Candace Smith the second castaway voted off of 'Survivor: Tocantins'
By John Bracchitta, 02/20/2009
Candace Smith made the wrong enemies at the wrong time in the Timbira tribe and paid the price for it, as the 31-year-old actress/model and event planner and former lawyer from Los Angeles, CA became the second castaway to be eliminated from Survivor: Tocantins during last night's broadcast on CBS.
"I'm surprised I'm really pissed off, I worked really hard. I worked in the challenges, I worked in camp and I did everything I could to try to make Timbira stronger, and I thought that was the goal," Candace said following her blindside elimination. "But I guess this is more like day camp in the long run. I was an asset and they're gonna need me."
Survivor: Tocantins' second episode began on Night 3 of the competition with the Jalapao tribe returning to their camp after their blindside elimination of Carolina Eastwood at their first Tribal Council. For Sydney Wheeler, a 24-year-old model and interior designer from San Diego, CA, the blindside turned out to be more difficult than she had thought it would be.
"I feel like crap dude," she told her tribemates. "That was hard."
However the Tribal Council could not have gone better for Sandy Burgin, a 53-year-old bus driver from Louisville, KY. After being singed out as the weakest castaway in her tribemates immediately after arriving in the Brazilian Highlands, she attributed her survival to Carolina's initial missteps and vowed to take full advantage of her newfound life in the competition.
"I made it through Tribal Council in a landslide," Sandy said. "I think Carolina played her cards terribly wrong, so she's kept me in this game so far. I believe I'm underestimated in this game. I wanna win this thing, and as long as I'm here I can win it."
However, Spencer Duhm, a 19-year-old college student from Lakeland, FL, seemed to have other ideas about Sandy's fate, and said that she had simply come out on the right end of a 50/50 choice for the tribe.
"Sandy was gonna be first and Carolina after that, and now it was Carolina first and Sandy after that," Spencer explained to the cameras.
The following day at the Timbira tribe's camp, Sierra Reed, a 23-year-old model from Los Angeles, CA, realized that she was "still on the outs" with her tribe after they voted for her in the initial vote as their weakest tribe member.
Still armed with the hidden Immunity Idol clue she'd received when she was the first to arrive the tribe's camp after being voted her tribe's weakest tribe member in the game's opening twist, Sierra decided to go hunt for it. Unsure if she could find the Idol all by herself, she recruited Brendan Synnott -- a 30-year-old entrepreneur from New York, NY and the only tribe member who had not voted for her -- to help her find it.
While Sierra and Brendan were both able to uncover the first clue in the sand at a nearby beach, they ran into trouble after incorrectly reading the second clue telling them to walk 10 paces towards a tree from the spot they had found the first clue. Things were complicated further when Debra "Debbie" Beebe, a 46-year-old middle-school principal from Auburn, AK, went to the beach to check on Sierra and Brendan and found them digging a large hole looking for the Idol.
However, Sierra had come up with an excuse for their digging.
"We're building a massive fire pit," she said, before Brendan added that they wanted to have a bonfire later.
Debbie believed the lie about the fire pit and went back to tell the other tribemates. Afterward, Sierra decided to abandon her search rather than risk having the rest of the tribe discover that a hidden Idol existed.
"We were so close to getting caught," she said. "It may be a stupid move, but to tell you the truth, I don't think it's worth it to continue looking for the hidden Immunity Idol even though I know where I stand in this camp with these people."
On Day 5, while the Timbira tribe tried to decide how to cool their food, Candace and Benjamin "Coach" Wade, a 37-year-old soccer coach and part-time orchestra conductor from Bolivar, MO, butted heads over whether they should cook their rice and beans together. Following the testy standoff between the two, both admitted to not liking each other too much.
"Candace, she has a personality like mine. She likes to find faults in other people," Coach said. "I do it because I'm a coach, its my job. Maybe she just does it because it's her nature."
Candace was a bit more blunt in her assessment of Coach, saying that she had only held back in the argument because of their current situation living together in the Brazilian Highlands.
