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Surviving Exile Island, Episode 5: Wine and Whineby David Bloomberg -- 03/03/2006
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Last week, Casaya once again defied all odds and won both challenges. Ruth-Marie was promised a final five alliance at the beginning of the episode, but was betrayed by the end of it. And Terry found the hidden immunity idol but didn’t tell anybody – though Ruth-Marie told me, in my interview with her that it was pretty obvious to her that he had indeed found it – so it might be to his other companions as well. However, I rather doubt he’ll need it before the merge anyway.
We begin this week on day 12 at La Mina, the morning after the Tribal Council. Sally says she’s proud to be “the last girl standing” on her tribe. Dan tells us he was disappointed in the decision but was overruled by his alliance (though, as you’ll recall, he did not actually vote against Ruth-Marie himself). Sally also tells us about how good it feels that the tight four-man alliance decided to keep her around.
At Casaya, Bruce is designing a Zen rock garden, because he says Zen beauty is lacked in the camp and inside some of the people’s souls. No kidding. Meanwhile, several others are trying to start a fire and not having much success. Aras, Shane, and Courtney aren’t terribly happy that Bruce is busy doing something that they don’t feel needed to be done while they were trying to get fire so they could boil water and stay hydrated.
Bruce walks up to the fire, unaware that tempers are hotter than anything else around, and Aras tells him they are in dire straits with the fire. Bruce simply responds, “Go get firewood.” Aras snaps at him, saying he made his rock garden but Aras already got wood so Bruce should quit complaining. Er, I don’t think he was complaining – that was a rather large overreaction. I think Aras has been spending too much time with Shane and Shane’s personality is rubbing off on him.
Well, maybe not, because Aras tells us he really shouldn’t have yelled at Bruce and he feels bad about it. He goes off to the side to talk to Bruce more calmly and says the tribe needs to have priorities. Bruce says Aras attacked his character by saying the garden was nothing and that Aras’ remark was childish. Aras is offended that Bruce called him childish, but Bruce says no, the remark was, not Aras personally. Aras doesn’t seem eager to recognize the difference, but he stays calm and simply says there was no disrespect intended. He says he’ll try to understand where Bruce is coming from if Bruce does likewise. They shake hands and Bruce heads off to get wood.
Aras tells us that he’s the youngest person on the tribe but sometimes he feels like the oldest one. Uh, no, considering the way you’ve behaved up to now, I can definitely believe you’re the youngest, Aras. But Aras says he could use a break and kind of wants to go to Exile Island.
Of course, that leads us directly into the reward challenge. The tribes are going to transport rice, beans, and fish from a boat floating a few feet in the water to the shore (I wonder if they can hide any of the food in their pockets for later). They need to designate one tribe member to be their “retriever.” On go, they have to run out, grab one item, and bring it back. The rest of the tribe is lined up “like an assembly line.” They have to toss the item from one person to the next until it reaches the last person, who tosses it into the appropriate bin. Then the retriever goes back to get the next item.
The first item is a bag of rice, then a bag of beans, then a big honking fish. Oh, and when the fish comes down, the last person in line has to chop off the head and tail before tossing it into the box. If a person throws an item and the next person drops or misses it, the thrower must go get it, come back to their mat, and throw again. And it is okay to swap positions during the competition.
First tribe to get all their items in the bins wins – all the items! OK, so I guess they don’t have to sneak it in their pockets… unless they lose. In addition to the items, they get some spices, wine, a skillet, and cooking oil. The losers don’t get totally left out – they can take home either their rice or their beans. But somebody goes to Exile Island, too. Before they begin, Casaya decides that Courtney and Danielle will sit out.
And they’re off! Austin and Aras are the retrievers for their respective tribes. They run out to the water and come back essentially neck and neck. Toss, toss, toss, and Casaya is ahead. La Mina is only seconds behind. That lead holds through the second bag.
Both teams decide to switch retrievers, with Nick and Shane now doing the job. It’s time for the fish. Shane tosses to Aras, Aras tosses to Cirie, Cirie tosses to Bobby… and Bobby drops it. But Cirie has to run to pick it up and then get back to her mat before trying again. She does and he catches it this time. Meanwhile, La Mina pulls ahead. The final fish-catcher is Terry, who chops off the head and tail. For Casaya, Bruce has the job. You’d think he could easily wield the blade, but it takes several chops to get the tail and then head off. In fact, more than several for the head, as he hacks and hacks and hacks at it.
Meanwhile, La Mina takes a commanding lead. Bruce finally gets it cut off at the same time a new fish reaches Terry. Shane goes back out for another Casaya fish, which he tosses to Aras. Aras almost throws it away but Cirie snags it well. She does a very straightforward toss to Bruce, who has switched places with Bobby, but Bruce drops it. Cirie retrieves it and Bruce catches it this time, but then almost throws it away on his toss to Bobby.
As Bobby gets the fish, Terry has yet another one and is chopping away. Bobby makes short work of the tail and head, which I’m sure will make everybody wonder what the heck took Bruce so long.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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