Survivor: Cook Islands

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Survivor: Cook Islands
Winner Yul Kwon
Presented by Jeff Probst
No. of episodes 15
No. of days 39
No. of survivors 20
Production
Location(s) Aitutaki, Cook Islands,
New Zealand
Filming dates June 26, 2006 (2006-06-26)
– August 3, 2006 (2006-08-03)
Broadcast
Original run September 14, 2006 (2006-09-14) – December 17, 2006 (2006-12-17)
Chronology
Preceded by Survivor: Panama
Followed by Survivor: Fiji

Survivor: Cook Islands is the thirteenth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed from June 26, 2006 through August 3, 2006 and premiered on September 14, 2006.

During this season of Survivor, the contestants were divided into four tribes by ethnicity; African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and White American, a decision that generated some controversy prior to the premiere. The respective tribes' names were Manihiki ("Hiki"), Puka Puka ("Puka"), Aitutaki ("Aitu"), and Rarotonga ("Raro"). These four tribes were named after islands located in the Cook Islands. The four tribes evenly divided into two new mixed tribes after the second tribal council, taking the Aitutaki and Rarotonga names. A mutiny offer was made to all remaining players during this season before the merge, where two players from the same tribe accepted the mutiny offer. After the nine remaining contestants merged, they decided to name themselves Aitutonga. This season also featured the first time a tribe has voted off two members during a single tribal council. The concept of Exile Island returned, with a hidden immunity idol located somewhere on the island.

Instead of the usual final two players facing a jury of seven, there was a final three facing a jury of nine, which included players that were voted out before the merge. The final jury setup meant that a two or three-way tie to decide the winner of the game was possible, though the method to resolve this tie was unknown at the time. In the end, Yul Kwon defeated Ozzy Lusth and Becky Lee by a jury vote of 5–4–0 and was named the Sole Survivor.

The complete season (including the mid-season recap episode and live Reunion show) was released on DVD on December 11, 2012, available exclusively through Amazon.com.

Contestants[edit]

Parvati Shallow came in sixth place
Ozzy Lusth was the season's runner-up
Yul Kwon was the season's winner

Ozzy Lusth, Jonathan Penner, and Parvati Shallow were selected to compete again in Survivor: Micronesia. Penner and Lusth finished in 15th and 9th, respectively, while Shallow eventually won the season. Shallow would again return for Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains along with Candice Woodcock where they placed 2nd and 8th, respectively. Lusth would also return for a third time in Survivor: South Pacific, finishing in 4th place. Penner returned for his third time in Survivor: Philippines where he placed 7th. Woodcock, under the surname of "Cody", returned for her third time in Survivor: Blood vs. Water, alongside her husband, John, finishing in 16th place.

List of Survivor: Cook Islands contestants
Contestant Original tribe Switched tribe Post-mutiny tribe Merged tribe Finish
Bunch, SekouSekou Bunch
45, Los Angeles, California
Manihiki 20 20 20 1st voted out
Day 3
Garcia, BillyBilly Garcia
36, New York, New York
Aitutaki 20 20 20 2nd voted out
Day 6
Mansilla, CeciliaCecilia Mansilla
29, Thousand Oaks, California
Aitutaki Aitutaki 20 20 3rd voted out
Day 8
Calderon, J. P.J. P. Calderon
30, Santa Monica, California
Aitutaki Rarotonga 20 20 4th voted out
Day 11
Favor, StephannieStephannie Favor
35, Columbia, South Carolina
Manihiki Rarotonga 20 20 5th voted out
Day 14
Bui, Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi"Anh-Tuan "Cao Boi" Bui
42, Christiansburg, Virginia
Puka Puka Aitutaki 20 20 6th voted out
Day 15
Coria, CristinaCristina Coria
35, Los Angeles, California
Aitutaki Rarotonga 20 20 7th voted out
Day 15
Smith, JessicaJessica Smith
27, Chico, California
Rarotonga Aitutaki 20 20 8th voted out
Day 18
Virata, BradBrad Virata
29, Los Angeles, California
Puka Puka Rarotonga Rarotonga 20 9th voted out
1st jury member
Day 21
Borman, RebeccaRebecca Borman
34, Laurelton, New York
Manihiki Rarotonga Rarotonga 20 10th voted out
2nd jury member
Day 24
Guzon-Bae, JennyJenny Guzon-Bae
36, Lake Forest, Illinois
Puka Puka Rarotonga Rarotonga 20 11th voted out
3rd jury member
Day 24
Gonzalez, Nathan "Nate"Nathan "Nate" Gonzalez
26, Los Angeles, California
Manihiki Rarotonga Rarotonga Aitutonga 12th voted out
4th jury member
Day 27
Woodcock, CandiceCandice Woodcock
23, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Rarotonga Aitutaki Rarotonga 13th voted out
5th jury member
Day 30
Penner, JonathanJonathan Penner
44, Los Angeles, California
Rarotonga Aitutaki Rarotonga 14th voted out
6th jury member
Day 33
Shallow, ParvatiParvati Shallow
23, Vero Beach, Florida
Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga 15th voted out
7th jury member
Day 36
Gentry, AdamAdam Gentry
28, San Diego, California
Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga 16th voted out
8th jury member
Day 37
Oakley, SundraSundra Oakley
31, Los Angeles, California
Manihiki Aitutaki Aitutaki 17th voted out
9th jury member
Day 38
Lee, BeckyBecky Lee
28, Washington, D.C.
Puka Puka Aitutaki Aitutaki 2nd Runner-up
Lusth, OzzyOzzy Lusth
25, Fresno, California
Aitutaki Aitutaki Aitutaki Runner-up
Kwon, YulYul Kwon
31, Queens, New York
Puka Puka Aitutaki Aitutaki Sole Survivor

