Mike Borassi and Betsy Bolan get eliminated from 'Survivor: Samoa'
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/25/2009
Survivor: Samoa's two oldest castaways were both eliminated during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series, with Mike Borassi getting medically evacuated after an extremely physical challenge and Betsy Bolan having her torch snuffed at the subsequent Tribal Council session.
Mike, a 62-year-old private chef from Marina del Rey, CA, was deemed unable to continue competing after a Survivor medic said his blood pressure fell to dangerously low levels following the challenge that had him wrestling other castaways in a pit.
"I wanted to go all the way," said Mike. "I'm a little beat up, but those guys never got me down in the pit. I think that shows I can be tough when I have to be -- no matter what age I am."
Betsy, a 48-year-old police officer from Campton, NH, was then targeted as the Foa Foa tribe's weakest member since Mike was evacuated. While she tried to save her skin by placing a target on Ben Browning -- who became the first ever castaway in Survivor history to be kicked out of a challenge -- it was to no avail.
"Well it took me six years to get here. I loved every minute of it," said Betsy after her ouster.
"The only thing I'm not going to miss is Ben and his attitude. He needs to grow up. He's still not admitting he did something wrong at the challenge. It's all going to blow up in their face. They made the wrong choice tonight. I just hope they kind of see that. If they don't open up their eyes, the whole tribe will go down I bet."
Survivor: Samoa's second episode began on Day 4 following the previous night's elimination of Marisa Calihan, as Russell Hantz, a 36-year-old oil company owner from Dayton, TX, privately gloated about his ability to convince his fellow Foa Foa tribemates to give her the boot.
"Tribal Council, I liked it. I had fun," Russell H. boasted. "Marisa gone for no other reason but me, and that's a fact. If you play with fire you're going to get burned -- and she got burned. I'm excited Marisa's gone. I don't have to worry about it no more. I don't have to worry about her strong mind. She's a strong woman. You can't have that out here... I can't have it."
Betsy was aware that she was most-likely on Russell H.'s bad side since she voted to oust Ashley Trainer, a 22-year-old spa sales representative from Maple Grove, MN, instead of Marisa. Russell assured her that she could trust him.
"I want to keep you around as long as I possibly can," Russell H. told Betsy, adding he thought she made a "huge mistake" in voting for Ashley.
"As long as we agree we don't trust each other," replied Betsy. "We still can talk."
"Why didn't you trust me from the beginning?" asked Russell H.. "You're not a threat to me."
Despite Russell H.'s warning, Betsy said she had no regrets in voting for Ashley.
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"I think Russ felt very threatened by Marisa," Betsy said in a confessional. "He didn't like her. She spoke her mind. I'm not afraid to stand up to him at all. He knows where I'm coming from. He knows I have no faith in him. I used to, but not after getting to know him."
Over at the Galu camp, Yasmin Giles, a 33-year-old hairstylist from Detroit, MI who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, was complaining about the outdoors.
"Last night was horrible," opined Yasmin. "Lord have mercy God, I didn't know it was going to be this hard. I was shaking. I was cold. I was nauseated. I don't know what was happening. All I know is it was not good. I've been told so many times, 'Oh, if you can make it in Detroit you can make it anywhere.' What the hood? The hood's not the wood."
Back at Foa Foa, Russell H. and Jaison Robinson, a 28-year-old law student from Chicago, IL, discussed Marisa's elimination.
Jaison said he was a little "shocked" about how aggressive Russell H. and Ben, a 28-year-old mixologist from Los Angeles, CA, were in booting her. Russell H. said it had nothing to do with hatred, he just thought she was a "real powerful player."
"What do you think about Ben though," asked Jaison.
"I trust you way more than Ben," replied Russell H..
"Do you?" asked Jaison.
In private, Russell H. explained how Jaison was a "perfect" ally due to his calm demeanor.
"He's an honest guy, he's playing the game and playing the challenges hard," explained Russell H.. "He's quiet, but he's likable. You can't do this alone. You've got to have somebody. So if Jaison is the person I can trust then this is going to be real good."
As they were talking, Russell H. mentioned he thought there was an Immunity Idol hidden around camp and added the only reason he was telling Jaison was because he trusted him.
"I'm going to start looking for it," Russell H. told Jaison. "Because if we can find that without even any clues... That would be wonderful."
Russell H. began to poke around camp and eventually focused on the hollow of a tall tree right near their fire pit as the rest of his tribemates roasted a lizard.
"What's he doing in there?" asked elected Foa Foa tribe leader Mick Trimming, a 33-year-old doctor from Boise, ID who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
"I'm looking for the Immunity Idol," answered Russell H. honestly before criticizing the castaways in private.
"These people are so ignorant," said Russell H. in a confessional. "Everybody's standing in the same spot. I'm in a big old hole in the tree, I don't want to look suspicious. But it certainly does."
