Curse You, Cindy (Episode 11-13)

Cindy had a chance to break the Curse of the Car on tonight’s Survivor: Guatemala. Instead, she did what every Survivor in her position had done before her and kept the car she rightfully won. All it cost her was $1 million.

Cindy made mistakes throughout tonight’s episode. Upon returning to camp after Tribal Council, she complained about not being in on the decision to vote Judd out. She had a right to be paranoid — Judd wasn’t consulted before Jamie got the boot — but she shouldn’t have let it show. Danni has stayed in the game by smiling and nodding while inwardly freaking out about being next to go. No good can come from showing your competition that you’re afraid of them.

The Reward Challenge brought back elements from previous challenges, and Cindy narrowly beat Stephenie in a race to complete a puzzle. Upon winning, Jeff presented Cindy the keys to a Pontiac Torrent and, surprisingly, not a Buick Lucerne. The Lucerne’s been featured on The Amazing Race and The Apprentice: Martha in the last week, so why not here? Jeff then gave her the option to break the curse by giving up her car in favor of giving the other four contestants their own Torrents.

Had Cindy been from Chicago, and not Florida, she would’ve understood the sign telling her to give up the car. As Jeff was speaking, a man on a goat rode by in the background. If she was from Chicago, Cindy would’ve recognized the man as Steve Bartman riding on Sam Sianis’s goat. Cubs fans know that curses are real, and that you can’t break them with willpower, or superior pitching, alone.

Using the logic that she might not win the million anyway, Cindy kept her car. She got to bring a buddy along for a joy ride and a barbecue, so she asked Stephenie to join her. Steph immediately said that she would’ve kept the car, too, although Cindy didn’t seem too bothered by her decision. She reasoned that the ability to give free cars to people belonged to the Oprahs of the world, not the zookeepers.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Rafe and Danni seemed to agree that whenever you have the chance to give someone else a free car, you should take it. Just like that, Cindy lost her place as Rafe’s gal pal and Danni became his new best friend. Then the two giggled and braided each other’s hair, scenes mercifully left out during the editing process.

The following day, Steph was finally able to win her first individual Immunity Challenge, proving that she really is the threat everyone assumed she was. Danni’s and Rafe’s ill-will toward Cindy directed their voting strategy, and Cindy’s efforts to mark Rafe as the biggest threat were ignored. As Cindy left with her torch, she told the remaining competitors she’d think of them whenever she looked out of her new car’s sunroof. The remark drew smiles from the jury members, and even a little fist pump from Judd.

The winner will be decided on Sunday night, and if Rafe, Danni, and Steph have any sense, Lydia will be the first one voted out. Jury members can’t be given the option of voting for someone they have no feelings for. Lydia is a non-entity to most of them, and if someone’s still feeling betrayed, it’s easy to throw a vote Lydia’s way. Nobody having strong feelings about Lydia is exactly why she shouldn’t be in the final two. Whether they vote for someone they like or against someone they hate, jury members should always be forced to chose.

It’s totally unsatisfying when someone who was a non-factor in the game makes it to the final vote. Lill from Pearl Islands was the perfect example: she made it to the end because everyone thought they could get rid of her at any time, but forgot to actually get rid of her. Thankfully, the jury did the right thing in that case, and Sandra won the $1 million. But if Lydia wins on Sunday, I’ll have to be just like Sandra and “get loud, too. What the f#*k!”