A week late and a buck short! Previously on Survivor, Mike caused chaos for no real reason. Cole was voted out. Who? It’s not important. What is important is now it’s night 24! Back at camp, Mike says that he had to spice it up a little bit, and Joe is not a fan. Chrissy says Joe and Mike are dead men walking. Mike tries to play this off as a positive, saying that now he’s in a block of two with Joe. Voting blocks were so two seasons ago! Joe sees this for what it was, a bad move, and says now they have “No alliances, no power and no idol” Ah, yes, my favorite lyrics from the 1997 Destiny’s Child hit “No, No, No.
” Mike again tries to defend, saying that he needed to start playing his own game. “Everyone thinks I’m that crazy doctor!” Which crazy doctor? Doctor Strange? Doctor octopus? The Witch Doctor? I guess it’s to be expected that Mike is making the most out of his bad move. The only other option would be to say, “Ah, beans, guys, I guess I really whiffed that one!”
It’s time to slip off your socks and slide into the feet-only challenge! In this challenge, the Survivors need to build a little fortress using only their feet. The winners will get to fly around in a little plane and then chow down on cheeseburgers, which they will eat with their hands, presumably. “You never know what skills will be required on Survivor!” booms Jeff, except they’ve done this exact challenge at least twice before. Dr. Mike, Ashley, Chrissy and Lauren are all good at this. Dr. Mike wraps his toes around his flag first but then he knocks over a block and Lauren wins reward. As much fun as it would be to eat a solo cheeseburger, it turns out this is not a party of one. Lauren gets to pick not one, not two, but three people to go on reward with her. She chooses Devon, Ben and Ashley. Ryan approves of Lauren’s choices. Little does he know!
Losers! Mike is very mad. He decides to team up with Joe to bust some more jokes, just like that famous comedy duo Siskel and Ebert. I give this routine two thumbs… nah, I don’t give them two thumbs up or down, I just give them two thumbs. Mike dubs their comedy alliance “The Coconuts”, because Joe is from the Dominican Republic and Mike works with nuts. Seriously, folks, those were his words, not mine! In between guffawing at the lovable antics of #THECOCONUTS, Chrissy and Ryan decide that after Joe they’ll vote out Ben and Lauren next. You know, the two players who just conveniently happen to be on reward together. Don’t worry, Chrissy and Ryan, things always go according to plan on Survivor! Meanwhile, it’s a high-flying time at the reward. They even fly right over camp! The reward turns out to be just a corner of a beach with a picnic table, where Lauren, Devon, Ashley, and Ben chow down on burgers and beers. Lauren gets mustard on her pants but then realizes she hasn’t had a shower in over twenty days, so it’s no big deal. I wish I could have the same approach every time I get mustard on my pants which is, uh, more often than you would think! Lauren says that she brought this crew on reward not only to have fun, but also to strategize, and presents them with a pretty aggressive plan of being the final four. Oh, man, is this where this season gets good? Lauren explains that the four of them can work together before Joe and Mike are voted out to blindside Ryan, Chrissy and JP. This is where this season gets good! Everyone at the table decides to share their secrets: Ben and Devon tell about Ryan’s idol, Lauren publicly reveals her secret vote, and Ashley is just happy to be there. Poor Ashley, never really in the loop! The four decide they need to keep Joe and Mike, even though those two are unpopular they’re technically less dangerous than Ryan, Chrissy or, uh, JP. JP! You remember JP! He’s a firefighter! He once told a story about his truck! As if this lunch couldn’t get any more momentous, Lauren moves a cheeseburger and discovers a pile of letters from home. Everyone tearfully reads the letter. Hey, I get it, sometimes after a big cheeseburger you just need to have a little cry.
