February 3, 2006
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Cruel cut on 'Survivor' debut
By -- JAM! Showbiz

Lumberjill Tina Scheer got the axe on the debut of 'Survivor Exile Island'.

Her story didn't even begin to be told and now she's gone. Tina Scheer, the 45-year-old female lumberjack, entered the 'Survivor' game with one of the saddest stories ever. It almost seems cruel that she was the first 'Survivor: Exile Island' player to walk the plank. Then again, 'Survivor' has never been promoted as a merciful game and in their defence, Tina's Casaya tribemates were never told of her heartbreaking story on last night's series debut.

For those who don't know, Tina's only son was killed in a car accident right before she was to leave to be on 'Survivor Guatemala'. The producers felt badly for her situation and left a spot open for her to be a part of 'Exile Island'. Although Tina wrote her son's name in the sand as a loving tribute to the 'Survivor' dream they had shared together and enlightened the viewers at home about the tragedy, she didn't share the information with her tribe.

Feeling that she was immediate danger because she isn't in good shape, Cirie Fields, the 35-year-old registered nurse, rallied the rest of Casaya to drop the axe on the lumberjill. Taking the leadership position and inferring at Tribal Council that the others weren't doing their fair share around camp ended Tina's game. In Tina's parting comments, she chalked her loss up to being on a tribe of prissy women.

As was promised, the series was jumpstarted with the new Survivors already divided into four tribes by age and gender. During our first look at the barren boulder that is Exile Island, Probst met the players and announced that one of them will be banished to Exile Island every week. There is also a hidden Immunity Idol stashed away on the island that must be used before the Final Four is decided.

The inventive twists started having an immediate effect on the game with the Bayoneta tribe's Misty Giles ostracized to the island and then hinting she had found the idol when she returned at the first Immunity Challenge. As has already been announced by the producers, the four tribes will be merged into two on next week's episode. Yep. The 'Survivor' mind games have just been taken to a whole new level. You gotta like it.

The Survivors at the start of the broadcast were:

Bayoneta Tribe

1. Courtney Marit.
2. Danielle DiLorenzo.
3. Misty Giles.
4. Sally Schumann.

Vivero Tribe

1. Aras Baskauskas .
2. Austin Carty.
3. Bobby Mason.
4. Nick Stanbury .

Casaya Tribe

1. Cirie Fields.
2. Melinda Hyder.
3. Ruth Marie Milliman.
4. Tina Scheer.

La Mina Tribe

1. Bruce Kanegai.
2. Daniel Barry.
3. Shane Powers.
4. Terry Deitz .

Exile Island Happenings (Day One)

Jiffy Probst explains how Exile Island works and that he will give out clues as to where the Hidden Immunity Idol is located. When Probst points out how the tribes have been divided, the 35-year-old Cirie is quick to put Survivor's official torch snuffer-outer in his place. Cirie: I thought was young. Do I look older? Even though he is Cirie's age, Shane-O- Mac(hiavellian) doesn't utter one word about being on the older men's tribe. A good first move? You betcha.

Published author, Austin, decides to totally blow his image right out of the gate by telling us he just cannot help but to flirt with women when they are around him. Wasn't this dude's book about a son's love for his dying mother? Truth is stranger than fiction it seems.

Bob Dawg claims that he is the leader of the Vivero Tribe and labels the young women as the 'Spice Girls' and the older women as the 'Golden Girls'. This coming from a guy who just missed out on being on the older men's tribe by three years? Can you smell what The Dawg is cooking? Perhaps it is his own early demise. It's true. It is darn true.

To further scramble the players' brains, Probst announces that the first Reward Challenge will be held...like...now.

Danielle is pumped. She is an athlete. This is right up her alley.

Reward Challenge

The four tribes must pick one representative. Those players will race through the jungle to a pile of skulls and bash them open. Inside three of the skulls are amulets. The tribe that fails to bring back an amulet must pick someone to stay on Exile Island.


  • Flint and Exile Immunity.


  • Ruth Marie, Terry, Danielle and Austin are selected for the challenge.

  • Winners: Terry of La Mina (first), Austin of Vivero (second), Ruth Marie of Casaya (third).

    Exile Island Happenings (Day One)

    Probst informs Bayoneta that they must decide who is staying on Exile Island. Danielle volunteers to do so but the others pull her head out of the noose.

    Danielle: I lost it for us so I thought I should be the one who stayed but they wouldn't let me. They were all cool about it.

    Courtney asks Probst if they can do Rock, Paper, Scissors to figure it out. Probst don't give a crap. Misty, the rocket scientist, loses the impromptu RPS Challenge. She definitely didn't want to start out on the losing end of things.

    Probst hands the flints and maps out. Everyone splits to find their camps leaving Misty all alone. Misty is staying until the first Immunity Challenge. Probst to Misty: This will give you time to think about why fate choose you to stay behind. Probst says the first clue has already been given to Misty. Gee, thanks for the info, Jiffy.

    As the tribes "paddle" to their camp sites, Tina lets out a raucous Tarzan yell and beats her chest. Man, where is Wanda when you need her, eh?

