Sugar uses Bob’s fake immunity idol to exact revenge on Randy, who apologized to Crystal

It’s hard to capture the comic drama of last night’s Survivor Gabon episode–a great episode to lead into a two-week break, since Thanksgiving’s is a clip/recap episode–because there’s no way a summary can do Tribal Council’s dramatic tension and non-stop “no way” moments. Once again, someone fell for a fake immunity idol, with Randy playing Bob’s impeccably crafted fake idol at the prompting of Sugar, who wanted to get back at Randy.

Despite being a fan of the show, Randy was convinced by the fake idol. “Honestly, I pretty much thought that it was real,” he told me when we talked a few minutes ago. “Bob was a friend, Bob was even an ally. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the benefit he thought he might get by giving me a fake idol. The only possible benefit is making me look foolish, and I didn’t think Bob was that kind of guy.”

Randy said his increasing outspokenness in the game “was a result of me finding a home with Marcus, Charlie, and Corinne. We felt in control, and it didn’t matter if I treated Sugar like a princess or if I treated her like the way you saw me treat her,” he said. “On day 23, I was already practicing me speech at finals,” but then, of course, Marcus was voted out.

I reminded him that, before the season started, he told me, “If you carve a strategy in stone, you’re fucked from the beginning,” and being so confident in an alliance is pretty much a stone-carved strategy. “Please don’t curse, Andy,” Randy joked. “I’ve ready your article on me several times, and I played that not carving the strategy in stone perfectly for the first 18, 19 days of the game,” he said. “I would have been much better off not aligning with anybody; the power alliances in this game are getting picked off.”

When Sugar voted for Randy, she said, “You are a disgusting, old, hot-headed, chauvinistic, alcoholic bigot, and you need to grow up before you die alone.” Her strong feelings were echoed by Crystal. “You have made my life hell from day one. Forget you, go home, goodbye,” she essentially yelled–loud enough so everyone could hear it. (Jeff Probst tells the cast members during their first visit to Tribal that the voting confessional is purposefully placed close enough so that the voter can make their intentions known, but I can’t remember anyone taking advantage of that until last night.)

Those kinds of comments, in addition to ones from previous weeks, convinced me that Survivor Gabon is different and less-satisfying strategically because, as I wrote last night, people are playing the game emotionally and personally, not strategically. Sugar wanted Randy gone because he annoyed her, and wanted to humiliate him at the same time, which was perhaps deserved considering some of the awful things he said.

I asked Randy if there was anything he regretted saying or if he ever crossed a line, and he said, “Don’t beat around the bush. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Two weeks ago during Tribal Council, I cringed watching it. At the time, I didn’t know what I was saying. And the ‘posse gang line’ to Crystal was–I cringed when I watched that on TV. I’ve talked to Crystal, I’ve apologized, I believe she’s accepted it, and we’ve moved on. As far as the T-Rek, Sasquatch, Bigfoot line, there’s no apology required there. She called me the ugly troll that lives under the bridge. We’re all out there a long time; a lot of people say a lot of things about everybody and most of it’s not all that flattering.”

As to Sugar’s send-off of Randy, “Actually, I loved it,” he said. “I was out there 30 days, I drink three beers, and she calls me an alcoholic, which pretty much blows away all her credibility for all of her other comments. I loved last night’s episode because of Sugar’s edit. It showed just what a vicious–she’s just a crappy person.”

Of those remaining, Randy said, “I think there’s two people left in the game that are actually playing the game, and that’s Kenny and Corinne. I think the rest of them just don’t have a clue what they’re doing out there and they haven’t from the beginning.”

Here’s something that may come as a surprise: “Believe it or not, I made as many friends out there as anybody did,” Randy said, citing Charlie, Corinne (“we’re best friends”), and Marcus, in addition to Matty, Dan, and Ace, who he said is a great guy–and Ace does not hit women and Ace did not say he’s famous to the cops,” referring to police reports about Ace’s recent arrest. “What [viewers] saw was accurate, but what they didn’t see was hours and hours and hours of me actually being human with some of the friends I made out here,” Randy said. “There’s another side of me.”

Speaking of his friendships, Randy said, “I have a date with Charlie going to see Clay Aiken on Broadway. I’m dead serious and I’m looking forward to it.” I initially laughed because I thought he was joking, but they actually are going to see Clay Aiken in Spamalot tonight. Clearly, CBS should show video from that instead of the clip show next week.

‘Survivor’ gets personal as season nears end [MSNBC]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.