Survivor: Tocantins Winner

After having humored Coach for this long, I would have expected them to be smart enough to keep him around a few more days, but the others finally decided to vote him out in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 13. That brings us down to a final four of: Erinn Lobdell, James “JT” Thomas Jr, Stephen Fishbach, and Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George. By the end of the night, one of them will be the Survivor: Tocantins winner.

Stephen’s concerned that he looks like a backstabber, whereas JT backed Coach up and remained loyal. Is Stephen finally realizing that his plan of going to the final two with JT is a stupid one? Taj also realizes that JT’s a threat, but they don’t appear overly enthused about doing anything about it.

The immunity challenge is to race through a tarantula-shaped obstacle course and retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces from three stations. They will use those puzzle pieces to solve a web-shaped puzzle. Stephen and Erinn go their own way. Taj follows JT up the same leg. JT’s off to an early lead and gets his first bag. After being the first to bring back his first bag, he’s also the first one with his second bag. Taj, Stephen, and JT are returning wth their first bag, as JT returns with his second bag. Stephen returns with his second bag, followed by Erinn and Taj. JT is through with his final bag. The good news for the others is that it’s a puzzle, which is not going to be JT’s strong suit. Stephen is back with his final bag. Taj and Erinn have finished with their bags, so now everybody’s working on the puzzle. Despite being the last one back, Erinn’s still in this challenge, although Taj has fallen out of it. In a close finish, JT wins immunity.

Now Erinn needs to try to figure out how to get them to vote out Taj. She says that Taj played a good social game, and she’s got a lot of friends on the jury.

As with last time when they should have kept Coach, this time they should be keeping Erinn because she’s unlikely to win jury votes. None of her tribe members were fond of her, whether they were with her from the beginning or not, although she may earn respect for surviving against the odds.

Votes
Taj
Erinn
Taj
Taj

With three votes, Taj has been voted out. She had plenty of chances to turn this thing around, but she kept throwing it away for her alliance to the guys who just voted her out.

When they return from tribal council, JT says he’s already suffering. Erinn is the most annoying person he knows, and she will not shut up.

Erinn promises that she’ll be taking Stephen with her if she wins immunity. She realizes that, even if she doesn’t win, the other two don’t want to go up against each other. They already proved with Taj they’d act on that, but would they really cut each other?

The final immunity challenge will be to catch dropping balls as they get to the bottom of the chute. This will require concentration and coordination. They will have to prevent a ball from touching the ground with one hand behind their back. Based on their pitiful performances on previous endurance competitions, Stephen and Erinn can color themselves lucky this is not one like it typically is. After a couple practice runs, they add a second ball. Then a third. Erinn is the first one out. After Stephen bobbles a couple balls, nearly breaking the rules by touching one with his other hand in the process, they add a fourth ball. Stephen continues with his close saves before finally letting one drop, and JT wins the final immunity.

Stephen’s happy to have lost immunity. Now it’s up to JT to make the decision. I don’t know that it matters much either way. Both Erinn and Stephen will have difficulty getting jury votes against JT, which they should have realized a few votes back.

Erinn says that she’ll probably get Taj’s vote, but other than that, her tribe wanted her gone weeks ago. They were just too disorganized to pull it off. She also tells JT that Stephen questioned whether he could beat him in the end.

Stephen’s pitch is that JT will win no matter what, so he might as well do it while keeping his word.

At the final tribal council, Stephen tries to say that if JT doesn’t bring him, their friendship will be damaged and they will not be the same type of friends afterward. The jury finds this humorous since Stephen’s done enough lying of his own in this game.

Vote
Erinn

Erinn has been eliminated. On the sheer stupidity of that vote alone, JT should lose this game, but it’s going to be hard for Stephen to convince the jury to vote for him. Granted, Stephen kept JT along with him this whole time, knowing just how hard he would be to beat in the end.

Stephen says that he and JT basically shared a brain during this experience. With that said, he wants to focus on what he’s brought out of it. His road has been harder because this is not his element. For real? That’s why he wants them to vote for him?

JT talks a bit more in circles but focuses on how he provided for the tribe and stuck to his word (at least as far as Stephen goes).

