Standing in the Shadows: Episode One
Welcome to the first edition of “Standing in the Shadows” for Palau! 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. . . .
Geez. I can’t believe I was almost voted off tonight. Ya know, my friends and I have a saying – “Freaks of a feather stick together”. So when I met Coby, I was pumped! I mean he is obviously a little off, and I like that – it’s comforting. I knew we were like, kindred spirits and stuff, and I was totally relieved not to be the only freakish outcast on the island. So when that jerk had the chance to pick me for his tribe and didn’t, I was like, - AAAAHHHH!!! I couldn’t believe it! Thank God I was up against that crazy singing lady, or I might have been sent packing right away. But getting picked over Wanda is a pretty small victory – its like someone telling you they like you better than having the measles. I can’t believe I ended up on a tribe with all the normal, pretty people. They’re so weird, it stresses me out. Man, I could really use a piercing right about now.
I can't believe they just dropped us off in the middle of the ocean to start the game. If I had known, I would have dressed better. Who am I kidding? I'm cute, in great shape and don't mind showing it off. Already, I can't believe all the idiots. I'm a terrific swimmer and even I know I can't beat a row boat filled with people. I was pretty freaked out though, that we arrived at the island and we're immediately split up. When Jeff arrived and told us that we were going to pick our own tribes, I was scared. Well, not for me of course, I'm cute and athletic and I knew that I was scared for the less cute girl with all the piercings and the crazy singing lady. I'm glad I selected Ibrehem, I understand the importance of a cute face and a hard body. Even though we lost the IC, it was worth it to get Jolanda off the tribe. Sure she's athletic, but so am I, and I hate competition.
Well it all started when we were a-rowing to shore. That Jeff gave us no direction at all except to tell us to head for the beach. How are we supposed to know what to do? Then we got to the beach, and Jo grabbed immunity with that tall feller who swims so good. I like Jo. She knows what to do. When Jeff finally came and told us to pick teams, I really knew Jo knew what she was doing when she picked me first. Our team is really pretty and strong and we all know what we are doing. Maybe we didn’t know enough to get fire in the challenge or to all row the boat in the same direction, but that doesn’t mean we really lost. I can’t believe they all turned on Jo and everything. I mean Angie? I couldn’t take orders from that one. What would mamma say about those tattoos? I’m sure someone will tell us what to do and we’ll win. Maybe James and I will work on that fire thing again. That is if he says that’s ok. Maybe he knows what to do. I really like James. He talks like mama.
What an interesting couple of days this has been. I imagine I was the only one who was thinking ahead since I was the first to speak up and get something organized. I didn’t want to come off as too controlling, but as the young beauty queens and muscle men were busy comparing tushy’s and biceps, I knew we needed water and a shelter. I wondered if that was why I was chosen second to last? That didn’t feel good at all, but it gave me incentive to prove to the youth that I have what it takes to make it in this game. We rocked the reward/ immunity challenge and I sincerely believe that our tribe will be strong throughout the game. It’s an early day tomorrow. We have to go out and find the flint that was lost overboard during our celebration.
Well, it is the first night and already I have everyone eating out of the palm of my hand. Just as I planned. *evil laugh* Boston Rob, move over - there's a new puppetmaster in town. When we first hit the beach, everyone was going machete-crazy tearing up their clothes. I thought, there's no way they are getting their claws on my favorite pink shirt - no way. So I gathered up the old folks and tattoo chick and headed off into the woods to get water. Once we were away from the group, I made some quick allies, telling them us old, ugly folks had to stick together. I even played along with Angie, telling her we were the freak twins or some bullcrap like that. Ha! Its obvious to me that this island isn't big enough for two resident freaks. I then began working my magic on the rest of the group, flitting around from person to person and planting the seeds of my plan to oust Jonathan. Lady Luck smiled upon me, as I knew she would, when I had the opportunity to choose my minion Caryn, leaving her with the golden opportunity to banish Jonathan from the island. Angie? Pshaw! She's tough, let her fend for herself. Coby has to look out for Coby.
If it wasn't for my good looks, I don't think anyone would notice I was in the game. Then again, there are a bunch of other good-looking people, so at least, I'll blend in. I'll just lay low and let the others self-destruct. The key is to remain calm at all times. What? One tribe? No Buffs? What the hell is going on here? I can't take it. Okay...get a hold of yourself, man. Oh thank the lord that we finally formed teams, and I got my buff. As long as I freak out on the inside, and flash my Captain America smile, My buff and I will go far.
