Episode 5 (3/16): Sake Stew and Tribal Council Times Two
Previously on Survivor, Ulong was desperate after three straight trips to tribal council. James talked tough and failed to back it up. Tom continued to stand out. Coby let us in on the five person alliance at Koror of which he is not a part. Ulong was unable to pick a leader as instructed and decided to change things up and lose not just the immunity challenge but both the reward and immunity challenges. After some talk by the women of booting James, Ulong sent their weakest remaining link Kim home.
As the episode opens, itís night at Koror. There is the ominous sound of thunder in the background. Gregg and Jen have decided to adopt the risky Cuddle Strategy. The two of them snuggle and giggle in the luxurious new Koror digs. This strategy led to Jeff and Kim both being gone within three tribal councils. Then again, Rob and Amber rode it all the way to the final two. Coby, the ever observant, notes that people on Koror have teamed off. Gregg and Jen try to pretend they arenít that close, but Coby thinks the fact that she keeps putting her hand on his stomach says otherwise. As the tribe settles down for the night, Jen asks, ďWhereís Willard?Ē As it turns out, Willard is hidden in Kororís new hammock. Tom tells Willard that heís in charge of the fire unless he wakes someone else up to throw logs on the fire.
Over at Ulong where the shelter isnít nearly as sheltering, James and Bobby Jon have decided that the disheartened tribe should go to a cave because it is about to rain. Despite the fact that the cave is 300 yards away, Bobby Jon ends up leading the hapless five on what looks like a snipe hunt as they get hopelessly lost. Angie spends much of the time whining. Iím sure the rest of the tribe was having a blast Angie. Bobby Jon eventually admits that he canít see where they are going. Perhaps they should have brought some sort of torch with them rather than relying on the Palau streetlights to guide them? Angie tells us she thought it was insane to wander around in the dark. Eventually, she gets so disgusted that she announces she is going back to camp. Stephenie is also less than pleased with the brainiacsí plan. As she says, ďWe are in the middle of the fricking jungle. After an hour of continuing futility, Ulong returns to their campsite to spend a highly uncomfortable night in the pouring rain.
Ainít No Pot of Gold
The next morning Ulong is greeted by a rainbow. James decides to cheer everyone up by announcing that it looks like more rain is coming. Bobby Jon lets us know that their campsite has become a mud hole. Look on the bright side Bobby Jon. At least you didnít build a subterranean shelter. Angie continues to channel Eeyore, stating that the day doesnít look like itís shaping up too well.
Back at Kororís beach, we see a shark gobbling up some minnows. Tom has gotten up on the wrong side of the bed despite the relative comfort of the new Koror shelter. It seems that Willard has failed to follow orders and stoke the fire overnight. As a result, Tom had to get up through out the night to do it himself. Every time he went to throw a log on the fire, Tom had to crawl over Willard in the hammock. Tom and Gregg discuss the Willard situation. Afterwards, Gregg tells us during a confessional that everyone on their tribe has been sitting pretty and some people have been along for a free ride. Not too surprising given that they have yet to lose an immunity challenge. Gregg specifically mentions that Willard has been playing longer than he should have. Classic Burnett misdirection or foreshadowing? You make the call.
Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Sake
We finally get to our first, and as it turns out only, challenge of the episode. It involves being pulled out one by one to the location of a sunken Japanese ship on a skiff. Once a contestant reaches the wreck, they have to dive down and retrieve one of fourteen empty sake bottles which are attached to the wreck. The contestant then has to return to the skiff. Once they are back on the skiff, their tribe mates have to haul them back to the platform where they have to place the bottle in a case. No contestant can go twice until everyone on their tribe has gone at least once. The first tribe to get six bottles wins reward. Jeff then delivers some shocking news. The winning tribe will eat. However, theyíll do it at tribal council. There will be no tribal immunity so both tribes are going to have to vote someone out regardless of who wins the reward challenge. The winning tribe will be given the opportunity to listen in to the other tribeís tribal council while eating stew and drinking root beer and gain some intelligence information which could be important later.
