Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

On night 24, Dave Johnson, the 24-year-old rocket scientist from Pasadena, California, was voted out of the Jacaré tribe in an 8-1 vote. Perceived as a strong competitor and therefore a threat to others, his tribe members sent him packing at Tribal Council. Dave becomes the eighth castaway voted out of SURVIVOR: THE AMAZON, and the first member of the Jury. He and subsequent jury members will return every three nights to observe Tribal Council and eventually cast their votes for the Sole Survivor. After leaving Tribal Council, Dave delivered his Final Words: "I wish the best for everybody out there. I am here right now and I am hungry. Take care." ( Dave's Final Words )

On day 25, after Deena Bennett and Rob Cesternino celebrated Roger Sexton's removal from the tribe at the previous night's Tribal Council, Dave realized his vulnerable position in the game. "I think that all my stability in this game has now been turned upside down," he observed, "Because I did put my roots into an alliance with Roger." Recognizing his precarious place in the tribe, Dave helped Butch Lockley construct a dock for the tribe's boat.

However, Dave's act of generosity backfired in the mind of Rob, who questioned Dave's sincerity. "I can't take him any more," Rob declared, "He is a showoff, and he is arrogant. Dave has got to go."

"The craziest man I have ever met has been living with me 24 hours a day, nonstop," noted Rob, warily watching Matthew Von Ertfelda, who was biding his time sharpening his machete. As Matthew continued to hone the blade of his machete, the tribe questioned his sanity, believing that the solitude of the Amazon jungle was affecting Matthew's mental state. "He sits and sharpens his machete for an hour at a time. Matthew is kind of losing it out here," remarked Alex Bell, "There is a weird vibe coming from him, and nobody is all that comfortable around him."

Contemplating the mud bathThe tribe met host Jeff Probst at the Reward Challenge location, where he explained the rules. Randomly dividing themselves into teams of three, the Survivors would compete in a two-stage race, first as a team, then as individuals. Bound together by a bungee cord in a giant pool of mud, the Survivors would race to collect their team's colored flags, five in all, spaced out at intervals in increasing distances from where the team members were tethered. The further away a flag was placed, the more difficult it would be to stretch the bungee cord out to reach it. First team to collect all their flags would move on to the second round, where they would compete against each other to claim three flags. The Reward: a day of relaxation in a cold bath, along with a banana split and a brownie sundae.

The Challenge began with Christy Smith, Rob and Butch facing Dave, Deena and Alex, and Matthew, Jenna Morasca and Heidi Strobel. Slopping around, struggling in the mud pool, the teams stretched out to retrieve their flags. The team comprising Alex, Dave and Deena proved to be the strongest as they pulled their way to victory. The second round pitted Deena, Alex and Dave against one another to decide the final winner. Dave proved the strongest as he won the second round to win the Reward.

Before Dave headed out to his hard-won Reward, Jeff Probst informed him that he would have to choose someone to join him on the excursion. Put on the spot, Dave held a number behind his back and asked Alex and Deena to choose. Deena picked correctly, earning a place by Dave's side at the Reward.

Pass the soap!Dave's RewardArriving at the Reward, Deena and Dave enjoyed the afternoon of leisure, devouring the ice cream sundaes and splashing around in the bathtub. Acknowledging his vulnerable position in the game, Dave took advantage of the opportunity to speak with Deena about reestablishing his place in the tribe. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I am on the chopping block. I am just trying to salvage myself to stick around longer in the game," Dave remarked. Deena responded, "I will see what I can do, and I will talk to the others. I owe you that much for bringing me on this Reward."

Returning to camp, Dave and Deena were greeted with envy as the tribe prepared their bland manioc flour for dinner. Tensions flared as Deena began eating the manioc, claiming she was still hungry despite having eaten the special Reward earlier in the day. Irritated with Deena's selfish behavior, Jenna complained, "I was like 'screw you, you fat pig.' You had ice cream all day, and we are starving, and you want to come back to camp and eat my manioc!"

Heidi StrobelAs night fell, the tribe slept in their makeshift shelter, some closer than others. Rob observed Heidi and Dave snuggling together. Questioning Heidi's allegiance, Rob said, "I don't know if Heidi is playing Dave or not. But what I don't like is when someone in my alliance is sleeping with the enemy."

After receiving masks to decorate for the upcoming Immunity Challenge, the tribe met Jeff Probst and listened as he explained the rules. The Survivors would be asked a series of questions based on Brazilian and Amazonian culture and basic survival skills. The decorated masks were hanging in front of a suspended log. Each time a question was answered correctly, the Survivors would use a machete to cut through three different ropes that would eventually release one of the suspended logs, propelling it through the air to smash one of the masks. Once a Survivor's mask was destroyed, they would be out of the game. The person whose mask was left intact would win.

The questions began as Dave answered correctly and quickly targeted Matthew. As the game continued and the Survivors' clay masks began to shatter one by one, all the men found themselves eliminated. The final question came down to Jenna against Heidi. Jenna answered correctly, cutting Heidi's final rope. As the log smashed Heidi's mask, Jenna won Immunity, keeping her safe from the night's impending Tribal Council. ( More action at Immunity Challenge )


Back at camp, Matthew continued to display mental fatigue as he used his machete to cut through his sneakers in hopes of creating a new pair of sandals. Uneasy with Matthew's eccentricity, Christy declared, "I would vote off Matt because I don't know what's going through his head. He gives me the creeps, and I don't know how much longer I can be around him."

Tribal CouncilDespite Matthew's peculiar behavior, Dave Johnson's overall strength posed more of a threat to Jacaré, and he was voted out of the tribe. Dave will return every three nights as the first member of the Jury that will ultimately decide who will be the Sole Survivor.