SIERRA CLUBBED: Players Pile On Unpopular Opponent
“They Both Went Bananas” Sierra senses she has a second chance and immediately goes to work to save herself by distancing herself form Coach, who considers the need to bring old Timbera back together. But when each of them approach JT and Stephen separately accusing the other of rallying the troops against them, things come to a head.
Stephen notes that they didn’t tell Coach and Debbie about the plan to vote out Tyson so that they couldn’t change up their plans at the last minute. JT pleads with Coach not to be mad at him and Coach insists he isn’t, and is impressed with what they did. The next day, Stephen tells Debbie that Sierra and Erinn are the next two boots and the affirm their trust for each other, but Debbie wonders if she really can trust them. She approaches Coach and alerts him to the fact that booting Sierra and Erinn will leave the two of them in an extremely vulnerable position and completely at the mercy of old Jalapao, suggesting for the first time the possibility of bringing old Timbera back together.
The Reward Challenge was a quiz in which the tribe privately and individually answered a series of questions and then had to guess the most popular answer for each question. Which each correct answer, a player chopped one of 3 ropes of another castaway. The answers proved brutal against Sierra, and old Timbera members were taken down first but didnt seem to notice. Stephen won and selected Erinn to go to Exile Island, rationalizing that they wanted only members of their alliance (with Taj and JT) to go to Exile Island in the event there was a new idol. He took Taj and Stephen with him to his reward in a clear indication of where his true alliances lie. Coach recognizes this and notes his fear that they will “stick” with Taj in their alliance
The reward is a trip to a local family farm where they were fed a home-cooked Brazilian meal and a trip to a unique spring. During the meal, the family’s 3-year old daughter falls off her chair and cries, which sends Taj into what she calls “mommy mode” and causes her to miss her son. Erinn, meanwhile, is unable to start a fire and is forced to sleep in the cold rain, saying this is the hardest thing she’s ever done in her life.
Stephen and JT suggest the possibility of eliminating Debbie, while Coach and Debbie make their pitch to Sierra. But Sierra has no interest in helping them, and when she tries to alert them to the reality of their supposed alliance with Stephen and JT, Debbie becomes extremely upset and walks away. With their plan having failed, Coach and Debbie assess JT’s trustworthiness.
Coach and JT later affirm their alliance the the upcoming boot order – Sierra, Erinn, and Taj. Coach lies and tells JT that Sierra tried to initiate a Timbera alliance, while Sierra alerts Stephen as to what Coach tried to do. Stephen later joins Coach and JT and Coach tells him that Sierra tied to reunite Timbera. After he leaves, Stephen tells JT what Sierra told him and after some discussion they decide that Sierra is most likely telling the truth.
Erinn rejoins the tribe for the Immunity Challenge and Stephen immediately hugs her and tells her he is sorry, then gives her a sweater he had stored under his shirt. In the challenge, players tossed hooks to snag bags on the ground in front of them. Coach, JT, and Debbie were the first 3 to grab all their packages, proceeding to the next round, which required the navigation of a ball through a maze similar ot the game Labyrinth. Coach took and early lead and JT caught up quickly, but Coach was able to keep his lead and win Immunity, with Sierra noting she will do anything she can to make the rest of the tribe focus on eliminating Debbie.
At camp, Sierra expressed willingness to confront Coach publicly. They throw the same accusations the made privately, and Debbie says she can’t deal with the drama, and says in confessional that she didn’t really remember what really happened. Stephen and JT believe Sierra and debate the merits of voting out Debbie, eliminating a devious player, or Sierra, a troublemaker. At Tribal Council, Sierra and Coach go off at each other again. Sierra is voted off.
- Stephen played things pretty risky in this episode. One couldn’t help but be reminded of Surivor Marquesas where the elimination order in a challenge helped a bunch of misfits to band together and vote off a controlling alliance, and with Timbera members being eliminated first in the Reward Challenge it certianly could have gone that way. It seems it wasn’t to be, though Stephen probably made another nail-biting mistake by taking JT and Taj on the Reward with him. But for all his risks, Stephen made an extremely intelligent play that sort of went under the radar in offering Erinn not only profound apologies upon her return from Exile Island, but a dry sweater as well. Smart guy.
- Sierra took more punches in the last two episodes than most players take in the entire game. People just found her EXTREMELY unlikable and we’re not quite sure why. Surely both Coach and Erinn have done much more to cause people to hate them than Sierra did. Obviously she was disliked form the beginning, but things were just downright venomous beginning with the few days right before Tyson’s boot. What is it about Sierra that causes people to hate her so much?
- Is Erinn even playing this game right now? Does she have a plan, or is she going to pull a Sugar and just help her favorite player through to the end? It might be that she is just extremely confident in her alliance with Taj, JT, and Stephen, but even then there is no indication that she is doing anything to seize some power in that alliance.
- “This is my baby. This is my baby.” – Taj, dellusional as she slips into “mommy mode”
- “There’s a lot of stories being told, and lot of paranoia setting in.” – JT
- “This drama crap has got to stop. I’m too old for this.” – Debbie, during Coach and Sierra’s public calling out
- “Honestly, a lot of it…I don’t even remember.” Debbie, washing her hands of the Coach/Sierra feud
- “I honestly believe that in sierra’s warped mind she thinks she’s telling the truth.” Coach, on Sierra at Tribal Council
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