Well, tonight’s episode had a balance of sadness, gladness, and depending on your fan base, giddiness. Personally, I’m sad but relieved at the same time.
The Malakal tribe returned home after voting off Joel (or Truck as they once called him). Erik came to the realization that the favorites couldn’t be trusted. They would vote out anyone in their way, useful or not. Erik figured he either needed to step up his game or get an alliance.
Tracy was also having problems with control; mainly with the fact she didn’t have any. Her alliance with Chet wasn’t a lot to work with. She started working Ami and Erik into her alliance, Ami was uncertain at first, but Erik was in immediately. Everything seemed to be falling into place for Tracy.
At the Airai tribe, Jonathan, or Penner as Jeff has taken to calling him, took the pain in his leg with grace. Everyone acknowledged the fact that it didn’t bring him down but also noticed it wasn’t getting any better. James however, acted different than when Eliza started getting sick. He didn’t want Jonathan to leave because he was a help in the challenges. Also, he didn’t want to be stuck with a tribe full of girls (and Jason). Penner was convinced that his leg would heal if given the time.
When the reward challenge came around, the Airai tribe was shocked to see that Malakal had voted Joel out. The challenge had the survivors swim out and retrieve bundles of sticks and bring them to the shore where they had to build a blockade in an empty box. After five minutes, the tribes switched boxes, and had to tear apart the blockade the other tribe had built. The first tribe to get all their tribe mates through the box and on the mat on the other side won the reward, having two Micronesian’s come to the tribe's beach and teach them how to live on the island.
Penner, despite his knee, stayed in the challenge and competed with his tribe. This seemed like a bad choice when the challenge started and Penner stayed on the beach, limping on his leg. However, when it came time to build the blockade, Jonathan’s intelligence seemed to be an advantage. Eventually when they switched, the Malakal tribe gave their all, however, Airai's strategizing lost Malakal the challenge. Basically, Airai tore apart what they could of the blockade and then dragged themselves through it (even Penner) winning them reward.
However, after the Malakal tribe left, and before the Airai tribe could leave, Jeff had the Survivor medical team look at Jonathan’s leg. The medic informed Jonathan that he had an infection and if he didn’t get medical attention, it could be fatal. Jonathan had no choice; he had to leave the game. He said his tearful goodbyes to his tribe mates and got on the boat to go to the hospital.
I was very sad. I didn’t really like him until about two seasons ago when he was writing for Survivors Strike Back, a blog where past survivors could comment about the newer survivors. He was so funny and he brought up a lot of good points. Then in this season, his personality and intelligence really shined, it was obvious he could outsmart everyone if given the opportunity. It was a shame to see such a great player leave. I really hope they do the Survivors Strike Back blog again and that he participates.
As for Exile Island, the tribe decided that Chet and Jason should go. Once there, Jason went looking for the immunity idol. Once he found it, he concluded that it didn’t look like much; but that it must have been the real idol. I burst out laughing when he said “Well, at least Ozzy doesn’t have it”. Man, I was laughing so hard, thank goodness I wasn’t drinking milk.
The Airai tribe’s remorse was over-shadowed by excitement when the Micronesian’s arrived. They brought extra supplies and spices for the tribe to enjoy. They showed them how to catch fish and crab, and how to make stew. It was interesting to see how the people of Micronesia live everyday life. We’re so use to living in a world where we can buy our food and buy our shelter, it’s cool to see a world where you catch your food and build your own home.
At the Malakal tribe, Ami decided to cast her alliance to the favorites aside and join Tracy, Chet, and Erik. Mostly because of Cirie, who had betrayed her so easily, Ami felt she couldn’t trust the old group. Oh yeah, I wish I could give Cirie her plate of ‘I told you so,’ but Micronesia, or where ever she lives, is so far away. Not really a lot a teenager can do in this case.
Jason and Chet returned from Exile Island in time to compete in the immunity challenge. Jason tried to throw the scent off himself by claiming that Ozzy had the real idol. If only he knew. Jeff explained what had happened to Penner and told them that he had surgery and that he was fine. Jeff went on to explain the challenge. The survivors had to use two stepping poles to get two tribe mates from one platform to another. Once both tribe mates got to the platform they had to swim to a smaller platform and get everyone in the tribe on the platform. The first tribe to do that would win immunity.
Now, before I go on to the challenge, I’d like to point out that they’ve never continued on with a challenge when someone left for medical reasons. They’ve especially never voted someone out after a survivor left the game for medical reasons. I just don’t like that; it bothers me for some reason. Did two people need to go? Wasn’t Penner’s last stand enough?
Well, the challenge was pretty boring to be honest. You knew who was going to win fairly early in the game. The Airai tribe used a strategy in which they used one stepping pole and carried their tribe mates across. By the time the Malakal tribe brought their first tribe mate to the second platform, the Airai tribe had already won.
Does this surprise me? Sadly not. The Malakal tribe is made up of the physically weakest competitors and Ozzy, the fishman. Despite being the strongest physical competitor, Ozzy can’t really support the entire team. I think maybe Ozzy regretted voting Joel out at that point if he didn’t before. On one hand, this team has a lot of mental strength, if only they would use it to their advantage.
At the Malakal camp, Chet finally said enough was enough and asked to be voted out. Ozzy just nodded his head and secretly added “Was there a question about it?” Tracy and Erik however felt that it would be in their best interest if Ozzy the fishman was voted out instead. Tracy and Erik asked Chet to vote with them to get rid of Ozzy. Chet felt like he owed Tracy, but he really wanted out. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do.
At tribal council, Ozzy was convinced Chet was leaving. Tracy and Erik left clues that they were voting for him, but in the end it was pointless. Chet was voted out, and Ozzy was spared.
It was Chet’s time to go. At first I liked him, but his personality seemed so bland after awhile, maybe because it seemed like he had stopped trying and just wasn't in the game. It’s why I’m sad Jonathan left; he was an interesting character and intellectual. Chet is probably a nice guy outside the game, but inside, he just didn’t pull anything off. It was time for him to go.
Hopefully, it won’t be much longer until the merge. Ozzy will defiantly dominate in the challenges, and having the real immunity idol will defiantly get him places. At this point, as long as he continues to be the strongest physically and use his brains, Ozzy is my pick to win Survivor.
The fans at Malakal struggle to survive against the favorites.
The Airai tribe faces complications as they struggle to survive all together.
And Chet’s once biggest ally, Kathy, realizes she may not have what it takes to be the next survivor.
Here’s a poll question: who do you think is the biggest mental mastermind? I’d say Tracy is, but am curious to get some other opinions.