Survivor
Going For The Oscar

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Hae Da Fung, Day 31. Peih-Gee admits that she's "kinda pissed" about missing out on the reward after she took Denise with her last time. And then Erik has something to say: "I've got to get this off my chest. I did not believe Todd's story." Courtney takes this and runs with it, saying that the "unplanned teenage pregnancy" and "convenient miscarriage" were too much for her as well. But her angle is a little different: "You'd think the girl might not want the entire world to know about that." I think for Courtney, it contributes to the unbelievability that she can't believe anyone would really go on television and tell that story if it were true. "If it's true," says Erik, "my deepest condolences to his family, but..." See, he's a smart guy, in that he's expressing his doubts while trying to avoid going to hell if it turns out he's wrong. Courtney has no such hesitations. She interviews that "Todd was going for the Oscar with his performance," and as I said, while I tend to believe the story, he did seem to be acting to me too, so...I don't blame them. She also does a pretty damn funny Jeff Probst impression, making fun of the way he does the thing with "Todd, it looks like you just got some bad news!" She goes into an imitation of Todd's boo-hooing over the whole thing, which...again, this is so dangerous if you happen to be wrong that I don't think I'd actually do it. Courtney further says that she would have forgiven the Jon Dalton Dead Granny Maneuver, because at least it was funny. It...was? I'll tell you, not only does Courtney have horrible judgment in doing this, but the show kind of has horrible judgment in showing it, if you ask me. When there's a third party who's most likely under the age of twenty involved? Maybe we could have gotten through the season without this clip, you know?

Hey, I don't blame them for the fact that this possibility occurred to the contestants. It occurred to me and Joe R and Survivo-Nerd also, but frankly, I don't think any of us thought they'd show anybody on the actual show doubting the miscarriage story. The thing is, Todd really, really wants to be a beloved character, and he doesn't want to be a beloved asshole, like Dalton did. He wants to be a beloved adorable schemer, like Cesternino did. He doesn't really want to be the guy you love to hate. I could be wrong, but I don't think the kind of notoriety you'd get from this move (faking this, that is) is the kind of notoriety Todd wants at all. He wants attention, absolutely, but he wants positive, head-patting, "you scamp" attention. I think he's not at all the person who would do this. Notably, Peih-Gee is very quiet during this entire exchange; I think she's the best at reading people, of these three, and I think she's the most likely to correctly peg Todd as far too invested in his own lovability (straight-on lovability, not ironic love-to-hateability) to get involved in something like this. And in one sense, of course, you can say it was absolutely outrageous for Todd and Brandi to bring this up on television, but on the other hand, on rewatch, you can kind of see how it happens. Todd asks if everybody's okay, and Brandi says yes -- she doesn't intend, I don't think, to bring it up. And then he asks about Kim, and she still doesn't say it. It's not until he specifically asks about the baby, and she's unfortunately stuck with either actively and specifically lying or telling him the truth, that she tells him. It kind of sucks, but you can see how it might have developed. If it's true. Which maybe it's not, in which case I am dumb. I think Todd asked in good faith, really thinking, "What are the odds that she, like, had a miscarriage?" Because Todd doesn't understand, maybe, that at two months (where she apparently was when he left), it's still really up in the air, because at that stage? Very common. With women often advised not to tell people until three months, he should have realized you shouldn't inquire on television when the last update you had was at two months, but he didn't, and I don't think either of them intended it to go down this way until...it did.

The reward boat returns. When Erik sees three of his tribemates returning with their loved ones, he admits that it makes him sad, and he's not sure how to act. Bitterness disorients him! You can tell he is not cut out for this show. They also note that Todd's hand is covered with melted chocolate. It turns out that Amanda and Todd grabbed as much chocolate as they could with their fingers, and they will now allow Erik and Peih-Gee and Courtney to lick it off. It's, uh...I guess it's the thought that counts? I don't think I'd be licking anything off anyone's fingers unless the reward included a shower, which it appeared it did not. These people appear to still be grimy, and as Sars pointed out to me, Amanda spends a lot of time...adjusting that wedgie to be offering anyone anything off her bare hands. (Don't blame me; I didn't say it.) As Erik seems to take some special pleasure in removing chocolate from Amanda's fingers, she nearly blushes as she says, "Kinky," going for the joke but...most likely a little turned on. I mean...she kind of should be. Peih-Gee admits in an interview that she wasn't really feeling the interacting with everyone after such a disappointing situation. She repeats that she took Denise on, like, the best reward ever, and this is what she gets. Of course, she didn't take Denise on that reward out of the kindness of her heart; she took her out of strategy, which I think Peih-Gee would admit, which is probably why she's not making too big a moral deal about it; she's just saying she was mad.

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