Guatemala Episode 5: Crocs, Cowboys, and City Slickers

Previously, there was a tribe reshuffle, causing Brian, Gary, and Amy from the old Yowza to find themselves in a new Yowza with four members of old Nookum. The new Nookum was split between four members from each of the old tribe but when they found themselves in Tribal Council, Judd flipped over to the side of Stephenie, Jamie, Rafe, and Lydia. Poor Brooke was the casualty. Who was Brooke again? Anyway, what will happen this week? Will the lost and the isolated members from the old tribe be able to find a way to survive the impending Pagongs? Stay tuned... or yawn.

Night, day eleven. The reshuffled Nookum tribe return to their camp from their recent Tribal Council, where - surprise, surprise - Stephenie is griping to Judd about losing and going to Tribal Council. A part of me really wants her to lose so that she'll still be griping to anyone who listens when she is 80. Is it too early to yell at her to shut up? Meanwhile, Margaret and Cindy are understandably unhappy about Judd's flip to the other side. Judd and Margaret now have a mild confrontation where he insists that he's just playing the game and she insists that he's right but she's not going to be happy that he's basically screwed her in this game. Judd then tells the camera that he doesn't care whether these people hate him because his family loves him and that's all that matters, yadda yadda yadda. Of course he cares. If he doesn't care, he'd just play the game his merry way and tell everyone else to go fly kites, just like he really cares when we all sneer at him for still being a doorman when he's pushing 40. Margaret calls Judd a traitor to the camera, which he is, and she's so sad for him, which she isn't because she's actually quite angry with him for wanting to take care of his own interests. Judd tells the camera that he can't wait to be rid of Margaret. And with that, the night is over as far as this show is concerned.

Morning, day twelve. Oh look, there's a crocodile showing off her teeth to the camera. There's Blake, whose teeth rival the crocodile's when it comes to sheer number. Blake contemplates life as he looks into the water (girls with big breasts, lots of beer, the world worshipping the length and girth of his penis, the usual). He tells the camera that the odds for him in the game are looking good. Oh yes, I bet. Snigger. He says that he can't think of a better way that he could have improved his gameplay. Snigger. "Yo, shut your mouth!" - we should never underestimate the sage wisdom behind those words.

Elsewhere at camp, Amy is terrorized by a bug that pursues her no matter where she runs. She is shocked that beetles can fly. I'm shocked that she doesn't know that beetles can fly. Brian jokes that the beetle is some "magical beetle". This leads Brandon to tell the camera that he's not used to being around city slickers. Remember, Brandon is the Real Man from the Farm, even if he happens to look as authentic as Fabio with a can of peanut butter. Bobby Jon is from the farm too, it seems, even if he and Brandon are willing to spend the rest of their lives trying to be an actor in Hollywood. Amy asks those two about life on the farm and those two pretend that they have spent the last few years driving tractors and heaving sacks in a farm instead of sending their headshots and resumes to casting directors and agents all over LA. On the other hand, Brian tells the camera that he fancies himself a "blue state" "very New England" kind of guy and faux-farmboys aren't usually the folks he hangs out with. Back at camp, Bobby Jon announces that he wants to get himself a pair of cowboy boots when he goes home. Yes, we'll all pretend that he will go back to some imaginary farm instead of heading straight to the next casting call for The Scorned II. Brian tells the camera that he doesn't mind these "red state" probably "very Tulsa" type of people but he just doesn't go for these kind of people. That's okay. We can't all be friends now, can we?

Danni leads a prayer before they eat breakfast. Brian tells the camera that the tribe on the whole is very religious. "We say grace before every meal, we pray before every challenge, we thank Jesus for everything," he says. He's not a religious person himself but he keeps his mouth shut because he knows that there is no point antagonizing these people. Personally, I find it odd that most of the people that go on reality TV shows come off as God-fearing types. Did the Bible tell these folks to become famous or something? I personally find it more annoying for these God-fearing people to push their religion to the faces of everyone, and so far apart from group prayers, that doesn't seem to be happening here.

