Thailand Episode 4: Gender Bender

Mr Giggles here. My wife was down with flu when this episode was aired, and she dozed off through most of the episode, so here I am, filling in the hot seat for her. My opinion of the show can be very different from hers, so don't expect any continuity from her previous episode rants.

The show starts at Tribe Soochee. There is a big storm, and the tribe members are coming back from their first Tribal Council, where Jed the third-rate Christopher Atkins was evicted. The biggest idiot of the land, Robbb the Dobbb, says that he is shocked nobody else votes for Shii Ann last week, only he, Jed, and Stephanie. Well, I guess that means he's not exactly in sync with the rest of the tribe now, is he? Dumb fool.

Penny decides that the tribe has made a wise choice in eliminating Jed, and she is now ready to kick some ass. I'm ready to see her kick some ass too, because until now, I don't even know there's a Penny in the tribe. Flying under the radar much, no?

The storm breaks, and everybody shivers and sleeps. I raise a glass of hot Milo to them.

Morning. Stephanie sits down her lazy ass before going off to collect squids that have washed up on the shore. Shii Ann says that Stephanie is giving everyone the silent treatment and is acting like a bitch. This coming from Shii Ann is like the pot calling the kettle black. I'm getting fed up of this young lady bitching on everybody while doing nothing to show that she is in any way better than the rest of them. But Stephanie's voluntary isolation from the rest of the tribe isn't doing her any good. Even if she is mourning the loss of her almost-boyfriend Jed, she is also not being smart. When even the Boobie Witch of the West, Erin, says that you have lost it, you really are painting a target on your forehead.

Let's move on to Chewing Gum. It is divided by the Ted/Ghandia sexual harrassment scandal. The old dame Jan is lamenting about how there is a certain "division" in the tribe. Tell me something I don't know. She has unbound her hair, and let's just say she looks like Medusa's ugly mother.

Ghandia uses sand to clean her teeth. I don't think Colgate will be asking her to endorse their products any time soon.

Ted is doing sit-ups. My wife shrieks in horror at the sight of two huge, flabby bags of washed-up male boobs plunging towards the TV screen and promptly requires some aspirins. I must admit, I do feel quite queasy myself.

Angry Ghandia manhandles a coconut, probably imagining that she is destroying parts of Ted's overflabby anatomy. She complains that she is being alienated by the rest of the tribe. Yes, keep murdering innocent coconuts and wonder why no sane person wants to even come near you. Ted won't talk, look, or have anything to do with her. Ted says that he doesn't even want to see her again. But he isn't winning me over by acting like an immature brat himself. In fact, I am so tired of these two, I will be more than happy to cheer when a stray nuclear warhead accidentally blows this island and all its loser contestants sky high.

Bray has to open his mouth and stuff his entire potbellied lower body into his gob by saying that he has Ghandia pegged down as a trouble maker in the first place. He reminds me of every repulsive, right-wing psycho sexist racist freak I have the misfortune to ever encounter. He probably keeps his golf club up his ass every night.

Helen believes Ghandia's story. The guys side with Ted - predictably - and she isn't too forgiving of Ted. Either way, he has no excuse to snuggle up to Ghandia like that, she says.

I like her. She is the only one with a brain in this tribe - except for Brian, who is too salesman-like (duh) for my liking.

Jan keeps a calender, prisoner in Monte Cristo style. Or maybe the Birdbrain of Monte Cristo.

This is boring me out of my wits. Someone start a diarrhea outbreak among these people!

Bray discovers a dummy. No, I'm not talking about Ted's dead body - a real dummy, as well as some bananas. The tribe hauls the dummy back to their camp, where they are told to name and decorate the dummy. The same thing is happening in Tribe Soochee - Robbb the Dobbb fixes a purple bandanna on the dummy while the Kenper Van Diem cop guy just looks sullen. He's probably too macho to play with dollies. Back to Chewing Gum. The camera pans on Ghandia's bending over, a close up on her big butt and bigger thighs. Between her and Jan's scrawny behind, I think we have the politically correct body image manifesto all covered.

Chewing Gum works together to paint the dummy yellow and give "her" coconut brassiere. "She" is a hula doll. Meanwhile, the rest of the Soochee loll around like starving dying hyenas, watching as Stephanie does all the decorating of the dummy. This tribe puts the African Survivor's playskool tribe to shame when it comes to kiddie school ground politics. One Tribal Council and everyone's demoralized? Between Chewing Gum and Soochee, I cannot decide which one to wish for a meteor shower to rain on and destroy. I hate everybody in this game, and my favorites - Helen and Shii Ann - are the ones that irritate me the least. Where do Mark Burnett find these bunch of loathsome fools?

