Bruce Fretts recaps the latest developments and looks ahead to next week

By Bruce Fretts
Updated July 13, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gretchen is exiled from the cast of ”Survivor”

So much for the rumors that Gretchen wins it all. The teacher became the latest person expeled on CBS’ ”Survivor.” The voting pack of ex-Navy SEAL Rudy, corporate viper Richard, bulldog trucker Susan, and river rat Kelly ganged up against her, perhaps because they perceived her as a threat. At least that’s her theory.

Other developments from this week’s episode: The 10 remaining Tagi and Pagong members merged into a new tribe, Rattana (single mom Jenna named it after the local rattan plant, and doctor Sean suggested adding an ”a” to make it sound more exotic); the Pagong abandoned their campsite and moved to Tagi territory, where the shelter’s roof promptly collapsed during a downpour; ”Ivy League graduate” (as if that’s supposed to impress us) Greg triumphed in an underwater race, winning a talisman that gave him immunity during the latest tribal council.

In honor of the freshly dismissed educator, here are a few lessons gleaned from these and other recent events.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Dastardly Richard has duped Kelly (who called him a ”sweetheart… so easygoing”) and Sean (who described him as ”sensitive”), yet Greg (who said, ”he thinks he’s clever… he’s playing a big game”) is on to him. And smooth-talking Gervase may be buttering up Rich, telling him he looks like he’s losing weight and possibly letting him win at cards.

Be careful what you wish for. Gretchen, who shunned any alliances, welcomed the melding of the two tribes, figuring five new people would make her life more interesting. She had no idea how interesting it’d be.

The pot does call the kettle black. Susan predicted Sean would be the next one to be cast aside because, she said, the neurologist is ”dumb.” This from a woman who frequently misspells her own teammates’ names.

Dirty talk doesn’t always work. Despite a lavish lobster dinner, two nearby beds, a convenient rainstorm, and FOUR bottles of wine, Sean didn’t get to first base with fellow ”ambassador” Jenna during their overnight summit — probably because he discussed what first and second base meant and was ready to go to third before she cut him off.

Men can hold their breath longer than women. The first round of the immunity challenge, an underwater endurance test, found all the females coming up for air first, followed by Rudy, Rich, Sean, Greg, and Gervase, who finally surfaced after an amazing two minutes and nine seconds.

Just because you can hold your breath doesn’t mean you can swim. Moving on to the second round, YMCA coach Gervase couldn’t keep up with Sean and Greg in an aquatic race. Don’t they have a pool at his gym?

To what can we look forward? Well, Greg will apparently break up with cutie-pie Colleen and ”make a move” on gay Richard, whatever that means. Jenna will grow homesick for her twin daughters. And Gretchen, of course, will face her greatest survival challenge: the talk-show circuit.