the Battle Really Begins": Night 18-Day 21 - November 4
NIGHT 18: CUDDLE ME
Oh, it is NOT a good night for Lopevi. And "Sarge" Lea asks an important question: "NOW do we trust each other?!" Everybody says they do... but Julie is more in RELIEF than anything that the men's alliance collapsed
and that she's stick around. Julie even snuggled against Sarge's legs,
APPARENTLY for warmth but...who knows for sure? She SAID she could flirt all day, remember?
DAY 19: FULL MOON(S)
And the flirting seems to continue the next morning, as Chris and Chad talk about what Julie is doing to the tribe. Twila's not too thrilled herself, but...what can SHE do, being SEVERAL years older? In fact, it's got to the point where Sarge actually pulls his pants down and suntans his ass! (Thank GOD for TV blurring!) Julie and Twila follow suit, showing three full moons with the sun still rising. Chris sees this display and YELLS at Sarge to pull his pants up, calling Julie a "bad influence". But, for Chris, it's stuck in his mind forever.
REWARD CHALLENGE: WATER RUNS DRY
The two tribes trudge to Challenge Cove and we show Yasur that Johnny is history (which excited Scout to no end, for some reason). Now, NORMALLY, at this particular Challenge, we would be expecting Uncle Jeff to tell us to "drop our Buffs". But he says nothing of the sort. He just gets to how the Challenge works.
We will be placed at five stations leading from the ocean's edge to a tall tower. The first member fills a small bucket with sea water, then, upon reach his/her station, will toss it to the second member, who will toss it to the third, who will toss it to the fourth, who will toss ONLY the water into ANOTHER bucket held by the FIFTH member. That member will then climb the tower and dump whatever water may be remaining into a bucket at the top. When the water reaches a certain level, the bucket drops and a fire raises to light the fuse to a cauldron. First tribe to light their cauldron wins reward.
And the reward is dessert. The winning tribe gets ice cold milk, chocolate chip cookies... and CHOCOLATE CAKE! Oooooooo, I am DROOOOOOLING!
Eliza and Sarge will be the water grabbers for the respective tribes. Sarge
throws to Twila, who throws to Julie, who throws to Chad (and flips the bucket, who tosses barely a drop to Chris before moving the bucket back. Meanwhile, the ladies of Yasur are using Rory as their workhorse again, as he's the anchor. The GOOD news is that the girls throw quite a BIT of water into his bucket, enough for him to mount the tower. Chris seems to be waiting to fill his OWN bucket before climbing the tower, while Rory climbs even if there's barely a mouthful in the bucket.
Sarge starts to get, as Uncle Jeff puts it, "irritated with his troops" constantly spilling the water he worked so hard to scoop from the ocean. He's shouting orders about not stopping the bucket with the body to keep all the water in. But, like almost always, the tribe disregards the orders as the ranting of an old Marine. Chris finally gets enough to climb his tower... but Rory gets a BIG
bucketful at the same time. In fact, Rory is wringing the water out of his Buff and his SHORTS to get more for him to put in the tower (again, quite legal).
Then, we get a good run. Sarge's toss to Twila and hers to Julie are near-flawless, and most of the water stays in. The toss to Chad is not QUITE as perfect, but he kept MOST of it in. The dump to Chris, though,... not so much. Both he and Rory climb...they both pour...but neither has enough to put them over the top. So the bucket brigade continues.
Rory resorts to dumping out his SNEAKERS into the bucket as we catch up to them. We make another good run and Chris dumps the water in...and the tower bucket INCHED down. But it's still not quite enough to win. We try one more relay, though Yasur is a little ahead of us in the realy. Rory gets a fair amount of water and starts to climb. Right behind is Chris with HIS bucket. They both reach the tower at the same time and dump their buckets in...
...and Lopevi's bucket goes down! The fire goes up, the cauldron lights and we are getting a glucose rush tonight!!!!!
