Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

As SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS moved forward, the castaways were surprised by a merge of their tribes. In the first Tribal Council as a new single tribe named Balboa, the remaining castaways voted off ex-Morgan tribe leader, Andrew Savage, the 40-year-old attorney from Chicago, Illinois, in a six-to-four decision. Upon leaving Tribal Council, Andrew sent a message to his former tribemates: "Stick it to Drake, show them what we're made of, and continue to make all of us proud."

In a historic Tribal Council, members ousted from Drake and Morgan convened as the newly formed Outcasts tribe with the objective of voting two castaways back into Morgan and Drake. Each Outcasts member made their plea as to why they should be voted back into the game. After a close vote, Burton Roberts, the 31-year-old marketing executive from San Francisco, California, and Lillian Morris, the 51-year-old scout troop leader from Cincinnati, Ohio, won the honors of returning to the game. After randomly selecting who would go to which tribe, it was determined that Burton would return to Drake and Lill would return to Morgan.

On an ominous and stormy evening, Burton returned to the very tribe that had stabbed him in the back. Apologies were made, and Burton's homecoming was sweeter than expected. "Burton shows up in a good mood, happy to be here, full of enthusiasm and life. And, it just pumped Drake back up," noted Rupert Boneham, the 39-year-old troubled teens mentor from Indianapolis, Indiana.

On that same stormy night, Lillian returned to the tribe she never felt a part of. As Lill's old tribe welcomed her back with open arms, Lill's trust was at a premium. "They are welcoming me, but they voted me off. I approached Andrew before, the first nine days I was on. He said to me, he would get back to me about Tribal Council. But, when it came down to the voting, he never did get back to me, which causes hard feelings and resentment," explained the scout troop leader.

After taking Burton aside, Rupert explained that he voted Burton out of the tribe because Burton made fun of him. Burton made amends as the two agreed to move on. "I feel awful. I have a lot of respect for Rupert. And, I feel bad. I feel really bad," Burton remarked after hearing how he hurt Rupert's feelings. Rupert also let it be known that it was his intention to vote off Jon Dalton, the 29-year-old art consultant from Danville, Virginia at the next Drake Tribal Council, thus confirming Burton's strong position within the tribe.

The morale at Morgan was as low as their food rations. On day twenty, Lill realized she had returned to a depleted tribe in which Andrew harbored resentment at Lill for her immunity from the next Tribal Council.

Meanwhile, at Drake, Burton, Christa and Rupert trekked to the lemon tree, where they made an alliance to vote out Jon at the next Drake Tribal Council. They agreed Jon's lack of honesty worked against the tribe as they speculated about a merge between tribes. "If the Morgans need him, they might take him. Not because they like him, but because they don't have a choice," speculated Burton.

As the two tribes assembled for what they thought was a Reward Challenge, Host Jeff Probst surprised them by explaining that the two tribes were officially becoming one. He then explained that all Challenges would be won by an individual; Tribal Immunity would be no more. The Tribal Immunity Idol was then replaced by a sword in a sheath.

After breaking the news of the merge, Jeff Probst explained that the Immunity Challenge involved holding their breath while pulling themselves along a rope under a floating wood platform without coming up for air. The Challenge would run two heats, with the two winners of each heat competing against each other in the final heat. The winner of the final heat would then be awarded Immunity.

The first heat was a close competition with Rupert and Jon winning and advancing to the final heat. Ryan and Burton won the second heat. The final round consisted of Rupert, Jon, Ryan and Burton. Jeff Probst made the Challenge more difficult by forcing the finalists to swim under the platform five times instead of one while transferring gold medallions from a pole on the back of the platform to the front. The tight race came down to Rupert and Burton, with Burton winning by a nose. Burton, already having Immunity because of being voted to return to the game, was left with the decision to assign his Immunity to another castaway or hoard it for himself.

As the newly formed tribe boarded their boat to make a new home out of the old Drake camp, they were given the thrilling news that there was a buffet waiting for them.

As the new tribe paddled to shore, the tribe members agreed to name themselves Balboa after Rupert's pet snake. As the anxious tribe arrived on the beach after the Challenge, their eyes grew wide at the sight of the banquet awaiting them. While the hungry tribe devoured everything on the table, Lillian realized, "For a few solid moments we were all together as one. But I knew that here is where the true game starts."

After having been voted out of Morgan and then reinstated, Lillian Morris proved to be in the driver's seat for the upcoming Tribal Council vote. Morgan needed her to keep the balance, while Drake needed her to tip the scales. Members from both camps lobbied Lill for her vote. Ex-Drake members wanted her to vote against Andrew; ex-Morgan members requested she vote for Jon. "Definitely the swing vote tonight could be Lill. She could go with Morgan or Drake," claimed Tijuana Bradley, the 27-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from St. Louis, Missouri.

In the end, Lill allied herself with the ex-Drake members, making hers the crucial vote to oust Andrew. He became the first member voted out of the new Balboa tribe.