No Survivor Pre-cap from Eric tonight, but look for his full recap in the morning. In the meantime, here is your discussion post!
We start at Kalabaw where they say Denise needs a break from going to TC. She’s been to every tribal thus far and if she makes Merge then she’ll most likely be going to every Tribal this season. Jeff Kent says that it wasn’t the time to vote out Penner and that he hopes he can get to Penner before Penner turns on him. Penner thinks Jeff and him have a trust but knows he needs to keep his eyes and ears open since there was a vote against him.
Over at Tandang Mike notes that today was the day he fell in the fire 24 seasons ago. They are now on equal footing. Then a Boat appears at Tandang. It is time for the merge and everyone has 10 minutes to gather what they can. Malcolm gets his Idol out of the sand while everyone else gathers tarp and their personal things.
Denise planning on sticking with new alliance but also wants to stay with Malcolm if possible. The tribes head to their new beach where they are called Merged Tribe for the moment. The new tribe gets a feast and everyone tries to make nice and old Tandang tries to make it seem like that are “a happy family.” Abi-Marie tells RC she should spy on old Kalabaw but RC notes that they really aren’t a real tribe since no one talks to her or Skupin.
Jeff again notes how he does not want a veteran to win the season but isn’t sure he’s ready to jump ship. He also expresses excitement that no one recognizes him as a former baseball player. Carter and Jeff starts working old Tandang to make sure a returning player does not win. They are talking about splitting votes between RC and Penner to either flush out idol or vote out Penner.
Skupin expressed how he is happy to merge with numbers but is open to jumping ship since he is at the bottom of with RC in the Tandang seven. Skupin doesn’t like how Pete and Abi-Marie have played the game.
After a little game talk from pretty much everyone they get to work building shelter while Lisa gets into a cleaning mood and starts hanging everyone’s clothes. She quietly finds an idol in Malcolm’s bag and Malcolm knows she found it. Malcolm takes Denise aside and they agree they need to pull in Lisa.
Malcolm takes her aside and plays nice. It’s clear she was just playing nice and she notes that she has no intention of blabbing to anyone else that Malcolm has an idol. Malcolm continues to play nice by offering Lisa a final three deal with him and Lisa. Malcolm says it was a forced move to align with Lisa and Lisa wisely notes that she needs to take Malcolm with a grain of salt since it is based on her knowledge of his idol.
We then jump to Penner letting Lisa know that he knows she was Blair from Facts of Life. This allows Lisa to feel more comfortable and they start to build a relationship which in Survivor means they’ll be stabbing each other in the back.
Penner pegs Lisa as a non-threatening under the radar final three player which perfectly defines her game thus far this season. I can totally see her riding to the end. Penner and Skupin talking about the returning player bullseye which effects all returning players except Boston Rob who got Star Treatment. Or maybe the Bullseye exists based on how effortless his win during Redemption Island was.
Penner trying to find an in to see who to try to pick off and Skupin lets him know that RC and him would be willing to jump ship. When he approaches RC she says that she is 50/50 on whether she was jumping ship.
Talk returns to everyone else splitting votes. Pete says they can split between RC and Penner. If Penner uses Idol then RC will go him and if he doesn’t Penner will be gone.
We now go to the Immunity challenge and I always love the first challenge after the merge cause it is always an endurance challenge. There will be two individual immunities, one for females and one for males. Each castaway will hold a handle attached to a bucket. It is filled with 25% of their body weight. If they drop the bucket they are out. I’m calling Malcolm and Denise as winners.
Five minutes in and Skupin and Pete drop out. They are followed by Penner. Jeff notes that Penner is now in danger at Tribal Council and Penner thanks him for saying it. I love the interaction between the two of them. Lisa and Malcolm drop out next and are followed by RC. With this the plan Pete mentioned earlier can be in motion and Abi-Marie drops out giving the win to Denise.
We jump to fifteen minutes in and Artis drops out leaving Jeff and Carter. After twenty five minutes they are taking turns rewinding the rope when Jeff says that if he drops Carter will own him. Carter says he wants to win and Jeff gives in and lets go.
This is the first time Denise has had Immunity in this season. We return to the beach and discover that the new tribe is called Dangrayne. RC says her and Skupin are now down with Kalabaw. Skupin letting Jeff know how Pete, Artis, and Abi-Marie are like trying to nail down a six person alliance. Skupin saying he would owe Kalabaw one if they team up.
Jeff and Carter own the keys to this week’s vote. Skupin gave word that Penner would go before Jeff and Carter and Penner believe that they are six strong. Jeff telling Pete they are hanging with them but I’m not convinced.
As they head off to tribal this is the first week this season that I have no clue which way this will go. I am guessing RC or Penner depending on how smart Penner is with the idol but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pete or Abi-Marie go home.
Jeff notes that this is the first time in Survivor history that a tribe has not been to tribal before the merge. It’s a nice little fact that after so many seasons they can still do things for the first time. Jeff Probst forces old Tandang to talk about factures in their tribe which leads to Abi-Marie going crazy about how RC betrayed her. She finally tells RC it is because of the clue RC left out and she doesn’t believe RC when she says she didn’t leave it out. Jeff gets Lisa to talk about possibility of getting people to jump and she admits that it is a possibility. Jeff says they offer people the chance to move up from 6-7 to 5-6 but Lisa says it makes them weaker players in the game because they weren’t true to alliances.
Talk moves to returning players. Pete talks about hard feelings toward the returning players because they had their chance. Jeff gets them talking about possibility of Malcolm and Denise being aligned since they survived together earlier in the game.
Pete says he does not feel safe since he is strong youth and Jeff notes that it is very likely that someone will be blindsided since everyone is scrabbling. It’s now time to vote.
Abi votes for Penner, RC and Penner vote for Pete, and Artis and Pete vote for RC. Pete notes that he never liked RC. As Jeff goes to count the votes a onster howls in the woods and since it’s Halloween it’s pretty spooky.
Before the votes are counted Penner plays smart and plays his Idol. This is really smart since there were 5 votes against him. After the rest of the votes are revealed RC is eliminated withj 4 votes leaving Abi-Marie smiling wide. With three people getting votes Jeff notes that it makes it anyone’s game.
It was a great episode. I like the first merge episode since there is always a lot of strategy talk and this one did not disappoint. There were so many ways the episode could have gone. It opens up a lot of avenues for the remainder of the season and Penner will come back swinging next week.