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Well, welcome back to Survivor: Gabon. Last week our Survivors landed in the jungle, and split into totally random teams. Fang subsequently booted the attitude-challenged Michelle and the keep-your-mouth-shut-challenged Gillian. They also learned about elephant poo.

So this week, will the dysfunctional Fang continue its downward spiral? There are so many irritating people on both tribes, I’m not even sure what to hope for.

You’re Not the Boss of Me

We rejoin the action with Fang right after their boot of Gillian. Crystal says getting rid of Gillian was a no-brainer – they got rid of a physically weak link.

Randy tells us he’d like to start winning, but doesn’t believe it’s possible with the tribe he has. “I really shouldn’t blame them for being complete idiots, but they are,” he says. Unlike himself, of course, who has been nothing but positive and helpful and …. Wait, no, that doesn’t sound right.

The next morning, Randy notes that it’s day 7 and they’re halfway through their rice. Eating three meals a day is ridiculous on Survivor, he says. He tells the others they need to cut back on the eating. Most of the others agree to eat two meals a day, except GC, who says they threw away uneaten rice at the beginning.

Randy thinks GC is the “cancer in the tribe,” and he can’t be told anything. GC asks Randy if he’s the leader now. Randy says no, but GC says it sounds like he’s leading. Randy asks GC to drop it; GC says he doesn’t have to drop anything if he doesn’t want to. That’s the second time GC has bristled at someone asking him to do something, and been all “don’t tell me what to do, I do what I want!” Dan says they’d be a better team if they stopped fighting against each other. Ya think?

Over at Kota, they’re fishing. Charlie tells us Sugar is attached to Ace, and Paloma and Kelly are tight, but Bob is a free agent, and so he hopes they can get Bob on their side to be five.

Paloma and Kelly don’t like Ace; Ace and Sugar watch them talk. Sugar says she trusts Ace, they have a connection, and she thinks he’ll take care of her.

The clue for the next challenge involves bedding, and Ace starts saying bedding isn’t that important. He wants to save their stronger players for the immunity challenge later. Most people agree this sounds smart. Paloma tells us everyone acts like Ace is the king, but she sees through him.


They all troop off the reward challenge. Jeff explains that one member of each tribe will wrap themselves around a post. Two members of the other tribe will try to remove them from that post and drag them through the sand over a finish line. The reward is blankets, pillows, and a hammock. And Exile. Fang must sit out one man, Kota sits out three women, to even up the numbers.

Dan and Ace are clinging to posts; Ace is yawning ostentatiously to show his disdain for the other tribe. Marcus and Charlie wrestle Dan off the post, which I’m sure Charlie is enjoying. GC and Matty are having trouble with Ace, though, who hangs on like a squid.

GC eventually basically gives up. Kota scores. Ace tells Paloma to go next. So it’s her and Susie. Crystal and Randy quickly manhandle a writhing Paloma over the line. So it’s back to Ace and Dan. Wisely, Fang sits GC out of this one. Crystal and Matty get Ace off the post faster than Marcus and Bob can wrestle Dan. It’s really hard to describe all this, of course, but imagine flat-out Greco-roman wrestling and you’ve about got it.

Anyway, Fang wins. Crystal’s in tears of happiness. Fang sends Sugar to Exile. She says it’s because they think she’s dumb, but they haven’t talked to her yet.

Back at camp, Fang is elated. Crystal says the challenge felt so good, to make Kota feel the pain they’ve been feeling of defeat. Matty says they’re finally feeling like a team.

At Kota, Ace claims it wasn’t a loss, it was a strategic withdrawal. Everyone praises his strategy. Paloma says she was like a rag doll, especially compared to “huge” Crystal. She does think it’s odd Ace put her on the pole instead of Sugar or someone stronger. Corrine says Paloma sealed her fate, so it’s fine. Ace says Paloma gave up, and her lack of motivation has sealed what they all thought already. No one, at this point, seems to question why Ace put their smallest girl on the pole and why they all obeyed him.

In Which Sugar Surprises us All

Sugar is in Exile, and I personally am curious where she has suddenly acquired men’s boxers. Since they’re wearing what they came in, and she came in a dress, I must assume she has taken some man’s only underwear. Ickily, I must also assume it’s Ace’s.

Sugar chooses the clue over comfort, and heads out to look for the “sandy crater.” On the way she eyeballs an elephant, and runs afoul of some nasty albino-looking ants. “I’m not a camper, I don’t like to be dirty,” she says, squealing as she brushes the ants off her. Oh, well, I can totally see why she came on Survivor then.

