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4/19 Do You Truly
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Survivor All-Stars Episode 2: Purely Strategical

Iím still not sure what to make of this All-Star Survivor.† Itís interesting to see these people, these superstars of Survivor, interact with each other.† But one of the things I enjoyed about Survivor was getting to know the contestants.† And now it just isnít this way.† I already sort of know them.† But hey, Iím coping with all of this just fine.

Welcome to my belated second episode commentary.† Because itís late and because youíve likely already watched the THIRD episode, Iíll just comment on the highlights.

It Begins...

After we see a snake swimming onto the beach from out in the water, possibly from another remote island because Iíve heard thatís exactly what snakes do -- swim back and forth between the islands instead of being released at the waterís edge so the producers can have a cool snake shot, Rupert greets us with his raspy growl and tells us how difficult things are without fire and especially without water.† He moans and he growls in pain, ďComing back from tribal council without fire was devastating.Ē† His eyes beg for a hug and I must admit that itís kind of odd to be getting all sympathetic towards this super-self-supporting-everyone-can-depend-on-me-in-every-way-giant-hairy-monster-of-a-man-isnít-afraid-to-cry-or-wear-a-dress-with-tidie-whities-showing-underneath-if-the-wind-blows.† "I don't think I have ever gone this far without food."† Can someone please just give Rupert a hug and tell him everything is going to be OK?

Whatís even more odd is Jerri isnít all that annoying.† Thinking back on Survivor 2, I couldnít really tell what she did that was so bad.† All I remember was that she was the wicked witch and enjoyed being labeled as such and that I was often really annoyed about something and Iím pretty sure it was something other than her snarl or that hat.

What ISNíT annoying, on the other hand, is Rudy.† Theyíve been warned to not drink the water until after itís boiled because there exists in there some sort of organ-eating pus-inducing tiny Japanese monster alien thing that'll "put you in a coma." But does this stop Rudy?† Hell no.† He explains that as a Navy Seal, there was a reservoir or lake or radioactive cesspool or the like, and "at any given time you could see a minimum of six bodies floating" and maybe even decomposing to the point that they have already reincarnated back into the water as a hellish version of the fabled organ-eating pus-inducing-coma-putting-you-into-ing tiny Japanese monster alien thing.† And those tough-as-nails fear-nothing Seals drank it, by God, without the slightest problem because they were Navy Seals, dammit, and they were tough as nails.† If he could drink that and live, dammit, he can drink anything.

"If I'm not still standing at noon, don't drink it," he suggested to the others with a grin.

What's more interesting about Rudy is that when I saw him talking to people at the Finale show, he comes across like a quiet, soft-spoken little old man who seemed to follow wherever people called out to him; and he followed their voices out of courtesy and respect and just being an overall nice guy.† He didn't at all come across like he drank rancid water and ate bugs for survival while in a war where he was "afraid for an entire year" but he still overcame.

And watching him talk with this group, his smile is genuine and quick, his concern for others is real, and he simply could never hurt anyone or anything unless it was absolutely necessary for the survival of the entire tribe.

Everyone likes a superhero, it seems.† People get empowered when they see Peter Parker beat the crap out of the high school bullies.† They raise their fists in triumph when Clark Kent returns to the diner to give the neighborhood tough guy a taste of his own medicine.† It's a beautiful thing to see the underdog triumph. And so, to watch and hear about how tough and superhuman 75-year-old Rudy is totally explains his appeal.†

After we see this little ode to Rudy, another tribal flag is flashed on the screen to let us know that the drama is continuing at another camp.† I, of course, can never remember these freaking tribe names so I have to review.

We just visited with Team Miscellaneous (Saboga Tribe the one with Rudy, Rupert, and Ethan).

The other tribes are:
Team Strategerize (Mogo Mogo Tribe - the one with Richard Hatch)
Team Entertainment (Chapera Tribe - the one with Big Tom, the two Robs, and Alicia)

I feel better now.†

King Dangle
Over at Team Strategerize, "Dehydration may be our biggest concern at this point."† But dying and dehydration really isn't the biggest story here.† Richard Hatch is.† It's raining.† The others are sucking the rain off the leaves, happy and rejoiceful that they have water in their bellies.† But Mr. Pixielated is shown happily strolling along naked in the rain, soaking it up, enjoying the warmth and wetness of it all.

