Amazon Episode 5: Pick-Up Sticks

"Oi-yoi-yoi-yoi!" Time for the credits. Lots of impressive shots of actually unimpressive people pretending to be survivors. Then we are at staring at an insect sneaking into a sleeping C Girl's mouth as she snores. It's morning, day thirteen, good morning Jamboree. Hippodeena crunches sticks as her morning She-Ra exercise and smirks. She feels good, she says, because after the Bride of Satan's boot last week, she's the top dog. Then she grabs an anaconda, wrap it around her frame, and bursts into When You're Good To Mama. Okay, she doesn't, instead saying that Jeanne, however, is unbelievably pissed off.

Cue Jeanne saying that it is ridiculous that these idiots voted off the strongest member of their tribe when Shameless is lying there moaning about wanting to be booted off. "Smart!" she concludes angrily.

Shameless is lying on the floor of the hut, moaning about how terrible she feels and how nobody is respecting her desire to be booted off. Channeling everyone who is watching this show, Jeanne turns and shows her tongue at Shameless. Hippodeena says that Shameless has to just buck up and bear it because there's no way Hippodeena is sacrificing their alliance. I don't know about anybody, but when one has to rely on a wailing, whiny useless creature for one's alliance, it's like one has already lost the game. It is one thing to be a parasite on strong and capable tribe members and slowly crush them when the opportunity arises, a doctrine Tuna Wesson and InVeeSible can teach in universities everywhere, but I don't think Hippodeena is getting this right when she is so obviously courting hostility from Shameless.

Ooh, look at those erect nipples! Alex is raping a tree with his machete when he thrusts too hard and the tree fights back by sending a chip flying onto his forehead. Ouch. Alex immediately walks around telling every guy he meets that he has hurt himself in the head. The wound is minor and it is not bleeding even profusely, but the men of Tampa Queens seize this opportunity to pull off their shirts and crowd around Alex, who is lying helplessly in overexaggerated pain as compared to the true extent of his injury. Rat Boy runs and grabs a can of Coke for Alex. I'm not kidding. Dr Dave bends over, and yes, Frodo, that's what we call the Crack of Doom. Shirtless men huddle close like tiny lil' shirtless pygmies examining two humping capibaras as Butch bandanges Alex's head. Alex grins at the men, touches the bandage, and says he looks cool.

The cameramen quickly flee the scene when the leering men pounce and Alex starts screaming like a grilled pig, and we are back at Jamboree.

Jeanne is announcing as the Jamborees gather around at the hut that last night she overheard Hippodeena saying that someone wasn't being part of the team, and she assumed that they were talking about her, so let her say that she has worked hard and - Hippodeena cut her off by telling her that she was talking about C Girl. She points at C Girl and C Girl nods. Hoisted at her own petard, Jeanne declares that she is fed up of being isolated and she'll just stay here the next time the others go out to do whatever they want to do. "Have at it," Hippodeena tells her. She's becoming too smug, this lady. Of course, her comeuppance is coming just around the corner. She tells the camera that ooh, Jeanne is sweating in her panties. No, I don't know if Hippodeena knows for certain that Jeanne is really... doing that. And I don't want to know. Why do you people ask me these kinds of questions?

The two tribes that get a missive for the Reward Challenge. Only, it's not a reward challenge. The missive just asks the tribes to send their youngest member to a spot as indicated in the map that comes with the missive. Oh good, maybe it's ritual sacrifice time. Rat Boy is bitter that Dr Dave gets to go. It's not fair - ritual sacrifices demand a virgin, right? And Rat Boy's the virgin, not Dr Dave who is so hot and gorgeous. "I'm a virgin," Dr Dave corrects him. "I'm saving myself for Mrs Giggles." Or maybe I misheard something because I'm too busy studying the architecture of Dr Dave's naked torso. Over at Jamboree, Jeanne tries to argue about the technicalities of the term "youngest", as in, maybe the "youngest at heart" can go too? That would still disqualify you, you sulky twit, so just get over yourself. Jabba, the youngest, rolls up her eyes, dons her cowboy hat, and off she goes.

