Surviving One World, Episode 9: Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They Aren’t Out to Get Youby David Bloomberg -- 04/12/2011
Last week, Kim was deciding between her alliances and seems to have chosen to stick with the women, eliminating Michael in what was a complete surprise to him. The question now is whether Kim can hold the rest of the women together or if any of them (hello, Christina) will realize that standing with the other women will mean leaving before the other women. Let’s find out!
We begin again on Day 23, the morning after we last saw our group leaving Tribal Council. Jay takes a page out of Kat’s book and tells the others he dreamed he was shot – maybe by Mike. What, it wasn’t Alicia in the mall?
Meanwhile, Tarzan is educating Troyzan on math and how the women outnumber them. He says they are plotting to knock out the men one by one. Troyzan says Mike was never with the guys anyway, so it doesn’t matter. He tells us Mike was gunning for him since Day 1 and Troyzan was sick of it – so it looks like he’s still buying the story Kim sold him.
However, he does recognize the women could boot him and Jay to remove challenge threats, so part of him is wondering if they’re telling him the truth. Uh… only part of you is wondering that?! He tells Tarzan anything could happen to turn things around on the women. Somebody could find an immunity idol (which we know he already has) or they could turn one woman to their side. He adds to us that if they try something on him, he’ll use the idol to turn the vote against them.
Treemail! It’s a do-it-yourself reward challenge. I guess Probst is busy again. They have to set themselves up in two teams and then throw bolas around horizontal pegs to earn from one to five points. It’s essentially ladderball, but the pegs stick out from a pole instead of being rungs between two poles. Each player will get one throw, with the highest team total winning. The winners will receive a boat ride to a local island for a barbecue.
The teams are as follows: Red team is Alicia, Troyzan, Tarzan, Kat, and Jay. Black team is Leif, Chelsea, Christina, Sabrina, and Kim. Troyzan also steps into the hosting role, but he’s no Jeff Probst.
Jay misses, as does Kim. Kat gets two, Leif misses. Troyzan plays as well as he hosts and gets a zero; so does Chelsea. Tarzan hits big for four points. Christina gets on the board for one point, but Alicia does horribly and misses.
It all comes down to Sabrina. She’s the last one to throw, her team is down five, and the highest possible score is five, so she has to hit that rung. She concentrates, she throws – and she misses completely! Red team wins reward with Tarzan being hailed as the all-star by Troyzan.
The winners get in a boat and already are getting some of their reward in the form of rum and coconut while they travel to the island. Once they get there, they continue digging into the rum drinks as Troyzan suggests to us that if he can get the women drunk and they can stay on the island for a night, he might have a plan going.
Some fish and crabs are put on the fire by some locals. Meanwhile, Kat asks Jay what he’s thinking and Jay says he wasn’t happy about sending Mike home. It was supposed to be Christina or Alicia first. He continues, saying Alicia, Christina, Tarzan, and Leif all have to go before their new Salani alliance takes another hit; Kat says she knows and that’s the plan. They dig in to the barbecue as Jay tells us there will be some blindsides coming up – “I just hope it’s not me.”
Back at camp the next day, Kim asks Chelsea if they made the right decision, and then says she thinks the guys realize they made a mistake and may now be really worried. She also tells us she’s been hoping people think of her as calm and soft-spoken and not calling any shots, but she thinks if she can make the final three, the jurors will know she was making most of the decisions. Sorry, Kim, but those are usually mutually exclusive – those who try to blend into the background rarely get credit for making moves.
She chats with Alicia and Chelsa, validating Troyzan’s earlier fears by saying it’s smart to get rid of him and Jay before somebody like Tarzan. My first thought is that we can’t really take much out of this discussion because this is exactly what Kim would be telling Alicia if she wasn’t planning on booting a man but instead wanted to go back to the new Salani alliance.
However, Chelsea seems to take it seriously, as she has a problem with it because she looked Troyzan and Jay in the eyes and told them they were safe. She can’t betray somebody like that.
Kim tries to convince Chelsea that her idea is the best way, but Chelsea discusses how difficult it is. Alicia, of course, makes fun of Chelsea getting “sensitive” to us. Kat, who had overheard the discussion, reports back to Sabrina about Chelsea’s hesitancy, and Sabrina says they can’t have a weak link. She tells us getting to the end requires big decisions and “you gotta put on your big girl panties.” Whether or not I agree with the plan, I do agree with the sentiment and get tired of players – after 23 seasons – who still don’t seem to understand the point of the game.
Meanwhile, Jay and Troyzan chat, with the latter saying their new Salani allies should boot a woman or two to prove they’re still loyal. Yeah, that’ll happen. But Jay specifically wants Alicia to go first.
Jay also has his own plans, because as Troyzan talks about how they could run the table on immunities and keep working together to the end, Jay tells us that he’ll let Troyzan keep thinking that’s the case, but he knows Troyzan is dangerous – everybody likes him. He wants to work with Kim and Chelsea.
