Surviving the Cook Islands, Episode 8: “Mutineers Are the First People to Die”by David Bloomberg -- 11/10/2006
Last week we said goodbye to the fun but strategically rather clueless Jessica. This week, we’ve been promised a shocking surprise. Will it be the merge? A tribal swap? Is Probst doing magic tricks? Who knows! But we can find out easily enough, just read on with me.
We begin at Aitu on day 19, the morning following Tribal Council. Ozzy is sleeping in a hammock while Jonathan, Candice, Yul, Sundra, and Becky congratulate themselves on doing well and staying tight, and Jonathan says they know what the next move is if they have to vote. That would be the sleeping Ozzy. Jonathan even says if they merge, they would vote somebody from the other tribe off first, and then Ozzy. I think he’s getting a bit ahead of himself.
Jonathan tells us how people are getting antsy and expecting the merge. They expect one more immunity challenge. Back in the group, Yul says they need to stick together or else they’re toast. But Candice tells us in voiceover that she just wants to rejoin with Adam and Parvati. So, toast it is!
Later that day, Candice tells Jonathan that while he’s preaching about sticking together, somebody will get greedy. Is she confessing? No, she just doesn’t want to be the one left out. Jonathan assures her that they are tight and they can rejoin with Adam and Parvati. He wants to make sure they make the move before the others do. He goes so far as to say that he wants to go to the final two with her. But she doesn’t really believe him because he’ll do anything he needs to – so she wants to see him go.
We head over to Raro, where the discussion is also about the merge. Several of them talk about how they’re going in tied at six and have nothing to worry about (not sure I understand that, since going in tied means you do have something to worry about, but okay). But then Brad gives them more to worry about by saying, “And then it’s like every man for himself.”
I’m not sure what he was trying to say, but the others give looks that indicate it sounds like he is talking about betraying them. When he walks away, the others discuss what he just said and Parvati says he’s digging himself a hole. Nate tells us Brad has done some questionable things – “he’s Slim Shady right now.”
The women say it’s not an individual game yet, it’s still team. I have to correct them – it’s always an individual game, whether they recognize it or not. But they decide they don’t need him after the merge. It seems to me that simply doing the math says otherwise.
Time for the reward challenge. The tribes arrive and Probst says they’re going to do something a little different. He offers each of them the opportunity to mutiny and join the other tribe. The looks on their faces run from shocked (Rebecca) to smiling (Brad). They only have ten seconds to make a decision. If they want to move, they simply step off their mat and join the other tribe.
As Probst counts down, Candice steps off the mat. At the very last second, so does Jonathan. Interesting. They move over and join Raro. Probst asks Aitu how they feel. Yul says he’s stunned. Can’t imagine why, since Jonathan was just preaching how they need to stick together.
Ozzy says he’s not surprised – they don’t have the backbone to stick with their tribe and he’s sure they’ll get what’s coming to them sooner or later.
With that, Probst describes the challenge. Two members of each tribe will start in a barrel. On go, the rest of the tribe pushes them through a series of obstacles. Along the way, they have to collect four buoys and use them to float the barrel containing the two tribe members across the lagoon. When they reach the center, they have to dive down and retrieve four flags. Upon getting to the other side of the lagoon, they will go up on the beach and attach the flags to a pole. The entire tribe has to dig in the sand for an axe, which they will use to chop a rope and raise the flags. First tribe to do it wins reward.
What do they win? The tribe will go to a relaxing environment with coffee, muffins, danishes, and letters from home. With that in mind, they have to pick two women and two men from each tribe. Whoa, Aitu needs a long time to figure this one out – given that they only have four people left! Aitu has the women in the barrel and the men pushing. But Raro has a decision to make. They choose to have Candice and Jenny in the barrel with Nate and Adam pushing.
And they’re off! The first thing they do is push the barrel down a long ramp. Oh, the women have got to be dizzy! The guys run down to get the buoys and start rolling again. Aitu has a small lead as they get to a portion where they have to roll the barrels over a series of logs. Ouch. Bang. Smack. That’s gotta hurt.
Aitu is still in the lead by a bit as they get the second set of buoys. They get to the water and attach the buoys. Aitu is floating their barrel, but Raro has some problems and falls behind. Aitu reaches the flags and Aquaman, er, Ozzy dives to get them. One flag. Two flags. Three flags. Four. Raro still isn’t even there yet as they fight the current and lose.
Aitu get to the other side and start attaching flags. Becky gets ‘em all hung up and they dig for the axe. They find it and chop. Aitu wins by a long shot! Ozzy turns to Jonathan, who is sitting nearby, and says, “Mutineers are the first people to die, man. Mutineers are the first people to die.” With that, the four remaining Aitu hug.
Probst says it would be an understatement to say the game has just changed. Oh, and Aitu gets to send somebody to Exile Island. I wonder who it could be. Ozzy mocks deep thought before picking Candice. The rest of Raro head out as Sundra cries and says it feels good that they stuck together and won.
Probst sends Aitu behind them to get their reward. They arrive to find a lounge-like atmosphere with couches and coffee and food, etc. Yul tells the others he is so amazingly proud of them and honored to share this experience with them.
