Survivor Micronesia: Fans Vs. Favorites
He's a ball of goo!
By Jim Van Nest
March 10, 2008

Don't let his smile fool you. He has a lot of rage.

Hello, good people, and welcome back to the BOP Survivor Recap. Previously on Survivor: the Favorites took control of the game, Ozzy found the hidden idol, Chet was useless, Tracy took a gamble, Joel bought it hook line and sinker and Mikey B took an early exit. One of the more stupid votes in Survivor history looks to be moot point as the tribes will mix up tonight. The previews also teased that Joel and Ozzy will end up on the same tribe, Amanda will wrestle a shark and Jonathan will need the medical team. Should be an exciting show, so let's get right to it.

We begin at the Fans tribe after the Mikey B boot and Jason is pretty bummed. He realizes that not only is his tribe even weaker than before, but he's also on the short side of the numbers. We then join Tracy and Chet talking about how Jason's next. And Chet just can't wait to see him go. Which can only mean that Chet has no desire to actually win a challenge while he's on this island. And these are supposedly "HUGE" fans of Survivor? Give me a break.

We come back from the opening credits to the Favorites tribe and attention turns to the chickens. Charlie the chicken is down to his last few minutes as Ozzy, James and Ami take care of Charlie and the cooking commences. As everyone heads out to get wood and stuff to take care of cooking Charlie, Ozzy breaks away and finds himself a nice hiding spot for the idol. Pretty smart move when you figure that a couple times people have gone through other player's stuff and found idols. But after taking so much care of the idol, he goes right out to tell James, Parvati and Amanda that he has it. Amanda tells us that this makes their little clique the powerhouse right now. Wow...maybe that was a poor time to mention that, because....

Probst sighting!! "Drop your buffs, we are switching tribes." He has everyone grab a rock out of a bag. The person that grabs the purple stone and the person that grabs the orange stone will be the captains. First off, let me just say that I'm a little annoyed by this for a couple reasons. The first is that the Fans won't have the chance to be completely screwed by their stupid vote. They basically scored a Get Out of Jail Free card here and that pisses me off. Second, since we're blending the tribes, I'm going to have to actually learn the tribe names. DOH!!! After the drawing, the captains are Natalie and Ozzy. Natalie will captain the Airai tribe and Ozzy the Malakal. And by the funny would it have been for Ozzy to end up on the new Airai and have to lose his hidden idol? That would have been hilarious. Anyway, now it's time for the dreaded school yard pick 'em - which will certainly expose Chet, Kathy and Eliza as the weak links.

Natalie will select first and she has to take a favorite. Surprise! She chooses James. Ozzy then has to choose a fan, and he chooses Troy. Er...Joel. James then has to choose a fan and he chooses Alexis. Joel plays right into Ozzy's hands by choosing Amanda. Alexis then chooses Penner. Amanda grabs Leif Garrett (aka Eric). Penner then chooses Bon Jovi (aka Jason). Before we go on, I'd like to please request that everyone get this straight. The kid with the fluffy blonde hair is Leif; the kid with the darker hair is Bon Jovi. Please stop switching them around. Thank you. Back to the pick 'em. Erik chooses Ami. Jason chooses Poverty. "PARvati." And everyone has a chuckle, including Probst who spent an entire season mispronouncing her name. Ami then chooses Tracy. Parvati takes Kathy. Tracy then chooses Cirie. This leaves Eliza for Airai and Chet for the new Malakal.

Let's run down the new tribes.

Malakal is now: Ozzy, Joel, Amanda, Eric, Ami, Tracy, Cirie and Chet.

Airai is now: Natalie, James, Alexis, Penner, Jason, Parvati, Kathy and Eliza.

