Season 15: Episode 4 - Last Call for Bartender: Dave Sent Packing
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Returning to Tribal Council for the third time, the Zhan Hu tribe must decide who to vote out: Dave, the overbearing leader, or Sherea, who is not contributing around camp. While Sherea's laziness grinds on the nerves of the tribe, they opt for peace as Dave Cruser, the 37-year-old Bartender from Simi Valley, California, is voted out of the game five votes to one. Hurt yet proud, Dave leaves his final words: "I gave it my all. Perhaps I gave it too much. I at least did it with conviction and integrity. I thought I was humble and I thought I listened. I wish that some people perhaps listened to me a bit more and I know that there are pieces of me that are worth a lot, perhaps even priceless. You know, if they can't see that then, well, I can't force them."

Awake early and bustling around the Fei Long camp, Jean-Robert is elated he dodged a bullet at Tribal Council, gloating, "At the next Tribal Council, I'm not that worried, because Courtney's always the weak link in every challenge. If she survives the next Tribal Council, she's got to be the luckiest girl in Survivor history." Later, while transporting a boiling pot of water, Jean-Robert yells at Courtney, cautioning her not to burn her hand on the pot. Sharing the same distaste for Jean-Robert as he does for her, Courtney immediately reprimands him with a warning to never raise his voice at her again. "[Jean-Robert's] like a cocky son of a bitch and he sucks so bad. There's no getting out of that," expresses Courtney "I don't give a crap who goes next as long as it's not me. I would prefer it be Jean-Robert because he's just so unpleasant and he gets in my face no matter what I say. He's, like, just aggressive with me and I'm sick of it."

Follow the Leader? 
While preparing breakfast, Zhan Hu discovers their rice has turned moldy. As Dave directs Sherea on how to deal with the issue, her frustrations are unleashed as she rants to Dave about his poor leadership skills. "[Sherea] just came unglued on me," cries a frustrated Dave. With tension in camp, Sherea attempts to throw out shells Dave has saved for his mom. As Dave rushes to stop her, she shrieks, "Back up off me!" As Dave pleads for the shells, Frosti steps in, separating the two. Frosti later gives Dave a stern warning that in order to be a leader, he needs to be able to work with everyone. "Dave's put himself in a weird position with everybody," says Frosti. "I mean, he does help around camp, but he's also pissing people off. So crazy Dave may have just worn out his welcome."

Reward Challenge: Great Balls of Fire
After receiving Tree Mail, the Tribes convene under the night sky on the grounds of Tribal Council, where Jeff Probst explains the rules to the challenge. Two tribe members at a time must work together using giant chopsticks to carry flaming balls across a course. Once across, they must drop the fireball into a wok, igniting a fireworks display. Then, the next two will go for a total of three rounds. Each round, the chopsticks get longer and more difficult to handle. The first tribe to get all three fireballs into the woks wins Reward. The Reward is a visit from a fisherman and his family, who will give the tribe a lesson in traditional Chinese fishing. The fisherman will also bring spices and vegetables to prepare a meal for the tribe. In addition, the winning tribe will kidnap one person from the losing tribe until the next Immunity Challenge.

Unaccustomed to the large and awkward chopsticks, Zhan Hu's Peih-Gee and Sherea struggle for control, dropping the fireball. They fall behind as Fei Long's Todd and Denise steadily cross the course, depositing Fei Long's first fireball in the wok, igniting the fireworks. As Peih-Gee and Sherea make it across the course, placing Zhan Hu's first fireball in the wok, Amanda and Aaron carefully guide and deposit their fireball and ignite Fei Long's second round of fireworks. Frosti and Jaime of Zhan Hu initially have trouble finding their rhythm, but they recover quickly, lighting Zhan Hu's second firework display and tying the game 2 to 2. Fei Long's James and Jean-Robert manage to get their fireball across the course, but the longest of the three sets of chopsticks prove difficult as they try to put the fireball in the wok. This gives Zhan Hu's Erik and Dave time to catch up. Dead even, James and Jean-Robert slowly raise their third and final fireball with success, igniting Fei Long's final fireworks display and winning Reward. Earning the right to kidnap a member of Zhan Hu, Fei Long kidnaps Dave, who receives the bamboo tube to be opened in private.

Todd Gets a Clue
Fei Long welcomes the excitable Dave, who feels as though he's on vacation from the drama at Zhan Hu. "Given the friction between Sherea and I, I couldn't have asked for a better time to be kidnapped," he claims. On a "spy mission" for himself, Dave reads the instructions to the sealed Hidden Immunity Idol clue. "This could be a crucial play for me right here in terms of who I give this to and how it can come back to help me later." Dave shares the clues with Todd. "I've got a pretty good hunch for whatever it's worth. I believe I can trust [Todd]. So, we kinda have a little bit of a loose alliance from tribe to tribe going on." Todd can't believe his luck at receiving another set of clues, but is unsure as to where or what the idol could be. "So I've been keeping my eyes open looking for something that could be a Hidden Immunity Idol, because that could be the ticket to a million dollars."

