Welcome back, Survivor fans. Last week, the faves inexplicably let Cirie run the show, even though she was the only one who really wanted to vote out Yau-Man. Poor little Yau-Man. Cirie won the battle, he got the boot, and tensions between her and Jonathan spilled out into the open.
I would like to say that this week gives us some comeuppance for Cirie, but Survivor is always a big flirty tease, and so the storyline shifts back to the Fans camp this week, for the most part. *sigh* Oh, well. It’s a matter of time, Cirie.
The Lazy, The Sick, And The Just Plain Unpopular
We rejoin the Favorites on Day 9, after the vote, and Cirie tells Ami they need to talk. Ami was the one vote against Cirie. Ami explains something about how she thought Cirie was voting for someone else and that Cirie didn’t communicate with her. Luckily for Ami, probably, at that moment Jonathan mutters something and Cirie rounds on him, announcing that she wasn’t talking to Jonathan, thank you. They begin bickering again, mostly about how Jonathan wants to rehash his views of her betrayal of him, and she has no intention of even letting him open his mouth. “She’s much more manipulative and devious than I am,” Jonathan tells us. Cirie tells him she doesn’t have to hear what he has to say. (Note: That line is NOT from “Winning Survivor Allies 101”). Cirie tells us he’s just mad he couldn’t make her vote the way he wanted her to. They bicker some more, and Cirie says they don’t trust each other, everyone knows it, and there’s nothing else to say about it.
Over at the Fans camp, they speculate as to who went home. Some say Eliza or Yau-Man. Joel says they’re happy they won, and hopes it will help smooth some of the dissension within the tribe.
Jason machetes an eel, and people settle into some mundane tasks around camp. Natalie says everyone needs to pull their weight and says she herself has kept her head down and worked. But she doesn’t feel that Chet is working, and she isn’t alone. We see him floating in the water alone while the others are working. Mikey sarcastically notes that it’s 2 in the afternoon, which means it’s Chet’s bedtime. He tells us Chet is horrible for morale, he’s weak, and he’s gone.
At the Favorites’ camp, James comes to talk to Eliza, who’s hunched on the beach. She feels sick, her glands are swollen, and thinks she’s next to go because the tribe thinks she’s weak and being sick doesn’t help.
James tells Ozzy they should have gotten rid of Eliza. It’s their own fault, and he really regrets it. “I’m all about keeping the strongest people,” James says. But they kept one of the weakest, and now she’s sick. He thinks letting Cirie dictate the vote was a mistake. Later, James and Ozzy repeat their regrets to the other tribe members, even though Eliza is lying right there on the cave floor and speaks up to point out her presence as they talk about how she should have gone home. She says that even though she’s sick, she’ll still do better than Yau-Man would have in the next challenge. She’s mad that James and Ozzy would say to her face that they should have voted her out. She tells them being a little bit supportive would help. “You’re sick and you’ve got attitude?” James asks. Eliza keeps rolling her bug eyes. I don’t think I’ll believe she’s really in pain until she can’t roll her eyes anymore.
Can’t Stop The Ozzinator
Everyone heads to the reward challenge. Jeff says that four members of each tribe will swim out to a platform, then dive down to a 30-foot steel cage full of lettered coconuts. They’ll remove the coconuts one at a time, put them in a bin, swim it to shore, and two other members will unscramble the letters to spell out a word. The reward is chickens – three egg-laying hens and a rooster, plus chicken feed. The hens have already laid three eggs, Jeff says.
Not surprisingly, the Fans sit out Chet. The challenge begins, and Ozzy goes into the water first for the Favorites. He spends a lot of time out there, moving several coconuts towards the opening of the cage. This makes it easier and quicker for his tribe-mates to get the coconuts, and while the Fans recognize what he’s doing, they don’t seem to copy it. The result is that the Favorites get a big lead, and they’ve spelled out their word – “Triumphant,” surprisingly guessed by James – before the Fans even have all their coconuts.
They choose to send Kathy back to Exile, and Ozzy goes with her.
Back at camp, Joel says it’s always a bummer to lose, especially since the other team has all the rewards. “They’re living a life of luxury out here, compared to what we’ve got, which is jack squat,” he says.
Alexis raves about Ozzy and how great he is at physical challenges, and that she’s jealous of Ozzy. Erik says he’s confident Kathy’s not looking for the idol, but that she’s “curled up in a fetal position just trying to stay alive.”
With This Stick I Shall Fool Them
Hm, seems he hasn’t gotten to know Kathy very well. She may be sick and tired of Exile, but she’s not defeated or stupid. She wishes she was on the Favorites tribe, as she’s gotten along with them on Exile quite well. She tells Ozzy she learns something from each of them.
Kathy, however, has also lost interest in finding the immunity idol. Ozzy wants to look, though, so he goes off and finds the clues that Kathy has already seen while she builds a fire. “If I could find the idol, that would make things so much easier,” Ozzy says. “There’s a lot of guys out there that want to beat me.”
And he actually finds it, under a sponge-thing in the crook of a tree. It looks like a big wooden tooth with shells tied to it. He puts it into his hat to smuggle it back past Kathy. She doesn’t seem to have noticed, working on the fire. Ozzy decides to take a page out of Yau’s book and fashion some sort of fake idol. He goes off and starts carving a piece of driftwood, hiding his tools when Kathy wanders over to ask if he’s found any food.
Ozzy finally produces something that looks to me just like a stick, and hides it back in the place where the idol was. “God, I hope someone finds it and tries to play it,” he says.
The “I Hate Jonathan” Club Expands?
