Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
It is the night of Judd’s ouster, Night 33 of the Survivor game. When the Survivors return from Tribal Council, they all agree that Judd’s parting words were harsh – “scumbags”, “I hope you all get eaten by a crocodile” – yep, that was a great goodbye. (Sore losers make for such good television, don’t you think?) Cindy lets the others know that she didn’t appreciate being left out of the change in plans. It makes her feel uneasy, because she senses a pattern; Judd didn’t know that Jamie was going, and he was next to go. Cindy didn’t know that Judd was going – does that mean she is going home next? Stephenie weakly reminds her that it could be any one of them that goes next.
Free As A Bird
The next morning, the mood around camp has lightened up. Rafe says that Judd’s leaving is like the cool kid going home, and now they are all free to be their natural dorky selves. They sit around crossing their eyes and making faces while discussing the aesthetic virtues of Justin Timberlake (i.e., he’s haaawwwwt.) The group agrees that it is great that in the hardest Survivor so far, the final five are a gay man and four women. “It’s like Rafe’s Angels,” says Rafe in confessional. Yeah, except Lydia ain’t no Lucy Liu, ifyaknowwhatimean.
Drive My Car
Treemail arrives in the form of a car key. Woohoo! It is time for the reward challenge and it is fairly obvious that the Survivors will be competing for a car. Everyone is excited. Stephenie and Rafe are the only two of the group that don’t have cars. Stephenie has never owned a car before, so she is especially jazzed. Lydia says that since she hasn’t won anything at all yet, she is feeling lucky and wants to win it for her seventeen-year-old son. Cindy chews at her nails in nervous anticipation of the upcoming challenge.
Beep Beep, Beep Beep, Yeah
They arrive at the challenge and are greeted by Jeff Probst standing by a new 2006 Pontiac Torrent. In addition to the SUV, the winner will win a barbecue feast with and an overnight stay at an archaeologist’s camp. They ooh and ah and get in their places for the challenge, called “Second Chance”. The challenge consists of a combination of tasks they have seen in previous challenges, such as balancing, untying knots, hitting a target and solving a puzzle.
In the first round, the players cross a beam untying macanas as they go. Several people fall off their beams and have to restart. Danni, Cindy, and Steph are first to cross the finish line and advance to the next round.
In the second round, they aim and throw the macanas they collected in the first round. Cindy and Steph are the first two to break their tiles and advance to the third round. The two girls are neck and neck as they race to complete their puzzles of the Mayan calendar. Cindy is the first to finish and leaps into a wagon, cuts the rope that is holding it and coasts down the hill to victory where she jumps up and down in excitement over her win.
Can’t Buy Me Love
Cindy’s unadulterated joy is soon spoiled by an announcement from Jeff. He reminds her that in ten seasons of Survivor, the person who has won the car has never won the million dollars. They call it “the curse of the car”. Come on, Jeff, do you have to be such a downer? Geez. Jeff offers Cindy a never-before-presented opportunity. If she chooses, Cindy can give up her car and the other four players will get cars instead. Everyone gasps and Steph lets out a few of her typical “Oh my God!”s. Cindy gnashes her teeth in agony over the decision. She says she doesn’t usually believe in curses, but at the same time she would love to be able to give cars to the other four. However, after a few moments of soul-searching, she says, screw the curse! She is there to beat the odds and win both the car and the money. The remaining four weakly applaud her, but their disappointment is clearly visible.
Ticket to Ride
Cindy chooses Stephenie, who came in second, to accompany her on the reward excursion. Stephenie is thrilled to be chosen for reward yet again and eagerly hops in the car beside a somewhat less joyous Cindy. She consoles Cindy and tells her to be happy. Steph says she would have done the same thing if the choice had been hers. Cindy obviously feels bad and rationalizes that there are just no guarantees in the game. If she had given up her car, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the others would vote for her to win a million dollars or even survive the next Tribal Council. Steph agrees with her and the two delight in the fact that the women performed so well in the challenge, exclaiming, “chicks rule!”
Cindy and Steph arrive at the camp where Frederico, the archaeologist, greets them with an enormous basket of food, complete with bottles of rum. He leaves them to eat and the ladies bust into the grub, covering the grill with an obscene amount of meat. They grill and eat and enjoy their reward and each other’s company. Frederico returns to join them for a drink and tell them tales of Mayan history.
After dinner, the girls chat about the game and their strategy. They decide that Danni is their biggest threat and should be the next to go. Steph feels confident that Rafe will go along with them in voting her out.
