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I Cooked for Two Days Straight to Watch This Shit?
Survivor Season 9: Vanuatu - Episode 11



By jillybob
11/28/2004

A Very Special(eh) Thanksgiving Episode

We kick off with a Survivor Trivia Quiz. What item has host Jeff Probst taken home from every season of Survivor?

A. Ugly-ass immunity idol
B. Ugly-ass tribal council faux-primitive jar-and-pen set
C. Ugly-ass snuffy snuffer thing
D. Limited Edition Survivor Buff available at cbs.com
E. The spleen of his least favorite Survivor, removed with a spoon, braised in a white wine and butter reduction on a bed of broccoli rabe, drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil and just a sprinkling of sea salt, and served with couscous and a light Sauvignon

I sit through the commercial break in breathless anticipation of the answer (no, not really) and am delighted and intrigued (no, not really) to discover that it’s the stupid ugly-ass snuffer thing. Yes, really. Jeff Probst has saved every single goddamned snuffer from every single goddamned season of Survivor, and CBS has deemed this nugget of information compelling enough to create a trivia question about it. This leads me to conclude that Jeff Probst is quite possibly the least interesting man alive, and all those times I thought he was sardonically snarking the contestants, he was really just cranky from the humidity and wondering when his next shipment of hair product was going to arrive on the banana boat. Oh well.

What’s that you say? You say I have to summarize the actual episode? The whole thing? Oh, fine.

You may recall that last week, one-legged Chad was sent on his merry one-legged way by the Lesbian Mafia **. Then again, you may not recall, because you may not care all that much. Whatever. Anyway, we rejoin the Survivors as Chris and all the smug lesbians return to camp. Chris, not the brightest bulb on the string, nonetheless notices that he is not a lesbian, and therefore must do some fast stratgery strategating strategorizing talking. He immediately goes to the Power Lesbians and rats out Scout and Twila, saying that it was their idea to vote off Icky Bug-Eyed Eliza, the Hyperthyroid Queen. Leann then confronts Twila, who mutters something in Okie-speak that apparently amounts to ratting out Scout. Actually, much of tonight’s episode features one bitch ratting out the other. A lot of ratting. In fact, if there were any more ratting in there, it would be Jon Bon Jovi’s old hair.

Luxury challenge time. And what could possibly be more exciting than the challenges we’ve already experienced? A quiz testing our Survivors’ recollection of the challenges we’ve already experienced! And the prize … is a one-hour internet chat with a loved one! Can you feeeeeeeel the excitement? Can you? CAN YOU?!?!?!?!?!?

*sigh*

Everybody gets a one-minute preview on the computer with their loved ones. There is a potentially dramatic moment when Twila reveals that she can’t type and everyone bursts into tears, but instead of slapping her silly and calling her an idiot, stupid Jeff just reveals an apparently moron-proof web cam, and the moment is gone. So we see brief-yet-mindnumbingly-dull glimpses of Twila’s son, Leann’s friend, Eliza’s mom, Julie’s stoned friend, Scout’s girlfriend (ahem, “partner”), Ami’s girlfriend, and Chris’ girlfriend/fiancée/hag. Everybody cries and cries at the sight of those they’ve left behind. I feel compelled to mention that at this point, these candy-asses have been gone twenty-eight days. Twenty-eight days. I went away to camp for longer than that when I was ten, and did I cry like a little bitch? Hell, no! It was all bourbon, meth, and whores, and I was grateful! Actually, it was theater camp. But I still didn’t cry. These people suck.

Anyway. I’m not going to go into the details of a competition that relives the details of competitions that were too dull to describe in the first place. You can play your dramatic music all you want, Survivor Scoring Whores. I won’t do it. Eliza wins. So there. And instead of popping up on the computer, Eliza’s mom pops out of the bushes and yells, “Surprise!” The reward isn’t a computer chat, it’s an overnight visit!

Jeff then says to the remaining loser Survivors, “As you may have guessed by now, all your loved ones are really here. Unfortunately, since you lost, they will now be thrown, one by one, into the mouth of the live volcano.”

YAAAAAAAY! Now THAT’S good television! BOOYAH!

Unfortunately, I come out of my happy tryptophan haze to discover I hallucinated that last bit, and what Jeff actually said is some shit like, “and now your loved ones will emerge from the shrubbery for one last bittersweet farewell.” Well, for them it’s bittersweet. I’m just bitter. Everybody cries a shitload more, and the loved ones shuffle off to oblivion. Meanwhile, Eliza’s mother schleps back to camp with the gang. Eliza tells her mother that she’s not popular; everybody thinks she talks too much. Eliza’s mother responds, “oh, they think you’re annoying?” I'd find this quick and brutal insight rather endearing, were it not for the fact that Mom’s the one who raised Eliza to be so motherfucking annoying in the first place. So it’s really just kind of rude. Mom tells us that she worried about Eliza being eaten by bugs, Ebola, and giant polar bears. What Mom doesn’t realize is that no creature alive would eat Eliza, as proven by the fact that she’s spent a month surrounded by Neanderthals and lesbians, and still hasn’t gotten any play.

Ami and Leann confront Scout about her treachery. Scout, continuing the episode’s rodenty theme, rats out poor exiled one-legged Chad. Of course, Chad was in no way responsible for the genesis of the Eliza eviction plan, but whatever. Ever-honest Scout is then enraged to find that Leann and Ami are reneging on their promise to take her to the final four. See, Scout vowed to play the game with absolute moral integrity … until that stopped panning out for her. Now Scout is pissed, and she’s ready to knock skulls. Holy crap! That is one angry old hippie lesbian!

