GOOD WAKE UP CALL
On night 16, the Kalabaw tribe returns from Tribal Council where they just voted out Katie. Jonathan comments that he feels bad that Denise has gotten no breaks from going to Tribal Council since the beginning of the game. Denise admits, â€œComing back from the sixth Tribal Council in a row, Iâ€™m just glad Iâ€™m back.â€ She hopes that she is not somehow cursed. Jonathan also states that he is bothered that Katie voted for him. Jeff comments, â€œI was so close to going ahead and letting Penner go, but Iâ€™m thinking Penner is going to help me out.â€ Jeff just hopes that he will know the right time to get rid of Jonathan and that it will be before Jonathan gets rid of him. Jonathan thanks his tribe for not voting with Katie to get him out. He admits, â€œI was really surprised to see my name. I shouldnâ€™t have been. I just forget that other people are lying. Itâ€™s always my problem. It was a good wake up call.â€
NEWS OF THE MERGE
The next morning at Tandang, Michael tells the tribe that he fell in the fire on day 17, back when he was on SURVIVOR: THE AUSTRAILIAN OUTBACK. Michael points out that at day 17, they all now have the same level of experience. He comments, â€œSo, I no longer have an advantage. We are now in all new territory for all of us.â€ Artis notices a boat approaching their beach. The tribe runs to the boat and is given a note by the captain. The note tells them that the tribes are merging. Tandang celebrates having made it to this milestone in the game. They find out that the boat will take them to their new home and that they only have ten minutes to gather all their belongings. Lisa admits, â€œWhen you only have ten minutes to gather up all your things, everything is like gold.â€ Malcolm quickly unburies his hidden immunity idol sticking it in his bag, and the rest of the tribe scrambles to collect all of their things as well. Over at Kalabaw, a boat arrives on their shore too. Jonathan reads the note telling them of the merge and their relocation. The four remaining Kalabaw members are thrilled with the news. Jonathan says, â€œItâ€™s a new lifeline for us.â€ He hopes that they can encourage some of Tandangâ€™s members to join the Kalabaw alliance giving them the numbers they need to control the game. They all run to gather their possessions. Denise reveals, â€œMy plan is to stick with the alliance that Iâ€™ve got going with Kalabaw, but at the same time I would truly like to go back to my original alliance with Malcolm.â€
MERGE AND FEAST
The two boats containing the Kalabaw and Tandang tribe members arrive at the new beach. The tribes greet each other and unload their things from the boats. Jeff is still determined not to let a veteran player win the game. He says, â€œPenner has always been my priority since day one and now that Iâ€™m on a team with Penner and Skupin, I got two priorities.â€ The castaways open up the four baskets of food left for them on the beach. They are excited to find wine, cheese, fruit, salami, bread and more. The immediately start consuming the food and getting to know each other. Jeff is pleased that no one from the Tandang tribe recognizes him as a baseball player. Pete reveals, â€œThe tribe intention when we first landed on this island was to go Tandang strong.â€ He knows that this will be difficult though, since RC and Michael are not tight with the rest of Tandang. He fears they may flip to support Kalabaw. Michael did not make it to the merge in his prior season, so he is especially enjoying this new experience. Michael makes it a point to talk to others, since he and RC do not feel loyal to Abi-Maria and Pete. He says, â€œWeâ€™re really free agents. So being free agents means you get to choose your team.â€ Abi-Maria encourages RC to learn more about Denise. RC points out to Abi-Maria that she is not likely to share information with her about others, since they are not â€œone big happy family.â€
LISA DISCOVERS MALCOLMâ€™S IDOL
The men of the newly merged tribe start building a shelter. Lisa decides to hang up their clothes while they work, so they are fresh and dry on this beautiful sunny day. She opens up Malcolmâ€™s bag and starts removing his clothes out. Lisa reveals, â€œI discovered he had the hidden immunity idol in his bag, which totally shocked me.â€ Later, Malcolm takes a walk with Denise and tells her that someone had taken the clothes out of his back, but left the idol inside. Denise tells him that it must have been Lisa, since she was laying out the clothes. Malcolm goes to find Lisa. He admits, â€œI was going to change clothes and hide the idol. I thought an hour would be a safe amount of time to assume that people would be eating and drinking and getting to know each other.â€ Malcolm and Denise are upset that his idol has been discovered. Malcolm finds Lisa and quietly walks down the beach with her. The guilt is too much for Lisa, so she quickly confesses to have found his idol. She promises not to tell anyone else. Malcolm informs her that Denise is the only other person that knows about the idol. He admits to having a strong alliance with Denise and offers to take Lisa to the final three with the two of them. Malcolm reveals, â€œNow Iâ€™m locked into this involuntary alliance with Lisa and Denise. Itâ€™s literally the two people over there that I am not confident that I can beat in the final three.â€ Lisa is flattered with Malcolmâ€™s offer to take her to the final three. She is realistic though and admits, â€œYou kind of have to take all that with a grain of salt. I do think that Iâ€™m not the only actor on this island. So I could be being played.â€
