Ride the Workhorse Till the Tail Falls Off is the fourth episode of Survivor: China.


Day 10

At Fei Long, Jean-Robert Bellande, having escaped elimination at Tribal Council the night before, was stepping up his performance around camp, rising early to get work done. The change was noticed by his tribemates, both for the good in Aaron Reisberger's case and for the bad, as Jean-Robert's increasing bossiness continued to annoy Courtney Yates, who was offended when Jean-Robert raised his voice to warn her about touching a hot pot.

I thought there was a small chance I could go home last night, but I figured I'd be staying. I'm a professional poker player and my gameplan's starting to kick in. I'm one of those guys who likes to start out in last place as the last horse. Now, I'm just slowly inching up on the pack and I've kicked ass in the challenges and my work ethic in the camp has improved. And people notice that. Getting past last night's vote was big. But at the next Tribal Council, I'm not that worried either, 'cause Courtney's always the weak link in every challenge and if she survives the next Tribal Council, she's got to be the luckiest girl in Survivor history.

–Jean-Robert Bellande

Waking up with Jean-Robert still here is just how I knew it would be. He's like a cocky son-of-a-bitch and he sucks so bad, there's no getting out of that. I don't give a crap who goes next, as long as it's not me. I would prefer it be Jean-Robert because he's just so unpleasant and he gets in my face with no matter what I say, he's just, like, aggressive with me. And I'm sick of it.

–Courtney Yates

Meanwhile, at Zhan Hu, Peih-Gee Law marked the new day on the tally. But the morning brought bad news as she and Frosti Zernow discovered mold in the rice supply.

This morning, we discovered that a large portion of our rice has mold on it. So, bad news. So we tried to separate out the good stuff before it gets worse.

–Erik Huffman

Sherea Lloyd began sifting through the supply to hand-pick out the good parts, but Dave Cruser instructed her to find something else to put the good rice in (instead of putting it back in the old grungy bag). Sherea asked what he suggested they put it in, and Dave dismissively told her to "just find something." Dave continued by accusing her of mixing up the good rice with the bad, claiming he'd told her to leave it alone and he'd take care of it. The confrontation escalated as Sherea, in turn, accused Dave of not listening to the opinions and ideas of his tribe. The fight reached a breaking point when Sherea picked up a series of rocks and shells that Dave had collected to take home to his mother, and walked down to the river to throw them away. Dave pursued her and they got into a shouting match, until Frosti intervened and took the shell collection away. Dave and Frosti then debriefed in the river, where Dave asserted that Sherea's attitude was putting people "on eggshells" more than his leadership style was, but Frosti warned him that although he had put a lot into the tribe, to be a good leader, he needed to be able to work with everybody well.

Sherea, she just came unglued on me. Y'know, you've got some grounds to say those kinds of things if you'd done more around camp. I'm doing my best to be a good leader, so it's frustrating.

–Dave Cruser

The last day or so, Dave, I mean, he's been digging himself a grave. Further and further and further. And he's just very condescending in the way he talks to people, but nobody's gonna run over me any kind of way.

–Sherea Lloyd

Dave's put himself in a weird position with everybody. I mean, he does help around camp, but he's also pissing people off! So, Crazy Dave may have just worn out his welcome.

–Frosti Zernow

Back over at Fei Long, Aaron and James Clement retrieved Tree Mail, and told the tribe the surprising instruction: both tribes would go to Tribal Council that night. However, their concerns about having to vote someone out were relieved when they construed that the message merely indicated that a challenge would take place at Tribal. Jean-Robert eagerly reacted to the mention of food, and Denise Martin similarly enthused that they had to win the challenge.

I'm thrilled about this Tree Mail because they're talking about food. I'm a pretty big eater already and the last three days, I've virtually eaten nothing. So for me, it's not just exciting, it's necessary. I need to eat something.

