Guatemala Episode 3: The Brave May Not Live Long, But the Cautious Don't Live at All

Previously, the Yowzas seemed to be on a losing streak. The Yowzas tried very hard to be best friends forever despite their loss. They decided that Morgan was weak and therefore wasn't worthy of their friendship, so she was blindsided and booted off at Tribal Council. Welcome to this week's edition of Are You Strong Enough To Be A Yowza, Biatch?, featuring some lovely ruins of Guatemalan ziggurats!

Credits. Sigh, I'm starting to find the soundtrack so much more appealing that the actual episode itself.

Morning, day seven. Good morning, Yowza. Lydia the fishmonger gets to work dragging back wood for their fire while the others slowly come awake. She says that she is relieved not to be booted in Tribal Council last night and adds that she doesn't deserve to be booted. After all, we all know that this show is a meritocracy and only the hardest working person gets to be the sole Survivor. I blame Hagrid for this nonsense. Just because Mark Burnetto went insane and gave Hagrid a million dollars for sucking so badly, all these unsophisticated hoi polloi with no strategy or willingness to play the game think they can come onto the show and become the next vulgar example of trashiness like Twila of Vanuatu. Lydia's not so bad, mind you, but she has the wrong idea of what makes a winner in Survivor. Anyway, Lydia thinks that Brianna should go because Brianna is weak. Look, Lydia, his name is Mark Burnetto and not Charles Darwin, okay? The show cuts to a hilariously awkward scene where Brianna makes small talk to Lydia as they sit by the beach to suntan (I think) and the effort eventually peters off into silence. Brianna tells the camera that Lydia is not her "cup of tea". Who asks her to take a sip from Lydia's cup anyway? Eeuw, I can't believe I typed that last sentence. Eeeeuw! (This show is turning me into one of those bimbos on Nookum. Thanks a lot, Burnetto!)

Elsewhere, Stephenie marks day seven on a tree with a stone-chalk thingie. Brian tells everyone that he doesn't want to go to Tribal Council anymore. That will motivate everyone, surely! He's cute in a very gay way but he's not exactly an awe-inspiring leader type. What he is, though, is a Rat Boy wannabe, although he'll have to fight with Judd over at Nookum for that sloppy second status. Right now, Brian is telling Lydia that he is the sole architect of the boot of Morgan and he's going to spend ten minutes extra pleasuring himself behind the bushes to celebrate. Just kidding about that last bit, people. This show is so boring, I have to amuse myself somehow while writing this recap. Silly Lydia looks at Brian as if he's now her new best friend forever. And we all know what happens to bitter, rude, and gullible harridans who fall for the charms of a slimy snake dude, don't we, Twila? To the camera, Brian says that while he saved Lydia this time, he doesn't care if she goes the next time. Wow, now he's a mastermind that doesn't care. So heartless! So... so... whatever. What a pointless blowhard.

Over at Nookum, a big monkey starts howling from the treetops, no doubt calling these Survivors rude names in his mother tongue. Judd is not amused and to demonstrate, he breaks branches (thin ones) and make angry faces. For someone with a considerable amount of screentime, this fatty loser spends all of it whining and complaining about everything. I honestly don't understand what he expects to get from being on the show, apart from the million dollars, of course. I blame it on Chris the Slug. One fat loser wins and now all the fat losers of Slobsville think that they can do the same too. You see, the Vanuatu season ruins everything. I hope the casting person responsible for that season is right now licking stamps in Burnetto's mail department because the spillover from that earthshatteringly awful season is contaminating the seasons that come after it. Meanwhile, Cindy the zoopkeeper doesn't understand what the fuss is because she is sure that people will actually pay money to wake up in a rainforest to the sounds of a monkey howling at the top of his voice. This makes Judd compare her disparagingly to Dr Doolittle and make hand gestures to indicate that he wants to strangle her. He complains that she is annoying. Does he listen to himself? Now he is annoying.

Cut to the Reward Challenge. I guess Burnetto has run out of silly filler scenes to keep me amused. By some ziggurat, Probby awaits with the props of the latest Reward Challenge. He tells the Nookums to take a look at the new Yowza that is minus Morgan. The Nookums are like, "Eh? So which guy is Morgan again?" This Reward Challenge is the seeing-eye dog thing that is apparently compulsory for every season. Someone directs blindfolded people to collect parts of a giant puzzle, once six pieces are collected they can remove the blindfolds and assemble the pieces, the usual. This time the puzzle is an archeologist tent (I didn't know there is a special kind of tent for archeologists until now) and the pieces are the bits and pieces required to assemble that tent. The prize is what seems like a "comfort" package: tarps, pillows, sheets, lantern, and rope. No, I don't know how a lantern and a rope can contribute to one's "comfort", unless we're assuming that "comfort" is the same thing as "making life easier".

