Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden
The Good Things in Life Aren't Easy
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
December 5, 2008

Come on, snipers! Where are you?

Hello, good people, and welcome to the stretch run of Survivor: Gabon. Counting tonight, we only have three episodes of Survivor left.

Previously on Survivor, after Marcus and Charlie were sent down Loser's Lane to the Ponderosa: Bob, Corinne and Randy were the only members of the once powerful Kota alliance and they were outnumbered. With Bob sent to Exile Island, Randy decided his only option was to completely implode and do anything he could to be a menace around camp. His plan? To get everyone to vote for him in hopes that Bob found a hidden immunity idol and would give it to him to turn the tables at Tribal Council. Everything went exactly as planned. Everyone wanted Randy gone. Randy got Bob to give him a hidden idol. And he played it at Tribal Council. The problem? Bob gave him a fake idol and aside from being voted off the game, Randy was humiliated on national TV, while Crystal, Kenny and Sugar obnoxiously laughed at him. Even Bob, who had the improbable heel turn on Randy, was upset at the way they carried on. Previews for tonight's episode have teased a visit from loved ones, a marriage proposal and yet ANOTHER fake idol. Can't wait to see how that one plays out.

We begin at camp after Randy's ouster. They're still laughing about it. As they ask Bob if that was his idea, he slams them all for laughing at him like that. He tells them that he's pissed off about it and they'd better not do something like that ever again. Sugar tells us that she doesn't feel even one bit bad for Randy. And here comes Corinne. She goes after Sugar about the lessons she was going to teach her and how classless it was. Sugar fights back by slamming her for talking about people behind their back, while saying something different to their faces. Corinne counters by saying that if she told everyone to their face what she said behind their back that she wouldn't be playing a very good game. This goes back and forth and bottom-line...Bob's argument was very well said, while both girls were less than articulate. Cue the, logo.

We come back the next day, Day 31, and Bob and Ken are out fishing. They are bringing in tons of fish, and big ones too. Ken tells us how proud he is of himself for how he's handling the game so far. Ken tells us that Bob only seems to be there to build things and that he's not playing a good game at all. He tells us that he's ready to see Bob go so he can take the game even more into his own hands.

As we head to a challenge, I have to break from the recap for a minute to say that Ken needs to get over himself. Sure, he's controlling the game and he's playing a pretty good game. But the bottom line is that he was saved not once, but twice by Tribal switches and that without those, he would have been back at the hotel playing Halo 3 while downing countless ounces of Red Bull. So before he breaks his arm patting himself on the back, he ought to take some time to thank the powers that be for switching tribes up just in time to save his narrow ass.

With that out of the way...Probst sighting!! Today's challenge will have them split into two teams of three. They will race through a swampy obstacle course picking up sprocket puzzle pieces along the way. Once they have the pieces, they'll assemble them to raise a flag. First team that raises their flag moves to the finals, where they'll compete against each other to complete a sliding puzzle. First one done with the puzzle wins reward. Jeff starts talking about loved ones and how he wished that he could bring their families out from around the corner, but he can't. He brings out some sort of gadget phone, which offers product placement to show small video clips to everyone. Lots of kind words, smiles and tears ensue. The prize is the full-length version of the video while enjoying a nice afternoon of pizza and beer. They pick stones to choose teams. Crystal and Susie draw the captain rocks and Susie gets to choose first. She chooses Matty. Crystal chooses Sugar. Matty chooses Kenny and Sugar chooses Bob. That leaves Corinne out in the cold with no chance to win reward.

Let's start the challenge. Crystal's team takes off and immediately falls down. Both teams pretty much get their pieces at the same time, but the Susie, Kenny, Matty team gets their first set of pieces back first. As the challenge progresses, Matty and Co. have a healthy lead, while Bob and his team are being more careful. With Bob leading the way against Kenny and his team, they're about even. We probably shouldn't be too terribly surprised to see Bob put all the sprockets together first and raise their team flag. Bob, Sugar and Crystal move on to the final round. You have to think Bob has an AMAZING advantage over his less than adept rivals.

The final round begins and it literally lasts about 90 seconds. Crystal and Sugar have hardly moved any pieces when Bob completes his puzzle. Kenny tells us that if Bob doesn't win immunity, he'll have to go at the next Tribal Council.