Apparently jealous of over the success of Ho Millionaire and The Skankoholette, Mark Burnetto has decided to borrow that Love Chalet of Adultery, the See-Through Shower Cubicle of Infidelity, and the Big Buffet of Skanky Lust, all from Temptation Island, hoping that Dr Dave and Jabba will get onto that sleezy double bed (shame on you, Burnetto, but after that Lesbian Bathing Trio scene a few episodes back, I'm not that surprised) and proceed to gross every viewer into never having sex again. Again, let me say this: shame on you Burnetto. It is bad enough that this Reward Challenge is not at all a Reward Challenge, you have to turn it into an Invitation To Skank. One reason I watch this show is because while it exploits its contestants for entertainment, it doesn't deliberately set up the contestants for skanky exploitation this blatantly (why couldn't they get two separate beds?). Until now, that is. (And seeing next week's trailer where High D is seen snogging Dr Dave or the very married King Dick? Good grief. What next, dare I imagine?) Exploiting the Saggy/Cow grinding incident and milking it last season is distasteful enough, but this show deliberately and blatantly setting up its players for another such incident is offputting.

Oh, and Jeff Proboscis makes a really bad pimp. Quit it, Probby, you make Mark Walberg look smooth. Calling the Love Chalet of Adultery a "bungalow" is hilarious. He tells the two dazed-looking guinea pigs for Burnetto's "Let's Ho A Bachelor At Temptation Island" experiment that they can take this invitation to get away from the tribe and hopefully get into each other, the last one telegraphed by Probby's really bad attempt at wink-wink smarm. They can see it as a strategy, he tells the two, or they can see it as a reenactment of that night in college when they got so drunk they woke up in a pig sty naked and ugly. Then he leaves them alone.

Oh look, those two squeal. The shower has loofah! Food! Lots of food! Bed! The two immediately shed their outer garments - or as much as they can shed on wholesome family primetime hour (unless if you happen to be three women bathing, then you can take off everything, just wear minimum sized pixels) - and don the white robes provided. "You've got to be crapping me!" Jabba exclaims as she looks longingly at the shower brush. Now that is obscene.

They eat. And this is when Jabba sets the first layer of crap on her own tribe. That stupid moron begins to blab everything, and I do mean everything - her allies, her rivals, who is going next (Jeanne), who is the strongest, who is the weakest, and who is the biggest moron of them all (guess). At least Shii Devil has ostracization as an excuse - how can Jabba defend herself from those rumors that while doing some unmentionable things with the shower brush before eating with Dave, she accidentally shoved too deep up her nostrils and the brush is now permanently lodged in her brain? Or that she is actually an alien from Planet Zero and that her zeta crown luxury item is actually her telepathic key to the alien mother computer that directs all her actions and thoughts? Maybe she forgot to bring her zeta crown and she becomes even more stupid as a result.

Dr Dave just nods, fully aware that he is one of the luckiest contestants ever, being treated with a motormouth that happily points out every weak spot in her own tribe. He nods knowingly and pours her more wine - yes, go on, Jabba, and yes, about High D, oh, and oh, there's an angry girl too who hates all of you, interesting. In return, he shares with Jabba his tribemates' age, name, and occupation. How... embarrassing that I have to watch this. Put Jabba in the company of a man and she loses all sense of discretion and perspective. Pathetic. He tells her that the guys love her ass. We see a shot of her scratching her ass. It's not as sexy as much as it is just icky. Lots of scenes of these two rubbing their own legs and twitching their toes like the foreplay to the orgy you know will never happen. Pathetic, Burnetto - really pathetic. You're losing it, my dear.

