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JAZZ MUSICIAN'S LAST RIFF

Sekou First to Go

The much-anticipated SURVIVOR: COOK ISLANDS begins with Sekou Bunch, the 44-year-old professional jazz musician from Los Angeles, California, voted out three votes to two at the first Tribal Council of the season. Pegged as a bossy yet weak leader, Sekou unhappily greets his fate as his torch's flame is extinguished. Holding his head up high, Sekou leaves behind his positive final words: "I believe a good leader is one who can instill some guidance. And I'm sure that I had a real strong effect with my tribe--I have no doubt about that. They saw that I was a real strong leader. Well guess what? They're gonna be a really strong tribe and I'm proud of that. And my torch may be out but my flame is still burning."

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Aboard an ancient ship in the heart of the South Pacific, 20 Survivors meeting for the first time are divided into four tribes: Asian-American, Caucasian, Latino and African-American. They pillage the old sailing vessel for supplies in which to help them live for the next 39 days. Jumping overboard and beginning the arduous paddle to their beaches, it is clear to them that this social experiment is like nothing else before it.

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Giving perspective to this unusual situation, Yul from the Asian-American tribe is apprehensive about being divided based solely on his ethnicity. "I'm a little worried that it might play out to caricatures and stereotypes." Even the carefree Parvati hesitates for a moment at being grouped entirely with Caucasians "Different ethnic groups

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PLUG PULLED ON HEAVY METAL

Billy Thrown Out

On night six, Billy Garcia, the 36-year-old heavy metal musician from New York, New York, is voted out of the game four votes to one after his tribe purposefully loses the Immunity Challenge to vote him out. Billy, labeled lazy and untrustworthy by his tribe, seals his fate at Tribal Council as he shockingly professes his love for Raro tribe member Candice, claiming she is his million-dollar prize.

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After his torch is extinguished, Billy gives his final thoughts on the game. "I came into this wanting to live the dream of playing Survivor. I got to live that dream for 6 days. And I think it's kind of cool that the heavy metal guy is getting eliminated by some guy named Ozzy. Too bad there wasn't a heavy metal tribe; I think I would've fit in better there."

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A SPARK AND A FLAME

The morning brings renewed life to the depleted Hiki tribe as a determined Rebecca attempts to make fire with the flint given to them at the previous Tribal Council. Finally, her work pays off as sparks turn to flame. As the tribe rejoices, Rebecca gleefully adds, "This has been a great day for our team. We're figuring it out and working as one, and I couldn't ask for anything more."

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GUNFIRE

Finding her place in the Aitu tribe, Cristina is compelled to share a shocking story with her tribe. As an officer, she was shot in the line of duty, nearly losing her arm. Despite her tale of woe, the surfer Ozzy clashes with Christina's authority as he rejects her chicken trap idea. "A lot of the ideas that she has are coming from somebody who's not done a lot of camping, who's not been in the outdoors a lot, so it doesn't make any sense to me." Complains Ozzy, "Cristina and I, we don't click very well."

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BEDTIME STORIES

With a common Korean upbringing, Becky and Yul from Puka tribe find themselves aligning together. "Yul seems sort of like an older brother to me," explains Becky. But as the darkness of night falls, Cao Boi's disregard for his tribemates' tolerance of ethnic stereotypes leaves him in the cold as he continues to tell jokes that offend. "A joke is a joke right?" defends Cao Boi. Not agreeing with Cao Boi's antics, Brad adds, "I think the bigger picture is, we get it, but other people won't get it." Yul diplomatically explains, "It's good to have a sense of humor but if it's at the expense of a particular ethnic group, I don't think that's cool."

JONATHAN IS BACK

Although he receives a warm welcome home, Jonathan quickly sums up the poor state of affairs of his Raro tribe. "I've come back and these guys haven't done anything. I don't understand why they don't have a better floor. Basically it's the same shack that they've been in for three or four days now." Getting the tribe motivated to build a better shelter proves more difficult than expected as his ideas clash with an outspoken Adam. Jonathan vents, "Adam is hungry and he's crabby and he doesn't understand that other people have needs, and I don't need him being like that."

