Guatemala Episode 6: Big Ball, Big Mouth, Big Trouble

Previously, Stephenie whined constantly about how the world was deliberately trying to make her sad when her tribe kept losing, boo-hoo-hoo, and when Jamie couldn't cut a rope and caused the Nookums to tank the Reward Challenge with style, Stephenie looked to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown with her vague ramblings about being stuck in a bad dream and other me-me-me nonsense. Alas, we were spared from such delightful possibility when the Nookums went ahead to win the Immunity Challenge. Blake, who had been annoying Danni with stories of his exploits with women and adventure, was booted when Danni flipped over to the old Yowza side and Bobby Jon cut Blake loose as collateral damage as a result. This week, it seemed like ten thousand Survivors remain and this season will never end. To paraphrase Stephenie, it's like I'm stuck in some weird time loop where it's pretty much the same season of Survivor over and over again (water, sand, the same subplots, the same people) only with different names. Maybe a change of locale to somewhere not so sandy and beachy will be nice? It's not as if there is much eye candy on this show when these people start turning into walking skeletons. Ian was terrible to look at in Palau and now Danni is giving High D of Amazon a run for the money when it comes to being a centerfold for Swimsuit Illustrated: Special Anorexia Edition.

Oh, I digress. Bring on the credits. Ugh, Judd is ugly.

Morning, day fifteen. The Yowzas are walking around like the living dead stumbling about looking for brains. Brandon tells the camera that his eyes are now opened about the fragility of his alliance of four with the old Nookum people since Bobby Jon and Danni turned against him and Blake and sent Blake home in the previous night. As he wonders around looking like Robinson Crusoe minus the sense of direction or Friday, he tells the camera that it must be awful to be voted off without knowing how you get to be voted off. That's easy - Danni and Bobby Jon wrote down Blake's name on the paper (B-L-A-K-E) and... oh, Brandon is not talking about that? My apologies. Brandon confronts Bobby Jon by the waters when Bobby Jon is trying to catch some fish in the cove formerly owned by everyone's favorite fishmonger Lydia. Brandon wants to know whether Bobby Jon has any regrets about sending Blake home. Bobby Jon scrunches up his face as if thinking doesn't come too often to him and says in his unique philosophical manner, "Yeah, some, but that's just... it was just a part... a part of that... that... that was a stage in the game where... where I had to do what I had to do, you know?" If this guy still wants to be an actor, I think he needs to get someone to teach him how to deliver lines without coming off like someone who has taken too much drugs. He tells Brandon that Blake isn't popular with the others, which is why he had to do what he had to do in order to stay "in" with the other members of the Tribe. That doesn't answer Brandon's unspoken question: why the heck then did Bobby Jon not let Brandon know of this? Remember, Bobby Jon was the one blathering about tribe pride, honor, and other essentially meaningless stuff in the previous episode.

Elsewhere, Brian and Gary talk about the Yowzas being surprised when they find out that the old Nookums voted out one of their own and Brian gloats about getting a "get out of jail free" card from that incident. Oh, Brian. He loves to gloat to the camera about so many things. What will he gloat about by the end of the episode, I wonder? He naively tells the camera that the old Yowzas will stick together, therefore from now on they will always be on equal footage, numerically, with the old Nookums in the reshuffled Yowza tribe. Oh, Brian. The wise old folks did say that what happened to others (read: Blake) can easily happen to you. But I guess Brian is too busy lauding his own genius gameplay to be alert and pay attention to the people around him.

Over at Nookum, those people are doing what they do best: complaining. The heat! The jungle noises! Rafe, by the way, has this amazing ability to smile through everything, even when he's talking about someone else in a less favorable manner. He talks about Margaret distancing herself from the others and while he understands that she doesn't take too well to Judd's flip to the old Yowzas of this tribe and Brooke's eviction, he is finding it hard to be around Margaret when she starts acting like she's carrying this huge cross on her bleeding back. Judd, meanwhile, starts campaigning against Margaret to the old Yowzas. It's always an unpleasant thing to watch when we have an imbecilic loser like Judd talking nastily about an older woman who has done nothing to him but I don't think Judd is any better than that, honestly. It's unfortunate that the only Survivors who seem to be willing to play the game have to be the ineffectual Brian and the loathsome Judd. Everyone else seems to be only about tribe pride and I am personally sick of hearing about "work ethics". Anyway, it's nice of Cindy though to be getting along with others better than Margaret. I'll see how she fares eventually.

