Brad Virata the ninth castaway voted off 'Survivor: Cook Islands'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/10/2006
Deemed to be an untrustworthy tribe member who might change allegiances once Survivor Cook Islands' two remaining tribes merged, Brad Virata, a 29-year-old fashion director who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, was voted out of the game during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality show.
Survivor: Cook Islands' eighth episode began with the Aitutaki tribe having returned from the Night 18 Tribal Council in which, having failed to convince her tribe's dominant alliance to turn on one of their own, Jessica Smith had been voted out of the game.
However after the talked ended, Jonathan and Candice discussed how once the merge happened, their real plan was to "flop" tribal allegiances and re-join with Parvati Shallow and Adam Gentry (the two other remaining members of their original all-Caucasian five person Rarotonga tribe.) "Let's hope we can do that, maybe it will be us four 'Caucasians' in the Final 4," Jonathan told Candice as they talked. "I just think we have to be the ones to make that flop before they do... I am determined to not be the guy who made the move too late. I've trusted you all along and you've trusted me and it's gotten us a long way and it will get us a long way further.... only two people can sit at the Final 2 and I want it to be you and me."
But while Jonathan's trust of Candice appeared to be genuine, Candice clearly didn't feel the same way. "Jonathan's got this new plan but I'm not sure Jonathan has really any allegiance, I think he'll do whatever he needs to get by so I'd like to see Jonathan go," Candice, admitting that her goal was to get back together with her "friends" Parvati and Adam, secretly revealed to the cameras.
Meanwhile, over at the present Rarotonga tribe, Brad -- who had already upset his tribemates with his decision to not participate in the swimming portion of the previous Reward Challenge that the tribe had lost -- lost more of his tribemates' trust by publicly proclaiming the that the upcoming merge would make the game "every man for himself."
"He's digging a hole, that infuriates me... it's not an individual game yet," Parvati told the rest of her fellow frustrated Rarotonga members. "We don't need him after the merge any ways... you need everyone that you can trust," Jenny Guzon-Bae replied. "He has done questionable things, he's Slim Shady right now... I lost my trust with him," Nathan Gonzalez later vented to the cameras.
After gathering for the next Reward Challenge, Survivor host Jeff Probst surprised the tribes by announcing that each castaway had ten seconds to decide if they wanted to "change their fate in the game" and "mutiny" onto the other tribe. With three seconds remaining, Candice stepped off her tribe's challenge mat, signaling that she had made the decision to mutiny. After a couple of seconds of indecision, a surprised Jonathan decided to join her.
Jonathan and Candice's decision surprised most of the other members of both tribes. "I'm stunned, I thought we had a pretty good game plan and I'm pretty surprised," Yul told Jeff. "[If] they don't have the backbone to stay with their tribe then that's fine, I'm sure they're going to get their fate sooner or later," Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth -- previously the only remaining Aitutaki who wasn't a member of the tribe's five-person alliance -- commented to Jeff.
After the rest of the castaways finished reacting to Jonathan and Candice's surprise defection, the tribes competed in the Reward Challenge. A combined land and water competition, the challenge required the tribes to navigate through an obstacle course and then, using four buoys they'd retrieved from the obstacle course, swim out into the lagoon and retrieve four sunken flags. After retrieving their flags, the tribes had complete the swim to the other side of the lagoon, tie the flags to a flagpole and then dig up an axe that would allow then to cut a rope and raise their flags. The first tribe to raise their flags would win a breakfast getaway that would include letters from home and the right to determine would losing tribe member would be sent to Exile Island.
Although Rarotonga had the luxury of deciding which members of its suddenly eight person tribe would be best suited to compete in the four-person challenge, they floated off course and fell far behind during the water portion of the challenge. When it was over, the four remaining Aitutaki had won the challenge easily. "Mutineers are the first people to die man," Ozzy shouted after Jeff announced Aitutaki's victory. When Jeff asked the Aitutaki members to decide who they would be sending to Exile Island, their decision came in unison -- "Candice."
The next day, the Rarotonga tribe tried to figure out why Candice and Jonathan -- who with Candice now exiled, was all alone with his new tribemates -- had decided to switch tribes. "You must be smoking some good stuff if you think you're going to roll up into our crib and start stirring waters," Nate told the cameras. "Brad will be safe for a vote if it at least comes to that because he at least stood with us ... the first one [to go] is definitely Jonathan, there's no question about that -- do you really think we all have your back after we just saw you sell out your other tribe? Are you dumb?"