Jay brings the plan to get rid of Alicia and Christina to Kat, who doesn’t really respond to Jay’s entreaties. She does, however, tell us that while she likes Jay, she can’t go with her heart – she has to use her brain.
Kim, Chelsea, and Sabrina join them and Jay makes his case again. Kim kind of looks at Kat like, “Are you really okay with this?” When Kat seems to be (or pretends to be), Kim agrees. Chelsea avoids eye contact with Jay and walks away because it seems she knows differently.
The next day, Kim and Alicia reaffirm that they can’t have any men around at the end because none of them would beat a guy. So in this next Tribal Council, they’re voting out whichever of Jay or Troyzan doesn’t win immunity. Kim recounts to us what happened with Jay (in the previous paragraph) and notes that despite what they told him, the plan is to draw the line – it’s women vs. men.
Troyzan sees Kim and Alicia talking on the beach and is wondering what they could be talking about. Hmmm. If the girls were smart, he says, they have enough to pick off himself or Jay. Yes, Troyzan, they do.
Troyzan and Jay go to get treemail and chat on the way back. Troyzan shares his worries but Jay is confident that the other new Salani women will be writing down Alicia’s name. Troyzan just doesn’t want the women to pull a fast one, but Jay just really doesn’t see that happening. Perhaps it would help if he opened his eyes… But Jay tells us he thinks Troyzan just needs to calm down. Sigh. Troyzan tells us he feels like he really has to win immunity to be safe.
Challenge time! The tribe arrives and Probst explains what they’ll have to do: It’s the old stand-under-the-water-tank challenge. They will stand barefoot on a small wooden perch, with their hand chained to a bucket. If their arm drops, they’re out. Last person standing wins immunity. But Probst also notes he’ll be trying to tempt them with food items along the way. This could get interesting if somebody like Alicia falls to temptation and indicates that she feels she’s safe.
And they’re on the beams! And Tarzan is off and soaking wet! Probst had not even finished saying, “This challenge is officially on,” and Tarzan’s bucket dumped on him. He doesn’t even get a temptation!
Probst starts to bring one out, but before he can even reveal it, Christina is next out. Probst reveals two cookies and a glass of milk, and Sabrina immediately claims it. Probst notes she must be feeling safe and she doesn’t really answer. But Alicia says she wants the next plate without knowing what it is. Jay tells her if she takes the food, he’s going to vote her out.
Probst reveals cupcakes, and both Kim and Kat step down to share them. Probst again notes how the two of them must feel very safe. Alicia tells Chelsea that she’ll come off on the next one and so will Jay (how/why she knows that is beyond me) so Chelsea will only have to outlast the other guys. Chelsea looks confused and Jay says it’s BS. Alicia says she could last long but she’s doing this for Chelsea. Uh, yeah. Chelsea isn’t buying it – neither is Probst.
Probst brings out the next covered tray and Alicia claims it sight-unseen. She steps down and is given a bowl full of candy and chocolate. Forty-five minutes passes with the four remaining contestants holding up their arms. Probst once again reminds everybody how those who took temptations must feel awfully safe.
Troyzan almost loses his balance and falls, but recovers. Chelsea does the same. Then Troyzan does fall off backwards.
The next temptation is chicken wings and beer. Jay immediately steps down as Chelsea yells that he doesn’t even drink beer.
Chelsea says she’s got to prove herself, so she’ll be there all day. Leif echoes the sentiment. Chelsea tries to convince him by saying if he steps down now, he’s less of a threat. Uh, no, not if he does it voluntarily.
New temptation: Three burgers, chips, and a beer. Probst repeats what Chelsea had said previously about Leif being safe if he steps down and Leif asks Chelsea about it. She tells him it’s true and he can look in her eyes to see it. He believes her and gets the burgers while Chelsea wins immunity! And Leif even offers Chelsea a bite!
The tribe arrives back in camp as Kim tells us the challenge went perfectly for her. She got food and didn’t have to put herself out there as a threat. Chelsea tells us she wanted to continue further with Jay and Troy but now realizes that would be “an idiot move.” So while she hates to be the kind of person to turn on them, she loves money.
She continues that Troyzan is the biggest threat because he wants to win more than anybody else. Jay, on the other hand, gave up the challenge for food – he thinks he’s safe. She talks with Kim, and it looks like the plan is to aim at Troyzan but also throw a few votes Jay’s way just in case. She tells us she expects Christina, Tarzan, and Alicia to vote out Jay because they are willing to just ride out the game at this point. Really? I wouldn’t trust Tarzan to vote out Jay!
Jay comes to talk to Kim, who assures him he has nothing crazy to worry about. Kim then fills Alicia in on the plan. This is followed by Troyzan talking to Kim about how easy it would be for the women to vote him out – she acknowledges this but says they won’t be doing it and claims she doesn’t trust Christina and Alicia.
