“Staahht spending your money”: Survivor Cagayan April 30 2014 recap

30 Apr

The episode begins with Jefra discussing why she ended up voting for Jeremiah after all: it’s because she doesn’t want to go against Tasha or Spencer in the end. That’s smart. By the way, I just realized I have been spelling Jefra with two Fs this entire season when in fact her name only has one. I also see that her last name is Bland. That’s fitting.

The contestants find out that the reward challenge will be the annual food auction. Now, to reiterate what I say every single season: there is only one correct way to play the auction: bid not a single dollar on food and wait for the auction lot that represents an advantage in the game. When that lot comes up, instantly bid the full $500. Nobody can outbid you and you have a great chance to last another week in the game. Season after season, there’s at least one player who seems to be smart yet isn’t smart enough to do this … a notable example being Jonathan Penner in the Philippines season. Tony swears that he will hold firm and save his money for the advantage.

Kass, Jefra, and Trish obviously have no such plans as they bid on the very first lot, and Tasha bids on, but doesn’t win, food as well. Kass wins a steak sandwich and when she goes back to sit with her tribemates and eat it, she asks Probst if she can share it. Probst zings back, “It’s so good [that] you can’t. That way you can say you want to.” Meanwhile Trish, no strategist she, keeps asking Tony and others why they aren’t bidding, and the Bostonian adds, “Staaaht spending your money, you cheapo-deapos.”

Speaking of not being a strategist: when some ribs are unveiled, Woo bids 40 dollars instead of the minimum 20, despite nobody bidding against him!

This whole time Tony and Spencer have held firm, with pained expressions on their faces. Finally Probst, playing dumb, asks them why they’re not bidding. When they say they’re waiting for an advantage, Probst says let’s just get to it. He unveils the advantage and one microsecond later Tony calls out “$500!” Good job Tony. But not so fast, Probst says. If the bidding reaches the maximum amount of $500, any player who wants in and has that much money can bid. If more than one person does, the bidding is not for the advantage but for the chance to draw rocks to randomly determine which participant wins the advantage. Now, this is completely new, but for all we know they came up with the rule years ago, and the situation just hasn’t come up to date. Shame on all the players who didn’t make it come up!

Tony and Spencer say they want to participate. Tasha still has all of her money too, but she shakes her head. Probst announced that the person who draws the black rock wins the advantage, and the white rock loses. Spencer and Tony hold the rocks in their fists, then they reveal and… Tony wins. Tasha later tells the camera that she was hoping there would be one more round with an idol clue, but there wasn’t. So three people didn’t eat, and two of them didn’t get the advantage either.

When Tony unwraps the advantage back at camp, he sees that it’s the clue to a hidden immunity idol! Well, not so much a clue as a description of the precise location. But when he goes looking, he can’t find the big white tree that is referred to in the note. When he gets back, Tasha is having a swim with Kass, Jefra, and Trish. Spencer sees the opportunity to make Tony paranoid, and when he sees it working, keeps at it. Tony makes it a point to look for the idol some more and does find it. It’s the third idol he has found in this game. He shows it to everyone in his alliance and says he would use it for anyone in the group.

The challenge is a table maze, which can be surprisingly suspenseful but isn’t this time. Tasha wins her third immunity in a row, something that certainly wouldn’t hurt her case if she got to the end.

Tasha would love Tony to freak out about the possibility of an all-girl alliance. After all, if this makes him vote out a girl, it won’t be her, because she’s immune. And boy, Tony is freaking out all right. Though the completely obvious move is to vote out Spencer, Tony is tormented by the thought that if Spencer is gone only two men are left. As he sees it, he has to turn on one of the women in his own alliance, and the only one he can plausibly turn on is Jefra, who contemplated voting Tony out just last episode. So he convinces Woo to vote Jefra along with him. If Spencer and Tasha join in that’s four people, enough to vote Jefra out.

There is one huge, glaring flaw in Tony’s reasoning here. If Tasha is willing to join in and vote Jefra out, that means Tasha is not in an all-female alliance, and therefore there is no reason to vote Jefra out!

The only other thing that happens before Tribal Council is that Spencer goes looking for the super-powered idol, not knowing that Tony already has it.

Tribal Council is a very unpredictable one. Surely Tony will come to his senses and vote Spencer out, right? After the votes are cast, Probst asks if anyone wants to play an idol, but although Tony hung the idol around his neck at the beginning of Tribal Council to scare everyone, he doesn’t use it, naturally. Jefra is indeed voted out (with Jefra, Kass, and Trish voting for Spencer), meaning the Beauty tribe is now completely out of the game, and we are left with three Brains and three Brawn.

The other problem I have with Tony’s move, despite what I already stated, was that the man had two idols. So he was guaranteed to get to the final five no matter what, and had a great chance at the final three. He was in a position to worry more about how best to get votes in the endgame rather than worrying about getting there. But now Jefra, an easy person to defeat at the end, is gone, and worse still he has cheesed off Trish and Kass yet again by keeping them in the dark about one of his moves.

Favorites to win, in order: Tasha, Spencer, Trish, Tony, Woo

No chance: Kass

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Sarah (Trish), Morgan (Tasha), L.J. (Tony), Jeremiah (Spencer), Jefra (Trish)

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