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October 7, 2015

Survivor China: Ride the Workhorse 'til the Tail Falls Off

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Oct 11th 2007 11:18PM
Great chopsticks of fire - Survivor China reward challenge
(S15E04) "Flavor has never tasted so good. This is the delicatist thing I've ever put in my mouth." - Denise

Hmm ... I believe she was going for a variation of delicacy, but who knows? Unlike some of the castaways, I find this season of Survivor China is stepping up more each week. That is, despite the slaughter of the English language at times, it is.

It's not my all time favorite cast, but these people are quirky and interesting enough to keep this long time show fan watching. I think tonight's challenges were different -- something that's hard to do after so long. Plus, the locale and the bits and pieces of the culture we're seeing are breathtaking and enlightening. When you think back decades ago, no way would Americans be welcomed in China for something like this and here we are. World peace next!

Well, maybe I'm a bit carried away with the world peace bit, I guess.

After all, how can there be world peace when Courtney and Jean-Robert are going at each other? Or, their doppelganger duo over on the Zhan Hu tribe -- Sherea and Dave -- doing the same thing? When tonight's episode started with both of them arguing, I just wanted to move it along. Nothing to see here, folks. Just silly people having coed pissing contests. Of course, if I were on the show, I'd be happy all of the attention was on them and not me. I think a few of the tribemates are looking at it that way, too.

After promoting this week's episode as both tribes going to Tribal Council, well, no. That's not quite what happened. Here I was ready for one from each tribe to be booted this week and it was all over-promo hype. Yes, both tribes went to the Tribal Council area, but it was for reward, not even immunity. Oh, but what an unusual and cool challenge it was!

Two at a time had to use giant chopsticks to bring a fireball to a tube, drop it down the tube into a wok, then it would ignite fireworks. It looked very difficult to maneuver and no one had an easy time of it. But in the end, Fei Long's great balls of fire brought them the win. They chose to kidnap Dave from Zhan Hu. He would soon drive them crazy, but they can plead ignorance.

Fishing birds on Survivor ChinaSo, the challenge was different but the reward even more unique. It's a reward of a kind we've seen before, but with a neat cultural twist I never knew existed. You know the type -- native local teaches them how to fish. Ho-hum, boring, done before, have seen it, yawn. But this one was so COOL! Yes, the capital letters just had to be done.

First, it was a family with small children arriving at the Fei Long camp, not a man or many men as we've seen done before. They came bearing cormorants -- a water fowl. They restricted the throats of the birds enough so they couldn't swallow fish, then sent them diving. The birds would return and spit out fish. While I've seen birds catch fish, I never knew people used them like that. Nifty keen, I say!

Another oddity which went down while the Chinese family was there was that all of a sudden Jean-Robert started speaking Mandarin. Huh? I guess the guy does have secrets. He said he lived in Taiwan for a few years and hadn't spoken it in about twenty years. As he acted like a translator for the family (after rubbing James the wrong way as he translated), Fei Long got a lot more out of this visit than they ever would have otherwise.

They learned about Dave, though. Dave decided he liked Todd as he was pondering who would get the clue to the hidden idol. On the other hand, Todd told us that "Dave is a nutcase and annoying." But Todd ended up with another clue. He's been racking them up, hasn't he? I don't see him sharing the knowledge, either. Smart kid.

The clues basically tell them the idol is in plain sight, not on the ground, and (now) something to the effect of "when creatures of the night take flight, it allows one to stay." Um, okay. They keep showing the ornate piece on the entry to camp, but I doubt it. If it's there, it's behind it. And, if it's behind it, it's not in plain sight.

While Dave was sucking up to the Fei Long folks, back at the Zhan Hu camp they actually missed him. Since they had to do all the work he had been doing there, they appreciated him a bit more. Or, at least the work he does. They all still think he's a crazy annoying person. Sherea totally lazed about saying she was saving her energy for the challenges bringing about her line which they used as the title for this episode. That did not go unnoticed.

Chinese armor for the immunity challenge on Survivor ChinaThe immunity challenge was similar to, but not quite the same as some we've seen in previous seasons. I liked the Chinese armor. After watching Heroes this week and now this, I might have to go get my own suit of armor. Joust, anyone? The meteor hammers they used to break the vases reminded me of nunchucks, but two wood balls connected to a rope. Maybe they remind me more of click-clacks, a toy which was really dangerous but fun when I was a kid. Yeah, that's it!

Fei Long is back in the winning streak once again after their poor showing last week. So, it would be Zhan Hu sending a person home. Because two have made their presence both disruptive and extremely noticeable, the target immediately focused on Sherea and Dave with no thought of anyone else getting a vote. As Erik put it, "Can we send both home?"

I really thought that Sherea's cormorant may have been cooked because she didn't fare too well with Jeff in the Tribal Council interrogation ...er, questioning ... in addition to her behavior at the camp. While they stepped up when Dave was away, the ones who actually worked (not Sherea) were exhausted. I personally think that it would behoove them to keep him on and rid themselves of dead weight. Yes, Sherea is a contender in challenges, but it's not fair that everyone else has to work.

Do they ever listen to me? Nope, they voted out Dave with a unanimous vote outside of Dave's lone vote for Sherea. I want her gone. I don't want to look at her nasty underwear for another week. If they want to keep her, get the woman some clothes!

