Stephannie Favor the fifth castaway voted off 'Survivor: Cook Islands'
By Reality TV World staff, 10/13/2006
Deemed to have given up on the game by the rest of her tribemates, Stephannie Favor, a 35-year-old nursing student from Columbia, SC, was voted off the island in Survivor Cook Islands' fifth episode.
Last night's Survivor: Cook Islands broadcast began with the new Rarotonga tribe having returned from the Night 11 Tribal Council in which the tribe's five women came together and orchestrated the departure of J.P. Calderon. The next day, the tribe's three remaining men were suddenly on their best behavior. "Now the game really turns on because the guys all have to watch their backs as a unit because these women could try to eat us off," Nathan Gonzalez explained to the cameras. "We're outnumbered, these women thinking they're so tight and so headstrong, you know, they think they can run the world so I got to let them know, yeah, you guys do need us."
After having previously felt that they were being burdened with more than their fair share of the tribal camp chores, Parvati Shallow and the rest of the Rarotonga women enjoyed the sudden role reversal. "It's really funny, the guys have really stepped it up since J.P. is gone," Parvati gushed. "Nate got a massive pile of wood this morning... Adam went and got five crabs... Brad went out and just went fishing -- they're just so much more manly now that the top dog is gone, I think they're definitely trying to prove themselves to the women so that the women don't try and overthrow all the guys. I love it!"
Meanwhile, the opposite was happening over at the new Aitutaki tribe, with Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi" Bui growing increasingly frustrated over some of the women's poor work ethic. "We have Sundra and we have Candice and we have Becky just sitting around -- that annoys me, they don't even try." Cao Boi vented as he watched Candice Woodcock, Sundra Oakley, and Becky Lee sit on the beach and compare their armpit hair growth. "We will keep winning our challenges I hope, but if they don't correct themselves, they will be eliminated."
Later that day, the tribes assembled for the Reward Challenge, a "strongman" competition that required the tribes to select three pairs of tribe members that would have to each hold onto ropes that kept large metal hooks from falling to the ground. Every two minutes, the remaining two members of each tribe would get to add two five pound bag to the hooks of one of the other tribe's pairs. If either member of a pair let their individual hook drop to the ground, both members of the pair would be eliminated. The last tribe to have a pair still standing would fishing supplies, spices, wine, and the right to choose which member of the losing tribe would go to Exile Island.
When the competition began, the tribes adopted completely opposite initial strategies. While Rarotonga decided to equally distribute their first few sets of weights among Aitutaki's three pairs of Sundra and Candice, Jessica Smith and Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth, and Jonathan Penner and Yul Kwon, Aitutaki opted to focus solely on Rarotonga's pairing of Nate and Adam Gentry. After eventually being loaded with thirty pounds each, Jonathan and Yul were eliminated when Yul lost his grip. Rarotonga's pairing of Stephannie and Rebecca Borman and Aitutaki's pairing of Sundra and Candice followed next, leaving Jessica and Ozzy as Aitutaki's only remaining pair. Shortly after taking on another five pounds, Jessica became unable to hold her hook up any longer, making Rarotonga the challenge's winner. After a brief celebration, Rarotonga decided to send Jonathan -- who had already been banished to Exile Island once -- off to Exile Island.
The next day, Cristina Coria's attempt fill some of the Rarotonga leadership void created by J.P.'s departure began to upset Jenny Guzon-Bae and some of her other tribemates. "Cristina thinks she's an asset because cooks our food but it's not that hard to throw together a coconut stew," Jenny told the cameras. And once Cristina attempted to partly blame Jenny for the fact that she accidentally spilled some of Adam's freshly caught octopus meat while attempting to clean it in the ocean, Jenny's frustration with Christina only grew stronger. "Cristina is coming across as our new J.P., so she better watch herself," Jenny warned.
Over at Aitutaki, Cao Boi, Jessica, and Ozzy -- realizing that the tribe's four-person alliance of Yul, Becky, Candice, Jonathan had them at a disadvantage -- attempted to use an exploration trip to another nearby island as an opportunity to get some alone time with either Candice or Sundra. But after both of the women declined their invitations to join them, the threesome decided to still paddle over to the island.
