Surprise... And Surprise Again!
Survivor Vanuatu: Episode 11

Yum! Previously... ah, screw it. Read the recap yourself.

Credits. Oh great, a power shift takes place tonight. So instead of an Ami, Julie, Twila, and whoever Final Four, I am now destined to see a Scout, Twila, Elazya, and Chris the Slug Final Four. I feel so much better already. It's like being cured of diabetes only to be told that the leg has to be amputated because it's turned gangrenous. Let me count: after tonight, six people are left and that means this season is only half over. Ugh, can someone please cancel this show already? The only people thrilled to keep watching are Chris fans and Ami haters. Everyone else can just tune out for the count. Spare a thought for me though. I'm recapping this show to the bitter end because I'm anal that way.

Atloontea, night twenty-seven, population two hundred terrified monkeys and seven wastes of space. Chad3P0 has just been booted, a shocking event that sends shockwave of, well, shock through the remaining five people out there who are foolish enough to be emotionally invested into this show, barring ten or twenty Chris fans posting under multiple nicknames on online forums. The seven Atloonteas slink back into camp where Elazya takes the opportunity to crow to the camera that once more, Ms Ini Kamoze here had been hotstepping on the block yet again and evaded the chopping block one more time. That's why I'm rooting for her to win if someone puts a gun to my head and forces me to take sides. Nothing will top this season better than a winner who bungles her way to the top.

Chris then blabs about Twila and Scout wanting to topple the ruling faction of Elazya, Julie, Ami, and Leann to the ladies in question. Chris swears on his family's life that he is telling the truth. Elazya's mouth drops open because she's so dramatic that way. Chris tells the camera in his usual smug manner that his oh-so-brilliant plan is to stir things up in camp. He is so smart, he doesn't even need backdoors to be opened for him anymore, yeah baby! Leann says that she believes that Chris has a vested interest in seeing the women divided so she's not sure whether to believe him. Still, she says that this changes everything in her opinion. Yes, it's always shocking to realize that other people want to win too and they don't want to stand back and watch her or Ami or Julie saunter happily to the Final Three unchallenged. I'm always amazed at how there are always a few of these suckers in every season.

Day twenty-eight. It's a wonderful morning for cancellation. How's that for a hint, anybody? FCC? Hey, there are lesbians on this show! They are corrupting the morals of Good Old America! Look, Ami and Leann are canoodling on the hammock. It's Janet Jackson's nipples all over again, only this time it's worse because Ami has shown her beaver to readers of Playboy. Since the FCC for once refuses to hit a show when it needs to be hit, Leann is free to approach Twila, who is busy plucking twigs or whatever it is she does to keep her powerful thighs in such amazingly chunky proportions.

Twila brusquely tells her that Chris is just doing his thing to stir things up. She says that there is too much paranoia going on. Gosh, after so many seasons of seeing misguided idiots trying to act "noble", it is startling to see Twila lie so glibly on the show. I like how Twila can lie with ease in the context of this show. I wish I can say the same about her screen presence. Leann tells Twila that she expects the women to turn on each other only after Chris is gone and adds that Twila and Scout, because they don't want to get on with the program that Leann has written for everyone (the one that says: "Leann wins, yay!") but the two trailer park bumpkins failed to go through with their own plot, are "screwed". Leann is such a smooth operator. She'll be a hit in loan collection and repossessment.

We quickly move to the Reward Challenge for today, where, judging from the title of the show, I will receive a surprise. Does that mean that the show is going to be axed? I can't wait to see what the midseason replacement will be. Alas, it turns out that the surprise is more mundane in nature. Cue sappy music perfect to accompany the crashing of a hull into an iceberg as this is going to be a "Family Reward Challenge". Probby says that the winner of today's trivia challenge will get to spend one hour in "email" with the loved one. "Email" in this case refers to "chat" but I don't think Probby knows his modem from his own disk drive. Probby offers each of them a teaser "one minute" time with their loved one before they begin the challenge. The muzak swells along with my blood pressure level.

