Surviving the Outback, Episode 10: Food Glorious Foodby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Turning from the witch back to important matters, Amber holds up a very small bag of rice and notes that it is their only food remaining for the next 14 days. It looks like maybe 2 servings, tops. (That's two servings, not two meals for everybody.) Colby tries to keep his chin up and says the human body can go days without food, but you need mental toughness. Tina talks about how everybody needs to work together to help fish or catch bait or do something related to getting food. Elisabeth even says they'd welcome Jerri back if she brought rice with her! Considering that the promos for this episode talked about getting food, but asked at what price it would come, Elisabeth's statement was quite a scary one!
Again leaving discussion of the witch behind, we see some amusing shots of Keith and Colby as they chase and catch grasshoppers. Keith is the master, but even he has some jump right out of his hands. They make good bait – sometimes too good. Elisabeth uses one brought by Keith and quickly gets a bite. But it's from a turtle, not a fish. No luck.
Treemail brings more food news and some money. They each get 500 Australian dollars and hit the Survivor Auction. Host Jeff Probst puts up food items, one at a time, for bid between the players. First, of course, is a plate of four Doritos and some salsa. But I'm not sure that the Doritos people would be very happy. While the Doritos went for $60 to Nick, the Doritos were perhaps the lowest-priced items on the menu. Did I mention that these weren't just any chip, but Doritos? Yes, Doritos, the amazing tortilla chip. In case you haven't figured it out yet, Doritos is a major sponsor of Survivor. Next up for bid is a hunk of peanut butter and four large squares of chocolate (I guess they couldn't get Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as a sponsor.) Elisabeth, Tina, and Amber bid it up high (gee, Jerri had to miss it), and Colby even jumps into the fray. But Elisabeth pulls it off for $260! It's apparently worth it, as she is obviously in heaven; she's actually shaking as she eats it.
Another Survivor sponsor, Mountain Dew, doesn't get as much airtime as Doritos did (guess they didn't pay as much). It goes to Amber for $50. Nick gets a Bud Light (yet another sponsor) for $100. There are some other items that zip on by (obviously not sponsors). Colby gets a chocolate and peanut butter energy bar and a glass of milk for $280. Then comes a plate with mashed potatoes, bread, turkey, and vegetables. Elisabeth and Tina pool their money to outbid Keith at $340. Amber goes for the mystery plate at $200 – a glass of river water. Lucky her. Rodger gets a cheeseburger for $320.
I have to say that this was one of the more amusing reward "challenges" on the show. Everybody won something (though Amber also got the shaft with her mystery plate) and it was fun to watch. And the contestants got some desperately-desired food.
Which caused them to are all promptly become as sick as dogs (well, except for Amber and Colby). They all end up hitting the latrine in short order, and Nick shares way too much information about his bathroom experiences. Still, Elisabeth says she would do it again.
Day 29 dawns with the water level rising after a severe thunderstorm the previous night. The river is fast approaching their camp; indeed, Tina has to move the flag before it's swept away. They know they need
to move their tent today or tomorrow, but nobody really has the energy. Elisabeth says she can't get out of first gear. Nick says he lacks energy, it's hot, it's rainy, his back is killing him, his mouth is raw, he's been sick twice, etc. "Please get me outta here sometime soon," he says to the camera.
Tina notes that everybody has gone out fishing except for Nick, who was asked but turned them down, saying he's never fished before. Yeah, so? I bet you've never spent a month in the Outback before, and you're doing that now.
Even Elisabeth is disappointed in her old tribe-mate. She even thinks he may be conserving his energy by sleeping all day so he can win immunity challenges, which means she or Rodger will be voted off sooner. Nick obviously recognizes this and says he feels vulnerable.
We quickly move to the immunity challenge (indeed – it was barely halfway through the episode, so I knew something out of the ordinary would happen). The contestants each have a tower with a balance on it. One end has a fire bucket; the other has a water bucket. They need to light a fire on one side and then fill the other side with water from the river (using a much
smaller bucket) so the fire moves to the top and lights a fuse. First one to do so wins. Oh, but the water bucket has a hole in it, so they have to move quickly in filling it up or they'll lose ground.
