Deep in the jungles of Guatemala, Jeff Probst regales us in the history of the Mayan civilization: how it grew to amazing and unprecedented power and then suddenly vanished. Does it foreshadow a certain Mart Burnett Productions? One can only hope. Today, the land once inhabited by the Maya now houses poisonous spiders, venomous snakes, dangerous crocodiles, and monkeys. Lots and lots of monkeys. For some reason, a new species has been introduced into this balanced if untamed ecosphere: the famis whoris. Jeff awaits the arrival of the sixteen new competitors, whom, he states, have already been split up into two tribes and are now trudging through the jungle to meet him. How they came to land on Guatemala, he does not explain. They could have been airdropped there or arrived by boat, but I prefer to think that they all simply crawled out from their natural habitat deep beneath the earth's crust. We get glimpses of our new subjects of ridicule: a buff young buck here, a wrinkled old fart there, and an ex-NFL quarterback over there. I'm calling dibs on hating the young blonde woman wearing the powder blue halter top and goofy pigtails. She's dressed as if she's some anime character. If you think I'm being way too harsh and judgmental with my views, then too bad. No one has said anything yet on this show save Jeff Probst. I have to get my hate on somehow.
Jeff welcomes the two new tribes and announces their names and puts in a plug to purchase the official Survivor: Guatemala buffs. The tribe known as Nakomis has a pissy yellow flag, while Tribe Huzzah! gets a more pleasing turquoise. He tells them how they'll have to go live just like the Maya did. They'll have to adapt to using Mayan tools, the Mayan dress code, and the nightly human sacrifices. Then, Jeff announces, they'll also get two more "tools" for the game. Such an apropos choice of words there, El Jeffe. He introduces Bobby Jon and Stephenie, two losers from the previous season of the show. Stephenie is assigned to the Huzzah! tribe. Brian, an Ivy League student on this tribe is ecstatic. "We're going to win!" he excitedly exclaims. Dude, chill, Stephenie was a member of only the most losingest team to ever appear in the series. His tribemate Brianna (does everyone's name begin with "B"?) one-ups his exclamation by crying tears of joy at her arrival. You would think Jesus H. Christ himself had arrived to bless Team Huzzah! by the reaction she received. Over at Team Nakomis, the reaction to the addition of Bobby Jon is more or less warm, but no one is crying or screaming "Praise the Almighty!" or bowing down to kiss his feet. One young woman is happy because Bobby Jon is, like, a cute guy or something. But farmer Brandon claims that he always thought Bobby Jon was a bit short on brain power.
Jeff lets them all know that Bobby Jon the backwoodsman and Ste. Stephenie du Palau are full contestants in the game. He then sets them off on their first reward challenge: an 11-mile hike through the rainforest to another Mayan ruin, where the first team to arrive will be able to set up camp and also receive flint to make fire. The losers will have to camp at a less opportune locale. I'm not sure that I feel comfortable with the Guatemalan government's ease with pimping out their ancient ruins. I mean, I went to see Stonehenge a few years ago and you couldn't get within 50 yards of those rocks. I don't think people should be allowed to go about camping and backstabbing in ancient ruins. Each tribe will get a compass, a map, water, corn, and fruit to take along with them. As Tribe Nakomis heads off, farmer Brandon, the one with enough sense to say that Bobby Jon was stupid, slips and falls, scattering bananas everywhere. Meanwhile, over at Tribe Huzzah!, the asskissing of Stephenie continues, while blonde pigtail girl asks everyone how to pronounce their tribe's name. Yes, yes, I do feel the hate growing inside of me. It yearns to break free.
Team Nakomis is making their way through the jungle by relying on the compass-reading skills of their token old guy, who is named Buford or Bullwinkle or something like that. I don't know. All their names start with "B". We find out that not only is he a retired fire chief, he also was in the Marines at one point, which means the casting director was trying to get that special combination of last season's winner fireman Tom and first season sentimental favorite and crotchety military man Rudy. But Buford or whatever his name is neither as attractive as Tom or as stubbornly humorous as Rudy, and thus, I am bored. Over at Tribe Huzzah! a whiny, red-headed "wilderness guide" mocks his teammate ex-NFL quarterback Gary Hogeboom for being really tall and smart and having grey hair and shit. Except whiny, red-headed wilderness guide (I call him Bitchina) doesn't realize that Gary Hogeboom IS an ex-NFL quarterback. Gary is keeping his past career as a professional athlete a secret from his fellow tribemates so that they don't kick him off before the crucial football challenge that Survivor usually holds late in competition. I'm not sure why this "lying about your profession" craze has suddenly swept all of the reality shows. I mean, usually if it's something other than "bartender/aspiring actor" I would like to know. I would be impressed. But last season we had token old guy Willard who said he was a postal worker instead of a lawyer, and he still was voted off of the tribe that never lost an immunity challenge. Then there's James from the most recent Big Brother who claimed he was a high school teacher because he figured everyone would be jealous of his real day job in mall security. At least this season on Survivor, we've got zookeepers and fishmongers and even a magician's assistant (she is still my nemesis though).
While supersecret ex-football player Gary proceeds to get his tribe lost, Tribe Nakomis has a new crisis when a tree branch full of spikes falls on top of the shoulder of Blake, their token generic, hot young guy. Teammate Margaret, who is a nurse practitioner tends to Blake's wounds. "You musn't go near a waytaba tree. They grab you," she chides. Then they continue to follow the little lost Bushmen to throw the coke bottle off the edge of the world, all the while foiling some inept, card-playing terrorists. Yes, I do wish I were watching The Gods Must Be Crazy again for the umpteenth time instead of this show. Why do you ask?
