Survivor: Cook Islands – Survivor Live, Episode 4by Brian Towers -- 10/12/2006
It’s time for the fourth episode of the season of Survivor Live, CBS’s internet interview show that features the most recently eliminated contestant from the previous night’s Survivor: Cook Islands episode. Hosted by Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly and Survivor: Amazon winner Jenna Morasca, this week’s guest is the blindsided one, J.P. Calderon.
Dalton begins the show by alluding to the Culture Club’s hit, “Karma Chameleon.” He’s referring to the fact that ever since the original Aitu decided to throw a challenge, one of their number has been the bootee. Yup, that’s karma all right, and we don’t mean “Carma Electra!” Watching from home at this point, Billy must be giggling like a schoolgirl!
This leads me to this week’s trivia question. It’s been frequently mentioned that this season, three Hispanics have been booted in the first four weeks. Since I don’t have much of a backlog of Hispanic-Survivor trivia, let’s go another way. A second group achieved that same pedestal for the first-ever time this week, that of three boots in the first four weeks. Who is that group? As usual, the answer will be near the bottom of this article.
OK, back to the show. Both hosts deviously say they like to see someone get blindsided on Survivor. Dalton notes that J.P. seemed to almost respect that they got him this way, and asks if this is so. Not really. Jenna thinks it was “a terrible move,” because unlike too many others, he was there to play the game and not just “for the experience.”
J.P. admits he was “super-shocked” and felt he ought to have been in the game a lot longer. He says, “I guess I’m a little cocky or arrogant, but I thought they needed me.” Jenna says she was sure he’d last longer, “and that’s why I picked on him a couple of weeks ago.” Dalton reminds us she was “drinking Hatorade” about J.P. over the Billy boot. Jenna jokingly implies she hoped J.P. would have lasted so long in the game that he’d have forgotten about her early abuse.
J.P. continues, “I think a couple of the girls felt threatened over the whole alpha-male thing…” Jenna interjects, “What about Brad? And Adam?” J.P. shrugs and replies, “I don’t know, I don’t know. I’m a little let down, a little bummed out.” He was sure the men’s alliance had the numbers because he believed Cristina and Parvati were on their side.
Jenna notes Parvati was the last one let in on the plan and suspects from her own experiences that there is some resentment of her obvious flirting from the other women. Dalton asks if he was ever concerned that voting might split along gender lines and J.P. admits it did not occur to him. He had been keeping Cristina in the loop on all discussions and was sure he had her vote. He sheepishly adds, “She hated me, by the way.”
Jenna asks if there was more to his boot than his team rebelling against his authority. He feels that’s all it was. I’m pretty sure his cocky manner was in the mix too. But the fact that of the four guys, he had by far the least support of former tribemates now on Raro, that’s the bomb that did him in.
J.P. observes, “Our team was the football players and the cheerleaders. The other team was the geeks and the librarians. With the football players and the cheerleaders it’s ego, no one wants to be told what to do.”
J.P. notes that the only challenge they won was a physical one. Commenting on the tribes he says, “The other team, some people back down, some people take charge, they listen, they work... with us, everyone just wanted to be a hero, I guess.” J.P. adds that he was trying not to be a leader and says, “If I want to be a leader, I’ll really show I’m bossing people around.”
I’m afraid J.P. wouldn’t do too well on The Apprentice, either… there’s so much more to being an effective leader. In fact, one of the main points may be, do not be perceived as being bossy. But I’ll save the rest of those thoughts for when my Apprentice articles start up!
Following on this theme, Jenna sets up a perfect segue for Dalton to show a series of clips of J.P. being bossy. Dalton tries to gives him some leeway by admitting that there’s always some time you will be sitting down, and it’s up to the editing what we viewers get to see about any given player.
