PREVIOUSLY ON… SURVIVOR!
Sixteen castaways were abandoned in the jungles of India to play a game unlike any other. Split into two tribes–Bandar in gold and Saap in green–they competed almost immediately in their first challenge. Saap won a memorable ride to their camp on elephants, and also won the right to exile a member of the Bandar Tribe. They sent a very unhappy Brett, who was quick to blame Saap’s leader, Andrew, for the decision.
Short a member, Bandar struggled to get organized. When Shelby tried to exert control, she was rebuffed; and Jordyne raised eyebrows with her flirtatious ways. Despite their lack of cohesion, they were able to pull ahead to win the Immunity Challenge when Jill fell and dropped Saap’s torch in the water, forcing her tribe to backtrack.
Saap was forced to make a decision and vote a member out. While Jill was responsible for the challenge loss, Ryan and Brock were quick to lose the trust of their tribe thanks to Ryan’s scheming and Brock’s bad attitude. At Tribal Council, Andrew kept his promise to Jill, and voted against Brock. The rest of the tribe, however, felt Jill just couldn’t keep up in the challenges, and she became the first person voted out.
Fifteen remain. Who will be eliminated tonight?
The Saap Tribe returns to their campsite, the fire flickering low in the darkness. The stars in the night sky aren’t visible–inky, black clouds hover above. The wind churns the treetops with an ominous howl.
“Well the good news,” says Andrew, “is that we made it.”
“Everyone’s gotta go at some point,” says Marco.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t make it easier,” laments Irene.
“Yeah, well try having your name written down if you want to talk about not easy,” Brock says pointedly. “Anyone want to own up to that bullsh*t?”
“You can vote for whoever you want, you know,” interjects Andrew. “Maybe instead of acting like a baby, you should try owning up to your bullsh*t.”
“I’ll take that as you did it,” Brock says.
“Yeah, I did. I promised Jill I wasn’t going to vote for her, and I kept my promise. I had to write someone’s name down and, hey, you know what? Why not yours?” Andrew retorts.
“Uh, maybe because without me this team would be absolutely nothing, for one.”
“Uh, maybe you need a reality check, because I can’t think of a single thing that you’ve brought to this camp except a bad attitude.”
“Psh. You guys are all hearing this, right? This is the guy you want to let be the leader? What kind of leader talks to people like you, bro?”
“What kind of brat disrespects everyone constantly and still has the audacity to say they’re the best person on the whole team?”
“The kind who can see reality, moron!”
“Please say he can go next, Andrew, I’m begging you,” Irene pleads to the captain after Brock storms off.
“Why are you asking for it like it’s my decision?” Andrew says. “I voted for him. Nothing was stopping you from doing the same.”
“Yeah, but you only voted for him because you knew Jill was going to leave no matter what,” says Marco, “like we’d all talked about. You can’t say you didn’t know your vote wouldn’t make a difference.”
“It made a difference to Jill,” Andrew says.
“Oh come on man, don’t make the rest of us out like we’re the bad guys,” Marco says. “Everyone had to vote for someone.”
“All I’m saying,” Andrew says, “is that you could have written down whatever name you wanted. I didn’t make anyone do anything.”
The wind picks up and thunder peals in the sky.
“Well, it’s not called a rainforest for nothing,” says Jamie as the first drops of rain begin to descend upon the camp.
It doesn’t take long for the rain to be hammering the Saap campsite. The rain pours in sheets, blasting against the thatched roof of the shelter. Water sprays all around. The tribe, miserable and wet, clusters as close as they can to one another in the middle.
“We made the gods angry,” jokes Vanessa. “We obviously made the wrong choice tonight.”
Brock rolls his eyes, but says nothing. He pulls his hat down over his face and lies on his side. Next to him, Ryan stares out into the darkness, her buff framing her face. For a brief moment, thunder brightens the scene.
The day has come, but the sky has not stopped its relentless assault on the castaways. The shelter is visibly leaking. The castaways sit in the shelter, looking miserable.
“Every inch of my body is wet,” says a shivering Irene, who is cuddled up under Andrew’s arm as they try to keep warm.
“What are you talking about? I’m as dry as a desert,” Vanessa says.
In the rain, Jamie and Marco search for suitable foliage they can use for their shelter.
“You know, I meant it when I said I really don’t need your help, man. Go back to bed, lie down in the shelter,” Jamie says.
“Oh yeah right, as if anyone is getting sleep in there anyway! Dude, I told you it’s not a big deal. We get it done quicker together,” Marco say.
“I dunno, I feel guilty. It’s my design, I was trusted to it and I failed. It’s my responsibility to fix it,” Jamie admits.
“No. Don’t do that, man, that doesn’t do anyone any good. Beating yourself up isn’t going to fix that roof. Teamwork is going to fix that roof.”
“Where’d you get that one, Sesame Street?”
“Well, I do love that Cookie Monster.”
“Please, don’t mention cookies. I feel like Cookie Monster with how hungry I am.”
“You are so demanding! ‘Don’t help me, don’t talk about cookies, don’t do this, don’t do that. How does your boyfriend put up with you being such a diva?”
“Well…I can’t say that on TV,” Jamie says. The two laugh. “I know I said I didn’t need your help but thanks for insisting. You’re a good man, Marco.
“Correction: I’m a great man.”
“I mean you’re okay.”
They laugh again.
“Alright. If you boost me up on your shoulders big guy, I can probably get some of those bigger ones around here,” Marco says, pointing upwards.
Jamie bends down as Marco begins to awkwardly climb up on his back.
“You know Marco, if you wanted to mount me so bad you didn’t need to plan this elaborate scheme, you could have just asked,” Jamie jokes. The two start giggling again and Marco crawls off Jamie. “Dude don’t make me laugh! I’m trying to focus here!”
As Jamie lifts Marco upward, Marco begins a confessional.
“So I had an ulterior motive for sneaking off with you,” Marco says to Jamie as they walk back to camp.
“Alright, you can kiss me, but no tongue.”
“Bite me. No, I wanted to fill you in on some business. Last night, when we got back from Tribal Council, you saw Brock like, flip out, yeah?”
“I think everyone did. What about it?”
“I was with talking with Irene and The Captain later on, and Irene says something about like ‘Andrew, we gotta vote out Brock next.’ And he just started going bananas over it. He was like ‘well I don’t know why you’re asking me like it’s my decision, you could have voted him out tonight, don’t blame me that you didn’t vote for him…”
Marco continues to relay the encounter to an attentive Jamie.
The camera focuses on the Congolese Flag that is lashed across the roof of the Bandar Shelter. It’s wet, but the space within isn’t. While most of the Bandar Tribe is still clustered in their shelter, Brett is out in the woods, hard at work. With a machete, he strikes into a sapling repeatedly. The clanging of the metal on wood rings across camp. In the shelter, Jordyne stirs. Brett makes his way back into the campsite drops his latest quarry at the campsite with a loud thud near the shelter, and begins to tromp back out into the heavily wooded areas surrounding the camp.
