SYDNEY SACKED: New Alliances Form and Falter at Jalapao

“One of Those ‘Coach Moments'” JT becomes a third wheel in Taj and Stephen’s alliance after stumbling upon Taj’s Hidden Immunity Idol (which belongs to Stephen). A trip to Exile Island gives Erinn new hope. Joe loses out to Stephen and JT in the Tribal Council vote and makes his new alliance with Erinn that much more crucial.

Episode Summary

Jalapao arrives back at camp and JT says he has no regrets in voting off Spencer. Sydney is nervous because she knows she just missed getting voted off, but Joe says he really likes her and promises her she will make the merge. Timbera is cooking beans and Coach decides he likes the beans softer, so he cooks them longer, letting them cook during a rainstorm without tending to them and causing them to burn to the pot, wasting a large amount of them, which irritates Sierra. Brendan says he has no problem with Coach’s behavior because it makes him predicatble, and thus easy to manage. Taj approaches Stephen with an idea to let JT know she has the Hidden Immunity Idol, which Stephen resists because he prefers to be the “bridge” between her and JT, enabling him to keep all options open.

In the Reward Challenge, teams took 5 minutes  to built 2 stick barriers for the other tribe, which then had to try and toss ceramic pigs through, with the most making it through in 10 minutes won a barbeque getaway. Timbera took and early lead and almost lost it, but won. Joe was sent to Exile Island and, in what he claimed was a strategic move, selected Erinn to go with him, hoping to get an in with someone from Timbera. When asked, Erinn tells Joe she has no favorites in Timbera. She finds the Hidden Immunity Idol clues and shares them with Joe, telling him the Idol must be hidden in the tree mail statue. Stephen and Taj realize that Joe will know almost immediately where the Idol is and Taj sets out to create a fake. Later, JT goes looking for an empty bag to go fishing and comes across the Idol in Taj’s bag. He tells Stephen about it, who does a poor job playing dumb but is able to convince JT. Stephen then goes to Taj and tells her that JT found it and she should tell him about it. She does, forming an alliance among the three.

In the Immunity Challenge, one tribemember from each tribe used a slingshot to shoot out tiles in a large structure, releasing sand which caused a platform to drop and release puzzle pieces. Tyson beat out JT and even trash-talked, offering to shoot his tiles out. Timbera won immunity. Jalapao goes into a tailspin – Joe is angling to keep Sydney but Stephen and JT approach him to keep Taj. Joe tells them he made a promise and couldn’t vote her off. Stephen and JT realize that technically Stephen has the Idol and it would be possible to blindside Taj. Joe says he will give Sydney the fake Idol to play if needed.

At Tribal Council, JT says he feels bad that he lost the challenge and had to turn around to send someone else home. No idols are played – real or fake – and Sydney is voted off.

Episode Commentary

  • Why does Erinn constantly have this replused look of grossed-out terror on her face? It seems like every shot of her is one in which she is about to throw up. Is it the beans? It must be the beans.
  • Coach claimed that Timbera’s Immunity Challenge win shifts control of the game. Famous last words…but since it looks like the merge is indeed going as scheduled next week, he may be right. The race is on at Jalapao to see who can integrate with Timbera first. Joe will likely try the hardest since Taj and Stephen don’t realize Brendan is considering picking them off (or is he?), but if he is able to get over himself and pull in Erinn, they might be able to knock out some Timberas before the Secret Alliance takes control of the game.
  • JT is in an interesting position. He has no idea that he’s the fifth wheel in the Secret Alliance and may be in a position, assuming the Secret Alliance can take control as planned, to need to put together a string of Immunity Challenge wins to stay in the game. And he may even need to do it earlier than that, as Timbera will likely be gunning for him right out the gate.
  • Kudos to Stephen for doing everything in his power to keep every option open and not giving himself completely to either JT or the Secret Alliance. Don’t be surprised if circumstances lead Stephen to bail early on both and try to get in with Timbera (maybe putting something together with Joe?). He is persuasive and has managed to get both Taj and JT to trust him completely – a very important power to have in this game.

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