Bobby Mason becomes the fifth castaway to exit 'Survivor: Panama'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/03/2006
Done in by his tribe's women's belief that he couldn't be trusted to remain loyal to them once Survivor: Panama's tribes merged, Bobby Mason, a 32-year-old attorney from Los Angeles, CA , became the fifth Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island castaway to be eliminated from the game
Last night's CBS broadcast of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island's fifth episode began with the La Mina tribe having returned from the Night 11 Tribal Council session in which, betrayed by an existing alliance that she had joined only a couple of days earlier, Ruth Marie Milliman was voted out of the game.
The next morning, Sally Schumann -- the La Mina member that would have been voted off if the tribe's four-man alliance hadn't decided to go back on their agreement with Ruth Marie -- was excited to be the last woman in the now five-person tribe.
"[It is a] pretty proud moment for me to be the last girl standing on this tribe," Sally admitted to her tribemates as they woke the following morning. "Ruth Marie ended up getting the votes and was sent hime and I'm telling you, I have never felt so good in my whole life," she later added during confessional. "The fact the four men who have a very tight alliance made a decision that I was valuable enough to keep around felt pretty darn good."
Over at Casaya, rather than continue to attack each other, a member of the tribe's unstable four-person alliance finally chose to vent their frustration on one of their non-allies, with Aras Baskauskas taking Bruce Kanegai (who he had previous lauded as a good worker) to task for building a zen rock garden while he and fellow allies Shane Powers and Courtney Marit struggled to start a fire.
"While we were making a fire, Bruce built a rock garden, it was just a question of whether it was the approproate thing to build at the time," Aras explained. Afterward, Aras regretted his behavior. "I definitely shouldn't have yelled at Bruce and I felt bad about that -- it was just a matter of whether the tribe need a rock garden or a fire."
On Day 13, the tribes assembled for the Reward Challange -- a comical "bucket brigade"-style competition in which the one member of each team had to wade out to a boat containing food supplies, retreive a food item, and then toss it to a second tribemember, who would then continue to toss it from one tribemember to the next until it reached the final tribemember who would then toss it into the appropriate food bin. Once the current food item was in its correct bin, the "retreiver" could wade back out to the boat and retreive the next food item.
Each tribe would have to retreive eight items -- a bag of rice, a bag of beans, and then six enormous fish. Once a fish got to the end of the line, the last person would have to use a butcher's cleaver to chop of the fish's head and tail before throwing the body into the bin. The first tribe to get all eight items correctly into their bins would receive a huge food reward -- the right to keep all the food they had just tossed as well as some spices, wine, and cooking oil -- while the losing tribe would be able to keep either the bag of beans or the bag of rice but also see one of its members sent to Exile Island.
Although Casaya got off to a slight lead when the tribes were tossing their beans and rice, they quickly fell back behind when Bruce struggled horribly while attempting to chop off the head of their first fish. "Bruce...," Shane openly lamented as he watched helplessly as Bruce continued to hack away at the fish.
With Bruce clearly not suited for the job, Casaya swapped Bobby into the role. Bobby appeared to take to the role like he'd been butching fish all his life, taking massive but accurate swings that frequently severed the fishs' heads and tails with only a single swing.
Powered by Bobby's butchering, Casaya slowly closed the gap on La Mina and pulled back into a slight lead when Sally repeatedly failed to handle one of the slippery fish that Dan Barry was tossing her. Although Terry Dietz made a valiant attempt to quickly chop up his own tribe's last fish when Bobby had appeared to tire as he chopped Casaya's final fish, Terry ultimately proved no match for Bobby The Butcher, resulting in Casaya winning its fourth straight challenge.
As the winning tribe, Casaya was allowed to determine which La Mina member would be sent off to Exile Island. As they did last time, Casaya once again selected Terry, La Mina's clear leader. Before he left for exile, Terry made one more leadership decision for his tribe, telling survivor host Jeff Probst that as the challenge's losers, his tribe would opt for keeping their bag of beans.
When Casaya arrived back at camp, Mother Nature had a cruel surprise for them -- a rainstorm had flooded their camp, making it impossible for them to start a fire and cook the nearly 100 pounds of fish they had won. "We have rice, we have beans, we have wine, and we have a ton of fish but we can't cook it, we don't havee any dry wood for fire," Cire Fields explained.
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Hungry for food and worried that their fish would soon spoil, Casaya decided to eat the fish raw. "We're just cutting it up and eating it as raw fish, sushi," Aras explained. Although unconvinced of the wiseness of the move, Cirie -- who had never eaten sushi -- went along with it. "Eww, I've never eaten raw fish -- I hope I don't wake up in the morning with some kind of sickness or something, but they say it's okay to eat," Cirie explained later.
That same afternoon, some of La Mina's members began to feel the repercusions from Terry's decision to select the bag of beans as his tribe's consolation prize. Desperate for food after nearly two weeks of hunger, the tribe quickly cooked some beans and dug in. Shortly thereafter, La Mina castaways Austin Carty and Nick Stanbury began feeling the largely predictable gastro-intestinal side effects. "Oh god, I gotta go again... god, this sucks," Austin lamented later that night. "The beans we ate got myself as well as Austin really sick... the gastro-intestinal details probably shouldn't be discussed at this time," Nick related to the cameras in between late night trips into the nearby jungle.
Meanwhile, some of Casaya's members were also making use of their own camp facilities, but in a different way. Claiming that the rest of their tribe members had "stolen" their places in the tribe's dry shelter, Casaya outsiders Bruce and Bobby spent the night hanging out in the tribe's "Casa de Charmin" outhouse and enjoying the tribe's last bottle of wine.