JONATHAN RECOGNIZES LISA
The next morning, Lisa goes out swimming with Jonathan. He asks her if anyone has recognized her yet. Lisa tells him that she that she has not had to make a big deal with it yet and is happy for that. Jonathan is glad for her and promises not to tell anyone about her past as a child star. Lisa and Jonathan get to know one another and donâ€™t talk strategy. Lisa comments, â€œIf you have that kind of connection, that is valuable especially if you do end up aligned later on down the road.â€ She admits to Jonathan that being able to participate in this game without being recognized has been very enjoyable and healing for her. Jonathan comments, â€œLisaâ€™s kind of a cool lady and I think she can actually go pretty far as an under-the-radar, non-threatening person, who could find herself sitting in a final three.â€
JONATHAN AND MICHAEL STRATEGIZE
Later that morning, Jonathan and Michael get away from the tribe to talk. Jonathan points out that the rest of the tribe could easily get rid of the two of them next, if they are set on getting rid of veteran players. He hopes to get Michael into his alliance. Jonathan comments, â€œSkupin seems like a cool guy. So, I got to help him feel as comfortable as he can about slitting the throats of the people that he spent seventeen days with.â€ As Michael listens, Jonathan assures him that he has a strong alliance with the rest of the Kalabaw members.
MICHAEL CHECKS IN WITH RC
After talking to Jonathan, Michael finds RC and asks her how she feels about leaving the Tandang alliance. RC is not sure. She reveals, â€œMe and Mike are solid but we would like to feel a little bit more secure.â€ Michael tells RC that he is not sure that Tandang will stay loyal to them. RC agrees, since Tandang treated them so badly in the past. She is tempted join with the old Kalabaw tribe when voting. RC comments, â€œIf we have a possible chance to go somewhere else, then why not?â€
JEFF TALKS WITH TANDANG
Jeff joins Pete and Malcolm at the fire and expresses his desire to keep a veteran from not winning the game. Pete and Malcolm agree, but they are concerned that Jonathan may have the idol. Jeff does not reveal that Jonathan does in fact have it, but he instead tells Pete and Malcolm that he can help them blindside Jonathan. Jeff reveals, â€œIâ€™ll join any game, as long as I can get Penner out before I get out.â€ Pete tells Jeff that Tandang wants RC out first. After sheâ€™s gone they will vote for the veterans. Jeff tells Pete and Malcolm that he can guarantee that Carter and Denise will vote with him. Pete suggests that they have four people vote for Jonathan and four for RC. Malcolm points on that this will likely flush out Jonathanâ€™s idol and allow them to vote out RC. They all agree to the plan. Malcolm admits, â€œThe only real wrinkle is if the Kalabaw, Jeff, Carter and Denise are going to come along with it and go along like they are saying they will.â€ Pete points out that they have to make sure that RC and Jonathan donâ€™t win immunity at the next challenge. Pete says, â€œAhh, this is going to be cool.â€
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: WRIST ASSURED
The merged tribe arrives at the challenge and gives up the tribe immunity idol. Jeff Probst reveals two individual immunity necklaces to take its place. He then explains the rules of the immunity challenge. Each player will hold onto a rope handle, which is attached to a bucket. Each bucket is filled with twenty-five percent of the playerâ€™s body weight. As the challenge goes on, the weight will become too much to bear. The rope will begin to un-spool and the bucket will drop. When a playerâ€™s bucket drops, they are out of the challenge. Last man and last women left standing will win immunity and be guaranteed a one in ten shot at winning SURVIVOR. After just five minutes into the challenge, Michael is the first to lose his grip and have his bucket fall, so he is out. Moments later, Pete drops his bucket and is out of the challenge. Jeff encourages the castaways to keep their focus. Jonathan is the next one out, as he struggles but loses control of his bucket. Lisa and Malcolm are out next. So three women, Abi-Maria, RC and Denise are left, along with three men, Carter, Jeff and Artis. RC is the next person out followed immediately by Abi-Maria. So, Denise is the last woman standing and happily wins individual immunity. After fifteen minutes, Artis loses his grip and is out of the challenge leaving Carter and Jeff to fight it out for immunity. After ten more minutes in the blazing sun, Jeff whispers to Carter, â€œIf I drop, you owe me one. You drop, I owe you one.â€ Carter agrees. Carter tells Jeff Probst that he wants to win, so Jeff Kent drops his bucket. So, Carter and Denise are safe from the vote tonight at Tribal Council. As they exit the challenge, Artis reveals, â€œIâ€™m ecstatic that Penner and RC didnâ€™t even come close to winning immunity.â€ He knows that his alliance plans on splitting the vote to get rid of Jonathan or RC depending on if Jonathan plays an idol or not.
