Thursday, December 1, 2011
There's a delicate balance that wrestles with itself in the mind of a genius. An internal struggle. An eternal struggle. The tug and pull between insecurity and arrogance. By definition, the two couldn't be more different, but when they exist in tandem the world just got a little bit more interesting. Ugly and pretty at the same time, you can't take your eyes off of a person sparring within. One minute they can conquer the world. The next they're crumpled in a corner dodging prying eyes. Marilyn Monroe had it. Tortured writers have it. "Am I worthy?", they ask. "I am!", they reply. "Wait, are you sure?, they ask again. Teeter totter, teeter totter, up and down, back and forth, the audience at Wimbledon. Highfalutin to self deprecating in a nanosecond. From a distance it's all very charming, but up close, sharing the same quarters, it can get a smidge exhausting. Crazy is only fun when you don't have to touch it, when you can poke at it with a pole and watch it squirm from a safe distance. Sharing a bed with it is another story entirely. Will he kill you in your sleep or want to trade sperm with you? No one knows, but maybe we can try and find out. Let's recap, shall we?
We continue our fetid tale under the cloak of night. Our peaceful leader Coach is glad those Savannah (Savai'i) ne'er-do-well's are finally gone. Good for nothing troublemakers born into the wrong tribe. Now, it's just the family... and their adopted child Oliver... left. The Brady's may have had good intentions, but Oliver never fit in. Too many syllables, too much effort. So while it's more homey now and the guest linens and towels can be put away, the adopted one knows he's still in precarious waters. There are families and then there are families. *thunderclap* The Waltons were a family, the Cleavers were a family, but the Manson Clan was a family. *thunderclap* Oh sure, Squeaky and Sadie and Patricia and Leslie like to sit around the campfire singing folk songs while making technicolor trails with their fingers, but they also like to kill and smear blood on the walls. Cochran knows this. He knows it's only a matter of time before he and his unborn child are caught in the crossfire of a phony race war. What is a spindly bespectacled lad to do? Tell uncomfortable tales of yesteryear, that's what!
It's not like he can fish and it's not like he can shoot one of his imaginary arrows into a woodland creature for dinner. Instead, Cochran will use his powers of gab to climb a little further up the family ladder. With the six chosen ones gathered in a circle, Cochran regales them with tales of crank calls and ding dong ditching. 5th grade was a banner year for the freckled fop. His hormones were kicking into gear and gentle stirrings of he-didn't-know-what began to tickle his nether regions. All he knew of sex at the time were those cross section drawings labelled in Latin and what's fun about that? Nothing! What is fun though is calling schoolmates on the phone and whispering, "I really want to trade sperm with you." Trade sperm? Trade. I'll give you mine if you give me yours. Ah, youth! Reliable farmhand Sophie listens from the sidelines and it makes perfect sense to her how the Savannahs might not have cared for Cochran's company. There's that underlying odor of trying too hard. He's trying to delight, he's trying to charm, but it's coming off a little creepy and weird. She takes her frustrations out on a piece of wood and hacks that bitch to death. See? I told you the family can kill.
I don't know if it was the flying wood chips or Brandon crouched in a corner furiously praying for all of the sex talk to go away, but Cochran decides to call a tribe meeting using the immortal words of one Mr. Dimples. "Come on in guys!", he hiccups. I don't know what the hell Cochran was thinking, but his seratonin levels were clearly on an upswing as he tells the Impalas (Upolu) how, without him, they'd be nothing. Plus, it's his birthday in a few days. So, pretty please keep him in the game for just one more week. Sophie snorts to herself and decides that she doesn't owe Cochran bupkis. It's his own fault he defected from Savannah. Albert, however, thinks Cochran is making a valid point. Of course Albert thinks it's a valid point! Albert's modus operandi from day one has been to get Edna out of the game. The only problem is he's never managed to do it himself. Full of ideas but never solutions, Albert wonders if maybe keeping Cochran is the way to go. In Albert's mind, Cochran will never win this game and since Edna probably won't vote for Albert anyways, why not keep Cochran around for a little longer? Here's the thing: Albert has one thing on his mind and one thing only - stacking that Jury with votes for himself. The only problem is that when you put all of your attention on the Jury, the game right in front of you, the one in your lap, blurs and becomes an afterthought. Plus, Albert is about as stealthy and covert as Phillip Sheppard.
