'Survivor' tribe sends Christine Markoski off to Redemption Island
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/22/2011
Survivor: South Pacific's Upolu tribe voted Christine Shields Markoski, a 39-year-old teacher from Merrick, NY, out of their tribe during Wednesday night's second episode of the CBS reality series' 23rd edition.
After being voted out at the season's second Tribal Council session, Christine was taken -- courtesy of the season's game-changing twist -- to Redemption Island, where she will live in exile and battle subsequent eliminees in an attempt to eventually earn the right to rejoin the competition and resume competing for Survivor: South Pacific's million dollar prize.
"I have to tell you. I don't know what happened at Tribal, but I think Coach had a heavy hand in the voting process. I don't know what Coach had in mind. I don't know what his problem was, but he's a tool," Christine said upon arriving at Redemption Island.
Survivor: South Pacific's second broadcast began with Semhar Tadesse, a 24-year-old spoken word artist from Los Angeles, CA, arriving at Redemption Island on Night 3. She admitted she was having trouble keeping her mind in check because she felt her Savaii tribe had betrayed her when they voted her out.
Meanwhile, the eight remaining members of the Savaii tribe -- Mark Caruso, a 48-year-old retired NYPD detective from Forest Hills, NY; John Cochran, a 24-year-old Harvard Law School student from Washington, DC; Whitney Duncan, a 27-year-old country singer and former Nashville Star finalist from Nashville, TN; Dawn Meehan, a 41-year-old English professor from South Jordan, UT; Jim Rice, a 35-year-old medical marijuana dispenser from Denver, CO; Keith Tollefson, a 26-year-old water treatment tech from Edina, MN; Elyse Umemoto, a 27-year-old dance team manager and former Miss Washington from Las Vegas, NV; and former Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites castaway Ozzy Lusth, a 30-year-old currently residing in Venice, CA -- were gathering their thoughts after the season's first Tribal Council session.
Cochran, who was on the chopping block before Semhar got voted out of the tribe instead for being one of the weakest members in the group, thanked everyone for keeping him around. He said he really appreciated getting a second chance and they'd begin to see a different, more hardworking side of him.
"Tonight, we decided we're going to let Cochran try to redeem himself. I really identify with his passion to play this game, but at the same time, he needs to understand that if you don't put in the effort around camp and you don't put in the effort in the challenges, then you might be the next one to go," Ozzy said.
Keith was becoming close to Ozzy and said he wanted to be in an alliance with him. However, Keith felt he had to simultaneously keep an eye on Ozzy and "watch him like a hawk" although they would be working together in the game.
On Day 4, the Upolu tribe -- which consisted of Sophie Clarke, a 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, NY; Albert Destrade, a 26-year-old "baseball/dating coach" from Plantation, FL; Brandon Hantz, a 19-year-old oil tanker crewman from Katy, TX; Edna Ma, a 35-year-old anesthesiologist from Los Angeles, CA; Christine; Rick Nelson, a 51-year-old rancher from Aurora, UT; Stacey Powell, a 44-year-old mortician from Dallas, TX; Mikayla Wingle, a 22-year-old model and Lingerie Football League player from Tampa, FL; and Survivor: Tocantins andSurvivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway Benjamin "Coach" Wade, a 39-year-old currently residing in Susanville, CA -- were figuring out their most stable alliances.
Coach had formed a seemingly strong alliance with Rick, Sophie, Brandon, and Albert, but he also got along very well with Edna. Edna admitted she wasn't one of the strongest females on the tribe and feared being at the bottom for that reason, but Coach said he'd protect her because she was loyal and loyalty was the most important aspect of theSurvivor game to him.
Meanwhile, Cochran started to help out more around the Savaii camp. Ozzy, showing his experience, decided to search the area near the beach in the hopes of finding the hidden Immunity Idol.
Ozzy -- who was eliminated from one of his prior Survivor seasons because he held a hidden Immunity Idol but failed to use it when he needed it during Tribal Council -- needed "redemption" and wanted to prove he could use the Idol wisely this time around. He ended up discovering the hidden Immunity Idol in a tree underneath a rock.
"I've had one of these in my possession before and I decided not to play it. I squandered the opportunity to get really far in that game. I am sure as hell not ever going to let that happen this time, but I can't let anybody know that I have the Idol. If anybody senses that I have the Idol, there's a very strong possibility that they're going to try to flush it out. So, if I can make it to the merge and I can use it in an opportune moment, this might be my ticket to the win," Ozzy explained.
Back at the Upolu camp, Brandon had a close connection with Coach, and as they continued to get to know each other and talk strategy, Brandon -- who is the nephew of former Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway Russell Hantz -- felt bad for lying to him about his true identity. Therefore, Brandon came clean with Coach because they had formed an alliance.
Coach was worried he'd get played again because Russell had lied to him during Heroes vs. Villains and got him eliminated as a result. He addressed his concerns with Brandon, but Brandon assured him he never would have revealed who he was if he didn't fully trust Coach.
