Surviving the Cook Islands, Episode 12: The Godfatherby David Bloomberg -- 12/08/2006
Last week, the Pagonging of Raro continued as we said goodbye to Candice after numerous red herrings about the possibility that Jonathan might go instead. After she was gone, Candice defended herself in every interview she did (including both her interview with me and her post-vote interviews on Survivor Insider). Looking at all the information we had, it was decided, after some debate, not to put her in the Reality TV Hall of Shame (though I know some of you still disagree with that decision).
And that’s where we begin today. Adam and Parvati are the last Raros standing, but I doubt they’ll be standing for long. I expect we’ll see some more red herrings about Jonathan, but by the end of the next 60 minutes, Adam will be gone unless he wins immunity again – in which case it will be Parvati. Let’s see if I’m right.
We start immediately after the tribe returns from Tribal Council. Jonathan tells us it got pretty ugly, with him being called all kinds of names, like “rat” and “cancer.” He says Adam and Parvati are angry he flipped but he’s still convinced he made the right decision. He’s become the bad guy and everybody else is good – “nobody else has lied, nobody else has manipulated. Everybody knows that’s not true.” But he’s going to keep his chin up and keep punching. He’s not going to let a couple of “kids like that” ruin everything for him.
The next morning, Ozzy is bringing in a big batch of fish while the women are chopping coconuts. Parvati is comparing it to chopping somebody’s head, and then wonders where “everybody’s favorite person” is. One of them says Jonathan is trying to make amends with Adam, and they all laugh at this unlikely possibility.
Parvati keeps chopping. Chop. Chop. Chop. SCREAM! Next thing we see is Parvati with bloody fingers. No, she didn’t get hold of Jonathan – it’s her own blood. The other women say it looks like a deep cut and she needs to have somebody look at it, as they wrap it in a buff. Parvati goes the drama queen route and says she feels like “my finger’s about to fall off.” I don’t think you’d be saying it that calmly if that were the case, Parvati. It’s bad enough, you don’t have to act like it’s worse.
Anyway, Parvati lies down as Becky describes it to us as a slice through the middle of the nail on her thumb. Ouch!
When Ozzy returns with his fish, the other two say they have an issue – Parvati “kind of sliced her thumb in half.” Sundra tells us she thinks Parvati needs medical attention – you can see where it’s separated. I shudder – did I mention I can’t stand this kind of thing? There’s a reason I’m a writer of reality show recaps instead of a doctor!
The Survivor medical team shows up, and we get a good close-up of the injured thumb. Thanks, Mark Burnett. The doctor has a good sense of humor, at least to me watching at home (if I were in Parvati’s shoes, I might have a different opinion) – he says the good news is that she won’t need to trim her thumb nail for a while. The bad news is it will need a “little stitch in the side there just to hold the rest of it together.” Ick.
Parvati is surprised to find out they’re going to do the procedure right there! I think she probably doesn’t realize that if they take her away, I believe that’s it for her in the game. Of course, she might not really care since she’s likely to go soon, but still.
Adam is about as good with needles and blood as I am, and he hides his eyes while all of this is going on. Plus, he notes the same thing I mentioned – with just the two of them left in their alliance, he figures she doesn’t need to be out there cutting her fingers off.
And with that, it’s time for the reward challenge! Today’s reward is an extra finger! OK, that was in poor taste. Sorry. Sort of. Anyway, Probst of course has to ask Parvati what happened, and she gives him a thumbs-up. She can smile about it, at least. She says she “pulled the old chop-your-thumb-off-with-a-rusty-machete trick this morning.” He asks if she can get it wet. She says “a little bit.” But today’s challenge will definitely get it wet. We’ll see how that goes.
The challenge is that they have to use a small bucket to transport water from the ocean into a larger bucket. When they get enough water in the larger one, the bucket will lower and raise a flag. First person to raise the flag wins reward. Sounds simple enough. There must be a catch.
What are they playing for? The winner will go to another island where locals will take him or her (and, I’m guessing, a guest or two) to a sacred cave where they will have a “spectacular picnic.” And, of course, the winner will send somebody to Exile Island.
Probst says there’s one other element to this reward. Aha, I knew it! “Jonathan, say hello to your wife, Stacy.” Whoa. OK, that wasn’t the element I was thinking of, but cool. She comes running down and they embrace while the others applaud.
Next, Parvati’s dad, Mike, joins them. Then it’s Adam’s dad, George. And Becky’s sister, Sarah. She’s followed by Yul’s brother, Paul. They’re joined by Ozzy’s mom, Gina. Finally we have Sundra’s mom, Jeanette. (Mind you, I’m just guessing on the spelling of these names.)
