Hello, good people, and welcome back to Survivor: Emergency Room...er...Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites. Previously on Survivor: they dropped their buffs, fans mingled with favorites, Jonathan got a hole in his knee, Ami twisted hers, Chet got a bump on the head, Parvati got a fat lip and Joel took a knife in his back. Joel is definitely out of the game. The question is whether any of the aforementioned injuries claim a second victim. Let's get right to it.
Survivor Micronesia: Fans Vs. Favorites
It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard
By Jim Van Nest
March 18, 2008
We begin at the Malakal beach right after Tribal. As Ozzy stokes the fire, Eric tells us how shocked he was about the vote. He's feeling pretty alone with his lone alliance mate taken out of the game. He tells us that it appears that the playing field has been lowered to lying to people's faces; he might just have to do some of that. Finally! Rather than sitting around whining about liars and integrity, a player finally figures out that in the game of Survivor, you have to fight fire with fire.
We come back from the opening to Malakal beach the next day. Chet and Tracy are talking about their successful strategy last night. But Tracy is concerned about being down 4-3 now against the Favorites. Tracy and Eric are talking and she tells him that she thinks he's next to go. Which hasn't actually been discussed, but who cares, right? She tells him that they just need to get one Favorite to vote with them and make the numbers even again. We cut to Tracy approaching Ami. Ami tells us she feels like Tracy has given up. She tells Tracy she needs to keep on going. She was in the same place at the old Favorites tribe. She tells us that it might be time to look into something with the Fans.
We get our first look at Airai and it's centering on Jonathan. James asks him about the knee and he says it's hurting. James is worried about losing Jonathan because he's an important part of the tribe. Penner and Eliza talk about the switch and how they got the sucky beach, but they have the better tribe. Their plan is to gain the trust of the fans and work on booting Parvati and James as soon as possible.
Probst sighting!! Malakal comes in without Joel and the Airai tribe just laughs it up - 'cause they know they have an easier time ahead of them. For this challenge, each tribe has a tunnel made out of logs and branches. On Jeff's go, they'll all swim out to a platform where they'll get bundles of planks, sticks and rope. They'll swim it back to shore and have ten minutes to make blockades in the other tribe's tunnel. After those ten minutes, they'll switch to their own tunnel and begin tearing down the blockades. The first tribe to get all seven members of their tribe through the tunnel and onto their mat wins reward. Wanna know what they're playing for? The winning tribe will be visited by two native Micronesians. These guys will teach them to fish, gather food and basically give them a crash course on how to live a much better camp life with the items that surround them. Also, the winning tribe will select someone to go to Exile Island. Airai has to sit someone out. All eyes turn to Jonathan, but he tells them he thinks he can be valuable in designing the blockade. So they decide to sit out Natalie. Survivors ready?
The beginning of the challenge is pretty much a mess. Suffice it to say that Penner is having a really hard time on his leg and Ozzy gets Malakal off to a bit of a lead. The tribes begin building and Malakal is front loading their blockade while Airai is spreading theirs out. It'll be interesting to see which strategy works out. When Jeff says go, the tribes switch and start tearing down. Malakal again is in the lead as they make quick work of the first blockade. Ozzy gets in the tunnel followed by Cirie. As Ozzy and Cirie get caught up at a new blockade, Jason and Eliza get midway through for Airai. It seems after they got through the front loading, Airai just flows through like a stream. As Penner is the last one through for Airai, Ozzy finally gets through, but it's way too little, way too late and Airai wins reward. They then choose Chet to go to Exile Island and pick Jason to join him. Before Jeff dismisses the Airai tribe, he says that the medical team is gonna check out Penner's knee.
