Friday, September 6, 2013


EPISODE 8: Meltdown


SURVIVOR ZAMBALES hiatus is over!
We start episode 8 with a quick recap of what happened so far in the game.


First person voted out: Red
Sixteen individuals were abandoned in the Zambales bushes. Divided into two tribes: the Tapulao tribe was composed of The BACKPACKERS plus Jane while the Pundakit tribe was composed of eight Guests. They immediately competed in their first reward challenge where the guests won with the help of Red and Weng's puzzle solving abilities. However, the tables were turned when The BACKPACKERS won in an intense first immunity challenge. At Pundakit's first tribal council, it was a unanimous vote against Red who expressed to her tribe that she was enjoying the game but was uneasy because of her monthly period.

Second person voted out: Weng
Pundakit tribe continued their losing streak and lost another member in an emotional second tribal council Mommy Weng asked to receive the votes so that the tribe will be stronger and won't have difficulty in going through the harsh dynamics of tribal council. The tribe's Mommy, Weng was voted out.

Third person out - Isabel
Fourth person out - Angel
In Tapulao tribe, the team felt that Kenji should be the first person voted out in the tribe because he was the weakest in challenges.In Pundakit tribe, the morale was at an all time low after losing two tribe members in a row. When the tribes gathered for the challenge, they were surprised to learn that it was a Double Elimination episode. Rommel of Pundakit won individual immunity and Kaye almost got voted out. But in the end it was Isabel who got the majority of the votes and was the third person voted out. A twist destroyed the plan of Tapulao to vote out Kenji when Rommel passed the immunity to him. Angel and Ghei volunteered for execution to preserve the strength of the tribe, and in the end it was Angel who took the fall and was the fourth person out.

Fifth person voted out - Rommel
Episode four saw another twist when the castaways got shuffled. Ghei, Nick and Kenji got transferred to Pundakit with Kaye, Aaron and Gino. Nick secured multiple alliances in both the Guests and his co Backpackers. Mina and Rommel joined Jane, Ralph, York and Mon in Tapulao tribe. Threatened with the possibility of Jane switching, The BACKPACKER amigos Ralph, York and Mon blindsided the couple and Rommel was the fifth person voted out.

Sixth person voted out - Mina
Seventh person voted out - Jane
In Episode 5, the longest challenge in the game appeared to be the most crucial as there was an unexpected twist for the losing tribe. Tapulao tribe lost yet again and the amigos unanimously voted out a guest, Mina. The twist revealed that they need to vote another person again. York voted out Mon at first, but broke the tie when he switched and Jane was the seventh person voted out.

Eighth person voted out - Ralph
The tribes merged in Episode 6 and there were six Backpackers versus three guests (Kaye, Aaron, Gino). The Backpackers swore to stick together but Nick had another plan in mind. He was able to sway Mon to be on his side against the two other amigos Ralph and York. Together with Kenji, they pulled out the biggest blindside of the season by eliminating Nick's biggest rival, fellow Backpacker Ralph.

Kaye was blindly following Nick while Aaron and Gino were floaters in the tribe. But when Aaron won immunity, the majority alliance decided to send Ralph's closest ally York home.

Only seven are left: 
Nick, Ghei, Mon and Kenji
Gino, Aaron and Kaye

In this explosive and controversial episode, 
two more will be eliminated

one castaway will give up
and one castaway will cause a meltdown like you've never seen 
in any reality competition


After York's elimination, the remaining castaways of the merged Pinatubo tribe went back to camp. Mon remarked, "going back to camp with just the seven of us was lighter and relaxing." Nick was happy about the outcome, "things are going along as what I planned. Now, neither Aaron nor Gino can escape anymore as either one of them is going home next," stated Nick.

Ghei, who voted against Kenji explained her vote. "I know that Kenji's not going home. I just want to give him a wake up call to play this game hard like what the rest of us are doing. He is taking this lightly. At the challenge, he drank all of the alcoholic drinks that were served and ended up drunk in the end. I want him to be more serious." Ghei thought that it was unfair for Kenji to act lightly when the others who were voted out and had no chance to play has exuded a serious game.

"As far as I know, Nick wants me, him, Ghei and Kenji as the final four," stated Kaye. "I'm up against three Backpackers in that roster and I hope that Nick will really do that - keep me over Mon who is their fellow Backpacker." There were less talks that evening and everyone hit the hay after a very exhausting day.


