Trash Talk

I can’t decide how I feel about Survivor this season. It has all the makings of a good season — good characters, exciting challenges, exotic location…but it feels like something is missing. For now, I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that one challenge per episode is just not good enough. I need them to return to the schedule I know and love, with a reward challenge and an immunity challenge.

This week we saw Ben actually take some crap for his harsh words last week. Last week’s outburst, during which he repeatedly referred to Yasmin as “ghetto trash”, was definitely a low-point for humanity. Even worse was the defense he gave this week, arguing that Yasmin is from the ghetto, is trashy, and is therefore ghetto trash. He refused to acknowledge any racial prejudice in the term whatsoever, or make any apology. Jaison did a pretty good job of ripping him apart, but you really can’t reason with a racist. Ben exited the show just as big a jerk as he entered.

I applaud Jaison for actually taking a stand, especially in a camp where Evil Russell seems to have scared everyone (example: Natalie) into only ever communicating in nervous, mumbled cryptic language. However, I think Jaison went too far in saying he basically would leave the game if the tribe didn’t comply. Really, Jaison? How would that have looked had the tribe voted out Ashley? Like this:

Option One: Tribe votes out Ashley, Jaison quits the game, Jaison goes home without a million dollars.

Option Two : Tribe votes out Ashley, Jaison remains in game, Jaison looks like a jackass.

On Survivor, people often hate quitters almost as much as they hate racists. Sometimes even more. Jaison is lucky that wasn’t the case on his tribe, but he better buck-up his attitude by next week.

I have to give props to Russell for having the good sense to go along with the tribe on voting out Ben, even though he didn’t want to. Evil Russell didn’t strike me as the kind of guy who ever backs down, but bullying people into voting out Ashley over the unlikable Ben would have put a serious target on his own back. However, we are talking about a dude who burns other peoples’ socks, so he couldn’t make it through the show without doing at least one stupid thing — why, oh why, does he tell EVERYONE about the idol. He told Jaison. Now he’s told Mick. Personally, I’m thrilled he told Mick — I have money riding on “Mick-dreamy” in my Mom’s office survivor pool. But how is Russell benefiting from spreading this around the camp? Has he seen survivor? This will not make people trust him, it will make them talk about him behind his back and eventually conspire to vote him out. Karma, for the big fat Katrina lie.

Over on the other tribe, a group of strangers who grace our TV screens for all of seven minutes each week, Shambo was freaking out over yoga.

I know, Shambo. I feel your pain. No one wants to see a group of hot “90210” twenty-somethings striking a downward-dog pose when there is wood to be collected and water to be boiled. But if we’ve learned anything from people like Jenna Morasca, it is that Survivor is a game way more about social skills than Survivor skills. So despite how much Shambo might hate deep breathing or Tori Spelling, she needs to shut up, sit down, and stretch a little. Then make snarky comments to the confessional camera, and if you wish, the opposing tribe.

Some people might think it was a stupid move for Shambo to complain so much to the opposing tribe about her Galu peeps. I think it showed that there’s some strategy brewing under that alarming mullet of hers. She knows she’s not tight with the 90210-crew. Even if they win every challenge up to the merge, she’s at the bottom of the pecking order. If she can align herself with the underdogs, she might be able to work her way up. It’s worth a shot.

Here’s hoping that by next week we’ll be seeing two tribes and a turnaround for poor old Foa Foa. If not only to protect my guy Mick (and essentially, my ten dollar contribution to the pool), but to shake up the game a little and rain on Galu’s pillow and blanket-loving parade.

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About Jill

Pop culture junkie and TV aficionado. I write sharp and snarky TV recaps at www.couchtimewithjill.com
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