Thanks to James Barber
There's a lot more material this time than previous episodes this season, some very good confessionals that shed a bit of light into some of the players. Sorry for any spelling or grammatical errors.
GITANOS VOTE OUT NICK
Although he wanted to be on the Jury, Nick is the first casualty of the newly merged tribe. Find out what each of his tribemates says while casting a vote.
NICK: Shane, I'm giving you a vote tonight. Just kind of a shot across your bow, but regardless if I put your name down...(I can't understand the rest, it's all mumbling)
AUSTIN: You're a cool guy (Shane), I'm just voting for you cause you led the charge to get me out of here. Best of luck, man.
TERRY: (Shane) Shot in the dark. We'll see what happens.
SALLY: (Shane) I'm just voting with the tribe. You're a great leader, and probably a pretty pointless vote, but...
BRUCE: Nick, it has been truly a pleasure and an honor to do battle with you. This is just part of our team strategy. Love you, buddy.
CIRIE: ("Nic") Nothing personal, just strategy. Sorry.
SHANE: (Nick) It was a pleasure. I'll see you soon. (winks)
COURTNEY: (Nick) This makes me really sad.
ARAS: (Nick) Just the numbers thing, man.
DANIELLE: (Nick) Nothing personal. You're a great guy.
NICK'S FINAL WORDS
Nick has just seen Jeff Probst snuff his torch, but instead of trashing his former tribemates as others have done, he takes the high road and offers words of wisdom for his generation.
"I'm a little - I'm definitely surprised tonight. I thought the vote was gonna go to Austin tonight. It was just mainly from him, he said something to me, he said 'Dude, they told me it was me tonight.' Probably just trying to cushion me a little bit. Honestly I'd rather walk into that blind than anything, so...the vote tonight, definitely a bit of a surprise, but when I think back to today, I showed some strength today, I definitely would pose a threat physically about being able to win some immunity challenges, so no surprise in retrospect about the vote.
Just a few quick things I want to say. Quickly, everyone, all my family and friends in Freemont County, Wyoming, San Diego, and Tempe, all my boys, I love you guys, I'm thinkin' about ya. A quick message that I really want to get out. All you kids in your mid-20s that are in my situation - confused, not sure which direction life's pulling you, you're just trying to find yourself - I just, I urge us all, please - excuse me Mr. Jobs, but be hungry, be foolish, block out the noise, find yourselves, be who you potentially are. And be true to your dreams and what you really want to do. If we all maximize that personal freedom - I wish we all could - then we'll change the world. Our generation has the world at its fingertips. Block out the noise, be hungry, be foolish, then we'll change the world.
Something I've learned, something I've been trying to practice for the last 6 months or so, or a year. I'm at a point in my life where things just go any which way. Every day changes, I'm not sure which direction to take. It's hard to be true to yourself and true to your dreams, and not just get pulled in a direction because that's what a lot of people think is right. I'm just someone who's trying to advocate in my own life and with other people. I think it's summarized beautifully by be hungry, be foolish.
The old La Mina tribe will be fine. They're all strong players. Terry is gonna be just as competitive as ever. They're terrified of Terry - I love it - he could go on an immunity challenge winning streak that's unheard of in this game. I wouldn't be surprised in the least. Austin, same way. You never know. Sally, she'll be fine, she'll be sticking around 'till probably those two are gone, so Sally's got a lot of game left. She's earned it, she loves every minute of it here. Can't be happier for her.
To my tribemates: You guys welcomed me in, you made me feel at home. I already miss ya. Terry, one of the most mentally tough guys I've ever been around. It was a hell of a challenge today, I appreciate it. It was an honor. Sally, your inner, outer beauty is just amazing. I wish I could have learned more. I wish we could have spent more time together, but thank you for everything. And to my boy, Austin - I love you. I know we're gonna see each other. I don't know, my man, you made this what it was for me, and I hope I made it what it was for you. Thanks again for everything. You guys were what this experience was to me . You 3 were a huge part of it, and I'll never forget it.
NICK, THE DAY AFTER
After a good night's sleep and some nutritious food, Nick has new perspective on his time in Panama. Here, he discusses how his experience has changed him.