DAY 20: SUGAR, SUGAR
After chomping some of the cake and devouring the cookies and milk last night, we awaken to still a fair amount of cake left (thankfully, the covering kept the other critters out of it). Chocolate cake for breakfast? Why not? It worked for Bill Cosby. Sarge, however, has overloaded and feels sick just LOOKING at it. Ah, well, I guess 19 days without sugar will do that to an aging body. The others munch on the cake...and discuss just how HAPPY Scout was to see Twila yesterday. This does NOT sit well with Twila, since she's TRYING to convince the guys of Lopevi that she's NOT in a Yasur alliance. Chad and Chris aren't TOO worried about it. They think the girls will be gone, anyway. Chris tells Chad that, when it comes to winning support from Sarge, Chad "has a leg up" on hi...er,...he didn't MEAN that! But He of the Iron Leg gets a laugh out of it.
But Chris doesn't just make a "two-person alliance" with Chad. He makes one with Sarge! AND he tries to make one with JULIE! Oooooo, my namesake is a SNEAKY one!
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: JOIN TOGETHER
We march to Challenge Cove to join Yasur, and Rory hands Uncle Jeff a BROKEN Immunity Spear. As Rory claims it was an accident, Uncle Jeff tells us it's no longer needed anyway. NOW, Uncle Jeff says, "Drop your Buffs!" THE MERGE IS ON!!
We are handed bright orange Buffs and are told that we are now ONE tribe and that all Challenges from here on will be INDIVIDUAL Rewards and Individual Immunity, courtesy of the Immunity Necklace that was first seen two weeks back.
But there's ONE decision to be made: on which beach
will they be staying? They discuss it amongst each other...and they decide that Lopevi Beach will be their home front. There will be a flag there to be made up as soon as they decide on a name...as well as all the reward items and personal items from Yasur Beach.
Speaking of Individual Immunity, let's get to the Challenge. It's a relay water race. Each member will swim out to a tower in the water, climb the tower, cross a balance beam, grab a small flag, jump in, swim back and place the flag in the designated holder. They will do this three times. We'll run two heats of five apiece, with the winner and the runner-up of each heat going to a final heat. The one who wins that final heat is the ONLY Survivor who doesn't get to be voted out.
After drawing lots, Julie, Leann, Eliza, Chris and Sarge get ready for Heat 1. Sarge is first to the tower, with Chris a close second and the three ladies not that far behind. Sarge is across the beam and back in the water first, with Eliza jumping in second (Chris hesitated on the beam). At the end of the first leg, it's Sarge, Eliza and Chris, with Leann and Julie lagging behind. Chris makes up some time on the second leg, though and races to pass Eliza on the third. Sarge has absolutely zero problems making it back with his final flag in first. Eliza and Chris are in a swim-off to see who can plant their final flag. And, by mere seconds, Eliza joins Sarge in the final heat.
Heat 2 has Twila, Scout, Chad, Rory and Ami. Oddly enough, Scout seems to take her time getting in the water... while, Rory swims like a madman to the tower! Ami, Twila and Chad are neck-and-neck for second... while Scout takes it slow. Rory, Ami and Chad are the top three at first leg's end. Rory opens a big lead...but Chad and his plastic foot SLIPS on the beam. He hangs on, though, even though Ami takes over second place, pushing Chad to a tie for third with Twila. And Scout...she gets "lapped" by Rory. It's barely a contest as Rory arrives in first and Ami in second.
So it's Sarge, Ami, Rory and Eliza for Immunity. Of course, the men want it quite badly, so Sarge and Rory get out to an early lead. Sarge is first to get his flag in the holder, with Rory right behind and, surprisingly (or maybe not so much), Ami in a close third. But it looks to be all Sarge. He jumps off with his second flag as Rory climbs up the tower for HIS second. Everybody else seems to be worn out by now... but they keep pushing. Rory and Ami backstroke towards the towers... as Sarge jumps in with his final flag. Sarge plants his flag like he had landed on Iwo Jima and wins Immunity!
AFTERNOON & NIGHT 20: OCEAN'S ELEVEN (MINUS ONE)
(Again, I switch to movie titles. Did you know every title I did was a Top 40 song in the U.S.?)
