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Episode 8
"Now the Battle Really Begins"

Filmed July 16-18, 2004
Airs November 4, 2004

Click below for:
RC speculation
IC speculation
Boot speculation
Video resources
Ep8 promo vidcaps
CBS Ep8 web promo


Episode descriptions
CBS: - A Survivor gets fed up with the tribe and is ready for a change.
- One castaway uses charm, flirtation and cuddling in an attempt to get in good with a tribemate.
- Anxiety about a possible tribal merge leads one Survivor to make one-on-one pacts with numerous others.
- One castaway gets into a war of words with a tribemate after being told what to do.
REWARD CHALLENGE/ Water tossing - Lopevi wins?
A few new promo shots over the weekend cast more light on this challenge. It's clearly still tribal, and appears to involve a bucket brigade-type concept, except the water must be tossed along the lines, from bucket to bucket, rather than by simply passing one bucket. In the shot of Chad tossing water at Chris, there are also clearly two plumes of smoke, suggesting fire is involved as well (possibly the traditional fill-the-bucket-to-tip-the-fire-on-the-seesaw challenge). Not overtly physical, and favors teamwork over strength. So no obvious favoritism for either tribe (as did the last RC, which favored smaller people).

So who wins? For clues elsewhere, all the camp shots of Lopevi look universally happy, whereas grumpy Rory seems to be none too pleased over at Yasur, where the rest of his tribemate are shown as lazy and/or stumbling. Also, the Yasurs don't look too pleased arriving at IC, while the Lopevis are smiling. So we'll go with a Lopevi win here, barring more info.

REWARD CHALLENGE pictures/ Click on thumbnails above for larger version

Sorry Rory, I was aiming for the bucket, I swear!

Still more excitement with flying liquids. Next episode: cream pie catching!

Arrival at IC... grumpy Yasur?

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE/ Individual swimming/ gather the flags- Ami wins?
The web promo makes clear that the merge occurs at the IC, and the new members of the Maroum tribe will compete for individual immunity. The challenge appears to involve swimming out to color-coded towers, picking up a flag, and swimming back. As noted in extensive discussion in MeSS, the towers contain at least three (possibly more) flags. After swimming back, there is a rack on the beach in which to place the flags. We lean to the interpretation that there are two initial heats with five contestants each, followed by a final round with four people, using the top two finishers from each heat.

So who wins? Ami, Chris, Rory, Sarge and Twila are all shown in detail in the promos, and are likely among the top competitors (except maybe Rory and Twila). It's difficult to tell who wins, since it's unclear what's a heat and what's a final round. Chris and (maybe) Ami are shown racing in the water, flags in hand; Rory is shown looking at one or more competitors ahead of him. Ami is shown running to the block in which the flags are placed, but appears to still have at least one flag left to get. Krautboy has pointed out at Blows that Sarge appears to be holding the necklace back at the merge camp, although upon further scrutiny, KB agrees this may just be a canteen strap. So, with no obvious winner, then who? The people shown closest to the finish line are Ami, then Sarge (and maybe Chris). One of them may be it. We'll go with Ami.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE pictures/ Click on thumbnails above for larger version

They're off! And, uh, someone is in the lead! Yes, it appears to be... a contestant. Not Rory, at least.

Rory's heading into the home stretch, but he also appears to be looking in front of him... at whom?

A sodden Ami races up the beach to place her (second-to-last?) flag in the rack.
BOOT/ Rory

Rory is barely treading water. He's praying for a merge to escape being booted by Yasur, but he never got along well with Sarge in the first place, and either Julie or Twila (or both) seems to have taken Rory's place in Sarge's Lopevi pecking order. Rory's best friend in Lopevi was Travis, who's now cooling his heels in Loser Lodge. Rory also pledged his fealty to Ami in hopes of survival, but now seems to be forgetting to watch his temper around her. Clearly, the women are neither fond of him, nor trusting him, so he's not an unlikely target. And yes, it's Rory.

If fire is life, water is... well, not life.

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