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Welcome to another edition of “Standing in the Shadows” for Panama: Exile Island! For those readers unfamiliar with it, each season our writers and mods “stand in the shadow” of a Survivor until their torch is snuffed. You get to read what we believe is really going on in the mind of each player. Without further ado. . . .

Cirie
Now tell me how this game is fair, when in order to even have a SHOT at winning immunity, you either have to be whip-thin or be a meerkat with mad digging skills?? Seriously, not only is my pride hurt, but I've got mud under my fingernails. And if there is anything I hate more than leaves, it's mud under my fingernails for no good reason. But! I don't know what the heck happened, but somehow I've positioned myself to end up in the final four with Shane and Aras and that fire dancer chick. It's all good from where I'm sitting. Now if only I could learn to live with His Royal Twitchiness, Shane. He's alright to snuggle with on those cold nights, but I'm getting tired of him scratching himself all the time. And it's not like he's just scratching his nose, if you catch my drift...

Shane
I don't know why Courtney looked my way when she read that tree mail about "dealing with nuts." Something is seriously wrong with that girl. She needs to stop thinking for herself and just listen to me and Aras. When we tell you who to vote for, then that's who you vote for! It's simple. And it's the only way for Aras and I to get to the final two. Heh. Now Terry, he just won't learn. First he tried to get me to switch to his side, and I said hell, no. We knew he'd try and get some information out of us, but it ain't happening, man. When he wanted to bet me that twenty bucks, all I told him was who I thought the final four would be. Nope. He's not going to get any information out of me.

Courtney
Ahem!! *clears throat* From now on, I shall be the tribe crier. No, not weepy crier--I’m talking about the person who makes all of the announcements. Tree mail? Bring it here, I shall read it with a flourish and a leap over the fire. You wanna know the weather? I shall be happy to sit right in the middle of the shelter and announce to you it’s raining. Need certification that someone that won the reward for breakfast in bed has a full belly that is jutting out from their goddess-like form? I shall be that certifier! Otherwise, I got nothin’ but my yoga and some meditation. Pay no attention to the frail form twisting herself into a pretzel in the corner. I’ll be practicing my new meditation mantra….UTR…UTR…UTR…

Bruce
Life is good for Bruce right now. My superior skills helped my team win the reward challenge, and it is a fortunate thing that I have healed enough to eat all of that delicious food! Bah. A tiny wound like that was nothing to me, I am much too strong to be concerned over such a petty matter. The two sides are still bargaining for my allegiance, showing once again how much power I have in this game. The elder grasshopper actually tried to get two of us to ally with him but we had to turn him down. I have much respect for him and his abilities, but I am the one who will decide how this game is played. I am the Master.

Austin
So I completely messed up big time by pointing out that I threw that last immunity challenge, I was just so sure I was going home. Terry and I had a lot of work to do to save my behind so that we can be together…forever. Being sent off to Exile Island was not any fun, I had to be away from Terry for 2 days. Much to my surprise I actually formed a bond with Danielle, we were able to snuggle under a tree while it rained. I kind of remembered what I liked before I came on Survivor and met Terry. Being on Exile Island was one of the worst experiences ever and luckily I will never have to do that again. I can’t believe after what I went through with Danielle that she did not vote to get rid of that weirdo Aras, at least we will always have our days in the rain together. The thing I am going to miss the most about Survivor is all the time I spent with Terry. I hope his wife and family don’t mind if I call all the time, stop by for visits, pitch a tent in his front yard…

Terry
Well hell. I worked so hard on turning the tide away from La Mina. Personally, I’m sitting pretty or at least sitting on a trump card, but I’m a team guy. I thought we had Bruce and Danielle convinced to turn double agents after Shane coughed up the pecking order. I gave Danielle my pledge. She should have trusted that an Academy guy never lies. Fat chance she’ll ever get her hands on the idol now. It’s just me and Sally. The odds may be against us, but I was really proud that she took the immunity challenge down to the wire with me. After that hug she gave me and Austin, I think she really would have preferred to be cold and wet and in bed with the two of us. Or, maybe she just wanted the individual immunity idol. The two of us are going to have to be smart from here on out. I wonder if we can turn Courtney before the next tribal council. Never mind, I wouldn’t trust that nutter to cook a pot of beans much less to make a smart decision. I’m working on a new plan to take out Aras. Maybe I’ll tell Bruce that Aras is messing around with his rock garden at night.

Danielle
Psssst. Over here. No, not behind the tree, I AM the tree. This is how I blend into the background. Trust me, it works -- I'm still here, aren't I? That's why I could have kicked Terry's ass for trying to lure me out of the woodwork with his little "I'll give you the immunity idol" promise. What would I want that for? That would draw attention to me. And, fake boobies notwithstanding, I don't actually want attention right now. I want to be quiet, stealth, standing here like a tree while everyone else fights around me. That's how I'm going to make it to the end. So no, I don't want to make waves by flipping alliances. This one I've got is working just fine, they hardly even see me. They're going to think they've got their final two set and then wonder why Probst says there are three Survivors left, and then I'm going to make my move. Now shhh, and move away from me, I don't want anyone wondering what you're looking at.

Sally
Winning that reward was just what I needed! Still, why did Probst had to blame me for not bringing the flag back? Like it was my responsibility. I’m glad that I’m a fast runner, ‘cause that reward was awesome….or at least it would have been if everything wasn’t soaking wet. Still, it was better than being back at camp and being soaking wet without food! I’m going to have dreams about those croissants. Even though the reward would have been even sweeter if I had gotten to share it with Terry and Austin, it was a good opportunity for me to get some time with Casaya people. Plus, Aras is kind of hot. It doesn’t seem like the Casaya alliance will be falling apart any time soon. At the next Tribal Counsel, it’s going to be either me or Terry. My only hope is to get immunity next time. I can’t count on Terry to save me with the Immunity Idol. I hope it stops raining soon. My hair is starting to frizz

Aras
When Yoyo appeared in my dream last week as a giant, levitating sausage, I was confused. And out of my gourd with hunger. But now I understand. He was referring to my upcoming reward! He was pork, get it? Mmmmmm…..*gulp*….pork. And I won BACON, you see? Oh and time to connect spiritually with my fellow earth travelers, but more importantly….time alone with bacon. And eggs. Toast. Sweet rolls. Pastries. Coffee. And more time in bed with Bruce. I must be truthful and admit that the reward came just in time, even if I did have to test Danielle’s will by sending her to Exile Island with Austin. But enough about that, let’s get back to food. The thing is, ever since Yoyo presented himself to me as a semi-circle meat, I’ve been salivating at the thought of taking a bite into his Holy, seasoned Essence. I’ve imagined what He’d taste like. The sweet lemongrass of Saigon? The enticing curries of the Bangalore markets? Or a simple, Johnsonville brat? I do not know. But I do know this: Yoyo’s protection is as sure as the stars that shine at night. For the first time during my test here, my name emerged again, and again, and again, from Jeff’s barrel-of-fate. And yet…I was spared! It is destiny. And after a night in those wet sheets, it appears I’m also meant to find a way to swap out Sally for Bruce at night. Thy will be done. *distant gong*

We would like to thank the following writers for contributing to this article: Critical, Dinahann, hepcat, Lucy, Mariner, mrdobolina, Shazzer, speedbump, SueEllenMishke, Suncat7, totoro, wayward and Yardgnome77.