SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD 24.11: “Never Say Die”

As I labored to survive watching this week’s installment of SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD, one thought kept swirling through my head: How embarrassed is Christina Cha right now, watching her adventures on the island unfold? She must be mortified.*

I mean, how stubborn is she? Forget about refusing to see the handwriting on the wall — she denies the handwriting on the inside of her eyelids! I am at a complete loss to rationalize why she cannot see that she will be the first woman to go after the power trio disposes of the now cravenly pandering Tarzan.

And if there was any doubt about who was running the island, the Reward Challenge cleared that up fast. Picking up on the treemail hints, the women figured out the reward involved leaving the island, so Kim and Kat promised to bring each other along if either of them wins. The competition was one of those questionnaires, in which the Survivors had to guess the consensus answer to questions about the other tribe members. (A key revelation: Everyone — except Christina — in the tribe thought Christina was least-deserving to still be in the game!) Kim won, and shockingly selected Chelsea to be her companion for a helicopter ride to a picnic. Given another pick, she selected… Alicia! Zounds! Kat practically melted down on the spot. Especially when marked man Troyzan helpfully pointed out that Kim’s selections revealed the true, hidden pecking order of the camp.

This challenge was the best part of this episode. Not because of the questions, but because of the dolls. A wrong answer meant those with the correct response got to cut one of the ropes holding an effigy dressed and styled to look like each of the players. Three chops sent your mannequin into a roaring fire that consumed it, leaving only a charred skeleton. Yes, the dolls had little skeletons inside! Brilliant.

Back at that camp, a few more choice words from Troy left Kat doubting everything she believed about Kim and the female alliance. (As well she should!) She held it together in front of Troyzan and Sabrina, but cried oncamera about how she doesn’t want to be seen as a weak player who was always a follower. She insisted she has been making her own decisions — which must have happened offscreen, because I think of Kat as the quintessential follower. On the other hand, that means she is not manipulative and bitchy like, say, Alicia, and that’s a good thing. Kat is following the classic “under the radar” strategy, and she’s the easiest member of the female alliance to root for.

At the picnic, Kim stressed about what Troyzan must be saying to Kat and Christina. And she was dead-on. He was planting seeds of doubt and laying out a plan to blindside Kim. Christina seemed to be game for trying to make a move, but Kat confessed to the camera that she is unsure which of the thoughts in her head were hers and which were “seeds” planted by Troyzan. Another blonde stereotype smashed. Thanks, Kat. When Kim and Co. returned, Kat wanted nothing to do with her.

The Immunity Challenge involved getting greased up and sliding down a Slip ‘n Slide two at a time to grab rope rings and toss them onto targets. Sadly, this didn’t turn out to be half as sexy as it sounded, since there is only one brief close-up shot of Chelsea and Alicia rubbing glistening oil all over themselves. Troyzan was defeated by Tarzan (of all people) in the first round, so he turned his back on everyone and appeared to be fuming, but I figure he was just saying goodbye to the island, since he knew he was now toast.

With Troy out, Kim won (defeating Chelsea), and immediately set about mustering her forces and telling everyone how to vote. Which Kat did not enjoy, so the claws came out! She railed against being seen as Kim’s puppet, which was probably a mistake and marked her for quick elimination — but then again, Kim was never taking her into the final round anyway; Kat is way too likeable, and would easily garner the vote of a jury pissed off at Kim.

At Tribal Council, Christina looked bewildered as everyone pretty much admitted they didn’t like her and don’t think she should still be in the game. Christina has not idea why anyone feels that way, despite her tribe mates saying she’s lousy at challenges and doesn’t do much at camp. Plus — and most importantly — she’s not a member of the correct girls’ clique, so she’s dead meat.

Despite Troyzan’s last-minute urging, he was voted out. But he wasn’t quite finished toying with Kat’s mind: As he left, he whispered a little message to her, which caught the other women by surprise.

With the tribe now down to Kim, Chelsea, Sabrina, Alicia, Kat and Christina  — Tarzan doesn’t matter; despite his plan to be a good little non-threatening soldier in Kim’s army, his gender dooms him, and he’ll join the jury next week — Kim has some calculating to do. Who will be the final three? Should she dump Christina or Kat first? Kim has to be careful not to allow anyone likeable to make it to the end with her, so I’m guessing she wants the grating Alicia beside her to the bitter end. But who else? Perhaps Christina, who is seen universally as unworthy. Or the lazy Sabrina? If I were Kim, I’d get Chelsea out of there before she pulls off another immunity win. Chelsea is more the strong, silent type, so she hasn’t had as many opportunities to get on the jury’s crap list as Kim has.



*Unless Christina turns out to be the winner. In which case, she’s laughing all the way to the bank…

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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