The 29-year-old small business owner from Emeryville, CA became the second castaway eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show's sixteenth season.
"I have no idea what happened," commented Mary following her ouster. "I'm just totally blind-sided -- not even a clue that I was going to be going home tonight -- so it kind of sucks being the first person to go off your tribe. Maybe they saw me getting too close to some individuals and making friends with others. I'm definitely rooting for the Fans. They're all very strong individuals and one of the Fans will definitely win this Survivor."
"I was not pleased when Jonny pulled this because it screwed up my plans," said former Survivor: Cook Islands castaway Jonathan Penner. "But you know what? Everybody knows if we can continue to do what we're doing, we should be able to win... We're just feeling confident that we can go in there and beat these guys at almost any challenge."
On the bright side, ex-Survivor: Cook Islands castaway Ozzy Lusth was somehow able to catch a fish with his bare hands on the way back to camp, meaning Malakal went to bed with a full belly.
Despite winning the first Immunity Challenge, things weren't going as well at the Fans' Airai camp, as they lacked water, shelter and a fire -- although they had flint. It didn't help, as they were still unable to spark a fire and tensions started to rise as the flint disappeared.
A division was also quickly forming as Chet Welch, Kathleen Sleckman and Tracy Hughes-Wolf -- the three oldest Airai members -- found themselves on the outs. Jason Siska commented on how the three had done "nothing all day" and the other seven Airai members made the decision not to let them sleep in the cave they were using for shelter.
Kathy felt like the three were being "shunned" and likened it to being a high-school outcast, but they still started to build their own shelter.
The Favorites were banking on the fact they'd be ahead with the "camp curve" -- as Jonathan put it -- and while they didn't know it they were right. However some members of Malakal had their own problems as the romances between Ozzy and Survivor: China'sAmanda Kimmel as well as Survivor: Panama'sParvati Shallow and China'sJames Clement continued to blossom.
"I'm starting to become really attracted to Amanda," said Ozzy. "She is so cute, she is beautiful. It's like we've just got to stay apart as long as possible because if it becomes obvious to the group, I'm going to have a giant target on my back."
Parvati admitted to using the "flirting angle" with James and said it was "easy" because he's "so cute."
"I definitely think that James and Parvati have something going on, and I've always felt Ozzy was really, really cute," said Amanda. "It's kind of like a couple-y alliance, but we just have to be careful because I don't want it to screw up my game."
At Airai, Kathy, Chet and Tracy managed to build a pretty sweet three-person shelter and the other seven member of the tribe were impressed, asking for some advice on how to fix their own dwelling. Things just kept getting better as Mikey and Alexis Jones were able to spark a fire and they feasted on clams and drank clean water.
"The whole dynamic of the tribe just completely turned around," said Mary. "We're much more unified as a tribe."
Mikey also used the joyous occasion to flirt with Mary.
"I want to get Mary to trust me and if I can use my flirtatious ability to get her in my back pocket, than I'm going to use it," he said.
However Joel Anderson was aware of what Mikey was trying to do, and said it was "right out of player's school 101."
"Obviously, I'm going to keep my eyes on them," Joel explained. "But my priority right now is to keep my tribe strong. So I think the three outsiders -- Tracy, Chet, and Kathy -- will be out of here as soon as possible."
That night at the Malakal camp, Ozzy and Amanda started making out, and their kissing was overheard by Survivor: Panama's Cirie Fields.
"I heard the sounds of jungle love I guess," she said. "I think we'll be receiving birth announcements from [Amanda] and her little Ozzlets that she's about to have."
Jonathan was also awake, and he told Cirie how he thought Amanda and Ozzy hooking up was "silly" and "stupid." Cirie said she was a "little scared" it seemed to be "more than just alliances" with Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati and James, and Jonathan agreed.
"[Amanda and Ozzy and Parvati and James] together poses a problem," said Cirie. "I don't know, just yet, how I'm going to dismantle that foursome, but I'm gonna try."
The next day the two tribes arrived for Survivor: Micronesia's second Immunity Challenge, which would also double as a Reward Challenge, and host Jeff Probst explained the rules.
Each tribe would select five swimmers, three puzzle-makers, and one key-master. First, the swimmers would race out -- one-by-one -- to a floating tower, climb to the top of it, and jump off while smashing a suspended tile, releasing a key into the water below. The swimmer had to then dive down, retrieve the key, and bring it back to shore. Once all five keys were collected, the key-master would open a series of locks on a chest containing puzzle-pieces.
The puzzle-makers would then use the puzzle-pieces to assemble a map of Micronesia. The first tribe to solve the puzzle would win Immunity as well as fishing gear and a bamboo fishing boat.
