A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

The Rise and Fall of the Coconuts


In a doubleheader, Dr. Mike’s closest ally is double-crossed.

This week we were treated to two episodes of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers—which consequently meant two eliminations.

Episode 10 opened with the castaways discussing Mike Zahalsky ‘95 MMS’98 MD’99 playing a surprise immunity idol at tribal council. They questioned his logic, since there was no imminent plan to vote for him, and no one knew he had the idol, making it a valuable commodity in later rounds.

In his confessional, Zahalsky said he was trying to play the game his own way, and he also didn’t want to be “the idiot who goes home with an immunity idol in his pocket.” While the move perplexed his fellow Healer Joe, ultimately it solidified their alliance of two. They even created a short-lived comedy act, dubbing themselves the Coconuts—a nod to Joe’s Jamaican heritage, and to Zahalsky’s—well, he’s a urologist.

Zahalsky demonstrated his pedidexterity, nearly winning a reward challenge that involved building a puzzle with his feet. But he eventually lost to Lauren. She used her reward of a cheeseburger lunch with three castaways of her choice to completely turn the game on its head.

Long story short: the alliance of seven is over, with Joe and Mike joining with Lauren, Devon, Ashley, and Ben to oust the presumably invulnerable Chrissy, Ryan, and J.P. Ben is playing double agent, though, letting those three think he remains tight with them.

At tribal council, Ashley won immunity, teeing up the blindside nicely. While the majority thought the plan was to vote for Joe, the turncoats voted for J.P., sending him to the jury. Jaws dropped and multiple choruses of “what just happened?” followed the tribe back to camp.

On Episode 11, the rattled Chrissy and Ryan sought to make new alliances. Ryan reached out to Zahalsky, who rebuffed him, saying he had wanted to work with Ryan all along and Ryan didn’t want to. Now that Ryan needed him, Dr. Mike wasn’t going along with it.

Chrissy won the immunity challenge, keeping her safe. But the new alliance wasn’t done with blindsides. After assuring Joe and Mike that they would be voting for Ben in this super-tight alliance, they ultimately voted for Joe. Cue more looks of surprise.

And where does this leave Dr. Mike? We’ll find out next Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST.


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