All righty, let's get to today's challenge. The tribes will be broken into pairs. Each pair will be tied together and have a flag on their back. In alternating rounds, one tribe will run and the other will chase. They will be on a large "playing field" of obstacles and will start at opposite ends. The round will last for one minute. If the chasers grab the runners' flag, they score a point. If the minute expires and they don't get the flag, the runners get the point. First tribe to three points wins reward. Wanna know what they're playing for? A home barbeque. Steaks, sausages, veggies, spices and wine. Also, there will be no Exile Island today, to let the tribes get to know each other.

Malakal wins the toss and will chase first. Ozzy and Eric will be chasing Kathy and Natalie. This round lasts about 20 seconds and Ozzy grabs the flag. Parvati and Eliza will be chasing Chet and Joel. About 30 seconds in, Eliza catches up to Chet and grabs the flag. Meanwhile, Parvati hit something and has quite the welt growing on her lip. Real quick, though...what genius decided that Chet and Joel should be a team? Joel already thinks Chet is this the best way to help the tribe, by putting two guys who don't like each other together? Stupid. Anyway, on to Round 3. Ami and Amanda will now chase James and Jason. Midway through, Ami does something to herself and limps through the rest of the course. Looking pretty easy for James and Jason, but wait. They get themselves hung up on a tree and Ami and Amanda manage to catch up and Ami grabs the flag for a 2-1 Malakal lead. Next up is Penner and Alexis chasing Cirie and Tracy. Doesn't take very long, but they catch up and Alexis grabs the flag. We're tied 2-2 and Jeff gives us the injury update. Penner has a large gash on his knee, Parvati's lip has a bump on her lip that looks big enough to have its own gravitational pull and Ami has a tweaked knee. Final round will be Joel and Chet chasing Parvati and Eliza. Shortly after entering the course, Joel closes in on the girls and as he lunges for them, not only does he miss the flag, but he flips Chet over an obstacle. That pretty much takes Chet out of the challenge. The rest of the way, Chet is absolutely useless and hardly even tries to get to his feet. Some of the highlights of the next 30 seconds are Chet bashing his head on one of the obstacles, Joel completely losing his patience, Joel dragging Chet through the course as Chet can't get his footing and Parvati and Eliza not getting caught. Airai wins reward. And before I move on, let me just say that I didn't think there would be a chance for the Fans to feel the stupidity of the Mikey B vote and while the whole tribe wasn't affected, I found it quite karmic that Joel was leashed up with the guy he SHOULD have dumped last week. And that that pairing was the demise of this challenge. Sorry big guy, if you had made the right decision last week, you might be getting ready to have a steak. As it is, go back to camp and enjoy your loss, dumbass.

We come back from break to the Malakal tribe. The fans are amazed at the camp of the Favorites. As Joel explains how he hates losing to Cirie, he tells us that its poetic justice that he would end up on the same tribe with Chet and that it cost him the challenge. Eric is so excited to be on the tribe and he's completely in awe of Ozzy, "I got to meet OZZY," he tells us. Ozzy rounds up the tribe to give a pep talk about losing being no big deal, especially with what they have in their camp. He then tells us that they have the advantage of being on the Malakal beach. He goes on to say that Chet is just useless. He doesn't see Chet as a strong competitor and he needs to go.

We move over to the victorious Airai beach and the Favorites are blown away by the mess that their camp is. Eliza is shocked that they sleep on the beach. She's also blown away by them having their fire on the beach, where the tide is slowly creeping in. As Jason cooks up some steak kabobs, the tide rushes in, over the fire and puts it completely out. James tells us that he's amazed that they're still alive. "They're a bunch of dingbats." The story moves to Jonathan's knee. He's having trouble moving. He says it's not really a cut or gash, it's a puncture. It doesn't take very long before the Survivor medics show up to take a look at it. They come in and numb up the knee. Then we get a nice close-up of the cleaning and its looks like a pretty deep hole. They stitch him all up and take off. Jonathan tells us that he's very worried about an infection and the fact that he can't walk real well. What a blow for this tribe. Quietly, Jonathan has become quite the force in these challenges and if he's gimpy or even worse, removed from the game, Airai will be seriously hurting.

