All-Stars Episode 11: A Thoughtful Gesture or a Deceptive Plan?

Previously, Lex Loser is outraged that the Robfather prefers to honor stronger and older alliances over their flimsy one and is even more outraged when the Robfather decides to pursue the money over saving their friendship (and handing Lex the money). And then he goes and gets a Mohawk haircut. Lex, Ethanol, and Colby are like the three See No Evil monkeys, only Lex is See My Ego, Colby is See My Body, and Ethanol is, er, See Me Whine. They probably share a brain between them too. Oh, and the Ambore and Robfather show promises to be dialled down a notch when people are finally wising up to the powers of the twosome. Or are they?

Credits. Damn it, when will this interminably long and draggy season die?

Cheap Broken Ego, night twenty-seven, just after Lex Loser is sent to Loser Lodge. It is still raining hard. The Cheap Broken Egos return to camp to discover that their firepit is now a "swimming pool", as JennaLoo calls it. Hagrid takes the opportunity to heavily sermonize to the camera that he foresees the fire pit turning into a swimming pool the moment he "sees the puddle forming". Yes, and I know it's starting to rain the moment I feel raindrops on my head, so can the stupid attempts at sounding important, you pompous big stupid guy. Ambore tells the camera that she feels really low because the Tribal Council "sucked" as she received two votes (imagine that, oh the horror!) and now it is cold and clammy and seriously, it just sucks to be her right now. Don't worry, Ambore, I'm sure Burnetto will offer you a new spa trip the next day in some guise of a Reward Challenge.

Alicia remembers that Crazy Kathy is still on the tribe. Asking where Kathy is, Alicia wonders whether Kathy is "bumming". It turns out that Kathy is putting some ointment on her face. Whatever it's supposed to do, it isn't working and Kathy should get a refund. Kathy tells the camera that she's decided not to give Lex Loser her Limited Tool necklace because she just can't do it despite having given a grand speech to Lex about how she should as it is the right thing to do. Ah, but that's just Kathy: say one thing, does another, and spends hours justifying her actions subsequently. She spitefully says that while she still thinks that the Robfather has a soul - how magnanimous of her - she also thinks that he has a temper. What does that have to do with anything? And if the Robfather has a temper, I don't think the rest of his tribemates will be so quick to sing and joke with him. Kathy is just acting like a spoiled kid because she has to reap what her stupidity and Lex's combined have wrought. She tries to explain her vote for Ambore, saying that Ambore has lied to her like "a rug" and is "playing a tough game", so she voted for Ambore as Ambore has lied to her face several times. Ah, so we're finally getting to the crux of the matter. Kathy is making things personal, just like Lex did once the odds are stacked against him.

The Robfather, Ambore, Alicia, and Big Red Tom gather around and the Robfather tells them that he is sure that he would be gone should he not have the Limited Tool necklace around his neck last night. Of course he would be, if the others are smart enough to see what an Immunity hog he can be. Alicia probably unwisely agrees with him. In his confessional, the Robfather gleefully announces that everything went down according to plan. He then puts on a solemn face as he talks about how his decision would affect his friendship with Lex. Lex said some very personal stuff to him earlier, he says, and while he understands that Lex has to do what he did to save himself, the Robfather feels that Lex went a little too far. Given Lex's skewed perception of friendship, however, I'd say that the Robfather is better off without having Lex as a friend.

By the way, do watch closely whenever the Robfather gives his confessionals from now on. He likes to sit down with his legs splayed wide and his knees pulled up to ensure that the fabric is really stretched taut against his crotch, I notice, and given the wet, worn-out, and rather frayed condition of his shorts or trousers, you can see everything outlined very clearly through the fabric, if you know what I mean. As I'm sure you do.

Kathy and the Robfather try to make peace before the night is over so that they can get some sleep. She tells him that Lex informed her that the Robfather would go with them and Big Red Tom to the Final Four. Apparently there's some sort of secret post-merge agreement between Tom and Lex that Kathy has only vague ideas about. But if she's looking for confirmation from the Robfather, she's looking at the wrong place. This is news to the Robfather, in a way, and he laughs as he tells the camera that Big Red Tom has been inadvertently sold out by Lex rather indirectly through Kathy's big mouth. Oops.