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DEAD WEIGHT

Anticipating an upcoming challenge, the majority of the Aitu tribe discusses their immediate future as Billy slumbers just steps away in the shelter. In a bold move, Ozzy suggests to his teammates to throw the next challenge in order to vote out Billy. Although the tribe agrees Billy is useless and dishonest, the idea of throwing the challenge does not sit well Cristina. "I still think that we should all work as a team. It's disappointing and I don't know if I can trust Oscar anymore".

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IMMUNITY/REWARD CHALLENGE: TOW THE LINE

The four tribes square off again for Immunity and Reward as Jeff Probst explains the challenge. Each tribe must remember a historical story of Captain James Cook. Tied together as a group, the tribe must make their way over and under logs and through a field of poles, gathering seven answer flags. Once they cross a two-line rope bridge over a pit of water, they must use the seven answer flags collected to solve five questions about the story. The first tribe to answer the five questions correctly wins Immunity and two large tarps as a Reward. The first three tribes to finish win Immunity and are safe from Tribal Council. The losing tribe decides who will go to Exile Island.

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The challenge begins as Raro, Hiki and Puka quickly make their way through the course, while Aitu casually lags behind. Puka and Raro make quick work of the course as they surprisingly complete the challenge and tie for the win. As Hiki answers the final question on their board correctly, they too secure a victory, leaving Aitu in last place. Before leaving the challenge, Aitu sends Yul from Puka to Exile Island. As Yul gathers his things, Billy from the defeated Aitu tribe turns to Candice from Raro and whispers, "I'm next." In an effort to console him, Candice says, "Well, we love you," to which Billy replies, "I love you."

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BURRIED TREASURE

Shortly after his arrival on the dreaded Exile Island, the clever and resourceful Yul makes quick work of the clues as he digs deep into the sand. To his surprise, X marks the spot as he unearths the hidden Immunity Idol. An ecstatic Yul reveals his thoughts and strategy behind his game-changing find. "If there's a clear opportunity where I could change the game, I'd use it."

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DEAD MAN'S BLUFF

Returning to camp defeated and realizing her discomfort in throwing the challenge, Cristina complains, "It was such an easy game; it just made me realize that Oscar's really conniving. I think Oscar's more of a threat right now." Aware of his position in the game, Billy plays to Cristina's morals, telling her that he knows about sabotaging the challenge in order to vote him out. "I just hope they don't throw another challenge to get rid of you," Billy tells Cristina. With fingers crossed and high hopes, Billy says, "My hand is a weak hand but at least I have one queen."

In the end at a heated Tribal Council, Billy is ousted from his tribe, four votes to one.

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youtube

1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOfSdZgYU-A

2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-H7t1fz2xY

3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfSpY1cCrZU

4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ2eJlBkISQ

5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq6-FKF6gio

Thanks squirrel for the links

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NEW TRIBES, NEW ALLIANCES

Cecilia Voted Out

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On night nine during a tense Tribal Council, Cecilia Mansilla, the 29-year-old Technology Risk Consultant from Oakland, California, leaves the game in a five to three vote. Presumably in a secure position, the decision came as a shock to the unsuspecting Cecilia as Jessica and Cao Boi switched their votes in the final hour.

Disappointed in the swift turn the game has taken, Cecilia delivers her final words. "This vote tonight, it's insane. It's just a testament as to how quickly the game can change. But I have no regrets. I had a great time."

Lightened Load

Returning to their camp after a calculated vote at Tribal Council where Billy professed his admiration for Candice of the Raro tribe, Aitu discussed the probability of Billy's love affair. "All the stuff that came out of Billy's mouth tonight was just ridiculous. Words can't even describe the Candice situation. If it's true it's true, but, it's not true," notes a smirking J.P.

