Courtney Yates wouldn't eat the damn apple and as a result, her "Survivor boyfriend" Michael "Frosti" Zernow, a 20-year-old parkour athlete/student from Chicago, IL, became the ninth castaway eliminated from Survivor: China during last night's broadcast of the long-running CBS reality competition series.

"I wanted to prove that somebody who's younger, smaller could come out here and do the same job that anyone else can do," said Frosti following his elimination.  "I have proved that."

Survivor: China's ninth episode began at the merged Hae Da Fung camp, with James Clement, a 30-year-old grave digger from Lafayette, LA, realizing it was a "narrow escape" for him at the previous Tribal Council when he received three votes against him.  However since he has both of Survivor: China's Hidden Immunity Idols in his possession, James also commented the odds aren't that high he'll be going anywhere in the near future.

James awoke the other seven remaining castaways with a song, and Courtney, a 26-year-old waitress from New York, NY, compared it to Christmas morning since Jean-Robert Bellande -- who she labeled as a "complainer" -- had been ousted at the previous Tribal Council. 

Courtney told Amanda Kimmel, a 23-year-old hiking guide and Miss Montana USA 2005 from Los Angeles, CA, that Denise Martin, a 40-year-old school lunch lady from Douglas, MA, was "upset" because she was unaware the original Fei Long members were going to boot Jean-Robert, who was also an original Fei Long member. 

Courtney was nervous that Denise "could easily switch" and align with the three remaining original Zhan Hu members.  As if on cue, Courtney and Amanda noticed Denise was shooting daggers at the them.

"It kind of makes me feel on the outside," explained Denise in a confessional.  "I had an opportunity to switch over to the Zhan Hu and I decided to stay with the group that I'm close to and I still get backstabbed.  It's a hard position for me right now."

James tried to explain to Denise what happened the previous night and assured her that she didn't have a target on her back, however Denise was still left to wonder if she'd be the next to go.  Because James has both the Hidden Immunity Idols, Denise realized it was "smart to stick with him."

Frosti; Erik Huffman, a 26-year-old musician from Nashville, TN; and Peih-Gee Law, a 29-year-old jeweler from Marina Del Rey, CA, are the only remaining original Zhan Hu members in the merged Hae Da Fung tribe. 

"I don't get along with anybody here," openly complained Peih-Gee.  Always the straight-shooter, James told Peih-Gee she's "definitely on the outs," mostly because she's "micro-managing" everything around camp.  Courtney joked Peih-Gee had taken over Jean-Robert's role at camp.  Todd Herzog, a 22-year-old flight attendant from Pleasant Grove, UT, agreed with Courtney's comment before noticing that Courtney and Frosti were cuddling at camp.

"Courtney is tight with Frosti and she is flirting with him," said Todd.  "It's scary -- it really is -- because you never know if she is going to want to twist or turn... and that worries me."

The eight remaining castaways then met for Survivor: China's next Reward Challenge, and host Jeff Probst explained the rules.

Hae Da Fung was divided into two teams of four.  Using four different-sized drums, each team had to keep a ball in the air by bouncing it from one drum to another as they navigated through a series of obstacles. If they dropped the ball, they had to return to the starting gate. At the end of the course is the finishing bin. The first team to bounce three balls into the bin would win Reward -- an overnight cruise and dinner on China's Lee River.
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A school-yard pick 'em was used to divide the teams.  The red team consisted of Peih-Gee, James, Todd and Denise, while the yellow team consisted of Erik, Frosti, Amanda and Courtney.

The challenge began with both of the teams having problems establishing a rhythm, however Erik and Frosti seemed to work really well together for the yellow team and finally got the hang of it.  As the red team bumbled its way down the course and struggled to even get near the finishing bin -- never mind deposit a ball into it -- the yellow team was moving seamlessly up and down the course and eventually claimed Reward.

Back at the Hae Da Fun camp, Peih-Gee had somewhat of a hypocritical moment when she called out James for not trying his hardest during the challenge.

"I can't believe you ever accused me of giving up at challenges," said Peih-Gee to James.  "I saw your ass strolling back to the mat every time we dropped the ball."  Needless to say, James didn't take too kindly to the comment.

