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Friday December 7, 2007 4:01 pm

Survivor: China: “Going for the Oscar”

Survivor ChinaAfter returning from one of the most shocking Tribal Councils yet, the six remaining survivors were in a celebratory mood; they had just successfully blindsided James, the holder of the two hidden immunity idols.  Todd was relieved that his biggest threat was now out of the picture.  Meanwhile, Peih-gee was ecstatic to see that the former Fei Long members had started to turn on each other.

Before beginning their next Reward Challenge, the contestants got a nice surprise:  visitors from home.  The family members/friends were there to give their smelly loved ones reluctant hugs….and to help them with their competition.  One by one, the weepy survivors welcomed their guests: Erik’s mother, Peih-gee’s father, Todd’s sister, Denise’s husband, Amanda’s sister and Courtney’s father.  (Am I the only one who found it strange that Denise was the only one with a significant other?)

When Todd saw his sibling, Amanda, he immediately asked about his pregnant sister, Kim.  Unfortunately (and strangely), Amanda chose to inform him of the miscarriage in front of everyone.  Shouldn’t she have waited until they were alone to break the news?

Once the hugs and kisses stopped, Jeff got the participants back to business.  To win the reward, the pairs had to navigate a large maze while blindfolded.  The partners, starting from opposite ends, had to first find their way to each other.  Once they were united, the couple then had to make it on top of the center platform.

In the end, Denise and her husband, Robert, were the winners of the chaotic challenge.  For their work, the lovebirds won a boat ride, huge meal and phone call from home.  Much to her opponents’ delight (and her dismay), the school lunch lady also had to select two other duos to take with her.  Although she should have properly thanked Peih-gee for the Shaolin Temple excursion last week, she wimped out and instead chose Todd, Amanda and their sisters to partake in her feast.

Heartbroken that she didn’t get to spend more time with her dad, Peih-gee griped back at camp about being overlooked for the reward.  Meanwhile, Erik questioned Todd’s honesty before the challenge; did his sister really have a miscarriage or was he trying to get sympathy points?  Surprisingly Courtney, Todd’s supposed friend, felt his motives were insincere as well.  She said he deserved an Oscar for his ‘Jonny Fairplay’ move.

After their fattening excursion, the guests were taken back to Hae Da Fung where they had the chance to stay overnight.  Woo hoo!  And will all 12 people get to sleep in the tight quarters as well? Yeah!  As a special treat, Todd and Amanda’s sisters got to take a dip in the filthy water while they listened to the survivors talk strategy.  Todd made a special point of telling Amanda that his sister’s story was true; he was afraid some people might think he made it up.  He then turned around and said that they had to get rid of Denise before the Final Three.  They couldn’t risk having the mother play her sob story in front of the jury.

Once the family members were sent back home, the tribal members geared up for the next Immunity Challenge. This event would combine athleticism and intelligence.  Each survivor, attached to a rope, would have to maneuver through a series of obstacle courses.  In the middle of the course were three boxes filled with trivia questions.  The challenger had to take the key from the supposed ‘True’ statement and bring it back to the beginning.  If the key didn’t open one of the three locks at the start of the race, the survivor would have to go back and try again.  The first person to get all three of their locks open (after successfully answering three questions correctly) would win the immunity necklace.

Although this particular challenge required strength and stamina, Erik surprisingly didn’t factor in the game at all.  For most of the event, Todd was in front with Amanda and Peih-gee following fairly close behind.  Unfortunately, leads didn’t really matter in this game; one wrong answer could easily put someone back at square one.  That was something both Amanda and Todd had to learn the hard way.  Mistakes on their behalf helped give the flawless Peih-gee another victory.

Realizing that he was on the chopping block, Erik did his best to swing as many votes away from Todd as possible.  Did Amanda and Courtney really buy the story about his sister?  If there was even a possibility they didn’t trust him, why would they vote for him?  And what about Denise?  Why would she continue to align herself with the other three when she knew they’d get rid of her right after Peih-gee?

Even after admitting she felt like the “bottom end of the barrel”, Denise made the (boring) decision to stick with her original alliance.  So after 33 days in China, the last hunk left was sent packing.  LOSER: ErikBTW - Am I the only one who thinks he won’t be staying a virgin much longer?

(You can review last week’s episode here.)
(You can read next week’s episode here.)

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