Survivor: Cagayan – Episode 10: “Chaos Is My Friend”

“I used my idol and I used it wrong, now my idol is gone.” Well, if the reality TV thing doesn’t work out, Spencer has a bright future in country music.

Well, it was the Tony and Spencer show again this week. Like it or not, this is basically the show that we’re getting until one or the other goes home, and it’s looking like that will be a while yet. I can’t pretend I’m thrilled about this, but I suppose I’ll just have to get used to it.

As the castaways head back to their beach after Spencer’s bungled idol play at Tribal Council, Kass tells Spencer that she knew he must have had an idol, because he’d been behaving differently toward her and hadn’t been as shifty and panicky as she knows him to be when he’s in genuine danger. Now, you can argue that it’s easy for Kass to say all this after the event, and god knows I’ve mocked Kass in the past for her largely unsupported claims of being brilliant at reading people. But that said, it does appear to be a fairly accurate assessment of Spencer’s behaviour, and even he admits that she had him pretty much bang to rights on that one. So I guess we can chalk that up as a point for Kass, which brings her season-long total to…nope, still just “one”.

Anyway, let’s move on from all of that nonsense and get to the good stuff: SURVIVOR AUCTION! God, I love the Survivor Auction, and I was properly pissed off that we didn’t get it in Blood vs Water because we had Redumbshit Island instead. That said, this wasn’t quite as dramatic as some of the Survivor Auctions I’ve seen in the past, because only three people were playing for the advantage clue (Spencer, Tony and Tasha), leaving everyone else free to bid on the food and pretty much getting it for a steal. I don’t think anyone pays more than $100 for any of the food that gets sold at the auction. Tony biding his time and waiting for the advantage clue is a bit of an oddity: he insists that he needs it, even though he already has a dominant alliance and the Ridiculously Overpowered Hidden Immunity Idol, but I guess this is par for the course with Tony’s particular brand of insane overplaying. Anyway: Trish gets candy, popcorn and soda, Jefra gets quesadillas with salsa and guacamole and a margarita on the side (prompting Woo to purr “get fat on that guac” in the porniest manner imaginable), Kass bids on a steak sandwich and gets the chance to switch it for a covered item, which she declines. Trish then bids on the covered item that Kass turned down and it turns out to be rice and water. Woo wins a plate of ribs and a bottle of beer, and then proceeds to wolf down the ribs in just as porny a way as he watched Jefra eat her guacamole. Seriously, until this week I had no idea that Woo had such a Liz Lemon-style relationship with food. Once we get to that point, Jeff notices that three of the survivors are sitting on their hands and decides to just get straight to the advantage so we can settle the pissing contest that’s brewing. Tony’s reactions are the fastest, so he bids $500 for it first. At that point, Jeff explains that it’s working a little bit differently this time, because if more than one person bids their full $500, then what they’re actually bidding on is the opportunity to draw rocks for the advantage. Tony reaffirms that he’s all-in, and Spencer bids his entire stack as well, but Tasha demurs. Spencer and Tony hand their collective $1k to Jeff and draw rocks – Spencer gets the white rock and Tony gets the black one, so Tony wins and Spencer leaves empty-handed. As does Tasha, who was hoping there would be another advantage on the table, but nope: once that one’s been handed out, Jeff shuts up shop.

When they get back to the beach, it turns out that Tony’s advantage isn’t the challenge advantage that he anticipated, but a hidden immunity idol clue. Well, I say “clue”, it’s more a set of directions that essentially says “go here and get your idol, dummy”. Meanwhile, there’s mild discord in Tony’s alliance because Tony’s decided that he does so much for everyone (of course he has) and they aren’t doing enough work around camp to show their appreciation. Indeed, in Tony’s head, by bidding on the immunity idol clue HE SACRIFICED HIMSELF SO THAT THEY COULD SPEND THEIR MONEY ON FOOD (no, me neither), and as a result, they owe him.