the entire cast of CatsWillard, Caryn, Katie, and Janu out for the challenge. Stephenie and Jen are the first to set out on the skiffs for their tribes. Ulong reaches the wreck first and Jen emerges with a bottle just ahead of Steph. Koror out pulls Ulong and Jen is the first to place her sake bottle in the case. Gregg and Angie are the second two to go for Koror and Ulong respectively. Angie is the first in the water but Gregg catches up and they emerge from the water in a dead heat. Ulong pulls ahead as Koror falls behind. It turns out to be a cruel tease though. Ibrehem gets to the wreck and dives down not once, not twice, but three times and comes up without a single bottle. In the meantime, Coby catches up and heads back to the platform. Ulong finally calls Ibrehem back to the platform sans bottle. I guess his lack of body fat keeps him from being able to dive effectively.
Bobby Jon takes over for Ulong and high tails it out to the wreck. Tom heads out for Koror and with his usual ruthless efficiency comes right back up with a sake bottle. Bobby Jon dives down and finds a bottle. Tom reaches Kororís platform with their fourth bottle, and Ian heads out on the skiff. As Jeff cruelly reminds Ulong, it needs a miracle at this point to pull the challenge out. James tries to start the Cinderella comeback. He dives in and comes up with a bottle almost immediately. Ian, on the other hand, surfaces empty-handed. Ian, despite his dolphin skills is having a hard time seeing the bottles. James makes it back to the platform and ties up the score four to four.
Stephenie jumps on the skiff and reaches the wreck and dives down while Ian frantically continues to search for a bottle. While Stephenie is underwater, Ian finally finds a bottle. Stephenie finds one too. The two of them resurface at the same time and head back to the platforms. Ian heads right back out on the skiff since everyone on Koror has taken a turn. Stephenie also heads back out. Ian now knows exactly where to go and locates and retrieves a bottle right away. He makes it back to the platform and looks ready to pass out from exhaustion. Koror wins yet again much to Stephenieís frustration. Angie just looks like she wants to cry.
Jeff tells Koror that they will go to tribal council first then move to the jury section of the tribal council area to eat and listen to Ulong.
Happy Happy Joy Joy
When Koror gets back to their beach, a noticeably emaciated Ian does a happy dance and everyone appears pleased. Tom tells the tribe, ďNice job again everyone.Ē Ian tells us that unfortunately both tribes have to vote someone out tonight. He is comforted though by the fact that Koror will be eight strong by the end of the night while Ulong will be down to four. Koror discusses Ibrehemís poor performance at the reward challenge. Tom is confident that Koror would have won regardless but everyone else does not seem nearly as confident about what the outcome would have been.
Ian then confesses that the nice thing is that Koror gets to watch Ulong do it. Might want to rethink that choice of words, Ian. He wants to see where the Ulongiansí feelings are and their strategy. Heís also looking forward to the ďparty in his mouthĒ that stew and root beer will be. Alrighty then.
Tom and Janu share some secret Kororian bonding hand signal that looks like something Mr. Spock would flash. Colby makes a suggestion that Koror try to be nice and not giggle when they are enjoying their reward in front of Ulong. Heís worried about the impression they will make while enjoying their reward in front of Ulong. Ian finally canít contain his glee and bursts into song about not having to go forage for food. His song ends with a line about how Ulong is in Survivor hell. Tom grins at him like an indulgent father. Everyone else looks a little embarrassed for him.
Meanwhile, Ulong is paddling back to their beach in silence. James is pissed. He tells us that they had the challenge in the bag then Ibrehem happened. James bluntly says that they lost because of Ibrehem. He is convinced that Ibrehem giving up was the cause of their fourth challenge loss in a row. Ibrehem doesnít appear to be particularly happy with his performance either as we are treated to shots of him moping on his own on the beach and in the water.
Angie continues her Pollyanna approach to the game saying that she canít believe they lost. James tells her its beef stew, you know. Iím thinking James is impressed that its beef rather than possum. Beef is for special occasions only. Stephenie continues her macha schtick. She thinks she might have to throw up having to watch Koror eat. Sheís been an athlete her entire life and sheís just not a good loser. I guess the speeches about not being a sore loser didnít stick. Maybe all the teams she was on were undefeated. Stephenie has reached the point where she is just hoping for a merge. After venting her frustration, she heads off in search of water.