Hopefully with the blessings of the Lord behind them, the Yowzas now join the Nookums in facing Jeff Proboscis in a clearing for their Reward Challenge. The Yowzas seem indifferent to Brooke's eviction and there are some talk about crocodiles terrorizing them from swimming in the water before the Challenge begins. Probby explains that the tribes must first cut a rope using a sharpened stone to release some wooden pieces Probby calls "handles". Take these handles up to the next station and use an ax to chop log in order to get two more handles. Run up a ramp with these handles and the remaining four tribemembers waiting up there will insert the handles into the corresponding slots in a crank, which they will then turn to pull a cart up the ramp towards them. They will hop into the cart and cut the rope, sending the cart speeding down the ramp to the finish point. The first tribe to pull of this bastardization of a kiddie race track will win a pitcher of margarita, some chips and dip, and an opportunity to swim in a pool that comes with lounge chairs. No crocodiles though in that pool, alas. Sheesh, is it just me or the prizes are becoming cheaper and cheaper with every season? A pitcher of margarita? The sponsorships are drying up on this show, eh, Burnetto?

Right off the gate, Jamie really blows it for Nookum when he spends too long trying to cut the rope. "One of the biggest blowouts thus far in Survivor Guatemala!" is how Probby describes poor Jamie's battle with the rock and the rope, oh dear, in Probby's desperate attempt to make this Challenge come off as even a little exciting. Needless to say, Yowza is on a roll. When their cart rolls down the hill, Bobby Jon actually howls at the other tribe and spreads his legs and waves them in the air in some rude mocking gesture. That guy is such a Neanderthal in so many ways, really. Meanwhile, Jamie is still struggling with the rope and he wants to keep going until Stephenie, with that expression of disgust that she really should trademark because it'll be forever hers after this season, tells him that the race is over. Poor Jamie is consoled with a kiss on the forehead by Judd, which is like rubbing salt on Jamie's wound. After all, when the biggest loser of the tribe thinks that he and Jamie now have a shared bond of screwing-up, Jamie's humiliation is complete. "An absolute blowout! Jamie, it falls on you!" says Probby as he sends the Nookums away. No, now the humiliation is complete.

Okay, it turns out that the reward for the Yowzas is not that they will be taken off to a resort but they get instead a cage-like structure set up in their backyard to keep the crocodiles away and a fancy deck with lounge chairs to match. Okay, now the show is becoming really, really cheap. Still, Amy chirps that the reward is spectacular and everyone then enjoys a swim in the very same water that they used as a toilet and what-not. Brandon, who cut the rope for the Nookums in the Challenge, struts like a hero as the others compliment him for his mighty skills at using a stone to cut a rope. He is, after all, a True Real Man, doncha know. He tells the camera modestly that we can "say" that he won the Challenge for the tribe. "I mean, I'm not trying to take all the credit or anything, but you gotta go out there and give 110%, ya know?" he adds with charming modesty. Meanwhile, they wonder what was going on with Jamie back at the Challenge. Who knows? Maybe he isn't a real man like Brandon. Gary tells the camera that Brandon is the new superhero of Yowza. Right, and with him being a farmboy and all, I guess we can now call Brandon Superman.

Over at Nookum, Stephenie is acting like nobody can understand just how much she is suffering now that Nookum lost again. I suspect that by the end of this season, she'd really regret coming back to the show because right now she's squandering all the goodwill she has from the audience in her ridiculous "OH! I AM LOSING! OOOOOOH NOOOO!" act. You'd think the world is out to make sure that she loses from the way she is acting. The others insist to the apologetic Jamie that they don't fault him as they believe him when he says that he had tried his best back there. Judd tells the camera that they can't "blame anybody" when the tribe loses, no doubt thinking of his own shortcomings when he comes up with that nugget of wisdom. As Lydia walks off with Jamie for some TLC comfort-and-shine (eeuw), Rafe and Judd tell the other Yowzas that the Nookums probably can't do any better than Jamie back then. I love it when they pretty much tell the Nookums to all accept their suckitude and live with it. Cindy tries to tell them that she has seen Brandon doing the same back at the old Nookum camp and Judd takes the opportunity to start goading her, saying that she should have then jumped in and took over; since she didn't, she can shut up now, thanks very much. Hey, what happened to this loathsome piece of crap of a Judd's Mr Understanding Don't-Blame-Anybody demeanor just a while back? Cindy remains calm and tells the camera that she doesn't think it is wise to deliberately antagonize people at this point. The tables can turn, after all, you never know.

