I have to hand it to the Survivor people. This season has been fairly predictable and boring so far, but this week’s episode will go down as one of the best in Survivor history and it’s all because of clever editing, classic storytelling and personal drama the producers manage to conjure up when they need it most.
The episode began with Coach and Tyson giving Sierra heck for aligning herself with Brendan. Coach delivers a number of samurai warrior analogies and then declares (out loud) that Sierra will be next to go. Tyson confirms this in a private and brutal discussion with Sierra where he calls her stupid to her face. Everyone at camp seems to agree that Sierra is next.
The reward challenge is uneventful except for the fact that Coach’s losing streak continues and Steven is once again sent to Exile Island. The team of JT, Erinn, Debbie and Tyson are treated to a feast and a demonstration of a local martial arts ritual (something Coach would have undoubtedly loved). When the castaways are invited to participate in the high-energy ritual, Erinn finds herself feeling the effects of overeating.
Sierra spends her time looking for any sign of hope. She tries confiding in Debbie, but she’s not biting. Erinn is also not interested in aligning with Sierra. Coach then takes Sierra aside and delivers one of his life-lesson speeches about making choices, honour and falling on one’s sword. Sierra figures she is a goner unless she can win the upcoming immunity challenge.
The challenge is the Survivor version of shuffle board with each of the castaways tossing three pucks down a board with the one closest to the marked ‘X’ winning immunity. But there’s a twist. Jeff offers the players the chance to sit out the game and gorge themselves on pizza if they feel confident. JT, Steven and Coach opt for the pizza party while the others put their game faces on.
With two shooters left, Tyson has the lead and the chance to three-peat as immunity winner. But then Sierra, with her life in the game on the line, knocks Tyson’s puck out of play and lands closest to the middle. She can’t help but smile as she realizes she is one shot away from staying in the game. Alas, Debbie takes her final shot and miraculously knocks Sierra’s puck out leaving Debbie as the winner. Sierra is crushed and Tyson laments… “You never celebrate before the game is over.” Words to live by!
Back at camp Tyson continues to bash Sierra and says he hopes she cries a lot at Tribal Council. Meanwhile, JT and Steven realize that with all the heat on Sierra, there is a window of opportunity for them to take over the game. They recruit Taj and Erinn on their side and decide to go after Tyson. Coach reassures his Warrior Alliance members that Tribal Council is all about trust as he, Tyson and Debbie depart for Tribal without any knowledge of what is about to happen. Even more in the dark is Sierra who packs her things and heads out to face the inevitable.
Before the votes are cast, Coach delivers another zinger about being a ravenous wolf that bit the head off the dragon (Brendan) and he and Tyson share a few laughs. It’s time to vote. The first three votes come out for Sierra. Tyson and Coach exchange confident looks and all but pat themselves on the back. Then, the votes start coming for Tyson. 1, 2, 3, 4-in-a-row. Coach’s face goes from confidence to dismay as he realizes that the Warrior Alliance is in jeopardy. Then, Jeff reads out the last vote…Tyson is toast. And with that the game is bound to heat up as Coach must now scramble to stay alive with only Debbie as an ally going forward. Should be hilarious to see this total ass try and get Sierra, Taj and Erinn – players he has alienated so far – on to his side. I will miss Tyson though…arguably one of the funniest players in Survivor history.
The Scribe has Spoken…