Season 15: Episode 8 - Poker Player Folds His Hand: Jean-Robert Voted Out
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

On night 24 at a shocking Tribal Council, 36-year-old professional poker player Jean-Robert Bellande is dealt his worst hand and is voted out of the game. After realizing James possesses two Hidden Immunity Idols, Jean-Robert's plan to oust him backfires when the tribe turns against him and votes against old tribal lines. Jean-Robert becomes the ninth Survivor voted out and the second member of the Jury. After having his torch extinguished, he gives his final words. "I really loved the way I played this game. I pushed all in and it didn't work out for me!"

Kept in the Dark
Returning from Tribal Council after Jaime played the wrong Hidden Immunity Idol, a relieved Jean-Robert is thankful to still be in the game. "Is this really happening? Could this possibly be that she found an individual Immunity Idol somewhere at our camp?" However, James keeps a watchful eye on his competitor as they hunker down for the night. He says, "Jean-Robert doesn't know that I have both of the Immunity Idols; we can't tell him that. We just need to keep his dumb ass in line because we are stuck with him and need his vote. So we have to deal with it."

State of the Union
While James sets the fishing nets, he is proud of his place in the game and assesses the tribal dynamics. He stresses the necessity and importance of the old Fei Long members sticking together in order to advance in the game. James returns to camp with two fish, and an impressed Amanda evaluates the gravedigger's advantageous spot in the tribe: "At this moment, James is in a very good position because he has both of the Immunity Idols for sure, and he has almost guaranteed himself a top five position right now. I am kind of afraid he could win the whole thing."

Reward Challenge: Bucket Stops Here
The tribe meets Jeff Probst, who explains the rules of the Reward Challenge. The tribe is divided into two teams of four. One member of each team will sit in a tribe boat while the opposing team will attempt to sink them using buckets of water. The person in the boat must use their hands to bail out the water to stay afloat. The first team to sink the other team's boat two times wins Reward: a trip to a 1000-year-old city, where they will enjoy an authentic Chinese meal away from camp. They will also receive a bamboo tube with a note inside.

After a schoolyard pick, the teams are decided. Jean-Robert, James, Todd, and Amanda are on the yellow team against the red team's Peih-Gee, Frosti, Erik and Courtney. Because Denise is not chosen she does not compete in the Reward Challenge.

The first round begins with Todd and Courtney in the boats. While Todd bails water out, Courtney struggles as she is doused with water. She is slowly sunk, giving the yellow team a lead.

The second round begins with Amanda in the boat for the yellow team and Frosti for the red team. As both teams use their buckets to pour water in the opposing team's boat, Frosti finds himself cornered and unable to escape the relentless efforts of James and Jean-Robert. They sink Frosti's boat, giving James, Jean-Robert, Amanda and Todd the win and the Reward.

1000-Year-Old City
The winners arrive at the ancient city, tucked beneath the rolling hills of southern China, and are in awe of their surroundings. "I am not one to really enjoy the romantic side of stuff, but when you walk into the place"¦you could feel the history. It was really nice," explains James.

After the four walk through the city and take in the sights, they enter a small room and sit at a dining table. Jean-Robert then reads the note inside the tube given to him by Jeff Probst. Confirming his instincts, the poker player informs the group of a Hidden Immunity Idol at their camp. Holding back their laughter and playing along with Jean-Robert, they sit smirking. "When Jean-Robert busted out the clues for the Hidden Immunity Idol, it was kind of funny because there's no Idol out there, it's already been found. James has both Immunity Idols and Jean-Robert is the only one from Fei Long that doesn't know about it!" As the food is delivered to the table, they gorge on traditional Chinese cuisine. Jean-Robert states, "This is big guys! Winning this Reward was big, I mean bigger than dinner and culture."

A New Plan is Hatched?
Back at camp, Denise is upset about not being chosen for a team, and she reminds herself just how much the game of Survivor mirrors real life. "I'm big. I'm fat. I'm always the last one picked. It's been like that my whole life and here it is again." She then questions her position in the game and worries she may not be as comfortable in her alliance as she once believed.

The talk turns to the vote when Erik deems Jean-Robert to be the biggest threat in the game. Peih-Gee, realizing there is a majority of players at the camp with Frosti, Denise, Courtney and Erik along side her, jumps at the opportunity: "Well, there are five of us here. If we all band together it will be four to five and guess what? Jean-Robert and James and, oh, Amanda are like goodbye! I kind of have nothing to lose, I will try anything at this point."

