"Survival of the Dimmest"
Season Survivor: Venezuela
Author IAmNothing712
Episode Number 1/14
Episode Chronology
Previous "And the Question Is..."
(previous season)
Next "Sister Act"

This is the first episode of Survivor: Venezuela.


Reward/Immunity Challenge: Dragged Along
Tribe members must pull a very heavy sled through a 5-stage muddy obstacle course while collecting bags of puzzle pieces hanging from pole at the end of each obstacle. Once done, the tribes would then proceed to a supply dump, where the tribe may pick which weighted supply crates they would like to win: 1.) Fire-making kit (flint, kerosene, matches, kindling), 2.) An extra sack of rice and beans, 3.) Fishing supplies, and 4.) Tarp. Once decided on what to pick, the tribes would then continue dragging their sled (with the puzzle pieces and weighted supply crates on it) until they reach the end of the course, where they must solve their puzzle. The first tribe to finish their puzzle, wins the challenge.
Reward: Tribal immunity and all the items they chose from the supply dump.
Winner: Arawak


Day 1

Across the waters of the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela, eighteen strangers from different walks of life embark on a journey of a lifetime. Divided into two tribes, named after the peoples who lived in the country, Mapoyo and Arawak, the castaways are aboard a fishing vessel. In the heart of the river delta, the ferry stops. Jeff Probst, who is riding a speedboat, arrives and welcomes the survivors into the game.

I cannot believe that I'm on Survivor right now, Jeff being inches away from me...It's surreal!


With rain clouds above them, Jeff informs the survivors about Venezuela's monsoon season. He hands the tribes their maps to their respective camps and instructs them to get to their camps quickly so they can set up shelter while they are still dry. With rains about to fall, the tribes do introductions while paddling.

On Arawak, Katrina and Jaycee initiate the introductions. Aware that Christians are being shed in a bad light in reality shows (e.g. being stereotyped as preachy and ignorant), which could work against her, Maggie introduces herself as a social worker, hiding the fact that she is a nun.

I will not tell anyone that I am a nun. While I am a big Survivor fan, in reality television generally, religious people are edited as crazy, preachy, ignorant and self-righteous. I will work against the stereotype and play the game as subtle but cunning as it should be.


The Arawak tribe arrives at their camp first. They find an old, roofless and decrepit-looking stilt house called a palafito. Inside the hut are two bags of rice and beans, a machete and a pot. While the tribe is delighted that they would not need to exert much effort in setting up camp, they waste no time setting up their roof while the rain is not yet strong. The tribe continues to make introductions inside their now-roofed shelter. As the rains start to fall, the tribe comfortably converse inside the shelter with less leaks from the roof to worry about.

We got lucky we have a great paddler in Jaycee, who's actually a dragon boat racer, and he taught us how to paddle rhythmically and efficiently. We got to camp faster than we expected, and we decided to continue with the introductions once we get the roof done. I admire the tribe's naturally strong work ethic. Everybody's working, nobody's slacking. I have a good vibe we will be the dominant tribe in this game.


While Arawak's first day started on a good note, the Mapoyo tribe, however, not so much. Dante, who is responsible for figuring out their map, gets his tribe lost in the jungle. As the tribe continues to find their way to their camp, rains starts to pour, infuriating the tribe. With most of the tribe getting cranky, Domino insists to pause their trip and find land. The tribe finds someplace to stay until the rain subsides, and as they inspect the place, Dahlia finds a tree mail and a palafito. Turns out, the Mapoyo tribe finds their camp by accident.

Good call by Domino. Dante is such a terrible map reader.


Wanting to redeem himself, Dante delegates tasks to his tribemates, the women would make their roof, while the men are split into collecting water and creating fire, secretly annoying his tribemates. But with everything wet because of the rain, Domino insists that sparking a fire is an impossibility, and the tribe should just focus on fortifying their shelter, now that they are soaking wet.

On the surface, Dante is someone you would vote out first, which I did consider. But rationally speaking, Dante is perfect to take to the end. I don't see him being muscular and strong as threatening. Not at all. No one would care if he is a physical threat because is extremely unlikable and most likely no one would vote for him. I have to align with Dante immediately when he's on the hot seat.


Mapoyo struggles to establish their roof as the rains and winds start to intensify. The tribe is forced to huddle under their roofless hut. The rain continues throughout the day.

I never expected our first day to be this frustrating. Thanks to Dante, not only we are soaking wet, we can't make this shelter useful. We have to get this together before the first Immunity Challenge. I don't want to start this game on the losing end much less in dysfunction.


