JT really made the best choice once it came to writing down a name, although it doesn’t seem he knows the full extent of why that is. Joe needs to be really worried now, as once they merge, he has to realize he needs to forget about bringing Eryn into their alliance. He’s not going to go into the merge in a good spot, as just having someone that’s on the outs with the other tribe is not going to be enough.
Yet before any of that even happened, Stephen made a really interesting choice. He could have told JT the Idol wasn’t Taj’s and that it was his, saying that he’d found it after his time on Exile. It would have strengthened the bond between him and JT, and he could have totally cut Taj out tonight. However, she was already barking down his back wanting to bring JT in and wanting to trust him. If Taj and JT would have ever talked, Stephen could have blown both his alliances, so he chose to be honest about everything. Not completely honest enough, though, to admit the whole alliance with the other two on Timbira.
Stephen is now in a great spot. He’s in good with both Taj and JT for being honest and being the link between them, and he knows with Taj, he keeps his secret alliance with Brendan and Sierra. He and Taj can choose to either bring JT into the alliance with the others at the merge, or choose not to, keeping that separate. He has a lot of choices with that, and by bringing JT in, he’s become the pivotal person in the alliance.
While Taj doesn’t have the Idol she still has a lot of power. She can expose Stephen to JT, telling him that he’s in on this secret alliance of four. Not that that would help her, but the knowledge that she could is some great leverage. She can also go to Joe at this point with the knowledge. She can go to the two on the other tribe and tell them to cut Stephen out of the alliance and bring Joe in, or bring someone else from Timbira. It’s not the best case scenario, but it all adds up together.
JT is in a good spot, too. No matter how they wanted to paint it that it could be equally good to not know anyone on the other tribe, it’s really not. The chance that Taj could help them at merge is much better than Sydney not knowing anybody and not getting together with anyone else. They need someone that can get in with the other tribe. They’re going in 6-4! Why would you want someone that knows no one on the other side compared to someone that does? While it’s true Taj could side with them, it’s better to hope to stick with her and that than get picked off one by one no matter what. He doesn’t even know about the alliance, but it only helps him in the long run.
For Sierra and Brendan, they might be initially upset about JT coming into the mix, but he can either be kept on the outs, and not know their total strength, or he can be brought in and improve their numbers. I heard them mention something about “6”, and if they bring in yet another, they can knock off the first four people, then fight amongst themselves. ITaj, Stephen, and JT, are obviously going to want to go after Coach or Tyson first. They’re both strong, and while Coach is just an overbearing personality, Tyson could easily make it to final three if they don’t get rid of him now.
Let’s not forget about Joe and his fake idol. That’s always a good time. The difference will be if he starts to question it before he tries to use it or whether they’ll start to feel bad and will clue him in. What would be really pivotal for the show would be if he tried to build on his strength to get back what he lost and shares it with JT. Will JT clue him in then? Will JT go to Stephen and asks what’s up with the two very different idols?
I think it’s all of that that makes this season so exciting. There are so many possibilities. Jeff Probst had said early on in the season that after they came up with the idea of two people from different tribes going to Exile Island at the same time, that they wondered why they hadn’t come up with that before. This has to be why he said that; it just just opened up so many possibilities, making it so exciting to watch.
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