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Reality TV Crap

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:
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Episode 11: Why not just wound her?

Coming into this episode, the previews and the press had mentioned that we'd see "The Big Lie." Since Annoyance-Man Jon is easily the most disliked Survivor ever and since he has repeatedly bragged about his lies and his fake alliances, I totally expected him to be the center of the Big Lie controversy.

But this episode opened with the survivors returning from the Rupert-booting tribal council as Hispanic-Fireball Woman blasts Annoyance Man yet again for his deceit. She says, "I tell you what, can't nobody trust that bitch right there. I never trusted you from day one and you couldn't be trusted. Ladies, he will backstab you in a heartbeat like he did everybody here."

Then she added, "Every time a plan went down, you put it together."

This was difficult for me to take in. Every time a plan went down, Annoyance Man put it together? If this is true, then everyone must admit that the most disliked Survivor ever is somehow running the show. Talk about annoying!

Who Dumped the Fish?

But as Hispanic-Fireball was blasting Annoyance Man about his lying and such, Burton aka He's-All-Man Man notices that someone dumped the fish out of the bucket and immediately asks Hispanic-Fireball Woman if she threw the fish out.

She replies, "No, I'm hungry. Why the f' would I be doing throwing fish out?"

Finger-pointing changes direction and lands on Tall-Kind-of-Hot-But-Fried-the-Speech-Portion-of-Her-Brain Girl who looks really scared. No one believes her denial. (I did. How many times have we seen animals forage through the Survivor camp while they were away at Tribal Council?)

The situation turns very heated. Hispanic-Fireball screams at He's-All-Man Man, Tall-Kind-of-Hot-But-Fried-the-Speech-Portion-of-Her-Brain Girl screams at Annoyance man, She's-Looking-Better-Every-Time-I-See-Her-Nubian-Princess looks on while Missing-Person's-List-But-She's-Got-A-Nice-body-Where's-Darrah Girl contemplates actually saying something.

During the night, we are shown a nice night-vision shot of all the crabs ripping away at the dead fish in the weeds. The next morning, they found the stinking dead fish and yet again, Tall-Kind-of-Hot-But-Fried-the-Speech-Portion-of-Her-Brain Girl is blasted, "Christa, you're lying and you have a reason to lie."

To the cameras, we see her in tears, explaining in an even less understandable sniffling marbling language, that she didn't do it and that she feels terrible and that she'll probably be voted off next because everyone thinks she dumped the fish because her friend, Rupert, caught the fish and that she just wants this all to be over and she so misses her honey-muffin fiance back home and... and...

It was I -- I Dumped the Fish

But then, excellent camera work catches Hispanic-Fireball woman walking sheepishly away from the conversation before she confesses to the camera, "When we got back to camp, I kept thinking 'They are not going to enjoy Rupert's fish. Screw that.' I grabbed the bucket full of fish. It was heavy. I trip on a vine and I spill all the fish. I started arguing with Jon to the point where it saved me because they never pointed the finger at me for dumping the fish. Now I'm in a bind. If I was to tell her, she'd run off to them and there's no doubt in my mind I'd have three days left."

The Big Lie?

Was that it? It had to be worse than that. Jeffy had mentioned it even before the season started, how big and atrocious it was and how the others watching will be so totally shocked when they see the truth. Something tells me it has to be worse than this.

That's what I was thinking as they went in to the Reward Challenge.

Reward Challenge

It's time for the Survivors to be visited by their loved ones. As they introduce each person, Annoyance Man's friend made me think that the big lie was that Jon is gay. His friend came bouncing out all limp-wristed flailing away two peace signs. The super hero and his sidekick -- Annoyance Man and Icky-Flaming Boy.

But surely this wasn't THE BIG LIE. Being gay, no matter how annoying, is no big deal.

But then Annoyance Man asks about his grandma to which he is told, "She died, dude."

And just in case we missed it, we were shown captions of this exchange.

I guess being out there in the mildly difficult island world clouds one's BS Detector's effectiveness, because I instantly thought he was lying.