“What is he doing?” mutters River, still half asleep, her buff pulled over her face.
“He didn’t say,” says Gavin, eyes still closed as well.
“Brett!” calls Shelby. “What are you doing?”
“We’ve got to get up some sort of cover so we can start a fire,” Brett says.
“Do you want my umbrella?” asks Rex.
“It’s just water,” Brett shrugs, barely looking back. Lying in the shelter, Jordyne can’t help make a face.
“What time is it?” asks Marina, now up and awake.
“Who knows? He was probably up at sunrise,” says Jordyne.
“If you don’t mind Rex, I’ll actually take you up on that offer,” Shelby says, pulling her buff over her hair as she prepares to leave the shelter.
“Off to help the chief?” Rex asks, handing her the umbrella.
“Someone has to,” she says with a sigh. “There is still a lot of work to get done today, rain or no rain.”
“Oh, come on mom, five more minutes!” pleads Jordyne.
“Actually, you know what Shelby? I’ll come too,” says Gavin, perking up from his resting position. “Give me a second to get my shoes on.”
Marina and Jordyne share a meaningful look.
Shelby and Gavin walk in the woods.
“You slept alright?” Shelby asks Gavin as they walk to find Brett.
“Mhm. I mean, as well as I could on a bamboo platform in the middle of a rainstorm. It was kind of cool, actually.”
“It was, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, but I’m sure it will get old soon. Everything is still fresh and exciting, but imagine how boring all of this will be by Day 39.”
“Well if you don’t want to be bored, I’m sure everyone would be happy to vote you out.”
“I didn’t say that,” Gavin says.
At the campsite, Jordyne stands over the supply crate with Rex’s umbrella over her head, picking through the canned food, when she’s joined by Marina. “You caught that, right?” Marina asks.
“Oh yeah. He wasn’t going anywhere until Mommy Dearest decided she was going,” Jordyne says.
“Alright, well I’m going to start filling water bottles,” Marina says to Jordyne. “What’s for breakfast?”
“We’ve got a lot of tuna… I’m thinking we split a can and then once Brett is done with his fire we do rice?” Jordyne suggests.
“How do you feel about tuna?” calls Marina over at the shelter.
“I’m not hungry,” mutters River.
“Aren’t we going to wait for everyone?” Mathieu asks.
“Oh come on, we’re not splitting one can of tuna fish between eight people,” says Rex.
“It’s their food too, Rex,” says Mathieu.
“Get real, doc! We’re not holding a caucus every time someone gets hungry,” Rex says.
“Whatever, I’m opening it,” Jordyne says.
“I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I don’t feel comfortable being a part of this,” Mathieu says.
“You sure?” Marina asks.
“More for the rest of us,” says Rex.
Jordyne, Marina and Rex stand gathered in a circle around the tuna can, passing around a small stick carved into a spoon as they take turns taking bites. “Smells like you, Jordyne,” Rex says, taking a big, over-exaggerated whiff. Marina snorts with laughter.
“Oh my god you old pervert, shut up!” Jordyne says, playfully punching his chest.”
“Ow! Who are you calling old? I’ll have you know yesterday was my twelfth birthday. I age in reverse.”
“But you’re not denying you’re a pervert, then?” Marina says.
“Takes one to know one,” Rex says with a smile and wink.
“You really are twelve, aren’t you?” Marina says.
In the woods, Gavin stands with the machete, cleaving at the base of a branch as Shelby and Brett watch.
“You want to adjust your form, son,” Brett says, taking the machete from him. “You want it more like this. It’s about getting that forceful, clean blow.”
“Oh, uh sorry,” says Gavin. “I thought I had it right.”
“Nothing is easy at first, don’t get discouraged,” Shelby assuages. “Practice makes perfect.”
The camera pans to River, lying still in the shelter, her buff still pulled down over her face.
River gets up from the shelter, barely pulling her buff over her eyes as she quietly walks off into the distance.
“Where’s she going?” Jordyne asks Mathieu. The doctor can only shrug.
“She said nothing. She just left.”
River sits at the base of a tree, rain falling softly around her. Tears run down her face. She can’t help but let out a small sob. She pads her eyes with her buff to little avail.
“River?” calls someone in the distance. The voice has a heavy Midwestern accent. “River! Are you around here?”
“Yeah, yeah I’m here,” she says, hurriedly trying to dry her eyes as she stands up.
“Hey, there you are,” says Jordyne, coming around the other side of the tree. “We need you back at camp. Gavin has Tree Mail for us.”
“Oh yeah, of course.”
“…what were you doing out here, anyway?” asks Jordyne.
“Um. Uh, I just… needed a moment to myself to clear my head. Having everyone together in the shelter’s been just, a little, ‘aieeeeee,’” she waves her hands around her head, indicating chaos. “You know?”
“Yeah, of course. Everyone needs some time to themselves, nothing wrong with that. But like… is everything okay? You seem kinda down.”
“I’ve just… got a lot on my mind,” River says, her voice cracking.
“Oh baby, I’m sorry,” Jordyne says, pulling River in for a hug. The human contact seems to be too much for River, and she starts sobbing again into Jordyne’s shoulder.
“Shhhh. It’s okay,” Jordyne reassures. “It’s all good.”
“I’m sorry about this,” River says, wiping her nose.
“Don’t apologize for being a person,” Jordyne says. “It’s the people who don’t ever cry that freak me out.”
“Right? I know it’s nothing bad, but it does make me feel kind of like a big baby.”
“Well come on then, big baby, lets get back to camp and get you a fresh diaper,” Jordyne says.
“Sure. Oh, but Jordyne? Please… don’t tell anyone I was out here crying.”
“It’s nobody’s business but yours, sweetheart.”
The two return to camp and join the rest of the tribe in the shelter, where Gavin holds the tree mail.
“Three of a kind, stand in line, ready for a fight;
Keep your footing sure and steady, and charge with all your might;
Push, pull and tackle, and when you see the goal;
Give it all your power, and let that boulder roll.”
“Come on in guys!”
Bandar marches into the challenge arena, where a half-wall surrounds a mud filled arena with two broad goalposts at either end. On the sides of the arena sit two gaps, where humongous balls sit, one in gold and one in green. Mathieu brings up the rear, carrying the swaying golden tribe flag, which he places in it’s position as they arrive at their map. In the distance, the green of the Saap flag bobs towards the competition.
“Bandar, getting your first look at the new Saap Tribe,” announces Jeff. “Jill voted out at the first Tribal Council,” he reveals. Most of the tribe nods, clearly not surprised by the result. Jamie places the Saap flag as the tribe takes their places at the mat.
