With Scot being voted out of the tribe last week when Tai finally stood up for himself and refused to create the Super Idol, and Scot leaving with Jason's Not So Hidden Immunity Idol, let's hope this episode isn't all about Jason either storming around camp or moping in the shelter. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
We follow our not so happy camper and the rest of the tribe back to camp under the blue light special as Tai is feeling pretty proud of himself. The littlest guy took out the biggest guy and it's kinda like David and Goliath without any stones. Jason is a bit mopey about going from the top to the bottom but now he knows exactly what the others have been feeling like and without his idol he has literally no power left in the tribe.
Julia is still in shock that nobody clued her in as to what was going on but why the heck would they. Every time they told her anything she ran back to Scot like a star struck cheerleader and told him everything. She's the last person to tell the plan to unless she's being used for disinformation. She's almost as upset as Jason about dropping to the bottom and they've managed to take Michelle with them when she backed the wrong horse.
On the other hand, Aubry is in her glory and she's managed to solidify a final four alliance that might actually work. Aubry, Cydney, Tai and Joe should be able to stick together and pick off Jason, Julia and Michelle with ease and without any bullying, but let's be serious . . . this is Survivor and you can never count 100% on your alliance. Just ask Scot.
Day 28 as the sun rises on a somber camp and Tai is feeling guilty so he goes to apologize to Jason. Jason understands why he did what he did and he quietly accepts his apology but underneath Jason's calm exterior he's really angry with what happened. So far he's handling it a lot better than Scot would have and now he just needs to figure out how to fit back in before they get a chance to send him on his way.
Time for the Reward Challenge, which has them racing through a series of obstacles while they collect three rings along the way. Once they have all three rings they need to hang those rings on a swinging hook by tossing them across the sand. The first one to finish wins a helicopter ride over the island and then touch down on another small island (a sand spit in the ocean) for lunch, . . . fried chicken, corn on the cob, apple pie, soft drinks and wine. Aubrey likes wine. There is however a catch, they'll be tied together in pairs and somebody, based on random draw, will not be participating.
The three pairs are Joe with Tai, Julia with Aubry, and finally Michelle with Cydney, which leaves Jason as the only one not competing. Everyone gets over the first obstacle pretty quickly and begin untying their first ring with Michelle and Cydney pulling ahead followed by Joe and Tai. Julia and Aubry take a fall after grabbing their ring but they're right behind the others in a race to the second ring, which is where Michelle and Cydney get to first with Julia and Aubry on their tail.
It's still pretty close as the girls are both climbing the ladder for their third ring while the boys work on their second but there's plenty of time left. All three teams are now trying to dislodge their final ring from a tall pole but it's Aubry and Julia who take the lead, but not by much. On the sidelines, Jason looks pretty disinterested in the whole challenge as everyone starts tossing rings. Cydney and Michelle get their first ring, then Joe hooks one, then Cydney hooks a second, the Joe hooks a second, while Julia and Aubry aren't even close. Joe shoots for the win . . . but misses, then Cydney shoots . . . and Cydney and Michelle win reward.
Jeff then tells Cydney and Michelle that they can pick one other person to join them for lunch, and that their choice can even be Jason but the girls quickly confer and make their decision to take Aubry. Jason just looks so sad and I kinda feel for the guy, but this is great for Michelle who now has a chance to align herself with the majority rather than being the next to go if Jason wins immunity. Speaking of which, Jason may be dejected and feeling crushed but he's not giving up.
During the chopper ride Cydney is the first to realize that it's Brawn, Beauty and Brains on the reward. Even I missed that. It's a really nice spread for the three of them and a good time to wind down for a bit. It also allows Michelle a chance to use her social skills to get the other two to trust her, which Aubry does. After their lunch they get some downtime lounging in hammocks on the beach and Aubry and Cydney are discussing the fact that they're in a good spot but to not take that for granted. These two both play well together and would be nice to see at the end, but the last thing they want to do is end up in final three with Tai.
