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Season 14: Episode 1 - Fashion Stylist Jessica First to Go
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

The much anticipated Survivor: Fiji has begun and for Jessica deBen, the 27-year-old fashion stylist from Los Angeles, California, the game takes an unexpected turn when she is blind-sided and sent home by her tribemates. The fashion stylist knows all too well that appearances can be deceiving when she receives six deadly votes against her at Fiji's first Tribal Council. The stunned Jessica expresses her astonishment at her tribe's behavior when she gives her final words: "I guess if you're going to get back-stabbed it's good to get it done in the beginning when you don't know people that well. I was absolutely shocked!"

Got Tribe? Adrift in the wind-swept waters surrounding the Fijian Islands, 19 Survivors from diverse walks of life anxiously make their way to the untouched island that will soon be their new home. As the small canoe comes to rest on shore, the excited and nervous energy of the Survivors ignites. The boisterous 27-year-old bartender, James, nicknamed "Rocky" for his uncanny resemblance to the movie star Sylvester Stallone, laughs at his own chaotic behavior upon arrival. "I tell you right now, I lost my mind, I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what to say, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off." Anthony, a 32-year-old witness locator for legal support services, sums up the pandemonium. "We're looking around the island for a machete. We're looking for flags. We don't have a pot, we don't have water, we don't have anything. We don't even know our tribe name."

Message from Above The first task of the season appears in the sky in the form of a small wooden crate, dropped from a plane cruising overhead. Safely tucked in the crate are blueprints and a map to a stockpile of supplies. Survivors are to work as one, constructing an elaborate shelter complete with a kitchen, bathroom and living quarters. Beginning the arduous haul of supplies to the construction site, Rocky takes a moment to reflect on their good fortune. "We got two bags of rice the first day we were here. Maybe a machete and a bucket to boil water is what anybody was expecting. No way! We have a toilet seat. I'll say it again. A toilet seat." Erica, a 27-year-old fundraiser for non-profit organizations, sees the abundance of supplies so early in the game as a bad omen. "I've never seen where people come on Survivor have this much. I'm really nervous, because I think a curve ball is coming. It's too easy."

All Work and No Play"¦ An architect by trade, Sylvia gladly takes charge of the construction site trying as best she can to keep her fellow Survivors on task. "I feel like it's not moving nearly as fast as it should because we're still working on the primary shelter when the kitchen and the bathroom still need to get done." As the workday carries on, Erica tries to stay one step ahead of the game, feeling out the competition. "I'm talking to people to see what's going on, so I can get my place here." But as day fades to night with only half the shelter complete, the Survivors huddle together for warmth under a small tarp as the first night's rain beats down on them.

Home sweet home As the first rays of morning light break across the sky, all 19 Survivors put their heads together to erect their glorious new shelter. As the bathroom, kitchen and living quarters receive their finishing touches, Dre, the 25-year-old cheerleading coach, finds survival in the game similar to his life experiences. "Back as a child, I was pretty much homeless, and just stayed in the back of a soup kitchen going to trash cans and getting food. It's kinda like what's going on now. I love it. I wish I could bring my family from home here."

The Great Divide When the Survivors arrive at the challenge location, they are greeted by Jeff Probst. Sylvia, charged with leading her tribe through the construction of their shelter, earns the responsibility of splitting the tribe in two. Moto, the new green tribe consists of Cassandra, Liliana, Stacy, Lisi, Boo, Alex, Gary, Dre and Edgardo. Ravu, the new orange tribe, consists of Michelle, Erica, Jessica, Rita, Earl, Anthony, Yau-Man, Rocky and Mookie. Next, Jeff reveals Sylvia's fate: a night on Exile Island, home to thousands of sea snakes and a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol. In addition, she is not assigned a tribe, instead joining the tribe that loses a member at Tribal Council the following day.

Reward and Immunity Challenge: Chariots of Mire Jeff explains the rules of the challenge. Tribes will race chariots across the Fijian mud flats. Two people will ride on the chariots retrieving three bags of puzzle pieces as the other seven pull them through a quarter-mile length course. After retrieving all three bags, a player will grab a flag at the end of the course and race back to the start. There, four tribe members will solve three puzzles, revealing numbers to a combination wheel. If solved correctly, the tribe will find a knife, chop a rope and raise the tribe flag. The first tribe to raise their flag wins Immunity and Reward: they will live on the beach with the shelter all 19 Survivors helped to build. Waiting there will be a house-warming gift: goblets and cutlery, hammocks, a shower and a nice big couch. The losers will go to a new beach where they will start from scratch with one pot and one machete. In addition, the losers will visit Tribal Council where the first person will be voted out of the game.

The race begins as Stacy and Lisi catapult Moto to an early lead, quickly untying their knots and releasing the puzzle bags as Ravu's Jessica fumbles with her knots. Michelle steps up, ripping through the knots to collect the Ravu puzzle bags and Ravu closes the gap with Moto. When Moto suffers a small crash, Ravu dashes past them to the combination wheel to work on their puzzle. But the slight lead isn't enough for Ravu as Moto arrives at their table, easily solving their puzzles, uncovering their knife and raising their flag in victory.

Twisted Idol Forewarned of the inhabitants on the dreaded Exile Island, Sylvia carefully maneuvers around the deadly sea snakes that infest the tiny piece of land. Hiking to the tower and anxious to find Exile Island's only saving grace, Sylvia learns salvation may be beyond her reach. "I've been given the opportunity of a clue, but the clue says sorry, it's back at your camp. So now I have to figure out a time and place where I can search for it without prying eyes. That's going to be a challenge in itself."

Starting over yet again Upon arrival at their new home, Ravu discovers an abundance of coconuts and the fantastic beauty their little island has to offer. But feelings of dread hang over the camp with Tribal Council fast approaching. Rita takes stock of her tribe's less than favorable situation. "Right now we're back at square one because we have nothing. At the same time we have to figure out a team member to lose." As the shock of their new surroundings wears off, Rocky, Jessica and Erica immediately pull Earl, the 35 year-old advertising executive from Santa Monica, California, into an agreement to vote out Rita as the weakest member. Willing to entertain other ideas, the cool headed Earl contemplates Mookie's plot to vote against Jessica based on her lack of performance on the puzzle. "Tribal Council tonight will be interesting," laughs Earl uncertainly. "Everybody's nervous and you still wonder in the back of your mind, like it might be you. You never know when people are trying to trick you. There's a lot of actors here, a lot of poker faces. This is my poker face."

In the end, actions speak louder than words as Jessica's performance in the challenge is seen as her downfall and she receives six votes. With that, Jessica becomes the first person voted out of SURVIVOR: FIJI.