Surviving the Outback, Episode 1by David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Okagor Tribe, wearing green:
There are immediate problems in the Kucha tribe, as Alicia says that Nick has been taking them in the wrong direction, even though he's got the compass. Debb immediately begins to boss people around. Um, Debb, this isn't jail, and these folks aren't your prisoners. Kimmi is immediately annoyed by her. The feeling will soon be mutual. Jeff says he is on the verge of throwing up (he was one of the sick ones on the plane) but is doing his best to hold his own. They eventually find the site and excitedly jump into the river to celebrate.
Meanwhile, Okagor is operating much better as a group. Maralyn, the oldest member of her tribe, notes that the hike is a bit intimidating. Colby says that it's the "quickest way to find out what people are made of." After they've gone quite a ways, Keith acts as a scout and runs ahead to see how far the camp is. Once they make it, they forsake the celebratory jump in the water and get to work on a camp. They review all the pros and cons of each potential camp site – the trees will provide shelter from the sun, being up high makes them vulnerable to electrical storms, but there are a lot of bugs down by the river. Once they decide, they all start to work, even using Colby's luxury item – a Texas flag – as a part of their shelter. Colby notes that he did indeed bring the flag to help with shelter, but also to remind him that when he wakes up, he's: "Thankful I'm alive and thankful I'm a Texan." Oh, great. First a Texan in the White House, and now one on Survivor. The only problem that seems to have cropped up was that Keith rubbed Jerri the wrong way and was, in her mind at least, condescending towards her. Shades of Joel? We'll see.
Back in Kucha, once they realized that camp wasn't going to build itself while they swam, Debb tried again to take charge and give orders. She did learn from the first round of Survivor that you should build the shelter near the trees, but she didn't learn anything at all about interpersonal skills. Amusingly, she blames Michael for ordering people around, including supposedly telling Rodger what to do even though Rodger is probably the expert when it comes to building. What we saw (however edited it might be) didn't look nearly as bad as she made it out to be. In fact, the only bossy person seemed to be Debb herself.
After the work was done and night fell, the Kucha group hit the sack for a well-deserved night's sleep. Well, they would have if Kimmi would ever shut up. A couple of them were talking about embarrassing things they'd done, and Kimmi chimed in to wonder aloud (jokingly, I guess) how she would masturbate out there with all of them around. Whoa! If there were any volunteers to help, that part was not shown. But Jeff and Debb both seemed rather annoyed at her. Jeff wanted to sleep and she just kept up with her screechy voice. He said it made him "want to grab her by the neck and shake the sh*t out of her." Isn't that special?
Day 2 in Kucha began with Michael finding some figs and calling over the tribe to gather them. He was so excited, he bit right into one. Whoops! Big mistake. They were completely infested with insects. Ick.
Meanwhile, Debb was pushing the fire – or at least trying to. She apparently had read up on fire-starting, but hadn't bothered to practice. Even with the help of another book – a few non-scripture pages of Rodger's Bible – it went nowhere. Although Rodger did find that his son-in-law had written him a very nice note in the Bible.
Okagor tried to get fire also, but got equally as far – that is to say, nothing.
And so it went until the first challenge. This one, as with the first Survivor, featured a challenge for both a reward – waterproof matches – and immunity. Both teams went with the attitude that they had to win to show the other team who was boss. Good idea, but what does that say about you if you lose?
It was off to the races. They had to carry a lit torch across a bridge that was missing a number of boards; they used two boards that they had to move from place to place in order to get across. Then they had to put the torch on a raft and swim with the raft to the next point, where they grabbed some rungs to use later and got onto another raft that they pulled across on roped. Finally, it was up a ladder – using those rungs – and lighting up the fire. If the torch ever fell into the water and went out, you lost.
Mitchell, by far the tallest person on the show – heck, probably in Australia – carried the torch for Okagor. Nick had it for Kucha. Okagor took an early lead, but it didn't really matter. Kucha's second raft overturned and put out the torch. Game over. Okagor wins, just like the SurvivorNews spoiler page said it would.
Now it was time for the first bits of intrigue. Rodger noted that Jeff was still sick and throwing up. Debb talked to Rodger about it and both said they'd vote for Jeff if they had to vote right then. Alicia, meanwhile, told Jeff that Debb said Jeff wanted to go. Jeff was astounded! Of course, we have no way of knowing who really said what to whom, but it's more the perceptions of the other tribe members that matter at this point.
Michael indicated that he might want to get rid of Rodger because of the physical challenges – nothing personal, just that anybody over 50 could be a hindrance. Jeff had apparently been reading the Book of Richard and said, "I'm not here to make friends." He further noted he was looking forward to Tribal Council – that is what the game is all about, after all.
And so they go. Sitting at the top of a "granite waterfall," as described by Probst, they had to vote somebody out of the tribe (not off the island, obviously). "Fire," we were reminded, "does represent life here."
As before, several contestants spoke a little bit before the vote. Debb again pointed to the books, which should have worked as far as making fire. Rodger said that Michael had emerged as a leader and that was fine with him – so I guess Rodger wasn't as bothered by the whole "ordering around" bit as Debb was, earlier. Rodger further noted that everybody was pitching in, there wasn't any slacking. In other words, this is not a Pagong group.
Although there don't appear to be alliances yet, the vote was, as the Super Bowl, a blowout. Jeff got Debb's vote. Debb got everybody else's. Ouch.
Nobody had especially strong reasons – at least, none that we were privy to. Rodger said somebody had to go; Kimmi thought she was too independent. I'm guessing they all thought she was way too bossy. Or maybe she shared a bit too much about her personal life and they found out she was engaged to her step-son. In any event, SurvivorNews was again correct in the spoiler prediction. The "psychic" hired by the Chicago Tribune to predict who would win was absolutely 100% off, since he had said Debb would win it all. Whoops!
Her last words to the tribe were that they should "kick ass." Amusingly, as she was leaving, we were able to see that those "spirits" from the first Survivor had followed the show here – but they blew out the wrong torch this time, snuffing Michael's.
In the confessional, Debb showed some psychic power of her own and said the vote was probably 7 to 1. She said she wouldn't have really minded being voted off if she had fallen, been lazy, not been a team player, or whatever. She thought it would come down to mental toughness and physical ability, but those didn't appear to have mattered.
Well, Debb, maybe they did, but not to the extent you thought. Or, more precisely, you didn't give them a chance to matter because you annoyed the rest of your group with your bossiness and brusque attitude. I mean, when you get such an overwhelming vote, you gotta figure that there was a reason. In any event, Debb is history. The spoiler information was right; the psychic was wrong; and I'm not at all surprised.