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Friday May 9, 2008 12:51 pm

Survivor Micronesia: If It Smells LIke a Rat, Give It Cheese

Survivor: Micronesia, Cirie

This episode of taught future players learned some extremely invaluable tips:

  • Never assume the game is over.
  • People just want to be liked.
  • You never know until you try.
  • Women always talk.
  • Ice cream scoopers are bad at lying.

Who tried to play everyone in this game…and who just ended up being played?  Read on!

Having just seen Alexis sent home in another major blindside, Erik and Natalie were left sitting around wondering what would happen next.  Curly boy said if Cirie and Parvati were smart, they wouldn’t dare take Amanda with them to the Final Three.  He didn’t think they would have a chance winning against her.

The goal now would be to get a new Hidden Immunity Idol off of Exile Island to prevent elimination. Natalie – still believing she and Erik were in an alliance – said she would send him there if she were to win the next Reward Challenge.  Although he was still evaluating all options, Erik told Natalie he would do the same in return.

Realizing Erik could win the next challenge, Amanda, Parvati and Cirie scrambled to work on a backup plan.  The last thing they wanted was Natalie finding the new idol.  Believing he could be easily manipulated, Amanda set off to talk to ice cream man.  Even though it was unclear whether he was simply nodding his head, Erik patiently listened to all the reasons why Amanda should share the next food reward with him:

  • Why would he want to go to Exile Island again?  He should preserve all the energy he’d spend searching.
  • Why should the two of them work against each other?  They should align forces and save stress.  Otherwise, the pressure would be on them to win the next Immunity Challenge or risk immediate elimination.
  • Sending Parvati to Exile Island would be in both their best interests.  She’s too weak too look for the idol anyway – so she wouldn’t be a threat.

At the next Reward Challenge, the remaining five were tested on their memory skills.  How well did they really now the history of Survivor was going to ask them a series of questions about favorite moments from seasons past.  The first person to four points would win a helo ride (for two) to a luxury resort where they would get a meal, massage and an overnight stay.  That person would also get the chance to send someone to Exile Island.  A trip there would be extremely important to someone since the upcoming Tribal Council was the last time an idol could be played.

Even though I have watched most of the Survivor seasons, the questions were often difficult – even for those who were actually players of the game.  “On which season did a castaway have a pet snake?”  (Answer: Pearl Islands/ Rupert.)  “On which season did a shark bite a survivor and, in retaliation, that person bit it back?” (Answer: All-Stars/Richard Hatch.)

Survivor: Micronesia, Amanda

Sadly, it was the show’s truest fan, Erik, who beat out all the ladies in the end.  (Apparently he’s not just a physical threat, he’s got some smarts too.)  So now it was time for him to decide who to take with him and who to send to Exile.  And even though he said she was a huge threat – he surprisingly chose to listen to Amanda.  He brought her along on his reward and sent Parvati away.  Amanda was, of course, excited and thanked him for keeping his word and “totally redeeming” himself.

While out on their excursion, Erik told Amanda he was glad she was with him.  It was nice bringing along an old friend rather than a stranger.  He truly wanted to get to know her again.  Later, he admitted that he was uncomfortable being the center of all the activity.  “I work in an ice cream parlor, I don’t make these decisions about people.”  He then acknowledged that he needed to step up and be an ice cream man instead of an ice cream boy.

Meanwhile out on Exile Island, Parvati was having a relaxing day in the sun.  She really didn’t feel a need to look for any silly idol.  The only reason she was sent out there was to block someone else from getting it.  (Uhh – haven’t we learned anything from all the recent backstabbing??  Why wouldn’t you get it just in case?  How could it hurt you to play the thing?)

The next day, Erik (with Amanda) returned to camp only to be welcomed by extreme coldness from Natalie.  Later, he told Cirie that maybe they should align with Parvati to knock off Amanda and Natalie; he considered those girls to be the biggest threats.  Unfortunately, the devious boy was completely unaware of his surroundings.  Natalie was within earshot and heard everything he said.

Survivor: Micronesia, Natalie

Immediately after Erik’s conversation with Cirie, Cirie, Amanda and Natalie gathered to compare notes.  When he realized what was going on, Erik basically admitted to Amanda that he had been giving a different story to each woman.  He really didn’t even provide an excuse for it either.  All he could say was , “I make so many mistakes.”

