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Season 32: Episode 7 - It's Merge Time
Posted on Mar 30, 2016 08:30pm

GONDOL - BYE BYE BRAINS

The Gondol tribe is back from Tribal Council on night 16, where they just voted out Peter. Scot scolds Joe for voting for Julia and not Peter tonight. Joe tells Scot that he was not sure what Scot meant when he said to go with the “original plan”. Scot vents, “I am absolutely going to be picking off the Brain tribe tonight because of that, because of that indecision and because I can’t trust them.” Scot questions Aubry on why she wrote down Julia’s name and then wrote Peter on her voting ballot. Even though Aubry voted for Peter, she can see that Scot is upset and does not trust her or Joe anymore. She comments, “So, the future of the Brains tribe … we’re done.” The next morning the tribe is sitting around the fire. Tai is cutting up coconut and the chicken jumps up on his lap to share it with him. Tai puts him down and tells him to wait his turn. Joe is amused by how close Tai has gotten to this chicken. Joe is worried that he will be voted out next. He comments, “Tai and Scot and Julia, they got a threesome and they got two Brains and you know, bye bye Brains.”

CHAN LOH – A BOAT ARRIVES AT CAMP

Over at the Chan Loh camp, Cydney notices that Neal is walking around with a bulge in his pocket that is shaped like a hidden immunity idol. She alerts Jason. Jason agrees with Cydney that Neal’s bulge is shaped just like the idol that he found back at the Brawn camp. Jason comments, “Now the targets is really on him, because that makes him a threat to everybody.” Jason feels confident that he is in control of the game. Michele alerts her tribe to the arrival of a boat on their beach. Jason retrieves a note from one of the men on the boat, which tells them that they have only 5 minutes to pack up all their belongings onto the boat and head to their new home at the Gondol camp. Everyone starts scrambling to collect things. Michelle admits, “I made the SURVIVOR merge, that’s crazy. It’s like my dream as a kid.” They also load the many rewards that they won onto the boat, so they will have them at their new camp. Debbie comments, “The game is switched up again and it’s really going to be insane out there.” She plans on pulling people into her alliance, so they will be able to control the game.

DARA – THE TWO TRIBES MERGE

The Chan Loh tribe arrives to surprise Gondol on their beach. Everyone is so excited to have made it to the merge point in the game. Scot is thrilled to reconnect with Cydney and Jason. He comments, “Hopefully my team is strong and ready to get a championship.” Aubry is happy that she and Joe are no longer at risk. Now, she has the support of her old Brain tribe mates Neal and Debbie. Everyone digs into a huge feast of meat, cheese, crackers, drinks and snacks given to them for the merge feast. Tai enjoys the food, but is also thinking about the numbers. There are 4 Brains, 4 Beauties and 3 Brawns left in the game. Tai reveals, “Scot is my only ally right now and he is the most logical, since he knows about the idol.” After a few sips of wine, Debbie tells Nick that she would like to cuddle with him. Nick listens carefully to what people are saying and tries to determine who is friendly with whom and what information is being revealed. He sees the Brawn as arrogant and loud, while the Brains are quiet. Nick doesn’t think these two groups will work together well, since they are so different. He reveals, “My true alliance is with Michele. We’re in a great spot within these two tribes.”

After the feast, the new Dara tribe gets to work on making the shelter bigger. Aubry takes this time to reconnect with Debbie and let her know why Peter was voted out at the last Tribal Council. Debbie assures Aubry that she and Joe are safe with the support of herself and Neal. Next, Neal, Aubry and Nick take a walk. Neal encourages Nick to have his Beauty alliance join with their Brain alliance against the Brawn. Nick tells Neal that he fears that Tai and Julia are now loyal to Scot, but feels confident that Michele is still loyal to him. Nick is happy that the Brains want to work with him and Michelle. He admits, “It makes sense to go with the Brains, but if you corner yourself, if you put yourself in a position where your back is against a wall, that’s not good SURVIVOR.” The tribe starts painting their new Dara tribe flag. Nick takes this time to check in with Scot, Jason and Cydney of the old Brawn tribe. Jason would like Nick and Michelle to join with the Brawns, so they can vote out Neal next, since he suspects that Neal has an idol. Nick takes a walk with Scot and Jason. Scot reveals to the two of them that Tai has a hidden immunity idol, as well as Neal. Jason comments, “Now we have a super idol that we could play after the vote is read, which means we are literally unstoppable.” Nick is thrilled to be getting all this information from Scot and Jason, but he does not like how overconfident and arrogant they are. He reveals, “As much as it annoys me, that’s a great thing for me, it really is, because they’re never going to suspect a blindside on them.”

