Season 18: Episode 13 - The Martyr Approach
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

The final five castaways return to camp in the dead of night after blindsiding Debbie at Tribal Council.  Coach, Debbie's only ally, hangs his head as he arrives back at camp.  "I'm like the lamb lead to the slaughterhouse around here, that's what I feel like," laughs Coach.  JT assures Coach that Debbie was gunning to vote him out, revealing to Coach that she was the single vote that was cast against him when the rest of the tribe voted for Debbie.  "We thought if we told you about if beforehand, you wouldn't believe us," says Stephen.  "Thanks for protecting me," Coach replies.  Despite the proof of loyalty from his Warrior Alliance, Coach acknowledges that he is a threat and wishes to know when his time is up.  "Now I just want to talk to JT and Stephen and just ask them when am I going [because] Coach Wade is no longer in control of this game and I don't know what is going to happen next," admits Coach.   

At the first light of dawn, JT, Stephen and Coach discuss who to vote out next around the fire pit while Taj and Erinn sleep.  Coach guns for voting out Erinn, and then suggests that Erinn or Taj go to Exile next.  "I was talking to the guys about Exile, and I don't want to go to Exile.  Nobody wants to go to Exile at this point.  I just hope my asthma doesn't play up.  That's a horrible excuse, but that's my only fear," says Coach.  Coach continues to look for excuses to avoid going to Exile Island by suddenly revealing health issues that will hinder his ability to survive out there.  "I'm not entirely sure that Coach can build a fire and cook his food by himself"¦I don't know.  I think he's scared," says Stephen.  JT agrees with Stephen, and plans to send Coach to Exile to weaken him before the next immunity challenge.  "We plan on sending Coach home at the next Tribal Council, so it would be nice for him to come very weak to the next immunity challenge," says JT.

The final five members of Forza arrive on their mat in front of a giant maze that is in the shape of the word, "SURVIVOR."  Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge.  Each tribe member will race through a maze with their feet shackled together, then build a pole long enough to retrieve a sandbag that is hanging from a rope.  They will then swing the sandbag in an attempt to knock over three targets, raising a flag.  The first person to raise their flag wins an overnight trip to the Governor's Retreat where the winner will enjoy a bed, shower and feast.  In addition, the winner will send one member of the tribe to Exile Island.

The race begins with JT in the lead.  Everyone except Taj follows JT through the course.  Coach follows close behind JT as he navigates through the maze with ease.  Erinn, Stephen, and Taj lag behind.  JT and Coach are the first people to complete the maze, while Erinn, Stephen and Taj struggle to make their way through.  As JT and Coach work on assembling their poles, Erinn, Stephen and Taj finally complete the maze.  JT assembles his pole rapidly and knocks down all three targets, raising his flag.  As the winner of the challenge, JT must now choose one member of the tribe to send to Exile Island.  "Let's be noble, Coach," says JT.  Coach agrees, and Jeff hands him a map to Exile Island.  "I'm gonna take the monastic approach. I'm not gonna build a fire. I'm not gonna eat.  I'm just gonna meditate," says Coach.  "He's gonna take the martyr approach," Erinn scowls.  Erinn begins a long rant against Coach, stating that he continually downplays everyone else's experience by making his seem that much more difficult.  "I want it to be tough on me," says Coach.  "You can throw stones at me.  Hit me with your best shot, Pat Benatar!" Coach proclaims.  Coach leaves for Exile, and JT must then choose one person to join him at the reward.  JT chooses Stephen, stating that he had to repay the favor.

Taj and Erinn return to camp alone and admit that they share a common enemy: Coach.  Erinn apologizes for her frankness with Coach at the end of the reward challenge, and Taj tells her not to worry.  "He's a jerk.  To say, "˜I'm not gonna eat.'  Give me a break.  You're sitting here suffering from asthma, a broken disc, this and that and you're not gonna eat.  I'm so ready to send his ass home," Taj snaps.  "I would hate, hate, hate for anything that I said today to send me home before him," Erinn frets.  Taj assures Erinn that everyone plans to vote out Coach next.

Coach slowly climbs the sand dunes of Exile Island and comments on his experience.  "This is going to be like a vacation for me," he says.  As he puts his bags down, Coach continues.  "Coach Wade's foundation is built on a rock.  In here, unbreakable, unbending, unyielding, immeasurable, immovable, invincible.  I could stay out here for a week without any food.  It will only make me a better, stronger person," Coach proclaims.  "It's gonna be like the ancient American Indians that are my ancestors, used to go out into the wilderness for forty-eight hours and they would commune with the creator of the universe and they would become men," says Coach before correcting himself.  "Well I'm already a man so this would just make me"¦more of a man, but this is going to be an adventure," he says.  Coach then crafts his "dragon cane," a giant cane stripped of its bark that resembles something a wizard would hold.  Coach prays for the strength to forgive Erinn for what she said to him at the reward challenge and gives thanks for creating him as an individual.  "Coach Wade still has what it takes to outlast anybody out here in this environment," says Coach as he performs a series of martial arts moves with his dragon cane.