I wish I could be a nudist.† It looks so free, so natural, so connected to nature.† But I just can't do it.† And I must admit that I would be uncomfortable to have this guy walking around showing his goods as though it were completely normal.† I've played sports and worked out in gyms and all that.† There always seems to be at least one guy who doesn't feel it's the slightest bit strange to have a conversation about the Yankees or the economy while entirely naked and dangling.† And the worst thing about this is how he's perfectly comfortable having this conversation just a few feet away -- so close, in fact, that if I were to turn or pull on my sweats or tie my shoes in just the right way, I would accidentally brush up against his wanker and that would just really gross me out.

So Richard is walking around all fuzzy-pixielated and the others are slowly getting used to the idea that they may eventually brush up against his dangleness.† "We have an overweight, gay, naked man walking around," says Colby, "and no one seems to let it bother them."

I know he did this during the first Survivor, but did he do it this much?† Please email me as I do not know.

We Got Some Watah! We Got Some Watah!
Over at Team Entertainment, Alicia, Amber, and Boston Rob are celebrating the rain and all seem to be singing with Boston Rob's accent, "We got some watah!"

They also sang, "Have you ever seen the rain?" and it's clear this group is having fun.† It's nice to see people enjoying themselves, isn't it?

I hope this tribe never loses a challenge because, frankly, the game, this time around, just isnít all that entertaining.† The All-stars donít need to learn about each other and develop those relationship dynamics.† For the most part, they already know each other.† All they need to do -- and all they ARE doing -- is play the game and play it intensely.† With Team Entertainment around, at least I'll occasionally grin and giggle.

Reward Challenge
As the teams line up for the reward challenge, "Pretty Boy Probst" (thanks Boston Rob) tells them to look at the new Team Miscellaneous minus Tina.† Instantly Richard Hatch realizes that they booted a past winner only because she was a past winner.† He smiles knowingly.† Soon after, Jenna M. realizes the same thing and shows concern.

The reward challenge consists of a grueling swimming challenge.† I know that Richard Hatch and all his cockiness is so very easily disliked, but I must admit that I like the guy.† And everyone must admit that, despite his laziness and refusal to help out around the camp, during the challenges, he turns on the competitiveness and his intensity really shines.

Plus, it's hard not to be drawn to confidence.

Team Miscellaneous (Rupert and Ethan) won the challenge and were given the option to choose between the blankets or giving themselves AND the other tribes a clue to the first key (of three) and flint.† They chose to share their reward and all rejoiced and were merry.

The producers also rejoiced because listless, dehydrated people are boring to watch.

Big Mouth Sequence

Over at Tribe Entertainment, Alicia and her mouth are beginning to annoy people.† Big Tom and Boston Rob, who aren't known for their quiet and reserved demeanors, seem to have the biggest challenge with Alicia's mouth.† "She walks around giving orders constantly," says Boston Rob.† "It's her nature.† She's got a big mouth.† She needs to learn to shut it."

Still, they got fire with Alicia's direction so what was coming out of that big mouth actually was beneficial.† She just needs to work on her delivery and not think that everyone around her is a personal trainer client.

Speaking of annoying cheerleaders, Ethan and Jenna discuss the challenge and who has the target on HIS back and she's quite blunt about the whole thing: the only way he'll not go is if they keep winning immunity.† She even says this in a positive manner, "Hey, it's not so bad.† We may not lose a challenge for two weeks!"

Can someone please explain why Jenna Lewis is in the All-Stars?†

Who's the big mouth over at Team Strategerize?† No surprise here...† it's Kathy O'Brien.† And I don't mean this title to be a negative personality thing.† She also needs to work on her delivery.† Like the other big mouths, it's not necessarily a bad thing.† It's just that their mouth and their outspoken-ness is becoming mildly annoying to some or all of their tribemates.† Like Alicia, Kathy's suggestions seem to make a lot of sense.

And so the producers have shown us the Big Mouths: Alicia in Team Entertainment, Jenna Lewis in Team Miscellaneous, and Kathy in Team Strategerize.

The Key that you Crave

Team Strategerize went out looking for the key to one of the three locks to the treasure chest.† Again, Richard stands out as he is the one to find the key.† And he can't keep from sharing with us just how great of a strategic Survivor mind he has, "Anybody looking would think of today as HUGE in that we got fire and water and a key to the trunk.† That's all extraneous CRAP to me.† That's not Survivor.† The game's all the interpersonal stuff.† 'YEAH ROAR WHOA!'† That's all outside the game.† That's just not in me."