THE BEAUTIES ARE BEING COURTED

The sun is coming up on day 18 at the Dara camp. Neal shows Aubry an infected sore he has on his left knee. Meanwhile, Debbie sits down next to Tai at the fire and asks him to be part of her alliance with the old Brain tribe. She assures him that they have the numbers. Debbie comments, “It’s a battle for power and I’m playing to win.” Tai is surprised that Debbie is being so bold and direct. He feels he has no other choice, but to say yes to her. Tai admits, “I’m not buying her story. I’m not a fool.” Next, Debbie invites Nick to join the Brain alliance. She assures him that he is safe with them. Neal and Aubry overhear Debbie’s conversation with Nick and do not agree with her aggressive approach to inviting people to work with them. Aubry comments, “You have to show confidence and right now we’re showing desperation.” Meanwhile, Jason is encouraging Julia and Michele to work with the Brawn alliance, since together the Brawn and Beauties will have seven people versus the Brain’s four people. Jason boasts, “Beauty always goes with the jocks, always. It’s just the way of the world.” To seal the deal, Jason tells Julia and Michele that Neal has a hidden immunity idol, so they plan on voting out Aubry next, since no one will expect that. Michele does not like the way that Jason is telling them what to do. She comments, “Brawn is way too controlling and I’ve never counted out working with Brain.” Aubry takes a walk with Nick to see what he is thinking. Nick tells Aubry that he does not like the way Debbie is playing. Aubry admits, “If we don’t get the Beauties on our side, the Brains are screwed.” Aubry tries to smooth things over with Nick and hopes that he will still work with the Brains, even though Debbie is being so aggravating. Nick reveals, “I don’t want anybody having more power than I do in this game.” Next, Aubry talks to Neal and warns him about the negative feeling people are having about Debbie. She is worried that Nick will not work with them now. Neal then tells Aubry that he has a hidden immunity idol from the old Brain camp that may be able to help them. Aubry is encouraged to hear this. She comments, “The game is on. Let’s go.”

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: ROLLER BALL

The Dara tribe arrives at the challenge. Jeff Probst, the host asks the tribe how they are doing. Tai tells Jeff that they have a lot of cuts and infections. Neal shows off the infection on his knee. Scot and Aubry both admit to having infections too. Tai’s scrapes from climbing a tree early on are still healing. Jason points out that it has not being easy, but they keep going. Jeff warns them that infections are serious and not be ignored. He then reveals the individual immunity necklace that someone will win at this challenge. For the challenge, they will stand on a log, while balancing a ball on a wooden disk. At regular intervals, they will add more balls, which make it more difficult. If at any point, they fall off their perch, or a ball drops, then they are out. The last person left standing wins immunity and is safe from the vote. The losers will go to Tribal Council where somebody will be voted out after nineteen very tough days.

The challenge begins as everyone steps up on their wooden perch and puts the first ball on their disk. Within the first minute, Joe loses his balance and steps off his perch. So, he is the first one out of the challenge. Debbie and Jason also lose their balance and get out within the first 5-minute round. Round 2 starts with the remaining eight players adding a second ball to their disk. Michele, Neal and Scot all drop out within the first 20 seconds. Cydney and Aubry follow them shortly. So, now only Nick, Julia and Tai remain in the challenge and they all happen to be from the original Beauty tribe. The three of them all make it to Round 3, where a third ball is added for them to balance on their disk. Julia is out first in this round and then Tai. So, Nick wins the first individual Immunity Challenge. As they walk out of the challenge, Neal comments, “Tonight it will be the four Brains going up against the bullies, against Brawn.” He is happy to have an idol that he can play for himself or someone else that he would like to save.