Let me tell you, folks, I knew this was the game for me when Jeff announced that there would be immunity necklaces waiting for the first man and woman to snag 'em up when we landed on the island. I waited until precisely the right moment, jumped off the outrigger, and swam with all my might to the shore. Since I'm 6'8", it took me approximately 3 strokes to get there, and when I snatched that shark-toothed necklace from the flag, well, it was just like being crowned homecoming king all over again! As we got to work on our camp, all the ladies on the island commenced the shortening of garments. Then, my friends, I was beyond positive that this game was for me. The only downside was that Coby figured he could do the same thing, and...dude, that's just...wrong. Taking care not to trip and decapitate myself with the toothy adornment 'round my neck, I was given the privilege of choosing the first member of the Koror Tribe, which was Katie. Easy decision, really. You see, she brings a variety of assets to the team. Koror won the immunity/reward challenge handily since the other team seems to lack some elementary skills, such as a sense of direction, a rudimentary understanding of physics, or the basic coordination required to paddle. With that, we set off for new adventures across uncharted waters. Gee, too bad our canoe tipped over and our reward sank to the bottom of the sea, right along with our hearts. *sigh* Time to save the day, once again.
My strategy going in was to be the strong, silent and ripped type. As soon as we reached the beach, I unbuttoned my shirt to show off my killer pecs and abs. Later, I abandoned the subtlety and took my shirt off altogether. I wielded quite the machete without saying a word while we were all trying to build a shelter. When Jeff surprised us with a tribal choose 'em, I started getting worried that I should have spoken up a little. Even though Ashlee called me "Abraham" when she chose me, I didn't care. I was just so happy not to be completely humiliated. I did finally speak, but only to the confessional camera. I was so sure our younger, more athletic team would win the challenge. I even left my shoe half way through the obstacle course. Oops. I guess some brains are required to row in unison. I cleverly signaled Jo with hand signs during a stroll on the beach that I was with her. Maybe next week I'll try voicing an opinion or at least uttering a word to my tribemates.
That Jeff is a sumbitch, I tell you what. Just cuttin' figure-eights around us in his fancy little speedboat while we rowed, man. Now, I know how to row a dang canoe -- I mean, where I come from we take canoe trips down the river ever' year. We ran into some trouble with some crazies one time, but my buddy Bobby took it like a man and squealed just like they told him to. Anyway, point is, I can row, and now I'm stuck on a dang ol' tribe of sumbitches that can't. And rowing ain't an easy skill to show off when you got ten other people paddlin' around in circles and throwin' you off your stride, I tell you what.
But hey, man, ever’thing’s ok. That loud-mouth Yolanda was tryin’ to get ever’body to vote off Angie just ‘cause she looks different. Hell, back home, every woman has them kind of tattoos. That dang ol’ Yolanda was harder than a steel beam, and she had to go. Now without her hollerin’ all the time, man, I can show these folks how to use an oar, and maybe on the next challenge we won’t look so dang pitiful.
Que? Me row? I don't think so. Let the muscular girls toil, I'm the best suited to sitting at the head of the canoe like the magnificent prow of a viking ship. With my hair, I don't even need a headdress. This game's just like a Caribbean vacation...why there was even some fella singing show tunes for our entertainment. Caramba! We had to swim to shore. I may look like a Portuguese water spaniel, but I can't swim like one. Besides, I'm Cuban. At camp I pitched in a little and then snuck off to scrape the nacre lining out of some seashell to use as body glitter. Like I'm going to let myself go. I got picked early for the Koror tribe, and I cried when Wanda had to leave, but only because she was singing again and she's much worse than Wayne Newton. As soon as someone catches a fish I'll pound the scales to use as shimmery eyeshadow. Oh yeah, my tribe won immunity but we lost our fire supplies when our canoe tipped over on the way to our new beach. This wouldn't have happened if I was allowed to be the prow decoration. Now my hair's all wet. Maybe I can use some coconut milk as some Frizz-Ease?
My plan to blend in with every other guy worked well…except Ibrehem obviously, he’s just too tall so no one is blending in with him. The plan may have worked a little too well, I was worried that no one would know my name and therefore wouldn’t pick me to be on a tribe. Luckily Steph remembered my name. After she picked me I went for Kim, as she’s equally as bland so far. Oolong is my new tribe name, pretty lame, but I’m just happy to be here. I’ll make a big move soon, even if it’s just to avoid another tribal council. Peace out.
My strategy going into this game was rather simple; flirt, be cute and stay out of trouble. When Jeff said that immunity was waiting for us on the beach, I decided to make my way to the back of the boat so I could jump off early. I was so close to the necklace but that obnoxious woman Jolanda stole it from me. In other news, Gregg chose me to be on his team with the rest of the old folks. If I want to keep up with my initial strategy, I’ll have to choose the target of my affection. Gregg sure looks good but Ian scores major points by working with dolphins. Then again, there’s always Coby, but something tells me he would rather borrow my pink tank top than flirt with me.
Wow! This game sure started out weird with everyone in one big boat rowing toward our first immunity necklace. Stephenie and Jonathan were the first to jump in the water and automatically placing targets on their foreheads.
After things had settled down a bit Jeff showed up on the beach to inform us that the people holding immunity would start the selection of the tribes. Woohoo! I was first. I never get picked first in team choosies. This game is fun.
Just when the fun was getting started we had to say goodbye to Jonathan and Wanda. Why is everyone(including me) so emotional. We just met these folks and better them than me. I hope to say many more goodbyes in the next month or so.
We blew past Ulong in the challenge and ended up going to a new camp. I wonder who they sent home tonight.
