It's Day 25 at Merica (sigh), and Rodney's got a plan to get rid of Mike before he thinks about getting rid of Rodney. Mike is listening to the whole thing. Guess that plan backfired.
I guess it's kind of the Reward Challenge, because it's time for the Survivor Auction. Everybody has $500 to spend, there's no sharing an item, and the auction will end without warning.
The first item is covered, but that doesn't stop Will from spending $100 for it, and it looks like a clue...but instead he is ejected from the auction. Everyone feels bad for him, but they forget that when the first item they see is chicken and waffles. Shirin buys it for $300. After 25 days I probably would too.
Carolyn, Mike and Dan are planning on waiting for an advantage and aren't planning on buying any food. Jenn, Sierra and Rodney feel differently, and they all spend money on food. Jenn's item is I think a giant drink with lots of umbrellas, but I couldn't tell for sure. Sierra gets souvlaki or satay or some other kind of meat on a stick, and Rodney gets a giant steak and a glass of wine.
It's (most likely) the second to last item, and it's letters from home. Shirin points out that Jeff usually lets everyone buy their letters for what the highest bid was, so Sierra bids $20 and gets her letter. Everyone (including Mike, who hasn't spent any money yet) agrees to each put $20 in. Dan is particularly emotional about it, and Mike takes this opportunity to sneak away without getting his letter.
Now, I usually wouldn't go there, but he does have a GIANT tattoo of a Psalm on his back, so here I go: is that what Jesus would do, Mike? Because I'm pretty sure it's not.
Predictably, everyone is super pissed (except Rodney, who look positively gleeful) and Carolyn gives her letter back so she will also still have $500 to bid on the advantage. I'm sure it's a complete coincidence that Mike miraculously decides that his conscience won't let him do it - he's just too nice of a person. Uh, sure Mike. And by the looks of their faces, no one else is buying it either.
So next is the advantage. Dan, Mike and Carolyn all bid $480. They draw rocks to see who wins, and it's Dan. I think that's Karma right there. And I doubt that Dan is going to be showing Mike that clue anytime soon.
But what about Will? What's he been doing? He is forlornly walking back to camp, thinking about food, but there's something waiting for him - a treasure map. Go Will! I finally saw your YouTube video and you were charming, so I am now rooting for you.
So not only does Will have a map to follow, just in case he might miss it, there's a stake in the ground with a red flag on it. Buried underneath is a big box, which contains a personal stash of rations. It looks like trail mix, beef jerky and electrolyte powder to keep hydrated. That's kind of awesome.
It's up to Will whether or not he wants to share with the rest of the players; he makes the right choice and decided to share. One, because they would probably find out anyway, and they would hate him for it, and two, because he's a decent human being.
Mike is now trying to convince everyone that he is also a decent human being, but it's not really working. He claims that he "almost" didn't buy the letter from family. No, you totally did and then changed your mind.
Mike takes damage control one step further and completely outs the alliance of Rodney, Tyler, Carolyn and Will, while they sit around and look really uncomfortable. And then Rodney starts saying "relax" a lot and really loudly. I guess that's his version of damage control.
Mike and Rodney are trying to keep the fight going, and Sierra just wants to read her damn letter. Everyone is getting all verklempt, and Mike has the good grace to apologize for ruining their moment.
Rodney also can't let things go, so he's trying to get to Dan while he's still emotional, and it just might be working. Mike did play right into Rodney's hand by screwing everyone over during the auction.
Dan goes off alone to read his advantage, and it's a doozy - he gets two votes that I think can be used at a Tribal Council of his choosing. He just has to announce it when Jeff is about to tally the votes. But will Dan be able to keep his trap shut about it? If past behaviors are any indication, no.
Proving no good deed goes unpunished, Mike and Jenn don't believe that Will gave them all the food that he found. Will takes Sierra and Rodney and shows them the empty cooler and they bring it back to camp. He then goes off on Shirin, who I didn't even know was saying anything.
And Will goes and ruins everything by getting really personal about Shirin...I won't even recap it because he's really hitting below the belt. Never mind, Will, you can go home now. I don't like you anymore. Mike is the only one who tries to stop Will and defends Shirin.
This brings about the unlikely alliance of Mike, Jenn and Shirin. I wouldn't have been able to call that two weeks ago.
Immunity Challenge time! Jeff asks everyone how they are doing, and Will admits that he's not doing good and asks if he can get his letter from home if he takes himself out of the challenge. He says that family is more important than money - then why are you here and not at home with your family? These people sometime. Jeff agrees if all the other contestants agree, and I'm sure you see where all this is going - Shirin puts her hand up and objects.
Today's challenge involves carrying a ball with tongs through a balance beam obstacle course, which they then have to place on what looks like an elaborate candelabra (but, you know, with balls). If you drop a ball, you have to start the course over again.
Mike takes an early lead - he has three finished when everyone else is still on their first. There's a lot of dropping balls and starting over. Tyler is the only one even close to Mike - he's one ball behind, but then Tyler drops a ball. It's Mike's who takes the challenge.
Jenn and Shirin (and Mike) are happy, and everybody else is not.
So let me guess - Shirin is going to want Will out, and Will wants to get rid of Shirin. Actually, no. Will would rather let her suffer, and he knows that Jenn is more of a threat. Mike, Jenn and Shirin talk about voting for Carolyn. Well, I guess I was completely wrong about that one. But they need another vote - most likely Dan's. Jenn thinks that he's a jerk, but that she needs him in order to stay in the game.
Carolyn and Tyler are annoyed that Mike won't just sit down and let them pick his alliance off one by one.
Mike is talking to Dan, and it looks like he's getting through to him, but then he starts talking about trust, which might not be the best track after the auction.
But then Tyler, Carolyn and Sierra all surround Dan. Tyler tries to lecture him about sticking with their plan, and Dan tells him to back off in no uncertain terms, and that he's going to do what he's going to do (good for you, Dan).
Tribal Council time! Jeffs asks about the drama. Will starts out strong and with attitude, but he loses all of his ground, while Shirin recounts in tears the horrible things he said, which included that she has no family. Will looks really insensitive.
Jeff tries to bring things back to the stupid "collar" idea, but Sierra totally shuts him down, and she even uses the words "Worlds Apart" while she's doing it, so kudos to her.
Mike and Rodney go another round, and it's more of the same - they're in alliance, no they're not, blah, blah, blah. Let's get to the voting! Dan states that it's not just about getting to the end, but about who you get rid of and who you take to the end with you.
Voting time, and Dan does not use his special advantage, and no one uses an Immunity Idol. Jenn and Shirin get three votes each, one for Carolyn, but it doesn't matter because it's Jenn who is going home.