"The experience was a heck of a lot harder than I thought it would be. I got my ass kicked out there from day 1. From day 1, minute 1. Maybe minute 30, I got my ass kicked from there on until yesterday. Every second out there was a struggle. You know, you hate it and you love it, but I got beat up pretty bad. Some people did seem to breeze easier than I did, because certain people seem to enjoy that type of thing. They love the whole wake up in nature, and start a fire, and boil water, and hunt for snails, and eat hermit crabs, and all that stuff. That's just not me. That was what they enjoyed about the experience. The fun for me was the people, and the challenges, and the game. That's what I was there for, and the personal growth type stuff. The whole monotony around camp was my main struggle. I was miserable for 7 days, 8 days, 9 days, I'm still miserable at day 10 or 11 or 12, but I'm just so miserable that it reaches a certain level, and it strips you down so bare that I don't think you have the energy to cover up, to put those walls up. Your usual cynicalness, your, 'I don't need that'. It kind of exposes you when you're in that state of mind. It becomes clear why you're here, that ultimate philosophical question. It's pretty cool, and thinking back on it right now, it's almost like you're doped up, like you're in some other state of mind. That clarity, I hope to capture it and take away and not forget about it.
Terry's unbelievably tough. Mentally, physically, from day 1 all Terry knows how to do is compete. Terry doesn't even give a crap about the game, he doesn't understand strategy and alliances. Terry thought it was just so chickenshit that people would drop off the post if they knew they didn't need immunity. He's like, 'I don't care. You stay up there and you compete, and you beat 'em.' He was like, 'I don't care if I win immunity or not.' Terry would have been the last guy up there. I'm like, 'Terry, it's a game of alliances, and if you don't need to waste the energy, what's the point?' He's like, 'I don't care, that's BS to me.' Terry, ultracompetitive, but not gonna win the game. Terry's gonna be out as soon as he doesn't win an immunity challenge, as soon as he doesn't have an immunity necklace around him. He's gone. He's way too much of a threat. He'd have to win pretty much every immunity challenge to win the game.
When you eat with Casaya, you have a pot of rice, you don't touch it, Cirie dishes it out. It's not self-serve. You get in line and Mama Cirie's got the spoon and she's gonna serve you up some, and you don't backtalk about how much you get. They call her Mama, and that's her role. They have a system, and it works.
I am a little surprised at what a strong figure Aras has become. It's almost by default in a way because with Bobby gone, Shane can't do it by himself, Shane's not up to the task of leading a tribe by himself, like Terry is. He needs a right-hand man, they kind of need a team approach to leadership. Aras is just enough of a leader to take to fill that role. Neither of them could do it alone, but I think together Shane and Aras can handle it.
I think the social part of the game is evident from viewing. You can see how important relationships and alliances are, and they're really good at capturing conversations, and what's said, and the narration aspect of the game. You know what's going on from a personal relationship standpoint. They're really good at that. But you don't understand the mental energy required of when you wake up and how you feel and from the moment you wake up in the morning, until you close them that night, you get your ass kicked. No matter what you do, whether it's a challenge, whether it's working around camp, whether it's whatever, I mean, there's brief interludes of relief - I wouldn't say pleasure - relief from the pain, from the struggle. But just for 18 days, that's all you think about, you just are consumed by the mental energy required to get through that.
This is the hardest thing I've ever done, easily. Hands down the hardest experience of my life. The first 12 days of Survivor were the most miserable days perhaps of my life. Physically, the most miserable days of my life, and the hardest thing I've ever gone through. Hands down, no question about it. You've gotta go through hell to maybe experience some of the good, and luckily, I was able to withstand some of the pain, and reap some of the benefits, but without question this was one of the hardest, yet one of the most rewarding experience I've ever had.
Actually, it's not a duck, but it does seem to have had some bad luck. The Survivors are saddened by the sight of a bedraggled bird on the beach.
COURTNEY (solo): You know, everything out here is like so much more intense, and like even seeing this bird that has flown all its life, and it's just trying to get its energy to get up in the sky again.
DANIELLE (solo): Yeah, we just saw a little duck. Bird, duck, whatever it is. Poor thing. It's struggling. Looks like it has Parkinson's Disease right now. I feel awful.
BRUCE: It's a comeron (?).
BRUCE: It's a comeron.
TERRY: Looks sick. Man, you don't look good. I think he's sick.
BRUCE: We'll just leave him alone.
TERRY: All that shaking and stuff.
COURTNEY (solo): I've had to deal with the death of 2 turtles since I've been here. 2 sea turtles. Watching life seep out in any form is intense but out here things are a lot more intense.
(Courtney watches bird hobble around)
Cirie hares an interesting tidbit about her tribe's sleeping arrangements. Sounds like a good plan, but it didn't work out too well for Courtney.
