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Oh. My. God. My heart is racing. Did that just really happen? In one of the most shocking Survivor blindsides ever, front runner favorite Ozzy is betrayed by some of the people he trusted most. It seems that Ozzy fell prey to one of the oldest stories in the book: complacency. He got a bit too cocky and comfortable about his position as the solid leader of the tribe and did not play his immunity idol. I can’t believe it! I was almost getting bored with the season thinking that Ozzy was just going to sail through individual immunity and play the idol anytime he didn’t win. But, in an episode that proves Survivor is one of the best reality tv shows ever, the game was changed in an instant.

The episode began with talk at the newly merged Dabu tribe of Eliza playing the fake idol. Cirie makes the comment that “Maybe it wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if the idol had been real and Ozzy had gone home.” That was just foreshadowing for the end of the episode. I have to wonder, did it really take them this long to realize that it would be a good idea to get Ozzy voted off before he rode the individual immunity all the way to victory? Jason seemed cocky himself though, saying that “Ozzy is not the only god-like character on Survivor.” He believes that after winning immunity once, he just might have a shot.

This week’s reward challenge was a puzzle challenge where competitors had to swim out to a puzzle, memorize it, then swim back and try to recreate it exactly. With 9 people, Probst told them to make a schoolyard pick, leaving one person who would be forced to go to Exile Island and would not be elligible for the reward. The first captain, Natalie, chose James, Parvati, and Alexis for her team. Jason was the second captain, and he chose Ozzy, Amanda and Erik. It’s no surprise that when Ozzy swam out for his team, he came back and put up a ton of puzzle pieces. He’s been doing that sort of thing a lot this season, which to me just reeks of his belief that he is so much better than everyone else that he has to take the entire challenge into his own hands. And, of course, in the end, Natalie’s team was wrong and Ozzy’s team was right, winning reward. Did you notice how Amanda snuggled up to Ozzy, so pleased that Alexis wasn’t going with them.

The reward was a plane ride to Yap, a secluded Island country. The Survivors walked through an amazingly lush jungle, up stone stairways covered in moss, to a pavilion that looked ancient and authentic. The trible people there were beautiful with their grass skirts and flowered leis. Best quote of the night goes to Erik when he confessed, “That’s the most boobs I’ve probably ever seen in my whole life.” Basically, the reward was just one long soliloquy of Erik expressing how much he loved being there and how in awe he was. It was also shots of Erik with the locals, chewing Betel nuts and drinking beer… oh, and throwing up. “I partied a little bit too hard Micronesian style.” Ozzy, true to his leader personality, said he took joy in watching young Erik experience life away from his home for the first time.

In a cut scene to Exile island, we saw poor Cirie getting drenched. I know it would suck to be on Exile when you know for sure there is no idol left out there and when you can’t keep a fire going to save your life. James was also frustrated about the fire back at their camp. He apparently stayed up all night making sure the fire was going through the rain while they were in the cave. Meanwhile, the other three girls (Parvati, Natalie and Alexis) slept like little babies. When he started sharpening the machete and making noise, Parvati had the nerve to sit up and tell him he was being obnoxious because they were trying to sleep. I think it is safe to say that was the beginning of the end for the romance of James and Parvati.

When the others came back to camp, Ozzy was just bragging and going on and on about the food at the reward, which just pissed the others off… not that they would tell him to his face of course. This was a bit more foreshadowing so I guess I should have known what they were building me up to. Then again, Survivor always builds you up thinking there will be an upset, but then doesn’t follow through, so you never know.

At the immunity challenge, Jason said he knew that he would either win or go home. The challenge was purely and endurance challenge and the Survivors were standing on a bucket with their hand tethered to a rope above their head that was in turn, tied to a bucket of colored water above them. One move of their hand or a little moment of lost balance and the water would fall, eliminating them from the challenge. After a short time, Probst offered a huge bowl of candy, which Cirie and Erik decided to split as they left the challenge together. When Jeff brought out another bowl, hidden behind his back, Alexis got excited and stepped off of her bucket. In a moment of pure cold-heartedness, Jeff told her that she would not get the reward because he hadn’t even offered it yet. She looked pissed, but he just told her “You can pout all you want.” Ouch. Natalie lost her balance too right after that, to which James said, “Man that would suck”… promptly followed by James also losing his balance and finding out just how much it does suck. A little while later, in what was really a surprise to me, Ozzy opted out for a plate of chocolate doughnuts. I wonder if he was trying to make himself seem like he wasn’t a threat with that little stunt. I mean, hadn’t he just eaten a huge meal at reward? Anyway, 5 hours into the challenge, Jason, Amanda and Parvati were still standing. Amanda said “I have to pee, I think I’m done.” and dumped her bucket onto her head.

