Survivor: Cagayan, Episode 11 Recap- “Chaos is My Friend”

by Julian

Previously on… SURVIVOR!

After using the trailing members of the Aparri alliance–Tasha, Spencer, and Jeremiah–to oust L.J., Tony was in the hot seat with Jefra, while Trish tried her best to run damage control. Using his #SpyShack, Tony learned that Jefra’s trust in him had been obliterated, leaving him feeling paranoid. When the Aparri Three won a reward challenge with Jefra as their fourth teammate, they got to visit the magnificent Callao Caves, where they fed their bodies with food and souls with letters from home. An encouraging letter from her mother gave Jefra the sign she felt she needed to switch sides, while back at camp, Woo took a nasty fall from a papaya tree, nearly avoiding an untimely end in the game. Tasha outbalanced the rest to win her second consecutive immunity challenge, and back at camp, Trish put Tony on blast in order to sway Jefra back to their side. Paranoid as ever, Tony put his nose to the grindstone and found the much-hyped “idol with different powers.” With the idol in his pocket and Jefra back on board, the question now came to targeting Spencer or Jeremiah. At a tense Tribal Council, Spencer and Tasha ruffled Tony’s feathers, getting him to reveal his idol, which he claimed was fake. Spencer played an idol of his own in hopes of taking out Woo, but the dominant alliance played safe and voted out Jeremiah instead. 7 remain… who will be voted out tonight?

Solarrion returns on Night 27 with one less beauty, leaving Jefra as the last of the original Solana Tribe. She explains that she had considered switching sides and joining the Aparri alliance because she wanted to turn on Tony. “But… I’m trying to look at the bigger picture,” she says. “It would probably hurt me worse to go against Tasha or Spencer at the end of this game.” I really want us to pay attention to this point, because as viewers, we often are very critical of non-power players like Jefra who don’t flip on their allies, but we often don’t consider the long-term benefits the flips would have for them. As viewers, we obviously like to see big shake ups, but Jefra is totally right–there’s no reason to go to the end with someone who is a sure thing to beat her like Tasha or Spencer when she still has the possibility of making it to the end with people who’ve made enemies, like Tony or Kass.

Speaking of Kass making enemies… Jefra asks Spencer where the idol came from, and he confirms it was hidden near the river and he found it after the #NinjaStealthMode fiasco. Kass smugly pipes up that she knew Spencer had it from how he was acting. “You’re usually much meaner to me,” she says. I feel like we go through this ritual every three days–we can’t come back from Tribal Council without Spencer and Kass bickering. “I knew Spencer had the idol,” gloats Kass, “and like a typical 21 year old male, there was no way he was going to give that thing up. I mean, what’s the most selfish beast on the planet? A college-aged male.” Wow, okay then Kass. Nice to see that we’re having blanket statements about gender essentialism being made across the board this season. Now I just would like to clarify that Kass’s comment isn’t sexist. Sexism requires a societal power imbalance that gives derogatory, prejudiced, bigoted and/or stereotyped comments the ability to reinforce an oppressive power system. Because men are the advantaged group in society, Kass’s statement has no power to reinforce an oppressive system against men because that oppressive system doesn’t exist. That doesn’t, however, mean her statement isn’t bitchy, petty, and obnoxious. Kass’s alliance, however, comes to her defense. “Kass kind of called it,” says Woo. “Not kind of!” Tony pipes up. “[I thought] he’s too calm, that’s not how he is… I’ve seen you when you think you’re getting voted out too many times,” Kass says. “I’m impressed if that’s actually true,” Spencer snarks. “It worked great… flushed” Kass continues to boast happily. “I love it when a plan comes together,” cosigns Tony.

