They are all driving me crazy
I'm going to do us all a favor and make a sincere effort to limit any talk of pilots and passengers in this week's report.Survivorsummary. Every season it seems like there's some sort of new terminology that players latch onto and pound the ground on, and this time it has to do with who's flying the damn plane. Honestly, I haven't heard much about passengers since Wesley Snipes told me to "always go for black" while battling murderous flight attendant Elizabeth Hurley inpassenger 57.
I will also make a sincere effort not to confuse Julie and Julia's names, but I will probably do so at some point as well. If I do this, make sure thatJuliusis the one obsessed with something called "Kama Control" (which I can only assume is the name of an underground grammar collective or 1980s West German Kraftwerk cover band), and Julia is the one who said, "Shut up, Wardog. " Oh, and he got kicked out.
What happened at Tribal Council was crazy and insane and it was enough for Aubry Bracco to temporarily transform into Eliza Orlins without the help of the Polyjuice Potion, and we'll get to that. I promise. But lately we have seen a lot of "alive" tribals. Maybe not so much at this point. But we saw them. What really stood out to me about this week's episode ofSurvivor: On the Brink of Extinctionis what came before. No, not Eric looking thoughtfully into the distance at Extinction Island. I'm sure it's contractually required to happen for every competitor that gets there. No, I'm talking about what happened.directlybefore tribal No, it's not the commercial break. I mean beforethat. Ugh, why is this so hard?
I'm talking about the most awkward, silent family dinner I've ever seen. You know, that whole scene where everyone sat in a circle passing food and looking at their feet and wishing everyone had cell phones (or at least Shane Powers' Blackberry Island) to look at and distract them from the awkwardness in front of them. That was fascinating. You probably think I'm being sarcastic Sally right now, but I'm not. I'm serious. For me, this scene where absolutely no one was talking and nothing was happening was really fascinating, and for several reasons.
That scene said more about the game and what it's like to live on the island than a hundred strategy sessions. Because, on the one hand, most of the time the competitors in this game arenomachinations or machinations and agreements. Instead, they are just sitting around doing nothing. That's the one element of being out there that doesn't really translate to the screen. All we see on the screen is the action, but the default pattern of this game isin action. There's a lot of time to kill, so for all the strategy talk you see on the screen, there's a lot more talk about absolutely nothing, or almost no talk at all. This scene captured it perfectly. But it also captured something else.
People try to base decisions in this game on what people tell them, but visual cues are far more important than vocal cues. Go back a few weeks to Aubry's expulsion as a perfect example. So I wrote that in the scene where Victoria was pretending that she was all in league with Aubry and Big Wendy, it was obvious that Victoria was lying because she never made eye contact with Aubry. I'm still amazed to this day that a seasoned veteran player like Aubry didn't realize this. It was all in the body language, and Victoria's body language screamed "I AM A TERRIBLE LIAR IN A WINTER HAT ON A TROPICAL ISLAND!"
What we saw in this last episode was the extreme version of that. Instead of just one person awkwardly avoiding any kind of contact with another, each person would avoid the other. Because there were so many potential schemes going on and so many people lying to each other, everyone sat in complete silence trying to avoid each other. And since the foursome of Gavin, Victoria, Julia and Arora weren't good enough or natural enough to pull off the hit, David and Kelley felt like they were the targets. When Aurora locked herself in for the night and Gavin didn't look up and Victoria didn't look up, they told her everything they needed to know without saying a word. Fascinating.
But perhaps most notable about this scene is that the producers let her act. Silence is considered a killer on television. With our short attention spans, thanks to the internet and smartphones! - it seems that something big and loud has to be going on all the time so that it doesn't take us a single second to recognize and face the deep emptiness and loneliness within our souls. Go to any sporting event and see if there's a moment when something isn't coming out of the speakers and the Jumbotron. People think we are incapable of having fun so they need to make sure some form of entertainment is provided at all times and truth be told those people are probably right. After all, I looked at my phone while peeing the other day, and that's sad. (Not to mention less than hygienic.)
Anyway, I went off on a tangent about how our brains have been completely rewired for the worse due to addictive technology that we can't give up. Sorry to be such a nuisance as I momentarily examined the true and honest lack of satisfaction in our lives. This is my bad. But what I mean is that the fact that theSurvivorfor the producers to allow this scene to play out for so long is contradictory to everything they teach you in production school, which is exactly why I loved it.
