting people’s voting patterns. I know the cameramen can’t intervene so I really do hope it wasn’t for their ease of shooting convenience when the decision was made to make Dana lie on the muddy ground in the rain to be assessed rather than under the shelter.

@Izobel2 – <3 <3 <3

@Janenowdaisy – I have a feeling that Bella-Latina does not care one bit about what RC thinks or how she is coming across on TV. They have engaged in a bit of a twitter war since the start of this season. Don't take it as a spoiler that one or both of them reach the end but clearly after more than half a year since filming ended, time hasn't mended bridges. It probably shouldn't come as any surprise that the tweets coming from one person has been bitchy and sarcastic. Care to guess who from? :)

@RecapLover – I'm not going to apologise for the length of the recaps because I realised before agreeing to do them that I was not going to please everyone, nor should I. Shorter recaps can be found on the internet but I would warn that since Australia is about 4 episodes behind, they may contain spoilers. Dalton Ross's EW recaps are fun to read but his also stray on the long side as well.

The genesis of all the nicknames can be found from somewhere within the previous recaps submitted but the substitution of names with nicknames is not exclusive to the Survivor forums. MasterChef Australia comes to mind where many regular posters have submitted wonderfully witty nicknames of past contestants that have caught on and are still used to this day. Toasted Buns anyone?

But here is the rundown of the nicknames used for this season of Survivor to get everyone up to speed:

Lisa – Blair/Bible-Basher/Bible-Thumper/Former Teen Star
Michael – Cotton Wool/Bible-Basher II/Bible-Thumper II
Pete – Team Jacob
Artis – Silent Artis/Angry Birds
Abi-Maria – Bella-Latina/Wiggle Hips/N'Aonka-Jerri-Corrine's love child
RC – RC/Hot Chick in Leopard-Print Bikini

Jonathan – Penner
Jeff – Toothpick Jeff
Dawson – Hot-Pink Dawson
Dana – Spunky Dana
Katie – Former Miss Delaware/Hot Chick in a Red Bikini
Carter – Team Edward

Russell – Sucky Russell
Malcolm – Dude With Long Hair
Denise – E. L. James
Zane – Frankenstein
Roxy – Young Bible Basher/Young Bible Thumper
Angie – Coconuts/Melons/Comfy Pillow/Milkshakes/Cookie Monster/Inflatable Floaties/Hot Water Bottle/Snugglepot/Cuddlepie/Former Miss Teen Utah Winner

15 A.P { 11.18.12 at 8:48 pm }

Jstar, don’t worry, you know by now we love your recaps and eventually we get to know whos who and what their nicknames are.
It just takes a bit of time LOL at all Angie’s nicknames!

16 Carole { 11.18.12 at 10:50 pm }

No worries JStar. That sounds interesting the Tweets between Bella-latina and RC. I think I can guess it was Bella-Latina who was the bitchy & sarcastic ones. Looks like the reunion episode will be interesting. It’s always interesting in the reunions when the ones who hated each other suddenly seem to be the best of friends. I’m new to all these recaps so haven’t read the MasterChef ones, who was Toasted buns?

17 daisy { 11.21.12 at 11:05 pm }

Jstar@14 How can I not take it as a spoiler? It ruins it knowing that kind of information in advance. It IS a spoiler.

18 daisy { 11.21.12 at 11:16 pm }

Bye everyone, until the next reality show. I have to cover my eyes and ears from spoilers, even little ones.