Thursday, September 27, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - Booty-Blinded By the Booby Trap - 25.2

Zane was voted out at the last Tribal Council, something I believe I captured beautifully in this DrawSomething picture for my Dad:

Yeah, I still play DrawSomething.  What of it?

Blue (Matsing) returns to camp, & Russell apologizes to everybody & plans to step back & let someone else take over.  They settle in for a cold night.  Cold if you don't have a body to snuggle with, that is...

Angie says "There's nothing going on between us, it's just, you know, when it's cold, you need to cuddle up to someone."  Malcolm knows suspicions will arise, but can't quite resist.  "When I first saw Angie, I kept having to remind myself: Don't get booty-blinded, don't get booty-blinded, you're here to play Survivor, make a million dollars & go home.  But, I mean, there's no denying that's a good-looking girl."

Roxanne, who now seems to be "Roxy" to everyone, has noticed that Malcolm & Angie were not leaving room for The Holy Spirit between their hard, hard bodies.  She is alerted to "full-on cuddling", & notes that "with Angie, it's literally a booby trap".  And with that, I know that this recap is going to write itself.

Is the snuggling really threatening, though?  With said hard bodies (& faces!) fully covered, it seems about as romantic as 2 Greendale Human Beings, from Community:

At Yellow (Tandang), RC finds the clue in the bag of rice.  All 3 clues have now been found - Red's clue by Penner & Blue's Clue (lolz) by Russell, although we've yet to see any development with him & the idol.   RC manages to hide it from Lisa, but Abi-Maria happens to see it.  Luckily, they're in a Sexy Alliance together, & RC wants Abi-Maria to trust her, so she shares the clue.  Sexy Alliance reads the clue together on the beach & decide to keep it to themselves, & not share it with Pete & Mike, the newer additions to Sexy Alliance.

Later, Abi-Maria is swimming in the water & sees RC & Mike talking.   She is immediately suspicious & jealous, but there's really no need to worry, Abi-Maria - Mike was just needing medical attention.  Again.

RC explains: "To me, Mike is my father".*  Abi-Maria isn't convinced, but she's no stereotypical spicy Latina, so she's not going to go cray-cray.  Just one cray, as she attempts to soften her threat: "I am your friend, but if you fuck with me, you're dead.  You are done.  Just letting you know."

This is the face of someone who thought she partnered with sexy, & now realizes she partnered with crazy.

At Red (Kalabaw), the tribe tells Penner they're playing checkers since it won't stop raining.  Penner is all "Awesome!  Great idea!  Rainy day, clever!" on the outside, but on the inside, he's dying to search the camp for the idol.

His foot may actually be tapping.

Everyone but Penner leaves for the cave where they might be able to keep a fire going.  Penner searches like a madman & is caught by Dana & Dawson, who return for the flint.  Penner tells them he was looking for his glasses, because the rain washed his contact lens out.  Now, I've worn contacts for 18 years, & a contact has only ever blinked out of my eye one time, & that was when it was really windy & it was dry.  But they bought it, so nice save, Penner.

Penner later realizes that if he had read the clue where he found it, "right under his nose" would have been the rice container, where the lid handle looks very much like an idol.  Penner grabs a machete, pries the top off & gets himself the first Hidden Immunity Idol of the game.

"For the first time in 3 tries, I have...(pause for verklemptness)...the Hidden Immunity Idol.  It's fantastic."  He is happy, & I am happy.  I know there are a lot of people who don't like when past players come back, but when it's Penner, how can you not be happy he's on your TV screen again?  LOVE HIM.  Penner goes for a victory lap past Dana, yelling "I'm on fire!" & on the other side of the island, Skupin stops, drops, & rolls.

At Blue, Roxy is still bothered by Malgie's continued snuggling.  I wonder if she's jealous?  In her pre-interviews, she made comments about there being a guy she found very attractive, & was hoping she could keep her head straight.  Maybe Malcolm had been letting The Hair loose before the game started, & now Roxy is feeling slighted?  Whatever the reason, she thinks Malgie is dangerous (no fair), & they're being irresponsible (too sexy) & she doesn't like it (but maybe wants it).  She goes to Russell, who has noticed something, too.  "It looks like she's got some boob thing going on...they're popping up all over the place."

In Angie's defense, her boobs are covered most of the time. *cough* Alicia *cough*

Roxy then goes to Denise, who says "Part of it is a 24yr old guy snuggling up to something that is really nice to snuggle up to, but now it's like there are these huge targets on their backs."

