Sigh. This was not the best episode of the season, was it? Whenever a player wants out of the game, energy gets sucked out of the season. Once her BFF Hali was voted out, Jenn was ready to follow in her footsteps. It made for a dreary episode.
It’s too bad, really, that Jenn stayed and Hali was voted out. I can’t help but think that if Jenn had gone home last week, Hali would still be playing this game. I hate seeing strong players eliminated while weak ones coast to the end – and I really hate that someone like Dan is in a solid alliance that could very well see him through to the end.
This entire episode was basically about whether Jenn would succeed in getting herself eliminated instead of Joe. She tried to win Immunity so she could handle the necklace, and came in second place despite a valiant effort. She tried to convince everyone to vote her out, a sad, morose shell of a human, over a top-notch competitor with perfect hair. Nothing worked, and beautiful Joe was sent home.
It’s a bummer, because Joe was the whole package – a social, strategic, and physical player. But players like that need to have solid alliances, and the chips never fell that way for Joe. Anyway, let’s talk about the rest of this episode.
“This is an awkward thing to watch.”
The Reward Challenge was a supremely physical one. If I were playing, I certainly wouldn’t be giving it my all. This is a game for a million bucks, I’m not going to sprain my ankle for a Snickers bar. In two teams, the players had to navigate a water-based obstacle course. The match-up of Dan vs. Will was one for the ages, each man out-humiliating the other.
Shirin, Sierra, Mike, Tyler and Dan won the challenge. Earlier, Shirin had approached Mike and Sierra about working together. She pitched the idea of voting out Carolyn, a player who controls the votes of others. It was a solid suggestion, but with Tyler around for the reward there was no way she could try and continue to make her case. The fivesome just gorged themselves on chocolate and went back to camp. (Mike sure gave Snickers their product placement money’s worth. Geez Louise, that dude loves nougat.)
Winner Winner, No Chicken Dinner
While the winners were off on their reward, the losers decided to kill and eat a chicken. Were there really no repercussions from that? If I came back to camp and saw one fewer chicken, I’d be pissed. But, I suppose, they were won by the No Collar tribe and all three remaining players were present.
According to sulky Jenn, though, “they’re basically my chickens.” Once again, she was not OK with eating one.
Over dinner, Rodney did an mocking impression of Mike, revealing to Joe that there was discontent between the two. It didn’t end up helping Joe, but there’s definitely trouble brewing there. (In the scenes from next week, Rodney screaming “YOU GOTTA RELAX, BRO! YOU GOTTA RELAX!” made me laugh. Rodney handing out advice on being chill is like Jenn telling someone to buck up.)
Hanging In The Balance
Before the Immunity Challenge, Jenn told Joe that she would give him the necklace if she won. I believed her, and I was rooting for Jenn to win once Joe was out of the challenge. But I did have slight doubts. Jenn knew that the more she talked about wanting to be voted out, the more everyone else would want her in the game. I wondered if this was all some grand strategy that she’d reveal during Final Tribal Council. (Jenn doesn’t have enough foresight for that.)
After an epic struggle, Joe was out of the challenge. Jenn placed second, losing to Tyler. I’ll admit, I didn’t think the guy had it in him. His performance was impressive. I want to like Tyler, but he seems like such a wet blanket of a player.
Back at camp, Joe and Jenn were trying to figure out how he could stay and she could go. It’s so lame, watching a player TRY to get voted out. To me, that’s no different from quitting. If that’s how you’re gonna be, just quit and let your pal stay in the game. Jenn let Joe get voted out over a technicality, over pride. She has no intention of truly playing this game anymore.
Shirin tried to figure out a way to make the numbers work for them, but she had her own doubts about the plan. After all, Joe is a threat. Still, I thought she should have tried to keep him in the game. Joe is a physical threat, but Shirin’s not going to win challenges anyway. And over on the other side, players like Carolyn and Dan haaaaate her. She won’t get anywhere with them, so she’s better off with Joe.
Mike told Shirin to vote Joe, and that he’d need to trust her. Actually, Mike, you don’t need to trust her. You can just assign her to vote for Jenn instead.
If three people from the majority alliance were voting for Jenn, plus Shirin and Joe, she would have had five votes. The best they could have done was a tie. Joe tried to swing the odds in his favor by telling Mike he’d give him his Hidden Immunity Idol, if only he’d vote for Jenn. It was a worthy attempt – I admire someone who’s willing to try anything to say in the game. And since he makes jewelry for a living, Joe’s fake HII necklace was pretty damn good. But it didn’t do the trick.
Mike asked Probst to verify the HII before the votes had been cast, and Probst refused. After the votes had been cast, Mike played the Idol on behalf of Will (why??) and Probst revealed it as a fake. Mike had not changed his vote anyway, and Shirin also stuck with voting Joe. It sucks, because there are some crummy players and people left in this game. Who do I even root for now? Sierra, because that’s who my mom has in the office pool, I guess. Or Shirin, because she’s an underdog. Who are y’all rooting for?