Brain Spill: Making Rounds

YES!!! Survivor has begun, and I have reason to celebrate. Total dominance by the women was what we in America saw. And who couldn’t enjoy a bunch of girls kicking ass?

Just what I thought – no one. But I’ll talk about Survivor later in the column. For now, just a few thoughts, as a brain spill by definition would require people to spill their brains.

BIG BROTHER 6. The bombshell has left the show, and now we in America are left to sit around and be pissed about the outcome, even though we don’t know the winner yet. It’s Ivette and Maggie left, and it’s kinda like choosing between an ingrown toenail and a rash. For those of you savvy BB fans, that was how Kent described the final two of Will and Nicole of BB2.

I, like the entire country, really wanted Janelle to pull through with a V. But that ain’t gonna happen. Apparently, other people want to win this game (party poopers). Janelle was a force in the house, and quite possibly one of the best players in the game’s history. And she’s also one of the most popular players, too. Anyone can appreciate her frankness when she laid it out with regard to everyone. I won’t be surprised if after the jury sees the show, contestants send her letter bombs for her bitchy Diary Room confessions. She did everything she had to do to get far, with the exception of winning the final HOH. Putting ’67’ instead of ’66’ would put 500 G’s in her purse Tuesday night.

So, yeah, Maggie and Ivette. I’m going to be rooting for Ivette Tuesday, for one simple reason: Eric. Eric’s partner winning this game makes me cringe. I’d rather see loveable, adorable Beau’s partner win. Plus, Ivette, however wishy washy and emotional, has played a better game than Maggie, who’s done, well, nothing. I’d say Ivette has a decent chance at winning, and I hope she pulls it through. She should, considering she definitely has James and Beau, and probably the Sovereign Three of Rachel, Howie, and Janey. They also probably don’t want to see Cappy’s #2 win. Ah, spite!

THE AMAZING RACE. I have not yet looked at the teams, but I do promise this will be the most unique edition of the race to date. A family road trip. Imagine the complaints and bathroom breaks on the ride there. I promise it will be beyond interesting to see teams of four (in addition to the changes in the game’s rules, but the overall dynamics of the game as well). So stay tuned, and I’ll bitch about that in subsequent Brain Spills.

FOX SUNDAY. Watch it. It’s that simple. You know you’re watching extremely high quality television when The Simpsons, quite possibly the show which has passed the test of time (in addition to possibly the funniest ever), is the third best show in a two hour block of shows. I can’t even explain how awesome Fox Sunday is, so you’ll have to watch for yourself.

SURVIVOR. Ahh, normalcy. After four l-o-n-g months of no Survivor, Burnett has graced us with a return to the status quo. Things are normal again, as I can resume my habit of angrily hanging up on the people who call between 7:30 and 9pm on Thursdays.

This season premier offered a nice relaxing change of pace for the viewers: shut up and watch it dammit! Who couldn’t be amazed by the premier? It had to be the best premier of the series’ 11 season run so far. Only Borneo and maybe Palau could compete for that title, but not anymore.

First, we had the mystery Survivors. Stephenie and Bobby Jon, America’s two favorites from last season, are back in full swing. Then there’s that little reward challenge straight from Satan’s ass: a nice little hike through thick jungle. And then the men on Nakum were beaten to oblivion. And Stephenie won a team Immunity. In its eleventh season, there’s still a bunch of firsts.

The return of Ulong. Steph and Bobby Jon return, but this time, it’s almost promised it won’t be into a fiasco that they last saw. They are introduced as tools for survival, followed by the most glowing recommendation anyone could ever give to two people. And All Star Syndrome didn’t kick in – ie, their tribes seem to appreciate their value. Does this mean their slates are wiped clean, and their pasts as former players do not become an issue? Doubt it. Eventually, I think people may realize the threat that Steph and Bobby Jon (I refuse to put BJ) are. But until that point, I will continue to root for them. As a side note, I was a tiny bit disappointed to see them, because everyone knows they’d be prime candidates for All Stars 2. And I doubt CBS would have them on a third time. So this may signal no second All Stars editions.

