Jessica Smith the eighth castaway voted off 'Survivor: Cook Islands'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/03/2006
Unable to convince her tribe's dominant alliance to turn on one of their own, Jessica Smith, a 27-year-old performance artist and rollergirl from Chico, CA, was voted off the island in Survivor Cook Islands' seventh episode.
Last night's Survivor: Cook Islands broadcast began with both tribes having returned from their dual Night 15 Tribal Council sessions in which Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi" Bui and Cristina Coria were voted out of the game and Aitutaki "kidnapped" Rarotonga member Nathan Gonzalez.
The next day, Jessica made little effort to keep Nate -- who would remain part of the Aitutaki tribe until after the game's next Reward Challenge concluded -- from discovering that she was upset that no one had informed her that rather than following through with Cao Boi's "Plan Voodoo" suggestion that the tribe send Jonathan Penner home, the tribe had instead voted Cao Boi out of the game. "I don't like that she did it in front of Nate... that whole conversation happened right in front of Nate," Yul Kwon told fellow dominant alliance members Candice Woodcock and Becky Lee as they later discussed how to handle Jessica, the tribe's biggest remaining outsider.
Along the way, the threesome also discussed whether it might now also make sense to cut Jonathan, the original fourth member of their core alliance but someone most of the tribe had come to distrust, before Sundra Oakley, another Aitutaki member who had later become the fifth member of the alliance. "Originally the order of getting voted out was Ozzy [Oscar Lusth] would be next, followed by "Flica" [Jessica], followed by Sundra and then it would be the remaining four but [now] we feel like we're starting to get to the point where a merge is imminent, so now there's been talk about, well if we come down to it, do we vote off Jonathan before we vote off Sundra? He'd be a tough person to go up against in an individual competition."
Meanwhile back at camp, Nate was thrilled that Jessica's behavior had given him a chance to discover some information about the Aitutaki tribe's internal alliances. "I got me some good info right now... I'm going to take my little notepad and I'm going to go back to my tribe and let them know what's going on so that we can make some moves
Later that day, each tribe received Tree Mail instructing them to browse a "Survivor catalog" and select two items they'd like to receive if they won the upcoming Reward Challenge. While the members of both tribes quickly agreed that peanut butter would be won of the items they'd want, the tribes selected different second items. Although Brad Virata attempted to convince the rest of his Rarotonga teammates that bread would spoil more quickly than potatoes, the majority of the group -- craving the chance to eat some peanut butter sandwiches -- decided to pick bread as their second item. Remaining more practical, Aitutaki went with potatoes.
Afterward, the tribes assembled for the Reward Challenge, a land and sea challenge. The first phase required three members of each tribe to take turns swimming out to a platform, climbing up the platform and then breaking one of six suspended plaster boxes as they leaped back off the platform. After landing in the water they then had to dive down and retrieve a large metal key ring that had been in the plaster box and then swim back to shore. After all six key rings had been retrieved, two other members of each tribe would have to use the six keys attached to the key rings to open a treasure chest bound shut with six locks. Once the chest was open, the two members had to assemble the eight puzzle pieces inside it into world map. The first tribe to correctly assemble the puzzle would win the "catalog" items they had selected.
Although Rarotonga was already down a man due to Aitutaki's kidnapping of Nate and Brad ranked as one of Rarotonga's better swimmers, Brad -- citing the fact that he was "good at puzzles" -- decided to serve as one of his tribe's two "puzzle solvers." Once the challenge started, Rebecca Borman quickly fell behind and was forced to return to shore without retrieving a key, causing Nate -- forced to helplessly watch the challenge from Aitutaki's bench -- to openly question why Brad wasn't one of the tribe's swimmers. Rarotonga never recovered from the slow start, resulting in Aitutaki's puzzle solving team of Jonathan and Becky completing the puzzle as Parvati Shallow was still struggling to return to shore with Rarotonga's final key ring. After winning the Reward Challenge, Aitutaki decided to send Adam Gentry -- Rarotonga's strongest swimmer in the just-concluded challenge -- off to Exile Island.