OoooooooWEE. Did you see who picked me? Did ya? Ulong hottie #4, that's who. The muscular, taught, delicious man-ho, Jeff, picked me. Me! Of all people! He he he!! *giggles into hand* I mean, I can't sing and I don't have any markings and I'm built like a chihuahua. A pretty, pretty, pretty, blonde chihuahua princess, yes, but he picked me! And I turned around and made our team even more succulent by picking that muscular country boy, James. He's cocky and tells us whut fer all the time, but he's built like a skin-covered mountain of luv. Mmm...mmmm. Damn, Ulong is pretty. Almost as pretty as me! I hope we can stick together, though, because I was a bit freaked when everybody asked me to send Jolanda down the river. And I'm like, that's fine, but I'll be pissed if you stab me in the back and switch the plan!! I won't just be against you in the game, but I'll find you, and make you pay, and make your family pay, and make your family's friends pay, and your family's friends' soccer coaches pay, and your milkman pay, and your constantly-switching UPS man pay!! You fight with the chihuahua, you get the tiny paws! *punches air*
You don't win this game by standing still, waiting for the million to drop itself at your feet. You have to move. I'm not going to just sit in a boat and twiddle my thumbs when I could be swimming. No, I'm going to jump out and get to work! Okay, so I was the last one to the island...but it's the principle, people. If Miss Rest Every Third Hour had embraced this principle and gotten her bossy rear in gear in the challenge, we might not have gone to tribal council. It was only fitting that Jolanda got the boot. Now, with her gone, I can keep this tribe moving.
Things got off to a rough start when that Crazy Wanda was belting out her bizarre Survivor song 10 inches from my ear. I almost dove off the side of the boat, but then I remembered I am one of New York's Bravest and carried on. After Ian won immunity by reaching the beach first, I congratulated him. I admire a man with physical wherewithal. People tried to convince me to attempt to build a fire. Don't they know my job is to put fires out? For cripes sake, it says so on my shirt. As much as I tried to keep from taking over, I just couldn't help myself. I ended up in charge of shelter design. Damn. I was impressed by Janu when she shimmied up the trees like a monkey to tie off the support beams. By Day 2, I was the second man selected in the pick 'em game. After we won the reward/immunity challenge, it was clear everyone was looking to me to decide which beach to take. I really wish I had deferred to someone else. Instead I decided we should go for the unknown rather than the known. My choice didn't look so good when we tipped the canoe on the way to our new adventure and lost our reward.
That was one strange beginning to the game. Frankly, I was almost ready to quit on the spot when that lunatic started singing while we were rowing to the beach. I am glad she got the boot. If I wanted to see some old broad run around in her nightie every day I could have stayed home with the wife. On the good side, I beat out some pretty boy to get selected on a strong team. I feel so good, I am losing the trousers. Call me Captain Underpants!
So there we are, rowing our butts off when Jeffy boy comes by in speedboat. Tells us that our beach is about a mile away and the first guy and girl to get there wins immunity. Well Steph jumps in early and like an idiot I followed. Yes Mom, if Steph jumps off a boat I will too!!! This is not my finest hour since the boat beat us in to shore. Tried to redeem myself by working hard and building shelter. Guess they remembered the dive cause we had to pick tribemates and I was last guy left, and first castaway to get the big boot in the butt!!!
This really sucks. I've spent months coming up with clever Survivor-themed wordplay to put in standard songs, and collecting castaway-related songs, so that I could endlessly entertain my captive audience, er, I mean fellow contestants. I'm sure they would have loved my rendition of Jimmy Buffett's "Coconut Telegraph", but now they'll just have to think of their own uninspired songs. Those ungrateful bastards! Where's their token "quirky old lady" now? Janu? Ha! They'll regret this, just like Tommy Johnson when he picked me last for dodgeball back in 4th grade. I'll just bide my time until the reunion show, when I have my opportunity to give them all purple nurples during the commercial breaks. It worked on Tommy...
You better believe that I'm all about the "firsts."
When Jeff told us that the first woman (and the first man) to reach one of two necklaces on the beach would earn immunity, I was the first woman.
And I'm proactive. That's right, you better believe it. I didn't sit around, waiting to starve. Heck, I didn't even wait to see if we could find food, because I found my own. One minute, I was petting Jiminy Cricket; the next minute, I gave him a new home--in my stomach.
I was the first to eat something disgusting. I wanted to show everyone I had the cajones to outwist, outlast, out-whatever the strongest of the strong men, but I think the others thought I was an idiot. If having an iron stomach is good enough for Fear Factor, it should be good enough for Survivor...right?
So, yeah yeah, maybe because of me, my tribe wasn't first during the immunity/reward challenge. When we saw them pull ahead while we were still trying to decide which supplies to take, I made a teeny, tiny mistake by not grabbing as little as possible and trying to catch them.
We weren't first, then. But I earned the honor of being the first Survivor voted out. Wanda and Jonathan may have been picked last and got booted off the island, but that's not the same as being voted off.
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, Shazzer, Silverstar, Spegs, Speedbump, Texicana, and Wolf