Love was in the air on "Survivor: Caramoan" and -- Oh who are we kidding?
Every season on "Survivor" some pretty couple dusts off their acting chops and takes a run at trying to convince the viewers that some spark of real attraction and affection is glowing in the highly-staged arena of reality TV. They're called showmances and they're generally pretty unconvincing.
Case in point on week nine of "Survivor: Caramoan" -- clever Andrea and dim bulb Eddie. The young lovers broke away from the pack to perform their version of the old Brooke Shields movie "The Blue Lagoon." As they basked in tropical splendor, the smitten ones declared their intentions.
"I need to be dragged three or four more rounds until I can get up and start punching someone," declared impulsive Eddie.
Overwhelmed by such ardor, Andrea coyly confessed her own feelings to the camera: "I'm definitely playing Eddie. But I'm trying to see if he's playing me."
These kids -- you kinda hope against all odds they may just have a chance!
Meanwhile, the real wooing (painful as it was to watch) came from crazy Phillip, the former federal agent, as he indoctrinated shipwrecked Sherri into his stealth force squad or whatever he calls his team of imaginary friends. Phillip had a gleam in his eye for Sherri and her fake knockers as he gave her a secret agent name: "Tenacity."
As one of the four remaining members of the Fans tribe -- remember them? They lost ever challenge in sight -- Sherri has been living dangerously. Eddie and Reynold hate her, and Michael is playing his own invisible game. So what's a girl to do when a crazy guy on the winning team recruits her? Sign on the dotted line, Tenacity.
Speaking of desperately seeking a game plan, Reynold, the smarmy San Fran real estate agent, set his sights on the boys for his end game. He declared several times his intentions to "bro down" with boys and get rid of all these annoying women.
Pretty boy Reynold gets a lot of air time. But nine weeks in, he's played a consistently inept game. He's never in on the real vote, and keeps getting surprised by the real players. He's found two immunity idols, and has played both of them prematurely when his neck wasn't on the line.
Nervous Reynold tried to play his immunity idol this week at tribal council. As the idol was leaving his hand, Reynold was psychologically overpowered by Malcolm, and ended up giving it away to protect Malcolm. I guess that is "bro-ing down" -- but neither of the bros needed the idol this week.
After a lot of scheming that kept going in this or that direction, the vote went against Michael, the event planner from New York. Which leaves just three players now from the original Fans tribe -- Eddie, Reynold and Sherri.
When he got the bad news, Michael said "You turkeys," let loose a slobbery raspberry and flipped the bird to the remaining players. It was surely the most emotionally honest moment of the show, if not the entire season thus far. We haven't seen the last of Michael -- he's the first member of the jury that will vote to award the $1 million dollar prize.
Revelations this week: After a lot of hollow bluster, Malcolm did show a Svengali-like prowess when he whammied Reynold into giving up his immunity idol.
And Dawn, the weepy mother of six, is showing some guile -- but appears headed for a nervous breakdown if the teaser for next week is any indication.
Shaggy dog Erik continues to be a big nothing. And even Cochran the geek, our everyman player for the viewers, is grating a bit with his overly-mannered geek portrayal. You get the feeling Cochran gets pedicures and eats caviar on crackers between seasons when he's not pretending to be a misfit.
True confession: Nine weeks into the season, and I don't really like any of the players. I kinda liked Shamar, misguided and obnoxious as he was. And sassy Corinne was fun tossing off barbs right and left. But they're gone.
The rest of this crew? Eh, I don't really care who wins. Which is a problem for this season.
"It has been a long, strange, weird, difficult trip. It's over, what can I say? I'm very disappointed," said Michael in the loser's box. "I wanted to go far and deep into the game and I thought I could. But the favorites are great players. They really are tight and they're playing hard and strong. I know it's going to bust up eventually. But here I am. It's a bummer."
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