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Season 16: Episode 4 - WRITER'S BLOCK: MIKEY VOTED OUT

WRITER'S BLOCK: MIKEY VOTED OUT: After being annihilated by the Favorites in both the Reward and Immunity Challenges, the Fans once again found themselves at Tribal Council on Day 11. Joel, the mastermind of the Mary blindside, faced a difficult decision—risk losing future challenges by voting out Mikey, a strong competitor but a major threat to his game, or strengthen the tribe in challenges by getting rid of Chet, a physically weak player who poses little threat to him.

In the end, Joel opted to protect his individual game, and the suave Mikey Bortone, a 34-year-old aspiring writer from Los Angeles, California, was cut loose by his tribe when they voted him out 6 votes to 3. Disappointed, Mikey leaves us with his final words: "I'm not surprised it's me, no, because I'm playing with a bunch of weak players who listen to Joel. Don't trust Joel, he's gonna stab you in the back. I guess I came out too strong. I was never lazy, I always did what I could to help the tribe, so yeah, they're gonna miss me. No doubt."

A Broken Tribe After a dramatic Tribal Council where the Favorites' alliances were shattered, Jonathan confronts Cirie about betraying their alliance of five with himself, Cirie, Ami, Eliza, and Yau-Man. They duke it out; Cirie telling Jonathan she doesn’t want to hear his complaining, and Jonathan calling Cirie's betrayal 'disgusting'. Refusing to discuss the matter any further, Cirie, very simply, breaks the situation down for Jonathan: "You know that I broke your alliance. I don't trust you. You don't trust me. Everybody knows it. Done!" Frustrated with Cirie and disappointed with his broken alliance, Jonathan faces a major problem: the numbers are no longer in his favor.

Pick It Up or Go Home The Fans, up early at the Airai beach, scurry about their daily tasks. Jason even catches an eel for the hungry tribe, hacking at it in the water with a machete. When Chet makes no effort to help around camp, his tribe mates take notice. "I don't feel like Chet really wants to help out and carry his weight," explains Natalie. "How do you not say: 'Dude, pick it up or go home.'" Fed up with Chet's laziness, Mikey threatens to vote him out if they end up at Tribal Council. "He's a physical and mental liability and he’s horrible for morale around camp. Chet is gone."
A Sickly Target At Malakal, Eliza comes down with a vicious case of tonsillitis. Seeing how sick and weak she is, Ozzy and James regret voting out Yau-Man instead of Eliza, and tell her so point blank. Eliza snaps back at them, "Even being slightly sick, I'm still gonna do better at whatever challenge we have today than Yau-Man would have." To which James retorts, "You're sick and you got attitude?" Annoyed with her tribe's lack of empathy, Eliza begins to worry about her place in the tribe. "I feel like I'm probably the next to go if we lose another Immunity Challenge because my tribe thinks I'm weak, and being sick probably doesn’t help that."

Reward Challenge: Diver Down The Fans and Favorites arrive at the Reward Challenge where Jeff Probst explains the rules. Four tribe members will swim out to a floating platform and dive down to a 30-foot long steel cage submerged in the water. They must retrieve from the cage ten tribe-colored coconuts with letters on them. Pushing the coconuts the length of the cage through an opening at the end, tribes must retrieve the coconuts one-by-one and place them in a wooden bin floating above the cage. After all 10 coconuts are in the bin, they must swim the loaded bin back to shore where the four remaining tribe members will use the letters on the coconuts to unscramble a ten-letter word. First tribe to unscramble the word wins 3 egg-laying hens and a rooster. In addition, the winning tribe will send a member from both tribes to Exile Island.

The tribes race out to the floating platform where Ozzy and Jason dive into the water first. Jason quickly retrieves an Airai coconut from the cage while Ozzy takes his time underwater, moving his tribe's coconuts to the front of the cage for faster removal later. His strategy pays off for the Favorites as they dive into the water to the awaiting group of coconuts Ozzy left them, quickly outpacing the Fans. Ozzy drops the tenth and final coconut for the Favorites into their bin, and they begin swimming the loaded bin back to shore. The Fans struggle to catch up, gathering their remaining coconuts from the underwater cage. Amanda, Eliza and Cirie shuffle the Favorites' lettered coconuts trying to unscramble the word when James surprises himself, blurting out, "Could it be Triumphant?" Rearranging the coconuts, the ten-letter word indeed is 'Triumphant' and the Favorites win Reward. For the third time in a row, the Favorites opt to send a distraught Kathy to Exile Island, with Ozzy to accompany her.