We come back from break to join Bob as he snacks on pizza and beer all by himself. We watch his video along with him and after about 20 seconds, she tells him to hold on and that she has something to show him. As his screen goes blank, our screen widens out to show his wife sneaking up behind the little couch he's sitting on. And as expected, we get a very touching reunion moment and the couple starts to catch up. You have to wonder if he'll tell the rest of the tribe. I don't know that I would.

Back at camp, that question is answered quickly as Bob and his wife come walking into camp. As everyone is excited to meet her, you can kinda tell that everyone is happy but disappointed. As they break up for a second, Bob tells them to watch this. He whistles and all of the loved ones come walking into camp. What follows is a maze of hugs and laughs and tears and kisses. Husbands, sisters, wives, brothers and girlfriends. Right away we see Kenny talking to his sister about how Sugar and Crystal owe him and how everyone likes and trusts him. He brags about how he's gotten rid of the strong guys and how if he gets to pick the final three, he'll win this game. Let's see...someone very wise once said, "Ken needs to get over himself." Oh, wait a minute...that was ME!

Next up we join Sugar and her sister. Their talk centers on their father. And she even brought some of their dad's ashes and in a pretty touching moment, Sugar spreads some of the ashes in the lake. Next we see Matty and his girlfriend. As they take a walk, Matty lets us know that he's always been weak and taken the easy road. And one of the things he's learned in Gabon is that he doesn't want any time to go by without Jamie knowing how much he loves her. As they hug and kiss, Matty starts talking about wanting to spend his life with her and then he pulls out a necklace that he made for her and asks her to marry him. Of course, she says yes. Wow, this is a good loved ones episode. And with that, it's time for the loved ones to go. With some hugs, waves and...yes...more tears, the Survivors are left back at camp with only each other and the game. Always the game.

We come back from break to day 33. Bob and Corinne head out to get Tree Mail and Bob starts talking about blindsiding Matty. While they're away, talk turns to voting out Bob, as he's the bigger threat. We come back to Corinne and Bob. And as previewed, Bob tells Corinne the story of Marcus throwing the idol into the ocean, but not. And that he kept the idol and hid it at camp and told Bob where it was. Corinne says, "Really?" Bob admits that he made it up, but that it sounded good. He has a bag full of goodies that he plans to make a second idol out of. He's going to spread the word around camp that Marcus really did keep the idol and that Bob actually has that idol. The next part of the plan is for one of them to win immunity, which will virtually ensure that they both get to stay in the game. I love this plan. I'm excited to be a part of it. I don't think it has a chance in hell of working, but it makes for an interesting episode.

As the tribe comes to the immunity challenge, they all line up behind answer cubes, which suggest, Gabon Trivia Time. This time around, Jeff will ask questions and for each correct answer the player will earn a Plinko to throw at a target over the side of a bluff. The person to get their ball closest to the center bull's-eye wins immunity and a one in six chance to win the game.

The first question is a true/false question and Sugar and Corinne are the only ones to get it right. Next up is an elephant question. Sugar, Susie, Corinne and Bob get this one right. We get another true/false question. Ken, Crystal, Matty, Sugar and Bob get this one right. Next question is also true/false and Ken, Matty, Sugar, Corinne and Bob get this one right. And that's all there is. The breakdown is like this: Crystal and Susie have one shot each. Ken and Matty have two shots each. Corinne and Bob have three shots each and Sugar leads the pack with four Plinko Chips.

First up to toss is Ken. His first shot lands in the sixth zone. Matty shoots into the fourth zone. Sugar gets a nice roll, but it's too far away. Susie takes her lone shot and she doesn't beat Matty. Corinne's first toss is in the fifth zone. Bob's first toss lands in the third zone, so he has the lead.

Crystal's shot runs long and she's out of the challenge. Ken fires his second shot and he's out of the challenge. Matty also falls short and drops out of the challenge. Sugar rolls her second shot into the fourth zone, but it's not close enough. Corinne's second toss doesn't make it, either. Bob's second toss lands one zone from the center and appears to be real tough to beat. Sugar's third toss falls far and Corinne bombs out with her third shot. Bob's third shot is good, but not better than #2.

And it comes down to Sugar's last toss and while it goes into the center, it rolls out and leaves Bob as the immunity challenge winner. And just like that, Plan Fake Idol: Part Deux seems to be well on its way. As we go to break, Bob tells us that this is the perfect time to take out Matty. I still think Matty's the wrong play here...but come on, like there's a chance he'll get someone to fall for a fake idol two Tribals in a row!

