Kathy, a 45-year-old golf course vendor from Glen Ellyn, IL, quit the competition before Tracy, a 43-year-old commercial builder from Fredericksburg, VA, became the ninth castaway eliminated from Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites during last night's broadcast of the long-running CBS reality show's sixteenth season.
"I wish I could have stayed in longer, I went out kicking," Tracy said after her ouster. "I did everything I could, and I'm just grateful to be here."
Tracy and former Survivor: Cook Islands castaway Ozzy Lusth bickered about what to do with the tribe's three chickens, with Tracy wanting to kill one to eat while Ozzy wanted to keep them all alive since they're producing eggs. Ozzy opined that Tracy was "breeding a lot of insecurity" around Malakal.
"Ozzy is in control of this tribe. He's like the kingpin," said Tracy. "Ozzy is gonna win this thing if we don't get him out of this game."
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"I think if Ozzy were to propose marriage to Erik right now [it'd be a] done deal," Cirie joked.
Ozzy suggested Malakal paddle their boat around the island to the back beach where there's better fishing, recruiting Erik, Cirie and Survivor: China'sAmanda Kimmel for the trip. Cirie was immediately concerned since she's not a strong swimmer -- and her worries were compounded when they stopped the boat in the middle of a reef so Ozzy could fish.
While Amanda and Erik enjoyed their surroundings and went for a dip, Cirie saw it as just another example of Ozzy being self-centered.
"Ozzy is about numero uno -- and that's Oscar," said Cirie. "So, they're gonna have this little reef adventure at my expense today, but it won't happen again.
The two tribes then met for the next Reward Challenge, and host Jeff Probst explained the rules.
Each tribe would work with traditional Micronesian money-stones -- large wheel-shaped stones standing almost as tall as the castaways themselves -- once used as currency by the area's native people. Four blindfolded teammates would use long, wooden handles attached to the stones to steer them through a jungle course riddled with rocks and stumps. Two other teammates would act as callers, verbally directing their blindfolded teammates to four ground-level stations.
Pushing the stones through each station, the weight of the stone would crush tiles cradled at each post. Here, they'd find a pair of smaller money-stones that would be used to solve a rotating-cog puzzle -- a series of flat-laying pegged-wheels that spin and rotate to fit all eight money-stones. The first tribe to complete the puzzle wins Reward. The winning tribe would enjoy a trip to the spa, where they'd have the opportunity to clean themselves up and indulge in a tasty snack. The winning tribe would also send a member from both tribes to Exile Island.
Tracy and Cirie served as the callers for Malakal, while Eliza and Kathy did the same for Airai. Despite having trouble distinguishing her left from her right, Cirie did a good job guiding her blindfolded teammates through the course and Malakal grabbed an early lead it never relinquished. Erik, Ozzy and Cirie put the puzzle together and claimed Reward.
Malakal opted to send Jason Siska to Exile Island for the second consecutive time.
"Can you take one for the team?" Ozzy asked Tracy, since if she went to Exile she wouldn't be able to participate in reward. She accepted.
After enjoying a spread that included fruit, cookies, muffins, and juices, Malakal members began to bathe and Ozzy took pride in providing Erik with his first Reward Challenge victory.
"It was so funny to see Erik, for one, he was experiencing Reward for the first time since he's been here," gushed Ozzy. "It was really cool. He's like a wide-eyed kid in a candy store. It made me feel proud that we were able to win and bring him in and let him experience this."
Ami, Amanda and Ozzy took to the shower, and things immediately got a little racy when the two ladies removed their tops so they could clean themselves better. Erik drooled as he looked on and Cirie offered commentary.
Airai still sat in their cave as it monsooned, eating raw eel and coconut since they were unable to start a fire.
"You watch this show at home and when they show the rain, they show it for like 30 seconds," said Kathy. "They're not showing that you're standing in the rain or trying to sleep while you're being rained on for five, six hours, non-stop."
