By Brian M. Rafferty
Robert “The General” DeCanio knew he had to win. He knew that if he didn’t get his fire built first, he would be voted out from the CBS television show “Survivor” last week.
With only seven castaways left, DeCanio was paired up with Tammy as the two outsiders from the ruling group of survivors that includes Sean, Vecepia, Neleh, Kathy and Paschal. He and Tammy both seemed to be the next two to get booted off the island. The only question was, who would go first.
Determined for it to not be him, DeCanio devised a snare to catch a pig that he said has been tormenting him for several days now. He would wake up in the morning and see fresh hoofprints in the sand.
“They can’t kick me off if I catch a pig,” he said.
But just as he got his pig snare set up, the tribe was informed that they would not wait an extra day for the immunity challenge. That night, they each had to build fires. The first to build a fire under a wok filled with oil and corn, and have one kernel pop, could then move their fire over to a second station, where they needed to ignite a batch of kindling set high up. Whoever did this first would win immunity and get to stay at least an extra three says in the Marquesas Islands.
DeCanio won, and Tammy, who has been rubbing other tribe members the wrong way for several episodes, was voted off.
With a 5-1 alliance against him, it seems that DeCanio will be leaving the island in this week’s episode. But nothing is predictable in this game. It seems that there is a growing rift in the alliance, and if DeCanio could take advantage of it, he could be in for the long haul.
Paschal won the last reward challenge, and was given an evening aboard a luxury cruise ship, complete with a shower, a change of clothes and a gourmet meal.
As he boarded the skiff to take him to the main boat, the show’s host Jeff Probst told him he could bring a friend. He immediately called out to Neleh to join him, and that is when the tide turned.
When the pair returned from their voyage late that night, Neleh could not stop talking about how clean she was. When Kathy went to hug her, Neleh said, “Oh the smell. I think I’m going to throw up.”
The talk of cleanliness continued through the majority of the next day, and the other contestants were visibly annoyed. Sean and Vecepia spoke about dropping Neleh, Paschal and Kathy, joining up with DeCanio and Tammy, and assuring themselves a spot in the final four.
Kathy spoke of how she thinks Neleh, who has a very sweet image, is actually playing the game harder than everybody else. Neleh has a very strong bond with Paschal, and he is being suckered by her, Kathy said.
If this week’s show, which is third to last of the season, is as dramatic as the last few have been, DeCanio could go all the way. Stay tuned.
“Survivor” airs on CBS at 8 p.m. Thursday.