Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 25 8/7c
Season 12: Episode 3 - MATTER OVER MIND: La Mina men vote out Misty Giles
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

In La Mina's first Tribal Council, Misty Giles, the 24-year-old engineer from Dallas, Texas, is voted out 5-2 and becomes the third castaway voted out of SURVIVOR: PANAMA--EXILE ISLAND. Intimidating intelligence and a lackluster performance in the Immunity Challenge seals Misty's fate with the male-dominated tribe, which sends her packing. Blindsided by the vote, Misty admits, "Tonight definitely was a shock to me. I didn't see it coming for sure."

Returning from an emotional tribal council in which Melinda Hyder is voted out of the game, Casaya welcomes Bruce as Melinda's replacement. Casaya, with no fire to boil their unpotable water and desperate for hydration, turns to Bruce. Citing his years as a backpacking instructor, Bruce devises a system of layered tee shirts to filter the contaminated water. Skeptical of his filtration system, Courtney admits, "I have to tell you, I've also worked in wilderness, and I'm shocked and awed that this method actually gets bacteria out of the water."

Hungry and depleted, La Mina is desperate for food. Taking to the sea with hook and line, the tribemates are frustrated when all they catch are poisonous puffer fish. Their luck changes, though, when Terry returns to camp with one small, edible fish. After roasting the fish over a fire, spirits are up as the tribe devours the valuable protein source. "There was a lot of meat on that little guy, or maybe it just felt like a lot because we haven't had meat in so long. If we can catch a couple more of those every day, that would just be unbelievable," grins an elated Sally.

Host Jeff Probst welcomes the tribes to the Challenge location, where he explains the rules of the game. Using a giant slingshot, three tribe members will be the launchers, while the other four will stand on a balance beam over the water. One tribe member will launch a ball to the other four, who must catch it before it hits the water. The first tribe to catch five balls wins the Reward.

The action begins as Misty launches a perfect strike to sure-handed Terry, while Bobby's first attempt falls just short of Aras' outstretched arms, giving La Mina an early lead. In the next rounds, Casaya evens the score at 3-3 when Shane makes an incredible diving catch, while Dan's attempt sails over the heads of his La Mina tribemates. Tied at 4-4, Misty launches a low, hard shot for La Mina into the dependable grip of Terry, securing the tribes victory. La Mina wins not only the Reward, but also the power to choose who goes to Exile Island. They quickly send Casaya morale-booster Bruce into exile for the second straight time.

Rewarded with a kerosene lantern, water canisters, blankets, pillows, rope and a tarp, La Mina wastes no time putting the spoils of victory to good use. Using the tarp to fortify the roof of their shelter, Dan couldn't be happier with the fit. "Fortunately, the shelter was designed for a tarp, so it went up and over pretty easily. We have a nice, domed interior as opposed to a slumping interior, so there's lots of space inside."

Low on energy and missing his tribe, Bruce feels the merciless wrath of Exile Island. With nowhere to hide from the elemental onslaught, Bruce trembles, soaked by the heavy rain. "I wasn't even with the Casaya tribe for 24 hours, and then I was sent to Exile Island for the second time. It seems like every night is miserable here."

After losing both the Reward Challenge and Bruce to Exile Island, Casaya's morale is bottoming out. The alliance of Shane, Courtney, Danielle and Aras shows signs of internal strife when Courtney and Shane's petty bickering and emotional outbursts spiral out of control, inspiring Aras to lament, "I'm in an alliance with three nutballs at this point."

The politics at La Mina continue to fall along gender lines as Misty and Sally ply their feminine powers of persuasion with Austin and Nick. Misty has the magic touch, giving both men shoulder massages, stroking not only their muscles, but perhaps their allegiance as well. Misty is frank: "I would flirt to help get ahead. I didn't come out here to sit on my rump. I came out here to have a good time and play the game."

Arriving for the Immunity Challenge, the tribes meet Jeff Probst. Bruce, returning from his second stint on Exile Island, rejoins Casaya before Jeff explains the rules of the Challenge. Each team will compete in varying match-ups, racing head to head to five circles in the sand. Buried within each circle is a bag. The tribes must dig and find the bag, and then get back to the finish mat. To score, there must be at least one hand on the bag while any part of the body touches the finish mat. First tribe to score three wins Immunity.

Adrenaline is high as Casaya scores first when Cirie and Danielle, going head to head against Misty and Sally, prove a powerful combination, wrestling and pulling their way to the early point. Not to be outdone, La Mina exploits a size mismatch when Nick overpowers and outruns Bruce, evening the score at one point each. The next point also goes La Mina's way when Austin wins a tough battle with Shane by wrestling him and the bag within reach of La Mina's finish mat. Casaya pulls even when yoga instructor Aras uses a pressure point to force Nick to relinquish the bag, then sprints to the finish mat. With Immunity hanging in the balance and Ruth Marie striding toward the finish mat with the last bag in hand, it seems as though La Mina will reign supreme. Suddenly, just steps from the mat, Bobby grabs Ruth Marie and pulls her to the Casaya mat, giving them the victory and Immunity.

After experiencing their first defeat, La Mina faces a difficult decision about who to send home at that evening's Tribal Council. The male alliance is in the driver's seat, with Misty and Ruth Marie on the chopping block. Terry is adamant that Misty should go--"She's an engineer. She's smart as hell, and she could cause some trouble"--while Sally petitions Austin and Nick for Ruth Marie's dismissal. With the sun setting and the important decision to be made, Austin recognizes the gravity of his position: "I have the makings right now to get all the way to where I want to be in this game because of the way that I am aligned."

In the end, Sally's plea falls on deaf ears, and the solidity of the male alliance is concrete. La Mina decides Misty's intelligence is too great a threat, and they choose to eliminate her in a 5-2 decision. Misty becomes the third castaway voted out of SURVIVOR: PANAMA--EXILE ISLAND.