Survivor: Cook Islands – Survivor Live, Episode 11by Brian Towers -- 12/05/2006
Following the eleventh exciting episode of the season of Survivor: Cook Islands is the latest episode of CBS’s internet interview show, Survivor Live. Co-hosted by Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly and Survivor: Amazon winner Jenna Morasca, it features interviews with recently eliminated contestants. This week’s guest is the queen of Exile Island, Candice Woodcock.
But first, my trivia question: Thinking of Candice prompts this poser: Name the only player banished to an Exile Island that didn’t make the jury. To see the answer, drag your cursor between the square brackets that follow: [ That person is Misty, from Survivor: Exile Island. She was left there in the first episode and departed the game as the third one booted out. ]
The show begins with talk of a minor operation Jenna had on her ear today. Apparently she’s a bleeder. The hair covers it nicely though. Getting back to the show, Jenna says this is probably her favorite season since Survivor: All-Stars.
Attention now turns to Candice, who has cleaned up very well. Dalton tells us of a conversation he had with Candice before the game, when he asked her how would she try and turn the tide if she were a boot target. She had said she would start with intellectual arguments, but in the end, go out kicking and screaming. That’s pretty much what we saw.
Candice says she was sure her number was up. She tried to find a crack in the Aitu four but could not. Jenna asks if she thought about doing some work around camp, and then points out that Parvati wasn’t doing any work. Candice doesn’t think it would have mattered because they wanted her gone.
Speaking of her tirade, Candice says she hoped to deflect some attention toward Jonathan. Also, she wanted to show Yul as less than perfect. She says the tirade was partly emotional and partly a planned attempt to stir things up.
Dalton takes this opportunity to run the clip of Candice berating Jonathan and Yul after the lazy trio found out they were missing out on food. I think Jonathan handled himself well, actually. I also think Yul really needs to learn not to share his every thought with every other player, because all the very-avoidable flak he caught came from statements he should never have said aloud.
Dalton steers conversation toward Jonathan. Much to my surprise, Jenna says, “I might be having a change of heart toward him.” Equally surprising, Candice says, “Jonathan is a good guy who is playing a game. Last episode, he had his back up against the wall, he had to make a decision and he did it. He had to save himself and I understand that.” Jenna agrees, he’s playing the game and he’s making it interesting. No one is too sure he’s playing smart, but at least he’s playing the game hard.
Jenna asks about the “laying around camp thing.” Candice says she was on Exile Island so often she did less work than some of the others, and also she had less energy around camp. She says she did help by gathering food, getting water, starting fire, and doing other tasks. She agrees that Jonathan had a strong work ethic.
Young Ali from Kansas City is the first caller today. She thinks Ozzy looks like Ethan and both are cute. Man, I’m getting shots from little kids now, why isn’t this urchin in school? At any rate, Ali wonders if, now that Candice is gone, will Parvati hook up with Adam? Ha, I like Ali now, apparently all her hours reading Archie comics were not in vain! Candice says, “Who knows?” and puts the blame on Adam instead of Parvati.
The “showmance” question is explored further. Candice claims she wasn’t making decisions based on her feelings for Adam but felt she could trust him. She feels this was one of her options in the game, though not her only option. Candice says she wasn’t looking for a showmance and as a fan of the show, knows how icky it looks. She confirms for Dalton that that they are not an item any longer.
Cubs from Wisconsin asks if Candice wishes she’d waited until the merge before flipping sides. Dalton thinks it was the turning point of the season and also wonders if she regrets stepping off the mat. Candice says that at the time, she was sure it was the right thing to do. She says that if you wait until the merge and flip, it’s just as obvious. She knew the others on Aitu were threatened that she was going to flip sides once the merge happened, and her position in that tribe was dropping. She also knew she had a spot in the Raro majority and felt going to Raro improved her chances of winning the game. Playing to win, ya gotta like that.
She also realized that making Raro a larger tribe improved the probability that she would be on the tribe that entered the merge with a numerical majority.
Tammy from Canada asks if, in hindsight, does she really think that they deserved to be fed after not working for the meal. Candice says it’s the editing, she started the fire and then went to lie down. She notes that Becky, Sundra, and Yul didn’t go out to fish. Part of her lecture to them was that they ought to be thinking about jury votes, and that hoarding food is inconsistent with the ethical game they claimed to be playing.