I hear what you're saying, Denise, but I see that you mean "huge targets on her front".

Before we leave Blue, we get a shot of a Praying Mantis, a fascinating creature known for sexual cannibalism.  I fear this is foreshadowing the downfall of Malcolm at the hands of Angie, as the Praying Mantis shown was in Pageant-mode.

Fierce mantis is fierce.

Over at Yellow, Lisa is miserable in the rain.  She can't busy herself with tasks & is forced to sit with people she doesn't feel connected to.  "I'm an introvert by nature.  I don't do well with chit chat.  I'm not very good at that.  I'm very shy, so if I'm on a stage, I can be behind a role, but in real life, my tendency is just to withdraw & not let anybody in."  I FEEL YOU, LISA.  Screw you, small talk.

Yellow doesn't realize this, & they think she's sneaking around looking for the idol.  Abi-Maria feels Lisa isn't trying hard enough to connect with the tribe, but it's not that easy for everyone, & also, why do you have such a hate-on for her, Abi-Maria?  Moms can be sexy, too.  Instead of searching for an idol, Lisa is crying at the edge of a well.

This reminds me of a movie I once saw...

No, not that movie....I'm thinking of the one with Abi-Maria in it....

Yes.  This is the one.

Lisa says she's been on her own since she was 12, when she moved to California for The Mickey Mouse Club.  What now?  That's a whole new level of fame right there.  Check out this clip of The New Mickey Mouse Club performing at THE HALFTIME SHOW OF THE SUPERBOWL in 1977.  I mean, can you even imagine if this season's Superbowl featured a halftime show courtesy of Wizards of Waverly Place?  Wow.  Check out adorable Lisa at the 5:44 mark.

Only Mike knows of Lisa's famous past, & he doesn't seem to be sticking up for her much.  Pete then makes a joke: "She's like a dog that keeps escaping the fence in the backyard...eventually you just gotta shoot it."  Everyone laughs but WTF?  How many puppies has Pete killed because he couldn't build a proper fence?

Engineering Graduate AND MONSTER.

Blue is blue.  They're wet & cold & Roxy is disappointing The Hair.  "Russell is on fire duty, & me & Denise are just trying to keep the shelter in one piece, & Roxy's just out of it.  She's not working, her mind's not in it, & everyone's noticing it."

At least Angie is keeping me warm at night.

Roxy thought being a seminary student & Christian would have given her great strength in this game, but she's in tears.  She seems to be having a mini crisis of faith & says it's because she's not in her comfort zone.  Doesn't she want to be a chaplain in the Armed Forces?  I can't imagine they have all the comforts in life.  She says it's like encountering Christ all over again, & it's not easy.  I don't understand what that means.

The sun comes out, & suddenly Roxy's faith is restored.  She is full of thanks & praise, but she should be thanking Dawson, because the sun came out when she smiled.

Dawson called me a "blogging goddess" last week, so this is all completely valid & not biased in any way.

Roxy is still praying & now speaking in tongues or something, which is making Denise nervous.  Even Russell (who had tried to cheer up Roxy when she was crying) is surprised.  "I thought she'd have a little more strength of character."

Denise says "Roxy's been praying for, like, sunshine from God.  If it works for her, fantastic.  I'm respectful, but it's just not my gig.  I don't pray for anything, anything that's gonna get me to the end of the game, it's gonna be me."

Denise Stapley: Where has she been all my life?

Now that she is over her trying times, Roxy is growing more agitated by Malgie's continued fraternization in the light of day.

"I'm having trouble with my coconu..."

"I'll help you with those...oh, an actual coconut?"      "OMGURSOBADDDLOLZ"

On to the Immunity/Reward Challenge, where pairs from each tribe will pull sleds to get bundles of puzzle pieces.  When all pieces are back, a pair will solve the puzzle while another player calls instructions.  First tribe to finish wins Immunity + a tarp + blankets & pillows.  Second tribe wins Immunity + a tarp.  Probst's got nothing for the third tribe.

Someone on Blue has to run twice - Angie (who proclaimed herself a track athlete at last Tribal Council) says she doesn't want to, & Roxy says she's been drinking less water, so it just doesn't make sense for her to go twice.  Meanwhile, on Red, Jeff (& his injured leg) volunteers to run twice.

