Surviving the Cook Islands, Episode 9: Living a Mutineer’s Lifeby David Bloomberg -- 11/17/2006
Last week, we said goodbye once again to a person who didn’t want to scheme and plot, but wanted to play the game honestly. And, not coincidentally, this was also the third person to go in a row who admitted they didn’t really watch the show before coming onto it. I’m not sure how many more such people are left, but I bet they’re starting to get the idea of what they need to do in order to stick around. Let’s find out!
We begin at Raro on day 22. Jonathan is continuing to work hard as he tries to stay in the good graces of his new tribe. “Who knew a Jew could climb a tree and get coconuts,” he says. He continues as he talks about how many other food items he gathers. He says that he is alone in the wilderness, “I’m a wandering Jew without a tribe.” Well, he might be right about that part.
“I’m living a mutineer’s life. … I made the game much harder for myself.” Wow, he really has had a lightbulb moment, hasn’t he? “I regret jumping. … It was an impulsive thing. I hope in the long run it turns out to be a good thing.” Yeah, that’s just wishful thinking at this point, Jonathan.
Candice and Adam go off to talk about how much they trust each other and how they’re going to the end together. She feels lucky to have somebody she can trust. Adam tells her how Jenny is the only person who might have an issue with Candice because she knows Adam will choose Candice over her. So they have to make her not think that.
Apparently, making Jenny not think they’re close involves Candice rubbing suntan lotion on Adam in front of Jenny while Parvati talks about how the two of them are the all-American couple. Good plan, guys!
Jenny tells us if they stick to the five of Nate, Parvati, Rebecca, Adam, and herself, they’ll go far in the game. But she’s worried about Candice because she knows Candice and Adam were attracted to each other. She doesn’t want Adam to falter. Oh, don’t worry, Jenny. I’m sure you’re just as secure in your alliance as Brad was in your alliance. Oh, wait.
Candice and Adam continue their plan of not looking like they’re together by lying in the tent and talking again about how much they trust one another while Adam kisses Candice’s fingers. Eventually, it moves to a quick peck on the lips. Once again, good plan, guys!
Over at Aitu, Aquaman is back in action as he voices over that they’re way in the hole and being tested in a way that few Survivors have. But he sees it as an incredible opportunity. He’s happy to be the underdog.
They get treemail, but there is no letter with it. Instead, it’s a small board with various nautical flags painted on it and letters below each flag. It looks like a code key, and Aitu wonders if they have to memorize it before the next challenge. They practice as Yul explains to us that they have to work together as a team or they’re screwed.
The tribes arrive at the challenge and Yul mutters, “Oh, man,” as he sees that Brad was voted out. Host Jeff Probst informs Aitu that Brad became the first juror, which elicits a “whoa” from Yul.
Probst goes on to explain the challenge. Two tribe members armed with a compass and a coordinate will race out to a large 16-point compass in the sand, where they will dig up treasure chests. Each chest has the next coordinate painted on the top. They race back with the chest and two more tribe members go out to retrieve the next chest. And so on until they get all four chests. Then they untie the chests to find seven wooden nautical flags. They have to use those flags to spell out “victory” by using the code they were previously sent. First tribe to get it right wins reward.
What is that reward? A flight to a nearby island to take part in a local feast: pork, fruit, homebrewed wine, etc. In addition, the winners send a loser to Exile Island. Raro sits out Rebecca, Nate, and Parvati.
Raro’s first coordinate is North-Northwest; Aitu’s is East-Northeast. And they’re off! Yul and Sundra go out against Jonathan and Jenny. Jonathan misheard Probst’s coordinate, though. He insists it was North by Northeast, confusing the latter half with Aitu’s. Candice tells him he’s wrong and Jenny moves to the new location, but it doesn’t appear Jonathan believes he is incorrect.
Yul and Sundra find the first chest and dig it out. Jonathan is digging, though it’s unclear if he’s in the right spot. Jenny is just sort of standing and watching him. Uh, that won’t help. Guess it is the right place because Jonathan finds the chest. Meanwhile, Yul and Sundra get theirs out and back to the mat.
The new coordinates say North-Northwest, so Ozzy and Becky head out to dig. Jonathan and Jenny get their chest, which says East-Southeast. Adam and Candice get confused by the directions while Ozzy and Becky get Aitu’s second chest.
Yul and Sundra are back out while Adam and Candice have “finally” (in Probst’s words) found their chest. But Yul and Sundra dig out their third chest before Raro digs out that second one. Ozzy and Becky head out for number four as Adam and Candice bring back their second and send Jonathan and Jenny back out.
Whoops! Jonathan and Jenny jumped the start, taking off before Adam and Candice made it back to the mat. So they have to return to the mat again. As if they hadn’t lost enough time already!
Ozzy and Becky find the fourth chest and are digging it out. Jonathan and Jenny find their chest but their digging techniques come under criticism by Adam and Candice. They try to pull it out too soon and just waste more time. But Ozzy and Becky have their fourth chest back to the mat.
