Gary Hogeboom becomes the twelfth castaway to exit 'Survivor: Guatemala'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/25/2005
Sacked for one final loss, Gary Hogeboom, a 47-year-old former NFL quarterback and real estate developer from Grand Haven, Michigan, was voted out of Survivor: Guatemala during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality show.
Survivor: Guatemala's eleventh episode began with merged Xhakum tribe returning from the Night 27 Tribal Council in which Jamie Newton had been voted off. Although he'd been one of the six-person alliance's own members, Jamie's unrelenting paranoia eventually proved to be more than his allies could bare, resulting in four of them teaming with Gary and Danni Boatwright to oust Jamie in a 6-2.
When the tribe returned to camp, Judd Sergeant -- the only alliance member not informed of the plan to vote off one of their own -- made it clear that he was shocked and upset about the move. "I was just shocked, completely totally shocked that Jamie got voted out man," Judd vented to the cameras. "We're supposed to have an alliance of six and it kinda went berserk today and ya, I was pissed off man... it makes me wonder from now on what the hell is going on man."
Meanwhile, Gary -- who prior to Jamie's ouster, had only survived the previous Tribal Council session due his surprising find of the hidden Immunity Idol -- was happy about having managed to survive another Tribal Council vote. "There is no doubt I dodged a bullet tonight, my old ties in Yaxha at the beginning of the game helped me out, but Jamie did me a big favor by driving everyone crazy," Gary admitted.
Other than Judd, Jamie's former allies shed few tears over his departure. "I just feel, already, a breath of fresh air," Stephenie LaGrossa remarked as the tribe settled in for the night. "It just feels like all is right in 'Survivor World,'" Rafe Judkins added. "It is for now," Cindy Hall responded.
As Day 28 dawned, Gary approached Lydia Morales -- the weakest member of the now five-person dominant alliance -- about improving her game position by joining a Final Four alliance that would also include Danni and one of the game's other four castaways.
But unbeknownst to Gary and Lydia, Judd awoke and overheard their conversation. Suddenly insecure about his own place in the game, Judd quickly told Rafe and Stephenie about what he'd seen. "Me, Judd, and Steph are pretty confident in each other at this point, [but] I think Gary and Danni have managed to pull over Lydia in a real way," Rafe later confessed to the cameras.
As it turned out, Rafe's concern was justified, as having recognized her position as the fifth member of a five-person alliance, Lydia was open to betraying her existing alliance for a place in the game's Final Four. "Stephenie, Cindy, Rafe, Judd, and myself -- we're all in this together, Final Five -- but the thing is, I have to cover my own ass," Lydia confessed. "I going to have to see how far this game is going to take me, so if someone approached me with a better deal, I'm going with it."
At the Reward Challenge, the castaways discovered that they'd be participating in an pecking order-exposing challenge first made famous with Survivor Marquesas' "Coconut Chop." Testing the castaways' knowledge of Guatemala and Maya culture, the challenge would consist of a series of multiple choice quiz questions. Each castaway would start the challenge with three hanging pots filled with corn, and for each question a castaway answered correctly, they would get to smash a tribemate's pot. The last castaway with an unsmashed pot would win a tropical feast and massage at a hot-water waterfall retreat.
With everyone but Stephenie answering the first question correctly, Judd and Cindy wasted no time going after Gary, leaving him with only one pot left after the first round was halfway done. Meanwhile, Lydia began to make her resentment of Stephenie's numerous Reward Challenge wins clear, teaming with Danni to also leave Stephenie with only one pot left before the first round was over. But although Rafe and Gary each had chances to finish off Gary and Stephenie when their turns came, both passed on the opportunities, instead targeting Danni and Cindy respectively.
As one of only three castaways to answer the second question correctly, Lydia wasted no time going back after Stephenie again, smashing her third pot and eliminating her from the challenge. "Jealousy gets you nowhere," Stephenie remarked. Lydia fired back with "I'm hungry, I want to eat," causing Stephenie to remark "I doubt that."
After Survivor host Jeff Probst pointed out that Stephenie wasn't happy about the move, Lydia noted that while she had yet to get to win a Reward Challenge, Stephenie had already "ate three times." But Stephenie didn't buy Lydia's explanation, responding with "So did Gary, so did Danni" -- a not-so-veiled comment that made it clear that Stephenie now felt that Lydia had allied herself with the twosome. Taking aim at the threesome's next target, Danni smashed Judd's first pot, after which Cindy exacted some revenge for Stephenie's ouster by smashing Gary's last remaining pot.
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With only Judd incorrectly answering the third round question, Lydia and Danni once again wasted no time telegraphing their loyalties by smashing Judd's last two pots and eliminating him from the challenge. Cindy and Rafe then responded in kind, smashing Danni's last two pots to leave only three castaways in the challenge.
Although Lydia and Rafe had both thus far survived the smashing unscathed, Lydia was quickly eliminated as Rafe and Cindy targeted her with their subsequent swings, leaving Rafe and Cindy as the challenge's finalists. Thanks to Lydia smashing one of Rafe's pots with her final swing, the two each entered the final rounds with only two pots left, and when Rafe answered the next two questions wrong as Cindy got them right, Cindy won the challenge. Although Lydia's last swing had helped Cindy win the challenge, Cindy decided to have Rafe, the challenge's runner-up, accompany her on the retreat.