Brendan asks Stephen about his opening speech, and if he can think of any game where the person who works hardest or grows the most wins. Stephen’s response: maybe Survivor falls under that category. JT responds that growth is irrelevant, and he outplayed Stephen, who hid in the shadows. Stephen responds that hiding in the shadows is a legitimate strategy.

Erinn asks Stephen about his alliances: the Jalapao three, the Exile alliance, and the warrior alliance. Why is everyone in those alliances on the jury? He feels he used those alliances as best he could as an aggressive game player.

Her question for JT is why Stephen is the best as far as the talk about taking strong to the end. I’m not real clear what his answer is.

Deb says she hasn’t decided yet. She asks JT about honesty. Is he really honest, or is he a liar? She does realize that’s part of the game, correct? JT says that he had to lie to get there, using her trying to get rid of Coach as an example.

Her question for Stephen is who he would have picked to be in the finals. She wants an honest answer. He doesn’t know. Nope, that’s not good enough. It’s fair to say that’s an honest answer, but it’s not a good enough honest answer. If you don’t lie and/or tell her what she wants to hear, she will keep going on all night. He thinks it would be Erinn, though he hopes he would have taken JT.

Coach talks about honesty and integrity. As if he weren’t a big fat liar. JT’s example of honesty is that he kept his promise to Coach to not vote against him, even if he knew he was going home. He also just realized that he was dumb enough to keep his word to Stephen, who just acknowledged he might have broken his word given the chance. For Stephen, his response is that he didn’t just vote a certain way to keep his word, knowing full well that the person he was voting along with was going to go home anyway.

Sierra doesn’t have a question for Stephen because she probably had the same question Debbie had. Her question for JT is why he took Stephen when he’s standing next to one of the weakest players ever. JT’s response is that Stephen is the strongest next to him. Memo to Sierra, who’s sitting there calling Stephen and Erinn the two weakest players in the game: they’re in the final three, and they did not eliminate themselves on day one.

Tyson asks JT if Stephen was an asset getting him to the final. JT says that he thinks he could have gotten there if Stephen were not there with him, and he’s right. Everybody was tripping over themselves to bring JT (and by extension Stephen) to the end, and they were all fools to do so. Stephen does not like that response and believes they needed each other to get to the end, although Erinn and Taj would have taken Stephen to the end if they won the final immunity.

Taj asks JT why it was so hard to put Coach’s name down, but he was okay with putting her name down. He says that that was actually the hardest vote of the game. She’s also bitter toward Stephen. He blames JT. This ends up with JT and Stephen arguing with each other, until Taj decides to just sit down and let them keep fighting because she’s heard enough. JT feels like a fool for not bringing Erinn.

Whatever small chance Stephen may have had coming into this, he certainly didn’t do himself any favors with his answers to the questions.

Votes
JT
JT
JT
JT

By a unanimous vote, the Survivor: Tocantins winner is JT. He made a potentially stupid move at the end, though even that didn’t put him in any real danger and allowed him to keep his word. He was in a great position throughout the game, with none of his fellow competitors being smart enough to want to eliminate him.

JT and Stephen thank Coach for his big mouth, telling JT all of the other side’s plans.

Erinn says that she jumped over to the other side so easily because she was still at the bottom, but the bottom was higher over there than it was on her own dysfunctional tribe.

Did anyone talk about taking out JT earlier? Taj says no, it never came up. Idiots.

Probst has kept JT’s tooth, and he’s apparently been holding on to it in his pocket the whole time. JT has no use for it, but maybe his mom would like it back.

Coach is still full of himself, and he still believes he’s speaking the truth. Yeah, this from the guy who began lying before he even got to the show, which caused him to get fired from his job because he wasn’t up front with them how long he was going to be gone. He has declined Probst’s request for a lie detector test. He brought one with him instead. The audience believes this has been rigged. Sierra already proved him to be lying about question one (playing Survivor with integrity and honesty), but the test supposedly proves him to be telling the truth about how he got captured by a native tribe that wanted to eat his ass. Coach’s “lady friend” says we only saw Coach and not the other of his multiple personalities that’s more normal.

Viewers have voted for the Sprint player of the season. It’s pretty obvious JT will win this, too.

JT, Taj, and Sierra are the three top vote getters. JT is the winner, so he gets an extra $100,000.

