|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
On day 31, Amanda was sent to Exile Island, where she found a clue telling her the Hidden Immunity Idol was buried back at the Dabu beach. It seemed she might need it, too, when Erik won the Immunity Challenge and the all-girls alliance, "The Black Widow Brigade" of Parvati, Amanda, Cirie, Alexis, and Natalie, was forced to eat one of their own. Alexis and Natalie targeted Amanda, who they believed was the biggest threat in the final Tribal Council. Erik and Cirie joined them in the plot to take out Amanda, but Parvati refused to play along, instead warning Amanda of their plan to take her out. Amanda asked Erik for his loyalty as she had saved him during the merge, but he refused. Cirie, caught between a rock and a hard place, apologized to Amanda for joining the majority and planning to vote against her. Cirie reluctantly told her she had no other option. With only the three votes of Cirie, Amanda, and Parvati, against the three votes of Natalie, Alexis and Erik, it would force a tie resulting in the tribe drawing rocks at Tribal Council: a risky move in which any of them could go home. With only Parvati on her side, and the votes stacked against her, Amanda secretly dug for the Idol buried at Dabu, desperately trying to save her life.
At Tribal Council, all eyes were on Amanda. It was clear that the entire tribe saw her as the biggest threat in terms of jury votes. Amanda blasted Erik for turning on her now after she had saved his skin and brought him through to the merge. But Erik wouldn't budge and the tribe cast their votes against Amanda. Before the votes were read, Amanda pulled out the Hidden Immunity Idol, surprising everyone, cancelling all four votes against her and sending Alexis home with only two votes. Alexis Jones, the 24-year-old Motivational Speaker from Beverly Hills, CA, left behind her final words: "Yeah I didn't see that one coming at all. But, this is a game, so yeah, I'm not mad at all. I think I made my papa proud. I never lied once when I was here. I kept a level of integrity of who I am outside of this game. I'm rooting for my girl Nat, not even a question. This is the hardest physical, mental, spiritual thing I've ever done, and I'm better for having been here."
Before heading back to camp from a surprising Tribal Council where Jason was blindsided by the girls, James pays a visit to the Survivor Medical Team. He climbs aboard the medical boat where the doctor examines and cleans the deep gash on his finger. She tells him that the wound has become infected and James worries, "I work with my hands so it's very important I get this thing fixed as soon as possible because I need my hands when I get back home." Before sending him back to camp, the doctor warns: "If in the morning this doesn't look good then it needs to go to surgery."
Returning to camp late at night, the Dabu tribe drills James about his finger, concerned for his well being. "I hope his finger gets better," worries Amanda."I hope [the doctors] come tomorrow morning and say, 'Hey, you're fine, you can finish this game.'"
In the morning, Alexis limps around camp after taking a tumble in the dark and twisting her knee. As Parvati helps Alexis wrap her leg, Cirie looks around at the mounting injuries and conspires, "Alexis takes a tumble in the dark; James, he has his finger infected. I know this is bad because I am a nurse, but that's two less people I have to fight against for a million dollars."
REWARD CHALLENGE: BODY SLAM
The Dabu tribe arrives at the Reward Challenge and Jeff Probst explains the rules. The Survivors will answer a series of questions about their tribemates in private. Jeff will then tally the results and ask them the same questions again, only this time, the castaways are trying to guess whose name came up the most often from the group. Each time they answer correctly, they get to chop one tribe member's rope. Each tribemate has three ropes connected to a weight. Once all three ropes are chopped, the weight will drop, releasing a spring-loaded mallet crushing the effigies of the castaways, ending their game. The last Survivor with their effigy intact wins Reward. The Survivors shed tears of joy as Jeff brings out each of their loved ones. They all hold brief reunions before Jeff reveals that they are competing for a trip with their loved ones to Jellyfish Lake, where they will swim with thousands of non-stinging Jellyfish; a one of a kind experience.
