Survivor: Cook Islands – Survivor Live, Episode 9by Brian Towers -- 11/20/2006
Following hot on the heels of the ninth episode of the season of Survivor: Cook Islands is the latest episode of CBS’s Internet interview show, Survivor Live. Co-hosted by Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly and Survivor: Amazon winner Jenna Morasca, it features interviews with the most recently eliminated contestants. This week they have two guests, challenge-challenged makeup artist Rebecca Borman and blindsided realtor Jenny Guzon-Bae.
But first, my trivia question. In every Tribal Council this season, only two different Survivors have received any votes – the booted player, and just one other. This is especially surprising considering this week’s surprise vote; plus on Raro the reasons for voting seem to change every week! My question is: Has there even been a full season when no more than two Survivors received votes at every Tribal Council? As usual, the answer will be near the bottom of this article.
The show begins with Dalton telling us that next week, Survivor will be airing on U.S. Thanksgiving Thursday, and not rescheduled to Wednesday as has sometimes happened in previous seasons. However, THIS SHOW (Survivor Live) will be delayed to Monday. So if you’re a kid pretending to be sick so you can stay home and call into Live, reschedule that cough accordingly!
Dalton also announces that he has a bottle with a secret message in it. He promises it won’t be opened until near the end of the show.
Attention now turns to the two booted players. Both ladies have cleaned up very nicely, though Rebecca is starting to lose her voice from doing so many interviews. I find the raspiness rather sexy.
Dalton notes that Rebecca didn’t have her parting words shown on the air. Rebecca says, “You know, that really bothered me, too.” Asked by Jenna if she said anything good, she tells us, “I said I was pissed at Jenny and Nate for not telling me I was being voted off!” She saw those two as her closest mates.
I couldn’t figure the segue, but after Jenna says she doesn’t hate Jonathan, Dalton jumps in and says, “Yeah, you hate Jonathan.” Jenna settles for saying, “Really, he’s SO abrasive.” Wonderful, this falling before the four-minute mark. This could be a long one…
Jenna’s anti-White Power rant this week reveals that she thinks a final four of the Raro four would be boring. Dalton adds that it would be all the more remarkable because of how poorly the white tribe did at their initial camp. Plus, generally they aren’t shining in the challenges.
Dalton asks Rebecca about Nate. She doesn’t know where it went wrong between them and she needs to check with Nate why he didn’t warn her the boot was coming. She knew she was in danger after not swimming well in the previous challenge. Jenna suggests they guys aren’t helping much and they should just get rid of all the guys.
Turning to Jenny, she confirms for Dalton that her desire to boot Candice and Jonathan was strictly because the Candice/Adam pairing needed to be broken up. Her original alliance was with a pre-Candice Adam, and she wanted to get him back to that position.
Jenna notes Candice is getting a free pass for jumping tribes. It’s her opinion that it’s in the way Jonathan comes across that makes him more the target. Speaking of Candice, Rebecca confirms, “We were well aware that she jumped to be with her man. She’s in love with that boy. And that’s the only reason why she decided to mutiny.” Neither player can understand why someone from the core alliance on the other team would swap teams.
Our first caller today is week one evictee Sekou. He’s called to say he loves them all, and does so several times. Sekou just submitted a new Survivor song he wrote to Mark Burnett and hopes he can play it at the finale. He promises to take Rebecca and Jenny out to dinner in L.A.
Sekou has questions for our guests. He asks Rebecca about not using a gender alliance to vote someone out this week. She didn’t consider gender and wishes she’d played it differently. Perhaps that might have worked against Jonathan, but the female allies of Nate and Adam would not have gone along with any such plan. It’s apparent Rebecca was tabbed as the one to go by most of the tribe and all the women were unlikely to buy into saving her.
Sekou notes Jenny won a lot of challenges with her initial tribe and asks how it affected her confidence to start losing so often. She gives the credit to Yul’s intelligent planning for the early wins on the Puka tribe. She found it was upsetting be losing so often once she joined Raro.
Dalton runs the clip of the reward challenge from last week (called “Make Your Point”), where communication was again an issue for Raro. It seems to me like they needed a talking compass with a pointing hand because neither pair was confused about where they were supposed to be digging at times. Dalton points out that Adam speaks in a very annoyed, frustrated tone at this challenge. Jenna thinks Jonathan does, too, and I say Candice has the same issue. Jenny says someone was voicing frustration at almost every challenge they participated in.
Jenny tells us Jonathan disoriented her when he started out in the wrong location. Jenna says, “It seems like Jonathan gets easily frazzled at challenges,” and reminds us that Jeff Probst got him mad last week. Rebecca says, “He doesn’t work well under pressure,” and laughs. Jenny adds that when they returned to camp, he tried to give them a pep talk, but the rest of them were so down that they just didn’t want to hear it.