With the sleeping arrangements, we have what we call a shuffle. Not necessarily a shuffle, but each night you're supposed to move over 1 space. This way the same people aren't getting the ends, because the ends are not good areas - you get wet and colder. So, I don't know how Courtney got the - well, Courtney stays out on the beach a lot, and by the time she comes in, everyone's asleep already, so it would be kind of rude to say, 'Well, let me get in the middle here,' or, 'Let me get in.' I'm usually one of the first or second people to get in and get my spot, cause I know I don't want the ends. (laughs) The ends are not like prime real estate property, so...Courtney got the end last night. She was out here on the beach, singing at the rocks, she told me, so...(laughs)
It was kind of a wet night, again. Courtney had some issues because she was soaking wet, and she said she got the elbow and the cold shoulder from Shane during the night. See, initially when we all started here as a tribe, Courtney and Shane was a little closer than they are now, so they always like snuggled up. I think Shane can't stand Courtney anymore (laughs), so he doesn't want to cuddle and stuff with her anymore, and that kind of irritates Courtney.
She basically got up this morning and I think she was crying a little bit, saying that last night was the worst night of her life, and she was freezing, she had to curl up in a ball to keep warm, and she was soaking wet, and she didn't know what to do, and Shane elbowed her a few times (laughs).
Well, I tried to offer her some comfort with the towel, and just like you know rubbing her back a little bit, to make it...you know...I felt a little bad for her, but no one else said anything. They were just like, 'Oh, OK'. (laughs) Oh, Aras did say, 'Well, Bob slept there every night and got wet and never complained about it.' Courtney was like, 'Well, hats off to Bob, I didn't know he was getting wet.' Well yeah, and he did.
Well, Courtney's a real outdoorsy type, and she's traveled a lot. She's basically stayed outdoors when she's traveled. So like she's said, this is not a big thing for her. Being on the beach and singing on the rocks is like normal for her. Unfortunately, it leaves her out of the loop as far as the bed rotation, and then you kind of basically get what you get, once you come in at midnight or however long you sing at the rocks.
With Bob gone, the rotation, the sleeping arrangement has not been as serious, because there's a big space now, so you can basically get in where you fit in. It's just getting in, and she didn't get in.
BLACK BUFFS AND CHOCOLATE BALLS
Sally recounts the tribal merge and the ensuing feast to celebrate. She's happy about the new black buffs, because they're both clean & slimming.
"Um, we open up the crate and there's a note saying that we're a new tribe and that we have a flag that we have to paint, and there's some paints, and to enjoy the treats that were inside. There were new black buffs, which were amazing, just to drop our old stinky buffs and put on the same color. And an amazing assortment of foods and snacks and fruits. I think we dove in - I ate an apple and an orange right away. Bruce was like, 'Eat it slow, eat it slow', and I tried, but I couldn't. The apple was gone in like 3 bites. I was ravenous. There was chocolates, and you name it, it was in there. We had cheese and crackers and spices and just all kinds of stuff. It was for me, the greatest moment, and when you're sitting out here for 15 days thinking about food, and actually you put it in your mouth, it doesn't matter. That's all I could think about. It was awesome.
The best - there was 2 things that I ate which were the best. One was the chocolate balls. I'm not kidding you. They were the best chocolate balls I've ever had, and I've had some chocolate balls. I took these cracker wafers and put brie cheese with a sun-dried tomato on it, and it tasted like a piece of pizza. That was pretty darn good too. And then we've had rice. I'm glad we got black buffs, because we're all gonna be portly. And we'll just be slimmed down in our sleek black buffs. We ate a ton and visited and laughed and there was wine and juices and nuts and all kinds of stuff. It was great.
The first few bites of food I put in my mouth, I forgot about the game. There were moments. That chocolate, you could've pushed me off the island and I wouldn't have known at that point. But definitely very quickly and lots of conversations and lots of looks. You kind of watch for the littlest things. Terry would be talking and you'd kind of see Danielle or someone else give each other a look. There was a lot of talk about how I had been saved from the other tribe, how Casaya had saved me by sending me to Exile Island. How all the marks were on the boys' backs and they saved me. Which they did by sending me there, I could have been voted out, but in the same way I don't feel a lot of gratitude towards them either, you know what I mean? If that's what they wanted. A lot of the conversation with the girls was like, 'Oh, we missed you! It's so good to see you!' And I'm like (makes the "gag me" gesture). I like these girls, but they didn't miss me. They're thrilled to see me cause they have 6 and we have 4. If it was the other way around, they wouldn't care to see me.
