The thirty-second season of Survivor, Kaôh Rōng, barrels forward as we enter the merge portion of the game. After an entertaining seventh episode, it’s time to recap it! Joining us, we have our recap expert, Clifton, plus Ben and the Ozlets chime in with their thoughts as well! Oh, and we’ll even speak to a real expert in our good friend Diane Ogden, from Africa!
(If you haven’t watched this weeks episode yet, clicking the link below will spoil the hell out of it, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then don’t click the link!)
PREVIOUSLY ON… SURVIVOR
“This season has been a test of will. With perseverance, Neil, Tai, and Jason each found an idol, but Scot knew about both Tai’s and Jason’s. At the Chan Loh tribe, Beauty was making allies with Brain and Brawn, but they were torn on which way to go. At the last Immunity Challenge, Gondol lost. Facing Tribal Council, Tai, Julia, and Scot had a plan to get rid of Peter and tried to convince Aubrey to go along. Aubrey was conflicted. At Tribal Council, Aubrey was still so uncertain about the vote that she changed hers at the last second [from Julia to Peter]. Now everything is up in the air. Eleven are left. Who will be voted out tonight? ” ~ Jeff Probst
Back at camp, Joe confronts Scot, saying that he was confused by Scot’s proclamation of “original plan”. Scot says that Joe did not vote the right way, confessing that the brains are wishy washy. He can’t trust them, and will vote them out. Aubrey confesses that she put a target on her back and Joe’s. The Brains are done.
Scot makes it clear that the Brains are on the outs. (Image credit: CBS)
The next morning, Tai tries to enjoy a coconut but his chicken friend desperately tries to steal it from Tai. Joe confesses that Tai and the chicken are like a father and son. He confesses that now Tai, Julia, and Scot have the numbers and he will probably be next to go. The chicken is in a better position.
Hungry chicken is hungry. (Image credit: CBS)
As Neil is walking around camp, Cydney believes she sees an idol in his cargo pocket. She points it out to Jason and he agrees. He confesses that he knows it is an idol because he also has an idol. He feels that he holds all the power. Michele then notices a boat coming towards them. A man hands them a note, telling them that they have five minutes to gather everything they want and get on the boat and head to Chan Loh. Michele confesses that it is her dream to make the merge, but she is scared because she doesn’t know what is going on on the other side. Debbie confesses that she knew she would make the merge, and she is ready to take the offensive and pull people in.
The Chan Loh tribe prepare to depart for Gondol. (Image credit: CBS)
As the Gondol tribe lies on the beach, they hear the calls of the approaching Chan Loh tribe. Scot confesses that it is like being in the playoffs. Time to refocus. Scot is so excited to see his former Brawn tribe mates that he picks up Jason and carries him up the beach like a bride. Aubrey confesses that she and Joe are saved. The tribe wastes no time digging into the merge feast where many tribe members become intoxicated. Nick confesses that he was taking the opportunity to listen and see who is getting along. He notices that the Brawn tribe is very confident, but knows that the Brains tribe will not want to work with them. He will let people bring him information.
Honeymoon time. (Image credit: CBS)
After the feast, people split into pairs and begin talking strategy. Aubrey and Debbie talk and make sure that the four Brains are still solid. Nick talks with Aubrey and Neil and begins forming a relationship. He tells them that he has noticed that Tai and Julia are very close now, but he thinks Michele will stick with him. That would give them a six person alliance and the majority. Nick confesses that he was correct in assuming the Brains wanted to go against the Brawn. It would make sense for him to go with the Brains but he has to be careful not to paint himself into a corner. Nick then approaches the Brawn contestants and beings forming his relationships with them. Scot reassures him that he is close with Tai and Julia. Jason confesses that they want Nick to feel very comfortable with them. They think Neil has the idol and need to focus on him. Scot also tells Jason and Nick that Tai has the idol, informing them that Cydney doesn’t know. Nick confesses that he was shocked to be filled in on the two idols. He doesn’t like their overconfidence, but feels that it could be a great thing for his game. They won’t expect a blindside.
