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Survivor Tocantins Week 12 - Death Before Dishonor

Survivor Tocantins Week 12 - "Death Before Dishonor"


I'll HUFF! And I'll PUFF! And I'll...


The newspaper reports that someone is upset about betrayal at tribal council. Could Coach finally be catching on?


Actually, the preview works pretty good at either end of tonight's ep. Peachy calls Coach "clueless" for standing by helpless as his longtime ally, Debbie, is voted off.

Forza - Night 33

Arriving back in camp, Coach professes to be shocked. When he got a vote - he thought he was a goner. He's even more shocked when Stephen and JT tell him that Debbie tried to organize his ouster. He interviews that Stephen and JT 'saved' him. Heh.

Forza - Day 34

Next day, Coach is up early around the campfire currying favor with the two he now realizes control the game. He complains of his asthma and back problems and says he dreads the possibility of going to Exile Island.

Stephen interviews that Coach has been using every excuse in the book to avoid Exile Island. He's beginning to think Coach is scared to go.

JT expresses some skepticism about Coach's professions as well.


The challenge is to:

1) Race though a maze. The contestants will be hobbled, but not, unfortunately blindfolded, as was such good sport in Gabon. The maze is a huge series of fenced enclosures, the fencing spelling out "SURVIVOR" in letters big enough to be read from the space shuttle, with sub-mazes inside each, then
2) Create a pole by tying together short sticks, then
3) Use the pole to retrieve a sandbag hanging on a line from a bar overhead, then
4) Swing the sandbag to knock down three targets.

The reward is a trip to "The Governor's Retreat", a meal, a shower, and overnight stay, plus getting to send someone to exile.

GO! The contestants head for the gate to enter the first maze. JT gets to the entrance first, followed by Coach. The contestants have to run with a short shuffling pace due to the hobbles. There are many alternate paths other survivors peel off on branches they see more promise in, but Coach continues to follow JT, which turns out to be a pretty good strategy as JT seems to navigate flawlessly from beginning to end, whereas most of the others come to dead ends and have to backtrack. JT gets through the course first, followed closely by Coach, everybody else way behind.

JT quickly begins lashing his sticks together, Coach a little more hesitantly, but it's over very quickly as JT retrieves his sandbag first try with a very well tied pole, then knocks down three targets in four swings. Coach hasn't even retrieved his sandbag before JT is finished and no one else has even started on their pole.

After a little thought, JT sends Coach, as one of the only two left that haven't gone to Exile Island (and JT is the other). Coach says he will use the opportunity to meditate, and not eat while in exile. Erinn just has to nag about how this is ridiculous, at length. Coach reacts as you would predict, casting himself as a noble man being persecuted by ungrateful envious tormentors.

JT chooses Stephen to accompany him on his reward, saying it's only fair that he take the one who took him.

Erinn and Taj head back to camp.

JT interviews that Erinn shot herself in the foot by opening her big mouth and he can't believe people can be so dumb in this game.

Forza - Day 34

Erinn and Taj check back into a 'quiet, peaceful' Forza.

Taj interviews that she's very confident of her alliance with Stephen and JT.

Erinn apologizes to Taj for speaking inappropriately, and hopes nothing she said will get her voted off before Coach. Taj tells her she has nothing to worry about.


Coach slowly trudges up the sand dune. He says "This is going to be like a vacation for me!" He says he could stay here for a week with no food. [Then why did he poor-mouth his condition in hopes of not being sent?] He cuts a himself a cane [It looks unwieldy.] calling it "a dragon cane for the dragon slayer." He vows Erinn will get his next vote, and talks about himself in the third person a lot. He does his chon ran exercises on the crest line of the dune.


Stephen and JT are flown in a small private plane to the resort. JT loves the trip and flying in a light plane. They land on a dirt strip in the jungle and are taken to "The Governor's Retreat", a nice looking brick and wood structure. A gracious host escorts them to their rooms, where they get a shock when looking in their first mirror in 35 days. Stephen is impressed with his beard, but not so much at the condition of his teeth. JT comments on the mess his own hair is in. They both luxuriate in a hot shower and the first time in a month they've felt really clean.

