PREVIOUSLY ON… SURVIVOR!
After Vanessa was blindsided, her Saap Tribe allies were stunned and angered. Jamie implored his tribemates to keep their cool, arguing that the game could be turned in their favor if they could win reward and manage to procure a hidden immunity idol from Exile Island.
Marco was able to help them pull off this feat when he won individual reward, despite having been inconveniently bitten on the back of his knee by a spider. While Marco and Jamie further solidified their friendship while meeting rehabilitated animals at a wildlife sanctuary, Irene suffered through the worst storm yet on Exile Island. Despite the conditions, Irene was able to to decipher the clues and unearth the idol.
While Saap schemed, so did Bandar. Jordyne and Marina set their sites on Mathieu, now weakened without the aid of his close partnership with Vanessa. However, Mathieu sought to do what would make Vanessa most proud, and promised his loyalty to the former Saap Tribe.
Marco once again defied expectations, winning individual immunity. With Mathieu’s support, the immunity necklace, and the idol on their side, Jamie rallied the Saap troops to make a power play, pressuring Shelby and Gavin with the threat of a tie vote, forcing Gavin to begrudingly turn on Jordyne, despite his longtime fondness for her.
At Tribal Council, Jamie put Jordyne on blast, creating chaos in hopes of knocking out the tribe’s most notorious double agent. Gavin, however, wasn’t ready to let go of the exotic dancer, and made a plea for her safety in exchange for targeting Marina, who he sited as the real mastermind behind Vanessa’s boot, and as the biggest threat in the game. Convinced by his reasoning, Jamie sided with his younger rival, and Marina was sent to the jury, leaving Jordyne alone at the bottom.
Seven remain. Who will go tonight?
The moon soars over the landscape of the Satya Yuga camp as the remaining castaways return from their explosive tribal council. No sooner than are the torches placed down than the atmosphere of celebration.
“Come here,” Jamie says with a smile as he hugs Marco and Irene.
“Yo man, we don’t have fire, but Saap is still up in this business!” Marco cheers excitedly. Shelby rolls her eyes, the darkness masking her annoyance.
As the Saaps celebrate, Gavin watches from the shelter, his eyes locked on Jamie in disgust.
In the shelter, Gavin is joined by Jordyne as she slides in next to him. Wordlessly, she wraps him up in a huge hug and kisses his cheek.
“You didn’t have to do that, you know,” she says.
“I wanted to. How many times do I need to prove to you that I have your back?” he asks.
Shelby joins them in the shelter. Outside, Mathieu attempts to start a fire, but struggles.
“The wood is still not catching,” he says, somewhat defeated.
“It’s late, bro,” Marco says. “Besides, it’s barely like we’d be eating anyway, what, with three scoops of rice a piece? We’ll start it in the morning.”
The castaways are all asleep at this point in the evening. Gavin’s breath flutters in and out as he curls up against Jordyne. At the other end of the shelter, Marco is in clear discomfort, moaning and groaning softly.
“Oh crap. Oh. Oh. Ech.” he grumbles, scratching hopelessly at the swollen bite on the back of his leg.
Finally having too much, Marco gets up from the shelter and hobbles over to the supply bin, fishing out one of the filet knives. He begins scraping it against the back of his knee.
“Oh oh oh OH MY GAAAAADDDDDD,” Marco groans, his eyes fluttering.
“Are you touching yourself?” Gavin asks, disgust dripping in his voice.
“Shut up, I’m sleeping!” Jamie spits.
“I’m scratching my bite, is that a crime?” Marco snaps.
Jordyne rustles awake.
“I might have something,” she says, reaching for her bag. In the dark without the fire, she cannot read, so she opens the bottles of massage oil she has one at a time, sniffing them until she finds what she’s looking for.
“This is a mentholated peppermint oil,” she says, applying some to her hands. “Lie down on your stomach,” she orders. Marco complies. Jordyne rubs the oil over her hands before gently dabbing around Marco’s bite.
“It stings a little,” he says, gritting his teeth.
“That’s because you scratched it open, stupid,” Jordyne says, annoyed.
“You really need to be more careful, Marco,” Shelby chides. “A wound like that can become infected out here if you aren’t careful.”
“Geez, Mathieu, you sound a lot like Shelby right now,” Marco snips pointedly. “Unless of course, Shelby, you’re a doctor. Because you ain’t my mother, so I don’t need you telling me what to do. I’m not Gavin,” he jibes.
“What the… what’s that supposed to mean?” Gavin asks, clearly agitated.
“OH my GOD!” Irene grumbles. “Can’t we all go back to bed?”
Warm sunlight cascades over the merged tribe campsite. Days ago, it was drenched in water, a virtual wetland. Now dry and comfortable once again, Mathieu once again assembles a pile of kindling, and begins working with the flint and steel.
Jamie stares at the last of the chickens in the coop, gaze unflinching.
“Dame Judi, it’s over,” he says.
“It’s curtains for Dame Judi?” Marco asks.
“It’s gotta be. I’m going insane, Marco.”
“The implication being you were sane at the start?” Marco pesters.
“I mean, guys. It’s the last chicken,” Irene says. “Is this when you really want to eat it?”
“Yes,” Jamie says, plainly.
“I mean, I’d rather save it until after the next Tribal Council, at least,” Irene says. “We’re splitting it between fewer people then,” she says.
“Let’s just put it to a vote,” Shelby says. “Choose democratically. It’s the most reasonable. All for eating the chicken today?”
Jamie, Marco, Mathieu, and Jordyne all raise their hands. Upon seeing Jordyne put her hand up, Gavin quickly does as well.
“Then it’s settled. Chicken it is,” says Marco.
“That’s it?” Irene asks. “Can’t we at least talk about it before we just vote?”
“We did talk about it,” Jamie says. “Sorry darlin’, but I think you’re the only one with a problem here.”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry! I don’t have a problem, really. I’m just trying to think ahead, I’m just… trying to understand, I guess.” Irene says.
“What is there to understand bro?” asks Marco. “The game isn’t that much longer, why not eat it now?”
Mathieu holds the chicken steady while Jamie lifts the axe. With a swift blow, it’s over.
As the feet of the chicken stick up from the boiling water, Shelby comes into camp carrying a pack of booklets.
“Tree mail’s here, and it’s an interesting one,” she announces.
Sitting up against a tree trunk in the forest, Shelby pours through the questions on her survey.
“These are… pointed,” she says to the camera, “but what else would I expect? ‘Who is the biggest poser?’ ‘Who would never be able to survive on their own?’ ‘Who is under the mistaken impression that they’re smart?’ This is quite the uh… quite the brutal inquisition,” she balks.
