Welcome to the latest edition of “Standing in the Shadows” for Palau! 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. Enjoy!
I’ve been able to deal with not eating much. I’ve been able to deal with not participating much in the challenges. Heck, I’ve even been able to deal with not talking for 13 days. But the rain and thunder last night freaked me out. I felt so vulnerable and alone. Never mind that there were eight other people there with me, I felt alonnnnne. I know some people think I’m playing the part of a drama queen, but I am simply drained. I haven’t even had the energy to make it to our first-class potty for the past few days. Oh. Wait a minute…now I understand why I feel so alone. I guess I’m going to have to find the energy to rinse off later today. But that sweet, hunky Tom gave me one of his firehouse attaboy-pep talks he’s known for, and he is good. That little talk of his gave me the surge of energy I needed to get that tricky knot of James’ undone. I rocked today. Hurray! Uh…now could somebody carry me to the potty, and then put me back in the hammock, please?
That Jeff Probst must be a gambling man. Why else put me behind the barrel of a gun while he's within range? Actually, after winning the reward challenge for Ulong pretty much single-handedly, I'm not quite so focused on making Probst suffer for his annoying ways. A belly full of Pringles is mighty soothing that way. Losing immunity again was a blow. Stupid secret redneck knots! But I'm cool with James going home because I have a new strategy. There appears to be no merge in sight, and that's fine with me. Just wait until Ulong is comprised of Stephenie and Stephenie. Kuror won't know what hit them.
I started this here game by listenin' to James, cause James was good people and from the real part of America. Matter of fact everyone left is from the real part of America cept for Steph, and she's proved she's a real man so she don't count. Now James is gettin on my nerves. He was wailin and carryin' on bout that stew after the other guys got to eat. Shut yer yap James and quit tellin us how great you are. You were tellin' us what a great hunter ya was, then ya couldn't hit the side of a roadhouse with that there gun. Thank goodness fer Steph we got some Pringles and Mai-Tai's. The jellyfish were real special, but I never trusted Probst that they couldn't sting us. He's as mouthy as James is. Then all that danged James had ta do was tie a few few knots while the men fetched the wood. Me and Steph and Ibe got the wood while James fiddled with his skirt. He tied one stupid knot and told us it was a special one. It was so durned special the others got it untied quicker'n you could say James is the one who's been makin us lose. Steph and I cooked up a plan to finally git him out. I was was laughin my tail off when he walked away. That Steph, she sure is smart. We'll win em all from now on.
With stew and root beer in our bellies, we’re suddenly buzzing with energy to spare. As everyone else was getting bogged down in silly details such as lugging firewood, or scrounging for food, I watched them and came to one conclusion. We are a sorry, tattered group of people, and we’re on television, for heaven’s sake. That’s when it hit me. What we need are wardrobe accessories. I realize finding your niche in Survivor is no different than finding your niche in life. I know I was put on this earth to entertain folks with puppet shows, and share my arts and crafts knowledge. Certainly not to be the token drama queen, after all we’ve got Janu for that. Besides, I’ve got to keep the big picture in mind. There can only be one winner in this game, and frankly I need to be thinking of other ways I can turn this television exposure into a gold mine, just in case. If I make fabulous macramé necklaces and headbands, viewers will want to buy them. Hell, if they can sell those silly buffs, my
crapsouvenirs would fly off the shelves. I could call the product line, Krafty Katie’s Knots. Just think of the money I could make, hoo boy! I’m surrounded by short-sighted people who are only concentrating on the million dollar prize…not me, people. Now, if only there was a challenge that involved knots, I’d make sure we'd win.
The old world is changing. I can feel it in water, I can hear it in the wind, I can taste it in the air. Oh! Hey there...I was just working on being dramatic. Katie promised me that I would get a role in her next puppet show presentation, "Guess Who's Coming To Tribal Council," if I could just bring up the drama a little bit. Then she added, "Or, I could just get drama-queen Janu and be done with it." Regardless of the weird social dynamic that comes from essentially not losing anyone on the tribe, things are good here in paradise. Sure, that huge storm wasn't very paradise-y, but not even the fury of a thousand tempests could put a damper on Koror's domination. I sat out the cannon challenge because I didn't want to shoot my eye out, and Ulong won. Hmmm. However, when I lent my long, nimble limbs to the task of untying James' "superknot" in the immunity challenge, we won...big time. Correlation? You decide.
Immunity challenges involving knots? That’s too easy for Jen The Brain. Give me something more difficult if you please, I’m getting bored. I sat out the gun challenge simply because I didn’t want Gregg Poodle (well, he does look like one) to feel inferior. Jen The Mercenary is a side of me that I rarely let out in daylight. I have a joke for y’all; what sucks and isn’t named Koror? The correct answer is, Ulong! Hey, give me a break, I work with kids for a living and they would be better at everything than these Pringles-eating buffoons. We lost one tiny reward challenge but I had the pleasure to witness a puppet show instead. I didn’t mention to them that I’m a trained puppeteer, because that would just make my game-play crumble. They don’t know it yet, but I am the master of this tribe. I decide what they do and when they leave the island. Janu’s breakdown? All me. Coby's smart remarks? I decide what he says. Well, I certainly can't afford to talk, so someone has to. But that’s our little secret. Gregg, tie my shoelace!
