You know how people are always talking about the dumbest move in the history of Survivor? You know, was it Tyson essentially voting out himself? J.T. handing a hidden immunity idol to the other tribe? Ice Cream Scoop Erik giving away the immunity necklace after a woman batted her eyelashes?
Well, now it’s none of them. It’s not one person. It’s a whole freakin’ TRIBE. What the hell happened on last night’s Survivor? Not only was the episode an uncomfortable display of prejudice and close-mindedness, the men opted to do the DUMBEST THING EVER and volunteer to go to Tribal Council after winning the immunity challenge.
They won an immunity idol, and instead of letting the women vote someone out and be down two players, they decided to sacrifice one of their own and even the playing field. They added to the momentum the women have gained, they put the giant crevices within their own tribe on display, and they willingly gave up their advantage. And for what? To satisfy the whining needs of an egotistical elitist racist?
I think that’s why this bothers me so much more than, say, various times throughout Survivor‘s history when a few people on a tribe have decided to throw a challenge to eliminate someone they consider a threat or danger to their tribe. Voting out Russell Hantz this was not. This was about one dude not liking other dude. At best, Colton disliked Bill for completely arbitrary reasons – too loud, different senses of humor, different values, etc. At worst, and this was quite clearly the case, Colton disliked Bill because of complicated race and class issues. And so Colton decided to rile up the tribe and get Bill voted out.
I am disgusted, and I hope you are too. But before I get into the rest of this mess (Tarzan, what the hell?), we have other things to talk about. Let’s take it from the top.
The men returned from Tribal Council and – wait, hold the phone! Does Leif sleep in that wooden box? With the lid on? Like it’s a coffin? That is mad creepy. Also, had Leif been voted out this week, it would have been a nice bit of foreshadowing. Anyway, they return from Tribal Council with some already obvious divides. Michael complains that the guys don’t know what they’re doing – now that’s foreshadowing.
The next morning, Jonas tried to make a deal with the ladies – if they’d let him use their fishing net, he’d give them half of what he catches. It was an interesting deal, but even though the ladies hadn’t had any luck with the net themselves yet they were feeling OK with their diet of coconuts, rice and snails. And they didn’t want to be feeding the enemy. Sorry dudes, but just because you guys are weak sauce and kept letting the women mooch off your fire doesn’t mean they’ll be so generous when the tables have turned. This is Survivor, not summer camp.
Reward challenge time! The challenge was simple, but entertaining enough. Players would take turns using a slingshot to shoot coconuts at a large grid, trying to knock out tiles. The first tribe to get five in a row, BINGO style, won. There were three rewards to choose from – a tarp, some pillows and blankets, or some doughnuts and coffee. The women won pretty easily and made the prudent choice – the much-needed tarp.
Back on the beaches, both tribes were dealing with some drama. The women’s was pretty minor – Alicia flew off the handle about something Kat said, causing a lot of friction right before the Immunity Challenge. Sabrina tried to diffuse the situation, but it didn’t help Alicia’s image. The women are tiring of her attitude and her antics.
Meanwhile, Leif chatted with Bill about the previous Tribal Council, revealing that the original plan had been to vote Bill out – Leif didn’t want to though, and was glad when everyone changed their minds to Matt. Colton saw them talking and immediately started badgering Leif about what was said. And Leif, who has all the backbone of an actual leaf, caved within 12 seconds and not only fessed up, but started apologizing like a child who’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Colton is as obnoxious as Leif is dumb. Furious over almost nothing, first he ranted “That little Munchkin is about to get knocked back to Oz” and then called Leif “an annoying Oompa Loompa.”
SERIOUSLY? OK, I may be guilty of referring to Snooki as an Oompa Loompa from time to time. But that’s because she’s a terrible example of who can be a celebrity nowadays, she she’s both tiny and orange. Totally different. Colton managed to make two derogatory comments about Leif within a matter of seconds, and what’s worse is that they came off as though he’d been waiting to use those jabs since they arrived. How long before a “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” reference? I guess now we know who’ll play the part of the Evil Queen. (I want to point out that I’m only making that joke because Colton already refers to himself as “Queen Colton”.)
At the immunity challenge, the tribes had to separate into pairs, and each duo would run through an obstacle course and solve a puzzle. Alicia and Chelsea hit the course first for the women, and absolutely blew it – the men had almost completed the entire challenge by the time they managed to solve their puzzle, and that was only after they’d studied the men’s completed version. (Since looking at the competition’s completed puzzle was obviously within the rules, they’d have been idiots not to “cheat”. Sorry Tarzan, but that’s the game.) And oh hey, remember that spat Alicia and Kat got into? Yeah, that was over whether Alicia is good at puzzles. She said she is, but actions speak louder than words. The men won, by a landslide. Because this is the season where everyone will make me uncomfortable with their politically incorrect nonsense, Leif celebrated the win by taking the Immunity Idol and doing some kind of weird, mock-native dance.
