Survivor: San Juan Del Sur – Episode 3: “Actions vs. Accusations”

Hooray!

So in my last write-up I expressed my frustration that stupid awful John Rocker found the “hidden” immunity idol (and really, considering how pathetically close to the surface it appeared to have been buried, I’m really not sure we should be calling them that) in the assumption that it meant he was going to be impossible to get rid of him for the foreseeable future. What I neglected to take into consideration, of course, is that having an idol is one thing, but being intelligent enough to know how to use it properly is something quite different.

It’s interesting how Val’s ouster last week, despite seeming at the time to be the conclusion of that particular narrative arc, ended up sowing the seeds for John Rocker’s (yes, I’m going to use his full name at all times) departure this week, because it lit a fire under two other players: Josh, because it gave him reason to doubt John Rocker’s loyalty to their alliance, and Jeremy, because he didn’t believe that John Rocker had honoured his promise to do his best to keep Val in the game. So while Josh was making a few moves over at Coyopa to consider whether they might in fact be better off without John Rocker, Jeremy decided to go nuclear over at Hunahpu and tell everyone that John Rocker is indeed that baseball player who said all that stupid awful homophobic and racist shit that time and never really bothered to apologise for it.

It was similarly intriguing that although John Rocker wasn’t even on Hunahpu, it seemed to be their approach that sealed his fate this week. After Hunahpu won their third straight immunity challenge, Natalie decided that perhaps Coyopa might be in need of some direction and yelled that they should vote out John Rocker for being a dumb bigot. That’s certainly a bold strategy, considering a) Natalie is on a tribe with John Rocker’s girlfriend, who was doubtless not too pleased about that, and b) it probably didn’t sit well with some members of Coyopa, who Natalie will eventually be on a post-merge tribe with assuming she gets that far. But because John Rocker is stupid and awful, it sort of worked: he made a few token attempts to rise above her comments before announcing that if she were a man, he’d knock her teeth out. (Presumably because even though she were a man, she’d still be Sri Lankan and therefore he’d have to physically assault her to make sure she didn’t sit next to him on the Subway and freak him out.)

So while John Rocker scrambled back at camp by showing his idol to Josh (ah, needing a gay man’s support to save himself, how ironic), Josh decided that John Rocker’s hotheadness was exactly the sort of quality that Coyopa didn’t need – and that it was all very well keeping him around as sheer brawn for the challenges, but it hadn’t really been working out for them thus far anyway. I’m still not a great fan of Josh, nor am I particularly convinced that he’s half the player the show wants me to think he is, but this was still a deft piece of manoeuvring on his part to get his alliance to shank John rather than getting rid of Baylor according to the original plan. (This was a win-win for me anyway, because Baylor sucks, so losing either of them would have improved the show immensely.) Things didn’t go particularly smoothly at Tribal Council, and a savvier player than John Rocker might have realised that the writing was on the wall, but whether through misplaced confidence or sheer stupidity, he elected not to play his idol and the vote fell 5-2 in favour of getting rid of him, so not only was John Rocker blindsided, but he was booted with an idol in his pocket that he could’ve easily used to save himself if he’d just been able to read the damn room. I imagine this was a very satisfying episode for minority groups, or indeed anyone who doesn’t believe that President Obama wants America to die from Ebola.

Meanwhile over at Hunahpu, Drew is a lazy asshole and is getting on everyone else’s nerves, and if the promo for next week’s episode is anything to go by, that’s going to be important later. I’m rather looking forward to that.

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