Palau Episode 7: The Great White Shark Hunter

Previously, Ulong was down to three. This week, the death watch continues.

Credits. I admire Burnetto for taking a risk and not pulling some tribal switch nonsense to save Ulong, but I do wonder sometimes whether the show will have shot itself in the foot if the few Ulongites that survive the merge end up getting Pagong'ed. Well, we'll see. I'll see.

Morning, day sixteen. It's misery and despair all over Ulong as the remaining three Ulongites hide in their cave. Maybe if they start praying to heathen gods for a victory, the scene will be amusing but as it is, they are just basically moaning and whining about the state of their tribe. Stephenie insists that things just aren't right somehow that Ulong is down to three while Horror is still strong at eight. She tries to make herself believe that sometimes the losers can make a turnaround and finish first, but even she cannot bring herself to believe that. She just concludes that she never expects Ulong to be decimated this beautifully, er, horribly.

Ibrehem asks her whether she has ever stayed this long with a bunch of people and she says she hasn't. I'd assume that she's not including her family members in her definition of "people" here. Ibrehem tells the camera that the three of them have become close friends and Tribal Councils will be emotional, and not just because the one being booted is sad as he or she will no longer be rich, just to make that clear. Stephenie hopes for a merge. No, she desperately wants a merge. Ibrehem is confident that things will turn around for Ulong. I'm sure he leaves it to Allah to explain how things will turn around for Ulong. To the camera, Stephenie says that she and Bobby Jon have an alliance. She reaffirms to the pretty boy, who is quiet so far, that he and she will be going far. As far, that is, as the tribe can last. And with that, Ulong's Unhappy Unloading ends and we head over to see what the Happy Horrors are doing.

Ooh, Tom is doing crunches. Where once I would find that sexy, now I just look at him and see a dead man walking. He's not going to survive the merge so I'm not going to get too attached to him. Besides, he doesn't like smart people. Anyway. Ian comes out from the sea with a clam, sort of like a skinny and unsexy version of Venus Rising, and everyone seems to be happy because Ian has brought back "steak" (as he calls it) for dinner. Katie, whose role in Horror is defined as the Useless Female That Always End Up In The Final Four, says that Ian has brought back a "very, very big clam". Clam it, sweetheart, I can see that for myself. As the Horrors get the clam ready to be cooked, Ian gloats in a not-at-all-unpleasant manner that he is the provider of the tribe. I expect Hagrid to pop up from the sea with a fishing spear to bug- er, bitchslap him silly but that's just me. I've never fully recovered from seeing Hagrid winning a million dollars from that America's Tribal Council farce. As they cut open the clam and spill its blood - eh, I never knew clams have blood but I guess the show "improvises" things a bit and puts in blood using some sophisticated CGI way - onto the sea, a shark shows up, ooh.

Tom the Mighty grabs his machete because he's a macho man like that. Ian would love to join him but look, he has a cut on his toe so awww, he'd love to, you know, but some other day. Gregg probably decides that he must tend to Ian's wound or Ian would just die and that would be heartless so Gregg will be putting mercy over butchery today. So Tom the Mighty has to face the big, ravenous shark - okay, a middling-sized shark with no doubt its teeth pulled out by Burnetto and the rest of it sedated so that it wouldn't put up much of a fight - alone. Cobb in his black panties stand nearby and watch because there is nothing sexier than a screaming man in black panties fleeing for life when the shark has eaten up Tom and is searching for more meat to feast on. Alas, instead of mighty butchery and entrails popping all over the screen, the show cuts to Tom making happy noises because apparently he has swung the machete and the shark is cut in two. Hmmph, the shark must be planted by the show! As the shark flops around the beach in its death throes, Gregg finally decides to show up to help, not that Tom needs any help of course. The two men high-five and then admire the shark's death wiggles. I hate to see what kind of porn these men have at home. Gregg calls Tom a madman who is so cool because "a city boy from New York" has killed a shark - a small, no doubt sedated and toothless shark, but still a shark, mind you - and that is, without a doubt, too cool in Gregg's mind. Hey, Big Gay Hatch bit a shark two seasons ago, so now Tom and Hatch are like, soul mates forever. Cool! Caryn, watch your backside. As Tom tells the story of his daring fight with a small helpless shark - of course, it is easy to be brave when no one actually saw your act of bravery, if you get my drift - Ian good-naturedly says that he now has to catch a humpback whale to keep up with Tom.