Blue falls behind quickly as Russell & Angie get the sled caught behind the platform.

At least Russell stacked the puzzle pieces properly...

This episode seemed to have an extra cameraman dedicated to RC's ass, & my husband is a fan of that guy's work.

Angie the track star is tired & decides to push instead of help with the pulling, but really just kind of uses the sled to keep herself up.

So, you know, the opposite of helping.

Blue catches up to the other tribes at the puzzle stage, with Denise calling.  She directs her tribe to turn a piece around "like Tetris", & for realz I am in love with Denise.

Artis says "There you go!" & that's all for Artis (though it still gives him more screentime than Carter & Katie put together, so WTG Artis!)

In her exhaustion, poor Angie mistakes this post for Malcolm.

Yellow finishes first, Red second, & Blue is going to Tribal Council again.  This causes Russell, the man who was going to try to chill, to angrily throw down a puzzle piece & go on a rant.  "I'm pissed off.  I'm sick of this I can't do this, I can't handle this.  Either go hard or go home.  Forget these other stupid-talking tribes.  They can't beat us - they shouldn't be able to beat us."
Probst: "And yet they have, twice."
Russell manages to stop himself from calling Probst a "stupid-head".  Angie offers, "At least we were close."  There's still a Congeniality Immunity, right?

Much like the scales of justice tattoo on his chest, Russell must weigh his next decision in terms of fairness & truth.
Stepping onto the fairness scale is Roxy: useless, but tells Russell everything & trusts him.
Stepping onto the truth scale is Angie: useless, but keeps Malcolm warm at night, better prepping him for challenges.

Now having to fight for her life, the formerly subdued Roxy talks to Russell in the ocean (in plain view of everyone), & morphs into a hand-flying, eye-rolling, taking-off-my-stiletto-so-I-can-stab-you-with-it chick.

"I can respect people who do good games, you know.  Where it's like, yo, they schemin' & schemin'.  That one over there, who ain't got no skills at all?  Just show the boobs, somebody'll fall for it."

Malgie witnesses this transformation of character & Malcolm says "She's going gangster.  We're gonna be called out."  I cannot express how much I enjoyed Angie's quick expression change as she first laughed at what Malcolm said, & then understood it.

This is what transpired next:
A: "For what?"
M: "Sleeping situation."
A: "Well, what's she gonna say? (does a voice) 'We need to vote Angie out!'
M: "Yeah, that's what she's saying."
A: (genuinely shocked) "She is?!?"
M: (looks at her like he can't believe this is a conversation he is part of) "...what else would she be saying?"

Russell tries to convince Denise that Angie's not the innocent player she's leading them to believe, & it looks like Russell prefers Roxy's uselessness over Angie's.  Denise knows she's caught between these 2 alliances & is just hoping her trust in Malcolm as a strategic player is well-founded.  She's hoping he's not "blinded by the headlights."

"...but I don't see a car...?"

At Tribal, Probst asks Roxy to finish a sentence: "If there's one thing I could change about this tribe, it would be..."  Roxy wishes her tribe wouldn't insist on doing so much work around camp because they don't have any energy left at challenges.  "Like, that's awkward."

Probst asks Angie the same question, & she responds "That we could...have cookies?"  (Like I said, it kind of writes itself this week.)

Probst is dumbfounded & asks Malcolm what he thinks about that.  Malcolm says "Everyone's really hungry, so I think that's a great answer, in fact, it's my answer too, & I don't like where you're headed because I'd like to eventually score with this girl & you'll ruin everything." *wink* 

Probst is taking over Honey Badger duties from Kat: he don't care.  "Wait a second, REALLY?  In a game for a million dollars, one of your tribemates says 'Cookies would be good!'"  Malcolm then mutters something about a "terrible wing, man"?  I couldn't really make it out.

Roxy brings Malgie to Probst's attention, Malcolm denies it & says Angie's like a little sister.  Roxy says that's creepy & I am with her on that, & only that.  Probst asks Roxy why Malgie bothers her so much & she says "It bothered me on Day 1.  To me it was like a booby trap...(looks at Angie)...sorry..." 

Then there's this awkward exchange of catty remarks while both remain pleasantly seated on stools.
"I'm sorry that I'm cold."
"Oh, yeah.  You're freezing, right."
"Yeah I am."
"Yeah you are."
"I would cuddle with you, but uh..."
"Yeah, no, I'm good."