It's our first day out here and we can't get anything right. It's not the survival of the fittest, it's the survival of the DIMMEST.


Evening at Mapoyo, the rain finally subsides. The tribe decides to postpone introductions and call it a night.

It's day friggin' one, and our morale is already low. I signed up for this game, but I didn't sign up for this weather.


On Arawak, the tribe alleviates boredom by pulling off jokes. To further cover her secret as a nun, Maggie makes jokes about crazy religious people and how they are being portrayed in reality television.

This tribe could be the best tribe put together. On Day 1, we get along very well...almost too well. If anything, some of us are already stalling for the *chak*.


While the rest of the Arawak is asleep, Maggie feigns sleeping. The nun secretly tears up while thinking of her next move, while deliberately fighting against the ethics of the game.

Coming to this game, I know me being a nun will work against me because of the ethical issues this game poses, and right now, it's really getting to me. I don't want to be branded as the odd older woman out, much more outed as a nun. I have to keep it together.


Day 2

At Mapoyo, the tribe wakes up early in the morning to get to know each other more to make up for their disastrous first day. Mark introduces himself as a businessman, hiding his secret as a secret service agent, because he doesn't want to be compared to Phillip Sheppard. Dahlia gets emotional after revealing she is an orphan.

For the love of God, I wouldn't want to be compared to that lunatic Phillip Sheppard because I'm a secret agent or whatever. I'm playing this game for real, not some overgrown 5 year old who's stuck in his favorite spy game.


In the woods, Domino asks Dante to be in an alliance with her. Wanting to improve his impression, Dante agrees.

I don't know if Domino is a Ciera type girl who's one to watch, or she wants me to let her ride my coattails, but the fact of the matter is, I made a bad first impression to the tribe, so I have to please them and give, show and tell them what they want.


I want people to trust me, so I decided to lay all my baggage in front of them. That way, it will be easier for them to trust me.


Barry reveals he is a camping expert, but he would need help in getting firewood and tinder. Mai, Louise and Domino provide him husks and Vince and Mark give him firewood. With no bamboo nearby, Barry uses his glasses. After a few tries, Mapoyo finally ignites fire. Proud of Barry, his tribemates give him a celebratory hug, something that Barry is grateful for, as he is secret enduring fever since last night's rain. An invisibly sick Barry teaches Dante how to use fish hooks. Dante admits he was used in using sophisticated fishing rods instead whenever he went camping with his father. After few unsuccessful attempts, Dante finally catches his first fish. Barry secretly likes feeding Dante's ego, for strategic purposes.

Finally we have fire and we are eating. I hope my camping skills will be enough for them to keep me. I've been trying to endure having this awful fever for two days now. Survivor is really kicking in for me, and it's just the second. But I have to feed their egos first so the attention won't go to me, especially now that I'm sick.

Basically I have three things to juggle: Try not to directly step in the leadership role. Second, hide the fact that I'm sick; and third, make sure I won't be the first person out.


On Arawak, Maggie forms an alliance with Katrina, Jaycee and Edward. Maggie thinks that aligning with the older people would be unwise for her because Gordon is mouthy, Lucinda appears to be weak. Jaycee tells them they need a fifth person in the alliance. Thinking that a redneck would suffice to deflect the target from the core four, Katrina suggests it should be Ellis. As Jaycee calls Edward, "Eddie", Edward tells him he prefers and responds better if he is called "Edward." Jaycee jokingly says he will take not of that, jokingly telling Edward that if he ever writes his name down at Tribal Council, he will write "Eddie" instead.

I have to make an alliance fast. I had to read through people to get by in this game, but last night's rain prevented me to leave the shelter and strategize. Now that I have a clearer perception of everybody, it only makes sense I side with the young guns instead of aligning with the oldies. Age does matter in Survivor half the time.


While Maggie and the rest of the alliance are busy making fire, in which they are successful, Katrina works her way to convince Ellis to align with them. Ellis, who also looks for an alliance, happily agrees, but warns that Maggie is keeping a secret she does not want her tribe to know of. Katrina reminds him that everyone has secrets especially in this game, but Ellis is almost assured that Maggie is keeping something that would potentially hurt her in the game, basing from what she revealed about herself so far.

Maggie is a nice person, but there is something "elusive" about her. She is keeping something, I'm sure of it. I have to keep my eye on her, and I think aligning with her would help me know her secret.


