Survivor
I'm Not As Dumb As I Look

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Miss Alli: C | Grade It Now!
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Dumb Is Right

Jaime takes Todd aside -- her hair is different now, so I think this is the later segment where I think she no longer actually believes that she has the idol, or at least she has grave doubts. Jaime asks Todd what he knows about the idols, and he says he doesn't know much. She offers to tell him tomorrow where the idols are, if he keeps her around. You can sort of tell she knows there are only two idols, because she tells him that she knows who has the Fei Long idol, and she knows who has the Zhan Hu idol. She definitely makes it sound like she believes there are two; we know she knows that James has two, so it does seem like she figured out between merge and tribal council that her idol didn't match the ones James had, so it probably wasn't genuine, which is also consistent with her behavior at tribal council. You will also notice that while she may have hoped Todd would conclude that she had an idol, she never said that she did. She said she'd tell him where the two idols -- the Fei Long and the Zhan Hu -- were. Why do you suppose she didn't say she had one? I personally think it's because she knew she didn't by then. The information she's peddling is the information she has: James has both idols, and by not saying she has an idol, she doesn't set up trouble later where she appears to have lied, but she might make them hesitate. Maybe this will keep her around another day. Nothing else is going to; you have to try, right? Todd -- the first person in the history of this game stupid enough to hand not one but two idols away to another person -- gleefully interviews about how unbelievably stupid Jaime is for ever thinking that something that matches all the clues she's seen for the immunity idol might actually be the immunity idol. It's weird how smug he is about how brilliantly I guess he thinks he's playing, since...Todd hasn't figured out dick for himself. Todd only knows anything about the idols because other people handed clues to him. He's crap at challenges, he's crap at strategy (having already -- did we mention? -- given away two idols), and he's sitting here talking like he's some kind of enormous mastermind. It just seems like it's a little early for this. If it turns out that giving James two idols put him in a much better position than keeping at least one of those idols for himself would have been, then...maybe he'll have earned it, but right now, what has he done to back it up? Doesn't he think that if Jaime had been in the same position he was, getting all the clues -- which position he wound up in largely because his tribe kept winning challenges on the backs of people who weren't him -- then Jaime would have figured out where the idols were, too? Doesn't the fact that she's caught on to as much of this as she has suggest that that's the case? Not to defend the intelligence of Jaime -- dumber than a rag doll stuffed with nail clippings! -- but wouldn't an actual stupid person never have put together the missing plaques with the immunity idol in the first place?

Anyway, the show -- trying with all its Burnettian might to convince you that a Jaime is a big dummy, on account of the fact that none of this really plays as well if she isn't -- plays the blinkety-bloo music over this conversation, like Todd is talking to a drunk or a football player who's had a few too many concussions. Jaime interviews that her best strategy seems to be playing stupid, so that's her plan for now. "I'm not as dumb as I look," she says, sealing her fate. Because even though that comment is, if you think about it, self-deprecating, the fact that she's going to take a flyer and lose means that she has to be drawn a certain way, to make the attempt a tragic fuck-up rather than a respectable effort, because nobody buzzes for a week over a respectable effort.

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