Jeff said, "Jon, you went from really happy to really sad..."

Annoyance Man, now fighting back tears, sniffling even, says, "It was either my buddy or my grandmother and my grandmother is not here for a reason."

"What happened," asked Jeff.

Sniffle sniffle consoled by someone next to him sniffle again, "She's not around." To which he added, "I can only hope to win this and get more information."

BEEP!! My BS detector just went off.

The challenge begins. Each pair will be asked questions about the Survivor. Every time the answers match, they get to force someone else's partner to take a step towards the end of the plank, eventually forcing them off, thus "Walking the plank." The winner gets to go back to the camp for 24 hours.

Hispanic-Fireball Woman doesn't buy Annoyance Man's lie. She makes his buddy take a step and he acts disgusted, "I mean, I have a million questions I'd like to ask about my grandmother..."

BEEP!! My BS detector just went off again.

After a few more questions, we hear Annoyance Man murmur to himself, "This is brutal. This sucks."


Other than "Johnny Fairplay's" attempts at sympathy, I had a few other observations about this challenge.

Here you are on a Panamanian island about to walk the plank and jump into crystal clear water on a very hot day. You're on national TV. You just got to see your loved one after being away for a month. Would you sort of just step off and dribble down into the water?

No! If it were me, I'd be doing a monster cannonball, at least. I'd jump up in the air as high as possible and ENJOY that moment!

Everyone was really boring until Tijuana's former high school sweetheart turned best friend does just that - an excellent cannonball. NICE!!

He also adds to Annoyance Man, "Hey, my condolences."

At least we know that Tijuana chooses quality friends.

(Former high school sweetheart turned best friend? Hmm... something tells me we have a guy who would die to be with Tijuana but she doesn't think of him romantically so he pretends to be a good friend all in hopes that she get a change of heart. Being platonic with a hottie just isn't in the genetic makeup of the male species. The only exception is if the guy doesn't find her attractive or if she is in one way or another psycho.)

The other thing I noticed was how Missing-Person's-List-But-She's-Got-A-Nice-body-Where's-Darrah Girl and her boyfriend did not match one thing. Hmm... Why does it not surprise me that these two seem to have a communication problem? They probably just get together and look at each other.

Hey, I'm sure she's a really nice girl.

The Reward

The reward was kind of odd. The winning pair get to have the camp all to themselves for 24 hours. Were they hoping that one of the young couples win and end up having a conjugal visit? I say this because seeing two people catch up on missed time just doesn't make good TV. It was always kind of interesting seeing the relative/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend interact with the other tribe members.

But watching two people have a conversation for 24 hours just wouldn't work for me. So I'm thinking that CBS/Mark Burnett decided to pull a Fox Reality TV moment.

Dude, She's Not Really Dead
So Annoyance Man was given the Reward Challenge. After we see everyone say how good they felt over letting him talk to his friend about his grandmother's death, we switch over to Annoyance Man and Icky-Flaming Boy...

"Oh, man."

"That was a brilliance performance, sir."

(And that was all we saw of these two except for the goodbye. I found it interesting that they basically showed their dastardly deed and then gave them absolutely zero air-time. Were they given a nice meal? Did they win any niceties?

I wonder if they had planned on feeding them something special. Had Burton and his mother won, they would've been given the star treatment and we would've been shown it all. But Annoyance Man and Icky-Flaming Boy were ignored and hopefully forced to scavenge for their food.)

So, yes. They lied. They faked a dear old grandmother's death. It was planned before he ever left for Survivor. Smarmy-Annoyance Man justifies it this way, "This is a game for a million dollars. I have one chance in my life at this. You should take every advantage possible. If you don't, you're a fool."

I have to be honest. He has a point. The accepted and moral and good reaction to what Smarmy-Annoyance Man did would be to call for his eviction and be all disgusted and puking and all that. But I must admit that I'm torn.

Since I first started watching Survivor, I've been hoping someone comes along and totally makes up an occupation and maybe even a personality. When I heard Outwit Outplay Outlast, I immediately translated this to OutBS.

