"Wow," Jeff Probst said before the final vote at Tribal Council. That about sums up one of the best overall individual episodes and Tribal Councils in the show's history. At least, that's the initial reaction following the events of Wednesday night's episode of "Survivor: Cagayan." The merge was upon us, and here's how it went down:
Best Laid Plans. The tribe returns from Tribal Council after voting out Alexis, and Spencer mocks Tony's Immunity Challenge "Top Five! Top Five!" chant by yelling, "Top Six! Top Six!" The six: Spencer, Kass, Tasha, Jeremiah, Morgan and Sarah all make a serious final six pact. They do have the numbers after all, with six to the other tribe's five, if there was to be a merge. If they just stay together, they can be Final Six. But, Kass points out, "The best laid plans often end up sprawled out on a murder scene floor."
Trust Issues. The next morning, the six who were so strong the night before now find themselves at each other. Kass bluntly tells Sarah that she is worried that Sarah or Jeremiah may not be trustworthy if a merge were to occur soon. Sarah is justly offended by this, and tells Kass that it won't be people flipping that will be their undoing, it will be not trusting one another. "Show me some blood on your hands from a former tribe mate," Kass tells the camera. "And then we'll talk."
The Merge! Tree mail brings news of a merge, as the purple tribe moves over to the orange tribe's beach, forming the new black-colored tribe, Solarrion. Spencer is focused on keeping his alliance of six intact as they head into the merge. The tribe arrives by vote carrying with them the tasty items usually associated with the merge feast. Upon the tribe arriving at her beach, Jefra is taken aback to see that her partner-in-crime, Alexis, was not among them.
A...Super Idol? Morgan read allowed a note announcing the official merge of the two tribes and the note contained a very interesting line: "Hidden Idols are still in play and another Idol with different powers, is hidden somewhere near your camp." An Idol with different powers? What the??? They all ponder what this could mean, but the answer wouldn't come this episode unfortunately. Spencer utters words you should never, ever say on Survivor, when he tells us that he feels like he's "in the driver's seat." Sizing each other up, Tony realizes that his real hopes in the game lie with Sarah, who he had a previous "blue blood" alliance with back on the Brawn tribe.
Head of the Snake. "So who do you think is the head of the snake right now?" Woo asks Tony and LJ at camp. They try to figure things out and don't come up with much. Tony tries hard to work Sarah and make sure they are still solid. He tries to get her to swear on her badge, but she tells him she doesn't feel comfortable doing so, not now anyways. She describes the game as being a "Sarah sandwich" right now. "It's perfect," Sarah tells us. "I will decide the fate of this game."
Crack in the Alliance. Chit-chatting about what may happen at the first merged Tribal Council, Jeremiah suspects LJ has an Idol. Because of this, he suggests that they vote for the perceived weaker players, like Jefra or Trish. Sarah says definitely not Trish, but suggests Woo or LJ. This doesn't sit well with Kass and it becomes apparent that Kass and Sarah aren't jiving all that well together. Kass really feels like it's a major red flag for Sarah to not want to vote out Trish...if she is trustworthy than shouldn't she be willing to vote for anyone not on her alliance? Sarah on the other hand, is starting to feel bullied by Kass.
The Mediator. As the Kass/Sarah feud escalates, Tasha steps in to try to mediate and fix the rift. "I don't feel like Kass likes me," Sarah tells her. Kass strongly feels like Tasha sided with Sarah, and suddenly feels on the outside of her new alliance.
Immunity Challenge. It was a balancing challenge on a floating triangle, where if you fell off of your triangle, you were out. After 15 minutes, they would have to take a new, more challenging foothold, and after 30 minutes they had to balance atop the triangle. The last person standing would win the first individual Immunity. All 11 contestants survived the first 30 minutes, but upon transitioning to the top of the triangle, several fell off, leaving only Tony, Morgan and Woo left in the challenge. Morgan soon would fall, and it was the martial-arts instructor, Woo, who ended up taking the Immunity Necklace.