J.P. says the scene of him reclining and giving orders to Parvati was right after the challenge where he did the swimming portion, and “I was wiped out.” He adds that their meal that night was all fish that he had caught. He says he and Brad spent two hours fishing while everyone else rested, and offers to go down the list and call everyone out on what work they did. Myself, I fully expect the others were working to some degree while he fished, but maybe I’m wrong?
Jenna wonders what Adam contributes, since we see him so little. J.P. says, “Adam contributes, we called him “the crab guy”… ” All three break up, recalling an earlier episode when J.P. said to Cristina and Cecilia, “You guys got crabs?” He further notes that it was subtitled, so no one could miss the reference.
J.P. still thinks of Adam as “a good guy.” He says, “Nobody liked Cristina at all,” (we don’t hear why), but he stuck his neck out for her, “because she applied herself and worked. If somebody annoys me I don’t care, but if they’re valuable, you gotta keep them.” Dalton says, “That’s why I keep Morasca around.” J.P. continues, “Rebecca and Jenny, I just don’t understand...” The thought is never completed, but I think we can assume J.P. doesn’t feel those two did enough work around camp.
The first caller today is Mike from Montréal. He asks why Brad and Adam voted against him. J.P. reiterates, “I don’t know.” He surmises they may have known how the vote was going to go and didn’t want to be outnumbered. He wishes he had got some warning, saying, “I would have called everyone out, in public, right there.”
The hosts tell him, “That that’s why they didn’t tell you!”
J.P. says again, “I don’t get it. Maybe it’s the esthetic of being an athlete. If you call me out I don’t get my feelings hurt. You talk it out, you’re done with it, and you move on.”
I remember Billy telling us he was very uncomfortable with J.P.’s in-your-face style of discussion. Obviously, Billy was not alone. One needs to adapt one’s style on this show, or else you end up on doing your post-game interviews this early in the season.
J.P. now suspects he may have relaxed too much after making his alliance. He gives Parvati a little credit. He knows she didn’t like him on the island, but could see she had some doubts when Jenny first presented the idea of a united female vote.
J.P. insists, “My goal was to get the strongest team into the merge.” He knew that post-merge, both teams usually fight with each other and he was hoping Ozzy might flip back to their side.
Mike from Boston asks about the strategy when Candice was sent to Exile Island last week. Was this a result of a team discussion? J.P. says, “No, not at all. A big problem with our team is that we never talked strategy.” He admits that for him it was “a spur of the moment decision,” and that Candice and Sundra looked like the weaker players they should pick on. It didn’t occur to him that by sending Cecilia or Ozzy, it would save them.
J.P. adds that he can’t speak for the others so he doesn’t know if Candice and Adam were in fact trying to save Candice by sending her to Exile Island. I’m betting that was indeed their plan, and he got caught unprepared.
Really, you need to discuss this kind of thing in your alliance and be on the same page long before you arrive at the challenge. Jeff should not catch you unprepared when he asks about a recurring event as predictable as naming someone to go to Exile Island.
Dalton starts to talk about the poor quality of the original Raro camp, which was much inferior to the Aitu setup he had helped create. J.P. says, “Can we be P.C. here? Am I allowed to call them “White”?” Jenna says, “I’ve never had anyone call me “Caucasian” before.” They seem to settle on the joke term “White-casian.” In this series of articles, “White” is going to be the word I will be using.
J.P. says the camp was “kind of dirty” and the fireplace was too little for nine people. He admits this may be where he started to take over, but he knew a better fireplace was a priority. He insists he didn’t assign tasks, just put forth his ideas of what was required. He doubts any of the others would have spoken out about the inadequate fireplace.
Andy from Wisconsin has called about something J.P. said on The Early Show, that Stephannie was not his first choice of who to vote out. Andy’s wants to know, who was it? J.P. tells us it was either Rebecca or Jenny, he had no real preference. He might have also considered Parvati, but he knew she and Nate had made an alliance and wanted his alliance with Nate to remain intact. He recognized her flirtatious ways and admits to having played that game himself in the past, but he wanted to retain people who were more productive. He wonders if the women sensed it. I bet they did.
J.P. thinks he probably played the game “too straight up” and should have tried to be more devious. Dalton promises Jenna we’ll see the softer side of J.P. after the break.
After the first break, Dalton tells us that pre-show, J.P. was upset that he had to drop a young girls’ team he coaches and couldn’t even tell them why he was quitting on them. Dalton wonders how that worked out. J.P. doesn’t love that this was brought up because, “According to Billy I’m the bully, I’m the chauvinistic, alpha-dominant male…” and now, he disappoints young girls.
“Being an alpha male doesn’t always have to be a bad thing,” says Jenna. Huh?
Look, up in the sky… what a gorgeous set of wings on that pig!!
“Well, those girls took it in a bad way,” confirms J.P. He admits he was very upset about leaving his volleyball team in the lurch and almost dropped out of Survivor over it, saying, “Trust and loyalty are two huge factors in the way I live my life.”
J.P. says he told them “a stupid lie,” and they supported him over it, “which killed me even more.” They gave him going-away presents and left encouraging messages on his cell phone.
However, when they found out the truth, “they were so fired up.” The event was actually the Junior Olympics. The team did well, finishing fifth. And that’s the softer side of J.P. Calderon!
Jenna says that athletes often have it hard on Survivor, as the work-hard-and-be-rewarded ethic doesn’t necessarily hold true.
Andrew from L.A. asks J.P. if the thrown challenge was discussed on the new Raro tribe. He says it was not, but he admits that had they asked, he probably would have confessed. He doesn’t know if Cristina spoke of it or not.
Dalton still hates the idea of throwing a challenge and figures an athlete would be the last one who throws a challenge. J.P. says, “I’m sure Billy’s a great guy, and I never looked at anyone whether I liked them or not. I just wanted to get the best people to move forward. If you review, I only talked about Billy’s laziness at Tribal Council. The rest of the time I talked about Billy, it was the trust factor.”
J.P. continues, “I had a problem from day one, I just did not like his game, I did not like Billy-the-player. I’m sure Billy-the-guy is a great person.” He adds that if the situation came about again, he would do the same thing and continues, “We all felt in our hearts that at a merge, he would defect and talk about us. They didn’t show it, but he made an alliance with all four of us and when we talked, it was, uh-oh, he’s playing us!”
He also boasted about being a big fan and “knowing Survivor techniques” that made us nervous. Apparently the girls got together first, compared notes and then approached Ozzy and J.P., mad because the guys had allegedly said they didn’t like the girls. After swapping tales it became evident that was just a story Billy had told the girls to try and divide the rest of the tribe.
It really sounds like Billy was trying to make too many moves too soon. He should have read our annual What Survivors Should Have Learned column.
To continue the story, J.P. didn’t want Billy coming into a merge playing the “poor me, I’m a heavy metal outcast” card and gaining sympathy from the others. J.P. thought the others just might believe Billy over himself.
The tape of Thursday night’s challenge is run next. Ozzy’s the star. J.P. admits that in the challenge, he started swimming too soon. His reason was that he was unsure of the depth of the water. He says, “Ozzy is under-estimated because of his athleticism. That’s why I think he can go very far in this game, he can even win.”
Oh J.P., you still don’t get it that the game is more about people than physical deeds.
Jenna calls for appreciation of Cao Boi’s unconventional but effective fire-starting methods. J.P. tells us Rebecca had taken on the title of “the fire girl.” He suddenly realizes she maintained the fire a lot, and she hung out around the fire… but… he’s not sure he ever saw her actually start a fire. Ha! Dalton remembers that Rebecca did start a fire back on the Hiki tribe.
J.P. talks more about Ozzy, saying, “Ozzy can do everything. He’s athletic and he provides a lot.” He says they were great buddies, though at first he was wary of him because of things Billy had told him.
