Surviving the Outback, Episode 9: Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead!by David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Usually I try to keep my titles somewhat vague so a person who hasn't seen the episode won't have it spoiled just by reading the title. But today's episode is such a cause for celebration that I just had to say it. "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" Woohoo!
But anyway, we'll go ahead and get to the episode summary and commentary, even if you know how it ended. Let's go back to how episode 10 began.
Rain. Lots of rain. Rain in the tent. Rain on Colby. Rain in the river causing it to muddy up. As Elisabeth says, the rainy season is here. So, what does that mean? It means it's difficult to get good drinking water. It's very difficult to catch fish. It's easy to catch branches and other things that cause you to lose hooks, though, and they've done just that. Without fish, they have to rely on rice, which they're running low on. So, the rain causes quite a domino effect.
But do we really care about the rain? Not particularly. Luckily, it appears the producers realized this and quickly moved on to the reward challenge. This challenge is an obstacle course which is run, and won, in pairs – one guy, one girl (I wonder how they would have done it if it hadn't been even at this point). Most of the tribe wanted to pick randomly. But not Jerri. Nope, she went into witch mode and whined that she wanted to be with Colby. Well, duh! So they pretty much ignored her as she rambled on about how nothing is fair and so this shouldn't be either. Later, Colby noted to a couple folks that she never bothered to think that maybe Colby didn't want to be with her! Ironically, they ended up as a pair anyway.
The reward is a helicopter and boat trip for the winning pair to the great barrier reef for snorkeling and lunch. The challenge is run in three heats. First is Amber and Keith vs. Roger and Tina. Amber/Keith win. Next is Colby and Jerri vs. Nick and Elisabeth. Colby/Jerri win. So the final is all-Ogakor: Amber/Keith vs. Colby/Jerri. Colby and Jerri win. But the highlight is when Colby is helping Jerri over a wall on the course and pretty much drops her once she gets over. Alas, she landed on her ass, not her head.
So, day 26 brings a wait for the helicopter as people sit around talking. Jerri tells the camera that she thinks there may be a little animosity and jealousy because she's won two rewards. Yeah, Jerri, that's the reason there's some animosity. Jeez, I could really use a good Stacey Stillman eye-roll right now.
The chopper picks up Jerri and Colby, and Jerri talks about how it was "meant to be." Colby makes a point of telling her that they will not be talking about the game, strategy, or any of the others. He just wants to enjoy a day off. So they have a good lunch (definitely better than muddy rice) including – of course – a well-placed bag of Doritos, one of the show's sponsors. They're so clever about sneaking those in. Whoops, I need another eye-roll now.
Jerri talks about how romantic the whole situation is. She even tells Colby that it's "one hell of a first date" and that it's the perfect honeymoon, just without the sex. Colby, meanwhile, thinks that she is just giddy, and her honeymoon statement couldn't be further from the truth. He just wanted some downtime, and he got it. Jerri, however, doesn't seem to know what the phrase means.
Colby, nice guy that he is, brought back some pieces of coral for everybody. He even picked them out specifically for certain people! Jerri says that in a perfect world, the two of them would be in front of the jury together, but now he's got one up on her from his gifts. Man, does this woman live in a fantasy world or what? Did she really think that everybody loves her just as much as Colby, and the coral thing could push them over to his side? What color is the sky in her world?
Day 27 dawns with thoughts of immunity. Colby says that Nick will go next because he's a threat. Keith claims Nick even said he was ready to go. Elisabeth figures it will be Nick next as well, and they'll continue going one-by-one. Nick isn't dumb either (now that we finally actually get to hear him speak) and says he knows that if he doesn't win immunity, he's out of there.
The immunity challenge is one of balance rather than strength. There are three rounds of single elimination. The first has opposing players (one-on-one, picked randomly) standing on towers in the water, using a rope to try to get the other person off. The second round has them standing on opposite ends of a shaky beam in the water, trying to unbalance the other. The final test has them on unsteady platforms with the rope again.
