There’s no rest for the wicked because as soon as the previously on Survivor has finished, Jeff is calling the players to “come on in, guys”. Of course, all the old players don’t know what’s going on, but Millenials vs Gen X’s Zeke realises that it can only mean it’s time for a tribe switcheroo. They’re going from two tribes to three, and they look like this:
For those of you playing along at home, this means Caleb and Hali are now in a minority on their new tribe, while Troyzan and JT are lone wolves on their respective tribes. The new Tabua tribe will have to start from scratch with just the bare minimum of supplies. Fishing gear, cooking pot, a machete, and a small jar of rice, and that’s it. realising pretty quickly that he’s on the chopping block, Troyzan goes idol hunting, and soon finds… not the idol, but a clue to where to find the idol at the challenge.
Meanwhile, JT shows off the Nuku beach with its trained chickens, bountiful food, and decorative glass balls. JT is trying to make the best of things by turning on his good ol’ boy charm, but he’s already planning on how to get his new tribemates in the middle of the ocean so he can search for idols. However, his extended absence doesn’t go unnoticed by the ex-Mana players. Varner isn’t so worried, saying it doesn’t matter if JT finds an idol, because they still have a five-one majority. No, Varner (or ‘Jeff’ as the credits are calling you). You should be worried if he finds an idol – if he does, and you go to Tribal, you have a one in five chance of going home!
At Mana beach, we find out who was responsible for the interior decorator at Nuku, and surprisingly, it’s Brad Culpepper of all people. It’s certainly looks cosy, as everyone pretends that they are a tight six, when the writing on the wall is that Caleb and Hali are in trouble. Particularly Hali, who doesn’t have a boyfriend in the ex-Nuku four. However, as Brad points out, it could be dangerous to allow Caleb and Tai to stay together; plus there’s the threat of Debbie joining them to form a Khoa-Rong power triumvirate.
After the ad break we return to find the new Nuku planning to catch and slaughter a goat to their great King, er, Queen Sandra. JT goes on a goat hunt never believing in a million years, that he’d actually catch one, but at least wanting to get into his new tribe’s good graces. However, he does, and it’s a tiny baby, while Malcolm has caught its mother. Theirs is then an extended debate where everyone but Sandra wants to let the goats go, but no one is brave enough to say anything. at this point, I am on the edge of the seat hoping that I don’t see ‘the goat version of Bambi’ play out. Luckily, common humanity prevails and the goats are freed! Hooray! Although, it does mean that a chicken gets killed instead, but c’est la vie.
Challenge time! It’s a multi-phase challenge, with three people tied together competing in an obstacle course, and the remaining three working on a puzzle. The idol is hidden under the puzzle table, but Troyzan will have to wait until after the challenge to nab it. Nuku has an early lead, while Mana is struggling in third place. Regardless, it all comes down to the puzzle, the great equaliser. It’s a tight run race between Nuku and Tavua, but ultimately Nuku takes first place. However, the fight for second place is still on, and again it comes right down to the last minute, when Tavua have to go back and correct a mistake. Nonetheless, Tavua claim victory, Troyzan claims his idol, and the curse of the orange buff continues as Mana will have to face Tribal Council.
It looks like it’s between either Hali or Caleb
Now, if I were Hali at this point I would go to Brad and Sierra and subtly sew the seeds of fear regarding Tai and Caleb’s borderline home-erotic relationship, plus point out that they could rope in Debbie, and suggest that they get rid of Tai, seeing as he won’t be as useful in challenges as Caleb, plus he’s so well-liked, plus he’s made it to the final tribal before. That way, if they lose again, she still has room to switch the target to Caleb. And maybe she did do that, but we didn’t see it. in fact, we heard from everyone except Hali. At this point, it’s impossible to tell who of Hali and Caleb will be going home.
Last week I made the inexcusable mistake of not commenting on the unadulterated coolness of the tribal council set. ‘Pirates’ are clearly the theme of the season, as the whole set looks like a shipwreck, and the voting booth is in a light house.
It still seems unclear who will go home when it comes to Tribal Council, as both Caleb and Hali have to give their arguments for why they should be kept over the other. Caleb’s argument seems to be that he’s a stronger player, while Hali can be easily manipulated. As Hali rightly points out, this is more of a sell for her than it is for him. When it comes to cowboy vs law student, Caleb didn’t stand a chance, and it is he who is out.
So long, Caleb, or as he shall now be known, ‘the Nine Day Survivor.’