“You guys ready to get to today’s challenge? Alright, here’s how it works:
“Prepare to get dirty, guys! You’re gonna square off, three on three. On my go, two giant wooden balls will be released into the mud pit. Your objective is to push either one of those two balls across your opponents goal. Each time you do, you score a point for your tribe. First tribe to score two points wins reward. Wanna know what you’re playing for?”
The castaways express their affirmation, everyone clearly noting the covered table behind their beloved host.
“The winning tribe will return to camp with some extra goodies. One extra machete, a new knife, scissors, an extra pot and pan, two lanterns filled with oil, and most importantly of all, this lovely tarp. No way you guys haven’t noticed this rain yet, I’m sure everyone would love the guarantee of staying nice and dry in a climate like this.”
The castaways applaud wildly. It’s clear that to them, the tarp alone would be worth the effort.
“In addition, the winning tribe gets to select one member of the losing tribe to go to Exile Island. Bandar, this challenge requires an equal number of men and women to compete, so you must sit out a woman.”
“I’ll sit this one out, Jeff,” Shelby volunteers.
“Alright, Shelby. Take a spot over there on the bench. The rest of you–first round will be two women and one man. I’ll give you a minute to strategize, then we’ll get started.”
SURVIVORS READY? GO!
“First round we’ve got Jordyne, River, Mathieu; taking on Ryan, Vanessa, and Brock. GO!”
Jeff releases the gate and the balls roll into the center of the arena. Like a wild beast, Brock makes a huge lunge forward, shooting towards the green ball. Mathieu hones in on him and catches the ball on the other end. The challenge is on.
The four women all intersect at the gold ball, with Vanessa quickly noticing Mathieu starting to overpower Brock. She leaves Ryan alone to defend, rushing over and grabbing Mathieu around the waist. Mathieu locks his fingers into the grooves of the ball in resistance. Brock makes his way to the other side of the ball and begins prying the doctor’s fingers lose.
At the other orb, Ryan is quickly being overpowered. Jordyne stops pushing from her side and moves around, tackling Ryan around the waist. Ryan flails desperately trying to keep her footing.
“BROCK! HELP!” Ryan cries, right as he manages to unhinge Mathieu. Vanessa pulls Mathieu and spins, causing him to lose his footing as she drags him to the ground. The green ball now has nobody on it as Mathieu tries to wrestle Vanessa from him, but she’s relentless.
With no hesitation, Brock turns to the other ball and rushes like a charging bull into Jordyne, grabbing her by the waist and pulling her from Ryan effortlessly. He slams her into the mud, runs back, grabs River by the waste and pitches her backwards. He and Ryan start making quick headway on the ball. Jordyne gets up and attempts once again to fend Brock off, but he easily deflects her. Mathieu is trying desperately to free himself from Vanessa, who is refusing to let go. When he is finally able to stand, she lunges at him from behind, tackling his legs and knocking him face first into the mud.
“GET HER RYAN!” Brock screams as River makes her approach, winded but determined. Ryan collides with River and the two women slip in the mud, River trying desperately to regain her footing. By that point, it’s too little too late. Brock rolls the ball through the Bandar goalpost.
“Brock! Scores for Saap! That’s one zip, Saap leading!”
The rest of the tribe cheers wildly from the sidelines. Brock thrusts his arms to the sky and roars, victorious, the rain soaring down from the sky above.
“Next round, we’ve got two men, one woman. It’s gonna be Brett, Gavin, and Marina up against Andrew, Jamie, and Irene. Ready? GO!”
The chaos once again ensues. Marina stands back, watching, while Brett charges forward. Before he can reach a ball, Andrew has met him with a flying tackle, completely taking him out as the two entangle in a bitter brawl for freedom. Irene grabs the gold ball and starts to push, but Gavin finds her at the other side and pushes back, gripping along the side of the ball as he maneuvers himself closer to Irene. Marina stands watching and waiting while Jamie takes the green ball and starts moving it forward. Before he can get too close, Marina rushes her and takes Jamie by surprise. With all her force, she downs the giant of a man, causing Bandar to erupt in excitement.
Seeing that Jamie has gone down, Brett finally manages to fend Andrew off, and before Jamie can right himself, he finds Brett on top of him, dragging him backwards with all of his might. Andrew, winded, stands and makes his move to help his tribemate. Meanwhile, Gavin has pushed Irene from their ball, but is unable to make it back, Irene having latched herself around his lower body like a lariat. Thrown off balance, Gavin tumbles. Seeing an opportunity at a free shot, Marina rushes over and grabs the unattended ball. With only Irene guarding, Gavin is able to keep her down. Andrew pins Brett again, allowing Jamie a chance to get up and start moving his ball, but it’s too late. Marina has made great distance, causing Jamie to abandon the other ball to try and stop her. Marina calls to Gavin just before Jamie takes her down in retaliation. Pushing Irene, now clearly at low energy lamely into the mud, Gavin makes a final surge and pushes the ball through the goal.
“Gavin! Scores for Bandar! It’s all tied up, so it’s coming down to the final round, women vs women.”
“Final round, this is for reward. Its going to be Marina, River, and Jordyne vs Vanessa, Irene, and Ryan. Ready? Go!”
The women rush forward, knowing that the outcome of the challenge hangs in the balance. “Get on Marina!” Irene shouts to Vanessa. Vanessa charges to take out Bandar’s strongest woman, but isn’t able to reach her until Marina has managed to make a little movement with the gold ball towards the goal. Marina hunkers close to the ground as Vanessa approaches, and rushes towards her before Vanessa can connect. Marina tackles Vanessa at her legs, throwing her into the mud. As Vanessa attempts to get back on her feet, Jordyne comes and pins her back down. Clinging in the mud, Vanessa attempts to continue pulling forward while Jordyne clings to her back, pulling with all her might.
This leaves Irene, River and Ryan at the other ball. Both of the Saap women manage to pin River down, River flailing as she attempts to remove both her assailants. “I need one of you to get over here!” Vanessa calls. As Irene attempts make a move to help, River reaches out and grabs onto the belt of Irene’s shorts. Her pants pull down slightly, causing Irene to trip and drop. Vanessa meanwhile pushes up against the ground with all her might and pitches herself backwards like a breaching whale, slamming Jordyne against the ground. Unguarded, Marina has managed to make a lot of headway, but Vanessa, free to take her on, heads her off.
It’s a desperate struggle as Vanessa pulls on Marina, one arm locked around her waist, the other trying to unfurl her fingers. Marina lets go with one hand, grabbing the hand Vanessa has on her and turns, pushing both of them away from the ball and into the mud. Jordyne catches the opportunity and rushes for the unguarded ball. Irene, now free, tries to chase her, but is too far away to catch her in time. With all the might she can muster, Jordyne moves the ball through the goalpost.
“Jordyne scores and with that,
BANDAR! WINS REWARD!”