Also, think about howjeff probsthe's always talking about how they're trying to fit as much material into one episode as possible. Every second is precious. That's why they got rid of the opening credits and other perceived fillers like the Rites of Passage that used to help end each season. And consider how little time they really have to show us what's happening on the beach.
Remember, a typical 42-minute episode showcases the highlights of 72 hours of activity at the tribal camp. Eliminate Tribal Council, a challenge or two, the "previously on...Survivor” in short, “next time in …Survivor” Preview and people looking at Edge of Extinction, and you usually move, say, 10 to 15 minutes of tribe beach time. This episode only covered a 24-hour period, but the point still remains: on a show where every second matters, spending so much time with people sitting around and saying nothing was a bold move. And like many other team editing strategiesSurvivorproved over the past few seasons, has paid huge dividends, quietly telling us the story. I felt like I was watching the "Hush" episode ofbuffy the vampire slayer, which made me remember how bad Buffy's boyfriend Riley was, and it brought me back to reality super fast.
So talk all you want about that wild, crazy, bonkers Tribal Council, but for me, that awkward, silent family dinner was what really made the episode. All of that being said... now let's talk about that wild, wacky, wacky Tribal Council! Listen, I'm not going to recap everything that happened because otherwise we'll be here all day, even for me. Instead, let's briefly set up the situation and then get into what I see as the key moments that allowed Tribal Council anarchy and the last-minute change to happen.
When the gang showed up at Tribal, the plan seemed to be to send Kelley or David to Extinction Island. But then these big moments happened.
important moment #1
David told us about pooping. Okay, this really had nothing to do with what followed, but there's no way David Wright is going to sit there and shoot shit, so to speak, about water dumps at Tribal Council and I'm not going to put that in the abstract. It just isn't going to happen.
important moment #2
There is an art to Tribal Council. He doesn't want to give up on his plans, but he also doesn't want Jeff Probst to yell at him (which he does) for not answering his questions and giving him something to work on. So the key is to say something without saying anything. Boston Rob was a master at this. I would always give Jeff a fun, witty response that wouldn't give anything away... unless I intentionally wanted something to be revealed.
Suffice it to say that Julia and Aurora are not yet masters of this. Julia first opened the door by announcing to Rick and David that she had a plan with Kelley, making them nervous. And so Aurora's comments in Tribal did nothing to lull Lesus into a false sense of security, which is exactly what the game is all about. "You're spilling the beans," Julia whispered to Aurora, but by then it was too late. Which brings us to…
important moment #3
After hearing Aurora's comments, Rick Devens lit a light bulb above her head. “Just throwing it around. It looks like there's a very strong Kama group that doesn't want us to mess with them, and then we have 5 Lesu and 2 Kamas who were left out, that's 7 people and we can do whatever we want.”
This was the impetus for everything that followed. It's simple math. There were four people (pilots Julia, Gavin, Victoria and passenger Aurora) running the show, and a group of three (Kelley, Lauren, The Wardog), a group of two (the law firm of David & Devens) and another group out of two (Ron and Julie) all eliminated. But 3 + 2 + 2 = 7. And last time I checked, 7 > 4. But getting those seven on the same page to trust each other is easier said than done. Which brings us to…
important moment #4
This isn't so much a moment as an aggressive take on The Wardog. After Rick brought up the team's idea, the Wardog went into attack mode. He relentlessly courted Ron and Julie. He went on to tell the pair that he was ready to vote for Aurora with them, knowing that Aurora was the one who was out the most. But he also showed flexibility. "Tell us the name and we'll do it right now," he said. Wardog kept up the pressure. He knew Julie was about to break up and he wanted to give her that last push. Which brings us to…
important moment #5
Honestly, I don't think any of this is going to happen without Julie. We only got a few snippets of conversations and I can only go by what we heard, but I think Julie was the linchpin of the whole poll. We had seen every episode where Julie was emotionally vulnerable. Getting caught in the previous poll put her in a bad spot and she looked like she was on the verge of a meltdown. Then, at Tribal Council, he broke down. "I don't have control of Kama!" she screamed. “I'm at the bottom of Kama's control! I'm ready to jump ship. I'm ready to jump ship.” And then she ran to the Lesus to consult.
