Thailand Episode 12: The Tides Are Turning

Welcome to the recap - or half-baked half-arsed recap, I'd be the first to cheerfully admit - of the last episode before the Grand Finale of this tedious season of Survivor Pagong. Previously, Fake the last of the Soochees are effectively given the heave-ho, leaving the newly formed tribe Chooi Chooi or whatever with five original Chewing Gum members.

There's Porno, future nose-bleeder and divorcee. Bray, who is becoming more and more like a mean-tempered Rumpelstiltskin/the Troll Under The Bridge inbred bastard kid. Helen, oh Helen, listen to your hubby. Saggy Manboobs who is sniffing around Porno's butt. Finally, there's everybody's favorite tippin' funeral parlor biggest fan, Jan (cue chicken sounds here)!

If you can figure out how a show like Survivor turned into a walking freak show, please let me know. Although let it be said that at least this season's Final Two won't be as horrible as the Neleh/InVeeSible "Bible Thumpers of Doom" combo last season or the nadir, the Ethan "I Didn't Do Anything - How Did I Get There?" Zohn/Kim "I'm More Stupid Than A Bag of Marbles and I Wash My Face In Elephant Dung" Johnson combo. Even if the worst happens - Porno and Bray make the final two, at least these two can say they work hard to get where they are. Better they than invisible under radar fliers like InVeeSible who could have left the show at the first episode and sneaked back in for the finale with no one the wiser.

Back to the show. Since we have only five people left, and these five people are as watchable as witnessing a surgery being performed by monkeys on an unsedated loser, Burnetto wisely packs the first five minutes with scenes of Thai animals and insects acting all aggressive and preying on each other. Then suddenly we cut to Helen whacking a coconut and yes, party time is over. The suckfest has started.

Jan the Insane Hen uses her chalk to mark that they have been here for 34 days. Or maybe that is the number of embryonic bats she has buried in her pat cemetary, I don't know. But she's the only one happy on this island, so that's something.

Helen proudly says that not one of the Chewing Gums have been voted out since Day 12 (that's when they boot the Cow's big diva behind out of the island). They start out as losers, but they never give up, so here they are! But Helen says that now the game is on - they must vote one of their own. What she didn't say is that Soochee will probably go down in history as the most pathetic tribe ever - they lost their member one by one for seven consecutive weeks, believe it or not. Forget "Pagong", Soochee is a new phenomenon in itself. The Soochee has not been Pagonged. The Pagong has been Soocheed.

Porno time. Okay, I don't know what he is talking about here. He first starts talking about who being the best in ice skating. Huh? Then he calls himself Mr Freeze and says that he is skating the best and he has his skates on. Meet Porno. He's sexy but his mind is as addled as his metaphors. Ah, isn't this island near the Golden Triangle? That explains quite a lot of things. Maybe this bunch has found some herbs growing nearby, if you know what I mean. Porno, I love ya naked, but please shut up. Thank you.

Someone has propped a mirror in the cave and the tribe members act as if they haven't noticed it there before. Maybe Burnetto has hired Vecepia to handle the props around here, and we know how sneaky that hypocritical wench can be. Or maybe it's Magilla the Magic Monkey who put it there as a Dorian Grey-like joke on the human freaks. Maybe I'm being bored out of my mind and it's barely fifteen minutes into the show.

Bray admires himself and calls the others to look at his wrinkles, as if they cannot notice those ugly lines by themselves. Saggy calls out to Saggy to stop or the mirror will crack. Bray comments that he looks 60. If he looks 60, Jan the Hen is really in her fifties like she claims to be and not pushing 964 like the FBI dossier on lunatics says she is.

The mirror comes with pre-show publicity stills of the tribe members. This allow them to ooh and aah over how much weight they have lost. If they are promoting Koh Turatao as the best alternative to anorexia nervosa, Helen must be the poster girl because she looks at her nonexistant hips and waist and moans that she is too fat. Helen calls Porno "chubby face" but then again, she probably calls Callista Flockhart grotesquely obese. Jan the Hen misses her "clavage". Saggy is concerned - he doesn't recognize himself anymore. That's probably because he is the only one who has noticeably lost a lot of weight. Or maybe Saggy is just naturally obtuse in a Fezzik the Giant kinda way.