Back at camp Julia and Jason know that one of them needs to win Immunity and Jason agrees they just have to keep fighting. He's still trying to figure a way in to the other group and I'm surprised he hasn't tried to flip Tai back over . . . yet. I'm impressed that he's not storming around like Scot when things didn't go his way. Rather than trying to flip Tai though, Jason is thinking they need to vote him out . . . if only they could find a fourth vote, assuming that they still have Michelle on their side.
Everyone seems to be on the same page when it comes to not taking Tai to the end. Aubry and Cydney do not want to be sitting next to him in final three, and neither do Jason or Julia so Jason needs to find someone to vote with them to vote out Tai now and send him home with his Hidden Immunity Idol and his advantage. It's a good plan but it'll only work if he can sway someone else to that line of thinking, so he's decided to have a chat with Cydney.
Despite being in the Brawn tribe, Jason is definitely a thinker. His explanation for voting out Tai makes sense all around and Cydney agrees that it's a good plan to get rid of Tai and his idol, and if he plays the idol Cydney would still be on the side with the numbers because it would likely be Jason or Julia going home otherwise. Cydney sees this as a win-win for her either way and it plays to her end game. On the upside, if it works Jason lives to fight another day and Julia has decided as soon as Tai is gone they're eating Mark (Tai's chicken).
On that note, it's Day 29, time for the Immunity Challenge and Jason is a little reluctant to give up that necklace, but Jeff just tells him to win it again and Jason chuckles. That's kinda the plan. In this challenge they'll race out to a platform in the water to memorize symbols and their corresponding numbers then race back to the beach to solve a combination using those symbols and numbers to release a key, which will open a box, which contains ten puzzle pieces to solve a word puzzle, "Blindsided". First one to solve the puzzle wins Immunity and a one in six shot of winning Survivor 32, while somebody else will be joining the jury.
Everyone hits the water and Jason takes an early lead being the first to climb the obstacle between him and the platform, and the first to get to the platform. Everyone is right behind him though as they all start to memorize the symbols/numbers before heading back. Cydney feels she has a good start and heads back with Jason on her tail, then Michelle and Julia follow them. There goes Aubry, then Tai, and finally Joe who at 71 years old is still in this.
Cydney and Jason are first back to the beach with the others right behind and Michelle has started writing her symbols in the sand to help memorize them. It's such a good plan that Tai does the same thing. They only need five numbers, but which five is the problem. Once they get started at least they know the symbols so the second trip out is easier. Aubry and Cydney head back out just as Joe comes in, and then out goes Tai.
Jason thinks he has it as he unites a key, but it's the wrong key and he has to head back out wile Julia unties a key and tries to open her box with far better results. Julia gets her box open and starts removing her puzzle tiles. Joe looks done and has decided to just sit this one out while Michelle opens her box and starts grabbing pieces. Julia and Michelle are in the lead as the only two already working on their word puzzle and as they start flipping letters around, the others are heading back from the platform to try again.
Something just "clicked" for Michelle as she quickly rearranged her tiles while Julia just stopped and stared. They had both started with "DIS . . ." as their first three letters and apparently Julia is still distracted, but it's Michelle who wins Individual Immunity and who won't be blindsided at tonight's Tribal Council. Julia, on the other hand, should have stayed focused. Apparently Michelle was able to memorize all the numbers and that should be an indicator to the others to keep an eye on her in any upcoming memory challenges.
Back at camp everyone congratulates Michelle on her win and Aubry is pretty happy that Jason didn't win the necklace. She knows that Jason and Julia are on the outside now and it's an easy vote to get rid of Jason at Tribal, but she's not sure that's the best move at the moment. Good news for Jason, I guess, but while he and Julia are occupied back at camp the other five are off having a chat about how good Jason is in water challenges and how fast Julia is with puzzles. Not fast enough obviously.
Aubry has rationalized to herself that Jason is a strong physical threat in the challenges but he's also a very polarizing character and people either love him or hate him, which is a good option when facing the jury. Julia however has proven herself to be a well rounded player who's managed to get through 29 days without getting any blood on her hands. Without any of Aubry's internal thoughts the group decide to vote out Julia but Michelle isn't entirely happy with that because she trusts Julia more than she does Jason.