Curled up in the shelter, Irene fills out her survey.
“Who needs therapy?” she reads. “Jesus Christ, all of us do…”
In the boat, Jamie floats on the water, working on his questionnaire. The camera hovers over his shoulder. In cursive, he’s seen writing an answer in the line under “Who is the most annoying?” G-A-V, he begins writing.
Down at the field, Gavin fills his survey out. Under “Who would you hope to never see again?” he writes Jamie’s name.
Having completed the surveys, the castaways now sit around at camp in a group.
“I don’t know about y’all,” Jamie says, “but I did not enjoy that.”
“Right?” Jordyne agrees. “It was like we were voting for you know, those things in the yearbook? Like ‘Best Dressed?’ Only like… for things you wouldn’t want to be know for?”
“Superlatives,” Irene fills in.
“Yeah, those,” agrees Jordyne.
“You win any of those, Gavin?” asks Marco.
“What? Why are you asking me that?” Gavin responds.
“You just got out of high school, bro, nothing personal,” Marco says.
“I didn’t just graduate high school, I’m a college sophomore,” Gavin says, irritated. “It was over a year ago.”
“But for the rest of us it was years ago, bro. That’s all I’m saying, it’s just a matter of your age, that’s all.”
“Gavin, buddy, you need to wind it back a little,” Jamie says, sticking up for Marco. “Marco didn’t mean anything by it, there’s no need to get so defensive.”
“Oh of course, White Knight to the rescue,” Gavin says, his voice dripping in sarcasm. “Coming to save your crippled boy toy, Gay-mie?”
“Yo! Not cool!” Marco yells, surprised.
“Gavin!” Shelby reprimands.
“What?” Gavin gripes. “You make jokes like that with him all the time!” Gavin says to Marco.
“Marco’s my friend, Gavin, he knows me like that to make jokes like that. And you shouldn’t use ‘crippled,’ it’s demeaning.”
“Give it a break Jamie, you’re one to talk about being demeaning.”
“What? For calling you out, Gavin? You can’t have it both ways. You don’t get to be one of the grown ups and and then get to be shocked when you’re held responsible for what comes out of your mouth,” Jamie says.
“Gavin, this behavior is completely inappropriate,” Shelby warns.
“Yeah,” Marco agrees. “Listen to your mom.”
“Screw you, Marco. I hope your leg falls off,” Gavin sneers. He gets up from the shelter and storms out of camp. Marco and Jamie make eye contact, and share a ‘what the hell was that?’ look.
“I’m gonna make sure he’s okay,” Jordyne says, getting up to go after him.
A rock goes sailing through the air, crashing into the water at the riverbank. Gavin stands in the shallows, angrily tossing rocks into the water. Jordyne sits behind him on the shore, looking concerned.
“Don’t let them get to you, Gavin. There’s no need to get yourself so worked up.”
“So you agree then? That they’re the ones in the wrong here?”
“It doesn’t have to be one or the other,” Jordyne says. “They were pushing your buttons, I get it, but you overreacted big time. Just let it go. Jamie and Marco aren’t worth it.”
Another rock splashes in the water. Gavin turns to Jordyne.
“So are you finally over whatever weird obsession you have with Jamie?”
“I never had any obsession with Jamie,” Jordyne says. “ We’re friends. I trusted him. Just like I have trust in you.”
“Yeah, but I haven’t broken your trust,” Gavin says. “Can’t say the same for him.”
“Look, Gavin, I don’t know what you want to hear from me, okay? I’m being honest with you. You and Jamie can both be my friends simultaneously.”
“If he’s your friend, how come he tried so hard to get you voted out?”
“That’s a game move,” Jordyne says. “You have to vote out other people, even people you like. I don’t take it as like, we can’t be friends anymore, me and him. But I don’t trust him, Gavin. I’m on the bottom right now, Gavin. The Saaps have total control right now, so I’m not saying I wouldn’t go against Jamie if I could, but we would need to get someone else to vote with us.”
“Well then that’s what we’ll do,” Gavin affirms.
“Hopefully, one of us wins reward,” Gavin says. “It’s a good opportunity to get people out of camp where no one else can hear you.”
“Who would you want to get out of camp?” Jordyne asks.
Gavin shrugs as he turns to throw another stone. “It would have to be Irene or Mathieu. We need to get them to realize nothing good happens for them if they stick with those guys.”
“Come on in guys!”
The castaways enter the challenge arena, an enclosed, temple like area. Seven Hindu style plaster statues await them, each painted in colors matching the castaways own wardrobe, skin tone, and hairstyle.
“That’s hilarious,” Marco comments as he observes the statues.
“Look at Jamie’s!” points out Irene, noticing the beard on his statue.
“Look at yours,” Jamie returns, noting the glasses on Irene’s statue.
“Obviously, you guys have all noticed the statues in your likeness behind me. They’re going to have a role to play in today’s reward challenge,” says Jeff. “Here’s how it works. Yesterday, we had each of you fill out a questionnaire asking questions about what you thought of your tribemates. Today, we’re going to see how well you have your finger on the pulse of the tribe. Each round, I’ll ask a question from the survey. You must tell me who you think the group said, whose name came up the most often. This may differ from what you personally answered. We are looking for the tribe’s consensus. Each time you get an answer right, you’ll get to chop one of another tribe member’s ropes. When you lose all three ropes, a weight will drop, crushing your statue, and you are out of the game. Last person standing wins reward. Wanna know what you’re playing for?”
“Hell yeah!” cheers Marco. Everyone claps in excitement.
“The winner of today’s challenge will serve as an ambassador on behalf of Survivor. You will head to a local Adivasi village. The Adivasi are the indigenous tribal groups that live in this part of India. You’ll be heading to a school house where you will deliver school supplies such as books, pencils, toys, bags, and most importantly, two computers. You’ll also get lunch and recess with the students, and be treated to a performance of their musical tradition. Worth playing for?”
Everyone nods and claps.
“Alright. We’ll draw for spots, go ahead, and get started.”
“SURVIVORS READY? GO!”
QUESTION 1: “Who is the most honest?”
Gavin’s eyes widen as he looks through the names. Jordyne seems confident as she flips through the cards.
The castaways show their answers.
“Jamie, Jordyne, Shelby, Irene and Gavin all say Mathieu, Mathieu and Marco say Marco, the correct answer is… Mathieu. Mathieu, you didn’t answer yourself. Is this a surprise to you that people think you’re honest?”
“Uh, not so much a surprise, but an honor,” Mathieu says. “I know most of the questions are not so complimentary.”