We go back to Malakal and Ozzy, Eric and Joel are out fishing. Well, Ozzy's fishing. The other guys are just there being amazed. Eric goes on to tell us how amazing Ozzy is. I could be wrong, but I detect a serious man-crush going on. We join some strategic talk. Ozzy tells Joel and Eric that Chet has to go and then either Cirie or Tracy. Joel jumps in like the Godfather and tells Ozzy that if he'll vote Cirie first, he has no problem giving up Chet. As if the rest of the tribe is owned by one of the two of them. Ozzy nods and looks at Joel as if to say, "Dude, you keep dreaming like that and see where it gets you." Joel goes on to say that being even at 4-4 does set up the side with the first person gone at a disadvantage. Joel then tells us that he thinks it's still Fans vs. Favorites and one side needs to find one person to flip.

Back at Airai, Penner is taking charge and setting the game plan for the new shelter. Alexis is just amazed at how fast the Favs came in and found a new place for shelter and created a new shelter better than either of the previous shelters. Next up we see Alexis gushing over James and how nice it is to have them there. I have to wonder, does this happen to James everywhere he goes? Hot little white girls just drool all over him? Maybe I need to start hitting the gym!

We head back to Malakal and all of a sudden, Amanda comes walking up to camp carrying a four-foot shark. Ozzy is totally smitten. He talks about her wrestling a shark by herself. As they cook it up and enjoy eating it, I want to point out that in 16 seasons of this show, three sharks have been caught. One was a little bitty one that latched itself onto Richard Hatch's leg in All-Stars and he brought it back to camp. The second was Tom the fireman catching one in Palau. And now this one. I'm wondering how there can be 137 cameras rolling 24 hours a day, yet the two times someone brings in a big-ass shark, there's no footage of it. What's up with that?

Once again, Probst sighting! Today's challenge will have four members of each tribe throwing rocks at ceramic tiles. When broken, the tiles will drop a set of puzzle pieces. When all four sets of pieces are dropped, they'll drag them to the puzzle board where one person will be the caller and the other three will follow his/her instructions and put the puzzle together. Seems easy enough, right? Then let's get to it. Up first, Ozzy breaks a tile. Then Tracy breaks a tile. Jonathan breaks one for Airai. James smashes a tile, but it doesn't fall, much to the chagrin and complaints of Penner. Eric breaks the third for Malakal. James hits another one that doesn't fall. Jason drops one for Airai. Eric drops the fourth tile and they start reeling in their pieces. All the while, Penner's yelling about it being "bull." As Chet takes the lead on Malakal's puzzle, Penner hits one of the broken tiles and again it doesn't fall. As he whines, Jeff has the line of the night, "Airai, you need to stop bitching and start throwing." Hee hee.

As Malakal struggles with their puzzle, Airai finally gets all their pieces. With Eliza taking the lead on their puzzle, I'll say that Airai has a chance here. Joel tries to take over for Malakal and Penner mentions to Eliza to look at the bigger picture. That there has to be a pattern and she should look for it. A minute or two later, she's found it and Airai wins immunity. And for the second challenge this show, Joel and Chet are responsible for the loss. I wonder how Mikey B would have done in those challenges. Hmmmm....