The second segment begins with a graphic telling us that, inspired by Survivor: Africa, Candice spent ten weeks in Kenya doing service work. Good for you, Candice!
Dalton asks Candice about the auction. He wonders why, when they were down in numbers, she and Adam didn’t amass all their cash to buy the “power paper” that Becky won. She says it wasn’t her place to ask Adam for more money, it was up to him to offer. Further pressed by the hosts, Candice says slowly, “I don’t really think you can accuse him of thinking too much.” She says she didn’t mean that to sound mean, but then adds, “He’s a simple guy.” Candice also wonders why Parvati didn’t offer the rest of her money to them, because on their own, she and Adam couldn’t beat the total that Yul, Becky, and Jonathan could amass.
I’m guessing that had this happened, Sundra or Ozzy would have offered their money to Becky next. But that was still the right thing for Parvati to do, to force the others to spend as much of their money as possible. This would probably have delivered the pizza that Jonathan won subsequently to a Raro player.
I was also amused by Parvati’s comment just before the auction, showing her surprise that the auction items were covered and she couldn’t see what she was bidding on. If there was any doubt that she was not familiar with the series, this removed it.
Staci from Georgia asks Candice about the editing. She wonders if “the young ones” were accurately edited, if there are scenes Candice wishes had been shown, and some she wishes had not. Jenna slips in the fun fact that almost everyone left in the game is fairly young, as only Jonathan is over 32 years old. Per the CBS bios, Jonathan is 44, Yul and Sundra are 31, Adam and Becky are 28, and Parvati and Candice are 23.
Candice replies that they didn’t show many positive things about her. For example, they didn’t show her catching the first fish. It was poisonous and they couldn’t eat it – but she caught it nonetheless. She also thinks that although they did less work than Jonathan, it was unfair that they never showed them working at all. On the flip side, she wishes they hadn’t shown all that kissing.
Jenna thinks the kissing is gross without having the opportunity to brush their teeth. Candice says they sort of brushed their teeth, using hibiscus bark. However, Jeff Probst was always telling them, “You guys stink!” so who knows how effective that was.
Jessie in Kansas City is also very young and also loves Ozzy. She asks Candice if she actually called Jonathan “a rat.” Candice is not positive, but is pretty sure that she did. I can confirm it; it was in the first clip Dalton aired at the top of this show. Dalton likes Sundra’s comment that Jonathan is “an obnoxious force.”
Dalton reiterates that he likes Jonathan’s game but he’s still not a subtle player. Jenna calls him “abrasive” again but follows that by saying, “He’s making a great show.” Dalton notes the irony that Candice, Adam, and Parvati were all over Jonathan for switching sides, but they had no problem with it at the time he flipped over to bolster Raro’s numbers.
Candice says she was surprised Jonathan stepped off the mat to mutiny, and that Sundra didn’t.
Candice says Jonathan is “a loud personality,” and you have to deal with all types of personalities out there. If you let it get to you, you’re limiting your options. Well said! Dalton jokes that he’s glad he doesn’t have to work with any loud personalities.
Dalton runs a clip that is the part of the auction where Candice is banished to Exile Island once again. In the studio, she laughs. Jenna thinks it’s funny that Yul pretended to be surprised that Candice was the one Becky banished. She calls Yul a puppet-master. No, there will never be better puppet-masters that initial winner Richard Hatch or Survivor: Thailand’s Brian Hediuk.
Dalton asks Candice how she dealt with being on Exile Island so often. Candice says she made fire out there to keep herself warm. Hey, that skill could have come in handy at a Tribal Council tiebreaker! Candice jokes that, at least this last time, she didn’t have to dig any more big holes. She says it was tough out there, like getting beat up over and over again. Jenna asks her if the mutiny was worth all the exiles, and Candice responds that at least she was still in the game.
Dalton asks Candice what it was like to be seen as one of the villains after the mutiny. Candice says it was weird seeing on TV that they became bad guys. It didn’t feel like that when they were out there. She suspects that had they won, the edit might have been different. Candice adds that in the ten seconds they had to think about it, the possibility of an extended backlash didn’t cross her mind.
Dalton asks her thoughts when Jonathan stepped out as well. She says it was, “Wow. Oh, goodness… we’re going to have some work to do!” Her immediate trashing of Jonathan was done on purpose, because she wanted them not to be seen as a threatening and solid twosome by the rest of Raro.
