Ashley Trainer the sixth castaway eliminated from 'Survivor: Samoa'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/16/2009
Ashley Trainer was deemed to be the Foa Foa's physically weakest member, and Samoan monsoons thwarted her attempts to try and save herself.
The 22-year-old spa sales representative from Maple Grove, MN became the sixth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Samoa during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
"Survivor was the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life, but it was the best experience," said Ashley after her ouster.
"I learned so much about myself. I'm such a high maintenance girl at home. I never thought in a million years I'd be able to go through the things that I've gone through here. I wish that my tribe would beat Galu and take some wins and hopefully one of them can win the $1 million."
Shannon "Shambo" Waters, a 45-year-old sales representative from Renton, WA, said she was a "little disparaged" that she was the only one on her tribe to not vote for Yasmin, as she instead voted for Monica Padilla, a 25-year-old law student from San Diego, CA.
Needless to say, Monica wasn't too happy she got Shambo's vote.
"In retrospect I realize Shambo was the only person that voted against me," said Monica. "That kind of hangs over my head a little bit. So I definitely want to continue and take Sham off. She's my next choice."
The next morning at Foa Foa, the tribe received Tree Mail that hinted their next Reward Challenge would be centered on eating -- and they quickly realized it most-likely meant they'd be eating some gross stuff. Ashley was optimistic and said she'd be able to get down whatever they put in front of her.
"I'm actually pretty excited about our Reward Challenge," she said. "I'm a pretty experimental eater. I'll try everything once, so hopefully that comes to my advantage and hopefully I'm one of the stronger people on my tribe today."
However Elizabeth Kim, a 33-year-old urban planner from New York, NY, approached Russell Hantz, a 36-year-old oil company owner from Dayton, TX, and said she was "concerned" about Ashley in the upcoming challenge.
"I'm worried about you," replied Russell H..
Liz asked why, and Russell H. pointed out she previously stated it would be difficult for her to eat the gross food. They bickered about who was the pickiest eater on the tribe, and Russell H. was uneasy about the conversation.
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He went to Foa Foa leader Mick Trimming, a 33-year-old doctor from Boise, ID who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, and Jaison Robinson, a 28-year-old law student from Chicago, IL, and said he thought Liz was trying to put Ashley "on some kind of chopping block."
"Liz could be dangerous for me if she's able to manipulate others to go her way instead of my way," said Russell H. in a confessional.
"So as soon as I see somebody playing that mind game on other people, they're a huge threat because that's what this game is all about is mind games. I've got to be the only mind game player here."
The two tribes then arrived for the Reward Challenge, where they were met by host Jeff Probst. He explained the rules.
Jeff would spin the roulette-style wheel while one member of each tribe rolls a ball, which would land on different ingredients. Jeff would then blend those ingredients to make a "Samoa Smoothie."
Each time a player gulped the entire drink down, they would score one point for their tribe. The first tribe to accumulate five points would win an assortment of meats, including steaks and sausages. In addition, the winning tribe would send one of its members over to the losing tribe for a spy expedition. The person who is sent to the opposing tribe's camp would miss out on the reward.
Since Galu had three extra members, tribal leader Russell Swan, a 42-year-old attorney from Glenside, PA, decided to sit out Kelly Sharbaugh, a 25-year-old hairstylist from Wilmington, DE who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, Laura Morett, a 39-year-old office manager from Salem, OR, and John Fincher, a 25-year-old rocket scientist from Los Angeles, CA.
Both the Galu and Foa Foa members were able to drink the smoothies Jeff made during the first four rounds -- meaning it came down to Ashley and David Ball, a 38-year-old fitness instructor from Los Angeles, CA.
Dave was easily able to drink the smoothie made of sea slug guts, however Ashley struggled to get down the last few chunks. As Dave taunted her with vomit sounds, Ashley said she couldn't finish before throwing up in the bush -- allowing Galu to score the fifth and final point and claim reward. Russell S. then revealed he wanted to send Shambo to Foa Foa for a second time.