While looking in the tree, Russell H. looked up and found a package that contained the Hidden Immunity Idol.
"I almost passed out," he said. "I reached up there, got it loose, put it in my underwear, turned around and just walked off. The wonderful Immunity Idol."
Russell H. subsequently shared the news with Jaison.
"I'm excited we have it," said Jaison in a confessional. "I think it's definitely a tool we can use. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that he has control of it as opposed to me. But at this point I think I can trust Russell a lot more."
Russell H. said while his initial strategy was to not tell anybody if he found the Immunity Idol, he decided to let Jaison know.
"I wanted Jaison to trust me, so I showed him I had it," he said before burying it in the sand on the beach. "I don't have plans to give it to him, I just want him to think that I will if he needs it."
Betsy and Mike walked together to get Tree Mail and discussed how they were the two oldest castaways.
"Betsy's paranoid that we're the two older ones," said Mike. "But at the Tribal Council, I didn't get one vote. I want to show them today I'm not the weakest. I'm the oldest, but I'm definitely not the weakest."
Russell, Jaison and Ashley discussed what would happen should Foa Foa lose the next Immunity Challenge, and Ashley confirmed Betsy's paranoia by saying either she or Mike would be the next to go.
"The debate about voting people out is between Mike and Betsy," Elizabeth Kim, a 33-year-old urban planner from New York, NY, repeated in a confessional. "The more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be smarter to vote Mike off. He can't compete physically, and god forbid we lose the next Immunity, Mike's going to go."
Upon returning to camp, Mike read the Tree Mail and it quickly became clear that it would be a physical challenge. The castaways were instructed to arrive at the challenge painted as a Samoan warrior.
"This is the one where I have to prove myself, show my stuff," said Mike in a confessional. "I'm a mean motor scooter and a bad go-getter man when it comes to one-on-one stuff... I'm going to take them downtown to Chinatown. I'm waiting for this, or I'll die trying."
The two tribes then met for the combined Reward/Immunity Challenge and host Jeff Probst explained the rules.
Three members of each tribe would battle to retrieve three balls. They would then pass those balls to three other tribemates up on a platform, who would attempt to shoot those balls into a basket mounted near the opposing tribe's platform. After every point, the tribes would switch positions. The first tribe to score three points would win Immunity and fishing gear. In addition, Jeff revealed there was a twist that would be revealed at the end of the challenge.
Since Galu had one extra member and had to sit out a woman, Monica Padilla, a 25-year-old law student from San Diego, CA, volunteered to sit out of the challenge.
In the first round the men were in the pit and the women were the shooters. It was immediately physical with the men tackling each other and throwing body checks. Elizabeth scored the first basket, giving Foa Foa an early lead. Moving to the sidelines, Mike already looked incredibly winded.
In the second round, the women were in the pit and were just as physical as the men. Shannon "Shambo" Waters, a 45-year-old sales representative from Renton, WA, tackled Elizabeth with a flying head punch, causing Jeff to call out, "Easy on the face!" John Fincher, a 25-year-old rocket scientist from Los Angeles, CA, shot and scored for Galu, tying the score at one.
Before the third round began, Jeff issued a warning.
"I'm just going to tell you what I'm observing. You're right on that line of getting ugly," he said. "So there's no more warnings for a headbutt, an accidental choke, a slap to the face -- consider yourself warned that from this point forward if I see anything resembling a cheap shot, you're out of the challenge."
The third round had men on the platform and a mix of men and women in the pit. Jaison clashed with Galu tribal leader Russell Swan, a 42-year-old attorney from Glenside, PA, while Yasmin battled Ashley. Ben also threw Yasmin into the pit's fencing and took down John with a leg tackle. Russell S. was finally able to escape Jaison, however Ben took him down with a swift kick to his lower legs.
"Stop!" yelled Jeff. "Ben, out of the challenge! First time in the history of Survivor that somebody's been pulled out of a challenge."
Foa Foa was forced to finish the round down one person in the pit, allowing Erik Cardona, a 28-year-old bartender from Ontario, CA, to make an easy basket for Galu and give them a 2 to 1 lead.
In the fourth round Mike took a mighty shot from Erik. He was slow to get to his feet and stammered around out of breath as Laura Morett, a 39-year-old office manager from Salem, OR, scored the winning basket for Galu.
Jeff asked Ben how he felt about being tossed from the challenge.
"Outlaw baby," he answered pointing at himself. "Whatever. There's no use crying over spilled milk. I'm just going to let it go."
The twist was then revealed, as Russell S. learned he had to choose one member from Galu to join Foa Foa at their camp -- where they would live and gather information while also attending Foa Foa's upcoming Tribal Council session. He chose to send Yasmin.
