Survivor's Ousted Duo: Mia, J.P.

The tribes spoke twice Thursday night on "Survivor: Vanuatu." In the end, both tribes sacrificed one of their own. In a rare twist, both teams went to tribal council. The men of the Lopevi tribe voted off John Palyok (known as J.P. on the island), while the women of the Yasur tribe dismissed Mia Galeotalanza.

Both outcasts appeared Friday on The Early Show, first to be interviewed by co-anchor Harry Smith and then to answer questions called in by viewers.

J.P. said that the younger men made a mistake in the beginning: "Sarge, on Day One, says, 'Let's form an alliance,' and all of the young guys looked around and said, 'This is Day One. You're not supposed to be saying this, and you're saying it out loud.' After we shunned him…he went over to the older guys, and that's when it was five against four. We were toast."

(Later, in sharing a bit of "Survivor" trivia, J.P. told The Early Show co-host Rene Syler that the younger guys started out referring to the older guys' alliance as "the Fab Five," but later amended it to "the Fat Five.")

On of the dramatic high points of Thursday night's broadcast was a bitter argument between Mia and tribe mate Twila, when the language got a little rough.

"I was starved! I was starved! I was delusional!" Mia claimed, by way of explanation, adding, "I didn't mean to get caught."

Mia told Harry Smith that Twila "just absolutely got under my skin, and she beat me. I mean, she did what she had to do and it worked. I'm here and she's not."

There is another player named John on Vanuatu (John Kenney), and he won individual immunity. As part of his prize, he was directed to spend the afternoon with Yasur (the women's tribe) and then designate one of the women to receive immunity as well.

On The Early Show, Mia said she was not only surprised by the announcement that there would be two tribal councils, but also by who received individual immunity from John Kenney: Ami.

"I didn't understand that at all," said Mia. And she also did not like how John separated the women when he first arrived at the camp, asking who had voted Dolly out.

"He found out the alliances on the women's side," Mia said, "and I think giving Ami the immunity was definitely a strategy on his part. I don't understand it, though."

Even though they were voted out of the game in its early stage, both J.P. and Mia agreed they are glad they played.

"To me, it was a life-changing experience," said J.P., "and when someone says, 'J.P., what did you take back from the island?' I could say, 'Appreciation.' I now have more appreciation of the people around me, the people I've interacted (with) in my life, as well as the elements now, and the resources that are so viable and essential to life, such as food, water and shelter!"

He added, "And I'll never ever look at a coconut the same again!"

Mia said she feels that same way, though, she quipped, she had a great appreciation for food before she went to Vanuatu.
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Cindy from Ohio: "Mia, what's with the attitude? You should have handled the problem on the sideline, not in front of the other ladies."

Does Mia believe that she would have saved herself if she had not been so public in her differences with Twila?

Mia's response: "Should I have controlled my temper a little bit more? Maybe. She pushed me to the edge. You guys only saw a little bit of it… She was a nightmare! It was a nightmare out there with her… You've got to understand: We just had a tribal council the night before, so the last thing I expected was to be dismissed five minutes after that."

Sherri from North Carolina: "There seems to be a love-hate relationship between Sarge and Rory. What are your thoughts?"

J.P.'s response: "Yes, there definitely was a love-hate relationship." He pointed out that as much as Sarge wanted to get rid of Rory instead of J.P., he had to defer to the other people in his alliance. "The young guys, if we could influence Sarge to swing the other way, we would have our guy to pull us through, but it wasn't going to happen."

Lisa in Delaware wanted to know if J.P. and Mia had studied previous "Survivor" installments to help them develop strategies.

J.P. responded that he had, adding, "A lot of the episodes I watched, there was a mixture of guys and girls in the beginning, so this was a total surprise for me, because I had my own strategy going into the game, but I didn't know I was going to be surrounded by eight other guys. So that totally threw off my strategy."

As for Mia, she replied, "I thought it was more of a numbers game, getting five strong. And in the women's tribe, we had that at the beginning. (But) when the whole Dolly thing happened, and she was wavering, I knew that was the beginning of the end for the young girls."

Kimberly from Massachusetts called to praise Mia for being so outspoken and to ask her if she was shocked by Lisa's vote (to oust Mia from the game). Mia said she did not know until she watched the broadcast Thursday night that it had been Lisa who switched her vote from Twila to Mia; before that, she had not been sure if it was Lisa or Eliza. And, of course, she was feeling hurt and angry.

The final phone call came from another Kimberly, who turned out to be one of Mia's old classmates, from elementary school, who told her, "We're so proud of you."
  • Ellen Crean

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