Nick is shocked by Scot’s transparency. (Image credit: CBS)
The next morning, Neil shows Aubrey a wound on his knee. He says that it is disgusting and looks like he is dying. Debbie approaches Tai and basically insists that he is now a part of her alliance. He is clearly very uncomfortable, but she does not pick up on it. Tai confesses that he is not a fool and sees through Debbie. Debbie then approaches Nick and tries the same tactic. Aubrey and Neil discuss Debbie’s lack of finesse. Aubrey confesses that she is trying to hard and showing desperation rather than confidence. Meanwhile, the Brawn contestants and the women of the former Beauty tribe discuss a Beauty and Brawn alliance in the shelter. They would have a seven person alliance to take on the four Brains. Jason confesses that the cheerleaders always go with the jocks. They’ll be shoving geeks in lockers. They agree that they will target Aubrey at the next Tribal Council because everyone will expect it to be Neil, Joe, or Debbie. Michele confesses that Jason is clearly on top of the alliance, and she is still willing to work with Brain if Jason becomes too controlling. Nick and Aubrey then walk off and talk together, noting that they haven’t really had a one on one yet. They agree that Debbie is off her rocker at this point. Aubrey confesses that people are clearly irritated with Debbie, and Nick confesses that he would rather be a free agent than work with Debbie. Aubrey then talks on the beach with Neil and they discuss that Debbie is keeping them from advancing. Neil then tells Aubrey that he has the idol. They need to figure out who the other alliance is voting for tomorrow so that they can use the idol.
Aubrey talks idol strategy with Neil. (Image credit: CBS)
Before the challenge, Jeff asks the tribe about their health, saying that the medical team noticed a number of them are banged up. Neil reveals to Jeff the infection on his knee. Scot and Aubrey both offer up that they have infections on their inner thigh as well. Tai has large scrapes on the back of his leg. Jeff jokingly notes that it is almost like those without injuries are not worthy. For the first individual Immunity Challenge, each contestant must stand on a log while balancing a ball on a wooden disk. At regular intervals, a second and a third ball will be added. Joe, Debbie, and Jason all go out in the first round. Michele, Neil, Scot, Cydney, and Aubrey go out in the second round, leaving Tai, Julia, and Nick to compete in the final round. Julia goes out first, followed by Tai, leaving Nick with the victory. Neil confesses that they will have to stand up against the Brawn, and fortunately he has an idol with which to do it.
Nick wins the first individual Immunity Challenge. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, the tribe congratulates Nick on his victory. Nick confesses that the Brains are the pretty girl at the dance who has to pick between the quarterback and the valedictorian. He then talks with Jason and Scot and they reassure him that they are all voting for Aubrey. Nick confesses that he is leaning towards siding with Scot and Jason, but since they feel safe it might be the time to make a move against them. Neil approaches Nick and tells him that the Brawn are much more of a physical threat. Neil confesses that he feels confident that Nick wants to work with them. Michele sits in the water with Aubrey and Debbie and they agree that the women need to stick together. Debbie says that they need to take out Jason or Scot. Michele confesses that she would love to work with Debbie and Aubrey but it might not be her best strategic option. She and Nick talk about their plans. Nick asks Michele what she wants. Michele says that no one will vote for Jason or Scot in the Final Tribal Council. They agree to side with Brawn and vote for Aubrey. Nick confesses that he would hang out with Aubrey and likes Aubrey, but she is going home. He will be able to manipulate Scot and Jason, he can beat them in puzzle. The Brains… maybe not.
Nick and Michele decide to side with the Brawn. (Image credit: CBS)
The tribe then notices that a medical boat is quickly approaching the beach with Jeff Probst aboard, and they become nervous. Scot confesses that is must be serious for Jeff to come to them. Jeff tells them that so many of them looked sick at the challenge, he was concerned and wanted to asses what is going on with their infections. Dr. Rupert begins by examining Tai’s scraped legs. He notes that the injuries are scabbing over nicely, and thus he is not concerned. Scot then comes over and shows them the infection in his inner thigh. Jeff becomes more taken aback and shocked looking with the revelation of each new infection. Dr. Rupert notes that it is a nasty infection that he will have to keep an eye on. Aubrey is next, and her infection is very large below the surface. Dr. Rupert says that he can either start her on antibiotics, or he can lance it, which would create an entry point for further infection. Debbie confesses that if Aubrey is evacuated it will be a big blow to her game. Dr. Rupert says that for now he will put her on antibiotics and continue to observe it. Neil smiles to see his tribe mate is okay, but Neil is up next.
Dr. Rupert examines Aubrey’s infection. (Image credit: CBS)
Neil reveals to Dr. Rupert that the infection on his knee has opened up, allowing puss to drain out and leaving a cavity. Neil also reveals a disturbing infection on his back which has begun to turn black. At this point, Dr. Rupert and Jeff take Neil away to a separate, clean spot so that they can treat him. Neil confesses that the infection may look gross, but he is fine and medical will have to physical pull him from the game if they want him to go. After repositioning, Neil explains to Jeff and Dr. Rupert that he feels fine, he isn’t hurting, and he is sleeping well. Dr. Rupert assesses that the infection on his back is nasty but not life threatening because there is nothing vital right under the skin there. They then refocus on Neil’s knee. Dr. Rupert explains that this infection is much more serious because it is near the joint. If infection spreads to the joint it can destroy it in a matter of hours. Jeff looks horrified, and Neil notices. Dr. Rupert says that it could affect him for the rest of his life, and he wants Neil to be able to run around when he is Joe’s age. He then clarifies that he is, in fact, pulling Neil from the game. Neil begins to weep as Jeff consoles him. Neil says that it was a huge amount of work to get out there. He has grown alongside the show and it was a dream come true to see that he could do it. Before departing with Jeff, Neil is able to say goodbye to the rest of the tribe, telling them that it was an honor to play with them. He does not give Aubrey the Hidden Immunity Idol. Nick confesses that Aubrey was saved by the evacuation. Aubrey confesses that she lost her number one ally and that ally left her hanging. She’ll have to pave her own way.
