Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After having forged and broken alliances with every girl on the beach, Erik saved himself from their fury by winning Immunity and earning himself a guaranteed spot in the Final Four. But Cirie came up with the hare-brained scheme to convince Erik to save Natalie from the vote by giving her his Immunity Necklace and proving his loyalty to Cirie. At that point, the three of them, Erik, Natalie and Cirie would vote out Amanda. In reality, the second Erik gave up the Immunity Necklace, the four women in the Dabu tribe would vote him out of the game. Natalie put the plan into action and the unsuspecting Erik started to seriously consider giving up his necklace for the chance to take out Amanda and earn favor with the jury by his generous act of selflessness. At Tribal Council, Amanda and Parvati blasted Erik in front of the jury, telling everyone how he had switched sides and made different alliances with each of the girls. This was the last straw for Erik. Wanting to earn the respect of the jury, Erik gave Natalie his Immunity Necklace and the girls immediately voted him out four votes to one. As Erik left, Jeff Probst told the tribe, "I think that is what you call a life lesson." Erik Reichenbach, the 22-year-old Ice Cream Scooper from Hell, Michigan, left behind his final words: "Damn, Damn! They got me. I should have known better. Those damn girls. I mean, there's one thing to be said about surviving the elements and there's another thing to be said about surviving four crazy, sexy women. I never thought I would be shoulder to shoulder with all these people that I've seen on TV. These are my heroes, and they're talking to me, they acknowledge me as a person. This whole experience is indescribable."


The Dabu tribe returns to camp after Tribal Council, where Amanda had surprised everyone when she played the Hidden Immunity Idol, blindsiding Alexis. In order to patch things up with Cirie, Amanda explains to her that she didn't lie; she had found the Hidden Immunity Idol at camp after telling everyone she didn't have it. "[Amanda] had me right at the brink of being willing to make it a tie vote," muses Cirie as she realizes Amanda had been testing her loyalty. "I guess that's what she needed to see to know that she can trust me."


On day 34, as the sun rises over the Dabu beach, Erik and Natalie make plans. They agree that Amanda is the biggest threat left in the game after she blindsided Alexis and tore Erik apart at Tribal Council. They decide to team up and try to get the Hidden Immunity Idol at Exile Island. Erik plots, "You have to find that Idol because whoever gets the Idol, that's pretty much like winning Individual Immunity." Erik and Natalie promise to send each other to Exile Island if either of them wins the Reward Challenge, so that they can use the Idol as a weapon against Amanda and protect their place in the game.


Meanwhile, in the cave Parvati, Amanda, and Cirie debate whether they'll be able to beat Erik in any of the upcoming Challenges. Parvati is adamant that they must do everything in their power to prevent Erik from winning the Reward Challenge and deciding who goes to Exile. Amanda declares, "We don't want Erik or Natalie going to Exile because if one of them gets a Hidden Immunity Idol, it could be the end of the game for me, Parvati, or Cirie." Wondering how to work around Erik's winning streak with challenges, Cirie realizes they can use Erik against himself. She points out, "Erik is whoever gets to him first. If Amanda could get in his head that she forgives him, he'll do whatever she says."


Amanda immediately tracks down Erik alone on the beach and puts the girls' plan into action. She tries to convince Erik that they should take each other on the Reward if either of them wins the Challenge. Erik is wary, saying, "Amanda is a very, very strategic player, so I don't know if I can trust her after she ripped me over the coals at the last Tribal Council." But Amanda keeps at it, saying they would make a good team with her being the most strategic player and him being so physically competitive. Amanda connives, "Erik is very naïve, so I definitely think I can manipulate his mind into sending Parvati to Exile." She attempts to turn Erik against Natalie, lying to him and saying Natalie wants him to go to Exile Island to weaken him. She suggests sending Parvati instead to Exile because she's so exhausted and won't look for the Idol and Erik seems to bite, nodding his head. "It's basically Natalie and Amanda who are trying to talk me into some different plan. So it's who do you trust? Who do you really trust here?"


