Season 11: Episode 11 - QUARTERBACK SACKED: Game Over For Gary
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

On night 30, tempers flared in an emotional Tribal Council in which Judd accused Gary of lying and Lydia expressed frustration with Stephenie. Gary also revealed to the tribe that Judd had lied to them about the location of the hidden Immunity idol. Despite that revelation and numerous attempts to save himself, it was "game over" for Gary Hogeboom, the 46-year-old ex-NFL quarterback, from Grand Haven, Michigan, making him the twelfth person voted out of SURVIVOR: GUATEMALA.

On night 27, the tribe returned from the shocking Tribal Council in which Jamie was blindsided. Judd was visibly upset and the tribe tried, in vain, to explain to him why they voted out Jamie instead of Gary. Shocked and confused, Judd declared, "I'm pissed off, man. It makes me wonder what's going on." Gary, on the other hand, was grateful he was spared from the vote, adding, "There is no doubt I dodged a bullet tonight." With Jamie now gone and the tribe settled into bed for the night, Rafe noted, "It just feels like all is right in SURVIVOR world."

When day 28 dawned, Gary and Lydia were up before the rest of the tribe. Knowing he had to make a move, Gary approached Lydia to join with him and Danni to shake things up. However, they did not realize that Judd was awake and eavesdropping from inside the shelter. "I heard Gary working all over Lydia" said Judd. Fearing Gary had won Lydia over, Judd, Stephenie and Rafe contemplated what their next move would be.

Judd considered Gary's move with Lydia contradictory to his earlier desire to vote her out. Believing Gary could not be trusted, Judd declared, "The least person you would expect to lie is basically the biggest liar." Lydia suddenly had new hope, and made her position clear when she said, "If somebody approaches me with a better deal, I'm going with it."

When the tribe convened for the Challenge, host Jeff Probst explained the rules of the game. Each Survivor has three hanging pots filled with corn. Each Survivor who answers correctly a question about Maya culture and Guatemala can smash a tribemate's pot. Last person with a pot left hanging wins. The reward: a natural hot-water waterfall retreat with a tropical feast and a full body massage.

Believing Stephenie had participated in more than her share of food Rewards, Lydia purposely knocked her out of the game first. Shocked at what appeared to be a sudden betrayal, Stephenie responded, "Jealousy gets you nowhere." After a series of strategic moves, Cindy won the Reward and decided to take Rafe rather than Lydia to the waterfall retreat.

When the tribe returned to camp, Stephenie unleashed her anger. For Lydia's benefit, she compared all the recent food Rewards. Feeling Lydia's accusation unjust, Stephenie declared, "Boo hoo for Lydia…. You're lucky you're still in the game." Motivated by hunger, Lydia tried to explain how it appeared that Stephenie had eaten more food than anyone else. Stephenie was visibly upset about Lydia's apparent change in loyalty, adding, "If you think a Challenge like this is not going to show me where your loyalties lie, you are sadly mistaken." Agreeing with Lydia over Stephenie's obsession with food, Gary observed, "She eats so much corn and nuts, it is amazing."

Cindy and Rafe arrived at the spectacular Guatemalan natural wonder, a hot-water waterfall where they were greeted by two local women who spoke only Spanish. With a waterfall, a tropical feast and full body massages to choose from, they did not know what to do first. Instinct won out, and they attacked the shish kabobs and tropical drinks first. Moments later, they swam under the spa-like hot waterfall, and then each relaxed with a luxurious full body massage. Rafe was overjoyed, exclaiming, "It was such an amazing experience!"

Later that day, Rafe and Cindy tried to play it cool when they returned to camp amidst a flurry of questions about the Reward. Lydia was visibly uncomfortable listening to the stories of food and drink. Feeling that Cindy should have taken her on the Reward instead of Rafe, Lydia remarked, "I'm an outcast." Lydia tried to make the others feel sorry for her while she sat alone and ate a crude corn soup. But Stephenie was not empathetic and made it clear that Lydia was now out of the alliance. Rafe later noted, "The next few days are crucial for Lydia, because it means she could go really far or is one of the next people to go."

With the fearsome foursome of Judd, Stephenie, Rafe and Cindy in control, both Gary and Danni hoped for some kind of miracle. Knowing Lydia was on the outs with her alliance, Gary and Danni hatched a plan to approach Rafe to join them. Danni noted, "You got to keep trying until you find something that works, because I am not going home."

When the tribe gathered for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained the rules: after hearing a story about Maya folklore, puzzle pieces would reveal a question about the story. Choose the right answer and reveal a flag to be hung on the starting platform. Choose the wrong answer and reveal a stick that must be placed into a fire. The first person to hang all seven flags wins. The Tribe members struggled with the puzzle questions and the flags in a tough race that had Gary and Rafe running neck and neck most of the game. In the end, Rafe narrowly beat out Gary to take home the individual Immunity for the third time.

Rafe was surprised he won the Immunity necklace for the third time. Feeling proud, he basked in the glory of his victory, boasting, "Who would see this little gay Mormon and think he was going to win most of the Immunity Challenges?"

The Final Four alliance of Stephenie, Judd, Cindy and Rafe were feeling confident they would get to the end. Unlike in her SURVIVOR: PALAU season, Stephenie was feeling powerful instead of powerless. She noted, "It's like a dream almost come true, but it almost seems too good to be true."

Lydia was convinced she would be voted out next after becoming estranged from the Final Four alliance. Feeling that her long-standing loyalty was no longer appreciated, she felt abandoned by Stephenie, Judd, Rafe and Cindy. Lydia grieved, "All of a sudden, you don't need me anymore. I think I'm screwed."

Knowing he was the target at the impending Tribal Council and hoping the clock was not running out on his SURVIVOR game, Gary approached Rafe in a last-minute appeal. Gary told Rafe that he and Danni felt they could trust him and wanted to join forces, with the help of Lydia, to break up the alliance of four. When Rafe confessed that he did not trust Judd, Gary saw a possible crack in the alliance and declared, "At some point, they are going to have to turn on each other. The quicker I can make that happen, the better."

At Tribal Council, Lydia had the chance to state her case against Stephenie, and Judd accused Gary of lying to the tribe. In turn, Gary exposed Judd for lying about the location of the hidden Immunity idol. However, that was not enough to turn the tribe against Judd, and Gary was voted out.