EPISODE SIX: I’m a Little Turned On Right Now

PREVIOUSLY ON… SURVIVOR!

While Yenisei was at Tribal Council, voting Gunnar out of the game, Koryok was partying hard and living the good life, enjoying yet another win in a series of consecutive victories. But things were about to change. In a challenge to build a distress signal, artist Nick demanded on taking charge, and when Hannah dared make her own suggestion, Nick blew up. Teddy snapped at Nick in response to his behavior, and refused to continue the challenge.

Yenisei, meanwhile, came together as a team and followed Vince’s lead to victory–but not first without an emotional sacrifice from Charlotte, who gave up her pageant crown so Vince could use it in their signal. As their prize, they were visited by Lyuba, a Siberian hermit, who taught them all about survival in the taiga. While Vince was impressed by the elderly woman’s resourcefulness; Zeke found himself conflicted by her strongly sheltering religious orthodoxy.

On Koryok, it wasn’t just Nick’s behavior at the reward challenge that got him in trouble–Naomi also revealed to Sheena that Nick had been feeding her information about their alliance with Tallulah and Maurice. Though she was furious with her Day One ally, Sheena’s feelings were complicated when Nick came to her with a surprise of his own: Tribe newbie Olivia had offered to tell Nick the location of the Koryok Tribe Idol if he could find a way to safely get her past Tribal Council.

With renewed spirits, Yenisei won immunity handily, forcing Koryok to Tribal Council, where on the surface, the plan appeared to be a split vote between idol-holder Olivia and Nick–with the expectation Olivia would play the idol and send home the Tribe’s public enemy number one. However, with encouragement from Tallulah, Sheena decided to give Nick a second chance, and changed the plan last minute. She told Olivia to hold her idol and vote for Teddy as a show of loyalty–then, she and her alliance of Nick, Maurice and Tallulah worked together to blindside Naomi at Tribal Council, knocking her out of the game.

Eleven remain… who will be the next to go?

 

Koryok Day 16

 

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It’s early in the morning as the Koryok Tribe snoozes comfortably in their shelter, bundled in blankets as they sleep. Maurice lies with his buff covering his face, Hannah curled up under his right arm, Sheena under his left, using his broad chest like a pillow. Teddy snores a little while dew collects on the grass surrounding the shelter.

Awake now is only Nick, walking through the forest with an axe slung over his shoulder.

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“I had the hardest time falling asleep last night, and like, not just because I’m trying to sleep on a wooden platform in the middle of the woods,” he laughs. “Tribal Council was so emotionally draining for me. A lot of people were really upset with me, I didn’t feel safe, and I felt like all I could do was just be as honest as possible and, you know, just… hope that people would be willing to give me a second chance. That Sheena would be willing to give me a second chance.”

Nick approaches a smaller tree and begins to swing the axe, chopping at the base of the sapling. He swears as the axe sticks, and he struggles to get it out. With a mighty tug, he frees it, but sends himself toppling backwards in the process.

“Sh*t,” he says, muttering as he stands up and dusts himself off. With a sigh, he picks the axe up and continues chopping until the tree topples over.

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“TM told me I was gonna have to step things up and prove myself a little, and I’m taking that advice to heart. So I’m not going to sleep in today–Like, Maurice, he’s always up early, always, I’ve just been kind of like, well okay, that’s his choice. He can get up early if he wants to, that shouldn’t mean we all have to get up just because he wants to get up, you know? But I need to prove that I’m thankful for my second chance and that I’m taking it seriously.”

At the campfire, Maurice yawns, allowing himself to warm up a little before heading out into the woods. Nick comes into camp, pieces of chopped wood under his arms.

“Hey Maurice, morning,” Nick greets, smiling.

“Oh, morning Nick,” Maurice says, surprised to see Nick up. “Were you out in the woods cutting that?” He asks, pointing to the wood.

“Yeah,” Nick says. “Just figured I’d, uh… you know, get a head start. Don’t want to leave all the fun stuff for you to do,” he chuckles.

“If you’d waited for me, we could have carried up the tree together and chopped it here,” Maurice says. “Then you wouldn’t have to go back and forth so many times getting the pieces.”

“Yeah, but… Everyone was asleep, I figured it would be quieter doing it out there,” Nick says.

“Oh, good point,” Maurice says. “Well, no harm done by it anyway. Always good to have some extra firewood. Thanks for the help, man.”

“No need to thank me,” Nick says. “It’s all of our camp, we all have to chip in taking care of it.”

“Yeah, but,” Maurice says, “that doesn’t mean everyone does. So thanks for being someone who does.”

In the shelter, Olivia sleeps at the edge closest to the fire. Her buff is pulled over her face, her curls bunched up in a bun poking out from the top. She pulls the buff down a little so she can watch the discussion between the guys.

Olivia- Koryok Tribe
“I was hoping to talk to Nick alone, but of course, Maurice is always up bright and early,” she sighs. “I’m trying to do everything in my power to show the people here on Koryok that I’m trustworthy, so I know it’s kind of crazy, but I promised Nick I’d help him find the idol here at Koryok if I made it through Tribal Council without having to use my own idol. I mean, I was kind of hoping Nick would get voted out last night,” she laughs, “so I wouldn’t have to keep up my end of this deal. But uh, the truth is that I think it’s best for me to follow through. I’m already a big target, I know that, and if anyone even thought for a second that I had two idols, I know people would be coming after me to get rid of them. Having two for myself would be cool, but it’s just not worth all the drawbacks.”

“So hey,” Nick asks Maurice, “would it be cool if I came with you fishing today?”

“Yeah, of course, man!” Maurice says. “But uh… hey, that’s usually something Teddy and I do together?”

“So?” asks Nick. “Why would that be a problem?”

“I mean, I have to see what he says,” Maurice says. “I’m all about forgiveness, dude, I know you’re a good guy–but things between you two ain’t exactly been peaches and cream the last few days, you know what I’m saying?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Nick sighs. “I don’t have any issue with him, man, that’s the thing–I had no idea so many people on the tribe, like… had such a problem with me.

“Well, you know now,” Maurice offers. “And you’re still here.”

“Another three days,” Nick sighs. “After that, who knows?”

“That’s right,” Maurice says. “Who knows? Anything could happen, any one of us could go. Any one of us could win.” He pauses, looking over at the shelter to make sure everyone is sleeping, and then moves in closer to Nick. “Even Hannah could win!” he whispers, and the two begin giggling.

“Shut up dude!” Nick says, jokingly smacking Maurice on the arm. “I’m supposed to be acting nice, remember?”

“Oh come on now, I’m kidding,” Maurice chuckles. “Well, mostly.”

Olivia- Koryok Tribe
“When I got to Koryok, Nick was the first person I approached to work with–how was I supposed to know that not even a day later, he was going to be blowing up his whole game? And I made him a really, really big promise, that if I made it through Tribal Council without having to use my idol, I would help him find the other idol. I’ve been sent to Exile Island three times in a row, so everyone kind of suspects I have a lot of information just based on that fact alone. If I try to mislead him now or double back on our deal, well… it would look really, really bad on my part. And with Nick trying so hard to get back in the tribe’s good graces, the last thing I should be doing is making myself someone he can throw under the bus.”

“Maybe it’s best that I don’t go with you guys,” Nick says. “You’re right–I should keep a little distance on the Teddy front, give him some time.”

 

yv12yk

 

Down in the water, Teddy and Maurice gently row the boat together, heading down the river to the deeper parts.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“Maurice and I have kind of become fishing buddies, funnily enough. I think he was kind of the obvious person to have, you know, be in charge of the fishing situation out here, just because you know, he’s the one with the experience! But I want to be someone who is contributing, who is pulling their weight, and I don’t want to give no one no reason to be putting my name down. I don’t want to give no one the opportunity to point their finger at me and say ‘he’s not doing his part.’ So we’s been going fishing together, and it’s given us time to form a bond, so I’m hoping that my feelings is right and that Maurice is someone I can trust. Because despite my best efforts, my name got put down last night. And I’m not going to just sit and chill about it.”

“So I have a question,” Teddy asks. “What in the hell was happening with Tribal Council last night?” he laughs.

“You’ve got me,” Maurice chuckles in response. “That was pretty wild, right?”

“Wild’s one word for it,” Teddy says. “Infuriating’s another.”

“Infuriating?” Maurice says, a little surprised.

“Okay, maybe that’s just for me, because my name got written down, yours didn’t–but like, man… come on. That was not how it was supposed to go down. How the hell did f*cking Naomi of all people go home? I mean don’t get me wrong, she scared the living hell out of me, but like… over Nick? Over OLIVIA, who didn’t play the damn thing and now is going to be next to impossible to take down?”

“I ain’t happy about it either,” Maurice says. “I did what I was supposed to, so did Tallulah Mae.”

“And you trust Tallulah Mae 100%?” Teddy asks.

“Absolutely,” Maurice says. “With my life.”

“…alright, well that’s what I figured,” Teddy says, smiling in relief. “Because I knew that there was supposed to be two votes for Nick, you and me, and four for Olivia, and there was only one for her. And then there was one for me, I may add.”

“Who do you reckon it’s from?” Maurice asks.

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Teddy sighs.

Maurice- Koryok Tribe
“Teddy is feeling pretty P-O’ed after last night, because he ain’t stupid, he realizes that people have been making plans behind his back, and he’s not happy about it, and well, I can’t blame him! So when he asks me if I know what happened, of course I’m going to tell him no! Come on, I’ve seen what happened to Nick when word got out he was talking about the alliance outside the alliance! I have no reason to tell Teddy the truth, which uh, really sucks, let me tell ya. It’s just not how I’m used to going about living my life, lying to folks. But it’s a game, and you gotta play. And uh, fortunately for me, a guy who don’t like to lie, Teddy did a lot of the playing for me.”

“What I think,” Teddy says, “is that it was probably Naomi. I bet she tried to change the plan first, but nobody went with it but her in the end. And then you, me, for Nick, Tallulah for Olivia, that leaves Nick and those three girls to have voted out Naomi.”

“The three girls being Sheena, Han and Olivia?” Maurice asks.

“Yes!” Teddy exclaims.

“How do you figure them three go together… with Nick?” Maurice asks. “I’m not saying I don’t think you’re right, I just…”

“Think about it, man,” Teddy says. “Nick and Sheena have been inseparable this whole game. There is no way she was going to possibly let him go home out of this game last night. So she needed to find people who would be willing to work with them. Who better than the girl on the outs, Olivia? She’ll be desperate for a move to make of course she’ll be on board. Especially because then she gets to keep the idol!”

“And Hannah?” asks Maurice.

“Hannah is a sweet kid,” Teddy begins, “but she is not the brightest crayon, Maurice. You know she ain’t.”

“They figure they can use her as an easy number,” Maurice says.

“Yup. And it puts Nick and Sheena in total control of the tribe,” Teddy says. “We’re outnumbered, dude. I’m telling you, they are going to be coming for one of us next.”

Maurice- Koryok Tribe
“Teddy basically puts all the pieces together, and… oh, oh man. It’s a good guess, Teddy. That’s a solid guess, but he’s wrong,” he laughs. “Which is all I could hope to hear, honestly. This means me and Tallulah have done a really good job of keeping our alliance with Nick and Sheena from being obvious, because he’s putting all the heat on them and none on me and Tallulah Mae.”

“I think we need to get one of the blondes,” Teddy continues. “I don’t think we’re breaking up Sheena and Nick, man. I think Olivia knows she doesn’t have a lot to lose, so honestly I think she’s the one we need to try and get on our side.”

“We’d only need one more vote,” Maurice says.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“Right now, it’s basically that Sheena has got a little group together to save her pal, and she has four people on their side–her, Nick, Olivia, and Hannah. Then there’s me, Maurice and Tallulah left on the outside, just three of us to get picked off. If we can convince one of their people to flip on that alliance, we’ll have four, and they’ll have three, and we could take a big player out of this game.”

“We could go after Sheena,” Teddy says.

“Sheena?” Maurice asks, a little surprised.

“Man, she is way too strong in this game,” Teddy says. “That woman is the puppet master, I am telling you. That’s why Nick stayed, that’s why Olivia stayed, I promise you this whole thing is built on her shoulders. She’s gonna be hard to take down, and you know it.”

“She’s tough, I’m not saying she ain’t tough,” Maurice says. “But man, you gotta see where I’m coming from here, too. You ain’t like getting your name wrote down one time? Try having it happen three times, Maurice. I bet you that other people are having conversations just like this one, except instead of Sheena, they’re talking about sending me home.”

“I can’t speak for no one else,” Teddy says,” But I don’t want that.” Teddy assures. “I’m just throwing out ideas.” As he talks, he toys with the lures in the box, fiddling with a black lure briefly. “We don’t have to decide what we’re doing right now, we got time… but we just, you know, have to think about it and start coming up with an idea on what the hell we are gonna do. Everyone’s gotta go at some time, right?”

“No, no man, for sure,” Maurice says. “Nothing wrong with spit balling. I just have to be honest here, if Sheena goes, then… well, I don’t want to be public enemy number one, you know?”

“I know,” Teddy laughs. “I’m none too eager to wear that title either.”

Maurice- Koryok Tribe
“Sheena is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met. Though I come from a pretty small town, so I guess maybe I ain’t met a lot of people,” he laughs. “But the point is, that competitiveness she’s got? It makes her hella determined, she’s half my size but I bet she could kick my ass if she really wanted to, guaranteed. So I see why Teddy wants to vote her out, because she is stiff competition. But Sheena’s in my alliance, and I really believe we trust each other. Part of it’s just how we both are, you know? It’s a value we have in common. But it’s smart for us to trust each other, too. It got made very clear to me very early on that people was threatened by me. Sheena keeps some of that target off my back, and I do the same thing for her. We’re safer with each other than we are apart.”

