Look Closer: Survivor Africa

Episode Report Card
Joanna: F | Grade It Now!
Clips Show or Freak Show?

Over at Samburu, they're puking and crapping their guts out. PUKING and CRAPPING, I tell you! Both tribes were thirsty the first night, remember? And remember that Kimp discovered a telescope and Silas made fire with it? And remember when Samburu, too, knew the happy music? Remember when they all danced the hora to it?

Old Survivor clips flash in front of my eyes like I'm dying: Ethan propulsively falling; Diane collapsing; the mad, mad finger-pointing surrounding Clarence and a controversial can of beans. It's all coming back to me now. I really wish it wouldn't. Then, Diane gets voted out.

And suddenly, a reprieve: it's new stuff, and kind of funny new stuff at that. At Boran, Kimj asks Ethan and Kelly if they could imagine being on Survivor with a girl who looks at herself in the mirror and applies makeup the whole time. Well, the girls have Bobbi Brown around to do it for them; I spotted her -- enshrubbed -- in the first challenge. And if you think I mean '80s pop singer Bobby Brown (it's his prerogative), go buy yourself a copy of In Style. It's time. Kelly says a makeup-crazed girl would be the first person voted off.

Bluesy-sounding music plays as Clarence primps. In a confessional, he tells us that the camouflage paint is his luxury item. Remember when people in the forums thought his luxury item was camouflage pants? Hee. Those were the days. Clarence says that the makeup puts him in the mood to be the tribe's "warrior" -- as opposed to being the tribe's Hamburglar. Clarence seeks through his makeup to become for Boran "an instrument of [the tribe's] decisions." Kelly objects: "Clarence and his war paint is just a testament to his selfishness." Clarence and his war paint, however, are no match for Colby's Mom and her makeup. Kelly tells us that Stila doesn't fly in the bush. She makes lots of squinty exaggerated faces that surely embarrassed her and her entire family when this aired. Kelly asks Ethan and Kimj if they would think she was weird if she started "putting [her] socks in [her] boobs." There's some more breast grabbing here. (Kelly grabbing her own breasts, that is.) Kimj says stuff like war paint doesn't matter out there, but I think it's mean that they're harping on him for his luxury item. Kelly's knitting needles are no different. I can't bust on Kimj's because those paints came in handy. In a confessional, a perplexed-sounding Ethan says that Clarence painted his abs, "you know, with his makeup." Ethan continues telling us that Clarence put makeup between his "ab marks" to make them stand out. Ethan thinks it's stupid and silly and besides, Clarence won't share his body-enhancing makeup, so it makes Ethan's abs look worse by comparison. Lex tells us, "It's obviously not cool to laugh at your tribe members but...the makeup..." Kelly was in a sorority in college and she's never seen anyone as vain as Clarence. She then says, "Whatever, though, who am I to talk? It's his luxury item. Have fun. Paint yourself up like a little clown." Nasty hee. Kimj asks Clarence if he does this at home; he says he does it for paintball: "I just got into paintball with some people that I met." Poor Clarence is way too naïve to be on this show. "Some people that I met"? Kimj says that isn't what she meant: she just doesn't understand what being in Africa has to do with the war paint. Clarence replies, "When I get the paint on, it's just time to go to war -- time to feel stronger." Lex tells us that Clarence's cosmetic artistry is ridiculous because of where they are. But a two-year-old's high tops are perfectly reasonable. He adds, "If nothing else, having Clarence around -- it's good for humor." Okay, spoon man. Throughout this segment, Clarence painstakingly applies and reapplies the black makeup to various parts of his body. The segment closes with a slow-motion, backlit shot of the same.

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