"I am an educated woman, and I don't take crap from people, and Coach comes over feeling like he's the expert," Candace said. "In real life I woulda broke it down, like to his psyche and his insecurities and how he overcompensates. I woulda really got to him, but here I walked away, took a breath, and worked on something else because I knew he was gonna feel insecure and wanna apologize because he know he's wrong."
While Coach did eventually try to make amends with Candace, he did so in a half joking nature and ended by trying to get her to give him a kiss on the cheek.
"That man's got an ego bigger than Brazil. That will be the death of him is his ego," Candace said later.
Over at the Jalapao tribe, the tribemates were surprised to learn during a conversation that Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George, a 37-year-old from Nashville, TN, was married to Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL star Eddie George. While some of the tribemates were star stuck by the revelation, James "JT" Thomas Jr., a 24-year-old cattle rancher from Samson, AK, surmised that her financial status was likely not in as dire a situation as his was.
"I know I definitely need the million dollars more than Taj does," he said later.
The two tribes then met with Survivor: Tocantins host Jeff Probst in the rain at a lake with an enclosed area and red and blue basketball hoops located on one end of it for a combination challenge that would allow one tribe to earn both immunity and reward.
The castaways were told that each team would rotate three of their tribe members into the area where they would race towards a ball and battle for it before attempting to shoot it into their tribe's respective hoop. The first team to score three baskets would not only win immunity, but fishing supplies and the chance to send one of the losing tribe's members to Exile Island.
With Debbie sitting out for Timbira to even the teams, the challenge then got underway. For the first round the Timbira tribe's team of Sierra, Candace and Tyson Apostol, a 29-year-old bike-shop manager and former professional cyclist from Linden, UT, beat Jalapao's team of Taj, Sydney and Stephen Fishbach, a 29-year-old corporate consultant from New York, NY, after Candace shot the ball in her hoop.
Jalapao's team of Sandy, JT and Joe Dowdle, a 26-year-old commercial real estate broker from Austin, TX, then went up against Timbira's Brendan, Tyson and Erinn Lobdell, a 26-year-old hairstylist from Waukesha, WI, for the second round. While Sandy used some questionable tactics to restrain Erinn by constantly pulling and adjusting her bikini top, Timbira was nonetheless able to go up 2-0 after Tyson scored.
Candace, Sierra and Erinn represented Timbira against Taj, Sydney and Sandy for Jalapao in the third round. Borrowing a page from her husband's old playbook, Taj ran over Candace on the way to the hoop to set up Sydney's shot into the hoop that kept Jalapao alive and put the score at 2-1.
Jalapao tied it in the next round as JT, Joe and Spencer beat out Timbira's Brendan, Coach and Jerry Sims, a 49-year-old U.S. Army sergeant from Rock Hill, SC, for Timbira after JT made his shot into the hoop.
For the final round to decide the challenge's winner, Jalapao was represented by Stephen, Sydney and Taj while Sierra, Candace and Tyson represented Timbira. After missed shots by Tyson and Sydney, Stephen was able to get the ball and pass it to Sydney who made the final shot to with the immunity for Jalapao.
After celebrating their win, Jalapao chose to send Timbira's Brendan to Exile Island. However, before leaving, Jeff revealed that, in a twist, Brendan would also be allowed to bring a Jalapao tribe member with him. After thinking for a moment, he chose Taj to accompany him.
Following the challenge, a disappointed Tyson predicted that Timbira would likely be going ahead with its original plan to dump Sierra at the upcoming Tribal Council.
"Sierra's probably he one to go," he said. "She didn't make the trek with us in the beginning. I mean she's trying, but it looks like she's numero uno on the chopping block."
After arriving at Exile Island, Brendan and Taj were each instructed to grab one of two urns. However, only Brendan's contained notes, with one telling him that an additional hidden Immunity Idol was hidden somewhere in the "Tribal Homelands" and the other offering him a chance to switch tribes if he wished.
