Amazon Episode 12: The Amazon Heats Up

With C Girl's amazing self-combustion last week, there's now really nobody to root for on this show. Butch isn't under the radar - he's a nonentity. Queen Elfreda is a sociopathic loon. Rat Boy is offensive. High D is pathetic. Jabba is vile. Maybe I'll root for the sloth instead. While I did enjoy watching this season, I wish that the final few aren't... this group. I know that this show is all about the daggers in your back, but still, come on, this bunch is like a gathering of people I will never want to know in real life.

Still, it's all good TV. I can't argue with that.

It's now the thirty-fourth day and Queen Elfreda is already up and about when Rat Boy, his loyal minion, wakes up. Rat Boy has betrayed so many lieges, I wonder how far he will go with this current person he is sticking to. Jabba is telling all who listen that she suggers from pharyngitis, tonsilitis, and some other ailments I can't catch. She missed out "whinitis" and "bitchitis" and "faketits" though. She says that it sucks that she's sick and she's stuck with people she can't trust. Still, she doesn't feel "so screwed anymore" now that C Girl is gone and her head is definitely on the chopping block next. Never let it be said that Jabba doesn't know her priorities. Rat Boy is surprised that the Gargoyle Skankies are talking to him and is glad that there is no animosity between them. So he tells them that High D will go next, followed by Jabba. He, after all, decides that it's time he comes clean (not because the Gargoyle Skankies have no other option, I'm sure) with them. He tells them that he can't take either of the Skankies with him, because that would mean he would screw Butch and Queen Elfreda and he would face another two angry members on the Jury. And this is different from angry Jabba and High D on the Jury, how? Rat Boy's logic loses me there. "You still care at this point of the game?" High D asks him, only half-joking. This is probably the only intelligent thing she's said during the entire season. They all laugh half-heartedly - obviously High D did wound Rat Boy where it hurt. Rat Boy walks away, glad that the Skankies are okay to roll down and die.

Not really, as we soon see Jabba and High D whispering to each other. High D says that she will not go down without a fight. It is not shown on TV, but subscribers to the insider feeds will know that High D and Jabba try so hard to bring Butch over to their side, but to no avail. High D admits that she knows her time is up: the men perceive her to have a higher chance to win immunity and then screw their hierarchy, so she is the one targetted to do. She knows she has nothing to lose - this will explain how valiantly she will later fight for Immunity and how she dares to speak out the way she did in the Tribal Council later.

Rat Boy and Butch begin chopping for wood. Jabba wonders aloud why they need so much wood for. Rat Boy says that Butch is "adamant about wood". All Butch does, apparently, every morning, is to collect wood. Rat Boy admits that when it comes to wood, he's Butch's bitch. Butch loves his morning wood. Jabba wonders if Butch talks to wood. Butch announces with a smile that he is crazy about wood. He dances his wood dance while Rat Boy laughs weakly. "It's rock and roll!" Butch declares. After his massive coming out on TV, I sincerely hope Butch still has a school to run when he gets back from the Amazon.

Where's Queen Elfreda? Over there, eating manioc on the shelter. Hmmph.

They get a missive for their Reward Challenge. It's something about knowing your past really well.

Before they all walk to the site of the Challenge, Butch adds more wood to the fire. We see the "Believe In Yourself" banner hanging over Camp Jackanape as they walk away. We then see a branch in the fire mysteriously snaps in its own accord. Thank you, cameraman.

Jabba tells Jeff Proboscis that she's sick. Since she's a "little girl" whose "small body" can only take so much (that is, not much), she's under the weather, aw, poor baby. Jeff Proboscis doesn't seem to concerned, however, and Jabba sulks a little as Probby moves on to describe the challenge. This one is a "recycled prop" challenge - the contestants will have to dash through hurdles and physical obstacles that they have done in the past. In this case, first they have to unknot the ropes in a cage door (we've seen this in Thailand and in episode three), runs to solve a jigsaw puzzle (we see something like this in last week's Immunity Challenge), swing on a rope (this is a new one) over a gully to reach a "decoding station" (episode one), where upon solving the puzzle to release a key, they will take the key and unlock a flying fox (episode one), where they then glide down to grab the final key: the keys to a red Saturn 9 car! Packed with lots of hamburgers, marinated chicken, hot dogs, and more! "Ooh," the Survivors mutter half-heartedly. They probably prefer a Porsche.

