Season 18: Episode 11 - They Both Went Bananas
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Beneath the darkness of a cloudy moon, the remaining Forza members return from Tribal Council.  JT and Stephen immediately try to ease the minds of Debbie and Coach after they betrayed them by blindsiding their original tribemate and close ally, Tyson.  Instead of the harsh response they expected, JT and Stephen receive surprisingly cordial assurances from Coach and Debbie that they completely understand – Tyson was an immunity threat and had to be eliminated.  Despite being relieved by the instant gratification, Stephen becomes suspicious.  "It worried me a little bit because I'd rather have an honest blowout than have people smiling [and] plotting something else," says Stephen.

The next morning, Debbie begins to investigate Stephen and JT's future plans by asking them who is next on the chopping block.  The close-knit duo agrees that Sierra and Erinn will be the next to go, but Debbie is not convinced of their loyalty.  "Stephen, JT and I talked about all of us being there towards the end, but do you believe them?" Debbie ponders.

Feeling uncomfortable, Debbie expresses concern about Stephen and JT's loyalty to Coach, citing the fact that they were blindsided when Tyson was voted out.  Her concern is that if Sierra is the next to go, followed by Erinn, the original Jalapao members will have the upper hand.  "If we can pull all of the Timbira tribe members back together and get Sierra, Erinn, Coach and myself, we would outnumber Jalapao – Taj, Stephen and JT – and maybe be able to get control of this game again," plots Debbie.

The Forza Tribe arrives on their colored mat.  Host Jeff Probst then hands out a questionnaire, which each tribe member must answer privately.  The questions are based on their fellow tribemates.  Once the castaways have filled out the questionnaire, Jeff Probst tallies the results and explains the challenge.  Each individual tribe member must guess what answer came up the most often for each question.  Each correct answer earns that tribe member the opportunity to chop at another tribe member's rope, which is attached to a hammer.  Each rope has three sections and once all three sections are chopped, a hammer will be released, which will smash a ceramic statue that represents that tribe member.  Once a tribe member's statue has been smashed, they are out of the challenge.  The last tribe member left standing wins a trip to a natural spring.  They will also enjoy a traditional Brazilian feast with a local family.  Additionally, the winner will send one person to Exile Island.

Jeff Probst begins asking questions.  "Who has not lived up to their potential?" Jeff asks.  The general consensus was Coach.  Debbie, Erinn, Sierra, Taj and Coach himself got it right.  The winners each chop one rope and Sierra receives two hits, one from Erinn and one from Coach.  "Who would squander the million dollars the quickest?" asks Jeff.  The answer is Sierra.  Having answered correctly, JT chops Sierra's rope, putting her out of the challenge.  "Who would never survive on their own?" asks Jeff.  Debbie was the general consensus.  Several tribe members got it right, including Debbie.  Erinn whacks Coach's last length of rope, taking him out of the challenge.  Stephen takes Debbie out.  "Who would you trust with your life?" Jeff asks.  Everyone got it right: JT.  JT takes Erinn out of the challenge.  Erinn retaliates, knocking JT out.  "Who is most likely to stab you in the back?" asks Jeff.  Sierra was the correct answer.  Stephen takes Taj down to her last rope.  "Who would you least like to see win this game?" asks Jeff.  Stephen says Sierra.  Taj says Coach.  The correct answer was Sierra and, with that, Stephen wins the reward.  He then chooses Erinn to return to Exile Island, much to her frustration.  This strategic move puts Stephen's alliance in a secure position, as none of the other original Timbira members outside of his alliance have a shot at finding a new immunity idol, should one exist.  Stephen then chooses Taj, followed by JT, to join him on the reward.

