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Survivor: Cagayan Recap — Merge Madness

April 02, 2014 07:09 PM by Ryan Haidet


The commercials for this week’s episode were promising a shocking Tribal Council on Survivor: Cagayan.  So many times before, the “shocking” promises don’t deliver.  But tonight, it was literally another jaw-dropping hour of television.  This season of Survivor is proving to be one of the best with great characters, big strategy and incredible blindsides!  If you missed this episode, you really did miss out on several exciting moments.

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Idol Twist

The big merge began when Tony read treemail at Solana’s camp that told them to pack up their belongings and head to Aparri’s beach where they would be living for the next 22 days.  The group hugged it out, hopped aboard a boat and made their way to Aparri — but not before Tony and LJ each secretly dug up their hidden Immunity Idols.  Upon their arrival, Jefra was extremely disappointed to see Alexis was gone because she wanted to play the rest of the game with her.


After reading a note that revealed another hidden Immunity Idol — this one with special powers — was in play, the tribe’s new black Buffs were passed out and the 11 castaways picked Solarrion as their merged tribe name.  In case you didn’t read any of the pre-game coverage, Jeff Probst revealed this Idol as the “Tyler Perry Idol.”  Yes, it’s named after the actor who suggested the idea to Probst through a text.  Basically, the “Tyler Perry Idol” gives its holder the ultimate power of being able to play it AFTER the votes are read.  Basically, it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card.  Although this is being played up as a new concept, it isn’t.  At all.  For several seasons, this is how the Idol was played, but because of its immense power (Terry in season 12 and Yul in season 13), producers changed how Idols had to be played by requiring castaways to present them after the votes are made but before they are read.  Not my favorite idea, but hey, at least Probst didn’t call this the “Madea Idol.”  Oy!


Alliance Allegiance

While Spencer felt like he was with a tight group of six who could run the game all the way to the end, Tony was nervous about his alliance being outnumbered.  His saving grace?  He was hopeful Sarah would hold true to the “Cops-R-Us” alliance they formed much earlier.  Without hesitation, he tried to rekindle their bond telling her it was a no-brainer for them to stick together.  He wanted to make her feel comfortable that his ultimate goal is to sit with her at the end of the game.  He asked her to swear on her badge that she was on their side, but Sarah wasn’t prepared to do that just yet.  Instead of feeling torn about being stuck in the middle of two alliances, she admitted loving being in the “Sarah Sandwich” because “I’m sitting pretty” and “will decide the fate of this game.”  She even called herself the president on Survivor who would ultimately be making the final decision on who gets voted out next.


Strategy Fight

The six-way Aparri alliance showed immediate signs of cracking despite their supposed tightness when Kass and Sarah got into a spat about who to vote out first.  When Kass suggested Trish as a potential target, Sarah exploded.  She didn’t think it made any sense to vote against a weak player when they could easily take out a giant like Tony or LJ.  Kass, who was very upset by Sarah’s reaction, fought back and questioned her loyalty to the group.  Tasha wound up acting as a moderator, but it only seemed to cause harder feelings as Kass believed she was being labeled as a bully.  Uh oh…


Toe advantage?

The first individual Immunity challenge was an endurance competition ripped from Survivor: Caramoan — Fans Vs. Favorites (season 26).  It put each of the castaways on floating triangles with their feet clinging to small slats on each side.  Most interestingly?  Woo was the only person who didn’t compete in his bare feet since he opted to wear those goofy toe shoes.  Did it make a difference?  It actually may have in some capacity since Woo ultimately won the challenge.  I’m surprised, actually, that he was even allowed to wear those because it would seem to give him potential advantage in not having the stress on the bottom of his feet.  I’m not complaining because I’m happy he won, but I don’t understand how it was permitted.  Thoughts?


A Shocking Tribal Council

As the Aparri six talked before Tribal Council, Spencer suggested they get rid of Jefra because she clearly doesn’t have an Idol and would be easy to get rid of first.  Sarah, meanwhile, wanted to vote against Tony or LJ.  ”I can guarantee you Tony doesn’t have an Idol,” Sarah said.  As the Solana five stared on at the Aparri strategy session from the beach, the group agreed that Sarah was being put on a pedestal and could no longer be trusted.  Having noticed the dispute between Kass and Sarah, Trish made a big move.  She approached Kass and asked her to flip sides and vote with them to get Sarah out of the game.