After the intros, Probst says the person who wins the challenge will enjoy the reward with their loved one. Also, they will partner with their loved ones in the challenge. Here’s the rest of the story for the challenge: The Survivors will scoop water out of the ocean and toss the water (not the bucket, but the water itself) into a bucket held by the loved ones. They will in turn dump whatever makes it into the bigger bucket. Oh, and one more thing – the Survivors will be blindfolded and the loved ones will be their guides. I’m thinking there are going to be a lot of soaking wet loved ones very soon.
And they’re off! As you might expect, the initial throws shower water all over the place, with little making it into proper buckets. If any. But as I suspected, the loved ones are getting soaked.
Ozzy appears to be doing okay. So is Parvati. It’s kind of hard to tell without a camera shot inside the big bucket. It’s basically a lot of people throwing water all over the place. Stacey makes a smart move as she realizes that she’s soaked – with water! So she wrings out her shirt into the bucket too. After Probst announces it, Gina thinks it’s a good idea too. I’m sure Stacey is thinking, “Thanks, Jeff.”
Jonathan and Stacey appear to be in the lead. Parvati and Mike, as well as Ozzy and Gina, appear to be in it. Stacey is now using her hair too. Parvati and Mike look very close to winning – the bucket is sinking and the flag is rising. It’s not quite there yet and Jonathan’s flag is going up. Stacey is wringing out every last drop from her hair. But Mike tosses one more bit of water into the bucket and Parvati wins! It was very smart, by the way, for Mike to throw it in with some emphasis. Even if the water and gravity by itself wouldn’t have done it, he added some force to help out. Very smart.
Stacey is pissed. But not as upset as she’s going to be, I bet, because I’m sure Parvati will send Jonathan to Exile Island. Sure enough, that’s just what she does. He walks over and gets a kiss and hug from Stacey before leaving.
Now Probst reveals the last part – she gets to pick two other contestants with whom she can share it. Oh, wait, Mike gets to decide with no help from her or any of the others. Uh oh.
Mike picks Sundra and Jeanette, and George and Adam. The funny thing is that those are probably who Parvati would have picked if given the choice. Before they head off to the reward, though, the three loved ones and all the Survivors (except Jonathan, of course) head back to camp.
The arrive there as Parvati tells us she needed the win and it shows her that she still is in the game. Um, no, you’re not. Adam tells us it was great to see George there, and he does call his dad “George” because he’s Adam’s best friend. George tells Adam he’s proud of him. Awww.
Sundra takes Jeanette out to gather firewood and shows her the water barrel. Becky and Ozzy just kind of stand around, staring at the loved ones. Ozzy even calls it “annoying” having the camp “overrun” by the family members. He notes that Parvati and Adam depend on the food he and his allies provide to them, so he almost feels responsible for them winning.
A boat shows up and takes away the three winners and loved ones. As they leave, Yul and Ozzy do an inventory of food. Bananas? Check. Fishing? Check. And Yul says he’s glad the three of them have the day together – it’s what it will be like in the final couple days!
The winners are taken to Mitiaro Island, where they are greeted by a mob of locals, including many children. They’re all singing and eating and drinking as they are led to the cave. In the cave is fresh water, extremely clear. And in some sort of religious ceremony, they bless the cave water and dance. And then they all jump in! Parvati is first – so much for only getting the thumb “a little” wet. The others soon follow. So much for the crystal clear water.
After the cave, they are led to their picnic: fried chicken, meatloaf, biscuits, etc. Parvati says something about Jonathan not being able to eat, but I’m not sure exactly what. But Sundra says Adam and Parvati without Jonathan around are “a lot more chilled out.” She got a chance to talk to them and find out more about them.
Back at camp, Ozzy suggests they should do something about the food, and Yul wonders if he means hiding it. Ozzy says they can’t keep feeding Adam and Parvati and having them win. Becky says it’s not fair to feed their enemies, and Yul goes back to hiding the food for a couple days. I have to say, I really like this idea. It’s sneaky and devious, and I completely agree. Why feed your enemy? Candice told me in her interview that she was weak and wanted to conserve energy. Well, why should the others expend energy to get food just to feed people who aren’t helping? Screw ‘em!
They take a bunch of coconuts and throw them into the jungle. It’s not a great hiding spot, but it would require somebody to actually go look for them in order to figure out where they are, and that would require expending energy. So I don’t expect Adam and Parvati to find ‘em.
Later, the winners return from their trip. Sundra immediately greets Yul and Becky with hugs. Smart – it shows she’s still with them and nothing has changed. Ozzy continues with the previous discussion by telling us that Adam eats the most and then wins challenges, but without food he’ll be drained. He adds that if you can’t get your own food by this point, maybe you shouldn’t be in the game.
