|"I'm a Winner Who Wins"|
|Season||Survivor: Santa Carolina - The Returned|
|Previous||I'm Going to Will Myself to Win Immunity|
|Next||I Might be Crazy, but I ain’t Stupid|
This is the tenth episode of Survivor: Santa Carolina - The Returned
Reward Challenge: Survivor Obstacle Course
The tribe will be divided into two teams. The players from each team will be attached to each other with ropes attached to belts around their waists. They will begin by racing through a tunnel of hay. They will then make their way over and under a series of hitching posts. The next step is to grab a bucket, fill it with water and make their way over a giant teeter-totter. They will then pour the water from their bucket into a larger bucket. When the larger bucket is full, it will lower a gate. The team will then race through the gate to solve a plank puzzle. The first team to get it right will win reward.
Reward: Trip to a Spa with lunch.
Winners: The Blue Team (John, Simon, Vanessa, Wild Bill)
Immunity Challenge: My Poor Brain
Jeff Probst would reveal a series of symbols from a cube, in which the castaways must repeat the sequence of symbols he has shown in order. If they got one part of the sequence wrong, they are out of the challenge. The last castaway left standing wins immunity.
Winner: Vera Roché
The members of the Oribi Tribe return to camp after just having voted out Jocelyn. Vanessa is all smiles thanking the other members of the tribe for keeping her around.
While Vanessa is all smiles, Aaron sits alone in the shelter sulking over the outcome of the last Tribal Council.
Lauren looks over at Aaron and grins as she realizes that Aaron is heated.
Day twenty-eight begins with a confessional from Lauren.
Lauren: I want to ask you if we’re good…
Craig: In regards to what?
Lauren: Last night’s vote. I mean I know that was not the outcome that you wanted but at the end of the day Jocelyn had to go.
Craig: Oh yeah…I’m good with the vote. It might not have been the most ideal outcome for me but she needed to go eventually.
Lauren: Good. You’ve just removed a giant weight off my chest. I thought you were going to be pissed at me for sort of bullying you into voting the way you did.
Craig: Nah…look I know what’s up. When you work with folks there always has to be a give and take. You cannot always expect things to go exactly the way you want them to. There has to be a sort of compromise.
I get that. Our agendas in this game are not always going to be the same. What is best for my game might not be best for your game. What really matters is that we don’t have a lot of these disagreements over voting. Because when that happens then I start to get worried.
Lauren: There is no need to worry about anything. You are still my ride or die and you and I will be in the finals. That I do not doubt.
Craig: That is all I can ask for and I feel the same way. We just have to stay on the same page more often than not and if we do that then we are golden.
Back at camp Wild Bill is once again trying to instigate a fight with Aaron. Wild Bill tells Aaron that they kept Vanessa in the game because Aaron was so vocal about wanting her gone. Bill then goes on to say it must suck being aligned with Aaron because anyone aligned with him goes home. Aaron laughs that comment off but it is clear by the look on his face that Bill is getting to him. Wild Bill looks over at Vera and says that she better watch herself because she is the last person Aaron has in the game and if Aaron were to win Immunity again Vera could very well end up on the jury.
Vera smiles and tells Bill that she is not worried and if it is her time to get voted out so be it. Aaron laughs at her comment and gives Vera a high five. Aaron says then tells Bill that his tactics are not working and he should go to the beach and try to bully the birds.
|I loved how Vera shut Wild Bill down today. It so draining to deal with Billy and his stupid antics but it is fantastic to see the look on his face when he realizes that his little jabs aren’t working.|
We now see a conversation between Simon and Vanessa about where they stand in the game.
Vanessa: Last night could not have worked more perfectly. I think we might have just gotten a clear path to the final four.
Simon: I am not so sure about that…plus who would be in this final four of yours?
Vanessa: Why do you have to be so negative all of the time? You’re such a Debbie downer.
Simon: I am not. What I am is trying to look at this game logically.
Logically speaking I think you and I might last longer than Vera and Aaron but we have not cracked their four. Craig might have not gotten his way in getting you out last night but I think you have only earned a stay in your execution.
Vanessa: Wow dude you really know how to crush a girl’s spirit. Damn…
Simon: I am not trying to do that. I just want you to realize that we are not on stable ground like you seem to think. Our best bet is to try and work on something with Vera and maybe Wild Bill…perhaps even John. If you think that Lauren or Craig want you in this game long term…well then I think you are going to be in for a rude awakening.
Vanessa: Oh I am not naïve. I know full well that Craig has to go sooner or later. Heck he may even have to go before Aaron…but right now I am just happy to be here and I have a lot of optimism over my place in this game.
