Brain Spill: Survivor Trick Or Treat?

Ho-hum. I don’t know how to start this column this week. I was going to tell you about how I saved the world this weekend (I instead was continuously drunk from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning), or a new hobby I started this weekend (since hobbies cost money, and I spent it all drinking this weekend, I barely have enough money for food), or even about the exciting trip I recently took (drunkenly stumbling to the ATM at 2am to go get money), but I didn’t do any of those things this past weekend. My life is pathetic.

But lucky me, I have fans! Ah yes, a loyal fanbase will surely cheer me up, and remind me that however boring I may seem, I’m truly beautiful on the inside (at least that’s what my mom and my high school guidance counselor said). In my anatomy class today, we did an intro to the skull, which – in case you didn’t know – serves as a way to protect the brain. And then it hit me; what I have to offer truly IS beautiful AND on the inside – my brain! This is Brain Spill, and I’m sharing it with you. Take that, smart ass!

This past week on Survivor was bittersweet. While it did have its highs and its lows, its lows were downright depressing, whereas its highs were sorta high – not enough to compensate for the lows. So we’re essentially left with a bad taste in our mouths because the show was a little saddening. But the sweet part is that we know what’s going to happen next week, so we can already start guessing as to how that will affect everything. So although you may be in a sad mood about Amy leaving, bounce back, and remember that the good times are rolling (har!) right after that. Amy would have wanted it that way.

I guess a lot of what I have to say this week is speculation about next week. So don’t be too surprised if you find my analysis (hehe, I said ‘anal!’) of last week’s Survivor to be rather hasty.

I just want to say how much I loved the reward challenge, as well as the reward. I’ve been bitching on and on in previous weeks about how well Yaxha works as a team. And I’ve had my share of people who disagree with me via email. Well this week, I just want to say HA!. That’s right, I’m gloating! This week there was a challenge that even Probst said was about how much a team can work as a unit. I just want to remind everyone that I was right, and Yaxha killed Nakum simply because Nakum could not work together that well.

I was borderline bad, really. To see one tribe so level-headed and keep going, and to see the other like a whole bunch of out-of-sync singers, is just plain laughable. And so Yaxha was left zipping through the Guatemalan jungle, while Nakum was forced to walk back empty handed. Good thing they knew the way back to camp, otherwise they would have had six minds with six different set of directions. And then they would have gotten nowhere, stuck at the challenge, forced to constantly relive their humiliating loss.

Am I too harsh? I think I’m finally coming out of my columnist shell, and that of course means one thing – bitchiness! And everyone else is forced to suffer. Did I tell you I went as a bitch for Halloween? Yeah, my costume involved showering, brushing my teeth, and putting on street clothes.

And speaking of women bitching and Halloween, time to talk about: chocolate! Yes, Yaxha got to go zip-lining through the jungle, and waiting for them at the end was a stockpile of brown goodness. Only once have I eaten so much candy that I became sick. And let me just say, that that one time was absolutely awesome. I would definitely do that again, even if I wasn’t dared this time. While watching Yaxha pig out, I of course got some cravings, and was forced to eat the emergency Snickers in my fridge (by the way, I am entirely aware of the bad mood/bitchiness correlation with women and chocolate. Let me just say that I was NOT wearing sweatpants, so the answer is no).

And then we were all treated to a Survivor first. Yaxha was on the way back to their camp, and stopped by Nakum camp. Yaxha was like little kids who just wanted someone to play with. Danni was celebrating her birthday, and invited Nakum over for a pool party. I just want to say that I would go to any pool party Danni invited me to, even if it was at a cess pool.

I’ll talk about the pool party in a moment, but first, a brief interruption from my brain. Is anyone knowledgeable on Survivor rules? What I mean by this is that Yaxha just up and decided they were going over to Nakum, and Nakum went back to Yaxha camp. Are tribes forbidden to visit each other, or have they just never done it before? If it’s not a rule, how come we don’t see whole tribes going over to the opposing side and start stealing stuff? Or how come if the whole tribe is against one outsider (ie, Boston Rob in Marquesas), how come that outsider doesn’t take the tribe boat, row over to the other camp, and start talking strategy. Granted, this would me more than fishy, and would probably result in that person’s tribe throwing the challenge to oust his ass. But what if…? Certainly, Yaxha could have pulled Rafe and/or Lydia aside and talked the game on this innocent outing, so why couldn’t it happen other times?

Now that I got your brain thinking (I knew I would), time to talk about Debbie Downer. I’m of course referring to Jamie “An apple fell on my head, and now I turned out this way” Newton. Seriously, what is up with this guy? It was a hot day, you haven’t been able to swim in weeks, and people are ASKING to make the day better for you. What gives? I could understand the apprehension if everyone was aimlessly wandering about the entire Yaxha camp, and you were worried because you couldn’t keep tabs on everyone. But here, everyone was in a confined space, obviously talking about nothing game related. So there was no need for any concern – you could clearly see what everyone was doing and hear what everyone was talking about.

