Welcome back! Last week Ami got the boot after Erik, in a desperate move to stay in the game, told everyone she’d been working with the favorites, and had tried to get rid of Ozzy, which was her death knell, as Ozzy doesn’t allow any dissent.
I’ll Share My Stick With You
We rejoin Malakal on night 21, returning from that vote and bemoaning how uncomfortable it was. Ozzy says he’d have never voted for Ami if she’d just been honest with him. “You can’t be playing all the sides like that,” he says. “If she’d just stuck with me she’d still be in this game and Erik would be gone.”
Amanda says she doesn’t understand how Ami didn’t feel part of the group. I think that’s like the popular girl in school not understanding how the girls she won’t let sit at the lunch table with her don’t feel part of the in crowd.
Erik is amazed he’s still there, he says it’s insane. “It’s kind of like all bets are off, it’s like every man for himself at this point.” At THIS point? When was it not?
At Airai that night, Jason and Eliza whisper that they hope Erik went home. She thinks she has a better shot with him and with Erik and Ami. She tells us she thinks her closest ally is Jason because they’re both on the outs with their tribe. He whispers that if the merge happens, she and Ami have to play it cool because he has the hidden immunity idol. “Oh my god, it’s just crazy,” says a gleeful Eliza. That means it’s a good alliance for her, she says. Bwahahaha. This ought to be good.
Who’s Your Monkey?
The next day at Malakal, Cirie retrieves tree mail that tells them to collect all their possessions and head off to a point on a map. Everyone reads it as a merge, and they start packing up. Erik thinks a merge is beneficial for him, because more players just means more numbers to save him. He tells Ozzy he’s not going to flip sides and will report any alliances to him. Ozzy says sure, he’ll share info too. Erik goes off on some lovelorn tangent about how Ozzy saved him and now they have some “zookeeper” dynamic, which makes me wonder a lot about Erik’s social relationships with humans back home. “I’m more the monkey and he’s the zookeeper now,” Erik says. “I owe him my life now.” So, then, Ozzy is, like, Erik’s jailer?
Airai, having received the same message, express joy not for the merge, but for the “merge feast.” And for leaving their crappy island. Alexis tells Parvati she and Nicole are going to downplay their closeness, but that she’s unwaveringly loyal.
Parvati says she’s in a pickle. She has her original alliance, all fans, and then Alexis, Natalie and Amanda. “So I feel like I have the numbers on my side not matter what,” she says.
Alexis says the game has really begun now, because Parvati may feel more allegiance to her original group. But she thinks it’s not fans and favorites anymore.
I Say “Bat” Is Micronesian For “Don’t Eat That”
Everyone paddles to a new lagoon, where indeed there is a feast awaiting them. Immediately the fans hug each other, and the favorites do the same. Eliza calls it “the worst merge I could possibly imagine” because Erik’s there, not Ami. She feels alone and “heartbroken.”
It turns out they’re going to the Malakal camp to live. But not until they eat. For some reason, there’s a bowl of bats in the middle of the table. James starts EATING them. I mean, they’re still covered in fur! EW. Surely there was other food there! James says it’s not often you get a chance to eat a bat and he felt like he shouldn’t pass it up. “It was good, it was like a juicy rabbit,” he says. I … I don’t even want to go there.
Erik tells them the name for “good” in Micronesian is “dabu”, and they just believe him and agree to name the tribe that. “Really I pretty much just made it up,” he confides to us. “For all I care it could have been Momo, or Fo’shizzle.”
Alexis say the merge makes this a more interpersonal game, fuzzing up alliances, because it’s individual, and it becomes more about who you get along with.
Looks Like Ozzy’s Everyone’s Zookeeper
Later that night, Alexis is for some reason cuddling with Ozzy, expressing joy that Erik is there, while Amanda shoots her death glares. Ozzy tells Alexis he’s ready to go past fans vs. favorites, and he likes her a lot. Alexis was excited to get to know him and feels this is genuine. Ozzy tells her he’d rather have her there than someone else.
Amanda says Alexis likes Ozzy, but she and Ozzy have been together for 22 days. Alexis comes in and makes herself at home, and it makes Amanda uncomfortable. “I want her gone,” Amanda says.
