“Survivor” Recap: Colton Crumbles

Colton Cumbie

I love the perception that Big Brother is somehow the trashy version of Survivor. No it’s not. Survivor is just Big Brother hosted by a man dressed as a park ranger.

I don’t mean to slam the series that has garnered Jeff Probst four Emmys, but let’s be clear: Survivor is addicting in the exact same way as Big Brother (and as prone to off seasons), so let’s be sure to look past the Tomb Raider locale and tiki intrigue and remember we’re in this for petty scheming and dishonesty. And I’d love it if Julie Chen hovered over Redemption Island and dangled veto pendants like fancy fishing equipment into the arena.

Which reminds me: Colton Cumbie would be a very dynamic Big Brother player. I’m not saying he’d win (since winning requires some amount of guile), but sneakier players would use him to their advantage, certainly. He’d probably make more friends. He’d be even less apologetic. Judging by Big Brother champ Hayden Moss’ placement on Blood Vs. Water, we have to remember the possibility of Colton trying out a residency in Chenbot Manor isn’t out of the question. I hope he gets the shot. Because his chances of doing well there are probably three times greater than on Survivor, particularly this season.

If you saw the first episode of Survivor: Blood Vs. Water last week, you’ll remember that the returning gay hellcat told us he had changed since Survivor: One World, as he was no longer an incendiary, insecure person. If you saw the second episode of Survivor: Blood Vs. Water last night, you’ll remember that Colton told us he had changed since the first episode of Survivor: Blood Vs. Water. He is now an incendiary, insecure person again. Well, I don’t know about insecure. He’s impatient, and that’s driving his current streak of resentment and hellraising. Over in the Galang tribe, he’s surrounded by veterans like Tina and Monica who tout pacifism and try not to talk about gameplay when they don’t have to. Colton thinks that’s offensive.

And that brings us to today’s topic: an in-depth analysis of Colton’s finest (er, most provocative) quotes this episode. Not much else of note happened last night aside from Rupert’s un-dramatic ousting during the Redemption Island challenge (still a bit of a bummer) and newbie Rachel getting voted out of Tadhana in another men-overruling-ladies blindside. Brad did threaten to bodyslam Gervase behind his back at some point, though. Guys, Brad is pretty dumb so far. Sometimes I bet he looks at the sky, outstretches his arms in agony, and cries, “FOOTBALL.” Anyway.

103340_d06769bMeanwhile, Colton’s boyfriend Caleb is surrounded by ample beefiness.

Here are the Colton quotes I’m thinking about.

1. “I thought this whole Zen calm yoga mentality would be appealing to me. Well it was. For three days. Now I’m over it.”

If this is the only moment I totally sympathize with Colton, so be it. God, I thought this was funny. You cannot deny that at his best, Colton is a wicked baby Paul Lynde who shops at Aeropostale. Same face, same stank-eye, same spectacle. If I was surrounded by Bikram ladies who massaged each other while purring niceties, I’d grouse too. As Colton says, it’s a bit “kumbaya.” It’s a lot kumbaya, in fact.

Unfortunately, Colton didn’t keep his resentment to himself and immediately hissed at Monica about everyone’s horrible niceness. Monica, who is already the adage-spewing Lisa Whelchel of this season, responded, “This game is about patience!” She is right. But Colton has already crossed The Famous Colton Cumbie Microscopic Threshold Of Patience, and I assume — like the door locking behind you in a Bikram yoga class — this means we’re stuck here in his red-hot aura for awhile.

2. “I’m here to play Survivor. I’m not here to play Red Rover.”

That analogy could be better. Red Rover is a pretty harsh game, all things considered. But again I like that he’s justifying his impatience in terms of gameplay, saying he’d rather actively “outplay” his opponents than coexist with them as if a gigantic check isn’t awaiting the most cunning player. Man, can you even imagine what “Colton: Day 34” would be like? Could that possibly exist? How can his current levels of anger and discomfort evolve over a period of weeks? Will it get there? I’m betting on no, but for research purposes I really want it to happen.

3. “When I’m angry, I turn into a raging b*tch. Hopefully this camp will erupt into chaos, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that I can rule in chaos.”

Colton was later dubbed “the gay Russell Hantz” this episode, and that strikes me as a stretch. Russell methodically needles his prey, and Colton is mostly just loud. We’ve yet to see Colton attempt to “rule,” but I’m not buying that he can wheedle his fellow castmates into becoming his allies. His team members are too impressed with their own maturity, frankly. They’re also too mature for real.

4. “I hope we go to the immunity challenge tomorrow and get slaughtered. These people need to experience tribal council and realize this is a game. This isn’t National Lampoon’s Horrible Vacation.”

Well if it isn’t SNARK GRISWOLD entering the arena. Again, I appreciate the attempt at a reference. Thank you for this, Colton. But it’s Day 3.0001 and you’re freaking out that your competitors aren’t dropkicking lightning bolts at one another. How. Can. He. Sustain. This.

5. Following Probst’s query about whether he’s leaving the game: “I don’t care what y’all say!” [Runs over into Caleb’s lap in the Redemption Island bleachers.]

OK, this came from the preview for next week, but it’s the most telling quote of the episode. Apparently Colton might be leaving the show. Ugh, what? This is the reason I was upset with the Elissa fandom during the past season of Big Brother: Nothing is cool or laudable about reality show contestants who keep threatening to leave the show, particularly if they’ve been invited on the show thanks to special circumstances (e.g. having a famous sister contestant or being a famous gay Gorgon on a past season). I get that Colton agreed to be on the show because of Caleb’s involvement (and separation from him must feel like a constant punch to the gut), but if you’re obsessed with everyone else realizing “this is a game,” you should probably play the game. Otherwise you’re wasting our time. If you’re a gay loudmouth bandit, you have the potential to be evil and polarizing, which I usually appreciate. Don’t squander your whiny-ass sorcery now, little Lynde.

What now? Are any of you finding something to root for in this gay antihero?