Kathy compared the living accommodations to "savagery" and wondered why the Favorites would ever want to experience it twice, let alone once. As night came the Airai members crawled deeper into the cave, where they were joined by rats, bats and bugs of various sizes.
"I said to myself, 'This is the stupidest thing I've ever done in my life,'" said Kathy. "This is the dumbest thing I've ever done."
The next morning with the rain having subsided, Kathy sat on the tribe's boat and pondered her situation.
"When I woke up this morning I hadn't gotten any sleep, again we were in the cave and it rained all night," opined Kathy through tears. "I was looking for some kind of strength and I couldn't find it."
She got a hug from James to get her through the day.
"It's okay, baby," said James, the voice of comfort. "We all got our bad days."
However it clearly wasn't okay as Kathy was having a full breakdown, explaining to Eliza, Parvati, Alexis, and Natalie that she "can't feel" her family.
"I don't know what it is but it's just downward spiraling and I can't take another minute. I can't... I can't be here one more minute, I can't take it," said Kathy, having reached her breaking point.
The girls tried to calm her down to no avail.
"I wanna go home," said Kathy through sobs. "I want them to come and get a boat and pick me up and take me away. I can't do this anymore."
Jeff then arrived via boat.
"I got word that you wanted to see me," he said to Kathy. "You've had enough? What's going on?"
"I kind of sat on the boat for a while today and I couldn't feel my family. I'm never leaving my baby girl or my husband again ever for this amount of time ever again," she said. "I was doing it for everybody else. Doing it for my husband, doing it for my sister who wants to live vicariously through me. I don't want to hurt [my tribemates], so I want to stay to help them. This is like the first decision I've made that's for me... I don't want anybody to think that I'm quitting."
"You've certainly given it your best," said Jeff. "Are you ready to get out of here?"
"I am," she answered. She hugged her tribemates, said her goodbyes and left.
"Kathy leaving is sad, but at the same time life goes on here," said Alexis. "Survivor continues for the rest of us."
At Malakal, Amanda said she realized Ozzy is "kind of arrogant" after the episode the previous day on the tribe's boat.
"It kind of bothered me," she told Cirie, who was glad Amanda was seeing "Ozzy is about Ozzy."
Cirie suggested if Malakal lost the upcoming Immunity Challenge, they eliminate Erik at Tribal Council, however the girls immediately realized it was probably a long shot that Ozzy would go along with it.
"We just have to let him think he's in control," said Amanda to Cirie about Ozzy.
The two tribes gathered for Survivor: Micronesia's seventh Immunity Challenge. Tracy and Jason rejoined their tribes and Jeff explained what had happened with Kathy. Despite Airai having won the two previous Immunity Challenges, they had still lost two members over the last few days.
Jeff then explained the rules of the challenge. One at a time, tribe members would race across a floating bridge out to a platform in the water, while pulling with them a long rope attached to a giant wench back on the beach. Once they reach the platform, they'd clip the rope onto large folded puzzle pieces and hang onto it as the rest of the tribe cranks the giant wench, pulling them and the puzzle piece through the water back to shore.
Once the tribe has collected all five puzzle pieces, two tribe members would unfold the giant puzzle pieces and fit them together to form a large puzzle in the shape of a perfect square. The first tribe to solve the puzzle would win Immunity and be safe from Tribal Council.
Never one to shy away from displaying his aquatic skills, Ozzy dominated during the first part of the challenge -- collecting four of Malakal's five puzzle bundles with Erik retrieving the other.
Despite Cirie and Amanda having a large lead as they began to put the puzzle together, Jason and Eliza took a better approach to it once all of Airai's pieces were collected. Airai won Immunity and sent Malakal to Tribal Council for the third consecutive time.
Amanda and Cirie apologized for their lack of skill in putting the puzzle together but Ozzy was already focused on the impending Tribal Council.
"We need to keep Erik," he told Amanda, Ami and Cirie. "I think it just makes more sense to vote Tracy."
