Congratulations, Ashley Underwood! You just won the coveted Most Infuriating Survivor Contestant of the Year award! You join a long line of distinguished recipients: Clay Jordan from Survivor: Thailand. Osten Taylor from Survivor: Pearl Islands. Sierra Reed from Survivor: Tocantins. NaOnka Mixon from Survivor: Nicaragua. Almost the entire cast of Survivor: Fiji. These honorees all earned their titles in different ways. There's no magic formula for success in this department, just the natural-born ability to infuriate viewers beyond belief. And my, was Ashley infuriating last night.
Perhaps I am particularly infuriated because Ashley was my preseason pick to win the game. And who knows, she may still do it. But she certainly is not playing the game. Not since Jan in Survivor: Thailand have I seen someone so content to sit back and do absolutely nothing. It's actually worse than doing nothing. It’s the outright refusal to do something. Ashley has been aggressive in her pursuit of unaggressive gameplay. She said it herself in this latest episode, noting that "Rob's very smart and he's played this game before. And so we're kind of taking our lead from him." Really? We hadn’t noticed!
Then Steve went over and tried his best to explain to her and Natalie that Rob would definitely be taking Phillip to the finals instead of them because no one would vote for Phillip. He suggested the three women join up with him in voting off Rob. "That actually would work if we wanted Andrea in on it," Ashley said to Natalie. Wait, has she finally seen the light? Grown a spine? Decided to make a move? "But we don't." Oh, well. But wait, it gets worse!
Not only did she refuse to even consider the option, but she then immediately ran over to her lord and master Boston Rob and told him how Steve had approached her and said, "'Our two votes are going for Rob, so if you three girls want to make a big move now's the time, blah, blah, blah.' Which obviously we didn't entertain." Obviously. This easily had to be the most frustrating scene to watch all season long. Finally we saw a possible glimmer of someone actually not letting Rob walk all over them, and instead they lay down on the ground and put a carpet over themselves just to make his walk all that much smoother. I'm not sure which part of her quote is worse, the part where she equates Steve's words of wisdom with "blah, blah, blah," or where she says she "obviously didn't entertain" the suggestion. Again, obviously.
On one hand, you have to be impressed with the masterful job Rob has done in controlling every single aspect of his tribe. On the other, you have to be frustrated by the fact that he has been offered absolutely no competition whatsoever. Will someone else please stand up and play this game?!? While we're waiting…and waiting…and waiting, let’s take this week's episode from the top.
In the aftermath of the big Tribal Council rice-meets-race debate, Steve comes up and tries to make peace with Phillip. Only Phillip is not buying it, saying that Steve is not being "totally genuous." That's fine, because Steve then tells us that Phillip should have reached out to him. As for Rob, he is giddy about the racial stuff that Phillip started, proclaiming that "as long as he keeps up his stupid antics he'll be coming with me all the way to the finals."
NEXT: Misquoting Jack Nicholson