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Season 11: Episode 3 - BACK-TO-BACK LOSSES: Yaxha Sends Brianna Packing
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

In Yaxha's second Tribal Council in a row, Brianna Varela, the 21-year-old retail salesperson from Edmonds, Washington, was voted out of the tribe in a unanimous 7-1 vote. The unified vote made Brianna the third person voted out of SURVIVOR GUATEMALA. Brianna's athletic ability was cast into doubt when she could not perform well in the physically demanding Immunity Challenge. Lamenting as she departed Tribal Council, Brianna insisted, "I am an athletic person, just not as athletic as these people."

LYDIA DODGES A BULLET WITH BRIAN'S HELP

Rejuvenated and spared by her Yaxha tribemates at Tribal Council, Lydia vowed to keep working hard, believing she deserved to remain on the tribe. Meanwhile, Brian claimed all the credit for the last-minute vote change that spared Lydia and doomed Morgan. "That was 100% me," he noted. "I engineered Morgan's ouster."

Nakum was awakened early by the screams of howler monkeys. Zookeeper Cindy was ecstatic at the opportunity to live so close to nature and pontificated on the monkeys' possible situation, while Judd was miserable and found it "the most annoyingest noise I've ever heard in my entire life."

REWARD CHALLENGE: BLIND BUILD Host Jeff Probst welcomed the tribes to the Challenge location at the base of a large Maya pyramid. Scattered about were components needed to build an archeological tent. Following voice commands from a sighted caller, the other tribemates, tied together and blindfolded, were to scour the area for the tent pieces. Once all the pieces were placed on a mat near the caller, the blindfolds would be removed and the assembly process started. The first tribe to properly assemble their tent would win a selection of camp comfort items, including pillows, blankets and a tarp.

The Challenge began and Nakum fell behind early, with Danni taking several bonks on the head from her tribemates' tent poles. Following ex-NFL quarterback Gary's voice commands, Yaxha was the first to collect all the items and shed their blindfolds. But Nakum, following Brooke, found their last item quickly after Yaxha had torn off their blindfolds. Working together, Nakum figured out how to build their tent faster, passing Yaxha and winning the comfort items.

YAXHA'S DAILY GRIND
After yet another loss, the Yaxha tribe reassured Stephenie that they'll "come back strong," according to Amy. Hungry after the Challenge, the tribe turned to their painful routine of preparing corn mush. Brianna eagerly set to grinding the corn, anxious to prove that she pulled her weight in camp. The same corn taste, day after day, had Rafe considering, "even throwing dirt in the corn" to change its flavor. Much to Stephenie's chagrin, Gary and Rafe desperately turned to eating termites in an attempt to spice up their diet.

HIGH HEAT, SHORT FUSES
After a heat-induced nap and croc-defying swim, Nakum took on the task of improving their shelter with their hard-won Reward items. The tribe contemplated different design ideas, as Margaret, frustrated with the loosely directed men, dispensed unwanted advice. Annoyed with Margaret's leadership tactics, Judd complained, "I ain't here to take any orders. The only people to tell me what to do are my boss and my wife. That's it"

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: HOLDING COURT
Adorned in war paint, feathers and other Mayan items that were included with the Immunity Tree Mail, the tribes met Jeff Probst at the Challenge site. This Challenge was based on the ancient Mayan game of court ball. The court consisted of an elevated net court, with two vertical hoops on each end. The tribes were to face off in randomly selected threesomes, race to the ball thrown in the center, and then pass the ball to each other in an attempt to move within shooting distance of their hoops. The first tribe to throw the ball through a hoop would score for their tribe. The first tribe to score five points would win Immunity.

In the first round, Brian scored for Yaxha, giving them an early lead. In the next round, Amy took a hard fall on the court and got up, defeated and limping. With the score tied, an all-female round was next. Stephenie had the ball and fought off Cindy, guarding her closely. Desperately seeking someone to pass to due to Brianna's inaction, Stephenie found an open Lydia, who promptly ran down the court with the ball, breaking the rules, forcing Yaxha to surrender the ball to Nakum, who quickly scored again. In the final round, as the blazing Guatemalan sun beat down, Margaret stole the ball for Nakum and found Danni under the basket. Danni fought off the coverage and sunk the winning basket, giving Nakum the victory.

YAXHA TRIBAL COUNCIL AGAIN Back at camp, Amy revealed that she injured her ankle at the Challenge. She told the tribe that "it's not too serious," and assured them that she will be fine. Jamie, still steaming from Brianna's performance at the Challenge, felt she was the weakest physically and wanted her to be the next to go. Gary and Stephenie conferred and agreed that their team is "totally down," because they have "two people that have never played a sport in their life." Brianna was targeting the teammate she perceived as weak link, Lydia. With three women either injured or non-athletic, Yaxha contemplated their final decision. In the end, Brianna felt the wrath of her tribe and was voted out of Guatemala.