While the girls agreed to Ozzy's face, Ami pondered her standing in the tribe.
"Ozzy's wanting Erik to stay because he's got a good relationship going with Erik," she said. "But I just feel like I can work more with Tracy. She's more into the game, and being third or fourth among Cirie, Ozzy and Amanda is something that's definitely always on my mind."
Ami approached Tracy with a plan -- Amanda and Cirie will vote Erik; Ozzy will vote Tracy; and she, Erik, and Tracy will blind-side Ozzy. Needing to save her own skin, Tracy unsurprisingly embraced the suggestion.
"I'm writing Ozzy's name down," she told Erik.
"You are?" answered Erik, obviously concerned about the repercussions if the plan didn't work.
"If this doesn't work out, I have to vote Tracy," said Erik. "If I voted Ozzy with Tracy, [the Favorites] would flip out and I would be so done."
Ami and Tracy then approached Amanda and Cirie and proposed the four females vote to oust Erik because he's a physical threat. To hold up her end of her plan, Ami played like she was taking a backseat in the decision-making process.
"I'm willing to vote for Erik as long as you two say that that's good," Ami told them.
Cirie and Amanda weighed their options, with Cirie commenting how she was concerned about not being able to trust Erik, Ami and Tracy. Amanda was specifically concerned her relationship with Ozzy would also be ousted if she went against him.
"If I was definitely set on wanting Erik out tonight -- he'd be gone tonight, I guarantee you," she said. "But I don't know at this point... If I go against Ozzy then I can pretty much kiss that relationship good-bye."
Realizing there was resistance to her plan from Cirie and Amanda, Ami knew she had a big decision to make at Tribal.
"Am I gonna take Ozzy out, or am I gonna stick with these people that I've known from the beginning and vote out one of the Fans?" she wondered. "Tonight's decision is a very big decision. It could change the game in a serious way."
Survivor: Micronesia's seventh Tribal Council commenced and Jeff stated the obvious, that Malakal was "in trouble" after losing its third consecutive Immunity Challenge. He asked Tracy who the leader was, and she singled out Ozzy.
"It's ridiculous," responded Ozzy. "If I'm the leader of this tribe, I haven't known about it. I do what needs to get done at certain times, but I really don't feel like I'm the leader of the tribe."
Cirie halfheartedly agreed with Tracy, claiming 90% of everything Malakal does has to be cleared with Ozzy first. Not surprisingly, Erik sided with Ozzy.
"There's a conflict going on -- there's a conflict in this tribe," said Erik. "I understand Ozzy's point. Nobody wants to be the leader but things need to get done, things need to happen. He's doing so much for this tribe. If he was gone, we would fall apart faster than we are right now."
Ami said there were pros and cons to looking long and short term.
"You've got to play your cards when it makes the most sense," she said, adding the bigger threats will have to be taken care of at some point.
"I'm not that naive to think that people don't want me gone even if they need me to win challenges," said Ozzy. "I'm still going to give it my all and I'm still going to be loyal to the people I've said I'm going to be loyal to. Nothing's going to change that. So if I'm a threat -- and people want to get rid of me -- that's one strategy. The other strategy is they can be with me and we can try to go to the end together."
Tracy said she thought she'd be a better tribemate than Ozzy since he'll just "demolish" them once the merge occurs.
"I would be less of a threat than Ozzy to Ami, Amanda, Cirie," said Tracy. "It's just as simple as that. Black and white. There's no gray."
Malakal didn't agree, as Tracy cast the lone vote for Ozzy and she became the ninth castaway eliminated by a unanimous 5-1 margin.
"Going up against the Favorites was quite difficult," said Tracy after her ouster. "Ozzy is a wonderful player in this game. He is manipulative and he is strategic. He will definitely take the rest of the tribe down. They need to get rid of him ASAP or they don't stand a chance."
Due to CBS' coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites next episode will air Thursday, April 3 at 8PM ET/PT.