Jan laughs at how pathetic the men are, jostling over the mirror like lil' girls, so much so that Helen and she can't even get close to it. I look at Porno, Saggy, and Bray rubbing their naked torsos against each other as they preen before the mirror, and let's just say it's not a pretty sight at all. This must be the most terrifying Survivor season ever.

Porno and Saggy need to talk outside the cave. Porno is displaying the full mojo of that six-pack hairy yummy goodness and Saggy is naturally distracted. If I look closely, his hips begin automatically doing small lil' gyrations, or maybe it's just the cameraman doin' the grindin', who knows? Saggy is trying to get Porno to reaffirm their "special bond", but Porno begins foisting lame evasions on him. It's obvious to all but Saggy at this point that Porno wants Bray with him. Anyone with Bray in the final two is guaranteed a million dollars, because there's no way anybody but Bray's soulmate the Evil Penny will even consider voting for Bray. Helen versus Bray? Helen, definitely. Jan versus Bray? Can we say "landslide for Jan"? It's a bit hard though when we consider Porno and Bray: I know Fake and Ken Doll dislike Porno, but their dislike for Bray may give Porno their votes. Bray, not Saggy, has become Porno's key pawn to victory.

Anyway, as Saggy watches sadly at Porno's departing back, a very dim lightbulb goes off in his head. "Something has changed," he tells the camera. Yeah, you've lost your grindin' buddy.

Porno and Saggy are out here to collect the latest horrible missive for their Reward Challenge. It's a book that Saggy reads haltingly - so will I if I am blindsided by such atrocious attempt at rhymes - and this Reward Challenge offers food, bed, and more. Bray is excited. Helen points at him and laughs, "Oh no, you don't deserve any more food!" Taking into account her comments about her non-existant fattiness, this statement is very disturbing.

It's afternoon. Bray is lying on his left side and staring blankly at the camera. Is he dead? Damn, he's not. He's just... thinking, I guess. Behind him, Saggy is trying to get Helen on his side. He writes something on the sand, suggesting that he and she get together and kick out Bray and then Porno. Helen mouths her answer - what if, what if, et cetera. Bray keeps staring ahead, unaware of the playschool plotting behind him, probably dreaming of CC in a video especially dedicated to Bray ("You can slap mah behind, you hot stud Bray, and afterwards I will clean your underwear and do the dishes wearing only a pair of thongs!").

Then Jeff Proboscis drives up in a Chevy Trailblazer. All of the freaks squeal and jump in, upon which Jeff Proboscis demonstrates his expertise in handling smooth knobs and thick powerful shafts and thrusting gears in an auto-erotic show of pure male virility. I'm impressed. When I start finding that craggy stumpy Jeff a hottie, that's when this show's eye candy factor is so down the pits that nothing short of splitting open the earth's mantle can recover its sizzle.

"I'm freaking out!" Jan screams. "It feels so good."

Good Lord, is that where Porno's finger is?

Jeff drives up to a beachside makeshift competition site, mercifully ending this inept commercial for Chevy Trailblazer (buy a Chevy and give your 987,933-year old grandma an orgasm in the backseat today!) for more vapid kiddie telethon games. Look, Burnetto promised that this season would see new challenges. Silly me, I assumed that meant he wouldn't go around nursery classes stealing their PE playtime games for his show. Shame on you, Burnetto!

Yes, since this is a show called Survivor, where only the tough survives (how Jan lasts this long...), we have a very gruelling contest this time around. You run around cutting trees, pulling ropes, climbing a net borrowed from Burnetto's Boot Camp, and generally play games they use to conduct in kiddie sports tournaments.

The winner will get the Chevy Trailblazer - nobody seems to care - and a day at the spa - "Oh!" Helen goes into spontaneous orgasm as she leans against the Insane Hen for support.

Mark Burnetto = PT Barnum for the new millennium.

The teams have to run around collecting alphabet cards to form two words. No, not those two words, although I do feel like using them at the moment. The first card is under their starting point, but those silly freaks run off despite Jeff's two-times assertion that the first letter is under their feet. Finally it sinks in and they run back like silly lemmings discovering that the cliff is the other way. "What? What?" Porno, a little bit slower, trails behind.

