And so it’s come to this. The grand finale of I’m An Unlikeable Douchebag, Please Let Me Stay In Here. As is traditional with unreasonably elongated reality shows, we begin with a quick reminder of who the final three are. Did you know Peter was an advertising producer? Did you know Peter’s name?
Remember when Tara started the show saying, “They think I’m a stay-at-home mum: I’m a frickin’ BARREL RACER!” and then spent every subsequent episode bleating, “Aww I’m just a stay-at-home mum!” Good times.
A quick stopover to relive the wonderful moment when Michelle’s dream was terminated, and then right into the action. Or rather, as it’s Survivor, right into the inertia.
The final three are forced against their will to walk in slow motion to the cliffs and look at the torches of all the eliminated players. This means we have to be reminded of every player who has been eliminated so far. It’s helpful inasmuch as we’d forgotten most of them, but unhelpful inasmuch as we wanted to forget them
Remember…uh…Joan? Remember Amy? And…Sam? Really? Sam? There was a woman called Sam. Oh and Mark I guess. And Jacqui and her whimsical Monopoly analogies. Who could forget her? Everyone, obviously, but it’s a rhetorical question.
Tara notes that AK “played a great game, but look where it got him”, or in other words, AK played a bad game. It’s a bit rich though to be criticised by Tara, who is only there because the producers realised they weren’t going to have enough episodes.
I feel like there was also someone called “Odette”, but I don’t think they even mention her. Maybe I imagined her.
“I thought, my name isn’t on any of those torches, and that’s because I’m still here,” says Tara, placing her finger on the nature of reality with the same unerring accuracy she has displayed throughout the game when confronted with the need to describe a thing that is directly in front of her.
Finally it’s time to stop padding the running time, and have an immunity challenge. The challenge is the same as last year’s, because why waste money on making a new one? Basically, the contestants must stand on a cliff with a hand on a totem pole, until they are swept off the cliff to their death, thus saving the network a fortune.
Thus we enter the most gripping of all televisual experiences: watching three people standing on little bits of wood while touching a pole. Obviously it’s not that simple for them: they have to do it while listening to Jonathan LaPaglia talking, an element that multiplies the difficulty of any activity by a factor of fifteen or so.
They keep standing there.
After a while, they stand there some more.
It grows dark. As it grows dark, they stand there.
An hour into the challenge, the final three are standing there.
Jonathan observes that Jericho is moving his feet around a lot. It’s an exciting moment.
Ninety minutes have elapsed and they are standing, as it were, there.
“Muscles must be cramping now,” says Jonathan, with a distinctly sexual air. He then demands Tara tell him why she has done so well in the game. Tara discreetly avoids the subject of being allowed to stay in the game after being voted out, and instead brings out her popular catchphrase: “I’m a stay-at-home mum!”
Tara then bursts into tears. “Tara, you can cry all you want,” Jonathan says, reading from the official rules of Survivor.
Some waves crash on the cliff. They are standing there. Jonathan explains the rules of the challenge to them again. They continue to stand there.
Jericho quizzes Tara on animal husbandry. Tara gratefully enumerates the different words for horses, yet somehow it doesn’t ease her pain.
They’re still all standing there. “Good job Tara,” Jericho says sarcastically.
And then Tara falls off. Haha.
So now there are two, Peter and Jericho, and don’t cream your jeans in excitement, but we’re in for a whole lot more standing there.
They stand there.
There they stand.
Four hours in, they are standing there. They are very wet, which makes it slightly more interesting I guess.
Five hours in, and standing is what they are doing, and there is where they’re doing it.
As they stand there, Peter calls Jonathan over and asks for a hand getting down. Jonathan dutifully puts on Funkadelic’s One Nation Under A Groove.
Jericho has won immunity, and Peter has shamed his family unto the eighth generation. Jericho hugs his fellow finalists and tells them “Nobody can devalue what we’ve achieved” although obviously this isn’t true, as devaluing what Tara has achieved is easy because she got voted out once.
And now for the only part of Survivor duller than the final immunity challenge: the finalists sitting on the beach thinking.
It’s mainly Jericho thinking, which is hard because it’s his first time. “It’s like trying to decide apples and oranges,” he says, baffling to the end.
At tribal council, Jonathan asks some boring questions and gets some boring answers. Peter continues babbling lies about all the clever gameplay he’s engaged in. “I’m a big player,” he says, as if everyone there hasn’t been watching the whole time. Peter believes that if Jericho doesn’t take him to the final two, the jury will consider that a weak move. Tara says that actually the opposite is true. Peter drops a bombshell by revealing that he disagrees with Tara’s view that Peter should be eliminated.
Finally, as our beards grow long and grey, it’s time for Jericho to vote. Given it’s just one vote, there is no reason whatsoever for him to write his vote down and put it in the pot, but just asking him to say who he’s voting for would violate Survivor’s one fundamental principle: everything should last eight times longer than it needs to.
Anyway he votes Peter out, which despite Tara’s many many many many many many many many flaws, is the correct decision. Wouldn’t YOU want to be in a popularity contest against Tara? If she says she’s a stay-at-home mum once more the jury might just skip the niceties and drag her out to sea.
There’s fifty minutes more of this.
Let’s not dwell: what happens now is Jericho and Tara spend a day lying around on the beach.
Oh, they also eat some things.
And go for a swim.
It’s frustrating watching all this filler when all we want is to get to the jury, where we hope someone will ask Tara the question we all desperately want to know the answer to: “Are you a stay-at-home mum?”