Thunder and lightning and rain just keep coming as night slowly fades to daylight.

Day twenty-eight, morning. Everyone takes turn to moan and bitch about the rain to the camera. The Robfather insists that he has never been this "wet" in his life. Get wet some more, you hot stud you, and sit down some more, if you please. Big Red Tom whines that one "couldn't have had a horror movie any worse" than last night but now that the day is here, "it's darker than a dungeon." Hagrid wheezes in his pompous self-important way that they "slept in a little stream, soaking wet, making it through the night hoping the sun would make it better... but the sun came up and it was worse!" Does he mentally script his bombastic epic speeches in his head every time before he opens his mouth? The Shii Devil wonders what she is doing here. She can tell me. I have no idea myself. JennaLoo philosophizes that "you're stripped of everything and you're not yourself and you are with strangers - you know them, but they are strangers. I'm thinking about food, beds, my family... that's what's keeping me going!" What, and not the million dollars? Nobody cares about the million dollars?

JennaLoo returns with the tree-mail and it turns out that they will be competing for both Reward and Immunity simultaneously. She tells the others after she's read the gibberish poem that Tribal Council may be taking place at the end of tonight. Ambore is sitting on the Robfather's lap all this while, if anyone cares to know. Poor Kathy, she is hoping that her hard-won Limited Tool necklace would keep her safe for three days, but she can easily be leaving tonight unless she wins Immunity one more time.

Jeff "Jungle Boy" Proboscis awaits in a clearing where the set-up of an obstacle course race awaits the Survivors. He confirms that this Challenge is for the Reward as well as for Immunity. The Challenge is played out in two parts. In the first part, two teams of four members each race through the course and the winning team will win rain ponchos and letters from home. Then the team members will compete among themselves, and the winner will win not only the Limited Tool necklace but also a video from home that he or she can view alone or with the tribe along with some hot chocolate to add to the pleasure of the moment. Only one person can win Immunity this time around, Probby reminds them as he retrieves the necklaces from the Robfather and Kathy. He then announces that the Survivors will be given a tease of the videos they can win today and everyone dashes eagerly to the viewing booth.

Ambore starts sobbing when she sees her parents, her sister, her niece, and some doggies saying hi to her. The Robfather puts a comforting arm on her back. Awww, that's so sweet, especially when I suspect that he's doing it out of instinct. Probby wonders whether Ambore is close to her family. Ambore explains that they all hate each other and can't wait for each other to die. No, really, Probby, what do you expect her to say? Alicia's mother says hi to her. I'm quite surprised to see Mommy Alicia, not because she's white but because mommy looks ten years younger than Alicia. Alicia wipes away at tears and says that she and her mother are best friends that talk every day and she knows that her mother misses her every day while Alicia is out here on the Pearl Islands.

Hubby wants to know what Big Red Tom has to get such a hot wife like his. The son Bucky Bo - seriously, that's what he's called - speaks and looks like Big Red Tom, though. Big Red Tom waves at the TV screen. He does know that they can't see him, right? He says that his wife is "looking pretty good" for an "old chick". Very nice, Big Red Tom. Please return to being a tick on Africa Lindsay's bum, thanks. Probby wonders why Big Red Tom isn't blubbering to the video. Has he forgotten that he's talking about a man who doesn't even want to be informed during the game should his family end up dying in a car crash? Tom tells him that his son is Tom's best friend and his wife has been with him for twenty-five years (hubby remarks that she must be a child bride then), as if that's supposed to answer Probby's question. Oh well.

Probby warns that the Robfather's tape will be a little different, and sure enough, everyone looks startled while the Robfather can only laugh when his brother comes on and starts rapping in this show's tradition of White Men Can't Rap thingie. The Robfather has to explain that his brother is doing a Don King impersonation. And then everyone starts crying as if he's just announced that his brother has cancer and will be starring in a Hallmark TV movie soon. I actually laugh at that point because they are all such insincere weenies.