Joe’s leg is back to normal. Jerry’s buddies ask him what happened out there. Jeff apparently just saw Candace, who’s listed as an attorney, in a commercial. She’s evidentally having more luck with her modelling career that the /models there.

JT says that he hopes he to use some of the money to get into a business partnership with Stephen.

Still among the top 20 shows on television after 9 years, Survivor will of course be back next season. Season 19 will be dubbed Survivor: Samoa.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 13

Debbie tried to turn on Coach, which in turn resulted in her getting voted off in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 12.

JT tells Coach that Debbie was plotting against him. He thanks them for protecting him. Uh, they weren’t protecting you. At least Coach has finally realized he’s no longer in control of this game.

Coach says he’s struggling with asthma and back pain. This is Coach, though. It’s hard to tell when he’s telling a story. His lips are moving, so it’s a safe bet.

For the challenge, they will race through a maze and build a pole to raise a sandbag, while their feet are shackled. Reward is comfort: bed, shower, feast. JT takes the lead. Everybody follows him except Taj. Taj is incorrect as JT builds on his lead. Coach is attached to JT’s hip. JT is first through the maze with Coach right behind. Erinn, Stephen, and Taj appear to be out of it, but they complete the maze eventually. Now everybody is working on their pole. JT’s still got a lead. He grabs his sandbag and starts swinging. JT knocks over his first target of three, then his second, then his last. JT wins reward. No volunteers to go to Exile. Despite complaints about his ailments, Coach is being sent there. He plans to not eat or build a fire, probably because he’s incapable of doing so. Erinn looks forward to this being his excuse for losing immunity. Obviously, JT’s taking Stephen with him on reward. Will the girls finally realize how close these two are and form an alliance with their arch enemy?

Taj is unworried about JT and Stephen. She plans to go to the finals with them. Erinn also plans to go as far as she can with JT and Stephen.

JT and Stephen take a private plane to the governor’s retreat. After getting cleaned, they get a Brazilian barbeque with all they can eat. They’re convinced they will be in the final two. JT would like to take Coach to the final three with them, knowing nobody will vote for him. They discuss Erinn’s little speech at the end of the challenge, and say it makes them want to keep her less.

Coach returns from Exile with his cane. Taj would like to see some mental institution come pick him up. Although he said he was so happy without any nourishment, he immediately asks for some water.

The immunity challenge will be to balance between two walls with their bare feet on footholds. They cannot use their butts, backs, or hips. After 15 minutes, they move down to a smaller foothold. Everybody is still in it. After another 15 minutes, they drop to the final foothold. Erinn falls when moving down. Everybody else is still in, and they’ll go until one person is left standing. Stephen is next to fall. Taj follows him. JT would step down if Jeff gives him a steak and beer. Coach tells him he should step down, then, unless he’s planning to vote him out. Coach looked fine until Taj told him to not hurt his back any more. Now he’s intensely struggling. He falls at about 50 minutes, then collapses to the ground. JT wins immunity. Coach says that, if medical looks at his back, he won’t be there. Jeff doesn’t push the issue, knowing there’s an excellent chance Coach is trying to get an acting gig.

JT reassures Coach he’s safe and that they’ll get rid of Erinn. Stephen says he’s not so sure what he wants to do, regardless of what promises JT has made to Coach.

Erinn says she never feels secure. The rest of tribal council is Coach babbling endlessly. The jury goes to sleep.

Votes
Coach
Erinn
Erinn
Coach
Coach

With three votes, Coach has been voted out. You’ve been with him this long. I would have kept him in. That jury hates him. Let’s see if Erinn and Taj can come up with some way to take control of this game next time. They’ve sure had enough chances.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 14 and the Reunion special, where we will find out who the Survivor: Tocantins winner is, which airs Sunday at 8/7c on CBS.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 12

After Sierra proved to the rest of the tribe that Coach and Debbie are liars who can’t be trusted, nobody seemed to mind that, voting out Sierra in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 11.

Coach doesn’t like people who don’t play half as honestly as him. Since he’s a big liar, I’m not sure what would qualify for that.

Debbie is starting to grow tired of Coach and his inability to let things go. She also doesn’t like being associated with a negative force at camp. She goes to JT and Taj to say she’s not so sure about him. JT views this as a negative, and Stephen joins in by mocking her. Her response to overhearing them talking about her is that she’s in an alliance with them to the end.