I think that there are enough people in this game that know they cannot win this game if Craig is sitting with them in the finals. That was why Ann Marie got rid of him during Free Agents. If we take the time to approach the right people at the right time we can totally get rid of Craig.
|I think that Vanessa is being overly optimistic about her position in this game. I for one am not going to buy into her delusions unless she actually makes them happen.|
The members of the Oribi Tribe arrive at the challenge site where Jeff Probst welcomes them. Jeff then explains the rules of the next challenge.
For this challenge the castaways were split up into two teams of four. The teams were randomly selected and this is what the two teams for this challenge ended up being…
|The Blue Team|
|The Green Team|
Right out of the gate it was clear as day that the two weakest links for their respective teams were Vera and John. Both of them slowed down their teams considerably. That being said the Blue Team had a slight advantage and were the first team out of the tunnel of hay. The Blue Team continued to build on their lead as the breezed through the hitching post portion of the challenge while the Green Team struggled as Vera was the team’s albatross.
The teeter-totter portion of the challenge was somewhat of an equalizer as it allowed the Green Team to get right back into the challenge due to the fact that the Blue Team kept on spilling vast portions of their water. The Green Team was able to get the lead as gate was lowered first.
The Green Team did struggle on the puzzle portion of the challenge. This opened the door for the Blue Team to retake the lead as Simon is a puzzle solving savant. It was Simon’s vastly superior puzzle solving skills that made it possible for the Blue Team to claim victory in the challenge.
Jeff congratulates the members of the Blue Team on their impressive victory. He then tells them to head out to their reward. Jeff then informs the members of the Green Teams that he has nothing for them.
Aaron, Lauren, Vera, and Craig return to camp all looking dejected over their Reward Challenge loss. Vera especially seems heartbroken over the loss.
Vera apologizes to everyone and Craig brushes it off saying that they lost as a team and it was not Vera’s fault that they lost the challenge. Aaron agrees and says that he and Lauren could have done better on the puzzle part of the challenge. This perks Vera’s mood up.
At this point Aaron asks if the four of them can have a talk about where each of them stands in the game. Everyone agrees and they begin to discuss the state of the game.
Aaron: Look I am going to be honest with y’all right now I am like a neutered cat; I don’t have any power left in me to fight. I know last night’s vote was a big old middle finger to me and I respect that. You guys couldn’t get at me so you went after someone who was working with me.
Lauren: Well you kind of left us no choice in the matter. You drew a line in the sand at the merge and so we knew what was up.
Aaron: True…true. But now this game is entirely different because now I have no power and Vanessa and Simon have been given a lot of power.
Lauren: Wait what? Why would you say that? Our alliance is four strong…
Aaron: You think your alliance is four strong. But do you really have Bill on your side?
Craig: I would say so…
Aaron: Well you keep on thinking that and y’all will see how far that gets you. You guys do know that Simon, Vanessa, and Wild Bill were in an alliance together…right?
Craig: Um…well I know that they were friendly and all but I did not know about their alliance.
Vera: Oh yes the three of them were as thick as thieves. Or at least that was what Simon told me after the first tribal swap.
Aaron: Interesting indeed. I mean from an outsider’s perspective it looks like Wild Bill might be playing the middle right now. Who knows which side he’ll choose when he has to make that decision.
How confident are the two of you in his loyalty to you two? After all this is Wild Bill we are talking about here. The dude is known for being a disloyal snake in the grass.
You both might have thought you screwed me with the vote last night but you might have screwed yourselves. But I will put this out there for the two of you to think about. I am very open to forming an alliance to break that trio up. Think about it the two of you, plus me, Vera, and John.
I mean I know your M.O. Craig you like to take people to the finals that you think you can beat. I think Billy and I are running neck and neck for the most hated players in this game so if you were to get rid of him you could just slot me into his goat position.
Craig: You bring up some good points but who is to say you will not try to get me out of the game? You have been itching to do it all game.
Aaron: Things change my man. Right now I am at your mercy. You can either work with me or not. It is entirely up to you.
If you choose not to work with me then I will have to try and win ever Immunity.
Lauren: That’s going to be a tough thing to do. Sooner or later there will be a challenge that you will not be able to win.
Aaron: That might be true but I am not worried. I’m a winner who wins. If I don’t win then I shall cross that bridge when I get there. All I am asking for is the two of you think about what I am saying and think about who might be the bigger immediate threats to your game.
Meanwhile the winners of the Reward Challenge arrive at the spa. John looks a little uneasy at being in such an environment. Simon notices this and he asks John what is wrong. John tells Simon that he is nervous over getting a massage because nobody but his wife of thirty years has ever touched him that way. He says that he is not sure if he as a Pastor should get a massage. Simon reminds John that he does not have to get a massage if he feels too uncomfortable doing so.
|I know to some it might seem very hokey me not wanting the massage. But I have been married for thirty years and I just would not feel right have a woman…uh…rubbing my back. If that makes me a prude in the eyes of everyone…so be it.|
The foursome sits down to eat and Wild Bill openly wonders what his friends will think about him back home. The other three laugh at this notion because Wild Bill always talks about how he could care less about what people think of him.
