Surviving the Outback, Episode 3: Races Lost & Alliances Formedby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
As we return to the Outback, it's Day 7. Over at Kucha tribe, they're still dealing with food as a major topic. Mike explains that the ultimate goal is, of course, to win the million dollars. However, you have to take small steps along the way, and one of those steps is eating. So he wants to go pig hunting!
Jeff thinks this is a ridiculous idea and, as he has expressed before, thinks Mike is only interested in hunting because he is hungry and he's only thinking of himself again.
So Mike lashes the tribe's only knife onto a branch to create a spear, which he says he is “very very determined” to use to ambush and kill a pig. Alicia doesn't think it's realistic, and Jeff at first is afraid Mike will lose the knife, but then hopes he will so they can really go off on him. That's the spirit!
Elisabeth points out the minor detail that they haven't actually seen a pig yet. Jeff continues his diatribe, noting that it's “classic Mike -- he's an idiot.”
Over on Ogakor, they're also still thinking about food, with Tina even craving Doritos (hmmm, aren't they a sponsor? What a coincidence). Colby notes that the lack of protein will eventually catch up with them. Yo, Colby, why didn't you think of this before you voted off Kel, who was doing his damnedest to get you guys some decent food?
Luckily, tree mail has news of a reward challenge that would help on the food front -- fishing gear. From reading the description, Ogakor guessed they would need their strongest member to be the key, and that was Colby.
They were right on both counts. The reward included fishing line, hooks, lures, net, etc. The challenge would test strength, balance, and endurance. The strongest member of each tribe (Mike for Kucha and, as mentioned, Colby for Ogakor) would have to hold buckets of water hung on a pole. Those buckets would be placed by a bearer (Rodger for Kucha, Mitchell for Ogakor) of the opposing tribe, and would be brought over a series of beams by the opposing tribe members; if they fell while bringing the water, that person would have to start over. Whoever dropped pole or fell first would lose.
Several people fell while bringing water, but they eventually filled up both men with as many buckets as they had -- hanging over 400 pounds of water on each man's shoulders. They stood there as a test of endurance, and both men outlasted the Mike's pole, which snapped under the weight.
This made it a draw and sent them into a run-off, which would be a five-minute timed race to get as many buckets onto the opposing team's player as possible. Ogakor pulled it off.
Kucha left, rather more annoyed than I would have thought, since they are already pretty adept at catching fish. Of course, keeping the gear from Ogakor would have made them that much weaker, but I don't think it was the worst loss in the world.
Ogakor, of course, is quite happy since they have not been able to catch anything -- and indeed voted off the only person who had even tried. Mitchell was sure there were no fish anyway, but when he, Jerri, and Amber went out, they caught a boatload.
All of a sudden, Keith, the chef who couldn't cook rice, is called to duty to gut, clean, and cook the fish. He notes to the camera that his strategy had been to create great meals for the tribe (which was even mentioned in the Survivor II Field Guide) and now he has his chance.
Of course, Jerri can never let anything be, and admits that Keith rubs her the wrong way, so they have their little tussles. Keith gets his wonderful meal cooked, but Colby notes the way so many others in the tribe were watching -- as if to learn so they don't need Keith around any more.
All seem to agree that the meal was fantastic, and Keith is sure his stock went up. But Mitchell, ever the optimist, still thinks anybody could have done what Keith did.
Meanwhile, over in Kucha, work ethic is the main topic of conversation. Kimmi talks about how much work it is to keep filling water jugs, boiling the water, letting it cool, lugging it to and fro, and then, when everybody drinks it, all the evidence for her hard work is gone. But Rodger has noticed how hard she has been working, and indeed thinks it's because she is worried she'll be voted off next. Kimmi does indeed say that she feels vulnerable because she hasn't bonded with any one person. As if to reinforce that, Alicia says that every job Kimmi does could be done by somebody else.
Jeff thinks it is coming down to a question of Rodger vs. Kimmi for the next vote -- though he and the others refer to Rodger as “Kentucky Joe.”
Elisabeth is very friendly with Rodger and determined to keep him around -- Alicia calls it “protecting” him. He even gives her a heart-shaped rock he found to pass along to her boyfriend. Even Alicia agrees that while Rodger might not be the strongest, he knows what he's doing.
Cut back to Ogakor, where Maralyn “Mad Dog” Hershey is lying in the river, singing. Tina walks over and calls her their little songbird, saying they have bonded together more than with anybody else. Maralyn talks to the camera about how she trusts Tina the most and does not trust Jerri.
From friendship to flirting, we see a number of shots of Jerri and Colby hanging around together, talking, laughing, and even one of her giving him a back rub. Jerri says she'd really like it if she and Colby were to get together -- she's a sucker for cowboys. Colby thinks they are getting along great, but he's not sure if she has ulterior motives. He knows that she is very capable of deceiving him or anybody else in the tribe, so he says he'll keep his guard up. Indeed, Jerri does tell the camera that, if it came down to it, she'd vote against Colby. Shades of Greg's comment about snapping the kitten's neck back in the first series.
