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You know the saying that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Yeah. About that. Last week the women orchestrated a pretty surprising twist, managing to lull Ozzy into a false sense of security so he didn’t play his immunity idol, then booting his butt right out of the game. He was NOT. Happy. About that. But will the same thing happen this week? Surely not, you say. Surely by now everyone’s learned that lesson, right? Riiiiiight. Read on.

Betray First, Apologize Later

The day after the Ozzy boot, Erik tells the women he understands what happened, and that he probably would have felt obligated to tell Ozzy what was going on if he’d been in the loop, so they made the right decision not to tell him. But, he warns, Amanda is off somewhere upset.

And she definitely is. She and James talk about how their supposed alliance just blindsided them. “What nerve for Cirie and Parvati to go behind my back,” Amanda fumes. She says Parv and Cirie and Alexis and Natalie are in an alliance now and want the men out. “It definitely told me that they’re here to play this game,” Amanda says. “Game on. Bring it on. Let’s do this.”

In the cave, Cirie points out an injury to James’ finger, it’s cut and sort of swollen and infected. She says he can’t assume a cut will be ok, when they’re living in a damp nasty cave with rats and bats. God, I hope this isn’t foreshadowing of yet another medical departure. I think James would rather gnaw off his own finger than leave the game that way.

Parvati comes up to James and says she’s been looking for him. “I need to do some serious damage control today,” she tells us. She says Amanda and James are pissed at her for the Ozzy move, but she says she knew things were going to get crazy.

Off together, James asks her where she’s going with this, what is her plan, who are her final three. She says girls, and that she’s sorry. He’s not buying it. She says she doesn’t want it to be awkward. “Oh, it’s going to be awkward,” James says. She says he never gave her credit for a plan anyway and acted like he thought she was stupid. He says no, he thinks she’s selfish, not stupid. And that he won’t fall for her self-pity. He tells us she’s shown him what kind of person she is, and he can’t stand it. This is why I don’t like Parvati – that coy, girly, poor-me routine. It’s such b.s.

Parvati takes a different tone with Amanda, saying she’s sorry she couldn’t tell her about the oust-Ozzy plan. Parvati says she’s thinking of an all-girl final five. Amanda doesn’t want Parvati to know she’s mad at her, because she’s got the other women wrapped around her finger. Cirie comes up and Amanda claims she’s not mad. Cirie says they totally trust her, and they say they’re still thinking of themselves as the final three. Amanda tells us she’d like to be with them but they obviously have other plans they’re keeping from her and it would be stupid of her to trust them.

A Finger-Licking Good Move by Natalie

Instead of a reward challenge, this week is the Survivor auction. They’ve all been given $500 dollars to bid, in $20 increments. Jeff tells them there will be no sharing of money or items.

Jeff starts with a covered dish, and Cirie wins it for $120. It turns out to be a hot dog and french fries. Everyone’s jealous. Hell, I’m jealous.

Erik buys the next covered dish for $80. Given the option of trading for a new covered dish, he does, and good that he did, because the original item was a jar of octopus. Nasty. The new one is a tray of nachos. Nom.

Natalie buys the next one for $240 – and it’s bat soup. She turns away and James volunteers to take it. He takes the skin off it and eats it. Ew. They quickly bid up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, for $280.

Then for $240, Natalie buys a bottle with a note in it. It says she must immediately choose one person to go to Exile, and take their money. Jason pleads that he’s been there twice and doesn’t want to go back. Natalie asks Jeff if the idol is back there, and he says yes. She chooses Jason. He drops his head, and she says this should be good for him, if he can find the idol. “I don’t know why he’s trippin’,” she says.

He leaves, and Natalie bids $380 with Jason’s cash for a huge chocolate cake. Jeff says he told her this has another layer, and hands her an envelope. It tells her she must choose three others to share it with. She picks Alexis, Parvati and Cirie, but warns them not to hog the cake because she hasn’t had any food and she’s aggravated. They’re on a 60 second time limit and they start stuffing cake into their mouths as Erik offers $40 to lick their fingers.

