Survivor: Fiji
Blackmail or Betrayal
By Jim Van Nest
May 2, 2007

Dreamz is betraying him right now.

Hello, good people, and welcome back to Survivor: Fiji. After a week off, I'm back to take you guys with me to the end of the Fiji season. Previously on Survivor, as is often the case, I take the day off on the best episode of the season. David and Kim nailed the entire episode for me, so there's not a lot to add really. But I do have to reiterate the incredible strategy on display on last week's episode. Rarely have we seen two alliances play such a perfect strategic round, but last week was definitely it. Earl and Yau Man are playing a near perfect game; however, as much as I hate to mention it, it was Stacy who put the exclamation point on a great turn of events. Even though he ended up on the short end of the stick, it must be mentioned that Alex played everything exactly the way he needed to. He was just on the wrong side of the numbers game and was forced to rely on the biggest flake in the history of Survivor, Dreamz. The previews for tonight's episode show Alex and Mookie finding Yau Man's idol. Let's see if they come up with a good plan for it.

We begin right after Tribal and Alex and Mookie are talking about how screwed they are. And they now know that Dreamz is not with them. At the same time, Dreamz wants to know why he wasn't in the loop on the Edgardo vote. Earl somehow manages to convince Dreamz that it was a last minute thing in case Mookie pulled out the idol. As the Earl alliance basks in their dominance, we get to see once again why Stacy is one of the most vile human beings ever to be on the show. She talks about having the numbers and that Alex and Mookie will now be lucky if they get fed. Way to win graciously, bitch. If there really is a Survivor Karma God...he'll see to it that Stacy gets bitten by a poisonous snake while on Exile Island.

The next morning, Mookie and Alex are discussing how terrible Dreamz is and he comes over to join them. He asks why they don't hang out any more. Alex is totally shocked by the question. Dreamz, still trying to play both sides, tries to convince them that his vote for Mookie was a strategic vote and that they all got played. I'm so bummed that he wasn't asked to explain how it was a strategic vote. He tells us that he doesn't care whether they come or go, but he wants to stay on their good side, because he needs their vote later on. I suppose it's possible...and if it happens, he could easily be the dumbest Survivor to make the finals. Lil and Clay would both marvel at how dumb this kid is.

Probst sighting!! Everyone files in to the challenge area and it looks like a nice game of pitch and catch. The tribe is broken up into two teams and each team will slingshot balls into a massive mud pit while the rest of the team tries to catch the balls in a tribal lacrosse stick. They can catch either team's ball and every time they do scores a point. First team to five points wins. Wanna know what they're playing for? Lots of bathing products that will be taken with them to a luxury spa, where they'll take a shower, stay the night and they'll send a person to Exile Island, where they'll find a new clue to the location of the hidden idol. Jeff has one of the comments of the night as he tells them that they ALL need to win these bath products. Heh.

The teams are: Yau Man launching balls to Boo, Cassandra and Mookie, and Stacy launching balls to Earl, Alex and Dreamz. Boo gets the orange team on the board first, and Mookie steals one to make it 2-0. A few more rounds go by and Jeff lets them know it's up to them as to how physical this will get. Oh, and did I mention this is in a huge mud pit? Good chance for injury, or humor. Honestly, I'm not sure which one I'm rooting for. Dreamz finally gets the green team on the board. On the next shot, Boo gets taken down awkwardly and seems to be hurt badly. He suggests it may be an ACL tear, which would definitely have him rooming with Mark Prior on the DL. They bring medical in and as they're checking him out, he decides to get up and see about putting weight on it. As he does this, everyone in the game and everyone watching at home can hear the crazy loud *POP* of something inside his knee. Now, I've had some unflattering things to say about Boo this whole season, but to be able to have that happen and not break down like a little girl, he has definitely earned some respect points from me. The medical team finally says that if he can handle the pain, he can continue. He decides to stay in the game. Next round, Dreamz scores again. 2-2. Mookie makes the next catch and Dreamz evens it up at 3-3. Meanwhile, Mookie is getting pissed that Yau Man isn't getting the ball to him. Who knew Keyshawn Johnson was in the game? gets the next point and then Alex steals one from him to keep the teams knotted at 4-4. And on the next round, Dreamz catches the fourth of five points for the green team. Earl and Co decide that since Boo has been living in the lap of luxury for the whole game, he can go to Exile.

We come back from break and join Boo at Exile. Looks like the idol is back at their camp again and seems to be by a tree within easy reach. Boo's kinda happy about that. Due to his knee, he's glad he doesn't have to be up and about trying to find an idol.