My best guess is that if Julie hadn't been so adamant about switching sides, Ron would have gone back to Kama, even though he was betrayed on the last vote. What that tells me is that Gavin, Victoria, and Julia haven't done a strong enough job of reassuring Julie after Eric's previous blind shot. That should have been priority number one. Well, that's not entirely accurate. Priority number one should have been asking the production why they can't wear their bathing suits with all these water challenges. but priority numberof thehe should have been trying to make Ron and Julie feel as valued as possible after leaving them out of the last poll. I'm not saying it's easy, but clearly, Julie didn't feel there was a future with her former Kama teammates, and that's what killed them.
There were tons of other little big moments in this altercation. Kelly told David that she planned to throw him out. There was David listening to Victoria talk about breaking up with him. There was Rick and David getting back together and using their common idol (unnecessarily) for David. And, I feel like I can't stress this enough, David was talking about pooping.
As mentioned above, we've seen a lot of whispers and small groups and people getting up and walking towards other people over the last few seasons, so it wasn't necessarily new, but what was so exciting was when this Tribal Council started, there probably wasn't a single person. who planned to vote for Julia. All votes went to Kelley or David. However, Julia went home. And it wasn't even close. And it wasn't for an idol or an advantage.
Has the tide ever turned with such dramatic effect? I realize I sound like the old Ross when I mention the good old days ofSurvivor, but in the first 25 seasons of this show, you could probably count on one hand the number of times people actually changed their vote during Tribal Council and sent someone home that they weren't planning to vote for when Tribal started. Of course, sometimes someone unexpectedly goes home because of an idol or an advantage or a tie in the poll that leads to a tie, but having someone completely 100% confident and then being eliminated by almost everyone without you for none of these things to happen is almost unheard of. That's the brutality ofSurvivornow: you are never really safe.
Okay, just a few quick touches before I'm done.
• The episode started with The Wardog telling us that “The Wardog controlled the voting”. I tend to agree with him, and even if I don't, Dalton will always side with the guy who refers to himself in the third person.
• I don't need to see any more pictures of the person who just got kicked out sitting on Extinction Island the next morning looking thoughtfully into the distance as cameras roll him from various angles. I mean at this point why not just stuff them full of cheese and have them skipping rocks in the water depressingly and kicking empty soda cans up and down the beach whileto filldevelopment stopped with the sad Christmas song of Charlie Brown. Also, why did Joe and Aubry talk Eric out of it? That's one less person to beat to get back in the game. I LET GO!
• Jeff Probst just gave us our firstSurvivorgender curse? At one point in the immunity challenge of balancing the ball in the goal, the presenter noticed that there were five women and only two men left. So what happened next? Five women dropped out in a row. This led to a battle between Gavin and David, and I guess I'm supposed to make some sort of joke here about his balls moving around a lot, but I'll leave that to Probst and just note that Gavin won.
• The reactions from the Aubry Tribal Council were spectacular, but Eliza Orlins (who returns to television next week inan amazing race) is still the jury's queen of facial expressions, if you ask me.
Okay, this will end here, but you are far from done my friend. We have an on-site report from Hostmaster General Jeff Probst on what really happened at that crazy Tribal Council in. Also, did you see what Reem said in ourSurvivor Cast Members Gallerytalking about the biggest obstacles they had to overcome in life? I recommend you do. I'm also about to deliver the original confessions from the most embarrassing moment, so follow me on Instagram.@thedaltonrossfor a chance to win them. and for an endlessSurvivorspoon, follow me on twitter@DaltonRoss.
ok now it isthey areto bend. Who gets the credit for Tribal Council's big move: Rick, The Wardog, or Julie? Did you feel as uncomfortable watching the silent scene on your couch as you did on the island? And who wins the Aubry vs. Eliza? Visit the message boards to share your thoughts and I'll be back next week with another dose of crunch!
- Survivor: Edge of Extinction cast teases new twists
- Survivor's Wendy Explains Why She 'Never Gives Up'
- Survivor's Keith reveals the real reason for his feud with Chris