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Season 30: Episode 12 - Holding on for Dear Life
Posted on May 6, 2015 11:00pm

It’s night 29 and the Merica tribe returns from a lively Tribal Council where Shirin was voted out and Mike revealed his hidden immunity idol. Carolyn, Dan, Tyler, Sierra, Will and Rodney leave Mike alone in camp as they get together to discuss Tribal Council and their next moves. Mike comments, “It’s kind of fun to start watching people scramble, because for the past three votes I’ve been scrambling.” Mike feels safe for the next vote, since he has a hidden immunity idol. So, now his other six tribe members will now have to vote one of their own out. Tyler tries to explain that he voted for Dan tonight and not Shirin, because he needed to protect himself. Dan assures Tyler that everything is fine between them. Later, when they are all back at camp, Will admits to Dan that he also voted for him to create a split vote between him and Tyler. Dan thanks Will for being honest with him. Dan admits, “The fact that I got two votes gives me reason for pause. So that’s bad on Will and Tyler because they did flinch.” He still feels that Mike is the one that everyone wants to vote out, but Mike is protected by his hidden immunity idol. Tyler also feels very vulnerable. He plans on voting out Dan next. Tyler reveals, “I don’t know if I’d call Dan extremely gullible. I’d just call him extremely loyal and in this game, they’re kind of one and the same.”

The next morning the Merica tribe wishes Rodney a happy birthday. Rodney admits, “Hopefully we got a reward. Hopefully I get out of here. I’ve been stuck on this beach for 30 days.” Mike and Carolyn bring tree mail into camp. It confirms that they have a reward challenge today. Will promises Rodney that if he wins the reward, he will give it to Rodney. Rodney hopes that his close ally Carolyn will also make sure he goes on reward today. He reveals, “If I don’t go on the reward, it will be a sad, sad day. I mean my whole game will change.” Rodney does not have much confidence that his tribe mates will make good on their promises to take him on the reward.

The Merica tribe arrives at the Reward Challenge. Jeff Probst, the host, explains the rules of the challenge. The tribe will be divided into two teams of three. They will begin by unspooling ribbons from a pole to release a key. Once they have the key, they will build a ladder to climb to the top and use that key to release a bag of balls. They will then make their way through a net sling to the finish. Here they will attempt to land those balls in a serious of targets. The first team to get one ball in each of the five targets wins reward. The reward is to be Ambassadors of Good Will for SURVIVOR by delivering much needed supplies to an orphanage. A truck pulls up that is filled with sports equipment, clothes, bedding and school supplies. In addition, they will share a barbeque feast with the kids. Jeff informs them that only six people are participating in this challenge, so someone will have to sit out. They will use a schoolyard pick to choose teams. The blue team consists of Dan, Rodney and Tyler. The red team consists of Carolyn, Sierra and Mike. Will was not chosen and is sitting out of the challenge. The challenge begins. The red team works well together and is the first to unspool their ribbons and release their key. So they take the early lead. They start working on building their ladder at the next obstacle. The blue team gets their key and starts working on their ladder. The red team keeps their lead and finishes their ladder first. Mike climbs up the ladder and uses the key to release their bag of balls. The blue team finishes their ladder quickly and Rodney uses their key to release their bag of balls. Both teams are now working their way through a net sling to get the final obstacle. The red team gets through first, so Mike starts launching their balls toward the targets. The blue team makes their way through the net sling only to realize that Rodney has left their bag of balls at the start of the net sling. So Rodney has to run back and get the bag and work his way through the net sling again. This loses them precious time. Mike figures out how the catapult launcher works and lands his first ball in a target. Dan starts launching balls for the blue team and scores on his first attempt. So the red and blue teams are now tied at one each. They each have four more balls to hit their targets to win. Dan and Mike both score on their next launches, so the teams are tied at two each. Dan scores again and puts the blue team in the lead. Mikes misses the next one, so Carolyn and Sierra tell Mike to let them try and launch balls. Mike does not want to give up control of the launcher though, which frustrates them. Meanwhile, Dan scores another point. So the blue team needs only one more to win reward. Mike scores on his next two attempts, so he ties up the score. In the end, Mike scores the winning point before Dan, so Mike, Sierra and Carolyn win the reward. Rodney is very disappointed at once again being shut out of a reward, especially on his birthday. Mike, Carolyn and Sierra feel bad for Rodney, but don’t want to give up this once in a lifetime reward. Rodney admits, “These people aren’t your friends. They showed it today how cutthroat they can be.”

