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Welcome to another edition of “Standing in the Shadows” for Survivor: Cook Islands! 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. . . .

Rebecca
My disappear game has moved to the next level. It’s now called “I am invisible.” It was going really well. My whole tribe was sitting around talking and no one even saw me, I had successfully disappeared. Everything was going great until 3 members of the other tribe appeared. They came out of the woods and wanted to hang out with us. I had mastered being invisible to my own tribe now I had to successfully do it with these newbies. Thankfully none of them noticed me and I was able to continue my invisibility. I think I am playing the smartest game here.

Ozzy
My tribe knows how good I am I was a little worried the other tribe did not recognize how awesome that I am. Two of my tribe members and I went over for a visit. We surprised them and I couldn’t wait to scale trees, start a fire with no wood, and weave beautiful dresses out of cordage I would make from ocean reeds. They were going to embrace me as the most awesomest player ever. Just as I was getting ready to demonstrate my greatness Cao Boi started talking and telling stories. He successfully bored everyone and I just wanted to slap him for not letting me be the center of attention. Now they will never know how great I am. At least my tribe knows and I guess that is good enough for me now.

Parvati
Zzzzzzz. *snort* Huh? Oh, sorry. I must have fallen asleep during Cao Boi’s endless, boring stories. I mean, who told them they could just plop down in our camp like that without an invitation? That’s just so, like, rude and all. Then, not only could he not pronounce my name, but he had the nerve to ask for some of our spices! As if! We worked hard for those. Especially Nate and Adam, with their big, bulging muscles, all sweaty and…umm, what was I saying again? Oh, yeah – we told them we weren’t giving them anything. They can go eat their octopus plain for all I care. As for me, I’m going to grab one of those bottles of wine and get a little spicy with Nate. Or Adam. It doesn’t matter to me! *giggle*

Yul
I desperately wanted to get paired up with Rebecca today for the RC, because I know with her by my side I could have held out a hundred times longer, besides the stench emanating from Jonathan was more than I could bear. *blech* My teammates don't understand how I gather strength simply by being in the presence of some of these lovely ladies. I love assuring them that I will keep them safe, and when I noticed that poor Sundra didn’t seem to have a home out here, naturally I took her under my wing, and whispered softly in her ear, “come to Daddy, Sundra.” *puffs out chest* I’ve always been able to charm the female gender, and with my harem growing every day, I feel like the King of the Island. The King and I has always been my favorite play, and the fact that the king was portrayed by the famous actor Yul Brenner isn’t lost on me, nosiree.

Jenny
Uh uh. No. I know that Cristina is not trying to lay blame on me because she spilled Adam's heard earned octupus chunks in the ocean. The only reason I was down by the shore with her was so I could clean and sanitize the knife and the cutting board. How dare she try to blame me for not being there to be her personal servant while she washes the octo-chunks. Other than Cristina's constant chattering about how everyone should do everything, I'm enjoying my time out here. Platform walking for the immunity idol was fun...other than the result. What a bonding experience we had trying to fit everyone onto that tiny platform at the end. Otherwise, I'm just biding my time in this game...making friends, but not making enemies. I've got some friends on the other tribe, so after I make the merge, I'll just slip into a strong alliance and breeze into the final 4. Million dollars, here I come!

Candice
Here's a fascinating fact: did you know that underarm hair grows faster on one side of your body than the other? *sigh* It's been really boring over here without Adam. How come we didn't get any of the cute guys on our side? There's just nothing to do on this island, ever, ever, ever. Cao Boi, that weird girl and Ozzy asked me if I wanted to go on on expedition with them. Are you kidding??? I don't want within 20 feet of any of those losers, and being stuck with them in a canoe would have ruined my whole day. *shudders* Besides, my new friend Sundra and I wanted to give ourselves coconut facials later on and I had to take a nap first.

Adam
Me bring food. Stab strange fish. Me bring much food. Bad woman push food in water. Tribe hungry. Adam no like small bad woman! Adam good - Me win big muscle war. ME alpha male. Urrgg og og. Me not like Aitu tribe on our beach. Eeg! Primal! Primal! Me guard turf. Aitu bad. Spice pack good. Og og og. Ooh ooh ah. Me save Candice, vote her Exile. She no go. Adam no protect! Woman far. Adam mad. Adam sad. Me howl at moon. Where Adam woman?? Aaaaooooooh. Aaaoooooh!! Oog og og!! Me wait to merge. Candice eeeeah. Ah. Oog. Ah. Uh. Primal. *grunt*



Brad
What in the world's got into Adam? He's turned into some hunky-monkey silverback ape, or something. I swear, he's gone all Alpha on us. (Not that that's all bad.) It's a little scary. (I like it.) I mean, I read Lord of the Flies. I thought he might serve up Cao Boi stew if Cao kept pressing for some of our hard-won Reward items. Adam's muscles just kept twitching with rage. He was morphing into some caveman...It was just like that movie Altered States. Cao still kept talking, spinning words so quickly til all we heard was an annoying hum. "Monkeys, dragons, roosters". Huh? He must've been whipping up that old-world magic against Raro Tribe! Has to be magic, right? I mean really - can you explain the weirdo still being here?! So Raro lost Immunity - gee thanks, Cao Boi - and we had to say goodbye to one of our own. Buh-bye, Stephanie. Why? Why not. But truly, what did you want us to do? A million dollars up for the taking - and girlfriend lusts over mashed potatoes. She had to go. Anyone that obsessed with carbs cannot be trusted. If you wanna obsess, make it beefcake.