Twila is boo-hooing like the leaking water pump behind her trailer so Probby lets her go first. She tells Probby that she isn't good at typing though so she wonders whether someone else can type for her. How sad that nobody volunteers and then proceeds to type out "Hate you, hate you, just die already, ugly!" non-stop to the person at the other end of the transmission. Probby tells her not to worry because they have a webcam to help illiterate socially-inept thunder thighs on this show like Twila. Twila's son comes on. He is standing in front of an American flag and I don't know why. Maybe it's Burnetto's apology to Red America for putting lesbians on the show. Anyway, the mother and son both boo-hoo, mom loves you, boy loves you, boo-hoo-hoo until the minute is up and Leann takes over. There's her best buddy Terri and they woo-hoo hee-hee hi-hi-hi each other and then it's Elazya who talks to her mommy. They muah-muah virtual hugs-and-kisses love-you whatever for a minute and Elazya turns to half-jokingly tell the others that her mother has told them to take good care of her. Poor Mommy has no idea how much the Atloonteans adore her kooky little daughter.

Julie says hi to her best friend Justin in just the manner one would expect two sane people would behave in a webchat. It's only been a month and it's not as if they are going to be on this island for ten years, so sometimes it is nice to keep things in even a little perspective. Scout wants to talk to her partner Annie and she gets her wish. Annie slurs quite a bit but Scout cries anyway because at least one person still loves her at the end of the day. Ami talks to her partner Crissy and it's another love-you muah-muah moment. Laurie, Chris' girlfriend, and Chris get to announce that they are getting married in Cancun soon. In Cancun. Sheesh. The women all act excited because they love weddings, even ones taking place in Cancun, the land of indiscriminate sex, idiotic teenagers, and youthful mistakes to spend the rest of one's life trying to live down. ("Who says marrying Chris won't be a mistake?" asks hubby, who always believes that when Hagrid insists on building a house in the sand, Chris would be the one standing beside Hagrid and suggesting that they dig deeper because he knows that they will strike oil, he just knows it.)

Now it's time for everyone to answer on chalkboards trivia questions about the season so far. How many times have I wish that the Young Studs are still around to provide eye candy to dull the painful boredom? Have I ever wondered what Scout did to last this long? Wait, Probby wants to ask the Atloonteans "real" and "important" questions, like who broke the most tiles in that slingshot challenge that took place... um, was it during the last Immunity Challenge before the merge? Yes, that's right, the answer is Rory so it must be during that Boot the Bubba episode. Everyone gets that one right. The next question is about the first person to assemble a ladder during... um... oh yes, the individual Immunity Challenge during that "Surprise, two of you are getting booted tonight!" episode. Who was that person? I don't remember. Come to think of it, I don't want to remember. The answer is Chad3P0 and these guys remember the answer. They are better than me. I vaguely recall Chad3P0 as some skinny guy with one leg. Did they just boot him out in the previous episode? Probby then asks for the name of the person who sat out during the second Immunity Challenge. Um, okay, I give up, Probby. Who is it? Dolly? Oh, okay. She's that sheep farmer woman, right? All the people got that right except for Twila. Chris the Slug gets it wrong too.

Probby asks for the four symbols in that fourth Immunity Challenge where they... hold on, let me check the previous recaps I wrote. Okay, the one where Elazya and Rory try to direct their respective Tribemates to assemble some puzzle piece. The answers are a pig, a volcano, a palm tree, and a skull. Nobody gets all four correct. Probby wants to know who fell into the water the most during that Same Sex Body Rub Reward Challenge. How sad it is that I don't even remember what is supposed to be the most memorable Challenge of the season? It's John K, apparently, and Chris, Elazya, Julie, and Twila get that correct. Because Julie and Elazya are now tied for the highest score, Probby presents the tiebreaker question: name as many items that are uncovered in that Challenge where they have to open up coconut shells one by one and match similar items. It's the Challenge that took place in that episode where Brady was booted. Elazya gets like two thousand things on her list while Julie gets none. Seriously, she doesn't write a single thing down. So Elazya wins the reward and she gets to talk to her mother. Or wait, Probby announces a surprise that is only a surprise to people who haven't seen the last six seasons of this show: Mommy Dearest is right here to share the love with Elazya and instead of an hour-long chat, Mommy will spend the night with the rest of the Atloonteans! Wow, talk about a shocking surprise.

