The usual recap of the previous episode with Tai’s faux pas about the Super Idol at Tribal is followed with a return to camp and the revelation that, thanks to their own stupidity, there is now an obvious girls alliance. The problem is that Scott and Jason have decided that the only real course moving forward is pure revenge because everyone they’d been bullying up until now had decided to stand up to them. Real mature. I also have no idea what Tai is doing in that alliance because everything that the two bullies seem to stand for is counter to what Tai seems to and for, which might explain why he voted for Jason. So Scott throws out the plan of taking away their food by hiding the axe, and hiding the machete, and making life miserable for the others which makes Tai uncomfortable but apparently he’s in too deep.
It’s the dawn of Day 23 and everything is about to hit the fan. Scott and Jason get up to find Joe diligently working on the fire so they locate the axe and the machete and wander off into the jungle to hide them. Scott figures this is the only way to respond to people standing up to his bullying is to fight back by being childish and petty. I might have expected that from Jason, but I expected better from Scott. Interesting how his true colors come out with the chips are down just like they do with everyone else. It’s just like kids in a playground, as soon as the game isn’t going their way they just want to pick up the ball and go home, even if its not their ball.
While everyone else is waking up you can see that Scott and Jason are being really passive aggressive, especially when Debbie goes to fill a water bottle and Jason holds it for her and then starts drinking it immediately and passes it over to Scott to drink it while totally ignoring Debbie. She’s not impressed. Then Michelle is asking about the machete, and then the others are wondering what happened to the axe, and Joe is ticked being someone has obviously hidden them. The rest of the tribe comments on how immature that kind of action is but Michelle figures they’ll just find another way to get by without the machete or the axe. When Cydney wanders over with the saw to chop into the coconuts it just makes Scott even angrier that the tribe would go against him by solving their own problem without begging for his help so . . . in his own words . . . he goes and does something stupid. That’s right, he wanders over to the water canister and dumps the entire thing on the fire so that the tribe can’t cook anything. What a moron.
Joe asks why he would sabotage the tribe like that and Scott responds by asking why they would sabotage he and Jason. Then he tells Joe that, since he’s the fire starter he can start another fire. I’m surprised nobody beaned him with a coconut after that but apparently the rest of the tribe is a bit more mature than these two. Michelle and Joe just go back to starting another fire while Scott, Jason and Tai sit on the sidelines waiting to put it out again. You can see how it’s starting to eat at Tai, but he continues to go along with it. I just don’t get it.
Time for the Reward challenge and as the tribe walks up Jeff asks how the ramifications of last night’s Tribal have played out at camp (as if he didn’t already know). Aubrey says it’s like a new cold war while Debbie admits that there’s sabotage back at camp and relates the missing items and then Scott dousing the fire. He says he was sending the others a message that he gets the water so he can do what he wants with it, and he provides the mangoes by boosting Tai into the trees so they’re his mangoes, . . . to which Cydney says she can climb the damn tree. Scott is such a child, at least Jason has enough sense to keep his mouth shut.
To complete the challenge the tribe will be split into two teams, each of which will be attached to a braided rope attached to a post. Once they get untangled they can proceed to the next stage to get their box of sandbags which they’ll need to knock a bunch of blocks off of a ledge. The first team to get their ledge cleared wins the reward . . . Chinese takeout. Rather than the usual schoolyard pick for teams Jeff gives them the chance to just pick their own and it’s obvious that Scott, Jason and Tai are together but they need a fourth. Nobody is surprised that Julia decides to join them . . . kinda like the cheerleader joining the quarterback. There’s one person left out and that’s Joe who chooses to side with the opposing team and if they win he gets to join them.
The challenge gets underway and there’s a lot of over and under and through to get untangled but it’s the bullies who get through first and race to their sandbags. The women aren’t far behind, but they would have been closer if Aubry was less of a klutz. The bullies are pulling ahead as the women gather their sandbags but once Debbie gets into position to toss she has one hell of an arm on her as she evens the odds and both sides are neck and neck as she narrows the gap. Unfortunately the bullies and Julia win Reward and will be enjoying some Chinese takeout back at camp while the others get nothing. Aubry sees that Julia is playing both sides and she can’t trust her so this may be the time to turn on the all-girl alliance.
Time for the bullies to pick Julia’s brain who reveals that if she gets rid of them she’ll be at the bottom of the other group. Apparently she misses the fact that she’s at the bottom on either group but at least she has a plan. She figures that nobody on the jury would vote for either Scott or Jason because they’ve pissed so many people off so maybe she’s making a good decision. I don’t think so, but maybe. While they’re enjoying their feast Debbie is back at camp trying to control the others. She feels that Julia is just getting information and not actually flipping but as soon as she tells Julia what the rest are thinking about guess where Julia wants to go. While Julia mulls her options, Aubry goes to Cydney to discuss getting rid of Julia at Tribal and Cydney agrees that Julia is playing both sides despite what Debbie believes.
Day turns to night and while everyone else is asleep Joe continues to tend the fire to ensure everyone wakes to a nice warm flame. Unfortunately he hadn’t considered the fact that one of the bullies would wake up in the middle of the night and put that fire out. Even more of a surprise when it’s Tai that gets up after Joe goes to sleep to douse the flames, obviously pulling himself deeper to the dark side. When Joe wakes up he checks the fire and realizes that it’s wet and figures more water was poured on it. Tai even has the nerve to come over and ask if there are any embers left. Aubry figures that it’s Scott and Jason trying to get everyone to vote for them so they can play the Super Idol but she has a better plan.
