|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
Gretchen Cordy, the 38-year-old preschool teacher described by many as the "heart and soul" of Pulau Tiga, was voted off the island tonight. In the first vote of the new Rattana tribe, Gretchen was sent packing. "I consider it the highest compliment," she explained later, living up to her reputation as a "soccer mom" by kicking a green coconut through the jungle as she spoke. "People didn't vote me off because I was weak, they voted me off because I was strong."
The voting was spearheaded by the scary and strong Tagi Alliance. Though the Tagi tribe no longer exists, the voting block consisting of former members Richard, Rudy, Susan and Kelly was instrumental in ridding the island of the beloved Gretchen. "Of course I voted for her," Richard said calmly after Tribal Council. "She was a threat to win."
Sean and Jenna enjoy royal treatment as ambassadorsThe voting capped a whirlwind three days on Pulau Tiga that saw the remaining castaways merge into one new tribe. Tribal ambassadors Sean and Jenna spent a night on the Sand Spit drawing up the guidelines for the new group. Not only was the name "Rattana" chosen to replace Tagi and Pagong, but the former Tagi Beach was chosen as home for the new tribe. Tagi had hoped Jenna would bring her tribemates to their beach, and for Jenna it was an easy decision. Most of the Ambassadors' time on the Sand Spit was spent eating lobster and drinking four bottles of wine, living in total luxury. Their tribemates, hungry, could only wonder what was going on.
After the decision was made, the former Pagong members were given mere moments to grab three personal items and leave their former home behind.
On the first cramped night in the Rattana shelter, Rudy was heard to complain about the overcrowding. "I wanted to get up and go to the head in the middle of the night but there was too many people in the way. Too many bodies in a small space. I don't like it."
Salt and Light
Colleen and Gretchen hold their breath underwater in the first part of the challengeIn the often Machiavellian world of Survivor, Gretchen was seen by many as a warm, calming presence. But after she failed to win immunity, Gretchen's time was limited. As a driving rain pelted the island, the Tribal Council votes against her piled up. By the third vote she was shaking her head in recognition - the Alliance was very strong.
"Grab your torch, Gretchen," she heard a few moments later. "It's time for you to go."
Dirk, the fifth castaway voted off, holds the island record for post-Tribal Council ingestion. He scarfed twelve pieces of chicken, a bucket of shrimp and a tub of rice. While Gretchen didn't match Dirk, she set a record for showers, washing herself a half-dozen times in the hours after being voted off. "I just couldn't get clean," she noted.
During the Tribal Summit process, when ambassadors from each tribe paid a visit to the other's beach, Tagi welcomed Jenna with a meal of fish, rice, and coconut milk. Pagong welcomed Sean with a hearty hello. The famished Jenna devoured her food and declared adamantly, "We're moving here."
Sean and Jenna spent the night in the same tent on the Sand Spit. Sean claims nothing happened. Jenna claims Sean made a pass, but she turned him down. Both agreed, however, that Jenna drank Sean under the table as they sat on the beach and consumed four bottles of wine.
For those keeping track, Sean and Jenna drank Australian Chardonnay during the Tribal Summit.
Richard and Greg are cozying up, much to the chagrin of Colleen. She's really come to depend on Greg for friendship and moral support. His flirting with Richard has left her adrift. Greg thinks he's more of a Survivor than Colleen for being so pliable. Colleen thinks changing one's personality to adapt to the island is morally incorrect. Only Tribal Council will determine who's right.
As for Richardâ€¦
Richard thinks Greg is cute, but doesn't believe he's gay. "It's all part of the game," Richard says with a shrug. "He's trying very hard."
The Immunity Idol and Immunity Talisman both represent the same thing. Greg made a reputation when Pagong was still an entity by being carefree about matters of island living, but hardcore when it came to competing for the tribe. Now that he's won the first immunity challenge, he's no less competitive. "Hey, if I win the Immunity Talisman every challenge, no one can vote me off. That seems like a pretty smart way to stay on the island to me," he noted with an ironic tone.
