Hello again, Survivor fans. Last week, the Fans surprised Mary by booting her to send a message to Mikey that he isn’t in charge, all orchestrated by Joel, who was offended that someone else would think himself in charge when Joel wants to be the one running the show. Also, Ozzy and Amanda made out, waking up Cirie. This week we’ll see how much fallout there is from Mikey, and whether the romantic entanglements in the Favorites camp will start presenting more of a problem.
Is That a Tribe In Your Pocket Or Are You Happy To See Me?
We jump in with the Fans returning to camp after the vote. Mikey says he can only assume it’s Joel who stuck the knife in his back. They talk, and Mikey tells us that Joel is playing a long-term game when he should be playing for the short term. I.e. Mikey thinks now is the time to keep the strong players and get rid of the weak ones, like Kathy, Tracy and Chet, who he says are weak and “useless.”
Joel says Mikey thinks he has the whole tribe in his pocket. Joel would like to see Mikey’s face when “a baseball bat comes swinging up the side of him and wakes him up to the reality that he doesn’t have this tribe in his pocket.” I presume Joel means this as a metaphor.
At the favorites camp, Amanda, James, Ozzy and Parvati have invited Eliza to go sit on the beach with them. They build a fire and talk strategy – Eliza tells us they’re working her hard. Ozzy wants to take out Jonathan, Yau-Man and Cirie. He says it’s not that he dislikes Jonathan, it’s that he plays everyone. Eliza tells us she listens to them, but doesn’t trust them. She goes back and tells her group. They ask Cirie if the others think she’s with them. She says they’re definitely working her.
Cirie tells us both sides need her vote, and she’s trying to decide which side is better for her. Jonathan says Parvati is weak and threatening in her relationship with James. He thinks the five of them – his four and Cirie – can stay strong and vote Parvati out. Cirie tells us it’s about who she can trust. “If I can’t trust you, you can’t believe a word I tell you,” she says.
Fuzzy Blob Works Overtime
Next day at the Fans camp, tree mail arrives. It tells them to use war-paint and a battle cry to go into battle with the other tribe, and offers a variety of reward choices, of which they can pick three – things like shelter tarp, a mattress, cooking gear, etc. Alexis is very excited to think it’s a wrestling match.
Everyone paints their faces and bodies dramatically, while Eliza says there’s no way the Faves are going to lose. Joel says they can’t fight emotionally, they have to fight logically.
They all march off to the challenge, and I have to say, some of them look really terrifying. Also, it’s hard enough to remember who’s who among the Fans when I can see their faces.
They start on opposite sides, and charge across the lagoon to get three bags of their own and two of the others’ in the end zone. They can steal bags, even from the end zone, and the first tribe with five bags in their end zone at one time wins.
This is a challenge that’s really much better watched than described. Imagine the beginning as a rough free-for-all – Joel knocks down Yau-Man and Amanda right off the bat, and for a while there are a lot of people being thrown to the ground. “This is getting physical quick,” Jeff says. Eventually, as both tribes have a couple of bags in their end zone, it becomes more of a bunker mentality – it seems like the strong men, like Joel, are guarding the bags in the end zone, while other people lie in piles on the remaining bags and a few snipers run around trying to steal them. Fuzzy Blob has a lot of work to do in this challenge as various people’s bits are hanging out. Finally, though, the Faves get their last bag and win.
They choose to send Kathy to Exile again, which doesn’t make her happy, and Ami goes with her. The Faves go off with their new tarp and various other reward gear.
Queen Bee Cirie
Back at camp, the victorious Favorites rehash the battle, and at least two of them tell stories about being flirted with by a Fan. Cirie, however, walks off. She says it’s fine for them to all be relaxed, since their alliances seem secure, but she isn’t relaxed. She feels like she’s scrambling to make sure everything works in her favor. Because she’s in the middle, she has to look at every option, every scenario, and have a plan B. Jokingly – or perhaps not – Cirie says the others should be working harder to curry favor with her. “No one’s washing my clothes, I’m not getting any special meals. If they really wanted my vote they could probably do a little more,” she says, laughing.
Cirie then winds up out in the water with Amanda and Parvati, telling them flat-out that their relationships with Ozzy and James make her nervous. Parvati says she hasn’t made James any promises, and she knows if it came down to a final three, she wouldn’t beat him. The women also acknowledge they’d lose to Ozzy. Parvati says James has asked her no questions at all.
On the beach, Jonathan is watching the three women. Eliza comes up and tells him that Cirie scares her, because she needs to be reassured a lot. Out in the water, Cirie tells the two girls she’s going to vote for Yau-Man, because she’s afraid he’ll find another idol the first time he goes to Exile Island, and then there’ll be no beating him. The three of them give their word they’ll stick together, no matter what the men tempt Amanda and Parvati with. On the beach, Jonathan and Eliza watch nervously but speculate that there’s no good reason for Cirie to switch to the other alliance.
On Exile, we still don’t know what happened with the idol last week. Ami’s reading all the clues that Kathy and Cirie had, and Kathy’s playing dumb because she doesn’t want to retrace all that swimming to islands, nor to let Ami know she did it before. Finally a storm comes in and saves her from having to do any clue-hunting.