But it doesn't matter. Climbing, cutting, running? Jan the Hen may as well sit down and bury her head in the sand. "Jan, don't give up!" Jeff calls. "You're still alive." She won't be if she goes on, and I bet that evil man knows it.

Porno is really excited. He must want the car real bad to add to the two already in his garage back home (thanks CC for the head up!).

Finally he and the other two male freaks are facing off, trying to form the two words. It's "Road Trip". Now, here is where things get funny. Porno spells "Road" correctly, hesitates, and then switches the A and O to give "Raod". Jeff asks him what Porno is trying to spell, and Porno says "Road Trip". He's wrong, of course. Saggy overhears Porno's answer, spells everything correctly, and wins everything. The stupid elephantine "You won!" track bursts into the background as everybody hugs Saggy, except for Bray who just sits back, stares evilly at Saggy, and mutters ungraciously, "Good job."

Is Porno dyslexic? Or is he deliberately screwing it up so that he doesn't bring attention to his Colbyesque winning streak? Hubby and I argued about this, and we came to a final conclusion after some loud and animated discussion that perhaps Porno want Saggy to win and then use Saggy's winning to start a campaign against Saggy. Or maybe we are giving Porno too much credit. He is after all a king surrounded by idiots.

Saggy invites Helen along as a repayment of her stabbing the Cow in the back pre-tribal merge as well as not snuffing his torch a few episodes back in that Immunity Challenge Where Helen Won and Penny Revealed What An Evil, Delusional Backstabbing Bitch She Is. They get into Saggy's second-hand prize (will you want anything that Jeff Probiscis has abused before?). Helen waves at the adoring and envious crowd standing back at the beach, a beautiful and regal queen of shrunken heads addressing her ghoulish followers in this isle of Mini-Me Dr Moreaus.

In the car, Helen is having another orgasm. She smells the interior of the Chevy Trailblazer. "Oh!" she moans as she remarks that it smells brand new. Helen seems like a very excitable woman.

Saggy is happy. He has never won anything before, he says. In the meantime, he also discusses strategy with Helen. Helen nods noncomittantly - she will try and talk Jan the Hen into booting out Bray and report later that night how well things go with her and the Insane Hen.

They reach this gazebo where we have two local ladies greet them with food. Helen and Saggy immediately dip their hands into the food and scoop a mouthful - yummy yum yum. Then they see the bottles of alcohol. Ooh! Neither of them drink, but what the heck, they are celebrating, so cheers! Then they sit down and eat with utensils. Funny how alcohol make you remember your manners. Lots of close-ups of big mouths chomping and the vaguely obscene sounding grunts and moans that follow. The food really looks good, but the sight and sound kill whatever appetite of mine for a pizza. Burnetto is a sadistic fool with Farnelly Brothers aspirations.

Then Saggy jumps and taps his tummy. Uh, oh, Helen, you better get ready to run. He's losing it. Helen's face shows just how much she is starting to realize what she has gotten into and how much she is fearing, probably, for the sanctity of her posterior right now.

Back at the beach, Bray is bitching about how jealous he is. Porno is grouching that Saggy owes him at least a 'thank you', but he could be just trying to stir the other two up. In this game, most of these freaks will take on any excuse vaguely 'virtuous', like Saggy is an ungrateful overprivileged brat who has won big already, he doesn't need a million dollars - let's vote him out! Jan the Hen reports that she overhears Helen and Saggy hush-hushing that afternoon, writing things like THJ or THC or THB on the sand. Either Jan has an alliance with them that we are never shown or she is the most stupid idiot to grace this show since Dim Kim dips her hands in elephantine-dung-tainted waters and washes her face with it.

At the gazebo, Saggy is having a loud orgasm while washing his hair. "Oh! Oh! OH!" he goes. Heads & Shoulders, take note of this possible future ad campaign. Helen, on her stomach and being massaged by one of the ladies, tries not to laugh. She and her massage lady actually exchange a look where both roll their eyes upwards.

Then Saggy yells that he loves Helen.

Helen calls back in her special dry tone that he has no idea how much his love means to her.