The Shii Devil's family and a cat say hi and the Shii Devil says that the video has "energized" her. Oh good, maybe now she will actually do something instead of blindly being an opportunistic barnacle to her "allies". She says that her family will be "shocked" that she lasted this long. They and everyone watching this show, I'm sure. Crazy Kathy's son, who visited Marquesas as Probby reminded everyone, wishes her mother luck in bringing home the million. The camera pans to the Robfather as Crazy Kathy starts blubbering. Could it be that he's red- and teary-eyed? Wow.

Hagrid's video is next. "His wife is even hotter than Tom's!" hubby points out in disgust. "What is it with these ugly losers and those hot wives of theirs?" The baby is cute too. It's just too bad that the father just has to remind me what a pompous blow-hard he is by talking in that now utterly nauseating baby voice of his of how he never wanted to return to Pearl Islands as he told them he'd never leave them, but he did. And here, he lets his voice trail off as if he has some deep meaningful portent he wants his audience to infer from his dramatic pause and ponder over. Yeah? If he doesn't want to leave, who was it that was crowing in the Pearl Islands finale that he always wanted to beat Big Gay Hatch? A boast that I know now that Hagrid has no part whatsoever in when it comes to the engineering of Hatch's ouster? Shut up, Hagrid. I am so sick of him that I will really cheer and throw a party in the neighborhood the day he gets booted from this show.

Finally, JennaLoo gets some closure when she finally receives the tapes where her daughters say hi to her - one of them uses sign languages - and she says and signs hi back before collapsing in a puddle of embarrassing tears. And then it's back to backstabs, betrayals, and competition as Probby switches off the TV and announces that it's time for the Challenge to begin.

The team part of the Challenge requires them to navigate through a maze, walk across a balance beam, crawl under some wooden beams, climb a ten-foot wall, and then try to put together a network of wooden bridges to get across from one platform to another. And then they have to climb a ladder and walk across a rope bridge before scrabbling for a flag buried under a sand patch within a jail cell while one member uses a flying fox to grab a key and free the other three digging members free. All four members dash to the finish line with the flag and the first team to do this wins the Reward. You manage to get all that down? "Wow," the Robfather says as they all look at Probby in a dazed expression. Wow is right.

Alicia and Hagrid are nominated as captains so they will now select their team members. Alicia chooses the Robfather, Ambore, and the Shii Devil while Hagrid chooses JennaLoo, Big Red Tom, and Crazy Kathy. I'd be interested to see the nomination and selection process, but heaven forbids that Burnetto shows me anything strategic at the expense of weepy melodrama of cats and dogs and Don King impersonators.

Hagrid's foolishness at choosing his allies over pragmatism begin to show when Big Red Tom smashes through the maze and suffers through the balance beam. JennaLoo has problems climbing the wall. Look, Big Lug, Dumb Lug, Hag, and Klutz is on the same trainwreck of a team! Thankfully, they can copy the solution Alicia's team manages to work out at the bridge network problem so they won't be ten hours behind the other team. Alicia's team unsurprisingly wins at the end of the day.

The second leg of the challenge - for Immunity - now takes place. It's basically a repeat of the first ever Immunity Challenge in Thailand, with each person having to navigate a puzzle in an arcade machine thingie to release a knife that he or she can then use to cut a rope before them to raise a flag. First person to do this wins the Limited Tool necklace as well as chocolate and a video from home. The Shii Devil, self-proclaimed master at solving puzzles, makes a face when Probby announces that the Robfather is ahead of the others. Indeed, the Robfather wins with a mighty thrust of the knife onto the surface of the puzzle thingie. Ambore and Alicia hug him while the Shii Devil and Crazy Kathy look mighty annoyed at the way things are going for them. Probby says that he doesn't think that the others will want to watch a video starring the Robfather's brother. The Robfather replies by cheering. Heh.