“Oh,” Maurice says suddenly, feeling his line tug. He pulls it in quickly, but there is a strong give at the other end.

“I got a big one, Ted!” Maurice says, pulling hard against the resistance.

“What should I do?” Teddy asks, looking somewhat panicked.

“Help me!” grunts Maurice, tugging, clearly strained. As he pulls, a dorsal fin pierces the top of the water. The fish is clearly quite large. Teddy scrambles over to Maurice, and helps him pull.

“One, two, three, PULL!” Maurice commands, as both men yank hard on the line, causing the fighting fish at the other end to lurch forward.

“Get the knife, GET THE KNIFE!” Maurice yells. Teddy grabs the knife and hands it to Maurice, who puts the line in Teddy’s hands.

“You had better hold on buddy, now pull!” Both men pull as hard as they can, the line digging hard into their skin with tension. Up into the boat surges an enormous taimen, easily over 3 feet long.

“Holy f*cking shit, Jesus Christ!” Teddy yelps. With expert precision, Maurice plunges the knife into the fish, and the thrashing beast falls still.

 

qynyd2

 

Back up at the camp, Olivia gently bounces the tea steeper up and down in the pot, waiting as the leaves infuse into the boiled water. Sheena sits at the edge of the shelter, where Hannah is French braiding her hair into pigtails.

“Tea is ready,” Olivia announces, “if anyone wants some.”

“Me please!” Hannah beams.

“I’ll take some, thanks,” Sheena says, raising her hand as well.

“Honey?” Olivia asks.

“Yes, that would be awesome,” Sheena tells her. “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it,” Olivia says, spooning a dollop of honey into a teacup. Sheena watches as Olivia stirs.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“Olivia… I feel bad, because I told Olivia she could earn my trust if she voted for Teddy, and she did that. But I still don’t trust her,” she laughs. “Olivia is smart, I know she can tell that I’m kind of a power player here on Koryok, and so of course she’ll do what I tell her, she was going to do what she had to do in order to make it through Tribal Council.”

“Perfect,” Sheena says, as Olivia hands her the teacup. “You’re a doll, Liv.”

“Olivia, please,” Olivia says, clearly a little annoyed. “Sorry, Liv just… bugs me.”

“Oh, my bad,” Sheena says. “Sorry, Olivia.”

“It’s cool, totally,” Olivia smiles. Sheena sips her tea.

“Perfect,” Sheena grins.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“Olivia had the guts to jump ship from her tribe to ours, and that’s a huge risk to take, so that tells me she really isn’t afraid to make a big move. And that’s also the person who has a hidden immunity idol. She might even have two. It’s nothing personal, I like her well enough, but I can’t trust her. It’s like she’s got a bomb in her pocket that could go off at any moment if I’m not careful. So I’m treating Olivia with care, and basically approaching her like I’m trying to deactivate a bomb.”

The calm is suddenly broken by voices from the forest.

“Y’all ain’t gonna believe! Y’all AIN’T GONNA BELIEVE!” Teddy’s voice comes booming from the forest. He comes into camp, carrying the tackle box, Maurice behind him, carrying the enormous fish in his arms, as if it’s his horrific mutant bride crossing the threshold.

“Holy sh*t!” Sheena exclaims, her jaw dropping.

“Where in the world did you find that?” Tallulah says, eyes wide.

“The river!” Teddy says. “Where else?”

“We’re gonna eat like dingoes in a maternity ward,” laughs Nick, clearly excited.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“Being the provider, that is a really good feeling. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face when we brought that fish in, it just felt so good to know that you helped do something to put a smile on everyone’s face. And it feels good to take care of the tribe too. Sometimes I do get insecure because, you know, traditionally in relationships it’s the man who is the provider and I can’t’ help but wonder like… you know what I’m saying? I don’t know man, it just feels good to provide because I like showing myself I can do it.”

Over the fire, huge filets of fish sizzle in a hot pan, as Teddy sprinkles salt lightly over the meat.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“The other advantage to being a provider is that it kind of raises your stock a little in the team, you know what I’m saying? You have a little more of a bargaining chip to use, when you come to other people with a plan, they take you a little more seriously. Right now, Maurice is a little hesitant to bite the bullet and vote out Sheena, so I hope this experience lets him see that, you know, him and I do make a good team, and that he doesn’t have to worry because I’m going to have his back.”

With their pieces already cooked, some of the others dig in. Using a stick carved into a crude spoon, Maurice takes a big bite of the fish.

“Mmfm,” he groans. “Oh man, that’s good eatin’,” he sighs.

“Guys, thanks so much for this,” Hannah says, wiping her mouth on her sleeve.

“Yeah, seriously,” agrees Nick. “You guys are rock stars.”

“We make a pretty good team, I guess,” Maurice says with a smile. He holds up his hand to Teddy, and they exchange a high five.

Olivia- Koryok Tribe
“The thing is… as much as it was so, so exciting to eat, this game never stops. And the downside of having this huge meal, is that everyone is going to be tired out. It’s more food than we’re used to, we’re not getting a lot of sleep, plus fish is high in tryptophan, so…”

“Oh man,” Teddy says, yawning, his arms stretching high over his head. “I need to lie down for a second.”

“You’re telling me,” Maurice says. “Wrestling that sucker took a lot out of me.”

“You’re always, working,” Nick says. “Seriously dude, lie down, take a nap. No one cares.”

“Y’all are sure it’s okay?” Maurice asks.

“Good gravy,” sighs Tallulah, exasperated. “Maurice, you are a grown man, you do not need to ask us permission to take a rest.”

“Reward is later today,” Sheena adds. “I’d rather everyone save their energy for that, I mean… we have plenty of firewood right now. Dishes can be washed later. It’s more important that we make sure we win today. We can’t afford another loss to Yenisei.”

As everyone talks, Olivia eyes the tackle box, sitting underneath the shelter.

Olivia- Koryok Tribe
“The hidden immunity idol, I’m almost positive, is in the tackle box. And Koryok keeps that right here up at camp, so it’s hard to find an opportunity to get it without anyone seeing. I was hoping I’d have a chance today, but with everyone lying around literally right on top of it? There’s no way. So I’m going to have to keep biding my time.”

 

xoz1mm

 

In the woods, Sheena stands in front of Nick, arms crossed.

“So, do you have it yet?” Sheena asks.

“Have what?” Nick responds, a little taken off guard.

“The idol,” Sheena says. “Has what’s-her-face given it to you yet?”

“Olivia?  No, she hasn’t,” Nick says. “Jesus Christ, we’re only a few hours into the day. It’s not like there’s been a great opportunity for it.”

“I mean, we found time to talk,” Sheena says, “so I don’t know why she couldn’t.”

“I was working!” Nick says. “Like, you know… actually doing stuff. Isn’t that what you wanted me to do?”

“No!” Sheena says, clearly irritated. “You should be doing your fair share of work anyway, that has nothing to do with anything! You shouldn’t have been getting up early to cut wood, you should have been getting Olivia up early to get that idol from her, she owes you Nick, you guys said you had a deal!”

“Well how was I supposed to know that?” Nick says, throwing his hands up in the air, looking incredulous. “I’m not a mind reader, how am I supposed to know what you want me to do if you’re not telling me?”

“How am I supposed to tell you anything if I can’t trust you?” Sheena fires back.

“Is that what this is really about?” Nick says, frowning. “I thought we were past this.”

“I wish we could be, you have no idea how much I wish that were the case,” Sheena says, pained. “I’m sorry that I’m being so crazy right now,” she sighs. “I didn’t mean to bite your head off like that, it’s just… look, if there was just some big misunderstanding that would be one thing. But there isn’t, Nick. You betrayed my trust once. How do I know you won’t do it again?”

“Because I’d be an idiot after what happened the first time?” Nick says. “My lips are sealed from now on, I swear.”

“It’s not just about what you tell other people,” Sheena says. “How do I know I can trust what you’re telling me?”

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“The truth is it would have been so easy to send Nick home last night, so easy. We could have piled our votes on him and kicked him out the door, and he’d have been helpless to stop it. But Nick’s just one aspect of my game, and I had to consider the whole big picture, and right now a big part of that picture is Olivia. I don’t want anyone in this game having two idols, especially someone like her who is such a wildcard. Knowing that I might be able to use Nick to keep that from happening? That makes me want to keep Nick, so yeah, finding out Olivia promised him an idol influenced my decision. So if it turns out Nick was making up a story to save himself? I’ll rip his head off, I swear to God.”

“So now I’m a liar?” Nick asks. “Everything I say is just a lie?”

“Oh my God, can you stop trying to put words in my mouth? I really don’t appreciate that,” Sheena says. “All I’m saying is that we both know that this is a game where people lie, and you have to try and see it from my perspective. It’s great that you got up early to get firewood, seriously, it is. I appreciate that effort, but you could bring me all the firewood in the world today and still write my name down tomorrow, you know? Firewood doesn’t prove your loyalty or your integrity.”

“How about my vote?” Nick says. “I know you know which vote was mine last night.”

“The one with the snakes,” Sheena mutters.

“I voted for Naomi, just like we agreed, and the time before that, I voted for Everett, just like we agreed. And like—look, you know I don’t get along with Hannah. I’ve made it very clear to you I don’t want to work with her, I’ve made it very clear she’s my target, and you’ve never once given it an ounce of consideration, and I always come through and vote with our alliance in spite of that.”

“So is that why you told Naomi about the alliance? So she would help you vote Hannah out and you wouldn’t have to listen to her talk about the E! network anymore? I hate to tell you but that’s not exactly a compelling argument.”

“It was a MISTAKE!” Nick hisses. “It was a mistake to tell Naomi, okay? I thought telling her would get her to trust me so she could work with us, how was I supposed to know she would try and turn it against me?”

“That’s why you don’t tell people things if you can’t trust them, Nick—because you don’t’ know if they’ll use it against you!”

“Well I thought I could trust her, okay?”

“No, it’s not okay!” Sheena says. “Because you didn’t need her, you had an alliance! You had me!”

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“Sheena is really breathing down my neck about this idol and this whole situation before with Naomi, and my head is just spinning right now. I thought we had started to move past this, but apparently that was just me being an idiot. I know she’s feeling hurt because she feels like I betrayed her trust, and I want to be empathetic to that, because I don’t like seeing her so upset. I want to make this situation better. But like, what am I supposed to do? I don’t know where this idol is hidden, Olivia does. What if it’s like, under the shelter? Am I just supposed to dig it up in front of the whole tribe?”

“You have to be patient, please, please Sheena, I’m begging you,” Nick says. “I didn’t realize how big of a priority it was that I get the idol, okay? We’ll get it after the challenge today, I promise.”

“What if we lose, Nick?” Sheena asks. “They’ll exile Olivia again and then we’ll be waiting until after immunity. And if we lose that? I’m not going to let you say ‘let’s wait until after tribal.’ I just don’t want this dragged out, okay?”

“It won’t be, I promise,” Nick says, sighing. “Look, I get that this is a game. If you really don’t feel like you can trust me, vote me out. Nothing’s stopping you. But if we’re going to keep being an alliance, I need to be getting just a little bit of faith from you, Sheena. I’ll get that idol, you just need to give me the chance to do it.”

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“I know I made myself totally clear with Nick as to where I stand with him. I don’t want him feeling comfortable. He needs to realize that just because Naomi got voted out instead of him doesn’t mean he’s off the hot seat, that we rewind and pretend nothing ever happened.”

 

 

Reward Challenge Day 16

Jail Break

           E6 reward Challege

“Come on in guys!”

For the first time in a while, it’s Yenisei who enters the challenge first, their four members all bright and energized for the task ahead as Zeke places their flag. Excitedly, they all look off into the distance, eager to see what has become of Koryok as the white tribe makes their entrance.

“Olivia’s still in,” Charlotte gasps in surprise as Koryok enters.

“Yenisei, getting your first look at the new Koryok Tribe,” Jeff says. “Naomi voted out at the last Tribal Council.”

“Woooow,” Huang says, mouth agape.

“Aw, I liked her,” Vince pouts as Koryok takes their places at their mat.

“Some big reactions over on Yenisei to the vote,” Jeff observes before getting into the challenge. “Huang, what’s the surprise?”

“It’s just well, hey you know, Olivia was the ‘easy vote,’” Huang says, “I think we kind of expected that she’d be out, but you know, good for her that she’s not.”

“Well ok,” mutters Olivia to herself.

Jeff nods in understanding. “Alright, you guys ready to get to today’s reward challenge?”

The castaways cheer and applaud in anticipation and agreement.

“Here’s how it works,” Jeff begins. “One member of the tribe will build a pole by tying together sticks with pieces of rope. Your goal is to build a pole long enough and sturdy enough to hook a key on the other side of a gate. You will use that key to open the gate, where you will find the second member of the tribe tied up. Untie them, and then both of you will add to the pole to collect two keys to unlock two locks. You’ll repeat this for the next person, but for three keys. Once you have all four members of the tribe untied, you will then dig out from under the final gate, and cross the finish line. The first tribe to get all their members across wins reward. Wanna know what you’re playing for?”

Everyone cheers. Jeff pulls the cover off the table next to him, revealing eleven wrapped baskets, each with a tag bearing the name of a castaway.

“Each of you have been sent a care package from home,” Jeff explains. “Your friends and family have sent you letters, photos, and some of your personal favorite snacks from home. You guys have been out here now for a while and I’m sure everyone is missing home.”