The two tribes stand back at their mats, winded, dirty, and exhausted. Saap can only stare at the prize table dejectedly.
“Great challenge guys, and Saap? A job well done,” Jeff says. Before you guys head out, there’s one more matter of business. You’re picking one person from Bandar to go to Exile Island. Who’s it gonna be?”
There is barely any time for hesitation or discussion before Brett points at Andrew. “It’s gonna be my dear friend over there, Andrew,” Brett says. “We’ll see how he likes it.”
“I’m sure it’s gonna be a party, Jeff,” Andrew says with a grin. He approaches the host and takes the map before heading off.
“Bandar, congratulations on winning the challenge, come get your reward. Saap? Got nothing for you, you can head back to camp.”
The sun shines brightly through the treetops. The chattering of birds and other animals is once again clearly audible with no falling rain to silence the forest. Down at the river, Jamie, Ryan and Marco soak in the water.
“You’d think after all that rain the last thing we’d want to do is get ourselves wet again,” says Marco.
“Yeah, well that’s how it goes here,” Jamie says. “Either wet or hot, no in-betweens.”
“Do you guys mind if I take my top off for a moment so I can wash my, you know?” Ryan asks, gesturing to her chest.
“Go ahead,” Jamie says. “No offense, darling, but you ain’t my speed.”
“So… have either of you guys really given a lot of thought to the immunity idol?” Ryan asks , her body submerged entirely in the water, her head barely peeking above the water.
“Honestly,” Jamie says, “not really.”
“Yeah, same. It’s out on Exile Island,” Marco says. “No way to get it unless you get sent there.”
“Do you think Andrew, you know, might find it out there?” Ryan prods.
“Beats me,” says Jamie. “I mean, I think he’s smart enough to find it.”
“Yeah, but we don’t know how hard it is to find, or what kind of clues you get when you’re out there,” says Marco. “We could go the whole game and it might be nobody ever finds it.”
“Maybe Brett already found it the last time,” Jamie adds.
“I mean, it’s worth thinking about, you know?” says Ryan. “Because it’s like you said, Jamie, Andrew’s smart. He’s got a lot of influence with people. He’s good with challenges. It’s like… does he really need, like, you know, another ace up his sleeve?”
“It’s a good point,” Marco says.
“You know, like, I’m just saying… you can’t be too careful in a game like this, you know?” Ryan says, tying her bikini top back on. “People will do crazy things to win. Like, obviously I can only speak for myself, you know, but I’m just saying that if I were to get voted out of this game because someone protected themselves with an idol? Like, it’s really not even fair if you think about it. Like, someone else got the most votes and should be going but they don’t? How bad would hat suck, you know?”
“What do you think, dude?” ask Marco as he and Jamie find private time later on.
Jamie exhales slowly. “Who knows? It’s a lot to think about. Like, I don’t trust Ryan, but she’s not wrong.”
Marco nods in agreement.
Up at the camp, Vanessa and Irene sit on either side of a wide stump they’re using as a makeshift table. Vanessa is shuffling her deck of cards, but her attention briefly wanders as she sees Brock walk back into the campground.
“Well! I have to say, I feel at least ten pounds lighter,” Brock says, stretching and rubbing his stomach. Facing away from Brock, Irene makes a face.
“You wanna come over and play, Brock?” Vanessa asks, waving the deck.
“Eh, sure. Why not. I could teach you ladies a thing or two about winning.”
It doesn’t take long for the card game to go awry.
“Brock, you can’t do that,” Irene tells him as he plays. “Aces are low in rummy, not high. So it can’t be King, Queen, Ace. It has to be Ace, Two, Three.”
“Well alright but that’s not how we play it back home, but if you’re gonna be a bitch about it, fine,” Brock says.
“I’m not being a bitch about anything,” Irene says. “All I did was point out the rules of the game.”
“Well if that’s all you were doing, you picked a really bitchy way to go about it.”
“What? What are you talking about?” Irene says, clearly stunned.
“BROOOOOOCKKKK!!!! YOU CAN’T DOOOOOOO THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!” Brock mimics in a whiny falsetto.
“I’m not having this discussion,” Irene says. She puts her hand of cards on the makeshift table and walks off.
“Oh, so you’re gonna be a whiny baby because someone called you on your bullshit? Have a little self-respect!” Brock yells after her.
“Oh that’s just rich,” Vanessa finally interjects. “You really wanna try and sit there and lecture a grown-ass woman on how she’s being immature? Have you looked in a mirror?”
“Have you? Maybe then you’d see how fat you are and get an outfit that actually covers your body. Can I recommend a circus tent?”
“That is so over the line, Brock!” yells Irene, turning around after hearing him insult Vanessa.
“Weren’t you walking away to cry about something?” Brock snaps.
“Weren’t you about to walk away before you get your ass handed to you?” Vanessa hisses.
“As if you’d try it. Lay a hand on me and you go home. If you want to try and clobber me with your fat paddles, go for it.”
“BOY,” Vanessa yells, standing and pushing the wooden table piece aside, “IF I COULD YOU BEST BELIEVE I WOULD WRING OUT OUT LIKE A WASHCLOTH AND HANG YOU OUT TO DRY!”
“Yeah, get ghetto! Get ghetto, guuuuurl! That’s all you know how to do, get ghetto!”
“What is your problem?” yells Irene. “How can you say that to her?”
“Because I’m not scared to tell the truth, you little d*ke bitch!” Brock spits acridly.
“Get out of here before I end your f*cking life,” Vanessa yells.
“Woah, woah! What is going on here?” Jamie yells, running into the campground, followed closely by Marco and Ryan. He gets between Vanessa and Brock. Vanessa is visibly shaking. Irene’s eyes well with tears.
“Jamie I love you but move, I’ve got business to attend to,” Vanessa says.
“No one has any business to attend to. Come on, Van, c’mon Irene, I wanna show you something at the water,” Jamie says, putting his arm around Vanessa’s shoulder and turning her away from Brock. Jamie glares at Ryan as he walks.
“Get your boy under control,” he growls to Ryan.
“He’s horrible, Jamie,” says Irene, the dam finally bursting as tears flow down her face. “He flies off the handle and just… I don’t know how people can find it in themselves to say such awful things,” she cries.
Jamie can only cover his face and exhale slowly.
In a different area, Ryan stands with Brock. Ryan sighs at nothing in particular.
“Okay, so look Brock. Like, you know that I’m with you, one hundred percent. No matter what, okay?”
“Yeah. Yeah of course, Ry.”
“I get it, these people can be super annoying, but that’s part of the challenge, you know? It’s not just dealing with the rain and the bugs, or whatever, it’s dealing with them. I know it’s not easy but you have to try and not let the little things get under your skin, you know?”
“Are you sticking up for her?” Brock asks.
