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4/19 Do You Truly
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Big Brother 5

Let's Psycho-Analyze the BB5 Men

Let's Psycho-Analyze the BB5 Women

BB5 Introduction: Hotties and More Hotties Might be a Bad Thing

BB4 Stroll Down Memory Lane

Survivor All-Stars

Episode 2: It's Good to Know a Hero

All-Stars Preview

Survivor Pearl Islands

Episode 11: Why Not Just Wound Her?

Episode 10: The Problem with Survivor

Episode 4: Annoyance Man in Charge?

Episode 2: Where's Darrah?

Episode 1: The Rupert Show

Survivor Profiles
Burton | Christa | Jon | Michelle
Rupert | Sandra | Shawn | Trish
Andrew | Darrah | Lillian | Nicole
Osten | Ryan O. | Ryan S. | Tijuana

Big Brother 4: Mediocrity and Run-on Sentences

Survivor Amazon
My Survivor Finale Day in the City

Survivor Episode 12: Predictions Revisited -- Readers' Wisdom (and yes, I try again)

Survivor Episode 11: Curious Editing Shift and Complete Final Predictions

Episode 10 Update: The Rob Show - A Surprising Final Four?

Exclusive Interview:
Survivor Amazon's
Magic 8-Ball


Survivor Episode 1:
Welcome to the Rupert Show!

The opening of this seventh edition of Survivor was quite possibly the most interesting and intriguing I’ve seen. Something about it captivated me and I think it wasn’t only because of cool pirate ship pictures.

The Pearl Islands, down near the Panama Canal. Piracy and looting. Rugged jungles, bad weather, stunning ocean views, sharks, stingrays, those ugly eels with sharp teeth, and cool whales that like to jump out of the water and do massive cannonballs.

(I asked an expert and apparently whales really do this for fun. It’s called ‘breaching’ and if I were a whale, I'd do it all the time. "Check out this splash!")

The opening was excellent. We learned that they told the Survivors they were several days away from starting the game and were heading out to take publicity photos. And, "those suitcases, so carefully packed with essential outdoor clothing... worthless."

I was intrigued and captivated and it made me want to watch Survivor and forget all about the horrible anti-climax that was Survivor 6 and Jenna.

A quick note:
For those unfamiliar with my episode recaps, I’ll explain a bit of what you can expect. Since I know that most everyone who’s reading this has watched the show,I write about things that capture my attention and inspire me to comment and blab in philosophical, psychological ways.

I also plan on opening up Forum discussions on Ponder-worthy topics. This way, you will be able to easily comment on my comments, which will surely make me want to comment back, to which maybe YOU will comment back again thus leading to one happy comment-fest.

One more thing: Any quote is a direct quote UNLESS it is in italics. If it’s in italics, I may have sort of maybe made it up just because I’m crazy like that.

Ok, enough of that. Let’s dig in to the show.

Jeffy opens the show with a nice welcome to the Survivors, tells them, "The game is on," and then explains, "You’re going into this game with the clothes you have on your back, just like if you really were shipwrecked."

It's possible I may tire of this pirate theme, but for now, I'm kind of liking it.

Some of the nice attire they had on were an Armani suit, strapless dresses, high heels, and various other nice outfits. They were dressed up for a Saturday night out on the town. Except for two people. The hairy guy wore a tie-dyed t-shirt and jeans ("This is my dress-up outfit. New blue jeans!"). And some woman thought it would be a good idea to wear her Boy Scout’s uniform. (I’m wondering if the producers sort of nudged her in this direction just to make things a little interesting.)

Jeffy took all of their personal items, passports, wallets, jewelry, and one guy’s stolen wine and CD player he had hidden in his pockets. Everyone was looking at each other like, "They’re really going to make us wear only these clothes, aren't they? Those damned pirates…"

And for the first time, the tribe names aren’t some weird crap that I can never remember. They’re based on two of the most notorious pirates in Panamanian history: The Drake tribe, after Sir Francis Drake and the Morgan tribe after Sir Henry Morgan.

Mr. Probst began dividing up the tribes. After several were called, a moppy-sock-hat-wearing-hip-wannabe-thinks-he’s-cool-but-he’s-SO-not was called and we see an interview excerpt of the guy and it’s clear who CBS has chosen as the token Thinks-He’s-Funny-and-the-Life-of-the-Party-But-Is-Just-Super-Annoying guy. "I go by the monitor of Johnny-Fairplay: I don’t play fair."

I barf on his wannabe-coolness.