Season summary[edit]

According to a local guidebook, pre-production began in the spring of 2006 and principal filming ran from July 3, 2006 until August 11, 2006.[1][2][3]

The 20 players were initially divided into four tribes based on race for the first six days of the competition, but later merged into two tribes. An early visit to Exile island resulted in Yul discovering the hidden immunity idol. With the tribes equal at six members each on Day 19, the castaways were given the choice to mutiny and join the other tribe; Candice and Jonathan opted to do so, leaving the Aitutaki tribe at four members, consisting of Yul, Ozzy, Becky, and Sundra, against an eight-strong Rarotonga tribe. However, this served to only increase the determination of the Aitutaki tribe; between strong teamwork, Yul's intelligence, and Ozzy's swimming skills, Aitutaki defeated Rarotonga at every subsequent challenge, leaving Rarotonga with only five members at the merge.

While the Aitu Four merged in the minority, Yul cemented his Aitutaki alliance by showing them the idol, and convinced Jonathan to vote along with them to tip the scales. The Aitu Four quickly took control of the game and were the final four players remaining. With Yul holding the hidden immunity idol and Ozzy winning the final challenge, the four agreed to let a fire-making challenge decide who would join them at the Final Tribal Council; despite this taking more than an hour to complete, Becky emerged victorious. The jury, seeing Becky's coat-tailing of Yul and poor performance at the fire-making challenge, did not consider any votes for her, and Yul's brains edged out Ozzy's brawn, five votes to four.

Challenge winners and eliminations by episode
Episode Title Original air date Challenge winner(s) Exiled Eliminated Finish
Reward Immunity
"I Can Forgive Her But I Don't Have To Because She Screwed With My Chickens" September 14, 2006 Puka Puka1 Jonathan Sekou 1st voted out
Day 3
Aitutaki
Rarotonga
"Dire Strengths and Dead Weight" September 21, 2006 Puka Puka2 Yul Billy 2nd voted out
Day 6
Rarotonga2
Manihiki
"Flirting and Frustration" September 28, 2006 None3 Rarotonga Candice Cecilia 3rd voted out
Day 8
"Ruling the Roost" October 5, 2006 Aitutaki Aitutaki Adam J.P. 4th voted out
Day 11
"Don't Cry Over Spilled Octopus" October 12, 2006 Rarotonga Aitutaki Jonathan Stephannie 5th voted out
Day 14
"Plan Voodoo" October 19, 2006 Aitutaki Nate4 None5 Cao Boi 6th voted out
Day 15
Cristina 7th voted out
Day 15
"Why Aren't You Swimming?!" November 2, 2006 Aitutaki Rarotonga Adam Jessica 8th voted out
Day 18
"Mutiny" November 9, 2006 Aitutaki Aitutaki Candice Brad 9th voted out
1st jury member
Day 21
"People That You Like Want To See You Suffer" November 16, 2006 Aitutaki Aitutaki Candice Rebecca 10th voted out
2nd jury member
Day 24
Jenny 11th voted out
3rd jury member
Day 24
"Why Would You Trust Me?" November 23, 2006 None6 Ozzy None6 Nate 12th voted out
4th jury member
Day 27
"You're a Rat..." November 30, 2006 Survivor Auction7 Adam Candice7 Candice 13th voted out
5th jury member
Day 30
"Arranging a Hit" December 7, 2006 Parvati, [Adam, Sundra] Ozzy Jonathan Jonathan 14th voted out
6th jury member
Day 33
"I Have the Advantage...For Once" December 14, 2006 Ozzy, Parvati, Yul8 Ozzy Adam Parvati 15th voted out
7th jury member
Day 36
"This Tribe Will Self-Destruct in 5, 4, 3..." December 17, 2006 None Ozzy None Adam 16th voted out
8th jury member
Day 37
Ozzy Sundra 17th voted out
9th jury member
Day 38
"Reunion" December 17, 2006 Jury vote
Becky 2nd runner-up
Ozzy Runner-up
Yul Sole Survivor
In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.

^1 : The challenge was a combined reward and immunity challenge. In addition, Puka Puka received an additional reward for coming in first.
^2 : The challenge was a combined reward and immunity challenge. Puka Puka and Rarotonga tied for first and both won reward.
^3 : There was no reward challenge in Episode 3 due to the tribe merger.
^4 : As another twist to Aitutaki winning reward, they were allowed to "kidnap" one of Rarotonga's members. They selected Nate and he was granted immunity but could not vote.
^5 : This was a double elimination episode and thus there was no immunity challenge and nobody was exiled.
^6 : There was no reward challenge in Episode 11 due to the tribal merger and nobody was exiled.
^7 : Instead of a Reward Challenge, there was a Survivor Auction where Becky won the right to send someone to Exile Island and chose Candice.
^8 : In this challenge, the Top 3 finishers got to go for the reward. Ozzy placed first, Parvati was second and Yul was third.

Episodes[edit]

Episode
#
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
Rating/Share
18-49
1 "I Can Forgive Her But I Don't Have To Because She Screwed With My Chickens" September 14, 2006 18.00 6.5/20

Contestants were given two minutes to salvage whatever they could from a boat before having to paddle to their shore. As the castaways frantically scoured the ship for supplies, Puka Puka's Yul grabbed a chicken, got distracted by the commotion and the chicken escaped and got into the hands of Rarotonga's Jonathan. At Aitutaki, Billy haplessly created shelter, but Ozzy's survival skills duped him. In Rarotonga, Jonathan's stolen chicken escaped when Jessica accidentally freed it, angering Jonathan. At Manihiki, the women complained as their leader Sekou took a lot of breaks.