And This, Children, Is Why You Should Have Built a Better Shelter
That storm is a doozy, apparently, and goes on all night, and no one in the Fans camp is comfortable. Their shelter sucks, they’re all wet and cold and they can’t sleep. They’re miserable.
The Favorites do have the new tarp, and they pile under it in the cave, talking comfortably about how they feel bad for the tarp-less Fans. Jason has left the wet Fans and curled up in his cave, but with water dripping from the ceiling and a fear of scorpions, spiders and rats, I don’t know how much sleep he got either.
The next morning, the Fans look shell-shocked. They’ve been so wet their fingers are all pruney, and several of them are covered in sand as well. Joel says the night was the worst night so far. “This morning we feel like we got beat up twice yesterday,” he says.
The others all say they didn’t sleep at all. They’re shivering, and someone points out it’s not the best night to have had right before an immunity challenge.
At the challenge, Jeff explains that each tribe will choose two men and two women to hold ropes attached to a heavy rope net, while the others throw coconuts into the other tribe’s net to make them heavier. First tribe to lose hold of the net loses.
The Fans have Erik, Natalie, Tracy and Joel holding ropes, while the Faves have Jonathan, Cirie, James and Parvati. At first everyone misses their shots with the coconuts, but Jason does well, and then Alexis gets one in, and even Chet scores. The Faves start making their shots too, while Jonathan heckles everyone, “talking a lot of trash,” Jeff says. The nets start to get heavy, and everyone’s struggling to hold the ropes, but finally the Favorites let go, meaning the Fans win immunity.
There’s No “Cirie” in “Team”
Back at camp, Jonathan tells Yau-Man that Parvati has to go. “She’s sleeping with James and we can’t have that… dumb move on her part,” he says. He and Yau agree they’re together.
The other group wants Yau-Man to go, because that’s what Cirie wants. Parvati tells James the other group wants to vote her out, and he agrees. “They’re after your ass, baby,” he says. “I can’t let you go home.”
The flirty four go talk to Cirie, and Ozzy argues that Eliza should be the one to go. Yau-Man is better at challenges and still useful to them, he says. But Cirie says she can’t stand here and watch him win another idol. Jonathan comes over, breaking up the group, and everyone else uncomfortably wanders off. He follows Ami, asking who that group is voting for. She says she doesn’t know.
Jonathan winds up with Cirie, with others around, and he tells her he’d like to believe Cirie is tight with his alliance, but that she’s been hearing a lot of b.s. He hopes she’s happy and smart enough to stick with them. He says he doesn’t know what the others have said to her, but that whatever it is, it’s not true. She says the others use the same argument. Jonathan says he’s not using an argument, he’s using common sense. She says she knows he and Yau-Man have a little thing together. Jonathan says he thought he and she had a thing too. Cirie says there’s no way he’d vote Yau-Man out before her. Jonathan says he hasn’t done anything to her to put that doubt into her mind. Finally Cirie says she needs just five minutes “without all the stuff” and walks away from the argument.
Jonathan and Ozzy talk, and Ozzy tells him that his votes against Parvati are just votes thrown away. Jonathan says Parvati is dangerous, and that while Eliza is weak, she isn’t dangerous. Neither one of them wants Yau-Man out, though. Ozzy tells his alliance he still wants to vote out Eliza, because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. They say Cirie wants Yau-Man, and he tells them they don’t need Cirie. Parvati argues that if they don’t vote Cirie’s way, she won’t trust them.
Amanda doesn’t like that they’re allowing Cirie to make this decision for everyone. They call Cirie over, trying to argue with her that voting for Eliza just makes more sense. But Cirie won’t budge. James tells us Cirie is just killing him here, she’s gone from a swing vote to the deciding vote. “It feels like I'm in China again messing with a bunch of dumbasses,” he says. I’m wondering, why the hell isn’t someone suggesting that they vote out Cirie?
Jonathan tells his peeps the others may split their vote and four votes for Parvati might be enough.
Tell Us How You Really Feel
Jonathan says it’s terrible to be back there. James says the fans have earned some respect, with their drive to win, and that perhaps being dry and well-fed has made the Favorites team too soft. Yau-Man says they need to be hungry for a win.
Then things get interesting. Jonathan says some people are playing for the tribe, others for themselves. Cirie says just because she’s doing what she thinks is best doesn’t mean it’s not also good for the tribe, it’s just not what Jonathan wants.
They start arguing. Jonathan says he thought they were in an alliance. Cirie says she came into his alliance as a fifth person, and that she doesn’t trust Jonathan and isn’t going to vote the way he wants her to vote. “I don’t trust you as far as I can pick you up and throw you,” she tells him. They keep arguing, and finally Jonathan says he would urge everyone to vote their conscience, instead of the way Cirie has pushed them to vote. I find that ironic, since what he wants their conscience to tell them is to vote the way he has pushed them to vote.
Finally they take the vote, and Cirie has won the battle – Yau-Man is voted out – but we’ll see whether she’s won the war. I personally think being so stubborn is going to backfire on her – after all, there’s a social aspect to this game that she just essentially ignored.
Anyway, Yau-Man tells us afterwards he was hoping to last longer, but it’s “a very cruel game.” He knew he was a target going in, but that now Cirie has put a target on her own back.
The online version of the episode froze up before we got to the preview, so all I can say is, I hope someone takes Cirie down a peg or two next week. And that Chet offers more pageant advice.