Alicia responded to the loss by giggling a how terribly she’d performed. Well THAT’S not a way to endear yourself to your tribe. Seriously? It’s your fault you lost the challenge, and instead of apologizing you laugh? Hi Alicia, welcome to thin ice!
When the women returned to camp, no one was pleased with Alicia’s attitude – especially Sabrina. She was trying to convince Kim that Alicia should be voted out, but Kim was nervous to shake things up so soon – after all, was Christina contributing any more than Alicia? I’m not sure who the women would have voted out had they actually gone to Tribal Council – there’s a good chance it still would have been Christina, but I think Alicia is close to elimination. Monica has been doing a great job in challenges, and I think if the choice had been Alicia vs. Monica it would have been an easy decision.
But the women didn’t need to worry about that, because the men went absolutely nuts when they returned from the challenge. Instead of just relaxing and basking in the glow of their win, they went absolutely mad.
It began when Bill attempted to settle the beef between himself and Colton. He wanted to talk to Colton “man to man”, which was his first mistake – Colton is not a man, he is a child. He basically covered his ears and sang “Lalalalalala I’m not listening!” while Bill tried to make amends. Colton then put on his diva face and said “I want his head on a platter. I want him gone.” Not at the next Tribal Council, though – NOW!
Why on earth the other members of this tribe are catering to every want and whim of one person is absolutely beyond me. So he has an Immunity Idol? So what? Flush it and then vote him out! It’s not that hard! Colton started running around camp demanding that they give up Immunity and go to Tribal Council, and I thought he’d be laughed off the island. But instead, something much stranger happened.
Tarzan got wind of what had happened, and he also wanted to voluntarily go to Tribal Council. But not to vote out Bill, to vote out Leif! He even ran over to the women’s camp ranting about a “betrayal” and telling them they wouldn’t have to go to Tribal. All the men convened to vote on the idea, and for some reason they all went along with it. Why are they so afraid to be a voice of dissent? A tyrant is running their tribe, and they’re more content to live under him than vote him out!
Tribal Council was a gong show. It made me more uncomfortable than the infamous “ketchup sandwich” comment, or Phillip’s unfounded accusations of racism back in Redemption Island. This was obvious racism and classism, playing out before our eyes.
I have no doubt in my mind that race plays a major part in Colton’s dislike for Bill. But class and elitism was also disgustingly apparent, beginning with Colton’s bizarre hatred for Bill’s occupation of “struggling standup comic”. “Like, get a real job,” Colton sneered. Of course, Jeff Probst had to bring up the undertones of racism there. And then this conversation happened:
Colton: “Yes, I did go to a private all-white school. (Ed. Note: Wow, what a shock! Never would have guessed.) But I do have, like, African-American people in my life.”
(At this point, I snarked at the TV, “What, your maid?”, not expecting him to ACTUALLY SAY THAT.)
Colton: (Laughs) “My housekeeper.”
Oh my GOD. Colton is Hilly Holbrook of The Help reincarnated. It felt like most (MOST – but sadly not all) of the tribe was cringing during this entire development, because what Colton was essentially saying was “I don’t associate with poor people in real life, so I’m not going to do it here either.” And what really gets me is that not only does this make Colton a pathetic excuse for a human being in real life, but it makes him a terrible Survivor player. If you take all the social politics out of this for a moment, Colton sucks at this game. He blatantly refuses to interact with people who he doesn’t like, or who he think are beneath him. That’s what Survivor is! And he calls himself a student of the game? Colton is making no effort to be social or likable, and there is no way people will vote to give him a million bucks after this display. Not only is he a terrible person, but he’s a moron as well.
After all that, Tarzan spoke up. I was hoping he’d say something like “After what I’ve seen and heard here tonight, I’m going to be voting for Colton and I hope you will too.” Sure, Colton would just play the idol but then they’d be free to vote him out next time. But instead, Tarzan actually defended Colton! All of a sudden he was ranting about how he’s tired of talking about race, and there’s a black president now. Oh, well then – clearly a black president means there’s no more racism in the world.
Then it was time to vote. Bill voted Leif, Colton voted Bill, and so did enough of the others. Bill was out, a victim of being on the world’s worst tribe. Honestly, I’m pretty shocked at how this went down – after watching pre-show interviews and the first episode of the season, I thought Bill had a great shot at winning. I had him ranked first on my list for the Survivor pool.
Kudos to Bill for exiting with an incredible amount of class and dignity. “He judged me for my differences, and I accept him because of his,” he said of the whole ordeal. Bill didn’t need to say anything bad about Colton – his appearance on the show is unflattering enough.
Next week, it looks like there’ll be a tribal shakeup. I’ve been saying this would happen since the season began, but I really wish it wouldn’t. The men made a terribly stupid choice in choosing to go to Tribal Council, and the women have been doing a decent job of pulling themselves together. I want to see how these tribes play out, and I feel like shuffling the tribes messes with the integrity of the game.
OK, get thee to the comments! I must know what you think of Colton, Tarzan, the decision to go to Tribal Council, the race issues, and whether you want to see a tribe shuffle or not.
Tags: Survivor One World