Season 11: Episode 7 - CASE CLOSED: Yaxha Sends Amy Home
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

On night 18, the case was closed on Amy O'Hara, the 39-year-old detective from Revere, Massachusetts, when she was voted out of the very close-knit Yaxha tribe in a 4-1 decision. Although plagued with an ankle injury, Amy left the game with her head held high and a hand raised to her tribemates in the universal "rock on" symbol. "I'm very proud of myself getting this far," she declared. "I made some great friends, I had a great time and I wouldn't want it any other way."

"¦BUT DON'T GO ANYWHERE YET Before the tribe departed, host Jeff Probst told them he was convinced they were a close group, then went on to say, "Hopefully, that will help you, because you are about to embark on a new challenge." The tribe was shocked when Jeff informed them they would not return to the Yaxha camp, but instead would merge with the Nakum tribe in the darkness of the Guatemalan jungle. The Yaxha tribemates were then given new tribe buffs for the first ever night-time merge.

Returning from the "he said, she said" confrontation with Margaret at Tribal Council, Judd was relieved. "Margaret got voted out, thank God," he remarked. "She just pushed my buttons, man, and just kept pushing it. Hopefully, I'll be laughing my ass to the bank, and she will be home making chicken wings or something."

The Yaxha tribe nursed the wounds they had received from the giant ball in the previous Bolder Smash Challenge. Bobby Jon and Brandon seemed to have sustained the most severe injuries. Bobby John's shirt was pasted to the open gash on his shoulder. Bobby Jon simply said, "Got a long way to go in the game, so probably going to get a lot more banged up than this." While examining Brandon's festering sores, Amy shouted, "That's disgusting!" When the two teams convened for the Reward Challenge, they learned that teamwork and dexterity would play a big part in determining who wins. One by one, the Survivors must spool fabric from a pole onto their bodies. At each pole, another person will join them as they also wrap up in the fabric. The first team to wrap up and then unwind and cross the finish line will win. Jeff Probst explains that the Reward is twofold. The first part is an adventurous ride through the Guatemalan jungle on a canopy zipline. The second part is a huge chocolate feast awaiting them at the end of the jungle ride.

With Amy the winder for Yaxha and Jamie the winder for Nakum, Amy is slower to get to the first pole on her injured ankle. At the second pole, the two teams were neck and neck until Lydia and Stephenie started to get out of sync and fall behind. At the third pole, Gary, Bobby Jon and Brandon continued to gain ground. However, at the fourth pole the two teams were even again when suddenly Jamie unspooled and headed for the finish line for Nakum.

He was followed by Amy for Yaxha as she hobbled to the finish. Both teams struggled to unwind from the fabric in this very close race. Suddenly, Rafe, Stephenie and Lydia tumbled to the ground. Panic set in as they struggled to get back up, but it was too late, and Yaxha crossed the finish line first.

When Yaxha arrived at the jungle zipline, they geared up for the flight through the canopy of the lush tropical jungle. Amy was overcome with anxiety as she came face to face with one of her biggest fears, a fear of heights. The sky-high perspective terrified her, and she screamed, "Oh my God, I can't believe this," as she took off and glided through the lush jungle canopy. After the ride, she added, "An unbelievable experience, but probably for me, just a once-in-a-lifetime experience." Bobby Jon had a different opinion: "It's majestic; it's like the stuff you see in movies." At the end of the of the zipline ride, a gigantic chocolate feast greeted them. They wasted no time at all and devoured the cookies, candies, cake and strawberries. Brandon exclaimed, "I'm going to remember today for two reasons. I went rip-cording through a jungle, and I ate the most chocolate I've ever eaten in my entire life."

To help celebrate Danni's birthday and to show a gesture of goodwill, Yaxha paddled their boat over to the Nakum camp to invite them back to their camp for a pool party. During the paddle across the lake, Gary expressed concern about bad blood between Bobby Jon and Jamie, and said that he did not want to have to jump in between them. Bobby Jon reassured him, saying, "I'm more mature than that."

As the Nakum tribe played a game with the cards Rafe had made from leaves, Yaxha landed at their pier and shouted, "Nakum!" Most of the surprised Nakum tribemates were curious to see what all the noise was about. The Yaxha tribe greeted Nakum and invited them over to a pool party and a sample of the chocolate from the Reward. A bubbly Danni chirped, "I'm always big on birthday parties, so I had to do something." While the two tribes had fun in the sun, Jamie stewed and remained quiet. He did not like the idea that some of his tribemates may be getting too friendly with the Yaxha tribe. He said, "I'm there for business, and everyone else should be also." Jamie's attitude did not set well with the rest of his tribe.

With the numbers still in their favor, Danni, Bobby Jon and Brandon were sitting pretty, but Amy and Gary worried about what would happen if their team did not win Immunity. "They are probably leaning toward Amy, so Amy is vulnerable if we loose our next Immunity," noted Gary. Although she feels their bond is solid, Amy hoped Gary was not lying to her. She questioned the rumor about his having been a professional football player. In a conversation away from the group, she jested, "If you are, I am going to beat you down"¦. I'll track you down in Michigan." Gary cleverly denied it. Amy continued, "I want people to give me their word, and if Gary is playing me, I will kick his ass!" Gary was not worried and added, "I'm trying to keep a straight face, but she will never find Gary Hawkins in Grand Haven because there is no such thing as Gary Hawkins."

The upcoming Immunity Challenge took on double importance. Knowing it was a numbers game, Amy contemplated the importance of winning. "We need to win this Challenge as a tribe, so if there were a merge, we are five on five." Fearing they will be outnumbered and picked off if there is a merge, Bobby Jon agrees: "This is the biggest day ever, bigger than any reward, bigger than anything. This is it!"

The tribes convened for the Immunity Challenge, and Jeff Probst explained the rules. In a game that would test their ability to work together, three people from each tribe must retrieve giant puzzle pieces from a sand pit. The object: to assemble the pieces to form a giant Maya calendar. The grueling Challenge was very close, but Yaxha fell behind and could not make up for it. Nakum won, sending Yaxha to Tribal Council.

HOPE FOR A MIRACLE With the Tribal Council vote coming, Yaxha was sure to vote out Amy. Feeling vulnerable and hoping for a miracle, she asked Danni if there is anything she could do. Danni suggested that maybe Bobby Jon should go because he played the game before. In a last-minute scramble, Amy asks her long-time ally Gary to help her out. Gary agreed to help if Amy had Danni on board. Also fearing he might be voted out, Bobby Jon confided that his life-long goal is to make it to the Jury: "Nobody gets second chances, and I've been given one, and I don't want to blow it." Loyalties and alliances were tested as the questions of who is more deserving weighed heavily on the Yaxha tribe.

At Tribal Council, loyalties won the day, and Amy was voted out. Just before the tribe left Tribal Council, Jeff Probst handed them new tribe buffs and informed them they would merge with the Nakum tribe.