Host Ivan surprised the castaways who were resting that night when he announced that they need to wake up as it was challenge time - to be played at camp. It was a very simple Question and Answer mental challenge. Ivan will be asking the castaways question to which they can answer with an A, B, C, D, True or False. The first person who will get five points win immunity. The questions are facts and figures related to the province of Zambales.

It is easy to conclude that it was the simplest challenge. But the castaways have gone through a lot of stress and fatigue that day. Add to that, they were all eager to go to sleep. Adding these elements, the castaways may not have the capability to think hard in this mental challenge.

BP Kenji did not participate in the challenge. He was not feeling well due to the drinking escapade he did last challenge. He was clearly drunk and had to skip this in order for him to rest.

NICK - 5 points
GHEI - 4 points
GINO -  3 points
KAYE - 2 points
MON - 1 point
AARON - 1 point
KENJI - Dropped out
Nick won immunity!


Kenji - knocked down
After the challenge, Kenji was still not feeling well. He was fetched by the organizers to check on what's happening. Because he was still in the game, he needed to participate in the game dynamics. He dropped out in the immunity challenge but somehow needs to participate in the tribal council.

KENJI - Quit
Tenth person out of the game
Isolated from the other castaways, host Ivan checked on Kenji. He could barely open his eyes nor walk. He complained about a severe headache and that he just wanted to rest. Ivan explained the scenario: he was just drunk, his headache can probably just be a hangover and as long as he is in the game he needed to participate. And in a matter of minutes, he fainted and hit the side of the Pinatubo tribe's tent.

"Kenji, do you still want to continue? Or do you want us to get you out of the game so that you can rest?," Ivan asked him several times. Poor Kenji just nodded but when asked for a verbal response, he just silently whispered, "I quit..." And with that, Kenji was medically evacuated and is the tenth person out of the game. However, he will return as the third jury member once he has completely recovered.


BACKPACKERS Ghei, Nick, Mon and Guests Aaron, Gino, Kaye.


With the withdrawal of Kenji from the game, the three guests left (Kaye, Aaron and Gino) are now at par with the three Backpackers that's left (Ghei, Mon and Nick). "I secured an alliance with Kaye who is a guest and at the same time I have an alliance with Ghei and Mon. With Kenji quitting, I can still see myself controlling the majority," Nick evaluated the situation. Although he is confident with his alliances, he knows that Kenji's ouster in the game may cause an impact on its dynamics. "Yes, it may hurt our game. But as long as there is trust within the core alliance, we still can do this until the end phase." 

"This is the time for the guests to strike. We've been through this since the beginning and even if we are not vocal to each other, I know that Kaye, Gino and I trust each other. We can force a tie in the upcoming tribal council," Aaron assessed. With Nick holding on to immunity, he and Gino discussed to throw the vote to either Ghei or Mon. "I think Mon will be our best bet tonight," said Gino.


Kaye is faced with a decision to stay loyal to Nick or shift to her original Pundakit alliance Aaron and Gino. "The situation became very interesting because I have been following Nick the whole time. With Kenji gone, there is an opening for me to be in at least third place with Aaron and Gino. Third's always better than fourth place," Kaye thought. However, even if she joins forces with Aaron and Gino, the best it can do is to force a tie with whoever the three Backpackers will vote. "I am sure that the Backpackers will not turn on against each other so it may just be a tie. And if this shift does not work out, Nick may not trust me anymore... But I am considering it a lot.. I'm tired of being a sheep." 

Knowing the possible impact of the evened number, Nick approached Kaye to secure the alliance. "We are voting Aaron out tonight," Nick mentioned. "Are you comfortable with that?" to which Kaye responded YES. "Aaron has had a target on his back since we merged," Kaye's thoughts on voting out Aaron.

Ghei has proved to be
an independent game player.
Will she vote with Nick this time?
Ghei and Mon verbally confirmed to Nick that they will also vote out Aaron. "It's four versus two. This is pretty interesting and predictable that I may possibly throw a wildcard vote to whoever I think is a threat to me at this point. The funny thing with that is nobody will realize it because they are all so naive," Nick confidently stated. However, Ghei proved to be an independent thinker as she created an impression that like Kaye, she is following Nick all this time. But her voting pattern has been pretty much different with Nick's. "I do not want to be controlled. I know that in the end, I can face the jury confidently and I can put all the dirty works on Nick," Ghei said. "But I can join Nick this time and vote Aaron out tonight. But I can also vote out Mon who I dislike despite being a Backpacker. He is just so annoying," Ghei added.