Afterward, they're led - in their bathrobes - to a meal of Brazilian shish-ka-bob. It had a name but I didn't catch it. Stephen calls it a "meat feast" with steaks, pork, and grilled pineapple. They stuff themselves and drink a toast to becoming the "Final 2". JT interviews he would like to take Coach to the final 3, presumably for being easy to beat. Stephen still marvels over the dumbness of Erinn's verbal outburst - mainly, I think, for giving Coach a chance to vent.


Coach lays in the stream with his head on the bank and speaks of two whole days with no food, no sleep, and little water - he says it's a great experience, testing himself. He says he's walking a bit slower now because his asthma is acting up, but he's not tired and not hungry. He quotes (he says) Marcus Aurelius, "Through our greatest adversities come our greatest successes." It's possible Aurelius said this, Lord knows he was eminently quotable and a lot of prominent men and women have quotes along these lines, but I couldn't find any confirmation of it and after last week's "St Stephen" quote I'm not inclined to trust it. I'm just sayin'.


Coach limps in on his dragin' cane, shirt off.

Taj interviews "What a drama queen! Any thirty-seven year old man who thinks he's a dragon slayer belongs in a mental institution."

Jeff asks Coach how Exile Island went.

Coach says he was freezing, had little water and no food, and it was the best time of his life. Then as Jeff start to explain the challenge we hear Coach whisper to someone "Could I have a little water?" He gets a canteen.

The challenge is an endurance challenge. The survivors must stand between two walls touching them only with their arms and lower legs, with feet resting on a narrow ledge. At the fifteen and thirty minute points they must move down to even narrower ledges. Last one standing wins.

Everyone makes it through the first 15 minutes and moves down to the narrower ledge. Jeff asks Coach if his Exile Island meditation is helping him with this task. Coach "Babble, babble, babble."

Everyone makes it to thirty minutes, but in moving down to the smallest ledge, Erinn drops to the ground and is out. Shortly after, Stephen, then a trembling Taj follow her. Now it's just JT and Coach. Jeff characterizes the contest as "The Listener vs. The Talker", and "The Young Buck vs. The Old Warrior".

They pass the fifty minute mark, occasionally passing badinage about dropping out and who's planning to vote or not vote for whom. Coach says he has something to prove, He grimaces a lot. Shouts some. He's evidently in pain. JT looks almost relaxed, and appears to be barely pressing with his arms, taking most of the weight on his feet - the quarter inch or so of the outside edges of his feet, that is.

Finally Coach can bear it no longer and collapses - JT wins immunity! Coach cannot even stand. The other survivors help support him. Taj seems particularly sympathetic. Coach declines seeing the medics, insisting no one will force him out of the game.

Stephen interviews that he felt bad for Coach - it really looked like he was suffering.

Forza - Day 36

Erinn interviews that it was ridiculous of Coach to push himself like that.

Taj interviews that she's not sure how much of that was real, how much put-on. Coach seemed to recover fairly quickly and be walking around fine back at camp.

Coach interviews that he considers JT a worthy warrior opponent.

JT tells Coach that Erinn and Taj will probably vote for him, JT and Stephen will vote for Erinn, so Coach's vote can send Erinn home.

Later Stephen says he's not sure who he'll vote for and he's considering voting for Coach.

As they head for Tribal Council, Coach interviews that with Erinn gone, he will be the 'last of the Timbirahicans'.


The jury enters - Dang, Debbie is looking smashing, I must say.

Jeff deals out leading questions and we hear:

Erinn: Agrees that she thought Coach's vow to fast on Exile Island was ridiculous and perhaps designed to upstage her own miserable experience on Exile Island.

Coach: I have some past experience to draw on that made it easier for me.

Erinn: I never feel secure at Tribal Council. Someone will be surprised.

Coach: No I don't think it will be a surprise, because women have great intuition. [Squinty looks from Taj and Erinn.]

With that, Jeff starts to call for the vote, but Coach interrupts "One more thing?" [In the jury box, Sierra rolls her whole head, not just her eyes.] He should know that Peachy never likes being interrupted in his set-speeches, but Coach plows blithely ahead. He's written a poem that he'd like everyone to hear. A bemused Probst lets him proceed. The poem is utter doggerel that barely rhymes on Coach's warrior theme, but the jury reactions are priceless. I can't see Tyson, but everyone else covers either their eyes, their mouths, or both. Most assume postures of slumber. There's some covered mouths in the Survivor area as well.