Not ONE stiletto came off, you guys!  Bummer.  Angie says she understands how dangerous perception can be in a strategic game like this.  Just kidding, she just said "yes" when Probst asked her that.  Turns out she didn't understand, & Probst actually claps his hands loudly 3 times, yelling "Wake up!".  Ah, good times, Honey Badger Probst.  Good times.

It seems that when Angie stepped on Russell's scale of justice, something(s) weighed it heavily down, as Roxy is voted out, unanimously.  She wishes her remaining tribemates well with  "God bless, & Shalom."

Good luck in the Army?

*In unrelated news, Skupin checked into a hospital last night after accidentally stabbing his thigh with a fork, screaming "Why do they all say that?!?".

I'd like to thank the Survivors who had lovely things to say about my recap of the premiere - Dawson, RC & Denise are super cool, & Penner (PENNER) sent me a message saying he loved it.  I think I blushed typing that.  So thanks, you guys!

My blog now has a Facebook page, so you can stay updated there - & maybe get the first look at the Final 7 LEGO recap when I get started on it...

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Confectionery - 18

These are the things that I think are great.

Ten minutes after I published my track-by-track review of the new Ben Folds Five album, The Sound of The Life of The Mind, the video for "Do It Anyway" was released & I had to immediately update the post to include it.  Put together by Chris Hardwick (of Nerdist fame & Lisa crushing), it is one of the happiest things I've ever seen, & a wonderful way to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Fraggles.  Enjoy everything, but especially Anna Kendrick's shirt.  WANT.

Also enjoy the making of, which is far more entertaining than a making of should be.

Look, it's not like I have a problem getting bourbon into my mouth, but these straws would make it more fun* than my usual dramatic sobbing as my Han-Solo-Frozen-in-Carbonite ice cube melts away into it: "You KNOW? What kind of response is that, you nerf-herder! Get back here!"  Construct your own silly straw from this set of 44 dishwasher-safe pieces.  Imagine the drinking game possibilities!

Buy it at
*More fun for my husband, who has to listen to that weekly.


This has been going around quite a bit & at first I thought Modern Family must have been giving a nod to Married With Children.  Then I realized that a newspaper was a pretty subtle way to do that, so I did what every curiosity leads me to do: shots of whiskey.  After that, I googled it.  Turns out it's a prop newspaper that has been used in many TV shows & movies throughout the years, with common headlines like "Cat Burgler Strikes Again" to avoid legal/continuity issues.  Check out this compilation by a Reddit user:

 Now for your mind to be blown:

Ed O'Neill reading about himself reading the same newspaper for 20 years.

The video game won't be in my PS3 until October 30, but the villain artwork has been released today.  Saruman!  Uruk-Hai!  Orcs!  Cave Troll!  Ringwraiths!  Shelob!  Nazgul!  Balrog!  So excited!

Also confirmed is that ALL of Middle Earth will be recreated in this game (not just the parts seen in the movies) for exploring, & extra hidden tasks.  So it's been nice, but I'm going off the grid in November.

Last night, Aaron Paul won his second Emmy for his masterclass performance as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad.  I love seeing how moved he gets when he wins these things, like he really doesn't know he's brilliant.  Check out his win:

But it's not just award shows that bring out emotions in Aaron Paul...being told to "Come on down!" also works.  Check out this amazing footage of his Red Bull-fueled appearance on The Price is Right before he was famous.  It's The Showcase Showdown, bitch!

Those were my favourite sweets of the past week.  Come back next week for more goodies!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Survivor: Philippines - Playing Chess with Onions, or, Malcolm & The Hair - 25.1

Season 25 begins with Jeff on a boat, in "one of the most beautiful & remote locations in the world - The Philippines."  He goes on to tell us that the islands are home to animals both beautiful & dangerous, & we have the Tarsier for a full demonstration:

"Oh, hello.  I'm a sweet, tiny Tarsier."            *Squeal*

"Rawr! OmNomNom"                    WTF, Tarsier!

We are introduced to several members of the new cast, but I won't spend too long on them, as I wrote a cast assessment when they were first announced.  First up is Jeff Kent, a former baseball player who is hoping to go unrecognized because of, you know, probably being a millionaire.

Zane Knight explains his tattoo of Frankenstein, but since his tattoo isn't of a doctor or Gene Wilder, it's technically a tattoo of Frankenstein's Monster, & not Dr. Frankenstein...but I digress.  