This brings us to the big duel. We have candy apple headed Dawn, married lady Whitney, and the interminable Ozzy. Who the hell do we root for? For today's duel, Survivors will balance ceramic dishes on the end of a long wobbling arm. The more dishes you stack, the more difficult it is to keep stable. When you're dishes fall, you're out of the game for good and you join the freaky freakies over on the Jury. Last person standing stays alive. Survivors ready, go.
With tight lips and a furrowed brow, Ozzy places plate after plate with the gentle touch of a sniper. Meanwhile Dawn, tired from all that sexy time with Ozzy the night before, yawns and jostles her pole. I don't know exactly what Ozzy did to our soccer mom (anal), but her wobbly legs couldn't withstand the weight of all those plates. With a loud "Motherfucker!" (they blurred her mouth so I can only assume that this is what the Mormon shouted), Dawn is out of the game. Shortly thereafter, with a lick of her lips and her nerves all a jumble over her pending divorce, Whitney too drops her plates. OZZY STAYS ALIVE!
Before leaving, Dawn farts out some tears and applauds for herself. Now her weirdo Mormon children with glassy eyes and plastic smiles will have the courage to make pipe bombs. At least that's what I think she said. Who knows. I was distracted by the fact that her no nonsense haircut now weighs more than she does. It was Whitney's turn next and she twanged out something about something, but do we really care? Nope. That leaves us with Ozzy. Ugh. "I'm excited to go into the duels and beat my enemies. This is what I do best. I'm getting stronger everyday. Look at me up here perched in this tree. This is how I'm going to win the game." *clicks rifle* Bang!
Back at Tuna Tartare (TeTuna), feather sprite Edna is getting ready to do some laundry in a bucket. She asks everyone if they'd like her to boil their soiled underthings, but Albert just rolls his eyes and says, "Survivor isn't outclean." No, you're right about that Albie. It's also not outsleep, outrest, outnap, or outdouche. Very satisfied with himself for coming up with "outclean", Albert collapses back into his hammock and says they should leave the housework to Martha Stewart. But Martha Stewart isn't a member of this tribe, Albert. She busy counting her billions in one of her many houses in between sipping cucumber water, planting Cyrtochilum Monachicum, deboning a duck, and spinning freshly shorn alpaca yarn. I'm not sure what it is that Edna did to anger Albert so, but picking on her for doing a necessary daily chore seems a little trite. I understand you're angry that she's made it this far, but, I don't know, why not do something about it rather than sneering like a disgruntled 13 year old girl?
Perhaps Albert heeded my advice or perhaps he got bored counting up all his votes because out of nowhere he rises from his slumber and hijacks Edna's laundry. With a pfft and a scoff he takes the laundry stick and vows to stir better than that dust particle Edna can stir. Albert will stir with force. He'll stir with purpose. He'll show this tribe once and for all that Edna is expendable. With one hand on his hip, Albert pokes and prods at the bubbling linens. Poke, poke, jab, jab. Splash! *sigh* He poked the linens, the bucket, and the giant vat of scalding hot water all over the entire campfire. The fire! Fire represents life you know. After a quick scan for onlookers, Albert gingerly drops the stirring stick and slowly tiptoes away. It's not his fault if the water leaped out of the bucket on it's own accord. It's that Edna's fault for doing laundry in the first place.
Edna returns to camp to find the embers sopping wet and her laundry lying in the dirt. A tiny little spark went off above her head in that moment and then with a gentle breeze it was gone. You might have missed it if you weren't watching closely enough, but that was Edna getting angry. Coach remarks that Albert probably hasn't done a drop of work in his entire life when, all of a sudden, Rancher Rick moseys on over and says one word. Just one single solitary word. One perfectly shaped word. Precious. Rancher Rick thinks that Albert is precious. In fact, all this time Rick has silently referred to Albert as Prince Albert. Don't get your hopes up because I doubt Rancher Rick was referring to the piercing, but it's charming, no? I had no idea Rick thought anything about anything! It turns out that our grizzly cowboy doesn't think much at all of that lazy Albert. Join the club.
