Funny 115 - The Third One
The Loneliness of the Spoken Word Poet
South Pacific - episodes 1-3
It's funny, when you look at how much Survivor casting has changed over
the early seasons of the show, most of the people who were cast were
things like "adventure guide." Or "triathlete." Or
hunting enthusiast." Or "guy who lives in a tree and speaks
coconuts." There was a very deliberate attempt to find people
were outdoorsy and who were also some sort of a
They also cast Brandon Quinton once
But, as the show developed over the years, the casting department
started to move a little away from that philosophy.
the show went on, and the franchise went on, you started to see casting
choices that I would say were... maybe... a little bit...
Want to see how unorthodox? Well just
keep in mind that the first season had a person who trained soldiers
how to survive torture in captivity (Gretchen), they had a
driver who pretty much killed muskrats with her bare hands (Sue), and
they also had a fucking Navy SEAL. And not just -a- Navy
but arguably -the- most famous Navy SEAL of them all (Colleen).
Survivor began as a show where rugged survivalists competed to see who
was the toughest outdoorsman of them all.
Then, flash forward a couple of seasons, and our casting
decisions had already morphed into this:
Erotic art consultant
Mechanical bull operator
I'm not saying these were bad casting choices. I'm just
saying they were different.
we didn't REALLY start getting different until we got up to
the seasons in the teens and the twenties. Because
when we got one of the greatest, most random Survivor player
occupations of them all.
Because that's when we were introduced to Semhar
Who you might remember as an professional internet beat poet
I happen to love Semhar. In fact, I love pretty much all of
Pacific, it's one of my favorite seasons on this version of
the Funny 115. From top to bottom, it's not only one of the
interesting seasons I can think of in recent memory, it's also just
flat out one of the goofiest.
And of course, I wouldn't be doing
my job if I didn't have an entry dedicated to the only Youtube slam
poet we've seen over thirty-plus seasons of the show.
Is strumming her pain with your fingers
wasn't around for very long. But like many of the great minor
Survivor figures, she still somehow managed to make an impact.
Like the great Shoeless Joe Jackson (tm Best in Show), people
still talk about her
Never forget me, America
In any case, in the style of beat poetry:
It's day one of South Pacific. And the Savaiis are
excited to get to meet all their new tribesmates.
They're especially excited to meet the super hot one who
seems kind of dippy
The Savaiis stand there, and they go around in a circle, and they all
explain who they are and what they do for a living. Ozzy is
a professional Survivor player. Whitney
is a songwriter. Cochran is a law student. Papa
Bear is a stereotype.
Dawn is a jack o'lantern. You've seen scenes like
this before. You know how they go.
Hey Cochran, you're a ginger. Can I punch you?
And then, at the end, we get to the girl with the high socks and the
questionable fashion choices.
The Semhar action figure. Now with crotch socks.
At the end of their little fun circle, the Savaiis ask Semhar who she
is and what she does for a living.
And this is where we are introduced to the strange, untamed world of
spoken word poetry.
Enjoy the ride
Here's her introduction exactly as it happened in the episode.
"... my soul..."
"... my life... is poetry."
"Performing spoken word."
"I'm Papa Bear. Give us some."
Well, okay Mr. Bear. But only 'cause you asked.
"'Cause see, I would walk miles and miles."
"To protect his ageless spirit of the child."
"On floors of black and white checkered tiles."
"Only steppin' on the white ones, like when Billie Jean
claimed it was Mike's son."
"Rubbed off on me every day with his laugh."
By the way, I should point out how much I love the fact that she
doesn't even look at her tribesmates at the end of her poem.
She looks at the camera. She looks RIGHT AT THE
AUDIENCE AT HOME and she BOWS. She basically says,
hey look, I just advertised my Youtube poetry channel right
here on CBS. I totally have a Youtube channel, guys.
Please patronize it.
This one knows how to play the long game
As you can imagine, the rest of the tribe hears Semhar's mastery of the
English language, and they are dutifully impressed.
You know, that was actually pretty good
You know, that was actually pretty good
Boy, I sure would like to have sex with that
After Semhar's introductory poem...
And her little dance
... we are treated to a pair of wonderful confessionals.
Which go a long way towards explaining why people still
remember Semhar's tiny little story arc, even today.
First up is the poet laureate herself.
Here she explains why being able to reel off beat poetry is an
important life skill for today's youth.
"I got put on the spot. I had to immediately step
"I'm not gonna say that I'm a poet and then not have
anything to show for it."
"I think it's important that, when people challenge you,
that you step up to that."
Exactly. Know your beat poetry, kids. Never give in
to a challenge.
Clearly Semhar's position is safe and
secure now that she has proven her ability to reference the
1982 Billie Jean video.
Well I was going to vote her out, but now I'm
not sure. What if we ever have a P.Y.T. trivia
Oh, and then there's the second fun confessional.
