On Day 18, after a heartbreaking Tribal Council, Gina Crews, the 29-year-old nature guide from Gainesville, Florida, was voted out of the Maraamu tribe. As the only remaining member of the original Maraamu tribe, Gina blended in well with her newly-formed tribe. However, the vote proved that old tribal lines still ran strong as she became the sixth castaway voted off the island. As Gina's torch was extinguished, she exited Tribal Council and confessed, "I love you guys and understand the vote tonight. I have had the time of my life."
On the morning of Day 16, the four original members of the Rotu tribe, consisting of Robert DeCanio, the 38-year-old limo driver from Queens, NY, John Carroll, the 36-year-old registered nurse from Omaha, Nebraska, Zoe Zanidakis, the 35-year-old fishing boat captain from Monhegan Island, Maine, and Tammy Leitner, the 29-year-old crime reporter from Mesa, Arizona, gathered at the waterfall for a strategy session, led by John, the self-proclaimed leader. "Everyone knows I am the leader, everyone knows I am running the show," John confidently reiterated. Cautious of being too outspoken, Robert, happy to have John lead the way, explained, "Right now it's time for me to sit back and relax and let him take the grief. He's going to be the one to be the target."
Comfortable with his position in the tribe and wanting a fresh start, a naked John Carroll leapt from the rocks and into the water below. "That was definitely a powerful moment. Symbolically it showed that we have reached another level of our relationship with one another. I would not have been comfortable doing that in front of the other three," John explained.
A Numbers Game
Aware of their numerical disadvantage within the Rotu tribe, Rob Mariano, the 26-year-old construction worker from Canton, Massachusetts, and Sean Rector, the 30-year-old teacher from Harlem, New York, clarified their predicament, explaining, "The only chance we have now is to win Immunity and hope to make it through the merge and hook up with the other tribe; otherwise, we are going out. They have four, we have three, and they are definitely going to take us out one at a time." Realizing that John was the ringleader of the Rotu alliance, Rob adamantly stated, "If I have any opportunity to get rid of John, I will. I just don't have an angle yet." ( Sean feeling down )
Day 16 found the Maraamu tribe hunting crab. While collecting the delicacy, Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien, the 47-year-old real estate agent from Burlington, Vermont, reflected on the attitude of her tribe, saying, "I was always concerned that with a small little band of women and one older gentleman it was going to make it very difficult to win. But now that I am here, it's about spirit and energy and desire." Paschal EnglishWhile the crabmeat cooked, the anxious tribe wondered who had been voted out at the previous night's Tribal Council, adding, "It's going to be a shock to us if it's one of our old Rotu members." As the tribe devoured the much-needed meat, giving them protein and energy for the day, Paschal English, the 57-year-old judge from Thomaston, Georgia, acknowledged that Maraamu had an advantage over the Rotu tribe. "The food over here on this side is so much easier to get than over at Rotu, it's like night and day. We don't need the food, they need the food. I am confident of that."
Reward Challenge: Jungle Relay
Reconvening, both tribes met host Jeff Probst at Challenge Beach for the next Reward Challenge. Neleh, Paschal and Kathy were shocked when they realized that Gabriel's absence meant that he had been voted out. Jeff Probst began to explain the rules for Jungle Relay. Using only four members from each tribe, they had to complete three legs of a race. First, they had to race into the jungle to find a paddle, untie it from its secured location, then continue on with a fellow tribe member to find a second paddle and untie it. Once both paddles were obtained, the two tribe members had to crack open coconuts to find a key, which would unlock an outrigger canoe from Gina and Kathy in Jungle Relayits mooring. Once the key was found, they would have to run to the awaiting two tribe members, who would then unlock the chained outrigger canoe and paddle into the sea to retrieve their tribal flag. They then had to paddle back to shore, bringing the canoe back to its original location -- within chain's reach. The first tribe to have both paddlers at an awaiting Tiki idol and place their flag on top, would win a full picnic, consisting of chicken, salads, desserts and Sierra Mist.