Teddy nods emphatically. Charlotte looks as though she might burst into tears at any moment.

“In addition, the winning tribe will get to select one member of the losing tribe to be sent to Exile Island. Worth playing for?”

Everyone nods and claps.

“Koryok,” Jeff continues, “You have three extra members, that means you must sit three people out for this challenge. Remember, you cannot sit the same people out in back-to-back challenges, so whoever sits out today must compete in the immunity challenge—keep that in mind when making your decision.”

Koryok huddles to confirm their choices, before revealing to Jeff what they’ll do.

“Okay,” Sheena says, “It’s gonna be me, Tallulah, Teddy.”

Jeff nods. “So competing for Koryok we have Hannah, Nick, Olivia and Maurice. Sheena, Teddy, Tallulah, you can take a seat on the sit-out bench. Everyone else, I’ll give you a moment to strategize, and then we’ll go ahead and get started.”

With their choices made, the castaways set up for the challenge. Jeff stands, ready to observe the contest.

“Starting off for Koryok, we have Maurice; for Yenisei, it’s going to be Vince.”

“You got this Uncle Vinnie!” Zeke cheers from his cell. Vince gives him a thumbs up.

 

“SURVIVORS READY? GO!”

 

On Jeff’s word, Maurice and Vince are off, both heading forward to start collecting sticks and twine to use for their pole. Maurice works quickly, while Vince is moving a little more methodically and steadily.

“Maurice is whipping through those knots,” Jeff says, watching carefully as Maurice connects piece after piece, wrapping and tying rope along the sticks.

“Take your time, Vince!” Charlotte encourages.

Feeling confident with what he’s put together, Maurice stands, grabbing his pole and taking it to the edge of the first gate, where he slides his arms through. His pole wobbles slightly as he gently maneuvers it.

“Maurice going for that first key,” Jeff observes. “Vince taking a different approach, hoping slow and steady wins the race.”

“Yeah, that’s it Maurice!” Nick encourages as Maurice hooks the first key. The pole bends a little under the weight, but he manages to make it through. Maurice drops his pole and excitedly works the key into the lock. The mechanism pops open and Maurice runs through, where he begins untying Nick, his huge, rough hands working against the knots of rope.

“Dang it, these are tough!” Maurice mutters.

“Vince now ready to give it a go,” Jeff observes, as Vince stands with his pole. He goes slowly, his pole looking strong and secure. Over on Koryok, Nick has been freed, and he and Maurice are now working on adding to the next section of pole.

“You’ve got the lead!” calls Sheena from the sideline. “Make sure it’s secure!”

“I am!” Maurice replies.

“Vince with the key for Yenisei!” Jeff calls as Vince manages to get his key. He gently pushes the pole back through the gate and onto the ground, before he opens the gate and begins to quickly work at Huang’s knot. Quickly becoming frustrated, Vince begins to gnaw at the rope, hoping to loosen the knots with his teeth.

“That’s it Vinnie!” whoops Zeke from his cell.

“Vince not too proud to use his teeth!” Jeff calls. Meanwhile, Maurice and Nick seem to have their pole ready to move towards the second keys as Nick picks up the pole.

“You sure you don’t want me to do it?” Maurice asks.

“I’ve got it,” Nick says.

“Koryok now working on getting their next key,” Jeff says.

“Careful,” Maurice warns as the pole wobbles. Moving slowly, Nick gets his stick under the key ring, the pole once again flexing under the weight of the tool.

“Slow and steady,” whispers Maurice.

“Oh, this is so nerve wracking,” Tallulah says from the bench.

“Huang now free,” Jeff says, seeing that Vince has now gotten the stunt driver free. Huang immediately runs to start collecting more sticks and twine, while Vince starts immediately adding to his pole, once again moving slowly, focusing on tying complex, tight knots.

“Yes!” Nick cheers as he pulls the key through, handing it off to Maurice as he goes to get the other key.

“Huang, see how I’m doing it?” Vince asks.

“Yeah,” Huang says.

“Do it.” Vince barks.

“Yes sir!” Huang says, beginning to connect two more sections of stick.

“There we go boys!” Hannah cheers from her cell as Nick manages to get the second key through. Maurice immediately opens a lock with it while Nick opens the other, and they both rush through to the third cell, where they begin to work on the knots securing Olivia to a hitching post.

“Koryok is maintaining that lead!” calls Jeff.

“Okay, that’s good,” Vince says to Huang, taking the section Huang has worked on and attaching it to his existing pole.

“It’s all you now, Donkey,” Vince says, securing his final not. Huang takes the pole and approaches the next gate, moving his pole steadily through. It is clearly quite sturdily built.

“Yenisei has built a pole that is more than long enough,” Jeff notes as Huang quickly secures the next key. He’s able to move much more rapidly than the older Vince, and is quickly back with the first key and on to the second. With the gate open, Huang begins to make quick work of the knots trapping Zeke.

“Good work boys!” Charlotte encourages.

Jeff’s attention turns to the Koryoks as they free their third player.

“Olivia now free for Koryok!” Jeff notes. They quickly begin to start adding more to the pole.

“We need to go back and secure some of the old knots,” Maurice says, as he begins to reinforce some of the out of place pieces that have shifted during use.

“Zeke now free! Just like that, Yenisei is caught up!”

“Amazing work!” Charlotte cheers.

“Come on guys, you’ve got this!” Teddy calls from the sidelines.

“Zeke, see how I’m doing it?” Vince asks.

“I got it, Uncs, we good,” Zeke says, starting to secure a few sections of his own.

“I don’t think we need that much more,” Vince says. “Cause I worked ahead,” he grins.

“Everyone working now on that final pole!” Jeff announces. “You need to be sure you are making the right piece of equipment for the job!”

“I think we’re good,” Nick says, as Maurice lifts the pole through the gate again. Olivia can’t help but grimace as the pole tweaks slightly. Maurice pauses, and then slows his pace as he moves the pole gently towards the next key. He is able to get the edge of the pole through the ring, but when he goes to lift the key, the pole isn’t strong enough. The pole flexes heavily. Maurice is finally able to lift the key off, but the pole can’t take it, and it falls apart, the key dropping in the dirt.

“Oh for f*cks sake,” Sheena groans from the sideline, pacing nervously.

“NO!” cries Olivia in horror.

“Come on!” Nick roars.

“Theirs just fell apart!” Charlotte exclaims, clearly thrilled.

“Total disaster for Koryok!” Jeff grimaces. A frustrated Maurice scrambled to collect more wooden pieces as Nick desperately ties them together.

“They have to rebuild their whole thing,” Charlotte says, “take your time!”

“Rev, that’s good,” Vince says. “Huang, tie your bit to Rev’s, nice and strong, okay?”

“On it,” Huang nods as he follows Vince’s instructions. As they work, so do Koryok, but it’s clear the collapse of their pole has the white tribe frantic. With a somewhat long piece, Maurice crawls on his belly towards the bottom of the gate, and angles his arms through to try and drag the dropped key along the ground, but he finds himself just short of being able to reach.

“Maurice is just short!” Jeff calls.

“Dang it!” Maurice grunts, frustratedly dragging his stick back through the gate.

“Here we go,” Vince says, securing the final pieces of the Yenisei pole together.

“You have to make sure it’s secure,” Olivia snaps at Nick.

“I am!” Nick snaps back.

“Easy peasy,” Huang whispers over on Yenisei, having an easy time retrieving the next key.

“Huang with the first of three keys, just like that Yenisei is in the lead!” Jeff calls.

“Of course they are,” Sheena mutters, putting her hand over her eyes.

“Don’t give up,” Maurice encourages.

“Huang with the second key!” announces Jeff as Huang easily threads the next key back through the gate. With awesome dexterity, he heads back out, the pole strong and sturdy as intended. Stretching as far as he can, Huang hooks the last key, easily lifting it back through the gate. Desperate to catch up, Nick tries putting the Koryok pole through, but it once again falls apart.

Each of the three Yenisei men unlocks one of the locks, and they move quickly into the third cell, where Huang works on Charlotte’s knots.

“Yenisei onto the final stage!” Jeff calls. As Huang unties Charlotte, Vince and Zeke are both on their knees, digging hard and fast to build a hole to free the tribe.

“Don’t give up!” Hannah calls to her tribemates. “I think they’ll need a really big hole to get Santa through, so maybe we can catch up!”

“Charlotte is now free!” Jeff says as Huang unleashes her final knots. She and Huang join the others to dig.

“Alright, Mr. Skinny, you first,” Vince says, slapping Zeke on the shoulder. Zeke gets on his back and begins to crawl under the cage.

“Zeke is giving it a go!” Jeff calls.

“Zeke is through,” Zeke mumbles to himself as he pulls himself up and under. Once he’s oriented, he begins digging more on the other side. Charlotte begins to head under next, as Huang basically pushes her by her thighs up and through.

“Koryok, not giving up!” Jeff observes as once again, Maurice reaches with a wobbly pole. The pole isn’t the strongest, but it’s secure enough to help them pull the fallen key close. Nick reaches through the gate to grab it.

“Huang now through for Yenisei!” Jeff calls, as Huang makes it up and under. Vince is the last go, getting the upper half of his body through before his prominent belly bumps up against the bar.

“Suck it in, gramps!” Huang says, grabbing Vince by the arms. “One, two, THREE!” he counts off, pulling hard on Vince, getting him to pop through the gap. Vince yelps in shock.

“That’s it!” Jeff calls. “Yenisei is through!”

“Not again,” sighs Olivia.

With great jubilation, the Yenisei tribe crosses the finish line.

 

“YENISEI! WINS REWARD!”

 

“YEAAAAHHHH!” roars Huang, pumping his arms in the air. Vince and Zeke share a huge embrace. On Koryok, Hannah stands looking sad, her arms still bound. A frustrated Nick kicks the pole, shattering it.

With the challenge over, the players return to their respective mats in front of Jeff.

“Yenisei, you guys had a strategy to go slow and steady, and it payed off for you,” Jeff says. “But before you enjoy a taste from home,” Jeff says, “who from Koryok is going to Exile Island?”

Yenisei huddles together, whispering as they talk it over.

“So uh, we wanna keep this streak of ours going and try and give ourselves the best shot at immunity,” Zeke explains, “so we gotta weaken the opposition. So with that said, it’s gonna be Sheena.”

Olivia sighs in relief. Sheena crosses her arms, her expression tightening.

“Sheena, you don’t look too pleased,” Jeff says.

“It’s because I’m not,” Sheena says. “No one wants to go to Exile Island. But I guess I don’t have a choice, so…” she shrugs. “Bring it on.”

“You’ve got this,” Tallulah tells her. Sheena heads over to Jeff, who hands her a map.

“You’ll rejoin your tribe at the next immunity challenge,” Jeff tells Sheena. “You can head on out.”

“Bye guys,” Sheena says, waving to her tribe.

“Stay strong! We love you!” Nick says.

As Sheena heads out, Jeff turns to Yenisei.

“Yenisei, you guys can come on over, get your care packages and head on out.”

The Yenisei’s excitedly swarm the table, looking for the packages with their names. With huge smiles, they grab their stuff and head out.

“As for the rest of you, Koryok,” Jeff says, “I’ve got nothing for you. Grab your stuff and head back to camp.”

 

Yenisei Day 16

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The sun is beaming brightly through a cloudless sky. The same brightness is reflected in the energy of the Yenisei castaways as they return to their camp, exalted in victory. Each carries a wrapped basket in their arms.

Huang- Yenisei Tribe
“Another W for Yenisei!” he cheers, pumping his fist in the air. “The last few challenges have been a real turnaround for us. We had a strong start, won the first few, and then just… I don’t even totally know what happened, but it was like we couldn’t win a damn thing. Like, sometimes it wasn’t even close, we just got our asses handed to us by Koryok. So to then go and win three in a row? It’s such a morale boost for all of us. And this particular win is a really amazing reward, because it’s stuff from our friends and family back home. I actually feel a little bad for Koryok, because this is the one they probably really wanted, but uh, you know… too bad for them!” he laughs.

The castaways sit around the “kitchen table,” with each of them putting their baskets before them as they begin to unwrap their care packages.

“Ahhh!” Charlotte gasps, enthralled. “Chocolate!”

“I’ll trade you for some of that,” Zeke offers.

“What are you offering?” asks Charlotte.

“I’ve got potato chips,” Zeke says.

“Why don’t we all just mix it up?” Charlotte says. “Share what we’ve been given?”

“I don’t know about that,” Huang says. As he puts his food out on the table, most of it has Chinese writing on it. “A lot of this is from my parents in Hong Kong, so I can’t promise you guys will like it that much.” One package is filled with a shredded, dried substance. A cartoonish looking squid illustrates the packaging. Another bag appears to be filled with chips, but has pictures of fish on the bag.

“Well, we won’t know unless we try, right?” Zeke says, smiling.

“Just don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Huang laughs.

Zeke reaches into one of the bag with the squid and takes a pinch of the shredded looking food, putting it in his mouth. His face immediately contorts, and he begins to gag. The others can’t help but laugh at Zeke’s predicament as the pastor turns to spit out the squid.

“Told you man!” Huang laughs.

“I said I’d try,” Zeke says, wiping his mouth with his buff.

“We’ll have you stick to chips, Rev,” laughs Vince, as he pats Zeke on the back.