After Rarotonga returned to camp, the rest of the tribe expressed their frustration about Brad's decision to sit out the swimming portion of the Reward Challenge. "I want to punch him in the mouth, I'm so angry right now," an upset Parvati told Becky.
"For Brad to take the back seat today and want to be 'Puzzle Boy' when we have a swimming challenge pissed me off," Nate later vented to the cameras. "I don't know what his deal was -- maybe he didn't want to get wet, maybe he was cold, maybe he's a nancy boy -- I don't know what he was thinking... we needed him there, I don't care about no stupid puzzles... I don't care about that nonsense."
Over on Exile Island, Adam was beginning to grow concerned about his tribe's ongoing history of poor challenge performances "I am starting to doubt my tribe, challenge after challenge they just don't come through," Adam vented. "You know it's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys."
The next morning, Ozzy captured a sleeping bird during an early trip to the bathroom and although the tribe had -- only six days earlier -- frowned upon the fact that Cao Boi had knocked a baby "booby bird" out of its nest while looking for eggs to eat, the rest of the Aitutaki tribe decided to kill the bird and eat it. Although the tribe enjoyed the unexpected meal, the event also served to further remind Aitutaki's dominant alliance how big an individual challenge threat Ozzy could be. "The guy is surprising, I underestimated him," Yul explained later. "[He] provides a lot of food but at the same time, ultimately, we feel that we should get rid of him while we still have the control rather than wait for a merge and potentially have him dominate some of the individual challenges."
Meanwhile, realizing their status of the tribe's two outsiders, Jessica and Ozzy -- once again citing concerns that Jonathan was untrustworthy and noting Ozzy's status as the tribe's uber-provider -- attempted to convince Candice to instead ally herself with them. "I think I'm a more valuable player than Jonathan at this point, he can't provide for people," Ozzy later explained to the cameras. "I might be more of a threat, but the people that do stick with me, they're going to be able to enjoy a ride."
On Day 18, the tribes met for the Immunity Challenge and Adam rejoined his Rarotonga tribemates. Another land and sea challenge, the challenge required all of the members of each tribe to attempt to arrange a series of logs into a staircase that would allow the entire tribe to climb to the top of a tower. Then, once the entire tribe had made it onto the tower, three tribe members would sail down a zipline and land near a floating platform anchored offshore. After reaching the platform, each tribe member would have to grab a bag of puzzle pieces and swim back to shore. Once all three bags had been retrieved and brought back up to the top of the tower, each tribe's three remaining tribe members would have to open the bags and solve the puzzle. The first tribe to correctly complete their puzzle would win immunity and not have to attend the evening's Tribal Council session.
Although Aitutaki was the first tribe to complete their log staircase and retrieve all three of it's puzzle bags, Rarotonga -- which had Parvati, Nate, and Brad as its swimmers this time around -- managed to catch up and win the challenge when Aitutaki's all-female team of Jessica, Becky, and Sundra struggled to complete the puzzle.
After Aitutaki returned to camp, Jessica -- still aware that she was likely next on the chopping block -- continued to attempt to convince the rest of the tribe to vote Jonathan out of the game. "She's trying to be everyone's friend right now, I think Jessica is just covering her ass -- she was like a mosquito that won't die," Sundra told the cameras .
However when it came time for the tribe's Tribal Council session, the "mosquito" did "die," with Aitutaki's dominant alliance deciding that although a tribal merge that might make him a huge individual challenge threat may be just around the corner, they weren't yet ready to vote off Ozzy. As the tribe left for Tribal Council, Jessica -- who was evicted in unanimous 6-1 vote -- seemed resigned to her fate. "Well guys, listen, for what it is I thank you for being upfront and honest with everything today," she downtroddenly told her tribemates as they prepared to leave camp.