Survivor 7 recaps

A pale misty haze shrouded the sunrise over the Morgan tribe on Day 10, an evil and foreboding fog which refused to dissipate even as the stinging westerly winds crashed the growing tide onto the hot beach. Large black vultures circled ominously over the campsite, waiting with growing impatience for the tribe to finally collapse, and indeed the Morgans were beginning to wonder if they would live long enough to be voted out. The tide was oozing farther up the beach with each wave, and it was decided that instead of moving the shelter inland, they would hurl shovelfuls of sand defiantly into the ocean.


"It's almost comical now," mused Ryan "Rhino" Opray (so named by his cohorts because he looked nothing at all like a rhino, and to distinguish him from the late Ryan "Tapeworm" Shoulders). He was referring to his tribe's spectacular, glorious failure at everything they attempted, from finding the water hole six paces from camp, to winning the challenges Mark Burnett was rigging in their favor. Though the words were shown here in the fourth episode, it is likely he said them within minutes of jumping off the boat.


Andrew "Carrier Pigeon" Savage added, "Morale is low," a phrase which can now be added to the Survivor drinking game, as he has said it in every confessional he's had. He then described the food situation: they were now subsisting on crabs, fire ants, and other items of the sort that in previous seasons were used in the gross food challenges. He hinted that Darrah "Opossum" Johnson was no longer in danger of being voted out, because if it came to it, the rest of the tribe would gladly settle for Cajun food.


Oh, but things were much worse at the Drake tribe, for though they were not starving and shivering and dropping like flies, they had to deal with each other. First there was Jon "Womp Rat" Dalton. Due to an unfortunate workplace injury -- art consultants are constantly at risk of pile drivers -- Jon walked constantly with a strut, as though he heard the Bee Gees playing in his head with every step. There was also Burton "Monitor Lizard" Roberts and Shawn "Chupacabra" Cohen, who once had a successful cartoon series on MTV, now spent their ample free time mocking Rupert. Rupert "Insert Large Animal Name Here" Boneham was big-boned but soft-skinned, and he was rather hurt by this. "I'm just the way the Lord made me, mannnn..." he pouted, but otherwise turned the other cheeks, for Rupert was a peacenik straight out of Berkeley, for which we can all be grateful. Then there was Christa "Kelly Goldsmith" Hastie, who used her confessionals as a substitute for a slam book.


"Okay, so I'm washing my buff on the beach, and Trish comes up to me and she's all, 'ya know Shawn?', and I'm like, 'uh, yeah', and she's like, 'he wants you', and I'm like 'shut up, nuh-uh' and she's all, 'Jon told me after the challenge', and I was like, 'well Jon's a creep and you're a slut', and she gets all mad and says 'yeah, well you're fat' and she walks away! I mean, what was her deal? I'm, like, totally gonna vote for her."


So most of the time the Drake tribe was simmering with internal hostility, but come challenge time they were always able to focus that hostility on their opponent, much like many professional basketball teams. Such was the case when they headed for the reward challenge later that day.


The reward challenge was drastically different than all the previous challenges, for it involved running from the beach to retrieve things in the water. Jeff "Magilla" Probst fired the starting gun and Drake took off, as Morgan stood around discussing how badly they should lose this time. When Drake was halfway finished getting their puzzle pieces, Morgan made up their minds and sent Osten "Peregrine Falcon" Taylor into the sea. Sadly, between this episode and the last, Osten had forgotten how to swim, and with a "glub" sank beneath the waves. The producers replaced him with a squat ill-tempered Irish woman, hoping the viewers wouldn't notice.


And so Drake won the challenge, and Probst unveiled their prize. "You've won........a sewing machine!" He stepped aside as a pretty blonde girl wheeled an antique sewing machine up from behind him. "Uhh...great...a sewing machine..." said the Drakes, brandishing the kind of smiles you see from college kids on The Price is Right when they find out they won bedroom furniture.


But they also got the final piece of the map, and would now be able to find their buried treasure. The third clue was rather vague, telling them only to follow the producers' footprints into the woods until they reached a freshly-dug mound marked by a wooden stake with an orange X spray-painted on it. Then they would find the route marker which would lead them to their next clue. At last they dug up the chest, and the built-up suspense was much rewarded when they opened their treasure and discovered a moldy jug of sour whiskey (this of course was not their treasure; the producers had filled their chest with food and gold and buried it just a few feet away. The hapless Drakes had instead mistakenly dug up a real treasure buried in 1632 by Sherman Pearl, the explorer for whom the Pearl Islands were named). "Aw right! Booze!" exclaimed Jon, and downed the liquor in one swig.


Now Trish "Killer Whale" Dunn was sent forth, into the land of Morgan where the shadows lie, to see if there was anything left for her to steal. And, of course, there wasn't, so she stole a leaf from their favorite tree. Darrah was horror-struck by this heartless act and curled up into a ball. Meanwhile, Andrew and Ryan hiked into the woods and promptly got lost. A Blair Witch joke was planned here, but, alas, they offered one themselves. They studied the map, which they now realized read "Far Side of Island Controlled by Iraqi Republican Guard, Do Not Enter." Andrew was worried that the tribe's precious morale might wane if they didn't come back with fish or a new spot for their shelter. He didn’t have to worry much longer, for suddenly Charlie got the drop on them, and they were not seen again in this world. The producers replaced them with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.


That night Burt took Rupert aside. "I think we should throw the next challenge," he said.


"I don't want to throw the next challenge," Rupert replied.


"Okay, glad we got that settled. We'll throw the next challenge then," said Burton.


