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Survivor Recap: Tom Westman Gets Hosed


I realize that writing a TV recap in the form of an open letter is a lazy and contrived journalism device. So here goes.

Dear Heroes tribe,

You hurt my feelings in the March 11 episode. I was not-so-secretly cheering for you the moment you all walked off that helicopter on the beach and stepped on your mat for the first time. I recall hugging. A few back-slaps, perhaps. And why not? You were all smart players who could play the game strategically and fairly. Plus, you had Tom. Tom! The NYC firefighter hero who won Survivor: Palau without making a single enemy in the process. He caught a friggin' shark too. I figured you guys would be wiping that smug smile off of Russell's face before Probst's first "you wanna know what you're playing for?"

Voting off Sugar was a no-brainer. Getting rid of Stephenie was questionable. Blind-siding Cirie was shrewd. But then. Then.

Pause while I collect myself: How scary-good is Boston Rob in puzzles? The villains seemed light-years behind in that immunity challenge and he still pulled it together. Truly impressive performance. I can't even assemble my remote control.

Where was I? Right. Then. you voted off the man! (Et tu, J.T.?) And the only reason why you made that decision was because he happened to be on the wrong side of an alliance. An alliance that's soon going to be as worthless as my VHS collection, mind you.

Tom's ousting was vexing enough. But the fact that you chose him over James is downright infuriating. He goes down in a reward challenge, seriously injured his knee, was fitted for an unsightly leg brace, hobbles around in camp and, as a result, makes my 81-year-old grandma look like Ussain Bolt. And yet — he sticks around?! People: This is not Sheer Genius. It's Survivor. Your livelihood depends on winning physical challenges.

So fine. You're left with quite the brain trust: Doe-eyed Amanda, wishy-washy J.T., muted Candice, broken-toed Rupert (whose tye-dyed shirts seem cloaked in insecurity), and one-legged James. Can't wait until you decide that Colby's Texas accent is a threat.

I know you're not sharp in puzzles, but this one is easy to solve: You're all going to go down soon.

Send me a postcard!

–By Mara Reinstein for