Later, they shower. Separately, if you must know. Dr Dave does what my husband swears is an invitation for BJ gesture with his hand - later I must ask my husband how he knows such interesting things - and tells me that he can see Jabba showering through the cubicle and that this is the best day in his life. I guess we can safely conclude that this guy is a virgin after all.

Well, but they do sleep together. How nice that Dr Dave whips his shirt off for the nitey-nite, but I cringe when he tries to be smooth and asks Jabba if she snores. I groan when he announces that he may twitch a little at night - now why do I find that so easy to believe? - and pull the sheets around the bed close and tight. Jenna, in her confessional, says that she is so glad that being born at the right year enables her to come here, blab her ass off, and step in motions the complete collapse of what little that is the Jamboree empire. I hope the bed eats her during the night. I said Bed, not Dr Dave! Jeez, you people sure are perverted.

They go to sleep. Good night, Amazon, good night, Dr Dave, and Jabba, please swallow a pillow the next time you want to open your big fat gob.

Day fourteen, morning, and Dr Dave stretches and declares that he had a fantastic night. Jabba apparently doesn't kick, twitch, and - here he hesitates - snore. This means that either he is awake all night, staring creepily at the sleeping Jabba or that Jabba is really a pathetic cold fish in bed and Dr Dave likes it that way or that he has accidentally smothered Jabba to death during the night. The last one is definitely incorrect when the stupid Jabba wakes up later. They have breakfast - bread, more wine, woo! Probby walks up and leers at them in a most unattractive way before saying hello. Jabba quickly announces that they talked last night and they "held nothing back". Yeah, you stupid creature, Dr Dave can go back to his tribe and tell them everything about your tribe, but what can you tell your fellow Pretty Princesses? "Uh... Butch is a principal and old and... uh... oh dear."

You held nothing back, Jabba. And that's the tragedy. You are the weakest link on the village idiot special episode.

After the two has eaten and do whatever chemistry-free non-couples do in the morning, Jeff Proboscis asks them to come sit down with him at the table. Come on, dear, don't be shy, Jeff is completely into Colby so you two have nothing to fear. Then he uncovers what seems like a pile of flat wooden pieces engraved (or printed, more likely) with names of the contestants. Jabba and Dave now have the option to select the members of their tribe. Yup, this is a switch, and Jabba is the architect of her tribe. It's like asking Wil E Coyote to design a nuclear plant. First, each will choose members from the opposite sex, until they have run out of opposite sexes and then they will choose members of the same sex. Sort of like the way the Tampa Queens are living right now.

Jabba throws her hands to her cheeks as she realizes just what she has given to Dr Dave on a silver platter. "Oh my God!"

Or maybe that moron realizes that her acne is showing and she is horrified that the camera may see.

Look, if I have committed such atrocious stupidity as this idiot, the first thing I will try to do is to be the first person to choose my tribe member and try to salvage matters. But to my complete dismay and disgust, she lets Dr Dave go first, no doubt hoping like pathetic spineless women always do that he will pick her and they will live happily ever after and she will never have to think for herself ever again.

Dr Dave grins and picks High D, a classic case of divide an alliance and conquer it. Dr Dave says to the camera that Jabba is always going on about how High D is the smart and athletic one, so hey, why not? Indeed, to the camera, Jabba is already wailing about losing High D.

Jenna picks Alex. Her reasons are that Alex is talented and athletic. After all, somebody has to protect the women, finish the shelter, get water, fish, and win all the Challenges for them.

Dr Dave picks C Girl next. Jabba takes Rat Boy. Dr Dave chooses Jeanne. Jabba takes Butch. And on and on, until the tribe switch is now complete. The new Tampa Queen consists of Dr Dave, C Girl, King Dick, Butch, High D, and Jeanne, while on Jabba's Jamborees are Rat Boy, Queen Elfreda, Alex, Shameless, Hippodeena, and Jabba herself. I like this new arrangement. Now a meteor shower just have to strike in one tribe - Jamboree - and two-thirds of the pestilence on this show will be wiped out in one go. Also, Dr Dave is damned lucky: his tribe has all the hard workers, and it's all thanks to him being so damned ruthless and Jabba so damned stupid.