  • Reward/Immunity Challenge: The tribes must race to assemble a puzzle boat using seven braces, then paddle the boat out and retrieve fire from a bonfire floating on a raft in the ocean. Then they must paddle back to shore and carry the boat braces and fire with them. After putting together yet another puzzle, they must use the braces as ladder rungs, climb to the top of a platform and light their tribe fire bale. The first three tribes to the top win flint and immunity, and the first-placing tribe will also receive a crate full of fire-making essentials, including kerosene and waterproof matches. This challenge would later appear in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
In a combined Reward/Immunity Challenge. All tribes, except for Manihiki, won flint and immunity. In addition, Puka Puka, who came in first, received the fire-making kit. Sekou and Nate, the men of Manihiki, sent Jonathan from Rarotonga to Exile Island in return for Puka Puka's lost chicken. This decision alienated Manihiki's female majority, for they felt isolated as the boys took the responsibility of sending someone to Exile Island for themselves. In the end, Stephannie, Sundra and Rebecca banded together to get rid of their overbearing but weak leader Sekou in a 3–2 decision. After the vote, they received their flint so they can make fire.
2 "Dire Strengths and Dead Weight" September 21, 2006 17.43 6.5/18

Day 4 started well for Manihiki when the tribe managed to start a fire. Jonathan returned from Exile Island to Rarotonga, and was disappointed as nothing much has changed since he left. At Puka Puka, tribe members rapidly became fed up with Cao Boi's jokes and never-ending stories. At Aitutaki, feeling like his tribe could do better, Ozzy forced his tribe to throw the next immunity challenge to get rid of Billy, who had not been putting in much effort at camp.

  • Reward/Immunity Challenge: Before the challenge starts, host Jeff Probst will tell a story about the voyage of James Cook. 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. If a tribe misses a part of the storyline, they may consult from their copy of the story; but they must go back through the course to reread it. The first tribes to complete the challenge will receive tarps, and the three top finishers win Immunity.
At the challenge, Puka Puka and Rarotonga tied for first place, so they each received two large tarps as reward and immunity. Manihiki finished third and was also safe from Tribal Council. The losing tribe, Aitutaki, sent Yul from Puka Puka to Exile Island, where he successfully deciphered the clues to discover the hidden immunity idol in the sand. At Tribal Council, Billy gushed about finding love with Rarotonga's Candice, which was later found to be his taking her comments to him wildly out of context. Candice said "we love you" to him in order to lift his spirits after he admitted his vulnerability post-challenge loss, but he misunderstood and claimed that she said "I love you" to him. Sticking to Ozzy's plan, Billy was voted out 4–1.
3 "Flirting and Frustration" September 28, 2006 16.85 5.9/16

Instead of a reward challenge, the four ethnically-divided tribes will be merged as two new ones. Manihiki and Puka Puka were abolished, but the supplies that were left at those camps will be equally divided by the newly rehashed Aitutaki and Rarotonga tribes. At the new Aitutaki, Cecilia told Candice of what happened during the previous Tribal Council (Billy's "I Love You" incident), leaving a bewildered Candice laughing as she made alliances with Yul, Becky and Jonathan. Yul also told Becky that he found the Hidden Immunity Idol.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribes will be clipped together by a rope carrying 15 pound sand bags each. They will start on opposite sides of the course, racing through knee-deep water to catch the other tribe. If a tribe member drops out they must give their 15 pounds to someone from their tribe, doubling that person's weight. The first tribe to tackle a member from the other tribe to the ground wins Immunity.
During the Immunity Challenge, the Aitutaki men tried to fend off the fronting Rarotonga men (Adam, Brad, J.P., and Nate) but to no avail as Rarotonga tackled them, securing Immunity for their team. Rarotonga banished Candice to Exile Island, thus throwing the Becky-Candice-Jonathan-Yul alliance plans into disarray as she will be immune from the vote and will not need to go to Tribal Council. Cao Boi, Cecilia, Jessica, Ozzy, and Sundra banded together to try to vote out Becky. After strong lobbying by Jonathan and Yul, Cao Boi and Jessica switched their vote to Cecilia, who was voted out 5–3.
4 "Ruling the Roost" October 5, 2006 15.83 5.6/16

At Aitutaki, Ozzy became furious about the elimination of his only remaining fellow Aitutaki tribemate Cecilia, but his tribemates comforted him. At Rarotonga, the women complained about the men's growing egotism, specifically J.P.'s bossiness.

  • Reward Challenge: Each tribe will have two tribe members attached by belt to a rope, which snakes over, under and around a series of obstacles. The rest of the tribe will push and pull their two tribe members, attached to the rope, through the course. Once the entire tribe reaches the end of the rope, one person from each tribe will swim out to a barrel where they will retrieve a decoding wheel, bring it back to the tribe mat and use that decoder wheel to decipher one phrase. The tribe that solves the phrase first wins three blankets, two pillows and one hammock.

Aitutaki won the reward and chose Adam to be Exiled. After the Reward Challenge, Cao Boi went egg hunting, but instead knocked down a chick from a nest, which disturbed Jonathan. However, Cao Boi successfully returned the chick to the nest.

