|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
After dodging bullet after bullet, Stephenie LaGrossa, the 25-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, finally met her inevitable demise. The last Ulong member standing and failing to win Immunity, Stephenie simply couldn't avoid being voted out of a tribe that had vigilantly stuck to their plan. After seeing her torch snuffed, Stephenie remarked, "I was outnumbered by an entire tribe. I'm actually really proud."
After the Tribal Council in which Stephenie had been saved by Janu's shocking resignation, the stunned Koror tribe returned to camp. Grateful for her new lease on island life, Stephenie still felt uneasy around the tribe that had probably intended to send her home. As she put it, "I don't know whom to trust; I don't know who to talk to; I almost don't want to talk to anybody."
With four women and three men left, Stephenie attempted to capitalize on her reprieve by banding together the women to pick off the men. With the combined strength of Tom Westman, the 41-year-old NYC firefighter from Sayville, New York, Gregg Carey, the 28-year-old business consultant from Chicago, Illinois, and Ian Rosenberger, the 23-year-old dolphin trainer from Key Largo, Florida, clearly a threat, Stephenie, Jennifer Lyon, the 32-year old nanny from Encino, California, and Katie Mullen, the 25-year-old graduate student from Huber Heights, Ohio, knew they must recruit Caryn Groedel, the 46-year-old civil rights attorney from Solon, Ohio, to execute their plan. Stephenie made no bones about it: "Those guys will take you out!"
REWARD CHALLENGE: MISSING IN AUCTION
As the tribe convened for the Reward Challenge, host Jeff Probst explained that this would be more of an auction than a Challenge. Each contestant would receive $500 to buy food and comfort items in an auction. Not surprisingly, there was a catch: the items up for auction would not be revealed prior to the bidding.
As the items were set up on the block and bidding commenced, the members of Koror pitted themselves against each other in hopes of hitting the jackpot. Jennifer paid $120 for an ice cream sundae, while Caryn and Stephenie split a cheeseburger, fries and coke. After Ian enjoyed a $300 plate of spaghetti and meat sauce, the auction took a sentimental turn as Tom purchased some love from home in the form of a letter. After selling more letters from home to Stephenie, Caryn, Katie and Gregg, Jeff Probst declared the auction closed.
LOVE FROM HOME
When the Survivors returned to camp, several stole away to read their letters from home. Spreading a little love around camp, Ian finally took a bath, which pleased his tribemates. As Gregg washed Ian's back, Katie joked, "Maybe that's the secret alliance we didn't know about."
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: KAMIKAZE
As the Tribe assembled for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained that the players must stand behind a line in front of 35 multicolored ceramic tiles, each color representing a different Survivor. The Survivors must toss coconuts at their tiles, trying to smash them. If a castaway smashed an opponent's tile by accident, the opponent would get the benefit. The first Survivor to smash (or to have smashed) all five of their tiles would win Immunity.
As the coconuts flew through the air, Caryn, Ian and Gregg jumped out to an early lead. After Gregg broke Ian's tile by accident, Ian found himself in sole possession of the lead with only two tiles away from Immunity. As more tiles shattered, Ian held the lead with Jennifer and Tom close behind and Stephenie in last place. One tile away from Immunity, Ian watched Tom throw a coconut that skipped over the board and finally broke a red tile, thus granting Ian the crucial victory.
After a fresh rainstorm cleared, the women of Koror finally seized the opportunity to recruit Caryn into their alliance: Katie offered her the chance to cement this new woman's alliance by voting for Tom that night. Caryn mused, "This is a whole new thing that I really have to think about." But feeling confused and guilty, Caryn immediately stole away from camp with Tom and told him of the plan.
After a flurry of secret conferences around camp, several targets emerged at Koror. Tom was a target of the nascent woman's alliance, Stephenie was a target of the original Koror plan, and Caryn emerged as a target because of her loose lips. In the end, Koror banded together to eliminate the last member of Ulong in a unanimous decision. Stephenie became the twelfth castaway voted out of SURVIVOR: PALAU and will serve on the Jury that ultimately decides who will win the title of Sole Survivor.