He's searching, but Spencer can't find a single fuck to give

He’s searching, but Spencer can’t find a single fuck to give

“I used my idol and I used it wrong,” Spencer admits. He says that right now, he and Tasha are still in a bad spot, a group of two against an army of five. He channels his inner Renee Alway of America’s Next Top Model 8. “Tonight we lost the battle, but we have not lost the war.”

glowing snake

Day 29 breaks with one of the best nature framing shots we’ve ever gotten in the glowing snake, while Tony and Woo come into camp with tree mail. Before Tony can open the scroll, Woo winces in pain, and asks Trish if she can lift up his shirt and check his back. When she does so, everyone freaks out–Woo has sprouted a vestigial tail!

Nah, just kidding. He’s tucked the wallets they got at tree mail in the back of his board shorts and everyone is elated. It’s little moments like these that make Woo so loveable. He’s such a non-entity in the strategic gameplay but he’s just so goofy and likeable. These people have all seen Survivor before and they know what the wallets mean: It’s time for the Survivor Auction.

Malnutrisha is pleased

“I almost wet my pants!” Trish exclaims. “I knew it was the auction and I was really excited, because I knew at least I’d get something to eat.” While most of the castaways immediately begin fantasizing about what delectable delicacies they are hopping to see up for sale, Tony “I am not Russell Hantz” Vlachos is still all game, all the time. “Historically in the game of Survivor, every time there’s an auction, there’s some kind of advantage to a challenge… I want that advantage, and I don’t want Spencer or Tash to have it.” Spencer of course realizes the same thing. “Me and Tasha have to be aggressive in this auction, because this is our life right now.”

Bang that gavel, it’s time for the #SurvivorAuction

Does anyone in the viewership not love the auction? It’s always fun, first of all, to see everyone get a chance to eat. You can’t help but feel bad for people after they’ve been so deprived for so long. Kass in particular has never won a single reward challenge, so her only non-rice meal to date was at the merge feast. It’s also fun to see the bidding wars that pop up, not to mention the inevitable hijinks and wackiness that ensue. Previous auctions have bought us the Sugar vs Randy Cookie Feud; Erik paying Cirie to suck her fingers; Debbie revealing her complete inability to do math; and the most crowning of all auction moments in Big Tom’s “HE’S A JEW!!!! HE WON’T EAT THE HAM!!!” The auctions have also, in more recent seasons (I believe Gabon was the first) had an advantage up for bid, which has always been one of two things–a clue to the hidden immunity idol or a leg-up in the following immunity challenge. These have led to some great moments in and of themselves, such as next-on-the-block uber bitch Abi winning immunity when she needed it most; or Andrea staking out Malcolm for hours on end while he dug for an idol.

Jeff reveals the rules, which you know if you’ve seen the auction before. Each castaway has $500 at their disposal and bidding is in increments of $20. There is no sharing money and no sharing purchases. First up is an item Jeff is kind enough to reveal in a movie theater munchie platter: candy, buttered popcorn, and a gigantic cola. Trish wins the bid for $80, which is roughly what it would have cost her at a movie theater anyway, and is thrilled with her purchase. “This is a gummy!” she exclaims to the group with her first bite, and she apologizes to Woo, knowing that they’re his favorites. The next item stays covered and goes to Jefra for $100. “Probably a pig brain or something,” she says as she hands her cash over. Jeff lifts the lid off the platter and Jefra flips her lid when she sees what’s underneath–a piping hot chicken quesadilla with two huge bowls of salsa and guacamole. “I said I wanted guacamole! Did I not say all morning I wanted guacamole?” she asks the tribe. Jeff tells her that in addition, nothing goes better with it than a nice margarita. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you,” grins Jefra.

It's no Pineapplerita from Outback Steakhouse, but it will do

It’s no Pineapplerita from Outback Steakhouse, but it will do

Item #3 remains covered as well and Kass opens with $20. Nobody challenges her on it, shocking Mr. Probst. For $20 dollars, Kass gets a steal, but before she can take her winnings, Jeff offers her a second covered platter that she can exchange her purchase for. This comes up at least once an auction, and one item is obviously a dud. Kass says she likes blue better than red so she’ll stay with the blue-covered item she initially paid for, and it’s a good call: there is a beautiful steak sandwich waiting for her underneath smothered in cheese and roasted veggies, along with a cool glass of iced tea. Spencer can barely handle watching Kass bite into it. “I would have devoured that right there,” moans Tony as Kass eats. “My stomach is starting to tie up in knots,” he says in a confessional. “I don’t know if I can hold out on the temptation.”

