Survivor China: Ready to Bite the Apple
I realize he's hungry and I'm not all that sure apples are indigenous to China. He could nibble on some bamboo. After all, that keeps those cool panda bears looking all that fat and healthy.
Maybe I'd call this episode, "We Don't Need No Steenkin' Apples, Give Us Bamboo!" Yeah, that's it.
Due to last week's clip/rerun/recap episode, we've been hanging for two weeks with unfinished business at Tribal Council. Would someone else go home? Would Jeff declare himself the winner and send them all home? Nope. Nothing of the sort.Jeff dismissed the jury and told the rest that they'd be playing for a special reward. The winner and two others of his or her choice would travel by private jet to a 1500 year-old Shaolin Temple. And, indeed, grasshoppers, this is where the martial art kung fu originated.
The Rewards Challenge consisted of questions about China's history. As always, I thought it was Jeopardy and called out my answers in the form of a question from my sofa. I was surprised that I got most of them right, but was certainly guessing on a few. As were the castaways, I might add.
Peih-Gee won the reward and chose Erik (naturally, her only surviving Zhan Hu partner) and, surprisingly enough, Denise. I'm not sure if Peih-Gee knew how great it was for Denise.
First off, Denise has been studying karate for years and has a huge interest in martial arts. Also, she has been having a feeling of being odd man out as of late. She's been the last picked or nearly last in every schoolyard pick of the game. She hasn't always been informed what's going on with her own tribe mates and, let's face it, she's a middle-aged sort of chunky woman with a mullet and a strong Massachusetts accent.
She's kind of like a female version of Boston Rob wearing a mullet haircut and not anywhere near as clever or sneaky at the game. Okay, maybe it's just the accent. But I bet Boston Rob wore a mullet at sometime in his life. He just seems the type.
The four who didn't go on the trip -- Courtney, James, Amanda, and Todd -- thought it would mean more relaxing and more food for themselves with the three out of the way. Of course, they conspired. You can't split up the tribe and have any groups of two or more without conspiring at this point.
But the true feast went on at the temple. I personally found it all kinds of fascinating on so many levels. I can't imagine what it would be like to be there in person. The architecture of the temple was stunning. The monks playing music, the interest they showed in their American visitors ... the group of small children giving them lessons after the main demonstration.
They even let Denise give the entire group a demonstration of her expertise. Before you knew it, everybody was kung fu fighting. Man, those cats were as fast as lightning. (Oh, you know I had to fit that in somewhere here, right?)
After the demonstrations were all over, the three lucky reward recipients had a meal which couldn't be beat. Chinese food, yes. But certainly not of the ilk from the take-out down the block from me! Then they settled down for a great restful sleep on mats, much better than what their fellow tribe mates had. Peih-Gee said she was in her happy place.
What did the others have? Pouring rain that just wouldn't quit, forcing them to huddle in the cave which is just about big enough for two people, but not four or more.
When the reward party returned, they all jammed towards the cave after only Amanda emerged to welcome them back. That irked Courtney. You see, the cave is her personal happy place. But it's not a happy place when others are in it. How dare they seek her shelter and talk about the reward!
As I figured, Denise is wavering a bit on how she should play. Being very careful not to alienate Peih-Gee and Erik, she had nodded a lot but didn't commit to anything as Peih-Gee tried to swing her their way. Upon returning, she told Todd they worked on her and that Peih-Gee thinks they should target Todd himself. I think Denise wants to stay with whatever side will tip the scales in the voting game at Tribal Council.
Amanda had her own plan which didn't stick with the Fei Long strategy. She took Courtney along to get the tree mail about the Immunity Challenge. While there, she discussed targeting James instead of Peih-Gee or Erik. If they can blindside him and make him feel he's safe, she's sure he won't use the hidden immunity idols even though he has both of them. He also thinks he's running the show and is all that and a bag of chips.
If James read the tree mail, it had a forewarning which could apply to him -- "arrogance breeds complacency." Aha! He's been arrogant, especially since holding the idols. He thinks no one can survive without him and has been acting the part of big boss man. I liked him in the beginning, but he's been way too smug and controlling the past few weeks.
The Immunity Challenge itself also incorporated kung fu -- this time the kung fu throwing stars. Each person had three times to hit a target of three figures with different points awarded for certain areas of the target. The top three, or four as it turned into a four-way tie, had a sudden death showdown with the best of one toss of a star.
Courtney actually ended up amongst the four tied for the second round. Peih-Gee, Erik, and James were the other three. But it was dead-eye southpaw Erik who brought it all home, winning immunity for a second ex-Zhan Hu win in a row.
But, he might be nibbling on his own apple even though James doesn't want his people to bite the apple which is Erik and Peih-Gee. Erik doesn't have the alliance to Peih-Gee that she has to him, I don't think. I believe he's more willing to go in alone with the Fei Long than she is. She wants him with her.
And, it looks like Peih-Gee is a goner, right?
Nope. Amanda put her plan in motion -- the James blindside shuffle. When Peih-Gee rather timidly approached Amanda about James having the idols and it might be a good time to force them into play or get rid of James, Amanda jumped on it. "Let everyone think you're going home. We need him to feel comfortable enough not to use the idol."
Amanda told Erik, but Erik didn't have as much faith in the plan as she did. But Peih-Gee really had nothing to lose. They both discussed voting for Todd so it could be win-win for them. If Courtney, Amanda, Denise, and Todd all voted for James, James for Peih-Gee, and they voted for Todd -- they'd be covered. If James saved himself, Todd would go.
James told us in confessional that if he felt the least bit worried that something was going to go wrong, he'd save himself with an idol before the votes were tallied.
He should have taken his own advice. He looked like he felt a bit hinky as Jeff asked his Probsting questions at Tribal Council. But did he get a clue?
James voted for Peih-Gee, Peih-Gee voted for Todd, and everyone else voted for James to go.
The looks on all of their faces, including the jury, was priceless. It was all they could do to keep from laughing out loud. Todd even pulled his hat over his face. But, in the end, James told us he got too sure of his position and it was his own fault he was voted out. He told us that as he shook the two immunity idols at the camera. He said the others were playing the game and I thought his reaction was as it should be. Todd had thought he might get killed. He may, but not by James and probably not over Survivor China.
They have nine days to go and I'm going to be very interested in seeing how the dynamics change.