Before sending Foa Foa back to camp, Jeff had Mike see the Survivor medical team.
"During the challenge Mike took some very hard hits. He was very out of breath," said Ashley. "He just did not seem right to me, and that's huge. If we continue losing, we're going to dwindle to nothing and then we're going to just get kicked out one by one."
After taking Mike's blood pressure, a medic tried to get him to stand -- however he immediately fell back to the ground as his tribemates looked on in concern.
"As a physician myself, you always -- especially out here -- got to consider the worst case scenario," said Mick. "Which for him is probably a big heart attack."
Mike sat and then stood on his own, and his blood pressure was taken again by a medic. The medic explained Mike's blood pressure dropped considerably just by him standing up.
"Is this something that a couple of canteens of water back at camp will remedy?" asked Jeff.
"We've already tried his canteen and we waited another 40 minutes," said the medic. "The fact that he was blue when he came off the game is a bit scary. It just shows us that his heart's not pumping very well."
"So doc, just so we're clear: you are pulling Borassi from the game," said Probst.
"At this point yeah," answered the medic.
Mike then said his goodbyes to Foa Foa before they returned to camp.
"I was privy to the conversation that Mike had with the physician," said Mick. "I think she absolutely made the right decision. With Mike gone and Marisa gone and another Tribal Council... I'd like to say we could push through but it does not bode well for us."
At Galu, Shambo used some of her tribe's new fishing gear to try and find some fish. Her fellow tribemates were eager for her return with fish, however unbeknownst to them she caught none and simply relaxed in a swamp.
"I didn't catch any fish but I tried," said Shambo as she floated in the swamp. "There's no visibility in this pond water so I can't use the mask and the spear. So I'm going to back float around here for a little while."
Upon returning to camp Shambo said there was "good news" and "bad news." When Galu said they wanted to the bad news first, she told them she lost the mouthpiece for the snorkeling mask. She then revealed the good news was there were "hundreds of thousands of fish on the reef" -- none of which she caught.
"The good news is -- you'll never believe it -- there's fish in the ocean!" mocked Laura in a confessional.
"I feel sorry for her in one sense because she's kind of desperate right now trying to catch fish -- and then on top of not catching the fish she loses our stuff. You just signed your own death warrant is basically what you did."
At Foa Foa, Yasmin took the opportunity to introduce herself -- and she did so in a very forward manner.
"I'm here to help you guys strategize because, to me, I don't like a not fair fight," said Yasmin, taking a not-so-subtle shot at Foa Foa.
"It's almost like why be matched up with people that's not matched up with the right people? Because then it's like taking candy from a baby. Who the hell wants to do that? That won't boost my self-esteem, that'll make me seem like I really did something that was a cake walk."
Yasmin continued, claiming that strategy was something Foa Foa was "lacking." In addition, she also singled out Ben and said she wanted to have a private word with him later on.
Russell H. bit his tongue in public, but was privately fuming about Yasmin's Foa Foa introduction.
"She's full of crap," said Russell H. in a confessional. "She comes over here to our camp and disrespects us, calls us babies, tells us how we can win a challenge if we listen to her. She come to the wrong camp because she ain't getting nothing but disrespect from me from now on. She's going to pay for that statement, I promise you."
Yasmin then opened the note handed to her by Jeff at the challenge and discovered it was a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol located in Foa Foa's camp -- the one Russell H. already found.
Yasmin then pulled Ben aside on the beach to discuss the challenge.
"Let's talk about cheap shots," began Yasmin.
"Tripping's not really a cheap shot," immediately replied Ben.
"You tackled me like a dude," said Yasmin, not even wanting to address Ben's kick of Russell S.. "Don't tell me you don't remember."
"Well, that's just the way the game's played," replied Ben. "It wasn't anything personal."
The two continued to argue, with Yasmin unwilling to relent -- calling Ben's actions "disrespectful" and claiming he was showing her no "sympathy."
"Listen grammar school," said Ben.
"Listen ignorant," fired back Yasmin.
The two continued to bicker -- and loudly, so the other Foa Foa castaways could hear almost everything.
"Yasmin is just a piece of work. Yasmin has a big mouth. Yasmin smells bad," said Ben in a confessional. "She's got really poor grammar. I think Yasmin is pretty close to being a hooker."
Yasmin thought she finished the fight by calling Ben a "big sissy" -- however it continued at camp in front of everybody else.
"Ben is definitely a wildcard. He's definitely a liability," said Ashley. "He's saying things at challenges, he's getting kicked out of challenges. Honestly, I think what Ben's doing is stupid on his part."
Ben continued to badmouth Yasmin to Russell H., who was pleased with the chaos surrounding him.
"I wish Yasmin was here for another three days because I love confrontation," said Russell H. "That just makes everybody not like Ben. I've got some great plans set ahead and it's going to be real fun."