Rupert expressed his disgust for Burton in a confessional. "If this was a pirate culture," he sneered, "he'd already be dead!


"...wait a minute. This IS a pirate culture!" Suddenly Rupert obtained a very malicious sneer, and the cameraman screamed and ran off, abandoning the rolling camera. But Rupert just crawled away through the grass, muttering "heeeeere Burty Burty Burty." Still in the camera's range, he sprang on Burton, and then chased him in and out of the frame like a Benny Hill routine.


But entering the immunity challenge, the Drake plan still appeared to be to lose on purpose. This exponentially increased Morgan's chances of winning, from zero all the way up to one in seventy-nine thousand.


The immunity challenge, the first challenge of the season involving water, was a rehash of the famous wrestling challenge in Thailand in which Robb heroically defeated Clay in a shocking upset. Jeff spit out a typical lame back story about pirates engaging each other in battle, as though they would have done so by setting up plastic platforms in shallow coves. Drake picked their strongest members to sit out, while Morgan asked if they could just forget it and go back home.


Pirates? Pirates!

Always sticklers for historical accuracy, Survivor teaches us that pirates only engaged in hand-to-hand combat when they were within the white contact boundaries. There's no fucking rules, dude!!!


But as the challenge began, something incredible happened. Maybe it was a trick of the light. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was the twelve-hour seminar Jon had given the tribe, entitled "Professional wrestling moves, Part II: How to take a fall convincingly, but not too convincingly, so that the audience can still tell you're faking it." Whatever the reason, Morgan started to win. Those who were there that fateful July day bore witness to one of the most astonishing victories in the history of sports, warfare, and Survivor. Well, not Survivor. Drake after Drake fell, convincingly, yet not too convincingly, and finally, as Darrah grabbed Christa's head and tossed her aside like a Yankees bench coach, the pirate's curse was finally lifted, and immunity was given to the Morgan tribe.


And behold, there was another surprise in store. "The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz has passed a new decree!" proclaimed Jeffy. He unrolled a small scroll. "The winning tribe, as long as it is Morgan, shall choose one member of the losing tribe (who we strongly suggest should be the star of the show) to live with them for the next few days."


"We want the Irish woman," said Trish, before the realization dawned that they weren't the winning tribe.


Tijuana "Jackalope" Bradley spoke for the Morgans. "We want Rupert," she said. "He's so big. And he looks so strong. And tasty."


So Probst ordered Rupert to switch boats, reminding the Morgan tribe that they were not allowed to eat the stolen player, and sent them on their way.


Back at camp, Jon celebrated his first professional mixed-gender performance (having been pinned in all three matches by women) by tipping back on the sauce some more. Then, as he does every week, he leaped into the arms of one of his male tribemates. Although this time he too the extra step of stripping naked first, leading us to ponder whether the much-ballyhooed "Greatest Lie Ever Told" in this series might be Jon's claim that he likes women. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


But despite the fun the Drakes had with wagering on how long each could last after sticking Jon down their pants, there was still the matter of Tribal Council, so the tribe was forced to do a bit of planning. It was quickly obvious they weren't too good at it. Burton went around asking people not to vote for him. Jon was uncharacteristically confident, claiming he had an alliance with all the Drake men, all the Drake women, all the Morgan women, all the Samburu men, and most of the Democrats. Christa simply shrugged and hoped for the best.


So Drake entered the Tribal Council set. Jeff sat down and sighed. "Well, here we are again, another Tribal Council. Tijuana, what are some of the hardships you've had to endure?" The Drake tribe looked around, puzzled.


"Oh, jeez, I forgot!" Jeff cried, slapping his forehead. "I was just used to the other tribe! Sorry guys, I'll go fetch three more stools for you." He clapped his hands and three extra stools were furnished by local slaves, whom CBS employed at five cents a week to keep out the media and lie to Wezzie.


Since he didn't know their names yet, Jeffy had to take roll.

"Burton?" "Here."

"Christa?" "Here."

"Rupert? Rupert? Rupert? Rupert?"


Michelle "Hummingbird" Tesauro raised her hand. "Um, my best friend's sister's cousin's boyfriend knows this guy who says Rupert is staying at the Morgan tribe tonight."


The host decided to just skip to the questions.


"Jon, what are some of the hardships you've had to endure?"


Jon curled his lip and started bobbing his head around like Stevie Wonder. "Hardships? Hardships smardships, lardships bardships, Jeffy Pips! Ha ha ha!"


Dancing Fairplay

You can dance, you can jive

Having the time of your life


Jeff started. "Dude, are you high?"


"High? High smardships..."


"All right, forget it," Probst interrupted, wearing a look that said either "the nerve of this creep" or "he is so hot right now."


They voted. Christa scurried uneasily to the urn, biting her nails all the way. She wrote "Circle Me Burt" on her card, and quickly sat down, nervously playing with her hair. Jon strutted up to the booth in such a manner that all he was missing was a purple zoot suit and a fedora with a feather sticking out. Mysteriously, all he wrote on his card was "What's the frequency Kenneth." Burton voted for Christa and shamelessly wrote his phone number underneath, adding "call me! ;)" at the end.


Christa votes, or something

Oh crap, were we voting for Burton or Shawn? Aw screw it, there's no bloody difference.


When the votes were counted, it was Burton who was victimized by his own schemes. Jeffy snuffed his torch and tossed him out.


"You guys can head back to camp. And I better not see you back in here again. You're better than that."


But of course he knew that the Drake tribe was already doomed.