Surviving One World, Episode 8: Someone’s Getting Playedby David Bloomberg -- 04/05/2011
Previously on Survivor, the players were hit by an early merge. Some of the guys thought the battle-of-the-sexes would return, but those on new Salani felt differently. At Kim’s behest, they decided to get rid of Jonas, which also put the women in prime position if they do decide to go back to women vs. men. Meanwhile, Tarzan pissed off, um, everyone.
We pick up on Day 21, so I guess nothing terribly dramatic happened when they all arrived back from Tribal Council. Troyzan is telling Jay he knows the others in the alliance were worried because he’d been friends with Jonas since the beginning, but it was just luck of the draw – if Jonas had been on new Salani, he’d have been fine. I’m sure Jonas, sitting at home, is thrilled to hear his fate was determined by random draw.
Jay says the next one voted out has to be a girl, and Troyzan agrees “100%” (he’s not Lou Ferigno, so it’s not 110%). Jay explains the reasoning I just gave above as to why he wants to eliminate a woman.
The two of them find treemail with a sponsor soft drink bottle in it. Jay reads the clue, which indicates it’s a reward challenge that will probably involve a downhill race of some sort. They arrive at the challenge site and host Jeff Probst explains that they will be divided up into two fake “tribes” again. One at a time, they will race down a giant waterslide and run down the beach into the water, where they will have to lug a big puzzle crate. As more tribe members come down the slide, they can work together on the crates. Once they get all seven on their platform, they will use the crates to solve a puzzle. What do they get if they win? They will be taken to a sponsor oasis for burgers, steak, pie, and of course the sponsor drink.
Completely unprompted, I’m sure, Troyzan asks for a taste, and Probst gladly opens a bottle to be passed around for sips and the expected great compliments for the beverage. Once that’s done, they do a schoolyard pick to divide up, which we don’t see but results in the following teams: Jay, Troyzan, Kat, Alicia, and Chelsea vs. Mike, Kim, Sabrina, Christina, and Leif. Tarzan was not picked, so he’ll sit out. I guess unlike other similar situations in the past, he doesn’t get a chance to go at all. Sucks to be him.
And they’re off! Jay and Mike start for their respective teams. Both are pretty close, but Jay has a few-second lead. Troyzan and Kim are next and the duos work together to get their crates, with the Jay/Troyzan crew again holding a few-second lead.
Kat and Sabrina go next, with Kat almost face-planting. But Kim, Sabrina, and Mike have made up the time to be essentially tied. Christina and Chelsea follow and it’s still neck-and-neck, but Jay/Troyzan/Kat/Chelsea have a slight advantage.
Alicia, who had suggested the waterslide would cause a “giant wedgie” when she first saw it, hits the slide and does indeed appear to get what she expected, as she has to pull her swimsuit out after getting up from the sand. Leif flies off the slide a few seconds later. The team that was in the lead gets to the puzzle area first and starts to work on it. Meanwhile, Chelsea seems to think she’s not needed to help with lugging the final crate on her team, so she just runs off to the puzzle area as her teammates wonder what the heck is going on.
Troyzan is taking the lead in puzzle-solving for his tribe. Christina tries to do likewise for hers but too many people are talking rather than listening. But she eventually gets the upper hand and starts directing traffic – to the point that they believe they have solved the puzzle first. Probst agrees and they win! So I guess Christina wasn’t so crazy to run for a head start on the puzzle after all.
The winners hit their oasis and find a small pool along with their spread of food. In addition to the meats for barbecuing, they have all the sides as well. They all hold hands and Sabrina says a prayer about how they know what it means to be hungry, etc.
The guys are busily eating, but Kim is thinking ahead and calls Sabrina over after they’ve had their fill (at least for the moment). Sabrina says she wants three really good people at the end, and Kim agrees. It would piss off Sabrina to see somebody like Mike at that point and Kim says, “It has to be all girls.” Sexist!
Sabrina wants to keep up the illusion of new Salani but Kim wants to vote out Mike, and Sabrina agrees – which would put the women up six to four. They’ll tell Troyzan that Mike was trying to get him voted out. Once the women have the majority, they can “annihilate” the guys.
Back at camp, the losers are trying to rationalize not getting a barbecue by Troyzan saying a steak would have been too hard to digest. Kat says in 17 days, they can eat whatever they want. Meanwhile, Tarzan seems to be eating a bamboo pole. It’s quite odd.
Chelsea brings up who should be voted out next and Troyzan suggests voting out Christina. Kat says Christina may be annoying but she’s not a threat – they need to get rid of Mike right away (mind you, this conversation is being held without the benefit of them knowing it’s Kim and Sabrina’s plan – unless they discussed it ahead of time and we didn’t see it). Jay is starting to get worried about the women taking out the men, so he plans to talk to his alliance multiple times to make sure they’re all on the same page. Troyzan feels similarly.
The winners return to camp with a cooler filled with sponsor beverage. Hmmm, imagine that – this was the only part of the reward they were allowed to bring back for the others.