Jon aka Smarmy-Annoyance Man out-BS'ed all of them. Yes, pretending that your dear old grandmother died is about as low a thing a person can do. But everyone must admit that this brought him a win -- and will very likely continue to benefit him since everyone is so easy to believe a sad story without questioning one's history or motive.

THAT is why these people deserve what they get. They are dolts for not once bringing up that he has lied so many times before. They have totally forgotten all the drunken stories he's told, stories which clearly demonstrate what a sleazeball he is. But they are REALLY dolts for not recognizing how horrible Smarmy-Annoyance Man is at lying.

He milked the dying grandmother thing way too much. If someone truly lost a loved one, they wouldn't have mentioned it, argumentatively even, the 3-4 times he did throughout the challenge. Instead, they would've been too engrossed in the loss to respond to peoples' comments. Later in the show, he milks it even further, saying how he is now a changed man since having learned about his grandmother.

People. He's got a motive to lie. He has a long history of smarmy behavior. There's a reason why history is taught and it's not just because. History is taught so we don't repeat the mistakes and so we learn from that which was done right.

Kids, Pay Attention in History Class

One person that seems to understand history rather well is Hispanic Fireball Woman Sandra. She explained to She's-Looking-Better-Every-Time-I-See-Her-Nubian-Princess Tijuana and Missing-Person's-List-But-She's-Got-A-Nice-body-Where's-Darrah Girl exactly how He's-All-Man Man and Smarmy-Annoyance Man plan the game to go. Tijuana was hesitant to believe it.

Hesitant until Sandra took her with her to sneak up on the two guys in the dark in order to listen to their conversation. They said exactly what Sandra's been telling them and now, FINALLY, Tijuana believes her.

What I don't get is how come people out there seem to have to always talk and talk and talk their strategy. This is the same plan Jon and Burton made several days ago. Why do they need to talk about it? Make a plan and shut up!


So NOW the plan is to eliminate Burton provided he doesn't win immunity. Well, after a word scramble puzzle, Burton was told that he won but then Jeff realized he made a mistake and it became a challenge between Sandra, Darrah, and Lill. Darrah spelled out the most words...

"Darrah wins immunity. Nice job."

They rejoice. Now they can get rid of the strongest player, He's-All-Man Man Burton.

Or can they?

History Ignored

But Smarmy-Annoyance Man SOMEHOW convinces Christa and Sandra to eliminate Tijuana. He said that he'd rather keep eating and keep Burton and eliminate Tijuana and then Darrah, making the Final Four Jon, Burton, Christa, and Sandra. "If we go to the final four, that's fair. Is that not fair?"

Hispanic Fireball Sandra chooses to ignore even her own words, "We're listening but you have done us wrong so many times before. Jon, you don't know how much we distrust you."

"I swear on my grandmother... That's a big freaking deal and I wouldn't break that."

Ah, yet another mention of dear old grandma.

As much as I hate to even think it, if Smarmy-Annoyance Man wins this thing, because he's finagled his way through each tribal council, often dictating some way or another who was booted, I must admit that he deserves it.

How horrible would that be? I'd rather see Vecepia or Jenna win it again.

Tribal Council

The person that should win all the BS awards is Jeff Probst. He knows Smarmy-Annoyance Man's lie but goes along as though he doesn't. It would be so easy for him to cause even the slightest doubt in the grandmother dying story. It has to be extremely difficult for him to go along with the lie especially given how it's so very clear how Jon disgusts and annoys him so much.

But he controls himself and for that, he should be commended on his abilities.

Sandra was asked about the personalities getting along and such and she brought up the fish being tossed in the bushes incident. She played along that she knew absolutely nothing (something that I'll discuss shortly, as I debate just which was worse - Sandra's lie or Jon's lie).

Burton was asked, "Who do you trust in this game?"

"I'd like to think I could trust a lot of people. You don't have to trust someone to have an alliance with them. You have to have the same interests. You could hate someone's guts but if you can help them go further, we have an alliance."

