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Season 3: Episode 9 - TENSIONS BOIL, BRANDON VOTED OUT
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After a tension-packed Tribal Council, Brandon Quinton, the 25-year-old bartender from Dallas, Texas, was voted out of the tribe.

Brandon's betrayal of his former Samburu allies in the previous Tribal Council--when he cast the deciding vote against Kelly, whom the Samburus had wanted to keep--came back to haunt him as his best friend, Kim Powers, voted with the majority against him. Brandon became the ninth person voted out of Survivor Africa. As Brandon's torch was extinguished, he smiled to the tribe and reminded them, "There's only 12 more days. Have a lot of fun!"

Day 25: Trust 
With Kelly gone after a grueling Tribal Council, "the mood in camp this morning is pretty grim," said Lex. After Brandon's surprising swap of allegiances, the tribe's biggest issue on the morning of day 25 was trust. Brandon's vote against Kelly won him favor with Lex, but lost him the tribe's trust. "I don't really trust him," Ethan confessed. Brandon explained the turn against his group by refusing to align himself with Frank. "I would rather be out of here in 3 days than for anybody back home to say that I had aligned myself with Frank in any way."

While Brandon railed against him, Frank approached Lex to build an alliance. Lex plainly responded, "No way." "Time for him to go," Lex said about Frank. "The guy has just become a pain in my butt."

The Flies and Tom's Boil 
Meanwhile, Kim Johnson was forced to deal with a ubiquitous swarm of flies. They were "rampant and brazen," she complained, trying to brush them off. "I feel like the baboons."

Another "festering" problem was growing on Tom's neck. "Tom's got a massive boil!" Ethan exclaimed, and compared it to a second head growing out of his throat. Tom's explanation was more pointed: "I'm growing a horn to fight off the beast that comes, and mainly it's coming from inside the camp." ( Kim P. discusses Tom's boil )

Reward Challenge: Obstacle Course 
At the mailbox, Ethan read a letter that instructed the tribe members to form pairs for a challenge of "strength and agility." To avoid the politics of alliances, the tribe decided to make the pairings random by picking numbers out of a hat. The teams were: Kim Johnson and Ethan, Teresa and Lex, Kim Powers and Tom, and…Frank and Brandon. The group teased and mocked the archenemies for their unholy union. Neither Frank nor Brandon were very pleased: "I cringed," Frank said when he learned who his partner was. "We are polar opposites," Brandon stated. "My camping trip just went to hell," Frank rebuffed.

As the tribe lined up for instructions, host Jeff Probst told them they faced a good old-fashioned obstacle course, consisting of climbing, crawling, and running a gauntlet of tasks. The two lead teams would then face off in a second final round. The winning team would receive a night at the movies, popcorn, candy, and soda.

In the end, Ethan and Kim Johnson competed with Brandon and Frank in the finals. The two teams repeated the obstacle course, and, thanks in part to Brandon's unanticipated motivational cheering, it was the unlikely pair who won. Brandon and Frank were on their way to the movies.

Out of Africa 
Gorging on an array of snacks, Brandon and Frank surveyed their outdoor cinema: 35mm projector, movie screen, two chairs and the great African landscape. Back at camp, the tribe attempted to figure out new alliances. The big question seemed to be, as Lex put it, "Where does Brandon fit in?" Because of Brandon's betrayal of Kelly, neither Ethan nor Tom trusted him. Lex, however, urged Ethan and Tom to vote against Frank, forcing Ethan to question Lex's allegiances. Meanwhile, Frank worked on Tom to defy Lex and vote against Brandon. Confident that he would not be voted off, Frank told Tom: "I give you my word of honor, Brandon is going down before me." While the group secretly conspired, Frank acknowledged that allegiances were weak and added, "People are changing their minds like they change their underwear,"

That evening, Frank and Brandon kicked back in front of the movie screen to watch Robert Redford in "Out of Africa," putting their differences aside, at least for one night.

Immunity Challenge: Light it Up 
As the group prepared for the challenge, Lex reflected that he was, "…in the most vulnerable position of anyone in our tribe. I've got the most votes against me." Fighting for his life, Lex realized the importance of getting immunity.

At the challenge, host Jeff Probst took the Immunity necklace back from Ethan and reminded the group that the most important key to survival was fire. Their challenge was to gather brush, sticks, elephant dung, or whatever else they could, and use a magnifying glass to start a fire by refracting the sun's rays. The fire that grew fast enough would burn a thin cord strung across each firepit. When the cord snapped, it would drop a weight, which hoisted a flag announcing the winner. There was only one rule: if anything other than the flame touched the cord, that person would be disqualified.

The group raced to gather combustible materials and rushed back to their fire circles. Using magnifying glasses, the group only got smoke while Kim Powers got a flame going. As she chanted "burn, burn," Frank's branch touched the string and host Jeff Probst had to disqualify him.

Soon, other flames began to emerge, and tribe members raced to feed their fires. Kim Powers came close, but Lex's fire overtook the others' until finally his string snapped and his flag was hoisted. Lex had won Immunity.

Preparing to vote 
Gaining Immunity, thus temporarily protected, Lex tried to convince Tom to oust Frank. Unconvinced, Tom conferred with Ethan, who seemed to agree that Brandon could not be trusted. As others' allegiances faltered, Kim Powers remained steadfast in her alliance with Frank and Teresa, stating that "…it's gotten me this far without too much scheming." It would mean, however, that she'd be voting, sadly, against her best friend.

In the end, Lex failed to convince his alliance to oust Frank, and they voted out Brandon instead. Brandon will now become the second member of the Jury, and will return every third night with Kelly to observe Tribal Council. They, and the other eliminated Survivors, will eventually decide who will leave Africa with the title of Ultimate Survivor.