It’s post TC and time for the Drake’s to talk about Michelle as if she has just died.
“She was a good girl”, “shame she isn’t on our tribe anymore”, “she left with class”.
Rupert later confides in Balboa that he cannot believe he wrote Michelle’s name instead of Shawn’s. I’m desperate for Balboa to counter with “believe it baby”…he doesn’t.
Realizing his TC comments about how stupid it was to chuck the IC, might have offended people, Rupert apologizes in case anyone was upset.
All the people who looked a little upset said they weren’t, but did so in such a half-assed manner it’s obvious that they were.
Rupert is up bright and early and ready for a little one on one time with Balboa.
He starts to remove the snake from his cloth sleeping bag and senses all is not well as soon as he touches him. Balboa has not made it through the night.
A touching scene ensues, where Rupert says goodbye to his friend, who is leaving this cruel world behind. Shawn walks by and enquires as to Balboa’s state of health.
Rupert says he’s dead and he’s going to bury him because he doesn’t want to use him as bait.
Bait? How do you even make the leap from calling something Buddy to thinking about using it as bait? Unless it’s Jon?
Over at the Morgan tribe, Osten sits on the shore sharpening his machete, ready to use it on the advancing tide if need be.
Suddenly, a pelican flies into the camp and tries to claim the Morgan flag.
Ryan decides to name him “Pelican Pete”. He could have just called him “Pete”, considering we know he’s a pelican, but on second thought, “Pelican Pete” sounds more piratey.
The pelican follows Rhino to the shelter and is invited in by Tijuana. At this point, Osten decides to make it known that in addition to bugs and leaves that feel like snakes, he also doesn’t like pelicans, threatening to chop the bird’s effin’ head off.
As the others laugh at Osten’s pathetic behaviour, Rhino moves the bird out of his reach and we hear Osten confess that he doesn’t like animals… or plants that feel like snakes, obviously.
Again, Osten threatens to chop the bird’s head off, but even as Rhino tells him to stop posturing, there will be no chopping, he knows Osten won’t ever get within chopping distance anyway, so the bird is relatively safe.
Andrew confesses that he’s embarrassed by Osten’s behaviour.
Osten genuinely appears not to be. He has a pair of blood filled pneumonia addled lungs to protect after all.
Back over at the Drake camp, Rupert has decided tat if today is a free day, they should spend their time tearing apart the floor of the shelter and raising it 6 to 8 inches so as to avoid future bug bites.
Excellent idea, that’ll fool ‘em. Good job mosquitos can’t fly… shit!
The Drake tribe has been less than impressed with Shawn’s output on the island so far, and roll their eyes in “he’s such a lazy bastard” fashion when he questions the wisdom of expending so much energy on what seems such a futile task.
His further suggestion that, instead of tearing the floor apart, they could raise it section by section, sliding addition bamboo underneath, throws Jon into such a rage he disassembles the floor and throws it free of the shelter on anger alone, continually cussing at Shawn for doing nothing. To his credit, Shawn remains far more composed than Jon. His fists clenched, Jon’s feet clear the ground as he spits out each expletive. He throws his entire body into the argument, his perm rustling menacingly at Shawn, who largely remains unmoved, repeatedly telling Jon to relax.
Sandra later confesses that Jon’s little outburst caused Shawn to rebuild the floor virtually single-handedly. That show of work might have saved him from the chop, but miraculously, Jon’s show of temper didn’t raise his name to the top of the boot list.
Rupert collects the tree mail, which consists of the poem and a canon ball.
As if the canon ball weren’t enough of clue that the challenge would in some way include a canon, the poem tells them “it’s time to have a blast” and promises them “the tastiest reward by far”.
Ecstatic that he has been able to decipher the reward poem code, Shawn playfully pushes Rupert in the shoulder and shouts, “food baby”. Rupert glares at him with a look of “I know, dumb ass”, chiseled into the lines of his forehead.
Trish feels the need to get all “Silas”, delivering a pep talk to the rest of the tribe. She doesn’t sink to one knee, mercifully.
As always, the Survivor’s are shepherded into position on Jiff’s “come on in guys”.
As they file in, he does a quick summary of events since their last meeting at the IC.
Drake is now down to six tribe members after Michelle was voted out at the last TC.
Morgan likely recognizes Michelle more by her monumental belch after the I.C than by her name.
Sandra has sensibly opted to wear her peach pantsuit for the challenge, as opposed to the outfit she made last week, so that’s one less female that will be tugging at her tube top during this segment.
