|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
As the morning sun illuminates the Jalapao camp, Taj and Stephen decide to get a head start at finding the hidden immunity idol before the rest of their tribe awakens. Since Taj's last clue hinted that the idol was somewhere near treemail, she and Stephen make a run for it. Upon arriving at treemail, Taj reminds Stephen that the last clue mentioned a "smiling face," which most likely translated to the smiling statue at treemail. Taj and Stephen examine the statue, feeling up and down for an opening where the idol might be. Taj screams with joy as she reaches behind the grass skirt on the statue and pulls out the hidden immunity idol. "I just love it when a perfect plan comes together. It's so much fun!" laughs Taj. Taj immediately hands the idol off to Stephen for safe keeping since he is the only one with pocket. Stephen is clearly aware of what this means for him. "As long as it's in my possession, I'm going to try to keep it in my possession. Theoretically and ostensibly, it is mine. I'm the one wearing the idol around my neck," says Stephen.
THE OTHER HALF
At the Timbira camp, the other half of the Exile Alliance, Brendan and Sierra, stay behind at camp while the rest of their tribe tends to daily chores by the river. Sierra scolds Brendan for not telling her about the four-way Exile Alliance with Taj and Stephen. Brendan apologizes for the mishap and the two gloat about their brilliant strategy. "After three days of being a loser when I first got here, I'm proud of myself. I formed an amazing alliance. We're gonna take over the world"¦that's right," Sierra cheers.
REWARD CHALLENGE: DIZZINESS AS USUAL
Jalapao and Timbira arrive on their respective colored mats as host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge. Each round, one tribe member will be seated on a spinning platform. Another tribe member will race while pulling a rope attached to that platform causing the seated tribe member to get dizzy. The dizzy tribe member must then run across a balance beam to the finish line. One point will be awarded to the winning tribe in each round. The first tribe to score three points wins a trip to the Charmin CafÃ©, where they will enjoy coffee, pastries, and a modern toilet with plenty of Charmin. In addition, the winning tribe will choose one member of the losing tribe to go to Exile, and that person will choose one member of the winning tribe to join them, thus missing out on the reward.
For the first round, Joe pulls Taj and Brendan pulls Tyson. Joe and Brendan send Taj and Tyson whirling around like a washing machine tub as they dash toward the finish line. Tyson scores one point for Timbira by defeating Taj, who stumbles off the balance beam several times. In the next round, Stephen pulls Spencer and Coach pulls Erinn. After both runners cross the finish line, Spencer and Erinn run across the balance beam. Erinn slips off, causing her to have to restart, which allows Spencer to score a point for Jalapao. In the third round, Joe spins JT and Brendan spins Sierra. Sierra spins completely out of control and thus has a difficult time regaining her balance when she has to make her way across the balance beam. JT scores another point for Jalapao. For the next round, Stephen pulls Sydney as Coach pulls Debbie. At the balance beam, Sydney makes quick work after restarting once and scores the third and final point for Jalapao. A much disappointed Timbira sulks as Jalapao wins the Charmin CafÃ© reward. Stephen selects Brendan to go to Exile, and Brendan, in turn, selects Stephen to join him.
THE CHARMIN CAFÃ‰ The Jalapao Tribe, minus Stephen, arrives at the Charmin CafÃ© and discovers a grass hut with a picnic table full of coffee, juice, pastries, and an outdoor bathroom full of Charmin toilet paper. The tribe gorges on the great abundance of food, especially Taj, who has missed previous rewards while she was away on Exile. "I think Taj being gone all this time really hurts her. She hasn't had the opportunity to create a tighter bond," says Joe. As the tribe relaxes, JT discovers a wonderful surprise: letters from home. The Jalapao members burst into tears as they read correspondence from friends and relatives. "Being out here for so long, you almost forget what home is like and what the people are like that you love and to get a letter and just hear them tell you that they miss you and they're proud of you. I would have been sick if I had to go to Exile and miss that," says Taj. A STORM IS COMING Back at Timbira, things take a turn for the worst for Brendan, as the tribe sniffs out his plans. "Guys, I think Brendan's trying to build relations with the other tribe. He's got to go next," Tyson reveals. "If we merge, he has control of the game and I'm a bystander"¦and I certainly don't want that to happen," says Coach. Suddenly, Coach recognizes a shift in the breeze signaling the approach of a storm. The sky unleashes its fury over the Timbira camp as its inhabitants huddle miserably under their meager shelter. BONDING AT EXILE Brendan introduces Stephen to the sandy hills of Exile, ensuring him that it is not a bad place to be, and reveals that he holds the hidden immunity idol. Stephen admits that he also holds a hidden immunity idol, which