Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites, Week 3: A Cirie-bral Player

First things first: I love Cirie.

Now on with the recap …

The contestants decorate their bodies with war paint for the reward challenge, which involves charging across a lagoon at each other and trying to get five canvas bags into your end zone. It’s kind of like rugby with canvas bags, war paint, exposed flesh being blurred, and unathletic Chet not getting much screen time. If the challenge were just about war paint design, the Fans would’ve won — I’m thinking someone on their tribe has theater experience. Too bad the Fans didn’t have more charging-across-a-lagoon experience, as the Faves manhandled them on their way to victory.

The Faves win a tarp, lighting kit and survival kit, and they choose Kathy and Ami to go to Exile Island. Kathy had already been to Exile and didn’t feel like crossing the ocean several times again to read the same four clues, so she didn’t offer Ami much help in interpreting the clues.

The immunity challenge involves four people holding on to a rope net while the other tribe shoots coconuts into it; the tribe that holds on to the rope the longest wins. Despite Jonathan talking trash as the Fans shoot (or is he talking smack? I’ve gotta review that episode of The Office where Kelly explains the difference), the Fans win the challenge, as we knew they would, on account of all the drama on the Faves’ tribe this episode.

So what were the Faves bickering about? I’ll try to ‘splain, but I really didn’t feel like following it all. The main points:

* There are two four-people alliances — what I call the Lovebird alliance (Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati and James) and the Ejay alliance (Eliza, Jonathan, Ami and Yau-Man). Cirie’s in the middle, deciding which way to go. She tells the camera, “If I feel I can trust you, I’m willing to go all the way with you. But if I don’t trust you, then you can’t believe a word I tell you.”

* Jonathan thinks that Cirie’s on his side, although it seems obvious to me (and to Cirie) that he thinks his alliance consists of the Ejay core, and Cirie as the necessary fifth add-on.

* Parvati and Amanda talk with Cirie and assure her that they would take her to the Final 3 instead of Ozzy or James, because they think they’d lose to the men. Even if James proposes to Parvati, or Amanda gives birth to Ozzlets, Parvati and Amanda promise Cirie a Final 3 alliance.

* Jonathan sees Cirie wavering, and he tries to badger her to stick with the Ejay alliance and vote against Parvati.

* Although back in the beginning of the episode, Ozzy told Eliza that he’d vote out Yau first, now Ozzy and James don’t want to. Ozzy pleads with Cirie to have the vote go against Eliza instead.

* Also: Ozzy and Jonathan chat about the numbers (and I don’t know why); James, who doesn’t like that Cirie is becoming more of a power player, says, “It feels like I’m in China again, messing with a bunch of dumb-asses”; and Ami seems to be listening in to every conversation. I don’t really understand Ami’s allegiances, but I’m surprised she didn’t walk back from Exile Island just to stand and watch more conversations.

Throughout all this, Cirie doesn’t allow herself to be bullied or pleaded with. She thinks Yau is the biggest threat, and that’s that.

Now, the above synopsis may be a little biased, because, as I said, I now love Cirie. She’s my favorite of the Favorites. Usually when Survivors bicker, I just want both of them voted out — they’re both talking stupid and not listening to each other. But throughout her argument with Jonathan before and during Tribal Council, Cirie actually made sense to me. I felt fairly indifferent toward Yau-Man, but I was happy he got voted out — for at least one night, Cirie was victorious.