Guatemala Episode 4: To Betray or Not to Betray

Previously, the episode had some rivetting moments with guys at Nookum complaining about Margaret telling them what to do, moaning and whining, and someone named Brianna getting eliminated because she was rooted to the spot during an Immunity Challenge when the Yowzas are supposed to be playing Mayan basketball against the Nookums. Um, who's Brianna? Then again, who's the person voted out at the end of this episode? This is not a good season for nondescript females, although there are still a few more remaining to duke it out for the one spot in the Final Four that always go to some anonymous player. Like Butch, J Lyo, Darrah, for example. Who are these people again? Exactly.

Credits. I notice that Stephenie and Scoutmarm Lil from Pearl Islands have the same "swimming out of water" sequence in the credits. Is she destined for the Final Four then? Hmm.

Day nine. The boot in the previous Tribal Council was apparently so boring that the show forgoes the usual footages of people talking about it and head straight to the morning after, where the Nookums complain about the heat. It's so hot! And insects! Big bugs! Biting everybody! Cindy complains to the camera that the heat keeps climbing every time she thinks that she's experienced the hottest day ever. Brandon and Margaret talk about not wanting to go near the fire, what with the heat being this high and all. To the camera, Margaret explains that the Nookums are drained of energy. Cue to a slow panning of all those greasy and tanned bodies of starving Nookums lying on the ground, the perfect pornographic material to enjoy if you're into anorexia. Despite the heat, Judd walks about in hooded sweater with long-sleeves because as he spends the next five minutes doing what he does best on the show - moaning and complaining - he doesn't want the bugs to bite him. The show then pans to beautiful bug bites on the bodies of the other Nookums. Judd tells the others that the bugs are like those from some movie called Killer Bees, and from the way he talks about the movie, he seems surprised that he's the only one who's ever heard of it, much less watched it. Well, it looks like I'm not the one here, at least, who lives in my parents' basement watching B-grade horror movies for the most part of my childhood and teenaged years. Back to the poor Nookums, they can't cover themselves from the bugs if they can't stand the heat, they can't take off their clothes in the heat if they can't stand the bugs. Maybe it's time to take a chance on the alligators in the water. Brandon says that this place "changes" people - I'm sure he's also hoping that the show will change him in the sense that it'll make him richer and more famous - and he can't imagine how the Yowzas are faring since they are losing and sucking in the process.

Well, the Yowzas don't seem to be so unhappy. Gary and Rafe fashioned some minnow trap where they put ground corn into a pot, place it under the water and watch as minnows swim into the pot, and then quickly lift the pot and the minnows inside it so that the Yowzas can have something to eat. Stephenie just sits and watches. She asks the men how many fish they have caught when they remove the pot in their latest use of the pot. Four, apparently. Rafe jokes that they are now a "finely tuned fishing machine" and all the minnows in Guatemala are in trouble. Later, the Yowzas are all taking their daily communal wash and clean-up in the water when they spot an alligator swimming lazily in the water. Everyone starts worrying about the gore that may ensue when alligators start climbing onto the Yowza camp and starting eating everybody. Or something. Burnetto puts in shots of alligators opening their mouths wide to the camera, probably pilfered from documentaries stored in CBS' basement, to try and put me into suspense that someone may get eaten by an alligator soon. If only I am still that gullible. In a funny edit, Jamie has his feet in the water when he jumps, startled, causing everyone else - and me - to jump as well. Luckily, it's a fish that startled Jamie, not some alligator eager to learn how to water-ski from Jamie.

Even the editors don't think that the never-ending saga of the endless suffering of the Survivors are entertaining so they quickly move to Jeff "You Say Gautemala, I Say Jumbalayah" Proboscis waiting for the two tribes in some clearing. After they have dutily filed in and stand before him, Probby says that because this is the toughest Survivor season ever, he's going to give them a break from the usual physical challenges. Instead, he will conduct some quiz and the Survivors will write down their answers on the ever-present chalk and mini-blackboard sets this show is very fond of without discussing the answer with each other. The answers will somehow affect the future of these Survivors, Probby says dramatically. Ooh, maybe it's time for some ritual sacrifice to the alligators in the waters!