"No chance, no chance I'll go to Jalapao," Brendan said.
After Taj volunteered to help Brendan look for the Idol -- with her own selfish reasons of perhaps finding it for herself in order to protect herself from her tribe, whom she had noticed a change in ever since the revelation of who her husband was -- she soon realized the "Tribal Homelands" reference likely meant the Idol was back at camp.
Both promised each other to try and look for it on their own without telling their tribes, and were able to bond in the process. Brendan later said that if he and Taj managed to make it to the merge that the connection between the two could eventually come in handy.
Back at Timbira's camp, Candace wasted no time before she began throwing Coach under the bus and rallying for his elimination.
"Coach is not excelling in the way I thought he would, and at the end of the day I really don't see all of what Coach is bringing to the table except a lot of talk," she said.
However, after Debbie heard of Candace's campaigning to get Coach eliminated, she went to him and told him of Candace's actions. While Coach said he was initially on board to eliminate Sierra, he added that he had changed his mind and thought that Candace should go instead.
"I do want the strong people to be here, but the poison apple needs to go," Coach told her. "I mean it's just gonna ruin the bunch."
He added that Candace was a "cancer" to the team, and that her elimination would be "addition by subtraction."
Upon retuning from Exile Island, Brendan told his tribemates that Taj had gotten the clue instead of him, had gone looking for it, and that he didn't know if she had found it or not. He later added that he would keep looking for the hidden Immunity Idol on his own and hope he gets lucky.
While Candace did not ease up on her dislike of Coach, she eventually changed her plan of attack, telling Erinn that they should go ahead with elimination Sierra and allow Coach to "keep digging his hole."
However, Coach did not back down from his desire to eliminate Candace, going so far as to promise Sierra she would not be eliminated from the competition as Debbie looked on.
"Let me tell you something, I make my living off of people trusting me," Coach told Sierra and Debbie. I'm voting for Candace, I know you're voting for Candace and you're voting for Candace."
Timbira then traveled to Tribal Council where they met with Jeff, who immediately asked Sierra how she had felt about the initial votes that pegged her as the weakest tribe member at the beginning of the competition.
"A part of me wanted to give up for a second, it was written all over my face that I was sick so I automatically looked weak from the get go," she said. "So I think their vote was valid."
Candace added that she had felt Sierra had fallen out of the graces of her tribe because of her lack of excitement, along with the free helicopter ride she received following the vote.
"[There was] a little bit of resentment because it was such a difficult trek while she was taking a helicopter ride, and I think she really wasn't that excited to be here or wanted to be her as much as everybody else."
Candace added that she was "vibing" with her tribemates and said that, despite her loud mouth at times, she had not been clashing with anyone.
Coach was skeptical of Candace's claim, adding that he felt no one would publicly tell someone they were on the outs with their tribe at this point in the game.
"At this point you've got to go with your intuition, and if you're clashing with somebody you've got to sense that on your own, because I'm guessing at this stage nobody's gonna tell you that."
However Coach also added that he had believed 100% of what Brendan had told him about Exile Island.
While discussing the trust that had developed in the tribe so far, Erinn interjected and said that she thought it was still pointless to discuss if any legitimate trust had been established so early in the game.
"We can talk all day about how much we get along and this, that and the other thing, but we don't know these people," she said. "I've known them for six days, but I don't if the person I bonded with is who they really are, I just think we need to be carful."
"I have to disagree with Erinn," Debbie responded. "We're not at the Holiday Inn, we are out there surviving together. That trek that we went through, thats how you really get to know someone."
But I don't know if that's how you get to trust someone," Erinn responded.
"Well I've already built trust," Debbie shot back. "I've built trust with several people on this tribe."
The voting then took place, with Coach's pleas being answered as Candace received every vote except her own, which she cast for Sierra, and was eliminated from the game.
"Well, your first Tribal Council, your first blindside. Congratulations," Jeff said following the vote.
The next episode of Survivor will air on Thursday, February 26 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
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