After the recap, we see a happier Jalapao. Taj explained her baffling vote for Joe, saying that she just didn't want to put Sandy's name down. What?
She and Stephen went out in search of the Immunity Idol, finding it up the Tree Mail Statue's butt. Who came up with that idea? It looked like the Tree Mail Idol shat the Immunity Idol. Taj decided to let Stephen hold the idol, but warned him not to let it show. He said that he is planning to keep it in his possesion as long as he can, and theoretically, it is his, even though they found it together. I really hope the Secret Alliance works out, because Taj seems to blab her mouth easily - like telling people that he husband is the famous football player.
Over at Timbira, Brenden is working on the fire, and Sierra took the opportunity to chat with Brenden about the fact that he didn't tell her about the planned alliance. Brenden told her that he has the idol. Sierra claims that their alliance is going to take over the whole world. In Survivor foreshadowing, that means something is going to go horribly wrong.
The challenge will be played in rounds. One tribe member will be seated on a spinning platform. Another tribe member will grab a rope attatched to the platform and run, causing it to spin and the seated person to get dizzy. The seated person will then have to (stagger) make their way across a balance beam. If they fall off, they have to start over. Lather, rinse, repeat, until 3 tribe members are through.
Winners get a trip to the Charmin Cafe, with strong coffee, pastries, a modern toilet, and plenty of charmin - which they might need after having coffee for the first time in days. Just saying. The two going to Exile will include a member of the winning tribe who will not get to go to the cafe.
First to sit is Tyson, pulled by Brenden for Timbira, and Joe will be pulling Taj for Jalapao. Taj was first off and had some serious equilibrium troubles. Tyson made it through first. Coach pulled Erin next, and Stephen pulled Spencer. This is like a version of that game with the baseball bat on your head spinning around. I forget what it's called. Spencer made it across for Jalapao. Next, Joe spun JT and Brenden spun Sierra, who looked like she was going to throw up. Everyone looks dreadfully drunk. It's hilarious. JT made it across for Jalapao. Stephen is pulling Sydney, and Coach is pulling Debra. Anyone notice that Coach again took the easy role in this challenge? Sydney was doing a great job, but fell off near the end. She made quick work of regaining her ground, and won it for Jalapao. Brenden was sent to Exile, and chose Stephen to go with him. Tyson was getting suspicious of Brenden's standing with the other team.
At the Reward, Taj tried to connect with her tribe some, since she has been at Exile so much. There was an additional reward of letters from home. Tears were free flowing. JT's mom showed a rare display of affection in the letter, telling him that she loved him for "the third time in my life." That's sad.
Back at Timbira, Tyson told Debra and Coach that he was concerned about Brenden making connections with the other tribe. They said "don't tell Sierra" because she wouldn't be with them. Coach didn't like the possibility of Brenden being in charge at a merge.
Coach insisted that he knew the meteorological patterns in the area, and said that there was no way the rain was going to hit them. Boom, downpour. Erinn of the Superfluous N said that she wouldn't be surprised if when it's all over, Coach comes out and says "Gotcha, I'm an accountant, and I've never left Nebraska." Somehow, that wouldn't shock me, either.
Brenden and Stephen bonded at Exile, and decided to build camp. Stephen said his first impression was "positive, but wary." He is not planning on putting all his eggs in the Secret Alliance Basket. Smart guy.
There was an awkward conversation between Sydney (who dreamt of her boyfriend and a plate of chips and salsa) and Spencer (who has not come out to his tribe that he is gay) when she asked if there was a special girl in his life. Not so much. I can admire him not wanting to be flamboyant about it if that's not him, but I hope that he doesn't find his secrecy coming back to bite him in the ass.
It's Immunity Challenge Time.
Two members of each tribe will alternate launching balls out into a field. Whichever tribe catches five balls first (any color) wins.
Sydney and Stephen are launching for Jalapao, and Debbie and Erinn are launching for Timbira. JT caught the first ball, which goes to show why he was excited for the challenge when he saw the tree mail. He swiftly caught another. Brenden caught one for Timbira, and then another. It's tied. JT got another one for Jalapao, and lost a tooth in the process. There was a search for the tooth since he threw it - to which he said, "It's only half of it." He kept playing, and Probst took custody of the tooth. Tyson caught one for Timbira, and Half Toothed JT grabbed the fourth one for Jalapao. Tyson scored again for Timbira, and again. It's tied again. And one flew right into Tyson's net, winning it for Timbira. JT lost half a tooth for nothing. He's pissed.
And again, Coach was completely irrelavant to the challenge.
Half Tooth said that he doesn't want to get rid of anyone, but Spencer's in trouble. Joe hurt his knee at the challenge. Taj mouthed off for no apparent reason, and was mad that Joe has never come to her to talk to her about an alliance. She was hot, she said. It was irrational and stupid. This made her a target.
Stephen sagely said that he might be best served by Taj going home without him surrendering the Idol, because then it would be his alone, but then he would lose some connection with the others in the Secret Alliance.
Spencer when to chat with JT and Joe, to plead his case. JT says it's probably going to be Spencer or Taj. And it's time for Tribal. Who will it be? Will the Secret Alliance stand?
Spencer admitted that he sucked in the challenge, and Taj said that there was some definite tension after their loss, and she said that she did blow up and get upset. I say she was acting like a wet cat, lashing out at everyone for no reason. Spencer said that feelings change when you feel like your head might be on the chopping block. Joe said that he hasn't heard Taj say that she doesn't have the idol, and she truthfully said that she doesn't have it (because Stephen has it, unless he gave it to her).
So, who's out? I have a bad feeling for Taj, because she wouldn't shut up. She did not play the idol.
Turned out, she didn't need it. The youngest player ever is out. I'm sad, because I liked him. I wish that Jalapao had won Immunity, because I find more of the Timbira tribe (Tyson, Coach) really unpleasant and want them gone. Maybe next week.
Question is, will Coach actually step up and accomplish anything, or just continue to be all about talk (that is wrong half the time, anyhow)?
It's two weeks before the next show, which is on a Wednesday night, and looks like Tyson will be more naked, Coach will be more annoying, and Stephen will chat with JT... about the Secret Alliance??