Welcome to the fourth edition of “Standing in the Shadows” for Panama: Exile Island! 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. . . .
What do I have to do around here to get noticed as an elder and a leader? Everyone is always looking to Terry. Terry tells them how to vote, Terry tells them how to make fire, Terry tells them how to take a dump in the woods…Terry, Terry, Terry!! *sniffle* Well, that’s fine, as long as I’m not dropping fish during the reward challenge(Geez, Sally, ya gotta get your arms around it and under it) or flexing my leader muscle, no one will think to vote me out. You can’t jump up and down on the space shuttle without all of the others wanting to send you home, and that’s not what I want…it’s a long ride home from way up there. No, I should be happy being under the radar and off of everybody’s minds. I can go a lot further that way.
Chop!! Chop Chop!! That’s how you do that, Bruce. Ya gotta put some muscle behind the machete and hit the fish on a right downward angle. Oh yeah, I forgot I got about 2 feet on you and can actually get that proper chopping angle. That reward challenge victory?? All me. That’s right, we couldn’t have won without my superior chopping block skills. It sucks that we had to come home to Lake Casaya Campsite, though. I mean I worked hard to win that fish and the yummy looking beans and rice. We can make some good soul food with all that AND a bunch of wine. Mmm Mmm! Hmmm. How dare you all take my reserved sleeping space in the shelter. You think I don’t need quality sleep for our next challenge? Hmmph. I’ll just take that last bottle of wine and go hang in the Casa de Charmin with Bruce thankyouverymuch. I don’t care how the others might perceive it in the morning. I especially don’t care about Courtney’s whining and complaining. Stupid, annoying fire dancer. Anyway, they won’t vote off their biggest physical asset. I win challenges, and they need me. And then, after I make it to the merge, I’ll flip on these suckers faster than a boated bass. Well, that didn’t go the way I wanted it. Shane promised me he’d get me through this next vote if I swore on his kid that I wouldn’t flop at the merge. Yeah I was gonna flop over to another alliance, but how does that allow you to not follow through for me? Damn…Bob Dawg got swindled! I was robbed! I guess I don’t really have any skills on the chopping block.
Women! Can't live with 'em, can't throw 'em in the freaking ocean. First they say they want to vote Bruce off, then it's Bobby. Make up your minds! I told them that Bobby wouldn't flip on us, but would they listen? Nooo. Right after I swore on my kid that I wouldn't vote for him, they come up to me with that crap. Damn. A kid swear is binding, man. And Aras, I don't know what's up with him...I thought we were a team. Well, it'll be okay. I'm just happy we won some real food, even if we do have to eat it raw. Don't even bother cutting it up, I'll just eat it off the bone!
I know I said that I miss Ruth Marie and I do…… but, really, better her gone than me. I’m glad the guys chose to keep me around because I definitely think I’m stronger in the challenges than Ruth Marie. Okay, all challenges that don’t involve big, nasty, dead fish. I can’t believe how many times it took me to catch that stupid fish. Thank God we won the Immunity Challenge: they probably would have gotten rid of me this time for sure. We really could have used that reward challenge though. Maybe the guys wouldn’t have gotten so messed up on those beans if we’d had some fish and rice to go with them. As if it didn’t smell bad enough around here before the beans did their damage. I’ve been thinking about it and it really was sort of scary how much Terry got into chopping those fish heads off. You know, the cameramen have been all over me lately. I’ll bet I’m like the breakout star of this show. Forget social work! Hollywood, here I come!
Oh my God, dude. Those beans made me so sick. Damn! I don’t know if I want to reveal the details of my gastrointestinal distress, but let me tell you- it wasn’t pretty. It was coming out both ends… I had a serious case of mudbutt, and on top of that I kept puking all over the bushes. Ugh. That was not a fun night. Austin and I were running into the woods every five minutes to relieve the agony, and I didn’t get any sleep. I wish Terry had been there. He would have known how to cook the beans so they wouldn’t make me violently ill. I’m sure of it! It was some tough going during the swimming, and rowing and running the next day, but at least we won and no one has to go home tonight. It would have been sad to say goodbye to Sally.
I am a master. Of thighs. Deltoids. Sinuous calves. I can liquify one's femur until it becomes as malleable as tofu. I can take the most rigid of buttocks and turn them into a soft, chenille, throw pillow. And I have taught my students how to silence their blinding screams when I gently accordian their cores. But I cannot, cannot, contain the river of angry lava that boils within me. When I stare at Bruce, I no longer see a teacher. I see a giant ball of fire engulfing him near his Zen garden. When I stare at Courtney, I no longer see a crazy performance artist. I see a wild herd of boar darting from the jungle to surround her vulnerable, weak form near the burning ball of fire that was once Bruce near his Zen garden. The point: I am not a peaceful man. And I am ashamed to admit to Yoyo that I can no longer contain this rage. This week, I shamed Bruce, I silenced Shane, I chastised Courtney, and I told a camera man to shove his wide angle lens deep into his fifth chakra. And I was glad to do it. But now I see that a vote has been cast my way. By whom? For what? And why? Only Yoyo knows.