It’s the Survivor auction. They each have $500. They cannot share money or food. The first item is french fries. Taj bids $40. Debbie bids $50. Or $70. Or whatever is $20 higher than $40. Coach bids $80. Taj bids $100. Debbie goes $120 and gets the fries. The next item is chicken parmesan with garlic bread and red wine. Coach goes $100. Stephen bids $120. Coach ups it to $200. JT goes $300. Coach gets it for $320. The next item is covered. Stephen starts at $100, then JT at $120, Stephen at $140, and JT at $160. JT gets the covered item, which is nachos, guacamole, and salsa. Stephen bids $20 for the next covered item. He and JT trade back and forth until Stephen hits $100. He gets a delicacy in Brazil: chicken hearts. He doesn’t seem to mind. Last item already is a video message from home. They can pool money for this item. JT gives his remaining money to Taj, and the others follow suit. She wins the message for $20. After she finishes watching the message, Jeff asks if she heard the last line. After thinking about it, it’s “See you back at camp.” If she’s willing to send herself to Exile Island with her husband Eddie, though, the others can all get their loved ones at camp. She agrees.

Coach tells his assistant coach they call him the dragon slayer. Who is this they of which he speaks?

Over on Exile, Eddie’s the one to start the fire. Some people are out there a month and can’t do that. Some of them can’t even do it in a tie breaker challenge with matches.

The next morning, Debbie’s back to plotting against Coach.

Coach wants to vote out Taj because of the immunity idol.

Even Erinn’s brought into the loop on this one. They join Stephen and JT to discuss getting rid of Coach.

She’s not in the loop on the next part of the plan, though. Debbie wants to vote her out next, and she promises to give the idol to one of them in the final three if she gets it. She’s okay with third place.

Well, that didn’t last long. JT and Stephen go to talk to Erinn and tell her everything. They want to vote out Debbie. Nobody wants third place.

The immunity challenge is to make their way through a series of obstacles, find 10 spinning math symbols, and race back to their answer board to solve a math equation. First they dig a big hole to crawl under a beam. JT gets half through and gets stuck, but he’s the first one through. The next obstacle is a balance beam, then a crawl through. JT’s first through those as well. Debbie is in second. Coach is third. JT’s back to his answer board. Taj and Stephen get through. Stephen’s struggling with the balance beam. JT’s across a second time, and he’s done looking at the symbols a second time before anybody else except Debbie is done once. Erinn is finally through. The fewer trips they can do this in, the better off they are. JT is working on the math. Debbie is next to work on the math. With only one look at the symbols, Stephen is on the math. Despite apparently having started off minutes after the others, Stephen is the first to answer, and he wins immunity.

Stephen tells us that he thinks Debbie would step aside at three and let them have it. For real?

JT and Stephen are completely convinced they’re in charge of this game. In reality, they only have as much power as the others are willing to grant them. They’re just sitting back and waiting for someone to run up to them with a plan to vote someone else out, and it’s working.

Coach believes that Debbie will never lie to him in this game.

Votes
Taj
Coach
Debbie
Debbie
Debbie

With three votes, Debbie has been voted out. She could have lasted longer if she didn’t make that aggressive move against Coach. Little does he know his buddy voted against him.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 13 The Martyr Approach, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 11

Coach’s plans fell apart as Tyson was voted out the first chance the others got in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 10.

Coach and Debbie have no hard feelings. So they say.

JT tells Debbie he’s still with her and wants to go to the final four with her. He says that Erinn and Sierra will be the next ones gone.

She proposes an alternate plan. Ally with Erinn and Sierra, pulling the beyond fractured Timbira tribe back together to outnumber Jalapao. Gee, why didn’t they think of that two weeks ago?

The challenge is to see how in tune they are with the rest of the tribe. Somebody usually gets offended by this challenge. They have to guess whose name came up the most often. Reward is to be taken to a natural spring with a local family.

Who has not lived up to their potential? Coach.
Debbie, Coach, Erinn, Sierra, and Taj get a point.
Erinn strikes Sierra. Debbie strikes JT. Taj strikes Debbie. Coach strikes Sierra. Sierra strikes Coach.

Who would squander the million dollars the quickest? Sierra.
JT, Debbie, and Erinn get it right.
Debbie strikes Erinn. JT eliminates Sierra. Erinn strikes Debbie.

