Guatemala Episode 8: The Hidden Immunity Idol

Previously, when Yowza lost the Immunity Challenge, Amy tried to get her tribe mates to boot Bobby Jon. For some reason, these people decided that it was still about athleticism and strength when the merge was so near, so Amy and her twisted ankle were sent away without much ado. And after the Tribal Council, Probby told the remaining Yowzas to head over to the Nookum camp because the merge was taking place there and then. Wow, we've reached the merge and I still don't have anybody that I have a grip on enough to root for! Stephenie is annoying, Bobby Jon is confusing, Jamie is annoying, Judd is annoying, and everyone else I don't really have a clue about. What is this season coming to? Oh well, at least we're halfway into the season and maybe there is room for character development. Hopefully.

Night eighteen. The four last Yowzas standing - Gary, Danni, Bobby Jon, and Brandon - approach Camp Nookum. As the unsuspecting Nookums snore the night away, dreaming of post-show glory and fame, the Yowzas are worried about the reception they will get in Camp Nookum. Gary suggests that they act stupid when they reach Camp Nookum, just like how he tried to act like a landscaper and not Gary Hotchkinsbutt or whatever the name of that NFL Player I Can't Care Less is. Memo to all: never listen to Gary because chances are what he's saying isn't worth much. Bobby Jon says that they should just act happy to be at Camp Nookum. Gary snorts and says that they will be the servants of the Nookums. They try to cheer themselves up by doing a quiet tribe cheer. I wonder whether they understand the meaning of the word merge.

Is it just me or the Survivors are getting more and more tribe-oriented by the season? Shouldn't the merge means that it is okay to make new deals that will benefit oneself? Why stick to former tribemates? When I find myself wondering every episode of this season where the casting people of this show are finding their contestants from, I wonder whether it's time to make watching the first season of this show mandatory for every future Survivors. This isn't some stupid tribe competition - only a sole Survivor will get the money. Why all this enforced tribe pride? I'm all for stupid people acting stupid on TV as long as they are entertaining, but as it always happens when we have people flogging the tribe pride and integrity card to death, the end result is always a bunch of sore hypocrites on the Jury yammering about how they are better than the people in the Final Two because they didn't sacrifice their integrity and someone always winning because this person isn't the one who had to do all the dirty work to get to the Final Two? I long for the days of yore when someone wins because they played smart and not because they worked the integrity card to death.

Anyway, as the Yowzas continue their "O My Tribe, My Tribe! You are Died!" march to Camp Nookum, Bobby Jon surprises me by telling the camera that he isn't looking forward to merging with the Nookums because he can't stand to be around Stephenie without wanting to vomit after five minutes in her company - and after enduring her so far in this season I must say that I share his sentiments - and he can't be around Jamie for more than five minutes without wanting to knock him out. Since Jamie outweighs the scrawny Bobby Jon considerably, I'd say that it will take five minutes for Bobby Jon's face to hit the ground. Five minutes synchrony works very well in Planet Bobby Jon.

The Nookums don't know what hit them. The Yowzas tell them that Amy was gone and Probby announced that the merge had taken place, so the Nookums will have to wear those same red buffs that the Yowzas are wearing. Stephenie squeals to the camera that her head is spinning because she makes the merge. Yes, so is my head because damn if the thought of this insufferable whiny-ass leatherfaced cow making it far into the show doesn't make me feel like vomiting alongside Bobby Jon. I liked her in Palau, mind you... it goes to show that sometimes I like the idea of an underdog better than the true colors of the underdog, I guess. The Nookums know how to treat their new tribemates well because Jamie announces - after Bobby Jon has helped rekindle the fire - that there is no room in the shelter for the ex-Yowzas so these folks will have to sleep outside. Poor Bobby Jon. He bites his tongue. He can speak freely to the camera though, and he does, saying that he wants to knock every one of Jamie's teeth out of that obnoxious Mongoloid rancid Ken-dough loser's head. And when he does, I'm first in line to wipe the blood from his knuckles before kissing them to make him feel better. The intensity of my loathing for the Stephenie-Jamie-Judd tirumvirate of megalomania over these recent episodes worry me sometimes but at the same time, at least I'm feeling something other than indifference to the cast, so that's good... right?