Challenge time! Probby waits for the two tribes to file in. Stephenie smiles when she sees Blake gone from the other tribe. Yes! Stephenie is slowly getting out of her bad dream now! Maybe she'll be more at peace with herself from now on! The Nookums also bring along Wugu-Wugu, no doubt as instructed by the tree-mail that was never shown on TV, and Probby takes it back from them. He explains that for today, each tribe will have to roll a giant ball - probably the most expensive thing used as a prop during this Season's Challenges and will no doubt be reused for the next twenty seasons - around a winding course to the finish point. Two people from one tribe will stand on one side of the ball and two people from the other tribe will take their place at the other side of the ball. They will then push and the tribe that succeeds in moving the ball over the finish line gets one point. The tribe that wins three rounds will get to enjoy the BBQ grill set that the show never gets tired of reusing and have fun with all the hot dogs, meat, and rolls that they can grill. Oh, and they also get root beer because Mountain Dew ain't putting any more money into this show, oh no, and also - unnecessarily - beer as well. After all, what's this show without a liberal amount of alcohol pouring down the throats of our photogenic Survivors? I'm surprised that Burnetto didn't succeed in getting Heinneken to be sponsor.

Oh, and because this show needs its gimmick even when it's a gimmick that isn't actually one anymore (am I making sense here?), Probby announces that there will be two eliminations at tonight's Tribal Council. I never understand why this show still feels the need to take in more people just to eliminate two of them once in a while because as a twist, this move isn't so shocking or "twisty" anymore since Pearl Islands. Why not just bring in fourteen Survivors like they used to? Back to Probby, he says that the winning tribe will then compete for individual immunity that comes along with the irresistible opportunity to sit in and listen to the other tribe's Tribal Council.

Lydia sits out for the six trillionth time for her tribe and now everyone is good to go. Round one has Stephenie and Cindy from Nookum against Amy and Danni from Yowza, with Amy and Danni quickly learning that they can use the turns of the course to their advantage by pinning Stephenie and Cindy against the trees around the course. Yowza wins this round. In the next round, Jamie and Judd steamrollers Bobby Jon and Brandon over, giving Nookum a point. Jamie, still sore about the rope-cutting failure on his part, I suppose, gives this ridiculous roar when he and Judd manage to roll the ball past the finish line. Bobby Jon for equally ridiculous and mystifying reasons decide to bound up to Jamie, bumps chest with that man, and gives an equally stupid roar at Jamie's face. I can't make out what he is screaming at Jamie but hey, he's Bobby Jon, not Albert Einstein. Stephenie and Judd go against Gary and Amy next and Amy twists her already twisted ankle again. Poor Amy. Her entire storyarc in this season is her twisted ankle. Stephenie and Judd score an easy victory against Gary and a hobbling Amy, so Nookum gets its second point. Probby announces that the next round is females versus females - research studies show that the audience of this show have a thing for female catfights and Cindy's ass, don't you know - so poor Amy has to go with Danni against Margaret and Cindy. Still, the show pulls a Triumph of Amy on me when Amy manages to aid Danni to get the second point for Yowza. Amy and Danni use the same maneuvring trick that they pulled on Stephenie and Cindy and this time, Cindy slips to give Amy and Danni the leverage they need to steamroller Margaret and her out of the game. Amy gives a triumphant yell and the world is forever disappointed when Stephenie doesn't run up to Amy and bump chests with her before screaming at Amy, "It's no fair! I'm stuck on the losing tribe again! THIS IS A NIGHTMARE! MY TRIBEMATES ALL SUCK AND THAT'S WHY I LOST, WAAAAAH!" In the tiebreaker round, Judd and Jamie go against Brian and Bobby Jon. Judd and Jamie easily push over the other two. Nookum wins the BBQ goodies! Stephenie is so happy that she leaps into that odious Judd's arms and even wraps her legs around him. She's dead to me now. Okay, she's been seriously annoying me in the recent episodes but now she is completely, totally dead to me.

Okay, the second part of the challenge. Probby tells the Nookums that they must basically run out and collect three tied bags, one bag at a time, and pull out letter tiles from these bags to form a two-word phrase. Isn't this exciting? I would have filed my fingernails and just wait to see who wins if I don't have to keep watching in order to write this half-assed recap. They scramble and untie their bags and what-not. Judd is the slowest when it comes to untying those bags, but because he can see what Rafe is doing and Rafe is already trying to unscramble the puzzle, Judd tells him that the answer is "ancient ruin". Rafe takes that and tells Probby that he has solved the puzzle. Rafe, therefore, wins immunity. Probby thinks that such a generous attitude among the Nookums are so cool and Rafe thanks Judd. Judd says jokingly that he should have kept his mouth shut. That is assuming that he has any control over his mouth in the first place. Anyway, I'm all for sharing as long as Judd and Stephenie do not win and Rafe is a pretty nice guy so far so yeah, sharing is cool, whatever.

