Corinne Kaplan the twelfth castaway ousted from 'Survivor: Gabon'
By John Bracchitta, 12/05/2008
After spending 33 days in Gabon and watching all but one of her allies slowly be voted out of the game, Corinne Kaplan, a 29-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Los Angeles, CA, became the twelfth castaway to be eliminated from Survivor: Gabon during last night's broadcast on CBS.
"I can't stand [Jessica "Sugar" Kiper], I'll never be able to stand Sugar, and I plan to never exchange another sentence with that girl for the rest of my life," Corinne said in her usual blunt manner following her elimination. "I really just don't like any of those people other than [Robert "Bob" Crowley] and [Ken "Kenny" Hoang]. I really, really, really wish Bob and Kenny all the best and I hope the rest of them have miserable lives."
Survivor: Gabon's eleventh episode began on Night 30 as the seven remaining Nobag tribe members returned in a variety of moods following a memorable elimination of Randy Bailey, who had attempted to play a hidden Immunity Idol that he was surprised to learn was in fact a fake.
As Sugar, a 29-year-old pin-up model and actress from Brooklyn, NY, and Crystal Cox, a 29-year-old 2004 Olympic gold-medalist track athlete from Durham, NC, continued to joke about Randy's elimination, Bob -- a 57-year-old physics teacher from South Portland, ME who had knowingly supplied Randy with the fake idol at Sugar's request -- took issue with their gloating.
"Don't laugh like that! You know what? That pisses me off sticking it in his face," Bob told them angrily. "I didn't mind doing the thing, but then to just belittle him as he was going out pisses me off. I'm over it now, but don't ever do it again."
While Sugar immediately apologized to Bob, she later reiterated her joy in Randy's humiliating dismissal.
"I don't feel one iota, a bit sorry for Randy because he dug his own grave, and it's hilarious that someone gave him a fake idol and he played it," Sugar said.
However, Sugar's night was not yet done, as she soon drew the ire of Corinne as well after criticizing her tendency to talk about people behind their backs.
"If I'd told everyone to their faces what I said behind their backs I wouldn't be playing a very good game would I?" Corinne shot back after the criticism from Sugar.
"Well you shouldn't be talking about people behind their backs!" countered Sugar.
"This is Survivor! You don't come here to make friends, you come here to play the game," Corinne responded.
"In general, I am a nice person to people I like," Corinne added later of her trouble with Sugar -- and most of her other tribemates for that matter. "I am now in a camp of mutants, none of whom I like, so it's very difficult to pretend to be nice to them."
The following day, the castaways met with Survivorhost Jeff Probst for their Reward Challenge, which was split into two parts. The first section of the challenge consisted of dividing the seven castaways into two teams of three -- with one sitting out -- and then having them race through a swamp to retrieve seven sprocket-shaped puzzle pieces. Once a team had carried all seven pieces through the swamp and back to a mounting area, they had to arrange the gears in such a way that they would work as a machine and raise a team flag.
The three castaways on the team that was first to raise their flag would then move on to the second part of the challenge and individually compete to solve a slide puzzle. The first castaway to solve the puzzle would be given a meal of brownies, pizza and beer and a video message from loved ones at home.
"You fill up your belly and fill up your heart," Jeff added.
Sugar and Susie Smith, a 47-year-old hairdresser and assistant teacher from Charles City, IA, were randomly selected as the teams' captains and got to alternate turns in picking the rest of their teams. When they were done, Sugar's team consisted of herself, Crystal, and Bob while Susie's team consisted of herself, Kenny, and Matty Whitmore, a 29-year-old personal trainer from Pacific Palisades, CA.
Since the challenge required even teams, Jeff then informed Corinne -- the only castaway that wasn't chosen -- that she would not get to compete in the challange.
The selection process worried Corinne, who realized that the fact she had been the odd castaway out was another indication that Sugar, Susie, Crystal, Kenny, and Matty were all planning on sticking with their five-person alliance.
"It sucks because I don't wanna go home, and I don't know what to do to save myself," she said later.
While the team of Matty, Kenny and Susie jumped out to an early lead and got their seven pieces across the swamp first, they lost their lead while assembling the pieces, as Bob, Sugar and Crystal had no trouble putting the pieces together and were able to raise their flag first.
Bob, Sugar and Crystal then moved on to the slide puzzle where Bob finished well ahead of his teammates to win the challenge.
Following the challenge, Kenny stated that Bob had established himself as a threat in the game and would have to be dealt with as soon as possible.
"We think he's a threat, so if Bob doesn't win immunity, he's the next to go," Kenny said.
After receiving his food and sitting down to watch the video, Bob was ecstatic when his wife Peggy -- his loved one in the video -- suddenly came out from behind a tree to surprise him and share his food with him.
Following the meal, Bob returned to the Nobag camp with Peggy to introduce her to the tribe. However, Bob then revealed that each tribe member's loved ones had also come to Gabon and had them emerge from behind a hill as the castaways ran out to them excitedly and broke into tears.
Well aware that her attitude had been one of the primary reasons for her general unpopularity in the tribe, Corinne was glad to see someone who liked her personality in her brother.
"Seeing my brother, and seeing someone who loves me, and who knows me, and gets my sense of humor and knows how mean I am and loves it was such a cool... I was overrun with emotion," Corinne said.
The castaways' meetings with their loved ones culminated in a teary marriage proposal by Matty to his girlfriend.
"I made this for you, will you be my wife?" a choked up Matty said as he took out a handmade necklace and gave it to her before she accepted the proposal.
