'Survivor: Gabon' eliminates both Ace Gordon and Dan Kay
By John Bracchitta, 10/31/2008
Ace Gordon, a 27-year-old fashion photographer and Cartier jewelry salesman from Naples, FL, and Dan Kay, a 32-year-old lawyer from Walpole, MA, became the seventh and eighth castaways eliminated from Survivor: Gabon during last night's broadcast, the victims of a twist that resulted in both their tribes being sent to Tribal Council.
"This pretty much blows. There's a definite level of disappointment in relation with Sugar," Ace said of his former ally's betrayal that led to his elimination. "Baby I respect you, I wish you the best. C' est la vie."
"[I've got] a lot of mixed feelings right now, a little disappointed that I didn't make it further in the game," Dan said after his ouster. "On the other hand, it feels good to be able to be myself, and I got some great fiends and family that I get to go back to, so that's really about it."
Survivor: Gabon's seventh episode began on Day 19 with the Fang tribe beginning to lose hope after the Tribal Council session in which they had eliminated Kelly Czarnecki. Matters where only made worse for the tribe when Crystal Cox, a 29-year-old Olympic gold-medalist track athlete from Durham, NC, accidentally spilled some of their dwindling rice supply on the ground.
"Rice is more valuable than gold, and she just clumsily trips over and spills it," said Matty Whitmore, a 29-year-old personal trainer from Pacific Palisades, CA. "I wanted to just lay into her and chew her out but I didn't, it's just pointless. You can't cry over spilled milk, it's too late".
Crystal felt bad for spilling the rice, and proceeded to skip her next meal so her tribemates could have larger portions.
At Kota's camp, Dan's ongoing insecurity regarding his tribal status led to him digging himself into a deeper hole.
"I think Charlie and Marcus and Corrine seem very, very tight, and at times almost exclusive," said Dan, a former Fang member that had joined Kota as part of the game's Day 10 tribal reshuffling. "I'm just the type of person that I'm always gonna feel a little bit vulnerable, a little bit insecure.
Dan tried to explain his insecurities to Marcus Lehman, a 28-year-old doctor from Atlanta, GA, and Corinne Kaplan, a 29-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Los Angeles, CA, however he didn't help his case.
"I would say Dan is socially inept in a lot of ways," said Corrine after speaking with Dan. "I'm not sure if he's a 'former fatty' or why he wasn't liked as a child, but deep down inside he's a little kid that's seeking approval."
Later that day the tribes met Survivor: Gabon host Jeff Probst for their next Reward Challenge, which required each tribe play a game of "keep away" at the same time, with three members of one tribe tossing a breakable ball back and forth while a member of the other tribe tried to break it.
Whichever tribe was able to successfully break the other tribe's ball first would receive a point. The first tribe to receive three points would win the supplies for a picnic and a helicopter ride to a "beautiful location" in Gabon and the opportunity to send a member of the opposing tribe to Exile.
The Kota tribe coasted to another easy victory, beating Fang 3-0 as they continued their dominance in the competition's challenges.
After receiving their picnic supplies, Kota's tribe members once again decided to send Jessica "Sugar" Kiper, a 29-year-old pin-up model and actress from Brooklyn, NY, on an unprecedented fifth-straight trip to Exile.
"Sugar this is unprecedented, I don't think we've ever had someone sent to Exile five times back, to back, to back, to back, to back," Jeff noted.
"I'm here to break records," Sugar responded with a smile.
Kota then boarded the helicopter and took in the scenery while taking part in a picnic next to a large crater. Midway through the picnic, the tribe members were also happy to discover that they'd also received letters from home.
After returning to Fang's camp, Matty complained openly to his tribemates about the tribe's inability to win and the toll it was taking on him.
"I don't think in my entire 29 years of living that I've ever been so embarrassed," Matty said. "I'm humiliated, how pathetic."
