Survivor: Cook Islands
Why Aren't You Swimming?
By Jim Van Nest
November 2, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, the most annoying girl in the world!

Hello good people and welcome back to the BOP Survivor Recap! After last week's recap show and my birthday the previous week, it feels like forever since I've been here. Thanks to David and Kim for filling in for me a couple weeks ago. And while I'm thinking about it, in the whole "way too pretty for him wife" category, David's a founding member of that club. The entire BOP office is still trying to figure out what kind of Voldemortian spell he has on Kim.

Now, let's get to Survivor. I'm still recovering from the World Series parties (GO CARDINALS!!!!), so forgive me if I'm a little slow tonight. While I was away, one of the most gratifying episodes ever took place. Generally speaking, I'm forced to deal with the most annoying Survivors (to me) into the final 4. But this time, in one episode, they not only got rid of my most annoying Survivor in the Cook Islands, but they took out my #2 as well. Banner week for Cook Islands. If I had to suffer through one more episode of Cao Boi's idiocy or Christina's "why don't they like me? COOK MY DINNER" whine fests; I might have hung myself with my signed Survivor: Amazon merged tribe buff. One other thing to mention before getting to the new stuff, Candice and Adam at the dual Tribal Council was one of the more sickening displays I've seen on this show. When she smiled and mouthed the words "I love you", I actually started to gag. With that being said, let's get back to the action. Who will be voted out tonight?

We begin the episode at Aitu with the Aitu members comparing the tribes with Nate. And to prove that Cao Boi wasn't the only bold one on the team, Jonathan actually starts grilling Nate about what he's good at (swimming, etc.) Naturally, Nate only tells a couple things here and there and keeps his information incredibly guarded. As I watch this exchange, it hits me even more how I wish Nate was on this tribe and Jonathan was on Raro. Then I could totally have a tribe to root for and a tribe to hate.

To continue the idiocy, with Nate in camp, Flicka starts whining about not knowing about the Cao Boi vote. I can only assume the term "playing it close to the vest" means nothing to these chucklenuts. As the power trio of Candice, Yul and Becky discuss strategy, Yul is the only one who felt uncomfortable with Flicka complaining in front of Nate. More importantly, however, we learn that Jonathan is not one of the decision makers. Ozzy has been deemed the next to go, then Flicka, then Jonathan. Meaning, without even knowing it, Sundra has leapfrogged him in the pecking order. Yul is definitely the brains behind this operation. Getting the girls to boot Ozzy and Jonathan, he sets himself up real nicely. With the Idol in his pocket, he could very well have a lock on the final two. Especially when you consider that Raro may never win another challenge.

Tree mail comes in the form of a Survivor catalog. The tribes are given a list of items to play for and they have to select two. Aitu handles everything with a majority vote. Our first glimpse of Team Turmoil (aka Raro) shows them arguing over what items to play for. I think it's cute how they still think they have a chance to win a challenge. Brad really wants peanut butter and potatoes for the carbs and strength those will provide later on. Everyone else wants peanut butter and bread.

Probst sighting! Each tribe will select three swimmers and two puzzle makers. The swimmers will swim out to a platform with a club in hand. They'll climb the platform and jump off, piƱata swinging at ceramic cases holding keys. There are six of these and each swimmer has to go out at least once. Once they have all six keys, they'll unlock puzzle pieces and the remaining two people will put the puzzle together. With Nate at Aitu, they have a three person advantage and must sit three people. They choose Flicka, Sundra and in a weird twist, Nate. I guess the plan was only to weaken the other tribe. I can't say as I blame them. Why would Nate have helped them win a reward he will see none of? One other interesting note here - with Raro arguing over bread or potatoes, I want to note that Aitu chose to play for peanut butter and potatoes, just as Brad was wanting Raro to do.

The teams break down like this: Ozzy, Candice and Yul will swim for Aitu while Parvati, Adam and Rebecca will swim for Raro. Wait a minute...Rebecca??? Apparently Brad thinks his ability to assemble an eight piece puzzle is more important than trying to keep his tribe in the contest by swimming. As expected, Ozzy proves to be a stud once again. As he heads into the water, he tomahawks the club almost all the way to the platform and has an easy swim. Rebecca meanwhile is dying out there. By the time Rebecca makes it back with no key, Ozzy and Yul have both come back for Aitu. During the challenge, Nate questions Brad about not swimming. Let me say, when you have a tribe member questioning you in the middle of a challenge, your days are numbered. If Brad makes it through this episode, I will honestly be shocked. The only other interesting bit of this challenge was Ozzy going out to grab a key that Candice couldn't find. Turns out the key didn't fall and was hung up in the box. Ozzy, not having a club, climbs the platform and punches the box to get the key. This kid is hard core. If they don't get rid of him soon, he could make Yul's like hell later on. Aside from some nice underwater shots of "Poverty", this challenge is a yawner and Aitu wins easily. Nate heads back to Raro and Adam packs his bags for Exile Island. One last note on the challenge, since I still have a bit of a Beavis mentality, I have to point out Probst's quote when Parvati's key doesn't fall after one hit, "Poverty back up for a second hit at her box." Uh huh huh huh...he said "her box."

