Survivor update, week 3: Dispensary owner Jim Rice staying ahead of competition

Jim Rice.
Three weeks into Survivorand local medical marijuana dispensary owner Jim Rice continues to stay alive in the competition.

Episode three kicked off where episode two ended, with Christine joining Semhar on the actual Redemption Island.

Basically, the women were shipped off to a smaller and more deserted island than the deserted island everyone else is on. The two commiserated with each other over the campfire about the team members that voted them off the island, knowing they'd be competing against one another to stay in the game the following day.

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Jeff Probst.
In the arena, the two women were tasked with balancing a wooden statue on top of a platform attached to a pole. Every so often, overly-enthusiastic and clearly well-fed and showered host Jeff Probst would yell passively annoying comments to the dirty, malnourished women. It didn't take long before Semhar's twiggy arms gave out and she was sent packing. Nobody wanted her around anyway, except maybe Ozzy. But if he had heard more of her boring spoken-word Poetic Justice rip-off, I'm sure he would have come around as well.

Meanwhile, back on the bigger island, creeper Brandon continued to completely weird out his Upolu tribe with crazy ,religious-based fear and self-loathing. He finally took his shirt off and revealed to the rest of his tribe the tattoos of his name that show he's related to former Survivor villain Russell Hantz. Brandon says the confession takes a load off his back, but it really just puts a target on it. Actually, I came up with a game halfway through watching this episode: Every time Brandon brings up his Christian guilt, I took puff of herb. Let's say that while I was going to puff a lot of herb watching this episode anyway, thanks to Brandon I'm having a hard time getting this review completed.

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Brandon Hantz.
Also thanks to Brandon, Mikayla had a near breakdown. She confronted him about wanting to vote her off simply because he doesn't like her, which he openly admitted. He then brought up her "attitude," which it's understandable she'd have, and then tried to say that everyone else didn't trust her, either. He went one step further and dragged everything in front of his stunned-silent group before walking off. I feel bad for the kid in some ways; he really is struggling with himself. But he doesn't have to be so outwardly douche about it. If Rice did smuggle herb onto the island as everyone jokes, I hope he gets it to Brandon sooner than later.

Speaking of Rice, our stubbly faced pot shop owner and his Savaii team clearly weren't the focus of the episode through much of the first three-quarters. Only during challenge time near the end did he make a real appearance:

The contest was a two-parter. The first called for two players to run down a floating bridge one at a time holding a boogie board attached by rope to a hand-cranked pulley on shore operated by four other team members. The runner would grab one of five rolled-up parts to a large hanging mural, jump on the boogie board and get shot back to shore by their team mates. It was a ridiculously complicated Mouse Trap set up, but it proved to be a pain in the ass for the red Savaii team, as Papa Bear couldn't keep up with the other three guys pulling in Ozzy on the boogie board -- including scrawny Cochran.

The blue Upolu team took the lead at the end of the first half and didn't let up through the second half, which required the two remaining team members to use a grappling hook to pull up the parts of the mural, then unfold them in the correct order. The Upolu tribe finished and won before the red team could even get a single banner hung.

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Mark Anthony "Papa Bear" Caruso.
Before the commercial break, producers cut to a shot of Rice calling out Papa Bear for slowing up the rest of the team, referencing the retired police officer (and fabulously gay) contestant's inability to keep up with the other guys on the giant crank system. Rice is right, but I can see this furthering the image that some Survivor fans have of him as an asshole simply because he speaks his mind. But again, this is a game for $1 million.

Back from the break, Rice went right for Papa Bear in the tribe discussions and everyone agreed the retiree should be voted off. Meanwhile, Papa Bear ran off into the woods blindly looking for the immunity idol in the jungle. He didn't succeed, but he created a dummy idol, stuffed it in his shorts and returned to the rest of the tribe telling them he found the only thing that could save him from elimination.

Unknown to Papa Bear, Ozzy found the idol a few days back and had keyed teammate Keith in on that fact. Loudmouth Keith told Whitney (this is starting to remind me of junior high), so at least three people knew Papa Bear was lying. Cochran saw through his Papa Bears bullshit without any background knowledge.

But former poker star Rice bought right into the scheme. At the elimination ceremony, Rice made a feeble attempt to call his bluff by implying it would only get Papa Bear an extra three days before he would be voted off again. But because, contestants can't announce who has the idol until after all the votes have been cast, Papa Bear was able to hold his bluff. Rice switched his vote to Cochran at the last minute despite everyone else voting for Papa Bear -- who got voted to Redemption Island with Christine.

That means two things: Rice is for-sure safe for another week, and Papa Bear should consider playing poker.

Survivor strain of the week: OG Kush.

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More from our Mile Highs and Lows archive: "Medical marijuana center owner Jim Rice on how posing with pot helped get him on Survivor."


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