Season 17: Episode 7 - It All Depends on the Pin-Up Girl
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am


As the morning sun rises, the Fang Tribe find themselves rummaging through the remains of their rice. Ace determines that they only have a mere thirty handfuls left, and the tribe scrapes a few grains from the bottom of their pot. Suddenly, Crystal accidentally knocks over the stash of rice, spilling a significant portion into the dirt. Matty vents, "Rice is more valuable than gold, and she just clumsily trips over it and spills it. I wanted to just lay into her and chew her out, but it's just pointless. You can't cry over spilled milk, you know, it's just too late." Tensions rise between Crystal and the rest of the tribe when she refuses to eat the rice. "I don't want to feel like I took away from anybody in this tribe, so by all means, eat your food like you normally do," Crystal pouts. Matty and Ace become agitated by Crystal's attitude, which places the target on her. Ace reveals, "Crystal did me a favor and she will be the next lamb to the slaughter."


At Kota, Dan's insecurities come out when he desperately tries to align with Corinne, Charlie and Marcus, whom he sees as an exclusive alliance. Feeling on the outside, Dan pushes himself even further away from them by trying too hard to proclaim his devotion to their alliance. He claims to have alienated himself while on the Fang Tribe in order to prove he has no attachments outside of the Kota Tribe. Marcus reads into this, and sees Dan as a threat: "Dan is the ultimate paranoid human being. Like at some point, Dan is going to be a huge liability and unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to sort of save him from himself at this point."


Both tribes arrive on their colored mats as host Jeff Probst explains the rules. Three members of each tribe will toss a breakable ball back and forth while one member from the other tribe attempts to smash that ball or force it to the ground. Both tribes will compete at the same time, in two separate rings. The tribe whose attacker breaks the opponent's ball first wins a point. The first tribe to accrue three points wins a helicopter ride to a beautiful location in Gabon where they will also enjoy a picnic lunch including a selection of meats, cheeses, drinks, and breads. In addition, the winning tribe will send one member of the losing tribe to Exile Island. Since Kota has two extra members, Corinne and Charlie sit out of the challenge.

In the first round, Randy is the attacker for Kota in the Fang ring, with Ace the attacker for Fang in the Kota ring. The tribes begin tossing their balls in a game of keep away while Randy attempts to destroy Fang's ball by forcing it to the ground. In the Kota ring, Ace goes from person to person attempting to smash Kota's ball or force it to the ground. Randy tackles Ken just as he passes to Crystal, but it falls short and breaks on the ground. Kota scores their first point. In the next round, Bob is the attacker for Kota, and Sugar is the attacker for Fang. Randy taunts Sugar by growling at her. Bob is very aggressive as he tackles each Fang player. Sugar makes no offensive maneuvers, allowing Kota to slip balls right past her. Bob causes an error by Fang when he tackles Ace mid-throw. The ball breaks on the ground, and Kota scores their second point, leading two to zero. In the next round, Dan is the attacker for Kota and Matty is the attacker for Fang. Matty comes on strong as soon as the round begins, attempting to tackle each Kota player to the ground. In the Fang ring, Dan tackles Ace as he throws the ball to Sugar. Sugar misses and the ball breaks, scoring the third point for Kota. With three points, Kota wins the challenge, and decide to send Sugar, once again, to Exile Island. Kota is then off to enjoy their reward in the helicopter as Fang slumps back to camp.


The Kota Tribe takes in the gorgeous view from the helicopter as they fly over Gabon. They land on the edge of a cliff that opens to a deep canyon spanning several miles. Everyone marvels at the view as they lay out their picnic basket contents. Susie reflects, "The beautiful scenery…it was awesome. It's something I thought I would never experience. So it just gives you more incentive, more power, more strength and you know that you can get through this no matter what. It was very surreal for me. It was just amazing."


Back at the Fang camp, Matty rants to the tribe about Sugar's poor performance at the challenge. On a private canoe ride, Matty tries to convince Ace to take out Sugar, thereby flushing out the idol and strengthening the tribe all at once. Ace defends Sugar, claiming that they can use Sugar and her idol to their advantage whenever they wish. Ace then suggests voting out Crystal. Back on shore, Ken and Crystal speculate that Ace and Matty are conspiring to take out Crystal, which angers her. Ken suggests blindsiding Ace, and tells her that he will talk to Sugar about it. Crystal expresses her resentment towards Ace: "The way that he is manipulating Matty…he's the devil and he has to go."


Heartily enjoying their picnic at the cliff, Kota happily chatters about the sad state of the Fang tribe. Stunned silence falls over them when a Gabon native approaches them with letters from home. Everyone erupts with joy as the letters are handed out and read. Bob excuses himself from the group and wanders off on his own. He immediately breaks down bawling as he reads his family's letters. Corinne approaches him and embraces him. "Your family loves you, Bob," she says. Charlie and the other tribe members cry as they talk about their families. Bob opens up, "I'm close to these people here, but these are the people that are the closest to my heart. Life is good, and I realize how lucky a man I am. I'm here, and I can't wait to get home to them. Life doesn't get better than this."


