Survivor: Cook Islands- Survivor Live, Episode 11by Brian Towers -- 12/11/2006
First, my trivia question: It was repeated a couple of times that with fifteen votes, Jonathan accumulated more votes than any other Survivor player. Whose record did he break? To see the answer, drag your cursor between the square brackets that follow: [ The previous record-holder was Rory, from Survivor: Vanuatu. He accumulated fourteen votes in his brief journey on the show. ]
The show begins with Jenna telling us the stitches in her ear didn’t come out easily, but they are gone. Dalton is clearly sick as his voice is rather raspy. He does a promo for a Survivor trivia computer game, called “Blast.” Look for Rupert and Stephenie on the cover.
Attention now turns to Jonathan, who is not wearing that disturbingly goofy hat we’re used to seeing him underneath. Shaving helped, too. Dalton repeats his view that when he and Candice mutinied, it saved what was looking like a bad season.
Jonathan calls his act “informed impulsiveness.” He says he thought Adam had the hidden idol, and when he saw Candice step off and the numbers shift to Raro, that did it for him.
Jenna asks if he had second thoughts a couple of hours later. He says, “Hours? Maybe by the time I got to the other mat!”
He says he was determined to be more like Bligh than Christian. He adds, “My leg started moving without my brain knowing. What a great schmuck move I made!” He realized he was on the team with the numbers, but didn’t think that as last in, his position wasn’t very secure.
He thought he would be eliminated soon and still doesn’t understand why they didn’t send him home sooner. Dalton jokes that he stuck around like a rat. Jonathan amends that to say, “Like the sun.”
Until Yul showed him the hidden idol and put him between a rock and a hard place, Jonathan says he intended to stay true to Raro.
Jenna asks why he didn’t tell Yul he was with them, and then vote someone other than Nate. Jonathan says he preferred the Aitu four, feeling they deserved it more in his mind. When they refused to consider Yul might have the hidden idol, that convinced him, “I can’t work with these people!”
Jason from Albuquerque is the first caller today. He asks if, when he returned from Exile Island, was he just shut out (of strategy conversations) or could he figure out a way to avoid his departure. He says, “There was nothing to be said. They made up their minds when I was away fro two days.”
He adds that he tried to talk to them and they wouldn’t listen at all. He thinks the footage of him being readily ignored by Becky and Sundra is pretty funny. Jonathan thinks he was seen as a threat that wouldn’t be happy finishing fifth.
Dalton calls the other players “bad liars.” Jonathan says, “They told me what I needed to hear.” When Yul said he’d take one last shot at saving him, he talked briefly to the others and then went to take a nap. Jonathan knew he was unquestionably done for at that point.
Jonathan says he finally did get his hat back. He says the others were extremely disrespectful of items left behind by other players, “They’d burn them or wipe themselves with them, or do crazy things with them, and I really didn’t want to see that happen to my hat.”
Jonathan felt if he had made to the final two, he’d have outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed them all. He doubted he could win their respect, though perhaps some cold logic might have worked in his favor.
He accuses them of playing emotionally, not rationally. He feels he wasn’t responsible for the evictions of Brad, Rebecca, or Jenny – that was Nate, Parvati, Adam, and Candice’s doing.
A clip is run. It’s a fake-out, it’s Jonathan playing a pimp on CSI: NY. Jonathan thanks them for playing the clip, because now it’s believable that he can play a villain on TV as well as be one. Ha!
The intended clip is run now, which shows it getting very, very quiet whenever Jonathan is around. Live Jonathan is viewable in a pic-in-pic. He laughs at Becky and Sundra trying to ignore him.
Jenna wonders if it was an age thing. She wonders who drove his eviction, and he says Adam and Candice. Dalton surmises it was also because Yul was worried about jury votes.
It would have been interesting to see how the Raro quartet would have voted in a Yul-Jonathan final two. Would they vote for the guy they deeply hate, or would they go back on their promise to withhold votes for Yul? Either way, they would have to compromise.