She checks the knee and tells him that he's infected. He needs a surgical clean up. As he says that he's not quitting this game, the doctor tells him that antibiotics are not working at this point and he needs treatment in a hospital. She tells him that aside from issues with his knee, if this infection gets in his blood stream, it's potentially fatal. Through angry tears, Jonathan agrees to leave the game to get treatment. He felt like he had a great place in the game and he's pissed that he has to leave. As the tribe bids him a tearful farewell, something happens that, to me anyway, was pretty interesting. We've seen people med-evac'd from the game before, but I've never seen Probst right there to shake their hands and tell them "It's been a pleasure." You can tell he was even upset to see Penner go. I have to tell you, the rest of this season will be a little suckier without Jonathan there. Like him or hate him, he played the game. He played the game hard and he played it the right way. He played the physical, mental and strategic game 100%. He was one of my favorites and I hate to see him go.
We come back from break to an emotional Airai tribe. In one respect, they're happy to have won a great reward. But they lost a very strong member of their tribe. James is very worried about this, as he's now alone with a bunch of women who play a much smarter, more strategic game than he does. He has concerns about making the merge now. As he laments the loss of Jonathan, the Micronesia men show up to improve the camp life. As they land, they introduce themselves as Joe and Edwin. They brought fishing line, vegetables, a new machete, a nest and all kinds of things. Right off the bat, Parvati asks one of them if they're married. What a skank! I mean seriously. There's being flirtatious and kinda cute and there's being just a nasty skank! She is most definitely the latter. Next we see some crab traps set, some fishing and all kinds of food gathering.
We go back to Malakal and they're reeling from yet another defeat. The Favorites are talking about how useless the Fans are on their tribe. They feel the Fans aren't pulling their weight in challenges. Cirie complains that she doesn't want to teach them how to play the game, too, all the while trying to play her own game. All of the fan bashing starts to finally get to Ami and she tells us that maybe it's time to give them a chance. She goes to Tracy and suggests they might want to dump Cirie. Tracy jumps on the chance to get Ami to their side and cause a 4-3 advantage on her side. She tells Tracy that she's really putting her neck on the line by making this move and that she damn well better have her loyalty. "Take care of me, you guys, cause I'm really sticking my neck out there." The next talk turns to whether or not Jason will find the idol, because you know Chet ain't doing anything out there. Ozzy's kinda hoping that Jason finds and falls for the fake idol.
Which brings us to Exile Island. Chet tells Jason that he thinks Ozzy has the idol so he's not going to even bother looking. Jason tells Chet that he's gonna go search anyway. Chet then tells us that he has a bad cut on his foot from some coral and that he's happy to just hang around and let his foot heal a little. As Jason follows the clues, he finally comes up on the resting place of the hidden idol. He seems a little thrown off because the idol doesn't look like much. But he's still feeling excited that he has the idol and Ozzy doesn't.
We come back to the Airai tribe as they come up on a couple crabs taking the bait and walking into the crab traps. We then join the feast as Joe helps them cook up all the crabs and fish they caught over the course of the day.
As the tribes come in to the immunity challenge, Jeff breaks the news about Jonathan having to leave. The Malakal Favorites seem pretty bummed out. Jeff goes on to let everyone know that he was taken to the hospital, had surgery and the wound was cleaned out and he's doing just fine. So, the tribes are back even at 7 to 7. Jonathan's evacuation will not stop the challenge today or the Tribal Council and vote to follow. So this becomes a pretty important challenge to both sides. He then asks Chet and Jason if they looked for the idol. In an attempt to throw off the scent, Jason announces that he sort of gave up looking for the idol because he thinks Ozzy already has it. Ozzy plays it off by suggesting that maybe Jason isn't very good at following clues. All trash talk aside, let's get to the challenge, shall we?
Today's challenge will require stepping poles. The tribes will have to transport two members from one platform to another by way of two stepping poles. The tribe will hold the poles and balance the two members as they slowly work their way across the water. Once both members have crossed, the whole tribe of seven will have to swim out to a tiny platform where they'll all have to balance with both feet on or above the platform. First tribe to all be standing on the platform wins immunity.
As the tribes head to their walking poles, there are two distinct strategies at play. As the Malakal tribe plays it straight and by the intended rules. The Airai tribe takes a different approach. They get Eliza on the pole and James just carries the pole while the rest of the tribe is there for balance. Eliza gets across in no time. Meanwhile Malakal is struggling and are about halfway across with Tracy. Airai brings Parvati next and as they get to the second platform, Parvati falls backwards and has to go back to the start. This gives Malakal a breath of life. Airai begins again and Parvati is finally on the platform and they head out to the balance platform. As they swim, Malakal finally gets Tracy across. But it really doesn't matter as Airai balances on their pole and wins their fourth consecutive challenge since the tribal switch.