We come back to camp and Corinne tells us about the fake idol story. As Corinne and Bob get together to plan their strategy, they get their story straight. Basically, Bob is going to tell them that he has the Marcus idol and that he is giving it to Corinne to keep his twosome in the game. The hope is that they'll shy away from voting Corinne because they don't want her to play the idol. We see the alliance of five talking about voting out Corinne and in the event that Bob hands the necklace to her, they will vote for Bob. Next up we see Corinne talking to Ken and telling him that she's pretty sure she'll be okay. Ken promises he won't tell anyone and Corinne lays the Marcus idol story on him and tells him that they're targeting Matty. Then she sets the hook by asking Ken who he'd like to see voted out. He tells her that Matty is probably the best choice. Ken then tells us that the game is now changed and that the best shot is to blindside Matty and that he might have to change alliances now. Corinne comes back with Bob. As the three of them plan, Ken strongly pushes for Matty. They decide that Crystal would be the perfect fourth person to pull this Matty vote off.

And now it's time to join Bob the Immunity Idol Builder and no lie...this idol looks even better than the last one. He then goes to Crystal and tells her the story, shows her the idol and asks her if she'd like to go to the final four with Ken, Crystal and Corinne. She jumps on board so fast, you'd think she was an Olympic sprinter or something. The next talk we see is Crystal and Ken and they're talking about taking out Matty. Ken also hatches the plan that they will arrange four votes for Corinne and three for Matty. That way they get rid of Matty and the idol. He then tells us that if this works out, he'll be the biggest strategist in Survivor history.

Crystal tells us that she's concerned about another fake idol. If this is a fake idol, Corinne goes home and that does nothing for her. She feels that Matty is a threat while Corinne is not. So Ken's plan, which includes Crystal voting for Corinne, could be in jeopardy. This should be a fun vote.

Tribal begins and Jeff asks Bob about the paranoia of this game. He says he doesn't feel it this time around, but he expects to at the next Tribal. Jeff asks Corinne about it and she says that there's a pretty tight alliance of five but paranoia is the thing that could possibly split them up. Next up is Sugar. What's the worst part of paranoia? She says people freaking out and believing lies and getting duped. He asks Crystal if it's crazy to trust and she says with certain people, yes. She suggests that that's what the game is about, knowing when to trust and when to cut your ties. Next question is for Ken about tonight's vote. Is it more or less important than another? He says it's very important, as you don't know what's going to happen. Last question is for Bob - does he want to keep the necklace? Of course. And with that, it's time to vote.

We see Ken's vote for Matty saying it's purely strategic and that he hates to see him go. We see Matty's vote for Corinne and the last vote is Crystal and oddly enough, it's her vote that should decide this thing. Jeff asks about the idol and no one plays it and away we go. First vote is for Matty. Corinne. Corinne. Corinne. Matty. Matty. And we're down to the last vote. Twelfth person voted out of Survivor: Gabon...Corinne. And just like that, the Kota alliance is down to one. At least Corinne was able to leave the game without looking like a fool playing a fake idol. You have to wonder how many more immunity wins Bob has left in him. Unfortunately, I don't think it's enough.

Next time on Survivor: Ken confronts Bob about lying about an idol. Bob says that if he wins immunity, he'll give it to Kenny. Meanwhile, Sugar seems to be onto Kenny's game. She talks about him coming across as small and weak, but he's not. And Crystal is just a big bully. Looks like the tide might be turning for "the greatest strategist in Survivor history." And real quickly before I go, one more comment about the "greatest strategist" thing. Um, Ken...Bob and Corinne didn't need your vote to dump Matty. If the idol was real, their two votes would have been plenty to send Matty home. I only mention this because, master strategist, you just put yourself out there by voting for Matty and he'll know it was you. You could have stayed with your alliance and played stupid if/when Matty went home. Instead, you got too in love with yourself and stepped out on that limb and now everyone knows you turned on your alliance. Crystal, while down with the plan, still voted Corinne so she's good. You, on the other hand, are toast with your own alliance. And being toast with your own alliance, is it really a smart thing to go get in the face of Bob, accusing him of being a liar? Dude, if you make it to the finale now, I'll be shocked. Well, that does it for me. Quickie program note: Next Thursday, December 11th, is the Final 6 show. Which means: the Survivor: Gabon season finale will be taking place on Sunday, December 14th. It will be the typical two-hour finale followed by the one-hour reunion show. So, go ahead and mark your calendars accordingly! Until next Thursday, take care.

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