'Survivor: Fiji' boots Stacy Kimball, reveals Final 5 castaways
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/11/2007
Yau-Man Chan made one of the biggest and most unlikely deals in Survivorhistory during last night's penultimate episode of Survivor: Fiji before wisely using his hidden Immunity Idol at Tribal Council, saving himself from certain elimination and instead giving the boot to Stacy Kimball, a 27-year-old interactive Internet producer from Montpelier, VT.
"Tonight I gambled. I was hoping Yau-Man wouldn't pull out the hidden Immunity Idol, which he did," said Stacy upon having her torch extinguished. "I don't think I've ever been tested in so many different ways. Making it 36 days is a big accomplishment, that I made my friends and family proud. I did my personal best and definitely can walk away with a big smile."
Survivor: Fiji's thirteenth and penultimate episode began at the Bula Bula camp on Day 34 with Kenward "Boo" Bernis, a 34-year-old construction worker from Lafayette, LA, clearing a path in the brush near the water well in order to eavesdrop on other castaways. Unfortunately for Boo, while he was hard at work forging the path and bragging about what a good idea it was, the five other remaining castaways were plotting to target him at the next Tribal Council.
"The plan is actually to get rid of Boo next now that [the thirteenth castaway eliminated, Alex Angarita] is gone," said Earl Cole, a 35-year-old advertising executive who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA and is originally Kansas City, KS. "You know, you want to get rid of the stronger people and the ones you're not sure you can trust. So everybody agreed that Boo would be the next person."
By "everybody," Earl meant himself; Stacy; Yau, a 54-year-old computer engineer who currently resides in Martinez, CA but was born in Hong Kong and raised in Borneo, Malaysia; Andria "Dreamz" Herd, a 25-year-old cheerleading coach from Wilmington, NC; and Cassandra Franklin, a 42-year-old civil engineer manager from Los Angeles, CA. The six remaining castaways then received Tree Mail and easily deciphered the clue to learn that their next Reward Challenge would be the car challenge -- or "car curse" as it's more infamously known.
"I ain't got a car. I'm the only one out here without one," said Dreamz. "I didn't even get my license because I didn't have a car and I feel it would be a waste of time to just have a license sitting in your pocket and no car. If we're playing for a car, and it has anything to do with strength or agility or any of that stuff, I guarantee you I'll win the car today."
The castaways guessed correctly and arrived at the Reward Challenge -- where they were greeted by host Jeff Probst -- who informed them they'd be competing for a brand new 2008 Ford Super Duty truck (after twelve seasons, General Motors decided to end its Survivor sponsorship before last season's Cook Islands edition, opening the door for Ford to take over the role this season). Split into groups of three and tied together, the castaways would maneuver over a series of see-saws; climb up and through a cargo net tower to a sand pit; dig up a hatchet and chop through a rope to release a box. The winning team would drive in the truck, delivering the box as well as a trailer carrying a mobile school office to a local Fijian School. While there, they would enjoy a picnic lunch with the children. In addition, the three winning team members also would compete against each other in a hatchet-throwing contest for the keys of the Ford Super Duty. The winner would also get to decide who would be sent to Exile Island.
The green team consisted of Dreamz, Cassandra and Earl, as they were pitted against the orange team of Yau, Stacy and Boo. The green team jumped out to an early lead and was the first to get over the see-saws and through the cargo net tower as Yau struggled to keep his balance on the see-saw. However once on the cargo net tower, Boo physically pulled his green team through a good portion of it, allowing them to catch-up at the sand pit. As sand filled the air with both teams digging wildly, Boo was the first to find the hatchet and the green team released the box, eliminating Dreamz, Earl and Cassandra.
In a battle for the truck, Boo, Yau and Stacy attempted to chop two ropes by throwing hatchets at their targets. As Boo and Yau each cut one of the ropes in their initial throws -- while Stacy wasn't even close -- Yau was able to cut the final rope and win the truck thanks to his steady hand, which has helped him in previous Fiji challenges. But immediately after winning, the wheels in Yau's head began turning.
"So I want to see if I can make a deal with the car. I'm going to negotiate a deal," said Yau to a perplexed Jeff. "First of all Dreamz, how badly do you need that car?" asked Yau. Dreamz answered, "You know how bad I need a car Yau-Man! I'm the only one out here without a car!"
Yau then made his proposition: "Okay. So here's the deal. There are six of us left now. When there are four of us left, and you and I happen to be two of the four, if you win the Immunity for that round, you will give it to me." It didn't take Dreamz long to respond, "I promise to God."
Jeff then made sure he understood the deal and wanted both Dreamz and Yau to know there was no way to enforce it and it was all based on trust. He gave the truck to Dreamz -- who went to deliver the supplies with Stacy and Boo -- while Yau decided to send himself to Exile Island.
"Yau-Man is an amazing dude... and I don't get. And I won't try," said Dreamz after Yau nominated himself to go to Exile Island. Added Jeff, "Yau-Man, you're the first person in the history of Survivor to go from winning a truck, to not having a truck and going to Exile Island. The boats waiting for you."
Yau -- who already has one of Fiji's two hidden Immunity Idols in his possession -- spent his time alone on Exile Island, but was excited that the third hidden Immunity Idol clue given to him there pretty much pinpointed the location of it back at Bula Bula. He planned on sharing the information with Earl in hopes that the two of them would both have Idols, which they had to use prior to the final four. Yau also reflected on his deal.
