Welcome to the fourth edition of ďStanding in the ShadowsĒ for Guatemala: The Maya Empire! For those readers unfamiliar with it, each season our writers and mods ďstand in the shadowĒ 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. . . .
I knew that everyone was going to see me as a huge threat, being as I am very strong, and let's face it, the best-looking guy out here. My strategy going into this was to appear vulnerable, to throw them off, so that spiky tree falling on me was sheer luck! Sure, it hurt like hell, but I played it up for all it was worth. *retch* Betcha didn't know I could puke on command! Some of the other guys are already trying to ride my coattails, puking like me to not appear as a threat... but that's okay, because I know only I can turn it on and off at will. *retch* Damn, I think I puked out my Crest Whitestrips.
I came here with a plan. Iím going to be as small an unobtrusive as I can. I donít want to be a target, and leaders quickly become targets. Iím a military brat - I know how to shut my mouth and take orders. I lagged a little behind the second morning, but I was carrying the tribal flag, and it was very heavy. Once I passed off the flag I caught up easily. Iím strong, but built more for endurance than speed. When it came time for the immunity challenge, I had the important job of lighting the fire to signal our win, and I didnít even have to work hard to do it. Iím a part of this team and I plan on being here awhile. Slow and steady, thatís me.
Since Iím just a farmer from Kansas (Do you like my hat? Tell me you like my hat!) and Iíve never really hiked a mile just for the sake of hiking in my life, I really hope my youth and lust for experiencing life will give me some jungle cred. No, reallyóI havenít hiked a day in my life. Iíll prove it to you. But first, hand me all those bananasÖIíll carry them. Whoops! I dropped one. Now watch. See?!? I canít even walk 5 steps without slipping on a banana peel. Now Iím gonna lay low for the next few days. Every other guy is barfing, and the old man hurt his arm. I ainít goiní nowhere. Peace out, yíall!
I am a wilderness GUIDE. I guide people through the wilderness, for pete's sake...but for my strategy, I decided to bring up the rear on our hike, as everyone knows the leader gets voted out first! Also, everyone knows that the leader has grey hair and is the tallest, so no one's going to target me! My tribe has a lot of spirit, so I knew we'd do well. Of course, our success was due to me sitting in front to row during the challenge. Just so long as no one sees me as a leader, that's all that matters. Oh, don't you love how the color of our team buff sets off my eyes?
Oh broth-ah. That trek through the jungle was a wicked pissah, I tell ya. Then to top it all off, I ate some green bananas that gave me the back yard trots for two days. But heyÖthis is Surviv-ah and it sure as hell trumps walking the beat and cracking some petty thiefís skull. I have to remember to stay low and out of sight. Like two ships passing in the night- barely visible yet massive and powerful. Weíll see how this plays out for the time being. Stephenie gave us some good tips which kept our patooties out of tribal council. Sheís a keep-ahÖfor now.
The 11 mile track through the jungle really took a toll on our team. The girls were holding up great, but the guys were dropping like flies. First, Blake went down after a branch with thorns fell on him. Then Bobby Jon almost went into a seizure due to dehydration. Judd was puking his guts out. Poor Jim's left bicep popped out. Not to worry, my babies! Florence Nightingale is here to take care of you. Now take two aspirins and call me in the morning.
Fourth timeís a charm! I finally made it on Survivor and am ready to kick some booty. That Stephenie from Palau might have thought she was a strong player, but Iím here to show her that Iím rougher and Iím tougher Ė and Iíd bet sheís never outrun an escaped cheetah before. What? Sheís back? Well sheíd better be glad she is on the other tribe, because Nakum ainít big enough for two tiny powerhouse women, and Cindy is here to stay. Iím glad to have Bobby Jon on my team instead. If he isnít proof that man evolved from an ape, I donít know what is. But ape-ish or not, he looks damn fine without his shirt on Ė as long as he can keep those eyeballs in his head. The women on this tribe definitely have one up on the men; we're holding it together while the boys are either wallowing in the mud like feral hogs or whimpering in pain like stuck pigs. Itís too bad that we had to vote ol' Jim out tonight, but when an old horse goes lame, heís got to be put out to pasture. This little Seabiscuit has a race to win.
