They're Back!

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Miss Alli: A | Grade It Now!
Tina Tumbles

Asked if that's fair, Tina squeaks, "Of course not," as if that's totally obvious, which it isn't. She explains, though, that all the winners who came back knew that was the case, so she's apparently decided to be adult about it, in the passive-aggressive sense of the word "adult." I mean, she's basically saying that the past winners all knew that all the other people they would wind up playing with would do something that's obviously not fair, and there comes a point where, if you know it's how everyone else will logically feel, you have to ask yourself whether, at some level, perhaps it is fair. Jeff asks Rupert whether he would vote for a winner, and Rupert says that he'd like to think it wouldn't matter. He doesn't, however, say for sure one way or the other. Rudy says he thinks past winners have a right to win if they can win, but I'm not sure how that answers the question of how he would vote. In fact, I'd say the way he's going to vote tends to answer better the question of how he would vote.

A put-out Ethan proceeds to make a completely inapt sports analogy, which is that the team that won the championship last year isn't, after all, kept from competing this year. Absurd! What a dumb-ass. No one is disqualifying him. All Jenna's saying is that she is looking to vote him out. He hasn't been disqualified. He hasn't been kept from competing. He is already here. Now it is his job to convince people not to vote for him. It's not their job to agree to ignore certain factors in voting because he doesn't think (in his totally unbiased opinion) that those factors should be considered. Winning is just getting people not to boot you. If he wants to talk sports, we can talk sports -- quit standing around on the field whining about the officiating, Ethan, and play the damn game. He's essentially arguing, after all, that you can consider everything else in deciding whether and when to vote for people -- whether you like them, whether they're your friends, whether they're loyal to you, whether you think voting some other way would make you look bad, whether they do well in challenges, whether they said something rude to you, whether they're a good person, whether they're honest -- everything but the fact that they already have a million dollars. It's just preposterous, and self-serving, and total bullshit, and the fact that he delivers it with such self-righteous smugness is why he came off to me as, at this point, utterly hateworthy. I mean, look, I believe in bringing back winners. In fact, I've said this before -- I think it's assy not to bring back winners. You have to, or else it's not "All-Star." And then they compete again, and if they win again, they deserve to win again, and that's fine. If Hatch can convince these idiots to let him take the million again, that's perfectly fair, and I would never complain about the victory on the basis that he was a past winner. But everybody else has every right to want to beat them, just as every team has the right to be especially motivated against the Yankees. So what do you do if you want to beat them? You go out and beat them, on whatever basis the game is played. In a hundred-yard dash, you run faster. In the high jump, you jump higher. In skating, you skate better. In Iron Chef, you make better asparagus ice cream. And in Survivor, you Vote. Them. Out. The essence of playing is getting other people not to vote for you, and if Ethan is afraid to play it with all its uncertainties the way everyone else does, he's the one who doesn't understand the nature of competition, not Jenna.

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