JT and Stephen enjoy a ride in a private jet to the Governor's Retreat.  Upon arrival, the inseparable duo stands in awe of the luxurious Retreat.  In their room, they are delighted to find a comfortable bed and shower.  Stephen is in total shock when he sees himself in a mirror for the first time in thirty-four days.  "My teeth are gross," says Stephen.  After showering, the two are treated to a feast of several varieties of Brazilian-style meats.  They cheer to taking each other to the final two, and JT admits to having second thoughts on ousting Coach after witnessing Erinn's attack on Coach at the reward challenge.  "That's when people get screwed over," says Stephen.  "Hopefully she's gonna get screwed over," JT replies.  

Back on Exile Island, Coach lies in a shallow pool of water as the hot sun beats down on him.  He reflects on the many adventures he has had in his life in various parts of the world.  "Chock another one to the list: the dunes at Exile," Coach adds.  "I do not feel tired.  I do not feel hungry.  I feel nothing but incredible mental focus on the task at hand with which I have to accomplish today and that is winning immunity," says Coach.  Coach concludes with a quote by Marcus Aurelius:  "Through our greatest adversities come out greatest successes, and I plan on winning immunity today."

The Forza Tribe arrives on their mat as Coach returns from Exile Island.  Stephen is shocked as Coach stumbles into the challenge area using his dragon cane to walk.  Host Jeff Probst asks Coach how things went down at Exile, and Coach proudly explains that, although he starved himself, he had a euphoric experience.  Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge.  Each tribe member will suspend themselves between two walls using their arms while their feet will rest of very small footholds.  Every fifteen minutes, they will switch to an even smaller foothold.  After the remaining tribe members have reached the third and final foothold, they will remain there as long as they can.  The last person standing wins immunity.

The challenge begins and the castaways brace themselves.  After fifteen minutes, they move to the second foothold.  Coach admits to Jeff that his reasons for testing himself at Exile were to prove that, despite his physical ailments, he still has great mental strength.  After thirty minutes, the tribe members switch to the final foothold, where Erinn immediately falls down.  Stephen begins to shake, and falls out of the challenge.  Taj falls out soon after Stephen, leaving the final battle for immunity between JT and Coach.  "This is just how you want it Coach," says Jeff.  "A battle against the best.  You've been talking about it for thirty-six days, you're getting it today," he continues.  After fifty minutes, Coach begins to struggle and unleashes a fierce scream.  Soon after that, Coach collapses to the ground.  With that, JT wins immunity.  Coach remains on the ground curled up in a fetal position as his tribemates rush over to see if he is okay.  Stephen, JT and Taj help Coach off of the ground and escort him over to the bench.  Jeff Probst asks Coach what happened, to which he replies, "My back spasmed while I was up there the last ten minutes."  When Jeff asks Coach if he would like the medical team to take a look at his back, Coach promptly replies, "Nope.  If medical would really look at my back I wouldn't be here, so no, please don't let them look at my back."

Back at the Forza camp, Erinn expresses her disdain for Coach's antics at the immunity challenge to Taj.  "Like, you're not as broken down as you're trying to make yourself look," says Erinn.  "He needed an excuse for not winning," Erinn tells Taj.  

On the other hand, Coach proclaims that he was honored by the defeat against JT.  Coach approaches JT at the riverbank to see who the tribe is gunning to vote out.  JT assures Coach that although he might receive a vote from Erinn and Taj, both himself and Stephen will vote for Erinn.  Stephen soon joins them and tells Coach that Erinn's harsh words against Coach were tasteless and classless.  With Tribal Council drawing closer, Coach reveals his thoughts.  "It looks like through all the blindsides, Coach Wade will be the last tribe member left of what used to be Timbira.  I'm the last of the Mohicans."

At Tribal Council, Erinn admits that she felt upstaged by the way Coach chose to live on Exile, which downplayed her horrible experience there.  Coach responds that those were not his intentions.  Before the vote, Coach recites an original poem: "With friend and foe we march to the battle plain, some to seek success, others to seek fame.  We play with honor for the love of this game, and with armor or without, we will toil in vain, so that someday, someone, somewhere will remember our name."  With that, the final five Forza members cast their votes.  Ultimately, the Dragon Slayer was slain by his tribe.  With three out of the five votes cast against him, Benjamin "Coach" Wade, the 37 year-old soccer coach from Bolivar, Missouri, became the twelfth person voted out and fifth member of the jury of SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS: THE BRAZILIAN HIGHLANDS.