“No, of course not. But it doesn’t matter whose in the right or whose in the wrong, you know? There’s more of them then there are of us. They’ve already decided that you’re a jerk, so they’re going to ruffle your feathers, you know? You can’t give into the temptation.”
“I know but… it’s just so wrong,” Brock says, sighing heavily. “Like I’m so terrible and they’re all perfect.”
Burning logs crackle in the fire pit. High over the pit, a tarp has been suspended between four wooden poles. A fifth pole rises up in the middle, creaking a peak at the center of the tarp to make a roof. Marina helps Brett to move a log into place next to it.
“I’m thinking that we can build platforms around the fire,” Brett explains to her, “so instead of just having seats, people can lay down. That lets someone sleep near the fire, lets someone stay up to watch the fire, it makes more room in the shelter.”
“It’s not a bad idea at all,” Marina says, “but that sounds like a lot of work.”
“You say ‘a lot of work’ like it’s a bad thing,” Brett says.
“I don’t know how necessary it is, that’s all. We’ve got challenges to consider too, we can’t go burning through all our strength.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Brett says. “We got folks here who are doing plenty of saving their energy.” He glances over at the shelter, where Jordyne and Gavin are lying and chatting. Marina bites her lip, pensively.
“Well, I’m gonna get my water. You want yours too?” Marina asks.
“I’m doing just fine,” Brett says. “Worry about yourself.”
Marina says nothing more as she walks off–but her face says plenty.
“He’s driving me up the waaaaaalllllll,” Marina whispers loudly as she passes Jordyne in the shelter. Jordyne silently makes a finger gun, holds it to the side of her head, and pretends to pull the trigger.
“Right?” Marina says.
“Do you guys really think Brett is that bad?” Gavin asks.
“I mean… it could be way worse, I’ll give you that,” Marina says, taking a big gulp from her water bottle.
“Yeah,” Jordyne agrees. “He could smell like Rex.”
Marina laughs and her water spurts out of her mouth.
“You okay?” Jordyne asks, lying next to him.
“That challenge yesterday was rough. I’m still just feeling beat up all over.”
“Well hold on one second. I’ve got an idea,” Jordyne says, hopping out of the shelter and heading to find her bag. “I brought massage oils. As my luxury item,” she says, pulling a few bottles out of her satchel. “Flip over. I’ll rub you down.”
“O-o-Kkk,” stammers Gavin, taken aback.
Gavin lies face down in the shelter, clad in nothing but his boxer-briefs. Jordyne is mounted on top of him, legs straddling his hips. She pours some oil gently down Gavin’s back before she begins to rub it in.
“Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.” Gavin says. “That feels really good–oh oh! Back there. Higher up. Under my left shoulder. Oh yeah. There. That’s the spot. Ugh. Oh. Ooooohhhhh.”
“Just relax and enjoy, Gav. Let Auntie JoJo make you feel nice and comfy.”
“I thought about becoming a massager before,” Gavin says as Jordyne continues her session with the young man, “the physical therapy school at my college has classes.”
“They’re called massage therapists, not massagers,” Jordyne corrects gently with a giggle. “What changed your mind?”
“I thought about it and the idea of having to touch a stranger’s naked body was just a little too weird for me.”
“I wish I just knew what I should be doing.”
“Wanna know a secret? School’s gonna be around next year, and the year after that. And ten, twenty, thirty years from now. You take all the time you need.”
At the fire pit, Brett has once again paused working to watch Jordyne finish massaging Gavin. She nimbly dismounts the teenager, who is now clearly struggling to find a way to sit up while obscuring his crotch.
Brett marches aggressively through the jungle, Gavin struggling to keep up. “Where are we going?” Gavin asks.
“We need to have a little chat, you and I,” Brett says.
“Well, I figured as much, but like, what about?”
“About you and ‘Auntie JoJo.’ Don’t think nobody saw that.”
“Saw what, Jordyne giving me a massage? How is that a problem?”
“Look son… women can have their ways, and I know you’re young but I can promise you from my own experiences, you got to watch out for ladies like her. They’re dangerous. She’s lookin’ to make use of you.”
“Brett, it’s a game. Everyone’s just trying to offer what they have to give so they don’t get voted out.”
“Son, this is about more than that. This is a life lesson here, you can’t trust ho type women like her. She’s not to be trusted, do you understand me?”
“Could you please stop calling me son? And it’s not that big of a deal, it was just a massage from one friend to another, okay? I’m not trying to marry her.”
“Gavin, I’m looking out for you. I know you’re just a kid and you don’t understand yet but–”
“I’m not a kid, Brett, I’m ninteen, okay? I’ve been to parties before. I’ve been drunk before, I’ve smoked a cigarette, I’m not a virgin, alright? And I’m not a baby. Calm down, it wasn’t a big deal.”
Gavin grumpily storms through the camp area, walking past Shelby in an obvious huff.
“Something wrong?” Shelby asks.
“Nothing worth talking about,” Gavin says with a sigh as he grabs his swimsuit. “I’m going down to the water. I need to cool off.”
Shelby is waiting for Brett as he comes back after Gavin.
“What just happened out there?” she asks. Brett shrugs.
“I tried giving Gavin some friendly advice and he didn’t want to hear it. Eventually he just stormed off like a big baby. Let me tell you, my daddy would have never put up with it. If I talked back to him like he did to me, I’d have been smacked upside the head and knocked straight into next week.”
“The relevant difference there, Brett, is that Gavin isn’t your son, and you’re not his father.”
“A boy his age has no business out here in an environment like this. Too many snakes in the jungle.”
The sun rises over Exile Island. From a tiny, poorly constructed lean-to, Andrew watches.
“Good thing about not getting much sleep,”he mutters. “get to watch the sun come up. And hey, I got some. Better than nothing. And it didn’t rain.” He smiles.
“I’ve got two clues here,” Andrew says, holding up a piece of parchment. “The first one basically says that it’s buried underground, and the second one… I’m not really sure what it’s trying to say. ‘Start at the Beginning, stand backwards at it’s end, carefully count your paces, the number to use is ten.’ So, there’s that. As far as I’ve figured, the idol is buried underground, and if I go to a certain spot and walk ten paces, that’s where I need to dig. But it says stand backwards at the beginning’s end? What does that mean? The end of the beginning? How am I supposed to know what any of this means?”
As Andrew watches the sunrise, he holds his photo of his family. He smiles wistfully as his thumb moves over his wife’s face.
“Come on in guys!”
The tribes arrive to compete in their next challenge. Facing them is a long, dirt course with a number of enormous boxes stacked at one end. At the other is a tower with no immediately apparent way to scale the structure.
“We’ll now bring in Andrew, returning from Exile Island.” Andrew walks in, smiling broadly. Most of the tribe greets him with hugs. Brock does not.