When the time is up and the women are covered in chocolate, Erik says his offer’s still good, and licks the chocolate off Cirie’s fingers in what might be an erotic way if it were….well, any other situation. “That’s sad,” James says. “There’s something wrong with that boy.” This from a man who just ate bats?

See, Jason, It Looks Nothing Like a Stick

Back at camp, Parvati says Jason is the luckiest survivor. Natalie says she wanted help choosing, but no one helped, but she didn’t think anyone else should miss out. If he gets the idol, though, she’ll be pissed. “The little bitch now has two days of sunshine with the idol,” she says. “Guaranteed hands down the bitch will find it and that bitch will be Jason.” Whoa, where did Miss Pottymouth come from?

They all say he’s already a threat in challenges, and they hope for rain to hinder his search. On Exile, Jason starts following the clues, thinking – kid is pretty cocky – that he’ll find it easily. So far the game has gone well for him, and he thinks things changed for him when he stepped down in the last challenge. He hopes Natalie sent him so they could possibly work together with the immunity idol, and he thinks he can trust her. It’s in her best interest to keep him in the game, he thinks.

And he does find the idol. Now that he sees the real one, he feels stupid falling for the fake one Ozzy hid. He thinks he’s part of a successful alliance and feels the most comfortable he has for the entire game. I think making such statements is practically an invitation to the gods to prove you wrong in this game.

Hey, If It Worked Once, Why Not Try It Again?

And as proof, back at camp, the girls are talking about how they need to think a few steps ahead regarding Jason. They need a plan if he has the idol. They want him to lose the immunity challenge, and convince him that someone else is the target. Natalie tells us they want to blindside him without him using his immunity idol. Worst case, she says, he uses it, but at least the idol’s out of play.

Alexis says it’s similar to Ozzy in the sense that they only have one chance to blindside him. Natalie says Jason thinks she’s warming up to him, which she’s definitely not. They’re excited to think they could blindside two men in a row in the same way, and revel in the girls-against-guys thing that’s going on. I’m guessing James and Erik aren’t feeling so much of the reveling, but hey, history is written by the winners, or something.

After an interesting shot of a bird, possibly a cockatoo (cute birds but vicious, one once stabbed me in the arm with his beak in a pet shop) eating a tiny lizard, James and Erik read the tree mail with clues about the challenge. Erik says it’s his 22nd birthday and he needs to win, because it’s him or James on the chopping block. He thinks the women are very strong. “I could be gone on my birthday and that would be terrible,” he says.

Natalie tells us this challenge is vital for the girls’ plan. If Jason feels comfortable enough not to play his idol, and he goes, that’s great. Worst-case, then, James goes. As cutthroat as the women can be, she says, they do want Erik to have a good birthday, so he’s not the one going home. Well, isn’t that ….sweet?

So Far, So Good

At the challenge, Jason returns. Jeff explains they’ll race to throw rocks at tiles to drop puzzle pieces. The first four move on to unlock a key to assemble the puzzle, use it as a wheel, and lower planks. The first two move on, and use those planks to cross a rope bridge. The first one to touch a pole at the other side wins.

Natalie gets a quick chance to speak to Jason, and whispers to him to let anyone but James win, James is going home, don’t ask questions, she sent him to Exile for a reason, she’ll explain later. He whispers back that he knows she sent him for a reason. Looks like phase one of the girls’ plan is in operation.

They start throwing rocks, and James, Erik, Amanda, and Jason are the ones to move on. Those four start scrabbling in sand for a key. James and Erik get theirs fast, and start unlocking puzzle pieces. Jason’s not far behind, while Amanda keeps digging. James and Erik both get theirs and are the ones moving on.

This balancing of planks across water doesn’t favor big James, and he quickly falls in. Erik’s pretty far ahead, but James is gaining. Erik gains the platform first, and they both run across a bridge of disks, but Erik gets there first and wins immunity. Awww, he won on his birthday. I hope he savors that when the girls take him out of the game down the road.

