Cook Islands: Episode 9

It would’ve been satisfying to see the scheming Jonathan get his comeuppance after foolishly ditching the Aitu tribe to join Raro. But Brad’s ouster may have set things up to be much more interesting in the coming weeks of Survivor: Cook Islands.

The day after Flicka was eliminated from Aitu, Candice opened up to the camera about her plans to ditch the rest of her tribe (including Jonathan) for her old buddies Parvati and Adam, once the two tribes merged.

Turns out, Candice didn’t need to wait for the merge to get her wish. At the Reward Challenge later that morning, Jeff Probst
offered all of the survivors ten seconds to decide whether they wanted
to “mutiny” — leaving their current tribe and joining the other.
Candice seized the opportunity and rejoined Adam and Parvati on Raro.

Once he saw Candice mutiny, Jonathan did the same, believing (incorrectly) that he and Candice had a strong bond. This gave Raro eight members (the four Caucasians, Nate, Rebecca, Jenny, and Brad), and left Aitu with only four (Yul, Becky, Ozzy, and Sundra).

The remaining members of Aitu were stunned by the defection, but they rallied during the Challenge.

Teams
placed two female members into a barrel and rolled them through an
obstacle course, collecting buoys along the way. At the shore, the
buoys clipped onto the barrel, and all tribe members floated with it
out to sea.

One team member dove below the water to grab four
flags before floating back to shore. The first team to clip their flags
to a pole and raise it won reward.

The race was over as soon as the tribes hit the water. Raro’s A-Team (Nate, Adam, Candice, and Jenny) quickly floated off course and never recovered. As Aitu raised their flags, Ozzy told Raro, “Mutineers are the first people to die.” Aitu then sent Candice to Exile Island.

For their Reward, Aitu
got to enjoy a letters from home and a breakfast of pastries. The
combination of the letters and the emotional win brought all of them to
tears. Yul reassured the group, “We’re a family out here.”

On Exile Island, Candice admitted that she hadn’t expected Jonathan to follow her to Raro. Now she was mad that he was bonding with her buddies, while she was alone.

But
things weren’t going well for Jonathan at camp. His arrival was met
with skepticism, and he was overly eager to please his new teammates.
He did all of the work around camp, while they lounged in the sun.

Nate
was happy to take advantage of Jonathan’s eagerness, knowing that it
wouldn’t win him any favor. Nate asked, “You think we’re gonna have
your back after you just sold out your old tribe? Are you dumb?”

Then it was time for the Immunity Challenge. All of Aitu participated, and the four Raro members who sat

Teams paddled glass-bottom boats over marks placed on the seafloor, using crosshairs
etched in the glass to line them up properly. Once lined up, teams
dropped cannonballs through a small chute. If aimed correctly, each
cannonball would land in a basket underwater. This released a pair of
buoys with letters painted on them.

After hitting three targets, teams rowed to shore with their lettered buoys and used them to solve a word puzzle.

Raro took an early lead, carefully lining up their boat and hitting their first two targets, while Aitu
struggled to figure out how to use their boat’s sight. But then Yul
realized that he could look straight down the cannonball chute instead,
and line up each basket quickly and accurately. His team had to shush
him when he nearly yelled out the secret in his excitement.

After that, Aitu soon hit their three targets and rowed to shore, while Jonathan missed Raro’s third target over and over again. When Jeff announced that Raro was having trouble, Jonathan muttered, “Oh, please.”

In his flat play-by-play voice, Jeff replied, “Jonathan getting frustrated by me.”

For
the word puzzle, teams had to rearrange their letters to form the name
of the ship on which the world’s most famous mutiny occurred. It took Aitu mere seconds to spell out “Bounty,” and the challenge was over.

Once Raro was back at camp, Parvati quickly sought out Candice to ask about her relationship with Jonathan. “How tight?”

Candice responded, succinctly: “Not tight.”

Jonathan
seemed the obvious boot, but Adam was concerned that Brad — who’d
previously said the game was “every man for himself” after the merge —
would side with Aitu as soon as he could.

Since
Jonathan had just betrayed his old tribe, Adam correctly figured
Jonathan had nobody to rely on. Adam convinced Nate that it couldn’t
hurt to drag Jonathan for a while, telling him which way to vote until
it was time to get rid of him.

Nate agreed with the plan, but he didn’t want Brad to suspect anything was up. So Nate hung out with Brad, saying they were “homies” and reassuring him that, after the merge, they would “chop [Aitu] like poop.”

At Tribal Council, Jenny made another colorful and crude promise regarding the Aitu tribe: “We’re gonna pick ’em off like zits.”

But before the zit picking and poop chopping, Raro had to vote out one of their own. Adam’s plan held, and Brad was voted out.

In
a twist on previous seasons, Brad became the first member of the jury.
That would make for a ten person jury, instead of the usual seven.
Something tells me there’s more to it than that.

Brad described Survivor as “The best, worst experience of my life.”

Next
time, Adam and Candice get smoochy, making Jenny nervous about the
strength of her tribe’s alliance. And Jeff introduces yet another twist
that could change everything. EVERYTHING!