It was the night before Thanksgiving, and looks like we can all be thankful that we're not in Cambodia during the rainy season.
It is wet and there are shenanigans afoot. Tasha is realizing she’s not important to her voting block anymore, and Joe is also pissed.
Note: This is a two-hour episode, so I’m going to stick to the crucial stuff only, or this recap will never end.
So, yeah, it’s raining. A lot. Keith’s math skills aren’t that great (10 days is two weeks? Oh wait, he said 39, not 35) but he’s not complaining about the rain because he didn’t expect "Survivor" to be a vacation.
Reward Challenge time! Reward is getting to go someplace with a roof where they can dry off. They’re playing what looks like tackle basketball in knee deep water. Teams of three compete at a time. Green is Wentworth, Kimmi, Stephen, Jeremy, and Keith, and Purple is Joe, Abi, Tasha, Ciera, and Spencer.
As they are all wet and miserable and want to get out of the rain, it gets pretty rough. They always seem to do these challenges when the contestants are at their lowest. Do the producers keep this in their back pocket, like, they’re all in rotten moods, let’s make them wrestle each other?
So there’s lots of tackling and some almost-drowning, but in the end, Purple wins out over Green. The losers are sent back to be wet some more.
Purple is happy and dry and they have food and beer, so it’s just about perfect. The performances they get to see are just the icing on the cake. Ciera gets emotional about seeing some kids about the same age as her kids, but then that passes and she starts talking strategy again.
She pitches the idea of getting rid of Stephen, which Joe is all for, since he doesn’t trust him.
Back at camp, things are wet and they suck. The Green team is huddling together in the wet for warmth. Except Keith. He’s wearing Joe’s shirt to keep warm. They talk about what a threat it is, and that he needs to be gone.
It’s now Night 25 and guess what? It’s still raining. On top of it all, Stephen is having severe pain and digestive issues and he’s worried that his body is breaking down.
The next morning, it’s still raining. Stephen is still not doing well. He’s crying, but he’s determined not to quit. He’s having issues with his feet as well - you know how your hands and feet get wrinkly in the bath? Imagine if you were in a bath for five days. It looks like his skin is starting to peel off.
I think it’s Immunity Challenge time, but first Jeff makes everyone take one white and one black rock, but won’t tell them what it’s about. First the challenge - it’s another balance challenge: They have to stand on a block of wood and balance a ball on a piece of wood. That looks like it might be painful on their tender feet. On the plus side, it’s not raining.
But wait - there’s a catch. Right now, there is a construction crew at their camp, waiting to build a better structure with the fire pit in the middle - it will keep them warm and dry. But in order to get it, five people need to give up their chance at Immunity.
Everybody but Joe and Keith are willing to do it. Joe because he knows he’s going home if he doesn’t have Immunity, and Keith because he’s genuinely made of tougher stuff than the rest of them.
So it’s either Joe or Keith who will get Immunity, and I won’t keep you in suspense - Joe wins Immunity again.
They arrive back at camp with their new, better shelter, plus they get tea and cookies as an extra bonus.
Now that Joe’s not on the block Stephen wants to get rid of Ciera, because he knows she’s always strategizing. Ciera wants to get rid of Stephen. Abi is calling him poopy-pants, which is more than a little immature. Ciera tells them all to vote for Stephen, while she and Abi will vote for Kimmi for insurance.
Tasha goes to Spencer to talk about getting rid of Ciera because she’s getting a little dictator-like. Spencer’s not against getting rid of Ciera, but wants to get rid of Stephen first. Joe, Spencer, Jeremy and Tasha talk about their options. That’s a nice little alliance, there. I’d be happy with any of them making it to the end.
Tribal Council time! They recap the rain and the Immunity Challenge, and basically, I have no idea who’s going to be going home. It’s voting time, and Stephen does not use his advantage, but in a crazy move, Jeremy uses one of his Immunity Idols for Stephen.
And Jeremy has just earned an ally for life, because the first five votes are for Stephen. Then two for Ciera and one for Kimmi, but it’s Ciera going home.
And then we go right back to camp, because this episode is never going to end. Everyone is still reeling from Jeremy giving his Idol to Stephen, and I guess he really put his money where his mouth is. Jeremy reassures Spencer that he’s also still got his back, but Spencer doesn’t believe it.
After a brief reprieve of about a day, it’s raining again. Stephen’s feet are looking pretty gross - being wet all the time is making little problems become big problems and they are extremely swollen.
Reward challenge time! It’s Survivor Folklore, which I guess is a thing? Jeff tells a story, and then they have to run around and try to answer questions - right answer gets a gold disk, wrong gets a wooden disk.
First one to get all five gold disks wins a helicopter trip and some good food. Jeff tells them a story about King Jayvarman II and the Bayon and Angkor Wat temples and you can see these starving sleep deprived people trying to pay attention.
Keith is not good at this game. Wentworth gets an Idol clue with one of her right answers. Spencer almost has it, but he’s wrong on his last one. Stephen wins it, narrowly beating out Spencer.
Stephen gets to pick someone to go with him, and he picks Tasha because he’s got fences to mend. Jeremy looks pissed. But then he gets to pick one more, and he takes Jeremy too, but pisses off Spencer.
Wentworth reads her Idol clue, and apparently there’s a hidden Immunity Idol under the new shelter. Sneaky, producer people.
Tasha, Stephen and Jeremy take the helicopter to a luxury hotel for their reward. To build trust, Stephen tells them about his advantage - getting to steal someone’s vote.
Back at camp, when Kimmi (loyal to Stephen) goes for walk, the rest talk about who to get rid of. Abi tries to suggest everyone let her win Immunity, because she thinks Stephen is going to target her because she’s crazy. That’s not why she thinks it, I just think she’s crazy.
Wentworth waits for everyone else to leave camp to try to find the hidden Idol. Luckily, the sun is actually out for once, so she gets her chance and she gets it before anyone else notices.
Immunity Challenge time! They have to unspool a rope with their toes, to release a bunch of blocks, and then move them (again with the toes) and build a pyramid-type thingy. Stephen with his monster feet is having some problems, while Joe and Wentworth are flying through it. Both knock down some of their blocks, letting Spencer catch up and Spencer wins Immunity.
So Joe’s going home now, right? It’s what they’ve all been talking about for ages. It is literally the first time he’s ever been up for elimination in this game.
Stephen thinks it’s going to be Joe, but Wentworth has other plans. She wants Stephen to go, and Spencer seems to be on board. Stephen is telling Joe that they are all voting for Abi, which is making Abi’s crazy sense tingle, and she may go rogue. Oh, jeeze, Abi’s the swing vote.
But then Stephen talks about using the advantage, which is making Spencer rethink his plan - and rethink having to rely on Abi.
Tribal Council time! Jeff right away brings up the obvious - Joe doesn’t have Immunity. But what will happen? Well, Stephen is going to use his advantage - and he’s taking Joe’s vote. Stephen uses one vote for Abi, and one vote for Joe. The vote goes three for Abi, three for Stephen, and two for Joe, but it’s Stephen going home?
I did not see that one coming.
Next week: It’s time for the visit from loved ones, but someone gets hurt.