Ahoy, Pool Players! It’s time to step away from the craziness that is the real world and tune into the craziness that is Survivor! Previously on Survivor, the former majority became the minority and was certain they’d be the next to go. Challenge winner Andrea had other plans, though, and elected to vote out recent returnee Zeke. Sierra, Troyzan, and Brad all voted for Tai, which probably doesn’t bode well for their minority friendship. Back at camp, Brad was blindsided by the vote, even though the majority seems pretty chill. Brad sure doesn’t seem to be on the right side of a lot of things. Michaela warns us that nothing is solid in a big group. I’m no scientist but I think that’s how atoms work? The majority meets briefly and decides it’s time to vote out a duo. They think now is the time to finally break up Brad and Sierra, by giving Brad the boot. Sierra knows she has to do damage control, and says that she wants to work with her “best friend” Sarah. Ah, yes, the storied Sarah/Sierra alliance. You know how we had Bennifer and Speidi and Brangelina? I think we should start referring to these two as “Sierahah.” Sierra tells Sarah that she has the Legacy Advantage, and that it can only be used when there are six Survivors left. Sierra promises she’ll will the advantage to Sarah. Have these people never seen a soap opera / legal drama / Adam Sandler comedy from the 90s? Never trust a will until the will is read! Sarah tells us that this makes her want to keep Sierra in the game, a statement that causes a set of fireworks to go off and the “FORESHADOWING” banner to drop down behind her.
Reward Challenge time! The Survivors need to complete an obstacle course and then toss some sandbags at some blocks to win a big steak dinner. But there’s more! “You are playing for your loved ones,” says Jeff, which is a sentence that could either be sentimental or menacing, depending on the intonation. Yes, those of you who miss The Jeff Probst Show will be pleased to know that this is the return of the loved ones Reward Challenge. This one has even more editorializing than usual from Jeff, presumably since this episode is a case study in the struggle to fill an hour of television. First up is Sarah’s husband, Wyatt. Sarah gives Wyatt credit for being “100% on his own” while raising their son. What is his usual percentage? You can’t beat 100%! Next is Andrea’s mother, who tearfully reflects on Andrea’s strength in the game. Next up is Aubry’s sister Carrie, which allows Jeff to launch into a monologue about the bond with siblings, provided those siblings aren’t Colby and his brother. Here’s Sierra’s Dad, Dan! Sierra gives Dan a big hug, which prompts Jeff to say that we haven’t seen this side of her, and I think the side he’s referring to is joy? The MVP of the afternoon is Micheala’s mother, Candy, who I desperately want to get cast on this show. Please start using my promotional hashtag “#SurvivorCandy” but do not bother looking at anything that may have previously been posted there! Next up is Troyzan’s brother, Toddzan. Turns out Troyzan has five siblings: Toddzan, Timothyzan, Theresazann, Trishzann, and Carol. Here’s Tai’s “love of his life,” Mark. Upon embracing Mark, Tai immediately asks how the cats are. It’s important to have priorities! Next up is Monica Culpepper PLEASE KEEP READING who is Brad’s wife and who you may remember from losing this show twice. “The fans know her!” says Jeff, perhaps leading many to question whether or not they are actual fans. Last but certainly not least is Cirie’s son Jerry, who just graduated from high school. He’s a regular Will Wahl! After about thirty minutes of expository sobbing, it’s finally time to get to the challenge. The Survivors are competing in teams of three, but this isn’t really much of a fight with Brad, Andrea, and Aubry easily taking the cake. The only other notable moment was when both Sierra and Tai got stuck underneath separate logs, causing the Foreshadowing Editor to throw a couple of unnecessary musical stingers their way. If you thought that three people winning was going to mean the end of all the drama this challenge usually provides well THINK AGAIN. Brad, Andrea and Aubry get to choose not one but two fellow players and their loved ones to join in on the reward. After many pained faces and a lot of pleading, (plus Micheala deadpanning, wonderfully, “I’d like to go, too.”), they choose Cirie and Sarah to go along. Folks, you know I’m a sucker for an emotional reunion, but between Jeff’s unnecessary commentary and the lack of impact these nice people had on the actual game, this one was a bit of a snooze. Please wake me when someone, (anyone!), contributes something.
