Survivor
The Tides Are Turning

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Mr. Sleeze

Previously on Survivor, Clay sputtered and spewed at Jake for questioning the productivity of the former members of Chuay Gahn. Helen clapped her hands and giggled like a schoolgirl, and then her husband appeared, ate a lot of nasty things, stuck out his tongue, and returned to camp for a night at Chuay Jai. Brian's wife C.C. refused to eat a cockroach, and then beat him up. (But the beating up part came later. And it's not funny at all. No, it's not.) The S6 and their loved ones competed side by side in the immunity challenge, and Ted and his brother Alwan celebrated the victory with a roll in the sand. The tribe voiced half-assed concerns about each other, but Jake got voted out exactly as expected. Five members of the original Chuay Gahn tribe remain, and tonight one of them will go. Finally!

A moon sliver floats in the sky as a Thai singer wails. Tiny ants carry a large, dead, winged insect. A bird pokes around in the water and spears a fish. Two squid-like animals attack each other. Two crab-like animals attack each other. Two lizard-like animals attack each other. Do you think the editors are going for something here? Because I'm not quite convinced. On Day 34 at Chuay Jai, a weathered-looking Helen hacks violently at a coconut, then explains in an interview that the former members of Chuay Gahn haven't had to vote out a member since Day 12. As she voice-overs that they were the "joke team of Survivor," we see the crotchety S5 struggling to turn over their boat. She refers to the "losers" and "old people" of Chuay Gahn as a "band of misfits" who can't do anything right. Still, she insists that they never lost focus on the game, and they never gave up. It takes her about seventeen insults to get to a single compliment, so remind me never to turn to Helen for a few kind words in my favor.

At camp, Ted tells Clay that the "core of Chuay Gahn is right here," and it's not clear whether he means the five remaining players, or just him and Clay. A watchful Helen explains that, at this point, they will have to vote out one of their own because "the game is on full speed ahead." In a sunlit interview, Brian rambles, "What skills come into play at this part of the game? Skating skills. Who's the best skater -- ice skater? Who's got the longest skates on? Who's the best at cutting corners -- going around in circles? Because usually on [sic] skating, you gotta be ice cold. You can't lose your cool. You gotta be like ice. You gotta have friendship. You gotta cut off those friendships. You gotta keep stringin' people along and then bam! Throw 'em a nice slider. Mr. Freeze is in the house. Even though it's about 110 out here, I got my skates on." And that was quite an analogy, with the skating and the Mr. Freeze and the slider and the stringin' people along? And even if the comparison did work, Brian's definitely more Mr. Sleeze than Mr. Freeze.

A mirror sits on the beach, and Clay ambles toward it. It's not Harry Potter's Mirror of Erised, so sadly, when Clay looks into it, he will not see himself surrounded by nothing but fine asses. Spotting the mirror, he says, "Oh hell, a mirror." He then becomes immediately transfixed. He mutters to himself, "Oh, crap," and says, "Look at this? I'm nothin'!" He finally breaks away from his reflection, and shouts to the others about the new treemail. They want him to read aloud the clue, but he insists that it's something they need to see for themselves. Finally, Clay reveals that there is a mirror, and Ted yells in response, "Don't look at it too much -- we don't want it to crack!" Hee. As the others head over, Clay tells them, "Y'all [sic] not gonna believe the wrinkles in my face!" Why won't they believe the wrinkles in his face when they see him every day? Does the fact that there's a mirror now allow them more clearly to see Clay and his wrinkles? In an interview, Clay tells us that with his new wrinkles he looks like he's about sixty years old. We see a particularly gnomish pre-Survivor picture of Clay, and since he wasn't an especially youthful forty-nine-year-old going into the game, I don't see what's so surprising about the way he looks now. Anyway, Clay goes on about his wrinkles some more, and then Helen reads the clue aloud: "Behold the magic mirror, you've never looked so great/ This is no illusion: you've really lost some weight!/ Compare yourself to these photos taken just before the game./ You may return to regular size, but you'll never be the same." Helen distributes suitably rustic, framed photographs of each of the S5, taking particular pleasure in Brian's "chubby face." In an interview, Jan tells us that she immediately started laughing at her photograph because of her fat cheeks, but I think the pigtails alone are pure comedy. That aside, I don't understand Jan's amazement: I'd think she'd be far more surprised by what she sees in the mirror than by what she sees in the photograph. After all, she should be far more accustomed to the way she looks pre-Survivor than how she looks now. I can see if they were reacting with surprise to each other's photos, but they shouldn't be much shocked by their own. Jan tells us she had "some bosoms" in the photograph, but now looks like a "stick figure." Clay kisses his photograph and exclaims, "I am hot, y'all!" before Helen proceeds to point out how chubby everyone else is in their pictures.

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