RC OR JONATHAN?
Back at camp, the Dangrayne tribe cooks up some coconut. RC is feeling pretty confident even though she did not win immunity. She reveals, â€œMe and Mike are solid and we are definitely with Kalabaw. With us six, we are in the majority.â€ Michael is not so confident about his safety. He feels vulnerable as a returning player without immunity. Michael comments, â€œThere isnâ€™t anybody that would think that I would not go down without a fight.â€ So, he goes and talks with Jeff. Michael tells Jeff that he does not want Abi-Maria, Pete and Artis to control the game, because they are too rude and donâ€™t deserve it. He assures Jeff that he and RC will vote with Kalabaw. Jeff tells Michael that he wants to get Jonathan out of the game. Michael tells Jeff that he will follow his lead. Michael talks to Jeff, worried that Jeff and Carter will go to Tandang as he and RC go with Kalabaw and the result would be that they are not in the majority alliance. Jeff meets with Carter to discuss their options, realizing that they are swing votes for tonight. Jeff tells Carter that Michael swore to him that he would vote with them to get Jonathan out of the game when they wanted. Jeff says if they switch to the Tandang alliance, they will be on the bottom. Just then Jonathan walks up to discuss the vote. Jonathan tells Jeff and Carter that he will be loyal to them tonight and hopes that they will not betray him and vote against him tonight. Jonathan says that he is a good judge of character and that his Kalabaw alliance will not betray him. He suggests to Jeff and Carter that they vote for Pete and take control of the game. Jeff and Carter check in with Pete and the Tandang alliance next. Jeff tells them that he and Carter will vote with them tonight. Jeff is either going to support the Kalabaw alliance, which now includes both veteran players or he is going to betray them and work with Tandang. He admits, â€œIâ€™ve got to make sure that I protect myself, because whatever move I make itâ€™s not going to sit well with either tribe.â€
The original six Tandang members light their torches for the first time, since they have not been to Tribal Council before. Jeff Probst tells Tandang that they are unique in SURVIVOR history for never having gone to Tribal Council before they reached the merge. Denise has the opposite experience in that she has been to every Tribal Council, so far this season. Jeff asks if there was any animosity among the Tandang members after nineteen days of being together. RC admits, â€œIt was pretty bad at Tandang, but weâ€™re a family. Families fight sometimes.â€ Abi-Maria points out that RC betrayed her by being careless and revealing the hidden immunity clue to everyone. RC is relieved to finally hear why Abi-Maria has been upset with her and assures her that she was not the one to dig up the clue and leave it in the shelter. Abi-Maria tells RC, â€œI trust my actions not yours.â€ Lisa feels that people who flip alliances will only land at the bottom of the new alliance and will be viewed as untrustworthy. Pete admits that the new players have a prejudice against the veteran players, since they have already had their chance at playing the game. Lisa is also says that Malcolm and Denise are still closely aligned from their days on the Matsing tribe, which can influence their decisions. Pete feels there are only two hidden immunity idols at the play in the game, because the Matsing one is gone. Malcolm is glad to hear this. Pete also admits to feeling vulnerable tonight. The Dangrayne tribe then votes. Before Jeff reveals the votes, Jonathan decides to play his hidden immunity idol. Jeff reveals all eleven votes, which are five vote for Jonathan and four votes for RC and two votes for Pete. Since, Jonathan played his idol, the votes for him donâ€™t count. So, RC Saint-Amour, the 27 year-old investment banker from NY, NY, becomes the eighth person to leave SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES.