In Survivor: China episode 5, Peih-Gee pulled off one the best strategic moves I’ve seen in years (albeit still a somewhat risky one), intentionally losing a post-shuffle immunity challenge to avoid being Pagonged. Granted, I haven’t seen much in the way of good strategic moves on Survivor in years, but even with that aside, I’d still say that regardless. Many people probably hated this move because it may seem like a chicken’s way out, but it was really her only logical choice. Following the loss, Aaron was voted out because he’s a better schemer than James. However, unlike Aaron, James can win a challenge single handedly if the opportunity presents itself. So tonight’s ultimate question becomes whether he can save himself given the situation.
Todd tells Amanda he has clues to the hidden immunity idol, which I would hope has been burned by now. He’d previously called people suckers for sharing this type of information.
Reward is to go to a tea house, get pampered, and have tea and a light snack. They must go from room to room and find and untie planks, which will then form a puzzle, a phrase made famous by Confucius. During the challenge, Peih-Gee uses the time to strategize, waiting for a moment alone with Sherea. Brilliant again. She tells Sherea to tell Frosti they’re still there for them. The challenge is pretty much even all along. Fei Long easily wins because Zhan Hu sucked at the puzzle, begging the question just how much difference it would have made if they actually tried at least week’s puzzle. James’ old tribemates are happy to kidnap him, especially Todd because he wants to get another clue for the HII from him.
Courtney still wants to see Jean-Robert go. She couldn’t care less what that means in terms of numbers.
Peih-Gee, Jaime, and Erik start to get concerned that Frosti and Sherea aren’t still with them. So they decide they have to win immunity. Not sure how that increases their odds.
At the first chance he gets, Todd tells James there’s something in the tube that can save him if he gives it to him. James agrees because he doesn’t have another choice. With this fourth clue, Todd figures it out. While Todd and Amanda are searching for the idol, Frosti comes up and starts trying to find it himself. Because of this, he sees the idol when they get it, and they tell him they have to trust him. Todd gives it to James and tells him that he has to throw the challenge and use the idol to get rid of Jaime.
Did I say Peih-Gee was brilliant? Todd’s giving her a run for her money. This plot is also strategically one of the better ones I’ve seen in a long time, not to mention great use of a hidden immunity idol (much better than a weak plot like using it to sway an idiot on the outskirts, then being praised for months as the Yulfather). Todd said he wanted to show us Survivor’s still Survivor, and this is hopefully a sign of things to come.
The immunity challenge is a gross food eating challenge. Frosti beats Peih-Gee on the chicken hearts. Jaime and Courtney eat eel (lame for a challenge like this), with Jaime coming out ahead. Erik beats Amanda eating baby turtles. Despite an early and lengthy effort by James to throw the challenge, Denise can’t get down whatever it was they were eating with that had feathers, so James won to take the lead 3-1. Erik takes the next point and wins the challenge for Zhan Hu. Oddly enough, this was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, it means the damn hidden immunity idol lives another day. Hopefully that will lead to more than just someone being carried to the final three, perhaps another strategy like tonight (minus the anticlimactic part).
Back at camp, todd and Amanda want to get rid of Sherea and hope to form an alliance of Todd, Amanda, Denise, Frosti, James, and Courtney. Courtney would rather eat one of her own and get rid of Jean-Robert, and she tells Sherea. Jean-Robert gets the sense something’s up. Todd, who fears a negative reaction from people if they don’t do what they want, suggests that maybe Jean-Robert’s not such a bad boot, but Amanda doesn’t think now’s the time to get rid of him.
At tribal council, people start attacking Jean-Robert, not caring that they’re just alienating him even further than they already had to begin with. Don’t give him an excuse to flip when the merge happens. For some unknown reason, though, Courtney opens her big mouth and lets Todd know she doesn’t trust him either.
As much as I won’t miss Sherea, it’s almost too bad they didn’t have time to plot and discuss getting rid of Courtney. It wouldn’t have been smart, but it would have been well deserved. Granted, watching Sherea’s goodbye video makes me completely sure I won’t miss her. Delusion, party of one.
The vote gives Fei Long a very shaky 6-4 advantage going into what is presumably a merge next week. Jean-Robert, Courtney, Frosti, Erik, Jaime, and Peih-Gee all appear willing and able to stab at least one person on their old tribe in the back.