Day nineteen. In continuing Burnetto's magnificent opus of "Die, Jamie, Die! Begone, Stephenie! Eat Skunk And Choke, Judd!" melodrama, Jamie sneers and scowls at the four ex-Yowzas as those four try to help with the tasks around the camp in order to fit in. Brandon wishes to the camera that the newly merged tribe - which hasn't a name yet, I see, but I'd suggest Bastards You Suck - is one big family but it isn't meant to be. Danni feels that she and her fellow ex-Yowzas feel like they're being treated like slaves around the camp. Brandon says in his confessional that he has this feeling that it will come down to either he or Bobby Jon when it comes to the next boot.

Lydia and Rafe go to collect the tree-mail. I'm surprised that they aren't piggybacking on Gary and Danni and whipping them along to get them to go faster. Anyway, despite Lydia's hopes for the customary gorgefest this show usually throws for Survivors who made the merge, the note says that their "reward" is an individual Immunity Idol that is hidden somewhere in the area. It's about six inches tall and no, you can't shove your hands inside Probby's pants to check because I'm pretty sure it's not there. Anyone who finds this Idol - let's call it Wally because of its supposed elusive nature - can keep it to himself to herself until a Tribal Council where this person can then produce that six-inch baby to avoid elimination. However, Wally can only be used until the Final Five Tribal Council. Although this isn't specified, I have this impression that Wally can only be used once. The show feels that this Wally thingie is very important so they have Rafe then Jamie explaining it to me one after the other in their confessional. If that's the case, Burnetto has better hope that someone eventually finds Wally and uses it. ("He can always shove Wally into some place where a favorite, say, Bobby Jon can locate it easily on his morning rounds," says hubby.)

This causes a mad scramble among some of them to start hunting for Wally. Cindy says that having Wally will automatically guarantee its owner Final Four, which is only true if Wally can be used repeatedly by its owner. Gary believes that Wally is hidden in the nearby temple and he says that he will never tell anyone if he manages to find it. Why not? If it guarantees him an automatic Final Four placement, won't that make him a useful ally for people wanting his vote to back them up? Or does he expect them to grab Wally from him at night and do unspeakably terrible things with it to him out of spite just because he's Gary Hakunamatata some Ex-NFL Player I Don't Give A Damn about? Brandon wants Wally too, not only because it will look good stuffed inside his shorts but because he knows he is a target. He thinks it can take many days just to locate it though. And besides, I don't think it is useful to look around for Wally without any clue of its location, especially when the likes of Gary may have found it first and won't tell anyone about that. I'm sure Probby will be dropping clues to Wally's location soon. Burnetto won't let his Big Twist die just like that if no one manages to find it.

While the others are hunting for Wally, Stephenie and Bobby Jon have a private reunion where he tells her that all he wants in life is to sit on a Survivor Jury bench so he asks her not to get her allies to boot him out next. Hey, at least that's something Stephenie can work with, I suppose, and I have a hunch that Jamie is more willing to buy anything a groveling Bobby Jon throws at him because Jamie's ego is bigger than his brain. Stephenie promises to do everything in her "power" - which for her sake I hope it's as much as she likes to think it is - to keep him in the game and says that she'd love to be on the Jury with him if she doesn't make it to the Final Two. However, Bobby Jon shouldn't be too optimistic because Stephenie tells the camera that she told Bobby Jon back then that she couldn't make any promises. That isn't true since she said instead that she would... oh, just reread this paragraph. Stephenie is so busted.

The camera zooms in on Wally that seems to be half-buried inside a hole in the trunk of a scary-looking tree that may or may not be that same one in Evil Dead. That proves that there is actually a Wally and there is a high chance that Jamie might stumble upon it on his alpha-dog territory-marking rounds. Dang.

Day twenty. Lydia reminds her tribe that the lazy buggers haven't come up with a name for the new tribe yet. Maybe everyone is busy playing "Where's Wally?" to remember. Finally, these folks combine the last syllable of the two tribes to get Zakum. I don't like that so I'll just combine the first syllable of the two tribes for my recaps because I think Yownook sounds so much fitting for a tribe of annoying twits compared to Zakum. Because Lydia opens her big mouth, she is charged with coming up with the new tribe banner. Rafe will help her. Everyone else would rather go look for Wally. Jamie says that he wants Wally so badly so that no ex-Yowzas can find it and therefore ruin the great plan he is fermenting in his head. Bobby Jon says to the camera that he has been Wally-hunting every day. Judd announces that he can't Wally-hunt anymore because chasing after Wally is driving him crazier than he already is. I think it's great that Burnetto has finally come up with a way to get these Survivors to do something other than to sit on their butts all day long and whine. Rafe, the wilderness guide, tells the camera that he has the worst luck when it comes to hunting for things in the great unknown - now you know why he's on this show and not back at work. Recently he accidentally shoved his hand into a hornet's nest and had to flee for dear life so he thinks he has had enough of Wally-hunting.