There isn't as much love in the air back at Kucha, but there is strategy. Jeff and Alicia go on a foraging walk so they can talk privately about who to bring with them to the final four. Thinking a little far ahead, isn't he? Alicia says Jeff is the only one she trusts, and Jeff seems to have the same feelings. Indeed, Alicia acknowledges that they two of them are constantly scheming and planning. Well, that's great, but it takes more than a two-person alliance to win, guys.
Again in the planning-way-ahead department, they decide that they can't bring either Elisabeth or Nick to the final four with them, because they might be too popular. Also, they agree that Nick is too secure in his position of flying below the radar and avoiding work as much as possible. He has built a kitchen, chairs, and benches, but several others don't really see the point of it all. Jeff further explains that Nick avoids real work and even pretends not to hear when he's asked to help. Indeed, the camera gets a shot of this exact thing happening. So, Jeff says that Nick may be strong and good for challenges, but when somebody has to go, Nick will be the first.
Speaking of time to go, the next immunity challenge is approaching. But the folks at Ogakor get almost no sleep thanks to pouring rain and valiant efforts by all to keep the fire going throughout the night. Both Mitchell and Colby are worried as they walk to the challenge -- neither feels particularly strong today.
So it wasn't a good time to hear host Jeff Probst explain that this would be the toughest challenge yet: An race involving a log chute, sand slide, going through a number of obstacles, and a final sprint -- all while tethered together as a team. The first team to get everybody across the finish line wins. As Probst notes, they will be “only as fast as your slowest member.”
Early on, they run neck-and neck, with various people on both teams stumbling or getting tangled. Kucha leads going into the sprint part, but Rodger falls at least twice and his teammates have to drag him to his feet. Just as it looks like Ogakor will catch up, Maralyn stumbles, giving Kucha enough time to make it to the finish line ahead of them.
The result of this challenge is notable because it is the first time on Survivor that an immunity challenge winner did not alternate between tribes. But we should have known it would end this way, because the promos all made a big deal of Rodger falling -- obviously, Kucha would actually win!
As Ogakor gets back to camp, it's clear that the vote will be a tough one. Amber is crying and the others are plotting. Colby claims that Maralyn was the problem, and Mitchell chimes in by saying that if they had voted her off instead of Kel the previous time, they would have won the race. Well, too late for that, pal. I guess that didn't enter into his “vote off the uncool people” strategy that he described in the Field Guide
Jerri, Colby, Mitchell, Amber, and Tina all agree to vote the same. Keith tries to convince a few people to go against Mitchell. He says they shouldn't go after Maralyn just because she stumbled -- there are bound to be more intellectual challenges ahead where she could help. He says Maralyn works her butt off and Mitchell is lazy, so he should go. Unfortunately, the only people listening to him are those who have apparently already made up their minds to vote for Maralyn. Indeed, Colby runs to Mitchell to tattle on Keith.
At the Council, Probst asks Colby if there is anybody he wouldn't trust. Colby says that of course there are, because that's part of the game. Alas, he didn't name names. Mitchell agrees, saying that “trust no one” is the motto. Maralyn says everybody there is her buddy and later says she and Tina are cojoined, and that she is also tight with Colby. Jerri feels closest to Amber and Mitchell and, of course, Colby, and says that friendship does enter into it but you have to keep that separate from the game. She learned her lessons from Pagong, I see. Keith thinks he has bonded with several people, though they are not necessarily friends.
Now, for the vote. Maralyn votes against Jerri, the one she said she didn't trust. Unfortunately, Jerri wasn't the only one she couldn't trust. Her good pal Tina votes against her, too, though she does it with a frowning face on the card and tells the camera that she loves her, values their friendship more than anything, and that this has everything to do with a promise she made and nothing to do with her. “I hope you'll understand.” I can't speak for Maralyn, but I understand -- you don't really value her friendship “more than anything,” because if you did, you wouldn't have valued that promise more highly.
Mitchell, Amber, Colby, and Jerri also vote against Maralyn, as they had agreed; Jerri at least says she'll miss her dearly. Keith follows through on his plan to vote against Mitchell, saying, “it just seems like you're tired.”
So it goes, and Maralyn is gone. Amber keeps Maralyn's “Mad Dog” baseball cap, and everybody seems upset. I guess executive producer Mark Burnett didn't interfere to keep the older person around this time, as was alleged to have happened last time, in case you haven't already heard by now. It does make one wonder if things would work out a bit differently for the older players if the first few challenges were more intellectual and less physical. While last week's just involved eating weird stuff and wasn't really a physical challenge, they do seem to be more balanced towards keeping the younger and stronger players. It will be interesting to see how long Rodger sticks around.
Nothing is mentioned about Rodger in the promos (which means absolutely nothing in terms of what might actually happen), but it looks like the Keith/Jerri war will come to a head, and Mike will go overboard with his bloodlust. No real good information to base any predictions on right now, though. So we'll just have to wait and see.