“Well maybe you’ll need to be a little more willing to compliment yourself. You and Marco are out for the round, the rest of you, prepare to take your first shots. We’ll go in a random order, Irene? You’re up first.”
Irene grabs the waiting talwar blade, feeling it’s heft. “Holy crap, this is a real sword!” geeks Irene. She looks at the ropes before deciding on her first one, approaching Jordyne’s ropes.
“Figures,” sighs Jordyne as Irene brings her blade down.
“Jordyne is the first one to lose a rope,” Jeff says. “Jordyne, you’re up. If you want revenge, this is a good time to get it.”
“It is a good time, isn’t it?” says Jordyne, walking directly over to Irene’s station. She chops Irene’s first rope.
Gavin is next, and he doesn’t hesitate as he goes for Jamie’s station. Jamie is just as quick to retaliate on Gavin. Shelby is given the last hit of the round, and takes out Jamie’s second rope.
QUESTION 2: “Who would never survive on their own?”
Mathieu moves quickly to his answer, as does Marco. Shelby looks over her choices considerately.
“Shelby, Mathieu, Irene; all guess Jordyne. Jamie, Jordyne, Marco, all guess Gavin. Gavin has put Irene. Correct answer is… Gavin.”
“What?” Gavin says, clearly upset. Jamie can’t help but snicker.
“Hey, I do my work around camp now,” Jordyne says.
“Jamie, Jordyne, Marco, you guys each get to take a swing with the sabre. Marco, take a swing.”
Marco picks up the sword and gets a big, dopey smile on his face.
“Yoooo! This is pretty wicked!” He walks over to Gavin’s rope and with a goofy, fake “waaa-chaaw!” he swings the blade, cutting Gavin’s rope.
“Jamie, you’re up.”
“Sorry kid,” Jamie says with a shrug as he heads directly to Gavin’s station. As the rope cuts, the suspended block falls and shatter’s Gavin’s statue.
“Gavin, first one out of this challenge. You can put your cards down and take a seat on the bench,” Jeff instructs. Gavin rolls his eyes as he walks over.
“Jordyne, your hit.”
“Sorry darling,” Jordyne says, blowing a kiss to Jamie as she approaches his station. She chops his rope and Jamie’s statue is crushed.
“Jamie, out right behind Gavin,” Jeff notes as Jamie heads over to the bench. He sits down as far as possible from Gavin.
“We’re down to five,” Jeff points out. “Let’s go to the next question.
QUESTION 3: “Who needs therapy?”
Jordyne chuckles to herself as she flips through the names. Marco grits his teeth and makes a face, somewhat uncertain. Shelby acts decisively.
“Irene says herself, Jordyne also says herself, everyone else says Jordyne, the correct answer is Jordyne, everyone but Irene gets to take a hit.”
“It’s because I’m a stripper, Jeff,” Jordyne says. “They think if you’re a stripper it’s because you got touched by an angel as a kid, if you know what I mean.”
“Girl, I put you for that and that’s just because I know you’re crazy!” Jamie calls from the stands.
“Shelby, you’re up first,” Jeff says.
Shelby lifts the sword and makes her way towards Mathieu’s station.
“No no, Shelby,” Mathieu pleads. “You don’t want to do that.”
“But I very much do,” Shelby says, slicing Mathieu’s first rope.
Jordyne heads up next and hits Irene for her second hit. Mathieu gives Jordyne a second hit as well. Marco has the last hit of the round. “Love you bae!” He says to Jordyne as he slices her rope.
“Oh, come on Dorko!” Jordyne whines. The block crashes on her statue, which shatters and crumbles.
“Jordyne is the third person out of this challenge,” Jeff says.
QUESTION 4: “Who succumbs the most easily to intimidation?”
It doesn’t take anyone much time to pick an answer.
“Everyone says Shelby, including Shelby, everyone is correct,” Jeff says. “Shelby, you had no doubt you were the answer.”
“Jeff, I would not describe myself as easy to intimidate, I would describe myself as someone who is profoundly influenced by logic. However in light of recent events, I could reasonably see how my tribemates would perceive my actions as such.”
“Well, you’re right in any case, and you’re up first.”
Shelby heads straight to Irene, who can only hang her head as Shelby slices her final rope and sends Irene’s statue shattering.
“Rats,” Irene says.
“Irene, fourth person out of the challenge, however Irene, you still have a hit to deliver in return.”
“I know where it’s going,” she says, heading straight to Shelby, giving her first hit. Marco follows it up with a second, and on Mathieu’s turn, he sends Shelby out without hesitation. Her statue collapses as it splits.
“Shelby, you came into this round untouched, but you’re out. That means we’re down to two, Mathieu and Marco.”
Shelby sighs as she takes a seat next to Gavin.
QUESTION 5: “Who would you most want to be stranded with?”
Marco flips through the answers, struggling to pick between two. Mathieu looks at his selection for a long time before finally turning it around.
“Marco says Jamie,” Jeff reveals.
“Aww,” Jamie coos from the bench.
“Mathieu says himself,”
“I needed to not be so modest,” Mathieu admits.
“The correct answer is… Jamie,” Jeff reveals. Marco pumps his fist and heads to cut Mathieu’s rope. The brick dangles precariously over his statue.
“Mathieu, you have one rope left, Marco, you still have all three. That means Marco, if you get this next question right, no matter what, you will win reward. Ready for it?”
QUESTION 6: “Who mistakenly thinks they’re running this game?”
Mathieu exhales as he flips through his answers. Marco teeters back and forth on the balls of his feet, anxiously watching, clutching his already selected answer close to his chest.
“Go ahead and reveal your answers.”
The men turn their cards.
“You’ve both answered the same answer: Jordyne,” Jeff says. “This means that if this is the correct answer, Marco, you’ve won. The only question: are you guys right? The answer is….
Mathieu can only applaud as Marco does an over dramatic bow. He heads up lifts the sword high, and with a great strike, sends the brick down, shattering Mathieu’s figure.
“MARCO! WINS REWARD!”
Everyone gathers back on the mat with the challenge now complete.
“Hopefully, you guys found that exercise as interesting as I did,” Jeff says.
“I found it interesting, all right,” Jordyne agrees. “I mean, actually, can we just talk, for a second about the idea that I think I’m running the game?”
“The floor’s all yours,” Jeff concedes.
“I just think it’s a funny response to give when I was thiiis close to being voted out last night. Like, obviously that tells me I have next to no control, but whatever,” Jordyne says. “If they want to make me out to be the bad guy that’s fine. I’m used to it.”
Marco can only shrug. “Hey, it’s nothing personal,” he says. “We had to pick someone.”
