Survivor: LDS All-Stars

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This weekend is the big 2-hr. Survivor season finale, which is one of the few t.v. programs that gets me excited every year. I am really pulling for Ozzie to win it all, though I am convinced that he is 1/3 man, 1/3 lemur, and 1/3 dolphin based on his performances in the challenges.

Whenever Latter-day Saints show up on reality programs I get a little bit anxious. As the narrator of Survivor, Amazing Race, etc. introduces all of the participants in the first episode and says, "...And then there is Nephi Jackson, a recluse Mormon cattle rancher from Kanab, Utah....." I start to fret, wring my hands, and think to myself, "oh, please, don't blow it, Nephi. You've got the whole world watching, just be normal, play it cool, and don't embarass the other twelve million of us." Sometimes it works out well, like with Neleah who almost won Survivor a few years ago. Sometimes it backfires, like with the drama queen from The Real World who got kicked out of BYU.

Anywho, as a tribute to Survivor and famous Mormons throught the world, I have simulated a full season of Survivor: LDS All-Stars. The remaining four finalists are:

1. John Heder - Star of Napoleon Dynamite. Has primarily been kept around camp because he uses the skills he learned during his Fishing Merit Badge to feed the team. He was also critical at keeping peace in the camp and diffused a tense arguement between Danny Ainge (Former NBA player and current Boston Celtics' GM) and Harry Reed (Democrat - Nevada, current Majority Whip) by saying in his Napoleon voice, "Gosh! Why can't you guys just shut up! This is retarded!" Everybody laughed, Danny and Harry hugged, and John's stock rose.

2. Gladys Knight - Legendary singer. Gladys has survived by being the mother figure to the rest of the group. Showing her southern hospitality, she is constantly making sure people are comfortable, have fresh water, and can cry on her shoulder when they miss their families. A touching moment was hearing her gently sing "Amazing Grace" as Kevin Rollins (CEO of Dell) lamented the recent 12% drop in Dell's stock price which cost him nearly half a billion dollars.

3. Rulon Gardner - Gold medalist in Greco Roman Wrestling who pulled off perhaps the most stunning upset in Olympic history by defeating Alexander Karelin of Russia. Affectionately called "Brother Bunyon" by the group, Rulon is the workhorse of the team. Always bringing back water, uprooting fruit trees trees, gathering firewood, etc. and he claims he's happy to do it. Tragedy struck when he "accidentally" stepped on Marie Osmond's leg on day 4, forcing Marie off of the show and into traction. Rulon's true self emerged as he confessed to the camera, "Marie was a bigger threat than a triple nelson. Rulon's here to win, and Rulon's got to do what Rulon's got to do".

4. Ken Jennings - Won 74 straight games of Jeopardy and pocketed over $3 million in earnings. Possibly the smartest man on the planet, Ken never blended with the rest of the group. On Day 1, Steve Young (Former NFL MVP) told the rest of the contestants, "We've got to get the walking encyclopedia out of here. He freaks me out, the way he just sits there and silently observes everything. You can just hear him thinking over there". Everybody agreed with Steve to get rid of Ken. Sensing he was on the chopping block, Ken orchestrated a massive arguement between Steve and Sherri Dew, which fractured the team and allowed him to slip by. Ken then found the immunity idol without even going to exile island (don't ask me to explain, the guy just figured it out, okay?) but had to play the idol when Kathleen Burton Clarke (Director of the Bureau of Land Management) organized enough votes against him.

There are two immunity challenges left:

1. Contestants need to eat 1/2 pound of live cockroaches, swim to pick up pieces to a puzzle, solve the puzzle, then build a fire to burn the rope and raise their flag.