–Jean-Robert Bellande

After sunset, Jeff Probst welcomed both tribes to Tribal Council, revealing to Zhan Hu that Leslie Nease had been voted out the previous night, news to which Sherea and Jaime Dugan reacted with surprise. Jeff then revealed the challenge: Great Balls of Fire. Three pairs from each tribe would take turns carrying a metal ball containing fire across the court. At the end of the court, they would drop the fireball into a chute to a wok, where fireworks would be ignited. However, each person would only be able to use one giant chopstick to do so, with the challenge requiring teamwork to accomplish the task. Each round would increase the size of the chopsticks. The first tribe to light all three fireworks would win the challenge and receive a visit from a fisherman's family who would teach them how to fish and prepare a meal for the tribe. In addition, the winning tribe would kidnap a member of the other tribe to stay with them until the next challenge. To even the numbers, Courtney sat out the challenge.

In the first round, Denise and Todd Herzog (for Fei Long) raced against Peih-Gee and Sherea (for Zhan Hu). Fei Long eked out a narrow lead as Aaron and Amanda Kimmel took over, with Frosti and Jaime close behind. Fei Long increased their lead, giving James and Jean-Robert an advantage over Dave and Erik Huffman. Despite fumbling at the end and struggling to lift the ball high enough to drop it down the chute, Fei Long still win the challenge and the reward. They chose to kidnap Dave, who received the tube containing the clue to Fei Long's Hidden Immunity Idol.

Day 11

The next day, at Fei Long, Dave was enjoying a break from the Zhan Hu camp, eagerly anticipating the reward with Jean-Robert, and attempting to hug James upon the discovery of limes (to which James sighed, "Oh man, I told you about the hugging"). However, he was also happy to have the opportunity to make some ties with the other tribe, and when he discovered that the sealed tube contained a clue to the Fei Long Idol, he knew he had to choose who to share it with carefully.

Oh man, I feel like I'm on vacation right now. And it's just absolutely wonderful. Y'know, I'm gonna eat well today and, y'know, given the friction between Sherea and I, I couldn't have asked for a better time to be kidnapped. Some of my tribe are definitely threatening to me and that means I'm gonna have to be aligned with other people. So, it is a spy mission, but it's a spy mission for "me". I've got shoot my noodle on – who am I gonna give the clue to the Immunity Idol to? This could be a crucial play for me right here in terms of who I give this to and how it can come back to help me later.

–Dave Cruser

Returning to camp, he continued to alienate Fei Long with his eccentricity, enthusiastically hugging Courtney (who made him miss her hometown, New York) and offering Amanda a glimpse of some "plumber's crack." Dave then pulled Todd aside, asking him about his fandom of the game and whether he believed that "turnabout's fair play." When Todd said it was, Dave gave him the third clue to the hidden idol: "When creatures of night take flight as they may, a treasure they carry allows one to stay". Todd thanked him and promised that he would give the clue to Dave if Zhan Hu ever kidnapped him.

Dave is a nutcase. It's annoying as hell, but I'm gonna do my best to be nice to him right now so he can get a good impression of our camp.

–Todd Herzog

I think Todd's a really cool guy. He wants to play the game and I've got a pretty good hunch, for whatever it's worth, I believe I can trust him. I chose Todd because I asked a key question of him: do you believe turnabout's fair play? Because the next one we win, I can only assume we'd be kidnapping somebody and he'll probably get the same thing. So we kinda have a little bit of a loose alliance from tribe to tribe going on.

–Dave Cruser

I feel very lucky right now that Leslie not only gave me the clue to the first one, but Dave gave me the next two. So I've been keeping my eyes open, looking for something that could be a Hidden Immunity Idol, 'cause that could be a ticket to a million dollars.

–Todd Herzog

Across at Zhan Hu, the tribe was glad to have Dave gone, but were surprised by how happy he seemed to join the Fei Long tribe. However, as the rest of the tribe got stuck into the morning chores, sharing Dave's workload, Sherea lazed in the shelter which got under Erik's skin. However, Sherea didn't mind being seen as lazy, as she was simply wanting to conserve her energy for the challenges.