On a side note however, I can’t really blame Jamie all too much. It’s sad that in this day and age, that people can genuinely mean well to others, and the recipients of the kindness can’t fully appreciate it because they are fretting about whether or not it’s for real, or worse- a trap. Case in point: last summer, I got an email from one of those online survey companies telling me that I had won $100, and they needed my address to send me my check. Reluctantly (or as some would say, foolishly), I complied. It wasn’t until weeks later, when I got my check in the mail, and it cleared, that I fully believed it was real. So the point of my story is that Jamie’s behavior, although unusual and perhaps uncalled-for given the circumstances, is the product of our day and age. But he’s still a Debbie Downer.

And then there’s the immunity challenge. Things happened, and it just didn’t turn out for Yaxha. I don’t think that it was because of anything specific (ie, team dynamics, bad individual performance, etc), it was just the chips not falling correctly, where they did for Nakum.

So that leaves us with four on New Yaxha, and six on New Nakum. And Jeff said that the tribes are merging, so it eliminates all doubt. And really, after all this time, it’s due. Why should columnists like me bust their asses to speculate a merge, and THEN speculate what’s going to happen IF they merge. Instead, CBS finally skipped the middle BS, and flat out told us. So now, let’s delve into it.

Now I liked New Yaxha. A lot. And nothing would have made me happier to see my team go into the merge even numbered against a shaky team. That would have been totally awesome. But that didn’t happen, and my team is down by two. So what do I do? I could just sit around and mope that they’re down, and just accept their inevitable Pagonging over the next four episodes. But that’s not my style, and, more importantly, Amy would not allow it. And we better listen to her.

So although Yaxha being down by two seems bad, it probably isn’t as much as it seems. For one, the intrigue of what could happen alone is worth watching. I mean, would watching Yaxha Pagong Nakum be fun to watch? No, and so we have the current state of things. And then to add to it, Yaxha fans get to cheer for a comeback. Why do so many people love Chris Daugherty? It’s because he has the biggest Survivor comeback ever, and we all got to watch it unfold as it happened. Those last four episodes of Survivor Vanuatu were among the best of any show, and hands-down the best four-episode bloc of any Survivors.

So enough ranting, and time for some guessing. I’ve said this for awhile, but I do truly feel that Yaxha is its own tribe. They are a whole, cohesive unit of four. This is evident since Gary didn’t even attempt to vote with former ally Amy; he chose what the team wanted. And to add to it, I do think that Nakum is going to implode, and the winners are the ones who will get out before the building collapses.

I see something similar to Amazon (again, sorry for repeating myself). Jacare was a tribe who got rid of who needed to leave when it was their time. Some men joined with all the women to get rid of Roger and Dave, and then they took it from there. But did anyone really think the women were going to be Pagonged because they were down 4-6. Nope, and I think a similar case will be in effect here.

Here’s what I foresee. You all know my “high” opinions on Judd and Jamie. I think their childish behaviors in the past two weeks are enough to make enemies from Nakum. And since Yaxha probably won’t implode anytime soon, those who want to get out on Nakum will find a bloc of four solid anti-Nakum. And then let the magic begin. From there, things will be shuffled, and then we’re left with a question mark. But for now, I really have no reason to believe Cindy will stick with her current Nakum tribe. And I think Gary has enough grip on old Yaxha to at least pull over Rafe, if not Steph and/or Lydia. So that looks like eight (or at least six, with Cindy and Rafe) against Judd and Jamie. And how could it not have come at a better time?

I know the part that always gets me in trouble in the form of emails is when I tell about what I think is going to happen. If I were to keep talking, it would be extremely redundant and boring. So I’m going to leave that with my guess as to the goings-on of this week’s episode. Fell free to disagree.

Which leads us to the rundown. This week there’s a few movers and shakers. And it reflects the fact that we know the merge is going to happen Thursday. Because of this, we can assume that some lines drawn between opposing tribe members may be erased this week. And then the roles/ranks get topsy-turvy. Let the games begin.

