Survivor
Crocs, Cowboys And City Slickers

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Go, Go, Golden Boy

Jeff puts up with Blake for as long as possible, which isn't that long, and then he's like, "Yeah, whatever. Challenge!" He explains that it's a reward challenge. In the first step, one tribe member will cut through a rope with a sharp stone. (Incidentally, the setup footage shows the mystery hands sawing the rope, not chopping at it.) This rope will release two "handles," which are wooden pieces you take with you to the next station. There, someone else has to chop a log, and when that log is chopped, two more handles will drop. Then you take your four handles and run up to the top of a ramp, where four other people (besides the two you've already used) will put the handles into a big crank, and they'll turn it to drag a cart on a rope up the ramp toward where the team is situated at the top. Once you drag the cart to the top, the six people who've already been used will hop in the cart, and the last one will chop the rope holding the cart. The cart will roll down a track, coaster-style, to the bottom, with the four tribe members inside. It's kind of like Magic Mountain, only instead of magic, there's hard labor.

And now, the reward. Jeff first unveils a pitcher of margaritas, so that's plenty enough reward for some of us. Also, he refers to "chip and dip," which seems to refer to chips and guacamole. I'm not sure if he thinks it's hot (or hott, or whatever) to refer to a single chip, as if it is the concept of chipness that is being offered, but it's very irritating. At any rate, on top of the food and beverages, the team will get a really good reward, which is a swimming pool setup that floats on the water and lets them swim in an enclosed, crocodile-proof space, but is also surrounded by a deck that will have lounge chairs and whatnot. Many rewards are stupid, but this one is not. With the need for entertainment and the need to be clean and the need to cool off, this is probably close to the most valuable single thing you could give them.

Ready...go! The rope-cutters are Jamie and Brandon. Brandon chops the rope like an axe, hack-hack-hack. Jamie takes more of a sawing approach. Brandon's works quickly; Jamie's doesn't. In fairness, once Yaxha is already gone, Jamie does take some hacks at the rope, and they don't seem to advance him very much. At the second station for Yaxha, Bobby Jon chops the log. Jamie is, in fact, still working on the first of the two ropes he has to cut when Bobby Jon finishes chopping the log and Yaxha heads for the cart. And then, finally, Jamie gets through the first rope. Blake, Amy, Gary, and Brian put the handles in the crank and start pulling it up the ramp. I really do feel for Jamie as Jeff starts saying things like, "One of the biggest blowouts thus far in Survivor Guatemala." You just know Jamie is doing his best, because he's fucking dying out there, and it did make me wonder...I mean, ropes and rocks aren't the most scientifically perfect cutting mechanisms ever, and it did make me wonder if Jamie's rocks might not have been slightly inferior to Brandon's. ["You know I'm always looking out for shit they could rig without being obvious about it, and the relative dullness of Jamie's rock certainly qualifies." -- Wing Chun] At any rate, Yaxha gets the cart to the top, six of them climb in, and Danni hacks the rope. The cart rolls down the hill. As they roll, Bobby Jon decides to not only "Wooo!," but kick his legs in the air at the other tribe, which does come off as perhaps unnecessarily "fuck you" for a team that's blowing out the other team. Flashing your crotch and shrieking isn't the most gracious way to win that I've ever seen. Anyway, Yaxha rolls into a pile of dirt that's used to stop them, and that's the reward for them. Jamie seems to want to finish the course, because he finally does get through the second rope, but the team puts the kibosh on it. Judd gives Jamie a hug and kisses him on the head, even though you know he kind of wants to kill him. I think that Judd is, oddly, the person most likely to sympathize, because he's totally been that guy who wants to look awesome but then looks like the goat. You just know he has. It's totally the only reason Judd would smooch a dude's head on television: shared humiliation.

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Survivor

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