Survivor: Fiji, Episode 9 "Are We Gonna Live on Exile Island?" Recap

Originally aired on Thursday, 04/12/2007

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

Episode Overview: What time is it?  It's Merge Time!  Moto and Ravu are no more.  Welcome, Bula Bula, to Survivor: Fiji!

Episode Highlights: 

  • Both Happy Fatty Camp and the Land of Misery are no more as the two tribes merge into one.  However, don't expect the new tribe to be living the luxurious Moto life.
  • With the new tribe formed, the Survivors go into overdrive trying to work out new strategies.
  • Although they are living as one, the immunity challenge pits one group against the other; but with the players mixed, old alliances might not be helpful.


There’s something in the air on Survivor: Fiji. It’s a mixture of unripe pineapple and rice. It’s…the smell of a merge between the Haves (Moto) and the Haven’ts (Ravu).

Edgardo Rivera smells it too, and he makes an effort to get his hands on the immunity idol currently resting in Mookie Lee’s pocket. Mookie is having no such thing: being the only one from the original Ravu in this “Four Horsemen” alliance makes him a little nervous, so while he gives his word he will stay loyal to the group, he hangs on to it for dear life.

And the two tribes get the tree mail they have been waiting for: they are to pack all their personal belongings, leave everything else, and row over to Exile Island. Moto hurriedly eats up some of their rice, while Ravu creates their post-merge strategy of how to infiltrate Moto and keep their “Four Horsemen” alliance intact.

Five minutes into the show and I’m already annoyed by this new little name for their group. Is there anything more grating than people coming up with some self-aggrandizing nickname that is all out of proportion with whatever activity they are actually engaged in? Sure, boys, you are going to rain an apocalypse all over Moto, but let’s face it: you’re just four American dudes on a reality show so dial back the self-importance.

The two tribes meet up on Exile Island, and, not finding any instructions, decide to clamber up to the Exile Island tower to see what they can find. What they find: new purple buffs: they’ve officially merged. With the buffs are instructions for this new single team to head back to their camp…on Moto beach.

Everyone is excited and relieved to be going back to Happy Fatty Camp, especially Mookie, who is the only person left who’s never been there. I have no idea why they feel relieved: when they get back, they see exactly what I knew would happen – the camp is gone. Everything, the beds, shelter, bathroom, all gone. They have some fishing gear and a machete and that’s about it.

They have to name the tribe, so they all decide on “Bula Bula” which means “Hello Hello” in the Fijian language. Michelle Yi and Stacy Kimball set about creating a flag and worrying in low voices about what the merge means.

The “Four Horsemen” begin their process of infiltrating the Moto tribe and, unfortunately for me, it seems pretty successful. Mookie is able to solicit from Yau-Man Chan and Cassandra Franklin that they want Boo or Stacy to go next. Alex, meanwhile, works the Stacy angle to enjoy her loyalty. He later says that he thinks his boys are controlling the game. It could just be editing but it does sure seem that way. Then again…as Earl Cole talks with Cassandra to get the dish on what the Horsemen are up to, he says that he wants them to continue to think that he’s “not thinking.” So maybe Earl isn’t blindly letting them control things, but just flying under the radar. We’ll see.

When Mookie, Alex Angarita and Dre "Dreamz" Herd all connect to discuss their plans, Mookie and Dreamz seem certain they want Stacy gone soon, but Alex wants to keep her around. Of course: Stacy is on his and Ed’s side, but neither Dreamz nor Mookie has any reason to keep her around. Then Mookie does something odd; he tells Dreamz about the immunity idol. Alex is ticked off, because he doesn’t think Dreamz can keep it from Cassandra. Dreamz is pissed off because he doesn’t understand why he wasn’t told sooner. All in all, it seems like a bad move, but then again, if Mookie is thinking that Ed and Alex might work out a separate alliance with Stacy, making a show of loyalty to Dreamz might give him at least one other person in his corner.

Ed, Alex and Mookie head out for a private chat on the boat. Ed is also ticked off to hear of Mookie’s disclosure to Dreamz, and also continues to want to keep Stacy around. Mookie is starting to get a bad feeling.

Back at camp, Mookie talks to Dreamz about Stacy and they seem to be in lockstep that nothing about keeping Stacy around could possibly be good for them. Additionally, with Dreamz, it’s personal. Stacy was really truly nasty to him when she had the power back during the beginning of Survivor:Fiji, and he’s got no reason to help her out now.

The new tribe now meets with Jeff Probst for a challenge. Before the challenge, they each have to pick a rock from a bag. There are green rocks and orange rocks and this splits them evenly into two groups of five. What, the Survivors wonder, could possibly be going on now?

Well, it’s not a new tribe, it’s just how the group will compete today in the immunity challenge. Earl, Yau-Man, Cassandra, Ed and Boo will be on one team, and Mookie, Alex, Dreamz, Stacy and Michelle on the other. Whichever team wins will be both immune as a group and will get a steak dinner as reward. The losing team will go as a group to tribal council and have to vote one of their five off of Survivor: Fiji.

The challenge will involve both brawn and brains. First, the tribes will have to memorize a shield. Then they row down a river to retrieve bags from poles in the water. Once they have gotten their three bags, they must assemble their puzzle pieces and re-create the shield.

The two tribes start out even, but Stacy and Dreamz both struggle on their team to get their bag retrieved, while Yau-Man once again shows how valuable he is by figuring it out quickly for his team and sending them on their way. His team gets a lead that the other is never able to overtake, and they wind up completing the task first. I’m so glad that my beloved Yau-Man is safe, but I’m now worried for my second favorite player, Michelle. She is on a mini-tribe with three of the “Four Horsemen,” and Stacy, who is allied with Alex. This doesn’t look good.

And, Jeff informs them, there is no time to figure it out, because they are going right to tribal council, with no time to talk or develop strategy. Yikes!

At tribal council, Jeff tries to elicit some details from the group as to who they could vote off and why. Alex makes it perfectly clear to the other players who is voting off – Michelle. I hope, however, that Mookie and Dreamz will think this through logically and see that Stacy is a better choice for their votes.

And, momentarily, I’m happy to think this might happen – that at the least, Michelle will get two votes (Alex and Stacy) and Stacy will get three votes (Dreamz, Mookie and Michelle) – when I see Mookie write down Stacy’s name. But then Jeff reads the votes (Mookie wisely doesn’t play the idol in his pocket), and Michelle is out. Dreamz voted for Michelle. What? Mookie looks furious, but Michelle seems to have known this was coming.

Next week, it looks like we will get a good confrontation between Mookie and Dreamz as to why he voted the way he did. I get a feeling the “Four Horsemen” won’t be four much longer.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Images courtesy of CBS)