|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
"The last three days have been so incredibly tough on me. This adventure has taught me a lot about my strengths, but more importantly about my weaknesses." Those were the final words spoken by Nick Brown, the 23-year-old Harvard Law student, as he became the tenth Survivor to be voted out of the tribe. Nick, who had earlier been viewed as a physical threat to win Immunity Challenges, weakened in recent days, due to severe hunger and lack of sleep. The harshness of the environment took its toll on the soon-to-be lawyer, who will now join Alicia Calaway and Jerri Manthey as the third member of the Jury, which will ultimately decide who will be the sole Survivor.
Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead
Contemplating the previous night's Tribal Council, during which Jerri Manthey was voted out of the tribe, Amber realized just how little she could trust her old Ogakor tribemates. "I think that the group definitely isolated me from their decision because I was too close to Jerri. I felt sad not just because of Jerri leaving, but more so because my own tribe members don't trust me enough to let me know what's going on." Keith's reflection on the event, however, was quite different: he was quite content singing to himself, "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead." On Amber, he said, "Amber is a big girl; she made her decision early on to be close to Jerri, and there is nothing that can be done about it now."
The Harsh Reality of Outback Living
The tribe's rice being stirred with a boomerangAs the days grew longer and the temperature increased, the lethargic Barramundi Tribe quickly changed their focus from voting to surviving. With approximately one cup of rice left to feed the seven remaining Survivors, the harsh reality of where they could get their next meal set in. Elisabeth Filarski, the 23-year-old footwear designer from Newton, Massachusetts, put their situation in perspective: "You know we are starving. We haven't eaten in 24 hours. We have a lot to do and no energy. Everyone is just in slow motion." She then added, "I think everyone here would bring back Jerri if she had rice!"
Catching grasshoppers, which would be used as fishing bait, became the most important chore of the day. Keith Famie, the professional chef from West Bloomfield, Michigan, relentlessly sought the insects-and was quite successful. Colby Donaldson, however, had less success. Said Colby, "Keith has a better handle on this than I do, a little more experience as well. I better ask the master to teach me how to wrangle the grasshopper."
The Barramundi Tribe met host Jeff Probst at the Reward Challenge, the first Survivor Auction. Each person was given a money pouch that contained 500 Australian dollars that they would use to bid on various food items. The trick was knowing when to bid on what item. The Survivors never knew what would be next, or what the starting price would be. Spending wisely could enable a Survivor to hit the jackpot.
Nick Brown was the first to make a purchase, and outbid everyone for four Doritos chips and a cup of salsa for $60. Eagerly, Elisabeth outbid her fellow tribe members to savor peanut butter and chocolate for $260.
As the Auction continued, each Survivor spent their money out-bidding each other for various food items. However, Amber was not as fortunate as the rest. She bid $200 for a covered "mystery plate" which turned out to be a glass of the local Herbert River water. Tina gave Elisabeth extra money in order to win a turkey dinner. In exchange, Elisabeth gave her some of the dinner. Rodger was less inclined to spend his money at the beginning--as a result, he netted a cheeseburger.
Back at camp, the Survivors realized that their bodies paid the real price for the much-desired food. In shock from the sudden food intake, their stomachs rejected much of what they had consumed. Everyone but Colby and Amber, who ate the most conservatively, had to run several times to the latrine for relief.
The Rising River
As Day 29 began, the Barramundi Tribe realized that the Herbert River was beginning to rise significantly. Tina, weary of the water, remarked, "The river has risen considerably. We don't know how much longer there is going to be a beach here." Echoing Tina's concern, Elisabeth also noticed, "It might as well be a minefield right now. The river has crept up on us and has already doubled in size."
Immunity Challenge: Fire & Rain
As the Survivors met host Jeff Probst at the Immunity Challenge, he explained the rules of Fire & Rain. Each tribe member was assigned a "fire scale," a ten-foot post with a T-bar at the top. The T-bar had two pulleys attached to a counter-balance consisting of a fire pan on one side and a water bucket on the other side. The water bucket had a hole at the base out of which water would leak out slowly. The goal was to light a fire in the pan high enough and hot enough to light the fuse attached to the overhead T-bar. Once the fire was lit, the Survivors had to run to the river and collect water in small cans to fill the water bucket on the opposite side of the bar enough so that it came down, lifting the fire pan up to the fuse. The first person to light their fuse would win immunity.
The game involved both strategy and endurance. Nick was off to an early lead, but he quickly lost steam due to his weakened state. Soon, both Keith and Colby surpassed him. At one point, Keith tossed his water container aside as he confidently watched the fire approach the fuse. But to his dismay, the fire pan didn't get high enough to light the fuse and he had to retrieve his container to get more water. Meanwhile, Colby kept at it, and ultimately outplayed all his fellow tribe members, thereby winning immunity.
A Depleted Group
Despite the goods from the auction, the lack of food was taking a serious toll on the energy and bodies of the Barramundi Tribe. Tearfully, Elisabeth acknowledged, "I am feeling terrible, I'm shaking and weak, I couldn't even walk up the hill, and I am nauseous. We have nothing to sustain us. I am just really low."
"I don't think you'll be able to make it." That's what host Jeff Probst said in a surprise visit to the Barramundi camp. In his possession was a supply of rice, enough to last the Survivors for the remainder of their time in the Outback, and 25 fishing hooks. But there would be a serious trade. After all, the Survivors acknowledged that they did not properly ration their rice. So, in the end, they agreed to give up their shelter, including their tarp and Colby's Texas flag, in exchange for the rice.
As the night's Tribal Council approached, the Survivors had time to contemplate their voting strategy. Lack of certainty about Amber's vote plagued Colby as he recognized, "Amber is nervous about the fact that we voted Jerri off. She may think she is next. However, she and Elisabeth have been getting along lately, and if Amber decides to join with the Kucha Tribe, thus voting 4 against 3, and pick us right off, we could be in trouble." But Amber wasn't sure which was the better choice-- trusting Ogakor, who did not include her in their decision to vote for Jerri at the previous Tribal Council, or trusting Kucha, who could just be playing her for her vote.
So in the end, Amber stayed loyal to Ogakor, thus voting Nick Brown out of the Outback. ( Nick feels vulnerable. )
And then there were six.
What would Amber do for more rice?