Debbie is really angry and wants Scott gone but Aubry is trying to convince her that they need to get rid of Julia first so that she'll stop giving them information. It’s a good plan, even though it does deplete the girls numbers, but Debbie is sticking to her guns to get rid of Scott. While Scott is being the obvious bully in the tribe in the way he’s being childish Debbie is almost as bad with her insistence that the rest do things in her order regardless of strategy. On that note, it’s time for the Immunity Challenge.
Jeff retrieves the necklace from Tai and then explains the challenge, . . . they need to stack a series of blocks on a beam while stepping between the slats alongside it to get their stack of blocks all the way to the far end and then to topple their blocks like dominoes to hit the gong at the far end. The first person to complete the domino stack and hit their gong is safe at Tribal while everyone else is on the block. If they nudge those slats even a little, their blocks will fall and they’ll have to reset so this could be geared more towards one of the women winning than either Scott or Jason.
Everybody starts out really carefully trying to figure out the system and it’s Tai who knocks over his blocks first. Jason is doing really well until he knocks them all over, while Michelle and Julia are moving ahead, then Scott knocks all of his over, and Michelle pulls ahead. Tai is close but then he knocks them all over, leaving Michelle, Debbie and Aubry to move forward while totally ignoring Julia who is just steadily building her domino stack like she knows she needs Immunity. Aubrey loses everything, then Cydney loses everything as Michelle places what she hopes is her last block . . . but she missed right at the end. Then Julia loses a bunch of blocks while Debbie tries to win, but again she’s spaced them wrong and Julia is getting close while Jason continues to restock in an attempt to win. He’s actually restocking from the back, which is what I would have done from the start, but it’s risky at this point and when he tries . . . it doesn’t work. Julia places her last block, Debbie tries to do it but fails and then Julia tries . . . and Julia wins Individual Immunity. So much for Aubry’s plan.
Back at camp Debbie takes control and decides they need to split the vote between Scott and Tai because she figures Jason will assume it’s him. She’s sure they can’t all have idols and she figures this will flush them all out and in the end get rid of Scott. Aubry is ticked that Debbie would do this right in front of Julia and her suspicions are instantly confirmed when Julia then runs off to tell Scott exactly what the others are doing. Scott tells her they should all vote Cydney and she goes back. Scott still isn’t sure about Julia but h has no choice but to believe her at the moment. Meanwhile, Aubry and Cydney are plotting to remove Debbie because she can’t adapt to getting along with the rest of the group so they go to the others to discuss that plan and they all seem on board with it with the exception of Joe who refuses to get rid of one of his original allies. At least he’s loyal to his commitments. Eventually they even talk to Julia because they need her number to get rid of Debbie. Cydney warns her though that if she turns on them she’s done and I don’t think I’d want Cydney angry with me.
It’s pretty much all up to Julia going in to Tribal as to whether it’s going to be Cydney going home, or Debbie as they march off to Tribal and, upon arrival, Jeff calls in the jury members Neal and Nick. Jeff asks how things are back at camp at Debbie goes on complaining about how Scott and Jason are actually putting the tribe members lives at risk, not jus twin the game but in real life because they’re not able to cook anything and are barely eating. Jeff asks Aubry if that’s the whole point to what Scott and Jason are doing in trying to cause chaos and she says it seems that way. When Jeff asks Julia about her decision to join the bullies Julia says that somebody had to do it and she felt it was a good game move and Jeff points out that it obviously helped because she’s the one wearing the necklace. Time to ask Tai about Idols again and then Scott and Jason decide to reveal what’s going on.
Scott tells everyone Tai has an Idol and he’s not going anywhere. Then Jason says the Idol has a brother and he’s not going anywhere. They both say they’re playing it and somehow I doubt that. He says he and Scott are going to basically just “rock, paper, scissor” for control of the Idol and whoever wins gets to play the Idol. Conversations are all over the place and the crazy escalates as everyone starts adjusting their plans. Julia is so glad she has that necklace. Jeff admits this is one of the craziest Tribals he’s ever witnessed and then sends Cydney to vote. Jeff gathers the votes and then calls for the Idols and Tai shakes his head but Jason and Scott play their game and Scott loses. So Jason plays his Idol by giving it to Tai who accepts it and then sits back down.
Jeff reads the votes . . . Scott, Cydney, Scott, Cydney, Cydney, Debbie (and both Scott and Tai look confused), Debbie, Debbie, and finally . . . the eighth person voted out and third member of the jury is . . . Debbie. So much for her quiet manipulation of the tribe. Jeff closes with a great speech . . . “No matter how bad it seems it doesn’t mean you’re out, and no matter how safe you feel it doesn’t mean you are.” Next week the power of the Super Idol makes Jason, Scott and Tai feel invincible so Aubry tries to lure Tai away, which should be easy to do since their gameplay is so counter to how he feels, but I guess we’ll have to wait to see. In her farewell chat Debbie is angry that the girls turned on her but more angry that the bullies lasted longer than she did, but they did play a better game.
With that, I wrap up another Survivor review and I hope everyone has been enjoying these. I’m almost caught up on what’s been happening at the BBCan Grand so I may get a post together for that to bring everyone up to date, but in the meantime I need to get ready for tonights Amazing Race. See you all back here next week for my next Survivor review tribemates.