Elsewhere, Stephenie rails to Judd and Cindy (eh, friends again now, I suppose) about how Bobby Jon taunted them and cheered like a girl. She then calls Bobby Jon "so gay", although she also admits in the same breath that she is jealous of Bobby Jon, so I'm not as convinced as some people of how mean she is being at that point. I find her constant whining more annoying, actually. Judd and Cindy listen and nod while they listen to some sweet music in their heads to drown Stephenie's prattling out. Jamie is holding his own pity-party while Stephenie is not amused, calling Jamie a loser for boasting that he's good with ropes but losing instead to some "twenty-two year old farmboy", blah blah blah. I'd be more sympathetic to Stephenie if she has, you know, actually played a major part in delivering victory to her tribe even once. All she is doing now is to whine when they don't win because it sucks to lose, wah wah wah. She goes on and on to the others and to the camera about how her heart is breaking and what-not. God, just shut up already, Stephenie!

Day thirteen, night. I guess nothing interesting happened in the day. It rains heavily at Camp Yowza but Blake and Brian continue sleeping under their shelter. Amy mentions to the camera that she calls Blake the "golden boy" because Blake always comes up "smelling like roses". Metaphorically, of course, because on this show, I don't think anyone comes close to smelling like roses. Amy then says that Blake always have some stories to tell about himself. Brandon agrees to the camera that Blake loves talking about Blake. Cue a montage of Blake talking about what seems like his skydiving adventures, his girlfriend using pills to make her DD breasts even bigger, his success rate with older women, and other stories that his fellow drinking buddies may enjoy but the other Yowzas certainly aren't, judging from their expressions as they listen to his stories, although I'm not sure how many of those annoyed or bored expressions are actually edited in within context. Oh well. Bobby Jon and Brandon look like they want to die when Blake tries to pull them into a conversation about breasts, buttocks, and legs (female ones, of course). I hope Blake still has a girlfriend after this show. Anyway, Brian says that he is going to keep baiting Blake, hoping that the old Nookums will be so annoyed by Blake that Blake will take the target off Brian's back. And he does, encouraging Blake back at camp to talk about some of his adventures, probably imagined, with silly women that have Gary saying dryly, "So what you're saying, Blake, is that I wouldn't want one of my three daughters to date you." Blake agrees, thinking that Gary is actually complimenting him on his prowess with the opposite sex. I like Blake better when he was at the brink of death just a few episodes ago. Brian hopes to the camera that Blake will "bury himself".

Day fourteen. Lydia and Stephenie retrieve their tree-mail that comes with a black ball and a rope around it. Stephenie once more talks about how she is losing and how she will inflict another tedious whinefest about losing if she loses in the next Challenge. Yucks. Meanwhile, Lydia demonstrates why she probably doesn't get invited to too many parties when she uses two oranges in just the way you'd imagine to act like a crazy loon. The others laugh because they don't know what else to do.

Now it's time for the Immunity Challenge. First off, Probby remarks that the Nookums don't look too happy. Why should they be? They have to listen to Stephenie's non-stop whinings about how much her tribe sucks (not her, of course, because she's great, she's just stuck in a lousy tribe, yadda yadda yadda). Probby explains that for this Challenge, each tribe will form two teams of three. The seventh person will use a catapault contraption to launch those black balls that came with the tree-mail. The others will hold some supposedly primitive net-like contraption to catch these balls. They can catch balls from the other tribe's catapault as well. The first tribe to catch five balla wins Wugu-Wugu. Brian and Lydia will handle the catapaults for their respective tribes and they will take turns launching the balls (that sounds dirty, I know).

Brian goes first and Danni catches the ball. Lydia goes next and nobody catches her ball, causing Stephenie to act all bossy because if they listen to her, they would have won, wah wah wah. Next is... oh, forget it, this is silly, me recapping this scene because it's all running and catching and therefore impossible to describe in a way that you can picture without having seen the episode yourself. Let's just say that two Nookum teams run hard all around the place and eventually, they are the first to catch five balls for Nookum. Bobby Jon, Danni, and Gary also try and between the three of them, they manage to catch two balls for Yowza. I don't know what the other three Yowzas, Blake, Amy, and Brandon, are doing. Possessed by the spirit of Brianna, probably.

