Ron Clark during episode 9 of 'Survivor."
Photo: CBS
Photo: CBS

Did Ron Clark escape the most chaotic tribal council in ‘Survivor’ history?

Originally posted Wednesday, April 10, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Usually on “Survivor,” tribal council starts around the 43 to 46 minute mark. Tonight? The 36-minute mark. That meant the tribal council tonight would be bonkers.

And it was. Usually, Jeff Probst guides the conversations like a masterful mediator. But at a certain point this time, there were so many side conversations going on, he just sat back, said nothing and let things play out.

“Wow,” he said at one point. “I’ve never seen anything like it!” And that’s saying something considering Jeff has presided over more than 500 tribal councils.

Atlanta educator Ron Clark was not the primary driver of the wackiness. As he said earlier, after playing “puppet master” last week, he was chastened and announced to other Kama folks that he was going to play “passenger” this time and go along with the majority. 

While watching the shenanigans, Aubry - currently part of the jury - was shown frequently agape, acting like Laura Dern in “Jurassic Park” every time she saw a scary dinosaur. 

Going into this tribal council, there seemed to be two competing plans: one that would take out returnee David and one taking out returnee Kelley. Based on camp behavior involving lots of eye avoidance, both Kelley and David sensed that they were targets and planned to use their immunity idols just in case.

I anticipated they would both use their idols and people would have to vote all over again. But that didn’t actually happen. 

Instead, Julia mentioned to Jeff she was in cahoots with Kelley (not true because she actually planned to oust Kelley), which placed David and Rick on edge. Aurora’s comments backed her up. And Julia’s dismissive attitude toward Rick, saying he didn’t know what was going on and was more a “passenger” raised his hackles - and gave him an idea.

Rick just threw it out there: the five Lesu members and Ron and Julie - the Kama crew locked out of last week’s blindside of Eric - could band together and take out any of the four other Kama (Gavin, Julia, Aurora, Victoria). 

Those seven are actually three sub-groups: RIck and David; Ron and Julie and Wardog,  Kelley and Lauren. Wardog began pushing Rick and Julie to take out Aurora or any of the four. 

Julie, still bummed she was suddenly on the outs, cried over the stress yet again, then decided to “jump ship” and talk to the Lesu crew. During the mayhem, Kelley admitted to David she was trying to take him out. 

But Julia, already a target by making fun of Rick and making the David blindside too obvious, antagonized Wardog by simply saying “Shut up Wardog!” when he said they should vote. 

That seemed to close the deal. Aurora was not the target. Julia became the target. And everyone except Aurora voted for Julia. It’s proof that 23 days of starvation can mess with even someone as seemingly level headed as Julia.

Nobody had even thought of taking Julia out going into tribal. What’s even funnier is David used an immunity idol and didn’t have to. 

After the past two tribals, this game has been turned upside down. Kama had an 8-5 lead but now two Kama have been taken out in a row. Sure, Kama still has a 6-5 lead but that now seems almost meaningless. Kama Strong is Kama Dead. And of course, someone will return from Edge of Extinction, adding another element of nuttiness into this all-over-the-place season. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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