Probby gives each of them three new buffs and maps for them to give their newly-switched tribe members. And then he sends them to face their tribemembers, some who will definitely not be happy that their fates have been decided by two young upstarts after a hearty meal and a luxurious bed nap.

At Tampa Queens, reenacting the scene from Grease, the guys crowd around Dr Dave, leering and asking him if he really did score with the cheerleader during half time. "Tell me more, tell me, was it love at first sight?" they may as well sing. Well, their chorus stops soon enough when Dr Dave reveals how he has just threw Queen Elfreda, Alex, and Rat Boy to the other tribe. But it's all strategy, he insists, the guys can consolidate their position at the other end. Rat Boy sneers. Oh, Dr Dave has taken advantage of Jabba, he complains, and now he is tossing Rat Boy away? Rat Boy says that he knows Dr Dave doesn't care about Rat Boy - Dr Dave cares only about himself! And Butch and King Dick!

It's so funny. Rat Boy, who has been scheming and snivelling all this time, sounds like a jilted lover because his budding alliance with Butch/King Dick/Alex has been severed in one effective strike by Dr Dave. Dr Dave now has a chance to consolidate his position at the expense of the now shattered Old Wrinkled Rat Alliance. He has separated the brain of the Pretty Princesses, High D, from her idiot followers. With the rest of the Jamborees in tatters, he takes away Jeanne and C Girl, leaving the strongest Jamboree, Hippodeena, alone and ally-free among strangers. Isn't this man brilliant? I love his mind. I think he'll be this year's Porno unless the others wise up and plot some countermeasure fast.

The guys hug each other and say goodbye to their thirteen days of hot, unbridled man-man love orgies and finally await the opposite sex to come in and tell them how pretty they are. Maybe they and C Girl can show and compare arm pit hair.

The Jamborees are shocked. High D is shocked. Jeanne can't pack her bags soon enough. "Finally!" she exclaims. She's excited and happy as she, High D, and C Girl take their leave, leaving Hippodeena staring after them sullenly. The self-professed top dog has finally found herself at the bottom of the scrap heap. Maybe there's a moral in here somewhere. Something about pride, a fall, and Hippodeena's big meaty arms around Jabba's scrawny no-good neck.

At Tampa Queen Version 2.0, Butch and King Dick are anxiously slicking their hair and beard in anticipation of the arrival of their frontier mail-order brides. I'd have suggested a long bathing scene first - preferably shown in beautiful hand-covering-nipples-and-nothing-else squeeze, rub, massage style the way Burnetto loves to do it - especially when King Dick is supposed to smell like spoiled vinegar, but hey, who wants to see King Dick naked except for his hands covering his nipples, right?

Jeanna walks in and immediately voices out her approval at the tribe's hut and Coke stash. C Girl announces that she is deaf and asks them to look at her when they speak, et cetera. She is surprised to learn how well-organized the men were, and how they will not be watching the fires at night. King Dick is impressed that C Girl is deaf and still come onto this show. He would have never guessed that she is deaf. Aww, I think this guy isn't that bad after all. They toast the new tribe, and Jeanne says that she is psyched out with her new tribe.

"Honey, we're home!" Alex yells as the men walk into Camp Jamboree.

"Funny how a little testosterone can make one feel better," Hippodeena says caustically as Shameless immediately jumps to her feet from where she was lying moaning and groaning only a few minutes ago and runs up to greet the men.

I always thought Shameless wasn't as bad as the other Pretty Princesses, but watching her now, I only want to shake my head. She's probably one of those pathetic women who just fall to pieces without a man they can cling on. She's clinging on to Alex now. Shawna is dead, long live Shameless!

Rat Boy will wait until he makes a proposition. He will wait until the merge to make a move, even if Shameless and Jabba decide to go around topless or something. It takes him only three seconds upon joining this tribe before talking about wanting to see breasts. Then again, having only a Magic Eight Ball as a toy for sexual outlet can do that to people.