I don't have a clearcut favorite, but I'm thinking more highly of Todd each week. And, we finally heard Denise talk tonight. I get a kick out of her and wish they'd show her more. James still looks darn good, but he was right about having no social game. Remember, strong and silent could be a good game plan, James! I'm edging my respect a smidgen for Jean-Robert because of the Mandarin Chinese. Just a smidgen, though. Courtney's edgy behaviors have quieted a bit and I like her more for it. Who are you liking?

Who would you have voted off?
Sherea216 (74.0%)
Dave66 (22.6%)
Other - tell us in comments!10 (3.4%)

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I think they made a huge mistake by keeping Sherea and voting out Dave! Why do these teams lose, yet then vote out stronger members? Plus Dave was a hard worker around the camp.

From the previews it looks like a "possible" shake up or some sort next week -- perhaps going to 3 teams or some sort of switch (then again shows nowadays seem to tease some big event but it ends up as a let down so we shall see but they better do something or their team is going to be gone soon).

October 16 2007 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anybody else see Erik in this episode and think, "Uh, was he always there?"

yea, i definitely saw some guy and thought, hey never seen him before! i am guessing it is 'erik' but dont remember the name

i like the slowmo stuff. it's kinda like the show is making fun of itself and not taking it seriously, imho

October 12 2007 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked how Sherea said "I'm not moving my big fat disgusting cellulite-ridden sheer-pantied butt until I have to!"

Umm, HELLO? How far did the last person who did absolutely squat get?

October 12 2007 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am still sticking to my original call that Amanda is going to win this game. Todd will probably make it to the final four as well along with possibly Aaron and Denise. That would be what I'd like to see. Although I am impressed that Jean-Robert speaks Mandarin, I still think he's an ass and won't be around for much longer. Courtney won't make it much longer either. My initial impression of James was not entirely correct. Although I think he could have been a strong contender if he kept his mouth shut, I think everyone has realized that every time he opens his mouth his foot flies inside of it. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that I don't have to listen to Leslie blabber about her religion anymore. The game is so much better without her. God, what an idiot she was. How on earth could she have applied for ten seasons and not have any idea how to play this game?

As for Zhan Hu... It's only a matter of time before they self-destruct. I realize that Dave was annoying pain in the ass, but he was an extremely hard worker. I thought it was great that the rest of the tribe was virtually helpless without him, and it annoyed me to no end that fat, lazy Sherea couldn't get off her ass to do anything to help. I think they made a huge mistake by keeping her and voting out Dave, which only confirms my view of them as a bunch of idiots. If Survivor doesn't remix the tribes soon, they're all going down in flames. I also made a pre-game prediction that Erik and Jaime would hook up and be the Gregg and Jenn of this season. By the looks of the previews for next week I was right. Morons. Don't they know that doing so will make them a target? They don't have the brains to pull off a Rob and Amber coup.

I'm so glad I decided to make pre-game predictions this season based on their bios. It's been fun to see who I was right about and who I was wrong about. But, mark my words, Amanda is my call for the winner of this game.

October 12 2007 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anybody else see Erik in this episode and think, "Uh, was he always there?"

I do like this season so far better than the past few. I hope this is the start of a resurgence in the Survivor franchise. The show could use a boost - I'd hate to see it canceled but its been losing its originality in recent years.

October 12 2007 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
laura nason

*I really hate the new slow motion effects at the challenges, its distracting PLUS i knew when one was going to hit the vases cause they slowed it down. LAME!

*Sherea, or Sheer-ea as i like to call her needed to go, i cannot abide with laziness i dont care if she needs to rest for challenges, she acts like she alone is winning everything, its a team effort just like the upkeep of camp is a team effort, i also wanted to smack her face when she kept rolling her eyes.

*Is it me or does Courtney just exude bratiness? they sit her out so she has to do the challenge and she folds her arms and rolls her eyes and acts like she has just been asked in middle school PE class to jog a lap, i can almost hear her starving brain say "oh my gawd, i am going to be so embarassed, god!"

October 12 2007 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's easy for someone to suddenly change and pick up the workboots, it's not that easy for someone to be not annoying all of a sudden. I think they made a good choice in getting rid of Dave. Has everyone forgotten, work attitude aside, how he talked down to the rest of his tribe? Sharea was the only one after Ashley who wouldn't stand for it - again her work ethic aside. I would like Jean-Robert to surprise me more though. That Mandarin was a kick!

Schnoop: Why pick on Sharea's underwear? As far as I can see everyone else is in the same boat as her when it comes to undergarments.

October 12 2007 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to pay more attention. I didn't see them put the rope around the birds necks; I thought the fish were too big for the birds to swallow and they just popped them out when the birds came back. Now I feel really stupid. I was wondering why the birds would catch fish they couldn't swallow. The wole thing akes much more sense now. Jeez, I must be getting senile.

I really thought they'd vote out Sherea not Dave. As annoying as he was, they may regret that decision because Dave was always working. Guess we'll see.

October 12 2007 at 2:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now that they voted the annoying guy out it's likely that they won't be winning any more challenges and it'll be the blame game at the next council. I'm sure Shereea will get her chance at being voted out soon enough. It does look like they have some unity now though, that will carry them into the union pretty well. It's too bad too, I would love for the other tribe to get the chance to vote the skinny girl out.

I get the feeling the tribes will be joined pretty soon, what two or three more shows tops?

October 12 2007 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At first I didn't agree with the way Jean-Robert was playing the game. But more and more it seems like a really good strategy. Be really shitty for a while, get put up on the chopping block, survive, and reform. That's good work if he keeps it up. James was overreacting to his translation orders, but that's just typical James. If that guy keeps his mouth shut he'll totally get the Green Mile vote.

October 12 2007 at 12:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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