Jeffy picked the tribes, then gleefully threw all their shoes in the water and told them to get off the boat, to which a few heartily jumped in while a few others sort of were just a little too careful crawling over the edge. (I wonder if we’ll see all their clothes and baggage on eBay anytime soon? Jeffy would make a killing because they showed a LOT of baggage.)

It soon becomes clear who's going to be a most entertaining fellow. Every time I see the hairy guy, I wish he would add "AAARGHH!" to everything he says. For example, he described the swim to shore, "With my big denim jeans, my legs were rubber. It took all I had to keep kicking and getting into shore. I was spent and it hadn’t even started yet." To which he should've added, "AARGH!"

I’ve decided to go ahead and do this anyway. You'll see what I mean.

Panamanian Village
Both tribes arrive in the village and set off to beg, barter, and purchase their supplies. One tribe scatters with no organization or plan. The other has a secret weapon.

The tribe that scatters thought it would be a good idea to leave all of their belongings unwatched next to the big hairy guy who looks more like a pirate than the pirates, themselves.

He explains, "AARGH! The other team, Morgan, came up, sat their stuff down next to us. And all left. This is definitely a pirate adventure. Pirates pillage, pirates steal, pirates take advantage. If they were going to be silly enough to put it right next to me..."

Big-Hairy guy was already true to character and I'm giggling. "All the trade goods, all the little women's shoes, the insoles, everything that I could find in theirs, I took... We are pirates. So we pirated. AARGH!"

Acts-Impulsively-Not-The-Smartest-Guy-But-Looks-Good-In-Baggy-Drawers Osten decides, for the good of the tribe, to sell all his clothes. PREDICTION: Rainy, breezy, cold night, quietly in the dark we'll hear him ask, "Can I wear your shirt because I'm freezing and I was an idiot for selling all my clothes except for these baggy drawers."

He then suggests to the women that they flash their boobs to get stuff for the tribe. This, of course, would work incredibly well, but isn't all that likely to happen and so he should've never suggested such a thing unless they were already drunk and needed to pay for that pizza without having any money.

And then we see the SECRET WEAPON...

Sandra, the Hispanic fireball.

This woman knew how to wheel and deal. She took charge. She spoke the language and bartered the people in the market like it was something she did every Saturday. She got fishing gear, cooking utensils. She got a huge amount of already-cooked chicken complete with aluminum foil, the ketchup, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, cutting board, and knife. She even traded hottie-sitcom-Mom Trish to some lesbian for a lamp and some kerosene.

After their market excursion, as the tribes headed out to their boats, a few tribemembers compared what items they'd gotten. It reminded me of the Charlie Brown Halloween show.

"What did you get?"

"We got a whole bunch of stuff! Toothbrushes, flint steel, knives, a live chicken, fishing line, a bunch of hooks, fishing spear, wine, a huge tarp, two machetes, and I think a maid, a chef, a luxury suite at a local hotel... If we'd had a few more pair of shoes, we would've had our entire 39-day vacation catered, complete with open bar. What did YOU get?"

"I got a rock."

I've decided to call this latter tribe...

Tribe Idiot.

They even had money left, money which could’ve been used to buy more crap. Tall-Super-Skinny-With-No-Persuasive-Skills-Whatsoever boy tried to point this out as his tribe rushed to the boat, "Uhh, guys…We got money. Are we going to the boat now? Don’t we want any more fruit?" He runs after his team, trying to catch up. "We’ve got more money…"

Did you happen to wonder if this was how this little village lived every day? They must’ve read a spoiler, "Tomorrow, Survivor is going to unleash their castaways on our little island. Look busy!"

Their New Vacation Home
Tribe Idiot arrived on their beach with little fanfare. Tall-skinny-I’ve-never-exercised-once-in-my-life-except-for-when-I-jump-up-from-winning-video-games wanted a little celebration. He said, and I totally agree, "Seeing the flag, I'm thinking, I can't believe I'm here. This is the coolest thing that's ever happened to me in my entire life. I think that should be the first big celebration, the sheer excitement. There was none of that."

Instead, Way-Enthused-Acts-Impulsively-and-Idiotically guy ran up and down the beach gathering wood, shouting directions, digging holes, and was just hopped up on the game.

The Ever-Important Shelter
They then set out to build shelter. The tribe all put their heads together and said, "Hey, look at the extremely unstable shale wall. Let’s build a lean-to against it. Sure, large rock chunks fall when we lean our bamboo against it, but hey, maybe when it rains or if any animal or person walks above it, these same large rock chunks won’t come crashing down on us when we sleep. Go Tribe Idiot!"