Huang- Yenisei Tribe
“On top of it all, we got food with reward too, which is amazing, because it means we’ll be that much stronger going into immunity. I feel really good about my relationships with each of my tribemates, but I also know they’re all really close with each other, too, with them all sharing the same religion. You can tell that because Zeke is a pastor, that really drew Charlotte and Uncle Vinnie to him right at the start. If we do end up going to another Tribal Council, I’m nervous that they could all stick together, and I’d be the odd one out.”

As the tribe snacks on their goodies from home, they go through the pictures they’ve received as well.

“That must be your daughter,” Huang jokes, pointing at one of Charlotte’s pictures. It depicts a young woman in a gown, standing onstage with a sash and tiara as a man in a suit hands her a huge bouquet of roses.

“Hasn’t anyone ever told you to respect your elders?” Charlotte chides kiddingly. “This is me, I must have been… twenty two here. So this is almost a whole lifetime ago,” she says wistfully, before handing Huang a different photo. “This is my daughter. And my son, and husband.”

“It’s crazy finally seeing them,” Huang says. “Uncle Vinnie, you have to have a picture of CeCe there we can finally see… see,” he giggles.

“BWARHAHAHA!!!!” Vince cackles. As Vince busts up in laughter, Zeke can’t help but laugh too, which gets Charlotte laughing as well.

“See, Uncle Vinnie,” says Zeke, wiping his eyes, “ this is why I love you, man. Huang just made the most corniest joke and here you is, howlin’ like you just watching the Jay Leno show.”

“I can’t help it!” Vince laughs. “I’m a big guy, I got big funny bones!”

Zeke once again is overcome with laughter. “That’s not even funny!” he laughs, struggling to stop.

Zeke- Yenisei Tribe
“These is the kinds of rewards that are really, truly the rewards that is worth playing for out here, the kind that really bring us together, not just as a team, but as a family. There ain’t a lot to be doin’ out here besides work, pray and talk. And so you spend a lot of time talking with the same people about the same things, hearing about they families, they lives back home, and you hearing about the same people and the same stories time and time again. So finally getting to see Hunter and Mackenzie, or Miss CeCe, to finally put faces to the names you hear spoken with so much love, that’s wild. That’s priceless. The food in the basket was nice, I mean don’t get me wrong,” he chuckles, “I love me my cornbread. But it was the food for our souls we really needed.”

“What’s this one?” Vince asks rhetorically, as he shuffles to his next photo.

“It looks like an ultrasound,” Charlotte says, peeking over at the image.

“Must be one of the grandkids,” Vince ponders.

“But look at the date,” Charlotte says, pointing at the upper corner. “This is just the other week!”

“It looks like something’s written on the back, dude,” Huang says, positioned across the table from Vince. Vince flips the ultrasound over and begins to read.

“’We want you to meet the newest member of the family,’” Vince reads, his voice quaking. “’Congrats on being a grandpa—again! Love, Anna and Steve!’ My girl is having a baby!” Vince’s eyes well with tears. “My little Anna’s gonna be a mom.”

“Vincent!” Charlotte squeals in excitement. “Vincent, congratulations!” she throws her arms around him in a big hug. Zeke and Huang soon join in.

Vince- Yenisei Tribe
“Wow, that one hit me like a ton of bricks.” He wipes his eyes, with his buff, still holding the sonogram. “Anna’s my only girl, and she’s… she’s gone through her share of sh*t, you know? And it’s not my place to go into that on the TV, but what I’ll tell you is that I’ve had a lot of times in the past where I’ve been worried about that one, my little Annabelle. Every parent just wants to see their kids happy at the end of the day. When you’re young, having your first child, you have all these ideas and these expectations about who they’ll be and how they’ll be, but you don’t know. And once you go through the ups and downs, you realize that the most you can hope for outta your kid is that they’re happy, that’s all.”

“So this is number five, huh?” Zeke asks.

“Yeah, five grandkids, holy sh*t,” Vince says, whistling in awe. “First one from Anna, though.”

“She must be so excited,” Charlotte says.

“I bet you she is,” Vince says. “She’s always wanted to be a mom. Just a matter of finding the right man.”

Vince- Yenisei Tribe
“It’s really hard, getting such big news from home when I’m so far away, let me tell you. I want to give my girl a hug and a big kiss and tell her how proud I am of her and how excited I am for her. I want to be there for her through this because it doesn’t matter that she’s married and off on her own, living her life, you never stop being a dad, and let me tell you, as hard as I worked, my own dad, he drilled it into my big head that all that hard work ain’t worth jack-diddly if you aren’t there for your family when they need you. I can’t be there for her though, not right now. So uh… that’s some sh*t, I’ll tell you,” he chuckles. “And if I can’t be there for them, then I’m gonna make sure I’m here for my Survivor family, my Yeniseis. These letters, they could make you really homesick, but they also are making us stronger out here.”

 

“Well I’m sure you want more information,” Charlotte says. “If you want to go start reading your letters, I promise, the rest of us don’t mind.”

 

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Charlotte now sits alone at the table, reading over one of her letters. Zeke sits doing the same off near the chapel, while Vince and Huang find private spaces of their own as well. As Charlotte’s eyes move across the paper, tears immediately begin to swell, her face glowing red with emotion.

Charlotte- Yenisei Tribe
“After we had some snacks and went through the pictures, I think we all just wanted to find a bit of privacy so we could see what our families had written us. Because being away from them… that’s really the hardest part of all this.”

Charlotte dabs her tears with her buff as she continues to read her letters.

Charlotte- Yenisei Tribe
“I think for a lot of moms out there, it becomes second nature to put your family ahead of yourself. That’s how it’s been for me. And so for as much as I want to be out here, playing this amazing game and taking full advantage of this incredible opportunity, I do feel guilty, because it’s meant leaving behind my children and my husband, it’s meant not being there if they need me. Getting to hear that everyone is doing okay, that they’re making it just fine without me there, that’s such a relief.”

As Charlotte reads over one letter in particular, it’s clear that something has hit her very hard, and she begins to weep almost uncontrollably.

Charlotte- Yenisei Tribe
“This is the letter I got from Hunter,” she says, holding up one of the letters to the camera, “my baby boy. And…” she pauses, taking a moment to sniffle. “And teenage boys, they aren’t exactly known for their sensitivity,” she chuckles, “but he gave me so much love and so much support. And uh, he said something that stuck with me… ‘I don’t tell you enough how much I love you,’” she begins to read, “ ‘Not only do I love you, but you’re my hero, Mom. You are always there for me and you always support me, and Dad and Mack too. Now it’s our turn to support you. We are rooting and praying for you so hard. Even though I miss you so much, I am so happy and proud that you are chasing your dreams. I’m so proud that you’re my mom because you’re the best mom in the world.’” At this point, rereading the letter has proven to be too emotional for Charlotte, as she begins to cry again.

Meanwhile, Zeke sits under the woven chapel, where reads his own letter with tears streaming down his face.

Zeke- Yenisei Tribe
“My mom’s my hero. She had the hustle and the drive to keep pushing for the sake of me and the sake of my sisters, and I don’t think I could ever repay her for the sacrifices she made for us. That’s kind of the whole point for me being out here, because a million dollars could do so much for my mom. I want her to have a good life, she deserves it. And I mean, it’s crazy for me, because even with her a million miles away back home, with her words, she’s still being that rock for me. I’m just feelin’ so blessed right now. It’s just like… unreal. ”

Over in the shelter, Huang pours over a letter of his own. His eyes dart along line after line of Cantonese script.

Huang- Yenisei Tribe
“Is it bad that I didn’t expect to hear from my mom?” he laughs. “It’s not that she doesn’t love me, but uh… she’s not wild about a lot of my choices. If she had her way, I’d be in medical school right now, not driving. And certainly not out in the middle of nowhere on a reality game show. When my parents went back to Hong Kong and I decided to stay behind… that really broke her heart. And it took me a really long time to like, not feel guilty about that. To realize for myself that that I’m not responsible for how she feels. And that’s definitely a more American concept, because where my parents are from, kids usually don’t put their own dreams front and center, they sacrifice for the sake of their family. My Mom says a lot that she lost me to America, which is… hard. It’s hard to feel like you let down the people you love. So to just get a letter from her that’s so loving and so supportive, that’s such a good surprise.”

Huang bites his lip and puts his sunglasses on, clearly trying to avoid letting the others see him cry—even though it’s clear everyone else is engrossed in their own letters.

Huang- Yenisei Tribe
“Weird thing is, playing Survivor has kind of taught me a little more about how she might feel. About what it’s like when someone breaks your trust and shatters your expectations. Like, when I put my trust in Gunnar, and he went behind my back after Charlotte. Especially cause of how things are with my mom, I’m not always quick to trust people, and I put a lot of trust in him and a lot of faith that we were a team, just like we had been saying. But I mean, he had his own goals, we all want to win this game for ourselves at the end of the day. So can I really be mad at him for doing what he thought was the best for his own chances? Like, not really. But it still hurt.”

Huang grabs a handful of shredded squid and munches on it as he continues to read, smiling as he scans over a funny line.

Huang- Yenisei Tribe
“I’ve been playing this game with my heart, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing. Some people might think that’s stupid, or not the right approach, but everything I’ve achieved in my life has come from following my heart. And right now, my heart is big and full of love, so best believe, Donkey Huang is ready to rumble. Koryok doesn’t stand a chance.”

 

Koryok Day 17

 

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Hannah sits at the fire, picking at her nails. The only sounds in camp are the crackling of the fire and the chatter of birds in the surrounding conifers. Hannah stretches her arms high over her head as she stands up, letting out a huge yawn as her shirt rides up her stomach.

“I’m bored, so I’m going for like, a walk or something,” she announces to no one in particular.

“Mhmf,” mutters Olivia, who is lying in the middle of the shelter, napping. Teddy sleeps on the opposite end, buff over his face. As Hannah heads out of camp, Teddy pulls his buff up ever so slightly to peek at the camp around him. He notices that in addition to Olivia, Nick is also in the shelter, doodling boredly on his Etch-A-Sketch.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“I’m so angry we didn’t get those letters from home, man, I cannot begin to tell you how badly I needed those. But that being said, there is a silver lining to losing reward, which is that Sheena got exiled, so she’s out of camp for the day, and that’s a great opportunity for me because I want to get Sheena voted out of here. I really need the opportunity to talk to Olivia alone, because she’s going to be the swing vote in all of this, but I just can’t get her alone! And of course, once again, who’s the culprit? Nicky Styx. He will not get his ass up out of this shelter! I’m thinking I should be like ‘I heard they just opened a microbrewery down at the riverside,’ maybe that will get him out of here,” he laughs.

Meanwhile, Nick concentrates on his etch a sketch drawing with frustrated focus.

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“Now that Sheena’s been exiled, I feel like there’s an extra pressure on me to get the idol. I would love for her to come back to camp with being able to show her I got it, because I need for her to see how serious I am about our alliance. Like, even when I told Naomi things about the alliance, it was not because I ever had intentions of not working with Sheena, I was just trying to cover my bases, you know? So I’m waiting at camp, trying to get Olivia alone so we can finally get this over with, but uh, Teddy is taking himself a cat nap, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon. Fortunately for me, I’m a pretty creative guy, so naturally, I do a little creative problem solving.”

Nick gingerly places the Etch-A-Sketch on the shelter next to him, and taps Olivia on the arm, watching to make sure Teddy is still asleep. Olivia turns to Nick, confused. She opens her mouth to say something, but Nick puts a finger up to his lips, indicating quietness. He points to the Etch-A-Sketch. Olivia sits up to look at the screen. It reads “IDOL.”

Olivia sees it and nods. She turns, checking on Teddy to ensure he’s still asleep.

“Hey Nick,” she asks, “wanna play Scrabble?”

“Yeah, sounds good,” Nick responds.

Nick and Olivia move to sit near the fire, where a tree stump between two logs serves as a makeshift table, where Olivia places the board. She grabs the bag of tiles and begins searching through them.

“FISH BOX,” she writes out of on the board. Nick turns his focus towards the shelter. The tackle box sits tucked just under the platform, right under where Teddy is sleeping. Nick points to confirm, and Olivia nods. Nick stands up, takes a deep breath, and walks over to the shelter, quietly. He crouches down in front of Teddy, moving slowly for the tackle box. Gently, he grabs the box by its sides and lifts it, backing away from the shelter slowly. Olivia watches in the background, staring intently at Teddy to make sure he isn’t catching on. Indeed, Teddy seems entirely undisturbed.

Nick places the tackle box next to the stump, positioning it so that Teddy can’t see it from the shelter, and he opens the lid. Olivia collects and places more tiles.

“BLACK WHITE,” she places. Nick nods, and begins searching through the lures. His eyes scan through, fingers gently prying to avoid pointed fishhooks. He smiles as one lure catches his eye—a black fish with a white tasseled tail, wrapped tightly in fishing line. With the fish in hand, he begins unspooling the fishing line, Olivia watching intently. Sure enough, a small folded note falls out of the coiled wire. She grabs it and hands it to Nick.

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“All of a sudden, there it is, in my hands, the idol! The real f*cking deal!” he dangles the fishing lure from his pinched forefinger and thumb. “I’m trying to hold in how badly I just want to jump up in the air and just laugh, I don’t need Teddy seeing that I have this, are you kidding me?” he laughs.

As quietly as they can, Nick and Olivia begin cleaning up the scrabble board and the tackle box, both clearly eager to get out of camp for a brief moment.

“I, uh… gotta go to the bathroom,” Nick says, heading off to the forest.

Once he’s a safe distance away, Nick unfolds the paper and whispers the contents quietly aloud.

