Leading up to the reward challenge, the remaining seven players were all very cordial and polite with each other. JT even received congratulations from Coach and Debbie for executing the impressive blindside. Privately, Coach and Debbie were scrambling to figure out who to trust and how to go about breaking what was now clearly a Jalapao power-play.
Steven ultimately ends up winning the reward challenge – it was a game of smarts and not a physical challenge (duh) and this gave him the opportunity to take two tribe-mates to a local village for a home-cooked family feast. Steven takes JT and Taj from his original tribe and sends Erinn to Exile Island, leaving old Timbira members Coach, Debbie, and Sierra to stew around camp.
And stew they did…Coach and Debbie do everything to try and coerce Sierra in to reforming the Timbira tribe. They even claim to have Erinn on board, which Sierra points out can’t be true since she voted for Tyson. Sierra turns down their offer and chooses to stay aligned with the “smart” people. This infuriates Debbie, who storms off, hands waving in the air claiming to “be done” with Sierra. Coach follows and they both decide Sierra will be next to go…but where will the votes come from?
Coach and JT have a warrior conference by the water and he twists the facts to create some doubt in JT’s mind about Sierra’s allegiances. Steven seems scared and confused by the entire debate and in fact tells JT that he is “freaking out.”
The reward challenge is a simple game of rodeo style roping with a game of labyrinth for the top three players. Somehow, Coach manages to navigate his ball through the maze more quickly than JT and win the challenge, to which he pumps his fists and shouts, “Dragon Slayer!” It is Coach’s first win in a LONG time. Let him have his moment.
Back at camp, Coach relives his triumph with JT and the boys telling them today was his forte. Meanwhile, Sierra scrambles to save herself by trying to expose Coach’s plans to reassemble Timbira. Coach tells the group that is was Sierra who tried to get the old tribe back together and they both call each other liars to which Debbie, once again, gets up and walks away. Steven believes they have caught Coach and Debbie in a lie and all signs point to Debbie going home.
But, this is Survivor and things aren’t always as they seem. Sierra becomes the next to go, receiving four of the seven votes. What is absolutely baffling is that Debbie received two votes and Steven received one (presumably from Erinn). So why did Taj and one other player decide to vote for Sierra. I assume Coach and Debbie voted for her but what swayed the others and who is in control of the game?
Episode 12 will be the big test for JT and Steven as they attempt to outplay Coach and Debbie. The old Jalapao team has the numbers right now with Erinn being the swing vote. If they can convince her to vote for Debbie, the final four is all but set. Should be interesting.
The Scribe has Spoken…