J.P. clarifies, his alliance with the Raro guys was to “make the final merge” but his pact with Cristina preceded that, so he would have taken her over the guys. I don’t know why he would make her that kind of promise; it obviously didn’t go both ways. Jenna says when she played, her aim was just to get on the jury and she didn’t seriously plan further until that objective was secured. She notes that allies you count on get cut down along the way and you constantly have to “re-tool.”
J.P. says again that he wanted to get himself, Ozzy, Cristina, Adam, Nate, and Brad “up there, that was my goal.” He then adds, significantly I think, “The people I didn’t give my word to, I didn’t talk to.” I guess he decided that he didn’t need support from those potential jury members?
Dalton asks J.P. his opinions of the newly-formed tribes. J.P. admits he was only thinking superficially, but thought his tribe looked “bad-ass.” He’s learned.
Dalton next introduces “Probst’s Thoughts,” where Jeff Probst records a message to the departing player. Jeff notes J.P., Adam, and Nate were the physical threats. Jeff saw early that J.P. is a natural leader, and his willingness to speak his mind would either serve him well or become an Achilles heel. He concludes, “And the results speak for themselves.”
J.P. agrees with Jeff. On his first tribe, when he saw Cristina and Ozzy go head-to-head but later work it out, J.P. liked that; it’s more his style. But when the teams were reformed he found himself with what he calls “insecure people who can’t handle a person like myself.”
He says the women he hangs out with (in the real world) “make me look like a softie.” OK, fine… but his fellow players were NOT those women and he could not or would not adjust his approach for the situation at hand. In a nutshell, that’s why he lost.
He thinks his approach would have worked better on the other tribe. I have my doubts, but who can say for sure?
There is some talk of previous players. Jenna and Tina did not have the physical game, but Tom Westman and Terry did. J.P. saw himself as like the latter pair, but Dalton suggests that to carry that kind of authority deep into the game may come more readily from an older player than J.P., who is what I would call “a young thirty.” As it was, he came across as smug.
J.P. says that ever since the pre-show interviews, Probst has been able to push his buttons. He suspects he was cast to be a typical hot-tempered Latino guy. He’s been brought up to believe one should speak their mind. He says he’s learned that in this game, it’s often better to shut up.
In the last Tribal Council he had a bit of a run-in with Probst and was glad it wasn’t shown. Apparently J.P. is restricted from telling the details of this story, but here’s what he could say – Jeff asked J.P. his opinion of something that was said by another player, and J.P. called Jeff out for putting words in their mouth. The producers told him later he’s one of about three people who have had such confrontations with Jeff. The hosts say, “Judd!” J.P. insists he was respectful, he didn’t tell Jeff to “shut up” or anything like that. However, when he heard something he didn’t agree with he never let it go unchallenged.
The third segment always begins with the new “minus 10” feature, where Dalton reads ten categories for J.P. to comment on, each in less than ten words. He is unable to limit himself to ten words in almost every category, but here are the highlights:
10. Volleyball – fun, intense
9. Being blindsided – sucks, heartless, no trust, let down, messed up
8. Cecelia – beautiful, curvaceous, Latina, hot, sexy, cuddly, warm, thoughtful, cool, energetic
7. Throwing challenges – it needed to be done, necessary, part of the game
6. Karma – is a bizzle, The Curse Of
5. The Goonies – ya gotta love the Goonies
4. Fetch me a machete – get it, what’s wrong with that
3. Swimming – Ozzy kicked my ass, I admit it
2. Billy Garcia – nice guy out of the game, not as a player, love to get to know him
1. Jenna’s ensemble – it’s too much
J.P. asks Jenna, “What is that, your boyfriend’s jacket?” It is.
The next call is a bust but we do hear J.P. say that he only had that seat three times, and that everyone took a break there at some point.