We learn later that night that not only does their lean-to get bombarded with falling rocks, but it seems as though it’s home to their beach’s comes-out-at-night crab population. Either that or the cameramen decided to have a little fun releasing a bucket of crabs.

We see the other team arrive at their camp and there is much rejoicing and excitement and team high-fives. "Yeah! Woohoo!"

Remember the Justice League? This is the comic strip/cartoon series whose all-star roster includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter. I’ve decided to call the Drake tribe…

Team Justice League

Maybe you can help me come up with names for each of the tribe’s "superheroes" based on each of their unique "amazing abilities." For example...

Jon (moppy-headed-sock-hat boy) could be Annoyance Man! With but one stupid joke he is able to paralyze anyone within hearing distance. When he laughs at his own Annoyance Man jokes, people literally start foaming at the ears.

And so on. (Let’s discuss this in the LetusPonder Forum.)

Over at Team Justice League, Super-Sitcom-Mom woman, fresh from her lesbian adventure, describes her team quite well, "I was surprised at how quickly we all worked together. I mean we didn't know who we were, what your name was yet, and within a matter of probably ten minutes, we all sort of spread out, and it worked out pretty well."

But all is not well and perfect. The two take-charge studmuffins may just be a little too take-charge while maybe not being the best listeners. Sitcom-Mom says that they've already alienated a few people.

Big-hairy-guy-with-cool-pirate-raspy-voice says, "Shawn is being a pain in the BUTT. We’re a strong little team, but the dynamic duo there that are posturing for the lead role need to be a little more careful, because they’re going to make EVERYBODY hate them. AAARGH!"

The BIGGEST problem

We soon see what power little, tiny bugs have over man. One of the mosquitos, not having had the pleasure of taking in some caucasion human flesh and blood, decided to give it a try. It liked it and soon word spread throughout the island that a mosquito all-you-can-eat buffet is to be had.

These people looked dreadfully bitten. "God, these bastards are everywhere."

Meanwhile, back at Tribe Idiot, they search in vane for a quality water source only to find what looked to be a mud puddle. Night falls and still no water.

During the night, the crabs come out and start knocking rocks onto their lean-to shelter. They also roam the sleeping bodies causing general havoc. And the biggest, strongest guy... "It's hilarious. We call him Scary Mary because he's never really been in the jungle environment. Any little thing, if it touches his toe, he leaps out of the air and just shrieks."

Annoyance Man Returns!
There was a bad Japanese giant monster movie in which the monster got bigger and stronger and more deadly the more the military bombed him and shot him with small rockets. Annoyance Man is the same way except that his power source is alcohol.

Big-Hairy Man describes Annoyance Man: "Jon, he reminds me of me boys who I mentor who just pop off STUPID stuff, you know? Talk about getting some honey, or smoking something, drinking something... AARGH!"

And of course Annoyance Man is totally oblivious to his powers. He says, "Everyone laughs at all my jokes. I knew going in that was going to be a huge bonus for me, because I am not very strong, and I don't profess to be. However! I'm a funny guy."

The truth comes from the powerful Fire-Breathing-Mouth-Spewing-Minority-Figure woman of Team Justice League, "I really can't stand him. He talks too much crap, all night long, cursing. He thinks he's cute, but it isn't. It gets old. It's already old."

The pain of having to wear the same clothes day-in-and-day-out is already setting in. Big-Hairy man says in his pirate-raspy voice, "Man, I got to cut these damn pants off. I'm wearing my fancy... My dress jeans." (I giggle because I know a lot of people from Missouri who have a pair of dress jeans.) "The suckers were THICK and HARD and heavy. Them pants killed my crotch. Where nice wet denim RUBS FOR A DAY AND A HALF and just starts EATING that skin away. AARGH!!"

(In case you haven't figured it out, anytime I capitalize Big-Hairy Man's words, you must read them in that raspy, intense pirate voice because that's exactly how he says it.)

The tribe started cutting up all their clothing -- making shorts out of the Armani pants, cutting the dresses shorter and making other dresses from the material.

And once again, the guy whom the camera just can't get enough of, Big-Hairy Man, proves that he is truly confident in his masculinity as he quickly dons a skirt, "My god, my thighs feel so much better. I got the little teasing and laughing with the girls as we made it, and I put it on and I looked really silly... DONE. I'm wearing a dress."

And I must admit that if it were socially acceptable, I'd wear dresses all the time. They look so much more comfortable and free than having to wear pants. Freedom, baby! That's what it's all about.

