Surviving the Cook Islands, Episode 10: A New Identityby Jenn Brasler -- 11/24/2006
Previously: Adam and Candice “reconnected.” At the reward challenge, Raro had a lot of directional problems and Aitu won, sending Candice back to Exile Island for a little breakdown. Aitu’s reward was to hang out with some locals. At the immunity challenge, Jeff Probst told the tribes that the losing tribe would receive a bottle. Raro was that losing tribe. Back at camp, everyone blamed Rebecca for the tribe’s loss. Jonathan tried to work hard to be kept around. It worked - Rebecca was voted out. But then the bottle was opened and the tribe had to vote someone else out. Though Jonathan was in danger again, the tribe wound up ousting a very upset Jenny. Nine Survivors remain.
It’s day 25 at Raro. Jonathan talks about fishing as his tribemates lounge around. Jonathan interviews that he could have been ousted at Tribal Council, but so far, things have worked out his way. Three people have been eliminated before him and Candice. Now he’s in a powerful position in a smaller tribe; it’s a good place to be. While Jonathan is off fishing, Adam tells Candice and Parvati that they can at least start a fire to cook the fish when Jonathan returns. Or they can just let Jonathan do it.
Jonathan returns with the fish but the fire hasn’t been started yet. He knows his tribemates are young people and like to sleep in, but they need to listen to him now and see that his way is the good way. He tries to get them to start working and quickly learns that no one has even gotten water yet. Nate gets on it, then interviews that Jonathan needs to shut up. Or they could just not eat, you know. I understand being frustrated with Jonathan for being pushy, but he just wants some food and water. Nate continues that they know what to do around camp; they’re not stupid. Cut to Candice burning something. Not stupid, just not good with fire, I guess.
Jonathan says that they need to win some challenges and make some changes around camp. Parvati wanders and Jonathan says that it’s like a dorm around there. He interviews that he’s coming close to yelling at them. Does he need to be their father or their boss to get them to work? He doesn’t want to lose challenges because the “kids” can’t get out of bed.
At Aitu, Yul doesn’t feel well. He feels tired and achy and his leg hurts. He interviews that they haven’t had a lot of downtime to recover from challenges. He’s worried, but he hopes there won’t be a problem. Sundra interviews that they’re still the underdogs, so they have to keep working hard.
The tribes meet up with Jeff on the beach. Aitu sees that Rebecca and Jenny are both gone. “Two?” says Yul. Yep, two. Jeff points out that Aitu’s latest win was huge; if they’d lost, they would have two tribe members to Raro’s seven. Sundra says they’re starting to even up, but they can’t get comfortable. Jeff says that the game is definitely up for grabs.
Instead of presenting the Survivors with a reward challenge, Jeff unveils paint, brushes, a tribe flag, and buffs. It’s merge time! He tells the Survivors to drop their buffs. Adam interviews that he’s glad it’s coming today because Raro has the numbers advantage. Jeff hands out the new buffs. Sundra says that Aitu still has some maneuvering to do, but they’ll never quit.
Jeff tells the Survivors that the first decision they need to make is where they’ll live. Nate quickly suggests that Aitu move to Raro’s beach since they have more coconuts. Yul asks Jonathan and Candice for their opinion, since they’ve been on both beaches. Jonathan agrees with Nate; Raro has more coconuts and no rats. Yul and the rest of Aitu accept the decision. Jeff says they’re off to a good start.
Jeff sends the Survivors to Raro’s beach on a catamaran, which is full of food and refreshments. Everyone is excited, of course. There are locals playing drums for them. There’s general merriment as the Survivors board the catamaran and start partying. They all toast with beer and orange juice, then start passing the food around. Yul says he’s looking forward to getting to know people he hasn’t gotten to know yet. Nate tells him that he has class. Yul interviews that they have a new identity, but they’re still divided. Aitu has fewer numbers, so things are a little bleak for them. He tells the other Survivors that he’s glad to still be there. He interviews that he’s looking for chink in Raro’s armor because they need someone on their side. Jonathan is ready for the individual game to begin.