"They just do whatever they want to do... they don't think of other people," an inebriated Bruce remarked to Bobby. "I can't fake it, I can't bond with everybody," responded Bobby. "If we get to a merge in their group, I'm bouncing [to] whoever's over there."
Bruce appeared to have no issue with Bobby's plan to, should he make it to Survivor: Panama's merge, swap allegiances and join La Mina's voting block. "I will never vote you out, ever," said Bruce. "Oh yeah, same with you," responded Bobby.
The next morning, Courtney made it clear that Bruce and Bobby's decision to drink the tribe's final bottle of wine had upset some of their fellow tribe members. "It was really bad judgement of Bobby... we all worked really hard for that wine out here , it's like super-special and now none of us really trust Bobby," Courtney explained to the cameras. "I would have to be dead and someone would have to pour it down my throat for me to drink the last bottle of wine that we as a tribe won," added Cirie.
However, although he recognized he had probably made a poor decision, Bobby made it clear that he wasn't particularly interested in listening to Courtney's complaint. "Courtney definitely had a right to be upset, I just don't need to hear it," Bobby later explained. "I really don't care what she thinks, she's probably one of the two or three most annoying people in the history of the world."
On Day 14, the tribes gathered for the Immunity Challange, before which Terry rejoined his La Mina tribe. A land and sea combo, the challenge required three members of each tribe to paddle out offshore and locate four sunken coffins. Once they'd located each coffin, one of the three castaways would have to dive down to the coffin, untie a rope keeping its lid shut, and retreive a skull puzzle piece located inside. Once all four puzzle pieces had been retreived, the threesome would paddle back to shore, where two other tribe members would assemble the pieces into a three dimensional skull pyramid. The first tribe to currently complete their skull pyramid and top it with a special gold skull would win immunity.
La Mina quickly got off to a huge lead, with Terry and Dan quickly diving down and freeing all four of their team's puzzle pieces as Nick navigated their boat. Although La Mina was already headed back to shore before Casaya had even retreived its thrid skull, Casaya managed to close the gap when Sally and Austin struggled to correctly assemble the puzzle. However although Sally and Austin's struggles gave Shane and Bobby a chance to take a stab at assmebling their own puzzle, they ultimately proved no more adept at the task, allowing Sally and Austin to -- mostly through trial and error -- become the first team to correctly assemble their puzzle and win immunity for their tribe.
Once they got back to camp, Shane, Aras, and Courtney began to discuss who should go home. Similarly to his behavior the last time Casaya was facing Tribal Council, Shane took it upon himself to declare who was going home. "Bobby, OK -- no other discussion, Bobby goes down on the tarp," he told his allies.
However Aras challenged Bruce's decision, citing Bruce's erratic behavior and Bobby's physical strength as an asset during challenges. "We can not control Bruce -- can't," Aras explained to his allies. "What does Bruce bring to the table that Bobby doesn't -- nothing."
Although he called the idea "really stupid" and warned that it would "end up costing us," Shane agreed to Aras' plan to instead vote off Bruce. "I don't care, whether you guys want."
Later, Shane explained his reasoning to the cameras. "Bobby came from the young guys' camp to begin with. If we get to the merge and Austin and Nick are still around, I've always been worried about Bobby joining back up with them, so that was the reason I didn't want Bobby to make the merge."
But with his alliance having seemingly overruled him, Shane approached Bobby and informed him that he would not be getting voted off that evening and forced Bobby to join him in "swearing on my kid" that the two would remain loyal to each other until Survivor: Panama's Final 6.
However unfortunately for Shane, Aras, Courtney, and himself had neglected to discuss their plan to boot Bruce with Danielle DiLorenzo, the fourth member of their four person alliance. And once Cirie made her aware of Aras' plan to vote off Bruce, Danielle wasted litte time in formulating a plan of her own.
"Aras wanted Bruce gone [and] I just didn't feel comfortable with that, I wanted Bruce to stay and I wanted Bobby to go so I took control and I said 'This is not what I want,'" Danielle later explained to the cameras. Together with Cirie and Courtney, Danielle attempted to convince Shane to switch his vote back to Bobby and knock Aras from his growing position of power. However Shane refused to budge, citing his new pact with Bobby.
"Everyone is out of their mind, there's nothing I can do, I told everybody initially that Bobby should go and then they all freaked out and said NOTHING -- they're like women, you know what I mean -- and now they're going back to Bobby so it's like, you know, who knows," Shane vented to the cameras before Casaaya left for their Tribal Council session.
Ultimately, the tribe proven just as fragmented and dysfunctional as their pre-Tribal Council scheming and daily camp life had previously indicated, with Danielle, Courtney, and Cirie conspiring to vote off Bobby via an unusually fragmented 3-2-1-1 split decision that saw Bobby, Bruce, Courtney, and Aras all receive votes. "This is a throw-away vote, it doesn't mean anything, I'm trying to make my vote go away," Shane had whispered as he cast his vote for Aras.
Meanwhile, Bobby's Final Words made it clear that there was no love lost between himself and his tribemates. "I really don't know what to say... I could have played it differently but the truth was I just couldn't stomach a lot of these jokers," he said. "People at Casaya were bonded together out of weakness, out of desperation -- Courtney, Danielle, Shane, they're spinless little twerps, all of them, and just being around them made me want to throw up."