So Nookum wins Wugu-Wugu and Stephenie can finally shut up now! Jamie returns Bobby Jon's taunt by now yelling at the Yowzas, "Who's smiling now? Who's smiling now?" He doesn't say "bitch" so that takes away about 80% of the effectiveness of that taunt. Bobby Jon responds with a howl. I hope he realizes that his tribe has just lost. Anyway, the Yowzas are off to Tribal Council tonight.

Back at Camp Yowza, the alpha males and Gary are annoyed about Jamie's gloat. After all, only Bobby Jon can taunt the other tribe! Brandon goes, "Jamie, why don't you just shut up and go cut a rope or something?" This is great if he has the guts to tell Jamie that in person. Bobby Jon goes on a rant about some "correct way" of celebrating while winning, although the mention of throwing one's legs in the air and waving the crotch at the opponents' face is noticeably absent.

Brian and Gary now plot to get Blake eliminated instead of them. Brian is sure that Danni will side them in this, although I don't know why he thinks this is the case. Maybe he knows something that isn't shown on TV. Gary meets Bobby Jon in a hushed pow-wow where he tells Bobby Jon that hard-working people deserve to win (snort) and tries to lead that up to a Blake boot. Bobby Jon however has given Blake his word not to vote against Blake and besides, he doesn't think that it is time for the old Nookums to start turning on themselves. On the other hand, he tells the camera, "I listen to Gary a lot because he's smart and he knows about team unity." Gary and Amy now approach Danni where they push for a Blake boot, using all sorts of reasonings like they want Blake gone not because of an old Yowza alliance thingie (snort) but because, as per Gary, only "good people" should go far on this game. Ever since Hagrid, I tell you, those goody-goody morons now think that this show is their platform to invalidate their own beliefs. Danni says that she'd love to boot Blake but she needs to talk to her old Nookum buddies first. She approaches Brandon but Brandon will vote only against Amy or Brian and there is no changing his mind.

Back at camp, the charming Blake is now launching a tale involving his near-loss of virginity. The thing is, he isn't telling the story in an interesting or funny manner - he's just freaking boring at it, like someone who's in love with his own voice. Danni tells the camera that she is fed up with Blake, heck, the whole tribe is fed up with Blake. She wants to toss out Blake but Brandon and Bobby Jon are not going to go with this. What will she do now? She says that she hates hurting people's feelings and what-not, which makes her the latest in too many people on this show who come on the show professing to hate playing the game, so really, what will she do?

Night, Tribal Council. Probby starts a chatter session about Brian's work ethics in camp. I'm not liking how this season is so heavy on the work ethics issue. What is this? Is Hagrid the casting director for this season? Gary defends Brian but I'm not sure how well that goes with the faction in the tribe that wants Brian or Amy out come what may. The alpha males of Bobby Jon, Brandon, and Blake only want Gary around so that it will be an all-boys affair, I suspect. After that, some more chatter about tribal bonds and other things that should already be obvious. With that, the tribe members are ready to vote.

Bobby Jon votes. Brian votes for Blake, saying, "You may be the golden boy but I'm platinum." Sheesh, he's trying too hard to be Rat Boy sometimes, I tell you, but nobody can top Rat Boy's "calling up" Casey Kasem for a goodbye song to King Dick Roger back at Amazon. Brandon tosses Brian a vote, the real man in him stopping him from saying anything. Amy votes. Gary votes for Blake, for obvious reasons. But he likes Blake though, really! Blake votes for Brian whom he calls the weakest member of Yowza. This coming from someone who can't catch a single ball in the previous Immunity Challenge, how nice. Danni hesitates, writes down "B", and... cut to Probby taking the urn to tally the votes.

It turns out that both Danni and Bobby Jon voted for Blake. Survivor Insider reveals that Bobby Jon knows that Danni is joining the others in voting out Blake so he has no choice but to go along with it. So a surprised Blake gets his torch snuffed while Brian smirks to himself. Blake then walks down the long and winding road to Loser Lodge, leaving Probby to talk about big shifts and other inane nonsense to the remaining Yowzas before banishing them back to camp. In his final words, Blake is surprised and doesn't know why he is eliminated before he gets to share stories about the naked orgy he took part in during some drunken binge in Tijuana and other juicy tales that he knows we are all dying to hear.

Five episodes down. With the season becoming so obviously geriatric and stale, I wonder how long it will be before this season ends. Burnetto really needs to do something fast - the formula is becoming too stale for words.