The first physical involves each tribe carrying the dummy to run around the island. Didn't I see this challenge before on Boot Camp? Between silly block games and childish telematches, this show is turning into an intellectual endurance game, isn't it?

Despite their internal divisions, Soochee wins the challenge and gets bananas as reward. Hmm, no Mountain Dew? I guess that's why this season sees an extra surplus of cheap props - the sponsorship must have dried up. As the Chewing Gum guys watch enviously, the Soochees gorge on bananas. A banana in Robbb the Dobbb's hand looks strangely appropriate, and come to think of it, the whole event looks like the scene out of The Isle of Dr Moreau when the gorillas revolt and go on a rampage. I can see it now: 200 years from now, people of the future will watch this show and point out how Robbb the Dobbb is the typical neanderthal of the twenty-first century. "And class, these primitive people, they carry ugly burlap sack dolls they probably worship as Hula Girl Deities and they eat bananas all day long."

Their loss only make the men of Chewing Gum even more loathsome. Bray and Ted, stuck to the hips like two fat dumbass out of the most backward areas, blame the women. Meanwhile, the women are not happy at all - the men catch fish but laze around all day while the women cook, clean, and clean some more. Even the sight of Brian in those tight, bulging trunks fail to placate my wife as she screams bloody murder on Bray, Ted, and the porno salesman guy. I have to do the dishes that night, by the way. I hate Mark Burnett.

Brian talks about how they have gone back to the "good old days" when men hunt and women cook. There is a twinkle in his eye - he's obviously joking even to my wife, and that is the only reason why she hasn't declared a jihad on the man there and then. Maybe he thinks it's funny, but when taken in context, the men of Chewing Gum really come off as lazy, lame-ass buffoons, especially Bray and Ted, because they are the ones that talk the most.

Ghandia complains to the women as she tries to form a women alliance. She makes a perfect imitation of Bray, by the way, and yeah, I think she is amusing despite her unstable state of mind. She does have a point - the men at this point are dead weights.

Back at Soochee, Robbb the Dobbb is talking about "warm bananas". Gross.

Stephanie perks up. She's alive and kicking again once she has a banana in her mouth. Gross.

They also receive a "surprise" reward: chickens. Robbb the Dobbb immediately sexually harrasses the poor chickens. I hope for the birds' sake Kenper Van Diem will keep watch over them for the night, or we may just get the first ever chicken sexual assault on prime time TV.

Back to Chewing Gum, Helen is evaluating her choices. She's obviously playing long term: she is very aware that despite everything, the men are stronger than the women - for now - and she will do better to throw her support to them. She doesn't like them, but she will have to play along until the merge. Smart.

Ghandia whines and complains. She doesn't come here to get three extra husbands to clean and cook for.

Helen sums it up best: Ted is a washed-up football player, Bray is a sexist fool, but earning their enmity, especially when she is still on good terms with them, will get her nowhere.

Finally, immunity. It's a tangram game. The teams compete to fit some large pieces to form first a torch and later the Tribal Council temple, and I feel my IQ dip to an all time low watching such "intriguing" challenges. Shii Ann of Soochie delivers the final blow, sending Chewing Gum to yet another tribal council.

Helen votes to evict Ghandia, causing a 4-2 eviction of Ghandia. So much for Ghandia's hopes that she and Ted will draw and she will try and get him out by winning the tie-breaker. She leaves after telling the others, "Be strong".

I'm actually sorry to see her go. She's foolish to overplay her hand with the sexual harassment card, and even more foolish to make no effort to conceal her underhanded techniques, but she's entertaining. Without her, all I get are five dull twits in Chewing Gum.

My wife argues that Helen may not have played that smart a game. The merge is at least three episodes more (or nine days) - more than enough time for the men to pick off the women one by one if Chewing Gum's losing trend continues. Jan is useless, and she will be gone in the next tribal council, unless Burnett does the now tired tribal switch trick again, and there's more than enough time for Helen to get the boot too. But I think it's not so simple. Tribe dynamics can change - who would've expected Ghandia and Ted to shake up Chewing Gum this much a few weeks ago? - and if Helen can get Brian to her side, and if Brian is smart enough to ally with the able and strong woman instead of two over-the-hill morons, she will definitely survive until the merge.

Brian, ally with Helen. I don't want to lose $50 to my wife.