  • Immunity Challenge: Tribe members from each tribe will assemble a stretcher puzzle and race though the jungle with the stretcher to the beach. Once there, one tribe member will swim out to rescue another tribe member shackled to the top of a mast. Both members will swim back to the beach while holding onto a life ring, place the rescued tribe member on the stretcher and race back through the jungle to their starting mat. There, the remaining three tribe members must build a fire tall and strong enough to burn through a rope and raise the tribe's flag. First tribe to unfold their flag wins.
Cao Boi's tactics, albeit unorthodox — such as dancing crazily with a smoking coconut husk — carried Aitutaki past Rarotonga at the fire-making Immunity Challenge. Out of frustration, Stephannie accepted blame for the defeat and put herself up to be voted out. However, later on, she retracted the offer to the other women, who then used the opportunity to vote J.P. out. Adam and Brad secretly decided to betray J.P. and Nate, sending J.P. home by a vote of 7–2.
5 "Don't Cry Over Spilled Octopus" October 12, 2006 15.84 5.5/15

At Aitutaki, Cao Boi complained about Becky, Candice, and Sundra being lazy.

  • Reward Challenge: 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 onto the hook. The last pair holding their hooks and weight for their tribe wins a reward of fishing gear, spices and some wine.

At the modified weight-holding Reward Challenge, the tribes began trash-talking each other; but Rarotonga's Nate and Adam came in victorious. Rarotonga sent Jonathan back to Exile Island since he had been there before. Back at camp, Cristina's tribemates complained about her being bossy like JP. Cao Boi, Jessica, and Ozzy went exploring around the bay and accidentally ended up at Rarotonga's camp. Their unexpected visit did not sit well with Rarotonga. Meanwhile, back at Aitutaki, Becky, Candice, and Yul tried to pull Sundra into their alliance with Jonathan.

  • Immunity Challenge: The tribes must assemble stepping poles which they will use to transport two tribe members from one platform above water to another platform a short length away. Once both tribe members are across, all eight tribe members will climb up and over the platform, swimming out to a smaller tower. The first tribe to climb the last tower and get all eight tribe members on or above the top deck wins Immunity.
Aitutaki came from behind to win the Immunity Challenge. That afternoon, Rarotonga collectively decided that Cristina would be voted off next. But when Stephannie and Nate gathered water from the well, Stephannie told Nate that she "wanted mashed potatoes and gravy". Nate took this as a sign of weakness, and relayed it to the tribe. Even though Cristina spilled their octopus lunch earlier and continued to irritate others, the vote swung against Stephannie 7–1.
6 "Plan Voodoo" October 19, 2006 15.02 5.3/14

Back at Rarotonga's camp after Tribal Council, Cristina again clashed with her tribemates after being pointed out as being annoying. At Aitutaki, Jonathan argued over bringing the Immunity Idol to the next Reward Challenge. Jonathan believed that unnecessarily taking the Immunity Idol in Reward Challenges and Tribal Councils was tantamount to gloating over the other tribe, but Cao Boi claimed he had 'spiritual reasons' for bringing the idol along. At the Reward Challenge, it was revealed that regardless of who won, both tribes would have to vote a member out.

  • Reward Challenge: The warring tribes will battle it out in a sand pit. 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, to be eaten at Tribal Council.
Aitutaki won the Reward Challenge, and had to go to Tribal Council first. Before Tribal Council, Cao Boi awoke from a strange dream that spawned a strategy he called "Plan Voodoo." Its purpose was to reveal the hidden Immunity Idol by splitting a 3-3 vote between Jonathan and Candice. He chose these two in particular for two reasons: 1) He believed Jonathan had the immunity idol, and 2) Even if he did not, one of the two people from the original tribe of Whites would be eliminated. Unfortunately, his ally Yul possessed the idol. Yul did not want to reveal his idol; furthermore, he was fed up with Cao Boi's eccentric behavior, and so he decided to remove the threat. "Plan Voodoo" backfired as Cao Boi was voted out 6–1–1. Aitutaki then enjoyed a feast as they got to listen in on Rarotonga's Tribal Council. Just before Rarotonga's vote, Aitutaki was given the opportunity to "kidnap" one member of Rarotonga who would be ineligible to vote, immune from the vote, given a share of Aitutaki's reward and would be staying at Aitutaki's camp until the next Reward Challenge. Aitutaki selected Nate. Though Cristina made amends with her tribe, her lobbying still failed and she was sent packing in a 4–2 decision.
7 "A Closer Look" October 26, 2006 15.30 5.4/14
A recap of the first 15 days.
8 "Why Aren't You Swimming?!" November 2, 2006 15.30 5.4/14

At Aitutaki, Jessica felt blindsided by the previous Tribal Council where Cao Boi was voted out. She confronted the rest of the tribe with Nate watching after being "kidnapped." Becky, Candice and Yul plotted their preferred order of elimination: Ozzy, Jessica, Sundra, Jonathan.

  • Reward Challenge: Each tribe will select three swimmers and two puzzle makers. The swimmers will grab a club, swim to a platform, climb to the top and leap off. While in midair, they will smash a plaster box releasing a key, retrieve the key and swim back to shore. After retrieving six keys, the two puzzle makers will use those keys to unlock a chest filled with puzzle pieces. First tribe to solve the puzzle wins two items chosen from a catalogue before the challenge The Aitutaki tribe chose a sack of potatoes and peanut butter, while Rarotonga chose bread and peanut butter.

