At a jailbreak-themed challenge, show host Jeff Probst revealed a stunning twist to the "Survivors." The tribes faced their worst nightmare as the castaways whom they'd forced to walk the plank made a vengeful return to the game.
Nicole, Ryan S., Lillian, Burton and Michelle formed the Outcast tribe, and competed against Morgan and Drake in a three-way challenge. Fueled by their desire for revenge, the Outcasts triumphed in the contest, sending both Morgan and Drake to tribal council.
As the new outcasts, Osten Taylor from Boston and Shawn Cohen from New York, tell The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, this twist was "unconstitutional."
Shawn says, "I definitely was shocked. I can't say i was the happiest to see them, but I had no idea what the challenge entailed. Once I found out, I was a little disappointed in the whole twist in my mind."
He notes, he didn't think it was fair, "I just felt like I had been on the island the last how many days? They hadn't and, you know, I hadn't been sleeping very much. I felt like maybe they had."
Osten says he was confused. "I thought that, you know, with 'Survivor,' normally, once you're cast off, you're cast off and no return. Like you go to a gas chamber, you died. Now, you don't come back. It's all over. It's strong, but it's reality. I do agree, unconstitutional, in my opinion. But it happened like that and you have to deal with it."
Exhausted and unmotivated, Osten asked that his tribe send him home. He argued that he couldn't compete effectively in his diminished physical state, and his Morgan comrades agreed.
Osten says, "It was a tough situation, much tougher than I actually imagined. I saw that they got a chance to bring people back. I thought I don't have a fighting chance. I figured my health is too important to me. I thought potentially, I would get back in the game."
From day one, Osten was not a happy camper. "I did whine like a school kid. I definitely was whining," he admits. "I will not lie to you. I was yelling like a 2-year-old schoolgirl."
So in a "Survivor" first, a contestant's torch was extinguished voluntarily, without a formal vote. Probst was not happy about that decision at all.
"He was mad," Osten says.
For the record, he says if given a chance, he would do it all over again. "I wasn't miserable the whole time. I got miserable once I realized I was going to be just in my boxers without some clothes; it's going to be a tough mountain to climb. But, I mean, with everything you go through life, you know what? Let me try this. I tried it. I realize that, 'Hey, this isn't for me.' I can accept that."
A caller asked him why he even went to Survivor if he didn't even know how to swim? Osten says, "Actually, I can swim. I'm just not a great swimmer. You know what I mean? I'm not a great swimmer. I can swim, but I'm not a great swimmer. I was out of food and I had no energy."
And he was scared of bugs, Shawn notes. In good spirits, Osten replies, "Yeah, I get a little nervous."
Drake's vote came down to a choice between Shawn and Jon. Both men were given the opportunity to make one final appeal to their tribemates. Shawn stressed his loyalty to Drake, while Jon emphasized his strong work ethic. The tribe ultimately decided to spare shifty Jon, and sacrifice lethargic Shawn.
Asked what his critical error was, Shawn replies, "Which one, you mean? From watching it and looking back, it's a lot different than being in it. Hindsight is 20/20. I'd say my first mistake was, watching the episode and seeing how the tribe responded to Burton and I, to how we spend all of the time together in the beginning. We did it as a friendship and it wasn't an alliance-building thing and I see how other people took to that."
In the previous episode, Shawn had a chance to put Rupert away but he didn't. He says, "Sandra is one of those people, I don't know if you've seen her yet, she'll go where everyone else wants her to go when it comes to the vote."
But in hindsight, he says, "I should have put him away. I had a lot of admiration for him. I felt he played really hard. Jon was somebody who had taken it from me in the past and kind of screwed me over with Burton and so it was my way of getting him back."
In Thursday night's episode, Jon's feud with Shawn resurfaced and the two nearly came to blows in an argument over a coconut.
With a big grin, Shawn says, "Looking back, I should have laid him out, just for everyone else's sake, not my own."
A caller asked him if he regrets throwing the chest game challenge, which led to the downfall of the Drake tribe. But Shawn says, that was not his mistake. He says, "I think that might have been some people's decision to throw the challenge, but if you recall two people were standing in my way. I didn't stay on the platform, so my idea was, I can't throw a challenge."
He adds, "I wasn't really in for throwing the challenge. I think some people had that idea, but that wasn't my deal."
On next week's episode, the Outcast tribe will vote to officially send two players back into the game. Tune in next Thursday to find out which rejects will receive another shot at the million-dollar booty.