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Episode 13: "It's Human Nature"
Filmed: September 3-5, 2011; Aired: May 9, 2012
  • Reward challenge: "Spinning Wheel" - Chelsea spins her wheels, wins. After announcing she'd pick the way she played ("fair"), she takes Kim and Sabrina along for an overnight yacht shower/champagne trip.
  • Immunity challenge: "Bone to Pick" - The second-lamest "puzzle" in Survivor history is resurrected in order to give even Tarzan a shot at winning. Sadly, Alicia does instead.
  • Hidden immunity idols: Talked about, but unplayed again.
  • Voted out: Tarzan, 5-1 over Chelsea.

Apart from the continuing mystery of "How will Tarzan cross-dress next?", not much of a tension-packed episode. Chelsea was in some danger of getting booted, but apparently not enough to warrant using Kim's idol. The game was afoot. Now it is about over. Phew.

Trolly: Tarzan
Trolly
ICU!: Christina
ICU!
Beasty: Chelsea
Beasty/Sitty
Slitty: Kim
Slashy/Slitty
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trollyThe Russell Hantz Memorial Troll of the Week award (the "Trolly"): Tarzan
Honorable mention: Alicia

Alas, poor Tarzan. Well... not poor exactly, since he's a self-descrbed millionaire. How about wealthy-but-too-cheap-to-buy-new-shocks Tarzan? Whatever. He's Tarzan: the last man standing. Or at least sitting. Or hobbling around on one leg, with a bandana tied around the other. And, technically, he's not really Tarzan, he just plays one on TV. When he's not busy repeatedly quoting Sherlock Holmes.

 

Sometimes camouflage just doesn't work

Let's start over: Verily, he's the man who calls himself Tarzan. One of them, anyway: but he's the one who can do the Tarzan yell. A bit confusingly, he seems to prefer ladieswear to loincloths... but, let's be honest, this was probably for the best. And he came to this jungle to play. What surprised everyone was that he would only start visibly playing on day 34 of a 39-day game. Hint to future contestants: This is probably too late.

 

Still, in the preceding 33 days, Tarzan provided enough awkward entertainment to stock a full Ricky Gervais-scripted season of TV, and for that we are thankful. Although we would have preferred that some of that entertainment did not include propping up Colton's reign of terror (shudder). Warts and all, however, Tarzan was a unique character that helped elevate One World from completely unwatchable to... this. And for that, a well-earned Trolly.

icuThe Purple Kelly Memorial Invisibility Cloakee Unmasked! award ("ICU!"): Christina
Honorable mention: Sabrina

Christina (and to a lesser extent, Sabrina) has been a confounding contestant this season. Early on (tribal council yelling match with Alicia in episode 1, "jump in the fire" and other assorted abuse from Colton and Alicia in episode 6), she seemed destined for a hasty exit from the game. And yet, in this perifinalic ("penultimate" is overused) episode, there Christina still stands. La CucaraCHA. And yet, despite all this, the viewing audience has been privy to approximately zero of Christina's thoughts about this feat. (To be accurate, less than half a thought per episode since the merge, which, with rounding down....) Are we to believe she had none?

 

Sabrina has sort of had the inverse problem: Very early on, she was the center of attention, finding hidden idols and becoming leader of Salani. Editing seemed to be crowning her as a strong contender for the overall winner of the season. And then she kind of disappeared, and now only pops up every now and then, usually to comment on other people, such as how Kat screwed over Christina and Tarzan at the family visit reward. Is she playing to win herself? We may never know. Honestly, if it weren't for the intro/title sequence, we'd barely even know Christina and Sabrina were still there. Wait....

beastyThe Colby Donaldson Memorial Challenge Beast award (The "Beasty"): Chelsea
Honorable mention: Kim

With two challenges remaining, Kim not only has a chance to break into the top 25 challenge performers of all time, but even the top 10. Her alliancemate Chelsea? One challenge behind, and could reach the top 25 with a finale sweep. Which one is perceived as the challenge threat, though? Probably Chelsea, who did not do herself any favors when she won this week's reward challenge. Apart from the showering, eating and comfortable sleeping, of course. Luckily for Chelsea, however, even though she managed to make herself a target, Kim was able to distract the others for one vote, at least. Going forward, however, Chelsea remains the perceived Beast.

 

Then again, if the remaining challenges are as terrible as the mysteriously exhumed "Bone to Pick" challenge (second-worst puzzle ever, behind the one that followed it in Redemption Island, "A Numbers Game," which consisted of putting numbers in order), perhaps even Alicia could sweep the finale challenges. And if one of these three really is a true challenge beast, now is the time to step it up. Winning the next two challenges guarantees you a spot in the final three.

slashyThe CIrie Fields Memorial Smiling Backstabber award ("Slitty"): Kim
Honorable mention: Kim. Also Kim.

Honestly, if anyone other than Kim wins this game, it's utterly, hopelessly flawed.

 

Once again this week, we saw why Kim is (as far as we can tell) lapping the field in this game: she's in an alliance with everyone left, and everyone wants to take her - whether to the final three or just on reward. Even when she just got done winning two straight challenges last week. And when someone even hints at sprouting green shoots of other plans (Tarzan), they get found out and booted immediately. This, even though multiple people (Sabrina, Tarzan) were busy commenting on how the magical properties of Kim's penetrating eyes completely persuaded them to act against their own self-interest. Which begs the obvious question: Is Kim secretly a Targaryen?

 

She has the golden hair and violet eyes (we're pretty sure they just look blue on TV) characteristic of this family. She has clearly been royalty-in-waiting for One World since before the season even began, and has already dispatched a potential usurper who claimed "This is my island." And as we know, fire is life... but also the mark of the dragon. Coach and/or Sophie may have (or so they claim) slain dragons in South Pacific, but clearly, Kim is the dragon reborn. Or at least a dragon rider. And no, we're not talking about this.

 

So yes, we're thinking all that allegedly biographical chatter about "recent divorcee" and "bridal shop owner" and "Texas" were red herrings, meant to throw us off the scent of Kim's true heritage. She has come to claim the throne that is hers by rights. And come Sunday, we, the small folk, will welcome her ascent to her long-sought dominion. Long may she reign. Or until the start of the fall season, whichever comes first.

See also:
Other recaps you probably wish you would have read instead of ours
Recaps and commentary Exit interviews

  • Rob Cesternino at RobHasAPodcast: "The Interview is Afoot: Talking with Survivor Tarzan"
Podcasts
  • Rob & Nicole Cesternino at RobHasAPodcast: "[forthcoming Julie Berry podcast]"
  • SuperJude and Tim Lamaster at SurvivorSuperfanCast.com: "(Purple) Kelly Shinn interview"
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