The thirty-second season of Survivor, Kaôh Rōng, barrels forward as we continue the merge portion of the game. After an entertaining ninth 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 Dan Foley, from Survivor: Worlds Apart!
(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
“The Brawn and Beauty were in the majority alliance and targeting the Brains, but Cydney got tired of the men controlling the game, so she rallied the women in order to take out one of the men. At Tribal Council, Tai made a big mistake [revealing information about the super-idol], but for Cydney everything fell into place when the women sent Nick to the jury, leaving Jason, Scot, and Tai wondering what to do on the bottom. Nine are left. Who will be voted out tonight?” ~Jeff Probst
Upon returning to camp, Tai congratulates the women for their “girl power”. Scot confesses that Jason, Tai, and himself are clearly on the outs now. The three men discuss that they cam combine Tai and Jason’s idols into the super-idol at the next Tribal Council. Jason and Scot then decide that the three men will begin psychological warfare on their fellow tribe mates, hiding the tools and refusing to help provide food. Tai confesses that he is conflicted about the behaviors which Scot and Jason are choosing, but there is nothing he can do. Hours later, before the sunrise, Scot and Jason wake to find Joe tending the fire. They begin sneakily hiding tools in the woods while Joe is gathering firewood. Scot confesses that if fighting back means making the others miserable, that is what he is going to do.
The men plot their psychological warfare. (Image credit: CBS)
The next day, Debbie confesses that things are tense between the three men and the rest of the tribe due to their sudden loss of power. Debbie asks Jason to hold her water bottle while she fills it, and then he proceeds to drink the water and pass it off to Scot. Soon after, the tribe realizes that the tools are gone. Joe quickly analyzes the situation and reveals to everyone that it is “sabotage”. Debbie agrees. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who is behind the missing tools. The women find a saw and are able to open up a coconut with seeming ease. This makes Scot so angry that he proceeds to pour the camp’s water onto the fire, shocking rest of his tribe. Michele confesses that she wouldn’t accept this in her real life and she won’t accept it out here either. She gets the fire started while the three men look on from the distance. Tai expresses his discomfort with the situation, but Jason and Scot insist that they have to keep things miserable.
Scot Pollard [puts the] flames out. (Image credit: CBS)
Before the challenge, Jeff’s conversation with the tribe reveals to him the sabotages that has been taking place at camp. Sensing the animosities, he offers the tribe an opportunity to divide itself into teams. One person will have to sit out, putting their confidence in one of the teams and either winning or losing reward with that team. Joe elects to sit out. Scot, Jason, and Tai make up an obvious team, leaving one of the women in the position of having to go with the men. Julia volunteers, sending up red flags with some of the other women. For the challenge each team will be attached to one long rope and must work together to unbraid that rope. Once they are completely unspooled, they will unclip from the rope and race to sandbags which they must use to knock a series of blocks completely off the ledge. The reward is Chinese takeout delivered to camp. Initially it seems like the women are doing better than the men + Julia, but the tides end up turning quickly and the men’s team dominate the rest of the challenge. Debbie gives them a serious run for their money on the sandbags but she is unable to pull out the victory. Aubry confesses that Julia is clearly playing both sides and she can no longer trust her.
Jason pulls out the win for his team. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, the winning team get to enjoy their Chinese food. Debbie tells Tai that she is happy that he gets his noodles. Mark the Chicken sits with them and partakes in the feast as well. Julia tells the men that she has them in her plans, because she would be at the bottom if she stuck with the women. Julia promises the men that she will continue to communicate with them. The women begin to worry that Julia is aligned with the men, but Debbie is confident that Julia is with them. Cydney and Aubry agree that Julia is logical and socially smart and that they should target her.
Julia talks strategy with the men. (Image credit: CBS)
That night after everyone has gone to sleep, Tai sits at the fire with his chicken on his shoulder. He realizes that he is sticking with the boys. This is war and he has to make the other side uncomfortable. He puts out the fire. He confesses that it is “Them vs. Us”. As the sun comes up early the next morning, the tribe discovers that the fire has been put out. Aubry confesses that she thinks this is a deliberate ploy by the men to get votes cast their way which can be deflected with an idol. This makes her even more confident that they must vote for Julia. She attempts to explain this to Debbie, but Debbie won’t hear of it, Aubry confesses that Debbie is being emotional, but she needs to be logical.