Jon is wearing a scarf that says “Fair” at one end and “Play” at the other. I have not seen that before and can only assume someone has fashioned that for him since they have been on the island. I would deem that inappropriate use of the sewing machine and supplies and would fully support Jiff’s decision to remove it from their possession.
Jiff asks the Survivor’s if they’re ready for the reward challenge. Only Rupert is willing to force out an audible confirmation of his readiness, but Jiff presses on with the challenge anyway.
Jiff explains the challenge. It’s pirate themed as ever but rather than the far more entertaining concept of firing canons at each other, the tribes will be firing at four targets in their opponents tribal colour. The first to hit all four targets wins, obviously.
Jiff draws our attention to four objects by his side, covered in dirty sackcloth.
He removes the first of the cloths to reveal a grill and utensils. I don’t recall there being utensils on this show since S3 when Lex invented the “uberspoon”, infuriating Kelly, signaling the breakdown of their alliance and marking the start of the whole “gut” thing. Hmmm, utensils might be fun.
Swish, pile 2 is herbs and spices so the Drakes can flavour the fish Rupert catches and the Morgan’s can just sprinkle them on their tongues.
Swish again, lobster. Swish a final time, steak.
Jiff reminds the Morgan’s that he still has two pieces of their treasure map. By the time they find the booty it’ll only be fit for Darrah to immediately bury it again.
Jiff gives them time to plan strategy, which really can’t be anything more complex that deciding which order they’ll go in, while we get another shot of a canon being fired.
Yeah, ok, they have to fire canons, we get it.
First up is Jon for the Drake’s and Savage, as always dressed in his challenge attire of boxer shorts and suit jacket, for the Morgan’s.
Jiff begins his commentary by stating “Savage and Jon are getting loaded”, completely passing up the chance to add, it’s the first time Jon has been loaded without a bottle in his hand. You really must capitalize on these opportunities when they present, Jiff.
Savage uses a rope attached to the base of the canon to maneuver the entire weapon into position, while Jon opts to simply spin the wheel that just redirects the aim of the canon barrel.
Jiff asks Savage to specify exactly which target he is going for and barely bothers to conceal his contempt when Jon responds to the same question with “the orange one”.
Andrew stands, legs apart, arm raised and brings his torch down to his canon. Andrew misses the mark.
Jon lights his canon, the flame splutters and dies before the ball is expelled. Jon goes to the front of the canon, sticks his face in just as the fuse sparks back to life. The ball thunders out of the barrel, smacks him straight in the face and propels him into another continent. Ok, that was Yosemite Sam, but it would have been far more interesting than the actual outcome of his turn. Yes, of course he missed.
Next up is Rhino and Sandra. Rhino makes short work of hitting his target. Why did I think they actually had to knock them right over? Of course they wouldn’t have to. If the targets were so unsubstantial that the little canon balls would knock them over they’d probably just float away anyway. So, Sandra hits the target too and Jiff helpfully informs us that the score is 1 – 1.
Trish steps forward for the Drake’s and Tijuana for the Morgan’s.
Tijuana sends her canon ball soaring above all the targets, while Trish scores a hit, declaring that wasn’t the target she was aiming for. I have a feeling that the Morgan’s probably don’t want to hear about your accidental good fortune Trish.
With the score 2-1 to the Drake’s, Rupert and Osten step up for their turn. Osten scores a hit, which evens up the “accidental good fortune” score, but Rupert’s shot on target restores Drake’s lead in the game.
Darrah is next for the Morgan’s and scores the best hit of the day, almost through the centre of her chosen target. The game is Shawn’s to win, but he misses the target.
The Morgan rotation complete, Savage steps up for his second turn.
Jiff explains that Savage will fire first, if he hits the target, Christa will still be allowed to take her turn for the Drake’s.
Once again, Andrew uses the rope to move the entire canon. Didn’t work last time Andrew and no one else has done it, but you just stubbornly stick to your plan if you wish. Christa appears to be lining up her shot via the use of a string of beads, which I never noticed she had before and leading me to conclude she must have flashed Jiff while we were watching Savage.
Savage shoots and misses. Trish, clearly unfamiliar with the concept of humility, lets out a raucous “yes” and begins to clap. Rhino puts his head in his hands, Osten decides to follow suit, misses and clunks himself in the chin.
Christa lights her canon and we see the ball sail through the remaining Morgan target.
Jon does a celebratory leap, with full spin and the Drakes come together for a group hug, perfectly executed to the backdrop of one of Rupert’s patented victory roars.