Shawna in Tennessee is the next caller. She wonders if they finally get to see their letters from home when they are voted off. No. Rebecca says, “You don’t get anything when you are voted off.” Good question, though.
This reward of the letters from home was associated with the challenge where the ladies were rolled about in barrels. Jenny says it was a very frustrating challenge to lose. She doesn’t understand why they didn’t show them trying to walk after getting out of the barrels, because it was pretty funny when they couldn’t stand up straight. Rebecca says she noted that Aitu didn’t stuff every possible buoy into the barrels, to leave more room for the people. Dalton reiterates his support of the Aitu tribe’s fortunes in the game. Jenna is still not convinced, and although she wants them to win, she still thinks they are in trouble.
Dalton points out that most people feel Aitu is the underdog and Raro are being portrayed as the villains. He asks the guests, how does that feel? Not great. Jenny says that before the mutiny, they had just evened up the sides at six apiece and felt things were setting up good for them. Then they were tossed off balance when the extra bodies arrived and their plans were disrupted. Jenna says you never want to see extra people coming into your turf and Jenny adds that it was a drain on their food.
Seeking a buff, Ray from Pennsylvania brings up the not-new concept of the mutiny turning into a merge if everyone steps off their mat. Dalton says he emailed Probst about that topic. They were prepared for it but didn’t expect anyone to mutiny (as no one ever has in the past). With Jonathan jumping at the last possible second, there was no time for the others to follow suit. Jenna says that the merge is imminent but suggests that maybe it won’t happen. No buff for Ray; that’s not a new idea. Dalton sees the hidden idol coming into play pretty soon because if there’s a merge, Yul will be an early target.
Dalton next introduces the “Probst’s Thoughts” feature, where a message Jeff Probst recorded to the departing player is played. This message is for Rebecca. Probst tells us that when Rebecca was sequestered pre-game, Star Jones was leaving The View (the show where Rebecca is a makeup artist). Then while the show was being filmed, the news hit that Rosie was named to replace Meredith. They couldn’t tell Rebecca any of that, and it was a total shock to her afterwards.
About Rebecca, he says, “Rebecca is an absolute delight. She has a charming way about her, a wonderful smile, and great energy. You never lost that; you kept your spirit up every day. That’s not easy when so many things can get you down and wear you out.”
Rebecca tells us she’s co-hosting The View on Monday. Oh, God… I have to watch an episode of The View… this will surely kill me! Rebecca tells us that former Survivor Elisabeth didn’t figure out where she was during her absence. The second segment begins with a graphic telling us Rebecca won an Emmy for her work on… that show.
Dalton finally asks Jenny about her drawing a shooting gun on the voting card when she helped vote out Cristina. It created a lot of negative feedback in some circles. He wonders if it was just a doodle and gives her the floor to respond. Jenny replies, “You’re exactly right. All it was is simply a drawing. I drew a picture for everybody. JP had a volleyball, and for Brad, a fish because he was our best fisherman.” She adds, “I didn’t mean anything malicious or hurtful in any way.” She has apologized to Cristina already. No one at camp made any comment about it and the reaction to it caught her off guard. She ends with, “Really, it was just a drawing.”
She adds that she didn’t realize that it could have been taken as inappropriate until it was aired. In hindsight, she wishes she’d drawn a badge. Rebecca didn’t think anything of it at the time either, and knowing Jenny, is sure there were no malicious thoughts being expressed. Dalton says, “Case closed!” I agree.
Jenna likes it that when Jenny left, she was pissed off. She says, “You should be mad when you leave.” I completely agree with that – all these gracious exits from people who just lost a shot at a million dollars, in the presence of those who deprived you, plays false for me.
Jenna relates that she talked with several other former Survivors, and all were “appalled” with the way things played out, with Jenny not having a chance to defend herself. Jenna wonders if there were secret signals going about that we didn’t see, or did Adam say something to influence the vote? Jenny says there was no verbal communication and she didn’t pick up any other clues to how the second vote would go. “I felt cheated,” she says. She feels it was “unfair” because she didn’t have the opportunity to defend herself, and feels sure she could have talked her way out of it.
Myself, I don’t think so. I think she was not long for the game anyway, and this twist just accelerated her exit. Adam and Candice were shown talking about ousting Jenny, and that thought may well have been shared with the others. When a surprise vote turns out to be (almost) unanimous, there was nothing to be done to change the outcome. Still, it was a harsh way to leave the game.