Jenna asks if Candice felt the rest of the tribe saw her and Adam as a threat. Candice says Adam had already spoken about her to the rest of Raro and she couldn’t deny their relationship. She also says that because Adam had already spilled it, they knew her move wasn’t “shady.”
In one of the longest question the show has ever had, it takes Michael in Atlanta ninety seconds to ask why they saw Jonathan as a rat. Candice says she wasn’t ready to vote Jonathan out right after the mutiny. She knew both of them were playing for themselves.
Jenna says Jonathan is “final two opponent gold” right now. She sees upcoming discussions over booting him as possibly the point where Aitu’s game turns ugly.
Dalton mentions the trio saying they would not vote for Yul if he didn’t get rid of Jonathan. He implies displeasure with that pronouncement. Candice says it was a ploy to try and change the vote, but doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Dalton thinks it’s fine as a bluff, but thinks it’s a poor reason to decide the winner of the game, bordering on classless. Jenna says the best player doesn’t always win, and Amber’s win of Survivor: All-Stars is implied.
Dalton next introduces the “Probst’s Thoughts” feature, where a message is played that Jeff Probst previously recorded about the departing player. He remembers Candice promised to manipulate the boys if she had to. He says she’s bright and would be a threat if she lasted, because she knows how to read people and was willing to make moves necessary to stay in the game.
Candice basically agrees with that assessment. She wanted to keep her options open in the game and not have just one strategy. She didn’t want to ride coattails and instead, be in control of her own fate. Dalton notes that all players seemed to liked her until she mutinied.
Starting the final segment as usual is the “minus 10” feature, where Dalton reads ten rapid-fire categories for the guest to comment on, each in ten words or less. Here’s how it went:
I must confess I don’t understand number three – does anyone remember a scene with a PDA? Did Candice have her PDA to help pass the time on Exile Island? Associate Editor’s Note: PDA stands for Public Displays of Affection!
Valerie in Texas asks Candice her opinion of her Raro tribemates after she mutinied. In Raro the mood was lighter, there was more laughing and joking, and it had a younger feel. On Aitu there was more thinking and strategizing but on Raro “that was more like their part-time job.” She didn’t get to spend a lot of time with those voted out before her on Raro, because of all her time on Exile Island.
Jeannie from New Jersey would like folks to leave Jonathan alone, because he’s playing a game and doing okay, and she’s concerned how this is perceived by his family and friends. Jenna says everyone has family and on this show, it’s their job to make and express their opinions based on game play. Dalton correctly says he hasn’t said anything bad about Jonathan except to critique his strategy moves. Jenna says he’s a big factor in the water cooler talk this season. Dalton feels controversial people like Jonathan, Shane, and Fairplay make the show interesting.
Shannon from California liked Candice initially but was “disappointed and shattered” over last night’s tirade against Jonathan. She feels she stepped over a line when it got personal and wonders if there are any regrets on Candice’s part. Candice says in the moment she felt hurt, and she knew she was hurting her chances in the game. That seems to contradict opening statements when she said she knew she was done for at the time of the tirade, but whatever. She says didn’t make any of it up because everyone else did say those things. Candice ends by saying she didn’t want it to get ugly and hurt anyone else’s feelings.
John from Florida likes the way Jonathan worked the auction last night, buying the best food and forcing others to overbid. He asks Candice about Billy Garcia’s love for her. Candice says they’ve talked, he’s a nice guy, and she doesn’t want his feelings hurt.
It’s time for Jenna Morasca’s “Question of the Week,” “What are you going to do now?” Candice is completing her grad program at Georgetown this year, hopefully followed by medical school next year.
The final piece of business is the running of the CBS promo. Parvati cuts her fingers and Yul feels the pressure of being the godfather.
Jenna thinks the way Yul is over-playing the puppetmaster role is often an indication of someone about to take a fall in the game. Dalton is disconcerted by his statement to Becky, “I need to be careful about who I take to the final two,” because she probably thought it was going to be her.
But that’s all the time there is. Jenna mini-dances us out, and we are done.
CBS Website Clues:
In Conclusion: I noticed they didn’t show any of the immunity challenge this week. I thought it odd that there were no partitions to keep prying eyes from roving.
Everyone is invited to share his or her opinions at the eAddress below. I’ll be back next week to report on the latest Survivor Live webcast.
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at Uncle_bto@rogers.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!