Tyson Apostol the ninth castaway eliminated from 'Survivor: Tocantins'
By John Bracchitta, 04/24/2009
After 27 days in the Brazilian Highlands, Tyson Apostol became the ninth castaway to be eliminated from Survivor: Tocantins during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
"Sneaky bastards, now I know how [Brendan Synnott] feels," the 29-year-old bike-shop manager and former professional cyclist from Linden, UT said following his blindside elimination. "I thought I had my game in the bag, but I probably shouldn't have been as confident or gullible. Good luck to everybody, I guess everybody deserves to be there. You beat me , that's a huge accomplishment."
"That bothers me that [Sierra Reed] will be here longer than me. it's a little weird being outfoxed by an idiot, but I'm not crying over it," he added.
Survivor: Tocantins' ninth episode began on Night 24 with Sierra, a 23-year-old model from Los Angeles, CA, and the rest of the castaways returning from a Tribal Council session in which she'd seen Brendan, her closest ally, unexpectedly be voted out of the game.
The blindside of Brendan, a 30-year-old entrepreneur from New York, NY, had been orchestrated by Tyson and Benjamin "Coach" Wade, a 37-year-old soccer coach and part-time orchestra conductor whom Brendan and Sierra had been trying to vote off with a failed Tribal Council blindside of their own.
"Obviously I'm the next one to go, so let's just try to make these next couple days congenial, I guess. Whatever," a dejected Sierra told her tribemates upon returning to Forza's camp.
She also took Coach aside and attempted to make amends by saying she had not originally planned on voting for him. However Coach was unwilling to forgive her and her attempts to justify her decision to turn on him.
"I knew Sierra would want to assuage her guilt, massage it, make herself feel rationalized and justified inside," Coach said after meeting with her. "That's what we do when we make poor decision in life."
The next day, Sierra tried her hand at talking to Tyson about the Tribal Council session. However, after attempting to apologize and make sense of her decision by saying not had not been her idea, Tyson dismissed her by saying she was simply "scrambling" and "back pedaling."
"I'm not trying to scramble Tyson," she shot back. "I'm trying to explain my side so it doesn't look like I was the mastermind behind it."
"I don't think you were the mastermind, I don't think you're smart enough for it," Tyson responded dryly before laying out how he was certain the game would play out. "I'm gonna be 100%, straight honest with you right now. You're gonna be the next to go. "You're not gonna be able to change that."
Later that day, the castaways met Survivor host Jeff Probst for their Reward Challenge and learned that they would be split into two teams of four. After each team's members ran through a course two-at-a-time to collect one of four puzzle boards, the team would then have to mount the boards so that seven vowels located on small signs nearby were visable through seven holes in the boards.
Once they'd discovered all the vowels, the contestants would then mix the seven vowels with seven consonants and spell out a four-word phrase. The first team to uncover the phrase -- "You've Won A Feast" -- would win a day of local entertainment and cuisine from a group of local capoeira martial arts experts as well as the chance to send one of the opposing team's members to Exile.
Following a random draw, Tyson; James "JT" Thomas Jr., a 24-year-old cattle rancher from Samson, AK; Erinn Lobdell, a 26-year-old hairstylist from Waukesha, WI; and Debra "Debbie" Beebe, a 46-year-old middle-school principal from Auburn, AK, became the Red team while Coach; Sierra; Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George, a 37-year-old from Nashville, TN; and Stephen Fishbach, a 29-year-old corporate consultant from New York, NY, formed the Black team.
After jumping out to an early lead, the Red team proceeded to beat the Black team handily to win the day of local entertainment. The team also heeded JT's suggestion to send Stephen to Exile in order to prevent any possibility that Sierra would get a chance to re-find the hidden Immunity Idol that Brendan had failed to play before being voted out of the game.
While the Red team enjoyed their day with the capoeira instructors, Erinn ran into some stomach issues when she tried to learn the fast paced martial art, which requires numerous dance-like movements, after gorging herself on food.
"I was like the little kid that eats pizza and ice ream and the gets in the playland balls and jumps around too much and then can't understand why they threw up," Erinn said with a laugh later.
Stephen's time in Exile wasn't much better as he wasted away the time in the sun after discovering Brendan's hidden Immunity Idol hadn't been re-hidden after his ouster.
"I'm here for nothing," Stephen lamented.
