Danny 'G.C.' Brown the fifth castaway eliminated from 'Survivor: Gabon'
By John Bracchitta, 10/17/2008
After making it clear to his tribemates that he had reached his breaking point and wanted to go home, Danny "G.C." Brown, a 26-year-old maintenance supervisor from Portland, OR became the fifth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Gabon during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
"For the people who might say that I quit or I just gave up, call it what you want. The backstabbing and lying, that's the part I really didn't agree with. I never expected it to be this hard," G.C. said after his elimination.
Survivor: Gabon's fifth episode began with the Fang tribe returning from their Night 12 Tribal Council session in which Jacque Berg was voted out of the game. Once the tribe returned to camp, Ace Gordon, a 27-year-old fashion photographer and Cartier jewelry salesman from Naples, FL, tried to make sense of his tribe's decision while waiting for his closest ally -- Jessica "Sugar" Kiper, a 29-year-old pin-up model and actress from Brooklyn, NY -- to return from Exile and replace Jacque as the tribe's seventh member.
"I think they were scared about me having a strength in my alliance with Jacque," he said while seperated from the rest of the tribe. "Maybe now I'll be able to pull off some kind of 'coup de gras' with Sugar."
Despite finding the hidden Immunity Idol during her first trip to Exile, when Sugar arrived at Fang's camp she told her tribemates that she had given up looking for the Immunity Idol after her first trip to Exile and had chosen "Comfort" during her second stay instead of searching for it.
Not all of her tribemates believed her story.
"She's had plenty of time to look for the [Immunity Idol] and I feel in my heart that she has the Idol," said Crystal Cox, a 29-year-old 2004 Olympic gold-medalist track athlete from Durham, NC.
The next day, Randy Bailey -- a former Fang member who had joined the Kota tribe during the game's second pick'em -- explained that given they were outnumbered, he believed one of the Kota tribe's three former Fang members was still likely to be the next Kota tribe member to be voted out of the game at the tribe's next Tribal Council.
However as Robert "Bob" Crowley, a 57-year-old physics teacher from South Portland, ME, arrived at camp with five fish he had caught for food, Randy, a 49-year-old videographer from Eagle Rock, MO, expressed his delight in being on Kota instead of Fang.
"It's wonderful. Fish, beans, corn... Way, way better than Fang. I have no complaints," he said.
Later that day, the tribes met Survivor host Jeff Probst for their next Reward Challenge. Upon seeing the opposing tribe, Kota tribe members Charlie Herschel, a 29-year-old lawyer from New York, NY; Susie Smith, a 47-year-old hairdresser and assistant teacher from Charles City, IA; and Marcus Lehman, a 28-year-old doctor from Atlanta, GA -- who had all been allied with Jacque before the tribes were reshuffled -- were visibly shocked to learn she'd been voted out of the game by Fang.
Once getting Kota's reaction to Jacque's elimination, Jeff explained that the challenge would be a food-tossing relay that would require members of each tribe to toss pieces of fruit through wooden frames while one member of other tribe would station themselves at each frame and use wooden clubs to try and bash the fruit before it got through.
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Fruit that was successfully tossed through both frames without hitting the ground would be placed in a basket, which would be weighed after five minutes to determine which tribe had won the challenge.
As their reward, the winning tribe would receive a herb garden and spices as well as any fruit that the tribe had managed to get into its basket. In addition, they would also get to determine which member of the losing tribe would be sent to Exile.
"You've been out here for 13 days, your taste buds are screaming for something new. Today's reward will satisfy that craving," Jeff told them.
Ace and Crystal handled the clubs for Fang, while Bob and Charlie did so for Kota.
After Ace dominated the competition early by knocking much of the fruit thrown by Kota away with the club, Kota was able to mount a late charge and ended up winning the challenge by getting 18 lbs. of fruit in their basket while Fang only managed 16 lbs.
After being declared the challenge's winner Kota decided to send Sugar to Exile for a third-straight time.
"We think that if she finds the [Immunity Idol] she would have a plan before the merge and we would like it to get back into circulation," Dan Kay, a 32-year-old lawyer from Walpole, MA, said of his tribe's decision.
"Its alright, I've already named it 'The Sugar Shack,'" Sugar said of Exile's comfort hut before taking the map and leaving. Probst told the tribes that Sugar would return to Fang for the next Immunity Challenge.
The Kota tribe returned to their camp in high spirits, which Dan -- a former Fang member -- saw as an opportunity to stress his loyalty to his new tribe.
"I'm gonna need all seven of you guys," he told the tribe while referring to Fang as "The Evil Empire" to boost morale.
"I think the biggest issue with Dan is he is so eager to express his undying, complete and total devotion to the new Kota tribe that no one believes him," a doubting Marcus said following Dan's pep talk.
After arriving back at Exile, Sugar noted that the decision to keep her in Exile had kept her strong and rested while the other contestants had been affected by the elements.