Everyone squeals in joy because they suspect that their own loved ones must be hiding somewhere around them. Is that Scout's partner peering from the bushes? Probby generously brings out the rest of the bunch to briefly meet with the Atloonteans. Everyone hugs. While it is okay for people to see Hagrid really grossly kissing his wife - tongues and germs and all - the world is not ready to see two women kiss (not outside those movies these moralistic people watch with the shades pulled down anyway) so any tongue and lip action between Scout and Annie or Ami and Crissy is thoughtfully excised to spare the sensibilities of the Righteous People. It is okay for Laurie to run out, pounce on Chris, and wrap her legs around his waist though. They are straight people having wild, uninhibited premarital sex in their free time, but that is okay because God put us straight people into this world to copulate like bunnies without the sanctity of marriage (maybe because so many Leaders of the Righteous People are committed to the worthy cause of Adultery, Alcoholism, and Embezzlement - if they do that, God must approve of such behavior). Gay people in committed relationships, though, are evil and should be banished to some place where they will never contaminate our world again. ("I suggest Europe," says Lea.)

The minutes tick by and then the Loved Ones are herded onto the boat and, apparently, banished back to civilization while the Atloonteans wail like babies ripped from their mother's bosoms. I take it that they have never seen, oh, the last three or four seasons where the Loved Ones show up one more time for the Reward Challenge. Oops, did I spoil Burnetto's second surprise for this episode? Meanwhile, Elazya and her mother hug. How sweet of them.

The Atloonteans give Mommy Dearest a meal of banana and plantain and the party gets better with Mommy Dearest telling the Atloonteans and the camera how much weight Elazya has lost, how gaunt her cheeks look on the computer screen, how worried she is about Elazya being mistaken for a lemur and having a Vanuatu Pepe LePew chasing her all around the island, and how someone may mistake Elazya for a twig and toss her into the fire. Mommy Dearest and Elazya then take a walk down the beach (what, no overnight pesudo-incestuous "conjugal visit" sleep-tight session in some sponsored vehicle prize like you gave Colby, Burnetto?) where Elazya is worried that people may resent her for getting to spend time with her mother and hopes that when she shows them how wonderful her mother is, they will feel much better at losing to Elazya. I don't think they resent her victory as much as they are bitter over the fact that they lost a trivia challenge to a braintrust like Elazya. Mommy Dearest laughs when Elazya tells her that Elazya has been on the chopping block since Day One and they both joke over the fact that Elazya talks too much and she becomes so aggravating as a result. Wait a minute, that's supposed to be a joke?

Leann and Ami are talking to Scout and Twila and I don't know what happens but those two women turn into Dumb and Dumber in the blink of an eye. Leann is grilling the two grizzled old bilebags about the Plot to Oust Elazya (and hence, Ami and Leann), which puzzles me because Leann was there when the two broads hatched the plot. Scout blames Chad3P0 for being the mastermind because, as she tells the camera, she intended to be honorable when she first came here but now she would lie and what-not to win. That's like fifty percent of the proper spirit, because lying and cheating are cool in Survivor. Coming here wanting to act hoity-toity, however, is definitely not cool. And since this is the decrepit cripple Scout that is doing the talking, I'm taking off ten percent out of spite so Scout is just forty percent right. She's still a useless bile bag at the end of the day. But Scout's nonsense is nothing compared to the subsequent stupidity of Leann and Ami when they tell Scout and Twila upfront that the two women have no intention of taking the bile bags to the Final Four. Not hint, mind you, but tell, just like stupid Alex in Amazon told Rat Boy that he was taking Jabba and High-D to the Final Three over Rat Boy. Gosh, these women are stupid.

