Survivor Fiji: Episode 12

Alex’s maneuvering may ultimately wind up being responsible for Yau-Man’s ouster. Unfortunately for Alex, he won’t be around to see it happen.

After returning from the previous Tribal Council, Earl made it known to the members of his alliance that he’d always thought splitting their votes was a bad idea. Mookie had gone home, and the (slightly) more intellectually dangerous Alex was still around.

Earl’s fears were justified. Mere moments later, Stacy was talking to Alex, trying to convince him that they could be pals after the show was over. Earl sent Boo to break up the conversation and bring Stacy back to the others.

The next morning, Alex went into "ninja mode," pretending to sleep while listening to people talk, and gathering as much information as he could — anything that he could use to his advantage.

Out of range of the camp ninja, Earl and Cassandra talked with Yau-Man about the possibility of taking Dreamz to the Final Four. Because of Cassandra’s close friendship with Dreamz (making it a de facto mini-alliance), Yau-Man said he’d prefer to bring Stacy instead.

The three didn’t finalize any plans, but the conversation was a refreshing display of honesty — if not strategically sound. Rather than helping Yau-Man’s cause, it was a reminder to Cassandra that she needed to do what was in her own best interest — not Yau-Man’s, or even Earl’s.

At the Reward Challenge, the castaways used only their teeth to rip pieces of meat off of pork roasts hanging from ropes. They spit the meat they ripped off onto a plate, and the contestant whose plate weighed the most after five minutes, won.

The contest was ugly, as everyone’s heads became covered in tiny flakes of flesh: meat dust. Stacy and Dreamz even took a few swinging roasts to the face. The most successful carnivore was Boo, who shredded 8.9 lbs. of pork from the roast before time ran out. Yau-Man and Dreamz came in second and third.

For their reward, all three got to enjoy some river rafting and a picnic. Boo also got a bag that contained items that would give him an advantage in the Immunity Challenge. He sent Earl to Exile Island with "no hard feelings."

The next day, the three reward winners enjoyed a helicopter ride to a remote river location. Boo wanted to know how much it cost to rent a chopper, because "I wouldn’t mind spending $600-$900 on a really nice date."

Boo continued to jabber away throughout the ride — annoying the heck out of Dreamz and Yau-Man. It took some whitewater rafting and a huge picnic lunch to shut him up, temporarily.

Then, each of the reward winners was given a letter from home. One of Yau-Man’s kids got all "A"s on her report card — except for one "B" in Algebra. "Why can’t you get a ‘B’ in Spanish or something?" asked Yau-Man.

And Boo’s family let him know pretty much nothing, except that they were all "eating well." I guess Boo had to assume that they were all staying hydrated, sleeping at night, and going to the bathroom regularly, too.

Dreamz got emotional as he read a letter from his sister. The chance that he could win $1 million on Survivor has made Dreamz the hope of the family.

Meanwhile, on Exile Island, Earl got a new clue that said that the other Hidden Immunity Idol is hidden in a tree, next to a pile of rocks near camp.

After returning from their reward, Yau-Man and Dreamz told Cassandra, Stacy, and Alex of Boo’s incessant chatter. Alex tried to encourage the "anti-Boo"sentiment, in an effort to save himself. He even asked Dreamz to suggest to the alliance that they eliminate Boo — and Dreamz agreed.

At the Immunity Challenge, Boo revealed the advantage he’d won at the Reward Challenge. He had three paddle-shaped climbing steps, which allowed him to skip the first round of the challenge. Everyone else would have to dig in the sand to find their three climbing steps. The first two to find them would join Boo in the finals.

Dreamz and Alex were the only ones to have any real luck uncovering the steps, and they headed to the final round.

For the finals, the guys used their steps to climb a 12-foot pole and retrieve a flag. The steps could be inserted at any of several different brackets around the pole. Alex ditched his steps and quickly scaled most of the pole, but he couldn’t find a foothold that would allow him to reach the flag. Dreamz seemed to have the same problem.

Boo connected his steps to the brackets on the pole speedily and efficiently, allowing him to grab his flag first. The victory meant that Alex would have to go into desperate strategy mode if he wanted to survive that night’s vote.

Instead of being aggressive, Alex decided to sit near the camp and let people approach him. He would then prey on their own insecurities about their current alliance. Like most of Alex’s previous plans, it sounded dumb. There was no reason for anyone to talk to him, when he was an easy elimination.

But then, Cassandra came over and made Alex look very smart, if only for an episode.

Alex told Cassandra that, if she wanted to get rid of Yau-Man — who was always going to favor Stacy over Cassandra’s pal, Dreamz — this was her only chance to do so. Though Yau-Man had a Hidden Immunity Idol, he probably wouldn’t use it at this next Tribal Council, since he was positive that Alex was next out.

Cassandra brought Earl and Dreamz over for a meeting with Alex, where Alex tried to assure Earl that he wouldn’t stab them in the back. Earl pretended to consider the offer, but winked at Dreamz and Cassandra to convey his true feelings. He later said of Alex, "I’d rather just vote your ass off now, and I’ll risk it."

Dreamz still felt some loyalty to Alex, so he and Cassandra presented Alex’s offer to Stacy. She said that she was "a follower," and would go along with whatever they wanted to do.

Cassandra was in a more precarious position. Earl was not going to budge, so blindsiding Yau-Man would mean blindsiding Earl, too. That would put an end to the alliance that had gotten her this far in the game.

At Tribal Council, Yau-Man said he felt he could trust his alliance, and he thought that Alex would have a hard time convincing three people to flip. He also said that he didn’t feel the need to use his Idol tonight.

Perhaps bluffing that he would use it would’ve been the wiser approach, but it ultimately didn’t matter. Alex was voted out, 6-1, as originally planned. Alex, the world’s most inspirational lawyer, said that he had played for "the kids who feel hopeless," and encouraged them to "never stop dreaming." On behalf of all the hopeless kids who also watch Survivor, thank you Alex.

Next week, Yau-Man senses "bad vibes" from his tribemates, and he tries to make a deal with Jeff Probst at one of the challenges.

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