Who would never survive on their own? Debbie.
Stephen, Debbie, Erinn, and Taj get it right.
Taj strikes Coach. Erinn eliminates Coach. Stephen eliminates Debbie. Debbie strikes Erinn.

Who would you trust with your life? JT.
Everybody gets it right.
Taj strikes JT. JT eliminates Erinn. Erinn eliminates JT. Stephen strikes Taj.

Who is most likely to stab you in the back? Sierra.
Taj and Stephen get it right, bringing Taj down to 1 and Stephen down to 2.

Who would you least like to see win this game? Sierra.
Stephen wins the challenge.

Siera took a beating during this challenge. Most likely to stab someone in the back, least liked to win the game, most likely to squander the money, and first one eliminated. If anybody was hoping to win her as a vote, they’ll need to try harder than that.

Erinn is headed to Exile Island to keep the island under wraps just in case a new idol pops up. Taj will join Stephen on the reward, as will JT. No hiding where the core alliance in the game is.

No new clue on Exile, no fire, no food, no water, and pouring rain. Erinn’s pretty miserable.

Sierra hasn’t decided where she’s going to head with this. Coach thought she said she was going to be loyal. To the guy who tried to vote her out last night? While trying to get Sierra on her side, Debbie begins arguing with her rather than remaining calm. Time to come up with a new plan. Coach hopes to get JT on his side instead.

JT agrees with Coach to go to the final four with Debbie and Stephen. Coach tells him that Sierra wanted to get old Timbira back. He’d have to be dumb to believe that.

Sierra tells Stephen that Coach and Debbie wanted to renew the Timbira alliance. Stephen goes to Coach, who throws the other two under the bus and says that it was their idea, not his.

It’s still raining, so it’s time for an immunity challenge. They will each toss a grappling hook to retrieve three bags. The first three people will navigate a ball through a table maze. JT is the first to hook a bag. Taj and Debbie get a bag. Stephen gets his first bag, as does Coach. Sierra also gets a bag, leaving Erinn the only one without a bag. Coach gets his second bag. JT manages to grab his second bag. Coach gets his final bag, as does JT. They move on to the next round. Erinn gets her first bag, bringing everyone else even to compete for the last spot. Debbie gets her second bag. Stephen gets his second bag. Debbie gets her final bag. Debbie, Coach, and JT move on to the final round. This is about accuracy rather than speed. Coach gets off to a lead. JT’s catching up to him. Debbie’s out of it, but anybody could fall at any time. JT starts taking some risks to take the lead but loses his ball. Coach wins immunity.

To prove her point, Sierra confronts Coach out in the open about lying. Time for some screaming. Based on the shouting match that ensues, JT and Stephen seem to believe Sierra.

This continues at tribal council, as Sierra tells the truth again, leading to one of Coach’s typical rants.

Votes
Sierra
Debbie
Stephen
Sierra
Debbie
Sierra
Sierra

With 4 votes, Sierra has been eliminated. Dumb move voting out someone nobody likes and keeping around the people who can’t be trusted. Perhaps the most interesting vote is the Stephen vote, which came from Erinn, someone who’s clearly as completely out of the loop as she was on her old tribe (either that, or she’s smarter than she looks and is trying to create panic). Also interesting is the second Debbie vote, which was Taj.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 12 The Ultimate Sacrifice, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 10

Brendan’s Exile alliance, which initially seemed like it would shake up the season but ended up quite lame, flipped on him and sent him home in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 9. This led to Coach’s ego going out of control as he told a bunch of stories that nobody believed.

Sierra admits defeat when she gets back to camp. The next morning, she’s got a bit of fight in her, though.

Tyson and Coach aren’t giving her any room to move. They’re not even pretending they find her of any use.

For the challenge, they are divided into two teams of four. They will gather puzzle boards and arrange them in the correct spots and flip them until they reveal seven vowels, which they will arrange with seven consonants to form a four word phrase. The winning tribe will get a local outing with a feast and martial arts demonstration. Red team is JT, Erinn, Debbie, and Tyson. Black team is Coach, Stephen, Sierra, and Taj. JT and Erinn are against Coach and Stephen. It’s roughly even after the first leg. Taj and Sierra manage to gain the lead for black team. Coach and Stephen drop the lead, though, on the third leg and get quite a bit behind. Red team’s got a lead when they begin flipping the boards. Red team is the first to get their vowels. Black team is hopeless as red team spells out “You’ve won a feast.” JT decides to send Stephen to Exile so he can get the idol if there’s one placed there. Probst rubs the loss in Coach’s face, who says he didn’t line up boards in the Amazon.

