The reward challenge tonight was for one of the most substantial things at this point in the game: a meal that was specifically designed to refuel them exactly as they should be (protein, protein, protein). Aubry won, with everyone close on her tail. She strategically chose Cydney to have a meal as well.
Then we had the most important immunity challenge of the season. This one is always the MOST exhausting. They are tiring just to watch. Michele ended up coming from way behind (Aubry had a killer lead and Michele was in last), in a super impressive win. So she is one of the final three.
Tribal went to a tie between Cydney and Aubry (boo, I wanted a three woman finale). So of course we went to fire making at this point in the game. THIS IS WHAT WE WATCH FOR.
Aubry fairly quickly got her fire up and to the rope, but not enough to burn through it, before her fire structure came crashing down. The next time she had it lined up perfectly, which allowed her to win, making Cydney the eighth member of the jury. It was really sweet and sad to see the two of them say goodbye, there were lots of tears.
Jeff tried to trick them into thinking there was another immunity challenge, and one of them would be leaving, but it turns out the challenge reward was to vote a JURY MEMBER out. THIS IS WHAT WE WATCH FOR. That is absolutely massive. In a very close match up, Michele took it once again, just dominating these challenges.
Michele ended up voting out Neil, who had some WORDS for Michele as he left. She definitely made the right choice.
They had their usual mirror and scale visit, so they could see the toll the game has taken on their poor, poor bodies. Followed by their last feast.
We then had the final tribal, where they each pled their typical cases and we said goodbye to Mark the chicken, who also lasted 39 days. Then the vote happened.
Finally we got to find out who would be this season’s Survivor. And the winner was, shockingly, Michele. (Both million and dollars have two L’s, why can’t her name?)
If you need me, I’ll be over here waiting for my anger to set in.
PS. Sia showed up at the reunion, and donated $50,000 to Tai, and another $50,000 to an animal charity of his choice, because sure.
For the reward challenge was individual, playing for a spa day, where they finally get to wash themselves, eat, and even sleep in a real bed. Huge advantage at this point of the game, and one of my favourite rewards. Joe, who is 71 remember, shockingly won the reward, after being in last place and taking his time. He obviously chose Aubry and Cydney to join him.
After the reward, where Joe ate lots of meat, he experienced some severe stomach pain and couldn’t urinate. (Been there Joe, I know that pain and yeah, it’s that bad). The doctor told him if he couldn’t urinate it would hurt his kidneys. The doctor came for a second visit and pulled Joe from the game. At least he went out on a high note of winning a challenge, although it was really emotional to see him go. This also makes it the season with the most evacuations (we're at three).
Because we only have four left now, there was no tribal this week. And on that note, next week is the season finale!
For the reward challenge they were split into two teams competing for their annual charity reward, this time the charity had to do with animals. The teams were Joe, Aubry and Cydney taking on Tai, Jason and Michele. The latter ended up winning by a long shot.
The immunity challenge was an intense building block challenge, and while everyone rushed through it and Cydney took her time being in dead last, she never ended up dropping hers and took the immunity necklace home in one of the sweetest wins of the season (especially since she just beat Jason).
Line of the night goes to Aubry: “I think tribal is going to be alive, and I’m going to be waking it up”. Girl.
During tribal, Tai used his extra vote advantage, which he used on Michele. This plan didn’t work however (because as if Tai ever keeps an alliance and has gained any trust), and Jason ended up being the eleventh person voted out and the sixth member of the jury. FINALLY.
For the reward they got a helicopter ride (and nice meal, of course). They were tethered together in pairs, which were chosen through a random draw, Joe an Tai, Abury and Julia, Cydney with Michelle, and Jason not participating. Cydney and Michelle won reward, and took Aubry with them.
In the immunity challenge, it was a memory game, which Julia and Michelle got the first part right on their first tries (which was insane - as Jeff made very clear). Michelle ended up winning the immunity in an absolutely crazy performance. Nobody should have won that quickly.
Julia ended up being the tenth person voted out the fifth person of the jury, just overtaking the votes against Tai.
First thing’s first, Tai gave Jason the idol. The boys are very moody because one person decided to not be on their side any more. So basically because they think someone was petty, they went pettier, and will stop if everyone will help get rid of Cydney.
Reward tonight was either a delicious meal or letters from home or for an advantage. All rewards could be won - everyone was just competing against the other people competing for the same things.
So going for advantage was Tai, Cydney and Aubry. Food was Scott, Jason and Michelle. Letters was Julia and Joe. Julia easily won almost right out the gate. Michelle won food. Tai won the advantage (which means it will be misused most likely). The advantage was an extra vote he could play anytime until there were 5 people left.
After a freaking BATTLE, Jason won immunity over Aubry.
Tribal council was actually insane. Possibly the biggest blindside yet, when Tai betrayed Jason and Scott by voting for Scott and then not playing the Super Idol, sending Scott home. Many expletives were shouted by yours truly.
They are now all the Dara tribe, and they shared a massive merge feast (with alcohol again, they’ve brought it back!).
Nick, originally of he Beauty tribe was everyone’s favourite new guy to make friends with, and he was becoming very close with all the alliances. He’s been fairly quiet throughout the game, so this sort of gameplay was kind of surprising from him.
Debbie meanwhile went immediately to Tai and basically told him he’s in her alliance, then told Nick the same. She was very aggressive and it’s looking mostly like it will backfire against her.
This was some of the hardest and most immediate game play following a merge. It was also a huge, beautiful mess. Everyone was double teaming everyone and it was glorious. It was so good that they spent most of the episode focusing on the new relationships and alliances (faux and otherwise).