Yeehaw! Thatís right everyone! Stephenie and I are back to play the game again. Itís like Survivor All Stars, but without all the ASSes. Jeff is introducing us as if we are prizes for each tribe. Yeah, I know Iím playing the game as a regular player, Jeff, and thanks for reminding my tribemates that they can use me and then kick me out whenever they want. *sarcasm* Since I have been on Survivor before, I am going to remind you all that I am one of the hardest working survivors ever, and I am so confident that will make you appreciate me, that Iím going to charge onward through the jungle leaving you all in my dust. Whoa! I didnít expect my body to react this profanely to the harsh jungle conditions. My whole body is chilly. My legs are cramping up! Unhhhhh. Even though we won the nicer camp, my body just cannot cope with the heat and the dehydration. Thank God my teammate Margaret is a nurse, or I might have gone into shock! Someone gimme some water! *Retch* *Puke* *Hurl* Thankfully, there is a 60 year old man in our tribe who is also injured and hating life. Heíll shield me from getting voted offÖfor now.
Hey y'all, would you look at this place?! It's all green and dangerous-looking...just like my eyes. I'm liking the look of my team so far - boobies as far as I can see! Almost enough to make up for the pile of Playboys I had to leave back home in Hollywood. But what's this?! Damn, ya'll, how'm I supposed to win this million dollars with this Stephenie chick suddenly on my tribe? I totally had it in the bag until she showed up. I call shenanigans! Well, I'm gonna keep twinkling my green green eyes until everyone's hypnotized, and then I'm gonna try to get a closer look at some of these boobies. Too bad I couldn't have hooked up some skis to the back of this boat... that would show that Stephenie chick! Don't you think my green eyes are pretty? Shout out to my twin bro, Ramie: don't mess up my magazines, yo, or I'll totally give you a knuckle noogie when I get done winning this million.
I carried a sack. For eleven miles. I carried a sack. One sack. One woman. One dream. To make it far enough in the game to be allowed to speak. Well....I spoke....like...once. But I think I just said, "yay" or "Mayans are RAD!" I don't remember. I was replaying the dance routine for "Oops I did it again." You know, where Britney's got that tight, red, jumpsuit, and she totally, like....screws that astronaut guy? And I don't mean in the way she do Mr. Federline, if you feel my vibe? Anyhow, I was replaying that scene, and imagining Stephenie in that suit. Then me. Then Rafe. Then all of us together. One suit. Three tribe members. One dream. Wait...that may be the dehydration talkin'. The jungle is SO NOT the Onyx tour! And what's with all these weeds? Yeah, we won. But won what? AND WHAT'S THAT ON MY FREAKIN' LEG??? *kicks air* I want my momma. And my Teen Beat. And a large vat of mustardy pickles. Then I'll feel safe again. *rocks self*
Iím so glad my pageant days are behind me, and Iím free to wear my Chiefs hat and Football Chic shirt. They would have booted me out of the Miss USA Pageant faster than you can say acrylic nails if Iíd shown up for the rehearsal of the group number dressed like this. People are always telling me Iím beautiful, but I like to think of myself as tough. Our team really blew it by going so hard after the Reward Challenge. If the Chiefs had done the same thing in a preseason game, one of my regular callers, Buster from Hyde Park, would have blasted Dick Vermeil for being so stupid. You donít leave your regulars in until the games count and all that counts in Survivor is immunity. Who cares about getting the better camp? Iím old school. Bud Grant used to make sure the Vikingsí bench wasnít heated in the old Metropolitan Stadium days because it makes you tougher. Instead of our tribe saving our strength for immunity, I had to assist Margaret in triage and none of our guys were 100% for the Immunity Challenge. At tribal council, Jeff tried to get me to say something stupid. Luckily, I have a lot of practice ducking loaded questions on the radio.
My professors are always saying law school is hard and the bar exam is harder. Ha! Iíd like to see what they think is hard after they hike 11 miles through a Guatemalan jungle rife with snakes and with every body of water filled with crocodiles. Especially if one of them chose to wear a blue sleeveless top that ties behind their neck. I was rethinking that decision as soon as Blake got attacked by the spiky tree. At the beginning of our brutal hike we only had a few seconds to decide what to take with us. By the end, I wasnít sure what we had brought. Plus, I was sure Bobby Jon and Blake were going to die and all the eye candy was going to be gone. I spent most of the episode reciting the elements of crimes in my head so Iíd be ready for the bar exam. After we lost the Immunity Challenge, I jumped into advocate mode just like I learned to do in my trial advocacy class. I made sure none of the women was going to go since we are by far stronger than the men. I hated to vote out Jim, but I had to do it for the good of the tribe.
It really stinks losing that first reward challenge. I was hoping to score some flint to shave it down and use it to keep my eyebrows nice and groomed. Can you imagine if my friends saw me on television with some Frida Kahlo bushes on top of my eyes? I was planning to teach Steph a few pointers on eyebrow quality as well. I love that girl, but damn!