She says she did Survivor because she thought it would help her grow up a bit and also deal with her father’s recent death. She thinks playing the game will help her through this time in her life.

She does finally find the sandy crater, and turns over dirt clods until she finds the next clue, which advises her to look for a tree on a hill. She finds the clue, and decides she’s tougher than she thought she was. She’s now walking along a creek, seeking burnt wood. She finds it, which has a confusing clue about wading through creatures and looking for limbs reaching skyward. She plops into a creek while we see shots of a gator (or crocodile), and she actually finds the idol. “I can’t believe I found it and the lawyer didn’t!” Sugar crows. Neither can I, frankly. She thinks her father is helping her.

At Kota, Bob tells Ace the two on the bottom are Paloma and Sugar. Ace says he likes Sugar, and that they can trust her longer. Bob tells us that by calling out Paloma in the challenge, Ace protected Sugar big time. He goes and tells Corrine that Ace makes him nervous. Corrine says he’s doing something stupid, bringing Sugar to the end because she’s weak. Corrine quickly tells Bob about her alliance and invites him in. She tells us no one’s looking to take Bob to the end, but they need him for numbers and can trust him.

I Guess Gaming Teaches More than Hand-Eye Coordination

The next clue to the immunity challenge comes complete with their swim suits. Kota is confident they’re going to win this one. After all, isn’t that what Ace’s “strategy” was all about?

Sugar comes back in tears, and shakes a fist at Jeff. “I didn’t send you,” he says. “It’s the game.”

Jeff explains the challenge: they’ll launch themselves down a slip and slide, and swim out to retrieve a packet of numbered tiles. When they get them all, someone will use the tiles to solve a math problem. They’ll open a box, get an axe, and raise their flag. Paloma and Sugar get to sit out.

Crystal goes first for Fang and gives them a lead. Corrine catches up to Susie in the next pair, though. Kota now has a lead. They get all their tiles first and have put Bob, the physics teacher, on the puzzle. Ken, the video gamer, is doing the puzzle for Fang.

I hate math. Bob gives it a guess but isn’t right. Ken is wrong too. They both think they’ve figured it out, but Bob’s wrong. Ken, however, is right, and Fang wins its first immunity.

The Herd Distrusts Its Alpha Male

Back at camp, Sugar is explaining how Exile worked. She says she read the map wrong, and she doesn’t think anyone believes she got the idol. But she tells Ace she found it. “This is ours,” he says. Um, no? It’s hers? He thinks it will help them dominate the game. He believes Paloma is the one to go tonight.

Paloma says she’s like the animals out in the wild, watching and waiting to pounce. She goes to Corrine and asks if Ace has allied with her yet, because he’s allied with everyone else. Paloma tells her that Ace just wants to protect Sugar. Corrine looks like she’s thinking seriously. Corrine tells us she can’t stand Ace, she thinks he’s a con artist and that his accent is fake. She thinks he’d flip after a merge.

So she goes and talks to Charlie. They know perfectly well that Paloma is right, that Ace is protecting Sugar. They are considering getting rid of Ace, even though he’s a strong player in challenges. “I dislike so many people on this damn tribe that it’s a tossup,” Corrine says.

And, the Herd Decides to Just Eat Its Weak

At tribal council, Jeff starts by asking Corrine how she bases her vote. She says she wants a group consensus. Ace says this early, the important thing is what makes them stronger for challenges.

Jeff turns to Sugar, saying Exile is long time to be alone. She says she thought about her dad, and she cries. Corrine rolls her eyes.

Jeff asks Marcus who the interesting personalities on the tribe are. Marcus taps Ace. Paloma agrees, she says Ace is like the head honcho – to others. “He can be the big guy all he wants, I could really care less,” she says. She says she’s not going to go there and “do the whole, like, Ace is my hero type thing.”

Ace looks surprised at her vehemence, if not by the underlying dislike it reveals. “I think we have the capacity to rub each other the wrong way,” he says.

Kelly says Ace can be condescending. Jeff asks if Ace is worried about all this dislike, and he says yes, but Paloma points out he didn’t bring his bag so he can’t be that worried. Ace says there’s nothing he wanted to take from camp. Jeff asks if they could have been brother and sister in another life. Paloma says in another universe, where she’s dead. Tell us how you really feel!

Finally they vote, and while it’s two for Ace, the rest are for Paloma. Afterwards, she tells us it was a great experience. But, she says, “If Ace wins a million dollars, I’ll probably never watch Survivor again.”

Next time:

There’s some aligning of sides on Fang, with Crystal, Ken and GC against Randy. And a challenge requires the survivors to rank their tribe, which, the voiceover promises, turns the game upside down.