Finally, we are there. It’s time for Jericho and Tara to make their whiny, pathetic pitches to the judgmental dicks on the jury.
Tara goes first. She begins by saying she was very scared at the beginning, then describes how she decided to be a “social player”, cunningly making everyone incredibly annoyed at her in order to gain the upper hand. She admits that Locky was her shield, and boasts about how she screwed him over. She doesn’t mention whether she’s a single mum or not, preferring to retain a sense of mystery.
Jericho says he had one goal in his mind: to convince people he was a kindhearted saint. So I guess he’s failed. In an interesting tactical gambit, he brags about how cleverly he deceived everyone in the game. “I lied to you all, LOL!” is basically his pitch. A smarter pitch would’ve been “Guess what? Tara was already voted out!” But to each his own.
Now the jury gets to ask questions and be snarky little bitches for a bit.
First is Michelle, who steps up with a smile on her lips, beneath the cold black shark eyes which provide a window into the bottomless depths of her empty soul. She asks Tara and Jericho to describe the biggest move they made in the game. Tara repeats her crap about removing Locky. Jericho talks about his cookie jar, which really should’ve gotten him kicked out for breaking the rules but anyway.
Tara at this point says she needs a drink. Typical stay-at-home mum.
Next is Annaliese, who lies that she is happy for both Tara and Jericho. She asks Jericho to respond to her allegation that he rode Luke’s coattails. Jericho’s response is that Santa Claus has the whip and Luke is a reindeer. Annaliese nods, baffled into defeat. She then asks Tara something boring abut strategy and Tara replies just as boringly.
Locky is next. He tells Tara he’s proud of the way she destroyed him. He asks Jericho whether the day they went out swimming was a genuine moment for him. Jericho says it was a genuine moment for him. Soft piano music plays. Locky and Jericho make love on the sand.
Ziggy steps up and challenges both finalists to a water polo match. Also, her question is, “why do you think the other one should be sole survivor?” Jericho says Tara has evolved. Tara says something I wasn’t really listening to. Probably about barrel racing.
Jarrad steps up, glorious hair gleaming in the torchlight. “One of you will walk away the winner, one of you will walk away with nothing,” he says. Tara and Jericho are startled by this news. “If you lose tonight, where did it go wrong?” he asks. Jericho thinks his biggest potential mistake was to kick Tessa off the jury. Jarrad then reminds Jericho of the time he voted for Jarrad and underlined his name and threatens him ominously. Jarrad does not ask Tara anything, because he already knows she’s a stay-at-home mum.
Sarah steps up. “I’m a little bit nervous,” she lies. “Jericho,” she goes on, “your game seems to be panicked and convenient at times.” She mentions how Jericho claims to be fearless and doesn’t think you should save a drowning cat. Sarah claims to be confused about whether Jericho is a nice guy or not, and so say all of us. Jericho tries to draw a distinction between his real self and his gameplaying self. At least that’s what I think he’s doing. It’s kind of hard to tell.
Sarah doesn’t ask Tara anything either. Or are they asking Tara question but getting edited for tedium?
Luke gets up and asks Tara…nothing. He just congratulates her and moves on. He then tells Jericho that they used to talk in the forest, and then sits down. Riveting.
Peter gets up, having showered and shaven and made himself resemble a spy from Spy Vs Spy. He asks Tara to describe a time she used her initiative while under Locky’s wing. Tara describes a couple of times she tried to make a move but didn’t.
Peter asks Jericho to describe his game in three words. Jericho starts with “adaptable” and “flexible”. Peter points out they mean the same thing. Jericho goes for “flexible”, “under the radar”, and “deadly”. Which is actually five words.
Finally, Henry gets up and brags about being a fake yoga instructor. He asks Tara what day she started playing the game, and how she did so. She says she started playing the game when Locky went home. Henry points out that she sounds really dumb.
Henry tells Jericho he betrayed him, and also is an idiot for getting rid of Tessa, and then asks whether Jericho thinks he made good moves to balance out the blinding stupidity. Jericho says yes, he does think he did that. He makes a long impassioned speech in which he uses the term “Escape goat”, so it’s hard to focus on anything else. At the end he admits that he has Henry’s blood on his hands. Not literally. Yet.
Time to vote. For god’s sake let’s get it over with.
We don’t see all the votes of course, but we do see Sarah vote for Tara and Luke for Jericho, just for entertainment’s sake.
Jonathan counts the votes. “Whoever wins this game really deserves it,” he says, because he knows everyone is thinking the exact opposite. Then Jonathan goes home, leaving the rest of the contestants to die on the island.
We now have to watch Jonathan on a speedboat on Sydney Harbour, following in Jeff Probst’s footsteps by being incredibly unconvincing. And in a studio in front of an audience, it’s time to read the votes.
Oh sorry, it’s time for Jonathan to talk crap a bit longer.
Tara reveals that she doesn’t speak when she’s nervous. I bet everyone wishes they’d known that earlier. Jericho is wearing a Cookie Monster bowtie, which should mean he wins automatically.
One for Jericho.
Two for Jericho.
One for Tara.
Two for Tara.
Three for Tara. Why is everyone drawing horseshoes next to her name? I mean I know why, but cut that shit out.
Three for Jericho.
Four for Jericho.
Five for Jericho! Jericho wins! Well done — you were slightly less objectionable than most of your competitors. With that he wins half a million dollars, the title of Sole Survivor, and a seat on the High Court of Australia.
Tune in next time, when this will be a different show.
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