Riding Coattails: Hen House Madness


This week’s episode of Survivor had me crowing louder than a rooster at daybreak. I haven’t made that much noise since Rupert got voted off. The only difference was that my shrieks this week were ones of joy, not sorrow. The sexist alliance is finally crumbling. Now, I’m all for girl power and sticking it to the Man and whatnot, but the whole “No Boys Allowed” rule just wasn’t working for me in Vanuatu. It wasn’t suspenseful. It wasn’t sneaky. Plain and simple, it wasn’t interesting to watch. If Chris had gone home this week, as he wrongly predicted, then we’d finally get to see the women “go crazy” as Leann anticipated they would. Excuse me, but he would when the women ditch all the guys and screw each other over at the end, how is that girl power? In Survivor, it’s just prolonging the inevitable. Only one person can win, which leaves seventeen others in the dust, regardless of gender.

Eliza totally rocked my world this week. Like a lot of viewers, I felt confident that she would quickly walk the path to Loser’s Lodge, but she’s got amazing staying power. She made the observation this week that every time people conspire against her, they’re the ones who end up leaving. My only question for her would be: were you conveniently forgetting that Scout can’t stand you or just unaware that she’s been trying to boot you out from the very beginning? The answer probably lies somewhere with the latter part of the question since Eliza expressed uneasiness about aligning with Scout when she talked to Chris right before tribal council.

Now that Scout and Eliza have voted together, I wonder if they’ll team up to kick off Ami and Julie next. It would be hilarious to see the Elder and the Little One sitting side by side in the final two, but I think that’s unlikely. I’m a lousy Survivor prophet, but I do know that Scout adores Twila and would probably take her to the final two on principle, even though she’d probably have a better shot at defeating Eliza.

Speaking of defeating Eliza, did Julie throw the reward challenge to avoid jealous hostility? When it came down to the two of them answering the last question in the challenge, Julie left her paper totally blank. The girl is not stupid and surely she could remember at least a couple of the items she retrieved at the memory game challenge (hell, I could, and I wasn’t even there). My guess is that she knew everyone else would be devastated not to get an online chat with their loved one, so she put Eliza in the hot seat. Funny thing is, though, no one seemed to begrudge Eliza her visit from mom. In fact, they all seemed to enjoy having her around. And Eliza’s mom cracked me up with her laundry list of the reasons she was worried about her daughter living on an island. My own mother has often told me, “Don’t tell me not to worry about you! That’s my job.” Looks like she’s not the only one working in that profession.

And as far as moms go, Twila’s tears at seeing her son almost had me crying. I really do love that woman. She is no-nonsense and even gruff at times, but there’s also a very loving side to Twila. Her mischievous little giggle is contagious. I was especially entertained when she swore on her son’s name to Ami and Leann but later laughed in an interview when she expressed the hope that God would be able to forgive her for lying to get a million dollars. Of course, I don’t think Twila’s lies are what advanced her in the game this week. Her conversation with Chris was what changed everything. She encouraged him to talk to Eliza, which he did, and as a result, Ami’s partner in crime is now sitting in the jury.

I always thought of Leann as Ami’s bitch, but after this week, I’m not so sure. Leann convinced Ami to vote for Eliza, something she wasn’t at all comfortable doing with a penis still lurking around the Alinta tribe. Leann finally saw the light about flaws in a gender war strategy, stating that “we’ve come this far on principle,” but it was a realization made too late. She saw Chris as more deserving to stay than Eliza, but failed to recognize that she’d put Chris’s buddies out of the game and would need to do some work to get him to vote with her and Ami. They just assumed Chris was out of options and had given up. This all proves that cockiness does not require ownership of an actual cock. Ami and Leann dug their own grave on this one.

Ami is still a force to be reckoned with, however. She wore immunity for the second time since the merge and yet she still worries about Chris dominating future challenges. Hola, Ami! Chris has never rocked the house when it comes to balancing, puzzle solving, or gripping a big, fat log (the last one further proves that he’s straight). The fact that she refuses to believe this shows a rather large fracture in her otherwise porcelain-perfect veneer of confidence. Now Ami, even though I hope you don’t win, I want you to repeat after yourself, “Testosterone does not an immunity winner make. Testosterone does not an immunity winner make…”

But positive reinforcement certainly seems to. Everyone else was hollering at their loved ones to hurry it up and, “No, no, no! Not that one!” However, Ami and Crissy easily glided into victory as Ami plied her girlfriend with “I love yous.” Never underestimate the power of encouragement, which is what Ami will need in spades to stay in this game. Or the immunity necklace. But I think that unless she manages to grab immunity for the third time, the Head Hen will get pecked straight over to the jury.