“You guys ready to get to today’s immunity challenge? First things first, Gavin, I Will take that back,” Jeff says, taking the idol from the youngest castway.
“It’s coming back soon,” Gavin says.
“We’ll see,” taunts Andrew.
“Immunity, back up for grabs. For today’s challenge, two members of each tribe will race to roll a large, tribe-colored crate back to your mat. Once you’ve gathered all six crates, you must stack them to build a staircase displaying your tribe name and mascot. First tribe to correctly stack all their crates and get all their members to the top of the tower wins Immunity. Losers, Tribal Council, where one of you will be voted out of the game. Big enough stakes?”
“Oh yeah,” says Marina.
“Alright. Bandar, because you have one extra memeber, you mus sit someone out. Shelby sat out the last challenge, she can’t sit out twice, has to play.”
“River will sit this one out, Jeff,” says Shelby after the tribe deliberates briefly.
“Alright, River, take a seat on the bench. Everyone else, I’ll give you a moment to strategize, then we’ll get started.”
With that, the castaways take their positions.
SURVIVORS READY? GO!
Irene and Jamie are the first out for Saap; Rex and Gavin are out first for Bandar. Jamie bounds downfield, Irene doing her best to keep pace, but struggling simply to due to Jamie’s massive height. He gets to their crate first and starts pushing it, but she quickly joins him, helping him to push it home. Rex and Gavin are not too far behind, and manage to get the first crate back only a few seconds after Jamie and Irene.
“Those are heavy,” a winded Rex warns his tribemates.
Jamie and Irene’s return sends out Vanessa and Marco, while Brett and Shelby make their way out for Bandar shortly after. Shelby notably struggles to keep pace with Brett, allowing Marco and Vanessa to procure a significant advantage. Brett reaches the crate first and manages to get it a fair distance on his own before Shelby joins him. By the time they get their second crate back to the mat, Andrew and Ryan have already run out for Saap’s third crate. Mathieu and Jordyne bolt forward, eager to catch up.
Sweat pours down the skin of the castaways as the blazing Indian sun beats down on them relentlessly from above. Mathieu grits his teeth as he gives his all, fighting desperately to ensure Bandar stays in the game. Jordyne works steadily beside him, keeping their crate rolling steadily and on track. Andrew and Ryan stumble momentarily when the uneven distribution of weight causes their cube to turn on it’s side, making it hard to move forward. Though Bandar has managed to close the gap, Saap still leads. Jamie and Brock are next on the course.
With Saap’s strongest men on the case, it doesn’t take long for them to reach crate number four. Gavin and Marina sprint out to catch them. Gavin moves quickly, his long limbs loping like a gazelle, Marina furious with determination. With incredible force, they push their crate forward, but in their fury to make up ground, they veer slightly off course. The two crates seem to be destined to collide, but they manage to barely miss. As Bandar pulls by Saap, their crate scrapes the backside of Brock’s leg.
“WATCH! IT!” Brock yells.
“Stay focused!” Ryan calls from the sidelines.
Marina and Gavin’s hard work closes the gap even more. The two tribe are now all but dead even as Brett, Mathieu, Marco, and Andrew rush out onto the course.
“If it’s a fight you want, it’s a fight you’ll get, buddy!” Andrew taunts.
“Oh come on bro, don’t taunt him!” says Marco. “That’s only gonna fire him up!”
That extra fire–combined with a little extra brute strength–helps Bandar to finally pull ahead. With a mighty yell, Brett pushes the fifth crate over the finish line, sending Gavin and Marina out one last time. Marco and Andrew are not far behind as Jamie and Brock sprint out for the last crate, but there are hesitant looks in the eyes of some of their tribemates. Everyone knows that in a challenge like this, even a matter of seconds can make all the difference.
“Gavin and Marina back with their final crate, Bandar go! Start working!” Jeff calls.
“I need help right over here,” Shelby calls. “This one here, I think this is the first one!”
“Saap, go! Keep digging, you’re still in this!” Jeff calls as Jamie and Brock get their final crate over the line.
Both tribes move quickly and eagerly to place the giant blocks, but the strain of their weight is significant. Vanessa and Andrew shove a block into place, but Ryan, standing back at a distance, shakes her head. “No, now that it’s in place, that’s definitely not right. Are there any with the double A? That’s the key”
“This one, but I don’t think it’s going in the right direction,” laments Marco.
Bandar seems to be fairing a little better as Brett and Mathieu slide a piece into place. “I think that’s it,” Shelby says, “for the bottom, we need to start getting those other ones up!” Mathieu and Marina climb on top, but there isn’t enough room for them both “Everyone push, I will pull!” Mathieu says. Brett, Gavin, and Rex strain to lift the crate so Mathieu can grab it. He grunts and gives all his strength, nearly crushing himself under the block.
“I don’t think that’s right!” Shelby calls. “We need to switch them out!”
“We’re not that far behind, go guys come on!” shouts Ryan as Marco and Jamie slide in the final piece on the bottom row.
Frustrated over on Bandar, Mathieu shoves with all his might to remove the incorrect crate. It tumbles to the side haphazardly, missing Jordyne narrowly.
“Mathieu be careful!” she cries.
“Sorry!” he apologizes.
“It’s this one, right here, come on!” Shelby demands, pushing another crate forward with Marina’s help. Once again, the tribe works to lift it, and an exhausted Mathieu heaves it on to the stack.
“You need me to get up there?” Brett ask.
“I can do it,” Mathieu says, clearly hit by the strain of the challenge.
On Saap’s puzzle, almost the entire tribe gather together to lift a crate for the second level. From behind everyone, Jamie leans forward, pushing the crate so it tumbles onto the stack. “Oh great, it’s backwards!” he frets. Not missing a beat, Brock scrambles up, desperately pulling at the back edge of the crate.
Mathieu is pouring sweat, his dark skin glistening almost like oil as with a final heave, he places the second of the mid-level blocks. “One more!” he says, “We’re almost there!”
“COME ON!” Brock yells, “GET THAT UP HERE, WE GOT THIS!”
Together, the tribe lifts their last block to the edge of the second level. Mathieu pulls it towards himself, but finds he’s quickly running out of room to prevent himself from being crushed. With incredible strength, he leaps up and grabs the ledge of the tower, and pulls himself up. He grabs one edge of the block as Marina pushes for the other side, the golden staircase sliding into place, the monkey of Bandar showing in all of it’s glory. With exhausted bodies and high spirits, the other tribe members scramble to join Mathieu. An elated River leaps from the bench and cheers.
“BANDAR! WINS IMMUNITY!”
“Bandar, congratulations,” Jeff says, approaching them with the idol. Marina takes it, a broad smile on her face. “That’s all I’ve got for you guys. Bandar, you have the night off, you can head back to camp.”