I blame myself for our loss in the Reward Challenge. After all, the performance of a unit is a reflection on its leader. I simply couldn’t chop those heads and tails efficiently enough to lead us to victory. Sure Sally looked like she was trying to catch a snot covered rat when Dan was tossing her that fish, but I still take responsibility. Bobby plain outperformed me. Honestly, I was glad to return to Exile Island. I didn’t have to worry about looking for the immunity idol since I already had the little head tucked safely away. I enjoyed my time there. It allowed me to rehydrate and gather some snails for protein so I’d be strong for the next challenge. I don’t understand why everyone makes such a big deal about starting a fire. It’s a snap. I was just worried that my tribe wouldn’t be worth a hill of beans when it came time for the Immunity Challenge. I can’t trust them to eat right and drink enough water to be ready to perform optimally unless I’m there to watch their every move. When I got to the beach for the challenge, we all exchanged fist bumps and I was pumped. I used my survival training to dominate in the water, and, finally, all was right with the world. La Mina finished where it belongs. Now, we need to go on a winning streak of our own.
This game is getting’ cra-zay with a capital C! I always keep thinking of that song How many licks does it take… except I sing it as How many kicks does it take to knock sense into this tribe. Of course I think that only and don’t say it out loud. Speaking of saying things out loud, gawd, I almost peed my britches when Jeff put me on the spot at Tribal Council. I was like umm, err, ahhh. I didn’t ruffle any feathers…I hope. *crosses fingers* However, the best part that came about from all this is that us girls are teaming up. Girl power baby! Well, I’m off to gather my firewood and then quietly sit off to the side.
Bruce is the man. That rock garden he built is totally awesome for my morning yoga practice. It’s like my own little slice of heaven. Oh, and how can I not mention the sushi. It’s nothing like the Peeing Tiger restaurant back home but fish is fish. Too bad we didn’t have fire to boil the rice. I could have made Cirie fetch some seaweed and *bam* Tekka sushi for all. I’m eating well, I have a little feng shui for my yoga and the girls are aligning. I just have to figure out a way to weasel out of my alliance with Shane. I never swore on his kid. He can deal with that one himself.
Grasshoppers disappoint. How could they question the wisdom of building a Zen rock garden before worrying about boiling water or starting a fire? Beauty before necessity is necessary to bring balance to Casaya beach. I am especially disappointed in Aras and Courtney. The young male grasshopper had the nerve to question my instruction. The young female cockroach (she has not earned grasshopper status) defiled my Zen garden with her pseudo yoga. I tried to talk to Ar-aas about the lack of wisdom in his questioning of Zen master Bruce. I am still indignant that he questioned my character. I don’t know why I couldn’t chop that fish at the Reward Challenge although I think my karma may have been disturbed by the disrespect. Back at camp, I showed off my sushi chef skills and filleted the fish with no problem. Yes, maybe it was wrong of Bobby and me to drink the last bottle of wine by ourselves. Still, the young grasshoppers should have just accepted it. I showed who has the superior yoga positions by sleeping in the jackknife position in the outhouse. After our Immunity Challenge loss, I chose to restore my equilibrium in my garden instead of participating in tribe politics. I got thrown a little by those two votes though. Won’t the grasshoppers ever learn to respect their elders?
What a horrible couple of days I just had. We lost the reward challenge and ended up receiving a bag of beans for the tribe. This seemed really great at the time because we have been so hungry but I was mistaken. I ate two helpings of those beans and man did they do a number on me. I spent the whole day and night letting it go out both ends. They say beans are the magical fruit…well I can now say I am magically 10 pounds lighter. To top off my horrible night Terry was exiled again and I had to suffer the whole night without his guidance, I barely knew were to go to the bathroom. The only positive thing to happen is that since we have voted out most of the girls none of them got to see me like this. I hope I still have a chance with them after the show.
So who's in control now, huh? That's right. Me. I tried to hang back and let everyone else implode. You saw how I wasn't around when Aras and Bruce fought over the fire and the rock garden? Or how I stayed out of the reward challenge? You might have thought that I was just a follower, but I was going for low-key power player. In a tribe of nuts like this one, you'd think it wouldn't be that hard. But damn if they couldn't even make the right boot choice on their own, so I finally decided it was time to make my move. Bobby was the one who had to go, that sneaky wine-stealer. So I had to step up and take the lead. Now Aras is going to be upset, but Bruce owes me, Cirie will do whatever it takes to stay, Courtney can be led and Shane's just a breakdown waiting to happen. This tribe is mine. And I didn't even have to shake my boobies to get it.
We would like to thank the following writers for contributing to this article: Dinahann, hepcat, Lucy, Mariner, mrdobolina, shazzer, speedbump, SueEllenMishke, Suncat7, totoro, wayward and Yardgnome77