Jiff approaches the desperate Morgan’s and tells them to make their way back to camp.
Osten tries to cheer them up with “hey, at least we don’t have to carry all that heavy food”.
Back from the break, we join the Drake’s making their way back to their island, each carrying a piece of the reward. Trish, who is really starting to annoy me, finds it necessary to shriek out the name of each of the components of the prize. Shawn chips in with the poetic “look at these little guys…they ain’t little”, in reference to the lobsters and Rupert adds “we got beef”…twice.
At their camp, Christa attempts to remove the wax seal from a jar of garlic salt with the tip of her machete. She decides against this when she realizes one jerk and she’d likely slice off her finger, propelling it into the forest. With Jon around, you always have that one jerk.
A Shawn confessional walks us through the shots of the Drakes seasoning up their steaks. Sandra takes over, explaining how the lobster was cooked and eaten first, then the steaks. The footage confirms her version of events.
The Drake’s must complete the final part of their reward this morning, the looting.
Rupert wakes Jon to remind him it’s his turn to go. Jon sits up on the shelter.
His buff is worn under his chin and over his head, in the internationally accepted way of indicating you have a toothache.
He confesses that he is out to stomp on the Morgan’s already low morale. He illustrates this by clenching his fists and jumping up and down on the spot. Imagine Jon is Buggs Bunny and each jump is sending Elmer Fudd deeper into the ground to get the exact visual. There really is no other way to describe Jon’s actions than by referencing cartoons.
As the boat taking Jon to the Morgan camp slices through the water, we see Osten sitting on the beach, resting up before executing his plan to hold the tide back with his bare hands in a final desperate bid to avoid moving the shelter.
Andrew and Tijuana walk down the beach to meet the visitor. Andrew decides to flatter him with the moniker “Big John” to his face, but describes him more accurately in confessional as “Little Jon”. He senses they have been visited by a more humble version of Jon than they have seen in the past and suggest Jon is wearing his diplomatic hat.
Could you imagine if diplomats had to wear blue fabric “tubes” on their heads with yellow curls attached to the top and bottom hems? No one would want to be a diplomat…even though you can commit crimes and simply flash your diplomat credentials around like a Blockbuster membership card. Not that I’m bitter.
Andrew asks him what he’s going to take and Jon makes up some folly about a group vote to take their water pot, you know, just in case the Morgan’s win the next RC and loot a pot from the Drakes. This was their excuse last time they looted a water pot from Morgan as I recall.
Rhino expresses surprise that they didn’t want the shower. Jon sticks to his story about voting for the pot, but he wouldn’t mind washing his hair while he was there. Yes Jon, I notice your hair has become very unmanageable of late. It’s now a frizzy, straggly mop as opposed to the curly, straggly mop of your pre-show publicity shot.
As they gather round the shelter while Jon prepares to lather up, he asks if they’d noticed he was being nicer at the challenges. His performances are so dire he never has any hand in the Drake’s winning so I don’t know how much nicer he thinks he can be, but Savage has obviously detected a lightening of his mood as he goes on to give a talk about smack talk etiquette. Basically, he can handle it, but not when they’ve lost six challenges. At this point, Jon feels the need to talk some smack. He points out that the Morgan’s didn’t actually win the chess challenge. The Drake’s gifted that to them do they could get rid of Burton. He further goes on to claim it was all his doing, by asking if they noticed that he was the one directing the Drake’s out of the head on battles with the Morgan’s.
He giggles and sprints off into the water to wash his hair.
The Morgan’s are not impressed. They do not laugh. They do not believe his claim and Andrew calls him a pissant and a bastard in confessional, vowing to go all out at the next I.C. All the while, Osten is nowhere to be seen, so I guess the pelican must have come back.
Andrew and Tijuana escort Jon down the beach to the boat. Asking that he say “hey” to Rupert specifically. Hmmmm, Rupert really might be too friendly with both sides.
No tree mail, just straight into the challenge.
The Drakes file in on Jiff’s command. Rupert is in pole position and Jiff greets him with a “What’s going on Rupert?”
Osten leads in the Morgan’s, Jiff ignores him in favour of flirting with Tijuana.
Jiff, rather rudely, points out that Christa’s face has become dotted with bug bites since last they met. Christa’s answer to this is “yeah, I don’t know what happened”.
I’m guessing bugs bit you Christa, just a hunch. She seems unconcerned and says she will view them as a new set of freckles. Darrah gives her a look that says “thayme ayent fraykulls”.
