Christy’s letter from home angers people in Survivor: The Amazon
Okay, now we’re getting to the moments that just flat out pissed me off. This is one of the more forgettable (and minor) moments on my list but, good lord, don’t even bring this one up to me. It took place on day 28 in the Amazon, and featured a short (but sweet) moment at the food auction where Jenna didn’t get her precious letter from home,
Christy got a letter from home instead, and Jenna’s friends all got upset about it.
To sum up, here’s what transpired: There were seven players left in the game at this point and they were pretty much broken down into two camps. There were the popular kids
Rob C.) and then there were the not-so popular kids, a.k.a. the red-headed stepchildren of the Jacare tribe
Around this time in the game, the four popular kids spent a lot of sitting around all day and doing no work around camp, simply because they knew they held the majority. The three outcasts couldn’t do a thing to stop them, and everybody knew it. And for the most part the “popular kids” really didn’t treat the other three very well. Butch, Christy and (especially) Matt were made fun of and mocked on a regular and consistent basis, and it really wasn’t very pretty to watch.
So day 28 came and now it was time for the ever-popular food auction. The seven Jacares got to bid on food as part of a reward, and it all went pretty well until the very end.
You see, deaf outcast Christy Smith hadn’t won a single item yet. She still had all her money left, and she had been biding her time, mainly because she was holding out for what Jeff was going to offer them at the end. So we got to the final item in the auction, and that’s when Jeff pulled out the letters from home. The last item up for bid was a letter from a loved one, and Christy was overjoyed.
See, the letter from home was the only item she had really wanted in this auction. She had been stuck out here in “the hearing world” for nearly a month now, she had been absolutely miserable for most of that time, and all she really wanted was to read something friendly from a friend back home. So Christy spent all her money on the coveted letter from home, she outbid Jenna and Heidi (and everybody else), and Christy was now thrilled that something good was finally going to happen to her in this game.
Of course, then Jenna started crying. You see, Jenna’s mother was sick back home. She was dying of cancer, and Jenna really wanted some news from back home on how she was doing. So Jenna had really wanted that letter.
Everybody knew this, everybody in the tribe knew that Jenna was homesick and missing her mom, and that meant that now everybody was pissed off that Christy had “taken” Jenna’s letter. In fact Jenna was so sad and so heartbroken about Christy stealing her letter that Jeff actually put a second letter up for auction, knowing full well that Jenna was going to get it.
So Jeff put the second letter up for bid, Jenna won a “surprisingly” uncontested vote, and the show now had its great and wonderful TV moment. Jenna now got her beloved letter from home.
What happened next was particularly disgusting. Because when the castaways got back to camp, the popular kids all started griping about Christy outbidding Jenna for the first letter.
And it was one of the single most distasteful moments I’ve ever seen on Survivor. Nobody was happy for Christy, all we heard was “poor Jenna” and “I can’t believe Christy did that”, and it was just disgusting.
In fact, my wife can barely watch the Amazon season anymore because of this particular scene. She absolutely hated it, and so did I. And, to be quite honest, I think this scene probably contributed to the lack of empathy some viewers might have felt when Jenna’s mother passed away during Survivor: All-Stars.
Even though Jenna ended up winning the Amazon, and even though she proved to be pretty likable outside the game, I’ve always felt that her popularity with the viewers never really recovered from her actions over “the Christy letter.” This was the scene that really torpedoed her chances of ever being a favorite among the fans.
Like I said, this was a small little moment from Amazon, but people always seem to remember it. And it was a scene that really ticked me off to no end. Although I have to say that my personal favorite part of this episode came during the auction itself, when Jeff held up the second letter that was up for auction.
I remember laughing out loud when Jenna’s best friend (and smartest person in the world), Heidi, actually placed a bid. She actually outbid Jenna once, before she caught herself and remembered that the world owed Jenna a letter from home. I remember that it went a little something like this:
Jeff: Okay, Christy said it was okay. So we can now put a second letter up for bid. Anyone want to start at $80?
Jenna: I’ll go $80.
Heidi: $100. I bid $100.
Heidi’s inner monologue: No, you twit! Stop! CBS says Jenna has to get this one!
Jenna: I bid $120. But that’s all the money I have. [she starts crying]
Jeff: Okay, Jenna wins, for $120!
I always thought that Christy should have outbid Jenna on the second letter as well, just to see the reaction. That would have been the funniest moment in Survivor history. And then Christy should have punched her in the face.
By the way, when I used to write columns for Survivor-Central, I titled for this week’s column was, “Hey, the deaf girl took my letter!” That was probably my favorite column title ever.
In episode eleven Heidi agrees with Jenna that their extreme beauty is indeed a Survivor handicap. And yes, even though neither of them actually uses “the H-word” it is still pretty clear that is what they are implying. By being pretty, they have had to work extra hard in this game to succeed.
“Which means that Christy wasn’t actually handicapped, because Christy wasn’t actually pretty. And I thought it was sort of an ironic reversal in that sense.”