The Ozzy one.
See if you can read between the lines and pick out what he is saying
You don't have to be Freud.
"I thought it was beautiful, and I think she's incredibly
(CUTE GIRL, HUGE BREASTS, SHE WILL CUDDLE AGAINST ME TONIGHT)
"I respect Semhar's passion. And I think I would
like someone like her alongside me for the long haul."
(WE HAVE HOT GIRLS BUT SHE IS THE HOTTEST. I AM
OZZY AND I WILL BE MOUNTING HER)
Seriously, Ozzy pops the fastest Survivor boner since Erik popped one
when he saw Ozzy back in Micronesia.
If that other guy's Papa Bear, then you can call me
Sensitive Bear. Hi, I'm Ozzy.
And from here on out, we
know what his plan is going to be. I mean, it's not like we
haven't seen Ozzy play Survivor twice before. We
already know how he works.
And naturally, what is the King's first decree as ruler of
"Hey guys, Semhar should get naked, and we should all go
Yeah. So anyway, let's do that!
Ozzy heads out to the water, and he immediately yells for
his tribe to
come out and join him
SEMHAR! COME IN!
"NO! THE OTHER SEMHAR! COME IN!"
Eventually, she takes a moment between poems to strip down to her
bathing suit. And she joins him in the water.
And so here we go
Ozzy's next great Survivor journey has officially begun.
Girlfriend, tell me about your life. Tell me about
your poems. I'm totally interested.
Now, at this point, you'd think that Semhar is going to become
a major character. After all, Ozzy is a major character.
And Semhar is going to become the newest occupant of Ozzy's
Pleasure Dome. Just from the edit, we're pretty sure that's
how it's going to go.
But sadly, that isn't how it's going to go.
Semhar's story is really over at this point. It's over before
it even began.
is it over?
It's over because...
I mean, it's mostly because of how badly she screws up the first
Remember this part?
Semhar shows up for the first challenge in her high socks
and her poetry shawl
The challenge involves throwing coconuts up into
a wicker basket.
And, of course, Semhar volunteers to be one of the coconut
"I think it's important that, when people challenge you,
that you step up to that."
Everyone has to pick up a coconut, and then throw it up into
And here's basically Semhar trying just to pick up
Cause see, I would walk miles and miles
Just to lose the game and see Upolu's smiles
And just like that, Semhar has single-handedly cost her tribe immunity.
*insert new poem about loss, and coconuts*
And also likely cost herself the game.
When you now have to mercy kill the hot one
So Savaii goes back to camp. And Ozzy tries. He
tries. He really TRIES to protect his new number one ally.
But it's no use. The rest of the tribe is spooked by
the fact that Ozzy is rallying so hard to protect her.
Jim explains that Ozzy's fapping is keeping
everyone up at night
And with that, Semhar the spoken word poet is voted out of the game.
Sorry Semhar, the tribe has spoken
So Semhar is gone. And her game is over. But, of
course, not without one final indignity on her way out.
Hopefully you didn't miss this fun little one.
When you're the hottest girl and these are the two
guys you wind up sandwiched between
Did I just say that Semhar's game was over?
Well it wasn't.
Remember, this was one of those goofy Redemption Island seasons.
South Pacific was one of those seasons where people got to go hang out
at Redemption Island for a couple of days. And then compete
in a dumb little carnival game and maybe come back into the game.
So as luck would have it, we still have at least two more
episodes of Semhar coming up, which in this case is a good thing.
So anyway, let's cut over to Redemption Island to see our favorite
spoken word poet is up to.
Oh look, she's spoken word poetrying
Now, a lot of people might forget this part of Semhar's journey, simply
because it happened at Redemption Island and it wasn't
really part of the game. But if you ask me, this is
most underrated part of her storyline. Because this is the
part of Semhar's Survivor journey that I like to call "Spoken Word Poem
And so here we go. Here are the four speeches she gives while
she's at Redemption Island.
See if you can pick out which category each one falls into.
Is this a Poem? Or is this considered a
Remember, there are people and websites out there that keep track of
how many confessionals every player in Survivor history has had.
This kind of stuff is important for the record keeping, folks.
Spoken Word Poem or Confessional?
"Maybe I'm just being over-emotional."
"But I just have abandonment issues."
"I don't understand how people can be so cold hearted."
"I'll never understand how men like
you can cause so much damage."
"Or even worse, how women such as
myself can even stand it."
"I don't miss you."
"I miss feeling loved."
So there's the game. How well did you do? Answers
can be found in the back of your Funny 115 study guide.
Okay, back to the story.
Now, remember, Semhar's Survivor journey would be over in most seasons.
But this is South Pacific, and South Pacific isn't like most
seasons. South Pacific is special. Because with
Redemption Island come duels. And with duels come other
people who have been voted out of the game.
