Welcome to the fourth installment of me live-bloggin Survivor: Race Wars. Although the race-based tribes have since been liquidated, there is still a great deal of racial undercurrent to this particular season. Not only is Probst deliberately using racialized terminology (for example, “integration” instead of “merge”, and referring to the new tribe structure as a “melting pot”), but because the tribes were initially divided along racial lines, the castaways have been made that much more aware of their racial identities, as have we, the viewer. Even despite the “integration”, many online fans are still referring to the castaways as much by their race as their names.
Returning from Tribal Council, the Aitu tribe reflect on how things went down. Ozzy, in particular, seems crushed and has lost his motivation to continue playing the game. This seems to bode poorly for his continuing presence in the game, as it's certain that the White & Asian alliance (or Twinkie Alliance) on Aitu (consisting of Jonathan (Chicken Thief), “Love-at-first-sight” Candice, Yul (Super Asian Man, or S.A.M.) and Princess Becky) will endeavour to keep the Crunchy Kid Alliance (consisting of the hippies Cao Boi (aka Mr. Miyagi) and Flicka (aka Pony Girl)) in their pocket and chip away at the remaining members of Aitu, forming the now defunct Brownfolks Alliance.
An ongoing mystery is why Candice, of all people, was chosen by Raro to go to Exile Island. I have to say, I'm still stumped, as Raro had no way of knowing how crucial Candice was to the Twinkie Alliance.
Meanwhile, over at Raro, Parvati expresses frustration that she and the other women were working so hard on the shelter while the men lay around and pretended to fix their boat by untying and retying the strings that held the oars in place. This is shaping up to be a strong male-oriented alliance that should threaten the security of the women on Raro. Parvati is really going to have turn on that 1-900 “sex kitten” thing she's resting on right now.
The tribes go to the reward challenge where they compete for pillows and a hammock, and the opportunity to put someone on Exile Island. Aitu, in an impressive display of teamwork (and perhaps again challenging this characterization of Princess Becky as a princess, as she gamely accepted a face full of sand as part of running the obstacle course) win the reward and vote Adam to go to Exile Island. And of course, cementing the superhuman abilities of S.A.M., it seems that he singlehandedly solved the puzzle at the end of the challenge to score the win for his tribe. Is there anything this model minority can't do?
Aitu returns and celebrates their victory. As Chicken Thief and Ozzy catch fish (Ozzy describes himself as the “sole provider” of the tribe, and S.A.M. dubs Ozzy “Poseidon”), Flicka does this weird shoulder-shaking thing in her solo interview, making her sound like the world's. Biggest. Ditz. I mean, seriously, Flicka has got to be the demon child of Bob Marley and Anna Nicole Smith.
In the meanwhile, Parvati schemes to “infiltrate” the male alliance by flirting with Nate. Again, there's some racial overtones involved here with the White girl immediately getting drawn to the light-skinned, somewhat effeminate Black man she finds at once super-masculine and malleable enough to control. Nate, who is apparently not exactly a braintrust, claims to “trust” Parvati and is incapable of seeing through her horribly anti-feminist strategy. I'm just offended by Parvati, and cannot wait until she gets voted out.
Back from commecial break and over in Aitu, some of the tribe members stumble across a booby's nest with a mother protecting a newborn chick. Cao Boi climbs the tree, knocks the nest out of the tree and the baby falls onto the ground, causing the Chicken Thief to nearly burst into tears (which was just kind of unnerving). Cao Boi blames his actions on “the child in him” — I blame it on the fact that he's just plain creepy.
After the booby nest and baby is returned to Mommy Booby, the tribes go to the Immunity Challenge. The actual challenge involves four tribemates having to put together a stretcher, three swimming out to the water to rescue a tribemate shackled to a mast and returning the “victim” on the stretcher to the beach where the final three tribemates must build a fire to win Immunity. I just had to laugh to see the “set-up” shot with Candice and Parvati as the “victims”. While, of course, the two “weak women” have to play damsel-in-distress, Parvati took to the role just a little too well. She just had to have her leg all sexily curled around the mast — posed as the quintessential sex bunny needing a knight in shining armour.
Meanwhile, “Poseidon” (we need a better nickname for this dude) made up a lot of time for Aitu, and after Mr. Miyagi uses his magic hands to dance wildly around the fire, twirling his kindling over his head like a helicopter, he actually manages to start a fire before Raro could even get a spark. Aitu wins immunity and poor Raro, sitting pretty at the beginning of this episode, will be forced to vote someone out.
I'm thinking Stephanie is gone, just because it's hard to imagine a bunch of cavemen tossing out their token Sex Bunny.
At Raro, Pinoy Brad reveals that Cao Boi was the ex-Puka fire-tender. Stephanie, in a supreme feat of self-sacrifice declares herself the weakest link, pretty much inviting a removal from the tribe. However, at least one person was thinking: Rebecca points out that the women currently out-number the men and should maintain that majority. It's a sound plan, but the question is who the women will target.
Unfortunately, there one hurdle that must be overcome in this potential coup: Anti-Feminist Sex Bunny Parvati who, in her teensy-weensy-string bikini basically says “oh, hell no, I ain't voting off my me-eeehhnnns; my feminine wiles won't work on you, women!!”.
In a desperate effort, the women then reach out to Pinoy Brad. And you could practically hear the hammer come down on this feeble coup like that “Cluhn-Cluh” sound on Law & Order. It will be a miracle of epic proportions if J.P. (the guy being targeted by the female alliance) is snuffed out instead of Stephanie.
Although my feminism demands that I root for the women somehow emerging victorious, I almost want Stephanie to be voted out, because she absolutely does not know how to play this game. Every time she opens her mouth, she somehow manages to shoot herself in the foot. Even at Tribal Council, she has to say she doesn't trust her tribemates; not one to butter up your potential allies, are you, Stephanie?
Echoing J.P.'s sentiment upon realizing that the women pulled it off, I have to say, “Wow“. I am utterly impressed that the clumsy stumbling of the female alliance actually worked. This has to be one of the biggest upsets of the season thus far — I was completely surprised that Un-Survivor Stephannie managed to outlast anyone at all, let alone the admittedly stronger and more likeable (at least if your a fellow lazing, belching, frat boy) J.P..
Wow. So, it turns out that not only did Sex Bunny Parvati actually discover her inner feminist, but Pinoy Brad not only joined the female alliance but pulled over Adam as well.
I just want to point out however, that so far three original members of the Latino tribe and one member of the Black tribe have been eliminated. Why are the Brown tribemates dropping like proverbial flies in the milk?
Next Week: Cao Boi bitches about the “princess-y” women while Raro gets an unwelcome visitation from the Aitu tribe.