At the Reward Challenge, Aitutaki was given a chance to make Nate perform at the challenge for their tribe or just sit out. After much deliberation, they chose Nate to sit out in the challenge. Nate got helplessly irked as his team fell apart as Aitutaki easily won in the Reward Challenge. They selected Adam to go to Exile Island for a second time. After the Reward Challenge, Brad's tribemates were upset at him for not performing the swimming portion of the Reward Challenge, claiming that "he's better at puzzles." They considered him as one of their strongest swimmers and the swimming part of the challenge was where they fell behind.

  • Immunity Challenge: Each tribe will race to arrange a series of logs, building a staircase to the top of a tower. Once the entire tribe is on the tower, three tribe members will sail down a zip line into the water, retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces and swim back. Once all three are back, they must climb a rope ladder to the top of the tower where the three remaining tribe members will solve the puzzle. First tribe to solve the puzzle wins Immunity.
Despite losing morale as well as challenges, Rarotonga finally ended their losing streak by winning the immunity challenge. Jessica lobbied hard to have Jonathan voted out, but her efforts failed and she was the first White American to be voted out 6–1.
9 "Mutiny" November 9, 2006 14.39 4.8/13

At Aitutaki, Candice and Jonathan plotted for the impending merge. At Rarotonga, Brad revealed that he doesn't trust his tribemates at all, speaking about his fate if he made it to the merge a speech in which turned his tribe against him. At the Reward Challenge, a "Mutiny" offer was presented where anybody could change tribe affiliations. Candice and Jonathan decided to jump back to Rarotonga to rejoin their original tribemates, decimating Aitutaki with four members to Rarotonga's eight.

  • Reward Challenge: Two tribe members will squeeze into a barrel together and remain in the barrel while two other tribe members push, pull and roll the barrel through a series of obstacles in order to retrieve four buoys. Next, they must float the barrel through a final water obstacle, where they will collect four flags anchored underwater. Once the flags have been collected, the tribe must paddle back to shore, hang their flags on a flagpole, recover a buried axe and chop a rope in order to hoist their flags. The first tribe to raise their flags wins a trip to a local coffee shop with muffins, danishes and letters from home.

Undeterred, Aitutaki regrouped and made a comeback victory at the reward challenge. Aitutaki quickly selected Candice to go to Exile Island as revenge for mutinying. With Candice at Exile Island, Jonathan tried to form an alliance of the remaining original Rarotonga members, Adam and Parvati.

  • Immunity Challenge: The four tribe members have to paddle out in glass bottom boats in search of three targets on the ocean floor. They must line up the targets with cross hairs on their glasses, drop a cannonball and release two buoys. Once all six buoys have been collected the tribe must paddle back to shore. Reading a clue from one of the buoys, the tribe must use all six buoys to spell out the answer. First tribe assemble the mystery word ("bounty") wins Immunity.
At the Immunity Challenge, Rarotonga took a sizeable lead but Jonathan became infuriated about the painstaking task, even yelling at Jeff Probst to stop narrating the challenge, bringing the patient Aitutaki the victory. Jonathan was an easy target for elimination due to his willingness to leave his old tribe, and Adam becoming infuriated after learning that Jonathan decided he should go to Exile Island on previous instances. Ultimately, Brad's "every man for himself" speech cost him dearly and he was unanimously voted out. Unexpectedly, Brad was announced as the first member of the Jury despite placing twelfth.
10 "People That You Like Want To See You Suffer" November 16, 2006 15.35 5.3/14

At Rarotonga, Jenny and Parvati were alarmed over Candice and Adam's closeness.

  • Reward Challenge: Two tribe members, armed with a compass and a coordinate, will race out to a large sixteen-point compass rose to locate treasure chests buried under the sand. Each chest has the next coordinate painted on the top. When tribe members find a chest, they must race back to their mat. The next two tribe members will take the compass and the new coordinate to retrieve another chest. Once the tribe has all four chests, they will remove seven nautical flags, remembering that each flag represents a letter from the alphabet. First team to complete the task wins a feast prepared by locals.

The tiny tribe of Aitutaki crushed the over-populated Rarotonga at the Reward Challenge and sent Candice back to Exile Island as continued revenge of her betrayal.

  • Immunity Challenge: Each tribe will swim out one at a time to a platform. Each member will dive down and unclip a bundle of island names and swim back to shore. Then the next person goes, until all four tribe members have had a turn. After all of the members are back, they must identify ten islands at an answer table. The first tribe to correctly identify all ten islands wins Immunity.
Aitutaki took their fourth straight win by winning the Immunity Challenge. A sealed bottle with a note inside was given to Rarotonga after they lost the Immunity Challenge. The bottle was to be opened after the vote at Tribal Council. At Tribal Council, Rebecca was seen as the weakest link and she was voted out 6–1, and the mysterious bottle was subsequently opened. While the tribe initially assumed that the note contained instructions about the impending merge, the tribe was shocked to discover that they were to vote out another tribemate. While Jonathan was the intended next target, the four original members of Rarotonga banded together to vote Jenny out of fear that she would rejoin the original Puka Puka members, Yul and Becky, at the merge. Showing complete disappointment over the surprise 4-2 vote, an angry Jenny stormed away as her torch was snuffed.
11 "Why Would You Trust Me?" November 23, 2006 12.67 4.3/13

Expecting a challenge, the tribes arrived to receive announcement of the merge. The castaways chose to live on Rarotonga beach, and decided to call themselves "Aitutonga." The former Aitutaki merged in the minority, four to Rarotonga's five. Yul and Becky agreed that Jonathan was the best bet to flip. Yul informed Sundra and Ozzy about the hidden Immunity Idol and his plan to bring Jonathan over.