"My jaw literally drops. It was like, 'This can't be!' And then I had a sinking feeling in my stomach because [during Heroes vs. Villains]Russell Hantz told me as a man of God, as a Christian man, that we're going to play this game together and he voted my ass off the next time he could. So it scares me," Coach said.
Meanwhile, Savaii members Jim, Keith and Ozzy went on a fishing trip and discussed their places in the game. Although Jim didn't know Keith and Ozzy had already become an alliance, he came up with the idea of forming a "three plus two" alliance in which Jim, Keith and Ozzy would be the core of the alliance with the additions of Elyse and Whitney -- who would be the first ones to go if necessary.
On Day 5 at the Upolu tribe, it was becoming more and more obvious that Brandon had some type of deep-rooted issue with Mikayla. He said he didn't like her and couldn't feel comfortable with her around. He noted she was using her "seductive" tempting ways to bring in people to her side, and there was nothing Brandon wanted more than to get her voted out of the game.
Christine went off on her own looking for the hidden Immunity Idol whether or not it resulted in her becoming a target. After a little searching, she discovered the clue to the Idol's location and was overwhelmed. She didn't know whether to tell her tribe about it or just keep it to herself.
Later that day, the castaways met Survivorhost Jeff Probst and he explained the rules to what would be their second Immunity Challenge and second Reward Challenge.
The tribe members learned that four members of each tribe would be required to race to unwind long ribbons from a very tall pole, releasing a key ring. They then must use those keys to release the other four tribe members who must work together to move very heavy crates back and forth across the platform until they could release the largest crate.
The first tribe to get its large crate on the finish platform would win immunity and be safe from elimination, while the other losing tribe would have to vote someone out -- who would then be sent to Redemption Island
In addition to winning immunity, the first tribe to complete all the tasks first would receive comfort items including pillows, blankets and a hammock, along with a clue to the location of a hidden Immunity Idol.
Although Upolu got off on the right foot and had a good lead on Savaii, Savaii ended up pulling ahead and won the challenge.
After the challenge, the tribes headed back to their camps and Coach was giving his alliance advice on how to vote at the upcoming Tribal Council.
"I think we ought to go three, three and three. Because they're going to go three and we'll split our votes three for Stacey and three for Christine," he told the group.
"We need to flush the Idol if the Idol's out there, so that's why we're going to split the votes. We're going to put three votes on Christine because I haven't forgotten what she said on Day 1, 'temporary player,' that really pissed me off. Plus, I haven't forgiven her for running around and looking for the hidden Immunity Idol. Christine and Stacey are thick as thieves, so we'll get one or the other," he explained afterwards.
Although the alliance's initial plan was to vote off Stacey, Brandon was campaigning in attempt to convince everyone to vote off Mikayla. Coach, confused as to why Brandon would want Mikayla gone when she worked hard at camp and would be a positive in the challenges because she was tough, thought Brandon was dealing with "some demons."
Brandon told Coach he found Mikayla to be a threat and he had a wife and family to think about, but Coach still struggled with the idea because he thought they needed her in the next challenge since she was their strongest female in the tribe. Coach then told Brandon he'd rather vote off Christine.
Desperate to have his desire come true, Brandon lied to Coach and told him Stacey and Christine were going to vote for Mikayla -- numbers that would change Coach's original voting plan. Brandon insisted he'd do anything to send Mikayla home.
That night, Survivor: South Pacific's nine castaways on the Upolu tribe arrived for their first Tribal Council.
Coach was not afraid to announce what his tribe had been discussing in order to get everything out on the table. He told Jeff that Stacey and Christine wanted to vote off Mikayla -- although he didn't realize the information he had been given was completely false -- and they were extremely confused about the accusation.
Christine and Stacey insisted they had never spoken about writing Mikayla's name down, but Coach confirmed he had a source and was sticking to it. Coach admitted he did not want to vote off Mikayla, but he also wouldn't reveal who told him that Christine and Stacey were voting for Mikayla, showing his loyalty.
Realizing he had sparked an argument and some hard feelings amongst his tribe members, Brandon finally spoke up and told everyone that he was the one who told Stacey and Christine to vote for Mikayla. Brandon was still not being entirely truthful because Christine and Stacey never said they would vote for Mikayla, but Coach already looked horrified over what he had learned.
The person he trusted the most in his tribe was already starting to divide the tribe and cause trouble.
The voting then commenced and Jeff revealed the votes. One castaway voted for Sophie, one tribe member voted for Edna, three castaways voted for Stacey, and four tribemates voted for Christine.
After revealing the votes, Jeff extinguished Christine's torch and she was exiled to Redemption Island, where she will attempt to survive while awaiting her competitor for the season's first duel.
The episode's closing credits later showed Stacy voted for Sophie; Christine voted for Edna; Edna, Rick and Sophie voted for Stacey; and Mikayla, Albert, Coach, and Brandon voted for Christine.