President Sarah. So Sarah is firmly in the middle...which side should she go with? She seems to be the deciding sixth vote for either group, but after the Immunity Challenge, she very clearly tells us that she is sticking with her newer alliance of Spencer, Tasha, Kass, Morgan and Jeremiah. She sees the other tribe as stronger and more competitive, but reminds us: "I get to decide. I'm the president right now." As her actual alliance wades out in the water, discussing who they should vote for, they all agree that Jefra seems like the best target...all of them agree except for Sarah, that is. She speaks up and raises Tony's name as her target, apparently having no issues breaking up her cop "blue blood" alliance. As they chat, Trisha notices from the beach that Sarah is the one calling the shots out there. Sarah also is seen guaranteeing her tribe that Tony does not have an Idol.
Cop Out? Tony makes one last ditch effort to see where Sarah stands. "They don't need you," he tells Sarah, and he is right. He points out that if they were to vote him out, it would be six against four and they would still have the numbers to vote out Sarah. But Sarah's mind is made up. "Getting rid of Tony is actually a huge compliment to him," Sarah tells us. "He's the biggest threat in the game." When Sarah cannot commit to Tony, Tony knows that she has drawn a line in the sand, and it's between them. "I got a good feeling that she's not coming on our side." But he then adds that if he feels worried even slightly, that "I'm not going home with the Idol."
Chaos Kass. As the tribes scramble to figure out what they're doing, Trish makes a last-ditch effort to sway Kass, whom she saw bickering with Sarah the day before and feels like she has a good relationship with. When she tells Kass that she thought she was on top of her alliance, Kass tells Trish: "No, I've been replaced." Trish asks her if she could vote out any one person, who would it be, and Kass tells her Sarah. Trish then tells Kass that Sarah is gone if she wanted to flip and vote with them. Hey, worth a shot, right? "Maybe I want to switch allegiances," Kass tells us. Could Kass suddenly be the one in the middle with all the power, instead of Sarah? "Once again, Chaos Kass will show up at Tribal."
Tribal Council. So heading in, we thought that we had two firm alliances of five, with Sarah in the middle. We then knew that she was more closely aligned with her newer tribe. So many people's names had been mentioned this episode, that there were no clearly defined targets for either side...unless "Chaos Kass" had the balls to flip on her tribe to vote out Sarah. At Tribal, Jeff discusses where things stand and talks turn to hidden Idols. Suddenly - shockingly - Tony announces to everyone that he in fact has a hidden Idol. Jaws drop, but Spencer asks him to show it for all of them to truly believe it. Tony does. Immediately, Tasha, Spencer, Morgan, Jeremiah and Kass all start whispering and muttering, "The other one, the other one," presumably changing their vote now that they know Tony might play an Idol. Seeing the utter chaos emerging, Jeff goes right into the voting, and beaming from ear to ear, says, "I love when a vote is this alive...wow." So what the heck was about to happen?
Idols Are Played. After the votes were cast, Jeff asked if any Idols would be played...and Tony stood up. He asked Jeff to verify that he had a real Idol, which Jeff did. Tony then announced that he would be using the Idol not on himself, but on LJ. "Let's see if I read these people correctly, Jeff," Tony tells him. But that wasn't all. Suddenly LJ reaches for his bag. "I have to cover Tony's ass myself," he says and then pulls out his hidden Idol, playing it on Tony. Whoa! So both Idols have now been played, and Woo, Tony and LJ were all safe. Tony and LJ smile as they think they have outsmarted the other tribe.
The Vote. But when the first vote came out "Jefra," it was their own jaws that dropped. After the initial Jefra vote, they were read: Sarah - Jefra - Sarah - Jefra - Sarah - Jefra - Sarah - Jefra. Jefra began shaking and Spencer began smiling. It seems that Spencer and his tribe had not only flushed two Idols from the game, but that they would be successful in picking Jefra as their target. But the final vote was revealed: "Sarah." Gasp! Say what? Sarah was so stunned that she stayed seated for an extra beat. Spencer's face drained of all color and they immediately were able to figure out that it was indeed Kass who flipped on them, confirmed when Jefra and Tony verbally thanked her in front of them. "Kass, zero chance of winning the game," Spencer announced. "There's a long way to go," Kass replied. With that, one stellar, unpredictable Tribal Council drew to a close, with Sarah - once feeling presidential - finding herself booted from office.
Analysis. There was the recap, now for my opinions and take on what just happened! Be sure to click here for my full Episode 7 analysis.
Next Time On...As we could have guessed, there are more than a few people upset with Kass and we see her and Morgan exchanging some choice words. Also, will the "Super Idol" come into play next week? There seems to be a mass scramble as many of the remaining players search for that all-important game advantage.
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