Knowing that my girl Jen was watching me, I did my best Rambo impression when I shot the replica cannon during the RC. You're probably thinking that Rambo would have never missed a shot, but see, Rambo didn't have a college degree like I do. That was a simple but clever strategic move on my part. I want the others, especially Tom & Ian, to think that i'm not that big of a physical threat. We ended up losing the RC, but who needs pringles anyway when we have smoked snake back at our camp. Winning IC is more important to me, at this moment. Sitting on the sidelines was a total new experience for me. I'm an all-star , and I'm used to helping the team win. What else was there for me to do than to be the best darn cheerleader for Jen...I mean my team. We won the IC easily. I almost felt sorry for the other team......almost.
The beef stew was so delish. I generally prefer something a little more organic and veggie like roasted eggplant with avocado and chick pea puree, but hey I’m not complaining. My digestive tract sure is though. Lets just say I gave that newly built outhouse a reward challenge of its own. *snicker* And as luck would have it, Tom was waiting outside the whole time! I think some of the alliance has shifted. I thought Katie was in with the Tom crew but she did absolutely nothing all day except use valuable string to make foo-foo head bands. Give me a break…if she had chopped off her hair ala me, she wouldn’t have to worry about such time wasting nonsense. *sigh* I hate being perfect. Near perfect was what I was at the reward challenge. I’m sure they were thinking I couldn’t shoot the warts off of Katie’s ass, but little did they know I used to shoot .22’s at Daisy Scouts. I think I’ve sealed my spot for at least another three days. I was able to rest at the immunity challenge and watch the rest of our team kick some butt. I managed a spot next to Tom and would accidentally brush his toned arms and innocently wipe excess sand off his back. He’s so perfect I hate it. I sure hope they edit some of this footage or the next time I’m in court it’ll be divorce court.
That Katie makes me want to just puke, puke, puke. While everyone is working their tails off, she sits around making macramé lanyards like we’re in summer camp. I kind of hope we lose again so we can vote her lazy, sock puppet-wearing butt off this tribe, pronto. I’m especially excited about my alliance with Gregg. I figure I can hang out with him, high-five him, and whisper in his ear whenever I want – he's using his "relationship" with Jenn as a decoy, so that'll keep folks off our trail. You know, I could have completely smoked all those targets in the reward challenge, but I missed on purpose a few times so as to stay under the radar. Its hard keeping a low profile, especially with my gig doing the play-by-play narration during the immunity challenge.
You know, when something is so close to being taken away from you, you start to appreciate it more. That's what I said for the camera, anyway. Between you and me, though, I was halfway wishing that I might have been voted out, just so I wouldn't have to listen to James bark around orders all day. That guy is ridiculous...he couldn't even build a decent bathroom...yet he blames me for losing the last Immunity, losing the beef stew, and probably the NHL lockout, too. Come on! It's not like I can push someone half my size off a platform in every challenge. Thankfully, though, I'm not going anywhere. Even if I'm up for elimination next vote, when James writes down my name, he'll spell it in some ridiculous manner, like "Eeebreeeheemeemee." When Jeff holds up the vote, I'll just look around and say, "Huh, funny, I don't see any Eeebreeeheemeemees around." It's foolproof, man. Ultimately, he'll have to resort to writing down the simplest name on the tribe, which, incidentally, is "James." Ha! I ain't goin' anywhere.
It’s amazing what a little stew and root beer will do for company morale. My Irish grandpappy always told me that “Idle hands are the devil’s plaything.” That’s why I was pleased everyone took on a project the morning after our first and if I have anything to do about it, last, tribal council. It reminded me of being at the firehouse making sure our equipment was all properly maintained in between answering alarms. We were in such great spirits after we finished that our little alliance put on a puppet show. That Caryn really needs to lighten up. What did she think we should be doing? Reading the latest civil rights law advance sheets? I was really disappointed in myself during the reward challenge. I wanted to continue crushing the little spirit left in Ulong, but I wasn’t able to hit a target after my first shot. Sure I was close, but close doesn’t count when you are trying to save someone from a burning building and it doesn’t count in Survivor. That night was our worst here since the first at our beach. We had to survive a fierce storm. Frankly, I felt exhausted the next morning. When I saw how down Janu was, I knew it was critical to give her a pep talk. After all, she was going to have to participate in the immunity challenge. I dug deep and told her it was okay to be down for a day. I told her she was strong. She just wasn’t strong at the moment. It almost killed me to have to sit out the immunity challenge. I tried to offer all the support and advice I could from the sidelines. Danged if Janu didn’t come through for us. She was intense and put her every last bit of energy into winning the challenge for Koror.
And last, but not least. . . .
Them people is sumbitches, I tell you what. Why in the hell would they vote me out? I coulda crapped and fell back in it when ol' Jeff read out the votes. Say what? Surely he ain't sayin' James. Maybe they meant "Iames". Like a nickname. I was took plumb aback. What the hell happened to our plan to vote out Ibrehem? That sorry boy lost a challenge for us, all by hisself! Hit was totally different from me not hittin' a single target in the shootin' challenge. Listen, just 'cause I can shoot a deer in the woods at 100 yards, don't mean I know how to handle them old-fangled military guns. Point is, I tried. I built the toilet, even though it lost. I got rid of Kim. I worked hard at tyin' my skirt at the immunity challenge. I shouldn't be settin' here in Loser Lodge. They's been a mistake, I tell you what, man. Well, fine. Just fine. They can keep losin' fer all I care. I'm goin' home to drink beer and watch Nascar, man.
We would like to thank the following writers for contributing to this article: Bill, Cali, Eny, Feifer, Ilikai, John, LG., Lucy, Mantenna, Mariner, Miss Filangi, oneTVslave, Phat32, Roseskid, Shazzer, Silverstar, Spegs, Speedbump, Texicana, and Wolf.