Jiff calls a halt to the dermatology talk by giving the particulars of today’s Immunity challenge.
He explains that the challenge requires “strategy’ and “endurance”, yet thankfully for the Morgan’s only five tribe members.
Three of the tribe will stand on wooden crates, long wooden poles balances across the back of their shoulders. Weight in the form of bags will be added to the pole until you can no longer hold the pole, i.e. endurance. The decision as to who has weight added to their pole, will be made by two members of the opposing tribe, which accounts for the strategy.
Obviously the last person to drop their pole is the winner. I think it would be nice for once if the first person to eliminate themselves from the challenge could win.
The challenge would be over really, really quickly and it would save the production team the bother of building all these props.
As the Drake’s have one person surplus to requirements, they have to sit someone out. Following their very strict pattern of rotation, they sit Sandra out yet again.
If she knew she was going to sit out, which she should have done, thanks to their unfaltering rota, why not wear the skirt and top she made from the sewing supplies and give the peach pantsuit a day off?
So, the challenge begins. Rupert, Shawn and Christa will be bearing the weight for Drake, with Trish and Jon providing the strategic muscle. Savage, Rhino and Osten pull “endurance” duty for the Morgan’s, with Darrah and Tijuana on strategy.
The Drake’s assign the first 20lbs to Osten; the Morgan’s decide to target Rupert.
Both tribes make the same choice on the second turn, but come the third, while Morgan decide to continue weighing down Rupert the Drake’s decide to load 20lbs onto Savage.
The loading up continues and Jiff informs us that the current “score” is Rupert 140, Osten 100 and Savage 40.
Through highly clenched teeth, Osten claims to be “alright, we can clearly see that he isn’t. Shawn in the meantime has decided to hold his empty pole way above his head.
Perhaps limbering up, probably just attention seeking.
At 200lbs, Rupert lets go with his hands and crouches. How this can possibly help I’m not sure. This challenge can’t be good for your back.
Suddenly, it’s all too much for Osten and he lets go of the pole and the now 160 pounds of weight on it. Trish the humble, shouts out “he’s done” and begins clapping, very subtle Trish.
Rupert lets his pole slip off his shoulders at 220 pounds. Should he really decide to abandon all future pant-wearing opportunities in favour of skirts as he hinted, hopefully he will realize that when you sit down with your knees apart people can see right up it.
You might want to invest in a few ankle length numbers if you intend to make a permanent change Rupe.
Abandoning Darrah, T discusses strategy with Savage. They decide to target Shawn first and commence loading him up with bags.
Jiff gives another recap with Shawn at 120 lbs and Savage at 160.
Savage and Tijuana very audibly discuss how Shawn is “done”, prompting Jon to try and counteract the effect the smack might be having by declaring to Shawn that this competition was “made for him”.
Shawn promptly drops the bar.
The competition is moving into its latter stages. Christa and Savage are both bearing 160 pounds, Rhino seems comfortable with 140.
Jiff calls for the final few bags, from the 600 pounds each team has to disperse, to be added to the poles. Jon decides unilaterally to load up Savage one more time, a move Trish does not agree with.
Christa’s spine seems convex at the best of times, she drops the pole just a few inches shy of it snapping right in half.
Savage drops his before Christa’s even touches the ground, followed very swiftly by Rhino. See, a “who can drop the pole the fastest?” challenge would have been fun.
Clearly shattered from his monumental efforts, Savage lies prone, trying to regain his strength. Tijuana plants a kiss on his forehead and he springs to life. T, you need to bottle that smooch girl.
Jiff approaches the Morgan’s with the Immunity Idol, telling them they need to give it to Savage for his efforts. Yes Jiff, he just held 160 pounds across his shoulders for 15 minutes, make him carry the Idol too.
Jiff notes the tears in Savage’s eyes and asks if he is ok. Savage can barely speak. He doesn’t collapse so Jiff assumes he’s ok and moves over to the Drake tribe to tell them to meet him at TC later that evening and we head to the break.
We rejoin the action at the Drake camp as expected.
Shawn points out the obvious fact that he should have stayed in the competition longer.
Even though it leaves his tribe mates with the impression he’s just generally crap, to his credit he offers no excuses for his poor performance, before walking off alone down the beach to contemplate the food he will eat at loser lodge once he’s kicked off tonight.
His failure has not escaped Rupert, who calls his performance pitiful to his tribe mates and confesses that he wants Shawn off his island and out of his adventure.
