Survivor: Cook Islands

Don't Cry Over Spilled Octopus

By Jim Van Nest

October 14, 2006

Stephanie doesn't look very sad about being voted off. But she -swears- she didn't quit.

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Hello, good people, and welcome back to another exciting Survivor recap. When last we hung out, the ladies of Raro came together and in one voice declared, "JP, go home!" I failed to mention it last week, but that makes three of the Latinos in a row - Billy, Cecelia and JP. Very interesting. If I were Ozzy or Christina, I'd be watching my backside.

We begin the show at Raro on Day 1 of life after JP. And it looks like a different camp. Apparently the JP ouster was a huge wakeup call for the other guys. Before the ladies wake up, Nate has a bundle of wood that would make Paul Bunyan proud, Adam is searching for crabs and Brad is fishing like a madman. And don't for a second think the ladies didn't notice.

We come back from break to one of the more disgusting segments in the history of Survivor. Sundra, Becky and Candice are discussing their armpit hair. Yummy! Cao Boi is more than a little annoyed with their lack of effort around camp. He intends to keep winning challenges, but as soon as they don't, the ladies could be in trouble. early Probst sighting! Each tribe will break into three pairs. The pairs will be tied together and each will hold a hook. The two remaining people on each tribe will load up a pair with five pounds of weight every two minutes. They're playing for more fishing supplies, spices and bottles of wine. The pairs are: Yul and Jonathan, Sundra and Candice, Ozzy and Flicka for Aitu. Nate and Adam, Christina and Brad, Rebecca and Stephanie for Raro. It's quite interesting as the Aitu tribe uses the strategy of loading up Nate and Adam, while Raro splits the weight up evenly to all three groups of Aitu. As Yul and Jonathan are up to 30 pounds each, something odd happens. Yul seems to lose his balance and drops his handle. With Yul and Jonathan out, it's only a matter of time now. Sundra drops her weight. Then Rebecca falls out for Raro. With too much weight on Flicka and Ozzy, Flicka finally loses it and Raro wins reward. The final part is choosing someone to go to Exile Island and Raro chooses Jonathan.

The next morning at Raro, as people wake up, Adam comes into camp with an octopus wrapped around his calf and ankle. Once they get it off, the octopus gets chopped up and thrown into a pot for lunch. Playing the role of JP this week is Christina. The cop is now ordering everyone around to cook the food - as if she's the only one that can boil coconut stew. And then it happens. A controversy for the ages. Jenny and Christina head to the water to clean some utensils and the octopus. Jenny finishes with the utensils and goes back to the fire. Christina then drops the octopus out of the pot and as she's trying to pick it all up somehow blames Jenny for losing the octopus. Um, okay. All she's done now is made herself the very next target. And didn't I just say that if your name is either Christina or Ozzy you'd better watch your back? Sometimes I amaze even myself.

As a crazy close up of a sidewinder crab takes us from Raro to Aitu, I can't help but think that for all the crap Survivor gets as a reality show and getting predictable and everything else, it sure does have some of the coolest wildlife shots I've seen in a while. This crab shot, whales breaching and splashing down and some really neat underwater shots around the reefs of these tropical paradises. ANYway, back at Aitu, the tribe is getting restless. So Cao Boi, Flicka and Ozzy decide they're gonna go exploring. There's another island nearby, so they think they're gonna go check it out. Ozzy claims that the resources are drying up, so he wants to go find some new stuff. They ask Candice and she makes up a BS excuse not to go. They ask Sundra and she makes up a BS excuse not to go. So, with their places in the tribe cemented, the three outcasts set off on their own for a great adventure. With them gone, Yul takes the time to pull Sundra into his alliance with Jonathan, Candice and Becky. She gladly accepts, but she seems not too thrilled with it. And why should she be? There are two sets of two...and her. What's to be thrilled about? But she seems like a smart girl and I'm sure she'll formulate a plan as we move on.

So we join the outcasts on their trip to the neighbor island. First thing in, Ozzy finds a plant called Noni, which is apparently excellent for healing little cuts, which Ozzy says his tribe has in abundance. Looks like this little scouting mission might not be a bad idea after all. One can only imagine what they find next. What do you know? They found the Raro camp. This should be good.

