This is going to be a one weird season.
So, last night’s episode started with the three tribes merging into one big tribe, which was subsequently named the Vata Tribe. The new members of the tribe were:
Victoria (former Kama)
Julia (former Kama)
Ron Clark (Former Kama)
Eric (former Kama)
Aurora (former Kama)
Juiie (former Kama)
Gavin (former Kama)
Joe (Former Kama)
Wardog (former Manu)
Lauren (Former Manu)
Kelly (Fomer Manu)
David (Former Manu)
Now, just looking at the numbers — 8 former Kama and 4 former Manu — it looked like things would be straight forward. The former Kama people would stick together and pick the former Manus one-by-one. However, before anyone could start strategizing, Jeff announced that there was a twist.
Reem, Keith, Wendy, Chris, Rick Devens, and Aubry marched in. Jeff announced that the six of them had been living on Edge of Extinction Beach and that they would be now be competing for a chance to reenter the game. The new members of the Vata Tribe all looked just a little bit panicked. It was quite a contrast to Big Brother, where everyone always pretends to be excited about people reentering the game.
Anyway, the competition to get back into the game involved running a small obstacle course, untying some knots. and then dropping a ball through a hole. At first, it looked like Wendy was going to win but then she lost her ball. Then it looked like Aubry was going to win but again, she lost her ball. It never looked like Reem or Keith were going to win. In the end, it was Rick Devens who won!
With Rick joining them, the Vata Tribe returned to their beach.
With Vata gone, Jeff turned to Aubry, Keith, Reem, Wendy, and Chris and proceeded to reveal the true extent of this season’s twist. All five of them would be returning to Edge of Extinction Beach, where they would be joined by the next few people voted out and, once again, they would be given a chance to compete to reenter the game.
When they returned to the beach, Keith and Wendy raised the white flag and voluntarily left the game. I wasn’t really surprised to see either of them go. Wendy always seemed to be out there more for the experience than because of any real desire to win the game. And Keith …. well, Keith is kind of a wimp.
That left Reem, Aubry, and Chris on Edge of Extinction Beach. Interestingly enough, Reem, Aubry, and Chris are also apparently going to be on the jury (assuming that none of them win the chance to reenter the game). At last night’s tribal council, they were brought in to observe the deliberations.
The first individual immunity was won by Julie. The show’s editors did a good job of making it appear as if either Rick or Wentworth would be voted out. Wentworth wanted either Rick or David gone. David and Rick both wanted Wentworth gone. (As a returnee, Rick received a secret two-part immunity idol, with the catch that he had to share one piece with another survivor and that the idol wouldn’t be good until after that night’s tribal council. RIck gave the other half to David. Big shock.) However, it quickly became clear that the former members of Kama didn’t particularly care who the former members of Manu wanted to vote out. Under the direction of Ron Clark, they voted out Joe.
It really wasn’t a surprise. Ron has always viewed Joe as being a huge threat and, since the game began, he’s been talking about targeting Joe right after the merge. For his part, Joe spent most of the day painting and not making any deals with anyone. I love Joe but he’s always struggled when it comes to thinking strategically.
The final vote came down as follows:
David and Rick voted for Wentworth.
Aurora and Joe both signed onto Wentworth’s plan and voted for RIck.
Wentworth, Lauren, and Wardog (of course) all voted for David.
Eric, Gavin, Julie, Julia, Victoria, and Ron all voted for Joe.
So, by a 6-3-2-2- vote, Joe left tribal council and promptly headed to Edge of Extinction Beach, where he’ll get a chance to reenter the game.
It looks like, next week, someone might be medically evacuated from the game. Or maybe the Survivor editors are just toying with us. As always, we’ll see what happens!
P.S. For at least half of the former Kama tribe members, last night was their first tribal council! One unfortunate thing about Kama dominating the early part of the game is that I still don’t feel like I know much about them. They seem to all be following Ron Clark’s lead right now.