Troyzan tells us he has a fishy feeling. It was almost like she was doing everything she could to reassure him of his safety. But he has his own reassurance in the form of the idol, so he prepares for the possibility of using it. He also reveals its existence to Jay because he believes he’s being played. But Jay continues to insist that isn’t happening. Poor, naďve Jay.
Troyzan asks Jay if he would vote out Kim if he gets Tarzan and Christina to do so. Jay tells us he won’t do it because Kim is part of his planned final three, but Troyzan attempts to get the other two. Meanwhile, Jay spills the beans to Kim, suggesting they vote out Alicia while he burns the idol, and then they can get him next time. If they vote for him and those votes are nullified by the idol, the rest of the votes will go her way!
Kim tells us Jay scared her enough to change things up. She doesn’t have enough time before Tribal Council to talk to everybody, but she’s hoping to pull together enough vote changes so the right person leaves. I’m not sure who “the right person” is in this context, but I suspect it’s anybody but Kim.
We’ll find out soon enough, because it’s Tribal Council time! Everybody arrives (in case you were wondering, Tarzan is wearing Monica’s shirt!). Jurors Jonas and Michael join the proceedings and it’s time for Probst to start asking questions.
He begins by noting that two guys have been voted out in the last two Tribal Councils. Is that a sign that it’s still men vs. women? Troyzan originally thought it was a coincidence but now he’s thinking that it’s probably not. How did the men lose control? Tarzan says they lost their will and the allegiance was broken. “The girls are a lot smarter than the boys.” Jay agrees with Troyzan that he was okay with it but no longer feels so safe after the scrambling that went on today.
This leads Probst to ask the same question from last week: Who thinks they might be in danger? Jay, Troyzan, and Kim all raise their hands. From the look on Troyzan’s face, he seems to find it odd that Alicia hasn’t raised her hand.
Is Kim surprised that nobody else is worried? She felt safe at the challenge and while she ate, but “there was a funky vibe” at camp. People get paranoid and run around and get other people paranoid.
What can you do in this game to keep a plan intact? Chelsea says they all know people can be dishonest but at some point you need to go with your gut and hope people are being honest with you.
How mixed up is this game right now? Troyzan indicates that it’s very much so, and it happened after the challenge. You can start to tell who feels safe enough to get food, who applauds when someone goes out, etc. Everybody applauded when he went out, even those who should have been rooting for him.
What about hidden immunity idols? Chelsea notes that nobody’s pulled one out yet and there are some suspicions but you never know. Alicia notices who holds onto their bags, who wears different shorts, etc. In particular, Troyzan has changed shorts into a pair with a lot of pockets.
What does Tarzan think will happen? He believes the alliance he knows of will strengthen, the faith will be restored, and they’ll be a powerhouse that will take them to the end – if people just do what they said they were going to do before they got to Tribal Council. And, of course, “The game is afoot!”
With that, it’s time to vote. Jay votes Alicia, whispering that he told her not to step down at the challenge. Troyzan votes Kim, saying he’s sorry but she’s the strongest player. Kat votes Troyzan, saying she doesn’t want to do it but doesn’t have a choice. “Love you, monkey man.” And that’s all we see for now.
Probst tallies the votes and asks if anybody wants to play an immunity idol. Indeed, Troyzan does play his. He says some of the dumbest moves in Survivor history have been made by people getting voted out with an idol in their pocket. “That’s not going to be me.”
Time to read the votes:
After Jay’s torch is snuffed, Probst notes that with the number of people who got votes just now, if there wasn’t reason to be paranoid before, there certainly is now.
So the rampage of the women continued as Jay just essentially sent himself home. He should have listened to Troyzan, and maybe Kim would have been sent packing instead (wouldn’t that have been something to see?!).
In his final words, Jay says you never know what’s going to happen or who’s telling the truth. You can just make the best decisions with the information you have and go with your gut. He had a great time and wouldn’t trade it for the world. He tried to play the game as honestly as possible and now he’s on the sidelines. He had an eerie feeling coming in to Tribal Council (maybe that was Troyzan screaming in his ear!) but he didn’t see himself being voted out. He congratulates the women on getting him.
The votes went as follows: Kim, Tarzan, Sabrina, Christina, and Alicia voted for Jay (though Sabrina tweeted, “it hurt me to vote for you. :( like...it sickened me.” – which didn’t change the fact that she did it!); Troyzan voted for Kim; Kat and Chelsea voted Troyzan; and Leif and Jay voted Alicia.
Next week, Troyzan fights back as he gives his all in challenges. Chelsea tells us they want to take him down but they also know he’s going to fight as hard as he can. He tells Leif and Tarzan that they can join together to make five votes and pick off the others. Then he tells us that they may think they have him outsmarted, but they don’t. “You cannot mess with Troyzan.”
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