Sundra says when the mutiny happened, she felt like their tribe was “small and pitiful.” But when Aitu won, she cried and has never been so happy. The Aitus toast to getting to the end together.
Ozzy says the reward was like a recharge and he’s ready for anything. They open the mail from home and get photographs as well. They read the mail and pretty much all cry. Sundra talks about how she hasn’t seen her son in three weeks. She feels bad but teaches him not to quit, so she can’t. Group hug!
Ozzy says they’re stronger than they’ve ever been – the mutiny solidified their commitment to one another. Well, it certainly did for him, since he was the outside guy before!
Day 20 on Exile Island, Candice says she’s been waiting the whole time to get back with her pals, Adam and Parvati, so she mutinied. And now there are four people on the Aitu tribe who are really mad at her. Ya think? She was surprised that Jonathan joined her – he’d been talking about being tight but she never trusted him. Now she’s stuck on Exile Island while Jonathan is bonding with their new tribe.
So we cut to Raro, where he tells his new tribemates that he took a step into the unknown so he could be with them. He asks if they were shocked that he and Candice wanted to come over. They mutter “no.” But he says it was a crazy thing to do, but it seemed like the right thing.
Jonathan tells us that if he made a mistake, it was in trusting Candice too much – she made an impulsive move and he followed. He’s in the danger seat. He continues talking to the tribe, saying he considers himself a loyal person (I bet there are four people on Aitu who might disagree). Parvati yawns and the others look about as interested. He keeps going, saying he and Candice had been together through the whole thing, so when she mutinied, he joined her.
He tells us his game plan is to earn their trust by being totally non-threatening and help. From what Nate tells us, I don’t think it’s working. He says he knew Candice would come over, but Jonathan? If he thinks he can just come into their tribe and start stirring things up, he’s smoking something. Even though Nate was thinking about booting Brad before, Brad is now safe for at least one vote because he stood with them. Jonathan will definitely be the first to go – why would they cover his back when he sold out his other tribe?!
The next day, Jonathan tries to prove his worthiness by getting coconuts while the women laze about. The men are pretty much doing the same. He talks to Adam about how opportunity knocked and he took the risk. He tells Adam he doesn’t know what’s going on in Raro, but he and Candice wanted to come back and be with Adam and Parvati.
Adam tells us it’s good to have somebody like Jonathan along for the ride, because he wants Adam (and Parvati and Candice) in the final four. Ironically, Jonathan tells Adam, “This game is all about trust.” He’d better hope that’s not true, because he just broke his trust with his other alliance!
And now it’s time for the immunity challenge. Well, that was quick. The tribes arrive and Candice joins them. Probst explains how it will go. They have to paddle out in glass-bottomed boats, searching for three underwater targets. When they line up the sights from their boat on the target, they release a cannonball, which drops through the bottom of the boat (through a hole, not the glass!). If they hit the target, it releases a pair of buoys. When then have all the buoys and get back to shore, they will find that each has a letter written on them – except one with a clue – and they need to use those to solve a word puzzle.
Because you cannot sit out back-to-back challenges, Raro has to sit out everybody who participated in the reward challenge. Thus, it’s Jonathan, Parvati, Rebecca, and Brad.
And they’re off! They push their boats and jump in. Raro immediately goes off in the wrong direction while Aitu lines up pretty quickly – but just misses. Raro gets back on course, but they miss the first time too.
Aitu takes their time to line up and… misses again. Raro realizes they need to go easy too – and they hit. Aitu misses a third time. I wonder how many cannonballs they have.
Raro hits their second target. Uh oh. Aitu gets close and Yul decides to just go for it – and hits! As they move to their second, Raro drifts away from their third. Aitu misses again. But then Yul hits on his second try and the teams are tied. Yul has apparently found a better way to line up with the target rather than using the sights on the glass bottom. I think he uses the hole through which the cannonball goes.
Raro misses their third target. And again by dropping the ball into the open hole by accident. Probst announces that they wasted a cannonball and Jonathan says, “Oh please.” So Probst announces, “Jonathan is getting frustrated by me.” Ha!
Yup, Yul is definitely using the cannonball hole to target. He does it again and gets the third set of buoys! Raro has blown their lead. And they miss again! They don’t seem to understand that if they are actually moving when they release, the ball does not drop straight down. Physics, guys.
Aitu gets back to the beach. Parvati instructs Jonathan to paddle and not watch Aitu. Bad boy, Jonathan. Meanwhile, Yul reads the clue buoy, saying something about the most infamous mutiny in history occurred aboard this ship. They quickly realize it must be “Bounty,” and start putting up the letter buoys. Indeed, they are correct. Aitu wins!
Raro returns to camp, bummed out. Jonathan apologizes, but talk quickly turns to how Candice is doing after Exile Island. She says she’s a little hungry, but not bad. Jonathan tells us he’s glad to have Candice back, as it takes some of focus off him as the only new guy. They’re together and they have trusted each other.