At Tribal Council, it started with a hilarious reaction from Spencer as Tony said you don’t move forward in the game with an alliance of numbers, but you move forward with an alliance of comfort.  I actually laughed out loud because it was a silly remark and Spencer’s reaction was the same as mine.  Moments later, Tony announced he had found a hidden Idol and would be playing it for somebody other than himself that night.  Spencer didn’t believe Tony and challenged him to pull it out and prove that he had one.  Tony eventually yanked the Idol out of his back and placed it proudly around his neck.  With that one swift move, he put the Aparri tribe on its heels as they openly discussed how to alter their plans to vote for “the other one.”


After the votes were made, Tony rose to his feet and asked Probst to verify the validity of his Idol.  When Probst did just that, Tony played the Idol for LJ.  In a crazy moment, LJ reciprocated and pulled his Idol out to protect Tony.  Wow!  What a moment!  Jaws were hitting the Tribal Council floor.  Although neither of the guys actually ever wound up getting any votes, it was still a ballsy strategic play.  After 10 votes were read, it was a five-five tie between Jefra and Sarah.  Hell, Jefra was crying from the first vote when Probst flipped around the parchment with her name on it.  But the jaws really dropped when the final vote for Sarah was revealed.  Tony and his allies erupted in applause as Sarah’s torch was snuffed.  As she walked out of the game, Sarah asked, “Who flipped?”  Spencer blurted out his suspicions that it was Kass before adding, “Kass, zero chance of winning the game!”  Kass replied, “There’s a long way to go.”  Before heading back to camp, Jefra leaned forward and thanked Kass for saving her skin.


Great Television, Terrible Strategy

Wow!  What an awesome episode!  This is why Survivor is the best show on television.  After 28 seasons it still finds ways to keep fans drooling for more.  I was a bit disappointed with Kass, however, because I don’t think it was the smartest move for her to flip.  She went from being in a solid position with the Aparri six — potentially the final three with Spencer and Tasha — and has now put her future in jeopardy by placing herself at the bottom of the Solana group.  She’s also now a huge target as her former allies will clearly be looking for every opportunity to vote her out of the game.  Was her move good television?  Absolutely!  Was it terrible strategy?  You bet!


What were your thoughts on this crazy episode?  Are you happy Sarah was voted out?  Who is your favorite player?  Do you like the merge tribe name?  Sound off and leave a comment in the section below!

Photos: CBS

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Survivor: Cagayan Interview — J’Tia Taylor Defends Dumping Out The Rice
Survivor: Cagayan Interview — Brice Johnston Says Jeremiah Wood Is A Cockroach
Survivor: Cagayan Interview — Garrett Adelstein Reveals What Happened To His Hidden Idol
Survivor: Cagayan Interview — David Samson Says J’Tia Taylor Was Useless

Survivor: Cagayan Episode 5 Recap — Big Fight Leads To Big Decision
Survivor: Cagayan Episode 4 Recap — Drop Your Buffs!
Survivor: Cagayan Episode 3 Recap — It’s Tough Throwing A Challenge
Survivor: Cagayan Episode 2 Recap — Let It Rain!
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Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |

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5 Responses to “Survivor: Cagayan Recap — Merge Madness”

  1. denise Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I agree about the toe shoes. Glad Woo won but toe shoes were an unfair advantage!

  2. Andrew Says:
    April 3rd, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I’m not happy about his win, not because I don’t like Woo, but because the use of toe shoes is a clear advantage over someone who has to feel the effect of bare feet on a pointed wooden block. I call shenanigans.

  3. Shari Says:
    April 4th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    According to contestant tweets, they were all offered the shoes, only Woo chose to wear them

  4. Wren Says:
    April 5th, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Actually Woo did not have an unfair advantage, all the contestants were given the choice to wear shoes,everyone else had tennis shoes and chose not to, but Woo had those five finger things and elected to wear them.

  5. Michael Says:
    April 5th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    If you had normal shoes on, there feet wouldn’t have a good grip on levels they were pressing against. Woo on the other hand, was probably the only one that had those rubber shoes and he stayed with them.


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