Gary decides to abandon Wally-hunting for a while to fish. Or maybe he already has Wally...? Nah. Stephenie bitches that it is very likely that Gary won't get anything good to eat. That's very nice of her. Why don't she show Gary how fishing should be done then? Stephenie endears herself to her dwindling fanclub by complaining to the camera about how there is no food for everybody after the merge like they used to have back in the old days. Quite appropriately, Danni wonders to the camera about how all these ex-Nookums just sit around all day and complain about everything and anything. She misses the friendlier atmosphere of her old tribe. You know, where the four ex-Nookums in the reshuffled ex-Yowza (I know, this is confusing but please try to keep up with me) lorded over the ex-ex-Yowzas Amy, Gary, and Brian. Danni discovers that them apples don't taste so good after all. Gary invites everyone to go on a fishing trip but only Brandon, Bobby Jon, and Danni end up tagging along. After they have left, Jamie tells the others that it is stupid for the four ex-Yowzas to leave the others behind to plot. Yes, because the ex-Nookums aren't plotting to be rid of the four ex-Yowzas until that very moment and also because Gary didn't even bother to ask anyone else to come along with him on the fishing trip.

Rafe tells the camera that he is becoming disquieted by the Animal Farm scenario taking place in the tribe where his allies are treating the ex-Yowzas like dirt. Elsewhere, in the fishing trip, the ex-Yowzas are comparing notes and none of them are pleasant. Brandon compares their situation to some prison where they have to do all the "bitch work" while the others sit on their asses and exploit the poor ex-Yowzas. Danni even claims that the ex-Nookums without permission plundered the ex-Yowzas' bags. That, if it's true, is disgusting. Bobby Jon thinks that the ex-Nookums are pigs. Yes, just like George Orwell wrote about! Pigs, all of them! Back at Camp Yownook, Judd is gleefully telling the Pigs that they should vote out the one who catches the biggest fish. The Pigs all laugh with malicious glee, except for Rafe who wonders to the camera whether he has somehow ended up "a member of the Axis of Evil". Judd and Jamie are right now bragging that the ex-Yowzas will have to keep fishing and waking up early to do all the work in camp if these people want to remain in the tribe. Why am I watching this show when I could had more fun living in a brutal third-world prison? Rafe tells the camera that he really doesn't believe that gloating and acting like obnoxious megalomaniacs are the way to be. I would be more impressed if he actually, you know, does anything about him being in the Axis of Evil instead of just telling the camera how bad he feels being a part of it.

Now a montage of scenes follow for me to better differentiate the "good guys" from the bad guys". The Pigs decide that they will boot first Brandon, then Bobby Jon, and finally Danni. Gary I suppose gets a reprieve because he is originally one of them. If that's the case, Cindy should start thinking about her position in the tribe. The ex-Yowzas are surprised that none of Pigs will do anything more than complain. Bobby Jon believes that it's better to do things to overcome that problem instead of just complaining about it, although he says that in his typical mangled and often incomprehensible manner. They miss their old tribe. Well, at least they were in charge back then, heh. Jamie announces to the Pigs that the ex-Yowzas must go in order to protect the Pigs' "investment". Huh? Are they going to share the million dollars among them or something? Come on, people, I am still recovering from the utterly vile Fiendsheeps of Big Brother 6. Please don't subject me to another version of the Fiendsheep, Burnetto! The ex-Yowzas announce that they are better than the Pigs and they love each other and they then melt into a puddle of gooey love and happiness. Ugh.

Later, all the Yownooks use the poolside thingie the ex-Yowzas won and the show crew later transport to the Nookum campsite. However, Bobby Jon is impatient for the tree-mail to arrive. He vows that somehow the Pigs will not get their Final Six like they wanted. Somehow, I suppose. And somewhere too, while we're at it, where the unhappy ex-Yowzas will find a new way of living and an equally new way of forgiving. I'm partial to using a crowbar on the head of Jamie when it comes to the latter.