Jeff puts the item Kass rejected up for bid next and it goes to Trish for $60. It is, as expected, a dud: a glass of water and a bowl of rice. Trish at least already got her snack and says happily that she still has plenty of money to bid. “What are you waiting for?” she asks the group, flabbergasted as she returns with her non-win. “Start spending your money you cheapo-deapos! You guys wanna eat or what?” Classic Trish.

Jeff does them a kindness by revealing the next item–a plate of three huge ribs, slathered in barbeque with a cold beer on the side. Woo throws down $40 and is, much like many of the buyers before, unchallenged, making it a steal. “Because there were so few people actually bidding for the food, this auction was a buyer’s market,” economics major Spencer explains. “Great deals, all of this food for so little money, and I can’t even watch!” Woo exchanges his money to Probst, and Probst exchanges a lot of sexual tension with Woo. “What are you anticipating?” baits Jeff. “That tangy barbeque sauce, the chewiness of the meat, it’s just immaculate… all in my mouth,” Woo tells him breathily. This is getting porny.

By the end of this season we'll know what everyone's O-Face looks like

By the end of this season we’ll know what everyone’s O-Face looks like

The editors only make things better/worse by playing sleazy sax music as Woo takes his first, slurpy bite of the rib. “Tender?” Jeff whispers. “Juicy,” Woo confirms. “Lathered in barbeque sauce,” teases Jeff. “Flavorful,” Woo confirms. He goes for a sip of the beer and I almost expect him to pull an Alisha-in-Misfits and deepthroat the bottle.

Alisha's Bottle Job

Under the auction table, Jeff likely blows his load and Woo heads back to finish his unexpectedly sexual meal. Jeff shakes off his post-coital daze and turns his attentions to Tony, Spencer and Tasha, the three castaways who have yet to buy a single thing. “Clearly something is up. I’m showing you the items; they’re beautiful items; you haven’t had food in a month–what’s going on? What is it you guys want?” Tony, Spencer and Tasha all admit they’re holding out for the same thing: a game advantage. Jeff decides he’ll give into the pressures of supply and demand, and says if it’s an advantage they want, it’s an advantage they’ll get–it’s the next item up for grabs.

Tony immediately throws his hands up, but Jeff stops him. Clearly in the past there have been too many times where someone has simply held onto their full $500 and struck when the time was right, but production doesn’t seem to like it being so simple for one person to get it simply because they shouted first. Jeff explains that if the bidding for any item hits $500, anyone who wants in on it can also throw in their $500 for the chance to draw rocks. The person who draws the black rock will win the item. Tony and Spencer are both in, but when Jeff gets to Tasha, she hesitates and then shockingly backs out. I’m actually a little stunned–Tasha is a smarter player than to make such a boneheaded move after holding out for so long, so I can only assume she has some sort of reasoning. Spencer and Tony step up and hand over all of their cash before reaching into a bag. Neither one can bare to look, and neither can I.

#DrawingRocks

Tony draws black and wins the advantage, while Spencer’s $500 win him nothing but a rock. Maybe he can pull a Fransesqua Francesca and eat it. I have mixed emotions watching it–I wanted Spencer to get the advantage as it’s the last thing Tony needs at this point, but it’s become the most prominent running gag of this season that literally nothing ever goes Spencer’s way. With Tony having claimed his clue, the auction ends, allowing Tasha to explain her reasoning in a confessional. “I was hoping Jeff would offer one more item, and that would be a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Unfortunatley, I left with nothing. So, in order for me to stay here, I have to win immunity.”