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Broken Record

In the early light of day, the Puka tribe is greeted with a slew of new non-stop stories from Cao Boi. Aggravated with Cao Boi's garrulous behavior, Brad sums up his frustration on the matter: "I have had a sort of coming to Jesus in my own mind with Cao Boi. I really in my heart of hearts don't think he's all there and will ever be there

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  • 4 weeks later...

SPIKED AT TRIBAL COUNCIL

JP Voted Out

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At Raro's Tribal Council, JP Calderon, the 30-year-old Professional Volleyball Player from Marina Del Rey, California, is shocked by his tribe as he is sent off in a 7 to 2 vote. With his behavior seen as bossy and arrogant, it didn't take long for his tribe to take action and dismiss him in one fell swoop.

Dumbfounded at the sudden turn of events, JP delivers his final words: "Wow, this is something I never ever saw coming. It takes more than just being strong and big and physical and thinking you're mentally tough. You gotta really watch your back. There's no hard feelings, that's the way the game is played and man, they really pulled one over on me. You definitely can't trust anybody in this game

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HOME SWEET HOME

Stephannie Sent Packing

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Stephannie Favor, the 35-year-old nursing student from Columbia, South Carolina, is banished in a 7 to 1 vote after the tribe questioned her desire to stay in the game. Graceful in defeat, she delivers her final words: "I would've loved to have stayed in the game a little while longer but if your mind's not there completely, 100%, then your tribe is going to feel that. And you don't want to be a weak link to your tribe. I had wonderful tribemates, I was thankful to have been a part of the experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Thanks."

Men at Work

Sleeping in on the morning of day 12, the ladies of Raro awake to massive amounts of firewood and seafood gathered by the men. Concerned the men may soon be annihilated by the women who now control the numbers, Nate realizes the shift in power: "Now the game really turns on. The guys all have to watch their backs as a unit because these women could try to [knock] us off. So I gotta let 'em know, yeah, you guys do need us.'

Worker Bees

As Jessica and Cao Boi embark on a crabbing expedition, Cao Boi spies Candice, Becky and Sundra relaxing on a raft. Frustrated with some of his tribemates' lack of work ethic, Cao Boi cautiously states, "That annoys me. They don't even try. We will keep winning our challenges I hope, but if they don't correct themselves, they will be eliminated."

Reward Challenge: Never Tear Us Apart

Both tribes reconvene at the Reward Challenge, where Jeff Probst explains the rules. Both the tribes will split into three pairs, each of whom will stand on a platform. Each person on the platform will use one arm to hold onto a hook. Every two minutes members from the opposing tribe will load one of those pairs with five-pound bags. The more weight added, the harder it will be to hold on to the hook. The last pair holding their hooks and weight for their tribe wins Reward: fishing supplies, spices and bottles of wine. In addition the winning tribe will choose one person from the losing tribe to send to Exile Island.

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The challenge begins and immediately strategy for the two tribes is clear as Raro distributes the weight evenly amongst the Aitu pairs and Aitu loads only the strongest of Raro's pairs, Nate and Adam. Yul couldn't handle the weight as his hook slips from his grasp, becoming Aitu's first casualty. A pair from Raro and a pair from Aitu drop out, leaving Ozzy and Jessica with 20 lbs each for Aitu versus Cristina and Brad with 20 lbs and Nate and Adam with 30 lbs each from Raro. Straining together to hold the leaden bags amongst Aitu's taunting, Raro continues to dig deep holding their weight. Suddenly Jessica's hook slips from her hand and Raro erupts in cheers of victory as they win the Reward of spices, fishing supplies and wine. They choose to banish Jonathan to Exile Island once again.

Short Order Chef

The Raro tribe awakes to Adam's laughter as he stumbles into camp with an octopus stuck to his foot. Later, Cristina takes charge, giving orders to cook to and clean the octopus, and as she cuts and rinses it, a large portion of the octopus clumsily spills from her pot into the waves. Adam assesses the damage but gives little comfort to Cristina: "I worked hard this morning to get the octopus and then Cristina dropped the bucket and there were pieces of octopus all over the water and that really bothered me. I don't know what she was thinking." Once the pieces of octopus are accounted for, Cristina pins fault on Jenny, who had been helping her. "She's going to blame me for dropping the octopus?" says Jenny, equally unhappy with Cristina. "Cristina is coming across as our new JP, so she better watch herself," Jenny warns.

