Survivor: Fiji
A Smile, Velvet Gloves and a Dagger in My Pocket
By Jim Van Nest
May 4, 2007

You're kind of a jerk but at least you know how to play the game.

Hello, good people, and thanks for joining me down the home stretch of Survivor: Fiji. Previously on Survivor, Mookie and Alex decided to scrape the bottom of the barrel and found Yau Man's idol as they rifled through his bag. As with anything else Mookie is a part of, the strategy they employed was just a mess and did nothing more than get them villain-ized for going through someone's stuff. With their attempted "blaze of glory" reduced to a small brush fire, they set their sights on immunity, but in an odd twist of events, Stacy brought home the necklace. Boo came up with an idiotic "let's split the vote concept", which the tribe adopted against Earl and Yau Man's wishes. Alex, always thinking, decided now was the time to bail on Mookie and his vote was the deciding factor in sending Mookie to the jury box. As Probst mentioned, Alex is now either odd man out or very valuable. I guess we'll see tonight.

And we begin right after Tribal Council and Alex is feeling okay that his vote took Mookie out. Earl is not happy about the split. He wanted all of the votes to go to Alex. He actually tells them that it's the last time he'll go along with something he doesn't agree with. And then Stacy makes her move to tell Alex that she's wrong and wants to be friends. Alex says, "like I care." As they're talking, the group sends Boo over to break it up. Wow, that was awkward. There is a small crack in the alliance and Alex sees it. He decides he's gonna just lay low and watch for a bit. And I'll go ahead and say it right now; Alex is the most dangerous person on this island at the moment. The Earl alliance is fracturing and Alex has the right kind of strategy to take advantage of it. The last few episodes should be a lot of fun...cue the theme.

We come back the next morning (Day 31, by the way) and most of the tribe is sleeping on the beach. Alex decided to not do anything today as he's going to observe everyone to see where he can get in. He overhears Earl talking to Cassandra about how she and Yau are the only ones he can trust and that they want to take Dreamz as their fourth. When they bring Yau into the conversation, he expresses concerns for how tight Cassandra and Dreamz are. He feels it's bad for him. Yau tells them he would rather have Stacy there, because he feels he would have a better chance. Cassandra tells us that Yau is playing real hard and that having the idol makes him very dangerous. They finish up by deciding that Alex should still go next and then Boo.

Probst sighting! Today's challenge is to rip pieces of meat off a huge piece of pork using only their teeth. They'll then deposit the meat onto their plate. Whoever has the most after five minutes wins. They win a huge package. They'll be picked up by helicopter and taken to a place to river raft the rain forest. They'll get a nice lunch and then come back to camp. They'll take the two runners-up with them. The winner will get two more things as well. They'll get to send someone to Exile Island and they'll get an advantage in the next immunity challenge. So, huge stakes are on the line this time out. And something tells me that Boo might be well suited for this challenge.

The challenge is quite the mess and really hard to do play by play on, but Yau Man brings in a few large pieces. Boo has some, so does Alex. The highlight is Earl dropping a piece on the ground and deciding to pick it up. Ewww. TIME! Time to weigh in. Boo weighs in at 8.9 pounds. Yau Man weighs in at 6 pounds. Cassandra comes in at 5.8 pounds. Stacy had only 4.3 pounds. Earl barely registers 5 pounds. Dreamz clocks in at 6 pounds and boots Cassandra. Alex comes in just over 5 pounds. So Boo wins the challenge and Yau Man and Dreamz will join him on the rafting trip. Boo sends Earl to Exile Island and Jeff gives him a bag to help him at the next challenge. And I swear I could see Yau Man trying to figure out how he can get a peek in that bag.

We come back to camp as the helicopter lands. The winners get aboard and have a wonderful flight over the island and are all in awe of the sights. It only takes a few minutes before Boo starts annoying Dreamz by talking too much. About an hour and a half later, the chopper lands and they hike to the river. After a quick safety briefing, they climb into the raft and take off. This is that one challenge of every season that I would feel like I HAD to have. These guys are having a blast. Dreamz is like a little kid taking it all in.

From the ultimate excitement to the ultimate boredom....we leave the rapids to join Earl at Exile Island. Naturally, all he cares about is the clue to the location of the hidden idol. The new clue says that the idol is inside a tree near a lonely tower of rock on a path they normally walk. Frankly, I think that's enough for Earl.

Back to the rafters and they're eating massive sandwiches now. After lunch, the river guide comes over to them and gives them each an envelope. Inside each envelope is a letter from home. Yau and Boo read some of their letters out loud. Dreamz prefers to keep his to himself. He gets a letter from his sister talking about how great it is that he got to do this. If there's one person that really got something out of this letter, it's Dreamz.

We come back to camp and Dreamz and Yau are telling Stacy, Cassandra and Alex about how much Boo talks. So, this turns into a Boo-bashing session and Alex eats it up and starts stirring the pot. Looks like he's found his crack. He has to get them all annoyed enough with Boo to get rid of him. Alex goes to Dreamz and Dreamz confirms that Alex is next. But Dreamz would rather see Boo go than Alex. Alex knows he has to win this challenge to stay in the game. And with Boo having an advantage, this might be a tall order.

