Jeff Wilson becomes the fifth contestant to exit 'Survivor: Palau'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/04/2005
Having quickly changed from an asset to a liability following an ankle injury that occurred during Thursday's broadcast, Jeff Wilson, the well-liked 21-year-old personal trainer from Ventura, California, was voted out of Survivor: Palau's Ulong tribe following their third consecutive Immunity Challenge loss.
Survivor: Palau's third episode began with Ulong returning from the Episode 2 Tribal Council session where following their second consecutive Immunity Challenge loss, the tribe had decided to vote off Ashlee Ashby, a 22-year-old fitness counselor who had refused to eat and isolated herself from the tribe. Ashley's erratic behavior had saved Kimberly Mullen, a 25-year-old former Miss Ohio USA, from elimination. In addition to contributing little effort during camp chores and challenges, Kim had also begun to establish a romantic relationship with Jeff -- a development that her remaining Ulong tribemates feared might result in a powerful "Romber"-like endgame alliance threat.
Returning to camp following the Tribal Council session in which Survivor host Jeff Probst probed Ulong about the couple's growing relationship, Kim made it clear to her tribemates that she resented Jeff's questioning, calling him "obnoxious" and stating that his behavior "pissed me off."
Over at Koror, a full week of living together with eight strangers finally took its toll on Caryn Groedel, with the 46-year-old Solon, Ohio civil rights attorney confronting tribemate Katie Gallagher, the 29-year-old advertising executive from Merced, California. What began as a rant quickly evolved into a bit of a tirade, with Caryn using a private moment to take Katie to task concerning what she considered to be Katie's constant disparaging remarks.
Assembling for the Day 7 Reward Challenge, the tribes learned that the challenge would involve a series of water-based battles to retrieve a safety ring, with the first tribe to win three battles winning the challenge. Koror quickly lost the first two individual battles to its younger and stronger Ulong competitors, with Jeff defeating Tom Westman and Stephenie LaGrossa defeating Jennifer Lyon. Ulong also proved dominate in the final paired third round, with Bobby Jon Drinkard and Angie Jakusz defeating Gregg Carey and Janu Tornell to win Ulong the challenge's sewing kit prize.
Back at camp that night, Jeff stumbled over a stray coconut during an ill-fated late night stroll to use the outdoor facilities, resulting in a severe ankle sprain. After retrieving Day 8's tree mail, the news got even worse for Jeff -- rather than occurring on Day 9 as the tribes had expected, Survivor's third Immunity Challenge would occur on Day 8, depriving him of the faint hope that his ankle might improve with a full day's rest.
After the tribes gathered for the Immunity Challenge, it quickly became clear that Jeff would be a liability in the extremely demanding game of tag. Clipped together to their fellow tribe members, each survivor would be tasked with carrying a twenty pound sand bag. Starting at opposite sides of an oval course set up in shallow water, the tribes would then race to catch up to each other, with any tribe member able to quit the competition as long as another tribe member took on the added weight of their sandbag.
Dropping out immediately after the challenge began, Jeff was forced to watch as his tribe attempted to overcome the loss of his physical strength and win the endurance challenge. One by one, other Koror and Ulong members followed Jeff to shore, until only Koror members Tom, Gregg, and Ian Rosenberger where competing against Ulong's Bobby John, Stephenie, and Ibrehem Rahman. In the end, Koror slowly gained ground and tagged Ulong, keeping Koror undefeated in immunity challenges and sending Ulong to their third straight Tribal Council session.
Returning to camp, Jeff gathered the Ulong tribe to discuss his injury. Explaining that the last time he had suffered a similar ankle injury it took several weeks to heal, Jeff asked his tribe to vote him off at the evening's upcoming Tribal Council session. Despite some strong feelings that the tribe might still be better served voting out Kim (the tribe's healthy liability) Ulong eventually decided to grant Jeff's wish, voting him out via a 4-2-1 decision that made him the fifth contestant to exit Survivor: Palau.