Greg once attended a survival school in the Montana wilderness where he was forced to live off the land - alone - for 27 days. ------------------------------------ Nature Phone Inventor Voted Off Greg Buis, the lovably eccentric Ivy League graduate, was voted off Pulau Tiga tonight. Greg invented the "nature phone" during his island stay, using a coconut as an imaginary communications device. Though loved by his fellow tribe members for an irrepressible sense of humor and a somewhat defiant view of island living, Greg was unable to form a protective alliance.
His stay on Pulau Tiga ended after 24 days. "This is the best time I've ever had," he noted after walking off the Tribal Council set. "I love that blend of reality and make-believe."
The most poignant moment of recent island life came for Jenna during the Archery Reward Challenge. Each castaway was shown a one-minute clip from a home video prepared by their loved ones ( Susan talks about the reward challenge). The challenge winner would get to watch the remainder of their five-minute video.
Jenna, the mother of twin girls, was ecstatic over the prospect of seeing them on film. She practiced and practiced her archery, determined to win. There was just one catch: she was the only castaway who hadn't received a video from home.
Jenna learns that there is no family tape for her to watchSo as the other castaways watched their family movie, Jenna shed tears of sorrow. And though she had practiced harder than anyone else, she was too unnerved to shoot straight. Greg won the Challenge.
End of the Line
Greg's undoing was the End of the Line Immunity Challenge. Castaways were tethered to a length of rope via carabiner. Each castaway was tethered to a length of rope via carabiner. The first castaway to race from one end of their rope to the other - around trees, over logs, through rattan thickets - received immunity. Thanks to Sean's "Alphabet Strategy," by which he hopes to avoid animosity by casting votes for his fellow castaways in alphabetical order, either Greg or Gervase had to win to maintain their island position.
Unfortunately for Greg, a determined - and increasingly island-savvy - Gervase sprinted like a madman. "Gervase needs to win every Immunity Challenge to stay on the island," he said of himself. "You wanna know my strategy - that's it."
Sensing that it was his last day on the island, Greg took a long walk alone on Rattana Beach as the sun set. An hour later he was on his way across the island to Tribal Council.
Greg's second act after being voted off - the first was a rambling confessional - was to light up a cigar. Every other castaway voted off had requested food. "I missed my tobacco," he noted of his time on the island.
Maybe the lack of hunger came from his last meal on the island. Richard speared a three-foot shark late that afternoon. Greg and the rest of Rattana ate just before Tribal Council.
Greg plans to return to Pulau Tiga to study the local flora and fauna. "This wildlife is intoxicating. It fascinates me," he noted.
That's What I'm Talking About
As Gervase grows more comfortable on Pulau Tiga, he's developed the curious habit of referring to himself in the third person. His competitive streak is showing, too, though he hasn't lost his reputation for charm. The man who couldn't even swim when he initially applied for the show has become a strong contender to win it all.
If You Teach A Man To Fishâ€¦
Richard has worked hard to make himself invaluable. First he formed the Tagi Alliance. As further insurance - and as a hedge against potentially duplicitous alliance members - he's worked extra-hard on his fishing skills. Because no one else fishes, the starving castaways rely on him heavily. Nevertheless, Rich knows that he and the alliance are not invincible .
Why No Counter-Alliance?
The vaunted Tagi Alliance is fearful of a counter-alliance made up of former Pagong members. While former Pagong members Jenna, Colleen, and Gervase, and even Tagi's Sean had formerly sworn off the group voting bloc, the rapid departures of the beloved Gretchen and Greg have convinced them otherwise. Stay Tuned.
One half of the couple is now goneWith Greg gone, the island love flame has shifted to Sean's pining for Colleen and Jenna. Problem is, Gervase has his eyes on them too.
Even as Gervase competes in Survivor, his girlfriend is preparing to give birth in a Philadelphia hospital. This will be Gervase's fourth child out of wedlock.
Sean's Alphabet Strategy, his newly-hatched plan to vote against his fellow castaways in alphabetical order, has the former members of Pagong crying foul. Colleen, Gervase, and Jenna all have names appearing early in the alphabet, but Sean's former Tagi teammates - Kelly, Sue, Richard, and Rudy - appear later. Further, Sean has made it clear that he has no interest in voting Rudy off ( Sean talks about Rudy). Is this Sean's attempt to make nice with the Tagi Alliance - a group that has made a point of not asking him to join?