As the day passes on the catamaran, Jonathan notes that the Raro “kids” just want to drink. Everyone starts getting tipsy and Adam even gets sick over the side of the catamaran, joking that he’s watching his “girlish figure.” Jonathan says that they’re eating and drinking too much. Is this how they compete? He’s here for a million dollars, which he reminds us is a one with six zeroes. Thanks, Jonathan. He calls his tribemates psychos and says he doesn’t understand it.
The Survivors thank the locals and get off on Raro’s beach with their new flag. Their new tribe name is Aitutonga, a combination of Aitu and Rarotonga. Nate gives Aitu a mini tour of the beach. He’s happy that his tribe has better numbers and says they’re sticking together. He, Parvati, and Adam are close. Jonathan and Candice can’t really be swing votes because they betrayed Aitu in the mutiny. He’s feeling good, but he wants to keep his enemies close.
Down by the water, Ozzy and Nate talk about Sundra and Parvati, each thinking that respectively those are the people they’ll be able to get to flip if necessary. Nate thinks Ozzy is a good guy and sees them clicking nicely. He’s going to keep an eye on him in case things get ugly. They talk about Becky and Yul being tight. Nate tells Ozzy that the former Raro wants to cut off the former Aitu’s strong points. Thanks for that little strategy insight, Nate. I’m sure Ozzy couldn’t have figured that out on his own. Ozzy interviews that ever since the kidnapping, he thought he could ally with Nate. They just want to talk about what they can do. Nate says they need to be sneaky, like snakes. “One love, brother,” he says.
Parvati cuddles with Adam, telling him how happy she is about the way the day turned out. Wait a second. Parvati and Adam? Is he so drunk that he couldn’t tell them apart? I mean, one’s blond and one’s brunette. Adam starts to get a little touchy-feely and Parvati teasingly warns him not to get started with her. She claims to be about to tell what’s on his mind. I can tell what’s on his mind and I’ve never met the guy. In an interview, Adam blames his behavior on the copious amounts of alcohol he consumed on the catamaran. Parvati asks about Candice. Adam tells her that they can both “appreciate” him. He says it’s good to sit back and relax without having to worry about challenges or Tribal Council.
Elsewhere, Yul wonders to Becky what the danger would be in letting Ozzy and Sundra know that he has the hidden immunity idol. They need someone to flip, and now he has a desperate plan. His hidden idol could change the whole game. He and Becky agree that Jonathan is a rational player, and Yul thinks he’ll go beyond just personal stuff. If they can get Jonathan to flip, they’ll have the numbers, plus Yul’s hidden idol as an ace in the hole. Becky thinks that Jonathan is the right person to try to get to flip.
Yul and Jonathan get together to talk strategy. Yul asks if he thinks it makes sense for them to work together again. Jonathan says that at this point, he doesn’t think Ozzy will trust him, and he’s not sure why Yul would either. Yul interviews that Jonathan deserted Aitu and left them for dead (dramatic much?), but they don’t have an option. They need to figure out what will work, and this plan might work.
Jonathan tries to figure out what will happen if he flips. He doesn’t think that he can get to the final four unless he’s aligned with the person who has the hidden idol. If Yul has it and the former Raro votes for Yul, Jonathan will have Aitu’s votes against him, and when Yul uses the idol, Jonathan will go home. In that case, Jonathan basically has to align with Yul. However, if he flips again, Raro will freak out. They don’t think Aitu would trust Jonathan or that Jonathan would go back to him.
Yul asks “hypothetically,” if he has the hidden idol and tells Jonathan, how does he know that Jonathan won’t tell Raro? Jonathan says they’ll have to learn to trust each other again. He gives in and promises, asking what it’s worth to Yul. He says he’ll have to think about how he’d react if Yul revealed that he has the hidden idol. If Yul doesn’t have it, Jonathan is in a position to make him wait until he figures out what he wants to do. Yul lets him take his time and the guys say that they’re happy that they always have good discussions. Jonathan interviews that if Yul has the hidden idol, he has to consider flipping. He made an impetuous move once and it worked out. If Jonathan was with Yul before and flips back, then finds out he had the idol the whole time, it would be a “fantastic twist.”