The Quest for Immunity
Returning in the dark of night, Jean-Robert takes advantage of his sleeping tribemates and searches the camp in hopes of finding the Hidden Immunity Idol. "I didn't even sleep last night I was so anxious to get that Hidden Immunity Idol. That's the difference in the game. That can protect me. That could be my million dollars right there." The sun rises as Jean-Robert's futile attempt to find the idol continues. Carefully he inspects each of the remaining wooden plaques above the tribe gates in hopes of having found the correct one.

Making a Move
Having been living together for nearly a month, the constant bickering and complaining wears thin on Todd's nerves. "These people are driving me insane. I hate hearing Jean-Robert's voice. I hate hearing James complain how he is so hungry. Plus it kind of pisses me off that James has both Immunity Idols, being that I found it and told him where the other one was and he hasn't offered to give me one of them back. That drives me insane!"

With his emotions on high, Todd approaches Amanda with a possible plan to blindside James because he is in possession of two Idols. "He is guaranteed the Final Four. If James doesn't win Immunity, he might have to go," he exclaims. Todd continues his campaign to oust James when he tells Frosti the idea. Insecure with his position in the game, Frosti is more than happy to have anyone else's name mentioned as a boot. "In this game, you have to take advantage of whatever happens whenever you can, and right now, people are starting to view me as swing vote which ends up being not so bad. Right now, the plan is to not let James win Immunity and blindside him at Tribal tonight," he explains.

Immunity Challenge: Dragon Rider
The tribe arrives at the Immunity Challenge, and Jeff Probst explains the rules of the game. The Survivors are to sit and balance on a large barrel attached to a part of a dragon body. The barrel is filled with water and has a leak in it. As the water drains, the barrel becomes more and more unstable, making it increasingly more difficult to balance. When you fall off, you are out of the challenge. The last person remaining wins Immunity.

The challenge begins as the tribe sits atop their barrels and water leaks from beneath. After ten minutes, Jean-Robert is the first out when he falls from his barrel. Denise falls and is the second person out of the challenge. As James struggles to keep his balance, Courtney sits stoically. After twenty minutes, James falls off, followed by Erik, Peih-Gee, and Amanda, leaving Courtney, Todd and Frosti. Todd struggles to maintain his balance and falls, leaving Frosti to battle Courtney. But in a stunning win, Courtney proves too strong for Frosti as he loses his balance and falls off. Courtney earns the much-desired Immunity necklace, keeping her safe from the vote at Tribal Council.

The Scramble Begins
The tribe returns to camp with the vote looming. Courtney revels in her performance at the Immunity Challenge: "I pretty much don't care at this point who gets voted out. I'm immune tonight, so you can't get me!" Conversely, Peih-Gee feels vulnerable, knowing she is on the chopping block once again.

Meanwhile, Jean-Robert swims with Erik and confidently tells him that he is safe from the vote due to the fact that he is now in possession of a Hidden Immunity Idol. "Now that I have it, I'm pretty much guaranteed top five for sure," he gloats. Erik informs Jean-Robert he does not have the correct Idol, and that James has the actual Idol. Taking in the new information, Jean-Robert schemes: "Keep this on the down-low, but we might pull a fast one on James!"

Outing the Idol
Attempting to use his newfound information to his advantage, Jean-Robert questions James on whether he has both Hidden Idols. James denies the truth, as Jean-Robert turns his questions to threats: "Now I'm not going to ask you, I'm telling you that I know and I am leaving it up to you to decide. You want to work with me or are we going out on our own? Best course to the end is to be with me not against me." James takes in Jean-Robert's ultimatum and reveals privately, "Why would I align with [John-Robert]? That would be the worst move in SURVIVOR history!"

A Final Plan
After getting the brush off by James, Jean-Robert plots to blindside him and approaches Todd with his new plan. When Jean-Robert leaves camp, Todd informs James and Amanda of Jean-Robert's plot to blindside James. Todd then turns the table on Jean-Robert and suggests voting him out. As the tribe wavers on their decision, James grows weary of the situation: "I knew Jean-Robert was going to try something and I'm just going to have to deal with it. I don't know if I will take the idols with me 'cause I shouldn't have to use them. I might have to just roll the dice tonight. As long as I make it to the next one, I should be all right."

At Tribal Council, Peih-Gee feels vulnerable being on the wrong side of the numbers game. She reveals that she and Erik are the only two who brought their bags with them and most likely will be voted out. Jean-Robert confidently describes Peih-Gee and Erik's dire situation: "They are in a really bad position right now. They have had really bad cards thrown at them. They have come into a situation that is pretty much inevitable."

But in the end, Jean-Robert's situation is bleak as he is blindsided and voted out of the game. Jean-Robert becomes the second member of the Jury that ultimately will decide who wins the title of Sole Survivor and the million dollar check that goes along with it.