Probby now pours hot chocolate for everyone in the viewing booth. Apparently "coffee boy" is now part of his job description on the show - good for him, he's now halfway to making it worth the amount of money Burnetto is paying him! Probby points out that the Robfather wants to share the chocolate with everyone. I guess that means that the others now feel obligated to sit here and watch Don King on TV with the Robfather. The things one has to endure for a nice cup of chocolate sometimes, I tell you. As they make a toast to their friends and families back home, the camera starts giving me close-ups of Hagrid's murderous red-eyed expressions as he keeps casting sideway glances at the pile of letters from home. What is this? Stop it, Burnetto, stop showing me such scary scenes on TV!

The Robfather wants to say something and he draws everyone's attention to him. His brother will kill him, he says, but he wants to propose something to Probby. He will give up a chance at viewing the video in return for everyone getting his or her letters from home. He hopes that this will clear up some "bad blood" between him and the rest of the tribe. Of course, he doesn't actually have anything to lose here - he is keeping the Limited Tool necklace, he gets his letter as well as his chocolate and his rain ponchos, and all he's missing out on is a stupid video from a brother he'll be seeing in a few days time. But everyone acts as if the Robfather has personally granted them all Immunities for tonight and JennaLoo starts blubbering again. Probby says with a straight face that he is impressed by the Robfather's, er, generosity. Everyone else starts hugging and clapping the Robfather's back. The Robfather tries to downplay the overreaction to his show of magnamity by saying that everyone else will do the same in his shoes. Oh yes, they will, absolutely, even Hagrid who will make this offer instead of giving a big and heavy yet meaningless speech of how he regrets having to deprive everyone else of their letters right before he runs away with his letters, ponchos, and chocolate. He will, and look, there's a flying pig right outside my window!

Probby now hands the letters to everyone, reminding the four non-winners that they are receiving the letters only because of the Robfather's generosity. Only Crazy Kathy thanks the Robfather, however. The Shii Devil tells the camera that she is surprised by the Robfather's gesture and surmises that she is now seeing a side of the Robfather that she never knew he has in him. Watch out, someone is now transferring her creepy infatuation from Big Gay Hatch to the Robfather! And just what is it with these self-righteous prigs running around the place proclaiming someone as "good" or "having a soul" when this someone does something to their advantage?

Hagrid naturally takes the opportunity to place more value on his worthless self by saying to the camera how his wife thinks that he is the "strongest man" out here and how he finds it "uplifting" that his wife and that kid of his, who is probably too young to care about Survivor, consider him the "toughest, baddest, son of a bitch out there", before giving a milk-curdling baby giggle and saying, "Even though I'm not!" There is nothing more repulsive than a worthless idiot preening self-consciously before the camera while trying to be simultaneously boastful and insincerely self-depreciating at the same time. Hagrid, I suspect, is a spoiled little cheerleader trapped in a big lug's body. Arrogance can be attractive if the person has the smarts to back up his boasts, but Hagrid has nothing but bluster. He doesn't even have any hint of self-awareness as to how stupid, hypocritical, or ridiculous he comes off as, which makes him even more unappealing than he already is. He can't walk the walk, so to speak. He adds in his confessional that he will read the letter a thousand times for the next eleven days. Assuming that he will last that long in this game, that is.

JennaLoo, wailing and blubbering as if she's just heard that the dingos have stolen her daughters, says that her father wrote in to say that she's the strongest person he has ever known. The irony of her statement, needless to say, is lost on her. The Shii Devil weeps as she reads her letter and insists that her "real" friends and families are back home and not on the island. After watching her on this show, maybe they'll be kind enough to tell her not to grace a TV show ever again. Alicia and Ambore are shown reading their letters, but they have nothing to say to the camera. The Shii Devil has some things to say, however - she thinks that the Robfather's generosity may not be entirely free from strategy. Wow, she thinks? She figures out that the Robfather's action may win him a million dollars. If that's all it takes for him to get them to hand him the money, boy, they really are much more stupid than I give them credit for, and I give them plenty and some change to spare in this instance.