I was very happy they took Dave. Very glad to get him out of my hair for a couple days. We haven't had any of that conflict going on. So my mood today's actually a lot more relaxed. It's nice not to have him around.

–Sherea Lloyd

Dave was really just a workhorse as far as whatever needed to be done that nobody else wanted to do and that really helped us. And now we're gonna have to pick up that slack.

–Frosti Zernow

Without Dave, we're scrounging around trying to get everything done. I don't know, I'm getting frustrated 'cause I'm just tired and I feel like "some" people are trying to get away with not helping out.

–Erik Huffman

Everybody's been runnin' around sweating, trying to do ten million projects. And I feel like, why even waste energy on something that is gonna just drain you. I'm trying to conserve my energy for the challenges, so if they want to keep working, that's okay with me. I'm gonna ride the workhorse 'til the tails falls off 'cause I'm not doin' anything until I have to.

–Sherea Lloyd

Back at Fei Long, the fisherman and his family arrived at the dock and was greeted by the tribe. Jean-Robert revealed that he could speak Mandarin and conversed with the family, acting as translator. He conveyed that the fisherman wanted two people to go with him on the boat, and Aaron and Denise volunteered. Out on the water, the fisherman showed them how he used trained birds to catch fish by tying strings around the birds' necks to prevent them from swallowing and then removing the caught fish from the birds' mouths.

Our reward today: we had a fisherman family come with their boat and they're gonna cook us a meal and also teach some of us how to fish.

–Amanda Kimmel

This is the best reward that we've ever had. The fisherman came, the family came. I am so grateful for them to be here today. The children are so pretty and everybody is so nice.

–Denise Martin

They came with huge fish, vegetables. They came with oils and spices. I never thought I'd miss vegetables so much in my life, but they look absolutely terrific.

–Amanda Kimmel

When I was a little kid, I spent a few years in Taiwan and I learned some Mandarin over there.

–Jean-Robert Bellande

Jean-Robert's full of surprises. He goes off and starts talking to these people, and it was fantastic because they were able to communicate with each other and he knew what they wanted.

–Todd Herzog

It's been twenty years since I've used Mandarin, but honestly, when that family came, all of a sudden, just words and everything started coming back to me. I didn't even know I still had it.

–Jean-Robert Bellande

Denise and I went off in a fisherman's boat and it was absolutely the most bizarre thing I've ever seen.

–Aaron Reisberger

It was incredible! I thought we were gonna eat the birds when he showed up and he had 'em all tied to the boat. But they're fishin' birds. They had 'em all trained: they would swoop down, pick up the fish. The bird would regurgitate the fish right out of his mouth in the bottom of the boat and, I mean, he was picking up pretty good size fish out there!

–Denise Martin

On land, Jean-Robert continued to translate the instructions of the fisherman's wife as the tribe helped her to prepare the meal. Although his gruff manner of passing on the instructions in a way that sounded more like orders got on James' nerves, the tribe all admitted that he was invaluable in his ability to bridge the language gap. After the fisherman showed Aaron and Denise how to effectively use a fishing net, they returned and sat down to the freshly cooked meal. The whole tribe considered it a hào chī ("good eat" in Mandarin).

Jean-Robert, he got up on his high horse as he usually do and got on everybody's nerves – really mine. You just sittin' there bein' Jean-Robert, but, I mean, we need him. He was like the language barrier guy. He came through, I really couldn't fault him – he did good.

–James Clement

The fisherman showed us how to open the net and then he stretched it out across the lake so when the fish come, they just swim right into the net. Before, we didn't even know how to use the net, but now, we're gonna have fish! It's gonna be great! Oh my god, after being out her all this time, flavour has never tasted so good! Y'know, a lunch lady is not an expert on food 'cause you know what we do? We take the chicken nuggets out of the freezer, we put 'em in the oven, we give 'em to the kids. There's nothing good about that. But this stuff here? That was the delicate-est thing that I've ever put in my mouth.

