Survivor Cagayan: Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty – Episode 10 – Recap and Discussion (UPDATED)

Previously on Survivor: Spencer has a hidden idol. No one has found the special idol. Tony concocted a blindside while on a spa day with Spencer and Jeremiah. LJ was voted out.

Night 25

Far from being angry, Kass is delighted at the blindside. Jefra is confused, but, with Spencer’s help, figures out that Woo and Tony flipped. Trish understands why he did it, and she still trusts Tony. Spencer points out that their big six promise was exactly as shaky as he predicted. He finds Tony untrustworthy and unpredictable, but that just means he can exploit the crack in the Big Six Alliance.

When daylight comes, Tony starts building a spy shack around the water well. Jefra and Trish conveniently discuss Tony at the water well, so he ducks into his hidey-hole to listen. Trish assures Jefra that the alliance is still strong. But she calls Tony an academy award-winning actor. Jefra isn’t happy. And now Tony isn’t happy with her, either.

I can’t believe the spy shack actually worked!

The reward challenge is a combination paddle and puzzle. The tribe is divided into two tribes, the Orange and the Purple. The Orange is Tony’s crew, minus Jefra. The Purple is Spencer, Tasha, Jeremiah, and Jefra.

In the first part of the challenge, the two teams have to paddle around the lagoon, untying paddles from floating boxes. The teams are neck and neck for most of it, although Orange starts to pull away at the end, due to good untying teamwork from Tony and Woo. They have maybe a ten second lead going into the puzzle (which is to line up the paddles to form a phrase.

Woo and Kass are doing the puzzle for the Orange team, Spencer and Tasha for the Purples. As always this season, there’s much peeking and cheating. Kass comes up with “Worth fighting for,” and Spencer glances over to see what Orange is doing. But it’s slightly different, and Spencer and Tasha finsh first with “Worth playing for.”

Tony is disgusted. “There’s no Y in ‘fighting’,” he scolds Woo. What’s worrying him the most is Jefra going off to the reward. He believes she’s susceptible to their wily ways.

Tony wants to strategize with his three non-rewarded alliance members. But Trish is more interested in gathering food. She takes Woo to help her. While they’re gone, Tony searches for the special idol. Woo manages to shake a half-dozen papayas down, but then falls out of the tree. His butt hurts mightily, but he’s not seriously injured and retells the story with all the gusto you’d expect from a surfer dude. “I’ll break my ass for a papaya any day,” he grins.

The reward is a trip to some huge bat caves. There’s a picnic table set out in the middle, with ribs and mashed potatoes, and other wonderful food. Hopefully, there isn’t any bat guano in it. As they talk, Jefra is questioning her place within the alliance. She agrees with the minority alliance that Tony needs to go. Spencer feels her out about working with them, but she’s hesitant.

Their guide appears and hands each one a letter from home. Jefra breaks down in tears after reading her mother’s. “Don’t let your kind heart be your downfall,” she reads aloud. She takes that as a sign that she should jump ship. They all shake hands on it, but Jefra reminds Jeremiah that he shook hands with her before. “I”m holding you to it this time,” she warns him.

The Immunity Challenge is to stand on a narrow board (not unlike a surf board), balancing a ball on a flat platform perched on a short pole. Jeff Probst warns the players that they’ll have to move down the board (which narrows) after ten minutes. They also have to move their hand down on the pole, making it harder to control.

Three minutes in, Jefra, Trish, Tony, and Kass have dropped their balls. The other four make it through the first 10 minute round. After they switch to the more difficult position, Jeremiah falls out. Woo, Tasha, and Spencer last the next 10 minute round. Now at the most difficult spot, they have to stay like that until two of them falter. Woo tries to maintain his balance, but falls off the beam. Fortunately, he
doesn’t fall on his ass. After a few more minutes, Spencer loses control of his ball, and Tasha wins her second immunity.

We see Jefra interview about her determination to get rid of Tony. I’m happy she’s still on board, but I don’t’ know how they’re going to break the deadlock. Tasha shares my concerns. She’s an accountant. She can count.

