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Elicia 'Jupiter' Mendoza the eighth 'Pirate Master' contestant cut adrift


By Christopher Rocchio, 07/18/2007 

Elicia "Jupiter" Mendoza angered both the Picton Castle's crew and captain when she openly mentioned a mutiny, causing the 30-year-old bartender from Los Angeles, CA to become the eighth buccaneer wannabe cut adrift from Pirate Master during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality competition series.

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Pirate Master's eighth episode began with Nessa Nemir, a 29-year-old make-up artist from Berkeley, CA, discussing how it was "really hard" to see Joe Don "J.D." Norton cut adrift at the last Pirates' Court.  While he may not be around to help win any more Expeditions, Nessa said she felt J.D. still received a nice parting gift as she planted a "decent goodbye kiss" on his lips right before he was eliminated. 

As Nessa lamented love lost, Louie Frase, a 43-year-old marina owner from Fishing Creek, MD, discussed how J.D.'s departure would have a strategic impact on the game by clearly giving the upper hand to Pirate Master's "Triad" -- captain Azmyth Kaminski, a 26-year-old music producer from Los Angeles, CA, and his two officer Ben Fagan, a 23-year-old student/musician from Boston, MA, as well as Jay Hatkow, a 37-year-old automotive-parts salesman from Detroit, MI.

"Joe Don's been cut adrift because captain Az wants to eliminate any chance of the Red Crew ever winning," said Louie. "So he wants to eliminate the manpower. And that's me. There's not much manpower left on the Red Crew."

Jay had his own problems to worry about as he confronted Kendra Guffey, a 38-year-old dive master from Los Angeles, CA, who promised the Triad she'd vote for J.D. as long as she wasn't given a Black Spot prior to the previous Pirates' Court.  While the Triad held-up their end of the bargain and didn't nominate Kendra, she reneged on her deal and instead voted for Louie.

"Kendra gave her word 100% and she decided not to keep her word, straight-up," said Jay.  "She swore her butt up and down that she would vote whichever way we asked her to.  We asked her to vote for J.D.,  she gave us her word, she went back on her word... People have the right to change their mind, I have the right to hold her accountable."  However Kendra saw the situation differently.

"Why was I doing what basically the enemy wanted me to do?" asked Kendra. "We need to break the power up because they're gonna continue to win. I feel it would be in our best interest if Azmyth was no longer the captain.  The Triad needs to be broken."

The next morning the crew awoke to some rough seas, which tossed the Picton Castle around and caused a few of the buccaneer wannabes to get sick.  The Picton Castle then mercifully dropped anchor and Pirate Master host Cameron Daddo informed the crew that it was time for the nine remaining buccaneer wannabes to open the eighth compartment in the Chest of Zanzibar.  Cameron revealed that the next treasure was hidden by Captain Steel's navigator and that this Expedition would take the crew down the Rio del Muerte, a place of ghosts.

The Picton Castle's crew then received a surprise, as the seven previously eliminated buccaneer wannabes -- now dubbed the "Ghost Pirates" -- climbed over the side of the ship to compete in the next Expedition, a move similar to Survivor: Pearl Island's "Outcasts" concept.  While Nessa was happy to see J.D. once again, the Triad was less than thrilled.

"All the ghosts of the old crew that we cut adrift, I'm pretty much responsible for every single one of those people," said Jay. "So I'm a little bit nervous."  Ben added he also felt a lot of "resentment and anger" from the Ghost Pirates.

Instead of picking crews, Cameron informed everyone that the nine remaining buccaneer wannabes would all join the Black Crew and compete against the Ghost Pirates on the next Expedition.  The winning crew would keep the treasure -- and if the Ghost Pirates won -- they would have the opportunity to take the Triad out of power as well as decide who gets the Black Spots.

"We're the strong Triad and we knew that if we lost, our asses were on the line," correctly explained Ben.  Louie looked at the situation as win-win for him and anyone not in the Triad, while J.D. was eager at the chance to exact some revenge against those responsible for cutting him adrift.

The Black Crew consisted of captain Azmyth; his two officers Jay and Ben; Jupiter; Louie; Kendra; Nessa; Laurel Schmidt, a 21-year-old glass blower from Los Angeles, CA; and Christa DeAngelo, a 29-year former member of the military and single mother from Tamaqua, PA.   The Ghost Pirates consisted of J.D.; Jocelyn "Joy" "McElveen; Sean Twomey; Cheryl Kosewicz; Alexis Shubin; Christian Okoye; and John Lakness.