"If I made a mistake it was trusting Candice too much and she made an impulsive move and I followed, so I'm in the danger seat now -- I'm the eighth man in," Jonathan -- who seemed to initially spend most of his time trying to convince his new Rarotonga tribemates that he and Candice were close allies but non-threatening -- later explained to the cameras.
Meanwhile, over on Exile Island, Candice was equally surprised about Jonathan's decision to mutiny. "I was surprised that Jonathan stepped out behind me, he's been staying that we were really, really close and we've been tight the whole time, but I really haven't trusted Jonathan to begin with," Candice explained to the cameras. "Now I'm here on Exile Island by myself while Jonathan is bonding, having a good time, and I'm out of the game."
By Day 21, Jonathan's efforts to establish himself as a tribal asset appeared to have made a favorable impression with some of his new tribemates. "You're good around camp, you're a workhorse," Adam commented as Jonathan tended to the tribe's morning fire while the rest of the tribe slept in. Buoyed by Adam's comment, Jonathan shared his Final 4 plan with Adam. "I don't know what's going on over here [but] just so you know [Candice] and I wanted to come back and deal with you and Parvati," Jonathan explained.
Jonathan's suggestion intrigued Adam. "Jonathan really wants myself, him, Candice, and Parvati to be the Final 4 -- just to have someone there that wants that and wants to include me is good to have along the ride," Adam explained later.
Later that day, the tribes met for the Immunity Challenge and Candice rejoined her new Rarotonga tribemates. An unusual "naval" challenge that might be similar to the competitions viewers will see on Survivor producer Mark Burnett's new pirate-themed CBS reality show, the challenge required four members of each tribe to paddle around in glass-bottomed boats and free three sets of sunken buoys by "firing" cannonballs into sunken metal baskets that, once hit, would release the buoys. After retrieving all their buoys, the tribes would have to paddle back to shore and arrange the buoys into a six-letter word. The first time to correctly arrange their buoys would win immunity and not have to attend the evening's Tribal Council session.
Although the Rarotonga tribe managed to jump into a big lead by retrieving two of their buoy sets before Aitutaki freed their first set, their lead proved short lived. Powered by Yul's discovery that lining up their boat's glass bottom section with a sunken target that the show's producers had provided as a target marker wasn't the most accurate way to line up their cannonball drops, Aitutaki surged back into the race and hit both of their last two targets while a frustrated Rarotonga kept missing its third. In the end, Aitutaki managed to return to shore and complete their word puzzle before Rarotonga ever managed to hit their final target, landing the much smaller tribe its second consecutive challenge win.
Once Rarotonga returned to camp, Candice immediately began -- unbeknownst to him -- attempting to distance herself from Jonathan. "[We're] not tight... not too tight at all, I was shocked [he also decided to jump tribes,]" Candice told Parvati. "He had like long talks with Yul all the time and he only really came back and tried to like solidify something with me in the last few days, he's just doing whatever is best for him and like working everybody at the same time."
Meanwhile, having decided that keeping someone who claimed to want him as one of his Final 4 members around at least a little longer might not be a bad idea, Adam had begun to attempt to convince Nate that, given how helpful he was proving to be around camp, it would make more sense for the tribe to send Brad home before Jonathan. "When we do merge, Jonathan can't go back to [Aitutaki] but Brad can -- Jonathan can't go anywhere now he's stuck with us, so we might want to get rid of Brad first," Adam suggested to Nate.
By the time their conversation had ended, Nate -- who along with Adam, appears to be directing Rarotonga's tribal decisions and had previously complained about all the camp chores he had to do -- had come around to Adam's way of thinking. "Jonathan -- aka Lord Knows What He Is Thinking Knucklehead To Leave His Tribe -- is working very hard around here so right now we're going to do away with Brad because we're scared if we go to a merge he's going to go [to the other side] anyway," Nate confidently announced to the cameras.
And despite a later conversation in which Candice appeared to intentionally attempt to drive a wedge between Adam and Jonathan by telling Adam that Jonathan had been person responsible for Aitutaki's previous episode decision to send Adam to Exile Island, that's exactly what happened, with Rarotonga voting Brad out of the game via an unanimous 7-1 Tribal Council vote.
However, after revealing Brad's elimination, Jeff had another twist to reveal to the castaways -- although eleven Survivor contestants still remained in the game and all twelve previous Survivor editions have featured a jury comprised of the seven Final 9 castaways that didn't make the game's Final 2, Brad would become the first member of Survivor: Cook Islands' jury.