A leisurely stroll. Have any of you walked 11 miles? I don’t see a load of hands in the air. Now imagine that walk, which is really long, through dense jungle, with bugs and all sorts of foreign crap. I thought so. I respect every one of them for enduring that, as my ass would not have made it, unless of course there was some reward like cash or Johnny Depp at the end of it. But not Johnny Cash. I do not promote necrophilia.

Making rounds. While Yaxha was making camp out of palms and building shelter and working on “spirit,” Nakum was down for the count. And bad. Four big tough guys got taken care of because of the hike, and it was scary. Bobby Jon, Mr. Invincibility, looked close to death. Jim was nursing a wound, Judd was puking, and Blake was sulking.

And who was left to take care of the tribe? The ladies. The ladies put on their cute little nurse outfits and made rounds to make sure their men were all set. This makes the Nakum women invaluable to the tribe. They already saved the tribe, and the men are indebted to the women. I think that this will have long term effects on the tribe, because the men now have no reason not to trust the women. This might not affect all the women, but if a couple men trust a few girls, then there’ll be trouble for Yaxha of Tagi proportions. Wait and see.

The rest of the column is dedicated to comments about individuals, so I’ll do the rundown. This is slightly sided to one tribe, but only because I saw more of Nakum than I did with Yaxha. As with my premier column, this is not a boot order, but a list of each player’s relative probability of winning, given the way they’re currently playing (number in parentheses indicates last week’s place).

In memoriam:
18- Jim Lynch(13). I had a feeling about Jim – either real good or real bad. If not for his bicep, I think he had potential. Jim’s age was never a factor in last week’s episode. And he led the team through the jungle, something not even Margaret could brag about. His excellent compass work made Nakum the shelter favorites, something that could reverberate throughout the season. So good work Jim, sorry about the bad Survivor break.

17- Blake Towsley(15). Speaking of bad Survivor breaks. Poor That Guy. I can always sympathize with people who just get unfortunate in Survivor. But. What Blake does with this injury is up to him. Did you know that Twila broke her foot (or toe or something lower) in Vanuatu, but stuck through it? Probably not, because she did not let it hold her down, and she took herself to the final two. Blake seems to be taking the Jeff Wilson (Palau, coconut, ankle?) route, and making sure everyone knows about his problem. If he wants to be successful, he needs to overcome this. I’m not in his shoes, so I can’t vouch for how much it actually hurts, but I can imagine that he is playing the sympathy card a little bit.

16- Lydia Morales (12)
15- Amy O’Hara (10)
It’s never good to be called out as the weak link on your team, especially by someone as respected as Stephenie. They seem to have some personality, which they’re going to need if they want to break the unphysical stigma.

14- Gary Hogeboom (4). If my dad was an NFL QB, he would be my hero. Similarly, if the dad of my tribe were an NFL QB, he’d still be my hero. It worked for firefighter Tom Westman last season. I think a QB would be beyond awesome, and I would totally respect him as a leader. Hiding his NFL past was a bad move, especially because he wasn’t even that good. This signals that he has a huge ego, and thinks that everyone would know who he is – a sports all star (in his mind). Lying about your name? People don’t even know you when you tell the truth, so you won’t be hiding anything by saying ‘Hogeboom.’ By lying to the tribe about something minuscule like job or name, you’re bound to get caught in a lie. And when you get caught, no one will trust you. Just don’t get caught.

13- Cindy Hall (14).
12- Brianna Varela (11).
No reason to move these people. They didn’t mess up, but at the same time, didn’t quite wow me. I’ll put em in the maybe pile. But I do get a bad Deena Bennett vibe from Cindy. (shudders)

11- Bobby Jon Drinkard (-). Why so low? I don’t know. I REALLY want him to bounce back from his physical bout, and I think he can. And I really think he has good odds to work into the good graces of Nakum. And if anyone can do it, it’s Mr. Alabama himself. Godspeed; we all want greatness out of you this time around.

