Last Night’s “Survivor”: Brother Nature



Sorry if you heard a rumbling coming from the west side of the continent last night; it was only me throwing myself off my dresser and on to some landmines after hearing Vytas on Survivor say, “Blood Vs. Water should be called ’Vytas Vs. Aras,’ because we would have to be real stupid not to make it to the end at this point.”

What is this specific disease on reality TV where reality contestants form powerful alliances, then decide their competitors will respect those alliances because they are such cool alliances or something? Because Vytas has it full-blown. Thing is, he was savvy enough to know that his female competitors singled him out as an easy target in the preceding weeks. Guess he didn’t think they’d realize that — oh yeah! — Vytas and Aras would be a dynamic team if paired up on a single tribe. More specifically, Vytas didn’t think Gervase would flip sides and vote out his once-trusted companion Aras. That’s slightly more reasonable, but it is still astounding that Vytas felt he and his brother weren’t targets. It makes you not to want to root for him, even if his completely transparent social game worked some magic on Tina, Monica, and the Lauras.

But like most episodes that fill me with a hot, Jane Curtin-railing-against-the-sexism-of-John-Belushi rage, I also found myself heartened by the sheer chaos of the voting situation during tribal council last night. We’re in an unpredictable year, and that probably a means a bizarre dark horse candidate will take it all. Maybe Gervase? Maybe Caleb? I can’t pretend the likeliness of either victory is graphable, but I’m torqued to see some major deaths in the coming weeks.

Otherwise, here are the only five notable observations I had about Wednesday’s episode.

Tina, please don’t be dumb. I’ve invested a lot of energy in liking you too much.


Tina walks about the Survivor grounds in a cloud of earthy goodness like the smily Tennessee version of Pigpen. She’s obviously smart but she’s not threateningly smart, and that somehow makes her an under-the-radar player who already has a million dollars under her belt. Though for a moment I wondered if she was toast when she essentially told Monica in a group setting that she was ranked fifth in their group alliance. Oh, Tina. You did not win Survivor with moves like that. No one does. And you especially don’t win when you make someone like Monica nervous, since she spends her entire day touching people’s shoulders, asking them to re-confirm their trust, and then worrying under a tree. As of now, I still love Tina. But I need her never to play Survivor like a foolish intern again.

Ugh, and John is gone. Justice/hotness loses.


Jeff Probst put on his extra-big celebration khaki shorts for this announcement: Redemption Island’s first leg is over, so the three pitbulls duking it out — Laura M., Laura B., and John — were now competing this time to reenter the game while the two losers vacate the premises. This would’ve been a thrilling situation had the game not been one of those cling-to-a-pole endurance tests where women almost always win. You knew John’s huge man feet were going to slip. Then you knew Laura B. would lose to Laura M. since Laura M. has the tiny, glistening musculature of Victoria Beckham after a thorax polish. And so it went.

But my God, guys, please never forget how hot John was. That was some all-American, super-smiling, soccer-understanding man-ness right there. He looks like someone diving in slow-motion from the “Boys of Summer” video. Do you think he knows that? Let’s flood his Twitter.

Dear Survivor contestants: Memorization games are not hard. 


I had two thoughts when the immunity challenge turned out to be a memorization-based sequencing game: 1) Monica will lose first, and 2) This will be over fast. Well, fiddle-dee-dee, I was right on both counts. Monica, like all people who treat their own personal revelations like beautiful jewels to be shared in awe during confessionals, was just bound to lose. The key to winning a challenge like this is simple mnemonics: If Jeff asks you to memorize “Barrel” and then “Lantern,” you’ve got to string together a phrase beginning with the initials “B.L.” What a fine occasion to think about Brian Littrell! I found this challenge reeeeally easy, and I wasn’t surprised to see Vytas win in the end, even though Gervase’s showing was impressive.

What happened to powerhouse gay cub Caleb?


We haven’t heard much from Joltin’ Colton’s deadpan widower in the past couple weeks. Are we worried? I hope he and the trophy-colored Hayden are playing improv games and jumping rope made out of long reeds when we’re not watching. I couldn’t bear if Caleb left the game before Tina’s daughter or Ciera or Laura M. He’s done a lot of work, and he’s accomplished it wearing the same Aeropostale button-up shirt for the past eight weeks. That’s somebody I give a million dollars or more to. Every day of my life. Little-known fact about me.

Oh, hotness loses again: What an embARASment.


(That pun is bothering me since “embarrassment” has two Rs in it. Live with it, everyone/me.)

Aras had been enjoying some serious cockiness in the past few weeks. He was pretty sure he was destined to make it a long way in the game, and in some ways, who could blame him? His machinations were mostly discreet, and he wasn’t in the company of his brother, so he didn’t seem like an utter threat yet. But he really thought he had big numbers on his side during last night’s tribal council, and unfortunately the rising crusader Gervase switched his vote and helped to evict Aras over more staid picks like Laura M. or Ciera. He’s only at Redemption Island for now, but let us remember what we’ve lost: more tan sexiness. Actually, Aras has been looking a little orange and white lately, and during some frames he looks exactly like a WNBA basketball. But still: Hawt and strategic and pretty funny and not-too-annoyingly-Zen-focused and a clear underestimator of many players in this game. I hope the upcoming Redemption Island challenges involve modeling for an H&M underwear campaign or doing pull-ups on low tree branches or something. Whatever looks good in your portfolio, Aras.

What’d you think of Wednesday’s episode? Fine enough? Who’s winning this petty sand drama right now?