As they eat Vanessa launches into a conversation about the game. Talking about how they must not lose focus and how they need to ensure that Vera and Aaron are the next two to go. Both Simon and John attempt to steer the conversation away from game talk but they fail miserably as Vanessa is a force of nature and she is doing all she can to get her talking points across.
Day thirty begins with a confessional from Aaron.
The Oribi Tribe arrives at the challenge area and when all of the castaways are standing on the mat, Jeff Probst takes the Individual Immunity Necklace from Aaron. Aaron does not make any bold proclamations about the Immunity Necklace coming back to him.
Jeff explains the rules of the challenge before reminding the castaways that the winner of the challenge tonight will be safe from the vote. While anyone of the other castaways could end up being the tenth person voted out of Survivor: Santa Carolina – The Returned.
Everyone was correct in the first and second rounds. Round three saw Craig, Lauren, and Vanessa eliminated from the challenge. The fourth round saw John and Wild Bill eliminated from the challenge. Round five saw the elimination of Aaron from the challenge. All of the other castaways were shocked to finally see Aaron lose an Immunity Challenge. Aaron was a good sport as he shrugged his shoulders and said, “It is a mental challenge. I guess I am not cut out for it.”
This means that Simon and Vera were the last two remaining in the fight for Immunity. The sixth round went down with no casualties as both Simon and Vera were wrong. The seventh round was the final round as Simon was eliminated from the challenge which meant that Vera, the oldest castaway, won Immunity.
Vera starts to cry as Jeff places the Immunity Necklace around her neck. Jeff asks her if she is alright and Vera assures him that she is. She tells Jeff that her tears are tears of joy because she never thought that she would win an individual challenge.
Jeff reminds the castaways that Vera is safe from the vote and that one of the seven other non-immune castaways will become the eleventh person to be voted out of Survivor: Santa Carolina – The Returned.
The members of the Oribi Tribe return to camp and everyone congratulates Vera on her victory. Vera is still emotional and she asks Lauren to pinch her so that she can wake up.
|Winning Immunity today was special. Never in a million years did I think I would ever win an Individual challenge. Yet here I am wearing this gaudy necklace…but I do not care how garish this necklace looks. It feels great to win.|
Aaron tries to put on a happy face for Vera but it is clear that he is anything but happy.
Simon, Vanessa, Lauren, and Wild Bill gloat a little over finally having the chance to get rid of Aaron. Vanessa asks Lauren for some reassurance about Craig’s vote. Lauren says that Craig is totally on board with getting rid of Aaron because he realizes this chance might not come again.
Vanessa voices her concern over Craig forcing a tie in the vote with him and John voting for her alongside Vera and Aaron. Lauren tries to calm Lauren down by telling her if Craig was planning that he would have made sure he had five votes in order to avoid the tie. Vanessa still seems skeptical but Lauren was able to at least make her somewhat less paranoid.
|I feel in my gut that Craig is going to try to knock me out of this game tonight. It would be a terrible move on his part especially seeing how he finally has a shot to knock the biggest comp beast out of the game.|
Later on in the day Lauren, Craig, and John have a brief conversation over the vote.
Lauren: Which way are you leaning in the vote tonight?
Craig: Well…I was thinking about maybe getting rid of Simon.
Lauren: Simon? Why Simon?
Craig: What Aaron said to us yesterday had me thinking about Wild Bill. What if his ideal final five was Simon, Vanessa, him, you, and I?
That would give him all of the power in the game and that would put us in a bad position…
John: Plus I would be out of the game so that would not be good…
Lauren: I hear you but tonight we might have the one and only shot at Aaron. We have to take the shot or the dude could win every Immunity from here on out.
Craig: True but at the same time if we allow Simon and Vanessa to skate by they could be very dangerous to the three of us. Look I am all about getting rid of other people’s options.
Last week y’all got rid of one of Aaron’s options and that was a good move. I think tonight we should limit Bill’s options.
Lauren: What if we piss him off?
Craig: Oh well. The dude will have a hissy fit and then it will be over. I am not out here to play let’s allow Wild Bill to choose if I stay in the game or not. Nah, I am here to take out people so that Wild Bill never even gets the opportunity to stray from the three of us.
Lauren: But why Simon?
Craig: Because the dude is smart. I don’t think he is a threat to win the game but he could win some challenges that put him in a position to make it to the end. I say we get rid of him now and be done with it.
John: The same could be said about Vanessa.
