Survivor
Everything Is Personal

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Lydia Makes Her Move

Later, the tribe makes its way to the challenge spot, where Rafe gives back the immunity necklace. "Back up for grabs!" They're playing one of the stupider games today, which is the usual one where Jeff tells you a story, and then you run around answering questions about it, and the first person to answer all the questions right wins immunity. It's funny, because I love the challenge producers, and I know how hard they try to find new stuff to do, but more and more, all the challenges are really the same, and there's just different window-dressing to make them seem distinct. I've seen this challenge a lot, and I never think it's interesting.

The story involves a goddess who gets married a couple of times and has a couple of affairs, making it the Jackie Collins book of mythology, sort of. I partly don't understand what it means to call a goddess one of the "most popular figures" in Maya mythology. I mean, she sounds like she was popular at the time with the men she knew, but I don't think that's what Jeff means. How are you "popular" as a goddess? At any rate, there's not much to say about a challenge like this, ever, except that some of the people you'd expect (Judd, Steph) kind of suck at it, while some of the people you'd expect (Rafe, Gary) are pretty good at it. It actually winds up coming down to Rafe and Gary, and Rafe beats Gary in a footrace back to the start with their last flag, meaning that Rafe wins immunity again. And Gary may just be running of tricks, although he came damn close to finding yet another way to avoid being booted. I'm fascinated by how many questions are answered incorrectly every time, when the story really, really wasn't that long. It's not that much detail to remember, and they consistently get stuff wrong. Anyway, Rafe is immune. Gary isn't.

Back at camp, Rafe offers an interview in which he says that he's been really shocked to win immunity so much, and that it's surprising that the "little gay Mormon" would win so many challenges. He says that growing up, he didn't see athletic people who "looked and acted gay." And it's interesting, because obviously, there's a sense in which this is silly -- Greg Louganis, figure skaters, blah blah blah. Stereotypically gay athletes are not new. I think Rafe is reaching for something different when he says "looked and acted gay." It's like he's saying that there's a whole set of gay stereotypes, and he has some similarity to one of them, but it's not the one most commonly associated with athletic prowess, you know? It's not the slick, dolphin-like, waxed-chest thing associated with gym guys like Reichen. I think he's saying that he "looks and acts gay" in a way not often shown on TV kicking the asses of burly doormen. Or else he's just babbling.

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Survivor

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