Previously on Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit we found out that Corinne has a truly curious and rather unsettling affection (affectation?) for gays. Well, it seems that everyone is letting all their skeletons out of the closet now, as this person who is apparently named Julia has decided she wants to pretend she has some semblance of a personality and reveal something very private and kind of gross.
TMI, Ju…damn, forgot her name.
Michael is taking the loss of his partner in crime (the crime being losing every Immunity Challenge) BMX Bike Sales Matt surprisingly well. In fact, he’s single and ready to mingle. And he’s in luck! Corinne is more than eager to envelop Michael and keep him close to her bosom, Mama Corinne keeping him safe in this game as long as she can. Good thing she’s been quiet about her love of gays or else someone in her alliance might start to grow suspicious. Way to play it close to the blue bikini top!
In case you’ve missed every episode so far, Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip is in phenomenal shape. The guy is a freak of nature. Unbeatable in anything that emphasizes upper body strength, which, as we know, is every Survivor challenge ever. He’s so strong that he can even beat a physical specimen like John Cochran at arm wrestling. JOHN COCHRAN! A pasty yet sunburnt indoor kid who could serve as Captain America’s “before” photo; someone who is probably half Fillip’s size (which means that if Cochran played basketball at Fill’s gym then he’d be balling against guys four times his size. Wow!). So how could FFAF defeat the Hulk-like Cochran (Hulk-like in so far as he’s probably really good at physics)? Well, he’s got a can’t-lose technique.
Last week’s episode of Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit began with another temper tantrum from Brandon upon returning from Tribal Council. This week, not to be outdone, Brandon’s counterpart on the Fans side, Shamar, sounded off loudly after the vote. We talked in our last post about our uneasiness concerning these two bellicose, volatile players, that their unhinged – and often selfish – behavior would unfairly take center stage, and this happened once again in the latest episode, right off the bat. Here’s how it sounded at Goata camp.
There’s a tale we like to tell to novice or late-to-the-party Survivor fans. It’s a story – feels more like myth now – about a tribe called Kucha in a harsh landscape called the Outback. This is pre-Russell Hantz, pre-Boston Rob, even pre-Tom Westman. This is back in the second season of Survivor, when they had no idea that their initial success would continue nearly unabated for twenty-four seasons, that Richard Hatch and his flabby, hairy, naked figure strolling the beach in Borneo had changed the face of television forever. In season two the show was still in unknown territory, not yet a cultural institution with enough memorable moments to fill a double DVD and enough beloved (and reviled) players to field a competitive softball league. This was a long time ago. But all that time we’ve never forgotten about Michael Skupin. And never gave up hope – despite how unlikely it seemed – that he would return.
We often relate how this season featured a tribe that we found to be as formidable and as likable (save for Kimmi) as any tribe in Survivor’s prodigious history. It featured a pretty young face that we’d come to later know as Elisabeth Hasslebeck, football wife and The View co-host/conservative punching bag, then going by the surname Filarski. And while Kucha lacked the statistical dominance of Tom Westman’s Koror tribe in Palau, the team felt as strong and cohesive as any tribe, and it was getting stronger and more cohesive after each challenge and Tribal Council. There was Jeff Varner, the good-looking, drawling Tar Heel, and his partner-in-crime Alicia Calaway, who could have easily parlayed her Survivor appearance into a berth in the WWE. There was Old Man Rodger, who had formed such a sweet, good-natured, grandfather-granddaughter relationship with Elisabeth. And there was Nick Brown, the bright, young Harvard Law student. And they were all led by Michael Skupin, a midwest father whose receding hairline was more Bruce Willis than Ron Howard. Skupin served as heart and soul of the team, his intelligence and survival skills keeping Kucha focused and united at camp, his athletic ability pacing them in challenges, and his hunting prowess keeping them energized. With his guidance Kucha was poised to decimate the Ogakor Tribe, which featured such bickering, unlikable players as Jerri “the Black Widow” Manthey, arrogant chef Keith Famie, mama’s boy himbo Colby Donaldson, mama surrogate Tina Wesson, and another pretty face named Amber (yep, that Amber); it was a tribe that fell out of favor with us the moment they voted out Maralyn “Mad Dog” Hershey. Ogakor featured several future All-Stars and a couple million dollar winners, but after five tribal councils they were faltering, fractured and frustrated (Colby dousing Jerri with a bucket of water following a Reward Challenge loss, for example), and with one more Immunity Challenge defeat they were in danger of going into the merge down 6-4 to a Kucha Tribe operating with extreme confidence and bellies full of chickens and popcorn and, thanks to Mike, a pig.