The next day, a storm looks to be ready to roll in, though apparently there was one the previous night as well. They need to fix up their shelter if they expect to stay at all dry. Instead, Tarzan seems to be taking pieces off for the fire. When he’s asked not to do that, he says the piece he took wasn’t connected to anything. Chelsea mutters, “The most educated people have no common sense.”
Chelsea continues the debate, asking Tarzan why a random piece of bamboo would just happen to be laying against the wall. Why is she debating with Tarzan about the wall? She’d be better off arguing with the wall itself. Anyway, he declares, “I’m not stupid,” and tells her not to get an attitude with her. He doesn’t like being accused of things when he’s right! He keeps going after she’s stopped discussing it.
Tarzan says when you’re around somebody a lot, you can determine if you’re an irritant to them. If that’s the case, he should have figured out by now that this applies to everybody on the show. But he says it seems Chelsea has been “subliminally harassing me.” Huh? That doesn’t even begin to make sense. He keeps muttering about it to others, who tell him to drop it, but he admits to us that when he feels he’s been maligned, he has to say something.
Tarzan, showing he has no clue whatsoever, tells us he thinks he knows why she’s annoyed with him. He approaches her and says he doesn’t know if she’s bothered by him because he’s a plastic surgeon and she’s had surgery and doesn’t like her plastic surgeon. Wow. How far out in left field can he get?
He continues that she’s been negative towards him since they got together. Gosh, maybe that’s because you’re annoying everybody! She can’t believe it. She wonders to us, “Is this guy for real?! I can’t believe he’s talking about my boob job. He’s just… he’s crazy.” She wants Tarzan gone as soon as possible, but she knows she has to go according to strategy and taking out threats. “Tarzan’s not a threat at all.” (Oh, and by the way, Chelsea tweeted, “For the record... I am VERY happy with my plastic surgeon.”)
After the main rainstorm seems to pass, Kim and Troyzan take a walk for treemail as Kim begins stage one of the plan by saying Mike is planting seeds that Troyzan is going to win and they can’t let him make it that long. So they need to get rid of him right away so he doesn’t pull over any other votes. Troyzan says he hates Mike and he’s going to do his best to make sure Mike doesn’t win immunity. Kim wants to blindside Mike so he doesn’t have a chance to change things up. Troyzan falls completely into Kim’s trap as he rants for a couple minutes about how horrible Mike is.
Immunity challenge time! The contestants arrive and Probst explains what they’ll have to do: They will race across a ladder-bridge while maneuvering bags of puzzle pieces along a rope that twists in and out of that bridge. The first four to reach the end will move to the second round, where they will use those pieces to solve a complicated three-dimensional puzzle.
And they’re off! Jay takes an early lead. Troyzan and Mike seem to be in it as well as the rain starts coming down. Not much to recap here – we’re just watching them go. Jay is first to finish, followed by Kim. Mike and Troyzan have blown their leads. But Troyzan finally frees up his pieces and makes it. Chelsea falls off the bridge and has to go back to the beginning. Alicia comes from nowhere and, while her top is falling off, makes it to the end as the fourth. Mike looks stunned, like he cannot believe what just happened.
Puzzle time! And they’re off again! Again, there won’t be much to recap as they try to put together 60 blocks of wood to solve the puzzle. They’re all working on it… and working… and working. Kim seems to be close, as is Alicia. “Jay is dead last,” as he says, “I hate puzzles.” Probst notes the puzzle could look right until the last piece, when you find out you’ve done it wrong. That seems to be what has happens to Alicia. Kim then finds herself in the same situation.
Because of these issues, even Jay is back in the hunt. But Alicia seems to be back and – nope. Still wrong. What about Kim? She seems to be almost there. Jay too. It’s down to one or two final pieces. Kim puts hers in but it doesn’t fit. Jay’s does, though. Jay – the puzzle-hater – wins immunity! Nice comeback! “Slow and steady wins the race,” he says.
Back at camp after the challenge, Jay tells us they should knock out a woman. She’s “old Manono” (No! She’s new Manono! Learn this, people!) and a woman, so it hurts the supposed opposition alliance and evens out guys vs. girls in case that becomes an issue (which, unbeknownst to him, it is). But Kim makes sure Troyzan is on the same anti-Mike page as she tells us about her two alliances and how she thinks it’s time for the girls’ alliance to step into the forefront.
Troyzan asks if Kim has talked to Jay and she says she hasn’t, but she’s sure he’s okay with it. She tells us, however, that she doesn’t want Jay to know because he might get suspicious and get Troyzan to change his mind. She still has to keep her options open and might need them for a vote down the line.
Well, Kim needed to keep her own house in order, it seems, because Chelsea brings up the anti-Mike voting idea to Jay, who says he’s afraid of giving the women too much of a numbers advantage. He says if they boot Mike now, the ladies could come after him next. Chelsea horribly answers, “That’s not necessarily true.” He picks up on the “necessarily” part right away.
He tries to get Chelsea of Alicia or Christina who is nearby to come up with an idea, but none say anything. He notes to us that it’s odd how Chelsea would have brought this up in front of the other two women, who aren’t part of their new Salani alliance.
