Surviving the Cook Islands, Episode 2: Three Little Wordsby David Bloomberg -- 09/22/2006
In the first episode of this 13th season of Survivor, the contestants found out what the rest of us already knew – that they were divided into four tribes by ethnicity. The Hiki (African-American) tribe lost the first challenge and Sekou was sent packing.
How will the tribes get along as they spend more time together? Which tribe will lose immunity this week? And who will join Sekou? Let’s find out!
We begin back with Hiki on day four as they try to start a fire using the flint they got at Tribal Council. They try. And try. And try. Not so much luck. Hmmm. Maybe Sekou knows how to make fire. Oh wait, they can’t ask him because he’s gone! Finally, Rebecca manages to get some sparks lit up and Hiki celebrates the fact that they have fire and will get to drink water!
Speaking of water, over at Aitu (Latino), there are several people spear fishing, spearing crabs, grabbing clams, and generally getting a good meal together. After the teamwork, Cristina talks about being a police officer and how she was shot and almost lost her arm. Cecilia thinks Cristina is a role model. What’s left hanging in the air, or maybe on Ozzy’s face, is the question of how this will affect the game.
But we’ll have to wait to find out, because there are chickens on the loose. Billy sees them and the tribe is trying to figure out how to snag ‘em. No, these are not the two lost by Jessica at the Raro (Caucasian) tribe, but wild ones. The tribe creates a chicken trap using a net. Cristina hopes a chicken will walk on it and they’ll pull it up, trapping the chicken inside. I hope she ordered the net from Acme Net Company, because that’s a Wile E. Coyote idea – and Ozzy agrees. He says he’s trying not to shoot down her ideas, but they’re coming from somebody who has not done a lot of camping, like he has.
When Ozzy puts forth his idea, which he seems to do in a pretty nice way, Cristina gets all pissy and “whatever”y and tells us Ozzy acts like he knows everything. Um, maybe that’s ‘cus he does in this case. Just a thought. Ozzy says they just don’t click, probably because he’s 10 years younger than her, and he understands and would probably get a little pissed off if he had a 14-year-old telling him what to do.
So they set up the trap Ozzy’s way. Basically, it’s a tent with bait inside. When a chicken walks in, they drop it the rest of the way. Lo and behold, it works! Take that, Cristina! They cook up the fish and chicken, but Cristina walks away, upset. Oh get over it.
At the Puka (Asian-American) tribe, they have chickens wandering around too. They try a version of the same trap, but with a crate instead of a net. The crate, with bait under it, is held up by a stick, which is in turn attached to a rope. The chicken walks in, they pull the rope, the chicken is caught. Actually, they catch two at once! Looks like the device was Yul’s brainchild, which should surprise nobody who read his background.
Yul and Becky talk strategy, with Yul saying he trusts her. He tells us that she is a lawyer, but she does a lot of non-profit work and so it seems likely to him that she isn’t just in the game for the money. Also, both are Korean, which Becky says makes it that much easier to bond. She already thinks of him as something of an older brother.
Finally, we visit Raro, where Jonathan is returning from his time on Exile Island. He says it was “really terrible,” but he’s happy that everybody is glad to see him come back. He didn’t find the idol, and then on top of it he finds out that his tribe essentially didn’t do anything while he was gone. They didn’t improve the shelter or make a decent floor, so he suggests working on those right away. You know, I tend to agree with him, but I’m not sure coming back and taking charge right away is the smartest of moves.
Jessica and Jonathan get to work, but Parvati, Adam, and Candice are busy gossiping and playing around. Jessica says something to Adam, who says he thinks it’s a dumb idea – why would they sleep better if it’s raised? Jessica says it was wet and cold. So what, Adam wonders, will be changed by a raised floor? Jessica states the obvious (to everybody but Adam, that is) by saying they won’t be on the wet ground.
Adam’s voice starts getting louder – apparently because logic isn’t his strong point, perhaps he can get his way by yelling. He wants to know what the other two women think, because they need to decide things as a group. Ah, so you can bully them. Gotcha. But they don’t take his side, with Parvati saying she thinks it would be comfortable and they’ve already started. That doesn’t stop Adam, though, as he continues to rant about it being a crazy idea. So it’s a group decision… until the group sides against him. What an ass.
