Survivor
Going For The Oscar

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We return to Hae Da Fung on Day 31. It's raining hard on the already-saturated camp, and there's water pooled everywhere. The tribe is huddled in their little cave, and surprisingly, they're collaborating on a little song that appears to be called "Cave Dwellers." (Good movie!) Todd interviews that he is extremely "miserable" and constantly thinking about home. He rubs his little beard and says that he's "so close" to being done. He reminds us that he is in an alliance consisting of himself, Amanda, Courtney, and Denise. The idea is to get rid of Erik and Peih-Gee, but no one is completely trustworthy. No one! "If they turn on me, it would be a very smart move on their part to get rid of me now," says Todd. "Of course, I'm not going to tell them that." I don't know if luxury items are allowed anymore, but I think if they are, Todd clearly brought the book, Mwah-Hah-Hah: Sayings To Twirl Your Mustache By (and possibly the companion volume, How To Grow Big-Boy Facial Hair When You Look Twelve).

Challenge field. Looks like a big round maze with a platform in the middle. Everyone comes and lines up. They sure are wearing a lot of red this season. Jeff promises that the challenge is "about speed and communication." In the challenge, you'll be in teams of two, and each team member will be separated from the other at the ends of a maze, and you have to find your way to your teammate. And you'll both be blindfolded, of course. And then Jeff says, "All right. Erik, you're going to be paired up with your mom." Amanda puts her hand to her mouth as they all realize what the deal is here. Erik's mom is cute as a button, mom-wise, and she comes over to see him. They hug. "Is this really happening?" Erik wonders. Aw. She's happy just to see him, but you can see all her OH MY GOD HE'S SO SKINNY buttons flashing. "Lookit you!" she says, and Erik says, "Yeeeeah, I'm all skinny and bearded." Heh.

Amanda's sister Katrina is next to appear, and she looks really quite a lot like Amanda. As they embrace, Amanda apologizes for smelling so bad.

And then Peih-Gee's dad! Aw. I love how her dad says, "Hi, Peih-Gee!" in this cheery way. "My God, you're skinny." Awww. I just love him instantly, because he's not a big boo-hooey guy, but he adores Peih-Gee, you can tell.

And then, Todd's sister Brandi. Again, she looks quite a lot like Todd. They hug, and he pointedly asks whether everyone is okay. She says that they're fine. And then he specifies, "Kim's okay?" And he says something about "baby," and Brandi hugs him again and says, "She miscarried it, Todd." And he says, "Are you -- okay, okay." He gets back in line, and Jeff Probst very tastefully (as is his practice) asks what the last part was. Todd explains that his sister -- younger than Brandi, who's younger than he is, and he's twenty-two -- was pregnant, but that she's had a miscarriage. On the one hand, I tend to think this is true, for lots of reasons but particularly because of the abbreviated part where it sounded like Todd was going to ask more questions and then suddenly thought twice about it. But on the other hand, Todd does weirdly sound like he's fake-crying, so it's confusing. Brandi repeats that the sister herself is "doing good."

Now, it's time for Courtney's dad, and she sniffles as she walks out to the relative-meeting spot, and she stretches out her arms to him. (Legend had it on the boards that she stood still and wouldn't go to meet him, but whatever else Courtney's done wrong, this is a bum rap; she took a few steps to exactly the same meetup spot everybody else hit, which is undoubtedly pre-determined for good over-the-shoulder camera shots; she just beat her dad there and stuck her arms out.) She sobs as she and her dad hug. She turns and says to the group, "I told you he'd wear a suit!" Her father says, "I'm English, I don't do shorts." And he's not kidding. He's in a button-down and long pants. And it's really hot, you can tell. And he's English.

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