Empty Handed The Fans, who have yet to win a reward challenge, return to camp bummed about losing the chickens and jealous of the Favorites’ prosperity. "Malakal has won every reward challenge," laments Joel. "They're living a life of luxury out here compared to what we've got, which is jack-squat." Alexis and Mikey are amazed by Ozzy's swimming abilities as Erik worries about Kathy on Exile Island."Kathy's a weak person," says Erik. "I'm pretty confident she's not looking for that Idol right now. I'm pretty confident she’s curled up in the fetal position just trying to stay alive."
A Discovery and A Ruse Forever the fan, Kathy gushes to Ozzy how excited she is to have him at Exile Island with her. "I love meeting the Favorites, I wish I was on their tribe," she exclaims. As Kathy works on making a fire, Ozzy pretends to go "get some clams" but races through the four clues trying to find the Hidden Immunity Idol before the sun sets. "There's a lot of guys out there that want to beat me," he confides. "It's really key that I find the idol." Following the fourth clue to a large rock above his Exile camp, Ozzy rolls the stone over and unearths the Hidden Immunity Idol. "I found the idol!" the ecstatic Ozzy whispers excitedly so as not to alert Kathy. "I found the idol! I FOUND THE IDOL!"

Taking a moment to compose himself, Ozzy stashes the Idol first in his hat, then transfers it into his bag right under Kathy's nose. Taking a page from former tribemate Yau-Man's book, Ozzy carves a fake Immunity Idol from driftwood and hides it where he found the original Idol. He prays, "God I hope someone finds it and tries to play it."
Save Yourself At Malakal, Eliza fears her days may be numbered and she scrambles. Attempting to deflect the target onto Jonathan instead of her, Eliza offers Parvati her allegiance while pointing out Jonathan's likeliness to flip on them without hesitation. "Eliza's just trying to stay in the game," shrugs Parvati. "She's like throwing [Jonathan] under the bus, and I'd say if we went to Tribal tonight Eliza would be going home. So yeah, she should be saying anything she can to save herself right now." Jonathan comes upon them walking in the woods and overhears part of the conversation between the girls. He takes pity on Eliza: "It's so painful to watch someone on the outside who's trying to get back on the inside. I feel sorry for her."

Immunity Challenge: Crosswalk The tribes arrive at the Challenge where Kathy and Ozzy return from Exile Island and rejoin their respective tribes. Jeff Probst explains the rules to the Immunity Challenge. Tribes will race to open six locks releasing a large six-point sliding hub. Harnessing themselves into the hub, tribes will maneuver through a large obstacle course by shifting, sliding, and adjusting each other in their hub. Along the way they will collect six tribal bead necklaces. Once all six necklaces are collected, the remaining two tribe members will match up the colored beads on the necklace with the corresponding letters on a decoding wheel to spell a three-word phrase. First tribe to decipher the phrase wins Immunity.

On "Go," the Fans immediately have trouble unlocking their locks, unable to release their hub from the starting block and giving the Favorites a dangerous lead. Easily opening the six locks and strapping themselves into their hub, the Favorites quickly discover how to maneuver through the obstacle course, collecting their necklaces. The Favorites gather four of their six necklaces as the Fans finally unlock their hub, strap into their harnesses and start out onto the obstacle course frantically trying to catch up. The Favorites snatch up the last two necklaces, handing them off to Eliza and Cirie, who begin to decode the phrase. Collecting their third necklace on the course, the Fans watch horrified as the massive lead the Favorites gained in the beginning of the challenge pays off. Eliza and Cirie decipher the three-letter phrase: "Tribe Stays Intact," winning Immunity and sending the Fans to Tribal Council for the second time.

Pros and Cons The defeated Fans return to the Airai camp facing Tribal Council. Joel is pulled in two directions. First, Mikey corners him, offering to bury the hatchet â€" after Joel blindsided Mikey by taking out Mary â€" if Joel will help vote out Chet. "My mind is spinning with the fact that he’s still here," complains Mikey to Joel. "[Chet] is the weakest. If we get rid of him, that will make me feel secure about your position to me." Sick of losing challenges, Joel agrees to vote with Mikey for Chet, until Tracy approaches him with a different plan. Worried that she, Chet, and Kathy will be systematically voted out, Tracy tries to get Joel to vote against Mikey instead. Using the three votes of Chet, Kathy and herself as leverage, Tracy bargains with Joel, "There's nine people here. All you need is one person and we can take Mikey down." Joel at first is reluctant to lose Mikey's strength in challenges, leading a frustrated Tracy to berate him for letting Mikey call the shots. "Mikey's going to take you down the next chance he gets because of what you did to Mary, okay?" warns Tracy. "So this is his next chance. Beware of that." Joel takes this in, weighing the two arguments presented to him. He tells Tracy, "We'll see. Tonight will be interesting."
Tribal Council
At Tribal Council,the importance of keeping the Airai tribe physically strong comes into question. Jason senses that Mikey, his close friend and ally in the game, is in trouble and moments before the vote, makes an impassioned plea to his tribe, begging them to focus on preserving the strength of Airai. "I need to emphasize the importance of tonight’s vote in determining our future as a tribe," Jason lobbies. "We have lost 4 of 6 challenges! So, take a moment to really think about how important it is who we keep on the island and who we let go." In the end, Tracy’s hard bargaining skills pay off. The tribe casts their votes sending Mikey home 6 votes to 3, he becomes the fourth person voted out of SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA -- FANS VS FAVORITES.