Koryok Immunity Idol

“’Congratulations,’” he reads. “’You have found a Hidden Immunity Idol. By redeeming this idol to the host of the game after the votes are cast but before they are read, you will activate the idol’s powers, nullifying any and all votes against you, granting yourself safety for three more days. Beware–the idol will lose its powers at the end of the 36th day.’ Oh wow. Holy f*ck,” he laughs. “Is it wrong that I’m a little turned on right now?” he giggles.

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“I’m just so relieved, I’m don’t know if there’s a word for the weight that I feel like came off my shoulders just now. Having this means so much more than me being safe, I mean, that’s a huge part of it, but this means that Olivia was telling me the truth, that I can really trust her… this means that I’m not going to disappoint Sheena when she comes back to camp. I feel like Charlie just finding the Golden Ticket. In the ’71 version of course, with Gene Wilder. Not that Johnny Depp garbage.”

 

0vw1ax

 

Back up at the camp, Olivia sits at the fire, putting her hair up. She looks over to Teddy, checking to see he’s still asleep, before she stands up and begins to head towards the tree line.

“Hey, Liv!” Teddy whispers suddenly. Olivia stops and turns around to face the shelter, where Teddy has now sat up, pulling his buff off his face. “Yo, okay, we need to talk before he gets back.”

“Who, Nick?” Olivia asks.

“Yeah,” Teddy says, “come on, please. This is important.”

Olivia- Koryok, Hair Up
“If Nick and I both got up and left at the same time, it could look suspicious, and I didn’t feel like there was any point in taking unnecessary risks, so I thought I’d wait for a minute or two. Nick just got the idol, and I want to talk with him about it, about how he can use it. But before I get a chance to leave, Teddy wakes up and says he wants to talk. And I’m just like, wow, did you pick a bad time.”

“Of course,” Olivia says, heading towards the shelter.

“I know we don’t have a lot of time to talk, so we can hash out some of the details later,” Teddy says, “so Imma just hit you with the basics, but long story short, how would you feel about getting Sheena up out this bitch?”

Olivia’s eyes widen in delight.

“I’d feel really good about that, Teddy, oh my god. I didn’t think there was anyone here willing to even go against her!” Olivia gasps.

“I ain’t think so either,” Teddy says, putting his glasses on, “but I’m like… look, I can’t sit here and just do whatever she says, that’s not getting me anywhere. And I know you feel like you’ve gotta kiss her ass because on account of you being the new kid on the block, so to speak.”

“Yeah, totally,” Olivia says.

“I think people have just been scared to make waves and mess with the status quo,” Teddy says, “and we are all getting played for it, and there’s no reason to sit around and just let it happen to us.”

“So you think other people are starting to feel like they’re getting bossed around by her?” Olivia asks.

“I’ve talked to people who are considering it,” Teddy says, “so I can’t promise it’s a done deal, but I think the more people who we can get to lock into this seriously, the better a chance we have.”

Olivia- Koryok, Hair Up
“When I came over to Koryok in the first place, I was hoping that there would be people on this tribe who weren’t content with their place in the tribe, people who wanted to make a move who might need me as a number. And uh, that didn’t really happen right away. So it’s great to hear this from Teddy, but I’m wishing he had come to me sooner rather than now, right after I just gave an idol away to save myself!” she laughs.

“Who’s considering it?” Olivia asks. Teddy bites his lip, taking a moment to pause.

“Big Moe and TM,” Teddy eventually says.

“No way! Maurice?” Olivia whispers, stunned.

“He knows she’s way too powerful,” Teddy says, “but he’s scared that without her, he becomes the big target. So if we’re going to pull this off, he needs to know that you and me are going to be there to back him up, that this isn’t going to be no type of screw-over situation.”

“But you think we could really pull this off?” Olivia asks.

“I swear to you, Olivia,” Teddy says, reaching out with his hand extended. “I swear on my kids.”

“Totally not necessary,” Olivia says, taking his hand. “I believe you, though,” she says as they shake, “and I’m in.”

Olivia- Koryok, Hair Up
“Sheena’s kind of running the show over here on Koryok, and there is kind of that, you know, that inclination to go after whoever’s in the lead, that type of thing. Take out the strong before they become stronger. But at the same time, when I came here, nobody was coming up to me to present me with options, Teddy wasn’t coming to me with any kind of plan then. So I had to pick someone to try and get in with, and at this point I’ve put a lot of effort into proving Nick and Sheena that I’ll be a loyal ally to them. And I haven’t really bonded that much with Maurice, so I don’t know how realistic it is that I can convince him of my loyalty in the next few days. So I really feel like I’m stuck between two decisions right now, and I’m not sure what my move is going to be.”

Suddenly, there is a crack of thunder.

“Oh,” gasps Olivia, looking up. Sure enough, huge, dark clouds have encroached upon the sky. With little warning, water begins to fall.

“I guess you’re right about us not having much time,” Olivia says to Teddy.

 

mqdamp

 

The rain now falls in wailing sheets, the tallest of the trees swaying in the winds. The Koryok camp is no longer empty, with all six of the present castaways huddled into the shelter, trying to avoid the inclement weather. Water drips along the edges of the shelter. Hannah sits in the fetal position, her shirt pulled up over her knees, buff over her face as she whimpers and moans.

Hannah- Koryok Tribe
“This is horrible, it’s so baaad,” she cries, tears causing her makeup to run. “I live in the f*cking desert, I hate the rain! And like, when it does rain, I like, go inside! I’m just so cold, my hair is a mess, my makeup is a mess, I’m bored, I’m tired, and this just sucks!”

“I hate this!” grumbles Hannah. “When will this ever end?”

Nick rolls his eyes, but says nothing. Tallulah puts an arm around Hannah and pulls her close.

“It’s just a little water, sugar bug,” Tallulah assures. “You can handle this, Hannah.”

“I just don’t know how-ow-ow,” Hannah wails, her squeals of discomfort almost like a small dog being kicked. Teddy winces at her high pitched yelp, and puts his hands over his ears.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“Hannah just does not shut up, ever. And when she’s just kind of going on about celebrity couples or her favorite Instagram models or whatever, that’s a little easier to tune out. But the moment things get even a little tough, it’s just crying and whining. I got two girls at home, so here I am thinking I’m the expert at tuning out the whining, but when it’s coming out a grown ass woman, I’m like… urgh!” he groans. “I’m at my wits end.”

“We’re going to stay positive,” Tallulah says to Hannah. “What uplifts you, darling? Think of a song that uplifts you, a video that makes you laugh. Think of someone who always puts a smile on your face.”

Hannah- Koryok Tribe
“Tallulah was trying to help me through the storm, and it was so sweet of her, and she was trying to help me think of things that are like, positive, you know? And then it was like, it was almost like the clouds just parted themselves, and I had that rain of light and it just clicked, that… DJ Khaled would be strong if he were here.”

“Blessings come in so many different ways,” Hannah says to the others. “You might not like something at the moment, but it might be your biggest blessing ever.”

“That’s a beautiful sentiment, Hannah,” Tallulah says. “Where did you hear that?”

“DJ Khaled’s snapchat,” Hannah says, her tears slowing.

“Who?” Nick asks, causing an audible sigh from at least three people.

Hannah- Koryok Tribe
“It’s like, he’s so inspirational, he just is so good at being inspiring. Like, I think it’s so cool that not only does he make music, but like, he uses his whole platform to just like, spread motivatedness, just make you feel like wow, if DJ Khaled can do it, I can do it. Like yeah, being rained on sucks, but I just think about DJ Khaled and how he never quits, like, he’s so fat, but he gets on the elliptical and he doesn’t quit, and that’s just like, wow. Wow. You know? If he can do it, I can do it.”

“DJ Khaled says sweat is passion and success,” Hannah says, wiping the makeup from her face. “And like, if you think about it, the rain is kind of like the sky’s sweat, so like, I don’t know. Maybe this rain means something good is going to happen.”

Maurice and Nick make silent eye contact, both looking absolutely confused and horrified. Maurice is clearly trying not to laugh.

Maurice- Koryok Tribe
“Hannah… my goodness. Hannah is a sweet girl, she means well, truly, she does, but she’s… well, there’s not a lot of depth there,” he says, turning beet red. “I don’t mean to be mean, but… sometimes I can’t tell if she thinks before she speaks, or if there’s like… is there some kind of processing issue going on there? Sometimes the stuff that comes out of her mouth is just nonsense. And she talks a lot, a lot of times she’s not even paying attention if anyone else is listening, and with how much she talks, that’s a lot of opportunity for nonsense.”

“I didn’t know reindeers were real until that challenge where we had to eat them,” Hannah says.

“What do you mean?” Maurice asks.

“Like, I thought they were just in the stories, like you know, the Santa Claus stories. You know, made up.”

“You didn’t know reindeer were real animals?” asks a surprised Olivia.

“Why would I?” Hannah shrugs.

Maurice- Koryok Tribe
“I’m a country boy, sure, but that don’t mean I like being out in the elements like this, you know? I’m trying to keep my own sanity right now, just trying to meditate and turn to Jesus Christ, and it’s just blah blah blah blah blah from Hannah, and… I mean, it’s been seventeen days of it.”

“Okay, alright, I got it,” Hannah says, looking satisfied. “So my number five is Break Free, then Problem, No Tears Left to Cry, Side to Side, and Into You at number one,” she says, counting on her fingers with each item on her list.

“You don’t say,” whispers a disinterested Teddy.

“Oh wait!” Hannah exclaims. “No, actually, switch Side to Side and No Tears Left to Cry,” she says. “So my top five Ariana Grande songs are Break Free, Problem, Side to Side, No Tears Left to Cry, and Into You. Yeah, that’s it.”

“Who’s Mariana Grande, again?” Nick asks.

“Come on, Nick!” Teddy groans. “Use context, she’s obviously a musician! That’s why Hannah has been talking about her songs for the last 20 minutes!”

“I’ve just never heard of her, that’s all,” Nick shrugs.

“Because you live under a rock!” Hannah says, exasperated.

Nick goes to respond, but Tallulah puts a hand on his shoulder.

“There’s no need for anyone to insult anyone else,” Tallulah says calmly. “Remember, we are staying positive. We’re thinking of DJ Khalil.”

“DJ Khaled,” Hannah corrects.

“Why don’t you get mad at Tallulah for not knowing this stuff?” Nick asks.

“Because it’s normal for an old person not to know stuff about what’s cool,” Hannah says.

“Alright,” Nick sighs. “Well, you know that when it comes to ‘cool,’ you and I tend to define what that means a little differently, so I need a little bit more preface before you start talking about these singers and DJ’s and stuff.”

“Okay, sorry that I don’t preference enough things for you, then,” Hannah says. “I’m not a very preferential person.”

Tallulah squeezes Nick’s shoulder even harder. Nick clenches his fist and sighs.

Tallulah- Koryok Tribe
“Hannah is a slave to her machines. Maybe I’m not the right one to ask, I don’t get the social media thing—I’m a little old to be getting myself involved in that sort of thing. But I think she is so used to having her phone or her iPod or whatever it is to be on, she doesn’t know how to be bored. And that’s a big challenge for someone to overcome out in this game, especially when you’re crammed in the shelter with your whole tribe just trying to stay dry. And unfortunately, that means for the rest of us, the challenge is putting up with Hannah.”

 

Exile Island Day 17

 

oynoqg

 

Over the vastness of the steppes, swollen rainclouds weep over the plains, drenching the earth and quenching the thirst of the grassland. Beneath one of the sparsely located trees is Sheena, crumpled in a fetal position, hood over her head. Her robe does little to protect her from the elements, as the fabric is clearly soaked, clinging to her lithe figure, her body shivering with each breath.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“I’m tough, I know I’m tough, but this is f*cking brutal. What could possibly prepare me for being rained on for hour after hour like this? Look at my hands!” she holds her palms out to the camera, showing her deeply wrinkled fingers, blotchy with pale discoloration, the skin all but threatening to flee her body in revolt. “I can’t start a fire, I can’t really find anywhere to stay warm… it’s horrible. It’s just absolutely horrible. So I’m just trying to focus my mind on other things. Focus on the game, the task at hand.”

On the ground next to Sheena is a piece of parchment, tossed aside and left to soak in the rain.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“When I got here, I got this stupid clue,” she says, showing a piece of paper, “and like, at this point there are so many clues that it’s literally spelled out. There’s a lure in the tackle box that’s actually the idol. And now I just want to get back to camp and dump the box out and see if it’s still in there. I mean, I doubt it. There’s no way Olivia hasn’t figured it out by now, she’d have to be literally brain damaged to not have put it together. And like… god, if it’s in the tackle box, what’s to say that like, Teddy didn’t just stumble on it? I have no information out here, and no ability to impact anything happening back at camp. Like, I refuse to let my game get f*cked up over something as stupid as this.”

A bolt of thunder peals in the distance.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“I’m also just thinking… about how much worse it could be. Which, like, this is pretty f*cking terrible, right? But, well…” she pauses, tears finally beginning to form in her eyes. “I’m thinking a lot about my Baabaa and Jiji—uh, my grandparents—because what they went through in their lifetime was so much worse than this, with internment and all of that. They were forced out of their homes by soldiers at gunpoint, they had almost no time to gather belongings… they lost everything and then lived as prisoners in their own country. For two years. If they could make it through that, I can make it through a night out here.”