Aww, the Robfather is sitting on a rock like the Lion King or something to read his letter and he has his baseball cap covering his face to hide his tears. Don't worry, baby, when you sit like that, I'm not looking at your face. He tries to talk about how he loves his family and how he thinks that they are worth more than a million dollars, he waffles about whether he made the trade with Probby (trade what for what - just what did Probby get out of the Robfather's deal?) is based on strategy. He says that people will think what they want of him one way or the other, but yeah, it's partly based on strategy. "It's a good move!" he says with a weak grin. "I'm still getting the million!"

Crazy Kathy approaches the Robfather. Time for weepies is over, children, now it's back to knives in the back time. She tells the Robfather that she is not upset about having to go, but she is however upset about some friendship being violated. Is she friends with the Robfather now? The Robfather and she both agree that the game has become personal for everyone. He tells her that his deal with Lex is merely to save Ambore and he doesn't have any long-term plans to backstab Lex. Kathy insists that she's put that Lex fiasco behind her now and she's ready to make peace with the Robfather. That's a nice sentiment, even if I really have no idea what she is talking about to the Robfather when she's yammering about violation of friendships. The Robfather says to the camera that he's trying to be nice to Kathy but he knows that she is also playing the game. He has no idea who will be leaving tonight.

Now Kathy and the Shii Devil are talking while they collect water for the camp. Kathy tells her that one of them will be leaving tonight but she has no idea who that will be. The Shii Devil agrees with her like she always does. She repeats what Kathy told her to the camera, as if I have not heard Kathy tell her that just seconds ago. While Kathy bends down to collect water, the ever helpful Shii Devil stands by to watch and babble. They both agree that the Robfather is doing some serious damage control by giving everyone his or her letters from home. They must be talking about him wanting to have some members on the Jury that don't hate his guts. Kathy says that if the others are smart, they will take him out. The Shii Devil says that they will the first time he fails to win the Limited Tool necklace. Kathy then brings up JennaLoo, who apparently has let Kathy know some way or the other that JennaLoo is going to the Final Three, although she doesn't explain who JennaLoo thinks she will be in the Final Three with. The Robfather and Ambore? Kathy and the Shii Devil discuss potential alliances among the other Cheap Broken Egos, concluding that JennaLoo, Ambore, and the Robfather really need to go.

As the Robfather and Ambore cuddle up in blankets, apparently unaware of the strife Kathy is trying to start, Kathy takes Big Red Tom for a walk. To the camera, she explains that she is hoping to sow some discord and expose some alliances while making them see that they can use her as a swing vote. In short, she is using the Robfather's attempt to save himself in Marquesas on herself this time around. Tom listens to Kathy as she talks about the need to cut out the power couple now instead of procrastinating until the numbers are down to four or five people. But Tom instead says that JennaLoo must go. For some reason, Kathy then says that JennaLoo doesn't deserve to win in her estimation and Tom says that JennaLoo won't win. Hmm, I guess Burnetto must not be showing me some side of JennaLoo that these people find irritating. Apart from JennaLoo's endlessly babbling mouth, that is.

Back at camp, the Robfather, JennaLoo, and Ambore are talking about how others are planning something behind their backs. Let them try, but the Robfather is convinced that the three of them are making it to the end. Ah, so that explains who JennaLoo expects her Final Three partners to be.

The Shii Devil tries to lure Alicia to her and Kathy's side. Alicia seems to agree, saying that while Hagrid and JennaLoo are part of the original Cheapora, she doesn't trust those two, especially as JennaLoo tend to "play favorites", whatever that means. The Shii Devil tells Alicia that the others tells the Shii Devil to gun for Alicia since the first day of the merge. Oh yes, that's why Alicia is still here instead of Lex. Alicia quickly masks her shocked expression by putting on her "Whatever, bitch" face and nodding nonchalantly.