The returning contestants ask how the food situation is at camp, and Yul says something about the currents being really bad. Ironically, Adam opens up a bag and says they had extra food they brought back to share! Becky now tells us that the original plan was to hide the food (yes, we know – we’ve heard it four times now), but after they saw how much food Adam and Parvati brought back, they felt bad and the hiding plan may now be out the door.
She also says everybody seems more chilled out without Jonathan around. It’s sort of nice, she says. OK, more red herrings? I think so. I don’t believe they are going to change their strategy just because people are more chilled out without Jonathan. I also think it’s still not a good idea to feed your enemies, but we’ll see how the next challenge and vote go.
Speaking of which, it’s immunity challenge time. Jonathan is brought back from Exile Island, returning with a smile. Probst explains the challenge. They will have to race out into the water, running over a series of floating obstacles (like rafts, barrels, and boats). At the end, they will retrieve a bundle of sticks and race back. Then they have to do it again. Once they get both back, they have to untie the sticks and use the rope and sticks to make one long pole. That pole will be used to retrieve two rings. First to do so wins immunity.
And they’re off! Unsurprisingly, Ozzy leads the pack, then Yul and Jonathan. But Yul falls into the water and has to go back to the platform. Ozzy blazes through the course and gets to the buoy with his bundle. Yul is going fast enough that he’s back in second, though he almost slides off a raft back into the water. Becky, Parvati, and Sundra are effectively out of it already. I’m not sure where Adam is. Yul tries the barrels and falls back in. So does Jonathan. But Yul gets back up and across his second try.
Ozzy is trying to get back, but is blocked by Sundra trying to go out on the balance beam. Yul is at his buoy and Jonathan is close. Hey, there’s Adam! He’s the last of the men, but ahead of the women.
Ozzy is back with his first bundle while Yul is returning. Becky and Parvati both get dunked while trying to cross the barrels. Yul is back with his first bundle and out again. Ozzy is stuck at the barrels while he waits for people to keep trying and Jonathan to return. While others are slowly crawling across it and falling off, he takes a running leap and hits the barrels with just a few steps before making it to the other side. Now he’s at the buoy for his second bundle.
Parvati finally makes it across the barrels. Ozzy is coming back with his second bundle. Can we just end this and give him the immunity necklace now? Well, Yul is at the buoy for his second bundle. But Ozzy is back at the beach and untying his bundles.
Yul falls, Parvati falls, Sundra whacks herself in a nasty fall at the barrels. Ouch. I felt that one! Adam is back with his first bundle. So is Parvati. And Yul returns with his second. Becky’s back with her first.
Ozzy has his pole together and… it’s long enough to reach the first ring. Then he grabs the second and puts it on the hook. Ozzy wins!
Before sending them back to camp, Probst asks if anybody is overly concerned that by not winning, they could be in danger at Tribal Council? Unsurprisingly, Adam and Parvati raise their hands, while Jonathan looks on smiling.
Back at camp, Ozzy tells us the immunity challenge was right up his alley. He was amused seeing the others “eating it” all over.
People are sitting around, laughing and eating… until Jonathan sits down. Then it’s dead quiet. Wow, how uncomfortable. He asks Becky how her sister is, and the editing would have us believe she completely ignores him. I can’t believe that was the case – at least not that it was that blatant. But Jonathan does recognize that things are awkward and people don’t know what to say to him.
Adam and Parvati walk off and Jonathan believes something has shifted. He’s not sure how far it’s shifted and how much time he has to correct it. If they’re going to vote Adam off, he has two days. If they’re going to vote him off, he has a couple hours and not much of a chance.
So Jonathan approaches Becky and Sundra as they’re walking into the jungle. He whisper-calls to them, and Becky says they’re getting firewood. He asks if they’re still cool and Sundra says, without making eye contact, “yeah.” Is it Adam tonight? “Isn’t that what we said?” Still no eye contact. I can’t blame Jonathan for feeling like something’s wrong!
Adam works on Yul, trying to convince him once again to boot Jonathan. Yul defends his use of Jonathan to flip and Adam says he understands and is not saying Yul is a bad person. “That was great strategy.” But why not have himself or Parvati in the fifth spot instead of Jonathan. Um, because you or Parvati might manage to align yourself with two other people to make a threesome that would go against Yul – while it’s less likely Jonathan can do that now. That’s why.
Yul tells us the whole situation is weird – he feels like the Godfather as people ask him to take out a hit on others. But he’s not sure he’s entirely comfortable with it. OK, Don Yul.
Adam isn’t the only one talking to the Godfather. Jonathan wants to know what’s up too, saying the energy has clearly shifted. Yul says he will do what he can to keep him there. Jonathan says while he was gone, they had guests, they had fun, they had food brought back for them, and Adam and Parvati are both charming young people who are closer in age to Yul than Jonathan is. “But, let’s not be stupid, please. I’m the perfect person to keep around. I’m not a threat in terms of immunity. And I saved your hide – and I was happy to do it because I felt like it made amends for my stepping away.” All very good reasons, Jonathan. He adds that Adam and Parvati are going to say anything they can because if Yul falls for it, they’re still in the game, waiting to take him out.