Solarrion returns to camp and Spencer exclaims that he’s never seen an auction with such good deals. Tony says that the advantage is a Catch-22. “Even if it’s an advantage, someone like Woo just ate those ribs, [he’s] probably gonna… you know what I mean?” I’ll fill in the blanks in case you don’t know what he means: Even having won an advantage, it was at the price of not getting a meal, and having the energy of real food, particularly protein, could be enough of an advantage to win immunity in and of itself. “I’m the one who got screwed,” laughs Spencer. “But that’s how it goes–we both knew what we signed up for,” he says to Tony. “I have a new title. I’m the greatest loser at the auction in Survivor history.”

For those who did eat, the food is still fresh on their minds, and having stuffed their shrunken stomachs has put Woo, Trish, Jefra and Kass in a food coma, with Kass imploring Trish to “take a nap” as they all channel their inner Morlax in the shelter. “I have no guilt that Tony was the martyr for the team. I think I’ve done enough,” Kass tells us. “Here I am eating a giant meal, and I got to see Spencer have the true dejected look that I’ve come to know and love… and expect from him when he knows he’s on the block.” Tony may be the more Russell-like in his gameplay, but Kass is the most Russell-like when it comes to her overinflated ego and enormous sense of self-satisfaction with everything she does. She obviously doesn’t care for Spencer, and maybe we weren’t shown a lot of the negative relationship they had on Luzon if it was there, but from our vantage point, Spencer only really seemed to stop being diplomatic towards Kass after she flipped on him. I miss the earlier parts of the season where Kass was snarky and funny. Morgan might have been meaner than necessary when she said it, but I don’t think she was off base when she called Kass “bitter.” She’s really starting to grate my nerves.

It’s not just her that’s grating on Tony, however–it’s his whole alliance. As they all lounge/die in the shelter and reminisce about their lunches, Tony grouses that he was “disgusted” by the fact that they all bought food and let him be the one to starve and waste his chance to eat on ensuring Spencer or Tasha didn’t buy the advantage. “Does somebody wanna watch the fire while I get the water, or does somebody want to get the water?” Tony asks. Nobody responds, as they’re too busy rehashing everything that was in Jefra’s quesadilla. “I’ll go get the water for you,” Trish says after Tony barks a second time, leaving Tony to grumble that “[it’s] not for me, [it’s] for us.” “The girls don’t do anything!” Tony bitches.

With his alliance out of commission, Tony heads down the beach to read his advantage. It’s not for the challenge, but rather a clue to the hidden immunity idol, which has been rehidden now that Spencer played it.

Here are the exact coordinates to where the idol is hidden and a GPS. We love you Tony! <3, Production

Here are the exact coordinates to where the idol is hidden and a GPS. We love you Tony! <3, Production

The clue is so blatant it’s almost offensive. The biggest clue is that it’s buried near a “big white tree,” which Tony proceeds to scramble around looking for, though he’s unable to find it. Dejected, he heads back to camp, walking past the women of the tribe as they lounge in the water.

Water Type Pokeladies

The small talk is about simply enjoying the ocean, with Tasha explaining to the other women how she’s never really gotten to experience it outside of vacations, coming from an inland city where there isn’t any beach access. It may not be hard strategy talk, but a lot of the strategic game of Survivor is played in the small talk that comprises the social game. Beyond that, Tasha knows that bonding with the women helps her beyond just getting her closer with Jefra, Trish, and Kass. “I want Tony to know that there is a possibility that we could form an all-girl alliance to take him out. I want Tony to see me talking to them… Tony is a loose cannon. All you need to do is light a little fire and he will spark.” It harkens back to Heroes vs Villains, where Sandra and Courtney were on the outs with the Villains Tribe after Jerri and Coach defected, turning on Rob to side with Russell. Sandra knew she could manipulate a player as paranoid as Russell by playing on his paranoia. She told him that Coach was planning to target him and it took all of three seconds for Russell to forget about Sandra and Courtney completely and set his sights on Coach instead.

