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‘Survivor Micronesia’: Broken promises and alliances

Last week, I was sadly far far away from my beloved TiVo, and thus I was reduced to trying to watch “Survivor” on this thing we called the Internet! But after five minutes of typing things like “And then Ozzy gets really pixelated and his words stop matching up with his mouth,” I had to give up and wait until my return home.

Before we start, remember the last episode, when Erik made up a nonsense word and claimed it was Micronesian for “good” and everyone agreed to make that the team name? Well! A note from the reader mailbag: “Dabu is better known (to Warcraft players) as an orcish word for ‘I obey.’” Thanks Eric-with-a-C! You have confirmed that Erik-with-a-K is forever my favorite. Cuz if Erik is a WoW fanatic, then he just hit a new level of nerd-dom.

Back to camp after last week, and Jason is totally psyched that Eliza was the one who played the fake immunity idol, and not him. Because certainly it’s better to be the idiot who mistook the fake for a real immunity idol but still stays on the show, than be the person who recognized immediately that the idol was fake, and played it anyway. Actually, it is better. Funny how that works.

Everyone’s laughing over how Ozzy got Jason and Eliza, especially Ozzy, but Cirie is a little sad that Jason’s immunity idol wasn’t fake. Because if it had been real, the votes against Eliza wouldn’t have counted, and Ozzy would have gone home. Cirie would not have been sad about that.

There’s like a full 10 minutes of Jason still being high on his victory from last week, and it’s starting to get a little old. Dude, you held your breath for a few minutes. You didn’t scale Everest.

But WOW, right away we move onto a reward challenge! Right at the top of an episode! Awesome. The Survivors get into teams to complete a memory challenge — they have to arrange symbols to match with a master board on the other side of a “multi-level net tunnel.” The reward is a trip to the island of Yap, which is when I remember that there’s a whole episode of “The West Wing” where Toby and Sam get a guy off the Federal Elections Commission by making him an ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, which is only chosen because Aaron Sorkin likes funny words like “yap.” My education owes much to this sort of thing.

A schoolyard pick means that Cirie, as the odd lady out, gets sent to Exile Island. I am now even more worried about Cirie. She heads off and some relay race/memory game action ensues — surprisingly more dynamic than you’d think. The Jason/Ozzy/Erik/Amanda team triumphs, thanks to a clever strategy of splitting up each row so that one person only has to memorize four tiles at a time. Amanda clenches Ozzy’s arm when Jeff mentions all the culture that they are about to experience. Yap culture! Oh, Yap is a funny word.

The reward folk have a great time eating food and watching tribal dancing, especially Erik, who probably regrets his short shorts when confronted with an entire village of topless women (tastefully blurred out by the editors). Erik admits that it’s probably the most breasts he’s seen in his entire life. I hope he means in person, because if not then Internet porn is not doing its job. Erik throws himself into playing with the little kids, learning the dances, eating the food, chewing the native tobacco, and drinking the local brew. He ends up puking that night, but he’s smiling the whole time. Erik? Still my favorite ever.

My second favorite, Cirie, is having a miserable night on Exile Island, as there’s no hidden idol and plenty of rain. She comes away determined to get rid of Ozzy. I do not have high hopes for her chances.

Today’s immunity challenge is an endurance one — the Survivors’ arms are tethered to big buckets of water poised overhead, which will douse them if they move. I’m excited — these challenges are always fun, mostly because of Jeff’s taunts and torture. He starts off by offering them a big bowl of candy, and Cirie and Erik immediately give up because they have never in their lives watched an after-school special about strange men with candy. “What in the Nickelodeon is going on around here?” James observes. Well-said, James. I’ll note that the water in the buckets is tinted, which will hopefully not stain. It’s not like they have a change of clothing with them, after all.

Alexis, Natalie and James lose their concentration. Ozzy gives it up for three chocolate glazed donuts and Amanda bows out for a bathroom break, leaving Jason and Parvati. Jeff comes out with a huge plate of food, which he tells the last two standing they can share with the rest of the tribe if one of them bows out. Amanda tells Jason to do it so he can make friends, and Natalie promises that she won’t vote him out that night if he does. Jason demands that everyone make this promise — Natalie, Erik, and Parvati are the first three to do so. Alexis and Cirie do so as well, but because they are small children they cross their fingers behind their backs when they do it. And when the rest of the Survivors make this promise, Jason finally agrees. He gets a standing ovation. And snacks!

He does not get much of Ozzy’s respect, though, as Ozzy’s pretty certain it’s now time to get rid of Jason. But Cirie want to get rid of Ozzy.  We hear this song every week, don’t we? This is the first time Parvati’s sung it, and she has the immunity to back it up, but she’s also apparently human enough to think that maybe this will make her an awful person, since she’s been in an alliance with Ozzy since the beginning. But we see Natalie and Alexis tell Jason that they have the numbers to vote Ozzy out, thanks to Cirie and Parvati. Since Ozzy’s immunity idol will only protect him if he plays it before the voting is announced, this could work.

And holy crap, it does. Crap. Erik and Amanda are open-mouthed with shock. Jason does a victory dance in his seat. I don’t want to talk about it. Damn it.

Ozzy’s exit interview is pretty classic, for the record: “To the person in my alliance who voted for me, I pretty much hate you right now. So. Screw you.” Oh, Ozzy. You will be missed.

Next week: Parvati has made her bed. Time to lie in it. But not with James. “Survivor” breakup time!

— Liz Shannon Miller

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