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Survivor: China: Week 11 Recap: Using The Fairplay Playbook?

It’s not often that a strongly divided tribe engages in a group hug after voting out a member of the majority alliance, but that’s what happens when the Survivors return to camp after blindsiding James and are overcome with relief that their plan worked and that James didn’t use his immunity idol to survive the betrayal and then slay everyone in a fit of rage. As usually happens sometime during a season, a relative of each Survivor shows up at this week’s reward challenge. Erik’s mom, Amanda’s sister, Peih-Gee’s dad, Todd’s sister, Courtney’s dad and Denise’s husband run out one […]

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Survivor: China: Week 10 Recap: No More Naked Frolicking

Our Thanksgiving leftovers can finally finish digesting in peace — after waiting two weeks for last episode’s cliffhanger to be resolved, we learn that the “more business” Jeff Probst warned of after Frosti was voted out isn’t an additional elimination vote but is instead a reward challenge that, apparently just for dramatic effect, takes place at the Tribal Council location. Peih-Gee wins the challenge, which is a quiz on Chinese culture (before you think that her Chinese heritage gave her an advantage, consider that “What is the capital of China?” was one of the questions). She chooses Erik and Denise […]

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Survivor: China: Week 9 Recap: Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Frosti!

The majority of this episode wasn’t all that exciting for me. The high points of the first half: * Now that overbearing Jean-Robert is out of the picture, Peih-Gee senses that the tribe’s need to be irritated is going unfulfilled, so she steps into the void by micromanaging and by picking a fight with James regarding his lack of effort in the reward challenge. James responds in his James-like way — gruff, yet with peculiar word choice: “Every time you bring something up, I will quickly blast you back and make you look quite silly.” * On the reward for […]

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Survivor: China: Week 8 Recap: Farewell, Susan Lucci

I think the overall theme of this episode is meant to be “Jean-Robert is stupid,” but some other stuff happens, too. When captains pick teams of four for the reward challenge, the picking follows Zhan Hu/Fei Long lines, except Denise is the odd woman out, making her feel like the big, fat kid that no one wants on their team in gym class. I know, someone had to be left out, but it wasn’t a very smart move for the other members of Fei Long to send Denise the message that she’s toward the bottom of the totem pole. The […]

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Survivor: China: Week 7 Recap: Put Not Your Faith in False Idols

If I were to make up awards to hand out for this episode, I’d present the following: Miss Uncongeniality: Courtney telling the camera, “I don’t feel like I really need to be anyone’s friend in this game. I dislike everyone else more than I dislike Todd and Amanda — I think they mistook that for friendship.” (She gets extra points for unnecessary use of air quotes while talking.) Miss Re-Congeniality: Courtney cuddling with Frosti — another thing that calls into question her loyalties with the Fei Long tribe. Most Important Discovery: James finding the immunity idol at the Zhan Hu […]

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Survivor: China: Week 6 Recap: Perfect Plan … Genius Idea … Smashed.

This episode had: Schemes! Thwarted schemes! Nudity! Product placement! Snarky quotes! Brutal honesty! The eating and spitting up of gross food! Even a commercial showing an animated bear getting scraps of toilet paper (Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper — as used by the Survivors!) vacuumed off his butt! Behold — reality TV at its finest: * Todd tells Amanda that there’s a hidden immunity idol, and that he knows three clues as to its location. * The Fei Long tribe wins the reward challenge and kidnaps former tribemate James. On the reward (which takes place at the Charmin TeaHouse. This […]

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Survivor: China: Week 5 Recap: The Garden of Schemin’

In the beginning, Jaime and Erik enjoy paradise in what Erik calls the Garden of Eden. The two of them chat away in the water, engaging in the fun and flirty get-to-know-you phase of a relationship. Paraphrased: Erik: “I have a middle name. It’s Taylor.” Jaime: “Yeah, I have a middle name, too. It’s Nicole. Erik: “I like you.” Jaime: “Yeah, I like you, too.” Erik: “I’m a virgin.” Jaime: “… Neat.” Jaime feels that Erik’s disclosure makes him more trustworthy, and she tells him there’s a hidden immunity idol at camp. Game-wise, the two hope to stick together until […]

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Survivor: China: Week 4 Recap: Can We Vote For Both?

There was something unfulfilling about this episode, and I’m not sure what. Maybe watching people being annoyed with each other makes me crabby, and I just want about half a dozen people voted out at once. * Sherea’s annoyed with Dave for being too demanding. * Dave’s annoyed with Sherea for being lazy and for refusing to give back the shells he’d been saving. * Courtney’s annoyed with Jean-Robert for speaking to her too aggressively when he warns her that she might burn her hand. * James is annoyed with super-huggy Dave (whom Fei Long kidnapped after winning the reward […]

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Survivor: China: Week 3 Recap: The Chihuahua, the Walrus and Mom

The tale of Week 3, as told through the episode’s best quotes: “Call me creepy, if you want to, but I need to be warm.” — creepy Jean-Robert, to the women he tries to snuggle with at night. “I weigh 7 pounds; I can’t even keep myself warm — get off of me!” — Courtney, to the camera, articulating her disgust with Jean-Robert. “I don’t think Jean-Robert gets the social game of Survivor, and if we ever have to go to Tribal Council, at least we won’t have to worry about who it’ll be first, ’cause it’ll be him.” — […]

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Survivor: China: Week 2 Recap: Wrestling With the Davel

Although Dave of the Zhan Hu tribe says he really didn’t want to take on the role of a leader, he decides that embracing it is better than fighting it. And by “embracing leadership,” I mean “being patronizing.” First off, Dave is insensitive to the tribe’s hunger as he drives them toward productivity — just like how in the Bible when the Israelites came to Pharaoh and said “Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’”, Jaime says to Dave (paraphrased), “Your tribemates are given no food, yet we are told, ‘Make mud bricks for the fire pit!’” (OK, maybe the Survivor episode […]