Tai puts out the fire. (Image credit: CBS)
For the Immunity Challenge, each contestant must stack a series of block on a beam like dominos, while attempting to avoid trip obstacles. If the blocks fall correctly, the last one will hit a gong, signifying the winner. Very quickly in this challenge, the men begin to fall out due to their hasty and careless maneuvering of the trip obstacles. Julia progresses through the challenge slow and steady but is able to avoid all her obstacles. Her blocks fall correctly and she wins Immunity. Aubry confesses that her whole plan has gone out the window.
Julia wins Immunity. (Image credit: CBS)
Back at camp, Debbie immediately tells the other women that they should split the vote between Tai and Scot. She says that there is no way that they have an idol. Aubry confesses that she is terrified because she explained the plan in front of Julia. Julia does in fact go to the men and explain their plan. Scot tells Julia to vote for Cydney. This will give them the majority. Scot says that they will use the idols if they need to. Aubry and Cydney confide in each other that they are both really uncomfortable with Debbie and they might need to get rid of her. Cydney approaches Michele and tells her the plan. Michele seems to be on board. Aubrey and Cydney approach Joe, but he is not willing to vote against Debbie. Without Joe, they will need one more vote to make it happen. They need Julia. They tell her the plan and she says that he is totally on board, though she confesses that Cydney is a huge threat. Debbie also someone she wants gone. Her vote will decide which of the two of them go home.
Cydney and Michele lock in Julia’s vote. (Image credit: CBS)
Jeff begins Tribal Council by talking about the obvious divisions within the tribe. Debbie says that this is outside of the game, because they are putting their literal lives at risk by not allowing them have food and tools. Jeff then asks about the reaction to Julia teaming with the men for the Reward Challenge. Julia says that someone had to do it. Debbie agrees. Michele says her Immunity Necklace provides her with a good opportunity to show where her allegiance lies. Jeff then asks about idols, but Scot and Jason say that they can put the matter to rest. They reveal that Tai has an idol and he is safe tonight. Tai show it to the tribe. Jason then stands up and reveals his. Tai says he will obviously play his because the votes are coming his way. Jason reveals that when the time comes, he will “Ro Sham Bo” with Scot for the idol. The rest of the tribe are clearly uneasy, but the consensus of the whispering seems to be to stick with their original plan. After a storm of whispers and hushed side conversations, they vote. No idols are played, but Jason stands up after winning the “Ro Sham Bo” and gives the idol to Tai, who takes the idol and sits back down. He now has the super-idol, which can be played after the votes are read. Jeff reveals two votes for Scot, three votes for Cydney, and four votes for Debbie. Debbie’s torch is snuffed out and she becomes the third member of the Jury. Jeff says that the theme of the season has been that, no matter how bad things are, it doesn’t mean you are out. No matter how safe you feel, it doesn’t mean you are.
Jeff snuffs Debbie’s already-extinguished torch. (Image credit: CBS)
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR
“With the power of the super-idol, Jason, Scot, and Tai feel invincible, but Aubry tries to lure Tai away from the dark side.” ~Jeff Probst (Image credit: CBS)
SURVIVOR OZ SWEEP!
Yet another twist in proceedings with this tribe. I doubt very few people thought Debbie would be the target after Nick was voted out, but she was. Just when it seem like the game changed it her favor, it swung back and bit her in the butt. However I’m glad we had Debbie stick around as long as she did, especially since it seemed like she might’ve been the first or an early boot. We missed out on having characters like Darnell and Caleb last longer but we still have Debbie. I’m shocked Joe is one of the last two remaining Brains left. He’s interesting and he’s playing well but I wonder why he gets the least air time. Meanwhile it seems Tai has crossed over to the dark side, as well as Julia temporarily. Scot and Jason are the undisputed villains for both viewers and castaways. They lived up to those titles this episode by wreaking havoc, and it may have helped them survive this vote and without using an idol in the process. Julia’s immunity may have saved her, or it might not have if Debbie was unwilling to waver. The lesson today is you have to adapt, you have to be willing to shift and compromise when necessary. If you stay stagnant, the game moves on without you. Now Tai has both idols, and now the final 8 needs to buckle up and figure out which 3 or 4 players you want to see this game through with. Or at least that’s how it will be on paper. It’s never that simple.
SURVIVOR RE-CAPPER: DAN FOLEY
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 9 features our good friend Dan Foley from Survivor: Worlds Apart! Dan discusses everything that happened during this episode as well as looking ahead to the rest of the season with his answers to the ‘Kaoh Rong 5!’
Join us again next week as we recap and discuss the tenth episode of Kaôh Rōng!
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