We begin with David questioning whether his idol play last episode was a good move: “I saved someone who nobody wants to work with, and now I don’t have an idol.”
Jessica, relieved to still be around, tells Ken about her legacy advantage and says that if she had been voted out she would have willed it to Ken. Not to David, who is the only reason she’s still in the game, but Ken who just voted against Jessica!
Meanwhile, everyone else either guesses or knows that there is a new idol in the game, since one was played last tribal council. So everyone starts looking for one. However, David has an advantage since he knows to look for something with a symbol painted on it in tribal colors, a new development this season. And indeed, he spots something bearing that symbol, the only problem is, CeCe and Sunday are standing right near it. But eventually they go off to look somewhere else, and David grabs it.
Off the tribes go to the reward challenge. But soon after arrival Jeff Probst tells them to drop their buffs. Not only is there a tribe switch, but it’s a switch from two tribes to three. Purple and orange tribes will have camps to go back to, but the new green tribe will have to start a camp from scratch. As consolation, they will have one more person than the other two. As the players unwrap their buffs, Michaela’s comes up green, and she curses and sulks.
Here are the new tribes:
Purple: Taylor, Figgy, and Adam; Jessica and Ken. No clear advantage or disadvantage here — Jessica and Ken are in the minority, but weren’t in a great position on their old tribe either.
Orange: Cece, Chris, and David; Zeke and Michelle. This is certainly bad for Michelle who was more than sitting pretty in her prior group. It’s great for CeCe who was on the outs in Gen-X. Zeke later tells us he’s bummed about the situation since Michelle is the one millennial he has “zero trust in.”
Green: Michaela, Hannah, Jay, and Will; Sunday and Bret. Definitely a bad draw for the latter two.
By the way, no challenge is actually held.
When the new purple tribe gets back to camp, Taylor, who is excited that “Figtayles” is still together, goes over to hug his girl, but she doesn’t want them to be seen doing any such thing. “Are we doin’ that?” a disappointed Taylor asks. Meanwhile, Adam tells us that being on a tribe with those two is his “worst nightmare”. He elaborates, “Figgy is very controlling, she lies constantly, and she’s going to go through this charade as long as she can about how they are not a couple.” Ken naturally wants to sound Adam out, and the younger man reveals that he voted against Figgy at tribal council. The more Adam thinks about it: he is the swing vote who is going to decide whether “Figtayles” or Jessica/Ken advances.
At the orange tribe, who should we see hitting it off but Chris and Zeke. We knew Chris was from Oklahoma, but it turns out New Yorker Zeke is originally from Oklahoma too. What’s more, it turns out Chris played football on the 2000 Oklahoma Sooners national championship team (his name is Chris Hammons and he was a special teams captain in 2000). And guess which team Zeke idolized as a kid?
On the green tribe, everyone tries to start a fire without success … except for Michaela, who accomplishes it and goes off sobbing.
The challenge involves first loosening a floating ball from underwater, then swimming it across to a platform and putting it in a basket to signal the next teammate to swim. Once all have done that, they need to shoot the balls into a floating basket. But if they want to take the time to do so, they can also try to hook the basket to pull it closer and make the basket-shooting easier.
Orange leads off with CeCe, who I’m sorry to say is every bit as horrible at this as she is every other challenge. She takes an eternity to get to the other platform. But still to come on the same tribe is David, who not only struggles to get to the platform, once he makes it there, he loses the ball over the opposite side of the platform and has to dive in from the other side. He almost loses it again over the original side! It is so ridiculous that teammate Zeke turns to Chris and ask whether David is trying to “throw” the challenge. And then to make things even worse, Michelle can’t get her buoy to the surface, forcing Chris to swim twice. So it’s no surprise that Orange comes in last in the contest. (Green is first, thanks mostly to Michaela’s accuracy shooting baskets).
Back at camp, the Gen-X group naturally decides one of the two Millennials, Zeke or Michelle, must go. Chris tells us, “This is a crucial decision, and quite honestly I’ve made a different decision: CeCe and Dave both backstabbed me and one of them has to go tonight.” He elaborates that while David has crossed him a couple of times, the neurotic writer at least has some relationships in the game, and Chris is going to need a grand alliance to protect him after the merge. So he wants to go after CeCe, with David’s help. He notes, “I’m trusting a guy who’s burnt me twice.”
Michelle wants to fight this, though it’s not really clear why. She claims that she couldn’t get anywhere talking strategy with CeCe, though all we viewers see is an innocuous conversation.
Meanwhile, does David want to use his immunity idol to save someone for the second week in a row? CeCe is his only ally on the tribe, after all.
Well, let’s not beat around the bush: CeCe goes home. She was horrendous in challenges, had no social game and didn’t seem too interested in strategy. So she is a strong contender for the honor of worst player of the season. However, does that make this a good move for Chris long-term? I actually think he would have been better off taking out Michelle, and wonder if he will regret not doing so. Especially since she’s the only person I have ahead of him in my rankings below!
contenders: Michelle, Chris, Will, Jay, Adam, Zeke, Bret, Jessica, Sunday
no chance: Figgy, Taylor, Hannah, Michaela, David, Ken