Now, here’s where Jason does something that was really dumb. Jeff came out with a tray full of cookies, milk, doughnuts, candy, beer and pizza. He told the two remaining competitors that if one of the stepped off, the whole tribe would enjoy the feast. Then, everyone proceeded to guarantee Jason that if he steps down, they will not vote for him at tribal council. He actually decided to trust them and he stepped down after 6 and a half hours of standing up there, handing the immunity to Parvati. Back at camp, Ozzy said that was the dumbest thing ever in Survivor history and that Jason would be going home.

Little did Ozzy know, behind his back, Cirie was meeting with Natalie, Alexis, Jason and Parvati, saying that now would be the perfect opportunity to get Ozzy out and to also get rid of the hidden idol. I have to be honest… I didn’t think Parvati would follow through. Sure, it was the right thing to do, but how many times this season have we seen people gear for Ozzy and then not have the balls to follow through?

At tribal council, Eliza came in as the only member of the jury, looking very good in a teal tank top. Basically, the talk at tribal was focused around Jason’s decision to step off the bucket. When the voting got underway, James made me laugh with his comment “And I thought I was the dumbest Survivor ever,” as he cast his vote for Jason. As Jeff came back with the bucket of votes, all eyes turned to Ozzy to see if he would play his idol. I don’t know why he didn’t see it coming, because it was the perfect time to vote him out with it being uneven numbers.. but he didn’t play the idol. He got too cocky and he trusted people too much. As Jeff read the votes, he said one Jason, one Ozzy… and then read off three more Jason’s, making it Ozzy 1, Jason 4. I thought for sure that Parvati had chickened out and Jason would go home. But wait… Ozzy. Ozzy. Ozzy. Tied. 4. 4. The person voted out of Survivor Fans vs. Favorites… OZZY!!! I had to rewind the recording three times after the show just to watch everyone’s faces as the results came out. Amanda looked like a scared puppy dog. James hung his head, laughing at how Ozzy was about to get blindsided while holding the idol… a situation quite familiar to James who was voted out while holding back not one, but TWO idols in China. Eliza was on the sideline with her hand on her heart and her mouth wide open in shock. Jason and Cirie were trying to hold back their smiles and Ozzy was just looking shocked. When Probst doused his tribal flame, he took one last lingering look at the tribe, no doubt trying to figure out who looked shocked and more importantly, who didn’t.

In his good-bye video at the end, Ozzy admitted that he was foolish to believe that he was secure and to not play his idol. He closed by saying, “And to those of you in my alliance who betrayed me, I pretty much hate you. Screw you… basically.” Wow. What an amazing episode! It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for Parvati after screwing over Amanda and James. It’s really anyone’s game at this point. My prediction from Day One of this season was that Cirie would sneak in under the radar to win it all. And she just might do it.

Wow.  Well, the first episode of Survivor: Micronesia proves why the show is in its 16th season and still going strong.  You just never know what to expect.  Read on at your own risk, but beware of spoilers, because I am going to dish out all the dirt on the first days of Fans vs. Favorites.

The show begins with Jeff Probst, Survivor’s only constant cast member, on the beach in the pouring rain, wearing his usual khaki pants and wrinkle-free button up.  The ten fans arrive and pile onto their orange mat when Jeff delivers the news that their competitors are none other than 10 of the favorite past Survivors to have played the game.  He then brings out the ten favorites one at a time:  Cirie (Exile Island), Ozzy (Cook Islands), Ami (Vanuatu), Jonathan (Cook Islands), James (China), Eliza (Vanuatu), Parvati (Cook Islands), Yau-man (Fiji), Amanda (China) and the infamous Jonny Fairplay.  Oh, and FYI, Yau-man got the biggest round of applause from the fans by far.