While away from the tribe, collecting water from the well, Maggie realizes it is the best time to look for the Hidden Immunity Idol. She looks from trees, under rocks, but to no avail, until she stumbles across something tied to a rock below a large mangrove tree and turns out it is the Hidden Immunity Idol. However, Maggie's smile turns upside down while reading the note that comes with the idol:

Congratulations you have found the Hidden Immunity Idol for the Mapoyo tribe. If you are the kidnapped member of the Mapoyo tribe, you have found one of the most powerful items in this game. If you are not a member of the Mapoyo tribe, you must give it to the kidnapped Mapoyo member or any of his or her tribemates before the next Tribal Council.


Upon knowing the information of a kidnapping twist in the future, Maggie decides to hold on to the idol until a member of the Mapoyo tribe comes to their tribe.

I am nervous holding this idol. As much as I want power in this game, I can't use this because it's for the other tribe. I wave to wait until this kidnapping twist is revealed.


At Mapoyo, Dante, Domino, Mark, Louise, Dahlia and Vince are all taking a bath in the river and having a good time. Being the younger members of the tribe, the six form a friendly relationship and decide to form an alliance. Later, Dante and Mark make a smaller alliance, promising each other to keep each other informed of any plans brewing in terms of strategy. In separate confessionals however, both Mark and Dante have no plans on taking each other to the end, and are plotting to take each other down sometime down the line and take Domino with them as their goat.

I am having a two-person alliance with Mark right now, as he looks the smartest of us all, but if you think I'm taking him to the end, you are sadly mistaken. He will be a mere footnote in my Survivor Wiki page. As for Domino, she won't in this game. I'm betting on it. I will sell my bar if she wins.


Dante I can trust short-term. Long term? Hell no! I'm going to milk him for all he's worth, until it's time for me to take him out. In the end, it's just me being the secret service agent secretly doing his secret job.


Back at Arawak, Gordon frustrates his tribemates for constantly yelling orders at them all morning. Moments later, Tiffany takes a nap in the shelter after collecting firewood and water. Gordon is talking to Maggie about the young members not pulling their weight at camp. Maggie patiently listens to him and does his every whim, while Tiffany gets up and lashes out at him in a ghetto fashion. Gordon accuses Tiffany as lazy and has no idea of what hard work is. Being a registered nurse and knowing her father's hardships as a janitor, Tiffany explodes at Gordon, and tells him her and her family's hardships.

Don't he dare say I don't know what hard work means! I had two day jobs just to support my education. My father received ridicule at some point in his life for being a janitor, now there he is, and tells me I don't know hard work? Ass.


Katrina is shocked to see the usually calm and well-mannered Tiffany melt down. Katrina calms Tiffany down. Maggie, who has kept her cool the entire time, chastises Gordon for his accusations about Tiffany.

I can't believe Tiffany has the capacity to blow off like that. I'm scared.


Tiffany. Poor girl. She has no idea of what hard work is.


When Tiffany gets angry, she purses her lips like a cat's bottom.


Gordon picking on Tiffany is a very horrendous thing. I just couldn't take it so I flared up at him.


Day 3

The tribes receive their first Tree Mail, informing about their next Immunity Challenge. At Mapoyo, Barry's health condition is becomes too obvious to ignore. As the red tribe gather around outside the shelter while Domino reads the mail, Barry remains in the shelter. Mai climbs the hut to check on him. Turns out, his fever is getting worse.

Domino was calling us about Tree Mail, and I noticed Barry not around. I climbed up the shelter and saw him curled up, shivering to death. Everyone got nervous. We don't want to start this game with a man down. We haven't headed out for the challenge yet.


Some minutes later, the Survivor medical team intervenes, but Dr. Ramona leaves the decision whether or not Barry should leave the game. Just before Dr. Ramona finishes her sentence, Barry chooses to stay and continue playing.

I am not leaving this game on a stretcher!


The tribes meet Jeff Probst for the first Immunity Challenge. Jeff notices Barry visibly weak. Barry explains he is down with a fever, but he chooses to stay rather than pull himself out of the game. After explaining the challenge brief, Jeff reveals that the winning tribe gets to kidnap a member of the losing tribe, ostensibly allowing that player to skip Tribal Council. The kidnapped player would receive a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol. Jeff adds that the challenge has an added layer. Maggie, who is currently in possession of Mapoyo's idol, now finds the point of it being hidden at Arawak's camp.

I'm the only person in this game right now who sees how the idols are going to affect the game. The tribes' idols being hidden on the other tribe's camp will force us to really mingle with the other tribe, which I am considering now. I do have an alliance right now, but just in case my tribe sells me out, at least I have a backup plan. I have to act in such a way that I'll get their attention and eventually, chooses to kidnap me if we lose. But if we get to kidnap one of theirs, I have to make him or her feel at home.