"The good things in life aren't easy and they require a lot of work and a lot of digging deep and if you keep digging you will find it," an excited Matty said after the proposal. "I mean it's endless, you have so much ability and gold in you, and if you just dig for it you will find it."
After the brief break from the game to spend time with their loved ones, the castaways resumed their strategizing on Day 33. As they walked to retrieve the tribe's Tree Mail, Bob suggested to Corinne that the upcoming Tribal Council would be the perfect opportunity to blindside Matty if they could turn two members of the other five tribe members who were currently allied against them.
In order to do so, Bob suggested that he build a second fake immunity idol and attempt to pass it off as the idol that Marcus Lehman had thrown into the ocean during the fake merge feast that had occurred earlier in the game.
"I'm going to make my second very good fake idol of the game, and the plan with the idol is I'm gonna tell somebody on the other side that I've got the original idol that was supposed to go into the ocean so they gotta be careful how they vote," Bob said later.
Using the idol as leverage, Bob said that he and Corinne could attempt to flip two tribe members and get them to vote for Matty and send him home.
While aware that the plan would likely be the only way to possible save both she and Bob from elimination, Corinne noted that in order to have the plan work one of them would have to win the Immunity Challenge.
"Well, we'll do that," Bob promised with a smile.
Later that day, the castaways met with Jeff for the Immunity Challenge, which would consist of him asking the tribe members trivia questions about Gabon. For each question a castaway answered correctly, they would receive a ball, which they would use after the questions to throw down a hill at a giant target. The castaway whose ball landed closest to the target's center would be awarded immunity.
After being asked a series of question, Sugar answered four questions right to receive for balls for the target throw. Corinne and Bob tied for second with three balls each, while Matty and Kenny each received two balls and Susie and Crystal only received one.
Each castaway then took turns throwing their balls towards the target. As he had promised Corinne, Bob emerged victorious from the challenge after his second ball landed in the second ring from the center, beating any other castaways' tosses by two rings on the target.
"Winning the challenge today saved me," Bob said following his win. "I'm gonna get the fake idol built. There are five Fang members here, and I'm gonna suggest that two of them go in with Corinne and I. If it all goes as planned, perfect time to blindside Matty."
Bob and Corinne met after the Immunity Challenge and came up with the story surrounding the fake idol that they would be attempting to sell to the other tribe members. They settled on a story that involved Marcus telling Bob where he had hidden the idol after pocketing it during the feast, but accidentally not bringing it with him to the Tribal Council in which he was eliminated.
After holding on to the idol since Marcus' elimination, Bob would say that he only informed Corinne of the idol after he had won the Immunity Challenge and offered the idol to her in order to keep his only remaining ally safe at the upcoming Tribal Council.
"I hope this works, it's such a longshot but its all we got," Corinne told Bob with a nervous laugh.
Meanwhile, the conversation between the other five tribe members seemed to feature less discussion about who to send home at the upcoming Tribal Council than there was about the proper spelling of Corinne's first name.
"All we know is this five is tight and we're staying strong," Kenny told his allies. "Corinne's gone, no one's flipping and we're good."
However, Kenny's words to his "allies" seemed to end up being nothing more than lip service, as he agreed to turn on them as soon as Corinne told him of the "idol" in Bob's possession and their plan to eliminate Matty said.
"This has definitely changed the game, and I think the best shot is to blindside Matty right now," Kenny said after the meeting with Corinne. "I think I might have to jump alliances now. Oh my God!"
After discussing the matter with Bob and Corinne, Kenny suggested that Crystal would most likely come on board as the fourth member of their plan. As Bob went to find her, Corinne was shocked to see that she and Bob's wild scheme was actually working.
"It just shows you the level of incompetence that we're playing with," she boasted about her fellow castaways.
Bob seemed to have little trouble wooing Crystal with the fake idol and Bob's promise that the new foursome would ride into the Final 4 with little trouble.
"I'm cool with that," Crystal told him.
However, prior to leaving for Tribal Council, Kenny met with Crystal and -- apparently unaware that the same end result could have been achieved without either Crystal or himself voting for Matty -- told Crystal to vote for Corinne while he would vote for Matty and attempt "flesh out" the idol by getting Corinne to use it. The result would be four votes for Corinne, three votes for Matty, and Matty going home after Corinne used the idol.
At Tribal Council that evening the subject at hand was "paranoia," with Jeff asking the castaways of the worries they had seen amongst the tribe as the competition progresses.
Susie admitted that she felt a natural shift away from established alliances and towards more individual thinking had begun to occur.
"The alliances that you make have to get you to a certain point, and when people start getting paranoid, it's a domino effect," she told Jeff. "You do have to think ahead."
"This is the first time I've never been paranoid," added Bob. "You get to realize what it feels like to have [immunity], but I'll be paranoid next time I come in here."
Corinne admitted that the paranoia amongst the tribe could be utilized and seen as a tool to improve one's standing in the tribe.
"Bob and I are kind of on the outside of a tight group of five," she said. "If paranoia sets in, maybe there is a possibility to try and break it up."
The castaways then cast their elimination votes. Prior to Jeff's revelation of who would be eliminated, Corinne -- despite some anxious nodding from Kenny -- made no move to play her "idol."
Jeff then revealed that, with four votes, Corinne had been eliminated from the competition over Matty, who received three votes.
As Corinne's flame was extinguished, Bob was visibly disappointed that his plan had not worked and put his head into his hands.
"Well the big theme of the night, paranoia," Jeff said following the elimination. "The question is how do you make the paranoia work for you and not against you."
The next episode of Survivor: Gabon will air on Thursday, December 11 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
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