Kim was trying to consolidate her grip on the game by marshaling the women to vote out either Troyzan or Jay — whichever one doesn’t win immunity. She and the rest of the distaff squad are apparently conceding the individual immunity necklaces to the more athletic boys, which is a little strange.
This week’s reward challenge was a do-it-yourself affair, with no Jeff Probst. (What, did he lose interest in this season as well?) The players divided themselves into two teams and took turns tossing bolos at a target for points. Tarzan (of all people) led teammates Troyzan, Jay, Kat and Alicia to victory of native barbecue and beer — but unlike last week’s 7up product-placement reward, no one ponied up for the beer sponsorship.
Afterward, Kim and her crew set about dealing with a suspicious Jay, who is part of the Salani 2.0 alliance, but doesn’t realize that Kat and the other girls have abandoned it. The women assure Jay that he’s safe, when he’s anything but, and later confessed to the camera that when misleading him, they were mostly concerned about where to look so they didn’t have to lie directly to his face. Jay was nonetheless nervous, as was Troyzan, thanks to Tarzan (of all people) pointing out the 6-4 advantage the women hold. I don’t want to make a joke about male models being too dumb to count, but when Tarzan has to tell you that you screwed up the numbers game, well…
No one seemed to take the immunity challenge seriously except Troyzan (who was hearing footsteps). The stunt was to hold up one arm to keep a bucket of colored water from splashing down on you. Jeff tempted the players with food and drink, and they practically fell over one another to drop out of the challenge for rewards like milk & cookies and cupcakes. Jay the Genius dumped his bucket in exchange for chicken wings and beer, so he must not have been too worried about Tribal Council. In the end, the pneumatic Chelsea outlasted Troyzan to win the usually coveted necklace.
Feeling threatened, Troyzan stuns Jay by showing him the hidden immunity idol and announces his plan to play it while getting the guys to all vote for Kim, hopefully negating votes against him and leaving Kim the second-highest vote-getter. Jay scurries off to his “pal” Kim and fills her in — but she was already planning to divide the female vote to guard against somebody playing an idol. Good thinking.
At Tribal Council, Troyzan burned his idol, saying he didn’t want to be sent home with it in his pocket, but the move was wasted; he only drew two votes, while the majority targeted a blank-faced Jay (so what else is new?), whose torch was extinguished.
Well, for the first time in many (many!) weeks, an elimination finally made sense! The women are absolutely correct to target the physical threats instead of players they don’t like — there will be plenty of time for whispering and backbiting when the girls must turn on each other later. Troyzan should be in the crosshairs next. However, Kim needs to be careful about painting herself as the leader of the pack, lest she put a bull’s-eye on her own back. She smartly recognized this week that she needed to avoid being seen as bullying the wishy-washy Chelsea into going along with her anti-Jay plan. Still, the rest of the girls know she’s calling the shots, so she needs to be careful of a ricochet.