Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Methodically picking off the men one at a time, the Alinta women were definitely winning the gender war on SURVIVOR: VANUATU. The victim this time, Lea "Sarge" Masters, the 40-year-old drill sergeant from Columbia, South Carolina, didn't stand a chance. Viewed as the strongest man in the tribe as well as a leader, Sarge became a target whom the women took out in a resounding seven-to-two decision. Shortly after the fateful decision, Sarge announced, "I never had to jeopardize my word, my character, and my name. So good luck to you all"

After returning from a Tribal Council in which Twila Tanner, the 41-year-old highway repair worker from Marshall, Missouri, and Julie Berry, the 23-year-old youth mentor from Gorham, Maine, broke their alliance with the men of Alinta, a gender war was clearly in play. With a six-to-three advantage, this battle of the sexes was currently going to the women. Most distressed by this turn in the tide seemed to be Sarge, due to his position of leader amongst the men. "I have remorse. These bunch of women, they're very conniving. Hats off to them. You got me," he admitted.

When the tribes convened for the Reward Challenge, host Jeff Probst explained that the Survivors of Alinta must take turns answering a series of questions about Vanuatu history and culture. Each player was assigned three skulls on posts. When a player answers a question correctly, they ignite the skull of another player. The Survivor with the last skull left unburned wins.

For the Reward, the winner would immediately be whisked off in a helicopter and fly through the incredibly picturesque inland gorge of Vanuatu. After landing at the mouth of an inactive volcano, the winner would picnic on chicken wings and champagne.

Symbolically, the Challenge started with all the men witnessing their three skulls burned in quick succession. With the six Alinta women left to compete against each other, a pecking order soon emerged. After Scout Cloud Lee, the 59-year-old rancher from Stillwater, Oklahoma, correctly answered a question about a soul-cleansing ritual of local Vanuatu sorcerers, she burned the final skull belonging to Eliza Orlins, the 21-year-old pre-law student from Syracuse, New York. Eliza was very angry, thinking Scout's choice indicated where Eliza stood within the alliance of Alinta women. After Eliza was eliminated, she was joined by Julie, then Scout.

The competition came down to a question involving the national dish of Vanuatu, which Leann Slaby, the 35-year-old research assistant from Kansasville, Wisconsin, guessed correctly, which allowed her to burn Twila's final skull and claim the Reward. After Leann chose Julie to join her, they were immediately ushered into a helicopter for the ride of their lives.

As the helicopter dipped and wove through the glorious heart of the island, Julie and Leann were awestruck. Landing at the dormant volcano, the two enjoyed their picnic of champagne and chicken wings while they took the opportunity to strategize. After discussing the other Alinta women, Julie and Leann forged an alliance to take each other to the Final Two. "We've always liked each other, but we've never really talked strategy," explained Julie. "I think it was poignant that we had this opportunity to swap strategies."

As the men paddled out to sea to fish, they discussed their dire need to break the alliance of women. After considerable debate, the men decided their answer lay in the rift between Eliza and Scout. As Chris Daugherty, the 34-year-old highway construction worker from South Vienna, Ohio, strategized, "Try to convince the women that Eliza is no good, that Eliza feels vulnerable, that she doesn't trust her position, that she's unhappy when she was selected in that challenge and that possibly, she's been talking to us."

While collecting Tree Mail for her tribe, Eliza was shocked to see a pig waiting for her, accompanied with a note. Needing help to get the pig back to camp, Eliza enlisted Chris' help. After returning to camp with her new friend, Eliza was concerned that Sarge and Twila were ready to carve it up. "I wanted to eat the pig so bad that I could taste his fat back cooked up," smiled Sarge.

As the tribe convened for the Immunity Challenge, Jeff Probst explained that this competition involved memory. The players must stand behind a podium containing a mosaic puzzle. Each piece had multiple sides, each of a different color. The players would be shown a picture of a mosaic with a specific color scheme. The players would then have a minute to replicate what they saw on their mosaic, with those making a mistake eliminated. After more difficult mosaics and less time, the last Survivor standing wins Individual Immunity.

In yet another telling turn of events, the first puzzle eliminated all the men. The second puzzle took out Scout and Twila. In the end it was down to Leann, Julie, and Ami Cusack, the 31-year-old barista from Lakewood, Colorado. Ami outlasted the other women of Alinta to capture Individual Immunity.

Believing the six women would vote out another man, Alinta's men worked diligently to break the strong female pact. After learning why Twila had betrayed him, Sarge mended the fence by convincing Twila that she was lied to by Julie and not by his Lopevi alliance. In a moment of clarity, Chad Crittenden, the 35-year-old teacher from Oakland, California, discerned that Eliza's unhappiness would make her an easy target for recruitment. With all these balls in the air, the men scrambled like mad to save their kind. As Twila summed it up, "Chad said that if I go on their side and they could get Eliza to go with us, we could knock the women out."

In the end, these plans came to nothing as the alliance of women continued working toward making the Alinta male an extinct species. A leader throughout, Sarge was forced to face the seven votes served to send him home. Sarge became the tenth Survivor to be voted off SURVIVOR: VANUATU, and will be the first Castaway to serve on the Jury that will ultimately decide who gets the million dollar prize.