The Nookums have fun with their new toy and they discuss Bobby Jon. Theories explaining his behavior include (a) he's just plain crazy (Stephenie), (b) he has snapped (Jamie - and he should know, since he's as bad as Bobby Jon), and (c) he's from the South (Jamie again, who explains that he is also from the South). I notice that Jamie likes talking about Bobby Jon a lot. Maybe they have taken photos together when they are both trying to be successful models and actors before this show, who knows? Oh, and can I see those photos, if they exist?

At Camp Yowza, the Yowzas are unhappy because they have to go to Tribal Council tonight, or so Amy says. Cheer up, Amy, the other tribe is going too! Heh. They try to feel better about themselves after their latest trashing at the hands of Nookum, with Danni telling the others that maybe Nookum is just too "big" to beat. Is she talking about the collective egos and feelings of self-entitlement of Stephenie, Judd, and Jamie or just Judd's weight? Oh, and Bobby Jon actually thinks that he has put Jamie in his place with his yelling and chest-bumping with Jamie. The others are careful to agree with him, when it's quite clear that some of them, like Brandon, think that he's bonkers. Bobby Jon tells the camera that Jamie now knows that "there is another bear out in the woods too" after Bobby Jon has shown that man good. Um, can someone remind Bobby Jon that he's just another pretty face in LA chasing after a modeling and acting career? Until Tarzan comes a-calling, it's best to leave the he-man antics to more convincing and less crazy-looking pretty faces. Then again, Tarzan didn't do Travis Fimmel any good now, did it?

Over at the old Yowza faction, Amy is worried about her ankle but tries to pretend, even to the camera, that she will be fine even with this huge purplish blob of probable extra-terrestrial origins around her ankle. Brian tells the camera that while it is tempting for Gary and he to vote out Amy in order to protect themselves for a short while, he has a better plan. Brian tells Gary that the three of them should vote together against Bobby Jon but Gary isn't willing to commit, not wanting to create a tie. Actually, Brian's plan is more complicated than that as he reveals in post-show interviews that he wants to fool Bobby Jon into believing that he and Gary are voting against Amy and he then fools Brandon into believing that Gary, Amy, and Brian are willing to sacrifice Brian at Tribal Council. If all goes well, therefore, Brandon will vote for Brian, Bobby Jon for Amy, and Gary, Amy, and Brian therefore have a clear majority with three votes against Bobby Jon. Of course, the best laid plans are often the ones that crumble at the earliest opportunity because there tends to be something major that the mastermind overlooked in his scheming. In this case, it's the willingness of Amy and Gary to sacrifice Brian to remain safe in a short term manner, which is ironically something Brian considered against Amy only to abort it because he thinks he has a better plan.

In Gary's case, he tells the camera that Bobby Jon is the strongest player in the tribe. Oh, Gary. It's always idiots like him with this huge tribe pride and "Only the worthy" Aryanite chip on their shoulders that die the fastest come the merge when they realize that the tribe they put all their hopes and dreams into are no more. Brandon as well talks about Amy and Brian being the weakest members of the tribe. I have never seen such a huge build-up of "worthiness" and "only the strong" blabberings on a season before and this is one reason why I'm starting to be annoyed by this bunch of losers. Seriously, where do they all crawl out from? Hagrid's School for Survivor Loserdom? Brian concludes the scene by saying that really, anyone can be going tonight. He looks like he believes it too, which only adds to my dismay when the inevitable happens.

The Nookums eat. I feel sick. Rafe's a pretty okay guy, Margaret is a dead woman walking, and Cindy doesn't leave any impression on me since she's so far a non-entity on the show, but the rest are seriously annoying me ten thousand ways at once. Especially Judd and Stephenie, although Jamie seriously bugs me too, and these three are running the tribe so really, ugh to the lot of them.

Judd and Jamie start being obnoxious as they talk about how confident they are that Margaret is going and how Margaret isn't going to fight the inevitable. Judd takes Rafe's beer after asking him whether Rafe wants the beer and drinks it. Judd crows that he's not going anywhere at tonight's Tribal Council. Margaret tells the camera that Judd is "most offensive" as a human being and a fellow tribe member. Heh, I take it that Margaret can't even muster the energy to pretend to be friends with Judd for the sake of the money. Meanwhile, Judd offers to exchange his hot dog (a real one, with buns and all, thanks for asking as if I'm not sick already by anything sexual related to Judd, eeeuw) for beer. He wants beer. More beer! Beer, beer, beer! So Judd gets drunk and then acts angry when someone hints that he is drunk. To the camera, he says that he has the right to be drunk because he delivered victory to the Nookums. Because he single-handedly rolled the ball back then, I suppose? Rafe and Cindy are among those who are shown to wisely bow out when Judd becomes confrontational because honestly, there's no point in antagonizing these people at this point of the game. As Cindy says, Judd's mouth will be his downfall. As Margaret says, Judd is his own worst enemy. This is why everyone will want to take Judd to the Final Two and therefore I will be stuck with this odious walking cirrhosis for the next few episodes and I want to get drunk myself too.