The Arawak tribe surges ahead as the sickly Barry drags the tribe along, but he makes up for lost time after insisting they should only take fire from the supply dump, while Arawak takes fire and the tarp at once. Mapoyo trails further as Maeve tries to catch her breath. Arawak finally shows signs of struggle as the tribe is having a hard time solving the puzzle, to the point of them dismantling everything. Mapoyo finally catches up but Dante pushes his own ideas, butting heads with many of his tribemates. In the end, Maggie, Jaycee and Edward finish their puzzle first, winning Arawak the challenge, immunity, flint and tarp.

Upon giving Arawak the Immunity Idol, Jeff asks them who will they kidnap. The Arawak tribe is torn between taking either Barry or Maeve. In a confessional, Maggie is mulling over giving the idol to Barry or Maeve to weaken the Mapoyo tribe.

If Barry or Maeve ever goes to Tribal Council, the idol would not only save himself, but it will potentially weaken and cause chaos in their tribe because at first instinct, these two would use the idol because they know they are weak in challenges. But at the same time, I can use the idol to form side deals with this tribe, not necessarily with Barry or Maeve, but if my cover gets blown, the joke's on me.


After much deliberation, they decide to take Maeve, saving her from Tribal Council. Jeff then reveals that the added layer to the challenge is that, Mapoyo now has the power to kidnap a member of Arawak, who would spend the entire afternoon at Mapoyo camp, would listen in to their Tribal Council and will return to their tribe after Tribal Council. After Domino noticing Maggie monopolizing Arawak's conversation as to who to kidnap, Domino insists it should be Maggie. The tribe agrees. Maggie then receives the clue to the hidden idol, which she tears apart promptly.

I'm now in enemy territory, not only that I am away from my tribe, I have to worry about this idol that I shouldn't be holding! On the flip side, I have a clue to our idol hidden at their camp and I have the chance to find it! Still perfect!e torn the clue to shreds, but I think I know where to find our idol.


Maggie is welcomed by the Mapoyo tribe with open arms, but Louise is skeptical as to why, of all people, Maggie, the kidnapped Arawak member, received the idol clue and not any of the non-kidnapped members.

When I heard the kidnapping thing, I just shrugged, but the moment Jeff gave Maggie the clue, I became very suspicious. I don't know what to be suspicious about, but I will learn soon. Gutsy on her part to rip the clue instead of spilling the beans though.


Maggie keenly observes how Mapoyo treats her to help her decide who will receive the Hidden Immunity Idol. Mai tours her to their camp, not knowing that Maggie is actually searching a similar spot where she found Mapoyo's idol at Arawak camp. Louise, who watches her every move, outs Maggie, coaxing her to tell something about her tribemates. Maggie gets a vibe that she is being observed, and decides to not tell much.

Not everyone can react well in that kind of situation. It goes to show that I can never trust Louise. With that, I have a plan for her, but it I have to execute it with utmost precision, or it could heavily backfire on me.


Me asking that question is a two edged sword. If she's a stupid player, she'll leak everything, but if she's savvy, her answer is enough for me to keep an eye on her.


While having strategy talks, Domino and Louise are having a conversation in the bushes. Little do they know is that Maggie happens to pass by while having a talk with Barry about an apparent alliance consisted of Louise, Domino, Dante, Mark, Vince and Dahlia. 

Maggie and Barry hide behind a bush and eavesdrop as the two girls are talking. Domino and Louise are joined by Dante and Vince. The four of them make a final four pact and agree to vote Barry out. Maggie starts mulling over giving her idol to Barry but at the same time, she is wishing to do something else than the obvious.

I definitely feel sorry for Barry. It's such a tough spot to be in. But at the same time, I have to play long term as well. While I did mull over giving Barry the idol to weaken their tribe, this might be the perfect chance to take out a big fish this early in the game. I might lean towards not giving Barry the idol, but I hope what I'll be doing will benefit him.


While Louise is taking a bath at the riverbank, Maggie sneaks the idol in her bag and runs off, under the notion that if Louise's idol is found by her tribemates, nobody would trust her anymore. After taking a bath, Louise climbs up to the shelter and leaves her bag there. Mai notices something sparkling in Louise's bag as it is hit by sunlight. She opens it and discovers the Hidden Immunity Idol in it. Mai runs to Mark and Vince, asking if they are aware of Louise having an idol. This incident causes a rift between the alliance, with Domino accusing Louise of conniving behind their backs. Louise cries and denies all allegations, saying that she never once looked for the idol, not even wanting to anything with it. Dante declares she is on the chopping block because of her possessing the idol. Vince barks back, asking her who wouldn't want power in the game?