Jeff turns his attention to the much less enthused tribe in green. “Saap, this is a third loss in a row after a big win to start things off. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but all I’ve got for you tonight is a date with me. Someone’s going home. You have the rest of the day to figure it out. I’ll see you tonight.”
Dejected after their loss, Saap returns to camp, where almost everyone warmly welcomes Andrew’s return. Irene gives Andrew a big, warm hug, and he reassures her, whispering that everything is going to work out okay.
“How was Exile, Captain?” asks Jamie. Andrew gives him a wide-eyed stare in response.
“Let me just say this, if you’re lucky you won’t have to ever find out,” Andrew tells him. “I was bored to tears.”
“Guess that means you found the idol pretty quickly, huh?” jokes Marco.
“I wish,” Andrew says. “The clues may as well have been in Hindi. That thing could be anywhere. I’d be stunned if anyone finds it, honestly.”
“Hey, where’d Squirrel and Moose go?” asks Vanessa.
“Who?” Irene asks.
“Ryan and Brock,” Vanessa clarifies.
“I… I’m not sure, actually,” admits Jamie.
“So we still agree,” Ryan says to Brock as they walk through a jungle path, “that our best angle of attack is the idol, right?”
“I mean if it were me, it would be his personality, but yeah. Can’t argue with that,” says Brock.
“We need to make sure that everyone thinks he found it. And then we need to convince everyone that because he has it, the best move is to get rid of him right now. He won’t be expecting it, which means he’s not gonna play it.”
Marco, Vanessa and Irene are discussing their plans, when they’re joined by Andrew.
“So I gather I missed a lot?” Andrew asks.
“You can say that again,” Irene responds.
“Captain, it was bad,” Marco says. “There was a pretty big blow up. So you see…”
“Don’t get me wrong, when this is all said and done I’m going to beat that boy senseless, but we can’t make decisions with our hearts, we have to use our heads,” Vanessa says, “and my head says that Brock is all hot air, but Ryan? Ryan’s a real threat, and I personally would rather vote her out, but I’m good with whatever y’all decide.”
“Ness, I love you and you know this,” Irene says, “but I’m not using my head, I’m using my gut. Because I went with my head last Tribal Council and my gut told me not to, and I regret it.”
“Again, whatever y’all decide is good. I’m not going to lose sleep if Brock goes tonight. I’ve told y’all where my opinion stands on the matter but this isn’t a battle I care about fighting,” Vanessa says to Irene in response.
Elsewhere, Jamie and Ryan discuss the vote.
“Look, I know Brock is temperamental, but I promise you Jamie, I promise, I swear on my life I have his vote locked up one hundred and ten percent, he’ll do whatever I tell him. I just have a really bad, bad feeling that Andrew found the idol, and I’m just being real here, I don’t trust him with it.”
“You’re not wrong… ugh. I get it. I’m a little wary about Cap’ just like y’all are, honest,” Jamie says. “I can’t make you no promises, Ryan, not right now. But I’d be a darn fool not to consider it. Everyone is really unhappy with Brock right now. If Andrew does have the idol, it won’t even be on his mind to use it tonight.”
“Exactly! Oh Jamie, I’m so glad you see where I’m coming from.”
“What do you think?” Jamie asks Marco.
“A lot of things, bro… It’s like, just trying to sort through all of it.”
“I hate to admit it but Ryan has a good point. Andrew won’t see it coming if we get him tonight. And like, he’s definitely been acting a little off since the last vote,” Marco says.
“I know. It’s tempting. It might even be smart!”
“I could use a drink,” Marco says with a sigh.
With that, the Saap Tribe lights their torches, and as the night sky falls, they make their way to Tribal Council.
The Saap Tribe enters Tribal Council and places their torches. The awe in the novelty of the first visit has vanished. It’s clear that this is the last place anyone wants to be.
“Well, I can only imagine that you didn’t intend to return here quite so soon,” Jeff says. “Last time you guys were here, spirits seemed to be pretty good, all things considered. You’d won a challenge, and many of you seemed pretty confident that you’d only lost the second challenge because of a specific person. That person, Jill, is gone, and you guys have now lost two more challenges. Vanessa, are you guys still feeling hopeful?”
“Absolutely, Jeff, but I’m not gonna sit here and be a total BS-er–the losses, all in a row, there’s no way they don’t start to take a toll on morale with the tribe. Each time, it gets harder and harder to go into the next challenge feeling confident in ourselves. Instead of thinking, ‘yeah, we’re gonna crush this,’ we’re thinking ‘oh lord, we better squeak out a win here.’ But you know, I think we have a strong team, I feel like I could kick the asses of most of their girls with one hand–except that Marina, she’s scary–Jamie’s a beast, Andrew’s a beast, Brock is an incredible athlete–”
“–Oh, so now I’m an incredible athlete?” Brock says.
“I never said you weren’t, Brock,” Vanessa spits. “I can acknowledge that you’re a talented performer in the challenges even though your personality needs to be dissolved in a vat of acid.”
“Wow,” Jeff says. “There’s no love lost there, huh Brock?”
“It’s the same story as it’s been basically the whole time I’ve been on this tribe,” Brock says, “everybody here thinks they’re just so much better than me, but I’m the only one who has been pulling my weight in challenges every single time. I’m not the reason we’re sitting here right now, so I don’t know why everyone has such a problem with me.”
“The reason, Jeff,” offers Andrew, “that everyone has a problem with Brock is because Brock is mean. If he at all feels even remotely slighted or disrespected, even if nobody meant anything negative by it, he just lashes out, and everyone is just absolutely at their limit with it.”
“Brock, would you agree with Andrew?”
“Hell no I wouldn’t, Jeff! I wasn’t born yesterday, I know a hater when I see one, and I don’t think any of them would act any differently if they were being subjected to the constant disrespect that they show to me.”
“But Brock, are you listening to Andrew?” Jeff asks. “He’s saying you have a strong reaction even when nobody meant to be disrespectful. Do you at all think it’s possible that you’re taking some of the things that have been said about you in the wrong way?”
“It doesn’t matter if people mean to be disrespecting me or not,” Brock says. “If you’re being disrespectful, you’re being disrespectful, that’s it. If a drunk driver runs you over with his car, it don’t matter that he didn’t mean to run you over, you’re still dead! So if everyone thinks they just keep ‘accidentally’ dissing me, maybe they should think before they open their mouths, so they don’t keep having ‘accidents.’”
Marco can’t help but chuckle when he hears this, and Jeff definitely notices.
“Marco, you found that funny. Care to enlighten us?”
“I mean, come on Jeff. That’s pretty funny, the guy who pops off on everyone saying that we all need to watch our mouths? That we need to think before we speak when that’s exactly what he doesn’t do? I’m calling bull on that, bro,” Marco says.
“If I can say something, Jeff?” Ryan pipes up.
“Of course Ryan, go ahead.”