While Rupert decides to go and catch everyone some food, Trish begins plotting against him. She explains to Jon and Sandra that she is scared of the power one person wields and the hold he has over the game. Jon nods in agreement assuming she is talking about him, while Sandra realizes Trish is referring to Rupert and does not look pleased with the direction this discussion is heading in.
Following a Trish confessional where she voices her concern that Rupert could switch his allegiance to Morgan post merge, she asks Jon and Sandra what they think of her plan. When Sandra points out Christa would not be in favour of this vote, Jon and Trish decides that they can get Shawn on board so there is no need to tell Christa of their plans.
Having decided the only thing they would miss about Rupert is his food providing skills, Trish once again illustrates her mediocre comprehension of the game by stating she could starve for 19 days if Rupert were to leave tonight. There’s 21 days left by the way Trish.
Well, not for you maybe.
Trish then confesses that she has hatched a cunning plan to oust Rupert instead of Shawn, at which point we know for sure Rupert will not be going anywhere just yet.
Unfortunately for Trish, the success of her plan requires Sandra to comply.
Not gonna happen.
Sandra approaches Christa with the plan, who in turn spills the details to Rupert.
Shawn discusses the plan to boot Rupert with Jon, having already agreed to help Rupert , Christa and Sandra boot Trish. Got that? Basically, anything could happen, but the fact Jon declares he will not be signing his $1,000,000 cheque over to Rupert confirms that Rupert will indeed be safe this week.
Either Jon is arrogant enough to think he already has this game won, or dumb enough to think they all start out with a cheque and the object of the game is to avoid signing it over to another player. Either is possible.
Jiff eyes the Survivor’s like a disapproving father as they file into the Tribal Council area.
Just as you think he is about to berate them, his face melts into a smile.
Sandra responds to his first question by confirming that yes, she is surprised to be at TC once again, considering their food situation compared to the Morgan’s.
Jiff takes time to congratulate Christa on her IC performance and she offers the stunning “I didn’t think I could carry that much. It sucked to drop it” as a reply. Fascinating.
Ever the eagle-eyed host, Jiff notices a sadness in Rupert’s eyes.
The current state of the tribe is troubling Rupe. They are on a downward slide and he thinks half of them feel they have no use for him anymore. Trish raises her eyebrows in what would be mock surprise from anyone else, but as she is just so bad at this game she might be genuinely surprised by his comments. She is probably just floored that he was able to find out about her crack plan, After all, she had Jon and Sandra thoroughly onboard didn’t she?
Trish’s look of “shock” does not escape Jiff, who asks her to comment on Rupert’s previous statement. Trish decides her best bet is to go with an “I’m so surprised he feels that way” response, which triggers an “oh yeah, whatever” reaction in Sandra.
Jiff is really on his game tonight, directing questions to the absolutely most appropriate targets, as defined by their reactions to the prior response.
He asks Sandra if she thinks she could be booted tonight, to which she replies “Oh I know it ain’t me”. The entire tribe laughs, before she continues to explain how the person who is leaving least expects it, but has to go for the good of the tribe, with a somewhat gleeful look in her eyes. Trish furrows her brow, trying to figure out how Rupert possibly fits the profile of evictee that Sandra has outlined.
Time to vote. First up is Christa, we see her vote for Trish and hear her comment that Trish is a backstabber who has no idea how to play the game. No argument here Christa.
Jon does his usual stupid vote “dance”, before writing down Rupert’s name and reciting some ridiculous poem about Steve Austin always getting his way…or something.
Sandra, votes Trish as expected, saying she is a snake and she wishes she’d sold her to the Panamanian, lesbian shopkeeper.
Trish steps up and votes for Rubert. As we have never heard her affectionately call him that during the 18 days they’ve been in the game, that ridiculous spelling alone should be grounds for the voting being declared null and void.
Rupert, votes for Trish, stating he cannot believe she turned on him so quickly.
Finally we have Shawn. The mega-tease MB does not allow his vote to be shown, but we do hear that after this vote, he considers the game his.
That really doesn’t give us much of a clue, as Shawn seems the type to think the game is his regardless of his position within the tribe at any given time.
Jiff does his customary tally and much to her surprise Trish is ousted.
Jonny Fairplay finally wins something, the “Facial Expression of the Season”, award for his presentation of “Ohhhhhhh shit”.
Next Week On Survivor:
Rupert hunts Jon down.
Osten’s mind checks out of the game…again.
The return of the bright blue tube dress.