In addition, the winning tribe would also be able select one person from the losing tribe to go to Exile Island. Jeff added there was also a twist he'd reveal at the end of the challenge. Since Airai had an extra member, Kathy sat out.
The challenge commenced, and Ozzy used his impressive swimming abilities to help Malakal grab a slight lead over Airai, which they maintained for the first few swimmers and only grew when Chet couldn't find his key underwater and lollygagged back to the beach.
Malakal's five swimmers got all the keys to their key-master James, who unlocked the puzzle pieces and passed them on to Cirie, Yau and Eliza, who quickly completed the puzzle. Malakal won Immunity and Reward and decided to send Kathy to Exile Island.
Jeff then revealed the twist, allowing the tribe that won the challenge to also select a member from their own tribe to join Kathy on Exile Island, where both castaways would have a chance to hunt for the same Hidden Immunity Idol. Cirie volunteered to go and departed for Exile Island with Kathy.
Cirie and Kathy collected the first four clues to the whereabouts of the lone Hidden Immunity Idol -- however it took them hours to do so since they had to keep swimming between two different islands. Night fell, and despite working together the two couldn't find the whereabouts of the idol.
"Looking for the idol was absolute torture," commented Cirie. "I've never worked so hard, walked so far in my life."
At the Airai camp, everyone was bummed they lost the challenge and Erik Reichenbach singled out Chet for having "floundered around" and costing them a chance at victory.
While Airai's seven younger members all agreed Chet was the logical choice to be booted, Mikey was worried Kathy would find the Hidden Immunity Idol. Kathy already had an Individual Immunity Idol she recovered on the first day, which could only be used at the upcoming Tribal Council, and Mikey was concerned she'd give one of the idols to Chet or Tracy.
Mikey concocted an elaborate, confusing scheme on how to vote depending on how Kathy used the idols, and Joel grew more weary of him.
"My initial thought was, 'Chet, you're out of here. You're done.' But Mikey thinks he's got it all figured out and I don't like that," commented Joel. "He's teamed up with Mary and now he thinks he has pretty much the entire tribe voting the way he wants us to vote and doing whatever he wants."
Not wanting to let Mikey think he has control of the game, Joel came up with his own plan to oust Mary since she'd Mikey's "closest ally."
Erik agreed to Joel's plan to boot Mary, as did Alexis. Joel then told Chet and Tracy the plan to eliminate Mary, and they were a little surprised since they thought as the outsiders they'd be the first ones to go. Once Kathy came back from Exile Island, she was also included in the plan. While Kathy was full of questions, she was told by Chet to keep her mouth shut and act accordingly.
"We finally see a window of opportunity, but I just don't know if I can trust Joel," said Tracy. "Joel wants this $1 million probably more than anybody here, and I think that he's going to stop at nothing to get it."
Mary noticed Joel had pulled Natalie Bolton aside, and she was unsure what everyone was talking about.
"We just need to be really honest with ourselves and where our weaknesses lie," said Mary. "There might be a little confusion as far as our vote tonight, but I really feel at this point I can trust Alexis, I can trust Mike, I can trust Natalie... So I don't feel like I'm going to be voted out any time soon."
"If it goes as I think it will tonight, Mary's going home," said Joel. "Mikey will be completely confused as to what happened and it will be me running the show over here. But I've been doing a lot of running around, I've been talking to a lot of people. And if these people are smart, I could see them thinking, 'He's too powerful, he's too manipulative,' and being very leery of me."
Airai then arrived for Survivor: Micronesia's second Tribal Council, and Jeff sparked their torches and reminded Kathy her idol was only good that night. Chet played off his poor performance in the challenge as some sort of strategy, and Jeff wasn't buying it.
"The most frustrating thing about Chet struggling was if you're not that good of a swimmer, why are you not making a team move to step down," said Mikey. "I mean I was really irked by it, to be honest with you."
Tracy then explained the age divide at camp as "aggravating" and Natalie agreed some people had been "segregated." Chet then admitted he was concerned by the numbers, and Erik said he would be "very, very concerned" if he were Chet. Mary said it's noticeable that some castaways are forming a bond.
"I feel pretty secure with my position in the tribe and with the people I choose to communicate with and be friends with," she told Jeff.
Kathy decided to keep the Individual Immunity Idol for herself, and Airai cast their votes.
Mikey and Jason voted for Chet; Mary and Joel -- in what was obviously a strategic move -- voted for Tracy; and Erik, Kathy, Chet, Tracy, Alexis and Natalie all voted for Mary, who became the first Fan booted from the competition. Joel wore a smile on his face as Mary's torch was snuffed, and Mikey looked dumbfounded.
"Based on what I heard tonight, Mary never saw that coming," said Jeff. "Congratulations, first Tribal Council, first blind-side."
Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites next episode will air Thursday, February 21 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.