Finally, the tree-mail shows up and it's about time too. The tree-mail comes with some pots which will resemble the ones the Yownooks will be balancing on their heads in the upcoming Challenge. Many of the Yownooks try to balance the pots on their heads in preparation for the Challenge. Won't it be funny if Probby later laughs and says that the note is fake? Anyway, Brandon tells the camera a rather "Frontier Man Against Hardship" type of confessional where he speaks in a weary manner about wanting to remain optimistic about his chances in the game and speculating about some long hard road ahead. Or something. Danni gloomily predicts that she has no chance in this Challenge because her head is apparently "dome-shaped". The camera shows her dropping the pot and it shattering to pieces. That is not good, really.

Probby awaits by the Ziggurat of Wish You Were Here and lo, with him is a table holding a big feast. He and the Yownooks have some small talk where Jamie thinks he is so funny when he relates to Probby how he made the ex-Yowzas sleep outside the shelter. Bobby Jon spits to the ground while Jamie is talking but he tells Probby that he doesn't really care where he sleeps. Oh, Bobby Jon. He is always the sweetest martyr. Probby drops the bombshell: the Yownooks can either choose to eat or compete for the Immunity necklace. If they compete, they can't eat even if they loose. And lo, who opts to eat but the smug butterfaces that are Stephenie, Jamie, Rafe, and Lydia. A visibly displeased Judd opts to compete alongside Danni, Gary, Bobby Jon, Brandon, and Cindy. Probby then explains that the competing Yownooks will have to stand on a wooden block while balancing a pot on their heads and after one hour (wimps), there will be a tie-breaker.

As the competing Yownooks begin standing on their blocks, the feasting Yownooks make a big show of gorging. Stephenie, especially acts gross as she licks her fingers and moans loudly that the food is so-ooo-ooo good. At least Rafe has the grace to look sheepish while he eats. He's still sleeping with pigs though so there's mud on him as well. Jamie then launches into an unnecessary crap-talking competition with Bobby Jon, one that he will no doubt tries endlessly to justify in post-show interviews as "friendly heckling", where he pretty much mocks Bobby Jon and says that Bobby Jon has to win or he's toast. Bobby Jon's last words to him are surprisingly effective, "It's just when you start going off at the mouth, I ain't gonna let you big-boy me, though." That keeps Jamie quiet for about half an hour, sheesh. Rafe starts muttering that maybe they should all just eat quietly but Stephenie assures him that everything is okay. Of course it is until she realizes what a loathsome tadpole-puddle she comes off as and then she will cry non-stop about how unlucky she is to be stuck in a season that sucks. After an hour, Probby tells the competing Yownooks to run up the stairs of the temple while still balancing the pot on their heads. The one that makes it farthest wins the cheap Immunity necklace. Gary is this person and he wins Immunity. How nice that the one who needs it the least gets to keep it. I hate this show. Probby reminds the others that Wally is still out there.

Day twenty-one. I must be in some bizarre alternate universe because Judd - Judd - is telling Jamie off about Jamie's behavior towards Bobby Jon back at the Banquet of Pigs and Bitches While The Suffering Subjugated Peasants Compete With Pots On Their Heads. Danni is complaining to Cindy about Jamie as well and Cindy tells the camera that she agrees with Danni, saying that Jamie didn't show any class. Of course, she and Rafe don't want to buck their alliance so what can I say to that, other than talk is cheap and easy? I think Rafe must be feeling left out when it comes to not being included in my loathing of his allies so he tries to make me hate him as well by telling Danni privately that he is bothered by Jamie and wants him out, yadda yadda yadda, all of which he doesn't follow through at the end of the day. Meanwhile, Stephenie and Judd actually approach Bobby Jon to assure him that they understand why he clashed with Jamie the way he did back at the Banquet. Okay, that's nice of them. But Bobby Jon runs away from this with this idea that Jamie is done, which isn't true because Stephenie and Judd never say that they will put aside their own interests in the name of being nice and making amends.

