A Chicken's a Little Bit Smarter
By Jim Van Nest
September 25, 2007
When we return to the Fei Long tribe, they are getting Tree Mail. In the chest is a miniature Chinese dragon with instructions that tells us this is an immunity challenge. Fei Long begins reading Art of War. The first thing mentioned is that they need a leader. Brad suggests that Aaron is the perfect person to lead the tribe, as he's kinda taken that role anyway. Brad just doesn't want the role for himself and he wants to keep Aaron close. Aaron tells us he really doesn't want it, but he can step up and be the leader if that's what the tribe wants/needs.
Over at Zhan Hu, they're also reading their mail and talk falls back on Ashley again as she's not feeling any better. Frosti (he's the 20-year-old) tells us that he is a Parkour. Since I didn't know what that meant, I went and looked it up. Parkour is an activity of French origin that is essentially finding the quickest most efficient way from point A to point B, regardless of what obstacles may be in the way. Whether the obstacle is a hole, a wall or anything you can think of really, these guys use their body and mind to find the most efficient way to get around, under, over or through that obstacle. WOW...I can't imagine THAT skill would come in handy on Survivor, can you?** He tells us that he's ready to use his skill to do whatever it takes to get his team across the finish line first.
Probst sighting!! Jeff asks Chicken how life has been and he says they're okay. JR tells Jeff the worst is being completely soaked and trying to sleep. Let's get to the challenge. Each tribe will have to carry a ceremonial mascot (think Chinese dragon, like you would see in a Hollywood version of a Chinese parade). This mascot is heavy and awkward. They will maneuver the mascot through a series of obstacles. When they reach a locked gate, one tribe member will race ahead and scale two walls (wow, if only there was someone on the show who would know how to do that!). They'll release a bridge at each wall and will retrieve a key to unlock the gate. The tribe will them continue on through a swamp with their mascot. At the end of the path is a bunch of blocks with different grooves in them. The mascot will set into these grooves, like a puzzle. The mascot will only fit one way. First tribe to set their mascot will win immunity and a flint for fire. All players are given their tennis shoes prior to the challenge, which they will be allowed to take back to camp. Survivors ready?
James and Frosti will be the wall jumpers for their respective tribes. The race begins and the tribes stay pretty much even throughout. Ashley doesn't seem to be hurting her tribe at all, but Fei Long has taken a bit of a lead as they get to the locked gate. Zhan Hu catches up at the gate and Frosti and James take off toward the first wall. Frosti, the Parkour, just leaps to the top of the wall and pulls himself over in about two seconds. Amazingly enough, the muscle-bound James is every bit as fast. As they jump down, Frosti forgets to lower his bridge, so he has to go back. A challenge this close, those couple seconds could be enough to sway the challenge. James keeps his lead over the second wall, but the lead is so small it almost doesn't matter. As it is, Zhan Hu actually takes a bit of a lead into the swamp. It's here that Zhan Hu really starts struggling to carry their tiger mascot. Fei Long gets to the puzzle platform first and begins planting poles. Zhan Hu gets there, but can't get anywhere with the puzzle. And Fei Long wins the first immunity challenge and flint for fire.
We come back to Zhan Hu where it's time to play our favorite game, "It's anyone but Ashley." The tribe is pretty dejected, as most tribes are. PG is completely verklempt. She's crying on Dave's shoulder and then he addresses the tribe. He asks that they please continue as a tribe until they vote. PG is telling us that unless the tribe gets it together they'll never win anything. She begins to take charge of the shelter building. She asks Chicken his opinion and he still refuses to give it. He basically just agrees with anything PG says. Meanwhile, PG is irritating some people, especially Ashley. She says that if you want to be the tough leader, you can't come back crying after challenges. And then she begins the campaign to stay. She's feeling better and is trying to be sure that people won't hold that one day of sickness against her. Chicken wants her to go because she hasn't done anything since they got there. Sherea tells us that her vote is between PG and Chicken. Dave tells us that it seems like three people have their head on the block and that he won't vote for Chicken, because he wants the experience to stay on the tribe. I have to say, it's quite impressive how it went from a slam dunk Ashley vote to an Ashley-Chicken-PG three-way potential.
As the tribe makes its way into Tribal Council, they get the same ol' speech about fire being life and that once the fire is gone, so are you. As the tribe sits down, Jeff starts with PG. He asks if this was more than she bargained for. She says that it's been terribly hard. Chicken complains that it took two days to build a shelter that should have been done the first night. Jeff asks for a show of hands of people who want to be the leader. Dave and PG raise their hands. Dave gets into how he didn't want to step into this position, and that someone needs to step up and kick some people in the butt to get this tribe together. PG says that she doesn't want to be bossy, but if the tribe doesn't get it together naturally, someone might just have to get bossy. As they move onto who should be sent home, Dave says that he needs to trim the least productive people. Chicken is also voting for the person that's done the least over the last three days. Jeff asks Ashley if she's fitting in, and she says that hearing everyone speak tonight, she's not feeling like she is. She acknowledges that she's done the least due to being sick. Chicken admits that he's not fitting in but the decision tonight comes down to the guy that doesn't fit in, or the guy that works. He says a wrong decision could mean they'll be seeing Jeff a lot. And with that, it's time to vote.