You have to know with a season of “game changers” that we’re going to have some jaw-dropping tribal councils, and this one was definitely one for the books. Jeff Probst made sure he kept them on their toes throughout the episode, and then they made sure to keep each other on their toes at tribal.
While I was hoping this would be the week the game would rid itself of Sandra, we just weren’t that lucky. She started the episode once again referring to herself as “The Queen,” and sometimes when people are overly confident, it bites them in the ass, but that wasn’t the case this time.
Ozzy was overly confident as well. He started talking about how much the team needs him because he’s such a good provider. That had me worried, as again, that over-confidence sounded like it was for sure going to get him in trouble. Luckily for him his team won the immunity challenge and he was safe.
But the surprise Jeff Probst threw at the three teams before the immunity challenge was that only one team would be safe. Both of the other teams were going to go to tribal. That just made them all work a little harder. And when they were done, and Ozzy’s team had won, Jeff announced that only one person was going home. Both of the losing teams were going to tribal, but they would only send one person home. This left me with hope that we had seen the end of Sandra.
The team that went to tribal council last week and stupidly voted out Caleb now only had five people. Caleb could have definitely helped them in both challenges, but I digress. If they placed all their votes for one person, the other tribe with six people on it would win the votes, meaning someone from their tribe would go home for sure. They hoped for a little collusion on the other team from J.T. who most of them had been on the same team with.
But Tai, fearing he’d been the one targeted by the other team, took matters into his own hands and went out and found an idol. This could help push things their way. If they could figure out who the other team was voting for, they could play the idol for that person, keep them safe, and then the person they voted out would go home. The talked about sending Sandra home, giving me yet more hope.
On the other team, they were targeting both Sierra and Tai, wanting to send one of them home and knew they would have the votes as long as J.T. didn’t flip on them. Before this twist was revealed to them, Malcolm and J.T. had been talking about getting rid of Sandra. Now they talked about having J.T. side with the other team. They figured they were targeting Sandra, so the thought was to have J.T. vote for Sandra so that they could still get rid of her.
But once they got to Tribal Council together, there were only a few comments that were thrown out, including Sandra telling Jeff she wasn’t worried at all. It seemed like yet another hint that she would be voted out. But then people started sharing secret thoughts and instructions with each other on who to vote out. Soon it wasn’t just in secret. Everyone was openly talking to each other. And by everyone, I mean … everyone!
And the best part of all? They were going cross tribe! It was so chaotic that it was impossible to keep it straight who was talking to who and who was being targeted. J.T. told his buddies on the other team that Sierra was the target. That caused them all to make a lot of changes in their discussions on who they would vote out.
They finished their discussions, and then started changing things yet again. Even Jeff was shocked. The whole tribal council was just people talking and sharing and whispering in a non-structured manner. Jeff then asked Hali to go vote, and she indicated she didn’t think they were done yet, but Sandra insisted they were. Hali told her she didn’t think she wanted them to be done, but said she’d go vote if that’s what she wanted.
Before Jeff read the votes, Tai revealed he had an idol, and he gave it to Sierra to play. You could tell right then that Sierra was the one they voted for. The looks on all their faces, especially Sandra, was, “Oh shit.” Of course they had talked about the possibility the other team had an idol, and she said there was no way they did.
That entire team vote for Sierra, including J.T. None of their votes counted. That meant the only votes that counted were from Tai’s team, and all five of them voted for Malcom in a complete blindside! In the end, he blamed J.T. In his closing remarks, as he knew J.T. had been over on the other side spilling their secrets. If he was going to go that far, it’s just too bad he didn’t tell them he was going to vote for Sandra if they wanted to do the same.
But this is where it makes no sense. Jeff Varner told Jeff Probst that they had talked about the possibility of an idol in play and how they would adjust their game for it. But of course Sandra was the one insisting no one on the other team had an idol. I started wondering why they didn’t split their votes, but even if they had, they still would have lost out to the other team’s five votes.
There has to be some strategy that could have saved them in the event of an idol play. Especially after all that discussion! How, after all that discussion, does the team that had the numbers still lose a person? Perhaps the answer is that they should have adjusted their game play with all that chatter going on just as the other team did. They knew J.T. was sharing information with the other team. Why not change the person they were voting out and not tell J.T.?
Sierra’s one vote from J.T. would have been thrown out, and it would have then been five votes for Malcolm and five votes for whoever else they wanted out which would have probably been Tai. They wouldn’t have been ale to agree, meaning it would have gone to rocks, meaning Malcolm and Tai would be safe. That would be such a gamble, though.
In the end run, I’m not sure what a better strategy would be, but there had to be something better than just being sitting ducks for whoever the other team decided to vote out!
In the previews for next week we see Sandra going off on J.T. for screwing up the vote. Perhaps she should take just as much blame for insisting there wouldn’t be an idol in play. We also see Debbie totally going off on everyone. What’s she so pissed off about? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
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