I seldom watch much network TV these days, but was relaxing at the club Thursday night after a workout, pedaling away on a exercise bike for a few minutes. I looked up at the three TVs on the front wall, one of which was tuned to "Survivor: China". There were just 15 minutes left in the show, and I wondered, "Was this the week that Bellande gets kicked from the show?"
It turned out that it was. The nine votes that were cast at the tribal gathering or whatever they call it went 5-3-1, with Bellande gathering the five, and thus exiting stage right. His tiki torch was extinguished (in grand "Survivor" tradition), and the last shot before the closing credits was of his back side trotting down the steps and off to the debriefing station for a reunion with his luggage.
His chances seemed slim from the outset, and reports on the early shows said that he played the laggard for the first week or so, then tried to improve his image later on. Unfortunately, a couple of the female contestants hated him, and lobbied week after week for his release.
That's what happened this past week, though Bellande made at least one or two other boneheaded political maneuvers in the days prior to his departure, according to stories printed in the last day or two. He was a day late and two immunity idols short in figuring out who held what and who was really aligned with who, and that sealed his fate. All the stories about it use some lame poker metaphor like, "He pushed all in and was caught bluffing." Here, we just note that he busted short of the money.