Brandon Bellinger the ninth castaway to exit 'Survivor: Guatemala'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/04/2005
The first victim of Survivor: Guatemala's post-merge pagonging, Brandon Bellinger, a 22-year-old farmer/rancher from Manhattan, Kansas, was voted out of Survivor during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality show.
Realizing that they would be outnumbered 6-4 in the new merged tribe, the four former Yaxha held an impromptu strategy session as they approached Nakum's camp. "Just go in there and act stupid for a little while," said Gary. "Just be like we're glad to be here," Bobby Jon suggested. "We're servants, we're gonna serve them... we're gonna work hard for them," Gary added
The foursome's sudden arrival surprised Nakum's six castaways, all of whom appeared to be sleeping. "What's going on, what happened," a waken Stephenie LaGrossa wondered. "Yaxka came here immediately after Tribal Council and basically gave us new buffs and told us there was a merge," the former Survivor: Palau contestant later explained. "We were all thrown for a loop, my head is like spinning."
While Stephenie's head might have been spinning, her fellow former Nakum tribemate Jamie Newton immediately set about stirring up trouble. "There's not room in the shelter, so hopefully you don't mind sleeping outside," Jamie remarked to Bobby Jon, the tribal rival with whom he had sparred during Survivor: Guatemala's previous tribal challenges.
As one would expect, Bobby Jon didn't appreciate the remark. "He said something smart, I'm just like 'You know dude, you... say one more thing to me [and] I'm going to knock every one of your teeth [and] slam them out of your head,'" Bobby Jon later vented to the cameras.
Day 19 had a similar tone, with the former Yaxha tribe members gathering wood as the former Nakum tribe sat around and watched. "When we came over, I didn't think they were that warm and friendly... we feel kinda like we're slaves, we know our heads are on the chopping block," Danni explained. "We'll try to do what we can do to stick around, but you feel like an outsider."
"This whole deal kinda sucks... there's four of us from the Yaxha tribe and six of them from the Nakum tribe," Brandon lamented during a confessional. "I think myself or Bobby Jon [will] probably be the first on the chopping block... things aren't looking very 'up' to tell you the truth."
After retrieving Tree Mail, the castaways learned that there was a special individual Immunity Idol hidden somewhere in the large jungle that surrounded the merged tribe's camp. "Hidden somewhere in the woods there is an idol that will give us immunity that we can use at any Tribal Council up to the Final Four," Rafe Judkins explained.
"So the search is on," Cindy Hall told the cameras. "Finding the secret immunity idol could be huge from anyone -- if you use it right, you can almost guarantee yourself the Final Four."
Although Brandon realized that he suddenly had a way to deal with the "target right on my head," he wasn't too optimistic. "It's going to be like finding a needle in a haystack, you could be looking for days and days... and still not find it."
As the castaways searched for the idol, Bobby Jon approached Stephenie and asked her to help him make it past the next Tribal Council session and onto Survivor: Guatemala's seven member jury (a milestone he fell just short of accomplishing when the two of them competed on Survivor: Palau.)
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"I don't deserve it no more than nobody else, but I just want that jury so bad," Bobby Jon told Stephenie. Although the two former Palau competitors had had their share of disagreements, Stephanie admitted that she also wanted Bobby Jon.on the jury. "If I'm on the jury, I want to be to be on it with you... so I'll do everything in my power as long as Brandon doesn't get immunity for him to go first," Stephenie told Bobby Jon. "It's going to be either him or Brandon that goes," Stephenie explained in confessional.
On Day 20, the tribe finally created a new tribal flag and decided on a new tribal name -- Xhakum (a blending of Yaxha and Nakum.) Meanwhile, the hunt for the hidden immunity idol continued, with Rafe giving up after disturbing a large next of hornets. But not everyone was searching for the idol because they felt they needed it to survive. "I've been looking for it because I don't want any of the old Yaxha to have it," Jamie bragged to the cameras.
Tired of being reminded of their second class status and having to deal with the former Nakum members' complaining, the four former Yaxha decided to go fishing. "It was just so negative here at camp... we needed to get out, go away for a little bit and go fishing," Danni explained.
Meanwhile, the six former Nakum members remained in camp and badmouthed the foursome as they helped themselves to the last of Yaxha's chocolate and honey.
"I can't believe they're all really that dumb to all go together," noted Guatemala genius Judd Sergeant boasted. "It ain't even strategic... [they] left us six here to plot our next plan," Jamie added. "Let's do this, whoever catches the biggest fish goes home first!," Judd hollered.
"I kinda of had this really sad realization, am I a member of the axis of evil?," Rafe later remarked during confessional. "Bashing people when they're not around to bring group unity is not a pretty way to play this game."
