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March 1, 2010

Reality Check Vol #1 by Kate Jones

A few years ago I could care less about keeping up with much television. I picked a few shows that I thought were worth keeping up with, like Alias and Lost, but I cared more about being social (code- I was going out and getting drunk with my friends). Then in 2005, I met my future husband Rich, which awoke a sweeping desire to stay home more often. Still, we didn’t watch anything consistently (except Lost- don’t worry, Goldblum!) until the heavenly day when we moved into our own apartment and got…DVR! With this handy device, Rich and I slowly started watching anything that piqued our interest. We would watch Survivor when we were home and it was on, so now we taped Survivor. Same with Amazing Race and the Biggest Loser. Our summer belongs to Big Brother. When we’re bored, we watch MTV and VH1 Reality. It has come to a point where this stuff ALMOST outweighs the comedy and drama that we have always loved.

All of that being said, we watch reality television solely for entertainment. It is intriguing to watch groups of people, most who have never met each other, in various situations that show what they will do with money or fame on the line. The lying, the cheating, the stealing, the hiding, the fighting, the physical strain, the plastic surgery… these people will do almost anything!


As today is a snow day, I should be using my time to read a huge book about Abraham Lincoln for one of my Graduate School classes, but instead I decided to mull over last night’s episode of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.”

This season of “Survivor” is currently shaping up to be one of my favorite seasons yet. For those of you who don’t know, the “Heroes vs. Villains” season brings back some of the greatest survivors ever and separates the tribes into the people that were perceived as fan favorites and the most hated villains. Before last night, the Villains were basically running all over the Heroes in Elimination challenges, even though the Heroes seem to be the more put together team. The Heroes have team players all over the place, namely Tom the Fireman from Brooklyn (the winner from Palau) , Colby the Runner Up from Australia (Season 2) and James the HUGE gravedigger who, despite having two Immunity Idols in his pocket when he was voted out, is one of the most popular castaway’s ever. The Villains have Boston Rob, who can make fire from snapping his fingers. Okay, maybe not, but I love him anyway. Boston Rob is single-handedly trying to hold together the Villains on the home front and has led them to two Immunity Challenge wins. The man, even with Samoan flu, is a leader.

The first week, the Heroes voted out “Sugar” Kipper. Was anyone surprised about this? She isn’t very good at challenges and she had no long standing alliances within the tribe. While entertaining, Sugar was no big loss to this season. Week two, we saw some DRAMA at tribal council and a major schism in the Heroes tribe. On one side we had Tom, Colby and Stephanie. On the other side, we had Amanda, Rupert and James. Somewhere in the middle, sort of lingering, was J.T., Candice and Cirie (I can’t read this lady… she may still be working with Amanda even though Amanda cost her a million bucks on “Fans vs. Favorites“). Tom and Co. wanted to get rid of Amanda (one of the strongest strategic players) while James and Co. wanted to get rid of Stephanie (one of the strongest physical females). J.T and his group of misfits sided with James and we said goodbye to Stephanie.

Last night’s episode could’ve been awesome. It had all the makings of an incredible blindside and then… nothing happened. Well, that’s not true. Russell Hantz of Samoa, the self proclaimed best survivor ever, buried his team’s machete just to stir up some discontent. Last season, he burned people’s socks and spilled water. It worked last season with the morons that he was cast with, but will it work on some of the sneakiest and awesome survivors ever? So far, yes, but I think Boston Rob will catch up to him soon!

Some other small things. Coach talking about his awesome survivor skills is always entertaining. I love when he talks about being taken captive by natives, but even more I love when he chants while doing yoga. And when he wears feathers in his hair. I love feathers.

Rob making the very clever observation that you can tell who is in an alliance by the way they sleep at night. Even if this isn’t 100% accurate all the time, it sure was when they were filming this. I wonder how Russell’s wife feels about him snuggling up to Parvati and Danielle in more then just a “I need to get warm” kind of way.

Also, I love seeing J.T. get a little sneaky. He doesn’t trust Candice, so he’s going to make the powerful people not trust Candice either. The good ole boy gone bad is fun to watch!

Now, the important stuff. The immunity challenge was great and totally physical. The tribes had to pick one person at a time to go up against someone from the other team. Each person had a bag that they needed to keep both hands on at all times and use it to push their opponent into the mud. The Heroes murdered the Villains. By murdered, I mean they won every single one-on-one match up. Yes, there were a few close ones and it saw a little bit of drama after the strapping James threw his bag at the much older and flabbier Randy while he was laying in the mud. Also, Coach celebrating like crazy while Jeff Probst was trying to tell him that they had to do his competition over because he had one of his hands off the bag and then getting thrown in by Rupert rather quickly was fabulous!

Anyway, the Villains were going to their first tribal council. Randy, knowing that he was the low man on the tribal totem pole, decided that now was the time to make a huge move to take out the scariest person on the Villain’s tribe. That person is Parvati Shallow.

If you have never seen or heard Parvati and had never watched Survivor, then you wouldn’t get what I am saying. The girl is brilliant, beautiful, physical and knows how to get what she wants. She was the winner of Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites, so she has already won a million bucks courtesy of “Survivor.” Parvati already has an alliance with Russell, which seems to be pretty strong. The guy’s irises turn into little hearts every time she walks within a yard of him. The problem is every guy lights up when she pays attention to them. The girl knows how to charm, and Randy told them all, if you don’t get this girl out before the merge, she is going to swing her hips to another final tribal council. For a little bit, people seemed to be listening to him. Jerri definitely wanted her gone. Coach seemed to, even though he did back flips when she would acknowledge his existence this episode too. It would’ve been the smart thing, because as Randy said, Parvati’s buddies Amanda and James are running the show at Heroes camp and if they don’t get rid of her before the merge, “it will be Micronesia 2.0.” If I was on the Villains tribe, Randy would’ve had me. Even though he is thoroughly unlikable, the guy is right.

Alas, no matter what anyone else might have been thinking, not one person voted to get rid of Parvati. Even Randy wrote down Boston Rob, as what Randy called a warning to what would happen by keeping her in the game. Randy went home, and what could’ve been a brilliant move by the Villains never happened.

So that was it for this week on “Survivor.” Any other fans out there, or am I writing this bad boy for myself? Either way, I’ll be back again soon!

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