And that's how Semhar is about to wind up with a friend.
Loves life. Hates Coach.
And if you're ever wondering why I think South Pacific is a really
underrated season and why I think it's a lot of fun, here's one of the
big reasons why. Without Redemption Island in play, there's
no way you'd ever get Semhar the Spoken Word Artist hanging out with
Christine the Queen of the Bullshit Detectors.
"I love this girl, she's great."
I mean, come on, how can you not love this pairing?
So Semhar and Christine have their little pow wow. And I
should point out that Semhar is dressed in full gypsy attire throughout
most of their conversation.
You have shamed me. So I curse you.
And then we get their
carnival game showdown duel the
The first South Pacific duel. Day 6.
Here comes the showdown. The Beat Poet Queen against the Ass Kicker Queen.
Naturally, Coach and Ozzy have both come out to watch the entertainment today.
Coach, because he wants to see Christine go down in flames
And Ozzy, because there's a chance Semhar might bend over or something
And this is where we get the scene that forever turned Semhar into a first boot Survivor legend.
First off, both participants are allowed to say what this moment means to them, and what they are both feeling right now
Semhar, of course, treats us to her version of a haiku.
"Redemption Islands is scary."
"And I was alone."
"I'm just trying to keep going."
Christine, meanwhile, decides to go a different way with the assignment.
Coach can literally eat a piece of my shit
Jeff explains that today's duel will be a highly technical carnival game.
"You'll be balancing a thing on a stick."
And with that, the challenge is ready to begin.
Or is it?
You see, there's a little ritual Semhar likes to do before she participates in something that's stressful.
You may have heard of it before. It's called "Spoken Word Poetry."
Ready for a little spoken word poetry?
Well here comes her most notorious one.
It's time to play "Semhar's Love Life - The Home Game."
Take it away, Chaucer. Paint a picture for us.
"There isn't anything I wouldn't do for this man."
"I would even take off my clothes and give him a private show."
"To the tunes of my soul."
"Because he's all that I need."
"I would give birth to a ton of his children."
"Without using any drugs to help ease the pain."
"Then I would give him one more just because our love is that
Wait, there are babies involved? No thanks. *swipes left*
Then, of course, Semhar finishes strong with what will one day become her catchphrase.
"There is not one thing that I would not do."
"For my lover, my best friend, my honey, my boo."
"I can't WAIT to meet him."
Well that was fun.
there are a lot of fun things going on in this scene if you want to
unpack them. Most people just remember the poem, and Christine
standing there waiting for her, but there's a lot more going on than
I already pointed out the moment Ozzy suddenly loses interest in Semhar. That's fun.
Wait, now who's this? Hi, I'm Ozzy. They call me the Sensitive Bear.
But there's also a great drawn out sigh from Probst when he realizes this poetry shit is going to go on for a while.
If you don't remember that part, here it is. This is great.
Where his smile slowly drops
And he lets out one of the most pained, annoyed sighs I have ever seen
So anyway, there's Christine's reaction. There's Ozzy's reaction. And there's Probst's reaction.
None of them have any interest in a poem where Semhar talks about being banged repeatedly.
Flashbacks to Parvati always yammering on about her dumb yoga studio
Oh yeah, and then there's Coach's reaction.
Which is the best part.
See if you can catch the irony here.
A poem? What is this shit? Why can't a person just go out quietly with some dignity, and not have to put on a show?
people pointed this out to me in emails, but they didn't have to
because I already knew about it and I wouldn't have missed it for the
world. Just check out this newest addition to the Legendary Story
of Coach Wade.
Coach gets weirded out by Semhar reciting a poem
But Coach was the one who INVENTED reading a poem just before you are voted out Oh god, Coach is talking about having multiple babies with someone
So anyway, that's the story of Semhar, and spoken word poetry, and
Ozzy's blue balls, and how like all great Survivor stories, it
eventually ties in and has something to do with the Dragonslayer.
Can we throw something underhand at tiles now?
I can aim, and I can shoot. And those tiles are so big.
And the next time you need a little spoken word poetry in your life, just think of poor Semhar.
Sorry Semhar, you lost the duel. It's time to go. Can I read a poem?
There's no banging in this one.
I'm sorry. But no.
And just like that.
She was out of
P.S. In the interest of fairness, I will
point out that Semhar was not happy with the way she was portrayed on
the show. She blamed the producers for encouraging her to read
poems and then editing it to make her look weird.
I don't know where Semhar is now, but I do know that seven years
have passed since this season first aired. And hopefully she,
Coach, Vince Sly, and the rest of the stranger players in Survivor
history are all sitting around a table right now, having a drink, and
laughing about the way they were portrayed on the show. Also, I
should point out that if that DOES happen, I hope Semhar writes a poem
about it and she sends it to me. No pressure.
** Thank you
to Reddit user benfox2 for the Colby FUBC picture **