The next day, Ben reads his letter alone and reminds us how his wife and family have given him strength. Before you can say “winner’s edit,” Ben is just walking along and notices a special rock. Under that rock is a map which leads to an idol. How convenient? Ben is apparently looking for “a clay pot in the middle of a hook.” He goes to the right place on the map but doesn’t know to look up, where the pot is wedged into a tree. The cameraperson keeps hilariously panning to the pot as Ben walks around clueless below. Eventually Ben does look skyward, finds the pot, and tosses off his hat in excitement. Great way to find an idol, and a terrible way to lose a hat! Even though Ben has a new alliance, he says he’s going to keep this idol a secret. He dedicates his idol to his wife, which is nice.
Immunity time! In this Immunity Challenge the Survivors need to stand on a birdhouse floating on the sea without falling over. If you’re feeling safe enough you can opt to sit out of the challenge and eat peanut butter and chocolate. Ben, Lauren, and Devon all opt to eat, again. This is another tough endurance challenge that eventually comes down to Ashley versus Dr. Mike. Mike is unable to stay standing and flops, giving Ashley a somewhat unnecessary individual immunity win. Back at camp, Ryan is confused as to why Devon, Lauren and Ben all sat out. “I’m not a Romanian gymnast!” Ryan complains, even though he is sort of built like one. Chrissy says ““This coconut alliance is driving me bananas!” which is definitely one of the top five most absurd things anyone has ever said on this show. Not since the Coconut Bandits have coconuts been such a featured topic of conversation. Lauren says that the seven alliance is “crap” and they need to think about themselves. Wow, Lauren is coming through with the practical facts and really saving this season. Budding mastermind Devon has a plan for Ben, as follows, Ben should vote for Mike, and pretend he doesn’t know about the new alliance. That way Ben can still be in with Chrissy and Ryan while actually working both sides. Ben says he needs to put his acting shoes on. I know this is a feet-heavy episode, but what are acting shows? Do you remember that episode of Inside the Actors Studio, where James Lipton was interviewing Robert DeNiro about, I don’t know, Meet The Fockers, and DeNiro said, “James, it’s all in the shoes” before clicking his heels and disappearing back to Kansas! Devon and Lauren tell Mike and Joe to vote with them, saying that it’s time to flip. Everything is coming up Mike and Joe! Now is there time! They’re definitely not going to be used again! At Tribal Council, Mike is still clinging to his “I was right to be crazy” theory, saying that he’s a doctor so they’ll have to believe him! Maybe the MD stands for “Most Deranged.” There are a lot of questions about how strong the seven are. Don’t worry, Jeff, nothing to see here! It’s time to vote, and the new alliance is victorious, voting out JP and stunning Ryan and Chrissy. It’s too bad that such an exciting episode ended with the ouster of the least exciting player this season, but at least it was something. Adios to JP, we hardly knew you. No, seriously, who were you? Why, in arguably one of the best-cast seasons of recent memory, was this corporeal ghost allowed to wander onto the set? Good luck to JP in his future as the answer to an obscure Survivor trivia question!
Back at camp, Chrissy is not happy that she was left in the dark. Joe says they’re not going to tell her what happened. “We’re Coconuts, but we’re not idiots!” he exclaims. Ah, man, I spent good money to see the Idiots! Chrissy says that being snarky is not part of the game. Being snarky is part of every game, as far as I’m concerned! Ryan is a little more congratulatory, but is now nervous that he’s on the bottom. Don’t worry, Ryan, I’m sure everything will be perfectly fine! Ben decides to give the performance of a lifetime by acting like he didn’t know about the vote. “I should get an award!” Ben says. Step aside, Gary Oldman! Daniel Day WHO? Ben tells Lauren and Ashley he’s going to get Ryan to play his idol. If there’s one bromance damaged by this vote, it’s Ryan and Devon, who have been together since THE BEGINNING OF TIME. Apparently Ryan is no longer part of the plan. What if Devon needs to take the elevator to another floor? What if he needs someone to call him a taxi? Are we living in a world without bellhops? Is this a future we deserve?
