Surviving the Outback, Episode 2: Food Fights!by David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Alicia thought that he was hungry and so he was only thinking of himself. Meanwhile, he told the camera that he thought he was being helpful and they were rather unappreciative. He went on to say that he knows what lack of food does to a person, and they don't seem to understand it, or they'd be out hunting and fishing. So, to show them, he planned to catch a lot of fish so they'd see how it felt to have a full stomach.
Meanwhile, over in Ogakor, Kel was out fishing on his own, though not catching anything. Mitchell suggested that Kel was probably thinking he would stick around longer if he brought in some food. But Kel was clearly improvising much of his fishing gear, and not doing a very good job of it. Colby suggested to the camera that Kel "couldn't fish a rubber ducky out of a bathtub," but Kel insisted he would keep trying.
Maralyn had her own suggestion -- that they chill out at the whirlpool. What followed next looked like a replay of the Pagong mud volcano bath from the first series – but a bit cleaner. Amusingly, while they were there several of them commented that it was pointless to fish because they looked around and there simply weren't any fish to be had; then the camera panned down into the water to show plenty of fish swimming around.
As a diversion from both tribes' fishing expeditions, tree mail brought news of a reward challenge with two blankets as the prize. Considering that the opening shots of today's episode showed them sleeping huddled together and bundled up, that sounded like a pretty good reward.
The challenge was to jump off a cliff into the water. For Rodger, this presented two problems. First, he, like Gervase from Series 1, had only learned to even tread water just before coming on the show. Second, he's afraid of heights.
Two crates were anchored in the water below the cliff. They had to jump, one at a time, swim to the crate, and then the next could jump. When all were at the crate, they could unhook it, bring it down the river, through the rapids, and up the beach.
They must have really wanted those blankets, because most of them jumped in fearlessly, with Rodger apparently being the only one who hesitated even a little -- and even he went pretty quickly. His teammates came back to help him get to the crate. But, even with Kucha's extra effort, Ogakor won. Surprisingly, they didn't take out the blankets to reveal Target logos.
After two wins in a row, you'd think Ogakor would be a happy place. But when next we see them, they are complaining about the lack of sleep and food, although they realize it's part of what they signed up for.
Amber and Jerri were moaning about Keith, the chef, and his inability to cook rice. (I'm beginning to wonder if the producers purposely gave both tribes a bad batch just to provoke this sort of thing. Either that, or these people are the worst cooks in the world. I mean, it's rice, fercryingoutloud!)
So Jerri decided they needed a change and took charge of the food situation by using some flour to make tortillas. Keith told the camera that he thought it was great that she was doing it, and went out of his way to compliment her. But Jerri thought it was all just a sham.
Food was a big topic at Kucha, as well, with Mike again talking about fish and other stomach-fillers. He figures that if he could continue to provide food, he'd make the merger. But he said he was a little surprised that he was called the leader at the previous Tribal Council, and said he really doesn't want that title -- he just wants to get food and stay in the background. But then he keeps doing things that put himself in the foreground.
For example, he brings back a nice load of fish and most of the rest of the tribe cheers. Jeff is a little bitter, noting that when somebody else brings back a fish, it's just a fish. But when Mike does, it's a big deal.
Compounding this, Mike leads the group in prayer before eating the fish, and uses it to talk about getting food and how he doesn't want it to somehow be turned into him being the leader. It was a fairly strange thing to do. What made it worse was that at least Kimmi totally misunderstood and thought he was thanking God for making him the leader!
Rodger and Alicia seem to hold opposing views about the situation: Rodger says he thinks Mike will stay as long as he provides food; Alicia says she and others are annoyed that he thinks he's the leader, and some already want him voted off.
Now, for the scandal at Ogakor!
Jerri insists that she saw Kel put a small brown item in his mouth -- something that looked like beef jerky. Others saw him chewing and join in the campaign to lynch Kel. They reach a fever pitch and several rifle through his bag while he's up on the hill -- finding nothing.
Since they weren't too quiet about it (at least, that's what we were led to believe -- we would later find out a camera man told him about it), Kel heard some of the commotion and came down to tell them that he was merely chewing grass. They start questioning him. What grass? How do you know the grass isn't poisonous? I couldn't tell whether he was acting guilty or just trying not to outwardly show how stupid he thought these people were.
To try to mend fences, he says he really just wants to be a part of the group and so he wanted to make sure they understood that he wasn't cheating or anything like that. The others, led by Jerri, thank him sarcastically.
So, again, he tries to get in good with the group. He says he has three razor blades and would be willing to share them -- one for the guys and one for the girls. They all accept, but it doesn't exactly appease them. Jerri later tells the camera that she thinks it just makes him look that much more guilty. Somehow, I suspect that no matter what he did, she would have thought him guilty.
When Kel leaves again, Maralyn scolds her teammates and tells them they were wrong to go through his belongings and should apologize. Jerri says she isn't going to; the rest don't seem terribly inclined to do so, either. As Maralyn later says, "things are heatin' up at our encampment!"