Aitu opens the chests and pulls out the flags as Candice mutters about how she’s going to go to Exile Island. Jonathan and Jenny get the third chest back to the mat, so Adam and Candice can head back out. As they dig, Probst describes their technique as “like slow motion.” I guess they shouldn’t have been so quick to criticize the other two. Glass houses and all.
Aitu works together to solve the puzzle as Parvati, sitting on a bench, wonders how they keep doing this to themselves. And Aitu wins “their third challenge in a row,” Probst says. They hug and yell victoriously before Yul realizes that Raro didn’t even get their fourth chest out!
So who is going to Exile Island? Ozzy counts down, “one, two, three” and they all say, “Candice.” Ha! I love it. Candice? She doesn’t so much love it. Probst asks if it’s from the same betrayal and Yul says, “Betrayal, strategy – at this point, same thing.” Candice walks off without a word.
Candice arrives on Exile Island and complains that she didn’t want to be sent back there. Her voice breaks as she says she knows it will be okay. I’m not sure she believes herself. She pulls the guts out of a sea cucumber and calls it “so disgusting.” Then she continues her monologue about how it’s not fun when people you like want to see you suffer. Awww. Well then maybe you shouldn’t have screwed over those “people you like.” She says she can survive out there, as we see her eating what looks like raw sea cucumber (ew!), and continues that she hopes it’s a character-building experience.
Meanwhile, a plane takes Aitu to their party. They are greeted by locals yelling at them in their native language. He then places leaves around their necks and they get carried to the party on the shoulders of the locals. What a way to travel!
The various Aitu tribe members talk about how awesome everything is. Then they are presented with food and drink. Yul says it’s the first time since he’s been in the game when he felt carefree and just enjoyed himself. He looks like he’s had a bit of homebrew! Then some rather, um, large women come out to dance for them and Yul looks a bit scared – but not as scared as when one of them approaches him and practically lies down on him! Then they pull him up and make a Yul sandwich with one woman on each side as they bump and grind him. It’s all pretty hysterical!
At Raro the next day, most of the tribe are hanging out in the shelter, but Jonathan continues to work hard in the (probably fruitless) hope that this will ingratiate him with the others. He tells us that they’ve been losing because they don’t work together as a tribe. So he’s going to give them an example of how to work hard. Uh, yeah. Good idea. Come into their tribe and teach them what to do. I’m sure that will be really successful.
Jonathan returns to camp with something like 11 fish he’s caught. They all eat as Jonathan hopes his work will not go unnoticed. “We’ll see,” he concludes. Indeed.
Treemail arrives again, this time with a map and a note:
Any Explorer knowsThe map shows the islands of the Pacific, which they assume they’ll have to study. They also talk about who will participate, and Jenny tells us there hasn’t been one challenge in which Rebecca has been a strong force to help them win. So she doesn’t know how Rebecca will do if she doesn’t show a bit more in challenges. Meanwhile, Parvati goes over the islands with Rebecca, who looks like a deer caught in the headlights.
The tribes arrive at the challenge and Candice is brought back. Probst points out that since the mutiny, she’s spent three days and nights on Exile Island and less than 24 hours with her new tribe. As Jonathan said earlier, “living a mutineer’s life.” Is isolation having any impact on her? She says she’d rather be with her tribe but she trusts that they know she’s staying strong and they’re staying strong for her.
Probst explains the challenge: On go, they will swim out one at a time to a pontoon, where they will dive down and unclip a bundle of island names, and then swim back to shore. Then the next person does likewise. Once all four tribe members are back, they move to an answer table where they must correctly identify ten islands by matching them with the names they collected.
First tribe to answer correctly wins! Losers go to Tribal Council – but they will take with them a small glass bottle with a note inside. The bottle must remain sealed and the note contains “significant information.” They have to bring it to Tribal Council and open it after the vote.
Because Nate, Rebecca, and Parvati sat out the reward challenge, they have to participate this time. Jonathan joins them. Rebecca doing a swimming challenge – this ought to be great, considering how well she did at one last time. Is it too early to predict a fourth win in a row for Aquaman and the other Aitus?
And they’re off! Ozzy and Nate begin for their respective tribes. Ozzy of course gets a quick lead, diving down to unclip the names. Nate gets to his pontoon but can’t unclip on the first try. He gets it the second time as Ozzy makes it back and Yul heads out.
Nate is swimming back slowly, obviously exhausted. Yul dives down and unclips on the first try. Nate finally gets back to shore and Jonathan heads out. Yul makes back shortly after Jonathan leaves. But Jonathan is pretty quick as Becky heads out.
Parvati goes out while Becky gets the third unclipped and starts back – Raro is catching up. Sundra goes out fourth for Aitu while Parvati returns and Rebecca heads out for Raro. Sundra can’t get it unclipped the first time and Rebecca catches up at the pontoon.
Sundra gets the fourth bundle of names but Rebecca does not. Aitu has all their names and starts solving the puzzle. Rebecca has the fourth batch and starts her return while Raro debates the island names and locations.
Rebecca returns and Raro unties their bundles. But Aitu thinks they have the puzzle solved. Probst stops Raro while he checks… and Aitu wins again! They hug and scream with joy once more. Go Aitu!
When Raro gets back to camp, they start to discuss what might be in the bottle. Candice thinks it might tell them they will be doing individual challenges but not have a merge, or something weird like that. Adam thinks it says they have to go to the other tribe’s island for a merge the next morning.
Rebecca is on the beach and most of the rest of the tribe, led by Adam, is discussing how they’re leaning towards getting rid of her because of her poor challenge performance and productivity around camp. Jenny tells us they’re going to have to break up their five-person alliance and send Rebecca packing. Hmmm. What was she saying earlier? Oh yes – if they stick to their five, they’ll go far in the game. So much for that!
Adam and Candice talk as they walk along the beach. They’re good with Rebecca going now, and Adam thinks Jenny will want Candice or Jonathan next. He doesn’t seem concerned but tells us Jenny is worried that he won’t vote Candice out… “which is true.” Therefore, Jenny might be the next to go after Rebecca.
Parvati and Nate talk about Jonathan. Nate says he’s a cool guy, but he wouldn’t turn on an original member for him. Whoops, sounds like Nate’s not in the loop! Actually, I guess he is in the loop since he then tells us the tribal consensus is to vote out Rebecca as the weakest link. But he doesn’t agree – Jonathan is not part of the family.
Jonathan thinks Rebecca is going and credits his hard work for earning him at least one more night.
We’ll soon see, as Raro arrives at Tribal Council and Brad, the juror, is brought in. Probst begins by pointing out that as a tribe, they’ve won only three challenges. What can they do to change it? Jenny says she wishes she knew the answer but can’t pinpoint it. She thinks it goes to analyzing strengths and weaknesses.
Rebecca is asked about what goes on at camp – fishing, what? She says they have to move forward and stay positive. So everybody goes clamming, crabbing, octopussing, etc. Jonathan jumps in to say he’s caught a bunch of fish. When Probst prods him on a number, he says 20 or 22 in the last two days. Probst seems stunned while Jonathan has a big smile.
Does Parvati think Jonathan’s growing on her with his food providing? Definitely, he’s a big part of the tribe who has been nourishing them.
Probst says it’s important that they keep people around who keep them strong and also people that they trust. This presents a dilemma since they had two people come from the other tribe and there could be questions of trust. Yet it’s fair to say Candice and Jonathan are strong members of the tribe who are also helping to keep them strong. Adam says it’s all about productivity for him. He doesn’t like losing. Probst smiles and says you can’t get much clearer than that!
With that, it’s time to vote. Jenny votes for Rebecca, saying she did great today, but it’s based on overall productivity. Rebecca votes for Jonathan, saying he’s a great guy but he came too late.
Probst tallies and reads the votes: Jonathan, Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca. Her torch is snuffed and she walks off without a word.
But wait, there’s more! It’s time for the bottle. Before they open it, Probst asks if there is a consensus on what it might say. Parvati says they think it talks about the merge, but they don’t know.
Parvati opens it and reads the note aloud: “You just voted out one member of your tribe. You will now vote out another.” She adds her own postscript: “That’s not fun.”
So they’re not merging and they’re voting out another person. Nate says it’s wack. And if they had won today, Aitu would be down to two! Probst says there is no sign of a merge – it could be tomorrow, it could never come. So what’s the criteria for the next vote? Adam says Rebecca stood out as being unproductive, but there’s nobody else who does. That doesn’t sound good for Jonathan!
With that, it’s time to vote again. We get no glimpses of the votes this time, so we have to wait. Probst tallies and reads the votes: Jonathan, Jonathan, Jenny, Jenny (wow), Jenny (holy cow!), and… Jenny! OK, I did not see that coming! From the look on her face, neither did she. Yikes. I guess Jonathan’s hard work (combined with Jenny’s behavior) really did help him out.
Probst hopes that this is the wakeup call Raro needs to get it together. With those words ringing in their ears, he sends them back to camp.
In Jenny’s last words (Rebecca gets the shaft!), she says she is “completely pissed off.” Jonathan did a great job of pulling his own weight and she respects that, but in the end, she feels burned and blindsided. Had she known two would be voted out, she would have done everything possible to ensure she was still in the game. For the record, Nate was the other vote against Jonathan.
Next week, on Thanksgiving Survivor: Jonathan hits a breaking point and tells off his tribemates about their work habits (or lack thereof). Yul shares his secret about the hidden immunity idol with Ozzy. And things heat up for Adam and Candice, who share a lot more than just a little peck. Jenn Brasler will be subbing for me on the Thanksgiving holiday, so be sure to read her recap, especially if you end up eating too much turkey and missing the episode!
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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