"And it's the three that we can't stand." That one sentence pretty much sums up the next several minutes of show. Cao Boi comes in thinking that the other tribe will be happy to see them. Yeah, not so much. And can you blame them? In a game where information is at a premium, the Aitu tribe is on the verge of getting quite a bit of info. I'll give the Raro tribe some credit as they did their best to welcome the Aitu intruders. But an outsider can easily tell that this is not a happy time for Raro. To make matters worse, Cao Boi gets into a soliloquy about symbolism in his culture. And for the first time in Survivor history, one person has managed to annoy the hell out of both tribes prior to the merge.


As if his Asian history lesson wasn't enough, Cao Boi then suggests the teams should work together to get some coconuts and split the bounty. And to cap it, he asks for a little bit of the spices Raro just won in their reward challenge. I'll give him this; Cao Boi does have some pretty big coconuts. Honestly, I was shocked that Raro didn't cut him up and throw him in a pot.

YAWN! It's Exile Island time. Seriously, there had to be something else happening somewhere on this show. Something more exciting than watching Jonathan dig and dig for an Idol we all know to be found. Producers: I'm begging you. Please ditch the Exile Island concept next season. In the name of all that is good, ditch Exile Island.

Probst sighting! The challenge starts with Probst questioning Jonathan about the Idol. "I think I know where it WAS, but it ain't there now." There's a little something for everyone to chew on. On to the challenge. The teams will assemble stepping poles. Then two people will need to cross from one platform to another using the stepping poles. Once both people have made the walk, all eight members will need to swim out to a final platform. Once all eight of them have their feet on or above the top of the platform, that tribe will win immunity. The catch? The platform will likely only hold four people comfortably. This will be an incredibly tight squeeze. In fact, teams may need to make a people pyramid if they want to fit.

Survivors ready? Both tribes get to work on their poles. Aitu puts their poles together first, but Raro takes the lead as Jenny is getting across the poles faster than Flicka. "Poverty" gets across before Becky and Raro heads out to the main platform. Becky finally gets there and Aitu heads out, but Raro has a huge head start. As Aitu climbs their platform, Raro is on the verge of winning. Suddenly, Cao Boi falls off for Aitu and seconds later, the entire Raro tribe falls off. The worm has turned. As Raro plays catch up, Aitu only has two feet left to move. Yul steps up and Cao Boi lifts his foot above the platform and Aitu wins immunity, sending Raro to their second consecutive Tribal Council.

And now it's time to play "It's anyone but Christina." We come back to Raro and like last time, they feel good about themselves despite the loss. Right away, the Christina vote is confirmed around the camp fire. It really makes me wonder how they'll fill the last 12 minutes of show, when you know the outcome. Here it is. Stephanie and Nate are out getting water and Stephanie makes the innocent comment about seeing herself at home with some mashed potatoes and gravy. Nate takes this comment and runs with it. He puts it with her comments the other day and somehow figures out that Stephanie is done and ready to go. Like a bunch of old women at a sewing circle, word spreads fast. Nate to Brad. Brad to Parvati. Parvati back to Stephanie. Stephanie admits she said it, but not in the context that Nate took it. She realizes now that maybe she should shut the hell up every now and again. As Parvati spreads the word that Stephanie doesn't want to leave, it becomes even more apparent that this was a segment put in to make us think that Christina isn't the vote.

At Tribal, Jeff asks how things are with the annoying leader, JP, gone. He asks if anyone has stepped up to fill JP's shoes. Nate tells it straight up; Christina has taken the reigns and is a bit overbearing. Christina is in shock. She apologizes to everyone, but come can you not know you're being like that? Adam then jumps on the bash Christina bandwagon. Tribals are always incredibly edited, but you can tell that Christina's ego has taken a beating tonight. As the people vote, we see Christina's vote for Stephanie and Stephanie's vote for Christina. I'll go tally the votes.

In yet another surprise to me, it turns out the Stephanie storyline was not the decoy to take away from Christina. In fact, it's just the opposite. The votes are unanimous and Stephanie stops the string of Latinos being voted out. Christina lives to boss another day.

The previews for next week look very interesting. Christina gets back to camp and is pissed at the revelations of Tribal Council. Cao Boi has a dream and shares it with everyone. And it looks like both tribes will be going to Tribal Council and losing a member next week. That should be interesting. Until then, take care and GO CARDINALS!!



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