"They Came At Us With Spears: Days 1-3" - September 16
Day 1: I promise that in the next 10 minutes of
game show, you will see cannibals.
Welcome back to the
ninth go-around of Survivor, the original game of "human
chess". As with last permutations, coverage will be
divided by tribes. If you want to see the guys, go see
Wolvie over at Lopevi. If you want to see the ladies,
then I'm the P.I.M.P. you need to S.E.E.
First, we greet our
guide Jeff Probst next to an active volcano, Yasur to be
exact (which lends its name to our tribe). Then we see
our 18 people, one with a Bob Barker shirt. Fitting for
a "Lord of the Flies" meets "The Price is Right". Basic
rules haven't changed. Every three-day round consists of
one Immunity Challenge. Losers will go to Tribal to kick
one person out of the game. In the end, only one will
claim $1,000,000 of cold-hard CBS cash. In the
beginning, Jeff almost gets toasted delivering the
familiar mantra... "39 days, 18 people... ONE Survivor."
And so the action
begins... and what did I tell you... Here come the
locals, and they don't look happy. Among them, Jeff, who
tells that the spearage and the screaming is all part of
a ritual, an invitation to access all that Vanuatu has
to offer. Jeff's friend Chief Mormor will preside over
the moving and at times downright scary proceedings, and
in order to play the game, you have to participate.
Travis (he of the Bob
Barker shirt) gets onto the boat... and tips it over.
Lucky for us that six weeks before day 1, he learned how
to swim. Learn about him and the other 17 in GSNN's
Tribal Council. Link is at left.
The first part of the
ceremony is the circling around the foreigners. Then
once we make landfall, the scaring halfway to death of
the foreigners. they jab spears at everyone... except
Rory. "A black man coming on the island is not
particularly unwelcome." Either that or you're a native
of legends past come to reclaim the land.
After that, more poking,
some dancing, and men drinking kava, which pretty much
looks and tastes like swill, the tribe sacrifices a live
pig, dresses each male in Vanuatu warrior styling--the
pig's blood, mainly--and issues a challenge to the men:
retrieve a spiritual stone blessed with luck from the
top of a pole laden with pig fat. If no man could do it,
then the women get the stone without having to do
anything. This would be the Discovery Channel portion of
the series where you learn all about Vanuatu and its
First up is Brady, who
takes the pole and rides it for all its worth. He gets
the stone. Men 1, Women zilch. Then Jeff divides the
tribesmen along gender line, the Lopevi men in red and
the Yasur women in yellow. Mia: "I think we got a bum
deal. We're out for blood now." Mmmm.. feisty!
By the way, if you would
like to learn more of the Yasur ladies, then check out
the Tribal Council portion of the mini-site.
Night 1: The host is
gone and the search is on.
At the tribal beach: a
pot, a map to water, and a machete. That's it. Now if
only we can find it. Jeff pointed in the direction, but
the tribes have to find the camp on their own. The women
of Yasur keep together by holding hands. As one of the
ladies went down, Scout elects to hunker down and ride
out the storm until daybreak. Ami and Dolly follow suit.
Eliza... doesn't. Two factions begin to clash as to
which direction to take. If it were me, I'd sooner wait
until daybreak if only for the fact that you don't get
any light to light the way at night outside of the moon
which, if you haven't noticed, is obscured in the thick
fog of darkness.
And Leann agrees with
me, as Eliza doesn't want to be too pushy as to be the
odd-woman-out. Eventually, rest is delayed as the women
carry on. Patience pays off, and unless someone has been
eating their bananas, they feel the flag on the beach.
Day 2: First order of
Ami, Scout, Leann, and
Twila start on it while the rest of the women bask in
the glow of the ocean under the sun. Scout calls them
"bowheads" because they're like cattle clustering
around. "Those sorority chicks ain't paying any
attention to any damn thing but themselves." Scout
targets Eliza, who already has a reputation of talking
on a constant clip. In this case, it's about fire.
So much in fact that
they fail to notice that shelter's being built. Eliza
thinks that Twila's work ethic is making all those who
take "reasonable breaks" look bad. Twila's work ethic is
justified though, as some of the Bowheads only have time
enough to piss and moan.
And all this leads up
Day 3: The first
Attached is a flag. The
A show of
pride and unity each time the two tribes meet,
Bring your tribal flag with you whenever you
Assess your tribemates' strengths, whose talents
One tribe leaves with heads hung low, the others go
home with fire.
Obstacle course with mud
bog, ball maze, balance beam, brush fire building, and
lighting a fire wok with matches from the ball maze.
Winners get flint to make fire with the machete. Not
only that, they get to touch the Immunity Spear, which
will protect them for three days.
It's a dead heat after
the mudbog, with the men in first. Men pull out after
the ball maze. The women keep at it as Chad's artificial
leg can't make the balance beam work but for a second
time. The ladies try to negotiate the beam while Bubba
seems to have some difficulty. The ladies get across
while Bubba is still falling. Now it's a matter of fire
for the ladies as Bubba takes the shoes off. The ladies
have fire, though, and their wok is the first to be set
ablaze via the torch they release.
And Bubba didn't even
finish. "Fire for immunity! Fire for immunity!" Flint,
water, warmth, security, all in the matter of one pole.