‘Survivor’ contestant nears finals
Danni Boatwright, who was expected to be the next Survivor castaway to be voted out of Guatemala, convinced other tribal mates that it wasn't her time to leave.
That, however, became a moot point Thursday after Boatwright, a Tonganoxie resident, won the Immunity Challenge on "Survivor: Guatemala."
Boatwright won the challenge, meaning that she could not be voted off the show during tribal council.
Before the Immunity Challenge, though, thinking she could be the next to go, Boatwright swayed Rafe Judkins. Eventually, she convinced enough of the other castaways into voting Judd Sergeant off the show.
Sergeant, Judkins, Cindy Hall and Stephenie LaGrossa previously had built what was thought to be a sturdy alliance, but Boatwright came through.
"This perfect little alliance is going to have to start attacking each other," Boatwright said during the show. "They can't all go to the final spot."
Boatwright, who had little air time during previous episodes, suddenly was front and center during last Thursday's episode.
Her mother, Vick Cackler, said her daughter had the ability to go virtually unnoticed until the time was right to make her move on the reality show.
"She's a stealth bomber," Cackler said.
CBS contracts prohibit contestants from speaking with the media until after they are voted off the show. However, family members may speak with media outlets.
During the Reward Challenge on Thursday, tribal members were given money in which to bid on various items. Boatwright snagged some beef jerky, while Hall successfully bid on chocolate chip cookies and milk.
Other items included a Philly cheese steak sandwich and a mosquito net.
Boatwright also successfully bid on a sealed envelope that contained an advantage for the next Immunity Challenge.
A slip inside the envelope read: "switch positions with any player." Boatwright did just that, switching with Stephenie LaGrossa late in the game and earning immunity.
During tribal council, Sergeant was shocked to learn he was the 13th person voted off "Survivor: Guatemala."
He wasn't pleased with the outcome.
"I hope you all get bit by a freaking crocodile," Sergeant said. "Scumbags."
Sergeant, though, isn't completely out of the equation.
He will join Bobby Jon Drinkard, Gary Hogeboom and Jamie Newton in the tribal jury that will help decide who the final Survivor will be.
Whoever is voted off this Thursday's episode will become the fifth member of the Survivor jury.
Cackler said last week's episode was a "fantastic Survivor."
She also was ecstatic that her daughter avoided elimination for yet another episode.
"Oh man," Cackler said. "Actually, it wasn't bad to see Judd go.
"It's not bad to see any of them go, except my own."
Cackler actually watched two of her own during last week's episode.
Danni's brother, Drew Boatwright, appeared on the show as part of the auction reward challenge. Castaways had the chance to "bid" on a family member to stay with them overnight.
Sergeant pooled money with other castaways and successfully bid on his wife. He was allowed to bring two other castaways and each of their family members for a one night's stay. He chose LaGrossa and her boyfriend and Cindy Hall and her twin sister.
Boatwright, Lydia Morales and Rafe Judkins were unable to spend time with their loved ones after the auction. Although they were a few feet away, they couldn't embrace them or speak to them. Morales' brother, who hadn't seen his sister in two years, was on the show, as was Judkins' mother.
Drew Boatwright is a minister who just moved back to the Kansas City area from Bay City, Mich. When the show was taped earlier this year, he still was living in Michigan, Cackler said.
"Even though they didn't get to talk to each other or touch each other, you watch them, they're communicating," Cackler said.
After Thursday's episode, Cackler had plenty more to say about what occurred during the 12th episode of this season of Survivor.
Cackler sensed "animosity for some reason" from Hall toward Boatwright and Hogeboom in recent episodes. Hall also criticized Boatwright's intellect and athletic ability on the show, Cackler said. When it came to Thursday's game, however, Boatwright took care of business.
"I thought that was one of the absolute ironies about Cindy (Hall) popping off and then Danni wiping her out in the game," Cackler said.
On the CBS Web site, www.cbs.com, contestants from former Survivor shows analyze each episode in the "Survivors Strike Back" blog.
Scout Cloud Lee, who competed in "Survivor: Vanuatu," had a few things to say about Boatwright after last Thursday's episode.
Here is an excerpt from her blog:
"Brains is something that Danni has plenty of! Danni worked Steph good tonight. This was a well-placed 'coming out party for Danni.' She's a doll. She's intelligent. She's a hard worker. And, she's headed for the final four! Way to go, Danni! Steph was smart to realize that Danni had not lied. Integrity does, indeed, have a place in this game!"
Although the final four won't be decided until after this Thursday's episode, the former contestant has a prediction about who will be in the final four that will advance to the last episode on Dec. 15.
"Cindy (Hall) was left out of the loop tonight," Scout Lee wrote. "Rafe, Steph, Danni and Lydia teamed up to get Judd out. Cindy might well be next. She still seems distant from the rest, and she's definitely a strong physical threat."
She went on to predict that Hall would go home before Lydia Morales.
To find out whether Boatwright advances to the final four, watch Thursday's episode of "Survivor: Guatemala" on Sunflower Broadband channels 5 and 13.