Someone at the Brains camp is a happy boy! Of course, there is only one boy Brain left and what a roller coaster of a game it’s been for Spencer! He’s very happy he hasn’t fallen off the ride, but he’s not sure why Tasha and Kass voted to keep him around. Kass explains that she and Tasha would have regretted keeping J’Tia and that they would have been, if they aren’t already, the “Crap for” Brains tribe. Later in the evening after Tribal Council, Spencer remarks that only two entire tribes stand between them and the final three. Ha ha! You should all be so lucky and it would be so awesome to see the final three Brains make it to the Final Three of the game.
Tree Mail arrives at the Brains camp and the next challenge is for a sweet reward that is worth being dragged away from kicking and screaming. This is Spencer’s chance to prove himself to the girls and a chance for the Brains to prove themselves to the other tribe, but wait… When the tribes arrive at the Reward Challenge, Jeff tells everyone to drop their Buffs. Time to switch things up a bit! Three tribes will become two: Aparri with orange Buffs and Solana with purple. Each player must select a wrapped Buff and open them when Jeff gives the word and when he does, the game gets really interesting. Solana has five members of the Brawn tribe; Woo, Tony, Cliff, Trish and Lindsey and joining them are LJ and Jefra from Beauty beach. Sarah from the Brawn tribe is stuck between Morgan, Alexis and Jeremiah of the Beauties and all three remaining Brains. Spencer likes the “mom to hot girl” upgrade!
Reward: Sweet Treats, namely, donuts! Typical post-switch challenge, very physical to test old tribal lines; in this particular event, one person will grasp a pole then resist being pulled off it and over a line on the other side of the course. The first round will be all women: Trish/Jefra vs. Tasha and Morgan/Sarah vs. Lindsey. Tasha is holding strong and Lindsey regains a hold after grip is pulled from the post; then Tasha’s arms are freed, but Lindsey’s is being dragged across the sand by Morgan and Sarah and the first point is awarded to Aparri. Next up: Spencer/Jeremiah vs. Cliff and LJ/Trish vs. Alexis and it is bad news for Alexis, it’s a total drag! Actually, literally, a total drag to the finish line and a point is scored for Solana – the score is tied. The finale battle will be the decider and in the battle: Jeremiah/Spencer vs. Cliff again and Lindsey/Tony against Sarah. Oooh ho ho! Sarah fights hard, really hard, but her efforts just aren’t enough. No donuts for this cop!
Oh happy day at the new Solana/Purple tribe, who take up residence at the Brawns camp. LJ is really freaked out because he and Jefra are all alone with the Big Bad Brawns; good thing he found that hidden Immunity Idol! While everyone is getting to know each other, LJ and Trish realize they are both from Massachusetts and Trish thinks LJ is super handsome. But she could be his mom and she’s not Mrs. Robinson! LJ is very happy to have a connection with Trish and he wouldn’t mind sparking up a flirtatious alliance with an older woman! Or maybe I heard that wrong… Lindsey is sickened by Trish’s obvious flirting with LJ. Woo is concerned with Trish and LJ’s little whatevermance and is glad Cliff is around and Cliff is glad that five of his original tribe stayed together, but he’s also going to keep an eye on LJ and Trish.
Over at the Aparri/Orange tribe Sarah doesn’t know who to trust, she’s with three Brains and three Beauties and she just doesn’t know what to do so… She brings up the clue about the hidden Immunity Idol and the bag of rice from the first episode and totally outs Morgan in her lie about the not hunting for the Idol and giving up the extra bag of rice for her tribe. Red flags fly up all around Morgan for Alexis, as if she didn’t have 100 around her already, now Alexis doesn’t trust her at all and she decides to spill all her Beauty secrets to the Brains; she wants to align with them. Spencer thinks it was a desperate move; the Beauties are gossipy, like high school level gossipy spreading rumors, and he is happy that the pretty people who are supposed to be social don’t seem to have any social skills at all. After a similar conversation with Jeremiah, Tasha believes the Brains are in the best possible position and she’s right! Just when you think you’re out, Survivor pulls you back in – you can never give up in Survivor.
Immunity Challenge 4: I sound like such a snob calling all of these challenges “typical” and “classic”, but it’s not meant to be insulting; the game designers usually do a really good job of making similar challenges unique. In this post-switch challenge, teamwork is essential to test the new tribes. Each team will use a large log to smash through two walls and everyone must remain in contact with the handles on the log until they reach the second stage. Once through the walls, the log must be fed through a maze and used to bang a gong to win. This is a six-on-six challenge so one person from each tribe will have to sit out this one; Trish will bench it for Solana and after a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors Alexis wins the chance to play over Morgan.
