Each of the castaways is crapping his or her pants back at camp after last week’s tribal axing Lauren, realizing they severely underestimated Ben. He doesn’t just have a good story. He’s not just a (semi) challenge threat. He’s not just a solid ally. Dude is a good Survivor.
And if you squint, he could also pass for Gerard Butler’s stunt double.
Ryan is the most shell-shocked, while everyone around him is agreeing to vote Ben out next … this time, they mean it.
Ryan looks like we all did watching the last minute of the TWD mid-season finale.
The next morning, in the pre-dawn light, Ben goes looking for an idol. He interviews as he’s looking that idols are “very hard to find” but last time, he found a rock that said, “Dig”, so he’s looking for a complicated clue like that (don’t choke on the irony, folks). Ben has a lot of strengths. Self-awareness isn’t one of them.
REWARD CHALLENGE! Obstacle course … this time with ropes and in pairs. Ring toss equalizer at the end (five rings). Reward is a sleepover with a real bed and a slightly different feast. I think they get served bison at this one. Ben and Ashley are together, Chrissy and DeVon are paired up and finally, Ryan and Mike are partners. We know from the beginning which pair is NOT going to win.
They have too much testosterone for their own good.
The super torture of this challenge, once they all arrive at the ring toss station, is that if the tosser misses, HE must (because neither woman is allowed to throw a ring, natch) retrieve the ring immediately before attempting another throw. There are only five rings, and all must be tossed onto one of the three posts.
The only rings GIRLS are allowed to toss.
BTW, if anyone was wondering, there is a tampon-esque applicator (sold separately, of course) to aid in insertion. Big pharma, always taking care of the ladies. Don’t say I never taught you nothin’.
Anyway, DeVon and Ben are toss-for-toss but DeVon pulls out a win. He and Chrissy get to bring one other person and Chrissy easily convinces (too easily) DeVon to bring Ryan.
Probst is flippin’ DELIGHTED at this turn of events. He can’t help himself by pushing on Ashley’s bruise and asking for a response. She mutters something about knowing who made that decision between Chrissy and DeVon. Back at camp, even Mike’s pissed that Ryan got to go. Mike wants to know why didn’t they choose him, since he’s the swing vote. He brings up the fact that Ryan went on the last food reward and he’s the youngest at 23 so he has the most energy. How did I never pick up on Ryan’s age? Maybe ’cause Ryan looks, talks and acts like a little old man.
Ben tries to feel out the two hangry leftovers gently, but Mike’s having none of it. Ashley might be something to work with, though, especially since DeVon didn’t insist on bringing Ashley to the reward. I don’t know why DeVon didn’t make Chrissy agree to Ashley. He had every right to choose, since he’s the one that won the challenge for the pair. Ben’s happy with the discord, though, and offers his vote up if either one changes their minds about voting Ben out next. Unfortunately for Ben, Ashley’s not interested in hearing his song and dance either. Ben decides he’s just going to keep looking for the idol. Mike interviews that there’s no way Ben will find the idol, because Mike’s already searched everywhere and couldn’t find it.
Hey, Doc Bloodhound, the producers don’t NEED YOU to find an idol, ya schmuck.
At reward, OF COURSE Ryan, Chrissy and DeVon decide to go to the final three together and take out Ben, Mike and Ashley in that order. Later, Chrissy interviews she’s considering taking out Ashley first, since Ashley’s likeable and used to be allied with DeVon. She wants Ben out, too, but he’s not as much of a threat since no one likes him.
No one likes him except the old me, I mean.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE! Same old, same old. Overly complicated obstacle course followed by a random puzzle. This puzzle is a series of cogs that fit together so that when the puzzler turns a wheel, if the cogs are organized correctly, the puzzler’s flag labeled “IMMUNITY” raises. Of course, Chrissy wins, because the course-ending puzzle requires significant brain usage. I guess ??? I’m glad she won immunity.
Back at camp, post-challenge, the about-to-be-voted-out Ben says, “Being a Marine, you never give up.” Puke.
Was Roy Moore a Marine?
So Ben’s off to go idol-hunting, while Ashley, DeVon, Ryan and Chrissy scheme in the ocean. Just in case Ben shows up at tribal with an idol, Ashley wants to split the vote between Ben and Mike. That way, either one goes home. Good plan … BUT Chrissy interviews that she wants Ashley gone first. Chrissy doesn’t believe in girl power. That’s why she has fake boobs.
Chrissy didn’t see this movie.
Do you really think you can’t beat Ashley in the final three, Chrissy? Or do you think that being the only girl with four guys makes you omnipotent? Great at puzzles, she is. Common sense, she has none. Chrissy later pulls DeVon, Ryan and Mike aside and tries to convince them to vote for Ashley tonight. They disagree and believe Ben should go first. Mike even uses the word “ferocity”
to describe Ben and trembles as he says it. DeVon is super confused and wonders why Chrissy would even THINK of voting out Ashley first. He thinks it’s crazy. Crazy? Crazy like not bringing Ashley on the reward and strengthening your alliance with her? Crazy like using the reward time to convince Chrissy to join you two … thereby making a power move that only makes it easier to get to the final three and successfully defend your game to the jury?
Crazy like that, DeVon?
“Somehow”, Ben finds a clue to the idol. To play off the fact they practically placed it in his hands, the producers make Ben “work” for the idol by untying it from the underside of the bed in their camp shelter during this afternoon before tribal. Magically, Ben is able to do so under everyone’s noses (but that’s not confirmed on tape, I just assumed). Not surprised, since THEY DREW A MAP OF THE SHELTER BED AND PUT AN “X” ON IT. Because that bed’s so big and it would be so hard to find an idol if they hadn’t given him a map. Ben is clueless that he is clueless and congratulates himself repeatedly in an interview. I bet the producers threw a steak into the ocean to distract everyone else while Ben took the idol from under the shelter.
TRIBAL! It’s bo’ even when Probst gets Chrissy and Ashley (who won’t take the bait) to argue about Ashley getting left behind from the reward. They discuss final three and all of the mental machinations that go in to that projection. Probst asks Mike about Ben’s superiority as a player and Mike defends all the “nice” guys still in the game. Joe’s all,
I’ll still beat your ass at Ponderosa, Mike.
Mike brings up that Ben still might be around after this vote, which surprises the shit out of Ashley for the second time in two days. Ben and DeVon kind of get into it, because Ben wants to suss out some valuable info and DeVon shuts him down. DeVon says Ben’s going home tonight. In another move he does so well, Ben pulls out his idol and puts it around his neck and says he’s not. Ben tells Ashley she can survive this vote if she votes out Mike with him. Ben asks DeVon to do the same, and DeVon says he’s not sure if Ben’s actually going to play the idol. In response, Ben stands up and gives the idol to Probst and plays it for himself. This is how you play an idol in a new way, people!!!
Lauren must have heartburn.
Ben starts gloating, and it’s TIME TO VOTE! One vote for Mike, but the rest of the votes are for ASHLEY! She’s very disappointed. Ben hugs her on the way out, which she accepts, but she sidesteps DeVon’s hug and I don’t blame her. The peanut gallery is pleased as punch about another entertaining tribal council.
Requisite “I’m lovin’ it” jury shot
See you all for the finale next week! Probst says it’s going to be awesome with lots of drama … any guesses what that could be?
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