It’s reward time! Everyone is seated at one long table like it’s the Last Supper or they’re panelists on To Tell The Truth. It’s a weird set! Cirie tells us that Jerry is a city kid, who never thought he’d be out here in the jungle, despite the fact that his mother has spent about 25% of her life doing just that. Cirie hilariously tells Jerry that the lavatory is “wherever you find it” which is a mentality that will almost certainly get you kicked out of the county fair. Brad says that having Monica there helps since she is, “a former stud Survivor player.” Ah, yes, when I think of Monica Culpepper, (which is fairly often!), the first word that comes to mind is “stud.” Back at camp, Michaela says that she’s disappointed in not being chosen for the reward, and thinks she may be being taken advantage of by her alliance. She decides to align with Tai, who is in a similar position. Meanwhile, Sierra wants to pull Tai back into her alliance, despite the fact that she just coordinated an unsuccessful vote against him. This new grouping of Michaela, Tai, Sierra, Troyzan, and presumably Brad, want to vote out Andrea next. We all know what happens to people who want to vote out Andrea! Michaela sums up this interaction by speaking about herself in the third person, which is always a good metric for someone’s mental stability on this show. Hang in there Michaela! The strength of Candy compels you! (#SurvivorCandy #CandyonSurvivor #QueenCandy #QueenofFamilyVisits #BloodVersusWaterAllCandyEdition)
You know it’s a fast moving episode when it’s already time for the Immunity Challenge. The Survivors need to hold a buoy between two sticks while standing on a narrow beam. This is about as exciting as it sounds! This seems like the kind of challenge that a bunch of bored sailors came up with and, like most things, would probably be improved with a lot of rum. Aubry and Sierra drop out first, and then more follow, leading to a final three of Brad, Tai and Michaela. After Michaela drops, it’s down to Brad and Tai. Tai fumbles his buoy and Brad wins, giving him his first individual immunity victory. Jeff Probst practically treats this moment like a Super Bowl victory, despite the fact that Brad Culpepper left the game well before the merge the last time around, and only seems to be sticking around here based on sheer luck. Congratulations, Brad, I guess!
Back at the beach, the majority decides that with Brad winning they should vote out Sierra instead. Michaela and Tai meet in semi-private, and say they think it’s time to vote for Andrea. Sierra is of course on board with voting out Andrea, and tells this to Sarah. Unfortunately for Sierra, Sarah now wants that Legacy Advantage, and says that it’s not at all bad if Sierra is the one who goes home tonight. Remember that foreshadowing banner from earlier tonight? At this point it’s practically lit up in lights. Sarah says that she’s not here to make friends, she’s here to steal advantages! Playing like a criminal, not a cop! Flipping that siren on and pulling donuts in the park! Steamrolling her way to a predictable victory! Sarah tells Michaela to vote for Sierra instead. Michaela says that she’s nervous about all the changes, since you don’t want to end up on the jury “looking stupid.” I’m not sure that this jury looks stupid, but Hali does often seem to be confused about where she is and why there are so many cameras around. At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst brings up the loved ones challenge, and asks if making the difficult choices resulted in any consequences. It’s practically a plea for the pot to be stirred, somehow, anyhow! There’s yet more celebration of Brad’s “big win” even though Brad himself admits that he can’t revel in the glory since he’s pretty sure someone in his alliance is going home. Sierra and Andrea both talk about how they know they’re big threats. Aubry asks “what kind of threat is most threatening to me?”, which is really a question for the ages, right up there with “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” There’s a lot of talk about how being part of a “We” can be misleading, since the groups have a tendency to shift. Jeff Probst ends this by saying the the vote is going to be for We and not Me, doing a thing with his hand so he makes a W going up and an M going down. Did Jeff Probst just flash that lamest gang sign on national television? W’s up, M’s down! Not since “Peace up, A-Town down!” has there been a more accessible way to flash your colors! It’s time to vote and Sierra gets the majority, finally sending her home. On her way out, she wills her advantage to Sarah, unaware that Sarah orchestrated the vote against her. So long, Sierra. It’s back to the rodeo with you!
Speaking of rodeos, it’s time to click on over to see the roundup on the Leaderboards. The Pool Princess got her derby hat stuck in a doorway, but she promises to get herself out in time to send out the next pool points opportunity. Next time on Survivor: Cirie has a tough choice to make, hopefully not involving the lavatory. See you soon!