Survivor Micronesia: Fans Vs. Favorites
I'm In Such A Hot Pickle!
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
April 15, 2008

You missed your chance to eat bat!

Hello good people and welcome back to Survivor: Fans Vs Favorites. Unlike Crazy Kathy, even though I'm done with this season and want to quit, I'm going to tough it out and see if I can't last the full 39 days. With the early departure of Jonny Fairplay, the med-evac of Jonathan Penner and last week's dumping of Ami, I seem to have found myself with no one left to root for and only a couple of second-rate strategists left. Eliza is sharp as a tack, except when it comes to selecting alliance mates. She is a woman without a country. Cirie has played an outstanding game thus far, but seems to have settled in to being a follower of the Ozzy-Amanda alliance. Is there such a thing as anti-strategy? If so, after those 2, that seems to be all that is left on the island. So, it's with no one to root and the promise of poor game play that I come to you this week. And on that bright note, let's get to it.

We begin this week after Ami's ouster. Ozzy tells us how Ami's lack of honesty was enough to get her voted. If she had just stuck with him, she'd still be in the game. Because, of course, it's all about Ozzy. Erik marvels at the fact that he's still in the game. He can't believe that they kept him over Ami. That makes 2 of us there, big guy. Cue the opening.

We come back from break to the Airai tribe as Jason and Eliza discuss how they hope Erik left last night so that they can align with Ami. Eliza tells us that she and Jason are basically the step-children and are all they have until the merge when they can bring Ami into the fold. Jason then breaks out the stunner and tells Eliza that he has the hidden immunity idol and naturally, Eliza is pretty excited about it.

We come back to Malakal as Cirie reads tree mail which tells them to bring all of their personal and tribal belongings and follow the map to the designated place. *sniff sniff* Smells like a merge. Erik takes Ozzy aside and tells him that he will not flip on his alliance with Ozzy. He tells us that he is now aligned with Ozzy in a zoo keeper kind of way: Ozzy is the zoo keeper and he's the little monkey that has to do what he says. Airai is excited to merge and get off their awful beach. Alexis and Natalie plan to downplay their alliance with Parvati and Amanda at first. Parvati then tells us about the hot pickle she's in, whatever the hell that means. She recaps that she is currently in 2 alliances. The show-mance couples alliance and the all-girl alliance with Alexis, Natalie and Amanda who, by the way, has no idea she's in this alliance. She feels in pretty good shape, but now has to decide what alliance to stick with.

The tribes make their way to the meeting place and Airai gets a first look at the new Malakal, Ami voted out at the last Tribal Council. As everyone hugs and talks and enjoys seeing everyone again, Eliza realizes she is just screwed. She lost Ami and is now has to rely on Jason and his hidden idol. The tribes are officially merged. They must pick a name, design a flag and pick a beach to live on. They decide to live at Malakal Beach, of course. As they sit down to the traditional merge feast and in a big bowl in the middle of the table is a bunch of cooked bats. Naturally, James digs in. He says it was like a juicy rabbit. Erik suggests the name Dabu for the tribe. He tells them it's Micronesian for "good." He then tells us that he has no idea what it means, if it means anything. He just made it up because he wanted to make the new name something funny.

As talk turns to the game, Alexis tells us that the game is changing now and that who you get along with becomes even more important. To display this, in the next scene, we see Alexis in Amanda's spot on Ozzy's arm at nighttime. She tells him that she can't believe Erik is still there. Ozzy tells her that he's ready to go beyond Fans Vs Favorites. And the flirting commences. As he tells her how good she smells, Amanda is fuming. "I want her gone." And for the record, regardless of her gawd-awful final Tribal Council performance in China, for that entire season, when Amanda wanted someone gone, that person wasn't long for the game. So Alexis better try to get in with Ozzy quick, because the clock is ticking.

We come back from break as the Dabu tribe reaches the Malakal beach. The Fans that hadn't been there yet are just in awe of how great the area is. While they relax, Jason does his best to bond with Ozzy. Ozzy thinks he is very much a fan of his and wants to show how much better than he is. He also thinks Jason is walking around with the fake idol. Right off the bat, Jason sets out to find a safe hiding place for his idol. He finds a spot and heads back to camp. Next we see Parvati and Eliza talking about the Ami vote. Eliza takes this time to see if the Favorite alliance is going to stick together. Parvati basically tells her that it's not. Eliza knows she's in trouble. All she has is Jason. "This is just a disaster." Parvati tells us that it's not Fans vs. Favs anymore. We then join Parvati and Amanda catching up. Parvati decides it's a good time to tell Amanda about their new alliance. Amanda's smile fades lightning fast. As Parvati tries to spin this in a good way, it's quite obvious that Amanda is not happy. "Parvati pretty much screwed me over. Cause I don't wanna be in an alliance with Natalie and Alexis." Parvati tries to make a joke about it, but Amanda is not laughing. She tells us that she doesn't know if she can trust Parvati. Oh yeah, things could be getting interesting.

We come back from break for Tree Mail. Tree Mail suggests an endurance challenge, last one out wins. Jason tells us that he and Eliza are on the outside looking in. He tells us that if he can win immunity, he can give away the idol to Eliza and they could switch everything up. Eliza is giddy with the thought of being able to turn the table on Ozzy. She feels like she has new life in the game.

