"Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise: Days
1-3" - September 15
Day 1: Haven't I seen you before?
This is my Guatemala. Actually, I can't prove that it's mine,
just go with me on this one... Years ago, the ancient race of
peoples known as the Maya carved their civilization here,
within these treacherous jungles filled with exotic flora and
fauna, armed with an uncanny ability to tell and measure time.
Several months ago, sixteen average Americans attempted to do
the same. This is their story. This is... "Survivor
Guatemala: The Maya Empire."
Oh, did I say sixteen? I meant
18... Just trust me, here. We begin with...
R-CHALLENGE: The 11-Mile Hike
(for the better of two camps and flint)
The group of 16 has been divided into two tribes, Nakum
(wearing yellow) and Yaxha (wearing Carolina blue). While Wolvie
has the Yaxha, I'll cover these eight...
Brandon Bellinger; 22; Manhattan,
Danni Boatwright; 30; Tonganoxie, KS; sports radio talk show
host/actress/model/former Miss Kansas USA
Margaret Bobonich; 43; Chardon, OH; nurse practitioner
Cindy Hall; 31; Naples, FL; zookeeper
Jim Lynch; 63; Northglenn, CO; retired fire captain
Judd Sergeant; 34; Ridgefield, NJ; doorman
Brooke Struck; 26; Santa Monica, CA; law school graduate
Blake Towsley; 24; Dallas, TX; commercial real estate
Both tribes will live in
separate camps, and waiting at those camps are actual items used
by the Maya - a few pots and pans and a mortar for starters.
Also, there will be one other tool for each tribe that should be
A former tribesman. They get to
pick from two of Palau's finest, Bobby Jon Drinkard and
Stephenie LaGrossa! Their role in this game: just as any other
Survivor before them. They come to play the game and have a
second chance at $1 million. And of course, if they don't pull
their weight today, at least they're an easy boot-off. The Nakum
pick (read: are stuck with) Bobby Jon. Danni notes that having
Bobby Jon around makes it "easier on the eyes" around camp,
whatever the devil that means. Cindy's thrilled, because he
won't quit. Brandon thinks Bobby Jon's a hard worker, but "he
sounds a bit dumb."
True students of the game, we're
talking about. NOW... to the challenge. Simple enough. You are
here. A better camp is there... eleven miles of jungle away. You
and your tribe, armed with a map, compass, water, and a few
other Legend of Zelda non-boomerang sundries (and bananas,
b-a-n-a-n-a-s), must get from here to there before your
opponents. First tribe to camp gets to stay (and from what I
hear, it's a nice little board) and gets the luxury of fire in
the form of flint.
"Survivors ready... Go!"
Brooke calls the opening rush
"mass chaos", wondering which supplies to take with them on
their orienteering expedition. "The last time I hiked 11 miles,
being a farmer was... never?!" Brandon quips. He's ready,
though. A bit too ready and he (and his bananas) falls down goes
How does Bobby Jon enjoy his
second chance at $1 million? "I'm glad to get a new start. I
felt like a million bucks, but we have to make time. I guarantee
you Stephenie is back there running things." Who else but Bobby
So far, so good as Nakum
leads... Blake into the land of no return. The tribe follow
suit, as Jim, the only tribesman who can read a compass, leads
Nakum still leads as we go into
the evening hour. Judd calls the hike "absolutely insane".
Margaret leads Bobby Jon down the pathway, which contain...
Briar-filled branches! Yay! (Frank: OW!) And it broke over
Blake's shoulder. The tribe takes a moment to watch Margaret, a
nurse of 25 years experience, mostly trauma, nurse Blake back to
Night 1: Spew!
That night, the tribe decides to
take a breather, partly because trekking around a strange jungle
in the night is more or less guaranteed suicide, and partly
because Blake is puking his lights out and complaining of
dehydration. Margaret looks at his shoulder. "I think it's
causing a pain response that's making him sick to his stomach."
Yeah, I can see that. Although, as a lab tech, I've YET to see
Day 2: The road to camp.
The next day, we find a beaten trail and go for it, but the
Yaxha are close behind. "We just wanted to get them off our
tails. All of a sudden, I'm running down this trail in the
muck!" Yeah! Go Seabiscuit!
Next thing you know, Bobby Jon
has to stop and rest because of cramps and feeling cold. "It's
overexertion," Cindy calls... yet Margaret's the nurse. Heh...
"He's going down early. I don't think anyone expected that."
