Cindy Hall the fourteenth castaway to exit 'Survivor: Guatemala'
By Reality TV World staff, 12/09/2005
Becoming the third victim of her own increasingly traitorous alliance, Cindy Hall, a 31-year-old zoo keeper from Naples, Florida, was voted out of Survivor: Guatemala during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality show.
"I just don't know why no one asked me," Cindy explained. "I just don't want to follow in Jamie and Judd's footsteps, the pattern makes me nervous. You didn't tell Judd that you were voting Jamie [Newton] out and now Jamie's gone and the you didn't tell me that you were voting Judd out and now Judd's gone, so where does that put me? Next thing you know I'm going to be gone."
But although Cindy certainly had -- especially in retrospect -- good reason to be concerned, Stephenie attempted to convince her otherwise. "No, it could be any of us," Stephenie replied. "I know it could be, but I just see a little pattern there and it makes me uncomfortable," said Cindy.
Later, Cindy remained unconvinced and was still upset about the decision. "I thought we were voting out Lydia and that was our plan... but apparently I wasn't privileged to the [Judd] information," she explained to the cameras.
The next day, the castaways retrieved Tree Mail that contained a car key -- a pretty strong hint that the upcoming Reward Challenge would feature the show's traditional car giveaway. Sure enough, their suspicions were confirmed when they arrived at the challenge site and saw Survivor host Jeff Probst standing alongside a brand new 2006 Pontiac Torrent.
A three-stage competition that recycled elements of previous challenges, the aptly named "Second Chances" challenge began by requiring the castaways to race across a balance beam and untie three sets of macanas. The first three finishers would then compete in the second round, where the remaining castaways would use the macanas to break a a single clay tile. The first two castaways to break their tile would then compete in the challenge's final round -- solving Maya calendar puzzle and racing back down the sloping hillside in a wooden cart. The first castaway fly across the cart's finish line would win the challenge. In addition to winning the new SUV, the Reward Challenge winner would receive a barbecue feast and overnight trip to a nearby archeologist's camp.
Although most of the castaways struggled to keep their balance during the challenge's initial balance beam round, Danni, Cindy and Stephenie eventually crossed the finish line and moved on to the second round, where Cindy and Stephenie quickly broke their tiles to move on to the final round. Both struggled to complete their final stage puzzle, but Cindy finished first and rode to victory in her cart.
After Cindy had won the challenge, Jeff presented her with a twist. "You may or may not know, but in ten seasons of Survivor the person who has won the car reward has never, ever won the game," said Jeff. Explaining that "some people -- the superstitious kind" consider it to be the show's "Curse Of The Car," Jeff gave Cindy a chance to "get rid of that curse" by giving up her car and instead awarding new cars to each of her four other remaining competitors.
Although she weighed the two options for what appeared to be several minutes, Cindy eventually decided to keep the car for herself. "Screw the curse, I can win a car and I can win a million dollars if I play my cards right and if I do my best," she explained to Jeff, "I'm here to beat the odds, and so far I have." After deciding to keep the car, Cindy decided to pick Stephenie to accompany her on the reward trip.
During their getaway, Cindy and Stephenie discussed Cindy's decision and agreed that she had done the right thing. "At this point, there are no guarantees," Cindy explained. "They are not going to give you a million dollars because you gave them a car, so I took the car."
But although Cindy didn't think anyone "was bitter" about her decision, the move still surprised some of her fellow castaways. "I was shocked," Rafe told Danni back at camp. "I'm standing there and I'm saying 'Oh my gosh, this is so sad to see, she deserves that so much and now she has to give it up because she there's no other choice." "Ya, that's exactly what I was thinking," Danni replied. "I actually thought Cindy would do it because I would have done it in a heartbeat, because you would have had four people that were very happy with you," she later explained to the cameras. But Lydia made it clear to Rafe and Danni that she disagreed with them. "In my mind, I'm thinking 'Cindy, keep the car, you deserve it, you won it rightfully,'" she explained.
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"I know that if Cindy had decided to give the four of us cars there was no way on earth I could vote her out at the next Tribal Council... but now you never know what's going to happen," Rafe foreshadowed to the cameras.
Back at the overnight retreat, Cindy and Stephenie discussed game strategy, with Stephenie telling Cindy that despite the fact that she had just finished teaming with Danni to oust Judd, she now wanted to vote Danni out at the next Tribal Council vote. Happy to hear that Stephenie wasn't targeting her and feeling that Danni was "the biggest threat," Cindy readily agreed with the plan.
