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It's baaack. You remember this show, don't you? It has been three weeks since the last real show (that crummy recap show doesn't count) and it's hard to remember what was going on back then. If you recall, spaceman Dan got jettisoned and La Mina couldn't win a challenge to save its life. It's pretty sad when a tribe that looked so good on paper gets whooped by a bunch of misfits. We've had an astronaut, a fighter pilot, a couple of strong young men...and they couldn't even put a simple puzzle together. Or feed themselves. The nicotine addict, a woman who was afraid of leaves, a delusional old coot, and a couple of major whiners are kicking ass this season. Pretty damn funny, actually. If you need to catch up on what happened on the last show, you can read Yardgnome's most excellent recap here. On to the new stuff!


Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me

We start off the show with a spoonfest at camp Casaya. It's nighttime and apparently it's cold, because everyone is cuddled up together. Well, except for Courtney, who gets stuck at the end and complains that she's freezing. Shane doesn't seem too interested in snuggling with her and turns back to Cirie, leaving Courtney to continue whining. Courtney sure does get pissy when Shane ignores her. Sometimes I wonder if she doesn't have a secret crush on the guy. Wouldn't that be a scary sight, if those two hooked up? *shiver* Anyway, morning comes, Courtney continues her pity party, and Bruce cleans the seaweed from his rock garden. Now if someone would bother to clean up that mudpit they call a camp.

A brief clip of an emaciated but happy-looking Sally on Exile Island is shown. She seems to enjoy the time away from the testosterone fest at La Mina and wastes spends some time digging around for the immunity idol, not knowing that Terry already has it.

Over at camp La Mina, Nick is discussing the menu for the day, which sounds like slugs and beans. Ah, the breakfast of champions. Austin worries about when the merge will happen, knowing they are outnumbered by Casaya (is this some clunky foreshadowing or what?). Terry discovers that they have tree mail, and they follow the clues to a boat on the beach. The attached note tells them that they are to travel to camp Casaya and not open the boxes until they arrive. It's merge time! The happy trio hops in the boat and make their way to Casaya, with Nick and Austin hoping to make new friends and meet new personalities. Do these guys know what show they're on?


Let's Get It On

Looking out on the beach, the members of Casaya see the little boat heading their way. They hurriedly stuff their remaining rice breakfast in their faces, since in the words of Aras, "we're heathens and we didn't want to share." Nice, guys. A greasy-looking Shane calls for a quick huddle, telling his tribemates that he's proud of them and that they will make the final six. Aww. Bruce rushes out to greet the new tribe members with a huge grin on his face while Aras expresses concern over Bruce's previous relationship with Terry. Everyone hugs and introductions are made. Sally arrives and gets dropped off about 20 feet out in the water (thanks, boat guy!), wading her way to the beach and her new tribe.

Finally, they get to open their goodies. Terry pries open the box to discover an assortment of fresh fruit, chocolate balls, cheese, crackers, wine, and pickled things along with their new black buffs. The members of La Mina drool like Pavlov's dogs at the thought of real food, while Aras wants to slap himself for scarfing down all that rice earlier. Karma's a bitch, yoga boy. Everyone stuffs themselves with the chow and all is good.


Somebody Call 911!

Terry leads the troops in building a new shelter to replace the little shack that Casaya had pieced together, and Shane is none too pleased about it. While he thinks that the new shelter will be amazing, Shane doesn't care for another alpha male in the house and tells Aras that he wants to vote "Captain America" off right after he gets the shelter built. Terry wastes no time in trying to recruit Bruce, offering him sanctuary. Aras and Shane notice what's happening and do a little ass-kissing of their own, telling Bruce that's he the senior man of the tribe. Bruce falls for it, and walks off thinking that he's now in a great power position.

Still in the process of building the shelter, Bruce is helping Nick cut some rope when Nick lets the machete slip, smacking Bruce right in the mouth. He ends up with a chipped tooth and a cut lip, while poor Nick apologizes and worries that he'll get booted off for his mistake. The members of Casaya seem more worried about losing a vote than about Bruce's well-being, and Austin tells Bruce that he's one tough son-of-a-gun. Bruce takes the injury pretty well and laughs it off. Whacking someone in the face with a big knife isn't the best way to lure him to your side, guys.

Bruce's experience as an art teacher helps him create the new tribal flag, and everyone chooses Gitanos as their new name. Telling us that Gitanos means "gypsies" in Spanish, Bruce paints up a pretty nifty flag for the new tribe. I always thought Gitanos were jeans from the 80's, myself. Guess I should have paid attention in Spanish class.


How Not to Negotiate 101

In what has to be the most ham-fisted example of trying to bargain with opposing tribe members, Terry seems to randomly approach Shane with an offer to join his group of four, and wants Cirie to come with Shane and make it a six pack. Yeah, Shane's going to hop all over that offer. He's already in a top position on his side, so it would do Shane no good to flop and he knows it, telling us that Terry is desperate and grasping at straws. Why would we want to join your tribe, homie? Cirie is also approached with the same deal, and she finds it laughable, saying Terry has nothing to offer. Terry realizes his plan won't work, and thinks about how he might have to use the immunity idol.



It's Barbeque Time

No, not really. The first individual Immunity Challenge just looks like one. The Survivors must hang from a horizontal pole by their arms and legs, sort of like a huge spit-roast. The last one hanging is the winner, and Jeff warns them to drop their legs first if they can't hang on so that they won't hit the beach head-first. The challenge begins and Cirie is first to fall out at around 3 minutes. Aras drops after 11 minutes, probably knowing that he doesn't really need the immunity. Bruce is next, followed by Sally. Shane begs Jeff for a cheeseburger, saying he will let go for food. Or cigarettes. Jeff laughs and assures him that there will be no food to tempt them this time. Shane then lets go, as does Danielle and Courtney. The three La Mina men are left, and Austin appears to struggle, finally dropping out at 30 minutes. After 46 minutes, Nick has to let the pole go and Terry wins immunity.


Is That an Idol in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Its almost tribal council time, and Terry reminds us that he still has the little shrunken-head idol in his possession. Austin is convinced that he's going home, and has a quick prayer session with Bruce. Shane boldly calls a Casaya meeting right in front of the old La Mina members, and they can hardly believe how cocky the others are acting. Casaya seems to agree on Nick as the one to go since Terry is untouchable. La Mina, not pleased with Shane's actions, decide to vote for him to send a message. Shane worries about Bruce flopping on them, and they all head off to council.

Before the vote, Austin gives us bonehead move number two of the show, telling Jeff that he was just acting weak during the challenge and hoped that it would keep the focus off of him. Austin, Austin...if you're going to put on an act, keep it to yourself. Telling all at tribal council negates the whole thing, and you don't look weak. Just stupid.

The votes are cast:

Nick - Shane
Austin - Shane
Terry - Shane
Sally - Shane
Danielle - Nick
Cirie - Nick
Shane - Nick
Courtney - Nick
Aras - Nick
Bruce - Nick

Nick is voted out and throws Cirie something in a bag (what was that, anyway?), and he gives one of the best farewell speeches I have ever heard. In fact, I think it's the most I've heard him speak since he's been on the show. I take back everything I ever said about Nick being dull. Next week's preview shows Terry blabbing to everyone that he has the immunity idol. Why he would do that, I don't know. Join us next week to find out!

I want to know what was in the bag! waywyrd@fansofrealitytv.com