Dragon idiot’s ego inflates as Exile alliance crumbles

I was hoping to start this post with “Awesome awesome awesome,” but instead it’s more like, “shit shit shit.” That’s because the showdown between Ben “Coach” Wade and Brendan Synnott on Survivor Tocantins ended with Coach being victorious, at least in his own mind.

My now apparently blind hatred of Coach makes the game play irrelevant–for example, it probably was a good move to get rid of Brendan, who was extremely smart and also hard to read. Last night also ended the Exile alliance that got so much attention for the first half of the season, which evaporated as Taj voted for Brendan, who became the first member of the jury.

For a moment, it seemed like the alliance would actually have an impact, because after bonding on the whitewater rafting reward challenge with JT, Brendan formed a new alliance to take down Coach, all while pretending to still be voting out JT. Little did he know that none of those people intended to vote with him, as they instead turned on him. Brendan didn’t even play his immunity idol–which he confessed to having at Tribal Council–because he was so confident, which was, of course, dumb.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that vote inflated Coach’s ego even more, which is scarier than anything. The whole plan to dump Brendan was initially Tyson’s idea, but that didn’t stop Coach from taking credit.

I don’t think Survivor has ever had such an aggravating villain, and it’s not because he’s actually villainous, but because his ego is so big that he’s convinced he is a lot greater than he ever could be. The assclown even has a Jesus complex, calling himself “the chosen one” after saying that “Brendan’s the dragon, I’m the dragon slayer, this is going to be the biggest power move to date of this game, no question about it,” he said. “When it comes head to head, we’ll see tonight who really was the chosen one. It’s going to be Coach Wade. So that’s very fulfilling.”

The guy is seriously out of control. During the immunity challenge, Brendan responded to some trash talking by saying, “We’re throwing underhand breaking tiles. None of us have ever done this in our lives.” Coach then said, “I have.” Such a liar; I must have missed that other season of Survivor that he was on.

Ben Wade must be doing all of this intentionally, just to irritate his fellow competitors (and us). It’s working, at least on me. Most outrageous of all was the story he told at the start of the episode, which is so insane that it seems like he just retold the plot of an action movie. I’ll quote myself because it’s hard to summarize in two diffferent ways:

Coach shared a story with the tribe–there are only “three people in the world that know this story,” he said–about being abducted, tied to a stake, and beaten with a club by indigenous people when he was kayaking the Amazon, and before they killed him he wriggled through ropes like an action hero and kayaked his way to safety. Listening to this story, the other tribe members–several of whom later said they didn’t believe Coach–all looked tired and sleepy, and probably grateful that it was pitch black and only the infrared cameras could see them.

“I just can’t describe the feeling of being stalked by another human being,” Coach said. Well, if it’s anything like listening to your stories, it must be terrible.

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.