The loved ones watch from the bench as the Survivors face off. Jeff asks the first question, "Who does the most for the tribe?" Everyone answers, "James" except for James himself. The tribe, excluding James, each chops a single rope from one of their tribemates' effigies. The challenge immediately turns cutthroat as less favorable questions are asked and everyone takes a hit except Cirie and Alexis. In the next round, Parvati's last rope gets whacked, the mallet crushing her effigy with brutal force. She becomes the first person out of the challenge, followed in quick succession by Erik, James, Cirie, and Natalie. It all comes down to a final chop. Although she, too, was eliminated from the game in the last round, Cirie has one chop left and is forced to choose between chopping Amanda's or Alexis' final rope, eliminating one and sending the other on Reward. Cirie chops Amanda's rope, smashing her effigy and Alexis wins the challenge. She'll be traveling to Jellyfish Lake with her brother, Nathan. In addition, Alexis earns the right to choose two tribemates and their loved ones to join her. She takes Cirie and her husband H.B., and Natalie and her mother, Rocki. Lastly, Alexis sends Amanda to Exile Island where yet another Hidden Immunity Idol has been buried.
A TOUGH DECISION
Before Erik, Parvati, and James return to camp, the Survivor Medical Team takes another looks at James' finger in a secluded grove on the Challenge Beach. As the doctor peels away his bandages, James prays for a good outcome. "Hopefully she lets me stay and we'll be able to keep things rolling. Hopefully." Removing the bandage from the infected area, the doctor waists no time with her diagnosis: the infection has gotten worse and needs immediate surgical attention. She tells James, "My call is that it is too big a risk." James, wanting to save his finger and hand, agrees to leave the game and go to a hospital. "I'd much rather have been voted out but I'm definitely ready to go get this thing fixed. Ain't no need playing with it, ain't no need fraternizing about it, just go and get it done." Parvati and Erik see him off, devastated to see the strongest Survivor pulled from the game over something so small. Parvati tears up, and cries, "It's just not fair, it's just not right for him to go out like that."
Swimming amongst millions of non-poisonous jellyfish, Cirie, Alexis and Natalie are blown away by the wonder and beauty of the lake and its delicate inhabitants. They enjoy the moment out of the game with their loved ones as they take in the beauty of Micronesia. Cirie has a breakthrough after playing with the tender jellyfish, exclaiming, "It kind of opened my eyes a little bit, like, everything is not a threat. Maybe it's changed me a little bit as to being afraid of every little thing."
A DESPERATE SEARCH
At Exile Island, Amanda hunts for the clues to the whereabouts of the Hidden Immunity Idol. The clues take her on a journey around the island until she is finally left digging a massive trench across the beach in hopes of finding the Idol. She steadfastly declares, "My only priority while I'm here is getting the Idol." However, after digging for hours, she only unearths yet another clue. This time the clue reveals that the Idol is not on Exile Island. Instead, it's buried back at the Dabu camp under the tribe flag. Amanda, exhausted and stunned at the news, collapses in her sandy trench, groaning, "Oh my God."
LAST MAN STANDING
Returning to camp in darkness from the loved ones Reward, Cirie, Natalie and Alexis find Parvati alone on the beach and learn that James has been medically evacuated from the game. Alexis is alarmed with the sudden exit of such a strong player, nervous that her own injury could hurt her chances in the game. "It's very terrifying the idea that I would be sent home because my knee is injured," worries Alexis. Cirie realizes that James' exit makes Erik the last man in the game, and should he win the next Immunity Challenge, the women's alliance of five will have to eat one of their own. She declares, "We absolutely have to beat Erik at the next Immunity Challenge."
A TURN FOR THE WORSE
In the morning, Alexis tells Natalie and Parvati that she has no stability or strength left in her leg. Parvati offers to vote Alexis out so she can get it taken care of. A stunned Alexis quickly changes her tune, stating that she'll pull through. She says that being voted out "is not even an option." Parvati's abrupt offer has Alexis questioning Parvati's motives, "I hope that it's not a reflection of [Parvati's] mentality for the rest of the game, but then again you never know." With Alexis demanding to stay in the game, the girls turn to the problem of who to vote off if Erik wins the next Immunity Challenge. Natalie says to the two girls, "If I were to put myself in the Final Three, I couldn't win against Amanda." She pushes to take out Amanda because she's made so few enemies in the jury. Parvati, caught off guard, refuses to play along because of her tight bond with Amanda. She tells Natalie and Alexis, "If something were to happen as far as [Amanda] getting voted, I can't have a part of that. I just won't."