2. Contestants are given a Church History quiz.

The jury will consist of:
-Danny Ainge
-Harry Reid
-Kathleen Burton Clarke
-Steve Young
-Marie Osmond
-Kevin Rollins
-Sherri Dew
-Jewel (Singer, allowed on the show though she has never been active)
-Orson Scott Card (My favorite author and fellow Greensboro, NC resident)
-Mitt Romney (Governor of Massachusetts)
-2 of the 4 remaining contestants who get voted off

Here is today's challenge:
Post answers to each of the three questions below:

1. Who wins the first immunity challenge and why/how?
2. Who wins the second immunity challege and why/how?
3. Who wins Survivor: LDS All-Stars and what shocking things take place that sway the votes of the jury?

Posts need to come in by Thursday 12/21 to be counted. The winner will get a special Jeff Probst-realted prize. Have fun!


Amy said...

1.The first immunity challenge will be won by Rulon Gardner. He'll down those cockroaches in no time, use his incredible strenght to swim quickly to the puzzles pieces and have enough of a lead to solve the puzzle before the others even begin.

2.The second immunity challenge will be won by Ken Jennings, of course. The other finalists wouldn't stand a chance.

3. Even though he doesn't win an immunity challenge, the final winner will be John Heder. Rulon Gardner and Gladys Knight form an alliance to take down Ken Jennigs since they don't see John as a threat. A nasty fight erupts between the three when the topic of "did dinosaurs really live on the earth" pushes Ken to his mental frustration capacity. Rulon and Gladys do all they can to prove Ken wrong and Ken goes crazy shouting scientific fats for five straight hours. In the mean time, John uses his bow hunting skills to catch a liger and trains it to put on a show for the jury and win over their votes.

8:30 AM
Forrest said...

1. First challenge. Ken takes the early lead, easily processing the cockroaches ( I say processing because it turns out that Ken is actually a beta version from a Canadian robotics company that they made Mormon to defer suspicions regarding his inate geekiness. The whole Jeopardy thing was a phase 1 capital raising venture and Survivor: Nauvoo was a phase 2 social experiment.) Unfortunately for Ken he suffered a few leaks during the swimming portion of the challenge and by the time he started to make the fire he short-circuited, had a Sherrie Dew fireside flashback, and burned a good chunk of his synthetic keister off. Heder takes the lead with a small fire but gives up when Rulon steals his fire and taunts him with "Benchwarmer" quips. Gladys never really got started on the challenge stating that she was against both insect cruelty and wet hair. Ken is voted out later, oddly enough because of the Canadian thing more than anything else.
2. Second Challenge. With Ken out of the way it's quiz time and Gladys eats the others' lunch. Constant questioning from recent appearances on Oprah, The View, and The Tony Danza Show, have left her primed and ready for anything. In fact she references Satan's control over the water as the real reason she wouldn't swim in challenge one and heavily implies that Ken, robot or not, fell prey to Old Scratch of the Lake himself. Now firmly in control of the final vote, Gladys approaches Rulon and together they send Heder off to do whatever he wants!
3. Facing the Jury . Both finalists show weakness during the questioning. Rulon confirms that instead of losing his big toe to frost bite as was initially reported, he in fact suffered some cold induced temporary insanity and lost the toe in an embarrising "tithing hallucination". Gladys on the other hand confesses that she had initially wanted to convert to Mormonism to get away from the annoying annual birthday updates on Entertainment Tonight (ET, while being completely and totally comfortable invading celebrity lives, was oddly compelled to respect celebrity religious rites and would have complied with Ms. Knight's wishes if in fact she had joined the correct, non birthday religion, the JW's.) As it currently stands, ET continues to flash GK's picture every year on her birthday and have added a blinking MORMON moniker to boot.
In the end, after Gladys referenced a number of Brigham Young quotes from memory, the all white jury had little choice but to vote her the winner and, in a surprising move, taking the second place money from Rulon and pledging it to the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Lesson learned.

7:45 PM
Ang said...