And then, in the blink of an eye, it all came crashing down.
[It was about a month ago, while quickly scanning our Twitter feed, that we saw a report that Macho Randy Savage (née Randy Poffo) had passed away. It seemed like one of those hoax stories, and at the very least even if he was in a car accident the reports of his demise must have been greatly exaggerated. But, thanks to the blazing, almost frightening ,speed of social media, his passing was confirmed almost immediately. And we knew we had to say something about it. And we also knew, unfortunately, that we couldn’t comment at the time. However, we made a promise we would not let his death go unrecognized. So, now, better late than never, here we go.]
In some ways he was the Scotty Pippen of professional wrestling. A skilled athlete who never shied away from the spotlight, one of the best all-around performers of his or any generation, but one who spent his whole career overshadowed by another, more colorful, more bombastic, larger than life superstar. But whereas Pippen could never match Michael Jordan’s ability, Randy Savage was arguably (perhaps empirically) a stronger technical wrestler than his sometimes best friend, sometimes bitter enemy, Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster plodded around the ring, employing more smoke and mirrors than legitimate squared circle proficiency. Savage, on the other hand, could match, if not exceed, Hulk’s lyrical prowess and pair that with superior wrestling ability, capable of demonstrating legitimate ring expertise on the mat or from the top turnbuckle. And yet, while he was no doubt one of the top wrestling superstars for years, hands down one of the all-time greats, he never reached the same stratospheric heights as Hogan. Sure, there were legions of Macho Man fans, a vocal contingent who would claim Savage’s ascendancy, but the sheer fact is that Hogan achieved a level of fame that Macho Man could never quite grasp. He was probably a household name at his peak, a fixture in WWF video games, a headliner, a merchandising bonanza, a Slim Jim spokesperson. But where was his starring role in a motion picture? Where was his brand of vitamins? Where was his post-retirement reality show? In another time, Savage could have the indisputable best, head and shoulders above the rest. But in our time he was always going to fall just short of Hogan. No matter what.
And perhaps, at least for us, it goes back to the break up of the Mega Powers, the all-star team-up between Savage and Hogan, an alliance that ultimately imploded over their competition for the attention of manager and Savage’s then real-life wife Miss Elizabeth. We very, very clearly remember when their partnership, and friendship, went up in flames. And even though we think at that time we already understood that wrestling was fake, this schism felt very real. It was, truly, heartbreaking, and we never really recovered from it. And, even though it was scripted, fabrication, theater, Savage came out as the aggressor, the loose cannon, the villain, and Hogan the real American hero. And this was a perception that perhaps Savage was never able to shake. His rugged, rough and tumble recklessness would never match Hogan’s safe, bland chivalry. In the end, we could never forgive him for tossing a woman, let alone his wife, clear across the locker room.
Which, again, is a shame, because Savage, as a character at least, was more human in his imperfections. He could be jealous, insecure, selfish, callous, violent. But he could also be brave, gentle, passionate and heroic. And, with his unfortunate passing we’ll choose to look back and remember Savage at his best, a showman, offering an unmatched blend of athletic aptitude and verbal acuity, a man blessed with a gift for punching and for pomp & circumstance. Truly, a poet and a pugilist.
…with the way our week started, that is watching WWE wrestling videos. Here’s Sudeikis, along with Charlie Day and Justin Long emceeing an August episode of Monday Night Raw. Notice who stands in the center. Justin Long might have starred in a few decent movies, and Charlie Day might have a pretty good show on FX, but, let’s be honest, even they know it, Sudeikis is the star. Looks like he might make for a terrific heel too.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
And here’s one example of Sudeikis doing what he does best, making mediocre sketches better. And, why not, here’s one more.