On the first leg of Pirate Master's eighth Expedition, both crews would row towards the jungle and using their maps, navigate up the jungle river and look for the coffin containing a riddle and their next clue.  The Black Crew had a slight lead and was the first to reach the mouth of the river.  Jay immediately jumped overboard when he spotted the coffin, and was quickly followed by Azmyth and Ben who helped him retrieve the casket's cover, which had the riddle written on it.  Sean followed closely behind for the Ghost Pirates.

The crews then had to head up the river and search for the treasure's key. The first crew there would have the opportunity to Sabotage the crew that follows, putting their key further out of reach.  Both crews abandoned their long boats and headed towards the keys on foot, with the Ghost Pirates gaining ground on the Black Crew.  Azmyth led the Black Crew's search for the key, and he found it as Ben quickly set the Sabotage to make it harder on the Ghost Pirates.  John climbed a vine to retrieve the Ghost Pirates' key, but had some trouble and was helped by Sean.

Once both keys were retrieved, the crews had to make their way to the fork in the river and use their compasses to head east to a graveyard, where they would receive their next clue.  The Black Crew couldn't correctly read the compass and headed in the wrong direction, giving the Ghost Pirates a chance to overtake them for the lead, which is exactly what happened when they went in the right direction.  However joy quickly turned to dread when they realized the treasure's key had been dropped on their way to the graveyard.

"We potentially just lost the race," said J.D. as the Ghost Pirates had to retrace their steps in both the river and jungle to attempt to find the key.

The Black Crew eventually realized their mistake and Jay led them east, where they found the graveyard. Everyone worked on translating more clues on the gravestones to discover they had to now head north to find the Angel Tree and locate the hidden treasure.  Meanwhile the Ghost Pirates began to point fingers at John for dropping the key as it quickly became more evident that it would not be found. The Black Crew eventually located the Angel Tree, Azmyth climbed up it, found a canister, used the key to unlock it and discovered treasure inside. The Black Crew fired their blunderbuss, signaling victory.

With their chance for revenge lost, the Ghost Pirates virtually vanished as quickly as they appeared.  J.D. called it the "biggest bummer" of his life that he was unable to claim one more treasure and disband the Triad.  In the graveyard, the Black Crew learned the booty totaled $50,000 -- the biggest haul yet.  Cameron also informed Nessa that Pirate Master's Royal Pardon, which was currently in her possession, would have to change hands before the next Pirates' Court.

Azmyth also decided to let the Triad live on instead of appointing new officers.

"As the captain, I decided to put the Triad back in command," said Azmyth once back on the Picton Castle. "Why not? Why would I make any other choice when we're doing so good right now?"

On the ship's deck, Nessa revealed to Louie that she hoped the Ghost Pirates would have won the Expedition to take the Triad out of power.  The logical next step in their conversation were whispers about mutiny against Azmyth, with Louie reminding Nessa (as well as home viewers) it's only a possibility if Ben and Jay -- the captain's officers -- agree.  While Louie thought Ben would approve a mutiny, Nessa tried to convince Jay it was the "perfect opportunity" to cut Azmyth adrift.

"I've gotta get rid of Azmyth sooner or later anyways," explained Jay. "He's stronger than me out on these Expeditions. He's gotta go. If someone approaches me with a mutiny -- and it looks like it's the best bet for me -- I didn't come here to place second.  I will mutiny... Mark my word."

That night in the kitchen, Jupiter -- the Picton Castle's cook who has received extra booty for feeding the crew -- discussed the Triad with Laurel, who immediately mentioned mutiny.

"I have to make sure that I tell Azmyth what's happening now with the crew so that he doesn't get cut adrift," said Jupiter.

As everyone ate dinner below deck, Jupiter -- for some inexplicable reason -- thought that was the best chance for her to warn Azmyth and confront him about the grumbling crew.

"Is it gonna stay this way or is the game gonna switch up and be fun again?" she asked.  Azmyth, Ben and Jay seemed a bit stunned at Jupiter's openness as she further tried to explain herself about the importance of a happy crew. Jupiter eventually characterized the way the Triad was treating the crew as "unfair." "People want mutiny," she said.

"Jupiter went straight up to Azmyth and started talking about mutiny," said a befuddled Louie.  "It's like man, if you're going to mutiny, you don't go up to the captain and say we're all going to mutiny against you."

Totally misunderstanding Jupiter's intentions of trying to warn him of a mutiny, Azmyth began to get defensive and revealed to the rest of the crew that she's making more money than anybody because she's the cook.  Jupiter tried to reiterate her warnings.  "I just want you to be aware of it for yourself," she told him.  Laurel then took the chance to bash the all-male Triad.

"If Jupiter's talking about mutiny right now, it could be a strategic move to cut her adrift.  It could have to happen," said Azmyth.