Probby asks of the person from each tribe who is most in need of nourishment. The majority of Nookum say that Danni is this person from their tribe while the Yowzas for some reason say it's Jamie. I suspect that Jamie always complain about being hungry. Probby then hands an apple to each of these two. How nice. Probby then asks which tribe member is the smelliest. Poor Bobby Jon gets the honors again from his tribe. Maybe a deodorant company can use him as its new mascot after this show? For the Yowzas, Gary gets the honor. These two get to use some shower, where Gary's, um, bits get pixellated. I am so annoyed that I never get to see Bobby Jon's pixels. It's as if all those stupid straight men watching and editing this show are determined to kill the mood of straight women and gay men everywhere who are watching this show. Someone should tell the shampoo advertizers that straight men watching this show don't buy shampoos - their mothers, wives, or girlfriends tend to be the ones who do and these people that matter want to watch naked bits of Bobby Jon, thank you very much. Since these two men never get to wash their clothes, I'm not sure that they smell as good as their tribemates say they do after those two men get out of the shower since they put on those stinky clothes again. Next are two people who deserve some picnic. Once more Gary is chosen along with Amy while the Nookums pick Margaret and Judd. Amy and Gary therefore get to go for a picnic. Amy is worried that she may have to eat something nasty like a tarantula but it turns out that she and the others are going to have a genuine picnic. I'm sure Jamie and Danni are thinking that there is more nourishment in that picnic basket (cookies, chicken, potato salad, iced tea, and other goodies) compared to an apple. Stupid show, heh?

While those four go on their picnic, Probby asks the rest to pick one member from their tribe who has the most "tribe pride", complete with bleeding colors or something that stupid as per Probby. Brian wins the honors from Yowza, edging out Stephenie by one vote, while over at Nookum Cindy gets four votes. Because Brian is the most zealous Yowza, he will stay in Yowza. Ditto Cindy. For everyone else who isn't at the picnic, there is a tribal switch. But because there is now an extra member in the reshuffled Nookum, they draw buffs to see who from the old Nookum will get to stay with Cindy in order to keep tribe numbers as they were before the shuffle. Brooke turns out to be this person. This means that the new Yowza now consists of Brian, Gary, Amy, Bobby Jon, Blake, Danni, and Brandon. The new Nookum is Stephenie, Cindy, Brooke, Margaret, Judd, Lydia, Jamie, and Rafe. If you look at the composition of the newly reshuffled tribes, three very factors that made the old Nookum a powerhouse (Bobby Jon, Blake, Brandon) are now at Yowza. After all the complicated maneuvres to keep the "shuffle" twist interesting, I don't think things will change too much because all that's shuffled in this "twist" is the name of the strong tribe, which is now Yowza.

The four who are at the picnic, at the top of the ziggurat, don't know what is happening to them and their tribemates. Gary tries to deny being an ex-footballer and he's doing a so-so job at it. Amy tells the camera however that should Gary turn out to be a multimillionaire of some sort after his denials, she'd "kill" him. See, Gary? People can actually get annoyed over unnecessary lies.

Over at the newly reshuffled Yowza, poor Brian has to gnash his teeth as he has to play host to a bunch of former Nookums who outnumber his old Yowza teammates four to three. He talks about work ethics, a big word on this show nowadays (thanks, Hagrid), and agrees quickly with Bobby Jon when he says that they shouldn't overtax themselves and end up too exhausted to handle Challenges. The fun really starts when Gary and Amy return from their picnic, where Amy tries to pretend that her inadvertent "Get the fuck out of here!" is only a joke on her part. She and Gary exchange unhappy looks. For a man who seems determined to keep his ex-footballer past a secret, Gary invites everyone to talk about their jobs outside this show. Smooth one, Gary. Yup, he really wants the world to know that he is an ex-footballer, alright. It's killing him that no one is appreciating his talents or giving him the respect he deserves. Danni immediately interrogates him about that Gary Hodgeboom connection and Gary comes up with this brilliant lie: "You have me confused with another extremely tall man named Gary H who looks enough like me for you to have gotten us confused. And who went to a relatively obscure Michigan college which you have, by coincidence, correctly identified, but who played football, which I did not!" Gary tells the camera that he is not going to give anyone to play that "You don't need the money!" card on him so he's going to deny that he is an ex-footballer to the very end. But behind his back, even Amy smirks at how badly a job Gary is doing in trying to maintain his lie. Really, Gary is going to be some shoo-in into the Pentagon.