Kathy and Hagrid are now in the midst of a secret pow-wow. "The key times to mix it up are at seven and five," she tells him. He nods, but I can tell that he has no idea what she is talking about. The Robfather laughs as he tells the camera that "there is some last-minute scrambling going on in Panama". Meanwhile, Big Red Tom nods to everything the Shii Devil tells him but he tells the camera that he has a firm alliance with the Robfather and Ambore. I guess he's not willing to jeopardize that alliance now that Lex isn't here to offer him a safety net. He will however weigh his options carefully, he says, as he told the Shii Devil that he never expects the Robfather and Ambore to seriously take him to the Final Two with them.

The Robfather and Ambore are reigning supreme in the shelter while everyone else plots against them. He calls Alicia over and asks her what the Shii Devil discussed with her earlier that day. Alicia just points out that Big Red Tom and the Shii Devil are talking together a lot, says that she doesn't trust anyone, she dislikes JennaLoo, and she feels vulnerable tonight. Hmm, maybe one of her responses is the answer the Robfather is looking for. Or maybe not. The Robfather tells the camera that Kathy and the Shii Devil are running around trying to turn Alicia and Big Red Tom against him and Ambore and he is not amused that the two's plans seem to be working. Should Alicia or Tom jump ship and convince the other to follow, his grand plans will crumble.

JennaLoo and Hagrid watch as everyone else play each other, two people that are apparently out of the loop where the plottings are concerned. JennaLoo points out to Hagrid that Tom, Kathy, and the Shii Devil are seen talking together so often that it makes her uneasy. She is also worried about Alicia and the fact that JennaLoo would be targetted tonight at the Tribal Council. She tells the camera that Alicia and Tom are the "weakest links" of the old tribe because she, Hagrid, Ambore, and the Robfather have a solid alliance of four. Or so she thinks, heh heh heh. Remembering how she got gutted the first time around, she is rightfully worried that Alicia and Big Red Tom jumping to the other side may cost her the game the second time around.

Night, Tribal Council. Probby announces Lex Loser, who walks in sporting a Mohawk hairstyle that does not agree with him at all. Then they all talk about some really dull matters about wanting to win with "class" "the right way" - as if this is the bloody Middle-East talks here and not some game where everyone just wants to win a million dollars. The Shii Devil and Crazy Kathy act self-righteous - how dare the game doesn't go the way they planned it to! Finally, Chatters of the Hypocritically Self Righteous Dipwads end and it's time to vote.

The Shii Devil - Ambore. Alicia - Kathy. Big Red Tom - Kathy. Ambore - Kathy. Lex gives her an evil look as she walks past him to the voting booth because, like, it's so her fault that he's sitting on the Jury and his own stupidity has nothing to do with it, oh no.

Crazy Kathy - Ambore. She tells Ambore that Ambore needs a new gameplan or Ambore will never win. Coming from the future second member of the Jury, that's an advice Ambore should very well laugh at and ignore.

The Robfather - Kathy. "I don't discredit you for trying, but you didn't honestly think I was going to let you win, did you?" Damn right, you tell her!

Probby "tallies" the votes. Ambore! Kathy! Ambore! Oops, Ambore has her Miss Thang pout coming on. Kathy! Kathy! Kathy! And the second member of the Jury, Kathy! Kathy gives an "Aw, shucks!" face as she stands up to get her torch snuffed. She tells the others to keep an eye on the million dollars, hugs the crying Shii Devil, and then she's walking into her core of loserhood to join Lex in Loser Lodge. I wonder whether she'll get a Mohawk hairstyle too. Probby says something silly about the game being different this time, or something, and send them home.

Next week: Ambore and the Robfather may be facing mutiny at their hands. Ooh.

Kathy's last words has her saying that damn, she is thinking that the Robfather will save her. Bummer! And she wanted so badly to win because she was robbed the last time. Oh Kathy, hindsight is everything, isn't it? Now off you go. Hopefully once the Pagong is finished, things may finally become interesting on All-Stars Survivor.