Jonathan thinks they ought to have waited another week to be safer. No foolin’! This was crazy-dangerous on Yul’s behalf, and he made his trip to the endgame unnecessarily dangerous. Jonathan says he doesn’t blame Yul, and thinks he’d have done the same thing if others were putting so much pressure on him.
Aramis from Wisconsin recalls when there were nine in the game and he could have forced Yul to bring out the hidden idol. What is the tiebreaker? Fire-making, he thinks. Jonathan figures if he’d thrown his vote away (voting, say, for Parvati) he’d have permanently lost all chances of finding later allies. He calls that his “least viable alternative.”
Jonathan did not trust Nate at all, Parvati barely, and saw himself as a target of the other two. “I went with the devil I knew,” he says.
Jenna asks if he sensed Ozzy’s hostility toward him, which we saw when they were hiding the food. Jonathan says he didn’t take it personally. Jonathan says Ozzy saw him as a threat.
Before the mutiny, Ozzy was next to go on Aitu. “He is an immunity monster and a fantastic competitor, and although I have some problems with him, there’s no question the guy deserves to go far in the game.” Jenna points out that no one makes it to the end alone, you need help from others along the way.
Jenna thinks Ozzy needs to go soon. She says he can come to her house, and Dalton says that maybe Ethan will want to get rid of Ozzy. After throwing a challenge and entertaining thoughts of flipping in next week’s promo, I’d have to agree it might be time to think about getting rid of him soon. At least one of Adam/Parvati has to go first, though.
Jonathan reveals that when Flica went, Ozzy was actually the target. However, Ozzy performed well in the challenge, provided a lot of food that day, “and Flica was a wild card that was driving some other people crazy.” So, the target shifted to her.
The second segment was, again, not posted on the website. I could rant about this, but why bother? What follows is from my iffy notes and my iffier memory.
The second segment begins with a graphic telling us of Jonathan’s acting career. He’s been on episodes of CSI, The Nanny, Seinfeld, and Arrested Development. There were also 45 episodes of Rude Awakenings.
Dalton says that many previous boots have had negative comments about Jonathan in the game. Dalton wonders what reactions he’s received outside of the game.
Jonathan says most people have been “very kind.” He hopes Nate sees the reasons for the moves Jonathan made. Jonathan recognizes his final comments were because he was upset at being blindsided.
He thinks Candice came across worse than he did in last week’s tirade. He remembers Adam calling him a rat and a cancer, which he didn’t appreciate. Jenna says the last couple of tribal councils have been brutal on a personal level.
Jonathan tells us that in an unaired part of a recent tribal council, he used a poker analogy. If we were playing poker for a million dollars and I bluffed you, would you take it so personally, and respond in this same way? Good point.
He puts it down to them being exhausted and playing a desperate game. If he’d said petty and immature, I’d not have argued. He says, “I’ve been called worse by better.”
Dalton repeats his opinion that Jonathan’s moves lacked subtlety. Jonathan says he was pegged from minute two on the show. Jeff told them on the boat that they could not touch the other team’s box, oars, or machete.
He remembered Rupert stealing shoes and felt the chickens were fair game. He didn’t think of it as a bold move, just a logical one. After that, he knew the under-the-radar game was not available to him.
Mike from Canada agrees with all Jonathan’s decisions in the game except for voting out Flica instead of Ozzy. He asks if he was aware he and Shane were both in the movie “Manhunt Seven.” It’s actually Bloodfist VII: Manhunt.
I can probably stop typing right now, as every single one of you has jumped up and rushed out to Blockbuster to rent the movie. But for the purpose of completeness, I shall soldier on in case you come back here in a couple of hours to find out how this ended.
Jonathan was not aware of this as Don “The Dragon” Wilson was the actor he worked with. He feigns shock that in this movie, he played a villain.
Heather in California wants to know if he’d like to change the editing in any way. Dalton likes the question and offers her a “Blast” game. Jonathan thinks he was edited “pretty fairly.” He wishes they hadn’t made it look like he was gargling beer at the auction, as it was mouthwash.