Scared of the girls

Up at the camp, the power of teamwork is the secret weapon. While Tasha sets the stage in the water, Spencer tends the fire and gets in Tony’s ear the moment he returns to camp. “Tash got her own plans I see,” Tony tells Spencer. “She’s working all the girls!” “I’m telling you, since day one, she is a social player,” Spencer says. “You’re not worried about that girls thing actually working, are you?” he continues to probe. “You know we weren’t lying when we said Jefra was with us. Her saying she wanted to vote you out? That wasn’t a lie.” And it’s true–Jefra did almost turn on Tony in the previous round, and Tony’s ears are fully perked up now, even though he ostensibly knows this already thanks to his spy shack shenanigans. Spencer elaborates the lie a little to make it hit harder, however, saying that Jefra wanted to blindside Tony and claimed she was 100% sure she could convince Trish to go along with it. “Creating some fake paranoia about an all-girls alliance, even if it’s not happening at all, is a very powerful thing in this game,” Spencer explains. “If I can make Tony paranoid, that’s gold, because Tony’s crazy. Tony is willing to play hard, but not always well, and that’s great in this game… if I can get someone in power to make mistakes and go ballistic… then I’m still here, and anyone could be going home.” It’s been obvious that Spencer and Tasha are one of the tightest alliances in this game, but this is seriously some of the best teamwork out of a duo I’ve ever seen on this show when it comes to making a power play. They’re both doing their part in planting the seed that’s going to get Tony’s gears turning. They haven’t met their goal yet, as Tony isn’t a complete moron. “I was thinking you know what, hold up, don’t trust Spencer just yet, because he’s desperate… but you’ve gotta look into it.” The looking into it doesn’t seem to take very long. “Then I said to myself, you know what? It just makes so much sense. They’re gonna say ‘the guys are threats, let’s just get rid of them one by one.’ And they can do it! Because right now we have four girls and three guys. All the telltale signs are there that they need to blindside me. They won’t want me to go to the end, but I’m not going anywhere. I’ll take matters into my own hands like I usually do.” Spencer tells Tony that he’ll tell him what he hears if his word “carries any weight.” “Of course it carries weight, man, what are you kidding me? What, do you think I’m going to sit on my ass and get blindsided?!”

Day 30 has the women once again basking in the water. “It’s nice to know we’re going to have a non-adverserial day,” Kass explains in a confessional, “because no matter no matter who wins immunity, we can get rid of Tash or Spence.” While the girls soak, Tony and Woo discover that the crab someone foraged for has died, and Tony calls out to the women to see if they think it’s still good. Kass and Jefra tell him to just throw it in the pot immediately, but Tony points out that isn’t possible because they don’t have a fire going yet. “Get your ass up here and cook it then,” Tony mutters. He bitches to Woo further about Jefra’s laziness, and it seems to only further his fear that the women are planning to ride the men to the end. Instead of cooking crab, he runs off and long story short…

Like a many armed Hindu deity, except instead of extra arms he has idols

Like a many armed Hindu deity, except instead of extra arms he has idols

This is the regular run of the mill idol, which Tony now has in addition to the SuperIdol. Great. Just what we needed. There’s a lot of repetitive blustering and gloating about how he has a million idols and is now safe forever blah blah blah blah blah. The interesting part is that Tony comes back into camp brandishing it like a shotgun, showing it to everyone in his alliance. He tells them that it’s for everybody, and that he’ll play it to help the alliance as a whole if need be, but there’s more going on than just ensuring the whole alliance is on the same page. Tony wants to scare off potential defectors by threatening them. The message is loud and clear: try to take me out and this is going to send you home.