Becky
I wish I could get out this damn spot of red paint from my bikini top! What I wouldn't give for a bottle of Shout and an hour at a Fluff n Fold. Seriously, it's become my number one goal while on this island: find nature's equivalent to the laundry aisle at Target. I've tried rubbing it with boiled bamboo bark and it didn't budge. I've tried delicately dabbing it with bat guano, chicken saliva, crab juice and NOTHING WORKS! This is my mission, my raison d'être until I emerge from hiding and begin commanding my tribe once again. And maybe then I can ask around and see if anyone here ever signed up for FlyLady.com. There's got to be somebody here who knows how to out this damned spot!

Sundra
Woot! My strategy is finally paying off! Do nothing and say nothing, and everybody wants to make an alliance. I don’t know what the rest of the tribe thinks of me… or if they even think of me at all, but I know that flying below everyone’s radar is giving me all the power in this game! Cao Boi, Flicka and Ozzy wanted me to go on some kind of all day trip to one of the other islands, but I was not about to hang out alone all day with Crazy, Rollergirl and Soft Core Porn Star. I just knew they’d try to convince me to align with them, and I just wasn’t feeling them. When I got approached by Yul to join their alliance, I was all “oh yeah, I am definitely all over that.” Yul thinks that I’m not manipulative, and he’s right- I’m not much of anything.

Jonathan
Exile Island again. How nice. I know it’s because Raro knows I’m the leader of Aitu, and they think the team will fall apart without my guidance, and they’re probably right. Those kids couldn’t figure out how to go to the bathroom without my help. I finally figured out how to find the hidden Immunity Idol, but I dug, and dug, and dug and dug and dug, and nothing. Yul or Adam must have already found it, and my money’s not on that meathead Adam. When I joined my tribe at the Immunity Challenge, I announced that someone found the Idol, and it wasn’t me. Maybe I should have kept it to myself, but I doubt I’ll ever need leverage within my tribe- I am obviously the leader, and they don’t want to get rid of me.

Cristina
I showed that stupid bitch Flicka. When I said it was all mind over matter during the Reward Challenge, I meant it. After all I’ve made it back on the force after one life threatening experience and almost losing an arm. Besides, I was hanging on to those sand bags with my good arm. My arm would have had to be ripped from its socket for me to let go. Given that I’m head chef and therefore invaluable, those spices were especially important to me. It felt so good to be ordering my sous chefs around camp. You’d think that Jenny would realize that blame always runs downhill. Of course it wasn’t my fault that I spilled the octopus. It was hers because I expected her to be right there to help me. It certainly wasn’t my fault that we lost the immunity challenge. You try getting eight people on that platform when two of them are big guys. I was shocked by what the others said at tribal council. It’s not like I’d been going all Gordon Ramsey on their asses. In my line of work, you can’t worry about the social niceties. It’s all about survival. Luckily, I survived another day. Whoever heard of sous chefs starting a coup in the kitchen anyway? I’m going to give them a lot of scut work when we get back to camp to remind them who is the boss.

Cao Boi
So I had this great idea, you know? I say "let's go exploring!" Only Ozzy and Flicka would go with me. I knew very well where we were going, that was no accident. Boy, that other tribe was surprised to see us, hahaha! I sit down and tell them long stories about animal symbolisms. Telling this story was strategy, I figure they drift off to sleep so I could help myself to some spice. When that didn't work, I just ask them, "hey, how about a little spice?" but they deny us. If only any of them had bad wind, I could have worked my magic on them. My tribe kicked their hiney in the immunity challenge, that what they get for not sharing, right? Hahaha!

Jessica
Spirit guides, I am starting to think you stink. I prayed to you for a nice new island, full of coconuts and cute monkeys and fresh water, and you let me think we'd found it. But lo and behold, the other tribe was on my island. You led me astray, spirit guides. And then you let me down again during the challenge. I asked for you to give Cristina a cramp, and what did you do? You yanked my rope out of my hand! That wasn't how things were supposed to go. I clearly stated that Cristina was going to drop her load. NOT me. So you'd better shape up, or I might just have to find myself another spirit guide. Don't say you weren't warned!

Stephannie
Well, duh! Who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? You can have them any way you want it: mashed, fried, stewed, poached, braised, sautéed, creamed, breaded and toasted. You can add anything you like such as: pecans, garlic, chives, cranberries, bacon, butter, huckleberries, beef chunks, grapes, avocados, cheese, sour cream and salmon. But it’s the delicious potato itself that creates the heavenly taste: Idaho, russet, Yukon gold, Durango red, German butterball and red bliss. So…what’s the big deal about mashed potatoes?

Nathan
My home girl S-to-the-Phannie is out. Ok, I voted for her but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t like her. I’m trapped in my circle of friends and we’re playing for a couple million cool ones. You gotta follow the green. I hope Burnett is busy in the editing room making sure my guns were on full display during the reward challenge. Did you see how stacked I looked? Adam and I hooked it up and I love it when my trash talking is backed up by sheer power and will. Of course the reward was just as sweet. I felt like a Greek god, surrounded by my honey Pavarti and being fed wine and various creatures from the sea. Yeah boyeeee, this is beginning to get interesting.

We would like to thank the following writers for contributing to this article: Dinahann, mrdobolina, Brandy, Mariner, Yardgnome, AJane, waywyrd, Lucy, SueEllenMishke, speedbump, suncat7, roseskid and totoro.