The concept of female treachery has long existed as a force in the patriarchal modern mindset. In a continuum of perfidy running from Adam and Eve to John Dillinger, the archetype of woman as deceitful and deceptive has embedded itself in the cultural landscape, prejudicing the beliefs and opinions of men everywhere against their allegedly disloyal counterparts. Of course, most citizens in these enlightened times would undoubtedly decry such talk as stereotypical nonsense, lies perpetuated by the insecure generations of men who irrationally feared female aggression above all.
And then there are those who have met Kate Leonard ’03 and Julia Karoly ’03.
A masterstroke of duplicity from the “weaker sex” proved to be the end for a pair of Y-chromosomed contestants on this week’s edition of “Take Our Word For It Survivor: Ben’s House.” Alpha males Shamus “Chuck Woolery” Brady ’04 and Jedrick “Dutch” Mularski ’02 were expelled from paradise and the Ribe Tribe in a twisting, turning, highly compelling episode of the semester-long radio reality program taped in January.
The stunning turn of events was made possible by the “surprise” presented to the survivors by host Topher “Sajak” Goggin ’02 early in the program – the leading vote-getter and victim of the electorate during Tribal Council would be able to select another contestant of his or her choice to be a companion in exile. This marked the second occasion that Goggin has blindsided them with a two-for-one format – the first occurred in Episode Three, when Ari “Shrek” Schoenholtz ’05 and Pat “Pilsner” McCurdy ’02 were eliminated from the Arla Tribe.
Indeed, it appeared to be trouble early on for the lone remaining member of that Arla group, boating enthusiast James “Big Dog” Kinglsey ’02, who had the odds stacked against him in going against six members of the former Pencer Tribe. The majority of the tribe treated Kingsley’s removal like a forgone conclusion, as Brady and others confirmed their intentions to the microphones in a rather unapologetic way. Even the sole dissenter, Leonard, appeared to be leaning towards voting with the rest of the group, leaving Kingsley with few options other than aggressive pursuit of immunity.
The stage was set for a cracker of an Immunity Challenge, and that potential was quickly realized when Goggin presented the format: “Survivor Darts.” Each of the seven competitors was assigned two color-coded balloons on a board of 14, and the group was split into two heats that would alternate throws at the board from ten feet away. When both of the balloons assigned to a person were popped, that person was eliminated.
The odds-on favorite for the event was Brooks “Methusalah” Foehl ’88, who claimed to have spent six years as a draughts’ tutor in an Australian prison camp. The early rounds of the game, however, were not kind to the aging convict – Foehl was the second competitor eliminated, close on the heels of the increasingly inept Brady. In an interesting bit of foreshadowing, Brady’s balloons were popped by Leonard and Karoly – this is the type of thing that reassures psychics that there is an underlying pattern to the universe, an indefinable order that runs through all things and permeates our life-threads, intertwining with fate and justice to provide meaning to everything. Or whatever.
It was now time for the Big Dog to make his move, and he certainly did that. Somehow eluding the attention of Karoly and Drew “The Scorpion King” Newman ’04, Kingsley completed an excellent first round in style, knocking out Mularski and Newman, and moving into the last stage of the competition with two remaining balloons, compared to one apiece for Karoly and Leonard. That advantage was quickly stripped away, as Leonard evened the playing field with a beautiful first throw, popping the first of Kingsley’s spheres.
Two throws later, Karoly eliminated her fellow female, and the table was set for the tense finale. The two traded errant throws for three rounds, until Karoly nailed her opponent’s final balloon with a piercing throw and gained the coveted Immunity Idol, sinking Kingsley’s battleship and throwing his future into doubt. “I think my fate’s pretty much sealed now,” he lamented, and most would have agreed with him – he had popped six balloons, nearly as many as everyone else combined, but it hadn’t been enough.
The time leading up to Tribal Council was a bleak one for Kingsley – discussion seemed to center around whom he would choose to eliminate with him, as Brooks and Shamus betrayed nervous sentiments on the matter. An interview with Leonard, however, indicated that there was more than was immediately discernable – “We’re just trying to figure a little something sneaky out. We didn’t get to say a name, but we’ll figure something out in a second when I go back down,” she said.
Then came the bombshell – by four votes to three, Shamus was eliminated instead of James. Presumably with murder in his heart, he selected the member he thought to have organized the conspiracy against him – Jedrick, who on several occasions had stated his distrust for Shamus, due to his tendency to “go on dates.” Leonard and Karoly, who had convinced Mularski to go along with their plan, remained free to continue their reign of terror, as was the lucky Kingsley, who continued to escape the wrath of the tribe.
Next week: the Chicken Bowling Immunity Challenge makes Drew angry and Brooks hungry. James claims to have “no idea what’s going on,” and Julia and Kate plot more mischief. All this and more at 9 p.m. Thursday, only on WCFM 91.9.