Jeff is thrilled that the challenge literally requires the castaways to dig deep

Immunity on Day 30 is a challenge called Inside Track, which once again combines elements seen in previous challenges in a new way. Each castaway must dig in their starting spot for a bag containing a ball. There will be a rope tied to the bag, which they can then pull to find the location of the next buried ball, which they must dig up, so on and so forth until they’ve collected all five balls. After getting the balls out of the bag, they must navigate the balls along a table maze to the finishing spots at the maze’s end. The first castaway to put all five balls in the finish zone is the winner.

inside trackJeff gives the word and everyone starts digging “like gophers.” Woo, Tony, and Tasha are the first to unearth their first bags, with Spencer not far behind. Jefra soon joins, leaving Trish and Kass trailing by a significant margin. Tony, Woo and Tasha are the first to get all of their bags and get to untying–even though Tony got all five bags first, Tasha is the first to get all her balls freed, and therefore is the first to start the table. She’s already sunken her first ball in the endzone by the time that everyone else has finished uprooting their balls. Tony finally gets his balls on the table after Tasha scores her second point, desperate to catch up, with Spencer and Woo almost immediately following. Tony starts by simply bucking the table maze, sending the balls flying in the air in what seems to be a desperate, crazed attempt to get them to miraculously fly to the end, and Jeff can’t help but call it out–“Tony goes crazy and knocks his balls all over the place. This is subtle! It takes touch, finesse!” It’s hilarious because it’s one of the rare moments where a contestant’s performance in a challenge is a great metaphor for their overall approach to the game. Tony is a player who bucks hard, throws his balls in the air, and hopes they’ll land where he needs them to, and it’s worked in his favor so far. Tasha gets her third ball to the end but overshoots, making a small opening for someone else to catch her. Woo and Tony both land their first balls in the gap, before Tasha successfully lands her third. Woo manages to catch Tasha, getting his second and third before she can get her fourth in a close maneuver. Woo hits his fourth, and it’s a close fight, but Tasha sinks her fifth ball, impressively winning her third straight immunity challenge.

Looks like the necklace has found a home it likes

Looks like the necklace has found a home it likes

Anyone winning three consecutive immunities is an impressive feat, even moreso for a woman, as the “immunity whores” are often men. With one more, Tasha will tie the record for immunity wins by a woman. Two more will give her the record for wins by a woman, and three more will give her the record for wins overall–which as a shameless Tasha fan I would love to see. At this point, she has also become the most successful black challenge competitor in Survivor history. It’s also interesting how the labels assigned to the players at the start of this season are being broken–Brain Tasha is doing what I assumed Woo would probably do by winning challenge after challenge, while much of the strategic thinking is being lead by Brawn Tony. With Tasha safe yet again, it would seem that Spencer’s fate is sealed… or is it?

A foreboding shot of a shark swimming amongst a school of smaller fish frames the scene as the tribe returns to camp. “For the third time in a row, Tasha has immunity!” Tasha says with a grin that the edit punctuates with a ‘shiny smile’ sound effect. “To have immunity means everything at this point in the game. Every day, people are reconsidering alliances, [and] breaking alliances.” She says the plan is to continue talking with the girls–either she convinces the girls to make a move with her, or Tony’s non-stop overthinking will be ratcheted up enough for him to press the destruct button. “Either way, it works for me. And possibly for Spencer as well!”

The Brainy Buddies head off for water, while Kass and Woo agree upon the obvious in that they’re targeting Spencer. “They both have to go,” says Woo. Trish, Tony, and Jefra soon join, and they reach the forgone consensus. Tony, however, is displeased. “Tonight at Tribal Council, if Tash didn’t win that necklace, she was going home. So now we have to resort to plan B, which is Spencer. This is the worst case scenario for me!” Tony frets.