As the Triad met to begin discussing who would receive the three Black Spots and face possible elimination at the next Pirates' Court, Kendra placed a $4,000 bid on the Pardon due to her certainty that her falling out with Jay has made her a target to be cut adrift.  She was right, as the Triad decided to give her a Black Spot because she went back on her word and alsis also a poor performer on Expeditions.

Ben then went on the offensive against Laurel, claiming she's been "annoying for a while now" with all of her "complaining," so the Triad decided she would also receive a Black Spot.  Jay -- who is quickly emerging as the brains behind the Triad's operation -- immediately set his sights on Jupiter, commenting that he trusts her the least and calling her outburst about mutiny a "stupid move."

"Jupiter, a lovely girl. She's awesome," said Azmyth.  "But if she's saying stuff about mutiny, giving Jupiter one of the Black Spots could have to happen." The Triad then handed out the Black Spots.

"This is the first time I've gotten a Black Spot.  I welcome it with open arms," said Jupiter.  "The reason why I got the Black Spot may be because I did confront them about what issues I thought were happening on the ship.  It could very well make me a target."  Laurel realizes she's up for elimination because of the "negative energy" she apparently puts-off towards Azmyth.  She called him a "super freak" and threatened to pull out his fake dreadlocks.

Prior to Pirates' Court, Louie and Nessa continued to discuss mutiny in the context of Jupiter's outburst at dinner.  Nessa described Jupiter's decision as "foolish" and added it's "not going to look good for anybody."  While Jay said Azmyth has a "big target" on his back and would be happy to see either mutiny or Jupiter cut adrift, Ben was still a little more hesitant about eliminating Azmyth.

"Tonight, there is a chance of mutiny," explained Louie. "But when you're sitting there and you're the only one voting mutiny and there's no one else behind you, it's a waste of a ballot. But you never know what's gonna happen at Pirates' Court."

The crew then gathered on the Picton Castles' deck for Pirates' Court -- where Cameron explained the format once again -- with the crew casting ballots and having to choose which of the three marked pirates is cut adrift, adding they could also unanimously "rise as one" and mutiny against the captain. In addition, Cameron said he wouldn't reveal the highest bidder for the Pardon until after the vote.

Azmyth explained why he gave the Black Spots to who he did, commenting Kendra received one because she's a "liability" on Expeditions; Jupiter got one because she "took initiative" in discussing the crew's "dissatisfaction" despite making more money then the rest; and Laurel received one because she has "a bit of an attitude" and was also discussing mutiny.

Laurel was the first to defend herself, and made it clear that the only person on the Picton Castle she has a problem with is Azmyth.  She then criticized Azmyth's crutch for claiming he's a good captain because he shares the booty, as Louie, Christa and Nessa all said they too would share the treasure if in his position.

"If you don't share the gold, then you're not gonna last as captain because no one's gonna be happy," said Laurel, satisfied with her defense.  Kendra went next, claimed to "love" being on the ship, and added she feels as though she's only getting stronger with each Expedition.

"Blessings captain," said Jupiter at the start of her defense.  "I didn't realize that there were so many issues between you and I Azmyth... I'm shocked.  Which is great, it's really, really good to know.  When I said I wanted change, it's because I do.  I'm ready for change.  Change is wonderful.  Switch it up a little.  Add a little bit of spice. But I stand by your side.  I will never mutiny against you.  I'm just ready for some change.  I love you -- all of you.  I feel as though I've put myself out there for you guys to see who I am.  But I'm ready to better myself so that I remain on the ship because I love being here."

With even the possibility of mutiny floating in the air, Azmyth decided to defend himself after gushing praise on Ben and Jay.  "We're definitely as fair as we possibly can be," he said of the Triad.  "What could we change other than the fact that we're up here? I've set an example and I think it's a fair and just example."

Cameron informed the crew -- excluding those three who received Black Spots, Azmyth and his officers -- that it was time to vote, and one by one, the pirates placed their ballots atop the blade of a dagger.  Prior to counting the ballots, Cameron revealed Kendra was the highest bidder for the Royal Pardon, paying $4,000 to Nessa for it.

However Cameron said Kendra wasted her money, as there were no ballots cast against her.  There were also no ballots cast against Laurel.  Cameron said the vote was "unanimous," as Louie, Christa and Nessa all voted to cut Jupiter adrift.

"I am surprised that I got cut adrift," said Jupiter upon being eliminated.  "Azmyth has changed because of his position and his power.  I'm shocked.  I have from day one had Azmyth's back, but you can't always expect people to treat you the way that you treat them."

Pirate Master's ninth episode will air Tuesday, July 24 at 10PM ET/PT on CBS.

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