Survivor Season One: Old and New Bonds
By Jim Van Nest
August 4, 2005
Hello, good people, and thanks for joining me on what will be my last week with you on this strange and wonderful journey that is Survivor. David will be back next week to guide you through the final weeks of the surprise ratings hit. When we spoke last, the Tagi Alliance reared its ugly head one more time and took out Greg Buis. In removing Gretchen and Greg, Tagi has essentially cut the heart and soul out of the former Pagong tribe. The previews suggested a small crack in the Tagi Four and I can't wait to find out if it really happens. 'Cause if it doesn't, we could be in for a real predictable end of the season.
Day 25 begins with Rich and Sue explaining how integral lying is in this game. Obviously they're talking about the Tribal Council where Jeff asked if there was an alliance. Kelly, however, is having trouble with it. Lying and being deceitful is not fun to her and she really doesn't want to play the game that way. Meanwhile, more and more people are noticing Rich and the fishing. He is the only one spear fishing and he makes sure everyone remembers who catches the food. Rich tells us that the fish are not why he's still in the game. It's because he's bright and he's not allowing them to vote him off. With this, we see Rich come in with another huge catch, but Rudy has messed up the fire and essentially ruins the entire meal. Since Rich loves his drama almost as much as himself, he gets good and pissed about this. And his decision is to not bring in any fish for awhile - as punishment for not being as good as him. Get over yourself, big boy.
With Rich out of the fishing game, the girls head out to get some crabs. Interestingly enough, they manage to bring in a pretty good sized fish of their own. Rich is none too pleased with this turn of events. He just sits there and scowls at the girls and their stupid fish. For the first time I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps they could break Rich's spell.
We wake up on Day 26 with Sean getting tree mail. The message talks about climbing trees and a barbeque. When we finally see Probst, he confirms that the prize will be a barbeque for the winner. Aside from that, the winner will also get a letter from home. Not a bad reward. Oh yeah, and Jenna's family sent a letter. Whew!
This challenge is a tough one. It's another ropes course, but instead of being connected to the ropes, they'll have to walk on them, as this contest takes place in the trees. There will be 16 legs to this course with a medallion at the end of each one. The first person with all 16 of their medallions to make it to the finish will win sweet barbeque and letter from home. Since this is my last recap of the season, let me say again how frustrating it is to try to keep up with these challenges. This seems like a really cool contest, but honestly, I have little to no idea how well anyone is doing until Jeff hollers out that Kelly and Colleen are racing for the finish. Colleen wins this race and the challenge. But what fun is a barbeque by yourself? Colleen will be allowed to take one other person with her. Based on the whole letter from home thing, she chooses Jenna.
The next several minutes are classic television as we switch from the happy barbeque music and footage of Jenna and Colleen to the sad weepy music and dreary footage of the rest of Rattana eating their rice. It really is quite comical. One interesting thing does happen here. Colleen tells Jenna that if they can get Sean to vote with the three Pagongs, they could maybe decide who goes home this time instead of the other way around. She also mentions that apparently Sean is incredibly frickin stupid. After the bum rush of Dirk and subsequent votes of Gretchen and Greg, Sean has determined that if Rich, Rudy, Sue and Kelly all vote together again, they might have an alliance. And this man's a DOCTOR, folks. As in, he completed medical school. Are you kidding me?
Day 27 is a monumental day - not in the game, but it's Rich's 39th birthday. And what better way to celebrate it then running around in the nude, grossing out a bunch of people who would puke if they had any actual food in their stomachs. Colleen is especially bothered by it, which of course, bothers Rich. We then learn that Colleen is doing it on purpose and getting a big kick out of how frustrated he gets with her. Tree mail shows up and suggests a battle of wits. Gervase has completely given up on strategy and is focusing 100% on winning challenges to stay in the game. And in a bizarre turn of events, that genius Sean has let everyone know that he's voting alphabetically. You know it's stupid to use that as a voting strategy anyway, but to let that go public is borderline insane. Oh yeah, and Jenna's next in line for him.
The immunity challenge is a simple one, yet very difficult. A huge game board of red squares is set up on the beach. Each person will start on an equal square. One at a time, they'll step to another square, flipping over the piece they just left behind them. As long as there's still a red square adjacent to where you're standing, you're ok. When you run out of red squares to step on, you're out. Last one standing wins. This challenge is easier to follow, but rather boring as it's just eight people taking turns taking one step at a time. One by one they drop out - Colleen, Kelly, Sue, Jenna and Rich. Gervase bows out next and Rudy outlasts Sean to capture this week's immunity challenge. Who'd a-thunk, eh?
When we get back to camp, strategy is in full gear now. The first thing we learn is that Jenna and Colleen aren't going to do anything anymore. If they're getting ready to be voted out, screw the Tagi people is their rationale. Colleen is also trying to start that new alliance and Gervase and Jenna are in, without a doubt. As the girls start to goof off a little, Kelly decides to join in. And why shouldn't she? They're all close to the same age and all. Sue almost blows a gasket. Rich is made a bit nervous by this turn of events as well. For the first time, we're seeing some doubt in the eyes of Richard Hatch. Rudy, though, doesn't think the girls have enough brains in their heads to get together and vote as a unit. Kelly is feeling the weight of being a swing vote tonight and she genuinely seems unsure of what to do with it. Right before going to Tribal, we learn that the Pagongs will all be voting for Rich. Can't wait to see how he takes that!
Probst sighting! Prior to Tribal Council, Jeff shows up to explain to us that starting tonight with Greg, the voted out members will return to Tribal Council as jury members. Their purpose is to gather information to help them decide who should get their vote to receive $1,000,000 on the final show. As Tribal begins, Jeff explains this to the players as well. He goes right after Sean and the alphabetical thing. Sean says it is a strategy, since most of Pagong (actually all of Pagong) are at the beginning of the alphabet and Tagi is at the end. He says that Jenna is next in line and if he thought for even a second that Jenna was in trouble, he'd vote differently. When asked about it, Sue sums it up nicely, "He's an idiot." She also suggests he doesn't have the balls to make a decision. Talk swings to asking, "how important is Rich?" This was really nothing more than a good time for the girls to brag about catching their one fish.
The votes we see are Gervase and Colleen voting for Rich and Rudy and Sean voting for Jenna. After the votes are tallied, Rich walked away with the three Pagong votes, Jenna walked away with four Tagi votes and Sean walked away with Kelly's vote. Talk about not being able to make the tough decision...Kelly can't decide whether to go with Tagi or Pagong, so she completely wastes her vote by throwing it at Sean. That is most definitely the chicken way to play.
Well kids, thanks a ton for hanging with me these past five weeks. I'll hand it back to my tag-team partner David Mumpower to take you through the rest of the show. If the previews are any indication, next week looks to be the best show yet as Kelly and Sue seem to be planning a takedown of the big man, Rich. Enjoy!