"Go away," he told Peih-Gee.  "You got some nerve... for a loser. Shut up!  How dare you?"

When Peih-Gee pointed the finger once again at James as the reason why the team lost the challenge, he quickly turned the tables.

"That's why you lose," said James, "you are quick to blame!"  Peih-Gee decided to calm down by going for a swim.

"I'm probably pissed off that we lost the challenge and taking it out on James," she recognized.  "But I'm the only person who hasn't won any Reward Challenges. I'm pissed about it... I don't have a single ally here. I don't have anybody.  I'm like in a really bad position, and it's probably not smart picking fights with people.  But I can't keep my mouth shut sometimes."

James vented to Denise about the "nerve" Peih-Gee has to accuse him of not trying his hardest during challenge.

"I'm just trying to keep away from the evil temptations of the Zhan Hu," said James to Denise.  "But the little pretty boys [Frosti and Erik] and the little annoying girl [Peih-Gee], they are still in it!  They are still trying to infiltrate [Fei Long], where we already have pre-destined ourselves... Courtney, she's flaky but she's going to fall in line.  Hopefully her and [Frosti] don't have a big romance tonight [on Reward], which might happen.  That would hurt.  It makes no sense for us to mess it up now, but it's still human nature.  It's right there... Just don't eat the damn apple!  Don't eat that damn apple!"

The riverboat worked its way down China's Lee River, and Erik saw it as a "good opportunity" to try and develop relationships with Courtney and Amanda.  When Amanda labeled Peih-Gee as "too intense" and Courtney added Peih-Gee's "made a series of poor decisions," Erik saw his opening.

"As much as I am still on Peih-Gee's side, I don't mind her being talked about negatively because as long as she is being talked about, I'm not," he said.

Meanwhile Courtney gave Frosti a back massage and gushed, "I love my Frosti!"

"I like Courtney a lot, and I think both of us feel that and that's good," said Frosti.  "She's a real attractive girl. She's smart... She's way out of my league!  But having someone to be comfortable around is really nice."

Erik then began to try and charm Courtney and Amanda to make a good impression on them.  Amanda said she "really likes Erik," described him as "adorable," and "definitely" wanted to see him around "as long as possible."  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and bread was then served and everybody ate.  However Frosti saw what Erik was trying to do and felt a tinge of uneasiness about it.

"Erik, he is a threat," said Frosti.  "He's been doing a really good job of getting close to Amanda and Courtney.  It does worry me just because there's no reason they couldn't be like, 'Why don't we just take Erik instead of Frosti?'  It's scary.  I don't want to be replaced."

The next day Amanda, Courtney, Erik and Frosti arrived back at Hae Da Fung and lied about what they had to eat since they didn't want to make everyone else jealous.  Todd sat in the surf with Courtney, Frosti, Amanda and Erik, and the group openly bashed Peih-Gee.

"Peih-Gee is not necessarily in most people's good graces right now," said Erik.  "Hopefully I'll be safe -- unless Peih-Gee wins Immunity -- then it's a whole new story."

Hae Da Fung then gathered for Survivor: China's next Immunity Challenge, which tested their memories, and Jeff explained the rules.

Each castaway had a series of Chinese zodiac symbols on a table in front of them. In each round, Jeff would call out a specific sequence of symbols. The castaways had to place their symbols in the correct order as stated. If they got it correct, they stayed in the game. Answer incorrectly and they were out. The last person remaining won Immunity.

However there was a twist right before the challenge began.  Jeff gave them the ultimatum that they could either participate in the challenge and try to win Immunity, or opt out and eat as many cheeseburgers and french fries as they could stomach.

"It's a simple case of temptation," said Jeff.

Todd, Denise and James -- who did not have the luxury of eating on the riverboat following the previous Reward Challenge -- made the decision to sit out and stuff their faces.  While she did eat on the boat, Courtney decided to join them anyway.

The Immunity Challenge then commenced, and Erik was eliminated on the first sequence of symbols with Amanda following his lead in the next round.  Frosti was feeling the pressure of being the only one left competing against Peih-Gee, aware that she's the one who's been targeted for elimination.  Peih-Gee eventually outlasted Frosti and claimed Individual Immunity, much to the chagrin of everyone else.