10- Jamie Newton. Seems to be a big physical part of his team, second only to maybe Gary. His muscles will come in handy. He’s #10 because he didn’t wow me, and I have yet to get an even mediocre look into his brain. So I don’t know if he’s shallow or just plain good. So due to the uncertainty, I’m counting it against him this week.

9- Brian Corridan (16). Biggest jumper of the week. Why? I dismissed him based on his bio. He made one key observation: he was right. Brian convinced his tribe to get up in the morning and get going to finish the race to camp. And he even said “they knew I was right.” That’s not too drastic a move, but a smart one, as it shows he can diplomatically control a tribe, which is always a plus. Good work.

8- Morgan McDevitt (2). I’d put her in the ‘maybe’ pile based on her performance, but I still have a sneaking suspicion that he’s up to some tricks. Then shazam!, she wins. She’s still up high because of my hunch.

7- Danni Boatwright (8). I would turn into a guy if I could have Danni. She’s got the beautiful aspects, and the sports. The only she needs is men to wrap around her finger. This past week, she totally helped out the guys in times of duress, by waiting on them hand and foot. It’s every male’s fantasy! And she seems saucy, in that she’s aware of her status. Keep an eye on her. She’s only this low because she didn’t overly impress (which is NOT necessarily a bad thing).

6- Rafe Judkins (9). Yaxha seems like the love tribe. And who better to adore/make into a mascot than the spirit leader. He seems like a loveable guy. And he made the note that the leader is always the first target. So he’s in good company, and he shows that he has a little Survivor know-how.

5- Brooke Struck (4). The only reason she’s down this week is because the other four impressed me more. But she did prove her worth in the way she handled the men of her tribe (zing!). Perhaps even more valuable is her talking to Judd. They were walking down a path, discussing strategy. They already have become important parts of their tribes, and they want to work together for a common goal. Go back and look; they’re already buddies. This could be crucial to the game.

4- Judd Sergeant (7). He bounced back the quickest of the sick Nakum guys, and he worked it with Brooke. But the best was the way he defended himself against Jeff. He laid it out (in a slightly testy tone), and Jeff was stunned. If he keeps this up, it can get to the point where Jeff is literally scared to ask Judd tough questions. And the less Jeff calls you out, the better. Very impressive, Mr. Doorman.

3- Stephenie LaGrossa (-). Okay, maybe she’s a bit too high. She very well could be the easiest boot from her tribe. But everyone seems to respect her for now, and she’s in their good graces. And considering she’s with Amy/Lydia (called out for their lack of physical ability) and Morgan/Brianna (skinny girls), Steph’s prowess could be critical to her tribe’s success. Let’s hope so. We love you Steph!

2- Brandon Bellinger (3). Who was the only guy on Nakum not to go down? Wanna know why? Because Brandon’s smart. I’m sure the reason the men went down was because they were overexerting themselves, and trying to prove their worth (egos, in other words). Not Brandon. He knows better. I told you he knows this game, despite hiding behind the yokel facade. Also worth noting is a short scene before Tribal, where he was talking to Danni, Brooke, and Judd. He knows who the players are, and how to form a kickass team. Let’s sit back and watch him kick ass. Also, quote of the week goes to him, by mentioning Judd’s “premature evacuation.” LOL

1- Margaret Bobonich (5). Had I made the correlation before the season, Mom would have been #1. Margaret is playing the mom card, and is a nurse. I forgot that this plan already worked! Tina Wesson played Mom to the tribe, and was a nurse. And Tina’s known as one the best players of Survivor ever. When the entire tribe was sick, Mom was staying home from work making sure the kids were okay. She made her rounds and secured herself as immensely valuable to Nakum. But also, before Tribal, she listed reason why each person should go, but also saw the good in each person. Moms are the true diplomats of the world. And she should be able to work her good graces into a possible Danni/Judd/Brooke/ Brandon alliance. She’s doing extremely well, and should do nothing but thrive at this game.

And that’s column #3. I ask any/all of you to hit me up via email. I LOVE fanmail, and since I don’t get much, I quickly respond to every one.

Until next week, when we discuss the best brand of mattresses to have kinky pillowfights on, stay cool.

~Dora