  • Immunity Challenge: Each individual must hang onto a pole for as long as they can. When they fall off of the pole, they are out of the challenge. Last person left hanging on their pole wins Immunity. Originally from Survivor: Vanuatu, this challenge would later appear in Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
Ozzy outlasted Candice to win the first individual Immunity Challenge. Yul decided to show the hidden Immunity Idol to Jonathan to sway him back to his side: if Jonathan did not vote with Yul and Aitutaki, they would vote for Jonathan, and Yul's idol would negate the former Rarotonga members' votes to send Jonathan home. Jonathan requested that Yul vote for Nate in exchange for him flipping to their side, which Yul readily agreed to. Jonathan blindsided his old Rarotonga tribemates and joined the former Aitutaki members in voting out Nate 5–4.
12 "You're a Rat..." November 30, 2006 15.63 5.4/14

Instead of a Reward Challenge, a Survivor Auction was held.

  • Survivor Auction Each contestant will be given $500 and can only bid with $20 increments. Highest bidder gets the item. Survivors may share money, but not with the item. The auction included food and drink items, a bubble bath, health care products, and the power to send another castaway to Exile Island.

Becky, teaming up with Yul, outbid Candice and Adam to win a note that was advertised as "the power to change the game." The note said that she would select somebody to immediately go to Exile Island and therefore forfeit all of their remaining money to her. Upon being told that Candice and Adam had not yet spent any of their money, Becky selected Candice. Before Candice left for Exile Island, Yul revealed to everybody that he had the Immunity Idol. After the Survivor Auction, everybody was annoyed at Jonathan due to his arrogant behavior after sweeping a lot of items during the auction.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways will be quizzed on how well they recollect the events of the last 30 days. First, each tribe member will answer four questions which will have numeric answers. Then, each tribe member will add, subtract or divide the numeric answers to come up with a final number. Then they must untie a corresponding box, searching for a key. That key opens a lock and raises a flag. The first three to raise their flag move on to a final round. In the final round, the remaining contenders will use the key to unlock a timber tunnel, crawl though the tunnel and go over a series of floating pontoons to raise one final flag. First to complete the course wins Immunity.
Adam's worries about being voted out next were quelled after he won the Immunity Challenge. Back at camp, Adam, Candice, and Parvati were taking a "snuggling session" in the shelter while the majority alliance downed a handful of fish that Jonathan caught. But Candice, seeing all the action, started confronting Jonathan about his arrogance and told him that the whole tribe hates him. In a heated Tribal Council, the three continued their crusade against Jonathan, but ultimately failed and Candice was voted out 5–3.
13 "Arranging a Hit" December 7, 2006 15.72 5.3/15

Upon returning from Tribal Council, Jonathan felt uneasy after being called a "rat" and "cancer" but he declared that he will not let Adam and Parvati ruin his gameplan. Meanwhile, assuming that they were doomed, Adam and Parvati asked a favor to Yul that if they help them vote Jonathan out before them, they will give their jury votes in return. Parvati accidentally hit her thumbnail with a machete while cutting open a coconut, which required medical attention, but not removal from the game. At the Reward Challenge, the castaways were surprised by the arrival of their loved ones, who partnered up with the castaways in the challenge.

  • Reward Challenge: The survivors, while blindfolded, must scoop water using a bucket and must pass it to their loved ones. The loved ones will now transport the bucket to another bucket which is elevated from the ground. When there is enough water in that bucket, the weight of the water will lower the bucket, raising a flag. The first person to raise their flag wins a picnic that consists of fried chicken, meatloaf, and apple pie and will enjoy it with their loved ones.

An injured Parvati was able to work through her injury and win the Reward Challenge. Her reward was a picnic with her dad and the right to send somebody to Exile Island. Parvati selected Jonathan to make sweet revenge for his deception. Parvati's dad was allowed to select two other castaways to join in the picnic without any input from Parvati. He selected Sundra and her mom and Adam and his dad. While the challenge winners and invitees were enjoying the picnic, Ozzy, Yul, and Becky decided that they would agree to hide food from Parvati, Adam, and Jonathan, but the plan was foiled after Parvati and Adam brought back some leftovers from the picnic.

  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways will have to race out into the water and maneuver across a series of obstacles. When a tribe member reaches the end, he or she will retrieve a bundle of sticks and race back. Then each tribe member must repeat the process for a second bundle of sticks. Once a person has both bundles back, they'll untie the sticks and use the rope and the sticks build one long pole. The tribe member will then use the pole to collect two rings. The first person to retrieve both rings wins Immunity.
Ozzy easily won the Immunity Challenge. Despite singlehandedly saving the Aitutaki alliance from decimation, Jonathan was betrayed by them and sent to the jury by a vote of 6-1.
14 "I Have the Advantage...For Once" December 14, 2006 14.55 5.0/14

Threatened by the presence of the impenetrable Aitutaki alliance, Parvati and Adam tried to figure a way to befriend one of the four to swing the vote.

  • Reward Challenge: Under a time pressure of ten minutes, tribe members are going to dive into a mud pit and cover their body with as much mud as they can, then race back and scrape it off into a bucket. They may not carry mud in their arms or in their hands; they can only use their body. Then Jeff Probst will weigh each bucket. The three castaways that own the heaviest buckets win a trip to a local spa.