Poem over, JT elects to keep his idol, and the voting proceeds.

JT votes for Erinn.

Erinn votes for Coach, saying "The dragon, slain."

Taj votes for Coach.

Coach votes for Erinn, saying "You're like the cat with nine lives. Good job staying in this long."

Stephen votes.


Jeff comes back with the votes and says this is the last opportunity to play the hidden immunity idol, if anybody has it. Taj grimaces, but does nothing.

I'm wondering - why the Hell not play it at this point, just in case of a blindside, or give it to Erinn to play?

Wants it for a souvenir?

Stephen's got it and won't give it back?

Is voting with Erinn for sympathy and to get her vote but wants her on the jury so she'll have a vote?

Forgot the idol and left it at camp?

It's a mystery.


So the vote proceeds.

First vote - Coach. Coach 1

Second vote - Erinn. Coach 1 - Erinn 1

Third vote - Erinn. Coach 1 - Erinn 2

Fourth vote - Coach. Coach 2 - Erinn 2

Fifth vote (drumroll) - Coach.

[In the jury box Sierra makes a big 'gotcha' gesture]

Coach tells the tribe it's been an honor playing with them and stands to have his torch snuffed. As he leaves he salutes the tribe, and all but Erinn salute or wave back. Coach limps into the darkness.


It all finishes in a blaze of glory for somebody. Three tribal councils, a sole Survivor, and a live reunion show.


Over the closing credits, Coach makes a little speech that dents, but doesn't break the 'season of the nice guys'.

"There was some sadness tonight when I left. I cannot imagine why someone would want to take Erinn over me in the Warrior Alliance. [I can believe that he can't imagine it. For one thing, the Warrior Alliance existed only in his head.] Judging by their reaction, it was Stephen. The wizard was definitely not a white wizard. He was the evil wizard in the end. It was a travesty. Death before dishonor! I did not dishonor myself. I feel pretty good about how I played the game."

For the record, voting for:

Coach (3): Taj, Erinn, Stephen

Erinn (2): Coach, JT

Status at End: as of week 12

Forza (4)

Taj's idol can no longer be used.

Erinn Lobdell_(3)___________26_Waukesha WI
James "JT" Thomas, Jr______24_Samson AL
Stephen Fishbach_(1)_______29_New York City NY
Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George_(4)_37_Nashville TN
(#) = cumulative votes against

x-Benjamin "Coach" Wade 37 Bolivar, MO voted out week 12
x-Debra "Debbie" Beebe 46 Auburn, AL, voted out week 11
x-Sierra Reed 23 Los Angeles, CA, voted out week 10
x-Tyson Apostol 29 Lindon, UT, voted out week 9
x-Brendan Synnott 30 New York City NY, voted out week 8
x-Joe Dowdle 26 Austin TX, left for medical reasons week 7
x-Sydney Wheeler 24 Raleigh NC, voted out week 6
x-Spencer Duhm 19 Lakeland FL voted out week 5
x-Sandy Burgin 53 Louisville KY voted out week 4
x-Jerry Sims_49_Rock Hill SC voted out week 3
x-Candace Smith_31_Dayton OH voted out week 2
x-Carolina Eastwood 26..West Hollywood CA voted out week 1

See you this SUNDAY!

= Cecil =

As usual, the show finishes up this Sunday with a two hour finale (8PM most places), immediately followed by a reunion show.


Still having trouble telling the survivors apart? Forgotten who Carolina even was? Check out the Survivor Bios page - updated weekly with the latest observations. Add your own opinions of the players in the comments area. Just click the highlighted name below:


Posted by Cecil on May 14, 2009 7:08 PM
Permalink |

Bout time!
Coach sure went out with a blaze of glory with more Coachisms and ridiculousness than any previous episode.
His drama at the last challenge was downright annoying--even if he was really in painm it came across as way over the top. The production crew did him no favors in that regard by adding the bombastic music over the top.

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