Ruth Marie Milliman the fourth castaway to exit 'Survivor: Panama'
By Reality TV World staff, 02/24/2006
Betrayed by an existing alliance that she had joined only a couple of days earlier, Ruth Marie Milliman, a 48-year-old director of retail leasing from Greenville, SC, became the fourth Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island castaway to be eliminated from the game
Last night's CBS broadcast of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island's fourth episode began with the La Mina tribe having returned from the Night 8 Tribal Council session in which they had voted off Misty Giles. As the only La Mina member not to vote for Misty, Sally Schumann (who had been led to believe that the tribe would instead be voting off Ruth Marie) saw herself as the tribe's outsider as Day 9 began.
"It seems I [am] the odd woman out," Sally confessed to the cameras. "There's some big boys in that camp that are calling a lot of the shots," Sally commented, alluding to the four person La Mina alliance formed by Terry Dietz, Dan Barry, Austin Carty, and Nick Stanbury. "All I can do right now is keep working hard and prove myself valuable."
Meanwhile, Dan had other plans, and recognizing that his alliance would need more than four members of if hoped to survive the upcoming tribal merge, he approached Ruth Marie with an offer to become his group's fifth member. Ruth Marie quickly pounced on Dan's offer, and when he later informed the rest of his allies of his conversation with Ruth Marie, Terry and the other men signed off on Dan's decision.
"I don't think Sally feels like a part of this team and I think when a merge comes, Sally will drop us like a stone," Dan, a former NASA astronaut, later explained to the cameras. "But with Ruth Marie, I think she'll stay with that group of five all the way to the end."
Over at Casaya, the tribe's unstable four-person alliance continued to show cracks, with Aras Baskauskas and Shane Powers openly venting about several of their tribe members (including allies Courtney Marit and Danielle DiLorenzo) failing to bare their share of the camp responsibilities. "I gave those people my word... but if I had my druthers, I wouldn't want to be in an alliance with Courtney," Aras admitted during confessional. "I would almost lose it on purpose to get Courtney voted off because she just gets on my nerves."
Along the way, Cirie Fields -- already told by Shane and Aras back on Day 6 that she would be the next castaway that the alliance would send home -- continued to simply enjoy the show. "Things were planned and alliances were made and I was told that I would be the one to go after Melinda but it's just constant drama -- I love it, love it, love it," Cirie gushed during confessional. "My strategy right now is kinda to just continue to work like I've been working and stay out of the drama."
Later, the tribes assembled for the day's Reward Challenge, a water challenge that required the tribes to, relay-style, have their members dive into the water, unclip one of six large floating puzzle pieces, and move the piece into a puzzle frame floating nearby. After all six pieces were in the frame, all the members of each tribe competing in the challenge could begin assembling the puzzle. The first tribe to correctly finish their puzzle would receive "Casa de Charmin," a full-service Survivor outhouse, complete with a bush shower, while the losing tribe would see one of its members sent to Exile Island.
La Mina jumped out to an early lead, with Sally quickly showing her tribe how to easily pull the heavy puzzle pieces into the puzzle frame. However Casaya caught up pretty quickly, with Danielle managing to close the gap significantly when Ruth Marie struggled to pull her puzzle piece into the frame. Both tribes were neck and neck after all six puzzle pieces were in their frames, turning the challenge into an assembly contest that Casaya, working surprisingly well together, ended up winning rather easily.
As part of their victory, Casaya was also allowed to choose which La Mina member would be sent to Exile Island and seeking their revenge for Casaya's previous decision to send Bruce Kanegai to hated outpost, La Mina stuck back, quickly announcing that it would be exiling Casaya leader Terry. "Ha ha," Shane cackled after announcing his tribe's decision.
Once back at camp, La Mina admitted that life was going to be more difficult without their leader. "With Terry not being here, you just don't have that person who just seems like they're completely in charge," Austin explained. "He makes everything just work in such a orderly fashion. Without him, it seems as if we have people all coming up with different ideas, I miss him, I'm ready for him to come back."
Meanwhile, although they had managed to put their differences aside during the Reward Challenge, Casaya once again began squabbling after they returned to camp and discovered their Survivor outhouse and shower had already been delivered. As the tribe stood around in the rain attempting to restart their fire, Aras suggested that the tribe use the structure as a "keeping things dry place" in which the tribe could store its firewood.
Unimpressed with the suggestion, Bobby Mason -- another of Aras and Shane's previous poor work ethic targets -- took it upon himself to "christen" the bathroom. His decision did not go over well with Aras and his allies. "I don't think that was a wise decision to make," a frustrated Danielle vented to her allies as they watched Bobby enter the outhouse.
Later, Casaya reveled in the fact that they had now managed to win their second challenge in a row. "Terry's gone for two days and he's going to be undernourished [with] no water... coming back for the Immunity Challenge, he's going to be weak," Shane boasted. "We've got 'em right where we want 'em. You know? Which is their leader hurt and the rest of the tribe underfed. Terry's in hell."