On the sea plane to paradise, the filthy dirty green team basks in their glory and Alex is all about finding a place. He knows he's got little to no chance, but he's gonna do the best he can. As they land, the first thing everyone does is take a shower. And then comes the meal. Stacy tells us that it's very awkward to have Alex there. And he starts making his play. He tells them that they know he's always been a good sport. He's really scrambling and finally asks Earl what the order is, between him and Mookie. And once again, Earl shows that he has studied and mastered this game. His response is, "That information can't be revealed because the game ain't over. Can't be stupid." Niiiiiice. Alex tries to plant the seed that Mookie is ready to go. He tells us that he's planning on "bringing it" so they should be prepared. Uh...yeah.

The clean folks come back to camp and sore loser, resident idiot Mookie is pissed about it. He goes on to let us know that his mind is constantly thinking and now he's gonna make his play. Oddly enough, Mookie's "thinking" actually produces some results. He tells Dreamz that he's pretty sure Yau Man has the idol since he's ALWAYS at camp and tending to the water. If anyone were to have it, it would have to be Yau. So after Dreamz falls asleep, Mookie grabs Alex and they decide to take a quick peek into Yau's bag. As it is, Yau is out fishing, so they have the perfect opportunity. And whaddaya know, there it is right in his bag, the turtle immunity idol. In a very odd twist, they wrap the idol back up and put it back in his bag. Now, I'm not advocating theft, but if you're going to be enough of a puke to dig through someone's personal belongings, why not just take the idol? What's Yau gonna do, call a meeting and ask everyone who took his idol that only one person knows he has? It's a despicable move, to go through someone's things...but if you've got no problems with that, you shouldn't have a problem taking the idol. [A quick addition to the column: I just learned in checking around that it is apparently against the rules of Survivor to steal a hidden idol from the person in possession of it. And since they had the boys on camera messing with his bag, they certainly couldn't show up at Tribal with it later on. Just wanting to clear that up.]

We then join Stacy and Cassandra in the woods celebrating being the last women in the game. They hear Alex and Mookie coming and quickly hide. It's right here that the guys have the discussion about what to do with Yau's idol. They decide to "out" the idol at Tribal Council in hopes that the rest of Yau's alliance will be mad at him and join them. Even if it doesn't work, they're just excited to "go out in a blaze of glory", "Scarface-style." Um fellas...that's not going out in a blaze of glory. Taking the idol and then playing it at Tribal council...THAT'S going out in a blaze of glory. What you're talking about is child's play. A real man would have stolen the idol and used it for himself. [ bad on the whole Survivor rule thing.]

All of a sudden, they hear a stick break and realize that they're not alone. It's them and Stacy and Cassandra (and the cameraman that's following THEM around). I mean, for real, how do you hide in this game? Anyway, this totally screws up the plan. With the girls hearing their planning, they decide to try to beat the girls back to camp and try to force Yau Man's hand by threatening to out the idol right now. And as the race begins, we take a quick break.

We come back and the guys gave gotten to camp and walk up to Yau. Oddly enough, Cassandra and Stacy were not able to hear their conversation. They heard a couple words here and there, but nothing of what they were talking about. So the guys walk up to Yau and tell him that they know he has the idol and he can tell everyone...or they will. Yau tries to play it off, but they tell him that they found it in his bag. His response, "You guys do what you need to do." Oh crap! That wasn't what they wanted to hear. He tells them that he's past the phase where he HAS to have it. The look on Mookie and Alex's faces when they see that their great plan to "out" the idol is going to have no effect on Yau at all is priceless. Yau tells us that it changes no outcome for those two. He says it changes for him personally later on, but nothing changes for them. He decides to tell his alliance.

So Yau man tells Stacy first. He tells her as though it's no big deal at all. He just says that Alex found his idol while searching through his bag. And she's disgusted. But not at Alex for going through his stuff. When the rest of the group comes back, she tells them too. And none of them can believe it. And I'm amazed at how this has played out. He just told you that he has an immunity idol. This idol gives him a HUGE advantage over all of you. He will use it to help put you out of the game. Yet, all they're upset about is the bullshit way the knowledge came to light. Yau Man is amazing. Every bit of strategy he has tried has worked. And this one was a thing of beauty. I mean, they're even pissed that Alex and Mookie then decided to bully him with this info. Earl tells us that he's bummed to have that knowledge out there. He much preferred to have it tucked away with just him and Yau knowing about it. But, to his credit, there's no way anyone else knows that he already knew Yau had it. Sadly, the only person to have the right reaction to all this is Dreamz. He feels that he, Cassandra and Stacy could be the odd folks out.

Mookie and Alex are reveling in the chaos they seem to think they've caused. Little do they know that they've only made it worse for themselves. Yau tells us that as long as they don't pull in Dreamz and Boo into their group, he should be fine.