Margaret talks our boy Bobby Jon
back to his feet, as they approach the "light at the end of the
tunnel", a lake with the tribal outrigger. All of a sudden, it's
a race to the other side. We get to the other side first, but
Judd is the first out of the boat and into... the mud. "He had a
premature evacuation," Brandon says. Judd's in the mud with his
ass showing to the world, and Bobby Jon is back to cramping. And
Yaxha are right behind. It's time for all Nakum to suck it up,
as they weather the trail to... the winner's camp!
And here's Crazy Uncle Jeff:
Welcome indeed. This camp is
claimed in the name of Nakum, while Yaxha will have to hike a
few MORE miles to their camp. "This was a very close race, but
in Survivor, close gets you nothing."
So here we are then, with time
to reflect on our victory and... puke dry heaves some more. This
time, it's not just Blake, it's Judd, Jim, and Bobby Jon. Bobby
Jon is so far gone that his eyes are beginning to roll into the
back of his head...
It's Margaret and the ladies to
the rescue, as Bobby Jon gives some much-deserved love for her.
"It's a nightmare. Palau was recess compared to Guatemala."
Margaret: "The girls are holding up remarkably well, but we
didn't expect the guys to go down so quickly!" That said, Cindy
calls the victory bittersweet.
Day 3 - Tree Mail!
Your first two days were grueling
But now is no time to rest.
You’ve come too far to lose it now.
This will put you to the test.
You’ll be competing like the Maya.
This is more than just a game.
Fail to pull your weight today,
And be the first to lose your flame.
Bobby Jon thinks that the time for the guys to shine is at....
I-CHALLENGE: Row Row Row Your
Boat, Gently Cross the Jungle...
Meet Mr. Maya. He is your
Immunity Idol You want Mr. Maya in your camp at all times.
Here's how you can invite him to sit a spell...
Each tribe must row their boat
round a buoy, grab a torch, and head back to shore. Then, using
a system that the Maya used to transport bricks for their
pyramids, four Survivors must pull the boat to a cauldron by
both pulling and rotating out logs. As soon as the canoe crosses a finish line, the ninth tribe member lights the torch and uses it to light a cauldron. First tribe to light the cauldron gets to stick around for three days. AND... if Yaxha
wins, they get flint.
It starts as a dead heat, but
Nakum struggles at the buoy. Yaxha has some mojo working on
their stroking. Both tribes hit the beach first. Bobby Jon,
Brandon, Blake & Judd head to pull. Jim and the women stay
with the women. Stephenie's foot is caught under a log, and
Nakum pulls ahead. It's short lived, though, as Margaret takes a
shot in the gut and Danni is stuck under a log. Yaxha takes a
huge lead... and it's all Yaxha at this point, giving them the
fire, the Immunity... and the fire.
Which means for us, it's a trip
to the $1 Million Pyramid with your host Jeff Probst. Trust
me... NO ONE wants to be called to THIS Winners' Circle.
Margaret says that it was hard
to lose but the heat sapped their strength. Jim is holding his
arm, as he's the fifth man to go down. With his arm popped like
a champagne cork, he knows that he's in trouble. Meanwhile
Jungle Judd and Jungle Babe Brooke are now enjoying small hikes.
She knows that none of the women are in any danger. "Bobby Jon
was the sickest yesterday." Howler monkey. Brandon doesn't know
what's going to happen. Blake's throwing up, Jim's crippled, and
Bobby Jon's still cramp. Margaret notes that strategizing will
be hard when a third of your team is on the bench. "They're all
great people, but it's all about who can help carry this team
That said, the team gets carried
Night 3: Tribal Council.
We all know how this works by now. Fire, life. No fire, no
life. Simple. In this place where Maya leaders would make
crucial decisions, Blake notes the sickness on the tribe. Bobby
Jon doesn't like being beat down. Danni was a little surprise to
see the guys go down like flies. "Women tend to have a lot of
endurance." Judd doesn't think that he's in trouble. "I got
right over it. I'm ready to do a backflip for ya." Jim, in a
sling, says that he heard a pop. "It's gonna hurt. It's gonna
hurt the tribe." Margaret is worried about how to pace the team.
"We are going to realign our priorities." First priority,
regrettably, the vote.
Judd (hidden) - "One of the
toughest dudes I know."
Brooke (hidden) - "I know you're a fighter. I know you don't
want to quit. But I have to make this vote thinking of the team
The votes are...
Bobby Jon: JIM
That's five... That's enough.
The other four:
Jim... THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN.
Three down, 36 to go. Let's hope the Nakum doesn't