Back from Africa

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Crap from Africa

Previously on Survivor: Ethan went home with a million dollars, and Kimj went home with her highly overrated self-respect. Lex Loser demonstrated a semblance of self-awareness during the Survivor Reunion with Bryant "See You Next Season" Gumbel, and Lindsey demonstrated no such thing.

Peachy voice-overs that, tonight, in the "Back from Africa" special, we'll take our "final adventure into the private lives of sixteen survivors." As much as I enjoyed Big Tom's antics, I'd prefer to stay far, far away from his "private" anythings.

The words "One Life-Changing Adventure" flash across the screen at the conclusion of the familiar credits, along with clips of the S16 at their homes, going about their business. Just to be clear: not "doing" their business. Peachy shows up on the Tribal Council set, looking very Euro-chic in head-to-toe black. That's not a compliment. He tells us that, tonight, we'll go beyond the game and "deeper into the lives" of the S16 "from the unexpected, to the revealing, to the families they came home to." The "unexpected," "revealing," and "families" mentions are each punctuated with a brief snippet we'll see again later, so I won't explain them out of context here. Except it bears repeating that Ethan's mother only cringes "a little" when her friends use the words "sexy" and "her son" in the same sentence.

Peachy tells us that the survivors have different ways of keeping their memories of Africa alive. We learn that Lex Loser brought back "a couple of baboon teeth." Except I thought Peachy said baboon teats at first, which would be so nasty. Then Kelly brags about having stolen Clarence's war paints. Our journey tonight, however, will begin with a man who picked "a more unusual way" to remember his tribemates.

Tom "Da Bomb" Buchanan stands amidst a crowd of animals and asks, "And Kim Johnson...where's that old goat at?" It turns out Tom has named his cattle after each of the S16. They're actually wearing name tags. Tom tells us that the animals share some of the same "cowacteristics" with their namesakes. I don't think he intended the pun. Seeing the animals in Africa was one of the greatest experiences of Tom's life. A clip from the hot-air balloon ride plays, and if I wanted to see crappy old clips, I'd just wait for the "special."

Now Tom is at a party. He's walking like an Egyptian on the dance floor while people cheer for him. There's a whole bluegrass band at this party. In a confessional, he tells us that he likes all kinds of music, and that he knows "about one line o' every song." He continues, "Ah like music. Ah like to dance," as we see him cutting a rug with his wife. He grew up with bluegrass, though, and so he loves it the most. Tom's wife Sandy looks like a tiny woman, but then again she's standing next to Tom. She tells us that Tom has always gotten along well with the ladies, and that she's never seen a woman Tom couldn't talk to. This is followed by a clip of Tom flirting with the tick in Lindsey's ass, and with Kimp's bikini top. Sandy thinks Tom is witty. I'd definitely use the word "funny" to describe Tom, but "witty" implies some degree of intellect. Ominous music plays as we see a clip of Big Tom during a Tribal Council approaching the voting urn. He tells us in a voice-over that spelling makes him feel uncomfortable. As we see him cast his vote for "C.B." he tells us, "I couldn't spell 'Clarence.' I put 'C.B.'!" He continues, "There I am. Forty-six-year-old. On national TV. Can't spell!" He tells us that decided to start a reading program back in the U.S. called "Reading is the Key to Survival" because of his own difficulties with literacy. Tom hugs a child and gets really excited about a picture the child drew -- he likes its feathers. Sandy says that Tom realized he could do something useful within their community to motivate children to learn to read, and Tom thinks, "If I can help one kid do better than me, I'm glad it embarrassed me." Tom frolics with his goats and encourages them to "come to Daddy!" He probably uses that line on the Kimp goat all the time. As we complete the Big Tom segment (and thus the humorous portion of our show), Tom tells us, "I'm still not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm still in the shed!" He says he's happy to be home -- even happier than he was before he left for Africa.

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