Back at the losing Malakal camp, it's time to once again play, "It's anyone but Chet." Joel has changed his mind now and wants Chet gone. He's willing to give up his numbers to get Chet out of there. He talks it over with Eric and they agree. Joel tells us that Chet has to go, he's completely spineless. Joel and Ozzy talk and Joel tells Ozzy that Chet has to go, then Cirie and then Tracy. And Ozzy is good with that. Eric approaches Amanda and Cirie about getting rid of Chet. Cirie tells us that she's fine with getting rid of the weaker players, but she's included in that group, so it doesn't work for her. We next see her talking with Chet and Tracy as Chet throws the last challenge loss on Joel. They come up with a plan to get rid of Joel. Cirie comes to Ozzy and Amanda to dump Joel. Ozzy tells her that if they dump Chet, they still have the numbers. Cirie tells them that Chet is just like a pawn and that Joel is really playing the game hard. She's doing her best to convince them that Joel is a much bigger threat. And ya know something, she's right. But we're not at an individual game right now, this is a team game and you keep Chet over Joel, you've made the team considerably weaker. Ozzy tells us that he's not sure what to do. He wants the tribe stronger for challenges, but Joel wants to win the game real bad and that he's dangerous.

We begin Tribal Council and Jeff asks Ozzy if he took Joel to match up with James. Ozzy says definitely. Jeff then asks Chet is not being picked at all works on his psyche at all. Chet says that he's been in trouble since day one, but that he's still there. He's happy to be where he is regardless of if he was picked. Jeff asks Tracy what she thought of the first challenge. She takes this opportunity to slam Joel for the way he dragged Chet around the course. Joel explains that there was communication and that if Chet couldn't keep up, it's not his fault. Jeff then asks Chet what he thought of the whole deal. He said that he felt like he was being pulled by a truck and that the communication wasn't as good as Joel suggested. Moving on to Eric, he asks if this vote is about keeping the tribe strong or is it Fans vs. Favorites. Eric feels that the vote will be to keep the tribe strong. And after a short Tribal, it is time to vote.

We see Eric's vote for Chet saying that the tribe has to stay strong. We see Chet's vote for Joel with no comments. We see Tracy's vote for Joel and she says it's because he called her weak one too many times. We also see Joel's vote for Chet with no comment. Let's go tally the votes. Before we get to that, though, it's time for the "does anyone have the hidden immunity idol" question. And as Jeff asks the question, Amanda immediately turns her head to Ozzy. I mean, plain as day and as obvious as possible. The neat thing is, though, when they click to Ozzy, right below him to the right is Ami catching the look from Amanda and glancing up at Ozzy as well. And all I can say is, "Uh oh." Amanda may have just completely screwed their little clique. Because Ami ain't stupid and the quick look on her face says she now has an inkling where that hidden idol may be. the votes. First vote: Joel. Chet. Chet. Joel. And with the second vote, Joel actually starts to chuckle. Third vote: Joel. And the smile fades. Joel. And the realization sinks in. And with the fifth vote, the big guy is sent packing and Eric is totally screwed. All I can say is this may actually be a dumber vote than the Mikey B vote. Ozzy was never a strategic threat. But the fact that Ami and Amanda would go along with this, just blows me away. Hopefully, the next challenge will be a one on one physical challenge and James will just destroy whoever comes up against him. Dumb, dumb, dumb!!!

This is the perfect time for me to continue my quest for inclusion on a future season of Survivor. Are you tired of watching these so called "super fans" make the same stupid mistakes over and over? Are you tired of seeing players like Chet kept in the game despite the fact that he brings absolutely nothing to the table in the form of strategy, challenge savvy, work around camp or even entertainment? I know I am. We need to get some people on this show that know how to play the game. I am that person. Plus, I still love the idea of the CBS Caption: "Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst." So, please join my quest by hitting the Feedback email at Feedback. Send them a link to this column with a note that tells them that this guy from the cool box office website has to get on this show. As always, thanks for your help and support.

Next time on Survivor: Ami makes a move and starts to hit up the Fans. Hmmm...wouldn't be because of Amanda's little idol glance at Ozzy by any chance, would it? Bon Jovi finds Ozzy's hidden idol and tells us how good it will be for him. And Jonathan battles an infection. We get a clip of the Survivor medic telling him that an infection can kill him. Please, please, please if there's a Survivor God...please don't let Penner go home with a medical issue. He's one of the most entertaining guys on the show and I'll be pissed if he has to go because of this injury. Until next week, take care.