After commenting on how useless Sugar had been in the challenge, Matty asked Ace to meet with him out on the boat where he tried to convince Ace that it was time for Sugar to go and that it could be done without Ace having to betray her if they could convince Kenny and Crystal to vote for her along with him.
"Sugar's gone and it's you and I to the merge 100%. There's no question" Matty told Ace. However, Ace wasn't receptive to his suggestion because Sugar had the Immunity Idol.
"It's in our possession, don't you see the logic in that?" Ace responded before suggesting that they try to eliminate Crystal instead.
Back at camp, Crystal told Ken "Kenny" Hoang, 22-year-old professional video gamer from Westminster, CA, that she was well aware that Matty and Ace wanted to eliminate her. Kenny suggested that he would speak to Sugar after returning from Exile and try and convince her to blind side Ace and -- along with his and Crystal's votes -- eliminate him at their next Tribal Council.
While away in Exile, Sugar said that she had remained loyal to Ace so far in the competition, but seemed to imply that she had a plan of her own as the competition progressed and hoped her tribemates weren't conspiring against her back at camp.
"I think my tribe thinks I'm naive and sticking with [Ace], how stupid of me. But I'm sticking with him because he's the strongest player at this point, so I just hope that they're not all screwing me around," she said while sitting in Exile's shack.
On Day 21, the teams met for their Immunity Challenge. Once there, Jeff surprised them with the news that both tribes would be heading to Tribal Council later that evening and that they would be competing for individual immunity instead of tribal immunity in the upcoming challenge.
The challenge required that each castaway take part in a log-rolling tournament, with castaways randomly paired against each other and the last person standing after three rounds winning immunity.
After the first round matches were done, six castaways remained and competed against each other to get into the final three=person round.
After Ace barely beat out Charlie Herschel, a 29-year-old lawyer from New York, NY; Marcus outlasted Randy Bailey, a 49-year-old videographer from Eagle Rock, MO; and Sugar surprised Robert "Bob" Crowley, a 57-year-old physics teacher from South Portland, ME, by beating him; the three remaining castaways took place in one group log roll to decide the winner.
Following a long matchup between the three, Marcus prevailed to win immunity.
After his win, Jeff told Marcus that he had also won the ability to assign immunity to one member of the Fang tribe. Marcus decided to give it to Sugar, and later he explained his motives for doing so.
"My hope is that Sugar is smart enough to keep the Immunity Idol to herself and that might end up giving us one of our biggest surprises, which would be losing a big power player from the Fang tribe in Ace, Matty or Crystal," Marcus explained later.
Upon returning to Fang's camp -- and well aware that his future in the competition was dependent on keeping Crystal in the game and getting rid of Ace -- Kenny found Sugar told her that the tribe's plan in the upcoming Tribal Council was to vote her out because they felt she was dumb.
He also added that Ace had said he had her "wrapped around his finger" and would try to take the Immunity Idol from her and vote her out.
While she was unsure if Kenny was being truthful, Sugar told him she'd be willing to join him and Crystal in voting to eliminate Ace.
"I don't trust Kenny, he might have been lying to me," Sugar said following the meeting. "But I've been trusting the biggest snake in the game so far and I've known that, so I really don't know who to trust at any point in this game."
"She may be the pinup girl, but she's very smart," Kenny said of Sugar after the meeting.
Prior to going to Tribal Council, Ace attempted to borrow the Immunity Idol from Sugar in case his tribemates "decide to play the double cross." However, Sugar was lukewarm to the idea and said she would think about it. Instead, she attempted to reassure him that he would not need it because Kenny and Crystal would be the only ones voting to eliminate him.
Meanwhile, over at the Kota camp, Dan sought out Marcus to see if he was on the chopping block and received what seemed to be a vote of confidence from him when he said that Susie Smith, a 47-year-old hairdresser and assistant teacher from Charles City, IA, would be the person being eliminated at Tribal Council.
