Image credit: <p>Monty Brinton</p>
OUCH! THAT HURTS! Alexis' bum knee wasn't the only thing that stung her on Survivor this week.
Three straight weeks, three straight surprises at Tribal Council: How the immunity idol factored into a shocking show marked by injuries to James and Alexis -- and Amanda's astonishing acting| Published May 4, 2008
I'm back! Had a lovely vacation last week. It started with a road trip down to see my mom in Washington, D.C. I was a little tired from the drive and was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I glanced over by the shower. And what do I see hanging from the shower head but a hidden immunity idol! It was awesome! The next morning when mom asked me to go out and grab some bagels, I whipped it out and yelled, ''In your face, old woman!'' There was nothing she could do except get her keys and go get her own damn bagel. And mine. (I prefer everything ones, by the way.)
Then, a few days later, we're chillin' in Colonial Williamsburg. We're listening to some speech on how the Declaration of Independence has just been signed and some dude dressed up as Patrick Henry nudges me in the ribs and then points over to the town jail (which they spell ''Gaol'' for some odd reason). I'm worried he has mistaken me for Benedict Arnold and is going to have me locked up, but I check it out anyway. And what do I find? Hidden immunity idol! So a few hours later when the wife tells me she thinks it would be cute if I dressed up in colonial garb — kablamo! — I bust out the idol and shout, ''In your dreams, m'lady!'' She was stunned for a second, but knew the rules dictated that she was now the one who had to go over to costume services to get fitted to look like a moron. Hell, I found hidden immunity idols everywhere on my vacation: 1,000 feet underground in Luray Caverns, in a garden maze, at the Molly Pitcher rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.... At least I'm pretty sure they were all hidden immunity idols. Although you can't blame me for at least thinking they were everywhere, can you? After all, we've only seen about 312 of them this season on Survivor. I would be sick to death of them — if they didn't keep yielding such blatantly awesome results.
But let's take it from the top. This episode started with James hanging out in a Survivor medical services boat, being warned that if the cut on his finger did not improve he would have to be taken out of the game. Unfortunately, thanks to Jeff Probst revealing in recent interviews that someone else was going to be forced from the game, we already knew how this was going to play out. (Jeff is usually vary savvy about giving out teases on the show without actually ruining the suspense on anything, but that intel coupled with last episode's voice over instruction for James to have ''medical look at your finger'' made it all too obvious a week ago what was going to happen, making the whole thing pretty anticlimactic.)
James wasn't the only one hurting, however. Alexis was looking gimpy back at camp after cutting her knee. Could this all be an ingenious fake out! Could Alexis, rather than James, be the one who has to leave due to injury?!? Uhhhhhh...no. So off to the reward challenge we went. Producers decided to combine two of their old standbys, the F-You challenge (where contestants are forced to reveal how they truly feel about one another through a series of questions, and then reveal some sort of pecking order in how they kick people out of the game) and the loved-ones visit together. They merged them into something I like to call: ''F-You Loved Ones!'' What did we learn from the loved ones who visited? Well, Parvati and her mom love to tell each other how good they look and fabulous they smell, Natalie's mom must have a thing for arm pit hair, and James' dad had perhaps the least conducive clothing on for a tropical environment that I've ever seen in my life. What, was the tux at the cleaners or something? You taking a business meeting over at Jellyfish Lake later? Imagine if he had actually been performing in the challenge with that stuff on, as has happened in seasons past. Instead, all he had to do was sit on the sideline mumbling, ''Wait until I get back home, we're gonna talk about her,'' after Alexis eliminated James from the challenge. And I believe that conversation would go a little something like this:
NEXT PAGE: How that conversation would go