The merged Pinatubo tribe entered tribal council. Jury members Ralph and York also entered tribal council. Although they can not speak and were just called for to observe, it was clear that both Backpackers were pissed off in being voted out. They brought an alcoholic drink as props to show to their former allies that they were sort of bitter jury members.

Host Ivan announced the departure of Kenji in the game. The discussion geared towards the possible shift in the game play of the remaining castaways. The three guests successfully survived three eliminations. The six Backpackers who made it in the merge were now down to three, making it an even playing field should they go back to tribal lines. "I think the spirit of being an original Pundakit member is innate in all of us that started as a guest. So even if we are not vocal about our game play, I trust my co-Pundakit members (Kaye and Gino)," Aaron stated. Kaye was asked about her game play and she replied, "I have an alliance and it brought me this far in the game." On whether she was just riding coat tails, she denied it and said "I have my own game to play. But since Survivor is a game of numbers, you always need to make sure you are in the majority."

The three Backpackers were interviewed on how the guests managed to go this far, "Well, one factor that we did not anticipate was the medical evacuation of Kenji so it really added a factor to that. But the alliance is still strong," said Nick. Ivan reiterated the fact that the game is about Outwit, Outplay, Outlast and sooner or later, alliances will be broken. And these alliances may have been formed because of the friendships outside the game just like the BACKPACKER alliance which was out of the equation when Ralph was voted out. He then asked how the castaways would separate real life relationships from the game. To this remark, jury members Ralph and York clapped mockingly. Mon and Nick were quickly put on the spot. Mon defended himself, "My decision in the game is based on my personal insight on which is the best way for me to advance in the game. If I backstabbed some people, they need not to take it personally." Nick also defended himself saying, "I just want to remind those people who might feel emotional right now that this is just a game. In this game you have to be quick and you have to be smart. It does not necessarily mean that if we betray someone here, then we won't be friends anymore outside this game. This is just a game." Jury members Ralph and York were just blabbering expressions of disgust and mockery as they were not allowed to speak. The two were the ones betrayed by their Backpacker alliance Nick, Mon and Kenji (who is now out of the game).

Before the vote, Nick confidently stated, "There is a plan tonight, and hopefully the plan will be executed correctly." The plan of the majority (Nick, Ghei, Mon and Kaye) is to vote out Aaron. Ivan gave the chance for people to state their case to which Gino pleaded to the group, "I still want to be here. I want to witness another day playing the game. I want to go to Potipot Island as a finalist. Please give me a chance and don't vote me out." Aaron stated, "Once a Pundakit, always a Pundakit.. That is the only thing that I can say."


 "Nick has immunity so you can not vote for Nick. It's time to vote," commanded the host. And one by one, the six survivors went to the voting confessional to cast their votes.

Ghei voted against Mon

 "I am voting for Mon because I think this person needs to go. Finally."

Kaye voted against Mon

" Mon, sorry but I am voting for you."

Gino voted against Mon

"MON, I am voting for you. I am not sure if you will be voted out but I am just hoping that it's not going to be me tonight. Potipot please...."

Mon voted against Aaron

"AARON, the group has decided that it's time for you to go. Good luck brod."

Aaron voted against Mon

"I hope the Pundakit tribe will vote together and pull out a tie. If it's a tie, I am glad to go against you, so I am voting for Mon"

 "GINO...I just want to play the game a bit. I know that the majority will vote out Aaron..I just want to throw a vote against you as an indicator that you are a threat to me and you should be voted out next."


Ivan: Once the votes have been read, the decision is final. The person voted out will be asked to leave the tribal council area immediately... I'll read the votes...

First vote: AARON

Second vote: MON

Third vote: GINO

Fourth vote: MON

Fifth vote: MON

No need to read the last vote, the eleventh person voted out is... MON.
Mon, the tribe has spoken ...

GHEI voted for MON
GINO voted for MON
KAYE voted for MON
AARON voted for MON
MON voted for AARON
NICK voted for GINO


Jury members Ralph and York prepared to go back to the jury house after host Ivan snuffed Mon's torch. However, as they were entering the house, Mon who was just voted out stormed off in their direction and became violent with the two jury members. As if throwing a chair towards the two was not enough, he immediately grabbed and pinned down Ralph. The crew and some of the castaways voted out tried to pacify the angry Mon. They were successful in bringing an equally angry Ralph into one of the rooms in the jury house. But Mon directed his violence towards York and strangle him with one hand. When host Ivan successfully split the two, the other staff commanded York to follow Ralph and locked the room. The five remaining castaways remained in the tribal council area. They were all stunned with the chaos that they witnessed.