"Everyone else in the game is tired, and starving, and stinky and dirty," she said with a smile. "I'm living high as a hog in Eden all by myself with my own lake, and fruit and comfort."
Meanwhile, the tension remained high -- as usual -- at Fang's camp after their latest challenge loss, with G.C. snapping at Crystal after she made a joke about his complaint that their rice supply was running so low that there wasn't much left for the tribe to eat (a situation that, before he joined Kota, Randy had repeatedly tried to warn G.C. about and G.C. had repeatedly ignored). After secluding himself from the rest of the tribe, G.C. expressed doubt in his commitment to remain in the game.
"You know I've kind of had enough with these people here," he said. "I need to just get back to real life because this game... I feel like it's changing me, and not for the better."
By Day 15, things seemed to have gotten even worse for Fang. Before they prepared to leave for the Immunity Challenge, Matty Whitmore, a 29-year-old personal trainer from Pacific Palisades, CA, admitted he felt they had a "slim" chance of winning the challenge. And when it actually came time to leave, they were almost forced to leave without G.C. -- who went out alone on a kayak and didn't return until just prior to their departure.
After the tribes arrived at the Immunity Challenge, Jeff explained it would be a fairly simple challenge. Five members of each tribe would get a chance to throw a wicker ball down a hillside and towards a number of goals that were each worth between one and five points while a single member of the opposing tribe would use a shield to try and stop ball from going into any of the goals.
However the challenge had one significant catch -- the opposing tribe member would be blindfolded and have to rely on the directions of a second member of their tribe.
Ace was blindfolded for Fang with Sugar serving as his caller, while Dan guarded for Kota with Randy as his caller.
After the first four rounds -- which featured some initial communication problems between Sugar and Ace -- Fang held a slim 7 to 6 point lead.
For the fifth round, Dan was able to block the throw of Ken Hoang, a 22-year-old professional video gamer from Westminster, CA. However, Ace made the mistake of listening to Randy -- who misled him by shouting that he needed to stop what he was doing -- which enabled Bob's throw to go into the two-point goal and win the challenge for Kota.
Once Fang got back to camp, G.C. decided to try and make the tribe's upcoming Tribal Council decision as easy as possible by telling Matty that he was ready to leave the competition. Matty spread the news to Crystal, who did not object in the least.
"I'm not kissing ass [and saying] 'Oh please stay.' If that's what he wants, that's what he wants," she told Matty.
While Ace and Sugar were away for a swim, Crystal, Ken, Matty, and Kelly Czarnecki -- a 22-year-old retail salesperson from Buffalo Grove, IL -- used their absence as a chance to search Sugar's backpack for the hidden Immunity Idol, which Crystal quickly found hidden in a sock.
"That's why she's so confident," Crystal told fellow tribemates Matty, Kenny and Kelly before adding that, given G.C.'s admitted desire to leave the game, the upcoming Tribal Council would be their only opportunity to "blindside" Sugar.
"She is the most dangerous person right now in this game," said Crystal.
After learning that Sugar had the Immunity Idol, the group was suddenly unsure what to do.
"Dude, I don't have time for quitters but the Idol, that's like much intense," said Kelly.
"Nobody wants to keep G.C. here longer but right now everybody is scared of that Idol," Kenny told the cameras.
However despite his tribemates concerns, Matty still felt the tribe needed to get rid of G.C.
"We need to vote G," Matty told Kenny, Crystal and Kelly.
That night at Tribal Council, G.C. admitted to Jeff that he had understimated the difficulties of the game and that he did not want to take part in it anymore.
"It's definitely hard not eating the food you're used to eating," he told Jeff. "It definitely takes a toll on you physically and mentally. But more than the material things, you start to think [about] what is more important to you. Staying out here and starving and dealing with personalities and losing challenges... it's definitely hard when you just think about, you know, how much you could just love to be with your family and friends."
"I haven't had the easiest life man and I've suffered [while] growing up and being out here, it's like -- I'm kind of done suffering," G.C. told Jeff when he questioned him further. "I realize what's important to me, but I definitely feel like, you know, it's hard."
While Matty agreed that the conditions were rough, he told Jeff wanting to leave the competition was simply unacceptable.
"You know what, there's no quitting," he said. You can't give yourself that option. Even though you're hurting right now. That's the answer. You cannot give yourself that option."
When asked about potentially having the Immunity Idol, Sugar seemed to be all but admit that she had found the Idol by telling her tribemates that she was aware her bag could be looked through at any time and had not attempted to hide it.
"Maybe there's a sense of power knowing that someone has the Idol and maybe you don't want to vote against them because they can use it to vote you out," she told Jeff.
The tribe was asked by Jeff to place their votes for who to send home. With the exception of G.C. -- who cast what he called "a throwaway vote" for Kelly -- every member of the tribe voted for G.C.'s elimination.
"You guys have endured a lot in your first 15 days," Jeff told Fang after G.C. had left. "One thing is for certain, you're going to have to dig deep if your going to last in this game.
Survivor: Gabon's next episode will air Thursday, October 23 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.