At the Favorites camp, the Survivors are eyeing a chicken named Charlie, potentially to be soon renamed “Dinner.” Parvati and Eliza go off and talk about whether they’d vote for each other, but mostly they talk about Jonathan and how untrustworthy he is. Unfortunately for them, Jonathan comes up behind them and overhears part of this. Gosh, he’s just everywhere. They roll their eyes (especially Eliza) and talk about how paranoid he is. Jonathan thinks Eliza is grasping at straws. “It’s so painful to watch somebody on the outside who’s trying to get back on the inside. I feel sorry for her,” he says. Why do I feel the heavy hand of foreshadowing here?
Eliza tells Parvati she sort of had an alliance with Jonathan, but knows he’s not Mr. Trustworthy. Parvati thinks yeah, Eliza should be saying anything she can to save her own ass.
Slow But Steady Does Not Win The Race
At the immunity challenge, Kathy and Ozzy return. I haven’t seen Jeff ask previous Exiles about the search for the idol, but he asks Ozzy. Ozzy plays it off, saying the clues weren’t as easy as he thought they would be.
Jeff explains the challenge: six tribe members will be harnessed into a big six-point wheel, or hub. They must unlock six locks with a keyring, then maneuver the whole thing through the forest, collecting six necklaces. The other two tribe members will place the necklaces on a decoding wheel to spell out a three-word phrase.
The Fans sit out Tracy.
The Faves move fast on this one, and the Fans are slower. Erik can’t find the right key and passes it off – dummy, doesn’t he realize he’ll have to do it eventually, and there will still be six keys? Whatevs. The Faves unlock themselves and get moving, finding four necklaces before the Fans even get free of the locks. When the Fans do start moving, they have trouble making sense of the course and working with the hub. They nearly knock over a screeching Eliza (they should have gotten points for that). But even when they get it together, it’s too late; Eliza and Cirie solve the puzzle before the fans even have all their necklaces.
Tracy Makes a Play
Back at camp, the Fans are disheartened. Mikey says the “crew of misfits” lost again. He doesn’t know what Joel has up his sleeve. His goal is to pretend he’s Joel’s ally and vote out Chet, and get Joel out right before the merge “and cut his damn head off.”
They go talk in the woods. Joel thinks no one likes Kathy, but Mikey keeps saying Chet is the weakest. If Joel helps vote out Chet, it will make Mikey feel more secure about Joel. “I have no problem joining forces with you, but I need you to give a little,” Mikey says.
Tracy and Kathy talk in their little shelter. Tracy says she loves Chet to death but he needs to suck it up. (I totally agree. You are on SURVIVOR. You obviously worked hard to get here. So stop whining! Buck UP!). Chet crawls into the tent with them. Tracy tells him it makes her sick to think he could go home. Chet whines that his mind is in the game, but his body is out of the game and it’s not by his choice. Tracy feels like she’s hanging in there by herself. She wants them to fight, and she’s not going down without a fight.
Sometime later, Tracy and Chet are gathering wood, and Joel comes up. Tracy asks who the others are voting for, and he outright says it’s between Chet and Kathy. Tracy asks what happened to Joel’s plan to get out Mikey. Joel says the Mikey plan can’t happen right now, and that they think Chet is weak and rundown. Chet remains silent, pretty much proving him right. But Tracy is all action. She lights into Joel, asking him why he’s letting Mikey call the shots. She says it makes her angry, and she doesn’t know why he wouldn’t target Mikey while he can. Right now, she tells Joel, there are nine people. With her three and himself, he’s got four votes against Mikey. Get one more person and Mikey’s gone. But if he lets it go, she warns, and the numbers aren’t there anymore, she can’t help him.
Weak Or Wily?
They troop off to tribal council. “Sorry to see you guys here,” Jeff says. He adds that after tonight’s vote, they’ll be even with the Favorites in numbers. Jason says the Faves have an advantage right now. The Fans have lost four of the past six challenges. Maybe tonight they’ll be able to make a stronger tribe.
Joel says keeping the tribe strong is critical. Weak individuals make a weak tribe. Chet admits he hasn’t been strong in challenges. That first water challenge was harder than he expected, but he thinks he’ll be ok in ones that don’t require extreme strength. Mikey says Chet has been hurting, and he doesn’t think Chet he has physical capacity to compete. Tracy points out that she, and Chet and Kathy didn’t compete in the past two challenges, and they lost, and she wants to know how they can be blamed for the loss.
Erik agrees they need to keep the tribe strong, but says not all strength is physical. Joel agrees. I think we can all see who’s on which side here.
Jeff announces it’s time to vote, but Jason interrupts. He says he just wants to reemphasize the importance of tonight’s vote to the future of the tribe. Clearly, Jason is not a fan of the “vote out Mikey, keep Chet” proposal.
And in the end, Mikey gets five votes, and gets the boot. He looks at Joel, who looks away. In his comments later, Mikey says they’ll regret it. “I’m playing with a bunch of weak players who listen to Joel,” he says. “Don’t trust Joel, he’ll stab you in the back.”
“Tonight’s vote was obviously a very big vote,” Jeff intones. “Whether or not you made the right decision, only time will tell.” I’m going to guess, frankly, that they didn’t. Chet sucks at everything. They let Joel’s need to dominate the tribe and eliminate a threat to his own domination come before the good of the tribe as a whole.
And from the previews, it looks like they figure that out next week. The Survivors are told to drop their buffs and switch tribes – two mingled tribes, and I can’t tell if it’s just for a challenge or if this is a permanent change. But we see Chet being dragged through the mud while the voiceover announces that a physical challenge puts people in jeopardy, and Joel says that if this were medieval times, they’d kill him themselves. I’m pretty sure he’s talking about Chet.