“Speaking of which,” Jeff says, “come on over Marco.”
Marco makes his way steadily to the mat, his leg now moving a little more easily.
“Alright Marco, congratulations once again. This makes three in a row, huh?”
“Yeah,” Marco confirms, “pretty dope, eh?”
“It’s very dope,” Jeff says. “You’ll be heading to the Adivasi Village school to deliver supplies as a Survivor Ambassador. Of course, an experience like this alone isn’t going to be a lot of fun. Pick someone to come with you.”
“Alright,” Marco says. “Well, uh, so here’s the thing. I miss my kids a whole damn lot, and I’m really excited to be around kids again and just get some of that good juju I’m missing. And I know that you don’t quite get that feeling until you’ve had kids of your own. So I’m picking someone who I think can use this just as much as I can, and that’s gonna be Shelby, Jeff.”
“Me?” Shelby asks, clearly stunned.
“Yeah you, come on,” Marco says. Still surprised, Shelby heads over to the mat and gives Marco a somewhat stilted hug in thanks.
“You know what?” Jeff says. “Why don’t you grab one more person to come with you as well?”
“Oh snap, I get to bring two people? Uh, man… Jamie, I guess,” Marco says, reaching his hand out somewhat awkwardly.
“ I’m down,” Jamie says as he heads on over. At the mat, Mathieu looks somewhat miffed, his jaw tightening.
“Alright,” Jeff says. “Marco, Shelby, Jamie. You’ll be heading off to our school from here in just a few moments, but Marco, you still have one more decision to make–you gotta send someone to Exile Island. Who’s it gonna be?”
“Well you know, Jeff, the tribe thought this person clearly couldn’t survive on their own, so I think it would be a great time now for Gavin to go out to Exile and prove us all wrong,” Marco says.
“Shocker,” Gavin says, agitated. “I’ve been there already, Marco, and I found an idol there, so I don’t know what you’re on about me needing to prove myself.”
“Yeah, you found an idol and you wasted it,” Marco says. “Buzz off little boy. Go out there and become a grown up and then come back and try to talk sh*t at me.”
Gavin flips Marco off as he snatches the map from Jeff’s hand and sulking off in the distance. Jamie and Marco look at each other and chuckle. Shelby appears distinctly uncomfortable.
“Jordyne, Irene, Mathieu? I’ve got nothing else for you,” Jeff says. “You guys can gather your stuff and head back to camp.”
A truck blazes down a dirt road, the Adivasi Village visible in the distance.
As the truck pulls into the village, curious villagers amass to see what the commotion is about. The truck pulls up in front of the schoolhouse. Children peek out from the windows, excited and intrigued.
As the truck parks, it is swarmed by children. A teacher makes her way to the front of the crowd, helping the castaways down from the cab of the truck. The driver opens the back of the vehicle so the process of unloading supplies can begin.
“Can you take this for me, buddy?” Marco asks one older boy, handing him a basket of supplies.
“Here you go, darlin’,” Jamie says with a huge smile, as he hands a backpack to a small little girl.
Shelby is wide-eyed as a child approaches her, and she hands off a book.
As the students begin to head back into the school building, one of the children takes Shelby by the hand. She is momentarily a little bewildered, before relaxing and going with it.
“What’s your name, sweetie?” she asks. The child stares at her, blankly.
The castaways make their way into the school, surrounded by the children, everyone carrying supplies. Jamie makes his way in with a huge stack of boxes and books in his arms. One little boy stares at him, literally open mouthed in awe.
“You know, if you eat your veggies you might get this tall one day,” Jamie tells one of the children. One little boy literally clings to his arms as Jamie swings him back and forth, the child’s laughter echoing in the building.
The castaways take a seat in a semi-circle on the ground in the backyard of the schoolhouse, where a raised wooden platform serves as a stage. Each castaway has a child in their lap, while another kid sits perched on Jamie’s shoulders. On the stage, an assembly of the older children perform on traditional instruments.
As the music gets more and more upbeat, the students and the castaways begin to dance together. Marco holds one smaller girl in his arms, swaying with her to the music while she giggles. Shelby lets one boy hold onto each of her hands. Despite herself, she is smiling.
The castaways sit in with the children at long lunch tables as they enjoy their meal. Holding a globe, Shelby points out locations to a group of the children.
“I was born here, in Taiwan,” she says, pointing to the island off China’s east coast. “But I live here now, in Washington state,” she says as she rotates the globe to point to her Pacific Northwest hometown. “Where do you live? What country are we in right now?” she asks one of the girls. The child rotates the globe and points to the Southern tip of India. “Great job!” Shelby says, a genuine smile on her face. She gives the girl a high five.
After the meal has finished, the castaways head back to the truck, where they have a few final items to give the school.
“We also have… this for you,” Jamie says, as he reaches into the truck to pull out a new computer. He carries the box, being lead by one of the teachers, who has tears in her eyes.
The computer sits on a desk, fully set up as Marco crawls under the desk to plug it in.
“Let’s fire this bad boy up!” Jamie says with excitement. He hits the power button and the screen glows to life. The eyes of the kids around him get bright. Many of the kids clap in excitement. Cheering and elated, a couple of children surround the castaways, smothering them in hugs.
Mathieu, Irene and Jordyne walk back into the campsite following the challenge. With a sigh, Mathieu tosses his bag into the shelter.
“Well look at the bright side,” says Irene. “We all get larger helpings of rice today.”
“Oh good. Let us throw a parade in celebration,” Mathieu says sarcastically.
“Hey Doc, can I ask you something?” asks Jordyne.
“Of course,” Mathieu says.
“Do you know of any brain eating parasites that are transmitted through, I don’t know… spider bite?”
“Uh, well,” Mathieu says, thinking, “not that come to mind.”
“But do you think it’s possible that Marco has a brain eating parasite? Because I don’t know what the hell he was thinking taking Jamie and Shelby with him on that reward. You guys should be there,” Jordyne says.
“It would have been a very welcome experience,” Mathieu says. “Marco won fair and square, though, so he can make whatever choices he wants.”
“Yeah, but you don’t think the choices he made were weird?” Jordyne asks. “Look, if that were me… he took Jamie on a man-date just the other day, now he takes him again? And then he picks Shelby?”
“Shelby has kids, Marco has kids. He must be thinking it’s like, a parent thing,” Irene says. “But yeah, I’d have liked to go.”
“He sent you to Exile to do his dirty work,” Jordyne continues. “And you voted with him in the face of a tie that could have possibly backfired on you,” she says as she points to Mathieu.
