Joel Anderson the fifth castaway voted out of 'Survivor: Micronesia'
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/07/2008
Joel Anderson initially decided to feast on the strong instead of eating the meek. But what goes around comes around -- quickly sometimes -- and the 32-year-old firefighter from Avondale, AZ became the fifth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show's sixteenth season.
"The tribe picked Chet [Welch]. Over me. A little bit humiliating. Insulting. Wow. I don't understand why you would want to keep somebody like Chet," said a distraught -- and hypocritical -- Joel after his ouster. "It's just very, very confusing. I'm angry, I think I'd like to wring a couple people's necks right now, but I'm stunned. I'm stunned."
Tracy Hughes-Wolf was pleased that the Fans' "outcasts" -- including herself, Chet and Kathleen Sleckman -- were able to prevail, but Chet reminded her it was "just for now." They realized their only chance was to continue picking off Airai's strongest members.
"Jason next," said Chet to Tracy.
"I can't wait to see him go," she answered.
"Sorry dude," said Chet.
At the Favorites' Malakal camp, they were preparing to kill and eat "Charlie the chicken," which they won during the previous Reward Challenge. Survivor: Cook Islands'Ozzy Lusth also stashed the Hidden Immunity Idol he found on Exile Island in the Malakal cave "before anyone could suspect" he had it.
"Okay good," answered Amanda. "We're like the powerhouse right now."
The two tribes then met host Jeff Probst, who told them after 12 days, it was time to drop their buffs for a tribal swap. The castaways then drew rocks to decide team captains for a school-yard pick, with Ozzy and Natalie Bolton pulling the colored rocks. Alternating picks, the castaways would choose teammates -- but Fans had to choose Favorites while Favorites had to choose Fans.
The two new tribes then participated in their first Reward Challenge together, and Jeff explained the rules.
Tribe members would be divided into pairs and harnessed together. Each round, a harnessed pair from one tribe would chase a pair from the other tribe through a muddy obstacle course while attempting to grab a flag off the opposing tribe's back. Each time a pursuing pair successfully captured a flag they would score a point for their tribe. To make things interesting, the chasing pair had only 60 seconds to capture the other tribe's flag. If they failed to do so, the fleeing tribe would score the point.
First tribe to three points would win Reward -- a steak barbecue with all the fixings, wine, and spices. To give the new tribemates a chance to get to know each other, no one would be sent to Exile Island.
The challenge commenced and it became obvious that the pair doing the chasing had the upper hand. Erik and Ozzy grabbed Kathy and Natalie's flag twice; Parvati and Eliza grabbed Chet and Joel's flag; and Amy and Amanda grabbed James and Jason's flag. With the score tied at two points apiece, a few castaways were injured on the course, including Parvati with a fat lip, Amy with a bum knee, and Jonathan with a puncture would in his knee.
The final round saw Chet and Joel chasing Parvati and Eliza. However Joel mostly dragged Chet, who couldn't find his footing after an early stumble. Despite some close calls, Parvati and Eliza were able to elude Joel and Chet, claiming the final point and winning Reward for Airai.
"I hit my head back there," Chet said to Joel.
"I don't care," replied a frustrated Joel.
"I know," answered Chet.
Malakal retreated to their camp, and even though they lost the Reward Challenge, they realized that they had the better beach since it was originally built by the Favorites. After orchestrating the ouster of both Michael and Mary Sartain -- two strong players -- earlier in the game, Joel found it ironic he was still on the same tribe as Chet.
"Maybe this is poetic justice of some form because I chose to get rid of Mikey versus Chet," opined Joel. "Now here I end up with Chet again on my tribe, who's probably the weakest of both tribes... At the same time, it can be good to have people around that ultimately can be expendable."
Ozzy also realized that Chet was a weak player, comparing him to a "sack of potatoes."
"I don't know what's going on with that dude, but he needs to go," said Ozzy about Chet, who was aware he was probably next in the pecking order.
At the Airai camp, Kathy explained the separate living conditions that had been in use basically since the start of the game, and Eliza likened the former Fans camp to a "disaster," describing it as "definitely a downgrade." As if to illustrate the point, the surf extinguished their fire since their pit was so close to the water.
"I'm amazed they're still alive. Poor things should be dead," said James of the Fans. "Bunch of dingbats."
After enjoying their feast, Jonathan's injury worsened and Survivor's medical team was brought into the camp. They sterilized and numbed the puncture wound before patching it up with three stitches, which left Jonathan with a "painful leg."
"There could be an infection and it could work down towards the joint of my knee," he speculated. "So let's hope it doesn't get worse."
As Ozzy fished for the Malakal tribe, Erik sat in the boat in total amazement of Ozzy, gushing about how he's a "natural" in the water. Back on land, Ozzy pitched his plan to boot Chet, Tracy and Cirie to Joel and Erik.
"I tell you what, if you're willing to get rid of Cirie first I got no problem giving up Chet and then being back to three-three," countered Joel, which Ozzy agreed to, keeping the numbers of Fans and Favorites even on the Malakal tribe.