Night falls over Horror and now Tom is telling the camera that he regrets letting everyone know that he is a "strong player". Oh please, who is he trying to fool? Him a "strong player"? That boy can't win an Immunity Challenge to save his life! Don't worry, Tom, your secret is still safe. Everyone in Horror, after all, is too busy eating the shark and repeating Tom's stories of great bravery among themselves - stories that he happily feeds to them - I'm sure they won't notice that Tom can actually lift a rock by himself. Cobb whines to the camera that after what Tom has done today, nobody will want to join him and Gregg to topple Tom now. Has he watched this show before? After the merge, all he has to do is to give the word and the Horrors will happily toss Tom out of the tribe.

Day seventeen, morning. Good morning, Horrors. I wonder what they will do today. Maybe they will flatten a volcano. Anyway, the lovebirds Gregg and J Lyo collect tree-mail and learn that the Reward Challenge requires them to set up a distress signal that can be seen from a plane. Of course, given that there are only three people left in Ulong, only three Horrors can participate in this Challenge.

Ulong decides that the best thing they can do is to tear down their shelter and set it on fire. I will laugh if they destroy their shelter only to win a few cases of Pringles. Oh wait, I'm laughing now so I'll be laughing harder if that is the case. Bobby Jon honestly believes, or so as he tells the camera, that if they work really hard at tearing down the shelter and setting it on fire, their "hard work" will triumph over "smartness" for once. These three are giving new meanings to the term "scorched earth techniques".

Over at Horror, Katie, Caryn, and Gregg set to work. Cobb, who has appointed himself the judge of all that goes on in Horror, it seems, approves of these three because he believes that Gregg's muscles, Caryn's hardworking ethics, and Katie's "creativeness" (nice attempt at diplomacy there, dude) will be an undefeatable combo. Tom is fidgeting because he wants to be part of the action. Not that he wants to prove to the tribe that he is too strong or anything, of course. Idiot. The three Horrors working on the Challenge huff and, in the case of Gregg, complain to the camera that it is hard to move things to the site they deem suitable for the location of the distress signal. Caryn says that they are dehydrated. I have to admire the sneaky editors here for their subtle but effective portrayal of the Horrors as whiny babies because the Horrors are moaning while the Ulongites, even at defeat, adopt a generally positive attitude when getting ready for the Challenges. The Horrors' strategy is to make "GOT FOOD" on the beach using bamboos and coconuts as well as a few fires. "Got food"? What is that supposed to mean? That they have plenty of food or they need food or is it because "Got milk" is trademarked so they can't use that one? The Horrors that are watching them fret that the three are too slow and it may too late to light the fires when they are ready.

Probby is on a plane with a guy named Bob. Maybe the plane is called Probby and Bobby. They fly over Ulong. Seeing the plane, Bobby Jon starts jumping and flailing his arms in the shallow waters while the fires burn behind him. The Ulongites have formed the word "ULONG" using the remains of their shelter. That could easily be misread as "So long", I suppose, and the fact that Bobby Jon is acting up like a psycho could give anyone watching from the plane the impression that the Ulongites just want them to be gone, so long, get lost. Still, Bob says that the fire is good but the location of the fire is a little too close to the trees, preventing the fire to be seen from certain angles of view. He concludes that it's a good job for three people though. Over at Horror, Gregg indeed starts the fires too late and the fires sputter out as Probby and Bobby is flying over them. But while there is no fire, Bob thinks that the Horrors' signal is better and more visible so...

