Episode 1 Survivor
Episode 1 – Survivor Guatemala
Well, the first episode of the eleventh survivor season brought a rather interesting surprise and a predictable ending, but you’ll discover that later (or have already done so, if you watched the show).
Jeff Probst was filmed strolling through some impressive Mayan ruins, informing us that the place was infested with jaguars (the mean spotted wild cats, not the cars unless they feature later as the prize in a reward challenge), snakes, spiders and crocodiles. He went on to say that the competitors would be suffering through extreme temperatures, high humidity and storms, yet he wondered just why the Mayan culture disappeared. It’s not that hard to figure out, Jeff love – they simply got sick to death of living in a place with all of the nasty crap mentioned above roaming around in the back yard not including the other attractions such as foot-rot, spiky tree branches, monkeys overhead sounding like Cujo in heat, having ants to look forward to as your pre-dinner snack and never being able to get your washing dry.
In this series, the tribes had already been decided prior to the first challenge. No wild shocks or excitement there, then. However the second change was a bit more of a surprise – each tribe was to be given a ‘tool’ to help them; in this case a human version – Bobby Jon and Stephenie; the two hardest working losers of the last series set in Palau. Jeff told the tribes that BJ and Stephenie were also bonafide players with their eyes on the million bucks. Jamie, the waterskiing/wannabe actor with spare tyres for eybrows wasn’t impressed: “All the girls think Stephenie’s their hero. I didn’t shed a tear – how am I going to win a million dollars if she’s here?” (Note to non-Aussies reading this: A “tool” in our slang means a wanker/jerk – here’s hoping that BJ and Super S don’t live out that particular meaning….)
The Probster, never a big fan of milling about, immediately set them on their reward challenge: an eleven mile (or 17.6km for us metrics) hike through the jungle to find canoes in order to paddle them to the preferred tribal camp site. The first tribe would win that site as their home for the next 39 days and a flint to light fire. Each tribe had to decide (and quickly, because time was a wastin’) how much of the corn, water and fruit they were prepared to drag along with them.
Nakum team member Brandon the Farm Boy told us “The last time I hiked eleven miles was like, never,” and we were immediately treated to lovely ‘Funniest Home Video’ scene of him flipping onto his arse and losing all of his bananas; the irony not lost on me that it wasn’t the bananas that caused him to slip in the first place. Meanwhile, on the other team (Yaxha), Stephenie expressed concern about being too strong and too obvious a target: “Maybe they do just want to get rid of me.”
Super Steph needn’t have bothered worrying. She and Gary the secret Dallas Cowboys dude (hereby known as Gazza, seeing as this is an Aussie site), took control of the compass and tried to lead their team through the forest. Rafe, the gay-Mormon Boris-Becker-lookalike noted that “The leader is always the one who steps out and gets voted off first. Gary’s the tallest, has grey hair….” Gary thought the same: “I don’t want to be a leader but my paternal instinct will kick in with these kids.” Whatever, footy-boy: it’s Stephenie who’s leading this tribe already, not you, lovey puss.
At Nakum, they too were struggling, slipping, slashing and sweating. Judd the pud admitted that “I’m just a freakin’ doorman from Noo Yooark. I never been camping.” His comrade Blake, fulfilling the show’s requirement for the model-slash-whatever-cute boy player, got struck by a rampaging tree branch. It was a spiky little bastard that left most of its prickly bits in his shoulder. Luckily nurse Margaret was on hand to pluck them out and to remind him to keep up his water intake.
By night fall, neither tribe was within cooo-ee of finding their camp, let alone the canoes needed to paddle them there. At Nakum, poor old Blake spent the night doubled-over praising god over a tree root with Margaret telling us that the chuck-fest was in response to the pain from his shoulder.
On Day two – very early on Day Two – both tribes were woken up by Guatemala’s own natural alarm clocks – some treetop monkeys roaring and growling in the trees directly above them. Amy described it as “Being like (the movie) Predator”, but at least they didn’t have to put up with that ‘ol condom-full-of-walnuts / piece-of-dead-wood otherwise known as Arnie being on their team as well.
Somehow Yaxha (Steph and Gazza’s crew) stumbled across Nakum, who mustered up enough energy to start running ahead of them in the rain. Yaxha had a couple of laggers (Chunky fishmonger Lydia and Amy the podgy policeperson) and saw their hopes of winning the hike disappear as far up the muddy garden path as their enemies Nakum.
The Nakum Tribe, whilst leading, suffered their second injury. Bobby Jon felt extremely cold and fell to the ground with his right leg suffering severe cramps. Nurse Margaret took him under her wing and got him going again, noting that it was another case of dehydration and intense physical overexertion. His team mates were a bit shocked. Cindy the zoo keeper said “We didn’t expect this guy to go down so early.”