Here's his explanation: "He picked a little girl a flower.  I mean, he strangled her after he gave it to her, but still...That's the way I feel about myself - I could strangle you or pick a flower, it just depends on what you pull out of me."

Lisa Whelchel played Blair on The Facts of Life & would like to keep that a secret.  You would think that wouldn't be easy, as The Facts of Life ran for 9 would be like Lisa Kudrow going on Survivor in 10 years & nobody recognizing Phoebe.

There is a montage of past medical evacuations, & we see Colton's exit from last season because of appendicitis a bacterial infection.  Who don't we see?  Kourtney Moon, also from last season, she of the adorbz everything.  Girl can't catch a break unless she's given zero instructions before a 25' fall.

Now for the returning players who were all medically evacuated: Russell Swan (dehydration), Jonathan Penner (infected leg wound), & Mike Skupin (fell into fire).

Russell's medical evacuation.

Russell: "Survivor smacked me in the chops - this time I'm smacking back."

Penner's medical evacuation.

Penner: "You know how on fire I am to win this thing?  You know how much I can taste this?  And you know how I can actually see it?"

Skupin's medical evacuation.  OK, not really, but I find this easier to look at than his actual dripping skin.

Skupin: "I think the world saw that me falling into the fire was my greatest failure; I didn't see it that way.  I think to dwell on 'what if' would cheat what the adventure was for me."

The cast has clearly been told to wear their tribe colours, as we have 5 people wearing yellow, 5 in red, & 5 in blue.  Probst chats with them for a bit, & cue Russell, Penner & Skupin.  Half the cast looks annoyed, half looks excited - Dawson is downright giddy.  Of course she is, because she's a big Survivor fan & Penner is wearing red - her tribe colour.  PENNER.  Russell joins the blue, Skupin joins the yellow.

Probst gives them 60 seconds to gather up as many supplies as they can, launch a raft, & head to their respective camps.  The red tribe attempts to lower their raft with the supplies already on it, & Jeff twists his leg & the supplies fall into the water.  Carter dives in after a chicken, grabs & tosses it to Dawson on the raft - it was the greatest display of chicken-catching skillz since Chelsea.

At the Blue camp ("Matsing", but whatever - we're going by colours this season), Russell quickly fashions himself a palm frond crown & summons the commoners to court.  Once everyone in attendance takes the knee, he begins, "I tried to do this leadership thing before...look where that got me!"  King Russell wants Blue to be a team.  A team where everyone works together to do his bidding.

Look, I get it - how do you not take a leadership role when you have had an experience that is new to everyone else?  This is the only reason they would keep you around.  But when Malcolm speaks up & says he has lived in Micronesia, can make fire, & can weave King Russell a cloak from coconut fiber should he so desire, Russell should sit down & shut up.  Instead, he has a one-on-one that makes me fear he's dehydrated already, with an odd "you're my hero" shtick & high-pitched giggles.  Get the man some water!

Malcolm talks Russell through the steps, letting him make the fire.  Very impressive.  "When he was the one who actually got the fire going, in a way a little bit of a target came off my back 'cause I'm not a threat to him."

Over at the Red camp, Jeff is trying to hide his injured leg from the tribe.  Penner is already getting emotional & this is why I love him.  The man loves this game (& also when he tears up his eyes are soooo pretty).  "It's very moving.  It's moving to be here.  It's moving to be doing this again."  While Penner is having a moment, Jeff is carefully placing a bulls-eye on his fedora.  "If anybody's gonna win this game, it oughta be one of us."

At the Yellow camp, Abi-Maria tells RC she's like a sexy librarian, & RC laughs & says, "No, you're sexy", & just like that, a Sexy Alliance is born.  RC wants Skupin to join, because of his experience (we all know that's code for sexy), & Abi mentions Pete for his dual-edged sword of strength & dumbness. 

"Abi keeps staring at me.  And I think that's gonna be a big advantage.  She definitely looks like she's ready to play some evil games.  She's pretty hot, she could definitely do some damage."  One more "definitely" & I could have called him Rainman.  Damnit.  The girls approach him with a sexy proposition for the Sexy Alliance, & Pete stands there with his mouth open, so that's a yes!

RC approaches Skupin for the Sexy Alliance & he can't say no.  "My strategy coming into this was make sure that you go with the game.  If your tribe is going slow, go slow with them."  Now he's going to have to go full sexy.

