Jon 'Jonny Fairplay' Dalton first castaway cut from 'Survivor: Micronesia'
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/08/2008
An allegedly homesick Jon "Jonny Fairplay" Dalton wanted to leave on his own terms -- and the rest of his tribe happily obliged -- causing the slippery former Survivor: Pearl Islands schemer to become the first castaway eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's premiere of the long-running CBS reality show's sixteenth season.
"I definitely feel I did the right thing. I had every single person here eating out of the palm of my hands," said Fairplay following his ouster. "To go out on my own terms, I'm very happy with that. No regrets at all. Last time I was the biggest bad guy ever, and this time I'm a responsible adult that people liked, some even loved. What's going on in the world!?"
Survivor: Micronesia's premiere episode began with the 10 Fans arriving at a Palau beach just as it started to downpour.
After Jeff handed out buffs to both tribes -- with the Fans becoming Airai and wearing orange and the Favorites becoming Malakal and donning purple -- he directed them to their new tribal canoes anchored across the lagoon, which contained maps to their respective beaches.
Jeff then explained the rules for the first challenge. Hidden on the island across the lagoon were two Individual Immunity Idols -- one specifically designated for each tribe -- and the first person from each tribe to find their tribe's idol would be safe at their first Tribal Council.
A mad dash across the shallow lagoon ensued, with Airai member Erik Reichenbach, a 22-year-old college student from Ypsilanti, MI and self-described Ozzy admirer, making it to the other side first, just barely ahead of Ozzy.
Everyone scrambled for the idols, and Fairplay reasoned, "it has to be in plain sight." He was right and quickly pounced on the first idol he saw hanging from one of the canoes. Unfortunately for him, it was the Airai idol.
By the time he dashed to the Malakal canoe to retrieve his tribe's idol, Yau had beaten him to it, but not before the two had a violent collision as they reached the canoe. Yau then told Airai member Kathleen Sleckman, a 45-year-old golf course vendor from Glen Ellyn, IL, to look down and pick up the other object on the sand. She did and recovered her tribe's idol.
"Dude, you tackled me Yau-Man!" said Fairplay as he rubbed his noggin, further describing the tactic as "not nice." "As soon as that idol's gone, see you later bucko."
Airai arrived at their beach, and they began building a shelter. Kathy immediately began chatting up her fellow castaways, awkwardly telling Chet Welch, a 48-year-old beauty pageant coach from Ford City, PA, that he is the first gay -- or homosexual, whichever word he preferred -- man she's ever befriended. She then approached Tracy Hughes-Wolf, a 43-year-old commercial builder from Fredericksburg, VA, and informed her that her breast implants represent the first time she's ever seen fake boobs that close.
"The second the crazy lady found the Immunity Idol, I think everyone was a little worried because I think we all kinda felt as a consensus that [Kathy] was going to be the first one to go," opined Jason Siska, a 22-year-old student teacher from Fox River Grove, IL.
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Malakal also arrived at their beach, and building a shelter seemed to come easy for the returning castaways. James and Parvati quickly began to flirt with each other as they went crab hunting, with James commenting she's "definitely attractive" and describing her as a "sex kitten-type girl." However Ozzy and Amanda were also getting cozy, and Eliza quickly noticed.
"I'd say I have pretty keen powers of observation, and from what I can tell Amanda and Ozzy have this rapport with one another already," said Eliza. "And ever since we got here, Parvati hasn't been able to take her hands or her eyes off of James. She is definitely going to have him wrapped around her finger. So I think there could be romance bubbling between Parvati and James, and Amanda and Ozzy, and so that makes all four of them very dangerous."
Airai's lack of experience immediately reared its head as they didn't complete their shelter's construction by the end of the day, and they were punished for it by the Survivor gods, who brought torrential rain that night.
The next morning, Eliza approached Amy, Yau, and Jonathan, and the four agreed to form a "tight alliance." With a four-on-four battle quickly forming, Fairplay and Cirie were on the outs, and Jonathan suggested Fairplay as his alliance's fifth. Parvati was the first to get to Fairplay though, and she roped him into her alliance with Ozzy, Amanda and James. The five agreed that if Malakal lost the first Immunity Challenge, Eliza would be the first to go.
"I'm a little nervous because Fairplay's got his villain persona to live up to, so maybe he will just betray everyone he can," said Ozzy. "I don't know. But at this point, we need Fairplay to make a strong alliance."
Not surprisingly, Fairplay then told Eliza, Jonathan, Yau and Amy about what had just happened and explained the others were gunning for Eliza. They subsequently agreed to target Parvati, whom Jonathan described as a "bigger threat" because she's a "social player." Jonathan further described Fairplay as a "gem," and even went as far as to say he'd take him to the game's end if he could.