The Dabu tribe arrives at the Reward Challenge and Jeff Probst explains the rules. The castaways will compete in a Survivor trivia challenge about seasons past. Every time a castaway answers a question correctly, they will score a point. First person to four points wins Reward. They will be taken by helicopter across the Rock Islands of Micronesia to dinner and an overnight Spa Reward. In addition they will choose one person to send to Exile Island for the last time.

Jeff Probst asks, "On which season of Survivor did a castaway have a pet snake?" Cirie and Erik score their first points, as they both answer correctly with Pearl Islands. Rupert had a pet snake back on Season 7. Further into the challenge Jeff asks the group, "In which season of Survivor did a tribemate ask another tribemate to pee on their hand after being stung by a sea urchin?" Erik, the super fan, is the only one who answers Survivor: Marquesas, when Jonathan sought help from Kathy for his sting. With that question, Erik pulls into the lead. Cirie, in second place with two points struggles to keep up with Erik as Parvati urges her, "Beat him!" But Cirie only has two points to Erik's three and both she and Erik answer the final question correctly. Erik wins Reward. He chooses to go along with Amanda's plan, sending Parvati to Exile Island. A huge blow to Natalie, who becomes even more shocked as Erik decides to take Amanda on the Reward with him as well.


Back at the Dabu camp, Natalie and Cirie have the entire Island to themselves and Natalie tells Cirie how infuriated she is that Erik sent Parvati to Exile and not her. She thought of him as her last ally in the game, but now realizes that isn't true. "[Erik] said he would send me to Exile or take me on the Reward," vents Natalie. "Well, Parvati's on Exile, and he chooses to take Amanda on Reward, which adds up not one iota." Cirie laughs to herself about this new division between the remaining Fans. She tries to further the rift by egging Natalie on, exclaiming, "Erik's a little weasel! To me, where do his loyalties lie if he told you, he'd take you, and he told [Amanda], he'd take her!?" As the two complain about Erik, the helicopter transporting Erik and Amanda to their Reward flies past the Dabu camp.


Hanging out of the windows of the helicopter, Erik and Amanda take in the beauty of Micronesia unfolding below them. They make a pact to ignore the game and enjoy their trip together. Upon arrival at the luxury spa Erik exclaims, "The best reward ever!" They both receive foot treatments and, as his feet are massaged, Erik says, "I've never been to a spa in my life." Over dinner, Erik admits to Amanda, "I feel like ever since I got Immunity last time, I'm like the center of all that's going on." He says it feels strange having to make decisions that affect people's lives, he's not used to that sense of responsibility since he works in an Ice Cream Parlor. "It's good to be in a power position," replies Amanda. Erik takes this in and says, "Maybe that's part of being a man. Being an Ice Cream Man instead of an Ice Cream Boy."


At Exile Island, Parvati gives herself her own mini-spa treatment, tanning on the beach and taking in the beautiful surroundings. She decides to have a relaxing time at Exile and completely ignore the search for the Hidden Immunity Idol. Parvati declares, "The reason for me being here is just to prevent Natalie and Erik from getting a chance at getting the Idol, so it doesn't really matter if I find the Idol or not."


Erik and Amanda return to the Dabu camp after their relaxing Spa Reward. As their boat pulls up to the shore, no one is there to greet them and Erik asks Amanda, "Where is everybody?" Cirie and Natalie are back at the cave where Natalie continues her tirade against Erik, telling Cirie how "bitter" she is about Erik's decisions. Erik and Amanda arrive at the cave where Cirie taunts them, "Don't try to look pitiful. I know it was absolutely wonderful, I won that same challenge in my season." Erik and Amanda give in, telling Natalie and Cirie how great the experience was. Natalie, a grim expression on her face completely ignores Erik. He senses something is up and worries, "It's no longer sunshine and happiness, I mean, [Natalie] obviously had resentment."


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."