First, I must say you've outdone yourself with this challenge, my brother. Very nice. And I also must express my deep disappointment that Ozzie did NOT win last night. Although I liked Yul and found him smart and extremely diplomatic . . . Ozzie was one of the best Survivor players EVER! But whatcha gonna do? Anyway, here's my scenario:

1. In a stunning upset, Jon Heder wins the first immunity challenge. Up until this point, he'd been shuffling around camp, doing his Napoleon schtick, making people think he wasn't too smart and, frankly, a little bit of a pansy. But he was only biding his time. Shedding his Napoleonic handicaps, he downs the roaches in 3 minutes flat, full-on laps Gladys in the swimming portion, best KEN JENNINGS in the puzzle building (which causes Ken to curl up in the fetal position in the sand, moaning and cursing to himself in Japanese--his mission language--before Rulon gets sick of it and threatens to send him back to Idaho in a potato sack if he didn't knock it off), and ends up making fire by simply rubbing his hands together really, really fast, which he's had a lot of practice doing as he's been gleefully considering the piles of money continually thrust upon him from his Napoleon residuals.

2. With Jon in the clear, he orchestrates a mutiny against Jennings, clearly his biggest competition in anything mental, by convincing the others of the inherent offensiveness of swearing in one's mission language on national television. Ken gets booted. During the final immunity challenge, though, it becomes very clear to Jon that he's underestimated Gladys. Being the most easily recognizable black woman in the LDS church, she's spent an inordinate amount of time defending herself to confused black folks the world over: she recently sent Oprah a signed copy of "Rough Stone Rolling," saw "God's Army II" in the theater with Queen Latifa, and stayed up late one night with Jamie Foxx discussing the Word of Wisdom, convincing him to reduce his intake of red meat (he's not ready to give up alcohol quite yet, though). From all these conversations, not only does she know polygamy and Blacks and the Priesthood inside out and upside down, but she can converse freely about Seer Stones, Brigham's Deseret Alphabet, the Mormon Battalion, and irrigation techniques in Southern Utah in the late 19th century. She beats Jon and Rulon handily in the final quiz--and sends Rulon packing, since she figures she's a shoo-in against Jon now that he's deceived so many with his Napoloeon guise.

3. But in a STUNNING REVERSAL, Jon and Gladys discover that their difficulties have only just begun. A whole group of D-list LDS celebrites--Ed Smart, Elizabeth's freaky dad; Jayne Clayson, former Utah newswoman turned short-lived CBS-early-show host; Wilford Brimley, the really old Quaker Oatmeal and Diabetes guy; and Skyler Farnsworth, the great-grandson of Filo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television--have been watching every move these LDS celebs make via video-feed from other, hitherto unexplored, side of the island. Known as the "others," the new final four join the jury with all sorts of secrets to share. Ed Smart reveals that Jon bribed a camera guy for Slim Jim; Jayne Clayson exposes Gladys as the Survivor who freed the live chickens they'd been intending to eat for dinner (Gladys figures she gets so much flak for being Mormon, why not add Vegan to the freaky list?); Skyler Farnsworth outs Jon for playing with everyone's emotions by tearily stating that his grandmother died when, in fact, his Grandmother is still alive and watching game-shows in her Houston retirement home (which, by the way, wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for his Grandpa Filo). Unfortunately, Wilford doesn't have much to add, other than insisting that voting for Rulon is the "right thing to do and the tasty way to do it" and berating Gladys for negelcting to buy her "Die-a-bee-tus" testing strips from his 1-800 number.

Of course, Gladys wins. Everyone loves Gladys. Even when the chicken-freeing escapade is revealed, folks know that it's just another example of her kind and tender nature and award her the million dollar prize. Plus, Gladys Knight leaving the church would be a PR NIGHTMARE. Any Mormon worth his or her salt knows not to push it.

Oh, also, stay tuned for the newest season of Survivor: LDS All-Stars, Crazy Musicians edition. Competitiors will be broken up into four teams:

-The remaining Osmonds: Donnie (of course), Merle, the deaf one . . . the whole clan! Just not Marie. She already got her chance, and frankly, the rest of the family is glad she's not coming because she's such a bossy boots.