Picking up the Slack
With Dave kidnapped and absent from camp, the remaining members of Zhan Hu exhaust themselves picking up the workload at camp. "Without Dave, we're scrounging around trying to get everything done," says Erik, breathless. He watches Sherea lay in the shelter all day, not contributing to the workload. "I'm getting frustrated because I'm just tired and I feel like some people are trying to get away with not helping out." Lying on plush cushions in the shelter, Sherea observes her tribemates as they slave away. "I'm trying to conserve my energy for the challenges. So if they want to keep working, that's okay with me. I'm gonna ride the work horse till the tails fall off, because I'm not doing anything till I have to."

Fisherman Arrives
Fei Long salivates as a local fisherman and his family arrive with spices, vegetables, eggs and fish. Grateful yet unable to understand the local language, the Fei Long tribe is hit with yet another surprise. "[Jean-Robert] goes off and starts talking to these people," exclaims Todd, watching in awe as Jean-Robert converses with the family in Mandarin. Impressed with the professional poker player's hidden talent, Todd continues, "It was fantastic because they were able to communicate with each other and he knew what [the family] wanted."

Fishing Birds
Aaron and Denise join the fisherman in the lake and enjoy a most bizarre fishing lesson. Trained birds dive into the water collecting fish in their beaks. Unable to swallow the fish due to ropes loosely tied around their necks and blocking their throats, the fisherman is able to collect the fish from the birds' beaks. "It was incredible. I thought we were going to eat the birds when they showed up," laughs Denise. "But they're fishing birds!" After the surprising demonstration, Aaron and Denise are taught how to set their fishing net before they head back to camp with their bountiful catch.

Enjoying the feast, Denise is delighted. "Oh my god, after being out here all this time, flavor has never tasted so good. You know, a lunch lady is not an expert on food"¦ But this stuff here, that was the [most delicate] thing that I've ever put in my mouth." While gorging, Amanda realizes the upper hand her tribe has. "This reward was key for us. I really do think that we're going to be eating better and definitely have an advantage in the challenges to come."

Immunity Challenge: Warrior's Duel
The Survivors assemble for the Immunity Challenge, where Jeff Probst explains that they will be dressed in traditional Chinese armor while squaring off in a gladiator arena. Each tribe has a number of porcelain vases. Facing off two-against-two, the castaways must hurl meteor hammers in an attempt to break the other tribe's vases. The tribe that breaks the most vases in three rounds wins Immunity and is safe from Tribal Council.

In the first round, Courtney and Denise of Fei Long square off against Peih-Gee and Sherea of Zhan Hu. Sherea proves her worth, as she is successful in smashing a vase, scoring a point for Zhan Hu. Next, Frosti's and Dave's throws fall just short of their targets, while Todd and James obliterate three vases in one round, putting Fei Long in the lead 3 to 1. In the final round, Zhan Hu's Jaime and Erik take on Fei Long's Amanda and Aaron. As the pairs furiously launch meteor hammers at one another, Jaime connects with 2 vases in one shot, tying the score at 3. However, at the last minute, Amanda connects with a vase, scoring Fei Long's fourth point, thus winning Immunity.

For The Good of the Tribe
Returning to his tribe, Dave's guard is up as he is ignored around camp. "I don't want to go home, but there's very strange vibes going on. I'm feeling very precarious right now," explains a paranoid Dave. When the tribe takes a dip in the lake without inviting Sherea, she too becomes weary. "I am concerned that me not doing as much around camp is affecting everybody else's opinion. So I already know that my name might be written down tonight." Faced with another difficult vote, Erik tries to clear his head. "It's a really close toss up between Sherea's not working and Dave's just kinda making everybody crazy. It's just been back and forth in my mind. I think if it were up to me, if we could get rid of both of them it would be great."

Tribal Council
At Tribal Council, worried her head may be on the chopping block, Sherea pleads her case, acknowledging that although she does attempt to conserve energy for challenges, she has, in fact, has been stepping up her efforts at camp as well. Dave confesses to being burdened with the role of leader and frustrated by the short-term goals of his tribe in saving energy just for challenges. In the end, Dave's antics and manic leadership try his tribe's patience for the last time. Dave receives a majority of five votes to one, becoming the fourth person voted out of SURVIVOR: CHINA.