Jonathan goes out fishing as Candice gets the camp scoop from Parvati. Parvati tells her that Jonathan has been telling them how tight he and Candice are – but Candice says, “not too tight at all – I was shocked.” She says he had long talks with Yul and had only talked to her about solidifying things in the past few days. He worked everybody to do what was best for him. Things are not looking good for Jonathan.
Nate and Adam talk about how Jonathan has gone to get food. Nate says good – he can feed them while he’s here. Oh, things are really not looking good for Jonathan. But Adam steps up to defend him, saying maybe they should keep him around a bit. Nate’s not liking the idea, but Adam points out Jonathan cannot go back to his old Aitu tribemates if there’s a merge; however, Brad could jump ship. But Nate points out that Brad didn’t leave when he had the chance. Adam says as long as they are the next two, he’s not concerned about the order.
Apparently, Adam must have gotten through to Nate, because he tells us Jonathan has been working very hard so they’re getting rid of Brad, who could switch sides if there’s a merge. Nate says he has to play Brad like it’s all good and Jonathan is the one in trouble.
So he tells Brad they have the numbers – they can keep the family tight and “chop them up like poop.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t commonly chop poop. Whatever.
As various people help prepare dinner, Candice tells Adam about how much she always wished she was with Raro. She defends Aitu’s decision to send Adam to Exile Island, saying she had to go along and it was Jonathan’s idea. She continues that Jonathan claimed Adam was scared to go and he thought it would break Adam. We can see by the look on Adam’s face that he is not amused. He tells us he finds it ironic that Jonathan was talking trash about him and now is kissing his butt.
It looks like where strategy failed to convince Adam to get rid of Jonathan, anger has succeeded. He pulls Nate aside and says he wants to vote off Jonathan, and Nate basically says, “I told you so.” But they’re not sure if they can change it now. Then again, Adam thinks he might beat Jonathan about the head. Dude, you gotta calm down. So the guy said some stuff about you. Deal with it.
Raro arrives at Tribal Council along with the rain. Probst wants to talk about the mutiny. When Brad saw Candice step off the mat, followed by Jonathan, what was his initial thought? “Wow, that is one gutsy girl.”
Does a part of Jenny think Candice and Jonathan are at the bottom of the totem pole now? She says even if they are, Raro still has a numbers advantage when they merge and they will “pick them off like zits.” This phrase gives Probst some pause, and I have to give it to Jenny – not many people can leave Jeff Probst speechless.
Is Candice okay with coming to Tribal Council and having the tribe joking and laughing? She thinks it’s the great thing about the tribe and one reason she switched – they have a good time. Probst doesn’t appear to buy it – she did it because she could sense that Raro was fun? Candice says that wasn’t the only reason, but one of them. They win when it counts. Um. They do? Like, you know, today?
Is Jonathan concerned that he is an easy boot? Of course! Somebody’s going home and he’d be silly if he didn’t think it could be him.
What’s Nate’s take on the group as a tribe or family? The six he was all good with. The new two seem very nice but they’re still adapting to them. What’s the concern about Candice? Nate says the women could find her a threat, a strong competitor. What about Jonathan? Maybe he has a tendency to be too much of a leader – they don’t do that. If you’re leading, they’ll cut you up. (Just ask Cristina and J.P.!)
Jonathan says he is the odd man out but he wants to fit in and has been trying. Does Brad sense any tension in the tribe? He says he likes Jonathan and Candice – from the six hours he’s had to get to know her – but they’re stepping in late in the ballgame.
Does Brad trust the people in his tribe? “No.” Whoa. Right answer, but totally wrong to say it out loud! Probst says he doesn’t trust this big, happy family? Brad rephrases it and says he doesn’t trust “the entire tribe.”
With that, it’s time to vote. Jonathan votes for Brad, saying he hopes the others do as well. Brad returns the favor, saying Jonathan is a good guy but he’s coming in way too late.
Probst tallies and reads the votes: Jonathan, Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad. So Brad is the ninth person voted out – and the first member of the jury! Yes, that’s right, they are seating a juror before the merge. Oops, I bet some of those Raro folks wish they could have that vote back!
Probst says he can tell by the looks on their faces that they’re surprised the jury started with this vote. “This game is full of surprises.” And he sends them back to camp.
In his final words, Brad calls it “the best worst experience of my entire life.” No, I don’t know what that means. He didn’t know he was going. It’s kind of a sigh of relief but parting is bittersweet. Anything is possible in the game, and him making the jury proves that.
Next week: Adam and Candice reconnect romantically, which concerns Jenny. And a never-before-seen twist turns the game on its head. Apparently, Probst has a bottle that contains significant information, but we don’t find out much more than that.
Well, that was an interesting episode! If memory serves, people had an opportunity to voluntarily switch tribes once before, but nobody did. It is odd that Candice chose to do so this time, just so she could be with Adam and Parvati, when she had to know a merge is coming soon. Why did she so openly thumb her nose at her (now former) allies? It seems like an incredibly dumb move from a strategic standpoint. I guess time will tell.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these Survivor: Cook Islands articles from last episode here on RealityNewsOnline:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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