Over at Red, Jeff may be hiding his injury, but his identity?  Not so much.  Dawson confides, "I used to spend time with a guy who was really into baseball, & I know who Jeff Kent is."  Hold the phone.  Are you telling me that because my husband loves golf, I will always have to know who Ian Poulter & Ricky Barnes are?  Ugh.

At Yellow, Lisa tells the Sexy Alliance that she has a Ministry for Moms & with that, she's shut out of the Sexy Alliance.  Sexy Alliance discusses Lisa, & RC says she doesn't trust her.  Skupin feels a connection with Lisa because of their age, & his "Blair" crush is a little obvious.  "Lisa's way famous.  She should be playing that trump card because young impressionable people might be 'wow'.  I'm kind of 'wow'.  But maybe her show is so old that they wouldn't even know who she is anyways."  He tells Lisa all of this, but she thinks it would end up being a disadvantage, & after all, she's been truthful about her present life.  "Nobody has really volunteered what they did as a kid."  Point to Lisa!

There is hustling going on at Blue as Frankenstein's Monster is giving flowers to everyone he can see.  Zane says because of all the jobs he's held in his life, he's "the perfect Survivor player".  He makes an alliance with Denise, then one with Roxanne, then one with Angie.  Finally, he checks off Russell & Malcolm, & his Alliance Scavenger Hunt is completed.  BTW you guys, I made alliances with every other person here, but I like us the best, k?  Malcolm isn't having any of it, & tells Denise.  She is really, really trying to give Zane the benefit of the doubt, suggesting "I think he's brighter than we believe..."  Malcolm & Denise seem to realize they can strategize with each other, so they form the Smart Alliance.  Not sure whether to shake on it, fist bump or high five, they settle on a hug & a dance & it is super cute.

At Yellow, Skupin isn't happy with the progress his tribe has made.  A crappy shelter & ZERO injuries?  Skupin leads the way.

Blister?  It's nothing.
Head gash?  Just a scrape.
Gaping wound?  My right foot is excellent at hopping.
Machete wound?  Actually, this is pretty tame for that.  Pass.

Pete says something, but I'm distracted by his determined ear-picking.

I bet Pete asked if "Engineering Graduate" could be onscreen every time he is.

Over at Red, Katie doesn't like that Penner is so obviously looking for the idol & I don't like that she's dressed like a Grandmother.  Leave Penner alone - you should be looking for the idol, too.  "I feel like that's not unity."  World Peace FTW!  Penner finds the clue in the rice, which tells him the idol is right under his nose.

Penner, don't let Katie dress you.  You're better than this.

At Blue, Russell finds the same clue while preparing the rice.  Zane is swimming in the ocean, fully-clothed (??) & watches Russell read the clue.  He asks Russell about it, & when he denies it, Zane is convinced he must already have the idol.

On to the first Immunity Challenge of Season 25, which does not feature a 25' drop where someone could easily break their wrist, causing post-production scrambling to dub instructions on how to safely land.  I'm just saying.

Aw, we missed the "let's paint each other" montage.  :(

Each tribe will be divided into pairs: the first pair will race to get paddles, the second pair will row to get a submerged chest, & the third pair will solve a puzzle made from pieces in the chest. The first tribe to finish wins Immunity & a fire-making kit.  The second tribe wins Immunity & a flint.  Probst's got nothing for the third tribe.

Red & Yellow are having civil discussions.  Blue starts talking strategy, but Russell tells them to calm down with their crazy low-volume conversation.  He declares himself terrible at puzzles, so Angie & Roxanne will do that.  They start to suggest otherwise, & Russell silences them.

Hear me, for I have spoken.
Zane turns out to have been a poor choice for the racing leg, as he is out of breath & energy before he & Russell are back with the paddles.  He sits down to catch his breath, & Russell hands the paddles to Malcolm. I didn't recognize him at first, because his hair is down - his thick, glorious, hair that is about to change everything for me this season.

Red has fallen behind, & Probst reminds them "The main thing you want is to finish first, or finish second, but don't finish last."  He said it while walking backwards, so that's something, I guess?  With Penner & Dawson puzzle-owning everyone, they catch up to win first place for Red.  Yellow wins second while Angie & Roxanne are struggling for Blue, not even half-finished.