-She-Daisy. They even invite Kade along, even though he's (obviously) not a girl so not always included, but they need him to gut the fish.

-The 5 Browns. Not as well known as the aforementioned musical families, these Julliard-trained pianists are also expert spear-fishers, and two of the three girls have extraordinarily muscular thighs. They can climb a coconut tree bare-legged in five seconds, no problem.

-A hodge podge of LDS musicians with church commitment issues: Bradon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers; Jerry Nightengale, former baritone soloist in the MoTab Choir--but booted from the choir for his refusal to shave his goatee (he harbors resentment); Amanda Gigglepants, former BYU Young Ambassador and, now, a mother of two, mercifully stretch mark free, and recruited for her willingness to wear a two piece bathing suit (ratings, people!!); and Arthur "Killer" Kane of the New York Dolls, come back to life as a "just man made perfect" in order to show these yahoos the error of their ways and lead them on the path to victory.

There. Now that killed a good 45 minutes on a day where I should be doing laundry. :-) Don't know if I can beat Forrest, though. He's formiddable.

8:53 AM
Mom said...

Andrew - You are a scream, and these comments are gems. I myself do not have the IQ or mental energy to respond but just - wow -

12:40 PM
sandy said...

Wow, I don't know if I can beat Angie's response. I just have too much laundry to do. This one is going to have to go to TEAM ZENT for some collaberative effort. We'll get back to you.

6:59 AM
Fellow survivor fan said...

Andrew, you are the best. You crack me up. Please don't stop blogging! Your fans need you! Hopefully I can enter a response before tomorrow. Andi

9:27 AM
andrea said...

Disclaimer: I have not read the other responses yet, so if I duplicate anything witty that they said, it is a complete coincidence.

1. The first immunity challenge will be a nail biter. Rulon, of course, jumps to an early lead. He downs the roaches like they were M&M's and does pretty well in the swimming. However, a few too many choke-holds have resulted in loss of brain cells. He CAN NOT figure out this puzzle! John, Gladys, and Ken were very close in the roach-eating portion. John took the lead in the swimming. Gladys and Ken fell way behind. John overtook Rulon in the puzzle and then began to start his fire. Fire-making isn't as easy as it looks (anyone who watched the REAL survivor finale knows that!) so he struggled. Rulon finally figured out the puzzle and it was a fire-building race between John and him. John took his burning coconut husks and began doing the VOTE FOR PEDRO dance. It gave him just enough oxygen to keep the flame going and he raised the flag, winning immunity. Seeing Rulon as the biggest physical threat, the others vote him off at tribal counsel.

2. When John and Gladys find out that it's a church history quiz for the final immunity challenge, they kick themselves--Rulon would've been a cinch to beat at this one! They're afraid they don't have a chance against good ol' Jeopardy Ken. Going in to the final question of the challenge, the scores are Ken: 10 John: 2 Gladys: 3
John and Gladys have just about given up...Until Jeff announces that since this is a Mormon game, the final question will be worth 15 points--anyone can win! Yippee! Ken chokes under the pressure. Gladys and John both get it right. In a huge upset, Gladys wins immunity! John and Ken both wanted to vote her out. She hasn't made enough enemies and will do well with the jury in the finals. She votes for Ken to be the next survivor to join the jury. She and John go to the finals.

3. Final tribal council. Looks like Gladys has got this in the bag. She has been so kind and motherly to everyone on the island, they have really grown to love her. In her opening statement, she talks about she knew that, as a convert, she would have a better chance of making it to the finals because she had been through more challenging experiences in her life than the lifetime members. All the lifetime members on the jury are a offended: What does your being a convert have to do with anything? John's opening statement is just a bunch of gibberish about wolverines and nunchucks, but it makes the jury laugh. John wins with a final count of 8-4. The tribe has spoken.

2:55 PM