“She’s not being very finesse-y.” Survivor Kaoh Rong March 30, 2016 recap

30 Mar

Scot says he wants to pick off the Brains tribe because they’re too indecisive. And Aubry’s take on her Brains group is “we’re done” as a tribe.

At the other beach, Cydney sees a bulge in Neal’s pocket and suspects that he has an idol. So does Jason, especially since he knows what the idol looks like by virtue of possessing one himself!

One tribe takes a boat to the other’s beach signalling that the merge is here, and making the merge is something Scot and Michele independently call “awesome.”

Now, who is going to ally with whom? Neal says the Brawn trio are physical threats in challenges and “just kind of bullies,” so he likes the idea of a Beauty/Brain alliance. But Nick is getting the vibe that Julia and Tai, though both fellow Beauty, are not with him.

Scott and Jason tell Nick that Neal has an idol. Nick is astonished to be taken into their confidence so quickly. He tells the camera sarcastically, “Thank you for bringing me into your alliance. You’re such sweethearts, both of you.” Then they even take him aside to tell him that Jason has an idol, making clear that Cydney is not privy to this information. Jason thinks he and Scot are unstoppable, which Nick likes because they would not see a blindside coming (though you can’t really blindside someone who can play an idol after the vote).

A different approach is taken by Debbie who plops down next to Tai (in a crowd) and says I really like you, let’s make an alliance. After he unconvincingly says OK she immediately announces to all that it’s a done deal. Aubry whispers to Neal “She’s not being very finesse-y about this whole thing.” She tells the camera “You have to show confidence, and right now we’re showing desperation.” Meanwhile Brawn is targeting Aubry as the next to go, since she is the one the Brains would least suspect to be targeted. Aubry asks Neal flat-out if he has an idol, and he says yes. Now the two of them just need to find out which of them will be targeted. I actually like the idea of playing an idol right after the merge, which I don’t think has happened that often. It’s such a pivotal moment that influences the rest of the game.

As for Michele, she has also noticed that Jason thinks he’s on top but believes “Brawn is way too controlling,” so she has not counted out allying with Brains. Usually anyone who has gotten this far into the season with such little camera time is a nonfactor, but I actually think Michele could have a chance to be quite a factor indeed.

Before the immunity challenge gets started, the fact that Peter has some infections gets mentioned, and a few other players show the various disgusting bumps on their body that they are dealing with (it has been reported in the press that both Liz and Peter had to get medical treatment for infections after being voted out).

The challenge is a standby: balance a ball on a wooden disc, then two balls, then three. Nick outlasts Tai to win the first individual immunity.

Back at camp Nick and Michele, presumably the swing votes, confer. They like the Brains better as people, but what is best for the two of them them? Jason is obnoxious and wouldn’t get votes at the Finals, they think. Neither would Scot, since he presumably has lots of money already. So doesn’t it make sense to stick with a duo that will be targeted by other players, but won’t win? Heck yes, they agree.

So it looks like it will really come down to whether Neal plays his idol, and if it’s for the right person.

Just before it’s time to go to Tribal Council, a boat arrives, and Jeff Probst is on it. That’s never good, as Terry from the prior season can attest. Probst has one Doctor Rupert with him, and they want to have a look at the various infections that are mentioned earlier. Aubry is given antibiotics, the others are confirmed to be no big deal … except for the one near Neal’s knee. Neal says he’s fine. But the doctor explains that if an infection gets into a knee, it can destroy it within hours.He decides that Neal needs to be pulled from the game.

Neal is in tears. He tells Probst that back in 2000 when the first Survivor came out, Neal was working a nothing job in a cubicle. Probst isn’t the only one who has been on quite a journey since then. Probst tells Neal he will be the first jury member, so although he can’t win, he can help decide who does.

Neal goes to say his goodbyes and everyone’s sad, but especially Aubry for obvious reasons. She is in suspense wondering if Neal will give her his idol. Instead, she notes, “the idol went home with Neal, that son of a bitch.” She closes with a really wonderful monologue to the camera about how you just have to “pave your own way” and keep fighting.

You’ll notice Neal was my #1 pick to win the game as of last week. He’s out now, and Debbie also slips way down the rankings after her ham-handed performance.

Favorites: 1. Tai, 2. Cydney, 3. Nick, 4. Michele, 5. Debbie, 6. Julia, 7. Aubry

No chance: Jason, Scot, Joe

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Neal (Aubry)

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