Surviving the Outback, Episode 5: Birds and Bathsby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
We begin day 13 in Ogakor, with the fire continuing to burn and edging closer to camp. Colby says he is really starting to notice the burning smell and hear trees explode and crash, and now the camp has been overtaken by smoke. Tina notes that they woke up to a hazy, smoky day. In other words, the climate reflects their mood after the difficult Tribal Council the previous night.
Jerri is not terribly happy that her little group of common voters has been busted up -- it's a whole new ballgame. She talks to Amber about how they have to vie for Colby. Amber fears that, since he swayed to the Tina/Keith bloc last time, he might sway towards them again. For his part, Colby says his strategy is to do what it takes to help the team. Jerri tells him there are no hard feelings, but adds that they would be more powerful together. Colby sticks to his guns and says he will continue to vote according to who can help the most by being strongest. Jerri says this is the end of the alliance, but Colby responds, “I don't care.” He wants to focus on winning the immunity challenges. In a way, they are playing two different games.
Over in Kucha, it had been a cold and drafty night with little sleep. To add insult to injury, the fire had been popping coals up onto them, and Jeff woke up with a hot coal on his shirt and a small fire on his sweatshirt! Time to move the fire.
While most of the group is working on that, Kimmi is taking care of the chickens -- at least until Rodger says it's chicken killing time. They couldn't save all the pig meat, so they're back to the birds again. Kimmi makes a big show of leaving as they're getting ready to prepare the chicken, and Michael wishes she would “let go of the chicken thing” for her own self-preservation and stop making such a “theatrical” spectacle of everything.
After she leaves, Rodger notes that he doesn't like killing animals either, but somebody's got to do it. So as they roast the chicken over the fire, Kimmi lies by the river, alone.
While Kimmi is upset about the food source her tribe is using, Ogakor is upset that they don't have any food. They haven't had fish in two days or so, and hunger is continuing to strike at them.
But it hasn't changed Jerri's attitude much. She tromps around with old fish guts, asking Keith what to do with them. Of course, when he tells her, she argues. He says they normally just dump them in the river at the end of the beach. Oh, no, she says. That would feed the fish. It's no wonder they can't catch any fish if they've been feeding them for free! Yeah, right, says Keith to himself. They've got a huge river here, and they're feeding all the fish with a few guts. But he decides it isn't worth it to argue with her, so he tells her to bury them near that spot. Nope, she doesn't like that, either, because she says the smell will bother them later. Fine, he says, he'll bury them somewhere so she won't have to worry.
In Kucha, it's not fish but the chickens again that are causing problems with Kimmi and Alicia. First, they really don't like each other anyway. But then Kimmi tries to convince Alicia that they should hold off on killing the chickens -- space them out so they don't eat one each day. Alicia insists they need to keep their protein levels up and thinks Kimmi just wants to save the birds. She starts to get up and leave but Kimmi says something that Alicia can't let pass. They exchange words and Alicia accuses Kimmi of getting emotionally attached to the chickens, which she obviously is but denies. Alicia punctuates her attack with, “I'm tired of you and the f---ing chickens!”
Later she tells the camera that she wanted to go over and grab Kimmi by the throat, but restrained herself. How nice of her. For her part, Kimmi considers Alicia critical and condescending (correct on both counts) and Jeff adds that he knew something like this would be coming, because Kimmi had been getting attached to the chickens and Alicia doesn't have much patience for anybody. Elisabeth chimes in that Alicia is in charge of telling people to do things and is also in charge of talking trash about other people.
The next problem encountered by Kucha is also focused on Kimmi, but this time not because of their food. Instead, we discover that Kimmi has not been bathing. As she says, the “water here grosses me out more than anything.” This from a woman who ate a worm in an earlier challenge. She says the river is the source of food and the bathroom for fish, crocodiles, birds, algae, bacteria, etc. So the whole thing is gross to her.
What's gross to the rest of the tribe is that, as Michael says, he doesn't know if she's been in the water once since they got to camp! Almost two weeks. Ick. Dirt is sticking to her to the point that he says some people have a tan line when they change clothes, but she has a dirt line. When he tries to tell her, she gets defensive about it.
But help may be on the way! Treemail brings a Target catalog and word that the winner of the reward challenge will get items like toothpaste and shampoo (and, we later find out, deodorant and a few other similar items) plus two things chosen out of the book. In a challenge similar to the first series, they have to make a stretcher (though this one must be in a triangle) to carry somebody (or so they figure). Kucha plans to carry Elisabeth, and Ogakor plans for Amber.
In Ogakor, Jerri (of course) takes charge of building the stretcher, telling people what to do and how to make it. She says she knew her idea would work and everybody was just standing around. Keith could tell that Colby was getting tense and agitated at her bossiness, though.