Jamie tells Bobby Jon later that he has told Brandon that Brandon will be leaving because Brandon was supposedly the best athlete in the tribe. Hello, Jamie? Gary won the first individual Immunity Challenge, not Brandon. But I guess sometimes people will say and believe what they want to help them sleep easier at night while playing this game. The kicker in this scene is that Brandon is standing nearby. Bobby Jon says that he votes according to people's character. A truly nasty piece of work indeed, Jamie tries to taunt Brandon by getting Bobby Jon to admit that Bobby Jon knows that Brandon is leaving at tonight's Tribal Council. Bobby Jon isn't very good at verbal fencing so he shuffles and tries to deflect Jamie's goadings clumsily, although he admirably manages to not say anything that will hurt Brandon's feelings. Jamie then goes into this bizarre lecture mode about how he wants to be honest with those two because he believes that they are all farm boys and therefore share some common bond. And here I am thinking that they are all pretty faces wanting to break out in the world of modeling and acting and that Jamie has ensured himself a place in the black hole of shame that awaits other Survivor loser jockheads like Sil'Ass from Africa, Alex from Amazon, and Toooolllll from Thailand.

Unfortunately, once Jamie leaves them alone, Bobby Jon tells Brandon that there is a good chance that Jamie is leaving tonight because Judd and Stephenie told him so. That's not true but sometimes desperation makes people believe things that aren't really there. Brandon tells the camera that he is trying to believe that there is hope for him to stay after all. But he is not willing to bank all his chances on hope so he'll continue to look for Wally. That and he also hopes for the best. As do I, dear, as do I.

Elsewhere, Gary is trying to sell to Rafe that voting out Jamie is the "right" thing to do. He lays on the integrity spiel thickly, cementing my dislike of him even as I admire him for trying to swing votes against Jamie. Rafe wants to know where he will stand with the ex-Yowzas should he vote with them. Gary says that Rafe will be among the majority in the tribe but somehow I think Rafe is hoping to hear a more concrete answer that involves promises of safety and stronger new alliances. Rafe more than anyone else on old Nookum can be swayed over to the ex-Yowzas' side but I guess Gary didn't do a good job in convincing Rafe to defect in that scene. Somewhere else, Cindy tells Danni that she would rather hurt Jamie's feelings than Brandon's and Danni tells her that she will understand what Cindy chooses to do. As the Yownooks get ready for Tribal Council, Cindy is really torn between staying with her dominating alliance or hopping over to the other side in order to sate her conscience.

Night, Tribal Council. Nothing noteworthy in the discussion, really, except for a hilariously self-unaware Jamie insisting that he will prove to everyone that he is a "bigger man" than Bobby Jon "on the field" after Bobby Jon says that Jamie has no class. I've seen Jamie "on the field" and some stereotypical model/gay-softporn photoshoots aside, I don't see what all these pretty boys shaving all the hair on their bodies while pretending to be rugged farm boys on the show are trying to prove on this show. Are they trying to reclaim some stereotypical notion of masculinity that they feel is lost from them after one casting couch session too many? Jamie, you're a pretty face that will only work if you keep your mouth shut. There is nothing to prove, honey, and besides, nobody cares about any part of you that isn't involved in a shower scene in a bad T&A cable movie. Oh, and Cindy says that she is voting on her morals and her heart's instinct, which is to say that she has no morals and no heart, therefore, because she votes for Brandon. At least Cindy is honest, I suppose. Probby asks whether anyone has found Wally but nobody wants to own up to that so he sends them to vote.

The ex-Yowzas vote for Jamie but Rafe and Cindy choose to throw their lots with the Axis of Evil (and One Useless Fishmonger). What is Cindy thinking to say what she did about morals and heart, I don't know because she's not fooling Brandon or the other three ex-Yowzas who will end up on the Jury. Rafe's reasoning is easier to swallow as he tells Jamie in his voting speech (not shown on TV but shown on the official website), "This isn't a game of absolute right and absolute wrong. For me tonight this is the right decision." Well, yes, but why then did he tell Danni and Gary that he was morally conflicted about Jamie? I understand if Rafe and Cindy are lying in order to remain on good terms with the ex-Yowzas but in these instances, if they are lying there is no point to their lies because they are exposed for what they are the moment Probby reveals the votes. As much as I don't like Jamie, I understand the need to stay with an alliance for your own best interests even if the alliance has some unpleasant jackasses, so I'm okay with Rafe and Cindy voting for Brandon. I'm just puzzled as to why they say those things about heart and morals to the ex-Yowzas when they, or at least Rafe, in the end decide to screw conscience and go for the money. Still, with Brandon out of the way, things look bleak for Bobby Jon and Danni unless someone from the Axis of Evil can be persuaded to jump ship and get rid of Stephenie and Jamie, who are, after all, the biggest threats at the moment to everyone else in Yownook.