Ozzy won the mud-carrying reward challenge, and sent Adam to Exile Island. Parvati and Yul, for placing second and third in the challenge, also got to partake in the reward. During this reward, Parvati tried to get closer to Ozzy in order to secure his vote, even with Yul around. Meanwhile, Becky and Sundra discussed the possibility of voting challenge dominator Ozzy off. When Yul returned from the reward, Becky informed him of her plan, but Yul believed it would be best to wait at least until after the next Immunity Challenge to determine if this was necessary.

  • Immunity Challenge: Tribe members will each carry four bundles of puzzle pieces one at a time across balance beams to a mat. Once all four bundles have been collected, tribe members will use those pieces to create a table maze. Then they'll use the maze to maneuver one cannonball past the decoy holes into each of the two corner pockets. The first person to complete the puzzle and sink the balls into the correct holes wins immunity.
For the second time in a row, Ozzy handily won the Immunity Challenge. Adam, with very little time left, talked to Yul about keeping him on the island over Parvati, which Yul agreed to as long as Adam didn't try to sway the other Aitutaki members. However, Adam and Parvati were later caught trying to gain Ozzy's vote. Prior to Tribal Council, Yul decided to bring Jonathan's hat, which he had left at camp prior to being voted off, to return it to him as requested. While Jonathan was happy at Yul's anonymous good deed, Jeff Probst decided to et everyone know that Yul brought back the hat and editorialize on how this was an example of Yul's politicking and efforts to sway the jury to his side. In the end, the Aitutaki alliance held together, voting off the crafty Parvati over physical threat Adam by a vote of 4–2.
15 "This Tribe Will Self-Destruct in 5, 4, 3..." December 17, 2006 16.42 5.7/14
  • Immunity Challenge: The castaways will race around a ropes course to eight different stations, collecting a bag of puzzle pieces at each station. Each time a tribe member gets a bag he or she will have to come back to their table before they can go back out on the course. Once a tribe member has all eight bags, he or she will use the puzzle pieces to construct an eight point compass rose puzzle. Once the puzzle is assembled correctly a flag will raise. First to raise his/her flag wins Immunity.

In the most difficult puzzle challenge ever in Survivor, according to Jeff Probst, Ozzy won Immunity for the third straight time. Back at camp, Adam tried to stir up the vote by trying to get Ozzy and Sundra to vote for Yul, for the sole purpose of making Yul use the Hidden immunity Idol and making the game more interesting after he was gone. However, Adam's plot failed and the Aitutaki alliance voted out Adam 4–1.

In a twist, the Aitutaki Four were told that they would be competing in the final Immunity Challenge and memory walk together, meaning that the final vote would have three people eligible to win.

  • Immunity Challenge: The remaining castaways will be standing on a small steel perch situated in the water. Each perch has been individually proportioned to each tribe member's foot size, making the game as fair as possible. Every 15 minutes tribe members will remove a section of the perch, making it smaller and more difficult to stand on. The last piece of the perch will be a section that is less than half the size of a postcard. If a castaway fell off the perch, he would be eliminated from the challenge. The last person left standing wins Immunity.

Ozzy outlasted Sundra to win the final Immunity Challenge. Initially, Yul offered Becky his Hidden Immunity Idol to try to save her, but Becky declined because she felt it wasn't fair to blindside Sundra as the foursome had gone through so much together. The alliance of four decided to let the third spot in the final Tribal Council be decided in a fair manner, with Ozzy and Sundra voting for Becky and Becky and Yul voting for Sundra; the tie was to be resolved via firemaking challenge, with the first castaway to make a fire advancing to the final Tribal Council. Neither Becky nor Sundra could get their fire started with flint and machete after one hour and the jury became bored and restless. As an alternative, matches were given to Becky and Sundra, but both had trouble again maintaining a fire long enough to burn the rope. In the end, Sundra ran out of matches after half an hour, whereas Becky finally kept a fire long and high enough to burn the rope to secure her spot in the final three.

At the final Tribal Council, the jury saw Becky as riding Ozzy and Yul's coattails. Despite her attempts to convince the jury that she had played the game with much integrity as possible and had helped Yul devise voting strategies, she received no votes. Between Yul and Ozzy, the jury was split on the importance of Yul's masterminding of the social game versus Ozzy's impressive physical challenge performance, and which contributed more to the Aitutaki alliance's success. The final vote was 5–4–0 in favor of Yul and he became the thirteenth Sole Survivor.
16 "Reunion" December 17, 2006
The castaways return to discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst, live from CBS Television City in Los Angeles.[4] As a result of a viewer's poll, Ozzy won a new Mercury Mariner car.

Voting history[edit]

Pre-Merge
Original
Tribes
Absorbed Tribes Post-Mutiny
Episode # 1 2 3 4 5 610 8 9 1012
Day # 3 6 8 11 14 15 18 21 24
Eliminated Sekou Billy Cecilia J.P. Stephannie Cao Boi Cristina Jessica Brad Rebecca Jenny
Votes 3–2 4–1 5–3 7–2 7–1 6–1–1 4–2 6–1 7–1 6–1 4–2
Voter Vote
Yul Cecilia Cao Boi Jessica
Ozzy Billy Becky Cao Boi Jessica
Becky Cecilia Cao Boi Jessica
Sundra Sekou Becky Cao Boi Jessica
Adam J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Rebecca Jenny
Parvati J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Rebecca Jenny
Jonathan Cecilia Cao Boi Jessica Brad Rebecca Jenny
Candice Exiled9 Cao Boi Jessica Brad Rebecca Jenny
Nate Sundra Stephannie Stephannie Kidnap11 Brad Rebecca Jonathan
Jenny J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Rebecca Jonathan
Rebecca Sekou J.P. Stephannie Cristina Brad Jonathan
Brad J.P. Stephannie Jenny Jonathan
Jessica Cecilia Jonathan Jonathan
Cristina Billy J.P. Stephannie Jenny
Cao Boi Cecilia Candice
Stephannie Sekou J.P. Cristina
J.P. Billy Stephannie
Cecilia Billy Becky
Billy Ozzy
Sekou Sundra
Post-Merge