The test is not quite the same as the one from last series. In this one, they each start with two rescuers and have to bring three victims from marked areas to a finish line. Once they get to the line, they “heal” and become rescuers themselves. Since Kucha has two extra people, Kimmi and Rodger sit out. The winner will get not only the items mentioned earlier, but also whatever items the opposing team chose. Kucha had gone for the blankets (Ogakor had won some a while ago) and spices. Ogakor also wanted spices, and went for soup mix as their second choice.
Kucha starts with Nick and Michael as rescuers, and would pick up Jeff, Alicia, and Elisabeth, in that order. Ogakor starts with Colby and Keith, and would rescue Tina, Amber, and Jerri. Ogakor takes an early lead by getting Tina first, but then falls behind and never catches up again (I wonder if having Kel around might have helped…). Kucha continues their winning streak. Tears well up in Amber's eyes as she proclaims, “I'm so tired of losing!”
Once they get back to camp, Colby is of the same opinion, talking about his building frustration. Tina says it's not so much the lack of winning the particular items, but the psychological hit.
Kucha, needless to say, is quite happy. Alicia gleefully announces that this is “one more nail in the coffin” for Ogakor. Jeff says that some of the tribe seem to feel guilty about romping all over the other group, but he feels “it's all about kicking somebody's ass.” He says he doesn't mean to sound evil, but the point of the game is to beat the other team.
Michael is just happy to have the shampoo and other items so they can get Kimmi to bathe! And I have to give a special thanks to the Survivor producers here for showing us a great shot of Kimmi rubbing soap over her (alas, covered) breasts.
Getting back to the game, the next treemail brings news of a maze challenge for immunity. Ogakor has a group pep talk, with Amber telling them to rely on their hearts and mind, and Colby saying the excuses are done and it's time for a hell of a show today.
The tribes arrive to find two identical giant mazes, which host Jeff Probst says it took two weeks to build. In the mazes are five totem poles, each having a numbered medallion. They have to go through the maze -- as a group -- and pick up the medallions in order. Of course, the poles are not in a nice easy order, but have the entry on the right, 1 in the lower left corner, 2 in the upper right, 3 in the upper left, 4 in the lower right, 5 in the middle, and the exit on the left. So, in the 110-degree heat, they will race. Since there doesn't appear to be any advantage or disadvantage to Kucha's extra members, nobody needs to sit out.
Ogakor takes an early lead, getting the first medallion before Kucha gets their first, getting the second before Kucha gets their second, and then revs up by getting the third, fourth, and fifth before Kucha even finds the third. Ogakor finally breaks their losing streak.
Now it's time to figure out how to vote. Unlike Ogakor, voting doesn't seem to have been on Kucha's minds nearly as much. Jeff notes that there has been some animosity in the tribe (yes, we know -- we saw), and Kimmi asks Mike about his plans to vote with the Jeff/Alicia team. Mike assures her that he is not in their group.
Not surprisingly, Alicia says it makes the most sense to get rid of Kimmi, since she is physically the weakest (and I'm sure her annoying attitude and their little tiff has a little to do with it as well). Rodger says he assumes everything thinks he will vote against Kimmi, but he probably won't. The only person he keeps his word with is Elisabeth, and vice versa. As the two of them plus Mike are out fishing in the boat, they talk about targeting Alicia. They say they will miss her abilities, but it might bring some harmony to the tribe. As they head off to Tribal Council, things look bad for Alicia.
Shortly after they arrive, the rain begins to pour. Probst asks Mike about the whole “leader” thing that came up last time they were at Tribal Council, lo those many days ago. Mike tries to stay far away from claiming any sort of leadership, saying everybody has taken a leadership role in one way or another. While he may take an active part in getting food, the tribe is strong because everybody contributes.
Since Mike didn't bite, Probst moves to Alicia and asks her about being a leader. She says she doesn't think she's a leader, but a motivator. She likes to make sure everybody is on the same page. Nobody wants to take Probst's bait, I guess.
Now come the votes. In a move totally contradicting what we've seen in terms of their discussions, we have another unanimous vote -- against Kimmi. Her vote goes to Jeff because she has heard that the others are voting this way. I don't know where she heard it, but she obviously heard wrong. It seems like people decided it was better to keep the stronger Alicia and get rid of the more annoying Kimmi, even if Alicia is rather bossy and impatient.
Kimmi's last words indicate that she knew her head has been on the chopping block for a while -- something she'd indicated in earlier episodes. She says she stayed true to her morals and again repeats what everybody already knows -- that she and Alicia hadn't gotten along since Day 1. She says the tribe obviously felt they had to get rid of her, and more power to ‘em.
Next week looks to be interesting, as there is apparently an accident at the Kucha camp, requiring a helicopter to take away one contestant. We see Elisabeth being comforted by Rodger, so we can be sure it's neither of them. Another clip shows Jeff upset as well, so it probably isn't him. Right now, my guess goes to Mike, since he has been especially reckless in pursuit of, well, whatever he happens to be pursuing at any given time. We'll see next week!