Over on Exile Island, Terry found "hell" to be surprisingly enjoyable, becoming the first Survivor: Panama castaway to find the island's hidden Immunity Idol. After becoming the first castaway to correctly determine that the awkward "why" references in Survivor host Jeff Probst's Day 1 verbal clue to Misty had meant that the castaways should be looking for a Y-shaped tree, Terry wasted little time using the game's third and fourth clues to determine that the idol was buried under a rock located beneath the tree.
Using his machete as a shovel, Terry dug into the ground below the rock, revealing a wooden box that contained the hidden Immunity Idol talisman. "This makes the whole trip out here worthwhile," Terry gushed. "They ended up doing me a big favor -- that Immunity Idol in my pocket is definitely [going to be] my ace in the hole."
On Day 11, Casaya once again feuded, with Shane confronting Danielle about what he perceived to be her poor work ethic. "Danielle, why do you have such an aversion to working?," Shane remarked as Danielle stood by watching as he, Aras, and Cire attempted to dig a new fire pit. The comment sent Danielle on the offensive and once again demonstrated the apparent dysfunction among the supposed allies.
Once again, Cirie took glee in the flare up. "The Danielle/Shane and Courtney/Aras foursome is like some psychotic joke, and it seems to be unraveling little by little," Cirie gushed during confessional.
Over on La Mina, the lack of food and leadership was taking its toll on the tribe. "Today's the roughest day so far," lamented Austin. "The guys are really struggling today and I don't know how much game these people have left in them," Sally, recognizing her status as her tribe's only non-allied member, vented during confessional. "It's just so frustrating, because it's my butt on the line. And if we lose another Immunity Challenge, I'm going home."
Later that day, the tribes gathered for the Immunity Challenge, where Terry rejoined La Mina but remained mum about his hidden Immunity Idol find. Tied together into pairs, four members of each tribe would have to navigate across a series of balance beams and retrieve buckets of water from the ocean. After navigating back across the beams, each bucket would then be emptied into a larger bucket, which a fifth member of each tribe would then, using a rope pulley, lift up to the crow's nest in which they were positioned. Once they pulled up the bucket, the crow's nest occupant would then empty the water into a large drum suspended by another pulley that was anchored by a sixth castaway sitting in a chair tied to the other end of the pulley rope. As the drum filled, it would raise the chair, and the winner of the challenge would be the first tribe to raise their chair high enough so that their chair occupant could yank a pin and release their tribe's flag.
The challenge remained very close throughout, however Casaya managed to edge out La Mina when Austin was extra cautious while pouring his tribe's final water bucket into the larger bucket. Austin's delay allowed Danielle to release her tribe's pin seconds before Ruth Marie pulled La Mina's -- sending La Mina back to Tribal Council for the second consecutive time and extending Casaya's challenge win streak to three.
Once back at camp, Austin began questioning whether it made sense to keep Ruth Marie, the tribe's physically weakest member, over Sally. "We can't keep losing these Immunity Challenges... we gotta have our strongest team and Sally's actually performed really well," Austin explained to Terry. "Here's the thing -- you never promised Ruth Marie, I never promised Ruth Marie, nor did Nick. You know Dan give his word and shuck his hand [but] we never made that pact with her."
Terry agreed with Austin's suggestion, a decision that shocked Dan. "I just can't believe how quickly it falls apart." Dan explained to the cameras. Austin and Terry... they're saying now that 'You had the handshake with Ruth so it's OK for us to back out' [but] we had an understanding to go to the Final 5 and to change horses midstream is a big mistake... it's crazy."
"Beware, if we take out Ruth tonight, we're down to four [allies] anyways because Sally is going to jump ship [after the merge], I don't care what she says, she'll say anything right now," Dan pleaded to Terry. "Dude, I know she'll stay with us, she wants to be in this alliance so bad," Austin countered.
"Terry [is] trying to get real technical about it, he said 'It was really just Dan's promise to Ruth Marie' and it's kinda like an easy, hollow rationalization," Nick, the fourth member of the men's alliance, lamented to the camera. "I feel bad the way it's turned, Ruth Marie is part of the five of us so I just don't want to go back on that."
Meanwhile, although she still held out hope that the men might change their decision, Sally seemed resigned to her upcoming fate. "It seems a shame to be pack up my stuff and leave here with so much left to offer this tribe," a downtrodden Sally told the camera before the tribe departed for Tribal Council.
At the same time, Ruth Marie seemed to have little idea that the men were considering cutting her out of their alliance. "I'm not walking around paranoid -- I don't think it's me tonight, so Sally will be going home unless something turns that I don't know about," Ruth Marie confessed.
Unfortunately for Ruth Marie, something that she didn't know about did happen, and while Dan remained loyal to her, the other three men in her alliance did not, resulting in Ruth Marie being voted out of Survivor: Panama via a 4-2 vote.