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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. . . .

Courtney
Wheeeeee!!! Look at me, ma!! See me flying high? I’m doin’ it for you, Mommy!! Flash me those love signs. Yahoooo! Ohhhh! And you sent my fire dancing tools. Yay! I’m going to need those twirly fire pots and spinny torches to distract all of the other members of my alliance. I can lure Shane in with my mystic spinning ballet of fire, and then, while he’s all dazzled by the flame, I’ll burn him good. None of my fellow Casayans even know it, but I’m the one in control here. I’m UTR and in charge of everyone’s destiny. But it’s Terry I’m worried about. I mean, how is a skinny neo-hippie such as myself supposed to beat the military machine that is Terry? Then again, I could just join him…since I can’t beat him. Hmmmm. Ask me after this next cheeseburger. *munching cheeseburger*

Danielle
Oh, I'm dizzy! That swing was no picnic, let me tell you. I kept bumping my chin on my own boobs. They're kind of hard, incidentally. And for what? Bupkus. Those fools on my team let me down. I blame Aras and Shane, but not enough to actually do anything about it. Not only did I not to get see my family video, I didn't get my luxury item! And it was a humdinger -- an invisible push-up bra. With fur -- Terry's immunity idol kind of reminded me of it. But I guess I can make do without it, although it would have come in handy during Shane's freaky "look at my wee-wee" moment back at camp. What was that about? He was probably just trying to hit on me. Men do that kind of thing all the time, although they don't usually tell me about their rashes until it's too late. Anyway, I'm looking forward to another few days of not being important to the gameplay at all. I might work on my tan -- when I get too pale, my teeth look more crooked. I want a nice golden color for the final two.

Shane
*sniff* Oh, man. That video of my kid really tore me up. Hand me some of that Charmin, will you? (blows nose) Gotta get my head back in the game. I really wish I could have gotten something from home, like a picture of my son. Or cigarettes...yeah, some cigarettes. Those cheeseburgers really hit the spot, though. *burp* But what I could really use is some ointment for this damned rash! My boys have been burning all week. Since Cirie is a nurse, I showed them to her to see what she thought. Why she and Danielle were laughing and turning away, I don't know. They must have never seen a real man before. Yeah, that's it. Anyway, she said it was just a rash from wearing wet clothes, so I'm going commando for a while. At least, I hope it's just chafing. I did pick up that one girl before coming on the show...nah, that couldn't be it.

Cirie
Seriously, these people will believe anything. I casually mentioned that I am a nurse when we first got here, trying to throw them off my trail. And whaddya know, as soon as someone gets hit in the mouth with a machete, as soon as someone's testicles get inflamed, they come running to me! I slipped earlier and said something about breaking Terry's arm so we could take the non-stop champ out of the game, and they STILL believe I'm a nurse. What kind of nurse shows so little empathy to her fellow man's well-being? None, I tell you. But as long as they want to keep believing it, I'm gonna let them. Boy, are they gonna be surprised when I tell them I'm actually a doctor.

Terry
All by myself, don’t wanna be all by myself . . . You know I’m having a blast singing bad karaoke all night long just to mess with those Casaya people. I’ll really miss Sally, but as much as I talk a good game, we agreed I shouldn’t give her the idol. Now that it’s clear it’s just me against them, I’m going to keep messing with their minds and trying to intimidate them. I’ve told them my flight school stories. Now, I need to think of what card to play next. Maybe I’ll tell Shane about my buddy whose balls fell off. That ought to mess with his teeny tiny brain. When Jeff was talking about nuts and shells before the immunity challenge, all I could think of was Courtney and Shane. I couldn’t believe all those idiots let Sally and I have a two out of three chance to win. Cheeburger, cheeburger, Pepsi. Whatever. It’s all about the immunity necklace, baby! Well, and that little shrunken head I’m starting to think isn’t that bad looking. I really need to get home to my wife and kids.

Aras
As I nimbly cut through the ocean towards the underwater clues, passing a strange series of slow-witted and angry sea horses, I thought of.....Shane. Shane with his tumble of dark brown curls, his boyish tattoos, and that effortless grin that said, "insane asylum." And/or, "toothy, crazy, pirate. Not the Johnny Depp kind of pirate. But the LOST kind of pirate." As I concentrated, bleary-eyed, my lungs compressing, at the series of silly, cartoon clues......I choked on a mollusk, and thought, "Mothah *#$@ burger-lovers! By the time I'm done with this game, Casaya will pray for beef to choke on!" And I made violent, non-Yoyo-approved crude gestures at the clues, mentally replacing the various symbols with my so-called "friends'" heads. As you can imagine, all this underwater thinking left me quite behind by the time I actually made it to the beach to compete with Terry and Sally. So I hurriedly pushed together my clues, only to finish first! Praise Yoyo! But I was wrong. And soon, I was lost in thought again and the symbols blurred before me. I thought of my exile on Exile Island. And Yoyo's dream warning me of betrayal. And that's when I knew it was not only the old La Minions who would be targeting me, but my own, beef-loving friends. I allowed Terry to win as my gaze fell upon those who would soon betray me, drool flowing down their jaws as if a crude form of meat-filled lava. And so, when my name appeared on the parchment that night, I knew it was a test, and I braced myself for the storm that was to come. I thought of my father and his teepee and reminded myself, "Power on, Spirit Dancer, Power on." I must behave as my father-given Indian name, "Bends Like Political Promises", and flex my way to Victory!

Bruce
Now that all of the La Mina tribe is gone except for one, I must think of a new strategy. One that will let me go unnoticed, because I sense the beady eyes of my tribemates upon me now. I can no longer be strong Bruce, winning rewards and making the decisions for my tribe. I must be...invisible. Yes. I shall now be the Hidden Dragon, concealing myself amongst the trees, remaining unseen until the end. It is the only way to win. Now that I have my sketchbook to help me devise my plans, I will be unbeatable. I will now go and become one with the shadows...remember, you did not see me!

Sally
I should probably be really upset right now and I am disappointed about being eliminated. Really though, I’d probably be a lot more upset if I hadn’t just had a Swedish massage and seaweed wrap. I’ve got a mani and pedi scheduled later. I’m going for the facial and full leg wax tomorrow. Thank God for those stockings because without them everyone would have mistaken me for Sasquatch. Not pretty. Exile Hotel is way better than that nasty Gitanos camp. Sure, now I won’t win the million, but let's face it - that probably wasn’t going to happen anyway. Was I surprised that Terry didn’t use the Immunity Idol to save me? Not really. I don’t hold it against him….especially not after a hot shower and 3 cheeseburgers. Take that, Shane! Hey Waiter! Can you get me another Mojito?

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