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I am super mad at myself for not covering this season of Survivor past episode 3, because it's been amazing, definitely one of my favorite seasons ever. I got 3 weeks behind at one point and every week since I've thought, "Oh no, now I'm so far behind that I need to at least summarize my feelings on the season thus far before I jump into this week's review," and then I get so overwhelmed by how much that entails that another week slips by. And then I don't have a record to read back to relive the good times, and it sucks. I'm actually considering rewatching the season and adding in a series of backdated posts, that's how bad I want more text about it.

But regardless, this week was so good that I can't wait one more second to talk about it.


JOE!! Seeing him pass out from low blood sugar/dehydration after an 80-minute endurance challenge (damn you, Super Keith) was twenty types of awful and amazing at once. Awful because he very well might have pulled out another win and stayed in the game longer had he not been felled at that point, and because if there's anyone I don't want bad things to happen to in this game, it's Joe. But amazing because for the same reasons I don't want anything bad to happen to him, I'm very okay with watching something dramatic and scary-looking that is not actually dangerous. You know. Because Reasons.

Kimmi's scream was quite impressive, but I'm going to choose to believe that Abi's tiny rabbit brain doesn't process at the same rate everyone else's, because otherwise it would be way too gross that, while everyone is immediately horrified to see him fall, her reaction is to grin and flail for joy because he lost.

 I love that he still sounds kind of out of it when Jeff starts badgering him with the TELL ME HOW YOU FEEL questions, but he's totally fixated on babbling about how much he loves the game and how clearly he is hoping this is not a medical evacuation situation. (Luckily it is not. Not that it makes any difference, in the end)

[edit: rounded up an interview excerpt from Examiner about how it went down:
I was super-dehydrated, I had a fever and had been up all night. At the end of the challenge, I was pretty beat-up and the sun was just bearing down. Hot, hot day. Kind of windy, made the challenge difficult. I was looking up and the sun was right where the Idol was. I did not take my eyes off that dang Idol, and I just wanted to keep it up there. And I just remember, after about an hour, I started feeling my legs and arms going numb, my neck was absolutely killing me. I remember my neck feeling like it was on fire, it hurt so bad. And then I started feeling that cold sweat you get when you start to feel a little faint. I looked over to Jeff and was like, hey, can we go to one hand or add another section of pole? Keith was struggling, so I was just looking to see if there was a way to just get one more little advantage. Not advantage, just something to make the challenge end quicker. I believe Jeff went over to grab a few more lengths from the other stations, and then it was just black. Then I was looking up at the sky. I remember that Dr. Joe was giving me some oral glucose, and coming back. It was like being under water. People are talking and yelling to you through the water, but you can't hear them. It was a very weird place.]

I still have lots of favorites, but this game is going to be sad without Joe and his magnificent lion mane and/or the kingly immunity necklace that looks more like a royal warrior chestplate, and appears to have been customized for his physique. Seriously, he looks like an island king. On everyone else, it just looks like a child wearing an adult costume piece. In conclusion, NO ONE BUT JOE SHOULD EVER WEAR THE ROYAL EMBLEM. I move that if it goes up for auction, we buy it and ship it to him.

But before he left, we had family time. You remember how sad I was that we didn't get to see Joe's family last time? Yeah, that was the right choice. His dad was just so freaking awkward. What is with all the cheek kissing so dangerously close to the mouth. I mean, I choose to believe that is how Joe greets all of his friends and/or female relatives in his life, that's delightful, but his dad...no. Just no.

I'm glad Kelly picked him to share in Extended Family Time, I just wish we hadn't had to see any of it ("you're my best friend" WHAT EVEN. Moms & daughters can say that. Dads who say that just sound like overgrown man children). Still pissed that she also gave that reward to to Abi. WHO TOLD YOU TO GIVE ABI NICE THINGS. I know she was probably trying to lock down the most volatile piece of a girls alliance, and it was fun to hear them converse in (Portugese?), but still, YOU DON'T EVER GIVE ABI NICE THINGS, especially not at the expense of someone wonderful. And why Keith? As delightful as his wife is, if you're going to reward a husband/wife team, you obviously pick Jeremy and Val, the most pleasant human beings on the planet. (p.s. OMG HI VAL! I miss youuuuu. How wonderfully amazing was that run to scoop her up? Their marriage just looks amazing. #relationship goals)

Still, I'm really glad Kelly won. Seeing her come from sort of the middle of the pack and fly through the word scramble to win, to her awesome dad's cheering pride, filled up all the corners of my heart. (bonus: watch her ramble on about how great it was to share another Survivor experience with him.)

As for the other family members we glimpsed: Kimmi & her dad were cute, if not among my top half of choices, as Kimmi continues to remind me of me. I feel like you can see her turn 20 years younger around him. I really wish we could have seen more of Tasha and her apparently equally awesome and smiley sister-cousin. Spencer and his girlfriend...took a few tries to get past the awkwardness of their constant kissing (they, or at least he, seems to be in that early relationship mode where you don't actually have that much experience but are sure trying to act like you've seen everyone else do. See also: Spencer's excessive focus on being able to say "I love you." Kid, you are not a 45-year-old bachelor opening your heart to joy for the first time).

But now I can't seem to stop replaying their all-too-brief reunion (DID YOU SEE HIS FACE WHEN HE SAW HER. Or that adorable way she ran with her hands over her heart? Or the intensity of that first hug?). Even though she was the last person I would have picked before Abi's mom, I really wish we could have seen more of her. She was super cute and seemed delightful.

Notice how completely un-sad I am that Stephen missed the family reunion by a week. I've learned my lesson about that. Plus there's my general distaste for Stephen that has remained throughout the game, though in the past month or so he finally grew into his fetching Survivor countenance so only his words and behavior were awful to endure. More on that later.

I'm still not done with my Joe Appreciation Tour, so of course, my first time looking up Ponderosa videos this season is for him. Look at him all emotional talking about letting go of the game. And a little bit angry that his effort was still rewarded with a boot out of the game. (Although if he keeps swearing like that, he's going to fall right out of my favor. I hope it's just situational. I'll allow that.) I love all the GoPro stuff that didn't involve Ciera and HOLY COW DID YOU JUST PAINT THAT? Like out of nothing, with watercolors, you painted that?

...so, anyway that's what happens when you combine a great episode with me not having talked about the show, or any show, in weeks. I spend roughly 4 hours writing it up and viewing supplemental material.

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In other news, I missed my walk today but I went to that antique store I wanted to go to instead, and I lighted upon a $1 necklace, and to my even greater delight, a copy of Cinchfoot, The Story of a Range Horse for $2 that was also 20% off, which is a book on my Goodreads to-read list I otherwise would have had to interlibrary loan request.

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