When Cindy and Stephenie returned to camp on Day 35, Rafe was surprised to learn that Stephenie strongly agreed with Cindy's decision to keep the car. "The was like the first time Rafe and I have ever disagreed [in] the whole game," Stephenie later explained. Stephenie's reaction caused Rafe to reexamine his game strategy. "It kinda made me think, am I playing this game too nicely right now, should I be playing this game a little harder than I am?," Rafe later explained in confessional.
After gathering for Day 36's Immunity Challenge, the castaways learned they'd be competing in challenge that required the shackled and locked contestants to unwind a long length of rope to which they were attached and unlock themselves. Once they were free, they would then have to sprint to a nearby flag pole while still tied to the now unwound rope. The winner would be the first castaway to successfully reach their pole and release their flag.
Once the challenge started, Stephenie and Rafe jumped out to an early lead as Danni, Cindy, and Lydia struggled with their locks. But Rafe fell back as the competition went on, with Stephenie eventually moving well ahead of the rest of the pack. Although she was the first one to attempt to sprint to her flag pole, Stephenie ended up coming up short due to several knots in her rope. The setback allowed Cindy to somewhat close the gap on her, but in the end Stephenie unfurled her flag before anyone else had even managed to completely free themselves, easily winning the challenge. Although the viewers would never know it based on all the previous reward prizes that other Survivor castaways have shared with her, the victory represented the former Survivor: Palau castaway's first individual challenge victory in two seasons of Survivor.
Back at camp, Rafe and Danni deepened their new alliance by agreeing that neither of them would vote for each other at either of Survivor: Guatemala's next two Tribal Council sessions. "My promise to you is to the Final 3," Rafe told Danni. "Me too," replied Danni. However Danni also went a step further, also promising that should she later win the Final 3 endurance challenge, she would select Rafe to accompany her to the game's Final 2 jury vote. "Danni has promised me she would take me to the Final 2 -- that is a huge degree of security at the end of a crazy, crazy game." Rafe explained.
Armed with that promise, Rafe knew who he'd be targeting at the evening's Tribal Council session. "Nothing could really change my mind about voting out Cindy, the Reward Challenge was really the first thing where I stepped back and was like 'Wow, really I'm not going to be Cindy's biggest fan," Rafe explained during confessional. "It'll come down to my powers of persuasion here, but I'm pretty sure that I can convince Steph that we should vote out Cindy."
Pitching Cindy as "by far the fiercer competitor" and an honest game player that neither of them could defeat in a Final 2 jury vote, Rafe approached Stephenie about instead keeping Danni around. Stephenie was open to the idea, but concerned that by betraying a third member of their one-time six-person alliance (a group that also originally included current "outsider" Lydia), Stephenie would be costing herself yet another possible jury vote. "If I vote off Cindy, that's another vote [I'm not going to get] -- I'm not going to get Jamie's, Judd's, or Cindy's... if I get to [the Final] 2," Stephenie told Rafe.
"Rafe's leaning toward getting rid of Cindy, [but] I felt really bad because we already turned on Judd and Cindy's in our alliance and now we've going to be turning on Cindy," Stephenie later explained to the cameras. "This could be another vote I could loose when it comes time for the jury... but at the same time she's a huge threat in this game and she knows it and she has a car at least."
Somewhat surprisingly, Stephenie told Cindy of Rafe's plan. "For some reason he thinks like you're this huge threat," Stephenie explained. Armed with the information, Cindy approached Danni and Lydia with a plan to have all four women instead target Rafe -- "the strongest competitor" who's "won everything."
Unfortunately for Cindy, similar to the "Curse Of The Car," Survivor's ten previous seasons have also all been burdened by the "Curse Of The Unsuccessful All-Female Alliance" -- and this Survivor season proved to be no different. In the end, Danni. Lydia, and Stephenie all chose to keep Rafe and instead vote off Cindy, making her the fourteenth castaway to be voted out of the game and Survivor: Guatemala's fourth jury member.
Although they were milder than Judd's, Cindy also had some parting words of her own for her former allies. "I'll think about you guys when I see the stars through my sunroof of my new car," Cindy remarked as she got up and handed Jeff her torch to extinguish. Unsurprisingly, Judd -- watching from the nearby jury area -- appeared to enjoy the mild zinger. But after she left, Cindy had no more parting shots in her final words. "I think the one thing I'll miss the most is the sounds of the jungle," the zookeeper remarked during her post-elimination interview. "I didn't win the million bucks but I've gotten memories that are priceless."