Editor's note: A third straight solid Survivor episode, and one which came close to matching the absolute chaos of the Phillipines tribal council in which Jeff Kent ended up getting booted. Coincidentally, with the last of the sideshow distractions out the door, the show now has a chance to actually build on this momentum, and deliver for its remaining four episodes. As long as, you know, some of the remaining nine become less invisible. With that in mind, we turn this week to the thoughts of a Caramoan participant who's had more screen time than Brenda, Erik, Hope, and Allie combined: Malcolm's (original) hidden immunity idol.
This week's guest voice: Contestant MHII.
Day 1: My twin and I were only just born, and now, here I am, separated from my bro, getting shoved into a cold, dark, moist place. Why do humans think the whole "in utero" thing is so great, anyway? I just want to be dry, and warm. And loved. Loved, most of all. Why has my maker forsaken me?
Day 3: Still in a hole. Not cool, guys. Also, this parchment shroud I'm wrapped in is totally not my style. Stifling, very little pattern, and the color is so seven years ago. I need to breathe.
Day 4: I am saved! Hallelujah! And not only that, but I have been rescued by a legendary hero, one whose name my ancestors have passed down in reverent whispers, through the generations. His name? "The Hairbanded One." He is with some curly-haired woman, and the sight of me brings them to instant coupling. I know, right? I tend to have that effect on people, what can I say? I am the bringer of joy and happiness. Totally not a "fun sponge." Not yet, anyway.
Day 4 - Epilogue: Nooooooooo!! After gushing over me for a few minutes, The Hairbanded One buried me. Buried! In the dirt! Were my beads not sufficiently fetching? Did I clash with his plaid? Was it jealousy on the part of the hairband that restrains his sainted locks? How have I failed?
Day 10: Still buried. I hate this game.
Day 14: I am retrieved! And shoved into The Hairbanded One's pocket, as we depart on a marvelous journey. It feels wonderful to breathe the salt air, to experience the jostling of moving about, to take in the delightful smell of orange paint. I feel so alive! And then, back in the dirt. I'm starting to think he might not actually like me.
Day 20: It's been a long, dark struggle, this past seeming eternity in the dark, cold ground. But just as my last molecule of hope begins to expire, we are away and on the move again! A boat ride! I don't like the sounds of old Hairband's muttering about crazy laundry ladies, though. Aaaand... buried again. Maybe I should try to get back with the curly-haired woman. She'd probably wear me.
Night 25: I have a date! We're headed to some nightlife hotspot. The ancestors have passed down many legends of this place. Lit by torches, surrounded by cameras. One ancestor was brought out and displayed here by Hairband, in a show of admiration and affection. Finally, I shall have the love and respect I have so long craved. I sit and wait, trying to discern from my pocket perch, when will my public debut come? Is it now? We are moving. The intoxicating aroma of freshly opened marker greets me. Is this the time? He mumbles something about things working, we move again. Please, please let this be it!
We wait for what seems like an eternity. He raises his arm, and calls out "Hold up, bro!" It's here! It's here! It's... what? He's receiving my twin from some other handsome fellow. WAIT, WHAT ABOUT ME? I'm still here! No, no, this is all wrong! It was not supposed to happen this way. It was my turn! It was supposed to be me! What is wrong with you, you two-timing, plaid-wearing monster? My world is crashing around me, I can no longer focus. Darkness engulfs me.
Night 25 - Epilogue: Dirt. Again. FML.
Day 28: Oh, great. He dug me up again. And... wait, what? My twin is here as well? How did this happen? I give my twin the silent treatment. The makers always loved him better. He's touched far more hands than I have, the filthy little gigolo. My twin proceeds to rattle off, completely unbidden, a fantastical tale of being shoved in a rock, mere minutes before good old Hairband pulled him right back out. A likely story. I should probably warn him that Hairband is a fickle, teasing, cruel master. That henceforth, he'll know nothing but blackness, and false hopes of being worn. But nope, not today. Screw him. He'll find out the hard way. Life is rough, bro. Have fun going back into the dirt tonight, bro. Yeah, right. You did not get waved around triumphantly in front of three other people, liar. I can't believe we're even twins. That poor, dumb bastard.
Night 28: Ho hum, we're off to the nightclub again. But I'm wise to your tricks, Hairband. I'm not interested in whatever freaky three-way thing you have planned for my twin and me. So we sit, and we wait. And wait. Boy, these people sure do like to talk. Hold on, he's talking about idols. That's me, right? It's my time to shine! He pulls out... my twin? No, noooo!!!!! What have I done to deserve this? He puts my twin around his neck. Do you think I don't see this, Hairband? Honestly: Worst. Day. Ever.
Still Night 28: Just when I think all is over, and I'm doomed to another set of endless nights under a pile of soil, leaves, and soiled leaves, he starts talking again. What masculine tomfoolery is this? He's taking me out! It's here! It's here! It's finally HERE!!! And... he's handing me to some bearded dude in a tanktop, who decides to wear me? What the...? Oh well, at least the dude isn't wearing plaid or a hairband. Maybe things are still looking up. It's much more fun to watch this place from out in the open! So many gloomy faces. So much whispering. I don't care: I'm on TV! I'm somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now! ... And eventually they do. After some wandering around, and more delightful pen scents, Tanktop Beardo and Hairband wander over to some blue-shirted older guy, and hand my twin and me to him. My destiny has been fulfilled! Greatest! Day! Ever!
Even later on Night 28: I don't like the looks of those muttering people over there, conferring with the makers. They're talking about putting me in a hole. Or under a rock. Or in a hole under a rock. I just know it.
Recaps and commentary
Exit interviews - Phillip Sheppard