Previously on Survivor, Sierra ensured her own destruction and Sarah overacted like she was Susan Lucci’s Emmy reel.
Post-tribal, Aubry talks to Andrea about Sarah’s facial mugging when Sierra left, using it as evidence that Sarah is playing the game of Survivor. What nerve! Making people think she has their back even as she is voting them out! At least Aubry is playing the honorable game of not knowing what the hell is going on at any given moment. As for Sarah, she is thrilled her con on Sierra worked because now she is in possession of two advantages: the legacy advantage which allows her to have guaranteed immunity when there are six people left in the game, and the steal-a-vote advantage that Michaela missed due to extreme pouting a few challenges ago. She really wants Andrea gone but knows she has to time it correctly. Well, yeah, that’s pretty much most of the outwit part of Survivor. Idiot.
Day 33 dawns bright and clear. And it’s Immunity Challenge time! Oh, right, we have too many people milling around so tonight’s episode will feature two tribal councils. I expect a snappy pace this evening. Maybe I’ll even get to bed before midnight! Probst is wearing a Tiffany blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. The challenge is a classic one: build a house of cards, or in this case tiles, on a balance board up to a certain height while holding onto a rope/pulley to keep the balance board steady. Jeff reminds us that Cochran set a record of seventeen minutes. Aubry calls Cochran her boyfriend and Probst can’t resist teasing her that if she breaks the record, Cochran might cozy up to her. Apparently the teasing actually goads Aubry to excel in this challenge, because she pretty much flies through. Near the top she has to rethink some of her stacking strategy to reach the top, but amazingly she manages to do it in SIX minutes. I think Cochran felt a stirring in his loins. Also I need to apologize for suggesting that image to the readers. She hugs Jeff and he doesn’t even flinch from the jungle stench. That’s how you win Emmy awards, robbing Tom Bergeron in the process.
Post challenge scrambling gives us Andrea and Aubry wanting Brad to go, though Andrea really wants to target Sarah. Aubry brings up winning the immunity as part of her resume and I am suddenly reminded how much I hate that shit. Game plays are not something that go on your resume, unless you earn a living playing League of Legends! Just stop with the resume talk. Cirie, Andrea, and Michaela all agree that Brad should be the one to go. Michaela decides to get Culpepper to go fishing so they can eat before they boot him out. I didn’t quite catch that the first time so I didn’t understand Brad’s anger but when she does find him and suggest that he goes fishing. He asks if she’s trying to blackmail him to go fish for information, but Michaela actually means go fish. Brad cannot conceive of that simple concept that fish means fish and gets mighty pissed off at her for being a diva. It’s kind of funny and not out of line with the chaos that has occasionally reigned on this season.
Andrea is considering voting out Sarah for playing the jury. She approaches Cirie, who sees through the ploy. Cirie feels Sarah is good for her game, and she approaches Sarah about voting out Andrea. On the other hand, Brad is always a threat for challenges.
Tribal Council. Probst is wearing a turquoise teal shirt for those keeping score at home. Aubry, in her usual state of cluelessness, says the “we” this time around is pretty strong. Sarah says if it’s not broke, don’t mess it up, which causes Troyzan to say that going to the bottom people and promising them safety for loyalty is a good deal. Probst asks Cirie what camp was like after the challenge and she says there was very little scrambling or strategizing going on. Andrea pipes up to agree that no one was talking to her about anything, which should have been a big muddy footprint of a clue. Brad totally rolls his eyes. Sarah thinks the jury will reward game play, but Aubry says emotion comes into play, and she should know because she got robbed by a sobbing brunette in her season. Andrea doesn’t think it’s right to be best friends for the day and then voting that person off. The final word goes to Brad, who uses his lawyer logic to explain the “five” (Aubry, Andrea, Cirie, Sarah, Michaela) that “You’re gonna get got and you’ll wish you had gotten the one who gets you when you get got.” Atticus Finch he is not.
Time to tally the votes. Andrea. Brad. Andrea. Brad. Andrea. Andrea. Andrea. And with that, the one who thought she was in charge is voted out. As she leaves, she practically chucks Cirie under the chin in congratulations for voting her out. If the rest of these idiots could follow the logic, then Cirie would be voted out next, but…idiots. Votes for Brad were Andrea and of course Aubry the Clueless Wonder.
As it turns out, Cirie doesn’t trust Aubry and when Tai comforts the younger gal, Cirie takes that as a reason to distrust Tai. In fact, she found it bizarre and said Tai was acting like Aubry’s husband, which was a really weird thing to say. I mean that escalated quickly. Why can’t Tai just be a decent person who saw someone in distress and sought to comfort her? Though in fairness, he might have mistaken her for a chicken with that immunity necklace and hairdo she’s got going on. In other words, Cirie, you’re really reaching to try and find something for which to pin a target on Tai.
Immunity challenge time! Probst throws me off my game by wearing a strictly black shirt, for those keeping score at home. The challenge involves perching on top of a tall platform in the ocean. A holey bucket (full of holes, not blessed by the deity of your choice) is then used to draw up water and poured into a hollow pole. When enough water has been poured in, a key on a float will rise up. Once the key is in hand, the Survivor will jump from the platform, swim to shore and use the key to unlock block puzzles pieces. First player to complete the puzzle wins immunity. Survivors ready? GO! The challenge goes as expected. Cirie sucks and manages to get her bucket tangled in the ladder up the platform, so she has to climb down to untangle it, then climb back up again. Unsurprisingly, she is dead last getting her key. Michaela finishes her puzzle and asks for a confirmation but she has it wrong. This gives Brad time to correct one mistake he had and finish the puzzle to win immunity. He is as full of emotion as Michaela, who kicks her puzzle stand. Brad stomps around on the beach and tosses some sand at the ocean, then tells the rest to, “Pick someone else, people!” before being awarded the immunity necklace by a beaming Probst. Jeff does love him some alpha males, that’s for sure. I was going to razz Brad about being a meathead jock and winning on a puzzle challenge, but then I remembered he is an attorney. Although judging from some of the ambulance chasers whose commercials I see during “The People’s Court” it can’t be that hard to pass the bar.
Post challenge scrambling is a bit weird. Cirie wants to take someone out who is a threat to her. Yeah, because that’s a bold move. Besides, Cirie’s biggest threat is her own ego. Troyzan – yes, he is still here – will use his immunity idol if need be. Tai wants to make a big move and he goes to Aubry to talk about voting out Sarah. Aubry is happy that Tai is “drinking the Kool-aid” and thinks he needs to make a big move to win over the jury. She goes to Cirie and tells her Tai wants to vote out Sarah. Cirie goes to Sarah and tells her what Aubry said. This pisses Sarah off that Cirie wants to believe Aubry, because Sarah believes Tai over Aubry. Her big solution to this is to hand her two vote advantage (not the legacy one) over to Cirie to hold as a show of trust. Cirie promises that she will hold on to it and give it back to Sarah once tribal council has passed and they are back safely in camp. I’m pretty sure at some point I saw some steam coming out of Cirie’s ears as her brain started to shift into overdrive. Cirie spells it out for Michaela that the plan is for Cirie to take Sarah’s vote since Sarah is going to vote for Aubry. Then Cirie will use Sarah’s vote and her own to vote for Tai. Michaela and Aubry will also vote for Tai, which is four. That leaves Tai, Brad, and Troyzan swinging in the breeze, unless Tai figures out what is going on and plays one of his damn idols. To try and avoid this, Cirie then goes to Tai and works on him to garner her trust. She’s so good at this, she even manages to tear up while talking to him. She doesn’t spell out the providence of the advantage but implies that he is the one being targeted. She says she will save him with the advantage and once he sees her stand up to use the advantage, then he will know he can trust her. This is her play to make sure he keeps any possible idol in his pocket, but if he were any kind of gamer, his instincts would be screaming to use one of his TWO idols tonight. But it’s Tai so no matter how much I scream at my TV, he won’t get any better at this game.
Tribal council time. Probst is wearing a Majorette blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. The jury comes in and a fast breeze nearly causes Andrea to nearly moon her former tribemates. Sarah starts off talking about trust and thinking she will be able to find out who she can trust tonight and who she cannot trust. Cirie confirms that there are several lies being told and that we will find out where the deception is coming from, though Michaela doesn’t think everyone is lying. Awww, she’s so young and naïve! Tai gives people the benefit of the doubt. Probst suggests to Troyzan that fear is leading the group and Troyzan has apparently found a marijuana grove somewhere on the island because he gives the most laid back, relaxed answer to Jeff. Something about hoping to survive and be in a better position and if a homemade waterpipe crafted from bamboo and coconut shells would have to be declared in customs. I may have made that last part up.
Time to vote. Oh but Cirie stops Jeff and reaches for her bag. She announces that there is a rat in the group and she is going to expose the rat and the person that she saves in the morning will thank her for saving them by using the advantage. Troyzan looks shocked, Michaela looks smug, Sarah has a very neutral expression on her face, which screams “COPMODE!” when I watched it the second time. It’s quite good. Now comes the fun part: Cirie says she is going to steal Sarah’s vote. Sarah matter of factly explains that it is her advantage, she gave it to Cirie to hold but that the advantage cannot be stolen. Cirie says it wasn’t stolen, it was given to her. Sarah replies that it cannot be transferred, as that is what it says in the fine print on the bottom. Too bad you didn’t consult with the lawyer wearing the immunity necklace, Cirie. He would have told you to always read the fine print! Probst has Cirie read the instructions and there it is, clear as day, this advantage cannot be transferred. She does and Sarah is right. Probst explains that Sarah is the only person who can use the advantage and Cirie looks sick to her stomach. Jeff asks Cirie how she feels and while she is answering, Sarah gets up and goes to whisper to Tai. Then Cirie goes over to Sarah and swears she was going to use the vote to get rid of Tai and Michaela jumps up to swear to it. Troyzan, who probably thinks they have snacks, pops up to hover over the conversation and they yell at him to back up, slide to the side! Brad and Tai whisper, then Sarah goes over and at one point both Tai and Cirie are whispering to Sarah at the same time. It’s just chaos! Finally she has had enough and tells Jeff she is going to use her advantage herself and take Tai’s vote. So Tai stays seated and Sarah votes twice. Probst accepts.
Time to tally the votes. Tai does not play one of his idols and I literally yelled at the TV, “Dumbass!” I figured Tai would be going home with two idols in his pocket. Votes: Tai. Tai. Aubry. Michaela. Michaela. Michaela. Michaela. She mutters to Sarah that she does not see how that makes an sense and wishes everyone else luck. While her torch is being snuffed, Brad gestures to Tai that Aubry and Cirie voted for him. Tai nods, because Tai believes the last thing someone says to him.
In her closing remarks, Michaela was much more sporting that I would have given her credit for, but she lost me when she suggested being on a third time. Not unless her momma can come with her to yell at her every time she acts like a fool.
In case you are curious, the votes broke down like this:
Tai: did not vote.
Finale next week. Tai cries. I’m gonna need some alcohol.