Surviving the Outback, Episode 6: Fire Represents Life...And Destructionby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Day 16 dawns and Mike talks about how amazed he is that eight city people can live off the land as well as they have been. He says it's so striking that, "I'm a changed man."
Jeff is talking about how cocky Kucha is – which is interesting since they just lost the most recent immunity challenge. But he says it's fun to beat the other team and make fun of it, and fun for Ogakor to talk about how hungry they are and then for Kucha to win their food. Simply put, Jeff is loving the game.
Over in Ogakor, Jerri and Amber are, of course, complaining about their hunger. Jerri is mixing her hungers, though, and is talking about both chocolate and sex – actually, both at the same time. She shares her "wildest fantasy" with us: pouring chocolate on a hot guy and having sex while licking it off. Hmmm. We sure didn't hear that kind of thing on the first series! (And considering who was around then, I think we're probably better off.)
Colby is rather annoyed by this whole situation, and says when you hear moans and groans at night about Hershey kisses, it's not about chocolate. He says Jerri is just fantasizing about chocolate to substitute for sex. Indeed, Jerri admits to the camera that her chocolate/sex fantasy definitely involves Colby; Colby says he may be a lot of things, but "I ain't no Hershey Bar!"
As Jerri and Amber go overboard in their food fantasies and scream out different delicacies, Colby mutters that this is ridiculous – bring on Kucha and let's get rid of these nuts. I couldn't agree more, Colby. Now you just have to see it through when it actually happens.
Meanwhile, Kucha doesn't have to fantasize about food – they’ve already got it. In fact, they even have food where many people would not have thought to look – in the chicken feed!
When they won the chickens in Episode 4, they also got feed for the fowl. Alicia, Elisabeth, and Rodger start picking through the feed and find corn, grains, and nuts that look edible. So they separate out the good stuff and cook it up – to find that it includes popcorn! They all get into the act of eating this stuff. Even Jeff, who says he found the idea sickening, says he loves it. One of them goes so far as to say they're addicted to the stuff. Well, I hope not, ‘cus I don't see a good possibility for finding chicken feed in your local grocery store when you get back to civilization. Then again, maybe this could be a new sponsor for CBS.
Ogakor doesn't have popcorn, but they do apparently have some tomatoes. Jerri and Amber pick some from nearby plants so Jerri could make fried green tomatoes. Keith, the chef, says they should have stayed on the vine for a couple more days so they would ripen. Of course, Jerri will have none of that. As she cooks them up, the two of them continue to bicker like children until Tina warns them that she's going to send them to Timeout. Colby notes that Keith is a chef and Jerri is being disrespectful and rude by telling him that he doesn't know what he's doing – which is what she's good at. Tina is tired of it too, and says one of the problems needs to go – Jerri just makes everybody feel uncomfortable.
After Jerri's masterpiece of cooking is done, Keith says they "sucked," just as he knew they would. He does note that Colby ate them all and said they were good – because Colby is a gentleman.
Day 17 brings word of a reward challenge with a picnic prize – just what the doctor ordered for Ogakor, if they can win it. The description makes them figure that one person will lead them while the others are "in the dark." So Kucha spends time practicing with Nick leading and the others following the sound of his voice while blindfolded. Ogakor practices yoga (or something equally unhelpful) on the beach. Jerri says she thinks it would be nice for Kucha, who have been eating like kings, to throw this one for them. Oh, yeah. I'm sure that's just what she'd do if the roles were reversed.
When they arrive for the challenge, host Jeff Probst gives each tribe one Dorito (a sponsor of the show) as a taste of what's to come, and also a shared Mountain Dew (another sponsor); sorry, no chicken feed. Then his explanation of the game shows that Kucha was pretty near the mark. Each tribe selects one person (Jerri for Ogakor, Nick for Kucha) to sit on an elevated perch and guide the rest of the tribe to do various tasks while blindfolded (Rodger sits out). The tasks are moving two logs into a saw horse, taking a fish trap off a table and switching it for one already in the water, getting buckets, filling them with water, and dumping the water into a wine barrel until the barrel overflows, and then grabbing a picnic basket and bringing it to the winning table.
As they begin, it looks like Kucha's practice has paid off, but this event was tailor-made for loudmouth Jerri, who can definitely out-yell Nick. Kucha takes an early lead, but then Ogakor somehow gets ahead. Still, Kucha pulls it out in the end as Amber wanders around with the picnic basket, not knowing what to do. Colby douses Jerri with a bucket of water as Kucha celebrates and eats in front of their once-again vanquished foes.
After the next commercial break, we get a message warning that parental discretion is advised. Oooh, this ought to be good! (Maybe they should have had that when Jerri was talking about her sex fantasies…)
At Ogakor, they are talking about the upcoming merger which will happen in the next episode, and everybody knows they have to win. Amber notes that if they lose and go in with only four compared to Kucha's six, the other group will pick them off one-by-one. Colby, on the other hand, doesn't think it's over even if they lose. And Jerri thinks she can finagle her way into the other tribe, or at least cause a little havoc. Yeah, right – they got rid of Kimmi because she was annoying, and you think you're gonna make it with those guys? Get real. Alicia will eat you alive. Or at least wag her finger in your face.
Back at Kucha, it seems to be a peaceful day – until we hear a man's scream. Mike rushes towards the water, yelling in obvious pain. After a few confusing moments, we find out that he was blowing on the fire, accidentally inhaled smoke, passed out for a second, and ended up with his hands in the fire. Ouch! When he takes his hands out of the water, they look nasty – as in skin-falling-off nasty. He is in serious pain.
The Survivor medics finally arrive and he tells them to do whatever it is they need to do. They give him something to inhale and wrap up his hands. Then they (and the rest of the tribe) bring a still-yelling Mike to the camera camp while a helicopter comes to pick him up. As he's loaded in the chopper, he makes sure he sees everybody and they say tearful goodbyes before he is whisked away.
Ogakor gets a treemail saying only that there has been an accident at Kucha and one of the players had to be evacuated, so there will be no immunity challenge or Tribal Council. They are not told what happened or to whom, and begin to speculate a bit about breaking a bone or getting a snake bite or the like. Somehow, passing out and falling into the fire doesn't come up in the discussion.
Back in Kucha, Elisabeth talks about how strange it is and how hard it hit them all as she tears up again. Rodger thinks this will pull the team together even more, and thinks they will either win or lose as a team – though he knows the possibility exists that somebody will defect. But it brought the group to the realization that there are things more important than even the million-dollar prize.
Jeff thinks the Ogakor will have compassion about the situation, but they weren't part of it and didn't see what happened. He says Kucha had them, and they had to be scared with the coming merger. Still, he says Kucha will eat them up and spit them out, just as Michael wanted.
We end with a group prayer, led by Rodger, for Mike's surgery and his health and family and all that.
So, once again we come to a merger with equal numbers in both tribes. This one sure looked like it was going a different way, but unless a cameraman shot Mike with a drugged blowgun dart and pushed him in the fire to assure equal numbers, I think we can rule out any sort of tampering here.
This marks the first time that somebody has been removed from the game without a vote. Jeff Probst always says that fire represents life. What he forgot to mention was that it also represents destruction.