"Excuse me?" said Shambo.
"We need more info babe," he replied.
"I don't think that's very fair since I've already been," she pleaded, obviously hungry for the food.
"What do you want me to do?" asked Russell S.
"Can you spread the love for me?" she asked.
He shook his head no.
"Wow," said Shambo, who joined Foa Foa.
"Had to pay for that chicken," said Russell S., a reference to when Shambo accidentally let one of the tribe's chickens loose and they were unable to recover it.
Back at Foa Foa, Mick expressed his displeasure with Ashley in the challenge during a confessional.
"I feel like sometimes she's not carrying her weight," he said.
Ashley told Natalie White, a 26-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Van Buren, AR, that now she feels like an "easy target." Natalie told Ashley not to worry about it.
"I'm very disappointed in myself. I tried, but my body literally couldn't take it. I threw up immediately. I could not get it down," said Ashley in a confessional. "I put all the blame on myself. It sucks."
Back at Galu, Russell S. reiterated that he sent Shambo to Foa Foa because of her mistake with the chicken.
"It really sucked that I sent Shambo over to [Foa Foa] so she couldn't partake in the feast. But it really sucked when she lost our chicken," he said. "So this should clean her slate, but she had to suffer the consequences for losing a food source."
As the tribe was eager to eat, Russell S. hit a snag when he had problems lighting the fire. Dave offered some suggestions, but Russell S. was offended, stating he wasn't "in the mood for suggestions" and was instead "in the mood for help." The two bickered and Dave eventually decided to help and successfully started the fire for the feast.
"Apparently nobody here knows how to make fire but me," said Dave. "But I'm trying to downplay my awesomeness because it speaks for itself. Actions speak louder than words, so I don't need to say anything. If I'm the only guy here that can make fire, it makes me pretty valuable."
Over at Foa Foa, Shambo shared the clues to the Hidden Immunity Idol with the entire tribe. Since there were now three clues, Shambo expressed certainty that it was in the hollow of a tree near camp. However when she looked there she couldn't find it.
"She would never find it," said Russell H.. "It's in my pocket. So that's funny."
Liz then asked Russell H. point blank if he had the idol, and he said no.
"I have a feeling if it wasn't Ben it's Russell," said Liz in a confessional. "I have a feeling it's probably Russell."
She then confronted Russell H. about it, accusing him of being in that tree digging around. He didn't deny it, but added he didn't go "all the way up in it."
"You don't have to go all the way up in it. [Shambo] didn't stand up in it," countered Liz. "I'm telling you, you are lying to me."
"Why is this so much of a concern for you?" asked Russell H.. "Why are you so worried about this?"
"Because I feel like you should be honest," she replied.
"You're freaking me out right now because I'm telling you the truth and you're telling me I'm not honest," he said. "Do you want to be the one to go next?"
Liz stood there silently as Russell H. accused her of "throwing stupid stuff around."
"Liz, she gets it. She knows what's going on," he said in a confessional. "But why in the world would you threaten me. That's like slapping me in the face. You don't think I'm going to get back at you?"
Russell H. then ended the conversation with Liz.
"Let me tell you, you're walking on thin ice. Period," he said, walking away.
The rain then came, as torrential downpours hit both camps late into the night -- making sleeping miserable, especially at Galu, which previously chose blankets and pillows as a reward instead of a tarp.
"I'm actually regretting the decision to choose blankets instead of the tarp right now," opined Kelly. "This is the hardest night yet. It's bad."
Things didn't get much better the next morning, as both tribes unenthusiastically arrived for the Immunity Challenge. Jeff explained the rules.
One man and one woman from each tribe would both hold on to a rope connected to a net while members of the opposing tribe would attempt to shoot coconuts into that net. The more coconuts that fall into the net, the heavier it would become until the tribe members can no longer hold on. The tribe that could hold on to their net the longest would win immunity.