Judd and Margaret also learn of the shuffle when they return to find Nookum now infested with drinking and chattering Yowzas. Margaret is now feeling threatened even though there is the same number of old Nookums and old Yowzas in this reshuffled Nookum. When she confides to Judd of her feelings in private, Judd says that while he isn't happy with the switch, he looks forward to being the alpha male of the tribe now that Bobby Jon, Blake, and Brandon are gone. He says that it was a "maletosterone" thing between him and the guys. Sheesh. Judd then starts doing this king-kong impersonation on camera, which only drives home how pathetic this guy is. He's the alpha male? I'd laugh when Stephenie snatches that title from him.

Meanwhile, Stephenie and Jamie talk in private about the "law girl" Brooke. They think that Brooke should go in order to cull out members of the old Nookum while keeping the old Yowza together for as long as possible. Lydia has to be kept in order to achieve this. Jamie tells the camera that he and Stephenie have an alliance going on. Meanwhile, those two decide that Judd should go after Brooke. Of course, now that these two have spilled the beans, Judd probably won't be leaving after Brooke. Judd comes over to join them and those two quickly change the conversation to the more discreet alternative: interrogating Judd about the members of old Nookum. Judd thinks that Margaret is the strongest women in old Nookum and he's not "tight" with Cindy or Margaret. He tells those two that he likes Stephenie and Jamie better. Oh please. But Stephenie thinks that Judd "clicks" with them (or is that "clique"?) so she's buying that eye-rolling drivel from Judd. This, I suppose, explains why Stephenie and Jamie tells Judd that Brooke should go next, followed by Lydia. After that, Margaret or Cindy will get the boot. Those two tell Judd that Rafe will vote on their side, although how they are so sure of that, they never let Judd or me know. Elsewhere, Margaret watches these three talking with a nervous expression on her face while she tries to engage herself in conversation with the remaining Nookums. She should be worried as right now Judd is pledging his allegiance to Stephenie, Jamie, and the old Yowzas on this tribe when it comes to getting rid of Brooke. Judd tells the camera that he feels good about this development because he doesn't "feel the love" for his old tribemates and he wants them to "get out of" his "jungle". Great, now I know what I'll get if Hagrid and Rat Boy somehow have some grotesque baby together.

The show skips to day eleven. Hello, Yowza. Amy is worried because after two days, she has finally worked out that the old Yowzas are outnumbered three to four in this newly reshuffled tribe. Meanwhile, practising for the synchronized urination Immunity Challenge are Bobby Jon and Blake as they do their thing while discussing boot order. Blake says that he will remain loyal to the old Nookum. I have to resist adding "and he'll shake to that". But stupidly enough, Blake says that he wants to keep winning competitions. He probably hasn't realized that if the new Yowza keeps winning, the old Yowzas at the other tribe will have the opportunity decimate the old Nookums there. If this tribe keeps losing, they can boot the old Yowzas Gary, Amy, and Brian. Which is why I don't understand why they then plot to get rid of Amy first, then Brian, finally Gary, if they have no intention of doing so in the first place. Maybe that's their backup plan, "decimate my buddies at the other tribe, but if that can't happen, only then I will strike at my rivals in my own tribe"? Amy, meanwhile, decides to conceal her swollen ankle as much as possible from the Nookums that have infiltrated her happy tribe. She'll probably be able to do so until the next time they have to start running in the next Immunity Challenge, heh.

Speaking of which, Probby now awaits them by the water. For this Challenge, each tribe must paddle out to a buoy out there in the water, collect three bags, and bring them back to the shore. Inside the bags are clubs that the tribe members must use in taking turns to break big tiles arranged for their target practice. Whoever failed to hit a tile can tag another tribemate to take over, but only one person can break a tile at one time. The first tribe to break three tiles win Wugu-Wugu. Lydia will be sitting out for Nookum. With that, Probby says, "Go!"

