The Funny 115 - The Third One

#41. Gervase and Tina's Personal Hell
Blood vs Water - episode 9

In general, I think Survivor has probably gone on a little too long.  I personally think it wore out its welcome somewhere in the teen seasons or the early 20s, and then at a certain point it just started coasting by on fumes like an old beat-up car.  So for the most part you won't find me all that excited about writing about the later (more modern) seasons of Survivor.  To me, almost anything that happens on the show NOW has already happened in one form or another dozens of times before.  And what's interesting about writing about that?

Well, okay, except for Fabio winning.  That was new.  And that was awesome.

So yes, in general I'm not that excited about the fact that there are now SOOO many years of Survivor history floating around out there.  For the most part, I think all that repetition and redundancy in the timeline is not good.

Rupert agrees with me

But then...

On the flip side of that argument...

You have these people.

Don't even know what MTV is

You see, with a timeline as long as Survivor's, sometimes you actually get some fun repetition too.  Because every so often you get a moment now where history literally REPEATS itself.  And if you're lucky, the EXACT SAME PLAYERS are involved both times.  And when that happens, it then sets me up to write a wonderfully fun historical Funny 115 entry about it.  And then I get all excited about the fact that Survivor is still chugging along, and that I get to do what I do.

Oh shit, we're eating gross food AGAIN??

So anyway, here we go.  One of my favorite types of entries on the Funny 115.  The historical entry.  Where something that happened in an earlier season directly relates to something that happens in a later season.  And people might not even realize it until you present them both in one writeup.

Yes, that's right.  

It's time to delve into Tina Wesson and Gervase Peterson's own personal circle of hell.

Welcome to Thunderdome

Okay, so let's go back to season one.

You remember season one, don't you?  Summer of 2000.  Set in Borneo.  Featuring fifteen Survivor legends, and also Dirk.  Highlighted by Stacey inventing the Survivor alliance and Richard later getting credit for it.  Featuring Rudy single handedly bringing back the word "queer", which prior to Survivor hadn't been heard in America since about 1930.  Yes, I'm sure you remember it.  After all, it was only watched by about eight hundred billion people.

The original Gs

Borneo was a massive hit.  It was also one of the most important shows to ever air on TV, if you look at how much it impacted the entertainment industry for the next ten or fifteen years.  It was also directly responsible for Colleen Haskell later starring in the two-time Academy Award winning movie The Animal.  And I think we can all remember where we were when we saw The Animal for the first time.

Like Shawshank, but better

Borneo was huge.  Everyone watched it.  Everyone loved it.

"If this show wins its timeslot just ONE more time, then we'll know for sure."

And right at the beginning of the season, you had one of the most iconic scenes of them all.

That's right.  It was the very first gross food challenge in Survivor history.

In episode two of Survivor: Borneo, we got one of the moments that would almost always show up whenever you saw a Borneo greatest hits montage.

This was the challenge where everyone was required to eat a beetle grub

And everyone was easily able to get it down.

One by one, we went down the row

And eating one was no problem

For anyone

Some even chewed them

But then, of course, there was that ONE guy.  

And that one guy DID have a problem with doing this.

Anyone who knows Borneo remembers the scene where Gervase flipped out when he had to eat a grub.  I mean, how could you not remember it?  They must have rerun this moment about a hundred times.

Gervase sees the grub on his plate, and he flips out

And when it's clear that he's grossed out, the other tribe starts taunting him

And then Gervase is forced to eat a grub in front of everyone, but only under what we would probably call "mild protest."

Get ready for it.  Here comes the gifs.

Stage 1:  Annoyance

Stage 2:  Reluctance

Stage 3:  Acceptance

Stage 4:  Spaz Attack

Gervase does manage to get down the grub.  Eventually.  But his queasiness winds up costing his tribe immunity.  And for years we sort of just remembered this scene as one of the funniest old moments from Borneo.

Never forget

Okay, so that was Gervase's legacy for many, many, many years.  He was the guy who failed at the first Survivor gross food challenge.  And that was about it.


What people might NOT remember is that Gervase wasn't the worst gross food challenge participant in Survivor's early years.  No, if you want to see someone who was REALLY bad at shoveling down gross food, you have to go to the second season, in the Australian Outback.  Because this is where we were introduced to a woman named Tina Wesson.


Now, Tina might be my all time favorite Survivor player, so of course I say this with all the respect in the world.  But if you're looking for someone from the early seasons you DON'T want standing up there representing your tribe and eating gross food, Gervase wasn't the worst of the bunch.  Because, remember, Gervase eventually got his grub down.  Oh, it might have taken a while.  And there might have been some histrionics and acrobatics involved.  But Gervase DID get his grub down, remember that.

It has now been seventeen years since Australian Outback aired.  And I think Tina would STILL be trying to get that tripe down.

Yes, if you're looking for maybe the most squeamish eater in Survivor history, and the player who gets my vote as the single worst gross food participant in Survivor history, you need look no further than Badass Tina from Australian Outback.

Cuts the crusts off of bread

By the way, why do I always refer to Tina as "Badass Tina"?  Well because, quite simply, the woman was a badass.  Watch Australian Outback again sometime and pay attention to what a stone cold killer she was.  Watch how she crosses the river to get back their rice when no one else will.  Watch how she will literally stand on a pole until the end of time, simply to prove she is tougher than everyone else, even though she's older and smaller.  Watch the way she shuts down Jerri's shit every time Jerri opens her mouth, and the way she ran Ogakor like a cult.

Plain and simple, Tina Wesson at her peak was one of the baddest mofos in Survivor history.  She was the type of person that you wouldn't want to mess with.