I had to rewind to see what actually happened because I couldn't take my eyes off of The Hair:

Survivor Crush: Activate!  Malcolm has been on a steady climb for me: he was one of my favourites from my pre-season assessment, & then he quoted The Princess Bride on twitter, & now that he's let The Hair loose...I mean, COME ON.  It's like he unleashed a secret weapon.  The Smart Alliance has just become the Sexiest Alliance.  (Please, no one make a GIF of his hair falling to frame his face or I may spend hours watching it & sighing & I don't think my husband would like it very much, although if he would just grow his hair out, we wouldn't be having this fight, would we?)

Probst asks what happened in the challenge, & Russell takes responsibility for delegating tasks before saying, "That's the beauty, Jeff.  There always is a next time."  Probst: "There's a next time for five of you.  There's not a next time for all 6 of you."

Blue leaves, defeated.

But did they lose?  Really?

Back at Blue camp, Russell is all "I told you, now you know how hard it is" & is interrupted by Zane, who is attempting to throw himself under the bus, or so it would seem to everybody but Zane.  Zane tells everyone he's not built for the game, doesn't have it in him.  There are no arguments.  Zane then reveals this is all a clever rouse to see who he's playing against?  Or something?  "Hopefully everybody loves me to the point where they would rather have me as a hindrance than to keep Russell.  I took my shot, I'm playing chess the best way I know how, & hopefully, I'm gonna King me."  Gave a little girl a flower, & then strangled himself?  Is that how it went?

I feel like Zane forgot that this was for $1,000,000.  If we're choosing who to have a few drinks with on a Friday night, I'll choose Zane over Russell for sure (maybe he can bring his majestically-maned friend Malcolm?).  But to keep my tribe strong, I'd want Zane out - even without all this chess-strategy he thinks he has going on.

Russell informs Angie & Roxy that they will be voting for Zane tonight, followed by a lot of awkwardly delivered sayings.  "You're safe, so...Welcome to Survivor....Dig deep....You guys got it in you..."  Maybe it's awkward because the girls are trying to get away from him?  Angie in particular is very mad.  "I said 'I'm not good at puzzles' - he puts me at puzzles 'cause he's not good at puzzles.  He's like 'I'm not good at puzzles, so you do puzzles'.  Hello, I'm not good at puzzles either."  Puzzles puzzles puzzles.

Angie is so frustrated, she asks Zane WTF he's doing.  Zane reaches out to Angie in a way she'll understand: the improper use of big words. "Logistically, he had to pull me across the line."  In his defense, the logistics of it were brutal.  Angie asks him not to go, & Zane thinks his plan is working.

Malcolm asks Zane if he's for sure tossing in the towel.  Zane tries to communicate something through his eyes, & Malcolm says, "That look in your eye scares me.  I want you to know that." 

What, this look?
Malcolm says "If you want to go home, I'll send you home...but, like, there's so many different ways the game could go."  Zane interprets this as "Malcolm came & begged me to stay."

At Tribal Council, Zane explains that having a former Survivor on the tribe is like an onion.  "The more layers you peel back, the more you start to first you get something out of it, then you get a little more out of it, then you start to realize that you're getting too much out of it."  If you don't understand, don't be sad.  We can't all be Grandmasters.

Russell at least realizes he went dictator on everyone, & I don't think it was easy for him to hear that he made Roxanne go into "military mode", or that Angie ran track in high school, so would have been a better choice than Zane for that leg.

Zane explains that he quit smoking when he was caught trying to smuggle a carton of smokes in under his shirt.  Lots of eye-rolling from Angie & Roxanne, & I like these 2 a whole lot more than I thought I was going to.  Could they be the new Stacey & Christine?

Time to vote, & Zane is voted out, surprising only Zane.  It shouldn't really be called a blindside when he told everyone to vote for him, but somehow it still can.  Huh.  "I honestly thought that I had this whole game figured out, & I thought I had my whole tribe in control, & I thought that I was allowing them to pull the strings instead of me being the one in charge.  It just backfired on me." 

I think it was the right decision, but I'm sad to see Zane go - imagine 39 days of nicotine withdrawal unfolding before our eyes!  And we'll never know why he was swimming he just self-conscious, or could it be that he has a "Ginger Hantz" tattoo hiding somewhere?

I'm serious when I say I like SO many people this season.  Penner (of course), Triple D (Denise, Dawson & Dana), RC, I like Abi more & more...let alone The Hair...even Pete is just getting an edit to appear dumb (I think?).  I think it's going to be a great season.

Any favourite picks?