It’s always a good idea to have a plan when playing Survivor, as long as that plan is flexible and ever-changing at all times. If that sounds counter-intuitive, well know you understand how hard it is, to paraphrase Keith Nale, to “just stick to the plan!” On Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong,” several players developed plans to make it another three days further in the game, but for one person in particular, not all went according to…well, plan. Here’s the full recap:
Play or Go Home. Returning to camp following Anna’s vote out, Tai feels confident that he made the right decision for himself in hanging on to his Idol, per Scot’s advice. But is doesn’t take long before Peter is already shaking up the tribe dynamics. He approaches Tai that very night and mentions how they should take out Joe soon. “If I’m going to make a move, now is the time,” Peter tells us. But will this aggressive move backfire?
Model Citizens. A brief scene that was teased last week shows Deb and Nick playing each other socially. On one hand, Nick understands that Deb likes to talk and is all about herself, so he just plans on continuing to be the person that she wants him to be. From Deb’s perspective, she sees Nick as a suave young hunk, but is just trying to manipulate him. She knows he could model professionally, of course, because well, you know, Deb was a model for several years, so she tells us. And this is what you’ve got to love about Survivor: Two players, from different walks of life, socially dancing around one another, putting on a face, knowing darn well that they are going to keep the other at arm’s length at all times.
Reward Challenge. Julia is brought back into the game and along with Michele and the rest of the players, learns that Anna has been voted out of the game. There was no time to process that though, because the challenge was on. One member of each tribe had to dive down and release a big net full of buoys. The entire tribe then had to corral all of the buoys and get them to shore, where one person per tribe would then need to sink ten basketball shots into a tall bamboo net. That last part sounds a bit unfair, considering that one of the tribes consists of Scot, a former NBA star and giant. Scot went up against Nick and when the challenge came down to just the two of them, it looked for a while like Nick was going to pull the massive upset. But used to the pressure of it all, Scot ended up sinking shots when he needed to, winning for his tribe 10-8. The prize was a Survivor picnic, where they carried a large feast back to camp.
Jumping Ship. While eating the delicious meal, Julia was simultaneously trying to get her bearings on her new tribe. It didn’t take long for Peter to approach her, to once again throw Joe and now Aubry’s name under the bus to her. Aubry meanwhile, seems to be on to Peter’s shenanigans, and wonders if it’s time to cut ties with Peter. Joe too, seems less than thrilled with Peter at this point.
Carry On. Over at the losing tribe, Michele is having a really bad day. First she learned that her closest ally Anna was voted out, and then she felt like she cost her tribe at the Reward Challenge after failing to release the buoys on her first several tries. But she eventually would bounce back, and tries to befriend Deb. As the two talk, Deb mentions Jason as a potential target, due to his laziness around camp. You may remember that before, it was Jason and Cydney in the middle, but it appears as if the Brains (Deb) and the Beauties (Michele) may have finally gotten together on something. But Michele’s ally Nick isn’t having any of that nonsense, and his short way of talking to her is not the sort of thing Michele would allow back in the real world. “I don’t need to be carried, bro,” Michele tells us. But smartly, she keeps it together and just goes along with whatever Nick says. Let him think she’s weak…she feels like it’s in her best interest not to rock the boat with Nick, and she’s probably right at this point.
FBI Investigation. Things are heating up to a boiling point with former FBI agent Joe, who has had enough with Peter’s solo excursions with the other members of the tribe. Joe decides to approach Peter point-blank and asks him if he was trying to vote Joe out…Peter is taken aback and gives a somewhat shaky reply. This is all Joe needed to hear, judging on years of experience interrogating people, and he now knows full well that Peter is not to be trusted. He finally decided full-heartedly that Peter needs to go.
Immunity Challenge. A large obstacle course designed for the tribes to use teamwork in order to get through. The last step was stacking a series of blocks to create an incredibly high tower. During the challenge, the blocks fell at one point, one catching Joe square on the head, drawing blood (he would be OK). With only one block separating them, it was the Blue Tribe (Deb, Michele, Nick, Cydney, Neal and Jason) that came out victorious. That meant that either Scot, Tai, Julia, Peter, Joe or Aubry was going to get sent home this week.
Stalemate. “We’re at a stalemate,” Scot tells his allies, after showing some disappointment in Peter for not wanting to go through with his mutiny plan to blindside Joe or Aubry. Scot, Julia and Tai decide that their best move is to throw Peter under the bus, so they tell Aubry how Peter was going around trying to get votes to send Joe or her home. Aubry had already confirmed with Joe that they were voting Julia, but these talks did seem to get into her head. Moments before Tribal, Aubry approached Joe to switch their votes to Peter, but Joe quickly nixed that idea and wasn’t too keen with Aubry’s last-minute paranoia. But Aubry continued to fret: “I have to make a decision,” she said. “but I feel like no matter what I do, it’s going to blow back and bite me in the ass.” All signs pointed to either Peter or Julia as the next person to go, all depending on which plan each person planned on following.
Tribal Council. It was a normal Tribal Council, with talk of trust and whatnot, until the wheels fell off. Peter’s antics around camp were brought up and discussed, and as Probst grilled them with tough questions, suddenly there was some chatter between the players, as they whispered and signaled to one another. First Tai asked, “Peter?” to which Scot replied, “Original plan.” Aubry then asked Scot who to vote for, to which he replied, “Peter.” But then Aubry and Joe whispered about who to vote for, settling on “original plan.” All of this chatter seemed to deeply amuse Probst, as this sort of last-minute voting has not been much of a thing in recent seasons of Survivor. Everybody was whispering, but which original plan was the original? And was each plan different? Everything seemed up in the air, and then it was time to vote.
The Vote. No Idol was played, but three votes (or so we thought!) were shown: Peter voted for Julia, and Julia for Peter, but then we saw Aubry take her time before writing down Julia’s name. The votes were then read aloud: Peter – Julia – Peter – Julia – Peter and Peter! The last vote was actually Aubry’s and on the parchment was Julia’s name but with a line through it, and Peter written beneath it. In a 4-2 vote, Peter exited the game without another word. “there was clearly a lot of uncertainty,” Probst told them as part of his final words, but cautioned: “The uncertainty of this game will most certainly return.”
Analysis. As always, I will post a separate article with my personal thoughts on the game, you can find my Episode 6 analysis here (link will be active once analysis is live and online).
Next Time On…Well the tribe-swap sure didn’t last long…next week is the merge! The 11 remaining players merge, and that means that the power-pair of Scot and Jason have reunited. “We’re just shoving geeks in lockers right now,” Jason says.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my exclusive one-on-one interviews with Peter, and be sure to follow me,@tomsantilli.
Also, be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, SurvivorFever.net.