When we left off at the close of the Survivor finale, Vecepia was celebrating a victory for Bible-bangers everywhere. Non-Bible-bangers, meanwhile, were celebrating a victory of their own: the extinguishing of Neleh's torch. There's something for everyone on this show!
We move from Peachy's squelching of Neleh's "life on the island" directly into the reunion special. While the entire cast gathers and pretends to be happy for Vecepia, a motorcycle rolls into the set bearing a big, orange-clad Rosie O'Donnell. A quick shot of Rob Mariano reveals that the last several months have not treated him well, and I mistake him for Bryant Gumbel in a quick flash of the celebrating S16. Rosie is very excited to reveal that Colby is the driver of her motorcycle; she even lets him get a few words in! She asks how everything is with him, hugs him, and starts screeching about how happy she is to see him. Incidentally, she continues screeching about something or other until the show's close. Somewhere -- New York City, her house in the Hamptons, the gynecologist's office -- she screeches still. Colby forces Rosie off the bike by pointing out that she has a show to do. She grubs for more audience applause in his honor as he roars off.
A very unhappy-looking old redheaded woman clutches a water bottle in the front row of the audience. Her presence must be important since they make a point of including the shot. Except it's not important at all, because this show is extraordinarily half-assed -- even more so than usual. Maybe they're plugging for a contract with a bottled-water company next season. Who knows?
Rosie trots onto the stage and enfolds Just Peachy in a hug; she then begins hugging the S16. She is perfectly cast to host this show, because she enjoys hugging just as much as Survivor cast members do. Try to picture Bryant Gumbel hugging anyone. Except himself, that is.
In the first of many random and disordered -- if genuine -- moments of the episode, Rosie asks what Neleh thought when her name wasn't called. They both agree that her response was the obvious "Oh my heck!" Rosie then brags that the upcoming special will be the greatest hour of television ever, because she thinks Survivor is the best show on TV. I guess she can admit this now that her own crap-ass show is over. She insists that they need to kick off the special with a "production number." She tells "Ricardo" to "hit it," and some imported Marquesans or actors dressed up like Marquesans chant and play bongos while the theme song to Gilligan's Island begins. And then Rosie starts singing. And it's bad. Really bad. In fact, it's a stretch just calling it "singing," because it may be something else entirely. It's like singing's backwards cousin from Utah who says "Oh my heck" all the time. I become more and more obsessed with the fact that this caterwauling, untalented woman -- one who is not an obvious candidate for having gotten there on looks alone, or by sleeping her way up the ladder -- has actually had a musical career on Broadway. There's hope for us all! Not only is the song poorly sung, it's horribly written, too. Rosie totally phones this one in; it's like one of those "Can you hear me now?" commercials, except the answer is, "Yes! Yes, I can hear you. Now for the love of God, please try something else!" And now, the song: