DESPERATE DEALINGS: Families Visit, Debbie Ditches Coach
“The Ultimate Sacrifice” JT and Stephen’s apparent control of the game becomes even more pronounced as Coach and Debbie each make pitches for the upcoming vote, with Debbie offering to give up a potential immunity in exchange for a trip to the final three. Taj wins a visit from her husband and accepts an arrangement so that everyone gets a visit from family.
The tribe returned to camp and Coach went off to Debbie on Taj and Erinn for their “rogue votes” for people who didn’t deserve them. Debbie started to make indications that she was ready to end her alliance with Coach. The next morning, she approached JT and suggested voting off Coach. JT immediately recognized her gamesmanship and desparation and was reluctant to get involved with her. She talked to JT and Stephen and claimed her alliance was with the two of them.
In place of a Reward Challenge, a Survivor Auction was held with the stipulation that there is no sharing of food or pooling of money. Coach won chicken parmesan, JT won nachos, and Stephen won skewered chicken hearts – a local delicacy. The last item was a Sprint phone and the players were told they were allowed to pool money. JT gave the rest of his money to Taj, then Erinn, and then pretty much everyone else because she had a young child back home and was, as Erinn noted, having a harder time than everyone else being away from her family. The phone contained a video from her husband Eddie George, who at the end told her he would see her back at camp, which Taj didn’t even catch at first. She was then given the option of meeting Eddie back at camp, or going with him to Exile Island and allowing everyone else’s loved ones to meet them at camp, which she chose. Erinn met her dad, Stephen his brother, JT his sister, Debbie her husband, and Coach his assistant soccer coach. Eddie George and Erinn’s dad both expressed extreme pride that they had been able to step out of their comfort zone and excel in the game.
The next day Debbie approached JT and continued to advocate voting Coach out. JT recognized Debbie “throwing Coach under the bus” and expressed distaste for it. Coach later suggests voting out Taj so she couldn’t play the Hidden Immunity Idol. JT tells Coach what he wants to hear but says in confessional that their plans don’t line up and they aren’t on the same page. Later while JT and Stephen are at the river, Debbie approaches and makes an amazing pitch – if they take her to the final 3 and she wins Immunity she will give it up to one of them, noting that she would be happy with third place. Their interest is piqued but they are extremely cautious, with JT noting that no one is satisfied with third place.
The Immunity Challenge is an obstacle course in which the players first dig a hole under a barrier, then cross a balance beam, go through a crawl space, and memorize a sequence of mathematical symbols before going back and using the symbols to solve a math problem. JT took an early lead, while Stephen had significant trouble crossing the balance beam and took an extremely long time memorizing the symbols. But while the other players made several trips to memorize the symbols, Stephen got all 7 in one attempt by assigning a number to each function and memorizing the number, noting that phone numbers are 7 digits and are easy to remember. Debbie cheered loudly for Stephen and JT noted he was very happy for Stephen and it was as good as him winning.
Stephen and JT cautiously realized their dominant postion, noting that everyone was clammoring to make an alliance with them and in disbelief that no on wanted to vote them out. At Tribal Council, Erinn noted that the vote would probably again be a surprise, and Debbie was voted out.
- Debbie was a coattail rider from day one and should have known that she couldn’t wait until this late in the game to make her move as the last of a dead alliance with absolutely nothing to offer. It’s hard to tell if JT was just kissing Debbie’s butt or if he really meant it, but nothing Debbie did was as hard core as he made it out to be. It was more like pathetic desparation, throwing herself on JT and Stephen once she realized they were in control of the game and not Coach (and that her alliance was quietly being swept away). Even her “ultimate sacrifice” was pathetic – after Dreamz denied Yau-Man a promised Immunity in Survivor: Fiji, no one in their right mind would take that deal, and JT and Stephen, being quite in their right mind, were immediately suspicious.
- JT and Stephen are firmly in control of the game, but Taj is being overlooked as a huge reason for that. Note that no one is approaching Taj to turn on JT and Stephen – it wouldn’t happen. It would be impossible for them to exert the kind of control they are without her support.
- What exactly is Erinn’s game plan? Is it just to win Immunity when she needs to? She’s not well-liked and probably wouldn’t do well in a jury vote, and she seems accepting of the fact that she is low man on the totem pole with Debbie voted off. JT noted that no one is satisfied with 3rd place in this game – could Erinn be satisfied with 5th? Unlike Coach she doesn’t seem to have any dellusional thoughts as to her place in the alliance…
- “Guess what they call me in this game? The dragon slayer!” – Coach, to his assistant coach
- “Cowards, cowards, cowards all around me. I don’t care about the million dollars, I care about my honesty, integrity, and changing this game.” – Coach, to Debbie discussing Taj and Erinn’s “rogue votes”