Speaking of Devon, it’s all going swimmingly! Devon says that he’s sitting, “in the best possible spot!” I mean, he’s got a front-row seat to an either an easy victory or a terrible loss, so I guess! Reward challenge! In this reward, the Survivors are competing in teams. They need to row a boat, pick up a pile of puzzle pieces and then push those pieces through a slot to assemble the show’s logo, which is conveniently, uh, right over there. There are a couple of great moments in this challenge, from Ryan being unable to lift a bag that weighs more than he does to the blue team accidentally abandoning Ben because they don’t know how rowboats work, but there’s maybe nothing better than the sight of Lauren pushing logs through a tunnel using only her chest. Alas, these two teams are unevenly divided, and despite Lauren’s best efforts, the blue team ends up winning. Joe, Devon, Ben, and Ashley are off on reward. Time for some more award-winning acting! Can’t wait to see Ben’s angry massage!
All day massages! Devon and Ashley clown around with Ben, offering their cheers to King Arthur, while he answers back, “Cheers to my disloyal knights!” Is that how the story of King Arthur worked? Wasn’t there a sword involved? Who is the Guinevere? How does the Statue of Liberty factor into all this? Ashley starts to get suspicious of how good Ben is at lying. Foreshadowing! Ashley feels like she’s finally playing Survivor, which is good, since I guess before she thought she was playing MINUTE TO WIN IT and was really confused as to where host Guy Fieri was. Back at the loser beach, Ryan is in the dumps. He wants to work with Mike, and Mike is like, “Now?” Mike says that Ryan’s offer is, “A buck late and a dollar short.” He pauses, and then adds, “Don’t look a gift horse in the hooves? A bird in the hand is worth two in the other hand? When in Rome, don’t forget to rome around?” Speaking of prickly relationships, Chrissy is trying to patch up affairs with Lauren. Lauren is -incredibly- not having it with Chrissy. This conversation happens while Lauren is… building a swing? ooh, could a bowling lane
The next day, it’s barely dawn and Chrissy already not having it! Whatever happened to never not being happy? Chrissy has some rice, and says she hope she can have the last laugh, just like everyone’s favorite superhero, The Joker. Immunity time! In this Immunity Challenge, the Survivors need to wheel a wheelbarrow through a course, collect some letters and then use those letters to spell the common, everyday word INVULNERABLE. This is a huge challenge that comes down to some sloppy spelling. Lauren even ends her word with a V. How many words end with V? Devon and Chrissy seem to get it, but in true underdog editing fashion, Chrissy wins and we all get the pleasure of hearing her yell, “Invulnerable!” Please do not make that your next text message alert noise!
Back at the beach, Ben is happy there’s still three to choose from. Apparently it’s finally (finally!) time to actually vote out Joe. Devon concocts another complicated plan to tell Joe and Mike they’re using Lauren’s extra vote to tie, and they’re voting out Ben. This is sort of hard to follow, but the important part is that Devon and Ben are both set on voting out Joe. Meanwhile, Ashley and Lauren start to get suspicious of Ben. Folks, Ben could totally win! It would be a bummer to see this new alliance fall apart so fast, but maybe this isn’t a terrible idea? Ben could totally win! Ashley brings this plan to Devon, and it totally blows his mind! Nice to know that a plan concocted by Lauren and Ashley comes down to whether or not Devon wants to do it, but, you know, this show.
Tribal Council 2! Mike walks in smiling, because Mike is just happy to be here. He’s the Joey Fatone
of Tribal Council. Ben continues the show, saying that he’s probably going home. Ryan and Chrissy continue to buy into it. There’s a lot of talk about the seven strong, with Mike and Joe offering a lot of insight on conversations they weren’t really involved with. Will this “five-person” alliance be stronger than the seven? Mike gives another weird analogy, saying that two different surgeons can have two different outcomes. O…K? Joe says this is the first time at Tribal that he’s felt comfortable. Those turn out to be prophetic last words, as Joe is betrayed by his new alliance and is given the boot. Even Ben can’t stop himself from leaping off of his seat in excitement. Oh, and Ryan plays his idol for himself, which ends up not amounting to much, so congratulations for that! There’s no way this fun turn of events could possibly go south… right… right?!?