"I think it's insane that there's nine other of your favorite Survivors of all time, and they all believe what I say," said Fairplay. "Have you not watched the show before?!"
As Malakal lounged in the surf, Yau was able to start a fire using his thick glasses and some dry coconut husks -- allowing the tribe to eat a hot meal -- while Airai was begging for some Tree Mail to help raise their spirits since they were without fire or food.
The two tribes then arrived for Survivor: Micronesia's first Immunity Challenge, and Jeff explained the rules.
Both tribes would race to assemble four puzzle wheels and attach them to a cart, in which two of their tribe mates would ride. After pushing and pulling the cart through a series of obstacles and digging up wooden planks to assemble a bridge, the tribes would eventually push their carts to a finish platform, where the tribes would then disassemble the puzzle wheels and use them to complete a turnstile. They'd have to wind the turnstile to raise a fire-wok and ignite their tribal cauldron. The first tribe to light their cauldron would win flint and not have to attend the night's Tribal Council session.
Malakal struggled assembling their wheels right from the start and Airai grabbed an early lead that they never relinquished, despite James and Jonathan using all of their strength to pull the Favorites' cart, which at one point crashed into tree roots and caused Eliza to go flying out of it.
Airai was the first to complete the obstacle course, dig-up their planks, build their bridge and ignite their cauldron, winning the challenge. Back at the Malakal beach, the Favorites wallowed in defeat.
"We're going to Tribal Council, and I do not have a plan at all," commented Cirie. "I have no idea what I'm going to do right now."
Fairplay didn't have a plan yet either -- but at least he had options -- either siding with Amanda, Ozzy, Parvati and James to boot Eliza; or joining Eliza, Amy, Jonathan and Yau to oust Parvati. However while fetching water with Parvati, he seemed to begin to crack a little.
"I just want to see my girlfriend [former America's Next Top Model fourth-season finalist Michelle Deighton]... She's seven-months pregnant right now and I don't know anything," Fairplay told Parvati. "I'm kind of already over this. I'm actually leaning towards asking you guys to send me home."
"Shut up! You'll ruin our whole plan!" pleaded Parvati before having a change of heart and thinking Fairplay's scheming could help her alliance. "Maybe you should though..."
Parvati said it would "distract" Jonathan, Eliza, Amy and Yau into voting for Fairplay, allowing her alliance to boot Eliza with little problem. Fairplay then approached Amy and told her he's "emotionally not there" because of his pregnant girlfriend and asked to be voted out.
"Fairplay's a loose canon. Fairplay said to me that he wanted to go home. He just puts you on serious stance guard because you don't ever know what he means," commented Amy, and the rest of her alliance also decided to be weary of Fairplay. "All I know is tonight's Tribal Council is going to be crazy -- because if I know Jonny Fairplay -- he is going to stir things up."
Malakal then arrived for Survivor: Micronesia's first Tribal Council, and Jeff sparked their torches. The focus almost immediately went to Fairplay when Jeff inquired about his previous reputation in the game.
"Honestly, I think everyone here was kind of surprised with the real Jonny Fairplay. I can easily say I feel that all of them trust me, but at the same time, my head's kind of screwed up right now. I have a little baby on the way and honestly all I think about is my little baby Piper okay," said Fairplay. "That's all that's going through my head... I had no idea I was going to think like this once I got out here. I don't have a kid, I'm about to have one, and guess what, it changes your head. It makes you crazy."
Jeff then point blank asked Fairplay if he wanted to go home, and Fairplay kind of danced around an answer and only said, "my head is hurting now."
"My first thought is what's the scheme," said Yau. "It's a very strange thing to say to us."
Given his previous Pearl Islands lies, Jeff was also skeptical of Fairplay's latest story.
"You can say what you want Jeff. I don't need to put on a little show for you... Emotions are going crazy in my head and that's it," said Fairplay. "It wasn't supposed to be this difficult."
Jonathan said Fairplay was asking them to vote for him.
"Somebody has to go home, somebody wants to go home, and he's going to go home," said Jonathan.
Fairplay said he wasn't quitting -- and again -- Probst wasn't buying what he was selling.
"Forgive my skepticism," said Probst. "But last time you cried over a dead grandma who conveniently was at home watching."
Eliza wasn't so sure this wasn't some sort of scheme, and it was time to vote. Yau decided to keep the Individual Immunity Idol he recovered during the first challenge, which was only good for the upcoming vote.
Everyone voted for Fairplay, who gave Jeff a hug after having his torch snuffed.
"You be nice to those guys!" Fairplay told Jeff before bidding farewell to the other Favorites.
"Well I never would have predicted that," said Jeff, who gave Malakal flint and asked Yau to leave his idol behind since it was "of no use anymore."
Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites next episode will air Thursday, February 14 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS -- and according to last night's preview, Valentine's Day will be an appropriate day for the broadcast.