Since Galu had three extra members, Russell S. decided to sit out Dave, Shambo and Brett Clouser, a 23-year-old T-shirt designer from Salem, OR who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Holding the ropes for Foa Foa were Liz and Russell H., while Russell S. and Laura held them for Galu.
Galu got off to a quick start and never really relented -- as Ashley had a a terrible time for Foa Foa. Russell H. dropped his net first and -- while she put up quite the fight to hold on -- it was no use for Liz, who dropped the net next. Galu won Immunity, sending Foa Foa to their fourth Tribal Council.
Foa Foa arrived back at camp and -- due to the monsoon surrounding them -- they all sat in the shelter and little strategy was taking place.
"This is absolute misery," complained Jaison. "I have never in my life been this cold, had my hands destroyed and my feet look so miserable... There is nothing I want more than to get out of her."
Ashley expressed a desire to go to Tribal Council and "get this over with."
"What do you think we should do tonight? Everyone vote for who they think?" she asked.
"Does anybody in this group want to go home?" asked Russell H..
There were no volunteers and everybody sat silently with their thoughts.
"Normally before Tribal Council we all get to run around and scramble -- trying to figure out strategy," said Ashley. "But today we were all cooped up in the shelter. I can't do much about it without other people hearing."
Ashley then proposed to the group they either all vote for whoever they want and everyone brings their bags with them, or they talk about it and figure it out "so the person knows who's going home." They decided to just vote at Tribal.
Since their was silence in the shelter, CBS aired confessionals about what each Foa Foa member was thinking.
Ashley said she would vote for Liz since she hasn't trusted her since Day 1; Liz said she felt Ashley should go as the physically weakest link; Mick said he was on the fence between Ashley, Liz and Natalie and would play it by ear; Natalie said she was pretty certain it would be one of the girls; and Jaison said he was just going to go to Tribal and see what happens. Russell H. was upset he couldn't scramble.
"It bums me out that I had to stop my strategy because of the rain. It's not playing the game like I would regularly play it," he said.
"Liz asked me if I had the Immunity Idol. She just keeps telling me she don't trust me. When you come at me like that and you tell me you don't trust me, it puts a target on your back. But Liz is stronger than Ashley, so I don't really know which way I'm going to go tonight."
Foa Foa then arrived for Tribal Council, and Ashley expressed happiness at being able to sit around a warm fire.
"It sucks sending someone home but at the same time, hey, at least there's going to be a fire tonight," she said.
Mick then explained the difficulty of scrambling since they're all stuck under the small shelter and watching each other.
"You can only be so subtle," he said. "What are you going to pull somebody out in the rain?"
Jeff asked Russell H. how he was approaching the impending vote.
"We are down five people now, and I think to me it depends on who you can trust," he answered. "That's like gold in this game. But the fact of the matter is, I really trust all the people around me right now."
"And that's the problem," said Jeff.
"And that's the problem," repeated Russell H.. "Right."
Ashley agreed she also trusts everyone "to a certain extent" but said her biggest trust lies with Russell H. and Natalie. Jeff asked why she trusts Russell H..
"From the get go, he's kind of pulled me under his wing a little bit," she answered. "I kind of feel like I can talk to him. So from the get go, we've kind of had a different connection."
Liz said she also basically trusts everyone due to Foa Foa's hardships, which brought them "much closer together."
"I'm surprised that I would place so much trust in these guys," she said. "But I do."
Liz added she'd be "surprised" if she was ousted. Mick then gave a hint of who he was voting for, as he said the result of the upcoming vote would make Foa Foa "stronger in challenges." Jaison agreed and Russell H. reiterated his displeasure with the way the weather impacted strategy.
"It doesn't make sense and that's not how you play the game," he said. "But with this group, I think we're just too tight. I don't really think it's up in the air."
He was right -- as everyone voted for Ashley, who voted for Liz. Ashley then had her torch snuffed.