Archive for December 16th, 2010

Survivor Survival Guide: “This Is Going to Hurt”

“The wrath of Jane will break out tonight.”

—Umm, Jane

Survivor: Nicaragua’s penultimate episode finally gave us what we’ve been waiting for all along: shots of Dan’s grown son kissing him repeatedly. The last episode before Sunday’s finale was the traditional family show, with castaways meeting family members—or in the Survivor parlance, “loved ones”—before competing for a chance to spend even more time with them. The family episode is always an interesting one because it provides us with glimpses into these contestants’ home lives, teaching us things like Dan’s grown son is overly affectionate, JudFabio loves his mom even though he doesn’t get to see her, and that Jane works on her farm only with her daughter. It’s also an overly sentimental one, with plenty of tears and emoting, which to be frank grows tiresome to the loyal Survivor viewer since we see the same emotional outpouring each season.

“This Is Going to Hurt” opened with a “Previously on…” that established Chase as a capricious villain. JudFabio was on “high alert” after thinking he would be voted out at the prior Tribal, and Sash reassured him that it was Benry who tried to get him out—right before Sash told the camera that JF is definitely gone provided he doesn’t win immunity.

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Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Cutthroat, The Grand Finale

“I want the longest, hardest final. It’s going to physically strenuous, but I don’t know… I’ve just always been good at these things.”—Abram


“I’m running this final for freedom. I’m running for freedom more than anything.” —Brad

Say what you will about various seasons of The Challenge—and Cutthroat has been particularly disappointing—but the final episodes are almost always good. MTV’s insistence on designing challenges that are so physically demanding is often a negative during the season, since it leads to too many disqualifications, but it’s great for the finale: The physical demands of the challenge push people to their breaking point, which often reveals tensions and weaknesses that have been latent on a team all season long.

So even though Cutthroat has been a subpar season, there was a lot to look forward to in last night’s episode, and it didn’t disappoint. It started with the Gulag matchups set up last week: Derrick vs. Tyler and Emily vs. Paula. They were playing the same game that Ty had lost back in Week 5 (it has some weird name, like Pole Me Over, but I can’t remember it), which favored the size of Tyler and Emily respectively. Derrick, as usual, put up a good fight, but neither he nor Paula could overcome their diminutive statures. Continue reading