Season 10 Episode 8

Neanderthal Man

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 07, 2005 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
35 votes
  • Poor Ulong

    It's always bothered me that there wasn't a merge in this episode. I had done calculations before this season aired as to how the tribe dynamics before the merge would be done in terms of numbers of one tribe versus the numbers of the other. Granted, this was before the extended cast was introduced and is assuming a normal merge with no fake outs. At two members of one tribe, in the unlikely event that one tribe won every immunity, there should be a merge. But there wasn't. Maybe producers just wanted things to go just one more round just to see what would happen. Maybe they didn't want to use the green buff after all. But there wasn't a tribe swap earlier this season, which is in direct opposition to the fourth season where Rotu had won every challenge yet still, a tribe swap happened. The reward challenge was another close loss for Ulong, although the gross food eating challenge never really had much of an influence outside of the tie-breaker that would resolve it. Speaking of tie-breakers, it kind of make sense that the best way to resolve the automatic tie between the two Ulong members is with fire, as it represents life in the game. The title of this episode doesn't make as much sense. Clearly, it is meant to be a criticism of Bobby Jon, but he barely lost the challenge, thus making a perfect comparison between him and the Ulong tribe in general. Ultimately, I found the episode to be poorer than usual because of the lack of a merge, although it fails to be on the actual bad side of the coin.
  • Stunning! Absolutely incredible!

    Wow this Ulong tribe just can't pull off a win. They're the stronger tribe on paper but they just can't do it! Stephenie is an absolute force and I feel really bad for her that she's in this situation since she does not deserve it.

    It's really peculiar to have one tribe with eight and the other with two. The dynamics on Ulong are also bizarre with only two people - there's no room for strategy, no "secret" conversations, it's just purely about sitcking together to try to survive.

    Nonetheless, it's even more bizarre to have a tribe of ONE. I wonder if Stephenie will have to compete for Immunity individually? Lose and go home? Maybe... Or maybe she'll be saved from her current predicament lol.

    Nonetheless, it's a unique season! Can't wait to see what Steph can do about this!
  • With Koror going undefeated in Immunity Challenges, the only question remaining is who the Sole Ulong Survivor would be: Bobby Jon or Stephanie?

    An intense episode, as you couldn't help but cheer for Ulong to try to avoid the clean sweep. But, alas, they lost first the Reward Challenge, with Tom whooping Bobby Jon yet again, and then the Immunity Challenge, with Coby and Gregg outsmarting Steph and BJ at the puzzle portion of the challenge.

    I give this episode another high score because this episode was gripping in its own right. It really did seem like a season finale because we were down to a Final Two. This time, however, no one would be voting to give them a million dollars. This time, they'd compete against each other in a fire-making challenge to determine the Sole Ulong Survivor. In the end, and rather quickly, it was Steph who won. Jeff Probst was even polite to BJ as his customary farewell message was slightly altered. Luckily for both of them, they'd be asked *spoiler* to return the very next season (Guatemala) to lead new tribes. So all told, Koror won 11 Challenges (7 Immunity, 3 Reward and 1 Combined) while Ulong won 3 Challenges (all Reward). Poor Ulong. But really, if we remember the first few episodes, it seems like Ulong was the powerhouse, especially with all those strong men, while Koror seemed much weaker and older. So really, Kudos Koror! Some say that Tom Westman's leadership and raw fireman power was what led that tribe. It was definitely a part of it, but so was Ian's swimming skills, and Coby's brains. And no matter what the combination (be it cat-fighting Caryn and Katie with Gregg on the SOS, or Janu, Jenn and Coby on the water puzzle) Koror always dominated. This was a special tribe, which has never been emulated since. It goes down in Survivor history as the only tribe to never lose an Immunity Challenge, and if it weren't for that damned Double Tribal Council, would've been the only tribe to make the 'merge' without losing a single member. The culmination of the tribal battle makes this episode so great. Now that Ulong is down to one member, Koror is going to have to start eating each other! And if they're smart, people on the outs in that tribe will use Steph. NOW the 2nd half of the series, Survivor Koror, begins! What was especially enticing about this episode was when you hear Tom and Ian talk of their Day 2 alliance with Katie and Stephanie. Now all of a sudden, Stephanie seems to be in a position where she could get to the Final Four... but will the rest of Koror acquiesce to the alpha males, or try to oust the last remaining Ulong member next? Will Stephanie be the first to go? Will she make the jury? Watch the next episode to find out!
  • I'm glad Ulong isn't going to be a tribe for much longer because they suck! Other than that I was impressed with the action on this episode, It kept me excited!

