James Miller becomes the ninth contestant to exit 'Survivor: Palau'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/24/2005
His redneck god having apparently betrayed him and decided to strike his sorry soul off the island, James Miller became the latest Ulong tribe member to be voted out of the game during CBS's special Wednesday broadcast of Survivor: Palau's sixth episode.
Survivor: Palau's sixth episode began with the Ulong tribe, still winless in Immunity Challenges, returning from their special fifth episode Tribal Council in which, due to the fact that the Koror tribe had opted to grant individual immunity to Ibrehem Rahman, the tribe had voted off Angie Jakusz.
Despite the fact that he had also failed to shine during the show's challenges, James had charged hard at Ibrehem during the Tribal Council session, making it clear that as the Ulong tribe considered Ibrehem responsible for the Reward Challenge loss that had denied them the opportunity to enjoy a meal of beef stew, Ibrehem should be eliminated from the game.
Returning to camp, Stephenie LaGrossa gathered Ulong's remaining foursome to discuss the importance of strong listening skills -- only to see James immediately provide an example of the very issue by interrupting Stephenie so that he could personally lecture the group about the very same topic. Calling Ibrehem out and telling him that "you cost us the game," James lectured Ibrehem about honesty, focus, and the importance of paying attention. Bobby Jon Drinkard, the Ulong tribe's workhorse, didn't feel James' public flogging of Ibrehem was appropriate, telling the cameras that "I don't agree with that... you can't get over beef stew, please."
Over at Koror, despite having been forced to vote out their first member at the previous night's Tribal Council, the tribe began Day 13 refreshed as a result of the beef stew meal. Charged up, the tribe performed numerous camp chores, with Katie Gallagher once again drawing the ire of several tribemates due to her decision to braid necklaces.
Assembling for the Reward Challenge, the tribes discovered that they would be competing in a shooting competition involving the use of a replica of a World War II era 50 caliber small class cannon. Targeting tiles marked with each tribe's name, the first tribe to shatter all their tiles would receive a day trip to a secluded lake where millions of stinger-free jellyfish swam freely.
Coming back from an early 0-1 deficit to take the lead, Ulong never trailed again, with Stephenie (4 tiles) and Bobby Jon (3 tiles) dominating Ulong's performance while James, the 33-year-old Alabama steelworker who acknowledged "shooting a lot of guns," repeatedly coming up empty and missing every tile he targeted. With Koror having rallied to tie the score at 7-7, Stephenie grabbed the victory for Ulong, hitting the tribe's eighth and final tile and giving her tribe a much-needed Reward Challenge win.
Retrieving their tree mail on Day 14, the tribes discovered that their pre-Immunity Challenge preparation would involve attempting to secure the other tribe's flag inside a foot locker using only a length of rope that was provided. After letting James convince them that his Navy experience had taught him how to tie a superknot that would only get tighter as the other tribe attempted to undo it, Ulong secured their locker and joined Koror in assembling for the Immunity Challenge.
Given twenty minutes to create a fortress to further protect their already-bound and "impenetrable" foot lockers, Koror worked well, with Katie and Janu Tornell concentrating on tying more knots as Ian Rosenberger and Jennifer Lyon swam out to retrieve the wood bundles that would be used to construct the fortress. The dysfunctional Ulong tribe once again didn't appear to work nearly as well, with James (the same person who'd stressed the importance of challenge focus in his lecture to Ibrehem) spending the first few minutes of the challenge standing alone on shore and attempting to tie up his makeshift toga while Ibrehem waded halfway offshore and watched Bobby Jon and Stephenie retrieve the three wood bundles.
Switching positions after the twenty minute period ended, the tribes began ripping apart each other's fortresses. While Ulong made the better progress early on, their speed slowed down as the challenge went on (seemingly bogged down by the early additional knots that Katie and Janu had tied while James was tending to his skirt), allowing Koror to catch up become the first tribe to free its foot locker. With their locker free and James' knot apparently ineffective, Koror quickly opened their locker and hoisted their flag, giving the tribe their unprecedented fifth-straight Immunity Challenge win.
Back at camp, a confident James remained sure of his tribal position and disparaged the Muslim Ibrehem. "Ibrehem has overstayed his welcome. He was meant to go last time and 'by the grace of Allah' he didn't go, well, my god says he is [going] today," the self-professed redneck confessed to the camera in an ugly Survivor moment. Meanwhile, Bobby Jon had other ideas, deciding that based on the fact that Stephenie had told him that she hadn't voted for him at the last Tribal Council when she in fact had, James must have been the person to cast a ballot against him -- a favor Bobby Jon intended to return at the upcoming Tribal Council.
Fearing a second consecutive Tribal Council tie, Stephenie cut a deal with Bobby Jon, agreeing to cast her ballot for James in return for his promise that if and when they lost yet another Immunity Challenge, Bobby Jon would join her in voting for Ibrehem.
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Stephenie followed through with the plan at the evening's Tribal Council, but only after casting her initial ballot for Ibrehem and causing a 2-2 tie that forced a revote -- a development that the show's editing failed to explain whether it had been part of the agreement -- making James the ninth castaway to exit Survivor: Palau.