That night, both teams decide to take a much needed rest. Blake doesn't take well to the ipecac that Nurse Margaret gave him to cure his injured shoulder and starts dry-heaving all over the place. I'm off to write a nasty letter to the FCC. See, errant nipples, obscene words and gestures, and blood and gore don't bother me one bit. But pukage? There's way too much pukage on television these days. Hopefully the editors of this season's Survivor have gotten the need to show people vomiting out of their systems early this year. I promise I will purchase a gross of official Survivor buffs if we see no more vomiting scenes for the rest of the show.
The next morning, vicious, loud, howling monkeys awake Tribe Huzzah! from their slumber. I'm pulling for a vicious, loud, howling monkey to be made a permanent member of each tribe. Some members of Huzzah! want to sleep in a couple of minutes, but go-getter Brian shows his Ivy League spirit and convinces his teammates to get started. He's all smirky about it, too. "That's how I got into Yale, while Brianna and Brooke had to settle for DeVry." Later in the day, Team Huzzah! hears Team Nakomis somewhere nearby. Both teams reach a paved road in the middle of the forest and Team Huzzah! can see Team Nakomis just slightly ahead of them. Unfortunately, St. Stephenie's strategery backfires, since Team Huzzah! decided to let their smallest, oldest member, the fishmonger named Betty or something carry their team flag. Team Nakomis races once again out of reach. Bitsy the zookeeper, a member of Nakomis, remarks that their tribe was just like the racehorse Seabiscuit, who, when he saw his opponents catching up to him, sprinted ahead to the win. It would have been a nice analogy, except that Seabiscuit was blind in one eye. Or maybe it was Tobey Maguire that was blind. Or maybe Jeff Bridges. Or maybe all three. I don't know. I hated that movie.
Then another young guy who's name starts with a "B" stumbles. To everyone's surprise, it's that hardworking tool Bobby Jon. He says that he feels "cold as ice." Stupid Bobby Jon over-exerted himself and is now dehydrated. He never takes advice, and he's willing to sacrifice his tribe. He wants paradise, but someday he'll pay the price, I know. The Nakomis Tribe soon find a lake, and at the shore, canoes for each tribe to take them across to the winner's camp. As they paddle their way across, Huzzah! also reaches the shoreline and starts paddling in their canoe, but they are still too far behind to catch up.
In order to make it seem like Team Huzzah! has even a semblance of a chance to win this thing, Budd, the large, loud doorman from New York, proceeds to get stuck in the mud upon disembarking the Nakomis canoe. Then, Bobby Jon's cramps return, and he goes into a sort of catatonic state for a few minutes just for kicks. Budd and Bobby eventually get their collective shits together and Team Nakomis arrives to find Jeffy at their new home.
Team Huzzah! hikes off to the less desirable of the two camps. They get there. They work together to build a nice shelter. It's Steph and Gary up in the trees. And the forest gives them the answer. We don't hear squat from Huzzah! for the rest of the episode. Guess who wins immunity?
Over at Team Nakomis, Margaret Nightingale and her crack team of mainly female assistants are working overtime trying to help the sickly men. And, just like that, I've sent out another fifty or so nasty letters to the FCC and cancelled all my buff orders. I'm going to start hiring interns soon for my Stop the Vomit campaign. That's all we get for the next five minutes on this show. Blake hasn't stopped vomiting since last night. Old man Buford is coughing up a lung into every Mayan artifact he can find. Even the big, fat, obnoxious doorman Budd has succumbed to the male-oriented sickness. Worst of all is Bobby Jon, who is beyond the vomit stage and started varying his behavior between a coma and uncontrollable shakes. His eyes roll into the back of his head a few times, and Nurse Margaret sees if she can get Max von Sydow transported to the Guatemalan jungle in time.
After another ten minutes or so of vomiting scenes, we have the immunity challenge. The teams have to pull their respective canoes out of the water and pull and roll them atop a series of logs to a certain point and then light a torch. Huzzah! wins. I never saw it coming.
Back at Team Sickly, the vomiting resumes, now with an added twist. The old guy has his arm in a make-shift sling. He says that he tore a muscle during the challenge. So now the ladies of the tribe must make a decision: kick off sick, injured old guy or kick off a sick, injured young guy? Oh wait! There actually is one healthy young guy: farmer Brandon, the one who had the balls to say that Bobby Jon is a dimwit. Somehow that fated nasty remark saved him from a world of hurt.
At Tribal Council, we learn nothing particularly important, except that there is apparently a woman named Danni on the tribe, not Bambi, as I had originally presumed. Budd the Doorman wins the "doth protest too much" award for getting all defensive when Jeff probes him about getting sick: "I was only sick for an hour! Buford, Blake, and Bobby Jon were out the entire day!" I'm getting unpleasant vibes from Pudd here, very reminiscent of that angry, tobacco-chewing dude from the last season of The Apprentice.
They all go vote, and the old guy gets the boot. The only surprise to me is that his name isn't Buford at all. It's Jim. It doesn't even start with a "B"! I guess I just mess up those tiny details when I'm either falling asleep due to ennui or hiding my eyes due to excess pukage. Stupid, boring show. Needs more vicious, howling monkeys.
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