assures Brendan that he indeed is a part of an all-powerful alliance. Despite Brendan's efforts to befriend Stephen, the Exile newbie thinks logically. "I've known him for five minutes. I can't place my entire faith in the game on him. I can't place my entire faith on this four-person alliance," confesses Stephen. THE SECRET At the Jalapao camp, Spencer lays on the hammock while Sydney shares a dream she had about her boyfriend the previous night. Sydney says that the dream made her realize just how much she loves and misses him, and asks Spencer if he has a special woman in his life. Spencer hides the truth, instead telling Sydney that there are a lot of attractive women at his university. "My tribemates are not aware that I'm gay. I haven't told them only because I feel like in the culture that we live in, there's not much to gain by finding out that you are gay," Spencer candidly admits. Joe arrives with treemail, which is accompanied by lacrosse-like nets. As the tribe members prepare for the upcoming challenge, Spencer is wary of what JT might think of his homosexuality. "Guys like JT, typical southerners, you know, people who are generally not quite as accepting of homosexuality, and I don't know if he is one of those guys, but they are maybe inclined to get rid of somebody like me just based on the fact that I am gay and that is disappointing and its one of the reasons why I keep it a secret," says Spencer. IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: WATER MORTAR The two tribes, Jalapao and Timbira, arrive on their tribe-colored mats as Brendan and Stephen return from Exile and rejoin their respective tribes. Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge. Two members of each tribe will alternate launching balls out onto the water-logged course where the remaining tribe members catch the ball. It does not matter what color the balls is. If you catch a ball from either tribe, you score a point for your tribe. The first tribe to score five points wins immunity. The launchers for Jalapao are Sydney and Stephen and for Timbira, Erinn and Debbie. Guarding each other and attempting to catch are Brendan and Taj, Coach and Joe, Spencer and Tyson, and Sierra and JT. JT rapidly scores the first two points for Jalapao. Joe misses when the ball goes in and out of his net. Brendan snags two points for Timbira, tying the game two to two. JT dives for a ball and scores another point for Jalapao, knocking out half of his front tooth in the process. Despite this, JT continues on as if it never happened. JT scores another point for Jalapao, putting them in the lead at four to two. Jalapao's lead evaporates when Spencer fails to guard Tyson as he scores two points in a row for Timbira. With the two tribes tied at four to four, JT becomes agitated. JT just misses the next ball for Jalapao and Spencer fails once again to guard Tyson as he scores the winning point for Timbira. JT slams his fist into the water as immunity is awarded to the Timbira tribe for the second time in a row. PERSONALITIES CLASH As reality begins to set in for Jalapao that another tribe member has to be eliminated, Taj snaps into a furious bout of anger in the river. She argues that she is sick of discussing who to vote out when her tribemates do the opposite at Tribal Council. Taj single-handedly attacks Joe for not ever being up front with her since the game started, which makes Joe's decision easier. "She can bat every eyelash and raise every feather that she has but I think that moves like that out here will get you voted off," says Joe. Stephen defends Taj by saying that she is just scared. Joe let's his decision be known to the tribe as he bluntly states, "She's next." Stephen addresses the pros and cons of voting Taj out, noting that she is his connection to the Timbira side of the Exile Alliance. As Taj pouts, Spencer becomes paranoid that he might be the next to go based on his incompetent performance in the immunity challenge. "I knew that JT was probably going to be frustrated with me," says Spencer. Spencer then attempts to improve his standing with JT by pleading with him to give him another chance. "Who do you think should go?" asks Spencer. "You or Taj," JT replies to a sheepish Spencer. TRIBAL COUNCIL At Tribal Council, Spencer openly admits that he is embarrassed by his minimal efforts during the immunity challenge, which led to their loss. Taj explains her reasons behind blowing up on Joe and the other tribe members. "It's just a feeling you get that your head is next [and] I was hot, so whoever was there was going to get it, and I didn't care who it was." Spencer shares the horror of having the same gut feeling as Taj when his tribemates gave him similar vibes after the immunity challenge loss. Joe asks Taj to bluntly state that she does not have the hidden immunity idol, and she wins his trust by looking him in the eye and saying that she does not have it. "I believe her," says Joe. With this, the tribe members cast their votes, and Taj's life in the game was spared. With five out of the six votes, Spencer was voted out. Spencer Duhm, the 19 year-old student from Lakeland, Florida, became the fifth person voted out of SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS: THE BRAZILIAN HIGHLANDS.