More Idiocy from Tribe Idiot
The Beautiful-but-Squeaks-a-lot girl from Tribe Idiot got a brilliant idea: She looked at the map and noticed a curious phrase…

"Water well."

They rejoice. Tall-skinny-guy and Possible-Looney-Scout-Uniform-Wearing-Middle-Age woman set out to the well and she whispers, "We ain’t gonna tell them where it’s at."

Cool! Possible-Looney woman might just be able to forget her boy scout uniform and play the game to win.

More Big-Hairy Man Camera Time
The two alpha males in Team Justice League grab the spears and quickly spear a fish. While this was roasting, the cameramen nudge Big-Hairy Man, "Pssst... you haven't been on the screen for almost a minute."

And so, he starts fishing and doesn't stop, sunburn or not, because, dammit, he's the man and the man hunts for food. "AARGH! I got to the point where I thought I was going to get eight of them. Everybody was going to get their own fish."

Abandoned Lifeboat Mail
The tree mail was actually situated in an abandoned lifeboat of sorts. And the mail announced the next challenge.

Prince Andrew said something that wasn't entirely idiotic and so Tribe Idiot instantly said, "Let's make HIM our leader because he's not a friggin' idiot like the rest of us!"

But Baggy-Pants-Way-Enthused-Acts-Impulsively guy begs, "But guys...? I thought I was the leader. I yelled the most and ran up and down the beach the most and gave the most orders. Come on, guys. Please...?"

Immunity Challenge
The IC was the push-or-pull-a-big-heavy-object-through-an-obstacle-course challenge. Before this, though, the guys from Tribe Idiot came up with a good idea to show their packages and not make it look like they wanted to show their packages.

Prince Andrew states, "The biggest concern from my standpoint, from our tribe, is Osten was having difficulty with his shorts staying up. We said during any activity against the other tribe if his shorts go down, Ryan and I told him that we're a team, we're a family and we won't make him embarrassed by being nude. So we'll do the same."

In an interview before this season started, Jeff Probst said that no matter how good a shape a guy is in, he just doesn't look good naked. I agree with Jeffy. No matter how you look at it, naked guys are just dorks.

The team immunity challenge was full of thrills and spills. First one team led, then was passed, then regained the lead again. People screamed and cheered and groaned and leared. (Leared? I had to think of something that rhymed so that would work.)

And yes, Osten's shorts came down and so Prince Andrew and There-But-Not-Really-There-No-Charisma man got naked and they ran through the jungle, "I'm free! Free at last!"

(If you've never walked outside totally nude, you should try it. At first, it's a little weird, but after a moment it's quite liberating. Try it out. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to adjust and begin to appreciate nature to it's fullest extent.)

After a bitterly-fought battle, it was down to the finish, just a few feet from each other...

Drake wins immunity!

Now just wait one gosh-darned minute. Where’s the public outcry? Those guys took their clothes off! And why? Was it so that they’d get food they needed very badly? No, dammit. They took their clothes off just so that the Wished-He-Was-The-Leader-But-I’m-Still-Cool-Because-I-Still-Have-My-Baggy-Shorts-HipHop-Roots-Overly-Enthusiastic-to-the-Poiint-of-Idiocy didn’t feel bad when he lost his baggy-shorts shorts.

I am appalled! And so I asked around...

My Survivor confidante questions their motives in getting naked. She says, "They wanted to do it because of arrogance, sort of like a competition. It wasn’t because they wanted to show solidarity. They wanted to show the world that they have hot bodies, all the while pretending that nudity isn’t really a big deal with them and that it’s a guy thing."

So, it’s kind of like a naked-schlong-dangling-team-cheer-high-five-Rahr!-jump-up-and-bang-our-chests-into-each-other kind of thing.

Team Justice League made fun of those boys who "took their panties off" and rejoiced in the water with their win. "The coolest thing is we don’t have to send anyone home tonight."

Meanwhile, back at Tribe Idiot, Prince Andrew gave surprisingly good advice without sounding all smarmy-feel-good-fake-motivational-I’m-full-of-crap-but-I-read-self-help-books. He said, "You know, that sucked any way you look at it. We lost by about a foot. We learn from it. We move on and we kick their butt the next time. And we remember how cocky they were when they won, all right?"

I think I may actually grow to like Prince Andrew. He comes across as though he's on the fine line between great guy and arrogant ass. Until the latter shows, I'll say that I like him.

But I almost forgot one of the greatest picture moments of the entire episode, something that the geniuses at noticed...

