This is why fans love Survivor: After portraying Oregonia resident Angela Perkins as the pivotal swing vote or possible outcast at the next Tribal Council, viewers saw her teammates blindside James Lim from Los Angeles.
After Perkins' newly constituted Malolo tribe lost the immunity challenge, Survivor: Ghost Island producers made it appear that the Iraq war veteran from Warren County could turn against her original Naviti teammates and vote one of them out of the game. It was all carefully scripted misdirection.
In the end Lim, 24, was sent home by all four of the others, including his original Malolo teammate, Michael Yerger, 18, from Knoxville, TN.
The fake drama, however, did allow viewers to learn more about from Perkins, 42, the oldest contestant. The mother of two grown children (both Clinton Massie High School graduates) divorced after retiring from the Army. She explained that was in jeopardy Wednesday because she didn't feel tight with original teammates Desiree Afuye, 21, from Newark, NJ, and Kellyn Bechtold, 31, of North Manchester, Indiana.
"Kellyn and Desiree really have a close relationship, so I feel I'm on the bottom. In the military, it's all about family. I was always surrounded by great friends," she said, echoing my interview with her earlier this month.
"And then retiring, I lost that big chunk of family. My daughter went away to college (in Minnesota), and then I started going through my divorce, and now I'm alone. I don't know, it's just hard. It's just hard."
In a monologue to the Survivor camera, she explained why she was considering breaking with her original tribe and forming an alliance with James. "The only question is: What's going to get me further in the game?"
The answer, it turned out, was the three women recruited Michael to vote out his teammate. James was the sixth of the 20 contestants eliminated from CBS' $1-million reality show competition taped last year on Fiji.
Survivor: Ghost Island ends 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 (Channel 12, CBS).