Despite only one tribe member being immune, EVERYBODY is happy to be merged! Chris puts the game behind him for a day and enjoys the company, Scout is happy as a sheep in an unmown Shea Stadium to be with Twila again,...and, just like all merges beforehand, a feast awaits them at Lopevi Beach! Wine, cheese, crackers, bread, chips, fruit, chocolate cake...the whole shmeer! Oh, yeah, and we get an outrigger canoe, too! And, of course, every item won by Yasur is there, too...INCLUDING the coffee maker! You could hear Sarge's shout on Yasur Beach (were anyone there to HEAR it...hmmm...if a Marine shouts and nobody's there...never mind...).
But, as the coffee is pouring, Rory tells Sarge about the mistake Travis (aka Bubba) made a number of days back. It already looks like old tribal alliances are reforming...that, with 6 women among 4 men, that's not really a GOOD thing. Rory tells Chris that Ami seems to be calling the shots and, eventually, all the men get together to strategize about getting at least one women to swing to THEIR side so they can pick off the women one by one. Rory's just happy to be among men again.
DAY 21 : RALLY 'ROUND THE FLAG, BOYS!
OK, the party is all over but the hangovers. It's time to work on the new flag and decide a new name. The name is "Alinta", an Aboriginal word meaning "people of the fire". (Just once, I'd like a more English-sounding tribe name, like Balboa was in the Pearl Islands! Sheesh!) The flag is a volcano in the ocean with a large swirled sun behind it. Certainly one of the BETTER tribal flags made. Some of the rest of the paint goes to
painting... each other. Well, the girls, anyway.
But Sarge is a little nervous about the possibility of gender alliances re-forming... particularly with the females. Sarge is afraid that he might only have two males left on the tribe after tonight.
AFTERNOON 21: COMPROMISING POSITIONS
Scout starts to get a bit edgy about the camp... and with good reason. Chad, Twila and Julie are in the woods, talking about having Rory kicked out. Chad tries to sway them AWAY from one of the men, but the girls are stuck on how strong Rory is and how he could take Immunities away from the ladies. Eliza and Ami just want to get ONE man off.
Chris tries to talk Twila into changing her mind about Rory...but Twila's too busy looking over her shoulders to listen. They finally get along and Chris tries to lean her towards Ami. Twila would rather go to Sarge if not Rory. But Ami is doing her "queen bee" routine (according to Lea) and getting the other women to see HER way. Because of that, Sarge talks to Twila, claiming Ami is turning Julie "lesbo" and they need to stop that before it spreads to the OTHER girls. (Oh, c'mon, Sarge! A little HLA may be GOOD after going through that diabetic diatribe of Bah-stin Rob and Amber!) Sarge thinks Twila and Julie are still with "Lopevi"... and so does Chris. Ami thinks the two woman are still WITH the women...even as Twila feels bad about the fact that SOMEONE will be pissed tonight at...
TRIBAL COUNCIL: JOHNNY BE BAD
To Uncle Jeff's Stone Temple of Doom the new tribe marches. Jeff gets the new name from Ami and its definition (and that it came from Scout) from Sarge. Julie says the workload was spread out since the merge...and Uncle Jeff adores the "Jeff in Heart" painting on Julie's upper breast...though he says, "Don't waste your time flirting with ME; I can't help ya."
Then he asks
Leann if she would rather the tribes still be separate. She says know, since the merge signifies moving forward in the game. Rory is VERY happy to get out of Yasur...and Ami thinks she DESERVED to get this far.
And what about the vote? Twila feels stuck in the middle since she was on both tribes...and reiterates
that somebody's gonna hurt someone before the night is through.
With Sarge refusing to give up Immunity, it is time to vote. We go to the booth one-by-one (and, HOPEFULLY, we won'tneed a recount): Chris, Leann (who votes Rory), Scout, Chad, Ami, Julie, Sarge, Rory ("Amy" as a "personal vote") Eliza and Twila.
Uncle Jeff tallies the votes, then reads them off: "Amy", Ami, Ami, Ami, Rory, Rory, Rory, Rory. Four-to-four with two votes left. The ninth vote is Rory...and the tenth...
...is Rory! It looks like the Yasur alliance is STILL active (and I may have to eat my words to Chico before this is all said and done). At least Rory won't have to deal with Ami ever again. This case manager managed to raise the girls' ire enough to get his torch snuffed.
Uncle Jeff informs us that we're all in the game until the end, as those who get voted off from here on become the Jury that will decide the winner. Why... does that not make me happy?!