At the next Immunity Challenge, the survivors had to solve a series of puzzles for the coveted necklace.  Each puzzle would give them a set of coordinates as to where they should dig in the sand.  Once they had retrieved the next bundle of puzzle pieces, they would then have to dig another hole.  The first person to complete three puzzles would win.  Although Cirie had always claimed to be the best puzzle solver, she was not necessarily the best digger.  That title went to Erik.  He quickly established a lead and never let go.  He easily won the competition and left everyone in the dust.  Erik’s guaranteed immunity not only crushed the female alliance, it made my earlier Tivo Prediction story look downright silly.

Back at camp, the women sat around and commiserated.  If only Erik didn’t have the necklace.  Wait a second – what if didn’t Erik have the necklace??  Believing he could still be manipulated, Cirie said Natalie should simply ask him for it.  At this point, he probably wouldn’t win the game anyway because he’s pissed off everyone in the jury.  Even though Natalie said he would be stupid to fall for it, she agreed to try.  She was going to tell him that Cirie would agree to vote off Amanda if only he would agree to give it up.  Given his reputation for lying, he needed to prove he was trustworthy and worthy of redemption.

Later, Natalie proposed her “hair-brained” idea to Erik.  While she admitted they could still, in theory, vote for Amanda without his necklace, Cirie wouldn’t agree to it under any other condition.  Also, this proposal was really in his best interest.  He needed to show all the ladies he lied to that he really wanted to make amends.  Even though it was still unclear which way he would go, Erik later asked Natalie about voting Parvati off instead.  He was worried she might give a possible hidden idol to Amanda in order to save her friend.  Natalie said whatever he did, he really needed to go out on a limb.  Sensing they might have reeled him in, Cirie told Amanda and Parvati to blast Erik at Tribal Council.  She hoped being exposed as a liar would put him over the edge.

For the second week in a row, things got a little heated between Amanda and Erik at Tribal Council.  Last week, he wouldn’t save her.  This week, he turned out to be a complete weasel who would tell any woman what they wanted to hear.  Erik, quickly realizing this he was not looking good to the jury members, said that he hoped there could be some sense of forgiveness.  (I think Ami said that as well right before she was axed.)  Cirie said if he wanted forgiveness, actions spoke a lot louder than words.


Apparently believing this season of Survivor could not get any stranger or sillier, Erik readily gave up his necklace to Natalie right before the start of the vote.  This move made his fellow Dabu members smile and the jury members laugh.  (Did he not see Jason and Ozzy sitting right across from him??)  Later, Parvati kissed Natalie right before telling the camera that Erik was “dumbest survivor ever.”  (Wait?  I thought Jason was the dumbest ever!  Oh – James that he was the dumbest one?  I guess it doesn’t make a difference now.)  LOSER: Erik.

I must say – even though Erik was truly shocked, this had to be one of the funniest votes I had ever seen.  I have never witnessed someone take an elimination so well and with such good humor.  After the votes were cast, he was literally laughing during his post-interview:

“Damn, damn, they got me.  I should have known better!  Those damn girls.  There’s one thing to be said about surviving the elements and there’s another thing to be said about surviving four crazy, sexy women.  I never thought I’d be shoulder to shoulder with all these people I’ve seen on TV.  These are my heroes and they’re talking to me and they’re acknowledging me as a person.  This whole experience is indescribable.”

The most important about this episode?  My Tivo story came true!

(You can review last week’s episode here.)
(You can find the finale here.)



The point is not that Erik made a mistake but the way that CBS portrayed it - with malice.

The perfect ending is:

All the American people with integrity start a lawsuit against the execs of CBS and Survivor for harrassment of a US Citizen.  (Why is harrassment illegal in our schools and work force and not on TV?)  CBS-TV officials asked Erik Reichenbach to cancel his premier party at Hell’s Dam Site Inn which proves their malice.  All local towns have parties for a survivor competitor.

Then Donald Trump replaces Erik on stage.  When the show starts, Donald stands up and says:  “Jeff Probst - YOU’RE FIRED!”  (Jeff has laughed in current interviews at Erik as some of you have.)

Then Bill Gates gets on stage and says he has done a hostile takeover of CBS and all current contracts not completed are VOID.  He starts his own honorable TV station and hands Erik a couple of billion dollars and says:  “Now who is a jack a**?”

Good thing Erik has a sense of humor.  He’ll survive.  But my viewerhship has ended.  Good-bye survivor.  Good luck Erik in your life.  Wish I had a million to give you.


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