“I want to have the preemptive strike.” Survivor Cagayan April 2 2014 recap

2 Apr

This season, which wasn’t hyped very much in advance as far as I know, is turning out to be even more entertaining than some of the recent seasons that did get a lot of hype! It has simply been awesome so far.

We begin with the tribe that just voted out Alexis. They have a 6-5 advantage and they know that if there’s a merge that week, they control the game. They promise one another that they’ll be the final six. Soon thereafter Kass goes on a walk with Sarah and admits Sarah and Jeremiah are the ones she has doubts about. Kass points out to the camera that just because Sarah voted with her one time because it suited her to do so, that in itself is no proof of loyalty.

Over at the other tribe, Tony tells the camera that his new group has no spying or trickery going on, which to him is a negative. But they soon learn that they must now go join the other tribe, and it’s time for a merge. Soon after they hear the news, there’s a funny scene where L.J. and Tony both sneak off to retrieve their immunity idols from their respective hiding places.

Speaking of idols, the new merged tribe gets a note that “an idol with different powers is hidden somewhere near your camp.” But that’s all we hear of it for this episode.

A few people from the group of six soon begin strategizing as to whom they should vote out. Sarah says L.J. does not have an idol (oops) but Kass thinks he does. And for some reason Kass wants to target Trish. Much of this episode is Kass talking to Sarah, and listening to them make me decide that neither of them has a chance to win the game. Though I had already come to that decision in Kass’s case. Anyway, Sarah is too sensitive and Kass is too blunt. By the way, Kass has had as much camera time this episode as in the whole season put together.

Sarah is seen as the swing vote by all parties, and Tony gives her a sales pitch. But he closes it by asking her to swear on her badge that she’s with them, and she won’t.

There hasn’t been a truly tough challenge yet, but this one fills the bill. It’s the one introduced in Survivor Caramoan Fans vs. Favorites II, in which the players have to balance on what looks like a half-submerged floating doghouse, with their feet on narrow ledges on the sides, and work their way up to balancing on the top. (You may recall the previous outing ended with Andrea and Brenda outlasting everyone by hours, including that doofus Eddie who quit to have a doughnut despite facing elimination). This starts out well, as not one person is eliminated in the early stages. That’s impressive in itself, as most seasons have at least one person who’s a joke at challenges and goes out right away or quits. This season doesn’t, or rather they have been weeded out.

Things get interesting when the players have to ascend to the very top. Some can’t get their balance and fall right off, and others gesticulate wildly as they try to stay upright but can’t manage it. And it doesn’t help that a tremendous wind comes up at that moment! It comes down to Tony and Woo, and Woo comes out on top. However, in this final phase you can see that Woo is wearing those special “barefoot” sneakers they make where each toe is in its own separate compartment. Isn’t this a tremendous advantage in this type of challenge? To me this tarnishes Woo’s victory.

Back at camp, Sarah tells the camera that she’s decided she’s going with her new group, not Tony’s group. In fact, when she next talks to her tribemates, she suggests Tony’s name as the person to be voted out! Sarah says “I can guarantee Tony doesn’t have an idol.” Yes, she said the same thing about L.J. minutes earlier, and yes, she’s wrong about both. So the group agrees on Tony. However, Kass wanted Jeffra or Trish. And Kass is extremely enraged that Sarah thinks she can make the decision on her own, and that the rest of the tribe is letting “Queen Sarah” do so. Kass says of Sarah: “If she’s going to destroy the game, I want to have the preemptive strike. I want to destroy it.”

Tony and Sarah talk again. Tony points out that if she went with him, she’d be in the top three of a six-person group along with Tony and Trish, whereas if she stands pat, she’s number 6 out of 6 in her current group. But instead of considering the merits of the idea, Sarah just gets irritated with the thought that Tony thinks she didn’t already know all of this. She’s decided he’s the one who has to go anyway: “Getting rid of Tony is nothing personal. It’s actually a huge compliment to him. He’s just like me and I’d get rid of me if I could.” Meanwhile Tony vows that if anything at Tribal Council sounds “iffy-iffy,” he’s playing the idol.

Now for a twist I did not see coming. Trish, no master strategist in my mind, tells Kass she’s observed that Kass’s tribe has some dissension. Who would Kass vote out if she could? Kass obviously says Sarah, but says it would be too late to organize any such thing. Trish says that’s doable, and when she tells Tony and L.J. they’re both on board. Now, when all of this happened I questioned whether doing so would help Trish and company at all, since Sarah was the swing vote anyway and not really at the core of the other tribe. But I’m sure they’re thinking: better Sarah than one of their own fivesome. Now, was Kass serious about this? She does tell the camera, “I love that Sarah thinks she’s running the show.”

Tribal council hasn’t been going long (or at least we haven’t been shown much of it) when Jeff Probst asks L.J. about possible immunity idols. L.J. has a pretty good, evasive answer going, but Tony interrupts: “There’s idols. ‘Cause I got one.” A skeptical Spencer wants proof, so Tony pulls it out and announces he wouldn’t just use it for himself: “It’s a community idol.”At this time Spencer and his group say to each other something like “Vote for the other one” while the LJ/Tony group agrees amongst themselves “Same person.”

Shockingly, Jeff Probst says “Shall we just end the suspense and get to the vote?” I felt like shouting “Yes — this week and every other week!”

The votes are cast, and Tony brings his idol to Probst asking him to “validate” it. Once he does, Tony says he’ll use it for L.J. OK, time to read the votes. “Hold on Jeff,” L.J. says. “I’d like to cover Tony’s ass myself.” And he uses his idol for Tony.

But then the first vote is read: Jeffra. L.J.’s face falls — was all this for naught? And indeed, Spencer and company had been discussing Jeffra as someone who nobody would give an idol to, and thus a vote that would be sure to go through.  Jeffra starts crying the second she hears her name. The next vote is Sarah, and the votes go back and forth until we’re tied. One vote left. And the first member of the jury is … Sarah!

As she walks out (not being a bad sport at all), her tribemates ask each other “who flipped?” and Spencer guesses Kass. Spencer does have the look of a sore loser. He soon adds “Kass… zero chance of winning the game.” She responds “It’s a long way to go.”

Now, the one move that was probably unnecessary was the one by L.J. If Tony announces he has an idol and the others say “vote for the other one,” surely that means the vote will be for anybody but Tony? But I do understand that probabilities are one thing when you’re watching at home, and different when you’re the one sitting at Tribal Council.

Favorites, in order: Tasha, L.J., Woo, Spencer, Tony, Trish, Jeremiah

No chance: Kass, Morgan, Jeffra

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Sarah (Tony)

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