"I think it is to a degree still Fans versus Favorites," said Joel. "But either the Favorites have to swing a Fan over to their side, or the Fans have to swing a Favorite over to their side. Somebody's going to have to flip."
Airai's Favorites -- Jonathan, James, Parvati, and Eliza -- located a clearing and decided to construct a shelter away from the water's edge. Needless to say, the Fans were impressed.
"The new members of Airai, I mean, they're just on it," said Natalie. "They're quick, they're making it happen, it's getting done and it's brilliant."
At Malakal, Amanda found a dead shark caught in the tribe's fishing net, which Joel estimated to weigh 35 or 40 pounds. The tribe cooked it up and ate it as a substitute for their chicken feed.
"She basically wrestled a four-foot shark by herself," gushed Ozzy, apparently missing the part where Amanda said the shark was already dead when she found it. "That's pretty attractive to a guy like me."
The two tribes then gathered for Survivor: Micronesia's fifth Immunity Challenge, and Jeff explained the rules.
Four members from each tribe would alternate throwing rocks at suspended ceramic tiles, breaking them to release four bundles of wooden puzzle pieces. They would then collect all four bundles and hand them off to three other tribe members, who would race to assemble the pieces with help from a caller on top of a tower. The first tribe to solve their puzzle would win Immunity.
Malakal grabbed an early lead in breaking their tiles as Airai's members -- specifically Jonathan -- bitched about how their throws weren't breaking the tiles. As Malakal began to assemble the puzzle with a bit of a lead, Chet was serving as the tribe's caller. However he struggled in the role, allowing Airai to catch up with Eliza as their caller.
Even though he served as a thrower, Joel began to interject suggestions while Chet was trying to solve the puzzle, causing confusion amongst Malakal members and allowing Airai to take the lead and claim Immunity.
Joel and Erik conversed once they returned to the Malakal camp and singled out Chet as the tribe's "problem" despite the fact both Joel and Erik had an opportunity to eliminate him at the previous Tribal Council and chose not to do so.
"It's almost like he's a wet rag, or a ball of goo," commented Joel about Chet, further adding he's "spineless." "If you went back to Medieval times I think we'd kill him ourselves."
Just to make sure they were still on the same page, Joel approached Ozzy and pitched the pecking order of Chet, Cirie and Tracy.
"I agree totally, 100%," answered Ozzy.
Erik also asked Amanda if Chet would be next, and she answered in the affirmative. However Cirie overheard Amanda and Erik talking and became concerned.
"Erik seems to think that we should get rid of the weaker players in the tribe," said Cirie. "Which would be fine with me except I'm included in the weaker tribe members."
She then met with Tracy and Chet and all three immediately targeted Joel, pointing out he cost them the previous two challenges. To make matters worse, Joel singled himself out as a strategist in orchestrating Michael and Mary's ouster, which made him an even bigger liability to keep around.
With a strong case in hand, Cirie approached Ozzy and Amanda with the possibility of booting Chet.
"Joel is already playing the game. Chet ain't really into playing the game like that. There are so many plusses for getting rid of Joel and Chet is just like a pawn," explained Cirie to Ozzy and Amanda. "We can use Chet for whatever we need, whenever we need."
While Ozzy wasn't completely convinced, he agreed to think it over.
"This is an incredibly important vote tonight. We are at a crossroads. We are at a point where we need to decide how we're going to approach the rest of the game," said Ozzy. "Chet -- in challenges -- he is a waste of space. On the other hand, Joel wants to win challenges. But Joel wants to win the game really bad. Joel is dangerous. It's a hard decision."
Survivor: Micronesia's fifth Tribal Council commenced and Ozzy said it "seemed like the logical choice at the time" for him to select Joel after Natalie picked James, matching strength with strength. Chet -- who ended up on Malakal by default -- explained that's been the story of the game for him.
"I've felt like I was in trouble from Day 1 in this game, but I'm still sitting here," he said.
Tracy singled out Joel for his lack of communication during the Reward Challenge, simply dragging Joel behind him instead of working as a team. Joel said he gave Chet simple instructions during the challenge.
"If he couldn't hear me because there was mud in his ears from being dragged through it, it's not my fault," said Joel.
"I felt like I was harnessed to a Mack Truck and drug through a forest," replied Chet, saying the communication between him and Joel definitely tailed off towards the end of the challenge.
Despite Erik spouting about the need for Malakal to "stay strong" -- Cirie, Ozzy, Amanda, Tracy, Chet and Amy all voted to oust Joel, who along with Erik voted to boot Chet. Joel got a taste of his own medicine and was sent packing by a 6-2 margin.
"Tonight's vote established what is important to this tribe," said Jeff. "Clearly, physical strength is not at the top of the list. Certainly caught Joel by surprise."
Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites next episode will air Thursday, March 13 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS, with Jason apparently finding Ozzy's fake Hidden Immunity Idol and Jonathan battling infection in his knee.