Let the Scheming Begin!
Now that they must eliminate someone, Tribe Idiot discusses who should go. Prince Andrew wants Tall-Super-Skinny-Aligns-With-Wrong-Person boy because he wasn't working that hard in the challenge. Someone else mentions Possible-Looney-Boy-Scout-Leader woman because of her age. (They have no clue as to what a Boy Scout knows.)

Then Massage-Therapist-Who-Doesn't-Look-at-all-Like-a-Massage-Therapist-but-More-Like-the-Generally-Ignored-Almost-Attractive-Friend-of-the-Super-Hot-Chick girl decides to make an attempt to boot Squeals-a-Lot girl because she's much more naturally beautiful than her and because she can get pretty annoying with that voice when she's excited or agitated. The problem with this choice is that everyone likes Squeals-a-Lot girl and recognizes that she's not only pretty sharp but also a good athlete.

Massage-Therapist-Who-Doesn't-Look-at-all-Like-a-Massage-Therapist-but-More-Like-the-Generally-Ignored-Almost-Attractive-Friend-of-the-Super-Hot-Chick girl's plan fails miserably and soon she starts spinning a web of lies in an attempt to cover her ass.

It doesn't work and everyone in the tribe concludes she is not one to be trusted. Plus, I saw someone giving a massage and it WASN'T the massage therapist. One would think that she would at least demonstrate her dominant skill and its benefits to the tribe.

Ah well. What can you do?

Tribal Council
Jeffy explains the whole "When your fire is gone, so are you" thing and starts with the questions: "Let's talk about the challenge, the reason you guys are here tonight. It's one thing to get naked for no apparent reason and win, but it's another thing entirely to have three guys walking around naked and lose a challenge. Any regrets about that?"

Overly-Enthusiastic-Leader-Wannabe gives a useless generic response, "Absolutely not. Not a regret. What’s in the past is in the past. We did it and we’ll move on. Period."

Look at this, kids! We have yet another cliché-spewer! Yippee.

They talk about how rough it is out there in ideal vacation-land with all the bugs and such. Possibly-Looney-Scoutmaster woman is asked about her outfit and blabs on and on about the Boy Scouts.

And my oh my, already, in just this first tribal council, this tribe points fingers and mildly insults each other. None of which looks all that good for the scheming massage therapist nor Tall-Super-Skinny boy.

It's Time to Vote
It was unanimous...

"First person voted out of Pearl Islands…


Usually, the first person voted out is someone who’s clear and above a looney or super-annoying. Nicole wasn’t. She wasn’t entirely likeable, though, and this was probably because she so quickly started plotting and saying one thing to one person and then changing her story to others.

There were a few people who I thought were picked just because Survivor always needs a first person voted out. Nicole was one of these people (along with tall-skinny-super-geek and lots-of-‘tude-WAY-speaks-her-mind-Latin-fire-who-has-quickly-grown-on-me woman).

Maybe Nicole had something special that we never got the chance to see. Now we’ll never know. She has just moved into one of the following typical Survivor categories:

First person voted off
Annoying/Overly-Bossy person
Religious kook
Muscles of the tribe
Schemer who got caught
Old vs Young Representatives
Final Three (usually just the third we remember)

What I mean by typical Survivor category is that people can usually name the person from each Survivor series that fits in the category.

As far as Nicole is concerned, the First Person Voted Off category is the one where people usually don’t remember their names but can picture them or describe them in some way. For the most part, since she wasn't entirely bad or horribly annoying, I'm thinking Nicole will soon be forgotten entirely.

How many can YOU name in each category? Check out the LetusPonder Forum and ponder former categorical castaways.

Next Episode
The Reward Challenge winning tribe gets to loot one item from their supplies!
It's a desperate battle of mind and body for Immunity, where every last second will decide the winner in a photo finish you must see to believe.
(From CBS’ site) Rupert, Morgan tribe's "Blackbeard," goes into a rage after learning that a tribemate has lost something crucial to Morgan's survival, but is determined to recover it at all costs. We see this in the previews; "AAARGH!" he says. "That's why I wanted to be the only one that," he breaks a tree limb as if it’s Shawn’s neck just like a pirate would do to make a point, "did that."
And apparently, a member of the Morgan tribe wants to quit. Hmm…
Let me take a wild guess and say that it’s…
Tall-Skinny-Never-Exercised-In-His-Life-But-Is-Probably-Smart-Which-We’ll-Never-See-Because-He’d-Rather-Be-Logged-On-To-The-Internet-Surely-Still-Lives-At-Home boy.

‘Nuf said.

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