Cook Islands: Episode 3

Much like certain members of the US Senate,
a couple members of the revamped Aitu tribe voted out of fear, rather
than voting for what they felt was right. As a result, Cecilia was
sacrificed in the name of security on Survivor: Cook Islands.

After
six days as four racially segregated tribes, the Survivors were
summoned in front of Jeff Probst to merge into new tribes. Cecilia,
Parvati, Brad, and Jonathan were randomly selected to start the
schoolyard pick.

Tribes were first selected by gender, with the
stipulation that each successive pick must be from an old tribe not yet
represented on the new team.

Cecilia was given first choice, and she
and Parvati alternated picks until the teams were as follows:
 Cecilia…Jessica…Sundra…Becky…Candice
 Parvati….Jenny…Cristina…Rebecca…Stephannie

The men chose their teams next. Brad picked first:
 Brad….JP….Nate….Adam
 Jonathan….Yul….Ozzy….Cao Boi

The
four new tribes were then combined randomly to form two new tribes.
Cecilia’s and Jonathan’s teams became the new Aitu, and Brad’s and
Parvati’s teams formed the new Raro.

Aitu
Cecilia, Jessica, Sundra, Becky, Candice, Jonathan, Yul, Ozzy, Cao Boi

Raro
Parvati, Jenny, Cristina, Rebecca, Stephannie, Brad, JP, Nate, Adam

Nate
felt like the Fresh Prince as he toured Raro’s camp: “They took us out
of the ghetto and took us to Bel Air.” Parvati was just happy Nate was
around, so that she’d have someone new to flirt with.

Things were just as congenial at Aitu, where Cao Boi told Jessica, “You’re not Asian, but I love you.”

Speaking of love, the merge gave Cecilia the opportunity to ask Candice
about her supposed romance with last week’s evictee, Billy. A stunned
Candice clarified that, when she told Billy, “We love you,” at the last
challenge, “I didn’t mean it like that.”

Becky all but skipped
introductions, quickly getting Jonathan and Candice to agree to an
alliance with her and Yul. Yul cemented his bond with Becky by
disclosing to her that he’d found the hidden Immunity Idol on Exile
Island.

When Jonathan tried to pull Jessica into the alliance as
well, she balked, claiming that she wanted to get to know everyone
before joining an alliance. She confessed to the cameras that she
wasn’t completely comfortable around Jonathan and Candice.

At
Raro, Nate speared an octopus, which wrapped itself around Brad on its
way to the cooking pot. Then a whale swam by Aitu’s beach, and, after
one-upping the other hunters last week, I expected Yul to swim out and
catch it.

Tonight’s Immunity Challenge was a repeat of one of my
favorites from a few seasons ago. The members of each tribe were
clipped, single file, to a rope that created a huge oval track. Tribes
started on opposite sides of the oval, and the object was for your
group to catch up to, and then tackle, a member of the opposing tribe.

To
make things a little more difficult, the track was situated in
knee-deep water, and each tribe member carried a 15-pound bag.
Contestants could drop out of the race at any time, so long as they
gave their bag to another person to carry. In an endurance race, the
longer a team could spread the weight out amongst its tribe members,
the better.

After only one lap around the track, all of the
female members of Aitu dropped out of the race. The strategy was for
the men to put on an early burst and catch the other tribe. But with the extra baggage, they were unable to do so.

The female members of Raro held out slightly longer, with Rebecca
lasting for several laps. The men of Aitu tired quickly, and Raro soon
caught up with them. The men of Raro were easily able to tackle a
sluggish Cao Boi.

In addition to avoiding Tribal Council, the
winning tribe selected a member from the losing tribe to Exile Island.
They chose Candice, in order to keep anyone else from falling in love
with her.

At Aitu camp, Ozzy promised not to vote for Cao Boi,
and Cao Boi suggested they vote for Becky. So Ozzy recruited Cecilia,
Sundra, and Jessica, who all agreed that Becky should go.

With
their original alliance in jeopardy, as Candice languished on Exile
Island, Jonathan asked Jessica about her plans. Jessica said she didn’t
have a good vibe about Becky, and she was set on voting for her, and
not for Jonathan’s proposed target, Cecilia. Jonathan told Jessica she
needed to think past the next vote and ultimately do what was best for
her.

Yul worked to persuade Cao Boi that his position in the
game was better if he stuck with Yul, Jonathan, and Becky. Cao Boi
seemed skeptical, though he did decide to talk things over with
Jessica, to see where she was leaning.

Both Cao Boi and Jessica agreed that they didn’t trust Jonathan. Cao
Boi told Jessica that they would be outsiders in any group, but that
they might have better luck sticking with the unified front of Yul,
Becky, Jonathan, and Candice. Jessica’s brain hurt, as she realized she
really was going to have to think further ahead than the next
challenge, if she wanted to stay in the game.

The conversation seemed like a classic Survivor red herring, just
thrown in to add a little suspense. Jessica and and Cao Boi had
originally been so adamant about voting for Becky. And they’d been so
resistant when initially confronted by Yul and Jonathan.

As
members of both sides cast their votes at Tribal Council, everyone said
that tonight’s vote was pure strategy, nothing personal. Everyone
except Ozzy, who resented that Becky didn’t try to get to know him. His
need to make everything personal could get him voted off sooner than he
would, otherwise.

To the surprise of a previously relaxed and
confident Ozzy, Sundra, and Cecilia, (and me) Jonathan’s and Yul’s
pressure worked on Jessica and Cao Boi. Ultimately, they made what they
viewed as the safer vote: sending Cecilia home, even though they liked
her better than Becky.

If I wasn’t sure already, I’m now convinced that Jonathan, Yul, and
Becky are serious players. And I think they’re all going to be around
for a long time.

Next week, the men of Raro take a break from work, and Cao Boi ratchets up his weirdness by knocking a baby bird from its nest.