Dalton says, “I loved it, I loved it. Not that I wanted to see Jenny go, but as a dramatic device.” However, he feels it’s “blatantly unfair” when a winning tribe also has to vote out a player (for example, this season it happened to Cao Boi). Jenna thinks what happened to Jenny is “more lame,” but Dalton doesn’t buy it.
Amilia from Toronto asks what happened to Rebecca’s hair. She had extensions in during the show when her hair was braided. Today it’s straight, and much of it is hiding in the back. Jenna tells us that in her season, Heidi also had extensions.
Becky from North Carolina is confused about events when Candice and Jonathan jumped ship. She asks, why didn’t this cause alarm and result in their immediate eviction? Jenny says Brad’s loyalty was in question and that he had a good bond with Yul and Becky from the other tribe. Rebecca adds that Brad said aloud, “He didn’t trust us.” She knows that most of them thought the same thing about each other, but he was the only one to actually verbalize the thought.
Both ladies say it had been agreed that the two mutineers were next to go. They found Candice was tight with Adam and probably couldn’t be touched, but still expected Jonathan to be a soft target. Rebecca says they weren’t aware how tight Candice and Adam were. That seems to contradict her earlier statement when she says she knew Candice wanted to be with that boy. Rebecca says she thought about jumping but knew it wouldn’t have helped her position in the game.
Jenna asks why they just didn’t vote off Candice, and if Adam didn’t like it, too bad. She asks, “Or is it because everyone’s kind of afraid of Adam? Because he’s running the show?” Both quickly say, “No.” Rebecca explains that Adam, Nate, and Parvati were tight, and Candice slipped in with them. It was a tighter group than their original five (of these two plus Nate, Adam, and Parvati).
You know, when you realize a newbie has usurped both your spots in the inner group, that’s when you need to make a move. When a surprise boot comes up, it’s too late to start jockeying for position.
Next, Dalton runs the clip that precedes the immunity challenge (called “South Pacific”), where Rebecca’s shortcomings are discussed, partly by Jenny. Dalton says it was uncomfortable watching Parvati say, “Am I confusing you?” Jenna asks if Parvati is a genius, and the response is laughter.
Rebecca explains that the others made up this dopey story to memorize the island names instead of just memorizing the map. She was aware the attention was on her because her weak swimming leg was a big part of why they lost of a recent challenge.
Dalton asks Jenny why Rebecca was playing in critical immunity challenges instead of less critical reward challenges. Jenny defends Rebecca’s spirit instead of addressing the strategy issue. Rebecca insists she was “very strong” in other challenges, but I confess I don’t recall much of that, and per the last clip, neither did Jenny. She adds that she got sick and weak (sometime after the merge) and then lost her energy.
Dalton says there’s more to the game that just winning challenges. Jenna incorrectly brings up the example of Kim Johnson from Ethan’s season, Survivor: Africa Doh! She won the last two immunity challenges; otherwise she’d have been tossed aside and it would have been Lex or Tom in the final two with Ethan!
Dalton has a better example, Sandra from Survivor: Pearl Islands, who never won an individual challenge but won the game. Other examples from recent seasons of folks who have gone far without much impact in the challenges are Katie, Cirie, and Lydia. Jenna points out that it’s more a social game, and Rebecca adds that her shortcoming was that she wasn’t careful enough about who she allied herself with.
Young Shannon from California (who ought to be in school) asks Rebecca if she cried when she was voted off. Cute. No, she was just disgusted with her tribe.
Jenna asks if Jonathan is toxic to the tribe. Rebecca says no and adds, “The tribe collectively made this decision, so it’s their own fault whatever happens going forward, if it doesn’t work out to their benefit.” Hmm, that seems telling, but I’m not sure what I’m being told. Does keeping Jonathan bite some or all of Raro in the butt at some point? We’ll have to wait and see.
David in North Carolina asks if there had been a merge, would they have stayed true to Raro or flipped to Aitu? Both would stay loyal to Raro. Jenny says she didn’t feel much in common with the other original Puka members, except for Cao Boi. They worked well as a team and are good people, but they didn’t click personally.
Jenna suspects there will be no merge. Dalton thinks there will be. Jenna also thinks it would be “so awful” if there is some voting off of a jury member. Dalton runs through the jury math from last week again – nothing new, so let’s move along. I think we’re going to have to wait for Mark Burnett to reveal the answer in his own good time on this one. It certainly has garnered a lot of speculation.
Jenna calls the Adam/Candice romance “disgusting.” Jenny agrees. Both feel that playing the game ought to take priority. Jenna says that when she and Ethan played All-Stars, they were determined to keep their personal lives out of the game. Of course, unfortunately, neither lasted long enough to really test that out. Jenna adds that after Rob/Amber, this ought to be a red-flag situation.