Gary guides the Yowzas while Brooke guides the Nookums. Chaos ensues. Brooke isn't too good at directing the Nookums - watch how she tells Danni to watch her head after Judd whacks her in the head with the piece of plank that he is carrying - while Gary seems to be more organized and focused. As a result, the Yowzas get all the pieces first. As per Stephenie's order, the women untie the pieces while the men put them together. Unfortunately, something goes wrong somewhere and the Nookums manage to overtake them in the tent assembly. Nookum wins again. Oopsie!

The disappointed Yowzas return to camp where as usual they try to assure themselves that things weren't so bad. Really! Stephenie tells the camera that she's been in worse situations. She notes that the Yowzas didn't do too badly, it's just that they all started to go overboard in the assembling part and lost track of what they were supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, Amy is sure that they can all go without the luxuries that the Nookums have just won. Or maybe not, as the next scene sees the Yowzas moaning and groaning about the state of their clothes, their brushing their teeth with "trees", yadda yadda yadda. Lydia tells the others that they should look at the bright side of things: they are in paradise! The others look at her as if she's crazy. Which she probably is. Amy tells the camera that while she has no outdoor camping experiences, she won't quit even if they stick needles in her eyeballs (her words, not mine). That's a gruesome thing to say. I'd prefer the more peaceful method of snuffing out her torch.

Our friendly howler monkey has made himself comfortable at the Nookum camp and right now he is practising some simian opera. Everyone is happy and they even trash talk the Yowzas. Bobby Jon says that he is so happy that he is finally winning. Brooke wants them to use the tarp to cover their shelter. Not now though because the Nookums are still unaccustomed to the sweltering heat of the day. At this point, Brooke and Brandon start telling the cameras about the heat and the alligators making their lives so difficult. The howler monkey would have played a violin to accompany them if he knows how to, I suspect. Many of the Nookums are worried about the alligators in the water but Bobby Jon, Brandon, and Judd decide to take the boat out and then take a dip in the water in some pointless display of masculine tomfoolery. Brandon tells the camera that he loves to "live on the edge". I don't know. Guys who say that, in my experience, always end up being the one to cry like a pansy when they spot a rat in the alleyway. "The brave may not live long but the cautious don't live at all!" says Brandon. Yeah, that's easy for him to say when he's surrounded by a camera crew and there would be first class medical facilities awaiting him should a hungry alligator takes a chomp out of his behind. Cindy is sure that the alligators are lurking in the shallow waters (the brave guys think that the alligators prefer deeper waters) waiting to bite and tear Judd and Brandon into bloody bits of fleshy gore because these alligators don't like annoying men. Of course, this show being what it is, no alligators show up to eat them all.

Over at Yowza, they are complaining about having to eat corn mush all the time. Brianna hopes that her corn-pounding abilities will make her an asset to the team. Um, try again, dearie. Stephenie and Rafe wish that they have something different to eat. How about alligator meat, dearies? Just a suggestion. Send Lydia out on a boat to catch some alligators and I'd write a love letter to Burnetto. Oh, and Rafe thinks that adding dirt into the corn adds some "interesting" flavor or something. I don't want to know what else he thinks will make the corn mush even more interesting. Rafe proceeds to eat some termites like he threatened to in the previous episode, much to Stephenie's horror. She tells him that she doesn't want to be his friend anymore, her tone being one of good-humor in case you're wondering. Gary decides to help himself to some termites too, much to Stephenie's bemusement. She wonders why these men don't at least cook the termites first. Because they're men! They live on the edge! They eat ants! Rafe says that termites and ants are rich in protein and Gary tells Stephenie that protein is good. Stephenie can only smile at the two men.

