This week’s episode of “Survivor: Gabon – Earth’s Last Eden” puts forth an interesting twist, as the tribe members are asked to rank their teammates in order of importance to the team.

“I think he will do fine this week again,” Gorham High School teacher Jason Tanguay said of his colleague, Bob Crowley, a physics teacher and “Survivor” contestant.

“He has been able to keep himself out of the line of fire of being voted off, because of his ability to get along with everyone,” said Tanguay, who plans to watch every episode of the CBS series this season.

Crowley didn’t impress his team in episode 3 last week as he did in the opening two episodes, but he didn’t appear to be a threat, so where his team ranks him in importance is anybody’s guess. Crowley so far hasn’t alienated his teammates with annoying behavior, unlike some others.

Crowley’s team, named Kota, took steps back last week as it lost its first immunity challenge to the competing team, named Fang. The challenge forced the teams to send five members individually down a water slide into a river. There, they swam intermittent lengths to grab a package that contained a number, swam back to shore and raced the numbers to the top of a 100-foot hill. A team member stood waiting to solve a math problem by placing the six numbers in a mathematical combination that would open the lock to a box. The first team to open the box won.

Crowley was the puzzle solver for his team. While Kota mates gave him a few minutes’ head start to put the numbers in the correct combination order, he couldn’t capitalize. At one point, viewers could hear a team member shouting for him “to pull the damn lever, Bob.”

Video gamer Ken Hoang of Westminster, Calif., solved the math problem before Crowley, sealing his team’s first immunity win and forcing Kota to vote off its first teammate.

“I think Bob might have made a big mistake in not solving the puzzle before the other tribe,” said Gorham High colleague Sally Hatch. “It may hurt him later on.”

It might not hurt Crowley in this week’s episode 4 as his team is forming alliances and focusing its attention on other tribe members that they would like to see voted off.

There is speculation on the Internet that the teams will be shuffled this week and members might be traded.

It’s doubtful that Crowley would be voted off in episode 4 if he stays with his current team, but a change could hurt, Hatch said.

“Bob may have taken a slight dip this week by not solving the puzzle,” Hatch said. “As long as he stays with his current tribe, he should be OK for another week. He may need to step it up a notch though during this weeks challenge.”

Friend Julie Mills remains optimistic. “He is one of the competitors to beat,” she said.

“Survivor” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS, Channel 13.

Bob Crowley, a Gorham High School physics teacher and South Portland resident, traverses a river in Gabon, Africa, during the premiere episode of Surviv: Gabon, Earth’s Last Eden, on Thursday night. The show airs on CBS.He appears to be the glue that keeps the camp together.He has put himself back in the position to remain for a while.If his tribe is smart they will keep him around for a while.


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