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The Fifth Wheel

With the island's resources beginning to dwindle, Cao Boi, Ozzy and Jessica embark on an expedition to explore the other islands in search of food and other means of survival. Unable to recruit the other tribemates, they set off towards the islands across the lagoon. Candice, Sundra and Becky opt to stay back in camp with Yul, who seizes the moment to offer Sundra the fifth spot in the alliance. "I'm very happy that I got over that hurdle of being the outsider and I genuinely feel that I'm a part of this alliance now, but," cautions Sundra, "who knows, that could change five minutes from now. I'll just have to see."

Our Island, Our Turf

The Aitu explorers, Cao Boi, Ozzy and Jessica anchor on the beach of a foreign island, lush with the medicinal Noni plant and trees filled with coconuts. As they head down a path in the jungle, unaware of just which island they have landed on, they reach a clearing only to find the Raro tribe gathered around their camp fire. Stunned and territorial, Adam from Raro is far from pleased with the trespassers and vents, "I didn't like it at all; I don't think they should be on our island. This is our turf, this is our territory, and they've got their own island." Awkward introductions ensue as Cao Boi makes himself comfortable by the Raro fire, sharpening his machete. After a lengthy lesson on Asian symbols, Cao Boi begs for coconuts and Raro's hard won spices. Overprotective of his island's assets, Adam sends the three explorers on their way empty handed.

Digging through the Night

Under the light of the moon, Jonathan chews through the sand on Exile Island in hopes of finding the hidden Immunity Idol. "It's like playing in a big sand box, a million dollar sand box," says Jonathan, encouraging himself to continue his search. But with the warm glow of the morning sun he threw in the towel.

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DOUBLE TROUBLE

Cao Boi and Cristina Voted Out

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In a monumental twist in the game on night 15, both tribes are sent to Tribal Council. Despite Aitu's dominance in the Immunity Challenge, they are forced to send a member home and choose the wild card, Cao Boi, as their sacrificial lamb. Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi" Bui, the 42-year-old Prelate of the Loyal Order of Moose from Christiansburg, Virginia, is sent home with six votes against him. As his torch is extinguished he presents his final words: "It was a wonderful experience. I had a great time. I didn't make it as far as I planned on going, but that's how it goes. I did learn I am most vulnerable among the Asian community. People who are like me, but not like me, I was aware of them in the beginning but eventually I learned to trust them. I should have known better."

Cao Boi wasn't the only sacrificial lamb on night 15. As Aitu feasts in front of Raro during their Tribal Council, they watch Raro send home Cristina Coria, the 35-year-old police officer from Los Angeles, California. Cristina's abrasive conduct and condescending tone ostracized her from her tribe, and she receives a majority of four votes against her. As Cristina leaves the game, she explains, "I really enjoyed being on Survivor. It was a great experience. Just disappointed I got voted off so soon. Basically I almost feel like I was taken advantage of. But you know what, I met some really good people and I met some really awful people. I guess that's part of the game. But it was just an awesome experience overall."

The Way You Are

On night 14, still boiling from an eye opening Tribal Council, Cristina confronts Adam and her tribe about calling her annoying and overbearing. Hoping for an apology, Cristina is yet again confronted by Adam who asserts himself as the leader of the anti-Cristina campaign. "I just don't understand. I never thought that's what they thought about me. But I'm going to stick my head up high still. I know I survived a lot of other things in my life, I'm going to survive this," notes a frustrated Cristina.