The sky grows darker as the sun goes down, but the rain does not let up.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“Jiji was my first sensei, and he’s taught me so much, and not just about the martial arts, but about… just about how to be a good person. Oh, f*ck,” she laughs nervously as her threshold breaks, tears finally falling. “I told myself I wasn’t going to cry!” She wipes her eyes with her sleeve. “He died when I was in high school, and even though that was years ago… and I really miss him. But um, I’m, uh… I’m determined to use that grief to propel myself forward, you know? I want to do his memory proud. And I feel like I’ve been doing that in my life so far, I win competitions, I’m dedicated to my students when I’m teaching, I don’t give up. And I’m not giving up just because of a little rain. Well, a lot of rain,” she chuckles.

 

 

 

 

Yenisei Day 18

 

wmqozj

 

The rain has finally broken as Day 18 begins down by the river. Zeke stands almost knee-deep in the water, pants rolled up high as he fills a water jug. Charlotte sits closer to the water’s edge, rinsing a pot.

“Rev?” Charlotte asks.

“Yeah? Sup?” Zeke asks in response.

“What happens if we lose today?” Charlotte asks. Zeke doesn’t respond at first, simply taking the time to think over his response, hands at his hips as stares down into the water.

“I don’t know,” Zeke finally says. “I’d have to pray on it. Besides, we ain’t lose yet. So we talk it out when we get there.”

“I’m not waiting until we lose and only have a few hours until Tribal,” Charlotte says. “I know you don’t like this part of the game, Zeke, but we can’t ignore it.”

“When did I say I was finna ignore anything?” Zeke asks. “I’m just saying, cross that bridge when we come to it, na’mean?”

“Think of your mother, Zeke,” Charlotte says. “You want to win the million dollars and make her life better? Then you’re gonna have to play the game, at least a little. Think ahead, at the very least.”

“It’s all in God’s hands at the end,” Zeke mumbles.

“It’s in your hands, Zeke,” Charlotte says. “God gave you the tools to make a decision for yourself. He doesn’t have a vote at Tribal Council.”

“Well look at you,” Zeke laughs, “flipping my own words back on me.”

Charlotte- Yenisei Tribe
“Getting the letters from my family the other day reminded me of who I’m here for, and why I’m out here playing this game. I love the family I’ve made out here in the tundra, but I already have a family at home, and that’s who I’m playing for. And that’s true for everyone, not just me. Zeke has shared so much with me about his mother, about how much he respects and admires and loves her, and that’s what I’m banking on to get Zeke to realize we have to be planning ahead.”

“Well, I hope it’s obvious that I don’t want to vote you out,” Charlotte continues. “I’ve been thinking a lot about it, about who I can live without, in this game…. And Zeke, I don’t know that I can do this without you. So I want to make it crystal clear, there is going to be no funny business from me. I have your back.”

“I know, Charlotte,” Zeke says.

“Since the start of this game, I’ve felt like God put you in my life for a reason,” Charlotte says, “and I feel more sure than ever that the reason we are here together is for each other.”

“I feel the same way,” Zeke agrees.

“So you’re not going to vote me out, right?” Charlotte asks.

“Of course not!” Zeke responds, stunned.

Zeke- Yenisei Tribe
“Most of the time, this game is just us, our little group of people tryna hustle out here in the boonies. That all, that’s so amazing to me, it’s strangers coming together and building a community. When we’re succeeding as a team, I feel so much mad love for these people and our blessings at those times, for real. But I’mma be blunt, I ain’t about the voting for the people to leave, not at all. It’s just not who I am as a person. I know it’s a game, but it’s life too, na’mean? Like, everyone is putting in their everything up out in here. How can I be the one to pass that judgment? That’s not my role, to pass judgment, that’s on God. ”

“If it’s Huang or if it’s Vincent, that’s something we can, you know, discuss a little further down the road, if you’d feel more at peace that way,” Charlotte says, putting the pot back on the shore as she grabs the next dish to wash. “Personally, I’m hoping to have Vince long enough for him to build a dishwasher,” she sighs as she dunks the dish into the water. “Anyway, Zeke, my point is that when I tell you I’ve got your back if you’ve got mine, I mean that until the end of the game.”

“Absolutely,” Zeke says, looking Charlotte dead in the eye. “Always, love. Always.”

“Final 2?” Charlotte asks.

“Final 2,” Zeke says.

“Oh, you don’t know how good it feels to hear you say that,” Charlotte says, hugging Zeke in relief.

Charlotte- Yenisei Tribe
“I was very, very wrong about Zeke. When we were all on the plane together, before we got to know each other, I didn’t think much of him, because of his tatt-toos. But I didn’t know him. The Bible tells us do not judge, and I judged. I really do think God put Zeke in my life for a reason, because I’ve learned so much from him. Zeke challenges me as a Christian and as a person, and that’s how I know I can trust in him. In this kind of game, it’s beneficial to tell people what they want to hear as opposed to the truth. Zeke tells the truth to me, even when it’s not an easy truth, and that’s the cornerstone of our bond, that raw, true honesty. I can’t imagine having any other partner in this game. I’m blessed, truly, to have him.”

 

qynonk

           

Up at the campfire, Vince braids bark fibers into a rope while Huang lays in the shelter.

“What’s today’s agenda, boss?” Huang asks from his lounging spot.

“I’m making a bow and arrow,” Vince says. “I’m catching a rabbit or a bird or something, let me tell you.”

“You think you can make a strong enough string with that stuff?” Huang asks.

“Probably not,” Vince sighs. “What I need is catgut.”

“You can make a bow out of cat guts?” Huang says, making a grossed out face.

“Not cat guts, catgut,” Vince explains. “It’s not actually from cats. It’s usually from farm animals, you know, like a cow or a sheep or… a goat,” he says, looking out towards the meadow.

“I don’t think that’s gonna happen,” Huang laughs.

“Yeah, I know,” chuckles Vince. “I just can’t help myself, kiddo. All this sittin’ still makes me crazy. I need something to do.”

“Well the challenge should be coming soon,” Huang says.

“True, true,” Vince agrees.

Huang- Sunglasses
“I’m leaps and bounds the most athletic person on this tribe, that’s just the facts. But a lot of the challenges lately haven’t been about that as much. It’s been a lot about building, physics, creativity… all the stuff Uncle Vinnie is really great at. He looks like the weak link on the surface, sure, but in a lot of way’s he our secret weapon. Which is fine with me as long as he’s on my team.”

“Tree Mail,” calls Zeke as he comes back into the camp. He stands at the front of the shelter while the others gather so he can read it.

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link;
That goes as well for a tribe, don’t you think?
But where there’s a will, it’s certain there’s a way;
Hold your chain the longest, and all the tribe will stay.”

            “Any guesses?” Charlotte wonders aloud.

“I’ve given up on trying to guess,” Huang says.

“Well whatever it is, I bet we can do it,” Zeke smiles.

Huang- Sunglasses
“I used to think my place on the tribe was secure, because they needed my athleticism. But the truth is, Vince has really earned his keep on this tribe, and I’m really worried about that. Because if today isn’t catered to his strengths, and we lose… I might end up going home for it. So whatever the challenge is, you can bet I’m going to fight as hard as I can to win it.”

 

 

Immunity Challenge Day 18

 

Chain Reaction

E6 Immunity Challenge

“Come on in, guys!” Jeff calls.

Both tribes make their way into the arena, positioned on a beach along a vast flowing river. Everyone takes their places at the mat.

“We’ll now bring in Sheena, returning from Exile Island,” Jeff announces as Sheena walks in. She is still damp and looks miserable, bleary eyed and slow moving. She reaches for Nick, and the two embrace in a close, deep hug.

“I’m so glad to see you,” Sheena says, her voice cracking.

“Me too,” he says. He then pulls her a little tighter.

“I have it,” Nick whispers in Sheena’s ear. Sheena’s dour expression suddenly sparkles to life.

            When they end their embrace, Sheena takes her place, and Jeff continues.

“First things first,” he says. “Vince, I need the idol back.”

“No you don’t,” Vince says, jokingly pretending to start running off with it. He returns to the mat and immediately starts laughing with his telltale booming voice. The other castaways can’t help but chuckle as well.

“Here you go, Mr. Probst,” Vince says, handing the idol over.

“Thank you,” Jeff says. “Immunity is back up for grabs.”

 

“For today’s challenge,” Jeff resumes, “it’s all about endurance. Four members of each tribe will stand in a row on a balance beam, forming a human chain where you will hold discs up between you. You’re going to hold up as many discs as long as you can. If a disc drops, the chain is broken, you can’t pick it back up. If you fall off the balance beam, you are out. The last tribe standing with a disc linking at least two people will win immunity. Sound good?”

Everyone nods in agreement.

“Koryok,” Jeff continues. “You have three extra members. Sheena, Tallulah, and Teddy sat out last time, that means they are playing today. Who is going to join them?”

“I will,” Maurice says, raising his hand.

“Sounds good,” Jeff nods. “That means Hannah, Nick, Olivia? You can take a seat over on the bench. As for the rest of you, I’ll give you a moment to strategize and then we’ll go ahead and get started.”

The castaways take their positions in the lineup.

“Hands on the discs, and I’ll count you in,” Jeff says. “Three, two, one…”

 

“SURVIVORS READY? GO!”

 

The players lift their discs.

For Koryok, Tallulah is on the far left, next to Maurice, Sheena, and Teddy at the right. On Yenisei, Charlotte takes the far left position, next to Huang, Zeke, and Vince at the right.

Between Huang and Vince, the disc is already looking a little off.

“Push up on me, Vinnie,” Huang directs. Vince does as he’s told, and the disc straightens.

“This isn’t as easy as it seems,” Jeff warns. Over on Koryok, Sheena and Teddy are clearly beginning to struggle. Maurice and Tallulah seem more secure.

“Some slippage now between Sheena and Teddy,” Jeff warns.

“Lower your arm,” says Teddy.

“I’m trying but it’s slipping,” Sheena grumbles.

“Oof, this is already hurtin’” Zeke mutters.

Between Sheena and Teddy, the disc has now mostly pushed sideways, where it’s precariously perched atop Teddy’s fingers. He grimaces as his tendons strain.

“Oh fudge,” Teddy says as his arm reflexively drops out, the disc clattering to the ground.

“Teddy and Sheena drop, that’s it for you, Teddy,” Jeff says as Teddy takes a seat on the beam.

“It’s actually a little easier if I just have to focus on one,” Sheena says. “You okay, Maurice?”

“Yup,” Maurice says.

“Oh dear,” grunts Charlotte, as out of nowhere, the disc begins to shift. “Up, Zeke! Up, up, up!” the twosome move their arms up, but it’s not effective, and the disc drops.

“Charlotte is out. Down to three on each tribe,” Jeff says.

“Ahh!” gasps Tallulah suddenly as her arm buckles under the pressure of Maurice, their disc dropping as well.

“Sorry Tallulah,” Maurice says, dejected.

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Tallulah says.

“Tallulah out,” Jeff notes. “It’s down to Maurice and Sheena keeping it alive for Koryok.”

“Yeah, but we’ve got this,” Sheena says, “So…”

“Confident as always, aren’t you Sheena?” Jeff smirks.

After another few minutes, Vince and Huang are beginning to struggles.

“I’m letting go,” Vince groans, “I can’t—gah!” his arm drops. Zeke and Huang make eye contact and nod at each other.

“And just like that, Vince is out,” Jeff says. “It’s going to be a showdown between four tough competitors today.”

“We got this brother,” Zeke says. Huang grins widely.

“You good girl?” Maurice asks Sheena.

“I’ve never been better,” Sheena says.

 

­­­­­­­­­

30 MINUTES

            “You guys have passed the 30 minute mark,” Jeff announces.

“Woo-hoo!” cheers Charlotte from the sides, as most of the castaways clap, impressed by the effort.

“Three hours, that’s crazy!” Hannah says to no one in particular.

“Sheena, Maurice, how are you holding up?” Jeff asks.

“I’ve never been better,” Maurice says.

“I could do this all day,” Sheena says, staring ahead, focused.

“Yenisei?” Jeff asks.

“I do this all day, every day,” Huang says cockily. Nick rolls his eyes.

“You’re doing so well,” Tallulah encourages.

“Stay focused, kids,” Vince says.

 

 

45 MINUTES

            The strain of the challenge is obviously starting to really get to the castaways. Sheena’s posture has begun to bend somewhat, and Maurice has been forced to lower his knees to accommodate the height difference. Over on Yenisei, Huang’s eyes are closed as he breathes slowly in and out, trying to ignore the pain.

“Huang does not look comfortable,” Jeff observes.

“Looks can be deceiving, Jeff,” Huang responds.

“So you’re doing okay then?” Jeff asks.

“Oh hell no,” Huang says, “this sucks!”

“We got this, brother,” Zeke says. “You don’t give up on me, you hear me?”

“I hear you,” Huang says.

“God hears you,” Zeke reminds him.

“Do what you gotta do,” Huang tells Zeke. Zeke nods. Sweat is dripping down his face.

“Dear Heavenly Father,” Zeke begins to whisper, “please, oh Lord, grant us your strength for it is through you, Jesus Christ, that we can do anything, please God, please. Through Christ I can do anything.”

“Through Christ I can do anything,” Huang repeats.

“Through Christ I can do anything,” they chant together, eyes closed, focused.

“Yenisei, turning to a higher power for some assistance,” Jeff notes.

“I’ll keep my prayers on the inside,” Maurice tells Sheena.

“Through Christ I can do anything, through Christ I can do anything,” Zeke and Huang continue to chant. Be it by divine intervention or human connection, chanting together appears to help them focus.

“Oh f*ck, help,” Sheena groans, the disc slipping a little further sideways, her hand on the bottom, Maurice’s on top.

