I make no apologies for having been critical of Aubry in the past. While I know that she has a legion of fans (especially on twitter, where they tend to be so worshipful of her that I worry that they’re going to form a cult), I’ve always found her to be a little bit annoying, with all of her bragging about how she’s using “logic” to win the game and the constant whining. “Why didn’t Neal give me his idol!?” “Why didn’t I win the challenge!?” “Why are all the boys talking to Julia?” “Why didn’t I have any friends in high school!?” Blah blah blah…
But you know what?
Aubry totally owned last night’s episode of Survivor. Not only did she emerge as a competition beast (she came very close to winning immunity) but she finally used some of that intelligence that she’s always bragging about and managed to do something that, last week, would have seemed impossible. She convinced Tai to abandon his safe alliance and to work with her. When she talked to him, she made the perfect pitch. Instead of making a bunch of empty promises about how she would take him to the final three or trying to convince him that Scot, Jason, and Julia were plotting to stab him in the back (though, of course, they were), Aubry directed her pitch to who Tai is as a human being. Aubry realized that the gentle and soft-spoken Tai would never be truly comfortable with two cavemen like Jason and Scot.
(Now, of course, I still think Aubry made a few mistakes last night. She’s still obsessing on Julia who, whether you like her or not, is relatively harmless. And, as inspiring as it was to watch her nearly beat Jason, she’s running the risk of emerging as such an obvious threat to win the game that nobody’s going to want to run the risk of having her anywhere near the final three.)
Watching last night’s episode, it was impossible not to cheer Aubry on. Of course, it helped that she was competing against Jason and Scot, two of the most loathsome castaways in Survivor history. As usual, Scot and Jason spent this episode talking down to everyone and boasting about how they were untouchable. After an hour of listening to their BS, it was especially glorious to see the look on Scot’s face when he was voted out.
For the record, here’s how the votes went at Tribal:
Scot and Jason voted for Aubry.
Julia and Michele voted for Tai, in an attempt to force Tai to play his idol. (Before Jeff read the votes, Julia turned around to Tai and said, “Play your idol.” That was a dumb move on her part.)
After telling Julia that they would vote for Tai, Aubry and Cydney voted for Scot. Joe also voted for Scot. And finally, after telling Scot and Jason that he would vote for Aubry, Tai also voted for Scot.
The final vote: Scot — 4. Tai — 2. Aubry — 2.
Scot, who was holding Jason’s idol, smirked and asked Tai for his idol so that Scot could form a super idol. Tai shook his head and Scot looked shocked! It was wonderful! What made it even better was that Scot left tribal council with Jason’s idol in his pocket.
(If Tai had allowed Scot to have his idol, Scot’s votes would have been tossed out and Aubry and Tai would be tied. There would have been a second vote and Tai could very well have been voted out. Even if Aubry hadn’t convinced him to switch alliances, it wouldn’t have made any strategic sense for Tai to sacrifice his idol to save Scot.)
So now, there’s only one idol left in the game and Tai has it. Also, as a result of the reward challenge, Tai has an extra vote that he can cast at a future tribal council. For now, Tai may very well be the most powerful person in the game but he has to be careful. Next week, both Jason and Julia will be looking for revenge. And, much like Aubry, he’s emerging as a real threat to win the game. If I was trying to win this season of Survivor, I wouldn’t want either Aubry or Tai anywhere near the final three.
But for now, I’m happy that we got to watch one of the greatest tribal councils ever. This is really shaping up to be a great season of Survivor!
Here’s hoping everyone had a great 4/20,