    Exile Island Happenings (Day One)

    Poor Misty walks around what little shoreline Exile Island has. She feels vulnerable. She assumes Probst's clue pointed to the idol being "behind" where the players were standing. She begins her search.

    Casaya Tribal Happenings (Day One)

    The Golden Girls arrive at their beach. There is a flag, pot and machete waiting for them. The machete scares Cirie. She knows they are gonna have to clear out the area and wonders what bugs are lurking under the leaves. Thank goodness she didn't try out for 'Fear Factor'. The older gals huddle. Cirie prays for an extra special blessing. They are the ancient ones after all. They get right to work clear-cutting the forest and burning the vegetation.

    In a split second, Tina starts a fire with the flint. For a split second she is a hero until she starts singing 'Disco Inferno'. I thought my generation killed that crap off in the seventies? Die disco! Die! Die! Die!

    Ruth Marie sees Tina as being an asset to the tribe surviving day to day. Tina stepping forward as the unofficial leader is cool with her. She is happy to play the role of worker bee and fade into the background.

    Circe's flora phobia takes hold. Tina tries to reassure her that this ain't Doctor Moreau's island and there are no carnivorous plants around.

    Tina: Did anyone tell Circe what show she was going on?

    Vivero Tribal Happenings (Day One)

    The minutes are ticking by. There's a shelter to be built and a fire to be lit. What are those goofy young dudes doing? They're playing baseball, of course. Makes total sense, right?

    Aras is getting concerned as nothing of value is being accomplished. His solution? He brings all the men together and they do the old Yoga trick of putting your hands over one another to generate heat. Somehow, I don't think that invoking The Force will spark a fire. The Dawg looks on like Aras just said he was his father or something. Aras asks the others if they feel anything. Negative on that, Obi-Wan Aras.

    Nick calls Aras' actions "hair-brained".

    Obi-Wan Aras is sure that they now have "power in their hands" so starting the fire should be a snap. Use the Force, Vivero.

    Austin fears they are gonna look like "jackasses" for doing the 'Field of Dreams' deal and not getting down to business.

    Handily stealing away the 'Worst Survivor Shelter Ever Built' title from Rupert, Vivero creates their shelter by leaning some branches and leaves against a rock. You just know that 'Holmes on Homes' guy's head would explode 'Scanners' style if he saw this. Let's hope he wasn't watching. Someone calls the shelter the "most pathetic" they have ever seen. You're not kidding. Vivero hopes it doesn't rain any time soon.

    Bayoneta Tribal Happenings (Day One)

    Just when you think things couldn't get any funnier, the Spice Girls are faring no better. At least the guys...ummm...slopped together their dismal lean-to. None of the Bayoneta women will speak up on a location for the shelter so they just wander around aimlessly.

    When they come to an odd looking tree that Courtney takes a liking to, she asks the others how they feel about it.

    Courtney: We were being typical women.

    Sally tells us she is getting impatient. Pick a spot. Any spot, people! It is getting dark.

    How's this for a transition...all of a sudden, the women are in their bathing suits and walking on the beach. Courtney finds a croaked sea turtle. She gets all emotional. She draws a heart around it with a stick and places some stones near it. She claims it is a sign as in Native culture the turtle symbolizes North America. Sally and Danielle stare at Courtney as if she told them she was the turtle's mother.

    Sally: It is just a turtle.

    Darth Courtney suggests they roll it back in the ocean. Danielle: Roll it back in the ocean?

    Danielle: Courtney is a drama queen. We have so much to do and so little time.

    La Mina Tribal Happenings (Day One)

    Sensei Bruce is chopping through branches like he's fighting off Shredder and the evil Foot Clan. You go, dude! Everyone is slaving away.

    Terry: We are stoked. We are doing the Boy Scout thing. Come see our roaring fire. Methinks Terry's brain wasn't depressurized during his last flight.

    Terry, the fighter pilot, and Dan, the astronaut, reveal their backgrounds to each other. Both are impressed. Dan promises to never lie to Terry. Terry and Dan shake on their deal.

    Shane-O- Mac(hiavellian)'s skin is crawling. He has smoked like three packs a day for 20 years and now he is going cold turkey. He is at the end of his rope.

    Shane-O- Mac(hiavellian) suggests to Dan that nobody on their tribe should worry about hurting anyone's feelings. Shane-O- Mac(hiavellian) spots Sensei Bruce looking for the machete.

    Shane-O- Mac(hiavellian) to Dan: What is Daffy Duck doing?

    Exile Island Happenings (Night One)

    A snake slithers near Misty as she tries to sleep near a rock without a camp fire.

    Exile Island Happenings (Day Two)

    Misty: Her night on Exile Island was a nightmare. She eats some worms. Misty: There's some protein. Misty doesn't want to be the first voted off. She has an advantage though. She is going to trick her tribe into thinking she found the Hidden Immunity Idol.

    Immunity Challenge

    As Misty re-joins her tribe, Probst asks her what it was like on Exile Island. Misty comments that it was lonely but Jeff had told everyone where the idol was and she had way more than enough time to search for it. Probst reveals that the tribal Immunity Idol is a staff with three skulls on it.

