Leann Slaby becomes the twelfth castaway to be booted from 'Survivor: Vanuatu'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/26/2004
Overconfidence and arrogance have led to the downfall of many a Survivor contestant during the program's nine seasons, and Thursday's Thanksgiving evening Survivor: Vanuatu broadcast was no different. With smug would-be queen Ami Cusack safe from elimination, Survivor's oppressed and persecuted commoners rose up and instead voted out Leann Slaby, Ami's right-hand henchwoman, seemingly destroying Ami's power base and throwing the competition wide open.
Survivor: Vanuatu's eleventh episode began with the Alinta tribe returning from Tribal Council after the six women of the former Yasur tribe held together and ousted Chad Crittenden, the 35-year-old teacher from Oakland, California, leaving Chris Daugherty, the 34-year-old highway construction worker from South Vienna, Ohio, as the merged tribe's sole remaining male competitor.
With little hope that the women's alliance would break remaining and grasping at whatever straws he could in an attempt to stay in the game, a desperate Chris immediately revealed that Scout Cloud Lee, and Twila Tanner had attempted to ally themselves with Chad and himself prior to Chad's departure. "I narced out Scout and Twila. I let them know that they conspired with me and Chad for an alliance." "I just mixed things up," Chris bragged in confessional.
Confronted by Leann the next day, Twila, the 41-year-old highway repair worker from Marshall, Missouri, admitted to participating in the attempt to comprise with Chris and Chad to vote out first Eliza Orlins and then Ami, but fingered Scout as the mastermind of the plan. With the day's Reward Challenge taking place next, further discussion of Chris' allegations was temporarily put on hold.
At the Reward Challenge, the seven remaining contestants discovered that they would be competing in a version of Survivor's traditional "loved ones" challenge, with the winner of a quiz on events that occurred during previous challenge competitions receiving a private Internet video chat session with a loved one from home.
After a sudden death faceoff with Julie Berry, the 23-year-old youth mentor from Gorham, Maine, Eliza, the 21-year-old pre-law student from Syracuse, New York, won the challenge.-- only to discover that her mother wouldn't be communicating from her stateside home, but had instead been hiding (along with the selected loved ones of all the other remaining castaways) in a makeshift studio located just a few yards away and would instead be staying overnight with Eliza in the Alinta camp. As a bonus, the six losing contestants were also permitted momentary reunions with loved ones.
Once back at camp, Ami and Leann took advantage of the distracting presence of Eliza's mother to confront Scout, the 59-year-old rancher/entrepreneur from Stillwater, Oklahoma, regarding Twila's admittance that while she had participated in the attempt to ally with the two remaining men to vote out Eliza and then Ami, Scout had been the architect of the plan. Denying the plan was her idea, Scout instead lied to the women and insisted that "it was Chad's idea... and that's the god honest truth." In confessional, Scout explained that "when I came out here, I was determined to play the game with integrity, honesty and truth. And if that didn't work, I'd lie, cheat and steal." "We've now reduced ourselves to the 'lie, cheat, and steal' part," she confessed.
Apparently satisfied with her explanation, the duo then proceeded to exhibit exceptional arrogance, foolishly telling their clearly already wavering ally that they never made any Final 4 agreements with her and explaining that rather than include Scout's close ally Twila in the game's final foursome, Leann would rather include Julie, with whom Leann had formed a pact during their Episode 9 Reward Challenge private picnic. Seemingly showing no recognition that an alliance of two (or even three) was far from a majority alliance in a remaining pool of seven contestants, the overconfident duo made it clear that Scout would be allowed to accompany them to the final foursome, but that Ami and Leann would determine who would join them -- and left it unsaid but nonetheless clear that the then non-allied Scout was likely to be subsequently voted out of the game by the remaining threesome.
Obviously not satisfied to learn that Ami and Leann had already determined how far Scout would be allowed to advance in the game to support, what was in their minds, their all but predetermined victory, Scout began to silently fume and promise "vengeance" should she become a member of the competition's seven jury members.
The next day, Ami, the 31-year-old barista from Lakewood, Colorado, and Leann, the 35-year-old research assistant from Kansasville, Wisconsin, once again sought to be reassured that Twila was still on board with the women's alliance. Twila gave her word to the women, but admitted in confessional that "I swore to Ami and Leann on my son's name that I was with them one hundred percent, but maybe if I win a million dollars, God will forgive me,"
At the Immunity Challenge, the survivors discovered that they would all be competing with their loved ones in an individual challenge similar to the blindfolded obstacle course challenge that the Yasur and Lopevi tribes had competed earlier in the game. Jumping out to an early lead in which Chris and his fiancee were their only true competition, Ami and her girlfriend won the challenge, giving Ami immunity from that evening's upcoming Tribal Council. Hugging his fiance after the loss, a mournful Chris confessed that as the last remaining man, he held little hope of surviving the evening's upcoming elimination vote.
Back at camp, Ami, Leann, Julie, Scout and Twila went for a walk in which Leann admitted that it "didn't sit completely right" to boot Chris while keeping Eliza (who had annoyed the women since Day 1 and only survived the Yasur tribe's first Tribal Council by betraying her then allies to vote off Dolly Neely.) Despite personally believing that Chris should still go next, Ami agreed to follow Leann's suggestion while a presumably gleeful Scout and Twila attempted to remain subdued and subservient despite sensing an opportunity forming.
Returning to camp, Julie informed Chris of the women's decision to spare him, after which, rather than attempting to focus on exploiting the decision to make a move that might do more than simply allow him three more days on the island, the most important thing on his mind seemed to be expressing his amazement regarding how without having to do any scheming of his own, the incredibly unpredictable women had changed his fate by "themselves."
Seemingly frustrated with Chris' apparent satisfaction at simply surviving three more days and his ongoing failure to recognize the power he held as the last remaining man competing alongside the six women alliance that would soon be forced to cannibalize itself, Twila finally attempted to at least lead the horse to water.
"For the last three days you've held the key and you haven't realized it," the suddenly sage Twila explained. Still needing more prodding, Twila explained that all Chris had to do was talk "to one person." After still needing multiple guesses to realize that person was Eliza, Twila explained to the thickheaded highway worker that "if you would just get Eliza... [tell her] if want to change this whole outlook [then] vote this way [and] you have three other people backing you up... guaranteed." "You're the only one that can change this outlook," Twila stressed.
Armed with his detailed instructions from Twila, Chris did just as Twila advised, approaching Eliza and informing her that rather than him, the other women had decided to send her home that evening, but that she could prevent her ouster by simply teaming with Chris, Scout, and Twila to vote off Leann.
Despite Eliza's replies that she was paranoid that this was simply an attempt by Scout and Twila to engineer her departure, given her previous track record of willingly dumping her existing alliance when she felt it was in the interests of her own self-preservation (see Dolly, Episode 2), Eliza's ultimate decision seemed predictable, and at she did ultimately vote with the upstarts at the evening's Tribal Council. As a result, a shocked and shaken Ami and Julie watched on as a stunned Leann, who just moments earlier had confidently admitted that she didn't feel the day's immunity challenge was "life or death for me," was voted out of Survivor in a 4-3 vote.
Leann, the twelfth survivor to be ousted from the competition, joins previous bootees Chad and Lea "Sarge" Masters as the third member of the seven-person jury that will ultimately decide who wins Survivor's million dollar prize.