Survivor men cut off their cock as roles reverse

Seasons of Survivor where one tribe absolutely decimates the other can be entertaining, but they are ultimately less satisfying than ones in which there is a constant power shift. Thankfully, that happened last night, as the women’s tribe–forget the tribes’ actual names; Jeff Probst certainly doesn’t use them–pulled out a decisive win in the reward challenge and then a come-from-behind win in the immunity challenge, forcing them men to finally turn on themselves.

They ended up getting rid of their king cock, Matt, who’d declared that his tribe was full of roosters and chickens, which he later clarified as “average joes” versus, I don’t know, people like him with shaved bodies and abs and 4.5 brain cells. He told us that he’d been “creating this power” and now, “I want to use it.”

But the ugly guys had enough of his alleged leadership and got rid of him. Oops. While Matt was certainly annoying on some level, he made the classic Survivor mistake: standing out early in the game. So did Colton, of course, as he blazed a trail of flames between the two tribes’ camps, but he does not seem like a threat to the other men, which is probably going to work to their advantage and our disadvantage.

The episode began with a crazy story and the women holding strong and staying in their shelter, until morning came and they ran over to the men to protect them. Kim said she was proud of her tribe for sticking it out overnight but had “no shame” in the morning because “I’ve never been so miserable.” That didn’t make much sense to me: take the offer of shelter and fire! Why not? It gives you a chance to get closer to your enemies. But at least 50, maybe 75 percent of these people appear unaware that they are playing a strategic game for $1 million.

Colton used the women’s frequent requests for things as an opportunity to tell us, “I am Republican, I am not a Democrat. I do not believe in handouts.” Don’t forget he also doesn’t believe in doing work for himself, as he previously revealed, or in telling the truth, as he told his tribe he’d play his idol and did not.

They made it to Tribal Council for the first time after the men lost both challenges. One of the reasons why I love having two real challenges every episode is that the first affects the dynamics of the second, something Probst even acknowledged; the losers are more demoralized and/or more desperate and/or more pumped up.

The reward challenge, for fishing gear and a boat, was basically a game of memory, which the women easily won, although their weak link stood out like a skull on a shelf of bottles: Kat. But she was up against Troyzan, who is similarly dense–or, of I’m being kind, similarly awful at that particular game. The editors had great fun with that, turning it into a montage complete with “these are dumb people!” music.

The immunity challenge was the usually hilarious blindfolded partners game, which often exposes a tribe’s inability to communicate. That was true of the women, who stumbled around on the course as if even Sabrina, who was calling out directions, was blindfolded. It was quite a course, and involved drenching themselves with neon water to retrieve puzzle pieces. The men had a huge lead on their (awesome tree-shaped) puzzle, but the women caught up by using teamwork, calling out advice to Sabrina as she assembled it. Incredible!

Before Tribal Council, the men revealed that they can be just as dumb as women, having strategy conversations out in the open, which became more and more hilarious as people walked up–and the existing group just stopped talking and looked away guiltily. Subtle, guys, very subtle. Colton was desperate to get rid of Bill in part because he didn’t perform well in the challenge, but Colton had a disproportionate amount of anger toward Bill (“shut up, go kill yourself,” he’d “slit your throat”).

Bill is the only black cast member on his tribe, and I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions about why Colton was singling him out for so much anger and hate, but then Colton just did it for us, saying Bill is “ghetto trash.” Specifically, Colton told us, “You’re ghetto trash. That’s all you are. I can’t stand him.” Bill is a stand-up comedian who lives in Venice, California. Colton is clearly desperate to be as awful as he can possibly be on every possible level, although more likely, he does not have any self-awareness at all.

That was certainly demonstrated at Tribal Council, where Probst was in such disbelief that Colton was unashamed about bonding with the women that Probst freaked out a little and said, “it actually is a reverse duh, double-dare on you.”

But the highlight of Tribal Council, before Matt’s exit (which his confessional indicated he knew was coming, although he thought there might have been a possibility it would have changed in his favor), was Bill’s enthusiasm about being at Tribal Council. He suddenly had an incredible amount of manic energy, saying how excited he was about seeing the results of the vote, even though he knew there was a chance he could be voted out. “I’m so jacked up right now!” he said. “I’m so ready to do this.”

After Matt left and Probst gave his little speech, Tarzan interrupted the silent exit by asking, “Jeff, can I ask a question? Can we hear the last two votes?” Excellent! But Probst looked at him in disbelief and said, simply, “No.” There’s no doubt who the real rooster is.

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.