(I didn't pick up anything when I first heard this, but there's little question who Burton was thinking about when he said this.)

Right on cue, Jeff asked Annoyance Man, "It's hard to trust, but at a certain point are you willing to betray anybody in this game to get what you want?"

He replies with a sad, sad face, "Several days ago, yes. At this point, I don't think so."


"Why the change of heart?"

"I've had a rough few days, man. I'll be honest with you. Very strange,you know. My priorities have changed..."

And boy oh boy, just when I thought he couldn't possibly have milked his grandmother's death for more sympathy, I was proven wrong. He not only milked it, he took that cow out to dinner and a movie. And everyone seemed to buy it.

Going into this Tribal Council, knowing that Darrah won immunity, I was kind of curious to see if she really is capable of speaking a full sentence. Knowing that Jeff HAD to ask her at least SOMETHING, I watched in anticipation.

"Darrah, you have immunity. I'm sure it feels good. Is there anybody you would like to give that up to?"

She says nothing. She just shakes her head. She doesn't even say No. Please, Darrah!? Say something -- anything. You can do it. I know you can.

Oh wait! When she held up Burton's name, she said, "Burton I voted for you only because you are the biggest threat we have right now."

Yippee! She CAN speak full sentences.

To my dismay, Sandra and Christa voted as Jon urged. They kept their word to Annoyance Man and they must now be kicking themselves.

Not one person disliked Tijuana. Everyone had written "Happy Birthday" to Tijuana as they wrote her name down. It's rare to see someone so universally liked. I hope that her 15 minutes last a lot longer than most peoples'.

(By the way, I've just updated my profiles on both Tijuana and Rupert. I was uncharacteristically nice to Tijuana and deservedly so.)


So now we have Burton, Lill, Jon, Darrah, Christa, and Sandra as the Final Six. Now that Sandra went against her intuition, what are the chances that she'll be able to convince Lill and Darrah to eliminate Burton or Jon? I'd say it's pretty good, but things would've been a lot better had they never sided with Jon in the first place.

And so, what's the moral of the story?

Kids, pay attention in history class! It could cost you a million dollars someday.


Which Lie was Worse: Sandra's or Jon's?
Oh wait, I promised to discuss which lie was worst, Sandra's or Jon's.

This article over at FansofRealityTV makes an excellent point. I'll quote just a small part of it:

"This week we were presented with an interesting case study in ethics, or the lack thereof, as it applies to the game of Survivor. Here is the question for those of your playing the home game. Which is worse, lying about the death of a family member to try to gain favor in the game, OR, allowing another tribe mate to take the rap, and likely the eventual boot, for something you did?

On the one hand, Jon didn't specifically do anything to hurt anyone else's chances in the game. In fact, aside from requiring additional security around him at the reunion show, I don't see where this helped him. On the other side, we have Sandra, who sold out her primary remaining ally, and likely ended Christa's chance for a million dollars. I don't doubt that Jon will be crucified for his lie, but Sandra's was worse, in my opinion, as it applies to the game. Not that I am saying a lie about the game is bad mind you."

Normally, I would think that lying about a dead grandmother would be worse, but taking it in this context - that his lie hurt no one while Sandra's lie hurt Christa - I'm inclined to think that Smarmy-Annoyance Man shouldn't be crucified as badly as he's been.

In fact, if someone else more attractive, more likeable, had done this, it's likely that this person would've been applauded for being such a good strategist. This would be so ESPECIALLY if it were a woman. Everyone would be like, "Oh my gosh, she is SO kicking their ass! You go girl!"

Ok, maybe not. Faking a grandmother's death just isn't acceptable.

It was despicable, in fact. Faking a death? He could've achieved the same thing by pretending only sickness. This way, at least he wouldn't have killed her off.

doodles by Bob Staake

I won't be surprised, though, if he wins this game. And this troubles me. I'll be disgusted and barfing, but I won't be surprised.

Let's all have a Vecepia moment and hold hands and pray that the others get a clue.


Until next time, let's do a cannonball together!

Nifty Cannonball picture byBob Staake.

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