Naturally, we come back from break to the Malakal tribe. They're discussing Jonathan leaving the game. They're all pretty bummed. Coming in to interrupt the conversation is Chet telling them to please vote him out as his foot is hurting so bad and he wants to get it fixed. Ozzy tells us about Chet and says he has no problem voting Chet out. "Was there any question anyways?" Of course, Tracy and Erik are thinking it would be better if Chet would hang around for one more vote, they could get rid of either Cirie or maybe Ozzy. They figure that if they completely blindside Ozzy, he may not play the idol, if he has it. So they go to Chet and Ami with their plan. They offer a very heartfelt plea to get rid of Ozzy. Ami tells us that she's not sure about the Ozzy vote, but she knows she'll have to take care of him at some point. What follows next is a two minute begging session that ends with Chet telling them he'll think about it. Chet tells us that he's hurting pretty bad and that he'll think about it, but he really wants to go.
So we get to Tribal and the first question is for Cirie. He asks about Penner's exit and how hard this game is. She and Ozzy both say they're surprised that it was enough to pull him out of the game. Next up, Jeff heads to Erik and asks about Jason's comment that Ozzy has the immunity idol. Erik says that he wouldn't put it past Ozzy to have the idol, based on his past. Jeff asks Cirie about it. She says that she doesn't necessarily believe it and that Jason could have the idol and is trying to play it off like Ozzy has it. Jeff asks Ozzy about it and all he says is that he's not the one going home tonight. They all know who's going home tonight, so he's not worried about it at all. He says that Chet is going home tonight and that if someone votes any other way, he has no business being there. Oh dear. Anytime someone is this cocky and outright arrogant, they are the one going home. Jeff goes to Chet who just says that there always seems to be the obvious choice to go home, but they usually don't. Jeff moves on to Amanda and asks her if she thinks twice about everything you here. She says that she's learned that if you ever feel comfortable, you're probably the one going home, so she never feels comfortable. And now it's time to vote.
Ozzy votes for Chet saying that he hopes his foot gets better. The only other thing we get from the vote is Ami saying, "Sorry to see you go. Bye." But we don't see who she votes for. Not looking good for Ozzy. He'd better think long and hard about playing that idol. As Jeff comes back and asks, Ozzy does not step forward with it. Uh oh...this could be ugly. First vote: Chet. Second vote: Chet. Third vote: Chet. Totally set up for the Ozzy boot here. And the sixth person voted out of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites...Chet. WOW! Every week, Survivor tries to trick you with the clever editing. This time it finally worked. I honestly thought Ozzy was toast. But, it is as it should be. Chet was mentally, strategically and physically overmatched in this game. And with him out of the way, it makes way for a more deserving player to advance farther in the game.
Speaking of advancing in the game...It's time again to make my plea to help me advance INTO the game. As I've been doing every week, I'm trying to "Jericho" my way onto Survivor. I need all readers to be sure to send copies of this column to the CBS Feedback link right here: CBS.com Feedback. I'm already sick and tired of these supposed "fans" of the game that have absolutely NO idea how to play the game they're such a big fan of. After 15 1/2 seasons of watching, ten of which I've recapped, I know how to play the game and more importantly, I know how to WIN the game. So, any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Before I get to the previews for next week, I have to make a **PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCEMENT**** Due to the beginning of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament on CBS this week, Survivor will not be seen at its regular time of 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Central) on Thursday. It is being moved up a day to 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Central) on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19th!! So, be sure to tune in on Wednesday instead of Thursday. That being said, next time on Survivor: Tracy and Erik fight to stay in the game, while the Airai tribe fights to stay alive and Crazy Kathy fights to keep her sanity. Honestly, none of those previews give me any incentive to watch. Hopefully it will be more interesting than the preview. Til then, take care.