Probby says "Go!" Butch scampers free first, followed by Queen Elfreda and Rat Boy, with Jabba trailing. Rat Boy solves the puzzle first and swings across the gully to reach the "decoder station", Queen Elfreda hot on his tail. At this point, High D finally gets out of her cage, Butch swings across the gully, and now all men are at the decoder station. Jabba is still trying to solve the puzzle. Queen Elfreda decodes first and there's no stopping him as he glides down the flying fox. Woo-hoo, he wins the car! How exciting. I bet you didn't expect the only sturdy and fit guy in a bunch of losers to win this one, did you?

"Awoo!" Queen Elfreda howls like a hyena in heat. "Awoo! See this, baby? It's all gassed up!" he shouts as he bangs down both his hands and his new car emits a loud honk. "Get in here!" he calls out to Rat Boy. And the other three also follow, squeezing into the back seat as one of the Skankies say that this is the first time in thirty-one days that they experience air-conditioning. Jeff Proboscis spoils what could have been a quadruple serial killer murder case waiting to happen by telling Queen Elfreda that he can only take one guy along with him. Queen Elfreda looks disappointed but announces that sorry, you three, he has made a deal with Rat Boy before this so he will take Rat Boy to the Final Two, oops, the barbecue party. The three hangers-on are unceremoniously booted out of the car, and they all walk side by side back to the camp like a bad parody out of The Wizard Of Oz.

"I'm so happy!" Queen Elfreda says as he adds that he has no words to describe how cool the car is. He's so hamming it up for the camera. Cut it out, Psycho, I see right through you. You're cunning, evil, and scary. Rat Boy wants to borrow the car when Queen Elfreda visits Asia or returns to his home planet so that Rat Boy can go cruise for chicks. They both marvel at the size of the backseat, although I suspect, for Queen Elfreda's case, "backseat" is an euphemism for the space at the back of the car for him to stack, er, things after a night out.

They pull out a grill from the back of the car. Rat Boy says that Butch will get jealous over the fact that they have charcoal here. Queen Elfreda announces that he's a pyromaniac. Rat Boy says that he knows this all along. They're so this year's Bonnie and Elfreda.

Back at Camp Jackanapes, after roasting marshmallows, the cameramen help burns down the camp. Of course, they tell me that it's an "accident", but accidents with a cameraman handily nearby to take it all in? Please, I'm not born yesterday. In fact, I love that cameraman now. The fire burns down the shelter. It's a beautiful sight. I have tears in my eye. Shame on you, Burnetto, committing arson to give good TV! Can we do this every season?

Fire in the grill. Ooh, someone's trying to be a smart-alec editor today. Rat Boy compliments the way Queen Elfreda handles their sausages. They love big hot dogs, Rat Boy wants big hot dogs, and Queen Elfreda is all about the hot dogs. They won't be taking the food home, because they refuse to share big hot dogs with anybody else.

Camp Jackanapes burn. Hubby and I do a merry dance.

Now Queen Elfreda is grilling the chicken and the hamburgers.

Marshmallow party at Camp Jacknapes, everybody!

Rat Boy's Magic Eight Ball melts. There is good in this world after all. The "Believe In Yourself" won't burn because it's possessed by evil spirits. Then, once the camp is scorched, the fire "magically" dies out. Don't want the ecologists to get angry, after all. This is pyrokinesis at its finest. You want arson, you call Burnetto.

Butch, Jabba, and High D walk into the campsite. Butch gapes. "Oh my gosh," High D says and repeats that again for good measure.

"Everything's gone," Jabba laments. Her irreplaceable zeta crown and sorority jacket - gone! High D picks up her bag - it's intact, thanks to the lil' pouches of silicone she keeps in it. Jabba sees this and nastily reminds High D that High D, at least, still has her possessions. High D immediately feels guilty and wishes that her things are burned down too, because it's only fair that way. I love how Jabba just cannot let her "best friend" be happy when she's not. And I love how High D behaves like a pathetic, craven snivelly best friend of the high school popular bitch princess. A true friend, that Jabba. Butch tells them that they really must believe in themselves now. I'm surprised they don't kill him on the spot for that tactlessness on his part.

"To us!" Rat Boy says as he munches on yummy big hot dogs. Queen Elfreda calls Rat Boy a useless survivor will no survival skills. Rat Boys calls Queen Elfreda a useless player. They both giggle and say how nice that they are so best of friends because they complement each other. Of course, they have actually insulted each other, but somehow they think they have complimented each other instead, drink up, swallow hot dogs, munch on chicken, and fall in love. Queen Elfreda tells the camera that he's here because Rat Boy tells him the "info" he needs. Rat Boy says that right now he's in Queen Elfreda's driver seat - oh, ride 'im, cowboy, ride 'im! - and Queen Elfreda says that he is "scooped" that he has crafted a strong relationship with both Butch and Rat Boy. To the camera, he says that he has promised both Rat Boy and Butch that he will take the man to the Final Two with him. He will have to betray one of them eventually, but quickly adds that this will be the first time he is betraying anybody in this game.

