Previously on I Promise To Wash My Hands Between Stirring Shit And Scooping Ice Cream: Ozzy found the idol, and he replaced it with an obviously fake one, which was found by Jason, Non-Master Of The Obvious. His little Nookie Foursome was sitting pretty until the tribes were scrambled, at which point Ozzy and Amanda’s pathetic Malakal half started losing repeatedly to James and Parvati’s Airai half, led by surprising challenge demon…Eliza? Parvati decided to make an alliance with Alexis and Natalie, who are these two women who are on the Airai tribe who didn’t really talk in the first eight episodes of the show, making them shoo-ins to walk away as co-winners of the coveted Most Forgettable Person To Ever Be On This Show award, except that no one will remember them when it’s time to vote. Irony! For the first time, a “Favorite” went instead of a “Fan” when a weirdly weepy Ami was booted at Ozzy’s insistence over the Ozzy-infatuated Erik.

At Malakal post-tribal-council, Ozzy insists that he would have toootally never voted Ami out if she’d been honest. Honest how? “You can’t try to get me out unless you tell me in advance you’re going to try to vote me out”? “You have to tell me after the fact that you tried to vote me out, and then I won’t try to vote you out”? This is so dumb. What he said last week about how he goes after anyone he finds out was trying to get him out? That’s not unreasonable. Not sophisticated strategic thinking, necessarily, but it’s defensible. Of course, rather than sticking with that, he’s decided to make it all about honesty, like he threw Ami out of the Babysitters’ Club for hurting his feelings.

“If she’d just stuck with me, she’d still be in this game!” he says. Yes, if Ami had just been loyal to Ozzy, he would have kept her in the game slightly longer before voting her out. Why didn’t she see the obvious wisdom in this course of action? He might have allowed her to finish as high as sixth! Stupid Ami. What did she want, to win?

And then Erik talks for a while, but all my head hears is “blah blah yah yah OZZY OMG WOOOOO!”

I realized after writing last week’s post that what’s great about the credits is that this season, even though they throw people out of the credits now after they’re voted off, I actually still can use the credits to remind myself of people I’ve totally forgotten: “What’s a Natalie?” It’s just that this time, it’s people who are still playing.

Over at Airai, Eliza and Jason have a little chat, after which she lemurviews that they’re allies, because they both love the game, and they “both annoy people.” Ha! And this is where Jason whispers to her that he has the idol. It begins, people.

A very skinny-looking Cirie grabs some treemail that tells them to grab all their stuff and follow the map. Erik promises Ozzy that he won’t be flipping sides, and Ozzy can do whatever he wants, and Erik will ask Ozzy before he makes a move, and Ozzy looks really good in that hat. Ozzy’s like, “Cool,” because what’s he going to say? “I reject your slavish adherence to my wishes”? And then Erik says one of the weirdest things I have ever heard on this show, which is that he and Ozzy now have a “zookeeper bond” where he’s a monkey and Ozzy is a zookeeper. Oh my God, keep your fantasies to yourself, Erik. I only wish Erik would share this with Ozzy, you know? “Say, uh, Ozzy, how about if I’m the monkey and you’re the zookeeper, and it’s mating season for me, and you come in the enclosure to give me a banana…”

Over at Airai, Alexis exfoliates her face with sand (!) as she tells Parvati that she’s going to be “unwaveringly loyal.” So that’s what her voice sounds like! And then Parvati tells us she’s “in such a hot pickle,” and the barf starts to rise in my throat. She explains that she can either go with herself-Amanda-Alexis-Natalie, or she can go with herself-Amanda-Cirie-James-Ozzy. So many options!

Of course, when the tribes see each other, Eliza is extremely unhappy about Erik being there and Ami not so much. New tribe name, new tribe flag, stupidest things about summer camp, lanyards, whistles, friendship bracelets, yankety-yank.

I like the way they just serve them a bowl of bats, not like a gross food challenge, just like, “Hey, you want a feast? Here are some delicious head-still-on bats!” Man, those bats are pretty hard-core. They look like they died of natural causes five minutes ago and have only been lightly steamed. James, of course, is untroubled by this and says they taste just like rabbits. Vampire rabbits.