Rotu took an early lead as Rob Mariano's athleticism prevailed, beating the older Paschal to the first paddle. After completing the second leg of the race, it looked as though the Rotu tribe would stretch out their lead, as John and Rob started the last leg of the race well ahead of Maraamu's Kathy and Gina. However, the paddle portion of the race proved difficult for the two men as they struggled to maneuver their canoe. Seizing the opportunity, Kathy and Gina caught up with the men of Rotu as they paddled to the beach. Rotu arrived back at the beach first and John quickly delivered the flag to the Tiki ahead of Gina and Kathy, who were seconds behind. As Jeff declared them the winners, Rotu immediately broke out in celebration. However, their festive mood didn't last long as Jeff Probst interrupted and delivered some hard news. Maraamu was protesting the win as Robert, one of Rotu's paddlers, was not at the Tiki when John placed the flag atop it and, in fact, arrived only after Kathy and Gina were Rob and Zoeboth present at the Tiki with their flag atop it. To win, both paddlers had to be at the Tiki first to be declared the winners. In addition, both canoes had to be within chain's length. To officiate, Jeff started by examining the final location of each tribe's outrigger canoe. Maraamu's was, indeed, within chain's length. Rotu's chain, however, extended just short of where the canoe had been dropped. Jeff continued, "In addition, the General (Robert) was not at the Tiki when you put your flag inâ€¦.I spoke too soon, Maraamu wins!" This time, it was Maraamu who broke out in celebration.
As the dejected Rotu tribe wandered off to eat their usual coconut and taro-root meal, the Maraamu Tribe found themselves feasting at an all-you-can-eat picnic.
A Touching Poem
As the sun set on Day 16, a melancholy Neleh read a poem that her old tribemate Gabe had written. Gina explained the connection that Paschal shared with Gabriel Cade, the 23-year-old bartender from Celo, North Carolina, who was voted out at the last Tribal Council. "Paschal and Gabe bonded like father and son. Paschal doesn't have a son and he has said repeatedly that if he ever had a son he wanted him to be just like Gabe." Paschal somberly noted, "Things are different now, we are who we are, and the old Rotu was in the past."
One Happy Tribe
Maraamu TribeWith the mood elevated from winning the Reward Challenge, and tribal unity prevailing, Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien explained that: "Gina fits in for sure. I think at the beginning she was tentative, but she has definitely come out of her shell. Echoing her sentiment, Neleh Dennis added, "Gina is great and there is no more Rotu. We are just one big tribe together and that's how I am going to finish the game."
Zoe Zanidakis "I knew there was an alliance with those four other Rotu people, I just wanted to see if they would lie to my face," remarked Rob Mariano, who confronted Zoe Zanidakis, asking if there was an alliance. Irritated with what he felt was an evasive answer, Rob sarcastically shot out to John, "Do I have stupid written on my forehead?" Later, John revealed more than just his allegiance with the others when he answered, "Yes, I am gay," to Rob's question about his sexuality. John later explained, "I am 36 years old, I have been out for a long time." ( Rob Mariano wants the truth )
The Fix is In
Realizing the importance of winning the upcoming Immunity Challenge and wanting to be able to control his own fate, Rob Mariano stated, "I'm not going to back down, I am going to participate. If we lose and this is my last one, at least I know that I gave it my best. Don't count me out."
In the meantime, John, who was feeling threatened by Rob, spoke with Robert and Tammy about the idea of losing the Immunity Challenge on purpose in order to vote off Rob at the next Tribal Council. John urged, "Rob is desperate to do something. I think we sit in a much better place if we don't have Rob at the merge. He is a little bit dangerous." Hesitant to throw the challenge, Tammy stated, "I hate the fact that I am in this challenge, and we don't want to win this."
Immunity Challenge: Maze
The two tribes met host Jeff Probst at the Immunity Challenge, where he explained the rules of the Maze. Using four tribe members who were bound to each other in a human chain, each tribe had to negotiate through a giant maze and collect numbered rungs to a ladder. The first tribe to have gathered the rungs in order, and to climb up onto the finish platform would win.
As the race began, Rob Mariano led Rotu and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien led Maraamu. John stood by, watching, as a motivated Rob led his team through the maze and collected the rungs. As Maraamu struggled, Rob led Rotu to victory, saving himself from possible elimination for at least three more days. The loss would send Maraamu back to Tribal Council, where they would have to vote another person out of the tribe.
The Fire is Out
Returning from the Immunity Challenge, Gina Crews realized that Kathy had inadvertently put the camp's fire out before leaving for the challenge. Gina explained, "Kathy said that at Rotu they put sand on their fire to keep the coals hot, but where I come from we put sand on a fire to put it out." Already concerned with Gina's strong relationship with the others, and knowing that Neleh and Paschal would not vote for each other, Kathy questioned whether or not the tribe would oust her at the upcoming Tribal Council.
In the end, tribal lines were not crossed as Gina Crews, the only remaining original member of the Maraamu tribe, became the sixth person voted out of Survivor: Marquesas.