Season 13: Episode 5 - Home Sweet Home: Stephannie Sent Packing
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Stephannie Favor, the 35-year-old nursing student from Columbia, South Carolina, is banished in a 7 to 1 vote after the tribe questioned her desire to stay in the game. Graceful in defeat, she delivers her final words: "I would've loved to have stayed in the game a little while longer but if your mind's not there completely, 100%, then your tribe is going to feel that. And you don't want to be a weak link to your tribe. I had wonderful tribemates, I was thankful to have been a part of the experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Thanks."

Men at Work
Sleeping in on the morning of day 12, the ladies of Raro awake to massive amounts of firewood and seafood gathered by the men. Concerned the men may soon be annihilated by the women who now control the numbers, Nate realizes the shift in power: "Now the game really turns on. The guys all have to watch their backs as a unit because these women could try to [knock] us off. So I gotta let 'em know, yeah, you guys do need us.'

Worker Bees
As Jessica and Cao Boi embark on a crabbing expedition, Cao Boi spies Candice, Becky and Sundra relaxing on a raft. Frustrated with some of his tribemates' lack of work ethic, Cao Boi cautiously states, "That annoys me. They don't even try. We will keep winning our challenges I hope, but if they don't correct themselves, they will be eliminated."

Reward Challenge: Never Tear Us Apart
Both tribes reconvene at the Reward Challenge, where Jeff Probst explains the rules. Both the tribes will split into three pairs, each of whom will stand on a platform. Each person on the platform will use one arm to hold onto a hook. Every two minutes members from the opposing tribe will load one of those pairs with five-pound bags. The more weight added, the harder it will be to hold on to the hook. The last pair holding their hooks and weight for their tribe wins Reward: fishing supplies, spices and bottles of wine. In addition the winning tribe will choose one person from the losing tribe to send to Exile Island.

The challenge begins and immediately strategy for the two tribes is clear as Raro distributes the weight evenly amongst the Aitu pairs and Aitu loads only the strongest of Raro's pairs, Nate and Adam. Yul couldn't handle the weight as his hook slips from his grasp, becoming Aitu's first casualty. A pair from Raro and a pair from Aitu drop out, leaving Ozzy and Jessica with 20 lbs each for Aitu versus Cristina and Brad with 20 lbs and Nate and Adam with 30 lbs each from Raro. Straining together to hold the leaden bags amongst Aitu's taunting, Raro continues to dig deep holding their weight. Suddenly Jessica's hook slips from her hand and Raro erupts in cheers of victory as they win the Reward of spices, fishing supplies and wine. They choose to banish Jonathan to Exile Island once again.

Short Order Chef
The Raro tribe awakes to Adam's laughter as he stumbles into camp with an octopus stuck to his foot. Later, Cristina takes charge, giving orders to cook to and clean the octopus, and as she cuts and rinses it, a large portion of the octopus clumsily spills from her pot into the waves. Adam assesses the damage but gives little comfort to Cristina: "I worked hard this morning to get the octopus and then Cristina dropped the bucket and there were pieces of octopus all over the water and that really bothered me. I don't know what she was thinking." Once the pieces of octopus are accounted for, Cristina pins fault on Jenny, who had been helping her. "She's going to blame me for dropping the octopus?" says Jenny, equally unhappy with Cristina. "Cristina is coming across as our new JP, so she better watch herself," Jenny warns.

The Fifth Wheel
With the island's resources beginning to dwindle, Cao Boi, Ozzy and Jessica embark on an expedition to explore the other islands in search of food and other means of survival. Unable to recruit the other tribemates, they set off towards the islands across the lagoon. Candice, Sundra and Becky opt to stay back in camp with Yul, who seizes the moment to offer Sundra the fifth spot in the alliance. "I'm very happy that I got over that hurdle of being the outsider and I genuinely feel that I'm a part of this alliance now, but," cautions Sundra, "who knows, that could change five minutes from now. I'll just have to see."

Our Island, Our Turf
The Aitu explorers, Cao Boi, Ozzy and Jessica anchor on the beach of a foreign island, lush with the medicinal Noni plant and trees filled with coconuts. As they head down a path in the jungle, unaware of just which island they have landed on, they reach a clearing only to find the Raro tribe gathered around their camp fire. Stunned and territorial, Adam from Raro is far from pleased with the trespassers and vents, "I didn't like it at all; I don't think they should be on our island. This is our turf, this is our territory, and they've got their own island." Awkward introductions ensue as Cao Boi makes himself comfortable by the Raro fire, sharpening his machete. After a lengthy lesson on Asian symbols, Cao Boi begs for coconuts and Raro's hard won spices. Overprotective of his island's assets, Adam sends the three explorers on their way empty handed.

Digging through the Night
Under the light of the moon, Jonathan chews through the sand on Exile Island in hopes of finding the hidden Immunity Idol. "It's like playing in a big sand box, a million dollar sand box," says Jonathan, encouraging himself to continue his search. But with the warm glow of the morning sun he threw in the towel. "At this point I have to assume the idol had been found, otherwise I'm a complete moron."

Immunity Challenge: United We Stand
The two tribes make their way to the Immunity Challenge, where Jonathan happily rejoins his Aitu tribe and Jeff Probst. The tribes must assemble stepping poles which they will use to transport two tribe members from one platform above water to another platform a short length away. Once both tribe members are across, all eight tribe members will climb up and over the platform, swimming out to a smaller tower. The first tribe to climb the last tower and get all eight tribe members on or above the top deck wins Immunity and is safe from Tribal Council.

It is a mad dash to assemble the three poles as the tribes hit the water. With Aitu's pole together, they transport the gracefully balanced Flica across the water. Raro steadily pulls ahead, depositing Jenny on the second platform and racing back to transport Parvati. With both tribes neck and neck, Aitu climbs the small tower, and Raro, almost to the top, loses their balance and falls into the water. Raro scrambles to get back atop the tower, but the calm Aitu tribe methodically reaches the top of the platform. Lifting the last of their limbs above the platform, Aitu wins Immunity, sending Raro to Tribal Council for the second time in a row.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Dreading yet another Tribal Council, Jenny quickly confirms the vote for Cristina due to her domineering personality. But as Nate and Stephannie fetch water, Stephannie jokes about life at home. Fed up with Stephannie's lack of heart regarding the game, Nate decides to switch up the vote. "Stephannie said how she just really wanted to get some mashed potatoes. I was like, 'Damn, this girl is done.' The other day she made that comment, 'Vote me off guys, I think I'm the weakest link,' but that was just icing for the cake today." The news of Stephannie's desire to go home spreads through camp like wildfire, and when Parvati learns of the change to vote off Stephannie instead of Cristina, she pulls Stephannie aside. "Me requesting mashed potatoes and gravy became table topic for everybody else at the camp. Yes I'd like to be here but if my efforts working for this tribe don't show that I want to be here, I'm not going to beg anyone. I don't do that," states an emotionally exhausted Stephannie.

In the end, despite the tribe's irritation over Cristina's domineering personality, Stephannie was voted out 7 votes to 1, becoming the fifth casualty in the game.