Chelsea reports back to Sabrina and Kim, and Kim can’t believe how “asinine” it was for Chelsea to do what she did. Now she has to do damage control and try to keep Mike from finding out about the situation. The women scatter to try to keep that from happening and provide Mike with a bogus plan.
As Kim catches up with Mike to feed him a fairy tale, Jay also shows up and starts to tell the story about Chelsea. Kim interrupts to say they should vote out Christina so he can’t finish his story. Mike seems onboard with the plan and suggests they alternate guy and girl from the new Manono crew until they’re gone.
Jay says it’s not that he doesn’t trust Kim and the other women, but he doesn’t feel a good vibe. To me, that says, “I don’t trust you.” Mike tells us that while Jay is nervous, he knows his alliance is sticking together. Oh, poor, naďve Mike. He even talks about how he’ll enjoy blindsiding Christina. As long as it doesn’t happen to you, it’s great. “I could say that now and have my tribe blindside me, but I just don’t see that happening.” Foreshadowing? Or red herring?
If it’s up to Kim, it’s foreshadowing. The plan still seems to be to get rid of Mike, but she knows things will be different after this vote. However, they are debating – they know it’s a huge move but they have a numbers advantage right now and they don’t want to give it up.
We’ll find out soon, because it’s Tribal Council time. They arrive and a smiling Jonas walks in as the first juror. Probst gets right into it as he asks who is genuinely worried that they may be the target tonight. Nobody raises their hand, which Probst finds “amazing.”
Does Tarzan get a kick out the fact that nobody thinks they’re in danger, but we know for a fact someone will soon be gone? He says it means someone in the game has been “very good at deceiving.” Camera cut to Kim.
If Troyzan was blindsided tonight, would it blow him away? Yes – he didn’t even bring his bags. Kim says likewise. Chelsea, Christina – both same. Mike would be completely surprised.
Why is everybody so confident? Kim says there are people who think they’re part of an alliance but who aren’t. They all had first alliances and then new relationships developed. You have to keep your options open but know when to stick with a plan.
Chelsea notes that you want to be aligned with more than two groups so you can stay with the majority. Alicia says they really don’t know who is on which side – it may take a couple more Tribal Councils.
Is there any talk that it might still be men vs. women? Christina says there probably is, but there is also the question of new Salani and new Manono alliances.
Tarzan says they are all playing Probst because they know how important the night is. (Huh?) The allegiances that were set before arriving at Tribal Council were firm – they really aren’t as wishy-washy as they sound. But if they reveal too much, it’ll ruin the whole thing. “So the game is afoot” and they should remain ambiguous. Gee, Tarzan, thanks for that lesson in Tribal Council strategy. I’m sure nobody else has ever thought of it. Everyone laughs as Tarzan concludes that Probst is the one being played. I actually think he might be joking there – it’s hard to tell.
Probst notes that this is a million-dollar game and somebody’s going to be leaving, but everybody is in a good mood and laughing at Tarzan. Kat says his “rantics” are just so Tarzan-like. When you get Tarzaned, you don’t know if you should be mad or laughing. Probst wonders if he got Tarzaned and Kat says he did.
Getting back to the strategy, Mike says there are at least two alliances but you don’t know for sure who is with which group. Everybody talks. But whatever anybody might say, when he talks, he’s being truthful.
It’s almost time to vote, but first Probst says that while Tarzan may have suggested Probst was being played, he’s pretty sure it’s one of them who is being played. Let’s find out who!
We see no votes. I’m guessing Mike is gone, if only because the promos have led us to believe it would be a big blindside and, while voting out Mike doesn’t really qualify, voting out Christina would be even less of one.
No immunity idol is played, so Probst reads the votes: Christina, Christina, Tarzan (huh?), Tarzan (double-huh?), Mike, Mike, Mike (he looks confused), Mike (he looks mad), and Mike. Jonas mouths “wow” from the jury box. Mike is speechless as he gets his torch snuffed and walks away.
Probst notes that they all came in completely confident they wouldn’t be leaving, yet three of them received votes. If that doesn’t shake some confidence, nothing will. Then he sends them back to camp to mull it over.
In his final words, Mike tells us that he knew that at some point, it would get to guys vs. girls. Unfortunately, it started tonight. He came out of the gates too hot and he’s been backpedaling ever since. He talked individually to each of the women and thought he was fine. Apparently, though, “you can’t trust anybody.” Welcome to Survivor, Mike.
The two votes against Tarzan were by Alicia and Christina. At first I was pretty sure the only reason for those the two votes was just in case Mike had the hidden immunity idol. But since the votes came from those two, I’m not so sure – it wouldn’t surprise me to find out Kim put them up to it just to keep them in the dark.
Next week, the women are in control – even Tarzan realizes it. But the men fight back as Troyzan and Jay try to pull together a “switcheroo.” Yeah, we’ll see…
In the meantime, be sure to check back here at Reality News Online for new Survivor articles every weekday (usually two or three!), including my interview with Michael tomorrow. See you then!
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