Pretty much the only thing Erik has done that I liked so far is telling everyone that “Dabu” means “good” in Micronesian when it’s not true. It’s kind of a random act of screwing around that amuses me. I also enjoy the interview in which he suggests that “Fo-shizzle” would have been just as good. Now, if he had convinced them that “fo-shizzle” meant “good” in Micronesian and they had named the tribe “Fo-shizzle,” that would have been impressive. I think Amanda would have gone for it, probably. God knows Jason would have.

Ozzy, of course, gets everyone to agree to stop playing until he says they can start again. Later, he and Alexis are all cuddled up while she talks about being shocked that Erik is still there and he brags about how it was all his doing. (“Stick with me, baby, because fire represents life, if you get my drift.”) Amanda is shown stewing nearby. Amanda’s interview talks about how she and Ozzy have been “doing this together” for all this time, and now Alexis just wants to come in and get right in the middle of it! See, Amanda, this is what’s wrong with getting carried away with the Doing This Together. Now your feelings are hurt and your game is clouded, and a little less allowing the guy to eat your head on Day 2 might have made all of this a bit simpler.

Alexis, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier, especially when she sees the awesome Malakal beach. She seems completely unaware of Amanda’s intent to destroy her. Ozzy makes contact with Jason and declares in an interview that Jason wants to “prove himself” to Ozzy and everyone else. I wonder if having already led his team to victory in practically every challenge where his team and Ozzy’s team have faced off has done anything for Jason’s self-esteem in this regard. Ozzy also says that Jason having the fake idol “is a beautiful thing.” He does not explain what, exactly, he thinks the fake idol is going to accomplish, other than giving him something to congratulate himself about. We’ll get back to that.

Plinky music plays as Jason looks for a place to hide his non-idol. It is the plinky music of plink, in which plinky plinkliciousness plinks you directly to your doom — or, as it happens, someone else’s.

Eliza and Parvati talk, and Eliza professes surprise that Ami was trying to vote out Ozzy, and she tells Parvati she hopes the old Favorites are all sticking together. Parvati is noncommittal, and she takes much smirky, mean-girl delight in telling Eliza as clearly as she can without using words that she — Eliza, that is — will be going home next if Parvati has anything to say about it.

Parvati’s descent into the deepest depths of being a really bad person begins as she interviews about how “hilarious” she finds Eliza’s efforts to profess loyalty to her. Parvati apparently believes that her ironclad case against Eliza has something to do with past efforts on Eliza’s part to make an alliance with people other than Parvati, but that’s extremely idiotic, if that’s her thinking. It really doesn’t matter if Eliza had a plan in the past to try to get you out. She’s not supposed to be “loyal” to you out of actual loyalty; she’s supposed to be loyal to you out of you being her best option right now. That’s the best guarantee you have of a rational person’s sticking with you — are you the best option she has right now? If Yul had used this theory, he couldn’t have used Jonathan to beat the old Raros; this is idiotic. Because right now, joining with the majority is Eliza’s best option. It might not have been before, back when there were thirty people on the island and everyone was riding to tribal council in horse-drawn carriages, but who cares?

This is how you know that Parvati doesn’t really have disdain for Eliza for game reasons; that would make no sense. Parvati dislikes Eliza for personal reasons, which is fine, and I’m sure Eliza’s talky, intense, in-your-face nature could be annoying. But that’s not even why Parvati doesn’t like Eliza. My opinion is that Parvati doesn’t like Eliza because Eliza is so utterly unimpressed with Parvati. Parvati is used to believing that her power comes from men wanting to have sex with her and women being jealous of her, and Eliza has less than zero interest in being anything like Parvati, and she’s pretty obvious about it. That’s not Eliza’s game, life-wise. I recently noticed that Eliza went to Sidwell Friends School in D.C. — that’s a very, very good school; that’s where the Clintons sent Chelsea. She graduated summa cum laude — that’s summa — from Syracuse University. She’s just about done with law school at Fordham. Eliza? Is not going to be a foxy boxer. That’s why Parvati hates Eliza much more than Amanda does — Amanda knows she’s a pretty girl, but she doesn’t assume that all women should envy her. Parvati does, and Eliza doesn’t (envy her, that is), so Parvati hates Eliza’s guts and cannot wait to get the better of her in Survivor, because that’s going to prove that Parvati doesn’t have to take nose-looking-down from anybody.