Stephen gets clue number 7. No new idol. Unexpected twist.

Debbie isn’t budging any for Sierra either. For some reason, Erinn comes to Debbie’s defense. Wait a minute. Does Erinn actually think she’s in with them? What’s more, does she actually believe she’s in control here?

Coach’s advice to Sierra: just fall on your sword and be honorable.

They arrive at the challenge in the middle of a downpour. They will play the Survivor version of shuffleboard. Jeff offers anyone willing to skip the immunity challenge the chance to eat instead. Stephen, JT, and Coach get pizza. Tyson’s not happy. Each player will get three shots to play on the table that’s slowly getting flooded as they shiver in the rain. Great planning. Tyson is knocked closest to the mark by Taj. Erinn takes the lead. Sierra knocks Tyson back into the lead. Taj is wishing she ate. Tyson gets even closer. Sierra knocks Tyson out and puts herself in the lead. Coach is regretting that he chose to eat instead. Debbie knocks Sierra out and wins immunity.

Taj, Stephen, and Erinn begin discussing how much of a threat Tyson is. Can they take him out while he doesn’t have that necklace? Stephen approaches JT to discuss the plan. They don’t want to bother discussing this with Sierra because they don’t trust her, and they don’t need her vote anyway.

Tyson says he loves everybody but Sierra, including Brendan. Sierra points out the obvious: Tyson’s a threat, certainly more than she is. Coach says he wants to walk the path of the noble warrior and pit himself against the best competition, despite voting out Brendan.

Votes
Sierra
Tyson
Sierra
Sierra
Tyson
Tyson
Tyson
Tyson

With 5 votes, Tyson has been voted out. A wise move. Coach ain’t gonna be happy.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 11, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 9

His infection from the prior episode got progressively worse, and Joe was ultimately eliminated for medical reasons in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 8, making all the post-merge scheming moot.

Coach wants the others to know that, no matter how bad things may seem, they could always get worse. Well, isn’t he just a ray of sunshine? He tells a story about how some people tried to kill him. Or something.

Coach is doing some exercises that he claims to have gotten from some ancient tribe or something. Sierra says he looks hilarious. He responds that he doesn’t care what anybody says. Then he tells us that she has to go because she made fun of him.

Erinn tells JT she likes their tribe more than she likes her own.

In the challenge, teams of three will toss metal balls trying to break tiles from the other teams. The winning team will be taken white water rafting and then get a picnic.

Black team: Debbie, Brendan, JT
Red team: Tyson, Taj, Coach
White team: Stephen, Sierra, Erinn

In the first round, Debbie takes out a red tile, while Stephen and Coach both hit black. Brendan breaks a white tile, Sierra breaks a red tile, and Tyson misses black. Then we fast forward and skip past most of the rest of the challenge. Red has one tile left, while the other two teams have two. Coach takes out a black tile. Erinn knocks out the red team. Brendan takes out a white tile, leaving one left for black and white. Erinn and JT both miss. Debbie and Stephen both miss. Sierra misses, and Brendan only chips the white tile. JT misses, and Erinn chips the black tile. Now down to two broken tiles left. Stephen and Debbie both miss. Sierra misses as Coach knocks out the final white tile. Black team wins reward. Stephen will be going to Exile Island alone.

Stephen knows he won’t be finding an idol, so he can focus on creating fire, which he’s failed to do despite having been out there for a few weeks already. As darkness comes, he manages to make fire for the first time.

JT’s surprised to find himself enjoying Brendan’s company. Brendan has a couple ideas how they can advance in this game. He knows JT would beat him if they go against each other in the end, but he claims he wouldn’t mind that. He might change his mind when it comes to a difference of $900,000.

The next morning, Brendan tells Sierra that they should keep JT around. She agrees that she’d like to keep JT around, so they can take out Coach and Tyson. She’s okay with this idea, then he approaches his one time ally Taj. Taj is fine with this. That tribe can try to knock out each other if they want.