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: SHOOT TO THRILL
The Dabu Tribe arrives at the Immunity Challenge as Amanda returns from Exile Island. Jeff Probst explains the rules. Each contestant will shoot a high-powered rifle attempting to hit individually-colored sake bottles. The first person to hit all three of their sake bottles wins Immunity. Natalie, up first, takes aim with the giant rifle, centers the target on her purple-colored sake bottle, and squeezes the trigger. She hits it dead center, purple liquid exploding from the bottle and earning the first spot on the board with 1 point. Parvati gets on the board next, nailing her yellow sake bottle. Erik takes aim on one of his three red sake bottles and fires, bursting his bottle. Amanda, Cirie, and Alexis: no hits. In round two, Natalie has a chance at taking the lead, but misses. Erik is the only one who connects this round, making clean work of his second bottle and putting him up by one point. In round three, Natalie again takes aim, pulls the trigger, and pulverizes her purple sake bottle. She's tied two-two with Erik, who has one shot left. He locks sight on his last red sake bottle, eyes the target, and pulls the trigger. His last red bottle explodes and with that Erik saves himself, winning Individual Immunity and is safe from the vote at Tribal Council.
EATING THEIR OWN
Back at camp, Amanda goes to great lengths to prove to the tribe that she doesn't have the Hidden Immunity Idol by emptying the contents of her bag out on the beach. The Dabu tribe takes the bait hook, line, and sinker as Natalie and Alexis commiserate with Amanda about her misfortune. Amanda sighs, saying, "It was harder than I thought." As the rest of the tribe prepares a chicken for dinner, Amanda fills Parvati in on the Idol situation, telling her, "It's at camp. It's buried under the flag." They plot to get the Idol when the coast is clear and discuss who they will cast their votes against. Amanda wants Natalie gone but Parvati thinks Alexis has played a clean and honest game and is the bigger threat in terms of jury votes. Parvati also informs Amanda that Natalie and Alexis have targeted Amanda. Worried that Alexis and Natalie could form a strong coalition against her, Amanda and Parvati toy with the slim possibility of bringing in Erik. She tells Parvati, "I don't know if I can trust Erik. He might vote with them." Parvati gives her an ultimatum, "Find that damn Idol, lady."
Meanwhile, Alexis and Natalie do exactly as Amanda feared and join forces with Erik and Cirie to take out Amanda, who they see as the number one jury threat to win the game. Amanda finds Erik alone and asks him straight up who he's voting for. She is in disbelief when he says he's voting against her even after she saved him and brought him through to the merge. She argues, "When you needed my help, I helped you out." But Erik doesn't budge. Next Amanda takes Cirie for a walk, begging her to not vote for her. But Cirie, caught in the middle, is forced to go with the majority against Amanda because she can't afford a tie vote. In the case of a tie vote, the tribe would draw rocks, and whoever drew the colored rock would go home. Amanda, left without options, tests Cirie's loyalty: 'Can I just have your word though, that if it wasn't like this you'd stick with me and Parv?' Cirie cries back, "You know that I would! I thought it was gonna be me, you, and Parv to the end." With only Parvati's allegiance, Amanda makes a break for the tribe flag, digging for the Idol and her life.
At Tribal Council, a recovering James joins the astonished Jury with an IV in tow. After surgery on his infected finger, James is on the Jury and on the mend. Amanda quickly pounces on Erik, accusing him of betraying her after all she's done to keep him in the game. She berates Erik, "I helped you stay here through the merge, and then I was asking for your help this time, and you clearly denied me of that." Erik still won't give in, and with the majority of the tribe against Amanda, they cast their votes. Just before Jeff reads the votes aloud, a triumphant Amanda pulls out the Hidden Immunity Idol, playing it to save her life in the game and cancelling all votes cast for her. The tribe is stunned as Parvati and Amanda's two votes bounce back at Alexis in another brutal blindside. Alexis becomes the 14th person to leave the game, and the fourth member of the jury.