The next couple of segments can be summed up real easy. Mmm, peanut butter. It really sucks to lose. Brad's "creative spatial" and cost his tribe the win. And damn, is it cold and rainy on Exile Island. Ok, memo to the Survivor producers, stop it already. Stop wasting time showing winners eating and Exile Island sucking. It wastes valuable show time. The only interesting thing to come out of this entire segment is that with Cao Boi and Christina gone, I was really able to focus on how much I loathe Jenny and Adam. Jenny is just bitchy and useless, while Adam has morphed into an NFL wide receiver so fast I didn't even notice. His tribe bringing the suck to every challenge is the fault of everyone but him.

The next day at Aitu, Ozzy amazes yet again. He's managed to, get this, catch a bird. Apparently it was sleeping, and he snuck up on it. Are you frickin kidding me? Dude catches fish like those guys on ESPN2 on Saturday mornings and now he's catching birds. Thus begins the discussion of Ozzy as the provider. Candice and Yul both seem to be realizing that he might be someone to keep around for awhile. Yul, however, is concerned about Ozzy in the individual challenges. And he should be. Ozzy then approaches Flicka and Candice about who to vote for. Flicka's all for it, while Candice says nothing. Ozzy's target seems to be Jonathan. Uh oh...because I know the higher math, I put two and two and two together and Jonathan might be in trouble. Candice has turned on him, Ozzy is proving his worth and he's actively trying to get Jonathan out of there. No one trusts the guy at all. I wonder if he even realizes how important this next challenge is for him.

Probst sighting #2. Adam is brought back from Exile Island and tells everyone how terrible it was there. Yeah, buddy. I feel your pain. Every trip to Exile Island is excruciating. Ya know, I appreciate that they're trying to come up with all new challenges and stuff, but the lengthy explanations are killing me. In this one, the tribes will race to take a bunch of different length poles and stack them in the ground in order to form a stairway to a platform. Three people will then ride on a zip line down to the water where they'll splash down and grab a bag of puzzle pieces. First tribe to put the puzzle together wins immunity. In response to me wondering if Jonathan knows how important this challenge is for him, I'd say that he doesn't because he decides to sit this one out.

Survivors ready? This challenge begins as most challenges do; with Aitu working very well as a team while Raro flounders. Aitu is quick to put the stairway together and Yul takes off on the zip line. Candice and Ozzy follow. Meanwhile, Raro figures it out and Brad is first to hit the zip line. Of course, he drags his feet through the water for most of the ride. Dude, that's not gonna make you go faster. However, Raro does make a pretty good comeback and the tribes are neck and neck trying to figure out the puzzle. In a weird twist, Becky, Sundra and Flicka can't get their puzzle together and Raro comes through with an improbable challenge win.

When we get back to Aitu, it's time to play "It's anyone but Jonathan or Ozzy or Flicka." Candice breaks it down for us. Ozzy is a stud and will be tough to beat. No one trusts Jonathan and Flicka is just bugging the crap out of everyone. And right there, it looks like Ozzy and Jonathan may have just gotten a stay of execution. One thing I've learned through 12 and a half seasons of Survivor: annoying outweighs tough at challenges and untrustworthy 95% of the time. A lot of maneuvering is going on and the oddest thing for me is seeing that Yul is the only one that doesn't get a weird vibe from Jonathan. Though he says it's rubbing off on him. And as it often does on Survivor, somehow Ozzy has gone from the obvious boot due to his strength and challenge performance to safe while Jonathan and Flicka fight it out. Amazing.

At Tribal Council we learn that the ethnicity split really has ended up meaning nothing in the long run of the game. Flicka makes the tribe out to be nothing but roses and love. Jeff puts Yul on the spot by asking him about how all of Flicka's answers are so positive all the time. Yul calls it out point blank: "it's nice to have someone like that because they're not going to be a threat. Talk comes to Ozzy as the provider. While he does admit that it could turn against him and be the cause of his demise, but he figures if that's how it goes, that's about the best way to go out.

We only see two votes: Jonathan voting for Flicka and Flicka voting for Jonathan. This usually means a unanimous vote. And if I were a betting man, I'd wager that Flicka will head to Loser's Lounge. And yep...with a vote of 6-1, Flicka becomes the eighth person voted out of Survivor: Cook Islands.

Well, thanks for hanging out with me again this week and come back next week when Brad seems to become even more of a loner on Raro and Jeff gives the players a chance to change their fate. One can only assume that they've gone back to the well and are trying the "does anyone want to switch tribes" experiment that fell flat on its face the last time they tried it. Either way, next week's show looks to be pretty good for a couple reasons. Potential twist and there won't be any more election ads. Until next week, I just want to remind everyone, no matter what your political preference is, please get out on Tuesday and vote. It's one of the things that makes this country great, so don't miss out. Take care.