Evening falls and at Tampa Queen, Jeanne is conducting an open house when it comes to bitching and complaining about her former tribemates. C Girl is almost pathetic in her happiness as she points out how Butch and King Dick are so welcoming and how they actually turn up the gas light so that she can see everyone's lips better during the night. She says almost weepily how the previous tribe won't even go this far for her.

Can anyone say "Shii Devil"? That's C Girl. She's so desperate to belong, one just has to treat her right and she'll be the one to bite the bullet for her new friends just like Shii Devil almost did for the Chewing Gummers last season. Hopefully she doesn't have to, and hopefully she'll wise up and play the game, but at the rate she's going, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. Anyone, watching her and Butch, is it only me who gets the Perverted Old Man and Mormon Poodle thing they usually have in this show every other season?

Morning comes on day fifteen at Camp Jamboree, Alex and Shameless are really smooching it up, flirting and bantering in their newfound Shameless Wrinkle alliance. Hippodeena grumbles that she has gone from top dog to bottom dog. She wonders if Shameless will be loyal to the women or to Alex when it's time to decide. What do you think, Hippodeena? Are you regretting your ouster of the Bride of Satan now? Heh heh heh. This will teach you to play your hand so early in this game.

Later that day, it's time for immunity. King Dick is quite pleased with Dr Dave's selection because they have the strongest girls to round off their (supposedly) strong male virility. He's confident that they will win. We'll see, King Dick, we'll see.

At the Immunity Challenge site - no more skank props anymore, alas - Jeff Proboscis asks the contestants of their reaction at the tribal switch. High D babbles and mumbles before commenting that maybe the switch is a necessary thing. She doesn't elaborate. Alex is "psyched". He's psyched alright, he's a bloody psycho because he is attracted to clingy, shameless poison ivy like Shameless Shawna.

This challenge is a Puzzle thing. Which means, basically, kids in the nursery can solve it in ten seconds but the Survivors cannot. First, the tribes have to huddle around a wooden plank that contains a word search. They have to look at the images of animals around them and find the five animals whose names are in the word search. The animals by the way are toucan, piranha, anaconda, iguana, and tarantula, although the last one is not technically an animal but an arachnid if we want to be anal about taxonomy.

Then, once they've found the five animals, they must take the boat and paddle down the river and collect the five flags that bear these animals on them. Winners are the tribe that get all flags and jab them before the plinth-thing on the riverside.

I think I've seen more challenging puzzles in an episode of Double Dare.

Jamboree has a head start, thanks to Butch's inability to spell "Jaguar" and C Girl not knowing that there is an U in "Mosquito". Nonetheless, the kayak paddle race is a very close call, both teams almost neck-to-neck at some point, and there is nothing sweeter than the sight of Dr Dave paddling like a truly insane man possessed as he chants "Let's go! Let's go!" like some bizarre cheer for Tampa Queen. But it's so easy to tune out the chanting when one can focus one's eyes on the sight of those muscular arms in fluid action, testosterone poetry in motion, truly a marvel of physique and physics, I must say. Dr Dave can cause air molecules in a room to heat and accelerate in a horny version of the Brownian motion, heck, his mojo is a fourth law of thermodynamics in itself. Dr Dave - truly a marvel of physics, and you read it here first.

But it's no use. It's no use for High D to grab at the flags like a woman possessed (as much as I dump on her, she at least pitches her part to the team unless the other two useless creatures of the Pretty Princesses). Jamboree wins immunity. Oh boy. There goes my hope of seeing one of those creatures from that vile Jamboree camp get the axe.

Dr Dave buries his face in his hand in disappointment. High D pants and stares ahead, grievously disappointed as well. I have a sudden thought that these two determined young people may make a good match. If it was High D and not Jabba who was at the Reward Challenge with Dr Dave, I have a feeling that things won't have to come to this.