As I've stated, I like Richard.† But it's Lex who I'm more impressed with.† I wonder how long it'll take for Lex to mastermind Richard's elimination.

Immunity Challenge

They had to unload a sunken boat filled with 2,000 pounds then turn the boat over once it floated to the surface.† Team Miscellaneous (Saboga - Rupert, Ethan, Rudy) was the first to get theirs up, but they had a horrible strategy to bail their boat instead of flipping it.

Saboga continues to make mistakes, forgets a paddle, tries to paddle a sinking boat to shore while Jenna yells at everyone.

Team Entertainment surprises everyone with yet another win.†

And for the second time, Team Miscellaneous faces Tribal Council.† Once again, they had the athleticism and the strength, but just messed up when it came to strategy.†

Who Is Going to Go?
It is at this point in the show after the immunity challenge when the producers do all they can to make it seem as though the next elimination is still a mystery.† Who will go -- Ethan or Rudy?

Right out of the gates we have Ethan pulling ahead as we are reminded of the tribe's plan to eliminate the past winners.†

But wait, Rudy surges forward as it is stated that they needed Ethan's athletic ability and strength and that Rudy, despite being a hero in every sense of the word, is the weak link.†

Oh no, wait!† Ethan, despite his athletic ability and strength, gets far too excited during the challenges and makes stupid mistakes.† It was because of him crawling into the boat when it still had all that water in it that caused it to sink.

But can they risk losing another challenge?† Rudy's foot is still bothering him and if there's a running challenge.† We see sadness and tears as Rudy's name is mentioned several more times.

But what is this, folks?!† Rupert is also crying.† He tells the others and the cameras, "I'm not writing Rudy's name down."†

Jerri adds that Rudy is tough as nails.† He hasn't once complained about the conditions, while everyone else has.† Is he really the weak link?

Ethan sets out to prove his worthiness to the tribe by fishing.† After a while, he comes back empty-handed.† Rupert goes out and returns five minutes later with a fish.† Things are not looking good for Ethan.† Ethan is expandable.† Thus he has a length-and-a-half lead over Rudy and is about to be eliminated!

Tribal Council
There was discussion about whatever and that Ethan is the next in running because he's the only other person to have won Survivor and yada yada yada.

Everyone was quite sad to vote as they did.† Ethan even said it was "purely strategical."† Jerri was crying.† Rupert was crying.† It doesn't look good for Rudy.† Alas, the beloved Rudy, amongst much tears and sadness, is the second person voted out of Survivor.

Mr. Probst gives a nice "eulogy" of sorts...

"How could you not like Rudy?† 75-year-old former Navy Seal hanging with kids a third of his age, a hero in anybody's book.† I know you didn't want to vote him out.† And yet, somebody had to go; which is exactly what makes Survivor what it is..."

Right here, while watching the show, I was pleased and impressed.†† They spent more time discussing Rudy's greatness than any person that's ever been eliminated.† And from all that I've seen, Rudy deserves all the great things that's ever been said about him.

But we return to Jeff's little speech... "which is exactly what makes Survivor what it is..."

I was expecting something remarkable and moving.† Something worthy of Rudy.† Something that could somehow sum up Survivor while being in the same sentence as the venerated Rudy.





That was like listening to an intense concert orchestra symphonic masterpiece.† Our emotions were taken here and there, we laughed, we cried, we marveled, and then as the majestic build-up becomes larger and larger and as the triumphant blasting of the horns and the beating of the drums and the intensity on the violins takes us to a most powerful and proud climax, the tuba player hits a totally wrong note and flubs everything up.





But I was always told to not bring up problems unless I have a solution.† And to be totally honest, and I tried -- really hard I tried --I couldn't come up with a fitting word either.

And so, let this be a lesson to all you writers out there:† Don't try to sum up Survivor in the same sentence as Rudy with just ONE WORD.† It'll just end up all pixielated and tuba-noisy.

(But if a word comes to mind, please don't hesitate to send it my way.† If I get a lot of suggestions, I'll make a silly article out of them.)

'Nuf said.


If you haven't read my All-Stars preview article, you're missing out on lots of pictures and various brilliance and whatever else.

And, as always...

Thank you for reading my crap.


Check out my Survivor Index Page for Survivor links and all the articles I've written in the past.

For the largest collection of Survivor links, check out Sirlinksalot's Survivor AllStars page.

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