Jerri Manthey is still in therapy because of this woman

Like I said earlier, Tina is maybe my favorite player in Survivor history.  I love almost everything about her.  Although the thing that most people tend to FORGET about her is that, despite being a giant badass in nearly every way possible, she also had this really big glaring Achilles Heel weakness.  Do you remember what it was?

Tina trying to eat a Wheat Thin

That's right.  You might have forgotten one of Tina's lesser storylines in Australian Outback.  Which is a shame, because to me this is what makes her so interesting.

Tina is one of the toughest players in Survivor history

She isn't frightened of anything

But she also has a very big problem.

You see, the problem is that she's very picky about food

She can only eat like two things

This is one of those subplots in Australia that a lot of people tend to forget.  They forget that Tina can really only eat plain white rice, and only if it is cooked TO HER EXACT PERFECT SPECIFICATIONS.  If the rice is too sticky, or too pasty, or too gummy, or if there's a bug in it, or I don't know, if there's a fucking piece of sand in it, then she gags and she can't eat it.  This inability of hers to eat food came up several times during Australian Outback, and it was always just hilarious because she's otherwise such a huge badass in nearly every other way.  

But if Keith cooked the rice, and if it doesn't have enough water in it?

Then Tina's gag reflex steps in

So anyway, you thought Gervase was bad at eating gross food?  Well just check out Tina the very NEXT season.

It's episode two of Australia, and that means it's time for the Gross Wheel of Shit (tm)

Jeff explains, "I'll spin the wheel, and then you eat whatever comes up."

"Also, in the future, we'll do this again but we'll add eighteen advantages."

So the challenge starts, and what do you think happens to Miss I Can't Eat Anything But Perfectly Cooked Plain White Rice?

How do you think she'll fare, Rupert?

Yeah, so you can pretty much guess what happens.

Tina gags when she is required to bite into a piece of tripe

But not before she does basically the exact same thing that Gervase did

Including the spaz attack

Tina can't get down a piece of tripe.  She can't get down a mangrove worm in the finale.  And just like Gervase, her squeamishness winds up costing her tribe immunity.

Tina trying to eat a worm

Tina failing again

The same look she had after she tried to eat bread without butter at the Cheesecake Factory

So anyway, there you go.  The two absolute WORST gross food eaters in the early days of Survivor.  In fact they were both even more squeamish than Boston Rob.  Let's not forget that he was once the third member of this unholy triumvirate.

Never forget

Tina and Gervase did their time on Survivor.  

They both had a terrible, humiliating experience with eating gross food.  

And they both probably thought they would never have to do such a silly and ridiculous thing again.

No gross food challenge in their lives?

At least, until twelve years later.

Hey guys.  Guess what?

We found this thing in a squid's ass

And look who'll be eating it again

See, if you know your Survivor history, you'll know that there could not have been a funnier setup than having Gervase and Tina (of all people) come back and participate in a gross food challenge again.  Because, again, these two were the two originals.  These two were the worst of the worst.  And here they were in Blood vs Water, being forced to go back and do the ONE thing in Survivor that both of them were so terrible at.

I was cracking up the minute I saw what was about to go down.

"Guys, this challenge is a Survivor classic.  Going way back to season one."

"Gervase, you were a part of it."

Well, kind of

What I love about this scene is that so many of the other players in BvsW knew their Survivor history, because they were all big fans of the show.  So they all knew instantly (tm Heidi) what a big moment this was going to be for the original two worm-chuckers.

Tyson knows what's up.  Hey Gerv, how you doin' buddy?

Katie knows too

Oh God.  Poor mom.

And so here we go.  

Gervase and Tina versus their gag reflex.

Round two.

"You will race to get down local delicacies."

These worms are like wiggly little pig dicks

Like mother, like daughter.  Ewwwwwww.

"Last one standing wins immunity."

Now, of course, the Survivor producers had to know what a fun little callback this was to Survivor history.  

And that's why when you do a challenge like this again...

You make sure that Tina and Gervase are right next to each other

So what happened the SECOND time that Tina and Gervase had to try to eat gross food?

Surprisingly, the results were not that much different.

Stop me if you've seen this one before.

Stage 1:  Annoyance

Stage 2:  Reluctance

Stage 3:  Acceptance

Stage 4:  Spaz Attack

Despite the histrionics, Gervase actually DOES manage to get the worms down and advance to the next round.  For the first time ever.

Which is more than you can say for poor little Badass Tina.

Tina when they accidentally put salt on her popcorn

Behold.  Tina's second attempt at eating gross food.  Which was no more successful than her first.


"They're just like gummi worms, except for grosser."


Tina tries her best.  But it aint gonna happen.  Especially not for a woman who gets grossed out by sesame seeds on her hamburger bun.

In which we go directly to Stage 4: Spaz Attack

Stage 5:  Dénouement

And so there you have it.  Tina and Gervase, two of the worst gross food eaters in Survivor history.  

And the time they were forced to get into a time machine and do it all again.

Good times

And I can't end without pointing out that the producers not only made the two of them do this challenge again.

They actually made Gervase eat THE EXACT SAME GRUBS THAT HE COULDN'T EAT IN BORNEO in the championship.

Hi again.  Gretchen says moo.

And you've got to appreciate the producers at this point.  

'Cause that's just straight trolling.

The best of Borneo

P.S.  By the way, you think I'm joking about Tina being unable to eat anything but plain white rice, but she even admits it in this secret scene from Blood vs Water.  She really does "only eat things a third grader would eat."  And yes, that includes the fact that Badass Tina Wesson apparently never eats any fruits or vegetables.

I only eat Nacho Cheese Doritos because I don't like to be judged

** Thank you to kidnifty for the Big Tom FUBC picture **

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