Okay, I'm a little angry here. I know this show is supposed to fair and all that but will it hurt to give Ulong a pity victory for once? It's not as if the show is deliberately giving Ulong Immunity. As it is, the happy Horrors get MREs, fishing gears (that they already have), and wine in a crate that is dropped from Probby and Bobby into the sea near Horror. Sheesh, this is ridiculous. Of course the Horrors will win. They have Home Depot tools, food, picnic, a shelter built for them by construction folks, working shower and bathroom - did I miss anything? A butler, perhaps? Surely a lift-me-up for Ulong won't hurt? Poor Ulong. Bobby Jon says in disappointment that maybe the Horrors "worked harder" at the distress signal and "worked smarter" too perhaps. Stephenie is shocked for the hundredth time that Ulong lost for the hundredth time. But like bowling pins, they will stand up and take the knock, again and again, over and over. How sad for them.

Over at Horror, the folks there are bored. That's not surprising, really, because they have everything and then some more, so they have nothing to do anymore but to find faults with each other. Cobb, He Who Presides Over Horror, complains that Gregg is some "make-out bandit" who keeps getting it on with J Lyo. Cobb insists that he doesn't care but come on, he's jealous. He wants to be kissy-wissy with Gregg, I'd bet, because if he doesn't, he'd be complaining about J Lyo's hyena gigglings, not Gregg's making out with J Lyo. Gregg and J Lyo smooch and exchange sweet nothings even as they go "collect water" together - with she, of course, keeps giggling and giggling all the while - and Gregg tells the camera that he hopes nobody else can see through their "strong alliance" ("Hee-hee-hee!" goes J Lyo) and adds that, hopefully, no one will mistake their smoochings and pettings and hee-hee-hees as some sign of, you know, alliance or something. Ah yes, the "We're shagbuddies, really!" line of defense. It doesn't work for the idiotic twosome of Jeff W and Kim, and it doesn't work for Gregg and J Lyo either.

At the water source, Gregg asks J Lyo whether their "relationship" plays a role in their game. What is this? Some Oprah-speak for "If I backstab you after screwing you, will you still vote for me?" perhaps? J Lyo says that Gregg can be "standoffish" at times while Gregg says to the camera that it is hard to play the game and still be a good date to J Lyo. That's because he's not the Robfather. Wimp! Gregg then says that in real life, apparently ladies can't get enough of him so now he's trying to play things slowly and coolly with J Lyo. He tells the camera that he thinks she understands that he's focused on the game. She complains to the camera that he thinks too much about the game. These two are boring and the more they talk about each other, the more they bore me. Can we just ship those two to The Bachelor or some other stupid show of that sort? Tom the Mighty concludes the Romance of the Century act by saying that everyone else in Horror is concerned about this relationship and they are all watching J Lyo and Gregg very closely. I hope they wear earplugs - did they win any of those? - because I bet the sounds J Lyo makes during those heavy make-out sessions can be unbearably painful on the ears.

Day eighteen, morning. Bobby Jon goes out to sea and brings back a clam and a small fish. Ibrehem is happy to see him and both he and Stephenie are so wretchedly happy to be eating something that it pains me to watch this tribe. Bobby Jon says that his catching Ulong some breakfast feels like some extra points towards, hopefully, winning the Immunity Challenge. Later he goes out to collect some tree-mail and comes back with a puzzle that requires you to slide pieces around until you get them in the correct order to form a recognizable image. I hate those kind of puzzles and I never understand why this show loves to use them for their Challenges. Oh, well.

