Seriously, is there anyone who knows what they’re doing this season? I’m starting to think maybe…no.
Back from the last tribal council, Jean-Robert tells us that he was pretty concerned about the “possible” existence of a hidden immunity idol. I love that he’s like “possible” when he almost got his ass whomped out of the game. I’m also very surprised that it didn’t register with him that because none of his alliance-mates expressed any sort of surprise at its existence that he should perhaps be worrying a bit more about them. James tells us about the good position that he’s in because of the idols, and then tells us that they need Jean-Robert’s “dumb ass” for their numbers. Dude, there are six (possibly seven) people in your alliance out of a possible nine players. I’m pretty sure you can afford to jettison a few people at this point. Proficiency at math and the gravedigging profession, there is not very much intersection on that Venn Diagram.
Credits! Aren’t we all glad that people like Dave and Chicken and Sherea aren’t members of the jury? This is the first season in a long time that I hate the people who remain much less than the people who are already gone.
The next morning, James tells us yet again what a good position he sits in. Way to beat a dead horse, James. Keep him away from your corpses, people! He beats dead things!
And now, the reward challenge. Wow, that was fast. We are moving very quickly today. This challenge will be conducted in two teams of four each (meaning that one person will be left out). One member of the team will paddle out in a boat, and the other three people will try to sink the boat of the opposing team with provided buckets. Two points wins a feast in a Chinese village. Schoolyard pick ‘em for teams! Time to exploit someone’s childhood horror stories. JR and Peih-Gee have drawn the right to be team captains, and JR picks James first. PG takes Frosti, James takes Todd, Frosti takes Erik, and Todd takes Amanda. This leaves Erik with the opportunity to choose either Denise or Courtney, and he chooses Courtney because she’s “not as heavy” (harsh!). This means that Denise doesn’t even get to play. Her mullet says “I don’t care what you think about me” but her demeanor says “Looks like I’m not going to the prom…again.” Now she’s mad! No one gets to ride in her Trans-Am!
Round one has Courtney in one boat and Todd in the other. Todd manages to avoid most of the water while Courtney actually, I’m pretty sure, acts as some sort of sponge. One point for JR’s team. Round two is Frosti in one boat and Amanda in the other. Amanda kind of places herself square in the center of the pool which sort of dooms Frosti, who does his best to keep himself afloat, but ultimately fails. This means that JR, James, Todd and Amanda will be going on the reward, leaving all of the people who could create a coup behind, where I’m sure they will talk about only recipes and whatnot instead. Right?
Let’s talk about ponies!
The challenge winners arrive at the reward, which takes place in an ancient Chinese village, one that looks mysteriously like the one they just used in that puzzle knot-untying challenge a few episodes back. Is there only one village in China? If so, their population is woefully over-reported. While the winners enjoy their vast array of Chinese food, Jean-Robert grabs the scroll that came for the challenge winners off of the table and begins to read it. Unsurprisingly, it contains immunity idol clues, which they are nice enough to continue giving out even though the idol has been found. JR looks incredibly dumb as he seriously goes through and reads aloud every single one of the six clues, speaking with great portent as is he is handing down the Ten Commandments to the sinners. After he’s done, he tries to start a brainstorm with the others about where the idol might be. They are, predictably, unwilling to broach this particular subject, and feign ignorance about as well as Jaime did right after she threw that challenge. Again, should this not be a sign to him? He’s sitting at a table with arguably the three most competitive people in the game, and they seem, to him, not to give a shit about a hidden immunity idol. The thing is, he buys it, and begins to think that the idol’s been found. It has nothing to do with their performance, though. It has to do with his hubris. Think about it: there are two options for him. One is that he actually trusts these people and believes that if they found something, they would tell him. Two is that he thinks that everyone else is so dumb that there is absolutely no chance that these people could pull a fast one on him, so they must be telling the truth, because they’re too idiotic to lie to him properly. Gee, I wonder which one it is?
Back at camp, Denise is sad because she wasn’t picked for the competition. She tells us that she’s always been last picked all her life and how should this be any different and continues to just generally get her Rupert on. She tells the rest of the group how much it sucks that Jean-Robert got to play and she didn’t, and talk turns to how everyone sees him as a big threat, which, with James around and eight of nine people (five of five here) knowing that he has two idols, I don’t see how they can’t try to get him out. I know that JR is seen as dishonest and sneaky, but when there’s a guy who has the physical abilities of the Juggernaut wandering around with TWO get out of jail free cards, you should maybe aim at him before he catches on. So many rookie mistakes this season!
Back at camp that evening, the winning team returns. JR stays up until everyone else is asleep and goes looking for the idol. He tries to accomplish this by doing random things and hoping to stumble upon it at first. He pretty much does everything short of whittling a little panda out of an errant piece of bamboo. The best part is when he takes the head off of a statue, clearly exposing it as a cheap show prop, and peers down the neck of it all “Hello?” into the hollow body. I get it now, the idol is his spinal column! Eventually he figures out the whole plaque thing, and goes about removing the remaining three from their perches. He then tells us in confessional how happy he is to have the immunity idol, and unlike Jaime last week (who you could tell didn’t really think she had anything), JR actually thinks he has it. I think he’s going on the assumption that since Jaime grabbed the wrong one, one of the other three that he has must be it. The problem, of course, is that he doesn’t know that there are two, or that the others already have the one from this camp.
It’s either look for the idol or dream about pie.
Todd, in confessional, tells us how pissed he is at James for keeping both idols and “not even offering to give me one back”. Um, ask him? Also, you are the dumbass who gave him one and created that situation, douche. If you ask him and he tells you no, you can use that as an excuse to vote him out. Not that you should need one at this point.
Todd approaches Amanda with a plan to blindside James, thereby eliminating the idols from play entirely. It’s a solid plan, and one that should be executed immediately. Amanda and Todd get Frosti in on it, with the stipulation that he does not tell Peih-Gee (I guess because they think she would tell James, which is interesting). The plan, I’m assuming, is to get Courtney and Erik or JR to vote for him as well. But if he gets voted out, everyone will have to dig their own graves! Oh, wait, most of them are already doing that. TODD.
Immunity Challenge. All these barrels are set up next to each other and connected together with fabric so it looks like one big long winding dragon, which is really cool art direction on the part of the challenge staff. Each person will get up on one of the barrels on their own little dragon segment. The barrels are filled with water, which will gradually drain out of the bottom of the barrel, making it harder to balance. The last person standing (sitting) wins immunity.
JR almost immediately takes a header, which is quite satisfying. Denise and James go next. When James falls off, I cheer, which makes me realize that I sort of, kind of…don’t like him and want him to go home. His attitude is extremely poor and his comments are always really bitchy, often moreso than Courtney, if you think about it. I know that’s not the popular opinion, but: there you go. Don’t like James. It’s official. There, I said it.
So, Erik falls, and then Amanda, leaving Courtney, Frosti and Peih-Gee all lined up together. At this point, Frosti begins improvising an impromptu song, which is pretty much something any of my friends would do, thereby immediately making him my favorite (despite the fact that his strategic game has been extremely poor). Peih-Gee cracks up and falls off, and then Frosti, I think, throws the challenge to Courtney by faking a tumble. Courtney hadn’t moved an inch since the beginning of the challenge, but still. So, Courtney wins immunity! My fingers are of the opinion that that whole sentence is a typo. MS Word just put the squiggly green line underneath it, all “subject and predicate do not conjugate correctly”.
Back from commercial, Courtney (wearing the necklace, which also doubles as a hula hoop on her) tells us that she doesn’t care who goes home, because it won’t be her. True, in a sense. Hey, it worked for Sandra. Jean-Robert is out in the water with Erik talking about the vote. He tells Erik that he has the idol, and Erik is like “Yeah, no you don’t.” JR is genuinely surprised here, which is what makes me think that he actually believed that one of the things he had was the correct one. Erik then tells JR that not only are there two idols, but that James has them both. JR, obviously feeling betrayed, tells Erik that they might have to “pull a fast one” on James.
Cut to Jean-Robert eyeing James suspiciously and attempting to play it coy about the idol situation. JR then pretends that he has somehow deduced the whole thing on his own, which is funny because he is seriously the very last person to hear this news. Like, there are people who watch Fox News who knew the facts before Jean-Robert. James, to his credit, sees right through the whole ruse, and knowing that JR needs to appear smart, flatly denies that he has anything. JR pushes and pushes, but James does not budge. James tells us that there’s no way he’s telling JR that he has either of the idols, and there’s also no way that he’s allying with him. “Aligning with Jean-Robert would be the dumbest move in Survivor history” he tells us, which is wrong because that would be a great move, which is how you can tell that he has no idea what he’s doing, just like almost everyone else on this season.
To prove my point, Todd and Jean-Robert discuss the vote, with JR bringing up the possibility of blindsiding James. Todd tells us that he was sort of offended that he had thought of the same plan that Jean-Robert did. This is somehow bad? Just because Jean-Robert thought of it, it won’t work? You’d think that if more than one person thought of it, that would be an indication that it’s a good plan, not a shitty one. Anyway, Todd tells us that he “likes to mix things up” which is code for “I just do the most fucked up thing and hope it works” also known as the Dreamz strategy, which we are about to see employed here, because…
Todd now goes to James and tells him that Jean-Robert wants to blindside him at tribal council. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THIS IS A GOOD IDEA. Anyone. Seriously. How does leaving James (who has two idols and three tribal councils in which to use them after this one, and is a physical powerhouse) in the game and booting Jean-Robert (who believes that he has a final three pact with Todd and has vowed to turn the jury against him in the case that he is voted out) look like a solid play? This whole thing makes zero sense, which is how you can tell that Todd has no long-term plan for any of this. This season is full of strategic idiots, with the possible exception of Peih-Gee. Think about this: if Yul, or Earl, or Yau-Man or Jonathan Penner were on this season, would they not completely annihilate literally everyone on this cast? There would be no contest; it would be a bloodbath.
Tribal Council! Probst asks Peih-Gee if she feels insecure about her place in the tribe. Wow, tough question, Jeff! You should be on some sort of news program. Peih-Gee does say that it’s tough being on the wrong side of things. Jean-Robert talks about how Peih-Gee and Erik are just victims of bad luck, and how they basically got dealt the “2-7 offsuit”. The poker analogy does not work here, of course, because Erik and Peih-Gee brought it upon themselves by losing the early challenges.
This cap is actually taken from five episodes ago. Really, any episode in which she votes.
And now, the really crazy vote. We see one vote for Peih-Gee, one for JR and one for James. When Jeff goes to tally the votes, he reads one for James and two for Jean-Robert, and then two more for James. At this point, I get really excited because there are now three votes for James and maybe Todd is some sort of idiot savant and maybe told James about the coup because he already had the votes to boot him and wanted his jury vote. Then: a whole bunch of JRs, and he is gone.
That…was dumb. If James wins, you are all idiots.