Probst sighting!! Today's challenge is a simple one. Each person will take a spot in the water under a steel grate. The tide will come in higher and higher. The whole idea is simply to stay under the grate. You move outside of the grate, you're out. Eventually, the water will come up over their head and it becomes a "who can hold their breath the longest" challenge. The players take their spots and the challenge is on. Right off the bat James is complaining about being bitten by fish. 15 minutes in and Cirie is not enjoying herself. As she struggles, Amanda leans back a little bit and her head goes outside the grate and she's done. 45 minutes in, and Parvati and Alexis bail out. Cirie is close behind. At this point, the water is almost covering their faces. At the 50 minute mark, Natalie bails out, followed by Eliza and all of the women are gone. Erik lasts less than a minute longer than Eliza leaving James, Ozzy and Jason to duke it out. Keeping in mind that James can't really swim, the fact that he's still in it is pretty amazing. And as I'm thinking that, James finally has to bail, leaving Jason and Ozzy. Just the way Jason wanted it. After a few more minutes, Ozzy is really struggling, while Jason is calm as can be. Ozzy ducks down and finally has to come up. And he looks a mess too. Jason comes out as the first individual immunity winner and he looks like he could have kept going. He may be a tool, but that was an impressive display right there. He took on "the man" in his element and won. Good show.

And now it's time to play, "It's Anyone But Eliza." As the tribe returns, Jason takes some time to pat himself on the back. He tells how he dominated the challenge and he was thrilled to see the look of failure on Ozzy's face and he can't wait to see the look on his face when he goes home tonight. We then get to hear Parvati tell us how much she doesn't like Eliza and how she's going home tonight. She claims that Eliza tried to get her out from the beginning. Um, Parvati, that was Jonathan. I hate to be the one to interrupt your little rant with facts. But whatever, rage on.

We catch up with Eliza and Jason talking about how she's getting the vote and Jason proves to be a man of his word and tells her he's got her covered with the hidden idol. He goes to get it from his hiding spot. While he goes to find his stick, we join the new love triangle of Amanda, Ozzy and Alexis. As Amanda talks to Cirie, she says that they have to get rid of Alexis now. Cirie tells us she's down to vote for whomever, but there's more than game play behind Amanda's newest target. We come back to Eliza checking out the idol, "This isn't it." She goes to Jason basically accusing him of screwing her over. As she tells him it's not the idol, the dude looks like his dog just died. We've been wondering for weeks whether or not he really believes it was the idol or not and here it is, folks. With 100% certainty, Jason thought he had the hidden immunity idol. It's actually quite depressing really. With this knowledge, we pretty much know Eliza is done. Which will leave us with 1 semi-strategic player left. AHHHHHHHH!!!!

As the tribe comes to Tribal Council, it looks like Eliza plans to play that "idol." And honestly, when you know you're toast, you have to give it a try. For your own pride, you might want to preface the play with a comment about knowing it's not the idol though. Jeff starts with Alexis. He asks her how much time she spent looking at the new folks. She breaks down the different styles of game and its same ole same ole. Jeff asks Cirie what skills she has. She says Alexis has all 3, from what she can see. He asks Alexis about Eliza. She says she "played" a very strong mental and physical game but a weak social game. Jeff is quick to point out that she said, "played." Since she doesn't understand the question, Eliza sums it up, "You said it in the past tense as if I'd already been voted out." Jeff asks Eliza if Alexis was correct. Eliza suggests that there are some folks who are being a bit short-sighted. He turns to Ozzy and asks him about the potential of taking someone no one likes to the final. James jumps in to say that that's the blueprint to winning Survivor. As they go on about this, Eliza rolls her eyes. Jeff quips, "Eliza, you can't miss your eyes when they roll. DO you think you're liked?" She's says no. And Parvati jumps in with the whole "you were trying to vote me out" storyline again. She just can't sit back and be quiet anymore. Um, has Parvati shut up this entire season? For someone so physically cute, I'm amazed at how ugly-on-the-inside she is. She may have jumped to the top of my most hated Survivors list. Eliza goes on to elaborate that no one up there has won the game. She says they've gotten far, but then they went up against the best and they lost. She asks if they're really going to make that same stupid mistake again. And with that, it's time to vote. Jason does not give up the necklace and they head to the voting booth.

We see Eliza's vote for Ozzy and she says that she hopes something miraculous happens. Parvati votes for Eliza talking some nonsense about picking the wrong girl to mess with. Please, I'm begging you, get the hell OVER YOURSELF! Next up is Jason's vote for Ozzy saying that he hopes what he gave Eliza is the real idol and if it is, he can't wait to see the look on his face. I'll go tally the votes. Eliza steps up to play the hidden idol. Ozzy just can't get over how funny it is. Jeff goes through the rules of the hidden idol and then says that this is not the hidden idol. "That means Ozzy has it. Jason found it on Exile." So at the very least, on the way out, Eliza outs Ozzy as having the real idol. Jeff throws it in the fire and gets on to reading the votes. As expected, by a vote of 8-2, Eliza is sent home. The decent thing is she'll be on the jury. And I can't imagine a better jury speech than what she'll give if someone like Parvati makes the finals.

And now's the time on the Survivor recap that I ask for your help. Seeing the absolute terrible disgusting game play, you can do your part to insure at least one person on a future season knows how to play the game. Just send a link to this column to the CBS Feedback Forum at: Feedback. Let them know that you want to see someone that knows how to play the game. Someone that won't quit. Someone that won't be led around the game by his privates. Let them know you want me on the show. A Fan who actually has some knowledge of the game and how to win it. Thank you for your continued support. And CBS, if you want to reach me, please do so at vannestjc (at) gmail (dot) com.

Next time on Survivor: looks like it's the "once in a lifetime, OH. MY. GOD. I have to win this reward challenge" reward challenge. Also, Cirie plots to take out Ozzy and his idol. This, as we all know, pretty much means that Ozzy will be safe. I'm really beginning to not like this season. Oh well, it is what it is and come next week I'll be right back here as always leading you through the idiocy. Until then, take care!