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Tony has been an instrument for chaos all season long. He’s not playing a particularly smart game (a few errors tonight highlight that) but he is playing a very entertaining game. He’s fun to watch, like Russell Hantz on his first time through only slightly less smart. He definitely continues that trend on tonight’s episode of Survivor, the sixth of this so far pretty good season. The episode kicks off, however, with a stunner. Having just returned from Tribal Council, where Cliff was blindsided, Lindsey cannot take the game anymore. Although she claims she needs the money more than anyone out there, she also is “afraid” of what she’ll do if she stays.
And then, Jeff Probst comes out to speak with her. He prods her a bit and lets her know that nothing like this has been done before. But after a short conversation, it is fairly clear that Lindsey has checked out of the game. She decides to quit, following Cliff, her only ally in the game other than Woo, who she abandons. This pisses me off for several reasons. For starters, she is on an incredibly strong tribe. Her tribemates consist of the remains of the Brawn tribe as well as L.J. and Jefra, and L.J. is a challenge beast. Lindsey could have easily not lost another Immunity Challenge and coasted to the merge. But instead she joins the Survivor Hall of Shame as another quitter, someone who wasted a casting slot and put a damper on the season as a whole.
Tonight’s Reward Challenge was a redo of one on Survivor Philippines. The challenge is to keep hold of an object on a flat surface while someone tries to knock it off. It’s a fun and less complicated challenge, and I was happy to see it come back. Though Aparri holds their own and scores a few times, the might of Solana is just too much to handle, and Solana wins the challenge. For winning, Solana earns the right to “raid” the Aparri camp. Tony and Woo choose comfort and the fishing net, and then Tony pulls a fast one, pulling Jeremiah aside and giving him a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol – a clue that was for the Solana beach, not the Aparri beach. This has the effect of fostering distrust amongst the Aparri members, who now question Jeremiah’s loyalty – which was exactly Tony’s intention.
The Immunity Challenge follows the next day, and it is a doozy. Tribes must build a staircase, climb into a jungle gym-style maze, go down a slide, drag a key through an obstacle course, unlock a machete, and use the machete to chop down a basket of puzzle pieces. The puzzle will reveal a hidden code, which when entered will raise a tribe flag. It’s a lot to take in, and the teams go back and forth fighting for first throughout. Though Aparri reaches the puzzle first, Woo and L.J. make quick work of it. L.J. releases the puzzle and the Solana tribe wins immunity for the week. Tony then makes a show of things, loudly proclaiming the group to be the “final five,” an announcement that bothers Sarah, who assumed she was still tight with Tony even though she was shuffled to the Aparri tribe. This is a bush league move by Tony, and might come back to haunt him.
Back at the Aparri tribe, Alexis makes it known that Jeremiah is not to be trusted. She enlists the former Brains to vote against Jeremiah in the upcoming Tribal Council vote, but they weight their options. Alexis believes that Morgan, Kass, Tasha, and Spencer will vote with her. At Tribal Council, she makes it known that she has been loyal and honest throughout the game so far, and that she will continue to be reliable. When the votes are read, however, it is clear the remnants of the Brains tribe have sided with Jeremiah, as Alexis is voted out of the game. Next week, it appears that the two tribes will merge into one, with Aparri being up 6 members to Solana’s 5.