Hats off to Mark Burnett for finding a compelling cast for the ninth season of Survivor. But shame on the Yasur tribe for voting out one of the best ones so early on in the game. I expected great things from Miss Dolly and now I’ll never get to see what she could have done. I can imagine that many other viewers were equally disappointed to see such a sweet, likeable sheep farmer with an amazing ass leave the show so quickly. Unfortunately, Survivor is not a beauty pageant. If it were, players like Jessie Camacho and Sarah Jones would have at least made the jury.
No, Survivor is, and has always been, all about three things: luck, natural charm, and the ability to scheme. Some people, such as Tina Wesson and Brian Heidik, used both qualities to carry themselves into the winner’s circle. But take one or both of those traits out of the equation, and a survivor is going to have to work a lot harder to stay in the game. A more pessimistic view was expressed by one of the detectives in Thelma and Louise, “Brains will only get you so far and luck always runs out.” If taken to heart, that means that charm is really the essential ingredient for winning.
So, in the charm line-up of this season, who is doing well? Scout, for one, appears to be quite well-liked. One of the members of the Yasur tribe said something to the effect that Eliza was even getting on Scout’s nerves, which seemed like a testament to her patience and outwardly good attitude toward everyone in the tribe (although the off-camera interviews tell a different story about her feelings for the sorority set). Bubba and Sarge, at least to me, look like really good guys who know how to tell people what they want to hear (or walk away when words aren’t working). For example, when J.P. confronted Bubba about whether or not he was a target at the first tribal council, Bubba fired back a very reasonable response about how everyone in the game was a threat. Reading between the lines of that comment, however, I’d say that Bubba is more of a threat to J.P. than the other way around. J.P. is too passionate, too easily angered to make it far in this game. He’d do much better pursuing a career in daytime drama.
And a word or two about Rory. For crying out loud, I haven’t seen such misogynistic behavior from a player since Gervase in season one. You want to talk about class, Rory? How about if you stop putting down women? What gives, dude? In the first episode, Rory bashed his teammates for sticking together “like a bunch of ladies” and this week, he got his panties in a twist when Mia, Twila, and company enjoyed a victory dance at the reward challenge. That would be classy. He puffed up his feathers at Sarge and asked him if he’d have taken that kind of behavior from a man. Like it matters, dude. You were just pissed off that you lost and the fact that you lost to females added insult to injury.
It was abundantly apparent when the Lopevi tribe lost that challenge, too. The guys were uncomfortable touching each other. You could totally tell that they hated being filmed embracing a whole line of wet, shirtless men. Yes, boys, and for the next challenge, you’ll be forced to participate in a Barbra Streisand karaoke marathon while wearing a thong and nibbling pink frosted petit fours. That’s the great thing about being a girl. Our femininity is never called into question if we get physical with a member of the same gender. In fact, guys will typically encourage such behavior. But, sadly, it doesn’t tend to work as well when the tables are turned. Except for when Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott frenched in Dude, Where’s My Car? That was a great scene.
But back to the whole issue of charm. The lovely Dolly certainly had it in ample supply while others, such as Eliza and Leanne, are sadly lacking it. Unfortunately, Dolly did that whole wishy-washy thing when talking two members of the two alliances and at Tribal Council, very accurately assessed her own situation. A person who is reluctant to take sides is in even more danger than someone who is not as well-liked. For that reason, we had to say good-bye to Dolly before we’d even really said hello.