At the immunity challenge, each player will be tied to a rope threaded through a series of obstacles. The first three to move on will work their way through another obstacle that’s three levels high. Taj and Stephen are out of it. Tyson and JT are the first to get to the second obstacle. They are the first ones to the final obstacle as well. Brendan and Sierra are in third and fourth and will be battling for the final spot. JT finishes first. Tyson is close behind him. Brendan finishes third. Brendan catches up to the others and manages to take the lead. JT falls behind as Tyson chases Brendan and retakes the lead. Tyson wins immunity.

Coach wants to take out Brendan, and Brendan wants to take out Coach. One of them will get their way.

JT and Stephen now have a decision to make. Which side do they want to flip to?

As for Coach and Brendan, they’re pretending to each others’ faces that they’ll vote out JT.

At tribal council, Coach continues to tell about how he almost died. A lot of times. Everybody points out that JT’s probably the biggest threat in the game. Taj doesn’t have an idol. Erinn doesn’t have an idol. Stephen doesn’t have an idol. Brendan willingly acknowledges he does have one, though.

Votes
Coach
Coach
Brendan
Brendan
Brendan
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Brendan

With 4 votes, Brendan has been eliminated. As smart moves go, that was not one. Brendan sealed his own fate, though. He shouldn’t have let his potentially game changing alliance simmer like that.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 10, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 8

Sydney’s flirting came to the end of the road in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 7 after Taj, JT, and Stephen formed an alliance.

Coach is meditating because he’s been keeping everything bottled up in an attempt to be less annoying than he normally would be. Even Erinn likes the nice Coach.

Joe’s leg is getting worse. An infection in this environment has the potential to be instantly game ending.

The tribes are told they’re going to be getting a feast, and it’s the merge feast. They will all live at the old Timbira camp. While they’re all eating and trying to come up with a tribe name, Sierra wants to discuss the last two eliminations.

JT and Coach are already getting along. 15 minutes into fishing, Coach says he wants to talk about the game. JT says that Brendan thinks he’s in control of the game according to Taj, and Brendan’s got an idol as well. He doesn’t know if Taj has an idol, though. JT wants to target Brendan, which is potentially a problem that Taj and Stephen need to step in and prevent.

Afterward, Coach goes to Tyson and proposes an alliance between them, Stephen, JT, and Debbie.

It’s becoming pretty apparent that, despite the fact that Timbira has the majority, they’re not particularly married to that majority.

JT’s surprised to find out that he’s getting along with Tyson. Now that Tyson has worked on JT, he invites Debbie to go look for some fire wood.

Taj is concerned whether Brendan is actually still with her or not. He believes their alliance needs to lay low for the time being, and then his Exile alliance can take charge after Joe and JT are gone. If needbe.

Joe believes he’s got an idol. Erinn has no clue where it is. It’s not there, so they know somebody found it. With that said, she plans to vote out Brendan and Sierra because one of them must have it.

The new tribe name is Forza because they think it means strength (close enough).

The first individual immunity challenge is an endurance challenge. Last person hanging on a pole will win immunity. Joe and Stephen are struggling early. Stephen is the first one out. Joe follows him. Then Jeff notices the thing on his leg. Brendan is next, followed closely by Taj and Erinn. 4 of the remaining 5 haven’t budged yet. Only JT is struggling so far. JT drops at 20 minutes. That eliminates old Jalapao. Coach is the next one out. From the looks of it, he threw it. Sierra struggles for the first time and slips all the way down. It’s Debra against Tyson. They reach half an hour. Debra slips, and Tyson wins immunity.

Joe will be staying behind so that medical can take a look. I’m not real clear why nobody looked at him sooner. Because the infection is so close to the bone, it could enter the bone. It could also enter the blood and risk death. His injury won’t heal itself overnight.

Tyson is pretending to Brendan and Sierra that they’re all still together.

Stephen will go with JT to join Coach, Debbie, and Tyson if he promises him he’ll turn on them. Yeah, but that leaves you down 2-3.

With that done, Stephen asks Taj to take out Brendan. She doesn’t trust him any more because he hasn’t really talked to them in two days.

JT’s realized that, if they vote for him and he and his group votes for Brendan, if he uses the idol, it will backfire on JT, sending him home instead. They decide to split the votes so that Sierra would be the one the idol takes out.