"I feel very good about giving Dreamz that car. Certainly that is the biggest gift I have given so far in my entire life," said Yau. "He has an opportunity to really, really change his life. I am very glad I am able to do that, even though it is based on a strategic move. My worry has been always that when I get to the final four, Dreamz will probably be there, and I need a way to get rid of Dreamz. So I made the deal with Dreamz so even when we get to the final four together, if he wins Immunity, he has to give it to me. I was very surprised he said 'Yes!' without much hesitation! By giving away the truck it's the best way to get rid of my biggest competitor and I have pretty much guaranteed myself a free pass at the final four."
Meanwhile, as Boo, Dreamz and Stacy delivered the school supplies in the pouring rain, Dreamz also looked back on the deal he had just accepted.
"I couldn't believe it... Everything was so nice about the truck, and it's all mine," said Dreamz, who was also happy to meet the school kids and deliver the supplies. "When these kids got their things for their classroom, they knew it was their next step up. I related to them 100%. But I was thinking, when Yau-Man gave me the car, what did he gain out of that? Then I thought about his strategy. If I give Yau-Man my Immunity Idol, I'm gone. The best thing for me to do is to get rid of him before he gets to the final four."
After the Reward Challenge winners returned to the Bula Bula camp, Dreamz quickly approached Cassandra about his plan to boot Yau next. While he said he would honor the deal with Yau, he still recognized the strategy behind Yau's decision, and wanted to get rid of him before the final four. Cassandra called it "tempting," but also thought Boo was a "strong threat," meaning he would still be next unless he won Individual Immunity at the next Immunity Challenge.
At the Immunity Challenge, Jeff told the castaways the rules. On platforms in the ocean, the castaways would toss a ball attached to a rope into a hoop to pull down a balance beam. From there, they'd cross to the finish. The first four would move on and do it again, with the first two to cross moving into the final round. During the final round, they'd once again lower a balance beam, then move onto another beam to a small perch. Balancing on that perch, they would use a grappling hook to fish for a buoy. The first castaway to raise their buoy would win Individual Immunity.
Dreamz mastered the first part of the challenge quickly, and was followed by Boo, Earl and Yau, who all moved onto the next round. There it was Yau's turn to move quickly -- as he was the first to reach the finals -- followed by Boo. It was really no contest in the final round, as Boo easily defeated Yau to claim Individual Immunity for the second Tribal Council in a row, as well as screw-up the rest of the castaways' plan to vote him off.
"I'm extremely stoked to win Immunity this time," said Boo after the castaways had returned to camp. "I think I noticed some disappointment, people were talking like, 'Okay, Plan B.' after I won Immunity. I'm not sure if that's the case, but I'm extremely happy that I won."
Meanwhle, Yau shared the hidden Immunity Idol clue he received at Exile Island with Earl, who quickly found the second hidden Immunity Idol inside a hollowed-out pine tree along the beach -- meaning both Yau and Earl now had their own Immunity Idols. Yau was pleased Earl found the Idol and thought it guaranteed them both a spot in the final four. But Dreamz had other ideas, conspiring with Stacy, Cassandra and Boo to vote-off Yau in the hopes that he wouldn't play the hidden Immunity Idol and would instead assume he was safe and think he could use it at the next Tribal Council.
Stacy was "concerned" she was out next now that Boo was safe, so she was definitely onboard in voting for Yau. Cassandra was a little tougher to convince due to her alliance with Earl, who is aligned with Yau. She knew there were risks and pros, but decided to join Dreamz, Stacy and Boo. Stacy acted like she knew she was going home when talking with Earl, who believed her rouse. However Yau was still on his toes, sensing something was shifting.
"I'm still very much in tune with everything that's going on around me," said Yau, adding he thought he would be safe but could never be "100% sure." Then, just before the tribe left for Tribal council Yau seemed to begin to sense what Dreamz was planning. "I have bad vibes," he whispered to Earl, who tried to silently wave off Yau's concerns with a shake of his head.
At the Night 36 Tribal Council, Jeff asked Dreamz and Yau to discuss their deal, which they did to the amazement of the jury who will determine the $1 million winner. Dreamz referred to himself as "a great man of my word," and Yau realized there was a "big target" on his back prior to the final four due to the deal. Jeff than asked Earl if it would be a "$1 million blunder" if you had one of the hidden Immunity Idols and didn't use it before being booted.
"You definitely have to gauge when you're going to need it. We're in the Top 6 so every single time we come here, you're a target," said Earl. "It's no guarantees for anything. Now we have to start eating each other, so that's when you really start to worry." With only one more question prior to the vote, Jeff asked Stacy if she was nervous it was her head that was on the chopping block. Rather than sticking to her rouse, Stacy opened her mouth a bit too much and tipped off Yau to Dreamz' plan.
"I'm worried just because I'm a late comer in this alliance," said Stacy, "and I think that before they cannibalize each other, they may want to get me out. I think that everyone wants to seem like they're playing nice, but there's going to be lines drawn and division amongst the tight-knit alliance because I don't think it's going to be a vote all one way or the other... I think it's going to be split." After Stacy's last comment, Yau's face lit-up as if an alarm had sounded in his head. The six remaining castaways then cast their votes.
"If anybody has the hidden Immunity Idol and feels they need to play it, now is the time to do so," said Jeff. Boo, Stacy, Earl, Dreamz and Cassandra all had their eyes glued on Yau -- who after a moment of hesitation and to Earl's apparent surprise -- whipped out his hidden Immunity Idol, rendering all votes cast against him as void. It's a good thing he played the Idol, as Stacy, Dreamz, Boo and Cassandra all voted for Yau, while he and Earl voted for Stacy, meaning she was eliminated and the seventh Fiji castaway to join the jury. All Dreamz could do was hold his head in his hands with a sad look on his face.
Survivor: Fiji will air its special two-hour finale on Sunday, May 13 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. Immediately following the finale at 10PM ET/PT, Fiji will air its one-hour reunion special.
(Photo credit Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)
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