Dalton asks J.P. to name “the one thing he will take away from the game, the biggest positive.” It’s time for the softer side of J.P. again! He tells us, “I learned a little bit about myself.” He adds that Mark Burnett warned them this would happen, that playing Survivor is an eye-opening experience to take advantage of, and a chance to think about where one is in their life. J.P. says he was right and adds, “I’m excited to start a whole new life.” Jenna is happy to hear that J.P. has learned from the experience, as too many contestants do not.
Dalton says to J.P. he imagines J.P. even hates to lose at checkers and asks him how long it took him to get over losing the game. A perfectly straight-faced J.P. says, “Who says I’m over it?” He says he wants to go back, get vengeance, and just play. He thinks if he’d been voted out for a better reason than an emotional one, “I could accept it.” I’m not so sure, I think he’d still be mad.
For some reason Dalton insists on running the “baby bird” clip. Jenna doesn’t want to watch and no one wants to comment much, so let’s move on.
It’s time for another caller. Andrew from Long Beach asks about Cristina voting him out. J.P. says everyone asks about Brad and Adam, but her vote was the most shocking for him. Jenna says this doesn’t bode well for Cristina, who demonstrated her willingness to flip on a former ally. J.P. adds that she’s the sole one without an ally.
Of course, Sundra is in a similar spot on the other tribe, and soon there will be more. I think the secret is to lie low and not cause drama. Let the bigger factions run the show and make the decisions. Be willing to sell your vote, and hope your friends on the other tribe send you to Exile Island.
Our last caller is Rod from South Carolina. He says it made him laugh when J.P. got voted off. J.P. gets a big laugh out of that! Rod asks about Cecilia. J.P. admits they cuddled a bit. He opines that Cecilia and Sundra are the two hottest ladies out there. Dalton tries to make him chose who is hottest but Jenna gives J.P. and out and he takes it, agreeing, “Both.”
It’s time for Jenna’s “Question Of The Week.” She asks, “Are you still going to coach volleyball after this?” He asks back, “What do you think I should do?” and she replies, “I definitely think you should keep coaching.” He has been looking at playing a little beach volleyball himself, but coaching the girls’ teams is obviously his primary love.
Dalton has the promo clip for next week run. Cao-Boi fumes over the women’s work ethic, and Raro gets unexpected company. I’m not sure Cao Boi’s position is so strong he can be ruffling feathers, but one notes that there are only three women identified as slackers – Becky, Sundra, and Candice. One further note: two of them are in the primary alliance on Aitu.
Jenna says that in Survivor: All-Stars, their camp was so close to Rob Mariano’s that they could hear them cheering and shouting sometimes.
Alas, all good things must end. To the strains of the hard-rocking Survivor: Live theme, Jenna dances us out. That’s the end of “caller Andrew/Mike week!”
CBS Website: Here are the promo items for this week:
Before you dismiss these clues as “obvious misdirection,” remember that the final one last week was “J.P.’s dominance and controlling demeanor around camp angers some of the women in his tribe. Will this behavior put a target on his back?” So maybe there’s reason to fear for Cao Boi, Sundra, and Cristina?
On CBS’s “Popularity Poll,” Yul now leads with well over a third of all votes. Although Cao Boi is still in second place, he has fallen back into the pack and trails by 28%! Yul’s lead is so great that I’ll probably stop reporting on this unless a significant change occurs.
Trivia Answer: Here’s the answer to my trivia question – it also surprised me to discover that for the first time ever, it’s only taken four weeks for three MALE competitors to have their torches snuffed! Previously, it took five episodes to have three men booted in the Marquesas, All-Stars, and Vanuatu versions of the game.
In Conclusion: After correctly picking pre-jury boots three weeks in a row (from our pre-season predictions article) I took a hit this week, losing one of my potential final four. I’m still guardedly optimistic about the rest of my picks… but who really knows what’s coming?
Everyone is invited to share his or her opinions at the eAddress below. If the show is posted correctly (as I am away on Friday), I’ll be back next week to report on another edition of Survivor Live!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: Cook Islands articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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