At the Challenge site, Probby has Bobby Jon talk about catching a small fish and then has Horror rub it over his ego by getting Horror to talk about the shark. Probby is such a petty little bitch sometimes. Wait, he always is. Oh well. For the Challenge, Teams must pick a "caller" to direct the others to move foam pieces of a larger version of the puzzle that came with the tree-mail. The Horrors pick Cobb as the "caller" and Ulong chooses Bobby Jon, he of the brainiac tendencies, to be their "caller". Good heavens, sometimes I think Ulong wants to lose. Bobby Jon is a complete flop at that task, dawdling and changing his mind until he realizes that he is just wasting time and relinquish his post to Stephenie. Stephenie rallies the troop of two but she comes in too late. Ulong will have a date with Probby tonight. Boy, Probby will be utterly insufferable in his gloating and I am not looking forward to Tribal Council at all.

Back at Camp Ulong, Bobby Jon demonstrates more of his braininess when he and Ibrehem discuss strategy while playing with their boat. Bobby Jon says that he is the swing vote because both Stephenie and Ibrehem are counting on him to vote out the other person with them. He thinks that it will be hard to vote out Ibrehem because they are from the same state, which somehow to him means that the two men have a "common theme". The "We Both Suck" theme, perhaps. Bobby Jon then says that if he votes for Ibrehem, Ibrehem will "take it like a man", but if he votes for Stephenie, she will, er, not. Because girls are emotional in Bobby Jon's world, they write in distinctly female handwritings and they hesitate to vote for you without telling you, doncha know?

Stephenie now has second thoughts about letting herself be stuck with two men who obviously have weird ideas of loyalty to each other. What can she do, though? She thinks that she would get to Bobby Jon when the men come back from their fishing trip and confirm their alliance with him. Bobby Jon, however, tells her later that while he thinks that they are "sticking together", he thinks that it will be a "toss-up" whether he will vote for Ibrehem or not. How can it be a toss-up when he just said that he and Stephenie are "sticking together"? Stephenie tells the camera that she is frustrated by this because she doesn't feel that she is ready to leave ("It is not my time!"). She then heads over to Ibrehem, spills the beans about Bobby Jon's dealing with both sides, and suggests to him that they both sic Bobby Jon to Loser Lodge. Unfortunately for her, Ibrehem is an even bigger idiot than Bobby Jon because he refuses to commit himself. Has he ever committed himself to anything at all in Ulong?

Night, Tribal Council. Probby has a bad sore throat, heh (no naughty speculations about how he got that sore throat now, people) and he apologizes to the Ulongites for sounding worse than usual. He then proceeds to rip them a new one for losing to different members of Horror in every Challenge, although he never apologizes for that. Bobby Jon thinks that he is a hex to his tribe. I'd really swoon over his romantic self-flagellation if he isn't as dumb as bricks. I mean, martyrhood is not attractive when the martyr in question has the brainpower of a paramecium. Bobby Jon insists that life in Ulong is "phenomenal". Yup, a paramecium. Bobby Jon doesn't know who to vote. Paramecium! Ibrehem says he will vote based on whom he has given his word to. Stephenie says that she will vote according to her best interests. Yay, that's the perfect answer, although not a wise thing to say too often in the game. Bobby Jon wonders why he should stay on the game and tells Probby that he doesn't feel like he's in control right now. It's like the puzzle. Bobby Jon finds thinking most confusing indeed.

Finally, the three are allowed to vote. Probby takes the urn and goes off to count the votes. Let's see, one vote for Stephenie, one for Ibrehem, and oh dear, Bobby Jon has voted for Ibrehem as well. Stephenie whispers her thanks to Bobby Jon as Ibrehem hugs and kisses the both of them goodbye. Ibrehem gets his torch snuffed and walks down the road, leaving behind Bobby Jon and Stephenie as the last two Ulongites against the world. Probby sends them back to camp and the show is done.

Ibrehem says in his final words that he has a great time on the show - the usual - and he thought he wouldn't be booted because he and Bobby Jon had "something special". Yeah, well, it looks like the penis isn't so special anymore now, doesn't it? Ibrehem says that he is proud of playing the game without "compromising" his character, which the kind of thing people who don't do anything on the show and just latch on to other people say. And with that, he's gone. I wonder whether he is really in the game in the first place.