Mike, Carolyn and Sierra ride on the back of the truck filled with supplies for the kids at the orphanage. When they reach their destination, the kids run out to greet them. Mike, Sierra and Carolyn immediately start handing out the presents to the children. Mike admits, “To see the faces of all these little boys and girls when we pulled up built me up inside, because I just enjoy being around kids.” Mike plays soccer with the kids. Carolyn plays volleyball and Sierra talks to the kids about horses. Sierra reveals, “To come here and meet these amazing children who are so grateful and spend time with them, I couldn’t ask for a better reward today.” Everyone is then treated to a feast of local cuisine. Carolyn is worried that Rodney is mad at her for not giving up the reward for him. She comments, “When you think about it, this is not a horrible birthday. You’re on SURVIVOR, for God’s sake.” Mike tells Sierra and Carolyn that he is happy to share the reward with them. Carolyn had not been on a reward with Mike before, so this gives her a chance to get to know him better. She knows how much power Mike has in the game, because he has an idol and has won a lot of immunity challenges. Carolyn reveals, “I’m thinking about aligning myself with the people that I think are going to take me further in this game. So maybe it’s time to join forces.”

Meanwhile, back at camp, Rodney is upset, because he is at the beach washing dishes on his birthday. He vents, “I’ve got a bunch of scumbags who neglected me on my birthday, who claim to be SURVIVOR family. Now all bets are off.” Rodney no longer wants to take Carolyn and Sierra to the end with him. He is especially disappointed in Carolyn for not giving up her reward for him. When Rodney joins Will, Dan and Tyler back at camp, he encourages them to join him in the “ultimate blindside.” He tells them his plan to tell Mike, Carolyn and Sierra that he is so upset that he wants to be voted out next. Rodney is sure that Mike will believe him and not play his hidden immunity idol at the next Tribal Council, so they can vote him out. Dan admits, “I do not think for a second that it’s going to work.” He hopes that Rodney will just make himself more of a target and therefore take some pressure off of himself for the next vote. Tyler comments, “It would be stupid for Mike to buy this story and I’m the first one that Mike wants gone.”

It now nighttime and the entire Merica tribe is in the shelter trying to stay out of the rain. Rodney is complaining to Mike, Carolyn and Sierra about going on the reward today and leaving him at camp on his birthday. Rodney reveals, “My plan is to say I want them to vote me out at Tribal and that I’ve had enough.” He hopes that Mike won’t play his idol and they can then blindside him and send Mike home. Rodney tells everyone he is done and wants to get home to his real family. He then complains about Carolyn claiming to be like a mother to him and then deserting him to go to the challenge. Mike asks Rodney why they should have given up their reward to him, since he was the one that lost the challenge. He doesn’t believe Rodney’s story and suspects that he is trying to set him up for blindside. Mike comments, “I’m not an idiot. Just because I talk slow, doesn’t mean I think slow.” When the rain stops, Tyler and Carolyn get away from camp to talk strategy. Carolyn confirms Tyler’s suspicions that he will likely be voted out next, if he doesn’t win the next immunity challenge. Tyler comments, “Would Carolyn be willing to put down the White Collar idol to save me? I hope so.” He hopes that he can depend on her, since she is his closest ally in the game. Carolyn is actively playing SURVIVOR. She knows that Tyler trusts her and Mike is willing to work with her. Carolyn admits, “I actually do feel like I’m the one in charge right now.”