Scout gives a haughty "Vengeance is mine!" speech to the camera, which would be impressive if she has at least shown once that she can back up her inner bitch with some action. She's still a decrepit bile bag.

Night turns to day. Well, hello there, Atloonteans. It's now day twenty-nine. Mommy Dearest is leaving soon so the Atloonteans throw together some really awful-looking goodbye gifts for her. It's the thought that counts, after all. And after the usual tears and ballyhoos and the obligatory "She has came here and she motivated me to go on and on and on!" speech from The One Who Won (in this case, Elazya), delivered with determination to some sappy tinkly vaguely-Clydermanish piano excreta playing in the background, Mommy Dearest turns to leave. Wait, before she gets onto the boat, she takes off her blouse and passes it to Elazya. And with only a pair of white bra proudly keeping her modesty in check, she then says goodbye and gets on the boat. I hope she doesn't get a cold or something on the ride home. While Mommy Dearest waits for Maxim to call, Elazya explains that Mommy Dearest wants Elazya to have at least one outfit with sleeves. Too late, Mommy Dearest, we have all seen the beautiful railroad tracks on Elazya's arms. I'm just kidding, lawyers, serious!

Leann and Ami talk to Twila. Twila reaffirms her loyalty to those two. ("Twila - an honest woman in the heart, that's for sure!" says Lea as Chad3P0 and Rory nod in the background.) Ami acts very condescendingly to Twila by chiding that bile bag for not reporting the boys' perfidy to Ami earlier and what-not. She and Leann making the same mistake that Lea, Chad3P0, and Chris made - by underestimating Twila and treating Twila like some simple-minded twit. Twila doesn't hesitate to play dirty, as those men learn too late. By telling Twila what to do and trying to guilt her into staying loyal to an alliance for loyalty's sake, they will only cause Twila to run off to the other side. Twila, after all, may be an unpleasant bile bag in some ways but she isn't stupid. Don't believe me? Twila tells the camera that she swore on her kid's name that she was with Ami and Leann and then laughs and hopes that God will forgive her when she wins the million dollars. Now that's the classy way to play this show! I'm starting to like this woman.

Day thirty. Julie and Chris get tree-mail, where Chris tells Julie that he's going to win the Immunity Challenge and Julie tells him that he'd better. Chris explains that Julie is his inside info source from the ladies' alliance. Whoa, just what kind of drugs did he slip into her water? The tree-mail reads blah blah blah whatever and Chris vows that he will win the Great Dong of Kamukaba. So he won't. Because the editing is becoming predictable that way.

Jeff "Don't Call Me PROBBY! Call me Baby" Proboscis meets the Atloonteans for the Immunity Challenge and brings out the Loved Ones to help those Atloonteans out today. Surprise! I bet you didn't see that one coming. Hey, Burnetto, come do that "Surprise!" hoochie dance for me again. I never get tired of seeing that one. The Loved Ones are blindfolded and each Atloontean will direct his or her Loved One to a pole where this Loved One will untie a bag and bring it back to the Atloontean. First pair to get three bags untied and retrieved and the puzzle pieces in each bag put together correctly will get the Great Dong for the Atloontean. Frankly I'd prefer to see the Loved Ones tied to their respective Atloontean, one person's wrist tied to the other person's ankle, and have pairs fight to the death with lightsabers on a beam over a pool of hungry piranhas but I don't think Burnetto wants to spend more than ten dollars for each Challenge.

Among the discordant hollerings that ensue, several really interesting things to note include the fact that Twila's kid doesn't know his left from right ("Alright!" says John K, "that rocks!"), Mommy Dearest doesn't know left from right from up from down (John K says, "Wowzers!"), Julie loves to send her best friend to the biggest pole in the area ("Wish I was there," says Brady), and Ami wins the Great Dong. Chris and Laurie are blue because they are sure that Chris is going home tonight. So he won't be. I love how this show has become so predictable that Burnetto gives the ending away half an hour minimum before the show actually ends.