Adam’s cuddle-buddy Candice pulls him aside and tells him he needs to be careful and he shouldn’t make Jonathan an enemy. Adam assures her that he won’t. Too late, dude.
The next day at Aitu, the fish are still being brought to shore. But Billy is just kind of lying around while the others work. He admits to us that he’s trying to conserve his energy. Since the others know more about spearing fish and getting coconuts, he’ll let them burn the energy while he eats the fruits of their labor. Nice team spirit there, Billy.
Ozzy is annoyed with Billy’s attitude and the fact that they have to keep telling him to do things while the rest of them are working hard. Even when he walks around, Billy just kind of mopes along. He tells a couple of the women that his culture is metal, not Hispanic. Not sure what that has to do with moping around.
Over on Puka, now Jenny has a headache. Cao Boi takes care of her the same way he took care of Brad. She feels better and has the same red mark, which she thinks is a fair trade.
In the shelter that evening, Cao Boi jokingly suggests Jenny can change her accent to Hindu. One of the women tells him to stop making Asian jokes, but he says he has no hang-ups and can laugh at himself. So he asks, “What do you call a Vietnamese with three dogs?” The response is “Oh God,” and then Brad goes into a monologue about how they get it, but other people won’t get it. Cao Boi says he doesn’t worry about what other people think. Hey, I just want to know what you call a Vietnamese with three dogs! Let the man finish his joke! But they’d rather continue to argue about it.
It’s nighttime at Aitu and Billy is snoring up a storm. Nobody else can sleep. Billy suggests they might want to throw the immunity challenge – they can’t continue to carry him. That’s quickly met with a “no” from Cristina, but J.P. tells us he was actually thinking the very same thing! The women are against, the men for, so they leave it flexible.
Day six, treemail arrives. Sounds like they will be chained together and the challenge is for immunity rather than reward. Aitu once again debates throwing the challenge. Well, four of Aitu, as Billy has wandered off somewhere and isn’t even around to read the treemail. J.P. uses that as an argument in favor of booting him and makes a statement that essentially says he is going to throw it.
The four tribes arrive for the challenge and Probst collects the three pieces of the immunity idol. Then he reads them a short story about Captain Cook’s three expeditions into the Pacific. When he’s done, the tribes will have to move, as a group, tied together, under and over a series of logs, then through a field of poles to untie and gather seven answer plaques. They then cross a two-line rope bridge over a water pit. Finally, they use the seven plaques to answer five questions about the story.
The challenge is for both reward and immunity. The reward consists of two tarps, and… well, that’s it. OK, I kind of figured there would be more than that. The first tribe gets the tarps and immunity. Next two get immunity. Last gets Tribal Council and the decision of who goes to Exile Island from the other tribes.
Three of the tribes have to sit somebody out. Billy tries to volunteer for Aitu, but J.P. insists he sit instead. I guess that’s how he intends to throw it. Adam sits for Raro, and Jenny for Puka.
Probst begins the story about James Cook. When he’s done, he tells them that if they’re not confident they got all the details, they can look at a written version – but it will cost them time.
And they’re off! Aitu is the only tribe to take up Probst’s offer of the written story. Probst calls it a “huge strategy move.” Is it? Or a huge throwing move?
The other three tribes make it to the poles and start on the plaques, with Puka getting their first one. Hiki has one. Aitu then arrives at the poles, but Raro has two now. Puka is up to three, so is Raro. Hiki is falling behind.
Aitu gets their first plaque. Puka has five. So does Raro. Now they’re at six! Puka gets their seventh and heads to the rope bridge, with Raro right behind. Puka keeps the lead and gets to the questions. Probst notes that Aitu is not panicking but they aren’t moving quickly, either. That’s ‘cus they don’t want to win, Jeff!
Puka puts their plaques in and Yul thinks they’re right, while a couple of them still debate it. Raro is about done too! Puka yells for Jeff, but they aren’t on the mat. They jump on just as Raro does likewise. It’s a photo finish, but Jeff reads Puka’s answers first. They’re right! Raro’s Jessica argues that they had it first, but Probst ignores her.
