Season 9: Episode 4 - BRADY BITES THE DUST
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

The only place where being healthy and young may be a liability is the Lopevi camp, where the alliance of elders continues to cut down the youthful and strong. The victim this time was Brady Finta, the 33-year-old FBI agent from Huntington Beach, California, who, like the others before him, failed to put a dent in the five-man alliance formed at the very beginning of SURVIVOR: VANUATU. After seeing his torch snuffed, Brady spoke as though he were a member of the pact of elders in his Final Words: "Brady is one of those guys where, if he makes it to the merge, he's going to kick my ass."

Returning from a Tribal Council in which Lisa Keiffer, the 44-year-old real estate agent from New Orleans, Louisiana, broke her alliance in order to vote out Mia Galeotalanza, the 30-year-old finance manager from Toms River, New Jersey, tensions were high and trust was low at the Yasur camp. After fielding a verbal assault from the alliance of young women, Lisa defended her vote by pointing out the previous dishonesty perpetrated by Eliza Orlins, the 21-year-old pre-law student from Syracuse, New York. "I did what I did. I'm not going to argue with you. I told you I didn't trust you!" Lisa forcefully explained to Eliza.

The day after Tribal Council, the alliance of Lopevi elders were feeling good as the five older men had so far succeeded in systematically voting off the younger members. Strong, on the chopping block and hoping to turn the tide, Brady tried to make himself invaluable to the tribe by positioning himself as Lopevi's provider of fish. Using a Hawaiian sling won at a previous Challenge, Brady could only bring home the smallest of catches. "Hopefully, we'll figure out a way to shake up camp and change the dynamics of what's going on right now, because something's gotta happen," Brady observed.

When the tribes convened for the Reward Challenge, host Jeff Probst explained that this would be a test of memory skills. Pairs of tam tams, shells, pig tusks, fish traps and other Vanuatu cultural items were hidden under an array of woven baskets. The Survivors must take turns finding matching pairs in the field of baskets. The first tribe to find five pairs wins the services of an authentic Vanuatu tribesman named Dah. For 24 hours following the Challenge, Dah would teach the winning tribe everything they need to know about survival in Vanuatu, including the nuances of fishing, hunting and shelter.

Yasur quickly jumped to a wide lead, thanks to the sharp memories of Ami Cusack, the 31-year-old barista/model from Lakewood, Colorado, Leann Slaby, the 35-year-old research assistant from Kansasville, Wisconsin, Julie Berry, the 23-year-old youth mentor from Gorham, Maine, and Eliza. Lopevi marched back into the competition when Lea "Sarge" Masters, the 40-year-old drill sergeant from Columbia, South Carolina, matched the pig jaws, and Chad Crittenden, the 35-year-old teacher from Oakland, California, matched the coconuts.

But victory was not meant for the men of Lopevi. Lisa uncovered the second nautilus shell to make the final pair, which won Yasur the reward of Vanuatu tutelage under Dah, the island expert.

When Yasur lined up on the beach to welcome Dah, the local specialist wasted no time with pleasantries launched into the lessons. Dah immediately taught the women of Yasur how to retrieve coconuts for milk, then showed them roots, nuts and sugarcane. The crash course on Vanuatu survival was sure to aid the Yasur tribemates for the rest of their stay. "I definitely feel more confident that I could find food by myself, that I could cook it by myself," exclaimed Ami. "I think he really boosted team moral. That's huge."

Morale was low at Lopevi as Travis Sampson, the 33-year-old loss prevention specialist from Blountville, Tennessee, became achingly homesick. To add to their problems, the feud between alliance members Rory Freeman, the 35-year-old housing case manager, and Sarge intensified. Travis observed, "Right now, we just need harmony in the team. And today, that definitely wasn't happening."

After a tearful goodbye to Dah, the refreshed Yasur tribe made their way to the Immunity Challenge, reconvening with the depleted Lopevi. Jeff Probst explained that this Challenge involved mental agility. The tribes must race to match a series of large colored tiles according to the symbol painted on each. With each tribe designating a member to be the "eyes" from a perch, they must arrange the tiles in a grid so that no repeated colors or symbols would be in the same row or column. The first tribe to decipher this brainteaser would win Immunity.

Yasur chose Eliza to be their eyes; Lopevi chose Rory. The competition got off to a chaotic start for Lopevi because the members weren't acting in accord with each other or listening to Rory. Yasur, on the other hand, listened to Eliza and worked as a team to figure out how crack the puzzle. Ultimately, the suggestion from Scout Cloud Lee, the 59-year-old rancher from Stillwater, Oklahoma, held the key to the puzzle, handing the women of Yasur the crucial victory.

With the task of sending someone home looming, the men of Lopevi returned to camp a tribe divided. Knowing they were on the chopping block, Brady and John Kenney, the 22-year-old mechanical bull operator/model from Los Angeles, California, voiced their concern that the alliance of tribal elders was making a big mistake by voting off the stronger members because without the skills and strength of youth, Lopevi was sure to lose Challenge after Challenge. Meanwhile, the pact of five knew that it was crucial to hold strong to their plan and not waver. "Man, I hope the five of us really are together, because if not, I'm dead right now," worried Rory.

Rory's fears proved to be unfounded as the men of Lopevi ousted Brady, in a landslide six-to-one decision. Brady became the fifth Survivor to be voted off SURVIVOR: VANUATU.