'Survivor': The Snuggle Factor

Analysis of "Survivor: Palau" Episode Two, by CBSNews.com's Ellen Crean.
Before anything else, here is the question of the week: If two people are snuggling at night, haven't they formed an alliance?

Just asking -- because this was up for some discussion during tribal council during Episode Two of "Survivor: Palau," and some of us did not see much room for debate.

It was because Kim and Jeff (of the Ulong tribe) had decided to cuddle up at night, and Kim's neck was allegedly on the chopping block because some tribe members smelled an attempt at the "Rob-And-Amber" strategy.

But in the end, it was Ashlee Ashby who wound up with a cold torch, because she didn't eat any part of the giant clam that had been so joyfully prepared for dinner. Or maybe it was just because she chose to sleep instead of socializing.

At any rate, it was the second episode in a row in which the Ulong tribe lost immunity, and it sure looks like Stephenie isn't shy about campaigning against the outcast of her choice. Last week, it was Jolanda. This week, it was Kim, but her goal clearly was to break up the alliance (yes, the alliance) between the snugglers.

But Koror has its own share of emotional drama. What's the deal with Caryn? Is she trying to be the biggest witch on Palau?

Case in point: Koror was offered the choice between the beach they already knew, or making a new home at an entirely new and unknown location.

Now, Fireman Tom is the one who said they'd go for a new adventure, but no one exactly shouted him down. So when Koror found itself on a beach that was rainy and overrun by rats, Caryn immediately attacked Fireman Tom, sarcastically chiding, "Do you think there could be a worse island than this?"

Well, Caryn, are you on the island?

There is not much room to jump all over Fireman Tom's case, because it appears that he almost single-handedly won the immunity challenge for the tribe, by pulling a heavy cask along the ocean floor. In general, Koror is a pretty clever group. When called upon to memorize the Morse Code alphabet in a limited amount of time, they split up the letters so everyone had only about four codes to worry about.

And let's not forget about Ian. He ain't a dolphin trainer for nothin'! He is the one who retrieved the Koror tribe's lost flint by repeatedly diving under the waves, fighting a brutal current, to recover the metal case containing the tribe's key to fire.

How could they even pinpoint the right area to search? Some of us couldn't find a missing flip-flop at low tide.

This Week's Comeback Kid: Angie! She ripped into the reward challenge with so much energy that her tattoos were almost left behind. And it was a complicated challenge, too: an obstacle course suspended over water.

As Bobby Jon said about Angie after Ulong's triumph (they won a deluxe fishing kit): "I totally misjudged her." Yes, the other folks in Christmas Town started to realize, maybe, they were a little hard on the misfit. Maybe misfits have a place, too. Even Santa realizes that -- maybe -- he was wrong. Oh, sorry. Having a Rankin-Bass moment.

Back to "Survivor: Palau":

Random Observations:

  • Janu (Koror) appears to be turning into Janu the Jungle Goddess, even though she is skittish when it comes to rats. Through the miracle of night vision, viewers were able to witness several large rodents helping themselves to some of Koror's leftover coconuts (And did you see the rat that JUMPED when it heard Janu scream? It kind of looked like Gus in Disney's "Cinderella," but without the hat, shirt and mousey shoes.)
  • Willard (Koror) and the immunity idol look alike.
  • And, finally: If two people are snuggling, haven't they formed an alliance? Or has that question been asked already?

    NEXT WEEK: A tribute to "Jaws," and that is not a reference to the shouting match between Caryn and Katie.
    By Ellen Crean

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