May 08, 2008 08:54 PM by Ryan Haidet
This season has delivered many shocks, twists and turns – but none like the one tonight. One player made a mistake that was so shockingly stupid, that it truly is the dumbest play in the show’s 16 season history. But there was a lot that led up to that moronic move.
Day 34 arrived at the Dabu camp and Erik was chatting with the only other remaining fan, Natalie, about the biggest threat left in the game. He said that if Parvati and Cirie were smart, they’d realize that Amanda should be the next to go since she has the most votes from the jury. Natalie agreed, and they planned on one of them going to Exile Island to find the last hidden immunity idol.
But the three favorites, Amanda, Parvati and Cirie didn’t want Erik nor Natalie to go to Exile Island because of that idol, so they had a plan of their own – convincing Erik to send Parvati. Amanda approached him and said that if she won the reward, she would take him if he would promise to do the same for her if he won. A deal was struck. Then she worked her magic on telling him Parvati was the one to send to Exile. Erik was caught in the middle. Should he trust Natalie or Amanda? Who should he send to Exile?
At the reward challenge, the five players were tested on how well they actually knew the game as questions were asked about the previous 15 seasons. The first to four would win a helicopter trip to a luxury resort for a massage, meal and overnight stay. The winner would also choose who was sent to Exile Island.
This challenge proved that Erik is definitely the biggest fan remaining since he won the challenge. But it also revealed that many on there, including Natalie, who has been labeled as a fan, apparently hasn’t seen much of the show or has a terrible memory. The questions didn’t seem that tough for any hardcore Survivor fan. They were asked which season had a player get bitten by a shark to only bite it back. Some struggled with that, among other questions including one about the season in which one player made a pet out of a snake (duh, Rupert on Pearl Islands).
After Erik won, he kept his word by taking Amanda on the reward. Erik then chose to send Parvati to Exile Island. The women had him under control.
Back at camp, it was only Natalie and Cirie since the others were gone on reward and exile, which left Natalie upset. She was not happy that Erik sent Parvati to Exile Island since they had agreed on sending one another in an effort to find the idol.
On their reward, Erik and Amanda were enjoying their island helicopter flight that took them to the resort. Their plan was to not talk strategy and game play so they could simply enjoy their reward. But that was short-lived because at dinner, Erik confided in his reward guest that he wasn’t used to being in a power position since he’s just an ice cream scooper. Then he said maybe it was time to get used to it and be an ice cream man, not an ice cream boy. Oh, brother.
Day 35, Parvati was tanning on Exile Island with no apparent effort made to find the hidden immunity idol since the only reason she was sent there was to stop the others from going.
Back at camp, Erik and Amanda returned from their reward. In their shelter, Cirie was talking to Erik about Natalie being upset. As he talked strategy and the next targets, Natalie stood right behind and listened. He told Cirie that it should be her, himself and Parvati in the final three with Amanda and Natalie their next targets. Busted! Natalie admitted to the other girls that she overheard his strategy session and Cirie said that he was telling every remaining player the same thing – making deals and promises to all of them. Erik knew he was in trouble and needed to win immunity to save himself.
At the challenge, Parvati returned from Exile Island as host Jeff Probst, styling some new plaid shorts unlike his usual khakis, explained the contest. Each player had to use ropes to connect two coordinates within a large circle. Where the ropes intersect is where a bag of puzzle pieces was buried. Then they had to rush back and complete that puzzle, which provided a new set of coordinates. The first to finish three puzzles would win. Erik pulled an early lead and held it the entire time until he won the challenge. In fact, it wasn’t even close. The man who was the definite target now held safety from elimination.
Back at camp, Natalie asked the other women if she was going to be voted off and they told her yes. It wasn’t looking good for her – until Cirie concocted a new scheme that nobody would fall for – except Erik. She thought Natalie should convince him to give her his immunity necklace so she would be safe. Then they would turn and vote him out. But what argument would be strong enough to give up immunity and a guaranteed spot in the final four?
Natalie approached him alone in the cave and said that they would all vote out Amanda if he gave up his immunity. He immediately said no and questioned why they couldn’t vote out Amanda anyway. She told him that by giving up immunity, he would be redeeming himself for all the lies and doubletalk he had been doing to all four remaining women. That way, it could earn him some trust back. He went to Cirie next to talk about it. She told him that saving Natalie by giving up his necklace would be the signal that he was trying to redeem himself and they would all vote Amanda out.
He was actually considering the plan, but wanted to switch up the vote to Parvati since he thought she had found the idol on Exile Island and had given it to Amanda. “We got him on a hook, we just have to reel him in,” Cirie said. So, both Cirie and Natalie agreed to change the vote to Parvati – or so he thought.
At Tribal Council, Amanda and Parvati attacked Erik and said that nobody trusted his word anymore since he was telling all of them the same things. He apologized profusely and felt bad saying he needed redemption to prove to the jury he deserved some votes if he got to the end. Probst asked Cirie if apologies mattered at this point and in a brilliant move she said that it did matter because redemption is important – but actions speak louder than words. Erik obviously took the hint and said, “Actions do speak louder than words” as he handed over his immunity necklace to Natalie. Everybody had shocked faces from the jury to the four women. James (on the jury) couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
As Erik went to cast the first ballot, the four women were amazed their plan had worked. When Parvati voted for Erik she said, “You’re crazy. You’ll officially go down as the dumbest Survivor ever – in the history of Survivor ever.”
As Probst prepared to read the votes, everybody was shaking their heads in disbelief that Erik could be so naÃƒve – even more than Jason (wait, is that possible?). In a 4-1 vote, Erik was blindsided and ousted from the competition. As his torch was snuffed, James on the jury said, “I’ve lost my reign as dumbest Survivor ever.” Some may remember that James had two hidden idols on the China season, didn’t play either and was voted out.
After Erik left Tribal Council, Probst turned to the gr