    The challenge is a multi-part deal. At a floating dock, the tribes must climb over an obstacle, dive into the water, free a raft, paddle back to shore, solve a rope-ring puzzle and use a grappling hook to release their flag to win. At the puzzle site, there are some instructions buried in the sand.


  • Immunity from Tribal Council.


  • The Spice Girls and the older guys take the lead. The young guys are in dead last. The Golden Girls cannot solve the puzzle in time.

  • Winners: Bayoneta, La Mina and Vivero.

    Casaya Pre-Tribal Council Happenings

    Cirie is nervous. She knows she is not the most physically fit and fears she is the first to be voted off. Tina heads out to the beach on her own. The others wonder what is up with her.

    A tearful Tina writes her son's name in the sand and draws a heart around it. She explains what happened to him. She is going to keep the information to herself for now. She will come back to talk to him...alone.

    Cirie and Ruth Marie go fetch water. Cirie claims Tina can beat them in any challenge. She says Melinda is in on the deal to ditch Tina.

    Cirie doesn't want to appear like she is gunning for Tina but she doesn't want to leave the game just yet. She has to get rid of the lumberjack.

    While on the beach, Tina hits upon a lucky find. She sees a fish has washed up on shore. Excited, she brings it back to camp and surprises the others. Cirie helps clean the fish.

    Melinda: Tina is a work horse. There is a million reasons to keep her.

    Cirie: She helped scale the fish to appear useful. She wants to impress upon the others that they can do fine without Tina.

    Casaya Tribal Council Happenings

    This season's Tribal Council area looks quite cool. It is in a hollow with all sorts of torches, voodoo etchings and skulls. Probst does his usual fire symbolizes life deal. Fast forward.

    Melinda feels like she is in Panama hell. This is the hardest thing she has ever done. It is testing her mentally, physically and emotionally. Cirie says that the people at home who are at home sitting on the couch should remain there and not go on the show. She isn't used to living in the outdoors. Tina says she has lived in the outdoors her whole life. Ruth: It was wonderful that Tina took charge and ran with the ball. Cirie claims that if Tina wasn't around they could fend for themselves. When asked by Probst about it, Tina states that not everyone is pulling their weight at camp. She has a huge work ethic. She works hard. Belinda says things are not like that. Nobody is napping while others are working.

    Cirie votes for Tina. She wishes she had time to know her better. Cirie: We just didn't click. Tina picks Cirie because of the whole fear of leaves thing.

    Final Voting

    1. Cirie Fields: Tina.
    2. Melinda Hyder: Tina.
    3. Ruth Marie Milliman: Tina.
    4. Tina Scheer: Cirie.

    Tribal Council Victim: Tina Scheer.

    Parting Comments

  • "I think the girls made a huge mistake in voting me out. I hope they do terribly. Working hard is what I do and I think that worked against me. I would not have been able to change a thing because that's just who I am. That was really a great experience. I have no regrets. I was just with the wrong girls." -- Tina Scheer.

    On the next 'Survivor': Television.

    A twist on Exile Island raises the stakes. The pressure gets to Shane. Shane: There is no reason for me to be doing this. Cirie: If Shane wants to quit, let him quit. And a storm moves in. Shane: This place breeds back luck. Once Shane says that, there is some kind of lightning strike or something.

    On the next 'Survivor': Internet.

    "When four tribes become two, the last survivor fears the worst, but then is surprised when Jeff reveals a twist in the game. One Survivor makes a major mistake and leaves the tribe disappointed, hungry, and still desperately trying to get food. As the Survivors get to know each other they waste no time forming alliances, leaving two feeling vulnerable and two in a position of power. One Survivor struggles to adjust to life on the island. Will he overcome the pressure or choose to leave the island forever?"

    Powell's Thoughts:

  • As I stated in my first 'Tale of the Torch' entry, we are gonna have a rocky start to the predictions but I am confident it will all work out in the end now that we have some inklings as to where the storylines are going...sorta.

  • Probst wasn't lying. The Exile Island twist is shaking up the game and sending shockwaves through the contestants. Awesome stuff. He was dead-on with the personalities too. These are going to be some fun people to watch if every episode has as much ranges of emotion as the debut did.

  • Bruce better watch it. He is barking orders a little too much and working like a madman. If he isn't careful, he could be visiting Exile Island real soon.

  • With the tribes being shuffled next week, we will have more of an understanding about how things will shape up. It is a schoolyard pick 'em so nobody can determine for sure how the chips may fall. It seems the older men will stick together and the young men and women might be in trouble early on.

  • Who gets stuck in the middle when the tribes switch? Probably Dan or Terry since they made a deal with one another. That could explain why Terry might finish way ahead of Dan. Courtney and Aras seem to be a perfect match spiritually. They might be a force to contend with if they end up on the same tribe.

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    Jam!'s John Powell had his final 'Survivor' chat of the 'Fiji' season on May 10th. To read the transcript, click here.
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