Queen Elfreda kisses the glass window of his car.

What a strange couple.

Rat Boy is gushing his gratitude to Queen Elfreda still when they walk into the camp site and... holy crap.

"We had a little problem," Jabba calls out. "The shelter is gone. Everything is gone." Because she's a bitch that way, she adds, "except High D's things."

Rat Boy says that everything he has to help him survive (like the Magic Eight Ball) is gone.

Jabba says that the things she's had for five years are all gone. You'd think she's lugged her entire house to this place instead of just a stupid crown and a stupid jacket. Which moron brings a zeta crown to the Amazon anyway?

Queen Elfreda wonders what he will wear when it gets cold. Judging from things, I must say he is finding it very cold already. Nice.

He tells the camera that he won't point fingers but they have been living "in an inferno waiting to happen" and this fire is an act of fate. Since Butch is one that created this "inferno" waiting to happen, Queen Elfreda is pointing fingers anyway.

Rat Boy, Queen Elfreda's soul mate, tells the camera that he won't - you guess it - point fingers and he's not into wild conspiracies, but he finds it too much of a coincidence that a fire breaks out when they have piles and piles of woods in the shelter. "It's unbelievable!" he says sarcastically.

Day thirty-five. Storm clouds are gathering over the horizon. Burnetto must have hired a powerful Brazilian shaman to summon the storms, that evil man. I suggest we have the next Survivor in the Swiss alps and sic a few avalanches at the Survivors every few hours or so. Anyway, the Skankies huddle as they sleep in the half-built shelter. Queen Elfreda is coiling a vine around his fingers, saying that he's getting the vines ready for the roof of their new shelter. He may be a psycho, but he will build you a nice house to bury you in. He also says that they will no longer stack firewood in their new shelter.

So the men work.

High D says that Butch should be eliminated if she has her way because that man caused their shelter to burn down. The Skankies refuse to lift a finger to help the men: she says that the men have a solid alliance and there is no possibility of reprieve, so why should they care? Jabba nods. She's not going to help. High D says that she feels bad not helping... not really. I hate to say this, but at this point, if I'm in their shoes, I'd be doing the same too. The male alliance is concrete at this point. How sad that in the end, it finally boils down to old tribal alliances no matter what. I'm not saying that Jabba and High D deserve to win - they get into this situation because they are delusional and petty creatures that let their emotions override their gameplan, if they have one in the first place. But I understand how they are feeling at this point.

Queen Elfreda says that the Skankies should be working harder just to save themselves. As far as he is concerned, the Skankies are just digging their own graves. Oh get off your high horse, you psycho. It is not as if you haven't made up your mind to get rid of the Skankies anyway. Hello? Butch or Rat Boy in Final Two? He who is in a glass house shouldn't cast stones.

It is now time for the Immunity Challenge. Jeff Proboscis notices Jabba wearing the now scorched Cheap Fishbait Necklace and asks what happened to it. High D giggles and says that Probby must be psychic. Er, honey, the man doesn't have to be psychic - he can see that the Necklace is scorched. Duh! Rat Boy assures Probby that the Jackanapes have everything under the control. No doubt Probby is far from assured, but he keeps his silence nonetheless, bless that man.

Today's Immunity Challenge involves the five contestants standing at a raised platform surrounded by five outer platforms. Linking to each outer platform is a different obstacle. One is a rope tunnel - you have to crawl through a ropey tunnel. Another is a rope swing - just swing across. There's a rope step thing that requires one to step on each wooden step hanging down from two ropes across the distance. The rope web requires one to scale along the web to the outer platform. The Survivors will have to go through all five obstacle courses to collect a feather from each outer platform. First to collect all five feathers win.

Probby seems to take great delight in pointing out that Queen Elfreda is "banging those knees once again!" Colby watching this is seized by a major case of insecurity - he's in some backwater part of US of A while Probby is in the Amazon... with a Colbyesque momma-loving hunk within reach. And we all know how weak Probby can be when he's faced with temptations like Colby... and Queen Elfreda.

"No!" Colby shouts, shatters the glass of Jim Bean he is holding, and quickly flies down to Rio to beat the crap out of Queen Elfreda.

Anyway, back to the Challenge. Can you guess who wins it?

Come on, at least pretend to guess?

