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Season 18: Episode 4 - The Strongest Man Alive

The Strongest Man Alive: The Timbira Tribe members return from Tribal Council where Jerry was voted out. Coach wastes no time in unleashing his disdain for Erinn, with whom he got into an altercation with during Tribal Council over who is a better leader. “It pissed me off, and it made me think Erinn has got to go because she is the cancer of the tribe,” fumes Coach. Erinn bluntly stated that Brendan would be a much better leader than Coach, who prefers the passive aggressive approach to leading. “She would have been voted out almost unanimously had it not been for Jerry coming down sick,” Coach continues.

The following morning, the Timbira members gather for a tribe meeting concerning who should be the leader. Based on what was discussed at the previous Tribal Council, Brendan steps up and accepts the role as leader, but is open to whomever the tribe thinks best fits the role. Tyson, however, is clearly disconnected from the issue. “So I guess its Brendan or Coach as the leader. I don’t know it’s a…I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t really care,” he drones. To Timbira’s surprise, Coach supports the tribe’s decision to elect Brendan as their leader, but secretly believes that there is someone better suited for the job. “You know if Brendan got voted off and I was the leader, I think this tribe would be better. But I don’t want to vote Brendan off because that’s my M.O. I want iron that sharpens iron,” Coach arrogantly states. “If you look at me, you look at Brendan…who looks stronger? I do,” Coach continues. “We need to thrive in the wild and not just exist. And I think the difference is that I’ve been here…and they haven’t.”

THE EXILE ALLIANCE EXPANDS As the sun peaks above the horizon, the Jalapao members awaken from restless sleep. Spencer expresses his concern for Taj, since she has spent many nights sleeping on Exile Island. Taj plays the part of the exhausted, worn-out tribe member who was sent to Exile one too many times in order to protect her secret “Exile Alliance” with Brendan. Stephen later meets Taj at the hammock, out of everyone’s earshot. “Do you want to be a part of the biggest upset in Survivor history?” Taj asks Stephen. Taj then reveals her plan of inducting Stephen into her secret four-way alliance comprised of her, Brendan and Sierra. Stephen smiles with glee and accepts Taj’s tempting offer. “I might have just stumbled ass-backwards into a huge alliance,” he says.

Treemail arrives at Timbira, and Erinn reads the note to her tribe. When the note hints that someone will have to stay on Exile Island for two days, Debbie asks Brendan who they should send. Brendan, of course, suggests sending Taj again, but before walking out to the challenge, he forgets to tell Sierra about his secret “Exile Alliance” with Taj. “She doesn’t know about the plan and it could be a pretty heinous situation,” Brendan frets.

REWARD CHALLENGE: SHOULDER THE LOAD The Jalapao and Timbira Tribe members arrive on their respective colored mats. Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge. Three members of each tribe will have a pole across their shoulders. In each round, two 20-pound weights will be added to that pole. The decision about which tribe member gets the weight will be made by two members of the opposing tribe. When the weight becomes too much, those who drop their weights will be eliminated from the challenge. Two men and one woman from each tribe will be the weight bearers. The last person standing wins a camp raid for their tribe in which two members of the winning tribe will steal two items from the losing tribe’s camp. In addition, the winning tribe will choose one member of the losing tribe to go to Exile Island and that person will then select one person from the winning tribe to join them. Since Timbira has one extra member, they choose Sierra to sit out of the challenge. Since Jalapao has two extra members, they choose Stephen and Spencer to sit out.

The weight bearers for Jalapao are Joe, Taj and JT. For Timbira, the weight bearers are Debbie, Brendan and Tyson. The weight bearers hold their own as the weight is piled on. After some time has passed, Brendan is supporting 180 pounds, close to tying the 220 pound record set by Ruppert in Survivor: Pearl Islands. Brendan drops out just as the next pair of weights are added, which would have put him in a position to tie Ruppert’s record. Tyson drops out at 140 pounds. JT struggles and drops out at 220 pounds, tying the record set by Ruppert. Joe drops out at 140 pounds. The fate of the tribes comes down to the women. Debbie and Taj receive more weight, and are both even at 100 pounds. Debbie suddenly drops out, leaving Taj as the last person standing. Jalapao wins the camp raid and chooses to send Sierra to Exile Island. Sierra chooses Taj to join her.

CAMP RAID At the Timbira camp, everyone scrambles to figure out what items Jalapao would come after when they raid their camp. The obvious choices are the beans and containers of water. When JT and Joe arrive at Timbira, tension rises among the tribe. “You want to be on good terms with them because you’re probably going to be living with them in the future, but in the back of your mind, you’re like, ‘I wanna punch these guys in the head,’” Tyson vents. Ultimately, Joe and JT decided to take one canister of water and only one bag of beans, leaving an opened bag for Timbira. “If I was to end up there on the Timbira Tribe with no beans because I just stole both sacks I’d be pissed,” JT explains.