Said the Spider to the Fly

Back at camp, everyone congratulates Erik for winning on his birthday. Out of sight of the men, Parvati and Alexis and Cirie are excited that the first part of their plan went well. “I was ecstatic,” Parvati says. “All the girls were jumping up and down and screaming silently inside their heads.” She describes the women as “the black widow brigade,” spinning the men until they don’t know what’s going on.

In the cave, Jason takes the bucket to go get water, and as soon as he’s gone, Cirie asks where his stuff is. Natalie goes over to his bag, and with Amanda rifles through it till they find the idol. So now they know he has it. They quickly put everything back. Erik shakes his head, and James just watches. Natalie tells them about her whispered conversation with Jason, and how he believes she sent him to Exile so he would find the idol.

Natalie tells us it would be brilliant for Jason to go out just like Ozzy, and she goes off to find Jason and reinforce his trust in her. Cluelessly, he thanks her for keeping her word to him and that it means a lot to him, and she has his word. Natalie tells him that James is the one going home tonight, and Jason says that’s fine. He tells her he did find the idol. He thinks it was very smart of her to send him. He tells us he’s going to have to trust her.

“I think I’m pretty evil,” Natalie tells us. “I’m in game mode. And now I’m having a lot more fun.” She says she’s getting to be more herself, “which is proving to be pretty ruthless and pretty stone-cold bitch and pretty cutthroat. And I have a smile on my face. Sorry about that.” Seriously, we’ve seen almost nothing of this girl all season, and suddenly here she is out of nowhere pulling puppet strings and being quotable.

In the cave, James asks Amanda what she’s going to do tonight. She says she doesn’t know. She tells him the others want Jason, but eventually they’re going to go after James. He says he’s writing down Parvati’s name no matter what. James thinks there’s “no way that dummy is going to not play his idol.” That’s funny, since we all know another dummy who had not one but TWO immunity idols and didn’t play them.

The other girls and Jason are joking around, helping him feel safe, while Natalie privately looks forward to “flossing my teeth with his jugular.” There’s an image.

Déjà Vu

At tribal council, Eliza and Ozzy come in, Ozzy glaring at his backstabbing tribe mates. Jeff says that in ousting Ozzy, they not only voted out a threat, they voted out a provider. He asks Parvati if the tribe thinks they don’t need a strong provider. She says they actually all provide for themselves. Really? I’d like to see her catch a fish.

So does that make James a target, Jeff asks? James says yes, things don’t look good. “Social butterflies have done their work,” he says. Jeff asks how frustrating it would be to get voted out. James goes into his “don’t eat the apple” schtick, and says Parvati did what she thought she had to do getting rid of Ozzy. This may be news to Ozzy, who looks surprised, or angry, or something. James says he’s been trying to “politic”, but he’s not good at that.

Erik says he feels he’s in the same position as James. Jason says his own social standing has changed as a result of stepping down. But going to Exile makes it difficult to say where he stands. It was an opportunity, yes, but he lost time with the tribe.

Jeff then – perhaps unwittingly -- provides Natalie a final chance to convince Jason to not use his immunity idol, by asking her if it’s really possible to change your standing in the game so quickly. She says sure it is. Jason smiles. Sucker.

Jeff sends them all to vote, and then asks the critical question on which everything hangs: does anyone have a hidden immunity idol to play? And AGAIN, Jason keeps his mouth shut. Stupid, stupid. James does a double-take.

And, it’s three votes for James, one for Parvati, and four for Jason. He’s out, and most of the girls can’t hide their grins. I’m thinking a poker face would be a little bit helpful here.

In his last confessional, Jason says he was definitely played by Natalie and the girls. He should have been more wary, and wishes he’d played the idol. “What they did tonight will definitely come back to haunt them as I’m sitting up there on the jury,” he says.

Jeff says that after back to back blindsides, anyone who feels safe is a fool. He sends them back to camp, but tells James that first, medical is going to look at that infected finger of his.

Next week:

James is worried about his swelling finger. Jeff tells them a new idol is hidden. And this is the week that family members visit.