BRAWN VERSUS BRAINS

The Dara tribe congratulates Nick on winning the first individual Immunity challenge when they return to camp. Nick is happy to be safe tonight, because he knows this is a critical Tribal Council to see who is in control of the game. He explains, “It’s Brawn versus Brains and I’m in the middle along with Beauty.” Scot and Jason with the Brawn alliance go to get water with Nick and encourage him to vote with them to get Aubry out tonight. Scot comments, “The best case scenario is Neal plays an idol, because he’s paranoid, but Aubry goes home anyway.” Scot feels confident the Brawn and Beauty will work well together. His plan is to vote out all the Brains and then start picking off the Beauties. Nick likes the idea of going with the Brawn plan and voting out a Brain tonight. He reveals, “Scot and Jason are always going to be overconfident and when everybody feels safe is when you do your damage.” Next, Nick talks to Neal and Joe from the Brains about the vote tonight. Neal points out that the three Brawn who are Scot, Jason and Cydney are very tight and will be hard to beat in individual challenges. Neal is pretty confident that Nick will vote with them. He admits, “So, now we have to convince Michele to come on board, since we need to have six.” If things don’t go as planned though, Neal is ready to play his hidden immunity idol tonight. Meanwhile, Debbie and Aubry are trying to convince Michele to vote out Scot or Jason tonight. Aubry points out that the Brawn have a very close bond that others will not be able to break, but the Brains are not as close, which gives her more wiggle room. Michele reveals, “I would love to work with Aubry and Debbie, but I’m not sure strategically it’s my best option.” Michele and Nick take a walk to discuss their options. Michele doesn’t think Jason or Scot could win in the end, so she agrees with Nick to go with the Brawn alliance tonight and vote for Aubry. Nick admits, “I think I’m making the right decision. I’ll see when the game ends if it is or if it isn’t.”

JEFF PROBST COMES TO DARA CAMP

The Dara tribe is surprised to see a boat land at their beach with Jeff Probst and Dr. Rupert. Jeff explains that he wanted Dr. Rupert to check them out after hearing about all their injuries and infections at the Immunity Challenge. Dr. Rupert starts by looking at Tai’s thighs, which were scraped up when he climbed a tree. The doctor is pleased with how Tai’s scrapes are healing. Next, Dr. Rupert looks at a couple infected spots on Scot’s leg. He plans to keep an eye on them and make sure they heal. Aubry is examined next. Her leg has an infected spot, which looks like it getting worse. The doctor prescribes antibiotics for Aubry to help fight the infection. Finally, Dr. Rupert takes a long look at Neal’s knee and back, which both have bad infections. Neal assures the doctor and Jeff that he is feeling okay. The doctor is very concerned with the infection on Neal’s knee though, since it could get worse and harm his knee joint. Dr. Rupert decides to pull Neal from the game, so he can get the proper treatment to stop the knee infection. Neal immediately tears up, because he does not want to leave the game. Jeff assures Neal that he will be part of the jury, when he gets out of the hospital. Neal says goodbye to his tribe mates and says, “It has been an honor and a privilege to play with each and every one of you.” Aubry feels so bad that Neal has to go, since she knows how much he loves the game. Jeff informs the tribe that they will not have to go to Tribal Council tonight and vote someone out, since Neal is leaving the game. Aubry feels very unsure of her future in the game, with her number one ally and his idol now out of the game. She comments, “SURVIVOR is a path. You pave your way by yourself.” Neal waves goodbye to the tribe as he boards the boat with Jeff and Dr. Rupert. So, Neal Gottlieb, a 38-year old Ice Cream Entrepreneur from Sausalito, CA is the eighth person to leave SURVIVOR: KAOH RONG.