The paddling part isn't so clear-cut as it seems because the canoes of both tribes have to cross each other's part as they move from one side of the buoy to collect a bag to another. When it comes to getting the second bag, both canoes collide, causing Yowza to lose some time as the Yowzas try to reorientate their canoe. Nookum gets all three bags first. Stephenie manages to break a tile after a few tries when Yowza finally catch up with them. Brian will try to break a tile for the Yowzas while Judd takes over from Stephenie. Brian fails and hands over his spot to Danni who manages to break the tile. Judd really wants to prove that he's the alpha male of the tribe so he keeps missing the tile. Blake takes over from Danni and hits a second tile for Yowza. Finally Judd manages to break a second tile for Nookum. It's now Brandon versus Jamie for the tie-breaker and Brandon breaks his tile first. Whoops, Nookum is going to Tribal Council tonight. Stephenie must be really thrilled, judging from her sourpuss face.

Back at Nookum, Stephenie tells the others that they should remain optimistic because after tonight, both tribes have the same numbers of members so that is still good in Stephenie's world. I wonder whether she'll be this cheerful if it is she who is on the chopping block. Behind the screen, however, Rafe and Stephenie talk about getting Judd to flip over to their side in order to prevent a tie in the Tribal Council. They think that Judd hates Margaret and Brooke so Judd should be easily convinced to flip. Still, Rafe tells the camera that he won't be surprised if they do get a tie at the upcoming Tribal Council. At the other side, Margaret, Brooke, and Cindy target Lydia, although they all say that they feel awful about doing this because Lydia is a hard worker at camp. They think that the old Yowzas think Lydia as the weakest member of the tribe so who knows, the other side may be gunning for Lydia too. Now all they need to do, Margaret tells the camera, is to make sure that Judd is loyal to old Nookum. Elsewhere, Brooke tells Judd, Jamie, and Rafe that the women of old Nookum want to vote out the weakest member of the tribe, Lydia.

Judd and Margaret now talk. Judd proves that he's more of a braindead Chris the Slug type than a mastermind when he tells Margaret that he's certain that the old Yowzas in this tribe will "honor" their agreement and vote out one of their own after an old Nookum goes tonight. Margaret tells him that the old Yowzas won't stop once they have the number advantage that Judd wants to hand over to them. Judd tells Margaret that the old Yowzas won't do that because they need him and Margaret around. Margaret explains that the old Yowzas don't have to worry about that because they can just vote him, Margaret, Brooke, and Cindy off one by one while waiting for the merge. Judd looks like he's stumped by this possibility. Elsewhere, Rafe does what I think is applying some leaves over sores or sunburned areas on Lydia's back as he reassures her that the old Yowzas are sticking together no matter what and they will probably have Judd on their side. Lydia seems cautiously optimistic by this. And somewhere else, Judd and Stephenie reassure each other that the plan to boot Brooke is still going on. Judd tells the camera that he's worried that he may not have that strong a three-way alliance with Jamie and Stephenie that he thinks they have and if that's the case, he's at the bottom of the hierarchy where the old Yowzas are concerned in their alliances. Back to those two, Brooke shows up and they have to quickly switch topics. Judd says that he's not sure whether there is much trust going around so he'll only make up his mind at the last minute in the Tribal Council.

Night, Tribal Council. They really should make Stephenie wear a T-shirt with a big red "L" at the front, since Probby once more brings out Stephenie's remarkable ability to make her tribe sink like a stone. Stephenie, according to Probby, has been in the losing tribe in 17 out of 21 Challenges. After some pointless chatter where Judd spends what seems like two hours explaining that he's just "socializing" with Stephenie and Jamie, the Nookums are allowed to vote. As expected, Judd flips and, to Margaret's dismayed expression, Brooke gets voted out 5-3. Brooke gets her torch snuffed and says something in the final words. And then she's gone. It's as if she's never there, heh.