“I don’t disagree,” Irene admits. “I would have chosen differently.”
“It couldn’t be more obvious that Marco and Jamie have a final two deal, quite frankly,” Jordyne says to Irene as she stirs the rice.
“Yeah, believe me. I’ve been with them from the get go, I’ve noticed,” Irene says. “They started cozying up to each other on Day One and the bromance has just grown with each passing day.”
“I mean… here’s what I’m thinking,” Jordyne begins, “if you guys are open to hearing it.”
“I am all ears,” Mathieu says.
“So… I feel like you guys probably get how I’ve been feeling without Marina. Because for most of this game, I had almost like a teammate or a partner to work with, and now that’s gone. I definitely feel like I’m on my own and I do not want to stay on my own. You don’t get anywhere that way.”
Irene looks up at Jordyne, here mind clearly working behind her eyes. “I know exactly what you mean,” she says.
“Well three is more than two,” Jordyne continues. “So why should we let these pairs rule the roost when we have three of us loners right here who could come together?”
Mathieu’s eyes light up as Jordyne speaks. Irene turns to him, and they catch each other’s eyes.
“Irene, like… you know that Marco thinks that idol is for him, right?” Jordyne continues. “I’m so glad that you didn’t waste it at Tribal Council like Jamie wanted you to. That’s yours, girl, and you need to hold onto it and use it for your damn self, don’t let them bully you into being their puppet.”
“I mean, I wasn’t bullied into doing anything, but… uh… well…” Irene hems and haws.
“Just think about it, that’s all I’m asking,” Jordyne continues as the castaways munch on their rice, served out of large leaves in steaming piles. “I get that you don’t want to make a choice to turn on people without thinking it through, and like… I don’t know. I just hope you can appreciate where I’m coming from. Like, I can’t not try, right?”
Irene nods thoughtfully. “For what it’s worth, I’ve been thinking about this a lot on my own,” she says. “But if we do… is this our final three then? The three of us right here?”
“I’d be very okay with that,” Jordyne says with a smile.
Mathieu nods as he finishes a mouthful of rice. “I have not had any such promises from anyone else, not once. I am considering this very strongly.”
“It could be just like it is now,” Jordyne says. “Three of us together on Day 38.”
With Jordyne off away from camp, Mathieu and Irene lay in the hammock, discussing what to do next.
“I think Vanessa would like to see us working together,” Irene says.
“She would get a kick out of it, most certainly,” agrees Mathieu, his face brightening at the mere mention of Vanessa’s name.
“I’m sure it wasn’t like this for you at all,” Irene continues, “but I know for me it’s like… I’ve come so far in this game. I did not expect to still be here on almost Day 30. I thought I was going to be one of the first ones out. So to have gotten this far… do I make a loyal decision and just like, hand the game to Marco?”
“Irene, may I give you some advice?” Mathieu asks.
“Sure, go for it,” Irene says.
“It is okay, sometimes, to be self-interested. Self-interested is not selfish. You cannot give to others without giving first to yourself. We have all said that this is a game, to want to succeed in a game is not selfish. To want what is best for yourself is not selfish.”
“Admittedly that’s not easy for me,” Irene says. “I just… don’t like it when people are disappointed in me.”
“Nobody likes it,” Mathieu says. “But you learn to accept that it will happen. It is a necessary condition of the human experience.”
Irene nods gently. “Yeah. I guess it is.”
Gavin sits in the shelter, staring out dully into the distance. He buzzes his lips as he exhales, visibly bored.
As the sun continues to pass over in the sky, Gavin can only lie in the shelter. He wipes a tear away from his eye.
As the setting sun sends pinks and oranges cascading across the skyline, Gavin sits in the lotus pose, meditating as he learned to do days ago.
“Come on in guys!”
Jordyne leads the line in as Mathieu takes the rear, carrying the violet flag of the merged tribe. The castaways arrive at the mat, ready for the next challenge.
“We now bring back Gavin, returning from Exile Island,” Jeff says. Gavin comes in from the distance, looking much more calm and composed than when he left. Shelby embraces him warmly, and Jordyne gives him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“You guys ready to get to today’s immunity challenge?” Jeff asks the tribe.
“Yeah!” responds the group.
“Well then, first things first–Marco, I’m going to need back the Immunity Necklace.”
Marco takes it off willingly and walks it over, confidence in his step.
“Jeff, if I were a betting man, I’d bet this is gonna be coming right back to me,” Marco says.
“Well, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?” Jeff responds. He places the ring back on the idol.
“Immunity, back up for grabs. For today’s challenge, you will use a long pole to maneuver a wooden bowl through a channel of a metal structure. When you get to the top, you’ll place the bowl, head back for the next one. To make this more difficult, the entire structure is on a spring. If you touch it, it may wobble, and your bowls may fall–if that happens, you go back, start again. First person to stack all ten of their bowls wins immunity and will have a one-in-six chance of becoming the Sole Survivor. Losers, one of you will be voted out, where you’ll become a member of our jury. Worth playing for?”
Everyone murmurs in agreement.
“Alright, we’ll draw for spots, then go ahead and get started.”
After drawing their stations, the castaways stand, poles in hand. Everyone seems eager to begin.
“SURVIVORS READY? GO!”
The castaways are off, slotting their first bowls into their handles as they begin to approach the wobbly structure.
“Jamie, first one to start moving through the structure,” Jeff announces as Jamie threads his pole in at the channel’s base. “This is going to be easy at the start–no stakes if you bump it while it’s empty. But as your tower gets higher, this will get tougher.” Everyone’s focus seems honed. Irene moves slowly, studying the path of the structure. Jordyne moves a little more hastily. Mathieu is the first to finish, placing his bowl as he heads back for his next one, followed by Marco, Jamie, and Shelby.
“Jordyne now in it,” Jeff says. “Irene still taking her time,” he notes as Irene delicately moves her already placed bowl a little further into the center. “She wants that base stable,” Jeff says. Irene seems satisfied, and runs to get her next bowl quickly behind Gavin, who seems somewhat wiped from his exile.
“Everyone now on that second bowl,” Jeff notes.
The movement continues, with Jamie and Mathieu taking a quick lead, both getting their second bowl up relatively quickly. Marco follows behind, but not by much. His movement is less impeded than it was previously. Irene continues to move slowly and delicately. Shelby swears as she drops her bowl.
“Shelby is gonna need to take that one back to the start,” Jeff says. “Right now it’s Jamie, Marco, Mathieu, all working on that third bowl.” Jamie seems to be gaining confidence and speed, but he bumps his bowl and drops it.
“Now Jamie has dropped,” Jeff says, “opening things up for Mathieu.”