Stephen, Taj and JT arrive at a rural Brazilian farm, where they are greeted by a father and son.  They are then escorted to the family kitchen where a traditional Brazilian feast has been prepared for them.  The ecstatic trio introduce themselves to the rest of the Brazilian family, which consists of several young children.  They sit at a large, wooden table and begin devouring their specially prepared Brazilian cuisine, which includes stew, eggs, and vegetables.  Amidst all of the laughter and excitement, a small 3 year-old girl falls out of her chair and cries.  Taj's maternal instincts kick in and she immediately comes to the child's rescue.  While holding the girl, Taj is reminded of her own three year old son and breaks down in tears.  "She definitely made me realize how much I miss my family and I will never go away this long ever again…ever, ever, ever," cries Taj.              

After the meal, Taj, Stephen and JT are taken to the natural spring, where an underwater geyser pushes up sand, creating the feeling that one is floating.  In this lagoon-like setting, JT laughs at the phenomenon.  Taj joins him and is equally mesmerized, giggling and screaming.  Soon, the three engage themselves in a strategy talk.  Seeing a window of opportunity, Stephen points out that although it would be imperative to stick with the original plan of voting out Sierra next, Debbie also presents a threat and thus should be eliminated.  Taj and JT are on board, and point out that Erinn is with them no matter what.

Erinn hikes up the barren sand dunes of Exile Island and checks the urn for a clue to another hidden immunity idol.  To her disappointment, there is only another clue to the whereabouts of the original hidden immunity idol at treemail.  "We have checked and checked and checked treemail and there isn't one there, so obviously the idol is gone," Erinn assesses.  Suddenly, the sky begins to fill up with dark grey thunderclouds, and lightning strikes.  As the weather undergoes a rapid change and the cool air brings in a storm, Erinn wraps herself in a blanket and rides it out.  With no hope of starting a fire or collecting water, Erinn admits that she is surprised at her ability to withstand such harsh conditions.  "I'm about as girly and prissy as they come, so in my own personal tally of things I have done in my life that I never thought I would overcome, this is going to be at the top of the list," Erinn admits.

Back at camp, with the original Jalapao members off on the reward, Debbie and Coach attempt to lure Sierra into an alliance as part of their plan to resurrect the original Timbira Tribe.  Coach and Debbie use Erinn's recent ousting by Stephen to Exile Island as leverage to wean Sierra over to their side, stating that upon returning from such harsh conditions, which were ultimately brought upon by her Jalapao allies, she will be easily persuaded to flip sides and rejoin her original tribemates.  Sierra refuses their offers, and calls Coach and Debbie out for scrambling to find allies.  "You guys are in some big trouble right now.  You guys have two people," Sierra retaliates.  "You don't know who we have," Debbie defends.  Sierra then admits that Erinn is aligned with Stephen, Taj and JT, which was proved when she voted for Tyson at the last Tribal Council.  Debbie takes Sierra's remarks as a sign of aggression and breaks down, throwing her hand in Sierra's face.  "I'm done!" Debbie exclaims.  Debbie storms off to the water with Coach.  "Someone's playing their game right, and I'd rather go with the smart people," Sierra says, referring to the original Jalapao members.

At the water, Debbie and Coach decide that without a doubt, Sierra will be the next to go.  Coach then formulates a plan to ensure that both he and Debbie are in a tight alliance with JT and Stephen.  "I need to get a concrete answer from JT on who he wants to be in the final four, and then I'll make my vote," says Coach.

Later that day, Coach meets up with JT alone by the river bank to find out where he stands.  "Are you cool with Sierra going next, then Erinn, then Taj?" asks Coach.  "And that leaves you, me, Stephen and Debbie," Coach concludes.  JT agrees, and after winning over Coach's trust, Coach brings some new information to him.  "Sierra said something about ‘let's talk about bringing Timbira back,'" Coach boldly claims.  "I don't want to get in bed with a snake.  She's gonna do whatever it takes to get her farthest in the game without any honor," Coach continues.  Coach reflects on the meeting with JT: "All in all, a very good day's work."