Erik and Cirie find some time alone at the shelter and he makes a new deal, this time with Cirie, to go with her and Parvati to the Final Three. He tells her that he feels the three of them have an equal chance with the jury and they should take out "either Nat or Amanda." At that moment, Natalie walks by and stops behind the shelter overhearing Erik targeting her. This infuriates Natalie and she declares, "I could have literally bitch-slapped him. Smacked him like his mother."


Natalie, Amanda, and Cirie meet at the beach together and debrief each other on Erik's scheming. Natalie tells them she overheard Erik wanting to vote out Amanda or herself, and Cirie verifies Natalie's story saying, "He just told me that it would probably be beneficial for me, him and Parv to go to the end." Amanda is outraged, saying, "I'm not surprised. This is him, he's telling everyone the same thing!" As the girls continue to criticize Erik's strategy, Erik wanders down to the beach and sees the girls talking to each other. He realizes that the three women conspiring could be trouble for him. Erik admits, "I might have screwed up quite a bit."


Before departing for the Immunity Challenge, Erik finds Amanda in the cave and expresses his fears. He tells her, "I feel like all the women here think I'm full of crap." Amanda threatens him, "You can't keep flipping." She explains that everyone is eventually going to talk and find out that he lied. Erik, knowing all the girls are against him, declares, "I can't stress how important it is that I win the next Immunity [Challenge]."


The Dabu tribe arrives at the Immunity Challenge as Parvati returns from Exile Island. Jeff Probst explains the rules. Survivors will connect individually colored ropes to coordinates across three separate plots of sand. Where the ropes meet, they'll dig down and unearth a bag of puzzle pieces, race back to the answer board at the starting point and solve the puzzle. This will give them the coordinates for the second plot of sand. Race there, cross their ropes again and dig up the next set of puzzle pieces. The first person to solve all three puzzles first, wins Immunity.

On "Go" the five members of Dabu race to the first plot of sand, checking their first coordinates, and stretching their ropes across the sand. Erik crosses his two ropes first and starts digging where they intersect. He tears away at the sand and comes up with his first bag, racing back to the answer board. The four girls all start digging as Erik opens his bag of puzzle pieces. Cirie is the first of the girls to find her bag and races back to the board, trying to catch up to Erik who quickly solves the first puzzle, giving him the coordinates to the second plot of sand. He runs past the girls, still digging in the first plot of sand, and grabs his ropes. He stretches them across the second plot of sand as Amanda and Cirie find and solve their puzzle pieces, grabbing their ropes as well. But Erik quickly unearths his second bag of puzzle pieces and hurries back to the answer board, throwing the pieces together to solve the second puzzle and memorizing his third set of coordinates. Muttering the coordinates under his breath over and over, "Turtle, White Fish, Bird, Seagull," Erik races out to the third plot of sand, stretches out his ropes finding where they intersect, and starts digging. With all the girls still at the second plot of sand furiously trying to catch up, Erik rips his third bag of puzzle pieces out of the sand, hurries back to the answer board and slams them together to solve the final puzzle "Guaranteed Final Four". Erik wins Immunity and a spot in the Final Four.


With Tribal Council on the horizon, and Erik in possession of the Immunity Necklace, Natalie is sure as the last Fan, without Immunity, she's going home. On the beach with the girls, Natalie, Amanda, and Cirie fill Parvati in on the many deals Erik made with each of them while she was gone. The girls are sad to keep Erik and lose Natalie. But suddenly, Cirie comes up with a crazy plan. She muses aloud, "I wonder if he would give Nat his necklace." All the girls except Natalie pounce on this idea. They try to convince Natalie to manipulate Erik into giving her his necklace. Natalie can't believe this would work, saying, "Who would fall for that? I feel stupid listening to you guys right now." But Cirie keeps pushing. She tells Natalie all she has to do is convince Erik that Natalie and Cirie will vote with him to take out Amanda if he gives up the necklace as a sign of good faith. Natalie, still skeptical, agrees to give it a shot.