Dalton introduces a second session of “Probst’s Thoughts,” this time about Jenny. He comments on her wry smile and says he never knew what she was thinking. Jeff adds that Jenny didn’t want to say anything and tried to convince others to also not respond to Jeff’s probes. She usually answered his questions, “I don’t know.” Jeff admits it made it difficult for him but recognizes that not talking to him is valid game play he respects. He hints she’d be a good player to have play again. He’s said that a couple of times this season; is Jeff fueling fire for another version of Survivor: All-Stars?
The hosts agree that not providing Probst with too much sensitive information is a good plan. Jenny confirms that Probst was “very frustrated” by her silence, but she didn’t want the others to always know what she was thinking. Jenna says she didn’t like to answer a lot of questions either; she just wanted to sit around the fire and stay warm. [Assistant Editor’s note: Dear Jenna, Stop talking about yourself. Love, everyone.]
Starting the final segment is the “minus ten” feature, where Dalton reads ten rapid-fire categories for the ladies to comment on, each in ten words or less. They alternate items with Rebecca going first. Here’s how it goes:
It’s interesting that Jenny has taken up belly dancing, as according to the CBS bios, Rebecca’s stepmother was a professional belly dancer. It was also odd that Jenny stumbled over describing the word game Scrabble.
Michael in Philly likes the twists that have played out in the last two weeks. He notes Nate was vocal about his dislike of Jonathan jumping tribes, yet hypocritically, three votes later Jonathan is still there. Rebecca says, “He tends to buckle under pressure, and majority rules, and he just went with the majority.” Jenna asks who the majority is, and Rebecca says, “Adam, Parvati, and Candice.” Dalton calls them “Team Whitey,” and Jenny says, “It’s safer for you to say that.”
Charlene in Toronto asks if Jenny felt the merge was coming after Rebecca was voted out. Yes.
As Dalton prepares to play the clip of Aitu celebrating reward, Jenna feigns disgust over his man-love for Yul. Luckily for her, there’s some Ozzy in there, too. All agree that this was one great reward to have won. Dalton tells us that while the clip was running, Jenna just talked about how cute Ozzy is. Jenna tells us, “I think I’ve even convinced Ethan that he has a crush on him, too.” Just shoot me.
The next caller is Jonathan from Chicago, who asks both guests what their most memorable moments were. He adds that he has additional questions for Jenny he’s going to post to her in MySpace, but Jenna interjects that Jenny cannot answer her MySpace questions until after the finale has aired. Jenny answers that it was just “the overall experience.” She really wanted the letters from home and was devastated when she didn’t get to see hers. In fact, she had a confessional where she couldn’t stop crying. As she now watches the show, it reminds her of many little things that happened, and it makes her feel nice. Rebecca says that for her it was “starting a fire and gutting a chicken.” She promises she won’t be gutting any more chickens in her life!
Dalton brings out the bottle with the secret message in it. It contains Jenna Morasca’s “Question of the Week,” which is, “What are you going to do now?” Both are returning to their jobs. No surprise there, as finishing in the middle of the pack doesn’t generate the cash to support a significant change in lifestyle. Rebecca adds that she wants to compete on Dancing With the Stars, even if she’s not a star.
Dalton asks the ladies reactions to being told the tribes were to be defined along ethnic lines. Jenny says initially she was a little bit uncomfortable, but she is used to representing Filipino-Americans at home and is proud of it. Rebecca was also taken aback initially and hoped that had it continued longer, it might help to break down some stereotypes. Dalton agrees; it ought to have gone on longer, but they find four tribes difficult to track. I find printing out RealityNewsOnline preview articles and keeping them handy is a wonderful aid to following the early rounds of all the shows we cover.
The final caller is Jenny’s friend Amy from Paylocity. There’s no question, just some girl-friendly love for Jenny.
The final piece of business is running the CBS promo. Jonathan hits a breaking point; at Aitu, Yul shares his secret; and things heat up between Adam and Candice.
Dalton apologizes to the many callers left on hold and reminds us again that although Survivor: Cook Islands will air at its regular time Thursday, the next episode of this show will be 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, not Friday. Jenna bottle-dances us out, and we are done!
CBS Website Clues:
This week’s question asks if there has even been an entire season when votes were recorded against only two players in every Tribal Council. Yup, twice actually… Survivor: Africa and Survivor: All-Stars.
Everyone is invited to share his or her opinions at the eAddress below. I’ll be back next week (a couple of days later than usual) to report on the latest Survivor Live webcast.
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