They begin by gathering wood and kindling and lighting it all with matches. Nick takes an early lead, followed closely by Tina. Amber and Keith are next, then Rodger. Colby and Elisabeth are still futzing around with the fire. But they're all moving fairly slow, showing how the lack of food is affecting them. As Nick runs back and forth with water, his fire gets dangerously low. Keith gets close first, and actually thinks he's won, so he stops getting water. But the fire never makes it up high enough to light the fuse, and drops back down as water leaks out of the hole. Somehow, Colby manages to catch up to everybody and pulls off a huge come-from-behind victory to win immunity.
The vote won't take place until the following day, and that day, #30, dawns with more complaints about lack of food. Elisabeth can barely get out of "bed" in the morning. And when Rodger and Tina go fishing, the only thing biting is another turtle – which takes off one of their only two remaining hooks.
But then Probst shows up, carrying a rice canister. He says he is concerned about the group (yeah, sure). He says he saw true lethargy at the immunity challenge, and there are still 13 days left! He chastises them a bit because they had plenty of food, and if it had been rationed properly, it should have lasted. Colby and Tina admit that they didn't ration it very well, and it was no single person's fault.
But, of course, Probst isn't simply going to just give them this rice. As he says, nothing comes cheap in the Outback. He has enough rice to easily last two weeks, but he needs something of value in return. Rodger offers the blankets, but Probst says that isn't nearly enough. He wants their camp, or, more specifically, their tarps and the Texas flag they use as a tent. As the tribe is thinking about it, Probst throws in 25 more fishing hooks. They quickly agree to the trade, and take down everything to hand over.
This, of course, means they need to build a new shelter, and quickly, because it rains pretty much every night. First they need to decide where to build it, what with the rising water and all. They all go up and grab branches, leaves, grass, and other building materials to do the best job they can.
Once they're done with the physical labor, it's time for planning. Colby says Amber is nervous about her chances, and notes that she and Elisabeth have been bonding since Jerri's demise. He's afraid she could side with Kucha and go after the other Ogakorans. Elisabeth says if she were Amber, she'd feel threatened. Getting rid of Jerri diluted the Ogakorans' power a bit, and it wasn't the smartest strategic move for them to make. For her part, Amber knows she could go over to Kucha and pick off the Ogakorans one-by-one, but how does she know if she can trust them? On the other hand, she doesn't know if she can trust the Ogakorans, either. She is a woman without a tribe. I'm thinking that if I were her, I'd stick with my fellow Ogakorans. At least she has a chance with them, while she would almost certainly be the first one voted off by the Kuchans once the other Ogakorans are gone. At least she has a small chance with her own tribe.
We get to the vote and the jury (Alicia and Jerri) is brought in. We don't get a good look at Jerri's expression right away, but when we do, we see a fairly blank, dull look. She's lost and she's not terribly happy about it.
Probst begins by asking what the reaction was after he left and took their tarps with him. Tina says she felt the negotiation was fair because they could rebuild a shelter. In other discussion, Nick admits to being surprised about the toll hunger has taken on his body, and Colby and Rodger lie by saying everybody is pulling their weight (as opposed to being honest and pointing directly at Nick). Amber says she's grown as a person, and is more open to trying new and riskier things.
And then it's time to vote. Nick votes for Keith because Keith didn't bring his backpack to Tribal Council, and Nick feels this is rather arrogant. (Shades of Rich Hatch, who claimed he never brought his pack to votes during the first series.) Well, there's a good reason to vote for somebody. Throw strategy out the window and vote according to who has their backpack.
Tina votes for Nick, because Nick has said that he is tired of playing. You gotta be careful when you say things like that – they can come back to haunt you.
The final vote is Nick with four (from the Ogakorans), Amber with two (from Elisabeth and Rodger), and Keith with the one from Nick. Nick's gone. And I rather doubt if anybody was terribly surprised.
His final words aren't terribly enlightening. He says it was a great adventure, he had some great times, and it taught him about both his strengths and his weaknesses.
Next week, it looks like the river rises again, and the tribe will pay for listening to Jerri, who thought it was a great idea to build a shelter in a dry creek bed. She may have her revenge yet!
As far as predictions go, I think the Ogakor alliance will fracture again, possibly removing Amber from the game. I suspect it will happen in the next episode, but it might take the removal of Rodger before that happens. We'll see.