The Favs get the Purple buffs and are labeled the “Malakal” tribe, while the Fans get Orange and are called the “Airai” tribe.  In true Survivor fashion, the first episode has to include a swim, and Probst tells the castaways that across the water at the next island they will find boats and maps to their camps.  Ah, and also, an immunity idol for each tribe.  Finders keepers, and it is only good for the first tribal council.  Eliza makes a break for it and everyone follows, with Erik from the Fans side making it across first.  Somehow, though, he walks right by the idol that is tied to the boat and breaks into the woods looking for it.  Jonny Fairplay casually strolls up and grabs the idol, but then realizes he has the other teams’ idol.  In the first really exciting moment of the season, Yau-man understands what is going on and dives towards the right idol, knocking Fairplay to the ground.  Oh, what sweet forwarning.  So, Yau-man is safe from the first tribal council, and Fan Kathy walks up and grabs the other idol for her team.

 Back at their camp, the Favs are quick to get to work, knowing all too well what hell camp can be without shelter or food.  Before dark, they already have a strong shelter built and plenty of food in their bellies.  And that’s not all!  Alliances are already being made and people are quick to settle back into ther old scheming ways.  Parvati goes to work on James fast, which he apparently loves, calling her a “sex kitten”, while Amanda and Ozzy are quick to pair up.  Jonny Fairplay reveals that this time around, he is playing a different game because his girlfriend back home is 7 months pregnant.  I, of course, push this to the back of my mind because, hey, I don’t believe a word he says anyway!  Meanwhile, seeing the others pair off, Ami, Yau-man, Eliza and Jonathan put their hands together and shake on the first official alliance of the season.  They quickly decide that Parvati is the biggest threat and she should go first, while the other four-some decides that Eliza will go first based on the cunning game she played in Vanuatu.  Fiarplay is in his comfortable role of lying to both sides, but where the hell is Cirie during all this?  She is strangely absent from most of the talks at camp.  Oh, and did I mention that there hasn’t even been a challenge yet?

 The Fans, starvation virgins that they are, are not as quick to get their shelter up.  They end up spending the night hungry and wet, in true Survivor fashion.  And who is the first one to crack under the pressure of one hard day in the wild?  Kathy!   After a day at camp where she already called Chet out for being gay and made an inappropriate comment about Tracy’s fake boobs, Kathy ends up crying her eyes out in the rain on the very first night.  Good thing she got the immunity idol, I thought… or she’d be the first to go. 

The first challenge of the season is a battle for both fire and immunity.  The Favs come into the challenge with BIG ego’s, trying to psych out the Airai tribe by bragging about their shelter and food back at camp.  The enthused Fans are not even phased by it, though, and you can tell that they are ready to prove that they can outplay the Favorites.  Here is a quick run-down of the challenge:

  • Untie puzzle parts and assemble 4 wheels.
  • Get the wheels on a cart and roll it through some obstacles
  • Fish some wooden planks out of the sand and build a bridge
  • Roll your cart over the bridge to the platform
  • Take the wheels apart and put the puzzle together
  • Turn the big puzzle around, releasing fire and raising your flag for the win!

To make a pretty short story even shorter:  Fans Win!  Piece of cake.  The only really notable things about the challenge are that 1) The favorites crash into a tree and Eliza gets hurt (she had a mark on her head later that looked pretty nasty),but I never heard her complain.  Kudos girl!  and 2)Erik was quick to throw sand all over the Favs to distract them.  I think he has some spunk that we have only just begun to see, so watch out for him in the future!  When it was all over, the Favorites looked so defeated.  And they should, because one of them is going home already.

Here is where the episode gets really interesting.  Back at camp, Jonny Fairplay starts crying about his daughter who will be born in 7 months.  He tells Parvati that he isn’t sure he should be out here playing the game and she, very nonchalantly, agrees with him.  I think maybe she was thinking at first that if he lies and says “Send me home”, they can fool the other group and vote out Eliza easily as planned.  I kept expecting some crazy plan to emerge at tribal, where the infamous liar Fairplay shows how he’s got everyone eating out of the palm of his hand.  In the end, though, it is Fairplay that gets voted out, almost unanimously.  Honestly, it’s kind of a letdown that he’s gone so fast, especially after all the hype of him coming back and being ready to lie big to win it all.  He plays it off like he just wants to be with his daughter, but does he even really get to go home right away?  I thought they all had to hang out in some resort so the press doesn’t get wind of the voting order?  I get the feeling he was trying to figure out a bigger and better lie than the Grandma lie and just came up short. 

Overall, it was a good first episode, and this season promises to be full of interesting personalities and possible sexual escapades.  In the previews for next week, it looked like Ozzy and Amanda were getting it on in the moonlight.  What are your early predictions about who will win?  As for me, I think that Kathy will win it all.  🙂  Just kidding! 

My real prediction:  Cirie plays her game under the radar and wins it all.