Prior to leaving for the Immunity Challenge on Day 27, Sierra made one last chance to patch things up with Coach. However, while he told her that he would like to give her another chance, he added that it just wasn't going to happen.
"It kills me to see this kid here asking me to throw her a bone because she's going through so [many] trials," he added later. It breaks my heart."
The tribe then gathered with Jeff in the rain for their Immunity Challenge where they learned that they would be playing a modified version of shuffleboard with each tribe member given three pucks and told to push them with their hands at a target. The contestant who was able to get their puck closest to the target would be awarded immunity at the upcoming Tribal Council.
However the contestants were given an additional option to sit out the challenge -- forfeiting any chance at winning immunity in the process -- and instead eat pizza for however long the challenge lasted.
Stephen, JT and Coach all decided to sit out the challenge and eat, somewhat angering Tyson, who had won the game's first two individual Immunity Challenges and felt it was now up to him to make sure Sierra didn't win immunity and throw a wrench into his alliance's plan to vote her out next.
"So Coach is hungry enough to quit a game and eat pizza. When do I get my pizza dude?" he asked later. I've been winning all the challenges you know? They should let me have pizza and not let me worry about sealing the deal to get rid of Sierra."
After beginning the challenge weakly, Tyson was able to take the lead going into the final round thanks to a helpful bump from Sierra's second puck. However, although Sierra came through in the clutch and took the lead by knocking Tyson's pucks away from the target during her third and final turn, Debbie subsequently knocked Sierra's puck away from the target and won immunity for herself.
'What I needed to do was win that Immunity Challenge and it didn't happen," a dejected Sierra said following the challenge. "So part of me is like that's my fate, but there's a large part of me that prays for a miracle."
Upon returning to camp, Taj seemed to answer Sierra's prayers when she told Erinn and Stephen that, given his recent individual Immunity Challenge performances, they should vote Tyson off while they had the chance.
Erinn -- who felt she had lost her own only ally in the game when Joe Dowdle had to be medically evacated from the game days earlier -- quickly agreed to the plan.
"Tyson is such a physical competitor that he may win every challenge out here," Erinn said later. "We got lucky today and someone else won. We have to get rid of Tyson and this might just be the chance to do it."
However when approached by Stephen, JT seemed less sure about the idea.
"That's a big move, I hate to make it this early when we still got Sierra," JT told Stephen.
As the discussions continued, both Tyson and Sierra seemed unaware of any potential voting change and left for Tribal Council all but certain of their fates.
"Tonight's Tribal Council is going to be awesome, I'm hoping that Sierra will cry a lot," Tyson boasted.
After arriving and meeting with Jeff, Sierra confirmed that she had not liked the previous elimination of Brendan and seemed certain that she would not be in the competition much longer.
"Unfortunately I'll probably go home due to the choices that I made. But if it's my time it's my time, and no one is blindsiding me today," Sierra said as she cracked a smile.
Ironically, Tyson followed Sierra's verbal surrender by boasting that he was sure he would not be eliminated.
"I'm feeling pretty comfortable. The people I've aligned myself with are the people I trust," he said. "I'm also happy that Debbie won [the Immunity Challenge] and when you can't win yourself it's to see someone you love win."
After being prodded by Jeff to clarify what he meant by speaking so highly of Debbie, Tyson added that he "loved" most of the castaways and then individually listed everyone but Sierra.
"So your vote's pretty clearly [for] Sierra," Jeff added with a smirk.
After being interrupted by Tyson during a later answer, Sierra added more fuel to the feud between the two by telling Jeff about Tyson's numerous attempts to put her down and insult her as well.
"Tyson always likes to badger me, and that's the way that Tyson is. he's sort of a smart ass. I don't think half the things he has to say are very funny," she said. "But he's never been really nice to me and that's fine."
"I've never really felt any close bond with Sierra," Tyson responded. "I mean I try to be friendly and cordial but when I'm done listening to her talk I'm done listening."
The castaways then cast their votes for whom they would like to eliminate as Sierra and Tyson both sat with differing emotions of worry and confidence. However, both of their expressions slowly trade places as Jeff gradually revealed that Sierra had received three votes -- from Tyson, Coach and Debbie -- that Tyson had been blindsided with five votes -- from JT, Erinn, Taj, Stephen and Sierra -- and had been eliminated from the competition.
"Another Tribal Council, another blindside," Jeff said following the elimination. "This is shaping up to be a battle to the end."
The next episode of Survivor: Tocantins will air Thursday, April 30 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.