I guess Eliza’s mother had nothing else of any note to say, because now it’s morning and she’s leaving. In a last-ditch attempt to be interesting, Mom gives Eliza the shirt off her back. But because Eliza's mom is not the sort of person you want to see shirtless, the attempt fails, and clad only in her sports bra and ugly slacks, she powerboats away while everyone waves as if they care.

Ami and Leann confront Twila, who, refreshingly, does not rat anyone out, but merely pledges her slavish devotion to the Alliance Lesbionica, swearing on the life of her son. Twila then tells the camera that, with a million dollars on the line, God will understand the whole swearing-on-the-life-of-her-son thing, and if not, fuck it -- neither God nor the son have ever given her a million dollars, or even a decent pair of shoes for that matter.

Chris, convinced he is doomed to be sent home, guarantees that he’ll get immunity. It’s assured. It’s in the bag. It’s a fact. It’s so definitely going to happen that the plaque has already been engraved with his name on it, and the chorus of angels that will hail his victory has already learned all their parts in “O Christopher, O Christopher.” Immunity is his!

Yeah, right.

It’s time for the immunity challenge, and guess what? No, you’ll never guess, because what happens next is such a shockingly shocking shock of a twist that no one could have ever seen coming ever ever ever. EVER!

The loved ones are back. SURPRISE!!!!!!

Bleh. Anyway, in the challenge, the loved ones are blindfolded while their corresponding Survivors shout directions at them. There are bags that need to be retrieved, there are puzzles to be assembled, there are fun poles in the middle of everything that not nearly enough people run into. For a while, it looks close, except for Leann, whose friend is so far behind that Leann just tells her to give up and take a load off. But alas, the breathless drama of competition can’t last forever, and eventually Ami and her woman win.

Chris announces that this is his death knell, and he’ll now be going home. Mmm hmm. Chris has proved to have such stunning powers of prediction in this episode that I half expect to see him standing in the pouring rain outside my window, predicting a drought. So I am less than shocked to see Ami & Co. gather in the forest and decide to evict Eliza instead of Chris.

Twila goes to Chris, and in a tone unsettlingly reminiscent of Glinda the Good Witch crossed with the Godfather, tells him that he’s held the key to his own salvation all along. Apparently, the key is Eliza. I’ve always thought of her more as the missing link between bug and man, but I guess she could be a key, too. So Chris goes to Eliza and tells her she’s on the block, and that if she knows what’s good for her, she’ll vote with him, Twila, and Scout. (Remember, Scout was cast out of the Lesbian Fantastic Final Four, and is now on a quest for revenge.) Eliza rolls her gianormous eyes around and yammers on about not trusting Scout and Twila, and how if they’re lying, then she’ll get voted off. I don’t really follow this logic, since if they’re telling the truth, she’s already getting voted off. Maybe Eliza’s bug eyes really are bug eyes, and her field of vision is in fact divided into thousands of hexagonal images, causing her to think there are a lot more Survivors and therefore a lot more votes in play than there actually are. Maybe Eliza’s just stupid. Or maybe Eliza agreed immediately, and then the producers took her into the jungle and beat her with sticks until she agreed to go back and re-shoot the scene so as to create the breakneck “for the love of God, how will it end?” dramatic tension Survivor is so known for. Hard to say.

Praise the lesser-known lesbian goddesses and pass the ammunition, it’s finally time for tribal council. Chad and Sarge, as members of the jury, are brought out to sit on a log and be useless. Jeff says, “So Eliza, everybody hates you, huh? What’s that like?” Eliza talks for a looooong time, and it all pretty much amounts to, “Every week I think I’m going home, and every week I almost do.” Only she says it over and over and over again as Ami smirks in the background, secure in her lesbian power. Jeff asks the equally smug Leann why she told her directionally-challenged friend to give up during the immunity challenge. Leann says, “Well, Jeff, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a member of the Lesbian Kabal of Alinta, and we rule all, so the fact that my friend couldn’t find her ass with a flashlight didn’t seem all that important. It’s not like I needed immunity. I’m perfect. I’m safe. I’m safer than safe. In fact, Jeff, I’m safer than you, and I suggest you watch your back and keep a tight grip on your snuffer, there, bucko.” Leann is supremely, unshakably confident. Leann has never seen an episode of any voting-based reality show ever.

There’s voting, there’s counting, and by a vote of 4 to 3 … LEANN IS KNOCKED ON HER ASS AND SENT HOME! Ami’s face contorts and shrinks back from her teeth in what I assume is an expression of disgust, but for all I know she’s merely trying to count to four over and over again in her head, wondering where she went wrong. Over on the jury log, Chad and Sarge nudge each other gleefully in a way that is probably supposed to denote, “at last, our darkest foe has been diabolically undone.” But, incapable of complex facial expressions, they just look like a couple of junior high boys who just saw their first boob. Still, they’re happy and it’s nice for them.

Oh, and Leann is pretty surprised, too. Ha-ha.

Next week: Ami and Julie say, “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck!”


** I would just like to apologize to all the lesbians I have ever known, who are without exception lovely, intelligent people, and in no way resemble any of the whores, gay or straight, who are featured in this weekly parade of asshattery. Thank you.

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