Day 27 at Aitutonga. Yul tells Sundra that he knows how to change the game - he has the hidden idol. She starts laughing and hugs him. He tells her that he thinks they can use the idol to get Jonathan to flip. Becky joins them and she and Sundra do cute little happy dances. Yul says that he wants all four members of the former Aitu in the final four. Becky thinks they deserve it. Sundra says it’s a nice wildcard and it was good to hear that Yul has the hidden idol. Yul then shares the news with Ozzy, who’s also happy. He says that he wanted to wait to share the news until a moment that he thought could change the game. Ozzy says that if Yul can get Jonathan to flip, they’ll be okay. However, he’s not sure what to do with Nate. He enjoys hanging out with him, but he wants to be true to the former Aitu.
Candice and Parvati hang out in the water. It looks like the former Raro is thinking of booting Ozzy because Parvati says that if he wins immunity, they’ll need another plan. In that case, she wants Yul gone. She thinks Nate will do whatever she and Candice want. Candice wants to get rid of Yul because she doesn’t like that he’s talking with Jonathan. Parvati thinks they’re stirring up trouble.
Later, Candice asks Jonathan what Yul said to him. Jonathan says he was just feeling around. She asks again and Jonathan admits that Yul wants him to flip. He claims that he asked Yul if he’s crazy since Ozzy would want to vote him out. Candice asks who should go first. Jonathan says Ozzy. Candice tells him that Parvati and Nate want to get rid of Yul. Jonathan says that’s dumb and Candice pretends to agree.
Jonathan interviews that the former Raro members think Yul is Aitu’s mastermind, but if Yul has the hidden idol, Jonathan will be the one to go home because Aitu will vote against him. He tells Candice that if someone on Raro has the hidden idol, they’re golden, but he doesn’t think anyone on Raro does have it. If Yul does, someone else will be going home for no good reason. Jonathan interviews that it’s all hypothetical. He can’t make a decision until he actually sees if Yul has the hidden idol. If Yul doesn’t show it, Jonathan has no reason to flip.
It’s challenge time. There are tall poles with ladders on the beach. Jeff takes the immunity idol from Ozzy and introduces the new individual immunity necklace. He says it’s the single most important element in the game, but I think that’s the hidden idol. Anyway, in this challenge, each person has to hang on a pole for long as possible. The last person hanging wins immunity and will be safe at Tribal Council. The only rule is that the Survivors can’t use the tops of their poles to support themselves.
The challenge begins. It doesn’t look like fun. Ozzy and Candice look comfortable, though. Nate and Adam are the first to start fidgeting and losing their footing. Candice shows off, holding on with one arm. She bugs me. Adam and Nate start sliding down their poles and losing their footing. Adam is the first to fall after just nine minutes.
Time passes. Jonathan starts looking shaky. He says that his feet hurt because they’re bigger than everyone else’s. Yul speaks up that he has a point; they all have the same surface area supporting all of them, but mass goes up at a faster rate. That’s why elephants can’t run up trees. Jeff quips that that’s just what he was thinking. Yul laments that now he’ll never get another date. Don’t underestimate the attraction of smart hot guys, Yul.
Jonathan slides down to his last foothold. Nate is struggling as well, but it’s Jonathan who falls second, just three minutes after Adam. Jeff notes that the first two people out were guys. Nate keeps sliding and Sundra becomes the first woman to lose her foothold. They both wind up on their bottom footholds. Nate winds up dropping after 23 minutes. Sundra gets herself situated and Yul adjusts himself to get more comfortable. 34 minutes into the challenge, Sundra drops. Candice shows off more, doing some squats. Parvati says that Candice is wild now that she’s on Aitutonga. Jeff likes the new tribe name.
Yul starts sliding and clutches at rope to hold on. No good - he has to slide down, then jumps after 51 minutes. Ozzy is now the only guy left. Parvati is the next to start slipping. Then it starts raining, which can’t help with their grips. Becky slides as well and Parvati winds up on her bottom foothold. She drops after an hour and 29 minutes. With only Ozzy, Becky, and Candice left, Jeff tries to entice them with the immunity necklace. He assures Ozzy that it’s unisex.