Yul talks to Ozzy and says when they get down to final five, he doesn’t want either Jonathan or Adam there, because they could win. Ozzy seems to agree, and even tells us that it’s either Jonathan or Adam in this vote. Yul and Ozzy also appear to agree that the final four is set anyway, as long as nobody does anything crazy. Like, you know, trying to make a plan for themselves. Pshaw, that would never happen on Survivor.
The players arrive at Tribal Council and are greeted by Probst. The jurors are brought in and Candice flirts with Adam. Probst dives into the questions and asks Parvati which was better, spending time with her father or the food? She says hands-down, her dad.
Probst notes to Adam that a good meal can have a direct impact on the next challenge, but Adam points out that Ozzy didn’t get the reward and he won the next challenge! It’s more that going to Exile Island damages you rather than getting the reward helping you.
Speaking of which, why Jonathan? God, what a stupid question. C’mon, Probst, you don’t normally ask questions with such obvious answers! Parvati says sending Jonathan was strategic to keep herself in the game as long as possible. She’s hoping that the others will see that life is better without him.
So was it nice not having Jonathan around camp? Ozzy says, “Sure,” as Nate laughs from the jury box. Why? Ozzy says Jonathan has a strong personality, and sometimes it’s hard to be around.
Is Jonathan learning stuff about himself that he didn’t know? Jonathan says he’s disappointed to hear that Adam and Parvati have had so much influence on the others in such a short time. Hopefully his allies won’t throw out the trust he put in them and the flop he made for them.
Adam laughs and says that once again, nobody wants Jonathan around. There are six good people there who really deserve to be there. Jonathan wants to know why he doesn’t deserve to be there, and Adam says he doesn’t have any integrity. Oh please. Has Adam watched this show? Idiot. He continues to say Jonathan flops “all the time” and it’s frustrating to see his own pals in the jury box. Wah, wah, wah. I guess he forgot how he put Brad, Rebecca, and Jenny there – by turning against them despite their alliances. Not just an idiot, but a hypocrite too. Adam finishes by saying Jonathan should have been voted out each time one of those other people were voted out. Again I note that Adam was the one who made three of the five decisions there. Let’s not forget that.
And Jonathan is not going to forget it – he says the people from Raro were not voted off by him, but by their own tribemates!
Probst asks Jonathan if he feels the Aitus owe him a debt for saving them and giving them a chance when they didn’t have one. “Yes. Some of them would not be here tonight if I hadn’t flopped. That’s just the truth.” He also says he has earned his right to sit there tonight and at the next Tribal Council as well.
What does Yul think? Probst says Jonathan thinks he saved them, but Yul has said he saved Jonathan. Yul says they both saved each other. They made moves out of desperation. He says the Aitu four are in control, and because he has the idol that means he has a lot of influence.
With that, it’s time to vote. I’m still predicting the vote going against Adam. We see Jonathan vote in exactly that way, saying Adam is the biggest threat to him. Adam returns the favor, saying he should have been voted out a long time ago.
Probst tallies and reads the votes: Jonathan, Adam, Jonathan, Jonathan (uh oh), and Jonathan. Well, so much for my predictive abilities, I guess. And so much for my opinions of Yul’s strategy. Adam smiles as Candice nods at him from the jury box.
Before sending them back to camp, Probst says it was an interesting Tribal Council. They voted out somebody who thought he could trust them. That now means trust should be an issue for every single person left in the game. Er. I think it always should be!
In his last words, Jonathan says his fellow players are “terrible liars.” He wishes they would have told him to his face, but they didn’t do that because then there would have been an argument and “obviously they didn’t want to hear me talk anymore.” Now they’ll have a peaceful camp, he says, and they’ll have to deal with each other stabbing each other in the back, as if it’s some new thing in the game of Survivor. Sing it, brother Jonathan! Four of those people are going to join him on the jury soon.
Next week: Parvati and Adam develop a plan and apparently try to recruit Ozzy, who says he will do whatever he can to win, no matter what that means. Whether he’s serious or not, this is precisely the reason Jonathan should have stayed! Meanwhile, Becky and Yul consider turning on Ozzy as Yul says he’s “scared of” him. Again, another reason you should have voted off Adam instead.
Well, what an episode. Obviously, I thought throughout that Jonathan would stick around. I still can’t believe Adam and Parvati managed to convince the others to get rid of him. This has a significant chance of coming back to haunt Yul in the end, and, frankly, he’ll deserve it if it does. It was a bad decision.
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.
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