After the challenge, Tony runs around the camp like a madman, looking for the special idol. He checks some “crazy tree” behind the tree mail. Then, on the way back, finds a “rocket tree,” that seems like a good place to search. After some frantic digging at the roots, he discovers the Special Idol! (Damn.)

So, here is the special power. The Idol can be played at Tribal Council after the votes have been read. It can only be played by the person who finds it. I hate this. This is way too much power for any player, especially Tony.

While he’s busy, Trish, Kass, and Jefra soak in the lagoon. Trish listens to Jefra’s concerns about Tony. When Tony shows up, flush with finding the Special Idol, Trish tells Tony that he needs to reassure them after blindsiding LJ. Tony is insulted, at first, but goes into a song and dance that apparently works on Jefra, because she goes to Jeremiah and lets him down gently. I wonder if she’s used to giving guys the brush-off, because she does it very well.

The Minority of Three then go for a swim. Realizing that either Jeremiah or Spencer is going home, Jeremiah confides his big secret to them: He’s actually a fashion model! “That’s why you’re so hot!” Tasha laughs.

Spencer decides to return the favor and lets them know that he’s got the hidden idol. The normal one. They decide to vote for Woo.

Sarah and Morgan skip happily into their jury seats. LJ still looks pissed off.

Jeff opens the council by asking Spencer if the game is wide open now. Spencer sighs that was, briefly, but they know where they stand. On the outs. Jeremiah explains that Jefra was open to voting out Tony, but decided to stay with her alliance. And then Jefra explains it was just because she upset when Tony pulled the blindside without telling her.

Spencer finds it frustrating, because nobody on Tony’s alliance seems to be playing the game, except for Tony himself. He points out that Tony has lied and broken promises. Tony gets mad at that and demands to know when he’s ever lied or broken promises. (Sarah finds this hilarious.) Spencer declares that if Tony gets to the end, he’ll be getting Spencer’s vote, because he’s been steering the whole game.

Trish kind of needlessly defends herself by saying, “We did call Tony out!” She reveals that the girls called him out, and she’s hopeful that he’s going to act better in the future. Which just makes her sound like an enabler.

Jeff asks Woo how they’re going to decide between Spencer and Jeremiah. Woo says they’ll pick the one who is least likely to have a hidden immunity idol. Jeremiah points out that Spencer is a bigger threat, since he can win immunities and all. Spencer points out that Jeremiah is a social threat, because he’s one of the nicest people ever.

Tony starts talking about his Bag of Tricks, and Spencer rolls his eyes. I think he’s trying to push Tony into saying or doing something stupid. But Tony keeps relatively cool until the vote.

Spencer’s farewell speech to Woo is a little childish. He mocks Woo’s surfer dude accent. But I don’t hold it against him. It is frustrating, and doesn’t accomplish anything, unless Spencer managed to dislodge Kass, Trish, or Jefra.

When Jeff calls for the Idol, Spencer pulls his out. At the same time, Tony is pulling something out of his Bag of Tricks. Spencer hesitates, then heads over to Jeff and plays the Idol. I think he’s hesitating about whether to play it for himself or Jeremiah. He finally plays it for himself.

Tony starts crowing that Spencer is an immature player, and that he, Tony, was just pretending to maybe play an idol! He is holding a fake idol! (Take that, college boy!)

Yeah, I have no idea what’s going on in Tony’s head right now. If I had to guess what’s going through Spencer’s head, it would be: Huh?

The first three votes Jeff pulls out of the urn say Woo. The next one is for Jeremiah. So, Spencer played the idol for nothing, but Woo, oddly, still looks worried. Maybe he’s afraid Tony’s flipped on him now. But, no. The alliance held and Jeremiah’s torch is snuffed out.

In his final words, Jeremiah is very good natured. He doesn’t blame Spencer for saving himself. The bombshell he drops is that he’s 34 years old. Hot damn! And he looks like that? No wonder he’s so serene. Who needs a million dollars when you have eternal youth?

Next week is the Survivor Auction day. And It looks like Tony is coming up with yet another wild move. I hope he votes himself out. Do I sound bitter? Maybe it’s because the next time we’ll see Jeremiah, he’ll have a shirt on. Think about that and weep.