Its another fine season of Survivor, and though I normally haven't been keeping tabs, at least via blog, on Survivor like I do with American Idol, this is a little different. The difference is, I know someone who will be on the show.
I hail from a small, small town, with a population of about 2,200. I graduated with around 43 or 44 people, I'm not exactly sure--I could find out if I dug out my grad program in my Memory Book (do they still have those? or is it called "facebook" now?) and counted, but thats upstairs, I'm down here, and frankly, you don't really care, I'm sure.
Well, with a town that small, you can't so much as sneeze without half the town saying "gahblesyu" and the other half gossiping about who might have given you the cold and what you were doing at Five Points at 3 in the morning to have gotten that cold... for those of you reading this in Birmingham, or familiar with the B'ham area, when I say "Five Points", I don't mean the downtown bustling bar, club and restaurant area... no, I mean this point near Cindy Howell's house, Cindy being my high school girlfriend, between Samson and Coffee Springs where five roads come together. Thus, five points. You can't miss it for the chicken houses... no, I'm not kidding.
So, I get an email from Derek Weeks, who is a friend of mind on Facebook. Granted, I don't think I've ever actually met Derek Weeks, but hey, if he's from the Samson area, I'm sure I know his kin. Derek tells me, and the others on the mass email, that JT Thomas is going to be on Survivor. JT... JT... that name strikes a bell... then, I figure out... its Tammy Thomas' little brother.
I think most of us have people in our past that, upon thinking back, you just wish maybe you'd kept in touch with more, or perhaps were a little better friends with, perhaps because you think, "Man, they were really good to me back then..." Tammy is like that for me. She was very friendly, very loyal, and very supportive of whatever I was doing, which was usually writing some lame story that I came up with that week. Tammy has a little sister, Jamie, who I do remember, and a little brother that I also remember after thinking about it for a long time... of course, JT had to be like, four or somethine the last time I actually had seen him...
All this is to say, JT Thomas is going to be on Survivor. And I want to be here blogging about it, as much as possible... maybe I'll throw some Samson stories your way, maybe I'll name drop randomly (Chris McCall! Rona Mock! Claudia Sorrells!) or maybe not, who knows. The first episode of the new season premiered last Thursday, about the time The Lovely Steph Leann and I were heading towards Fort Wilderness Lodge to eat at Artist Point, where she chowed on a $43 steak and I had scallops the size of my hand, but that's beside the point.
The magic of DVR isn't so magical when you forget to set the stupid thing, but luckily, I have iTunes. I downloaded the show, and am now sitting in The Cabana, with my computer ready to play Survivor, and The Lovely Steph Leann's computer next to it, allowing me to type. Man I'm a geek.
THIS IS... SURVIVOR
We're in Brazil, in one of the most deserted spots in the world--the Tocantin region--where temps top 120 degrees, and is apt to have random, sudden storms. They've been traveling for 3 days, and haven't been allowed to speak to each other... but we see them talking to the camera in "off-interview confessionals", already telling us who they like and don't like...
There are two tribes, the Jalapao tribe and the Timbira tribe and JT is in the first. The game is on, as they have 60 seconds to pull every supply they can off of the truck, with feed, rice, pans, wood, rope, tarps, etc... the host, Jeff Probst, tosses them a map and a compass, and tells them that their tribes are four hours away by walking. And suddenly, each tribe has to vote for one member to "not make the trip". And the Jalapao tribe votes out Sandy, the oldest lady of the tribe, and she's pretty hacked off--as well she should be.
Timbira takes out the young blonde Sierra, who is suffering from strep throat... heck, I'd toss her out for the contageous illness going on. Then Probst informs them that the two, Sandy and Sierra, will be copter'd to their tribe camps, and would just miss the walk.
Four hours, walking through the Brazilian wilderness in 102 degree heat. JT is carrying a watermelon, and says, "I'm 24 years old, from Samson Alabama, and I managed a cattle ranch." Shout out to SAMSON! Just for the record, I haven't seen Tammy Thomas in... well, since we walked off the graduation field, and let me just say, if you are watching this show and hear JT speak--that is EXACTLY how Tammy speaks, he just has a lower voice.
Grandma Sandy arrives at her camp, whining and crying about how she was voted for first. Then she finds a note that says she can either start setting up the camp for the forthcoming tribe, or she can find an idol that would give her immunity for the first challenge... and she takes the idol search. Sierra gets to her tribe, finds the same letter, and chooses to set up the camp.
Grandma Sandy didn't find the idol. The tribe arrives, she hides the note in her bra. I subsequently throw up in my mouth. They all put on a front, welcome her warmly, but behind the scenes, they wonder why she didn't do anything and Sandy wonders why they expect her to try when she knows they are going to vote her out. And Timbira arrives to find Sierra, having already built they shelter.
JT is helping to lead the construction of the tribal shelter, while Sandy hustles to the beach to find that idol... and she finds the next clue... it says "ten paces you should walk from the lone palm tree..." and she says, out loud, "I wonder what a pace is?" Then she starts walking around randomly, with a single, tall palm tree behind her. They could have tossed the idol onto the beach next to Claudia Sorrells in her Samson High majorette uniform and given Sandy a clue that said "Look next to the hot chick in sequins" and I don't think Sandy would have found it.
Over in Jalapao, Tyson the Naked Mormon is just that... naked in the water, carrying water. So I had a stomach flu last week at The Happiest Place on Earth, and I think I just got it back. At least he wasn't wearing that goofy, thin black tie.
Its time for the first challenge of the season, and it involves sand hills to climb, water to wade through, puzzle pieces to achieve, a ladder to build, a maze to get done and a flag to raise. Typical Survivor. And its 120 degrees.
Our old Monday Night Bible Study leader, Nathan Tutor, always refused to watch this show. He said, "It's not real Survivor until someone dies."
And the challenge winner is... Timbira, featuring the formerly ousted Sierra, a big black Army Sgt, and this odd ball ruffneck named Coach... and let me just tell you, Coach has the sweetest hair this side of Slaughter's "Up All Night" video... its like, Steven Seagal in "Hard to Kill" or "Out for Justice" or "Kick Some Butt" or whatever three worded crappy movie he was in from 1987 spawned Coach's hair. Love it. (I was thrilled, by the way, when I discovered the EW.com made the same comparison...)
Back a Jalapao, its my observation that its difficult to give great wisdom that will be heard when you are curved like Carolina, and standing in a Brazilian lake in your underwear. Amy McL, don't get your feathers ruffled. For any "hey!" that might be thought by seeing Carolina in her unmentionables, its countered by a "aaaahhhh!!!!" because Grandma Sandy is in the same Brazilian lake in her underwear as well. There should be laws.
Cut back to Grandma Sandy, thankfully fully clothed, on the beach trying to figure out what "ten paces" means. Seriously? I mean, my kids on my drama team may not know what "ten paces" is, in the same way that they may not understand what "Sweet Emotion" is, or who Desi Arnez is... but this lady? She should know the term "ten paces".
Here at tribal council, Sandy is babbling. Honestly, get rid of her. She's just annoying. JT, hailing from Samson Alabama, votes first! Go Samson! Sandy gets a vote, Carolina gets two votes, then Carolina gets the next two, and then, the final, eliminating vote.
Next week, we see that JT wraps up Tyson the Naked Mormon in a rain soaked game of Brazilian b-ball.
Perhaps this might be an interesting season, perhaps I only find it interesting because on of my native boys is on it, but either way.... THIS SHOW ROCKS!!