Night, the Nookums' Tribal Council. Things I learned today from this Tribal Council: (a) Judd is happy that he traded hot dogs for beer, (b) Jamie says that Bobby Jon did it first. that yelling and chest-thumping at Challenges thing, so yeah, he's not that crazy, y'all, and (c) Margaret thinks that Jamie is "expressive" and Judd is "vocal". The last leads Judd opening his mouth and insisting in ten million words that he is not a blabbermouth and he is good at being sporting (Brooke will of course agree), and he gets more and more incoherent as he keeps rambling on and on. Margaret tries to say something so Judd turns to her and tells her to shut up. No, he's not "vocal" at all, that Judd. "This is what happens all the time, though. When Judd gets vocal, Judd plows over anybody in front of him. He trash-talks anybody he doesn't like, and that's not good sportsmanship," Margaret tells Probby. Judd tries to prove Margaret wrong by asking everyone whether he listens to them and then cut them off in midsentence. Jamie joins in the dogpiling, and finally, Stephenie, Lydia, and Jamie giving ringing endorsements on Judd being a good listener. Rafe and Cindy look not too sure about that but they're obviously choosing to stay out of the line of fire. Margaret says that Judd bullies people. Judd accuses her of being "full of it" when he has, in fact, just bullied Rafe with Jamie just a few minutes earlier.

I can't recap anymore of how much Judd makes a complete ass out of himself because I will be sick if I do. Let's just say that Judd is the culmination of every loud-mouthed obnoxious asshole I have ever encountered and then some more. I feel sorry for his wife who must be watching this episode with family members and friends. Stephenie cuts off the last of my goodwill for her by trying to rationalize Judd as someone who just can't sit still. If someone can't sit still or shut up to the point that elephantine tranquilizer darts have to be called in, that's an asshole. Anyway, the Anyone Can Win As Long As It's Not Judd, Jamie, And Stephenie train is up and running. Plenty of seats onboard, people, get your tickets today!

Anyway, Margaret's a goner, no surprise there. She manages to sink in a few good digs at Judd in her voting speech, calling him a bully who is profane and self-righteous, which is awesome because everything she says is true, unlike Judd whose horrid voting speech betrays his unhealthy hatred for a woman whose only fault is that she doesn't like his crap. Probby sarcastically says to the others after Margaret is gone that since the so-called troublemaker is gone now, everything for Nookum should be perfect. Right? I normally dislike Probby when he's being sanctimonious and self-righteous but in this situation, he's right on the money. Margaret in her final words talks about the usual predictable feel-good love-it-yes yammerings before wishing her tribe in not-so-many words some luck in dealing with Judd.

Rafe now takes a seat to watch the Yowzas' Tribal Council while the rest of the Nookums go home and celebrate over their recent attempts to beat down Margaret's dignity with their ogre sticks. The Yowzas file in and after some inane babblings about Bobby Jon's king-kong antics, it's time to fatten up Brian for slaughter. Everyone talks about how nice he is, although I'm not sure as to how nice Bobby Jon's "compliment" to Brian is: "If you want to find a kamikaze that's going to bust a wedge, this is the man that's going to do it right here." Bobby Jon, what on earth? Then there is some talk about Amy's ankle. Rafe then is told that he can give immunity to a member of Yowza tonight. He goes off to write down that person's name and puts the paper in the jar before returning to his tribe. I don't know why Burnetto can't just have Rafe announce whom he wants to give immunity to. Are Probby and Burnetto scared that the Yowzas will run up to Rafe and scream at his face? Nope, it turns out that Probby wants to reveal who is immune after the Yowzas have cast their vote. Oh well. It turns out that the rest of the Yowzas gang up on Brian so it's goodbye to this pretty nice if outplayed fellow.

Probby reveals that Rafe has chosen to give Gary immunity. Like he did with Margaret versus Judd, he chose once again so stay out of potential lines of fire by throwing Amy and Brian to the wolves and let them do what they want with his former tribemates. Time will tell if his tendency to float under the radar while siding with those of power will get him to where such similar gameplay has gotten InVeeSible in Marquesas and Big Sandra in Pearl Islands to the top. Probby mocks the remaining Yowzas for being nice to Brian before blindsiding him, saying that it could happen to any of them too. Ooh, so who died and made Probby the judge of fairplay and sportsmanship? Don't tell me it's Hagrid, please. In his final words, Brian says that he has enjoyed the experience and he's actually glad that he was blindsided, being the student of the Game that he is. Well, good for him for taking his exit so gracefully, but unfortunately for me, I have to endure either sanctimonious and hypocritical "deserving, honest, and with integrity" idiots or outright jerks like Judd for the rest of the season. The next few weeks are going to be very long indeed.