After all the scheming that’s gone down today, it’s pretty obvious it’s all moot. Jeff arrives to tell them that Joe is out of the game. Nobody will be voted out.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 9, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.

Survivor: Tocantins Episode 7

It’s been three weeks since Spencer was eliminated in Survivor: Tocantins Episode 5, but now Survivor’s finally back.

Although she originally was the object of attention for the boys, who have been keeping her around despite her lack of performance in challenges, Sydney’s getting more nervous as time goes by.

The beans were done, but Coach wasn’t happy with them. So he added dirty river water to them, meaning they’d need to boil first. Then it starts raining. Since he doesn’t want to finish the cooking he insisted on doing, the food has burned. The rest of the tribe is not happy with him. He doesn’t feel the need to blame anybody, even though he made a selfish decision without bothering to run it by anyone.

Taj wants to tell JT about the idol, which would allow her to make it to the merge. Stephen doesn’t like this idea, and besides that, he doesn’t want her talking to JT because he has somehow gotten the impression that she needs him to communicate with JT.

The challenge is to build a barricade inside the other tribe’s frame over the course of 5 minutes. Then they will toss ceramic pigs through the other tribe’s barricade. Reward is a barbeque. Erinn will sit out for Timbira. If the pig drops or breaks, it doesn’t count. Timbira gets off to an early lead 3-0. They extend that lead and go up 7-4. Jalapao’s got something good going, but they’re staying behind by a couple as time goes by. Jalapao finally manages to tie it 8-8. With three minutes left, it’s 9-9, and Jalapao takes their first lead 10-9. Timbira catches back up to tie at 12-12, then they take the lead 13-12. It’s tied at 13 with 30 seconds left. With 1 second left, Timbira wins reward. Joe is going to Exile Island, a change of pace from Taj always going, which she’s fine with since the alliance and idols are already all set. Erinn will be joining Joe. He believes he’ll charm her.

Erinn gets the urn with the clue, not that it matters. Since she doesn’t like anybody in her tribe, she’s considering trusting him, similar to what Taj did, only a bit late for it. She tells him she has no favorite on her tribe, but his favorite is JT. She decides to tell him about the idol because it’s not like she has anything to lose.

Stephen and Taj know that Joe’s going to be able to find the idol easily when he comes back. So they plan to make a fake idol.

JT’s going fishing with Stephen. He goes to grab a bag and finds the idol. If they weren’t planning to pull JT in before, they don’t have much choice now. Taj tells him that if he needs the idol, he can use it. Now they may want to consider hiding it a little better.

At the immunity challenge, each tribe will use a slingshot to break a tile releasing sand from a tower. They will retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces and move on to the next tile until they have three bags. Then two tribe members will solve the puzzle. Debbie sits out for Timbira. Tyson is the first to break a tile for Timbira. JT follows for Jalapao. Both JT and Tyson get their second bags, with Jalapao having a slight lead. Tyson gets his third. JT insists on continuing as Jalapao gets more and more behind. Brendan and Erinn are working on the puzzle for Timbira. JT finally gets his third bag, and Stephen and Joe get to work on the puzzle for Jalapao. Unsurprisingly, Timbira has won immunity. With that, they will go up 6-4, and we’re presumably headed for the merger next week. Not that that all matters considering the secret cross-tribal alliance.

Joe nicked his knee a few days ago, and it got infected. This is not a good place to have an open wound. Anyway, he needs to “go get some water.” Translation: he wants to go find the hidden immunity idol (the fake one). When he returns, he wants to get rid of Taj.

Like Stephen, JT believes that the hidden idol is his, so he doesn’t want to vote Taj out. He approaches Joe to tell him she’s probably got connections with Brendan and Sierra, giving them inroads to the other tribe at the merge. Joe’s not budging.

When Stephen and JT are discussing this, they consider getting rid of Taj. If they do that, there goes their connection to the other side. Not the brightest move just to keep Joe happy.

Votes
Sydney
Taj
Taj
Sydney
Sydney

With three votes, Sydney has been voted off the island. Joe’s all alone now because he refused to let Sydney go, but there’s one other fish in the sea for him on the other tribe.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of Survivor: Tocantins episode 8, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on CBS.