After the challenge begins, both teams are doing really well, but Purple is working a little faster. Jeff is answering questions about the rules left and right. Yes, they can kick the walls as long as they have a hold on the log. Yes, they can switch places. Purple/Solana is through the first wall when Orange/Aparri decides to switch around their players putting the boys in front. As Solana begins to lose their momentum, Aparri begins to pull ahead, but things even up as both tribes make for the maze. This maze was really cool and seemed really difficult since it wrapped all the way around the log. Both tribes make the same big mistake, backtracking quickly, but Aparri is just a bit faster, winning by the skin of their teeth with the Solana tribe right behind them in the “sprint” to the gong.
So the tribe full of Brawns will go to Tribal Council; the Brawns have never been to Tribal and LJ and Jefra have only been to one – and they are in the minority. LJ is obviously upset that they didn’t win and he knows that he is the obvious target so he pulls out all the stops and has a talk with Lindsey, Cliff, Woo and Trish (I didn’t see Tony around). Worried about LJ’s relationship with Trish, who he thinks plays with her emotions not her mind, is still set voting for LJ and Woo says that losing LJ won’t be a big deal. Woo is better on land and water than him and they need to get rid of the strong players – Uh, Woo, you just said you were better than LJ so wouldn’t that make you stronger than him as a player?! I think that comment may come back to haunt you, but we’ll see. Paranoia is rampant, though, and Woo is still doing rounds to calm people down. This time he’s talking to Lindsey about Trish telling her not to worry, that Trish isn’t a threat.
With most of the Brawns feeling very good, LJ finds some time to talk with Trish alone. He assumes that he is the target and Trish responds by telling him that he shouldn’t assume so much then she spills the beans that she and Tony were working together to get rid of Cliff before the switch. If LJ, Jefra, Tony and Trish vote for Cliff, he will go home. LJ is shocked to learn about the trechery within the Brawns, but is happy that he may not have to use his Idol. Trish explains in a confessional that she does play with her heart and that LJ has it all, all in the game, I mean. Cliff has nothing to offer the game, his time is up and it’s great because he has no idea that he is going home; other people are suspicious that she is working the angles, though. In a talk with Tony, Trish explains that they have vote out Cliff after the Merge anyway – his strength alone in Individual Immunity challenges is enough of a threat. Tony thinks she’s crazy, there’s no reason to do it now and that they need to get rid of LJ – they are five deep so it makes no sense to lessen their numbers. They must rid themselves of the Beauties first.
It’s not that Tony trusts Cliff – he doesn’t. Cliff is influential and dangerous, but Tony doesn’t want to have to put his trust in LJ. When Cliff strikes up strategy talk with Tony, though, asking about Trish and her intentions at Tribal, Tony doesn’t say a word about his private discussion with her. Tony assures Cliff that no matter what, there will be four votes for LJ to leave the game; Trish’s vote is moot either way. Before heading off to Tribal Council, Jefra and LJ express how nervous they are about Tony, I am too! LJ doesn’t have a choice, though, he has to put all of his trust in Tony and Trish, but he’s still bringing that Idol to Tribal and he will play it if he feels he should.
Tribal Council 4: After a quick “welcome to Tribal” chat from Jeff, he’s right into the leading questions. Life is different for the Beauties now, isn’t it, but is it that much different for the Brawns? Cliff speaks up, hinting at Trish’s treachery by talking about people playing with emotions and Woo hears that! Trish is asked if Brawn loyalty will be tested and she responds by saying that numbers are only important if they work for you, otherwise other arrangements have to be made. Is this good news for Jefra and LJ??? Even Jefra knows that there is someone at the bottom of the Brawn five and that that person needs help to climb to the top. Cliff compares Tribal Council to an NBA play off game at this point; the series doesn’t start until you lose a game and feel that motivation to come back to win. He explains that no one knows what anyone is thinking and that you just have to make adjustments and move forward.
So which way will the game shift tonight? Will the Brawns move forward as a team or will Solana move forward as a new team? It all depends on how the votes are tallied and it is time to vote! And Tony has given us no clue as to which side he will swing. Once the votes have been cast, Jeff retrieves them then it’s time to see if “anyone” is going to play an Idol… LJ’s trust in Tony is solid and he chooses to keep his mouth shut and it’s one vote for LJ, one vote for Cliff until they are tied with one vote left – Tony’s vote. The torch being snuffed tonight belongs to… CLIFF?! Whaaat?! Omg! #blindside! Woo is shocked, so is Lindsey, but Jefra has a big smile on her face and, surprisingly, LJ seems very stoic, but inside, I’m sure he’s very happy that he still has that Idol.
Next week on Survivor! Trish vs. Lindsey! And what is this? Jeff is called to camp to talk to Lindsey?! What is that all about? You can find out on Wednesday at 8/7c on CBS. If you are a real Survivor junkie like me, you must watch Your Reality Recaps Survivor shows; if you can catch them live, great, if not, you can watch both the edited and non-edited versions whenever it’s convenient for you. Don’t forget to “like” and subscribe on YouTube and check out my Amazing Race blog. And if you did not watch King of the Nerds you should really check out my recap of the first episode, then binge on the show. It’s really great.
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