“I’d say I’m pretty much the one person here who does get along with Brock, and I think that unfortunately, everything’s just kind of started to become habitual, you know? After a few times of Brock you know, very emphatically sharing his feelings, I think a lot of the tribe, you know, just kind of has come to expect that it’s how he’s going to react. So they’ve just kind of given up on trying to understand where Brock is coming from.”
“And where exactly is Brock coming from, Ryan?”
“I mean, Brock’s had some tough experiences in his life, and I think he’s dealt really admirably with a lot of naysayers and people who refused to believe in him, and he’s just kind of learned, you know, that if someone is hating on you, you don’t meet them with respect, you put them in their place. You know?”
“I don’t think I know,” says Irene dryly.
“So Brock,” Jeff says, “based on all the discussion so far revolving around you, is it safe to say you might be in trouble tonight?”
“Of course Jeff. I was in trouble last time, and when I make it through tonight I’m sure I’ll get votes against me next time. But you know what they say, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and Vanessa ain’t singing.”
“Oh my god,” groans Irene.
“Dude, shut up!” Marco says.
“Brock, I can only comment on what I observe, of course,” Jeff caveats, “but for someone who has talked so much about the importance of respecting other people tonight, you were very quick to make a comment that I think, fair to say, was quite rude with absolutely no provocation.”
“No provolation? Didn’t you hear Vanessa earlier, she said I should be cooked in acid!”
“No no no no no. What I said is that your pers-o-nal-it-ty needs to be dissolved in a vat of acid, because as it is right now your personality has got to go.”
“Whatever,” Brock grumbles.
“So we’ve established Brock is in trouble tonight. Anyone else think it might be them?”
Irene and Andrew raise their hands.
“Irene, worried it’s you tonight?”
“I mean, not so much worried, but, uh, I’d say cautious? I mean, this is a game for a million dollars, and people are willing to lie for a million dollars. You can’t have eyes and ears everywhere, there are six other people here that I’m not always around. You never know what conversations people could be having behind your back. And as much as you can say, I don’t know, whatever it is you happen to want to say about Brock, he is a really valuable competitor in the challenges, and we haven’t been exactly killing it when it comes to those. I’m realistic enough to know that if you put me next to Brock in any sort of contest of athleticism, Brock wins, probably 100% of the time. If everyone else feels like the most important thing is to keep the tribe strong, who knows what that could mean for me?”
“Marco, Irene brings up a valid point. You can’t be sure anyone is telling you the truth. How do you navigate that when making decisions?”
“Well it’s hard, Jeff. You know, it’s not like we can hook each other up to a lie detector test. So you have to kind of trust your gut, that’s really all you have to go on. I mean eventually you’re going to have to make a choice, you have to write a name down at Tribal Council. All you can really do is trust your gut that you can believe the people who you feel like are trustworthy.”
“So who do you think is trustworthy?”
“I mean, I have degrees of trust with everyone here, you know? But uh, I’d say that I think Jamie is really trustworthy,” Marco says. Vanessa and Ryan both nod.
“Agree with that Ryan? Jamie is a trustworthy guy?”
“He’s just got that vibe, you know? It’s that Southern hospitality, I think,” Ryan says. “He’s a really good listener, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him have anything bad to say about anyone, you know? I guess it’s just his accent? I’m not sure, exactly, but I trust him. And Marco too.”
“Oh, thanks,” Marco says, clearly somewhat surprised.
“Jamie, how does that make you feel? A few of your tribemates point to you and say ‘this is a guy you can trust.’ What do you make of that?”
“It’s humbling,” Jamie says.
“See?!” Laughs Marco. “Always gotta be the good guy, this one.”
“Jeff, I’m not really sure what to say. I think I’m a trustworthy guy,” he laughs, “but that’s exactly what I’d say if I were lying too. No one’s gonna up and say ‘hey y’all, don’t trust me!’ But hey, if people trust me and that means they’ll keep around a little longer, I’ll take it.”
“Andrew,” Jeff says, changing the subject. “You also raised your hand when I asked who thought they might be in trouble tonight. What has you worried?”
“Well Jeff, I was out of the camp for a whole day and then some on Exile Island. That’s a lot of time for people to talk behind your back.”
“So just because you haven’t been in camp, you’re worried that they might have decided, ‘hey, things work pretty well without Andrew, let’s just kick him to the curb?’”
“Haha, well not exactly like that. But, you know, I have, to a degree, somewhat stepped up into a leadership role with this tribe.”
“Somewhat?” Brock says with a snort. “They call him ‘Captain,’ Jeff. It’s pretty stupid.”
“Well that’s my title, Jeff. I am a captain. And I’m sure you’ve heard the saying–the captain goes down with his ship. And I feel like our ship has kind of been sinking, as reflected by these last few challenges. We’re trying our hardest to figure out what’s going to work so that we don’t have to come back here in another three days. Maybe the tribe feels like they could do better under new management.”
“Think Andrew has any reason to be concerned, Vanessa?”
“Not that I know of,” Vanessa says, “but hey, I could be just as out of the loop as Cap is worried he is. I don’t think anything is certain in this game, other than the fact that every three days, someone has got to go, and people are gonna just start doing crazier and crazier things to make sure it’s not them.”
“Well Vanessa, I couldn’t have said it better myself. And that’s a perfect note to end things on. It’s time to vote. Marco? You’re up first.
Marco and Andrew vote.
Vanessa and Brock vote.
Jamie stands at the booth and sighs. He uncaps the pen and begins to write.
“I’ll go tally the votes,” Jeff announces, as he heads off to collect the urn. The mood is tense. Brock perches his chin on his fist, staring into the fire intensely. Irene takes off her glasses and wipes her face with her buff. Andrew briefly looks at his family photo.
“Once the votes are read,”Jeff says, returning with the voting urn, “the decision is final. The person voted out will be asked to leave the Tribal Council area immediately. I’ll read the votes.” Jeff removes the lid and begins.
“First vote: Brock.”
“Second vote: Brock. That’s two votes Brock.”
“Captain Drew. That’s one vote for Andrew.”
“Brock. That’s three votes Brock, one vote Andrew.
“Andrew. Three votes Brock, two votes Andrew.”
“The second person voted out of Survivor: India…”
“Brock. Brock, that’s four votes, it’s enough, no reason to read the last vote. I’ll need you to bring me your torch.”
“Shocker! Not,” Brock says, hopping up from his stool. He brings Jeff his torch, clearly upset.
“Brock, the tribe has spoken. It’s time for you to go.” Brock’s torch is snuffed, and with little fanfare, he departs.
“Well, last time you were here, you voted based on challenge strength. This time you voted based on who just wasn’t gelling with the group. You’re running out of guesses, Saap Tribe, so you better figure out what it is this tribe needs or we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other. I’ve got nothing else for you. Grab your stuff, head back to camp.”
Fourteen remain. Who will be the next to go?