    Boy! After loosing all the immunity challenges so far; Koror will now be competing against each other! This will be intersting. As for Ulong, I was kept in huge suspense wanting to find out who the last member of Ulong would be. I was hoping Stephenie, I really don't like Bobby-Jon. The challenges were really sad to watch, watching koror winning everything and Ulong winning zero! As for tribal council, there was a challenge to find out who was going home. Since there were two people left in Ulong, it would have to be a one-on-one challenge. The challenge was to light a fire, using a very small amount of equipment. I was glued to the TV during this, then just like that Bobby-Jon became the 9th person to leave Palau! But Stephanie would spend the night alone on Ulong! What will happen next time on Survivor???

    Overall: this episode kept me in suspense which made it so darn good to watch!
  • Nope, this isn't a typo. It's really 1-8. Watch as Stephanie eats baby bird, swims, and does puzzles. Watch as Bobby-Jon...makes fire - but not fast enough to avoid elimination. Even though challenges really shouldn't eliminate players - it's never been

    Nope, this isn't a typo. It's really 1-8. Watch as Stephanie eats baby bird, swims, and does puzzles. Watch as Bobby-Jon...makes fire - but not fast enough to win a challenge. Even though challenges really shouldn't eliminate players - it's never been done on Survivor and never should be again.


    Okay, so I'm only covering the final tribal council, because this episode was crap. I was dissapointed that the tribes didn't merge. I was dissapointed that both challenges only had four people competing in them. And above all, I was dissapointed to see Ulong going to tribal council. There was only one saving grace for me in the episode: Stephanie is still alive, and for that she has only one person to thank: me. No, not really. She should thank herself, and maybe Bobby Jon, who taught her how to make fire.

    After an almost-gross reward challenge (with Koror victorious) the immunity challenge was one that I actually thought that Ulong would win. They had to put togethor a puzzle after swimming in the ocean and collecting the pieces. Long story short (and oh, it was a very long story), Ulong lost and was sent to tribal council, with only two people. Because their votes would cancel each other out, and individual immunity challenge took place at tribal.

    After another long and hard row to the council, Stephanie and Bobby Jon had a talk with Jeff Probst, who basically taunted them for sucking for eight or nine consecutive weeks. He revealed what would keep one of them on the island - and what would send one of them home - a challenge involving the most important thing on the island: fire.

    Bobby Jon and Stephanie had to create a fire (using 25 matches! Both of them only needed one or two at the most) and light it high enough to reach a very short torch. The challenge was finished nearly instantly, and it was extremely anti-climactic. My dad and I think that the creators could have come up with a better twist - have Koror vote on who stays. Even better, have the other Ulong members come back into the game and vote on who should be gone. Though it would defy the rules of the game, rules have been broken before (remember the Outcast tribe?) I was absolutley dissapointed in the way the ultimate vote was decided, and though I was glad to see Stephanie stay (and I'm intrigued to see what will happen next week) I was upset that the producers didn't think of something better.

    Hopefully, the "tribe" (as in the viewing public) will also disagree with the producers' decisions and make sure that Mark Burnett and Co. will come up with something better if this happens again. I guess that there was one more thing that I did like in a draggy episode. I liked that Probst didn't dismiss Bobby Jon with "The Tribe has Spoken" and instead said "Well, the tribe certainly hasn't spoken, but you're going home anyway."

    -Adam Polaski

    Tell me what you thought of this by emailing me. To join my mailing list, email me at the same address and I'll tell you when my work is featured here at Media Fiends or somewhere else. Thanks for reading and keep watching Survivor - maybe casting, challenges, etc will be better next year.
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