Ibrehem finally rejoins his tribe mates and announces that heís going to go try to catch some crab. Ibrehem attempts to apologize to James in a backhanded way by telling him that he panicked and thought he was taking too much time. Ibrehem takes responsibility for single handedly losing the challenge. James does his best stonewall impression and doesnít respond. Ibrehem tries to convince himself it will all be okay because heís never quit at a challenge before.
Ibrehem seems to have forgotten about those crabs since the next thing we see is him asking Bobby Jon to tell him what is up if he can. Bobby Jon avoids looking Ibrehem in the eyes at all costs. Afterwards, Bobby Jon tells us that he like Ibrehem, but it is fair to vote him off at tribal council that night.
Look Whoís Talking
At Koror, we see one of their rats eating some coconut. Willard is sitting at the picnic table they got as part of last weekís reward scooping out a coconut. Willardís isolation is palpable. In the water, Tom is talking with the other members of his alliance, Ian, Gregg, Jen, and Katie. The five of them agree that Willard is going home. As Tom says, they need to get rid of him before the challenges become puzzles and he sneaks into the final two.
Next, we learn something shocking. Willard can speak. Willard knows that he was going to be in trouble the first time Koror went to tribal council. He seems to have accepted defeat without putting up a fight. Willard, unfortunately wearing only his underwear, approaches Coby who is similarly clad. Iím tempted to wash my eyes out with bleach. Willard tells Coby that he thinks he is going and asks Coby if he can fit in Willardís shorts. The two of them have a poignant conversation and Willard admits that maybe heís not cut out for the game. He says he doesnít have the personality and heís weaker physically than he thought.
Coby confesses to us that heís 100% sure that itís Willard going home. He also shows that heís pragmatic. Coby admits that he doesnít have the numbers to change the vote and he knows it would be foolish to buck the tide. At this point, Coby doesnít want to draw a target on his back.
Coby and Willard are lounging at the new Koror shelter where Willard calls himself everyoneís favorite curmudgeon. He could be right, but itís a little hard to judge given that this is the first episode weíve actually seen him communicate. Coby confesses that the only person pissing him off on Koror is Katie. He says that if she gets farther than him in the game heíll puke. Actually he says heíll puke, puke, puke.
Gregg also decides this is the episode where heíll share his dulcet tones with us. Who knew that anyone on Koror other than Tom, Ian, Caryn, Katie, and Coby could speak? Gregg finds Coby alone on the beach and decides to talk strategy with him after exacting a double secret pinky swear. Gregg first makes sure that Coby knows Willard is a goner at tribal council. He politely asks if Coby is okay with that. Gregg tells Coby that his and Jenís alliance with Tom, Ian, and Katie is a soft one. He and Jen feel like Tom and Ian are too close and they are on the outside. He proposes a plan of Jen and him joining with Coby and Janu once Willard and Caryn are gone to vote out either Ian or Tom. You can practically see Cobyís eyes light up. Coby says that he especially wants to see Tom gone. Heís got the biggest bulls eye on his back. Coby is now in his element; also known as scheming. He may be the only member of Koror excited about going to tribal council.
After Gregg and Cobyís conversation ends, Tom finds Gregg and tries to reassure himself that all is well. Little do you know Tom. The rank and file is planning a revolt. Gregg is quite pleased with himself and feels like he and Jen are in charge of the game at Koror. He sees the two of them as the swing vote that will determine what happens. Gregg and Jen are feeling so good that the two of them are implementing their cuddle strategy in the hammock before tribal council. Gregg thinks that he and Jen could flip to pick off the bigger strengths in Tom and Ian. He is sure that he and Jen are playing a superior mental game.
Alas Poor Willard, We Hardly Knew Ye
Koror has their first tribal council experience. Jeff is clearly stoked to finally get to question Koror at tribal council. He tells Koror that he wants to talk relationships, leadership, and friendships. Katie tells Jeff that who is a leader depends on your definition of leader. When it comes to the challenges, it is Tom. As for providing food, itís Ian. And here I thought Willard and Caryn were the only lawyers on Koror. Jeff asks Tom if he intended to be a leader. Tom says no. His plan was to be the 40 year old dad and fade into the background. Once, he realized he was on a physically weaker tribe, he realized that everyone had to turn it up to 110% to win immunity. Coby seems to appreciate Tomís response.
