Season 12: Episode 9 - SAY IT AIN'T SO : Gitanos Send Sally Forth
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Once again the alliance of ex-Casaya members strikes when they vote out Sally Schumann, the 27-year-old social worker from Chicago, Illinois. Sally fought hard throughout, but the Casaya juggernaut proves to be too much for her as she comes out on the short end of a 6-2 decision. All in all, Sally is thankful for the experience, saying, "I found so much inner strength, and I'll take that with me. I fought hard and I fought great and I have no regrets."

As the sun rises on day 21, the alliance of former Casaya members is firmly in control of the game. With Austin going home at the previous night's Tribal Council, Sally and Terry are the last two standing from La Mina. Terry, seemingly unfazed by his misfortune, sits with Aras, Sally and Shane, telling stories about his days as a Navy fighter pilot. Nearby in the shelter are Danielle, Courtney and Cirie, who have been listening to Terry's yarns without participating in the conversation. Seizing an opportunity, Danielle rummages through Terry's bag, looking for the hidden Immunity Idol. Questioning the validity of what Terry had shown her, Danielle is skeptical. "Before Austin went home, Terry showed me some sort of hidden Immunity Idol," she recalls, "I mean, it was something furry. I mean, he could be making this up, and he could've just found this furry thing out in the woods."

Before the Reward Challenge, host Jeff Probst leads the Gitanos to a hut, where they watch a brief clip from videotapes made by loved ones at home. While everyone is touched by the experience, no one is as emotional as Shane. After seeing the clip of his son, Boston, Shane fights through tears to explain the bond he has with his son: "He is my other half, he is my brother, he is my best friend, he is my son, he is my life."

After the Survivors view their clips, Jeff Probst explains that the winner of the Reward Challenge will get to watch their entire video while eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drinking ice-cold milk. For this Challenge, the tribe will divide into two teams. One person will lie face down on a cradle suspended in the air by bungee cords. Attached to that cradle are three ropes. The teammates will pull those ropes to maneuver the person on the cradle as they grab fifteen flags and place them in order into their appropriate slots. The first tribe to get all fifteen flags in order wins the Reward.

The teams are divided. In the white cradle, Courtney is being pulled by Bruce, Sally and Terry. In the black cradle, Danielle is being pulled by Aras, Shane and Cirie. On Jeff Probst's "go," Danielle swings into action, swiftly getting out to an early lead as Courtney's team has trouble coordinating their effort. With Terry at the helm, the white team finds their rhythm, and at the seventh flag the two teams are in a dead heat. On the eighth flag, the black team shows signs of fatigue when Aras hastily drags the rope across flag number one, dislodging it and causing Danielle to have to replace it before moving on, giving Courtney's white team an opportunity to gain a convincing lead. As Danielle's team scrambles to close the gap, they falter yet again when Cirie, dragging the rope, dislodges another flag. While Danielle struggles to grasp the eleventh flag, Courtney glides through the air with the fifteenth flag in hand, securing it in its slot and winning the Reward. With the power to choose someone to go to Exile, Terry points out that Aras "will eat anything" and thus is better equipped to survive in solitude. The rest of the team agrees, and Aras is banished to go it alone on the dreaded outpost.

Returning to camp, Danielle, Cirie and Shane appear dejected from their Reward Challenge loss. Shane makes light of the situation, saying that it was just "a couple sandwiches and some milk." Besides, Shane's apparently got more serious problems to deal with. Complaining of redness on his "nether regions," Shane is adamant that Cirie the nurse has a look at the situation. Cirie reluctantly agrees, but can hardly contain her laughter as she examines the inflammation. "I tried to be as professional as I could under the circumstances," she grins, "but it was just so hilarious!" Diagnosing Shane with nothing more than a rash, Cirie advises him to "air out" the situation. Never one to stray from doctor's orders, Shane strips himself naked in the middle of camp right in front of Danielle and Cirie.

Out on Exile Island, the ever-resourceful Aras quickly starts a fire and then quenches his thirst with a swallow of coconut milk before setting out in search of the hidden Immunity Idol. Aras finds the clues confusing, but nonetheless scours the island for the Idol. Mentally fatigued, Aras begins to question whether the Idol is still on the island. "Terry is the person I fear may have the Idol," he laments. "It would be a real easy move on his part to just send me out here, knowing that I'm his biggest physical competitor, and that it might weaken me physically to be out here. So his quickness to send me might suggest that there is no Immunity Idol out here."

Returning from the Reward, Bruce, Courtney, Sally, and Terry arrive with more than just full bellies. They've got luxury items in tow, and their tribemates are resentful. "Sally brought her journal, Bruce has a sketchbook, and Terry has the American flag. Go figure," Cirie complains, adding, "I thought Courtney's luxury item was the coolest." Courtney's luxury item, her fire dancing equipment, brings her obvious joy. Cirie continues, "It's hard when you're the loser. But it's a game, and you kind of have to keep it together."

On the morning of day 24, Sally is feeling the pressure of being on the bubble. Facing an uphill battle with the six ex-Casaya members seemingly solid, Sally hopes that the hidden Immunity Idol could come into play to save her at the upcoming Tribal Council. Sally explains, "If Terry or I win Immunity today and Terry decides that he wants to play the hidden Immunity Idol, one of the six ex-Casaya members would go home tonight."

The tribe is reunited with Aras, who looks ragged, as he returns from Exile Island. Convening for the Immunity Challenge with host Jeff Probst, each Survivor is asked to grab a nut and a shell and put them in opposite hands. He then explains that for the Challenge, each person will swim out to a long plank with seven symbols on it resting on the ocean floor. They will have to memorize the symbols in order and race back to the beach, where they will try to replicate those symbols, in order, on their answer board. The first person to solve the puzzle correctly wins Immunity. But there's a twist: participation in this Immunity Challenge is optional. If someone chooses not to participate, they will instead chow down on cheeseburgers, french fries and soft drinks. They can eat for as long as the Challenge goes or until the food runs out. Whoever wants to take part in the Challenge will reveal a shell in their hand. Whoever wants to sit out will show the nut. All but Aras, Terry and Sally choose to sit this one out.

As Bruce, Cirie, Courtney, Danielle and Shane all devour hamburgers, Aras, Sally and Terry sprint down the beach toward the water. Terry is first to dive down for a peek at the plank with Aras not far behind him. Terry is also first to return to the beach to solve the puzzle, but Aras thinks he has it solved first. When his answer board proves to be wrong, Aras desperately rushes out to the plank for another look. But yet again, Terry solves the puzzle and wins Immunity.

After returning to camp, the alliance of ex-Casaya members appear to be holding strong in their resolve to vote out Sally at Tribal Council. Terry, holding both the Immunity Necklace and the hidden Immunity Idol, scrambles to enact a ploy to save his only ally, Sally. With Bruce committing to flop if another ex-Casaya goes with him, Terry plays hard to get Courtney to defect. Courtney is fraught with indecision. "I would like to align with Terry, because I would love to go against him in the Final Two," she admits. "There's no clear-cut way for me to go right now. I'm still kind of confused in my mind."

In the end, Courtney sided with her Casaya alliance, voting Sally out in a six-to-two decision, making her the ninth Survivor voted out of SURVIVOR: PANAMA--EXILE ISLAND.