April 23, 2009 07:13 PM by Ryan Haidet
As the Forza tribe returned to camp after blindsiding Brendan on Night 24, the group was gloating in their strategy. But Sierra was facing a major problem — her biggest ally was now out of the game and everybody was against her. Would she be spared from elimination even though nobody seemed to want her around anymore? Well, tonight’s episode of Survivor: Tocantins — The Brazilian Highlands delivered a ton of strategy with a huge flip on alliances. This season is really getting dirty.
Sierra asked the group to make the next few days civil because she knows that she is their next target. She pulled Coach aside and told him she voted against him at Tribal Council. So he tried to guilt trip her on it because he feels he has a solid character compared to everybody else. “You have to realize something, in love and war, it’s kill or be killed. So you pitted yourself against me. Brendan pitted himself against me. Who deserves to go next?”
Coach Celebrates, Sierra Seeks Support
Day 25 started with Coach in the water meditating once again. This time he was celebrating Brendan’s elimination. “For me to pit myself against somebody who is younger, that is faster than me and maybe stronger than me — although I bench press 3oo pounds and we were talking two days ago and he was like, ‘Really?’ He doesn’t do that. … The Dragonslayer has vanquished the Dragon once and for all.” He let out a huge scream. “Over. The battle has already been won. Victory is mine.”
Back at the fire, Sierra started standing her ground, but nobody at camp was buying her argument. She felt she went from the top to the bottom of the food chain. She spoke to Tyson alone and tried argue her case. But Tyson called her out for making excuses and trying to scramble. He even questioned her game intelligence. “I never liked Sierra,” he said in a confessional. “To me, she’s of no worth. I mean her parents probably love her. I can’t imagine her boyfriend’s that cool.”
Tyson asked her if he had lost the last challenge who she would have voted for. She stumbled over the question and said JT. But Tyson convinced her that Brendan would have targeted him and that she would have voted for him, too. She didn’t dispute his claim. With that, he told her that she was definitely the next person to get voted out — and she had no way out of it.
Can I Buy A Vowel?
At the Reward Challenge the group of eight was divided into two teams of four. Host Jeff Probst tried to explain the challenge, which seemed far too ridiculous for Survivor. They had to race out and collect four large puzzle-piece boards with holes in them. Then those needed to be placed on platforms and aligned correctly so the holes lined up exactly. That way they could look through each board and see seven vowels. On their answer board they then needed t0 use those seven vowels in conjunction with seven consonants and use them all to complete a four-word phrase. The winning team would win an afternoon of local entertainment and food.
The teams were divided as follows:
The race was on as the two teams kept a pretty even pace collecting the large puzzle boards. The red team had all four boards back first, but the black team was very close behind. Then the tribes started looking through the holes to get their vowels. The red team saw all of their vowels first and started working on solving the puzzle. As the black team struggled to figure out how the boards should be placed, the red team figured out the phrase, which said, “You’ve won a feast.”
With the red team claiming victory, not only did they win the Reward but got to pick one person to send to Exile Island. They sent Stephen once again. “It’s my home away from home, Jeff,” he said as he headed off to the desolate location.
After losing, Probst called out Coach’s constant losing. “You continue to lose out on these nice rewards. All that life experience not helping you out here.” But Coach wouldn’t just take that comment quietly. “You know, I didn’t line up boards like this in the Amazon,” Coach declared.
Food, Dancing & Puke
Debbie, Erinn, Tyson and JT arrived at their Reward and started digging into their feast. With the locals surrounding them, they all chowed down. Debbie said all the people were staring at them like they were savages.
The four of them sat and watched the locals play their homemade musical instruments and sing while a Brazilian form of martial arts was performed. “They look like they’re fighting, but it’s also a dance,” Erinn said. Moments later, they were all pulled up to participate. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to hop around with full bellies though. Erinn wasn’t able to hold her food and started vomiting. With her hands on her knees, she hunched over and said, “Gross, I just threw up on my feet.”
Over at Exile, Stephen arrived and realized there was no new hidden Immunity Idol even though Brendan took his with him when he got voted out. Not much else happened with there. So…moving on.