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Voice of Reason

Mystically attached to the Immunity Idol, the unpredictable Cao Boi suggests to his tribe that he bring the idol with them to the Reward Challenge. "I would bring the Immunity Idol with us, at all times. Every challenge we should bring him." Jonathan, feeling that it would be an unnecessary rub in Raro's face if they brought the Idol when it wasn't needed, urged Cao Boi to rethink his reasoning. Frustrated with Cao Boi's attitude, Jonathan grumbles: "Cao Boi, he is rubbing some people the wrong way. He does have to get talked out of a tree once in a while."

Reward Challenge: Kicking and Screaming

The tribes assemble at a sand pit, where Jeff Probst explains the rules of their next challenge. Each tribe will select three people to be stationed at a post. Two members from the opposing tribe will try to physically remove them from their posts, drag them through the sand and over the finish line. First tribe to get all three opposing tribe members across their finish line wins a feast consisting of lamb shanks, bread and apple cider. The catch: they will be indulging at Tribal Council, where both tribes will vote one member out of the game.

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Holding on the posts for Aitu are Candice, Ozzy and Sundra while Jenny, Nate and Cristina take their places on the Raro posts. In a brutal battle, Candice holds her own against Raro's Parvati and Rebecca, giving Aitu an incredible lead. Raro's Adam and Brad give Ozzy an equally brutal fight. Using any means necessary, Aitu manages to pull all three of the Raro members off their poles first and viciously drags Raro's last member, Cristina, across the Aitu finish line wining the right to feast at Tribal Council.

Plan Voodoo

Aitu returns home thrilled with their win, joking about wrestling a cop and defeating the muscle of the Raro tribe. But the win is bittersweet as Aitu faces the unenviable task of voting someone out. Believing Jonathan to be in possession of the hidden Immunity Idol, Cao Boi reveals a plan to Yul that could flush out the Idol. Plan Voodoo would create a tie: three votes against Jonathan and three against Candice, forcing Jonathan to play the Hidden Idol to send Candice home. "I think the plan's ingenious. I know that neither Jonathan nor Candice has the Immunity Idol because I have it," smiles Yul.

Second Chance?

With her neck is on the line, Cristina pleads to her tribemates for a second chance to prove herself an asset to the tribe. "Cristina's close with me. [There are] lots of good characteristics about her," says Nate. "She gave it her all today, and that for me was enough to say, 'Okay maybe you could be valuable.'" Still uncertain about his vote, Nate weighs his options with Rebecca. "If I were to keep Cristina, Jenny would have to go. She's one tough cookie. Cristina's strong but her mouth's strong. Jenny's sweet but I don't know if I can trust her yet."

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Conspiracy Theory

Gearing up for Tribal Council, Yul contemplates Cao Boi's Plan Voodoo and the tribe's feelings for Jonathan. Meanwhile, Cao Boi reassures Flica that Plan Voodoo is in effect, confident his alliance with Becky and Yul will hold true. Jonathan, irked by the shift in the game, sees an opportunity to free his tribe from Cao Boi's antics. "We did not lose the challenge today; we won. It was just a twist in the game that said we have to vote somebody off and the consensus is that Cao Boi should go because he is pissing people off." Not one to put all his apples in one basket, Jonathan contemplates his position: "Tonight if I get voted off I'll be shocked. If I'm wrong then I've been outplayed and the conspiracy is much bigger than I can picture."

Idol Mania

At the first Tribal Council of the night, Cao Boi sinks further into his obsession to expose the hidden Immunity Idol. But Cao Boi's trust in his tribe is shattered when Plan Voodoo fails and his seemingly loyal tribemates vote him out of the game with six votes. Jonathan and Candice earn only one vote each.

Kidnapped

Eyes bulging, Raro watches as Aitu devours loaves of bread, tender lamb shanks and apple cider on the jury seats. With Aitu observing Raro's Tribal Council, Cristina's overbearing personality is brought to attention once again. Before Raro can cast their votes, another surprise twist is revealed: Aitu will kidnap one member of the Raro tribe. This member will feast with Aitu, return to Aitu's camp and remain a member of the Aitu tribe through the next Reward Challenge. Aitu promptly kidnaps Nate and watches the depleted Raro vote Cristina out of the game, four votes to two.

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