Tasha’s not the only mathematician on the island

Tony elaborates that with Tasha safe and Spencer gone, it leaves four women against two men, leaving Tony and Woo as sitting ducks if the girls decide to stick together. I’m really unsure why Tony didn’t consider this before he voted out L.J. if it’s such an issue for him now, but I’m really unsure why Tony does a lot of things, so that’s not new. Tony says that he’d feel safer turning on one of the women in his alliance, and says the only one he can turn on is Jefra, since she was willing to turn on him. “You wanna pull a fast one tonight?” Tony asks Woo. Woo doesn’t seem to get why Tony wants to pull a fast one, so Tony explains that they need Spencer to stay simply to prevent an all female alliance. “Tony’s a brilliant player!” Woo gushes. “Nine times out of ten, we’re clicking on the same level.” Oh Woo. Sweet, sweet Woo. As charming, funny, and attractive as he is, the brains of the operation he is not. Earlier in the season I could have seen Woo as a “surprise immunity run” style winner ala Gabon‘s Bob Crowley and Nicaragua’s “Fabio” Birza, but we’ve been shown too many times that he is really unaware of the strategic game and mostly just does what Tony tells him. He’s likeable but if he does somehow make the end I think he’ll have a hard time convincing a jury that he’s been an active decision maker when it comes to his fate in the game. With Woo on board, Tony is ready for his plan to come into action, but he knows Trish and Kass will never go for it. The risky part is that this means Tony will have to rely on Spencer and Tasha to vote alongside him.

“It’s time for me to be a hero and try to save you, because I do not want to see you go before Jefra,” Tony tells Spencer. After explaining the plan, Tony tells Spencer that in addition to not telling Trish or Kass, he’s also not telling Tasha–that’s Spencer’s job. “Tasha is telling me she’s willing to do anything to help me stay. She’s my alliance, she’s my friend, I know she’s willing to do something that will keep me in the game.”

And they’re still friends outside the game! Tasha visited Spencer (along with fellow Chicagoan castaways/friends J’Tia and Alexis) this week. J’Tia’s dog to be the third in their alliance on Heroes vs Villains 2, please.

Spencer does as Tony asks and delivers the news to an elated Tasha. “You ready for Survivor miracle part two? Jefra. Tony and Woo don’t trust her, and they don’t trust the girls. They want to vote out Jefra. And they need us!” A fist bump seals the deal… or so it seems. Back at camp, Spencer sneaks off to search for the super-idol. “Things might be looking up right now, but I don’t trust Tony all that much. If this plan fails, I’m out of the game,” he explains. When Tony realizes Spencer is idol hunting, he’s miffed. Tony knows that Spencer won’t find anything, but that’s not his concern. “It’s scary, it’s alarming that Spencer is doing that when I’m trying to come up with a plan to save him… I’m going through my mind, is voting off Jefra a good idea? Is it better just to get rid of a threat like Spencer? Because Jefra is not a threat… I would say I’m driving myself crazy, but I don’t think it’s me, I think it’s the game driving me crazy.” Oh Tony. You were crazy from Day 1. The only place you are driving yourself to is crazier.

Jury of 4

Sun sets and Solarrion settles in at Tribal Council, now with four jurors observing. As usual, Jeff starts with the obvious assumptions, going to Spencer, who confirms that he is, indeed, in trouble, especially since Tasha has immunity. Tony says the vibe at the camp was chaotic after the challenge, and that Spencer was trying to convince Tony that his allies were conspiring to blindside him–“specifically Jefra.” This earns a quizzical look from the pageant queen, and Tony reaches into his bag of tricks for his idol, which he proudly slings around his neck. “I’m not the one to get blindsided tonight, Jeff. I don’t want to go home.” Frustrated, Jefra tries to explain herself, saying she was upset about the fallout of the L.J. boot and that she’d “be lying if [she] said [she] wasn’t.” Kass pitches in to defend her, saying that Jefra needed to get over her anger after being left out of the plan. Tony argues that he didn’t tell her because you don’t advertise a blindside, especially not to people who you think can blow it. Way to go building the trust, Tony. Jeff asks Tony if he’s surprised that his alliance has managed to go for so long relatively unscathed given how much dissension there is among them, and Tony admits that blind faith is the only thing holding them together at this point. “Chaos is great,” Spencer says in response. “If I can mix things up, chaos can only help me.” Kass usually the supporter of all things #Chaos, admits that it’s possible the dysfunction in the alliance could cause someone to make a “mistake.” Jefra nods in agreement that it would be a mistake. “Of course when you’re on the bottom, you’re going to try and stir up as much as you can in order to get us to break apart,” she says. Jeff asks Spencer how he’ll feel if he leaves, given that nobody could accuse him of not trying to make big moves happen. “I think I played well, and I think I played hard, and I can go home happy with that. At the same time, windows of opportunity come up and close in this game, and some could be closing right now. If you pick me off, and then pick off Tasha, and get fourth or fifth place, you made a mistake tonight by not making a move. The most common reason people lose this game is not making the move they should’ve, when they could’ve, because they got too comfortable. And I hope that doesn’t happen to someone in this game.”