Food is really the main focus of this episode, and that theme continues into the immunity challenge. Tree mail tells the tribes about a challenge that obviously involves eating something. Alicia jumps to the conclusion -- probably based on the first series -- that they will be eating bugs. But others aren't so sure that will be all.
Kimmi has a problem with this. She is a vegetarian. Well, sort of a vegetarian, anyway. She won't eat land animals -- mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and the like. She says she absolutely will not compromise her beliefs just for this. Obviously, this doesn't sit terribly well with her fellow tribe members. Alicia says you can't come in to something like this with a list of things you're not going to do. Mike notes that if Rodger could jump off a cliff into the water, Kimmi should eat whatever they give her. Kimmi realizes that she could be voted off for it, but still says she won't change her principles.
As it happens, Alicia was wrong about it just being bugs. Host Jeff Probst explains that they have a buffet of true aboriginal food -- where nothing goes to waste. Different items are on a wheel (including the harmless fruit slice and candy bar piece). He will spin the wheel and a representative from each tribe must eat whatever is there, and keep it down long enough to show him an empty mouth. If they eat it, they get a point. At the end, most points wins.
Maralyn and Mike were first, and a worm is their meal for the day. Probst explains the life cycle of this thing, but I doubt anybody really cares. Maralyn prepared for her meal by popping out her dentures, to the enjoyment of all. Then they both slurped down the worm.
Keith and Kimmi got some nice yummy fresh cow brain. Keith eats it, but Kimmi won't because it's a mammal; she stands by her principles. Ogakor is one up.
Nick and Jerri get a mud whelp and eat it all up. Kel and Elisabeth get lucky with a piece of fruit. Mitchell and Jeff chow down on grub larva. Alicia and Amber get a nice big crunchy bug. Rodger and Colby somehow manage to stomach the candy bar. And then we're at the last ones, with Ogakor still one up.
Mike has to go again, since Kucha is one person down, but it doesn't seem to bother him in the least. He's up against Tina, and they have to eat cow stomach lining. Yum! Mike chows down; Tina has problems -- no doubt enhanced by Jeff making gagging noises in the background. Up comes the stomach. They're tied.
So, like the first series, each team chooses somebody on the other team to be in the tiebreaker. Not surprisingly, Ogakor chooses Kimmi and Kucha chooses Tina. They have to eat a whole mangrove worm; the first one down wins. Kimmi is actually excited at this because, as she shouts, "I can eat a worm!"
Even though Kimmi gets over exuberant and drops part of the worm, she still manages to get it down before Tina can. Kucha wins their first challenge. And Tina had to eat both cow stomach and a worm, and still lost.
As Day 6 arrives, Tribal Council is on the minds of the Ogakor. Tina says she'll feel bad about it, and Keith says it will be a bitter day -- especially because it could be him. Mitchell seems to agree with this assessment, saying Keith is bossy, condescending, and close to going. Colby isn't sure and says both Keith and Jerri have struck a lot of nerves, and that Jerri, in particular, is a point of friction. Maralyn agrees with that sentiment.
Kel says straight out that he will vote for Jerri -- because he told Maralyn he would and Maralyn said the same to him. Jerri will be returning the favor because she still feels Kel is a liar and a cheat.
Several of the contestants are definitely thinking about the play of the game. Mitchell says you cannot trust anybody and that he would vote out his own grandparents if they were out here. Keith notes that the game is all about deceit and how to play using your mind to win.
At Tribal Council, Probst immediately focuses on the food situation, noting that they have fire and a chef, and wondering why they aren't eating better. Keith notes that you have to have something to work with, and then gives Jerri more compliments by noting that they've been happy with her tortillas. Probst then goes at it again, asking Jerri why it is that she's cooking when they have Keith. Jerri says straight out that Keith's rice was so bad that nobody was eating it, so she took it upon herself to do something about it. Colby and Mitchell chime in that they had no problem with the rice, and Maralyn says, "if it goes down and doesn't come back up, it's a good meal." Maybe Jerri's opinion of Keith's cooking isn't as widely-held as she thought.
When Probst gets to Tina, she admits that she screwed up and is the one who should go.
But she doesn't.
In a replay of the previous episode, we have another 7-to-1 vote. Kel is gone. Jerri got the only other vote -- from Kel, of course. While Kel said, in the voting booth, that he was voting against Jerri because he gave his word to Tina and Maralyn, and they gave their word back, it seems that they don't hold to their promises quite the way he does. Sorry, Kel. Mitchell says he brought it on himself.
In the most amusing note of the night, Maralyn excerpts from Sue's final speech to Kelly on the first series, except she says that if Kel were in the desert dying of thirst, every one of the tribe members would give him a drink of water.
In the confessional, Kel has a much better attitude about leaving than Debb did the previous time. In fact, he almost seems too nice about it. It was kind of weird. He says that he realizes that it was hard for him to fit in, that he is used to the military, which was kind of unique, and that he couldn't overcome that barrier in just a few days. He wishes them good luck, and seems to sincerely mean it. Meanwhile, on the less-than-sincere front, Jerri gave him a reassuring pat on the arm as he was leaving, but then seemed to smirk to herself as Probst sent them back to their camps. Whose downfall is she planning next?