^9 Candice was exiled in episode three. However, she was not returned to her tribe until after tribal council, meaning she could not be voted out or participate in the vote.
^10 This was a double elimination episode.
^11 As another twist to Aitutaki winning reward, they were allowed to "kidnap" one of Rarotonga's members. They selected Nate and he was granted immunity but could not vote.
^12 After losing the Immunity Challenge, Rarotonga was given a sealed bottle with a note inside that was opened after they voted out a member. The note said that another member was to be immediately voted out; so two people were eliminated by vote at the same tribal council.
^13 Sundra lost to Becky in fire-making tiebreaker challenge.

Diversity and controversy[edit]

The decision to divide the teams by race and ethnicity has made this series of Survivor controversial even before airing. Members of the New York City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus have called on CBS to dump Survivor.[5] Those who work with the show indicate that as divisions by age, gender, or gender and age combined, have been accepted this should not be treated much different or it would set race apart.[6] Host Jeff Probst conceded, by implication, a small difference in that racial segregation had actually been practiced in US history.[7]

Conversely, previous seasons have been criticized for not having many non-white contestants. This scheme represented much higher exposure particularly for Asian Americans who were only 3.6 percent of the US population in 2000. Native Americans were not represented as a separate group. Probst has since pointed out that over 80% of Survivor's applicants are white.[7]

According to Advertising Age Magazine, more than a half dozen major advertisers such as General Motors and Coca Cola withdrew their advertising after hearing about the teams' division.[8] However, a New York Times report indicates that the decision by several advertisers not to advertise for the current season, including General Motors, Coca Cola, Home Depot, United Parcel Service, and Campbell Soup, was made three months prior to the start of the show and unrelated to the show's racial format.[9]

The early advertisements for the season also attracted some criticism, as they all coyly hinted at how the tribes would be divided, despite the producers having completely revealed the racial divide some time earlier.

Possibly in response to the criticism, Jeff asked the contestants on the reunion show how they felt about the racial divide, and they said that it helped to disprove the stereotypes about them.

MADtv parodied Survivor: Cook Islands in its twelfth season premiere episode, which aired September 16, 2006. The parody involved giving the white challengers significantly easier tasks, such as a swimming challenge which allowed the white challengers to use a canoe, or building a fire with a fire building kit that consisted of gasoline and a DVD on how to build fire, the Hispanic contestants received flint, the Asians received a matchstick, and the African-Americans were given a glass of water.

Filming locations[edit]

Photo taken of the beach on Aitutaki during the filming of Survivor: Cook Islands in July 2006.

The tribal camps, Exile Island, and many challenges of Survivor: Cook Islands were filmed on small "motu" (Polynesian word for "islet") in the Aituaki lagoon. The Rarotonga (later Aitutonga) tribe's camp was on Moturakau. The Aitutaki tribe lived on Motukitiu. The short-lived tribes of Manihiki and Puka Puka lived on Rapota and Muritapua, respectively. Most challenges were filmed on Tekopua and Tapuaetai (One Foot Island). Exile Island is a small sand cay south of Tapuaetai, and the bow of the wooden ship was brought in for the show. Just to the West of Tapuaetai is another sand cay called "Nude Island" by locals in reference to its lack of vegetation. The third challenge was played in the shallow waters just off the shore of Nude Island. Akaiami hosted challenges and also "The Ponderosa," where eliminated contestants were sequestered until the end of the game. Tribal Council, the production camp, and a few challenges were located on the main island of Aitutaki. There were three reward trips to the neighboring islands of Atiu, Mitiaro, and Rarotonga.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Survivor 13 will be filmed in the Cook Islands, may feature past cast members + reality blurred". Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "CBS announces thirteenth 'Survivor' edition to film in Cook Islands - Reality TV World". Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Survivor Cook Islands now taping; all hotels are booked due to the production + reality blurred". Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Breaking News - The Amazing Race 10 and "Survivor: Cook Islands" Finales to Be Broadcast on Back-To-Back Sundays". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Staff Writer. "New Yorkers blast ethnic grouping of 'Survivor' players." Belleville News Democrat. August 28, 2006. Retrieved on September 14, 2006.
  6. ^ Lang, Derrik J. "'Survivor: Cook Islands' segregates by players' race." August 24, 2006. Retrieved on September 14, 2006.
  7. ^ a b Staff Writer. "‘Survivor: Cook Islands’ to divide teams by race." MSNBC. August 23, 2006. Retrieved on September 14, 2006.
  8. ^ Laurence, Robert P. "Advertisers vote to get off 'Survivor' after racial-split ploy." San Diego Union Tribune. September 11, 2006. Retrieved on September 15, 2006.
  9. ^ Wyatt, Edward; Elliott, Stuart. "G.M. Drops ‘Survivor’ but Says Racial Format Isn’t the Reason." New York Times. August 31, 2006. Retrieved on September 15, 2006.
  10. ^ Morrison, Cheyenne. "Survivor Series 13: Aitutaki Cook Islands." Private Islands. May 14, 2006. Retrieved on September 14, 2006.

External links[edit]