|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
At a raucous Tribal Council, Pagong patriarch BB Andersen was voted off Pulau Tiga. In six days on the island, BB built the tribe's shelter, found the watering hole deep in the jungle, and overcame a bout of deep ambivalence that saw him attempt to engineer his own exit. While others found time to entertain themselves (Greg makes a present for Gervase), BB worked and worked and worked.
"I'll tell you what, there was a moment a few days ago," he said after being voted off, "that if I would have had a cell phone, I would have called in a helicopter to take me off the island. But I actually came to like this place the last few days. I don't want to leave."
Before coming to Pulau Tiga, BB was a prime candidate for Survivor's million-dollar grand prize. The 62-year old retired construction executive brought a savvy mix of business smarts, development skills and survival tendencies to the island. For instance, BB's favorite hobby is taking solitary drives on his Harley-Davidson - all the way to Mexico and back.
But Survivor is not a game best played by drawing attention to oneself. And BB's outspoken personality quickly marked him for expulsion.
BB even gathered the Pagong together for a "come to Jesus" meeting. "I've declared myself the winner," he told them. Then BB paused and looked at his fellow tribe members. "I've built the camp," and indeed he was responsible for building their hut (BB works while Gervase gets a cramp). But then he continued, "From here on out this is a maintenance situation. I want off."
"The fascinating aspect of this week's program is BB's struggle," notes Executive Producer Mark Burnett. "He's a successful man back home in America, used to having people do his bidding without question. But on the island status has no meaning. How you come across as a person counts more than your job title. BB struggles with that, then comes to accept it. And while he was actually eager to leave the island after just two days, by the time he gets voted off he's sad to go."
STACEY'S BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL
StaceyOver on Tagi Beach, the tribe continued to get hungrier. Sean and Dirk's efforts at fishing proved largely futile (Sean and Dirk return from night fishing). Stacey Stillman was up against the same animosity as BB. The San Francisco litigator was unsuccessful in her effort to oust ex-Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch at the island's first Tribal Council.
Richard feeds the fireNot only has Richard now begun fomenting opinion against Stacey, but her trademark habit of rolling her eyes and appearing contrary at times have generated a groundswell of dislike for the otherwise affable young woman.
Tagi's troubled castaway seemed to be Stacey Stillman. One reason the San Francisco litigator was selected for the show was her volatility. Her nicknames are Boom Boom and Slambona, hardly docile monikers.
But she is intelligent too, and enigmatic. Born and raised in New York, Stacey attended the State University of New York at Binghampton, coincidentally the same school as Pagong's Sean Kenniff. Her time there was interrupted by thyroid cancer. The move to San Francisco came after receiving her JD from NYU.
However, during the challenge on the sixth day, Stacey earned redemption.
The second Immunity Challenge focused around Malaysian food-more specifically, Butok, or live beetle larvae. To some of the Malaysian locals, watching Americans squirm as they eat these creatures was hysterical; to them, it's the equivalent of eating sushi. The first tribe with a member refusing to eat the bugs would attend that night's Tribal Council, where one of the tribe's members would have to be voted off.
It was a tie. Every participant ate the squirming bugs. So the tie-breaker-a timed contest in which the most squeamish member of each time would race to eat two bug completely-came down to a duel between Stacey and Gervase.
Stacey returns to Tagi Beach, redeemedStacey was eating bugs for her very island existence. And though Gervase performed amazingly, overcoming his squeamishness to munch down two robust Butok's in mere seconds, he was no match for the amazing Stacey. She lifted her two bugs into the air, tilted her head back so her throat was totally open, then dropped the squirming critters straight into her stomach. Done.
Tagi won the challenge. Stacey stayed, her teammates applauding her; even Susan, ever so critical of Stacey, gave her a warm hug.
And BB went home.
Strategy (Take Two)
Perhaps the smartest strategy to date has been that of demure Colleen, the bookstore employee from Miami. "I'm going to stay quiet and shy so no one will dislike me," she announced before being marooned on Pulau Tiga. So far, it's worked just fine. Only her budding relationship with Greg has drawn attention to her.
Hot and Sweaty
How hot is Pulau Tiga? Just six degrees north of the equator, the speck of land receives direct sunlight from dawn to dusk. The temperature hovers between 90 and 110 degrees until nightfall, when it can actually dip down into the 70s.
Castaways say the heat, however, isn't as bad as the humidity. For all the weight castaways are losing (Richard lost ten pounds in six days), most of it has been through sweating. The 85-90 percent humidity is stifling.
Pagong BeachPagong's beach is a broad stretch of sand that once housed a Japanese refueling dock during World War II. A tidal estuary runs inland to the jungle, and low-hanging trees provide plenty of shade. The sand is fine and white, and it's easy the prettiest beach on Pulau Tiga.
Perhaps that's why Pagong's members spend more time lying in the shade or sleeping than building a viable shelter or searching for food. Their crude palm frond A-frame is functional but cramped. At high tide, water laps against its foundation.
Tagi Beach, a rockier and smaller section of land, is less conducive to relaxation. So instead of laying around, Tagi has built a lean-to on the edge of the jungle, a fire pit for night time conversation, and a cooking area with logs for benches. Next on their agenda: A bowling alley.
Pulau Tiga's Odd Couple are Rudy and Richard. The homophobic Navy SEAL and the gay corportate trainer are forming a small alliance. Rudy doesn't much care for Richard's habit of nude morning beach strolls, but otherwise they get along just fine. Rudy even slathers sunscreen on Richard's back.
BB and JoelThe behavior of BB and Joel closely matched that of Rwanda's Silverback gorillas. In every tribe of gorillas, one dominant male assumes control. No other male is allowed to mate with the group's female gorillas or lead the group in any way. Through age and infirmity, a dominant male can lose his power. Another male will challenge him for leadership. If successful, that new leader assumes all control.
The same held for BB and Joel on Pulau Tiga. BB was the older, intelligent male, who sought from Day One to control Pagong's actions. Joel had a similar agenda. Though BB built the shelter and worked to exhaustion in the hot equatorial sun, it was Joel who slowly gained the trust of his fellow Pagong members. The two men had their disagreements, but nevertheless did share a peaceful moment together before hiking to tribal council.
The question in a game like Survivor, where charisma and physical strength make a person a potential winner, is whether his fellow tribe members will now vote Joel off because he's a threat.