From termite-gobbling, we move on to gobble-gobble at the Nookums where Margaret and some of the guys (Bobby Jon, Blake, Brandon, the usual suspects) have some disagreement about how they should use the tarp and other goodies they have won to cover their shelter. Should they slant it so that the rain won't cause water to pool over the tarp and cause the shelter to collapse on them all when they are sleeping? (Dang, I really want to see that happen on the show.) How much should they slant it? Margaret has ideas. The men have ideas. As Brandon complains to the camera, everyone has different ideas and I suppose to him, diversity of opinions is not a good thing indeed. Bobby Jon complains to the camera that Margaret is being bossy and spoiling the guys' fun. After all, the boys can have fun fighting among themselves and then indulging in some make-up shirtless-sweaty wrestling on the ground afterwards! Once they finally get things done, Margaret tells the camera with a know-it-all smile that she isn't too impressed with the result.

The men now take time to bitch to themselves and to the camera about what a terrible woman Margaret is. Bobby Jon insists that he is twenty-eight and therefore no woman can boss him around! Judd says that only his boss and his wife can boss him around! Since he's Judd, he goes on and on and on in his bitchiest voice about Margaret and frankly, he's just doing what he does all the time in all his confessionals - whine, complain, bitch, moan - and I can't be bothered to recap what he has to say.

Day eight. Still at Nookum. I can't complain because come to think of it, camera time on the Yowzas doesn't make me feel any better than camera time on Nookums. This episode is so boring. Danni and Judd collect the tree-mail and the missive talks about painting the body before sacrificing it. Or something. I don't translate bad poetry well, sorry. Danni perks up at the body-painting part because apparently she always paints her body before a Chiefs football game. Which part of her body does she paint, I hear some naughty guys ask? Sorry, you'll have to ask her that yourself. Over at Yowza, Brian babbles about keeping spirits up (or is that spirit levels up?) and what-not while the Yowza try to tell themselves that they must never lose this time. Never! Ever!

Probby welcomes the tribes to this basketball court, built Flintstones-style where instead of through a hoop they have to throw the ball through a circle hole on a piece of board. By the way, what is with people from Texas wanting everyone else to know that they are from Texas, Blake? I honestly don't get it. I've never seen someone painting "Helsinki" or "Ulan Bator" over their chests but men from Texas apparently love to have the name of that state painted all over their bodies. I bet these brave men would have the word tattooed on their genitals if they aren't tough little boys who are scared of the pain. Anyway, Probby explains the rules: teams pass the ball from one person to another just like basketball but tackling another player is allowed. This contest is played in rounds, with three versus three each time, and the first tribe to score five points wins Wugu-Wugu.

Round one. Nookum has Bobby Jon, Blake, and Judd while Yowza has the ragtag trio of Brian, Jamie, and Rafe. Brian manages to score a point for the Yowzas, prompting Probby to shout, "Now we're doing it like the Mayans did!" Heh heh heh. That soundclip of Probby saying such an utterly cheesy and ridiculous thing should be played again and again for prosperity. Wow, your favorite football team won. "Now we're doing it like the Mayans did!" Ohmigosh, your neighbor's kid got married. "Now we're doing it like the Mayans did!" Someone's cat died. "Now we're doing it like the Mayans did!" It never gets old, I tell you.

Round two. Nookum has Judd, Margaret, and Blake while Yowza has Amy, Jamie, and Rafe. Blake gets one point for Nookum. Round three - Cindy, Danni, Brooke (Nookum) versus Stephenie, Brianna, and Lydia (Yowza). Poor Stephenie: Brianna just stands there like a dumb plank while Lydia doesn't get the rules at all and starts running with the ball. Danni puts an end to this round by scoring a second point for Nookum. Round four - Brandon joins Bobby Jon and Blake in Nookum versus Brian, Gary, and Rafe in Yowza. Nookum gets the third point. Round four has... oh, what the heck, it doesn't matter. Rafe manages to score, much to his own surprise, heh, and Yowza gets their second point. Next round, Jamie scores one more for Yowza. By the way, Probby tries to make up for his embarrassing "Now we're doing it like the Mayans did!" with his "Men on men!" but while it doesn't work, it's a good try. Next round, Danni scores for the Nookum. Finally, Nookum scores the fifth point and the Yowzas are headed for Tribal Council again. Anyway, poor Stephenie. In the final round, she tries to explain the rules of the game to Lydia and Brianna but they really don't get it. And while Lydia tries to at least play, Brianna once more just stands in a corner, leaving Stephenie with only Lydia to toss the ball to. Maybe it's nerves, I don't know, but Brianna actually just stands there! Poor Stephenie. She's in Ulong all over again.