In memoriam:
18- Jim Lynch
17- Morgan McDevitt
16- Brianna Varela
15- Brooke Struck
14- Blake Towsley
13- Margaret Bobonich
12- Brian Corridan.
*Loser’s Lounge Update* When Brian and Margaret showed up last week, Margaret quickly went to Blake and Jim to nurse their broken hearts and shoulders, respectively. This left Brian with Brooke, Brianna, and Morgan. Brian didn’t have to bring too much game either. Those four were sitting by the pool, and Brian spent hours bad-mouthing Blake (he called him a baby). Compared to Blake, Brian shone. After a week at Loser’s Lounge, this all star stud, is, let’s just say, a little winded. Morgan performed some of her tricks on the B-man, Brianna made Brian up (his secret fetish), and Brooke took the law into her own hands by dressing up like a cop and “punishing” Brian. Although Margaret could be considered a MILF (and a nurse MILF, at that), Brian didn’t want any from her, as she was stuck playing board games with Jimmy and Blakey all day.

See, I do like Brian

11- Amy O’Hara (2). Oh Amy! What to say about you? You’ve certainly had an interesting run to say the least, and everyone is impressed. You’ve covered the entire spectrum of my rankings, starting at 10, then being #16 (the worst at that time), and last week at #2. And sure enough, you end up where you started. It’s too bad that we couldn’t see you just one more week, because god only knows what you could have done come merge time. There’s really no reason to get rid of you this week, so I’m not going to devote any space to the “woulda coulda shouldas.” Instead, I’ll kiss your ass by saying that you are one tough cookie, yet so sweet. You proved to everyone that you had what it takes, by going out there and HAVING FUN. And winning one round of a challenge after just being steamrolled is simply impressive. Good job. Too bad no one at Loser’s Lounge is as cool as you, because you may be bored. Just watch out for Brian – he’s all hands.


10- Jamie Newton (10).
9- Judd Sergeant (11).
Both did nothing to keep them out of the bottom two. I bumped Jamie behind Judd simply because I think Jamie being Debbie Downer (or Negative Nancy, if you prefer) in a situation that even Judd enjoyed puts Jamie slightly below Judd. As I said last week, I think these two have huge targets all over themselves, and one could very easily be sent packing this week.

8- Bobby Jon Drinkard (4). After three weeks at #4, Bobby Jon slips big time. And here’s why. The issue of him being a past contestant never once made an appearance, until this last week. That could be trouble, especially since there is the possibility of his tribe being outnumbered. I don’t necessarily think it will happen that way, but the fact that it’s popping up now does worry me slightly. He should be able to let this grey cloud pass. On a different note, I just want to say I love you Bobby Jon, and I certainly hope you can at least make the jury right now.

7- Cindy Hall (8). No change this week. I think she’s a wild card since the merge is here. Of course we’ve seen nothing about her yet, so I can only give her #7, because I can’t give her higher in good conscience. Who is she? No one knows, which could work out well for her in the upcoming weeks. In other news about Cindy, I finally figured out who she reminds me of: Zoe Zanidakis of Survivor Marquesas. See, you don’t even know who, and I don’t even know who Cindy is.

6- Stephenie LaGrossa (9). I think Steph’s in an okay position this week. It’s unlikely she’ll be a target (it’ll most likely be Jamie/Judd or a Yaxha, or even Cindy), so she’s put here in the middle ground. I do think she has potential to go either way, so let’s keep her here, right before who I would consider the people playing the game “well.”

5- Brandon Bellinger (3). He’s still in the top half, folks. Similar to Bobby Jon, I don’t think he’s in trouble, but the fact is that he’s still in a minority as of now. I don’t sense it being a problem, but if someone on his side does go quickly, then chances are he’s next out. But like I said earlier, I don’t think it’ll be a problem, so we’ll have AT LEAST a few more weeks of our boy Brandon to enjoy.

4- Lydia Morales (7). Now that the merge is upon us, her physical weakness will no longer hold any team down. And she seems like the second-best wild card right now. So that’s why she’s up here.

3- Danni Boatwright (1). No real reason for the drop. I think the top two are in better position right now than Danni. Danni is still a hot woman who I look up to. I think she’s totally safe this week, and I fully expect her rank not to decrease any time soon.

2- Gary Hogeboom (5). He may be the leader of the strong minority, and he’s got the skills to bring people over to his side. Of course, if that doesn’t work, I’m sure the Yaxha on New Nakum won’t kick Gary out of their plan. Let me know what the downside of his current position is, because I sure as hell can’t think of any.

1- Rafe Judkins (6). The week’s biggest mover, and Rafe’s first time at #1. Rafe will be in the majority regardless of which side he takes. He’s got options, which is much more than anyone else can say. He’s definitely in the majority this week, and will probably be the key player in deciding which side takes control of the game at this stage. He’s a wild card to watch out for, especially since this is now individual, and his pre-game hyped Survivor skills may be executed soon.

And that’s it. Let me know what angers you about my column, or if you feel like being nice, you can butter me up with fanmail before I face the firing squad.

Until next week, when we discuss both sides of the “tastes great versus less filling” debate (read the first paragraph of this column again), stay cool.