Last night’s two-hour episode was a frustrating one. Yes, we’ve made it to the merge. It’s now an individual game and this is the time when, traditionally, we start to really get to know the players. It’s after the merge that we usually pick our favorites and decide who we want to see win the game. Traditionally, the shows right after the merge are some of the best.
This year, however….
It was frustrating to watch and, to be honest, it’s frustrating to write about. It’s not just that we lost two of the strongest players in the game last night. I love Kellee and I hate the way she got voted out but, to be honest, it’s hard for me to sympathize too much with anyone who gets voted out with two immunity idols in her pocket. By that same token, I’m even more uspet about what happened at Jamal’s tribal council but again, Jamal didn’t have to try to fool Dean with the fake Legacy advantage and, for that matter, Jamal didn’t have to waste his idol on Noura last week, What’s frustrating is what went on while those two were being voted out.
Did I say frustrating? Maybe I should say enraging, instead. I nearly threw a shoe at the TV last night and it wasn’t just because my favorite players were getting voted out.
Last night’s episode was dominated by Dan. Dan’s creepiness has been evident since the season began. During the first episode, all of the women on the original Vokai Tribe talked about how uncomfortable Dan made them. In fact, if Vokai hadn’t won that first immunity challenge, Dan probably would have been voted out because he made everyone so uncomfortable. At the time, I think Dan was told that he was being too “touchy-feely” and he apologized, saying that he didn’t mean to upset anyone.
Dan didn’t change his behavior. As we saw last night, he was still the same creepster that he’s been since the season started. Despite what Elizabeth and Missy claimed during the second hour of last night’s show, both of them did state that Dan made them feel uncomfortable. He made me uncomfortable while I was watching the show and reading that “producers continued to monitor the situation” didn’t make me feel any better about it. When you’re not feeling safe, being told that people will continue to watch you feeling unsafe doesn’t do much to help.
After the merge, Kellee tried to target Dan. She was able to get Janet, Karishma, Noura, and Jamal to vote with her. Unfortunately, everyone else voted for Kellee. Even Missy, who started this game talking about how she was all about girl power, voted for Kellee. (Of course, that could be because Lauren lied and said that Kellee was targeting Missy.) If Kellee had played one of her two immunity idols, Dan would have been voted out. Instead, she held onto both of her idols and she was sent to the jury. And, as much as I love Kellee, that was foolish on her part. She should have realized that she was viewed as being the biggest threat on the beach and she should have played at least one of her idols.
After Kellee was voted out, Janet was angry. Janet voted for Dan specifically because she was told that Missy, Elizabeth, Elaine, and Lauren would all be voting for Dan. Janet saw the vote as being a “moral vote,” one that was being cast not for strategic reasons but because of Dan’s behavior. Instead, back at camp, Missy, Elizabeth, and Lauren all lied and claimed that they had never approached Janet about how uncomfortable Dan was making them feel.
“It’s the most absurd accusation in the history of mankind!” Dan exclaimed, even though people have been telling him that they made him feel uncomfortable since the game began.
Ostracized by the rest of the tribe, Janet went off on her own and …. found an idol! Good for Janet!
Meanwhile, the Island of the Idols came back into play and basically totally screwed Jamal over. Jamal found the invite to the Island. Upon arrival, he was informed by Boston Rob and Sandra that he had lost his vote in the tribal council. However, Boston Rob handed Jamal a pencil and a parchment and told him to do something with it. Jamal created a fake legacy advantage, which he handed to Dean in front of the entire tribe. Jamal claimed that he was doing it to “make peace” with Dean but he didn’t do a very good job selling his story and, as a result, Jamal just put a bigger target on his back.
At Tribal that night, Jamal was the obvious target but most of the discussion centered around Dan. Perhaps realizing that “monitoring the situation” was not enough, Jeff Probst called out Dan’s behavior and, at certain points, seemed to almost be begging the tribe to vote Dan out. Dan argued that he can’t be a creepster because he’s married and has a daughter. He also said he was a part of the film industry and that “#MeToo started in my industry!” Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Missy continued to lie about what they had said about Dan making them feel uncomfortable. Jamal said that times have changed and that men have to take responsibility for how their behavior makes other people feel. Janet, at one point, seemed like she was on the verge of quitting but she didn’t.
As I watched that tribal, I found myself probably getting more ticked off than I’ve ever gotten while watching a Survivor tribal council. Dan’s rambling and defensive monologue was bad enough. (Instead of apologizing, he argued that everyone else was wrong for feeling uncomfortable around him.) But then Elizabeth, Missy, and Lauren flat out lied about what they had said about Dan. It was upsetting to watch. Oddly enough, all of the discussion had very little to do with how the actual vote went.
Janet did play her idol. She received two votes, from Missy and Karishma. Missy, I’m going to assume, was angry at Janet for calling her out. I’m not sure why Karishma voted the way that she did.
Lauren, Elaine, and Elizabeth all voted for Karishma. The rest of the tribe voted for Jamal and, by a vote of 6-3, Jamal joined Jack and Kellee on the jury.
So, two of the strongest players are now on the jury and some of the least likable people to ever appear on the show remain in the game. I guess I’m rooting for Janet now, though I don’t think she’s a strong enough player to make it to the end.
We’ll see what happens!
P.S. For the record, Aaron won two immunities last night and Missy won one. (The 2nd immunity challenge featured two winners.) Both the of the immunity challenges were intense but, in the end, neither one of them played a huge role in who went home. That said, I can’t help but think that Aaron will be targeted the minute that he no longer has immunity.