"Not that I know of, given the fact that everyone's voting for Susie," Marcus responded when Dan asked if he was in danger of being voted off.
Dan later said that he was aware he still could be up for elimination at the upcoming Tribal Council and said that either way, his tribemates' votes would show him how he was perceived in the tribe.
"Right now would be an optimal time to get me out, as a strong player," Dan said. "So basically it's a huge vote for me. I'm either gonna come back here and trust everyone or I'm gonna be at home eating a pizza."
Marcus later spoke with Corrine, Charlie and Randy -- who, despite being a former Fang tribe member, had somehow managed to replace Bob as a member of the "Kota 4" alliance -- where they criticized Bob and Susie but felt Dan had the least to offer the tribe.
"As annoying as Bob is, I see him as loyal and trustworthy as the day is long," said Randy.
"Right now I can't say the same thing about Dan, but I'm closer to saying that about Susie," Marcus added.
However, Susie did not help her case when she admitted to Corrine that she had been planning to vote her out while speaking about the upcoming Tribal Council with her.
"This moron has decided that she'd like me to go, really!?" an angry Corrine said after the conversation. "I hate her, I hate her, hate her, hate her. I really wanna stab her in the face, and if you piss me off, you've pissed off my alliance."
Corrine spoke with Randy and tried to drum up support for her ouster instead of Dan's. Randy agreed that Susie was a problem because "her game is no game, and the problem with no game is that her vote can be bought."
Corrine plead her case with Marcus and Charlie as well, but didn't receive a overwhelming support for her new plan to vote off Susie instead.
"We're at the point where I think either decision has incredible risks associated with it," Marcus said. "Thank God we have a two person advantage at this point."
That evening at Kota's Tribal Council, Marcus told Jeff that the tribe's decision would still be based on whatever was best for their tribe and not what was best for each individual.
"I think we're basing our decision on what were expecting to come in the next few days," Marcus said. "We've got to surround ourselves with a powerful group of people. That's the only way we're gonna survive an onslaught from the rest of the Fang tribe."
Susie drew Corrine's ire when she thought that Corrine had a weaker upper body than her.
"I don't wanna insult her, I think that she is very skilled and that she does have athletic talent," Corrine responded. I think I've got a lot to offer, I think I've got upper body strength, I think I've got a lot of things."
"I don't know if we're making the right decision or if I'm personally making the right decision. I hope that I am," she added before Jeff had the tribe vote.
Jeff then revealed the tribe's vote and said that -- with votes from Bob, Susie, Corrine, and Charlie -- Dan had been eliminated over Susie 4-3.
At Fang's Tribal Council, Kenny guessed that the tribe had lost about a day and half of their five remaining days of rice when Crystal had spilled it.
"The rice is valuable, it's the most valuable thing we have. We get about 6-8 spoonfuls of rice a day," Matty added. "And she spills the rice and nobody goes 'God Crystal! What are you doing?"
Crystal objected to Matty's comment, as well as subsequent Ace statement in which he said Crystal had imagined that her tribemates were mad at her.
"Oh so I'm delusional!" Crystal responded angrily.
Sugar added that she felt her tribemates' petty arguments had been the reason that they had been so unsuccessful in working together as a team.
"This sounds like such petty bullcrap to me. I think that we can get past our issues better than this," Sugar told Jeff. "This is why we haven't been winning, because people are holding these stupid petty things against each other."
Jeff then had the tribe vote and subsequently revealed that -- with votes from Kenny, Crystal, and Sugar -- Ace had been narrowly been eliminated over Crystal 3-2.
"Thanks Sugar," Ace whispered uas he walked towards Jeff to extinguish his torch while she, Crystal and Kenny all held back smiles and Matty looked confused.
"Well based on the reaction from Ace, I'd say that was a blindside," Jeff said following the elimination. "21 days in and Fang is finally starting to play this game."
Survivor: Gabon's next episode will air Thursday, November 6 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.