Somehow they made it to their canoe and to the winning campsite first. Judd, in Brandon the Farm Boy’s words, “Had a premature evacuation and ended up in mud like quicksand.” Hmmm, judging by that comment, young Brandon ‘aint the innocent, un-eduh-macated hayseed he’s trying to present himself as, is he?
Just think: the first task of the competitors was to undertake a grueling, 24 hour trek through Satan’s own fernery, with the losing team rather tersely told by Jeff to bugger off and keep paddling to their own less grand and fireless place. Bless their sweet hearts though, the Yaxha team didn’t stay down for long. Like a bunch of sweaty munchkins they immediately started making their shelter. Super Steph was all smiles: “I’m finally on a tribe that’s got as much spirit and determination as me.” Look I’m sure she’s right but these yanks aren’t exactly modest about their qualities are they? If it was an Aussie in her position, we’d be more likely to say “Not bad here.”
The winning Nakumians started to look as though they’d had a huge beer and vodka party the night before and were now suffering the hangovers. Blake was still in technicolour yawn mode; Judd joined him and Jimbo the old guy also visited the puke party and then slumped under a tree looking 93 instead of his 63 years.
Bobby Jon was flat-out on the ground, exhausted and cramped. His eyes started rolling back in his head whilst Margaret called out his name in order to bring him back to earth. In a scene to camera later, he managed to sit up and say “Palau was recess compared to Guatemala.” Interestingly all the Nakumian girls were fine, as was Farm Boy Brandon, but I’m sure as hell they wouldn’t have appreciated the lovely vomit odour surrounding them in those humid and hellishly hot conditions….
Day 3 dawned with a challenge in their, er, ‘pot mail’? It’s fairly easy to assume that the challenges in the first few episodes of the shows are going to be physically stressful with a huge reliance on male muscle. This one fit the bill perfectly – rowing out to a “Booey” (or ‘boy’ to us who talk different but more gooder), rowing back to the beach and pulling the boat along via ropes and logs.
Super S got her foot caught under a log and Danni tripped and fell under one. That didn’t surprise me at all – that woman has got more than a six pack, she’s got a whole slab (24 cans) worth of muscles in her emaciated stomach. It’s concave and she had the nerve to tell NW in an interview this week that “I used to be a model, so I’m used to going without food. It sucks, because I like to eat.” Sure doesn’t look like you do, dearie.
Yaxha won the event which was a foregone conclusion considering that four of Nakum’s fellas were still fighting off the sudden spew syndrome. Stephenie was jubilant because it was the first time ever that she was not required to attend a Tribal Council eviction.
Back at Nahum, Jimbo cemented his place amongst the sick bay, unlike Judd who was a mere visiting vomiter with a temporary day pass. Somehow the old guy managed to pull his bicep muscle out when he thought everyone was lifting up their boat but he mistimed it and it all went ‘pop’. Kind of like his chances at recovery really.
Margaret got it right when she commented that with one third of their team down, fart-arseing about trying to strategize was a complete waste of time. Well she might have said it a bit more politely than that, this is just paraphrasing. The Judd man was still having a bit of a go at trying to convince Brooke the law student that his hurling hell was over: “I’m adapting to this jungle life now.”
Tribal Council was set in a rather dramatic non-set, if you will. Instead of painted foam rocks and Mitre 10 bamboo sheeting, they were in a real Mayan temple. Danni, she of the abnormal abdominals, appeared to have a John Waters style tiny moustache due to the lighting. Judd the pud was still trying to reassure his team – and Jeff – that he was fine: “I puked and got right back up again. I’ll do a backflip for you if you like.”
The voting was like taking food away from Nicole Richie – too, too easy. Jimbo was given the flick – too injured and too old to recover in time to be any use for the early physical challenges. Tough luck for the poor old bugger, but he didn’t seem to mind: “I don’t blame the guys for voting me out….I hope nobody gets hurt.” Or at least, no worse than they already are……
Did you notice that everyone voted for Jim and he voted – obviously not for himself, but for Margaret? That seemed a bit bloody ungrateful to me – she was the one who tried to put his arm in a sling and give him some medical attention, and there he was trying to snuff out her torch. What did he expect – a brand new bicep made out of monkey poo?
The Premiership table shows that only two of you selected Jim as your final three so here’s a mature and empathetic “Nyah nyah na na naaaa” to Andrea A and Jillaroo.
Next week it looks as though Super Steph is baulking at having to inhale ants for dinner; there’s lot of mud and a classic shot of Bobby Jon straining like a glue-eater at the toilet bowl in a rather muddy looking challenge and Blake really suffering…. Stay tuned, and I’ll put up a post about next week’s episode as soon as I can afterwards.