NUT CRACKED: Jalapao Chooses Eye Candy Over Sandy
“The Strongest Man Alive” Taj puts the final touches on the secret alliance, Erinn has trouble relating to, well, anyone, and Jalapao’s tribe mother squares off their tribe eye candy, leading to a surprising boot.
Timbera returns to camp after voting off Jerry, and Coach is upset at having to keep Erinn. The next morning they discuss the filling of the leadership role. At Jalapao, the tribe worries about Taj’s ability to keep up with and integrate with the tribe, having spent so much time on Exile Island. Taj lets Stephen in on the secret alliance plan and he is excited to be part of it. Meanwhile, Brendan hasn’t had a chance to talk to Sierra about it. The Reward Challenge is a weight bearing challenge in which 2 castaways from each tribe add pairs of 10-pound weights to the shoulders of one of 3 opposing castaways per turn. Taj was the last standing castaway, winning Jalapao a camp raid on Timbera. Joe and JT visit Timbera to pick 2 items, and take a large bag of beans and a water can, purposely not taking anything of major significance so the camp wouldn’t be empty in the event of a tribe switch. Sierra is selected to Exile Island, and she takes Taj, who fills her in on the details of the secret alliance. Sierra is extremely excited. Tyson lightens the mood around camp by dancing around in a loincloth, but it doesn’t help Erinn, who is finding it hard to relate to her tribe in the first place – compounded by her struggle to deal with a bad breakup which occurred just before the game started. Timbera wins the Immunity Challenge – a race to put together a word puzzle. Jalapao debates voting between Sandy, who annoys some people, and Sydney, who doesn’t perform as well in challenges as Sandy but is eye candy for around camp. Taj reveals in Tribal Council that she doesn’t mind the younger men possibly aligning with Sydney based solely on looks. Sandy is somewhat blindsided and is voted off.
- Joe and JT not stripping Timbera bare was one of the most far-sighted moves we’ve seen in the game in a long time. As Tyson noted, it’s never wise to antagonize opponents during the game, because all it takes is one twist and they are part of your tribe in a controlling alliance. But we don’t think we’ve seen planning like this in the game before. It shows they are on their toes and doing their best to be prepared for unexpected twists – at least the ones they know of.
- Sandy came across as extremely bitter toward Sydney – someone who she had no confrontation with and who didn’t really pose a threat to her. There was nothing Sydney had done that really warranted Sandy’s ire other than just be likable to the men in the tribe. We didn’t really get a picture on whether or not that attitude carried over to other areas around camp, or how directly it played into the decision to vote her off, but undoubtedly it didn’t help her cause – whether she or they realized it or not.
- Things continue to look good for Stephen and Sierra – two underdogs not too long ago. They are sitting pretty with the secret alliance, and both seem to have at least the beginnings of a backup plan: Stephen with JT, and Sierra with Coach. Stephen’s smarts showed as he debated between Sydney and Sandy for the vote, as he seemed able to see through Sydney’s flimsy flirting strategy (and it probably helped that he wasn’t receiving much of the flirting).
“I guess Brendan or Coach is the leader. I don’t know. I wasnt paying attention.” – Tyson
“I may have stumbled ass-backward into a huge alliance.” – Stephen
“They are fartin’ beans, honey!” – Sandy
“I’ll be alright with or without their attaction.” – Taj