I find this absurd! I was with Domino the whole day! How could they accuse me of something like this?! I didn't even know how this thing got in my bag. I'm having a hunch someone planted this.


With me planting the idol in Louise's bag in the time that I did, I have done successfully two things: 1.) Tear this tribe apart (tearing their alliance apart is a bonus); and 2.) They will no longer bother look for the idol because it's already out there, and now, I can freely look for the idol with less prying eyes.


Saddened by her position, Louise goes to Maggie to ask guidance. Maggie gives her advice to keep her chin up, and make good use of the idol instead.

I'm afraid whatever I said will bite me in the ass later.


Dante, Vince and Domino pull in Mai to replace Louise in the alliance. While Mai accepts the offer, she is cautious because she was brought into the alliance last.

I was brought in last into this alliance I didn't even know about, but being in an alliance last is better than having no alliance, so it's fine for now.


Domino insists to split the vote between Barry and Louise. Dante, Mark, Vince, Mai and Dahlia agree. Meanwhile, Maggie, who is enjoying to see Mapoyo implode in front of her, decides to look the idol later.

Now that I've bonded with this tribe as well, it will be easier for them to kidnap me. If they choose to kidnap me, I will better chances to get our idol. And now that their idol is exposed, they wouldn't be bothering to wander around camp to look for it. I will be more free in looking for our own idol.


The vote tonight is pretty simple, split the votes between Louise and Barry. The person who does not go home, is going next. That's for sure.


At Tribal Council, Maggie gets to have her torch lit as well but she is assigned to sit at the jury bench. Right before Jeff says a word, Louise sobs about getting accused for looking for the idol, explaining that she never once looked for, not even wanting to have it in the first place. Mai talks back, saying that she found the idol in Louise's bag right after she took a bath. Louise claims that someone else might've planted the idol in her bag to sabotage her. Jeff asks Barry is he feels better now. In between coughs, Barry explains that fever or not, he would fight to stay longer in the game. In the end, the six person alliance of Domino, Mai, Dahlia, Vince, Dante and Mark decides that the idol would be more beneficial for them in the long run, the split vote is abandoned, and with Louise's vote, the Mapoyo tribe unanimously votes the sick Barry out, 7-1.

As Barry walks away, Maggie is reminded that she will be immediately returning to camp after Tribal Council, and Maeve is already waiting for them at camp.

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 1:
Barry (7 votes)
Dahlia, Dante, Domino, Louise, Mai, Mark, & Vince
Louise (1 vote)
Barry Elwood

Voting Confessionals

Idol or not, I find you the biggest threat. You've gotta go.


I don't know what to do in this situation, but I will consider this idol a blessing in disguise. As for you Papa Barry, it's gotta be you tonight.


Barry? Louise? Camper? Power? I choose power.


This hurts me. You are the most experienced camper we have. But you're down with a cold, sick. We have to win, and I think this vote is better in the long run. Get well soon, Barry.


Final Words

It sucks to be voted out first. But it was fun when it lasted. I wished I didn't become sick, and I would've stayed. I'm a hard worker at camp, I taught them how to fish, make fire keep it going. I hope someone from Mapoyo wins this. Even though I didn't win the million, I'm still excited to spend the rest of my retirement travelling around the world.


Next Time on Survivor

  • A new twist is revealed: The tribe that wins the Reward Challenge gets to kidnap a member of the losing tribe. Conversely, the losing tribe gets to kidnap a member of the winning tribe.
  • Now with a target on her back, Louise is now in a dilemma on what to do with the idol. Will she use it, dispose it, or even to investigate who planted the idol in her bag? Will she find out it's Maggie who planted it?

Author's Notes

  • Since Maggie found Mapoyo's Hidden Immunity Idol before the kidnapping twist was revealed, Maggie was allowed by the producers to hold on to the idol until the next episode, until the kidnapping twist is revealed to everyone.
  • Maeve held on to her clue, but wasn't able to find the Arawak idol.

Survivor: Venezuela episodes

"Survival of the Dimmest" · "Sister Act" · "Debbie Downer" · "A Freudian Slipper" · "Keep Your Friends Close" · "The Sacrifice" · "Two Worlds Collide" · "It Takes One to Know One" · "Cuddle Buddy" · "A Fool's Errand" · "There Was Never an Us" · "My Finest Hour" · "A Silver Lining" · "Don't Count Me Out Just Yet"