Finally we got to the first individual immunity challenge. As per usual with individual challenges, it was all about balance and focus. Nick ended up winning - even though he seems to be the one who needs it least tonight.
I’ll say it again, Nick has come out of seemingly nowhere and is all of a sudden playing this game harder than anyone. He even gave a speech about being a pretty girl at the dance which was great. He’s growing on me.
Jeff and the doctor had a first where they made a house call, to look at the contestants and make sure any of the infections the players are seeing develop aren’t life threatening. Jeff. Was. Loving. It.
The doctor ended up pulling Neal, who had an infection close to his knee that could easily have gotten worse. He will still be a jury member, however, after making it past merge.
And because of this, there was no tribal this week. Two medical evacs in one season is crazy.
Julia spent some time trying to make friends with her new tribe, while people were still working out their strategies with each other.
For immunity Chan Lo (blue tribe) won yet again. But it was close once again.
The tribal was filled with a lot of last minute decisions, but Peter ended up getting voted out after someone crossed out Julia and wrote Peter instead. Very intense.
Next week we get our favourite - the merge!
Tonight the tribes were told to drop their buffs (and, with the way things were going for Brawns and Brains, it’s about time). The teams shuffled around, but differently than they expected with Caleb’s sudden departure, there were 6 blue, 6 yellow and 1 red, meaning whoever drew that buff would have to return to Brawn beach and fend for themselves. They would not have to participate in the immunity challenge (since nobody can vote them out) and they will then join whatever tribe loses someone at tribal council. I mean A+ drama element from the producers on what would have been a last minute decision. Love. It.
The teams were split into yellow, blue, and the singular red player - Julia. (The girls Beauty alliance, probably the strongest in the game, was split a solid three ways).
Sidenote: Tai and Scot are hilarious together based on their sizes.
While the two new tribes got to know each other, Julia struggled on her own (she’s only 18!!).
The immunity challenge was crazy close all the way through - this entire season is fairly well balanced.
But in the end the new blue tribe won immunity, sending the yellow tribe to tribal (meaning Julia will join this tribe next week).
Anna (from the Beauty tribe) was voted out, which was smart, but sad to see another Beauty go.
The reward tonight was a Survivor kitchen set for the first place winner, and salt, pepper and a few dishes for the second place team. The 3rd part (of 4) of the challenge took more than 45 minutes in the heat, while they dug in the sand to find hidden bags.
Brain ended up winning first place in the reward, after finding the bags they needed to complete the last part of the challenge far in advance of the other two tribes.
It was a tough challenge to even watch, because you could just imagine what they were feeling but with no reprieve.
After Brain came in first, they called a medic over to look at Debbie (since she weighs under 100 pounds and was clearly overheating).
Beauty ended up pulling out a second place int he reward challenge, leaving Brawn with nothing.
Shortly after, the Beauty tribe needed medical for Caleb. And then Brawn needed medical for Cydney. It was insane to watch. Everyone on the crew became essential personnel. We’ve never seen anything like this.
Surprise: the reward was medical and every team won.
They had to evacuate Caleb after he wasn’t being responsive, but Cydney was okay. It’s also important to note that Caleb has 100% recovered (and hopes to play again).
This was terrifying to watch, and super upsetting. Watching how sad the beauty tribe was over losing Caleb was ridiculously upsetting.
When they got back to their camps, Debbie was actually a real, normal person in her confessional. She talked about how she didn’t want to call medical over originally because she didn’t want to disappoint her daughters.
Meanwhile Brawn continued to gang up on Alecia (and let’s be real, they were pretty sexist during the challenge telling her to “keep cheerleading because it’s all you’re good at”). She was simply trying to stay positive. I just dislike that team so much. Beauty all the way, man.
For the immunity challenge they brought the majority of the action into the jungle and the water (coincidence, we think not - shade and water = nobody dying [hopefully]).
Brains won immunity (despite falling behind early on in the challenge). Thankfully this isn’t a repeat of the Brain tribe being shitty at the one thing they should be good at - puzzles. Beauty also took home immunity (YAY!), sending Brawn to tribal council.
Brawn even tried to make things quick and do tribal AT the challenge, but Alecia wouldn’t give up. At this point though, it was no surprise that they sent her home. Boo, what shitty, shitty men. (Also your Brawn clearly isn't helping, you keep losing).
This was an insane episode, and I know this game is all about survival in the elements, but if they keep pushing these contestants in this heat someone is going to end up (even more) seriously injured.
Over on Brawn, Alecia found the clue to idol, and got Cydney to help her find it. Of course this just turned into Cydney finding the tool for herself. Sydney then went and told the guys who ran into the forest to find it for themselves. Of course Douchebag-Stereo-Tattoo is a bounty hunter so this is right up his alley AFTER THE GIRLS ALREADY DID ALL THE FUCKING WORK. I hate the Brawn team so much. Although they did give us a full on brawl which we don’t see often for hidden immunities.
So the guys found the idol, with Jason taking it, but everyone knows that he has it so it loses some of its power.
For the challenge this week, in addition to immunity, the winning tribe got to choose between comfort items or emotional items. Second tribe gets what’s left.
Beauty slaughtered this challenge like they did that chicken, coming in first and choosing the comfort reward, and Brawn finally didn’t lose a challenge, coming in second, sending Brain to tribal.
There was a three-way tie between Liz, Aubry and Peter at tribal council, so there was revote, which ended in Liz getting sent home, and making for an awkward time back at camp.
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