Back at camp, Stephenie is not happy. She tells the camera that she is once more on "a tribe that doesn't seem to be too good at winning in the beginning... and someone sprains their ankle". Yes, it's Ulong all over again, poor Stephenie. She tells the others that she is trying not to cry because she is dehydrated enough as it is. Oh, Stephenie is bringing on the funny. Maybe Yowza must keep losing so that Stephenie will keep bring it on, heh? To the camera, Stephenie doesn't think too poorly of Amy whose ankle is sprained but she claims that she has to "pull" Brianna's "head out of her ass" in their previous Immunity Challenge. "Part of me just wishes, like, why just once... why can't I just be on a great tribe?" she asks aloud to the camera. Because it isn't meant to be? What, does she think that she deserves to be on some great tribe? I know where she is coming from but while I understand her frustration, her words come up just wrong, oh dear.

Amy shows off her swollen ankle to the other Yowzas, perhaps as evidence that she is not pretending to be injured just to laze around the camp. However, she insists to them and to the camera that she can keep going and she will not give up just because she had a sprain. Later, Stephenie expresses her frustration on Lydia and Brianna's lousy performance in the Challenge to Gary. To the camera, Gary thinks that Brianna and Lydia have never played in sports before, which explains their horrible performance. But come on, Brianna just standing there is a little more than just "never played in sports before". The only reason good enough for her bizarre behavior back then is her being possessed by demons. Lydia and Jamie are having their personal chit-chat session as well and they too find Brianna's non-performance hard to overlook. Jamie tells the camera that Brianna is "done" where he is concerned. He tells Lydia that Brianna was just leaning against the pole while Lydia and Stephenie were playing their butts off. Oh, and he doesn't want to, er, date Brianna as well. "I like them crazy and pretty. She's neither," says he. Yup, "they" must be "pretty crazy" to like Jamie.

Brianna is now talking to Stephenie. I don't know what she is trying to do. She knows she's on the block at least where Jamie and Lydia are concerned, but instead of trying to sell Stephenie some reasons as to why she should stay, Brianna instead tells Stephenie that Lydia is some shifty person because Lydia has never looked into her eyes before and also because Brianna is a "good at reading people". Hilariously, she wonders to the camera how it can be that people actually perceive her as the weakest link in the tribe. Isn't that crazy? I mean, all she did was to just stand there and not doing anything, right in front of her tribemates, during the last Immunity Challenge, and now they have the nerve to consider her weak? They are not as good at reading people as Brianna so really, how dare they indeed. Brianna concludes to the camera that she is basing her vote tonight on trust and other ambiguous rubbish too many people use as an excuse to vote out people they don't like on a petty level. Meanwhile, Gary is basing his vote on "athletic ability".

Night time, Tribal Council. Probby mildly ribs Stephenie on being on the losing tribe again and then gets down to business: Brianna. Even Probby points out that while Lydia was at least trying, Brianna just stood there. Brianna insists that she is trying her best, which, come to think of it, isn't something that will reassure the others. If that's her best, then she can't be any good at all, that kind of thing. Jamie gives this powerful eyeroll because Brianna isn't crazy or pretty enough for her. Although if you ask me, Brianna may actually meet Jamie's "crazy" quota. Brian says that Nookum may be more athletic but the Yowza like each other better, so there. The Nookum will be so heartbroken to hear this, I tell you. Amy insists that her ankle will not hold her back. She actually goes out to say that voting her out will be a mistake. Ooh, now to see if the Yowzas will take her up on that...

Voting time. Lydia and Rafe vote. Brianna votes for Lydia because Lydia never looked her in the eye when they talked. The eyes! It's all about the eyes! Brian votes. Jamie votes for Brianna, saying that the "girly-girl" should go back to the "shopping mall". Oh Jamie. His mother, after watching this, is going to slap him silly and then he'll be grounded for two weeks. Amy and Gary vote. Stephenie finally votes, but while her vote is not shown, she says nonetheless to the camera, "I have to do what's right for this tribe right now. We've got to win Immunity. I can't be on a losing streak anymore!" Yes, because everything is about Stephenie. Pffft!

Brianna may thinks that she reads Lydia like a bad book but the others unanimously give her the heave-ho. Probby snuffs out her torch and sends her down the long and winding road to Loser Lodge. He then tells the others that it may not be so smart to vote on "physical strength". Yes, be like that idiot male tribe on Vanuatu and vote out the young buff ones so that they are eaten alive come the merge! Brianna in her final words says that maybe she isn't athletic enough but it's still the best experience of her life, being on this show, yadda yadda yadda. And then she's gone and I have one less nondescript bimbo's name to remember. Hurrah!