So it was a chance to just feast and laugh and if you think the game wasn't on, it was on. It was on all around me, it was thicker than you'd imagine. This morning, this day of fun and just kind of kicking back and laying around and eating lots of rice, it's been raining on and off so we've been in and out of the shelter and just kind of taken this vacation day, has been a million and a half little whispered conversations. Because there's 6 members of Casaya still, and 4 of La Mina. If Casaya were smart, they'd stay together, and the 6 of them would vote us off one at a time. The problem with that is that's the best plan they could do, but I don't think they can do it. I don't know if they'll stick to it, I just don't. I've already seen cracks in their team. I've never seen it been done, ever, where the tribe has actually stayed together, and there's individual immunities and exiles at stake, so that's really gonna gum it up. Tomorrow or the next immunity challenge that we have will be huge, because it will likely be one of the four original La Mina members, probably Terry or one of the guys, because they're bigger physical threats, but after that you never know what will happen. I'm not giving up yet. I'm thrilled to be here so far, to get to feast with the guys from La Mina. I was sad I didn't get to say goodbye to Dan. We have not had an opportunity to feast together. Casaya won a few challenges, they had a few opportunities to sit down and have a meal. We were able to sit down and have a meal together, plus six other people who are amazing people, I'll be living with, eating with, sleeping next to, hopefully until the end of this game. So..."
Danielle is glad that La Mina brought fresh supplies, including fishing gear, to the merge. Find out how she really feels about her new tribemates.
La Mina brought with them their blankets, their oars. They brought a bunch of firewood, which was awesome, and they had this big box they weren't allowed to open until they got with us. Once we unloaded everything off the boat - they had some fishing gear also - we all kind of just sat around and opened up the box. We read what the reward challenge was - no, not reward challenge, we read what the little paper said and we opened up the box and the flag and we got all this food and cheese and crackers and wine and grape juice and apple juice and oranges and apples and it was just a plethora of so much food and we were all so excited. Moreso La Mina because they haven't eaten in like 15 days. We've been spoiled. We got to go to where we won that reward/immunity challenge where we got to hang out with the Panamians and eat the barebecue with them, and we've had rice. They were more ecsatic about it than us but obviously, food's good.
There's definitely a game going on. You're sitting there eating the food. It's a comforting feeling to know that Casaya has the numbers. We have 6 and they have 4. If the members on my team are smart, they would stay with the 6. For Aras, Shane, and Bruce, who would they rather compete in against - Terry, Austin, and Nick, or me, Courtney and Cirie? It's kind of like why would they break the 6 alliance? To me it wouldn't make any sense. I think Terry, Austin and Nick are a bigger threat, physically.
As soon as everybody was done eating, we knew we had to get a new shelter built, so Terry and Bruce started going with that, and Shane and Aras, Nick and Austin kind of went off on their own and gathered some wood. Me, Cirie, and Courtney were kind of scoping out the scene, see who's trying to work who. I could see Terry already trying to work Bruce and I know Nick and Austin were already trying to work Shane and Aras. We know what's going on, we're aware of it. I just think it's fun, because we're locked. We're locked in with our group and they're not going to go anywhere. If they do, obviously there's going to be a little twist, but if they're smart, everything will stay the way we think it is.
Plus we all get along, we like each other, I think we're a lot closer than the 4 of them are. We've been through so much dramatically and emotionally. I was talking to Sally and she said, 'We didn't have one argument. Everyone was just so hunky-dory, happy. Do you guys ever argue at all?' And we're like, 'Yeah' (laughs) We've had tons of arguments and disagreements and blowouts; it's just funny that we're ahead of the team that was so happy and everybody got along, and everybody worked together, there were no issues, no problems. That's kind of surprising to me. That's pretty funny."
NICK OR AUSTIN?
Nick and Austin are convinced that one of them will go in tonight's Tribal Council, and they're not wrong. As zero hour approaches, they speculate about which one of them will be out.
NICK (solo): Pretty big night. I'm on the block tonight, myself and Austin. I think it's Austin. Austin thinks it's Austin, and he's planning on departing tonight.
(Austin packs a bag)
AUSTIN (solo): I'm incredibly disappointed that this is most likely my last few hours on the island. The Ex-Casaya camp came in with the numbers at the merge, and we just get picked off one by one, and unfortunately I happen to be first.
(Austin/Nick/Sally/Danielle sit by the fire)
AUSTIN: Well, I can honestly say there's nothing more I could've done.
NICK (solo): I'm crushed right now. It sucks. It's almost like, if he goes, I wanna go.
(Nick/Austin/Danielle gather firewood)
NICK: I'm gonna be a lame duck around here without you, man.
NICK: I'm gonna be hurtin'.
AUSTIN: I'm gonna miss you, kid. I've had fun hanging out, man. I can't wait to do it on, like...real time.
NICK: ...real time.
NICK (solo): He's my #1, he's my boy around here, and once you lose your best confidante, your best friend here, you lose a huge part of the game. I'm losing him tonight, which makes it really hard.
(Austin watches the birds fly away)