Next up, Parvati breaks it to Amanda that she’s gone and formed an alliance with Alexis and Natalie, and poor Amanda keeps sitting there waiting for the punch line, where Parvati says, “And now, we’re going to smoke those bitches for stealing your man!” But the punch line doesn’t come, and Amanda is sort of like, “Hm.” See, since Alexis is this boyfriend-stealer, Amanda wants to get rid of her before she gets a look at Ozzy’s hidden immunity idol, if you know what I mean. In an interview, Amanda makes this about not wanting to go up against Alexis the “motivational speaker,” but of course, that’s idiotic, since it implies she’d rather go up against Ozzy The Wonder Dolphin Boy, against whom she would pretty much definitely lose. Think about it: she lost to Todd.

The treemail implies some kind of endurance challenge. But before that, Jason comes up with his brilliant plan to give Eliza the hidden idol in the event he wins immunity today. As much as I’d like to see Eliza survive — and I really, really would — I don’t really see why Jason would do this. It’s not like protecting the two of them for one more week will change the game, even if you get rid of Ozzy. Then you’d still be crushed by the rest of the crowd. You can’t build on an alliance of two people to the point where it make sense to burn your idol. I have to say, if I were Jason, I’d hold on to it.

I hate the fact that the show is dragging Eliza into this plinky-music business, as if she’s part of the stupid, because Eliza has no way of knowing that Jason is enough of a stump not to know the difference between an idol and a stick. This plan is perfectly fine from her perspective. She’s not dumb for thinking he’s going to give up his idol — he is going to. A logical person isn’t going to demand to see the thing ahead of time in this kind of a situation.

The challenge involves being held under a cage while the water rises and seeing how long you can stay after your nose and mouth can’t stay above water anymore. While Probst says this tests your ability to remain calm, it also tests how flat your face is. In the end, it’s Ozzy and Jason, and Jason outlasts him, not even looking particularly concerned, while Ozzy pops up looking about fifty years old and about a minute from death. These face-offs aren’t exactly proving that Ozzy is unbeatable.

Back at camp, Jason is giddy at the thought of booting Ozzy from the game, while Parvati is giddy at the thought of booting Eliza. Parvati interviews that Eliza has been her “biggest rival,” claiming that Eliza has been trying to get rid of her since “day one.” How dare she! Parvati would never play both sides against the middle, unless one side had Ozzy and James and Cirie on it and the other side had Alexis and Natalie on it. I mean, then, maybe she would, but that’s the only time!

And here is the sequence where Eliza wants to get the idol if Jason is going to give it to her. You can tell that her biggest concern right now — logically enough — is that maybe Jason isn’t really serious; maybe he won’t really give it to her. She has a really limited imagination when it comes to Jason having a head full of sawdust.

Ozzy is telling Alexis his surfing stories, because she’s really impressed. And there’s nothing Ozzy likes better than a fresh person who’s really impressed. Amanda, because she can’t walk over and pee on Ozzy  to mark him as her own without attracting attention, is off trying to talk Cirie into voting off Alexis. When Amanda reveals that she’s not sure she knows Ozzy as well as she thought — by which she means, “I think his head is easily turned by a starry-eyed bikini” — Cirie is openly delighted, because she’s been looking all along for a way to break into the group of four — Ozzy, Amanda, James, and Parvati — she’s aligned with, and this is her best hope yet.

And now, Eliza opens the “hidden immunity idol” Jason has left for her. She opens the cloth about a third of the way and says, “This isn’t it.” Because Eliza is not a moron, and she knows the idol is not going to be a stick. “This is so stupid — this is just a napkin!” she exclaims. Logically, Eliza assumes Jason is trying to burn her, so she stomps right over to him and demands to know what he’s “trying to pull.” She doesn’t understand what the point is of fucking around with her — “I’m going home anyhow,” she says in frustration, probably assuming not illogically that this is a big plot by all the other rotten bullies to make her look stupid. “It’s not the idol,” she says. “It is the idol,” he disagrees. She immediately tells Jason that if he really found this thing hidden, then Ozzy has the real one and planted a phony. At some point, in spite of the fact that she’s completely screwed, you can tell that Eliza becomes amused by this conversation a little bit, because she cannot believe that this knucklehead actually thinks that the hidden immunity idol is a stick with two eyes and a mouth carved into it. Some superfan.

