Survivor
Panicked, Desperate, Thirsty As Hell

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The Removal Of Rudy

"Survivors ready...go!" Hatch is naked, of course, because anything he can do to stand out more and be on camera more, he is perfectly willing to do. Chapera gets off to the fastest start. "Come on, Big Red!" yells the sidelined Tom. Saboga is right with Chapera at first, but Rudy rather quickly lags behind. Jenna helps bring him along. "We need you, buddy," she says. "Come on, you just have to get to the beach." He stumbles as they get out of the water on the beach, and once he's up, Jerri grabs his hand to help him in. Shii Ann, Rudy, and Alicia drop out of their respective tribes for the next leg. It's still essentially a dead heat, but the teams begin to separate, Saboga first, Mogo Mogo second, and Chapera third. For the next leg, Jenna, Kathy, and Amazon Rob sit out. Big Tom continues shouting encouragement; Boston Rob looks dead tired. The order remains the same, and Jerri, Colby, and Amber are the next to sit. In the last leg, it's Ethan, Hatch, and Boston Rob, but there is no upsetting the order at this point, and the winning log is brought home by Ethan as a voice yells, "We love you, Ethan!" I originally thought it was Jenna, but after several listens, I actually think it might be Jerri. They both transparently hate him, so either way, it's a sop to the guy with the big log. (If I had a nickel for...oh, never mind.) Saboga is the big winner.

Unsurprisingly, given the lameness of the blanket reward, Jeff explains that there is a catch. The catch is that instead of the blankets, they can choose a prize package including flint for starting fires as well as a pot that has instructions on the side that will lead them to the first of the three keys they need to open the mystery trunk, which, Jeff reveals, contains rice. You can tell how intensely these people are frustrated by their situation just by watching the way Boston Rob's face goes cold with despair when he hears that one of the other tribes might be given flint so that they could have "a constant source of fire." However, as it turns out, the catch in the catch is that if Saboga takes the prize package instead of the blankets, then all three tribes -- not just their own -- will get that package. Left with really no choice, Saboga goes for the alternative, which means all three teams are taking the same reward back to camp. This smelled to me like a situation where they had to find a way to get these people fire, because you can't actually let them dehydrate into little raisins. The deal was just far too obviously slanted to force them to take the flint; why would you take blankets, compared to a fire? However much warmer you think you'll be with blankets? Fire will be better. Plus you can eat, and you can drink, and you can function. So there was no choice. All the teams rejoice. Lex blows a kiss to Jenna L., which she returns. Ah, love among the tattoos and nipple rings. The only person who looks unhappy is Hatch, who I think was still thinking maybe he would spontaneously make a fire at some crucial time and win big points, and who now has no such option and has therefore done nothing yet for himself except act like an jerk. Oops.

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Survivor

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