"Anger, Threats, Tears... and Coffee: Days 16-18" - October 28
DAY 16: LAZY BONES
No rest for the weary. Despite the Lopevi Tribe having won FOUR straight challenges, this is not a vacation. Wood needs to be gathered, fish need to be caught... and strategy needs to be played out. The only one that seems to be slacking off on all accounts is Johnny. He claims to be tired and bored... and the others are starting to comment. Chad and Chris call him a "coaster" and they certainly won't let Johnny get AWAY with it.
REWARD CHALLENGE: BLACK COFFEE IN BED
Challenge Cove awaits Yasur and are QUITE surprised to see Rory still around and Lisa 86ed. Ah, well...to the Challenge. One person starts by cracking a coconut open and filling the juice into a small coconut "cup". They must then take the cup through an
obstacle course: a belly-crawl, a see-saw, a bamboo hurdle set, another see-saw and a bamboo cage. Whatever water is left in the "cup" gets pour into a bottle. The cup is then brought back and handed to the next member. When the bottle is filled to the black line, whoever filled it brings IT back. First tribe back with a full bottle gets reward.
And the reward is WELL worth playing for! The winning tribe spends the day at a "home cafe" with (PRODUCT PLACEMENT WARNING!) Folger's Coffee,
croissants, juices and - hang on to your skivvies - a TASTE OF HOME! Not only THAT, but the winners has a CARE package of coffee and a battery-operated maker to take WITH them. We sit out "Sarge" Lea...and we wait for Uncle Jeff's "go".
Johnny starts off against Eliza. Eliza is on the course first with Johnny falling behind and losing juice. She stays ahead through all the obstacles and pours quite a bit of juice into the bottle before jogging back. Johnny pours a bit as well. Chad is next for us... and here is where the metal leg becomes a
hindrance. It's hard for him to get it through the belly-crawl and the see-saws are even worse. But he works hard at them and catches up to Leann. He eventually PASSES her and dumps his juice into the bottle.
OK, I won't sound like a broken record for this. Suffice it to say that Chris, Julie and Twila repeat this and then it goes back to Johnny. But... Yasur does a sneaky underhanded thing: they use STRATEGY! Scout purposely DUMPS her juice to let some of the more limber members do the job... and it's LEGAL. Leann and Julie are the last ones... and Leann is flying through the course. Julie is doing all right, but it's a race now to see who will fill their bottle to the brim. It's no contest. Leann overflows the bottle and, despite tripping, walks back with the bottle to win coffee and sympathy for Yasur, breaking our streak!
DAY 17: LADIES NIGHT
No coffee, no home comforts...no ladies? Twila and Julie have gone off to discuss their strategy about them hanging around. It turns out that the guys told each girl the same exact thing: that they would join three of them in the Final Four. OK, actually Julie just SAID they said that to her... but they DIDN'T. Still, Julie's plan worked; she has Twila back on HER side. They'll pretend they are the men's pawns and STRIKE when they can.
DAY 18: IMMUNITY CHALLENGE - SHOOT 'EM UP, BABY
TREE-MAIL! What tidbit of cryptic info has Uncle Jeff laid on our stoop THIS time? Why, it's a bunch of slingshots...and a message:
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
EACH OF YOU HAVE TO SHOOT.
THE ONE WHO DOES IT POORLY.
TONIGHT WILL GET THE BOOT!
"The ONE"?! OK, don't panic...they wouldn't merge the tribes before an IMMUNITY Challenge. But, then again, they never voted two people out at the same time before and THAT'S happened! (gulp) Well, Sarge (being a master at ALL weapons, it seems) helps us learn how to shoot these silly things. He compares Yasur to "a high school team playing an SEC team". (Why couldn't he have said Big Ten? Ah, well...)
We head for Challenge Cove and hand over the Immunity Spear to Uncle Jeff, who proceeds
to explain the Challenge. One-by-one, the tribes will march a member towards a slingshot and a grid of 20
ceramic tiles. The object is the shatter said tiles so that no piece of said tile is connected to two wires. Each player has a column of squares on a "game board." When a tile of their corresponding column is broken, they flip over a marker on their column. Once all four markers of a column are flipped, that player is done. First one to flip all 20 markers gets to go into the merge intact... assuming there IS one in the next three days, that is.
We sit Chris out this time and march Chad up to fire first... and he cracks one of Twila's tiles. Rory whacks one of Leann's tiles to even things up. Amy misses and so does Julie. The Sarge comes up and BLASTS one of his OWN tiles while Scout nails ANOTHER of Leann's ceramic squares. Leann makes it three to two by KOing HER third tile while Twila slings and misses. Finally, Eliza misses while Johnny takes Sarge's tile out to tie the game.
Again, no repetitions; Scout knocks Leann out of the competition as she makes it 8-to-5. Rory is on a hot streak, but we make up SOME ground and make it 17-16, Yasur with two people left for each team: Rory & Scout for Yasur, Johnny & Chad for us. Rory eventually gets #19 and knocks Scout out...and Johnny breaks a tile... but not enough to count. Rory pulls back, takes aim, fires... but doesn't break it enough! We have a prayer. Chad readies, aims... and MISSES! Rory aims, says, "This one's for my baby boy"... and wins Immunity!
AFTERNOON 18: TWO PEOPLE (GOTTA STICK TOGETHER)
Hell, the conquered hero. To use Sarge's vernacular,
Caffeinated High just beat U. of Georgia by a field goal. Sarge says this'll even things out and the strategy changed. Chad and Chris talk to each other about ditching Julie and go into the merge not only 5-to-5 by CURRENT tribes but 5-to-5 in GENDER. Chad wants to do that, but Chris says they should ditch
Johnny Slacker, even though it WOULD make it 6-to-4 in the
Like a butterfly in a spider web, Chris talks to Johnny about Chad. Johnny WOULD vote for Julie, but thinks SHE would be an asset later on. Truthfully, he thinks that Chad and his "sympathy votes" have gotta go. So he talks to the ladies about it. Twila seems all right to take out the one-legged wonder tonight... and Johnny trusts that since, according to him, "rednecks are very trusting." (Yeah? What about bigots?)
TRIBAL COUNCIL: JOHNNY BE BAD
To Uncle Jeff's Stone Temple of Doom we trudge. Chris tells our host that the back-to-back losses were close. Chad talks about the "wood-gathering" and "pot-scrubbing" errands that two or more people go on and how he notices who is with who... and the REAL reason they're together. Chris thinks everyone has a role and it's a team effort. Sarge like Twila for getting "exotic foods" and firewood for the camp. Johnny says she and Sarge are the workhorses but... Twila SHOULD take more naps (he even ADMITS to being the champion napper).
What about life at camp against your competitiors? Chad says the good first perception works for him. Julie doesn't think they trust her COMPLETELY, but she's getting there.
How is everyone voting? Chris says it's on trust - which is a fickle thing - and how it'll benefit him.
It is time to vote. We shlep, one-by-one, to the booth. First is Sarge, then Twila, Johnny ("I'm afraid you (Chad) might sneak by us some more and you need to go"), Julie, Chad and Chris. When Uncle Jeff returns, he reads said votes: John, Chad, John, John...and John. The last MUST be Johnny, so this mechanical bull operator's been "bucked off the island".
Uncle Jeff's last words to us? "Tonight is the night you find out who you can trust and who you can't." How very true...