Survivor: Fiji, Episode 8 "So You Think You Can Meke?" Recap
Originally aired on Thursday, 04/05/2007

Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)

Episode Overview: We’re getting closer to a merge, but we’re not there yet, so Ravu still needs to step up their game to keep their group together.  Unfortunately, despite their physical strength – and their unfounded confidence in their physical strength – they still cannot seem to get it together.

Episode Highlights:
  • Lisi’s decision to share her immunity idol clues has repercussions.
  • The Survivors have the chance to learn more about the culture and people of Fiji.
  • Yau-Man continues to step up and deliver in surprising ways.


I hate to say I told you so, but Lisi Linares: I told you so. Last week, she attempted to ingratiate herself with Edgardo Rivera and Alex Angarita by sharing the immunity idol clues she’d learned at Exile Island.  I thought this was a very bad idea, and I, of course, was right.

Alex and Ed repay her loyalty by sharing the info with Mookie Lee, and the three of them successfully dig for the idol while Lisi and Dre “Dreamz” Herd sleep.  That is COLD, boys! 

After the three guys find the idol, they run off from camp to discuss their plans.  They agree to share it, and want to hold off on telling Dreamz due to concerns about him flipping over to Cassandra Franklin after a merge.  The three agree to keep this joint idol amonst themselves…but secretly Mookie feels like the idol is in his pocket, so it’s his.  That’s even COLDER!  This is one cutthroat bunch.

Their plans confirmed, the trio heads back to camp to cover their tracks.  As Mookie tries to pack down the dirt, Lisi awakes and asks him if he is looking for the immunity idol, which he admits he is.  She cackles later about how she nailed him, and that you would “have to wake up early to fool old Lisi.”  Um, right.  Like they just did.

Lisi starts looking for the idol again and Mookie decides to keep up the charade by helping her dig, laughing about his subterfuge in interview.  COLDEST!

Over at Moto, some native Fijians have arrived and are there to help teach the tribe some native dances called “Meke” which will be part of their next challenge.  Yau-Man Chan opts to sit this out since he has, he admits, no rhythm.  The other tribe members get to work and have two hours to learn the routine.  Over at Ravu, they are going through the same process, although Lisi doesn’t quite seem to have the same focus as the others, saying that she doesn’t want to take the challenges too seriously. 

Alex wants to win, of course, since he is STILL in disbelief that a “bunch of girls and an old guy” keep kicking their butts.  What, pray tell, will it take for these young bucks to stop thinking that their ripped abs mean they deserve world domination?  Please don’t get me wrong: physical fitness and strength are good things, and certainly important in a game like Survivor.  But the He-Man Club will continue to lose if they don’t get rid of this sense of entitlement and hubris about how they should win just because they’re the most muscle-y.  Maybe instead of being so dismissive about that “bunch of girls and an old guy,” they should be a little more humble, and try to pay attention to the skills or qualities that those girls and old guy have.  Maybe they could learn something and actually WIN a few more challenges. 

After the tribes learn the routines, they head to meet with Jeff Probst and a group of Fijian judges.  The tribes will be evaluated for their appearance, spirit and authenticity, and the selected tribe will win a Fijian feast and the power to send one member of the other tribe to Exile.

Moto is first up to perform the dance, and with Earl Cole leading the tribe, they seem to get through the routine well as a group.  Ravu, unfortunately, doesn’t quite have the same coordination and they appear quite disorganized throughout the dance.  The judges commend both tribes for their appearance and spirit, but ultimately, Moto was stronger with regard to authenticity, so they win reward.  After sending Lisi off to Exile Island again (to keep, Earl tells Jeff, anyone else from learning the immunity idol clues…too late!), Moto has their feast with the Fijians.  Moto eats, dances and watches the native people sing, and the whole event brings the group together as a tribe.

Meanwhile, over on Exile Island, Lisi is cold, rained on, and on the verge of giving up on Survivor altogether.  It would almost be sad if she weren’t so thoroughly unlikable.

The next morning at Moto, Earl and Michelle Yi head out for one of the morning meetings.  Michelle, Earl says, is his “little spy,” and she reports back to him on the status of the original Moto players.  Stacy Kimball is their main concern: she is still loyal and connected with Alex and Ed.  And for Michelle, personally, she thinks Stacy is a big threat because she and Stacy, she says, are “carbon copies.”  She knows she and Stacy are pretty much equal in challenges, so she doesn’t have anything else to offer that Stacy doesn’t as well. 