Meanwhile, Sierra tells Stephen the same tale as Coach told to JT – only she accuses Coach of wanting to bring the old Timbira Tribe back.  This worries Stephen, who brings the information to JT, who is still with Coach on the river bank.  Stephen apologizes to Coach for keeping him and Debbie out of the loop in the Tyson vote, and expresses concern for a possible Timbira resurgence.  Coach alters his original statement and now admits that Debbie did in fact mention a possible realignment of the Timbira Tribe.  When Stephen questions Coach if Sierra was on board with it, Coach replies that Sierra will align herself with whomever she can just to stay in the game.  Coach then leaves the two alone, and Stephen panics to JT.  "I'm freakin' out," says Stephen.  After the two exchange stories, paranoia begins to set in.  "Coach lied to me this morning if Sierra's tellin' the truth," JT predicts.  "Let's keep Sierra as a real viable option," Stephen suggests.

As the fury of nature unleashes rain and lighting upon the land, the Forza Tribe arrives on their mat.  Erinn returns shivering from Exile Island, and Stephen lends a helping hand to his ally by loaning her his sweater.  Host Jeff Probst explains the rules of the challenge.  Each tribe member will toss a grappling hook to retrieve a bag.  The first three people to retrieve all three bags will move on to the final round, where they must navigate a ball through a table maze.  If the ball falls into a hole, the player must start over.  The first person to get their ball into the finish net wins immunity.

The grappling hook tossing begins, with Coach and JT gaining an early lead.  Coach and JT are the first to gather all three bags.  Erinn and Stephen lag behind, with Stephen tangling his ropes into a knot.  Debbie is the last of the three to gather all three bags, earning herself a spot in the final round.

In the final round, JT, Coach and Debbie navigate their balls through a table maze.  They cautiously tilt their mazes to ease the ball to the finish basket.  Debbie falls behind, allowing her ball to fall through a hole early on.  JT and Coach are neck and neck, but at the last moment, JT's ball falls through a hole near the finish basket.  As Coach's ball falls into the finish basket, he shouts out in victory.  "You better believe it baby!  DRAGON…SLAYER!" shouts Coach.  Coach wins immunity, guaranteeing himself a spot in the final six.

Upon returning to camp from the immunity challenge, Coach boasts about his recent victory to JT.  "Did you hear me say Dragonslayer?" he proudly asks.  "You know, that was just my forte today," Coach continues.  Feeling justified in his position, Coach sits comfortably with Tribal Council on the horizon.  In the meantime, Sierra begins to scramble to save herself, knowing that she is the number one person on the chopping block.  "I have no problem confronting him to show you that he was lying," Sierra offers JT in regards to Coach's recent accusations.  With this, Sierra wreaks havoc on Coach and Debbie in an attempt to expose their lies.  Coach calmly responds, "I have not lied in this game, nor will I."  He then slants the truth in his favor, stating that it was Sierra who suggested a Timbira resurgence.  Feeling betrayed, Sierra yells at Coach, "You are such a liar!"  Debbie then takes some harsh words from Sierra, which sends her over the edge.  Bursting into tears, Debbie cries, "This drama crap has got to stop."  "I'm too old for this," she whimpers.          

After witnessing the verbal bashing between Sierra, Debbie and Coach, Stephen comes to a new conclusion.  "I think Sierra just caught Coach in a lie," he says to JT.  "We definitely have the numbers to take out Debbie," Stephen continues.  With Tribal Council just mere moments away, Erinn and Taj agree to not vote for Sierra.

At Tribal Council, Debbie expresses her frustration with the drama that has engulfed the tribe.  Coach identifies the catalyst as Sierra, much to her disgust.  Sierra lays out her reasons for blowing up at Coach and Debbie, citing that she was simply trying to expose their lies.  Coach retaliates that Sierra is attacking his credibility, and fumes that Sierra is simply causing confusion and chaos within the tribe.  With this, the tribe members cast their votes.  Ultimately, Coach and Debbie got their way, and Sierra was voted out with four of the seven votes cast against her.  Sierra Reed, the 23 year-old model from Los Angeles, California, became the ninth person voted out and third member of the jury of SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS: EARTH'S LAST EDEN.