“Lift your arm, Sheena,” Maurice says. Sheena does as she’s told, pushing towards the top of the disc as Maurice tries to angle his hand towards the bottom. As their hands straighten out, the disc begins to slide further down.

“THROUGH CHRIST I CAN DO ANYTHING! THROUGH CHRIST I CAN DO ANYTHING! THROUGH CHRIST I CAN DO ANYTHING!” The chanting has gotten louder and louder. From the sidelines, Charlotte and Vince have joined in.

“Through Christ I can do anything,” Hannah whispers along with them. Nick shoots her a dirty look.

“What? It’s a catchy saying,” Hannah says. “In Jewish, we say it ‘Barack Obama.’”

“Sheena, Sheena, LIFT YOUR ARM!” Maurice yells.

“I can’t,” Sheena cries out. “Maurice I can’t!”

From between their fingers, the disc pops into the air, clattering to the ground with a thud.

 

“YENISEI! WINS IMMUNITY!”

 

“AHHHHH!!!!!!!” Charlotte shrieks, leaping to her feet. She and Vince grab each other, both jumping up and down. Huang practically collapses on Zeke, embracing him almost desperately. He kisses Zeke on top of the head, tears streaming down his face.

“Thank you, Zeke,” Huang weeps. “Thank you.”

“Thank God,” Zeke cries bad. “God is good! Thank you, JESUS CHRIST!” he calls out, pointing upwards to the heavens.

“My eyes could not roll further back in my head if I wanted them too,” mutters Nick to Olivia. Olivia nods, looking both annoyed and worried.

“I’m so sorry,” Sheena says as Maurice and Tallulah both hug her.

“It wasn’t a fair fight,” Tallulah assures her. “They got food yesterday, you got Exile. Don’t beat yourself up.”

“I’m just so tired,” Sheena says, her voice cracking as she fights back tears.

After celebration of victory and bemoaning of loss, the tribes return to their mats.

“Yenisei,” Jeff says, “I don’t know if it’s luck, skill, or a higher power on your side, but whatever the trick is, you guys have gone from a tribe that was out of it to the top dogs in these challenges. Another well-earned victory. Immunity is yours tonight.”

“Get it, Rev,” Huang says, giving Zeke a pat on the shoulder. Almost sheepishly, Zeke approaches, taking the idol from Jeff with a huge smile on his face.

“With that, Yenisei, you have the night off,” Jeff says. “You can grab your stuff, head back to camp.”

As Yenisei heads out, Jeff’s attention turns to Koryok. Nobody looks happy.

“As for you, Koryok,” Jeff says, “things haven’t been going so well, I’m sorry to say. All I have for you is a date at Tribal Council tonight, where one of you will become the sixth person voted out of Survivor: Siberia. You have the rest of the day to figure out who that will be. I’ve got nothing else for you. Grab your stuff, and head back to camp.”

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“It’s so annoying that team prayer power won and got to have themselves validated for that stupidity, ugh. And to make it all the worse, now we have Tribal tonight. But I think that with the idol, I have Sheena a hundred percent on my side again, so now it’s just a matter of figuring out what we’re going to do.”

 

 

Koryok Day 18

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Clouds surge across a clearing sky, revealing a midday sun that climbs higher and higher as the Koryok Tribe re-enters their camp following their immunity loss.

“Sheena, darling,” Tallulah says, “let’s get you out of those wet clothes, please. I don’t want you freezing to death.”

“I think that would have happened already if it was going to,” says Sheena as she shucks off her sweater.

“Let’s get you warm, seriously,” Maurice says, approaching her with a blanket, draping it over her shoulders. He wraps her in a big hug, and gives her a gentle kiss on the top of her head.

“Teddy is gunning for you,” he whispers to her before letting go. Sheena nods, ever so slightly.

“I’ll hang this out to dry,” Tallulah says as she grabs Sheena’s clothes. “You get some rest. I’m sure you’re absolutely exhausted.”

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“After my night in hell—excuse me, on Exile—I really just wanted to come back to camp and pass out. But uh, we lost immunity, so I didn’t really get that luxury. My head is swimming, I’m just exhausted and want nothing more than to take a nap for the next day and a half, but we have to figure out what’s happening at Tribal Council tonight, and I’m not some passive little wallflower who is going to let someone else make that decision for me. Maurice warned me when we got back that Teddy is coming after me, apparently—which means I need to get to work to make sure he goes home tonight.”

“Maurice, come cuddle, please?” Sheena says. “I need a big, strong man to warm me up.”

“Is that the first time you’ve ever said the words ‘I need a big, strong man’?” Maurice asks as he joins Sheena under the blanket.

When they’ve settled into the shelter, they begin to whisper.

“What’s going on exactly?” Sheena asks.

“Ted is not happy about how things went last Tribal,” Maurice explains. “But he doesn’t get what actually happened, which is good for us. He thinks that you and Nick have Olivia and Hannah. He thinks TM and I are gonna be with him.”

“So he wants to ‘flip’ someone, probably?” Sheena surmises.

“Olivia,” Maurice tells her. “So I’ll tell you what, we’re gonna take a moment and get you back to a human body temperature and then we’ll deal with this.”

Maurice- No Hat
“Sheena is a very strong player in this game, so I can see how for some people, they’d say it makes sense to try and vote her out. But trust is such an important part of this game, and I trust Sheena a hundred percent. She stepped up at our very first Tribal Council when Everett was coming after me to make sure I survived. Teddy is a really great guy, I think he’s a great Dad and a really fun person, but he’s a worry-wart, and I think if he gets spooked that he’s in trouble, he could be totally unpredictable with what he’d do.”

Sheena eyes the fire, trying to take note of who isn’t there.

“So his plan is you, him, Tallulah, and Olivia?” Sheena queries.

“Yes,” Maurice says. “That is the plan. Or it’s what he thinks the plan is, I mean.”

“You’re not going through with it, right?” Sheena hisses.

“What? Of course not!” Maurice says. “If I was, do you think I’d be telling you about it now?”

“You’re sure?” Sheena asks.

“Yes,” Maurice says. “I am positive, one hundred percent. Tallulah and I are with you, Sheena, we always have been and we always will be.”

“What about Olivia?” Sheena asks. “What does she think is happening?”

“I don’t know,” Maurice admits. “But it doesn’t matter, does it? They won’t have the votes. It will be the two of them versus everyone else.”

“So she thinks you’re doing it,” Sheena says, swallowing hard.

“I’ve just been telling her that I don’t know what I’m doing yet, that I haven’t decided,” Maurice says.

“I think you should tell her it’s happening,” Sheena says. “I want to see if she’s loyal. I want to see if she tells me or not.”

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“I think this is the perfect test of Olivia’s loyalty. If she’s really loyal to me, then she’ll warn me that my name is out there. I’d do that for any of my alliance members, and I just want to see, you know… is she going to make our alliance worth my while?”

 

32n039

 

Off towards the forest’s edge, Tallulah hangs Sheena’s wet clothes along a wire stretched between two poles. Teddy stands with her, eyes watching towards the shelter to make sure that Sheena isn’t emerging.

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“The plan tonight is for Maurice, Tallulah, Olivia and I to vote out Sheena. I’ve been sitting back in this game so far, but we’re on Day 18 now, and the merge has to be coming soon, so this is the time to think about who I want from this tribe to be there when the game turns individual. And I don’t want Sheena there. I think if she’s there, it’s game over for everyone else. She’s going to win this game if we don’t take her out now when we have the chance to do it. That’s why I dropped in the challenge today,” he grins.

“So you’re still on board for Sheena tonight?” Teddy asks, whispering.

“Why do you think I’m drying her clothes?” Tallulah asks. “Because I don’t want to humiliate the poor girl. I want her to have the dignity of going out of the game dry at least.”

“You are savage, aren’t you, Miss Tallulah Mae?” Teddy chuckles.

“I wouldn’t use that word,” Tallulah chuckles. “I would say it’s effective, that’s all. We don’t want her catching on to nothing. Who knows what she found out there in the wastelands?’

“I’m not worried,” Teddy says. “Between how much it was raining, and how many times Olivia’s been out there, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell she has the idol,” he shrugs.

Tallulah- Koryok Tribe
“Our first two experiences with Tribal Council, those got a little crazy, I do have to say. And that’s because so much was going crazy right before them. People’s votes were going this way and that way, and that’s when things can go wrong. This time around, I want things to go smoothly. I want Teddy to feel calm and secure, and the best way I can think to make him feel secure is by letting him think he’s going to get his way tonight. I don’t like that I’m lying to him, but I promised my loyalty to a different group of people, so that’s just how it’s gotta be.”

 

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Nick and Sheena stand together up at the cliffside, watching to make sure they are alone.

“Alright, here it is,” Nick says, producing the idol. “I told you I’d get it.”

“Oh my God, Nick!” Sheena squeals, snatching it out of his hand. “Holy sh*t, dude! Can you believe it was sitting right under our noses this whole time?”

“It’s pretty wild, right?” Nick laughs. “But yeah, Olivia pulled through big time. It’s a huge relief.”

“Yes it is,” Sheena says, wrapping it back in its paper. She goes to stick the package down the back of her shorts, causing Nick’s eyes to bug out.

“Woah!” Nick objects. “What are you doing?”

“Uh, putting it in my pants?” Sheena says. “So I can have it for tonight?”

“What are you talking about?” Nick asks, almost incredulous. “That’s my idol!”

“That’s not what you said earlier!” Sheena says, her energy intensifying. “You said, Nick, and I quote, ‘we have the idol, because we are a team. And I will feel a lot safer if I have it on me tonight, Nick. You know my name has come up.”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you need it!” Nick says. “We have the numbers! You, me, Maurice, TM, That’s four! There are seven of us on the tribe, four is all we need! You aren’t going anywhere!”

“What if Olivia plays the idol on Teddy, hmm?” Sheena says.

“If that happens, I’ll give you the idol right then and there, I promise,” Nick says.

“Okay, I hate to bring this up,” Sheena says, “but you’ve made promises before, Nick. And then you broke them.”

Nick- Koryok Tribe
“Sheena’s making it pretty clear to me that I don’t have much of a choice. Breaking her trust really put a big dent in our relationship, and she’s not going to forget about that just like it was nothing. And if she doesn’t trust me, our alliance is no good, and that doesn’t do any good for me. Having an ally you can trust is way more valuable than the idol. That, and like, honestly, she scares the crap out of me,” he laughs. “She’s a blackbelt in like, what, three different disciplines? She could probably tear my still beating heart out of my chest if she wanted to. So I’m kind of scared to see what happens if I piss her off right now.”

“Fine,” Nick sighs. “Keep it. If it means that much to you, hold onto it.”

“Then I will,” Sheena smiles, pocketing the idol. She then gives Nick a hug. “Thank you, Nick.”

“It’s fine,” Nick says, hugging her back. “But hey—if something crazy starts happening when we’re down there, and it looks like I might be in danger at some point—”

“—Then we use it, of course,” Sheena says, cutting him off. “But I don’t think that’s going to happen tonight.”

“I don’t think it will either,” Nick says. “And I don’t think you have any reason to worry tonight, but again, if having it makes you feel better…”

“You know, it really does,” Sheena says. “It really does make me feel a little more safe.”

 

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“So this,” she says, holding up the fish lure to the camera, “is the hidden immunity idol. And now it’s my hidden immunity idol. Well, mine and Nick’s, technically. It’s the biggest relief to have it, and not just because of the extra security it gives you. It’s also just a relief to know where it is, because honestly, in a game like this, knowledge is power. Knowing where the idol is just makes everything a little easier.”

“So now what?” Nick asks. “It’s Teddy tonight, right?”

“Duh,” Sheena sasses. “Everett came for Maurice? Ev had to go. Naomi came for you? Naomi had to go. Teddy comes for me?”

“Then Teddy has to go,” Nick finishes.

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“If Teddy is deciding to wage war on me out of nowhere, he’s getting eaten alive. I’m going to secure every advantage possible against him. He doesn’t stand a chance. Like, who the hell does he think he is? Take your toy back home and go back to baking lemon squares and mommy blogging. Stay in your lane. If you step to me on the mat, I’m going to choke you out. Deuces,” she says, flashing two fingers.

 

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Night begins to grow ever closer as the sun falls, the sky growing darker and darker by the minute. A cool wind rustles the treetops as Sheena puts her dry clothes back on, watching the edge of camp. There, Maurice and Olivia stand in a huddle.

“I’ve thought it over, and so has Tallulah,” Maurice whispers.

“I have too,” Olivia says.

“Well?” Maurice asks.

Olivia sighs, “well…”

Olivia- Koryok Tribe
“Sheena is the biggest threat in this game, point blank, so taking her out when she doesn’t see it coming could be a great move. At the same time, I’ve put a lot of effort into trying to build an alliance with Sheena, and it’s like… my one and only ally got voted out of this game days ago. I need to make some kind of secure alliance, and right now I’m putting my eggs in Sheena and Nick’s basket. So I’m really torn on what to do. There’s no kind of formula I can use to find an objective, correct conclusion. So once again in this game, I just have to go on instinct.”

Back at the shelter, Sheena’s expression tenses as she watches the conversation between Maurice and Olivia. In the shelter, Hannah packs her bag. As Sheena zips her hoodie, she looks around to make sure nobody is paying attention.

“Han,” she whispers.

“Yeah?” asks Hannah.

“There’s been a change in plans,” Sheena says.

“Oh my gosh, do you want to do our hair the same for Tribal Council?” Hannah asks.

“Sure, we can do that,” Sheena says. “But I meant like… for the vote?”

“Oh, duh,” Hannah giggles.

“You’re cool switching it up?” Sheena asks.

