Season 11: Episode 13 - CURSED!: Cindy Driven Out
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

On night 36, the long-standing SURVIVOR "Car Curse" struck again, and Cindy Hall, the 31-year-old zookeeper from Naples, Florida, became the fifth person to join the Jury and the fourteenth person voted out of SURVIVOR: GUATEMALA. Cindy became the latest in a long string of Survivors who won the car reward but did not win the game. As she grabbed her torch, Cindy jabbed, "Thanks, guys. I'll be thinking of you when I see the stars through the sunroof of my new car."

After Tribal Council on night 33, the final five Survivors returned to camp, having just voted Judd off. Cindy was perplexed over not knowing about the plot to vote out Judd. She confessed, "I thought we were voting out Lydia, but apparently I was not privileged to the information. After her tribemates' numerous attempts to console her, Cindy added, "Judd's gone and I'm still here, so I am just going to have to deal with it."

On the morning of day 34, with Judd the bully gone from the camp, the remaining five seemed more relaxed and playful. "It's kinda like the cool kid left the class, and we can be a little bit more dorkier, a little bit more fun," noted Rafe. Realizing he was the last remaining male, Rafe referred to the women as "Rafe's Angels." The close bond with the women was confirmed when Lydia said she considered him "just one of the girls." Feeling confident about his connection with the four remaining women, Rafe added, "I have a close personal friendship with all four of the people left in this game, and that's the thing I hope gets me to the end."

When Rafe and Danni went to get Tree Mail, they discovered a car key. Thinking that the upcoming Reward would be a new car, Rafe speculated, "One of us is going to own a car today!" Stephenie hoped it was her lucky day, noting, "I personally have never had my own car. So I am in desperate need of a car."

When the tribe arrived for the Challenge, their suspicions were confirmed when they saw host Jeff Probst standing next to a Pontiac Torrent. Jeff explained that the Reward would be a new car and a BBQ feast with an overnight stay at an archeologist camp.

The rules of the game: players must race across a balance beam and untie three sets of macanas. The first three players move on to the second round. At the second stage, the players toss the macana to break a clay tile. The first two to break the tile move on to the final stage. The third stage was a small Maya calendar puzzle. After solving the puzzle, the players must jump into the primitive wooden cart, chop the rope and race to the finish.

During the first stage, the Survivors struggled to keep their balance while trying to untie the macanas. Stephenie, Lydia and Rafe fell from the balance beam and had to start over, but Danni, Cindy and Stephenie crossed the finish line first. In the second stage, Cindy and Stephenie smashed the tiles to advance. In the last stage, both Stephenie and Cindy struggled with the puzzle, but Cindy finished first, hopped in the cart, chopped the rope and rode to an easy victory.

Moments later, Jeff Probst announced, "In ten seasons of SURVIVOR, the person who has won the car Reward has never, ever won the game." Dubbing this the "Car Curse," Jeff then offered Cindy a chance to break the curse, presenting a dilemma. She could give up taking the car herself and instead give a new Pontiac Torrent to each of her tribemates. Suddenly, four additional Pontiac Torrents convoyed into the Challenge area and were greeted by gasps and looks of disbelief. With an excruciating decision before her, Cindy took several minutes to weigh the pros and cons of choosing to keep the car for herself. Although she wanted to give each of the others a new car, she finally decided to take the shiny new SUV for herself, noting, "Screw the curse. I can win a car and a million dollars if I play my cards right." She added, "I'm here to beat the odds, and so far I have." Cindy then picked Stephenie to go with her on the overnight trip.

Cindy and Stephenie laughed and sang as they cruised through the rural back-roads of Guatemala, and Cindy exclaimed, "Chicks rule!" Moments later, they arrived at the archeology camp and were greeted by an archeologist named Frederico. He offered them a wooden crate of food and drinks. The girls immediately dug in and started grilling the steak, sausage and veggies. Cindy contemplated her decision and came to a conclusion, "At this point, there are no guarantees. They are not going to give you a million dollars because you gave them a car."

Back at camp, Rafe was shocked over Cindy's decision not to give away the four cars and confessed," I never would have taken the car for myself." Danni agreed with Rafe, adding, "I would have done it in a heartbeat, because you would have had four people very happy with you." On the other hand, Lydia did not agree with Danni and Rafe because she felt Cindy made the right choice.

After Cindy and Stephenie had prepared their food, Federico came back to join them for a drink. He shared with them his expertise of ancient Maya history and told them numerous stories of the Maya folklore. Later, Cindy and Stephenie retired for the night to their elevated sleeping cabana where they discussed strategy. They talked in depth about voting Danni out next because they felt she was the biggest threat.

When Cindy and Stephenie arrived back at camp, they faced a barrage of questions about the Reward. In her enthusiasm, Cindy could not stop talking about the car, unaware that her relentless chatter annoyed the rest of the tribe. Later, in a conversation with Stephenie, Rafe declared he would have given the cars away. Surprised, Stephenie disagreed with him. Rafe then contemplated, "Am I playing this game too nicely right now?"

When the tribe arrived for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained the rules: Attached to a long rope wrapped around a series of poles and connected with locks, each player must unwind as much rope as possible. The twist: each player's hands and feet were bound in metal shackles.

Stephenie and Rafe jumped into the lead as the five struggled with the locks and the web of tangled ropes. It was close, but Stephenie untied herself first and raced for the finish line. Her rope, however, had several knots in it and was not long enough to reach the finish line. With Cindy close on her heels, Stephenie frantically worked on the knots in her rope. In the nick of time, she untied the knots and reached the finish line flag. This marked Stephenie's first individual Immunity victory in two seasons of SURVIVOR.

With the Tribal Council vote looming, Rafe and Danni's bond was strengthened when they promised they would not vote for each other. Hoping that Rafe was telling the truth and that she might be spared in the upcoming vote, Danni confessed, "He seems to be a pretty honest guy. Hopefully I'll be okay tonight."

Moments later, Danni promised Rafe that if she made it to the Final Three, she would take him to the Final Two, even though she felt as though she could not win against him. Rafe noted, "Danni has promised me she would take me to the Final Two. That is a huge degree of security at the end of a crazy, crazy game."

Rafe, in turn, approached Stephenie with a plan to vote off Cindy, whispering, "I think we have a better shot of beating Danni in the Final Three than Cindy." Stephenie, however, was uneasy about voting Cindy off, because it meant she was turning on yet another member of her alliance.

Cindy then changed her mind and thought it would be better idea to eliminate Rafe. She then approached Danni and Stephenie to turn on Rafe and vote him out. By taking Rafe out, the Final Four would consist of all women. Cindy added, "The smartest thing to do is eliminate him and have all girls go to the Final Four.

At Tribal Council, Cindy defended her choice to keep the car at the Reward Challenge, but Stephenie chipped away at her alliance once again, and Cindy was voted out.