Survivor
Assumptions

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The Merge That Wasn't There

A bird soars and lands on a branch. My husband says something about this being cool camera work, but I missed whatever was so great about it. The new tribe -- which doesn't get a new name -- cheers for itself, "Family!" Helen explains that Chuay Gahn did the same cheer when they first arrived in Thailand. They've now proclaimed themselves a family and agreed to work together as such.

The group returns to Chuay Gahn and acts amazed to find food there, even though the tribes got food every time there was a merge in the first four seasons. There are tons of crackers and apples, which the cameras show us about five separate times. Those apples are really popular. Erin voice-overs that they got brie and crackers and rice noodles, and then we hear Clay scream in the background, "Lookit [sic] our noodles!" Erin -- whose cleavage looks very Tori Spelling-esque in this interview -- tells us that they "went nuts" over the grapes, apples, and wine. And if I thought the face-stuffing close-ups were bad in previous episodes, this segment bests any of that. The S10 get in-depth close-ups of the food going in; it's so overzealously shot that I half expect to see equal footage of the food coming out the other end. Techno music accompanies the face-stuffing. Brian poses dramatically on the beach and says, "Well, it's great to welcome everyone in my kingdom. I love, uh, opening up my house. My casa is tu casa." Hee. He says that although the Sook Jais are in "[his] house," he still has the "home court advantage." But really, the only court this guy belongs in is the king's. As the jester.

Back at camp, Jan lunges for a bottle of wine, yelling, "I love this wine, guys. Let me have it!" She then makes a face -- with the crossed eyes and the lolling tongue and the gaping mouth -- that completely defies my earlier assertion that Jan lacks a range of facial expressions. I'll take the expressionless Jan anyday. Jan tells us that they successfully merged and also came up with a name: Chuay Jai. That alone should be proof that something fishy is going on: the producers of this show would never let them name themselves something so ridiculous. Well, they let them name themselves ridiculous things every season, but not something so ridiculously simple -- not to mention easy to pronounce. Jan feels the need to explain that "Chuay Jai" is the result of combining the names of the two tribes. At the least, golden Ted thinks it's pretty cool. Shii Devil announces that she's going to wash off her body paint and Ted -- who may foresee some grinding opportunities -- follows her, agreeing, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

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