Season 10: Episode 8 - BYE-BYE, BOBBY JON; ULONG LONG GONE?
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After losing yet another Immunity Challenge, the two remaining members of Ulong paddled to Tribal Council, where they were forced to compete in order to determine who would be the last Ulong standing. This individual Immunity Challenge involved creating the SURVIVOR symbol of life, fire. Moving quickly and efficiently, Stephenie LaGrossa, the 25-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was able to build a fire quicker than her tribemate-cum-adversary, Bobby Jon Drinkard, the 27-year-old waiter from Troy, Alabama. As a result, Bobby Jon was sent home, leaving Stephenie the last Ulong member standing. Shortly after losing his last Challenge of SURVIVOR: PALAU, Bobby Jon assessed Stephenie's abilities, "She's honestly probably the top player in the game."

After returning to camp from a Tribal Council where they voted out Ibhrehem Rahman, the 27-year-old waiter from Birmingham, Alabama, both remaining Ulong members seemed uneasy at being a tribe of two. Despite that discomfort and Ulong's losing streak, Bobby Jon and Stephenie remained sanguine. As Stephenie declared, "I'm still ready to bring home the victory."

Being undefeated in Immunity Challenges had its drawbacks for Koror, as tribemembers began to question the work ethic around camp. Most annoyed by this discord was Coby Archa, the 32-year-old hairstylist from Athens, Texas who was getting irked at being ignored and felt that he has been working harder than the Koror women. "I'm the one who has to go get firewood." Coby complained, "I'm the one who has to keep the fire going. I'm the one has to boil the water. I'm the one who has to go hunt food. Those girls don't do anything!"

When both tribes convened for the Reward Challenge, host Jeff Probst explained that this would be a food Challenge involving a local delicacy called Balut, which is a partially formed duckling egg. The tribe able to eat the most Balut would receive 55 gallons of fresh water, along with cleaning supplies, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and even mouthwash.

Koror chose Tom Westman, the 41-year-old NYC firefighter from Sayville, New York, and Ian Rosenberger, the 23-year-old dolphin trainer from Key Largo, Florida, as their delegates to face the Ulong's Bobby Jon and Stephenie. Rising to the challenge of eating partially formed ducklings, beak, feathers and all, the four Survivors ate all the Balut and tied the score.

To break the tie, Tom faced Bobby Jon in a race to see who could down five Balut eggs the quickest. On Jeff Probst's word, both Survivors launched into the feast. Bobby Jon threw all five eggs in his mouth at once, while Tom methodically ate one at a time. Bobby Jon simply couldn't down his big mouthful of Balut in time to beat Tom, who ate his way to another Koror victory.

Returning from the Challenge with their new provisions, Koror was delighted to find a 55-gallon drum of water resting over their shower. Tensions flared over whether to keep the water for showering or use it for drinking. Without even requesting a vote and to the dismay of some of his tribemates, Koror leader Tom insisted they use all the water for drinking. "Nobody wants to speak up, and I'm not going to be that person. I could see that coming back to haunt me," explained Jennifer Lyon, the 32-year-old nanny from Encino, California.

Frustrated after Ulong's string of losses, Bobby Jon finally let his anger show. What bothered him the most was the fact that his particular losses always seemed to be at the hands of Koror's Tom. As Bobby Jon acted out by thunderously chopping wood, Stephenie admitted, "Half the time, he scares me."

As they stole away to discuss their alliance, Tom and Ian guessed that their biggest threat came from the tribe's couple, Gregg Carey, the 28-year-old business consultant from Chicago, Illinois, and Jennifer. Tom revealed a secret alliance with Ulong's Stephenie that was made before the tribes were even formed, adding, "Stephenie would be the wolf in the sheep's clothing that they wouldn't even see coming."

When the tribes reassembled for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained that it would involve both physical and mental abilities. The tribes must race out to a series of floating platforms, swim under them in order to collect puzzle pieces, swim back to shore, and drop off the puzzle pieces on the beach. Once they collected all the pieces, the tribes must assemble the puzzle and solve a word jumble using the pieces. The first tribe to correctly unscramble the jumble takes Immunity.

The competition started off with a splash as both Gregg and Stephenie hit the water running. Koror jumped out to an early lead as Gregg dropped the bag of puzzle pieces onto the beach. With all their puzzle pieces in place, Koror enjoyed a small lead as they set to work on the word puzzle. Ulong made it a close race as Bobby Jon and Stephenie diligently spelled out word after word. But once Coby and Gregg spelled out the words "Victory at Sea," it was over for Ulong. Koror's winning steak continued.

After being told by Jeff Probst that they would face off in an Individual Immunity Challenge at Tribal Council, Bobby Jon and Stephenie returned to camp. Having been close allies, both Survivors were uncomfortable with the idea of becoming adversaries. As Stephenie put it, "For right now, we're just going to hang out, enjoy our last day here together, and whoever wins will win."

In the end, Stephenie clung to life when her flame rose to ignite her torch, thus securing her first Immunity Challenge triumph and leaving her the lone Survivor of Ulong. Having suffered his final loss, Bobby Jon wished Stephenie good luck as he witnessed his torch being snuffed. Bobby Jon became the ninth castaway to leave SURVIVOR: PALAU.