Hiki arrives at the questions, while Aitu is just getting to the water. It looks to me like Ozzy purposely swings the rope to delay them even further and make sure there is no chance they can beat out Hiki. As Probst says, “Aitu is having a holiday.”
Hiki answers the questions and get on the mat. They do, just as Billy falls into the water. He doesn’t look happy.
Probst gathers the team and says they reviewed the tapes and… it was a tie! Both Puka and Raro will get two tarps. Probst says the only good thing about losing the challenge for Aitu is that they get to choose who goes to Exile Island. Well, that and they theoretically get rid of Billy, though that remains to be seen. Aitu agrees to send Yul away, having identified him as “the strongest member.” Smart thinking, and exactly what Hiki should have done last time.
While the tribes are standing around waiting to leave, Parvati and Candice tell Billy they feel bad for Aitu. Billy says, “I’m next.” He’s no dummy. Candice says kindly, “We love you!” He replies, “I love you.” Awwww.
Aitu returns to camp and Ozzy admits the obvious to us, that they lost on purpose in order to get rid of Billy, who dug his own hole by not working. It was something they had to do. Um, no, it wasn’t.
The four conspirators work and talk, with J.P. saying they could have won no problem – Aitu was catching up to the others and they were purposely going slow! But Cristina is still not happy about it. She tells us it’s a symptom of Ozzy trying to control everything.
Billy tells us “the situation is pretty bleak.” He’s hoping he can find an opening. But we don’t yet see him actually try to find an opening. I don’t know if he’s expecting one to fall from the sky or what.
Meanwhile, Yul arrives at Exile Island. As he’s telling us how much it sucks, I just have a feeling that he’s going to find the hidden immunity idol. He looks at the second clue, which says to use the mast and an island to form a letter, then block out the south island. Yul walks away from the masts until one of the islands is on the horizon and appears to be where the horizontal line in an A would be. Then he walks up and down that line of sight until he can’t see the southern island anymore.
He marks the spots and starts digging, going fairly deep. Good thing he has plenty of time to kill. Then we hear him exclaim, “Holy cow!” and he has indeed found it! Told ya this guy is smart!
Yul unwraps the package he finds and gets instructions and the hidden idol, which appears to be a compass. The instructions say he can use it once, with the last possible time being when there are four contestants left. Go, Yul!
Back at Aitu, an opportunity falls from the sky for Billy as Cristina goes to get water and he follows her. Cecilia says Billy “looks like a zombie” as he walks away. And you know, he kinda does. She feels bad, but J.P. and Ozzy say they don’t.
When they get to the water, Billy tells Cristina the other two guys have played him for a patsy. And once he’s gone, she’s next. She seems to agree as he says he hopes they don’t throw another challenge to get rid of her! It’s a good move for him, but his problem is that he needs three votes, not two.
Cristina says she will talk to Cecilia – ah, the third vote. So she does, in Spanish, asking if she has a deal with Ozzy. No! Cecilia says she will vote with Cristina, whatever they decide to do. At this point, it’s not terribly clear what that is, though.
Ozzy’s smart enough to know Billy will try to stir things up and flip people. And he knows Cristina is the most likely to side with him. But he says if they vote him out, they deserve what they get, because they’ll suffer without him. I do have to agree with him there – he’s the one who climbs the trees for coconuts, he gets fish, he does work, etc. Billy… lies around.
Aitu arrives at Tribal Council and goes through the torch-lighting ritual. Probst begins his questions by asking Billy if a leader stepped up to say, “this is what we’re going to do.” Billy says the initially hit the ground running but, little by little, Ozzy emerged as a big voice because he’s in his element.
Cristina doesn’t agree that Ozzy is a leader, but rather that he tries to take control because of his experience. What does Ozzy think? He doesn’t think he’s the leader, but because of his knowledge, if he doesn’t voice his opinion, things will be done wrong. But he thinks they can all get things done as a team and if they all work hard, they will be stronger than anybody else.
Probst gives him a “I can’t believe you just said that” look and asks if Ozzy thinks the tribe represented themselves well in the last challenge. Ozzy says no, not really. Billy rolled his eyes at the question, and Probst caught it, so he asks Billy what that was about. Billy says a lot of their loss had to do with him. J.P. and Ozzy decided he was hurting the tribe so they decided to throw the challenge. When Probst repeats, “You think they threw the challenge,” Billy replies, “I know they threw the challenge.”