I’m A Loser
Meanwhile, back at camp, Rafe is complaining about Cindy’s refusal to give up her car in exchange for cars for four other people. He and Danni both agree that it was a no-brainer; they both claim that they would have given up their cars in a heartbeat. Lydia feels that Cindy deserved the car and made the right choice. Rafe continues to dwell on the situation and the bad vibes building up against Cindy are easily visible. He says that maybe he is really not her biggest fan anymore after her decision to keep the car. Can you say, “sour grapes”?
I Should Have Known Better
Cindy and Steph return from their reward. Lydia asks Cindy about her car and Cindy excitedly explains how great and wonderful the car is and how excited she is to have won it. She carries on enthusiastically, oblivious to the looks of envy and bitterness on the faces of Rafe and Danni. It is clear that she is not gaining any favor with them and that every word she says is another nail in her coffin.
Twist and Shout
The final five arrive at the Immunity Challenge to find a series of ropes and poles. Their task is to navigate the course and cut a rope to release their flag and win immunity. The begin with their hands and feet shackled together, and a rope is tied around their waist. Each Survivor has a key ring and they must try the various keys to unlock the shackles first at their wrists and later, their feet. They untie knots as they go and must run around the poles to unravel enough rope to reach their final flag. The race is tight, but ultimately Stephenie is first to reach her pole and release her flag. She covers her face and cries with joy, “I finally won something!” Jeff asks if this is her first individual win of any kind and Steph tearfully nods, yes.
Two of Us
Back at camp, everyone is on edge. Rafe and Danni do chores huddled closely together as they whisper and strategize. Rafe promises that he will honor his promise to take Danni to the final three. He says that he will not vote for her at this Tribal Council, no matter what happens. She says the same, adding that if she has the choice to bring him to the final two over someone who would be easier to beat, she will still stay true and bring him to the end with her. In essence, Danni has promised F2, while Rafe has reaffirmed only the F3 alliance.
Stephenie walks through the woods with Rafe and shares with him that she and Cindy had decided that it would be in the best interest of the alliance to vote out Danni, since she is their biggest threat. Rafe surprises Steph when he says that actually, he has been thinking that Cindy is a fiercer competitor and a bigger threat – she should go first. Stephenie is taken aback by the change in plans and worries how betraying Cindy will play out for her in the long run. She says she already knows that neither Jamie nor Judd would vote for her in the end and isn’t sure she can afford to lose any more votes.
Tomorrow Never Knows
Cindy and Stephenie sit together and discuss the upcoming vote. Steph lets Cindy in on the news that Rafe has decided she is the biggest target. Cindy does not look pleased to hear this and points out that Rafe is the one that has won challenge after challenge. When Rafe is out of earshot, Cindy approaches the other girls and suggests that they have all women in the final four; it would be their best chance, she says. She tells them that if they leave Rafe in the game, they are leaving their biggest threat there to win all the immunities and vote them out one after the other. She makes an effort, and Stephenie tries to support her, agreeing that indeed, Rafe is the biggest threat and it is dangerous to let him stay. Danni, however, does not look convinced, knowing she can’t go back on her word at this point. Rafe notices the girls sitting together on the ruins and climbs up to join them, putting an end to the strategy talk. Everyone looks uneasy as the time for Tribal Council approaches.
You Never Give Me Your Money
Bobby Jon, Jamie, Gary, and Judd assume their seats on the jury bench as tribal council begins. Jeff does his usual probing (or would that be Probst-ing? Ba-dum-bum! *cymbal crash*) of the Survivors to get them to give away too much information. He asks Danni if it seems around camp that people are sticking to their plans or scrambling for new strategies. She doesn’t take the bait, and simply answers that she has felt nervous since the merge, and feels very lucky to have made it to the final five. Rafe says he feels nervous about his position in the tribe, since all the other guys are on the jury and he is the last man standing. When asked about the “curse of the car”, Cindy maintains that she feels she made the right decision in keeping the car and repeats that there was no guarantee that giving away her prize would win her a million dollars in the end. She says that the curse is not related to the car, but to being a tough competitor. Jeff asks her who the biggest competition is, in her opinion, and she singles out Rafe. He has won numerous challenges and is liked by everyone, she says – the complete package.
The Survivors vote and Jeff reveals the votes as follows:
1st vote – Rafe
2nd vote – Cindy
3rd vote – Cindy
4th vote – Cindy
There is no need to reveal the last vote (which we later see is also for Cindy) and the zookeeper is sent home. “I’ll think about you guys when I look at the stars through the sunroof of my new car, “ she says with a smile.
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