The meltdown of Mon did not end after the chaos in tribal council. He was shouting and creating a commotion inside the jury house. All of the players voted out were disturbed of their sleep. Taking his anger to the next level, Mon grabbed some harmful objects and challenged Ralph and York to come out of the room. All of the clamor resulted in a shocked jury house.

"It was an ugly moment. He was shouting and hurting the other people - both staff and castaways," mentioned Isabel who was sleeping alongside Angel that time. Isabel and Angel were voted out back to back in the double elimination in Episode 3.

"Jane and I had no idea of what happened. We woke up because of the commotion and saw an enraged Mon... so yes, we were kind of surprised," said Rommel, the fifth person who was voted out of the game.

Mommy Weng is not happy about what happened

"Survivor really brings out the true colors of every person. I was just very worried about my daughter Kaye at that time because she was still in the game. I do not want her to be involved in that kind of violence and fiasco," Mommy Weng commented.

The players who were still in the game also witnessed what happened.

"I can understand Mon's stress level as we all are going through the same thing. But what I hated the most was when he became physical with Ralph and York and even with Ivan who was the host of the game trying to calm him down. I said, this is not right," commented Aaron.

"I did not expect that. Although I know that I teamed up with Mon against our two co Backpackers, I mean, what happened was just plainly wrong. If his outlet of his anger is to be physical, I may not be that comfortable having him around for the night," said Nick.

"It was very uncalled for. I was scared and shocked." said Kaye.


"I was hurt. Ralph and York started to attack me personally at tribal council when they made remarks against me. Here's what really happened. Nick and I built an alliance to oust Ralph and York which were our allies early in the game. What I did was to get them voted out before they can ditch me. I knew it already. They're going to do the same thing to me, I just acted faster than them. So Nick and I were successful in voting them out. Fastforward to that tribal council, I knew that they were sort of upset about what happened. They could have just said it to me personally. But during the whole conversation at tribal council, their attacks became personal. I can remember they were singing a song but they changed the lyrics. And it goes like, you're stupid... don't ever think because you look like a fool... something like that. I lost my cool and I just couldn't control my anger anymore," Mon narrated.

"We know that all of these are just part of the game. I mean, this is just a game. We were not even allowed to talk in tribal council. We were just reacting when the conversation at tribal council turned to betrayal and blindsides within the game, I mean IN THE GAME. I am a fan of this game and I appreciate Nick's gameplay. He got rid of me, and I can understand that. But with Mon directing this as a personal thing, come on man. This was not supposed to be a personal thing because York and I did not intend it to be personal. He could not handle him being voted out, that's it. We could have talked in the jury house but what did he do? His violent impulses are just not acceptable. He physically attacked us, and I can forgive him but I can never forget that," Ralph remarked.

"I had the utmost patience to not engage in a fistfight with him when he was strangling me. His actions were very uncalled for. Dude, this is just a game. When he had the guts to tell us lies and blindside us in the game which ended up in us being voted out, we did not act as wild as his," York commented.

The Final Five were asked to stay inside the jury house as everyone reflected on what just happened. Both parties had their own point. Survivor is a stressful game, and people tend to be pushed beyond their limits. And when you are a competitive player, it gets frustrating at times. The jury members were not allowed to talk in tribal council, but even as seen in other versions of the franchise, jury members expressing their feelings through the rolling of their eyes, clapping or some other expressions, are also part of the game.

Mon was supposed to return as the fourth jury member but because of the physical assault and uncordial behavior, he was asked to permanently leave the game. Before leaving, he was able to apologize to the Guests in the jury house for his actions. We are hoping that everything that happened will be fixed in due time.


Haven't read the story nor viewed the videos?
Click the following for episode guide:

Episode 1: Welcome to Survivor Zambales!
Episode 2: Hunger, Sweat and Tears
Episode 3: Double Trouble
Episode 4: Drop Your Buffs
Episode 5: Message In A Bottle
Episode 6: Backpackers All The Way?
Episode 7: Who to Trust?
Episode 8: Meltdown
Episode 9: Roller Coaster
Episode 10: And the Winner is...

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