Islands of Fire
Yasur Tribe
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Eighteen new castaways set sail for the islands of fire, Vanuatu, to brave the elements, the volcanoes, and the local cannibals for a chance to outwit, outplay, and outlast for $1 million. 

Check out GSNN's Tribal Council to see who is left on the islands!

Recaps by Chico Alexander and Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Jeff Probst
Creator: Charlie Parsons
EP: Mark Burnett, Charlie Parsons
Packager: Mark Burnett Prods., Survivor Prods., Castaway TV Prods.
Airs: Thursdays at 8:00pm ET on CBS

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"They Came At Us With Spears: Days 1-3" - September 16

Day 1: I promise that in the next 10 minutes of game show, you will see cannibals.

Welcome back to the ninth go-around of Survivor, the original game of "human chess". As with last permutations, coverage will be divided by tribes. If you want to see the guys, go see Wolvie over at Lopevi. If you want to see the ladies, then I'm the P.I.M.P. you need to S.E.E.

First, we greet our perennial tour guide Jeff Probst next to an active volcano, Yasur to be exact (which lends its name to our tribe). Then we see our 18 people, one with a Bob Barker shirt. Fitting for a "Lord of the Flies" meets "The Price is Right". Basic rules haven't changed. Every three-day round consists of one Immunity Challenge. Losers will go to Tribal to kick one person out of the game. In the end, only one will claim $1,000,000 of cold-hard CBS cash. In the beginning, Jeff almost gets toasted delivering the familiar mantra... "39 days, 18 people... ONE Survivor."

And so the action begins... and what did I tell you... Here come the locals, and they don't look happy. Among them, Jeff, who tells that the spearage and the screaming is all part of a ritual, an invitation to access all that Vanuatu has to offer. Jeff's friend Chief Mormor will preside over the moving and at times downright scary proceedings, and in order to play the game, you have to participate.

Travis (he of the Bob Barker shirt) gets onto the boat... and tips it over. Lucky for us that six weeks before day 1, he learned how to swim. Learn about him and the other 17 in GSNN's Tribal Council. Link is at left.

The first part of the ceremony is the circling around the foreigners. Then once we make landfall, the scaring halfway to death of the foreigners. they jab spears at everyone... except Rory. "A black man coming on the island is not particularly unwelcome." Either that or you're a native of legends past come to reclaim the land.

After that, more poking, some dancing, and men drinking kava, which pretty much looks and tastes like swill, the tribe sacrifices a live pig, dresses each male in Vanuatu warrior styling--the pig's blood, mainly--and issues a challenge to the men: retrieve a spiritual stone blessed with luck from the top of a pole laden with pig fat. If no man could do it, then the women get the stone without having to do anything. This would be the Discovery Channel portion of the series where you learn all about Vanuatu and its rich culture.

First up is Brady, who takes the pole and rides it for all its worth. He gets the stone. Men 1, Women zilch. Then Jeff divides the tribesmen along gender line, the Lopevi men in red and the Yasur women in yellow. Mia: "I think we got a bum deal. We're out for blood now." Mmmm.. feisty!

By the way, if you would like to learn more of the Yasur ladies, then check out the Tribal Council portion of the mini-site.

Night 1: The host is gone and the search is on.

At the tribal beach: a pot, a map to water, and a machete. That's it. Now if only we can find it. Jeff pointed in the direction, but the tribes have to find the camp on their own. The women of Yasur keep together by holding hands. As one of the ladies went down, Scout elects to hunker down and ride out the storm until daybreak. Ami and Dolly follow suit. Eliza... doesn't. Two factions begin to clash as to which direction to take. If it were me, I'd sooner wait until daybreak if only for the fact that you don't get any light to light the way at night outside of the moon which, if you haven't noticed, is obscured in the thick fog of darkness.

And Leann agrees with me, as Eliza doesn't want to be too pushy as to be the odd-woman-out. Eventually, rest is delayed as the women carry on. Patience pays off, and unless someone has been eating their bananas, they feel the flag on the beach.

Day 2: First order of business: Shelter.

Ami, Scout, Leann, and Twila start on it while the rest of the women bask in the glow of the ocean under the sun. Scout calls them "bowheads" because they're like cattle clustering around. "Those sorority chicks ain't paying any attention to any damn thing but themselves." Scout targets Eliza, who already has a reputation of talking on a constant clip. In this case, it's about fire.

So much in fact that they fail to notice that shelter's being built. Eliza thinks that Twila's work ethic is making all those who take "reasonable breaks" look bad. Twila's work ethic is justified though, as some of the Bowheads only have time enough to piss and moan.

And all this leads up to...

Day 3: The first tree-mail!

Attached is a flag. The note reads:

A show of pride and unity each time the two tribes meet,
Bring your tribal flag with you whenever you compete.
Assess your tribemates' strengths, whose talents you'll require.
One tribe leaves with heads hung low, the others go home with fire.

Must mean...

R/I-CHALLENGE: Fire Starter (flint)

Obstacle course with mud bog, ball maze, balance beam, brush fire building, and lighting a fire wok with matches from the ball maze. Winners get flint to make fire with the machete. Not only that, they get to touch the Immunity Spear, which will protect them for three days.

It's a dead heat after the mudbog, with the men in first. Men pull out after the ball maze. The women keep at it as Chad's artificial leg can't make the balance beam work but for a second time. The ladies try to negotiate the beam while Bubba seems to have some difficulty. The ladies get across while Bubba is still falling. Now it's a matter of fire for the ladies as Bubba takes the shoes off. The ladies have fire, though, and their wok is the first to be set ablaze via the torch they release.

And Bubba didn't even finish. "Fire for immunity! Fire for immunity!" Flint, water, warmth, security, all in the matter of one pole.

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