"Are you ready for me, massage woman?" a very obviously drunk Saggy hollers from the shower cubicle, and for a moment, the standby massage woman actually looks terrified. Or maybe she is terrified because of the nasty-looking boils on Saggy's feet and legs. Either way, she works on Saggy, and lots of loud gruntings from our drunk superhero ensue. Watching her hands push back and forth gellatinous rolls of back fat up and down... oh, I feel somewhat seasick already.

Helen loves this, she says - she loves wearing silk pajamas and sleeping in a nice comfy matress and listening to the sound of the sea. She won't say a thing to Saggy even if Saggy is getting very bizarre in his drunkenness, because it's his reward and she's just here for the ride. Besides, he probably won't remember a thing come morning.

Think again, Helen! Saggy tells the camera, looking like a bleary-eyed drunken psychopath, that his mind may be drunk, his body isn't. Or maybe it's the other way around? Anyway, he sits beside Helen and begins talking in a child-like earnest way about how he doesn't want this night to ever end and how he loves this day and on and on. Helen is squirming a little: she wants to sleep, but this big lug is talking his head off. She just lies down, face down, ignoring him and hoping that he'd take the hint and stuff his heel into his mouth so that she can go to sleep.

I think he's quite adorable in a big fluffy dumb dog way when he's drunk.

Finally, even Saggy can't take it anymore. "Good night, Helen. I'm going to sleep now."

"Good night Ted."

He hogs the covers when they sleep. Helen, wisely, doesn't say a word.

Day thirty-five. Snakes slither on the ground as Mark Burnetto desperately tries to fill in the rest of the episode with something - anything - remotely watchable. Oh look, here's Bray and Porno playing golf. "Good shot!" Jan the Hen calls from aside.

Another exciting day has dawned.

Saggy and Helen walk back from the sea, it seems (what happened to the car? Did Saggy drive it into a rock on the way back?). They bring back food! Early on the night before, the camera panned on insects and creepy-crawlies having an orgy on the exposed food, but Helen and Saggy have no qualms offering it to the other tribemates. This is great! Even better is Jan grabbing a bottle of alcohol and stuffing it into the groove of her "clavage". Don't laugh, people - it's a perfect fit. Jan, atta gal, she's a funeral parlor lady and a walking wine rack all in one. She's Texas' pride and joy, I tell ya.

Helen pours the chicken, cashew nuts, spicy beef, et cetera on their tribe wok (have they washed it clean yet?) and everybody but Saggy eats. Bare hands, creepy crawlies in the food, and an unclean wok. De-evolution has set in.

Saggy knows that Bray is jealous, but it doesn't matter to him. He does his sandy whale zen impersonation on the beach. Ah-grindia ommmm... peace.

Helen, as she promised Saggy, seeks out Jan for some hush-hush gal talk. Jan reveals that there's half a brain cell inside her alcohol-fuelled brain - she tells Helen that she knows she can't win anything, but she knows why Porno keeps Bray near. "Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer," she says in that shivery-high Maggie-Smith-needs-detox voice of hers.

Now Helen walks with her consort Porno. She tells Porno that Saggy has ruined her night (she is so in love with that Slymeister P that it's quite pathetic to watch). Porno tells the camera that Helen owes him. I don't understand this part - what did he do for Helen? Helen tells the camera that she is playing both sides in this Porno/Bray versus Saggy non-confrontation and she isn't sure whose side she will choose.

Immunity challenge time. This time around, we see the freaks and their circusmaster Jeff Proboscis standing in front of this cheap wooden staircase thing. The tribe members must run behind a few steps to grab a piece of plank shaped like a jigsaw piece, run to the stairs a few steps ahead, and match the pieces of plank to the correct steps. Once all ten steps are fitted, the winner can walk to the top and hopefully the cheap construction will collapse, killing him instantly in the fall. Nah, I mean, that guy will win the Cheap Stupid Necklace of a Million Sharp Spikes Immunity thing.