First is Keith vs. Rodger. Rodger wins in a fairly surprising victory. Next is Nick vs. Jerri, and Nick drops her. Third is Tina vs. Colby, and the cowboy wins that one in fairly short order. Finally is Elisabeth vs. Amber in a battle that must have had the Manly Man drooling. Amber wins.
Colby faces Rodger and manages to shake him off the beam. Nick survives through Amber thrusting her hips over and over and over again (which we get to see from different views). Gotta hand it to those cameramen!
So, it's Nick vs. Colby on the unstable platforms. Nick is battling for his Survivor life – and wins! Nick is immune, and it's time to rethink the vote.
Jerri says they talked about it on the way back and decided that Elisabeth is next. Amber goes to talk to the others to make sure the plan is still on. Elisabeth takes the opportunity to try, once again, to get Tina to vote against Jerri, and Tina talks about how the safe thing to do is to keep on with their plan (I admire the honesty there). Then Tina, Keith, and Colby talk over the possibility of getting rid of Jerri. Colby is against it. He wants to keep going with their plan and, while he doesn't like getting rid of Elisabeth instead of Jerri, it's the best thing to do for the million bucks.
Tribal Council arrives, and so does jury member number 1: Alicia. Host Jeff Probst asks Nick how important it was for him to win immunity. Nick says that on a scale from one to ten, this was a ten (I'm glad he didn't try to be clever and end up saying something stupid like, "it was an eleven"). Based on the voting history, he believed he'd have been next.
Probst then asks Jerri if she's surprised at the way she's acted. She says that things are tough and she sometimes wonders who she is. She hears things come out of her mouth due to frustration or stress or whatever, and wishes she could take them back because that's not the way she'd normally act. Yeah. Right. Whatever. Nice try, witch.
So Probst moves on to Elisabeth and asks if she's worried. She says she is, because anybody could be a target, especially when you're in the minority as Kucha is. She says nothing is guaranteed, and if you assume it is, you'll be surprised. Foreshadowing?
And so they vote. Rodger gets in the best line while voting against Jerri by saying she usually wakes up in a good mood (this guy is really too generous) but when she's in a bad mood, look out! Jerri votes against Elisabeth and notes that she's never met anybody so likeable and loveable, and that's why she's a definite threat.
She certainly was. And it was that likeability that apparently convinced Tina and Keith to go against Jerri as the wicked witch was cast out of the tribe! The vote was five for Jerri and apparently three for Elisabeth (they didn't show the last one, and I honestly couldn't read what Colby's card said, but I'm pretty sure he stuck by the plan and voted against Elisabeth).
Ding dong, the witch is dead!
As she leaves, she says, "Checkmate. You guys got me." Yes, they did. It would have been a lot easier if you would have just melted when you were hit by Colby's bucket of water a couple episodes ago.
Probst ends Tribal Council by noting, "Maybe the game has changed."
And Jerri gives her last words by saying she knew it was coming (yeah, right) and it must have been her remark about how the game isn't fair that set people off. Uh, sure. That was it. It wasn't that you have been a complete witch to everybody except Amber for almost a month now. No, that couldn't be it. It must have been that one little thing you said. Jeez, you are delusional!
So, what does this mean for the game? Is Probst right? Has the game changed?
We won't really know that answer until next week. Ogakor still has the edge, and if they go back to voting as a group, they could still knock of Kucha. However, they broke it once, and could again. Will Amber feel secure in an alliance with Tina and Keith? Even Colby might not be thrilled about it.
The whole thing really changed because Nick won immunity. If he had not won the challenge, I doubt Tina and Keith would have switched sides. They just really like Elisabeth and didn't want to get rid of her while keeping Jerri. They probably wouldn't have really cared a whole lot about getting rid of Nick, though. So, Nick, you not only saved yourself, you may have saved your entire tribe. It's about time you actually did something!
In all likelihood, though, he's gone next week. Sorry, pal, but your time is up. Happily, though, this time, it was Jerri's turn to get the boot.
Can we drop a house on her now, too?