Here's where things get interesting . . . when Michelle asks if she should just tell Julia that she's voting for Jason if she asks, Cydney tells Michelle to just go with the Tai thing . . . right in front of Tai. Seriously? Did she swallow some stupid pills at the challenge? Now Tai knows that his name was tossed around but without Cydney saying anything else about it Tai has no idea who brought it up, nor who to trust. Big mistak, because now Tai will be bringing his Idol and his advantage to Tribal.
Julia and Michelle eventually find themselves lounging in the water and of course the subject of the vote comes up and Julia returns to the plan to vote out Tai. Michelle didn't have to say a word but now she's stuck in the middle having to decide to turn on Julia, or vote out Tai . . . but now that Tai knows his name was brought up even if she votes for Tai, Julia will still go home. I guess it's time to flush that idol or send it home.
Over by the fire Jason and Cydney are having that same conversation and he knows that it could still go either way but he's gotta try. Afterwards Cydney has a chance to chat with Michelle and they're glad to have options at this point but there's still no locked in vote. Meanwhile Jason asks Julia what she's found out and she says that, as far as she's been told, Michelle and Cydney are voting out Tai and it'll be a blindside, which means they'll still both be in the game . . . and Julia does a little dance of joy at that.
Jason seems at peace with whatever happens because he figures that if Tai goes out with the Idol it's payback for his Idol going out with Scot, and if Tai plays the Idol and Jason goes to jury at least the Idol is gone and Tai has no more security. It's no where near as aggressive as Scot's style of play but it has the same result and nobody's getting mad at anyone else. Everyone gets ready for Tribal and off they go.
Jeff welcomes them to Tribal Council and then brings in the members of the jury, Nick, Neal, Debbie, and really angry looking Scot. When Jeff asks Julia where they are in the game now she says they're at a crucial point where every move and decision has consequences. Jason agrees but he also points out that someone on the other side is number five and Julia thinks that it may be Joe and that Aubry is fine with holding his hand at final three. Julia also points out that Tai is a strong competitor and Jeff asks Tai how unnerving having his name brought up must be, to which Tai goes on about his Idol and his Advantage, which tends to bring more focus on him.
Aubry is a little less concerned about her position because she trusts her alliance but then Jason points out that he trusted his alliance and yet it was bye bye Scot when Tai flipped more than a flapjack. Jason has no problem pointing out that Tai has already flipped twice within his alliance and will probably flip again . . . which throws Tai under the bus a little further. At this point he's got to be thinking really hard about playing that Idol. Jason's case that "you can't trust Tai" has everyone thinking and Michelle points out how hard it is to squash someone else's million dollar dream while then telling them to give that million dollars to you. Cydney feels the money will go to someone who's been actually playing the game and not someone who's been switching sides back and forth, but isn't that part of playing the game?
There's some more back and forth comments about making decisions and going with your gut and such and then Jeff asks Tai how comfortable he is about voting right now. Tai is not comfortable at all and with that level of uncertainty Jeff says it's time to vote and sends Jason to cast the first vote. Jeff goes to gather the votes and while he does so Tai leans over and asks Aubry if he should play his Idol, to which she says she thinks he's fine but he should go with his gut. Jeff returns and calls for the Hidden Immunity Idol, to which Tai is looking left and right before finally deciding not to play his idol and Julia just smiles at Jason.
Jeff reads the votes . . . Tai, Julia, Tai, Julia, Julia, there goes that smile, and . . . Julia. Damn, so close. Michelle gives her a big hug and then Julia is on her way to join the jury. Michelle looks hurt as Jeff says that fear has entered the game and once fear is in control anything can happen. As they grab their torches and head back to camp Jason is still there but who knows for how long.
Next week Jason is all alone until the majority starts to crumble as paranoia takes hold and they start to throw each other into the surf. In her farewell speech Julia is bummed to be out but she's proud to have gotten as far as she did being one of the youngest players, and rightly so. I'm kinda surprised they didn't turn on Tai or vote out Jason but in the end it's all about who you're willing to sit next to at the finale, and Julia would have been a risk. She played a good game but she's come to the end of it as have I with this review. I'll be back shortly with another Big Brother review or two and then my Amazing Race review on Friday. See you real soon tribemates.