The next day, they return to camp, with all the supplies and chickens. Alexis says the Malakal beach is heaven, with all its open space and its cave. But while some nap, and others put things up, Cirie says it’s going to be strange to see the new folks around, picking up stuff. “It’s like people coming into your house and picking up the remote and turning the channel,” she says.
Jason, too, sucks up to Ozzy, telling him he’s waited all game for Ozzy to teach him how to use the spear. Ozzy says Jason is a big fan and probably wants to prove himself. But he’s also wondering who took the fake idol, and he thinks it’s Jason. And that’s a “beautiful thing,” Ozzy says. “I think it’s poetry in the making.”
Jason, meanwhile, is scoping out areas to hide his fake idol, as he’ll be more comfortable without it being in his bag. He sticks in a hole, and I wonder how he’ll ever find it again, frankly. Won’t some crab carry it off, or cave in the hole? Jason says he hopes he won’t forget where it is.
Here, Friend, I Made You An Alliance! Not You, Eliza.
Eliza and Parvati talk. Or, Eliza talks. She says the favorites have her loyalty, no matter what Amanda might be up to. Eliza wants to know if the old Malakal is all still sticking together, the favorites, and Parvati says she doesn’t know. “Things change, it’s like a whole other game,” Parvati tells her. Eliza feels outnumbered and on the outs, with no close allies except Jason. If the favorites stuck together she could get to final six, but without them she could be next to go.”
Parvati says privately she doesn’t think it’s fans versus favorites again. She thinks it’s hilarious that Eliza’s still trying to scramble and claim loyalty. “How can anyone be so ridiculous,” she says. In other words, Parvati is gunning for Eliza, and it could be all the favorites BUT Eliza and Parvati would be fine with that.
Parvati and Amanda talk about how much they missed each other. Eliza is staring at them, which Parvati notices. “I can’t have her doing that,” Parvati says. “She’s going next. She has to.”
Parvati explains to Amanda her alliance with Alexis and Natalie, and how she told them she and Amanda were tight. “I put us in an alliance without you being there. But at least the game is revolving around us,” Parvati says.
Amanda is not happy with that turn of events. She tells us Parvati screwed her over and she doesn’t want to be in an alliance with those people. She wants Alexis out, she doesn’t want a motivational speaker there (especially one who wants her man). “I’m livid,” Amanda says. “And it leaves me with a lot of questions about Parvati.”
Later, they receive tree mail that seems to suggest a water-related challenge. Jason thinks he and Eliza are still on the outskirts, but that hidden immunity idol is his biggest bargaining chip. If he can win an immunity challenge, he can give away the idol. He tells Eliza if he wins, he’ll give it to her. Eliza says she made an alliance with the right person, all right. They think it would be great if Ozzy got voted out in their place.
Drowning To Win
At the challenge, Alexis explains their new tribe name and how it’s Micronesian for good. Jeff smirks but says nothing. He unveils their new individual immunity necklace, then explains the challenge. The challenge will test their ability to remain calm, Jeff says, when everything else urges them to do otherwise. They’ll each take a spot under a grated steel barrier. As the tide rises, their breathing room will lessen to nothing. Last one to stay in it wins.
It’s already up almost to their necks when they start. Fish are biting James. Cirie says she’s not panicking yet. Within 35 minutes, the water is just a few inches from the grate. Jeff says it’ll start covering their ears, they can’t hear anymore, and may start to panic. Amanda slips her head beyond the grate, accidentally, and is out.
By 45 minutes, most people have their faces up in the grate. “Your brain is going to tell you to bail and get out of this,” Jeff says helpfully. “Remind yourself you can always take one last deep breath.” Parvati and Alexis opt out one after the next.
Then Cirie goes. Natalie. Then Eliza goes, and Erik. The remaining three have their hands over their hoses in a funnel, to help stay out of the water. Jeff says the water is now above the grate, and they have to have their noses above it to still be in it. James spits water, as does Ozzy, and James gives it up. Then Ozzy can’t seem to get a water-free breath, and finally gives in. Jason wins.
Who’s Dominating Now, Stick-Boy?