Back in camp, Leann and Ami freaking lose their minds. That's the only explanation I have for Leann to decide that it somehow "feels right" to boot Elazya instead of Chris and Ami to agree to just go with Leann even when Ami would rather see Chris go. It is hypocritical for these two to go on and on about loyalty and sisterhood to the camera when here they are happily plotting to kick off Elazya who, mind you, has done nothing but be doggedly loyal to Ami and Leann all this while. Ami hopes that Chris doesn't win Immunity... and you know, I think Burnetto has given away the identity of the Great Dong wearer of the next episode. Thank you, Burnetto! Now be nice and make the rest of the season completely irrelevant by telling me right now who won this season. Oh, that's right, Burnetto is the winner because he made me watch this show when it sucks worse than all the lemons combined in the world.

Julie tells Chris that he is saved. Chris is like, "Whoa! I knew it! Chicks are so unpredictable that way - just like I predicted, heh heh heh!" and his slavishly tragic fans at home hump the TV screen and say, "Oh yeah! He's a real man! He is a mastermind! He played those dumb women, yo! WHAT A STUD!" Their mothers hear the commotion in the basement, come down, and make those obese, unemployed thirty-year old Chris fanboys pick up the three weeks' worth of pizza leftovers on the floor. And fearing that mommy will whack their backsides with the broom she is holding in her hands, the fanboys quietly do as they are told. Go, Chris! Make those fanboys feel that their lives actually have some meaning, even if for a little while!

He bumps into Twila. Twila has to pretty much hint, and when that fails, knock into his head that they have to get Elazya to their fold to pull off a coup. If not for Twila, Chris would happily sit around, content that he is a player, until he gets booted off. If he wins this season, he has Leann's stupidity and Twila's seeing the obvious to thank. Naturally, Chris is happy to follow the plan. Twila expresses some guilt for her plan. Oh for Crissy's sake, just lie and betray and be done with it. What is with these people and their out-of-place moralizing? Elazya isn't any smarter than Chris - he has to wheedle, beg, and assure her that this is not some plot to set her up for the fall before she agrees to join her archenemies Scout and Twila in ousting the ruling tirumvirate.

Night, Tribal Council. Chatter chatter everyone love his or her Loved One (shocking, really) chatter chatter time to vote. Hurrah, this show is going to end. Julie - Elazya (she is going with the alliance), Twila - Leann, Chris - Leann, Scout - Leann, Ami - "Elyzah" (hey, stop stealing from me, or at least get the spelling right, bitch!), and Elazya - Leann.

Probby reads, sorry, "tallies" the vote. Elazya. Elazya looks at Ami who just shrugs. Leann. Leann looks up in surprise. Elazya. Leann. Leann is really pale now and Ami looks shocked. Leann. Julie looks really shocked as well. And... Leann. The woman in question stands up in shell-shock to get her torch snuffed. Why should she be shocked? She just walks away without a backward glance while Ami and Julie exchange disbelieving looks. I don't understand why Julie is shocked. She's not exactly Ms Loyalty to the Sisterhood herself. And unless she and Chris have some secret alliance, I actually fail to see the purpose of her snitching to Chris. And that makes her even a more pathetic example of cluelessness than Leann and Ami if that is the case. Meanwhile, Elazya smiles. Chris also smiles, along with Lea and Chad3P0 because dude, men rock! They have all this planned all along. Wait and see, people - men rule and women drool. After these women fetch the men beer and what-not first, of course.

Probby says that the game has been turned on its head - like a dying fish flopping on the beach, I'm sure - and smugly sends the remaining Atloonteans back to camp. I have a feeling that I am supposed to be caught off-guard by Leann's boot but to be honest, the sloppy and predictable editing of this show gives the boot away long before Tribal Council and I'm anything but surprised. Stuff that surprise and surprise again where the sun doesn't shine, Burnetto!

Leann's final words have her expressing surprise at her boot, la di da, and then it's off for the subsequent culling of the shattered alliance of Ami and Julie. I'm off to bed.

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