“If everyone else is doing it, sure,” Hannah shrugs.

“It’s not going to be everyone else,” Sheena says. “Just you and me. In case anything goes wrong.”

“Okay,” Hannah says. “Whatever you need.”

Sheena- Koryok Tribe
“I’m not giving anyone a chance to pull off anything funny tonight. I’m having my bases f*cking covered, like, come on. I’ve made it my goal to dominate this game, and I always accomplish what I set my mind to. I didn’t just freeze my f*cking ass off on Exile just to let people try and vote me out like it’s nothing. Not gonna happen.”

Sheena grabs her torch as the sun begins to lower, and starts to head out in procession. Behind her is Olivia, who clutches her bag slightly, trying to keep the bell inside from clanking against her belongings.

 

 

 

Tribal Council Night 18

E6 TC

The lights of Tribal Council shine brightly as the Koryok Tribe approaches. As the castaways enter and take their seats, the moon glows ominously through the stained glass windows, the iconographic Catholic figures instead almost demonic in the lunar light. With torches placed and seats taken, Jeff begins his questioning.

“Welcome, Koryok, to your third Tribal Council,” Jeff starts. “Except for you, Olivia,” he adds.

“Yeah this makes four for me,” laughs Olivia. “It’s a pretty crappy feeling, coming back here time and time again. And it really stinks because when I switched to Koryok, they’d been winning everything. And then here I come and they just start losing! It does make you wonder like… am I cursed?”

Nick shakes his head. “I don’t believe in curses,” he says with a grin. “I think it was just unlucky timing.”

“Well, whether it’s by curse or by simple luck, the fact remains that Tribal Council isn’t a place you want to be,” Jeff says. “Tallulah Mae, what’s changed between your first time coming here, on Day 3, and tonight on Day 18?”

“It’s a world of difference, Jeff,” Tallulah says. “On Day 3, everything is brand new, you don’t know what to expect, you don’t know who you can trust. Now we’ve been together for almost three weeks, we’ve had a lot more experience working as a team and getting to know each other. I think what’s really different between this time and last time is that our last few times here, we had rabble rousers. We had people on this tribe in Everett and Naomi who liked to stir the pot, and now without them the group left is a very cohesive group.”

Teddy shakes his head back and forth.

“Teddy’s not buying it,” Jeff notes. “Care to comment?”

“I think saying this group is cohesive, that’s kind of a half-truth,” Teddy says. “Yeah, the stuff Tallulah Mae was saying about how we know each other so much better now and how we work better together as a team, that stuff is true. But to me, if we were cohesive, that means last time at Tribal there should have been seven votes with the same name on them, one decision that we all agreed on as a group. And I don’t know if you recall Jeff, but four different people got their name wrote last time. That’s the opposite of cohesive to me.”

“So does that result impact your decision tonight?” Jeff asks.

“Uh, yeah, it does,” Teddy laughs. “Look Jeff, the last times we’ve come here, I came thinking that one thing was the plan we had, and each time, it turned out not to be the case. I did not know when Everett was getting voted out, I did not know when Naomi was getting voted out. So I’m just gonna be real and say that you know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. People can say what they want about us all being a big happy family, but that’s a lie.”

“Sheena,” Jeff says, “you look like you’re chomping at the bit.”

“I just think Teddy is taking things personally that aren’t meant personally,” Sheena says. “At other Tribal Councils, there was a lot of last minute decisions that had to be made, and you don’t always have time and the ability to sit down with each and every person, and you know, incorporate everybody’s thoughts and feelings. Like Everett was telling everybody something different, Teddy’s not the only one who got lied to that night. And it was just a matter that a couple of us figured it out last minute and put two and two together, and you know, decided to do something about that situation.”

“So like, but here’s my thing,” Teddy says, “if that was the case, y’all could have said something to me after the fact, let me know that like, ‘hey, sorry, here’s what the situation had been, here’s why I couldn’t have come to you sooner and let you in on this,’ you know? Nobody is copping to what happened last time, when Naomi went home, out of nowhere. I’m just like… look, from where I’m sitting, all I can think is that means there’s an alliance that I’m not a part of.”

“Well that’s wrong,” Sheena says, crossing her arms.

“How is that wrong?” Teddy says. “Everett was voted out with four votes against him, Naomi was voted out with four votes against her. Are you telling me that’s just some kind of coincidence?”

Sheena shrugs. “I don’t know what’s going on any more than you do, Teddy.”

“That’s such bullsh*t,” Teddy says. “Jeff, Sheena is the one calling all the shots on this tribe, of course she knows what’s going on.”

“If I can simplify this a little,” Jeff offers, “Teddy, you’re basically saying that there is an alliance, and that Sheena is in charge of it.”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Teddy says.

“So Maurice,” Jeff says, “if you think there’s an alliance calling the shots, and you’re not a part of that alliance, what’s your move?”

“Whew, well,” Maurice says, gathering his thoughts, “if there’s an alliance and you’re on the outside, you have to look for those weak links, I guess. And play to your own strengths. That’s the pitch you make, here’s what I can offer you, and maybe that’s not something that the alliance you’re with now can offer you.”

“What strength do you think you bring to a potential alliance?” Jeff asks.

“Loyalty,” Maurice says. “I think a big part of that comes from how I was raised an the community I grew up in, and you can’t be anyone but yourself out here, so that’s my biggest advantage that I bring to an alliance, I think. I guess other people might say it’s my muscles or my survival skills, but I think loyalty is worth more than any of that.”

“I’ll agree with Maurice on that,” Sheena says. “Loyalty is paramount, Jeff. And personally, I think if there are people who feel like there are alliances they aren’t a part of, maybe all that means is that those individuals aren’t trustworthy.”

“That sounds like a very pointed statement,” Jeff says, clearly amused.

“Oh, does it?” Sheena ‘asks.’ “Maybe it is.”

Teddy can’t help but swallow nervously.

“Do you think you might be in trouble tonight, Sheena?” Jeff asks.

“Yes and no,” Sheena says, crossing her legs. “I mean, Teddy just said in front of everyone that he thinks I’m in charge of an alliance, so I think it’s pretty obvious who he’s voting for. But I’m not nervous, because I trust the people that I’ve talked to. Just like Maurice, I’m loyal, so I expect that loyalty to come back to me in return. I’m not just a competitor, Jeff, in real life I’m a teacher too, and there’s a moral code to martial arts. You know, respect and honor, all that stuff. I’m not out here playing a liar’s game, if I tell someone what I’m doing, I’m sticking to that.”

“This talk about the people you’re loyal to? That sounds an awful lot like an alliance,” Teddy says.

“It’s not an alliance to make a plan with someone,” Sheena says. “And of course I’m going to make plans for Tribal, especially if I come back from Exile and find out that my name has been going around. And it just follows logically that the person putting my name out there, that’s the person who has to go.”

“And from everything that’s been discussed here tonight,” Jeff says, “I’m guessing the person you think has been spreading your name around is—”

“It’s Teddy,” Sheena confirms.

“So with that,” Jeff says, “would it be fair for me to assume that tonight, it’s either Sheena or Teddy?”

“As far as I know,” Sheena says.

“So Nick,” Jeff continues, shifting his attention, “that’s got to be good news for you. The last time we were here, you were getting roasted over a pretty hot fire.”

“Uh, yeah,” Nick laughs. “I guess you could see it that way, but that’s the thing, is there’s more to this game than just you yourself being safe. Because if someone you think you can work with gets voted out, that’s still going to impact you down the line. Because for me personally, well, Sheena and I have a very strong friendship. And uh, as for Teddy, I know he doesn’t like me, he was one of the people who was really mad at me the last time we were here. So I don’t think it would come as a surprise to anyone that I have a much better chance of working with Sheena in this game than I do with Teddy.”

“That’s fair, that’s totally fair,” Teddy agrees. “Jeff, it’s such an ass-kicker out here in this game. Trust me, at first I was doing my damndest to be cordial with everyone, you know? I wasn’t looking to make trouble. The people who have made trouble have been the people getting voted out of this game. But you’re out in the wild getting depleted more and more every day, and you’re just stuck with the same people, and eventually you hit a breaking point where you can’t keep everything bottled up anymore. So I did let Nick know what I really think, and now my name is on the chopping block, so maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”

“You’re not on the chopping block because of anything to do with Nick,” Sheena says. “You’re on the chopping block because you came after me. You’re f*cking with the wrong woman, Teddy Bear.”

“I can’t help but think,” Jeff interjects, “that Tallulah, when you first sat down—you said that Koryok was cohesive. Yet based on what I’m hearing, it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of cohesion.”

“Perhaps I spoke too soon,” Tallulah says. “From my own perspective, I feel like this tribe is cohesive, but perhaps that’s because I feel as though I have solid relationships with each of my tribemates. And while I have a lot of respect for Nick, for Teddy, for Sheena, it’s clear that amongst themselves, they have their own issues to work past.”

“It’s a game for a million dollars,” Olivia chimes in. “The fact is every person here has their own agenda, because everyone wants to be the winner and there’s only one person who wins. We can talk all we want about alliances and loyalty, but at the end of this game, only one person is going home with the million dollars. Everyone is thinking about what decisions would be in their best interest, what’s going to get them within reach of that prize. And what the right decision is for me might not be the right decision for Sheena; and what’s right for Sheena might not be right for Teddy. You know? Um, so I actually don’t necessarily think it’s just between Sheena and Teddy tonight, because there’s always the chance that someone else has their own agenda, and that they’re just doing a better job than the rest of us at keeping it hidden.”

“Well, I guess we’ll find out if you’re right,” Jeff says. “We’ll see if the elimination is expected, or if someone is going to be surprised, because it’s time to vote. Tallulah, you’re up.”

Tallulah casts her vote.

Nick casts his vote.

Sheena casts her vote.

Teddy casts his vote.

Hannah casts her vote.

Olivia casts her vote.

Maurice casts his vote, and returns to his seat.

“I’ll go tally the votes,” Jeff says, departing down the hallway to collect the voting urn. Hannah fans out the ends of her hair and brushes the tips back and forth against her nose as she waits. Teddy tugs at the collar of his shirt, trying to cool down. Sheena practically glares a hole through the back of Olivia’s head.

“If anyone has a hidden immunity idol and would like to play it,” Jeff says, returning with the urn, “now would be the time to do so.”

Sheena inhales sharply, her hand clenching in her pocket as she watches Olivia like a hawk. Olivia does nothing, and Sheena exhales.

“Once the votes are read,” Jeff continues, “the decision is final. The person voted out will be asked to leave the Tribal Council area immediately. I’ll read the votes. The first vote…”

Nick's Vote- Teddy

“Teddy.”

Teddy's Vote- Sheena

“Sheena.”

 

Tallulah's Vote- Teddy

“Teddy. That’s two votes Teddy, one vote Sheena.”

 

 

 

Sheena's Vote- Olivia

“Olivia.” Olivia makes a confused face, as does Maurice. “That’s one for Olivia, one for Sheena, two for Teddy.”

 

 

 

Hannah's Vote- Olivia

“Olivia. We’re at one vote Sheena, two votes Olivia, two votes Teddy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia's Vote- Teddy

“Teddy. That’s three for Teddy, two for Olivia, one for Sheena, one vote left.”

 

 

 

 

 

Maurice's Vote- Teddy

“The sixth person voted out of Survivor: Siberia, Teddy. Teddy, I’ll need you to bring me your torch.”

Teddy sighs and nods. “Hey, I tried, right?” he says as he stands up. “I think y’all need to watch out, though, because Miss Thing here,” he says, pointing to Sheena, “is going to dominate this game.”

“Here’s hoping,” Sheena says with a smirk. Teddy grabs his torch in his right hand. In his left is Raja, the stuffed tiger, held by her paw. He places the torch in front of Jeff.

“Teddy, the tribe has spoken.” With that, Jeff snuffs Teddy’s torch.

“It’s been real,” Teddy says to the others, before he turns and heads out of Tribal Council.

“Bye Ted,” Maurice says with a wave.

“Take care,” Hannah calls. As Teddy disappears into the dark, Jeff turns his attention back to the tribe.

“Tonight,” Jeff says, “you voted the sixth player out of this game. Did you make the right choice? Perhaps some of you will find out the answer to that question very, very soon you guys can grab your stuff and head out. Goodnight.”

As the castaways grab their torches, Olivia turns to Sheena.

“We need to talk,” Olivia whispers to Sheena, “about whatever just happened.”

“That’s fine,” Sheena says with a shrug. “If you want to talk, we’ll talk.”

The women grab their torches and follow the others out. As howling wind causes the flames of the torches to flicker, the castaways head back towards the forest and towards the unknown.

 


 

NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR!

After battling it out as two tribes, the remaining castaways merge into one. While some castaways  embrace the opportunity to make new friends, one finds herself face to face with enemies from her past. With their backs against the wall, Yenisei goes all out to try and flip the vote. And one player earns a potentially game changing advantage.

 

Teddy- Koryok Tribe
“I thought I’d be a little more bummed out after this. Not to say I’m not bummed, I’d have loved to have gone further, I’d have loved to win! But I know I made my girls proud and I made my wife proud, and I am looking forward to getting out of the dirt and cold and having a double cheeseburger or seven! This experience has taught me so much about everything I take for granted in day to day life, and that alone makes it worth it. And you know, if I had to go, I’m glad I went out standing up for myself and trying to make a move instead of just lying back and being passive. And uh, it didn’t work out this time, but hopefully my kids can see it’s better to try and fall flat on your face then not try at all.”

 

Episode 6 Voting Chart