Hey! There's Jeff again! Boo opens his bag to find three climbing steps. Since he has those, he doesn't have to participate in the first round, he'll move onto the final. The rest will have to start digging to find their digging steps. The first two to find all three steps will join Boo in the final round, where they'll use those steps to climb a 12 foot pole. First to make it to the top and pull their flag wins immunity. Survivors ready?

Wow, each person has a huge lane and these things could be buried anywhere. This is as much luck as it is skill or strength. Dreamz finds the first paddle. Cassandra is having trouble and Probst is making fun. That ain't right. And Dreamz finds step #2. And Dreamz finds step #3 before anyone else finds any. Nice. Yau Man strikes next. Alex finds one finally. Always thinking, Alex starts dumping his sand into Yau Man's lane and he finds step #2. Cassandra basically quits and Alex finds step #3. Boo, Alex and Dreamz are in the final round.

Boo gets off to a fast start but Alex bails on the steps and just scales the pole. As he struggles, Boo uses the steps and skips past Alex and wins immunity. And once again, Alex uses brilliant strategy and gets screwed by poor execution.

And now it's time to play "It's Anyone But Alex". But I don't think this will have a good outcome for Alex. Yau confirms for us that Alex is going. Boo jokes about giving Alex the necklace. Yau is feeling really superior and content in the game. He tells us he won't have to use his idol. Alex is still laying low and expects that some people might come to him before the trip to Tribal. Cassandra is the first to visit, and Alex starts to plant some seeds. He tells her that he doesn't see Yau Man taking Dreamz to the end. She agrees with that. He tells her now is the time to make a power play. Of course, she realizes what he's doing, but he does make a strong case. He tells her that Boo and Stacy are better options for Yau Man. Alex moves on to Earl and Dreamz with the same strategy. Everyone seems receptive, but Earl tells us that he plans on sticking with Yau and risking it. Yau asks Boo where they all are and when he finds out Alex is there, he knows they're talking about him. Earl tells us that he doesn't think Cassandra and Dreamz are falling for it. We then join a conversation between them and they're not sure what to do. Dreamz is telling Cassandra that Alex doesn't matter. If they keep him, he's still expendable. Cassandra tells Dreamz that she has been with him from Day 1. Stacy tells them she'll follow Cassandra. So we could possibly have a Dreamz/Cassandra/Stacy/Alex vote for Yau.

Earl catches up with Cassandra and he tries to convince her that they need to stick with him. Earl tells her he thinks Dreamz is just playing along. He says he was winking at him the whole time to let him know he was playing. Flip to Dreamz and Alex. "Earl's not with the plan. The whole time he was winking and laughing and stuff." He tells Alex it's Yau Man tonight and Alex will live to fight another day. Cassandra is really on the fence about what to do and probably won't decide until she gets there. Can I interject right here how impressed I am with Dreamz? This is a huge strategic play and if it works, it'll go down as one of the best moves ever. And frankly, I'm tired of Yau Man and "his" idol. I'm tired of hearing how he's safe all the time. Nothing would make me happier than to see Gollum sent home with his unplayed "precious" in his pocket.

We get to Tribal Council and Jeff starts off with Alex. Alex says that he plans on playing til the end. He says that things are gonna break down whether or not he's still there or not. Jeff asks Yau if he is afraid of Alex tonight. And as expected, he feels totally comfortable with his alliance. Alex avoids a question about a crack in the alliance. Yau then tells us that he will be paying close attention after tonight as to where he'll play the immunity idol. Jeff asks Alex if he's surprised that the alliance is so secure. He says definitely and it's time for the alliance to start looking ahead in the game. Last question is a Yes or No answer for everyone. Concerned tonight? Alex - yes. Cassandra - no. Dreamz - no. Stacy - no. Yau Man - no. Earl - no. And now it's time to vote.

We see Alex's vote for Yau Man and Yau Man's vote for Alex. While I'm so hoping for Alex, I'm getting the feeling that he's toast. But, Jeff's tallying the votes, so let's check it out. And Yau refuses to play the idol. Please fry him! First vote, Alex. Then Yau Man. Alex. Alex. Twelfth person voted out, Alex. For crying out loud...this is why they need to stop pulling people out of shopping malls to play this game. Get some people who know how to play. This is one of the most retarded votes I've ever seen. You have to flip on Yau. You knock him out AND get rid of the hidden idol in the process. And the fact that Dreamz voted Alex, I take back the nice things I said about him earlier. David and Kim are right, he is an idiot. One of the biggest to ever play the game. There are not enough words for how much this vote pisses me off. No words for how stupid I think these people are and frankly, they deserve for Yau Man to take the money now. I'm pretty sure this group couldn't outwit a melting ice cube.

Next time on Survivor: Talk is about getting rid of Yau Man and during a challenge, Yau tries to make a deal. And you know what, with Alex out of the picture, I really don't even care. And I'd like to mention something my wife said to me during the show. She said, "Ya know, Boo is really getting a winner's edit." And in thinking about it, I think she's right. With only two episodes left the one thing I can say is, "I'm glad it's almost over." Until next week, take care.