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Season 1: Episode 9 - Fire Goes Out For Gervase

Fire Goes Out For Gervase : Gervase Petersen delivered a rousing challenge at tonight's Tribal Council, exhorting his fellow castaways -- and opponents for Survivor's million-dollar cash prize -- to vote him off if they wanted to maintain any chance of winning. "You better vote me off," he roared defiantly. "Because if you don't, I'm going to win every challenge and hold immunity for the rest of the game. No one else will stand a chance of winning. If you know what's best for you, you'll vote Gervase off."

The gambit was more symbolic than anything else. Gervase's fate was all but sealed when he lost to Rich the Fast Fire immunity challenge, a fire-starting competition that would have allowed him to elude the clutches of the dreaded Tagi Alliance. Those four, plus Sean, meant Gervase was certain to be voted off at Tribal Council.

Gervase was so certain of his fate that he even taped the words "target" onto his shirt, denoting his status in the minds of other voters.

Fast Fire
Gervase shares the pizzaGervase began the show's tenth evolution on a positive note, winning a pizza and the Ericsson phone call home in the Bamboozled Reward challenge. However, winning reward challenges has become a quaint sidelight to castaway life as the game gets nearer to selecting a winner. The truly important challenges have become those for Tribal Council Immunity. And with the Tagi Alliance holding a four-three majority in the seven-person Rattana Tribe, Gervase needed to win the Fast Fire Immunity Challenge to avoid being voted off the island.

Rousing Speech
It was not to be. Conducted on Pulau Tiga's Games Beach at sunset, a fierce South China Sea thunder storm crackling on the horizon, Fast Fire asked each castaway to wade out and light their torch from cauldrons bobbing offshore. Carrying the torch ashore as a source of flame, the castaways then assembled dried twigs and leaves from the jungle. The first castaway to build a fire standing three feet tall would be the winner.

Under less tense circumstances Gervase might have won. But he stumbled in the surf, dousing his torch. Rich went on to win his first-ever Immunity, and sported the colorful Immunity Talisman around his neck as he walked into Tribal Council to vote Gervase off.

A storybook finish would have seen the other castaways swayed by Gervase's charm, and deciding not to vote him off. Alas, that wasn't to be. Gervase's flame was doused.

Broken Pact
Kelly and Susan's growing rift is having far-reaching implications for the Tagi Alliance. Kelly seems uncomfortable at having to constantly lie about whom she voted for, and chafes under Sue's parental authority. Sue, who says Kelly reminds her of a close friend who died in a car accident 20 years ago, is close-mouthed about the distance. Stay tuned.

She Sells Seashells
The sea shells of Pulau Tiga are exceptional, with even a minimal amount of beachcombing producing dozens of singularly beautiful samples of all shapes and sizes. Castaways have used the shells to adorn their tribal torches and make necklaces. Rich chose shells for a bribe at the most recent tribal council, showing up with a pair of large, polished, speckled shells. He immediately offered them to jury member Jenna.

However, seeing this as an attempt to influence the jurors, Rich was immediately advised by Jeff Probst to not only take back his shells, but to never attempt bribery again. Showing perhaps his only contrite moment on the island, Rich agreed.

Jewelry
Sue, Kelly, and Colleen wear earrings, bracelets, and anklets. Where does this jewelry come from? Kelly's "bead bag." The Las Vegas rafting guide's luxury item was a small craft pouch loaded with needle, thread, decorative beads, and various other accouterment for making personal jewelry.

By the way, the women haven't been the only recipients of Kelly's talent. The "Rowdy Rudy's Diner" sign hanging in the Tribal cooking area was cross-stitched by Kelly as well, a tribute to Rudy, who oversaw most of the cooking chores.

Money… What money?
Gervase has said openly that money isn't the reason he's competing on Survivor. "Whatever money I win, a bunch will go straight into my kid's trust fund. With the rest I'll go straight to Atlantic City and parlay. Any money left, I'll take me and my posse - my BIG posse -- to Las Vegas."

Rudy-isms v Despite his dour on-camera appearance, Rudy can be remarkably warm. His wisecracks are many and varied, with most too off-color to make it onto television. However, his one-liners have become as much a staple of island living as catching fish and cooking rice. Castaways have learned that Rudy speaks his mind and tells the truth, no matter whom he might offend.

Phone Calls
It was merely coincidence that Gervase won the phone call home so soon after the birth of his son in Philadelphia. There was no act of favoritism that allowed him to win - he did it all himself.

Sean's Razor
Sean's luxury item was a razor for shaving his chest. Kelly thought chest-shaving was for "sissy-boys" and Sue thought the habit equally unmanly, and they told him so. As either a power play or subtle tweaking--depending on whom you talk to--the women absconded with Sean's razor to shave their legs and underarms. The AllianceA rattled Sean could only look on helplessly. Why so passive? Fear of offending the Tagi Alliance? Or is he just a selfless person?