Gabriel Cade: David M. Russell/CBS 
TV Show
March 29, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Gabriel gets the boot

Stop the presses! Alert the president! Declare a national holiday! It seems the unthinkable has happened. Yes, what you saw on Thursday night was no mirage — it took five weeks, but Maraamu actually won a challenge. And not just one challenge, but two! Talk about your classic bizarre ”Survivor” episodes. Did someone declare it backwards day on the Marquesas Islands or something?

Perhaps even more shocking is whom Rotu decided to vote off — and unanimously no less. Now, there’s no doubt about it, Gabriel was pretty wacky. His assertion that he wasn’t here to play the game may have SOUNDED noble, but if that’s the case, why didn’t he just save himself the trouble and join a commune instead. And his white boy rap act was especially disturbing, particularly when he tried rhyming ”Survivor 4” with ”e-qua-tor.” I mean, not to be a playa hata, but you have to worry about any guy who steals shtick from ”Big Brother 2”’s Mike Boogie. (No disrespect intended, Mr. Boogie. Word.)

But Gabe’s surprise ouster did confirm two things. 1) John the nurse is an idiot, and 2) Rob is an even bigger idiot. John had every right to be nervous about Gabriel’s waffling and wavy gravy attitude, but he came on WAY too strong in forming his anti-Gabe alliance. Sure, Tammy, Rob, and Zoe may have gone along with him for now, but for how long do you think they’ll put up with his power trip? (Notice the cringing at bonfire when he talked about how he’d ”stepped up” and boasted of his ”definite leadership qualities.” Dude, I got news for ya — a real leader doesn’t beg people to piss on his hand!!!) Where John made a serious mistake was in alerting Sean and Rob to his plans. If either of these guys had even the SLIGHTEST clue, they would have realized this was the opening they had been waiting for, which brings us back to point No. 2: Rob is an even bigger idiot.

If Rob were, in fact, able to add, he would’ve figured out that his best play was to form a new alliance with on-the-outs Gabe. Adding him to the ex-Maraamu trio would’ve given them equal standing: four against four. They could’ve gone to bonfire, battled it out to a tiebreaker and the winning quartet would have had a clear path to the final four. But by siding with the majority and voting off Gabe, Rob and company only delayed their inevitable fate. It is amazing to me to think that these same knuckleheads who voted off their best Maraamu tribe member (Hunter) and then refused to integrate themselves into Rotu could’ve actually had a golden chance to get back into this thing. If nice guys finish last, then where do stupid guys finish? I guess we’ll find out.

Another person in my episode five doghouse is producer Mark Burnett. While the budding tension on Rotu was priceless, he’s got to cut out these boring-as-all-get-out SOS challenges. We know why he does them — ever notice how the tribe down in members ALWAYS wins; how convenient — but a bunch of people standing on a beach waving flags doesn’t exactly make for high drama. No, the high drama now seems to be residing solely in camp Rotu. And we finally have our duel of cocky villains (John and Rob) we’ve been so patiently waiting for.

What do you think? Did John make his move too soon? And is Rob, uh, intellectually challenged?

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In Season
Gabriel Cade,
John Carroll,
Gina Crews,
Robert DeCanio,
Neleh Dennis,
Hunter Ellis,
Paschal English,
Peter Harkey,
Patricia Jackson,
Tammy Leitner,
Rob Mariano,
Sean Rector,
Vecepia Towery,
Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien,
Zoe Zanidakis
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