Fiji Reunion

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Earl Redux

We open with a clip of Earl on what he called "Earl Island," making a shockingly good sand drawing illustrating his new touristy locale. He talks about keeping friends close and enemies closer, and he whacks a snake in half. In half! He always did have that killer instinct, you know. He finds the idol, talks about having the power, and says, "We are in business." And, of course, Manifest Destiny.

And then we are back in New York in the studio, where Earl is wearing a subdued print shirt and looking plumped-up. He's had a few plates of pasta since his return, I think. Jeff "Stinkpot" Probst reminds us that Earl never got one bad vote until he got all the good votes, which is a pretty big accomplishment, if you think about it. Jeff points out that in doing all this, not only did Earl never win an immunity challenge, but he didn't know he was coming on the show until two days before he left for Fiji. Jeff turns and congratulates Earl, who smiles the smile of a man who has just won a lot of money and, to the great dismay of the gap-toothed, has had his gap fixed, as I've previously mentioned. Jeff reminds Earl that they cast him at "the last minute," and further remembers that Earl got the call on a Friday and left that Monday. Asked if he recalls, Earl chuckles that he certainly does. You would think. Earl reveals that he not only wasn't a fan of the show, but really hadn't watched it regularly until he went. He says that he knew of it, and he'd watched maybe the first season, but he doesn't really even watch TV. Now, of course, he's a big fan. Money will do that. That's how I became a fan of betting on bunny fights.

Jeff asks Earl about his close relationship with Yau Man, which warms all of our hearts, and wonders when that relationship started. Earl says they bonded on the first day. He says that they immediately "clicked," and Earl noticed that Yau Man was "the Professor of the Gilligan's Island." So: bicycles out of bamboo, or whatever, were apparently in the cards. Jeff asks if they had an agreement to get to a particular point, and Earl openly admits that originally, the deal was to go all the way to the end together, but that as the game progressed, they all agreed that around F5 or F4, it was going to have to become every person for himself.

Jeff turns to Yau Man to ask what made him trust Earl, and Yau Man says that under the horrible conditions of Ouch Camp, you learn what people are made of. He mentions Earl's work ethic as well as the fact that Earl actually reached out to befriend him. It's amazing how far that gets people sometimes, and how you can get screwed if you're perceived as belonging to a clique that excludes. In fact...if I were to name one quality that the largest number of winners have in common, it might be that they were not perceived as belonging to a mean, catty clique that punished people socially. Hatch, Tina, Ethan, Vecepia, Heidik, Amber, Chris, Tom, Danni, Yul...only Morasca, Sandra, and arguably Aras. Really, only Morasca and Sandra, whom I didn't like anyway. Interesting. Anyway, Jeff asks whether Earl and Yau Man will really be friends for life, and Earl is sure they will be. Yau Man nods also. I really hope that's true. Earl certainly seems very confident, and it doesn't sound like bullshit. On the other hand, it's a little easier to say from where he's sitting; namely, on a pile of cash.

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