Becky is the next to fall, just one minute after Parvati. Now only Ozzy and Candice are next, and both still look calm and comfortable. The rain falls harder but Nate doesn’t think it will speed things up. Candice starts sliding and Jeff notes that it’s the first move she’s made in over two hours. She keeps going to her bottom foothold while Ozzy stays still. Finally, after two hours and 15 minutes, Candice lets herself drop. I think she decided that she was safe and it wasn’t worth it. Ozzy has the first individual immunity. He feels like an old man thanks to the challenge, but he’s safe. Someone else will be going home tonight.
Back at camp, Ozzy says he can’t believe Candice stayed up so long. Nate is happy that Ozzy got immunity because he likes him and wants to find a way to work with him. Candice asks how much longer Ozzy could have stayed on the pole. Ozzy says he could have kept going. Adam interviews that this is the perfect example of they we should get rid of him - he’s a challenge threat. Of course, they can’t right now. They’ll stick together and vote out Yul tonight. Parvati says they’re getting rid of Yul because he’s “Mr. Harvard/Yale/Stanford Guy” and is also strong.
Jonathan returns from fishing and Yul meets him on the beach. He tells him that the hypothetical is a reality and shows him the hidden idol, asking him to become his ally. Jonathan interviews that he wasn’t that surprised; after their conversation, it made sense. He still has a huge decision to make. Basically, Yul is saying that either Jonathan votes with the former Aitu or he goes home. Yul tells him this is the only way this will work. He wants to take Jonathan to the final two because Jonathan has enemies. Good plan, but I’m not sure he should share it with Jonathan, especially after Jonathan has already proven himself untrustworthy. Jonathan appreciates seeing the idol but still has to think.
Later, Jonathan tells the former Raro that his only concern about Yul is that he’s the only other guy who’s been to Exile Island. He asks Adam if he has the hidden idol, but Adam, of course, doesn’t. Parvati thinks that Yul doesn’t have the idol, since he was only on Exile Island for a day. Yeah, that’s logical. Jonathan interviews that he floated the idea to the former Raro, but they don’t think Yul has the idol, so they still want him to go. They’re not thinking and don’t want to put forth the mental energy involved in running the scenario. If he can’t convince them that Yul has the idol, it will bounce back at him and he’ll be going home.
Adam and Candice approach Nate and ask if he wants to vote out Yul, since Jonathan doesn’t. Adam thinks that they should just let Jonathan have his way this time, though I’m not sure who they would target if they did. Their only other options are Becky and Sundra. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, since Nate says that they’re calling the shots. Adam reminds him that they need five votes. Nate says that they don’t want Yul around for the challenges; they “don’t want that clock ticking.” Adam gives in, but he’s concerned about Nate. He thinks he’s acting differently; he’s not his usual self and he’s been hanging around Ozzy a lot. Candice thinks Nate just needs to chill. Adam thinks Nate needs to stop thinking so much, adding that Jonathan makes people think too much. They make out. Ewww.
Jonathan tells Aitu that he has a big decision to make. Adam and Candice kept him alive when he came over to Raro, and he would hate to betray them because then he will have betrayed everyone in the game. He wants to get rid of Nate before Adam. Yul tells him they’re happy to accommodate that. Jonathan interviews that he wants Nate gone because he trusts him the least (mostly because he knows him the least), and he feels some loyalty to Adam.
Later, Yul tells Becky that he hopes Jonathan isn’t playing them. He could just be trying to deflect the vote from himself to Yul. If Jonathan doesn’t vote with the former Aitu and Yul has to play the idol, he’ll be vulnerable from now on. He hopes things will work out.
Jonathan tells Candice that he’s going with Raro’s plan. He tells her that Yul hasn’t said anything, which Candice finds hard to believe. Jonathan interviews that no matter what he does, people will be mad at him. He’ll either betray Raro by voting with Aitu or he’ll make Aitu mad because he didn’t vote with them. He’s not sure what do to and wishes he knew the best way to go.