When JT and Joe return to Jalapao, they are greeted with open arms, but are interrogated by Sandy when she finds out that they left a sack of beans at Timbira. Joe explains the reasoning behind their decision by spelling out to Sandy that a tribe switch is always possible and they didn’t want to find themselves at the other camp without any beans. Sandy isn’t buying it. “It’s like you’ve got a hundred guns, let’s just take seventy-five of ‘em. You can have twenty-five and maybe take a shot at us!” Sandy exclaims. Sandy begins to wear on everybody’s nerves when she continues to repeat herself and ramble obnoxiously. “I’m gonna smack you,” Spencer tells Sandy as she irritatingly rants. Sandy, however, points out one tribe member who is beginning to wear on her nerves: Sydney. As Sydney flirts with Joe and Spencer, massages JT’s shoulders, and flutters her eyelashes like she’s in a beauty pageant, Sandy just sits back and observes. “She is like up against the boys 24/7. Trust me, she is playing this game hard,” Sandy insists.

THE EXILE OASIS On Exile Island, Taj chooses the urn containing the clue to the hidden immunity idol, which confirms her suspicion that the idol is located at treemail. After speaking with Sierra, Taj finds out that Brendan has not yet had a chance to explain their plan to Sierra, so Taj fills her in. “I just got goose bumps,” says Sierra after hearing the goal of the Exile Alliance from Taj. “I started at the bottom of the food chain, then I climbed my way to the middle, and now I’m at the top baby,” Sierra gushes.

THE TRIBE CLOWN Back at Timbira, the tribe decides to make the best of their current situation by having a day of fun. Tyson suddenly enters the camp dressed in nothing but a loincloth. Debbie and the others roll on the floor with laughter as Tyson holds a staff and bounces around like a prehistoric man. “Booga booga!” Tyson shouts as his tribemates laugh uncontrollably. As Tyson keeps the tribe entertained, Erinn keeps to herself. “[Erinn] doesn’t hang out with the tribe a lot, plus I think she’ll be really really upset when she gets voted off and I’d like to see a freak out at Tribal,” Tyson reveals. “I think that’d be fun.”

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: TRY ANY ANGLE The Jalapao and Timbira tribes arrive on their mats as Sierra and Taj return from Exile Island and rejoin their tribes. Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge. One tribe member at a time will race out on a zigzagged course, retrieve a puzzle piece and race back, at which point the next person will go. Once all eight puzzle pieces have been collected, they must be placed in the correct spot in a frame and rotated to spell out the winning phrase. The first tribe to spell out the winning phrase wins immunity. Since Jalapao has one extra member, Taj sits out of the challenge.

During the race to retrieve puzzle pieces, Jalapao gains a slight advantage over Timbira until Sydney’s struggle to retrieve one of the final puzzle pieces slows her tribe down, opening a window for Timbira. JT is able to fill in the gap, evening the tribes when they both arrive with all eight puzzle pieces at their respective stations. Both tribes debate over what the winning phrase could be as they scramble to correctly place and turn the puzzle pieces. Both tribes come very close, but Timbira solves the puzzle with the winning phrase, “Escape the vote: Timbira wins immunity.”

A TOUGH DECISION With Tribal Council on Jalapao’s conscience, the obvious person to vote off is Sandy. Taj defends Sandy by boasting about how well she performs in the compared to Sydney. JT and Stephen advise against voting off Sydney because of her tight bond with Joe and Spencer. “Sydney’s good looks make a positive first impression, but that could be a part of her devious personality,” admits Stephen. Both he and JT are now torn between voting out Sandy or Sydney. “As far as I know, the vote is going onto Sandy K. tonight [but] then again it’s Survivor, so everyone wants to win, so we’ll see,” says Sydney as Jalapao walks out to Tribal Council.

TRIBAL COUNCIL During Tribal Council, Sandy expresses the utmost confidence that she has drastically improved her standing with her tribemates since she was ousted on the first day of the game. JT adds to this by stating that she is the mother figure of the tribe. Sandy takes the opportunity to mention that Sydney is using her feminine wiles to manipulate the men of the tribe, and openly states that Sydney is wearing JT’s boxers. “I have a flirtatious personality. I flirt with women,” Sydney explains. The Jalapao members cast their votes, and with five out of the seven votes cast against her, Sandy is voted out. Sandy Bergin, the 53 year-old bus driver from Louisville, Kentucky, became the fourth person voted out of SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS: THE BRAZILIAN HIGHLANDS.