Jenna wonders if the editing at the food auction was a little slanted. Jonathan figures he won the auction and didn’t understand why the others weren’t bidding. He tells us he won a cola drink with the pizza. He wanted to respect the food (which he wanted to share, but it was not allowed), so he ate it all.
Jonathan clarifies for Dalton, he and Yul both gave money to Becky to buy the secret message. They don’t know why his part of that was not shown. Also, items were shown being sold out of sequence for no apparent reason.
Jonathan also tells us that other people won stuff. Specifically, Adam won breakfast and a power bar, and Sundra won cheese and crackers. It sounds to me like the editors messed up on the auction!
It’s noted that last week, Candice forgot to mention Jonathan’s role in the auction of what I call the “power paper.”
The clip of the immunity challenge (called “Flotsam and Jetsam”) is run. Mostly, people not named Ozzy fall magnificently and splendidly. Jonathan says Sundra was sore for days afterward.
Jenna is surprisingly not awed by Ozzy’s win, and confesses she is a little off Ozzy this week because of his role in the hiding the food. However, she admits she did it during her own season, so there you go. Also, he seems to be flipping on his friends in next week’s promo.
Cheryl in NYC also asks about the mutiny, wondering if he was ready to mutiny before Candice did it. No, but in the split-second available to him, he knew the numbers would be on Raro and he wanted to be on the larger tribe. A little later, he figured that as last man in, he just put the target on his back.
Kathy from LA wonders if he has any regrets. He doesn’t, really. He muses that when he asked Yul if he had the hidden idol, he heard what he wanted to hear and should have questioned him more deliberately.
At the time, they didn’t know it wasn’t going to be a final three and Becky/Yul was an unbreakable duo. Jonathan knew that to get there himself, eventually he would have to move away from them.
Dalton reminds Jonathan about losing his temper with Jeff. Jonathan notes they are of similar ages and likes Probst. He was the only production person that you were allowed to talk to. He doubts Jeff harbors any ill-will toward him.
Dalton uses that response to segue to the “Probst’s Thoughts” feature, where a message is played that Jeff Probst previously recorded about the departing player. He remembers Jonathan “they speak the same language.”
He adds that Jonathan never let him down; he always gave them something usable. Jeff calls him a good story-teller and a good player. He wonders if Jonathan has changed after his experience and would like to have a Jonathan in the game every season.
Jonathan thanks Jeff and says he would indeed play again. Jonathan says it was a “life-changing experience;” he did things he never did before and found the fountain of youth.
He’s kept the thirty pounds off that he lost (Jenna confirms this for us). Other players frustrated him; because they didn’t seem to appreciate the opportunity they were given.
Starting the final segment as usual is the “minus 10” feature, where Dalton reads ten rapid-fire categories for the guest to comment on, each in ten words or less. Here’s how it went:
Regarding number four, both Dalton and Jonathan went to that school.
Greg from Michigan asks how Jonathan was treated by the other players off camera. Jonathan says, “I think the show is pretty fair, actually. The quiet people who don’t get the camera time, they are much more quiet. The loud people that were probably pretty abrasive for the quiet people to have to listen to all the time, they got more camera time.” He adds that most of the time he had fun out there.
Jenna asks if it was awkward meeting with Candice and Nate afterward. He says the next day; he woke up with Candice almost standing over him. He says, “We talked for hours, got through a lot of stuff, and now I have a lot of respect for Candice.”
Dalton asks if “Bossy Becky,” as she identified herself pre-show, seems to come across as invisible. Jonathan likes her a lot and calls her “very bright.” They talked a lot and got along well. He put himself out for her when Cecilia was booted instead of her, and he isn’t sure why she didn’t trust him more.
Jonathan says, “I grew up in a New York Jewish household with screaming and yelling and laughing and crying and dancing and singing all the time. I’m going to guess a lot of the folks on the island did not, with the volume and degree of action I have.” He suspects that may have put some of them off.
David from North Carolina asks what Jonathan thought was the hardest challenge. He also asks if his acting background helped in the game. The second one wins a game for David.