Mathieu smiles as he places his third bowl, followed quickly by Marco. Irene places her second bowl, while Jamie works more slowly this time to ensure he doesn’t drop his third.
“This is harder than it looks!” Jordyne cries out to no one in particular. She gets her handle through, but her bowl slides out the open end. “Come on!” she yells, kicking the bowl in frustration.
Jamie exhales slowly as he places his third bowl and steps back delicately. Marco and Mathieu are both working on their fourth bowl, Marco leading ever so slightly. He gets his bowl on the platform moments before Mathieu.
“Marco seems to be picking up a rhythm,” Jeff notes. “He and Mathieu are tied, four bowls each. Jamie and Irene, close at three,” he says, shortly after Irene places her third bowl. “Gavin at two, Jordyne and Shelby at one.”
“I don’t know why this is so hard!” Jordyne cries.
The castaways continue to move and stack, the order switching little as the stacks grow from four to five to six, with Marco continuing to lead over Mathieu by seconds. Jamie has slowed, now at four, while Irene’s steady pace has improved over time, putting her at five bowls, working on her sixth. Gavin has managed to get four, while Shelby sits at three. Jordyne trails with just one.
Suddenly, as he’s moving his pole, Marco grimaces.
“Oh you stupid itch! Ahhh!” he yells, trying clearly to ignore the discomfort he’s in. He stops moving to collect himself, allowing Mathieu to sneak ahead, being the first to place his seventh bowl.
“Mathieu now in the lead!” Jeff remarks. “He only has three more to go, but that stack is starting to get wobbly.” Marco collects himself and finishes, stepping slowly onto the platform that allows him to place his bowl.”
“Marco at seven. Jamie coming in now with his fifth,” Jeff notes. “He’s so tall he doesn’t even need the platform!”
“I wish,” Irene says, stretching with all her might to ensure she doesn’t disturb her stack. The bowls shift slightly, and she stops moving. She then resumes, placing her sixth bowl, but she doesn’t seem happy.
“Please don’t fall, please don’t fall!” she pleads as she runs to collect her next bowl.
Mathieu continues to lead as Marco follows close behind, clearly moving eagerly to catch him. Marco practically matches as they place their eighth bowls almost at the same time. Mathieu pulls his pole away, and the structure wobbles. The doctor holds his breath as he watches the tower stablize. Marco’s tower shifts as well. Like Mathieu’s it doesn’t drop.
“Marco and Mathieu are neck in neck,” Jeff notes. “Irene is close, but she’s gonna need to pick up the pace! Jamie, starting to fall out of it. No shot for Jordyne, still!”
“I can’t stack bowls, what can I say? There’s a reason I’m not a waitress,” Jordyne says.
“Marco working on bowl number nine, Mathieu right behind him,” Jeff observes. Marco is moving quickly, clearly trying to keep his tiny lead. The rim edge of the holder at the end of his handle clinks on one of the ring. The tower sways and Marco curses under his breath. Mathieu pulls ahead slightly, making it over to place his bowl. The tower moves even more under the extra weight. Marco is now even more eager to catch Mathieu, moving more hastily through the maze. At the start table, Mathieu is placing his final bowl in the handle.
“Marco has slowed down, he does not want to knock this tower down so close to the finish line!” Jeff says. “But he needs to pick up the pace! Mathieu now starting on his tenth and final bowl!”
Mathieu breathes and moves steadily through the maze, eyes narrowed with great focus.
“Crap!” Marco says, once again bumping the rim. This time, the shift is enough. The tower wobbles and four bowls come crashing down.
“Oh come on dude!” Marco cries out, throwing his pole down in annoyance.
“Marco’s tower comes crashing down!” Jeff notes, “all he can do now is hope for Mathieu to make a mistake,” he continues. Marco can only watch, however, as Mathieu delicately places his tenth bowl.
“MATHIEU! WINS IMMUNITY!”
“You gave me a run for my money,” Mathieu compliments, clapping Marco on the shoulder.
“I was getting tired of winning everything anyway,” Marco jokes in return. “You earned it man, good job.”
The castaways gather on the mat so Mathieu can receive his prize.
“Congratulations, Mathieu,” Jeff says, beckoning the muscular man over. “You just won yourself three more days and a spot in the final six.” Jeff slips the necklace around Mathieu’s neck. “Sadly,” he continues, “for one of the rest of you, Day 30 is where it ends. Someone’s getting voted out tonight–you have the afternoon to figure out who. Grab your stuff, head back to camp.”
“You had a good run, my friend,” Mathieu says to Marco as they high-five in celebration of Mathieu’s victory.
“Even Spiderman has his kryptonite,” Marco says with a smile.
“That’s Superman,” Irene corrects.
Marco, Jamie, Irene and Mathieu stand huddled in the forest.
“What’s everyone thinking?” Irene asks. “Still Jordyne?”
“Dude, I don’t know about you,” Marco says, “but Gavin is working my damn nerves. Jordyne’s never going to win a damn thing. Her goose is cooked anyway, I say we just get rid of the kid.”
“I’m not much a fan myself, and I’d be inclined to agree but I… I don’t,” Jamie says. Marco raises an eyebrow. “Would it be nice not to have him around moping and whining all the time, of course! But that’s all Gavin does, besides do whatever Shelby tells him. He’s not a threat to anyone here.”
“There’s good reason to get rid of Shelby or Jordyne,” Jamie says.
“That’s what makes this so hard at this point,” says Irene. “There’s a good reason to get rid of everyone.” Mathieu nods.
“Well for whatever my opinion is worth,” Mathieu says, “I personally feel that between Jordyne and Shelby, I would prefer to vote out Shelby first. Just as you said, Jamie, Gavin is beholden to her. He becomes weaker without her.”
“Oh man, he’s gonna be pissed. But I’m down,” Marco says. “Honestly as long as we just stay strong like… does it really matter what order they go in?”
“You headed back to camp?” Irene asks the guys as they return to the main path.
“Nah,” Marco says. “I’ve done enough sitting around lately. My bite’s finally starting to shrink, so I think I wanna go for a swim. You coming, broseph?” He asks Jamie.
“Yeah, why not?” Jamie says. “Cool off a little before tonight.”
Up at the camp, Jordyne and Gavin sit in the shelter facing Shelby as they talk over their options.
“I’ve been working them as hard as I can,” Jordyne says. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on them and totally put them off, but I mean, like, I could not have made my points more clearly. So I want to check in with them but you know, not like… spook anyone away.”