Back at camp Frosti looked dejected as Erik tried to extend a shoulder for his friend to lean on.

"Not winning Immunity today and having Peih-Gee win means you can't vote her out," said Frosti.  "I think Erik kind of already knows he is on the chopping block."

Just because Frosti thought Erik knew he was on the chopping block didn't mean Frosti wasn't also aware that he too could be booted.  While Erik was worried, he was hoping that the fact that he had gotten "tight" with Todd, Amanda and Courtney could help him climb the ladder of standing in the tribe.

Frosti immediately began to campaign Todd about being wary of Erik, who he described as "not overbearing... not abrasive" like Peih-Gee but still "smooth" with the girls.  Todd agreed, and thought Erik was using his "good ole' country-boy from Tennessee" charm.  Internally, Todd didn't know what to do.

"Tonight's vote's killer!" said Todd.  "Erik -- if he makes it to the end -- hands down guaranteed the $1 million. But Frosti is a big threat!  You watch him perform in any of the challenges and he is great, and that kind of worries me.  So I don't know what I am going to do."

Todd explained to Denise and James that their choice for the evening was between Erik and Frosti, and Denise made it clear they should be careful about whether or not the can trust Courtney to vote for Frosti.  Todd suggested if Courtney can't stick with the other original Fei Long members, maybe they "should turn it around and get rid of her."

Todd then approached Courtney, explained the night's decision was most likely going to be Frosti, and added Denise and James were "scared to death" Courtney wouldn't vote to boot him.

"Why? Because [Frosti] is kind of like my Survivor boyfriend?" wondered Courtney.  Todd said that was exactly the case and asked if she'd be willing to write Frosti's name down.

"We'll see how it goes," she replied.

"I'm worried," said Todd in a confessional, echoing Denise and James' thoughts.  "We just don't know what to expect.  [Courtney] could literally take a sharp turn right at any moment... I may have to vote for her."

Survivor: China's ninth Tribal Council commenced, and Jean-Robert and Jaime Dugan entered as the first two members of the jury.  James revealed he ate seven of the 12 cheeseburgers that were available to him during the Immunity Challenge.  Todd said he was enticed to eat the burgers by the "fat kid" inside of him.

"It's very risky, putting yourself in that situation," said Todd.  "Especially when you tell yourself you would never do it."

Frosti then explained why he decided to participate in the Immunity Challenge instead of eat.

"I know that being here, there's always a chance that you could go home -- no matter how comfortable you feel," said Frosti.  "That's a chance some people decided to take, but I want to know that I've done everything I can to do my best and try my hardest, so that if I do go home, I know that it's not because I didn't do everything I could."

Similar to Frosti, Erik said he "knew" he had to participate in the challenge because of his current standing at the bottom of the Hae Da Fung tribe.  Jeff inquired if strategic relationships and personal relationships are starting to become intertwined.

"I do believe that forming the relationships that I did with the whole tribe really did help me get this far," said Frosti.  "Yes, sometimes you do have to hurt people who you've gotten close to.  But it is a game and everyone understands that and sometimes in games, people get hurt."

It was apparently Frosti's turn to be the one who got hurt, as he was unanimously ousted by a 7 to 1 vote [Frosti voted for Erik].

"Frosti, the tribe has spoken..." said Jeff.

"With cheeseburgers still on their breathe!" said Frosti, finishing Jeff's comment.

"I expected some people to kind of backstab, but I didn't expect it right now," said Frosti after he vacated the Tribal Council area.  "I got beat by the tiny flight attendant [Todd]; the sassy New York waitress [Courtney]; and the lady with the mullet [Denise]."

Before Hae Da Fung left the Tribal Council area, Jeff had a little surprise for them.

"Now more than ever, the ability to adapt moment to moment is what's going to keep you in this game.  We're going to test that right now," said Jeff.  "Tonight you will not be heading directly back to camp... We have more business to attend to here."

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, CBS will air a Survivor: China recap episode on Thursday, November 22 at 8PM ET/PT.  Survivor: China's next new episode will then air on Thursday, November 29 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

(Photo credit CBS) About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.