Season 8: Episode 10 - BACKSTABBED: LEX SENT HOME
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After a tribal merge, the newly formed Chaboga Mogo tribe didn't waste any time practicing the art of politicking and deception, to the horror of certain tribe members. Although Rob had assured him he'd be taken care of, Lex van den Berghe, the 40-year-old All-Star of SURVIVOR: AFRICA from Santa Cruz, California, was shocked to hear he was on the chopping block after losing an extremely close Immunity Challenge. At a rain-soaked Tribal Council, Lex realized that his earlier choice of saving Rob's girl, Amber, had been a disastrous mistake as the Chaboga Mogo tribe evicted Lex in a seven-to-two decision.

Stunned, Lex simply sighed, "I came into this game the wealthiest man in the world. I have an amazing wife, two beautiful sons, a loving family and the greatest group of friends a man could ever hope for. Everything above and beyond that is gravy as far as I'm concerned."

After witnessing his girl move to the opposing tribe, Rob Mariano, the 28-year-old castaway of SURVIVOR: MARQUESAS from Canton, Massachusetts, had no way of knowing whether she was still in the game. This caused great tension throughout the Mogo Mogo camp. "I've never seen Rob all screwed up like this," noted Tom Buchanan, the 48-year-old tribe member of SURVIVOR: AFRICA from Rich Valley, Virginia. However, knowing his closest ally might have been voted out, Rob acted quickly by creating an alliance with Alicia Calaway, the 35-year-old of SURVIVOR: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK from Trumbull, Connecticut.

As the tribes assembled for the challenge, Rob's face filled with elation as he saw the Chapera tribe emerge from the brush with Amber Brkich, the 25-year-old of SURVIVOR: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK from Beaver, Pennsylvania, still in the game. Host Jeff Probst then explained that this would be an individual Reward Challenge, an underwater version of "musical chairs." The Survivors must dive into the water to retrieve a limited number of colored pots. Castaways returning without a pot would be eliminated, until only three remained. The three finalists must then compete in a race to the shore carrying a heavy crate. The first one to carry the crate across the finish line would win a reward of a night at a spa, complete with a feast, a massage and use of luxurious toiletries. The winner would also get to choose two other castaways to share this desirable reward.

The Challenge started with all nine Survivors diving into the water in search of the colored pots. Jenna Lewis, the 26-year-old castaway of SURVIVOR: BORNEO from Franklin, New Hampshire, and Shii Ann Huang, the 30-year-old tribe member of SURVIVOR: THAILAND from New York City, returned empty-handed. After a vicious underwater war between Amber and Tom, the second dive eliminated Amber and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien, the 50-year-old castaway of SURVIVOR: MARQUESAS from Burlington, Vermont. Only Lex, Rob and Rupert Boneham, the 40-year-old castaway of SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS PANAMA, returned with pots on the third dive to advance to the final round.

The arduous race to shore proved difficult as the heavy crates took their toll on the weary Survivors. Rupert took the lead, with Lex and Rob in hot pursuit. After Lex fell down, Rupert used his last burst of energy to push forward for the victory. After Rupert chose Jenna and Amber to join him, a helicopter landed on the beach and whisked the three away to an evening of pure luxury and indulgence.

After being flown by helicopter, Amber, Rupert and Jenna were elated to land at a lavish five-star resort replete with comfortable beds, wooden sandals, exotic soaps and terry cloth robes. After showering and allowing themselves to be pampered, the trio sat down to a delicious three-course meal. As the conversation shifted to the power of their five-way alliance with Rob and Tom, Amber turned quiet, concerned about whether this alliance would survive. "I was a little nervous," admitted Amber, "Because I made a deal with Lex and Kathy that they could come to the end with me, Big Tom and Rob, but I couldn't tell Rupert and Jenna."

As the tribes converged for what they thought would be an Immunity Challenge, the helicopter landed and dropped off Amber, Jenna and Rupert. With all assembled, Jeff Probst shocked the All-Stars by announcing a merge. The merged tribe would make a new home at the old Saboga camp and were told to create a new name for themselves. Their new color would be blue. To make their transition a little easier, the tribe was also given two Hawaiian slings and a tarp. "I'm thrilled to be merged," smiled Lex, "This is where it gets exciting for a game player like me who just enjoys playing the game of SURVIVOR."

As soon as the tribes merged, they agreed upon a new name. They combined the names of the three tribes that started SURVIVOR: ALL STARS, Saboga, Chapera and Mogo Mogo, to create "Chaboga Mogo." As the castaways got set to build their new shelter, Lex approached Rob about an earlier promise to take care of him for saving Amber at the previous Tribal Council. Rob's assurances didn't sit well with Lex, who was starting to feel double-crossed. "I won't stick a knife in your back," Rob promised.

Shortly after making that promise, Rob took Amber aside and explained that Lex was next to go. Amber voiced her concern that she and Rob would soon be targets themselves.

As the tribe reconvened for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained this would be an individual Challenge granting Immunity to two castaways instead of one. This Challenge would test the All-Stars' underwater skills. The first round would simply be a competition to determine who could hold their breath the longest. The two victorious women would advance to the second round, as would the two winning men. The second round required the finalists, competing within same-sex pairs, to swim underwater along a course of buoys that they must release. The first woman and man to release ten buoys would be granted Immunity.

As this crucial Challenge began, the nine castaways submerged themselves. Alicia and Jenna were first to swim up. Shii Ann rose to the top, thus advancing Kathy and Amber to the women's final round. After Rupert and Big Tom couldn't hold on, Lex and Rob were left to battle it out in the men's final stage.

The final round started with Kathy and Amber, who raced along the ocean floor, releasing buoy after buoy. As Amber struggled to unhook the seventh buoy from the ladder, Kathy took the lead and never looked back as she made quick work of the last few buoys to secure Immunity for herself at that night's Tribal Council.

The men's final round was just as close until Lex took the lead at the seventh buoy. Lex enjoyed the lead all the way to the last buoy, but had trouble unlatching it. This gave Rob an unbelievable come-from-behind victory and Immunity.

Upon returning to camp, Lex and Kathy agreed that they didn't feel Rob was holding up his end of the deal made at a previous Immunity Challenge. In an extremely emotional gathering, Rob told an infuriated Lex that he wasn't safe at that evening's Tribal Council. This deception was so shocking that it caused Kathy to tearfully suggest giving Lex her Immunity. "I made a potentially game-ending blunder in agreeing to keep Amber and get rid of Jerri, and I think I may be about to pay for it," predicted Lex.

In the end, Lex's prediction came true as the newly formed Chaboga Mogo tribe voted him out of the game in a seven-to-two decision. Lex became the first member of the Jury and will have a hand in deciding who will win the million-dollar prize and earn the title of Sole Survivor.