“I’ve actually been thinking,” Gavin says. “What else is there to do on Exile Island, though? But anyway, I think maybe that Marco’s actually the smarter choice to vote out first.”
Jordyne raises an eyebrow. “Really? I thought you’d be chomping at the bit to get Jamie out.”
“Yeah, I thought so too,” Gavin says. “But here’s the thing… everyone keeps calling Jamie this huge threat, but what has he actually won? He hasn’t won anything. Marco’s won three in a row. And the last one was basically a popularity contest. No one was trying to get him out.”
Irene and Mathieu come into the camp, returning from their meeting with Marco and Jamie.
“Where’d the boys go?” Shelby asks.
“Down for a swim,” Irene says.
“Perfect,” says Gavin, “because we all agreed that we wanted to talk to the two of you.”
Mathieu nods. “We had a lot of discussion while it was just the three of us in camp,” he says.
“We’re thinking Marco right now,” Jordyne reveals.
“Wow, Marco. Not Jamie?” Irene asks.
“Who’s been doing better in the challenges?” Jordyne presses.
Mathieu and Irene walk together, collecting firewood as they go through their options.
“Whatever we decide, I think we should decide on it together,” Irene says.
“I agree,” Mathieu says. “If we had to go, right now, and write down a name… go with your gut feeling. Whose name would you put down?”
Irene stops walking for a moment as she thinks. “If I had to vote right now… I think I’d vote for…”
“That is what I would do as well,” Mathieu agrees with Irene.
“So… is that what we’re doing, then?” Irene asks.
“If you’re in, I’m in,” Mathieu assures her. Irene sighs and stares at the ground, clearly concerned.
As the daylight begins to vanish, Gavin and Shelby sit together in the field.
“If this is it tonight, for one of us, Shelby? I’m really glad I got to play Survivor with you,” Gavin says.
“And I could not be more happy to have met you,” Shelby says, putting a comforting arm around his shoulder. He leans his head against hers. “Remember, no matter what, you did this, Gavin. Age is irrelevant. You are here on Day 30 and that makes you just as capable as anyone else here. Please, promise me that you won’t stop believing in yourself.”
“I promise,” Gavin says softy.
“You promise what?”
“I promise that I won’t stop believing in myself,” Gavin relents. He then sits up, looking Shelby in the eye. “This isn’t a one way street, though. You can’t stop believing in yourself either, okay?”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Shelby says with a smile.
The remaining seven castaways take their seat in the warm chamber of the Tribal Council. Jeff waits for them in the darkness.
“We’ll now bring in the members of our jury: Vanessa and Marina, voted out at the last Tribal Council.”
Marina takes her seat next to Vanessa. She makes no expression towards the remaining players.
“Last time we were here, it was quite the evening. I think the word ‘explosive’ is fitting,” Jeff begins. “And all of that chaos ended in Marina joining Vanessa over there on the jury. But for most of that Tribal Council, Jordyne, you were the one coming under fire.”
“Yeah, thanks for the reminder,” Jordyne laughs.
“So Jordyne, did that vote just delay the inevitable? Do you feel like tonight it’s going to be you?”
“I mean, I’d hope not. I don’t think it’s set in stone a hundred percent, no. But I’m not delusional Jeff, not like these people apparently think I am,” Jordyne says. “I know this could easily be it for me. And I mean, I’ve been trying my best to make an argument to these guys that I am loyal, in spite of everything.”
“Back up one second,” Jeff says. “You said ‘delusional like everyone thinks I am.’ Can you elaborate on that?”
“Oh yeah, it’s from that challenge we did,” Jordyne says. “I was voted the person who thought they were in control but wasn’t, just like I said there. I don’t know who answered me for that one, but I know who I answered.”
“Is that something you’d like to share with the group?” Jeff asks.
“I’d be fine with that, I said it was Marco.”
“Oh? Really now?” Marco asks, laughing.
“Yeah, really now,” Jordyne responds.
“Marco, ring true at all?”
“Gosh I mean… Jeff, I mean, it’s not delusional if it’s true. I wouldn’t say I’m running things but like, I’m on the side with the numbers right now. It’s just math, that’s it.”
“And those numbers would be…”
“It’s me, Jamison, Irene, Matty. There’s no reason for any of us to consider doing something crazy. It’s gonna be one of the three Bandars going tonight.”
“If you’re so confident, Marco, why not just put it out there who that person is?” Jeff asks.
“And ruin the surprise?” Marco laughs. “No way Jeff. Everyone loves a surprise ending.”
“Gavin, if what Marco is saying is, in fact, correct, that means it could be you going tonight.”
“Yeah, definitely,” Gavin says. “Of course I’ve thought about like, if it could be me. Like, it’s not really a secret that I’m not particularly close to uh, Jamie and Marco, and that’s the two people calling the shots right now. I mean, Marco sent me to Exile, I’m sure he’d love to send me to the jury.”
“Gavin, you said something interesting just now, you said that Marco and Jamie are the two people calling the shots, but Marco just said that’s not the case.”
“Yeah, well Marco is full of sh*t,” Gavin says bluntly. Marco scoffs in return. “It’s a four person alliance, but the four people aren’t all equal, and they aren’t all making decisions equally.”
“You don’t know what the hell goes on in our conversations, kid,” Marco says.
“Jeff, the point is that Marco is lying when he says he doesn’t think he’s running things. The decisions aren’t made equally in that group, I guarantee it.”
“It’s Marco making the decisions,” Jeff says, confirming.
“It’s Marco and Jamie,” Gavin says. “The peas in the pod. They aren’t ever going to turn on each other, they’ll back each other up on everything.”
“That’s really, really not true,” Jamie says. “We bounce ideas off each other all the time. Mathieu’s actually the one who suggested what we’re doing tonight, not me, not Marco.”
“Not Irene,” Gavin continues.
“We got three people to choose from,” Jamie says, visibly annoyed, but trying to maintain his composure. “Ain’t nobody getting an award for best creative design because they picked which of the three names we’re putting down.”
“And much like Marco, Jamie, I’m assuming you don’t want to say who that person is,” Jeff said.
“Absolutely not,” Jamie agrees.
“Irene,” Jeff continues. “Do you feel like you’re being included in the decisions? Or does any of what Gavin is saying ring true to you.”
“I mean, I am included, absolutely,” Irene says. “Neither Jamie or Marco has ever made any kind of demand of me in terms of who I vote for. I think we all learned from a certain Captain why that’s a bad idea,” Irene says. “But uh, if there is truth to what Gavin says, it is that Jamie and Marco are peas in a pod. I’ve known that about them since our early days on Saap, though.”
“Does that bond worry you at all?” Jeff presses.