The Survivors head to Tribal Council. Brad, Rebecca, and Jenny enter. Jenny looks so, so bitter. Jeff starts out by asking Jonathan how the merge has changed things. Jonathan says it’s mainly affected sleeping accommodations. They just have to get used to living together. Jeff asks Sundra how the game has changed. Sundra says they have to start thinking individually, but still within their alliances. They’ve been spending a lot of time with the people in their former tribes, so they can’t help but bond with them.
Jeff asks Nate if tribal lines are still in play. Of course they are. Nate says people stick with what they’re comfortable with. Jeff notes to Yul that this means Aitu is behind in numbers. Yul says that they’re sticking together, but both tribes are tight, so Aitu is at a disadvantage. They don’t know what their fate will be. Tonight will be pivotal.
Jeff asks Becky if there are any bonds between people that she didn’t want to see. Becky singles out Adam and Candice. Adam tries to throw it back at her, claiming that she and Yul have the closest bond. Becky says it’s different; she doesn’t lie in Yul’s lap. The body language between them is different. Jeff asks Parvati about Candice and Adam. She says they want to make babies and they kicked her out of her spot so they could be alone together. Candice says that Parvati left because she said she wasn’t getting enough attention from Adam. Are we going to have a Candice/Parvati catfight? Because ordinarily I’d put my money on Candice, but Parvati is a boxer. Watch your back, blondie.
Jeff asks Jonathan if he’s concerned that Candice and Adam are pairing off in different way than, say, Jonathan and Ozzy might. Everyone laughs. Jonathan says a relationship between him and Ozzy would definitely be different than Adam and Candice’s. He thinks Candice and Adam are enjoying each other’s company (is that what the kids are calling it now?), but he doesn’t think it’s moved into something romantic, so it doesn’t concern him. Is Jonathan blind?
Jeff asks Ozzy how the game will be different after tonight. Ozzy thinks this upcoming vote will definitely set something in motion. Either things will go downhill for Aitu, or something crazy will happy. The vote will definitely be a pivotal moment. Jeff asks Nate if he thinks the dynamic at camp tonight will be different. Nate does, saying that the vote will stir up waters. If someone flips, things will change. Jeff asks Jonathan (he’s liking Jonathan tonight, I guess) how the game has changed him as a person. Jonathan says that he’s enjoyed every second. He’s bonded with younger people in a way he hasn’t in years. He’s tried to drink in every minute because he knows he’ll never have another experience like this. It’s been a profound and wonderful experience. Dude, you haven’t been voted out yet. Save it for your final words.
Voting time. Ozzy decides to hold onto his idol, of course. Jeff reminds whoever it may concern that the person with the hidden idol should play after the vote, if necessary, and the person with the next-highest amount of votes will go home. Everyone votes, but we don’t see who anyone votes for.
Jeff brings in the votes and starts reading them off. The first vote is for “Yuehl.” The second is for “Yule.” I guess you can’t ask someone how to spell his or her name; that person will know you’re planning to vote for him or her. The third vote is for Nate. The fourth is for Yul. The fifth and sixth go to Nate, so he and Yul are tied at three and three. Then there’s another vote for “Yule” and another for Nate. They’re tied with four each. Jeff reaches for the final vote and Yul closes his eyes while Nate drops his head. The final votes is for… Nate. Crap, there goes my final four. Nate gets snuffed. Parvati is upset; she lost her flirting partner! Yul and Jonathan appear to catch each other’s eyes and Yul gives a small nod. Jeff says that this vote has obviously had a significant impact. He wishes the Survivors good night and sends them back to camp.
Next week: Raro is upset about Jonathan’s betrayal. Lines are drawn about sharing food. Candice thinks Jonathan is trying to weasel his way into Aitu.
I have to transcribe Nate’s final words verbatim: “It hurts to leave this early in the game. Jonathan, kiss my a%$. You’re a dirty, stanky, and wack fruitcake who sold me out. You sold out our tribe when we brought you in, you traiting [sic] bastard, so kiss my a%$, Jonathan. Other than that, everyone I love, but that’s how it’s gotta be in this world.” Lovely.
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, Virginia. By day she works for a court reporting firm, and by night she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She wonders why Becky has been getting so little screen time.
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