Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor” opened with Maine’s Ashley Underwood getting an unwelcome eyeful.
A teammate in the Ometepe tribe, Phillip “I’m a former government agent” Sheppard, bent over in his infamous pink underwear, flaunting his goodies right in Underwood’s face.
“You’re seriously hurting my eyes,” Underwood complained, turning away and covering her face.
Sheppard seemed oblivious to the effect that his “pink panties,” as Boston Rob Mariano calls them, had on his tribe mates.
Later in the episode, while Boston Rob and Grant Mattos watched their former teammate Matt Elrod win the duel on Redemption Island, Sheppard tried to cozy up to the women left behind in camp.
They were having none of it. Sheppard complained that he “can’t seem to make an impression on these girls.”
“These girls remind me of the crabs, to be honest,” he said, referring to the creatures shown skittering sideways across the sand, “especially Natalie and Ashley.”
In one of her private interviews on camera, Underwood admitted that she and her BFF Natalie Tenerelli were just pretending to be nice to Sheppard and Andrea Boehlke.
“There’s a lot of faking going on,” Underwood said, “but that’s the name of the game.”
Boehlke complained privately that Underwood and Tenerelli aren’t doing enough work around camp. She called them superficial, and noted that all they do is talk about their hair and other girly, un-Survivorlike topics.
“What’s up, girls?” Boehlke, carrying a hefty load of firewood, called out to Underwood and Tenerelli as they sunbathed on the beach.
At the immunity challenge, host Jeff Probst revealed the week’s reward for the winning tribe: a stash of coffee, tea, cream, sugar and honey, and a basketful of pastries. To compete for the reward, each team had to pick a “caller” to guide his or her blindfolded teammates through a maze to pick up puzzle pieces. Once all the pieces were gathered, the caller was responsible for solving a word-phrase puzzle.
The Ometepe tribe chose Boston Rob to be the caller because he’s known to be good with puzzles. The Zapatera tribe chose a still-delusional Stephanie Valencia, who keeps saying things like her tribe “got rid of Russell for no reason.”
Russell is Russell Hantz, considered one of the best players ever to play the game. He was voted out last week, leaving Valencia and his other ally, Krista Klumpp, to fend for themselves in their tribe.
The Ometepe tribe won immunity, and the pastry reward, because Boston Rob made quick work of the puzzle (which spelled out the phrase “The sweet taste of victory”) and because Zapatera’s resident hillbilly, Ralph Kiser, couldn’t tell his left from his right.
Back at camp, Underwood and her teammates stuffed their faces with the sweets.
“I can’t even choose a favorite,” Underwood said. “My favorite are muffins. Those muffins are apple-cinnamon or something, and they’re soooo good!”
Mr. Pink Underwear offered to hand over some of his pastries if someone would give him a massage. Underwood was aghast: “I was, like, ‘I wouldn’t give you a massage for a dozen doughnuts, buddy.’“
Boston Rob and Mattos found the next clue to the hidden immunity idol (which Boston Rob has already found but has neglected to tell his tribe) buried in the coffee. Boston Rob switched this clue with the first clue, which he buried with his idol, and gave the first clue to Mattos to make him think he’s in on something. “You’ve got to hustle if you want to make a dollar,” Boston Rob said. “Everybody knows that.”
At tribal council, the Zapatera tribe’s choice came down to Russell’s old harem, Valencia or Klumpp. “They are two dead ducks on a lake, waiting for the gunshots,” Sarita White said.
In the end, Klumpp was voted off 5-2, with Steve Wright getting two votes. She didn’t go before calling out the various sub-alliances within the tribe to stir things up a little.
The previews for next Wednesday hinted that Underwood and Tenerelli will ruffle some tribal feathers with what Probst called “a girl’s spa day.”
“If you can make yourself feel more comfortable, why not?” Underwood said in the preview.
The cameras showed the women lying on the beach, with Tenerelli seemingly scraping Underwood’s armpit. Or something like that.
Whatever it was, it looked just as bad as that pink underwear.
Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: