This time on Survivor… First of all, I have to express my opinion that this was a total bummer of an episode to have to air right before the finale. I’ve had a hard time deciding how to approach the writing of this blog recap, but I’m settling for nice and normal until it is appropriate to deviate from the norm… SO! When the tribe returns to camp, Tai is open about how confused he is about the outcome at Tribal. As Joe explains, “they” wanted Jason and he had to go along with the alliance because everyone felt very strongly about not keeping him around. Tai just wishes someone would have told him. He totally wasted his extra vote. Things become a little warm (not heated) with Michele and Tai because he voted for her twice, the fact that Tai doesn’t know where Michele belongs within the alliance is brought up again and it’s just a mild back and forth between the two of them. Tai is being honest, Michele is a little on the defensive, but she really doesn’t care to try to understand why Tai did what he did.
Tai isn’t that much concerned with Michele either – he’s more upset about Aubry not voting for Michele like she said she would. He feels very betrayed. The two talk alone later in the evening. Tai wants to know why he was left out of the loop and Aubry agrees that she should have told him that the group wasn’t digging the voting out Michele idea – some people didn’t feel they had a voice and that’s why the votes went to Jason BUT! Aubry DIDN’T tell Tai because he had too much power and she needed to reclaim some of it for herself. She knows that being hurt emotionally is an important issue for Tai and she knows she has to bandage up her relationship with him so they can move forward. And that’s good because Tai is very hurt by Aubry leaving him out on a limb alone…
Come on in, guys! It’s time for Reward… Up for grabs this week is an overnight stay at the Survivor Spa for bathing, massages, and food – cheesecake! And a variety of meats… In this challenge, each player will run out into the jungle, up a slanted bamboo grid, and untie bags containing sandbags, which they will carry one at a time to the beach. On the beach is a wooden grid on the sand with five holes per person cut into it. Upon returning to the beach with a bag, the player will toss the sandbags into the targets on the wooden grid until all five of their targets have a sandbag. When a player runs out of sandbags, they retrieve another bag from the jungle, toss those sandbags, and if they still haven’t scored a bag in all five spots, they run back into the jungle for a third and final bag. If a player uses the sandbags from all three bags and still hasn’t scored all five points – they must wait until all players have used all their sandbags and if someone hasn’t won yet, the supply of bags will be replenished. WHEW! That one took a long time to explain! And it takes even longer to play…
Cyd, Aubry, Michele, and Tai stay pretty close together, but Joe is really lagging. As Joe returns with his first bag, the others are running back into the jungle to get their second and they return just as Joe begins the run to get his second bag. Aubry has three points when she comes back with her third bag and she gains a fourth point pretty quickly, but she can’t land that final bag and has to wait. Cyd is right behind her along with Michele then they run out of bags and Tai isn’t far behind them. Meanwhile, Joe is still tossing bags from this second bag and everyone waits impatiently while he heads in for his third bag and finally starts tossing again. He has two targets left, and his first three tosses are a bust so Joe has two bags left he can toss and OMG. He lands them both and Joe wins Reward. And of course, he gets to choose a person to go with him and of course, he chooses Aubry and when Jeff tells Joe to pick another person – Aubry tells him to take Cyd. Wait what? Cyd? Why? Doesn’t Aubry need to get back on Tai’s good side or is she banking on the fact that Michele has some beef with Tai so she’s not afraid to leave them alone at camp? She says why she brings Cyd, and it makes sense, but it’s moot.
Time to deviate! If Joe only knew what would happen to him because of that Reward, he may have chosen to NOT win it because Joe doesn’t eat a lot of meat, but he sure did on this Reward. Joe’s body doesn’t respond well. Back at camp, he becomes very bloated, he can’t empty his bladder, he’s constipated, and it’s painful. Eventually, Joe calls for Medical and the doctor gives him some medication, but it doesn’t help enough and Jeff is shuttled into camp that night to usher Joe out of the game. What a way to get to the Final Four, eh? Total bummer of an episode this one. It’s like Survivor Fans vs Favorites 2 when Erik had to be pulled from the game. Joe isn’t one of my favorite players, but I really wish he wouldn’t have binged on beef during the reward. It was really careless of him to throw caution to the wind and shove all that meat in his mouth. I’m really upset because this puts Aubry is a tough position and as much as a distance myself from wanting a certain person to win – I’m #TeamAubry and no matter what anyone says about her having a “winner’s edit”, as she says after Joe is whisked away – anything is possible.
Since Joe is no longer in the game, most of the strategy talk in this episode is arbitrary. All that matters is that Aubry made good with Tai – she wanted to go to the end with him and Joe so she’s lost her Triforce of power in the game, but she has Tai on her side for now. Cyd and Michele have also paired up and will be working together for now. Everything is up in the air for me, since I’m not convinced that Aubry will be the winner based on editing, because everyone in our Final Four is fully capable of winning the final Immunity challenge. They have all proven themselves in challenges, even when they don’t win and they have all played a very decent social game. Sure, Tai flip-flopped, but that’s kind of what you have to do on Survivor sometimes and good players can talk their way around this issue. I’m not sure that Tai CAN talk his way around it, but it depends on who is sitting with him in front of the Jury. If Michele and Cydney are with him, I think he has a decent chance of taking home the win, but if he’s sitting with Aubry – no way. Actually, the smart move would be to get rid of Aubry because she is the clear winner of this game because she has been conscious of herself in the game more than anyone else – She kinda lost it a little at the beginning, but she pulled herself together and kept her mind right.
Everything is still up in the air, though. Anyone could win. Anything can happen. It really sucks that Joe is gone, but it does provide us with a really interesting Finale episode. And that’s how I’m gonna wrap this one up, folks! I will see those of you that use Twitter on Wednesday night while I live Tweet the Finale. You can follow me @thedolphinpoet if you don’t already. And I’ll tell you right now – My finale blog will take some extra time to finish because my birthday is on the 23rd and on the 22nd I am going to see THE one and only, KATHY GRIFFIN!!! My friend and I are going to make a special day of it so be extra patient with me! I’ll be too excited to work on my blog pre-Kathy Show. 😉 AS always… If you like my blogs, check out other stuff around the site! We’ve got Amazing Race recaps,Big Brother Canada Coverage Galore, Hell’s Kitchen, Bravo Shows, The Bachelor, video recaps… We do a lot. You should really surf around. 😉 And if you’re shopping on Amazon, use this link – it doesn’t cost you more and it helps us out a bit! And if you really love us, join our Patreon program.