Neil becomes this season’s second medical evacuation. (Image credit: CBS)
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
“The Brains are on the outs and hoping for a miracle, but, just when things seem set in stone, it all starts to crumble.” ~Jeff Probst
Angry Cydney is happy to blow up this game. (Image credit: CBS)
SURVIVOR OZ SWEEP!
I had a feeling Neal would be in danger of being voted out this episode right after the merge, but I didn’t expect or want him to go out this way. This whole season people have been saying they can see a woman winning this season, and that prediction is one step closer. With Nick, Jason, and Scot being viewed negatively, and Joe being Joe, looks like Tai is the front runner for the male players this season. That being said, it doesn’t really feel like anyone has had a big winners edit. Again the closest I can think of is Tai but he might be going in the direction of a Spencer/Rupert/Yau-Man. Anyway, once again this season has proven to be more complicated than it should be. It might’ve just been some editing magic, but the dilemma between which alliances to side with was a legitimately tough one for the swing votes which happened to be Beauty members. Even though it looks like the Brains are sealed to be pagonged beginning next episode, we know what happened with Josh and Jeremy right? A lot of questions going into the next episode. What can Aubry do in this position? Is Debbie’s magical Phillip-esque alliance making skills running out? Will Cydney, who had a quiet episode, break out and define her game in the next vote? Will Jason and Tai merge their idols and who will hold the super idol? I can’t wait to watch next week and neither should you.
Channeling San Juan Del Sur, come in SJDS…. Yeah so we basically need exactly what happened in your merge episode to happen in this week’s episode of Survivor, can you help us. Only difference is, it won’t be someone quitting and there will only be 11 people. Oh you can help us that would be great. I decided to start out humorous because let’s face it, the whole episode seemed very similar to the SJDS merge episode. You have two alliances trying to take the other out and you have 2 people stuck in the middle. It also happens to be that one of the sides has a ‘gay couple’ (Scot and Jason) and the other has a mother daughter type thing going on (Debbie and Aubry). The similarities were just too big to ignore.
Overall this was a great episode. I thought it was great and really had a lot of character development. Debbie is starting to get a little bit of that downfall edit that I was thinking/hoping she would get. Scot’s edit is all over the place. He had a bad edit when Alecia was voted out and then a great edit when Anna and Peter were voted out and now this week he got another somewhat arrogant edit. Jason has just gotten a straight arrogant edit however there always seems to be a method to his madness.
I have mentioned how much I’ve hated Nick and well I can’t say that he is my favorite player right now but he did have a great episode. He was playing both sides but I feel he was playing too hard this week and it might come back to haunt him. He will be gone soon, if not next episode then really soon after that. He went from being so minimal to being the center of the edit which just means he is going to be voted out soon.
A lot of people are talking about Michele getting the winners edit. To be honest, I don’t know who is getting the winners edit. I can tell you who is not and that is Julia. She is the only person I can rule out as not winning. Joe is also really close to being added to that list and basically is but he could sneak in soon. I mean I thought Debbie was getting the best winners edit until this week. Now it’s probably Aubry, Michele or Tai really. I mean Scot, Jason, and Nick have gotten big edits but they seem to be too negative, kind of like Spencer’s last season. Cydney is a big dark horse to win though. If I had my money on anyone right now and I know she has had minimal edits so far, however, so did Natalie in SJDS until closer to the end, so I would put my money on her right now.
Overall, I’m sad to see Neal go as he is playing a great game and well that makes it so that Scot and Jason know exactly where the only two idols in play are and they have both of them on their side so that gives them a lot of power in the game if used right. Hopefully next week is eventful as much as this week was.
SURVIVOR RE-CAPPER: DIANE OGDEN
Each week this season we’ll bring you the viewpoint of at least one former Survivor contestants to hear what they think of the episode and their thoughts for the rest of the season! Our recap for episode 7 features our good friend Diane Ogden from Africa! Diane discusses everything that happened during this episode as well as looking ahead to the rest of the season with her answers to the ‘Kaoh Rong 5!’
Join us again next week as we recap and discuss the eighth episode of Kaôh Rōng!
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