Season 12: Episode 6 - LOST IN SPACE: La Mina Dumps Dan
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

In an emotional Tribal Council, Dan Barry, the 52-year-old retired astronaut from South Hadley, Massachusetts, is voted out in a 3-1 decision, making him the sixth castaway voted out of SURVIVOR: PANAMA--EXILE ISLAND. With Sally safe from Tribal Council because of a twist in the game, La Mina's male alliance is forced to vote out one of their own. As host Jeff Probst snuffed Dan's torch, the men of La Mina stand and salute their fallen comrade.

Returning to camp after the Tribal Council in which Bobby was voted out, Casaya's discord continues when Shane lashes out at Danielle for swinging the vote from Bruce to Bobby at the last minute. Shane laments, "We made the wrong decision tonight, Danielle. And we made that decision because of your personal feelings, period." He adds, "I want to get out of the alliance that I'm in with you guys, but I can't do that unless you give me my son's name back."

As dawn breaks on day 15, the women of Casaya are up early, tending the fire and plotting against Shane. Commenting on Shane's desire to quit the alliance, Danielle is adamant, remarking, "He's just a lunatic" and "If that's how you feel about it, then fine, get out of the alliance, you're off anyway. Who cares? See you later. Bye!"

With La Mina's male alliance systematically eliminating their female tribemates one by one, Sally, the last remaining woman, sees the writing on the wall. However, believing the men lack forethought, she remains optimistic: "These guys think that they know how the game works, but I'd be very surprised if the all-man's club ended up lasting as long as they think it would."

Having had little to eat in their first fifteen days, La Mina is famished and in dire need of protein. While Terry and Austin eat minnows caught in a tide pool, Dan and Nick set out in the raft on a quest for something more substantial. As usual, their venture doesn't yield any fish, but Nick does catch some interesting news when Dan reveals his secret about being an astronaut. Blown away, Nick is awestruck, remarking, "I never thought I'd even meet an astronaut, never mind live with one. I mean, the guy's looked at the earth from space."

At Casaya, tribal tension simmers to the boiling point as the rift in the alliance of four continues to color camp life. When Shane persists in asking Danielle and Courtney for his "son's name back," the two women unload on Shane for his disrespectful behavior. Shane, in turn, goes on the offensive about their emotion-based decision-making. Granting Shane's wish, the two women let him out of the alliance, to the relief of Aras: "Truth be told, I think it's great that the alliance has broken up, because it's a paper tiger. There's no power to this alliance anymore." With Shane alienating himself from the rest of the tribe, Aras is convinced that his days are numbered: "Unless [Shane's] somehow able to find a way to apologize to the girls and say, 'Look, I really didn't mean it,' I feel like that guy is going to go home."

After receiving Tree Mail informing them that a Challenge involving "strength and smarts" will be for both Reward and Immunity, La Mina is eager to win so that they can even the tribal balance going into the merge. With Sally on the chopping block, La Mina leader Terry is mindful of the dire consequences. Terry laments, "If we win, five on five. If we lose, Sally most likely will be gone."

As the tribes assemble for the double-duty Challenge, Jeff Probst explains that for this competition, the tribes must each choose three members to race one at a time out into a field to untie, lower, unhook and retrieve four puzzle pieces. Once all four pieces have been collected, the two remaining tribe members will use those pieces to solve a spinning puzzle. The first tribe to solve it correctly will win Immunity and the Reward: a feast in a Panamanian fishing village. The winning tribe also gets to banish one member from the losing tribe to Exile Island. But in a surprise twist, the person sent to Exile Island will not go to Tribal Council, thus protecting them from being voted out.

With Reward and Immunity hanging in the balance, Casaya and La Mina clash right away as Terry and Shane collide en route to their puzzle pieces. Terry wins the battle, quickly flying through the knots and returning with La Mina's first puzzle piece. The knots prove daunting for Casaya as Danielle uses teeth to gnaw through the ropes. La Mina enjoys a sizeable lead when Terry returns with the last puzzle piece, allowing Dan and Sally to begin working on the puzzle. Cirie and Bruce close the gap, aligning Casaya's first puzzle piece, as Dan, clearly vexed, is yet to find a fit. All it takes is one, and the rest of the pieces fall into place for Casaya, winning them both Immunity and Reward. With the power to send a member of La Mina to Exile Island, Casaya chooses Sally, saving her from certain elimination at Tribal Council.

Sally, safe from Tribal Council, is all smiles as she arrives at her safe haven, Exile Island. Cognizant of her good fortune, an elated Sally smiles, "This is a gift to be here, so I'm thrilled. It's like a little vacation: some girl time; get away from all those boys for awhile." After raising the flag and getting the latest clue, Sally ventures out in search of the hidden Immunity Idol, unaware that Terry has already found it. Using a rock to dig at the base of a Y-shaped tree, Sally is optimistic: "It's exciting and frustrating to think that there's an Immunity Idol out here somewhere, but it's overwhelming. You really don't know where to start."

FEAST FOR THE FAMISHED Arriving at the Panamanian fishing village for their Reward, Casaya is greeted by the village children, who lead them to the awaiting bounty. Chicken, rice, soup, sodas and beer are all devoured by the ecstatic tribemates, who can't believe their good fortune. With spirits uplifted by the nourishment and the kindness of the villagers, Casaya's tribal wounds seem to be healing when Shane apologizes for lashing out at Danielle. But Cirie, hoping that Shane's behavior will eventually result in his ouster, is discouraged by the reconciliation. "The reward kind of brought us together, but that's the thing," she observes. "It's kind of a double-edged sword for me. In a way, I almost wanted to lose, because I really felt like Shane was going."

While Casaya has the time of their lives, La Mina agonizes over who will be voted out of the tribe. As Sally sits on Exile Island, safe from Tribal Council, La Mina's male alliance must vote off one of their own. Believing his bond with Terry is strong, Dan predicts a Tribal Council tie, with the older men taking sides against the younger Austin and Nick. But Austin lobbies Terry, arguing, "This is a young people's game right now. You know we can take you a lot farther in this than [Dan] can."

As La Mina treks to Tribal Council, Dan's only hope for salvation lies in the hands of his long-time ally, Terry. In the end, the male alliance is forced to make a tough choice, and Jeff Probst reads the final vote sending Dan home in a three-to-one decision.