Anyway, without a bought advantage to buoy herself, Tasha decides that her best chance of long-term survival is to make Tony think she’s built up an all-female alliance. (Essentially, Tasha has NO chance of long-term survival because she’s already established herself as a challenge threat AND a social threat, but I agree that this is probably the best thing she can do other than await her one-way ticket to the jury.) So Tasha, rather brilliantly, just starts casually hanging around with Trish, Kass and Jefra in the ocean, shooting the breeze – not actively strategising, but just doing enough that from a distance, it could look like she is. And as it’s a 4:3 split in favour of the women right now, it has the desired effect: Tony sees her out there and wonders what the women might be plotting and how it might screw up all his plans, because Tony’s paranoia is nothing if not reliable. Spencer notices Tony sweating and takes the opportunity to lay it on with a trowel about what an excellent social player Tasha is – which seems a little bit disloyal, because if Tasha doesn’t win immunity this week, then he’s just made her even more of a target than she already was, so GEE THANKS SPENCER. Still, he helps things along a little bit by suggesting that now would be a good time to get rid of Jefra, because she almost flipped last week so she’s proven herself untrustworthy, and sending her home would nip a female alliance in the bud. (Obviously, so would voting for Tasha, but I guess at least Spencer’s trying to put someone else in the crosshairs, so maybe he’s not as much of an asshole as I just suggested.) Tony admits that he doesn’t want to trust Spencer, but the boy has a point all the same.

This week’s Immunity Challenge involved the contestants pulling a rope out of the ground to reveal five bags of balls (heh) attached, and then taking those balls to a tabletop maze where they’d have to roll them through without falling into the gutters at either side, and land them in the five holes at the end. Everyone’s pretty much neck and neck at the rope part apart from Kass and Trish, who are out of it from the start, pretty much, and Tasha ends up getting to the ball maze first. She has one of her balls (heh) in the hole before anyone else even gets started, and shortly after everyone else arrives she lands her second, but then her third one slips. Spencer and Tony do their best to challenge her, but it soon becomes clear that Woo is her only real rival, and indeed he comes close, but Tasha wins her third consecutive individual immunity, securing her survival for another week – and she needed it, too. As great as it is to see Immunity Beast Tasha emerging, we all know she’s toast the second she has to head to Tribal Council without that necklace resting on her shoulders.

Back at camp, Tony decides that he really does fear a female alliance, so he goes to Woo and tells him they should vote out Jefra. Woo readily agrees with this, and Tony goes to Spencer to get him on board as well and ask him to bring Tasha in. Since Spencer and Tasha don’t have any solid plans of their own, they’re happy to be bought votes if it secures Spencer another week. Then Spencer decides to go looking for the Absurdly Powerful Super-Idol, which makes Tony a bit fluttery about Spencer’s trustworthiness. As a result, Tony shows his newly-acquired bog-standard idol to his alliance, ostensibly to let them know that he’ll keep them safe and play it for anyone who needs it, but mostly as a warning not to even think about targeting him right now.

At Tribal Council, Spencer admits that on paper he looks fucked, but that you just never know when a miracle might happen. (This is mostly my problem with the amount of attention that Spencer gets in the edit, by the way: his gameplay isn’t terrible, but an awful lot of it has been dependent on luck and other people fucking up at just the right time.) He also adds that someone will end up finishing fourth or fifth because they didn’t make their move at the right time. Tony pulls his non-super idol out of his bag of tricks (sigh) and wears it around his neck proactively. Jefra, meanwhile, admits to still being cross about LJ getting voted out, which is maybe not the best thing to do. They vote, and the boys and Tasha vote for Jefra, while the others all vote for Spencer, so Jefra goes in a 4:3 blindside. Kass and Trish look distinctly unimpressed at being hoodwinked, although Jefra leaves happily enough, saying in her exit confessional that she played the game she thought was right at the time, but in hindsight she probably should’ve flipped last week when she had the chance. Oh well.

NEXT WEEK: Everyone’s starting to get tired of Tony’s shit, apparently, but he’s got two idols, once of which will basically protect him from everything up to and including a nuclear weapon, so he’s not going anywhere whatever happens. God, I hate the super-idol.

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