Sugar returns to the gazebo on Exile Island where she indulges once again in comfort. As she rests on the hammock, she reflects on her state in the game. "Thank God for Ace. What's funny is I'm pretty sure we're using each other, but I feel like my tribe thinks I'm naïve and that I am sticking with him out of stupidity. I'm sticking with him because he is the strongest player at this point. So, I just hope that they're not all screwing me around."


Kota and Fang arrive at their respective mats as Sugar returns from Exile Island and rejoins the Fang Tribe. In a shocking twist, host Jeff Probst reveals that both tribes will be going to Tribal Council and voting someone out of the game. Each tribe will be competing to win individual immunity. They will compete in a log roll and will be paired up against another tribe member from either tribe. The objective is to stay on the log longer than the other person. The first person to hit the water is out. Winners move on to the next round. The last person left standing wins individual immunity. In addition, there is a twist that will be revealed at the end of the challenge.

The first match-up is Dan versus Ace. The two tip-toe across the rolling log and attempt to keep their balance. Dan is in the water first and Ace moves on to the next round. The next match-up is Charlie versus Crystal. Crystal is in the water first and Charlie moves on to the next round. When Marcus takes on Matty, Matty is in the water first, sending Marcus to the next round. Susie is in the water first when she takes on Randy, and he moves on to the next round. Sugar defeats Ken, and she moves on. When Bob faces off against Corinne, he reveals that he is a former log roll champion. Bob shows off a little before easily defeating Corinne. In round two, Charlie takes on Ace and the two fight to keep their balance. Charlie is in the water first and Ace moves on to the final round. When Randy competes against Marcus, Randy falls in the water first and Marcus moves on to the final round. Sugar defeats Bob and she moves on to the final round. For the final round, Ace, Sugar and Marcus are all on the log at the same time. Sugar falls off first, leaving Ace and Marcus fighting to win immunity. Ace and Marcus battle it out, and, after maintaining good balance for a while, Ace falls in the water first. Marcus wins individual immunity and Jeff Probst reveals the twist: Marcus must assign individual immunity to a member of the opposing tribe. Marcus strategically chooses Sugar, in the hopes that the Fang Tribe will be forced to vote out a power player.


With Tribal Council looming, Ken attempts to convince Sugar to blindside Ace, her greatest ally in the game. Ken rats Ace out, telling Sugar that Ace plans on using her to gain possession of the idol and ultimately vote her out. Sugar realizes that she is being played by Ace, and backs Ken's plan to take him out. Ken reassures Crystal that Sugar is with them and will vote out Ace. Crystal questions Sugar's allegiance, and says that she will believe it when she sees Sugar's vote at Tribal Council. Ace meets up with Sugar by the lake and asks for her immunity idol in case someone tries to pull a double-cross. Sugar tells Ace that is not happening, and causes her to question his motives. "When Ace asked me for the idol, it made me think maybe Kenny was telling me the truth," Sugar reveals.


At Fang's sixth Tribal Council, Matty attacks Crystal for spilling the rice. Ace backs Matty as Crystal erupts, shouting that she resents her tribe members for not saving any rice for her to eat, even though she repeatedly refused it when her tribe offered some to her. In the midst of the unfolding drama, Sugar criticizes her tribe for fighting about such petty nonsense. In the end, Sugar decided to keep the immunity necklace for herself and blindsided Ace, who was voted out of the game with three out of the five votes cast against him. Ace Gordon, the 27 year-old fashion photographer from Naples, Florida, became the seventh person voted out of SURVIVOR: GABON: EARTH'S LAST EDEN.


Dan desperately tries to keep himself in the game by sticking with the original Kota members as they discuss who to vote out next. Randy suggests convincing Bob that he is still a part of the Kota four. Marcus reveals that, in reality, Randy has replaced Bob in a final four situation as long as he keeps his part of the bargain. As the discussion continues, Susie and Dan are put on the chopping block, with the majority of the tribe leaning towards Dan. "Dan is super vulnerable tonight, and the only thing Dan has going for him right now is that he should really cross his fingers and hope that Susie is going to blow up and do some crazy stuff," says Charlie. Meanwhile, as Corinne has a chat with Susie, she ends up digging her own grave by admitting that she originally planned on voting out Corinne. Corinne is floored by this, and immediately brings this information to the rest of her tribe in an attempt to sway them to vote out Susie instead of Dan. Randy brings up that fact that Susie's vote can be bought, which makes her a dangerous player. Marcus decides to play it safe by splitting the votes between Susie and Dan in the unlikely event that Dan may be in possession of the immunity idol from the one time that he was sent to Exile Island.


At Tribal Council, Susie pointed the finger at Corinne for being physically weaker than her, which made Corinne even more aware that Susie is against her. Dan admitted to being a worrier and not knowing what is going on in the game. In the end, Kota stuck to their original plan of splitting the votes between Dan and Susie and, with four of the seven votes cast against him, Dan was voted out of the game. Dan Kay, the 32 year-old attorney from Boston, Massachusetts became the eighth person voted out of SURVIVOR: GABON: EARTH'S LAST EDEN.