–Denise Martin

This reward was key for us. It's not only that we get a meal, but it's a cultural learning experience and genuinely think we're gonna be eating better and definitely have an advantage in the challenges to come.

–Amanda Kimmel

Day 12

At the Immunity Challenge the next day, Dave first rejoined Zhan Hu and Jeff took back the Immunity Idol from Zhan Hu. He then revealed the challenge: a Warrior's Duel. Dressed in ancient Chinese armor, a pair of contestants from each tribe would square off on opposite sides of the arena. They would throw meteor hammers, attempting to knock porcelain vases off pedestals situated behind their opponents whilst the latter attempted to deflect the meteor hammers with a bamboo pole. Each pair would have three shots per round. After three rounds (two women, two men and then one man, one woman), the tribe who had knocked over the most vases would win Immunity. To even the numbers, Jean-Robert sat out the challenge for Fei Long.

In the first round, Denise and Courtney took on Peih-Gee and Sherea. Fei Long missed all three shots, but with her last meteor hammer, Sherea scored the first point for Zhan Hu. In the second round, James and Todd squared off against Dave and Frosti. Launching their meteors simultaneously, Fei Long knocked off two vases in one hit. Zhan Hu failed to hit any vases, and to rub salt in the wound, James knocked over a third vase with the last meteor, giving Fei Long a 3-1 lead. In the final round, Aaron and Amanda took on Erik and Jaime. Jaime knocked over two vases with a single shot, evening the score 3-3. However, with their last shot, Amanda scored one more vase for Fei Long. With only one meteor left, Jaime took a good shot, but it was not enough, giving Fei Long the immunity victory 4-3.

Returning from the challenge, Dave immediately put himself at odds with his tribemates as his bossiness resurfaced as he dictated how to boil a pot of water. However, Peih-Gee was nonchalantly dismissive, and Dave admitted in a confessional that he felt that the vibe of the Zhan Hu camp had changed dramatically. Dave then approached Erik, Jaime, and Peih-Gee down at the boat to figure out what to do at the vote. Erik admitted that he was torn, and Dave urged that he always pulled his weight around camp and that he had had "a definite attitude adjustment."

It feels very strange to be back here at Zhan Hu. We lost the Immunity Challenge today and I don't wanna go home, but there's very strange vibes going on. Maybe it was just the day and a half away from me, or, y'know, my slave-driving ability. But I don't know, I'm feeling very precarious right now.

–Dave Cruser

Today, we have to decide who to vote off. It's probably gonna be between Sherea and Dave. It's a tough decision because Sherea, she doesn't really help out as much as the rest of us do around camp. On the other hand, Dave's just really annoying and really hard to live with.

–Jaime Dugan

However, Frosti later met up with the trio and argued that Dave had accomplished what needed doing around camp already and that he wasn't as valuable in challenges as Sherea. Peih-Gee countered that Dave's efforts around camp were valuable and Sherea had slouched into doing absolutely nothing to help the tribe. Sherea noticed the group of four talking quietly in the river and began to worry that her name might be on the chopping block. She later intercepted the four and pointed out that "everybody pulls their weight in different ways" and that she was extremely useful in challenges. The tribe was still torn on their decision as they departed for the vote.

They all decided to go take a dip in the lake. Then, of course, when voices get low, you know something's going on. I am concerned that me not be doin' as much around camp is affecting everybody else's opinion. So, I already know that my name may be written down tonight.

–Sherea Lloyd

It's a really close toss-up between Sherea's not-working and Dave's, kinda, making everybody crazy. It's just been back and forth in my mind. I think if it were up to me, y'know, if we could get rid of both of them it would be great.

–Erik Huffman

At Tribal Council, Jeff first asked Sherea about the change in tribe dynamic whilst Dave was kidnapped by Fei Long. She answered that they still got the work done without him, and had some relaxation time to boot. Frosti then credited Dave's work ethic had established a precedent that the rest of the tribe was able to carry on, even without him, such as keeping water boiling at all times. Erik agreed, saying he liked Dave and it frustrated him to see people not responding to his natural leadership abilities. When asked about his leadership, Dave said he would be happy to have that burden relieved from his shoulders – he had not wanted the role, but his efforts had gotten the tribe to where they were.