"It's like we're at war [and] we're prisoners," Brandon commented as the foursome boarded their boat. "We have to do all their bitch work and they get to raid all our resources." "They went right through our stuff when we came over, didn't even ask," Danni added. "Like a bunch of pigs," noted Brandon.
After the castaways gathered for the Day 21 Immunity Challenge, Jeff addressed the castaways' previous observations that their tribal merge had not featured a traditional Survivor merge feast. There would be a feast -- but only for those castaways who felt secure enough to voluntarily not participate in the Immunity Challenge. While all four former Yaxha members opted to compete for immunity, Jamie, Stephenie, Rafe and Lydia Morales decided to go for the meal, leaving Judd and Cindy as the only former Nakum members to participate in the challenge.
The challenge required the castaways to stand on small cube and balance a clay pot on their head, with the last person standing winning immunity. As the challenge went on, Jeff questioned the castaways about the fact that four former Nakum members had decided to sit out the competition.
"Brandon and Bobby Jon know they have a chance of going home tonight," Jamie told Jeff. "I think Judd wants to protect our lead and I respect him for it." Jamie's arrogant statements sparked a heated exchange with Bobby Jon, leaving no doubt that the new tribe remained divided. "Jamie... you just let the cat out of the bag, so clearly it's no big secret... it's [still] tribal lines all the way," Jeff noted.
"Bobby Jon, you knew you had to win immunity today... now you're giving me shit?" Jamie protested. "I'm not trying to, it's just when you start going off at the mouth, I ain't going to let you big-boy me," Bobby Jon replied.
When Jamie's comments continued, he began to upset not only Bobby Jon, but also Jeff and his own fellow team members. "Are you consciously trying to rub it in?," Jeff snapped at Jamie. "Let's just enjoy the food and not talk to them," Rafe told Jamie. Realizing Jamie's behavior was upsetting Rafe, Stephenie asked him if he was OK. "I just feel really bad... it just doesn't seem right to be like... it's the six of us and the four of you, and like you guys are screwed," Rafe explained. "Because it's not [right]," Stephenie replied.
After an hour, Gary, Brandon, Bobby Jon, Cindy, and Judd all remained in the competition, forcing the challenge into a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker required the castaways to race up a Mayan pyramid while still balancing their pots on their heads. Surprisingly, most of the castaways seemed to have little problem stepping up the pyramid while balancing a pot. In the end, Gary, Brandon, and Bobby Jon all managed to quickly near the top of the pyramid, with Gary winning immunity after Brandon and Bobby Jon lost their pots while attempting to close Gary's small lead.
Back at camp, Jamie's arrogance continued to bother his fellow castaways -- including those in his own alliance. "Dude, shut up man, shut up. Argue later or don't even argue at all man," Judd yelled at Jamie.
"Jamie did not show class at the challenge, whatsoever, I think everyone agrees on that," Cindy explained in confessional. "People are seeing this nature in him, this immaturity and they aren't liking it very much, I mean even Judd is just like 'The dude's got to keep his mouth shut.'" "We told him again and again, 'Just keep some of your thoughts to yourself'' ... it may come around and get him."
Rafe was perhaps the castaway most bothered by Jamie's behavior "Today at the feast it was like everything just crystallized in front of my eyes, I can not respect myself and go far in this game with Jamie," Rafe confessed to the cameras.
After talking with Stephenie and Judd, Bobby Jon began to feel pretty confident that Jamie's own allies would vote him out. Meanwhile, Jamie continued to taunt Bobby Jon and Brandon with comments that Brandon's head was on the chopping block. Once Jamie left, Bobby Jon tried to cheer Brandon up by revealing that based on his conversations with the rest of the tribe, he felt that Jamie was probably going to be the one going home that night.
Although excited about the idea of surviving the night's Tribal Council, Brandon had a hard time believing Bobby Jon's scenario. "Dude, I'm going to crap my pants if it works out like that," he declared.
Having failed to find the hidden immunity idol, Brandon realized that Jamie's surprise eviction would probably be the only thing that could save him. "I guess really [at the point where] I'm hoping that this one deal goes through and Jamie gets voted off rather than myself. People have been saying that the whole time, 'Look this is Survivor, things get switched around, it'll change, something will happen.'" And although he had doubted the accuracy of those comments before, much to Brandon's surprise, he now felt that "something is starting to happen."
Or maybe not. Although Rafe and Cindy both appeared to be considering joining with Bobby Jon, Brandon, Danni, and Gary to vote off Jamie as the castaways left for Tribal Council, in the end both of them decided to remain loyal to Jamie for at least one more vote, resulting in Brandon being voted out of Survivor: Guatemala in a 6-4 vote that split right along the game's former tribal lines.