Rat Boy grins. He says that the fun has just begun. Yes, you loathsome creature. Next week: Loserville.

Back at her camp, Jeanne is disappointed that they lost. "We have no idea how to vote." She says that they women have to stick together. They all go pow-wow at the boat in their pretense of going to fish, and they decide to find a way to figure out what to do. High D says that Dr Dave chose them so they shouldn't vote for Dr Dave. I smack my forehead - duh, of course, how can I forget good manners on this show? In the end, they decide to leave it to chance. They write down "Butch" on the shorter stick, "King Dick" on the longer stick, and decide to vote out the person on the shorter stick. I still get headaches trying to figure this one out, and I have another when I recall Jeanne saying that this method is "only fair" and is probably what the guys are doing right now.

Um, no. Dr Dave has been told by Jabba that Jeanne is the weakest, alliance-free link of the previous tribe. Naturally, she's targeted by them.

Jeez, is it too hard to think and observe and then plot to vote out the weakest link among the men? Oh, I don't know, hmm, the strongest one, perhaps, should go - Dr Dave, maybe? Anything will be better than to pick the shortest stick. This is Survivor Amazon, we lie, we cheat, we strategize, and we eat our tribemembers for a million dollars. Hello, ladies, anybody home?

Dr Dave pulls High D aside. She digs her nose - charming - as he tells her that he chooses her first because he wants to take her along with the guys to the Final Four. Jeanne will have to go. Next will be C Girl. So vote with them, High D! Be their ally!

High D says to the camera that oh, she is stuck between a "rock" and a "hard stone" (good grief). That will teach her to stick her own face between her breasts. What hard place is she talking about? Any sane person will see through Dr Dave's unconvincing speech. He is offering High D a fourth wheel position in an alliance when she can easily make herself the first wheel among her own old tribemates. High D lamely says that she has an alliance with the girls at the other side. Tell that to Shameless, hon.

Night falls as they seat themselves at the Tribal Council. Jeff Proboscis asks the inevitable: gee, how is your stay at the new tribe, dearies? Jeanne is excited because the men are really gentlemen. High D adores Jabba - smart thing to say, really - but she has no regrets and she is glad to be here, she adds quickly. C Girl gushes that the guys are awesome and they make her feel belong - um, you silly girl, I suggest you open your eyes and play the game or these welcoming gentlemen will cannibalize you next.

So Probby asks them how they are going to vote tonight.

C Girl says that she will vote based on alliances. King Dick announces that he will vote for the weakest link. Jeanne agrees - and she'll also vote on alliances. Is that what they call pulling the short stick nowadays? High D garbles, mumbles, arrs, yeahs, and generally acts and looks like a brainsucked zombie that eats pomeranian poochies for food. She says that her head is spinning and it is killing her. I know, dear, but that strange things you're experiencing now are called thoughts. And you're thinking. But I suggest you don't do it too often, High D, because your attempt at being sneaky is shown all over your face more effectively that a neon bulletin board sticking up from your Poochie Hound From Hell hair saying "Judas Plotting Betrayal Here!"

So they go to vote. Butch votes for Jeanne. C Girl votes for Butch. Dr Dave votes for Jeanne. Jeanne vots for Butch. King Dick votes for Jeanne. High D pauses, looking like Paula Shore's more stupid sister, thinks long and hard, and votes for Gene.

Who the hell is Gene?

Dr Dave casts her a questioning look as she sits down, and she just looks back absently, her face actually a mirror reflection of the grimacing Immunity Idol of Sexy Wholesome Family Values. They exchange another look when Jeanne is announced as the casualty of High D's betrayal, Dr Dave nodding slightly in approval. C Girl looks ahead, finally realizing that other people are playing this game and in her overlooking the game in her misplaced need to belong, she is now truly alone and helpless among her new tribemembers. I bet she won't be so animated when they have their nightly campfire chats later tonight.