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Episode Eleven – “Survivor Season Two”

In this week’s episode, the situation for the Barramundi tribe turned distinctly primal.

Having exchanged their shelter for rice, the members were forced to ration the food to make it last throughout the remaining days. But trying to keep their makeshift camp dry through the wet nights was proving difficult. It seemed the tribe really needed one another to survive.

Times were desperate. But it was about to get a lot worse.

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Of course, politics were still at play. As one of only two original Kucha members to join Ogakor, Rodger was convinced that either he or Elisabeth needed to win the immunity challenge to stay in the game. Tina commented on Amber’s isolation from the rest of the group, convinced Amber couldn’t keep flying below the radar forever. Amber was tougher than she looked.

The reward challenge was a physical one, consisting of a confusing rope course with four checkpoints along the way. With a carabiner attached to a rope at all times, the first person to make it to each checkpoint and across the finish line would win. Amber gave it all she had but couldn’t quite beat Colby, who won the challenge.

The reward? Colby got to go with Australian ranchers on horseback to their ranch for an all-you-can-eat meal of beef stew, beans and bread, plus a soft, dry cot to sleep on. Yes, I’ll take that, thank you very much!

On the way to the ranch, however, a huge rainstorm dumped buckets of water on the Outback. Colby was concerned for the rest of the tribe but that didn’t stop him from digging into his food almost immediately. He felt a little guilty about winning the reward challenge again and admitted that politically it would probably work against him should he lose the immunity challenge. But he was playing the game to win and if he could build strength with a good meal now, then so be it. Of course, the food hit him like a ton of bricks-but he didn’t care. He was going to eat.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the group trekked their way back to the Barramundi camp after the storm, they came across a raging river where there wasn’t one before. Dread set in as the tribe realized that their camp, which they’d set up in a dry riverbed, had been swept away by floodwaters.

The members scrambled around their destroyed camp, trying to salvage what they could. Most important was the missing rice canister, which was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, later that evening Keith spotted the can wedged between some branches in the raging river. He and Tina risked drowning to rescue the can. Spirits were momentarily lifted until they discovered the matches in Keith’s jacket were soaked.

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No matches, no fire.

The starving, cold, soaked group then proceeded to spend the “worst night” of their lives huddled together to fight the freezing night air. The next day, a rested, refreshed Colby returned to the destruction and a campful of dejected tribe members. Though he hugged everyone and visibly felt guilty about not being there with them, the tension was palpable. It was time for the group to really work together to assemble a new shelter.

But first, the immunity challenge: “Blue Plate Special.” Each person had three dinner plates with his or her name on them hanging from a tree. Armed with slingshots and macadamia nuts for ammunition, the goal was to break everyone else’s plates before his or hers were broken. The last person with a plate hanging intact would win immunity. Though the game was good-natured on the surface, Rodger seemed to be gunning for Colby. One by one they fell, and the game finally boiled down to Elisabeth and Colby. No contest–the energized Colby easily won the immunity necklace again.

A glum Barramundi tribe hiked their way to the Tribal Council. Elisabeth admitted that she was playing the game “minute to minute.” Rodger blamed the “females” for choosing the low-lying riverbed to build camp and still held fast to his idea that the Kucha tribe was soon to be extinct. But Rodger was in for a surprising turn of events.

For it was an Ogakor member that was voted off-Amber, with four votes to Rodger’s two.

Sorry, Amber, but it seems the tribe might have finally melded together for old party lines, perhaps through sheer adversity. And it’s everyone for him-or her-self.

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