Local woman continues in quest to be last ‘Survivor’
In arguably the most dramatic "Survivor: Guatemala" episode to date, Tonganoxie resident Danni Boatwright on Thursday staved off elimination for another week.
Boatwright, Gary Hogeboom and Bobby Jon Drinkard were the last members of the former Yaxha tribe still competing, while six members of the former Nakum tribe completed the new Xhakum tribe.
The three former Yaxha tribe members thought one of them would be the next to be voted off because former Nakum members outnumbered them.
During Thursday's show, tribemate Gary Hogeboom told fellow Xhakum member Jamie Newton that he would vote for Newton to be the next person sent home during tribal council.
Some members of the former Nakum tribe, meanwhile, were plotting to get rid of Hogeboom.
Newton won the immunity challenge, meaning he couldn't be voted off during tribal council.
With Newton's victory, Hogeboom appeared the leading candidate to be voted off the show.
But at the last minute, at tribal council, Hogeboom announced that he had found the immunity idol, which had been secretly placed in the tribe's campsite area during the previous episode. That meant Hogeboom also could not be voted off during tribal council.
For the first time during tribal council, more than two tribal mates received elimination votes.
Drinkard, Stephenie LaGrossa and Cindy Hall received at least one vote during tribal council.
But with six votes, Drinkard became the 10th person voted off "Survivor: Guatemala."
"I hated, hated to see Bobby Jon go," said Vicki Cackler, Boatwright's mother. "I mean, it broke my heart, a wonderful guy."
CBS contracts prohibit contestants from speaking with the media until after they are voted off the show. However, family members may talk to the media.
At the beginning of last Thursday's show, contestants competed in a reward challenge, which was a game of Atlatl. Boatwright placed fourth in the ancient Mayan archery game, while Judd Sergeant won the event. Newton placed fifth, but elected to take last because of his recent "bad behavior."
After the reward challenge, all members were given food -- based on their finish in Atlatl.
Sergeant won a steak and lobster dinner, while Newton, who asked to be moved to last place, received a bowl of ramon nuts and a glass of dirty lake water.
For Boatwright's fourth-place finish, she dined on spaghetti.
"As a mother I almost cried as she cried over the bowl of spaghetti," Cackler said. "That's an ideal meal for someone who hasn't had meat or carbs for awhile."
For winning the reward challenge, Sergeant had the option of inviting two fellow tribal mates to eat with him at his table. He invited Drinkard and LaGrossa. They shared their food and also were offered liquor with their meal, of which Sergeant and Drinkard appeared to drink a little too much.
Cackler said she noticed that LaGrossa has eaten more often than other tribal mates.
"Have you noticed that Stephenie gets to eat and eat and eat?" Cackler said. "I almost wanted to say, 'feed my child.'"
The end of episode No. 9 marked Day 24 for the tribal mates in Guatemala.
With 10 tribal members gone and just eight remaining, it's become crunch time for Boatwright and Hogeboom, who now are the only two members of the former Yaxha tribe still surviving.
"It's going to be really interesting how it will play out," Cackler said.