Anyways, we won immunity so that totally made up for the first loss. I am off to find new and trendy ways to wear my survivor buff, since everyone has stolen my donut/angel halo/Saturn look. Talk to you guys later!
Well, we sure ain't in Brooklyn anymore, Toto. I've never even been camping -- my idea of roughing it is a night in the Bronx. Here there's, what, spiders? Crocodiles? Fugghedaboudit. Sure, I had a bad moment there getting out of the boat, wallowing around in the mud like a beached whale. But I managed to get out.
I thought my experience with opening doors and carrying luggage might help me here in Guatemala -- I mean, how different is it, really, to carry a sack of corn? Sure, there's no tip at the end, but hey, you gotta figure, a million-dollar tip wouldn't be that bad. And obviously my doorman experience did help me out, because after trekking through a jungle that's way wilder than Central Park, was I one of the guys lying flat on their backs for days? No, and I made sure to point that out to Probst and the tribe in no uncertain terms. I puked once and was over it. I booted and rallied, people. That's what doormen do.
I am so psyched to be back in a jungle! Sure, it was nice to be back home for just a couple of months, eating real food and having showers and all that. But my heart is with Survivor. I would just travel around to various remote Survivor locations ALL YEAR if I could.
As everyone knows, my tribe last season SUCKED. I mean, they blew big chunks. So I'm thrilled to have another go with a team that might actually have a chance. When we first set off on the 11-mile hike, I started worrying. These people were just ambling along. I mean, for crissakes, it's a RACE! We have to GO! I cannot lose again! But while we did lose that challenge, fortunately we won immunity! For the first time in my life, I got to touch an immunity idol! It was so....sweet. Hopefully my tribe will keep stepping it up, because I just cannot lose again. I can't take it, I can't do it. If we go to tribal council, my unpronouncably-named tribe better be ready to eliminate members like the Mayans did. That's right, I'm talking live sacrifice. That ought to get their butts moving in challenges.
I am pretty excited about being in this game. I live for the big games. Now, Jeff had to go on and on about poisonous snakes, spiky trees, and rabid hamsters or some such things, but honestly, unless you have had Lawrence Taylor bearing down on you at full speed, then frankly you just donít know what fear is. What was up with Jeffís new hat? Coach Landry could teach him a thing or two about hats. I was happy that we won immunity even though I am still having a hard time pronouncing our tribe name. Is it Sha-shoo? Yak-phoo? I donít know, but it sure sounds like it should be the name of a kicker. In any event, I think I am in strong position game-wise as long as I can keep my real identity a secret. I mean any Dallas fan here would likely boot me out on sight just because of my performance with their Cowboys, so I have to be very careful.
Ah..ah..ah..Yaxha-ooo! Gesundheit on me. *giggle* Well, this isnít turning out the way I was expecting it to be. The producers told me I would be camping and playing games for a month. Hmpf! There were these creepy looking slimy things on the ground and monkeys were pooping on us from up above. But on the bright side, we have some dreamy eye candy our team which is always a good thing. That pull-the-boat-thingy was tough! I broke a nail and not one person bothered to stop and ask if I was alright. Thatís ok, however. We won and I did a little on-the-spot cheer and clap. I hope that Bobby Jon didn't get his torch evicted or whatever that saying is. Iím tired and Iím waiting for the masseuse to make her rounds. Where is she anywaysÖ
Well, Iíll tell you about the Nakum tribe. I am obviously the only one that knows how to use a compass, since I was a marine. These youngsters probably donít even know which direction the sun sets. Yeah, being the oldest contestant on this years show could be a detriment in the long run but I have experience, and oh yeah, no one will see me as a physical threat. Whatís that kid saying? The leaders usually get voted off first? Oh yeah, I better make sure to maybe lay lowÖI wanna help, but not look like Iím helping. I wanna be strong, but not look strong. Everyone else is puking their guts out into the jungle since the hike. Heck, Bobby Jon almost had a seizure. I better pop something at this immunity challenge. Oops!! Dammit! I didnít really mean to pop my arm! Damn, it hurts! Really! I donít think I can use it anymore. Iíll sling it and hope no one notices and decides to vote out one of the pukers. What? Theyíre young and will recover? My arm and my age are going to be a detriment to the tribe? Oh man, itís going to be a unanimous decision. Oh well, off to take lovely walks with my wife.
We would like to thank the following writers for contributing to this article: Bill, Burntcrow, Dinahann, Lucy, Mariner, mrdobolina, oneTVslave, Roseskid, Shazzer, Speedbump, Suncat7, Totoro and Wolf