Scot Pollard's strange, circuitous journey through Survivor has become strangely beneficial. Initially stuck on the objectively terrible Brawn tribe, his new merged tribe -- Gondol is somehow equally bad. This turn of events has not only allowed him to keep a target off his back, but position himself as a force in the game. On Wednesday's episode he got to show his worth again -- by playing basketball.
There is no reason Gondol should suck this bad, but they do. They have a mix or smarts, strength and a good worth ethic -- but at critical moments they keep making the dumbest decisions imaginable. That's precisely what happened this week but there are good things on the horizon.
The Tai minute ...
We continue to follow former NBA Champion Scot Pollard through his Survivor journey, but we need to talk about Tai -- who is the greatest contestant of all time.
This episode was way too light on Tai for my liking. I don't know if there's a bunch of Tai magic sitting on a cutting room floor, or if he didn't do a lot of interesting stuff this week but I need a lot more Tai in my life. Upon returning from Tribal Council he was excited that he didn't go home and just asked that his tribe keep him long enough to kill a chicken.
All I know is that Scot and Tai are still BFFs and working together. If they make it to the merge things will be very, very happy to die-hard Scot and Tai fans like myself.
SCOT POLLARD WITH THE BUCKETS! (sort of)
The reward challenge this week centered on a tribe releasing a bunch of buoys, getting them to the shore and then having a team member shoot into a hoop without a backboard. Making 10 shots would get you a giant picnic, complete with a rather dubious-looking tuna salad that seemed to have been sitting in the sun for a long time.
Side note: How do they keep picnic food from becoming totally fetid? I've always wondered this. You're on a hot-ass island with flies and bugs and this mayonnaise-based tuna salad is sitting in the sun for an entire challenge and a trip back to camp. I digress.
You'd think Scot would dominate this challenge, but he really didn't. We've established at this point that Scot was not a great career shooter in the NBA and it showed in this challenge.
Each tribe had 30 balls to make 10 shots, meaning a 0.333 shooting percentage would be required. This was roughly from free throw distance, but without the aid of a backboard and the fact buoys are very different to basketballs. I don't rightly know how many shots it took Scot. Midway through the challenge the buoys needed to be retrieved so the competitors could shoot again. If I had to guess it took Scot roughly 55 shots to make 10 buckets, giving him a shooting percentage of 0.181. Scot was a career 0.709 free throw shooter in the NBA. The island changes people.
Despite all this Scot gave us one of the most money Vines of Survivor: Kaoh Rong so far.
The picnic was great. Nobody died from the sun-drenched tuna salad. Life is good -- for now. The elimination challenge is where Gondol always sucks and spoiler -- they sucked again.
The concept of this one was "teamwork." Basically the whole tribe needed to get past a series of obstacles together, then work as a unit to make a giant tower of blocks at the end. The challenges were to get everyone over a spinning barrel, on top of a net and knocking the blocks off another net. In many ways it seems like this episode was made for Scot. Between a basketball challenge and one where you need a tall person to help put blocks in a tower it was MADE for Gondol to win.
Despite getting a mammoth lead their overall suckitude at the final leg was the tribe's undoing. It was astonishingly bad. So you have a bunch of blocks, 20 to be precise. 10 are large and 10 are small. How do you stack them? A 5-year-old knows you put the big ones on the bottom and the smaller ones on top. Not Gondol. They didn't work this out until Tai told them.
Okay, so that was a speed bump. It's okay. You have a big lead, things are going well. You can recover. Well, until Peter made the dumbest suggestion ever. Instead of breaking down their 10 block stack they made out of the small ones, Peter suggested that Scot pick up THE ENTIRE STACK OF BLOCKS and have them build the big ones under it. I don't know why the rest of the tribe (which, it should be noted, has three "brains" on it) thought this was a good idea -- but they went along with it.
It ended predictably.
Chandol caught up, won the challenge and send Gongol to tribal -- again. The afternoon was spent scrambling. The former Brain members couldn't decide if they wanted to stick together or not, while the beauties and Scot forged their own alliance and tried to sway Aubry by telling her about how much Peter was going behind her back and scheming. It was unclear what would happen and the possibility of a tie vote loomed.
It's here where we need to talk about what a terrible Survivor player Peter has been. It's astonishing that he made it this far. Peter trusted people with his deepest strategical secrets within seconds of meeting them, continually schemed against people in his alliance and nobody liked him as a person for being arrogant. Yet, he still made it six weeks. That's kind of amazing. We salute you, Peter.
Despite all this he was STILL surprised he got voted out, even after being called on his lies at tribal.
Oh Peter, you were so bad.
Next week we're promised the merger of the tribes. Scot now has Jason and Cydney waiting for him, and he has a firm alliance with Tai. Everything is looking good for Mr. Pollard.