'Survivor: Kaoh Rong's new Gondol tribe ousts Peter Baggenstos
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/24/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty's new Gondol tribe voted out former Brains castaway Peter Baggenstos during Wednesday night's broadcast on CBS.
After Gondol lost the Immunity Challenge, its members voted out Peter, a 34-year-old ER doctor from Minneapolis, MN, on Night 16 at the game's sixth Tribal Council session. Due to Caleb Reynolds' medical evacuation, Peter became the seventh person to leave the game but only the sixth person voted out.
"It sucks and it's heartbreaking being voted off," Peter said following his ouster.
"I understand where they're coming from, but life goes on. I'm disappointed in [Joseph "Joe" Del Campo] and [Aubry Bracco]. One million dollars is not worth my dignity or my word. Of course I'm mad, but no one is going deep on that team now and I look forward to seeing them in the next few days. If this is over stacking boxes, then I'll never hear the end of it."
In addition to Peter, the new Gondol tribe was also comprised of Aubry, a 29-year-old social media marketer from Cambridge, MA; Joe, a 72-year-old former FBI agent from Vero Beach, FL; Scot Pollard, a 40-year-old former NBA champion from Carmel, IN; Julia Sokolowski, a 19-year-old college student from Boston, MA; and Tai Trang, a 51-year-old gardener from San Francisco, CA.
The new Chan Loh tribe was made up of Cydney Gillon, a 23-year-old body builder from Douglasville, GA; Kyle Jason, a 31-year-old bounty hunter from Detroit, MI; Michele Fitzgerald, a 24-year-old bartender from Freehold, NJ; Nick Maiorano, a 30-year-old personal trainer from Redondo Beach, CA; Neal Gottlieb, a 37-year-old ice cream entrepreneur from Sausalito, CA; and Debbie Wanner, a 49-year-old chemist from Reading, PA.
The Survivor broadcast began on Night 13 with Tai saying he was happy to still have a hidden Immunity Idol in his possession because it meant he had power. Peter noted there was uncertainty as to where alliances stood.
Peter then told Tai that he's not just a Brain and he had no allegiance to Joe and Aubry considering they wanted him gone and he was on the bottom rung of the ladder. Peter revealed Joe and Aubry had pissed him off, so he told Tai they should make a move and take out Joe next.
On Day 14, Nick tried to bond more and make relationships with his new tribe. He talked to Debbie -- or rather just listened to her talk -- and said the way to gain her trust was simply to admire her. Debbie told the cameras Nick looked like "a Greek god" but it had no affect on her strategy. Nick believed Debbie had a crush on him, but at the same time, he wouldn't be surprised if she was just blowing smoke up his butt.
The two tribes then gathered and met Jeff Probst for a Reward Challenge. Julia also returned from her isolated island and joined the Gondol tribe, ultimately replacing Anna Khait.
Jeff explained one tribe member must dive down to release a bunch of buoys, and then the tribe would work together to push them back to shore. Another member from each tribe was then required to shoot the buoys one at a time into a basket. The first tribe to land 10 shots would win Reward in the form of a Survivor picnic complete with bread, meat, cheeses, tuna salad and beverages.
The end of the challenge came down to Scot vs Nick shooting baskets. Nick knew he was up against a former NBA player, so he thought he had no chance to win. However, the score was extremely close and Gondol eventually won Reward by only one buoy. It seemed like the pressure got to Nick once Scot caught up to him.
Michele, however, took responsibility for losing the challenge for Chan Loh because she had trouble untying the knot underwater and releasing the buoys.
Back at Gondol's camp, Julia was excited to enter the tribe on "good vibes" after winning a challenge. Peter assumed Julia wasn't "conniving" and therefore wanted to work with her.
Peter told Julia that Joe and Aubry were pissing him off because they previously got rid of his whole alliance. Peter noted Aubry was more important to get out because she was a stronger player than Joe. Julia was down to scheme with Peter and totally onboard -- mainly just because she didn't want to be the next castaway voted out.
Meanwhile, Aubry and Joe were watching Peter's conversation unfold from a distance and Aubry called him "a dope." She thought targeting Julia was the obvious plan that made sense for the former Brains, but Aubry grew suspicious of Peter and wondered if he needed to go next. Aubry pointed out that Julia was "miscalculating" what was going on in the tribe.
Over at Chan Loh's camp, Nick was beating himself up over losing the challenge, but everyone said he did great. Likewise, Michele blamed herself for the loss and said she was on the chopping block. Michele felt pretty down because she had also lost a close ally in Anna at the previous Tribal Council.
However, Michele was looking to start over, and so she sparked up a conversation with Debbie. Debbie told Michele that she didn't care for Jason -- because he did nothing at camp all day -- and would like to see a woman win Survivor. Michele approached Nick about taking out Jason, but he shot the idea down and admitted she was the next target.