Sierra Fights On
Back at Forza on Day 26, Sierra was trying to sway Debbie’s opinion. Once again, it didn’t seem successful. “Everybody else has been loyal. Who goes, if not you?” Sierra gave her a warning saying that toward the end of the game people would be turning against her. She was brought to tears as she tried to fight for her survival and she walked away from the group extremely upset and wiped away her tears by the river.
After her attempts to sway everybody else, Sierra worked on Coach. As he put some pots over the fire she asked him for another chance to prove to him that she is a good and loyal person. She said she doesn’t like being around a bunch of people who she hurt. “Of course I’d like to give you a second chance,” Coach told her. “Am I going to give you a second chance? Probably not. The honorable thing is to accept your fate. Not try to make deals with people.”
Shivers & Pucks
At the Immunity Challenge, the rain unleashed as a challenge we’ve seen in prior seasons surfaced once again — the Survivor version of shuffle board (see image below of Ami Cusack in the Vanuatu season competing in a similar challenge).
Each contestant was given three pucks. The goal was simple — have your puck closest to the center of the X on the board by the end of the game. But there was a twist. If anybody felt secure with their place in the game, they could skip participating in the challenge and instead eat pizza. Stephen, JT and Coach decided to eat, which disappointed Tyson. They got to eat for as long as the challenge lasted.
After the first round, nobody got very close to the X. In the second round, Erinn got within inches of the X, but Sierra knocked Tyson closer. Everybody shivered as they ate or pushed their pucks along the board with the rain pelting down. Sierra took her last shot and nudged Tyson out of the lead. And when it happened, Coach was disappointed with himself that he wasn’t out there to compete. He felt his participation may have stopped her. It came down to Debbie. Her last shot knocked Sierra out of the lead and she won Immunity.
A New Plan Unfolds
Back at camp, Tyson declared there was nothing better than watching Sierra celebrate just moments before losing the challenge. “Tonight, Tribal Council’s going to be awesome,” he said in a confessional. “I’m hoping that Sierra will cry a lot.”
In the shelter, Stephen and Taj talked with Erinn about blindsiding Tyson since he didn’t win Immunity. Erinn felt like this might be the perfect opportunity to take him out since he could win every other challenge. “This move is potentially a very pivotal one,” she said.
Stephen told JT it was time to oust Tyson, but JT still wasn’t fond of keeping Sierra around. “Sierra’s a lying bitch,” he told Stephen. “I hate her.”
In another one-on-one discussion, Coach sealed a deal with JT to take Sierra out next. JT shook his hand and gave him his word to stick with their new alliance of five.
Jaws Hit The Tribal Council Floor
At Tribal Council, Brendan returned as the first member of the jury and he looked super excited to be there. He had a huge smile on his face and waved at everybody. But his joy was quickly overshadowed by the Survivor drama.
Tyson said he felt pretty comfortable and wasn’t too concerned about being voted out. He also said he loves everybody except for Sierra and he openly said that he was voting against her. As Sierra tried to defend herself once again, Probst asked for clarification of what was going on. Tyson chimed in and said he would explain everything. Probst noticed the definite rift between the two.
Probst asked Coach why they should’t take Tyson out. As Coach discussed his theories of battle and war, Probst and the rest of Forza giggled. Coach said that although he won’t go back on his word to somebody that, “I will be a ravenous wolf for anybody that wants to go head to head with me and I will cut them off at the knees with no remorse and no regret.” In a perfect Probst moment, he asked Coach about JT. Coach replied that he knew JT is an honest and trustworthy guy who he can believe 100 percent.
Uh oh…I smell trouble.
Each member of Forza then went and cast their ballots. Probst started tallying them with the three falling against Sierra and one against Tyson. But the votes switched suddenly and more votes started popping up against Tyson. Shocked looks filled the group as Tyson was blindsided from the competition, becoming the second member of the jury. JT and Stephen had big smiles as they watched his torch get snuffed. Sierra’s reaction was one mixed with shock and happiness.
Another big power player gone. “This is shaking up to be a battle to the end,” Probst said.
In his final words Tyson summed up his ouster simply. “Sneaky bastards. Now I know how Brendan feels. It was a big shock, I thought I had my game in the bag.”
Only seven contestants remain as the May 17 finale edges closer.
Images courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS.
And in case you missed it, you can watch a video containing images of what took place in the first 15 days (Courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS).
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