Doggone it, this show has come up with another riveting challenge! I am at the edge of my seat watching these people run up and down fitting together jigsaw puzzles that even chimpanzees can do blindfolded and drunk. Needless to say, the freaks here have quite a hard time at it, except for Porno. But Porno's the only one here with two braincells, so that's not surprising. He keeps waiting for Bray to catch up with him, because he wants Bray to win and avoid elimination, but in the end, the midget troll is just too stupid. Porno slowly walks up to the top while the others scurry around, a true king of the inbred freaks of the island, and Jeff beams as he fits the necklace around Porno's neck and grabs a free feel at the same time. Why else would Porno tell him, "Thank you sir?" just as if Jeff has given Porno a medical check-up, military gay porn style?

The camera pans in on the faces of the others: Bray looked insane and mean as usual, Saggy bitterly disappointed, and Helen and Jan, well, they're probably waiting for Porno to clue them in as to how they should be reacting. They're very stupid that way.

Day thirty-six. Fire ants. Saggy does beach yoga. Everyone is walking around listlessly. Jan the Hen sits at a rock, knees to her chin, back to the camera, a million-year-old Fiji Mermaid staring at the sea probably yearning for a bottle of whiskey. Saggy is worried that the others will target him for winning a car. Say, didn't Sean "Ja Fool" Rector of Marquesas gets the cut after he won the Reward Challenge? Saggy, watch your back. He talks to Porno - when he should be trying to cozy up to Helen and Jan, that silly fool - and Porno says that the vote will most likely go to him or Jan. Porno scratches his chest, dazzling Saggy so much that Saggy doesn't realize how much Porno is lying when he says that he cannot get to the others.

But that's Porno. He's a bitch to nobody. At least here on this island, that is.

Saggy and Jan exchange rocks. Don't ask.

Jan the Hen is thinking hard. She tells the camera that she is thinking long-term now. Way to go, to think long-term when there are only six days left in this game! She says that it's hard to trust people because they may say one thing but do another. She should have told Saggy this, as we shall soon see.

Porno tells the camera his gameplan. It's the most incoherent ramble I've heard from him, barring that ice/Mr Freeze thing in the beginning, but I get the gist that he finds the Hen dispensible, considers Helen his loyal soldier, and Bray his good friend. In time he will pit Helen against Bray and take the last one standing with him. He ticks off his finger. Jan is his index finger, Helen is his ring finger, and oops! I think Porno just flashed the first ever bird on TV without having it pixellated out! "Oops," he says with a small chuckle. I wonder at the significance of him considering Bray for his bird finger. I'd crack a joke here but frankly, the idea of Bray in a sexual situation makes me somewhat ill.

Now the tribe is walking to the Tribal Council. "The circus is coming to town," Bray, at this point an openly spiteful, barely human troll in full blown mental degeneration, hollers. Ain't that the truth.

The jury, also known as the Four Smug Forktards, walk in. One of Erin's massive chestbombs are bigger than Ken Doll's head. How on earth does she get out of bed every morning?

And what the heck is Fake wearing? Is that one of Ken Doll's shorts that he wore when he was filming Jail Meat! Hot Lusty Gay Passions Behind Bars? What is Fake doing borrowing Ken Doll's cruising shorts? Are they having an orgy in Loser Lodge? Then why the heck are they showing me the five freaks in the island when we could be seeing an orgy? Burnetto, you bastard!

The Evil Penny actually looks very nice. Not that you hear me compliment that lying, hateful bitch.

But why are these four so smug? Why is Ken smiling? Dude, you lost. Got that? You lost. L-O-S-T. You're here to pick a winner. That's all. You're not some judge sitting here to try the criminals, dude. You lost. One more time: Soochee, all of you have lost, you are all too stupid to play the game, so please stop acting as if all of you have won. It makes all of you look even more stupid.

Is it me or Fake isn't wearing any underwear? Then again, who would wear underwear when those shorts may as well be underwear?

Anyway, Jeff asks the predictable question about how the Chewing Gums feel about having to vote one of them out and how does it feel to have four Soochees in the Tribal Council deciding their fate in the game for them. Only Helen manages an answer that is remotely diplomatic.

Anyway, voting time. Saggy votes out Jan (because Porno tells him to) while everyone else votes out Saggy. Bye Saggy. Helen and Jan are fools, aren't they? Porno says jump, they jump. Porno says die, they fight to be the first to jump off the cliff. Next week is the finale, and boy, I hope I remember to catch it.