Once the threesome were gone, Yul decided to exploit the the threesome's absence for his own group's gain and approached Sundra with an offer to make her the fifth member of his alliance. After discussing the idea with Yul, Becky, and Candice, Sundra -- who had previously declined Cao Boi, Jessica, and Ozzy's invitation to join them because she suspected what they had in mind -- cautiously accepted their offer. "I'm very happy that I got over that hurdle of being the outsider and I genuinely feel that I'm a part of this alliance now, but who knows, that could change five minutes from now, I'll just have to see," Sundra later explained to the cameras during a confessional.
Meanwhile, after arriving on the nearby island and beginning to harvest its coconut trees and Noni plants, Cao Boi, Jessica, and Ozzy wandered down a jungle path and learned that they'd "discovered" Rarotonga's island. While Cao Boi, Jessica, and Ozzy found the situation funny, Rarotonga's tribe members weren't amused by the unexpected visit. "[It] was a huge shock... I didn't like it at all, I don't think they should be on our island -- this is our turf, this is our territory, they've got their own island," Adam later vented to the cameras. "It was like awkward silence, crickets chirping," Parvati commented.
After listening to Cao Boi bore them to sleep with a lengthy story about Asian symbols and rejecting his request to let Aitutaki harvest some of their island's supplies, the Rarotonga castaways sent the threesome back off to their own island empty handed.
On Day 13, the tribes met for the Immunity Challenge and Jonathan rejoined his Aitutaki tribemates. After Jonathan publicly told Survivor host Jeff Probst that he believed someone had already found Exile Island's hidden Immunity Idol, Jeff explained the water-based challenge to the tribes. An unusual challenge, the Immunity Challenge required the tribes to assemble "stepping poles" and use the poles to move two tribe members from one platform to another. Then, after both of the tribe's selected members had successfully made it to the other platform without falling into the water below and the other six tribe members had climbed up and joined them, the entire tribe had to wade out into waist-deep water and climb up a much smaller tower. The first tribe to get all of their tribe members' feet on or above the top of the small final tower would win immunity and not have to attend the evening's Tribal Council session.
While Rarotonga was the first tribe to successfully get both of its tribe members moved from one platform to the other, the difficult nature of the challenge's final segment is what decided the challenge. Although an early lead resulted in Rarotonga being in a position to attempt to climb their final tower before Aitutaki, Aitutaki moved ahead when Rarotonga's entire tribe fell back into the water as they attempted to make room for Sundra, the only tribe member still not on the platform. While Rarotonga recovered quickly, the tumble gave Aitutaki the extra time it needed to complete its own tight huddle and send Rarotonga back to Tribal Council for the second straight time.
Once Rarotonga got back to camp, Nate and the tribe's four other women quickly got together and confirmed that given how annoying she'd become, Christina would be the person they'd be voting out that evening. However, after Stephannie -- who had already made comments about how she felt she should be the one to go home before the tribe's last Tribal Council session -- told Nate that she saw herself "going home and getting some mashed potatoes and gravy," Nate began to campaign for Stephannie's ouster.
"Stephannie kinda said how she just really wanted to get some mashed potatoes, you know just kinda like that hint of 'You know, I'm done with the game," Nate later explained to the cameras. "I was like, 'Damn, this girl is done' -- you know, the other day she made that comment saying 'Vote me off guys, I think I'm the weakest link' but that was just icing for the cake today."
After Nate discussed Stephannie's comment with Brad and Adam, Brad shared the conversation with Parvati. Then, after Parvati shared the guys' concerns with Stephannie, Stephannie expressed surprise that Nate had read so much into one comment. "Me requesting mashed potatoes and gravy became table topic for everybody else at the camp," Stephannie vented to the cameras. "I was like, you know what, I might as well just keep my mouth shut. I [told Parvati] I was just having fun, I didn't expect him to take that and turn it into some big deal."
But while Stephannie told Parvati she didn't mean anything by the comment, she also appeared to be somewhat resigned to her fate and declined to pro-actively campaign for her game survival. "Yes I'd like to be here but if my efforts working for this tribe don't show that I want to be here, I'm not going to beg anyone," Stephannie commented during confessional. "I don't do that." And once the tribe got to Tribal Council, Stephannie's refusal to campaign for her survival proved costly, with the rest of her tribe voting her off in a unanimous 7-1 vote.
During her Final Words, Stephannie -- despite her earlier denials -- appeared to speak as someone who, as Nate had suggested, had decided she'd had enough of the Survivor game. "I would have loved to have stayed in the game a little while longer but if your mind's not completely there, 100%, then your tribe is going to feel that and you don't want to be a weak link to your tribe."