The Merica tribe arrives at the Immunity Challenge. Jeff takes back the immunity necklaces from Carolyn and Mike and informs everyone only one person will win immunity in this challenge. Jeff then explains the rules of the challenge. Each person will balance on a very small perch, while leaning back holding onto a rope. Every five minutes they will move farther down the rope, which makes it more difficult. When they can’t hold on any longer, they will drop in the water and be out of the challenge. The last person left standing wins immunity and is guaranteed a one in six shot at winning this game. One of the losers will be voted out at Tribal Council. The challenge begins. Shortly after the challenge begins, Rodney starts struggling. He admits to Jeff that his struggle is both physical and emotions. Rodney is still upset about spending his birthday doing dishes on a beach that he has not left in 32 days. Dan’s hands are hurting as the rope aggravates the cuts and bug bites that he has gotten in SURVIVOR. Will is the first one out of the challenge when he drops his rope and falls into the water. Dan, Sierra and Rodney are out next. So, Mike, Carolyn and Tyler are the three remaining in the challenge. As they move their hands down to the next knot on the rope, which makes it tougher to hang on, Mike drops and is out of the challenge. Tyler struggles to stay on, while Carolyn calmly holds onto her rope. In the end, Tyler drops and Carolyn wins the challenge and the immunity necklace for the second time in a row. Dan is glad that Mike did not win immunity, so they can flush his idol out at Tribal Council, but he is worried about himself. He admits, “I got two votes last Tribal Council and right now there’s a lot of talk about my advantage, which makes me an easy target.”

The Merica tribe returns to camp from the immunity challenge and the strategy talk quickly begins. Dan reveals, “I feel like one of three people are going home tonight me, Mike or Tyler.” He is pretty sure that Mike will play his idol tonight to protect himself, so Dan is pretty sure that Tyler or he will be targeted tonight. Carolyn proposes to Rodney, Sierra and Dan that the guys should vote for Mike, while the girls vote for Tyler tonight. That puts Will, Rodney, Tyler and Dan voting for Mike, while Carolyn and Sierra vote for Tyler. Carolyn feels confident that Mike will vote for Tyler too. She proposes this in front of Dan, so he will not think that he’s going home tonight. Carolyn admits, “Voting for Dan is not really a bad idea because we get rid of the advantage.” Dan is worried that Will could vote for him versus Mike. Rodney and Carolyn assure him that this will not happen. Meanwhile, Tyler is encouraging Will to vote for Dan over at the water well. Will agrees that Dan is a threat because of the advantage he bought at the Auction. Tyler reveals, “My plan tonight would be to throw four votes at Mike, another two votes go after Dan and we knock out both an idol and the advantage. Dan goes home.” Later, Mike talks to Carolyn. He predicts that it is going to be a four-three vote, with four votes going toward him. Mike tells Carolyn that he is voting for Tyler tonight, as she suspected. Carolyn admits, “Mike is gunning for Tyler and this could be the only opportunity for me to side with him.” Mike hopes that Carolyn will vote for Tyler too, because he doesn’t have many allies left in this game. Tyler talks to Carolyn next and encourages her to vote for Dan, so they can get rid of his advantage. She assures Tyler that she will vote for Dan. Now Carolyn has to decide whether to vote out her long time ally Tyler, who is the only other person that knows she has a hidden immunity idol, or to vote out Dan, who has a dangerous advantage. She comments, “This is a game for a million dollars and I’m here to play the game. So, game on boys and girls.”

Jeff welcomes the remaining seven members of the Merica tribe and jury members Hali, Joe, Jenn and Shirin to Tribal Council. Mike tells everyone that he has brought his hidden immunity idol and so one of the other six members of his tribe will be going home tonight. He warns Tyler and Dan that they should be worried tonight. Dan admits that he is worried, since he got two votes at the last Tribal Council. Tyler is worried about his future too, so he checked in with his alliance members after the immunity challenge and hopes that Mike has not talked them into getting rid of him tonight. Both Mike and Carolyn are concerned about the power that Dan has with the advantage that he bought at the Auction. Sierra realizes that this is the perfect time to make a big move with only seven people left in the game and predicts that one will be made tonight. Tyler points out that each vote is critical now because they are putting people on the jury and getting closer to the final Tribal Council. Jeff calls for the vote and the Merica tribe casts their votes. Before Jeff reveals the votes, he asks if anyone would like to play an immunity idol. Mike plays his hidden immunity idol, so any votes cast for Mike tonight will not count.

Jeff then reveals the first six votes. Mike receives 4 votes, which do not count. Tyler receives 2 votes. So, Tyler Fredrickson, a 33-year-old ex-talent agent assistant from Los Angeles, CA is the twelfth person voted out of SURVIVOR: WORLDS APART and the fifth member of the jury.