Just when we were finally getting to know Rancher Rick a little bit, he rides off into the sunset and we're left with Edna in a frantic state. Like a fly trapped indoors, she buzzes this way and thataway trying to find someone to set her free. Maybe Coach can be that someone. She asks him point blank if she's going home after Cochran. Coach solemnly replies in the affirmative. Edna demands to know why and Coach says that it's simply time for people to go. A teepee, a woven blanket, and a long pipe would have apropos accountrements for this scene. He wasn't just "Coach" in that moment. He was Chief Coach. Once Edna finally floated away, Chief Coach wonders if perhaps there's a way to keep both Edna and Cochran. Neither will vote him out. This is definitely something that needs to be thought about a little more. Perhaps a walk with his spirit guides will provide some clarity. *packs peyote into pipe*
And now we arrive at the Immunity Challenge. Come on in guys! For today's challenge, Survivors will toss sand bags. The first three people to land three sand bags will move onto round two where they'll use a giant sling to fire coconuts at targets. The first person to knock down all of their targets with the coconuts wins Immunity and a spa day complete with a shower and a massage. To hear Dimples go on and on about all the essential oils and "working out the kinks", I wondered to myself if perhaps this massage didn't come with a happy ending. Visit any massage parlor in Samoa and I guarantee you'll find a standing biweekly appointment for a "Dimples". Survivors ready, go!
Let me just start this by saying that I hate the phase 1 and phase 2 competitions. Too many good people get knocked out for not doing something stupid quickly enough and then we're left with one or more undesirables in the running to win. I want endurance. I want dangerous obstacle courses. Swimming, running, jumping, leaping, drowning... that's what I want. How the hell am I supposed to cleverly recap, "Coach tosses a bag, Sophie tosses a bag, Brandon tosses a bag." Toss, toss, toss, burble, burble. Sophie, Prince Albert, and Rancher Rick will move onto round two.
Prince Albert and Rancher Rick quickly get into the groove and begin to connect with their targets while Sophie narrowly swipes Dimples' hat off his head. All shoulders and thighs, Sophie chokes and it's clear that she has no chance of winning the challenge. Prince Albert and Rancher Rick stay neck in neck until the very end and I hoped against hope that our man of a few words would finally pull out a win. Alas, it was to no avail as ALBERT WINS IMMUNITY.
Chest puffed up, Albert feels very proud of himself. He gets to pick someone to join him on the massage and after a speech about loving everyone in his family and grand sweeping gestures hither and thither, Albert picks Coach to join him. Not so fast though sonny jim. Albert then asks Dimples if he can take one more person with him. Dimples curtly tells him no. While erecting a cross and preparing to climb up on it, Albert asks if perhaps he can give his massage to someone else. While waiting for an answer, he pulls a crown of thorns out of his back pocket and places it atop his own head. Dimples looks at him sideways and decides to let him give away his reward if he wants. Albert kicks the sand and makes a big production of hemming and hawing. "Aw shucks. If one of you can maybe give a starving selfless soul some food next time for me to give to the poor, I'd greatly appreciate it. I choose to give my reward to Cochran because not only am I buying his vote, but it's his birthday in a few days." Cochran stares at the piece of tracing paper, Albert, and says he's only ever massaged his mother before. Dimples and I giggled in unison and while that was all funny and good, I was more interested in the limp noodle of kissassness before us now. This gummy bear in a sea of jawbreakers. We see you Albert. We get what you're doing and SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE!
After a spa day where untouched places were finally touched, where the water was scented with jasmine, and where a birthday boy is not really a birthday boy, Cochran pulls Albert aside to thank him for the massage. Albert clutches his pearls and tells Cochran it's no never mind. Sure, he's going home next and Albert would like his vote on the Jury, but don't be silly and go making a big to-do about the selfless generosity bursting forth from his heart. Cochran again stares through the loin cloth, the basket of Easter eggs, and the Birkenstocks to say, "Oh and by the way, Rancher Rick calls you Princess Albert. Take care." Ha! Albert's face twists up into a mushy pretzel and only when he catches himself does he reply, "I'm thrilled he's calling me Princess. Rick is as sharp as a bowling ball." Some bowling balls are very sharp I'll have you know. Back in the medieval days, bowling balls could kill. Take heed, Princess.