“That can’t be the idol.” “Why not?” “…Because it’s just a STICK!” “I know.”

At tribal council, Cirie tries to make trouble by stressing what a strong player Alexis is. And then Alexis biffs it by speaking of Eliza’s skills in the past tense in anticipation of her boot, which Eliza gets unnecessarily eye-rolly and indignant about. Because…it’s coming, lady, and you’ve played well, but you don’t need to get like that just because everybody knows it’s coming. And then there’s a big discussion in which Ozzy and James get very blunt about “nobody likes” and “everybody hates,” and Ozzy is pretty specifically aiming it at Eliza, and it’s really unnecessary. I guarantee you, “everybody” doesn’t hate Eliza. A group of Survivor contestants isn’t “everybody.” There’s nobody in this group who’s going to appreciate Eliza’s argumentative, wackadoodle nature. There’s nobody in this group who’s going to think it’s cool that she’s so smart. “Nobody here is a good match for what might make Eliza a fun person to be friends with” is not the same as “everybody hates Eliza.” I’ll tell you right now, Eliza would be welcome in my living room anytime, because even though I suspect she’s kind of a loony, I also suspect she’s a hoot, and I like a hoot, and not all of these people like a hoot. They are hoot-haters. HOOT-HATERS!

One of the things I really like, that I think is interesting, is that after Probst asks Eliza whether she thinks she’s liked and she says she isn’t, James immediately jumps in to say, quietly and kind of warmly, “She’s liked.” I think it has occurred to him that this is coming on more like a pile-on than he intended. I think James, in a weird way, does like a hoot, or at least appreciate a hoot, even though he’d complain that she drove him nuts with all the talking. I think James is sensing the bullying dynamic here, and he’s not really feeling like he’s on board. Weirdly, Parvati takes this opportunity to discuss Eliza’s shifting alliances, as if that has something to do with “liked” and “not liked.” Parvati has mentioned that she herself is working a couple of different alliances and working behind people’s backs; that makes it utterly nonsensical that this would be her reason for not “liking” Eliza. It might be her reason for voting Eliza out, but if she’s going to be a total bitch, she’s going to need a different reason.

The thing with Parvati, I think, is that I’ve never seen someone so meritless be so haughty.

Jeff Probst, of course, joins in the pile-on, because he has no interest in smart women like Eliza, either, so for some reason, he decides to fully jump in on Parvati’s side, saying, “Eliza, welcome to tribal council. No free rides.” Free rides? How about the free ride fucking Parvati is getting? I hate it when Probst does this; I hate it. If he’s going to participate like this and he’s going to take sides in personal arguments, he shouldn’t host the reunion; he should be there, and somebody else should host it, and that person should get to question him on his bullshit, because are you serious?

So the voting happens, and Eliza gives her “fuck it” about praying for a miracle, and Parvati gives her Nelson Muntz-ian “ha ha” speech about how Eliza messed with the wrong foxy boxer. “I hope you learn from your mistakes the second time around.” Wow, Parvati. I guess you really showed her.

Of course, Eliza hands the stick to Jeff Probst, who announces that it isn’t an idol. And while her tormentors are busy giggling, Eliza has bigger things in mind, so she firmly states that if that isn’t a real idol, then Ozzy has the real one and planted a fake. Ozzy chuckles at his own cleverness, apparently not noticing that with this over, the net result of his cutesy-poo plan to show off by planting a fake idol is…basically nothing, except that at a time not of his own choosing, it was revealed that he has the real idol and planted a fake. You can argue all day about whether it’s better to tell people or not tell people that you have the idol, but I can’t imagine this being a good way for them to find out. So…well done, genius. For camera time, that was a great move. For congratulating yourself, an even better one. But for game reasons? You know, I don’t think that did a whole lot for you.

Look, she knew she was going. It was all she could do, and she went out fighting. I still think she’s a hoot. The one thing that comforts me about the unbearable smugness of Ozzy and Parvati is that…you know, they can’t both win. One or both of them is feeling fat and happy right now, and will ultimately go down hard. That gives me comfort.

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