Another reason to love Michelle: while Lisi suffers from delusions of camaraderie and loyalty, Michelle is smart enough to make such a clear-eyed assessment of her place in the game.  It might not be very heartening to think of oneself as a “carbon copy” of another player, but right now, it’s more important that Michelle understands her precise position within the group and not get caught up in the fantasy that she’s somehow special or might have some kind of emotional connection with other players that will carry her through alone.  She’s a smart cookie, that one.

The tribes get their heads-up about their next immunity challenge, something involving bows and arrows.  Edgardo feels good, thinking he has some archery skills that will come in handy.

The tribes arrive at the challenge, and Lisi returns to join her team. It’s a game of bull’s-eye that will be played in three rounds.  The first round will be blow darts, the second, spears, and the last, bow-and-arrows.  Each member of the tribe will take a turn for each round, and the team that ends up with the closest item to the center will win points, one point for the first round, two for the second and three for the third.  Cassandra is sitting out for Moto to even the numbers.

The first round, blow darts, is very close right up until the end, with each tribe inching closer with nearly each member’s turn.  But Kenward “Boo” Bernis blows a dart nearly right to the center, and Ravu doesn’t improve.  One point for Moto.

Next are the spears.  This is a much less successful round all around, but finally Dreamz lands a spear to get Ravu on the board.  Then Yau-Man steps up for his turn.  He takes his time, assesses the goal, and then takes a long running start prior to launching his spear.  His thought and preparation paid off as he gets the spear on the board closer than Ravu’s.   Ravu again can’t come back and that’s two more points for Moto.

Ravu must win the last round just to get the game to a tie and sudden death round.  This time around, it’s Michelle who gets first to the board, but Dreamz is able to get an arrow closer for Ravu.  But now it’s time for Yau-Man.  Once again, he takes his time, carefully selecting an arrow for its straightness, as he tells Jeff. He then kneels on the ground and launches an arrow much closer to the center than the other arrows.  Ravu, again, can’t do any better, and so Moto wins.

I don’t think I could possibly love Yau-Man more.  I just love him to bits and pieces.  I love his utter refusal to allow his position as “old man” to get him flustered.  I love that he doesn’t care about seeming like a little bit of an odd duck when he knows his odd duck-ness can get something done.  I love that he keeps using an understanding of physics to help his tribe.  (He was the only one able to get that box open on the very first episode…all those strong boys couldn’t bust it open with brute force, but one drop on the vulnerable spot and voila!  The muscle-heads should have learned something then.)  I love that he is still a little devious and crafty, from peeking in Sylvia’s bag when she returned from Exile Island to creating a fake immunity idol.  And I continue to love how absolutely PLEASED with himself he gets when he is devious and crafty.  Yau-Man just rocks.  ROCKS.  If he gets voted off, I am going to be devastated.

On the other hand, if Lisi gets voted off, I will certainly not be devastated.  Neither will she, apparently.  She tells Alex that she is okay with going home, that there isn’t anything else that she needs to accomplish in the game.  Um, I’m sorry what HAVE you accomplished in the game?  She says she’s been rich, she’s been poor, she’s been to Exile Island.  Those aren’t accomplishments, those are things that happened TO you, Lisi.

Nevertheless, if it’s what she wants…it’s not like Alex and Ed are truly going to lose any sleep over this.  Dreamz might be an unknown quantity due to his loyalty to Cassandra, but Lisi is just too unstable.

Case in point: ten minutes before Tribal Council, she changes her mind.  She tries to get the boys back in her corner and get them to swing their votes from her to Dreamz.  It’s not looking likely.

At Tribal Council, Dreamz lets loose on Lisi’s lack of motivation, telling her if she wants to go home, call him a “genie in a bottle cuz [he] grant[s] wishes.”  She tries to defend herself by saying she’s just being honest about being conflicted.  She tries to paint Dreamz as unmotivated as well.  He’s not having any of it, he won’t even argue with her about it.  It is, frankly, a ridiculous last-ditch attempt to save her own life in the game, but Lisi doesn’t have a shred of validity to what she is saying.  Dreamz has not been one of my favorite players thus far (although he is growing on me), but there has never been a single second that I have seen where he has been anything close to giving up or not determined to win.  It’s an absurd allegation for Lisi to make. 

And, ultimately, it’s fruitless.  Lisi gets her original wish and is voted off.

So no merge this week, but maybe next.  Whatever happens, I am crossing my fingers that Yau-Man remains safe during that transition, but at least he has the immunity idol if things get hectic.  Back next week!

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Images Courtesy of CBS)