Switching the conversation to camp life, Sherea was asked if everyone was pulling their weight, and she answered that they were, and she had been stepping up her own contributions both in camp and in storing up her energy to try to win challenges. Dave continued by saying that saving all your energy for challenges was just a "short-term goal," in that without work at camp, the physical toll would reduce any challenge ability. Peih-Gee was asked to prioritise a hard worker at camp and an invincible asset in challenges, but she said it was impossible to choose as a balance of both was required, or else it would put an "undue burden" on the rest of the tribe. Sherea argued that Peih-Gee was able to say that because she enjoyed camp life, whereas the challenges were all that kept Sherea going in the game.

Erik was called to vote first, followed by Jaime. Sherea followed, voting for Dave. Peih-Gee and Frosti voted next, with Dave concluding the proceedings with a vote for Sherea. Jeff then tallied the votes, and read them. In a unanimous decision, Dave became the fourth person voted out of Survivor: China. Jeff then warned the tribe about the need to have a plan for camp life without Dave before sending them on their way.


Challenge: Great Balls of Fire
Two players at a time carry a burning metal ball across a clearing to a wok using giant chop sticks. When it lands in the wok, fireworks will ignite. First tribe to get all three balls in their woks, each with a larger pair of chopsticks, wins.
Reward: Fishing lesson and cooked meal from a local family, spices, vegetables, and kidnapping a member of the losing tribe.
Winner: Fei Long (kidnapped Dave Cruser)

China Warriors Duel Ep4
Challenge: Warriors' Duel
Dressed in traditional Chinese warrior armor, the tribes must throw meteor hammers to break porcelain vases behind their opponents, while they try and stop the throwers with bamboo poles. There are three rounds, with three meteor hammers per team. The most vases smashed cumulatively wins.
Winner: Fei Long

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 4:
Zhan Hu
S15 dave t
Dave (5 votes)
S15 erik tS15 frosti t
S15 jaime tS15 peihgee tS15 sherea t
Erik, Frosti, Jaime, Peih-Gee, Sherea
S15 sherea t
Sherea (1 vote)
S15 dave t
S15 dave bw
Dave Cruser

Voting Confessionals

(voting for Dave) Sorry, bro. I know you worked really hard. I really appreciate your work, but you just couldn't convince the rest of the tribe that it was worth keeping you around.


(voting for Dave) I don't like the fact that you went to the other tribe and told them all my secrets.


(voting for Dave) You are the weakest link. Good bye.


(voting for Dave) Sorry, Dave. I think you outlasted your usefulness.


(voting for Dave) We tried to help you. We tried to warn you. You just didn't get it. You just kept talking, man. Gotta listen.


(voting for Sherea) Be the best teacher you can be.


Final Words

I gave it my all. Perhaps I gave it too much. I at least did it with conviction and integrity. I thought I was humble and I thought I listened. I wish that some people perhaps listened to me a bit more and I know that there are pieces of me that are worth a lot, perhaps even priceless. You know, if they can't see that then, well, I can't force them.

Dave Cruser

Still in the Running

S15 chicken bw
S15 ashley bw
S15 leslie bw
S15 dave bw
Fei Long
S15 aaron t
Fei Long
S15 amanda t
Fei Long
S15 courtney t
Fei Long
S15 denise t
Zhan Hu
S15 erik t
Zhan Hu
S15 frosti t
Zhan Hu
S15 jaime t
Fei Long
S15 james t
Fei Long
S15 jeanrobert t
Zhan Hu
S15 peihgee t
Zhan Hu
S15 sherea t
Fei Long
S15 todd t


  • The title of this episode was said by Sherea when she decided to conserve her energy for the challenges than help her tribemates pick up the slack at camp.