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Lisa Didn't See Ax Coming

Lisa Kieffer is still shocked that a slip of the tongue led to her ouster from the "Survivor: Vanuatu" game in Thursday night's episode.

In an interview on The Early Show Friday, the 44-year-old New Orleans real estate agent said she had expected Rory, the tribe's lone male, or Eliza, who has been annoying others with her talkativeness, to be the next to go.

"I'm very surprised. I might of known before the tribal council that something was up, but I was shocked. I was totally shocked."

When they returned from the immunity challenge, she asked to go with Ami to collect the manioc, a starchy food the tribe had been eating, because Ami was the only one who knew where it was.

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"I said, 'Ami, I want to go with you to get the manioc in case...' I have a bad case of not finishing my sentences. I meant in case someone had to get the wood and someone had to get the food."

But Ami thought she meant in case Ami got voted off.

"She thought I meant that," Lisa said, "but I'm not that stupid. If I was going to vote her off, I never would have said that. I was honest. I really wanted to know where it was. I was shocked when she - at first, I thought she was kidding. I thought when she said 'Just in case what? Just in case I go?'I was, like, 'Oh, no.'"

Lisa said she had a really close relationship with the tribal leader, Scout: "I love her. She and I were real tight and I knew she didn't want me off. She wanted Eliza off and I was going along with it because it had to be someone."

Eliza, who has previously annoyed others and who performed poorly in this week's reward challenge, is still in the game because she is not perceived as a threat, Lisa said.

"I think Ami made a smart move but she probably thought I was a big threat and, you know, when it got down to it. Probably Eliza is not as big of a threat as I was," Lisa said. As for her kindness toward Eliza after the lost reward challenge, Lisa called it "reverse psychology."

"We wanted those steaks so bad! We were starving and we totally wanted those steaks. That was a bad loss for us," she said. "We could have used the protein and the food and we were all pretty weak."

The mother of six said her strong faith helped get her through the first days in the game of cut-throat tactics and back-stabbing.

"The Lord gave me the desire, my heart, of putting me on 'Survivor,'" she said. "The bottom line is the only thing I didn't ask for was the million dollars. I forgot to ask for that."

Thursday night's episode of "Survivor: Vanuatu" found Rory Freeman - the solitary male member of the Yasur tribe - working to carve a niche among his female tribemates. He never missed an opportunity to play up his strength and his work ethic, hoping to impress his value upon the tribe and save himself, should Yasur face tribal council.

Face a tribal council they did - and it seemed Rory's efforts paid off. When it came time to cast the ballots, the Yasur women broke their gender alliance.

Yasur has been unable to defeat Lopevi in either a reward or an immunity challenge since the teams mixed up members. While Yasur struggled with the new mixed-sex identity and individual tribemates bickered over chores and who might be voted out, the Lopevi tribe has been thriving. Julie Berry seems especially comfortable in her new Lopevi home -- at ease enough to sunbathe in the nude among her male tribemates.

"I like flirting," she said. "I could flirt all day long."

But is it leisure or strategy?

Reward challenge found the tribe running amok through a mud pen, chasing down sludge-slathered pigs. The first team to capture and pen 10 pigs got the reward of steak and eggs. Lopevi ran full speed ahead, while Yasur lost time after Eliza failed to nab a pig. Lopevi took the reward and reveled in their first protein-rich meal in days.

Lopevi also emerged victorious in a strenuous water-based immunity challenge, where tribe members swam through a series of sea obstacles, transporting puzzle pieces of a Tiki statue. Lopevi gained a fast lead after the Yasur tribe's Leann Slaby hit the wall at one obstacle and could swim no farther.

Moved to tears at the thought of another tribal council, Leann said she felt simultaneously that she deserved to go, but wanted to stay.

Unaired insider video and a "Survivor" fantasy league are featured on the official "Survivor" Web site.

By Lauren Johnston

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