Another Probst sighting! And this challenge is kinda tough. There's a Battleship style grid laid out on the beach. Each person has to pick a line of three squares as theirs. One by one, each will call out a square. Anyone who has that square will lose one of their three chances to stay alive. The last person with a square wins. First selection is made by Dreamz. He knocks out Earl, Boo and himself. Next shot is fired by Cassandra. She hits Yau Man and herself. Mookie gives Earl his second hit. Earl takes a shot that hits Alex, Mookie and Cassandra for the second time. Yau Man gives Dreamz and Boo their second hit and takes Earl out of the game. Stacy picks and knocks out Boo and Dreamz out of the challenge. Alex misses. Cassandra misses. Mookie takes Cassandra out of the challenge. Yau Man puts the first hit on Stacy and the second on Mookie. Alex misses again. Stacy misses. Mookie gives Alex his second hit. Yau Man selects and knocks Mookie out of the challenge. Alex selects and finally hits. He delivers the second hit to Yau Man. Stacy then selects and hits herself, but as she does, she also takes out Yau and Alex and wins the challenge. Ugh...this chick is already too close to the million, I can hardly stand the thought of her getting any closer to it.

And now it's time to play "Alex or Mookie?" The guys have decided that they're gonna cause some hell at Tribal Council. Nothing will be held back. They are gonna try to drive a wedge into the alliance. Dreamz and Earl are deciding who to vote for. Dreamz wants Mookie gone because he's useless. Earl thinks Mook has "checked out" and should go. Boo, back from Exile, tells the group that the idol is apparently easy to find. He's paranoid that one of the guys could have found this idol. So they come up with the idea of splitting their vote 3-3. So that way if one of them does have the idol, it will just serve to knock out the other one. Earl does not like this idea (and I agree with him), but he feels that trying to tell them to not do what they want to do would be bad at this point. Ya know all it takes is Dreamz to flutter back to the Horsemen and this "split the vote" idea becomes a disaster. I mean think about it. All they have to do is target Yau Man. He won't play the idol; he's too cocky for that. If they pull in Dreamz, it could go three votes Alex, three votes Yau, two votes Mookie. Then we have a tie and challenge between Alex and Yau Man. And if Alex were to win...they'd take out Yau Man AND his hidden idol all in one shot. This split vote thing is just not a good idea.

As they prepare to go to Tribal, Alex tells us his plan is to simply last through this vote. He wants to at least have a chance to make a play after tonight.

First question is whether or not the reward challenge changed the game at all. Jeff complains about how people were slinging mud and tripping. Mookie begins to talk about how an alliance got destroyed last time around and they have to deal with being on the outside looking in. Jeff asks him what they do. He says they came up with the plan and that was by talking about Yau Man's idol and that they "found" it in his bag. Jeff stops him there and pretty much goes off on them for going through his personal belongings. Yau Man says it was a desperation move and that it won't affect the game for the next couple rounds. Earl says he was pissed that they went trough his stuff. Jeff asks Dreamz about trust. Dreamz says his take on this is that after those two are gone, the alliance will have to split up and he wants to know where he stands. He moves on to Alex and asks if there are people coasting. He goes on a little mini-rant about past actions coming back to haunt you. He uses more Survivor clich├ęs here in one little speech than I've heard in complete seasons. And the bottom line is...nothing he said made any sense whatsoever. So, let's end it and vote.

We see Mookie vote for Boo. Boo? Why? And then we see Alex vote for Mookie. See? There's a guy that's thinking. The two of them are done. They should just go ahead and vote for the other and get it over with. Mookie throwing a vote at Boo made no sense at all and hopefully will be the difference in the tally. Speaking of, I'll go tally the votes. Alex, Alex, Mookie, Boo, Mookie, Mookie, Alex. And we're tied 3-3 with one vote left. Eleventh person voted out...Mookie. YAY! He was a tool. He thought too highly of himself while not giving enough credit to others and I'm glad to see him go. Now, if they could please dump Stacy. Jeff ends Tribal perfectly, "Well based on what I heard tonight, it sounds like there's one very strong group of six and Alex. Which means Alex is either odd man out or suddenly very valuable." And here we see again why Jeff is the best reality host. Just in case they weren't thinking that way, Jeff planted the seed of how valuable Alex could be.

Next time on Survivor: Alex decides to play it quiet and Boo annoys everyone by talking too much. And we see a shot of a sweet challenge that has everyone's hands tied behind their back and trying to rip meat off of huge slabs dangling in front of them. Just a quick take from me, in this game there are a couple times to switch things nine, seven and less so at five. Being down to 7 now...this is the perfect time to change it up. Unfortunately, Dreamz is so connected to Cassandra and she's so connected to Earl and Yau Man, I don't see Alex getting three people to join him. I think Boo and Stacy would be easy to convince. If he can sway Dreamz and make him believe that he's fourth on the totem pole in that alliance, he might have a shot at running the table. And frankly, if he makes it through the next episode, I'm going to start talking about him deserving to win this thing. Until next week, take care.