First off: Did Courtney get 12 arrows from her fellow castaways in the vote-for-your-favorite reward challenge because she's the most popular member of the tribe, or because they all figured she wouldn't be able to shoot them? If it was the latter, their intuition was partially correct. Courtney hit the broad side of the barn with 10 out of 12 arrows, but she only hit her own square once. The benefactor of Courtney's poor aim was Denise, who got to spend the night on the Great Wall Of China with the two hateful, backstabbing competitors of her choice. So she picked Courtney and Todd, her best friends for the next three days, until they inevitably boot her out prior to the final vote. (And I mean that "three days" both in Survivor-time and in real-time, since the big finale is this Sunday.)
I have to say: that arrow thing was very mean, reinforcing how unpopular Peih-Gee has always been in this game. (Only one lousy arrow, a surprise gift from Courtney.) It also should've served as a wake-up call to Denise. (Only two!) If there was going to be a last-minute shake-up, this had to be the episode where it happened. But alas, Denise stayed true to an alliance she's not really part of, while Peih-Gee's prickliness cost her a chance to sway anybody to her side, despite some unexpected bonding with Amanda (who's looking more and more like the next Survivor millionaire).
All in all, yet another predictable episode as we countdown to Sunday, and what's sure to be one intense jury session, with a lot of complex defenses of indefensible behavior. But I still enjoyed this penultimate session of Season 15, for a couple of reasons. First, the immunity challenge, a kind of Season 15's Greatest Hits, which included the return of that goddamn chicken fetus that Denise couldn't choke down way back when, and barely even got into her mouth this time. Then, tribal council, in which Peih-Gee made a big speech about how hard she's played the game, and how she's never played dirty–conveniently forgetting her long-ago challenge-throwing incident. In a way I'm sorry she won't be in the final three, because I would've loved to have seen her called out in public.
As I've written in the past, the appeal of reality TV has a lot to do with the doling out of the kind of justice we rarely see in reality-reality anymore. (Though today's release of The Mitchell Report is a step in the right direction, if only because most of the baseball players named in it were kind of pricks anyway and self-righteous to boot.) So in that sense, I'm very intrigued by what's coming next, because there are no clear heroes in the sure-to-be-final-three, and only one clear villain, who, judging by tonight's arrow-vote, may not be as unlikable as I've presumed.
Hurry on Sunday. See you all again then.
-There's been a lot of food at these reward challenges, but very little pampering outside of that trip to the hot springs early on. Won't someone please gift Denise with a shower?
-Each week on the show when the jury comes in, I wish Jeff would let them talk instead of the tribe. I bet it'd be a lot more surprising.
-"I'm Negative Nancy."
Bonus Amazing Race observations:
-If Goths and hippies can learn to work together, why can't the rest of us put our differences aside?
-Speaking of our pink-clad Goth pals–whose trying-too-hard quote of the week was, "We're used to people pointing at us"–I'd like to officially change their Amazing Race tag from "Dating Goths" to "Stacked Goth & Her Effeminate Pal."
-My wife discovered a couple of weeks ago that Donald and Nicholas–Gramps and "the boy"–are related to alt-country icon Robbie Fulks. Nicholas is his son, and Donald's his father-in-law. This week, Nicholas declared his family allegiance by wearing a Robbie Fulks T-shirt.
-What I've learned from The Amazing Race is that international travel agents spend roughly a half-hour per customer, all just to book some tickets and print them off.