Giving Up Immunity, Following the Bigot on ‘Survivor’

“Survivor: One World” seemed to have not much going for it – a premise in which the all-male tribe would naturally steamroll the tribe of women. But just as the women seemed like they’d quit before they won their first challenge, they started to win.

After winning three straight, the women split a pair on Monday’s episode, finally getting a tarp in a reward challenge before losing a puzzle challenge for immunity.

But the women benefitted with how warped the men’s tribe has become. After blindsiding the arrogant leader of the muscle alliance, the misfit alliance proved why they were misfits.

First Leif forgot he was playing the game long enough to tell Bill that Colton had it out for him, which made Leif the target of animosity for the tribe except for Colton, who wanted Bill eliminated so badly, he got the men to agree to give up their immunity to the women so they could go to tribal council right away and vote him out.

The flamboyant Colton, who is pretty lousy at camp and in challenges, now considers himself the high leader. His unfounded hatred for Bill is such that he wouldn’t even talk to him about why he hates him, he wants to wave him off. Last week, he dismissed the women he said he felt closer to than men; they wanted a favor and he said “I’m a Republican, I don’t do handouts.” (Yeah, Republicans are so good on gay rights).

In a week where Rush Limbaugh lost several sponsors for calling a young woman a slut, it’s a wonder Colton is on television after calling Leif, a little person, both a Munchkin and an Oompa-Loompa in a matter of minutes. And this is before his condescension and hatred toward Bill, which he says is not racially motivated, though the only African-American in his life is family’s maid.

Host Jeff Probst couldn’t believe the turn of events – that a team with immunity would give it up, and said more than once that it was historic (still, what about teams that threw challenges just so they could vote out someone, such as when Russell Hantz was eliminated?).

The women were ready to let them implode.

The motivation was supposedly to get rid of Leif for betraying the team, according to the overwrought accusations of the old dude who calls himself Tarzan. But everybody voted for Bill anyway, scared as they were by the bigot Colton, whom they should have blind-sided.   Only Bill voted for Leif – the one guy who leveled with him.

What makes reality programming interesting is to see how real people react to contrived situations. And for a time Wednesday, the tribal council unspooled like a particularly loopy and instructive town hall meeting – this is how people really think in 2012.

The men may still be physically stronger than the women, but mentally, the women are crushing them.

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