Michele wouldn't tolerate a man speaking to her the way Nick did back at home, but she kept her cool. Nick told Michele to stick with Brawn and they'd work things out down the road. He decided to keep Michele under his wing -- an idea that disgusted Michele, who called herself an "independent woman" who doesn't need to be carried. Michele said she'd let Nick baby her only as a way to stroke his ego and ensure her safety a little longer.
On Day 16, Peter talked to Scot about getting Aubry out and then Joe because he did nothing around camp and just ate a lot. Joe was nervous because he knew Peter was after him since the start of the game. Joe told the cameras that Peter was transparently playing both sides.
As a retired FBI agent, Joe was trained to deal with people like Peter, so he confronted him with a "yes or no" question as to figure out whether Peter was trying to flip on the Brains. Peter danced around the question and said, "No," but Joe did not find him truthful or trustworthy. Joe pointed out Peter would be the next person to go if they lost the Immunity Challenge.
At the Immunity Challenge, Jeff explained each tribe had to work together to get through a series of obstacles and then two tribe members from each tribe had to use poles to knock blocks out of an overhead bin. Once all the blocks were collected, each tribe must stack them on top of the other. Jeff insisted the tribe with the best team work would win the challenge.
Gondol had a big lead on Chan Loh, but they tried stacking from the middle of the tower -- which was Peter's idea -- and the top half ended up falling. The Chan Loh tribe, however, utilized the method of stacking from the top. Debbie got on Nick's shoulders to get the job done. Although Gondol copied the strategy by Tai getting up on Scot's shoulders, Chan Loh still won by a matter of seconds.
Joe got really angry about the loss, throwing blocks everywhere. He told the cameras that keeping Peter made sense numbers-wise for the Brains if he was a straight shooter, but he was unpredictable. Joe thought it would be best to take the trouble out of the tribe before trouble was caused for him.
Back at Gondol's camp, Aubry said she didn't trust Peter, but it probably wasn't the right thing to get rid of him because then Tai, Scot and Julia would have the numbers three against two. Aubry told Joe they had to take out Julia or else the two Brains would be the next two targets. Joe was sick of Peter because he's "a big pain in the butt," but Aubry's plan made sense.
Joe then made amends with Peter, who said in turn that there would be no good reason to vote the former FBI agent off right now. Peter was rolling with the punches and knew it'd be better for him to stick with the Brains and take out Julia without stirring the pot. Peter told Scot that Joe was on edge and so they were voting Julia out.
Scot was annoyed with Peter, saying he was full of "bull" and was "a snake." Scot didn't have options on whom to vote for because the Brains intended to remain solid.
Julia was concerned and knew she was on the chopping block since she joined the tribe late in the game. Tai, Julia and Scot then agreed to vote Peter. Julia said Joe was loyal and wouldn't flip, so they needed to talk to Aubry.
Julia warned Aubry that Peter was talking to her about how he originally spoke to Tai about taking Joe out, but he changed his line of thinking and made Aubry the first target of the two. Aubry wasn't surprised Peter was trying to blindside Joe, but she was a bit shocked Peter was trying to throw her under the bus.
Peter was definitely "a wild card" in Aubry's mind, and she worried about keeping a fellow Brains member who might blindside her before she has the chance to blindside him.
Tai then talked with Aubry about how his alliance was going after Peter. Aubry thanked him for "the heads up," but Tai didn't know what she was thinking or where she stood. Tai knew the obvious move was to vote out Julia, and Scot also considered doing that because he and Tai could definitely live to see another day.
Aubry confided in Joe the plan to take out Peter now, but Joe was frustrated about Aubry's paranoia. Joe told Aubry he was voting with the Brains and going after Julia, and she shouldn't waver and second guess herself.
If Aubry flipped on the Brains and took out Peter, she could potentially lose Joe's trust. Aubry felt neither decision would end happily for her.
At Tribal Council that night, Julia noted how she had picked up on growing pains in the tribe as well as fractures among the six castaways. Aubry said people were seeing new sides of Peter and questioning where he stood. Julia then revealed the first person who "talked game" with her was Peter. Peter admitted the tribe was complex and it all came down to trust.
Side conversations then broke out, and Peter couldn't read lips or make out the whispers.
Tai whispered to Scot, "Peter?" And Scot replied, "Original. Original plan."
Aubry then asked Scot, "Her or Peter?" And Scot answered, "Peter."
Peter grew scared because the tribe was alive and dynamic. Scot then also yelled out, "Julia, original plan!" Joe looked at Aubry wondering what that original plan was.
Aubry asked Joe, "Is it her?" And Joe replied, "Mhmm."
The episode showed Aubry writing Julia's name down when she cast her vote but then crossing it out and writing Peter.
Jeff then revealed the votes. Two people voted for Julia and four castaways voted for Peter. The broadcast's closing credits showed that Peter and Joe voted for Julia, and everyone else ousted Peter.