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Brianna Varela becomes the third castaway to exit 'Survivor: Guatemala'


By Reality TV World staff, 09/30/2005 

One week after unanimously voting off one of its two 21-year-old female members, Survivor: Guatemala's Yaxha tribe decided to do the same to the other, voting out Brianna Varela, a 21-year-old retail salesperson from Edmonds, Washington, during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality show.

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Survivor: Guatemala's second episode began with Yaxha adjusting to life without Morgan McDevitt, who they'd voted out at Night 6's Tribal Council session. Although Morgan's ouster had been unanimous, Lydia Morales (who the tribe has also initially considered ousting) noted that she would have preferred to have voted off Brianna, who she considered to be "on the weak side."

Meanwhile, Brian Corridan boasted about his ability to convince the tribe to reconsider their initial decision to target Lydia and instead vote Morgan off. "That was 100% me," he gushed during private confessional. "I engineered Morgan's ouster."

Over at Nakum, the tribe appeared to have finally recovered from the injuries and illnesses caused by the competition's grueling eleven-mile opening hike. Now they faced a new challenge: screaming howler monkeys. While zoo keeper Cindy Hall appeared to be enjoying the experience, the rest of her tribemates felt differently. "In seven days, I've probably slept a couple of hours," Judd Sergeant told the camera. "It's absolute misery, it just goes on and on... it drives you crazy [and] makes you nuts."

After gathering for Day 7's Reward Challenge, the tribes learned that they'd be competing to assemble an archeological tent. Of course, few Survivor challenges are that simple, so the challenge had a catch -- as the show has done in previous season's, the castaways would be have to compete while tied together and blindfolded, with only a single sighted "caller" able to direct their movements. After gathering all the pieces, each tribe would be allowed to remove their blindfolds, and the first tribe to correctly assemble the tent would receive a "comfort reward" that included pillows, blankets, rope, a lantern, and a tarp.

With Gary Hogeboom serving as their caller, Yaxha got off to the strong start. Meanwhile, things didn't go as smooth for Nakum, with Danni Boatwright appearing to get hit in the head with several of tent's large wooden poles. Although Yaxha was the first tribe to begin assembling their tent, Brooke Struck quickly directed her Nakum tribemates to the tent's final piece -- and once they began assembling the tent they edged past a struggling Yaxha tribe, winning the challenge.

Once back at Yaxha's camp, Brianna (the apparent outsider among tribe's four remaining women) appeared to sense that her neck was on the chopping block -- and tried to take action to address that. "I'm pulling my workload around camp because I'm mostly worried about what my tribe sees," she explained in a private confessional. "I want to be considered an asset on this tribe. You have to be a provider and I believe I am."

After decorating themselves with body paint, feathers, and cloth strips enclosed with the their tree mail, the tribe's gathered for Day 8's Immunity Challenge competition. Once assembled, they learned that they'd be competing in a challenge based on the Mayan game of court ball. Somewhat similar to basketball, the game involved random teams of three attempting to pass a ball around the court and throw the ball through one of two vertical hoops located on each tribe's side of the court. However unlike basketball, the "court" was actually comprised of elevated netting, and dribbling or travelling with the ball was not allowed. Each time a tribe put the ball through one of the other tribe's hoops they would score a point. The first tribe to score five points would win immunity.

Although the tribes were tied at 1-1 after two rounds, it quickly became clear that the athleticism of Yaxha's women (or lack thereof) would significantly hamper the tribe's chances. Once Amy O'Hara strained her ankle in Round 2, Yaxha was left to team Stephenie LaGrossa with Lydia and Brianna in the women-only rounds -- a matchup that exposed Lydia's lack of athleticism, and far more damningly, Brianna's lack of effort. Although both her fellow tribe members and even Survivor host Jeff Probst urged her to "move" and "get open" to help Stephenie, Brianna remained rooted near the edge of the court, allowing Nakum to easily win both women-only rounds and win the challenge by a 5-3 score.

Back at camp, Yaxha began to worry about Amy's ankle injury, but she assured her fellow tribe members that "it's a little swollen but I'm gonna be good." Amy's insistence that she'd be fine left the tribe to fume about Brianna's behavior.

"We're going to Tribal Council tonight to vote Brianna out. She's done. Brianna's last day on Survivor is tonight, Day 8," Jamie Newton told the cameras. "That girl makes me sick. She was leaning on a pole. Literally leaning on a pole, you don't do that."

Although Brianna tried to save herself by telling Stephenie that "I love this game, why would I be here if I didn't" and attempting to persuade her to vote for Lydia, in the end Stephenie and the rest of the tribe felt that Brianna was indeed the tribe's weakest link, and voted her out of Survivor: Guatemala in a unanimous 7-1 Tribal Council vote.

(Photo credit CBS)


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