The pole challenge was the hardest for Jonathan; he knew he wasn’t going to win and just didn’t want to be first out. About acting, he doubts it helped him. He thinks it was harder for him to get on the show.
Asked if he acted a role while he was in the game, he says he was just himself. He wonders if his clear, overt agenda may have scared some of the more timid players off.
He says he lied one time in the game. He adds that in the game, everyone lies. Jonathan says he’s not a liar in his life, but the game takes away your defenses, and to act otherwise for 39 days isn’t really possible.
Dalton brings up the family visit, and segues to a clip of the reward challenge, “Pass the Bucket”. Jenna likes the family visits because it reminds her of when her dad came to see her on Survivor Amazon. I note Jeff Probst felt the need to give away the strategy of wringing out your shirt to family members too clueless to figure it out for themselves. Jeff, play fair. It didn’t matter this time, I say but let the players play the games and do their own thinking.
Jonathan tells Dalton that he was sure he was the one going to Exile Island if Parvati or Adam won, and whoever went at that point was probably going home. Jonathan thinks if someone else had won, Adam or Parvati would have been the one banished. Jenna likes it that they got to hug, which wasn’t allowed in her season.
Heather in Montreal had her question stolen, so she asks if the way he remembers interacting with the others is the same as how we see it on TV. Jonathan says Becky and Sundra are more active in the game that what we see. He confirms for Jenna that no one is riding coattails at his point. He says on Raro, he saw people who were not pulling their weight.
Joel from New York is irked that Parvati, Adam, and Candice are so self-righteous and morally superior about their game. Parvati is a flirt, Adam too, and Candice was first to mutiny and only hangs out with her clique.
Jonathan takes the high road. He says it’s self-righteous of him to evaluate their game, because anything you do to get to the next day in the game is fair. He says he would not revert to the name-calling that they did, but after all, they are still in the game.
Jenna is dying to get a word in, and can’t. Dalton wonders how much of what they say is planned and how much is anger and nastiness. I’m seeing anger, primarily. Jonathan says, “They didn’t see him as a good guy, because I’m not playing the game the same way.”
Jenna finally gets the floor. She says, “I did what they did. It’s like, we can do it to you, but when you do it to us, we’re pissed. I was the same.” I’m glad to see she’s gained the maturity to see how hypocritical that is.
Jonathan says it hurts them more because they thought they were in the driver’s seat, were lording it over him, and then the tables turned. He repeats, “They were playing a very emotional game, and not a particularly strategic one.”
It’s time for Jenna Morasca’s “Question of the Week.” “What are you going to do now?” Jonathan says he doesn’t act much anymore; he’s more of a writer/producer now. He and his wife have a few potential deals out there now (not with CBS), but nothing firm he can report on.
The final piece of business is the running of the CBS promo. Parvati and Adam plan; Ozzy is playing to win; Becky and Yul consider turning on Ozzy.
Jenna talks about the final three (as versus, final two). She says, “I would be LIVID about!” Dalton sees his pre-season pick of Yul is still looking good. Because the promos indicate Ozzy is in trouble, he thinks that’s a false lead. Jenna thinks a female will be in the final two. She fears the million will be decided by fire-making.
Dalton predicts Yul-Ozzy-Becky in the final three. Jenna wants to make a different pick, but cannot.
Although Yul made an incredibly poor decision to boot Jonathan one episode too soon, I still feel he’s still the most obvious, early-definable winner since Brian in Survivor: Thailand. But I could be wrong, it happens often enough…
And that’s all the time there is. Having never used the word “aggressive” this week, Jenna mini-dances us out and we are done.
CBS Website Clues:
The first one is obviously Parvati and Adam, and we saw in the promo that the third one is Becky and Yul discussing Ozzy. The second one promises some slopping about in the mud.
The fourth one, I’ll let you guys tell me your opinions – I’ll share my own uneducated guess with anyone who sends in a reasoned interpretation of that clue.
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at Uncle_bto@rogers.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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