When the rest of the castaways returned to camp, Stephenie (still upset about Lydia's challenge comments) began recounting exactly how many food rewards each castaway had received in the game. "Everyone's talking 'Stephenie's eating so much... I'm so upset that Stephenie's winning all these Rewards' -- and I don't want to hear anymore about it... I've had three, you've had three, you've had three, you've had three, we're all pretty even," Stephenie lectured to Gary, Danni, Lydia, and Judd.
"Lydia was fed up because I'd won so many food rewards and she's starving out here -- well boohoo for Lydia, I'm sick of hearing your crap, you're lucky you're still in the game," Stephenie added later during a private confessional. "There's a winner and a loser in this game and if you're going to be jealous then you're an idiot. I made that clear as soon as I got back to camp, I shut everyone up right then and there. [If] You think that a challenge like this isn't going to show me where your loyalties lie, [then] you're sadly mistaken."
But not everyone agreed with Stephenie's comments, and -- perhaps sensing his time was about to run out -- Gary challenged Stephenie's claims that while Lydia had yet to win any reward food, the rest of the castaways had all received "pretty even" food rewards. "I don't care one way or the other, but a pizza compared to what you ate was nothing," Gary remarked (alluding to the Episode 9 Reward Challenge feast in which Judd, Stephenie, and Bobby Jon Drinkard dined on lobster, steak, a cheeseburger, deserts, and an open bar while Gary ate a single slice of pizza.) "Lydia was very upset because Steph eats a stinking ton -- I don't think she's lost [any] weight," Gary explained later. "She eats so much corn and nuts, it's amazing."
After Cindy and Rafe returned from their retreat, Stephenie made it clear that as far as she was concerned, Lydia was out of her Final Five alliance with Cindy, Rafe, Judd, and herself. "We need to stick together, us four," Stephenie told her three remaining allies. "How she made it to Day 29 is beyond me... she is completely out of our alliance." With Cindy also making it clear that Lydia would have to "step it up" if she wanted to remain in the game, Lydia's fate suddenly appeared uncertain. "The next few days are crucial for Lydia, because it means she could go really far or is one of the next people to go," Rafe later explained.
On Day 30, Gary and Danni decided that given Stephenie's influence over Judd and Cindy, if their Final Four plan with Lydia was going to work, Rafe would probably be their best chance at a fourth member. "There's three outsiders, Gary, myself, and now Lydia, but we need to bring in a fourth person so we're going to try to talk to Rafe and see what plan of action we can take," Danni explained. "Hopefully it will work out... you just have to keep trying."
At the Immunity Challenge, the castaways competed in a memory challenge similar to the Survivor 1 challenge made famous by Rudy "I Dunno" Boesch. After listening to a Maya folklore story told by Jeff, the castaways had to race to a series of seven stations, correctly answer the station's question about the story, and then retrieve a colored flag. Each flag would then have to be hung on each castaway's starting platform, with the first castaway to correctly hang all seven flags winning immunity.
Although they ran neck-and-neck for most of the race, Rafe narrowly beat Gary back to his starting platform with his seventh flag, resulting in Rafe's third individual immunity victory -- an impressive accomplishment that surprised even Rafe himself. "Who would see this little gay Mormon and think he was going to win most of the Immunity Challenges?," Rafe later gushed.
As the tribe prepared for the evening's upcoming Tribal Council vote, both Lydia and Gary felt they might be going home that night. "As far as they're considered, my job is done... now that the numbers game is over I'm not useful anymore," Lydia told Danni. "I have a feeling it will be me before it's you or Gary." However Gary disagreed with Lydia's thinking and still felt that he was likely to be the next castaway to go. "Right now, I think I'm a big enough threat that they're going to keep Lydia and Danni around instead of me," he confessed.
Meanwhile, Stephenie began to worry that after her previous miserable experience in Survivor: Palau, things seemed to be going too well during her second Survivor opportunity. "We have such a great alliance... it almost seems too easy to get to the Final Four together," Stephenie admitted during a private confessional. "It feels weird because last time I felt so powerless and this time I feel so powerful, it's like a dream almost come true but it almost seems too good to be true."
Taking a last-minute shot at saving himself, Gary approached Rafe about the possibility of allying together. But when Rafe explained that he wanted to "go with people I trust" and trusted Stephenie "more than a lot of other people" -- an apparent dig at Lydia -- Gary appeared to be out of options. Rafe did admit that he "really liked" Danni and "didn't really trust Judd," but with Rafe apparently unwilling to get into another alliance including Lydia, Gary's attempt to sway Rafe appeared to go nowhere.
Sensing they had nothing left to lose, neither Gary and Lydia held back at the evening's Tribal Council session. "Everyone looks up to Stephenie... Steph is running the show," Lydia told Jeff before the castaways voted. "I personally like Steph, but there are some people her who are starstruck by her and that's not her fault, but they can probably all get her autograph after the show," Gary added -- a remark that sparked howling laughter from watching jury members Bobby Jon and Jamie and a look of disgust from Stephenie.
Gary also took Judd to task for his claim that he had yet to lie in the game, outing Judd for his Episode 9 lie about the contents of his hidden Immunity Idol clue. "This is a lie -- 'Hey you guys, the idol is on the ground' -- that's a lie... the idol was in a tree," Gary vented. Pressed by Jeff, Judd admitted he'd lied. "OK, alright, I lied about the damn idol," Judd confessed. But when it came time to vote, no one seemed to care about Judd's lie, and Gary was booted from the game in a unanimous 6-1 vote in which even Danni voted for him (with Gary casting his own vote for Cindy, who he didn't get along with, rather than Judd.)