Coby then does an impressive job of acting when Jeff asks him if he is social with the tribe. Coby says yes and that he doesnít care if it costs him the game. The only thing he didnít do is bat his eyelashes and say I know nothing about what is going on. Jeff turns his attention to Gregg asking him what friendships heís noticed. He immediately mentions Tom and Ianís relationship and says it is like a father/son relationship. Much to everyoneís amusement, Tom pipes up and says heís the father. Gregg then mentions Coby and Janu and Willard and Caryn and makes up some crap about Katie spreading the wealth and being close to everyone. Coby jumps in and says that leaves Gregg and Jen. Jeff tries to get Gregg to admit that the two of them have a budding romance. Gregg downplays their relationship saying it is nothing super intense at this point. Jen remains mute.
Jeff asks Willard how he thinks he is perceived and Willard continues his surrender saying that he is probably seen as one of the weaker players. Jeff turns back to Gregg and inquires how big an issue trust is. Gregg admits it is becoming an issue for the first time now that they are finally at tribal council.
Jeff wraps up the discussion and tells Koror it is time to vote. We see Willard vote for Katie and Katie vote for Willard. Katie decides to add a little dig saying, ďYouíre crabby and youíre bitter. Bye.Ē In the end, the vote is 8-1 and Willard is gone. He tells Koror to stick to the plan and finish off Ulong before he exits. Jeff tells Koror that now they are eight and they should grab their torches and head over to the jury side of the tribal council area while he brings in Ulong.
Willardís parting words pretty much echo what we have already heard. He admits that he wasnít very strong and is sometimes crabby. He says that Koror is by and large good people.
Stewing in their Own Juices
As Ulong enters the tribal council area, Jeff instructs Koror to lift the cover off their reward. Janu does the honors. As soon as the stew, biscuits, and root beer are revealed, all of Kororís best intentions about not gloating go out the window. Angie can hardly stand it and covers her face with her hands.
Koror continues to loudly enjoy their reward. Ian says not to be bashful in dishing up the stew. After all, heís a skinny man. Jeff reminds Ulong that part of the reward is to be at tribal council and listen in while eating. Jeff comments on the fact that Ulong appears to have brought their entire camp with them. Bobby Jon says that they never know what is happening and wanted to be prepared in case there was a merge. Jeff dashes Ulongís hopes and says they arenít merging. Jeff asks Angie why she is covering her face. Is it that she canít stand to look at the food? She says it is that and that she is so frustrated at the loss of morale. It would have meant a lot for Ulong to win. Stephenie blames Ibrehem without saying so directly for Ulongís loss. She says she canít even look at Koror and doesnít know who was voted off. James tells Jeff they really wanted the reward and were pulling as fast as they could.
Ibrehem tries to appeal to his tribe. He says that everyone is disappointed but they are only looking at the last challenge. He wishes everyone could look collectively at the challenges. Jeff then delivers the last surprise of the episode. Before Ulong votes, Koror gets to vote to grant one member of Ulong immunity. It is an individual decision and Koror is given no opportunity to discuss it. The vote turns out to be Angie-one, Stephenie-two, Bobby Jon-two, and Ibrehem-three. James does not receive a single vote. With Ibrehem having immunity, the landscape has suddenly changed.
After the immunity vote is finished, Jeff sends Koror back to their camp. A Ulong now even more without a plan votes. James writes down Angieís name and then says Iím sorry. Stephenie votes for Bobby Jon. We donít see who anyone else votes for. When Jeff reads the votes, itís two votes Angie, two votes Bobby Jon, and one vote James. Jeff declares that because it is a tie, Angie and Bobby Jon canít vote. The other three can only vote for either Angie or Bobby Jon. After the revote, Jeff reads the first two votes which are both for Angie and declares her the sixth person voted out of Palau. Angie gives Stephenie her yellow dress and tells her to rock it as she walks off after having her torch snuffed. Jeff sends the ever dwindling Ulong back to camp.
Ibrehem faces the music for his failure at the last challenge, a massive storm hammers Koror, and whatís left of Janu pays the price.
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