You're Looking at the
New Leader of Your Tribe (Zapatera)
HERE TO READ THE HAPPENINGS AT OMETEPE
Redemption...Bob Marley sang about
it...the Last Airbender used it to end a feud between tribes...and, now,
sixteen Americans will try to seek it en route to one million dollars.
Already split into two tribes, they ride a helicopter to the Pacific
coast of Nicaragua ready to spend 39 days in the harsh weather of the
rainforest and battle the elements and each other for that muster check.
But little do they know of TWO starting twists to this edition.
DAY 1: ENTER THE VILLAINS!
The chopper lands and the 16
Americans exit with Uncle Jeff Probst leading the way. The tribes are
already divided between Ometepe (wearing orange) and Zapatera (wearing
purple), both named for volcano islands in Lake Nicaragua. My tribe's
the regal one and include:
MIKE CHIESL - 31, Iraqi War
veteran from Del Mar, CA
RALPH "ROOSTER" KISER - 44, farmer from Lebanon, PA
KRISTA KLUMPP - 25, pharmaceutical rep from Columbia, SC
DAVID MURPHY - 31, defense attorney from West Hollywood
STEPHANIE VALENCIA - 25, waitress from Long Beach, CA
SARITA WHITE - 36, visual effects producer from Santa Monica
JULIE WOLFE - 50, firefighter from Oceanside, CA
STEVE WRIGHT - 51, former NFL player living in Huntington Beach, CA
The tribes go before Uncle
Jeff as the chopper departs...and Uncle Jeff includes the first twist:
two new tribemates coming in a seperate, smaller copter. When the copter
lands...they cannot believe it! It's "Boston" Rob Mariano from
"Survivor: Marquesas", "Survivor: All-Stars" and "Survivor: Heroes vs.
Villains"...and Russell Hantz from "Survivor: Samoa" and "Survivor:
Heroes vs. Villains"! Two of the baddest bad boys in the history of the
game will be their tribemates! After drawing for Buffs(TM), we get
Russell, the Alliance King who went to the Final Three twice in a row.
Now the SECOND twist, those
voted off...will NOT go home! This is where "Redemption Island" comes
into play. Whoever is voted out goes to this remote island with the same
trappings as they have at camp...but will be ALONE to make shelter,
forage for food...essentially being a one-person tribe. When a SECOND
person shows up, a "duel" will take place with the loser going home. At
a certain point in the game, whoever is on Redemption Island will be
"redeemed" and returns to the game.
OK, here are the maps to the
camps...get to them 'cause, well, it's a rainforest, after all...and
being soaked is NOT a good way to start. We'll see you at the first
AFTERNOON 1: I'M DA MAN!
Ah, camp sweet home. Russell
is ready to graduate from "schoolboy" of Survivor to the dean. Of
course, he doesn't say that out LOUD to EVERYBODY. He tells THEM that
he's not here to make the same mistakes of his two previous stays. He's
here to win...and he knows he needs his tribe to help him accomplish
that. David, for one, ain't buying it; he thinks Russell LIKES the
"blood on his hands".
Hey, not just water, rice
and a machete this time. We have Craftsman(TM) tools for building the
shelter! And Ralph is happier than a hog in mud as he knows a fair bit
about building shelters. Mike and Steve seem to like the "worker bee"
mentality of the tribe. Everyone seems to be chopping and hammering and
helping out...well, except Russell who, like a foreman, seems to be
watching and "approving" the structure.
Later, while looking for
Tree-Mail and water, Russell and Stephanie get to talking...and Russell
reminds her how he brought a woman along the FIRST time. Steph WANTS to
believe Russell has changed his tune...but he ain't. The Alliance King
promises to get her to the Finals should they make it to the merge. When
they return, most of the others KNOW Steph has been hooked and that
Russell needs to go ASAP. David and Mike agree to do just that should
the need arise.
DAY 3 - REWARD/IMMUNITY
CHALLENGE: PAIN IN THE TEMPLES
Uncle Jeff meets us at a
HUGE structure at Challenge Cove that looks like it came out of a
Japanese game show. We re-greet Ometepe and Bahstin Rob. It's time for
the first Challenge:
First, the team pushes HUGE
blocks down a track to build a staircase to the second level of their
"temple". One person then takes a makeshift axe and chops through a mess
of ropes to reveal a SECOND staircase. Everyone ascends to the top level
and builds a block puzzle to complete their temple. First to do that
wins the Mayan tiki Immunity Idol AND flint to start a fire with once
they return to camp. The losers go to Tribal Council and vote the first
player off their tribe...and into Redemption Island.
And Zapatera quickly takes
the lead with their overall strength advantage (having a farmer, a war
vet and an ex-NFLer helps) As Ometepe struggles to get their third of
four blocks in place, Zapatera finishes their staircase and runs up the
steps. Ralph's a lumberjack and he's MORE than OK and he makes short
work of the ropes so that the purple crew is on top before the orange
crush can even get their staircase together.
Now...my tribe in the past
has always had some issues with tasks of the brain...so I'm concerned
about the block puzzle. As they start, Ometepe FINALLY finishes their
staircase and Matt starts on the ropes...with rather pathetic results,
truth be told. Still, he gets it done while we still work on the bottom
part of the blocks. And we ALL know how good Rob is with puzzles (hell,
he figured out Amber, didn't he? :) )
Still, Zapatera isn't shabby
with its puzzle-solvers, either; David barks orders and helps with the
building. But Ometepe's non-panicked working closes the gap in record
time. As the lead disappears, Russell takes charge for Zapatera and
things get done. Which villain will lead their tribe to victory?
It's RUSSELL! With one quick
slide of the last block, ZAPATERA WINS IMMUNITY AND FIRE! Russell claims
to know what Rob is thinking...and, at the point, Russell thinks Rob is
thinking, "Oh, crap...I'm stuck with a bunch of weenies."
NIGHT 3: EXCUSE ME...EXCUSE
I'll let Chico handle the
chaotic Tribal Council of Ometepe...but let me just say that Phillip,
the so-called "ex-Federal agent", could give Vickie Guerrero a run for
her money with the number of "excuse me"s he's put out during it.
HERE TO READ WHAT HAPPENED WITH OMETEPE AT TRIBAL COUNCIL
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