It's probably been at least a couple of years since I got excited before watching episodes of Survivor, but this season makes me remember what it was like to be young. Or something like that. As Miss Alli has said, part of the reason is the fact that the show cast a bunch of people who don't suck. In fact, although one tribe lost literally every immunity challenge, there was a remarkable lack of bickering. That's probably because the four strongest tribe members -- and four of the last five remaining, James excepted -- set the tone by largely taking responsibility themselves and refusing to whine. Moreover, those four were both utterly guileless and apparently competent, at at least the physical challenges. As a result, it was hard not to get emotionally invested in their quixotic reaches for immunity; they just seemed more likeable than their opponents (a more traditional tribe with three agreeable optimists, a stereotypically bitchy gay man, and four women and an old man who did and said nothing for the first eight weeks of the season).
The last minute of this week's episode might have been the funniest non-Arrested Development thing I saw on television this year. Over the eliminated contestant's gracious valediction, we saw a montage of the contestant: spasticly floundering into the water where a dive would have done better; haplessly stuffing his cheeks with partially-gestated ducklings with a sad resigned look on his brow; crazily attacking his campsite chores; and finally realizing that he was getting eliminated by the only person in his tribe who was better at the game than he was. As Spacewoman pointed out, Bobby Jon became the first person to be eliminated from Survivor without being voted out, quitting, or suffering an grotesque injury to his hands.
It was so good, in fact, that it makes my list of the top three (okay, four) heartbreaking eliminations in my reality TV viewing:
1. Kevin and Drew, TAR1I'm sure you have other lists.
2. Bobby Jon, Survivor Palau
3. (tie) Momily, TAR1
4. (tie) Lena & Kris, TAR6