Yau’s the Man!

Few would have given Yau-Man Chan of Martinez much of a shot of getting past the first few days of “Survivor,” much less be poised to take it all on Sunday night.

After all, at 54 he’s one of the older competitors, works as the Director of Information Systems for the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and he’s a table tennis champ.

Although impressive, none of that screams “Survivor.”

Yau-Man’s also originally from Malaysian Borneo and slipped right in
when it came to life in Fiji. He also used his considerable observation skills to slip out of more than one trap.

On Thursday, he played the game with a prowess that hadn’t been seen since fellow Bay Area “Survivor” champ Yul Kwon took it all in the last go-round.

Biding his time like a Triple Crown winner coming from behind the pack, he let others set the pace early on and did his best not to make enemies.

His cunning and playful side came out after he found the first Immunity Idol _ and then decided to make a fake idol and hide it for someone else to find.

But he really brought it on when he started winning challenges like the archery competition and proved he had some mad skills.

Yau-Man did what no other competitor has ever done on Thursday when he won a Ford truck valued at close to $50,000 and gave it to another competitor, Dreamz.

Earlier, Dreamz, a person who has been homeless for much of his life, revealed that he has never owned a car and would do anything to have one. It would change his life, he proclaimed.

So Yau-Man, out of the goodness of his heart _ and a plan to get further ahead in the game _ decided to give Dreamz the truck.

In return, he only asked that if Dreamz got immunity in the final four, he would give his immunity to Yau-Man. The Man decided that move would get him into the final three if his calculations were correct.

Then Yau-Man promptly sent himself to Exile Island _ another “Survivor” first _ so that he wouldn’t burn any bridges and he could find a clue to get another Immunity Idol for his pal Earl.

He succeeded in getting Earl an idol, but he didn’t count on Dreamz
attempting a coup to get him out of the game. Dreamz decided that he would have to get Yau-Man out before that final four so he wouldn’t have to go back on his word to hand over the immunity.

Might have been easier just to fail at the immunity challenges, but
that would have been too simple I guess.

Again, with seconds ticking away at Tribal Council, Yau-Man was feeling uneasy and decided to play his Immunity Idol.

It was a million dollar decision, because everyone in the tribe except Earl voting Yau-Man out. With his immunity played, the person he and Earl had chosen, Stacy, was voted out.

That leaves only five left standing for Sunday’s finale. Earl and Yau-Man have a solid alliance, but they have to get past Boo, Cassandra and Dreamz – all the people who had voted Yau-Man off.

Can Yau-Man win immunity again and make it into the final three, when it is up to the jury to decide? If so, he’s got a good chance to win it all because he’s played the game with honesty and integrity.

You go, Yau-Man.

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