Back at camp, Jason tells people it was exciting to beat Ozzy, his favorite player in the game. “I think I actually dominated the whole challenge,” Jason says privately. “When I came up and saw the look of failure on Ozzy’s face was pretty delightful.” He says “dominate” a few more times and then says being able to send Ozzy home will be great.
Parvati tells Natalie and Cirie that Eliza is getting voted out, because she’s been Parvati’s biggest rival in this game, trying to get her voted out.
Parvati tells James Eliza tried to get her out the whole time. In the bushes, Eliza overhears. She runs to tell Jason she’s sure the others are voting for her, and so she has to have the idol. He says he’ll get it, not to worry. She’s excited, saying it will be the biggest blindside in history. Jason says he can’t wait to “send Ozzy’s cocky ass home tonight.”
Back in camp, Alexis is cuddling with Ozzy, asking about the coolest place he ever surfed. Amanda tells Cirie that Alexis is dangerous and she needs to go. Cirie says she keeps trying to tell Amanda that Ozzy is playing. “I think a small bit of jealousy is coming into play,” Cirie tells us. You think?
Amanda says she thinks Ozzy would vote for Alexis. Cirie tells us she doesn’t care, as long as it’s not her.
Natalie and Alexis agree tot ell each other if they’d hear each other’s names floating around, and they haven’t. Meanwhile, Jason drops his “idol” into Eliza’s bag. She unwraps it and freaks out. “This isn’t it,” she says. “This is so stupid, it’s just a napkin. This isn’t it.”
She goes after Jason and asks what he’s trying to pull. She says it’s not the idol. He says it is. She says it isn’t. Ozzy put it there, with a face on it. “That can’t be the idol,” she says. Jason asks why. “Because it’s just a stick,” Eliza answers.
“Then that’s a bummer,” Jason says. She asks if she should try to play it. He says yes.
At tribal council, Jeff asks Alexis how much time she’s spent assessing new people. She says there are three strengths: social, physical and mental. “The merge is the first time you really get to see your entire competition,” she says.
Cirie says Alexis seems to have all three skills. “I think she’s like a triple … threat, sorry.”
Alexis says that doesn’t make her a target yet. Several other people are a triple threat, and you don’t make it this far without being competitive.
She says Eliza played a good mental and physical game, but hasn’t done as well with the social game. Jeff notes Alexis used past tense. Eliza notices too. She doesn’t disagree with the assessment, but says others are playing shortsightedly and are overestimating their own social skills.
Ozzy says sure, you take someone nobody likes to the end, and you win. James agrees. Eliza rolls her bug eyes. “Eliza, you can’t miss your eyes when they roll,” Jeff says. “Do you think you’re liked?” Eliza says no. Parvati jumps in and reminds her how Eliza tried to get her out, something Eliza denies. “I just can’t sit here and be quiet anymore,” Parvati says. When did she ever?
Jeff says there are no free rides at tribal council. Eliza says people lose in the end because they’re up against the best, and they shouldn’t make the same mistake again – they should instead bring someone unpopular to the end.
Jason says no one talked to him all afternoon, he has no alliances and he’ll keep the necklace.
They vote. Eliza votes Ozzy, saying she hopes “something miraculous happens with this stick.” Jason votes Ozzy too, optimistically.
Jeff asks if anyone has the hidden immunity idol to play. Eliza reaches into her bag and brings out the stick. Ozzy starts laughing. Everyone else’s eyes are big. Jeff says it’s not a hidden immunity idol. Eliza bursts out that that means Ozzy has the real one, since Jason found this fake one. Ozzy doesn’t deny it, and says he’s sorry he couldn’t tell the others. Jeff throws the stick on the fire, as Ozzy claims it took hours to make.
And Eliza is voted out, of course, and is the first member of the jury. So good luck to Parvati with that. In her goodbye confessional, Eliza says she did everything she could do, and went out with a bang. She can’t believe Jason thought that stick was real, but she had to play it and out Ozzy for having it.
Winners of some challenge will fly to another federated state in Micronesia. Ozzy has a lead in a challenge, and Cirie talks to women about this being a prime time to get rid of the idol and Ozzy.