Craig: True but Aaron and Vera came to me after the Immunity Challenge and said that they were going to vote for Simon because we might have more mental competitions coming up. Therefore, if they are going to vote for Simon I think we should do so as well. After all, it does us no good to force a three-to-three tie between Aaron and Vanessa when we can just form a majority and get rid of Simon.
Lauren: I don’t know…I mean I see your logic and everything. But I would hate to have our only chance at getting rid of Aaron slip away from us just so that we can get rid of Simon of all people.
Craig: The way I look at it is this. Everyone has to go sometime so why not Simon?
Lauren: I guess…
|I hope that I did not overstep my reach with Lauren. However, I need a win here and getting rid of Simon is a win for me. I mean I like the kid but he does nothing to enhance my game so he has to go.|
The members of the Oribi Tribe enter Tribal Council and after they are all settled down Jeff Probst welcomes in the members of the jury, Jody, Jillian, and Jocelyn who was voted out at the last Tribal Council. Jocelyn smiles at the castaways as she takes her seat.
Jeff starts off by asking Vera how it feels to win Immunity. Vera says that it made her an emotional wreck because she did not think it would ever happen. She says as the day went on she began to realize that she could hang with the kids in the challenges. John smiles at this comment and gives Vera thumbs up.
John says that he and Vera might be the old folks in the game but they both plan on giving the kids a run for their money. Simon nods his head and says he is happy for Vera and she deserves her Immunity win.
Jeff asks Aaron how it feels to not have Immunity. Aaron nervously laughs and says he feels like he is dead man walking. Aaron then says that he knows a lot of people have been waiting for this moment and that tonight would be a great night to eliminate him from the game. He then says that folks should really think about keeping him in the game because while it is true he has done well in physical challenges he probably will not do well in mental challenges.
Jeff asks Vanessa if Aaron has swayed her into keeping him in the game. Vanessa laughs and says, “No dude. Not at all.” Aaron smiles and says that he has to make his sales pitch even if people are not swayed by it.
Craig speaks up saying that Aaron has brought up a good point. In that there might be more mental challenges coming up and so it might behoove them to get rid of someone who would do well in those types of challenges. Wild Bill laughs and says that they have Aaron dead to rights and this might be their only chance to knock him out of the game and so they as a group have to take the opportunity to do just that.
Aaron smiles and says to Wild Bill, “I take it you are not part of my fan club. Can I still follow you on Twitter?” This got Wild Bill to crack a smile and Wild Bill says that Aaron can indeed still follow him on Twitter.
Jeff asks Simon if he is nervous over all of this talk about getting rid of smart player versus getting rid of physical players. Simon says he is nervous because he knows people think he is smart and that could be held against him. Simon then goes on to say that traditionally a physical threat is always the tougher person to get out because most of the challenges are traditionally geared towards physical players.
Aaron scoffs at this commenting noting that every season is different and there is no way of knowing what types of challenges might be coming up next.
Jeff asks Lauren where she stands on the argument of getting rid of a physical threat or a mental threat. Lauren says that both schools of thought are valid but at the end of the day they are both threats and she will go with where she thinks the majority is going to vote.
With that last comment it is time to vote. The castaways then begin the voting process and when the last person finishes voting, which was Lauren; Jeff goes off to retrieve the votes. Jeff returns from tallying the votes and he asks if anyone has a Hidden Immunity Idol that they would like to play.
The camera focuses on Wild Bill who remains seated and just stares directly at Jeff. When nobody steps forward Jeff proceeds to read the votes. Once all of the votes are read it is Simon who finds himself as the fourth member of the jury and the eleventh castaway to be voted out of Survivor: Santa Carolina – The Returned.
Simon, Vanesa, and Wild Bill are all shocked over this turn of events. Wild Bill shoots an accusatory look over at Craig as if to say, "Did you know about this?" and Craig just smiles and nods his head as if to say, "Yeah I was in on it.".
|Tribal Council 11:|
Simon (5 votes)
Aaron, Vera, John
Aaron (3 votes)
Simon, Vanessa, Wild Bill
|Well I cannot say I am sorry to see you go.|
|I don't know if Craig is going to try and screw me again but if he doesn't it will be awesome to see you sitting in the jury.|
|Game, set, match...dude.|
|This is a gamble voting you out tonight but I think it is your time to go. Keeping you around only benefits Bill.|
|Aaron my man, there is only room for one bad guy out here and that's me Wild Bill.|
|Simon this is not personal. I think you are a smart and kind young man who will do great things in the future. One of those great things will not be winning Survivor though.|
|Simon you are a great kid. God bless you.|
|I could force a tie...I should force a tie. But I will not. Craig and I have been together since the start of this game and this is the move he wants done and I will follow along with him. This really should be a vote for Aaron though.|
|Members of the Jury|
Jody, Jillian, Jocelyn, Simon
Still in the Running