Probst adopts a “this may be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” tone and asks J.P. if he was really willing to lose somebody already when they only have five tribe members. J.P. says at this point, yes. He doesn’t believe in carrying the weight for somebody who is untrustworthy and doesn’t work.
Is Billy surprised to hear that trust is an issue? He says he understands that a game is being played, but he fell into “a classic trap.” J.P. jumps in and says he hates the way Billy is making it sound like he’s a victim and is saying things to make himself look good. Don’t worry, J.P., the editing sure didn’t take his side. But Billy insists he’s a player who is “clawing and scratching” to play the game. J.P. says part of the game is involving yourself so people find him valuable. Billy tells him to be quiet and let him talk, so they verbally spar back and forth a bit.
Then Billy breaks out with a statement that his prize is not even the million dollars, but love at first sight – “her name is Candice.” This gives us a great “what the heck?!” shot of Probst almost jumping out of his seat and Cristina and Cecilia bursting out laughing. Probst asks, “Candice? From Raro tribe?” Yup. Because after the last challenge, they mouthed the words, “I love you,” to each other. Oh my. Has he ever misread that situation! It’s hard to describe without you having seen it, but no way Candice was declaring her true love for him. It was just an off the cuff remark on her part, and I can only imagine how embarrassed Billy will be watching it.
Probst says he’s never heard anything that surprised him more than what Billy just said. And remember, this is Probst’s 13th season of doing this! Probst says he wants to be respectful because he doesn’t know what happened, but what would Candice base such a feeling on? Billy says it’s just love at first sight. Billy assures us that he is “dead serious.” J.P. obviously can’t believe what he’s hearing. And Cristina, if she made a deal with Billy, has to be thinking, “Oh my, I hooked my wagon to a nutball.”
Probst asks Ozzy if he’s noticed anything between Candice and Billy. No, but he says he’s not looking for it and it’s news to him just like it was news to Probst. What’s J.P.’s take? He says from the beginning, Billy was shady. So if J.P. seems insensitive to it, “it’s just random.” He can’t figure out what to make of it.
Cristina says anything’s possible, but she feels very leery for Billy. She doesn’t want him to get hurt. On that note, it’s time to vote.
Not surprisingly, J.P. votes against Billy, saying if he can’t trust him now, he won’t be able to later on. And Billy, of course, votes against Ozzy, saying he is the best player in the Aitu tribe.
Probst tallies and reads the votes: Billy, Ozzy, Billy, and Billy. Billy hugs Cristina (watch it, Candice will be jealous!) and gets up to have his torch snuffed before walking away.
Probst tells the remaining four that two issues emerged – work ethic and trust. It sounds like they dealt with the first, but what about the second? With that, he sends them back to camp.
In his last words, Billy says he came in wanting to play the game of Survivor and got to live that dream. He thinks it’s kind of cool that the heavy metal guy got eliminated by a guy named Ozzy. His biggest regret is that he didn’t play the way he wishes he would have and didn’t represent himself well in the beginning. But he won’t regret anything because he got to live the dream. He ends by saying it’s too bad there wasn’t a heavy metal tribe because he would have fit in well there.
And, for the record, the entire tribe, Cristina included, voted against Billy.
Next week: Mother Nature bites back, as an octopus doesn’t like being speared. Parvati works her womanly charms on Adam (it’s like a love quadrangle – Adam and Candice and Billy and Parvati!). And Cao Boi turns up the volume. I guess it goes to 11.
Well, that was an… interesting episode. I still can’t believe what Billy said and how badly he misinterpreted the situation. Probst’s reaction was absolutely hysterical, and I hope they make it one of the pictures available on the CBS website. Classic. It’s only too bad he wasn’t drinking something so he could have done a spit-take.
Anyway, the throwing of the challenge worked… for now. We’ll see what happens in later episodes. I still don’t think it was a very good idea.
While we wait to find out what happens next week, be sure to check back here on RealityNewsOnline every day for new articles covering the show – and others!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recaps and other info on this show at the Survivor: Cook Islands page, and take a look at our The Amazing Race 8 page and our Apprentice: Martha Stewart page. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!