Cochran knows what he has to do now. He has to use the Princess thing against Rick and try to save himself. First, he approaches Edna. He tells her how he told Albert about Rick calling him Princess. In response, Edna twirls on her toothpick legs and eats that shit up. This is the moment she's been waiting for. The moment where she can stop being number six. She tells Cochran that they need to talk to Coach as soon as possible. They find him strolling in the open air clad in a fuchsia and white lei. His skin is clean and his hair is freshly rubber banded. Serenity is written all over his face until Cochran blurts out, "I told Albert that Rick calls him Princess!" Coach inhales deeply and crosses his arms at his waist. Not a word is spoken. Not an eyelash flutters. He stands in stoic silence with a blank look on his face. How he proceeds in this very moment will determine the rest of the game. Shakespeare said something about a tide coming in the lives of man. If you take it, you get fortune cookies. If you don't take it, you'll end up in that movie Misery. I might be paraphrasing a little. Give me a break, I'm working without a DVR today. So, the big question is whether or not Coach wants his legs hobbled. We'll see.
This brings us to Tribal Council. Coach is surprisingly candid in saying that the possibilities for tonight's vote are endless. A new scenario seems to present itself every hour. Cochran chimes in and admits to being part of the scrambling. It's the charmingly neurotic Cochran at first. He smiles crookedly as he admits that the Jury will be thrilled to hear that he's the target tonight. But then, in a flinch, he sits up a little straighter and pronounces, "I breathed new life into this game." *smacks self in head*
Sensing that Cochran was hogging up all the air time, Albert mumbles something or other that had nothing to do with anything. Coach interrupts and praises Cochran's courage. Over on the Jury, Mary Jane's (Jim) eyes promptly get stuck into the top of his skull and he falls over the log he was sitting on. Keanu's (Keith) robot parts started sputtering and Whitney began throwing wedding rings at the remaining Tunas. Lots of anger on that Jury! Awesome.
Through the crackling fire and the seething Jury, we hear a tiny whimper. It's Edna and she's crying. We don't know why she's crying, but if she's not careful she'll drown herself with her own tears. It turns out that Edna is sad that she's number six. There's an easy way to remedy that Edna - WIN AN IMMUNITY CHALLENGE. There you go. Problem solved.
And then, while Edna is busy wiping her face with a postage stamp, Brandon jumps to his feet and says that no matter what he's voting Cochran out tonight and next time he's voting out Edna. It's all black and white! There's no grey! After his declaration of certainty, young Brandon collapses into a ball on the floor and begins to cradle his own head. At first we couldn't tell if he was suffering from a migraine, adjusting a barrette, or what. It turns out that he's in the full blown throes of sin. It has him. It's running through his veins and invading his soul. He wants to do wrong things! He's human, but something stronger lives inside of him. (see above photo) The tears begin to fall and it's very clear to everyone that something is seriously wrong with this kid.
Dimples pretty much points at Brandon and laughs while Cochran, with nothing to lose, says that talking to Brandon about strategy is like telling him that Dimples' shirt isn't blue. The fact that there isn't a blue in the world bluer than Dimples' shirt last night makes the comment all the more amusing. It's so blue that it makes regular blue blush. Royal blue is ashamed to be in a room with that shinier dimplier blue. Albert & Sophie jump in and agree that Brandon is the absolute worst person to talk strategy with. I checked in on Brandon to make sure his face was still attached and from what I can tell he hadn't torn it off yet. As a matter of fact, he sort of seemed fine with everything. Maybe he didn't quite grasp what was unfolding before him.
Well, let's not worry about that now. We have bigger matters to tend to... it is with great sadness that Cochran is the 13th person voted out of Survivor South Pacific. I'm a little bummed about this one because even though I pick on him a little, I actually like the guy. He lasted much longer than he should of and his shenanigans were always entertaining to watch. So, what do you guys think? Are you sad Cochran is gone? Does he have any chance whatsoever of beating Ozzy? Will Brandon murder the tribe as they sleep? Comment it out bitches and have a great day!