That takes us to the vote–Kass is first and puts Spencer’s name down. “I already saved you once, I’m not doing it again,” she says, placing her vote. We see Spencer’s vote also (but when don’t we?) against Jefra. “Moral of the story: actually play the game before you get played.”

Jeff fetches the votes and asks for any idols. Unsurprisingly, Tony doesn’t budge. The votes come out, two for Jefra and two for Spencer, tying them. Vote five is for Spencer, as expected, but then comes a third vote for Jefra, leaving it all down to the final vote. In a 4-3 decision, Jefra becomes the 11th person voted out of Survivor: Cagayan and the fifth member of the jury. “Good job guys,” she says, her voice cracking as she stands to get her torch.

Jefra SnuffedShe wishes the tribe luck as she leaves, taking the legacy of the Solana Tribe of Beauties along with her. Kass and Trish can only exchange disappointed looks before the final six head back to camp, three Brains and three Brawn.

This season certainly has been a roller coaster so far, hasn’t it? As much as Tony and Spencer have been getting a lion’s share of the screentime lately, I’m glad that this game hasn’t been as simple as one side picking off the other. With her now out of the game, Jefra’s edit comes more clearly into focus. She got a lot of screentime for young, attractive, “useless” girl who was a mid-merge boot, especially when compared to previous castaways in her mold. It now seems that’s because they were setting up her story as the last of the Beauty Tribe, done in after she, as Spencer put it, failed to make the move she should have when she could have. I think it’s a bit of a shame for Jefra, who has been through a lot more than the show let on. Her father had a long and tumultuous battle with drug addiction for much of her youth, and she herself survived cervical cancer in her teenage years. Sharing that with the audience, however, would have worked against Jefra’s larger edit as naive and clueless. With Jefra’s boot, I would guess this is the official end of the Solana Plus alliance. The old saying goes “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” and I can’t imagine that Trish and even more so Kass are feeling a lot of shame right now. While Trish might find herself questioning her trust in Tony, Kass is likely not only doing the same, but stewing with jealousy on top of it. This is the second time since her big flip that a blindside has occurred that she wasn’t a part of. I think Kass has shown herself to be an emotional and hypocritical player who revels in getting to play the role of the free agent, and she’s bound to be upset that Tony is stealing her thunder and playing the game she wants to be playing. I think with that it mind, it’s still very possible that Spencer’s prediction that the last three brains standing could be the last three players standing. They’ve worked their way through one whole tribe, and now it’s just a matter of working through one more.

Next Time on… SURVIVOR!

Tony is driving people nuts, particularly Kass. An argument between them has her declaring she’ll write his name down, and it looks like the last person we’d expect–Woo–could be the swing vote. Despite having been closely aligned with Tony for a long time, the Surf Ninja might be wising up, realizing he needs a big move at this point in the game. We know Tony won’t be going home thanks to his idol(s), but with the dynamics so unstable, could it be the end for Kass, Woo or Trish?

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