That night Ben inexplicably chopped wood in the middle of the night -- all of which made lots of loud noise while the other castaways tried to sleep.
"I don't know what's going on but Ben was up all night," said Betsy in a confessional. "I think he's asking to be thrown out. It's so ridiculous. It was so crazy. Why would you hammer a machete in the middle of the night with the fire going? There's no reason. So, I don't think anybody's too happy."
Jaison and Mick expressed their frustration with Ben and decided he wasn't as big of a tough guy as he lets on.
"In the challenges Ben doesn't seem to be helping very much," added Jaison.
Betsy realized that without Mike around she was next on the chopping block.
"I know they're all looking at me as being the elder and the weakest," explained Betsy. "But I don't want to go home at all. I don't want to go home at all. I don't want to go home at all."
Betsy met with Mick and explained she felt Ben needed to go.
"Tonight I think Betsy's going home," said Mick in a confessional. "We need to focus on challenges and she is considered to be the weakest link right now physically. But Ben getting kicked out of the challenge, him waking up and chopping wood, this big altercation with Yasmin -- those are three big strikes. So I don't know if he's got a lot of friends left."
Betsy then pleaded her case to Ashley and Natalie White, a 26-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Van Buren, AR -- asking them to use their womanly intuition. Although they were initially reluctant, they eventually seemed to begin considering the idea.
"Maybe Ben would be the right choice to kick out tonight," said Ashley. "He's not a nice guy and he's kind of pissing people off. I was stuck on voting out Betsy, but now that I think about it more and more, I don't know if that's the right choice."
Ashley discussed it with Elizabeth, who told her they took a risk the previous Tribal Council by keeping Mike and Betsy and booting Marisa. She added they couldn't take that risk again.
"There's some good points to voting out Ben eventually," said Elizabeth. "But Betsy is a 47-year-old cop and Ben is a 28-year-old young guy. They are not physically equivalent."
Elizabeth explained Ashley's concerns to Russell H. and Jaison. Russell H. explained it was important to boot Betsy or they would be toast in the upcoming challenges.
"Betsy is going home tonight because first of all, she's the weakest link," said Russell H. in a confessional.
"Second of all, she doesn't trust me. Marisa threatened me, Betsy threatened me -- I'm going to go down the line. Each time somebody threatens me, they're going home. Ashley, she'll be going home next. I want to keep Ben this time, and you know what, Ben's going to stay this time. Because whatever I want happens."
Tribal Council then commenced, with Elizabeth describing Foa Foa as a "happy family" -- which caused some of the other castaways to roll their eyes. In addition, Elizabeth called the incident between Ben and Yasmin as "minor."
Jeff then asked Ben about his confrontation with Yasmin, and he explained what happened.
"Her grammar is so poor it was like talking to an idiot," said Ben. 'She's ghetto trash and I have no respect for her. She needs to go back to where she came from."
Russell H. agreed that what Yasmin said upon her arrival wasn't warmly accepted, and Jaison agreed -- to a degree.
"We've got to win a challenge," added Jaison. "You don't prove it in here, you don't prove it by yelling at somebody, you prove it by beating the other team."
Jeff asked Mick if -- as the tribe's formal "leader" -- he was okay with Ben defending his tribe.
"That's how Ben rolls," said Mick. "The guy just doesn't show teeth, he bites."
Betsy eventually voiced her frustration with being on the block instead of Ben.
"With him helping us lose the challenge, him mouthing off, him chopping wood in the middle of the night driving everybody crazy -- he would probably be the first person being voted out," she said. "What I don't understand is I'm the only one that brought my bag."
Betsy said maybe it was the cop on her, but she accused Ben of "sliding past the rules."
"I don't understand why my head's on the chopping block and not his," she said.
Ashley said losing Ben "definitely" hurt during the challenge, which was "disappointing." Jeff asked Ben if he had any regrets.
"First of all, you never said we were playing by your kind of sissy rules," Ben told Jeff, who took a deep breath after the insult.
"I regret that I didn't get to help my teammates. But do I regret tripping him? Absolutely not."
"Accidental trip or on purpose?" asked Jeff.
"Oh, completely on purpose," said Ben, explained Russell S.'s size made it difficult to tackle him.
"Ben say when this game started you had 100% chance of winning," said Jeff. "Where do you think it's at now?"
"I've got as good a chance as anybody," replied Ben.
"You believe that based on how you've acted, you're chances of winning are as good as anybody else left in the game?" questioned Jeff.
"I do," replied Ben.
Yasmin then left Tribal Council and Foa Foa cast their votes. Ben, Russell H., Elizabeth, Jaison, Ashley, Natalie and Mick all voted for Betsy, who voted for Ben. Betsy then had her torch snuffed.