Right, Queen Elfreda wins immunity. High D does try hard though, but Queen Elfreda is too much for her in the end. She could only watch as Probby puts the Cheap Fishbait Necklace around Queen Elfreda's neck. They could have saved time and permanently tattoo a necklace around his collarbones.

Day thirty-six. There's a new Jackanapes banner - it's all red, and without those cute crocodile cartoons. Jabba weeps. She can't take it anymore, she wails. She has more important things to do than this... this... ugh, ugh, ugh. Camera pans in on Queen Elfreda's scary, jutting vertebrae - he's an alien, people, eeuw! Jabba says that she knows she's acting like a baby, but she can't move and there's nothing she can do. High D asks her to take High D's coat. Rat Boy asks if there is anything he can do. Jabba probably has a few ideas involving Rat Boy and a sharp twig, but aloud, she tells him no.

High D tells the camera that it is to her advantage if Jabba goes, and she's willing to campaign for Jabba's ouster. So she tells Rat Boy that Jabba is sick and she really wants to go home or... "Or she'll die?" Rat Boy asks nastily. To the camera, Rat Boy says that the worst situation one can get into at this late stage of the game is to be ill. After listening to Jabba whine and moan for so long, he's willing to lop off Jabba's head if she puts her head on the chopping block. Those are his words I'm paraphrasing by the way. They will all see who will go tonight at the Tribal Council.

Tribal Council, night time. A heavy downpour is starting. My, how time flies when you run out of filler to show on TV. American Idol 2 can learn a few tricks from this show. The Jury members walk in and all glare stonily at the remaining five Survivors.

It is raining heavily now, and everyone is soaked.

Butch talks about the fire. Alex grins unpleasantly, gleeful, at the news.

Probby tries to get Queen Elfreda to pinpoint the blame on Butch, but Queen Elfreda is ever the tactful one. C Girl, bent over to read lips and all, shakes her head in perfect synchrony with Dr Dave. These two are so destined for each other. Butch denies that the fire is his fault. "There are so many variables when it comes to the fire," he says. Yes, there are so many variables alright - how does three hundred pieces of firewood sound, Butch? Plenty enough? Believe in yourself? Lies, all lies.

Jabba tells Probby of her tonsilitis - which obviously doesn't hinder her banshee-like ability to wail and moan and bitch - so she's really having a hard time, awww. Probby asks her what her criteria for choosing her Final Two partner will be. Jabba says she will choose based on loyalty. Camera pans of High D's guilt-stricken face.

High D claims that the men are afraid of her because she's the mastermind of half the times that went on in the last thirty-odd days. Butch raised his brows as he look at Queen Elfreda while Rat Boy tries not to snigger. I understand that High D's speech is probably a last resort bravado thing, because she and Jabba know she will be going tonight, but it still comes off hilarious and ridiculous. Mastermind High D - now that's a stretch!

Queen Elfreda is not giving up his immunity.

Time to vote. Queen Elfreda votes for High D, no speech shown, Jabba for Rat Boy, also no speech shown, Butch for High D, again no speech, and High D for Rat Boy, ditto. But if you have access to the insider feeds, you can hear their speeches, and I must say that High D comes off really well - she says, "Rob, Iím voting for you tonight just because if it wasn't for your breaking off of our alliance, I would have made it to the Final Three. But no hard feelings. I know you played the game tough and hard. Good luck to you." She even draws a smiley face by Rat Boy's name on the paper.

"Two girls, one brain, divide by two, only one halfwit left." With that, Rat Boy consigns High D to her fate.

Probby looks so hot, all wet like that as he "tallies" the votes. No, you didn't hear that from me.

In her final words, High D is all about Jabba and their friendship. She hopes to see everybody in a few days.

You know what? I'm almost ashamed to say this, but I actually feel sorry for High D after this episode. She's petty, shallow, lazy, yes, but she reminds me of an uncool girl who unexpectedly wins the friendship of the shallow but popular Prom Queen. Her actions reek of a desperation to belong in the cool crowd. In this episode, I find that the editing has been kinder to High D than usual. Then again, if I rewatch the whole series from start, I will notice that the editing portrays High D from a petty selfish woman to a woman who isn't too smart and now, a dim woman who could be sweet if she gets her priorities in order. And throughout it all, she has been steadfastly loyal to Jabba, and Jabba, to give her credit, has been just as loyal to High D. Call me contradictory, but watching her go down fighting, unlike Jabba who just gives up and weeps as High D leaves the Tribal Council, I soften a little towards her.

Good luck, High D. Hope you seeing yourself on TV will let you have more self awareness towards yourself and others around you.