“I… uh, I mean… Everything in this game worries me, Jeff. I’m a ball of stress and anxiety,” she laughs nervously. “I worry about any relationship between two people that doesn’t include me. I mean, Gavin and Shelby are also really, really close, so that’s something to keep in mind too. ”
“Shelby,” Jeff addresses, “as one of the people who isn’t in the group of four, that can’t be comforting to hear. What is your relationship with Gavin like?”
“Admittedly, it is very strong,” Shelby agrees. “I feel as though Gavin has a youthful energy about him that helps me to loosen up and not be so tightly wound all the time, and I help him to focus and be a little more guided in this process. We have a strong balance and a close friendship. I’m logical, Jeff. I understand that if two individuals, in this circumstance, have a close, emotional bond, that people will find that to be threatening, especially as our numbers further dwindle. It was the entire reason that Vanessa was targeted,” she says, gesturing to Vanessa over on the jury. “I understand it’s not some sort of personal attack or slight. However, the key difference is influence. Marco and Jamie have much more influence over the course of the game at this time than either Gavin or I. It would be the easy play to vote for one of us. It would be the smart play to cut the power dead in its tracks.”
“Is that the pitch that you use, then, to try and save yourself?” Jeff asks.
“Precisely,” Shelby says. “It’s a pitch that I know both Gavin and myself have been doing our best to use.”
“Who do you make that pitch to?” Jeff digs.
“I’ve made my case to Mathieu and to Irene,” Shelby says. “Be at the bottom under Jamie and Marco or take fate in your hands and make an active choice to better your position.”
“Okay, but like once again, you guys have no clue what you’re talking about,” Marco says. “Like, does nobody seem to get that? You’re all just assuming that me and Jamie are just bossing everyone around, like, that’s not how it is, bro!”
“That’s not what anyone is saying!” Gavin sighs, exasperated. “Before Mathieu came to you guys? You had three people, three! Whatever decision was made, you and Jamie could back each other up. You always had the ability to outnumber Irene and you still have it!”
“How do two people have control in a group of four?” Marco says, gesticulating aggressively.
“BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS LET THE OTHER PERSON GET AWAY WITH WHATEVER THEY WANT!” Gavin yells.
“There’s no need to yell,” Jamie says. “Look Jeff, I ain’t offended. We talked about this earlier today, about how there is a good reason to write down the name of every person here. And the point of the whole game is that eventually, you write down the name of every person here! Most of us are getting voted out at some point, if not now then it’s coming up fast. Only two people are gonna last to the very last day. Eventually you’ll find a reason to vote for anyone. So if people think there are reasons to vote for me, well duh! There are reasons to vote for everyone. It’s a matter of figuring out those reasons, comparing them, and then making a reasoned decision about what you need to do for yourself to win a million dollars. Like, Marco’s my best friend here, I ain’t gonna deny that. But I didn’t come all the way to India so I could do everything I could to help Marco win the game, I came to win for my own damn self! So I get it, people are gonna sling mud if they think that’s gonna make the target on someone else bigger. Ultimately, my argument is that any good reason you have to vote me out? Someone’s got that reason too. Oh, I’ve got a best friend here? Gavin and Shelby are best friends too. I’m physically strong? So is Mathieu, look at him, this is his second time winning immunity. I ain’t won once. People say ‘oh, Jamie’s a good guy,’ but I think everyone here is a good person. Even you, Gavin.”
“Oh, even me?” Gavin snarks. “Don’t be so generous.”
“I didn’t mean it no kind of way,” Jamie says. “I meant that I know you probably think I don’t like you, but I don’t have any problem with you at all except that you have a problem with me, you never gave me a chance! After a while I’m not gonna keep on smiling in the face of someone who’s always frowning back! We’re different people but that don’t mean I think you’re a bad person,” Jamie says. “And that’s all I’m saying. We’re all good people, so it’s not personal. People have to go.”
Jeff nods. “Mathieu, as Jamie pointed out, this is your second immunity. It seems like a good night to have it, as it sounds like you’re in the middle of all this as well.”
“I have been approached, of course,” Mathieu says. “You expect that those who feel their position is on the line are going to fight to keep themselves in the game. It is no surprise when Shelby, Gavin, or even Jordyne comes to me with a suggestion or an idea as to why I should vote for someone other than them. There is a comfort that this necklace bestows. Simply having the knowledge that you are safe, that you cannot be the target, it is very calming. Having immunity allows me to make my decisions all the more clearly, because I do not have to worry about ensuring my own safety. That is already taken care of. Tonight allows me to make a decision that will help me in the future.”
Jeff nods. “Are you ready to make that decision?”
“As ready as I can possibly be,” Mathieu confirms.
“Then let’s get to the vote. Before you vote, Mathieu–keeping immunity?”
“Absolutely,” Mathieu says.
“Sounds good to me. You cannot vote for Mathieu, everyone else is fair game. Marco, you’re up.”
“I’ll go tally the votes,” Jeff announces, as he departs to fetch the urn. Gavin bounces his knees nervously. Shelby puts a reassuring hand on his leg. Irene takes off her glasses and wipes her eyes. Marco scratches at the back of his leg.
“Once I read the votes, the decision is final,” Jeff says upon return. “The person voted out will be asked to leave the Tribal Council area immediately. I’ll read the votes.”
“That’s two votes Marco.”
“We’re tied, two votes Shelby, two votes Marco.”
“Marco, that’s three votes Marco, two votes Shelby.”
“The tenth person voted out of Survivor: India, and the third member of our jury; Marco. That’s four, tonight that’s enough, the last vote will remain a mystery. Marco, I need you to bring me your torch.”
“Daaaaamn!” Marco yells, throwing his head backwards as he covers his face. “What the heck? Bro, are you guys serious right now? Oh man, you guys got me good!”
Marco is all smiles as he stands up. Jamie picks him up and lifts him off the ground in a massive bear hug. He spins around, puts Marco down, and kisses him obnoxiously on the cheek.
“Ew, bro, gross! Cooties!” Marco laughs, wiping his face. He grabs his torch and faces the group. “Seriously y’all, it’s been so real! Stay tough, okay guys?” He places his torch.
“Marco, the tribe has spoken.” Jeff snuffs his torch. “It’s time for you to go.”
“Peace, kids!” Marco says, waving. He gathers his bag and heads off into the night. His limp has vanished.
“Marco said it himself,” Jeff says. “Basic math. Tonight he got five votes. Which means that based on what you all told me… tonight the numbers were very, very off. That’s it for tonight. Grab your stuff, head back to camp. Good night.”
Six remain. Who will be the next to go?